On Saturday evening, my wife and I had a blast with another couple at a Beatles concert. Hundreds of people from all ages gathered to sing along to the classic hits by the Fab Four.
The outdoor event took place one day after what would have been John Lennon's 75th birthday—can you imagine? Imagine him as a senior citizen! It is interesting to note that Lennon's most memorable song "Imagine" is still listed by Rolling Stone magazine as the third-most important pop song of all time.
Lennon was assassinated by Mark David Chapman, who is now a born-again Christian in prison. His book The Man Who Shot John Lennon tells his incredible story as he proclaims, "My life is all about Jesus now!"
Weeklong celebrations of Lennon's birthday are underway. His widow, Yoko Ono, held a rally to form history's largest human peace symbol as she encouraged everyone, "Just start thinking peace."
Radio stations nationwide are highlighting his songs like "Give Peace a Chance" and "All You Need is Love," while a traveling exhibit of his artwork goes to cities. On Dec. 8, commemorating the 35th anniversary of his death, the "Imagine Peace" tower in one locality will beam the message in 24 languages.
Lennon portrayed himself as a "dreamer" committed to fundamentally transform the world. He may have been sincere, but when you examine his beliefs, he wasn't always grounded in reality.
At one time, Lennon stated: "Christianity will go. It will vanish." He continued by saying that his band was "more popular than Jesus Christ."
Lyrics from "Imagine" argued that we should discard religion and anything transcendent above or below. "Imagine ... No religion too./Imagine all the people living in peace ... You may say I'm a dreamer/but I'm not the only one/I hope someday you'll join us/and the world will be as one!"
Lennon's cynicism may have come from a youth experience where he was banned from his parish church for laughing out loud during the sermon. A possible awakening may have come the year of his death as revealed in his own words, "I'm a most religious fellow. ... I was brought up a Christian and only now understand some of the things Christ was saying in those parables."
Let us hope that in his final moments John repented and put his trust in Jesus. Regardless, according to the Bible, he discovered an afterlife where what he sang about, "No hell below us. Above us only sky," was patently untrue.
Similarities With Barack Obama
As I have prayed daily for and followed carefully the career of President Obama, I'm convinced that he also is a "dreamer" intent on "fundamentally transforming" (his words) our world. Like Lennon, unfortunately he is not always grounded in reality.
He believes in the unscriptural inherent goodness of man. He thinks if we ignore certain evil realities, partner with enemies and promote peace by highlighting and apologizing for our mistakes, "the world will be as one."
It's one thing to be a rock star composing idealistic, sentimental songs that generate controversy, crowds and cash. It's another thing to be a nation's leader, waxing eloquent making lofty speeches ("We'll usher in a new era of peace"... and this is "the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal") stirring people about some Utopian society that really is unattainable this side of eternity. We cannot afford misguided leaders making reckless decisions that jeopardize our national security and future generations.
Here's the deal: While almost everyone wants peace, the fact is, there will never be universal peace on earth until the "Prince of Peace" returns and establishes it. In the meantime, we "pursue peace" but must be vigilant to safeguard our national interests by peace through strength.
In 2009, President Obama gave a speech in Cairo quoting the Quran and proclaiming the dream of "a new beginning between United States and Muslims around the world."
Withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq, he declared: "We are leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq!"
He heralded a "reset" with Russia and went on to promise reductions in military forces and our nuclear arsenal to show our peacekeeping intentions. He applauded a Muslim Brotherhood leader in Egypt (now overthrown and on death row) amid an "Arab Spring" and celebrated "a new democratic Libya" as he withdrew our forces.
And against the counsel of all his senior military leaders, he said we'd pull out our forces from Afghanistan and ignore the plea for a strong, peacekeeping transitional nucleus.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came to America and pleaded with Congress to stand with our closest ally and the one democratic nation in the Middle East. Despite Iranian promises and threats to "wipe Israel off the map," our president celebrated a "nuclear deal" only a delusional dreamer could imagine.
Refusing to identify the enemy as Islamic jihadis, President Obama soft-pedaled them as "JVs" involved in "random violence." A military massacre was "workplace violence" and four Americans killed in Benghazi was not due to Islamic terrorism but rather a spontaneous demonstration that got out of hand, provoked unfortunately by some offensive video.
Mr. Obama's attempts at appeasing enemies and apologizing for America are products of a fantasy-land worldview. His quest "to find effective partners—not just in Iraq, but in Syria and Yemen and in Libya" was supposed to "create the international coalition and atmosphere in which people across sectarian lines are willing to compromise and are willing to work together in order to provide the next-generation a fighting chance for a better future."
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