Posts Tagged ‘Middle East’

Early Headline: “Trump/Pence Win!”

November 6, 2016

As some of my early blogs on this election would testify, I was not enthusiastic about Donald Trump as the GOP presidential nominee. However, about two months ago I realized that this election is far more about the future of the nation; the administrative cabinets, department and agency heads, the Departments of Justice, Defense and Homeland Security in particular, that matter more than the presidential candidate.

That being said, while Trump has his baggage (as virtually all candidates do), one thing he has demonstrated far more than Clinton and that is his extreme patriotism and desire to right the wrongs in America.

So, here’s my prediction, and I will go way out on a limb. Trump will win.  Not only win, but win by a wide margin, perhaps 10 percent or more.  Here’s why:

  • A large number of moderate democrats who are sick of the Hillary (and Bill) scandals, habitual lying and self-enrichment, will either stay home or vote for Trump/Pence.
  • A growing number of Black and Hispanic voters are finally seeing the light and realizing that Hillary represents more of the same lies and disaster for minority populations.
  • Trump support is on a strong upswing right before the election, while Clinton’s is on the downswing.
  • While Trump has been focusing mostly on policy of late, the best Clinton can do is keep bringing up the old dead issue of Trump’s immoral pronouncements about women twenty years ago.
  • The FBI announcement about re-opening their Clinton investigation has shattered any support Clinton might have garnered from the undecideds. The majority will vote for Trump.
  • Trump supporters are not fair-weather supporters. They will vote no matter what the weather or obstacles.
  • More and more Americans are waking up to the depth of Clinton’s corruption.
  • The majority of Americans are sick of all the ineffectiveness and corruption in Washington.
  • Hillary Clinton represents more of the same Washington corruption; Trump represents a fresh face with new hope.
  • Patriotic Americans will vote against anyone who does not uphold the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms.  Clinton is clearly against that provision of the Constitution.
  • The majority of Christian voters understand that Clinton is anti-Christian and anti-Israel.
  • People are realizing the real danger of the Clinton immigration and open borders policy.
  • American patriots have not forgotten about Benghazi and Clinton’s “what difference does it make” statement.
  • More Americans understand the disastrous foreign policies of Obama/Clinton that has resulted in the explosion of Islamic terrorism in the Middle East, Europe and the U.S.
  • The Obamacare debacle will hurt Clinton who is in favor of socialized medical care.
  • Traditionally democratic states are trending in favor of Trump or are “toss-ups” right before the election.
  • For the past few weeks Trump has been acting more presidential, while Clinton has been acting more unhinged.

So, here’s my bold prediction (not seen anywhere else): Trump/Pence will command 55% or more of the popular vote and at least 300 electoral votes (270 needed to win).

Now, that will prevent Hillary from pardoning herself. If we can be patient and wait until Trump takes office and select a new attorney general, then Obama will not be able to pardon her either should she be indicted.  That would be ideal.

 

World-class Leadership Lacking in America

September 4, 2013

It has been several months since I posted on this blog.  Trying not to get distracted by the inept leadership in the Whitehouse and Congress, I have been trying to focus my time and efforts on a new book.  However, even though I know others are far more informed and articulate than myself in addressing various issues of importance, I find myself unable to resist offering some perspective on the Syrian crisis and America’s pending military action.

It is no surprise that, unlike former President George Bush, our current president is unable to muster any international support for his recommended military assault on Syria.  Why would anyone of any degree of sanity trust our president.  He has a strong history of being a habitual liar; a deceiver and one who has no qualms about releasing sensitive security information of our allies and ourselves to the enemy of mankind.  His foreign policy (or lack thereof) in the Middle East and elsewhere has been an unmitigated disaster that has thrown that region of the world into utter chaos and instability.

Not even our trusted allies of the past will support Obama’s planned attack on Syria because they know that he is an undisciplined, feckless, narcissistic leader who cannot be trusted or has the wisdom and understanding to deal with the complex issues facing Israel and Muslim-dominated countries in the Middle East.  Since taking over as Commander-in-Chief of the United States military, Obama has systematically weakened every branch of the military; created chaos and increased bloodshed in Iraq; carried out a disastrous war strategy in Afghanistan; created a destabilized Libya and Egypt and openly supplied factions of the Muslim Brotherhood with arms and millions in cash.  Why would any nation in favor of freedom support such a treasonous leader, even if he is president of the United States?

If America does attack Syria and the U.S. Congress is complicit with its approval, it will be a disaster for America.  While I sympathize with the plight of the Syrian people, the time for military action has long past.  And with Obama openly telling the world before hand what our military strategy will be, it has given Syria’s Assad plenty of time to re-deploy his equipment and forces to civilian areas.  Have the members of Congress learned nothing about Obama’s weak and ineffective Middle East diplomacy?  Why would they expect any different outcome in this case?  The only thing that an attack on Syria will accomplish at this stage would be opening up justification for more terrorist attacks on Americans and American targets worldwide (including in the U.S.); create even greater instability in the Middle East; put Israel at an even greater risk of attack from its Islamic neighbors; embolden Iran to participate in the conflict (and perhaps other Islamic countries) and accelerate their nuclear program; and further exasperate the economies of the world.

A note to Congress:  An unconstitutional president can only be expected to do unconstitutional things.  At a time in history when what American needs most is divine guidance of Almighty God, we have a president who would rather go campaigning, go on vacation, play golf or shoot hoops then to go before God in prayer and supplication.  In fact, we have a president who does not even honor the traditional Day of Prayer every year but makes it a point to honor Ramadan, the fasting holiday of Muslims who have vowed to destroy America.  And, he has filled his cabinet of advisors with Muslims, some of whom are active with the Muslim Brotherhood.

America is in deep trouble on many fronts and instead of having a bold, patriotic leader who seeks God, we have re-elected a person who is either intentionally seeking to destroy America or who is totally incapable or inept at leading the country forward out of its many predicaments.

Update:  September 5.  Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted yesterday 10-7 in favor of a U.S. military strike against Syria.  However, Congressional representatives’ offices are being flooded with calls from their constituents at a rate of 499-1 against such a strike.  Will they listen?  Why would we follow a commander-in-chief into such a dangerous conflict when a host of scandals (Fast & Furious; Benghazi; NSA spying; IRS abuse and a myriad of constitutional abuses) have not been resolved or anyone held accountable?  Are our duly elected representatives that dense, or what?

Presidential Impeachment

November 21, 2012

Has the time come?  Is it now time for the statesmen and stateswomen of the U.S. House and U.S. Senate to call for the impeachment of President Barack Hussein Obama, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and others who have not only proved over and over again their incompetence, but their betrayal of the safety and security of America and its citizens?  It is now time, before more Americans are needlessly killed or our national security is irreparably compromised or destroyed.

The Constitution, Article II, Section 4:
The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

In the impeachment proceedings of former President William Clinton, much of the focus was on what constituted “high crimes and misdemeanors.”  Unlike what one might be led to believe, when the Framers of the U.S. Constitution decided upon the phrase “high crimes and misdemeanors” they were not referring to crimes of a severe or “high” nature; that is crimes that were extraordinarily damaging to the country or society.  For this phrase they were drawing upon established British law of the time in which “high crimes” meant  crimes that were committed by people in high authority over others; typically elected officials and magistrates.  The phrase, “high crimes and misdemeanors”, was meant to be a catch-all phrase applicable to those who abused their power of office and was interpreted as for whatever reason whatsoever.  It was meant to include any offense, even if not a criminal offense for the ordinary person or in a civil or criminal court.  In other words, the Framers wanted public officials, those in charge of the public trust, to be held to a much higher standard of conduct than the common person.

Cotesworth Pinckney, who represented South Carolina at the constitutional convention of 1787, referred to “high crimes and misdemeanors” as a betrayal of the public trust.

Alexander Hamilton, a Founding Father, referred to “high crimes and misdemeanors” as . . .those offenses which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust.  They are of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated POLITICAL as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself. 

The Constitution, Article I, Section 3: The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments.  When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation.  When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside:  And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two-thirds of the Members present.

Judgment in Cases of Impeachments shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust, or Profit under the United States, but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment, and Punishment, according to Law.

Jon Roland, of the Constitution Society, in writing about the impeachment of President Clinton, wrote:  An executive official is ultimately responsible for any failures of his subordinates and for their violations of the oath he and they took, which means violations of the Constitution and the rights of persons. It is not necessary to be able to prove that such failures or violations occurred at his instigation or with his knowledge, to be able, in [Independent Counsel Kenneth] Starr’s words, to “lay them at the feet” of the president [Clinton]. It is sufficient to show, on the preponderance of evidence, that the president was aware of misconduct on the part of his subordinates, or should have been, and failed to do all he could to remedy the misconduct, including termination and prosecution of the subordinates and compensation for the victims or their heirs. The president’s subordinates include everyone in the executive branch, and their agents and contractors. It is not limited to those over whom he has direct supervision. He is not protected by “plausible deniability”. He is legally responsible for everything that everyone in the executive branch is doing[From: Meaning of “High Crimes and Misdemeanorsby Jon Roland, Constitution Society].

Although President Obama has committed numerous impeachable and treasonous offenses (see Why Obama is dangerous), the Benghazi embassy attack and murders should be the absolute last straw.  It is now abundantly clear that the attack was pre-planned and carried out by a group of Islamic terrorists and the CIA staff on the ground in Benghazi knew it and communicated so to the Secretary of State.  The Defense Department and the Whitehouse (aka the President) knew almost immediately that it was a terrorist attack but denied the embassy any form of assistance.  They then, in despicable political coordination lied to the American people for (it now appears) the sole political purpose of preserving Obama’s re-election.  Four Americans savagely murdered; still no one brought to justice or even an adequate investigation; no explanation or truth-telling to the American people over two months after the attack.  This is not only an impeachable offense of the highest order, but it is treasonous and those responsible should be tried in a criminal court as well.

It is about time that our elected officials in the House and Senate disregard their party affiliations and allegiances and get some patriotic backbone and do what is right for the country and its citizens before it is too late.

Was Ambassador Stevens Assassinated?

October 31, 2012

[Disclaimer:  I have no proof for my hypothesis, just a supposition and suspicion.  However, see the CBS video link at the end of this post.]

Now this thought, “Was Ambassador Stevens Assassinated?”, will be too horrible for most law-abiding Americans to contemplate.  But in light of the timeline of events for the attack on our embassy in Benghazi; the lack of response from our government and the clear cover-up of the facts, the question begs to be asked by someone.  It is clear that the mainstream media has failed miserably to the point of abject treason in the prevention of reporting of the truth to the American people and the repeated refusal by President Obama and his staff and cabinet to come clean with the truth, all for the sake of political survival.

It goes beyond curiosity to wonder why, about a month before the attack, was the 16-man Site Security Team led by Lt. Col. Andrew Wood, withdrawn from protecting the embassy in Benghazi?  This was done despite warnings to the Whitehouse from those on the ground in Benghazi, that such a move would leave the embassy and its staff completely vulnerable to attack.  This removal of security was ordered by the State Department despite the fact that there were 200 security incidents in Libya (48 in Benghazi) that had been reported to the Obama administration by Eric Nordstrom, former head of security for the U.S. mission in Libya.  Nordstrom’s analysis and report of the threatening situation in Benghazi were repeatedly ignored by the Whitehouse, the Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, and the Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton.  This is shameful and inexcusable.

In June of this year the British pulled their ambassador and staff and closed their embassy in Benghazi because of an attack on the ambassador’s convoy on June 11.  The International Red Cross also closed its mission in Benghazi because of repeated threats to their staff.

“We were the last flag flying [in Benghazi],” Lt. Col. Wood testified before a Congressional hearing.  “It was a matter of time” [before we were attacked].

Despite the obvious increasing threat to our embassy and staff and despite repeated requests from the ambassador and embassy staff for increased security in the weeks prior to the attack, all requests were denied by the State Department.  If nothing else, this type of dereliction of duty by the State Department (or anyone else involved) was nothing short of criminal.

September 11, 2012

First, common sense would dictate that in one of the most hostile embassy outposts in the world where September 11, 2001 still resonates revenge with Muslim terrorists, a beefed up security would be foremost on the minds of the President, Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense.

At 3:40 PM Washington, DC time the attack on the embassy in Benghazi commenced.   At least one drone overhead provided the Whitehouse, the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense “realtime” video of what was happening.  At 4:05 PM DC time the State Department sent an e-mail to the Whitehouse and Pentagon confirming the embassy was under attack.

At 5:00 PM DC time President Obama, V.P. Joe Biden and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta met.  However, among other information, the subject of their meeting has not been revealed.

During the attack, staff at the besieged embassy requested aid three times and each time the State Department denied such assistance.  This, despite the fact that military aid was nearby and air support was only two hours away.  Not only was aid denied but military and security personnel near enough to help were told to “stand down”, that is, do not get involved.  Panetta’s excuse some six weeks later was that he did not want to send troops into “harms way” without knowing the situation.  Uh, Mr. Secretary of Defense, that’s what the military are there for, to intervene in harm’s way to save the lives of others.

Let’s review:

Why?  Why would our government withdraw ALL security forces from the embassy in Benghazi when it was abundantly clear to all who served there that it was becoming increasingly hostile and life-threatening?

Why?  Why were repeated requests by embassy staff, including the ambassador, for security and military assistance before and during the attack not only ignored but denied?

Why?  Why was the embassy left completely unprotected when there had been 200 incidents of terrorism in Libya in the last year?

Why?  Why has there been a complete cover-up and denial, as well as outright lying to the American people by everyone connected to the Whitehouse and the departments of State and Defense?

There are only three plausible answers:

1.  Gross incompetence which should lead to impeachment and criminal charges.

2. An Obama adminstration so desperate to demonstrate a successful Mideast policy and “normalcy” of relations among Mideast Muslims that it was willing to risk the lives of Americans serving in Libya.  This too should warrant impeachment and a criminal investigation.

3. Or, an Obama re-election that was threatened by what Ambassador Stevens knew and/or was about to reveal.  If so, this would be one of the most horrendous crimes ever committed by a Whitehouse administration.

UPDATE: October 27, 2013, CBS Sixty Minutes Benghazi investigation.  A video that should outrage every American and require the removal of President Obama and his entire administration and arrest Obama of charges of treason and dereliction of duty.

Obama’s Support

October 23, 2012

[Sorry, but I do not post very often.  Only when my dander gets up so high I can’t stand it any more.]

WAKE UP AMERICA!  It should be tell-tale where Obama’s re-election support is originating.  Recently the United Nations’ leadership came out in support of his re-election, encouraging voters (including those dead Chicagoans) to return Obama for a second term.  A couple of days earlier Obama picked up support (wanted or not) from the leaders of Russia, Cuba and Venezuela.  How sweet.  In addition, a recent investigation of his re-election campaign contribution website revealed that 43% of the visitors had foreign IP addresses.  Soliciting or accepting foreign contributions for political elections is a federal offense (although that did not stop wee-Willie Clinton).

Now comes a new investigation of the visitor log to the Whitehouse by Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT), titled A Red Carpet for Radicals at the White HouseAfter combing through millions of documents and Whitehouse visitor log entries, investigators from IPT found that hundreds of visits were from known terrorist groups or terrorist representatives, including those that have:

  • Been designated by the Department of Justice as unindicted co-conspirators in terrorist trials; Extolled Islamic terrorist groups including Hamas and Hizballah;
  • Obstructed terrorist investigations by instructing their followers not to cooperate with law enforcement;
  • Promoted the incendiary conspiratorial allegation that the United States is engaged in a “war against Islam”— a leading tool in recruiting Muslims to carry out acts of terror;
  • Repeatedly claimed that many of the Islamic terrorists convicted since 9-11 were framed by the U.S government as part of an anti-Muslim profiling campaign.

One of the most renown Islamic front groups for terrorism, the Council on American-Islamic Relations or CAIR has had an open door to the Whitehouse since Obama’s election.  Obama and his Secretary of State continue to support the terrorist activities of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Hamas in the Gaza Strip and other terrorist groups with billions of taxpayer dollars.

WARNING!  If Obama is re-elected America and the world will see Islamic terrorist activity skyrocket at warp speed as they become even more emboldened by their secret admirer in the Whitehouse.  Remember, Obama is an anti-colonialist who disdains America’s past and only seeks to diminish its future and demolish its strength.

Abraham’s Sacrifice: Isaac or Ishmael?

January 9, 2012

We can gain some insight into this generations-old conflict by picking up the story in Genesis 16 where Abraham and his wife Sarah were first known as Abram and Sarai. Abram was eighty-six years old and Sarai had never bore him any children, yet God had promised him that he would have a male descendant who would bring forth descendants as numerous as the stars of Heaven.

And Abram said [to God], “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.”

Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir.” He took him outside and said, “Look up at the heavens and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” (Genesis 15:3-5, NIV)

Frustrated and impatient with the lack of God’s immediate fulfillment of His promise, Abram decided (with Sarai’s encouragement) to take matters into his own hands. He took unto himself Hagar, Sarai’s maidservant, and she bore him a son.

And the Angel of the Lord said to her [Hagar]: “Behold, you are with child, and you shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael [viz., God shall hear], because the Lord has heard your affliction. He shall be a wild man; his hand shall be against every man, and every man’s hand against him. And he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.” (Genesis 16:11-12, NKJV)

Several things should be noted at this point. First, Abram (meaning, “high father”) chose to disbelieve God’s promised covenant with him and establish his own covenant by the flesh. Second, his partner in this fleshly covenant was the pagan Egyptian Hagar (meaning one who takes flight). Third, it was God, not Abram, who chose the name of Ishmael for this son to be born outside of God’s chosen covenant with His people. Fourth, it was God who said at Ishmael’s conception, that he would “be a wild man” and that “his hand shall be against every man, and every man’s hand against him.” At the same time, “He shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.”

It is important to note that the Hebrew word used for “wild” in the above verse means for one to be like a “wild ass,” with no boundaries. The Hebrew word used for “hand” means the “open hand of power.” And who were Ishmael’s brethren? He had a Hebrew father, Abram, and a pagan Arabic mother, Hagar. His brethren at the time of his birth were both Jews and Arabs.

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, he was still without a true heir by Sarai’s womb. God then spoke to Abram and made this covenant with him:

As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. (Genesis 17:4-8, NKJV)

Fourteen years after the birth of Ishmael, God fulfilled His intended covenant with Abram (now Abraham) with the birth of Isaac (“laughter”) to Sarah (“princess”) who was no longer called Sarai (“dominant”).

Abraham asked God if “Ishmael might live before you.” But God told Abraham:

No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. (Genesis 17:18-20, NKJV)

God never intended to establish His covenant with Ishmael, because Ishmael was not the child of the promise but of the flesh. God could not establish His covenant with him; He could only bless him. While God blessed Ishmael with fruitfulness, He never made a covenant with him. God’s covenant was with Abraham and him only. And, unlike Islam & Christianity Abraham and Isaac, God never promised Ishmael and his seed that He would be their God.

Although Arabic Muslims claim Abraham as their heir, biblically they are descendants of pre-covenant Abram, the one who disobeyed God and disbelieved His promise of an heir through Sarah. God could bless Ishmael, but He could never establish His covenant with a sinful seed of the flesh.

Ishmael became the father of twelve Arabian princes (nations) whom God said that He would “multiply … exceedingly” (Genesis 17:20). Ishmael and Hagar were driven into the Wilderness of Paran to dwell. (See Genesis 21:20-21.) This wilderness covers the eastern Sinai and the southern and southeastern borders of present-day Israel.

Ishmael’s sons initially inhabited an area from Egypt and the Sinai Desert, the Arabian peninsula to Assyria (which includes present-day Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, and the lesser Arab kingdoms).

Remember, God promised that Ishmael and his descendants would be wild men whose hand would be “… against every man.”

Some Bible translations of Genesis 25:18 state that the descendants of Ishmael after the death of Abraham, “lived in hostility toward” or “in defiance of” all their brethren (New International Version, New Living Translation, and New American Standard). Other versions (including the King James, New King James and Amplified Bibles) state only that Ishmael’s descendants lived “close to” or “in the presence of” their relatives.

Muhammad and the Muslims have found a simple solution to this dilemma of a negative biblical image. Muhammad asserted that Allah revealed to him that it was Ishmael, not Isaac, that Allah chose to test Abraham’s faith; and, therefore, it was Ishmael and all those who are descendants of him that are the true chosen people to fulfill Allah’s covenant.

Instead of God calling Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac on a makeshift altar on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem (the current site of the Dome of the Rock), it was Allah who called Abraham to sacrifice Ishmael on Mount Mina outside Mecca.

According to the Qur’an, Abraham prayed to Allah:

My Lord! Grant me [a son who shall be] of the doers of good deeds [that is, righteous]. So We gave [Abraham] the good news of a boy, possessing forbearance. And when [Ishmael] attained to working with him, [Abraham] said: “O my son! Surely I have seen in a dream that I should sacrifice you; consider then what you see.” He said: “O my father! Do what you are commanded; if Allah please, you will find me of the patient ones.” So when they both submitted and [Abraham] threw [Ishmael] down upon his forehead, and he called out to him saying: “O Ibrahim! You have indeed shown the truth of the vision; surely thus do. We reward the doers of good: Most surely this is a manifest trial.” (surah 37:100- 106)

This version in the Qur’an of Abraham’s call to sacrifice his son strongly contradicts the biblical story. “Then God said, ‘Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about” (Genesis 22:2). Notice that God refers to Isaac as Abraham’s only son. That is because only Isaac was God’s choice to fulfill His covenant with Abraham—not Ishmael, the son of the flesh.

In the Genesis account, Isaac had no prior knowledge of his role in the sacrifice:

Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”

“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.

“The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”

Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” (Genesis 22:7-8a)

Because of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his only son and not withhold him from God, God promised Abraham that “… through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me” (Genesis 22:18).

From the present day and historical perspective of the daily violence against mankind by the followers of Islam, it is hard to see that this was God’s plan for blessing the nations of the Earth through the descendants of Ishmael. Among the descendants of Isaac, however, was Jesus, the sacrificial lamb who brought salvation to the world by the shedding of His blood and not that of another human being—truly a blessing to all who will receive Him.

The Apostle Paul affirmed that descendants of Isaac are the true heirs of God: “It is not as though God’s word had failed,” he asserted. “For not all who are descended from Israel are [of] Israel. Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, ‘It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned’ [Genesis 21:12]. In other words, it is not the natural children who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring. (Romans 9:6-8)

Excerpted from: Islam & Christianity: A Revealing Contrast (2009) by James F. Gauss.

For more on Islam, read Islam & Christianity: A Revealing Contrast, available on Amazon.com and other online booksellers.

Birth of Islam

February 23, 2010

In an attempt to understand the complexities of Islam and its dedicated one-and-a- half billion followers, we must first turn to an unlikely source – to the Bible of the Jews and Christians. Interestingly, the Bible does provide some historical and spiritual insights on the origins and fate of the Middle Eastern peoples that gave birth to the Islamic faith. It turns out that the Middle East has had an ancient history of volatility and violence that is well established in biblical record. Islam has its root in Arabic culture mixed among the belief and tradition of Abraham and his son Ishmael fathering the tribes of the Middle East. If both the people of Islam and those of Judeo-Christian heritage claim Abraham as their patriarch, why have they been forever at each others throats?  The answer can be found in the scripture of both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible.

What the Bible Says. We can gain some insight into this generations’ old conflict by picking up the story in Genesis 16 where Abraham and his wife Sarah were first known as Abram and Sarai. Abram was 86 years old and Sarai had never bore him any children, yet God had promised him that he would have a male descendent who would bring forth descendants as numerous as the stars of heaven (Genesis 15:3-5).

            Frustrated and impatient with the lack of God’s immediate fulfillment of His promise, Abram decided (with Sarai’s encouragement) to take matters into his own hands. 

He took unto himself Hagar, Sarai’s maidservant, and she bore him a son.

And the Angel of the Lord said to her [Hagar]: “Behold, you are with child, and you shall bear a son.  You shall call his name Ishmael [viz., God shall hear],  because the Lord  has heard your affliction.

He shall be a wild man; his hand shall be against every man,  and every man’s hand against him.  And he shall dwell in the presence  of all his brethren.”                                                 Genesis 16:11-12, NKJV

Several things should be noted at this point. First, Abram chose to disbelieve God’s promised covenant with him and establish his own covenant by the flesh. Second, his partner in this fleshly covenant was the pagan, Hagar (meaning one who takes flight), the Egyptian. Third, it was God, not Abram, who chose the name of Ishmael for this son to be born outside of God’s chosen covenant with His people. Fourth, it was God who said at Ishmael’s conception, that he would “be a wild man;” and that “his hand shall be against every man, and every man’s hand against him.” At the same time “he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.” 

It is important to note that the Hebrew word used for “wild” in the above verse means for one to be like a “wild ass” with no boundaries. The Hebrew word used for “hand” means the “open hand of power.” And who were Ishmael’s brethren? He had a Hebrew father, Abram, and a pagan Arabic mother, Hagar. His brethren at the time of his birth were both Jews and Arabs.

When Abram was 99 years old, he was still without a true heir by Sarai’s womb.  God then spoke to Abram and made this covenant with him:

As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations.  No longer shall your name be called Abram,  but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations.  I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you.  And I will establish My covenant  between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations,  for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants  after you.  Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting  possession; and I will be their God.                        Genesis 17:4-8, NKJV

Fourteen years after the birth of Ishmael, God fulfilled His intended covenant with Abram (now Abraham) with the birth of Isaac  to Sarah who was no longer called Sarai.

Abraham asked God if “Ishmael might live before You?” 

But God told Abraham, “No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him.

“And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation (Genesis 17:18-20, NKJV).”

God never intended to establish His covenant with Ishmael, because Ishmael was not the child of the promise but of the flesh. God could not establish His covenant with him, He could only bless him. While God blessed Ishmael with fruitfulness, He never made a covenant with him. God’s covenant was with Abraham and him only. And, unlike Abraham and Isaac, God never promised Ishmael and his seed that He would be their God.

Although Arabic Muslims claim Abraham as their heir, biblically they are descendants of pre-covenant Abram, the one who disobeyed God and disbelieved His promise of an heir through Sarah. God could bless Ishmael, but He could never establish His covenant with a sinful seed of the flesh.

Ishmael became the father of 12 Arabian princes (nations) whom God said that He would “multiply . . . exceedingly” (Genesis 17:20). Ishmael and Hagar were driven into the Wilderness of Paran to dwell (Genesis 21:20-21). This wilderness covers the eastern Sinai and the southern and southeastern borders of present-day Israel. 

Ishmael’s sons initially inhabited an area from Egypt and the Sinai Desert, the Arabian peninsula to Assyria (which includes present day Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Syria and the lesser Arab kingdoms).

Remember, God promised that Ishmael and his descendants would be wild men whose hand would be “against every man.”

After the death of Abraham, some Bible translations of Genesis 25:18 state that the descendents of Ishmael “lived in hostility toward” or “in defiance of” all their brethren (New International Version, New Living Translation and North American Standard). Other versions (including the King James, New King James and Amplified Bibles) state only that Ishmael’s descendents lived “close to” or “in the presence of” their relatives.

Muhammad and the Muslims have found a simple solution to this dilemma of a negative biblical image. Muhammad asserted that Allah revealed to him that it was Ishmael, not Isaac, that Allah chose to test Abraham’s faith; and therefore it was Ishmael and all those who are descendents of him that are the true chosen people to fulfill Allah’s covenant.

Instead of God calling Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac on a makeshift altar on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem (the current site of the Dome of the Rock), it was Allah who called Abraham to sacrifice Ishmael on Mount Mina outside Mecca.

According to the Qur’an, Abraham prayed to Allah: “’My Lord! Grant me [a son who shall be] of the doers of good deeds [that is, righteous].’ So We gave [Abraham] the good news of a boy, possessing forbearance. And when [Ishmael] attained to working with him, [Abraham] said: O my son! Surely I have seen in a dream that I should sacrifice you; consider then what you see. He said: O my father! Do what you are commanded; if Allah please, you will find me of the patient ones. So when they both submitted and [Abraham] threw [Ishmael] down upon his forehead, and We called out to him saying: O Ibrahim! You have indeed shown the truth of the vision; surely thus do We reward the doers of good: Most surely this is a manifest trial (surah 37:100- 106).” 

This version in the Qur’an of Abraham’s call to sacrifice his son strongly contradicts the biblical story.   “Then God said, ‘Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about (Genesis 22:2).’” Notice that God refers to Isaac as Abraham’s only son. That is because only Isaac was God’s choice to fulfill His covenant with Abraham – not Ishmael, the son of the flesh.

In the Genesis account, Isaac had no prior knowledge of his role in the sacrifice.   “Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, ‘Father?’

“’Yes, my son?’ Abraham replied.

“’The fire and wood are here,’ Isaac said, ‘but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?’

“Abraham answered, ‘God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son (Genesis 22:7-8a).’”

Because of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his only son and not withhold him from God, God promised Abraham that “through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me (Genesis 22:18).”

From the present day and historical perspective of the daily violence against mankind by the followers of Islam, it is hard to see that this was God’s plan for blessing the nations of the earth through the descendents of Ishmael. Among the descendents of Isaac, however, was Jesus, the sacrificial lamb who brought salvation to the world by the shedding of His blood and not that of another human being – truly a blessing to all who will receive Him.

Excerpted from Islam & Christianity

Islam & Christianity

February 17, 2010

A Revealing Contrast

Foreword

Americans are bombarded daily with conflicting commentary on the relativity of Islam to Christianity and the debate between Islam as a peaceful religion to one of terror and bloodshed. If we are to take these issues before us and deal with them responsibly, we must not only be informed of what is being presented to the world, but we must also be well-informed on the truth behind this fast-growing religion. To stick our heads in the sand and just take everything at face value may come at great cost, not only in our earthly future, but when we stand before the throne of Christ. As responsible Christians, we have the privilege and responsibility to stay engaged in what is taking place around us and seeing that God’s Kingdom continues to move forward.
There is an abundance of information grabbing for our attention in the world on the topic of Islam, as well as numerous different slants and opinions. To be valid in the life of a Christian, God’s Word must be held up as the comparison, the element that, if you will, “tips the scale” towards what is true. Without this mirror, one is left defenseless in discerning what they read and hear through the media, and much less effective when trying to pray for and explain the truth of the gospel to a Muslim. With the fast-moving world we live in today, none of us are exempt from the issue at hand. We hear it on the news, read it in the paper or as we are sharing car pools and PTA meetings with Muslims in our own community. To take the Great Commission seriously, we must know what we believe, what the world believes and how to share truth with them, when the opportunity arises.
Many within the Islamic faith do not totally know what they believe; they take everything at face value, but find their hearts empty and searching. My visits to the Middle East have brought me in contact with Christians who were former Muslims and who have shared how empty they felt, and knew that their faith was not meeting their needs. It was only after they were introduced to the truth of the gospel message that they were able to see what they were longing for. These living examples give even more relevance that we must be students of not only God’s Word, but also understand what the Muslim faith professes, that we may present the truth of God’s Word to them, holding it in contrast to their holy book, the Koran. It is up to God to do the rest; our part is to be informed and ready to share when the opportunity arises.
Dr. Gauss has presented an effective resource in Islam and Christianity for the average reader. Here you will find many of the issues addressed that are forefront in the minds of Muslims, comparing clearly the lives and ministry of Christ with that of Muhammad. God’s Word is clearly compared with the Koran and gives you a hands-on resource to use in your witness, as well as in your prayer life for the Muslim world.
As Christians, we understand that the root we must recognize is not social, political or economic, but it is spiritual. May this book assist you in standing with God in bringing many locked in darkness into His marvelous light.

Dr. Tom White, Director
The Voice of the Martyrs

Bridge-Logos Publishers, 2009.

Available through your local bookstore or online bookstores worldwide.

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Hamas Covenant to Destroy Israel

January 12, 2009

Many wonder why Israel and the Palestinians or Israel and Hamas cannot just sit down together and “hammer” out a reasonable peace agreement that all concerned can feel good about and keep.  A number of such agreements have been brokered over the years to no avail.  Why? (more…)

The Duplicity of Outrage

January 3, 2009

Watching tonight’s national news the lead story was the Israeli invasion of the Gaza Strip in an effort to wipe out the Hamas terrorist organization.  Of course, this most recent military activity by Israel – as has all its other incursions – has brought worldwide protest and outrage by Muslims and some non-Muslims.  This outcry of indignation calls for Israel’s defeat or even annihilation, or the call for the Jihad against Israel.  How dare Israel defend itself against the daily rocket attacks, suicide bombings and other acts of terror perpetrated by Hamas and other Islamic terrorists.

Where is the pitched outcry of outrage from Muslims and non-Muslims when Hamas is lobbing thousands of rockets into Israel – even after they gave their word they would not?  Israel has tried desperately to live at peace with its neighbors for decades.  But the majority of its neighbors who are Arab Muslims will not be satisfied until Israel and its Jewish citizens are obliterated from the face of the earth.  Mideast Muslims who hate Israel and all it stands for have broken every peace treaty negotiated since the establishment of the new Israel in 1947.