Wednesday, March 20, 2013



I should have covered this chapter last week- but I’m behind a little.

So let’s start the week with a famous verse.

“Call unto me and I will answer thee and SHOW THEE great and mighty things that thou knowest not”.

Jeremiah 33:3.

This chapter deals with the restoration promises that God made to his people in the Old Testament.

The other week I did a few posts about the main meaning of the bible- the message of Christianity.

One of the main themes of the bible is the promise of a coming Messiah- someone who the Jewish nation was looking for- he was a future deliverer.

In this chapter the prophet talks about the promise made to King David- that there would be a Son from his genealogy that would someday sit on the throne of David.

In the New Testament we see the promise fulfilled thru the coming of Christ.

If you carefully read the book of Acts- the main preachers [Peter and Paul] speak about this Davidic promise being fulfilled thru Jesus.

Jesus came from the lineage of David and he was raised from the dead and seated at the right hand of God.

Okay- Jeremiah is preaching to the Jewish people during a time of captivity- the people are in bondage- again [Remember Egypt?]

In order to encourage them he tells them God has not forgotten the promises he made to them.

He says he will restore them- he will fulfill the promise to David- and there will ‘never fail to be someone form David’s house to sit on the throne- a Branch will grow up from David’.

When the apostles Paul/Peter talk about this promise to David in the New Testament- they say it must be speaking about the resurrection of Christ- because it says a Son [Jesus] will sit on the throne forever.

How can there be a king who takes the ‘job’ forever?

Because this king has an everlasting life- seated in the position.

Get it?

So- the whole chapter is simply a reminder to a depressed people- people heading for their own ‘fiscal cliff’ and yet- there is still hope.

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about getting a special ring from a friend- it has the words ‘Trust God’ on it.

So- with my history of losing rings- I made sure that this one stays on most of the time.

I only take it off when I shower- and it goes back on.

The other morning I woke up- and the first thing I realized was the ring was gone.


I mean I looked all over for it- turned the house upside down- went to the van- traced my steps- the whole 9 yards.

So- after about an hour- I knew what needed to be done.

We all know- but we get mad- and we don’t like to do it.

Yup- I prayed.

‘Lord- this week I’m reading Jeremiah 33- and it says to call unto you and you will show us stuff we don’t know- so here it goes- what happened to the ring?’

So- my daughter says ‘dad- someone will find it- it will show up’.

Yeah- I knew I had to wait- but I really did not want to.

So- I’m thinking ‘who will find it?’

Then- when I wake up the next day- I’m doing some dishes the morning- and I have a thought.

When I was at the halfway house I worked on the toilet- and I’m sure I took my ring and watch off.

Now- I had the watch- but maybe I left the ring?

I called the guys and asked around- there were a bunch of people there that day.

I waited a couple of days- and when I went to the house- sure enough little Charlie found the ring.

See- the verse doesn’t say ‘call unto me and I will bring it back’- it says ’I will show you things you don’t know’.

I didn’t know I took the ring off- I didn’t remember it- so the answer was God showing me something I forgot.

Okay- try and read the chapter this week- it’s a great chapter.

Pay attention to the promises that God is making to the people.

The promises that God will work thru their families- he will restore the things that are broken- fix stuff.

We all need those types of promises.

And if you are stuck- pray the verse- verse 3- and see if the Lord will show you something.

Maybe not an outright miracle- but just a thought- something you might have overlooked.

Often times that’s the answer to the prayer- it works.

Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [Facebook] - I have posted lots


Much to say- little space.

Before I forget- the chapter for the week was [is] Luke 21.

Okay- the last few days I have seen an interesting thing- this is how you know what’s really going on.

You listen carefully to those who support the view that they are speaking about.

Example- Gloria Borger is a news reporter from CNN.

I have seen her lots of times- she’s fairly good- and she is a supporter of the president.

The other night she gave a short report about the current fiscal crisis [called the Fiscal Cliff].

She said that Obama and the Dems are feeling justified after the election- and they seem more willing to not negotiate- for real- and to let the blame fall on the Repubs.

Now- as she talked- you could tell there was a sort of concern in her voice- like those who have supported the president might be worried that he might take the country over the cliff needlessly [remember- she was giving a sort of behind the scenes view of other Democrats- that they seem to think Obama is the one that might take the country over the cliff- even though he is saying it’s the Repubs- his own supporters kind of think he’s lying about the thing- get it?]

Why needlessly?

She [as well as a bunch of others] have now come out and said that the thing that’s holding up a deal is the Repubs insistence on Medicare ‘means testing’.

Right now the 2 sides [Obama and the Repub congress] are stuck because Obama wants to raise taxes on the rich- and the Repubs want to means test entitlements [Medicare].

Okay- Obama himself was for means testing- just last year he gave a speech claiming we could raise 1.2 trillion by doing this [it’s s simple adjustment to Medicare that makes the rich pay more].

So- those news papers and media outlets who have been behind the president 100% are now saying that he needs to agree to it.

Why are they all out in force like this?

They realize that he was [might still] purposefully blow a deal- because the blame will go to the Repubs.

But isn’t that petty- isn’t that wrong- isn’t that dangerous?

Sure- but that’s the honest read of this- that’s the only reason why you would have a bunch of more liberal leaning news media all come out at this time and try to force Obama’s hand.

When Boehner came out and said the deal the president offered was a joke- most insiders agreed- he was going to go over the cliff- no doubt about it.

Okay- the clincher for me was the infamous MSNBC- yes Ed Shultz had on Emanuel Cleaver [a Dem congressman who kinda looks like Richard Pryor].

Now- out of all the supporters of Obama- you would be hard pressed to exceed Shultz [now- I’m not saying it’s wrong to support the pres- I’m showing you how his supporters in the media have tried to shape the narrative].

Shultz was asking Cleaver about means testing Medicare [remember- this is the exact thing the Repubs want- and Obama’s side does not].

Cleaver gave quite a good view of why WE SHOULD MEANS TEST Medicare.


I thought that was the very thing the Repubs want?

That’s right- now you’re learnin’.

Yeah- Cleaver went on and explained why we should do means testing- he gave the entire Repub talking points- and he was right.

Wow- finally- you mean they might be admitting the need to compromise?

Actually no.

Shultz then said ‘but you will never be able to convince the Repubs to do this- because they will try and protect their rich friends who will pay the most out of means testing’.

And Cleaver agreed.

You see- they both purposefully lied to their watchers.

They both know that what they said was an outright lie- like all the racial accusations of those who had real objections to healthcare reform.

MSNBC spent the last year calling them all ‘under the cover’ racists- playing ‘dog whistle’ politics.

The fact is- the Repubs are the ones demanding means testing- not the Dems.

And they gave you a spin that said the opposite.

They do no service to the country when they do this.

Okay- lets hit a little from Luke 21.

This is an ‘end time’ chapter where Jesus speaks to his men about the end of the age.

Just a few points.

I only cover [read] a couple of chapters a week.

The last year- I don’t think I read a single ‘earthquake’ chapter at all.

I have found the chapters I’m covering to have significance.

Just yesterday [or the day before] Japan was hit with another huge earthquake off its Pacific coast [Luke 21 says at the time of the end- outcome- there will be earthquakes.]

It was the same size of the one that leveled the area a few years back.

Pray for Japan.

Jesus gives us some of the signs that will take place at the time of the end.

I kind of ‘spiritualized’ my reading of the chapter this week- you know- looking for some practical things that are speaking about the here and now.

So- one of the things that spoke to me was what I posted about the other day- the post on ‘the dead ones’ remember?

I talked about praying for inmates on death row.

Okay- this practice became a habit a few years ago- and I felt like the Lord was in it.

While reading Luke 21 Jesus says- at the time of the end [or outcome] of these things- some OF YOU will be put to death.

In a strange way it fit what I sensed the Lord saying- sort of like ‘John- now that you have adopted these dead ones- these on death row- they are ‘some of you’- you have embraced them- this happens at the time of ‘the end’ the time of the outcome of all things.’

Get it?

Okay- there are a few more things I got from the chapter- but I’m trying to give you a sense of how God can speak to you ‘outside’ of the text.

Now- when you do this- read with a personal idea in mind- you should never make it doctrine.

That is- what I just showed you is fine to do in a devotional kind of way- trying to hear God about personal direction- but that’s not the actual teaching itself.

The actual teaching is about the end times- and also the destruction of the city of Jerusalem in a.d. 70.

I shared this with my friend who I’m doing the halfway house with.

I told him about ‘adopting the dead’.

He told me an interesting story about this.

Now- I have told John David's story many times over the years- so I won’t do the whole thing again.

But John David killed his best friend in Dallas many years ago.

A very brutal shotgun killing that made the headlines- his brother told me one day that when they picked up the dead body- he had shotgun pellets under his feet.

David kept shooting even after his friend was down.

John David got off for this crime- his mother got the same lawyer who defended Jack Ruby [who killed Lee Harvey Oswald] - and he got David off scot free.

Okay- that’s the story.

David told me the night he was in the Dallas prison- he was with another inmate who also just killed someone.

They were both puking up beer- sick as dogs- and sitting in the same cell- as murderers.

David was walking out of the mission here a few years back- and he randomly saw a news paper article- it was the execution of the Black cellmate that David was with that night[some of you- but not all will be PUT TO DEATH].

David relayed this story to me because I told him about the Lord leading me into the ‘adoption’ of the Death Row Guys.

He felt it fit- I might have even prayed for this guy he was with.

Yeah ‘some of YOU will be put to death’.

Yeah- I got it.

Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [Facebook] - I have posted lots.


I want to cover a few things today- not sure how much we will get to.

A few months ago I kept having a ‘thought’- I was thinking about a church/ministry that I have known for years.

They are from Kansas City [the Missouri side].

I have read the pastor’s book- I have met many that were involved in the church/movement- and I even had a good pastor friend who eventually went and joined the ministry.

He held a doctorate in theology and became one of the teachers for their university.

Okay- so- for some reason an image of the ministry kept coming to mind.

Actually- I kept thinking about the off balance of a few things I had heard over the years.

I was thinking about their belief- taught to the students/members of the ministry- that they are all convinced that we are definitely in the ‘end times’ and that they are actually fulfilling a role of an end times prayer ministry that will rise up before the Lord returns [which they believe the bible speaks about].

At its most basic level- this is dangerous to do- for a variety of reasons.

The other thing that came to mind was a simple statement I heard the minister make years ago.

He was mentioning some criticism that their church/university has gotten over the years.

Some of the parents of the kids have said to them ‘but you need to also learn some type of job skills- some type of learning in the liberal arts- you can’t just spend all your time praying and learning about being the Lords end time army’.

When I heard this- I actually agreed with the critic- though I was sympathetic to the ministry.

Okay- after having these things in my mind- for a few weeks [that’s how you know you’re actually praying in a way for them- because you’re thinking about them- even during prayer].

Then I read in my local paper that a kid from my town was I involved in a possible murder plot and killed his wife.

They were involved in the above mentioned ministry.

I went on-line a bit yesterday to read up on it before I comment- I won’t mention the names- you can find that from many other sources.

I just want to mention the danger of various expressions of Protestant ministries- and why this is so.

The other day one of my friends was mentioning some stuff about not being a ‘lone ranger’ in ministry.

And I agreed with him.

But I also reminded him that the church he associates with [Baptist] is in many ways a ‘lone ranger’.

How so?

Depending on what kind of Baptist church your involved with- some are highly ‘lone’- others not as much.

But by ‘lone’ I mean historically they are a church movement that came out of the 16th century Reformation [later on- they were part of what’s called the Radical Reformers- those who took the reforms further than the initial protestors] and in historical terms- they are all ‘rebelling’ against authority.

They left the historic church.

Now- I don’t take this view in a harsh way- I have many good Baptist friends and many good churches are Baptist.

I say this only to give the broader perspective.

Okay- as time progressed [from the 1500’s] you had a multitude of churches/denominations break away from one thing or another.

It's really astounding to see the many divisions that have come since the days of the Reformation [which some Catholic scholars warned would happen].

In these ‘off shoot’ expressions of Christianity- some are less dangerous- others more.

Many cult watchers have lists of what to look for in these movements- and these lists can be helpful.

What I try and tell people [and teach] is if you stay connected as much as possible with the historic church [yes- both the Catholic and Protestant expressions of it] then you are in safe territory.

But if you truncate yourself from 'the church’ then you are heading for trouble.

In the above example- the thing that troubled me was having lots of young kids- on ‘fire’ for God- being taught that they are God’s ‘end time army’.

The actual ones!

Geez- that in itself is really disturbing.


First- I think the Evangelical church has to do some real soul searching about the way she views/expresses the ‘end times’.

The fact that over the last few years some of the best sellers are Tim Layahes books- his End Times series- is troubling.

He gives a very narrow- and skewed view [in my opinion] of the bibles’ teaching about End Times.

I posted the other day from Daniel 12- and I have hinted about these problems over the years.

But some of our view about the end times comes from a miss reading of the actual Greek text.

In the gospels when we read ‘end of the world’- the term actually means end of the AGE.

Okay- that little adjustment alone can change our understanding about lots of stuff.

That’s just one little thing- I have posted lots more over the years.

But the point I’m making is if we have a whole group of fine young people- embracing a view- from the elders over them- that they are indeed the actual 'end time army’ or prayer movement- that was foretold about in the bible- than that’s very disturbing.

When I read about the case yesterday [the ministry is IHOP_ Mike Bickle is the main leader- I won’t mention the name of the local boy who is implicated in the death of his wife].

The church is trying to distance itself from the incident- and to be fair the young kid seems to have started his own ‘break away’ community [which can also be one of the problems with a Protesting position form the start- that is when the actual name of your group ‘Protestant’ seems to say we are nonstop protestors- well that can give rise to the nonstop protests- you think?]

We don’t know all the facts right now- but we know enough to say we- as Evangelicals- as Protestants [which I am] need to make every effort to stay connected to the historic church.

Yes- there are things that Evangelicals disagree with- there are things that the historic early church might view differently than we do.

But- they are our Fathers in the faith.

Over the years I remember a verse that some in the above movement used to mention.

It was a sort of obscure verse found in the Old Testament.

It says ‘don't move the foundation stones that your Fathers have laid down’.

Yeah- I think that verse fits pretty well.

Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [Facebook] - I have posted lots.


Let’s do a little from Daniel chapter 12.

That was the chapter for this past week.

These chapters in the Old Testament prophets are very familiar with the End Times teachers.

In Theology we call this Eschatology- the study of End Times.

But what I want to do is give you a few simple principles.

Daniel is receiving a message from God/angels.

He hears that God is going to do a great work with his people- but this work takes place in the middle of great trouble [often called the time of Jacobs Trouble- or the Tribulation].

God communicates that his people will be scattered- a ruler will come against them- and yet- this is the time they will inherit the promises God made to them.

The chapter ends by saying those who endure to the final days- they will ‘stand in their lot at the end of their days- and rest’.

The ‘end of days’ phrase- used by Jesus in the gospels- can be a tricky phrase.

How so?

In the New Testament when we read that certain things will happen- and the ‘end of the world’ comes.

The actual term in Greek says ‘the end of the age’.

This can refer to a specific time period coming to an end.

For instance- one of the great themes of the bible is the New and Everlasting covenant of the Blood of Jesus.

Yes- Christians celebrate and remember this covenant every Sunday in church.

The Eucharist/communion is the central mode of worship in many Christian churches of our day.

In biblical terms- we are already in a ‘new age’.

So- in some ways the ‘old world’ has passed away- and the new one has come.

Okay- applying this to Daniel- God says in the ‘end of days’ we shall stand in our lot [fulfill our purpose in life] and this will happen during a time of great trouble- like never before.

As we say ‘can I get an amen’?

So- in life- we have a calling from God- a purpose for being on the planet.

Thru out the journey there are ups and downs- but those who ‘endure to the end [outcome]’ will ‘be saved’- or fulfill the purpose at the end.

Got it?

Okay- just a few notes.

The last week or so I have been helping my friend establish a halfway house.

I have been working with some new guys- guys form the other part of town- yet they are brothers just like the guys where I live.

I mentioned Little Charlie the other day- he’s a young kid- has had his problems with drugs- and is living at the halfway house.

I brought a bunch of furniture and stuff over the last few weeks.

I like it- it already has some of my favorite nick knacks hanging on the walls.

I spent some time with the guys this past Sunday- I took them to a street church that my friend pastors [see all the pictures of the tent he sets up- I posted them on Facebook].

His name is Rey Escalante- he’s a good friend of mine- he works with the same street guys I work with.

I took the halfway house crew to his service this Sunday- we had a good time.

Rey feeds everyone a Sunday dinner too.

I had a good talk with Bryan.

Bryan is one of the guys at the house- he’s 46- I was surprised- he looks much younger.

He told me ‘John- I’m Catholic’.

I guess he has had various ‘preachers’ jump on him about that over the years- you could tell by the way he said it.

I told him that’s fine- I have Catholic friends [over the years even a few priests] who have read my blog.

So- I do get along well with my Catholic friends.

Bryan has been in Corpus for about a year.

He is a drug addict.

He works in construction- and looks to be a hard worker [some of the guys do work hard- there are different types of guys who struggle with addiction- and believe me- some are hard workers].

Bryan strikes me that way.

As we were heading to church this Sunday- he found out that his Jeep finally got repossessed.

He was behind 3 months on the payments and his friend was holding it for him.

Sure enough- they found it.

Bryan told me he was glad in a way.

That years ago- something like this would really get him upset.

You know- having to get with the dealership and try to get his tools and stuff back.

Yeah- this has happened to him before.

But this time- he has learned how to deal with it in a better way.

He can now focus more on his recovery- and less on the Jeep.

I had a good day with the guys- this type of ministry is really more like a brotherhood.

After we left the church meeting at Church Without Walls- we came back to the house for a couple of hours- by this time I picked up a few other guys- we had a house/yard full [Huey crashed out in the ‘homeless room’ I fixed up a few months ago- It’s just ‘their room’ type of thing].

Henry crashed on the couch- watching his favorite show- ESPN.

And the rest of us hung out in my yard- I cooked some hot dogs on the grill and we just laid back.

Bryan even took a short nap in my Hammock.

All in all we had a good day.

Yeah- like the prophet said- in the end times there will be trouble- yet- those who endure to the end- they will inherit all that God has for them.

In a way- I see God doing this with all these guys.

I took a ride with John David the other day.

John David is the older brother who actually started the Halfway House- I’m just helping him with it.

As we were driving- getting the rooms fixed up- he was so excited.

He was saying ‘thank you God for making all this happen- it’s happening all around us’.

John was a big time addict for many years- I know John- and his brothers- from the streets.

He almost died a couple months back [had the open heart surgery- had to be shocked with the paddles].

He has had quite the life.

And now- after all the troubles- he is ‘standing in his lot at the end of his days’.

Yeah- I thank God for my buddies- seeing them come full circle.

They stuck it out- in very tough times- may God bless them all.

Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [Facebook] - I have posted lots.


I had a talk with John the other day.

I was at the mission- by the way- there are now about 4 Johns that I’m friends with- so this John is the guy who used to work at the Navy base right around here.

I have known John for many years- he seems to be a real nice guy.

Different form some of the other guys- you can tell that John was not a ‘bum’.

That is there are lots of guys who simply spent their whole lives around the missions- they have mastered the art of getting free stuff- many- many of them are able bodied people [actually healthier than me!].

Yet- by the thousands- they are all on SSI.

Just the other day one of them was telling me how his lawyer was getting him on disability- because he takes medication for his depression.

So- that’s the scoop.

But John worked for the base for 17 years- at 20 bucks an hour.

He was buying his own home- had a nice Harley- was living the dream in a way.

He got laid off- he lost his home- and he also did a lot of drugs.

He now lives in a broken down RV- a dump.

If he can’t come up with the 200 a month rent- he mows the grass for the owner- she owns about 8 rental houses.

As I talked with John- somehow I told him I was reading the book of Revelation- and I knew that some of it applied to him.

I told John that Revelation speaks about those who have overcome the mark of the beast- his image- and his number.

The apostle John [who wrote the book] said he saw these people ‘standing on a sea of glass mingled with fire’.

These were those who overcame the image that the beast wanted to brand them with.

I explained to John that in life- we all have good and bad times.

Often times- much of the battle is how others perceive us- that is we allow the ‘image’ that the accuser [the beast- satan] puts on us to affect us in a negative way.

I told John that when Jesus was baptized [the sea of glass imagery- get it?] that as he came up out of the water there was the voice of God saying ‘this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased’.

I told John that we- as children of God- are also seen the same way.

That God too is pleased with us- not on the basis of how we perform- but because God accepts us because his Son died for us.

I told John that this is much of the battle in life- overcoming the image of the beast- and accepting the image of God- our father.

In the New Testament it speaks about a baptism of water- and fire.

One time when the disciples were arguing over who would be ‘the greatest’ [image- see?]

Jesus asked them ‘can you be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with’?

They said yes.

He told them they would.

What baptism was Jesus referring to?

Probably the suffering he was going to go thru- the Cross.

Suffering is in a way a baptism ‘of fire’.

The baptism of the Spirit can also be called a baptism of fire.

Now- when John the apostle said he saw these people standing on a ‘sea of glass mingled with fire’.

It’s possible that he was speaking about the church- the community of people who would ‘arise’ from the baptism of water and fire.

Peter said ‘it is not only appointed unto us believe on him- but also to suffer for his name’

Yeah- as I spoke with John- as I told him about the battle to overcome the image of the beast- to accept the ‘mark of God on our fore heads’.

He understood this.

He kinda of invited me to preach at the street church for brother Rey.

I told John that Rey has asked me in the past- but I don’t do that anymore [I have many radio shows that people can still hear on line- I have preached for many years- I think I should leave that to others now].

I think John understood what I was saying.

Someone who had in a way lived part of the American dream- and then lost it all.

I encouraged him to receive the image that God has for him- the one that says ‘you are my Son in whom I am well pleased’.

Yes- there is a company of people who ‘stand on the sea’.

Don’t forget- this sea also has fire.

Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [Facebook] - I have posted lots.


Kinda want to try and wrap up for the week- maybe one more post in the morning?

I posted some pics of the street guys yesterday- want to make a few comments.

I like taking the pics and posting them right when I’m with the guys- I’ll tell them ‘hey- right now your pics are going to the site’- they love it.

I also want to wrap up a few final points about the church- and the 2 extremes that she strayed into over the centuries.

In the last few posts we have been discussing the over emphasis on natural Israel- the promises of God- found in the Old Testament- concerning the restoration of the land- the re-building of the temple- stuff like that.

The church also has a sad history of anti Semitism- racism against Jewish people.

To our Catholic friends- the church has tried to deal with it in the last 30 years or so.

The present Pope- Benedict- who I do like [I have read his books] got into some trouble a couple of years ago.

It was a noble attempt to try and heal some long time divisions within the church.

It has been said when the Protestants disagree with something- they go out and start their own church.

When Catholics disagree- they start their own order.

I like that- funny- and true.

So- part of the Catholic divisions is the older type churches- the ones who rebelled against the noble reforms of Vatican 2 [The last church council- held between 1962-65].

Within the Catholic Church there are disagreements over what the council was trying to do.

Liberal Catholics believe the church was trying to trend into a more liberal institution.

Conservatives say that’s a misreading- that the church still held to her conservative roots- and was simply trying to be more Ecumenical.

Either way- one of the results was the more traditional type churches- sometimes called Tridentine [the ones who prefer the old Latin Mass].

These churches kind of split off from Rome and have been worshipping using the Latin mass [which was originally a violation of Vatican 2].

Vatican 2 said the Mass should now be done in the vernacular- the language of the people.

So- Benedict made a noble attempt to bridge this division- and he allowed for the Tridentine churches to do the Mass in Latin- and he also restored an old prayer- about the Jewish people- which simply said we pray for the conversion of Jews.

Okay- was this a big thing?

To simply say Christians are praying for the conversion of Jews- is that real bad?

In my mind- not a big thing.

Might it offend some of our Jewish friends?


But that’s the tradition of the church- to want people to come to belief in Christ.

But- because of the history of anti Semitism- this became a big thing.

‘How dare you pray for our conversion’ type thing.

So the church has had to grapple with how she looks at the Jewish people.

Historically- there were times of persecution of the Jews.

Most of us are familiar with the inquisitions.

The ones in Spain did ‘force’ the Jews to convert- and there were ‘inquiries’ made to see if the Jewish people really converted.

Some were put to death during this time.

During the protestant Reformation of the 16th century- out of Germany- which was Martin Luther’s home country.

There were anti Semitic writings penned by Luther.

Some of these writings were later used- in Germany- under Hitler- to justify anti Semitism.

Very sad history.

Now we have the ‘over emphasis’ [in my view] of the role of natural Israel- and the End Times [last couple of posts].

So- as you see- we have been to both sides of the aisle on this.

Why did anti Semitism play a role in the church?

Understand- we have bibles- that as Christians we accept as the Word of God.

There are also statements in our bibles- well- to be honest- might not have been written  the same way- the same style- if we ‘re-wrote’ them today.


Bare with me a moment.

When the Mel Gibson’s movie came out- the Passion of the Christ- the criticism was he stuck very closely to the bible text- and it was indeed a violent crucifixion.

The writings of the apostle John specifically talk about the ‘Jews killing Jesus’.

There are other themes like this in our New Testament.

It’s not hard to see how these statements could lead to anti Semitism.

One of the things that the Pope recently clarified- which I absolutely agree with- is that when we read these things in our bibles.

We should not read them as saying ‘all Jews- of all times- are responsible for the death of Christ’.


In the bible story- the Jewish leaders conspired with the Roman govt. to ‘kill Christ’.

Many [all] of the original believers in the Messiah were indeed Jewish.

And the ‘anti Semitic’ statements in the New Testament were written by Jews- who were simply saying that they believed that some of their Jewish brothers were missing the boat by not accepting Jesus as the Messiah who was to come.

Okay- as you can see- we- the church- have a long history with this.

I would like to make one last comment before we close our talks on this.

For many years- as a bible teacher- writing- doing radio- etc.

It never dawned on me how these statements can indeed be offensive to our Jewish friends.

I mean say if you read ‘the Italians killed Christ’ or the Germans- etc.

That would indeed be problematic if you were trying to get your kids to read the bible.

The same thing with our references to the Arab world.

There are verses- in the Old Testament- that talk about Syria- Iraq [Babylon] and other Arab/Persian nations as the ‘enemies of God’.

So- when we use our bibles- in the modern day- it’s vital to understand that today- the kingdom of God is not about natural borders- or ethnic backgrounds.

It’s about Christ’s new kingdom- the kingdom of God.

All nations and races are welcome- we do not discriminate.

And we- as the church- do confess our sins against our Jewish friends- against our Arab friends- yes- we confess.

In the heated political environment of our day- the post 9-11 world- it’s hard to avoid animosity- and at times- hatred- towards others.

But we- as the people of God- should strive for forgiveness and unity- at least unity as people who live in a global society.

Yes- maybe we- as preachers especially- should re-think how we phrase things.

Yes- there are out and out statements in the bible about the ‘Jews killing Jesus’.

But in context- it would be wrong to put this on all Jews of all times- and if we ‘adjust’ the way we say these things- I think God would be well pleased.

Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [Facebook] - I have posted lots.

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