Obama the Messiah?
On January 7, 2008 at Dartmouth College in Lebanon, New Hampshire, Barack Obama told students, "... a light will shine through that window, a beam of light will come down upon you, you will experience an epiphany...and you will suddenly realize that you must go to the polls and vote for Obama." While some may dismiss it as political jargon, there is an unprecedented spirituality to Obama's presidential campaign. Literally thousands of Obama's supporters believe he is not just a presidential candidate, but a coming messiah or spiritual leader who will change the planet as we know it. Yes, really. Many so-called "spiritually advanced people" identify Obama as a rare kind of attuned being who has the ability to lead us not merely to new foreign policies or health care plans, but who can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet.
Supporters claim they are "intuitively blown away" by Obama's presence; not speeches, not policies, but sheer presence! Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. said on June 5, 2008 after Obama won the Democratic nomination, "What Barack Obama has accomplished is the single most extraordinary event that has occurred in the 232 years of the nation's political history...the event itself is so extraordinary that another chapter could be added to the Bible to chronicle its significance." The news media is adding to the fervor. Articles and headlines are popping up all over the country with messianic-type quotes, such as "He's no ordinary man, Obama is a man of resplendent vision with the wisdom of Solomon, the biblical king of Israel," "He appeals to all that is innate and created in us in a longing for that 'better country, that is a heavenly one' discussed in Hebrews 11," "What he is offering is a covenant for perfection," "The similarities between Obamian hope and biblical hope are extraordinary," "He's All Things to All Men," "Barack Obama is the Hope of the Entire World," "Out of One, many rise to believe again," and "His speeches give an aura of immortality that belies the fact that he's a living breathing human." Those are just some of the comments printed in recent weeks. Humorists poke fun at Obama thinking he walks on water (see cartoon).
His reach is also global. The German magazine Der Spiegel has on their July 11, 2008 cover a photo of Obama under the title, "The Messiah Factor, Barack Obama and the Yearning for a New America." The deification of Obama seems to be a goal of many of his supporters. One reporter noted that since Obama's inauguration, he has appeared in newspaper, television and magazine profiles as a "supernatural presence in our midst." Apparently, Obama can say nothing wrong. Conservative critics note the tendency liberals have to see their leaders as transcendent beings, like Obama as "someone more than human, someone with a touch of the divine." Franklin Roosevelt and John Kennedy were put on a God-like pedestal. Some wonder whether the messiah phenomenon will help or hurt Obama. Recent polls suggest it is hurting him. We will know soon enough, as he has also launched a successful voter registration campaign aimed at young people, called "Vote for Change." Many jurisdictions have reported significant increases in voter registration this summer alone.
Interestingly, another recent Pew poll reported that half of voters don't know that presidential candidate John McCain is pro-life or that Barack Obama is pro-abortion. The survey showed when pro-life voters know that information, they support McCain by a three-to-one margin. The poll also finds voters are more interested in the 2008 election than they were the 2004 election, but they are less informed on where the candidates stand. Pew finds that just 52 percent of voters rightly identify Obama as pro-abortion ("pro-choice" in the poll's terminology) and only 45 percent know John McCain is pro-life. A stunning 38 percent of voters don't know where either Obama or McCain stand on the issue of abortion. Ten percent wrongly identify Obama as pro-life and 17 percent think McCain supports abortion. McCain has had an 89% pro-life voting record in the Senate.
This information gap is important and will likely help one of them win the election. Among pro-life voters who know where the two candidates stand, McCain trounces Obama by a whopping 70-24 percentage point margin. Surprisingly, Obama has a one percent lead (43-42 percent) among pro-life voters who are uninformed about their abortion positions. Pro-abortion groups are working overtime to educate their supporters as well. That's because Obama leads by a similar margin of 71-24 percent among pro-abortion voters. Obama has promised abortion activists that the first thing he would do as president is overturn every pro-life law in all 50 states by signing the "Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA)." The measure, if it becomes law, would overturn hundreds of state laws that have put limits on abortion, according to Planned Parenthood, NARAL and other pro-abortion groups.
For those of you who participated in my non-scientific presidential poll recently, a majority responded that they would be voting for McCain. Few were undecided, or said they were voting for the Constitution party candidate. None said they were voting for Obama (or would admit it)! McCain's voting record on issues important to Christians has been monitored closely since he's been in the Senate. Surprisingly, McCain has voted "biblically" on a majority of moral issues, from abortion to marriage, which many Christians are not yet aware of. However, McCain appears to support Bush's position on land-for-peace in Israel, which includes Jerusalem, which is a very dangerous scenario. We'll see if that changes before the election.
Never before have Christians been more targeted for their religious beliefs on a global scale as today. At this moment, dozens of Islamic nations are aggressively pressing the United Nations to adopt an anti-defamation plan that would criminalize Christianity under international law. The U.N. resolution is called "Combating Defamation of Religions," and is a clever attempt to cover up human rights abuses committed by Islamic nations against Christians and others. For example, in order for Islamic nations such as Saudi Arabia to get rid of the pressure created by human rights advocates, such nations could declare that Islam is being attacked and defamed under this resolution, therefore justifying their so-called rights to murder, beat and imprison innocent people. Promoting the resolution is the 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference which formerly adopted the 1990 Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam, stating "that all rights are subject to sharia law, making sharia law the only source of reference for human rights." The persecution of Christians in Islamic countries largely goes unreported.
Christians and non-Muslims in general can already be put to death or tortured without a trial or due process within the borders of many of these Islamic nations--but now they are seeking U.N. approval. Member nations could simply claim Islam was being attacked and defamed under sharia law, and therefore killing a Christian would be justified, and not a human rights violation. The European Center for Law and Justice issued a prompt response to the U.N.
This past year has also seen an onslaught of new anti-Christian videos produced by Muslims on YouTube. Many of the videos are direct attacks on Jesus, His deity, and His resurrection. These videos claim to prove Jesus was never crucified, never rose from the dead, that the Bible is full of contradictions, and the list goes on. For those who have never read the Bible, or those church-goers who are not well grounded in scripture, the videos can be very convincing. It is apparent Satan has gone into overdrive in these last days.
Israel and Nuclear War
While we in America are likely dealing with the most important presidential election in our history, there is much more happening in the Middle East. The majority of Islamic nations in the Middle East have made it clear they do not support the state of Israel. The president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has stated over and over that he wants to obliterate Israel. He has been at the forefront of Middle East tensions by continuing to develop nuclear weapons under the guise of nuclear energy. In his recent interview with Brian Williams of NBC Nightly News, Ahmadinejad didn't outright deny Iran is developing nuclear weapons, but instead said nuclear weapons were for the 20th century, not today. A good response would be, huh? This comes on the heels of medium and long-range missile tests conducted by Iran in mid-July. Many of the missile tests were a failure, and evidence of that came from faked photos issued by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard who didn't think anyone would notice. As one reporter stated, "Iran's missile project may need more rocket scientists to help get its projectiles off the ground, but its marketing team desperately needs some talented photo 'retouchers' to better cover up its ballistic shortcomings." Israeli military authorities later claimed Iran's long-range missile capabilities are non-existent, and mere "propaganda fantasy."
To keep up the rhetoric, just a week after Ahmadinejad's NBC interview, he met with Syrian leaders where he stated that Iran has the right to continue with its nuclear program, and will continue to do so. It appears he talks out of both sides of this mouth. Summed up, Ahmadinejad is a lot of talk, but he has made incredible advancements in his nuclear program. Israeli military officials claim that Iran has technology for a nuclear warhead to fit a missile, and Iran has recently made breakthroughs on nuclear missile warheads. A number of Middle East experts suggest nuclear war between Iran and Israel could be just weeks away. Others claim the "war fever" has been engineered by Washington in the form of a stream of leaks indicating that a U.S. or Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear installations was imminent. There have been literally hundreds of reports that Israel is preparing to attack Iran or Syria this year. To stay updated in this developing crisis, read the DEBKAfile at http://www.debka.com/.
To further complicate the situation in the Middle East, Russia has been fueling the fire of Iran's nuclear program by providing scientists and infrastructure. An attack on Iran would certainly provoke Russia into entering the conflict, experts suggest. Russia also supplies military technology to Syria, another threat to Israel. One doesn't have to read the prophecies of Ezekiel 38 & 39 (Gog and Magog/Russia attack on Israel), and Isaiah 17 and Jeremiah 49 (destruction of Damascus) to see where this leads. As I've said before, this is Bible prophecy in action. To review who Gog and Magog are in history, go to http://www.soundchristian.com/magog/.
To further antagonize Israel, Iran and Syria continue to send weapons and money to the militant Islamic terrorist groups of Hamas (operating in Palestinian territory) and Hezbollah (operating in Lebanon). Iran has placed an early warning station anti-air base on the Lebanese 7,800-foot peak of Mt. Sannine, what experts say is a strategic asset capable of determining the outcome of the next Middle East war. Many believe Iran and Syria desire conflict between Israel and these Islamic groups in hopes of weakening Israel's political infrastructure, particularly with news of Prime Minister Olmert's resignation. Recent reports out of Israel are that Olmert may be preparing to launch an eleventh-hour strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities in order to preserve his political party's influence. This becomes more interesting when we see international pressure to force Israel to give up the land God has promised as their eternal inheritance. Dividing Jerusalem is also on the table. That can only lead to further judgment from God--for any nation involved. We should all be praying for the peace of Jerusalem, not the division of Jerusalem!Looking up,