Originally published in Charisma News
Eagles Wings founder and director Bishop Robert Stearns and his family spent five days in Israel earlier this month, including October 7. That was the day when an early-morning brutal surprise attack rocked Jerusalem and saw hundreds of innocent Israelis die.
A few days after he and his family returned to the United States, however, Stearns, who has been doing Israel-connected ministry for what will be 30 years in 2024, said he never felt more in danger than when he stood in the middle of Times Square in New York City. There on American soil, he feared for his life.
That’s the day when a throng of individuals — a group that filled an area three full city blocks in size around one of the most famous areas of the most famous city in the world — cheered on the terrorist organisation Hamas. They rallied to support a group of people who only days before beheaded dozens of Israeli babies, burned other Israelis alive and took about 200 hostages, including some Americans.
“When we got to New York City and to JFK Airport, we felt like: ‘Whew, we’re safe, we’re home,” Stearns tells Charisma News in a recent interview. “And then I got a text from a friend saying there was going to be a pro-Hamas rally in Times Square the next day. I thought: ‘Now how does anyone hold a rally that would support Hamas after what they’ve done?’
“There is a thing called evil, and you don’t negotiate with evil,” he says. “I thought that I would go to the rally and share the truth of Christ with those who would listen. It’s in our own backyard in New York City, so it should be fine. But there were thousands of pro-Hamas supporters there, and they were all chanting, ‘Death to Israel; death to America.’ Hamas, in their legal charter, openly calls for the destruction of the state of Israel. They are not there for the creation of a Palestinian state. They are not there to compromise or build for a better future for humanity. They are there to kill. And in our nation, in Times Square, [people] were there in support of this evil.
“Two days later, I got a call from the governor’s office, Gov Kathy Hochul,” he continues. “They said the governor was coming to Buffalo for a private meeting. The governor asked if I could come to this meeting. I shared this story that I’m sharing with you.
“I said, Gov Hochul, with all due respect, I felt safer in Jerusalem with the bombs going exploding overhead than I felt standing in Times Square,” Stearns says. “I’m a lifelong New Yorker. I felt safer in Jerusalem than in New York City because they are not in denial about the reality of the problem and they are not confused with what is at stake.”
Stearns said it took a friend to help he and his family “escape” Israel through Aman, Jordan, in what he called a “harrowing” experience.
In speaking to Calvary Assembly during its regular service in Orlando on Sunday, he pointed to the younger generations’ consciousness of social justice, which he said is needed and valid.
But Stearns says we must also get our facts straight because social justice can be twisted into something “very, very backwards,” as in what is happening now with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Pro-Hamas demonstrations have been held globally including across the US in cities like New York, Chicago, Tampa, Syracuse, Philadelphia, Anaheim, Atlanta and Washington, DC.
More than 100 000 people turned out in London late last week for a pro-Palestinian rally.
All Israel News reported that secular media outlets such as MSNBC and CNN are constantly spreading false narratives about Israel. Columnist Dr Michael Brown reported last week about the “mythical” Israeli bombing of a Gaza hospital.
“All of a sudden, you can make the oppressed into the oppressor,” Stearns says. “You have to know your facts. You need to know the truth of what is happening. We have to lift our eyes from this thing we call denial. Golda Meir, the first woman prime minister of the state of Israel, said: ‘You can’t negotiate with people who have come to kill you. You can negotiate if you’re trying to build a state or live in peace or if you’re trying to build forward a better place for humanity.’
“Israel left Gaza a long time ago,” Stearns says. “A beautiful city could have been built, with billions in American taxpayer money. What did they do? They chose to spend it on 50 000 rockets that have fallen on Israel day and night. You say: ‘Bishop, you’re getting political.’ No, I’m not getting political; I’m getting biblical. …
“The Palestinian people deserve to live in peace, with a hope for the future,” he adds. “But they have to put aside hatred, this blind ideology by the way they’ve been brainwashed. We have the problem for three or four decades through the school systems of brainwashing these young people, so now you’ve got a brainwashed society.”
Stearns says believers must lift up their heads in the midst of the battle because God is a good Father. They must lift their heads from distraction and to make a decision to be less focused on pleasure and entertainment and prepare themselves as soldiers for the end-times battle that we are now in.
The battle is happening in a place that doesn’t matter much to many Americans, but it still affects them greatly.
“We are living in a moment where all of us are going to have to be fully-declared disciples of Jesus,” Stearns says. “What can you do right now to bless and help Israel? Do this: This tiny thing will change the world. Pray over your meal and then add this line: ‘God, we pray for the peace of Jerusalem.’
“You will come into agreement with Psalm 126, and you know what will happen when you do that?” he asks. “You will start to pay more attention, and you’re going to tune into what’s happening with Jerusalem. Your kids are going to hear you praying for Jerusalem, your grandkids.
“And make sure you get into a church that completely stands with Israel,” Stearns says. “School yourself on replacement theology. I challenge people to talk to their senior pastor and ask if your church stands with Israel and the Jewish people. If it doesn’t, then you need to find a new church and get into one that is not susceptible to antichrist spirit because many churches are already on their way to an antichrist mentality.”
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