joelcrosenberg

“Author Joel Rosenberg Warns Trump Against Upcoming Meeting with Putin.” (My interview with CBN News.)

 Bible Prophecy, Christian World View, Israel  Comments Off on “Author Joel Rosenberg Warns Trump Against Upcoming Meeting with Putin.” (My interview with CBN News.)
Jul 142018
 

Trump-Putin

AUTHOR JOEL ROSENBERG WARNS TRUMP AGAINST UPCOMING MEETING WITH PUTIN By Chris Mitchell, CBN News, July 13, 2018

President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet face-to-face Monday at the presidential palace in Helsinki – a move author Joel Rosenberg believes is a bad idea.

“Personally, I don’t really want President Trump in the room with Putin. I don’t think we have a lot to say to President Putin,” Rosenberg told CBN News Middle East Bureau Chief Chris Mitchell. “I don’t believe in walking into the room with a world leader who’s an enemy, who’s a strategic threat, unless you have a specific game plan.”

On Friday, the U.S. Justice Department announced charges against 12 Russian intelligence officers for hacking offenses during the 2016 presidential election. In response, congressional leaders urged Trump to call off the meeting.

Rosenberg warns of potentially bigger threat – Russia’s growing influence in the Middle East.

“The challenge with Vladimir Putin is that he wants to expand the influence of the Russian empire…The only place he really has to maneuver is the Middle East. He’s got Iran in his pocket, he’s pulling Turkey into his orbit,” he explained, adding that Syria has also grown closer to Russia in recent months.
 
“He’s trying to flip all of them [Middle East countries] away from the United States, away from the West and into the Russian orbit,” he continued.

So how does Rosenberg advise President Trump to approach his upcoming meeting with Putin?

“Start treating Putin like you do with the Democrats – tough, strong, ‘we’re not going to take your nonsense,” he said. “Stop looking like you’re cozying up to him.”

Rosenberg does not want Trump to pick a fight with Putin, but to remember that he is talking to someone opposed to U.S. interests.

“For some reason President Trump thinks that if he gets in the room with him, maybe he can warm Putin up and Putin will turn out to be a good guy – he’s not. Putin is not a good guy, he’s evil, and so we’ve got to make sure we get out of this meeting that should have never happened in the first place without doing something that’s not helpful,” he said.

Despite his harsh criticism of President Trump’s meeting with Putin, Rosenberg is happy with how he has handled NATO.

“We need to stay on the course that President Trump’s policies are — rebuild American military strength, strengthen NATO, get NATO to spend [more] money on their own defense and stop having Europe make these multi-billion dollar oil and gas deals with Russia.”

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BREAKING: Ceasefire announced after Gaza terrorists launch 200+ rocket & mortar attacks against Israel. Here’s the latest. Please keep praying.

 Bible Prophecy, Christian World View, Israel  Comments Off on BREAKING: Ceasefire announced after Gaza terrorists launch 200+ rocket & mortar attacks against Israel. Here’s the latest. Please keep praying.
Jul 142018
 

Gaza-mapoftargets-July2018

(Jerusalem, Israel) — Yesterday was not an easy one in the Epicenter. Here’s the latest as of 7:30am, Israel time:

  • More than 200 rockets and mortar rounds were fired at Israel by terrorists in Gaza on Saturday, July 14 — the biggest salvo of attacks since August 2014.
  • Tens of thousands of Israeli civilians in the southern tier near Gaza spent most or all of the day in bomb shelters. Many of those are not air-conditioned, and the temperatures were hovering between 90 and 100 degrees yesterday.
  • After hours of back channel diplomacy led by Egypt — and relentless pounding by IDF forces — Hamas and Islamic Jihad announced a ceasefire in the early hours of Sunday morning.
  • The terror groups briefing broke the ceasefire shortly thereafter, firing more rockets and mortars at Israel.
  • The IDF retaliated against these attacks, after the most intensive airstrikes against Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets in Gaza since the August 2014 war known as “Operation Protective Shield.” The IDF blew up two terror tunnels, an urban terror training center, weapons depots and other terror facilities throughout the Gaza Strip.
  • Meanwhile, over the past three months, terrorists in Gaza have sent incendiary devices over the border and have set more than 1,000 fires in Israel.
  • “The fires have laid waste to over 8,200 acres of forest and agricultural land, with damage totaling tens of millions of dollars,” reports Israel Hayom. “Experts say it will take at least 15 years to rehabilitate the vegetation and wildlife in the scorched areas. When the remote arson attacks began a few months ago, some politicians and military officials dismissed them as a passing nuisance. But the protesters added explosives-laden balloons that ignite upon landing on the Israeli side of the fence to their arsenal, and now Israeli children who come across a stray kite or balloon have to back away and tell their parents to call in sappers.”
  • What’s more, for the past three months, Palestinian terrorists have repeatedly tried to blow up and surge through the security fence that separates Gaza from Israel. Thus far, they have all been stopped by IDF forces. But Hamas leaders are openly calling for their forces to penetrate the fence and murder Israeli civilians living in nearby communities.
  • Since roughly 2:00am local time, the ceasefire has held and the Gaza/Israel border is quiet again. That is, we haven’t had any more rockets or mortars fired. It remains to be seen whether the “kite bombs” and attacks on the security fence will stop.
  • Neither President Trump nor any senior U.S. officials have condemned or even commented the 200+ attacks on Israel. Not sure how to explain that. 
  • Almost no media outlets outside of Israel have covered any of this. That, sadly, is par for the course.
  • Please continue to pray for calm and restored security on the border.
  • Please pray for the Lord to comfort those wounded and those emotionally and spiritually traumatized by all these events.

Again, please follow me on Twitter for updates throughout the day. Thanks.

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BREAKING NEWS: 90+ rockets have been fired at Israel by Gaza terrorists on Saturday alone. Here’s the latest, including a list of things to pray for.

 Bible Prophecy, Christian World View, Israel  Comments Off on BREAKING NEWS: 90+ rockets have been fired at Israel by Gaza terrorists on Saturday alone. Here’s the latest, including a list of things to pray for.
Jul 142018
 

Gaza-rockets3

(Jerusalem, Israel) — Since the early hours of Saturday morning until this very moment as I write this column at 9:00pm Saturday night, terrorists in Gaza have unleashed a relentless series of violent attacks at Jewish civilians in southern Israel.

So far, more than 90 rockets and mortar shells have hit Israel. The Iron Dome has shot down some of them. But there has been property damage and at least three Israeli civilians have been injured.

Lynn and I are currently hosting a “Prayer & Vision Tour” of Israel with some 210 Evangelical Christians from the U.S., Canada and six other nations. By God’s grace, we have not been in the line of fire but we are all praying for the Lord to show mercy and restore calm to people on both sides of the border. Please join us. 

It grieves us that tens of thousands of Israelis along the southern tier have spent all or much of the day in bomb shelters — many of them not air-conditioned — amidst temperatures hovering between 90 and 100 degrees. It likewise grieves us that Palestinians in Gaza that are not involved in such terrorism at all but live under the slavery of jihadist groups like Hamas, Islamic Jihad, ISIS and others are suffering through no fault of their own. Many of them don’t have bomb shelters, and don’t even have electricity for more than a few hours a day, much less air conditioning.

The Israeli military has retaliated with at least 40 air strikes so far. Yet the terrorists in Gaza continue to fire at Israeli civilians in rapid and intense bursts. What’s more, as they have for nearly two months, Palestinian terrorists continue to try to blow up and penetrate the security fence that separates Gaza from southern Israeli, drawing fire from IDF forces positioned along the border.

The risk of a major escalation — possibly even a ground war involving Israeli combat forces entering Gaza to suppress the attacks — is rising. No reasonable person on either side of the border wants that. Only the forces of evil do. That said, Israelis cannot live with 90+ rocket and mortar attacks a day and men, and women and children running for bomb shelters over and over again with only 15 seconds before the explosions begin. We need God to intervene before this thing spins out of control.

Please pray, therefore:

  • For the peace of Jerusalem and the entire country.
  • For calm and security to be restored on the Gaza/Israel border and the prevention of another war.
  • For the Lord to show mercy and supernatural physical and emotional healing for those on both sides of the border who are being traumatized by this fresh wave of terror.
  • For Israeli and Palestinian believers to have wisdom to know how best to be a blessing to our nations and to be bold in proclaiming the Good News of God’s love and His offer of forgiveness and eternal life through Yeshua HaMashiach, Jesus the Messiah.
  • For all of those on The Joshua Fund tour to maintain their courage and boldness and to remain faithful in prayer for Israelis and Palestinians as they’ve been doing all week. (I love these folks — they have been such a joy to teach, baptize, pray with, worship, encourage and learn from!)

(Please follow me on Twitter for updates and breaking news.)

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Amidst tensions in Jordan, King Abdullah wins Templeton Prize for advancing moderate Islam and protecting Christians. Here’s the latest, including an excellent story in Christianity Today.

 Bible Prophecy, Christian World View, Israel  Comments Off on Amidst tensions in Jordan, King Abdullah wins Templeton Prize for advancing moderate Islam and protecting Christians. Here’s the latest, including an excellent story in Christianity Today.
Jul 032018
 

Jordan-King-sideshot

Life is not easy in Jordan these days.

  • The economy is struggling to grow and create enough jobs under the weight of 1.3 million Syrian refugees, in addition to masses of Iraqi refugees who flooded into Jordan during two wars and an insurgency.
  • The government is trying to house, clothe, feed, educate and provide jobs and health care for millions of people who are not actually citizens of Jordan amidst far too little international aid (aside from the U.S. which has been both generous and consistent).
  • Widespread and angry demonstrations recently brought tens of thousands of Jordanians onto the streets to protest large proposed tax increases the government felt it needed to cover the refugee costs and adhere to IMF-mandated reforms.
  • The Jordanian military and security services have been aggressively fighting ISIS and other radical Islamist groups for years and working overtime (quite successfully, thank God) to keep terrorism from erupting across the country.
  • Jordanians are an incredibly hospitable people, but they feel increasingly frustrated by the economic and social burdens of all the refugees.
  • That said, Jordanians don’t want to become a chaotic mess like Syria or Iraq or Yemen and thus find themselves in a terrible bind on how to move forward.

As I’ve written before, King Abdullah II has not only proven himself to be a wise and resilient captain navigating his country through stormy waters. He has done so in part by making Jordan a model of moderation in the Middle East, a close ally of the U.S. and the West, and a safe harbor for Christians and other minorities where they can feel respected and free to practice their faith without fear of Islamist attacks.

That’s why I was encouraged to see His Majesty awarded with the Templeton Prize for his efforts to advance moderation and a respectful interfaith community. This article in Christianity Today does an excellent job telling the story. 

I love this country dearly and I’d be grateful if you would keep the King and the people of Jordan in your prayers, including the Christian community there. I count a number of Jordanian Evangelical leaders as friends and truly faithful brothers and sisters in Christ. Please also pray for the newly-appointed Prime Minister and government as they try to implement reforms that can grow the economy and improve the lives of every Jordanian. Thanks so much.

By Jayson Casper, Christianity Today, July 1, 2018

For his lifelong commitment to religious peace, King Abdullah II of Jordan recently became the second Muslim ever to win the prestigious, $1.4 million Templeton Prize. And Jordan’s Christian minority is celebrating with him.

“I believe in our king,” said Imad Shehadeh, president of the Jordan Evangelical Theological Seminary, following Wednesday’s announcement. “He is a kind, wise, loving, humble, and effective leader.”

Established in 1973, the Templeton Prize is awarded for exceptional contribution to “affirming life’s spiritual dimension.” First given to Mother Teresa, previous winners range from Billy Graham to the Dalai Lama. More recently, Christian philosopher Alvin Plantinga and Jean Vanier of L’Arche have won the prize.

But this year, Abdullah was honored as a ruler who has done more promote inter-Islamic and interfaith harmony than any other living political leader, Templeton said.

Islam is the official religion of Jordan, and the constitution guarantees freedom of religion for minorities such as the roughly 2 percent of the population that’s Christian (mostly Greek Orthodox). The Protestant community has commended their king’s efforts for religious unity, though some wish his commitment went even further.

Since assuming the throne in 1999, the 56-year-old son of the beloved King Hussein has rallied scholars against declaring apostasy against fellow Muslims. In 2006, he sponsored the Common Word initiative, inviting Christians worldwide to join Muslims in their joint commandments to love God and love their neighbor. Abdullah is responsible for launching World Interfaith Harmony Week in 2010, generally acknowledged as the first and only UN declaration to cite belief in God.

“Our world needs to confront challenges to our shared humanity and values,” said Abdullah, in videotaped remarks accepting the prize. “They are the very ground of the coexistence and harmony our future depends on.”

For Christians, Abdullah has been a key partner in the Middle East. His Hashemite family has been custodian of Muslim and Christian religious sites in the Holy Land since 1924.

Abdullah provided personal funds to restore the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem in 2016 and donated land to build churches at the traditional east bank site of Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River. The Muslim king has also supported efforts to safeguard Christians and their historic churches against the threat of ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

The Templeton Award recognized also Jordan’s history of welcoming refugees. Whether early waves of Palestinians or more recently Iraqis and Syrians, tens of thousands of Christians have found asylum in the country.

“Jordan is very tolerant society and is protective of all its citizens,” said Daoud Kuttab, an award-winning Christian Palestinian journalist who has lived in Jordan for 20 years. “It provides a comfortable and secure haven for Christians and others, despite their small percentage.”

Despite their small presence in Jordan’s population overall, Kuttab said Christians are well-represented in political and economic circles. Nine of 130 parliament seats are reserved for Christians, though according to the US International Freedom Report, they may not run for the remaining 121. Four Christians served in last year’s 29-member cabinet.

Other Christians are more cautious in their praise, shifting focus from religious rights to the political. An evangelical researcher and political consultant, Philip Madanat notes the king has diminished the role of Islamists. Yet if Christians are tempted to gloat, Madanat warns that a lack of political opposition will strengthen the security hand of the state.

The regime—though less so the king—is also irked by secular political development, he said. Madanat cited the difficulties faced by the Civil Alliance, a nascent party seeking registration, which includes the former deputy prime minister Marwan Muasher, a Christian. “Christians are good,” Madanat said, “as long as they stay within their accustomed alliances.”

Christians believe too readily that the Hashemites, Jordan’s ruling family since the British Mandate of 1921, are the only refuge from radical Islam, he also said.

As king, Abdullah is the 41st direct descendent of the prophet Muhammad. Promoting religious harmony is part of the king’s legacy, Madanat believes, but also his international legitimacy.

“The king’s objective is to portray himself as an advocate of tolerant Islam,” Madanat said. “But he is reforming without upsetting society.”

Still, the top-down initiatives do not sufficiently influence the street, he said, though seminars do try to reach the youth. Abdullah has also paved the way for a contested curriculum reform in Jordanian schools, removing verses that speak ill of non-Muslims and adding references to Christian contributions in the Islamic era.

Heather Dill, granddaughter to John Templeton and president of the foundation, positively celebrated these reforms. “King Abdullah offers the world the true definition of a spiritual entrepreneur,” she said, “who holds both the belief and free expression of religion as among humankind’s most important callings.”

Madanat has reservations about tolerance, lest a Western-style multiculturalism creep into Jordan, contradicting his biblical worldview. But he agreed with Dill in regard to freedom of belief, as persecution of converts to Christianity tends to be social rather than official. Jordan also tests a Christian before allowing conversion to Islam, to make sure he is sincere.

Jordan ranks number 21 on Open Door’s World Watch List of Christian persecution. The country assigns personal status to religious courts, which do not recognize conversion from Islam, and may revoke the family rights of apostates.

Even so, Shehadeh advises Christians to be thankful for the privileges Jordan affords their community, and to be patient in seeking rights they find lacking. Under Abdullah, the religion field was removed from official IDs in 2016, though it remains in government records.

King Abdullah II will be formally awarded the Templeton Prize in a public ceremony in Washington, D.C. on November 13.

“Our king has been the first to protect Christians, and deserves this prize,” Shehadeh said. “Congratulations to his majesty.”

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