Jewish Lives Matter

A Letter to the Editor This Christmas 2018

I would like you to consider helping me get this inter-denominational Letter to the Editor of the Virginian-Pilot signed by Catholic priests in the Hampton Roads area. We have about 20 signatures from a wide variety of  protestant pastors so far. 
Here is an opportunity for protestant and catholic leaders to stand together on the right side of an issue: anti-semitism and the debt we Christians owe to Jewish people.
I have included a link to a form to help record the title and name of each signing leader: Click here to sign
Here is the proposed letter to the Editor of the Virginian-Pilot:
Jewish Lives Matter

This Christmas, Christians everywhere celebrate the birth of a Jewish man named Jesus born in Israel. Christians believe Jesus to be the Jewish Messiah, promised in the Old Testament.

While it is always appropriate to honor Jewish people for their many contributions to mankind,  it is even more important for Americans to honor them now, in the aftermath of the recent massacre at an American synagogue.

As Christian leaders in Hampton Roads, we wish to publicly express our gratitude, respect and love for our Jewish neighbors.  Christianity would not exist without the Jews.

The Old Testament—the Scriptures Jesus followed— was obviously written by Jews.   The New Testament was entirely written by Jews, with the possible exception of Luke’s Gospel.  Jesus was a Jew. All of his apostles were Jewish. Most of the early church were Jews.   Jesus said He came initially only to serve Jews.  Jesus said, “Salvation is from the Jews.”

This Christmas season we encourage the people of Hampton Roads to honor your Jewish neighbors. We encourage you to thank them for their courage, their incredible wisdom and for their generous forgiveness for all that non-Jews have done to them for over 2000 years.

On MARCH 30, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a National Day of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer:

American Needs More days like This!

During the Civil War, on MARCH 30, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a National Day of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer:

“Whereas, the Senate of the United States devoutly recognizing the Supreme Authority and just Government of Almighty God in all the affairs of men and of nations,

has, by a resolution, requested the President to designate and set apart a day for national prayer and humiliation; and

Whereas, it is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow

yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon, and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history: that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord;

… And, insomuch as we know that, by His divine law, nations like individuals are subjected to punishments and chastisement in this world,

may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil warwhich now desolates the landmay be but a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people?

… We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity.

We have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown.

But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious Hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us;

and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.

Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace,too proud to pray to the God that made us!

It behooves us then to humble ourselves before the offended Powerto confess our national sins and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.

… Now, therefore, in compliance with the request and fully concurring in the view of the Senate,

I do, by this my proclamation, designate and set apart Thursday, the30TH DAY OF APRIL, 1863, as a Day of National Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer.

… And I do hereby request all the people to abstain on that day from their ordinary secular pursuits, and to unite, at their several places of public worship and their respective homes, in keeping the day holy to the Lord and devoted to the humble discharge of the religious duties proper to that solemn occasion.

… All this being done, in sincerity and truth, let us then rest humbly in the hope authorized by the Divine teachings, thatthe united cry of the nation will be heard on high and answered with blessing no less than the pardon of our national sinsand the restoration of our now divided and suffering country to its former happy condition of unity and peace.

… In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this 30th day of March, A.D. 1863, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-seventh. Abraham Lincoln. By the President: William H. Seward, Secretary of State.”

Taken from Bill Federer’s excellent newsletter here. 

Keep the Faith Broadcast from Richmond on Jan 16th

With Federal & State Elected Officials

From the Virginia Prayer Caucus

Congressional Prayer Caucus member Rep. Rob Wittman, Virginia Prayer Caucus co-chair Delegate Brenda Pogge, and State Director, Pastor Ryan McAdams, on right

Hello and Happy New Year!

God is wanting to do great things in 2018. We have an opportunity to be part of a national movement called “Keep Faith In America,” and I am inviting you to participate in the KICK OFF EVENT on January 16th which will be held at the Richmond Capitol beginning at 10:30 am at the Bell Tower on the Capitol grounds.

January 16th is the National Religious Freedom Day, commemorating the day of the passage of the Virginia Statute on Religious Freedom in 1786. Thomas Jefferson drafted the legislation and considered it one of his greatest achievements. The law protected the civil rights of citizens to express their religious beliefs without discrimination. James Madison and those who drafted the U.S. Constitution gleaned heavily from Jefferson’s statute in establishing the First Amendment’s sacred guarantee of religious freedom.

At this event we will be part of a first-of-its-kind national broadcast on Facebook Live hosted by federal and state elected leaders. Legislators in congress and in over 20 states will be participating in “Keep Faith in America” events at their capitols.

The focus of the event will be to present a unifying message about the positive impact of faith, the role of faith in freedom and civility, and the need for unceasing prayer for our leaders and nation.

This is just the beginning of a strategy created by a unique coalition of faith leaders who will continue to focus on impacting other key spheres of society including churches, universities, local government and school boards.

So please join us for this significant and meaningful event on January 16th! Invite your pastor and congregation and join us at the Bell Tower. Feel free to forward this email and get the word out.

God bless you richly,

Ryan McAdams
State Director
Virginia Prayer Caucus Network
Ryan@VirginiaPrayerCaucus.com

Christian Denominations in Virginia Need to Apologize to Virginia Tribes

For 20th Century Offenses

Leonard Crow Dog, a Lakota elder and highly-regarded activist, left, places his hand over Gen. Wesley Clark Jr.’s head during a forgiveness ceremony for veterans at the Four Prairie Knights Casino & Resort on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation on Monday, Dec. 5, 2016.

 

I know some really good folks might not think so, but I respectfully disagree for several reasons:

1. I know of only two Christian apology services with Virginia Native Americans in the last 20 years: One at Williamsburg with the Spanish Ambassador and one at the 400th Anniversary of the Colony on the beach in Virginia Beach in 2007.  I was at the one on the beach that Rock Church hosted.  At the 2007 beach event, no specific offenses were repented of that I heard over the sound system. Pastor Marty O’Rourke washed Chief Ann Richardson’s feet as an act of repentance and honor.

The other one, at William and Mary, concerned the events surrounding the killing of the Spanish Jesuits by the tribe in February of 1671 and some other early events.  ( I was involved as an advisor in both apologies, by the way. This is something I have felt strongly about for many years. My book talks about that.)

No Christian leader or denomination has ever publicly apologized for what a Presbyterian Elder named Walter Plecker did. The hideous Plecker enforcement of the Racial Integrity Act of 1924 which he helped to draft effectively stripped Virginia Native Americans of their identity as Indians as they sought marriage licenses for 50 years. They could only register as white or black. Therefore, they all had to declare “Black” since they were not fully white. This law was an extension of the Virginia laws against mixed marriages  —another set of laws all Virginians should be ashamed of, too. White supremacists got them all passed. Plecker admired Hitler and wrote congratulatory letters to his staff. 

As a result of Plecker not allowing Indians to register as Indians, they cannot prove their ancestry. There are currently 566 federally recognized Indian tribes, only one of which are from Virginia–and that just got approved. The other 10 Virginia tribes have lost all the valuable federal benefits that the other 566 tribes have long enjoyed.

Walter Plecker was a physician, eugenicist and avowed white supremacist–and a devout Presbyterian Elder who helped start churches in Virginia. Most of the Virginia legislators and government officials who enforced these terrible laws would have claimed to be Christians in this Bible Belt state.  Hundreds of pastors and churches probably knew of these laws over the 50-year history of their enforcement.  Clearly, Christians have sinned against our Native American tribes in Virginia by using, encouraging or allowing such hateful laws to be passed and enforced for five decades.

I think that all the denominations that were here in Virginia during the 20th century need to take some responsibility for allowing or encouraging such laws. They never have…yet despite the Governor Mark Warner’s 2002 apology for these hideous laws, especially forced sterilization. 

The Canadian government and the Australian governments have both publically apologized for serious 20th-century offenses against their native tribes. Why not us?  Why not the Christain denominational leaders whose members perpetrated these awful offenses againts our tribes?

2.  I would bet that hardly any Christians in Hampton Roads knows of any public apologies to our tribes from Christian leaders.  Only a small number of people are aware of them. I think it would honor our tribes to have those previous apologies made very public.  I think it is somewhat hollow to honor VA tribes on April 17th in Richmond with a statue to our tribes without such public apologies from the state and from Christian denominations for the offenses we have committed against our tribes for 400 years. As you may recall, some Christian denominations and the State of Virginia did apologize for the slavery issue.

Many of my friends love our tribes and want to see them honored as they should be. The Jamestown Colony would probably not have survived with the food assistance of the Native Americans–some provided by the intercession of Pocahontas. Those tribes helped found America. For me, it is not only those motives but the principles of 2 Sam 21 that makes me sure that such public apologies need to be very public and detailed.

May God heal our state and nation even more through such acts of repentance! May our Virginia Tribes be able to bless our state and nation even more despite all we have done to injure them in the 20th century and before.

Virginia and our nation need the blessing of our Virginia tribes!  That’s the lesson of 2 Samuel 21.

Why All Protestants Need to Thank the Catholic Church

Especially on the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation this Year!

As Protestants celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, all Christians can remember with sadness the necessary split of Christendom by the Protestant Reformation to correct some very bad Catholic theology. Pope Francis, the current Pope, has even praised Luther as a great reformer.

What is missing in this 500th Anniversary–and what has been missing for at least 500 years–are public expressions of gratitude from Protestants to Catholics for giving Protestants the New Testament!

While there are 5800 Greek manuscripts of the New Testament and another 10,000 in other languages, the main Greek manuscripts for our beloved Protestant New Testament were all copied by hand for centuries only by Roman Catholics–mostly by humble monks whose names are known only to God and others in heaven. I can’t wait to hug them and thank them in person! 

I propose that we send a Letter to the Editor of the Virginian-Pilot this month to publically thank and honor the Roman Catholic Church for giving us our priceless New Testament.

It is hard to imagine how we or the world could know about Jesus and the Gospel today without the Catholic manuscripts of the Greek New Testament from which most Bible today draw their source.

Caution: Lord Jesus at Work!

Jesus is Still Making New Land Here!

“The Son is the image of the invisible God…All things were created by him, and for him” ( Col.1:16) is God’s clear claim as Creator and Owner of all that exists. In real estate terms, Jesus has “a clear title” to everything in the universe. No one else can claim the rights of creation or ownership.

As I sit here on a lava flow bed not far from the Kilauea volcano, I am reminded of this eternal truth.  Jesus is still making and claiming new land here!  The land of this island is still under construction by Lord Jesus!  Here is the big overview of the “Big Island” in the Hawaiian Archipelago–lands made just of lava:

Caution: Lord Jesus at Work!

Jesus at work!

The Big Island is the youngest of the Hawaiian Islands. There are six volcanoes that have worked together over the last (give or take) one million years to create the Big Island. … Three volcanoes are still active: Hualalai, Mauna Loa and Kilauea. Kilauea is currently erupting while the other two could erupt at any time.

 KILAUEA – ERUPTING SINCE 1983!

“Blood, fire and smoke!”–Acts 2:19

Kilauea is the youngest of 6 volcanoes on the Big Island and has been continuously erupting since 1983. During the current eruption over 500 acres of coastline have been added to the Island.

Yesterday, I was reading Acts 2 and the prophecy of Joel 2: 20-30 was quoted by Peter in Acts 2:17-21. It seems to be talking about a volcano erupting:

“‘And it shall be in the last days,’ God says, ‘and I will grant wonders in the sky above and signs on the earth below,
Blood, and fire, and vapor of smokeThe sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the great and glorious day of the Lord shall comeAnd it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’”

Vacationing next to an active volcano made those Acts 2 verses pop out to me. What does this mean? Perhaps that we will see more volcanic activity as the Lord gets ready to pour out His spirit on mankind again to save massive numbers of humanity.

I could be dead wrong about the volcano connection to global revival, but I am sure such a revival is coming. Many Christians around the world have been sensing this for years. Get ready to be revived by God so you can help bring in the great harvest of souls Jesus died for. He likes to make things, including islands of lava, but he died for people. May we be the generation that helps more people make it to heaven than any other.

May we finish what Jesus started: helping the world make it to heaven through faith in Jesus! (Matt. 28:18-20)