European Union Part 3 Week of 6/24/19
Last week we compared the European Union (EU) and the United States (U.S.). In case you were curious as to why, it is because they are so similar. For example, the U.S. has 50 member states-in International dealings they speak with one voice. The EU currently has 28 member states and they also speak with one voice regarding matters of economics. Both the U.S. and EU have three governmental bodies; however, they do slightly different things:
|U.S Government-At the Constitutional Convention of 1787, James Madison proposed a plan to divide the central government into three branches. He based this on the Scripture of Isaiah 33:22-
For the LORD is our judge (Judicial),
the LORD is our lawgiver (Legislative),
the LORD is our king (Executive),
He will save us.
|EU Government-Besides having an executive branch president who is over all, each commission has a president.
Check out this video on the subject.
|1) Legislative Branch-(Congress and the Senate) Created as the strongest branch of government because it is closes to the people with representatives elected every 2 or 4 years. They propose and make law, plus hold the purse strings for government spending.
||1) The EU Council-includes a President (which use to be rotated every 6 months, but now the position serves for 5 years-see above video. They also sets the policies and propose new legislation.
|2) Executive Branch (President, Vice President and their cabinet)-Established to ensure that laws are carried out and enforced, day to day business of the government is preformed and the security of the nation is provided. Plus represent the nation on International interest.
||2) The European Parliament-debates and approves the laws proposed by the Council.
|3) Judicial Branch-(currently 9 justices) Created as the weakest branch of government. They hear cases that question the Constitutionality of law and are suppose to base their conclusion on original intent of the law.
||3) The European Commission-staffs positions and executes the laws.
Unlike the U.S., the EU is only an association of states (or countries) that have come together, in modern times, for economic growth. There are some who are looking for a Federalized Europe or United States of Europe. This thinking began with the Prime Minister of Britain, Winston Churchill. It was 1946, just after WW2, when the seasoned PM gave a speech in Zurich. He was deeply concerned for ravaged Europe, whose many countries laid almost in ruin. To prevent this tragedy from every happening again, he offered the suggestion of the European countries banding together in a “United States of Europe”. At the time, he expressed the Brits would not be involved, but would do everything they could to help facilitate the movement. Click here if you would like to listen to his approx. 20 min speech.
Over the years, a few European leaders have criticized the EU for not going far enough—in other words, the EU has only opened the door to unite countries economically. They argue that the EU needs to come together like the U.S. and have a centralized government. Those most eager to unite Europe are those who have excessive debt, like France and Greece—they are hoping a Federalized EU will absorb the tab. There are also the alleys for migration (or those in favor of immigration) who think that countries that are opposed to the rise of immigrates, would have to accept immigration if the EU were federalized. They feel this would make many countries more profitable because there would be more people from whom to collect taxes.
In an interview of July 2017, Pope Francis warned, “Either Europe becomes a federal community or it will no longer count for anything in the world.” In his conversation with the Italian newspaper, La Repubblica the Pope is reported as believing a federal Europe is necessary to counterbalance the United States. And why is this important? In an article by, Trumpet.com they state, “Even many Catholics do not grasp that (the) Vatican City is more than the headquarters of a religion; it is a nation—state participating in political machinations (schemes or political ploys) involving empires.” The article goes on to give several examples and brings the reader present day expressing, “The current Pope is continuing his predecessors push for a federal Europe.”
But how do you get all 28 states (countries) to ratify a constitution? Some suggested that if a country did not agree with a constitution submitted by the EU, that member state should be put out of the EU. Obviously, with so much already invested by a country to contribute as a member state, economically, it would probably not be feasible for most small countries to have any disagreements.
What about an EU military? Germany, as the largest EU member (and because she is, she has the most say), has issued information that the German government is allowing other EU forces to integrate with the Bundeswehr (Germany′s Federal Armed Forces under civilian control). Those countries that will join the already integrated Dutch brigades include, Romania′s 81st Mechanized Brigade and Czech 4th Rapid Deployment Brigade into Germany′s Rapid Response Forces Division or the 1st Armored Division. This is to show the world that Germany is willing to proceed with European military integration—but, what of the NATO? Most member states are already NATO members. What about Germany′s past as a military power? Apparently, in recent years NATO has been trying to boost Germany to spend more militarily and what Germany has come up with is the plan to increase military spending and share their equipment with other smaller countries while using their forces to create mini‐armies—sounds innocent enough.
Regarding the difference between the EU and the United Nations (UN), the EU deals only with Europe, while the UN deals universally—at least, that is what one might think given their names. The EU′s relation with the United Nations is conveyed in the Treaty of Lisbon, “The Union′s action on the International scene shall be guided by the principles which have inspired its own creation, development and enlargement, and which it seeks to advance in the wider world: democracy, the rule of law, the universality and indivisibility of human rights and fundamental freedoms, respect for human dignity, the principles of equality and solidarity, and respect for the principles of the United Nations Charter and International law.” They are two separate governing bodies′ which coordinate with each other on all manner of subjects. (If interested, see the link below labeled, The United Nations and the European Commission working together in Development and Humanitarian Cooperation The Partnership between the UN and the EU.)
How does this all relate to Bible Prophecy? The Bible speaks of the fourth kingdom, or what we call the revised Roman Empire, because the last empire will come from the nations of the Old Roman Empire. Over the vast years of rule, the Roman Empire occupied nearly all of Europe (some say all of Western Europe), the Middle East and the northern coast of Africa. However, the empire we are interested in has destroyed the city (Jerusalem) and the sanctuary (or Temple)‐ref Dan 9:26, which the Romans did in 70AD. The Scriptures speak of the last empire being an economic empire and becoming a one‐world government. Check out this link if you are interested where to find the Scriptures in the Bible on this subject. It even talks about the outcome of this empire—the empire from which comes the Anti‐Christ.
Do you think you are ready to live through the worse time in the history of the earth—the Tribulation? You may have heard of dooms dayers—those who predict impending misfortune or disaster; or Doomsday Preppers, people who prepare to survive those impending circumstances. But, have you considered what you would do? How you would instruct your family? It is going to depend on where you live in this world as to what you should do. Actually, there is no good place. The Scriptures indicate that both you and your family will perish immediately or you will be forced to take the mark and be controlled by the elite—Anti‐Christ′s kingdom. We are here to warn you. This is not a fear tactic—it is facing reality. Maybe you think you will handle the situation when you come to it—that will more than likely be too late. Wouldn′t it be better to be like the man who watched, and was on the alert not allowing his house to be broken into‐ref Mat 24:43. Jesus says, The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly‐John 10:10. Receive Christ by faith now—now is the time! Check out this link if you are interested.
Sources: thebalance.com; europa.eu; usa.gov; thestoryoflibertyblog.com; thoughtco.com, churchill-in-zurich.ch; zerohedge.com; thetrumpet.com; theguardian.com; europa.eu; eeas.europa.eu; unric.org; foreignpolicy.com; britannica.com; europaunited.eu. Bible Prophecy information from, "The Encyclopedia of Bible Prophecy", Vol.1, pgs. 336-338 and biblestudies.org.
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European Union Importance Part 2 Week of 6/17/19
Last week we discussed some history regarding the European Union (EU). This week, the question is posed, what is the importance of the EU today?
In review, originally the EU was the association of twelve European nations culminating with the 1993 signing of the Maastricht Treaty, for the most basic reason-to thwart war. See our blog of 6/10/19 for more). Today, the EU has blossomed into twenty-eight member states whose purpose is to achieve political and economic integration. The member states are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom (whose citizen's voted to leave the EU back in 2016, but, are still bound by the EU due to political subversion within their own country. See our blog of 6/3/19 for more on Brexit).
The importance of the EU is controversial. Has it been successful in deterring war (for which it was first created)? Some say yes, due to the EU's negotiating powers-believing peace can be achieved through determination and willful action. The EU was extremely helpful to the Americans brokering through the Iranian nuclear deal. However, others say NATO is far more effective in deterring war-whose philosophy is, to ensure peace, you have to prepare for war (check out our 4/8 & 15/19 blog for more on NATO).
What is the EU's importance regarding trade for its citizens? Having the world's largest trading block back in 1980, the EU had a greater Gross Domestic Product (GDP) than the U.S. In 1980, the EU was looking strong at $3.8 trillion (in U.S. dollars) to the U.S. $2.9 trillion. This would be very impressive if we just look at land area comparisons. The EU has just about half of the land area that the U.S. has at 4.3 million sq km, in comparison to 9.1 million sq km for the U.S. However, if we look at population, the US had a total population of 228 million in 1980. The EU had a total population of 432 million. By contrast to today, the U.S. is increasing population at a rate that will accelerate the EU. The gap between the EU and the US population has decreased from 205 million in 1980 to 183 million in 2018. (Click here for statistics and graph on the subject). The short of it-some of the old European countries are dying out with no young people to replace them. Sometimes, it is due to the fact that there are not many good paying jobs for young people. So, they move to wherever the jobs are-that may be to a different country. Regarding trade agreements, they are negotiated and signed by the EU rather than by individual member states. This allows the EU to speak with a single voice, as does the U.S.
What is the importance of the EU in relation to their currency-the euro? Over the years it has, like any other currency, been up and down. And when the economy of the EU has been slow, some have wondered how the euro has been constantly strong. Presently, as the EU economy is again sluggish, due to the U.S. trade agreements with China (or lack of), the possible future lose of the UK over Brexit and problems with the Italian government regarding spending. Some strategist are suggesting with the dollar now being very overvalued, as growth slows and the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) embarks on an easing cycle, that will likely be the main source of euro strength for 2019. According to Kit Juckes, chief FX strategist at Societe Generale, "The Fed is expected to cut its interest rate twice this year, signaling the end of a three—year cycle of rising rates that had previously supported a steady advance by the U.S. greenback against many of its rivals. However, the Dollar decline that's expected to result from those rate cuts is the only source of upside envisioned for the Euro over the six months or more, because the Euro zone economic performance is seen remaining lackluster."
Is life better for millennial's and Generation Y age groups (those born between 1980 and 2000) living within the EU? Because these generations grew up learning a one world government is the best, they feel a sense of solidarity and enjoy moving from country to country, learning other languages and cultures. Social media has brought them together and they, for the most part, don't mind immigration. Some consider this will be the first generation to be worse off than their parents, due to global debt and climate change. But, as their parents and grandparents may have sought help from Divine intervention when they saw problems, these generations do not care about religion. In fact, Stephen Bullivant, a professor of theology and the sociology of religion at St Mary's University in London said, "Christianity as a default, as a norm, is gone, and probably gone for good—or at least for the next 100 years." He also suggested, "Young adults increasingly are not identifying with or practicing religion." Just a note: in Mr. Bullivant's survey, out of 21 countries polled, Russia (at #14) has less people who profess no religion than 13 other EU countries—that includes Great Britain. Click here for the details.
It really depends on your values as to whether the countries (or member states) of the EU are better off than they were before they joined the EU. For sure, the EU is a work in progress and has not achieved its profitability to member states. However, as the Millennials and the Y-Generation citizens who have been influenced through their schooling to accept a One World Government, are now coming of age, old political parties are noticing a decline of votes as opposed to newer players on the political scene-like the Green Party, who recently won land slide victories within the EU voting bloc. Europe is changing and the new generation within the EU seems to have more faith in the EU than their parents.
Hopefully, with our last post on this subject next week, we will conclude with what some world leaders think regarding the future of the EU and what the Bible says about this European government.
Sources: dictionary.com; schengenvisainfo.com; europa.eu; investopedia.com-euro debet; investopedia.com-euro, investopedia.com-countries not using the euro; thoughtco.com; mgmresearch.com; statista.com; weforum.org; home.bt.com; theguardian.com; poundsterlinglive.com; oneworlduv.com; europaunited.eu.
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European Union Part 1 Week of 6/10/19
Last month the European Union (EU) finished voting to elect new representatives to their legislative body. But, what is the EU, what is their importance and how is it different from the United Nations?
After WW1 & 2, there was an outcry in Europe to create some kind of vigilance to prevent another episode of war. In 1948, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and Great Britain signed the Brussels Treaty, which set the terms for economic, social, cultural and especially collective self‐defense (the basis for the Western European Union). (Just a note‐a year later these nations (and seven others) went on to sign the North Atlantic Treaty which is the basis for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). See our blog of 4/8 & 15/19 for more on NATO. Interestingly, NATO is also based in Brussels.)
Since coal and steel were imperative for war machines to run, those in leadership decided to form the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). This treaty (the 1951 Treaties of Paris) created free‐trade among the then six member countries. Those countries were Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Germany. This was followed by the 1957 Treaties of Rome which authorized collaboration in atomic energy development, research, and application between member countries. It also opened up borders, provided fair trade markets by requiring governments to eliminate national regulations on preferred domestic industries and created the European Economic Community (EEC). Addressing the issues of social‐policy (meaning they concerned themselves with their member states response to the global challenges of social, demographic and economic change, poverty, migration and globalization) they saw a need to create the European Social Fund, prompting job opportunities by aiding workers′ the ability to easily move from location to location in order to obtain work.
By 1965 the EEC had combined all their committees consolidating them into one entity—re branding as the European Communities (EC). With the signing of the Maastricht Treaty in 1993, the EC officially became the European Union. Here is a three minute video on the history of the EU. The Maastricht Treaty strengthened the European parliament, created a central European bank, and implemented universal foreign and security policies within its members. The treaty also laid the groundwork for the establishment of a single European currency, to be known as, the euro. That treaty was signed by twelve nations: Great Britain, France, Germany, the Irish Republic, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Denmark, Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands.
Today, the EU is made up of 28 member countries which include Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden. (As discussed in last week′s blog, the citizens of the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU after 43 years.)
The importance of the EU in today′s world?—Lord willing, we should be discussing this question, along with problems besetting the EU and possible solutions next week.
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Same Political Ploys—Four Different Nations Week of 6/3/19
It has never been easy to govern a nation and in this modern era things have not changed. Take, for example, British Prime Minister, Theresa May. On June 7, she (under the urging of political leaders) will resign her position due to the controversy over Brexit. In case you are not familiar with Brexit, in a nut shell, the people of Britain voted in 2016 to leave the European Union. They did not desire the economic advantage (or disadvantage) the EU was offering and took offense at becoming Europeans instead of what they are, Brits. However, besides the red tape of leaving the EU, English officials also needed to take into consideration there neighboring country, Ireland. The Emerald Isle is a member of the EU and England is their biggest buyer. Therefore, trade agreements needed to be in place; not to mention, working out the provisions for leaving the EU before they actually left. But, it has been a rocky road and agreements within the British Parliament alone have been nil.
Many Brits appear to be asking; if the voters of Britain want to leave the EU—then why isn′t it done? If the majority in Britain voted for Brexit and the government listened to the people—Theresa May would probably not be resigning, nor still waiting for agreements to pass through Parliament (there have been three previous failures). Bipartisan talks would already have succeeded and she, at this time, should be negotiating with EU officials—but, this is not the case. Now, the job of PM is up for grabs. Until a replacement can be made from within her party, Theresa May will still hold the position, but her party insures that a successor will be chosen by the end of July. Regarding the most recent EU voting this past week, Brits did indeed take part. The government says if Britain successfully disjoins their selves from the EU by the end of June (which is highly unlikely), then elected EU officials will not be needed to fill any positions. The new deadline date for Brexit is October 31, 2019.
Another PM with problems is Sebastian Kurz. A year and half ago, at 31yrs old, he was not only the youngest ever Austrian PM, but also the youngest among world leaders (see our blog of 6/25/18). Just last month the Austrian Government voted to oust him, with a vote of no confidence. The offense came over the vice chancellor, Heinz‐Christian Strache of the Freedom Party. This party, from the onset, was a controversial coalition due to the fact that the founders were former Nazi officers. A union of this nature caused uneasiness within other political factions in Austria. So, what tipped the scale? It appears the vice chancellor was caught on video offering to fix state contracts with a woman posing as a Russian oligarch′s niece. Unfortunately for Herr Strache, the Russian oligarch did not have a niece and the whole event was an undercover scam caught on video. Immediately, PM Kurz denounced the political relationship between his party and the Freedom Party listing this and other lesser scandals (mostly involving Freedom party officials involved in anti‐Semitism or racism) that had previously strained their union. He proposed that the President of Austria hold snap elections, in hopes of swaying political leader′s confidence—however, this tactic did not work. Kurz now vows to come back even stronger in the September elections as he is still very popular.
Shifting to the Middle East, it appears Benjamin Netanyahu was surprisingly not able to form the collation he needed to make a government. Some blame the elected Netanyahu, due to the bribery charges. PM Netanyahu blames his traditional ally (sometimes bitter rival), Avigdor Lieberman. According to the PM, “The public chose me, and Lieberman, unfortunately, deceived his voters. From the beginning he had no intention to do what he said” which would be to form a coalition with Netanyahu. After Netanyahu got elected, apparently Lieberman demanded, before forming a coalition, continuation of current legislation mandating young ultra‐Orthodox men to be drafted into the military. The ultra‐Orthodox (another of the PM′s allies) do not believe their youth should have to serve in the military for religious reasons. Obviously, those who are required to serve do not think it fair that the ultra‐Orthodox don′t have to serve. Hence, a stale mate and no government created. With second elections scheduled to take place in September, (it is unprecedented for two elections in the same year) Israel will have been without a working legislative government since December 2018 and there is no guarantee that Mr. Netanyahu will be in a position to run. He may not be able to maintain leadership within his own party. Plus, it appears he will need to stand trial for the bribery charges just before the elections. What would Israel look like without the leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu? Sadly, it could take a twist and as desired by the Blue and White leaders, would no longer be a Jewish State, but a state for all Israelis—Jew and Muslim alike with equal power.
Back in the United States (actually, the states are hardy united) President Trump is facing fierce opposition from his political opponents. This is not unusual—the interesting fact is that the same political tactics that are plaguing PM Netanyahu are also happening in the U.S.—the accusations, the lawsuits, the public tar and featherings. However, the Christian citizens of the U.S. have opted to come together for a day of prayer for their elected leader (whether they voted for him or not) and their country. Last Sunday, Christians prayed and some fasted to entreat the Lord for President Trump who needs prayer for protection, strength, encouragement, and guidance while facing these political attacks. Some criticize the event saying that it only politicizes prayer; but the nation of America is different from any other country around the world, because she was founded upon such principals. And Scripture teaches us to pray for our leaders (even publicly)‐ref 1 Tim 2:1‐4.
While there is a strong similarity between Israel and the U.S. regarding attacks on the leaders by opposing political opponents—all of the above mentioned leaders have one particular thing in common—they support a Jewish nation.
How does this relate to the Bible? The Scriptures talk about the governments that will be in place on earth during the Tribulation. Check out this link. The views of this world—the way people think and act in these last days (days before the Tribulation) are lining up with the Bible more and more. A poll done back in 2013 suggested that 41% of all U.S. adults (Christian and non‐Christian) believed the world we live in was the biblical end times. However, today people are mocking—especially young people. Originally, New York democratic representative, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (youngest person to be elected to the House) passionately made the comment that she and other young Americans fear “the world is going to end in twelve years if we don′t address climate change.” Because of the criticism she received she later tweeted, “Like the “world ending in twelve years” thing, you′d have to have the social intelligence of a sea sponge to think it′s literal.” Some people believe along those lines. Others either don′t care or are too busy to consider if the world is actually ending within their lifetime. There are scientific studies that suggest the world will not be able to sustain the current population. More studies that suggest climate change will be our demise. Earthquakes, volcanoes all have been credited with the end of civilization, as we know it. For what the Bible says on these topics, check out this link and here for more detailed reading.
If you truly are concerned about your future, consider reading this WHEN sermon, W‐When, H‐He, E‐Enters, N‐N, When He Enters N, (WHEN). Life is a test. Don′t make the wrong decisions. Jesus loved you enough to die on a cross to pay for your sins—that means when you die you don′t have to go to hell which is a place of torment. There are no parties in hell—only suffering and misery. But, if you receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you will go to the judgment seat of Christ. Click here to read more about Judgements.
Sources: elitedaily.com; vox.com; euronews.com; worldatlas.com; time.com, reuters.com; foxnews.com; cbsnews.com; quora.com, aljazeera.com, newsweek.com, religionnews.com, eu.usatoday.com, snipbytes.com, blogs.reuters.com, theclever.com/, nypost.com,
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