In yesterday’s post, I commented on Pastor Jeremiah Wright’s comments concerning America and the attitude he took toward this country and whether it was Biblical or not. Moreover, I commented on the defense of Wright by the President of the UCC, John Thomas, and whether the focus of the UCC was proper and what that focus meant in the context of serving the LORD.
It is apparent that a second look into the whole motivation behind the UCC is warranted as Pastor Wright’s comments, and President John Thomas’ defense of them brings to light very troubling issues in the United Churches of Christ as a denomination. What is telling about the focus of Wright’s comments is that they were not condemning of America because it has turned its back on the LORD God, and forsaken the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Rather, he condemned America for waging war against those in this world that the majority of Americans see as evil.
“We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye,” Rev. Wright said in a sermon on Sept. 16, 2001.
“We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America’s chickens are coming home to roost,” he told his congregation.1
Now, knowing something about history, and knowing that America did not start World War II, and in fact resisted being dragged into it; it is apparent that Pastor Wright made his statement divorced from any historical context. Apparently Pastor Wright would have preferred that tens of thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) more die in an invasion of the Japanese home islands, rather than the use of only two weapons that quickly convinced the Emperor of Japan that further resistance would only result in defeat and the senseless loss of life of his subjects. Moreover, the dropping of those particular bombs also broke the idea in Japan that the Emperor was a god to be worshiped.
Knowing this, one must wonder what motivates someone to draw a moral equivalence between America’s use of nuclear weapons on Japan during wartime, and the attacks upon America on September 11, 2001. However, that motivation is laid bare by his follow-on statement which is also quoted above. Whether one really understands everything about the issue of Israel and Palestine, if one has read, understood and believes the Scripture, as Pastor Wright claims he does, then claiming that America supports state-sponsored terrorism against the Palestinians is nothing short of coming straight out of the Devil’s mouth. The only nation that is supposedly “attacking” the Palestinians is Israel, and anyone who knows the facts about the current government in Israel, knows that the Olmert administration virtually sits on its hands as Israeli citizens are subjected to daily rocket attacks. If this happened in any other country in the world, that country would be in the process of wiping their opponents off the face of the earth. No, other than their fight for independence, Israel has shown remarkable restraint in dealing with their neighbors since they became a nation. Moreover, American support of Israel has frequently been contingent upon that demonstration of restraint.
However, that is not what is so demonic about Wright’s claim. Wright’s claim about state terrorism being used against the Palestinians goes beyond the mere issue of Israeli relations with them. As any student of the Scripture knows, the land that Israel possesses, historically belongs to them, given to them by no less than the LORD God Himself. Plainly, by the Scripture, Gaza and the West Bank both belong to Israel, and Israel has every right to claim them, settle them, and govern them. Moreover, the Jews are still God’s chosen people, and He will use them again. Are they out of the will and service of God? Yes, they are. However, that does not mean that anyone and everyone is free to chastise and correct them. No, they belong to God, and God is dealing with them. For anyone to take a position in opposition to Israel, is to side with the Devil and the enemies of God. In this the Scripture is express:
Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee. When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. For the LORD’S portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance. He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye. (Deuteronomy 32:7-10)
For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye. (Zechariah 2:8)
He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the LORD. (Psalm 147:19-20)
But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend. Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away. (Isaiah 41:8-9)
For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. (Malachi 3:6)
I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. (Romans 11:1-5)
In Revelation, chapter 7, and in Zechariah, chapter 12, we are plainly told that there is coming a day in which Israel will turn and again be used of the LORD God as a witness to this world. In fact, the evidence in Scripture is extensive as it pertains to Israel and the fact that they have an everlasting covenant with God. We are also warned in the New Testament not to boast about our standing with God at the expense of Israel. Thus, the only one that would dare to levy charge against Israel and seek Israel’s destruction is the Devil.
What does this then state about the heart and motivation of Pastor Wright, and John Thomas, President of the UCC who defended him? What does it state about the heart of Barack Obama who dismissed Wright’s statements as merely “It sounds like he was trying to be provocative,”?
I do not know what would satisfy others as sufficient evidence, but for me the above Scriptures are enough to show that anyone who attacks Israel stands against the will of God. However, there is one other passage that plainly demonstrates who has always stood behind the attempted destruction of the Jews throughout their history:
And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days. (Revelation 12:1-6)
I don’t pretend to understand all the parallels in the above passage, but I do know the woman parallels Israel, the child is the Lord Jesus Christ, the dragon is Satan, the stars of heaven are angels, and the wilderness is the world. Hence, the meaning is clear. This passage shows who continually seeks the destruction of Israel, and who it is that influences men to rail against the Jews. Are the Jews perfect? No, they are fallen men just like everyone else, and they need the salvation that Christ offers, just like everyone else. But to claim that Yasser Arafat, the PLO, Hamas and others like them are justified in claiming that every Jew needs to be wiped off the face of the earth, and to say that our support of Israel when it responds to those efforts militarily is a reason for God to judge us, is straight out of the heart and mind of the Devil. By extension, to defend someone who makes such statements, is to be more than comfortable with the pronouncements of Satan.
Is America under judgement? Sadly, yes she is. But not because of her support of Israel, or her use of nuclear weapons in wartime, or even her stand against communist influence in South Africa.2 America is under judgement because she has forsaken her Maker, the Supreme Judge of the World, and has turned her back upon God, and forsaken the right way in favor of her own way.
Why is it that Pastor Wright couldn’t say those things to his congregation on September 16, 2001? Perhaps, it is because he really isn’t interested in having America turn back to God. Why didn’t President John Thomas soundly condemn the statements of Pastor Wright? Perhaps it is because he actually shares his views. Were I in the United Churches of Christ, I would set about finding a church that is actually interested in serving God, instead of standing against Him.
UPDATE 03/22/08Since I don’t go poking into every corner of the Internet, and I really am not all that interested in politics, I missed the proof of all I stated above. Since this whole controversy broke, people have decided to dig into everything Pastor Wright and TUCC are engaged in. Well, the proof of the above assertion is posted on BizzyBlog’s post concerning a certain “Pastor’s Pages” article from July 22nd. The Pastor’s Pages for that issue were given over to a known Hamas operative. Nice — and in a “Christian church” at that.
- http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=4443788 [↩]
- America’s support of South Africa was not because they engaged in apartheid, or that successive administrations hated blacks. Rather, it was due to having little to no choice in who we supported in attempting to stem the spread of communism. At least the South Africa government wasn’t communist, and under those regimes, the gospel could be preached to everyone. Perhaps they weren’t a whole lot better, but they did have some respect for the law. The communists have none at all, and always seek to stop the spread of the gospel. [↩]