16 February 2011

Answer to a Vietnam Veteran

I received the following email the other day. I decided to post it and interact with it publicly. I receive a lot of emails, some are from quacks, some from friends, some from honest inquirers. This is one that contains information that some might find helpful...in understanding where other's are coming from.

Christian Right advocates find some of my statements to be outrageous. If you’re at all sympathetic to how I’m approaching history, current events, and theology you will also be more than a little put off by the contents of this letter.

The letter:



Prophecy and History: A Vietnam Veteran's Perspective

**After reading this letter please "forward" it to your family and friends who you think might be interested. If you are a veteran of the military please respond and let me know when and where you served.**

Proto:

No one I know would be interested. I didn’t serve. I wore a uniform in the mid-90’s in Texas and Italy.

VV:

Greetings,

Russian imperialists and Islamic fanatics bent on world dominion are bringing the nations to the brink of a nuclear nightmare coming to pass, according to some American and European officials.

Proto:

Who? What officials? Russian Imperialists? Russia’s geopolitical actions are largely trying to check an aggressive American expansionism that has been taking place since 26 Dec 1991. Using such vehicles as the EU and NATO, the United States has tried to contain Russia. Yeltsin was a drunken football that was kicked around. Putin like him or not is acting in his nation’s interest. His actions may not please American Imperialists who proudly served in Vietnam…but they are logical.

Vietnam Vet:


If only the British and American people could find just one real-life savior in the likeness of James Bond or Jack Bauer, the Islamic fundamentalists and their Russian friends would be forced to "outwardly" reform themselves and make peace with Israel and the Western powers, or be utterly destroyed.

Proto:

I can tell already that you’re approaching these matters from a very Christian perspective.

Vietnam Vet:

The immense popularity of these two fictional characters who single-handedly confront evildoers, certainly reveals the hopes and dreams of many people in America. And nothing would please the many confused fundamentalists of Christendom more than to see Islam's "culture of death and dominion" reformed and brought into the community of peaceful nations, so that their sons in the military will no longer be...in harm's way.

Proto:



Are we confusing Christians and Americans? We shall see.

Vietnam Vet:

In November 2008 the American people gave the mantle of power to Barack Obama and Joe Biden. In November 2010 they took back some of that power fearing that Obama is a radical left-winger who is destroying America's economy, appeasing its enemies, and betraying Israel. So far Russia, Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas have not felt the need to cooperate with President Obama, who has promised to engage America and Israel's enemies face to face to avoid World War III breaking out in the Middle East? Will the President change or alter his ways before the 2012 elections to stay in office? Who will he appease the next two years, the right-wing conservatives or the Islamic fundamentalists?

Proto:

Obama is hardly a radical left-winger. Militaristic Centrist would be more like it. He hasn’t done anything to the economy worse than Regan or the Bush’s. Appeasing its enemies? Can you name an example. Betraying Israel? How so? Why because he didn’t openly support unrestrained expansions of the so-called settlements?

I have a feeling Dispensational Theology will play into this.

Did Russia, Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, or Hamas cooperate with Bush? Despite all his efforts to destabilize the Middle East we did avoid WWIII….is this something you want?

Your whole frame of mind assumes the American Empire. The Middle East is a little more complicated than the way you are presenting it.

I’m quite confident if Obama appeases anyone it will be right-wing conservatives like you. He’s already proven that on numerous occasions.

Vietnam Vet:

We should all remember that whoever occupies the White House instantly has in his hand the greatest sword of war this world has ever seen.

Proto:

Yes, it was the most Christian thing to do…build the biggest military machine in the history of the world. We make the Neo-Assyrian Empire look like lightweights on military spending. We should be so proud.

Vietnam Vet:

Is President Obama that real-life Jack Bauer or James Bond, having a sword in one hand and a olive branch in the other, who is coming to the United Nations to restore order and establish the peace of the promised Kingdom of God on the Earth? Whether he is or not just know this; the raging political-religious battle between the left and right wings of America's Eagle has a direct bearing on the position and power of the United Nations organization headquartered in New York.

Proto:


Are you kidding? I hope so. The Kingdom of God will not come through any of those means. The United Nations is a joke…they deliver food aid and don’t do it very well. All the power resides in the Security Council, the rest is just a cheap stage show. With Veto power, nothing happens in the UN. Look at Israel. They’ve been condemned more than any other nation, but the United States vetoes every resolution so nothing happens. It’s a joke. The UN is a pawn of the powers….most of the time acquiescing to American desires.

Vietnam Vet:

If the left-wing has its way, America will submit and surrender its power to the United Nations in order to establish world dominion, hoping the nations will select the American President to lead the way.

Proto:

There’s not an ounce of proof to substantiate this. The people on the left who hold power aren’t going to give it away. If you’re looking for a world dominion, we’ve had one for quite awhile now. It’s called the United States.

Vietnam Vet:

If the right-wing prevails, America will stand alone with its superior economic and military strength, convincing the United Nations to follow their lead in establishing the dominion of the Kingdom of Heaven as they understand it. So we can clearly see there is already a New World Order in place that is just waiting for the "outcome" of the war between the liberals and conservatives. What do you think? As you contemplate your answer please consider these other relevant and interrelated questions:

Proto:

That’s a giant non sequitir. You have not proved your point in the least. All fallen kingdoms are utopian. All are trying to build Babel. Christian Conservatives are doing the same thing….trying to transform their nation and culture into the kingdom of God.

Vietnam Vet:

(1) What does the future hold for Fundamentalists of all religions now that Obama is the leader of the Western world?

Proto:

The Obama presidency has no bearing. You’re looking for something. I was far more concerned when Bush was standing up saying that God wanted him to be president and as a Christian was generating warfare and worldwide strife.

Vietnam Vet:

(2) Will there be more "justified" wars or compromise and peace?

Proto:

Not sure what you mean. The recent wars were not justified. Let’s pray for peace as we’re instructed to. Dispensational theology in its chronological schema doesn’t look for peace.

Vietnam Vet:

(3) Are aliens or angels real? Is someone or thing “out there” in the heavens? If so, do they have anything to do with the wars raging in the Middle East?

Proto:


I’m afraid you’ve been reading some very wacky interpretations of Genesis 6. I don’t go along with the typical Sethite-Cainite line argument…but aliens?

Vietnam Vet:


(4) Will Israeli and American tanks have to roll into Damascus and Tehran respectively, to keep them from obtaining nuclear weapons? Or will Iran and Syria make peace with Israel? Does there need to be regime changes in these two nations first?

Proto:

Tanks will hardly be the weapon of choice. Let’s hope the United States and Israel leave Damascus and Tehran alone. Let’s hope Iran and Syria make peace with Israel.

There needs to be a regime change in Washington. Not Obama…but the whole system. We could probably use a new constitution. We need to break up the American empire.

Blasphemous, yes I know.

Vietnam Vet:

(5) Will Russia and America work together for peace in the Holy Land? Will the Pope help? Will Mary, the mother of Jesus, help as well?

Proto:

There is no Holy Land in the New Covenant, so I’m not sure what you mean. (wink)

The Pope is an enemy of Christ.

Mary is in heaven, so I’m afraid she’s unavailable.

Vietnam Vet:

(6) Can the Jews and Moslems share the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, allowing for the rebuilding of Solomon’s Temple right next to the infamous Dome of the Rock mosque?

Proto:

I’d like to see the Dome of the Rock blown up and if someone puts a Jewish Temple on that spot…we definitely should bomb it and forever curse the land by putting a Wal-mart on that spot. Before long they’ll be running the United Nations anyway. See, we can all get a little silly.

Vietnam Vet:

(7) What do socialism, communism, fascism, monarchies, theocracies, democracies, and republics all have in common? How are Christians suppose to relate and react to the men in charge of these various forms of civil government?

Proto:

They are all political and economic systems that you evidently don’t know anything about.

The Bible tells us how we are supposed to relate and react to men in charge. You might try turning of FOX news and read your Bible.

Vietnam Vet:

(8) Will the coming infamous peacemaking Antichrist be a Jew, a Muslim, a New Ager, a Christian, a Bonesman, or a member of the Freemasons? Could he be an American President who unites all of these different factions together?

Proto:

You’re misreading Daniel 9. If there is a yet-future personal and final Antichrist par-excellence he can only be a professing Christian. He’d be like Ronald Reagan, Henry Kissinger, and Chuck Colson all rolled into one.

Vietnam Vet:

(9) Is the second coming of Jesus to the Earth a spiritual or bodily return?

Proto:

Bodily. But I have a feeling since you believe in the Rapture… what you really mean is the 3rd coming.

Your 2nd Coming which you call the pre-tribulational Rapture is not in Scripture.

Vietnam Vet:


(10) And finally, are Christians counted as sheep for the slaughter or militant soldiers of the sword? Are they to be lambs or lions in this life and world?

Proto:


Romans 8 makes that pretty clear.

Vietnam Vet:

I happened to see your name and address and was wondering if you were open to reading some things I have written, including the questions I just asked above? And thank you for allowing internet contact, for the last thing I want to do is intrude or be needlessly offensive. Isn't it great that the internet provides for the free flow and exchange of knowledge?

Proto:

Thank you for sending this form letter which I’m sure you email to hundreds of people.

I’m not interested, but I’m doing you a favour and posting your letter and my responses on this website.

The internet is always interesting….sometimes great.

Vietnam Vet:


I would like to invite you to visit my website if you are interested in knowing more about today's political-religious-military events, including those in Israel and America, and how they relate to Bible prophecy from one Vietnam veteran’s perspective.

Proto:

Dispensationalism and aliens are not anything I’m too interested in.

Vietnam Vet:

The five years I served as a commissioned officer in the United States Army helped me to understand why nations war against each other.

Proto:

I think I would have to disagree with you.

Vietnam Vet:


Many who are interested in prophecy are pointing out that elitist organizations like the Illuminati, Freemasons, Skull and Bones, are involved in a great conspiracy to create a New World Order under a one-world government and religion. Others, like me, can see some of what they are exposing and the reality of it all, but know in our hearts that fallen angels are the real movers and shakers among these blind men who rule the nations. I cannot tell you how important this truth about fallen angels is, for without it we will all follow the coming Antichrist.

Proto:

American Nationalists will be the first to sign on. I spent years reading about all the organizations you’ve mentioned. The New World Order is the United States. It’s not a conspiracy. It’s just the same old geo-political chess game that’s been going on for thousands of years. The American model changed the rules…money and meritocracy built the most powerful plutocratic empire in the history of the world.

There are conspiracies, but there’s no Conspiracy other than the same Babel Project that’s been re-occurring for centuries.

The American propaganda machine is the most powerful ever. It figured out something no one else ever has….It reasons something like this:

Let the dissidents and critics write their books. Rather than keep our people under fear, we’re going to keep them fat and happy. They’re going to be so into their sports, their re-modeling projects, their vacations and in general the total worship of their money and possessions that they won’t care what we do and won’t bother to read the people who expose what we do. They will help us build the Tower of Babel without even realizing it. Rather than crush them, we’ll pulverize people around the rest of the world and as long as our people are focused on the latest starlet’s tan, sports teams, and sitcoms….we can do whatever we want.

Add thousands of pastors into the mix who confuse SOME of these ideas with the Church’s mission…and add a few litres of American Nationalism and there you have it…a church with fried brains.

Vietnam Vet:

As I have understood all of this, there is a concerted effort underway with groups like the Masons to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem as a symbol of world peace and unity. They are as energized in doing this as are some religious Jews in Israel. Many Jews will be deceived by this Gentile interest in the rebuilding of their Temple. Russia and Islam will even sign onto this plan for world peace and prosperity among the religions of this world.

Proto:

I don’t believe you, but…..

So what? What does this have to do with the Christian Church?

Vietnam Vet:

These elite groups are on a course that will collide with the two coming Jewish prophets that I have written a lot about. These two men will preach the true gospel, and stand up to the Great Harlot of Christendom and the Beast she is riding, the last American President and his apostate government.

Proto:

Ah, you’re a different brand of Dispensationalist.

But you think the Beast is something future…that’s why you’ve missed it all this time. You think Obama is paving the way. It was too late, generations ago… at least for the United States.

As far as the two prophets…they are symbolic of the Church during the Tribulation which has been going on since Christ Ascended and will continue until His return.

It’s very strange though. When I visit your website you don’t seem to have a problem with America. You think it WAS this wonderful sanctified nation…it only ceased to be about 40 years ago?

Vietnam Vet:

The only question remaining about the Antichrist is this: Will the last President be a left-wing endorser of abortion and gay marriage like Barack Obama, or will he come from the right-wing of militant patriots as did Germany's Adolph Hitler, who thought it proper and just to kill homosexuals with the Jews? In fact, the right-wing zealotry of Hitler blamed the Jews for the deterioration of the moral standards of the German people. Concerning Hitler, every one I knew considered him to be an evil man when I was growing up back in the 1950's, but no one ever explained to me why Christians in Germany made war upon the German Christians who immigrated to America and settled the town in which I was born and raised.

Proto:

You’re assuming a lot of things.

I don’t accept your theology of antichrist. I don’t believe it to be Scriptural.

Extreme Right-wing ideology gave rise to Nazism. I believe most Evangelicals in the United States would readily sign onto it were Hitler to appear today.

Vietnam Vet:

How did Hitler and German Christians justify their behavior which started World War II? It came from men like the Christian theologian Augustine and Constantine, the fourth century Roman Emperor who also claimed to be a Christian, who then convinced other Christians to join with him in his so-called "just wars" the empire was fighting. For Christians had become wary of being persecuted and considered cowards due to their nonviolent ways as they looked and longed for the "bodily" second coming of Jesus Christ promised by the Apostles.

Proto:

They had become weary of being persecuted and all too quickly signed on with Constantine.

The Just-War theory arose with Augustine long after Constantine was dead. I’m not unsympathetic with some of what you’re saying, but I think you need to go back and study a bit more.

If you’re rejecting a bodily Second Coming…then you’ve got problems. You’re not being real clear here.

Vietnam Vet:

Because of false teachings from men like Augustine they began to think the second coming must be in a "spiritual" sense with God now working through the holy Roman Empire to establish his promised Kingdom on Earth. Therefore, Christians could now abandon their nonviolent ways and become soldiers for Jesus serving in the Roman armies. It was during this time in history when double-mindedness and confusion ruled the day in Christendom, with a shrinking number of true believers maintaining that the Roman Empire under Constantine was still what Daniel and John prophesied as Satan's last bestial empire that would "eventually" produce the Antichrist, the Little Horn of Daniel 7 and the Beast of the Sea of Revelation 13.

Proto:

Augustine had many faults, but denying the Second Coming was not one of them. The impetus for Christendom did not rest on such a doctrine. The impetus for a revived Christendom in our present day does not rest on this doctrine.

Double-mindedness and confusion have always reigned in the Visible Church. Today is not an exception.

Vietnam Vet:


Had the hearts and minds of most in Christendom changed since the days of Augustine and Constantine when humanity witnessed the bloodbath of German and Italian Christians making war against their Polish, American, French, and English brothers, even uniting with the emperor worshipping cult in Japan to fight against their Christian cousins during World War II? Obviously not. So, once again, one of the remaining questions is this: Will the militant false Christian patriots, who are more loyal to the "just war" doctrine (found in the Declaration of Independence) and America's Constitution than the Lord's Sermon on the Mount and his prophetic sermon on the Mount of Olives, be able to overcome the putrid swamp of left-wing lunacy that fills Washington D.C, and replace it with their own cesspool of self-righteous militant pride and greed? No matter which wing of America's political Eagle the Antichrist emerges from, he will be a professing Christian, just as Hitler was in the 1930's.

Proto:

The problem is Christian doesn’t always mean Christian.

Despite my disagreements with you, this is probably the best paragraph I’ve read yet.

Vietnam Vet:

I am pro-Israel in that I know the Jewish people are still God's chosen and his promises to them are eternal. The error of "Dominion or Replacement" theology, where the Church is now Israel, is one of the things these two mighty Jewish prophets will expose.

Proto:

You obviously haven’t read too much here. Dominion and Replacement are not synonymous. Even Replacement is a poor term, but I’ll take the label from those who dish it out. Dominionism is something quite different.

And, I’m afraid the two Jewish prophets will do no such thing….because they’re not going to show up. Christ could come tonight. We don’t need to await the arrival of Jewish prophets. The passage in Revelation has been fulfilled, is being fulfilled, and until Christ comes will continue to be fulfilled.

The modern nation state of Israel has nothing to do with the Old Covenant people of God and has even less to do with Biblical Prophecy.

Vietnam Vet:

Another vital aspect of being pro-Israel in my mind, is to challenge Jews up front with the truth that even though they are chosen by God they will die lost forever, as the Gentiles do, unless they embrace the Lord Jesus Christ as Messiah. Many Jews today hate the very name of Jesus because of Hitler and various Popes who persecuted them in the name of Jesus. I keep telling them that was "another" Jesus as Paul taught the Corinthians and Galatians, as I plead with them to stop using that as an excuse to reject the real Jesus Christ.

Proto:

They’re not chosen by God anymore. Jesus and the Apostles made that abundantly clear. Despite that I agree with what you’re saying.

Vietnam Vet:

Even though I believe in the things I have just written, I weep often for America and remember vividly the day I graduated from Officer Candidate School in 1967 when the National Anthem was played bringing tears to my eyes as we all stood at attention. For me, during the Vietnam War era, hearing the anthem and watching the flag wave in the breeze was like an adrenalin rush. Becoming an Army Lieutenant with a commission signed by the President of the United States was the proudest and most exhilarating day of my life. But the brutal reality and cost of war brings other memories which are horrible, that carry no spine-tingling rush of pride throughout my body. I remember the letter I wrote from Vietnam to the family of a young soldier under my command who took a sniper's fatal bullet to the head in 1968. Later another sniper took aim at my head, but he missed and the bullets just tore up the ground by my side. The young corporal from Alabama died, and I lived. My life would never be the same.

Proto:

You shouldn’t have gone to Vietnam. I take it you were converted at a later date? Part of the problem was a general American misunderstanding of the Communist world. Maoism and the doctrine of Ho Chi Minh were peasant nationalisms with a Communist veneer. In Vietnam it served as a rallying point against French and later American Imperialism.

Domestic politicians were worried about being soft on Communism after the McCarthy debacle and the largely sham Cuban Missile Crisis. Eisenhower helped build the American Empire during his term and certainly helped construct what he called the Military Industrial Complex which he then warned us about as he left office. I think he saw it as necessary but dangerous. The nature of warfare had changed. You weren’t going to re-tool some plants in Detroit to build tanks. The world was now in an age of nuclear weapons, stealthy submarines, and soon, satellites etc… A whole industry was now necessary but it came with a tremendous cost…monetary and thus political and social.

A host of reasons led to America’s blundering and immoral engagement in the Vietnam War. It has learned nothing as we just saw in Egypt. America continues to support despots and dictators to achieve its ends and then has the cheek to stand up and say…we’re with the people. It’s such a lie.

Vietnam Vet:

Veterans of wars who have been awakened by the Lord Jesus Christ and his cross of love and mercy have much to contribute to this fallen world. It is my heart's desire to reach out to as many as I can with the gospel, the good news, of the soon coming Kingdom of God. My message is not one of condemnation, for I respect and honor them all. Like the apostle Paul, I admire and respect the devotion and dedication, the single-mindedness that so represents America's soldiers now and those I knew back in the Vietnam era, 2 Timothy 2:1-4. Paul was encouraging Christians to be dedicated non-violent soldiers of Jesus Christ until he returns in judgment when we, as resurrected soldiers, will join him in the Battle at Armageddon, Revelation 19:11-21. Until then we are to pick up our own cross, pleading with men, even our worst enemies, to turn from their sin nature that condemns them.

Proto:

So how were they devoted and dedicated….to what? Christ’s Kingdom? Your use of Scripture is more akin to the Nazis you’re condemning earlier in your letter.

If American Veterans understand what they’ve been a part of in light of the gospel…they will alternately laugh and cry when they hear words like service and honour. They will not wear the uniforms in parades or boast of their medals…most of which are a joke anyway, and they know it.

You think Paul was admiring Roman legionaries? It was an illustration.

You’re critical of Right Wing Christianity…why? You don’t really seem to have a problem with it…if America were just on the right track.

Vietnam Vet:


I lost some friends in Vietnam, but now I understand just how deceived we all were about the fallen angels and our sin nature, and how these lies are still being told to young Christian men today in many nations by confused Bible teachers dressed in sheepskin suits thinking they are followers of Jesus. But it is "another" Jesus they are proclaiming, not the one revealed in the scriptures, 2 Corinthians 11. My hope is they will reconsider what they are teaching, for I was once one of them, and know that Jesus will forgive all those who repent before him. Please consider the real Jesus, for he is alive, risen from the dead, and returning bodily to this Earth in power and glory.

Proto:

Okay…I’m glad to see you admit you were deceived, and I agree young men today are being lied to and tricked into signing their lives away.

Why the emphasis on Veterans? You seem to bifurcate on your website…glorying in the military and Vietnam and yet lamenting it.

Was it sin or not?

Self-identifying veterans aren’t usually very interested in being told they participated in murder and their friends died for nothing. That’s a hard pill to swallow…one better suited to someone who already is grounded in the Word of God.

I’m sorry but Dispensational theology gels very nicely with American Nationalism. You’re not a hard-right type, but a lot of what you’re saying comes from an American Nationalist and Right-wing perspective…and thus your theology with this nationalism is in my opinion, clouding your understanding of the state of things.

I like some of what you’ve said, but you’re not representing the genesis and outworking of Constantinianism in an accurate manner. Some would disagree with me and my conclusions, but I’m labouring to at least be fair to all sides. Being a non-nationalist helps in this task. Dispensationalists are usually very nationalist when it comes to the United States and rabidly so when it comes to the modern Zionist state of Israel.

Your website indicates that you don’t really have a problem with a Christian America. You just don’t like the direction it has turned at the moment. Your ideas are similar to Chuck Baldwin’s….your critique is sometimes accurate and seemingly rooted in the Bible, but in the end you don’t really have a problem with Dominionism or Constantinianism.

I’m afraid the theological argument for a belief in a spiritual resurrection as being the impetus for Constantinianism is simply not accurate. No one is arguing for that. Most Constantinians in our day are ardent supporters of the Biblical Doctrine of the Bodily Return of Christ. There are a handful or hyper-preterists who deny this, but they are almost universally denounced.

Thanks for the letter.



Vietnam Vet:



Please visit our website and sign the "guestbook" or send an email. Thank you for reading this and I hope to hear from you soon. Again, if you are interested in the questions above, please consider reading the articles "Then Comes the Fire", “The Judgment Chronicles” and “The Fundamentalist" posted on our web site. For details concerning my military background during the Vietnam era, please read the articles "Vietnam: The Manchu's of Charlie Company", "Pacifist, Patriot, or Pilgrim" and “Moved with Compassion”. Just click on the web site link below and click on “Articles”. The radio interviews I have been part of can be listened to by clicking on this link: http://www.thebyteshow.com/JackHook.html



Sincerely,

Jack D. Hook





Babylon the Great is Falling

http://www.babylonthegreatisfalling.net

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