The Roman Catholic church has worked hard in recent decades to erase its long, ignominious history of anti-Semitism. As with many Protestant groups, that anti-Semitism has been one of the by-products of believing that God's irrevocable promise to Abraham's physical seed has in some mystical way been transferred to the Church.
In recent years, Catholic leaders have reached out to the Jewish community. Sadly, Pope Francis undid much of that effort last week when he chose to give formal recognition to the so-called State of Palestine -- even though no such state exists nor ever has existed.
To further emphasize his point, the pontiff then gave Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas a medallion said to represent the angel of peace "destroying the bad spirit of war." ANSA, the Italian news agency, reported that the Pope also told Abbas that the medallion was appropriate because, "You are an angel of peace."
Is this a bad joke?
Mahmoud Abbas does not represent the spirit of peace, he represents the spirit of this age -- the spirit of deception. His goal has never been the peace and prosperity of the Palestinian people, but the utter annihilation of the Jewish people and the State of Israel, a state which, by the way, DOES exist and has existed for 67 years!
Apparently, Pope Francis has fallen for the deception hook, line, and sinker. Abbas represents yet another group vowing yet another Jewish holocaust, and the Pope has now joined the Catholic Church to that evil.
Debate is raging over whether this week's fall of Ramadi (just 80 miles west of Baghdad) to ISIS is just a minor setback as claimed by the U.S. administration or a major catastrophe, as claimed by myriad defense and foreign policy experts.
But more than just the strategic or tactical implications of this major defeat of the Iraqi government and its western allies by the terrorist "JV team," the fall of Ramadi may represent an ominous shift in the global civil war between the Sunni and Shi'ia factions of Islam. That cannot be good for anyone!
Further, the fall of Ramadi may prove to be just another opportunity for Iran to extend its evil influence into the Arab world and greater Middle East. The United States does not have the political will to seriously confront ISIS by the only effective action that can stop the jihadis' advance -- putting troops into the battle.
However, Iran is more than willing to come to the aid of its Shiite brothers whose government controls Iraq. And not only are the desperate Iraqi leaders willing to accept Iran's help, they are allowing Iranian generals to dictate battlefield strategy!
This administration has allowed Iraq to sink into a quagmire that even a Hollywood movie writer could not have envisioned a few years ago. What a mess, a dangerous, deadly mess.
Last week, headlines across the country rang out the news: "Christianity in Sharp Decline!" Now, those headlines are deceptive, but then, again, what isn't deceptive in the waning days of this Age of Grace?
It is true that the Pew Research Center released the findings of a study that shows that in the last seven years the number of Americans who describe themselves as "Christian" went down eight percentage points. However, there are a few things to consider before inflating the life rafts and jumping ship.
We all know that the description of a "Christian" for polling purposes is vastly different from the "Christian" described in the Bible. Trust me, the number of REAL Christians in America is far smaller than the 71% of Americans who describe themselves as such.
And we have to consider the fact that as our population ages and dies off, the number of people who grew up holding Judeo-Christian values sacred dies off with them. But the most compelling reason for not panicking is that the Bible warns us of this very situation in these last days. The New Testament writers described these days in great detail and said that evil will grow stronger and eventually become overwhelming.
Jesus Himself said that His followers will be hated by those around them. That tells us that real Christians can't be in the majority in the final days.
So don't despair. Even though it's disappointing to see the things we hold dear thrown to the ground and trampled underfoot by our fellow "Christians," remember that such things only confirm to us that our time on this earth is growing very short.
It cannot be long until Jesus Himself returns to catch up His true Church and rescue us from the violent convulsions that are bearing down upon this planet and its peoples.
So take this survey and other studies as a warning. Now is the time to prepare yourself, your family, and your friends for the days that are coming. Accept the free gift of pardon from sin that Jesus Christ died upon the Cross to purchase for you. It's free and you can receive it at any time. And when you do, you join God's 'forever family' and you make your reservation to escape the coming judgment!
Do it now. Tomorrow may be too late.
One final note. On this Memorial Day, let's remember the brave men and women of our armed forces, past and present, and give thanks for the hundreds of thousands who sacrificed their lives to safeguard our way of life. We are truly a blessed nation. Not only blessed by our wonderful Creator who made possible this great adventure called The United States of America, but blessed by those unselfish men and women who offered themselves to protect it.
We owe them, and those who serve today, an immeasurable debt of gratitude.