http://pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com.au/ – (Not K.J.V. Translation)
For decades, Turkey was the one Middle Eastern nation to successfully sustain a democracy.
That’s because modern Turkey’s founder, Mustafa Ataturk, insisted that it must be a secular nation.
After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the people of Turkey were tired of the imams’ stifling hold on their lives. So they followed Ataturk and created a Muslim nation with a secular government. In fact, they wrote it into their constitution.
For more than 80 years, Turkey was a modern nation with a prosperous and free citizenry. It was even considered an ally of Israel. They conducted joint military exercises and cultural exchange programs.
All of that changed with the arrival of Recep Tayyip Erdogan. First, as mayor of Istanbul, then as Prime Minister, and now President.
His rise to almost total power in Turkey was greatly boosted by U.S. President Barack Obama. Obama made a special point to identify Erdogan as his closest ally in the Middle East. He visited him and lent the prestige of the United States to him whenever possible.
I’ll give President Obama the benefit of the doubt and say that he seriously misjudged Erdogan’s intentions.
Erdogan is not a friend of the United States. Nor of Europe. Instead, he has become an exporter of terror.
At home, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has crushed his opposition, destroyed any semblance of dissent, and wrecked Turkey’s secular constitution. The country is now Islamist. Thoroughly. But it remains a member of NATO despite violating key NATO provisions on human rights.
Alex Alexiev is Chairman of The Center for Balkan and Black Sea Studies. He says, “In short, Turkey has become an Islamist dictatorship every bit as inimical to Western interests as Iran.”
In 1924, Mustafa Ataturk founded an organization he called The Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet). Its purpose was to educate imams for service in Turkey’s mosques.
But it was Islamic education with a difference. Ataturk wanted to control the education of those imams in order to prevent the radicalization of Turkish Islam.
Erdogan has completely reversed that function. Instead, he has used Diyanet to build a core of diehard Muslim clergy loyal to him. He wants reliable fundamentalists, not just in Turkey’s 85,000 mosques, but in the military and throughout government.
By 2015, he was training more than 1.2 million students to be radical imams. But that’s a few more than he needs for 85,000 mosques.
So he’s using many of them to build a European invasion army. He’s training these young men for work in other lands — especially Europe and the Balkans.
Mr. Alexiev explained: “Few people realize that after the relative retreat of Saudi efforts to finance radical Islamic projects in the West, Turkey is increasingly the key actor funding the radicalization of European Muslims.”
Turkey has already financed hundreds of mosques across Europe, especially in Germany. But Diyanet also works closely with Turkish espionage agencies throughout Europe.
It’s no secret that Erdogan longs for a revival of the Ottoman Empire. And I’m sure he sees himself as its Caliph.
Turkey’s mosques and imams facilitate a fifth column in Europe that, in the end, may make ISIS seem like small potatoes.
Most of us don’t know much about Hinduism. By and large, we think of it as a rather passive, introspective religion.
Nepal, which lies between China and India, is the world’s only Hindu kingdom. However, it is unusual in the sense that Nepal’s Hinduism is actually an odd blend of Hinduism and Buddhism.
But it gets more complicated. In 2006, Nepal’s legislature mustered the strength to limit the power of the king and officially declared Nepal a secular state, supposedly ending its status as a Hindu kingdom.
Apparently, that status has now changed again. Last week, Nepal made a choice that should shake the confidence of Hindus everywhere.
It officially made religious conversion illegal. I suppose that means that whatever you were born believing, you must keep on believing.
If Hinduism is so great, why are they treating it like an endangered species? In truth, Nepal passed that law to protect Hinduism.
Nepal has an estimated 375,000 Christians. If a Hindu asks one why he or she became a Christian, and they tell the Hindu why they follow Christ, they could spend the next five years in prison.
The law dictates that you cannot use “any means of attraction” to influence someone to your faith. That could be a smile, a kind word, or a helping hand. If a Nepali Christian speaks a kind word to a Hindu, it could mean trouble.
The law is aimed squarely at evangelical Christians.
But unreasoning fear of the Gospel is not limited to Nepal. The University of Sheffield in England recently expelled a graduate student for writing on his personal Facebook page, “Same sex marriage is a sin whether we like it or not. It is God’s words and man’s sentiments would not change His words.”
The university said that Felix Ngole “may have caused offence to some individuals” by stating his religious beliefs on his personal Facebook page. A British court agreed.
Former presidential candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders, is so fearful of the Christian faith that he wants to disqualify overt Christians from government service. That’s why last summer he so vigorously opposed President Trump’s nomination of Russell Vought to be Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget.
Vought’s alma mater, venerable and historically Christian Wheaton College, had fired a professor who donned a hijab and declared that Muslims and Christians worship the same God.
Mr. Vought posted a memo that supported the university. He wrote, “Muslims… do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ, His Son, and they stand condemned.”
That’s a pretty standard understanding of the exclusivity demanded by the Christian faith. Jesus Himself declared that there is only one way to God — through Him. But most Christians, I’m sure Mr. Vought included, do not discount the value of any human life simply because they choose not to follow Jesus. In fact, we believe that Jesus loves the nonbeliever as much as He loves the believer! Every person on earth is made in the image of God and they are all precious to Him — therefore, to us, too.
But Senator Sanders couldn’t grasp the distinction between a doctrinal standard at a Christian university and a religious litmus test for government service. He declared that Mr. Vought’s personal beliefs were disrespectful to other religions, therefore he should not be allowed to serve in a high government position.
Sanders turned “no-religion” into the “state-religion.” And that is truly disrespectful of all religions. So he is guilty of the behavior he attributed to Mr. Vought. Some would call that hypocrisy.
Why does Jesus scare people so much? I believe it’s because the message of Jesus contains and conveys the very power of God! The Gospel is “the power of God for salvation.” (Romans 1:16 NASB)
If they are not believers in Jesus Christ, the Messiah, they fear the power of the Gospel. And it is powerful. But even though God powerfully draws them to Himself, He refuses to violate their ability to choose.
He draws them vigorously, but He doesn’t break down the door and overwhelm them. He stands at the door and knocks and asks to be received. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:20 NKJV)
Even with infinite power at His disposal, He will not violate your will.
Finally, last week, President Trump declared a national health emergency. He said, “Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of unintentional death in the United States by far. More people are dying from drug overdoses today than from gun homicides and motor vehicles combined.”
The statistics are staggering. But they only represent the deaths. Millions more are living out the horrors of addiction every day.
The Bible warns us that in the last days of this Age of Grace, we will see a dramatic increase in drug use.
Revelation 9:21 speaks of the coming Tribulation. It says, “They did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of there immorality nor of their thefts.” (NASB)
The word “sorceries“ is a translation of the Greek word “pharmakeia.” It’s where we get the word “pharmacy.” The word “pharmakeia” refers to both the occult and drug abuse.
We also find the same word in Galatians 5 in a list of “the deeds of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:19) One of those deeds is “sorcery.” (Galatians 5:20) The Greek word is, again, “pharmakeia.”
By linking sorcery and witchcraft with drugs, we begin to see where this whole thing originates. This kind of mind-altering drug use is closely linked to pagan or demonic rites.
But this points to a deeper problem: the human condition that intensifies our vulnerability to addiction. This is a physical problem with deep spiritual roots.
In the 1600s, Blaise Pascal described the emptiness inside of all men as “this infinite abyss.” He then said that it “can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God Himself.”
And God is willing and ready to fill that “infinite abyss” in your life — or any life. All we must do is ask Him to come in, cleanse us from all our sin, and fill our “infinite abyss” with His Holy Spirit.
And He will gladly do it. All that remains for you to do is accept His free gift of pardon.
You will be eternally glad you did!