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Netanyahu’s Warning to the World

2015 March 29

Bishop David Epps

A few days ago, the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, gave a blunt, direct, and impassioned speech to a joint session of the United States Congress.

Even before the speech, controversy preceded the event because the White House was apparently not consulted about the invitation extended to the Prime Minister. In spite of all that, the speech was, perhaps, one of the most anticipated and listened to in many years.

Why would Netanyahu, facing an election in his own country, risk all politically to come to Washington? Why would he risk the relationship between Israel and the United States? Knowing that the President was disapproving of his coming to speak to Congress, why would the Prime Minister come anyway?

The answer is simple. Israel faces the possibility of annihilation.
Iran seeks to have nuclear weapons. Everybody knows this unless their heads are stuck deep in the sand. Iran has the stated goal of exterminating the nation of Israel.

Israel has fought numerous wars since 1948, not over land or resources, but because its neighbors have sought their destruction. For Israel, the issue is not an academic exercise. The issue is survival.

People, who are still living, remember the Holocaust of World War II in which six million Jews were murdered. Many in the West knew of the Nazi atrocities against the Jews but remained silent or turned a blind eye. Israel knows that they can depend on no one, not even the United States, to come to their aid should Iran acquire nukes.

From Israel’s point of view, the current administration’s negotiations with Iran will end in only one way — eventually Iran will go nuclear.
If and when they do, does any thinking person doubt that they will use these devices and/or make them available to terrorist organizations?

It is reported that Israel has nukes. If they do, they obviously have chosen not to use them, even when they have been under attack by overwhelming forces. However, if Iran, or any other regime hostile to Israel, becomes a nuclear power, the game changes radically.

If nuclear weapons are used against Israel, she will doubtless retaliate in kind. Before that happens, Israel will attack Iran to destroy their nuclear facilities. Israel will never risk another Holocaust. The Prime Minister has made that abundantly clear. And so, he came to plead his case and try to persuade the United States to do whatever it takes to prevent Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

The United States has the dubious distinction of being the only nation to use nuclear weapons against another nation. Doing so, according to many sources, saved the lives of up to 1 million U.S. military personnel, who would have been killed in an invasion of the Japanese homeland, and an untold number of Japanese citizens.

Some contend that nuclear weapons are immoral. But the truth is that war itself is immoral. Innocent people perish. Seventy-two million people died in World War II, a large percentage of them civilians. But governments are empowered by their laws and by moral law to protect its citizens. Someone, hopefully someone with caution and restraint, has to have the big stick.
It has been 70 years since the United States used these weapons. It has been that long since anyone used these weapons. All that will likely change if aggressive regimes and terrorist organizations acquire them.

Benjamin Netanyahu has sounded a dire but serious warning. Like Winston Churchill, he has sounded an alarm that needs to be heeded. In the 1930s Churchill was ignored and the world was plunged into war.

Bullies, who have announced their intentions to inflict harm on others, must be denied use of the big stick. If the world is set against itself in a nuclear conflict, the results will make World War II look like a school yard brawl.

David Epps is the pastor of the Cathedral of Christ the King, Sharpsburg, GA (www.ctkcec.org). He is the bishop of the Mid-South Diocese which consists of Georgia and Tennessee (www.midsouthdiocese.org) and the Associate Endorser for the Department of the Armed Forces, U. S. Military Chaplains, ICCEC. He may contacted at frepps@ctkcec.org

Southern Snowfalls

2015 March 27
by Admin

Bishop David Epps

A couple of weeks ago, the area was under a winter storm watch. All area school and colleges were closed, motorists were being advised to stay home and truckers were warned that they may be denied access to the interstate highways in Georgia.
At 9:30 a.m., the temperature was 32 degrees Fahrenheit and nary a snowflake nor rain drop was anywhere to be found in the local vicinity.
On Tuesday evening, the weather gurus were saying that the snow would begin by 10 a.m. By Wednesday morning, the predicted snowfall was to be at 6 p.m.

The new Ice Age did not come.

Last year, the powers that be underestimated the weather and, from local officials to the governor of the state, the citizenry blasted their public servants for not responding to conditions that paralyzed the state of Georgia. This year, the mantra is “Better safe than sorry.”

Part of the problem is that we live in the South. We are used to blistering temperatures in August and Januarys that may see 70 degrees. We refer to our capital city as “Hotlanta,” and we close schools where there is sufficient snow to be seen — usually two or three flakes will do it. I didn’t have a winter coat for the first 16 years I lived in Georgia. There was no point.
All of this amuses our northern countrymen who deal with seven feet of snow. Think Boston. I spent three weeks at a seminary in Pennsylvania one January. It snowed every day. Did anything close? Of course not. Snow plows were out on the streets by 5 a.m., followed by salt trucks.

As I was walking across the campus with the dean of the program, he said,

“How have your three weeks been?”

“It has changed my theology.” I responded.

“Really?” he said. “In what way?”

I said, “I now believe that Hell is cold and located about 28 miles from the Pittsburgh airport.”

In the Deep South, if we get up in the morning and snow is on the ground, we have a method of dealing with it. We wait until noon.

By noon the snow is normally gone and life is back to normal.

When we get hit with the very infrequent “big snow,” anything over an inch or any amount of ice on the road, we don’t have the equipment nor the temperament to deal with it. The people who think they do know how to drive in the conditions head out anyway, which is why 2,800 hundred vehicles were stranded and abandoned in last year’s “Icemegeddon.”

The upside is that children get a rare snow day off and spend the day building snowmen from the quarter inch of snow that sometimes dusts the ground.

One year, on a Saturday, we awoke to find about four to five inches of snow blanketing the earth. I immediately grabbed my camera and headed out to take photos of the rare event.

My wife said, “Don’t you want to wait until the roads are open?”

“If I wait,” I said, “the snow will be gone.” And, by noon, it was.

For many, snow means building a fire in the fireplace, sleeping late, catching up on work around the house, paying bills, and sitting at the window basking in the beauty and peace of a white world. For others, it means the panic of rushing to the supermarket and stocking up on enough milk and bread to feed Patton’s Third Army for a month.

A few days ago, when snow came to the North Georgia mountains, a little girl of about 3 was shown on the local news channel encountering her first snow. She was filled with wonder and, holding a handful of snow, said to the camera, “And it’s sooooo cold!”

So, embrace the wonder. Stay off the highways. Remember that, in a few hours or a day or so, life will return to the snowless normal.

And thank God Almighty that you didn’t have to live in Boston this winter.

David Epps is the pastor of the Cathedral of Christ the King, Sharpsburg, GA (www.ctkcec.org). He is the bishop of the Mid-South Diocese which consists of Georgia and Tennessee (www.midsouthdiocese.org) and the Associate Endorser for the Department of the Armed Forces, U. S. Military Chaplains, ICCEC. He may contacted at frepps@ctkcec.org

Becoming an Encourager

2015 March 25
by Admin

Bishop Epps (Cropped)

Bishop David Epps

The Cathedral of Christ the King
Fifth Sunday of Lent
March 22, 2015

Sermon Link: Becoming an Encourager

Feeding the Multitude

2015 March 15
by admin

 

James TaylorFather James Taylor

The Cathedral of Christ the King
Fourth Sunday of Lent
March 15, 2015

Sermon Link: Feeding the Multitude

Test or Temptation?

2015 March 15
by admin

Bishop Epps (Cropped)

Bishop David Epps

The Cathedral of Christ the King
Third Sunday of Lent
March 8, 2015

Sermon Link: Test or Temptation?

Being Right When All Goes Wrong

2015 March 4
by Admin

Bishop Epps (Cropped)

Bishop David Epps

The Cathedral of Christ the King
Second Sunday of Lent
March 1, 2015

Sermon Link: Being Right When All Goes Wrong

The Reality of Sin

2015 March 1
by Admin

Bishop Epps (Cropped)

Bishop David Epps

The Cathedral of Christ the King
First Sunday of Lent
February 22, 2015

Sermon Link: The Reality of Sin