Monday, December 13, 2010

Letter to Pastors

December 11, 2010

Dear Pastors:

These lines were started to you from Phoenix, Arizona, as I’m flying Southwest on my way back to OKC, having been in LA visiting there with Israeli Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon and preaching in three churches of Pastors, who so graciously allowed me to preach about Yedidim of Israel’s connection with present day Jews in Israel.

Those churches were Montecito Baptist, Dr. Ezekiel Salazar, Dr. David Murphrey, Gethsemane Baptist and Dr. Joe Esposito, Pacific Baptist. These three Churches were so kind and gracious to me, it would fail, space wise, for me to be able, in this short email, to mention all their many kindnesses, and that on such short notice, after we were apprised of the Vice Prime Minister’s visit to LA.

The Bride of my Youth, and "Grandpa-in-a-Dress" as Melissa, Tom’s Wife, calls their youngest daughter, Esther, picked me up at the Airport. We went to Cracker Barrel to eat then came on home, and at our house in Piedmont, I am finishing what I started in Phoenix.

Monday evening at the reception in Anaheim, where we met for the first time Retired Major General Shimon Erem, the General asked the assembled folks if they had heard about the Le’ Chambon? Then he told us how, right after WWII, as a 24 year old veteran of The Jewish Brigade, who had fought on the Allies side under the British, he was in charge of smuggling Holocaust survivors into the Holy Land, then called Palestine.

Better known rescuers of Jews in WWII include Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who led the effort that saved 100,000 Hungarian Jews in 1944. Another rescuer, Oscar Schindler, saved over 1,000 Polish Jews from their deaths.

Shimon told us how he had met Pastor Andre’ Trocme! André Trocme led the rescue effort in Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, France, which hid and protected 5,000 Jews.

Dr. Jack Trieber’s church hosted a luncheon at the Marriott LAX for Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon Tuesday noon. Moshe is a soul stirring speaker as he addresses Israeli’s need of "friends" [yedidim] among the Christian Community particularly at this time. Both Moshe and General Erem spoke at that Tuesday luncheon.

Shimon quoted Eph 2:14 to us on Monday, telling about meeting that "Jew-Hider", Pastor Andre’ Trocme, who hid so many thousands of Jews during WWII from the Nazis and stated how that Pastor had quoted that verse to him as his reason for hiding the Jews. Eph 2:14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; General Shimon said Pastor Andre said, "You and I are one." Shimon, at age 88, is still "most impressive."
At one time, when a much young IDF Officer, Shimon commanded Present Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Let me digress, if you would be so kind, with a tad of history concerning the French, whom, as a culture, I must confess that I don’t have much regard for, but, one of their sub-cultures, the Huguenots, I really respect. Normandy Veteran Bill Lair, who fought in the 32nd Armored Regt. from June 7, 1944, to the end of the War, says, "The thing I remember most about the French, was, they were always looking for a German to surrender to!"

The Huguenots were "truly Born Again" Christians in France, called, in their alignment with Reformer John Calvin, Protestants. The origin of the word "Huguenot" is uncertain. It is conjectured to be a corruption of eidgenossen, confederates; eid, or oath, and genoss, consort!

Viewed to this day by the majority of the French nation as a great king, Louis XIV transformed France into the leading military power in Europe. Louis XIV (5 September 1638 – 1 September 1715), known as the Sun King (French: le Roi Soleil), was King of France and of Navarre. His reign, from 1643 to his death in 1715, began at the age of four and lasted seventy-two years, three months, and eighteen days, and is the longest documented reign of any European monarch

Yet the Huguenots take a very different view of his reign. He was, the Huguenots will tell you, a vain and power-obsessed man, one who systematically suppressed all existing checks and balances to his rule. Believe you me, it is the opinion of this author that we presently have a President who will, if he can, also, do away with existing checks and balances on his "power" hold on America.

After the death of the queen, Louis XIV came under the influence of his mistress, Madame de Maintenon. Though she had been born a Protestant (she was in fact a granddaughter of the most famous Huguenot poet, Agrippa d’Aubigné), de Maintenon had since embraced the most intolerant strain of Catholicism.

Under her influence, and in accordance with his own distrust for all forms of independent behavior, Louis decided that there should be "only one religion in the kingdom." A gradual tightening of the rules, with the Huguenots being the ones "tightened upon," ensued, which slowly escalated into full-blown persecution and terror.

Persecution, of course, is something with which Europe’s Christian monarchs had vast experience----and not least because they had spent the previous six centuries in a most "Haman-Hitler-like-way" honing their skills on the Jews. It should come as no surprise, then, that the measures taken in France against the Huguenots were directly inspired by European anti-Semitic measures used in the past.

Huguenots were forbidden to express their religious beliefs in public by singing Psalms, and compelled to pay respects to Catholic processions; they were gradually excluded from more and more professions, such as law, tax collection, accountancy, and even watchmaking. This was the exact way in which Hitler began, in 1933, to exclude Jews from such professions.

Access to courts was restricted, even forbidden in certain areas. Worst of all, however, the conversion of Protestant children to Catholicism was actively encouraged- indeed, the age from which these conversions were considered valid was gradually lowered to just seven years old.

Moreover, a "converted" child was then taken away from his parents, who were forced to pay a Catholic institution to raise him. Documents show that government officials and courts were positively enthusiastic in implementing these laws and in devising new and ever crueler torments.

On account of the increasing persecution, some French Protestants began to leave the country.

Most, however, fell victim to an illusion, that has often plagued the Jews in their long history of galut, or exile: The Huguenots refused to admit that their Catholic neighbors, with whom they lived, worked, ate, and conversed daily, were in fact plotting to eliminate them. They instead preferred to believe the false reassurances of the courts that, for instance, the destruction of Protestant churches was merely the regrettable, yet necessary, application of the edict, and "not in any way destined to inconvenience the believers." And so they stayed.

The Huguenots, should, of course, have learned from the fate of Europe’s Jews. Limiting access to courts and prohibiting religious celebrations; barring the way to influential professions; extorting religious conversions-all these measures had often preceded the full-fledged slaughter or forced exile of the Jews. And, Brethren, all that was done under the "guise" of Christianity.

Most Huguenots, however, could not believe that they were about to experience the same fate. Their thoughts were, that they, after all, were as "French" as their persecutors. They could not lay claim, as could the Jews, to be members of a separate nation, nor did they yearn after a Jerusalem. And so Protestantism and Catholicism, lived side by side in peace.

In 1685, Louis’ gradual tightening of the screw came to its inevitable conclusion. The king---to near-unanimous applause from the greatest minds in France----revoked the Edict of Nantes, and with it all those freedoms that his grandfather had allowed Huguenots to enjoy.

All Protestant religious services were banned, and their churches-which they called, not coincidentally, "Temples"-were destroyed.

Preachers were enjoined to convert or leave France. Believers were in an even more impossible situation, having been forbidden to practice their religion yet at the same time forbidden to leave.

A large number did leave, however, probably upwards of two hundred thousand Protestants, most of them members of the social elite: Those who enjoyed protections, could bribe officials, or had business ties abroad that could be used as a pretext to cross the border.

Those who stayed behind, then, were those who could not leave: The poor, the weak, the ones who lacked social connections. Already beset with hardship, their lives were about to become immeasurably worse----decades of brutal persecution were on the way.

Children of that culture will tell you that they remember hearing, as youngsters, stories that had been passed down for almost three centuries about how the king’s loutish soldiers---the Dragons---would occupy a village and garrison the most brutal beasts of the regiment in Huguenot homes.

The Dragons frequently brutalized young and old, raping Huguenot girls and women, and coaxed or beating small children into "conversions," which resulted in their being carted off to Catholic institutions.

Able-bodied men were arrested at the whim of Dragon Officers and NCO’s and forced to serve in the king’s galleys, where they were treated no better than slaves.

All this, however, ceased immediately for those who accepted the benevolent authority of the Roman Catholic Church. Indeed, the dragonnades were highly effective in this regard: Once comprising more than 10 percent of the French population, Protestants gradually decreased to what I think is their current level of only 1 to 2 percent.

But just as persecutions of the Jews always ended in a regrouping of survivors and a defiant shout of "Am Israel Chai" ("The people of Israel lives"), Christian life, too, regrouped and carried on, although often away from the public eye.

In the cities of the North, for example, the destruction of their temples led to a life of secrecy and dissimulation, not dissimilar to the case of the Spanish Marranos. Thus did these Born Again Christians lead an openly Catholic life, but privately educated their children in the ways of their true religion, meeting secretly at one another’s homes to conduct religious services. This tradition of "family services," complete with private harmoniums, continued long after the persecutions ended, well into the twentieth century.

In the mountainous region of the Cévennes in southern France, the Christians took valiant measures in response to Catholic torment. Inspired by the story of Judah Maccabee, the leader of the Jewish revolt against the Greeks in the first century B.C.E., the Camisards, or Christian peasants, took up arms against the king’s armies and retreated to hideouts in remote places.

There, they held large religious services called "assemblies in the desert." To these southern Huguenots---for whom the study of the Jewish and Christian Bibles was often the only education they ever received---it was natural to understand their own fate through the eyes of ancient Jewish history.

Calling themselves "the people of the desert," they preached about the corruption of Babylon (Louis’ France) and Joshua’s victories.

The libels that were used to justify anti-Protestantism were also often inspired by old anti-Semitic canards. Whereas Jews were accused of murdering Christian children, Protestants were said to abide by a religious obligation to kill their own children if they expressed interest in conversion to Catholicism.

Now, lets fast forward to the days just after WWI, and we find Adolph Hitler in the Weimar Republic, which the Weimar Constitution made it ripe for such a monster as Hitler to later scrap its entire bill of rights and rule by decree. In that post-WWI time frame, Hitler started working his way to the top as an orator, whose speeches were nothing more than "a string of slogans," one of which being "change."

It is very difficult to understand his effectiveness when one listens today to recordings of Hitler’s radio speeches. His voice is shrill, hysterical, and coarse. His speeches are those "repetitive-strings-of-slogans." His physical appearance was very unimpressive. Pictures show him as short and flabby, and that little toothbrush mustache is ridiculous. And, he wasn’t the most "intelligent" of leaders, having only an average IQ.

However, the "thing" [look that word up in a good concordance, and just see how many "things" there are in Scriptures] against those, whom Daniel 11:15 calls "His Chosen people" in the run up to events of the Great Tribulation period when "Anti-Christ" achieves power under the guise of "peace" and "deceit"— but, the "thing" that solidified the Germans with Hitler was their collective "Anti-Semetic" feelings!

Because of what I write about our "obamessiah" Jews ask me if I think Obama is "Anti-Christ." And I will answer, "Definitely not!" Daniel 11:37 and 38 teaches "he" is a Jew, for therein you find two phrases, "the God of his fathers," and "a god whom his fathers knew not" definitively proving Anti Christ is a Jew.

Daniel 11:37 Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.
38 But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.
Now, lets come forward to the year 1930, after Hitler had begun to grasp power in Germany, in September of that year, a hundred-odd members of the Nazi party had just been elected to the German legislature—the Reichstag—and they had shown up for the first session wearing their brown uniforms shouting, "Deutschland erwache! Jude verrecke!" The simple meaning of those words were "Germany Awake! Jew perish!"

Hitler did not make his 1,000 year reign. He took absolute power in 1933. He and his Nazis lost power in 1945. They only were in power 12 years, the length of time most of us spend in grade school and high school. But, in that period of time, Hitler’s efforts to make Europe "Judenrein" cost the lives of about 30 million Europeans, with another 30 million dying elsewhere in WWII.
Among the myriad slaughtered were the Jews. Six million of them. Two out of every three Jews in Europe before WWII lost their lives. One-Third of the World’s Jews. But, each was a living soul, a man, a woman, or a child. Each had a name. Each suffered his or her own death. They were, and are, the Apple of God’s own dear eye. They are and were "His Chosen people!"

Historians now call Hitler’s extermination of the Jews "the Holocaust." The word "holocaust" derives from the word "olah" in the Hebrew Bible. It had the religious meaning of a burnt sacrifice. In the language of our Christian Old Testament the word became "holokauston." The definition is that of "an offering wholly consumed by fire." In our day it has acquired the secular meaning of a general disaster.
But, what Hitler did, and what the Germans went after so fanatically, was the addition of another meaning to the dictionary definition: "a complete or thorough sacrifice or destruction, especially by fire, as of large numbers of human beings." [The Hebrew noun the Israelis use for it is Shoa. In Yiddish the word is Khurbn.]

Throughout their history, my Brethren, "His Chosen people" have been massacred by this tyrant or that one. What a privilege it is, like the Huguenot pastor in Le Chambon-sur-lignon, France, Andre’Trocme’, to stand with God’s Chosen People, the Everlastingly Covenanted People.

For a moment, then, let us look at Pastor Andre’ and his dear wife Magda. André and Magda were married in 1926. In 1938, Pastor Trocmé and the Reverend Edouard Theis founded the Collège Lycée International Cévenol in Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, France. Its initial purpose was to prepare local country youngsters to enter the university. When the Jewish refugees arrived, it also took in many Jewish young people wishing to continue their secondary education.
When France fell to Nazi Germany, the mission to resist the Nazis became increasingly important. Believing in the same ideas as former Pastor Charles Guillon, André and Magda Trocmé became very involved in a wide network organizing the rescue of Jews fleeing the deportation efforts of the Nazi implementation of their Final Solution.
Following the establishment of the Vichy France regime during the occupation, Trocmé and other area ministers serving other parishes encouraged their congregations to shelter "the people of the Bible". Trocmé was a catalyst whose efforts led to Le Chambon and surrounding villages becoming a unique haven in Nazi-occupied France.
Trocmé and his church members helped their town develop ways of resisting the dominant evil they faced. Together they established first one, and then a number of "safe houses" where Jewish and other refugees seeking to escape the Nazis could hide. These houses received contributions from the Quakers, the Salvation Army, the American Congregational Church, the pacifist movement Fellowship of Reconciliation, Jewish and Christian ecumenical groups, the French Protestant student organization CIMADE and the Swiss Help to Children in order to house and buy food supplies for the fleeing refugees.
Many refugees were helped to escape to Switzerland following an underground railroad network.

With the help of many dedicated people, families were located who were willing to accommodate Jewish refugees; members of the community reported to the railroad station to gather the arriving refugees, and the town's schools were prepared for the increased enrollment of new children, often under false names. Many village families and numerous farm families also took in children whose parents had been shipped to concentration camps in Germany.

Pastor Trocmé refused to accept the definitions of those in power. "We do not know what a Jew is. We only know men," he said when asked by the Vichy authorities to produce a list of the Jews in the town.
Between 1940 and 1944 when World War II ended in Europe, it is estimated that over 5,000 Jewish refugees including many children were saved by the one small village of Le Chambon and the communities on the surrounding plateau because the people refused to give in to what they considered to be the illegitimate legal, military, and police power of the Nazis.
These activities eventually came to the attention of the anti-Jewish Vichy regime. Authorities and "security agents" were sent to perform searches within the town, most of which were unsuccessful.
One tragic arrest by the Gestapo led to the death of several young Jewish young men in deportation camps. Their house director Daniel Trocmé, André's second cousin, refused to let the children put in his care go away without him; he was then also arrested and later died in the camp of Maidanek.
When Georges Lamirand, a minister in the Vichy government, made an official visit to Le Chambon on August 15, 1942, Trocmé expressed his opinions to him. Days later, the Vichy gendarmes were sent into the town to locate "illegal" aliens. Amidst rumors that Trocmé was soon to be arrested, he urged his parishioners to "do the will of God, not of men".

He also spoke of the Biblical passage [Deuteronomy 19:2-10], which speaks of the entitlement of the persecuted to shelter, IN THE CITIES OF REFUGE. The gendarmes were unsuccessful, and eventually left the town.
Lets look at Deut 19:2 Thou shalt separate three cities for thee in the midst of thy land, which the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it.
3 Thou shalt prepare thee a way, and divide the coasts of thy land, which the LORD thy God giveth thee to inherit, into three parts, that every slayer may flee thither.
4 And this is the case of the slayer, which shall flee thither, that he may live: Whoso killeth his neighbour ignorantly, whom he hated not in time past;
{Now, Brethren, I am not a "corrector" of the King James Bible. However, in the Hebrew, which has a tad more meaning than does our English vocabulary, the meaning here is very expressive, when tied into the "three parts" of verse 3, for it means " from yesterday the third day," which to ole JAV, is the Resurrection ground of My Messiah’s COMING UP OUT OF THE GRAVE!}
5 As when a man goeth into the wood with his neighbour to hew wood, and his hand fetcheth a stroke with the axe to cut down the tree, and the head slippeth from the helve, and lighteth upon his neighbour, that he die; he shall flee unto one of those cities, and live:
6 Lest the avenger of the blood pursue the slayer, while his heart is hot, and overtake him, because the way is long, and slay him; whereas he was not worthy of death, inasmuch as he hated him not in time past.
7 Wherefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt separate three cities for thee.
8 And if the LORD thy God enlarge thy coast, as he hath sworn unto thy fathers, and give thee all the land which he promised to give unto thy fathers;
9 If thou shalt keep all these commandments to do them, which I command thee this day, to love the LORD thy God, and to walk ever in his ways; then shalt thou add three cities more for thee, beside these three:
10 That innocent blood be not shed in thy land, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance, and so blood be upon thee.

God Almighty said, in Genesis 9:6 "Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed," as in the case of pre-meditated murder. But, in the case of manslaughter, God gave to them selected cities as CITIES OF REFUGE. Therefore, Pastor Trocme’ used this passage as "grounds" for the Huguenots showing "succor" to the Everlastingly Covenanted People.

In February 1943, Trocmé was arrested along with The Reverend Edouard Theis and the public school headmaster Roger Darcissac. Sent to Saint-Paul d’Eyjeaux, an internment camp near Limoges, they were released after four weeks and pressed to sign a commitment to obey all government orders.

Trocmé and Theis refused and were nevertheless released. They went underground where Trocmé was still able to keep the rescue and sanctuary efforts running smoothly with the help of many friends and collaborators.
In January 1971, the Holocaust memorial center in Israel, Yad Vashem, recognized André as Righteous Among the Nations. In July 1986, Magda Trocmé was also recognized. Several years later, Yad Vashem honored the village of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon and the neighboring communities with an engraved stele erected in its memorial park. It was the first time Yad Vashem honored a whole community.

Today, the Plateau Vivarais-Lignon and Le Chambon-sur-Lignon have become a symbol of the rescue of Jews in France during WWII.

I wish my brethren, that you could have been there last Monday evening to see, and feel, the passion that this ole 88 year old Jew, Retired Major General Shimon Erem, spoke with in recalling his meeting with [as the Jews call him,] "the Righteous Gentile" Pastor Andre’ Trocme’!
Unfortunately, the relationship between the Huguenots and Jews has cooled in the past forty years. To be sure, among many believers, identification with Jewish suffering is an almost reflexive action.
Regrettably, however, the leadership of the Reformed Church, the Huguenots’ official body, has of late adopted a more distant tone towards the State of Israel. Were you to read Israeli Ambassador to America Michael Oren’s book, POWER, FANTASY & FAITH, you would see that the Presbyterians and Methodists were leaders of the "Restoration" movement in 1825 in America, but sad to say, like the present day Huguenots, they "divest" funds from businesses doing business with Israel.

This surprising estrangement can be partly explained by the Huguenots’ recent acceptance into the French establishment. As Catholic hatred waned to "residual" levels, some Protestants, especially the socially elite, may have felt that echoing the majority’s prejudices was a legitimate price to pay for that acceptance.
Thus have several Protestant leaders, such as left-wing politician Pierre Joxe, joined in the Israel bashing.

Part of the new coldness towards Israel can also be explained by the opposite phenomenon in Huguenot history: That is, not by a break with Huguenot traditions, but rather by an ill-informed feeling of continuity. Until recently, the victim status enjoyed by the [so-called] Palestinians led some French Protestants to look past their theological roots to the idea of a compulsory "solidarity with the victim."
Thus did they transfer onto the Palestinians what they interpreted as a historical sympathy for the underdog, who is viewed, according to the discourse of modernity, as somehow more "pure" than the stronger party.
John Calvin, of course, would have laughed at the idea that anyone, powerful or not, could be considered pure. Moreover, in Israel’s comparatively decent behavior towards its enemies, the Reformer would likely have seen yet one more proof that God shows his love for the Jews by giving them the strength to overcome, to a large degree, the deep corruption that is the lot of all humans. But then, in one of history’s greatest ironies, Calvin was dropped long ago from the list of required reading in French Protestant circles.

This ignorance, in fact, has led to the most preposterous of public stances among many Protestants today. The intellectual Jean Baub
érot, who as a young man was a member of the Jewish-Christian Friendship Association, changed his tack after the 1967 war and published a hastily written condemnation of Israel.
For a while, some Protestants also identified with the situation of Muslim minorities in Europe, which reminded them of their own past. During the latest Intifada, for instance, the Reformed Church sent two "special representatives" to live for several months in the Palestinian territories and report back on their experiences. The first representative, Pastor Gilbert Charbonnier, spent six months in Ramallah and managed to see only "oppression"-apparently, he was blind to the joyful demonstrations in the street whenever Jews were murdered. Far too embarrassing for the Church, he was replaced by the youthful and well-meaning Carola Cameran, who returned only with pat appeals for peace and is not, thankfully, encumbered by the same ideological judgments.

I know some folks up in Illinois, who has a relative in Minnesota, a Born Again Christian, who has made over 100 trips to Israel, however, going every time to Ramallah and taking up the "so-called" Palestinian’s side in the "Israeli-Palestinian" question, as it is called.

As the seriousness of militant Islam’s threat to the West has become clearer, more and more Protestants are returning to their philo-Semitic roots. For example, Jeanne-H
élène Kaltenbach, an intellectual who spent most of her life engaging with Muslim leaders, even co-writing with her husband a book heralding the coming of a moderate, civilized Islam, changed her views after September 11; one year to the day after that event, she published a damning indictment of France’s appeasement towards radical Islam’s agenda.
Even Baub
érot, though not yet really a Zionist, has expressed his regret for the excessive tone of his 1971 book. And there is reason to believe that even more Protestants will soon see the light: Not even these last few, overwhelmingly pro-Palestinian decades can succeed in changing the Huguenot Protestant’s deepest mindset. They are, after all, the ones who suffered at the hands of the dragonnades, and the ones whose ancestors refused to relent under pressure from the greatest king on earth; surely, they owe it to their brave ancestors to live up to their example.
French Huguenots-or, at least, those of them who know their own history-are linked with the Jewish people by too many bonds of culture, history, and religious beliefs to betray that old alliance.
The world is now experiencing a new wave of Jew hatred, with many Muslims hoping openly for a new Holocaust and most Europeans all too willing to let one happen. The most tenacious, vilest, and oldest of hatreds is reaching a new high. In such dark and troubled times, may the God of Israel give us the strength to proclaim our everlasting gratitude to the Jews. May he give us the grace, which we do not deserve, of sharing their torments today and their victory tomorrow.

For victorious they will be, as Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon "intoned" the other evening, and the next morning, in Southern California. He, like some others, have read "the last Chapter" of the BOOK! PRAISE THE LORD!

We are putting two DVD’s together to make available to churches for showing in your Watch Night or New Years Services. It would be quite touching and fitting for your to show these at this time, with events happening as they presently are, and the Jews needing Friends as much today as they did before, during, and after, World War Two!
If you would like these DVD’s write me at, and we shall mail them to you.
I remain, sincerely and gratefully, your dutiful friend and obedient servant,

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