Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Biblical Perspective On The New EU's Foreign Policy Chief On Israel's Settlements

Just a short update on an important story this week. I will be talking about it on Jimmy DeYoung's Prophecy Today on the radio tomorrow.

As I have mentioned before, the EU's new foreign policy chief officially began took her position on December 1. I noted that I thought this diplomatic corps aspect of the EU would move quickly and take the helm of foreign policy for the EU. The policy chief, Catherine Ashton, speaking at the EU Parliament, came out strongly against the state of Israel. She called East Jerusalem "occupied territory." She demanded the immediate lifting of the blockade on the Gaza Strip and the "Union's" opposition to the West Bank wall. Notice that she is speaking for all 27 nations of the EU. Many thought she would remain somewhat behind scenes and slowly organize the new EU diplomatic corps.

"The goal of this new EU department is to unify the 27 nations into a single nation"
I believe she plans to move quickly and establish a single-voice for the EU in matters of foreign policy. The goal of this new EU department is to unify the 27 nations into a single nation. In the days ahead, this corps will replace or displace the individual foreign policy of the EU states.

This speech shows both her determination to be in the front of the EU's diplomacy and policy. Being British, she is reflecting the British foreign ministries tendency to oppose Israel. It appears that she is now moving that position to center stage. Many of the left-leaning groups in the EU are supporting her position. Clearly, her position reflects that of the current EU Council President from Sweden. On January 1, Spain will take the presidency and traditionally has held a positive position of support for Israel. We need to see where they stand on her comments.

What we all need to watch is how the President of the Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, handles her remarks. She was endorsed by him at her selection to the position and she is currently on the Commission and the Council boards, resulting in a very influential position. I have speculated that they are the two most powerful people in the EU and we need to see where they are headed. This will be the first test to see if they are working as a team and hence opposed to Israel or whether Barroso willdistance himself from her comments. We must never forget that Genesis 12:3 says: And I will bless them that bless thee (Abraham and Israel) and curse him that curseth thee.

Just in case, time gets away from us, may each of you have a Christ-filled Christmas and a blessed New Year. Lord bless you all.

In His service and yours, until He comes,

Rob & Pam Congdon
Congdon Ministries International PO Box 1785
Greer, SC 29652

Related Links
The World And It's Media War Against Israel


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Politically Correct Holiday Wishes for All - Just Don’t Say Merry Christmas

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2010 , but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere . Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wish.

But to be non-politically correct: Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays in Place Of Christmas

We hear it so often around this time of year: "Happy Holiday!" "Season’s Greeting!" Everyone seems to be in the mood for some kind of festive celebration.

Exactly what is the holiday that we are celebrating? Are we allowed to say it? Is it a forbidden word? Are we afraid to say it? Will people be offended if we actually tell them what the holiday is?

What ever happened to Christmas? What ever happened to the Christ of Christmas? Long ago there was no room in the inn. Is there any room for Him in today’s celebration? Are little children ever told about Him?

What ever happened to the birth of the Saviour? Should it even be mentioned? Was it a significant event? Has it been a giant mistake that all of our calendars mark His birth as the starting point, and that His birth divides all of this world’s history into B.C. (before Christ) and A.D. (anno Domini, in the year of the Lord)?

In the past we were concerned about the secularization of the Christmas holiday and we urged people to keep Christ in Christmas. Now it seems we have even lost Christmas! Look at the decorations people put up on their lawns: blown up snowmen, beautifully lighted reindeer that sometime move back and forth,
Santa Claus in all kinds of shapes and sizes, etc. If an alien from outer space were to visit earth at this season of the year and look at the holiday preparations and decorations, would he have any idea what Christmas is all about? (Not that I am a believer in alien visitations).

We observe a holiday at the beginning of every year and people don’t seem to be ashamed of it. They say, "Happy New Year!" They don’t say, "Happy Holiday!" They understand exactly what the holiday is all about and they have no problem celebrating the coming of a new year. Why are we embarrassed to celebrate the coming of the Saviour into the world? "This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" (1 Timothy 1:15).
"If an alien from outer space were to visit earth at this season of the year and look at the holiday preparations and decorations, would he have any idea what Christmas is all about?"

One might object: "If we make too much of Christmas we might offend our Jewish friends and we might offend the Muslims and we might offend the atheists." When our Jewish friends celebrate Hanukkah, for example, they are celebrating their deliverance from a brutal tyrant, King Antiochus Epiphanes, in 164 B.C. They have every right to celebrate this remarkable event and the courage of Judah the Maccabee and other heroes of that day. Indeed, most of the Jewish holy days (Passover, Day of Atonement, etc.) have their basis in the Bible and are highly instructive.

Muslims observe their holy days and are neither ashamed of them nor embarrassed by them. In our country they have a right to do so, and that right should be respected (even though in Muslim countries where religious freedom is unheard of, such rights are rarely if ever given to Christians). Do not Christians have a right to celebrate the birth of the Saviour, the time when God became a man? Or should we only do so secretly, behind closed doors, without anyone finding out what it is or WHO IT IS we are celebrating?

Atheists don’t have any holidays to celebrate their unbelief. There is little motivation to hold festivities in honor of a world view in which man finds himself in the middle of a universe governed by blind chance, having evolved as a freak accident of nature, facing a future without any rhyme, reason, or purpose, and headed for a death that ends all.

Should we give up Christmas and abandon it as a holy day? After all, no one wants to mention it anymore, and it seems to have evolved into a meaningless, festive, gift-giving occasion apart from any spiritual significance.

I don’t know about you, but as for me, I refuse to give it up. If the God of the entire universe, the Maker of heaven and earth, decided to pay a visit to this earth, then that event is highly significant and worthy of at least a yearly remembrance and thankful celebration. "And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world" (1 John 4:14).

Here is the Christmas story according to John, a man who knew Jesus Christ very well: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made...And the Word was made (became) flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1:1-3,14).
John also makes very clear the reason God came to earth as Man. He came on a saving mission: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved" (John 3:16-17).

Why was the incarnation so important? Why did God have to become a man? In order to save sinful men, God would have to die for sinful men. But God cannot die. Therefore God would have to become a man in order to be able to save mankind. This was made possible through the miracle of the virgin birth. Although God could not die, the God-Man (the Lord Jesus Christ) could die and did die for our sins: "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on Him (the Messiah) the iniquity of us all" (Isaiah 53:6). "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).

On that first Christmas night, the angel announced the good news which summarizes the true meaning of Christmas: "And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:10-11). If it really is good news for all people, why should we be ashamed of it? The Saviour’s entrance into this world should be shouted from the housetops!

The Saviour has been born! He died as the sinner’s Substitute and He rose again to provide eternal life for all who believe in Him. Do you know Him as your personal Saviour? "But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name" (John 1:12). Jesus said, "Him that cometh to Me I will I will in no wise cast out" (John 6:35).

"But these [things] are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have LIFE through His Name" (John 20:31).

The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!


The Christmas Reality
The Gospel of John Challenge
Available in tract form