For “Scripture Sunday”:
Ambassador Victim of Growing Wave of Anti-American Anger
“U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens was killed in Benghazi, Libya, Sept. 11, 2012. Diplomats have valiantly tried to protect American interests in troubled areas. The anti-American attack in Libya shows the failure of these efforts.
The killing of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others in a vicious attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, highlights the failure of American diplomacy throughout the Middle East.
The diplomats have been given an impossible mission in a hostile region. American diplomats have been thrown into war zones in the midst of rival rebel groups vying for power. Who is an enemy, and who is a friend? America has sought to use foreign aid as a major tool to buy new friends in this rapidly changing environment. But how strong are such friendships?
Even when the American offers are decidedly to the advantage of the other country, that doesn’t seem to ensure that the leaders will be thankful or loyal. And it certainly doesn’t sway the radical elements, who see America and its culture as a danger to their culture, and American presence as an affront to their Muslim faith.
What is the video that supposedly provoked the attack in Libya as well as the protests at American embassies in Egypt, Tunisia, Sudan and elsewhere?
The Wall Street Journal reported, “For more than two months, the ‘Muhammad Movie Trailer,’ an amateurish video assault on the founder of Islam, remained one of millions of obscure clips posted on YouTube.
“Today, fueled by the Internet and the roiling stew of the Arab Spring, the 14-minute video has been blamed for helping to spur attacks on U.S. diplomats and missions in Egypt and Libya, sparking … a crisis that has ricocheted around the world” (“Mystery Deepens Over Anti-Islamic Video,” Sept. 13, 2012).
Beyond the mystery of who is behind the video and why it has surfaced now is the mystery of human nature that leads to attacks on peaceful diplomats who would denounce the message and methods of the video provocateurs. Just being associated with the country in which the video was made somehow makes the diplomats symbolic targets.
Given the United States’ commitment to free speech and religious fervor being stirred up around the Middle East, such incidents are sure to continue and escalate.
Dealing with enemies
Human governments have tried everything, it seems, in dealing with their enemies. The great powers of history have often used overwhelming force to defeat their enemies—for a time. Too often in the cycle of history those brutal victories spawn future revolts as the great powers wane.
Other nations have tried appeasement or buying off their enemies. The Bible is full of stories of nations paying huge sums to buy peace or buy allies. These arrangements never seemed to last either. God even accused His people of spiritual prostitution for going after other nations and bowing to their influence rather than turning to Him (Hosea 7:11; 8:9).
(For more on this, see our blog post “Can Military Aid Really Buy Friends and Lasting Peace?”)
Turning to God is truly the only way to find real peace and protection in this increasingly dangerous world. Even if our nations do not turn to God, we can personally seek Him and His protection (Psalms 31:14-16; 44:6-7).
The end of enemies
Today we see many well-meaning leaders trying everything they can think of to promote peace in some of the world’s troubled hot spots, especially in the Middle East. Some have even believed that the Arab Spring was opening up the prospects for future peace in the region. But such cries of “peace, peace” have always been followed by the reality that “there is no peace” (Jeremiah 6:14). Humanity does not know the way to peace (Romans 3:17).
The good news is that there is peace, ensured by the greatest power in the universe, on the way. Jesus Christ promised to intervene in world affairs in the midst of the worst time of trouble the world has ever seen (Matthew 24:21-22). It seems the battle lines are being set for the cataclysmic end-time battles that will bring humanity to the brink of mutually assured destruction.
Then Jesus Christ will return, destroying the armies that will attempt to stand against Him and bringing the way of real peace to those who recognize their sins and turn to Him.
Isaiah describes the wonderful Kingdom of God that Jesus Christ will then rule over:
“Many people shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
“He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore” (Isaiah 2:3-4).
This time of peace is pictured every year by the celebration of God’s Feast of Tabernacles. Learn more about this biblical festival in our article “The Feast of Tabernacles: A Bountiful Harvest.” by Mike Bennett - September 13, 2012 From: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/prophecy/blog/anti-american-anger/
Wars of Religion
September 13, 2012 - “Violence against American diplomats in Libya remind us how quickly religion can inflame the region.”
Transcript at: http://www.ucg.org/beyond-today-daily/conflicts-and-war/wars-religion and below:
“[Darris McNeely] The Middle East has once again erupted into violence. Unfortunately this week, an attack took place on the American Embassy Compound in Libya, the city of Benghazi. Four American diplomats were killed, including the ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens. It was a very unfortunate situation. This marks the first time since 1979 that a sitting ambassador has been killed in the country in which he is serving. And it highlights once again the volatility of the entire region, but as well the impact of religion and what it can do to suddenly provoke a problem and a reaction, and again even a larger war within this highly important area of the Middle East.
[Steve Myers] There's no doubt that religion had a major part to play in this whole incident because that was the backdrop, whether the leaders were actually convinced of that, but it was certainly used to provoke this whole incident. And it shows how easily people can be motivated by some of these kinds of things.
[Darris McNeely] In this case it was a video that was done that was purporting to cast the Prophet Muhammad in an unfavorable light. And yet likely this was planned because it also took place on the anniversary of 9/11 - the attacks on Washington and New York City 11 years ago. But again it just brings up the point that the wars of religion - we did a program on Beyond Today a few years ago about the wars of religion. Religion is still a very potent force in world affairs and culture. And as much as some people in the West especially would like to think that religion in a sense does not play a significant role, things like this happen in the Middle East to remind us that religion does play a very important role.
[Steve Myers] It's a huge role, and it's a prophetic role that we can't ignore. Daniel 11 talks a lot about that, it talks about the coming times, and how religion really will be a cornerstone to some of the issues that are going to be facing the world here shortly.
[Darris McNeely] Daniel 11:40 is a key verse in Bible prophecy that we are looking at to be fulfilled. It talks about the time of the end yet ahead of us when "The king of the South shall attack him and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind." Now what in general terms this prophecy is doing is describing a provocation where it says, "The king of the North shall attack." Excuse me, "The king of the South will attack." The king of the South is identified as the power coming out of the Middle East and in whatever way it provokes a reaction against another power here called the king of the North to come and to invade into the region. And interestingly as this prophecy goes on - of course, this is verse 40 - it goes on in verse 43 to mention even the very country Libya that we're talking about here (Daniel 11:43 But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps. See All...).
[Steve Myers] It certainly does. And do you see these attitudes already there today? If you read through all of Daniel 11 you find these descriptors of people's attitudes and their minds, where it talks about strife, where it talks about violence, where it talks about stirring things up. And boy have we seen that this week. That's what's happening.
[Darris McNeely] And we don't know yet what will happen additionally this week with other problems, but it just points up the fact to continue to be watching the Middle East. Be aware of what is taking place and understand how quickly events can unfold - even small events can become very big. This is a very significant event. It's not something to take lightly.
[Steve Myers] That's BT Daily . We'll see you next time.
The program on WGN this morning: “You Are What You Eat”
“Most agree that to be fit and healthy you need to eat good food. But what should you do to stay spiritually fit and strong?”
From Me: You will notice that all the meats and fish that are named as being unclean in the Bible, are scavengers. Coincidence? I think not.
On This Day:
Settlers race to claim land, Sep 16, 1893:
“On this day in 1893, the largest land run in history begins with more than 100,000 people pouring into the Cherokee Strip of Oklahoma to claim valuable land that had once belonged to Native Americans. With a single shot from a pistol the mad dash began, and land-hungry pioneers on horseback and in carriages raced forward to stake their claims to the best acres.
Ironically, not many years before that same land had once been considered worthless desert. Early explorers of Oklahoma believed that the territory was too arid and treeless for white settlement, but several suggested it might be the perfect place to resettle Indians, whose rich and fertile lands in the southeast were increasingly coveted by Americans. The U.S. government later took this advice and began removing eastern Indian tribes like the Cherokee and Choctaw to Oklahoma Territory in 1817. No more eager than the whites to leave their green and well-watered lands for the arid plains, some Indians resisted and had to be removed by force-most tragically, the 4,000 Cherokee who died during the brutal overland march known appropriately as the "Trail of Tears."
By 1885, a diverse mixture of Native American tribes had been pushed onto reservations in eastern Oklahoma and promised that the land would be theirs "as long as the grass grows and the water runs." Yet even this seemingly marginal land did not long escape the attention of land-hungry Americans. By the late nineteenth century, farmers had developed new methods that suddenly made the formerly reviled Plains hugely valuable. Pressure steadily increased to open the Indian lands to settlement, and in 1889, President Benjamin Harrison succumbed and threw open large areas of unoccupied Indian lands to white settlement. The giant Cherokee Strip rush was only the largest of a series of massive "land runs" that began in the 1890s, with thousands of immigrants stampeding into Oklahoma Territory and establishing towns like Norman and Oklahoma City almost overnight.”
William Durant creates General Motors, Sep 16, 1908:
“On September 16, 1908, Buick Motor Company head William Crapo Durant spends $2,000 to incorporate General Motors in New Jersey. Durant, a high-school dropout, had made his fortune building horse-drawn carriages, and in fact he hated cars--he thought they were noisy, smelly, and dangerous. Nevertheless, the giant company he built would dominate the American auto industry for decades.
In the first years of the 20th century, however, that industry was a mess. There were about 45 different car companies in the United States, most of which sold only a handful of cars each year (and many of which had an unpleasant tendency to take customers' down payments and then go out of business before delivering a completed automobile). Industrialist Benjamin Briscoe called this way of doing business "manufacturing gambling," and he proposed a better idea. To build consumer confidence and drive the weakest car companies out of business, he wanted to consolidate the largest and most reliable manufacturers (Ford, REO, his own Maxwell-Briscoe, and Durant's Buick) into one big company. This idea appealed to Durant (though not to Henry Ford or REO's Ransom E. Olds), who had made his millions in the carriage business just that way: Instead of selling one kind of vehicle to one kind of customer, Durant's company had sold carriages and carts of all kinds, from the utilitarian to the luxurious.
But Briscoe wanted to merge all the companies completely into one, while Durant wanted to build a holding company that would leave its individual parts more or less alone. ("Durant is for states' rights," Briscoe said. "I am for a union.") Durant got his way, and the new GM was the opposite of Ford: Instead of just making one car, like the Model T, it produced a wide variety of cars for a wide variety of buyers. In its first two years, GM cobbled together 30 companies, including 11 automakers like Oldsmobile, Cadillac, and Oakland (which later became Pontiac), some supplier firms, and even an electric company.
Buying all these companies was too expensive for the fledgling GM, and in 1911 the corporation's board forced the spendthrift Durant to quit. He started a new car company with the Chevrolet brothers and was able to buy enough GM stock to regain control of the corporation in 1916, but his profligate ways got the better of him and he was forced out again in 1920. During the Depression, Durant went bankrupt, and he spent his last years managing a bowling alley in Flint.”
Maria Callas dies, Sep 16, 1977:
“Celebrated soprano Maria Callas dies in Paris at the age of 53.
Born in New York City in 1923 to Greek immigrants, Callas demonstrated her talent for singing at an early age. When she was 13, she went to Athens to study under the noted soprano Elvira de Hidalgo. Her first major operatic role came in 1947, when she appeared in La Gioconda in Verona. Acclaimed for a powerful soprano voice that lent itself to the difficult coloratura roles, she was soon appearing in opera houses around the world. Her talents made possible the revival of 19th-century bel canto works by Bellini and others that had not been performed for decades. In 1954, the "Divine Callas" made her American debut in Chicago in the title role of Norma, a performance she repeated before a record audience at New York City's Metropolitan Opera.
Callas' stormy personal life was closely watched and exaggerated by the press, as were her professional walkouts and tiffs with rivals. The diva divorced her husband of many years after becoming involved with Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis, but he later left her when he fell in love with the widowed Jackie Kennedy. In the 1970s, Callas' career rapidly declined, and she died in 1977.”
After my daughter’s usual lengthy, newsy, Saturday phone call, I got ready for church. I was going to the afternoon service at The Church of God, in Willis, as I had to wait until noon for Chris to pick up Prime for Adoption Day. As soon as she left, I went early to the church so that I could be there for the Bible Study. It was about The “Man of Sin/Antichrist” and we were studying 2 Thess 2:3.
The Praise Team lead us in song, and the sermon was about “Pattern of Self-Denial” from 1 Cor 9. I wasn’t going to stay for the pot-luck, but a sweet lady next to me said that I should, so that I could all have the fellowship of the gathering. As always, the people, food, and conversations were wonderful. I had been going to the Conroe Church of God for the last few weeks, but the Willis congregation remembered and welcomed me.
When I arrived home, Ray met me with the news that the cable TV and internet was out, and that he had let Misty out for me. Misty was so glad to see me, as I had been gone for 5½ hours, and she hadn’t had any TV to listen to. I suppose a blind dog likes to have some noise in the house, so that she doesn’t feel alone in her dark world. It must have been scary for her, especially with Prime gone too.
Chris bought Prime home a little while after that, and again said what a sweet cat Prime is. One of these days someone will put in an application for her so that she can have a ‘furever’ home.
I was able to draft this, without internet, on Live Writer. No telling when this will be published, I’ll have to wait for the internet to come back on. P.S: Oh, good, it was restored late yesterday.