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Another Axis of Evil

On January 29th, 2002, President George W. Bush introduced the phrase “axis of evil.”  The first State of the Union speech following the events of September 11th, 2001, was used to pinpoint the common enemies of the United States.  In an attempt to rally Americans to support the War on Terror, the president elaborated on his theory.  The imminent threat of this axis focused on Iran, Iraq and North Korea.  Bush’s secondary concern involved the countries of Cuba, Libya and Syria.

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world, 1 John 4:1.

Over the weekend, another axis of evil emerged on social media.  In a rush to judge a group of male Catholic high school students wearing Make America Great Again caps, a series of posts on Twitter went viral,  According to eyewitnesses, several people taking videos on their phones said, “we got what we need.”  Instead of doing their do diligence, cable news anchors, journalists and social media members piled on by accusing these teenagers of hatred, racism and violence.

But test everything; hold fast what is good, 1 Thessalonians 5:21.

In the days that have followed, full videos have come out showing the context of what actually happened.  Students were waiting for their bus after attending the Right for Life March, a pro-life event.  When a group of protesters saw some students wearing MAGA hats, these men began to bully. criticize and verbally assault these teenagers.  At this point Nathan Phillips, a Native American got between the black Hebrews Israelites and Covington Catholic members.  As this native American beat his drum, the students got permission from a chaperone to chant one of their school songs to drown out the insults.  When the press interviewed Phillips afterwards, he gave false and misleading statements blaming this confrontation on these white boys that the media ran with this side of the story, igniting a tsunami of hatred.

Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so, Acts 17:11.

When students returned to Kentucky, school had to be cancelled on Tuesday due to death threats.  Parents of these students might lose their jobs due to outrage and protests from leftist groups.  Why is that media mistakes only happen to conservatives and Christians?  I guess the initial story fit the narrative what the media believes about Trump supporters.  Instead of taking incorrect and misleading posts down, few apologies and retractions have been made by members of the mainstream media.  Meanwhile, terrorist threats have been made at this Catholic institution including fears of a potential school shooting.  What happened to the concept of innocent until proven guilty?  Why are members of Hollywood doxing students for supporting president Trump?  If people don’t study the facts before posting news stories, then “fake news” will become another axis of evil.

by Jay Mankus

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Don’t Make a Big Deal About It

In this current age of social media, immediate reactions and thoughts are often broadcast to the world to read.  However, now with the recent addition of Facebook Live, individuals can stream video live that is unfiltered.  When some try to attain 15 seconds of fame like the 4 teenagers in Chicago, that which was meant for good can be corrupted by an axis of evil.

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings, Proverbs 25:2.

During times of uncertainty, people tend to seek out advice, guidance or wisdom to figure out what to do next.  2 Kings 18-20 details the reign of Hezekiah, the king of Judah.  Described as one of the godliest leaders in the Bible, Hezekiah wasn’t satisfied with the pieces of the Old Testament he had access to, seeking out previous writings of Solomon.  One of the suggestions Hezekiah discovered was when something occurs, try not to make a big deal about this.

Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense, Proverbs 19:11.

To extract what Solomon means by the phrase “conceal a matter,” you have to go back a few chapters to understand the true meaning.  Based upon the context of chapter 19, the intent refers to avoid over-reacting.  In the heat of the moment, human nature tempts people to retaliate.  Yet, those who practice self-control by restraining your emotions, it is to God’s glory.

by Jay Mankus

The Rise of the Sons of Ishmael

This summer has seen an increase in acts of terror across the country and throughout the world.  Before the shock of one tragedy sets in, another takes its place, taking the lives of innocent children, men and women.  Cable news experts on terrorism tend to blame the overflow of refuges from Syria taking Jihad into other foreign countries in the name of Isis.  However, the Bible suggests the root of this axis of evil is the rise of the sons of Ishmael.

The angel of the LORD also said to her: “You are now pregnant and you will give birth to a son. You shall name him Ishmael, for the LORD has heard of your misery, Genesis 16:11.

Rarely, does one selfish act of lust result in long lasting consequences.  Yet, when Sarah refused to believe that she would be the grandmother of Israel, panic set in, allowing her husband to have a one night stand with a concubine.  Subsequently, Hagar becomes pregnant, conceives and gives birth to Ishmael, the father of all Arab nations.  This opened the door for the sons of Israel to be haunted and hunted by the descendants of Ishmael.  This was the day that terrorism was born.

He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers,” Genesis 16:12.

The events of today are merely the fulfillment of this prophecy made by an angel of the Lord.  The Bible does not say or suggest that Sarah could have reversed this curse upon the Jews.  Rather, this passage is a painful reminder of how one careless act can impact an entire generation of citizens.  In view of this upsetting news, one of the best things you can do is pray for God’s mercy.  Although everyone will eventually die, prayers for safety can serve as a hedge of protection as the sons of Ishmael continue to rise.

by Jay Mankus

 

The Axis of Evil

As I tuned in periodically to inquire about the motive behind the December 14th school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, I heard a common denominator on cable news networks.  Whether it was a pastor, politician, priest or psychologist, each so called expert or guest panelist mentioned the presence of evil as the cause or reason.  During his State of the Union Address on January 29th, 2002, President George W. Bush used the expression “axis of evil” to describe the forces and powers that contribute to the existence of terrorism in our world.  The Bible breaks down this axis of evil into 3 distinct areas which is vital to fully understand how a 20 year old could commit such a heinous crime.

According to Dr. Ed Murphy, an associate professor of Bible and Missions at San Jose Christian College in California, there are 2 kinds of evil that exist on earth: natural and moral.  Natural evil results from natural elements of the universe like earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions.  Moral evil occurs when man or woman exercise their freewill, resulting in crime, drunk driving deaths, road rage and behaviors mentioned in Galatians 5:19-21.  However, evil exists on 3 levels: within our own sinful nature, the temptations and darkness of the world and in the spiritual realm through demons and evil spirits.

The prophet Jeremiah first spoke about the first level of evil in the Old Testament within Jeremiah 17:9.  Since the origin of sin in the garden, Genesis 3, hearts have been poisoned due to the curse, as everyone born since has been born into a sin nature.  Thus, Adam Lanza’s heart  was vulnerable to deceit.  In fact, Jesus equates murder with hatred in Matthew 5:21-22, making it conceivable for Adam to fall prey to jealousy and hatred like Cain in Genesis 4.

The second level of evil consists of all the distractions which pull you away from God.  While visiting Athens, Greece, the apostle Paul was greatly distressed by the idols which blinded people from knowing the one true God in Acts17:16-23.  Unfortunately, the era of Happy Days is long gone as most Americans have turned away from following God with their whole heart.  Instead of the church influencing the culture, this post-modern society is weakening many believers, resulting in a luke warm Christianity.  It’s likely, no one demonstrated the love of Christ to Adam while he was alive which led him to fall in love with the ways of the world, 1 John 2:15-17.

Finally, the parable of the Sower suggests that the Devil or demons can snatch away the seed of the gospel sown into an individual’s heart, Matthew 13:18-19.  The apostle Paul believes that the god of this age, Satan, Ephesians 2:2, has blinded the minds of unbelievers, preventing know from knowing God, 2 Corinthians 4:4.  Furthermore, Ephesians 4:27 opens up the possibility of allowing the devil to have a foothold in your life.  If this is true, then Adam could have been ensnared into a real life James 1:13-15 situation.  Once these evil thoughts entered his mind, he reached a point of no return.

I don’t claim to know what happened.  Only God knows the answers to this tragic event.  However, I just wanted to illuminate a possibility, using scripture as a road map to show others how the sinful nature influences the heart, which yearns for the world and can come under the influence or possession of unseen forces, leading someone to do the illogical described in Romans 7:14-20.  May this event serve as a spiritual wake-up call, like 9/11/01 did for many, to lead people back on the straight and narrow path, Matthew 7:13-14.  Continue to pray for the Newtown community as they wrestle with God, trying to come to grips with what just happened.  In this time of darkness, remember the promise of Romans 8:38-39.

by Jay Mankus

A student who is continuing to learn about the spiritual realm.

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