Friends and Family,
I write today with a deep sense of responsibility. Please let me share with you something I believe is one of the most important issues facing us today. I know this message is rather lengthy, but I beg of you to read it carefully.
Many of you, I am sure, are at least somewhat familiar with the issues revolving around the State of Israel and the Jewish people. Others may not know very much at all. Indeed, I am no expert.
But for those who do not know much or anything about the current situation the Jewish people is facing, I will do my best to explain. President Obama’s administration has recently struck a deal with Iran; for the past year and a half, Iran has engaged in negotiations with the United States and the other members of the P5+1 (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and Germany). The purpose of these negotiations has been to calm the storm that has been brewing in the Middle East for decades. Specifically, these negotiations center on the disarming of Iran’s nuclear weapon program.
Iran has, for decades, been a volatile nation, one that has voiced its hatred of Israel time and again. Iran has also supported the terrorist organizations Hamas and Hezbollah, which have been the cause of much violence and death in Israel and the surrounding region. Yet, in spite of the suffering that has already taken place, the possible future of a nuclear Iran looks far more grim than the past. Thus, the negotiations. A nuclear-capable Iran could and would have disastrous consequences.
Friends, we are talking about a nation that has openly declared its hatred for Israel and the United States. Even its leaders have participated in the burning of Israeli and American flags, as the chants, “death to Israel!” and “death to America!” are shouted in the streets. Iran recognizes Israel as the “little Satan” and America as the “great Satan,” or “big Satan.”
On Tuesday, July 14, a deal was agreed upon. According to the Obama administration, this deal will promote peace in the region; it will supposedly end any threat of Iran’s acquiring of a nuclear weapon. Yet, those who look more closely at this deal will not draw such a conclusion. The truth is, the deal that was agreed to on Tuesday will do much more harm than good. Allow me to explain.
On the day this deal passed, I was at a conference in Washington, D.C. hosted by Christians United for Israel (CUFI), an organization that promotes the welfare of the State of Israel and the Jewish people. On this same day, we had the immense privilege to make our way to Capitol Hill, where CUFI members from each state in the Union lobbied their senators and representatives regarding this deal. Before we did so, though, CUFI equipped us with the appropriate understanding of the relevant issue. The fact is, on several vital points, the proposed deal between Iran and the P5+1 was thoroughly unacceptable.
• Firstly, the proposed deal did not provide for “anytime, anywhere” inspections of Iranian nuclear facilities. The problem here is that, without such a provision, any illegal nuclear enrichment will be able to be concealed. Can we seriously call this accountability? Isn’t this like checking someone’s Internet history only after you’ve warned him and given him time to clear it?
• Secondly, the deal will flood the Iranian economy with literally tens of billions of dollars (probably somewhere between $50-100 billion). The supposed idea here is that Iran will use this money for domestic purposes, and to help its struggling economy. Yet, Iran has already felt, and continues to feel, the economic squeeze of financial sanctions, and still this nation continues to fund terrorism abroad while continuing to pour resources into its nuclear weapons program. What would a large influx of funds be used for? It is almost certain that this money would not go toward the Iranian people in desperate need of economic relief. Instead, it would almost certainly be used to fund more terror and develop nuclear weapons.
• Thirdly, this deal does not address some very key points. Currently, Pastor Saeed Abedini, an IranianAmerican Christian, is unjustly imprisoned in Iran. Further, at least two other Americans are unjustly imprisoned in Iran. The deal does not include any agreement to release these people. Further, the deal is absolutely silent on Iran’s funding of international terror. The terroristic organizations, Hamas and Hezbollah, receive funding from Iran, enabling them to take more lives and promote violence in the region. And nothing is said of these things!
Thus, the Obama administration has agreed to a bad deal with a nation that has openly declared its desire to eradicate the nation of Israel,and which has also proclaimed its deathly hatred for America. The deal does not ensure peace, for it does not keep Iran accountable. All the while, no demands have been made concerning Iran’s crimes in holding American hostages and funding terror.
Many will disagree with me. Many will say this deal is positive,and that failing to make this deal would result in war. But that is not certain; a better deal than this could be made, which would also prevent war. More than that, though, the reality is that actually agreeing to such a deal as this would almost certainly result in war, for it does not prevent Iran from becoming nuclear-capable. And it is obvious that a war with a nuclear-capable Iran would be far more devastating than a war that would prevent Iran from ever becoming nuclear-capable.
I am deeply concerned regarding this issue. I truly do believe that Iran means what it says when “death to Israel” and “death to America” is chanted in the streets. I recognize that not all Iranians would hold these views, and I do not hate any Iranian. As a Christian, I believe that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of evil and darkness (Ephesians 6:12). Yet, it would be naïve of us to trust this nation, for they have lied about their nuclear program in the past. Further,they have proven themselves untrustworthy by their funding of terror. If Iran had been truthful and honest and non-aggressive in the past, we should give this nation the benefit of the doubt now. But this has simply not been the case.
Friends, allow me to share with you from my heart. I fear for the Jewish people. It is more than ironic, more than coincidence, that this people has been the most persecuted people in history. For millennia, this people has faced possible annihilation on a number of occasions. From Pharaoh during the time of Moses, to Haman during the time of Esther, to Hitler’s Nazi regime, eradication of this entire race has really been a possibility. Other examples of persecution, on smaller scales, abound. This continued hatred and persecution is, as I said, more than ironic. It is, I believe, inspired by a spirit of anti-Semitism.
Friends, we are really facing the possibility of a second Holocaust. Do you know that Muslim nations around the world do not recognize that the Holocaust ever took place? Only 70 years ago, and the fact that it ever happened is being challenged. I am not trying to be an alarmist or a conspiracy theorist, and I am not trying to be nasty, but I truly believe that the memory of the Holocaust is being wiped away in order to pave the way for it to happen again.
Brothers and sisters, I am grieved by the church’s inaction during the Nazi slaughter of the Jews. The reality is that Christians did not oppose the forces of darkness; they did not defend the cause of the innocent. I feel like crying as I think of the blood that is on the hands of Christians who remained silent. It is sin to know the good that ought to be done and to fail to do it (James 4:17). It would be so easy to discard this warning of a possible second Holocaust. Probably the easiest way would be to reject this warning as something unfounded, unlikely, or even irresponsible. “Iran is not serious.” “Those declarations of hatred are probably made by a minority that has little power.” But many said Hitler was not serious. And he was.
I know that many accusations are made against Israel today—that Israel is the aggressor, that it is occupying the land, that Israel commits war crimes, that Israel is an apartheid state. I will not address all these issues right now, not because I do not have any responses to such accusations, but because I would rather get to another point (and this letter is already quite long). There are good responses to these accusations, and I may very well address them at another time.
But let me say this: I doubt Israel is totally faultless in its treatment of the Palestinian people (who in the world could claim faultlessness?); I am sure there are things which should have been done differently. But the reality is that Israel, if guilty, is far less guilty than those who oppose her. Israel does not sponsor terror the way other Mid-East nations do. Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. Women, minorities, Christians, Muslims, and Arabs all enjoy greater freedom in Israel than in any other Middle Eastern nation.
But it’s more than all of that. We should stand up for the Jewish people because we love them. I hope you know I love Muslims too. But it is important to remember what we, as Christians, owe to the Jewish people. Let us not forget that Jesus, our Savior and our King, was a Jew. In fact, I believe He still is. Revelation 5:5 identifies the Risen Savior as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. Our Messiah has not laid down His Jewish heritage. Further,we owe nearly our entire Bible (both the Torah and the New Testament) to the Jewish people. How can we allow the spirit of anti-Semitism to cloud our thinking when we remember the overwhelming indebtedness we have to the Apostle Paul, a Jew? Do we forget that Peter and John, heroes of our faith, were Jews? Where would we be without these Jews? I love the Jewish people! God loves the Jewish people! Jesus claims the Jewish people as His own! I believe this is why the spirit of anti-Semitism is, and has been, so strong. It is true that most Jews have rejected the Messiah, and without their acceptance of Him, they face eternal death—just as any Gentile does who rejects the Messiah. But these things remain true as well—that Christians owe their very selves to the Jewish people, and, ultimately, to one Man who was, and still is, Jewish.
Brothers and sisters, we cannot remain silent as we have in the past. There are things we can and must do to oppose this spirit of anti-Semitism (and more than anti-Semitism, the deal that has been struck truly poses a threat to the United States as well). The deal that the Obama administration made with Iran a week ago awaits Congressional review. Congress has the opportunity to recognize the problems with this deal and reject it by a majority vote; if this happens, it will go back to the President, who has already committed to vetoing Congress’ rejection of the deal. With a presidential veto, the deal will go through in spite of Congress’ opposition to it. Thus, what is needed is a 2/3 majority in opposition to the deal in both the Senate and the House; this strong majority overrides the possibility of a presidential veto. In the natural, what seems likely is that Congress will reject the deal, but not with a 2/3 majority, allowing a presidential veto (which our President has already committed to) to carry the deal out anyway.
Because of this truly unacceptable situation, we must do something. Firstly, we need to intercede and ask the Lord to change the hearts of those who would accept this bad deal. Those senators and representatives who consider this deal favorable need to have a change of heart. In reality, many of them may be deceived by the enemy (again, I am not trying to hyper-spiritualize this; the reality of a spiritual enemy, and the use of deception by him, is absolutely consistent with what the Bible teaches). Only the Lord can lift the veil of deception to expose this deal for what it is. We must pray, truly pray—for if the Lord Himself does not intervene and change the hearts and minds of men, there will be disastrous consequences.
Secondly, we need to contact our senators and representatives. Please do not discard this point. Congress has 60 days until voting to approve or reject this deal (the clock has already started to tick; I believe the vote is scheduled for September 11). Our governmental system is designed beautifully, providing citizens the opportunity to make their voices heard. Further, it is the duty of senators and representatives to listen and take these viewpoints into consideration. I will provide a couple of links here that will allow you to find the contact information for your senators and representatives: go tohttp://www.senate.gov/senators/contact for the official Senate contact site. Go tohttp://www.house.gov/representatives for the official House of Representatives site. Neither of these sites provides email addresses, but both provide phone numbers. For email addresses (and other contact info), use this site: http://www.congressmerge.com/onlinedb
For some, I realize this may be out of your comfort zone. You may feel that you would not know what to say if you called or emailed your representative or senator. First of all, you can use the information I have provided here to guide you. The three bullet points above, which outline part of the problem with the proposed deal (indeed, there are other serious problems with the deal as well), are extremely important to mention. I encourage you, walk in boldness. The Holy Spirit will give you words to speak as you step out in faith.
Brothers and sisters, I plead with you, do not discard this message. Do not fail to pray! Do not fail to contact your representatives and senators! We cannot allow a second Holocaust to bloody our hands as well. I truly believe this is one of the most important issues facing us today. I do not consider it merely a political issue. This is a spiritual issue; I believe Jesus is calling His church to stand up and oppose this deal. Again, I don’t oppose this deal because I consider it poor diplomacy or an unfavorable deal for American political interests (though it is those things). Though I love this nation, it is not my home. Here, I am not speaking of the fact that I am a Canadian citizen; no, I refer rather to the truths of Hebrews 11, and I identify with Abraham and his descendants, of whom the author says, “They were foreigners and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own…they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one” (verses 13-14, 16). So, while I love this country, I love people more. I love the American people more. I love the Jewish people more. That’s why we must not remain silent.
I end with the words of Isaiah the prophet:
“For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet, till her vindication shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch.”
“I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the Lord give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth” (Isaiah 62:1, 6-7).
Please do not keep silent. Allow the Lord to give you His heart concerning this issue, and do what can be done to defend the cause of His people. And please, share this message with as many people as you can.