Watchmen, of today, are called to speak the word of the Lord from within the court, mounting an internal critique. The pressures on Nathan to keep silent after David seized Bathsheba and sent her husband to his death must have been enormous. He could have vented himself in a scathing editorial and then kept his head down. From all appearances, though, Nathan had free access to the court, was a friend of David, and a close adviser. It is said that prophets spoke truth to power, but that goes beyond cliché when we realize that prophets spoke the truth face to face with power, to powerful men and women whom the prophets knew intimately, frequently from their own position of power.SRH…
When prophets talk about the future, it is usually to show where we are headed if things don’t change. Prophets use predictions as rhetorical devices to drive home their point to the ruling class and to mobilize a passive public.
The fundamental conflict in our culture and in our politics right now is a simple one. It is a conflict between those who love the truth and speak the truth and those who hate the truth and want it repressed.
On October 3, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled in a judgment that Facebook can be ordered by national courts of EU member states to remove defamatory material worldwide:
“EU law does not preclude a host provider such as Facebook from being ordered to remove identical and, in certain circumstances, equivalent comments previously declared to be illegal. In addition, EU law does not preclude such an injunction from producing effects worldwide, within the framework of the relevant international law which it is for Member States to take into account.”
The ruling came after the Austrian politician Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek, chairman of Die Grünen (The Greens) party, sued Facebook Ireland in the Austrian courts. According to the Court of Justice of the European Union:
“She [Glawischnig-Piesczek] is seeking an order that Facebook Ireland remove a comment published by a user on that social network harmful to her reputation, and allegations which were identical and/or of an equivalent content.
“The Facebook user in question had shared on that user’s personal page an article from the Austrian online news magazine oe24.at entitled ‘Greens: Minimum income for refugees should stay’. That had the effect of generating on that page a ‘thumbnail’ of the original site, containing the title and a brief summary of the article, and a photograph of Ms Glawischnig-Piesczek. That user also published, in connection with that article, a comment which the Austrian courts found to be harmful to the reputation of Ms Glawischnig-Piesczek, and which insulted and defamed her. This post could be accessed by any Facebook user.”
The judgment has brought concern among free speech organizations. Thomas Hughes, the executive director of ARTICLE 19, a non-profit organization that works on “protecting the right to freedom of expression around the world,” said:
“This judgment has major implications for online freedom of expression around the world.
“Compelling social media platforms like Facebook to automatically remove posts regardless of their context will infringe our right to free speech and restrict the information we see online…
“The ruling also means that a court in one EU member state will be able to order the removal of social media posts in other countries, even if they are not considered unlawful there. This would set a dangerous precedent where the courts of one country can control what internet users in another country can see. This could be open to abuse, particularly by regimes with weak human rights records.“
According to ARTICLE 19:
“The judgment means that Facebook would have to use automated filters to identify social media posts that are considered to be ‘identical content’ or ‘equivalent content’. Technology is used to identify and delete content that is considered illegal in most countries, for example, child abuse images. However, this ruling could see filters being used to search text posts for defamatory content, which is more problematic given that the meaning of text could change depending on the context. Although the ruling has said only content that is essentially the same as the original unlawful post should be removed, it is likely that automated filters will make errors”.
The judgment “undermines the long-standing principle that one country does not have the right to impose its laws on speech on another country,” Facebook commented in a statement.
“It also opens the door to obligations being imposed on internet companies to proactively monitor content and then interpret if it is ‘equivalent’ to content that has been found to be illegal.”
The ruling “essentially allows one country or region to decide what internet users around the world can say and what information they can access,” said Victoria de Posson, senior manager in Europe at the Computer & Communications Industry Association, an industry group that includes Google and Facebook as members.
The judgment does indeed appear to be opening up a Pandora’s Box for the ever-shrinking space for free speech in Europe and potentially worldwide, although it is still unclear at this point, how the judgment might affect free speech worldwide.
Government efforts in Europe to censor free speech have long been ongoing: in Germany, the controversial censorship law, known as NetzDG, which came into effect on October 1, 2017, requires social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, to censor their users on behalf of the German state. Social media companies are obliged to delete or block any online “criminal offenses” such as libel, slander, defamation or incitement, within 24 hours of receipt of a user complaint. Social media companies receive seven days for more complicated cases. If they fail to do so, the German government can fine them up to 50 million euros for failing to comply with the law.
The new judgment from the Court of Justice of the European Union, presumably, could mean that a German court could order what it deems to be illegal content, or it is equivalent, under NetzDG to be removed in other EU member states that do not have a similarly draconian censorship law.
France is looking to adopt a similar law to that in Germany: In early July, France’s National Assembly adopted a draft bill designed to curtail online hate speech. The draft bill gives social media platforms 24 hours to remove “hateful content” or risk fines of up to 4% percent of their global revenue. The bill has gone to the French Senate. Again, if the bill becomes law, the judgment from the Court of Justice of the European Union could mean that French courts would be able to demand that Facebook remove what the courts consider illegal content or its equivalent under French law.
The judgment from the Court of Justice of the European Union, in other words, appears to give EU member states unprecedented power to determine public discourse online — to determine what citizens can and cannot read. It naturally remains to be seen exactly how the judgment will be interpreted in practice by national courts of the EU member states, but the prospects now look even bleaker for the future of free speech in Europe. Source
Haters Will Hate Those Who Speak the Truth
The fundamental conflict in our culture and in our politics right now is a simple one. It is a conflict between those who love the truth and speak the truth and those who hate the truth and want it repressed.
Things weren’t always this way in America. I remember hearing an expression in elementary school that we almost never hear any more: “I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
Those of us on the right still say it and believe it. We are for open and free discourse and open and free debate. We want everybody to have the opportunity to say their piece in the dialogue over things that matter, whether the topic is religion, homosexuality, marriage, politics, evolution, or the climate. We are eager to have a vigorous and open exchange over these matters and let the best arguments win.
The left isn’t. They are not interested in engaging in debate. They are interested in silencing debate, in stifling debate, in squelching debate. They are determined to muzzle anyone who would dare to question secular orthodoxy in any of these matters.
Those who believe in a scientific view of origins that are consistent with the Scripture must be silenced. Their views must not be allowed in the classroom or in polite society. Those who believe in natural marriage must be silenced and gagged since same-sex marriage is now “the law of the land.”
Those who believe in two genders or sexes instead of 58, as Facebook believes, must be silenced and hounded out of public life, business, and politics. Those who believe in sexual normalcy must be punished and driven from campuses, from bakeries, from floral shops, from the offices and boardrooms of major corporations, and made to feel unwelcome in dressing rooms, shower rooms, and bathrooms.
This tyrannical repression of the free speech of those who represent the truth is a relatively new phenomenon in America, although it’s standard fare in repressive and totalitarian governments.
But we are far from the first generation of truth proclaimers to face this challenge. The prophet Amos discovered in his day, 2800 years ago, that those who declare the truth will not be tolerated by those who hate the truth.
“They hate him who reproves in the gate, and they abhor him who speaks the truth” (Amos 5:10). The “gate” was the place where the people met to discuss matters, and where city leaders met to establish public policy. It was the marketplace and the public square. What Amos discovered is that those who declare the truth are not welcome there. If you want to reprove some public policy in the quiet of your own home, or maybe even inside the four walls of your church, well, we’ll let you do that. But say the same thing in the public arena, the left says, and we will land on your like a falling safe.
A lesbian activist once told me to my face, “I don’t care what you say or believe inside your own church. Your church belongs to you. But the public square,” she said ominously, “belongs to us.”
So what are we, as the people of God and as people of the truth, to do in the face of such hostility?
First, we are to keep praying. Amos discovered that God answers prayer and is willing to spare a nation that will not listen to us from his judgment just because believers plead with him to do it. When Amos received a vision of a coming invasion of locusts, he prayed, “O Lord God, please forgive! How can Jacob stand? He is so small!” The response? “The LORD relented concerning this; ‘It shall not be,’ said the LORD” (Amos 7:2-3).
When he received another vision in which the land was consumed with fire, he interceded again for his nation. “O Lord GOD, please cease! How can Jacob stand? He is so small!” The response? “The LORD relented concerning this; ‘This also shall not be,’ said the Lord GOD” (Amos 7:5-6). Our persistent prayer can be effective in staying the judgment of God over our land.
Second, we are to keep speaking. Don’t let anybody shut you up. (I’m not talking about being rude or obnoxious; I’m talking about being silent when we don’t need to be.) Amaziah tried to silence Amos completely. “Never again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king’s sanctuary” (Amos 7:13). In other words, what you want to say is politically incorrect and so we’re not going to let you say it all.
Amos’ response? “The LORD took me from following the flock, and the LORD said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’ Now, therefore, hear the word of the LORD” (Amos 7:15-16). In other words, Amos said, “I don’t answer to you, I answer to God. And he has told me to speak, and so I’m gonna speak. I will not let you silence me.”
When we are part of a conversation where others are advancing ideas that are contrary to what is good and right, it’s perfectly appropriate and perhaps even necessary for us to say something like, “Well, I hear what you are saying, but I look at it a little bit differently. Here’s the way I see it…”
Third, we are to keep believing. Believing that God can and will overcome all spiritual and earthly opposition and bring spiritual awakening and renewal to our land. In his time, he will use our praying and our speaking to “raise up the booth of David that is fallen, and repair its breaches, and raise up its ruins, and rebuild it as in the days of old” (Amos 9:11).
Amos’ final words are words of great promise and hope for a broken land. “I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel, and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them…I will plant them on their land, and they shall never again be uprooted” (Amos 9:14-15).
Our part is to pray, speak, and believe. God’s part is to do. He will do his part. Will we do ours?
The prophet Isaiah wrote: “Your princes are rebels and companions of thieves. Everyone loves a bribe and runs after gifts. They do not defend the orphan, and the widow’s cause does not come before them.” Prophets are truth-tellers.
Prophets of today are called to speak the word of the Lord from within the court, mounting an internal critique. Listen up you judges who corrupt God’s laws, you so-called Supreme Court judges who violate the people’s faith conscience, times is short: They perverted justice among themselves (v. 7): “You turn judgment to wormwood, that is, you make your administrations of justice bitter and nauseous, and highly displeasing both to God and man.’’ That fruit has become a weed, a weed in the garden; as nothing is more venerable, nothing more valuable, than justice duly administered, so nothing is more hurtful, nothing more abominable, than designedly doing wrong under color and pretense of doing right. Corruptio optimi est pessima —The best, when corrupted, becomes the worst. Power corrupts, and it always has ……
Where do we find prophets, and, specifically, where do we find them in the Bible? What is their physical and social location?
To judge by popular American perceptions, prophets are easy to recognize. Check the wilderness and woods, because prophets always stand outside, protesting the system. Look for the shaggy, crazed, wild-eyed guy, the one wearing a hair shirt instead of an Armani suit. Listen to the one who speaks in shrieks and whose personal habits embarrass polite society. Anger is the prophet’s characteristic emotion, and the jeremiad his characteristic genre. The prophet is more at home in the angular world of Flannery O’Connor than in the elegance of John Updike. It’s this image of the prophetic outsider that has inspired radicals from the Romantic period on to dress in the mantle of the prophet.
At our borders, toddlers are locked in cages.
In our courtrooms, children are left to defend themselves.
In Seattle, we are building a new jail to incarcerate youth.
In times like these, I turn to the prophets. But where are they?
First, let’s clarify a common misconception. Prophets are not fortune-tellers. Source
Prophets are truth-tellers.
The Hebrew prophets boldly confronted the ruling class with harsh truths, usually about social justice.
The prophet Isaiah wrote: “Your princes are rebels and companions of thieves. Everyone loves a bribe and runs after gifts. They do not defend the orphan, and the widow’s cause does not come before them.”
This is one among thousands of scriptures in the Bible crying out against injustice. When prophets talk about the future, it is usually to show where we are headed if things don’t change. Prophets use predictions as rhetorical devices to drive home their point to the ruling class and to mobilize a passive public.
True prophets are subversive to the status quo, so it is miraculous that their writings have survived so well in the Bible. More than half the books of the Hebrew Bible are direct challenges to people in power! What a testament to the courage of the Jewish people that they were able to preserve these radical take-downs of the elites when there must have been so much pressure to destroy these dangerous texts. The rabbi, Jesus of Nazareth, stands squarely in the lineage of the Hebrew prophets who came before him.
n the Bible, prophecy often looks very different. There were, of course, lone prophets like Elijah and John the Baptist, but more often prophets were fully integrated into the “system.” Jeremiah, the paradigm of prophetic pathos, came from the fallen priestly house of Eli, and Ezekiel, Zechariah, and (possibly) Isaiah were also priests. Prophets appeared in the courts of the kings of Israel. David had his Nathan, most famous for rebuking David for adultery and murder but also capable of sly maneuvering in his efforts to put Solomon on the throne. Hezekiah turned to Isaiah for advice during the Assyrian siege of Jerusalem, and Josiah sent a delegation to Huldah the prophetess after finding the book of the law during the repair of the Temple. Even Ahab grudgingly consulted Micaiah, a genuine prophet who consistently told Ahab things he didn’t want to hear. Though trained by the austere Elijah, Elisha accompanied Ahab’s son Jehoram on an expedition to suppress a Moabite rebellion, and Elisha’s servant Gehazi regaled the king with stories of the prophet’s miracles.
On July 4, one of them sat at the feet of the Statue of Liberty. Therese Patricia Okoumou, born in the Republic of the Congo and now a citizen of the United States, climbed the base of the Statue of Liberty without ropes and refused to move. She shut down the monument for hours as police went after her. She said she would not come down until “all the children have been released.”
A reporter asked her, “How did you do it?” Okoumou replied, “I did a pull-up.” She must have done quite a few pull-ups to get that high up, but her point hits home for me. To tell the truth and mobilize people to action, you do not need to be struck by lightning from heaven or be visited by angels.
If you can do a pull-up, move your mouth or write a word, that is all you need. So let’s stop looking for prophets from afar and start looking to our left, right and in the mirror.
The prophets are ferocious opponents of the status quo. They recognized, and felt, the injustice that kings and priests and false prophets wanted to plaster over. They shared, as Brueggemann says, the groans of the oppressed poor, and articulated those groans in cries of woe. They denounced the system but denounced a system that they were often very much a part of.
Prophets of today are called to speak the word of the Lord from within the court, mounting an internal critique. The pressures on Nathan to keep silent after David seized Bathsheba and sent her husband to his death must have been enormous. He could have vented himself in a scathing editorial and then kept his head down. From all appearances, though, Nathan had free access to the court, was a friend of David, and a close adviser. It is said that prophets spoke truth to power, but that goes beyond cliché when we realize that prophets spoke the truth face to face with power, to powerful men and women whom the prophets knew intimately, frequently from their own position of power.
They perverted justice among themselves (v. 7): “You turn judgment to wormwood, that is, you make your administrations of justice bitter and nauseous, and highly displeasing both to God and man.’’ That fruit has become a weed, a weed in the garden; as nothing is more venerable, nothing more valuable, than justice duly administered, so nothing is more hurtful, nothing more abominable, than designedly doing wrong under color and pretense of doing right. Corruptio optimi est pessima —The best, when corrupted, becomes the worst.
The Birth Pains Are Growing Stronger….
“Unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of man and devils”…
My name is Steve Meyers and I need to share a vision and warning that the Lord showed me back in April 2007….
Many of you will ask why I waited so long to share the warning. I didn’t. I shared the story with everyone that would listen from pastors to friends to family to colleagues. Immediately following the initial vision, I called a close friend. I told him to sit down that I had something to tell him. I needed it documented as I knew this was supernatural and from God. As I witness events unfolding today, I need to share the vision again.
The risk of loss in trading futures and options on futures can be substantial. The author does not guarantee the accuracy of the above information, although it is believed that the sources are reliable and the information accurate. The author assumes no liability or responsibility for direct or indirect, special, consequential or incidental damages or for any other damages relating or arising out of any action taken as a result of any information or advice contained in this commentary. The author disclaims any express or implied liability or responsibility for any action taken, which is solely at the liability and responsibility of the user. Steve Meyers
The silencing of the American people before 2020?
“The human heart is an idol factory.”
The Un-Godly — Those That Suppress the Truth, the social media giants built multi-billion dollar empires by giving everyone a voice, but now that they have such a dominant position on the Internet they have decided that many prominent conservative voices should be completely silenced.
The Left, a broad term for Liberal Socialist Democrats that can only be explained fully by using the Bible explanation of the human race is as follows. A servant of Satan, because you are either saved or lost. This election has brought out the true nature of who you serve. Simply put, it’s Donald Trump, Conservatives, and Christians against the rest of the world. The Left’s Love applies only to those who believe as they do. They Love evil and commit Anarchy against those who love good. They are governed by lies and never tell the truth. On this Friday, Inaugural Day for the swearing-in of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States the Left wants to commit widespread Anarchy to shut down the swearing-in ceremony. Their goal of transforming America, which was founded in Judea Christian values into a Pagan Nation is almost complete. Their goal has always been the total removal of God from American society and the downfall of America. Donald Trump says he is a Presbyterian, but he left off the USA, an apostate church.
Everything done in dark will be brought to light, being biblically bankrupt will not exclude the elitist.
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Hunted by the Mob, Found by Christ
The gripping memoirs of the founder of HNewsWire. A binge-worthy afternoon read.
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