5 Apr, 2022 16:18
The move is announced as China poses a “systemic challenge to security,” according to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg
© AFP / EMMANUEL DUNAND
NATO plans to deepen its cooperation with partners in Asia as a response to a rising “security challenge” coming from China, which refuses to condemn Russia’s ongoing military operation in Ukraine, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said during a press conference on Tuesday.
He announced that the bloc will host foreign ministers from member states as well as Finland, Sweden, Georgia, and the EU. However, he also noted that NATO’s Asia-Pacific partners such as Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and South Korea have been invited as well, stating that the current security crisis has “global implications.”
The wide diversity of belief in the Protestant churches is regarded by many as decisive proof that no effort to secure a forced uniformity can ever be made. But there has been for years, in churches of the Protestant faith, a strong and growing sentiment in favor of a union based upon common points of doctrine. To secure such a union, the discussion of subjects upon which all were not agreed—however important they might be from a Bible standpoint—must necessarily be waived.
Charles Beecher, in a sermon in the year 1846, declared that the ministry of “the evangelical Protestant denominations” is “not only formed all the way up under a tremendous pressure of merely human fear, but they live, and move, and breathe in a state of things radically corrupt, and appealing every hour to every baser element of their nature to hush up the truth, and bow the knee to the power of apostasy. Was not this the way things went with Rome? Are we not living her life over again? And what do we see just ahead? Another general council! A world’s convention! Evangelical alliance, and universal creed!”—Sermon on “The Bible a Sufficient Creed,” delivered at Fort Wayne, Indiana, Feb. 22, 1846. When this shall be gained, then, in the effort to secure complete uniformity, it will be only a step to the resort to force.
When the leading churches of the United States, uniting upon such points of doctrine as are held by them in common, shall influence the state to enforce their decrees and to sustain their institutions, then Protestant America will have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy, and the infliction of civil penalties upon dissenters will inevitably result.
The beast with two horns “causeth commands all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Revelation 13:16, 17. The third angel’s warning is: “If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God.” “The beast” mentioned in this message, whose worship is enforced by the two-horned beast, is the first, or leopardlike beast of Revelation 13—the papacy. The “image to the beast” represents that form of apostate Protestantism which will be developed when the Protestant churches shall seek the aid of the civil power for the enforcement of their dogmas. The “mark of the beast” still remains to be defined GC 444.2 – GC 445.2
The ministers will discuss new strategic concepts which will account for the military conflict in Ukraine, but will also include for the first time the issue of China’s “growing influence and coercive policies on the global stage which pose a systemic challenge to our security and to our democracies.”
He sent messengers therefore unto Balaam the son of Beor to Pethor, which is by the river of the land of the children of his people, to call him, saying, Behold, there is a people come out from Egypt: behold, they cover the face of the earth, and they abide over against me:Numbers:22:5And Haman said unto king Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep they the king’s laws: therefore it is not for the king’s profit to suffer them. Esther:3:8For they speak not peace: but they devise deceitful matters against them that are quiet in the land.
“We see that China has been unwilling to condemn Russia’s aggression and has joined Moscow in questioning the right of nations to choose their own path,” said Stoltenberg, urging that democracies must stand up for their values against “authoritarian powers.”
He expressed hope that NATO would be able to deepen its cooperation with its Asia-Pacific partners in areas such as “arms control, cyber, hybrid and technology.”
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
Since the start of Russia’s military offensive against Ukraine, Beijing has held off on taking a particular stance on the issue, calling for a peaceful resolution to the conflict but refusing to condemn Moscow’s actions or join the sweeping economic sanctions imposed on Russia by the likes of the US, Canada, the UK, the EU, Japan, Australia, and other nations.
For the last few weeks, the US has increasingly been putting more pressure on China to “pick a side,” with Joe Biden warning Beijing of potential “consequences” and “costs” should China choose to back Russia in the Ukraine conflict, either militarily or by helping circumvent international sanctions.
Moscow attacked its neighbor in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements signed in 2014, and Russia’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics in Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French brokered protocols had been designed to regularize the status of those regions within the Ukrainian state.
Russia has now demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.
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