“The books are being opened” – come, feast on Father

Feasting on FatherUpon receiving William’s news on Monday I sensed, “The books are being opened”.

It blessed me to learn that he too, like fellow author Neil, had been encouraged by events after my mentioning him in last Thursday’s blog. Both friends had emailed me earlier that week and Bill forwarded an interesting online article that deserved a wider airing.

Last week, I intended blogging about the Iranian nuclear deal but realised it had to be in 3 parts. The first wasn’t thought of until ‘getting out of bed’. What became the second part was meant to lead into a look at questionable details of that deal. That part reveals the synchronicity between the final accord and a highly significant period in the Jewish Calendar. Its cross-posting from Breaking Israeli News had been quickly done but needed a brief introduction on the Thursday before my main task of compiling the substantive ‘stuff’.

However, as told in IF, I hadn’t got out of bed…, I was inspired the previous evening to make a note for beginning the combined material – only to wake up, get waylaid and need to re-jig my plans for blog-day.

As I got diverted into new but directly relevant material, I recalled William Smith is an author too and therefore provided details of his book, ‘Feasting On The Father’. Little did I suspect that another ‘God-incident’ was getting under way!

It was ‘time’ for Revd Bill’s book too, because on Monday he emailed, “I want to say ‘thank you’ for advertising my book afresh…The timing was so incredibly significant to me”. He was visited by a friend who’d read it and believes it’s a vital word for the church today.

Bill remains convinced God had him write it for a needy church and many who agree   it’s an important essential word to the church encouraged him.

Some reviews:

So click on the above image to take a look inside and to get from Amazon, noting this fellow writer’s 5-star review:
“This book comes from a warm place. It is written for Christians but is accessible to all and draws on the simple yet profound symbolism of food and drink. It is a book of praise to God, using rich and often beautiful imagery and language. William Smith encourages Christians to thrive rather than just survive in life. Like any good read it is a book which challenges but is also often comforting. Littered with scripture references this is a book designed to help the reader draw closer to God.”

And another:
“A beautiful book, well written and inspirational, taking the reader on a journey into the depths of the love, grace and provision of a loving Father God to His children. A cracking read!!”

Bestselling and award-winning author Dr Mark Stibbe remarks,
“A stunning piece of work! I am constantly being sent manuscripts, especially by new authors. If I’m brutally honest, many of these offer only scraps of revelation. Just occasionally a book comes my way that offers far more than that – a true feast of Abba’s wisdom and insight. Bill’s book is a great example of this. I unreservedly encourage you to come to the table he has so meticulously and lovingly prepared. Come hungrily and you will not be disappointed. A banquet of brilliance awaits.”

Description:

‘This book is an in-depth Bible study, centred on Song of Solomon chapter 2 and revealing the heart of a loving Father throughout the scriptures. Far from being academic theory, the teaching is a heart-to-heart talk and passionate exploration of how to enjoy God’s intended relationship every moment of our lives.

‘The Bible is essentially a love story – a book that reveals the heart of a Father towards his children. God does not keep his distance from us, nor is it his desire to punish us. On the contrary, his love compelled him to send his only son into an imbalanced world – to suffer in our place, and to bring us back to the Father as royal sons. Now, we are welcome to the table of the King of Kings…

‘The truths explained in this book have the power to change your life. Once you have feasted on the Father, you will not want to look back.’

Personal note:

One Saturday morning several years ago Nina and I took a quick drive to a meeting in Portsmouth convened by a couple we knew connected to Toronto Airport Fellowship. At the first coffee break a couple joined us at our table and got chatting.

Sharing a connection with the Gathering Place, Blandford, opened up conversation and  ‘Revd Bill’ and I have since kept in touch. He’s a most encouraging supporter of my efforts at keeping the church informed and I’ve quoted him on several occasions.

SO Bill, this is to acknowledge your long-standing, unstinting support with immense gratitude.

IF, I hadn’t got out of bed…

…last Thursday and got waylaid, then all this wouldn’t be in my head.:

IF – I’d not changed ‘tack’ in that day’s blogging, two ladies 25 miles away wouldn’t find something in common at the day’s end.
IF – on going to bed the previous night I hadn’t jotted words to start the ‘morrow’s blog, I wouldn’t have been so amazed the next day.
IF – upon waking I hadn’t realised that opening note needed new introductory material for the planned blog, and…
IF – a friend had not emailed me a couple of days ago, then I wouldn’t already have the background material to hand. However,
IF – his material had a brief summary too, then I’d have the necessary introduction.
IF – he’d not emailed that missing material as I was starting the day, then my originally planned blog would be very delayed.
IF – he and I had not kept in contact, then I wouldn’t have changed my planned post to one about a book.
IF – I’d not posted that unplanned blog, then a certain subscriber wouldn’t have told their family about the book.
IF – things had not happened and I’d not made certain choices last Thursday, then the book’s author, Neil Mackereth, wouldn’t have responded the next day with news of an amazing ‘coincidence’!!

So what happened?

SignsOn closing down for the evening I let Neil know a reader had notified me they’d ordered a copy of ‘SIGNS’ – on that evening Neil’s wife attended a ladies meeting at a Winvin (Winchester Vineyard church) member’s house.

One lady told her that her mother up in the Midlands had just texted to ask if she was aware that a member of Winvin had written a book called ‘SIGNS’?  “No” was daughter’s reply –and that set the conversation going!  The mother is the one who’d read my post and ordered Neil’s book!

How often do we think or hear, “If only…then this wouldn’t have happened”? It’s usually in a negative vein regarding unfortunate circumstances.  But it happens positively too – and can be directed by the Lord.  (How often do we realise and appreciate this?)

A man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps. (Proverbs 16:9 NKJV)

AND not once but twice that day – but that’s yet another true story…(next)

Tracing the above connections further we’d find: had we not attended a conference at Winvin many years ago, we wouldn’t have attended occasionally; had we not been aware of what was going on there, we wouldn’t have learned about Neil’s End-times courses; had I not attended them then we wouldn’t have known one another.

It’s well to consider and meditate upon the making of family and friends relationships, connections and events and thank the Lord for them all.

Last Thursday’s events are an excellent example of serendipity with good chains of choices/consequences (I had about 20 which could be drawn like a couple of decision trees in connection with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Bells.)  For those timings where the Lord is obviously involved I call them ‘God-incidence’. (For more on this concept click here.)

And as in the hymn penned by William Cowper, “God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform…”.

U.S. officially blocks Christian testimony of Islamist persecution

An article quoted in the previous post on the violent persecution of believers asks, “Is this the end of Christianity in the Middle-East?” In his answer, Joel Rosenberg reminds us of Bible passages foretelling this predicament in the lead-up to the return of Jesus Christ, and the ensuing, extensive evangelisation across that region.

Ray-ibrahimA couple of hours later the Middle-East Forum sent an excerpt from Raymond Ibrahim’s monthly update on the endemic persecution of Christians in Muslim states around the world. As one of the expert sources I introduced in my earliest blogs and have since quoted, his site is featured on my ‘blog-roll’ of Links. Born of Egyptian Coptic parents, Raymond explores the intersection of Christianity and Islam. Author of The Al-Qaeda Reader and of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War of Christians, he translates pertinent Arabic and Egyptian news that never reaches the West.

Read his full article here about how the U.S. State Department blocked the issue of visas to Christian nuns and leaders from Iraq, Nigeria and Syria thereby preventing their telling America about the violent persecution in those nations by Islamists. Without any shadow of a doubt, this is the fruit of the Obama administration’s anti-Christian bias.

Ever since expressing reservations over Obama’s Cairo Speech to the Muslim world in 2009, and subsequent espousal of the Muslim Brotherhood and appointment of several of it members within his administration, I’ve noticed POTUS’ deep reluctance to stand up for Christians – plus his misunderstanding of the Gospel and scripture, as well as activities contrary to decisions of the Church’s first council in Jerusalem (Acts 15:20).

In that email I queried several times, “If he really were a Christian…”, eg. after quoting his “As a student of history”, I noted: ‘If Obama really were a well-informed Christian and student of history then he would have told the truth about the founding of Israel…’

Six years later, I again refer to Rick Joyner’s Discerning the Times, the prophetic validity of which will be recognised by those in the real church of Jesus Christ:

This new unity in the church is being driven because of foreboding created by the demeanor and laws being passed by the Obama Administration, which seem to be specifically designed to open doors for persecuting the church. Even though it is very sad to see this happening in our nation, which was begun and built by those seeking freedom, especially religious freedom, nevertheless these present trends are working to strengthen and galvanize the church like possibly nothing has ever done before. (Emphasis RB)

May the peace of the Lord be with us in these days…

With ISIS on the rampage, “is this the end of Christianity in the Middle East?”

Joel RosenbergIn reviewing NY Times’ article Joel urges believers not to be discouraged but to note what’s happening is as prophesied in scripture. Therefore, we are not at the ‘end of Christianity’ in its heartland. Read also A devilish plot to avoid the ‘Lake of Fire’ and mini-series Global satanic strategy on this blog.

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

(source: New York Times) (source: New York Times)

(Denver, Colorado) — In my recent novel, The Third Target, a New York Times reporter  criss-crosses the Middle East, trying to understand and explain to the world the rise of the Islamic State and the objectives of its leaders. Among the questions my fictional character — J.B. Collins — is trying to answer:

  1. Why are ISIS jihadists are so blood-thirsty?
  2. Why do ISIS leaders want to establish an Islamic kingdom or caliphate?
  3. Are ISIS leaders are really serious about slaughtering and/or enslaving all of the Christians of the region, in addition to annihilating Jews and all Muslims who don’t subscribe to their theology or eschatology?

What he discovers is evil beyond his worst nightmares — a Satanic movement determined to rob, kill and destroy everyone in its path, and particularly Christians.

Now, in real life, a must-read feature story has been published in the New…

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Monday ‘Matins’ – a prayer to kick-start the week

(Author unknown; Lord please bless him/her as well as those in this prayer – including all visitors and regular readers of this blog.)

Dear Lord,

Every single evening, as I’m lying here in bed,

This tiny little prayer keeps running through my head:

God bless all my family – wherever they may be,

Keep them warm and safe from harm, for they’re so close to me.

And God, there is one more thing I wish that you could do;

Hope you don’t mind me asking –

Please bless my computer too.

Now I know that it’s unusual to bless a motherboard,

But listen just a second while I explain it to you, Lord.

You see, that little metal box holds more than odds and ends;

Inside those small compartments rest so many of my friends.

I know so much about them by the kindness that they give,

And this little scrap of metal takes me in to where they live.

By faith is how I know them, much the same as you.

We share in what life brings us and from that, our friendships grew.

Please take an extra minute, from your duties up above,

To bless those in my address book, that’s filled with so much love.

Wherever else this prayer may reach, to each and every friend,

Bless each e-mail inbox and each person who hits ‘send’.

When you update your Heavenly List, on your own Great CD-ROM,

Bless everyone who says this prayer, sent up to GOD.Com.

Amen.

Readers may like to read about the lesson the Lord gave me whilst re-building this pc. If so click And now a PC Gospel?

Digital Globe

Digital Globe by Cooldesign, courtesy Freedigitalphotos.net

Prophetic, Historic Days – Part 2: ‘coincidence’ of Jewish calendar and Iranian nuclear ‘fix’

Detail from Eagle-eyed by John Mark Long: www.propheticartists.com

Thank you to William Smith, teacher, itinerant preacher and author of Feasting on the Father for sending me an exceptionally illuminating article from Breaking Israel News a few days ago.

Cross-posted below, its perspective upon the JCPOA, or ‘fix’ as I term it, is upon the event’s timing in the ancient Hebrew calendar and offers prophetic opinions from a Jewish viewpoint.

I especially notice the first quotation’s remark on the USA’s “commitment to hedonism” because hedonism is an outcome of Humanism, the Fundamental flaw in Western societyOxford English Dictionary defines ‘hedonism’ as ‘the pursuit of pleasure: sensual self-indulgence’. Of Greek origin it also has a philosophical meaning: ‘The ethical theory that pleasure (in the sense of satisfaction of desires) is the highest good and proper aim of human life‘. Thus, it matches the atheistic goal of Humanism which, according to Derek Prince, results in “a complete absence, in fact, of any binding moral code. This left man free to be his own god, and to establish his own moral code”. (See Humanism – Forerunner for Antichrist as quoted herein.)

Appeasement

At the close of his interview of Israeli PM Netanyahu about the ‘Nuclear Deal’, Steve Forbes asked, “Is this like the 1930s?” and received the PM’s response, “No, it’s worse, because we have the example of the 1930s, which wasn’t available then”.

‘Deal’ or ‘Document’?

It is important to note that the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei does not refer to the JCPOA as a ‘Nuclear Deal or Agreement’, as bandied around by Barack Obama. He calls it simply ‘document’, which indicates he doesn’t regard it with any commitment on his part whatsoever! (See BBC Watch translations correcting BBC inaccuracies!) Now for the article from my friend, the original of which may be read by clicking the title. Note ‘coincidental’ calendar timing – especially re. Rosh Hashana and Shemitah year – and conclusion (my emphases added):

HEAVEN’S TIMING AND THE NUCLEAR DEAL WITH IRAN

“Behold a people is coming from the north, and a great nation and great kings shall be aroused from the ends of the earth.” (Jeremiah 50:41)

khamenei-rouhani-iran-twitter

Supreme Leader Kahmenei and President Rouhani after the announcement. (Photo: Twitter)

The Iran Nuclear Deal was signed on July 14, 2015 by the P5+1 – a group comprised of representatives of the governments of the US, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany – and the Islamic Republic of Iran. This date falls during a particularly significant time in the Jewish calendar known as The Three Weeks.

The Three Weeks are a mourning period that the Jewish people observe each year for the destruction of the Holy Temples in Jerusalem. The period starts on the 17th of the Hebrew month of Tammuz and ends on the 9th of the Hebrew month of Av and always falls in the summer. The 9th day of Av, which this year is July 26, is called Tisha B’Av and is the saddest day in the Jewish calendar. It was the day that both Holy Temples were set on fire.

In comparing the deal with Iran to the Munich Agreement between British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and Hitler in 1938, world-renowned lecturer Rabbi Lazer Brody wrote: “Now, 77 years later, during the notorious ‘Three Weeks’ between the 17th of Tammuz and Tisha B’Av, the USA has reaffirmed its commitment to hedonism by appeasing Iran and signing a nuclear agreement that is not worth the skin of a garlic clove.” (Emphasis added)

In an email dated July 16, 2015 and sent to his “Letter from Jerusalem” subscribers, Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum, Founder and Director of AZAMRA, an international organization that promotes Torah teachings to all nations, echoes Rabbi Brody’s thoughts about the timing.

He wrote, “The carefully choreographed timing of the announcement after so many delays could not have been more significant from the Jewish point of view, given that it fell on July 14 / 27 Tammuz, bang in the middle of the ‘Three Weeks’ period from the Fast of 17 Tammuz (4 July) until the Fast of Tisha B’Av (26 July), when we soul-searchingly contemplate our collective past, our present and our future destiny,”

Although the White House is attempting to push the agreement through the United Nations before Congress has had a chance to review the measure, there is another striking connection between the Iran nuclear deal and the Jewish calendar.

Regardless of what happens at the UN, the US Congress has 60 days to review and vote to either ratify or nix the nuclear deal. On the Jewish calendar, 60 days from the day the Iran nuclear deal was signed falls on Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year. Thus, the final decision will likely be announced in the period between the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur known as the Ten Days of Repentance. [RB note: 60th day starting 14 July is 11th Sept; 60 day period ends 12th Sept which is also  Nitzavim, commemorating when Moses instructed the Israelites to stand before God to enter the Covenant. Its sundown starts the year’s final day 29 Elul; Rosh Hashana 5776 starts sundown 13th, into 15th Sept; Yom Kippur is 23rd Sept – calendar source.]

These are days of judgement for the Jewish people.

Speaking to the confluence of this decision and the Jewish calendar, End of Times author Rabbi Pinchas Winston told Breaking Israel News, “The [Talmud says] that all punishment comes to the world because of the Jewish people. Sometimes it means the Jewish people are not up to snuff, but other times it means that we did not care enough to use our spiritual gifts, such as Torah learning and prayer, to save a situation. When important decisions ‘hang in the air’ for a time, it is Heaven’s way of giving the Jewish people a chance to use those gifts to get history back on track. The fact that the Iran deal was made during the Three Weeks and will be decided on by Rosh Hashanah should make it clear where our responsibility lies. We don’t want this ‘punishment’ to occur and we certainly don’t want to be responsible for it.”

When questioned further, Rabbi Winston affirmed, “Now we have a chance to interfere with it [the nuclear deal] by praying and doing mitzvos [God’s commandments].”

Rabbi Nachman Kahana, an orthodox rabbinic scholar, offers comfort to believers who sense a connection between the Iranian nuclear deal and the End of Days. He cites the Yalkut Shimoni, a 16th century rabbinic commentary on the Bible, which describes the current situation prophetically.

“The Yalkut states that Paras (Persia-Iran) will be the dread of humanity. The world’s leaders will be frustrated in their futile efforts to save what they can. The people of Yisrael will also be petrified by the impending danger,” he wrote. “And HaShem [God] will say to us, ‘Why are you afraid? All of this I have done in order to bring you the awaited redemption. And this redemption will not be like the redemption from Egypt, which was followed by suffering. This redemption will be absolute, followed with peace.’”

Notes:

  1. compare conclusion with Ezekiel 38-39 and Persia’s part therein.
  2. further reading RJ Dawson Tish’a B’Av: The Destruction of the Temple.

Prophetic, Historic Days – Part 1: SIGNS and personal connections.

We are NOW at an exceptionally significant time in history – one where international events are being aligned with elements of biblical prophecy.

As the Lord Jesus Christ instructed His first and subsequent followers,

“Learn this parable from the fig tree: when you see its branch has already become tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see these things happening, know that it is near – at the doors!…

“Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch.

Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming – in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning – lest, coming suddenly, he finds you sleeping! And what I say to you, I say to all, ‘Watch!’.” (Mark 13:28-29, 33-37)

Serious students of prophecy will be well aware of scripture and be monitoring events but those who are new to such matters may like to know and learn more.

Therefore, I can highly recommend a new book by Neil Mackereth, whose thoroughly interesting End-times courses I attended in mid-late 2011. After a 50 mile round-trip on a weekday evening I always came away satisfied with having had a hearty scriptural meal. It was at this time I kept being nudged inwardly to ‘go public’ with my emails to church friends on the subject of End-times.

I’m privileged to have read an early draft of my friend’s book, shown below. Neil’s easy-to-read narrative conveys his fascination with the subject. Thus the inquisitive keep reading… For example, I learned an amazing connection between where Jesus said Satan lives and has his throne (Rev 2:13) and the Nazi hatred of Jewry. (See related discussion thread at https://tpuccio.wordpress.com/2015/07/31/pray-for-the-safety-of-your-family/)

Also, the glossary of terms is an excellent reference tool for everyone interested in Christian prophecy. Signs As a matter of ‘coincidence’ I was about to blog about atomic Iran after last week’s news. Also, I thought it would be a good time not only to comment about its recurrence in my writing but also to help readers unfamiliar with prophecy. If I could somehow do that they’d be able to grasp why current events are significant. But that would be a huge divergence and take too much time. Continue reading

Parliamentarians plead for global freedom of religion and belief

As ever Gillan Scott, deputy editor of Cranmer provides an excellent post on extremely detailed material and which I’ve copied in full from Archbishop Cranmer.  However, I do have very strong reservations over the authority accorded to the BBC by Lord Alton’s quotation.

Factual evidence of the BBC’s gross ignorance on religion and deliberately political slant on the Middle-east is all too readily available: eg. its pure pig-ignorance in an appallingly arrogant and clueless rebuke made last week to an Israeli minister, “But you’re not under threat by Iran”! AND they censored Iranian leader’s remark on supporting terror!! (Details and petition to BBC available at Honest Reporting; in-depth analysis of BBC coverage of Iran at BBC Watch.)

Perhaps BBC should be changed to BCC – British ‘Cloud Cuckoo-land’ ?

Credit for photo of Asia Bibi belongs to British Pakistani Christians, from whence Wilson Chowdry emails today that she’s, “…been granted leave to appeal her death sentence by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. There is still some serious legal process to follow before she can be acquitted, but this action is a serious step in the. right direction. Asia is in a much more hopeful position now but the process will be long and drawn out. Please continue to pray for her. By accepting her appeal the Court has inferred that there is a possibility for grounds for Asia being exonerated.” (In full with petition here.)

Gillan’s post reads as follows (click title for link):

House-Lords-Freedom-Religion

HOUSE OF LORDS PLEADS FOR THE FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND BELIEF

With a Conservative majority government in place for the next five years we won’t need to worry about any potential reforms to House of Lords for the time being. And perhaps that is a good thing. When considering the role of the UK government in promoting freedom of religion, it is doubtful that an elected Upper House would have brought us the same level of passion and knowledge as peers did when the subject was debated last week. It came as a response to Lord Alton’s motion: ‘That this House takes note of worldwide violations of Article 18 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the case for greater priority to be given by the United Kingdom and the international community to upholding freedom of religion and belief.’

AsiiaIt goes without saying that human rights abuses relating to religious persecution are widespread throughout the world and on the increase. Even today, Asia Bibi, who has been beaten and raped during her six years on death row in Pakistan, will have one last opportunity to plead for her life to be spared (updated above). Her crime, as a Christian, was drinking water from the same bowl as her Muslim co-workers. During the ensuing argument she was accused of blasphemy against the prophet Mohammad, which led to her arrest and conviction. There is an overwhelming need for governments across the free and democratic world to take a stand and defend the basic human right that Eleanor Roosevelt, chair of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights drafting committee, described as one of the four essential freedoms of mankind.

The Lords’ debate has been helpfully summarised by Frank Cranmer at the ever informative ‘Law and Religion’ blog, but several utterances deserve further attention. Lord Alton argued that in order for governments to reclaim their patrimony of Article 18, it would need greater political and diplomatic priority, and the importance of religious literacy as a competence could not be neglected. He went on to quote the BBC’s chief international correspondent, Lyse Doucet, who said: “If you don’t understand religion — including the abuse of religion — it’s becoming ever harder to understand our world.” He then drew attention to the paucity of interest in the matter at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), with only one full-time desk officer dedicated to freedom of religion or belief.

Rabbi Lord Sacks described religious freedom as “perhaps the single greatest humanitarian issue of our time”. He was keen, though, to avoid rhetoric, preferring instead to look for pragmatic answers to avoid Article 18 being seen as little more than “a utopian ideal”. He proposed that the world needs:

“Under the auspices of the United Nations, a global gathering of religious leaders and thinkers to formulate an agreed set of principles that are sustainable theologically within their respective faiths and on which member nations can be called to account… We have not yet done the theological work for a global society in the information age, and not all religions in the world are yet fully part of that conversation. But if we neglect the theology, all else will fail… We must stand together – the people of all faiths and of none – for we are all at risk… Religious freedom is about our common humanity, and we must fight for it if we are not to lose it.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury was also keen to look for solutions:

“Religious freedom is threatened on a global scale, as we have heard, but also in a very complex way. Attacks on religious freedom are often linked to economic circumstances, to sociology, to history and to many other factors. Practically, if we are to defend religious liberty, we have to draw in these other factors. For example, if we want to defend religious freedom around the world – and again I say, the freedom to have no religion – do not sell guns to people who oppress religious freedom; do not launder their money; restrict trade with them; confine the way in which we deal with them; and, above, all, speak frankly and openly, naming them for what they are.”

After two and a half hours of speeches the motion was passed. Such a debate was significant in proving that Parliament has this issue on its mind and is making some positive noises. But without more substantive action from government, it will all count for very little. In their 2015 General Election manifestos, both Labour and the Liberal Democrats proposed the creation of a Global Ambassador for Religious Freedom to work within the FCO. It seemed a sensible proposal, but would that be the best way of ensuring that HM Government does not duck its responsibilities on the issue?

The newly created Centre on Religion and Global Affairs – a research and policy centre based in London, Beirut and Accra – has responded to the Lords’ debate. It believes that a special envoy that exclusively focuses on freedom of religious belief is not the way forward. Their view is that in other countries such appointments have yielded limited results. Instead, they propose the appointment a full-time Special Advisor to the government on Religion and Global Affairs. The advisor would be given a mandate to provide proactive policy proposals across Whitehall departments, in particular the FCO, Department for International Development, Home Office and the Prime Minister’s Office. Only a coordinated response across government departments will enable the UK to achieve the necessary understanding and enable a coherent and effective response to the issues. The role should not be seen as an interfaith outreach initiative, or a symbolic office for public diplomacy.

Alongside this Special Advisor, a group of external experts would be needed to provide additional support. A global portfolio in one of the most complicated topics in today’s world is not possible without adequate professional support. Given budgetary constraints, the role of the Special Advisor could be facilitated by the appointment of voluntary external experts with the requisite professional, academic and geo-political experience.

It is also important that any such position would be sufficiently funded if it is to be more than a symbolic gesture. Strategic research, diplomacy and local projects with stakeholders would need to be pursued with conviction and credible resources if any significant impact is to be made.

There is every reason to believe that the UK can contribute significantly to international moves to uphold freedom of religion – if it so chooses. During the Lords’ debate, Baroness Anelay, Minister of State in the FCO, admitted that although the Government is working with human rights and faith-based organisations across the world to promote dialogue, foster links and strengthen understanding, it is not doing enough.

As His Grace discussed yesterday, the Government needs to get a much better grip on its understanding of religion and religious freedoms. Religious persecution is a destructive cancer working its evil across the globe. How many more travesties of justice – such as that of Asia Bibi – do we have to endure before the British Government hears the appeal of those in the House of Lords (and elsewhere) that we must act as Justin Welby has prescribed: “..do not sell guns to people who oppress religious freedom; do not launder their money; restrict trade with them; confine the way in which we deal with them; and, above, all, speak frankly and openly, naming them for what they are.” Amen.

Breaking off the Greek mindset

Any readers puzzled by my reference to the Greek mindset as a Fundamental flaw in Western society (re Humanism & Europe-Greece crisis) will find this brief summary from Freedom Apostolic Resources Centre to be very helpful. It is also background material for their latest post on our relationship with Jesus, By Personal Encounter and Experience.

Sons Of Issachar

Mike Parsons

Last time I shared with you a couple of PowerPoint slides relating to the Greek (Western) and Hebrew (Eastern) mindsets. This week I want to look just a little more closely at the contrast between them, and then I would like to pray for God to reveal where we are being robbed by our Western way of looking at things, and break it off us.

Separation vs unity

Here is the first of those slides again.


Let’s take these a line at a time.
In our Greek understanding, the goal of salvation is to escape this world and go to God’s dwelling place in heaven. So everything is focussed on what will be: very little about what is now. In Hebrew thought, the goal of salvation is to prepare a place fit for God’s dwelling here, among His people. He wants His kingdom to come on earth.

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Update on Cameron’s speech – diplomatic/military component against IS

Cameron_latestAt long last a politician has punched a ‘PC’ idol in the teeth! (PC = political correctness aka. political clap-trap)

Contributing Editor to The Commentator, Clare George-Hilley, has summarised David Cameron’s speech and the strap-line to her report reads,

Prime Minister David Cameron has announced new measures to crack down on Islamic extremism at home and abroad. For far too long, political correctness has allowed this wicked ideology to flourish. Cameron’s remarks may seem late in the day to some, but he’s on the right track at last.

She opens Cameron campaign against Islamic extremism is long overdue with,

‘Today, in front of British Muslims in Birmingham, David Cameron made his first major domestic speech on how to tackle Islamist extremism in our country.  It is poignant that Cameron chose to give his speech in Birmingham, the place where the schools were infiltrated as part of the Trojan Horse plot, where extremists sought to indoctrinate the minds of innocent children…

‘For many years, I and many other commentators, political activists and counter-terrorism experts have been recommending and asking for measures that the government can tangibly apply to combat Islamic extremism in Britain and abroad. The warning signs have been clearly visible in our country for many years…’

After noting political tolerance of intolerance allowed extremists to exploit our freedom of speech laws to preach hatred on our streets, Clare covers her favourite part of the speech (emphases mine):

‘The best, and most important, part of his speech was when he finally came round to the notion that violent extremism exists at the apex of a broader Islamist narrative:

“It may begin with hearing about the so-called Jewish conspiracy, and then develop into hostility to the West and fundamental liberal values before finally becoming a cultish attachment to death. Put another way, the extremist worldview is the gateway, and then violence is the ultimate destination,” the prime minister said.

‘Not so many years ago, such (obviously correct and pertinent) remarks would have drawn charges of “Islamophobia” in some quarters. Cameron deserves praise for moving the debate in the right direction, however late in the day it may now be.’

Diplomatic Component

British_Foreign_Se_3378279b AFP

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu conference at the latter’s office in Jerusalem – credit AFP

The timing and content of this major speech by David Cameron must surely be directly connected with action being taken against those who murder British citizens and others – and apparently with the outcome of last week’s nuclear power deal with Iran (aka. the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – JCPOA).

One of the signatories to the JCPOA, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, went to Israel to tell PM Netanyahu officially of the agreement’s full terms. But he went under a mistaken understanding. He presumed Israel doesn’t want any deal whatsoever with Iran, just a permanent stand-off or continuing conflict – and said as much in Parliament before leaving (as here). So Netanyahu took him to task during their public meeting in Jerusalem:

“Israelis know better than anyone else the cost of permanent conflict with Iran and it is wrong to suggest that Israel wants such an outcome. We seek a genuine and effective diplomatic solution,”

“The alternative to this deal is not war. The alternative is a better deal that would roll back Iran’s military nuclear program and tie the easing of restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program to changes in Iran’s behaviour. That’s the kind of deal that would be welcomed in Tel Aviv and here in Israel’s capital Jerusalem.”

This morning another part of that meeting in Jerusalem emerged in connection with Isil – and how the nuclear deal means Iran will be taking more action against Isil, as reported exclusively by DebkaFile:

‘Although the Secretary’s formal mission was to elucidate the accord to Israel’s leaders, his real purpose was to hand him a letter from British Prime Minister David Cameron. In this letter, Cameron explained that his decision to extend RAF bombing missions from Iraq to Syria (depending on parliament’s approval in September) had nothing to do with Washington’s policies, but was solely motivated by the Islamist threat hanging over British national security.
‘Britain, he said, was not acting in support of the Syrian-Iranian-Hizballah lineup against the Islamist group; nor was it part of the Obama administration’s turnabout in favor of supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad. British bombers would target ISIS in the UK’s own interests.

Note the comment about yet another of Obama’s turnarounds – in favour of Syria!  This is because of Iran’s close interest in supporting their puppet Assad. Please read that Debka report to appreciate what’s started, or already happening, on the ground.

Is Debka’s claim about British diplomatic/military action credible? They are the ones who broke the news of secret US-Iran back-channels communications being set up soon after Obama’s inauguration – and prior to his infamous Cairo speech to the Muslim word. (Read Today’s Importance in History, 18 May 2009 and note especially the Arab world’s alarm at Obama’s activity. They were vindicated by last week’s nuclear deal.)  Therefore, there are reasonable grounds for regarding the Debka report as reliable.

So we now glimpse what’s happening behind closed doors and how determined David Cameron is to deal with and, if at all possible, remove Islamist extremism here.

Political common-sense emerges on Islamist threat

The Times front-page headline on a major speech Prime Minister Cameron is making today:

The Times Monday 20 July 2015

(Click image to enlarge – their young award-winning journalist continues on page 4 as follows) “…loss of British citizens in a terrorist attack, happened before the Iraq war.

“When they say that these are wronged Muslims getting revenge on western wrong- doing, lets remind them: from Kosovo to Somalia, countries like Britain have stepped in the save Muslim people from massacres. It’s groups like Isil, al-Qaeda and Boko Haram that are the ones murdering Muslims….etc.”  [Murdoch papers require subscription.]

For the latest with video read the Telegraph’s David Cameron speech: my five-year plan to tackle extremism – Live; or The Independent’s online report here.

The PM’s announcement is long overdue in view of nationwide reaction to last month’s appalling massacre of 30 British holidaymakers in Sousse, Tunisia (see Wikipedia), and the fact that Islamists declared war on the West a long time ago! He is delivering upon his statement in the House of Commons after Sousse for the UK to be “intolerant of intolerance”. (NB: Contemporaneous killings were committed in France and Kuwait too – see The West’s war against Jihadi terrorism is just beginning.)

In his citing events from the 1990s caused by maniacal Muslims, I’m sure Cameron is well aware it’s been periodically endemic since the foundation of their religion in the Dark Ages. An insight into a global satanic strategy covered that historic fact in depth a few months ago. There, we looked at the cause of the Medieval crusades as a reaction to Muslim violence – not vice versa! – and how warped thinking poisoned the Greek-based mind-sets of liberals.

In addition to those earlier facts I’d also refer the PM to the total estimated murders by Muslims since 9/11: over 26,400! (The Religion of Peace database.)  BUT this may be undercounted and need doubling, as determined by the BBC’s ‘thorough analysis’.

!cid_image002_jpg@01CDBDD2Two years ago I blogged about the PM’s comment “A war against al-Qaeda could last decades”, and considered it further in a subsequent post wherein I wrote:

Winston Churchill foresaw of the danger of militant Islam in 1899! His trenchant opinion, based upon personal military service in The Sudan, speaks with great insight and I quote only the portion pertinent to this post.::

“…Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome…”  [Read full extract in Wikipedia’s The River War.]

Notes:

  1. Churchill’s criticism spread wherever he found fault, including the British high command!
  2. I know many Muslims (eg. medical staff) who are a jewel in humanity and, therefore, totally unlike those deranged extremists.