My friends, I hope you have had the opportunity to see and hear Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech before Congress last Tuesday morning. (If not, here is the link to that speech.) I have taken the time to review the speech, and to hear analysis, and my response to it is this: Thank you Mr Netanyahu, for so clearly and boldly proclaiming the threat of nuclear Iran, while also so eloquently honoring our President, our Congress, and the American people. As Joel Rosenberg stated, “This was one for the ages.” (Listen here to the best analysis I have found regarding the speech.)
As I watched the video of the speech (from several different sources), what caught my attention was the unity and the passion of virtually everyone in the chamber. Granted, about 60 Democrats chose not to attend, but my take (which seems to be verified by a dozen or more dignitaries who were present in the chamber) is that there was incredibly strong support for Netanyahu. I pray that support translates into action by our Congress to stop President Obama from making a very bad deal with Iran. A bill has been introduced, requiring Congressional approval of any deal that is struck with Iran. Already, President Obama has adamantly stated that he will veto any such bill that passes through Congress and is sent to him for signature. However, his veto can be over-ridden with a two-thirds vote in each house. That is very difficult (particularly in these days of partisanship), but I’m willing to pray for that miracle!
Ironically, on the same day as Netanyahu’s speech, Iran boldly rejected Obama’s 10-year nuclear freeze. Wouldn’t it be something, despite the Obama administration’s dire attempt at a “legacy peace deal,” if Iran simply refuses the deal and it falls dead! That is not likely to happen, but it is not out of the question in God’s way of directing circumstances! I’m willing to pray for that miracle too!
But let’s talk about why the nuclear deal with Iran is such a bad deal. Ultimately, it comes down to this: regardless of the agreements made in the deal, Iran will not abide by them. Even if they did, it leaves them squarely on the road to The Bomb, as all sanctions, inspections, and deterrents would be removed at the end of the agreed timeframe (roughly 10 years, as the deal stands now).
I’ve said before and will say again…this is an ideological, eschatological war…not a political or nationalistic war. Simply put, theology (what they believe about their god) drives the Iranian regime. To help us understand, keep in mind that the Iranian regime is staunchly Shia Muslim.
- They have end time theology (eschatology), just like Christians do.
- They have a messiah (twelfth imam, or Mahdi) who will come again to earth, just like Christians do.
- They believe that time is coming soon, just like Christians do.
- They believe it is important to live devoutly while awaiting the arrival of the messiah, just like Christians do.
But the difference is like a photo negative! What Scripture says is white, is black according to Islam. For example, the Christian Messiah (Jesus Christ) teaches us that love is what draws people to salvation. (For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16) Islamic theology condones fear and violence as means to convert people to Islam. Christians believe that Jesus will come again at the Father’s perfect time. The Iranian regime believes that their god has called them specifically to bring about chaos and kill the infidels in order to usher in the Mahdi. The Bible calls us to be devoted to righteousness as we await the coming of our Savior. (For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. Titus 2:11-14) Whereas, devotion according to the Qur’an (Islamic holy book) demands jihad.
So, the Iranian nuclear deal is a bad deal because the theology that drives the Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei), Iran’s president (Hassan Rouhani), and the Iranian regime is evil in content and execution. For those who believe their eternal fate is tied to obedience to their theology, no amount of negotiation will deter such evil.
Just prior to World War II, Winston Churchill warned of a “gathering storm,” as Germany was arming and no one took action to stop them. Churchill was viewed as alarmist and a distraction by the British parliament, as they focused on domestic issues. But Churchill could not keep silent. In a barrage of speeches and articles he raised public awareness of the German threat. We all know what happened as a result of the lack of action.
Ezekiel 33 describes a watchman’s duty. To summarize, watchmen were placed atop city walls in ancient times to watch and warn the citizens of impending danger. If the watchman saw danger, but failed to warn the people, and the people perished, then the watchmen had blood on his hands and would be held accountable before God.
I believe Benjamin Netanyahu may be the Churchill of today, the watchman on the wall warning the world of an evil empire (Iran) that will soon be next to unstoppable if we do nothing. He just risked his political future as Prime Minister of Israel to give his speech this past Tuesday, placing the survival of the state of Israel in greater importance than winning an election. Let’s pray that our president gets the message before it is too late.