U.S. Vice President Dotes on Germany, Europe

U.S. Vice President Dotes on Germany, Europe

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America is making a fatal mistake inviting Europe to take on more global leadership.

Many people do not take America’s vice president seriously. Nevertheless, his office is neither inconspicuous nor insignificant. Joe Biden works intimately with, takes orders from, and advances the agenda of America’s president. Just as we do with the president, we can get a sense of America’s future by watching and listening to Joe Biden.

The vice president was in Munich last weekend, where he delivered the keynote address to European leaders and statesmen gathered for the annual Munich Security Conference. His message was clear and candid: America needs Europe to take on more global leadership and responsibility, now.

“Simply put,” he said, “President Obama and I continue to believe that Europe is the cornerstone of our engagement with the rest of the world, and is the catalyst for our global cooperation. It’s that basic” (emphasis added throughout).

More specifically, Vice President Biden cautioned Europe against allowing the financial crisis to prevent it from assuming more responsibility internationally:

Believe me when I say that I realize how difficult this is with an economy having slipped back into recession last year and the ever present temptation to back away from commitments on defense spending. But I also know that maintaining our capabilities is what enables us to advance our common global agenda. That’s just one reason why a strong and capable Europe is profoundly in America’s interest, and I might add, presumptuously, the world’s interest.

In short, Europe, beef up your militaries and assume more global power and leadership!

Biden also praised France, Germany and other European states for taking the lead in confronting radical Islam in Mali and North Africa. “Europe remains essential to that entire effort,” he stated. He then affirmed, yet again, that “Europe is the cornerstone of [America’s] engagement with the world, and Europe is the catalyst—our catalyst for global cooperation.”

A few minutes later he stated, “Europe remains America’s indispensable partner of first resort.”

“Partner of first resort”? Really? What happened to Britain and the Commonwealth states? Less than seven decades ago America and the British Commonwealth fought together to defeat Hitler and rescue France and the rest of Europe from the jaws of Nazism. Britain was once America’s “partner of first resort.”

Further on, Mr. Biden stated, “Time and again, when it comes to a search for partners in this extremely complex world, Europe and America still look to each other before they look anywhere else.” Since when?

Mr. Biden’s remarks merely confirm the fact that the current administration no longer values America’s historic and special relationship with Britain.

Here at the Trumpet, where we parse world news in the context of Bible prophecy, Mr. Biden’s warm outreach to Europe, namely Germany, brings to mind an end-time prophecy recorded in Ezekiel 23. This fascinating chapter describes end-time relations between biblical Israel (America and Britain today), and Assyria (Germany) and Chaldea. Verse 5 reads, “And Aholah [referring to biblical Israel, America and Britain] played the harlot when she was mine; and she doted on her lovers, on the Assyrians[Germany] her neighbors.”

And what is the outcome of this tryst with Germany and Europe? God reveals the answer in verse 9: “Wherefore I have delivered her into the hand of her lovers, into the hand of the Assyrians, upon whom she doted.” “Dote” is a somewhat antiquated term. The Oxford Dictionary defines it: “to be extremely and uncritically fond of,” or “to be silly, or feeble-minded.”

What an apt description of America’s ongoing invitation to Germany and Europe to increase military capabilities and take on more global leadership and responsibility!

It may sound politically incorrect and callous—at least here in the West, where “tolerance” prevails and we ignore the realities of human nature and national character—but the history of Europe, and especially Germany, demands great caution and skepticism. Yet, here we are, watching “silly,” “feeble-minded” America abdicating its position at the helm and handing the world over to Europe.

If you study Ezekiel 23, it shows a perverse relationship between these two nations that ends with Germany, after gaining America’s trust and support, fatally betraying the U.S. in a tragic double cross. In 2005, the Trumpet wrote the following about this prophecy: “Over the next few months and years, watch for America to increasingly become ‘lovers’ with Germany, foolishly looking to the greatest war-mongering nation in history for friendship, peace and safety. Fooled by rhetoric, America will lie vulnerable to German betrayal.”

To learn more about this prophecy and its end-time fulfillment, read Chapter 9 of our booklet Ezekiel: The End-Time Prophet.

Continue to watch. Just as Bible prophecy states, America’s outreach to Europe will come back to haunt Mr. Biden and his people!

Catholic Church Recognizes Protestant Baptisms in U.S.

Catholic Church Recognizes Protestant Baptisms in U.S.

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3.5 million Protestants take an important step in reconciling with Rome.

The Catholic Church will recognize baptisms performed by some of America’s largest Protestant churches, and vice versa, after the groups signed an agreement on January 29.

The Presbyterian Church (usa), the United Church of Christ, the Reformed Church in America and the Christian Reformed Church in North America signed the “Common Agreement on Mutual Recognition of Baptism” with the Catholic Church in the first formal baptism agreement the Catholic Church has ever signed with an American group.

Combined, the four Protestant groups have 3.5 million members. The Presbyterian Church is the third-largest mainline Protestant church in the U.S.

The agreement was signed at the opening of the annual meeting of the “Christian Churches Together” group—an association of 36 denominations and seven other groups. The text was distributed to all the groups, to encourage them to join in.

Negotiations over the document took place from 2003 to 2010. Since that time the different denominations have been approving it. Many reform denominations already recognize Catholic baptism, but the Catholic Church has not always reciprocated.

The signing of the document is just part of a push for an even closer relationship with the Catholic Church by the Protestant churches. The document states that the recognition of each other’s baptisms is “the sacramental basis for our efforts to move towards visible unity.”

Catholic Bishop Joe Vasquez said the agreement “is part of our response to Jesus’ prayer that ‘we may all be one.’” The general secretary emeritus of the Reformed Church in America, Wes Granberg-Michaelson, said the agreement is a “significant step of healing and reconciliation, and could open the way toward addressing other issues where we remain painfully divided.”

The groups will continue to examine ways to promote unity. Their talks will build on a report published last year titled “The Church: Towards a Common Vision.”

“Topics that will be addressed include unity and diversity in the church, and the origins and current interpretations of ministry and ordination, and the nature and role of authority and the episcopacy,” said the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in a press release.

The Catholic Church signed a similar agreement with Lutheran, Orthodox, Methodist, Anglican and Armenian-Apostolic churches in Germany six years ago, but the agreement in the U.S. is more historic.

“The Dutch and German Reformed traditions have generally recognized the validity of Catholic baptisms, as have most Presbyterian churches,” wrote Dr. Bryan Cross, academic editor of the Called to Communion blog. “The major exception to this were the Presbyterian churches in the United States since the time of James Henry Thornwell in the mid-19th century, especially in the south. Thornwell argued that Catholic baptisms were invalid because Catholic priests were not ‘lawful ministers of the Word.’”

Now America’s largest Presbyterian Church is leading the way back to an agreement with Rome.

The Trumpet has long forecast that the Catholic Church would work hard to reconcile with its Protestant daughters. This is an important step in that direction for America’s churches. For more information on this forecast, see the chapter “Returning to the Fold” from our free booklet He Was Right.

Hezbollah Bombs Europe

Hezbollah Bombs Europe

DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP/Getty Images

Hezbollah being implicated in a bus bomb attack that killed five Israeli tourists in Bulgaria last July is now putting pressure on the European Union to take a tougher stance against the Lebanon-based, Iran-funded “Party of Allah.”

Findings from a six-month probe into the attack, announced Tuesday by Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov, found “obvious links” between two of the attackers and Hezbollah.

Hezbollah is a terrorist proxy of Iran—funded, trained and armed by the Iranian government. But like Hamas in Gaza and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, it has attained some political legitimacy in the coalition government in Lebanon.

The United States, Israel and Canada classify Hezbollah as a terrorist entity. Among Europe’s main governments, only the Netherlands labels it a terrorist organization. Britain condemns Hezbollah’s military wing, but not its political party in Lebanon.

The Bulgarian bus bomb investigation is now putting more pressure on the EU to change its standpoint. Essentially, Europe is being urged: You have been hit on your turf. Reconsider your outlook on terrorist entities.

John Brennan, President Obama’s counterterrorism adviser, said in a statement: “Bulgaria’s implication of [Hezbollah] underscores the importance of international cooperation in disrupting terrorist threats. We call on our European partners as well as other members of the international community to take proactive action to uncover [Hezbollah’s] infrastructure and disrupt the group’s financing schemes and operational networks.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a similar exhortation, saying, “The attack in [Bulgaria] was an attack on European land against a member of the European Union. We hope that the Europeans learn the proper conclusions from this about the true character of Hezbollah.”

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird said in a statement: “We urge the European Union and all partners who have not already done so to list Hezbollah as a terrorist entity and prosecute terrorist acts committed by this inhumane organization to the fullest possible extent.”

The EU, particularly Germany, currently has a mediator role in interactions between Hezbollah and Israel. cnn wrote that “Germany has been especially active in mediating on humanitarian issues. But there have been signals in the past few months from senior figures in Angela Merkel’s coalition that the mood is shifting.

“Last August, the foreign policy spokesman for Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, Philipp Missfelder, told the Jerusalem Post it was ‘long overdue to place Hezbollah on the EU’s list of terror organizations.’”

The pressure on Europe to take a stronger stance will rest mostly on Europe’s most powerful nation: Germany. Chancellor Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said on Wednesday that “if the evidence proves to be true that Hezbollah is indeed responsible for this despicable attack then consequences will have to follow.”

Bible prophecy reveals a German-led European empire clashing with radical Islamic powers in the Middle East. It appears, when that clash occurs, it will be seen as a legitimate response to a long-menacing threat. Even today, Germany is being called upon to “match its economic might as Europe’s effective paymaster with military commitments” (The Local, February 1).

Watch for Europe to see a rising need for a military offensive against radical Islam. Study our free booklet The King of the South to understand more.

American Carrier Will Not Deploy to Persian Gulf

The Pentagon canceled plans on Wednesday to send a second aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf. Budget cuts in defense are forcing the cutbacks. The decision significantly reduces America’s military presence in the volatile region.

The USS Harry S. Truman was set to leave for the Persian Gulf on Friday, but the U.S. Navy cancelled its deployment, leaving only one carrier in the Gulf. The United States has maintained two aircraft carriers in the region since 2011.

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta spoke about the military cutbacks on Wednesday at Georgetown University.

SOUNDBITE: U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta:

If these cuts happen, there will be serious disruption in defense programs and a sharp decline in our military readiness. We have already begun an all-out effort to plan for how to operate under such a scenario, but it’s also very clear that there are no good options.These steps would seriously damage a fragile American economy, and they would degrade our ability to respond to crises precisely at a time of rising instability across the globe— North Africa to the Strait of Hormuz, from Syria, to North Korea.

As Panetta points out, America’s economic problems are forcing America to turn inward and retreat from the Middle East.

Roughly 35 percent of the world’s oil passes through the Strait of Hormuz, which is the entry to and exit from the Persian Gulf. With Iran’s continuing belligerence, and Egypt and Libya falling into the radical Islamic camp, watch for these key sea gates to come under attack.

Watch Gerald Flurry’s recent web exclusive, “Ethiopia in Prophecy,” to see how these events will affect your life.

Israel Hints It Was Behind Airstrike on Syria

Israel has indicated that it might have been behind last week’s airstrike against Syria. On January 30, airplanes bombed a target near the Lebanese border, about 15 miles northwest of Damascus. The Syrian government has released images of a damaged research facility, and blames Israel for the attack. However, U.S. defense officials say that the strike hit a convoy of anti-aircraft weapons.

The Pentagon said that the airstrike targeted trucks carrying Russian-made SA-17 missiles. The missiles were bound for Hezbollah, a terrorist group in Lebanon.

For years, Israel has been able to fly warplanes over Lebanon largely unchallenged. Should Hezbollah acquire sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles, that status quo would change.

Israel has not officially taken responsibility for the bombing. But on Sunday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak hinted that Israel was indeed behind the attack. At a security conference in Munich, Germany, Barak initially said he could not add anything to the media reports about the attack. But then he added something.

“I keep telling frankly that we said—and that’s proof when we said something we mean it—we say that we don’t think it should be allowed to bring advanced weapons systems into Lebanon.”

As Syrian President Bashar al Assad loses his grip on power, Syria’s weapons could go to Israel’s other enemies. Watch for the situation in the Middle East to become increasingly unstable. Israel will seek help to defend itself from its enemies. Bible prophecy shows that eventually, it will turn to Germany for protection. For more on this subject, read Jerusalem in Prophecy.

What’s Missing in Britain’s Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ Debate

What’s Missing in Britain’s Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ Debate

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Even those against homosexual “marriage” are woefully ignorant.

What does it take to unite the leadership of all three of Britain’s major parties? There was no raucous debate between Conservative and Labor ministers in Britain’s Parliament, February 5. Why? The subject under discussion was homosexual “marriage.”

The bill passed through its second reading 400 votes to 175—meaning it is well on its way to becoming law. Homosexuals will soon be allowed to marry in the UK—at least according to man’s laws.

The only real opposition came from back benchers—party members without any real leadership role. But even in their arguments, there was some vital information completely absent from the debate.

Those for same-sex “marriage” talked about allowing two people that love each other to demonstrate that commitment. This legislation is being put forward under a Conservative prime minister, though more Conservatives voted against the bill than for it. Prime Minister David Cameron supports this, he says, because he views marriage as a good thing, and so wants to allow homosexuals to join in.

But what was most surprising was the weakness of the arguments against same-sex “marriage.” Here’s a summary of the arguments most often brought up against it:

  • Homosexuals can already receive the same legal recognition as married couples by forming civil partnerships.
  • The Church of England may be forced to conduct homosexual “marriages” in its official capacity as the state religion, despite its opposition to it.
  • Teachers may be forced to teach about homosexual “marriage” even if they don’t believe in it.
  • It is impossible to define how a homosexual “marriage” is consummated, meaning divorce laws have to be changed.
  • Now is not the time to make these changes, as we need to focus on improving the economy.
  • Few, if any, said that homosexual “marriage” was wrong, or impossible. None said homosexuality itself was wrong. Few talked about the effect this would have on British society.

    The fact is that those on both sides of the argument are completely ignorant of the purpose of marriage. It is not a man-made institution that governments can change on a whim.

    There are commonsense reasons for opposing “homosexual marriage.” But even those speaking out against it don’t understand the God-ordained purpose for marriage. But you can. Read our free booklet Why Marriage—Soon Obsolete?