Friday, January 13, 2017

How Events in the Holy Land Can Affect America

While the COGs carefully watch the Holy Land to see a sign that Christ will soon return it turns out there are other reasons it is worth paying attention to events over there. 
The most widely-anticipated policy change is moving the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem (which in the short-term would require just switching the signs in front of U.S. diplomatic facilities). Another possibility is kicking the official representatives of the Palestinians out of Washington. A third is ending aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA). 
Why focus on these three? Among other reasons, because all are already required by law: a 1995 law requires the transfer of the embassy; a 1988 law bars the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the recognized representative of the Palestinians, from operating in the U.S.; and Congress has for nearly two decades passed legislation every year barring funding to the PA. However, Congress also gives presidents the authority to waive implementation of each of these laws, in an arrangement that lets legislators score political points with pro-Israel hardliners, while leaving space for presidents to preserve responsible policies. 
Until now, presidents from both parties have consistently exercised these waivers; by merely ceasing to do so, Trump could change any or all of these policies, immediately and on his own. (Lara Friedman, Think Trump’s Policies On Israel-Palestine Have Nothing To Do With You? Think Again, Huffington Post, January 6, 2017.)
 Furthermore it turns out there is a law which requires the United States to withdraw and defund any United Nations organization which admits the Palestinians as a member. That is one reason why UNESCO passed their recent resolution about Jerusalem. America was not a member and paid nothing to them and so had no say because of this law.


  1. It is admirable to help the poor and give aid to the less fortunate.

    However, that is with the caveat that you provide for your own first.

    It just seems to me that it is irresponsible to promote deficit spending while giving money away to other countries when there are so many major issues to resolve in the United States. One example: The bridges on our roadways are deteriorating and it is only a matter of time until they collapse. Before we pour money into Palestine, it would seem a good idea to fix bridges.

    Another matter is health care. It is my understanding from my former colleague with whom I worked who was from India and knowledgeable of these things, that Germany has an excellent health care system without all the unfair burdens of one segment of the population paying for another and making costs rise many times over for those who did have good health care or at least adequate health care to begin with for a more or less reasonable price. Some have gone from totally employer paid or $100 a month payments up to $800 per month -- and that's not for the highly paid either. If your annual income is around $40,000 for a family of four, this can be quite devastating (of course for some of those, payments went from $235 per month to $1,300 a month). Why didn't anyone look at what other countries are doing before lying to everyone that it wasn't going to be a tax and then taxing everybody, except for those who aren't paying anything at all.

    And there are many, many poor in the United States. In our local area, the Journey Community Church has stepped up and very week, volunteers in their ministry distribute over 150-bags of food to kids at four area elementary schools who rely on the free lunch program and don’t get enough to eat at home.

    We could help hungry kids instead of potentially providing money (unwittingly) to the PLO terrorists, or worse, ISIS. And we're pretty sure the Jews, don't really need our help, thank you.

    Why not?

    Charity begins at home.

    1. So true! We are able to help others most effectively when the help comes from an abundant surplus. This is true when distributing either physical goods, or sharing a fund of knowledge. Maintaining our own strengths becomes the key or vital prerequisite to helping others.

      There are a number of children in the public schools, who have the appearance of "normalcy". However, a new term has been created to precisely describe the reality of their condition. They are "food insecure", and this is especially devastating over the weekends, when the breakfast and lunch programs of the schools are not in play. Fortunately, many of the community churches do fund and replenish the food banks which attempt to mitigate the problem. There are also charity events in some communities that raise money for clothing and educational materials for homeless kids that attend the public schools. Sadly, as ACOG members in the past, we weren't even aware of these types of problems, let alone being motivated in compassion for the people affected to the point of actually doing something about it.


    2. Byker Bob,

      Some in the ACoGs were aware of the problems... when the problems happened to them -- children in the Radio Church of God / Worldwide Church of God going without adequate clothing, some half starving -- all because the money for the household went to pay for Herbert Armstrong's food, booze and luxury items.

      I was at a ladies' function (as someone helping out) in the earlier years of the church. I noticed that one widow lady was sneaking all the food from the potluck into her purse she could. She was very gaunt. It occurred to me that she was actually starving and these infrequent social gatherings were the only thing helping her stay alive.

      Unfortunately, she wasn't close to us, so we couldn't really help -- we lived outside the city and it was difficult to go and help her.

      We did try to help people as we could when we knew about it... except, of course, for the times that we were short ourselves.

      For the longest time, I could not understand how some of the deacons and elders lived as well as they did until one elder told us that they knew that they didn't have to tithe on their gross income or pay third tithe.

      As for the 1%ers in the ACoGs, for most of them, the poor are nothing but collateral damage, and, don't you know, if you kept God's Law, you'd be blessed: So the poor had the extra judgment of being those God was not blessing because they weren't doing their part.

      Those were the people who grew up well off, sailed through Ambassador College and had no conception of what real trials were.

      You wonder how much they lost as human beings....