Five Fold Today My Plumbline - I Am Coming to Shake Up the Approved Social Order of the Day! - Babylon - To the family of Tom Fox - Last in a Round of Bullets - Discerning Leadership
April 3, 2006
Olivia Reitz Long
(Behold I will set a plumbline in the midst of My people)
AND MY ROD OF FIRE
So, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed. I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the plumbline; hail will sweep away your lie and water will overflow your hiding place. Isaiah 28:16-18
Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed. Rev: 16:15
"Don't you know that you yourselves, are God's Temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred and you are that Temple." 1 Cor: 3:16
Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ Himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, the two shall become one flesh. But he who unites himself with "the Lord" is one with Him in spirit.
1 Cor 6:15-17
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow, it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing, nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:12-14
For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear. Mark 4:22-24
Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your Name and in Your Name, drive out demons and perform many miracles? Then I will tell them plainly, I never knew you. Away from Me, you evil doer. Matthew 7:21-23
Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of "My People" and I will come with a Rod of Fire. The time has come when I will set My plumbline on the wall of My people, determining how upright they truly are "in My sight". It will mean nothing to Me as to how upright many think they are or of how upright they declare themselves to be. Many see the evil others do but cannot see it in themselves because they have used their own plumbline as a standard in their own lives.
As I held a plumbline up to a wall to My prophet Amos to show My own just how out of kilter they were and if not corrected, their wall would come tumbling down...As it was then, so shall it be now! I am the same - yesterday, today and forever!
I have said to love ME with all of your heart, with all of your soul and with all of your might! I have said to love your neighbor as yourselves. Sadly, many of My people professing to follow Me, demonstrate a 'faulty' love for others...Oh yes, they "speak the correct words", oh yes, they "speak of Me", they "speak of My commandments", they "speak of love", they speak many "words".... BUT the uprightness of My Plumbline is not there. Where is My love for even the most despicable of people? Why the judging of others, even brothers and sisters in the Lord, when judgment is Mine, saith the Lord. To My own, I say ... Do not be surprised when you bring Me your offerings and they will not be accepted.
I have sent many of My true prophets to My own, sadly MY prophets are not popular in their own country. For those who should have listened, they have taken "defensive stands" for they only see My Prophets coming against them. If only one will listen and turn away from self-righteousness and truly stand "upright" to My Plumbline, My prophets will truly say it was worth it all. My Plumbline, to be Christ-Like, to show others that He truly lives In you and Through you and truly standing for righteousness, this is what My own are to be....
Shortly, My own and the world will see changes as never before been seen... BUT FIRST I come to each of you - and please hear Me, "I WILL COME and the time is not far off" - ponder now how you will measure up to MY plumbline. Will you be standing upright? Will you be catering only to me or will you continue to cater to man? Do you seek My attention or do you seek the attention of man and what they have to say? Are you too busy listening to man who will tell you what you want to hear and listen to what you have to say or are you spending quality time with Me? Are you giving the appearance to others of My anointing but bringing forth no fruit? I ask you, who will remain standing acting "IN LINE" to "MY WILL"? How many will heed My message that I have been bringing through a continual line of MY Prophets and not the prophets of man? How many will see and make the necessary adjustments now? It will not be your credentials, it will not be the words you speak from your soul, for false plumblines will crumble and fall and soon! There can only be one plumbline and that is the knowledge of My Son and of Him truly, TRULY operating in and through My own, standing Upright. I tell you nothing else will do!
"I am setting a plumbline amidst My people and I will spare them no longer." Truly, My beloved, examine yourselves and ask yourself ... Who am I truly trying to impress - man or My living God? Do I care more for what man thinks or believes of me or of what My God thinks and believes of me?" Do I love My God with all of my heart, with all of my soul and with all of my might? Do I truly love my neighbor as myself? Now is the time, the time to ponder these questions most carefully.
Do not make the mistake of thinking you still have time, for My Rod of Fire will come swiftly. I AM coming to cleanse My Temple. You are the priests of your own temple, take heed, do not be found wanting as the priests were found when I first came to earth. I am coming with my Rod of Fire to separate those who profess to know Me and follow Me and those who really do... Many will be left naked and ashamed and will be left behind. Instead of following My Spirit they have followed their flesh. I will come as a thief, a surprise to you all and many will not be ready for what is to occur.
I am coming with My blazing Rod of Fire and what will remain are two camps from My Temple, one remaining and one to continue on with their destinies In Me. Many are in dire danger due to the programs, doctrines and ideas of "man"... It is imperative that you see "now" that it is on My side and My Word that you will stand and not with the popularity of man nor the pride of self.
Great danger and tragedy is coming upon the earth but also the greatest moments of My Glory.... The enemy is poised and ready but nothing escapes your Living God, Nothing! Take heed, at this moment in time - it is not the danger of the enemy,it is not with the ideas or thoughts of man, it is not about your own ideas of what is happening, it is not in physical disasters. Although these things are coming, it is in none of these where your 'attention' should be at this most crucial moment in time... At this moment, it is not about what any of this can do to you but with what Your God can do to you for I come before the destruction with My rod of fire.
As I judged Eli to be unworthy to remain as High Priest and cut him off, so shall I judge and cut off many who claim to be High Priest of My Temple! My FINAL PURGING shall come with a blazing Rod of Fire upon My own... As I cleansed the physical temple when I first came to earth, I shall now cleanse My Temple which is to be living in you. I AM Sovereign and I have a sovereign right to choose and I also have the sovereign right to judge. Sadly, as the priests then had a hearing problem and ignored the warnings, so will many today. You have heard the message, NOW the MESSENGER is coming. Many will fall and not be able to "survive" the red hot flames of My rod. Heed NOW, there will be no time later!
Countless destinies In Me are at stake. Only a remnant shall move on and My Glory shall be seen in and through them... and ... the world, believers and non shall see My power working through My Beloved.
To My Faithful Ones, continue to stay close to Me as the enemy would seek to derail you at the last moment... Keep your heads close to My chest as you have been doing and you will see the Glory of the Lord enabling you with My power and anointing - sending you forth throughout the world.
You have gone through so much, you have suffered much, lost much. You have had great suffering and pain in your body. You have had great suffering and pain in your emotions. You have been wounded deeply and in pain, even by those who call Me Lord. You have had great suffering and pain even in your spirit wondering if you will ever 'make My cut'...
The enemy has sought to do you in. EVEN NOW, you feel as Lazarus, that you are so sick that you will die and that I will not come to save you. You have thought "but if only you had been here! Where is My Friend! Where is the One Who weeps over me?" My Beloved, I have wept many tears over what has been happening to you but all of this has been preparation for what lies ahead. My Faithful Ones, even though you don't think you have much hope and faith at times and even with all your physical, emotional and spiritual pain that you have been going through, it is still My voice that you listen for even at the lowest point in your lives. In all of your lonliness, you still seek to hear only My voice at this most crucial time in the history of man. Beloved, I see and hear all. Hear Me ... I have wept over My Holy City, I have wept in the Garden, I have wept over My friend Lazarus and I have wept over you! Trust Me, as Lazarus, you will see the power that I truly possess when all appears dead and decaying ...
My Faithful Ones, having gone through every kind of pain and suffering but remaining faithful to Me, trusting the I AM. Even though you might not believe it ... it is 'you' where I will find "faith in this earth."
Stand strong for you WILL measure up to My Plumbline.
Stand strong for you WILL be left standing as My Rod of Fire comes for the final purging.
Stand strong for you WILL see My promises to you BECOME FACT!
I Am Coming to Shake Up the Approved Social Order of the Day!
1. I am coming to do great injury and wrong to that which is not of my Father.
My nature contends with the nature of the beast. This nature of the beast is in the heart of men who have not been sanctified by My Spirit. That which has not been fully sanctified remains an offense to me and I will be an offense to it!
Yes I will offend the beast in this hour! I will release a shockwave of glorious power that will cause the beast to reel to and fro like a drunken man! The nature of the beast has cleverly entrapped my people and has caused them to error in their hearts concerning what is acceptable to my Father. A learned practice of what is acceptable to men has been the standard by which men have been judged, yet that standard shall be fully violated in this DAY. Religious leaders have led my people into complacency and have lulled them to sleep with their fairytales and ideas that originate in their own minds. Their words are not my words for their words carry no sanctifying power. Their words carry no influence in the realms of darkness to the liberating of the captives.
The nature of the beast is empowered by sin and the message of the religious leaders have not emancipated the conscience of those who believe in me. It is the SIN CONSCIENCE that must be dealt with. It is the SIN ISSUE that must be fully realized as the open door to Satanic power in the soul of them who believe. My nature will make war with the Beast within the soul of men and will execute judgment upon the Beast. Be prepared, for many shall be offended in the last days and it will be I that is causing the offense! Those who are righteous indeed will be an offense to those who are religious indeed.
2. I am going to exceed all bounds of decency and reasonableness.
Follow my life! Look at me! Was I approved and acceptable to the approved social order of my day? Was I subject to those who were in control of the day? Was the Roman government my head? Were the religious leaders of Judaism my head? NO! My only supreme was my Father and I always did what my Father told me to do, even at the risk of upsetting the standard order of the times. Yes it was I that entered into the temple and turned over the tables of the moneychangers. This was an acceptable practice for those Jews at that time but their practices were not ordained of My Father.
It was I that caused outrage in the hearts of those who would take me to the cliff to throw me down the mountain! It was I that stirred the crowds into chaos and confusion causing divisions among men! It was I who upset the religious mindset of the day when healing on the Sabbath and doing good to those who were in need. It was I that caused offense in the hearts of the hypocrites! Yes it was I and I say unto you that I am going to upset the world again and I am going to turn it upside down. I am going to shake the world of all its social graces and practices that are an offense and abomination to my Father.
Two thousand years ago I sent a people into the world and they, according to my will TURNED THE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN! So it is on this, the THIRD DAY that I am going to release my people once again from the caves of obscurity who have hid from the religious leaders of this Day and bring them out into the open and oh what an offense they shall be to all the social orders men have labored so hard to erect and put in place.
Consider my servant David and the men that went out to meet him in the caves of Adullum. These were not the kind of men that were subjected to the religious order of Saul and neither will these be that I release in this hour. Surely I say to you that they will enter into your places of worship and contend with all that is not of My Father. They will be an offense to many and will reveal the hate and control in the hearts of the leaders who have refused to LET MY PEOPLE GO!
Consider my servant Joseph. He was thrown into prison by his OLDER brothers. Surely he shall arise in the earth having great authority and will rule over those older brothers in the days to come. Yes, those who were an insult to them because of their pride and jealousy will bow their knees to them and will acknowledge their authority and will know of a truth that I have loved them with an everlasting love from before the eons of time, or else they shall perish without a word.
Let it be known that I AM an offense to the world for the world is surely an offense to me! I have watched the world and have watched my people in the world and those who claim to be mine. I ask, what have you learned since you believed? Have you not yet departed from that which is an offense to me? Have you not read that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of mine? You have not yet COME OUT OF HER MY PEOPLE! Therefore you shall incur judgment against yourselves for I have determined to destroy Babylon! I am not speaking of the Babylon in the Middle East but the Babylon in the middle of your heart! I am speaking to your Babylonian ways and mindsets!
When I walked upon the earth I did not call attention to the Roman authorities but to the condition of men's hearts! Yes, I am coming to topple that which appears before men as most religious. That which is so acceptable today is an abomination to me! That which has become the social order of the day, the acceptable form of worship is coming to an end! For I have determined to FINISH the house that has been in building for two thousand years. Yes, out of the ashes will arise a new building, complete and perfect, a people who are in the exact image of my Father!
I am not concerned with social graces and what is acceptable to men, I am only concerned with that which is belonging to my Father! How will I come? I will come to you in the form of men and women! I will come to you with great power and anointing when once I release my reserved ones. I come! I come in them to stand before the multitudes in order that I may bring truth to my temple! I come! Surely I come!
3. My presence will be very shocking and offensive in this DAY.
A heavy blow will come to the earth! For heaven has witnessed the actions of men in the earth and their actions have been weighed in the balance. I will cause to stagger all nations by the news they shall here. What men have deemed as "good taste" shall surely become bitter by what I am about to do. Indeed, that which was once approved of men and acceptable in the eyes of the admirers shall become a revolting offense, even disgusting. My people, who are seated with me in heavenly places are prepared to appear in the earth before the eyes of men. These shall be the reason for the "shock syndrome" that will come.
For that which was once accepted in my house by men shall be seen as a detestable thing in comparison to the holiness that my sanctified ones shall walk in. Their presence shall reveal the disgusting abomination that has been hidden in the hearts of men while doing many outward works of righteousness. I say that those works of outward righteousness shall be seen for what they truly are, mere religious robes covering the filth of an unsanctified life. My pure presence within my beloved ones shall cause the heart to fail in those who are unrepentant.
4. My appearing shall be violent in action and disposition.
When I come I will come with a violent disposition that will cause men to pale and pine away. For I will take the nations by violence and I will destroy that which is false with a strong overthrow. How will I come? I will appear through my servants the prophets! Their words shall be as a hammer violently breaking in pieces that which is an abomination to my Father. A destroying fire shall come out of their mouths to the burning up of all chaff in the hearts of men! There will be no arrogance when they come. Those who would oppose their words will come under swift judgment. For these are my battle axes, my weapons of war who have been reserved for a time such as this, yet it is I who am working in them beyond their own understanding! They have yielded to my will and have surrendered their lives so that I may live in and through them. It will be I who is contended with by those who would oppose them.
I have said that Violent men take the Kingdom by force and it will be at this time that the Kingdom shall be taken by those full of divine energy and power. Satan shall be cast out of the heavenlies and thrust down into the pit. I am speaking to the hearts of men. For it is within the heart that all evil comes. Not outwardly in the skies above but within the very soul of man that Satan has taken his seat along with the Beast and the false prophet. These evil spirits have held the dominion but shall now come under a violent blow that shall shake them from their high places in order to release my Kingdom in the hearts of those who believe.
5. Because I am going to exceed all bounds of right, morality and decency known to man, I will be INTOLERABLE to the modern religious and social leaders of this day.
My people hear me! What has been erected as decent, moral and acceptable of men is truly an abomination to me. You live in a time where men call evil good, good evil, bitter sweet and sweet bitter. It is a DAY wherein light is called darkness and darkness is called light. Because of these conditions I will come as an INTOLERABLE force of emptying magnitude. I will so completely overturn that which is hypocritical that nothing will remain. Understand that what I have tolerated for so long will no longer be tolerated. In my intolerance I will lead a militia of chosen warriors through whom I will shake the earth! Many will find my ways intolerable from behind the pulpit in these moments of time for many in the congregation shall be offended because of the righteousness that flows from the ministers lips.
Yes, I have ministers, Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Teachers and Pastors who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal, who will demonstrate my glorious power in these days. To them shall many flock. For the true shall know my voice in and through them and will know them by their fruits. Man has played with power greater then himself and by so doing has opened the gate to a great flood of evil. But no man has ever witnessed the magnitude of my intolerance as what shall be witnessed in these days.
My presence will become unbearable to the wicked. My words will be too severe for the hypocrites! I will appear as a cruel one to those who have been cruel! Many will not be able to bear with me. Yet to my beloved shall I appear with an intolerable love and grace! Yes, many will not be able to bear my love, mercy and grace that I will bestow upon them and these shall be swept away in rapturous moments in my glory. These shall be overwhelmed with my love and blessings! Many great and wonderful blessings shall abound to their account and their inheritance shall be released unto them. These are they who have come to maturity and have grown up beyond the mere religious practices of many. These are my sons and daughters who will set the creation free even as I did when I walked upon the earth.
My revealed thoughts on Babylon, is that it is not a place, but a false religious system throughout the world, filling it, and it sits on seven hills alright, the seven continents. It has indeed been spread all over the world by the whore of babylon, the false church. People all over this world has been serving pagan gods, including self, money, power. The original sin is to do it your own way and put self before YAHWEH/GOD. Being full of self-desire, self-pleasure, self-will, etc. When you become so full of yourself, with vanity, pride, arrogance, hautiness, high-mindedness, thinking your own way is right, and not YAHWEH'S/GOD WORD is right, and think to interpret HIS WORD to your own self understanding, instead of being lead and taught by HIS HOLY SPIRIT, then you are in Babylon, and you are deceived. You are serving self, you are your own master, and you have knocked YAHWEH/GOD and YAHSHUA/JESUS off of the throne, and put yourself there instead, as a god. Or you may have some other pagan god there, or self and many other gods there, like Molech, Nimrod, Estarte (Easter), to name a few. Our professing Christians of this world already incorporate a whole host of pagan worship into their doctorines now, and say that they are doing it to YAHWEH/GOD, just like HE told us not to, we are doing it on a regular basis now, and they don't even know it. They are blind, and can't see, and YAHWEH/GOD is saying come out of BABYLON, so you do not recieve of her plagues.
We call YAHSUA/JESUS'S PASSOVER, Easter. That is the name of a pagan fertility goddess. Look it up in a dictionary, or Bible scholar site, etc. The same goes for Christmas, Halloween, these are all pagan occult holidays that have nothing to do with Biblical truths. But we do them and say we are doing them to YAHWEH/GOD and teach our children to do them and to lie. This is all babylon. If people really want to know what YAHWEH tells us to do to celebrate unto HIM, they should just simply read the Bible, HE gives us HIS FEAST and tells us to do them unto HIM, and they also have prophetic meaning to them, telling us about what has been done, and is to come. But we can't understand none of that, because we are doing what self wants to do, instead of what the Bible tells us what to do, or what not to do, and denying the veery WORD OF YAHWEH/GOD.
We don't even know what the Bible really says, because we are trusting in the arm of the flesh, MAN, for our salvation. We believe what man says the WORD says, and we don't read it for ourselves, so we can be lead and taught by the Holy Spirit. We would rather be lead by man. And then if we do read ourself, we explain away the conflicting doctorine of what man says verses the Bible, excusing it by telling ourselves, we must be understanding it wrong. But HIS WORD says, let every man be a liar, and YAHWEH/GOD'S WORD be true. The carnal mind can not understand the WORD of YAHWEH/GOD, and is a enemy to YAHWEH/GOD. We must be led and taught by the HOLY SPIRIT into all truth of the WORD, understand and know what HIS WORD says, and get true interpretation, to know the truth. But we all to often do not receive or have a love for the truth, and for this, we are allowed to be decieved and are blinded, so that we will believe a lie.
I encourage everyone to pray and repent for not loving and seeking HIS TRUTH. For loving darkness and lies. If you haven't already. And pray to YAHWEH/GOD through YAHSHUA/JESUS to send and baptise you with the SPIRIT of TRUTH, and open your eyes spiritually and remove the blindness, and for the Holy Spirit to teach you the truth and lead you ought of the darkness and give you true understanding and interpretation of HIS WORD. And read the WORD for yourselves, and always with praying and asking for the leading of the HOLY SPIRIT. How can you really love and know YAHWEH/GOD OR HIS SON YAHSHUA/JESUS, if you don't really know HIS WORD? The book of JOHN says that YAHSHUA/JESUS is the WORD, made flesh. And HE says we give HIM lip service saying we know and love HIM, but we are far from HIM in truth. If we love HIM, then we will keep HIS COMMANDMENTS, and they are not grievious. If we will enter into eternal life, then we should keep HIS COMMANDMENTS. Anyone saying they love HIM and know HIM, but keep not HIS COMMANDMENTS, is a liar. We are enabled to keep HIS COMMANDMENTS thru the babtism of the HOLY SPIRIT, who teaches us all truth, and the book of HEBREW says that HE writes HIS COMMANDMENTS on our hearts and in our minds. YAHWEH has a mark, showing ownership of HIS own. Shown by our actions and deeds, (our hands/what we do, and our minds(what we think).
It is spiritual, and it is the keeping of HIS COMMANDMENTS, sealed with the HOLY SPIRIT. Satan's mark, the mark of the beast, is spiritual to, and signed by the act of disobedience and rebelion, self-will and self-service and self-belief, which is shown by what you do (your hands) and what you think (mind/head) and by denying and refusing your Heavenly FATHERS commandments and refusing to be lead by the Holy Spirit, and denying HIS very WORD, YAHSHUA/JESUS. If we choose to believe and interpret HIS WORD, thru a carnal mind, then, we are not believing in HIS SON, OR HIS NAME, we are denying it, and replacing HIS SON,/HIS WORD, by a pagan/false doctorine, and choose self/false over TRUTH/YAHSHUA/JESUS.
The meaning of being born again, is to die to self, which self is the sin man/eternal death/Satan. We have to be born again into LIFE by and
thru YAHSHUA/TRUTH/LIGHT/LIFE,by way of HIS HOLY SPIRIT, TO YAHWEH/GOD.
The carnal man/self way of life, is false, and leads to death. It is based on lies and deception, and is of Satan. And unless one is re-born, they will in no way enter into eternal life.
To the family of Tom Fox
A letter from Cindy Sheehan to Tom Fox's family
To the family of Tom Fox and to the Christian Peacemaker Teams:
My heart is breaking for Mr. Fox's family and for the world. This is a dark day for peace and justice. The loss of a man of the stature of Tom Fox and the loss of his voice for peace and reconciliation is a tragedy for our country which operates so often from a paradigm of violence. Every voice for peace is imperative and needed.
I am always told that I am brave, but what I do pales weakly in comparison with the actions of Tom Fox and the Christian Peacemakers who put their actual lives on the line everyday to make the world a better place and to save lives of our brothers and sisters who are in danger.
Jesus said: "To give up one's life for a friend, there is no greater love than this," (John 15:13). This is the same Gospel passage that was read at my son Casey's funeral. Jesus went on to say that it is even more sacred to give up your life for people you don't even know.
Tom lived his life out of his moral center and gave freely of his life to save lives of people he would probably never meet.
Now, the world is begging for the safe release of the other three Christian Peacemakers who are still held hostage. The way to peace is not violence. The way to peace is only through peace and a respect for all life. The killing of Tom Fox does nothing to foster peace in the Middle East but can be used for a renewed call for the immediate withdrawal of all coalition troops from Iraq so the people of Iraq can rebuild their lives and their country. So the killing of innocents and our American troops can stop.
I did not want my son's death to be exploited to justify more deaths in Iraq and I am sure Tom and his family would agree. It is past time for the cycle of violence and killing to stop.
It is time for we peacemakers and peace activists from around the world to join our hands and our voices together to demand an end to the violence and killing.
Tom Fox and his selfless sacrifice for humanity make me proud to be a human being. I just wish such a holy act of sacrifice was not necessary or required of Tom.
Tom is at peace now, I pray for this peace for Tom's family and for our world.
In Peace and Solidarity,
Cindy Sheehan and Gold Star Families for Peace
If you want to send condolences to Fox's family, send them to Family of Tom
Fox, c/o Christian Peacemaker Teams, P.O. Box 6508 Chicago, IL 60680-6508
Last in a Round of Bullets
by Lisa Schirch
Bullets travel in circles - one side fires, another side reciprocates. Tom Fox's body was the final resting place for a long line of bullets in Iraq.
American soldiers wield guns to support democracy and freedom. Saddam Hussein's forces used the power of the gun to terrorize civilians and threaten neighboring countries and the U.S. Those who killed Tom are part of the Iraqi insurgency and have their own reasons for wielding guns. If we understand their story we have a better chance of preventing more deaths.
The number of people joining the insurgency continues to grow in direct correlation with mounting anger toward the U.S. According to a recent poll, nearly half of Iraqis now support insurgency attacks on U.S. forces. They are outraged at the ongoing destruction and occupation of their country. Iraqis lament the almost total abandonment of reconstruction, community development, and grassroots diplomacy efforts that would build the foundation for their security.
Insurgents target Americans because they are angry at the illegal detentions of innocent Iraqi people, the widespread torture in prisons in Iraq, and the use by American forces of a chemical weapon, white phosphorous, that killed and burned innocent families who were in the way in Fallujah. The insurgents are mainly Sunni Muslims who are the minority and fear being left out of the new political context.
Guns are a short term solution, whether in the hands of dictators, insurgents, or militaries. Saddam Hussein could not hold onto power through his brutal use of the gun. The Coalition Forces deposed him with guns, but military power cannot defeat the insurgency. Guns have no power to win the peace.
The more the U.S. has shifted its focus to fighting the insurgency rather than reconstructing Iraq, the more the insurgents have been able to recruit new, unemployed young men with little hope for the future to join them. When I was in Iraq in August, I heard many stories from Iraqi community development workers about the direct relationship between unemployment and insurgent recruitment. When there is little hope for this life, people begin imagining using the gun to gain martyrdom in preparation for the next life.
Each one who picks up a gun believes bullets will create their desired end. But instead of bending the will of their opponents, bullets only harden the other's resolve to keep fighting. No amount of overwhelming force can bring an end to the violence in Iraq. More guns will only make the situation worse.
History suggests that terrorism disappears in the absence of the fuel of economic and political desperation. The U.S. needs the courage and leadership to work in partnership with the international community to invest in long-term solutions of reconstruction, development, and grassroots diplomacy among the ethnic and religious groups in Iraq. We need to diligently support those undertaking grassroots diplomatic efforts across Iraq. Development and diplomatic tools can prevent and curb the growth of the insurgency.
Bullets ended Tom's life. But they have not crushed his vision for a just peace in Iraq nor the inspiration he offers the living to join in the cause of ending the war in Iraq. Tom was in Iraq to end the cycle of bullets among Saddam Hussein's forces, the Coalition Forces, and the insurgents. His body, his writings, and his work for peace all aimed for that end. There should be no bullets in reciprocation for those that rest in Tom. We need a different path out of Iraq.
Thousands of people like Tom Fox risk their lives everyday around the world to oppose dictators through nonviolent actions, to document human rights violations, and to build relationships across the lines of conflict.
There are many people willing to give their lives for war. There need to be more people who give their lives for peace.
Lisa Schirch is an associate professor at the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University. Tom Fox took a graduate-level course with Lisa in the spring of 2004 in preparation for his work in Iraq and kept in regular contact with her about his work.
Pastoral Ministry: Discerning Leadership
A. W. Tozer
For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. -- Acts 20:29-30
Within the circles of evangelical Christianity itself there has arisen in the last few years dangerous and dismaying trends away from true Bible Christianity. A spirit has been introduced which is surely not the Spirit of Christ, methods employed which are wholly carnal, objectives adopted which have not one line of Scripture to support them, a level of conduct accepted which is practically identical with that of the world--and yet scarcely one voice has been raised in opposition. And this in spite of the fact that the Bible-honoring followers of Christ lament among themselves the dangerous, wobbly course things are taking....
The times call for a Spirit-baptized and articulate orthodoxy. They whose souls have been illuminated by the Holy Ghost must arise and under God assume leadership. There are those among us whose hearts can discern between the true and the false, whose spiritual sense of smell enables them to detect the spurious afar off, who have the blessed gift of knowing. Let such as these arise and be heard. Who knows but the Lord may yet return and leave a blessing behind Him? The Price of Neglect, 6-7.
"Lord, may I be one of those 'whose souls have been illuminated by the Holy Ghost.' Grant to me 'the blessed gift of knowing.' And then be pleased to use me for Your glory today. Amen."
The Lord has given us the grace to reconcile the children to their Fathers
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