Linda and Jill are having coffee when Linda notices that Jill seems troubled and asks her, "Is something bugging you? You look anxious." "Well, my boyfriend just lost all his money and life savings in the stock market," Jill explained. "Oh, that's too bad," Linda sympathized. "I'm sure you're feeling sorry for him." "Yeah, I am," Jill said. "He'll miss me."
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What do you call four UNC students in a Volkswagon?
The myth of the Moderate Muslim http://www.stangoodenough.com/2006/11/28/the-myth-of-the-moderate-muslim/
One day, hopefully in the not too far-off future (for the longer the drop the harder the fall,) icy reality is going to hit the politically correct slap-bang in the face, shocking them with the realization that they were wrong all along, and that there really is no such thing as a “moderate” Muslim after all.
I am assuming, of course, that they don’t already know this; that they are not just refusing to acknowledge it because they are afraid to be seen as politically incorrect. To any who are thus deceiving themselves even as they try to deceive others, let me say this:
Come out of the closet and into the world where reality is what is real, and evil is just that. Believe me; it’s refreshing, if sobering, out here. And with the blinders off and the numbness pierced through, you can grapple with the things that detrimentally affect you and those you love.
If enough of you came out it could help save our civilization – maybe even our lives.
Fact, plain and simple: There are no moderate Muslims. As is the case with all religionists, there are good Muslims and bad Muslims; strong Muslims and weak Muslims; committed Muslims and compromising Muslims; nominal Muslims, and devout Muslims. The second grouping in each set comprises those sold out for their faith and their god; prepared to do all they believe he demands of them.
How do we define a good Muslim? Easily. We use the same measure we’d use in assessing whether a Christian is a good Christian or a mediocre one, or whether a Jew is a faithful Jew, or a faithless one.
We assess the follower in the light of the founder.
(Please note, this does not necessarily have anything to do with whether he is a good person or not, only whether he/she is a good Jew/Christian/Muslim etc. Yes, I know this could lead to a discussion about what Jesus says in Matthew 7:18. But may I suggest leaving that for a later date?)
In order, then, to determine just how good a Christian a Christian is, so to speak, we look at the Founder of Christianity, and at how He taught His followers to live. We can then see how closely the follower is following.
Our answers are in the Bible, the comprehensive record of the life of the Messiah. Its pages describe what a person needs to do in order to live for, follow and please the LORD.
The Greek word for Messiah is Christ. So a Christ-ian is someone who professes to be, and behaves like, a follower of the Christ.
How did He live and how did He instruct His disciples to live? From His birth in a lowly stable, through His adulthood absorbed with ministering to and caring for others, to His criminal’s death on a Roman stake, Jesus’ life was one unbroken expression of love for mankind. He gave everything that He was, laying down His life for others – the good, the bad and the rotten – expecting and taking nothing in return.
There have always been a relatively few Christians who have strived to emulate that Life. While it is a humanly unattainable goal, the good Christian will try to reach it. This will be his heart’s desire: to be a close follower of the Christ.
Bad Christians litter the landscape of the last 2000 years. A great many men and women who have claimed to be Christ’s disciples have behaved completely contrary to the way that He taught.
Most notorious are the Crusaders and those who supported them; the Roman Catholic Inquisitors and those who supported them; the Russian-Orthodox Cossacks and those who supported them; the Lutheran Nazis and those who supported them; the American Christian Ku Klux Clan and those who support them; these and many other Christian groups, some of the most respected “Church Fathers” and “ordinary” individuals as well.
One attribute was/is common to them all: Antisemitism; their hatred of the Jews.
Let’s look briefly at what makes a good Jew.
The Jewish nation traces its roots into the mists of history, back to Abraham, Isaac and Israel, and to the latter’s sons, fathers of the 12 Tribes. All Jews today have either been born from that bloodline or have converted to embrace Judaism.
But none of the Patriarchs founded that nation. Israel was founded by God. It was God Who gave them their designation; He set them apart from all other peoples on earth, giving them His laws which, “if a man does, he shall live by them.”
A good Jew is one who strives to live up to his calling by keeping God’s law. None have perfected this, but all good Jews will try. That will be their hearts’ desire: to live in the way that God set out in order to please Him.
Once again there are plenty of examples of bad Jews. The biblical record does not gloss over them; to the contrary, their sinfulness is exposed for every generation to see. Until today, bad Jews abound – all those who reject God’s law and the calling He has placed upon them as a nation.
We have many in Israel and there are many among those still in exile “out there.” They want to be like the unbelieving gentile world: Jews without God, able to live whatever lives they choose while still claiming their ancestral heritage. But God has warned them that those who transgress His law “shall be cut off from his [own] people.” That is to say, unless they turn back to Him they will no longer be Jews in His eyes.
So we have good Christians and bad Christians, good Jews and bad Jews. What separates the good from the bad is their faithfulness to live in the calling to which they were called.
Which brings us to Muslims, concerning whom we must ask the same questions: How did the founder of their faith live his life, and how did he instruct his followers to live theirs?
Islam began with Mohammed, who claimed to have received a heavenly revelation which stimulated him to found the new religion. Historians record that he was an epileptic who received much of his “inspiration” in the middle of fits that had him writhing and foaming at the mouth. He also drew on the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.
Mohammed’s often incoherent babblings were scribbled down on scraps of paper, and it was only after his death that these ‘writings” were compiled into the Koran – the so-called Muslim “bible.”
(Of course the comparison is without justification. The Judeo-Christian Bible was written over a period of 1500 years by more than 50 authors who were clearly inspired by the Spirit of the God of Israel. The Koran is the disjointed, often contradictory, work of a single man.)
Mohammed achieved a number of extraordinary things:
He banned the then-widespread polytheistic worship in Arabia of the 360 idols in and around the black stone known as the Kaaba, and elevated one of those idols – the Moon god – to the position of “Allah, the only god.” Simultaneously he became Allah’s self-appointed “messenger.” This is why Islam is routinely referred to as “one of the three great monotheistic religions,” leading many gullible people to parrot the nonsense that Allah and God are the same being. He accused the Jews and the Christians of both, one after the other, perverting the revelation from Allah (“God”), and claimed that Allah had therefore turned to him to bring the last, pure, revelation of his will. This automatically designates all Jews and Christians as the enemy of Allah and therefore enemies of all Muslims. He spread his new religion at the point of the sword, and instructed his followers to do the same, employing terrorism and murder to bring into submission all who were unwilling to accept him and his Allah. Islam means just that: submission. As it is written in the Koran: “Strike off the heads of the non-believers,.” He obligated all Muslims to wage jihad in order to bring mankind into submission to Allah. Apart from being a mass-murdering terrorist of the worst kind, Mohammed was also a sexual deviant. He had numerous wives, among them a seven-year-old girl as well as the wife of one his sons. He “gave” his warriors the “right” to keep as sex slaves the widows of the men they killed in war.
He taught that Muslims who died in the act of killing unbelievers (Christians and Jews) would be transported straight to heaven where 72 virgins were waiting to give them all the pleasures they desired, while the “martyr’s” family members would also be spared “judgment day” and go straight to paradise when they died.
Inspired by the violence and depravity of Mohammed, Islam spread like wildfire. Today more than a billion-and-a-half people claim to follow the “prophet” of Allah.
A good Muslim, then, is one who follows as closely as possible the example and the teachings of Mohammed. This practice is known in Arabic as “sunnat” and means emulating Mohammed’s behavior in all its aspects.
A good Muslim is one who serves Allah and believes that the entire world must be made to serve him too.
A good Muslim is one who is ready to force Islam on infidels at the point of a sword, the barrel of a gun, with a bomb-belt on a bus or by flying an airliner into the World Trade Center.
A good Muslim will actively wage jihad (holy war) against the infidels, killing as many as he can if they refuse to bow to Allah.
A good Muslim will be a terrorist, a cold-blooded killer.
And we have not even begun to talk about the way a good Muslim sees and treats women.
So who are these “moderate” Muslims we keep hearing about, that are being contrasted with the “radical” or “extremist” Muslims – as CNN is even doing as I write this in a special production on Islam (Your World Today, November 28, 2006).
And what is this “religion of peace” Islam is increasingly being described as, even in the White House?
It’s all lies, all obfuscation, deception, mirrors and smoke. Hardly anyone – and certainly not a single world leader today, not even those whose nations are already being dragged towards the dungeon that is Islam – is prepared to tell the truth.
To drive off the fog and help you keep a clear mind, I suggest that whenever you hear a Muslim described as “moderate” remind yourself that he/she is a bad Muslim and, consequently, less of a threat to you.
When you hear the term “radical Muslim” or “Muslim extremists” replace that adjective with the word “good,” and be warned that he/she poses a very grave threat indeed.
Islam is a religion of hatred, violence, terrorism and war. All good Muslims, all devout Muslims practice this religion. And as they succeed and make dramatic headway in their global jihad, more and more bad Muslims are acknowledging their backsliding and vowing to become good ones too.
Islam is a mushrooming threat, an oncoming tsunami determined to drown and decimate what is left of Judeo-Christian civilization.
And it is gathering strength, safe and unchecked, behind the myth of the moderate Muslim.
According to the Bible, one day as Jacob was cooking a red stew, Esau came in from the wilderness 'and he was faint'. Genesis 25:29 tells us of the episode that gave Esau his nickname, "Edom.'
"And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom." Which means red).
The Bible doesn't go into detail about Esau's condition beyond that, but it is worth considering the context.
Esau was out 'in the wilderness' at a time when the 'wilderness' was a huge, dangerous and inhospitable place populated by wild animals and roving bandits.
When Jacob demanded Esau's birthright as first-born in exchange for a bowl of red stew, "Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?"
Clearly, Esau was 'faint' with hunger and exhaustion, but given context, Esau could have been in very bad shape.
It was a dirty trick on Jacob's part, and it set the stage for conflict that continues to this day.
The Prophet Obadiah picks up the story of the Edomites and their abuse of God's people, God's land, and God's Holy Hill, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
Obadiah accuses Edom of "violence against your brother Jacob." (v.10) Not just an ACT of violence, but constant, systematic and unrelenting violence. We discussed in yesterday's Omega Letter the principle of dual fulfillment.
Some Bible prophecy is near term, some long term, and, in come cases, like Obadiah's, it is a single glance that encompasses a a broad period of time. Obadiah's vision spans the entire scope of history from the first destruction of the Temple to the end of time.
That Obadiah's prophecies extend into the present day is evidenced by his references in verse 15-17 to the Day of the Lord, the recovery of the Temple Mount and references to land not yet recovered by Israel. Obadiah's prophecy begins with the ancient Edomites and tracks their physical and spiritual descendants to the last days.
So, can we determine their modern identity with any degree of confidence based on the Scriptures?
The most compelling Scriptural evidence to identify the Edomites is found in Ezekiel 36:5.
The first fifteen verses of that chapter give God's viewpoint regarding the ownership and eventual disposition of what the world calls the "West Bank."
Ezekiel describes a conspiracy between the nations of the world and "Edom" to misappropriate that land that God had granted to Jacob.
The book of Obadiah is also closely related to the prophecy of Ezekiel 35, which is a prophecy against the same group of people.
"All the men of thy confederacy have brought thee even to the border: the men that were at peace with thee have deceived thee, and prevailed against thee; that they eat thy bread have laid a wound under thee: there is none understanding in him." (1:7)
The 'Palestinians' are a 'confederacy' rather than a people. They have conspired with Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Iran and the Saudis to lay claim to the West Bank as their 'ancestral homeland'. Jeremiah 48-49 includes prophecies against these modern Islamic states, and provides additional support for the identification of the Palestinians as the Edomites.
Further nailing down the identification of modern Edom is Obadiah 1:8:
"Shall I not in that day, saith the LORD, even destroy the wise men out of Edom, and understanding out of the mount of Esau?"
The 'wise men out of Edom' are the imams and Islamic preachers who preach the destruction of Israel from the "Mount of Esau" (the stolen Temple Mount v.16).
Let's examine some of Obadiah's indictments against Edom and compare them to Israeli-Arab conflict:
1) Violence against Jacob: "For thy violence against thy brother Jacob shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever." (v. 10)
2) Celebrating Israel's calamities: "But thou shouldest not have looked on the day of thy brother in the day that he became a stranger;" (v.12a)
3) Handing over the Jews to their enemies: "neither shouldest thou have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; neither shouldest thou have spoken proudly in the day of distress." (v. 12)
4) Taking possession of the Jewish holy places: "Thou shouldest not have entered into the gate of my people in the day of their calamity; yea, thou shouldest not have looked on their affliction in the day of their calamity, nor have laid hands on their substance in the day of their calamity." (v.13)
5) Mocking the God of Israel and His People from His Holy Hill: "For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, so shall all the heathen drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be as though they had not been." (v. 16)
6) And finally, the destruction of something Obadiah calls "Mount Esau" -- a symbolic reference to Esau's deity, Allah, on 'Mount Zion."
"And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD's." (v.21)
In case that doesn't make the case for you, Obadiah's chief indictment against Edom is its systematic, constant and unrelenting violence against Jacob.
Let's revisit that verse, substituting the word 'violence' with its Hebrew equivalent and look at the indictment one more time in context:
"For thy HAMAS (violence) against thy brother Jacob shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever." (Obadiah 1:10)
The time on God's clock Jim Bramlett http://www.injesus.com/index.php?module=message&task=list&GroupID=2A004N9G
The below fascinating message by Bible teacher Bob Brasset was forwarded to me.
The Set Time Has Arrived Bob Brasset
Wayne Hilsden is pastor of King of Kings, the largest church in Jerusalem. Recently, as he was walking on a street in Jerusalem, he had an amazing prophetic experience. He glanced at his watch to see the time. It read 11:45. Then, as he continued looking at his watch, it began to accelerate, moving at four-second intervals instead of one-second intervals. He thought to himself, "Something is wrong with my watch. I need to have it repaired." At that very moment, God spoke to him, saying, "There is nothing wrong with your watch. I am speeding up time."
When Wayne returned to his office he received a confirming phone call. It was from the chief Ashkenazi Rabbi. The Rabbi said, "Pastor Wayne, the Lord has shown me that it is 15 minutes to twelve on G-d's prophetic timepiece for the Jewish people. G-d has also spoken to several of my Rabbi friends this same word. The Messiah is coming soon."
Later, Pastor Wayne received another call from another Rabbi. "Can I have coffee with you? He asked. This particular Rabbi heads up a political group that opposes missionary activity in Israel. This Rabbi wanted to talk to Pastor Wayne about the lateness of the hour and Messiah's soon coming.
An End Time Generation
This year at Rosh Hashanah (September 23, 2006) we ushered in the 40th year since the Six Day War, during which time Jerusalem became a united city. This holds great significance because it measures a generation of time (Luke 21: 30). These are the days when all prophecies concerning Israel and the church will be fulfilled. The hour of Israel's redemption has come. If God has accelerated time so that four seconds are as one second, then the time is not 15 minutes before 12 o'clock, but rather, 3.8 minutes before twelve. (Bramlett note: And if that final 3.8 minutes advances at the same 4X speed, we are actually at less than 1 minute before 12., and if that 1 minute passes at the same 4X speed, it is actually 15 seconds to 12, and on an on. Carrying this further: It is almost upon us!)
Jesus warned, "And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake, those days shall be shortened." (Matt. 24:22)
One of the most important and most neglected messages of the church today is the message of Jesus' second coming. Our fear of controversy has caused us to put this truth aside keeping silent on this vitally important, life-giving truth. Jesus is coming soon. In the Old Testament, there are twenty times as many prophecies about Jesus' second coming as there are about His first advent. In the 260 chapters of the New Testament, the second coming is mentioned 380 times. It is truly a most important topic.
May the church restore again the fourth dimension of the four-square Gospel: Jesus is Saviour, Jesus is Healer, Jesus is the Baptizer in the Holy Spirit and Jesus is the soon coming King!
The Dark Ages - live from the Middle East! [Excerpts]
The most frightening aspect of the present war is how easily our pre-modern enemies from the Middle East have brought a stunned postmodern world back into the Dark Ages.
Students of history are sickened when they read of the long-ago, gruesome practice of beheading. How brutal were those societies that chopped off the heads of Cicero, Sir Thomas More and Marie Antoinette. And how lucky we thought we were to have evolved from such elemental barbarity.
Twenty-four hundred years ago, Socrates was executed for unpopular speech. The 18th-century European Enlightenment gave people freedom to express views formerly censored by clerics and the state. Just imagine what life was like once upon a time when no one could write music, compose fiction or paint without court or church approval?
It is almost surreal now to read about the elemental hatred of Jews in the Spanish Inquisition, 19th-century Russian pogroms or the Holocaust. Yet here we are revisiting the old horrors of the savage past.
Beheading? As we saw with Nick Berg and Daniel Pearl, our Neanderthal enemies in the Middle East have resurrected that ancient barbarity -- and married it with 21st-century technology to beam the resulting gore instantaneously onto our computer screens. Xerxes and Attila, who stuck their victims' heads on poles for public display, would've been thrilled by such a gruesome show.
Who would have thought centuries after the Enlightenment that sophisticated Europeans -- in fear of radical Islamists -- would be afraid to write a novel, put on an opera, draw a cartoon, film a documentary or have their pope discuss comparative theology?
The astonishing fact is not just that millions of women worldwide in 2006 are still veiled from head-to-toe, trapped in arranged marriages, subject to polygamy, honor killings and forced circumcision, or are without the right to vote or appear alone in public. What is more baffling is that in the West, liberal Europeans are often wary of protecting female citizens from the excesses of Sharia law - sometimes even fearful of asking women to unveil their faces for purposes of simple identification and official conversation.
Who these days is shocked that Israel is hated by Arab nations and threatened with annihilation by radical Iran? Instead, the surprise is that even in places like Paris or Seattle, Jews are singled out and killed for the apparent crime of being Jewish.
The Goths and Vandals did not sack Rome solely through the power of their hordes; they also relied on the paralysis of Roman elites who no longer knew what it was to be Roman -- much less whether it was any better than the alternative.
[Civilization] is forfeited with a whimper, not a bang. Insidiously, we have allowed radical Islamists to redefine the primordial into the not-so-bad. Perhaps women in head-to-toe burkas in Europe prefer them? Maybe that crass German opera was just too over the top after all? Aren't both parties equally to blame in the Palestinian, Iraqi and Afghan wars?
To grasp the flavor of our own Civil War, impersonators now don period dress and reconstruct the battles of Shiloh or Gettysburg. But we need no so such historical reenactment of the Dark Ages. You see, they are back with us - live almost daily from the Middle East.