All hail the Great Redeemer

This posting has three items:
1) The Intercept: Israeli Lawmakers Celebrate the New “King of the United States” With Evangelicals;
2) Forward: MK Yehuda Glick Praises ‘Miracle’ of Inauguration in D.C. Church;
3) Time: Evangelical Leaders Celebrate the Day Before Donald Trump’s Inauguration, who said what in their prayers;

Yehuda Glick takes the stand at a special prayer meeting for ‘all kings, and especially the king of the United States of America’ the  day before his inauguration/ anointment. Photo by Sarah Posner

Israeli Lawmakers Celebrate the New “King of the United States” With Evangelicals

By Zaid Jilani, The Intercept
January 20 2017

RIGHT-WING ISRAELI LAWMAKERS in town for Donald Trump’s inauguration addressed prominent American evangelicals gathered at Greater New Hope Baptist Church in downtown Washington, D.C. on Thursday, lecturing them on the importance of moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and offering hope that President-elect Donald Trump would fulfil his promise to do so.

Speaking to a gathering that included a who’s who of Christian right leaders — including Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, Faith & Freedom Coalition founder Ralph Reed, and Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson — Israeli Knesset member Yehuda Glick, who belongs to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party, spoke about Trump’s election in messianic terms.

He began his remarks by approvingly quoting Psalm 72, which speaks of welcoming a new king. “It is a prayer for King Solomon, and it is the prayer for all kings and especially a prayer for the king of the United States.”

He then pivoted to explaining his own path to politics — how he went from a hardline rabbi advocating permanent settlements in the Palestinian territories to being elected as a Likud lawmaker — describing his victory as a miracle.

“Tomorrow, 21 hours from now, and 14 minutes, there will be another miracle!” he said, speaking of Trump’s election to sustained applause.

“Trump throughout his campaign, again and again and again repeatedly spoke about Israel and Jerusalem,” he reminded them, his voice escalating as if giving a sermon. “We’re so close, friends of Jerusalem and Israel! […] He can choose to be a Cyrus! He can choose to say Jerusalem, all nations should recognize Jerusalem!”

(Cyrus is the Persian King referred to in the Hebrew Bible who rescued Jews from their exile in Babylon.)

Moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem is a goal sought by Israeli government officials, such as Netanyahu, who seek to make Jerusalem the undivided capital of the state of Israel. That would preclude the Palestinians from establishing a state that includes East Jerusalem — where 300,000 of them live today with severely curtailed rights. Most international observers believe that this would render the two-state solution impossible and thus be damaging to peace.

While campaigning for president, Donald Trump initially wouldn’t commit to moving the embassy — but by the end of the campaign cycle placed himself fully behind the relocation to Jerusalem. Asked about Trump’s current position on Thursday, incoming White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer asked reporters to “stay tuned.” “There will be a further announcement on that,” he said.

At a briefing on Capitol Hill before the event, Glick was joined by Sharren Haskel, the Knesset’s youngest lawmaker and a fellow Likud member, who echoed many of the same themes in an interview with The Intercept.

“In this new administration, we have a lot of hopes,” Haskel told The Intercept. “We do hope that one of the first moves that Donald Trump will do is to move the embassy.”

Glick told The Intercept that many in Israel didn’t feel like Obama was willing to consider their point of view. “Can you imagine the president of France saying, ‘Listen I don’t think it’s a good idea that Washington should be your capital. Maybe Orlando!’”

(The residents of Washington, D.C. may be without full voting rights but they are not militarily occupied or denied citizenship like the Palestinians in East Jerusalem.)

“Jerusalem is the capital of Israel whether you like it or you don’t,” he concluded.

With Trump, on the other hand, Glick is hopeful.

“President Trump and Vice President Pence have both expressed what I feel, and I’m not a god, I don’t know how to read hearts, I have felt genuine true sincere friendship with Israel.”

MK Yehuda Glick Praises ‘Miracle’ of Inauguration in D.C. Church

By Sarah Posner, Forward
January 19, 2017

The day before Donald Trump’s inauguration, a range of conservative Christian luminaries gathered in a downtown Washington, D.C. church. They included a California pastor who fought against same-sex marriage; an anti-abortion priest, a Christian Zionist and a member of Congress. They all praised Trump as a modern-day saviour of the Jews, even — and especially — the rabbi in attendance.

Yehuda Glick, the American-born Israeli lawmaker and agitator for Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, delivered a speech at the event, in which he declared Donald Trump “King of the United States of America,” and called his upcoming swearing-in a “miracle.”

The event, called “A Special Inauguration Prayer Event and Celebration of the USA-Israel Relationship, was organized by the California pastor, Jim Garlow, at Greater New Hope Baptist Church. The historic building was the location of Washington Hebrew Congregation, a prominent Reform synagogue, until 1954.

“We are living in an era of miracles,” Glick said, referring to the establishment of the state of Israel, its victory in the Six-Day War, Christian support of Israel, his survival of a 2014 assassination attempt — and the inauguration of Donald Trump.

Glick had traveled to Washington with fellow Likud MK Sharren Haskel as guests of Tommy Waller, the founder of HaYovel, a Christian group. HaYovel claims to be fulfilling biblical prophecy by assisting settlers in harvesting their wine in the West Bank, which Waller refers to as Judea and Samaria.

Tommy and Sheri Waller [centre], their 11 children- plus spouses and their children – in ‘Samaria’. They pick grapes for settlers.

Glick’s speech followed a series of speeches and prayers by Christian right leaders. Father Frank Pavone, a Catholic priest and anti-abortion activist, prayed that under Trump, the Supreme Court of the United States would become “the Supreme Court of Jesus Christ.” There were prayers for the United States’ relationship with China, Taiwan and Russia. Jonathan Cahn, a Messianic Jewish rabbi and author of apocalyptic novels, donned a tallit and prayed the priestly blessing in Hebrew and for peace “b’shem Yeshua Ha Moschiach,” in the name of Jesus the Messiah, “the king above all kings.” People in the audience blew shofars throughout the event.

 An Orthodox rabbi, Glick stood on the altar and read, in English, from Psalm 72, a prayer for King Solomon, and “a prayer for all kings, and especially the king of the United States of America.”

Glick echoed a notion that had circulated in evangelical and Pentecostal circles during the campaign, comparing Trump to the Persian King Cyrus, referred to in Isaiah as God’s “anointed one” [Messiah means anointed one]

Cyrus liberated Jews from the Babylonian exile, helping them move back to Jerusalem and rebuild the destroyed temple. If Trump moves the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Glick said, “He will be the latter-day Cyrus!”

The embassy issue proved to be a potent rallying cry. After a singing of the Star Spangled Banner and Hatikva, to which many in the audience sang along with the Hebrew lyrics, Rosemary Schindler Garlow, Jim Garlow’s wife, called Jerusalem the “place where the Messiah is coming soon.”

“I pray for spiritual embassy aliyah,” Schindler Garlow went on, referring to moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.

Speakers portrayed the possible relocation of the embassy in 2017 — fifty years after the Six-Day War — as biblically significant. Waller noted that “this is the 50th year of the liberation of Jerusalem,” he said, calling it the Jubilee year.

Mike Evans, a Christian Zionist and founder of the Friends of Zion Heritage Center in Jerusalem, reiterated the Jubilee theme. “Our bodies are in Washington, D.C.,” he said, “but our souls are in Jerusalem, D.C. — David’s Capital.”

Efforts to curtail settlement growth were portrayed as existential threats to Israel. Haskel, raising alarms that Jews could be “disconnected” from their land, suggested, even, that they could be expelled from Israel. She praised efforts to relocate the embassy to Jerusalem and criticized what she described as giving Palestinians hope that “someday the Jews will leave this city.” Trump, she predicted, “will be proof” for the Palestinians “that those hopes will be gone.”

Waller described “East Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria” as the “target” of the recent U.N. Security Council Resolution condemning settlements, and called for Christians to be “biblically engaged” in a “fight” over the land. Christians, he said, cannot be “indifferent,” citing Elie Wiesel, the late Nobel laureate and Holocaust survivor.

Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), co-chair of the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus and a co-sponsor of one of several bills to move the embassy and declare Jerusalem Israel’s capital, spoke about evangelical support for Israel. People often sceptical, he said, of their motives, accusing them of “just want[ing] to evangelize Israel.”

“It’s worse than that,” said Franks, to laughter. “We want to evangelize the whole world.”

Evangelical Leaders Celebrate the Day Before Donald Trump’s Inauguration

By Elizabeth Dias, Time magazine
January 19, 2017

“If anyone would stand up and take credit for what happened, God would have reason to take them out. This was done by God”

Exactly 24 hours before Donald Trump takes the oath of office on Friday, dozens of conservative evangelical pastors led a prayer service—beneath a fresco of a black Jesus and black angels at Washington’s Greater New Hope Baptist Church—to celebrate his election.

The event was a who’s who of Trump’s evangelical supporters and advisors, including most members of Trump’s executive evangelical advisory board. More than three hundred guests, nearly all white, filled the pews, cheering and praying together for nearly two hours. A separate celebration of the group’s relationship with Israel followed, and two members of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, joined, Sharren Haskel and Yehuda Glick. Sponsors included Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council and the Jefferson Gathering, a group that leads weekly prayer and church services inside the U.S. Capitol building.

So many evangelical leaders spoke it is difficult to list them all. Event organizer Jim Garlow, who leads Skyline Church in San Diego, told the group he hoped Trump’s win might usher in a new Jesus movement unseen since the 1970s. “If anyone would stand up and take credit for what happened, God would have reason to take them out—this was done by God,” he said, adding that evangelicals’ purpose was “to inaugurate Jesus as king.”

The event opened with prayers for the 45th president. Televangelist James Robison, who leads Life Outreach International, testified that he has never met a person “who is more attentive, who is more humble, who expresses greater meekness” than Trump—“I am praying that this man will understand what it is to be a father to a fatherless nation,” he said, to a standing ovation. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, prayed for incoming Vice President Mike Pence. “We have been waiting for a moment like this throughout my professional life, and since Roe v. Wade we have lost nearly every battle that has occurred,” he said. “Yet here we are on the precipice of a different day, a new day.”

Ralph Reed, who leads the Faith and Freedom Coalition, prayed for the incoming Cabinet members of “the greatest nation that God has ever raised up in the history of the human race.” Based on the Senate confirmation hearings, he said, “The enemy is not thrilled,” referencing Satan, and he prayed that “the slings and arrows” coming their way “would be rendered impotent and bounce off their shield of faith.”

For many, it was a moment to celebrate that Trump has promised to defund Planned Parenthood and appoint Supreme Court nominees who oppose abortion. “We pray that these little unborn babies that have waited for so long, that you would give us a new commitment to them, and that we would be reminded that they are the least of your brothers and sisters,” U.S. Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona prayed, tearing up. Jentezen Franklin, pastor of Free Chapel in Georgia, said, “We pray the wrong people out and the right people in to the Supreme Court.” Catholic priest Frank Pavone, director of Priests for Life, got a standing ovation when he prayed, “We submit the Supreme Court of the United States to the Supreme Court of Jesus Christ.”

The group also prayed for the country’s relationship with China and Russia. Charles Huang, who wore a Jewish prayer shawl, prayed in Mandarin and in English. When he blew a shofar to pray for U.S. relations with China and Taiwan, many in the crowd leapt to its feet, cheering, some crying, in support. Joseph Bondarenko, a Ukranian preacher who served time in prison as a Soviet dissident, prayed in Russian, translated into English, for God “to transform the heart of President Putin and his administration” and to “restore the good relationship between our countries.”

Prayers often signaled evangelical distrust of the media. Lance Wallnau, a Dallas consultant who has prophesied about Trump, prayed that God would “anoint [Trump] to be a wrecking ball … let it wreck media strongholds, let it wreck academic strongholds, let it wreck whatever has been destroyed, the continuity of your purpose for America.” Fox News columnist Todd Starnes got big cheers when he prayed for “revival” in Americas newsrooms, and that reporters would “reject fake news and embrace the good news.” “Lord, we know it is going to be a miracle of biblical proportions, but we pray that you would do something with our media,” Starnes said. Duck Dynasty’s Willie Robertson, who endorsed Trump early, also prayed for athletes and entertainers. “For way too long, the evil one has had control of a lot our entertainment,” he said. “Help us change that, help us make better movies, better songs, write things about you.” His brother Alan Robertson added, “Make us great again in the name of Jesus.”

Garlow acknowledged to the evangelicals gathered that they were nearly all white, and introduced a time of prayer for racial healing. “It is going to need to be led by far more whites,” he said. “When blacks articulate the issue, they get written off many times as whiny, but they are announcing a deep pain and a wounding that is there, and we as whites must learn how to articulate the steps towards racial healing and racial unity.” Mark Burns, an African American televangelist and Trump supporter from South Carolina, prayed that God would bring the ark of the covenant back to Washington, D.C. Ronnie Floyd, past president of the Southern Baptist Convention, prayed, “May we speak unity and light into the urban areas of this nation, into the courts of this land.”

Sam Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, was one of the only participants who had criticized Trump on the campaign trail. He prayed to “God of the thirsty, the hungry, and the stranger,” and asked, “Help us understand today that there is no such thing as a white church, there is no such thing as a black church, there is no such thing as a Latino church—there is only one church, the church of Jesus Christ,” he prayed. “A divided church will never heal a broken nation.” The crowd’s response was muted. Rodriquez will pray at Trump’s swearing in service, reading aloud Jesus’ words from the Sermon on the Mount, “Blessed are the poor, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

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