Voice Talk: A Believer’s Response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis

Join me on this edition of Voice Talk as I’m joined by some very special guests to discuss a believer’s response to the Syrian refugee crisis. Leave your thoughts and comments below!

Victory Day: A Lesson from the Past

Today we commemorate the 70th anniversary of Victory-Europe Day, better known as V.E. Day – May 8, 1945, when millions of people around the world celebrate the end of World War II in Europe. This day not only marks the end of WWII but it is also the day the Allied Powers, including the United States, accepted the official surrender of Nazi Germany.

image

image

image

But if you think the war against evil men ended on May 8, 1945, you are completely wrong.

Evil is running rampant in our world today. The Word tells us in Ecclesiastes that “there is nothing new under the sun,” and yet, the world seems to grow more evil as the days go on. We live in a world where journalists, and pastors, and aid workers are brutally murdered for the entire world to watch. We live in a world where terrorists call daily for “death to the infidel” and for the destruction of America and Israel. We live in a world where Jews and Christians are murdered or tortured for their faith. We live in a world filled with violence and hate.

Edmund Burke, an English philosopher, is credited with this quote*: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Even though this was said in 1795, never has that quote been more appropriate than now. Throughout history, some variation of this quote has been used as a call to those who want to see evil destroyed but are hesitant to do anything to stop it.

In the years leading up to WWII, no one wanted to believe that such evil could be happening in the world. No one wanted to get involved in other people’s business. The isolationism and non-interventionism of the U.S. was somewhat understandable given the close proximity to WWI. But the fact remained, Hitler’s Germany needed to be stopped.

Today, the Department of Defense raised the security threat level on all state-side military bases due to unspecified threats from ISIS. I find it interesting that on the day we remember the fall of one of the most evil regimes and the ending of one of the most destructive global conflicts in history, we raise our security level to reflect the growing danger that ISIS poses to not only Americans but the entire world. To those who wish to ignore the problem and simply look away, this should be a wake up call.

History is repeating itself. The evil in this world is again rearing its ugly head and good men are once again faced with the tough question, “What will I do to stop it?” It’s a tough decision to make but its one that must be made. We each have a part to play but the question is, are we willing to play our part?

For each of us, that part looks different. For some, it means being in front of crowds and speaking at national events. For some, it means informing those in your spheres of influence so that they can stand up and make a difference. For others, it means teaching your children about the difference between right and wrong and to stand up for what is right…no matter what the popular or politically correct may say.

If we learn anything from WWII, let it be this:

“Never give in — never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” – Prime Minister Winston Churchill, October 19, 1941.

“We shall not fail or falter; we shall not weaken or tire. Neither the sudden shock of battle, nor the long-drawn trials of vigilance and exertion will wear us down. Give us the tools and we will finish the job.” – Prime Minister Winston Churchill, February 9, 1941

“It is evil things that we will be fighting against—brute force, bad faith, injustice, oppression and persecution—and against them I am certain that the right will prevail.” Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, Sept. 3, 1939

“This is a long tough road we have to travel. The men that can do things are going to be sought out just as surely as the sun rises in the morning. Fake reputations, habits of glib and clever speech, and glittering surface performance are going to be discovered.” – General Dwight D. Eisenhower, August 27, 1942

“As a nation, we may take pride in the fact that we are softhearted; but we cannot afford to be soft-headed.” President Franklin D. Roosevelt, January 9, 1941

“Freedom to learn is the first necessity of guaranteeing that man himself shall be self-reliant enough to be free. … If the fires of freedom and civil liberties burn low in other lands they must be made brighter in our own. If in other lands the press and books and literature of all kinds are censored, we must redouble our efforts here to keep them free. If in other lands the eternal truths of the past are threatened by intolerance we must provide a safe place for their perpetuation.” – President Franklin D. Roosevelt, June 30, 1938

“It was close; but that’s the way it is in war. You win or lose, live or die — and the difference is just an eyelash.” – General Douglas MacArthur, March 17, 1942

So the question now that each of us must answer is this, “What will you do to keep evil from prevailing?”

 

 

 

*There is debate among scholars about the origins of this quote.

The Time is Now. Wake Up and Stand.

Several days ago, I read this article about ISIS supporters hacking the Albuquerque Journal. Here are some of the highlights.

“You’ll see no mercy, infidels. We are already here, we are in your PCs, in each house, in each office. With All-h’s permission we begin with Albuquerque.”

The hackers continued with their message to Albuquerque residents,

“While the us [sic] and its satellites are bombing the Islamic State, we broke into your home networks and personal devices and know everything about you. We know all personal data of Albuquerque locals: Where you live, what you eat, your diseases and even your health insurance cards. You will look around more often, will call up your children more often, think of your security more often, but that won’t help you.”

As I read this, so many emotions began to fill me. I was angry, determined, annoyed, amused and, yet, scared.

Yes, I was scared as I read this article. I was scared, not of having to face this evil or of what they could do to me, but of not being able to stand firm. That is the most terrifying thought to me; that in “that day,” I won’t be able to stand for YHVH. That is my biggest fear…that I would fail Him.

I’ve been saying it for a while and have been hearing it preached for even longer, but the day is quickly coming where we will have to take a stand. Time is running short. We MUST be prepared. The days of putting it off and ignoring the truth because it doesn’t make us happy or comfortable or whatever are over. Look at this message. Granted this is small potatoes compared to what’s happening in other places across the country and the globe, but it shows us that we cannot think we are immune. We cannot believe the lie that this evil can’t touch us; that it won’t come here.

Because it already has.

Now, I’m not trying to say that the terror group ISIS is actually in the United States or Albuquerque, New Mexico but make no mistake…their ideology is here.  ISIS the terrorist group may not be here yet but their supporters are. Their way of thinking is. Remember the woman beheaded in Oklahoma a few months ago? Or what about the fact that numerous ISIS fighters have come from France, Britain, the U.S., and other Western countries?

And what are we doing? We are sitting in our comfortable homes ignoring the news, turning a deaf ear to those speaking truth simply because we don’t want to hear it. We don’t want to believe this could happen to us. We don’t want our perfect little worlds filled with only happy thoughts and motivational mantras to be shattered. We don’t want to care about anything other than taking the perfect picture of whatever we’re doing from moment to moment in hopes that people will believe our lives are actually as perfect as our pictures suggest.

ENOUGH!

The time has come for us to make a decision; to stop playing games. We will have to choose what we believe and how much it is worth to us. The time has come and we MUST take a stand for truth.

Blow a ram’s horn in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the earth tremble, for the day of YHVH is coming, for it is near: a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness, like the morning clouds spread over the mountains – a people many and strong, the like of whom has never been, nor shall there ever be again after them, to the years of many generations. Joel 2:1-2

But we shouldn’t fear…myself included. If we have been doing the hard work then we will be ready. If you haven’t been doing the hard work to prepare then it’s time to start; there’s still time. But don’t delay. Start now. Ask YHVH to show you what areas of your life need to be corrected so that on the day of your testing you will be prepared and YOU WILL STAND.

Ask YHVH to show you what you must do to prepare. Ask Him what areas of your life have become a hindrance in your walk with Him.

The enemy has been preparing and is ready to lose their lives for what they believe. Are we?

That is why He says, “Wake up, you who sleep, and arise from the dead, and Messiah shall shine on you.” See then that you walk exactly, not as unwise, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are wicked. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the desire of YHVH is. Ephesians 5:14-17

None of this is meant to scare anyone because the truth is that YHVH, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, holds every moment of each of our lives in His hands. We are secure. But it is time to wake up.

The time has come for each one of us to wake up and hear the shofar blowing. It’s time to return to Torah and repent for turning our backs on the truth of YHVH. No longer can we sit comfortably in our homes shutting out the ugly reality that sits just outside our doors.

The King of Glory is coming and if we don’t wake up, He will find us unaware and unprepared.

Just like the parable of the 10 virgins, the Bridegroom will linger. But what we do while we wait for His return is vital. Will we be like the 5 wise virgins who brought extra oil for their lamps or will we be like the 5 foolish virgins who had not prepared for the return of the Bridegroom?

All 10 virgins knew the wedding was taking place. They all knew who the bridegroom was. And yet, not all of them had done the hard work to prepare and were sadly locked out of the wedding feast.

The shofar is blowing and screaming for those with ears to hear to wake up! This is a wake-up call for me too. Every morning we (you, me, all believers in Messiah Yeshua) need to put on the full armor of YHVH. We must be equipped for the battles we will face and that are yet to come.

For the rest, my brothers, be strong in the Master and in the mightiness of His strength. Put on the complete armor of Elohim, for you to have power to stand against the schemes of the devil. Because we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against authorities, against the world-rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual matters of wickedness in the heavenlies. Because of this, take up the complete armor of Elohim, so that you have power to withstand in the wicked day, and having done all, to stand. Ephesians 6:10-13

No longer can we sit by passively watching the world fall apart thinking it won’t touch us; thinking we can avoid it. No! The time has come where we must make a decision about what’s important to us. What do we believe? What do we stand for? Who do we stand for? Who will we become?

And after we have done all this, we must stand.

The World is Falling Apart and We Decide to Support the Terrorists…Great

With the world falling apart, it’s good to know that the U.S. is at least standing for justice and truth and fully supporting her allies in their war against terrorism.

Oh wait.

No we’re not.

Today, news broke that the U.S. is withholding a shipment of Hellfire aerial anti-armor missiles to Israel. Apparently, the U.S. was concerned with Israel’s use of artillery in heavily populated civilian areas in Gaza.

Because it makes complete sense to criticize Israel for fighting in civilian areas rather than addressing the fact that they are there in the first place because HAMAS PUTS THEIR WEAPONS THERE!

I suppose we haven’t had full coverage of the Christians being brutally slaughtered in Iraq and Syria, or the children who have been decapitated and impaled, and the women and young girls who are being raped and taken as concubines for IS (formally ISIS/ISIL) militants because there are no Jews to blame in that situation.

But sure. Go ahead and blame Israel.

Here is what the Times of Israel had to say about the situation.

It is frankly astounding to the overwhelming majority of Israelis that Israel is being blamed for and pressured to end a war it manifestly sought to avoid — against a terrorist-government sworn to its destruction that repeatedly breaches the ceasefire efforts Israel consistently accepts. That the conflict is widely misrepresented, and that hostile governments are critical, is bad enough for Israel. Far, far graver is that key allies, to one degree or another, are turning upon it.

Hamas has fired more than 3,000 rockets into Israel. It exploited periods of calm in the years since it violently seized control of Gaza to build a network of tunnels under the border into Israel through which it planned major terrorist attacks. It documentedly emplaced its war machine in the heart of Gaza’s residential neighborhoods. It seeks to lift “the siege of Gaza” so that it can build a still more potent offensive capability.

It should be blindingly obvious that Israel and Egypt do not impose the blockade as a collective punishment or caprice. There was no blockade before Hamas seized power in 2007. Israel had unilaterally left Gaza two years earlier, and hoped to be rewarded with tranquility. If Gaza was not run by a terrorist government, there would be no need for a security blockade to prevent arms smuggling.

Rather than criticizing Israel for seeking to protect its civilians from Hamas, and moving now to limit its capacity to do so, the US, UK and the rest of the international community should be emphatically backing Israel in its struggle against the cynical Hamas — for the sake, too, of the civilians of Gaza. They should be insisting that Hamas disarm. And they should be making clear that they share Israel’s and Egypt’s concern that lifting the blockade is not tenable so long as any easing of restrictions would be exploited by Hamas.

They would thus be underlining the message to Gazans that Hamas is not fighting for their freedom, as it claims, but is, through its pursuit of war against Israel, denying them their freedom.

They would also be giving Israel reason to believe that when it finds itself in crisis — in good part, it can be argued, because it undertook a territorial withdrawal widely urged by the international community — the world will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with it. Right now, the sense in Israel is quite the reverse — not support, but abandonment.

From Hamas’s point of view, it must be a source of immense delight to witness the strains, and practical fallout, in the relationship between Washington and Jerusalem. It wins an election in which the US insisted it be allowed to take part, even though it has never renounced terrorism. It murders its way to control of Gaza. It diverts Gaza’s resources to turn the Strip into one great big terrorist bunker. It hits Israel, over and over and over again. It intimidates international journalists to not report on and film its attack methods. And the international community condemns Israel, the UN sets up inquiries into Israeli war crimes, and Israel’s allies limit its arms supplies.

All it needs to do, Hamas can only conclude, is keep firing at Israel’s towns and villages, forcing Israel to respond, confident that this will bring still more criticism down on Israel as well as growing restrictions on Israel’s ability to defend itself. Wow, the Hamas leaders must be thinking, the free world is just so dumb.

It is imperative that we as believers stand firm in our beliefs with our brothers and sisters in Israel…even when the rest of the world has turned their backs on her.

We cannot waver now.