Dan Juster

Tikkun Ministries International
"There on a background of the British flag, in front of millions of viewers world over, the olympic crowd had a quasi-religious experience celebrating atheism, choir included."

"Revival is necessary to re-energize the people of God. We need a classic revival worldwide that will bring repentance from worldly compromise and a new empowerment in the Holy Spirit."

After a long day of meetings in Korea I turned on a Korean T.V. station which was broadcasting the closing ceremonies of the 2012 Olympic games. Israelis had already noted the injustice of having no ceremony to commemorate the Israeli athletes that perished in Munich some 40 years earlier. Many countries called for this commemoration, but the Olympic leadership refused, claiming that it would be a political gesture not in keeping with the Olympic movement. The folly of this decision is that such a tribute would have been just the opposite - a statement against terrorism and in favor of humanity. So, in spite of a great display in the opening ceremony, there was no memorial. Now, after a very engaging set of contests, what would London bring forth in the closing ceremonies?

Blasphemy at the Olypmics

The Olympic closing ceremonies were quite astonishing and even blasphemous, but did many notice? The ceremony took place at an Olympic stadium where the graphic of the Union Jack flag was projected onto the field and outlined the passageways on the floor of the stadium. The Union Jack is made up of the three national crosses of England, Scotland and Ireland, representing the union of these countries united as one kingdom. The whole effect of the flag, when it was originally designed, was intended to proclaim the Christian foundations of the United Kingdom. So there on the field of the stadium, everyone was looking at this Christian symbol.

The show was a celebration of British music. What should we have expected? British music means rock music, not Ralph Vaughan Williams or Edward Elgar. Not Handel (actually German, but a long-term resident in England who wrote for the English court). However, I think there is some worthy rock music. That said; the Olympic presentations were laced with sensuality, with women gyrating provocatively while wearing revealing clothing. This sensual lewdness took place on stages that were over the symbol of the British flag. It was a celebration of hedonism.

However, the centrepiece of the presentation was the projection of John Lennon on giant screens all over the stadium singing his nihilistic song, "Imagine". A large choir of children sang along as well, all dressed in t-shirts with the words "Imagine" emblazoned on them. For any reader who does not know the words, the full text is not important, just the thrust of the song. Lennon asked us to imagine a world were there is no God, no religion and no nations. This world of undifferentiated humanity is filled with loving people who view each other as brothers and sisters.

"Is this really the type of world we want to live in?" Yes, men have engaged in war and imposed great suffering on others in the name of religion, but just consider what atheism has produced. From Stalin and Mao to Pol Pot, history has witnessed the slaughter of tens of millions to attain the perfect atheist socialist order. I have been around long enough that I should not have been stunned. For the cultural elite that expresses multi-cultural commitment, the song is a denial of the value of separate cultures. Did they not understand this aspect of the song? No matter! Lennon and his song are iconic.

The whole stadium cheered in approval as they watched Lennon singing. There on a background of the British flag, in front of millions of viewers world over, the olympic crowd had a quasi-religious experience celebrating atheism, choir included. This should have been offensive to billions of people. The fact that Lord Coe and the Olympic organising committee chose this as their high point is breathtaking. It is as if the whole Olympic program was shaking its fist at God and at Britain's Christian heritage. Yes, the British engaged in a program of harsh colonialism, but they also brought the Christian faith and a vision of human rights and dignity across the globe. After all, the British endeavoured to eliminate slavery worldwide well before the American Civil War. They also committed themselves in 1840 to restore the nation of Israel.

The Influence of Today's Western Culture

Can we be far from God's judgment? I know we are on the victory side. Yet, it is sometimes depressing to see the influence of the secular and relativistic West on the world. My recent trip to Korea was wonderful. We were building Church support for the restoration of Israel and alignment with the Messianic Jewish community through our "Toward Jerusalem Council II" project. We saw major inroads into Korean denominations. Yet I was also saddened to see that this very large body of Christians was in decline. It was quite different than my last visit, fifteen years ago. There was a noticeable change in dress, now much more sensual. Many of the young people are leaving their Christian upbringing in the same way as they are in the United States. Sadly, the compulsive trends of secularism, hedonism and relativism are becoming stronger and stronger in Korea.

The West, with the United States' entertainment industry in the lead, is spreading a terrible influence around the world. If one thought that colonialism destroyed cultures, our western influence, fostered by those who claim to be multi-culturalists, is destroying many cultures at an alarming rate. We saw that western cultural influence being played out in Korea.

In Israel we seek to resist the same influences. Libertine sexual philosophies, homosexual movements, lewdness, hedonism and abortion abound. The Orthodox, thankfully, resist these trends. However, they bring their own contra-biblical orientations that must - in their turn - be countered.

Is there Hope for Revival?

I do not know if the world trends in the free nations can be reversed. Revival, the Gospel and culture formation are the keys. First of all, revival is necessary to re-energize the people of God. We need a classic revival worldwide that will bring repentance from worldly compromise and a new empowerment in the Holy Spirit. This would lead to a new effectiveness in spreading the Gospel in western and democratic nations.

The Kingdom is growing in oppressive societies, but in past days we have seen great revivals in western societies (the 18th and 19th century revivals, the Welsh revival in the early 20th century, and the Jesus movement in the 1970s). The last element, culture formation, is crucial if we are not to lose the gains of revival and the Gospel. Culture formation begins with committed discipleship in the Word of God, including an understanding of the Bible as yielding a comprehensive world-view that speaks to every area of life. We need to understand the contrast between the Biblical world-view and its credibility against both the secular alternatives of modern humanistic materialism and western relativism. In addition, we should be clear that Biblical faith is like no other - a faith grounded in reality and displaying evidence without parallel. If we do not experience this sort of culture shifting revival I fear greatly for the legacy that will be passed on to future generations.

By Daniel Juster
Dan Juster leads the overall ministry Tikkun International Donate to Tikkun International.
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05:50 05Sep12 Chavoux -
Amen brother. One question though: We need revival, but how long should a revival last? Has the problem in the past not been that (like Israel in the time of the judges) past revivals only lasted for one generation ... and the next generation forget about the power and goodness of God? How can we ensure that the revival will continue with the next generation?

  -- Dr Juster replies: This seems to be the case historically. However, the Puritans who believed in revivals thought there would be one great one before the return of Yeshua that would never end. The issue of lasting revival is the motivation of leaders and people in passionate pursuit. There has been a generational limit, it seems.

06:14 05Oct12 MZ -
I didn't see the Olympic closing ceremony and reading this article, am glad I missed it. Thank you for pointing out the influence of western culture on the rest of the world. As a missionary in Asia the past 15 years, my heart has been broken to see this reality. I worked in Indonesia for ten years and saw how the values of a nation they consider 'Christian' caused Muslim youth to dress provocatively, etc. Muslims and Hindus in the East equate Christianity with these kind of values. Let's press in for revival that sets the Church apart as holy to the Lord in a way that can't be denied!

  -- Dr Juster replies: The United States, sadly, has become a bad cultural witness in many areas.

07:48 05Oct12 Frank -
The opening ceremonies at the London Olympics also missed the point of what made the United Kingdom great. Missing also was a tribute to the British Navy & as you put it, "Yes, the British engaged in a program of harsh colonialism, but they also brought the Christian faith and a vision of human rights and dignity across the globe." Instead the highlight of the opening ceremony seemed to be a tribute to the UK's program of socialized medicine rather than free market capitalism, innovation & Biblically based law & order. My whole family was very disappointed in the opening ceremonies & we did not watch much of the Olympic games & we skipped the closing ceremonies ... & I see we didn't miss much at the end. Sorry to hear they refused to give a tribute to the fallen Israeli athletes in Munich.

As a retired physician in the USA, I came into contact with many MDs that moved to the USA to practice medicine from Canada, the UK & India (all part of the former British Empire) to escape socialized medicine. Sadly, the USA is following the example of the failed system so many MDs wanted to avoid.

  -- Dr Juster replies: It seems so sad that the West has abandoned the good things in Western heritage. Let's indeed hope for a revival. Let's pray for it indeed.

08:05 05Oct12 Lena -
I found the closing ceremony very distasteful. Not being a TV fan I did not watch further.

08:26 05Oct12 Christine Tranchell -
Years ago I remember hearing a prophetic word about England. The part I remember was that "England would be saved by praying women." Seems truer than when I first heard it.

  -- Dr Juster replies: Yes, the praying women may be the key.

11:31 05Oct12 Patrick -
This is exactly what is going on today. I live in East London just 1.5 miles from the Olympic site originally built on a wasted place (including a cemetery !!! you can imagine the rest ... a spirit of death, darkness was moving above the site ... ). I think that the fight has to start on the ground of "violent worship" raising a huge army proclaiming the glory of the Messiah and Adonai and letting heavens joining the earth by this worship with angels descending and going up ministering to us because our worship is a sample of what it will be in heaven. We have to be "spiritual cleaners" to allow then access to lost people to come to those who worship with the spirit of life and freedom for the captives. It's not by pure coincidence that Jerusalem will be THE "place of eternal WORSHIP" ... That&039;s just the beginning ... the gates of hell are going to tremble like never before. To achieve this we need to join in worship Jews and non-Jews together to be more powerful and progressively the messianic Jews will take back the place they have lost before the terrible decision to separate the first believers (the messianic from the book of "miraculous acts") due to Constantine: a fake Christian which was anti-Semite by creating Saturday vs Sunday worship. What an heresy !'

  -- Dr Juster replies: There is much in what you say - the pagan and atheist aspects are amazing.

15:16 05Oct12 Nathan Jacobus' -
I am glad that Dan wrote this article. Many did not see this and need to know these things.

16:33 05Oct12 Wayne Talbot -
Revival would be all very well provided we understand the revival of what? I am not sure that the Jesus movement of the 1970's was biblically based - some was just a variation of the pop movement. Empowerment in the Holy Spirit comes, I believe, from commitment to God's Word in Torah. Without that firm foundation, what guides the revival?

  -- Dr Juster replies: Many people came into the faith but discipleship was weak and they did not pass it on to most of their children

18:35 05Oct12 Joy Houghton-Brown -
As a British Christian I am sorry for the "Imagine" song sung at the closing Olympic ceremony and for the immoral behaviour of our singers. About 20,000 Christians met to pray, worship and repent last Saturday 26th September Wembley stadium and my prayer is that one day soon the Olympic stadium will be full of people worshipping the only worthy One Jesus. Please pray with us that God takes back this land and that revival sweeps across the UK just as the cross on the Union Jack sweeps across from every corner. This land and its ancient churches belong to Jesus. Please pray with us that the UK will stand with Israel.

07:02 06Oct12 Jacquelyn Bennett -
I didn't see the closing ceremonies, but I do appreciate Lennon's song. He makes a point. I think he reached outside the social box at the time he wrote it, which can be helpful. The thing that grieves me the most these day is the tremendous support and push for gay acceptance. I hold my ground on that one, and it amazes me that even my kids fight me on that issue. Traditional marriage rocks!

  -- Dr Juster replies: Well, who can disagree with the part that looks for world peace and that all would be brothers (and sisters). Yet to base this on atheism is a real problem. We simply have to base all on the Word of God and not our culture. There is really no good case in a biblical context for homosexual relationships, of course.

00:29 12Oct12 Carolie Patton -
I know this may be a simplistic evaluation, but I believe the Christian community has put more emphasis on experience than on having faith in the Word of God. Experience is wonderful and encouraging, but it won't save you. You can't stand on experience - only on the Word of God! It's the living Word of God that has carried me through my 40 year journey not my experiences in those years.

Also in this issue of the newsletter:
Marty Shoub: You Still Have Too Many Men
David: Sword of the Lord
Ariel Blumenthal: Summer in China