Be Very Alert! No 220

Be Very Alert!- By Val Hollard (NZ)

On Watch at the Door.                                                                         No 220, June 21, 2016

VANISHING FREEDOMS

There was an article in our Waikato Times recently written by Matthew Parris, a journalist with The Times, London. It was headed: Our world is becoming a better place. And he really believes it. He doesn’t see ISIS or nuclear war as a threat, or anything else. He sees people living longer, more educated and child mortality halved. In Britain, people on average are getting richer, holidaying more, enjoying the benefits of medical science and even becoming more tolerant of each other. He says our world is getting better. Is that really so? Or does he have his head in the sand? For many people, especially the rich, the world may seem to be improving.

“While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come.” (1 Thess 5:3)

The fact is that according to the Global Peace Index, global violence has reached its highest level in the last 25 years. Conflicts in the Middle East, the lands of biblical prophecy, were mostly to blame for the rise. So without the Middle East, the world may appear more peaceful. Meanwhile, the UN says the number of displaced people had probably “far surpassed” a record of 60 million in 2015.

For Jews, anti-Semitism is increasing in the West and we hear more people saying that Jews should be removed from Israel and the land handed over to the Palestinians if peace is to come in the Middle East. Israel now has to spend billions more on defence systems as threats from radical Muslim entities increase.

For Christians too, the world is certainly not becoming a better place. They have been driven out of the Middle East in droves and Christian persecution is at a high level. According to Open Doors, each month 322 Christians are killed for their faith, 214 churches and Christian properties are destroyed, and 772 forms of violence are committed against Christians. And the outlook is grim.

Satan’s plan is clear, and as he sees his time getting shorter he is pushing as hard as he can to remove all Jews and Christians from the face of the earth to prevent the return of Jesus and to enable him set up his own reign on the earth.

Some major areas where Christians are likely to come into increasing conflict with the systems of the world are to do with sexual immorality, Islam and Creation, especially with regard to freedom of speech and Christian liberties in these areas.

There is a great moral shift in Western countries and it is accelerating. The absolute moral truths of the Bible are no longer accepted. To give a few recent examples, Washington State is to teach transgenderism to kindergartners, an Episcopalian priest believes that gays, lesbians, queers, etc., have the power to “revitalise Christianity,” and a Christian university in Canada, Trinity Western, is appealing a court ruling banning its accreditation because the school opposes homosexuality. The implications of the Trinity Western case for religious freedom are serious. Christian Colleges all over the North America are now faced with closure or various other penalties if they do not bow to pressure to embrace transgenders, homosexuals, and other similar practices prohibited by God in the Bible.

The European Union has declared war on Internet free speech. It has just announced an agreement with major Internet providers such as Facebook, Twitter You Tube and Microsoft under which material deemed to be ‘hate speech’ will be removed from the Internet within 24 hours. Those who support the initiative argue that this move is necessary to counter jihadist propaganda online. There are serious concerns that the definition of hate speech is so vague it could effectively censor anything deemed politically incorrect, including for example, any criticism of Islam, mass migration or even the European Union itself. It could also include any criticism of gay rights. The move could seriously restrict what Christians can say on the Internet. The move has been described as Orwellian.

The “code of conduct” includes: “The IT Companies share the European Commission’s and EU Member States’ commitment to tackle illegal hate speech online. Illegal hate speech… means all conduct publicly inciting to violence or hatred directed against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by reference to race, colour, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin…” It is easy to see how close we are to the time Jesus spoke about in Matthew 24:9. Christians will soon be gagged on the Internet and anyone who does speak out the truths of the Bible will face serious consequences.

In an example of what is already happening, in January 2013, Facebook suspended the account of Khaled Abu Toameh, a writer affiliated with the Gatestone Institute, after he wrote about corruption in the Palestinian Authority. The account was reopened 24 hours later, but with the two posts deleted and no explanation. And in June this year Facebook suspended the account of Ingrid Carlqvist, Gatestone’s Swedish expert, after she posted a Gatestone video to her Facebook feed called Sweden’s Migrant Rape Epidemic.

Religious broadcasters have already had reason to complain of discrimination on the Internet. Some Internet service providers are censoring traditional moral views following complaints from homosexual rights advocates. Christian ministries have already had apps, You Tube and Facebook removed. This is private censorship, not government censorship.

Bill Randles writes that our political freedoms come from our spiritual freedom which has been bequeathed to us as a result of our Judeo Christian heritage. Our political freedoms, including freedom of speech, are fast eroding, and we are entering into a time of darkness and stifling oppression. However, Scripture tells us that we are to strive to retain our status as free people. (Gal 5:1)

A FALSE FREEDOM

A legal dispute between a Muslim community and a New Jersey township has resulted in Christians of different denominations as well as Sikhs and other religions joining hands to support the building of a mosque. It was claimed that the case involves a core aspect of faith, namely religious liberty. Not to approve of it would be Islamophobia. The Muslim group’s plans met local zoning standards required but one outspoken opponent cited sharia law as a threat to American liberties.

Valerie Jarrett is currently the Senior Advisor to Obama. This is from her entry in the 1977 Stanford Yearbook: “I am an Iranian by birth and my Islamic faith. I am also an American Citizen and I seek to help change America to be a more Islamic country. My faith guides me and I feel like it is going well in the transition of using freedom of religion in America against itself.” (emphasis mine)

This is exactly what is happening in New Jersey. Islam is not just a religion. It is a system that involves every part of life and the aim is to take the world for Allah by whatever means available, including deception. Building the mosque will eventually result in reduced religious liberty for Christians.

THE ORLANDO TERROR SHOOTING

Around 50 people were shot and killed and dozens more injured by a Muslim terrorist at a gay nightclub. This happened after a call to Muslims by an ISIS official urging a “month of hurt” in America and Europe during Ramadan. In 2013 a speech by a Muslim at the Husseini Islamic Center in an Orlando suburb called for death to homosexuals. In about 10 Muslim countries homosexuality is punishable by death.

Christian response has been divided but all true Christians should find this terror appalling. Unfortunately there are people claiming that Christians are responsible. According to American Civil Liberties Union lawyers, Christian conservatives are responsible for the mass shooting because they “created this anti-queer climate.” Traditionally Jews have been blamed for everything, now Christians are in line too.

FURTHER DOWN THE ROAD TO ROME

Evangelical leaders are calling on 1 million Christians to gather together on July 16th in Washington DC for an event called “Together 2016.” The event will feature a personal video message from Pope Francis. Forty or more well-known speakers, recording artists, including Hillsong United, authors and leaders from various backgrounds will unite for a day of prayer and worship.

The event has been inspired by Nick Hall who says, “That His Holiness would choose to speak into this historic day is a testament to the urgency and the need for followers of Jesus to unite in prayer for our nation and our world. We are humbled and honored by his involvement and are eager to share his message with the crowd that gathers at Together 2016.” This is another attempt to erase critical doctrinal divisions and lift the pope up as some great spiritual leader of the church.

IN BRIEF

A report by the House of Commons’ Home Affairs Select Committee found that there are now more than 13,000 foreign criminals in the UK, with nearly 6,000 free to walk the streets having served their sentences while they await deportation. The estimated cost of holding foreign prisoners in the UK is £350 million a year.

The rise of immorality:NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2016 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month.” – President Barak Obama

The American Civil Liberties Union’s state director in Georgia has resigned after her young daughters were “visibly frightened” and concerned for their safety when three husky men dressed in drag entered the women’s restroom with them. She said that she could no longer work for the organization which advocates that men who self-identify as women use whichever bathroom they please.

The Massachusetts House of Representatives has passed a bill that would protect transgender people and permit them to use restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity.

The folly of Pope Francis (continued): Pope Francis, the Jesuit, now claims that mother Mary is the source of our hope, and not Jesus Christ. According to his catholic doctrine, Jesus Christ is third on the list of those who grant us hope: Mary, the mother church, and then Jesus Christ. This is absolute blasphemy! Our hope comes only through Jesus Christ when we have a personal relationship with Him.

I’ve always been led to believe that Japan has been able to keep Islam out by enforcing strict laws on Muslims. Apparently that is not the case. Japan does have several mosques and at least one teaches the Qur’an and Arabic. Muslims can immigrate to Japan and there is no place on the application form to state one’s religion. Because of concerns about “anti-Muslim hostility” some teachers are now taking their students to visit the main mosque in Tokyo to “learn about Islam.” In the mosque, they are told how wonderful Islam is and how peaceful it is.

Canada’s highest court has given the green light to legalizing sex acts with animals. The court has ruled that it is OK for humans to have sexual contact with animals if there is no penetration involved in the act. Animal rights activist Camille Labchuk says: “As of today, Canadian law gives animal abusers license to use animals for their own sexual gratification. This is completely unacceptable, contrary to societal expectations, and cannot be allowed to continue.”

In the weekend pages of the Waikato Times there was an article about a woman who married herself – sologamy. In the light-hearted event, the father even agreed to give her away. In the last days people will be lovers of themselves. (2 Tim 3:1)

EXTRA ITEMS:

Recently, numerous commentaries and videos have appeared on the topic of Free Speech. Here are a few.

What is Freedom of Speech? Bill Randles
https://billrandles.wordpress.com/2016/05/31/what-is-freedom-of-speech-freedom-1/

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. (Freedom in science)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5EPymcWp-g

Is Free Speech Dead in Europe and Dying in the US?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=–vCiGTJTTs

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