Archive | May 21st, 2012

THE UGLY TRUTH RADIO: WHY THERE IS ‘ ANTI-SEMITISM’ ???

TUT Pod-Broadcast May 21, 2011

by crescentandcross

Gentiles as ‘brainless thieves’, so says Israel’s  Rabbi Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman.

And people wonder why there is ‘anti-Semitism’???

This and other related issues on today’s broadcast

tut21may2012xyxy.mp3

Download here

THANK YOU FOR ASSISTING WITH THE COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH PRODUCING THIS PROGRAM

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Bahraini Zionist Prince Should Not be Welcomed in UK, Petition Asserts

NOVANEWS
Many would say not to let the smile of Sheikh Nasser fool you
Many would say not to let the smile of Sheikh Nasser fool you

The petition drawn up by Avaaz, the world’s largest and most effective online campaigning community for change, will call on the British Prime Minster David Cameron and Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to prevent Sheikh Nasser’s entry to the UK, declaring him as “persona non grata”, the Ahlul Bayt News Agency reported.

Sheikh Nasser, one of six sons to King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa of Bahrain and the President of the Bahrain Olympic Committee, had publicly called for “a wall to fall on the heads” of all those who peacefully demonstrated against the Al-Khalifa regime.

He also headed a committee that arrested, imprisoned and tortured 150 sportsmen and sports officials, including a disabled athlete, with some prisoners saying they were personally beaten by Sheikh Nasser himself.

Furthermore, when Mohammed Hubail, Bahrain’s national football team player, was sentenced to two years imprisonment, Sheikh Nasser tweeted, “If it was up to me, I’d give them all life.

Meanwhile, the All Party Parliamentary Group for Democracy in Bahrain has urged British Foreign Secretary William Hague to withdraw an invitation to the King of Bahrain to attend the UK Queen’s diamond jubilee event because it lends “respectability to a tyrannical regime.”

Earlier this month, supporters of the Bahraini uprising rallied at British premier’s office in London condemning the Queen’s invitation of the Bahraini dictator for the diamond jubilee celebrations.

The Al-Khalifa regime holds at least hundreds of anti-regime figures including three leading Bahraini human rights activists in custody, while international human right bodies are banned from visiting the country.

The regime has also killed at least 50 activists in the crackdown on protests since February 2011.

Anti-government protesters have been holding peaceful demonstrations across Bahrain since mid-February 2011, calling for an end to the Al Khalifa dynasty’s over-40-year rule.

Violence against the defenseless people escalated after a Saudi-led conglomerate of police, security and military forces from the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) member states – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar – were dispatched to the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom on March 13, 2011, to help Manama crack down on peaceful protestors.

So far, tens of people have been killed, hundreds have gone missing and thousands of others have been injured.

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Zionist King Hamad Al Khalifa of #Bahrain: End the Sham Trials Now!

NOVANEWS
By Brian Dooley
Director, Human Rights Defenders

Twenty Bahraini medics tortured into making false confessions faced court on Monday to find out that the charges against them still haven’t been dropped.

The Bahrain government continues to pursue this baseless prosecution and others against people who are being targeted for exercising their freedom of expression. It’s time to stop.

Tell King Hamad of Bahrain: end the sham trials and drop baseless charges against the medics and other Bahrainis!

The Bahraini dictatorship targeted medics last year for treating wounded protestors and for telling the international media the truth about the regime’s violent crackdown. They joined other Bahrainis who were detained, tortured into false confessions, and subjected to sham trials for practicing their right to free expression and calling for democratic reforms. Military courts have sentenced many of them to between five and fifteen years in prison each.

Months after the Commission appointed by King Hamad issued its recommendations for reform, the monarchy continues its violent crackdown and sham trials. The anniversary of the start of Bahrain’s Arab Spring falls on February 14. If the Bahrain monarchy is truly serious about human rights reforms, it must stop the baseless prosecutions and drop charges against medics and peaceful protestors!

Tell King Al Khalifa to end the sham trials and show that his government is serious about human rights reforms.

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Nato summit leaders should have been forced to watch the moving protest of the former troops chucking their medals away

NOVANEWS
Nato summit leaders 'were busy posing for photo ops' as war veterans staged protest. Photograph: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

“No amount of medals, ribbons, or flags can cover the amount of human suffering caused by this war.”

“I have only one word, and it is shame.”

“This is for the people of Iraq and Afghanistan.”

“Mostly, I’m sorry. I’m sorry to all of you. I am sorry…”

In the shadow of the Nato summit, under the watchful eyes of a phalanx of full-black-clad riot police, dozens of former servicemen and women in uniform, veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, threw away their medals, with apologies. It was one of the most moving experiences many of us had witnessed in our lives. It is hard to describe in words. I couldn’t get the lump out of my throat. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a woman next to me crying. Their words, their voices, crackling under the emotion of their courageous act, breaking under the weight of the pain, the trauma, their anger, sadness, and hope – theirs was a heroic and beautiful act, a moving ceremony. It was a privilege to be there with these women and men who served in our wars.

Operation Iraqi Freedom medal. Tossed. Global War on Terror medal. Thrown. National Defense medal. Pitched. Marine Corps Good Conduct medal. Flung. Navy and Marine Corps medal. Chucked.

Most of the reporting of the demonstrations that met the summit will focus on the minor violence, on the few clashes between protesters and police, on the blood, on everything that happened after the peaceful march was over. In our sad world of spectacle, the pushing and shoving will be all that gets our attention. It is a pity.

Because what was truly remarkable today was the American servicewomen and men tossing their medals back at Nato. In a mixture of sadness, shame, anger, and pride, of trauma, sorrow, and pain, some looking back at their time in Iraq and Afghanistan, some healing from PTSD, others chanting Occupy slogans, these men and women showed a type of courage that the Nato leaders should have been forced to watch. Tragically, our leaders were busy posing for photo ops. They should have been forced to listen to these courageous men and women, to their veterans. It is their loss, ultimately.

Many of these men and women urged us to do something to set straight the havoc that we have wreaked in these various occupations. Some mentioned a memorial for the tens of thousands of civilians killed in Afghanistan or more than 100,000 civilians killed in Iraq. Others offered their apologies. Still others shared their pain, their torments, their nightmares. All of them spoke truth. Perhaps that was their greatest gift of peace.

If only the Nato leaders had listened.

These courageous women and men, these veterans brought to a close a remarkably peaceful anti-Nato march with more than 10,000 protesters – supported by so many more who chanted with them along the route.

“I am returning my medal today because I want to live by my conscience, rather than be a prisoner of it.”

“I apologise to the Iraqi and Afghani people for destroying your countries.”

“I don’t want these anymore.”

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New national registry lists exonerations from wrongful convictions

NOVANEWS
travel destinationsThe original metal bars on the windows at the old Jackson State Prison. | Mike Brookbank/Detroit Free Press

By Michael Doyle
McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — Obie Anthony served hard time in California prisons for a crime he didn’t commit.

He’s not alone, and he’s not forgotten. Anthony is one of nearly 900 exonerated former prisoners whose wrenching stories are wrapped into a new database. TheNational Registry of Exonerations, being formally unveiled Monday, is the largest of its kind, and it will get bigger over time.

“This is useful, because if we want to prevent false convictions, we have to learn how we make mistakes,” Samuel Gross, a University of Michigan Law School professor, said in an interview.

Gross is the editor of the registry, a joint project of the Michigan law school and the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law. By compiling detailed information about an initial 891 exonerations that have been identified since 1989, the organizers say they already have begun to identify disturbing patterns.

Perjury from witnesses was found to be the biggest problem for those wrongfully convicted of murder, the database shows. Mistakes by eyewitnesses are almost always the cause of wrongful rape convictions. In either case, the consequences are severe. About half of the exonerated individuals had been in prison for at least 10 years; 75 percent served five years or more.

Anthony, for instance, was 19 years old in August 1995, when he was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole after his conviction in a Los Angeles murder. He served 17 years, mostly at Folsom State Prison, until he was released last October when a belated investigation revealed that the prosecution’s chief witness, a pimp, had perjured himself. Once Anthony was freed, prosecutors declined to try him again.

“I always knew that I would get out,” Anthony told Loyola University Law School students in a videotaped speech last fall. “It was about being able to feel it, and to walk through those gates with dignity . . . and to be able to anticipate the day it was going to happen.”

Some aren’t so lucky.

Ten of the individuals listed were exonerated after they’d died. Timothy Brian Cole, for instance, died in a Texas prison in 1999 while he was serving a 25-year sentence after he was convicted of raping a Texas Tech University student. The real culprit later confessed, and a Texas judge formally exonerated Cole in 2009.

About one-third of the exonerations involved DNA evidence.

Illinois leads all states in the number of exonerations, with 101, followed by New York, Texas and California.

“We have enough cases, and enough variety of cases, that we can begin to see patterns,” Gross said.

In some cases, the exoneration data reflects a specific and widespread miscarriage of justice.

California’s rural Kern County, for instance, ranked fourth among all counties nationwide, with 20 exonerations. All these exonerations stemmed from a series of child abuse prosecutions undertaken in the mid-1980s; the alleged victims later recanted their testimony.

Disturbingly, the database also identifies 71 individuals who were exonerated of crimes to which they’d ended up pleading guilty.

The database still captures only a slice of the exonerated population. All told, more than 2,000 exonerations have been identified since 1989. Many of these, totaling 1,170, involved individuals whose names were cleared in “group exonerations” after revelations of police corruption, including the plantings of guns and drugs.

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4 Egyptian voters offer 4 viewpoints on who should be next president

NOVANEWS
Egypt

An Egyptian supporter of presidential candidate Abdel-Moneim Abolfotoh waves a flag that reads, “Abdel-Moneim Abolfotoh for Egyptian presidency, 2012.”

Manu Brabo/AP

Voters in Egyt will pick first new president since Mubarak was forced outHannah Allam/MCT

Heba Azouz, 24, an Egyptian revolutionary and medical student, sits at a cafe overlooking Cairo’s Tahrir Square. | View larger image

By Hannah Allam | McClatchy Newspapers

CAIRO — Turmoil has prevailed in the 15 months since Hosni Mubarak was forced to resign after three decades of ruling Egypt with unchecked power.

The once-revered military’s role as guardian of the people’s revolt has faltered badly in the wake of security forces’ attacks on protesters and the ruling generals’ shrewd political maneuvering.

The Muslim Brotherhood, the conservative Islamist group that was outlawed for decades, has emerged as the country’s most organized political bloc, though its overzealous power plays have fueled a resurgence of its rival forces from the military and former regime. Meanwhile, the young revolutionaries who led the street protests against Mubarak have been relegated to the sidelines.

On Wednesday, Egyptians begin picking from among 13 candidates in the country’s first truly contested presidential election. The process ends with a winner in a runoff June 16 between the two top voter-getters.

How are Egypt’s 50 million eligible voters assessing the man they hope will guide the Arab world’s most populous nation through a minefield to democracy? Four Egyptians from different backgrounds, each representing an important constituency, explain how they’ll vote:

THE ISLAMIST

When Egyptians rose up against the Mubarak regime, 25-year-old Ali Salah was eager to join them, but he worried that he wouldn’t be able to cover his impoverished family’s bills if he took time off from work.

He came up with an idea: Take revolutionary slogans from Facebook, print them on cheap cotton T-shirts and sell them as souvenirs while he protested in Tahrir Square.

The enterprise was so successful that, more than a year later, Salah is still in the square, though he’s been forced to branch out now that sales of revolution memorabilia have plummeted. At his open-air booth, shirts with the cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants now hang next to the ones that read, “The power of the people is stronger than the people in power.”

“Egyptians get bored with things that take a long time, and the revolution was taking a long time. So, now we sell SpongeBob,” Salah said, a note of embarrassment in his voice.

Salah is more patient than his customers – and he thinks the revolution is right on track. He belongs to the ultraconservative Salafist movement, and he couldn’t be happier with the political gains of fellow Islamists after their decades of persecution under the Mubarak regime.

 

An agent, Salah recalled, once visited his father to say that his son could avoid arrest if only he’d swear allegiance to Mubarak’s then-ruling National Democratic Party. Salah refused and suffered years of harassment and surveillance in return. The hounding only cemented his view that Islam was the only way to save Egypt from such a corrupt and oppressive system.

“Why is it that there’s a backlash when we ask for Islamic Shariah law? Because the old rulers, the remnants, know they’d never be able to steal from us again,” Salah said. “The revolution offered a chance for God’s law to be implemented.”

 

After his favorite presidential candidate, the fundamentalist cleric Hazem Abu Ismail, was ruled ineligible to run, Salah decided to cast his ballot for the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate, Mohamed Morsi, to help keep the Islamist vote intact.

 

While he disagrees with the Brotherhood on doctrine and couldn’t really defend the group’s many broken promises, Salah said the end goal of an Islamic state justified the “political games” that he says the Islamists are forced to play for now.

His months of selling T-shirts in the square have earned him friends, even “brothers,” from among the rival liberal camps, Salah said, but their hysterics over Islamists taking power make them sound like sore losers.

“If Egyptians had voted for a majority of liberals in Parliament, we’d keep quiet. But they didn’t – they voted for Islamists,” Salah said. “Why don’t we respect the will of the people?”

 

THE CHRISTIAN

Marcelino Youssef, a 45-year-old electrician, was just a boy when he first heard fellow villagers single him out because of his religion: “Don’t play with him – he’s Christian.”

Youssef said the discrimination continued in high school, where he and other Coptic Christians were asked to leave during religion class, and in his service to the military, when Muslim conscripts refused to eat with him in the mess hall.

There was no letup in the slights related to his faith, he said, until the day he joined the protests in Tahrir Square and stood alongside Egyptians of all backgrounds to demand Mubarak’s fall He cherishes a photograph that shows a close-up of his hand, tattooed with a cross, as he poured water so that Muslim protesters could wash before praying.

“I was crying. I finally felt that I was close to achieving a dream,” Youssef recalled. “Imagine someone who’s been in prison for years for no reason and then he’s told that, tomorrow, he’ll be free.”

But that long-awaited euphoria evaporated in a matter of weeks.

 

The security vacuum after the fall of the regime ushered in a wave of attacks on the vulnerable Copts. Extremists torched and besieged churches, and violence came from the state, too. Youssef was among hundreds who were wounded when security forces attacked a peaceful Christian protest; an army personnel carrier crushed his foot as it rampaged through the crowd.

Then came the power grab by the Islamists, whose messages of national unity gave way to talk of turning Egypt into an Islamist state, with no clear role defined for the Coptic minority, which traces its roots to the first century.

 

Youssef said he found no true allies of the Copts among the leading presidential candidates, so, grudgingly, he plans to cast his ballot for Ahmed Shafik, Mubarak’s last prime minister, as the lesser of evils. He prefers a couple of the more liberal and revolutionary candidates, he said, but he doesn’t think they stand a chance against the Islamists.

“They had a strategy all along: They called it ‘participating,’ but it was really ‘taking over,’ ” Youssef said. “Truly, I wouldn’t even care if the Muslim Brotherhood’s supreme leader himself became president, on one condition: that we and the Muslims are equal.”

 

Picking a president, Youssef said, is an easy choice compared with the greater dilemma he and other Copts face as they come to grips with a new Islamist ruling elite. He’s so worried for the future of his 9-year-old son, his only child, that he entered the U.S. green card lottery even though it pains him to consider leaving Egypt.

“I’m in a state of internal conflict,” Youssef said. “Shall I leave all this now and run away to give my son the opportunity to taste freedom? Then again, I’m an activist and a fighter, and if people like me leave, what happens to the rest?”

 

THE FARMER

The bustle of Cairo is two hours and a world away from Kamal Abdel Mohsen’s farming village, where children plunge into the Nile to cool off on summer days and the loudest sounds are the lowing of water buffalo and the clucking of chickens.

The setting is serene, but life for Abdel Mohsen, 72, has been far from easy. He reared 10 children – six girls and four boys – on the farm, growing just enough corn, wheat and peaches to keep them fed. Sitting in his one-room, mud-brick house on a recent afternoon, he described his decades of swinging an ax with one or another of his children perched atop his broad shoulders.

He married off his daughters to local men and scrimped to send his sons for higher education, but Egypt’s chronic unemployment rendered their hard-won diplomas worthless.

 

After all these years, Abdel Mohsen said, they’re still sharecroppers, stuck with policies left over from the Mubarak regime that favor wealthy, typically nonresident landowners over those who work the fields. To his mind, the last friend of Egypt’s vast agrarian class was the late Arab nationalist President Gamal Abdel Nasser, who died in office in 1970.

“Gamal helped us rent the land as cheaply as possible, or he gave it to us, and he protected our rights,” Abdel Mohsen said. “But Mubarak reversed all the farming laws, and now we pay a much higher price.”

 

Although the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist factions are said to enjoy broad grass-roots support among rural Egyptians, that’s not the case in Abdel Mohsen’s village in Qalyoubia province. Local farmers recall the lawless days of an Islamist insurgency that swept the country in the 1980s, and they worry about the seemingly limitless ambitions of the Brotherhood, whose campaign posters are scarce in the village.

 

“They can’t even handle the Parliament and now they want the presidency?” Abdel Mohsen complained.

While he supported the revolution’s goals, Abdel Mohsen said, he remains a solid backer of the interim military rulers, whom he credits with keeping the crisis from spiraling into a bloody civil war like those that emerged from the Libyan and Syrian uprisings. He said Egypt needed a firm hand for the transition to civilian rule.

 

So his vote is going to the former Arab League chief Amr Moussa, partly as an anti-Islamist stance, partly because Moussa has ancestral roots in a nearby village and partly out of a lack of better options.

“He’s ours; he belongs to us. The nearest are the best, right?” Abdel Mohsen said with a chuckle and a shrug.

THE REVOLUTIONARY

When Heba Azouz, 24, first noticed the stirrings of revolution on her friends’ Facebook pages in the last months of 2010, she was immediately energized. Finally, she thought, Egyptians were rising up against the government’s daily, petty injustices that made “everything in life a fight.”

 

Azouz had just finished her university studies and was beginning medical school with an internship at a large, dismal public hospital in Cairo. She said the doctors were so overworked and underpaid – with salaries of less than $100 a month – that their performance was mediocre at best. She was aghast to find some physicians smoking in the operating room.

When early street protests turned into the 18-day uprising that brought down Mubarak, Azouz left the hospital to volunteer at a field clinic in Tahrir Square. She was furious that state television continued to air reports that said no one was injured in the security forces’ attacks on protesters. She was beaten by batons, overwhelmed with tear gas and pelted with rubber bullets that left scars like polka dots on her forearm and leg.

“In the space of an hour, maybe even less, five people died before my eyes, all of gunshot wounds to the head and chest,” she recalled. “I started thinking, ‘I don’t care how many people are against this revolution, I’ll stay here forever.’ ”

 

A year later, Azouz sounds deeply conflicted about the revolution and isn’t sure how or why she should continue to support a movement that appears stagnant, disjointed and powerless next to the influential military and Islamists. The tipping point, she said, came on a day when protesters outside the Cabinet building came under attack only a few yards from where patrons lounged at an outdoor cafe.

 

“I was in the middle of the street,” she said. “I looked one way and saw people laughing and flirting at the coffee shop, and I looked the other way and saw people dying.”

The fear, complacency and hypocrisy she witnessed in her fellow Egyptians so enraged her that she took off her veil, the small, desperate act of a woman who no longer believes that a beard indicates piety or that a uniform promises protection.

“Gandhi had a point when he said, ‘Be the change you want to see in the world,’ but others have to believe that, too, and it’s just not happening,” she said. “How could they change when they still don’t even have the basics? How can you ask them to think, to read literature and history, when they can’t eat?”

 

Azouz said she saw no viable candidate who could revive the revolution, so on Election Day she plans to spoil her ballot by writing on it an Arabic word that translates roughly as “void.”

“The message is that you won’t deceive me again with a paper and make me feel like I’m part of a decision that’s already been made,” she said “The best thing for the revolution is for Amr Moussa to become president, because maybe people will finally realize that we’re still at square one.”

McClatchy special correspondent Omnia al Desoukie contributed to this article.

Email: hallam@mcclatchydc.com; Twitter: @hannahallam

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“The Famine, The Watchman, and The Remnant” for the Lutheran Ministerium and Synod-USA

NOVANEWS

By: Mark Dankof

Pastor Mark Dankof in the 1990s.

[Pastor Mark Dankof’s address to the National Convention of theLutheran Ministerium and Synod—USA in Chetek, Wisconsin onJune 23rd, 2012 is entitled, “The Famine, The Watchman and The Remnant.”]

[Open in prayer; read the three relevant Biblical texts]

Thus hath the Lord God shewed unto me:  and behold a basket of summer fruit.  And he said, Amos, what seest thou?  And I said, A basket of summer fruit.  Then said the Lord unto me, The end is come upon my people of Israel; I will not again pass by them anymore.  . . .  Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord:  And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it.

Amos 8: 1-2, 11-12

I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint.

Habakkuk 2: 1

And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.  Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer:  behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days:  be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

The Apocalypse of St. John on Patmos, chapter 2: 8-11

     All of us here today have been on an odyssey since birth.  We trace our voyage from infancy through childhood; from childhood to adolescence and young adulthood; from young adulthood to middle age; from middle age to old age; from old age to death, which the Christian defines as a transition from this present life to a new life in a new plane of existence with the Triune God, the Lord Jesus Christ, and all of the Saints of God in a place called Heaven.

     It was 45 years ago today that I began my long odyssey from childhood to adulthood.  On June 23, 1967, my parents, my older brother, and I embarked on the USS Lurline, departing Honolulu for a 5 day journey to the Port of San Francisco.  Our years together as an Air Force family living in Hawaii were coming to a swift end. I remember wishing that there had been more time.

The legendary Matson Lines liner, SS Lurline.

     There are times at night when I can still hear the Matson Lines Orchestra and Band striking up the haunting strains of Aloha Oe, even as I still occasionally feel theLurline beginning to physically pull away from the dock in Honolulu.  As we began to depart, the ship was accompanied by a farewell flotilla of escorting canoes comprised of paddling Polynesian men and women.  The women were decked out in Hawaiian tribal garb with bright colors.  Their  long, beautiful black hair was adorned with careful arrangements of the orchids of the Islands.

     The huge crowd standing on the dock in Honolulu waved good bye to the departing until we were out of sight.  There is still one face I see above all others in that sea of humanity bidding tearful farewell to the denizens of the USS Lurline.  It was Pastor Frederick L. Von Husen of Trinity Lutheran Church and School in Wahiawa.  The three years at his school, and my Baptism in his sanctuary, began my long journey in Lutheran Christianity, a wandering that in the providence of God continues to this day.

Pastor Frederick L. Von Husen of Trinity Lutheran Church and School in Wahiawa, Hawaii at the Dock of Honolulu on June 23, 1967, bidding farewell to Mark Dankof and family as the USS Lurline prepares to depart for San Francisco.

     I did not want to leave the loving confines of Christ-centered Church and School in Hawaii in June of 1967.  The USS Lurline was taking me on a voyage to an ultimate destination I wanted to disembark from.

     I am reminded of the Lord’s solemn prophetic admonition to Peter:

     “When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. This spake He, signifying by what death he should glorify God.  And when he had spoken this, He saith unto him, Follow me.”  (John 21: 18-19).

Mark Dankof in Geek Days. 3rd row, center position. Teacher Paul Wangerin in back row, far right. Trinity Lutheran School, Wahiawa, Hawaii. 6th grade. School Year 1966-67.

     Those initial years as a child at Trinity Lutheran were rooted in a love of The Lamb and of God’s Word which testified to Him in the sunshine of childhood on Oahu.  As the years passed, I would more than occasionally experience a darker side in American Lutheranism, what Eugene O’Neill would have termed A Long Day’s Journey Into Night.  The painful journey which began on the USS Lurline in 1967 was often accompanied by queasy turbulence and darkness as the speed of time in an increasingly ominous Age accelerated, even as my own encounter with the Theology of the Cross deepened in time.  The Lord seemed to be suggesting that I was being prepared to go places I didn’t want to go, on assignments no sane person would volunteer for.

Paul Wangerin and Mark Dankof at El Mirador in San Antonio in March of 2012, 45 years after Teacher and Student days at Trinity Lutheran School of Wahiawa, Hawaii.

     One of those assignments was to be a Watchman 25 years ago in the initial salad days of the American Association of Lutheran Churches (AALC). Those days, my role in them, and the historic events then which overtook many of us in this sanctuary now, are the reason for my acceptance of an invitation to be here in Wisconsin on June 23, 2012.  We cannot know who we are today as a Confessional Body of Faithful Believers standing in the Reformation loci of Sola ScripturaSola ChristusSola Gratia, and Sola Fide, and presently residing in the Lutheran Ministerium and Synod–USA, without understanding the situation of a quarter of a century ago in our predecessor body, anymore than anyone of us can possibly know who and what we are as individuals today without intimate acquaintance with, and memory of, our own historical pasts.

     In short, we cannot know who we are, if we do not know where we have been.

     You are invited to share today in only a small segment of my own journey that began almost half a century ago in the Hawaiian Islands as a child.  I hope that my journey illumines the remainder of your pathway as a child of God before the Lord returns. Come, Lord Jesus, Come.

     It is my great pleasure to be in attendance at a National Convention of the Lutheran Ministerium and Synod—USA.  Dr. Ralph Spears has asked me to address all of you, keeping the theme of The Watchman in mind, and my past role in the American Association of Lutheran Churches (AALC) serving as one laboring under very painful circumstances that would subsequently come perilously close to destroying my life.  The aftermath has impacted me in all the days and nights since that time.

     For the record, Ralph Spears and John Erickson have stood by me for the last 23 years in the aftermath of the most horrific events of my career in Word and Sacrament ministry.  They have never left me behind in all this time, even as a number of people in strategic positions in the AALC years ago did, not only to my detriment and longtime exile, but to the detriment of many rank-and-file Lutherans out of the old American Lutheran Church who made the same initial mistake that I did in believing that we had found a confessional fellowship and home in the midst of the larger darkness that has enshrouded American Lutheranism in my lifetime.  That darkness accompanies the blackening clouds swirling above our country, clouds soon to pour down God’s verdict of condemnation upon a nation and institutional church that have collectively rejected Him.

     It is an especially gratifying thing to see Dr. Ralph Spears, Dr. John Erickson, and Dr. Donald Thorson again after the passage of so many years.  As has already been mentioned, each of us was a pioneer in the initially hopeful days that surrounded the creation of the American Association of Lutheran Churches (AALC) a quarter of a century ago.  Between the years of hardship for each of these men that often accompanied toil in other Lutheran bodies prior to 1987, and what would fatefully transpire in the years that followed that date permanently etched in my own mind, I am reminded of the speed of the passage of time in this present cosmos, and the vicissitudes of life that accompany the turning of pages from one decade to the next.  Moses knows of what he speaks in Psalm 90: 3-10 when he says that:

     “Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return ye children of men.  For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.  Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep:  in the morning they are like grass which growth up.  In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth.

     “For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled.  Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.  For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told.

     “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.”

     Thus, I briefly delve into a journey into the distant past, without rancor or bitterness and hopefully with Biblical perspective.  I speak of these matters all these light years later, only because requested to by Pastor Spears, and because of the way in which the events and circumstances of a quarter of a century ago serve to illustrate and warn The Remnant in these presumably final days of human history.

     The final days of human history, chronicled by Jesus Christ in the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21), have many parallels with the beginning of the end for the Northern Kingdom of Israel as Amos proclaimed it during the reign of Jeroboam II (Co-regency with Jehoash from 793-782 B. C.; sole reign from 782-753 B. C.; total reign 792-740 B. C.); with the Babylonian Exile of the Southern Kingdom of Judah which culminated in Nebuchadnezzar’s destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 586 B. C.; and the national judgment of Judah at the hands of Titus and the Romans in 70 A. D. because of the former’s rejection of Jesus Christ and the nature of the Kingdom of God He proclaimed during His First Advent.  This last catastrophe was forecast by Jesus in the Olivet Discourse, shortly before His betrayal by Judas Iscariot and the climax of the plot against His life launched by the Jewish religious authorities of first century Palestine.

     The reasons for each of these judgments in redemptive history, and the reasons for what I believe is a coming judgment on our own American nation in the 21st century, are absolutely identical.  Political, economic, military, and cultural eclipse are always the result of rebellion against God, and total disdain for God’s Word.   The final stage in total eclipse is a famine visited upon the land.  And in an age where many of us are terrified of the very real possibility of physical food shortages and the societal turbulence which will accompany it, it bears noting that the famine chronicled by Amos is not a physical one.  It is one that involves the progressive withdrawal of the presence of the Holy Spirit, and the evaporation of God’s blessings and protection.  Heed then, the 8th century prophet as he warns both the Northern Kingdom of Israel then, and by extracted principles, all of us here today:

     “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord:  And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it.” [Amos 8: 11-12]

     This is the critical perspective we must have on what has happened to the United States and to the Lutheran Church in your lifetime and mine.

     For the record, I was the first Lutheran pastor in “days passed away [Psalm 90: 9] to be formally accepted onto the clergy roster of the AALC, on July 10, 1987.  In those days, I was a young man, and serving a Lutheran congregation in Seattle, Washington known as St. Matthias Lutheran Church, which would subsequently be among the Charter Congregations comprising this daring venture into the Great Unknown.

     All across the country then, there was much excitement among the early trailblazers in this endeavor and journey of faith. I shared in this Great Hope of that brief moment in time, feeling that after years of heartache in the Lutheran denomination, I was not only experiencing a turning point in my own life and calling, but witnessing a turning point in American Lutheran history that would define the future course of countless Lutheran Christians at the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st to follow; a course destined to merge theological orthodoxy, love, and personal witness for Christ as the Church of Smyrna did in the dark early days of the Roman Empire and its persecution of disciples of Jesus Christ, accompanied by the Apostle John’s exile to Patmos at the hands of Emperor Domitian (A. D. 81-96) [Revelation 2: 8-11].

     In those days, I especially looked forward to flying from Seattle to Minneapolis for national board meetings of the Association, and the mornings and evenings spent apart from official business that inevitably involved the swapping of stories, experiences, and future hopes with compadres like the late Pastor Jonathan Noel Kennedy of Faith Lutheran Church in Portland, Oregon; Pastor Dennis Brostrom, then of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Patterson, California; Pastor Ray Klug of Fairbury, Nebraska; Pastor Thomas Aadland of Duluth, Minnesota, an AALC Executive Committee member who would years later become the AALC’s Presiding Pastor; Dr. Christopher Barnakov of Washington, D. C., the editor of the AALC’s flagship national publication, The Evangel; Mr. Rollie Strommen of Janesville, Wisconsin; and our own Dr./Pastor John Erickson here today.  Between 1987 and 1989, the course being charted for the AALC in closed session meetings was matched by a special fellowship with these aforementioned Saints, based in what Paul tells us in Ephesians 3: 9:

     “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.”

     But darker, demonic forces were also afoot in the AALC between 1987-1989.  Events in that two year period of time would force me into a public role as The Watchman.  I did not seek this assignment.  The role sought me, for reasons only partially understood 25 years later.

     Between 1987-1989, my involvement with the meetings of the Joint Council of the AALC in Minneapolis, and the early conclaves of the Board of Higher Education, revealed three (3) disturbing trends that underscore the Biblical truism for Watchmen and The Remnant throughout history that the Satanic threat to the Confessional Church of our Lord is not simply one posited by external threats and enemies. The threat and the enemy is often in our own midst.  Jesus’s warnings to His people in the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24/Mark 13/Luke 21) come to mind, especially the Lord’s eschatological admonition at the outset:

      “Take heed that no man deceive you.  For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ, and shall deceive many.  . . .  And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.  And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.  . . . (Matthew 24).

     And the Apostle Paul’s warning in Ephesians 6 reinforces that of Jesus in the Olivet Discourse:

     “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”(Ephesians 6: 11-12)

     With these Biblical passages in mind, the three trends of Satanic infiltration in the AALC’s early days that I observed as a Watchman are as follows:  1) the attempts at the outset of the Higher Education Committee of the AALC to establish a Lutheran House of Study in conjunction with Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California; and the involvement of the AALC’s Executive Committee in those days in using representatives of the C. Peter Wagner Church Growth Institute of Fuller Theological Seminary, like Carl George, for seminars on how to create AALC congregations based on the principles of the Church Growth Movement(CGM);  2) the early embrace of key leaders of the AALC of the most radical elements of the Neo-Pentecostal and Charismatic Renewal Movements in the Lutheran church, even as it was claimed that the AALC was a continuation of the older American Lutheran Church (ALC) and the Lutheran Orthodoxy that once characterized that Synod; and 3) the attempt tosynthesize a full subscription to the Lutheran Confessions (“quia“) with the inclusion of advocates of CGM, the Charismatic Movement, and Dispensational Premillennial eschatology and Christian Zionism as full fledged members of the AALC.

     This underscores a truism:  The attempt to synthesize truth and falsehood courtesy of the Hegelian Dialectic is destined to fail.  This methodology is the enemy of Biblical Revelation and the Orthodox Lutheran Confessions.  You and I cannot forget this.  Ever.

     And as for the attempt to synthesize Dispensational Premillennial eschatology and Christian Zionism with historic Biblical Christianity, let there be no mistake.  The 19th Century Darbyism which led to the Scofield Reference Bible and subsequently to Hal Lindsey, Jerry Falwell, and John Hagee in our own time, has commingled Law and Gospel; it has perverted Jesus’ teachings on the otherworldly and eternal character of the Kingdom of God in favor of  worldly doctrines of racial supremacy, secular nationalism, and the naked employment of economic and military power to achieve its ends.  It has reduced the Confessing Church of Christ to status as a mere parenthesis in God’s dealings with racial, national Israel and Judah (see chart below on Daniel 9 and the “70th week” or 70×7=490 years).  One can effectively argue that it is leading our country into dangerous and uncharted waters in the Middle East and domestically.  As it repristinates in the modern era a belief in the same heresies and ideology that the New Testament indicates caused the rejection of the truth claims of Jesus Christ on the part of the Jewish religious and political leadership of two millennia ago in Palestine (John 8: 31-59; Matthew 27: 1-6), it may well reside at the center of the eschatological warning issued by Jesus inMatthew 24: 21-24:

     “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.  And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.  Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.  For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”

     Much of the deception surrounds the Dispensationalist and Christian Zionist interpretation of Daniel, chapter 9, The Prophecy of 70 Weeks.  It began with John Nelson Darby in the 19th century, and subsequently the Scofield Reference Bible.  The inroads into both the American churches and American foreign policy began in earnest with Chicago Dispensationalist and international businessman William E. Blackstone.  The endgame is the Beast, the New World Order, and World War III.  See the following chart:

Daniel’s 70th Week: Past Fulfillment or Future?

 

Issues of Interpretation

 

Roman View

 

Eschatological Interval or Parenthesis View

Beginning point (Decree of verse 25)

One of the 3 Persian Decrees: 538, 458, 445 B. C.

One of the decrees of Artaxerxes, 458 or 445 B. C.

Messiah the Prince (verse 25)

Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ

62 Weeks (62×7= 434 years)

Added to 7 weeks to span from decree to point in the life of Christ (62 weeks or 434 years + 7 weeks or 49 years=69 weeks or 483 years)

Added to 7 weeks and by using “prophetic years” ends at the triumphal entry.

The prophetic clock stops. The parenthesis between the 69th and 70th week begins.

Messiah (verse 26)

Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ at the Crucifixion

Covenant-Maker (verse 27)

Jesus Christ

 

Antichrist

70th week (7×1=7 years)

Roman destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, 70 A. D.

 

Futuristic Tribulationcorresponding to the 70thweek of Daniel (7 years) which begins after the Rapture of the Church, the closing of the Parenthesis Era, and theresumption of National Israel and Judah’s role as the center of God’s plan in redemptive history.

[Brief analysis of the Daniel 9/70 Weeks Chart Follows for Convention Attendees]

     We must leave further analysis of these critical differences in the interpretation of Biblical eschatology and the character of the Kingdom of God as proclaimed by Jesus to future discussions.  But I must leave you with two essential closing observations.  First, Dispensational Premillennialism and Christian Zionism are incompatible with Orthodox Lutheranism (Augsburg Confession, Article 17).  The former’s adherence to a doctrine of racial supremacy, a commingling of Law and Gospel, and a confusion of the kingdoms of this present realm with Christ’s Kingdom, are anathema to what Jesus taught about His Kingdom, its eternal character, and the universal eligibility of all to receive His gifts and promises.  And the United States is yet to experience the tragedy of being linked as a nation to ongoing support of this monstrous heresy in the political, economic, and military realms.  That tragedy shall be proven both catastrophic and apocalyptic in its implications.  You can take that prediction to the bank, if there is still one left in your community in the next several years. . . .

     Second, everyone in attendance today at this gathering, as well as many others who will be connected to our conversations in Cyberspace, must encounter the work of the late Westminster/Princeton scholar Oswald T. Allis published on this subject in 1945.  His book, Prophecy and the Church, will demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt that the interpretative scheme of John Nelson Darby, the Scofield Reference Bible, Hal Lindsey, and John Hagee, is incompatible with the Lutheran and Reformed streams of the Protestant Reformation and their respective Confessions of the 16th and 17th centuries.  The Remnant Confessing Church of our Lord ignores this warning at its peril.  The AALC drove through this stop sign many years ago, when it officially recognized a Christian Zionist ministry as its own affiliated organization, one of the many egregious errors made in the initial years of the Minneapolis meetings which taken in the aggregate, spelled disaster and shipwreck.

     Let there be no mistake.  No orthodox Christian of any stripe, including the Confessional Lutheran, believes that the Church of Jesus Christ is a mere parenthesis in history in God’s exclusive dealings with racial, national Israel.  No one can compatiblize this with the witness of the New Testament.  As Dr. Allis testifies in his magnum opus, to believe this is to ultimately return to Judaism.

     The implications of all of this for the future direction of the AALC would be subsequently chronicled by me for the Lutheran weekly, Christian News, in February of 1994 in a front page story entitled, “The AALC:  Not an Option for ELCA Conservatives.”  I have brought copies of that piece with me today for those interested.  It will cover in greater detail the particulars of the time in which I was barely surviving the assault, along with Pastor Spears, Pastor Erickson, Pastor Klug, and Pastor Brostrom.

     I say barely surviving as my own congregation, St. Matthias Lutheran Church of Seattle, was being rent asunder by the infiltration of the same forces that had begun to permeate the national body.  This was covertly being aided and abetted by two different officials of the AALC, as was documented at the time.  By the decree of the Executive Committee of the AALC undertaken in between national meetings of the Joint Council and the Board of Trustees (of which I was a member), financial subsidy was being silently provided for what had been covertly transpiring in the Emerald City under radar.  The only Early Warning System I possessed that I was in the crosshairs was provided by phone calls of concern from the then President of the Lutheran Bible Institute in Issaquah, and an ELCA pastor in the Puget Sound area who had inside information for me that connected all the relevant players in this Demonic Subterranean Netherworld, their past history, and current informal reports from the Midwest being conveyed to him by his own sources on a regular basis.

     Translation: I had been the leading voice in closed door meetings in the  Twin Cities expressing opposition to the national drift I saw in the organization’s decisions being made by its Executive Committee, its Joint Council, its Board of Higher Education.  It was time that I be disposed of.  The table had been set.

I kept asking myself in the middle of the night, “Could all of this really be happening to me after two years of service to the national organization, and with the friendships developed with key people in Minneapolis?” I was stunned.  But every piece fit.  The Watchman had let his guard down. He was in the crosshairs of forces he had failed to anticipate and identify.  An excruciating price would be paid for this lack of vigilance.  The spinoffs continue to the present day.

The lesson is clear.  The Watchman and The Remnant can never let their guard down.

     Failure to keep this lesson Front and Center is a catastrophic and potentially fatal mistake.

I will be forever grateful to Pastor Dennis Brostrom and Pastor Ray Klug for their official expressions of public dismay over this situation, along with Mr. Rod Kirchoff of Fairbury, Nebraska.  Mr. Kirchoff led an official inquiry into events in Seattle when commissioned by the Executive Committee of the AALC to do so.  His conclusions were submitted to that body before both he and the Fairbury, Nebraska congregation joined Pastor Klug in leaving the AALC formally.  Pastor Brostrom also departed for other confines.  Other people presently in this room today would also eventually head for the exit.

I would leave the AALC officially after their 1990 National Convention at Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Five (5) years later, I would accept Pastor Ralph Spears’ invitation to join the new LMS-USA at its launching in Indianapolis in 1995.  I have remained with all of you all these years since (17 years), out of conviction that this body represents a slice of The Remnant in these final days, even as I seriously doubt that a Second Reformation will ever grip this country or the post-Christian societies of the Western World generally. I have also remained in the LMS-USA out of eternal personal gratitude that Pastor Spears and Pastor Erickson understood the magnitude of the personal tragedy I had experienced in Seattle in 1989-90 and did not leave The Wounded Watchman by the side of the road.

They have been sources of encouragement and support in the Lord ever since.  You can’t buy friendships like these over the counter.

What then, are the other lessons derived from this brief Journey into the Past, both for today’s Watchmenand The Remnant?  For this, we return to where we began today, with the books of Habakkuk and the Apocalypse of John.  I hope the charts provided to you are helpful here.

Habakkuk in Judah and John on Patmos

Today’s Watchmen and Remnant

Ministry in days of Judah’s “death throes.”The reign of Jehoiakim (609-597 B. C.) leads to destruction (2 Kings 23:34-24:5; Jeremiah 22:17). John exiled to Patmos by Emperor Domitian’s decree (A. D. 81-96) and after the national judgment of Judah and its Temple Destruction in A. D. 70, as prophesied by Christ (Matthew 24).

Ministry in days of America’s “death throes.”Fill in your own contemporary particulars.  . . . Roe versus Wade, national embrace of sexual perversion, national debt, crime, family disintegration, over extension of military empire abroad, New World Order, embrace of a deceptive and evil alliance with the Synagogue of Satan (Revelation 2: 9 with reference to Romans 2: 28-29), et.al.  Church mirrors the nation with its higher Biblical criticism, embrace of sexual perversion, cultural accommodationism, corrupt leadership, financial greed, lack of love.  Ephesus, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Laodicea or a combination of them (see Revelation 2: 1-3: 21) are today’s American church, including the institutional Lutheran version.

The Remnant today must follow the Churches of Smyrna and Philadelphia (Revelation 2: 8-11; 3: 7-13)

 

Babylon as instrument of God’s judgment (1:6; 2:1; 3:16)

Fill in your own contemporary particulars.  . . .Who will it be? What configuration of world powers and forces?

Habakkuk means “One Who Embraces or Clings.” See 3: 16-19 for the Prophet’s decision to Cling to God in all circumstances.

Watchmen and Remnant must Cling to God and His Son. (Romans 10: 9; Revelation 3: 19-22)

The  circumstances for Habakkuk, Judah, and Babylon sometimes appear to contradict God’s revelation, His power, His purposes, His promises.

Circumstances surrounding the institutional church and the nation sometimes appear to contradict God’s revelation, His power, His purposes, His promises to you and me.

Habakkuk has extended dialogue with God (2/3 of entire book).  First dialogue (1:1-11); second dialogue (1: 12-2: 20).

Watchmen and Remnant must Pray Without Ceasing (I Thessalonians 5: 17).

Perplexity over God’s purposes causes Habakkuk to stand upon a watchtower to waitfor God’s reply. God’s reply is plain (2: 2), for an appointed time (2: 3), guaranteed to come and truthful (2: 3).  5 Woes are pronounced upon the guilty (chapter 2).

Watchmen and Remnant must be the Churches of Smyrna and Philadelphia in the 21st century.

God’s people must overcome in the midst of adversity, trial, and exile.

The Watchmen and The Remnant mustovercome (Revelation 2 and 3).  The mandate is given to all 7 Churches of Asia Minor in Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.

[Brief summation of main highlights of the chart with attendees].

For the sake of time, I will now permit all of you to comprehensively digest the chart’s entire contents in the days ahead.

And as this may well mark the last time I address a national Lutheran gathering of this type, given present conditions in the world, let me leave my segment of this program today with a final thought (s) for The Remnant, based on the last theme of the chart.

     The Watchmen and The Remnant must overcome.

Strong’s Concordance on the Internet at http://concordances.org/greek/3528.htm explains the meaning and nuances of the word used by Jesus for His instructions to each of the 7 Churches of Asia Minor in the Apocalypse.  The Greek word is [(nik-ah’-o)]. 

The literal translation is “I conquer, am victorious, overcome, prevail, subdue.” K. Wuest correctly conveys the idea that “The verb implies a battle.”

You and I are now in the very beginning of the ultimate battle in world history forecast in the Olivet Discourse and by John on Patmos.

The blackening darkness accompanying the emerging rule of The Beast proceeds apace (Revelation 13).  The enemies of Jesus Christ and Biblical witness are many.  Some are external threats.  Others are ravening wolves in sheep’s clothing in our midst (Matthew 7: 15).  We have already discussed some examples of this from a quarter of a century ago.

I will simply say this as a Lutheran pastor whose lifetime and ordained ministry have coincided with our perilous collective course.

     As far as the Confessing Church in America in the 21st century is concerned, we are not simply losing.  We have already lost.  I agree with the prevailing published secular analysis and consensus which flatly states that the United States and Europe are post-Christian societies.  The evidence of this is Legion: The decline in preaching and teaching in our churches that is based in solid Biblical exegesis and Orthodox Lutheran standards, increasingly replaced by the Health, Wealth, and Prosperity “Gospel” and entertainment galas; the Church of Jezebel’s accommodation of the greed, narcissism, and perversion which continues to permeates American culture as it has since the salad days of the Drug and Sexual Revolutions in the 1960s; the Culture of Death which continues to abound, symbolized by abortion, Zero Population Growth, euthanasia, and the organized homosexual rights movement; and the ongoing disappearance of healthy young families and communities built around a solid economy and Confessing Church, courtesy of the Globalist movement which underscores the truism that “No man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the Beast, or the number of his name” (Revelation 13: 17).

This then, is truly the age of The Beast and The False Prophet (Revelation 13).  How then, to quote Strong’s Concordance and Wuest, do we “conquer, overcome, prevail, and subdue?

The key for The Remnant is To Recognize.  What must we recognize?

We must recognize the signs of the eschatological times in world history (Daniel 2, 7, 9; Matthew 24/Mark 13/Luke 21/; I Corinthians 11: 13-14; I Timothy 4: 1-2; I Peter 1: 5-7).

We must recognize the reality of the demonic forces at work against the people of God (Ephesians 6; I Peter 5: 8).

We must recognize that we can only battle demonic forces by donning the full armor of God (Ephesians 6: 11-18), even as the season of Antichrist approaches (2 Thessalonians 2; Revelation 13) with lying “signs and wonders.”

We must recognize the full implications of our status as a Remnant (Smyrna/Revelation 2: 8-11 andPhiladelphia/Revelation 3: 7-13) of the Israel of God (Galatians 6: 16 and I Peter 2: 9-10).

We must recognize God’s providential plan and design in both the best and the worst times of our lives (Romans 8: 28, Romans 11: 33-34; Philippians 1: 12).

We must recognize that the Remnant Church confounds an unbelieving world and dying culture by preaching Christ Crucified (I Corinthians 1: 17-25) and Christ Risen (Romans 10: 9; I Corinthians 15; II Corinthians 5: 21).

We must recognize that the Final Victory is ours (Revelation 22); that we are Conquerors, and that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8: 37-39).

This is the context in which we must see and understand what has happened to all of us in the passage of these last few decades.  The American Empire is going the way of ancient national Israel and Judah; the American Lutheran Church’s descent into apostasy, sectarianism, institutional corruption, and increasing irrelevance, accompanies the sick national scene of which it is merely one component in the larger picture.

We of The Remnant must Cling to God and His Son.  We must Cling to His Word and to His people.  We must Cling to a lifetime of prayer and meditation.  We must Cling to the Cross of Calvary and the Empty Tomb of Easter Sunday morning.  We must Cling to the Promise that the Son of God, presently seated at the Right Hand of God the Father, will soon return for His  People and the establishment of a Kingdom Without End.

Lutheran Synods are not necessary for this.  Neither are District Presidents and Bishops, million dollar church budgets, satellite TV shows with televangelists, church growth demographic chart analyses, endorsements from secular political figures, or subsidies from non-profit organizations and NGOs.  These sad sack ingredients are the reverse side of the counterfeit coin which captures the two major secular political parties in America, the corporate news media, Wall Street, and the worst elements of our declining educational system.  Why see them as our deliverers from our lamentable individual and collective condition?

They are anything but deliverers.  They are the ultimate symptoms of a fatal national and metastasizing malignancy which oppress and corrode the souls of God’s people. The discerning will throw them overboard. Paul warns us in the context of his own discussion of the Last Days offered to Timothy that such entities “have a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” (II Timothy 3: 5).

We shall simply take Jesus at His Word with his blessed assurance to the beleaguered Saints of both the 1stcentury and the 21st: “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer; behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life (Revelation 2: 10).

I finally conclude my brief conversation with you today, by coming full circle to where we began an hour ago, with the story of a maritime voyage.  It illustrates where you and I are headed together in our present journey.  The Final Destination is assured and unmistakable.  Be sure of this.

This maritime voyage transpired in my Night Thoughts of three (3) years ago, one late Spring evening right after the death of my father in San Antonio.  The voyage was a nocturnal reversal of the sad maritime journey I had been forced to embark upon one early Hawaiian morning in the early summer of 1967.

In those Night Thoughts of 2009 in the Alamo City, I was suddenly a kid again.  I found myself waiting at the Port of San Francisco with my youthful parents and my older brother.  We were getting ready to board a ship, by walking up a long and steep ramp.  The ship had Matson Lines of Hawaii markings.  It was the SSLurline.

My parents and my brother began the ascent up the ramp to board.  I felt a hand upon my right shoulder.  I turned and saw one who looked like the Ancient of Days.  His garment was white as snow; the hair of His head was like pure wool.  He was accompanied by the One whose hand was on my shoulder, one like the Son of Man (Daniel 7: 9, 13).

The One whose hand was upon my right shoulder smiled.  It was a silent but sure reassurance that this voyage of 2400 miles would be a special one.  I proceeded up the ramp.

The SS Lurline began to pull away from Pier One, the Embarcadero, and the western edge of San Francisco Bay on this early sunlit morning in the City by the Bay.  As it did, my eyes focused on the Golden Gate Bridge and the skyline until they disappeared.  There was a beautiful Pacific breeze that accompanied the panoramic view.  The sun seemed to follow the luxury liner and its occupants across 2400 miles of the deepest blue ocean and whitest crests I had ever witnessed.

Five days passed in only an hour, much as one day with the Lord is like a thousand years (Psalm 90, 2 Peter 3: 8).

Suddenly the Port of Honolulu swept into view.  As the SS Lurline approached Pier 11, the Matson Lines band and orchestra struck up Aloha Oe. A farewell in time had become a greeting in eternity.

The SS Lurline navigates the east side of Diamond Head in Honolulu.

The welcoming crowd was teaming on this sun drenched Honolulu morning.  I saw Frederick L. Von Husen front and center among the beaming faces, waving to my family and to me.  Then I noticed he was surrounded by other faces I had known my entire life, the faces of people I had always known were among the Saints of God.  I had known them in so many different places as numerous as the stars in their courses. Some had preceded me in death and were now alive!  Others had not known the sting of temporal death, because of the One I had just seen upon departure from the Port of San Francisco only an hour before. But how could we have crossed the Pacific so quickly?

The Polynesian men and women who comprised the Matson Lines canoe crews were alongside us again.  The ladies looked as bright, colorful, and beautiful as they had so long ago.  The young men were as athletic and vibrant as they had been light years before in another universe in time.  But they were all now waving hello!  They were accompanying us to a Pier of Arrival that made up the most joyous scene I had ever seen in my life.  And suddenly I knew that my life was not ending but beginning, in a new plane of existence in a new cosmos that comprised the New Heaven and the New Earth.

SS Lurline arrives at the Port of Honolulu. Pier 11.

Amidst all of the tears of joy and the embraces that enshrouded me in the love of the Saints who had come to the Pier to greet me, I was suddenly in the presence again of One Like the Son of Man.  But lo and behold, He is the Son of Man and the Only Begotten Son of the Father!  His Legions of Angels surround him in an aura of Radiant Light!  It is the Light of the Living Lord!  It is the Victory of the One who Has come as He has promised!

And His people are the Victors, the Conquerors, the Ones Who Have Overcome in the Blood of the Lamb! The Dragon, the Beast, the False Prophet, the Whore of Babylon, and their followers throughout history are now consigned forever to the Lake of Fire!  Death and Hell have been cast into this Lake.  This is the Second Death. (Revelation 20).

And all of us have a Crown of Righteousness!

And all of you today in Chetek, Wisconsin are there!  You too departed Pier One, the Embarcadero, the western edge of San Francisco Bay with me, on a most glorious luxury liner, destined to arrive at a place the world will never know, but which the People of God, the New Israel of God in Christ will live in forever and ever!

The Port of San Francisco on a clear day. Coit Tower remains on watch.

And then I remembered the words of the Apostle Paul:

     “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.  Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all of them also that love His appearing.” (II Timothy 4: 6-8).

And the vision of John on Patmos swiftly followed Paul’s words in the Night Thoughts and nocturnal dream that came to me after the death of my earthly father, an incredible gift of your Heavenly Father and mine:

     “And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the Tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.

     “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain:  for the former things are passed away.

     “And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.  And He said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

     “And He said unto me, It is done.  I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.  I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

     “He that overcometh shall inherit all things, and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.”  (Revelation 21: 2-7)

This is your destiny.  This is my destiny.  It is by the grace of God alone, Christ alone, and faith alone.  The Holy Scriptures testify to these truths.  Do not doubt these truths, but cling to them.  Your redemption draweth nigh in these dark, final days of human history.

I recall Paul’s admonition to all of God’s people who are both Watchmen and Remnant:

     “Ye are all children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.  Therefore let us not sleep, as do others, but let us watch and be sober.  For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.

     “But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation.

     “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.  Who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.

     “Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.” (I Thessalonians 5: 5-11)

God bless you and your household this blessed day. I bid you farewell.

The Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, awaits us.

Posted in EducationComments Off on “The Famine, The Watchman, and The Remnant” for the Lutheran Ministerium and Synod-USA

Group: Palestinian shot as Zio-Nazi troops stood by

NOVANEWS

In this Saturday, May 19, 2012 photo, an armed Jewish settler aims a rifle in the direction of Palestinian stone-throwers during clashes between Palestinians and Jewish settlers in the West Bank village of Assira al-Kibliya. An Israeli human rights group has released a video suggesting Israeli soldiers stood by while Jewish settlers opened fire on Palestinians in Assira al-Kibliya wounding one.

Boston.com

In this Saturday, May 19, 2012 photo, an armed Jewish settler aims a rifle in the direction of Palestinian stone-throwers during clashes between Palestinians and Jewish settlers in the West Bank village of Assira al-Kibliya. An Israeli human rights group has released a video suggesting Israeli soldiers stood by while Jewish settlers opened fire on Palestinians in Assira al-Kibliya wounding one. (AP Photo/Nasser Ishtayeh

An Israeli human rights group has released a video that suggests Israeli soldiers stood by while Jewish settlers opened fire on Palestinians in the West Bank, wounding one.

The B’tselem group says settlers from Yitzhar descended over the weekend on the nearby village of Asira al-Qibliya, where they threw rocks at Palestinian homes. Village youths confronted the settlers, and rocks started flying on both sides, B’tselem said. Settlers later opened fire, shooting a 24-year-old Palestinian man, who was hospitalized in stable condition, the group said.

Three soldiers appear in the footage, which was obtained by The Associated Press on Monday. They apparently did not stop the settlers from throwing rocks or shooting at the Palestinians and one soldier is seen running away from the unrest.

The footage “raises grave suspicions” the soldiers did not act to prevent settlers from firing, B’tselem said.

The Israeli military said the incident was being investigated but “it appears that the video in question does not reflect the incident in its entirety.”

A spokesman for the settlement said the incident was touched off by Palestinians who set fire for the third week in a row to fields near Yitzhar. Fires were burning in the footage.

The spokesman, Avraham Binyamin, said the settlers’ security squad and firefighting team were attacked by dozens of Palestinians throwing rocks.

“When a person’s life is threatened, it’s his right to defend himself,” he said.

He said the soldier who was in command didn’t take charge of the situation and quell the unrest, and fled after being struck by a rock.

Ahmed Abdul Hadi, council chief for the Palestinian village, said settlers frequently attack their community of 3,000 people.

“This time, they clearly wanted to kill somebody,” Abdul Hadi said. “They don’t normally fire, but unfortunately, this time the army was there and watching. We hope the Israeli government will prevent the settlers from attack us, not support them.”

The Palestinian government in the West Bank called on Monday on the Israeli government to open a fair investigation to bring the attackers to justice.

Nazi settlers filmed firing guns at Palestinians

Video posted on YouTube shows settlers firing a pistol and rifles at a group of protesters while police and soldiers stand by

The Guardian

Israeli settlers fire at Palestinians Link to this video

A video released by an Israeli human rights group appears to show settlers shooting at a group of Palestinian protesters while police and soldiers stand by.

The incident was filmed by Palestinians from the West Bank village of Asira al-Qibliya on Saturday afternoon. A 24-year-old Palestinian, Fathi Asayira, was taken to hospital with facial injuries following the shooting.

According to B’Tselem, which uploaded the footage to YouTube, a large group of settlers, some masked and armed, approached the village from the nearby settlement of Yitzhar and began throwing rocks and starting fires. After a group of Palestinians gathered and threw rocks in return at the settlers, Israeli police and soldiers arrived on the scene.

One of the settlers is seen crouching while aiming and then firing his pistol at the group of Palestinians. Two other settlers are seen firing assault rifles.

“The video footage raises grave suspicions that the soldiers present did not act to prevent the settlers from throwing stones and firing live ammunition at the Palestinians,” said B’Tselem. “The soldiers did not try to remove the settlers and in fact are seen standing by settlers while they are shooting and stone throwing.”

In a statement, the Israeli defence forces said it was investigating the shooting. Security forces arrived at the scene following stone-throwing by both sides in an effort to separate them. “There was a shooting during the incident and the matter is being investigated‚ but on the surface, the video that was released does not seem to represent the whole incident.”

The Palestinian Authority demanded an impartial investigation into the incident and action from the international community over settler attacks and provocation. “The gravity of the footage lies not only in the settlers’ provocations and shooting live ammunition towards unarmed residents, but also in the irresponsibility of the Israeli soldiers who stood watching the events,” said a statement from the prime minister’s office.

The settlement’s spokesman, Avraham Binyamin, was quoted in the Israeli media as saying its security squad came under a hail of stones while trying to extinguish fires lit by Palestinians. “It is clear that use of arms by IDF forces or the security squad was done in a tangible life-endangering situation,” he said.

Villagers in Asira say attacks and intimidation by settlers from Yitzhar are routine. Yitzhar has a reputation for being one of the most hardline settlements in the West Bank. Israel‘s education ministry closed down a state-funded yeshiva (religious school) on the settlement last November after the security agency Shin Bet said it had accumulated evidence that students were engaged in acts of violence against Palestinian villagers.

NEW

Ahmed Abdul Hadi, the leader of the village council, said the settlers had risked killing someone. “They don’t normally fire, but unfortunately, this time the army was there and watching. We hope the Israeli government will prevent the settlers from attack us, not support them,” he told the Associated Press.

Posted in ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Group: Palestinian shot as Zio-Nazi troops stood by

Zionist Congressmen urge silent moment for Zionist Munich victims

NOVANEWS

Logo of the 2012 London Olympics.

Zionist Congressman Engel, congresswoman Lowey announce new resolution calling for Olympic commemoration of murdered Zio-Nazi athletes of 1972.

jpost

US Representatives Eliot Engel and Nita Lowey, both Democrats from New York, announced Friday the introduction of House Resolution 663, calling on the International Olympic Committee to commemorate the 1972 Munich attack during the 2012 London Olympic Games opening ceremonies.

The Olympic Committee has rejected the Israeli government’s proposal to hold a minute of silence in memory of the 11 Israeli sportsmen murdered by terrorists at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.

The congressmen stated that forty years on, the International Olympic Committee has a moral responsibility to commemorate the victims of the terror attack.

“We’re not asking for a gold medal – just a minute of silence. That is why we introduced House Resolution 663 expressing the sense of Congress that IOC should provide a solemn recognition to the horror that befell the Games in 1972 through a minute of silence at the 2012 opening ceremonies,” Engel and Lowey said in a statement.

In 1972, Palestinian terrorists from Black September took members of Israel’s delegation hostage and demanded that 234 prisoners jailed in Israel be freed. Eleven Israelis were slain in a bungled rescue operation carried out by German security forces.

“The Munich 11 were part of the Olympic family, and IOC’s rejection thus far of a minute of silence is unacceptable.

We intend to put the US Congress on record that those who died deserve to be remembered in a respectful manner to mark this anniversary,” they added.

On Thursday, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon responded to a letter from IOC president Jacques Rogge informing him of the decision by saying that it negated the idea of fraternity behind the Games.

“The terrorist murders of the Israeli athletes were not just an attack on people because of their nationality and religion; it was an attack on the Olympic Games and the international community,” Ayalon said.

“Thus it is necessary for the Olympic Games as a whole to commemorate this event in the open rather than only in a side event.”

Ayalon sent a letter to Rogge a few weeks ago asking the committee to hold a minute of silence for the Israeli victims at the London Olympics this summer.

The minister said he would inform the bereaved families of the committee’s rejection of the proposal. He said Israel would open a campaign aimed at reversing the decision.

“This rejection told us as Israelis that this tragedy is yours alone and not a tragedy within the family of nations,” he said.

“This is a very disappointing approach and we hope that this decision will be overturned so the international community as one can remember, reflect and learn the appropriate lesson from this dark stain on Olympic history.”

Meanwhile in London, momentum was gathering, as the flame for the London Olympics arrived on British soil on Friday on board a special golden-liveried British Airways flight from Athens.

The flame will start a 70- day torch relay around Britain on Saturday, with triple Olympic gold medalist sailor Ben Ainslie carrying it on the first leg from Land’s End on the southwest tip of England.

The Olympic Games start on July 27.

Posted in USAComments Off on Zionist Congressmen urge silent moment for Zionist Munich victims

Saudi Arabia Marks King’s Accession as Region Applies Pressure

NOVANEWS
By Glen Carey

As he begins his eighth year on the throne, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia confronts a region facing unprecedented political changes as well as mounting social pressures at home.

The country marks the seventh anniversary of Abdullah’s accession today, according to the Islamic calendar. Seven years ago, “people pledged allegiance and loyalty to the king and united in support of him,” the official Saudi Press Agency said. Based on the lunar cycle, August 1, 2005 corresponds to May 17.

Abdullah, 88 this year, has kept at bay the popular movements that toppled leaders in Yemen, Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. With unrest threatening to spread to the Persian Gulf states, he drew up a $130 billion spending package to help alleviate issues such as unemployment and deployed troops to Bahrain to crush a Shiite-led uprising. At home, the son of King Abdulaziz, the founder of the kingdom, has pursued policies to create jobs and build state institutions.

“The regional environment has been difficult,” said Crispin Hawes, director for the Middle East and North Africa at Eurasia Group in London. “Not only has Abdullah lost a significant ally in Hosni Mubarak, but the emergence of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran, continuing upheaval in Iraq and more recently the situation in Syria and Bahrain have posed significant direct challenges.”

Saudi Arabia’s economy will expand 3.9 percent this year, Jeddah-based National Commercial Bank said, after growing 6.8 percent last year.

‘Reasonable’ Growth

With Abdullah’s backing, the government has “accomplished reasonable economic growth,” Jarmo Kotilaine, chief economist at Jeddah-based National Commercial Bank, said in a phone interview. “They need to lay the foundation for a diverse economy to absorb new job-seekers.”

Since taking power, Abdullah has implemented a $400 billion fiscal stimulus package in late 2008 and a $384 billion, five- year spending plan for education, housing and transportation in August 2010. He imposed quotas in June forcing employers to cut foreign staff to get Saudis working, and allowed women to work in lingerie outlets.

Abdullah for the first time in the kingdom’s history gave women last year the right to vote in future municipal elections. They can also join his advisory council.

For Mohammed al-Qahtani, a Riyadh-based democracy advocate, many of the changes Abdullah made are “symbolic.”

‘Positive Feelings’

“When Abdullah took over, at the beginning, there were positive feelings,” he said in a phone interview. “People thought things were changing, that we could express ourselves. Unless institutions are put in place, the changes don’t mean anything.”

A royal decree last year banned media deemed to violate Islamic law and threaten internal security, the official Saudi Press Agency reported. Publications that break the rules can be fined or closed.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, was ranked the least democratic country in the Middle East in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2010 Democracy Index. Six monarchs have ruled the kingdom since it was established in 1932. Born in 1924, Abdullah is the 13th son of the kingdom’s founder, according to the website of the Saudi embassy in Washington.

‘Legalizing Taboos’

Abdullah has challenged clerics who have spoken out about his efforts to amend gender-mixing restrictions. He removed Sheikh Abdul Mohsen al-Obeikan as an adviser to the Royal Court this month after the conservative cleric told a local radio station that officials were Westernizing laws by “legalizing taboos.”

Abdullah also replaced Sheikh Saad Bin Naser al-Shatri, a former member of the Council of Senior Scholars, for criticizing the opening of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, the country’s first mixed-sex higher-education institution, in September 2009.

“A long-term goal for King Abdullah would have been that Saudi institutions remain strong, employment numbers would improve and relations with difficult parties remained stable,” Hawes said. “Given those goals, he has done very well.”

 

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