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Understand the Threat: 2 days, 4 sessions

Dr. Mark Christian of Global Faith Institute & 88 Tactical invite you to learn Muslim Brotherhood’s secret strategies for the USA in this series: Understand the Threat. Our featured experts include:


John Guandolo
– Designated FBI “Subject Matter Expert” on Islamic terrorism
– Created FBI’s first Counter Terrorism Training Program
– Present Obama eliminated his department in 2008
– Author of Raising a Jihadi Generation
– Founder of UnderstandingTheThreat.com


Chris Gaubatz
– Posed as a Muslim convert & worked for the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Virginia
– Obtained over 12,000 pages of documents from Hamas/CAIR & 300+ hours of covert audio/video recordings
– The Muslim Mafia, his book, resulted from his findings

Sept. 13 – 11:30am – 2:00 pm
88Tactical, 15350 Shephard St., Omaha, NE
VIP Luncheon – $100 per person
Click here to register

Sept. 13 – 7:00pm – 9:00pm
88Tactical, 15350 Shephard St., Omaha, NE
General Session: Free
Click here to register

Sept. 14 – 1:30am – 3:30pm
*VENUE & TIME CHANGE*
Pizza Ranch, 8420 Lexington Ave, Lincoln, NE
General Session: Free
Click here to register

Sept. 14 – 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Oakland Community Center  – *VENUE CHANGE*
614 Dr Van Zee Rd, Oakland, IA 51560
General Session: Free
Click here to register

SEATING IS LIMITED, PLEASE RSVP BY SEPT. 12th. 

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Calling all Prayer Warriors

The Global Faith Institutes has come under fierce attack and we would ask you to join us in praying for the work of the Institute and for Dr. Mark Christian and his family.

Jesus said in Matthew 5:11, “Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me.”

The greatest encouragement in that verse is the affirmation that we at Global Faith Institute are, indeed, doing God’s work, and for that reason, we are being persecuted. We stand strong and united in our resolve to continue being a witness to the Muslim of the life-changing redemption offered by Jesus Christ.

Over the recent weekend, our Facebook page came under a virulent attack in an organized effort from several individuals intent upon smearing our name and mission. Leaving one-star reviews and using rhetoric like “hateful bigots” and “intolerant liars” and “violent anti-Muslim group” caused many of our supporters to rally and reach out to the “reviewers.” By reaching out with Scripture and love, many of those posting hateful comments reacted in anger and revealed that they were Satanists, atheists, agnostics, and one young lady said she was putting a spell on a GFI supporter. Their admissions were revelatory and affirmed our belief that the assault had less to do with their supposed support of Islam and more to do with their hatred of Christianity.

Ephesians 6: 11-17 is our creed as we continue to bring light to a very dark world. “Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm, therefore, having girded your loins with Truth, and having put on the breastplate of Righteousness, and having shod your feet with the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of Faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one. And take up the helmet of Salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

God’s word tells us that where two or more are gathered in agreement in prayer, He will be among us. We humbly request that our supporters encircle this ministry with your prayers so that our work may continue unhindered.

AMAZING AND SOBERING

Some of the most amazing and sobering words in the Bible are found in the minor Old Testament prophet Habakkuk 2:20, “But the LORD is in His Holy Temple; let all the earth keep silence before Him” (ESV). Context is king when it comes to studying the Bible and especially important when one grabs only one verse and expands upon it.

What led up to the words of the prophet about God being in His Holy Temple and that all the earth should keep silent? Do those words offer any wisdom for us today to listen to and heed?

The setting for this very important book in the Old Testament is just before the mighty Babylon overran the nation of Israel or the southern part of the nation called Judah. Habakkuk is seeing the approaching Babylonians and is questioning God as to how He can let an evil nation overrun the one nation that He called His own.

In the prophet’s first complaint, he calls out to God and wonders why He is not answering. It seemed that only evil would prevail and God was not doing anything, or so he thought. God responded to the prayer of Habakkuk by telling him that He was sending a great and terrifying nation who cannot be stopped to exile the nation Judah.

God’s response did not satisfy the prophet as to why all this was happening. So he complained again, but this time telling God of His own character and that it seemed contrary to His own character that He would allow this to happen. But at the end of his second complaint he said, “I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what He will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint” (Habakkuk 2:1, ESV).

God then answered with words that put the prophet at ease, or possibly unease, with “wait for it” or what I promised many years before will take place. It will take time and My promises will be evident in time. Humility and faith are the two keys in being one who trusts in what God has promised in the past and that it will come to fruition.

The verses adjacent to the amazing and sobering words at the beginning of this article consist of warnings to the nation that will overrun God’s promised nation. These are warnings of dire consequences for those who desire to take the place of God and rule the world for themselves with evil intentions and apart from God. The warnings are clear: this plundering nation might have the upper hand, but only for a short time because “The LORD is in His Holy Temple; let all the earth keep silence before Him.”

We are told through these inspired words that God is in control, He is sovereign, over all things that take place to Israel and over all the earth. The Psalmist in 115:3 writes the same truth in different terms, “Our God is in the heavens; He does all that He pleases” (ESV).

Jerry Bridges clearly tells us what this means. “God does whatever He pleases. This is the essence of God’s sovereignty: His absolute independence to do as He pleases and His absolute control over the actions of all His creatures. No creature, person, or empire can either thwart His will or act outside the bounds of it” (31 Days Toward Trusting God, Jerry Bridges, NavPress, 2013, p. 31).

All of what has happened, is and will happen, are in God’s plan and under His perfect, peaceful control. Everything that God has promised His children ultimately will come to fruition. We must not fear but humbly trust Him to make all things work out well.

It is easy in this season to become worked up about the future of our nation and the church at large. But God is STILL in His Holy Temple and to make all things right we must keep silence before Him. It begins with the Church of God humbly presenting herself before Him and walking by faith of what He has promised the nation of Israel and the Church.

Allow God to work these amazing and sobering words into your own spirit and then live out what He says to your heart. He will never speak that which is contrary to who He is or His Scripture. Take heart in these days, turn to God and He promises to turn to you.

LOVE YOUR ENEMIES

The greatest teacher of all time, the God-man Jesus, taught this timeless truth in Matthew 5:43-48:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I say to you, ‘Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,’ so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.  For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.  For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?  Do not even the tax collectors do the same?  And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others?  Do not even the Gentiles do the same?  You therefore must be perfect, as your Heavenly Father is perfect” (ESV).

As we reel from another seemingly senseless slaughter of human life in recent days, questions swirl in our hearts and minds.  It may arise as anger in our hearts, or sometimes in guilt of our own making, taking responsibility for the evil that we witness as a way to feel as if we can then exercise control over it.  As Jesus tells us, we cannot control evil, only our response to it.

What was perpetrated by those who followed their own devices or the orders of those they represent, should not elicit a desire for a personal vendetta toward the individual.  Ultimately a human is not our real enemy; Paul the apostle wrote these words to the church in Ephesus:

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, again the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12, ESV).

We are witnessing a spiritual battle and it must be seen with spiritual eyes.  Unfortunately, many will not see it this way.  What tragically happened in Orlando, FL will be politicized from every direction and the main point will be missed in the resulting fog.

Evil is real, and it comes from outside flesh and blood, yet is prevalent in our society as evidenced by many recent world events.  Yet, this man who laid out so much carnage is not an enemy of a Christian nor are Muslims.  Christians also must remember that homosexuals are not our enemy and there is no room for hateful words or actions.

God is the ultimate Judge in the universe and not mankind.  When man was created he was placed in a perfect world.  Yet, man thought he knew better than God and wanted more, following instead the temptations of the serpent in the perfect garden.  The result was ruin of all mankind for all time, until Jesus’ presence upon the earth as the ultimate Savior from evil in the world.

What Adam and Eve thought was a good thing ended up as ruin for the history of man, yet God had an eternal plan that neither man nor Satan could set aside.  Apart from God, life is a prison, but with God, through belief in Jesus Christ is perfect freedom.  Perfect freedom is following the Scriptures in both Old and New Testaments.  Jesus is the fulfillment of all God’s promises to mankind; Adam and Eve or Satan could not thwart what was planned in eternity past.

Christians are to love God and our fellow man.  We are not to do offensive injury in any way to those we do not agree with, whether Muslim or one who designates themselves as homosexual.  It is true that much hurt has been initiated by those who call themselves followers of Jesus but when one would look at what Jesus did and what He taught it would be clear that revenge or anger or physical injury of any type is not appropriate for a Christ follower.

We must pray for those who oppose us, due to our belief, but never strike a vengeful blow.  In closing, the words of Scripture are extremely appropriate in this day and age as we see anger and spite in our world.

“Let love be genuine.  Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.  Love one another with brotherly affection.  Outdo one another in showing honor.  Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.  Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.  Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. 

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.  Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.  Live in harmony with one another.  Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.  Never be wise in your own sight.  Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.  If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.  Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’  To the contrary, ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.’  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:9-21, ESV).

This is how a person who claims to be a follower of Jesus is to act towards fellow Christians and those who are not.  Before a Christian goes on a verbal rampage, or worse, go to the Book to find out how to respond to the evils of the world in which we live.

The only true answer to the evils of this world is Jesus Christ!  To begin following Him all one needs to do is believe that God raised Him from the dead and to confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and you will be saved.  Pretty simple, but life-changing.

GODLESSNESS IN THE LAST DAYS

The title of this article are taken from a sub-title in the English Standard Version Study Bible (published by Crossway books) of 2 Timothy 3:1-9.  Given the state of our world, it could extend to the whole chapter.  Many may smirk at this title because the overall desire of mankind is that everyone be nice or to all get along but the reality of world events show us that the Bible may just be right.

Here is how 2 Timothy reads from the ESV:

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men. You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
(2Ti 3:1-17)

Prior to WWI many people in the world (and church) were teaching that man was inherently good, and would behave so were it not for the influence of his environment.  This misconception was literally “blown” apart once the “war to end all wars” was well underway.  

The great loss of life confirmed that man was not indeed “inherently good” but rather, what the Bible said of man and his heart continually leaning toward evil, was in fact the defining reality of our existence.  Some may blame God but He has given us everything we need to acknowledge Him through nature and in our conscience.  It is mankind to blame for evil and not God.

When we go back to the first book of the Bible (Genesis) it is clear that God established perfection and man blew it by making things up as they went.  This continues today as the world attacks each of us within, through corruption of character and without, through violence.  However, this should not surprise students of the Bible.  

As Christians, evangelicals or better yet, fully sold out followers of Jesus who believe and obey the Bible, we will be not only misunderstood but greatly antagonized as the end of days draws near.  We see this in what Paul wrote to his young apprentice.  

Though we are in the last days we do not know how many are left and so followers of Jesus must run to and read and believe and live out what the Bible says.  Yes, it is true that if we desire to live like Jesus we will be persecuted, so it should not surprise us if the world attacks us as haters of mankind and lovers of the “fairy tales” written in the Bible.

Jesus did not lie to His followers when He told them that if they loved Him the world would respond with hatred.  As a person who wants to be liked by everyone, these are not easy words to read from Paul or the Lord Jesus, but they are the truth and must be heeded and understood even though they may be hard to swallow.

However, Christians cannot run and hide, nor can they capitulate to the society around them.  Instead, we survive with the sustaining grace of God, and that begins with prayer.  Pray for “all the saints” Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:18. We must be bold in our prayer as we are encouraged to do in Hebrews 4:16.  

One of the most challenging things we are called to do is to live in community with others.  This is a challenge because we are far more content in “gated” communities, protected from the mess and hurt of the outer world.  We don’t run counter to our solitary nature without powerful urging.  While we may do things for people for a short time, living as the first-century church lived, in community, is a lonely beacon on a far hill to most of us.

The first Christians interacted every day with one another, simply living life together.  If one had a need they would present it to the community and the need would be met.  I suppose that many needs were met even if the need was not made public, but since they lived life together the need was already on the radar and the need met at just the right time.

So as the world becomes more and more antagonistic to Christians around the globe, we need neither retreat nor attack, but instead to respond as Christ would have us respond; with love and life-giving hope.  It does begin in the community of believers but through the Holy Spirit, it does not stay there; it grows beyond its bounds, until it reveals to non-believers the strength and beauty of God’s love, through the example of His community.

Believers are to be realistic about the world, recognizing danger and preparing accordingly, but we are also to move people to the hope that can only come through Jesus Christ!  There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.  Jesus and Jesus only is the way of eternal salvation and hope for a world that is becoming more and more godless in our inexorable march to the final day.

EgyptAir flight MS804 was no random target

By Dr. Mark Christian and Joe Herring

We are entering a new era – one in which terrorists place bombs in the sky and detonate them whenever they see fit.  EgyptAir MS804 is just the latest example of their ability to transform an airliner into an IED.

Authorities almost immediately agreed that MS804 was likely the victim of a terrorist attack.  However, they aren’t able to discern how that took place, given the extensive passenger screening the flight underwent on each leg of its journey.

Ascertaining the method requires a look at the history of this particular flight, and an honest appraisal of who stood to gain from the destruction of this plane and the brutal slaughter of its passengers and crew.

Photo by American ThinkerSince 9/11, airline security has been focused on passengers and their luggage.  Recent terror events however, such as the explosion of the Russian jetliner over the Sinai Peninsula in October, make the case that our focus ought to turn to those who manage airport security and/or have access to aircraft while it is on the ground.  Every plane coming out of an area of unrest and Islamist activity is a potential bomb in the skies.

This plane, which originated in Cairo as MS803, was set for a round-trip journey to Paris.  The plane was on the ground in Cairo a full 24 hours before departing for Paris at 4:50 pm (Cairo time).  It arrived in Paris at 9:40 pm (Paris time) and by 10:45 pm, had taken off for the return leg of the journey.  

While on the ground in Paris there was little time for a thorough security check of the aircraft, but due to the short turnaround, there was equally little time to smuggle a bomb on board, especially in light of the increased security presence at Charles de Gaulle Airport.  

Exactly six hours from the time it originally departed Cairo, the plane made its two inexplicable maneuvers before disappearing entirely, almost certainly from a catastrophic mid-air explosion.

This timeline would suggest that the lethal device was already on the airliner before it left Cairo.

The terrorists who placed the explosive device on MS804, I believe, were embedded among the security personnel entrusted with sweeping the aircraft for potential danger in Cairo.  There are reasons to suspect the compromise of the security personnel in Egypt other than opportunity and access.  Events in Egypt in recent weeks provide some insight.

Beginning a fortnight ago, the country of Egypt has been wracked with violence and unrest between Muslim Brotherhood sponsored rioters and the government of Egyptian President el-Sisi.  

Egyptian National Police (the equivalent of our Homeland Security, FBI, and CIA rolled into one) are themselves perpetrating much of the violence, directed at their own citizens.  Hundreds of shops, hotels, and historic shopping areas throughout the country have been put to the torch, further crippling an already weak and tottering economy.  Citizens are threatened and assaulted daily by members of the National Police; an organization that appears to be unraveling themselves – perhaps irreparably.

The National Police have been infiltrated and undermined by a number of Muslim Brotherhood members/sympathizers; many of whom had participated in the Arab Spring uprising, sabotaging police efforts to regain control of Tahrir Square. They were not relieved from their duties for their actions, but only reassigned, giving rise to speculation that the Muslim Brotherhood had “friends in high places” among the security apparatus of the Egyptian government.

These same officers surfaced again recently, as the prime suspects in the assassination of eight police officials.  The eight plainclothes officers died when the mini bus in which they were traveling was showered with bullets from a nearby truck. More than 100 shell casings were found on the scene.  The men responsible have melted back into the background and at the time of this writing, have not been found.

The Muslim Brotherhood briefly gained power with the election of their leader, Mohammed Morsi following the deposing of then-President Hosni Mubarak during the so-called “Arab Spring.”  Elated at having achieved their decades-old goal of seizing the reins of power, Morsi and his supporters began a series of actions to consolidate and secure their positions indefinitely – essentially ensuring that no challenger would ever succeed in removing the Brotherhood from power; actions which led to the overthrow of the Morsi government by the Egyptian military.  

Described as a military coup by the pro-Muslim Brotherhood Obama administration, the truth is, the military acted at the behest of the legislature, to protect the established rule of law that Morsi had declared void.

The Brotherhood will do whatever necessary to regain power in Egypt.  Their most effective tactic thus far has been to make the current president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, appear weak and unable to keep his promises to restore security, prosperity and stability to the nation.

The attack against MS804, and the Russian airliner; the widespread arson of historically significant tourist areas and the internal disruption of the National Police force have all been weapons in the Brotherhood’s arsenal as they create chaos and doubt in the minds of all Egyptians.  

When faith in the el-Sisi government is irreparably broken, the people will cry out for authoritative leadership.  It is no accident an EgyptAir plane was targeted.  It is a fact that the plane was on the ground in Cairo with plenty of time for Brotherhood sympathizers among the security forces to place an explosive device on board.  The wanton and seemingly random, destruction of a few aircraft with innocent passengers aboard are useful tools in the hands of Islamists.

Add to this anarchical brew the support by el-Sisi for a French-backed plan to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians by effectively removing Hamas, and the Muslim Brotherhood-promoted narrative of el-Sisi “selling out” the Islamic agenda wins el-Sisi no friends in his homeland.  

With the apparent capability to turn airliners into IEDs in their arsenal, we must ask, where will the next plane come down? Flights originating and stopping in Cairo arrive in major American cities each and every day.  If the terrorists are able to bring down a plane a full six hours after placing the device on board, might they soon have the ability (if not already) to time the explosion to take place over New York City, Washington DC or some other densely populated American city?  

In nations of unrest and pervasive Islamic influence, it is crucial that not only are passengers screened, but security personnel must also be vetted and re-vetted on a random and continual basis.

Who are these security personnel and to whom do they owe their allegiance?  If we are not asking these questions and investigating the answers, we are setting the stage for further terrorist attacks from our skies.

The men we are dealing with are very sophisticated, endowed with nearly unlimited funding and take the long view in achieving their goals.   Our short-attention-span security policy is a weak and brittle bulwark against people willing to wait decades before making their move.  It is vital that we understand the enemy we face and focus our efforts correctly to identify those whose ideology renders them a source of danger.

Islam doesn’t have a “violence” problem…that is merely an inevitable downstream consequence of the fundamental principle that animates Islam; that being a devotion to achieving theological and political supremacy over all the earth and its people, as commanded by Islam’s prophet, Mohammed.

This teaching is a core element of Islam and renders it poisonous to humanity.  The violent targeting of innocent non-combatants is simply the tool through which this corrosive teaching finds its expression in reality.  Consequently, any meaningful opposition to terrorist aggression must first recognize and target this teaching as both illegitimate and illegal to propound.

Central to surviving in this new era is the recognition that these incidents are not isolated events.  Whether perpetrated by this terror group or that terror group, our enemy is easily identified and their motives discerned (and their intentions thwarted!) if we only have the political courage to do so.  

 

The author is the founder and executive director of the Global Faith Institute – globalfaith.org – and is an Egyptian émigré’ to the United States and a convert to Christianity.  His father and uncle remain high-ranking leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in his former home of Cairo.

The co-author is a freelance writer and serves as the communications director for the Global Faith Institute who welcomes comments and visitors to his website readmorejoe.com

THE NARROW DOOR

Jesus was asked, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?  And He said to them, ‘Strive to enter through the narrow door.  For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able’” (Luke 13:23-24, ESV).

Narrow doorways are neither convenient nor easy.  If you would take a tour of the U.S.S. York in Charleston, SC you would find the doors separating compartments are quite narrow and not very tall.  Someone over six foot could very well knock themselves out if they don’t duck and turn slightly to one side.

Two words stand out in this verse, strive and seek.  One seems aggressive and the other more passive.  If they are aggressive verses passive then we have something to wrestle with and decide as we consider following Jesus.  Could this be another cost of discipleship passage?

The word for “Strive” in verse 24, is the same word from which we get our English word “agonize.”  Its basic meaning is striving for a goal and the goal is for a few to be saved.  Another way to possibly put this term is “forcing your way into it” (Amplified version of NT).

If you read a complementary verse, 1Timothy 4:10, greater clarity is brought to Jesus’ words.  “For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe” (ESV).  In the context of this verse we see Paul the apostle using an energetic illustration to convey what a good servant of Jesus looks and acts like.

A few verses earlier Paul encourages Timothy to train himself for godliness, to become more like Jesus in an intensely focused way.  When one trains his or her self for an athletic event, success comes from single-minded purpose; a fierce desire to be the best they can be.

Paul further encourages Timothy – “Command and teach these things.  Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.  Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.  Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you.  Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress.  Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching.  Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers” (1 Timothy 4:11-16, emphasis mine).

Paul is telling Timothy to make use of the teaching and wisdom he has gained from Paul, and to serve as an example of God’s grace and power.

Many people compare the Christian life to a marathon and that’s not a bad example, but given the obstacles we face throughout life, an Ironman Triathlon might be a little more accurate comparison.

An Ironman Triathlon is a 2.2-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride followed by a marathon.  And these are done back to back to back.  You would swim your 2.2 miles and then immediately run and change into your biking outfit on the run and then when you are finished with the 112 mile bike ride you immediately switch to your running shoes and run the marathon.  Whew!  It makes you sort of tired just writing about this.

The reason these extreme athletes can accomplish this is because of intense focus and much training.  For the Christian life it is the same way; there must intense focus and much time training in the Scriptures and how to live them out.

Another major difference in the illustration here, is that the training for the Ironman is individualistic whereas training for the Christian life must be done en masse.  We are to live life together, to see growth and maturity and the lessening of the devastating effects of sin in ourselves and each other.  We grow together.

This is called the church, and the church (ecclesia) is plural made one.  We definitely do not live on an island no matter how bad one would like to live like that at times, but the church is made up of many different individuals created by God for a specific purpose.

But what we do have in common is to “Strive to enter through the narrow door.”  Let us begin living or continue living as the church and progress to greater conformity to the Author and Finisher of our faith – the Lord Jesus Christ!

A Mosque, a Synagogue, and a Church: What Could Go Wrong?

June 8, 2014 – Omaha, NE

The Tri-Faith Initiative in Omaha is a project that raises questions.  The planned co-location of a synagogue, a mosque, and a church on the same campus is a novel enough idea to stir curiosity.  Add in connections between the proposed mosque and groups that have been named as unindicted co-conspirators in the largest terror-financing trial in our nation’s history, and it becomes the lack of questions that should make news.

I have written previously about the links between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Tri-Faith Initiative in Omaha, Nebraska.  Recent developments include my source, Dr. Mark Christian, the executive director of the Omaha-based Global Faith Institute, receiving a “shut up or get sued” letter from the project’s leaders.

While the project was originally conceived with the mosque, a Reform Jewish congregation and an Episcopal Church forming the three legs of the Tri-Faith stool, the Episcopal Church has since gotten cold feet and is bailing out of the project.  Its representatives are actively soliciting another church to take their place and buy out their stake, to the tune of $1.5 million.

It is this transaction the Tri-Faith Board is seeking to protect by attempting to intimidate Dr. Christian into silence.  Mind you, the good doctor hasn’t been marching up and down outside the project, waving signs and screaming; he has simply asked some very reasonable questions regarding the relationship between the mosque and two well-known groups – CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and ISNA, the Islamic Society of North America.

Seeking clarification, Dr. Christian has approached the respective leaders of the Tri-Faith Initiative and reports that each conversation followed a similar path.  First, flat denials of any links between the Tri-Faith Initiative and ISNA, CAIR, or the Muslim Brotherhood.  Second, after being presented with the fact that CAIR and ISNA are prominently featured on their website as “Resources,” they shift into a denial that ISNA and CAIR are connected to the Muslim Brotherhood.Finally, after Dr. Christian provides the evidence from the FBI and the State Department that both groups are known fronts for the Muslim Brotherhood in America, the response settles into a mumbling assertion that maybe the Muslim Brotherhood isn’t such a bad thing in the first place.

Dr. Christian has good reason for concern; he is a former Muslim who has converted to Christianity and lives under a fatwa approved by his own father, calling for his death.

Dr. Christian is no ordinary Muslim apostate, however.  His father and uncle were top-level leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in his former home of Cairo, Egypt.  Dr. Christian was trained as an imam and groomed for Muslim leadership.

Dr. Christian’s uncle Ahmed spent time in prison for his role in the 1965 raid against Gamal Nasser.  During this time he was a cellmate of the Islamic writer Sayyid Qutb, the ideological father of the radical outgrowth of the Muslim Brotherhood that we know today as al-Qaeda.

Clearly, a Muslim Brotherhood foothold in his adopted hometown of Omaha poses a serious security risk for Dr. Christian and his family.  “Trust us,” just isn’t a good enough answer in today’s security climate.

Radical Islamists are promoting interfaith projects in many places around the U.S., successfully putting a gentle mask on their brutal ideology.

Extremism is introduced only after the non-Muslim partners have invested sufficient time and capital to ensure their willingness to overlook questionable connections and activities for fear of losing their financial stake.

Under the protective umbrella of interfaith peace and harmony, suspicious activities may occur with little scrutiny, with the non-Muslim partners frequently running interference for the Islamic component – all in the name of love, unity, and justice.

While it remains unclear if the Tri-Faith Initiative will fall prey to such machinations, their present refusal to address reasonable questions provides cold comfort to a worried populace.

As occurred in the case of the Holy Land Foundation, Islamists sometimes launder money through charities and aid organizations in order to conceal the transfer of millions of dollars to terrorists around the world.  In the Holy Land Foundation case, these terror-funders were caught red-handed, and the ensuing prosecutions revealed extensive involvement on the parts of CAIR and ISNA.

The Tri-Faith Initiative subsequently hosted Ingrid Mattson, then-president of ISNA, for a citywide interfaith event, highlighting ISNA’s involvement in their project.  She is described in an article on their website as being the “head of the movement” behind the mosque.

Given their prior record, it hardly seems unreasonable to question CAIR’s and ISNA’s continued involvement with the Tri-Faith Initiative.

Moreover, given the controversy, is it prudent for the Tri-Faith Board to peddle a $1.5-million plot of land to a largely unsuspecting church congregation, while simultaneously threatening Dr. Christian with legal action if he alerts the buyer to the 800-pound gorilla in the room?

It is Dr. Christian’s contention that this behavior from the Tri-Faith leadership is reckless and unseemly.

The Global Faith Institute has formally called on the Tri-Faith Initiative to simply renounce its association with CAIR, ISNA, and other similarly radicalized groups, and to open its books to an independent auditor going forward, to reassure the concerned citizens of Omaha that such groups will not re-enter the project at a later date.

Such a simple thing – such a sensible course of action, to disavow radical Islamic supremacists and their poisoned ideology, yet the Tri-Faith Board thus far finds these words too difficult to utter.

As a lawyer friend of mine said recently regarding this subject, “if peace-loving Muslims won’t differentiate themselves from the radical Islamists, how then are we, their neighbors and co-workers, to tell the difference?”

Indeed.  This is the question Dr. Christian asks every day, at the risk of his life.

By Joe Herring
The author writes from Omaha, Nebraska and welcomes visitors to his website at readmorejoe.com.
http://americanthinker.com/2014/06/a_mosque_a_synagogue_and_a_church_what_could_go_wrong.html