President Trump Cancels North Korea Summit

by Dr. Jim Denison | Denison Forum on Truth and Culture | The threat of North Korea is just one of the challenges we face as a nation (Images: Getty Images).

Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting. Therefore, please let this letter serve to represent that the Singapore summit, for the good of both parties, but to the detriment of the world, will not take place.”

With these words, President Trump notified Kim Jong Un yesterday that he was canceling their June 12 summit in Singapore.

This decision followed a series of ominously worded statements from North Korea. Their senior envoy for US affairs had threatened to call off the summit and warned that their regime could “make the US taste an appalling tragedy it has neither experienced nor even imagined.” The envoy also described Vice President Pence as a “political dummy.”

The White House says back channels for discussions with North Korea are still open but states that the regime must first change its rhetoric.

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A “challenging threat environment”

The threat of North Korea is just one of the challenges we face as a nation.

Russia is believed to have 4,300 nuclear weapons, followed by the US with 4,000. There are 9,400 nuclear weapons in military arsenals, with another 5,600 awaiting dismantlement. Nearly 4,000 nuclear weapons are operationally available; 1,800 are ready for use on short notice.

The largest Russian bomb, if dropped on New York City, would kill 7.6 million people.

In addition, China is expanding its economic and military power and influence. Proxy wars in the Middle East involving Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Israel threaten to escalate.

Dan Coats, the US Director of National Intelligence, testified earlier this year before a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence: “We face a complex, volatile and challenging threat environment. The risk of interstate conflict is higher than any time since the end of the Cold war–all the more alarming because of the growing development and use of weapons of mass destruction by state and nonstate actors.”

A nation worth protecting

The challenges of our day show why the men and women of our military are so important to our nation. More than 1.4 million Americans are serving on active duty today. Each of them has taken an oath to defend each of us.

Over America’s history, more than 1.1 million men and women have fulfilled that oath at the cost of their lives. Their memory lives in our gratitude. All we do this Memorial Day weekend to honor their sacrifice is so much less than they did to deserve it.

How does God want us to observe this important tradition?

One: Minister to the families of fallen soldiers. Scripture tells us that “the Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18). He wants us to be the presence of Jesus as we serve and pray for those in grief.

Two: Pray for wisdom for our military and civilian leaders. In these perilous times, claim the biblical promise: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God” (James 1:5).

Three: Pray for peace among nations. Pray for Kim Jong Un and other world leaders to follow Jesus. Make Paul’s prayer yours: “May the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way” (2 Thessalonians 3:16).

Four: Make America a nation worthy of their sacrifice. When I meet military veterans, I tell them that our nation owes them an unpayable debt. They often respond by encouraging me to make America a nation worth dying for.

Scripture calls us to set the example: “Be holy in all your conduct” (1 Peter 1:15).

“An estate to be preserved”

Noah Webster has been called “the father of American scholarship and education.” On the twenty-sixth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, he delivered a remarkable oration in which he pointed to the values and examples of the patriots whose sacrifice purchased America’s freedom.

At one point, he turned to “the youth of our country, who were not spectators of the distresses of the war.” His charge to them is just as relevant for us: “Let them consider that upon them has devolved the task of defending and improving the rich inheritance, purchased by their fathers. Nor let them view this inheritance of National Freedom and Independence, as a fortune that is to be squandered away, in ease and riot, but as an estate to be preserved only by industry, toil and vigilance.”

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For more from the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture, please visit www.denisonforum.org.



Trump Fulfills His Promise to Support Israel in What Many See as a Prophetic Event

by Steve Strang | President Trump had long planned a greater and more supportive relationship between Israel and the U.S.—months before the 2016 election. Trump’s support for Israel was just one reason Christians rallied around him. U.S. Embassy Jerusalem Dedication Ceremony (YouTube/The White House)

As Israel marks its 70th anniversary as a modern nation today, most faithful evangelicals are familiar with the words of Genesis 12:3, in which God says to Abraham, the father of the Jewish race, “I will bless them who bless you and curse him who curses you, and in you all families of the earth will be blessed.”

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The promise of this passage is simple enough: The nation of Israel is sacred in God’s eyes. His blessings have preserved the Jewish people through destruction and disaster countless times over the centuries. He has blessed the nation and its people, and He has promised to bless those who uphold the Jewish nation and to curse those who harm His chosen people. Evangelical Christians believe this to be one of the most fundamental promises of Scripture.

But not everyone agrees. Today’s opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem came with mass protests yesterday along the Israel border, casting a cloud over the event. The Trump administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital was heralded by many pro-Israel activists but decried by Palestinians and America’s Arab allies, Fox News reported.

President Trump had long planned a greater and more supportive relationship between Israel and the U.S.—months before the 2016 election. Trump’s support for Israel was just one reason Christians rallied around him.

The Jewish minority in America exists in a different category from other ethnic groups, and Jews occupy a special place in Christian theology. There has been a substantial bedrock of support for Israel among evangelical Christians since the modern nation was established in 1948, but the Hebrew roots of both Christianity and Judaism are as ancient as the Bible itself.

Despite this country’s connections with the nation of Israel, America’s support was seriously eroded under President Obama. Liberal Christians tend to favor the Palestinian cause, but most evangelicals were horrified by the disparaging remarks the former president made to and about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Trump administration’s actions in Israel have been decisive thus far in the presidency. For example, last May, Vice President Mike Pence invited about 100 rabbis, Israeli diplomats, a few congressmen and about 30 evangelicals to the White House to celebrate Israel’s 2017 Day of Independence. This was a public decree that as long as this administration was in place, Israel would be America’s best friend—and the U.S. would be Israel’s.

Trump also did what no other sitting U.S. president had ever done before. While in Jerusalem, Trump visited the Western Wall of the Temple Mount, standing at the holiest place where Jews are permitted to pray. He said a few words before inserting a note between the stones. The president later said he prayed for wisdom as he reached out and touched the walls.

Trump has been clear about his support for Israel. In an interview with the Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom, published Feb. 26, 2016, Trump said, ‘My friendship with Israel is stronger than any other candidate’s.’ When asked about his plans regarding a possible compromise agreement with the Palestinians, he said that peace between the two is not only paramount, but possible. He also stated long before his election that he wished to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and added that the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran is the ‘worst deal that Israel could have gotten.’ Today, both of his goals for the capital and the Iran deal are reality.

Be sure to read my book God and Donald Trump and get an inside look at the Donald Trump campaign, election and the presidency, including how he engaged with evangelicals and other faith groups to claim victory.

Steve Strang is the founder of Charisma Media and president of Christian Life Missions. He is also the author of the best-seller God and Donald Trump. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Click here to subscribe to the Strang Report podcast, and here to sign up for the Strang Report newsletter.



‘God and Donald Trump’ Generates Strong Early Response

by  Steve Strang | God and Donald Trump is a powerful first-person account of one of the most contentious elections in American history, with exclusive interviews and insightful commentary from the men and women who were there.

God and Donald Trump has now been officially announced in the market. Writing it has consumed my life for the last month. I am very encouraged by early response from buyers, interview requests from secular media and the enthusiasm of leaders whom we have asked to read and endorse it.

I decided to share the press release (below) that went out to the media this week because it contains a lot of information. However, I also have a very specific request, and I'm hoping you'll want to read the book.

If so, it would really help me if you would go ahead and preorder a copy either on BarnesandNoble.com or Amazon.com right away. Early presales, a very good indication that a book will take off, actually influence the retailers who stock it in the brick-and-mortar stores.

If you know you want to read God and Donald Trump, pre-ordering it now will make certain you get one of the first available copies. The release date is Nov. 7. Make sure to give me your comments below and share this exciting news with your friends.

Here is the press release:

'God and Donald Trump' Explores the Spiritual Aspects of His Miracle Victory and What This Means Now for America

New book by Stephen E. Strang, due out in November, provides powerful first-person account of one of the most contentious elections in American history, with exclusive interviews, behind-the-scenes 'scoops' and insightful commentary.

LAKE MARY, Fla.—Donald Trump is six months into the U.S. presidency, and opinions about his job thus far certainly fall all along the spectrum of approval or disapproval.

One fact that can't be overlooked is that President Trump has embraced the guidance of Christians who helped elect him.

A new book out this fall from Charisma Media CEO Stephen E. Strang, who strongly backed Trump in the election, will consider how the president's faith has perhaps grown and strengthened in office. God and Donald Trump, set to release Nov. 7, seeks to help readers understand who Donald Trump is, what he really believes, where his vision for America will lead us and where God is in all of this.

"With pundits asking, 'How did he win?' my new book explores whether there was a supernatural element involved," Strang said. "Christian leaders prophesied before the election that God had raised up Trump to lead the nation through a time of crisis. But could this billionaire reality-TV star actually convince the voters he was for real? And if so, what is God doing now, not only in Donald's Trump's life, but also in the nation?"

Donald Trump is an enigma—a brash self-promoter, casino owner and man of the world. Yet he is also a devoted husband and father who has surrounded himself with men and women of faith and has made religion a key component of his image. Strang's God and Donald Trump explores:

  • How family and childhood influences shaped Trump's character and worldview
  • How openness to evangelical leaders helped build his commitment to religious liberty
  • How his election as president was predicted years before by charismatic prophets
  • How he captured the largest evangelical vote in history and won the Electoral College
  • What he really believes and how those beliefs helped shape his campaign promises

God and Donald Trump is a powerful first-person account of one of the most contentious elections in American history, with exclusive interviews and insightful commentary from the men and women who were there.

After interviewing Trump, Strang, an award-winning journalist and successful businessman, was involved with other Christian leaders who campaigned for his election. He attended Trump's 2017 election-night victory party in New York because he believed the prophetic ministers who said he would win.

Steve Strang is the founder of Charisma Media and President of Christian Life Missions. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Click here to subscribe to the Strang Report podcast, and here to sign up for the Strang Report newsletter.



Why Christians Aren’t Laughing at Lance Wallnau Saying God is Raising Up Donald Trump Like Cyrus in Isaiah 45

Wallnau's analysis is ringing true with many Christians who are looking to make sense spiritually of this very strange election season.

Lance Wallnau believes God is raising up Donald Trump like he did King Cyrus in Isaiah 45. When the charismatic speaker/business consultant first said this long before the billionaire businessman received the Republican nomination, nearly everyone thought he was nuts.

Now, Wallnau's analysis is ringing true with many Christians who are looking to make sense spiritually of this very strange election season.

Wallnau also believes God gives leaders "common grace" to be instruments of His purposes—ones like Lincoln or Churchill or Thatcher. In a recent podcast, Wallnau told me all this and more. You can listen to it here as well as a follow up podcast with Wallnau here.

I felt this message was so important that I asked Wallnau to write it and we published it in Charisma magazine in our October issue which has Donald Trump and Gov. Mike Pence on the cover. An early form of this article was published online in three installments and you can read them here and here and here.

Wallnau told me he had an impression when he first met Donald Trump early this year that there was an anointing on him. He didn't understand the impression since he preferred Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Carly Fiorina. Then he saw a meme on Facebook showing Trump as the nation's 45th president. About the same time, he felt the Lord tell him to read Isaiah 45, which says King Cyrus who is called the Lord's "anointed" and later in the chapter says, "I have even called you by your name … though you have not known Me."

Wallnau then told me he felt he heard the Lord tell him "common grace," and he found the term in a Charles Colson book. It was a term the Reformers used to contrast "saving grace," when there was a basic understanding of God that influenced governments and societies even though the people who had this common grace might not have experienced "saving grace."

I urge you to not only listen to the podcast (and share it with friends on social media) but to read the article in Charisma. The full issue is available digitally behind a paywall and you can access it here and learn how to subscribe.

Meanwhile Steve Shultz, founder of The Elijah List sent out an email about my podcast with Wallnau with this incredible subject line: "Wow: The Bible's 'Cyrus the Great' and 'Donald Trump'—Is This God?" Here, he encouraged his readers, as I am, to listen to the podcast, then he gave a detailed report on what Wallnau said. I found it interesting in how Shultz wrote it, and I end my report by quoting him:

Lance Wallnau shares in this podcast:

  • God anoints secular rulers in history for specific purposes in order to protect His interests.
  • This will amaze you! The three issues that Cyrus took the most satisfaction in:
  1. Dealing with terror
  2. Restoring the habitations or economic stability of their cities
  3. Honoring their sanctuaries or their houses of faith

The Cyrus cylinder (that was uncovered in an archaeological dig) talks about terrorism, economics and faith.

  • This election is so critical … Lance says, "I don't know yet if the church is going to be as awakened as they need to be—to show up in the force they need to show up in to support what this man's (Donald Trump) capable of doing in restoration. Because 'if history tells us anything (it's this)—when God shows up He's 'disguised' and His people don't (always) recognize Him."
  • "Trump is like a wrecking ball."
  • Trump challenged this group of ministers (who met with him at Trump Tower) and said, "If you don't mind me saying so, I think you guys have gotten soft."

Lance went on to explain that Trump was looking at how fear and embarrassment are so often in ministry … with the church backing up from issues.

  • Lance continued saying that Trump is like a wrecking ball going toward many controversial issues. And Trump's observation was, "I really think that America's turned against Christianity in the last decade in a way that's not healthy, and I think you guys have gotten soft in terms of taking your ground and holding it."

Only someone like Donald Trump, himself a brand-new Christian, could actually get away with saying that to the church leadership in America.

Steve Strang is the founder of Charisma and CEO of Charisma Media. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Click here to subscribe to the Strang Report podcast, and here to sign up for the Strang Report newsletter



What Donald Trump Doesn’t Get About Immigrants

When it comes to immigrants, Donald Trump simply doesn't get it. (Reuters file photo)

 

 

This week I preached at a pastors' conference in Brookings, South Dakota. Before I arrived I assumed the sponsoring church, Holy Life Tabernacle, would be a mostly white congregation, since South Dakota is 82 percent white. But, when I walked into the Sunday service, I was greeted by Ghanaians, Rwandans, Nigerians and Congolese, most of them students or professionals who had recently moved to this small community north of Sioux Falls.

There were so many internationals in the service that I decided to ask everyone who had been born in another country to stand. There were more than 75 foreigners attending the church that day—about one-third of the congregation. Even pastor David Kaufman and his wife, Jeanne, who have been sharing Christ on the local university campus for years, were surprised to see how many foreigners have made Holy Life their home church.

That Sunday I made sure these internationals felt appreciated. "I want to say to each of you: Welcome to the United States!" I told them. "We are glad you are here!" They all smiled and clapped—and the Ghanaians cheered when I noted that they had the largest group.

I will be honest: The reason I so eagerly welcomed these immigrants is that I'm absolutely ashamed of the way many Americans act toward our foreign friends. And the current presidential campaign is not helping.

Case in point: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump—who seems to thrive on being intentionally offensive—insulted all Mexicans this past summer when he claimed that immigrants entering the United States from Mexico are a bad influence on our country. He said: "They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists."

To make his jabs even more hurtful, Trump told audiences that if he becomes president he will deport the entire undocumented population and end the practice of giving citizenship to children born to foreigners on U.S. soil. Trump said in July: "I will build a great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall."

I've been a Republican since I began voting at age 18. But Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric is enough to make me forfeit my association with the GOP. It's a shame that a candidate who claims to care about the future of the United States would be so hateful toward people who came to this country looking for the American dream. It's even worse that Trump's attitude is shared by some Christians who should know better.

There are three things we should remember about immigrants:

1. Immigrants are a blessing to our nation. Trump either slept through history class or he has a very short memory. America was shaped by immigrants—those who came from Ireland, Italy, Poland and Norway in the 1800s; the Hmong and Vietnamese refugees of the 1970s; and the Latinos, Africans and Indians coming here today. Immigrants start small businesses and stimulate the economy. Contrary to what Mr. Trump believes, immigrants do not breed crime; studies show that they are actually less likely to be jailed for a crime than U.S.-born citizens.

2. The church is called to welcome and care for foreigners. The Bible commands us: "The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself" (Lev. 19:34a). Our immigration policies should be tempered by kindness and a desire to share our blessings, not hoard them from the poor or less fortunate. In August a Donald Trump supporter told Hispanic reporter Jorge Ramos—who is a U.S. citizen—to "get out of my country." He might as well have waved a swastika flag. The incident indicated that some of Trump's fans are promoting a sick, racist nationalism that could fuel anti-immigrant violence. Christians should be modeling the opposite.

3. God has a prophetic purpose for immigrants. Mr. Trump believes he can just build a wall to keep Mexicans out of our country. But what if God wants to bring Mexicans to the United States for His purpose? What if He wants to create a haven of protection in our country for refugees from Syria? The apostle Paul preached that it is the sovereign God who created the nations and "appointed fixed times and the boundaries of their habitation" (Acts 17:26). We could actually find ourselves fighting God if we resist showing kindness to the immigrants God wants us to protect.

Many Americans today fear that immigrants are coming here to spread crime or terrorism. Of course we have to be vigilant to prevent Islamic extremists or violent gangs from entering this country. And of course we can't just let anyone set up camp within our borders without enforcing the law. But let's not forget that some of the worst terrorism on U.S. soil was carried out by crazed U.S. citizens, including white supremacist Dylann Roof who shot nine African-American Christians in a South Carolina church last June. Our biggest threat of violence is not from outsiders.

The Christian community should be standing in solidarity with the huddled masses of immigrants who come to our country seeking a better life. Shame on Donald Trump and any other political candidate who wants to slam the door on foreigners.

J. Lee Grady is the former editor of Charisma and the director of The Mordecai Project. You can follow him on Twitter at leegrady. Check out his ministry at themordecaiproject.org