Monday, December 21, 2009

The New Reformation?

In the 1500's Martin Luther started the the Reformation. At first, it seemed like a good deal for Jews.

"He wrote in his work entitled, That Jesus Christ Was A Jew:

"For they [Church clergy] have dealt with the Jews as if they were dogs and not human beings. They have done nothing for them but curse them and seize their wealth ... I hope that if the Jews are treated friendly and instructed kindly enough through the Bible, many of them will become real Christians and come back to the ancestral faith of the prophets and patriarchs..."(3)
Naturally, the Jews didn't go for Protestantism either. Their allegiance to Judaism and the Torah had nothing to do with the Christians being nasty to them. To Jews, Christianity was a false religion from the start, and the behavior of the Christians over the years only proved it.

However, Jews did not abandon the Torah and Luther's stance changed dramatically:

Now Martin Luther would further add to that proof. As soon as the Jews rejected his overtures and didn't start converting en masse, Luther, who took this rejection personally, turned into one of the most virulent anti-Semites in history.
A few years later, he wrote in his Concerning The Jews And Their Lies:
"What shall we do with this damned rejected race of Jews since they live among us and we know about their lying and blasphemy and cursing. We cannot tolerate them even if we do not wish to share their lives, curses and blasphemy. Perhaps we can spare a few of them from the fire and flames. Let me give you my honest advice..."(4)
Luther's "honest advice" outlined a plan for dealing with the Jews. It included:

burn all synagogues
destroy Jewish holy books
forbid rabbis to teach
destroy Jewish homes
ban Jews from roads and markets
forbid Jews to make loans
seize Jewish property
force Jews to do hard labor
expel Jews from Christian towns

Recently, some GOP had a prayer session to vote against providing health care to millions of Americans. The prayer was led by Lou Engle, founder of TheCall. Some background on Lou Engle:

In previous stories [1, 2] I've detailed Lou Engle's political extremity - video from a November 1, 2008 TheCall event shows Engle onstage at San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium calling for acts of Christian martyrdom to stop legal abortion and gay marriage. Engle has forecast that legalized abortion will lead to a second American civil war and appeared, in the documentary "Jesus Camp," alongside Becky Fischer - who specializes in evangelizing children and has stated she would like Christian children to learn to be as dedicated as Hamas suicide bombers.

[Top, Left: Becky Fischer admires the dedication of Hamas' young suicide bombers. Top, Right: Lou Engle predicts legalized abortion will lead to a second American civil war, TheCall Kansas City, December 31, 2007. Bottom, Left: Lou Engle calls for martyrs, at TheCall San Diego, November 1, 2008. Bottom, Right: Lou Engle, at Jesus Camp, indoctrinates children as future antiabortion movement warriors.].


Engle's role as leader of TheCall has now received some mainstream media notice but the source of his influence is still largely unknown. Lou Engle serves, alongside Sarah Palin's prayer group leader Mary Glazier, on the Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders, one of the key leadership groups wielding influence over a sprawling, global new incarnation of the religious right known as the New Apostolic Reformation.

As detailed in a recent Talk To Action report, Peter Wagner's New Apostolic Reformation has played a major role in inspiring and organizing Ugandan legislators behind the draconian "kill the gays" bill before Uganda's parliament.

A quick google search shows the extremism of the group Palin belongs to. Evangelicals have succeeded in making their extreme views mainstream.

Palin's groupd shares the following beliefs:

In September 2008, shortly after John McCain had picked Sarah Palin as a running mate, footage surfaced from an October 2005 ceremony, held at what many argue is by far Sarah Palin's most important church, the Wasilla Assembly of God. In the footage, saved by a blogger before the church partially scrubbed video and audio of past sermons and events from its website archive, Kenyan evangelist Thomas Muthee officiated over a strange ceremony in which Muthee and two other pastors blessed and anointed Sarah Palin and called upon God to protect her from "every spirit of witchcraft."

Before the ceremony Muthee gave a short speech, during which he advocated that the Christian church should "infiltrate" seven key sectors of society (including business, government, education, and media). During that speech, Muthee claimed that "Israelites" "run the economics" of America. But Bishop Muthee's apparently anti-Jewish attack was mild compared to those of some of his colleagues. Muthee is a prominent celebrity in the religious movement described below.

Sarah Palin's least scrutinized but arguably most significant religious influence, is Alaskan evangelist Mary Glazier, whose personal prayer group Palin joined in 1989 according to Glazier (linked Glazier talk from June 13, 2008 conference held near Seattle). Multiple sources including a January 2009 article in what has become the flagship magazine for American charismatic Christians, Charisma, have confirmed the Palin-Glazier relationship continued into 2008. Glazier's prayer warriors began praying for Sarah Palin's political success nearly two decades ago because, as Glazier was quoted in the Charisma article, "We felt then that she was the one God had selected."

As I've described in a recent Talk To Action story, late in September 2008 Mary Glazier sent out, through her personal prayer networks, a "prophetic warning" suggesting that a tragic act of terrorism might soon leave Sarah Palin alone with the American flag, "stepping into an office that she was mantled for." Glazier's warning appeared to suggest that John McCain would win the 2008 election but be killed in a terrorist attack, leaving Sarah Palin to become president.

Mary Glazier is no random evangelist - she is a high level leader and a prophet in the rapidly coalescing religious movement known as the New Apostolic Reformation. Glazier is also an "apostle" in its central leadership group, the International Coalition of Apostles, formed in 2001. In a January 7th, 2009 appearance at the Wasilla Assembly of God, Glazier's fellow ICA apostle Dutch Sheets credited Glazier with bringing the New Apostolic Reformation to Alaska. At least 5 leaders in the movement, including three ICA apostles, have appeared at the Wasilla Assembly of God. In June 2008, Sarah Palin spent Alaska State travel funds to fly from Juneau to the Mat-Su Valley, to attend two Wasilla Assembly of God related events.

There's a dangerous convergence of extreme beliefs and acceptance by mainstream leaders. This is the path that has led in the past to Hitler, Stalin, Mao, the Khmer Rouge, Idi Amin, etc. This new reformation that for now is primarily directed at gays and abortion clinics and doctors can lead to others being targeted. We've seen an abortion doctor murdered. We've seen a rise in Jews being targeted and murdered. We've seen a rise in synagogues being vandalized. And that is just in this country.

Gays are accused of being possessed. Right now, gays and abortion doctors and clinics are the most visible targets of groups like Engle's and Palin's.

Are we going to let this continued to be mainstreamed or we going to do something about it? Join your local Rainbow Alliance. Reach out to gay friends and relatives and let them know you support them.

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