Tuesday, June 26, 2007

American Rabbi Speaks on the End Times

One of the results of my reading Jesus of Nazareth has been an increased interest in Jewish interpretations of Scripture and Jewish views on moral and social matters. Look forward to my own comments regarding Rabbi Neusner's book A Rabbi Talks With Jesus in the near future.

In the meantime, the following piece from LifeSiteNews piqued my interest.

"America's Rabbi" Warns:
"Enormous, Humanic and Historic Upheaval" Rapidly Approaching

Interview with Rabbi Daniel Lapin
on How Today's World Compares to the Days of Noah

By John-Henry Westen

WASHINGTON, DC, June 25, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The recent death of Mrs. Ruth Graham, the beloved wife of preacher Billy Graham, has caused renewed reflection on her oft quoted comment: "If God does not judge America soon, he'll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah." Indeed, with the culture war raging on abortion and same-sex 'marriage', many a Christian has wondered about a coming purgation - a cleansing as in the time of Noah and the flood.

It may come as a surprise to some, but Orthodox Jews too have a belief in a coming purgation. As the man popularly known as "America's Rabbi" told LifeSiteNews.com, we are "moving towards some kind of enormous, humanic and historic upheaval."

Nationally acclaimed speaker and best-selling author, Rabbi Daniel Lapin spoke with LifeSiteNews.com about his newly released audio series "The Gathering Storm: Decoding the Secrets of Noah", in which he looks at the similarities between the time of Noah and our present day.

Rabbi Lapin is the founder and leader of Toward Tradition - a ground-breaking coalition of Jews, Christians and other Americans united in fighting secular fundamentalism and promoting traditional, faith-based American principles of constitutional and limited government, the rule of law, representative democracy, free markets, a strong military, and a moral public culture.

Key to interpreting the Bible (the Old Testament) suggests the Rabbi, is the Hebrew language. In that language, he notes, the Bible tells that in the time just before the flood there were aborted babies. "Everyone is familiar with that section just before the flood, of giants," said Rabbi Lapin. "The King James translation refers to these people as giants - one thing, in the Hebrew, it becomes immediately very clear is that what we really are talking about is aborted people, aborted fetuses."

"In Hebrew," explained the Rabbi there is "one word for giants (and) aborted fetuses." Comparing the time of Noah to the current day, the Rabbi said, "Babies that are aborted eventually bring about a culture of death that destroys society."

Asked if Jews, like some Christians, feel a time of purgation is coming, Rabbi Lapin replied bluntly, "Yes, it is extremely intense."

The Rabbi stressed however that a Judeo-Christian view of the end of time is a hopeful one, in contrast to the secular view of the end of time which sees only doom and gloom. "There is a dichotomy here between a secular world view in which the end of time is hopeless," Rabbi Lapin told LifeSiteNews.com. "It is doomed. It ends in oblivion . . . Right now it is global warming, a few years ago it was nuclear winter. Before that it was that we were all going to starve and die naked and cold when Thomas Malthus at the end of the 18th century made his predictions."

"The secular world view will generate an end of time picture of hopelessness and doom and by contrast a Biblical world view of both Jews and Christians shows an end of time picture that, while it may have its turbulent threshold, is a time of some kind of unimaginable solution to all human problems."

Asked, if it would be "a time of renewal of goodness on earth?," the Rabbi replied, "Exactly right. Yes."

As for God having to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah for not acting on America for its sins, Rabbi Lapin suggests God is in fact acting on America. "God doesn't necessarily act towards every culture in the same way," he said. "Every culture that adopts abortion and homosexuality as normal is a culture that begins to decline and eventually vanish off the stage of world history - that is God acting."

"That is precisely the point. It is not that hard to see in many ways the fortunes of the US of A are simply not where they were before these twin scourges became prevalent. Yes, He is acting - He is not going to have to apologize to Sodom at all. He is being very consistent. He may not be burying us in thunderbolts and mountains of salt but the damage that the US of A is enduring is no less fatal."

Rabbi Lapin sees another striking similarity between our day and the time of the Biblical flood. Noting the political situation in the United States, where the major argumentation seems focussed on abortion and same-sex 'marriage, Rabbi Lapin observes: "Undoubtedly, it was very significant, that never before in a presidential election has there been this much focus on the faith and beliefs of the candidates which again brings us back to this Noah like period in which divisions between people are lining up very clearly on a spiritual level."

While Rabbi Lapin rejects any attempt to fix a date on the coming upheaval, he does say that it is rapidly approaching. "What is unquestionably crystal clear is that time and history is accelerating. Things happen more quickly now than ever before so it is moving rapidly towards this event, whatever it will look like."

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