Thursday, April 02, 2015
Hypocrisy In High Places
The headlines continue: "Arkansas Governor Sends Religion Bill Back For Re-Write"---"Indiana Republicans Meet With LGBT Groups Seeking Fix..."---"Gov. Pence Caves..."---"Pence Buckles Under Powerful Gay Pressure..." and on and on it goes.
The public outcry, which is being led by some of America's most powerful and influential leaders, is reminiscent of those lining Main Street in Jerusalem chanting, "Crucify Him, Crucify Him."
Like in Jerusalem, there are hypocrites in the crowd. There are also those who have been misinformed.
In this case, some of the most influential voices condemning religious freedom and Indiana's attempt to protect it--- in calling for a boycott of the state and all businesses located there, are in fact closely aligned in contractual agreements with governments that not only discriminate against homosexuals but sentence them to death.
The City of Seattle and the city's mayor are among the hypocrites lining the streets. But there are others among us, including Governor Jay Inslee.
Here's the facts:
Ben Shapiro and Erick Erickson have done the research.
The tolerant left, they have found, has now decided that anybody who believes in freedom of religion ought to be boycotted.
We knew that.
Crowd hysteria has set in. Most businesses in the State of Indiana do not discriminate against anybody, including homosexuals.
But the crowd, led by some of America's most successful, doesn't seem to care. Crucify them anyway.
Last Sunday, Apple CEO Tim Cook said his company would "never tolerate discrimination."
He then compared Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act to Jim Crow, equating a law guaranteeing the rights of individuals to take part in only the transactions they want, to forcing individuals to take part in only those transactions the government deems worthy.
Here's the hypocrisy.
Apple and CEO Tim Cook are happy to do business with Saudi Arabia, Uganda, Qatar, and the United Emirates. All these countries discriminate against gays. Homosexuality is punishable by death in these countries.
Other companies like Smallbox, Salesforce, and Angie's List are also shouting from the sidewalk, while doing business with these same anti-gay countries.
Seattle, Portland and San Francisco all have formal business relationships with these countries as well.
Welcome to Seattle.
In 2007, Edward Burton, president and managing director of the US-Saudi Arabian Business Council, came here to Seattle to meet with the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, the Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle, and the Rotary Club of Seattle.
A formal relationship was created.
The Trade Alliance is comprised of "a partnership of the Port of Seattle, Port of Tacoma, Port of Everett, Metropolitan King County Government, Snohomish County Government, Pierce County Government, City of Seattle, City of Everett, Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce and union leadership."
The Trade Alliance is scheduled to hold an event in Seattle this month to promote doing business in Iran, where homosexuals have been hanged from a crane.
The event is scheduled for April 22. Twenty days from today.
Mayor Murray, Governor Inslee... where is the outrage? Is there only outrage when biblical Christians are seeking protection from the oppressive agenda of the homosexual community?
The chants from the sidewalks of modern day Seattle (and elsewhere) by Mayor Murray and Governor Inslee sound terribly hollow.
Most can understand that they see their political careers being tested in some way and they really love their jobs, but does the hypocrisy and duplicity really run this deep?
By next week the public should know if these champions of tolerance and inclusiveness and equality will go ahead with the meeting, postpone it, or quietly have it somewhere else. Will the press even report it?
God help us.
This weekend, in another place and another time, a confused public and their hypocritical leaders lined the sidewalks chanting, "Crucify Him, Crucify Him."
Rome saw Him as a distraction--- maybe more, to their rule over Jerusalem.
Caiaphas, High Priest of the Temple, was an influential man for sure. In telling the story, BBC says, "Caiaphas knew everybody who mattered. He was the de-facto ruler of the world wide Jewish community at the time, and he planned to keep it that way."
At the time of the Crucifixion, Caiaphas had served in his position for 18 years. He would serve another year then retire to a farm outside Jerusalem. Most High Priests before him had not lasted more than about 4 years.
It was, in a way, a family business. Annas, Caiaphas' father- in- law, had previously gotten 5 of his relatives appointed to that office. Many believed Caiaphas had gotten the position on the merits of his father-in-law.
The work was hard but BBC notes the rewards were big. It's noted that "modern archaeologists have discovered that Caiaphas and his associates lived lives of luxury with large and lavishly decorated homes."
Caiaphas' power base was the Sanhedrin, and his rule was sustained at the pleasure of the Roman government. In that Caiaphas served by Roman appointment, he worked at his relationship with Pilate.
Caiaphas had a lot to lose. So did his family.
Keep in mind there was a commercial component to the Passover as well as a spiritual one. More than 2,000,000 people were in town for the feast. This generated huge revenue in relationship to the rituals associated with the Passover.
Clearly Jesus was a problem on several fronts.
In engineering His crucifixion, Caiaphas used deception, misinformation and an appeal to ego.
He convinced the Roman government Jesus was a threat to them. He convinced Pilate to do what he, Caiaphas, could not legally do---sentence Him to death.
In addition to the power, the ego, and the money, there was a spiritual component with Caiaphas as well.
As a Sadducee, he did not believe in the resurrection. This absence of belief justified his actions as a kind of social justice in which he was protecting the people from this man called Jesus.
Hypocrisy. Self Deception.
However, there was a much greater dynamic at play in this event.
Ancient prophets speaking for God had predicted these events and that they would lead to the greatest expression of love known to mankind.
John described it like this, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son..."
In the end it had little to do with Rome, the Centurions or Caiaphas and his powerful family. It had everything to do with God's Word and God's plan.
By Sunday of that week at least one Centurion, the government of Rome and the religious leaders and many in the general public knew things had not worked out as planned.
Jesus wasn't dead anymore. The tomb was empty.
The elite class was shocked. Caiaphas, the Roman Government and others who participated in the execution were silenced---pondering their next move.
An interesting discovery was made in 1990. Archaeologists working in Jerusalem's Peace Forest discovered 12 ossuaries, or limestone boxes. Each held the bones of deceased people.
It was a custom that family members would return to the tomb at some future time and remove the bones left by the decomposed body. They would gather the dry bones and put them in an ossuary with the person's name attached to the box.
Among the 12 boxes discovered was one with the name "Yehosef bar Kayafa" which translates "Joseph, son of Caiaphas."
Josephus, the historian, always referred to Caiaphas as "Joseph, who is also called Caiaphas."
Archaeologists agree these are the bones of 60 year old Caiaphas mentioned in the Bible.
The Caiaphas ossuary is now displayed in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.
The tomb of Jesus remains empty.
It is written, "The kingdoms of man rise and fall, but the Kingdom of God is forever and ever."
It could also be said, "Man's plans rise and fall--God's plan is forever and ever.
While Christians are experiencing the wrath of those obsessed with redefining marriage, family, God's Word and God Himself in today's culture---this too shall pass. God's plan is on schedule.
He is Risen. Rejoice.