Radio Broadcast for 7 August 2005 Talking Points Is Freedom Christian? Series CW – Welcome to the third and final broadcast on the subject War is Biblical. Dr. Ford, you have offered four points on the subject that war is biblical: 1. God is not opposed to war when it suits His purpose. 2. God is the commander of armies of His own. 3. There are principles on which the going to war is based or justified. 4. The wars of men can serve God’s eternal purposes. Talk for a minute on the subject of when God sends men into war. Ford – The Old Testament is full of incidences of when God sent people into war. The conquest of Canaan by the Children of Israel was to be made through war. There is evidence that when Moses led Israel out of Egypt, Joshua who would be Moses successor, had already received training in the art of war. Of course he honed his skills during the wilderness wanderings. CW – That is interesting. Joshua as you know is the Hebrew form of the Greek word Jesus. Ford – Yes, and Joshua is often pointed to as an Old Testament “type of Christ” by theologians. One of the reasons for that is his obedience to the commands of God, and then he is also a type as the ruler of armies. The battle for Jericho fought in Canaan, in a sense is a type of the final battle where the forces of God gather and Jesus wins the battle alone. In the siege of Jericho all the people did was march around the city and blow trumpets. God won the battle. CW – People are often critical of God for often telling the children of Israel to kill everyone, even the animals were destroyed, and not even to take the goods of cities. Would you care to explain why God would do such a thing? Ford – It was for the good of the Children of Israel. You see the people were disease infected. They had disease in their bodies because of their sins and disease in their minds because of their corrupt ideas. The Jewish people did not need to be afflicted with either. Some of the animals had been used in the sinful practice of bestiality and many had been dedicated to their demonic gods. Instead of trying to sort out which was which, God had them all destroyed. Then there was the matter of their gold and silver. These possessions were often held in the form of idols. Even the decorations on their garments were idolatrous. God did not want those things perverting Israel. CW – Interesting. Does that have a connection with today? Ford – Most definitely. Total war involves the destruction or massive alteration of societies. The first modern total war was fought right here in the United States. It was called the Civil War. It was the first modern total war because it was heavily dependent on industrialization. European observers took the lessons learned during the Civil War back to Europe and applied the lessons there. But modern total war had a failing in common with what happened in Israel so long ago. That is, the evils of other societies managed to creep into the minds of people who were fundamentally influenced by Christianity. One of the world war era songs asks the question “How will you keep them down on the farm after they’ve seen Paris?” CW – Seeing Paris was a corrupting influence? Ford – It was a corrupting influence because it was a hotbed of vice and sin. And, it was a hotbed of vice and sin because the French had rejected the fundamental Christian faith for intellectual reasoning and skeptical so called “higher criticism” of the word of God. German theologians were right behind them so that by the time World War I took place much of the people who had control of society in Europe were in pretty sad shape spiritually. By the time World War II took place England was very much as they were, and after that war, by the time President Eisenhower was in office the United States had entered the final church age spoken of in Scripture, the age of Laodicea. CW – Now what is the age of Laodicea. Ford – That is a prophetic understanding that comes out of the belief that the entire history of the church will be divided into seven distinct ages before the return of Christ. The last of these ages is the Age of Laodicea. That is when people see their situation as rich and in need of nothing, but in reality they are spiritually naked before God. CW – So you are saying that the seven ages of the church has a connected with war? To follow your logic then the wars of these days are connected to the spiritual condition of the church? Ford – That is right. But the point I am making is different than the indictment the Islamic terrorists are trying to serve up as their justification for making war on us. They come from a depraved religion that is not on a par with Christianity. Some of the suicide terrorists were known to have drank whiskey and read Playboys as they prepared to give their lives for Allah. The people who are dying to attack the West are not any kind of moral paragons by any means. They are morally sick people that come from a pagan system of belief. CW – But you have said that fact will not necessarily save us in this worldwide war with terrorism. Ford – That is correct. God could very well use Islam as His instrument of retribution on us for our own spiritual shortcomings. As I have said before God expects those identified with Him to live in a righteous way. CW – So if the terrorists are hypocrites what are their true motivations? Ford – Some people have theorized they act as they do because of the practice of polygamy throughout Islamic societies. They believe what differentiates Islam from the world’s other religions such as Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confuscianism is that Islam sanctions and practices polygamy. Monogamy’s principle advantage is that monogamy guarantees every man an equal chance of having a wife.. If a dominant male took more than one wife while others were left with none people are left without hope for a heritage in this world. Polygamy probably arose out of either relative prosperity or strength of arms on the part of certain people. The “brideprice”—a payment the wife’s family demands of the husband’s family—is universal in polygamous societies. As the accumulation of wealth grew unevenly, wealthier men took more wives while poorer men were left with none. Polygamy is still practiced widely in West Africa, where leading men sometimes take as many as 30-50 wives. This leaves a huge residue of unattached men. It is probably the principle reason why so many African countries are beset by “revolutionary armies” living in the bush and raiding rural villages to rape or steal women. By the fifth century B.C., most of the world’s major religions had been established and had rejected polygamy as part of their social contract. When Mohammad founded Islam in the seventh century, he inherited the polygamy that was still being practiced by desert tribes. Although Mohammed limited each man to four wives, he did not abolish polygamy. That decision has had a tremendous impact on history. Today polygamy is not practiced as widely in Islamic countries, and only accounts for about ten percent of all marriages. But I have seen statistics that claim some million people are living in “white slavery” in Islamic countries, and every year Muslims buy brides in places like India, take them into neighboring countries, divorce them, and sell them into slavery. The country where the distribution of wives is most unequal—Saudi Arabia—seems to be the best at producing roving jihadists who roam the world in search of conflict. The absence of a norm of a “man for every woman, a woman for every man” also creates an entirely different male psychology. At one extreme, men consider their own lives to be worthless and expendable because they will not have the chance to reproduce. At the other extreme, they are promised “72 virgins in heaven.” Sometimes the extremes converge. - Polygamy creates dysfunctional societies. Jihad, with its perpetual social unrest, is unlikely to disappear until polygamy is eliminated CW – But we have seen suicide bombers who were married with families. Surely this fact works against the idea polygamy is the problem? Ford – Yes. But polygamy coupled with the devaluing of women; Their hypocritical practices of having sex with young boys while proclaiming hatred for homosexuality…a practice which has led to an increase in aids in some Moslem dominated regions of Africa by the way…are all symptoms of the problem, not the root cause. CW – Well, what is the problem? Ford – To get to the problem it is better to establish there are a lot of influences rooted in the past. For instance on March 3, 1924, Turkish nationalists abolished the Caliphate, the position of supreme leadership handed down from the time of the Prophet Muhammad's first successors in the 7th century. Muslim fanatics who blow themselves up in the name of Islam believe their "jihad" will ultimately defeat the infidel West and restore a Caliph to rule the billion-strong Islamic nation, or umma, according to Islamic law, or sharia. In 1917Chaim Weizmann, a chemist had produced a formula for the manufacture of explosives. Partly, as a reward by the British government, Lord Balfour issued the declaration that England was in favor of Palestine becoming a national home for the Jewish people. In that same year General Allenby captured Palestine from the control of Turkey. Jerusalem fell in fulfillment of prophecy contained in the Bible. The League of Nations, forerunner to the United Nations, gave England the mandate over Palestine in 1920. During both World Wars I & II, much Arab leadership sided with Germany, and there was great resentment when after World War II the nation of Israel was established. The tiny state of Israel was restored with a population of about 650,000 Jews. They were surrounded by seven hostile Arab countries with a total population of forty million people. These enemy nations vowed to drive the Jews into the sea. The whole world seemed convinced that the fate of Israel would be settled within a few days. However, miracle after miracle took place to preserve the Jewish people. The country was opened freely to Jewish immigration from anywhere, and they came by the thousands. In only forty months 673,000 Jews entered the new nation. By the year 1959, two million Jews from practically every continent and country in the world had come in. The greatest transfer of population in history was accomplished by one of the smallest countries. At the same time that they were busy settling thousands of new immigrants into the country, they also were busy waging war with their surrounding enemies. That they could stave off their enemies was miraculous; however, much about the new nation was miraculous. They adopted a constitution, printed postage stamps, built houses, irrigated and reclaimed the desert, and built factories and schools. Almost overnight they turned the country into a land flowing with "milk and honey." Not the least of the miracles was the revival of Hebrew as the official language. Very few immigrants spoke Hebrew upon their arrival, but today it is spoken throughout Israel. In Zephaniah 3:9 God promised to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent. CW – And where does Osama bin Laden and his terrorists fit into all this? Ford - For Osama bin Laden and his followers the end of the Caliphate was the moment of historic rupture. Even though the caliphate had been in decline for hundreds of years, they considered foreigners responsible for the breakup of the Ottoman Empire at the end of the First World War. Even after independence, the new regimes were secular and they chafed as they saw foreigners intervening in what they considered to be “Muslim affairs.” The history of American conflict with Islam goes back at least to the 1780s but the current problem of suicide bombers has its roots in the first Islamist mass movement, Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, founded in 1928. It initially emphasized personal piety and educational work, but quickly became a political force under the slogan - still current today - that "Islam is our Constitution.” But it was not until the 1970s that Islamists came to the fore through a combination of factors: Israel's defeat of Arab armies in 1967 which broke the prestige of Arab nationalists; Saudi Arabia's petro-dollars gave Islamists the means to proselytise around the Muslim world; and Ayatollah Khomeini's Islamic revolution which overthrew the Shah of Iran in 1979. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan the same year was the rallying cause for Sunni Arab Islamists, including bin Laden, who waged a jihad against the Soviet Union with the help of Saudi money and American weapons, and the co-operation of Pakistan's secret services. CW – So America was involved in helping the Muslims defeat the USSR in Afghanistan? Ford – Yes, there were even American mercenaries hired to go over there and fight. Some of them were without a doubt being financed by the CIA, even as the USA supplied weapons to the Islamics. The articles and advertisements being published in such magazines as Soldier of Fortune during that era were very interesting. We put a lot of material into that area in the early 80’s. When we took Afghanistan from the Taliban we discovered stockpiles of American weapons from that time that still had not been used. CW – I think a lot of people do not know about the things you are saying. Ford – No a good many people live with their heads in the sand hoping the problems will all go away. CW – But they wont go away. They have organized themselves to make war. Ford - al Qaeda is engaging in the terrorist equivalent of a Tet Offensive: launching a series of attacks -- some significant, others mere psyops acting in an effort to bring their war into the homes of the “far away enemy,” you and me, countries that are not part of the Middle East. They consider these lands they must ultimately conquer anyway. The July 7 attacks in London were jarring to Westerners because most of the suicide bombers were British-born citizens attacking on their home soil. In fact, most al Qaeda attacks -- ranging from the 1998 embassy bombings in East Africa to the Khobar Towers attacks, to the 1993 World Trade Center strike to the Bali nightclubs -- have been carried out by locals, with the help of an al Qaeda operational leader. The Tet-like offensive, obviously, is meant to help the group regain credibility and some of its earlier momentum, which eventually could lead to growth or regeneration. It is useful to think of al Qaeda in terms of a pyramid. The apex of its leadership -- Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and others known to the world are believed to be hiding in Pakistan or adjacent areas of southwest Asia. The middle layer is populated by tactical commanders, couriers and logistical planners -- connected, knowledgeable, well-trained and high-value operatives, small in number in order to maintain operational security for the group. It is this layer that has been heavily targeted by covert intelligence and security agencies, for obvious reasons: Getting these operatives are the key to reducing both the numbers of attacks and the worst of the carnage. At the bottom of the pyramid are al Qaeda's foot soldiers. These are local sympathizers and militants with rudimentary training, who waste themselves in suicide attacks and can be cut loose if arrested and questioned, with little impact to the rest of the organization. This is a finite but still significant sea of potential suspects, through which move the likes of Mohammed Sidique Khan -- the apparent ringleader of the July 7 suicide cell – These types may have attracted the notice of authorities in the past, but then been dismissed as a potential threat. It also likely there are many who live completely below the radar -- nameless, to the wider world, until after the bombs detonate. CW – I see. No doubt some people believe this is the end of the world. Ford – What is going on is perfectly consistent with the overview of Biblical prophecy we have in the Bible. While we are not there yet we are rapidly headed toward the end of the age and a time of chaos and tribulation that precedes the coming of Christ. Nobody wants to face the End Time but in 2002 a CNN poll revealed that 59% of Americans believed the prophecies outlined in the Book of Revelation, which includes some of the most graphic end time narrative is true. Last year a Newsweek poll revealed 17% of Americans believed that the world was going to end in their lifetime and 36% believed that the prophecies of the Apocalypse in the Bible were true. If you doubt that the polls might have a degree of accuracy you only have to consider that the Left Behind series of books have sold over 50 million copies. People are buying those books because they know they represent a fictional interpretation of Biblical prophecy and they are too lazy to study the real thing and think for themselves. It does not take much observation of the things going on in the world to realize something is happening. Unfortunately many pastors today are steering clear of the teaching and preaching of Biblical prophecy. So the people are perishing for lack of knowledge. CW – How much time do you think we have got? Ford – I think the return of the Lord Jesus Christ is likely to happen in my lifetime if I am not martyred for my faith or die of infirmity before hand. But the world will not end with the return of Christ. After that we can look forward to a thousand years of His Kingdom rule on earth after the period of Tribulation.. CW – Of course the antichrist will show up before Jesus comes. Ford – That’s right and he will be thought to be Jesus by many, and he will be able to make war and win. But he will be defeated by the true Lord of Hosts when He returns. In the early church the people would often say a word. Maranatha! It got rather popular a few years ago then you it fell out of popularity. But it reminds us the Lord is coming, and I say, surely Lord Jesus come quickly. CW – Dedicates radio program to memory of Bill Ramey. Vietnam Veteran and friend of Dr. Ford for 36 years.
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