What the New Yorker Got Right and Wrong About Racism in the White American Church

Although Michael Luo’s article in the New Yorker came out September 2, I didn’t see it until a childhood friend, himself a liberal Jewish Democrat, sent it to me. It is entitled “American Christianity’s White-Supremacy Problem,” and it raises some very serious concerns. What did Luo get right and what did he get wrong? Luo begins his article with a disturbing anecdote from the life of Frederick Douglass while still a slave. When his master became a Christian, rather than making him “more kind and humane,” as Douglass had hoped, the reverse was true. Douglass wrote, “If it had any effect on his character, it made him more cruel and hateful in all his ways.” Worse still, Douglass’s master justified his cruel behavior with verses from the Bible, making his Christian profession all the more abhorrent. But, Luo notes, this is not just a 19th century problem for white Christians. Rather, Luo informs us, “In a 2019 nationwide survey, eighty-six per cent of white evangelical Protestants and seventy per cent of both white mainline Protestants and white Catholics said that the ‘Confederate flag is more a symbol of Southern pride than of racism’; nearly two-thirds of white Christians over all said that killings of African-American men by the police are isolated incidents rather than part of a broader pattern of mistreatment; and more than six in ten white Christians disagreed with the statement that ‘generations of slavery and discrimination have created conditions that make it difficult for blacks to work their way out of the lower class.’” To be sure, there are certainly some Americans for whom the Confederate flag is a symbol of Southern pride rather than racism. (Not being from the South myself, those feelings are quite foreign to me.) And there are many people of conscience who, based on the data they have reviewed, believe that African-American men are not specifically singled out for killing by the police. But I find it difficult to imagine how “more than six in ten white Christians” deny what is to me a self-evident statement: namely, “that ‘generations of slavery and discrimination have created conditions that make it difficult for blacks to work their way out of the lower class.’” These sentiments are backed up by the much-discussed recent book by Robert P. Jones, White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity, which Luo references. And they are given historical context in the important book by Jemar Tisby, The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism, also referenced by Luo. To the extent Luo reminds us of the past failings and blind spots of the American church, he does well. And to the extent those blind spots exist, he does well to draw our attention to them as well. Yet there are some clear misses in his article. First, he notes that, “In surveys that measure how warmly people say they feel about Black people, the sentiments of white evangelical Protestants exceed those of the general population. (Other white Christians’ responses fall close to the mean.) Yet the vast majority of white Christians remain indifferent to the symbols of white supremacy and skeptical of the realities of racial inequality.” What, then, does this tell us? Perhaps these white evangelical Protestants really do have hearts of love. Perhaps they really do believe in racial reconciliation. Perhaps they really do want to right wrongs when they become aware of them. And perhaps these alleged “symbols of white supremacy” have no such meaning to them, which is why they are indifferent to them. And perhaps they are unaware of some aspects of racial inequality. This is a far cry from a white Christian master mistreating a black slave in the name of Christianity, quoting the Bible as he mercilessly lashed his purchased possession. Yet it does remind us of the importance of honest and ongoing dialogue. If there are insensitivities on the part of sincere white Christians, then when they become aware, they will become sensitive. Let us continue to talk together across racial and ethnic lines. Second, Luo repeats some the standard mischaracterizations about President Trump and his supporters, portraying him as a racist followed by white Christian racists for whom “Christian nationalism” means a white America. Accordingly, Luo points to Trump’s alleged “reluctance to condemn white-nationalist protesters in Charlottesville, and his scapegoating of China for the coronavirus pandemic.” In point of fact, as has been pointed out endlessly since Charlottesville, Trump immediately condemned the white nationalist protesters on the day of the event, making an even stronger statement in a subsequent news conference. And his “scapegoating” of China – which many would argue is not “scapegoating” at all – is hardly race-based. Had the virus allegedly been manufactured and/or released by, say, an anti-America Canadian government, Trump would have labeled it the Canada virus (or something even more biting). As for Christians shouting “MAGA,” I’m sure that some of them are racists who dream of a white America. But the vast majority of those I have interacted with have issues with the left, not with blacks, with morality, not color. Luo fails to factor this in adequately. Third, Luo faults abolitionists like Charles Finney in the 1800s and anti-segregationists like Billy Graham in the 1900s for putting soulwinning ahead of fighting racism. To be sure Luo does not castigate these leaders for their stances. And he mentions that Martin Luther King, Jr. advised Graham to keep his focus on gospel preaching. But he fails to recognize that these are biblically-based, socially-sound principles. We preach Jesus and repentance first, and that leads directly to godly social action. Finney, for his part, predicted a national bloodbath if abolitionism was put first and revivalism put second. He knew that without a massive change of hearts on a national level, a costly civil war would ensue. Perhaps the war was inevitable. But Finney’s method was to change society by changing hearts, while at the same time aggressively opposing slavery. (For a contemporary application of this principle, see “Flipping the Courts and Turning the Hearts.”) Graham held to a similar strategy, knowing that his primary calling and gifting was that of an evangelist, while also understanding that true Christian dedication would result in the end of segregation. Luo sees this as a deficiency, as if Finney and Graham fell short of their callings, which is certainly not true. And it is misses like this which undermine Luo’s bombastic closing statement. He wrote, “Today’s ‘slave-holding religion’ is preached on Fox News, conservative talk radio, and the rest of the right-wing media ecosystem; they daily bear false witness. Jesus’ blessing for peacemakers may demand that Christians confront these institutions of demagoguery and division in the name of the kingdom.” Had he been more nuanced and accurate, seeking to understand those whom he attempts to expose, his article would have been much more constructive. As it is, his exaggerations and misstatements detract from the important issues he does address.

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Apocalypse Now: The Aftermath of the Death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Dr. Brown weighs in on the major developments with the passing of Justice Ginsburg, shares excerpts from his interview with Mike Huckabee, and takes your call on the current controversies. Listen live here 3-4 pm EST, and call into the show at (866) 348 7884 with your questions and comments.

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The Open Supreme Court Seat Is A Final Test For Trump, Senate Republicans And America’s Conservatives

The sudden passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg shocked the entire country, and it has set up a battle for the ages in Washington.  Democrats are promising to fight with everything that they have got to keep that seat from being filled before the election, but in the end there isn’t that much they can do.  The Republicans control the White House and the U.S. Senate, and so they have the power to fill that seat if they wish to do so.  Unfortunately, there are already cracks in Republican solidarity.  Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins have both publicly stated that they will not support a confirmation vote before election day, and two more defections would push Republicans below the 50 votes that they need to confirm a nominee.  But for the purposes of this article, I will assume that there will be no more defections.   I believe that this open Supreme Court seat represents a critical test.  But it is not a test for the Democrats.  We already know what they believe and where they stand, and they have absolutely no intention of changing.  So there is no need for Democrats to be weighed on the scales of justice, because that case is already closed. Instead, I believe that this is a test for President Trump, for the Republicans in the U.S. Senate and for America’s conservatives. By now, conservatives should have complete control of the Supreme Court.  15 of the last 19 justices have been nominated by Republican presidents, and if Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat is filled by President Trump that will make it 16 out of the last 20. Sadly, we do not have a conservative Supreme Court at this point.  In fact, the Supreme Court has been very liberal for more than 50 years. How in the world could this possibly have happened? Well, the truth is that Democrats and Republicans have a completely different approach to Supreme Court nominations.  When a Democratic president nominates someone to the Supreme Court, they make sure that they know exactly what they are getting and they never make any mistakes. But Republican presidents have nominated “conservatives” that have turned out to be very liberal time after time. Just because a Republican president nominates a judge, that does not mean that he or she is “conservative”.  We’ve got to quit believing the mainstream media when they put those labels on judges, because the mainstream media should not be trusted. For example, just consider Neil Gorsuch.  The mainstream media told us that he was “very conservative” when Trump nominated him to the Supreme Court, but instead he has voted with the liberals repeatedly. But we shouldn’t be surprised by the fact that he has turned out to be a liberal, because he was attending an extremely liberal church when he was nominated… And in a twist that may surprise religious conservatives who welcomed Gorsuch’s appointment, church leader Rev. Susan Springer, 58, has said she is pro-gay marriage and offers blessings to same sex couples. The church, which trumpets its ‘inclusive’ ethos on its website, also operates a homeless outreach program that includes an LGBT center and a sexual health clinic in a pamphlet setting out the best places for those in need of help. And Rev. Springer is so virulently anti-Trump that she attended “the anti-Trump Women’s March in Denver the day after the President’s inauguration”. Unfortunately, the red flags were ignored and Gorsuch is now a member of the Supreme Court. Next, let’s talk about Brett Kavanaugh.  When he was nominated, the mainstream media couldn’t stop talking about how “conservative” he was, and the left passionately opposed his nomination. But at the time, I strongly pointed out that conservatives should be the ones opposing his nomination, and the passage of time has proven that I was right.  Kavanaugh has also repeatedly voted with the liberals on the Court, and he has proven that he is not a social conservative at all. When he was nominated, the way that he was able to get Republican Senator Susan Collins to vote for his confirmation was by assuring her that Roe v. Wade was a settled precedent and by essentially promising her that he would not vote to overturn it if the decision was going to be a 5 to 4 decision.  You can watch Susan Collins discuss her meeting with Kavanaugh right here. There is no universe in which such a promise would be okay, and Kavanaugh’s nomination should have been immediately withdrawn once this became known. Instead, Kavanaugh was confirmed and now we are stuck with him. So now President Trump has a third opportunity to nominate a member of the Supreme Court, and this is a critical test for him. The only acceptable option is for him to nominate a judge that will publicly pledge to overturn Roe v. Wade, and none of the candidates currently being discussed has done this. After Trump nominates a judge, the Republicans in the Senate will also face a test. If the judge that has been nominated will publicly pledge to overturn Roe v. Wade, the Republicans in the Senate have a duty to confirm that nominee before Trump’s term ends. But if that judge will not publicly pledge to overturn Roe v. Wade, the Republicans in the Senate have a duty to reject that nominee. Lastly, this process will also be a test for conservatives all over America. In the past, conservatives across the country have gotten behind “conservative” nominees even though there were all sorts of red flags and even though none of them would publicly pledge to overturn Roe v. Wade. As a result, we have the mess on the Court that we have today. Now the conservatives of this country face one final test. If we overwhelmingly reject any candidate that will not publicly pledge to overturn Roe v. Wade, we will pass the test. But if we just go along with whoever is nominated no matter what they believe like we have done before, then we will fail the test. We have failed so many times before, and now we have one final chance. If we get a third strike against us in less than four years, I fear that we may be all out of chances. Already, I am seeing calls for President Trump to nominate a moderate judge because that will supposedly help his chances in November. There is going to be so much pressure on Trump to make a choice for political reasons, and many Republicans in the Senate will also be feeling a tremendous amount of political pressure as well. Let us hope that our leaders have the courage to make the right decisions, because this is a test that we simply cannot afford to fail. ***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.*** About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  By purchasing the book you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The End, Get Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.  

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Reflections on the Passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The news came as a shock in the midst of a year of unrelenting shocks, yet another jolt of massive proportions. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died at the age of 87. That her death took place as Jews around the world had begun to observe (or were about to observe) Rosh HaShanah, the traditional Jewish New Year, was not lost on many Jewish commentators. (Heightening things even more was the fact that Rosh HaShanah this year began on the Sabbath.) Upon hearing the news of her passing, I tweeted, “The timing of the passing of Justice Ginsburg (immediately before the beginning of the Jewish New Year, the biblical day of the sounding of the shofar) strikes me as an overwhelmingly sobering, significant event. May God's kingdom be advanced & may He comfort the grieving family.” Some Jews who had already begun reciting the evening prayers were repeating the words of what is called the Mourner’s Kaddish, a prayer of praise to God recited in memory of the dead, when news of Ginsberg’s death began to spread. An event that was already of momentous proportions – the passing of this liberal warrior, feminist pioneer, and cultural icon – now felt even more momentous. Others have written of Justice Ginsberg’s judicial legacy. And in the days ahead, there will be countless articles commemorating her life and, no doubt, a slew of biographies to follow. She was even the subject of two recent movies, “RBG” and “On the Basis of Sex.” More remarkably still for a Supreme Court justice, she was nicknamed “The Notorious RBG” (in the spirit of the late rapper known as “The Notorious B.I.G.”) Such was the reputation and impact of this little Jewish woman who was, quite literally, larger than life. And, given the fact that she was a tenacious fighter, she must have battled with all her might to hold on through the November elections, not wanting to give President Trump the privilege of picking her replacement. As passed on through her granddaughter, she said before dying, “my most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.” Now she is gone, and Trump has made plain his desire to nominate her replacement, with the frontrunner being Amy Coney Barrett, herself just 48 years old. In fact, according to an article published back in March, 2019, when Trump was considering the replacement for Anthony Kennedy, he allegedly said of Barrett, “I’m saving her for Ginsburg.” Given that Barrett is as staunchly pro-life as Ginsburg was “pro-choice,” the ensuing battle in Washington could be more intense than anything we have previously seen. (And I write this in full memory of Justice Kavanaugh’s 2018 confirmation hearings.) The two-word, headline story (with accompanying graphic) on today’s Huffington Post (September 19) said it all: “Apocalypse Now,” followed by a picture of a hanger (thus, what women will be reduced to using for abortions should Trump get a replacement on the Court). What all this means is that the intense shaking of 2020 is about to switch into yet another gear, an even more intense gear, if that is imaginable. And we can expect it to continue to intensify in the weeks ahead. Right now, on the traditional Jewish calendar, we are in the first of the “Days of Awe,” the 10-day period between Rosh HaShanah (the biblical holy day of Trumpets) and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. This period of introspection and repentance begins with the blowing of the shofar – Ginsburg passed away just hours after the shofar blast was sounded in Israel – as Jewish people, especially religious Jews, prepare their hearts before God the Judge. As explained by Moses Maimonides in the 12th century, the shofar blast says, “Wake up from your sleep, you sleepers! Arise from your slumber, you slumberers! Examine your deeds! Return to God! Remember your creator! Those of you who forget the truth in the futilities of the times and spend all year in vanity and emptiness, look into your soul, improve your ways and your deeds. Let each of you abandon his evil ways and his immoral thoughts.” (Laws of Repentance, 3:4, as translated by Avraham Yaakov Finkel.) Yet this is not only a time of prayer and repentance in the Jewish community. A significant number of Christians, especially evangelicals, have set aside these same 10 days for prayer and repentance, highlighted by two major events scheduled for Washington, D.C. this coming Saturday, September 26. (These are the Franklin Graham Prayer March and The Return; I’m scheduled to participate in the latter event.) Significantly, this coming Saturday, the 26th, is considered the holiest Sabbath on the Jewish calendar, called “Shabbat Shuvah,” meaning the Sabbath of repentance and return, the Sabbath falling between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. And as these Christians gather to pray and cry out to God, the focus will not be on praying for a particular political candidate but rather on praying for God’s mercy on America and for our corporate repentance. The sudden and unexpected passing of Justice Ginsberg drills home to us all the more the reality of death, when we will stand before the Judge and give account for our lives. It also drives home the implications of the coming elections, with many already focused on the courts. How much more now! May the Lord get the attention of the nation, and may we turn to Him with all our hearts and all our souls. In words that we will be read in synagogues worldwide next Saturday, “Who knows but He may turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind” (Joel 2:14a). We hang in the balance right now, holding on by a mere thread of moral and spiritual sanity. God’s mercy is our only hope.

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You Do Not Exploit Children to Teach That Exploiting Children Is Wrong

The Babylon Bee headline is satirical, but, based on the logic of Netflix, it might as well be true: “New Netflix Movie Actually Murders Puppies To Teach That Murdering Puppies Is Bad.” Or, to move from satire to reality and create our own headline, “New Netflix Movie Actually Exploits Young Girls Sexually To Teach That Sexually Exploiting Young Girls Is Wrong.” Yes, in order to defend the indefensible, Netlix has argued that, “Cuties is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children. It’s an award-winning film and a powerful story about the pressure young girls face on social media and from society more generally growing up—and we’d encourage anyone who cares about these important issues to watch the movie.” And what will viewers discover when they watch the movie? They will see with their own eyes the sexual exploitation of little girls. You can read for yourself just how vulgar, explicit, and degrading some of the scenes are (see here and here and here for vivid examples – if you can stomach them). I find it too distasteful even to print the detailed descriptions here, let alone imagine casting little girls to film these scenes – scenes which will be watched by millions of people. How can this be justified? And can you imagine your own daughters or granddaughters cast in these roles? We understand that the movie ultimately speaks against the sexual exploitation of children. But, to repeat, you do not exploit those very children to make your point. In the Babylon Bee satirical story (which has gone viral, for good reason), “Netflix is embroiled in controversy yet again with its new documentary Puppy Murder, a show where the director kills puppies to teach you that murdering puppies is bad. “The movie is just two hours of puppies being brutally murdered onscreen, sending a powerful message to the viewer about just how bad puppy murder is. From getting shot and stabbed to being run over with a steamroller and the inspiring climactic scene where a puppy is dropped into a volcano, the movie unequivocally and powerfully shows the brutal reality of puppy murder.” As for those who have a problem with Puppy Murder, they are described as “‘triggered conservatives’ and ‘scandal-mongers’ since they obviously just didn't get the message of the film, which very clearly teaches that puppy murder is bad.” But once again, the Babylon Bee’s biting satire is too true to be funny, as evidenced by an editorial by Sam Thielman on NBC News. In it, he claims that, “Criticism of Netflix's 'Cuties' isn't about the movie. It's a cynical ploy in the culture war.” (To repeat: This was printed on NBC News rather than on a satirical site. The same holds true for the quotes that follow. I am not taking them out of context or twisting them at all. This is from NBC News.) Thielman describes “Cuties” as a “sweet-spirited French coming-of-age drama” while characterizing controversy over the movie as “what may be the single dumbest battle of the culture wars.” (He also tells us the film is “very funny” and “very witty.”) As for those who openly oppose “Cuties,” Thielman calls them “the pedophile-obsessed American right, driven by QAnon.” Did you get that, offended moms and dads? Did you get that, morally grieved Americans? You are simply “the pedophile-obsessed American right, driven by QAnon.” Yes, you are the ones with the problem. Not the directors and producers and screenwriters. Not the dance instructors and costume designers. Not the parents of the little girls who allegedly brought their children by the hundreds to audition. No, it is you are obsessed and perverted. (All of this reminds me of Isaiah 5:20: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!”) And so, in condescending terms, Thielman must lecture us ignorant, pathetic moral conservatives: “It is, annoyingly, important to state plainly that ‘Cuties’ does not portray child abuse, it does not glorify or countenance pedophilia in any way, and it does not ‘sexualize’ its characters — which is, to put it plainly, a favorite description of people so disturbed by their own reaction to a piece of art that they have to quickly plant the blame for that reaction on the artist before anyone notices. Doucouré’s movie is about platonic relationships between women and girls; there is no sexuality to be had anywhere in this movie, which makes the outrage over it seem all the more extraterrestrial.” Go back and read the descriptions of some of the movie’s most graphic scenes, linked above, or watch some of the clips that have been released online, and then read Thielman’s paragraph once more. There is no sexualizing of these little girls? Really? I’m quite aware of the Q Anon conspiracy theories (a colleague of mine is about to release the first definitive exposé of QAnon). And I know that sometimes, our moral indignation can be shallow or even hypocritical. But there’s a reason that “Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., sent a letter to the Department of Justice on Monday raising concerns about Netflix's new film ‘Cuties.’” Just like you don’t murder puppies on screen to illustrate how evil puppy murder is, you don’t exploit young girls on screen to illustrate how evil their exploitation is. How can anyone with a working moral compass question this? Or perhaps I just answered my question: all too many do not have a working moral compass. God help us.

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How Christians Deal with Suffering and Pain

Dr. Brown speaks with Christian leader Adrian Warnock about his own bout with serious illness as a minister of the gospel and man of faith, also discussing how Christians in the UK are responding to COVID-19. Listen live here 3-4 pm EST, and call into the show at (866) 348 7884 with your questions and comments.

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Historic Peace Treaty or Preparation for the Antichrist?

For evangelical Christians, it is difficult to look at major developments in the Middle East without wondering about biblical prophecy. Should we rejoice over the historic peace treaty between Israel and the UAE and Bahrain? Or is this leading to a dangerous, false peace that will only hasten the reign of the antichrist? Let’s first recognize just how historic this peace treaty actually is. For 30 years, from 1948 until 1978, not a single Middle Eastern nation made peace with Israel. It was not until 1979 that Egypt made that historic move, ultimately factoring into the assassination of the courageous Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat. The next Middle Eastern (and Muslim) nation to make peace with Israel was Jordan in 1995, 16 years later. Since then, not a single Islamic, Middle Eastern nation has made peace with Israel. That is, until now, 25 years later. Not only so, but this is the first time ever that two nations signed peace treaties on the same day. So, what previously took 47 years (from 1948 to 1995) took place in a matter of hours. This is completely beyond anything we have seen in the modern history of Israel. Not only so, but this happened after President Trump moved our embassy to Jerusalem and after he officially recognized Israel’s possession of the Golan Heights. This makes the peace treaty this all the more remarkable. Let’s not forget that, for years we were told that for America to make such moves would be disastrous, leading to an all-out war with the Muslim world. Instead, the aftermath has been a path of peace. That’s why Boaz Bismuth’s article on Times of Israel was titled, “The Event That Will Change the History of the Middle East.” He wrote, “Even in a pandemic, we can allow ourselves to rejoice at the first open, warm peace between Israel and Arab countries, and ignore the cynics who are seeking to downplay the importance of today's events.” Obviously, the Palestinians are anything but happy with the treaty. And the details of the agreement must be carefully analyzed. But what cannot be denied is the magnitude of this treaty, which is being hailed as the Abraham Accords. As one of the official documents states, “this development will help lead to a future in which all peoples and all faiths can live together in the spirit of cooperation and enjoy peace and prosperity where states focus on shared interests and building a better future.” Yet it is words like this that cause some prophecy-minded evangelicals to say, “Not so fast! After all, there will be no true peace in the Middle East until Jesus returns. Plus, there are prophetic scriptures that speak of a false peace orchestrated by the antichrist that will lull the world to sleep, leading to the slaughter of millions. Beware!” Scriptures that would come to mind include 1 Thessalonians 5:3, where Paul wrote, “While people are saying, ‘Peace and safety,’ destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.” Also relevant is Ezekiel 38:11-12, where the hostile nations will say about Israel, “I will invade a land of unwalled villages; I will attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people—all of them living without walls and without gates and bars. I will plunder and loot and turn my hand against the resettled ruins and the people gathered from the nations, rich in livestock and goods, living at the center of the land.” Who could imagine the nation of Israel described as “a peaceful and unsuspecting people—all of them living without walls and without gates and bars”? Who could imagine Israel putting its guard down? Yet, according to some prophecy teachers, this passage will be fulfilled at the end of this age. In that light, shouldn’t the Abraham Accords, which Trump described as “the dawn of a new Middle East,” be viewed with great suspicion, especially if 5 or 6 other nations follow suit and join the peace process? As someone who has been studying the Bible intensively for the better part of the last 50 years, I can say with absolute confidence that I do not know. I do not know if this will prepare the way for the antichrist. I do not know if this will ultimately hurt Israel more than it helps Israel. But what I do know is that Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9). What I do know is that Paul wrote, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Hebrews 12:18). What I do know that it is better for Israel to have more friends than more enemies. That being said, if sudden and dramatic peace came to the Middle East, I would be both hopeful and cautious. Would this be the result of decades (if not centuries) of prayer and years of diplomacy? Or would it be the first step towards a dangerous, one-world government that will ultimately oppose God Himself? Obviously, only God knows. But when it comes to making national decisions, they must be based on pragmatism more than prophecy. That’s because religious believers from all backgrounds have often misinterpreted prophecy before it unfolds, often wrongly predicting the end of the world or the return (or coming) of the Messiah. But speaking of prophecy, this same Bible I have been quoting speaks of the day when nations like Egypt and Assyria (today, Iraq) will join together and worship the God of Israel after a time of great upheaval and judgment. As stated by the prophet Isaiah, “In that day Israel will be the third, along with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing on the earth. The LORD Almighty will bless them, saying, ‘Blessed be Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance.’” (Isaiah 19:24-25) In fact, Isaiah prophesied about other Arabian nations turning to the God of Israel through the Messiah (see Isaiah 42:11; 60:7) And so, while only the Lord Himself knows the implications of this important peace treaty, at the least, let’s be glad that leaders are meeting together rather than killing each other. And let us see the Abraham Accords as a reminder of the day when all the nations of the earth will come to Jerusalem to worship the Lord (Isaiah 2:1-4). May He hasten that day!

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