Egypt explodes

The Egyptian protests against its authoritarian regime have escalated, to the point of revolution.  Even though President Mubarak has shut off internet access and most cell phone connections, the protesters have succeeded in shutting down the government.  The army was called out, but is apparently taking the side of the people, a key development in a military dictatorship.  The police had been battling the protesters with truncheons, tear gas, and guns.  The death toll is unknown.  But now the police have disappeared.

Instead of freedom, we now see social breakdown.  Looters are plundering everything, as they did in Iraq when Saddam’s regime was overthrown.  A culture that relies on strong external controls to ensure social order can go wild when those external controls are no longer there.  That seems to be happening here.  Are all Islamic countries going to do that, due to being all Law, as opposed to societies influenced by Christianity, which stresses inner transformation through the Gospel?  Meanwhile, in Egypt, the jihadist Muslim Brotherhood is organizing vigilantes to protect people’s property.  That’s an ominous sign.

See Egypt vigilantes defend homes as police disappear | Reuters

And now the Arab revolution seems to have now spread to Jordan!

An op-ed piece in the Washington Post says that the uprisings show that George Bush was right, that people in the Islamic world do crave freedom and democracy. Maybe so. Then again, it didn’t take us invading to bring down these tyrannies. But what kind of freedom are the people getting?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • WebMonk

    Yes, there is a lot of looting, but there are also a lot of areas where neighborhoods and communities have gathered together to stop looting, including communities that have gotten together and gone to protect other places such as the Cairo museum.

    I haven’t been on top of the situation for over 24 hours now, so things may have changed, but as of Saturday morning at least, there were a lot of those communities banding together to stop looting and violence.

  • WebMonk

    Yes, there is a lot of looting, but there are also a lot of areas where neighborhoods and communities have gathered together to stop looting, including communities that have gotten together and gone to protect other places such as the Cairo museum.

    I haven’t been on top of the situation for over 24 hours now, so things may have changed, but as of Saturday morning at least, there were a lot of those communities banding together to stop looting and violence.

  • http://blogforthelordjesuscurrentevents.wordpress.com Mike Gantt

    “Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” I pray that Egyptians find Him without getting caught up in church.

  • http://blogforthelordjesuscurrentevents.wordpress.com Mike Gantt

    “Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” I pray that Egyptians find Him without getting caught up in church.

  • cc

    And you expected revolt from a dictator who has repressed a country with his fist for 30 years to be calm, peaceful and orderly? What country wouldn’t devolve for a time if law enforcement lost power? Take New Orleans during Katrina — I don’t think a Christian influenced society would be any better in the same situation. Although, people like Ayman Nour have been jailed for years for what the common Egyptian has the freedom to do today — call for change.

  • cc

    And you expected revolt from a dictator who has repressed a country with his fist for 30 years to be calm, peaceful and orderly? What country wouldn’t devolve for a time if law enforcement lost power? Take New Orleans during Katrina — I don’t think a Christian influenced society would be any better in the same situation. Although, people like Ayman Nour have been jailed for years for what the common Egyptian has the freedom to do today — call for change.

  • Tom Hering

    cc @ 3: It isn’t so much that law enforcement has lost power in Egypt, as it is that Egyptian police are part of the lawlessness. The damage done to the Cairo Museum was done by a gang of policemen. Which reveals that at least some portion of the police force was never anything more than thugs with badges. (Which, to a much lesser degree, turned out to be the case in New Orleans, too.) So I wouldn’t read too much “people power” into pictures of policemen “supporting” the mobs.

    Matt Gant @ 2: At the risk of diverting this thread, what does it matter if Egyptians get caught up in church if – as your website teaches – Jesus has already come again and absolutely everyone on Earth is going to Heaven?

  • Tom Hering

    cc @ 3: It isn’t so much that law enforcement has lost power in Egypt, as it is that Egyptian police are part of the lawlessness. The damage done to the Cairo Museum was done by a gang of policemen. Which reveals that at least some portion of the police force was never anything more than thugs with badges. (Which, to a much lesser degree, turned out to be the case in New Orleans, too.) So I wouldn’t read too much “people power” into pictures of policemen “supporting” the mobs.

    Matt Gant @ 2: At the risk of diverting this thread, what does it matter if Egyptians get caught up in church if – as your website teaches – Jesus has already come again and absolutely everyone on Earth is going to Heaven?

  • Michael Z.

    While I agree that Mubarak was an authoritarian dictator, I am worried that “democracy” in Egypt will just produce another country like Lebanon that is the puppet of Islamic terror groups supported by radicals.

  • Michael Z.

    While I agree that Mubarak was an authoritarian dictator, I am worried that “democracy” in Egypt will just produce another country like Lebanon that is the puppet of Islamic terror groups supported by radicals.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    What, no social trust? You mean Egypt is not a high trust society?

    Who knew?

    Someone on this very blog mocked me for saying social trust and personal safety are very important. Case in point. So, Egyptians want a new government, okay. So, why are they looting? Was there looting at the fall of the Berlin Wall?

    Here is another group of people who wanted a new government:

    http://www.singingrevolution.com/

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    What, no social trust? You mean Egypt is not a high trust society?

    Who knew?

    Someone on this very blog mocked me for saying social trust and personal safety are very important. Case in point. So, Egyptians want a new government, okay. So, why are they looting? Was there looting at the fall of the Berlin Wall?

    Here is another group of people who wanted a new government:

    http://www.singingrevolution.com/

  • Tom Hering

    Oops! That should have been “Mike Gantt @ 2.” Sorry.

  • Tom Hering

    Oops! That should have been “Mike Gantt @ 2.” Sorry.

  • Joe

    That the Egyptians want seems to be a huge assumption on our part. All we know is that they want something other than Mubarak. I am fairly confident that the Muslim Brotherhood and its supports do not want freedom or liberty. They want only a different kind of oppression. The oppression of the law of Allah. Whether these make up the majority or the minority remains unclear. Even if they are the minority, they are well funded and organized – in short, they are the likely winners of this revolt, not liberty.

  • Joe

    That the Egyptians want seems to be a huge assumption on our part. All we know is that they want something other than Mubarak. I am fairly confident that the Muslim Brotherhood and its supports do not want freedom or liberty. They want only a different kind of oppression. The oppression of the law of Allah. Whether these make up the majority or the minority remains unclear. Even if they are the minority, they are well funded and organized – in short, they are the likely winners of this revolt, not liberty.

  • Pingback: Tweets that mention Egypt explodes | Cranach: The Blog of Veith -- Topsy.com

  • Pingback: Tweets that mention Egypt explodes | Cranach: The Blog of Veith -- Topsy.com

  • Joe

    should be “That the Egyptians want Freedom seems to be …”

  • Joe

    should be “That the Egyptians want Freedom seems to be …”

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Talking to a Sudanese friend yesterday, he was asking me where it was in the Bible that when Sudan has peace, Egypt will not. I told him I wasn’t aware of that verse, but thought it was quite the interesting thought. They are on the same river, after all.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Talking to a Sudanese friend yesterday, he was asking me where it was in the Bible that when Sudan has peace, Egypt will not. I told him I wasn’t aware of that verse, but thought it was quite the interesting thought. They are on the same river, after all.

  • Porcell

    Joe is right that if the Muslim Brotherhood succeeds in taking power, the Egyptians will likely end up with a worst oppressor than Mubarak, as the Iranians learned replacing the Shah with the Mullahs.

    Stephen Hadley, Bush’s National Security Council head, in a WSJ piece today writes that the Bush II and other administrations privately and publicly urged Mubarak to allow moderate political opposition parties, which he rejected ending up with the Muslim Brotherhood as the only organized opposition party.

    Hadley, though concerned thinks there is a decent chance of something better. He writes:

    If given an array of choices, I believe that the Egyptian people will choose a democratic future of freedom and not an Islamist future of imposed extremism. While the Muslim Brotherhood, if legalized, would certainly win seats in a new parliament, there is every likelihood that the next Egyptian government will not be a Muslim Brotherhood government but a non-Islamist one committed to building a free and democratic Egypt.

    Such a government would still pose real challenges to U.S. policy in many areas. But with all eyes in the region on Egypt, it would be a good outcome nonetheless. With a large population and rich cultural heritage, Egypt has always been a leader in the Middle East. Now it has the opportunity to become what it always should have been—the leader of a movement toward freedom and democracy in the Arab world.

  • Porcell

    Joe is right that if the Muslim Brotherhood succeeds in taking power, the Egyptians will likely end up with a worst oppressor than Mubarak, as the Iranians learned replacing the Shah with the Mullahs.

    Stephen Hadley, Bush’s National Security Council head, in a WSJ piece today writes that the Bush II and other administrations privately and publicly urged Mubarak to allow moderate political opposition parties, which he rejected ending up with the Muslim Brotherhood as the only organized opposition party.

    Hadley, though concerned thinks there is a decent chance of something better. He writes:

    If given an array of choices, I believe that the Egyptian people will choose a democratic future of freedom and not an Islamist future of imposed extremism. While the Muslim Brotherhood, if legalized, would certainly win seats in a new parliament, there is every likelihood that the next Egyptian government will not be a Muslim Brotherhood government but a non-Islamist one committed to building a free and democratic Egypt.

    Such a government would still pose real challenges to U.S. policy in many areas. But with all eyes in the region on Egypt, it would be a good outcome nonetheless. With a large population and rich cultural heritage, Egypt has always been a leader in the Middle East. Now it has the opportunity to become what it always should have been—the leader of a movement toward freedom and democracy in the Arab world.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Mike Gantt @ 2

    I checked out your name link.

    http://blogforthelordjesus.wordpress.com/2010/07/09/the-half-of-the-gospel-has-not-been-told/

    “You’ve heard that God wants you to go to church, or be baptized, or take communion? He doesn’t care about any of those things; He wants you to live right.”

    Half the Gospel has not been told? Do you mean the half of the Gospel that is Law?

    Sorry, can’t go there.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Mike Gantt @ 2

    I checked out your name link.

    http://blogforthelordjesus.wordpress.com/2010/07/09/the-half-of-the-gospel-has-not-been-told/

    “You’ve heard that God wants you to go to church, or be baptized, or take communion? He doesn’t care about any of those things; He wants you to live right.”

    Half the Gospel has not been told? Do you mean the half of the Gospel that is Law?

    Sorry, can’t go there.

  • http://lastdanceofthejackalope.blogspot.com JD Loofbourrow

    “…Then he [the interpreter] took Christian by the hand and led him into a very large parlor that was full of dust because it was never swept. After a little while the interpreter called for a man to sweep and, when he began to do so, the dust flew about so abundantly that Christian almost choked on it. Then said the interpreter to a young women who stood near by: ‘Bring water here and sprinkle the room.’ and when she had done this it was pleasantly swept and cleansed…”
    John Bunion. “The Pilgrims Progress.”

    I love former President Gorge Bush, but I have to disagree with him here. I think people mistake a hunger for freedom for a hunger for power. I personally believe that a democratic republic, such as ours, is only truly functional so long as it remains founded on the truths of the gospel; out of which flows the quality of morality necessary to fuel such a system. The more a people strays from the gospel the more of a strain they put on the system until it eventually falls apart. I don’t see how a democratic republic can function very well apart from such presuppositions.

    President George Bush did what he could in Iraq. But I have to wonder what the effect would have been if he had sent missionaries instead of troops, if he’d have dropped bibles instead of bombs. After all, wasn’t it the gospel and the love of the saints by the Spirit of Christ, that eventually overturned the Roman Empire? I know that there is a time to drop bombs and send troops and I know that that is the prerogative of the government, but perhaps if we were not bound by the “freedoms” of secularism and perhaps if we were patient with the process of evangelism we would have seen a very different outcome.

    I think the same is true for Egypt. The nations will rage and plot and scheme. No matter what political system the construct, if they build it not on Christ, they build on sand. It really is more the place of the church to establish stability than it is the place of the American government. I am praying for my brothers and sisters who are in Egypt. I am praying that God would bring peace through the church to Egypt to Israel and to the ends of the earth.

    What kind of freedom are the people getting? I don’t know that they will ever have any freedom until they find it first and fully in Christ; which is no different for us in America. You can’t have freedom apart from morality and you can’t have real morality without the gospel of Jesus Christ.

  • http://lastdanceofthejackalope.blogspot.com JD Loofbourrow

    “…Then he [the interpreter] took Christian by the hand and led him into a very large parlor that was full of dust because it was never swept. After a little while the interpreter called for a man to sweep and, when he began to do so, the dust flew about so abundantly that Christian almost choked on it. Then said the interpreter to a young women who stood near by: ‘Bring water here and sprinkle the room.’ and when she had done this it was pleasantly swept and cleansed…”
    John Bunion. “The Pilgrims Progress.”

    I love former President Gorge Bush, but I have to disagree with him here. I think people mistake a hunger for freedom for a hunger for power. I personally believe that a democratic republic, such as ours, is only truly functional so long as it remains founded on the truths of the gospel; out of which flows the quality of morality necessary to fuel such a system. The more a people strays from the gospel the more of a strain they put on the system until it eventually falls apart. I don’t see how a democratic republic can function very well apart from such presuppositions.

    President George Bush did what he could in Iraq. But I have to wonder what the effect would have been if he had sent missionaries instead of troops, if he’d have dropped bibles instead of bombs. After all, wasn’t it the gospel and the love of the saints by the Spirit of Christ, that eventually overturned the Roman Empire? I know that there is a time to drop bombs and send troops and I know that that is the prerogative of the government, but perhaps if we were not bound by the “freedoms” of secularism and perhaps if we were patient with the process of evangelism we would have seen a very different outcome.

    I think the same is true for Egypt. The nations will rage and plot and scheme. No matter what political system the construct, if they build it not on Christ, they build on sand. It really is more the place of the church to establish stability than it is the place of the American government. I am praying for my brothers and sisters who are in Egypt. I am praying that God would bring peace through the church to Egypt to Israel and to the ends of the earth.

    What kind of freedom are the people getting? I don’t know that they will ever have any freedom until they find it first and fully in Christ; which is no different for us in America. You can’t have freedom apart from morality and you can’t have real morality without the gospel of Jesus Christ.

  • Joe

    “After all, wasn’t it the gospel and the love of the saints by the Spirit of Christ, that eventually overturned the Roman Empire?”

    Well, no. Actually, it wasn’t. In fact the Empire functioned quite well after it became an expressly Christian Empire. What caused its downfall was much more economic in nature.

  • Joe

    “After all, wasn’t it the gospel and the love of the saints by the Spirit of Christ, that eventually overturned the Roman Empire?”

    Well, no. Actually, it wasn’t. In fact the Empire functioned quite well after it became an expressly Christian Empire. What caused its downfall was much more economic in nature.

  • Porcell

    Mr. Loofbourrow, Bush understands that people derive their greatest freedom from a sincere belief in Christ and obedience to moral law. He has much to say about this in his recent book, Decision Points.

    When Bush argues that the desire for freedom is universal, he is talking about the sort of political freedom that Americans have been blessed with that includes free speech, religion, and economy. Just now in Tunisia and Egypt some people are actually putting their lives on the line tom achieve this sort of freedom. Of course, a rabble element, careless of freedom, is involved in looting and destruction, though this doesn’t detract from the main thrust of the people.

    Dropping bibles on Iraq and Egypt, however well meant, would be a futile, moralistic gesture.

  • Porcell

    Mr. Loofbourrow, Bush understands that people derive their greatest freedom from a sincere belief in Christ and obedience to moral law. He has much to say about this in his recent book, Decision Points.

    When Bush argues that the desire for freedom is universal, he is talking about the sort of political freedom that Americans have been blessed with that includes free speech, religion, and economy. Just now in Tunisia and Egypt some people are actually putting their lives on the line tom achieve this sort of freedom. Of course, a rabble element, careless of freedom, is involved in looting and destruction, though this doesn’t detract from the main thrust of the people.

    Dropping bibles on Iraq and Egypt, however well meant, would be a futile, moralistic gesture.

  • Grace

    13 JD Loofbourrow

    You’re idea isn’t realistic – it isn’t our governments job to drop Bibles, …. missionaries go out, and in many cases they are slaughtered for their faith, and those who believe suffer great persecution.

    YouTube – Egypt: Muslim Persecution of Christians II

  • Grace

    13 JD Loofbourrow

    You’re idea isn’t realistic – it isn’t our governments job to drop Bibles, …. missionaries go out, and in many cases they are slaughtered for their faith, and those who believe suffer great persecution.

    YouTube – Egypt: Muslim Persecution of Christians II

  • Grace

    Post16 should have read:

    Your idea………

  • Grace

    Post16 should have read:

    Your idea………

  • Grace

    Porcell, my husband read Bush’s book Decision Points he too found the book very insightful. His friends are now reading the book, and they too have enjoyed it immensely.

  • Grace

    Porcell, my husband read Bush’s book Decision Points he too found the book very insightful. His friends are now reading the book, and they too have enjoyed it immensely.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Dr. Veith, this quote struck me as odd: “Are all Islamic countries going to do that, due to being all Law, as opposed to societies influenced by Christianity, which stresses inner transformation through the Gospel?”

    Is it possible to “stress inner transformation” and still call it “Gospel”? Because that certainly sounds like Law to me! “You should do this, and you should think like that” — is that Law or Gospel? Or have I misunderstood?

    I agree that “A culture that relies on strong external controls to ensure social order can go wild when those external controls are no longer there.” But are Christian societies any less ruled by laws or hemmed in by Law? And when external controls in our Christian society disappear or break down, what happens? We, too, get rioting.

    I think SG has a better handle on this (@6) with her mentioning of “high-trust societies”.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Dr. Veith, this quote struck me as odd: “Are all Islamic countries going to do that, due to being all Law, as opposed to societies influenced by Christianity, which stresses inner transformation through the Gospel?”

    Is it possible to “stress inner transformation” and still call it “Gospel”? Because that certainly sounds like Law to me! “You should do this, and you should think like that” — is that Law or Gospel? Or have I misunderstood?

    I agree that “A culture that relies on strong external controls to ensure social order can go wild when those external controls are no longer there.” But are Christian societies any less ruled by laws or hemmed in by Law? And when external controls in our Christian society disappear or break down, what happens? We, too, get rioting.

    I think SG has a better handle on this (@6) with her mentioning of “high-trust societies”.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Joe said (@8):

    That the Egyptians want seems to be a huge assumption on our part. All we know is that they want something other than Mubarak. I am fairly confident that the Muslim Brotherhood and its supports do not want freedom or liberty. They want only a different kind of oppression.

    So, Joe, how is it that we can’t know what all Egyptians want, but we can know what the Muslim Brotherhood wants?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Joe said (@8):

    That the Egyptians want seems to be a huge assumption on our part. All we know is that they want something other than Mubarak. I am fairly confident that the Muslim Brotherhood and its supports do not want freedom or liberty. They want only a different kind of oppression.

    So, Joe, how is it that we can’t know what all Egyptians want, but we can know what the Muslim Brotherhood wants?

  • Porcell

    Todd, only a carping critic would take umbrage regarding Panek’s six-tenths of a point distortion regarding material matter. His essential point is beyond question.

  • Porcell

    Todd, only a carping critic would take umbrage regarding Panek’s six-tenths of a point distortion regarding material matter. His essential point is beyond question.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “we can know what the Muslim Brotherhood wants”

    Have they made public statements about the direction they believe the country should go?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “we can know what the Muslim Brotherhood wants”

    Have they made public statements about the direction they believe the country should go?

  • Porcell

    Sorry, 21 was intended for another thread.

  • Porcell

    Sorry, 21 was intended for another thread.

  • SKPeterson

    @Porcell – well we can still call Todd a carping critic on this thread too. I think he’s big enough to take it here or there.

    As to Todd’s point vis-a-vis Joe @20, I don’t think we know what form of government the Muslim Brotherhood would hold to. They don’t seem to come across as a Sunni version of the Khomeinists and may be closer to being an Egyptian version of Turkey’s Justice and Development Party.

    Also, since the Muslim Brotherhood has been the only long-term opposition it may be a very large tent, with almost al Qaeda types to J&D types across a spectrum.. If the Brotherhood does take power, it will be interesting to see if it holds together or splinters. One also hopes that there is not a reactionary backlash against the Christian minority.

  • SKPeterson

    @Porcell – well we can still call Todd a carping critic on this thread too. I think he’s big enough to take it here or there.

    As to Todd’s point vis-a-vis Joe @20, I don’t think we know what form of government the Muslim Brotherhood would hold to. They don’t seem to come across as a Sunni version of the Khomeinists and may be closer to being an Egyptian version of Turkey’s Justice and Development Party.

    Also, since the Muslim Brotherhood has been the only long-term opposition it may be a very large tent, with almost al Qaeda types to J&D types across a spectrum.. If the Brotherhood does take power, it will be interesting to see if it holds together or splinters. One also hopes that there is not a reactionary backlash against the Christian minority.

  • Grace

    sg – 22

    “Have they made public statements about the direction they believe the country should go?”

    You must you the bar to the left to read the Statement.

    Statement from the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt

    08/01/2007

    http://www.awrd.net/look/en-article.tpl?IdLanguage=1&IdPublication=1&NrArticle=1501&NrIssue=2&NrSection=1

  • Grace

    sg – 22

    “Have they made public statements about the direction they believe the country should go?”

    You must you the bar to the left to read the Statement.

    Statement from the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt

    08/01/2007

    http://www.awrd.net/look/en-article.tpl?IdLanguage=1&IdPublication=1&NrArticle=1501&NrIssue=2&NrSection=1

  • Porcell

    Todd Is it possible to “stress inner transformation” and still call it “Gospel”? Because that certainly sounds like Law to me! “You should do this, and you should think like that” — is that Law or Gospel?…

    Actually, Gospel, as Lindberg suggests, involves an inner transformation that results in transformed earthly behavior. Limiting Gospel to only spiritual transformation ignores Jesus’ definite teachings as to earthly behavior. The Sermon on the Mount and the Parables are quite clear on how we must conduct ourselves on earth in order to pass through the narrow gate to eternal life. We Shall be judged by our faith as well as the of our faith.

    Jesus was rather clear that he came to fulfill the Law, not to annul it. He understood that Christians must be obedient to moral law while attempting to go beyond it in spirit and love. That’s why the Lutherans and other serious churches have catechisms.

  • Porcell

    Todd Is it possible to “stress inner transformation” and still call it “Gospel”? Because that certainly sounds like Law to me! “You should do this, and you should think like that” — is that Law or Gospel?…

    Actually, Gospel, as Lindberg suggests, involves an inner transformation that results in transformed earthly behavior. Limiting Gospel to only spiritual transformation ignores Jesus’ definite teachings as to earthly behavior. The Sermon on the Mount and the Parables are quite clear on how we must conduct ourselves on earth in order to pass through the narrow gate to eternal life. We Shall be judged by our faith as well as the of our faith.

    Jesus was rather clear that he came to fulfill the Law, not to annul it. He understood that Christians must be obedient to moral law while attempting to go beyond it in spirit and love. That’s why the Lutherans and other serious churches have catechisms.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    If the problems are primarily economic, will the folks be satisfied with just the gov’t becoming an islamic republic? Do they associate Mubarak with secular gov’t and mistakenly believe that a more expressly islamic gov’t will be an economic help to them? Is that plausible? That seems almost superstitious, which they could be, I guess.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    If the problems are primarily economic, will the folks be satisfied with just the gov’t becoming an islamic republic? Do they associate Mubarak with secular gov’t and mistakenly believe that a more expressly islamic gov’t will be an economic help to them? Is that plausible? That seems almost superstitious, which they could be, I guess.

  • Grace

    Israel shocked by Obama’s “betrayal” of Mubarak
    By Douglas Hamilton

    JERUSALEM | Mon Jan 31, 2011

    “(Reuters) – If Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak is toppled, Israel will lose one of its very few friends in a hostile neighborhood and President Barack Obama will bear a large share of the blame, Israeli pundits said on Monday.

    Political commentators expressed shock at how the United States as well as its major European allies appeared to be ready to dump a staunch strategic ally of three decades, simply to conform to the current ideology of political correctness.

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has told ministers of the Jewish state to make no comment on the political cliffhanger in Cairo, to avoid inflaming an already explosive situation. But Israel’s President Shimon Peres is not a minister.

    “We always have had and still have great respect for President Mubarak,” he said on Monday. He then switched to the past tense. “I don’t say everything that he did was right, but he did one thing which all of us are thankful to him for: he kept the peace in the Middle East.”

    Read the rest: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/01/31/us-egypt-israel-usa-idUSTRE70U53720110131

  • Grace

    Israel shocked by Obama’s “betrayal” of Mubarak
    By Douglas Hamilton

    JERUSALEM | Mon Jan 31, 2011

    “(Reuters) – If Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak is toppled, Israel will lose one of its very few friends in a hostile neighborhood and President Barack Obama will bear a large share of the blame, Israeli pundits said on Monday.

    Political commentators expressed shock at how the United States as well as its major European allies appeared to be ready to dump a staunch strategic ally of three decades, simply to conform to the current ideology of political correctness.

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has told ministers of the Jewish state to make no comment on the political cliffhanger in Cairo, to avoid inflaming an already explosive situation. But Israel’s President Shimon Peres is not a minister.

    “We always have had and still have great respect for President Mubarak,” he said on Monday. He then switched to the past tense. “I don’t say everything that he did was right, but he did one thing which all of us are thankful to him for: he kept the peace in the Middle East.”

    Read the rest: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/01/31/us-egypt-israel-usa-idUSTRE70U53720110131

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “You must you the bar to the left to read the Statement.”

    Okay, I read the statement. I figure your comment contains a typo. Can you explain what you meant.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “You must you the bar to the left to read the Statement.”

    Okay, I read the statement. I figure your comment contains a typo. Can you explain what you meant.

  • Porcell

    In the above, second para., I meant that we shall be judged our faith as well as by the fruit of our faith.

  • Porcell

    In the above, second para., I meant that we shall be judged our faith as well as by the fruit of our faith.

  • Joe

    tODD@2o

    The Muslim Brotherhood has a platform, they openly advocate for an Islamist State. As stated in their Credo:

    “Allah is our objective; the Quran is our constitution, the Prophet is our leader; Jihad is our way; and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations.”

    And in their statement of principles:

    to instill the Qur’an and Sunnah as the “sole reference point for … ordering the life of the Muslim family, individual, community … and state.”

    They call for sharia to be instituted in Egypt and everywhere else, but have called for this to be a non-violent transformation. That however does not make the result – sharia law any less oppressive. They also seek the reinstitution of the caliphate – so they look to spread sharia law well beyond the boundaries of the Arab/Muslim world.

    To be sure, not everyone on the street protesting is in agreement with the Muslim Brotherhood. But the MB is the only well organized and well funded opposition party in Egypt. They are the most likely candidate to fill the power vacuum being created.

  • Joe

    tODD@2o

    The Muslim Brotherhood has a platform, they openly advocate for an Islamist State. As stated in their Credo:

    “Allah is our objective; the Quran is our constitution, the Prophet is our leader; Jihad is our way; and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations.”

    And in their statement of principles:

    to instill the Qur’an and Sunnah as the “sole reference point for … ordering the life of the Muslim family, individual, community … and state.”

    They call for sharia to be instituted in Egypt and everywhere else, but have called for this to be a non-violent transformation. That however does not make the result – sharia law any less oppressive. They also seek the reinstitution of the caliphate – so they look to spread sharia law well beyond the boundaries of the Arab/Muslim world.

    To be sure, not everyone on the street protesting is in agreement with the Muslim Brotherhood. But the MB is the only well organized and well funded opposition party in Egypt. They are the most likely candidate to fill the power vacuum being created.

  • Grace

    sg – 29 – “Okay, I read the statement. I figure your comment contains a typo. Can you explain what you meant.”

    Yep, it was a typo.

    sg, you asked a question, post 22 – “Have they made public statements about the direction they believe the country should go?” – I gave you a link to the statement they made back in 2007 -

    I haven’t made a statement, nor am I going to do so right now.

  • Grace

    sg – 29 – “Okay, I read the statement. I figure your comment contains a typo. Can you explain what you meant.”

    Yep, it was a typo.

    sg, you asked a question, post 22 – “Have they made public statements about the direction they believe the country should go?” – I gave you a link to the statement they made back in 2007 -

    I haven’t made a statement, nor am I going to do so right now.

  • Porcell

    sg, If the problems are primarily economic, will the folks be satisfied with just the gov’t becoming an islamic republic? Good question.

    It’s possible that the Muslim Brotherhood will appeal to enough of the Egyptian people to win a fair election, in which case the Egyptians shall suffer, like the Iranians, a cruel, radical Islamic regime and then eventually expel it. History tends to be a cruel process, even among democracies.

  • Porcell

    sg, If the problems are primarily economic, will the folks be satisfied with just the gov’t becoming an islamic republic? Good question.

    It’s possible that the Muslim Brotherhood will appeal to enough of the Egyptian people to win a fair election, in which case the Egyptians shall suffer, like the Iranians, a cruel, radical Islamic regime and then eventually expel it. History tends to be a cruel process, even among democracies.

  • Tom Hering

    What I’ve been hearing today in radio interviews with “Egypt experts” is that this uprising has little to do with freedom and tyranny, and a lot to do with the growing gap between rich and poor over the last decade. Class warfare. Mubarak is despised as a symbol of the Westernized rich in Egypt, and as the leader of the security forces who’ve oppressed the poor. If the Muslim Brotherhood gains power, it will be because of the network of social services they’ve provided for the poor. (Half the population survives on $2 a day.)

  • Tom Hering

    What I’ve been hearing today in radio interviews with “Egypt experts” is that this uprising has little to do with freedom and tyranny, and a lot to do with the growing gap between rich and poor over the last decade. Class warfare. Mubarak is despised as a symbol of the Westernized rich in Egypt, and as the leader of the security forces who’ve oppressed the poor. If the Muslim Brotherhood gains power, it will be because of the network of social services they’ve provided for the poor. (Half the population survives on $2 a day.)

  • Joe

    “If the Muslim Brotherhood gains power, it will be because of the network of social services they’ve provided for the poor. ”

    Agreed. They have (mostly) taken a non-violent path toward their goals including the provision of all kinds of services. The provision of social services is fairly standard practice for islamist groups – even those of a violent nature tend to run hospitals, build schools etc. It is a mix of populism and strict sharia law. The popularity of such groups is actually fairly easy to understand.

  • Joe

    “If the Muslim Brotherhood gains power, it will be because of the network of social services they’ve provided for the poor. ”

    Agreed. They have (mostly) taken a non-violent path toward their goals including the provision of all kinds of services. The provision of social services is fairly standard practice for islamist groups – even those of a violent nature tend to run hospitals, build schools etc. It is a mix of populism and strict sharia law. The popularity of such groups is actually fairly easy to understand.

  • Porcell

    Tom, at 34, Western rich folk live in nations with relatively few poor people and a substantial middle class. In the West, normally, if one has a high-school diploma and stays married, reasonably comfortable middle-status may be achieved.

    In Egypt under Mubarak upper class folk have a way of grinding down the poor. Your suggestion that the situation in Egypt is parallel to that of the West is mistaken.

  • Porcell

    Tom, at 34, Western rich folk live in nations with relatively few poor people and a substantial middle class. In the West, normally, if one has a high-school diploma and stays married, reasonably comfortable middle-status may be achieved.

    In Egypt under Mubarak upper class folk have a way of grinding down the poor. Your suggestion that the situation in Egypt is parallel to that of the West is mistaken.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “this uprising has little to do with freedom and tyranny, and a lot to do with the growing gap between rich and poor over the last decade.”

    Assuming that is the case, the hope for democracy is somewhat unfounded. People with the ability to be basically middle class have a shot at democracy. But a small elite and 80 million poor looks bad on paper. I mean that is what happened in Mexico. The poor grew in number but their standard of living didn’t, and the rich stayed about the same in number and got richer. So, the income disparity grew to till it became the worst in the world. Their economies/income gap aren’t altogether different. They need jobs for their people and economy, but the rich who have the ability to develop them don’t need the money too badly because they are already part of the in club of folks who get the best jobs etc.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “this uprising has little to do with freedom and tyranny, and a lot to do with the growing gap between rich and poor over the last decade.”

    Assuming that is the case, the hope for democracy is somewhat unfounded. People with the ability to be basically middle class have a shot at democracy. But a small elite and 80 million poor looks bad on paper. I mean that is what happened in Mexico. The poor grew in number but their standard of living didn’t, and the rich stayed about the same in number and got richer. So, the income disparity grew to till it became the worst in the world. Their economies/income gap aren’t altogether different. They need jobs for their people and economy, but the rich who have the ability to develop them don’t need the money too badly because they are already part of the in club of folks who get the best jobs etc.

  • Tom Hering

    “Your suggestion that the situation in Egypt is parallel to that of the West is mistaken.” – Porcell @ 36.

    Your imagination is working overtime, Porcell. I made no such suggestion in my comment @ 34.

  • Tom Hering

    “Your suggestion that the situation in Egypt is parallel to that of the West is mistaken.” – Porcell @ 36.

    Your imagination is working overtime, Porcell. I made no such suggestion in my comment @ 34.

  • Tom Hering

    “… the hope for democracy is somewhat unfounded.” – sg @ 37.

    I’m beginning to think so, though it’s natural for we Americans to view international affairs through an interpretive lens that’s colored with our own aspirations. Hopefully, our State Department is filled with knowledgeable realists.

  • Tom Hering

    “… the hope for democracy is somewhat unfounded.” – sg @ 37.

    I’m beginning to think so, though it’s natural for we Americans to view international affairs through an interpretive lens that’s colored with our own aspirations. Hopefully, our State Department is filled with knowledgeable realists.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Joe (@31), I think SKPeterson — who clearly knows more about this topic than I do — made my point for me (@24).

    Anyhow, you appear to be conflating the entire Muslim Brotherhood movement (which is much larger than just Egypt) with the particular group in Egypt. Yes, they may still have those overarching goals in mind, but does that mean that we can know for sure what sort of government they will back at this time? According to their official English-language Web site, “MB confirms it will not take leadership positions in the upcoming gov’t” and “MB will support liberal candidate such as Dr. ElBaradei, to lead a national unity gov’t”. Which seems to indicate a rather different path than your quotes would imply.

    Anyhow, if your MB quotes are indicative of a political entity that desires to oppress people and take away their freedoms, then what are we to conclude when people like Sarah Palin suggest that America “create law based on the God of the Bible and the 10 Commandments” since “America is a Christian nation … based on Judeo-Christian beliefs”? Is Palin also opposed to freedom, then?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Joe (@31), I think SKPeterson — who clearly knows more about this topic than I do — made my point for me (@24).

    Anyhow, you appear to be conflating the entire Muslim Brotherhood movement (which is much larger than just Egypt) with the particular group in Egypt. Yes, they may still have those overarching goals in mind, but does that mean that we can know for sure what sort of government they will back at this time? According to their official English-language Web site, “MB confirms it will not take leadership positions in the upcoming gov’t” and “MB will support liberal candidate such as Dr. ElBaradei, to lead a national unity gov’t”. Which seems to indicate a rather different path than your quotes would imply.

    Anyhow, if your MB quotes are indicative of a political entity that desires to oppress people and take away their freedoms, then what are we to conclude when people like Sarah Palin suggest that America “create law based on the God of the Bible and the 10 Commandments” since “America is a Christian nation … based on Judeo-Christian beliefs”? Is Palin also opposed to freedom, then?

  • Tom Hering

    That should have been “foreign events” not “international affairs” @ 39.

  • Tom Hering

    That should have been “foreign events” not “international affairs” @ 39.

  • Porcell

    Todd, don’t believe everything you read on the MB website. The outfit is well known for its slipperiness.

  • Porcell

    Todd, don’t believe everything you read on the MB website. The outfit is well known for its slipperiness.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Porcell (@42), ah, so you have evidence to the contrary, then? Can you share?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Porcell (@42), ah, so you have evidence to the contrary, then? Can you share?

  • kerner

    “a democratic republic…is only truly functional so long as it remains founded on the truths of the gospel…”

    JD Loofbourrow @13:

    That sounds good in theory, but it is demonstably not true. Japanese culture has never been close to the gospel. Only about 1% of Japanese profess Christianity. Yet it is a highly organized society, with highly stylized rituals for everything from serving tea to committing suicide, and it has successfully adopted the western industrial democratic model for its polity.

    Western Europe has fallen much farther from the gospel than the North America or Latin America ( can get some statistics as to the much higher rates of atheism and agnosticism in Western Europe if anybody is interested), and yet it retains fairly organized societies which generally have parliamentary polity.

    Whatever it is that makes a country function as a democratic republic, the presence or absence of the gospel does not appear to be the determining factor.

  • kerner

    “a democratic republic…is only truly functional so long as it remains founded on the truths of the gospel…”

    JD Loofbourrow @13:

    That sounds good in theory, but it is demonstably not true. Japanese culture has never been close to the gospel. Only about 1% of Japanese profess Christianity. Yet it is a highly organized society, with highly stylized rituals for everything from serving tea to committing suicide, and it has successfully adopted the western industrial democratic model for its polity.

    Western Europe has fallen much farther from the gospel than the North America or Latin America ( can get some statistics as to the much higher rates of atheism and agnosticism in Western Europe if anybody is interested), and yet it retains fairly organized societies which generally have parliamentary polity.

    Whatever it is that makes a country function as a democratic republic, the presence or absence of the gospel does not appear to be the determining factor.

  • kerner

    sg @6:

    If you’re talking about me, I never meant to mock you. And I never meant to say that “high trust levels” in a society are unimportant. I just believe that you overrate the importance of them.

    I wonder if there was any looting when the Communist Eastern European Empire collapsed. You don’t read much about it. On the other hand, maybe you wouldn’t expect to read much about it; history being written by the victors, and all.

  • kerner

    sg @6:

    If you’re talking about me, I never meant to mock you. And I never meant to say that “high trust levels” in a society are unimportant. I just believe that you overrate the importance of them.

    I wonder if there was any looting when the Communist Eastern European Empire collapsed. You don’t read much about it. On the other hand, maybe you wouldn’t expect to read much about it; history being written by the victors, and all.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Whatever it is that makes a country function as a democratic republic, the presence or absence of the gospel does not appear to be the determining factor.”

    Function for how long?

    Yeah, Japan came to my mind, too. Still they have not been at it that long. I wish them well, but they do not have a long track record just yet.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Whatever it is that makes a country function as a democratic republic, the presence or absence of the gospel does not appear to be the determining factor.”

    Function for how long?

    Yeah, Japan came to my mind, too. Still they have not been at it that long. I wish them well, but they do not have a long track record just yet.

  • kerner

    This thread raises a problem that has plagued US foreign policy for over a century. Do we support a bad regime if it serves our supposed interests? Is it better to support the faction that claims to be for democracy, even if we are pretty sure that the democracy will produce a regime that will oppose our interests? Do we have too many interests abroad, such that we would be better off staying out of conflicts like this one entirely, or is that just washing our hands of responsibility when we could be using our power to make the world a better place?

  • kerner

    This thread raises a problem that has plagued US foreign policy for over a century. Do we support a bad regime if it serves our supposed interests? Is it better to support the faction that claims to be for democracy, even if we are pretty sure that the democracy will produce a regime that will oppose our interests? Do we have too many interests abroad, such that we would be better off staying out of conflicts like this one entirely, or is that just washing our hands of responsibility when we could be using our power to make the world a better place?

  • kerner

    sg@46:

    Right, but Japan has been at it for about 65 years now. Europe has only attempted to have widespread democratic republics for a century ot two, and the Europeans have taken some pretty significant side trips into tyranny in that time.

  • kerner

    sg@46:

    Right, but Japan has been at it for about 65 years now. Europe has only attempted to have widespread democratic republics for a century ot two, and the Europeans have taken some pretty significant side trips into tyranny in that time.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Do we support a bad regime if it serves our supposed interests?”

    I found a very cynical but perhaps accurate characterization.

    I paraphrase:

    It seems scripted:
    America supports dictator till he starts getting old
    About that time the people get restless.
    Folks take to the streets, dictator leaves with bazillions of dollars.
    West presses interim government for free and fair elections, which produce a regime unfriendly to American interests.
    Aid ends. Military overthrows government.
    Pro American dictator takes control of government.

    Repeat as necessary.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Do we support a bad regime if it serves our supposed interests?”

    I found a very cynical but perhaps accurate characterization.

    I paraphrase:

    It seems scripted:
    America supports dictator till he starts getting old
    About that time the people get restless.
    Folks take to the streets, dictator leaves with bazillions of dollars.
    West presses interim government for free and fair elections, which produce a regime unfriendly to American interests.
    Aid ends. Military overthrows government.
    Pro American dictator takes control of government.

    Repeat as necessary.

  • Joe

    tODD – “Is Palin also opposed to freedom, then?” If she made those statements I would say yes. While, I exist some where on the political spectrum between conservative and full out libertarian, support for Ms. Palin is not really my bailiwick.

    “Anyhow, you appear to be conflating the entire Muslim Brotherhood movement (which is much larger than just Egypt) with the particular group in Egypt.”

    In some sense this is impossible to do, since the Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Egypt and t hen was spread over time to other places. But, yes there is a larger multinational movement and the specific Egyptian political party. To my knowledge (which involves some study of Middle Eastern politics and political thought) the goals of the MB (in Egypt) have never changed. Sharia law is the goal, but actually running a Iranian dictatorship has never been the point. I can’t say what form of gov’t they would prefer, but I can state with some level of certainty that the aim of the gov’t would be to adopt sharia law. Perhaps this is done in a new constitution that also calls for the election of representatives. That may be democracy, but it is not freedom.

  • Joe

    tODD – “Is Palin also opposed to freedom, then?” If she made those statements I would say yes. While, I exist some where on the political spectrum between conservative and full out libertarian, support for Ms. Palin is not really my bailiwick.

    “Anyhow, you appear to be conflating the entire Muslim Brotherhood movement (which is much larger than just Egypt) with the particular group in Egypt.”

    In some sense this is impossible to do, since the Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Egypt and t hen was spread over time to other places. But, yes there is a larger multinational movement and the specific Egyptian political party. To my knowledge (which involves some study of Middle Eastern politics and political thought) the goals of the MB (in Egypt) have never changed. Sharia law is the goal, but actually running a Iranian dictatorship has never been the point. I can’t say what form of gov’t they would prefer, but I can state with some level of certainty that the aim of the gov’t would be to adopt sharia law. Perhaps this is done in a new constitution that also calls for the election of representatives. That may be democracy, but it is not freedom.

  • kerner

    sg:

    Yep. It does seem to be a viscious circle. But any attempt to break it seem to meet with equal criticism.

    e.g., USA supports fair elections, but because of earlier military activities (or just plain good luck), the new democracy actually elects a government with some of our own values and that doesn’t hate us. We start to do business with it, and are immediately criticized for trying to force our way of life on an unwilling culture and for profiting from our altruism.

    Then there’s the other option. America ignores the politics of smaller, undeveloped nations, and all their natural resources fall into the hands of local tyrants or foreign conquerors. Either way, the local people suffer and we become poorer and our present and potential enemies grow stronger. But at least we’ve maintained our integrity as a small republic.

  • kerner

    sg:

    Yep. It does seem to be a viscious circle. But any attempt to break it seem to meet with equal criticism.

    e.g., USA supports fair elections, but because of earlier military activities (or just plain good luck), the new democracy actually elects a government with some of our own values and that doesn’t hate us. We start to do business with it, and are immediately criticized for trying to force our way of life on an unwilling culture and for profiting from our altruism.

    Then there’s the other option. America ignores the politics of smaller, undeveloped nations, and all their natural resources fall into the hands of local tyrants or foreign conquerors. Either way, the local people suffer and we become poorer and our present and potential enemies grow stronger. But at least we’ve maintained our integrity as a small republic.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “But at least we’ve maintained our integrity as a small republic.”

    That seems pretty silly. We are the default/de facto leading country.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “But at least we’ve maintained our integrity as a small republic.”

    That seems pretty silly. We are the default/de facto leading country.

  • Grace

    “the Suez Canal should be closed immediately” ?

    The Jerusalem Post
    Muslim Brotherhood: ‘Prepare Egyptians for war with Israel’
    By YAAKOV LAPPIN
    02/01/2011 02:00

    “A leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt told the Arabic-language Iranian news network Al-Alam on Monday that he would like to see the Egyptian people prepare for war against Israel, according to the Hebrew-language business newspaper Calcalist.

    Muhammad Ghannem reportedly told Al- Alam that the Suez Canal should be closed immediately,……….”

    READ the rest: http://www.jpost.com/Headlines/Article.aspx?id=206130

  • Grace

    “the Suez Canal should be closed immediately” ?

    The Jerusalem Post
    Muslim Brotherhood: ‘Prepare Egyptians for war with Israel’
    By YAAKOV LAPPIN
    02/01/2011 02:00

    “A leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt told the Arabic-language Iranian news network Al-Alam on Monday that he would like to see the Egyptian people prepare for war against Israel, according to the Hebrew-language business newspaper Calcalist.

    Muhammad Ghannem reportedly told Al- Alam that the Suez Canal should be closed immediately,……….”

    READ the rest: http://www.jpost.com/Headlines/Article.aspx?id=206130

  • http://lastdanceofthejackalope.blogspot.com JD Loofbourrow

    In response to posts 14, 15 and 16.

    I’m’ sorry, I must have been too general in what I was saying. I was trying to be brief (which is hard for me) and I ended up just being cryptic and vague.

    First, Joe: When I said that Rome was over turned by the power of the gospel, I was not talking about its final fall; I was speaking of the pagan rule of Rome (again my apologies for being so vague). It cannot be denied that the Roman Empire was on many levels converted from paganism to Christianity. I am not looking for the fall of Egypt or Iraq but the reformation of all nations whether Pagan, Islamic or Jewish.

    Second, Porcell: I appreciate your input. Maybe I was hasty in disagreeing with Bush. I do appreciate the complicated nature of the situations in Egypt and elsewhere. I do not pretend to be as in touch with the circumstances there as our former President is. It would have been more prudent of me to say that some that fight for freedom are just hungry for power. I am sure there are many who do hunger for freedom. Even so I still feel we are looking at the fruit more than the root of the problem. I didn’t mean that we should have literally dropped bibles on Iraq or that the US military should have literally sent missionaries instead of troops. I understand that the government does not bear the sword in vain and that such is their prerogative and function. What I meant was that perhaps if the American government would be more supportive of the church in different areas like Iraq or even Egypt, and more supportive of missionary endeavors, instead of political positioning, people would be able to possess a truer and richer freedom for now and for eternity. Like I said, bush did what he could, I don’t blame him. But I see our nation’s government moving away from cooperation and fellowship with the church and I wonder: if we exchange our freedom for a counterfeit, is it really valuable to anyone else?

    “Grace”: to be clear, my point is that the Gospel has the power to change the heart and that apart from that there is no true freedom. I don’t think that this idea is unrealistic I think that it is biblical (Romans 1:16, 1 Peter 1:17-25). America is itself losing freedom everyday the further it strays from the truth. Is that really what we want for other nations? As I said, the church possesses the power of God unto salvation and therefore the power to stabilize a nation; I just think Christ has a better answer than American politics. And I believe that the American government CAN support the church in its endeavors both locally and abroad. But I see more and more that they only support their own self interest. And I see the church becoming nationalistic. It has been said that one word of truth out ways the entire world. I believe The Word of Truth has more power to change the world than you give it credit for.

    Again I am very sorry for being so very unclear in my former post. The church has the gospel which brings freedom. If America wants to spread freedom it should be supportive of the church. A nation fighting for a freedom devoid of the gospel, in my view, is not much more than stirring up dust. Let water be brought in and sprinkled that the parlor may be swept pleasantly. I know it’s easy to say and hard to do but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth saying.

  • http://lastdanceofthejackalope.blogspot.com JD Loofbourrow

    In response to posts 14, 15 and 16.

    I’m’ sorry, I must have been too general in what I was saying. I was trying to be brief (which is hard for me) and I ended up just being cryptic and vague.

    First, Joe: When I said that Rome was over turned by the power of the gospel, I was not talking about its final fall; I was speaking of the pagan rule of Rome (again my apologies for being so vague). It cannot be denied that the Roman Empire was on many levels converted from paganism to Christianity. I am not looking for the fall of Egypt or Iraq but the reformation of all nations whether Pagan, Islamic or Jewish.

    Second, Porcell: I appreciate your input. Maybe I was hasty in disagreeing with Bush. I do appreciate the complicated nature of the situations in Egypt and elsewhere. I do not pretend to be as in touch with the circumstances there as our former President is. It would have been more prudent of me to say that some that fight for freedom are just hungry for power. I am sure there are many who do hunger for freedom. Even so I still feel we are looking at the fruit more than the root of the problem. I didn’t mean that we should have literally dropped bibles on Iraq or that the US military should have literally sent missionaries instead of troops. I understand that the government does not bear the sword in vain and that such is their prerogative and function. What I meant was that perhaps if the American government would be more supportive of the church in different areas like Iraq or even Egypt, and more supportive of missionary endeavors, instead of political positioning, people would be able to possess a truer and richer freedom for now and for eternity. Like I said, bush did what he could, I don’t blame him. But I see our nation’s government moving away from cooperation and fellowship with the church and I wonder: if we exchange our freedom for a counterfeit, is it really valuable to anyone else?

    “Grace”: to be clear, my point is that the Gospel has the power to change the heart and that apart from that there is no true freedom. I don’t think that this idea is unrealistic I think that it is biblical (Romans 1:16, 1 Peter 1:17-25). America is itself losing freedom everyday the further it strays from the truth. Is that really what we want for other nations? As I said, the church possesses the power of God unto salvation and therefore the power to stabilize a nation; I just think Christ has a better answer than American politics. And I believe that the American government CAN support the church in its endeavors both locally and abroad. But I see more and more that they only support their own self interest. And I see the church becoming nationalistic. It has been said that one word of truth out ways the entire world. I believe The Word of Truth has more power to change the world than you give it credit for.

    Again I am very sorry for being so very unclear in my former post. The church has the gospel which brings freedom. If America wants to spread freedom it should be supportive of the church. A nation fighting for a freedom devoid of the gospel, in my view, is not much more than stirring up dust. Let water be brought in and sprinkled that the parlor may be swept pleasantly. I know it’s easy to say and hard to do but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth saying.

  • Grace

    54 JD Loofbourrow


    America is itself losing freedom everyday the further it strays from the truth. Is that really what we want for other nations? As I said, the church possesses the power of God unto salvation and therefore the power to stabilize a nation; I just think Christ has a better answer than American politics.”

    Salvation must be accepted by the individual. People can hear the gospel, and choose not to Believe, this has been the case in Moslem countries. There are those who don’t embrace Islam, but most do in the middle east.

    And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Mathew 10:14

    This means that we don’t continue to run after others when they don’t want to hear about Christ Jesus.

    “And I believe that the American government CAN support the church in its endeavors both locally and abroad. But I see more and more that they only support their own self interest. And I see the church becoming nationalistic. It has been said that one word of truth out ways the entire world.

    We can, as Believers support, and spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ, just as others can spread whatever they choose. It is the Believers who spread the Gospel, not the government.

    “It has been said that one word of truth out ways the entire world.” – - that is a vague comment, I’ve never heard it before. The entire Word of God is truth, and the giver of truth in the LORD.

    “I believe The Word of Truth has more power to change the world than you give it credit for.”

    JD Loofbourrow, that is insulting, unlearned and dishonest on your part. You have no idea what I believe, nor do you know what I do, or my love and dedication to the Gospel of Christ.

    There will be more heading to destruction, and few there be that find life.

    13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

    14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Matthew 7

  • Grace

    54 JD Loofbourrow


    America is itself losing freedom everyday the further it strays from the truth. Is that really what we want for other nations? As I said, the church possesses the power of God unto salvation and therefore the power to stabilize a nation; I just think Christ has a better answer than American politics.”

    Salvation must be accepted by the individual. People can hear the gospel, and choose not to Believe, this has been the case in Moslem countries. There are those who don’t embrace Islam, but most do in the middle east.

    And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Mathew 10:14

    This means that we don’t continue to run after others when they don’t want to hear about Christ Jesus.

    “And I believe that the American government CAN support the church in its endeavors both locally and abroad. But I see more and more that they only support their own self interest. And I see the church becoming nationalistic. It has been said that one word of truth out ways the entire world.

    We can, as Believers support, and spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ, just as others can spread whatever they choose. It is the Believers who spread the Gospel, not the government.

    “It has been said that one word of truth out ways the entire world.” – - that is a vague comment, I’ve never heard it before. The entire Word of God is truth, and the giver of truth in the LORD.

    “I believe The Word of Truth has more power to change the world than you give it credit for.”

    JD Loofbourrow, that is insulting, unlearned and dishonest on your part. You have no idea what I believe, nor do you know what I do, or my love and dedication to the Gospel of Christ.

    There will be more heading to destruction, and few there be that find life.

    13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

    14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Matthew 7

  • Porcell

    People interested in this issue should read the transcript of Mubarak’s recent speech in which he states that he will not run for reelection and intends to stay in power until the Fall 2011 election. He, also, correctly, warns of political parties [The Muslim Brotherhood] who are inimical to the Egyptian interests.

    In my view, this gives the Egyptian people a victory and, unless he is being deceptive, a stable path to a real democratic future.

  • Porcell

    People interested in this issue should read the transcript of Mubarak’s recent speech in which he states that he will not run for reelection and intends to stay in power until the Fall 2011 election. He, also, correctly, warns of political parties [The Muslim Brotherhood] who are inimical to the Egyptian interests.

    In my view, this gives the Egyptian people a victory and, unless he is being deceptive, a stable path to a real democratic future.

  • Grace

    Porcell,

    I too listened to Mubaraks speech on Aljazeera live feed.

    http://english.aljazeera.net/watch_now/2007829161423657345.html

    How do you think the people are going to respond to The Muslim Brotherhood, now that Mubarak has spoken, or rather, what will this group do in the coming months to weaken the transition?

  • Grace

    Porcell,

    I too listened to Mubaraks speech on Aljazeera live feed.

    http://english.aljazeera.net/watch_now/2007829161423657345.html

    How do you think the people are going to respond to The Muslim Brotherhood, now that Mubarak has spoken, or rather, what will this group do in the coming months to weaken the transition?

  • Porcell

    Grace, good question. My understanding is that, while the Muslim Brotherhood is powerful, there are plenty of sensible, moderate Egyptians who understand that this radical Islamic outfit is dangerous.

    However, it could well be that in a free and fair election moderate groups will cancel each other out, allowing the MB to win the election, in which case it would, almost surely, as was the case with Iran, establish a dictatorship.

  • Porcell

    Grace, good question. My understanding is that, while the Muslim Brotherhood is powerful, there are plenty of sensible, moderate Egyptians who understand that this radical Islamic outfit is dangerous.

    However, it could well be that in a free and fair election moderate groups will cancel each other out, allowing the MB to win the election, in which case it would, almost surely, as was the case with Iran, establish a dictatorship.

  • http://lastdanceofthejackalope.blogspot.com JD Loofbourrow

    “Salvation must be accepted by the individual. People can hear the gospel, and choose not to Believe, this has been the case in Moslem countries. There are those who don’t embrace Islam, but most do in the middle east. Mathew 10:14 :This means that we don’t continue to run after others when they don’t want to hear about Christ Jesus.”

    I agree with you that we should not cast our pearls before swine. Still you must understand me in context of the conversation. Vieth asked “what kind of freedom are they getting?” I am saying they really aren’t unless they have the gospel. Again while I do agree with you I also believe that patience and persistence are indispensible tools for evangelism. I tend to think that if many of the Islamic tyrants would just take their boot of the neck of the people to see what they do, they would probably run to Christ. But this is my point, that the gospel given enough time will work its way up the ranks. In the case of Egypt, I am saying that a democracy based on Islamic or secular humanistic morality is not going to be better for anyone.

    “We can, as Believers support, and spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ, just as others can spread whatever they choose. It is the Believers who spread the Gospel, not the government.”

    I agree with you. It is the responsibility of the church to evangelize, however I am not saying that it is the governments job to spread the gospel, (though I would not object to them doing so if they wanted too). I’m just saying that if America wants to be in the business of spreading freedom it should help the church to spread the gospel instead of hindering it as they often do. They have become an alternative to the church, where as, in my view, they ought to be working in cooperation with the church; or at least staying out of the way. Much more could be said on that, and you may disagree, which is fine, we will have to agree to disagree if so.

    “It has been said that one word of truth out ways the entire world.- – that is a vague comment, I’ve never heard it before. The entire Word of God is truth, and the giver of truth in the LORD.”

    It is fortunate for me, then, that the comment was not original. I don’t have the exact quote on hand but I know I got it from an Os Guinness book. I think it was “Time for Truth.” Again I agree, the entire word of God is truth. This is the Word of Truth I am speaking of.

    “I believe The Word of Truth has more power to change the world than you give it credit for.” JD Loofbourrow, that is insulting, unlearned and dishonest on your part. You have no idea what I believe, nor do you know what I do, or my love and dedication to the Gospel of Christ.

    Yes. My words here were too sharp, I think, and, it would seem, ignorant at least, though I fail to see how they were dishonest. it was quite honestly how I understood your initial statement. You said I wasn’t being realistic, I was saying your statement seems to doubt what the message of the gospel can do. At any rate I must have misunderstood you and I am very sorry that I responded as I did. I’m sorry that I offended you. Please forgive me. And thank you for the dialog.

  • http://lastdanceofthejackalope.blogspot.com JD Loofbourrow

    “Salvation must be accepted by the individual. People can hear the gospel, and choose not to Believe, this has been the case in Moslem countries. There are those who don’t embrace Islam, but most do in the middle east. Mathew 10:14 :This means that we don’t continue to run after others when they don’t want to hear about Christ Jesus.”

    I agree with you that we should not cast our pearls before swine. Still you must understand me in context of the conversation. Vieth asked “what kind of freedom are they getting?” I am saying they really aren’t unless they have the gospel. Again while I do agree with you I also believe that patience and persistence are indispensible tools for evangelism. I tend to think that if many of the Islamic tyrants would just take their boot of the neck of the people to see what they do, they would probably run to Christ. But this is my point, that the gospel given enough time will work its way up the ranks. In the case of Egypt, I am saying that a democracy based on Islamic or secular humanistic morality is not going to be better for anyone.

    “We can, as Believers support, and spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ, just as others can spread whatever they choose. It is the Believers who spread the Gospel, not the government.”

    I agree with you. It is the responsibility of the church to evangelize, however I am not saying that it is the governments job to spread the gospel, (though I would not object to them doing so if they wanted too). I’m just saying that if America wants to be in the business of spreading freedom it should help the church to spread the gospel instead of hindering it as they often do. They have become an alternative to the church, where as, in my view, they ought to be working in cooperation with the church; or at least staying out of the way. Much more could be said on that, and you may disagree, which is fine, we will have to agree to disagree if so.

    “It has been said that one word of truth out ways the entire world.- – that is a vague comment, I’ve never heard it before. The entire Word of God is truth, and the giver of truth in the LORD.”

    It is fortunate for me, then, that the comment was not original. I don’t have the exact quote on hand but I know I got it from an Os Guinness book. I think it was “Time for Truth.” Again I agree, the entire word of God is truth. This is the Word of Truth I am speaking of.

    “I believe The Word of Truth has more power to change the world than you give it credit for.” JD Loofbourrow, that is insulting, unlearned and dishonest on your part. You have no idea what I believe, nor do you know what I do, or my love and dedication to the Gospel of Christ.

    Yes. My words here were too sharp, I think, and, it would seem, ignorant at least, though I fail to see how they were dishonest. it was quite honestly how I understood your initial statement. You said I wasn’t being realistic, I was saying your statement seems to doubt what the message of the gospel can do. At any rate I must have misunderstood you and I am very sorry that I responded as I did. I’m sorry that I offended you. Please forgive me. And thank you for the dialog.

  • Grace

    JD Loofbourrow

    “Salvation must be accepted by the individual. People can hear the gospel, and choose not to Believe, this has been the case in Moslem countries. There are those who don’t embrace Islam, but most do in the middle east. Mathew 10:14 :This means that we don’t continue to run after others when they don’t want to hear about Christ Jesus.”

    YOU MISQUOTED ME ABOVE – - I WROTE: “Salvation must be accepted by the individual. People can hear the gospel, and choose not to Believe, this has been the case in Moslem countries. There are those who don’t embrace Islam, but most do in the middle east.
    And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Mathew 10:14

    This means that we don’t continue to run after others when they don’t want to hear about Christ Jesus.”

    JD Loofbourrow – you mention the chapter and verse, but you leave out the most important part, the passage itself. I have BOLDED what you deleted That is a very important passage, one some Believers leave out, (just as you did) thinking they can run non Believers down the road until they finally agree and Believe in Christ. Please note: not one time did Christ run after anyone, He taught them, and preached, but He never ran after anyone.

    Deleting Scripture makes no sense, it’s troubling !!

    “Again while I do agree with you I also believe that patience and persistence are indispensible tools for evangelism. I tend to think that if many of the Islamic tyrants would just take their boot of the neck of the people to see what they do, they would probably run to Christ. But this is my point, that the gospel given enough time will work its way up the ranks. In the case of Egypt, I am saying that a democracy based on Islamic or secular humanistic morality is not going to be better for anyone.”

    - “patience and persistence” -

    AGAIN: And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Mathew 10:14 – - the LORD Jesus Christ uttered these words. If people don’t receive or hear the Gospel, “persistence” will not change a cold hard heart, it’s time to “dust off your feet”

    The Gospel has been heard by many in the middle east, they know what it is, just as they know what the Jews believe. You, nor anyone else can ‘MAKE’ anyone listen to, or believe the Gospel. Government will save no one, the point is, everyone should be free to believe as they wish, it’s a heart issue, one that has nothing to do with government, legislation, or rulers and presidents. Those who seek Christ will find Him.

  • Grace

    JD Loofbourrow

    “Salvation must be accepted by the individual. People can hear the gospel, and choose not to Believe, this has been the case in Moslem countries. There are those who don’t embrace Islam, but most do in the middle east. Mathew 10:14 :This means that we don’t continue to run after others when they don’t want to hear about Christ Jesus.”

    YOU MISQUOTED ME ABOVE – - I WROTE: “Salvation must be accepted by the individual. People can hear the gospel, and choose not to Believe, this has been the case in Moslem countries. There are those who don’t embrace Islam, but most do in the middle east.
    And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Mathew 10:14

    This means that we don’t continue to run after others when they don’t want to hear about Christ Jesus.”

    JD Loofbourrow – you mention the chapter and verse, but you leave out the most important part, the passage itself. I have BOLDED what you deleted That is a very important passage, one some Believers leave out, (just as you did) thinking they can run non Believers down the road until they finally agree and Believe in Christ. Please note: not one time did Christ run after anyone, He taught them, and preached, but He never ran after anyone.

    Deleting Scripture makes no sense, it’s troubling !!

    “Again while I do agree with you I also believe that patience and persistence are indispensible tools for evangelism. I tend to think that if many of the Islamic tyrants would just take their boot of the neck of the people to see what they do, they would probably run to Christ. But this is my point, that the gospel given enough time will work its way up the ranks. In the case of Egypt, I am saying that a democracy based on Islamic or secular humanistic morality is not going to be better for anyone.”

    - “patience and persistence” -

    AGAIN: And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Mathew 10:14 – - the LORD Jesus Christ uttered these words. If people don’t receive or hear the Gospel, “persistence” will not change a cold hard heart, it’s time to “dust off your feet”

    The Gospel has been heard by many in the middle east, they know what it is, just as they know what the Jews believe. You, nor anyone else can ‘MAKE’ anyone listen to, or believe the Gospel. Government will save no one, the point is, everyone should be free to believe as they wish, it’s a heart issue, one that has nothing to do with government, legislation, or rulers and presidents. Those who seek Christ will find Him.

  • Grace

    Sorry for all the bold at the end. Reposted below:

    - “patience and persistence” -

    AGAIN: And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Mathew 10:14 – - the LORD Jesus Christ uttered these words. If people don’t receive or hear the Gospel, “persistence” will not change a cold hard heart, it’s time to “dust off your feet”

    The Gospel has been heard by many in the middle east, they know what it is, just as they know what the Jews believe. You, nor anyone else can ‘MAKE’ anyone listen to, or believe the Gospel. Government will save no one, the point is, everyone should be free to believe as they wish, it’s a heart issue, one that has nothing to do with government, legislation, or rulers and presidents. Those who seek Christ will find Him.

  • Grace

    Sorry for all the bold at the end. Reposted below:

    - “patience and persistence” -

    AGAIN: And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Mathew 10:14 – - the LORD Jesus Christ uttered these words. If people don’t receive or hear the Gospel, “persistence” will not change a cold hard heart, it’s time to “dust off your feet”

    The Gospel has been heard by many in the middle east, they know what it is, just as they know what the Jews believe. You, nor anyone else can ‘MAKE’ anyone listen to, or believe the Gospel. Government will save no one, the point is, everyone should be free to believe as they wish, it’s a heart issue, one that has nothing to do with government, legislation, or rulers and presidents. Those who seek Christ will find Him.


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