Jan 12, 2009

A Spreading Sickness

By Jan Markell

I have learned through many years in ministry that Americans tend to yawn about troubling events that are thousands of miles away. The busyness of life causes many to have a limited focus on the world and its troubles. And so it is with the conflict in Gaza. Yes, this war is part of the everlasting hatred that began thousands of years ago. These wars will go on until the Lord returns. But let me bring the issue closer to home.

The New York Sun reports that contrary to the long held belief that Hamas "only" seeks the destruction of Israel, America is anything but safe from the terror group's wrath. Hamas leader Ismail Elbarasse was arrested a year ago after authorities witnessed his wife videotaping Maryland's Chesapeake Bay Bridge from the SUV. The images captured by Elbarasse's wife included close-ups of cables and other features "integral to the structural integrity of the bridge."

The response in America to this is almost casual indifference! Hamas has talked of expanding its operations to include American targets, and they continue their close association with Iran and Syria.

FBI agents in America have expressed serious concern stating Hamas has the capacity to carry out attacks on American soil. Hamas sees America as an accomplice to the Israeli enemy.

Many also forget the attack on the Marine barracks in Lebanon in 1983 perpetrated by Hezbollah and Hamas.

Nonetheless, many in the Western world side with the brutal terrorist regime of Hamas and call Israel the "new Nazis." By now most on the Internet have seen the clips of demonstrators telling the Jews to go back to the ovens. While Muslims are clearly participating, they are joined by many non-Muslims including liberal clergy. You can view one of these demonstrations in a short 90-second clip here.

It seems ironic that much of the "oven" outcry is coming from Muslims in the Western world. But they are the ones who deny a Holocaust ever happened! Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas earned his PhD with his paper that the Holocaust was a myth.

Still the world and the media have sympathy for the devil and once again we have evil being called good; that is, the Hamas terrorists are "good" because they have small weapons and Israel is bad because they have nukes. When Russia invaded Georgia, did you see world demonstrations? After the Mumbai attacks in India, did you see any outcry? No, they are reserved for all things Jewish. Few bat an eye over signs saying "Hitler did a good job."

Sadly, a wing of the church is weighing in with nasty protests as well. Joining the condemnation of Israel is the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Their early January fact-finding trip compared Israel to the Nazis. President of the Lutheran World Federation, Mark Hanson, also pushed for a propaganda campaign against Christians who stand by Israel. In partnership with other liberal churches, Hanson is leading the effort to demonize Christian friends of Israel.

Hanson calls Christian Zionism "a dangerous and radical political movement." Apparently Israel is not entitled to have a small group of friends who pray for her and stand with her. It should be noted that Hanson conveniently looks the other way when it comes to the persecution of Palestinian Christians by their corrupt leaders.

As Mark Steyn says, this is a spreading sickness. It is also a fulfillment of Bible prophecy as the Bible stresses the last days' persecution of both Christians and Jews. And it is the precursor to Zechariah's prophecy that some day, probably sooner rather than later, all nations will abandon Israel.

That is what makes the ELCA's little temper tantrum a travesty as they even object to a sliver of Christianity who, through thick or thin, stand by God's land and people.