Thursday, June 20, 2013

Defining Moments At Brandenburg Gate

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When John F. Kennedy spoke at Germany's Brandenburg Gate 50 years ago, it was a defining moment. He won the hearts of Berliners and Germans everywhere when he said, "ich bin ein Berliner"---translated, "I am a Berliner."

That speech was given June 26, 1963, a little less than 2 years after the Berlin Wall went up.

When Ronald Reagan spoke at Brandenburg Gate, that too was a defining moment. In his speech on June 12, 1987, he told then Soviet leader Michail Gorbachev, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall."

The result of his speech brought freedom to millions of people and helped lead to the end of the "cold war" and the collapse of the Soviet Union.

About 3 years later, I was in Berlin too, along with other ministers, to hold an outdoor Christian service in what had previously been "East " Berlin. An activity that would have gotten us arrested months earlier.

While there, I watched people tearing down "that wall" with sledge hammers, picks and tractors. I have a piece of "that wall" in my office.

Candidate Obama requested permission to speak at Brandenburg Gate in 2008. The German government denied his request. He spoke at an adjacent park to over 200,000 people.

This week, President Obama finally spoke at the Brandenburg Gate. About 5,000-6,000 people attended, many were invited government workers and, of course, the press.

While the President spoke of disarmament and peace, many saw the repeated attempt to advance the homosexual agenda as his defining moment.

While the President spoke at the Gate, there were those in the streets of Berlin carrying signs which read, "Yes We Scan" and others that read, "I have a drone".

The Germans are understandably sensitive to the NSA scandal and surveillance on the public.

Disarmament---particularly relating to nukes, was part of the President's Brandenburg speech. He emphasized liberty and freedom, but it was his repeated reference to the homosexual agenda that many felt was his defining message.

He said, "When we respect the faiths practiced in our churches and synagogues, our mosques and our temples, we’re more secure,” Obama said. “When we welcome the immigrant, with his talents or her dreams, we are renewed. When we stand up for our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters and treat their love and their rights equally under the law, we defend our own liberty as well. We are more free when all people can pursue their own happiness.”

He continued, “We know from our own histories that intolerance breeds injustice, whether it’s based on race or religion, gender or sexual orientation, that we are stronger when all our people, no matter who they are or what they look like are granted opportunity and when our wives and our daughters have the same opportunities as our husbands and our sons.”

Interestingly, these comments affirming the homosexual agenda come within days of the Supreme Court ruling on DOMA and California's Proposition 8, both of which have far reaching effects on our culture.

And his remarks about religious liberty and freedom come at a time when the Obama administration Department of Health and Human Services is defending its mandate that all insurance cover the cost of abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization and contraception in lawsuits from numerous Catholic dioceses across the country, religious schools, hospitals and other institutions, as well as privately owned businesses.

Indeed a defining moment.

In Ireland earlier this week, the President told his audience there should not be Catholic and Protestant schools "because such schools cause division."

Apparently he feels the religious right to teach children the distinctives of our faith and the theological basis for morality along with math, reading, history and other academic subjects, is no longer a freedom, but an act of divisiveness.

Are we suggesting a government approved national or world religion would be a better choice? A choice that would eliminate conflict and usher in a time of peace and safety?

God help us.

Be Informed. Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful. Be Pro-Active. Be Blessed.


  1. I cannot wait until election time! I am tired of his inability to stand on even one healthy conviction; I hope and pray that homosexuality goes back into the closet. When they came out the church went into the closet along with any outspoken upright politians. If you cant stand for something, you will fall for anything (like Obama has).

    1. Your comment, "I hope and pray that homosexuality goes back into the closet" is very hurtful to me and others. I'm a brother in Christ, was in the ministry for 20 years. The damage done to my soul by not coming to peace with my sexual orientation took years to recover, not to mention the hurt and pain for my ex-wife and children. None of them today would want me to go back in the closet. They love and support me as a gay man. One of my children keeps asking why I continue to be a part of the church when it is so hateful. I keep telling her I take the words of Christ seriously and try through the power of the Holy Spirit to "love my neighbors the way I want to be loved".

      The closet is a lonely, dark, damaging place. I like living in the Light and John 8:32 is indeed true!

      My Domestic Partner and I will be marrying next summer. Over 100 of our friends and family will be together to celebrate our love and commitment to one another. Some will be gay, some straight, some transgender. Many will be Christians. There will be Jews... mostly Reformed. At least one Muslim. A few atheists and agnostics. They as well as you are my neighbors and I love them and you, even though your words hurt.

      May God bless you.

    2. I am a Christian and I would not attend your wedding. So, what is going on? I will tell you. There are many who call on the name of Christ, but who do not truly know Him and He does not know them. They follow after their own ways and pick and choose verses from the Bible that please them and fit into their own doctrine and ideas. The part about going back into the closet. Put the "sin" back in the closet, not the person. Shut the door. Throw away the key! Never entertain sin again. We should not even have the appearance of evilness or darkness.

      As for your ex-wife (God still see's you as one with her) and children being so pleased with your decision, I really do not believe that. Divorce is never healing, restorative or honoring of God. Maybe the person divorcing gets out of their tough problem, but I guarantee, others have to deal with it or pick up the pieces. It is a selfish act. That is why God hates divorce.

    3. You seem very angry, but I will continue to love you the way I wish to be loved. I'm glad you have reached the level of sanctification you seem to have attained.

      May God continue to bless you in your pursuit of him.

    4. There is no anger here. Only passion. Passion for what I believe in. When the Bible says that the sins of the fathers will go to the third and fourth generations, I take that very seriously.

  2. The sad thing is that these countries think he represents the USA and so many of us here believe the complete opposite of what he stands for. My husband and I attended a wedding in France last August. They all think we worship our president and that he was a slam dunk to be reelected in the November '12 elections. I did my best to let them know that thinking was far from the truth. Our freedom to disagree with this president is quickly disappearing.

  3. The notion of the United States was founded, in part, by people who fled Europe due to religious intolerance and corrupt power systems suppressing original thought and innovation. Now, the United States is in the hands of the intolerant and the power hungry. Human rights violations are legislated, and truly useful, and perhaps life saving, innovation is limited to those who have the money - also legislated. Spiritual and personal beliefs are being suppressed by those who believe we should all be Christian or at least tow the Christian line - or else - (Gosh, that sounds familiar...Sharia law... - you folks seem awful worried about that too, and here you are, pretty comfortable pushing your own version.) I know you Faith and Freedom folks are scared, but your fears are misplaced and ultimately harmful, even to yourselves in the long run.

    1. "I know you Faith and Freedom folks are scared", Could you please explain what are they/we scared about? Concerned for the lost, hurting and broken, yes. Is Pastor Saieed, who is being beaten and imprisoned for his belief in Christ, scared? All he has to do is renounce Jesus Christ. And there are hundreds more like him, being tortured and killed for their faith. Look up Voice of the Martyrs and it will show a lot of "scared" people standing for Christ. Jesus came to the world to heal the sick and broken-hearted. And since we are Christ-followers, we try to follow His example. We are not perfect and never will be. But, we won't shut up, put up or look the other way when we see people bent on destruction that affects not only them, but their friends, communities, country, etc. That is the heart of God for us to love one another by pointing out a person's sin, which is hurtful to themselves and others. And then point them to the Savior, Jesus Christ, who can restore and heal them. That is true love!


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