Things I Think…

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83 Responses

  1. Alan says:

    Receiving questions about the interpretation of events in Israel pertaining to end times. None is my answer. If you keep a kingdom theology you won’t be confused by national theologies. They are mutually exclusive.

  2. Michael says:


    I can’t so no with certainty…simply because such conflicts are said to be part of the last cycle…though the actors are interchangeable…

  3. Alan says:

    One thing sure what was done by these humans was pure evil.

  4. Michael says:


    Demonic in its hatred and murder.
    We need to start assigning credit where it’s due…
    There are videos circulating that are unspeakable…which is the point of terrorist attacks.

  5. Duane Arnold says:

    “I think the hardest thing we face at the moment is that: how do we imagine the unimaginable mentality of somebody who thinks that God or justice or the future . . . is honoured by slaughter and barbarity…”

    +Rowan Williams

  6. Michael says:


    Well said by Williams…

  7. Jean says:

    At least for me, when the conflict is in motion, and emotions are running high, I find it impossible to discuss causes and effects.

  8. Alan says:

    Unfortunately America has no moral authority to call for a measured response to terrorist barbarity.

    The church however, must.

  9. Michael says:


    I needed that reminder…I get a tad hot headed….

  10. LInn says:

    I have a friend who has been teaching English in Israel for the past few months. He has not been heard from yet. I am hoping for the best, and I am also very concerned.
    People who do these kinds of terrorist actions do it for the shock and awe treatment. There really isn’t any excuse for it except evil. I saw it often enough in Colombia (example: Pablo Escobar’s people would bomb shopping centers on Mother’s Day, killing entire families). I know there are wrongs on both sides of this conflict, but the actions of Hamas have gone far beyond all things civilized.

  11. Officerhoppy says:

    “ Unfortunately America has no moral authority to call for a measured response to terrorist barbarity.

    The church however, must.”

    Curious statement. So how is the church to respond to the attack in Gaza?

  12. The New Victor says:

    I hope your friend is OK Linn.

    My friend and former boss in Israel answered via LinkedIn an hour ago. Over 1,000 dead Israelis, “they are acting like ISIS,” and “we will win.”

    But at what price?

    There’s a certain naiveté about lifting the blockade. If hamas can smuggle this much in past it, it would be unlimited if there were no blockade, resulting in total war and tens of thousands dead.

  13. Officerhoppy says:

    You made a distinction between covenant Israel and national Israel. What’s the difference and who makes up covenant Israel and how does one identify them?

  14. Michael says:

    Covenant Israel is the Israel of the Old Testament that was in covenant with God.

    That nation no longer exists.

    National Israel is the Middle Eastern state currently at war.

  15. Jean says:


    “So how is the church to respond to the attack in Gaza?”

    That’s an odd question. Is the church expected to respond to every tragedy that happens in the world?

    Thousands of people are murdered in the world every single day. Is the church excepted to respond to every one?

    However, all deaths are tragic and all are the result of sin. The church prays “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

    The church proclaims Christ crucified and repentance for the forgiveness of sins in the name of Jesus Christ for the world.

  16. Alan says:


    The church responds the same way we always are called to respond. Calling for the destruction of enemies is antichrist. Restraining evil is the necessary evil to which nation states resort. However retributive violence such as America exercised in the face of 9/11 can only yield more violence.

    Limited necessary violence to subdue evildoers is the mark. Slaughtering civilians in retribution for slaughtered civilians is simply becoming what you hate.

    Christ teaches us how to respond and no other response can transform evil.

    We shudder at the potential to exponentially spread this evil.

    I speak however as an outsider to the fury that has been borne by the innocent.

  17. Alan says:

    When we pray “thy kingdom come” we ask for terrifying action from heaven itself. We do not know what we ask.

  18. Officerhoppy says:

    I don’t think you answered my question. What is the church suppose to do? You said America lacks the moral authority to respond but the church must. Still trying to figure out how the church should respond

  19. Officerhoppy says:

    I was questioning Alan’s statement.

  20. The New Victor says:

    Back in college days, my Israeli friends and I were sitting in a lounge on break. A boy at the next table overheard them speaking a little Hebrew, and he was a Palestinian. He started yelling at us and my friend said, “let’s just leave,” much to my chagrin, but I was only 19 (my friends 10 years older). Though not Christians, maybe that was a Christian response?

    That doesn’t scale to nation-states. There is no Christian response (solution) applicable to either side here _at the top level_.

  21. Michael says:

    These crises are an opportunity to think more deeply about such matters.

    If the church has no place to speak in a crisis, what does it speak to?

  22. Alan says:

    The church MUST call for a measured response and not join the cacophony of bloodlust.

    America and the church failed this test after 9/11 and we’ve reaped the whirlwind.

    Why is that no answer?

  23. Officerhoppy says:

    No one wants to respond to violence with violence. But sometimes, it’s inevitable.

    As my moniker indicates, I was a police officer. We sometimes found ourselves in situations where deadly force or physical force was the only response. But if someone was going to died—or death inevitable, it wasn’t going to be the officer. We never wanted to have that memory plague us for the rest of our lives, but we had no choice.

    As a Christian, if someone were to come after your family with the intent of harming or abducting them, I’ll bet you would use deadly physical force if it was necessary.

    I guess what I am saying is, as much as we pray “thy kingdom come…” and we try to live the sermon on the mount, there are things out of my control.

    So, in my world, as a cop, there is a time to pray and a time to act

    As the author of Ecclesiastes wrote (there is) “a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace”

  24. Alan says:

    And Jean answered correctly. Though I think this issue scales to a degree that we must prophesy.

  25. Michael says:


    I was reading an expert opinion that Iran has at least one nuclear weapon….Israel has a hundred or more.

    That is all I need to hear you on the matter of a measured response.

  26. Michael says:

    ‘ Is the church expected to respond to every tragedy that happens in the world?”

    I would hope that every time tragedy strikes there is a church to speak into that tragedy…

  27. Alan says:

    Perhaps I misunderstand you Michael.

    I don’t think you are calling for annihilation.

    And Hoppy— police always are called upon to use minimum deadly force. I did not call for inaction just limited action.

  28. Jean says:

    My church responds to tragedies in the prayers of the church. We, as church, are not diplomatic commentators, political partisans or military strategists.

  29. Michael says:


    I was ready to light some stuff off this morning… 🙂

  30. Alan says:

    When you see the videos all impulse of mercy leaves. War on children and women makes restraint unthinkable. I saw them too. But the princes of evil are all safely hiding out leaving only the thugs under orders and the innocents behind.

    Christ have mercy.

  31. Michael says:


    Everything you said…may He have mercy, indeed.

  32. jtk says:

    I wonder….IF what happened on 1947 and 1967 has zero prophetic importance, that changes everything in the “end times” crowd, doesn’t it?

    If secular national natural Israel is NOT the Israel referred to in Romans 9-11, that changes everything, doesn’t it?

    Not denying scripture, not being antisemitic….certainly not denying the atrocities committed last weekend

  33. Michael says:


    You are correct…and you’re neither denying Scripture or being antisemitic.

  34. The New Victor says:

    47k christians in Palestine. 185k in Isreal. Does it matter? No.

  35. Alan says:

    Probably none of the things I want to write in response to “secular national Israel” is helpful.

    Go sleep Dread

  36. Alan says:

    American policy in the Middle East has vanquished the Christian populations and the church doesn’t give a damn because they are not Jewish.

  37. pstrmike says:

    The reality for the church who have their boots on the ground…..

  38. Officerhoppy says:

    Hamas are barbarians. Killing children and beheading them.

    While we want peace, it will only be established after Hamas and all terrorist groups are neutralized or annihilated.

    Wish mercy was possible. But they only respond to violence.

    Sad but true

  39. Michael says:


    That was helpful….thank you.

  40. Michael says:


    If only it were that simple…

    Americans tend to think that superior force is easily used to eliminate problems.

    At what cost can Hamas be eliminated?

    Then Hezbollah, Iran, and Syria enter the war.

    How much of the world can we eliminate…and at what cost?

    I understand the sentiment…but we can’t even govern ourselves…

  41. Officerhoppy says:

    My words were regarding Israel not America and they are not my thoughts alone. It is what I have heard from leaders in other countries too. Mercy is viewed as weakness in Middle Eastern countries.

    Beheadings, killing of elderly, mothers and their nursing children! This is stuff right out of the OT!

    We fail to understand their culture. It’s ancient thinking. They don’t always think reasonably or like the Western world. They only respond to blood shed.

    Here is some of what is contained in the Hamas Covenant: “ The Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement was issued on August

    18, 1988. The Islamic Resistance Movement, also known as the HAMAS,

    is an extremist fundamentalist Islamic organization operating in the

    territories under Israeli control. Its Covenant is a comprehensive

    manifesto comprised of 36 separate articles, all of which promote the

    basic HAMAS goal of destroying the State of Israel through Jihad

    (Islamic Holy War). The following are excerpts of the HAMAS


    Goals of the HAMAS:


    ‘The Islamic Resistance Movement is a distinguished Palestinian

    movement, whose allegiance is to Allah, and whose way of life is

    Islam. It strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of

    Palestine.’ (Article 6)

    On the Destruction of Israel:


    ‘Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will

    obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.’ (Preamble)”

  42. Alan says:

    I think the horror of this moment was calculated to explode the world into convulsion. It appears it may succeed. Gaza is a living nightmare and they intend to spread the darkness until all semblance of peace is shattered. Human hatred always finds its apocalypse.

    One theologian said “war is the apocalypse of sin” and Jesus said “night is coming…”His death did not end it. Not yet.

    Even so, CHRIST have mercy!!!

  43. Alan says:

    Here is the future elite of our nation weighing in on this moment. Could not find this on CNN. You can find it on BBC.

    “Joint Statement by Harvard Palestine Solidarity Groups on the Situation in Palestine

    We, the undersigned student organizations, hold the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence.

    Today’s events did not occur in a vacuum. For the last two decades, millions of Palestinians in Gaza have been forced to live in an open-air prison. Israeli officials promise to “open the gates of hell,” and the massacres in Gaza have already commenced. Palestinians in Gaza have no shelters for refuge and nowhere to escape. In the coming days, Palestinians will be forced to bear the full brunt of Israel’s violence.

    The apartheid regime is the only one to blame. Israeli violence has structured every aspect of Palestinian existence for 75 years. From systematized land seizures to routine airstrikes, arbitrary detentions to military checkpoints, and enforced family separations to targeted killings, Palestinians have been forced to live in a state of death, both slow and sudden.

    Today, the Palestinian ordeal enters into uncharted territory. The coming days will require a firm stand against colonial retaliation. We call on the Harvard community to take action to stop the ongoing annihilation of Palestinians.”

    African American Resistance Organization
    Bengali Association of Students at Harvard College
    Harvard Arab Medical and Dental Student Association
    Harvard Chan Muslim Student Association
    Harvard Chan Students for Health Equity and Justice in Palestine
    Harvard College Pakistan Student Association
    Harvard Divinity School Muslim Association
    Harvard Middle Eastern and North African Law Student Association
    Harvard Graduate School of Education Islamic Society
    Harvard Graduate Students for Palestine
    Harvard Law School Justice for Palestine
    Harvard Divinity School Students for Justice in Palestine
    Harvard Jews for Liberation
    Harvard Kennedy School Bangladesh Caucus
    Harvard Kennedy School Muslim Caucus
    Harvard Kennedy School Muslim Women’s Caucus
    Harvard Kennedy School Palestine Caucus
    Harvard Muslim Law School Association
    Harvard Pakistan Forum
    Harvard Prison Divest Coalition
    Harvard South Asian Law Students Association
    Harvard South Asians for Forward-Thinking Advocacy and Research
    Harvard TPS Coalition
    Harvard Undergraduate Arab Women’s Collective
    Harvard Undergraduate Ghungroo
    Harvard Undergraduate Muslim Women’s Medical Alliance
    Harvard Undergraduate Nepali Students Association
    Harvard Undergraduate Palestine Solidarity Committee
    Middle East and North African Graduate School of Design Student Society
    Neighbor Program Cambridge
    Sikhs and Companions of Harvard Undergraduates
    Society of Arab Students

  44. Alan says:

    Frankly just erase this last post… Christ have mercy upon us.

  45. Michael says:


    I understand the repulsiveness of the Harvard statement.

    My question would be…what part of it do we need to hear?

    It does appear that Israel has treated Palestine quite poorly for quite a long time…and that didn’t seem to bother us.

  46. Michael says:


    My instincts are not different from yours…I can become as murderous as the enemy quickly.

    The issue is that rooting out Hamas would cost tens of thousands of innocent lives…and something worse would sprout from the blood.

  47. DH says:

    Is Israel an “apartheid regime”?

  48. Michael says:


    It is beyond my scope of expertise to define states in relation to each other.

    What I do know is that Israel has not dealt justly with the Palestinian people and that will have to be addressed when the carnage is completed.

  49. Officerhoppy says:

    I get what you are saying. Sad to see innocents killed. But what’s Israel’s alternative? If they don’t respond quickly and harshly, Hamas will murder many more civilians.

  50. Michael says:


    Have you looked at the lay out of the area?

    If Hamas had a street address that could be easily targeted, this would be a no brainer…but like Mexican cartels, they don’t.

    Israel could kill thousands with no guarantee that they have eliminated the evil.

    I thank God I don’t have to balance these things…I suspect we’re in for a horrible conflict that could spread to the whole region.

  51. Officerhoppy says:

    Yeah, I have seen the layout of the area. Been there 7 times. Difficult indeed.
    But we shouldn’t underestimate the IDF.
    Israel, before bombing, is telling people to evacuate the area.
    If they stay, that’s their decision.

  52. Officerhoppy says:

    Israel has no secure future unless Hamas is annihilated

  53. Jean says:

    “But we shouldn’t underestimate the IDF.
    Israel, before bombing, is telling people to evacuate the area.
    If they stay, that’s their decision.”

    That but one of the ignorant things you’ve said on this topic.

    Where can they go? Are you aware the people are trapped in Gaza?

    The misinformation about the conditions of life under occupation, where people live in what essentially is an open air prison, with no freedom of movement, no security, no right of self governance, no ability to pursue education, no opportunity to pursue economic advancement, etc., which leaves people with nothing and nothing to lose, which treats them as less than fully human, makes some people resemble the less than fully human. Why is anyone surprised?

  54. Jean says:

    One can annihilate as many terrorists as you think beneficial, but how many new ones will you create by your own brutality?

    As a theologian, I can tell you that the law is powerless to change the heart.

  55. Michael says:

    Let’s stay civil.

    I was also wondering where the Palestinians are supposed to flee from the bombings…

  56. Officerhoppy says:

    Yeah. I’m gonna respectfully back out of the conversation.

    We may disagree on how to deal with this issue, to be called ignorant is not ok.

    Thanks Michael

  57. Michael says:


    On the face of it, your statement that it’s “on them” to flee sounds inhumane and callous if there is nowhere to flee.

    I think it deserves clarification if you know something the rest of us don’t about the situation.

    We’ve all been called far worse than ignorant…clarify what you said.

  58. Officerhoppy says:

    Rather than clarify, I would like to hear what option other than dismantling Hamas, Israel has. Jean?

    I tend to think practically rather than ideally.

  59. Alan says:

    As a frame of reference if 9/11 had been proportional to this incident there would have been 36,000 deaths. And of course that number is fluid though it is unlikely to increase by much.

    Surely Hamas is trying to provoke a conflict that will broaden.

  60. Michael says:


    If you’re not going to clarify the thought it seems that it’s it’s acceptable to you that multiple thousands die as long as they aren’t Israeli dead.

    I don’t think anyone here is advocating for mercy against Hamas…I’m certainly not…if it were possible to extinguish them from the earth I would not be in opposition.

    All I’m saying g is that nothing here is a simple as willing the end of an enemy.

  61. Michael says:

    “Surely Hamas is trying to provoke a conflict that will broaden.”

    With Iranian support…

    There is no end to the possible terror here.

  62. Officerhoppy says:

    Listening to news, Israel is surgically striking Hamas sites in an attempt to spare innocent citizens. They won’t even attack a mosque unless Hamas is there hiding.

    If Hamas is not defeated in Gaza, we can expect them to focus on America.

    With the open borders, I wouldn’t doubt that there are several terrorist cells here

  63. Michael says:

    “With the open borders, I wouldn’t doubt that there are several terrorist cells here”

    You’re right…it would have been better to close the conversation.

    Go back and finish watching Fox…

  64. Officerhoppy says:

    Actually, I’m watching CNN

  65. Officerhoppy says:

    Ok. The only reason I continued to post is you encouraged me to. First I’m called ignorant, then, you make a back handed slam.

    No one has given an alternative for Israel and what to do.

    So, I’m out…which should be cause for applause

  66. Michael says:


    This is simple.

    You made what on the face of it seemed to be a callous statement.

    You were asked to clarify and refused…which indicates no clarification was actually possible.

    You then deflect to another question…which is what we’ve been discussing and if we had a sure answer to would probably lead to jobs at the State Department.

    This is followed by a comment on “open borders” and “terrorist cells” which have received due scorn from me for over a decade.
    My response wasn’t a back handed slam…it was a full frontal assault.

    I don’t play silly games about what I say.

    If you can’t defend a statement…retract it or simply don’t make it in the first place.

  67. Jean says:

    “Listening to news, Israel is surgically striking Hamas sites in an attempt to spare innocent citizens.”

    There you go again. What are these sites that are surgically struck? Entire neighborhoods? Multi-story apartment buildings?

    I’m not in this comment judging what is right or wrong, but let’s be honest. There are few if any, certainly not hundreds or thousands of military installations in Gaza. There are human beings packed like sardines into a small enclosure. Hamas operates within residential areas. That, more or less, is all there is in Gaza.

    So when someone in America says there are no red lines, the implication is he is sanctioning the mass killings of Palestinian civilians and innocents.

    That may be justified, I’m not here judging. Britain and America certainly had no problem fire bombing Dresden, Tokyo and other cities during WWII to break the will of the people by terrorizing them.

    One thing about WWII is that when it was over, and we got the unconditional surrender, we rebuilt and rehabilitated our former enemies. In the current situation, there is never a plan for the future and prospering of the Palestinians. There is never any hope given to them. How can the cycle of hatred and violence ever be broken if a population is never given what the preamble to our Declaration of Independence says are inalienable rights of every human being?

  68. Alan says:

    The war mongers are coalescing. This is not good.

  69. Alan says:

    Hamas will face Israel with American weapons bought with American money. Not hard to find the devil if you just look.

  70. Michael says:

    The demons are everywhere…

  71. Pineapple Head says:

    This opinion resonates with me, as my conversations with a couple really smart Jews in Israel have shared the same perspective. I’d appreciate other thoughts. I certainly don’t have answers to something that is so multi-layered. (It kind of reminds me of some of the marriage counseling I’ve had to do with some really tough couples who’s problems are deep-rooted in decisions that go way back.)

  72. DH says:

    When The Jews and Arabs fight it’s called –
    Family Affair
    – Sly Stone

    After all, they are cousins.

  73. Duane Arnold says:

    O God of all
    Of Abraham, Sarah, Hagar, Isaac, and Ishmael:
    Our hearts are broken in pieces at the suffering and murder of your people.
    Our voices cry for peace and for justice.

    Comfort those who grieve,
    Console and heal the injured,
    Be close to those in fear,
    Restrain with your mighty hand those who perpetrate violence.

    Send us your wisdom in all that we say and do,
    That our voice may always seek justice, peace and security for all.

  74. Em says:

    the DAY is one day closer – IMNSHO

  75. JoelG says:


  76. Michael says:

    Amen and amen….thank you, Duane.

  77. DH says:

    Seems like the best solution now is for the Muslim countries to absorb the people in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank and everyone’s lives would be better. I wonder why they don’t.

  78. The New Victor says:

    DH, Jordan did once, and they revolted. But that isn’t a realistic solution.

    But here’s a point no one is mentioning in the west where it seems Gazabs=all Palestinians: the West Bank isn’t attacking. The politics are complex. This is Hamas.

  79. DH says:

    TNV, I don’t see a 2 state solution happening now, and how many Palestinians want one?

    What else is there?

  80. The New Victor says:

    Driving the jews into the sea isn’t going to happen, despite wishes. Yet the Palestinians aren’t going anywhere, nor should they.

  81. DH says:

    I don’t think refugees return to the country they fled from very often. There are no Jewish refugees who fled Arab countries once Israel declared their independence because Israel absorbed them.

  82. The New Victor says:

    I had a friend in college. Her parents fled Iraq upon founding of the Jewish state, driven out after 2500 years of ancestry.

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