August 16, 2010 ©Homer Kizer
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Commentary — From the Margins
“Obama Makes Clear [His] Support for Ground Zero Mosque”
AP — WASHINGTON — After skirting the controversy for weeks, President Barack Obama is weighing in forcefully on the mosque near ground zero, saying a nation built on religious freedom must allow it.
"As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country," Obama told an intently listening crowd gathered at the White House Friday evening to observe the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
"That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances," he said. "This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable." (story by Erica Werner, Associated Press Writer)
This is America—yes, this is America; this is the land, the nation built on religious tolerance, but with this religious tolerance being open defiance to God—
Religious diversity is not a new concept, not an 18th-Century idea originating with America’s founding fathers, but multiculturalism was a long established practice in ancient Israel … about the ancient polis Jerusalem, the Lord told Jeremiah:
Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me? Therefore, thus says the Lord: Behold, I am giving this city into the hands of the Chaldeans and into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he shall capture it. The Chaldeans who are fighting against this city shall come and set this city on fire and burn it, with the houses on whose roofs offerings have been made to Baal and drink offerings have been poured out to other gods, to provoke me to anger. For the children of Israel and the children of Judah have done nothing but evil in my sight from their youth. The children of Israel have done nothing but provoke me to anger by the work of their hands, declares the Lord. This city has aroused my anger and wrath, from the day it was built to this day, so that I will remove it from my sight because of all the evil of the children of Israel and the children of Judah that they did to provoke me to anger—their kings and their officials, their priests and their prophets, the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. They have turned to me their back and not their face. And though I have taught them persistently, they have not listened to receive instruction. They set up their abominations in the house that is called by my name, to defile it. They built the high places of Baal in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to offer up their sons and daughters to Molech, though I did not command them, nor did it enter into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin. (32:27–35 emphasis added)
From the day Jerusalem was built, the city practiced religious tolerance and multiculturalism. Their kings and officials, like President Obama, turned their backs to the Lord and were not ashamed of the nation’s religious pluralism. So the Lord brought against Jerusalem the king of Babylon, His servant (Jer 25:9), to destroy the city and thereby end tolerance … religious tolerance always ends in secular destruction; i.e., in massive death with enslavement of survivors.
But consider what the Lord said to Jeremiah about offering sons and daughters to Molech versus what the Lord told Ezekiel:
And I said to their children [the children of Israel] in the wilderness, Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers, nor keep their rules, nor defile yourselves with their idols. I am the Lord your God; walk in my statutes, and be careful to obey my rules, and keep my Sabbaths holy that they may be a sign between me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord your God. But the children rebelled against me. They did not walk in my statutes and were not careful to obey my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live; they profaned my Sabbaths. / Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them and spend my anger against them in the wilderness. But I withheld my hand and acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I had brought them out. Moreover, I swore to them in the wilderness that I would scatter them among the nations and disperse them through the countries, because they had not obeyed my rules, but had rejected my statutes and profaned my Sabbaths, and their eyes were set on their fathers' idols. Moreover, I gave them statutes that were not good and rules by which they could not have life, and I defiled them through their very gifts in their offering up all their firstborn, that I might devastate them. I did it that they might know that I am the Lord. (20:18–26 emphasis added)
The Lord chose Israel when the nation was still enslaved in Egypt, and the Lord made Himself known to the offspring of the house of Jacob, saying “‘I am the Lord your God’” (Ezek 20:5). He promised that he would bring the nation into a land flowing with milk and honey, the most glorious of all lands. But as a condition of liberty, He said to Israel, “‘Cast away the detestable things your eyes feast on, every one of you, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am the Lord your God’” (v. 7). But Israel would not listen to the Lord; the nation rebelled against Him while the nation was still enslaved in Egypt. None of the nation “‘cast away the detestable things their eyes feasted on, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt’” (v. 8).
If the Lord gave Israel statutes and rules that were not good, that defiled these children of Israel through offering up their firstborns to Molech, and if the practice of offering firstborns to Molech also was not what the Lord commanded Israel and was not a practice that entered the Lord’s mind, what’s seen by endtime disciples is that the Lord initially gave one set of statutes along with His Sabbaths to Israel, then when that set of statutes wasn’t obeyed either in the wilderness or in the Promised Land, the Lord gave to the people as statutes the actual practices of the people that the people through what they were doing might devastate themselves. Now move the preceding scenario forward: beginning in the 16th-Century, the Lord as the last Elijah lay over the dead Body of Christ to breathe life back into this corpse. As it took the first Elijah three tries to get the dead son of the widow of Zarephath to breathe again, it will take the last Elijah three attempts to get the Body of Christ to breathe the breath of God [pneuma Theon] on its own, with the first attempt being small and short lived and pretty much confined to the ministry of Andreas Fischer, the 16th-Century Sabbatarian Anabaptist who was hung but lived for another dozen years before he and his head went separate ways.
The last Elijah’s second attempt to breathe spiritual life into the Body of Christ began in Europe a little before it did in America, where it was masked by the Great Awakening. The move to reconstruct the Christian Church on the practices of the 1st-Century Church were hesitant and halting, but by the early 18th-Century there were Sabbatarians in New England and in Pennsylvania, with these Sabbatarians emerging from Baptist and Brethren fellowships. Benjamin Franklin, in particular, was well acquainted with these Sabbatarian pacifists who had sat out the French and Indian War, and who would sit out the Revolutionary War. And certainly some of Franklin’s support for Christian pluralism came from his acquaintance with Rhode Island Sabbatarians.
If America’s founding fathers knew that they were to keep the commandments, and if in the political expediency necessary to get a union formed so that they would not all hang separately, the founding fathers compromised with what they believed was the truth—not that what they believed was true—would the Lord, “‘the God of all flesh’” (Jer 32:27), not do to these compromising founders what He had done to the children of Israel, especially when prayers were made beseeching His inspiration and blessing? Would the Lord not give America’s founders statutes that would protect tiny Sabbatarian fellowships but statutes that would also defile the nation through tolerance for the intolerable?
Is not legal acceptance of abortion tolerating the intolerable? Is not a mosque at Ground Zero also tolerating the intolerable? Is not a President invoking America’s history of religious tolerance at an Iftar meal at the White House for Muslims breaking their Ramadan fast tolerating the intolerable?
Was not America defiled by slavery? Yes, it was. And was slavery a simple political issue as it is now portrayed, or were not religious arguments made for and against slavery … the Christian who used Scripture to support enslaving one man by another was without spiritual understanding, for slavery as ordained by the United States Constitution defiled the nation and has devastated it.
Did God give slavery to America’s founders? No! But because America’s founders did not ruthlessly root out slavery when the opportunity presented itself it is most likely that God did give to the nation’s founding fathers language that would defile and devastate the nation through the continued practice of one man enslaving another. The devastating didn’t end with the Civil War when Americans killed Americans in almost unimaginable numbers, but continues to this day as the descendants of slaves vote for political progressives that have bankrupted the nation.
Likewise, religious tolerance is not of God, but in America’s founders practicing Christian pluralism and not returning to Him with the same zeal as was being employed to resist the King, it is likely that God gave to the nation’s founding fathers language that would defile and devastate the nation through acceptance of multicultural diversity and religious tolerance.
Before liberation from slavery, Israel in Egypt rebelled against the Lord just as Christendom today, before the Second Passover, rebels against God by continuing in its lawless ways. But liberation didn’t cause Israel to believe the Lord; for the generation that didn’t believe the Lord when enslaved in Egypt didn’t believe the Lord when trekking through the wilderness of Sin from Egypt to Canaan: “‘So I led them out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness. I gave them my statutes and made known to them my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live. Moreover, I gave them my Sabbaths, as a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them. But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness. They did not walk in my statutes but rejected my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live; and my Sabbaths they greatly profaned’” (Ezek 20:10–13 emphasis added).
To the generation of Israel born in freedom in Judea but then enslaved in Babylon, the Lord said that it never entered His mind, that He did not command Israel to offer its firstborns to Molech, and the Lord said that He gave Israel statutes and rules that defiled Israel though offering its firstborns to Molech. On the surface, the passages would seem to be contradictory. But the context of each passage differs: whereas it never occurred to the Lord to have Israel pass the nation’s firstborns through fire, a religious practice of the Canaanite inhabitants Israel was to drive out of the land—but because the nation didn’t drive out all of the Canaanites, the nation succumbed to the Canaanite practice of burning firstborns and did so in defiance of the Lord’s commands. And because Israel adopted the pagan practices of its heathen neighbors, the Lord condemned the nation to death by commanding the nation to do openly what it had been doing secretively.
The Lord in commanding Israel to do before Him what the nation had been trying to hide from Him revealed what had previously been covered in stealth—
Jesus said that “‘nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known’” (Matt 10:26). This nothing includes Christendom’s lawlessness as well as ancient Israel’s practice of sacrificing its firstborn to Molech. And therein lays the difficulty America now faces: the United States of America was formed by godly men, but men who did not truly believe God, men who compromised the Truth, opting for political expediency rather than rigid adherence to the laws of God, with the worth of an African slave evidence of their compromising.
No nation would have been formed in 1776 or in 1787 without compromise, a necessary evil under the present prince of this world. The amount or degree of compromise is not the issue: if a person is “right,” any movement away from being right makes the person “wrong” for there is no scale as to degrees of lawlessness. Either a person keeps the commandments, or the person doesn’t.
This is the message we have heard from Him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. / My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep His commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep His commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps His word, in Him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in Him: whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked. (1 John 1:5–2:6)
None of America’s founding fathers walked as Jesus, an observant Jew, walked. None of the firebrand preachers who proclaimed liberty from their pulpits walked as Jesus walked. None of the soldiers who stood as targets waiting to be hit by .75 caliber Brown Bess balls walked as Jesus walked. And none of today’s Christian tea-party advocates walk as Jesus walked; for Jesus said that His kingdom is not of this world or from this world (John 18:36). Jesus didn’t come to establish another kingdom under the present prince of this world, but came to qualify to receive the single kingdom of this world when it is taken from the spiritual king of Babylon and given to the son of Man.
America’s seeds of destruction were sown in its Constitution through tolerance of the intolerable, with institutionalized approval of slavery being a snare that would function as Israel’s practice of sacrificing its firstborns in fire defiled and devastated the nation. The United States’ African-American population has been from the nation’s conception a pawn played to curry political power. After apparent liberation following the Civil War, politicians worked hard to keep this population mentally enslaved, first through terror than through government largesse. Although individuals escaped a second or even third enslavement, the culture did not as African-American initiative was suppressed by crushing poverty and the promises of welfare pimps, empty promises made election after election, flickers of hope rekindled whenever votes were needed but never fires able to warm cold bodies and heat drafty apartments.
The buying of votes is as American as it was Roman before.
Under the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, the first constitution of the United States of America, states retained sovereignty over all government functions not specifically relinquished to the Federal Government. Vote buying was local, and was much more difficult for the money to buy these votes was also coming from local sources. When the Articles of Confederation was replaced by the present Constitution, with its first ten amendments, vote buying was still difficult for the Senate was the States’ representative, not the people’s representative, and the Senate stood as a check against spending measures originating in the House of Representatives: unless the measure was good for the States collectively, the measure didn’t pass the Senate. However, the concept didn’t work as well as expected; for again, the seeds for America’s destruction were sown in the Constitution. Senate seats were not being filled as political tensions developed: intimidation and bribery emerged in state selection of its senators so as early as 1826 direct election of senators was proposed. But not until Oregon in 1907 developed a workable process was a state’s senators directly elected. By 1913, however, the 17th Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified; all senators were directly elected by the people; and vote buying has developed as one of America’s true growth industries for as in the House of Representatives, a politician from one state can bring home to his or her constituents moneys that has come from the residents of another state, with the latest twist in vote buying coming from politicians of every state bringing to their constituents moneys coming from their constituents’ minor children and unborn grandchildren.
The tea-party Christian who says some version of, I do not intend to add to or detract from God’s word, is left with what the Lord said to Jeremiah and with what the Lord said to Ezekiel … is the Lord divided, saying one thing to one prophet and another thing to another prophet? No, that is not the case; for words do not come with their meanings attached. Meaning [linguistic objects] has to be supplied to every word by the auditor [the reader or hearer], and when the auditor fails to assign the Lord’s meaning to His words, the Lord has already disclosed that He will give to the person the words the person wants to hear, and with the giving-to-the-person-what-the-person-wants-to-hear, the Lord defiles the person so that he or she will be devastated.
Muslims wanted to hear President Obama give his support for the Ground Zero mosque, and in giving that support, a defiled nation is further defiled, with religious tolerance becoming the weapon America wields against itself, a weapon created by America’s founders through their compromising with Truth.
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"Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."