Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Christian Support of Rebuilding the Temple


Dividing between the joints and the marrow. I know that's what the Holy Spirit does, and in the case of understanding scripture, we need the Holy Spirit to divide between things to get to what God is saying for us right now.

One of the reasons that almost anyone can justify whatever they believe with scripture is that there are many dichotomies in scripture - seemingly contradictory flat statements of Divine truth. The reason for that is that God did not want to just give mankind a rule book that could be consulted as the last word for every circumstance. If you haven't noticed living is much messier than that! What God wanted to give us was a book of instruction on His general standards of righteous living, and then in the detail of exact circumstances the need for us to find the WAY to address the circumstance by the sweet counsel of the Holy Spirit.

This is where many believers who want to please God go wrong. They mistake the general instructions of God with the specific instructions of God in every situation. Ecclesiastes 3 is the best explanation of this: "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven." 

What may be the right Word to apply in one season, is not the time or purpose of God for every season. We have to be aware of this and sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. We have to seek God even though we have His Word book of instruction for walking in life.

I'm thinking about this because this morning I got a really awful email from someone who very likely has mistaken my stance on the rebuilding of the Third Temple. The email was incredibly anti-Semitic - complete with picture of Benjamin Netanyahu with red eye-pupils glaring like a demon with a crowd of angry Jews standing behind him, one gripping the family jewels like a gangsta rapper. I knew from the graphic that the email was going to be bad, and although I didn't bother reading it word for word, I did scan it enough to know that the main thing was a warning against the Jewish desire to build the Third Temple - and how that would inflame the whole Middle Eastern nations' Islamists to insane fury.

I cannot argue with the idea that all the Temple Mount folks who are pressing to kick the Dome of the Rock out and rebuild the Third Temple are playing with dangerous fire. The Israeli government and most of the Israeli public keep a lid on those guys for that very reason. Unfortunately, many Christians support these Temple Mount groups with absolutely no comprehension of the ramifications to Israel.

First off, this obsession with Christians over the preparations of the unsaved religious Jews to rebuild and outfit a Third Temple is a DISTRACTION from what the Holy Spirit through the Body of MESSIAH is doing in this SEASON in Israel. My gosh, if Ecclesiastes 3 ever applied to anything, it applies to the misplaced fascination of Christians for the Third Temple building!

In other words, Yeshua is building an eternal temple made of LIVING STONES in Israel right now, but most of the Christian Israel supporters are not interested in that one iota and instead are hanging on every word of those who threaten Israel by going about seeking to establish their own righteousness with a Third Temple.

This is the season of salvation, not the season of God's Temple in Jerusalem which only Yeshua can sit upon the throne of.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Centrality of Jerusalem

When Eddie & Jackie Santoro of Ahavat Yeshua congregation in Jerusalem were here in the Dallas area a few weeks ago, we were talking after the service about the centrality of Israel in the plan of God - especially here as His plan is culminating. There may be an earthly argument over who possesses the Temple Mount where the Dome of the Rock stands, but in Heaven the issue of ownership has long been settled, Mount Zion belongs to God.

God put His name on that mountain, and it is that mountain where His Son's Throne will be set up to rule the kingdoms of the earth in the Millennium. Why do you think it is inscribed on the Dome of the Rock, "There is no god but Allah" and "he has not begotten a son".

Islam lays claim to that mountain as a direct challenge to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and also to Israel's Messiah Yeshua. This is the real reason for the rage of Islam against the existence of the nation state of Israel - their existence is proof that Allah and the demonized prophet Mohammad are usurpers, laying false claim to the Throne of Righteousness which is destined by God to be situated in a precise geographical location - Mount Zion.

I'm taking the long way there, but Jackie and Eddie remembered during our conversation a picture they were given many years ago by a pastor in a European country. This picture above is that. It shows all of the continents of the world contained within a globe-like circle and here is the kicker: there was only one way that all the land masses would fit inside the circle at once and that was only if Jerusalem was placed dead center in the circle. If Jerusalem was not situated in the exact center of the circle, not all of the nations could be fully contained and visible in the circle.  Pretty amazing, no?

Tell me Jerusalem is not central to God's plan. I'm just going to shake my head and pray that God shows you what He is up to soon.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Whose voice is it? God, the enemy or yourself?

Someone was talking about separating the voices that speak to us - the voice of the enemy, of our own mind and that which God is speaking to us. Here is my take:

Knowing God as He really is, I think is the part that often makes it difficult to separate His voice in our head from our own. The same way that we know the voice that isn't God, but the enemy, because we know the Word of God well enough to recognize this is not something God would say, that is the part that gets fuzzy when it comes to differentiating between our thoughts and God's thoughts. 

We can be seriously tight with God, but still have certain blind spots about who God really is. I think that a perfect example is in the arena of Israel, where saints of God who are walking in healing and miracles still have a Grand Canyon chasm when it comes to getting who the real God is in relation to the redemption of Israel. Also comprehending the way He has told us He is going to carry that off which is the same way it all started. Consult the book of Acts where the Remnant of Jewish BELIEVERS in Israel - not the Christians coming in to the unsaved Jews - but the saved Jews providing the witness in their own nation. 

It's all there in the Bible, yet most of the prophetic circles of Christianity refuse to see it, and certainly so do most of the pro-Zionist Christians - YET is is exactly what is said in the Scriptures. 

SO MY POINT is that in every point that we have not recognized the REAL God, that is a point that we cannot properly discern between God's voice in our head and our own voice telling us what we believe is the real God. Only submitting to who God really is in each point can give us prophetic clarity on that issue.

Submitting to who God really is on this issue deserves a few more lines of explanation, because the prophetic-cutting edge of Christianity cannot be bothered with thoughts that Israel has a continuing significance to God yet the REAL God testifies repeatedly in scripture that He will NOT forget Israel. And the apostle Paul expounded pretty clearly how salvation would return to Israel. 

Also pro-Zionist Christians - many of the leading - cannot be bothered with the reality of one million saved Jews in the world today, who especially (specifically) in Israel, are the agent of salvation to their countrymen. 

Why can they not submit to how God has revealed He is going to save all Israel? There are several reasons. 

One is that they flatter themselves in thinking their good deeds toward Israel is going to bring Israel to recognize the Messiah. They are operating under a misinterpretation of gentile Christians making Israel jealous. I'm not sure how it makes a Jew jealous to see how shabbily these Christian Zionists treat Messianic Jews in Israel and elsewhere.

Two is that it is easy to make a name for yourself by being a pro-Zionist Christian. Those in the Christian world with a heart toward Israel have a God-given stirring toward Israel, but they do not know what purpose it is for. That is why it is easy to pervert the stirring of Christians toward Israel down rabbit trails. 

Even some in Messianic Jewish circles had diverted this heart stirring among Christians toward a fascination for Jewish culture instead of toward God's redemptive plan for all Israel. Because as Israelis come to faith in the Messiah of Israel, Yeshua, through those Jewish Israelis who are laboring in the Lord's harvest in Israel, this begins to impact worldwide revival.

I don't know how many times in my life I have heard someone tell me adamantly that the Jews are never going to come to faith. Even many pro-Zionist Christians believe they will only come to faith after the Church has been raptured out of this world (this is supposedly when the Jews will remember all those good deeds Christians did for Israel). 

People think it is impossible that Jews will come to faith yet from Matthew through the book of Acts it was practically nothing by thousands and thousands of Jews who believed on Yeshua. We are already witnessing God's plan of salvation come full circle back to the place where it all began - in Israel, with Jews coming to the knowledge of the Son of God.

When we cannot submit to that truth that is written in the Word, then our hearing from God is going to be mightily hampered. Selah.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Key to Hearing God's Direction

The Key to Hearing God's Direction
By Arni Klein
Emmaus Way

The Burden of the Lord  As we were getting ready to immigrate to Israel, our beloved former pastor David Wilkerson shared a most precious truth.  He said that at the foundation of any God-inspired work or ministry is the burden of the Lord.  It is the source of our motivation, strength and direction. 

There have been a few times when Father let me experience His heart.  The first was in relation to a struggle with one of our teenage children.  I felt like I was being torn apart.  My emotions were like a roller coaster out of control.  I cried out to God, “What are you doing to me?”  He answered, “Read Hosea.”  He later added,  “You asked to know My heart for Israel.  You couldn’t get it from My just telling you.  You needed to go through this experience to understand.”

The next time was just before taking our pilot trip to Israel in 1989.  Wanting to know Him more deeply, I asked Father to show me what grieved His heart.  On the night we returned home I got my answer.  He said, ”When my children fight.”  At the time, I didn’t realize the deep effect this had on me.

The next encounter was in the following year.  After having been told by the Lord the year before that we were to immigrate to Israel within three years, Pastor Dave suggested that I spend a month by myself in Israel waiting on the Lord without plan or agenda to get a word on where we should go and what we should do.

I was led to start my trip in the Tiberias area (very near where we now live).  On the very first morning of these days that were set aside to get direction, I received my answer.  The part of the story that amazes me is not that it came so quickly, but that it took some seven years for me to recognize that what I heard within hours of arriving was in fact my answer.

Part of the reason I didn’t get it is that He didn’t specifically say the word was for me -- unlike the year before when He said, “Here is the answer to your question.”  This time He just revealed His heart -- that the Land would be filled with people praising Him when returns.

He also showed me that it could not be accomplished without the participation of the Body in the nations.  The result has been that we have spent the better part of the last twenty years endeavoring to bring Father’s heart for Israel to our brethren in the nations.

If we are knit with Father’s heart, we will of necessity share His grief, which in turn fuels our passion.  To know Him in this way is to know our calling and election.  It releases a river of never-ending faith and strength.

 The life of Arni and Yonit Klein has been marked by radical shifts and quantum leaps. They met in 1969 in Manhattan and married two months later.  As yet without the knowledge of Yeshua but bonded as seekers, within four years they were separated on the verge of divorce.  In the spring of 1973, they separately came to faith and were reunited.  For 19 years they served in various capacities in New York City until they immigrated  to Israel in 1992.
     For various seasons between 1992 and 2000, they served as congregational elders, directed a congregational  music ministry, and produced a music and drama street outreach.  Arni has recorded an album of original Hebrew songs for seekers (“One Way Ticket”), and their journey to faith “Nothing to Lose” is published in Hebrew and German and can be found on this website in English.  From 1999 to 2012 they stewarded centers in Tel Aviv and the Judean Hills to provide a place for brethren from Israel and the nations  to pray and minister to the Lord.  From 1998 to 2003 they worked with First Nations peoples from various countries to help them understand their calling and unique role in God’s plans for Israel.  Since 2003 they have worked extensively in Germany with a focus on building a bridge between the youth in both nations. They have been part of the community of believers in the Tel Aviv area for 13 years and  Jerusalem for 8 years. 
     They currently reside in a village near Tiberias, and are part of the Morningstar Congregation.  As individuals and as a ministry, they desire to partner with other brethren whenever possible and are committed to walking in transparency and accountability.  For more information you can go to “The History of Emmaus Way.”

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Desperately Seeking Relevance

Desperately Seeking to be Culturally Relevant:
The Very Worst Mission

Ageism has been on my mind a lot the past several weeks. I'm 62, but my husband is 70, so I tend to think of the issues of aging from perspective of his age more than mine. Granted, few people can believe Tony is 70 because he is still working in a physical trade, though becoming less and less physically able to be the actual laborer.

We often see things that younger generations do, and even though we came from the notoriously rebellious Baby Boomer generation, we often comment to each other that we would never have dreamed of saying or doing something so disrespectful to our parents or grandparents. We were disrespectful - don't get me wrong - but not in ways that we have witnessed this generation.

This morning I was reminded of what the apostle Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:1-5, how "in the last days" the times would be perilous because of the way people interact with others they are in relationship to. You know the verses:
  • "For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."

By the last thought expressed we can know the apostle meant that he was not speaking of the unsaved world, but of the believers.

For the past month my thoughts have been returning to the dangerous pattern that I am seeing among the young adult generation of Christians who are going their own way. I've been reading that they believe their Christian parents views are too conservative on social issues and despite what the Bible says, they believe, for instance that the time has come to accept homosexuality. They also do not like their parent's support of Israel, so they have gone in the direction of undiscriminating support of the Palestinian cause that is marked by anti-Israel-ism.

One of the good things about being young is the willingness to see things through new eyes, but when the new eyes do not regard clear Bible statements as more relevant than what is trending culturally, those eyes are being deceived.

I was looking for what the Bible has to say about a generation that does not give due honor to the elders, which is how I was led to 2 Timothy 3. I decided it was worthwhile to see exactly what Paul meant when he wrote that one of the traits that would make the last days perilous was that the younger generation would be "disobedient to parents".

It was worthwhile to dig deeper because this phrase goes far beyond a kid not minding mom and dad, it speaks exactly to a generation that cannot even be persuaded by the Word of God:
  • Looking at the word apeithes (disobedient), it literally means "unwilling to be persuaded (by God) which shows itself in outward disobedience (outward spiritual rebellion); disobedient because unpersuaded.
  • G545 /apeithe-'s ("unpersuaded") begins with the decision to reject what God prefers, with His offer to persuade about His preferred-will (cf. 2307 /théle-ma). See G543 (apeitheia).

This is exactly what this generation is doing on the issues of homosexuality and Israel. They claim they are the ones who are really being like Jesus, but the truth is their claims are hollow. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Jesus is the Word of God made flesh.

We cannot claim to hold the high ground of being more like Jesus than our parents when we reject the Word of God as the truth we adhere to.

These young people desperately need prayer, for they have decided they are more socially just than God. They see themselves as a new generation of the faithful, when in fact, they have left the narrow path.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

What Holds Back Reconciliation?

We want everyone to come with us as we follow Yeshua in all His purposes that are being summed up beginning in our days, but the truth is not everyone is going to submit to many of the things that God is accomplishing through Messiah. Here are some of those things in my understanding.

First and foremost is our personal and corporate transformation in the likeness of Yeshua/Jesus. It is the Alpha and Omega of God's purpose in Messiah. If we do not yield our flawed human nature to His cross and allow the nature of Yeshua to be formed in us as is God's desire for us, then nothing else He desires for us can come to completion/maturation either.

Secondly, I believe that the issue of horizontal forgiveness (between God and us) is not completed or mature until we get hold of the necessity of walking in parallel forgiveness (between us and others). The truth of Matthew 18 where failure to forgive becomes a prison of torments to the unforgiving BELIEVER, is not a somewhat important issue, it is a critical issue. We cannot become spiritually healthy individuals without this key understanding of God's demand on us, and we certainly cannot resolve ANY of the breakdowns between different factions in the Church/Body.

Thirdly, the previous two issues are imperative to resolution in the divide that surrounds Israel and the Church, Messianic Jews and Palestinian Arab Christians, Christian Zionists and Pro-Palestinianists, Christian lovers of Israel and Christian deniers of Israel.

I dare say, that in each and every faction mentioned there is refusal of forgiveness that the factions are tripping over.

I'm not talking about some kind of Mooney fake-smile forgiveness, but the transformational Jesus-kind that takes wounds to the Cross and engages the ministry of reconciliation that we have been sent as ambassadors into the world to be.

I'm also not talking about some kind of doormat reconciliation where we expect everything of ourselves and nothing of the other person. Jesus did not let the villagers in Nazareth throw him off of the cliff when they were incensed with the truth He was bringing them. He walked right through the tumult and chaos and continued on His way with His ordained mission.

Those who are going on with God's plan for them have to drink of the cup that Yeshua drank from, and be baptized with the baptism He endured. (Mt 20:23). If you look at this passage in context is was two disciples wanting to be exalted to sit on the throne on either side of Him and all the other disciples mad at their personal ambition. So dealing with two factions, Yeshua told them they would have to drink from the cup He would drink of -
death on the cross - and be baptized with the baptism He endured - the baptism by fire, which speaks to me of the fury of opposition and accusation He endured on His way to lay down His life to the purposes of God.

When we take up our cross to follow Him, we have to learn the significance of releasing forgiveness to reaching His highest. If we do not come out of the baptism of fire - walking through the opposition and accusations against us as we are walking out God's purposes for us - then we cannot complete the fulness of God's heart for us personally and individually.

As Dan Juster wisely observed when he recently addressed a gathering of Palestinian Christian Arabs and their supporters from the international Church, we cannot build a theology on our woundedness - not Palestinians and not Jews either. The wounds cause us not to be able to see with God's eyes. Only when we take them to the Cross and allow forgiveness to transform us can we have the clear eyes to see the heart of God.

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Matthew 5:8

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Spiritual Warfare in the Israeli Ministries

By Eddie Santoro
Love of Yeshua/Ahavat Yeshua congregation of Jerusalem
Zion's Glory and Tikkun Ministries

The Scripture declares that we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherever God's Kingdom is advancing there is a war raging and all of us who believe are on the front line of that battle. Here in Jerusalem, we feel it most intensely. The very powers of hell are set against the reestablishment of the local Body of Messiah in this city, for those same powers know that this great end time event is a necessary precursor to their demise and the return of Yeshua.

We war against this resistance daily and things which might be accomplished easily somewhere else require huge amounts of prayer, perseverance and faith in this final battleground.

Warfare  |  Yeshua is a Jewish name. He is the Jewish Messiah and he came to the Jew first. In the beginning, all of his disciples were Jewish and yet in a calculated and successful strategy of the enemy, this wonderful Jewish Messiah has been made the enemy of his people. Here in Israel the government is against Jesus. Children are indoctrinated in the public schools to believe that Yeshua is not for the Jewish people. Orthodox Jews work full time to be certain that the local community knows that Jewish believers in Yeshua are really "wolves in lamb's clothing" whose secret agenda is the destruction of the Jewish faith.

We are keenly aware that there are often religious spies present when we gather, recording every spoken word so that they can be twisted and used against us in the never ending propaganda war.

Believers receive in the mail very enticing and highly funded glossy magazines telling them why they need to leave the faith. One of the leaders in our congregation who is seeking to advance his position at work is being attacked as a Christian missionary. This national rejection of Yeshua is so great that even his wonderful name, "Yeshua" has been replaced by "Yeshu", which is an acronym whose meaning is; "May his name be blotted out".

It is against this backdrop of national rejection that we work so vigorously to return Yeshua to his people. In a nation that is so primed to reject and hate their Savior, it is not surprising that the simple sharing of the Gospel is often met with anger, hatred and sometimes even violence. The resistance in this nation, especially in the city of Jerusalem is like no other place in the world and yet likewise, the results of this nation coming to faith will be unparalleled.

Even the simple reality of gathering together for our weekly meetings is a battle. Here in Israel there has always been a traditional six day work week. Although today many people do not work on Fridays, it is usually a hectic day of running errands, shopping, cooking, cleaning and preparing for the Shabbat before all the stores close at 3pm. Most children go to school six days a week and many young parents in our congregation not only work full time, but are also pursuing higher education in the evening. It is a true sacrifice to give up their one free day and come to the congregation instead of resting at home. And in addition, there is the constant pressure of a nation at war; facing threats and terror daily. We see this intensity of life here also as a strategy of the enemy to wear people down and to discourage them from being a part of the body.

And Yet the Victory is Ours  |  We want to assure you that in spite of this powerful resistance, we are gaining ground! We praise God that our meetings are filled with the life and presence of God through the Holy Spirit. When we gather, there is often "breakthrough" worship that pushes back the demonic host who have assembled to counteract all that is happening. Often in the midst of this worship, there is a strong prophetic flow that breaks forth which challenges and directs us. We have six Israeli men that share in the ministry of the Word, a thriving teens group and a flourishing Shabbat School and three dynamite worship teams! Our congregation is filled with people who are being drawn to the love and life of Yeshua. And we have confidence that this is just the beginning!   

Every single week after the main service we devote another hour and half to food fellowship. During these times new people are made to feel at home and when unbelievers attend a meeting, there is time to get to know them on a personal level.

This battle is not only being fought and won in our main meeting but the strategies of the enemy are being defeated throughout the week. Over the past month we had a brother's and a sister's "brunch" with sixteen brothers and thirty-four sisters attending their respective events! Nightly small groups of believers gather to share the gift of hospitality or just to pray together.

And finally in what may be our greatest victory, the Good News of Yeshua is not only being confined within the walls of our congregation but it is breaking out onto the streets of Jerusalem. Many of our people are students in Israel's universities. Others work in jobs in the secular work place and all of us live in the midst of a predominately unsaved Israeli society. The opportunities to relate to the "unsaved" are many.

Frequently I find myself in a store or restaurant speaking with the clerk or waiter about our faith. Another precious sister, until she gave birth to beautiful twin daughters last month oversaw dance outreaches on the streets of Jerusalem. Another brother who works in a store in Jerusalem often shares the Gospel with religious Jews who leave with much more than their desired purchase. Last week several of our people shared in depth with a young man who sought them out to answer many of his personal questions about his ultra-orthodox upbringing. Jackie and I have had two recent meetings with a young man who is open and very close to receiving Yeshua as his Lord.

When we consider the mighty battle that we are waging, we would be amiss if we did not take a moment and thank you for the loving, generous and supportive relationship that you have allowed us to share with you. We know that your prayers are effective. We are certain that your intercession on our behalf is making a way for us. We encourage you not to grow weary, as the struggle is ongoing and will intensify with each advance on our part. Every day there are new challenges, but through your prayers, the grace of God will overcome the resistance of the enemy. We are on a triumphant procession and we are certain that God's promise will be fulfilled and "all Israel will be saved".

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Sunshine and Gross Darkness

Yesterday I found myself butting heads with a young guy who thought very highly of his political science education at UCLA and thought so poorly of my writing that he couldn't focus on the points being made only on what he considered grammar so poor he could not lower himself to read, much less consider.

He was dead wrong on his position in favor of the new "order" that just came out of this administration lowering the bar on granting asylum to people who have given material support to terrorists.

Yes, I know how it has been crafted to read like it is just out to protect the shawarma seller in the casbah, but I also know it has been written to grant this terrorist-hugging administration the wiggle room to allow whoever they choose to allow in the USA. They are re-writing law and the American public will pay for it as victims of 'homeland' so-called domestic terrorism.

Several reports that I've read say this order has been in the pipeline for quite a while so the administration can take in 3,000 or so Syrians. I'd be willing to bet good money those 3,000 have made more than an insignificant level of material support to terrorists in Syria. I can pretty much guarantee they are not talking about granting asylum to the Syrian Christians who are caught in the terrible crossfire of Syria. Christians throughout the Middle East are completely overlooked as an insignificant minority in the politics of the ME.

My own take is that last year the administration got caught waiving the laws against allowing individuals with terror connections into the country, and even into meetings with the president. We are talking about fairly high level Muslim Brotherhood people, one who came here specifically to plead the case for Obama to grant the Blind Sheik release from prison. The Blind Sheik being the spiritual leader who egged on the terrorists who did the first World Trade Center bombing. Rahman also inspired the second attack on 9/11.

The Muslim Brotherhood terrorists regard the Blind Sheik as a spiritual head of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is why the riots in the Egyptian embassy broke out, even as Ambassador Chris Stevens and 3 other men were being murdered in a terror attack in Libya. The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood wanted to apply pressure to get the Blind Sheik freed from U.S. prisons and the federal prosecutor who put him away was pretty convinced that they were going to persuade Obama to do that fairly soon. Then the Benghazi scandal broke.

Now mind you, this administration, from the White House to the National Security Director, from the CIA to the DOJ believe that the Muslim Brotherhood is no longer a "terrorist" organization but rather a legitimate political organization. Which is why they trotted out that stupid story about Benghazi being caused by a low-rate YouTube video hardly anyone had ever clicked on before Benghazi.

Anyway, all this got me thinking. I know there is a terrible thing going on in our schools and universities. Education is a great thing - but it is only as good as the educators and the study tools.

I think it was Brave New World that talked about re-educating the people who broke away and thought for themselves. Our schools in America have become propaganda mills to such a great degree. They do not promote critical thinking, but promote a Liberal Leftist worldview that looks down on all those who don't go with their party line. It is outrageous that we have not paid more attention to who are teaching in the colleges and universities.

It can happen in Christian circles too. The first church that my husband and I went to 30 years ago is a good example of how harmful mixture in spiritual teaching can be too. We got an excellent grounding in the word of faith, but unfortunately that's not all we got.

One Sunday morning the pastor came out and told a dream he had that he knew was spiritual but he didn't know what it meant. It was clear to me what it meant. A baby was being washed in a tub that was filled with dirty water and as the dirty water was poured over the baby it was causing deformities.

Being a spiritual baby myself, I knew that it was "the washing of the water of the Word" only taught in a perverse, error-filled way. It was producing spiritual babies who would grow up deformed because of the things they were being taught that were in error.

That pastor did not internalize the dream. He thought it must be talking about someone else. We left that church not long afterwards. This dream was one of God's prompts to get us out from under the pressure that was put out there for people not to leave. You have to be able to think and move for yourself.

Education is a good thing, but if your education causes you not to be able to think and evaluate for yourself then what is it really worth. The word says knowledge puffs up. That means we can get stupid-arrogant. Because when you walk outside into the real world, and you can't discern sunshine from gross darkness, your education is worthless.

Friday, January 31, 2014

The Relevant Generation

Last week I came across an article by Malcolm Gladwell, How I Re-Discovered Faith,  that impressed me so much that I impulsively decided to buy a subscription to the magazine, Relevant. Now I did that because I could see that even though it was covering topics that seem geared to young adults, it did it with an open degree of faith mixed in.

I'm wondering if I was being too impulsive or if this is going to give me an insight in what the young generation is thinking and seeking. Right off the bat that seems pretty clear - they want to be Relevant.

There are things that are relevant to you when you are in your 20's that just aren't when you are in your 60's. Not that you have disengaged from having relevant issues in life, but the direction of what you deem relevant has shifted. New priorities come into focus as we age.

The generation that probably makes up the readership of Revelant is engaged in things that I no longer have any interest in, like the Grammy's.

My life used to be wholly occupied by the music business. Now while I still appreciate great music I do grieve over what has become of the music business. Probably the thing that disturbs me the most is how most female artists seem to believe they have to perform group lap dances to keep a following.

Another thing that I will surely be exposed to is the social justice that this generation finds vitally relevant. That's good that there is a great desire to see social justice. Actually, we didn't phrase it with those terms, but that is what we were looking for in my generation coming up in the 1960's and 1970's.

The problem with that is that, from my perspective, the radicals of the 60's and 70's are the bunch that has put this nation in such jeopardy today. They remained entrenched in the vision of their youth and rather than maturing in perspective, they hardened in a mindset that justifies a radical hostile takeover of the direction of America.

So the main issue that I see with a generation that is seeking social justice is that the vision of what social justice is, is being provided by the vision of the radicals from my generation who remain in godless rebellion.

If you mention "social justice" to most American Christians today you get a a huffy reaction back because of what the term means politically today in the United States. They don't realize that God is the One who initiated the concept of social justice. The Bible, especially the Hebrew scriptures are full of God presecriptions for attaining social justice.

Now if we let the Bible define social justice there would be no problem. Letting those who cut their teeth on Saul Alinksy's rules for radicals determine the meaning and means to social justice will only result in the great grief we are already witnessing as the USA is being dismantled.

 One of the most important areas of conern to me is how social justice is being defined to this generation in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Shane Claiborne is one of this generation's most venerated social justice preachers - but his vision for justice in this issue is not biblical. Of course, neither is the vision of Tony Campolo, Lyn Hybels, Rick Warren and others.  [A little more investigation into what other positions on social issues that, for instance, Shane Claiborne preaches convinces me that he takes a major departure from biblical standards on many issues.]

Probably it is good that I was impulsive in getting a subscription to Relevant. It is always good to see what is brewing among the young - especially when it is not adequately grounded in biblical truth.

I'm sure that many will think that what I've written here has a major blind spot to the good things that American social justice seeks, or even ministries like Claiborne, Campolo, Hybels or Warren are trying to accomplish. So be it. I know that any Christian who cannot see in the Bible God's eternal promises to bring Israel to salvation, and therefore rejects the idea that the Jews have a Divine destiny and attachment to the land of Israel, can only be the blind leading the blind in this critical prophetic matter.

Many Christian Zionists are over-zealous toward unsaved Israel, but at least they are not blind to God's stated purposes to restore the Jews to salvation. In this, Christian Zionists are only blind to the reality that salvation of Israel is already in progress.

I do look forward to what topics will come from Relevant magazine over the next year.