The Iran Deal

Nukes

Other than knee-jerk hysteria, hype, and slanted opinion; do you really know what this Iran Deal is about?  Let me be clear here: I in no way support the government of Iran. Nor am I a fan of President Obama, or ANY politician for that matter. But this deal could possibly be the only thing Obama has done right, or will do right, in his entire presidency.

Iran was never a weapons threat. They have not invaded or made a preemptive strike against another nation in a thousand years. It is time to move past the rhetoric from some of Iran’s leadership and look at their actions. Even Benjamin Netanyahu and former Israeli Prime Minister and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have said they have NEVER feared an Iranian first strike, even if Iran had a nuclear weapon. The Israelis only fear is that an armed Iran would limit their freedom of action in the entire region. In other words, Israel would not be able to wage wars in the region if Iran did, in fact, develop a nuclear weapon.

The United States has had a cold war with Iran since 1979 when the hostages were taken. In 1979 the Iranians overthrew the American imposed dictatorship that the CIA helped to install in 1953 by overthrowing Iran’s democratically elected government. Iran has been repeatedly threatened with aggressive war from not only the United States but others across the region for years. The rhetoric from both Iran, the U.S., and Israel is nothing short of chest thumping pomposity for mostly political gain.

In the deal, Iran has taken their already safe guarded IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) civilian nuclear electricity program and agreed to significantly scale it down limiting their enrichment percentage to 3.67. This is industrial electricity grade uranium 235 and cannot be used for a nuclear bomb. The deal also says they will use everything they produce without stockpiling it. The Iranians have also agreed to shut down their second facility which only enriched up to twenty percent, still short of bomb grade and was used for their medical isotope reactor given to them by President Gerald Ford. They will also be bringing in Americans to assist them in reconfiguring their Arak facility so it does not produce and rely on heavy water. The water will be so polluted with other isotopes and waste that it will be completely useless for bomb making. They do not even have the reprocessing facility used to make the waste into useable plutonium if it was not polluted. They are also going from twenty thousand operating centrifuges to five or six thousand.

In this deal the Iran nuclear program will be the most inspected in history. All the facilities will be under the inspection agreement. The program was always safeguarded but now any reasonable thinking person could draw the conclusion that it is doubly safeguarded. In other words, any person who is not politically motivated can draw the right conclusion.

So does Iran want a nuclear weapon? Probably. But why would they not? Everyone around them has one. I hope Iran never develops a nuclear weapon. My wish would be that no nation, including the United States, on the planet would ever possess nuclear warheads.

So what does this deal really mean? For starters it could be the end of the cold-war with Iran. Especially considering the sanctions aimed at them will be lifted as a result of their cooperation. Sanctions never damage or hurt a government to any degree worth mentioning, but they do damage and hurt a country’s populous. A populous, by the way,  that includes Christians (who have been there for centuries), innocents, missionaries, and peace loving people who wold love nothing more than to live their lives.

So why all the hype? It seems to be a right of passage for every presidential nominee to threaten and condemn Iran. Mostly because it appeals to the overwhelmingly ignorant population stirring up a misguided and perverted swell of patriotism. It also ensures job security for the huge Israel lobby in DC who funnels the wealth of small nations into these campaigns. Interestingly enough these same chest thumpers never condemn Saudi Arabia’s atrocities.

So other than rhetoric from the U.S., Israel, and Iran; what makes you believe Iran has the ability to develop a nuclear bomb? Is it the candidates who profit from the lobbyists? Is it the doomsday TV evangelists who profit from the hype? Or is it talk radio or cable news getting their talking points from the highest bidder? If you believe that Israel is God’s chosen people, and God will protect them at all cost, then how could Iran destroy Israel even if they had a nuclear bomb?

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Christmas time in Iran.

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Nativity scene on the streets of Tehran.

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Jesus Christ The God of War?

The American Christian church has a war fever. It is a cheerleader for every undeclared, illegal, immoral, preemptive, and unjust war the US government or its allies involves itself in. This seems to be one issue that crosses denominational boundaries and unites the modern church. Instead of praying for peace, church leaders and lay-persons are unilaterally praying for a swift and deadly defeat for every “foe” at the end of the American saber at any cost. The church collective is even far more supportive of sending troops to the Middle-East than they are missionaries. There are Christian populations in the Middle-East that have been free to worship since Christ walked the earth that are now being eradicated, prosecuted, tortured, and silenced as a direct result of U.S. interventionist foreign policy, with the full support of the American church.

The church will often justify every posture of US foreign policy by referencing Old Testament scripture. But the American military is not God’s Army and the Commander and Chief, regardless of party affiliation, is NOT God’s appointed Priest. An anonymous Baptist preacher from the 1800’s said it this way: “It should be remembered, that in no case, even under the Old Testament, was war appointed to decide doubtful questions, or to settle quarrels, but to inflict national punishment. They were intended, as are pestilence and famine, to chastise nations guilty of provoking God. Such is never the pretext of modern war; and if it were, it would require divine authority, which, as has just been said, would induce even members of the Peace Society to fight.”

The same Christians singing “Build Your Kingdom Here” are the most boisterous protagonists for every conflict. We are ambassadors for Christ on earth called to invade the world, not with tanks and bullets, but with the glorious Gospel that Jesus Christ is Lord. In His kingdom there is no war or death, so we should not advocate it here. Jesus said to let His Father’s will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. We live in the age of grace not under the old law. Give me one, just one example in the New Testament of an instance Jesus Christ advocated, encourages, or promotes war. The Baptist minister further wrote: War “contradicts the genius and intention of Christianity,” “sets at nought the example of Jesus,” and “is inconsistent not only with the general structure and nature of Christianity and the example of Jesus, but it violates all the express precepts of the New Testament.”

The message of peace and the compassion for those lost should not be a difficult or confusing truth to embrace but the church is far more willing to believe American media than they are the timeless truths of God’s Word. So let the horror of war burn in your soul the next time the media mentions “collateral damage” which is simply newsspeak for innocent men, women, children, and YOUR brothers and sisters in Christ being bombed, maimed, and murdered.

In Romans 14:17-19 the Living Word says: “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men. Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” If we are Christians and Christian means to be Christ-like then we should emulate Christ the peacemaker and stop cheerleading and electing the politicians and governments who send other people’s children to kill and be killed in war. We should pray for governments to seek peaceful ends not violent recourse on behest of lobbyists with the blind support of the church.

My prayer is that my brothers and sisters in Christ come to a true revelation of the Gospel of our Lord and they come to know Jesus Christ for who he is;
The Prince of Peace not The God of War.