Category: America

Mark Levin: ‘If Netanyahu gets voted out, it will be a disaster for Israel’

Fox News host Mark Levin lauds Trump-Netanyahu relationship as a high point in US-Israel relations. ‘Bibi is enormously popular in the US’.

Yoni Kempinski, 15/09/19 21:25

A defeat for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in this week’s Knesset election would be a “disaster for Israel” Fox News host, lawyer, former chief of staff to the US Attorney General, and pundit Mark Levin said during an interview with Arutz Sheva.

Speaking with Arutz Sheva just days after he endorsed Netanyahu’s reelection bid, Levin took aim at the media, the Israeli electoral system, Blue and White chief Benny Gantz, and Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit for his decision to indict the prime minister, calling the charges ‘weak’.

Levin argued that the three indictments pending against Netanyahu rested on trumped up charges, and criticized the media – particularly the Israeli media – for accepting Mandelblit’s indictments without questioning the basis of the charges.

‘The Media In Israel Is Even Worse Than In the US’

“I find that in free societies – and quasi-free societies, such as Europe – that the media continues to advance a hard progressive agenda.

“It’s very difficult for those of us who do not embrace that agenda to have their viewpoint honestly provided to the public. That’s why more and more, whether it’s President Trump or Prime Minister Netanyahu, that they have to figure out ways, such as social media, to get around it and to communicate it to the public.

“In the case of Israel, it is even worse than in the United States. There is no counterbalance channel, like Fox News, or other channels like that. There is no significant radio presence, as there is in the United States with talk radio, and you have a near-monopoly of a single ideology.

‘Juicing the Charges Against Netanyahu’

“So what happens is that you get an Attorney General who has these three ridiculous allegations against the Prime Minister. I’ve looked thoroughly at all three of them. I’m sure no other American has looked at them, and I’m sure few Israelis have. And they have the media tell them what is in those allegations. Those allegations are really prepared for the media. That’s why, particularly the third allegation, which everybody says is the toughest, is actually the weakest.

“The third allegation is, essentially, that one news outlet wanted special treatment. And in exchange for special treatment, it would run more positive stories about the Prime Minister. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister was unhappy about his Minister of Communications, and he got rid of him. That is all you have. There is no direct evidence that there was a positive story written about the Prime Minister in exchange for some policy. To have bribery, you have to have something other than an Attorney General who lectures the media on journalistic ethics. That’s what he’s doing in there. And then he also disagrees with the Prime Minister’s policies. If you want to be the Prime Minister, you have to run for it.

 “Now look at the other two” charges. “Cigars and champagne. What the Attorney General did is he actually combines cigars and champagne that were given to the Prime Minister from two people. And one person wasn’t even requesting anything. And he did that because what would otherwise look like a minimal gift now looks massive. You know what that’s called in the United States?…Juicing the charges – in other words, it’s called ‘prosecutorial misconduct.’”

“Then in the second [charge], [the AG] claims that Netanyahu was trying to deliver favored legislation to one news outlet over another. Not only didn’t he support the legislation, he opposed it, and the Knesset was suspended before it could even consider the legislation.”

“When you’re making allegations against a head of state, your allegations need to be solid as a rock. And these allegations – as somebody who was chief of staff to an Attorney General in the United States… is just so repulsive, it’s just unconscionable.”

‘Netanyahu Is Enormously Popular In the US’

“If he’s not the greatest Prime Minister that Israel’s ever had, he’s certainly one of two. In the United States he is enormously popular. I don’t think [the indictments] have had an effect on him in the United States…or in most of the world.”

“Look at his accomplishments, with respect to the United States. I don’t think there’s another Prime Minister who could work so closely with our president the objectives that he has achieved: recognizing Jerusalem as the capital, moving our embassy to Jerusalem, the recognizing the sovereignty over the Golan Heights, closing down the terrorist PLO office in Washington, cutting off American taxpayer dollars to PA terrorists who kill Israelis.”

“The relationship between Netanyahu and Trump, the United States and Israel, has never been this strong.”

Levin called the charges against Netanyahu an “attempt to try and destroy a sitting prime minister while he’s accomplishing a lot of things; while he’s facing the Iranians, while he’s building the economy.”

“Who really cares if the American Jewish Left like or dislike Netanyahu? I don’t really care. The American Left is very similar to the Israeli Left – they’re out of their minds.”

‘Blue and White Party is Just Remake of Labor’

“This Blue and White party – it’s not a ‘Blue and White party’. They can try and deceive the public about what they really are. But it is a remake of the Labor party. Look at Gantz – he’s weak on the Iranian deal. The guy said ‘There’s some good things in there. People shouldn’t respond hysterically.’”

“Nobody is responding hysterically. Smart people with sober thinking believe, and rightly, that it was a disaster, for our country, America, for Israel, and for surrounding countries.”

“Obama was the worst president not just for America, but for Israel…and what does Blue and White do? They hire [Obama’s] top adviser to advise Gantz. And we’re supposed to believe that this is a centrist party.”

Levin defended Netanyahu’s March 2015 address to a special joint session of Congress during which he lobbied against the Iran nuclear deal.

“I don’t think viewed that as going against Obama. I think he viewed it as explaining to the Israeli people and the American people, in a joint session of Congress, and to the whole world exactly what this Iranian regime is, that it is a threat to the whole world and the United States and to Israel.”

Lambasting President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry for not only the Iran nuclear deal, but the passage of the United Nations Security Council measure against Israel after Trump’s election, Levin called the two the “worst individuals” with regard to Israel.

“Obama and John Kerry were these worst individuals when it came to my own country I think, and when it comes to Israel. Even on their way out the door, their actions in the UN were despicable.”

‘A Netanyahu Loss Would Be A Disaster For Israel’

Urging Israelis to support Netanyahu’s bid for reelection, Levin asked that voters consider what they “want from a prime minister.”

Netanyahu “has opened up your economy. You’ve got one of the great technological explosions on the face of the earth.”

“For a little country that is surrounded by enemies to be successful is a miracle. And when it comes to foreign policy, you’re not going to find someone better on foreign policy than this. He works with all countries. His relationships with a lot of these countries are really important.”

“Meanwhile, you have General Gantz…and how the Iranians have tapped into his conversations. And how he’s been absolutely unwilling to tell the Israeli people what he said in those phone calls. Obviously, there are things that he said that are embarrassing. Otherwise, he could answer, at least with simple yesses and noes. And this is a problem, because the Iranians know what he said, while the Israeli people don’t know what he said, heading into an election.”

“In the US, if you had a low level official who had his phone tapped by the Iranians, he wouldn’t get security clearance, let alone become President of the United States. So Gantz is telling people to trust him. The last person who ran in the United States on ‘trust me’, was Jimmy Carter, who was an absolute disaster.”

Again comparing Netanyahu to Winston Churchill, as he did last week, Levin said that if Netanyahu were defeated Tuesday, as Churchill was in the July 1945 UK general election, it would be a “disaster” for Israel.

“After World War II, the British voted Churchill out of office. I think it would be a disaster if the Israelis vote Netanyahu out of office. I don’t think they will, but if they will, they will regret it. Especially with Gantz, he’s a lightweight.”

‘Israeli Electoral System – A Disaster’

“Let’s be honest. Your electoral system is a disaster. Having elections with all these minor parties…to be it is a disaster. Not that ours is perfect. But to have a prime minister who is so successful for so long to have to travel through these ups and downs, is really quite remarkable.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10054

Trump Says That The Military Response To The Attack On Saudi Arabia Will Be “Proportionate”

September 16, 2019 by Michael Snyder

Trump administration officials are telling reporters and that there is no doubt that the attack on the oil production facilities in Saudi Arabia originated from Iranian soil, although Trump himself is being less dogmatic in his public statements.  It appears that Trump wants all of the evidence to come in before making a final decision about what to do, but clearly he is leaning toward military action against Iran.  And when we hit Iran, there is a very high probability that they will hit back.  In fact, the Iranians have already stated unequivocally that they will defend themselves.  So as I discussed yesterday, we are potentially facing a scenario that could ultimately lead to World War 3.  

It is true that Trump did tell reporters on Monday that he does not want war, but war may be coming anyway.  If the evidence that he is shown clearly demonstrates that the attack on Saudi Arabia came from Iran, President Trump is going to feel forced to respond militarily.

Trump has indicated that he will have all the evidence that he needs to make a final decision very soon, and when a reporter asked Trump if a military response to the attack on Saudi Arabia would be “proportionate”, Trump responded affirmatively

‘I think we just want to find out the final numbers and see – You look at a vector, and you look at – there are lots of different things we can look at,’ Trump told DailyMail.com as he left the White House for New Mexico. ‘And we’ll know for certain over the next pretty short period of time.’

Asked if he would order military action if he is sure who was behind the attack, Trump said: ‘Then we’re going to decide.’

When a reporter asked if the response would be proportionate, Trump responded: ‘I would say yes.’

In other words, if it is ultimately determined that Iran was behind the attack on Saudi oil production facilities, we should probably expect the U.S. to hit similar facilities in Iran in return.

Such an attack could spark a much broader conflict, and it could easily set off a chain of events that nobody will be able to stop.

Even though the Houthi rebels in Yemen have publicly taken responsibility for the attack in Saudi Arabia, at this point virtually everyone is coming to the conclusion that Iran did it.

For example, this is what the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen is saying

The Saudi-led military coalition battling Yemen’s Houthi movement said on Monday that the attack on Saudi Arabian oil plants was carried out with Iranian weapons and was not launched from Yemen according to preliminary findings.

Coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki said that an investigation into Saturday’s strikes, which had been claimed by the Iran-aligned Houthi group, was still going on to determine the launch location.

And a “senior Trump administration official” has told ABC News that the U.S. has solid evidence that the Iranians “launched nearly a dozen cruise missiles and over 20 drones from its territory”

Iran launched nearly a dozen cruise missiles and over 20 drones from its territory in the attack on a key Saudi oil facility Saturday, a senior Trump administration official told ABC News Sunday.

It is an extraordinary charge to make, that Iran used missiles and drones to attack its neighbor and rival Saudi Arabia, as the region teeters on the edge of high tensions.

In addition, CNN is reporting that an unnamed “U.S. official” has told them that the Trump administration “has assessed that the attack originated from inside Iran”…

The US has told at least one US ally in the Middle East, that they have intelligence showing that the launch was “likely” coming from staging grounds in Iran, but they have not shared that intelligence yet. “It is one thing to tell us, it is another thing to show us,” said a diplomat from the region.

A US official separately tells CNN that the US has assessed that the attack originated from inside Iran. The official spoke on condition of anonymity.

So it sounds like the decision has already been made.

And even President Trump himself is telling the press that it is looking like Iran is responsible

A day after threatening an armed response over an attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities, President Donald Trump said Monday that it looks as if Iran was responsible – but he doesn’t want war.

“Well, it’s looking that way,” Trump said when asked whether Iran is responsible for the missile and drone strikes this weekend on a major source of oil for the Saudis and the world. “As soon as we find out definitively, we’ll let you know. But it does look that way.”

I think that Trump is hesitant to actually use the military, and he definitely does not want to get the U.S. into yet another endless Middle East war.

But if the evidence shown to him indicates that Iran directly attacked Saudi oil production facilities, the pressure on him to do something will be immense.

At this point, even one of the top Democrats in the Senate is calling for a military response “if that’s what the intelligence supports”

Sen. Christopher Coons (D-Del.) said Monday that the U.S. may need to use military force against Iran if intelligence reports determine Tehran was behind recent attacks on two Saudi oil refineries.

“This may well be the thing that calls for military action against Iran if that’s what the intelligence supports,” Coons said Monday on “Fox & Friends.”

As much as the Democrats like to attack Trump, most of them are simply not going to go against the intelligence community.  And so if the intelligence ultimately indicates that Iran was responsible for the attack, most Democrats in Congress will end up supporting a military option.

In the end, it is so hard to predict what Trump will do when it comes time to make a final decision.  Back in June, he called off a military strike against Iran at the last moment, and it is entirely possible that such a thing could happen again.

And as it stands right now, the Russians are clearly urging Trump not to pull the trigger

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, asked about the U.S. statement, said: “We have a negative attitude towards rising tensions in the region and call for all countries in the region and outside of it to avoid any hasty steps or conclusions which may deepen destabilisation.”

In a separate statement on Monday, Russia’s foreign ministry said it believed that the exchange of strikes on civilian targets was “a direct consequence of the ongoing sharp military and political crisis in Yemen”.

In addition, the Chinese are warning that a “revenge attack” against Iran could cause the region to “spiral out of control”

China has warned President Trump that he is being manipulated by warhawks into believing “conspiracy theories” that Tehran was behind the attack on Saudi oil facilities and that any “revenge attack” on Iran could cause the Middle East to “spiral out of control.”

The warning was contained in an editorial posted by the Global Times, which is widely recognized as a Communist Party mouthpiece.

The Russians and the Chinese both understand how close to World War 3 we potentially are, and they both desperately want to avoid such a scenario.

Unfortunately, we live at a time of wars and rumors of wars, and circumstances seem to be inexorably pulling the entire globe toward military conflict.

It certainly appears that Trump would like to avoid a war with Iran, but is there a clear way out at this point?

If the intelligence that he is presented with clearly indicates that Iran was responsible for the attack against Saudi Arabia, it is going to be exceedingly difficult for him to do nothing.

So it is quite likely that a “proportionate response” is coming, and that could set off a chain of events that nobody will be able to control.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10051

6 Of The Last 8 U.S. Recessions Were Preceded By Oil Price Spikes – Damage To Saudi Oil Industry Could Take “Months” To Repair

September 16, 2019 by Michael Snyder

When the price of oil rises dramatically, that tends to be really bad for the U.S. economy.  Because we are so spread out and goods are transported over such vast distances, our economy is particularly vulnerable to oil price shocks, and that is one reason why the events that we just witnessed in the Middle East are so alarming.  According to an article that was published by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in 2007, five of the last seven U.S. recessions that had occurred up to that time “were preceded by considerable increases in oil prices”.  Since that article was published in 2007, the recession that began in 2008 hadn’t happened yet, and of course that recession was immediately preceded by the largest oil price spike in history.  So that means that six of the last eight U.S. recessions were preceded by oil price spikes, and now we may be facing another one.  It is being reported that it may take “months” for Saudi Arabia to fully repair the damage that was done to their oil industry, and that could fundamentally alter the balance of supply and demand in the global marketplace.

Yesterday, I discussed why high oil prices are so bad for our economy.  When the price of oil is too high, it can cause inflation and hurt economic growth simultaneously.  The article from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco that I mentioned in the last paragraph tried to explain why this happens in very basic economic terms

Oil price increases are generally thought to increase inflation and reduce economic growth. In terms of inflation, oil prices directly affect the prices of goods made with petroleum products. As mentioned above, oil prices indirectly affect costs such as transportation, manufacturing, and heating. The increase in these costs can in turn affect the prices of a variety of goods and services, as producers may pass production costs on to consumers. The extent to which oil price increases lead to consumption price increases depends on how important oil is for the production of a given type of good or service.

Oil price increases can also stifle the growth of the economy through their effect on the supply and demand for goods other than oil. Increases in oil prices can depress the supply of other goods because they increase the costs of producing them. In economics terminology, high oil prices can shift up the supply curve for the goods and services for which oil is an input.

Needless to say, the unprecedented attack on Saudi oil production facilities was going to cause the price of oil to rise substantially.  In fact, when global markets opened up on Sunday evening we witnessed quite a dramatic spike

In an extraordinary trading day, London’s Brent crude leaped almost $12 in the seconds after the open, the most in dollar terms since their launch in 1988. Prices subsequently pulled back some of that initial gain of almost 20%, but rallied again as traders waited in vain for an Aramco statement clarifying the scale of damage.

So where is the price of oil going from here?

One analyst quoted by Oilprice.com believes that we could soon see it hit $80 a barrel, and others believe that it could move up toward $100 a barrel not too long from now.

In the days ahead, global markets will be watching Saudi Arabia very carefully.  The longer it takes them to resume normal production levels, the higher the price of oil will go.

According to Bloomberg, one analyst is already publicly admitting that “full resumption could be weeks or even months away”…

All eyes are on how fast the kingdom can recover from the devastating strike, which knocked out roughly 5% of global supply and triggered a record surge in oil prices. Initially, it was said that significant volumes of crude could begin to flow again within days. While Aramco is still assessing the state of the plant and the scope of repairs, it currently believes less than half of the plant’s capacity can be restored quickly, said people familiar with the matter, asking not to be identified because the information isn’t public.

”Damage to the Abqaiq facility is more severe than previously thought,” said Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at Energy Aspects Ltd. “While we still believe up to 50% of the 5.7 million barrels a day of output that has been disrupted could return fairly swiftly, full resumption could be weeks or even months away.”

That is really bad news, and that is assuming that there won’t be any more attacks like we just witnessed.

If there are more attacks, Saudi oil production could be far lower than normal for an extended period of time, and that would be catastrophic for the global economy.

Most Americans don’t realize this, but a lot of Saudi oil actually gets shipped to the west coast.  The following comes from Fox Business

Drivers in California, however, could be hit the hardest. Nearly half of what Saudi Arabia exports to the U.S. is sent to the West Coast, as reported by Reuters. In the year that ended in June, the West Coast imported an average of about 11.4 million barrels of Saudi crude every month – much of which went to California refineries.

The Golden State already has among the highest average gasoline prices in the country – at $3.63 per gallon as of Monday.

We are going to see higher gasoline prices right away, but in the short-term we should be able to handle them okay.

But if there are more attacks like the one we just saw, or if a major war breaks out in the Middle East, the price of gasoline could easily spike to levels that we have never seen in this country before.

The U.S. economy was already deeply struggling even before the attack in Saudi Arabia, and so this could definitely push us over the edge.  We should all be getting prepared for an extended economic downturn, because it looks like that is precisely what we could be facing.

Hopefully we won’t see any more attacks on oil production facilities, but the attack on Saturday clearly demonstrated how extremely vulnerable such facilities are to terror attacks.  And with Middle East tensions currently at an all-time high, USA Today is warning that our future “may well get much rockier soon”…

The new threat is tension among nations in the region, as well as the ability to attack based on new and relatively simple technology. Drones can be flown long distances carrying weapons just powerful enough to attack oil facilities. Middle East tensions are severe enough that attempts at similar attacks are not over.

Oil futures do not trade based on the present. They trade on forecasts about oil supply and demand in the future. The future looks rocky and may well get much rockier soon.

We are truly in uncharted territory, and we desperately need peace and calm to prevail in the Middle East.

Sadly, that is not likely to happen, and every new wave of violence is going to mean more economic pain for all of us.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10048

Trump says he and Netanyahu discussed possible US-Israeli defense treaty

By Robert Gearty | Fox News

President Trump said he spoke Saturday to Israel leader Benjamin Netanyahu about the possibility of a “mutual defense treaty” between the two nations—just days before Israeli voters go to the polls to decide the fate of their embattled leader.

Trump said in a tweet that such a defense pact — a Netanyahu priority — would “further anchor the tremendous alliance between our two countries.”

“I look forward to continuing those discussions after the Israeli Elections when we meet at the United Nations later this month!” Trump said.

The comments just three days before the election on Netanyahu’s political future were the latest effort by Trump to back Netanyahu, perhaps his closest personal ally on the world stage.

The timing of the Trump tweet appeared aimed at bolstering Netanyahu’s effort to remain in power by showcasing his close ties to Trump, Reuters reported.

Opinion polls predict a close race, five months after an inconclusive election in which Netanyahu declared himself the winner but failed to form a coalition government.

Some Israeli officials have promoted the idea of building on Netanyahu’s strong ties to the Trump administration to forge a new defense treaty with the U.S.– focused especially on guarantees of assistance in any conflict with Iran, Reuters reported.

But some of Netanyahu’s critics have argued that such an agreement could tie Israel’s hands and deny it military autonomy.

Netanyahu thanked Trump for his announcement, saying he looked forward to meeting him at the United Nations General Assembly, The Wall Street Journal reported.

 “The Jewish State has never had a greater friend in the White House,” Netanyahu said.

The White House didn’t immediately elaborate on the tweet. A mutual defense treaty could take months to formalize, the Journal added.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10045

If You Think The Price Of Oil Is Skyrocketing Now, Just Wait Until The War Starts…

September 15, 2019 by Michael Snyder

In the aftermath of the most dramatic attack on Saudi oil facilities that we have ever seen, the price of oil has exploded higher.  The Wall Street Journal is calling this attack “the Big One”, and President Trump appears to be indicating that some sort of military retaliation is coming.  Needless to say, a direct military strike on Iran could spark a major war in the Middle East, and that would be absolutely devastating for the entire global economy.  Just about everything that we buy has to be moved, and moving stuff takes energy.  When the price of oil gets really high, that tends to create inflation because the price of oil is a factor in virtually everything that we buy.  In addition, a really high price for oil also tends to slow down economic activity, and this is something that we witnessed just prior to the financial crisis of 2008.  And if this crisis in the Middle East stretches over an extended period of time, it could ultimately result in a phenomenon known as “stagflation” where we have rapidly rising prices and weaker economic activity simultaneously.  The last time we experienced such a thing was in the 1970s, and nobody really remembers the U.S. economy of the 1970s favorably.

The damage caused by the “drone attacks” in Saudi Arabia was immense.  According to the Daily Mail, “huge plumes of black smoke” could be seen pouring out of a key Saudi oil facility…

Infernos raged at the plant in Abqaiq, Bugayg, and the country’s second largest oilfield in Khurais yesterday morning after Tehran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen fired a flurry of rockets.

Huge plumes of black smoke could be seen coming from the oil facility.

Houthi rebels in Yemen have publicly taken responsibility for the attacks, but they may or may not be telling the truth.

At this point, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is completely rejecting that explanation, and he is claiming that there is “no evidence the strikes had come from Yemen”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for coordinated strikes on the heart of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry, saying they marked an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply.

The strikes shut down half of the kingdom’s crude production on Saturday, potentially roiling petroleum prices and demonstrating the power of Iran’s proxies.

Iran-allied Houthi rebels in neighboring Yemen claimed credit for the attack, saying they sent 10 drones to strike at important facilities in Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich Eastern Province. But Mr. Pompeo said there was no evidence the strikes had come from Yemen.

And according to Reuters, another unnamed “U.S. official” told them that the attacks came from “west-northwest of the targets”…

The U.S. official, who asked not to be named, said there were 19 points of impact in the attack on Saudi facilities and that evidence showed the launch area was west-northwest of the targets – the direction of Iran – not south from Yemen.

The official added that Saudi officials had indicated they had seen signs that cruise missiles were used in the attack, which is inconsistent with the Iran-aligned Houthi group’s claim that it conducted the attack with 10 drones.

Of course drones don’t have to travel in a straight line, and cruise missiles don’t either, and so we may never know for sure where the attacks originated.

But we do know that the Houthi rebels in Yemen are being backed by Iran, and we also know that the Shia militias in Iraq are also being backed by Iran.

So whether the attacks originated in Yemen, southern Iraq or Iran itself, it is not going to be too difficult for U.S. officials to place the blame on the Iranians, and we should expect some sort of military response.

In fact, President Trump posted the following message to Twitter just a little while ago

Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked. There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!

Of course U.S. airstrikes against Iran itself could ultimately spark World War 3, and most Americans are completely clueless that we could literally be on the precipice of a major war.

According to the Saudis, the equivalent of 5.7 million barrels a day of oil production were affected by the attacks.  Saudi Arabia typically produces about 9.8 million barrels a day, and so that is a really big deal.

When the markets reopened on Sunday night, oil futures exploded higher.  In fact, according to Zero Hedge this was the biggest jump ever…

With traders in a state of near-frenzy, with a subset of fintwit scrambling (and failing) to calculate what the limit move in oil would be (hint: there is none for Brent), moments ago brent reopened for trading in the aftermath of Saturday’s attack on the “world’s most important oil processing plant“, and exploded some 20% higher, to a high of $71.95 from the Friday $60.22 close, its biggest jump since futures started trading in 1988.

As I write this article, the price of Brent crude is currently sitting at $66.89, although at least one analyst is warning that the price of oil could soon shoot up to “as high as $100 per barrel” if the Saudis are not able to quickly resume their previous level of production…

The oil market will rally by $5-10 per barrel when it opens on Monday and may spike to as high as $100 per barrel if Saudi Arabia fails to quickly resume oil supply lost after attacks over the weekend, traders and analysts said.

Saudi officials have already told us that they anticipate that a third of the lost oil output will be restored on Monday.

But because of the extensive damage that has been done, restoring the remainder of the lost output could take “weeks” or even “months”.

In the short-term, President Trump has “authorized the release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve“, and that should help stabilize prices somewhat.

However, if a full-blown war with Iran erupts, nothing is going to be able to calm the markets.  In such a scenario, the price of oil could easily explode to a level that is four or five times higher than it is today, and that would essentially be the equivalent of slamming a baseball bat into the knees of the global economy.

The times that we are living in are about to become a whole lot more serious, but most Americans are not even paying attention to these absolutely critical global events.

In fact, even the mainstream media seems to believe that the new allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh are more important.

That is because they don’t understand what is really happening.

Trust me, keep a close eye on the Middle East, because things are about to start breaking loose there in a major way.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10042

Iran-Backed Militants Launch Drone Strike On Saudi Arabia’s Aramco Refineries Wiping Out Over Half Of The Kingdom’s Oil Refining Capabilities

Fires raged at the plant in Abqaiq, Bugayg, and the arab country’s second largest oilfield in Khurais this morning after mounting tensions between Riyadh and Tehran finally came to a head prompting Houthi rebels in Yemen to launch the flurry of rockets. A military spokesperson for these Yemeni rebels, who are locked into a bloody civil war, claimed responsibility for the strike on Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil giant Aramco.

by Geoffrey Grider September 14, 2019

Half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production power is feared to have been wiped out after Iran-backed militants turned two of the world’s most valuable refineries into infernos with a devastating drone strike.

Iran is fighting a proxy war on many fronts including Saudi Arabia and Israel, by supplying weapons and funding to Islamic terror groups in Yemen, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. These one-off type of attacks can be, as you can see here, devastatingly effective. In this recent drone strike attack on Saudi Arabia, it wiped out half of the kingdom’s production power to produce oil.

So it’s a good thing that the United States, due largely to the shale boom in the Permian Basin of West Texas, has just this month surpassed Saudi Arabia at now over 11 million barrels per day. The United States isn’t expected to cede its crown any time soon. The EIA expects US oil production to stay ahead of Russia and Saudi Arabia through 2019.

Attacks took place at 4.00 am at world’s largest oil processing plant Abqaiq

FROM DAILY MAIL UK: A eye-watering 5 million barrels per day of crude production has reportedly been destroyed – more than 50 per cent of the kingdom’s 9.65 million daily output which is relied upon around the globe. Fires raged at the plant in Abqaiq, Bugayg, and the arab country’s second largest oilfield in Khurais this morning after mounting tensions between Riyadh and Tehran finally came to a head prompting Houthi rebels in Yemen to launch the flurry of rockets.

A military spokesperson for these Yemeni rebels, who are locked into a bloody civil war, claimed responsibility for the strike on Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil giant Aramco.

The Houthi fighters have previously launched attacks over the border, hitting Shaybah oilfield with drones last month and two oil pumping stations in May. Both attacks caused fires but did not disrupt production.

The Saudi government has not yet officially confirmed the scale of the damage, by two well-connected sources told Reuters that 5 million barrels worth of daily production had been impacted.  Yahia Sarie announced that the Houthi’s were taking responsibility for the attacks on Saturday in a televised address carried by the Houthi’s Al-Masirah satellite news channel.

He said the Houthis sent 10 drones to attack an oil processing facility in Buqyaq and the Khurais oil field, warning that attacks by the rebels against the kingdom would only get worse if the war in Yemen continues.

Sarie said: ‘The only option for the Saudi government is to stop attacking us.’

Iran denies supplying the Houthis with weapons, although the UN, the West and Gulf Arab nations say Tehran does. Drone models nearly identical to those used by Iran have been used in the conflict in Yemen. The attacks highlight how the increasingly advanced weaponry of the Iran-linked Houthi rebels – from ballistic missiles to unmanned drones – poses a serious threat to oil installations in Saudi Arabia, the world’s top crude exporter.

The international energy watchdog said that the global oil markets are for now ‘well supplied with ample commercial stocks.’ The International Energy Agency said in a statement: ‘We are in contact with Saudi authorities as well as major producer and consumer nations.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10039

Israel said again mulling raid on Iran; thinks Trump, unlike Obama, won’t oppose

NY Times exposé reveals extent of Netanyahu-Obama rift on stopping Iranian nukes; PM himself tells paper he’d ‘unequivocally’ have ordered strike in 2012 if cabinet had backed him

By Michael Bachner 4 September 2019, 4:13 pm 11

Israeli officials are currently considering the possibility of conducting a military strike on Iran, with or without the approval of the United States, The New York Times reported Wednesday. They believe US President Donald Trump could decide not to stand in the way of such an attack, unlike his predecessor Barack Obama, the paper reported Wednesday in an exposé that detailed the lows and highs of the Israel-US relationship in the face-off against the Islamic Republic over the past decade.

“Once again, more than a decade after they first raised the subject with American officials, Israeli officials have been considering the possibility of a unilateral strike against Iran,” said the report. “Unlike with Bush and Obama, there is greater confidence that Trump wouldn’t stand in the way.”

The report, “The Secret History of the Push to Strike Iran,” which focused on Israeli-US efforts to prevent Iran from attaining nuclear weapons, did not specify which targets Israel was now said to be contemplating attacking. It noted that “hawks in Israel and America have spent more than a decade agitating for war against the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program,” and asked: “Will Trump finally deliver?”

 “The threat of war could be a bluff, or an election ploy,” it added. “But it also represents a dangerous confluence of interests: an American president often reluctant to use military force and an Israeli prime minister looking to deal with unfinished business.”

“I think that it’s far more likely that Trump would give Netanyahu a green light to strike Iran than that Trump would strike himself,” the Obama administration’s ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro was quoted as saying. “But that, you know, is a big risk.”

Trump himself in June was “half an hour away” from approving a US strike on the Islamic Republic, reports said at the time.

“Trump’s last-minute decision to abort the attack in June led to a concern among Iran hawks in both Israel and the United States: that the president ultimately might not have the resolve to confront the threat with military force,” Wednesday’s piece said.

Jerusalem has been actively pushing and preparing for a strike on Iranian nuclear facilities for many years, and in 2012 came extremely close to giving the Israel Defense Forces a green light to carry that out, the NY Times said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was interviewed in August for the article, told the paper that he would “unequivocally” have approved the attack, but did not have the necessary cabinet support.

The report quoted dozens of current and former senior officials to describe how Netanyahu threatened the Obama administration with carrying out the strike. That pressure, according to some of those cited in the story, ironically pushed the US president to expedite the negotiations with Tehran that eventually yielded the 2015 nuclear deal. Thus Netanyahu, according to these sources, inadvertently pushed Obama to promote the agreement he loathes so much.

According to one Israeli intelligence official, “Netanyahu achieved exactly the opposite of what he wanted… By doing what he did, he promoted the deal that he fought against afterward.”

Other sources, however, told the paper that Israeli pressure did not play a significant role: “President Obama’s push for a diplomatic resolution to the Iranian nuclear challenge long predated Prime Minister Netanyahu’s saber-rattling,” it quoted Ned Price, spokesman for Obama’s National Security Council, saying. “Candidate Obama pledged in 2007 to seek the very type of diplomatic achievement he, together with many of our closest allies and partners, struck as president in 2015.”

The report said Washington had been closely monitoring Israeli activities at the height of Israel-Iran tensions in the Obama era, and that in the summer of 2012, American spy satellites “detected clusters of Israeli aircraft making what seemed to be early preparations for an attack.”

 “Israeli leaders had spent more than a year delivering ominous warnings to Washington that they might launch a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities — and that if they did, they would give the United States little warning and no chance to stop them,” the report said. “One former senior Israeli security official, looking back at that time, said that it wasn’t until then that he believed the prime minister was serious about striking Iran.”

Realizing the gravity of the moment, then-US secretary of defense Leon Panetta was said to make a rare decision to invite Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak to his Pentagon office and show him a “highly classified video.”

“In a desert in the American Southwest, the Pentagon had constructed an exact replica of the Fordo [fuel enrichment plant], and the video showed a test of the 30,000-pound [13,600 kilogram] massive ordnance penetrator, a bunker-busting weapon the [US] Air Force had designed to penetrate the most hardened of underground defenses. The bomb destroyed the mock-up in the desert. Barak was impressed,” the Times reported.

Concern in the White House over the potential Israeli strike also led it to send an official to Israel every several weeks to to “Bibisit” the Israeli leader and make sure he did not launch a strike on the Islamic Republic, the report said.

However, Israel kept preparing for the strike, which “came far closer to happening than has previously been reported.”

“[Israel’s] military and intelligence services had cut the time needed for the final preparations — for the attack and for the war that might ensue,” the report said.

“I went to bed every night, if I went to bed at all, with the phone close to my ear,” it quoted Michael Oren, the Israeli ambassador to Washington at the time, as saying. “I was ready to be called in by Israel and sent to the White House or the State Department to tell them we had attacked, or if they already knew from their own sources, straight to CNN.”

Netanyahu himself was quoted as saying the threat to attack Iran “was not a bluff — it was real. And only because it was real were the Americans truly worried about it.”

A satellite image from April 2, 2016, of the Fordo nuclear facility in Iran. (Google Earth)

The Times said Netanyahu at the time “pulled back from the brink only because he still could not get a majority of his cabinet to support him.” The Prime Minister’s Office on Wednesday confirmed to The Times of Israel that Netanyahu was referring to the security cabinet, not the full cabinet.

“If I’d had a majority, I would have done it. Unequivocally,” Netanyahu was quoted as saying by the Times.

The timing was problematic as well, shortly before the 2012 US presidential elections. And after those elections the attack became impossible to approve because of a rift between Netanyahu and Barak, caused by a meeting the latter had with Obama’s former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel in an attempt to convince him to support Jerusalem’s move. Netanyahu received word of the undeclared meeting and believed Barak had been undermining him.

In October, the report said, the strike was called off. It quoted Barak as saying: “It is one thing to strike alone, and a totally different thing to draw the United States into a confrontation that it doesn’t want to be a part of.”

Among other claims made in the piece is that Netanyahu “became increasingly suspicious of his senior advisers” as he considered in attack seven years ago. “He now accuses [then Mossad chief, the late Meir] Dagan of leaking the attack plan to the CIA, ‘intending to disrupt it,’ a betrayal that to Netanyahu’s mind was ‘absolutely inconceivable.’ Within a year, the paper noted, Dagan, IDF chief Gabi Ashkenazi, Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin, and national security adviser Uzi Arad, “were no longer in their posts.”

But “if Netanyahu hoped his handpicked replacements would be more compliant, however, he would soon be disappointed,” the report continued. Quoting three senior officials, it said “many others in the government,” including the new IDF chief Benny Gantz, “were also against the attack.” Gantz, who is Netanyahu’s main rival in the September 17 elections, was quoted telling the paper that his stance was a practical matter: “Even those who have not seen the intelligence understand that it would be a highly complicated affair and — if the impact it would have on other countries is taken into account — a strategic affair of the highest level,” Gantz said.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10026

A Watershed Moment For American Evangelical Christianity – Benny Hinn Has Just Renounced The Prosperity Gospel

September 4, 2019 by Michael Snyder

When you have done things a certain way for almost your entire career, it can be exceedingly difficult to admit that you were wrong.  This is true in any field, but it is especially true for those in the ministry.  So Benny Hinn showed an enormous amount of courage when he completely repudiated the “prosperity gospel” on Monday night during a Facebook Live broadcast.  This represents a 180 degree turn for his ministry, and it could be a watershed moment for American evangelical Christianity as a whole.  For decades, an extreme emphasis on wealth and prosperity has virtually drowned out the message of the cross on Christian television, and this has greatly damaged the evangelical movement.  Having high profile leaders such as Benny Hinn renounce the “prosperity gospel” would do much to heal the damage that has been done, and he should be greatly applauded for his public repentance.

Of course a lot of people out there are going to be skeptical, and that is unfortunate.  Forgiveness is available to everyone no matter what they may have been through in the past, and we should all remember that there is literally nobody alive that is not in need of grace.

In addition, it is important to remember that ministries are always going to need resources in order to fulfill the Great Commission, and believers should always be supporting those ministries that are doing a great job of preaching the gospel.  But the “prosperity gospel” twisted what the Bible says about giving into a message that appealed to the flesh, and Benny Hinn has now completely rejected that message.  The following comes from the Christian Post

Declaring that the “Holy Ghost is just fed up with it,” controversial televangelist Benny Hinn, formerly one of the most aggressive proponents of the prosperity gospel, has for the first time in his career, delivered a full-throated rejection of the practice that made him and his family millions.

The prosperity gospel teaches, among other things, that believers have a right to the blessings of health and wealth, and they can obtain these blessings through positive confessions of faith and the “sowing of seeds” through the faithful payments of tithes and offerings.

And Hinn didn’t stop there.

At one point during his Monday night message, he boldly declared that the prosperity gospel is literally making him “sick to my stomach”

He said that “it is an offense to the Lord, it’s an offense to say, ‘Give $1,000.’ I think it’s offense to the Holy Spirit to place a price on the Gospel. I’m done with it.”

At one point Hinn asked viewers “Am I shocking you?”

“Giving has become such a gimmick it’s making me sick to my stomach,” he said. “And I’ve been sick for a while too, I just couldn’t say it.”

We definitely need a lot more of that sort of preaching in our churches.

In the end, this could result in Benny Hinn not being invited on Christian television as much.  As we have seen, there have certainly been other prominent Christian ministers that have paid a great price for telling the truth in recent years.  But Hinn is doing what is right for himself, his followers and for the American church as a whole, and that is what matters.

After all this time, Hinn says that the way he views “prosperity” has completely changed.  During his message, he pointed out that the great heroes in the Bible didn’t have lots of wealth

“Did Elijah the prophet have a car? No. Did not even have a bicycle. He had no lack. … Did Jesus drive a car or live in a mansion? No. He had no lack. How about the Apostles? None lacked among them,” Hinn said. “Today, the idea is abundance and palatial homes and cars and bank accounts. The focus is wrong … It’s so wrong.”

Hopefully thousands of other Christian leaders will see what Hinn has done and will follow his lead.  He continues to be highly influential in the evangelical Christian world, and what he just did is likely to send shockwaves all across the country.

It would have been really easy for Hinn to continue to preach the prosperity gospel, because that is what he has done throughout almost his entire career.

But in the final analysis, he was very afraid about what God would say once he got to heaven

Toward the end of the clip the 66-year-old told viewers, “I don’t want to get to heaven and be rebuked. I think it’s time we say it like its: The Gospel is not for sale.”

I understand that this article is highly controversial, and I also understand that many will criticize me for writing it and that many will continue to deeply criticize Benny Hinn for things he has done throughout the course of his ministry.

But it isn’t how we begin the race that matters.

What really matters is how we end the race, and Benny Hinn should be greatly, greatly applauded for setting himself on a new path

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10023

Todd Starnes: Franklin Graham has a warning for Christian ‘influencers’ renouncing their faith

By Todd Starnes | Fox News

Todd Starnes speaks with President and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse Franklin Graham about his support for a New Jersey mayor who opposes a law that requires public schools to teach LGBT history.

I’ve noticed a disturbing trend among so-called Christian “influencers.”

A small, but growing number of people made famous because of their faith are now using their platforms to reject the teachings of Christ.

John Cooper, the lead singer in the rock band Skillet, said it best in a Facebook post: “What in God’s Name is Happening in Christianity?”

Cooper was expressing his deep concerns about so-called Christian leaders who are openly renouncing their faith and others who are turning their backs on biblical teachings.

 “We are in a dangerous place when the church is looking to 20-year-old worship singers as our source of truth,” he wrote. “We now have a church culture that learns who God is from singing modern praise songs rather than from the teachings of the Word.”

Amen, brother! Preach!

“We must STOP making worship leaders and thought leaders or influencers or cool people or ‘relevant’ people the most influential people in Christendom,” he wrote.

Over the past few weeks the Christian community has been rocked by revelations that Joshua Harris, the author of “I Kissed Dating Goodbye,” had renounced his faith. And most recently, Hillsong’s Marty Sampson announced his faith in Christ was on “incredibly shaky ground.”

I asked Franklin Graham, the president of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, about this weird trend surrounding Christian leaders and influencers during an interview on my nationally-syndicated radio program.

“They’re in a very dangerous place to be out from under God’s protection,” Graham said during an interview on “The Todd Starnes Radio Show.” “For whatever reason they have decided they’re going to turn their back on God and God standards.”

Graham said he is especially disturbed by Christians who publicly renounce their faith in Christ, citing a warning from the Book of Revelation.

“(God) warns churches that turn their back on him and these young men who have renounced their faith have made it so public,” he said. “Why did they make it so public? I think they just want publicity. Otherwise, why didn’t they just leave their faith and just be quiet about it?”

He wondered if the reason why was so that other Christians might join them and fall away from the teachings of the Bible.

“Shame on them,” Graham said. “You’ll stand before God one day and give an account to Him.”

Cooper, in his Facebook post, pointed out a “common thread” among the leaders and influencers who are saying “no one else is talking about the REAL stuff.”

“This is just flatly false,” he wrote. “I just read today in a renowned worship leader’s statement, ‘How could a God of love send people to hell? No one talks about it.’ As if he is the first person to ask this? Brother, you are not that unique. The church has wrestled with this for 1500 years. Literally. Everybody talks about it. Children talk about it in Sunday school. There’s like a billion books written on the topic. Just because you don’t get the answer you want doesn’t mean that we are unwilling to wrestle with it. We wrestle with scripture until we are transformed by the renewing of our minds.”

Graham echoed that point during our interview on my radio show.

“I believe the Bible. I believe the Bible to be the Word of God. I believe every word of the Bible. I do not understand it all but I believe it all,” he said.

We must put our faith in Jesus Christ, not a celebrity influencer. And when we find ourselves facing difficulties in life, we must turn to the Bible instead of self-help books.

“I’m going to keep on doing what I do and I’m going to keep telling people how they can have a relationship with God how they can have their sins forgiven and how it can make and have that hope of heaven one day by putting their faith and trust in Jesus Christ.”

And that should be our prayer for Christian “influencers” like Mr. Harris and Mr. Sampson – that one day they might truly put their faith and trust in Christ.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10010

Skillet rocker: Stop elevating Christian influencers, learning theology from praise songs

By Jeannie Law, Christian Post Reporter | Thursday, August 15, 2019

John Cooper, lead singer of the Christian rock band Skillet, is speaking out and expressing dismay over popular Christian leaders publicly renouncing their faith. 

“Ok I’m saying it. Because it’s too important not to. What is happening in Christianity? More and more of our outspoken leaders or influencers who were once ‘faces’ of the faith are falling away. And at the same time, they are being very vocal and bold about it. Shockingly they still want to influence others (for what purpose?)as they announce that they are leaving the faith,” Cooper wrote in a Facebook post this week.

“I am stunned that the seemingly most important thing for these leaders who have lost their faith is to make such a bold new stance. Basically saying, ‘I’ve been living and preaching boldly something for 20 years and led generations of people with my teachings and now I no longer believe it..therefore I’m going to boldly and loudly tell people it was all wrong while I boldly and loudly lead people in to my next truth.’ I’m perplexed why they aren’t embarrassed? Humbled? Ashamed, fearful, confused? Why be so eager to continue leading people when you clearly don’t know where you are headed?”

Over the last few weeks, former pastor and best-selling author Joshua Harris announced on social media that he no longer considers himself a Christian, and prolific worship music writer Marty Sampson, known for his extensive work with Hillsong Church, said he was “genuinely losing” his faith.

Cooper made it clear that it’s not his “place” to judge unbelievers but as a follower of Christ, he deemed it necessary to address those within his faith, saying that there must be a measure of “loyalty and friendship and accountability to each other and the Word of God” as Christians.

While not naming names, Cooper warned all Christians to “STOP making worship leaders and thought leaders or influencers or cool people or ‘relevant’ people the most influential people in Christendom.” He included himself in the list of people often put up on a pedestal. 

“We are in a dangerous place when the church is looking to 20 year old worship singers as our source of truth. We now have a church culture that learns who God is from singing modern praise songs rather than from the teachings of the Word.”

When it comes to writing songs for Skillet, Cooper — whose band just released a new album, Victorious — told The Christian Post that he has “very close relationships” with his church and that he takes their input seriously.

“We are looked at as a ministry of our church. So they’re very behind us,” Cooper told CP. “It’s not true that I write a song and I give it to them for an OK before I release it but it is the case that sometimes I write something and I say, ‘I don’t know if that’s exactly right and I will look for their input.’

New SAT-7 documentary Sequel of Hope broadcasts Myriam and her family’s message of hope after returning to their hometown of Qaraqosh, Iraq.

“It also is the case if they ever had a problem with something I had written, we’re such good friends and I respect them so much that they would tell me and I would take that very seriously.”

His reason for doing so is because of how unsound some Christain music has become in the church, he explained.

“A lot of Christian people right now, artists are releasing stuff that when I read the lyrics, I’m like, ‘I’m amazed that people have a problem with Skillet lyrics’ when some of the songs that we sing in church today I don’t think are actually accurate,” he stated. “Not to be overly harsh but I am 100% sure that God’s love is absolutely not reckless in any sort of way. I can’t believe we sing it in church, but we do!”

Cooper was referencing the very popular worship song “Reckless Love” by Cory Asbury, which is sung in many churches all over the United States. 

He explained that the first time he became aware of the song was when his 11-year-old son told him he had been listening to the lyrics of it and after reading the Bible he  could not find anywhere in the Word where it said God’s love was “reckless.” His conversation with his son showed Cooper the importance of proper theology in music.

“I’m not trying to be rude about the song. And I’ve listened to interviews and I get where it’s coming from. I want to be inclusive to people but when people look at Skillet lyrics and they go, ‘I’m not really sure if this is a Christian song? I’m like, ‘Really? And you’re singing the songs you’re singing [in church]?’ 

“My point is, we should have a little bit more trepidation before we just start throwing out stuff in the world,” he told CP.

In his Facebook post, he contended that artists “are good at communicating emotion and feeling” but they “are not always the best people to write solid bible truth and doctrine.”

“Sometimes we are too young, too ignorant of scripture, too unaware, or too unconcerned about the purity of scripture and the holiness of the God we are singing to. Have you ever considered the disrespect of singing songs to God that are untrue of His character?” he wrote.

Continuing his argument against the recent public announcements of falling away from the faith, Cooper wondered, “[W]hy do people act like ‘being real’ covers a multitude of sins? As if someone is courageous simply for sharing virally every thought or dark place. That’s not courageous. It’s cavalier.”

“As if they are the harbingers of truth, saying ‘I used to think one way and practice it and preach it, but now I’ve learned all the new truth and will start practicing and preaching it.’ So the influencers become the voice for truth in whatever stage of life and whatever evolution takes place in their thinking.”

The “Legendary” singer also rejected as “flatly false” the claim that no one is addressing hard questions in Christianity.

Sampson of Hillsong had argued in his social media announcement that “no one talks about” contradictions in the Bible, preachers falling, and why God sends people to Hell, among other things.

“The church has wrestled with this for 1500 years. Literally,” Cooper argued. “Everybody talks about it. Children talk about it in Sunday school. There’s like a billion books written on the topic. Just because you don’t get the answer you want doesn’t mean that we are unwilling to wrestle with it. We wrestle with scripture until we are transformed by the renewing of our minds.”

In the end, there’s one thing the Skillet singer finds most shocking:

“As these influencers disavow their faith, they always end their statements with their ‘new insight/new truth’ that is basically a regurgitation of Jesus’s words! It’s truly bizarre and ironic. They’ll say ‘I’m disavowing my faith but remember, love people, be generous, forgive others. Ummm, why? That is actually not human nature.”

He continued: “No child is ever born and says ‘I just want to love others before loving myself. I want to turn the other cheek. I want to give my money away to others in need.’ Those are Bible principles taught by a prophet/Priest/king of kings who wants us to live by a higher standard which is not an earthly standard, but rather the ‘Kingdom of God’ standard. Therefore if Jesus is not the truth and if the Word of God is not absolute, then by preaching Jesus’s teachings you are endorsing the words of a madman.

“[W]ill your ideas of what is ‘good’ be different from year to year based on your experience, culture trends, poplular opinion etc and furthermore will you continue year by year to lead others into your idea of goodness even though it is not absolute? I’m amazed that so many Christians want the benefits of the kingdom of God, but with the caveat that they themselves will be the King.”

The Tennessee native pleaded with believers to “rediscover” the preeminence and the value of the Word of God. 

“We need to value truth over feeling. Truth over emotion,” he stated. 

“I implore you, please please in your search for relevancy for the gospel, let us NOT find creative ways to shape Gods word into the image of our culture by stifling inconvenient truths. But rather let us hold on even tighter to the anchor of the living Word of God. For He changes NOT.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10003