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Archive for September, 2013

Now her sister Oholibah saw this, yet she was more corrupt in her lust than she, and her harlotries were more than the harlotries of her sister. (Ezekiel 23:11)

Are there any stories in history that you like to read over and over again though they have a tragic ending? As long as you are in the middle of the story the characters are still alive and acting and you hope the ending will change somehow. You read about Dietrich Bonhoeffer for instance and all the way up until his execution you keep hoping that he will escape or be turned free. Of course it doesn’t happen. There is something in us that longs for things to have turned out differently.

That is the way I feel whenever I read the stories in the Old Testament as related to us by the prophets. The Israelites knew how God had brought them out of bondage – out of slavery from the land of Egypt. They knew that God gave them a land flowing with milk and honey to be their home. Over a four hundred year period under the Judges they constantly forgot God only to get in trouble. When they called out to God in repentance, He forgave them and sent them a deliverer over and over again. Finally they got themselves a government with a king.

Through another four to five hundred years they were on-again off-again in their obedience pt853_child sacrifice to Canaanite godsto God. By the time our story in Ezekiel takes place they are mostly off-again. God has been so patient with them for hundreds of years but finally they have gone too far. God catalogues all of their sins in Ezekiel, chapter 22, including wronging the poor and the needy and oppressing people without justice. They don’t care about God anymore and so the Lord takes action to make them know that He is God.

We know as we read the story what will happen. We’ve read it many times. I always wish that the Jews would have fallen on their faces and repented. God would have delayed their judgment. But the tragedy takes place. They wouldn’t listen to the prophets. They went on doing what gave them the most pleasure. The Bible tells us they did it deliberately.

chariotezekielGod sends Ezekiel to tell them the story of two sisters, Oholah and Oholibah. They represent Samaria and Jerusalem – or the Northern Kingdom and the Southern Kingdom. They are called “harlots”. This is a metaphor for their unfaithfulness to God. Oholah is the first to “lust after other lovers”. God gives her over to the Assyrians. For another 150 years Oholibah plays the harlot as well. She didn’t learn anything from her sister. As we read the story we beg her in our minds to learn from her sister’s mistakes. We plead with her to turn back to God. But instead, she becomes even more corrupt. She did not learn from history.

Will we learn from history? What will it take for America to wake up and realize that her idolatries are real and many? What jarring event must occur before the people in our country recognize their sins before God and repent?

Two weeks ago everyone lowered their flags to honor those who died on September 11, 9:11 towers2001. I remember that week very well. The churches across our land were filled on Sunday the 16th. Pastors reported that by Sunday, September 23rd, the pews were emptying out. We ran to God only briefly when there was a tragedy. Now we’re back to living our selfish lives again. If anything things have gotten worse. We just don’t seem to be able to learn.

I am not completely discouraged even though most Americans seem to be forgetting God. We can pray. It is possible for change to occur. It occurred in Britain.

In two previous blog postings (September, 2013) I recounted the story of Margaret Thatcher. When Mrs. Thatcher became Prime Minister of Britain that country was at its lowest low in centuries of history. Socialism had brought an otherwise prosperous and free country to poverty and virtual slavery. Margaret Thatcher believed that it could be turned around. She believed that the Christian principles of hard work and responsibility made Britain, and the United States for that matter, countries where God-honoring people are able to provide for themselves, their families, and the poor in the land.

Things turned around in Britain when the people said they had had enough and threw the socialist party out of office. They had streets filled with garbage and dead bodies by the time they took action. They had high unemployment, high taxes, and an intrusive government. Things were headed in a worse direction but Britain did not become Oholibah.

What must America experience before she will wake up? I am afraid it will have to be another disaster like 9/11. Americans are all asleep in front of their television sets. They believe whatever the press tells them. They think their president is so wonderful that they have virtually let him crown himself king. Obama not only thinks he can do whatever he wants in his country, he arrogantly tells the rest of the world how to live. (See my last blog post.)

This is not just a political war; this is a religious war. Obama’s interference in world affairs tends towards support of the radical Muslim Brotherhood. Just look at what is happening in Syria. Obama’s speeches have obscured the fact that innocent people are being tortured and killed. Thousands of Christians are fleeing for their lives.

Obama supported the radical Muslim government in Egypt. However the moderate Muslims and the Christians in Egypt rose up and threw the tyrannical government out. When people decide to get together and stand for liberty they can accomplish their goal. This should encourage us. We can do the same. We must repent to God for our laziness. We must work harder to end abortion and unbridled homosexuality. We must do more personally for widows and orphans. The churches need to begin again to rescue the needy and not just let the government do it. The government loves to play god. But there’s a price to pay – loss of freedom.

Please, my friends, let’s don’t wait for a tragic ending to our story. I pray that my grandchildren will not read our story and wish that there had been a better ending. With God’s help we can change it.

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For I was envious of the arrogant as I saw the prosperity of the wicked. …Therefore pride is their necklace; the garment of violence covers them. …They say, “How does God know? And is there knowledge with the Most High? Behold, these are the wicked; and always at ease, they have increased in wealth. …When I pondered to understand this, it was troublesome in my sight until I came into the sanctuary of God; then I perceived their end. (Psalm 73:3, 6, 11, 12, 16, 17)

Dear President Obama,

First of all I want you to know that I am praying for you. Our Lord asks us to be in constant prayer for others and that includes our leaders. I know that only God can change your heart.

Barack_Obama_proud-216x234Mr. Obama, the people in this country would like to live at peace with each other and with the world. However, as our leader, your actions are going to bring down God’s wrath on our country. I implore you to repent and begin to serve God in the way that He requires. God has made it very plain in His Word that certain things make Him angry. With all due respect sir, your actions are flying in the face of our Holy God.

Today, I am addressing three of many areas for which I am praying for you. I pray that you will change the direction in which you are leading our country. God will not continue to bless our country if you lead us down the paths of unrighteousness.

First of all, Mr. Obama, abortion is not a “woman’s right to choose”. Abortion is murder. Did you not see the horrific scenes of late-term abortions during the Gosnell trial? Please look atlate term abortion this picture Mr. Obama. See that what we are talking about here is a human being. Abortionists are committing genocide against a whole class of people – small, helpless people. The hypocrisy of bemoaning the deaths of innocent children abroad while we continue to murder our own innocents is palpable.

Perhaps you think that God doesn’t care about “unwanted” babies. Mr. Obama, God does care. He is the author of their lives, and His purposes in creating them are beyond our understanding and our ‘choice’. He cares about the babies and about the women who are making the biggest mistake of their lives when they kill their own unborn children.

And while God loves righteousness (Psalm 33:5), He hates those who have “haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood” (Prov. 6:17). “Ah,” you say, “I’ve never shed innocent blood.” But Mr. Obama you support the biggest murderer of children on the planet. You support Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood takes credit for getting you reelected and you’ve paid them back by making Ms. Cecile Richards one of your trusted advisors.

I am sorry Mr. Obama but you are complicit in the genocide against the unborn that is being perpetrated by abortionists. Please call on God while He may be found.

Perhaps you think because the many people you have surrounded yourself with all say that it’s fine for women to kill their unwanted children that you are somehow insulated from God’s judgment. Perhaps you think you have strength in numbers.

Well, our One Holy God is still more powerful than all of you together. You may think you can defy Him and get away with it, but you can’t. Dear Mr. Obama, please heed the warning in Psalm 73 above and repent before it is too late.

Mr. Obama, God has made it plain in His Word that homosexuality is a sin. He does not tolerate it and homosexuals will be judged along with slanderers, robbers, murderers, and others who are disobedient to God. This does not mean we hate them. It is the opposite. Because we love them and want them to repent before almighty God we must confront them with their sin just like any other sinner.

Pres. Macky SallYour attitude on this issue is not only ungodly, but is clearly arrogant. What made you think you had the right to tell Senegalese President Macky Sall how to run his country? Did you suppose you had the moral high ground when you criticized Deputy President of Kenya, William Ruto, about their position on the Scripture’s definition of a family? What sort of message were you sending to the Dominican Republic when you decided to send an openly homosexual ambassador to them?

All of these leaders have noted your lack of respect for them. You are an embarrassment to God-fearing people in our country. In case you haven’t noticed sir, the majority of the people in our country are good, God-fearing people. They do not condone sin.

The rest of the world is watching. I feel ashamed when I know that they think that you represent all Americans. You do not. Even if you will not obey God, Mr. Obama, at least act like you want to represent the majority of our democratic, Christian country.

Please remember that God says, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” (Proverbs 14:34). Mr. Obama we are disgraced by the sins of abortion and homosexuality. Please repent of your complicity in these sins and lead the country in righteousness.

Finally Mr. President, it is of great concern to us that you are leading us into a conflict in Syria that has grave consequences for innocent people. Why are you going against your earlier campaign promise to keep us out of war? You have been constantly at war since your election to office. Most of the good people in the United States do not want to be involved in other countries’ fights. We wish to be at peace with all people as our Lord commanded us (Romans 12:18).

It is not lost on us that you always choose to side with the Muslims. In Egypt you facilitated a Muslim Brotherhood takeover. Thank God, and I mean Yahweh, the people threw the militant Muslims out. Now you want to put America on the same side as al-Qaeda groups who are fighting against President Assad. Mr. Obama, condemning one evil does not condone another, especially a worse one. Whatever bad things Assad may have done at least he has shown tolerance for minority religions. The militant Muslims will not show any tolerance and they will get away with the tremendous abuse that they have committed and continue to commit against the Christians of that land. Tens of thousands of Christians are fleeing for their lives.

We Christians in American weep for our brothers and sisters in Syria in the face of their christian-refugees-syriagenocide at the hands of the militant Muslims. I wish that their plight would soften your heart and you would refrain from taking America into a conflict where she doesn’t belong.

Mr. Obama many thousands of Americans are praying for you. We are praying that you will listen to the Wisdom of Solomon who exhorts us to not forget God’s teaching. Let your heart keep God’s commandments and lead your people to do the same for “length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you” (Proverbs 3:1,2).

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Dear Mrs. Thatcher,

Thank you so much for all you did for the world. Of course your beloved country, Great Britain was the chief beneficiary of your hard work, but the entire world had Margaret Thatchera lesson in freedom during your tenure as Prime Minister.

The whole world seemed to be drifting towards socialism, but you showed us that when people are willing to put the needs of others before their own selfish wants that all of society benefits. The Free Market works as people make their own choices, but those choices are always within what is best for everyone.

When the State decides that it knows best and tries to force its own social or political agenda on the people it always makes a shambles out of everything. This has been proven without a doubt in Russia, China, and Eastern Europe. It nearly ruined Britain but you reversed all of that, raising the standard of Britain abroad.

Thank you, Mrs. Thatcher for being courageous enough to stop the socialist trend in your country and prove to the world that a Free Market works.

But one of the most important things that you believed and tried to teach others is that material prosperity is not an end of its own. For people to be free and happy they must be a moral people. In a speech to the Zurich Economic Society in 1977 you said,

The main issues are moral. … The economic success of the Western world is a product of its moral philosophy and practice. The economic results are better because the moral philosophy is superior. It is superior because it starts with the individual, with his uniqueness, his responsibility, and his capacity to choose. Surely this is infinitely preferable to the Socialist-statist philosophy which sets up a centralized economic system to which the individual must conform, which subjugates him, directs him and denies him the right to free choice.

And to the Greater London Young Conservatives you emphasized,

Choice in a free society implies responsibility on the part of the individual. There is no hard and fast line between economic and other forms of personal responsibility to self, family, firm, community, nation, God. Morality lies in choosing between feasible alternatives. A moral being is one who exercises his own judgment in choice, on matters great and small, bearing in mind their moral dimension, i.e. right and wrong. Insofar as his right and duty to choose is taken away by the state, the party or the union, his moral faculties, i.e. his capacity for choice, atrophy, and he becomes a moral cripple in the same way as we should lose the faculty of walking, reading, seeing, if we were prevented from using them over the year.

… The Socialists would take away most or all of these choices. A man would do what he was told by the state and his union, work where work was ‘found’ for him at the rate fixed and degree of effort permitted. He would send his children to school where the education authority decided what the children are taught and the way they are taught, irrespective of his views, he would live in the housing provided, take what he could get, give what he was obliged to give.

This doesn’t produce a responsible or a moral society.

This does not produce a classless society; on the contrary it produces the most stratified of all societies, divided into two classes: the powerful and the powerless; the party-bureaucratic elite and the manipulated masses.

And are these rulers better fitted to make choice on our behalf or to dispose of resources?

As the United States drifts into socialism with its government-mandated health care system I wish that our government would learn a lesson from you. You believed that the people could refuse socialism if given the chance. Your goal of restoring personal responsibility, self-reliance, and self-confidence to the people of Britain was achieved in a large part because of your own integrity. You held on firmly to what was right even in the face of adversity. You were the most courageous leader in the Western world in the last generation.

You knew that massive unemployment would occur when you took steps to end inflation. Someone had to take steps to apply the strong medicine to cure the sickness of inflation due to bad monetary policy and socialism. You were willing to accept the hateful things that people said because you knew you were right and things would work out the way they were supposed to once the people pressed on during the inevitable suffering while the remedy was applied. We all wish we didn’t have to “pay the piper” but there was no alternative and indeed you were proven right.

Here in the United States no president has been willing to take the steps to reverse a bad monetary policy like you did. Our government keeps on printing money. Eventually the whole economy will come crashing down but each president hopes it will be during the next president’s administration. None of these men has had the courage that you had. As time goes on it will get worse and worse but our cowardly president won’t risk losing his popularity. The men who have ruled in our country have been very short sighted and selfish. But you, Mrs. Thatcher loved your people more than yourself. You did the right thing as a wise parent allows her child to learn the hard way occasionally.

I really admire the way you handled the unions in your country. The things they were doing were grossly unfair. Time has shown that the Communists were BBC news Thatcherhoping to take over your government through the power of the unions. Though the huge Labour Party was against you, and even some frightened Conservatives tried to urge you otherwise, you took steps to curb union power.

One could wish that the leaders in our government had the backbone that you had. You stood up to the men with dignity and did not back down even when they said horrible, untrue things about you in public. They accused you of disrupting “peaceful picketing”, but in fact what was happening was mob violence and intimidation. You did not flinch when confronted with their bald faced lies.

Arthur Scargill, a committed Marxist, thought he would bring Britain to its knees with the coal strike. He used methods that should have been illegal, such as bringing in groups of “strikers” who were not the coal workers at the mines. You also knew that the union leaders were not permitting secret ballots so that those who did not want to strike could not say what they really thought without threats to themselves or families. The cowardly Conservative Party and the Labour Party governments capitulated to Scargill’s demands. You refused. 5000 strikers battled 5000 police at the Battle of Orgreave and there were over 100 casualties as the police forced the end to the strike.

You knew that this fight in particular was a fight for the soul of your country. You remained firm. Thanks to your courage and integrity, a large group of people formed their own unions with freedom for their workers. The Scargill, destructive type of union was ended. New fair laws were passed. A new era began in Britain thanks to you.

America has lost a great friend. As you look down on us from Heaven I wonder what you must think now. True, the Berlin Wall fell and Communism does not seem as big of a threat. We have Iron-Ladyother threats now. I wish that you were here to talk to our leaders. Can you figure out a way to bottle some of your courage and give some to our president?

Are you proud of Prime Minister Julia Gillard of Australia who seems to have taken a page out of your book by not refusing to give in the Muslim extremists? Perhaps she could be your spokesperson here on earth and show our cowardly leaders how a government should be run.

Mrs. Thatcher, you achieved greater things than any other woman in history. You deserve to be remembered as one of the world’s great leaders – the tough but loveable “Iron Lady”. I thank God that you were willing to serve so courageously. The world has lost a true champion of freedom.

 

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“Margaret Thatcher was one of the most vigorous, determined, and successful enemies of socialism the world has known.” *

Only those of us over fifty remember that socialism, communism, and doctrinal Marxism dominated nearly two-thirds of the world in 1970’s. I remember going by the office of one of the sociology professors at my college in Minnesota in 1970 and being shocked by the framed centerpiece on her message board. It was a portrait of Vladimir Lenin and below his picture the professor had posted “My Hero”. This was typical of the higher education system here and in Europe. Even after politicians recognized the failure of socialism, leftist ideologues have tried to keep Marxism alive.

When Margaret Thatcher took over the reins of government the Berlin Wall had not yet Margaret Thatcher fallen. It seemed that the whole world was only going in one direction – socialism. “Capitalism” was, and still is in many places, a dirty word. Margaret Thatcher took on the challenge of reversing was seemed to be an inevitable slide into socialism in Britain.

Margaret Thatcher is also worthy of a place in history as a woman – a woman who achieved great things that no other woman has ever achieved before.

Where did this amazing woman come from? Perhaps part of her rise to prominence was due to her humble beginnings. We often think of those who reach the highest positions of power in Britain as being members of the upper classes. But Margaret Thatcher was born in a not very well known little city to lower-middle class, hardworking parents.

Margaret Hilda Roberts was born in 1925 in Grantham, Lincolnshire above her father’s grocery store. Alfred Roberts was a lay Methodist preacher. He also served as a town alderman and city mayor, so Margaret was not only exposed to the Bible but also to politics. Margaret’s own speaking career actually began in church when she read from the pulpit as a child.

She helped out in the grocery store where she learned to be frugal and thrifty. These characteristics along with the industriousness and sincerity of her Methodist upbringing informed her economic policy in her later years.

At the local grammar school Margaret was known as a hardworking and very disciplined student. She earned a place at Somerville College at Oxford University. Only a few colleges admitted women then; Somerville was an all-woman’s college.

Margaret became president of the university’s Conservative Association. She achieved this position through her hard work and respect from her peers even though most of them were male.

She had no use for “Women’s Lib”. It has always been a well-known fact that the more loud and obnoxious a woman is, especially if she is always pulling out the “gender card”, that she is trying to make up for less than stellar intelligence or giftedness. While feminists were screaming for their rights, Margaret was calmly going about her business rising above it all and earning her place in history based on her own hard work and achievements.

thatcher-chemistAfter Margaret graduated from Oxford, having taken a Second Class degree in chemistry, she took a job at a plastics factory in Essex. She immersed herself in politics, running for a seat in Parliament twice, in 1950 and 1951, not succeeding either time. She did not expect to win against the entrenched Labour candidate. It was just typical politics in Britain; but she gained notoriety with her vigorous and energetic campaigning.

During her second campaign she met and became engaged to Denis Thatcher, who was heir to a successful chemicals business. It is true that Denis’ money helped Margaret to campaign and to succeed as much as she did; but theirs was truly a love match. Denis was utterly devoted to Margaret and supported her to the end of their lives.

In 1959 Margaret won a seat in the House of Commons. She was the youngest woman in the House. In 1961 she became the under-secretary for pensions and national insurance.

When the Tories were ousted in 1964, Margaret spent six years as an opposition party member. She built a reputation for diligence and a remarkable memory for statistics. No one as yet recognized her for the leader that she would become.

During the 1970’s the government’s responses to strikes were very weak. Unemployment was high. Labor disputes led to the ousting of the Conservatives under Edward Heath. The Labour Party took power under Harold Wilson and the way was paved for Margaret Thatcher. While this party was in power Britain came very close to becoming an all-out socialist country. The unions, some of which were run by open Communists, were running the country.

Britain became the laughing stock of Europe with a weak economy. Having fallen from the huge empire that they once were, they were now the second poorest country in Europe. Socialist policies were clearly not working.

The people were tired of “garbage and dead bodies in the streets”. They voted the Conservatives back in power in 1979 with Margaret Thatcher as the leader. They were hoping for a change.

At the age of fifty-three, Margaret Thatcher became the first woman elected as Prime Minister in the history of Britain.

In her early years as Prime Minister, Margaret made some mistakes. She was not popular as she struggled to correct the problems that she inherited, but she always sought to do what was right no matter how many people opposed her.

Her father had taught her not to go along with the herd if the herd was wrong. Margaret was strong enough to withstand the pressure from the opposition when she knew she was right.

Margaret took on the unions when the previous male leaders backed down to them. She appeared to be insecure at times but it was only because of her sex and her middle-class upbringing. These things made her cautious. But when she knew she was right, as when she opposed the openly Communist leader of the miners, there was no hesitation or backing down.

Being a grocer’s daughter allowed Margaret to pursue an anti-socialist agenda in a way that aristocrats could not. Socialists had a way of making aristocrats feel guilty. They could not play that card on Margaret.

Margaret turned things around for the British. She turned their flagging economy into one of the strongest in Europe. She returned dignity to the people by deregulating many industries and letting the people run the businesses themselves.

Margaret showed the world that a country could be turned around. She helped to change Great Britain and the world for the better. (In part 2 of this story there will be more detail of what she did, how she did it, and why it is significant.)

By 1990, the European countries were trying to form a union. The story of Margaret’s position on this is complicated, but she did not believe that becoming part of the union was best for Britain. The new European economic unit would have ruined the pound and Britain’s monetary policy. Unfortunately, many other influential governmental leaders were in favor of Britain’s cooperation with the union. Margaret tendered her resignation to the Queen on November 28, 1990.

Britain is well off today thanks to Margaret Thatcher. Of course, they have a new menace in the form of the Muslim threat that exists all over the world. It would be interesting to know how Margaret would handle it if she were here. I am sure she would handle it with more backbone than the current leaders. Margaret was able to discern the forces in history and master them. We will need to learn how to do this if we are to survive. And I pray that God would give us a leader with as much courage as Margaret Thatcher.

*Claire Berlinski in There is no Alternative: Why Margaret Thatcher Matters, pg. 5)

 

 

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