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Is it peace?

Thoughts on the anti-war demonstrations


February 15th 2003 – Hyde Park, London. ‘Don’t attack Iraq’, ‘Free Palestine’ were the two main issues on the minds of the marchers passing me by. The villains of the piece were George Bush and Tony Blair, but strangely no one seemed to have much to say about Saddam Hussein. For the uninformed it might appear that he was the innocent victim of a fiendish plot by wicked imperialists to take over his country and steal his oil.


My main purpose in being there was to pass out our ‘Countdown’ leaflet about the second coming of Jesus and to talk to whoever wanted to listen to what I had to say. The continual flow of people passing me by meant that there was not much opportunity for conversation, so I felt the Lord said, ‘Speak out my name.’


For about two to three hours (I rather lost count of the time) I was standing there, passing out leaflets and shouting out, ‘Jesus Christ is coming again’, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved’, ‘Not Blair, not Bush, not the UN but only Jesus can save us.’ It was interesting to observe that once people knew I was handing out a leaflet about Jesus, white people tended to be put off taking it and Middle Eastern and Afro-Caribbean people tended to respond positively, which maybe says something about the spiritual condition of our people.


A number of Muslims, including women in veils and men whose dress showed they were members of radical Islamic groups took them and some spoke to me. There were comments like ‘Jesus is not Lord’, ‘I never heard an Englishman talk about Jesus coming back before’, ‘Jesus was a Muslim’. I had some interesting conversations as a result.


The two dominant influences on the march were left wing anti-Americanism and Islam. While both were against war in Iraq, the vibes coming out from them were not very peaceful. All their anger and opposition was directed against the United States, Tony Blair, and of course Israel. Christians too were not too popular.


Nobody seemed too bothered that Saddam has produced and used weapons of mass destruction and ignored 17 UN resolutions. The left is campaigning for human rights for the Palestinians, but Arab fascism of the kind practiced by Iraq, Syria, Libya or religious dictatorships like Saudi Arabia and Iran did not get a mention. Nor were they particularly concerned that slavery and genocide are being carried out in Sudan.


The radical Muslims were campaigning for Islamic rights, but did not seem too bothered that Saddam Hussein has been responsible for the killing of more Muslims than anyone else on earth. The focus of their hatred is Israel, the scapegoat nation for the Islamic world, through which dictators like Saddam turn people’s anger away from their own crimes onto Israel.


The left / Muslim coalition is an odd alliance, given that victory for the radical left would see Islam under attack and victory for the Islam would see most of the pet causes of the radical left – democracy, women’s movement, gay rights etc – totally crushed. It is an alliance based on mutual hatred – hatred of America, Israel, Jews and Christians.


Interesting too that the nations which are leading the anti-war campaign are France, Germany and Russia. France gave the world the French Revolution, unleashing humanistic and anti-God forces which shaped the anti-Christian world view of 19th Century European philosophers. Out of this philosophy came on the one hand Marxism and the Russian Revolution and on the other hand Fascism and Nazi Germany.


We see a battle going on within the globalist organisations, the EU, NATO, the UN for the dominant influence. Whatever happens out of the Iraq crisis, I expect to see the balance of power eventually shifting away from the USA and Britain and their allies and towards France, Germany and Russia. This will probably be rather good news for dictators and rather bad news for democrats. The global peace movement will be a significant force in pushing the world in this direction.


In my judgement this will be a false peace programme preparing the way for the Antichrist to ride in on a white horse proclaiming ‘peace and safety’, gaining power by intrigue and offering ‘peace, peace, where there is no peace’. (See Jeremiah 6.14, Daniel 11.21, 1 Thessalonians 5.1-3, Revelation 6). Watch this space.


Meantime the struggles and insecurity of our time give an ideal opportunity for the Gospel. It is virtually certain that we are going to see a tremendous unrest if war does take place. Opponents of war are being told on the Internet to go to city centres and engage in civil disobedience. Inner city areas already tense because of bad relations between Muslims and BNP supporters could explode in violence. There is no doubt that some terrorism or at least major terrorist alerts will take place.


A few weeks prior to this demonstration we saw the whole of our area of north London grind to a halt because of two inches of snow. People were thrown off trains, there was total traffic gridlock, a state of confusion. Despite the cold it gave opportunity to show practical help to people as a Christian witness. In case of serious terrorism it would be a thousand times worse. In that situation God will be seeking to mobilise Christians to go out and tell people the way of salvation and help those in need.


I had only planned to give out leaflets at the demonstration, not to speak out about Jesus. It was actually the first time I have ever done that in such a situation. The fact that I did was solely due to the Holy Spirit giving me the desire and ability to do so. Although the situation could have been quite dangerous with hostile Muslims all around I felt absolutely no fear. In the days to come I believe we should look to the Lord for a window of opportunity to speak out his word at times when hundreds will listen as the situation becomes desperate.


One footnote to the experience at the demonstration. I was just about winding down and ready to finish as the people were drifting away, when a man who had been observing me for a while came over to talk. He asked me a difficult question about the Virgin Birth (which as it happens is one of my favourite theological questions). As I was able to answer him with reference to the Hebrew and Greek words in the text, he was quite impressed. It turned out that he had studied at theological college and as a result lost his faith. I felt the Lord’s grief for him. He had wanted to serve God and done the logical thing – gone to study theology – and it had destroyed his faith.


As I thought about this I felt the Lord was saying that our theological colleges are not the way to train people for the kind of ministry that will be needed in the coming end times. Even apart from the scandalous fact that most of them communicate unbelief rather than faith in the Word of God, taking people out of normal life situations to read books about God was not the way Jesus trained the disciples for the ministry they were to exercise after his departure. A totally different kind of training is needed, one which will equip us by the Holy Spirit to deal with the chaos and confusion that is coming on the world and to offer the only solution – Jesus Christ.