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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Ash Wednesday            Wednesday, March 5 2003 

Jon Kennedy, webmasterCulture wars - 4; Armageddon

Some students of the Bible believe that the war to end all wars, Armageddon, may begin over conflict regarding the site of Islam's sacred mosque in Jerusalem, known as the Dome of the Rock or Noble Sanctuary, Al-Haram al-Sharif, which happens to occupy that city's space most sacred to the Jews, which they call the Temple Mount. According to a recent PBS special on Mohammed and Islam, the mount became sacred to Islam because Mohammed claimed to have been miraculously transported from Mecca to Jerusalem by air in a trance, landing there. Having never been to Jerusalem before, after the trance he is said to have been able to describe the city in detail.

The mount, Jews and Christians believe, is the site of the great temple built by Solomon, later destroyed and restored before the time of Christ. Destroyed again by the Romans in A.D. 90, (as prophesied by Jesus), it has not since been rebuilt, but the longing of Orthodox Jews is that it shall be because without the Temple Judaism is unable to worship in the way prescribed in Leviticus, the biblical book of the priestly functioning of their religion. This is what the Orthodox Jews grieve for when they pray at the wailing wall, a fragment of the Temple's foundation under what is the Muslim Mosque.

Though the Israelis have promised to preserve the Mosque, some fear that extreme Zionists may try to destroy it to make way for their next temple. This, more than any jihad thus far seen, is likely to unite the Islamic world against the Jews and anyone allied with them, the theory goes. Thus, some parties believe, Armagedden begins. And this may be why the conservative Jewish writer and radio host cited earlier, Dennis Prager, considers Islam one of the cultures antagonistic to the Judeo-Christian culture.

President Bush, in campaigning to defeat violent Muslim extremism and rogue states like Saddam's Iraq, assures his listeners that Islam is a religion of peace, holding out hope that either the Temple mount prophecies are incorrect or their fulfillment can be delayed temporarily or indefinitely. Many evangelical Protestants, including many of the President's supporters, believe that a scenario much like described above is invevitable. Some of them have been "promising" that it will happen during "our" generation, at least since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. Obviously, some generations have passed and others have been begun and grown up in the intervening decades.

I first heard a sermon following this outline in a revival meeting held in Nanty Glo—in the Firehall, I believe it was—around 1950. The Second Coming of Christ has been delayed since the time of the Apostles, two millennia give or take a generation. Those who pray for the salvation of their own and their neighbors' souls hope for more time still. Yet also, the Christian prayer remains in the words of the Apostle John, "even so, Come, Lord Jesus."

—Webmaster Jon Kennedy

 Deliver us

Most people would like to be delivered from temptation but would like it to keep in touch.

—Robert Orben

Lenten thought for the day

This being Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent in the Western Churches, and lent mostly overlapping in the Orthodox East this year, we are beginning today to use more specifically Christian inspirations, rather than the normal mix of inspiration and positive thoughts. —Webmaster

Let us all become a true and fruitful branch of the vine Jesus, by accepting Him in our lives as it pleases Him to come:

     as the Truth — to be told;
     as the Life — to be lived;
     as the Light — to be lighted;
     as the Love — to be loved;
     as the Way — to be walked;

as the Joy — to be given
as the Peace — to be spread;
as the Sacrifice — to be offered,
in our families and our neighbors.

—Mother Teresa

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