Friday, 25 October 2013

25 years ago: Ian Paisley "renounces" Pope John Paul II

And as for the Pope, I refuse him, as Christ's enemy, and antichrist, with all his false doctrine. Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1532-1556, moments before his execution by burning at the stake, March 21, 1556. Cited by John Foxe in Actes and Monuments (Foxe's Book of Martyrs) (1563).

I should have posted this a couple of weeks ago: On October 11, 1988, Pope John Paul II addressed the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, but was interrupted by Rev. Ian Paisley, MEP from Northern Ireland, who gave the pope the reception he so richly deserved, shouting, "I renounce you as Christ's enemy and antichrist, with all your false doctrine..."

Mr. Paisley was physically attacked and ejected from the House, despite the fact that according to the rules of the Parliament he had every right to protest as he did, and Lord Plumb, President of the European Parliament, had no right to silence him or permit the attacks upon him. Mr. Paisley's protest, which received media coverage around the world, encouraged the Protestant minority populations in countries dominated by Roman Catholicism. The incident offered a glimpse into the future--and past--of a Europe dominated by the Roman Catholic Church, and of that church's tolerance of opposition. It's also worth noting that Mr. Paisley's attitude toward the pope is considerably different from that of Billy Graham, who wrote a glowing foreword in a special issue of Life magazine that was a tribute to John Paul II after his death in 2005.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

40 years ago: The Yom Kippur War begins

Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord.
And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the Lord your God.
For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.
And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people.
Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.
Leviticus 23:27-32

For thus saith the Lord of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye. Zechariah 2:8

On October 6, 1973, the nation of Israel was observing Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, when she was hit by a combined attack of Egyptian forces on the eastern bank of the Suez Canal and Syrian forces on the Golan Heights, which had been captured by Israel in the Six-Day War of 1967. The invasion by Egypt and Syria, who were both backed by the U.S.S.R., achieved initial success, but, like all other attempts to destroy the nation of Israel since its inception in 1948, the war ended in defeat for Egypt and Syria, with most hostilities ending on October 22. The Soviet Union suddenly became interested in promoting peace when the side she was backing started getting the worst of the fighting. While Israel received help from the United States, some things occurred in that war that prompted even secularist Israelis to believe that they had been the beneficiary of divine intervention.

A good quick overview of the Yom Kippur War from a Christian perspective can be found in the September 2013 newsletter of Crown & Sickle Ministries. Zola Levitt's book Israel in Agony (1975) is long out of print, but is useful for providing a look at the Yom Kippur War and other contemporary events from a Jewish Christian perspective.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Headline of the year: "The Mecca That Is Jerusalem"

Since the day that I brought forth my people out of the land of Egypt I chose no city among all the tribes of Israel to build an house in, that my name might be there; neither chose I any man to be a ruler over my people Israel:
But I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there; and have chosen David to be over my people Israel.
II Chronicles 6:5-6

Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness.
Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King...
...As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the Lord of hosts, in the city of our God: God will establish it for ever. Selah
. Psalms 48:1-2, 8

For the Lord hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation. Psalms 132:13

This is the funniest headline I've seen in a long time, and you'll find it here, over a review by Susan Hallett of the IMAX 3D documentary film Jerusalem in the Canadian edition of The Epoch Times, September 25, 2013 (updated September 28, 2013).