By Shira Sorko-Ram
The President of the United States can't really do all that much about a lot of things. His sphere of power is greatest in foreign affairs and international relations; the buck stops with him concerning clear and consistent U.S. policy. But can he prevent chaos in oil- rich Venezuela? Can he keep Russia from nationalizing again that nation's oil reserves? Can he halt the destruction of oil wells in Iraq?
What can he really do to drive oil prices down as they climb towards $50 a barrel - partly because of greater demand in China - which in turn affects (or controls?) the economic fortunes of the world?
His ability to influence policy within the U.S. is really nominal. Budgets, taxes, spending programs are crafted and approved by Congress. It is Congress that makes the laws, and the Supreme Court interprets them.
Bill Hybels, pastor of the mega church, Willow Creek Community Church, states in his book Courageous Leadership, "For eight years during the decade of the nineties I went to Washington, D.C. every month to meet in the foremost centers of power with some of the highest elected officials in our country. What I discovered was not how powerful those people are, but how limited their power really is. All they can actually do is rearrange the yard markers on the playing field of life." (Page 21)
THE PRESIDENT'S MORAL AUTHORITY
But the president of the United States does have enormous spiritual influence over events in his own nation - because of the authority God gives to rulers. Just as children are blessed who have godly parents, so is a nation blessed that has God-fearing rulers. According to the Bible, the direction and well being of a nation depends on how God weighs and judges that nation. When a nation's cup of sin does finally fill up, (as happens to all nations) no force on earth can save it. Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin. God has numbered your kingdom and put an end to it. You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting. (Daniel 5:26-27)
Do God's watchmen, you and I, really understand what has happened to the West in the last 40 year generation? I remember as a child in a Louisiana grade school studying the collapse of the Roman Empire. Our teacher explained to us that the empire imploded from self-inflicted depravity. We were told that in ancient Rome, they even had sex on stage to live audiences. I remember that we kids sat in stunned silence, trying to take in the depth of unthinkable debauchery.
Would today's generation of children have the same reaction? I think not. Do we really comprehend what has happened to the free world in the last 50 years? The last 40? The last 30?
I fear that America's - and the free west's - cup is filling up. The current moral decline of America, fueled by the unseen spiritual forces of the evil empire within, has only one hope. It is God's people here on earth. It is you! Pastor Hybel lists the natural forces on earth: government, education, business, psychology. He reflects, "And all of this is good. But can any of it truly transform the human heart?"
IF MY PEOPLE WHO ARE CALLED BY MY NAME
He continues, "I believe that only one power exists on this sorry planet that can do that. It's the power of the love of Jesus Christ," which Hybels concludes "means that in a real way the future of the world rest in the hands of local congregations like yours and mine." When God speaks about healing the land, He assures us that it is His people only who can change things. And He starts His promise with a big if. If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves...I will forgive their sin and heal their land. II Chron 7:14
There are Christian journalists sounding the alarm and saying it in today's language. Columnist Joel Belz of "World" warns, "First, it's our culture [i.e. values] - not the political process - that has to change. Mastering the political process, instead of the culture that political process reflects, is about as effective as training a dog's tail. When you train the dog well, the tail tends to follow.
"Because the political process is so visible and dramatic, we tend to get swept away with a sense that politics controls culture. But it's the other way around. Why else do politicians spend such huge sums to keep up with the polls?
"If politics seems rotten, it's because the culture that supports the political system is rotten itself. It's the people who have lost all sense of supernatural standards, of transcendent values, and of lasting commitments. Politicians, eager to reflect the people, end up just as empty. (July 31, 04) What he is saying is that people get what they deserve.
THERE'S NO ONE ELSE BUT YOU
And so first and foremost, it is the Gospel that has the only potential of turning America, Europe and the world around. To save the world's number one superpower today means the mobilizing of the people of God today to boldly engage and attack moral decay through prayer and action. It is a long shot, but it is still possible.
This brings us to the current U.S. elections. There are many important issues - such as the economy -, which must concern every president. However, only two are existential; these issues, if not overcome, are capable of causing America and the Free World to become extinct.
The first is, as we have seen, the moral decline of the Free World. For America to survive, the next president must stand up boldly against moral rot.
The second challenge - Islamic aspirations - has emerged because of failure to combat the first one. So now the next president must fight on two fronts - against both moral deterioration from within and Islamic terrorism from without, whose goal is to conquer the world for Allah.
This army of terrorists has come upon the West because she has turned away from her Rock, and like ancient Israel, has become a licentious civilization. Followers of Islam see their religion as the only force that can cleanse the world from Western debauchery! Islam's author, Satan, has as his real goal, the extermination of the knowledge of God and His Word worldwide. Westerners who simply wish to live happily ever after, genuinely believe that appeasement of Islamic forces will bring peace. It is because they have no spiritual eyesight.
A president who battles for moral clarity from within and Islamic terror from without will be a hated man. A president who appeases and coddles moral decay from within and Islamic terrorism from without will be adored by the world.
"And you will be hated by all on account of My name…By your endurance you will gain your lives." Luke 21:17, 19
Never before have we seen the line between moral and decadent values so stark and absolute. The 2004 Democratic platform says, "[We] stand proudly for a woman's right to choose, consistent with Roe v. Wade…we stand firmly against Republican efforts to undermine" current abortion law. "We support full inclusion of gay and lesbian families in the life of our nation and seek equal responsibilities, benefits, and protections for these families." (http://www.democrats.org/)
THE FRONTLINE OF THE WAR ON MORALITY IS BEING FOUGHT IN THE COURTS
The courts are being used as the ultimate weapon against morality and godliness in America today. That is why from 2004-2008, the single most important issue inside America will be who the next president appoints to the Supreme Court.
It is now 42 years since the Supreme Court outlawed prayer from public schools. One year later, they ruled out the Bible in public schools. In 1973 they applied a "right of privacy" not found in the Constitution as the basis for opening the door to the slaughter of more than 43,000,000 innocent unborn children.
Subsequently federal courts have ruled that the Ten Commandments were illegal in schools, that prayers on a map in North Carolina were illegal, and that it was illegal for little elementary school children to give thanks over their milk and cookies at snack time. (cbn.com)
ISRAEL HAS LOST ITS MORAL MOORINGS
As an Israeli citizen, I know what it is to live in a country that has lost its compass. Israel suffers tragically from the ravages of war and she doesn't have a clue why she suffers.
Here in Tel Aviv, we have rented a hall for our congregation. Our meeting place used to be one of the many illegal gambling establishments but when a casino was bombed a couple of years ago, the police closed many of them because of security risks.
We cannot put up a sign on our building which says "Congregation Tiferet Yeshua" because the ultra-Orthodox would tear it down and the police would do nothing. However, next door to us - twelve feet to our right - is a house of prostitution, one of many on this street.
Yearly gay parades through the heart of Tel Aviv are one of the "great" happenings enjoyed by Tel Avivians. Israel gives marriage benefits to homosexual couples, and they are free to adopt children. However, Messianic Jewish parents, because of their faith, would not be allowed to adopt children.
When I first moved to Israel in 1967, the heads of kibbutzim discussed whether or not to stop American and European volunteers from coming to live and work on their farms and in their factories since some were known to bring drugs onto the kibbutzim introducing them to the Israeli young people.
Today, dreadfully, the majority of Israeli youth use drugs. Many discos and clubs in Tel Aviv present live sex on stage. Clients are free to go into the toilet stalls and have multiple sex. Other more considerate clubs have mattresses that are several yards wide and long that can serve many couples at the same time. The 22 year-old journalist who wrote an article for the Jerusalem Post on night life in Tel Aviv explains, "Amid all the political strife and international pressure, the vigorous nightlife epitomizes the energy and strength Israelis strive for to retain a sense of normalcy in what is considered the most tense and hectic region in the world." (Jerusalem Post, July30, 2003)
In the same week-end edition, a Jerusalem Post editorial laments the nation's annual 3,500 rapes, 220 murders, 13,000 drug use arrests, 10,000 drug traffic arrests, not to mention an internationally notorious sex trade. It continues: "Earlier this year, [the daily newspaper] Haaretz's Ruth Sinai reported the number of brothel visits in the country at one million per month. This, in a country with fewer than three million adult males, including foreign workers."
The paper goes on to say, "It certainly wasn't what [Israel's founding fathers] had in mind in picturing the heroic "new Jew" who would flourish on his native soil.” The editor then proposes a frightening question, especially for Jews:
"A more significant question, however, is whether youthful decadence [among Israelis] is a reflection of something larger, and whether it portends something worse….”
The writer recalls that scholars point out that Nazism emerged as a reaction to the cabaret decadence of pre-World War II Germany. He notes that catastophic reaction to decadence in nations is a pattern.
"Decadence has been a theme for serious contemplation for a long time: the decadence of Imperial Rome, the decadence of the Renaissance Church, the decadence of the Bourbon court, and so on. It is not a trivial theme. Europe is decadent today, as is Russia, because they stand for nothing after many years of having stood for so much…." . (J.P. July 30,2003)
ISRAEL'S POLITICAL STRUCTURE DENIES REAL FREEDOM OF RELIGION
The vast majority of Israelis have lost their way. Long ago they decided they did not want the religion of rabbinical Orthodoxy, and therefore have concluded that they don't want God. Only lately have the Messianic Jews of Israel begun to enjoy some freedom to publicly proclaim that the true way to God is found in His Word, not in rabbinical decrees.
Yet built into the Israeli political system, the ultra-Orthodox minority has tremendous clout and can exert enormous power over the masses of Israelis who don't want a dictatorship of rabbinical religion. In an inverse way, the secular anti-god minority in America has found a way through the courts and political activity to force their will on the majority of Americans who want family values and a belief in God. (See September 2004 Maoz Israel Report.)
GOD'S SUPREME COURT
Pat Robertson speaks of the urgency of action in an open letter to Americans: "There is a higher tribunal than the United States Supreme Court. There is the Judge of all the earth. We must earnestly come before him now and cry out for redress of our grievances. He loves America as much as we do, and He does not wish to destroy it. But no culture has ever endured which has turned openly to homosexuality. And no society has ever been spared the wrath of God which has been guilty of slaughtering tens of millions of the innocent." (cbn.com August 19, 2004)
Robertson is right. Consider Rome, Greece, Babylon. Consider Sodom and Gomorrah which God said he destroyed because Sodom's guilt included, "arrogance, abundant food, and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy. Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me. Therefore I removed them when I saw it." Ezekiel 16:49-50 NLT
BIBLICAL EXAMPLES TO SHOW US THE WAY
The era of King Josiah, King of Judah, is somewhat similar to ours in the Western world today. Josiah became king at eight years old, (641B.C.) and the Bible says that "he did what was pleasing in the Lord's sight and followed the example of his ancestor David. He did not turn aside from doing what was right." II Kings 22:2 When he was 16 years old, this remarkable teenager began to cleanse his land from the filth of pagan shrines and gods.
Yet, when the good king Josiah reached his 21st birthday, Jeremiah the prophet began to prophecy judgment on the nation of Judah because of the build-up of sin of former generations which had continued up until his day.
Meanwhile, Josiah continued his reforms and when he was 26 years old he repaired and reopened the Temple of God. It was then that a scroll of the Law of Moses (or perhaps a portion of it) was discovered and brought to Josiah who eagerly devoured it.
When he heard and understood God's moral standards and the wrath that would come to his nation for not obeying Him, he cried out to God for mercy. The prophetess Huldah response was, "This is what the Lord says: I will destroy this city and its people, just as I state in the scroll you read. For my people have abandoned me... My anger is burning against this place, and it will not be quenched." II Kings 22:16-17 NLT
However, Huldah told him that because he had called out to God, the Lord had heard him and would not send the promised disaster upon the land as long as he was king.
Josiah continued until his death to practice righteousness. He called his entire kingdom together to celebrate the sacrificing of the innocent lamb on Passover. It was an Old Testament revival. The Bible says, "Never since the time of the prophet Samuel had there been such a Passover," which involved "all the priests and Levites, all the people of Jerusalem, and people from all over Judah" and even from the devastated kingdom of Israel. II Chronicles 35:18NLT
Josiah was relentless in his determination to bring his people back to God. The Bible honors this man: Never before had there been a king like Josiah, who turned to the Lord with all his heart and soul and strength, obeying all the laws of Moses. And there has never been a king like him since. II Kings 23:25 NLT
At the age of 39, Josiah died. Bible chronology gives this date as 609 B.C.
Josiah's son ruled for three months; a second son ruled for eleven years. They were evil kings. By 605 B.C., King Nebuchadnezzar had attacked Jerusalem and from then on it was all down hill. Judah and the land of Israel were invaded, assaulted, and besieged until 586, when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple - a mere 23 years after the righteous King Josiah died.
The moral of the story is that a ruler - even a righteous ruler - cannot nullify the compounded sins of a whole nation. But the Bible clearly instructs us through this story that the Judge of all the world held back His wrath while there was a righteous man at the head of state.
A man who wins the coming elections must possess a moral compass and display extreme courage to stand up against a pagan adulterous world. He must be willing to be hated for his faith in God.
And the American ruler must understand that Islamic fundamentalists will never stop their mission from hell to bring down the nations who offer some form of freedom to worship the God of the Bible, the God of Israel. They will fight until they have destroyed the free nations or until they themselves are destroyed. It is not a pretty picture. In a way, the next president will stand between God and man - either delaying His wrath or bringing it on.
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U.S. Supreme Court: Cutting Edge of the War for Morality in America
In 2004, the single most important issue inside America is who will be the president that will appoint the next Supreme Court justices.
There is no other issue of consequence that comes anywhere near this one. The influence of any given president on the moral course of the United States continues many years after he is gone from the presidency - through his appointees for life on the Supreme Court.
JUSTICE | APPOINTED BY | RELIGION | POLITICAL PERSUATION | AGE
1. William H. Rehnquist | Nixon/Reagan | Lutheran Conservative | 80
2. Anthony Kennedy | Reagan | R. Catholic Centrist | 68
3. Antonin Scalia | Reagan | R. Catholic | Conservative | 68
4. Sandra Day O'Connor | Reagan | Episcopalian Centrist/Liberal | 74
5. John Paul Stevens | Ford | Protestant Liberal | 84
6. Clarence Thomas | Bush I | R Catholic | Conservative | 56
7. David H. Souter | Bush I | Episcopalian Centrist | 65
8. Stephen G. Breyer | Clinton | Jewish Liberal | 66
9. Ruth Bader | Ginsburg | Clinton | Jewish Liberal | 71
In the 1940's, presidents appointed EIGHT Supreme Court justices.
In the 1950's, presidents appointed FIVE Supreme Court justices.
In the 1960's, presidents appointed FIVE Supreme Court justices.
In the 1970's, presidents appointed FOUR Supreme Court justices.
In the 1980's, presidents appointed THREE Supreme Court justices.
In the 1990's, presidents appointed FOUR Supreme Court justices.
In the 2000's, presidents have appointed ZERO Supreme Court justices.
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Dear Maoz Partner,
You are indeed a faithful partner! We have counted on the Maoz family of supporters to help us…and time and time again, you pray, you give, you hear from God…and the needs are met!
You know that ministry in Israel requires being in the thick of the battle 24 hours a day -7 days a week.
Whenever anything needs to get started…we start from scratch…no matter what the challenge.
That's what we did with our teenagers. A year ago we had very few teenagers in our congregation-mostly from families who had been Messianic believers for several years. We also had a number of couples who had lately come to receive salvation themselves, but their kids lagged behind in their faith...
Who wants to be the only child in his school (not just his class) who is a believer in Yeshua the Messiah and belongs to some strange sect? Who wants to give up going to all the good parties that junior high and high school kids in Israel have night after night? And who wants to give up the discos that "everybody" goes to?
Those are questions that every Israeli teenager must answer for himself before he decides to follow Yeshua. And we have to ask ourselves, what do we have to offer them? Faith, yes! But what tools and resources do we have to speak the same "language" to reach our Tel Aviv teenagers?
Last year a wonderful couple began building a teenage group within our congregation. Today we have about 18 teens who are part of this group. Now, God has given us three young leaders, Motti, Omer and Suzi, raised up in our congregation, who are taking on the leadership of our youth program!
Our youth group urgently needs a van. Without transportation, it is almost impossible to plan activities and gatherings which are so critical for young people who are scattered throughout the city and suburbs of Tel Aviv.
We believe the teens of our congregation are worth every effort to build them up and help them see scores of other teens come into the faith. Already, some of them are bringing unsaved friends to our congregation.
A basic new van would cost $57,000 We can get a dependable 8 passenger used Chevrolet van, a 1999 model for $26,700 including insurance with only 65,000 miles and with all the extras - a wonderful bargain from one of our members! Our teens are worth it!
Our teenagers will be with our teen group until they go into the army. We want them to begin their military service strong in the Lord, and knowledgeable in the Word of God so that they will be able to answer anyone concerning their faith. Fortunately, in Israel, most soldiers are on weekend leave often enough that our members in the military are able to come quite regularly to weekend services and continue to grow!
These kids have a lifetime in front of them to serve God and to be an instrument of life to their friends. We can help them become powerful men and women of God by investing our time and energy to train and equip them for their future Kingdom impact!
We ask you to help us purchase this van for the teenagers of our Congregation Tiferet Yeshua. With your help, the van will be a reality!
Thank you for helping us reach our Israeli people - young and old - with the Truth!
For the salvation of Israel,
Ari & Shira Sorko-Ram
P.S. The 16 month Messianic Jewish Calendar is still available this month with your gift. Be sure to request it when you send your gift to help us purchase a van for our teenagers.
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