Hatred, like beauty, may be in the eye of the beholder; cowardice, complicity and the Church of England!

Revd Gavin’s satirical latest slots in well with this blog’s recent items, showing it’s now time for REAL Christians to take a firm, loving stand against the stupidity arising from apostasy and pig-ignorance.

Gavin Ashenden

Denouncing your neighbour for a ‘thought-crime’ was a favourite past time in the old Soviet Union. The problem for anyone accused of having the ‘wrong thoughts’ is that it’s impossible to defend yourself.

Well the practice is back. ‘Hate crime’ is the new thought crime. If someone else’s views makes you feel uncomfortable, all you need to do is to accuse them of either ‘hate’ or, if you prefer, ‘extremism’, or best of all, both.

The latest seed bed of hate-filled extremism has been lurking undiscovered for the last 16 years in a Primary School, in Tunbridge Wells.

With psychological and social consequences that surely defy imagination, a generation of children have been infected by ‘hate’ at the hands of an extremist organisation masquerading as a Christian charity.

For 16 years this charity called Crossteach has been sowing ‘hate’ and ‘extremism’ under the pretence of pretending to help local C…

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To ‘bong’ or not to ‘bong’? That’s the Big Ben question as the nation waits…

August is renowned as the ‘silly season’ for odd and weird stories because of the holiday period’s dearth of normal, newsworthy events. Yesterday’s banner headline shown below seems simply part of that season because of the Health & Safety aspects – but that belies the status of a significant symbol of our nation’s identity.

The disruption of our famous clock’s mechanism strikes at our heart but not necessarily for the reasons stated in the Telegraph, its editorial and news of MPs’ anger at being kept in the dark over details of the proposed work!  [Today: Theresa May says “It can’t be right for Big Ben to be silenced for four years”.]

Regular readers of this blog are well aware not only of Big Ben’s symbolic importance but also and more especially of the many words and dreams about it at the prophetical ‘midnight hour’. So whatever the outcome of the present rumpus, it won’t surprise the Lord for He could be in the discussions and use them to bring about His purposes, or else work around them to achieve His sovereign will for Britain, thereby getting us fully ‘in sync’ with His will. (As in the word for 2014-16 brought by Revd Dr Sharon Stone in her ‘Clarion Call’.)

Tuesday 15 August ‘Final’ morning broadsheet edition (tap for digital version)

It wasn’t until later yesterday that I caught up with news and activity on this blog and was very pleased to notice a number of past posts had shot into the popular posts listing. So, I stuck them temporarily to the home page for quick reference and now replace them with this post.

A summary of some points which may be applicable should thus prove useful:

  • R Piercey 2016-17 – “…Interesting in view of the picture I received some years ago of the Lion of Judah hovering over Big Ben; his huge paw was about to hit the clock face, where the hands pointed at 2 minutes to midnight. (I somehow knew it was midnight rather than midday).” …I believe it’s now important to share more widely what Rosemary added. Upon phoning for permission to publish today she responded without any hesitation, “Absolutely! now’s the time!”…“A few notes on the picture that hit me this morning. Someone whose opinion I value gave me a word a few weeks ago that I was a General in the King’s army; this morning I was led to read the story of Gideon again, and was reminded of his requests from God for signs. I then asked the Lord for a sign that would confirm whether or not the “General” word was true. After a short time a very vivid picture came to me of a huge bowl suspended on 3 chains above the Houses of Parliament; the bowl swung in the winds of secularism and resulting godless laws. I felt the Lord saying that this was a bowl of his wrath, which of course is a recurrent theme in the Bible – bowl, cup etc. This is not to negate in any way the positive prophecies we are receiving; many of us know that the spiritual atmosphere has changed, and we are seeing remarkable answers to prayer in our country. Nevertheless we are also called to repent, especially for what has happened in the churches, and I feel a huge urgency for this; we are in danger of losing the blessings if we are simply going to rest on the blessings. This is vitally important and I feel there is no time to lose; the bowl is tipping, and we could feel the results at any time.”
  • RB/TPuccio, Feb 2017 – ‘Today, as I prepare this compilation I draw Tony’s attention to Rosemary’s reminder on the previous blog of her picture of Big Ben and he asks for my ‘take’ on this and “What’s the Lord saying to you?” Well I didn’t have time to even think and ask Him, but was just running with my spirit’s ‘gut instinct’ as a ‘joiner of prophetic dots’ (as Glasgow calls me). So I reply that I’m busy compiling this account and will seek Him later – BUT then get a quick nudge to add, “‘…immediate thought as I type is, “It’s warning of the Lord’s Return!” ie. not long now! Tony replies, “Indeed! It would seem that the midnight hour is upon us.”
  • T Puccio March 2017 – “I had another dream about Big Ben only this time I saw it arise from the clock face on the ground to  its original height, perhaps even taller. I remember hearing it bonging, however, it did not cease as one would have expected when it had chimed the hour of the day but was a continual bonging. Then I saw people in beds asleep and I perceived that the bonging was to awaken from slumber those who were sleeping.’  
  • C Shamp June 2017 – Keep your eyes upon Big Ben something supernatural is about to be seen. As I was praying today I was taken to Big Ben in London, England. I heard the Lord say, “My eye is upon this land and my hand upon the nation’s time, a kairos moment is about to come! I will cause a sign to come from Big Ben that will mark the moment that I have changed the time and season for the nation of England and the city of London. Everything will stop and people will turn to see and hear. Tell my people to mark the moment when it comes to pass for it will be sign of great change in the land.”

Please note full historical listing including relevance to the 2005 & 2017 terrorist attacks plus informative contributions in Dreams & Visions of Big Ben at the Midnight Hour. Also consider reading, Significant Timing of Planned Stoppage of Big Ben.

Let us take all those words received and delivered to the Lord in prayer and wait upon Him.

Lastly, it’s particularly fascinating the change in the clock’s chiming set for 21st August is one month to the day before Rosh Hashana, the ‘head of year’ for Jewish New Year 5778, with its unconnected relevance to Biblical End-times prophesied in  1 Thess 5:3 – ‘(The Day of the Lord will come…) while people are saying “Peace and Safety”…!!  

More on this another time…

[NB: a full listing of posts with opening paragraphs only appears via this search.]

Vision and report of change in N Korea’s president and people

We have a couple of encouraging developments relating to the major prophetic words of last January and April and a recent vision of North Korea’s president Kim Jon-ung.

First, the Telegraph’s report Kim-Jon-ung ‘no longer seen as god’ as worshiping North Koreans ‘place their faith elsewhere’.:

The extremely harsh treatment meted out to anyone practising anything other than the state’s form of communism and deification of its presidents has been confirmed by a defector who’s since become a member of the Seoul-based Worldwide Coalition to Stop Genocide in North Korea. According to the report,

 “Officially sanctioned persecution of people for religious reasons is still there and, I would say, even stronger than before”. But subtle changes are slowly becoming visible, said the defector, who declined to be named as he is active in assisting underground churches operating in the North.

“In the past, the people were told to worship the Kim family as their god, but many North Koreans no longer respect Kim Jong-un”, he said. “That means they are looking for something else to sustain their faith.

 “In some places, that has led to the emergence of shamens, but the Christian church is also growing and deepening its roots there”, he said.

“Even though people know they could be sent to prison – or worse – they are still choosing to worship, and that means that more cracks are appearing in the regime and the system”, he added.

Secondly, a Nebuchadnezzar-type vision and prophetic word on Kim Jong-ung and featuring two prominent Christians is recounted by Veronica West on 11 August.

The two seen praying with him are Bill Johnson of Bethel California and South African Rodney Howard-Browne.

NOTES:

Are traditional, Bible-believing Christians the new heretics??

Based upon the widespread bigotry expressed over PM May’s post-election decision on forming a working majority, Voice for Justice UK follows up on the request to petition the government about free speech for Christians in Parliament with this further appeal:

THERE IS A NEW HERESY

‘To ensure a functioning Parliamentary majority Theresa May concludes a deal with the DUP; in the interests of transparency publishes the agreement in full; and is immediately accused of giving them a ‘bung’.  Criticisms abound, especially from the Welsh and Scottish Assemblies, who would also like more money – no surprise there then.  But surely the most pernicious and worrying criticisms come from those who attack the DUP for their unashamedly Christian stance on moral issues that the UK has now ideologically redefined, and imposed by law.

‘Ex-Tory chairman Chris Patten has reportedly predicted that the ‘toxic brand’ of the DUP will taint Theresa May and harm the Conservative party, specifically identifying the DUP’s hard-line stance on issues such as gay equality (see for example, Evening Standard).

‘How is it people today can so easily be branded toxic, intolerant, and bigoted simply because they adhere to the traditional teachings of Christianity, and refuse to endorse abortion, or same sex marriage?   As far as can be ascertained, the DUP have never at any time expressed ‘hatred’ for those who support such choices: they have simply said they disagree, citing as cause the moral incompatibility of such practices with Christian faith.

‘As it is, the universal condemnation and vilification of this identifiably ‘Christian’ party by gay marriage supporters, so strongly articulated by the likes of Chris Patten and Ruth Davidson – who demanded and was given assurance that there would be no rescission of LGBTI rights – speaks volumes.

Who are the real bigots here?  Who the real peddlers of hatred and intolerance? 

‘Sadly, what we are seeing is nothing less than the systemic demonization of Christians by those who want justification and social endorsement of the new morality, and who want to drive all expression of Christianity from the public arena.

‘As stressed previously: Christian faith is being increasingly suppressed by the relentless drive of Secular and LGBT activists. It is time for the intolerance, bigotry and intimidation of these so-called liberals to be exposed.’

READ,  SIGN  AND  SHARE  CITIZENGO  PETITION  HERE

Christians, it’s time to PETITION FOR FREEDOM OF SPEECH

Further to my call three weeks ago today in Time to take a stand against the fascism of ‘Christophobia’ and Revd Gavin Ashenden’s First they came for Tim Farron – soon they’ll come for you, it’s time to protect Christian MPs’ and our rights to free speech.

Gavin exposed the inclusion of the Qur’an in the Eucharist at Glasgow Cathedral, and we are seeing Christians increasingly ridiculed and vilified in the public arena before the relentless drive of Secular and LGBTQ activism.

Therefore and for the good of the nation, the time has come to stand against activists’ schemes to suppress Christian belief across the public sphere AND in our personal lives, as is well-known and documented.

Please read Voice for Justice UK’s following email and seriously consider petitioning to ‘Protect Christian MPs Right to Free Speech. Don’t Allow Secular and LGBT Activists to Suppress Christian belief‘.:

‘Christian faith is being increasingly suppressed by the relentless drive of Secular and LGBTQ activists.

‘It is time for the intolerance, bigotry and intimidation of so-called liberals to be exposed.

‘Following delivery of our petition calling for the reinstatement of former Tory MP for the Isle of Wight Andrew Turner – forced to resign for saying he believed homosexuality was wrong and a danger to society – we are now launching a fresh campaign calling for the government to  protect the right to free speech of all current and future Christian MPs.

‘Standing on Articles 9 and 10 of the Human Rights Act 1998 – respectively protecting the rights to freedom of thought, belief, and religion; and the freedom to hold and express your own opinions – we assert the right to follow and practise without impediment or restraint our Christian faith, and to express without fear of condemnation or intimidation the core beliefs on which our faith is founded and as set down in the Bible.

We call for freedom of belief and of speech for all.

‘And we call for all political parties to uphold the right of both current and future MPs to express support for traditional Christian belief, without fear of intimidation by activist groups seeking to silence dissent by unjustified accusations of bigotry and hatred.’

READ  FULL  TEXT  AND  SIGN  BRIEF  CITIZENGO  PETITION  HERE

SHARE  THIS  REQUEST  VIA VfJUK’s  WEBSITE / FACEBOOK  TO  HELP  THEM  REACH  THEIR  50,000  TARGET.

First they came for Tim Farron – soon they’ll come for you!

Tim Farron is not just a former leader of the Liberal Party; he has become a mirror in which we see our reflection as a society. He is gagged and sacked.

Revd Gavin Ashenden, a stalwart servant of the Lord in the CoE, brings a forthright alert to ALL Christians in Britain > First they came for Tim Farron – soon they’ll come for you. 

Between Science and Theology: How science learns about unobservable entities

An excellent and apposite addition to our recent posts on science and the scriptures. Thank you…

Science and Belief

hairy_dark_matter Cropped from Hairy Dark Matter By NASA/JPL-Caltech [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons In 1800, someone took the temperature of a rainbow. This story isn’t as strange as it sounds because that ‘someone’ was not the sort of person to look for a pot of gold, but a scientist called William Herschel.

1024px-william_herschel01Lemuel Francis Abbott [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons Herschel was a German musician and astronomer who became famous for discovering the planet Uranus. He built the best telescopes of his day, was funded by King George III, became a fellow of the Royal Society, first president of the Royal Astronomical Society, and was eventually knighted for his work. So why was such a sensible person taking a rainbow’s temperature?

In Herschel’s day, all astronomers used coloured filters to protect their eyes when they were observing the sun. The light coming through the filter was obviously a bit warm, but…

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Salvation comes to Hindu and Muslim

As well as circulating email news to church leaders of ‘An Awakening Season’, as in the previous post, Michael Marcel also separately reported how salvation came to two people of other faiths.:

Testimony (email 29th April)
A Hindu woman was walking in Leicester last week. She had struggled with depression for a long time and she saw in a vision a man dressed in white walk up to her and say, “Go to the house on your street with number 2 on it and a woman there will tell you how to restore your heavy heart”.
She went straight home, walked down her street to house number 2 and a Christian lady who has been saved out of the Hindu faith answered the door bell. She told this woman the vision of the man in white, and the lady promptly shared the gospel and prayed for her. She was saved and healed and came to church the following day! She is now sharing her new-found faith with her family; all of them have seen that she is no longer depressed and want to know what happened.
 
God is definitely on the move in this nation!
Another Testimony (email 1st May)
A Muslim man in Leicester had a dream; in the dream he saw a man dressed in white standing next to a cross, the man in white told him to go to the clock tower tomorrow at 12pm and a man who (will be) standing there will tell you what you must do.

The next day he went to town and found a street preacher at the clock tower, he told the preacher his dream and was then saved as a result. The same night this Muslim man had a dream that his sister in the Middle-East had a similar dream, except she was told to call her brother in the evening, On phoning her brother told her what had happened and shared the gospel and she was saved!

Thank and praise you Lord for what you are doing in bringing not-yet-believers into the Kingdom.

Advent True Story: part 1 – Day Visitor Barred

In Memory of all deceased and bereaved persons throughout the world who have been so tragically affected by Islamist terrorism this year. I pray this and the previous post will encourage visitors to this site to take their life and after-life more seriously, thereby accepting the free gift of life everlasting through Jesus Christ:

Sunday 29th November marked the beginning of Advent; a period of excitement  preparing to celebrate Jesus Christ’s birth in ancient Bethlehem, Judea – the First Advent. But in fact there’s more! The focus on the first Sunday of Advent is upon His promised return, the Second Advent. So it is also a time of waiting expectantly. I’m pleasantly surprised that the emphasis in secular Wikipedia’s Advent entry isn’t upon Jesus’ birth, but upon His return.

As stated in a recent post, events are increasingly aligning with the anticipated fulfilment of several ancient biblical prophecies of the Day of the Lord.  Commensurate therefore, this means the return of Jesus must also be rapidly approaching.

Many Moons Ago…

a messenger was sent on a mission to a village nestled where hills would have met had a river not burst between them. Here was the only crossing, a toll bridge, as this strong river wended its way eastwards between low hills, wooded on the north and arable on the south side, down the narrow valley and towards the country’s capital fifty miles downstream.

It was the sixth month of the final year, of the penultimate decade, of the last century, of the second millennium since the birth of Jesus Christ and the messenger bore an invitation to all who would welcome him.

Peter, a dark-haired young man, knocked upon my front door and asked if anyone would like to hear the world-renowned evangelist Billy Graham in Earls Court, London. We’d be conveyed by coach from our house! The fare from west of Reading? Nada, entirely free!

I turned down the offer but my almost-teenage son piped up that he’d like to go because a classmate had told him about it. So I said I’d take him.

Were it my choice, however, I most definitely would not have accepted. Experience had made me extremely wary of churchgoers. But never did I suspect my personal life hung on that moment.

Why the problem?

I was brought up in the Catholic Church yet attended non-secular state schools with their Anglican ethos. Back in the 1950s this was a sensitive issue. In those days many more attended church of one sort or another than today. Religious beliefs are a minor concern now, even though attendance at faith schools is prized for educational purposes.

Note well, I did not receive the required, proper Catholic education. What was gained was merely through church attendance – which doesn’t do anything when the services are in a dead, foreign language!

Sunday Mass involved a lot of liturgical Latin. So when English was spoken, this boy was able to comprehend a little from frequent snippets from the Gospels. I recall pondering how awesome it would have been to witness everything Jesus said and did.

Fifty years ago the hypocritical conflict between denominations was the reason I turned to ‘New Age’ ideals. In view of what Christian priests said and did then, how could what they  preached be true? Jesus commanded his followers to “love one another”. However, from my personal experience, as well as the historical facts, churches did not!

Also, they weren’t performing miraculous works similar to those Jesus did, as he said they would. So, churches were failing on both counts to live up to their founder’s commands. Although I was only a boy it was patently obvious that they missed the mark. Also, I strongly suspected they’d probably lost a lot of what Jesus had taught too.

So in my late teens I went looking for truth elsewhere and practised yoga, meditation and Eastern religions long before that became popular through the famous Beatles and their maharishi. In seeking deeper instruction and practical abilities I joined an ancient, mystical brotherhood. Thus, I gained direct knowledge of ‘higher’ esoteric teachings, including a belief in reincarnation and karma as well as experiencing invisibility and nirvana, the ecstatic state sought by Buddhists.

All this was before such New Age concepts became as popular and widespread as they became in the Hippy era. Twenty-odd years later I’d find myself attending an evangelical meeting!  Utterly unbelievable!

What happened?

So in those days I regarded most clergy as outmoded. Their preaching couldn’t compare with what I’d discovered in the New Age. So, you could imagine my astonishment upon finding myself agreeing with everything Billy Graham preached!  I was flummoxed!

Afterwards, as a follow-up, those who’d been on the trip were invited to an informal meeting at a local church. They explained we could have introductory teaching and discussion at home and I agreed to be on-hand for my son, but I wasn’t interested. Peter, as a youth worker, was assigned to help him but, in practice, he ended up discussing the material with me.

So, what went wrong?

The evening of Wednesday 14th September 1989, is Peter’s third visit to chat through a script about Christianity entitled Life. I hadn’t yet divulged my firm opinions to him, but this time he goes too far!

This session is on ‘Yoga, Eastern Religions and The Occult’ – all of which I knew about and been involved in since before Peter had been born!

Peter shows a diagram of two cliff-like objects facing one another. One represents heaven and the other, earth, with a large deep gap separating them from one another. Over this Peter then places an overlay depicting a large + sign over the gap. The horizontal ends of the + touch each object, thereby bridging heaven and earth. He explains that the cross of Christ is the bridge between both realms.

He then says the only way to God is through Jesus Christ. This statement implies my ideas are incorrect. Without giving the game away I gently question him on this. But he insists there are not many paths leading to the same supreme mind, or God.

What’s to be done with a young man half my age who unwittingly points out the error of my ways?

I think, “He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. How can he, who’s not done anything I know far more about…just how can he tell me it’s wrong?  He’s wasting my time!”

Peter’s ideas are not only mistaken but also intolerant. Before the end of the evening I’ve had enough!

So I bring our discussion to an early close, politely bid him farewell and excuse myself from any future meeting. As ever, Peter is most gracious about it – he smiles politely and goes on his way.

But little did I know that I may not make it through the night!    

Continue reading in part 2 >>

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.

About the status of Jerusalem

If anyone isn’t sure why potential contender for the Oval Office Mitt Romney caused a stir by his remarks about Jerusalem made during his recent visit there, let’s consider the situation in more detail. Please refer to the brief previous post and watch its very short video-clip from Times of Israel. A short US news transcript on this may be read here.

First, let’s never forget the prophetic Word of God:

“I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling…On that day when all nations of the earth are gathered against her. I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to remove it will injure themselves…” (Zecharia 12:2-3, also referred to in earlier post here.)

Jerusalem is renowned for its place in religious history and since Israel liberated it from Jordan in the 1967 war it has changed from semi-dereliction to a thriving city.  Inter-nationally, however, it is regarded as a disputed territory with Israelis and Palestinians vying for eventual oversight through the supposed ‘peace process’.  It’s complicated, so let’s check what others more qualified than me say about Romney’s speech:

Experts’ Commentaries

1. Drew Zahn, a Christian columnist, explains:

The controversy over the nation’s capital exists because many Jews, as well as many of Israel’s supporters around the world, have long understood that Jerusalem is more than just the capital of the country, but the heart and soul of the Jewish people’s understanding of returning to the land of their forefathers.

And even though the presidential residence, government offices, supreme court and Knesset are located in Jerusalem – designated as the capital city by Jewish law – the United Nations doesn’t recognize Jerusalem’s place, and most nations’ embassies, therefore, are located in Israel’s northern city of Tel Aviv. In fact, not a single nation on earth diplomatically recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Even the U.S., long considered one of Israel’s most faithful allies, has fudged its position on the capital controversy as incoherently as Carney answered the press corps. For example, in 1995 Congress adopted the Jerusalem Embassy Act, a resolution supporting recognition of a united Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and declaring “the United States Embassy in Israel should be established in Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999.” But the act has yet to be carried out, as President Clinton’s administration believed the act was an unconstitutional invasion of presidential authority. No president has yet to act on the 1995 resolution.(Read full article Suddenly, All Eyes Are On Jerusalem.)

2. Deputy managing editor of the Jerusalem Post and senior fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, DC, Carolyn Glick has served on the Israeli team during peace negotiations and is highly regarded for her incisive analysis. Thus, on this matter she provides the following insight before proceeding to deal with Palestinian complaints:

…The law granted the president a right to postpone the transfer of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on national security grounds. But the law’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was unconditional (my emphasis).

In noting Romney’s very mild criticism of Palestinian society, Carolyn refers to their nonsensical attitude on several issues and cites how they bite the hand that feeds them:

The EU is the largest financial backer of the PA. Its policies towards Israel are in complete alignment with what the purportedly moderate Palestinians claim they want in a peace deal with Israel, including the partition of Jerusalem [….]  And yet…for simply upgrading EU trade ties with Israel, Palestinian for Dignity announced its members “will organize to protest the latest manifestation of EU complicity and to challenge its presence and operations in Palestine”.

For how the Republican contender’s policy statements compare with those of Barack Obama’s Administration, especially as applied to the re-election campaign, read her full article Israel – Obama’s ‘Wedge’ Issue.

Carolyn’s opinion on Romney’s speech is ever so brief and may been read here just before the speech’s video on her blog.

3. Founder of The Middle-East Forum who warned of the likelihood of the  911 attack, Daniel Pipes referred to Romney’s rousing political speech as follows:

(He) delivered a ‘stem-winder’ of a speech to the Jerusalem Foundation yesterday, packing emotional support with frank policy statements. The contrast with Obama could hardly be more dramatic. Indeed, one could go through the speech and note the many refutations of Obama….

Also, in contrast to the nonsensical Obama administration stance on Jerusalem being Israel’s capital — sneaking into change captions that mistakenly identified it as that and going through verbal gymnastics to avoid calling it that — Romney came out and plainly called Jerusalem “the capital of Israel”.

For Daniel’s concise summation of the speech see his article in National Review Online, The Corner.

4. Mike Evans, close personal friend of PM Netanyahu for many years, tells about the Israeli’s 35 year-long friendship with the Republican Romney in A Tale of Two Kings.

The two politicians are exceptional among today’s officials. It would be challenging to find two men of such prominence with a similar history. It would also be difficult to envision a world leader who would be more in tune with Israel’s welfare. Romney has already signified that he would be hesitant to make noteworthy determinations about the Jewish state without first conferring with Mr. Netanyahu. This would be an utter about-face from the lackadaisical policies displayed by current US President Barack Obama.

Has your mainstream news fully reported on this? See Not on the 10 o’clock News.

NOTE TO WHITE HOUSE: JERUSALEM IS THE ETERNAL CAPITAL OF ISRAEL

A suitable follow-up to my last post on a personal revelation of the Jewish Messiah…

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

“White House spokesman Jay Carney refused to state the U.S. position on the location of Israel’s capital during a press briefing, Thursday, despite several requests for clarification from a pair of reporters,” reported the Times of Israel. “The exchange, caught on video and uploaded to YouTube, quickly made the cyberspace rounds as the latest example of world bodies’ refusal to name Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.” Click here to see the video. Just to be clear, Jerusalem — not Tel Aviv or any other city — is the eternal capital of Israel and the Jewish people. “I have chosen Jerusalem for my Name to be there, and I have chosen David to rule my people Israel,” declares the Lord God Almighty (2 Chronicles 6:6). “He has founded his city on the holy mountain. The Lord loves the gates of Zion more than all the other dwellings of Jacob.” (Psalm 87:1-2) “Jerusalem, the city which the Lord has…

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