Is it the End of the World?

Is it the End of the World?

Jesus Unmasked

posted by jfletcher

Jesus Christ…the most famous figure in world history.

According to the apostle John:

“Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” (John 21:25)

Yet, for all His fame, the Son of God has been given many identities by scholars and laity alike, down through the ages. For Bible-believing Christians, He is the very Redeemer, the long-awaited Messiah.

For liberals — whose influence in universities, conferences, and publishing has deceived many — Jesus is merely a sage, a powerful teacher.

But nothing more.

I am always wary of new books that claim to reveal the true Jesus. Christ Himself warned his disciples (recorded in Matthew 24) about deception, and the claims many in the future would make as to His identity.

So it is that I’ve happened upon a brilliant new book that presents the biblical Jesus, the only One in fact that really exists. The false Jesus of the “Jesus Seminar” folks, or the one grudgingly acknowledged by other faiths, is not the Jesus who came to pay the penalty for sin, thus paving the way for man’s reconciliation with his Creator.

Todd Friel understands this. The popular radio host and speaker uses his nimble mind to “pull the mask off” Jesus in Jesus Unmasked: The Truth Will Shock You (New Leaf Publishing Group).

I’ve been aware of Friel’s work for some time, and enjoy very much his ability to stick a pin in the balloon of false teaching. It’s why I knew this book would be terrific…and it is that and more.

The host of the almost-comically named “Wretched Radio” offers here an apologetic that helps readers know Jesus Christ, and if they already know Him, the book is a masterful apologetic for reaching those who need Christ’s singular healing message.

Jesus Unmasked

In Jesus Unmasked, Friel reveals the true Jesus Christ step-by-step, going back to the days He walked the earth:

“With hindsight, it is easy to judge people for being confused about Jesus. Knowing the whole story allows us to wonder, ‘How could they not know that Jesus was the fulfillment of hundreds of Old Testament prophecies?’

“Perhaps they would have known that Jesus was indeed the Messiah who came to be the Savior of the world if they had just known their Old Testament better.”

Here, Friel puts his finger on a large problem: the overall lack of biblical knowledge, which is no better in our day. In fact, it might be worse, as poll after poll indicate that a thorough understanding of the Bible is uncommon in 21st century America.

Frankly, what makes Jesus Unmasked so appealing, so gripping, is Friel’s intellectual case that pierces the heart. In other words, he makes it relatively easy for readers to deduce exactly Who Jesus Christ is, and can be for the individual who believes.

As Friel states, Jesus is either myth or Messiah.

No middle ground.

Rewarding the Innovators

posted by jfletcher

Untold News, an Israel advocacy group based in New York, is making headway explaining the marvelous innovations produced by the Jewish state. To add a fine point to the popularity of the Untold News platform (now with more than 350,000 “likes” on Facebook), founder Marcella Rosen has announced that the group will hold an awards dinner to honor innovators on Wednesday, November 12, 2014, at the Harmony Club in New York.

“We will offer a $10,000 cash award for each recipient,” Rosen says. Untold News will also send the recipients on a short media tour to Philadelphia, Boston, and New York City. “We plan to do this annually,” Rosen adds. The awards will recognize inventions of the last year.

Untold News features stories about Israeli achievers who excel in improving technological, agricultural, and medical fields. Whether it’s fish farming, desalination, or providing world-class medical care regardless of a patient’s background, Israel provides hope for millions around the world. These stories serve as a dramatic counterweight to the negative portrayals of Israel from international media.

Rosen feels the awards dinner will serve as a further spotlight on stories unknown to much of the general public. She is excited about the focus on innovators.

“Criteria are that they improve the human condition and have a ‘wow factor,’ and have a global impact. In each case, there are two applications: from scientific institutions and universities. Those interested in applying for consideration should get a dean or professor to endorse their nomination. Each applicant also must be an Israeli citizen.”

The two categories — science and technology — promise to focus on “up-and-coming” innovators. Rosen also emphasized that applicants must be able to speak English well enough to be interviewed by media.

“We want to celebrate the inventors and we want to get press coverage, to see how Israeli has impacted lives,” Rosen says. “People really aren’t aware of this and Israeli is such a valuable partner to the US.”

Ten nominees will be selected, and the names will then be sent to a jury. A single meeting will produce the winners.

The jury will be made up of prominent American academics, businesspeople, and others. To date nine have signed on:
• Joel Citron, venture capitalist, CEO, Tenth Avenue Holdings
• Dr. Barry Coller, Chief Medical Officer at Rockefeller University
• Alisa Doctoroff, President, UJA
• Margie Fox, Chief Creative Officer at Devries
• Heidi Jacobus, CEO of Cybernet Systems
• Eric Kandel, Nobel Laureate and professor at Columbia
• Morris Offit, CEO of Offit Capital
• David Schizer, just stepping down as Dean of Columbia Law School
• Tony Tether, former head of DARPA ($3 billion US government department to expedite scientific progress)

Those interested will find applications on the Untold News website — www.untoldnews.org.

4 July, 1976

posted by jfletcher

Israel today is besieged by fanatical jihadists. Three boys are murdered by Palestinian terrorists and the world’s reaction is annoyance with the Jewish state.

What kind of insanity are we living in?

From its founding in 1987, the terrorist group Hamas has been sworn to Israel’s destruction. This isn’t hyperbole. I’ve seen in Jerusalem bodies hanging out bombed-out bus windows…all done in the name of Allah, jihad, fire and blood.

Yet Jimmy Carter has offered himself as a clueless interlocutor for these fiends, visiting Hamas leaders and “monitoring” elections in Gaza. You know what it means to monitor elections in a totalitarian, sharia culture, don’t you? It means you say the right things and pretend, so that you don’t end up starring in a beheading video.

And the current American president urges “restraint” on Israel, in the wake of these brutal murders.

An EU official clucks his tongue that the Europeans are getting tired of Israeli “settlers” building on their ancestral homeland.

Hey, over here. The story is the march of global jihad, with the white-hot conflict going on in the Middle East as the epicenter.

We have been mired in this madness on a colossal scale since 1994, when the Americans and their Western allies put the squeeze on Israel to accept the serial killer, Yasser Arafat, as a “peace partner.” They cleaned him up, gave him a shave and a hot meal, and trotted this killer of women and children out as a fantasy. He spent 13 nights in the Lincoln bedroom, as the guest of Bill Clinton. The Palestinian terror infrastructure was gifted with a quasi-government, billions in foreign aid, and a launch pad to attempt Israel’s destruction.

It was not always this way.

Thirty-eight summers ago today, Israel dealt with terrorists the old-fashioned way. At the height of tension over the PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine) hijacking of a French passenger jet, a team of elite counter-terrorism commandos poured out of planes in the dead of night at a remote Ugandan airport, Entebbe.

Dawn in Jerusalem

Dawn in Jerusalem

They managed to completely surprise the terrorists holding 105 Jewish men, women, and children at the airport terminal. Israel’s legendary unit, Sayeret Matkal, burst in the front door, firing at terrorists, all the while shouting at the hostages to stay down. The actual and efficient elimination of the terrorists and the loading of passengers onto waiting C 130 planes took an hour and they were then flown to freedom.

What happened to us?

The cowardice of the international community, the feckless and grotesquely unfeeling White House, the furious Palestinian propaganda being pumped into the American Church by evangelical leaders…this soggy mess in the face of lethal and existential threats brought on by jihadists is almost disorienting. Where is the leadership?

Israel is savaged in the international media, including by dupes such as the Christian writer Donald Miller, as if they were Nazis roaming through Palestinian villages.

Let me tell you something.

There is no more moral army in the world than the Israel Defense Forces. The IDF sends its sons to fight house-to-house in Palestinian terror towns and villages, so as to minimize civilian casualties.

I once visited with Surin Hershko, a member of the force that went to Entebbe. He told me that he would go again if called on.

And he told me this from a wheelchair. Surin was shot by a Ugandan that hot summer night long ago as he raced up a flight of stairs. Why did his adversary have the advantage to fire first? Because the rescue force had been ordered to be acutely mindful of civilians, so Surin’s finger was not on the trigger of his weapon. The man who shot Surin through the neck was gripping the arm of a woman as they passed in the night.

Surin Hershko has been a quadriplegic for 39 years because he is a moral human being.

Not so the enemies of him and his people. They are a death cult that will eventually burn out in that ring of fire and blood they rage about.

Meanwhile, the Protector of Israel will go on protecting His people and if Bible skeptics think that’s a quaint view, well, keep pushing daisies into the barrel of rifles and marinating in your own intellectual awesomeness. The rest of us will notice that God declares He will preserve Israel and the Jewish people long after their tormentors await the Final Judgment.

On this Fourth of July, I salute my own beloved country and I salute the true shining city on a hill, the nation of Israel.

Am Yisrael Chai.

Demonizing Israel and the Jews

posted by jfletcher

My friend at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA), Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, is a wealth of information, especially for people of faith struggling to understand the dynamics in the Arab-Israeli conflict. His book, Demonizing Israel and the Jews, is a hard look at the alarming rise in anti-Semitism worldwide; the book includes essays and interviews with leading experts. In the interview below, Dr. Gerstenfeld explains the startling implications of this form of hatred.

 

JF: To what era does the current anti-Semitism compare to?

MG: We cannot speak that way because it is different. We are in a period called post. In previous periods, anti-Semitism was always direct. Today’s anti-Semitism isn’t direct. If you say today that the Jews are absolute evil, or Israel is absolute evil, you must say Israeli is committing genocide against the Palestinians. It is very rare to find a Western politician who repeats these things.

The Arab countries in the Middle East have for decades demonized Israel, to Western leadership, which for reasons not entirely clear, listen to them politely. The Bush Administration, for example, was infiltrated by the Muslim Brotherhood years before Obama began mainstreaming them and allowing them to have positions of influence within the White House.

The NGOs in Israel should devote more time to monitoring religious anti-Israel groups, chief among them the so-called “Christian Palestinianists.”

JF: In the Mitchell Bard chapter [Demonizing Israel and the Jews] on the Saudi lobby, we learn of widespread influence there in the U.S. government. Yet we hear mostly about the alleged Jewish lobby.

MG: The issue is, the Arabs have many allies. Among the worst reactionaries in the world. No religion out of which so much murder comes as there is in certain parts of Islam.

Shia phobia or Sunni phobia…we never hear about this. They murder each other!

Arabs and their allies are conducting a total war against Israel. A total war means a war of lies. The PA [Palestinian Authority] promotes lies; lying in Islam is permitted. bds-300x210

JF: NGOs against Israel. Tell us why they are so problematic.

MG: I believe that there is a long masochistic tradition in Judaism. It already in certain ways starts with Abraham. Abraham asked God to make a maximum effort to prevent the disaster of Sodom and Gomorrah. Yet he makes no effort to save his son after God asks him to sacrifice Isaac. Remarkably different! No fear of confronting God for others. Then the prophets incessantly criticize Israel. In the Talmudic tradition, we find texts that say it’s better to be persecuted than to persecute.

Many NGOs are part of that.

JF: Anti-Israel foes in the Church. How deep is this problem?

MG: I think it is very widespread. We have to separate here the church in its broad sense. We have Catholics, Protestants, Eastern Orthodox churches. The Catholic church is a corporation like a chief executive. A fairly homogenous operation. Today its attitude toward anti-Semitism is much more severe than it’s ever been. The Catholic Church today is much less the problem than the other groups.

Protestants are the more segmented group. Mainline churches—you have problems in the U.S., Europe, the Scottish Church, the Dutch Protestant Church, the state church in Norway. The evangelicals have been pro Israel, but a major effort is to bring them in on the Palestinian side. A huge problem and the problems are rising.

NGO Monitor examines this some, but there is no such monitoring of the churches.

Eastern churches simply often try to please Muslims. Why doesn’t the New York Times report this?

JF: When do you feel media turned against Israel?

MG: It was a gradual process. And it has gotten worse over the years. I think the main development was the 1982 Lebanon War.

Another touchy point: the inability of successive Israeli governments to deal with the propaganda war. Israel has a brilliant instrument in the IDF. We have a cyber-war unit which may become the best unit in the world to fight cyber problems. On the propaganda war…it is a large failure.

Journalists are divided into two groups: those who live by ethics, and those who don’t.

JF: Marvin Heir [dean and founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center] relates the Chirac story in France. Do you find that most leaders are in denial?

MG: There are a variety of reasons. 1) Not all Western leaders are equal. We have to make a certain separation from naïve Americans and Europeans. These are two different categories. For the Europeans, it affects the image of the “New Europe.” The false image of Europe is that it is peaceful, separate from the past. Now the image of the New Europe is a radically false image. 2) It hinges on oil. Europeans feel they handled the boycott after the Yom Kippur War [1973] very badly. The Arabs need to sell oil; otherwise they cannot live. 3) Emergence of Muslim communities in their own lands. They let in millions of people from a radically different culture and background. The Europeans have to ask themselves if all these people can be integrated. This has led to major problems. And…I do not stereotype all Muslims.

Most extreme acts of anti-Semitism go beyond the acts of anti-Semitism by native Europeans.

JF: Anti-Israelism is the new anti-Semitism, isn’t it?

MG: It is a third generation anti-Semitism. First it was religious in nature. Today, the Jewish state is attacked and that is the new anti-Semitism.

What they have in common is that in all versions, Jews are seen as absolute evil.

JF: Thank you, Manfred Gerstenfeld, for educating us.

MG: My pleasure.

Previous Posts

Jesus Unmasked
Jesus Christ…the most famous figure in world history. According to the apostle John: “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” (John 21:25) Yet, for all Hi

posted 11:21:27am Dec. 15, 2014 | read full post »

Rewarding the Innovators
Untold News, an Israel advocacy group based in New York, is making headway explaining the marvelous innovations produced by the Jewish state. To add a fine point to the popularity of the Untold News platform (now with more than 350,000 “likes” on Facebook), founder Marcella Rosen has announced t

posted 4:42:20pm Sep. 30, 2014 | read full post »

4 July, 1976
Israel today is besieged by fanatical jihadists. Three boys are murdered by Palestinian terrorists and the world’s reaction is annoyance with the Jewish state. What kind of insanity are we living in? From its founding in 1987, the terrorist group Hamas has been sworn to Israel’s destructio

posted 12:35:52pm Jul. 04, 2014 | read full post »

Demonizing Israel and the Jews
My friend at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA), Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, is a wealth of information, especially for people of faith struggling to understand the dynamics in the Arab-Israeli conflict. His book, Demonizing Israel and the Jews, is a hard look at the alarming rise in anti-S

posted 4:10:02pm Jun. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Evangelicals Silent on Hamas Kidnappings
Bradley Scott's shout-out to the White House, silent so far about the kidnapping of three Israeli youth this week, could also be directed at an audience formerly supportive of Israel: American Christian leaders. Response from American "Christian Palestinianists" to the kidnappings this week by Ha

posted 12:08:28pm Jun. 19, 2014 | read full post »


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