Leaving Jew-Hating Behind

Here’s one of those subjects I don’t like sharing about myself, but I find it’s important to spill it out now. A couple of years ago I developed what could not be described as anything but an intense hatred for Jewish people. It grew out of struggles I was having with Jewish neighbors who obviously despised me for my evangelical Christian faith, and who especially hated what I wrote. This wasn’t a huge shock to me, because we Christians expect hostility from Jews over our faith, especially when we express it publicly. But because of what I experienced from these neighbors, a bitter contempt rose in me for all Jewish people of a liberal or “progressive” bent.

I viewed progressive Jews like my neighbors as standing for everything that not only ran counter to my beliefs, but also as people who would do anything and everything possible to force me to abandon those beliefs and become what they wanted me to be. I grew angrier over both what my neighbors were doing, trying to find some way to stop me from writing and publishing anything, and what I saw the wider, Jewish community doing. I came to view all progressive Jews as  aggressive promoters of everything that was causing moral and spiritual decline in our nation and around the world. This not only included gay rights and same-sex marriage, but the worst forms of pornography and lurid entertainment, and the complete mockery and suppression of all Christian truth. I saw their ultimate goal as the criminalizing of the Christian faith and complete eradication of all Christian teaching and influence in the world. While much of my view of the Jewish Left may prove true, it does not give me an excuse to hate the people themselves.

The turning point in this spiritual battle came for me when I read a New Testament passage from the book of Romans. I had read Chapter 9 of the book many times before, but even as I wrestled with negative feelings for those I saw as leftist Jews, God spoke a stern reminder to me through this scripture. The opening five verses of the chapter leaped out at me one day as I was seething over something done by one of the neighbors. The Apostle Paul wrote of his “great sorrow and increasing anguish in my heart”…”for the sake of my people, those of my own race, the people of Israel.” (9:2-4) He was saddened over their rejection of Jesus Christ as their Messiah. This grieved Paul because of the Jewish heritage of being singled out by God to be his specially chosen people through whom he would work out his plan of salvation for humankind. The Jews provided the ancestry for the Messiah, and hold the promise of God’s unending love even today, though most have not embraced Jesus Christ.

The implications of this hit me hard, and brought me into a time of repentance. I had to come to terms with the fact that no matter how evil I perceived some Jewish people to be, I had no right to harbor animosity against them. Even as I continued to read on through the tenth and eleventh chapters of Romans, I felt more convicted over the contempt I harbored toward my Jewish neighbors, and secular, progressive Jews in general. I was reminded that as a Gentile Christian, I am “a wild olive shoot”…” grafted in among the others” (11:17), and that I have no business nursing hostility within me toward any Jews. I was also reminded in verses 28 and 29 that even though Jews are natural enemies to me when it comes to my faith, they are still loved by God and will not be abandoned or reject by him as a race when the end of time comes.

This brought me to a point where I had to seek God’s forgiveness for my bitter anger and hatred toward progressive Jews, especially my neighbors, and instead, resolve to be quiet and let God deal with whatever got thrown at me and the people involved. In place of bitterness and rage, I found God in Christ filling my heart with a growing love and concern for Jewish people, and for the nation of Israel especially. I was upset over the nuclear deal with Iran, because as the details of the pact were made public, it became apparent that the accord struck between our president and Iran’s leaders amounted to a veiled declaration of war against Israel. Iran got everything it wanted, and Israel was left more of an open target. I believe in praying for the peace of Jerusalem, because therein, we secure our own peace. To do otherwise is to invite disaster in one form or another against our own nation.

This leads me to address all Jewish people, whoever you are, wherever you may live: as an evangelical Christian, you may hate me through and through for my faith; despise everything I believe in, and wish to see me and all other Christians drop off the face of the earth. If you do, I understand that, because we Christians have fueled that hostility at times with un-Christlike behavior and attitudes toward Jews. You may be gay or straight, a capitalist or a communist, a devout Orthodox synagogue-goer or an avowed atheist, but that does not matter. If you are attacked simply for being Jewish, I will stand in defense of you in whatever way I can, no matter what. You may not want my support, but nonetheless, you will have it, because that is what God in Jesus Christ has placed in my heart for you. If that makes me a target of some really hostile Jews, Islamic extremists, or anti-Semitic white supremacists, so be it. May God make himself real to all of you in the days ahead. Shalom. (All Scripture quotations taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version, 2011 edition).

 

“Thankful for a Traffic Ticket”

As bizarre as this may sound, I’m thankful today for a speeding ticket I received earlier in the week. While travelling north on I-77 in southwestern Virginia between my home near Asheville, North Carolina, and my parents’ home in Pennsylvania, I was pulled over for driving 78 in a 65 m.p.h. zone. The officer who stopped me was a Lieutenant Lyons from the Carroll County Police Department. There’s no way he could have known that he was pulling over a boiling cauldron of rage behind the wheel of that Ranger.

I wasn’t angry at other motorists on the interstate. I was growing a bit impatient with some trucks that were bottle-necking traffic passing each other, which led partially to the speeding. But what was really making me drive mad was the trouble I was leaving behind at home. It was not the result of a conflict with my wife Julie, but over trouble caused by neighbors that has gone on for over a decade. I have been the target of a relentless campaign by members of the gay community around Asheville, and possibly elsewhere, to make me “come out” and declare myself as gay. I’ve had members of a local homosexual satanist cult approach me at different times giving me the not-so-subtle message in one way or another of: “We know you’re gay, and we’re going to make you come out and join us.” I’ve also had to live with people practicing witchcraft and sorcery living in the apartment below us, using it against me for the same purpose.

The apartment building Julie and I live in is a wooden frame, three-story, six-unit structure with wooden floors. That means we can hear all kinds of things, including neighbors’ conversations. Ours is the middle floor apartment, so the neighbors above us can make noise that can become irritating and keep us awake at night, and whoever is below us can likewise make plenty of noise that can be heard. After twelve and a half years in the place, Julie and I have certainly gotten used to noise. But within the last seven years, it’s a particular kind of noise that’s become the most disturbing for me.

I’ve learned to discern the sound of sorcery-training videos being played, detecting instructions given on how to cast a spell on someone to make them go queer. I’ve also learned to discern the sound of witches’ incantations, which can sound like someone either grunting their way through an exercise or straining to have a bowel movement. Does this sound all too wild and weird? Trust me, it isn’t, because this kind of training material in witchcraft is readily available. I know, because I’ve been the target of it.

I first became aware of this several years ago while I was finishing up the writing of a biblical historical novel on the life of the prophet Daniel. Julie would sit at our computer and proofread my chapters out loud, while our sorcery-practicing neighbor below us listened in on every word. In the course of the novel, I wrote of how the practices of the Canaanite people with their worship of fertility gods and goddesses included ritual homosexual prostitution, carried out in tents right in the outer courtyard of the temple in Jerusalem. My purpose for including this in the story was to show the multiple reasons why ancient Judah was invaded and conquered by the Babylonians in the early 6th century B.C., with Jerusalem and the temple destroyed in the process. This obviously set off alarm bells both with the neighbor below us and the one in the house next door to our building. I became the target not only of witchcraft, but of efforts to stop my writing.

Among the things that have happened to my computers in the course of writing two novels that are now completed, was the planting of a Trojan horse that prevented me from writing the word “homosexual” in anything I was trying to write. I had to get a rather expensive cleaning done along with the repair of my software to make it usable. I ended up being fooled into buying a bogus software protection package for my laptop that gradually began eating up and destroying my word processing program while I was writing my second novel. Again, another expensive repair and cleaning. But I did manage to complete my second novel by keeping the laptop offline most of the time. Otherwise, I found the computer at home constantly monitored to see what I was doing on it. Whoever gave the tools to the neighbors in the building to watch all of my computer usage either had to be some criminal element, or a federal agency. I more strongly suspect the latter, because I could get no help from law enforcement people to track down who was doing what to my computers.

So why am I confronted with this all-out attack against my name, character, marriage, and work? 1) These people do not want me saying, writing, or thinking anything against homosexuality or the gay lifestyle, and 2) they are still convinced I am a closet queer who “needs to come out.” There’s one big problem with their thinking. Granted, I look lie the stereotypical gay man, with thin, bony arms; narrow, rounded shoulders, and a waistline that’s a little too thick. But I can say unequivocally, with God as my witness, that I have never felt any physical, sexual attraction toward men, and I have always liked women as far back as I can remember. I was a shy, bashful, awkward teenager when it came to being around girls, and that insecurity carried into adulthood. But I never had any desire whatsoever to engage in sexual behavior with other men, and recoiled from it when approached by gay men for it.

Obviously, these enemies of mine, many of whom are Marxists as well as devil-worshipers and gay rights activists, do not accept these facts about me because they don’t want to. I’ve said out loud in the hearing of some that I would have to be killed before I would go live the gay lifestyle, and I still stand on that. I very well could lose my life at the hands of gay rights activists and/or their sympathizers, but if that happens, it will only happen because God permits it, and will only serve to prove what they are, not what I am.

This brings me back to my traffic stop and speeding ticket. When Lieutenant Lyons pulled me off to the side of the interstate, I felt an initial flush of embarrassment as anyone would, especially since it was my first speeding violation in my many years of driving. But as the lieutenant took my license and registration to write out my ticket, I felt a strange calm come over me. It was as if God’s Spirit was speaking to me saying, “It’s time to cool down, Brian, and give your anger over to me. You’re driving dangerously and you need to settle down and quit letting this bitterness and rage you’re carrying eat you up.”

I left our apartment that morning feeling the affects of sleep deprivation from the previous couple of nights. The neighbors below and above us seemed to be determined to rob me of as much sleep as possible, especially after hearing I was leaving to go back up to Pennsylvania. Between witch’s incantations directed at me from below, and the little girl above us following the instructions of the couple camping out in the apartment below us to do various noisy things to try to set me on edge, I was seething that morning as I headed north.

What was galling me the most was the fact that everything these people are throwing at me is intended to give me one message: “You’re gay, and you need to leave your wife and come out.” The taunting and harassment, I’ve concluded, are intended  to either make me blow up in a rage so I can be arrested and sent off either to jail or to a state mental hospital to be “deprogrammed of my Christian beliefs” and persuaded that I’m gay and need to go live with queers, or to break me down mentally to where I finally give in, tell Julie to divorce me, and go live in the gay community. One way or another, the primary goal is to silence me and stop me from dissenting against homosexuality any more.

My anger over this cruel and demonic effort to destroy my marriage and turn me into something I am not burned within me even as I sped up over the mountain just inside the Virginia border. The pressure to turn my back on Julie, a woman who gave up everything familiar to her twenty-one and a half years ago to follow me six hundred miles to Pennsylvania was eating at me. So did the thought of the six fruitless years we spent in Michigan where I tried to establish a different career. Then came a year living in parents’ homes where we were both unemployed most of the time. Then finally, it was on to North Carolina where Julie has patiently supported me through a lengthy and expensive process of building a career as a freelance writer and novelist, to give me the opportunity to do what I do best. It’s where I walked with her through the valley of breast cancer. And it’s where she has faithfully toughed it out alone for a good part of the past three years while I’ve shuttled back and forth between her and my parents’ home, partly to care for them, and partly to get away from the evil down there to let God deal with it. My rage and bitterness made me lean on my gas pedal harder, until the Carroll County Police car came up behind me with its lights flashing.

Other than Jesus Himself, Lieutenant Lyons became the best friend I could have had out there on I-77. Even as he wrote up my ticket, God’s Spirit was telling me, “Relax and rest in me, Brian. While you’ll have to pay a speeding fine, I will make your enemies pay for the evil they’ve done to you.” Thanks to the traffic stop, I was reminded that “the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James 1:20, NKJV). I could leave my enemies in God’s hands that day and concentrate on driving safely the rest of the day to my parents’ home that night. So, out of gratitude to Lieutenant Lyons for being God’s intervention in a difficult and dark hour of my life, I will gladly pay the speeding fine to Carroll County, Virginia.

 

 

 

 

Lucifer and his Plan of Mass Destruction

Lucifer was pacing back and forth in his lair, trying to figure out what to do next to God’s created beings made in his image, Adam and Eve. He successfully enticed them into taking the forbidden fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but God drove the pair out of the garden before he could persuade them to also take fruit from the tree of life. Then they would have lived forever under his control in a state of rebellion against God. He gritted his teeth in frustration, trying to think of what he could do to destroy God’s cherished creations. Then Bitterroot, one of his lieutenants, walked in.

“Is there something I can help you with, O great one?”

“Bitterroot, I should have figured the Enemy would protect His creatures from eternal service to me by kicking them out of Eden. Now I have to figure out some other way to destroy those humans and laugh in His face.”

“What did the Enemy tell Adam and Eve to do after He made them out of the dirt?”

Lucifer paused for a moment, even as he recalled listening to what the Creator had commissioned the humans to do. “He told them ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and subdue the earth.'”

“In other words, He expects them to engage in sexual intercourse, and have children to populate the earth and keep the human presence on it.”

“Yes, and now they have the awareness of how their sexuality can be a source of embarassment, or a source of wicked pleasure. They have to cover their bodies, especially their loins, to keep from encouraging illicit sex.” An evil smile spread across Lucifer’s face. “That could be the key to bringing the humans to complete ruin.”

“You’re going to try to stop them from having children?” Bitterroot looked confused.

“Oh no, I can’t do that since the Enemy gave them a mandate to do that, and has made them to naturally want to engage in sex. He even said that Himself when He told Eve, “Your desire shall be for your husband.” Then Lucifer’s eyes grew wider, and his evil smile broader.

“That’s it, Bitterroot! I can destroy God’s precious humans made in His nauseating image by progressively perverting their desire for sex and reproduction.”

“How are you going to do that, when there’s just Adam and Even, great one?”

“I won’t do it with Adam and Eve, but with their descendants. As each new generation is born, I will progressively introduce more and more perversions that will distort human understanding of sexuality as the Enemy intended it. I’ll start by causing women to make themselves into temptresses to lure married men into sex outside of marriage. I’ll even lead them to formulate a whole profession of earning money from selling sex to men.”

“But how will that lead to the destruction of humans, O great one?”

“Ah, Bitterroot, you have no imagination. That will just be the beginning of sexual perversions. You see, I also remember the Enemy telling Adam and Eve ‘that a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife.’ By getting women to entice men to engage in sex outside of marriage, families will begin to break up and undermine the order and peace in the world the Enemy wants.”

“So, if you destroy God’s planned institution of marriage, then you will successfully destroy the family, and ultimately, the human race will self-destruct and ruin the earth with it.”

“Exactly, Bitterroot. I want to completely corrupt humanity to where they will finally worship and serve me instead of the enemy. I will do that by so completely distorting the human understanding of sexuality as the Enemy created it, that all kinds of sexual perversions will result. Fathers will start having sex with their daughters, and then gradually shift their sexual appetites to their boys and other men.”

“You’re going to bend the human mind so wickedly they’ll begin to prefer having sex with their own gender instead of the opposite one? Wow, great one! That is an incredible plot to destroy the world.”

“Oh yes, Bitterroot,” Lucifer grinned. “I’ll throw in other perversions and distortions for good measure to hasten this. I’ll whisper the lie into men’s minds that drawing sensual images of women and other men, and even children on walls, while making carved replicas of their genitals and other sex images will enhance their sex lives, when in fact, it will create fantasies that will lead men to commit violent sex acts against women. This in turn, will cause women to turn against men, and see their sexual desires shift away from their men to other women. The women will even become radicalized to the point that they will not want men to be involved in the rearing of children, unless it’s to teach boys to grow up preferring sex with other males.”

Bitterroot stood amazed, fascinated and delighted with the evil master’s plot to destroy God’s highest form of life. “So, great one, generating all those false ideas about sex and what God intends for humans in their families will help destroy all traditional families and cause the entire human race to self-destruct under a heap of filthy perversions.”

“Yes, Bitterroot. But there’s even more to this. As men and women engage in all kinds of sexual deviations, including having sex with animals, I’ll entice them to worship both the human body, and the earth itself. Then, when I’ve taken them so far down the road of perversion and the worship of false gods, I’ll get them to worship me, which will be the supreme insult to the Enemy. I’ll have them sacrifice their precious little ones to me, and eventually destroy the human race completely. I can’t wait to laugh in the Enemy’s face when he has to give up on His filthy, perverted creatures He made in His own image.” Lucifer was chuckling as he gave a contemptuous look toward heaven.

Suddenly, a voice spoke that made them both freeze in place. “You’ve left out one part of what I said to Adam and Eve before I ushered them out of the garden, Lucifer. I told Adam he will crush your head, and that means the second Adam, my Son Jesus, Who I will send to do that. You will not succeed in your evil plot because of Him.”

Lucifer and Bitterroot stood, wide-eyed and pale from the divine words. They stared up toward heaven, and then turned to stare at each other, terrified. Then without another word, they slunk off in opposite directions to look for other evil things to do in as secret a way as possible.

Israel and the Iranian Threat

The new so-called peace accord with Iran that puts heat on Israel to give up land or face sanctions is another in a succession of attempts by the Islamic world and their Marxist sympathizers to tell the Jewish state to leave Palestine, and for all intensive purposes, get off the face of the earth. Prime Minister Netanyahu finds himself and his nation now labeled a threat to the peace and stability of the region, when it is Islamic extremists who have done everything they can to destabilize the Middle East. President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have made it clear they have no respect for the sovereignty of Israel and the territory it controls, and are interested in seeing the land of Abraham parceled out to those who claim it belongs to the Islamic world, and not the Jews.

The implications of this are obvious: Israel is now being isolated on the world stage, and singled out again for eventual destruction by those who have no regard for what God promised His chosen people centuries ago. It does not matter that God’s promise of the land we know as Israel was promised to Abraham’s descendants through his son Isaac. As far as Barack Obama and others are concerned, it only belongs to those who support Karl Marx’s utopian delusion, which includes many Muslims. What Mr. Obama and others like him fail to recognize is that Muslim Marxists are Muslims first and Marxists second, and their idea of utopia is the whole world becoming Muslim and following the teachings of the Qu’ran, governing how the economic principles of Marxism would be worked out.

Politics aside, one has to ask, “What makes the Jewish people, especially those in Israel, the target of such hatred?” I believe it comes back to the reality that they are still God’s chosen people, even those among them who don’t believe in God. They still are loved and looked upon with special concern by the Almighty God who set them apart as His chosen nation through whom He worked out His plan of redemption of the human race. This, as much as anything, makes them the target of hatred and resentment by those who have no regard for what God has revealed of Himself in the Hebrew Tanakh and the Christian Bible. The repeated attempts at their extermination as a nation and an ethnicity shows that Satan, in particular, wants rid of them because of their special standing before God.

So what is likely to happen next, in this whole saga of Israel, and with its long-standing enemies such as Iran? Well, that answer is spelled out clearly in Scripture, especially in Ezekiel 38 & 39 and Revelation 19. If Prime Minister Netanyahu finds it necessary to launch an air strike against the nuclear facilities of Iran, it will likely trigger an international gathering of all different nations against Israel with military action against the country. This will culminate in the Battle of Armageddon on the plain of Megiddo in Israel, which Scripture tells us will mean the annihilation of the entire assembly of foreign armies, while the Israelis will remain standing.

What does it mean for America? If President Obama continues on a course of anti-Israeli policy, we will see our own nation suffer more and more catastrophes as a warning from God to stop pressuring His chosen people. Whether or not the Israelis and Palestinians can peacefully coexist with their own respective nations is highly improbable, especially if the Palestinian state is controlled by Muslims. The Islamic faith will not tolerate the presence of non-Muslims in an area considered holy by its adherents. Likewise, orthodox Jews, especially, will never accept any other site on earth as an appropriate place for their temple than on Mount Moriah in East Jerusalem, the present site of the Muslim Dome of the Rock.

The most disturbing development to me in all of this is the possibility of President Obama ordering U.S. troops to go to war against Israel, along with the other nations opposed to its existence. This will certainly spell disaster for our military, and will run counter to the convictions of Jews and Christians alike in this country.

Granted, everything I am writing could be dismissed by many as just Zionist triumphalism. You may call it whatever you like, but I stand on what I read in the Bible, and am firmly convinced that God will defend His chosen people no matter what, and when He does, the whole world will know as the Old Testament prophets foretold, that He is God, and God alone.

Thank-you, Mr. Mandela

Dear Mr. Mandela,

Though you’re no longer with us, I just thought I’d pass along my thanks along with so many others in the world to you for teaching me something so critically important: the power of forgiveness. Though you could have led your Zulu tribesmen in an all-out bloodbath against the white proponents and leaders of that inexcusably racist system of government called apartheid, you chose to follow the path of forgiveness toward your former persecutors and captors, and set the stage for the healing of your nation.

You did this when revenge could have been so very easy, and so sweet, considering the torture and abuse you suffered at the hands of the white dictatorship in Pretoria. But you could see that South Africa had suffered enough bloodshed, violence, and hatred, and you showed true Christian virtue that the Dutch Reformed Church failed dismally to show when it encouraged the establishment of apartheid.

My problem is, I’m a proud white man who is a very slow learner when it comes to forgiveness. I’m thin-skinned and easily riled at times by people who make insinuations about my character, morals, or even my masculinity. Looking at how you endured 27 years of unjust incarceration for standing up for the dignity and rights of all people regardless of race, only to forgive your enemies, makes me hang my head in shame over the many times I wanted to see vengeance on people who mistreated me, even for little, silly things.

I only wish I could have known you personally, Mr. Mandela. I believe you could have imparted some added wisdom to me in learning how to forgive some of the worst things people can throw at you, and move on then to give of yourself in service to some of the same people with dignity, mercy, and compassion. Your example has inspired this little white man on this side of the Atlantic to find ways to extend God’s mercy and grace to others, including those who mock me or who intend to do me harm. I don’t know if there is any greater lesson that anyone can learn in this life than the power of forgiveness. You not only learned it, Mr. Mandela, you became one of the world’s greatest teachers of the virtue.

Sincerely,

Brian W. Smith

My Hope Goes On

After serving as a supervisor for the Television/Telephone Ministry for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association at The Cove in Asheville, North Carolina, last weekend, I can safely say that I have seen God work in ways I wouldn’t have expected. Last Sunday evening alone, of the calls we received from viewers watching The Cross, the final telecast from the BGEA that will feature Billy Graham, we found that 60% of the calls ended up being salvation calls. Over the almost ten years I have helped with the TVTM in Asheville, I can safely say this is unprecedented. The average I have usually seen in conversion calls to the center during a telecast is about 33%.

This tells me that despite our secular media’s efforts to declare evangelical Christianity to be irrelevant, and something that needs to die off and disappear permanently, the hunger for God, and for a life filled with meaning that can only come from walking with Jesus is as strong in our nation as ever. This shouldn’t be all that surprising, considering where we are as a nation. We have learned we cannot trust our government to keep its promises or back up its claims. We have seen certain special interest groups get everything they want through the courts, if not through legislation, despite opposition from many citizens, even a majority who vote for referendums against the very things that are being rammed through into law. An overall sense of uncertainty, even despair, seems to be gripping the U.S., as we fret over healthcare, the national debt, and other mounting problems.

Billy Graham rightfully recognized America’s desperate need to return to the only One who can put it back on the right course: Jesus Christ. If you are questioning everything in your life these days, are fearful about the future, or just wonder if there is even a good reason to go on living, let me encourage you to go to billygraham.org and read for yourself who Jesus is, and how He can give your life a whole new meaning and purpose.

Final Billy Graham Telecast

On November 7, evangelist Billy Graham will celebrate his 95th birthday. In honor of that day, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is presenting what will likely be his final telecast in which he presents the simple Gospel message he has been delivering for nearly 70 years. The program will be called The Cross, and will feature Dr. Graham speaking from his home, with vignettes from Christian musicians LeCrae Moore and Lacey Sturm. As the title of the program indicates, the focus of the message in the program will be the cross of Jesus Christ, which is the central message of Christianity. This is the centerpiece of the message Dr. Graham has always presented, and is the symbol of salvation for all who would believe in Christ.

The program is a half hour in length, and will include an invitation and a prayer led by Dr. Graham. It will be aired by the Fox TV network, along with other cable networks, as well as online, November 7-10. Go to MyHopewithbillygraham.org to learn more about the program, and the BGEA.

Having served as a volunteer for the Graham Association over the last ten years, it is my hope that many across our country will find true hope and peace with God as a result of this My Hope America project. I call upon Christians across the U.S. and around the world to pray for the telecast, that God will use it mightily to transform the lives of many.