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How The Penn State University Child Molestation Case Demonstrates The Existence Of God

Posted by Job on November 11, 2011

Make no mistake friends, God exists. God is real. Should you countenance thoughts otherwise, this case involving Jerry Sandusky and his committing unspeakable crimes of violation against a number of young boys proves it. This case demonstrates the existence of God by demonstrating the existence of evil. Now of course, evil is not some deity that is the opposite of God who contests God, as dualistic religions and philosophies propose. Neither is evil some force (whether personal or impersonal) as again some religions or philosophies claim, i.e. the “karma” of eastern religions and the New Age ideas that influence them. Instead, Gotquestions.org (a Christian ministry) provides a very suitable Bible-based definition:

A dictionary definition of evil is “morally reprehensible, sinful, wicked.” The definition of evil in the Bible falls into two categories: evil against one another (murder, theft, adultery) and evil against God (unbelief, idolatry, blasphemy). From the prohibition against eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:9), to the destruction of Babylon the Great, the embodiment of evil to come (Revelation 18:2), the Bible speaks of evil.

So allow it to be said, from a reverse-logic standpoint, that because evil exists – as the Bible clearly bears witness of – then God must necessarily exist also. Moreover, God must exist as the answer to evil, the one who defeats evil, which the Bible also bears witness of. Great, unspeakable, incomprehensible craven crimes against the innocent is evidence of the existence of evil, evidence of a great problem with our existence that must be overcome lest we be destroyed by it, and evidence of a solution to this pressing existential problem and threat that only God can provide. If there is nothing more powerful than evil save God, then God must exist. It is said that love is more powerful than evil. This is so, and the Bible bears witness that God is love and that God is loving.
‘Tis tempting to deny that the actions of Jerry Sandusky were in fact attributable to evil, which one might accuse of being some abstract idea. Instead, one can propose a more rational, reasonable scientific root cause: that Sandusky is simply disturbed, one possessing an abnormal brain biology or chemistry that causes him to both have abnormal urges and be unable to restrain himself from acting on them; that indeed he might have an inability to discern or respond to reality. Legitimate medical science has proven that such is the case with a number of people, indeed those that have committed monstrous crimes against individuals and humanity. And yes, the problem of evil must be explained in such a way that deals with cases as these, just as explanations are needed for such things as natural disasters, epidemics, and stillborn children that lack an identifiable human villain, antagonist or cause.

But in this case, one not need to consider (solely) Jerry Sandusky when it comes to evil. Instead, we have other figures with regards to this case such as Mike McQueary, Joe Paterno, and many other figures at Penn State University and the surrounding community who had knowledge of the crimes of Sandusky for many years and failed to act in a manner that would have punished the guilty and protected the innocent. These figures chose not to act because of the wealth, power and prestige associated with college athletics, in particular Pennsylvania State University football. 1 Titus 6:10 says “For the love of money is the root of all evil!” At other points in the Bible, the contrast between mammon – the desire for money, power and privilege – and the things of God are given, as are the people who seek the former verses the latter. Thus, even if we deny that Sandusky is evil, then the actions of those who chose not to act in the interests of those that Sandusky victimized and to protect him from committing further harm most certainly was! So the monstrous behavior associated with this case was clearly evil, and evil on this scale demonstrates the need for one with the power and desire to defeat it, and this need can be met only by God.

If God hates and can overcome evil, why does He suffer its existence in the first place? The reason is that the existence of evil was the cost of accomplishing creation. Only God is perfect, containing perfect power, knowledge and righteousness. Thus, anything and everything that is not God will inevitably come to a state of imperfection, and this imperfection is either evil itself, or allows for evil events to occur. So, though creation was not evil at the time that God finished it, creation did what was inevitable, which was lapse into an imperfect, evil state.

The Bible describes this occurring both with Satan in Ezekiel 28:13-19 and Isaiah 14:12-17, and with Adam in Genesis 2-3. The Bible states that both Adam and Satan were created perfect (see Genesis 1:27 and Genesis 1:31 concerning Adam and Ezekiel 28:15 concerning Satan) but that they both abandoned that perfect state of their own accord, through no fault or action of God and without being attributable to any flaw or defect in their making or original condition. God did not create evil, but instead evil was the inevitable result of creation. As God did not cause or force the actions of Adam or Satan, being responsible for creation does not make God responsible for the evil in creation.

That creates the question: if God knows all things, then He knew that His creation would lapse into imperfection and that evil would result. This means that God was willing to allow the existence of evil. Why, then, did God allow the existence of evil, even if He is not to be blamed for evil? The answer is this: God allowed the existence of evil in order to accomplish a greater good: for the glory of His Son. 1 Colossians 1:16 states that all creation was done according to the will of God the Father for God the Son. For God the Father to glorify, honor and please God the Son was the greater good that was accomplished by suffering the existence of evil. This can be put into better perspective when one realizes that though evil will only exist for a time, the exaltation of God’s Son that came as a result of creation will last forever!

It is easy to doubt and mock and say “God was willing to allow the existence of evil because it cost Him and His Son nothing; that His creation that He claims to love – including sentient human beings – had to bear all the negative costs and effects.” Now be not deceived: even were this so, it would be perfectly appropriate and within God’s rights, being that He is the sole Owner and Master of whatever He chooses to create for whatever purposes He chooses to create it. However, it should be said that this is not so! Again, it is not so that creation alone must bear the negative effects of evil; that God kept Himself unaffected and unscathed by such horrible events as what Mike McQueary saw being done to a juvenile boy by Jerry Sandusky yet refused to intervene to save the juvenile, though being a 27 year old former football player he certainly had the ability to. Instead, though He was by no means obligated or required to, God demonstrated the legitimacy and the extent of His love for creation by giving up the very Son for whose glory creation was accomplished in the first place to die on a cross!

You see, the existence of evil in creation was no mere set of bad facts. Instead, it was a situation that required a remedy. It created a debt that had to be paid. It was a crime for which something had to be punished. God could have remedied the situation by simply destroying creation, all of it, forever. But instead, God chose to have His Son, totally innocent and blameless of all imperfection and evil, provide the remedy by paying the debt, by taking on all the punishment upon Himself. God’s Son, Jesus Christ, did this by dying on a cross in place of creation. By paying this debt, this allowed creation – or some part of it anyway – to remain forever for the joy and happiness of God’s Son – who was resurrected from the dead – and as this same Son of God is forever the joy and happiness of His Father, this state of affairs is certainly appropriate. Thus, the logic of the greater good of allowing evil to exist for a time for the joy of God the Son and God the Father for an eternity becomes explicit, apparent and utterly reasonable. Suffering the existence of evil was a great price, but one that God was willing to pay with the blood of His own Son. Far from being the “cosmic child abuse” that some doubters propose, the truth is that God’s Son – also divine and one with His Father and with His Father’s Spirit – is a willing participant, is manifestly pleased with the arrangement, and benefit to Him (and His Father) far outlasts and exceeds (in value and duration) the very real and significant loss.

So whenever you learn of – or experience – any great evil, though you may and should mourn it, always remember: the occurrence of this evil does manage to powerfully demonstrate that God exists. So, remember that the God who does exists has already paid the price of evil – through His own Son on a cross – and will one day put an end to all evil forever. God’s creation will endure, but the evil will not. This does leave one final pressing issue: your fate. Will you be part of the creation that endures forever, providing joy and delight to God’s Son while receiving great benefits from this existence (and absent any and all negative effects or considerations) yourself? Or will you be included in the portion of creation that is destroyed when all evil is destroyed? The answer to this is simple: if you renounce and turn away from all of the evil that you have done and thereby represent and believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died to pay the debt incurred by your evil and was resurrected from the dead, then you will be among the portion of creation that remains. Otherwise, you will be among the portion of creation that is destroyed. (As time will no longer exists – for time is part of creation – the process of your destruction will take place in eternity and last for an eternity.)

For make no mistake, even if you had no part in this incident, we have all committed evil, if not according to our own standards, according to God’s standards. Though the debt incurred by your evil actions has already been paid for by Jesus Christ, the Bible makes it clear that only those who renounce their evil actions and ways and believe in Jesus Christ will have their paid debt applied. It is the same as having won a contest, but having to go present yourself and your ticket to those running the contest to claim your prize. Though your debt has been paid, one has to renounce his evil actions and tendencies and believe in the Sonship, Lordship, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ to have that paid debt “applied to their accounts.” In order to further explain and assist you in this process, please click on “The Three Step Salvation Plan” link below, which contains information presented in both written and video form. I entreat and implore you to do so – to heed and believe – immediately. Thank you.

The Three Step Salvation Plan

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Posted in abomination, Apologetics, atheism, Bible, child abuse, child molestation, Christianity, education, homosexuality, humanism, idolatry, mammon, religion, sex crime, sex demon, sexual exploitation, sexual violence, skepticism, societal decline, sodomy, sports, Theodicy, Y'shua Hamashiach, Y'shua Hamashiach Moshiach, Yeshua Hamashiach | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

John MacArthur: The Modern Blasphemy Of The Holy Spirit

Posted by Job on November 11, 2011

http://gty.org

Posted in abomination, Bible, blasphemy, blasphemy Holy Ghost, blasphemy Holy Spirit, Christianity, faith, false doctrine, false religion, false teaching, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, religion, Ruach Hakadosh | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

The Homosexuality Double Standard

Posted by Job on June 17, 2011

A common tactic of the so-called “gay rights movement” is to claim that Christians who oppose the sin of homosexuality are motivated by hate and bias (or at best antiquated cultural/traditional norms) as opposed to a desire to love God by adhering to the Bible is the idea that the Bible teaches that all sins are equal. So, if all sins are equal, then why the disproportionate emphasis on homosexuality? The thinking goes: you don’t see Christians condemning gossips, the covetous, or the gluttons, so since “all sins are equal”, the only reason for emphasizing homosexuality is homophobia!

First, this missive is not intended to minimize or mitigate any sin. For example, anyone who would take the position that I am soft on gossips can simply read Proverb 18:21 – Death And Life Are In The Power Of The Tongue! (A perusal of my archives would also reveal my attitudes towards corporate greed, war, patriotism, hatred of the poor, and other frequent stumblingblocks of modern political conservatives, many of whom are also religious conservatives.) Second, this is also not intended to defend or support those who actually do hate homosexuals and use the Bible to justify it, or those who have flawed, un-Biblical doctrines on this matter. But let it be known: the popular idea that “all sins are equal” is wrong. That such an erroneous belief has wedded itself into conservative (i.e. evangelical and fundamental) Christianity, even amongst experienced pastors and learned theologians is shocking. The truth is that one only needs to be familiar with the Westminster Larger Catechism! (These specific questions and answers appear in part 2.)

Question 150: Are all transgressions of the law of God equally heinous in themselves, and in the sight of God?

Answer: All transgressions of the law of God are not equally heinous; but some sins in themselves, and by reason of several aggravations, are more heinous in the sight of God than others.

Now two things. First, this historic Christian document does not deny that all sin, whether small or great, merits the same reward, which is an eternity in the lake of fire.

Question 152: What does every sin deserve at the hands of God?

Answer: Every sin, even the least, being against the sovereignty, goodness, and holiness of God, and against his righteous law, deserves his wrath and curse, both in this life, and that which is to come; and cannot be expiated but by the blood of Christ.

Second, and more important, the Westminster Catechism’s position that all sins are not equal is not the doctrines of man, but is the doctrine of Jesus Christ! The chief proof text used for this catechism point: John 19:11. “Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.” Now this does not merely mean “has committed” the greater sin, but the Greek word translated “hath”, echo, means “own”, or “possess” or “be closely joined to” or in a sense “to be.” So, not only is it possible to commit a greater sin, but to own it, possess it, to be joined to it, or to be defined by it, to be called by its name! And lest we be accused of taking this verse out of context, other proof texts are supplied, see Ezekiel 8:6, 13, 15; 1 John 5:16 (the sin unto death), and Psalm 78:17, 32, 56. To this Confession’s list can be added Matthew 12:31 and Mark 3:29, again the words of Jesus Christ that refer to blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. So, obviously, the crimes of betraying Jesus Christ (Judas Iscariot) and of attributing His miracles to the power of Satan (certain of His accusers) and of sending Him to be killed (the Sanhedrin) were worse than shoplifting. Rest assured, the fact that so many Christians adhere to this false belief shows how frightening indeed it is that more people are getting their theology from VeggieTales than catechisms! (Not singling out VeggieTales – at least not right now despite their advocacy of religious pluralism in their Jonah movie, and allegorically depicting Satan as Jesus Christ’s brother in their other movie – or being slavish to catechisms as using it to illustrate the point that so many Christians now rely on “pop Christianity” rather than a serious examination of the faith.)

So, since the idea that it is Christians with the double standard since “all sins are equal” is the one that is demonstrably false because clearly all sins are not equal, there is the REAL double standard, which is how gay rights advocates elevate their esteem of homosexuals above other sinners! An excellent example of this is the column by Southern Baptist pastor (?!?!) Jonathan Merritt in USA Today called Love the Sinner. Now while some Christians – though not nearly so many as claimed – are indeed guilty of a Biblically unbalanced treatment of the homosexuality issue, that does not compare to the far greater percentage of gay rights advocates who extol, glorify and exalt homosexuals as Merritt does in that article! Now again, if “all sins are equal” then where are the people commanding us to love adulterers? After all, it is the same general area – sexual immorality – right? Why all the love for homosexuals and none for the heterosexual adulterers?

But let’s not stop there. Since we are loving homosexuals, what about similar demands that we show love to those into bestiality? All sins are equal, right, so why not? Or what about statutory rapists (presuming that the underage party is consensual)? Why withhold the love from them? And to get away from the sexual sin issue, how about love for the robber barons, the greedy corporate profiteers who run oil companies, tobacco companies, and make weapons for the military? The unethical bankers that destroyed the economy in the 1920s, the 1980s and caused this current recession, or the chemical companies that are destroying the environment? Any sacrificial love for them?

Further still, if the rationale is “all sins are equal”, what about child molesters? Rapists? Thieves? Murderers? Terrorists? White supremacists? War criminals? And so on. No lovers for people like that? Why not? This is why: it is because they don’t believe that homosexuality is sin. In this I am not merely speaking of Merritt, who in his column rejects the idea that homosexual behavior is a choice, and also makes the “as sin is missing the mark, we are all sinners, so instead of rejecting those who choose not to obey Jesus Christ, let us show love to all sinners as Jesus Christ did” bad theology (incidentally, the Jesus Christ that Jonathan Merritt presents IS NOT the one who frequently rebuked and castigated people, including at one point telling an entire crowd that they were the children of Satan!) but a widespread attitude that it is only really a sin if “it hurts somebody” (i.e. theft, rape or murder) or if “society” says that it is wrong (i.e. bestiality). If it is a crime against a person it is horrible. If it is a crime against society, it is terrible. But if it is a crime against God, well then “we are all sinners!”

In this view – and how increasingly common is this view in even evangelical and fundamental Christianity! – what matters is the harm or offense done to man, not a holy righteous God. Man-centered theology! And if the center, the emphasis, is on the creature instead of the Creator, what is the justification for withholding something from man, so long as that “something” doesn’t hurt anybody else and does not vex contemporary mores, whatever they might be? In that context, it is a greater sin to begrudging a homosexual’s desire to experience pleasure than it is for the homosexual to indulge in said pleasure because the former is against man, and the latter is “only” against God. Moreover, it is all about our “feelings.” We “feel” more love for the homosexual than we do for the military-industrial complex CEO or for the neo-Nazi skinhead (or even for the Christian who actually takes the Bible seriously!) so that is what counts!

It is entirely consistent with the worldview that man is the measure of all things. All one has to do to reconcile the humanist worldview with a superficial (and false) reading of the Bible is to come to the conclusion that “all sins are equal before God”, which allows you to define the sins that are “really bad” based on your feelings. It makes you the judge of men (for these folks have no problem judging Christians who have a Biblical view of homosexuality as hateful bigots!) as opposed to God and the Bible that God inspired. But though it is inconsistent, it is still a double-standard.

Please realize that God knows no double standard in His judgment, but relies on a consistent standard, see Acts 10:34. It is equally true that no man was ever able to meet God standard but Jesus Christ, who met it by virtue of being fully God in addition to fully man. Therefore, only those who believe in Jesus Christ and have faith in what He did to them will be considered to have met God’s standard, and this will be by the righteousness of Jesus Christ being freely given to those who believe in Him. However, faith in Jesus Christ is not on our terms, for that is not true faith. Instead, God is God, the sovereign King and ruler, so we must meet His terms! So, no superficial declarations of faith with agendas or strings attached will do. Instead, God only accepts those who truly repent of – meaning turn from our renounce – their sins and believe that His Son paid for and defeated those sins with His death on the cross and His resurrection. So, do not live according to a double standard, no matter the sin or the issue. Instead, have Jesus Christ meet God’s standard on your behalf, and so so immediately!

Follow The Three Step Salvation Plan!

Posted in abomination, Bible, Christianity, false doctrine, false teaching, hate speech, heresy, homophobia, homosexuality, Jesus Christ, religious right | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

The Salvation By Works Manifesto

Posted by Job on May 3, 2011

I, a person who wishes to be justified by works always, desires to A) receive credit for the good that I do while B) exempt responsibility for the evil that I do. The “good” that I do? That is all me, done within myself out of the goodness of mine own heart, or at least the good sense to choose heaven over eternal damnation. At the very most, God provided a good example, or a means, for me to express my inherent goodness.

But the evil that I do? Well, first of all, mys evil works are VERY exaggerated. And who are you to speak of my evil works in the first place. That is JUDGING. That is self-righteous phariseeism. Judge not lest ye be judged! Take the log out of your own eye before worrying about the speck in mine! Let he who is without sin cast the first stone!

Besides, it isn’t as if I have HURT anybody. Or even if I did … there were extenuating circumstances! And she had it coming! What about what SHE did to me! Who cares about what I have been through? About MY feelings? About MY pain? In light of those things, who are YOU or anyone else to tell ME to go and sin no more? Or to stop sinning or else an even worse thing will happen to me? I know that I am a good person!

How do I know this? Well, I evaluated myself on my own scale that I built for myself that fits only me. If I put YOU on that scale, then YOU will be found wanting, because I am all to aware of YOUR sin. But when I am on it, my faults are minimized and my faults are glorified! Right?

And I am no innovator, here. Instead, the instructions for building this scale has been transmitted down through the generations. It came to me from Eve herself. When Satan told Eve that if she were to eat from the forbidden tree, then she would be as God, knowing good from evil. Well, it was based on my own personal knowledge of good and evil obtained through my own self-will that I constructed this scale.

After all, it is not as if I am a partaker in this “original sin” business. You see, I am basically, intrinsically good. That is why I am justified by my works. All of my good works are mine, and Jesus Christ came to shine the light on my good works, so that all the world would know that my ways are good. That was why Jesus Christ did not die in my place. No, Jesus Christ died as my moral example, as my role model! I am in Christ and identified with Christ, but only in purpose and example. I do not need to die to self daily, or to be crucified with Christ, buried with Christ and resurrected with Christ because I have no indwelling sin identity or nature. I have no old man. I have no “flesh.” Those things that Paul and the New Testament writers spoke of were mere literary metaphors and figures of speech of that day. After all, haven’t you been acquainted with “the new perspective on Paul”?

So, my sins are not truly “sins” at all. They are just mistakes, errors, lapses in judgment, that result in not any lack of sanctification, but instead a lack of good moral and religious training and application. In this sense, I suppose, it can be said that when I sin, “the devil made me do it.”

And my sins are only against myself and against other people. I am perfectly capable of forgiving myself, atoning for myself, and the people that I have hurt are simply whining, complaining, and need to learn how to forgive lest they go about in their own personal hells, torments of their own creation. The idea that my sins are against a holy, perfect God? I am not acquainted with such things. Aren’t you aware that the leading theologians and homileticians of the day have convincingly defined sin as a societal problem, a social ill? Leading figures in psychology, psychiatry, medicine, economics, government, physics etc. all agree, and how can this faith that you claim to have received from the saints stand against this overwhelming body of evidence? You say that it is the faith of the apostles, but the apostles were mere men, and the Bible was written by sinful men whose hope is in their works as was I. This thing about how the Bible is inerrant because it was co-written by the Holy Spirit, and can be uniformly, consistently interpreted and understood? Well, if that is true, then why are there so many Christian denominations?

And you have failed to grasp the greatest thing, the great genius and beauty of salvation by works. Who gets to define good works? I do. Who gets to define bad works? I do also! Sure, I do have guidance. I have the Bible, a treasure of moral instruction. I have my church, a stately institution that has endured for many an age. And I have my pastor and many exhorters, upright men and women all. All of those provide me with much insight as concerning good and evil. But from these sources, I can pick and choose as I please.

So, over the balance of my life, I can declare myself to be righteous. Because I have rejected the Bible’s claim that God is constantly watching me, evaluating my actions for good and evil, I am able to declare most of my deeds to be amoral, neither good or evil. You see, because I have rejected the Bible’s statements that God is evaluating my heart, and that my actions are the result of my heart, I am able to say that most things that I do, say and think are to no effect for good or evil. Most of them are merely passing time, chance occurrences and daily living, with no effect on anyone for good or ill. This is so because I declare it to be.

This is not to say that I never do good works. I do many such good works and deeds. What is it that makes these works good? Why my own evaluation of them as good. If I say that my works are good, then God is obliged to accept them. Do I not have the right to make this determination based on my knowledge of God from being made in the image of God? Does not the Bible say “ye are gods”?

I say the same regarding my evil works. I decide which of my works are evil according to my own value system. I also decide the severity of my evil works. I generally decide that positive number and positive value of my good works outweigh the negative number and value of my evil works. As a simple illustration, I do 5 good works a day and assign them 5 good points each, and I do 3 evil works a day and assign them 3 evil points each. This means that I daily come out ahead. This is how I examine myself to see whether I be in the faith. On the rare occurrences when my evil points outweigh my good ones, that is when I seek out a religious service of some sort, a pastor of some kind, who is capable of being my mediator before God and asking redress for my sin. I go before the altar and pray, I sing spiritual songs, I am extra generous at the offering plate, and I volunteer for some religious work of spiritual benefit, especially among the poor, the sick or children. That eases my guilty conscience and brings me back to a positive balance. Is that not the message of the epistle of James … faith without works is dead?

Do not be mistaken, I do have faith. I have faith that Jesus Christ makes my salvation by works possible. Jesus Christ made it possible for me to believe in myself! Is that not true religion, that which causes one to be true to oneself, to find oneself? Did not Jesus Christ come in order to teach and show me the true revelation of myself? Is not believing, serving and fearing one’s self, keeping one’s own commands, the whole duty of man? And is this not true righteousness, for does God not dwell with man, inside man, and man’s institutions? Did not God have respect for Abel’s offering because Abel had knowledge of himself, and rejected Cain’s offering because Cain lacked this enlightenment, this knowledge of self, this self-fulfillment that comes through salvation by works? Cain murdered his own brother! Clearly the mark on Cain was the mark of one lacking self-esteem! So, you see, if you could just learn to interpret the Bible correctly, you would see the message of justification and sanctification by good works everywhere! And it the same message attested and shared by the common witness of a great many world religions, great enlightened moral teachers (is that not what a prophet is, but someone who speaks in his own name of himself bearing witness of his own self-worth and enlightenment) like Muhammed, Buddha, Maimonides, Martin Luther King, Jr., Ghandi, Joseph Smith, the Dalai Lama and so many popes and saints. It has influenced so many movements, from the social gospel to the family values religious right. No matter your race, religion, ethnicity, nationality or creed, you have the power and authority to define your good works and be saved by them. Is that not “binding and loosing”?

I am not known by my works. I am known by my definition of my works. Through my own definition of my self by my own evaluation of my works, I learn to know myself according to my own system of knowledge. That is self-discovery, and that is the means and the end of salvation.

So, this is my manifesto.

Authored by ME
Signed by ME
Witnessed by ME
Attested by ME
Approved by ME
By the power and authority invested in ME
To the pleasure of ME
To the glory of ME

Posted in abomination, Bible, Christianity, false doctrine, false religion, false teaching, Jesus Christ, salvation, soteriology | Leave a Comment »

Christians Should Not Support The War On Terror

Posted by Job on April 1, 2011

On September 11th, Muslim men hi-jacked several airplanes and flew them into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and one of them crashed in rural Pennsylvania due to a passenger uprising that prevented it from hitting its target. This was only the second attack by Muslims on the World Trade Center, and followed a pattern of escalating violence by Muslims against our interests, such as bombing our embassies in Africa and an attack on the U.S.S. Cole.

Since these events, America has conducted military action against three Muslim nations –  Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya – while supporting military actions of other nations against some other Muslim nations, namely Ethiopia against Somalia. Further, America would have also attacked Iran by now were Iran not so strong militarily and economically, and may yet attack Iran also down the line if forced to.

So, we are in a war against Islam, correct? A thousand times no. No less than George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Barack Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton and a number of other people in positions of power have made it clear: this is not a war against Islam! Instead, it is a war against terrorism, or a war on terror. In other words, this is not a religious war – for the United States and its principle allies are secular – but an ideological war. So, the United States, and indeed a international community which now must necessarily include the United Nations thanks to their recent resolution authorizing military force in Libya, is committed to waging ideological warfare.

Make no mistake: the problem with Saddam Hussein, Usama bin Laden, Muammar Qadaffi, the Republic of Iran etc. is not that they are Muslims. If you want further evidence of that, witness Peter King’s hearings. Despite the claims of the liberals in the media otherwise, the target was not Muslims as a religion, or as a people or culture who are given over to this barbaric cult born of a demon who abused and entered into M0hammed. (Please note: Christians are to love our neighbors and our enemies, so the teachings of the sermon on the mount of Jesus Christ most certainly applies to our interactions with Muslims.) Instead, it was “radical” Muslims, meaning those who are “anti-American”, or “anti-western” or “anti-democracy.” (Please note: opposing Israel is just fine.)

One may wonder why Great Britain, our most reliable ally in going to warfare in the Middle East, cares about a bunch of anti-American Muslims. Or why the United Nations, which is weakening Iran with sanctions, did the same to Iraq, and now authorized military action against Libya, cares about being “anti-western.”  The answer: these things, especially being “anti-democracy”, are merely euphemisms, stand-ins, for opposing the new world order. That is why Abu Mazen, or Mahmoud Abbas, despite being a Muslim terrorist with the blood of innocent Jews on his hands and longtime member of the terrorist P.L.O., is not the target of a war on terror. This Abbas is the leader of a U.N. funded and supported Palestinian Authority, and oft states his desire to create a democracy in Palestine that will be pro-western and pro-United Nations, and a model for other Arab and Muslim regimes. That is why Abbas gets a blank check (both literally and figuratively) from the international community, and Qaddafi gets bombs. (And keep in mind: the international community, including the Bush administration, courted Qaddafi for years, including endorsing his plans to work to centralize the governments and militaries of Africa, before turning on him when he refused to step down in favor of a democratic government.)

So, if being a “terrorist” is not a function of A) your religion, B) your nationality, C) your culture, D) your own membership in a known terrorist organization that affiliates with other terror organizations and regimes and E) your own personal terrorist acts (again, all of which would indict Abbas) but is instead being one who opposes the prevailing worldly ideology, where does that leave Christians who adhere to a legitimate New Testament faith? Precisely.

Rather than going to war against Muslims, the goal is to get Muslims to join the U.N., to join NATO, to join the EU, to participate in these globalist concerns. Muslim Turkey, which persecutes Christians to the outrage of absolutely no one of influence, is very influential in the U.N., a member of NATO and will ultimately join the EU. Right now, a carrot or stick approach is being taken with the Muslim world. Join the emerging world order, and you get a carrot. Refuse, and you get a stick, and replaced with leaders who will take the carrot. Again, this is not a function of the Muslim faith, culture or proclivity to violent jihad. Instead, it is a function of the support for the coming global consensus.

As it is with Muslims, so will it soon be with Christians. Germany, who persecuted legitimate Christians during the reign of Hitler, is now jailing Christians who object to their wicked public education system. One family took their case to the EU on religious freedom grounds, and the EU sided with the German government. At least one African nation is now taking similar actions against Christian parents who homeschool, claiming that it violates the United Nation’s “rights of the child” treaty. Many other examples abound.

Make no mistake: one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. The day will come when being willing to publicly stand for the freedom from sin that comes from being a bondslave to Jesus Christ will cause you to be labeled a terrorist. This will not be merely because of the stands that Christianity takes against abortion, homosexuality and other moral/family issues. As the movie “The Time Changer” succinctly stated, Satan is not against good morals and values, but he is against Jesus Christ and His church, those who keep His commandments and bear His testimony.

Merely being a Christian will be a crime, whether you are a conservative culture warrior who pickets abortion clinics and hands out tracts at “gay pride” events, or a Christian who is relatively liberal on all points that do not transgress the Bible. And when that day comes, the terrorist will be the Christian, and the war will be against the Christian. These days will climax during the time of the great tribulation, when the anti-Christ will be given power to make war against the saints, and to overcome (most of) them. Many Christians will endure great tribulation, including a martyr’s death. Will you stand in those days?

So, Christian, knowing what the “war on terror” will ultimately lead to, how counterproductive is it, how worldly and revealing the lack of a mind renewed from it, would it be to support this abomination NOW? The answer is yours.

If you are not a Christian, make no mistake: being an enemy of the world and its wickedness is part of friendship with Jesus Christ. The good news is that this world and its wickedness will be destroyed and Jesus Christ and His saints will reign forever! You can be a part of this reign by repenting of your worldliness, your sins and:

Following The Three Step Salvation Plan!

Posted in abomination, anti - Christ, Bible, catholic, Christianity, church state, civil rights, endtimes, globalism, government, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Jesus Christ, Judaism, late great planet earth, Left Behind, man of sin, mark of the beast, Middle East peace process, Muslim, Muslim Brotherhood | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Does 2 Thessalonians 2:7 Teach A Rapture Or A Great Apostasy?

Posted by Job on March 30, 2011

This is in response to a most excellent comment. As the reply was getting lengthy, I decided to throw it out as a post.

2 Thessalonians 2:7 is cryptic, and likely purposefully so. My first opinion, based on this website, was that the King James Version’s rendering of  “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth [will let], until he be taken out of the way” was wrong, and I favored some of the other translations that had a softer, more passive rendering of ginomai ek (he be taken out of), including the New Living Translation (“steps out of the way”), the English Standard Version (“until he is out of the way”) and the International Standard Version (“gets out of the way”).  Then I saw that the Geneva Bible favored the King James Version’s rendering, and for that matter so does the NASB. Also, some of the Bibles that had alternate renderings, especially the International Standard Version, had problems, including being far too strong in their translating “arti“, translated to be  “he who now”, as “the person who now.”

So, as, I am not a Greek expert, and moreover those who are Greek experts would have fits with coming to a precise meaning of this text because of the ambiguous nature of it in the original language. A major problem is that there does not appear to be other Bible texts that deal with this precise topic, the one who restrains being removed from the way, that would aid us in coming to a more definite interpretation.

The solution is to try to interpret 2 Thessalonians 2:7 with other texts, including 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, and 1 John 2:18, 1 John 2:22,  1 John 4:3 and 2 John 1:7.

“Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.””Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.”

“Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.”

“And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that [spirit] of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.”

“For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.”

More texts in this general area would be helpful, but other than the references to the abomination of desolation that are more helpful to 2 Thessalonians 2:4 than to this text, I do not know these at this particular time. So, at this time I know of are the Johannine texts, which can be used to say that the mystery of iniquity of 2 Thessalonians 2:7 is the spirit of anti-Christ is that which denies Jesus Christ as He is pretended to us in the Bible. So, put 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 with the anti-Christ passages of 1 and 2 John, and you have a heretical movement that denies necessary doctrines concerning Jesus Christ taking over the church, and the anti-Christ appearing soon after.

Regarding said heretical movements, combating those was a major concern of the New Testament epistles, including Jesus Christ’s warning to His church in Revelation 2 and 3, and as the current climate in Protestant Christianity tends to denigrate those who stand for orthodoxy (see here and here, although this is not exactly a totally new problem, as Charles Spurgeon was heavily criticized for taking on heretical movements in his day) and the increasing tendency of Christians to choose “science” over the Bible (not just evolution, but pseudo-science such as the “critical scholarship” that is applied to – and used to attempt to discredit – nearly every New Testament verse that is used as the basis for core doctrines) as well as the willingness of a great many Christians to allow worldly concerns (i.e. politics) to distract them from evangelizing and discipleship, it is not difficult to imagine – from a human perspective anyhow – a wave of heresy sweeping through the church.

Incidentally, the “taken out of the way” of 2 Thessalonians 2:7 does not necessarily mean “removed from the face of the earth”, and it especially does not necessarily mean “taken from the face of the earth immediately and dramatically.” Those seeking to find support for a rapture in the Bible will say that it does, and then apply that text to 1 Corinthians 15:51-52’s “we shall all not sleep but shall be changed.” The irony is that the context of 1 Corinthians 15 is not the endtimes at all, but rather Paul’s rebuking the false doctrine in the Corinthian church that there would be no resurrection of the dead, and that there was no resurrection of Jesus Christ. Now if you juxtapose those texts and their context, it would then 1 Corinthians 15, 2 Thessalonians 2 and 1 John 2 and 4 refer to false teachings concerning Jesus Christ that could cause the great apostasy, after which the anti-Christ appears.

That puts the abomination of desolation predictions of the Bible in a spiritual context. If “the holy place” refers not to a Jewish temple (the first and second temples having been destroyed, and Judaism is now a false religion for a host of reasons that are beyond the scope of this topic, which would make claiming the third temple as “a holy place” – as opposed to a tower of Babel erected in rejection of and defiance against Jesus Christ – very theologically difficult!) but rather than the hearts of Christians which are in this era of grace the temple of the Holy Spirit (see 1 Corinthians 6:19-20) then perhaps this abomination of desolation refers to the church’s embrace of a false postmodernist Jesus Christ as opposed to the real One of the Bible?

Suppose that the abomination of desolation – the visible church’s embrace of a false Christ – causes a great apostasy among this same visible church. Further, suppose that this occurs after the Great Commission has been fulfilled, or when it is down to its final stretches, when or immediately before right before the fullness of the Gentiles has been reached according to Romans 11:25 (after which the spiritual blindness of the Jews is lifted). Then, it is possible to use those Bible texts to propose that it is then when the anti-Christ will appear. Of course, the visible church will follow the anti-Christ that they have already erected and worshiped in their own hearts just as Old Testament Israel in the time of their apostasy and fall to Babylon during the ministry of the prophet Jeremiah worshiped Baal in her heart. So, the apostate church would then join the anti-Christ in persecuting the remnant, the legitimate church. That would be the time of Jacob’s trouble as prophesied by Jeremiah 30:7 and fulfilled in Revelation 4-19.

But back to the original topic, “he that restrains being taken away”; that cannot refer to either the Holy Spirit or the church. Jesus Christ makes it clear that the church will persevere until He returns for it, and that the Holy Spirit will do the same as the church’s minister and comforter. (There are bigger issues with the Holy Spirit’s being removed from the earth, as the Holy Spirit is the presence of God, and it is the presence of God that sustains creation … without the presence of God, the universe would disintegrate immediately … see Colossians 1.)

So, perhaps instead of “taken away” as in “removed completely”, how about what the translation actually says, which is “taken out of the way”? Think of a dam that holds water breaking, or chains that is holding a prisoner being broken, or a box kept closed by lock and key (or seal!) having the key turned or the seal broken coming open, and its contents allowed to escape. Consider the apocalyptic language of Revelation, where demons and such that are bound in the pit or the river Euphrates (including Satan being bound in the bottomless pit for 1000 years during the millennium) being set free.

So, this passage could refer to one of the seals being broken of Revelation 6. After the 7th seal is broken, then the trumpets sound. The fifth trumpet sounds in Revelation 9 (which unleashes the locusts), the sixth also (which releases the demons bound in Euphrates), and it is between the sounding of the 6th and the 7th trumpet that the anti-Christ and the false prophet appear in Revelation 13.

Again, this is assuming that the KJV and the Geneva Bible (on which the KJV was largely based) are correct in their rendering of 2 Thessalonians 2:7. This website does in fact argue that the plain, literal Greek states that this verse should read “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he comes forth out of the midst” (or my preference, until he comes forth from among the nations.) It is difficult to assert how ginomai was translated “to be taken away” instead of the usual “to be come, to be made or be finished.” 2 Thessalonians 2:7, then, could well read

“For the mystery of iniquity is already at work and will work until it is finished and he (the anti-Christ” comes forth from among the nations.”

Again, I am no Greek expert, just a guy with access to Strong’s Concordance! However, this translation does appear to square with 2 Thessalonians 2:3 regarding “the son of man being revealed” and Revelation 13:1’s “the beast rising out of the sea” (and the sea allegorically is a reference to the nations and peoples of the earth). So, basically, people will deny Jesus Christ until the anti-Christ basically appears, particularly when the visible church denies Jesus Christ and becomes apostate.

Sorry for the jumbled mess that is this effort, as it was written on the fly in response to a user comment, and I did not organize, outline or edit it first, and it deals with two separate issues: the possibility that both the KJV and the Geneva Bible did damage to 2 Thessalonians 2:7, and also the meaning of that text when it is interpreted with scripture. I will say that the rapture teaching requires the KJV/Geneva interpretation, but that applying this text to the great apostasy makes good use of both the KJV/Geneva translation and one that more strictly follows the literal meaning of the Greek words.

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Posted in abomination, anti - Christ, antichrist, apostasy, beast, Bible, Christianity, endtimes, eschatology, Jesus Christ, man of sin, mark of the beast, rapio, rapture, rapture mentioned in bible, religion | Tagged: , , | 8 Comments »

Regarding Japan: Where Is God When Disaster Strikes?

Posted by Job on March 25, 2011

The recent disaster in Japan is provoking a lot of the usual questions when such calamities happen that revolve around the same general theme: what is the role of God in this? This theme can manifest in such questions as “Did God cause this to happen, and if so why?” “If God did not cause this to happen, why did not He prevent it? Is it because He could not, or did not choose to?” These questions and its answers are for the purpose of attempting to discern the nature of God and our response to Him based on it. Of course, the answers to such questions are contained in the only authoritative record of God’s self-disclosure to mankind, the canon of scripture, the Bible. Of course, if one rejects the Bible as the final source of truth and authority, or if one does not take the time to study and understand the Bible, or to seek out a qualified source who has (i.e. a pastor with a high view of scripture) then a variety of answers to these and other questions will abound, almost all of them having a varying degree of untruth or some other deficiency. Let us be faithful – and thankful – that the Bible does provide the answers. What follows is a Bible-based attempt to provide some of them.

1. God Can And Does Act According To Creation As He Pleases

This is the first and most important presupposition. Tragically, even among most Christians, including evangelical and other theologically conservative/traditional/orthodox Christians, this fact that is not only clearly, repeatedly set forth in the Bible but is also obvious due to logic and common sense is oft rejected. The issue is not that most people who acknowledge the existence of God in some sense deny His sovereignty. Instead, the real problem is that most people who claim to believe in the sovereignty of God really do not. As a result, they fail to accurately convey the meaning and implications of God’s total, utter sovereignty over creation to the larger culture.

Make no mistake: there is only one God. God has no equal and no rival. God fears no one, answers to no one, and judges no one. There  is no other entity – or group of entities – capable of judging God with unrighteousness. Even if they attempted, it would be utter madness of the highest degree, because there is no way to enforce the verdict. God not only created all things that exist, but all things that exist are sustained by God’s power! These facts give God not only the might but also the right to behave towards His creation however He chooses. Now God does choose to behave towards His creation in a fair, just and loving way. He does so in order to be consistent with His own nature. Indeed, God is incapable of acting any other way … He is incapable of acting in an unjust, cruel, irrational or arbitrary manner. But being the self-existing deity who solely created and solely owns all else that ever was, is or shall be, fairness, justice, love, order, rationality etc. are all defined by God Himself. There is a proverb popularized by William Shakespeare: “to thine own self be true.” Well, God is the only entity for whom this proverb can possibly apply, for everything else that exists has a Maker, Ruler and Judge. God is in debt to no one. He exists in fear of no one. God is only responsible for answering to Himself. Man’s only option is to accept this fact. The refusal or inability to do so can only at best be called a self-delusion of the highest order. One certainly has the prerogative to claim all he pleases that because he does not like the facts of life that he rejects either the existence of God or of a final judgment by God, but it is sheer madness for this person to actually believe that his mere opinion actually has some bearing – some influence – over whether there actually is a God, there will actually be a judgment day, and the Bible is actually true or not. Since we are but creatures, we have no more say in or power over these matters than we did in our own creation!

So even if God did strike Japan and cause all of the carnage, destruction and loss of life, it was well within His prerogative to do so, because God created Japan, God sustains Japan, God owns Japan, and therefore Japan and all the people therein are the exclusive domain of God to do with as He pleases whenever He pleases. Even according to human logic with the things that we “create” or “buy” (it is mine; I can do with it whatever I want!) this is truth, and our failure to acknowledge this is merely evidence of just how narcissistic we are. It is reminiscent of how Satan demanded that Jesus Christ, the very One who not only created Satan but sustains Satan’s existence, demanded that Jesus Christ bow down and worship HIM! Obviously, Satan was no threat to Jesus Christ in any way, because all Jesus Christ has to do to remove even a theoretical threat is to stop sustaining the existence of said threat!

Satan’s lack of reason and rationality due to the madness caused by his fallen condition caused him to be so presumptuous as to ask a thing of the one responsible for his own original and continued existence, and it is the same madness that causes humans to deny that God has no less than the same absolute dominion over us than we have over some plastic toy that we buy from a discount store. This exists only because we believe that our own relative worth in comparison to God’s worth is so much greater than the relative worth of that cheap plastic toy as compared to us. This is total folly and an utter offense, and is so because we both greatly diminish God’s importance while inflating our own. This is nothing but the sin of pride, the sin of vanity, the very same which caused Satan’s fall from his own exalted position to begin with.

2. There Are No Innocent People

You might make a mental assent to the first point and say “OK, God is great, but that does not make Him good, and as a moral agent I am well within my rights to dispute God’s goodness if He is responsible for the deaths of so many good and innocent people, including babies.” Now while from a cosmic level this argument is still useless (you can call God unjust all you want and you still can’t make Him listen), it must be acknowledged that this argument can be used to challenge the authority of the Bible. For instance, if the Bible declares God to be just, and it can be shown that God is not just, then rather than necessarily being an indictment on God, it is instead an indictment on the Bible that Christians claim is God’s authoritative and inerrant self-revelation to man. So, convicting God as unrighteous is more useful as an argument for, say, deism, than for actually putting God on trial.

The problem is that the Bible definitively removes this argument with its doctrines of original sin and federal headship. When Adam sinned, the effects were not limited to Adam himself. No, God made Adam the representative of the human race and the steward of creation. So, the result of Adam’s misdeed was the fall of the entire human race and all of creation. God did not create evil. When God finished creation, it was, according to the declaration of a just, holy and righteous God, “very good”, which means that there was no evil in it (for God cannot and will not declare anything that has evil present in it “very good”). When Adam sinned, not just Adam but all of creation was no longer “very good.” This means that all of creation was no longer acceptable in God’s sight. All of creation no longer met God’s standard, which is total holiness; complete sinlessness; absolute perfection; peerless harmony with God and His nature. “In Adam all die” indeed!

Now with creation no longer meeting God’s standard, God was well within His right to destroy it all. Not just destroy Adam. Not just destroy the human race. Not just destroy planet Earth. God had the perfect right and a very good reason and motivation to destroy the entire creation, because thanks to Adam, the entire creation was now sinful! Like a little drop of ink on a huge white piece of paper or cloth, that one little blot means that it is no longer totally, completely perfectly white anymore! Instead, it is only “mostly white”, and by God’s standard, “mostly white” isn’t good enough.

But God didn’t destroy creation. Why? Because He loves His creation. It is the work of His hands and it is precious to Him. So even though He had no obligation to and had every reason not to, God so loved His creation that He sent His only begotten Son to preserve some of it for eternity. (That is the true meaning of John 3:16). So, it is only by God’s grace, God’s love, that ANY of creation continued to exist for even an instant after Adam sinned. Because all of creation is sinful, all things and all people, God is not under obligation to save any thing or any one. Instead of charging God with cruelty, incompetence, aloofness or injustice for not intervening to save everyone, the opposite is true: it is only because of God’s grace and love that He saves anyone. All deserve God’s wrath; all deserve death and destruction. It is only because of God’s great love, because of God’s willingness to suffer the continued existence of a creation that is an abomination in His sight because of its fallen condition, that ANY person is able to experience the great privilege of living, existing, and getting to know the benefits of God’s love and grace even for a single second, because even that single second is more of God’s love and grace than any of us deserve. (For more on this topic, see How Can A Loving God Send People To Hell? Answering Requires Knowing What Love Is).

3. There Is No Evidence That God Causes Most Calamities

Now allow me to preface this with the caveat that the doctrine of providence means that God ultimately controls and is responsible for everything and uses all events to accomplish His purposes. This is indeed true, for denying it in any part results in establishing deism in an equal part. Still – and continuing to tread very carefully (and please realize that I am not a trained or professional theologian, so suffer my limitations) – please strongly consider the notion that God does not have to act to cause a calamity or a “bad thing” because they would happen anyway. Remember: creation in its original state was perfect, in complete harmony, so much so that the Bible even declared it self-sustaining after a manner of speaking (i.e. the plants and animals reproduced themselves). Adam’s fall introduced sin, or imperfection, which disrupted this disharmony. With Adam’s sin, death entered the world. So, because of Adam’s sin, things like earthquakes, volcanic eruptions (not to mention disease, wars and famines) are going to naturally happen simply due to the marred, flawed corrupted state of creation itself.

God does not have to act in order to cause a “bad thing” to happen, and it certainly does not have to be the result of a specific punishment for a specific sin. Quite the contrary, the bad things that happen are just the result of flawed machinery (with the flaw being due to sin) exhibiting its lack of perfection. It is analogous to how a poorly tuned automobile will still sputter, make bad noises and get poor fuel economy even if the driver commits no error in operating it.

Now it is true that the Bible does record various instances of God’s unleashing natural disasters and other widespread calamities to punish sin and wickedness. Examples include Sodom and Gomorrah, the flood of Noah, the woes against peoples and nations given by the Old Testament prophets, and the things spoken of in Revelation. They also include the famines, plagues, lost wars etc. experienced by Israel during her times of infidelity to her heavenly King. It is based on this that whenever there is a natural disaster, invariably certain Christians will suggest that it was a punishment meted out by God for wickedness, such as the infamous statements of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson blaming abortion, homosexuality and other right wing culture war hot button issues for one calamity or another. Curious that these folks never seem to blame such things on injustice to the poor or minorities, a failure to take care of orphans and widows, corporate greed, or waging unjust wars despite God’s prophets in the Old Testament – and Jesus Christ in the New Testament! – also listing those as reasons for God’s judgments.

With the former, while these events certainly do seem to occur with some degree of frequency in the Bible, realize that they occurred over the course of thousands of years (yes, I am a young earth creationist) of Biblical history, and that their inclusion in the Biblical text is precisely because they were so rare. (It stretches credulity, for instance, to claim that the total destruction of the entire population of a large city in a natural disaster, as happened with Sodom and Gomorrah, is anything approaching a routine occurrence.) And in the case of Israel, please realize that they were a unique case: the nation created and called out by God among all the nations to serve His unique purposes. As part of Israel’s election, God gave them the Sinai covenant, which contained blessings if Israel was faithful and curses if they were not. When Israel failed to keep the covenant, then God did act to punish them for their sinfulness. But it is theologically wrong – and dangerous – to claim that God does the same with other nations with whom He did not establish a blessings and cursings covenant. Sadly, not a few religious leaders do exactly that because of either covenant theology, or even more cynically, religious right politics, which causes them to assert the existence of “Christian nations” that are products of God’s providence and therefore subject to God’s blessings if the populace is faithful to Him, and God’s curses if it is not. These claims simply cannot be supported by scripture and should be rejected, along with the notion that any contemporary nation, including America, is “a Christian nation created by God as part of His special plan.”

As for Revelation (and similar prophecies elsewhere such as the Olivet discourse) there is the belief that widespread disasters are increasing in frequency and severity because we are in the last days before the return of Jesus Christ. That is more legitimate theologically, but even there we have to be careful: people have used calamities and misfortunes in their time to claim that Jesus Christ’s return is nigh upon us for centuries. Also, while certain things – especially wars – have gotten particularly severe in the past 100 years, let us not forget that Black Death nearly wiped out Europe, and in the 6th and 7th centuries Islam nearly succeeded in conquering the known world.

Further, it may not even necessarily take specific judgments of God to result in the increasing frequency and severity of disasters, but instead it might simply be fallen creation exhibiting more and worse dysfunction as time goes on, similar to the problems that a house built on a warped, cracked foundation would have as the years go by. And for those with premillennial eschatology in particular, there is little evidence to support natural disasters oft or usually occurring as the result of specific judgments from God until the seven years of the great tribulation. Of course, those with different endtimes views, especially the historicist viewpoint that holds that the various judgments of Revelation have been occurring throughout the history of the church, see things differently.

Even so, it is far more likely that God has worked to graciously and mercifully prevent more natural disasters – and has limited the severity of and the loss of life from the disasters that do occur – than He has caused to happen because of judgments. So, just as it is with popular misconceptions of God’s sovereignty, a lot of the “God caused this to happen to punish those people for their sins!” talk is actually backwards. The Biblical evidence suggests that ever since the flood of Noah, God has sought to act mercifully and graciously to limit having to mete out such punishments. An example was the Tower of Babel, where God intervened to prevent mankind from accomplishing a great evil, which would have provoked God’s wrath in response.

Conclusion

Understanding great tragedies such as Japan and the even more devastating tsunami of 2004 (killing 230,000 people in 14 countries) requires beginning with an appropriate view of God, then a correct measure of man (and the rest of creation) in relationship to God, and next an attempt to grasp the true, severe, devastating cosmic consequences of the fall of Adam. Often, we only view Adam’s fall in soteriological terms: because of his actions men are doomed to an eternity in the lake of fire unless they are saved through Jesus Christ. While that is certainly true, it is unhelpful to limit Adam’s actions only to that sense, as if the eternal fate of humanity is all that truly matters. Such is man-centered thinking. Instead, we must realize that all of God’s creation is very special to and loved by Him, and that it was all of God’s creation that was made unacceptable to God as a result of Adam’s actions. As much as it pains us to see the death and misery due to these natural disasters, we must realize that it hurts God even more. Not only does God love each and every person that perished in that earthquake and tsunami, God also loves the planet itself that cracked and moaned that tragic day. (For example, imagine your own distress were a favorite and valuable piece of china passed down to you from a beloved family member were to badly chip or crack, and multiply that by a great many times.) This is why environmentalists who tell us to “love the earth” are so misguided … far better to love the God who loves the earth more than we ever could! God loves His creation, and it pains God to see the condition of disrepair that His beloved treasure that He created and sustains has come to because of Adam’s actions.

But there is good news: this marred, groaning crumbling creation will not exist forever. Quite the contrary: its time is limited. At the time appointed by God the Father, this current creation will pass away – be destroyed by fire – and replaced with a new creation, a new heaven and a new earth. A mere man will not be the head of the kosmos to come as Adam was of this kosmos! Instead, the head of the kosmos to come is Jesus Christ, who being God will not fall and plunge it into sin (ignore the doctrines of the heretic Origen who claims otherwise). Also, the people united with Jesus Christ? Well, they are the part of the prior kosmos that God will preserve for an eternity in the new kosmos, as a “keepsake” of the old kosmos. Why will God preserve some of the old kosmos when it is sinful and unacceptable? Because He so loved it! John 3:16! (Kosmos means “world”.) And by uniting the remnant of the former kosmos with Jesus Christ, the keepsake from the former kosmos will have its sinful status expunged, purged, extinguished, never to be remembered, spoken of or thought of before. So, God will have a reminder of His original work AND a new work that will be preserved forever by His Son: the best of both worlds! Does the God of the universe deserve anything less? Soli Deo Gloria!

But in order for this to be good news for you, you must be part of the kosmos that is united with Jesus Christ and thereby preserved. Otherwise, you will be in the portion of the marrred, unsuitable kosmos that will be rejected by the holy, perfect God and destroyed by fire … or more accurately the lake of fire. And against the doctrine of annihilationism, as time does not exist in eternity, the old creation’s being cast into the lake of fire will be just as eternal as the joy of the saints in heaven (cf Revelation 14:11). So in order to be the part of this world that is preserved forever instead of destroyed forever, you must obey Acts 2:38, which reads (in part) “Repent , and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.” For more detail on how this is done, I urge you to immediately read and heed:

The Three Step Salvation Plan!

Posted in abomination, abortion, Bible, Christianity, false religion, false teachers, false teaching, global warming, Jesus Christ, religion, religious right, Theodicy | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Judah Falls … And Then Gets Up!

Posted by Job on March 25, 2011

Though little information about him is recorded in the Bible, Judah is an interesting fellow. The messianic blessing was given to Abraham, and this blessing was fulfilled through the line of Judah. However, this was not due to any special righteousness on the part of Judah. Quite the contrary, the most righteous of Jacob’s son was Joseph. Instead, the blessing on Judah’s line seems to have come almost “by default.” Consider the prophetic blessings of Abraham on his sons in Genesis 49. Reuben, the firstborn, disqualified himself by committing fornication with Jacob’s wife Bilhah. (When you consider the circumstances, the fierce rivalry between Leah and Rachel provoked by Jacob’s severe, blatant sinful mistreatment of Reuben’s mother in favor of Rachel, Reuben likely did so in order to humiliate Rachel, and the act may not have even been consensual on Bilhah’s part … compare this with how Absalom forced himself on David’s concubines – and did so in public – in order to humiliate his father.)

Simeon and Levi, next in line, both disqualified themselves by murdering all the males from the tribe of the prince that forced himself on their sister Dinah. Although their actions ironically prevented Jacob’s faithless and horrible decision to intermarry his clan with this pagan tribe (and the result would have been Jacob’s line becoming pagans and not the other way around, see Genesis 34:20-24) they were judged by the Holy Spirit speaking through Jacob as “instruments of cruelty”, murderers, possessing “selfwill”, and cursed their “anger” and “wrath” because it was “cruel.” Apparently, though it was right of Simeon and Levi to seek justice for their sister’s rape (justice that their father, still acting fearfully and trying to exploit situations by cutting business deals at this time because of a lack of faith, pointedly refused to seek) and to scuttle Jacob’s intentions to disobey the wishes passed down to him by his father Isaac by joining his line with an evil pagan tribe, their taking vengeance on people who had nothing to do with the act – and doing so without consulting YHWH for permission or advice first – is what brought this curse upon them.

So, the blessings of Abraham passed to Judah. Again, it is not because Judah was the most virtuous of Abraham’s sons. Instead, though he was not firstborn, he was the first one born who did not disqualify himself with extremely serious abominations. Yes, Judah committed sexual immorality, but that is not the same as having sex with – and possibly raping – his father’s wife, and it is also not the same as mass murder. The acts of Reuben, Simeon and Levi were particularly offensive in the sight of God, and resulted in their being cursed (Jacob, empowered by the Holy Spirit, said of Reuben “you are unstable as water, and you will not excel”). This should be instructive to the homosexual lobby and their enablers among emergent and theologically liberal “Christians” who falsely claim that “all sins are equal.” That Reuben, Simeon and Levi were disqualified for their sins and Judah was not for his proves that Westminster’s Shorter Catechism is correct in their question and answer 83: “Are all transgression of the law equally heinous?” “Some sins in themselves, and by reason of several aggravations are more heinous in the sight of God than others.”

Now make no mistake, though it was not like the transgressions of Reuben, Simeon and Levi, Judah did fall! Yet, the grace of God and the evidence of God’s election, God’s calling of him and his line, were evident when he got up again. So by examining this, Christians can learn a few things about our own Christian living.

1. The Leah contrast.

Why did Judah fall? It honestly looks as if he couldn’t take the pressure. When the heat was on, Judah melted. When the going got rough and tough, Judah crumbled.  Understand this important fact of background context: Jacob obviously, sinfully favored Rachel and her children over Leah and her children. Example: when Jacob feared that Esau was going to kill him and his family, he sent Leah and her kids first so that if Esau killed them, Rachel and her kids would have a chance to escape! Jacob was obviously, indefensibly wrong, and it was horrible for Jacob to have his wives and children live in turmoil because of his own behavior, because of his placing his own interests and desires above that of his family, his duty to YHWH, and simply being just. However, as Christians, we must realize that our own situations, whether our family lives, finances, employment situations, churches, and political conditions are not always going to be “good” or “fair.” There are going to be problems in our families. There are going to be financial problems exacerbated by bad jobs and worse bosses and coworkers. There is going to be political oppression and repression, as well as social ostracism, because of our faith. And in our churches, there are going to be Christians who do not act like Christians, as well as actual non-Christians.

The way to respond is not the way that Reuben did, with a form of incest that might have been rape as well. It is not the way that Simeon and Levi did; mass murder. It is not the way that Rachel did, who rather than having compassion on her older sister and working to get Jacob to show love to her sister and ease her heartbreak, actually enjoyed possessing a favored status at her own sister’s expense, and tried to preserve it by giving Bilhah to Abraham in the first place. Instead, it is the way that Leah did, which is to seek God in submission and prayer, and do your best to persevere in a bad situation with grace and upright behavior.

Leah could have responded to Jacob’s grotesque, long-standing mistreatment of her in kind, by becoming a manipulative backstabbing schemer who sought to get back at him and undermine him any way that she could; by taking up the character of the two men in her life that despite being the closest to her and responsible for caring for, loving and protecting her (her father Laban and her husband Jacob), instead neglected, exploited and mistreated her. Laban married her off to increase his own wealth and then stole her dowry; Jacob only put up with her because he was stuck with her because of Laban’s machinations, yet was more than willing to use her as a baby machine to produce heirs for him.

Leah would have been more than justified in a worldly sense for giving Jacob exactly what he deserved, for treating him exactly as he treated her. Instead, Leah responded to the pressure by going to God, oft giving God the praise (Judah means “praise”, and Leah so named him saying “Now I will praise the YHWH” at his birth) and being the wife that God wanted her to be in spite of her low estate in the eyes of her husband and the turmoil that Jacob inflicted on his family; in spite of her circumstances. Leah sought YHWH often in petitions, prayer and praise, so she withstood the pressure. Judah did neither, so he fell. Twice.

2. Judah’s Two Falls

In this context enters Joseph. Now Joseph was not responsible for the evil situation that Jacob created, and was powerless to remedy it. Instead, virtuous Joseph was caught in the middle. He was the eldest son of Jacob’s favorite wife, and was treated as you might expect Jacob to: with a blatant, unjustifiable favoritism that was based solely on pleasing Jacob’s own emotions (Jacob treated Joseph so favorably not because it was in Joseph’s own interests or benefit, but because it gave Jacob pleasure and made him feel good) and not because it was in the best interests of anyone else, whether that someone else was YHWH, Jacob’s other sons and wives, or even Joseph himself.

Instead of going to God over the ill treatment from his earthly father and thereby gaining the strength to stand against the evil influences of his own mistreatment, his own emotions that resulted from this lifetime of mistreatment, and the negative influences of his brothers, Judah went along with the crowd. He allowed his anger, bitterness, envy and jealousy against Joseph (and also his father) to build into a hateful, murderous rage. Judah went along with the other 9 brothers with the initial plot to kill Joseph. This plot was foiled only by Reuben, the oldest and the wisest, who to preserve his brother’s life suggested that they throw him in a pit instead (so that he could later get him out and return him to the protection of Jacob). After the decision not to kill Joseph was already made, Judah then has the idea that profiting off the plot to get rid of Joseph by selling him into slavery was better than murdering him anyway!

So, this is how depraved Judah became. He was willing to murder his own brother and then sell his brother to some unknown fate as a slave. He did not stand up and speak up for righteousness; that was Reuben. It was Reuben who suppressed his own loss at being usurped of his firstborn status – Reuben at this point had lost more to Joseph than had Judah – who stood up and tried to do the right thing. Judah, meanwhile, not only went along with the crowd, went along with the sinful passions of his flesh, but in coming up with the plot to sell Joseph, he was one of the ringleaders! In his dealing with Joseph, he was one of the chief of sinners! And when Judah had a final chance to stand up and do the right thing, to be a just and honest man with regards to this incident, he went along with the cover-up to Jacob in order to escape the consequences of his actions. And that was the first fall.

The second fall was when Judah could no longer deal with his brothers’ conniving and malice – and his own guilt from the consequences over his own actions. Now Judah could have submitted to God, repented of his sins, and told his father the truth. Instead, Judah dealt with his problems by running away from them. How many Christians deal with marital problems that do not rise to the level of sexual immorality (or according to my own belief, domestic violence against spouse and/or children, which justifies at the very least separation for one’s own safety) by simply leaving despite knowing full well that God hates divorce? How many Christians abandon what they know are good churches and ministries simply because they face opposition (despite knowing full well that Satan will oppose such things precisely because he desires to destroy the good ministries, see the bad and un-Biblical ministries prosper, and drive Christians away from good fellowship)? Well, the Christians who pick up and run away from their adversity, from their troubles, lack the virtues of Leah. Instead, they are no better than Judah.

Now when Judah left his father’s house, he rather unsurprisingly fell into a common temptation for males: sexual immorality. Now in one sense, we have to put Judah’s sexual sin into context, because the law of Moses regulating sexual behavior (i.e. no adultery or fornication) was not yet given. Still, Paul told us in Romans that in the absence of the law, because of common grace at the very minimum, people have “a law unto themselves (Romans 2:14-15) that should instruct us concerning righteousness. Note how the pharaoh of Egypt and Abimelech of the Philistines respected the marriages of Abraham and Isaac to Sarah and Rebekah by returning those women to their husbands without touching them. A better comparison: how Joseph, raised in Judah’s own house as his brother, resisted the multiple temptations of sexual immorality by Potiphar’s wife. So, even without the law of Moses, Judah was without excuse.

Judah fell into the common practice of allowing the pressures of life – and the pressures that we face are real – to get him ensnared into sexual sin. (In this way, he was similar to Reuben’s responding to family pressures by resorting to sexual sin, save Reuben’s act exceeding that of Judah because of Reuben’s sinning with his father’s wife.) First, he had a child with a woman of Canaan, Shuah. Then his sons Er and Onan turned out wicked, reflecting the immorality of their father during this period. Next, Judah breaks his promise to the widow of Er, Tamar, by refusing to give her to his son Shelah as a wife. Even when a third child of Judah dies, his daughter, Judah did not consider his own wickedness and turn to YHWH in repentance. Instead, he blamed Tamar, as if she was some bad luck or cursed woman who had brought death to his 2 sons!

So what does Judah do when under the pressure of life? Despite being MARRIED, he goes and gets himself a prostitute (or so he thought, not knowing that it was his daughter-in-law Tamar)! Finally, when finding out that his daughter-in-law was pregnant by him does he (partially) acknowledge the depths of his depravity! Before she showed him his staff and signet ring, he was going to have her executed because of what he believed to be her sexual immorality! Judah was exposed: the sexual morality of a pagan Canaanite woman EXCEEDED that of the son of Jacob, the grandson of Isaac, the great-grandson of Abraham, the line chosen and set apart by YHWH!

And we Christians, who like Judah are also children of Abraham in a spiritual sense, often do the same: fall into sexual sin in response to the pressures of life, and there are an abundance of statistics concerning our involvement in un-Biblical divorce and remarriage, pornography, adultery, abortion, fornication etc. that proves it. And even those of us who do not respond to the pressures of life through sexual sin have other “outlets.” Maybe it is gossip. Maybe it is gambling. Maybe it is excess alcohol or gluttony. Maybe it is an excessive, unhealthy attachment to politics and sports. Maybe we dabble in astrology, yoga, or other “harmless” activities from other religions. Maybe we listen to foul-mouthed comedians or watch movies with all sorts of vile content, deriving pleasure in the sinful speech and acts of others (Romans 1:32). Just like Judah, so many Christians allow the pressures of live to drive them into sin! Now that is the bad news.

The good news: if we confess our sin, God can be counted on to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). All Christians sin. 1 John 1 makes that clear. The problem is our tendencies to wallow in our sins like Judah – who was in this state of affairs for a long time, long enough for him to have at least three children and raise them to adulthood – without repenting. Now I am certainly not apologist for Roman Catholicism, considering it to not be legitimate Christianity, but Catholics do have in their system regular confessions of sin. Of course, their problem (among many others) is that they confess their sins to priests because they reject the doctrine that Christ is the sole mediator between God and man, the truth that Jesus Christ stated Himself as recorded in the Gospel of John and was enlarged by the inspired writer of the epistle to the Hebrews.

But Christians need to confess our sins to God and ask God for forgiveness for our sins and turn away from those sins on a regular basis. For Christians who have a particularly persistent, troublesome area of sin or temptation, well the frequency, urgency and sincerity of the petitions to God in confession, forgiveness and repentance in the Name of Jesus Christ should match the seriousness of the problem! We should not harden our hearts, grieve the Holy Spirit, and let ourselves become so dull, distorted and cold of spirit that it will take something as dramatic and grotesque as Judah’s being confronted by the daughter-in-law that he impregnated to shake us out of our sin stupor! Instead, as Christians, when we fall, we should respond with confession and repentance in the manner described in 1 John as soon as the Holy Spirit convicts us to do so. We should not fall into the temptation of getting too prideful or fearful to do so, that God does not care and will overlook it, or that we need to perform some good works or deeds on our own in order to “make penance” and “get right with God first” before we repent. Instead, we are to turn to God in repentance at the first opportunity that the Holy Spirit gives us!

Please understand: God loves us. God hates sin. Add those two together and you come to this conclusion: God does not want His children, the redeemed bought by His own Son’s precious blood, to remain in sin. Not only does God not want it, He will not allow it. God will not allow you to keep lying in some gutter or alley drenched in urine and vomit. Instead, see Ezekiel 16:6 – “And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live ; yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live.” Because He so loves us, and also for the same of His own Name and His own zeal for justice and righteousness, God will bring His elect to righteousness!

What is simply amazing is that just as the pressures of life causes us to sin, God can, will and does use those same pressures of life to drive His children back to Him! Example: Jonah. Being in the belly of that whale three days drove a man filled with self-righteousness, pride, rebellion and vindictiveness to repent, didn’t it? The only surprise is that IT TOOK THREE DAYS! (We should never kid ourselves about the depths of our own sinfulness or the breadth of God’s grace in response.) So God did not allow the partially repentant Judah to stay where he was, which while was an improvement, still wasn’t good enough. Instead, Judah was restored. And it was not because of any virtue or good character within Judah. Quite the contrary: it has been demonstrated that Judah’s main “virtues” were not being as bad a sinner as was Reuben, Simeon and Levi (and even this was only because God prevented him from falling that far into sin!) and being born before the more righteous Joseph! But instead, Judah was restored only because He was God’s elect, and thus it was God’s will for him to be so. How did it happen? Well, God applied the pressure, and then God put righteousness in Judah’s heart.

3. Judah Gets Up

First: the famine. Judah left his father’s house because he could no longer deal with the guilt from his own actions, he could no longer put up with brothers that were just as bad as was he or even worse, and perhaps also because Jacob merely transferred his favoritism to Benjamin, the other child of Rachel. So, Judah went off, left his father’s house, and “became his own man”, and clearly not much of one. In doing this, Judah became the patriarch, and was responsible for providing for his own house: his wives, children, servants and flocks. Just as happened in the parable of the prodigal son as told by Jesus Christ, a famine came, which made Judah unable to care for himself and his house! So this Judah, this prodigal, ended the charade of being “his own man”, ended the mess that he was making of his life and of those around him, and returned home. The threat of starvation made Judah stop playing games. But yet, it wasn’t enough. Why? Because Judah’s father couldn’t feed him either. So, Judah had to go to Egypt to buy grain to save himself and his father.

Once in Egypt, the pressure increases. Joseph deals harshly with them, accusing them of being spies, keeping Simeon while sending the rest back with the demand that they bring Benjamin. Then, having returned from Egypt, the pressure increases still more. Already burdened with the guilt of losing one brother, they have to go back to their father without a second, and demanding that they bring a third, his father’s remaining favorite! Plus, what was the money that they paid for the grain doing in their sacks! And that is when Judah begins to step up. He, of all his brothers, including Reuben the firstborn, promises his own fate as a guarantor for the safety of Benjamin. He had to do this, because otherwise he, his father, his brothers, and his own family would have starved to death. Now this only happened because of God’s Spirit dealing with Judah, but make no mistake: it happened with the threat of death hanging over his head!

Back in Egypt, God turns up the pressure still more. This time, in contrast with the rough treatment that Joseph gave them before – and they were expecting again – he switches tactics. He welcomes them. He throws them a party! He tells them that it was he who put the money in their sacks! He loads them up with food and sends them on their way. Everything is merry! Or so they think. Then, Joseph’s silver cup is found … with Benjamin. The one that Judah pledged his own life and fate for. Now Judah had every right to say “this is a deal-breaker.” He would have been within his right to say “I do not have to go be executed by the king or become his slave because my foolish brother stole a cup! I have nothing to do with this! I am just going to explain what happened to my father, and if he doesn’t understand, then so be it!”

But no. Judah fulfills the promise that he made to his father! He goes back to Joseph, and offers to take the punishment in the place of Benjamin, whom he thought was guilty! And keep in mind: Jesus Christ is the lion of Judah, the descendant of Judah’s line. So just as Jesus Christ took the punishment in the place of God’s elect because it was the will of God the Father (and suffered many things, was tempted at all points just as are we, in the course of doing so in order to remain true to His Father), Judah offered to take the punishment in the place of Benjamin because in order to keep his promise to Jacob! Now it would be a theological stretch to call Judah a type of Jesus Christ, but his actions, stepping up to take the punishment for the (apparently) guilty Benjamin for the sake of his father, certainly strongly parallels and reminds us of what Jesus Christ did for the elect for the sake of His Father!

Now in doing this, Judah prefigured what his descendant, Jesus Christ, would do. But this happened only because God turned up the pressure on Judah. And it happened only because God’s grace was with Judah. God put Judah to the test, and Judah was able to pass it only because God was with Judah and would not let him fall! Why? Because it was God’s will. Judah was God’s chosen. Judah’s getting up from his depravity and stepping into righteousness was God’s doing. Make no mistake: it was the will of God to the glory of God. And just as it was with Judah, so is it with Christians. Salvation is of the Lord. Restoration of backsliders is of the Lord. And the perseverance of the saints until our time of perfection is of the Lord. Just as God keeps His elect angels from falling (1 Timothy 5:21) so He keeps us from staying down, from remaining in sin, when we fall!

So, it is not that just as Judah got up, we can get up. That thinking glorifies man, depicting our restoration as our own good works. Instead, it is that just as Judah got up, we will get up. We will get up because it is God who will get us up, and God will do this for us on our behalf because of His great love for us, and because by doing so He is glorified! Those people who do not get up, who do not endure until the end? They were never God’s elect to begin with. They are the goats that Jesus Christ spoke of in Matthew 25:32-40. They are the seeds that did not fall into good soil that Jesus Christ spoke of in the parable of the sower (Matthew 13:3-23). Do not be deceived. We do not have the ability to save ourselves. We do not have the ability to keep ourselves in the faith. We do not have the ability to restore ourselves when we fall. It is only God who can do these things, and it is only by God’s grace according to His eternal purpose of election and predestination decreed from before the foundation of the world that these things do happen!

So Christian, when you fall like Judah, and when you get up like Judah, know that it is God who gives you the ability to do so, and in this you should rejoice in that same God! Glory be to God for His mercy, His grace and awesome power and love, for He is indeed worthy to be praised! So backslider, restoration is available to you! Soli Deo Gloria!

And to the non-Christian, allow me to ask of you: how long will you continue to despise such a great salvation given by a God who spared not even His own Son for the sake of His elect? Such a gracious loving God who is patient, loving, forgiving and is willing to restore even His Christians who fall into sin? God knows that we are but flesh and during this time of grace is not at war with us (Genesis 6:3) but instead is desiring that we come to repentance in (2 Peter 3:8-9) accordance with His plan and terms. In order to benefit from this great a salvation, one cannot “meet God halfway.” Instead, one can only come to God on God’s terms, and there is no way to God the Father except through God the Son, and there is no salvation other than that worked by God the Spirit. If this is not the case for you, I urge and entreat you to immediately:

Follow The Three Step Salvation Plan!

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Hollywood’s False Messiahs: Conditioning The People For The Anti-Christ?

Posted by Job on March 22, 2011

Not so long ago, I shared in the evangelical notion that “Christians need to be represented in Hollywood so that we can be part of the mainstream and use it as a vehicle to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ and be salt and light in the culture.” But that was before discovering on websites like Vigilant Citizen, Secret Sun and others what a freak show that industry is. (Babylon? Mystery? The great harlot? It’s all there!) Do not be naive … the Christian powerbrokers that are always whining about not being part of “the in crowd” and want a piece of the entertainment industry action for themselves know this stuff already and have always known. Yet, they demand to be included in this great evil, and even claim that it discriminates against them! And of course, they withhold from their followers – Christian followers – the truth of what this industry is actually about. As a matter of fact, they denounce Christians who do their level best to separate from this stuff and minimize its negative effects as small-minded, anti-intellectual dangerous extremists incapable of effectively conducting ministry “in the real world.” Well, is this the real world? What about this? And yes, this does include a ton of prominent gospel/Christian music artists and prominent preachers, who work with and are intertwined with Hollywood and media, especially behind the scenes.

The fact that mainstream evangelical Christianity would rather join with Hollywood than oppose it notwithstanding, there is one theme in major Hollywood films that seems to be curious: the false messiah. Please recall John 5:43, where Jesus Christ says “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.” This refers to Jesus Christ’s rejection by the world as its true Messiah and Saviour, and the same world’s willingness to embrace false messiahs in His place. In the immediate term, Jesus Christ was predicting that Israel would reject Him and follow after such false messiahs who promised political liberation and a human kingdom as Simeon bar Kochba. Those false messiahs, claiming to have been sent by God and having God on their side, provoked the Roman Empire into destroying the temple and much of Jerusalem in 70 AD, and then to burn the entire city to the ground some 65 years later. Long term, however, Jesus Christ was referencing a series of false messiahs to come, culminating in the beast, the man of sin, commonly called the anti-Christ. How fascinating it is that Hollywood is using movies to prepare the way for the man of sin by releasing “entertainment” that conditions its audience for following him. Consider some examples.

Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader of the Star Wars films.

“Star Wars” is the product of George Lucas, who apparently is an adherent to the theosophy belief system (which is a combination of religious philosophy and mysticism). Anakin Skywalker was born to a virgin slave woman, was prophesied as “the one who would bring balance to ‘the force'” (a dualistic non-personal energy), and after a period of “temptation” by “the dark side of the force” experienced a sacrificial death to secure the triumph of good over evil, and had a sort of “spiritual resurrection.” He also had a forerunner, a John the Baptist sort of herald who preceded him in a death by martyrdom in Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Neo from “The Matrix” films.

“The Matrix” is a product of a worldview that is a combination of postmodernism, Marxism, liberation theology, eastern religions and gnosticism given to us by what used to be “The Wachowski Brothers”, but now consists of one Wachowski brother and another who underwent a sex change operation. (It’s like a freak show in your neighborhood! Freak show baby!) Neo saves mankind from an oppressive world order of machines (which stands for white people, technology, western culture, Christianity and capitalism) to bring in a new bohemian order. The coming of this “Neo” was prophesied by “the oracle”, who is a “goddess” figure that created him as an “incarnation” of herself to help her overthrow the (ultimately secondary) antagonist, “the architect”, a malevolent “god” figure.  The “god”, the “goddess” and the “messiah” wind up having to join forces in order to defeat their common threat, “Agent Smith”, a creation of the “god” who has become rogue, turned on his creator and become “Satan”, who wishes to create his own self-styled world order. This “Neo” was specifically not the product of human conception, but instead his physical body was the work of the machine order (“god”), and his mind/spirit, or soul, was the work of “the goddess.” In other words, Neo was “the goddess made flesh.” Morpheus served as the “John the Baptist” figure who paves the way for Neo. Neo dies and rises again (in the first movie), goes to a sideways underworld/hell (the second movie) and makes a final sacrifice of his life that secures the defeat of Agent Smith and a truce between the god and goddess (the last movie).

Sully from Avatar.

This is the product of the atheist environmentalist James Cameron, who saw fit to produce a movie that claimed to prove that Jesus Christ never rose from the dead. It combines Viet Nam and Iraq War allegories with promoting a generic synthesis of eastern, New Age and tribal animistic beliefs. In Hinduism, an avatar is the descent of a deity from heaven to earth, although it is more like an appearance or manifestation than a true incarnation, more akin to the theophanies of the Old Testament than Jesus Christ. However, since the introduction of Christianity into India, many Hindus have concluded that Jesus Christ was an avatar from their religion who appeared in Israel to provide spiritual and moral instruction and enlightenment, essentially assimilating Jesus Christ into their own religion. (In a more modern, secular sense, an avatar is a physical representation of an idea or personality. Note that many websites call the personalized picture that accompanies a username/account an “avatar.”) In this movie, the “soul” (mind/spirit) of Marine Jake Sully is placed inside a soulless alien body (which was created using genetic engineering in a laboratory, making the messianic figure not the product of natural conception) which “dies” (in a sense) when the soul of Jake leaves it but “lives” (or “resurrects” so to speak) when the soul of Jake returns to inhabits it. Sent on this mission to convince the (noble and enlightened) tribal aliens to abandon a tree that grows on top of energy deposits that just happens to be vital to the tribe’s Gaia-like cult, Sully instead converts to the religion, joins the tribe, makes his temporary and laboratory controlled “incarnations” permanent, and leads the tribe in an overthrow of the military-industrial complex invaders (who similar to “The Matrix” represent western, capitalist interests, our existing world order).

Aang from The Last Airbender.

Unlike the director of the other movies,  M. Night Shyamalan has a more traditional worldview and is old-fashioned by Hollywood standards in that he actually respects Christianity on some level (see Signs), has a negative view of the occult (see Unbreakable) and rejects postmodernism as it relates to evil (see The Village). Still, Shyamalan jumped at the chance to write and direct a movie that not only presents a false messianic figure, but aims its worldview at impressionable children. Adapted from a very popular Nickelodeon cartoon (and Nickelodeon was created and is owned by MTV Networks) it is an amalgamation of various eastern religions and philosophies, and depicts a world inhabited by humans, animals very similar to creatures described in various mythologies and religions, and spirits. Aang, the messianic figure, is an incarnation of the planet’s spirit component (i.e. an incarnation of Gaia). This Aang discovers that he is the prophesied avatar, and – reminiscent of the prophet Jonah – flees his spiritual calling and as a result winds up in the ocean during a storm. Aang “dies” when he is frozen in ice, is “resurrected” 100 years later, and as the last (or unique) representative of the “air nation” (analogous to  heaven) then defeats a penultimate evil threat: the lord of the “fire nation” (analogous to Satan and hell). Aang’s role is to ensure peace, harmony and world order, and as a human incarnation of spirit, he is a link or bridge to both.

It is amazing that these four films (or series of films), despite being made over the course of 30+ years by such diverse personalities and representing rather diverse genres can have so many common threads. It is rather difficult to imagine this being a coincidence.

  • All the films embrace eastern religions and philosophies.
  • All the films reject monotheism and organized religion in favor of a type of spirituality.
  • All the films heavily emphasize martial arts (i.e. karate, kung fu, judo, tai chi) including but not limited to swordsmanship. Make no mistake, just as Albert Mohler (and this own site) says about yoga, eastern practices like martial arts are part of the religion. So, the use of martial arts – often combined with other forms of weaponry and warfare, whether lasers in Star Wars or guns in The Matrix – makes the violent aggression in these messianic films entirely religious in nature, religio-military propaganda after the manner used to justify the Crusades, or in a more recent era the same religious-military propaganda used by axis powers of World War II (which included not only the occult militaristic religion of Nazi Germany, but also the state shinto religion of Japan) and the religious fervor whipped up by the George W. Bush regime and his enablers (no, it’s not just the Muslims who do it, not by a long shot!) during the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars.
  • All either reject – or fail to depict – capitalism in favor of socialism, communalism, bohemianism, tribalism etc. (Star Wars, The Matrix and Avatar are particularly vicious towards capitalism.)
  • All heavily rely on receiving enlightenment, or some form of “secret knowledge” as opposed to relying on authoritative revelation.
  • All on some level contain elements of there existing some common, shared or “connected” mind or spirit among humanity.
  • NONE of these films are anti-war or pacifist in any sense, but quite the contrary. More on that later.
  • Despite the lack of theism or organized religion, faith plays a huge role, especially among the protagonists.
  • The films go out of their way to depict racial and cultural diversity and “gender equality” (and this was rather striking in the 1970s when Star Wars was made) among the protagonists (who represent the new world order) while – with the exception of “The Last Airbender” generally depicting the antagonists as white males (representing the existing world order).
  • In each, the antagonist represents or at least bears a striking resemblance to our existing world order, and the protagonist represents a new world order (that again, shares the common points mentioned). This is the case whether the antagonist is the existing authority that gets overthrown (i.e. the empire in “Star Wars” and the machines in “The Matrix”) or is acting as a usurper (i.e. the fire nation in “Airbender” and the militarized energy company in “Avatar”).

Please note: I am not a Eurocentrist, capitalism/big business/war (Viet Nam or otherwise) apologist, or conservative of any sort. Instead, these are simply common threads that unite these movies. Is this the shape of the common, collectivist based (in religious, economic, social and political terms) society to come? If it is, then Christians might have to consider the possibility that reordering global society to fit this worldview would be a massive undertaking that may take quite awhile to pull off. Be that as it may, these films – and others like them – are most definitely laying the groundwork!

But back to the main point: consider a key difference between the false messiahs in these movies and the true Messiah, Jesus Christ: where the real Messiah is the Prince of Peace, the false messiahs are gods of war. Consider what Daniel 11:38 says of the anti-Christ: that he represents the god of forces. With false messiahs, this has to be the case. The reason is that the real Messiah came to provide spiritual salvation; to save people from their sins by dying on the cross. Jesus Christ didn’t have to pick up a sword and kill anybody to accomplish His mission, because His sinless life in fulfillment of the requirements of the law, His death on the cross to pay for sins, and His resurrection from the dead defeated death itself!

Unfortunately, the world rejects this successful mission on the part of Jesus Christ because the world rejects the idea that it is sinful; that it stands inherently guilty before a holy sovereign God that is Ruler and Judge. To it, the Biblical concept of sin does not exist (a la Buddhism and new age) or one can earn salvation from whatever idea that they do have of sin through works (Hinduism and some forms of shintoism). Either way, it does not recognize a need for a Saviour from sins, and therefore the Person and work of Jesus Christ is irrelevant to its concerns and a foolish offense to its desires.

So, the messiah, deliverer, or cosmic superhero must play another role, which is to save people from their earthly situation as opposed to their earthly condition, and this condition is generally that of oppression, poverty, war, etc. Of course, the root cause for the situation is the same as is the condition: sin. But the refusal to acknowledge that the root cause of political oppression, economic exploitation, discrimination, wars etc. is the sinful condition of humanity requires the one promising temporal deliverance to do so by picking up the sword, taking the fight to and overcoming “the other side”; the oppressors that are perceived to be responsible for all the evil. And make no mistake: Revelation tells us that the anti-Christ will identify the church (and possibly the Jews) as “the other side” that is at least partially responsible for all the world’s ills (just as the early church was blamed for political, economic and social problems in the Roman Empire) and it will be given to this anti-Christ to make war against the saints and to overcome them. Christians will be the evil empire in Star Wars, the machines in The Matrix, the energy company in Avatar, and the fire nation in The Last Airbender and as such will be the targets of the beast’s murderous military, economic, political and religious aggression. This will be to the delight of the citizens of the earth, who will be cheering the anti-Christ on just as did movie theatre attendants at the exploits of Luke Skywalker.

This will be because the church (and perhaps also the Jews) will represent the old world order. It will also be because of the church’s witness! During this time, the remnant will bear witness that the anti-Christ is no true deliverer but a fraud, and that the real solutions are not his program, but rather turning away from sins in true repentance and submission to the true Messiah who is Jesus Christ. Needless to say, it will not be a message that the world wants to hear. Similar to the early Christians who were persecuted often to death for refusing to worship the Roman emperor, such ideas will be considered “unpatriotic” (a fact which should strike contemporary Christians that are politically conservative with no small amount of irony) in the anti-Christ’s regime.

It honestly does appear that with these sorts of movies, Hollywood is providing a picture of the man of sin, and paving the way for his appearance in the process. The good news is that though the church will endure the great tribulation at his hands when he does appear, Jesus Christ will return to cut short the days of the tribulation, defeat the anti-Christ and those who support him, and rescue and vindicate His church, and an army of His saints will return with Him. If you are saved through Jesus Christ, you will be a partaker in this great victory. If you are not, then your only portion will be defeat and joining the anti-Christ in the lake of fire, the second death. Abandon all hope in false messiahs, repent of your sins, and join yourself to the only one true Messiah today!

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Posted in abomination, anti - Christ, antichrist, apostasy, atheism, beast, Bible, big business, blasphemy, capitalism, Christianity, false religion, gnosticism, great tribulation, Hinduism, Jesus Christ, liberalism, liberation theology, man of sin, mark of the beast, media conspiracy | 3 Comments »

Is The Rider On The White Horse Of Revelation 6:2 Christ Or Anti-Christ?

Posted by Job on March 9, 2011

Revelation 6:1-2 reads “And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.”

The predominant view in modern western fundamentalist and evangelical Christianity is that the rider of the white horse is the anti-Christ. This was my view until very recently, when I read the John Bunyan allegory “Holy War“, which altered, or should I say enhanced, my view of Jesus Christ (more on that later), just as did reading “Pilgrim’s Progress Part 1” changed my view of Christian living and Part II changed my view of the pastorate and of the church.

Allow me to say that this article provides a good reason why the rider on the white horse cannot be the anti-Christ, which is that the four horsemen are released this eschatological figure is not released until the fifth trumpet. The trumpets do not occur until the seventh seal, and the white horse is released by the first seal. So, the white horse comes at or near the beginning of the events of Revelation (presuming a linear timeline with a literal interpretation) while the anti-Christ comes well into those events. Some interpretations deal with this by claiming that the reference in Revelation 6:2 is the anti-Christ’s laying the groundwork, placing everything in order, for his full unveiling to the earth that is described later.

Well, further arguments against the rider being the anti-Christ are given in this article. It deals with how those who propose that the rider is the anti-Christ deal with the fact that white is always used to represent Godly virtue by making the statement that the anti-Christ comes in this manner to deceive people into thinking that he is Jesus Christ. However, this interpretation requires starting with the idea that the rider on the white horse is the anti-Christ, and then making everything else fit, something often called thesis-driven analysis and also called eisegesis. If your starting point was neutral concerning the identity of this character, then his being on a white horse would immediately disqualify your  associating him with the anti-Christ. But if your starting point was his being the anti-Christ, that is when you have to contrive an explanation for the horse being white, one that seems to violate all rules and standards for hermeneutics used for other passages. The question is: “Why is this done?”

It goes back to one’s view of Jesus Christ. The rider of the white horse is given a bow and he went forth to conquer, and conquer he did! Modern, humanistic, enlightenment thinking does not permit viewing Jesus Christ as the Conqueror. That is, at least not until the last day when Jesus Christ comes to judge the nations for their wickedness. That is the one time that the modern church with its man-centered mindset allows Jesus Christ, who as God is the Creator, Owner and Sustainer of the Universe, to be viewed as a conquering ruler. (And for those who believe in the rapture, this happens when the church is already off the scene, and is spared having to deal with Jesus Christ in this role.) In the modern mindset, Jesus Christ can be viewed as the sacrificial lamb, advisor, “co-pilot”, best friend, psychiatrist/psychologist, enabler, helper, moneychanger (prosperity doctrine), mystic/shaman, errand boy, and even romantic lover, but NOT as a conquerer. This stark, authoritarian, militaristic view runs counter to the modernistic Jeffersonian view that exalts such ideas as civil rights, human rights, democracy etc. above all, and needs a Jesus Christ that will bow and be conformed to it. Thus, Jesus Christ as conquerer cannot exist in the mind of the modernist/postmodernist Christian except for a single day when He is forced to execute that role with respect to the wicked. With the exception of that day, Jesus Christ remains in a construct that the modern mind finds acceptable. And according to that construct, where conquest to set up authoritarian rule is undemocratic is evil, this HAS to be the anti-Christ!

It cannot be Jesus Christ according to this mindset, because this mindset makes Jesus Christ a democrat. This Jesus Christ does not conquer. No, this Jesus Christ is standing outside the human heart like a lovesick teenage loverboy knocking on the door waiting, longing, begging for His sweetheart to come in. And it is only when the person that Jesus Christ’s target makes the free will decision to open the door to his or her heart and invite Jesus Christ in that salvation occurs.

For this to happen any other way, uninvited, unasked, and without consent, is tyranny. For Jesus Christ is not a sovereign king who rules by way of His undisputed dominion over the creation that is the work of His own hands for Him to do as He pleases. No, that is tyranny. Such rule is illegitimate, based on the threat of force rather than the consent of the governed! A true, enlightened philosopher king governs not by power or divine right, but by mutual consent! So, the one who stands at the door and knocks and will not come in without the consent of the “pilot” (for Jesus Christ is merely the co-pilot, not the actual pilot who is running the show and is the true master of eternal destiny, which is man’s free will) is Jesus Christ, the genuine article. The conquerer who does not ask permission, who does not gladly (though under submission) come when asked and does not meekly leave when rejected? Now that has to be the anti-Christ! So says the modern Christian mindset.

Thankfully, John Bunyan did not live in modern Enlightenment times! Therefore, Bunyan presents a different Jesus Christ, one that is actually present on the pages of the Bible before all the modern humanist filters and constructs are placed on it. Bunyan’s rather rough allegory presents a kingdom ruled by Shaddai (God the Father), whose most prominent and prized possession is the city Mansoul, which was built by the King Himself. While the modern mindset reared on democracy would revile the idea that a city is the possession of any king, A) this was in fact the custom of monarchs in times past – the kingdom and all in it were their possessions, and in the east the subjects of the “lord-kings” were considered slaves to the lord-king, and remember the Bible is an oriental book, not a western book and B) the Bible was fully written in the mindset of this custom. Mansoul rebelled against King Shaddai due to the provocation and trickery of Diabolus (Satan) and made Satan its king instead, under the false pretense that they could exchange status as slaves under King Shaddai’s rule to free men under his rule. Of course, Diabolus immediately made the residents of Mansoul his slaves, but so thoroughly corrupted and tricked them that they mistook the slavery of Diabolus and sin for liberation. Their delusion was so strong that when King Shaddai sent His captains (difficult to tell in the allegory, my guess is that they are angels) to liberate Mansoul from Diabolus, they resisted with all their might. The story was explicit: when Mansoul was given a multitude of opportunities to make a free will choice for King Shaddai, they rejected King Shaddai each time due to the depths of their depravity.

So, King Shaddai sent His Son, Prince Emmanuel, to recapture Mansoul. In this allegory, Emmanuel did not conquer Mansoul by standing at the door knocking and being invited in. Quite the contrary, He came with an army of soldiers and overcame the recalcitrant Mansoul, who resisted Him with all the force that it could muster – as it was still dedicated and devoted to Diabolus and its own sinful passions – with mighty force. Make no mistake, in this allegory, “and he went forth conquering, and to conquer” Mansoul! After the conquering of Mansoul was done, Prince Emmanuel had the entire town confess that He took the town for Himself as His prize by force; that when the town had the chance – indeed several chances – to yield itself up to the government of the Prince and His Father by choice, they refused each time. So, Mansoul chose the rule of Diabolus, and Prince Emmanuel gained the rule of Mansoul only by overtaking Diabolus, binding him, driving him out, and “spoiling the goods of the strongman” by declaring and setting up His own rule and domain – and through it re-establishing the same of King Shaddai – by force. Mansoul had no say in the matter, because Mansoul, by decree, election and will of God the Father its Owner and Creator – had declared it to be so. Mansoul did not choose Prince Emmanuel, but Emmanuel chose Mansoul (John 15:16).

Now, Jesus Christ as He is commonly depicted in most modern gospel music is not the rider on the white horse. But Jesus Christ as depicted in Holy War and in the Bible may well be. If nothing else, it is something to consider. Another thing to consider: why would the anti-Christ have to go about conquering the world to begin with? According to the words of Jesus Christ, Satan is already the prince of this world (John 14:30)! 2 Corinthians 4:4 declares Satan to be the god of this world, Ephesians 2:2 declares him to be the prince of the powers of the air. So, the anti-Christ does not need to conquer the world. All he needs is to have Satan’s authority transferred to him. Revelation 13:2 says exactly that: “And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as [the feet] of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.” Further, Revelation 17 says that the rulers of the earth GIVE their power to the beast, NOT that he conquers them and takes it from them by force.

This may seem like idle speculation, or an excessive emphasis on “last things” when other issues concerning orthodoxy and orthopraxy are more pressing: “minoring in the majors.” However, one’s view of last things often casts a shadow on one’s belief. Many theological liberals and “moderates” de-emphasize predictive prophecy because of an anti-supernatural bias. Others use apocalyptic texts to promote the political and social causes that are near and dear to them. And many Christians are attracted to the rapture doctrines because of their desire not to suffer persecution and rejection by the world as Christ suffered the same.

In a similar fashion, the idea that the anti-Christ is the conquerer on the white horse reveals the mindset of a great many Christian theologians, preachers, and laymen concerning the doctrine of original sin. So many Christians SAY that they believe in original sin, or even total depravity, but by adhering to such interpretations as this, it really does imply otherwise. If original sin is true, if total depravity is true, then why is it that Jesus Christ comes only by willing invitation, and the anti-Christ only by force? Is that not backwards? If the anti-Christ, the beast is “the man of sin”, then the fallen, wicked world, if it is not his already, will freely, gladly accept him as one of their own, a kindred spirit! Again, why would a sinful world oppose and resist a man of sin? Why would they not accept him and instead need to be conquered by him? Only if there is some inherent virtue, inherent goodness in him that would cause him to resist the evil rather than accept it.

The idea that the anti-Christ would have to conquer is based on the notion that man is basically good; that the nations are basically good. And is that not what so many seem to adhere to because of their political, cultural and social beliefs? That the nations – especially the pro-western capitalist democracies – are good, and only the exceptions – the anti-democratic, anti-western, authoritarian regimes – are bad.

Isn’t it curious how most of the theories about where the anti-Christ will come is from the “bad” nations? First it was from the “bad” communist regimes. Then it was from the “bad” secular humanist socialist United Nations or European Union. Now speculation centers on the “bad” Islamic regimes. The idea that the anti-Christ could come from – gasp! – America, the shining city on a hill, the nation founded on Christianity and is a beacon of freedom and goodness? Well, MAYBE, but only if he is not really one of us like Obama!

Again, it is based on the idea that there is some inherent virtue in man, and some inherent virtue in what man builds. It is based on a rejection of original sin, a rejection of total depravity. Even the very idea that Satan takes over the earth and installs the anti-Christ only when the church departs after the rapture is based on the notion that Satan is not the god of this world at present! Ironically, people who adhere to this belief are de facto amillennalists believing that rather than being the god of this world in this present age, Satan is currently bound by the church’s presence.

So many Christians who profess to be evangelical or fundamentalist and profess a belief in original sin based on the actions of Adam only apply that doctrine to soteriology. They only apply mankind’s fallen nature to the individual human soul! But when it comes time to apply it to a larger scale, they shrink back! Why? Because of their love of this present world and the things in it! To those people, James 4:4’s “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” applies to liking MTV and the New York Times editorial page and not the entire fallen worldly system! The parts of the world they like, they consider it good, moral, even Christian. It is only the part that they are alienated from, usually because of political or cultural considerations, that they consider to be “worldly.”

But go back to the text and view it in context. Yes, Revelation concerns the last days. But the letter to the Hebrews – and elsewhere in the New Testament – declares that the last days began after the work of Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ was the fulfillment of God’s plan and the high point of the history of creation. So, the last days – the time period that Revelation concerns itself with – is not merely the last seven years, the “great tribulation.” Instead, it concerns itself with the entire endtimes, which is now, and has been since Pentecost. That is why the letters to the churches are the first part of the Revelation. They are not introductory material to set the stage for the eschatology. Instead, they are part and parcel of the eschatology!

In that context, note that the white horse and its rider come first. It is the first seal! So, after the heavenly visions in Revelation 4-5, the white horse and its rider are the first thing that we encounter when the events shift back earthward in Revelation 6. So, why not strongly associate the white horse and rider with Jesus Christ speaking to and walking amongst the churches in Revelation 2-3? Were the material in Revelation to be arranged topically (i.e. with the things happening in heaven all together and the things happening on earth all together), that is exactly how it would appear … Revelation 6:1-2 would immediately follow the challenge to the Laodicean church!

So then, why not consider the possibility that the rider on the white horse given the bow and the crown and goes about conquering (and as this article states he does not obtain or use these things illegitimately in a manner that is against God’s will … such ideas are missing from the text) is going about to foreign lands conquering souls of sinners for God the Father? Did not Jesus Christ say in the Olivet discourse (i.e. Matthew 24:14) that the end will not come until His gospel is preached in all the world for a witness to all nations? Well, in Revelation 6, though it is certainly the last days, the end is not yet come! So, me must consider that the rider on the white horse is none other than Prince Emmanuel enlarging the domain of King Shaddai through the conquest of souls in every tribe and nation that are hardened with the total depravity of original sin.

Granted, this article does state that the rider is the Holy Spirit, not Jesus Christ. I disagree, but for my purposes the distinction is not a great one, as Jesus Christ sent the Holy Spirit in His Name to complete His Work through the church which is Jesus Christ’s Body, and the Holy Spirit is the One who performs regeneration. Instead, the main point is to consider the strong possibility that man-centered, humanistic thinking is the reason why the rider on the white horse was ever called the anti-Christ to begin with, especially when one has to be very inconsistent in one’s interpretation of Revelation and the Bible in general to arrive at that viewpoint.

Of course, the main point is that Jesus Christ is returning to judge the world and all its people for their wickedness. The only way to escape this judgment that is certainly to come at a time in the future that has been predetermined by God the Father is to be saved through Jesus Christ. If you have not been, I urge and entreat you that you would be so; that you too would be a conquest of Jesus Christ as was I.

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Posted in abomination, anti - Christ, anti - Semitism, antichrist, apostasy, beast, Bible, christian right, Christian salvation, christian worldliness, Christianity, church hypocrisy, church scandal, church state, church worldliness, conservatism, conservative, endtimes, eschatology, globalism, government, great tribulation, harpagesometha, Holy Spirit, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Israel, Jesus Christ, Left Behind, liberal, liberal christian, liberalism, liberation theology, man of sin, mark of the beast, mid - tribulation rapture, Middle East peace process, Muslim, Muslim Brotherhood, Muslim media conspiracy, New York Times, orthodoxy, orthopraxy, political correctness, politics, post - tribulation rapture, postmillennialism, pretribulation, rapio, rapture, religious left, religious right, the anti-christ, the beast, the false prophet, warning given to churches in Revelation 2 and 3 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Should Christian Pastors Speak Out Against The Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Laws? I Say No!

Posted by Job on December 26, 2009

Homosexual activists and others who would promote and proliferate various forms of disorder and perversion throughout the world have tried to target and discredit Uganda ever since they proved on a national scale that it was possible to successfully fight the spread of AIDS, and it was done through a Christian woman in the Ugandan public health department who advocated abstinence. Now it seems that such people have their opening: Uganda’s considering a law that would criminalize homosexuality.

Now make no mistake, in general I oppose efforts to legislate morality. The purpose of human institutions i.e. cultures and governments are to restrain evil, and because humans are made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26) and are recipients of His common grace and used to achieve His purposes (Romans 13:1-8). However, because human institutions also reflect man’s fallen nature, they are incapable of achieving or imposing God’s righteousness and are not participants in or beneficiaries of special – that is saving – grace. Human institutions cannot and will not ever redeem cultures or nations. Instead, God will redeem His holy and elect nation, His church. Whenever a government passes the boundary of restraining evil, it becomes evil itself.

Now of course, the definition of government action which restrains evil varies with times and places because of the  state of the culture. What restrains evil in some cultural contexts creates confusion and chaos in others. (This is a principle that was quickly discovered by Christian evangelists on the mission field who at times caused real problems by attempting to change offensive local practices before the minds and hearts were ready for such changes.) That is one reason why we need wise, honest and prudent rulers, governors and administrators.

So, a law against homosexual behavior in America would be utterly ridiculous in a nation whose culture has been defined by 40 years of the sexual revolution – and also humanistic Enlightenment ideas for centuries before that – and now has large numbers of homosexuals in positions of authority in government, academia, media, culture (and increasingly clergy!) and where large portions of the population of major cities have given themselves over to this abomination, either by participating in it or having pleasure in those who do (Romans 1:32). But, a law against homosexuality in a culture where the homosexual population, culture and influence is small and more importantly the prevailing cultural mindset does not embrace the idea that living to please oneself is the goal and duty of man’s existence (and yes, American culture has long exalted the individualistic ideal of pleasing oneself) may be practical and effective in restraining evil in that culture.

This is important because in order to restrain evil, a law must be practical and effective. If a law is impractical or ineffective, it increases evil by making a mockery of the law itself and the rulers and servants who administer it. That is precisely an issue in America, which is plunging into disorder in no small part because of a labyrinth of laws that can never be enforced, causing the populace to view our government and leaders as weak and ineffective. A law against homosexual behavior would only cause more people to despise and defy the government, making the ability of the government to restrain evil in other ways (i.e. enforce laws against murder and theft) that much more difficult.

But would such a law be practical, effective and necessary (another vital component, as laws must also be needed and not capricious vanities) in restraining evil in Uganda? To this only Ugandans know the answer. But if a law against homosexually is necessary, practical and effective in Uganda and thereby restrains evil, what basis does a Christian  have for speaking against it? In Biblical terms, we have no reason.

Instead, the ability of such a law to restrain evil and the need for such a law is a matter for the Ugandan rulers to decide. Claiming otherwise is bad policy in the secular arena and bad theology in the Christian one. Yet many western Christian pastors and religious leaders are falling over themselves to criticize and denounce Uganda and in the process humiliate, undermine and make appear less effective government, rulers and administrators in an area that badly needs it (and yes, the failure of so many civil governments in Africa and the disastrous consequences of these failures is a major argument for one world government!) without stopping to consider that by acting against a government that appears to be effective at restraining evil that they are violating Romans 13:1-8. Why? In order not to offend mainstream sensibilities. In order to curry and maintain favor with those in power. In short, to be relevant.

Further, it is hypocritical for American pastors. What is the difference between a law against homosexuality and a law against polygamy? Please realize that where the Bible calls homosexuality a sin in both the Old and New Testament, it nowhere does so for polygamy. What about our laws regulating or criminalizing the use of some drugs (particularly allowing the ones that cause the most damage – alcohol and tobacco – to be legal while forbidding others)? What about our laws against gambling? Claims that either are based on the Bible is absurd. There are lots of things that are declared illegal by our laws but aren’t explicitly declared to be sins in the Bible.

And what of things that are illegal in America ONLY because they are declared to be sinful in the Bible? Best example: prostitution. Make a case that prostitution should be illegal without resorting to what the Bible says about fornication and adultery. You can’t. Plus the fact that pornography is legal makes laws against prostitution ridiculous. There are other areas also. Why, for instance, do statutory rape laws – a matter completely different from child molestation mind you – exist? And what about age-consent laws for marriage?

So, now we have the bizarre state of affairs where evangelical pastors in the west are speaking out against anti-homosexuality measures in Uganda while remaining silent concerning THOROUGHLY INEFFECTIVE measures against gambling, marijuana and polygamy (the state can only prosecute a person for legally marrying multiple spouses but can’t do a thing to prevent it socially or culturally, and yes religious groups can and do perform marriages to polygamists) in their own countries, and moreover lack the theological consistency to recognize that an anti-homosexuality law is no different from a law against prostitution or statutory rape in their own countries.

So, their stand is not based on the Bible, for if it were such pastors would – in order to be consistent – oppose our own laws against prostitution as well. But as the evangelical pastor who favors decriminalizing prostitution would soon find himself without a congregation – and the influence that comes from being a pastor of one – on this issue they remain silent. That exposes the danger of playing politics and attempting to mix being a religious leader and a secular one. It is, quite simply, impossible to be effective in both religious and secular leadership spheres because in the former you are leading (mostly) born again people and in the latter you are influencing (mostly) unsaved ones, and you are bound by the duties of your leadership to respond to the needs and desires of both. It is inevitable for the leadership spheres to be in conflict, and you must wind up choosing one over the other. As Jesus Christ said, you cannot serve both God and mammon, for you will either love one or hate the other.

This is not an argument against Christians being in government service or even against pastors’ having secular jobs. Instead, it is a statement that Christian pastors, when acting and speaking from the role of pastor with the authority of pastor, should rule wisely with wisdom, caution, prudence and consistency. Speaking out against Uganda’s anti-homosexuality laws because retaining your place of popularity and leadership in mainstream society requires that you do so falls short of this principle, especially if by doing so you ignore similar problems with our own government and laws. Pastors, concentrate on effectively serving your own churches first, and let God take care of the rest.

Posted in abomination, Christianity, government, homophobia, homosexuality | Tagged: , , , | 9 Comments »

Seven Christians – Including Child – Burned Alive In Pakistan Over False Charges Of Koran Desecration

Posted by Job on August 1, 2009

Daily Times – Leading News Resource of Pakistan – 7 Christians burnt alive in Gojra riots

* Rangers called in after mob torches Christian homes
* Punjab law minister says preliminary investigation shows no desecration of holy Quran

By Ali Usman

LAHORE: The government deployed the Rangers to the town of Gojra on Saturday after at least seven Christians, including three women, were burnt alive and dozens injured following the second incident of violence against Christians in Punjab in one month.

The latest riots, which started almost a week ago following allegations that a copy of the holy Quran was defiled, escalated on Saturday as locals shouting slogans against Christians took to the streets in Christian Town, a Christian-only locality. Following the escalation, Interior Minister Rehman Malik, on directions of President Asif Ali Zardari, ordered the Punjab Rangers to reach Gojra and help the civil administration maintain law and order. Eyewitnesses said a protesting mob turned violent when armed men from Jhang reached the spot and started attacking Christian houses. Locals claimed the attackers were members of a banned organisation, adding they carried sophisticated weaponry. Emboldened by the attackers, the mob started throwing acid and petrol bombs on the houses, forcing the people to come out. A local resident said dozens were feared dead, adding the exact number could not be confirmed as several bodies were buried under debris.

Claiming the banned Sipah-e-Sahaba group was involved in the rioting, Federal Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti told the Associated Press he had directed police to ensure protection for the Christian community but they had ignored his instructions.

Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said authorities had investigated the allegation of a Holy Quran being defiled “and our initial reports say that there has not been any incident of desecration”. He said the situation had calmed down on Friday, but extremists had entered the city on Saturday and pushed people toward armed clashes. Faisalabad Commissioner Tahir Hussain told local TV channels that representatives of the two communities would meet on Saturday in an effort to calm the situation.

Another link: Muslims Kill Christians Over Koran Claims
Another link:  Pakistan Christians die in unrest

Posted in abomination, Christian Persecution, Christianity, Islam, murder, Muslim, Pakistan | 1 Comment »

Regarding Abortion, Jesus Christ, Joseph And Mary: What If Mary Had Chosen Abortion?

Posted by Job on February 23, 2009

This powerful post on the topic of abortion from brother Laz caused me to ponder on the whole anti – abortion political movement and its influence on evangelical Christianity, particularly the fact that a great deal of tolerance is bestowed by evangelical political leaders upon those who profess to be Christian so long as they are sufficiently pro – life no matter what other flaws these “Christian pro – lifers” have in their doctrinal systems and lifestyles. Truthfully, other than perhaps the work of Billy Graham (and before him John Wesley), nothing has been more effective at uniting evangelical Protestants with Roman Catholics and (lately) Mormons and not to mention the wealthy, powerful decadent “Christian in name only” personalities active in politics and politiically driven media than the pro – life movement, which itself is but a part of the “family values theology” which again is part of the “Christian culture/Christian nation theology.”  

So, I recounted during Election 2008 that presidential candidate John Edwards (who despite his support for abortion and homosexuality and – more important – his personally being an adulterer, making him no different from plenty of abortion and gay rights opponents who are also adulterers and fornicators, claims to be a devout Christian of Southern Baptist leanings) hired viciously anti – Christian atheist Amanda Marcotte to publicize his campaign. Among many of the “witty gems” that Marcotte produced was something to the effect of: what if Mary was on Plan B (the abortion pill) when Jesus Christ was conceived. (Actually, Marcotte’s words were much more mocking of God and vulgar.) Yet, this evil woman’s point was a good one: that the agenda of the “religious right” was not religious at all, but a cultural and political agenda. Now it is true that many of these people have indeed integrated culture and politics into their theological worldview, but the result is something that teeters on being a false religion that rejects the reason why Jesus Christ came (to die on the cross for our sins) and before then why Israel and Judaism were formed (so that Jesus Christ could come to die on the cross for our sins) in the first place. 

After all, Marcotte was somewhat correct in her mocking: abortion pills and other modern forms of contraception were not available to Mary at the time that Jesus Christ was conceived and in the nation and culture that Jesus Christ was born into. Now from the perspective of a political (worldly and carnal by definition) Christian, the response would be to imagine if it had been and gasp with horror at what might have been were our abortion pill culture had been in existence in Mary’s Roman Empire, and had Mary availed herself of it. And you know what? That is not only a perspective that rejects faith, but also history.

For the Roman Empire that Jesus Christ was born into was not a “Christian nation” and it was also not a “moral family values” one. Instead, there were multitudes of religions and bizarre abominable practices. For instance, homosexuality was commonly practiced, and if a man did not want his family, not only could he easily receive a divorce, but if he did not want to bother with divorce proceedings provided that he was a Roman citizen he could simply have the entire family –  his wife and children and everyone living in his house – killed. So, the world, the western culture that Jesus Christ was born into was not a family values culture. Furthermore, it was still not a family values culture when He finished His work and ascended into heaven. It was wicked before Jesus Christ came, was wicked when He departed, and will be wicked when He returns. Jesus Christ stated that this world and its cultures would always reject Him and those who truly know and represent Him. The “family values/Christian culture” theologians get around this by claiming “oh, Jesus Christ wasn’t talking about OUR culture and nation when He said that … He was only talking about the Pharisees, Sadduccees, and the rest of those wicked Jews.”

And so, in the decidedly “anti – family” that was the Roman Empire, do you know what else was available? A primitive form of abortion, along with infanticide and primitive contraception. So what if Mary had decided to avail herself of what was available and commonly practiced in the culture and gotten an abortion? After all, though betrothed, she was still technically single. She was also impoverished, belonged to a marginal class even among Jews, and her being pregnant would ruin practically any chance of getting married, which was her only practical hope of financial security and/or social mobility. Oh yes, there was also the fact that under Jewish law, she could have been killed by stoning. So, Mary had every reason to furtively seek out the Romans to receive an abortion, a decision which of our last several presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama have stated that they would have fully supported. (Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush made no such statements, but Bush was on record as opposing the overturn of Roe v. Wade and Reagan for his part signed America’s most liberal abortion bill into law as governor of California, and, as he himself was a divorcee, signed a no – fault divorce bill into law as well.) But Mary did not.

Joseph for his part had his options as well. He could have handed Mary over to be stoned. Or he could have divorced and abandoned her and the child. And keep in mind: there is no scriptural evidence that Joseph had the full benefit of knowledge that Mary did. The Bible does not relate Joseph being told that Mary’s child was the Son of God and the Messiah. The Bible only records Joseph being told that the child was of the Holy Spirit. (And keep in mind this context: Judaism taught that ALL conceptions were the work of the Holy Spirit.) Also, Joseph was not given this information in an awesome angelic visitation as was Mary. It came to him in a dream that would have been very easy to later deny and reject as part of justifying his decision to rid himself of responsibility for a child that was not his, and of the woman who became impregnated with such a child while she was engaged to him. After all, consider this fellow’s plight. The fact that Mary was pregnant before they were officially married with a child that was not his … how do you keep something like that secret, and prevent being the subject of gossip, scorn, ridicule and rejection, especially from your own family? But like Mary, Joseph did the right thing. 

And why did Mary and Joseph both do the right thing concerning Jesus Christ, ensuring not only His birth, but that His birth that would fulfill prophecies that would demonstrate to the Jews and to the world His identity? Simple: they were righteous people that obeyed God. Their righteousness was not the product of growing up in a “Christ honoring culture in a Christian nation with Christian values encoded in their system of laws.” In other words, it was not due to abortion being unavailable to Mary, not an option for her legally or practically. Mary had every opportunity to do wrong, but chose to do right.

For Joseph, the opposite was actually true. For him, the right thing to do according to the Torah would have been to take Mary to the priests and other religious and legal authorities to be stoned to death. Even though many who have studied Jewish history during the period state that stonings for adultery and other violations of the Sinai code had become exceedingly rare during that time, by taking Mary to the priests, Joseph would have fulfilled his own responsibility under the law. And further, it can be argued that Joseph’s plans to divorce Mary secretly without exposing her to public shame – or threat of death – qualified as his understanding Jesus Christ’s teachings of the weightier matters of the law, which are judgment, mercy, and faith.

But instead, Joseph and Mary did the right thing, which was to trust and obey God. Mary did not need a “Judeo – Christian set of laws” or a  “values based society” in order to keep her from sinning by abortion or anything else. She merely needed to be righteous, to love God by keeping His commandments. And Joseph would have actually been conforming to his Jewish legal and cultural context, righteous according to the externals of the law, by turning Mary over the authorities. The fact that he was pondering how to exceed the external righteousness of his religious and cultural systems in the first place, that he was trying to do more than what was required of him to be counted as righteous and just in the eyes of man, was evidence of his love for God, and the fact that he heeded the dream and made Mary and the child his responsibility was evidence of his faith. 

Mary and Joseph did not obtain their righteousness and faith from being born into a nation that loved and honored Yahweh and had a system of laws that reflected His nature. This would not have been possible, as the nation and culture that was the Roman Empire was as bad as our own of today, if not worse. Instead, they obtained their righteousness and faith from God. Consider the plight of Elijah, who was running from Jezebel and Ahab, the latter two of whom had led Israel into pagan idolatrous apostasy and killed the prophets. God’s statement to Elijah in 1 Kings 19:18: Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.

In the midst of the wickedness of the nation and culture, God preserved for Himself a people for His Name. These people were not righteous because of the world, because they were called out of the world, just as Israel was chosen from among the nations. They were called by God, predestined and elected to righteousness by God, and placed in that particular place and time by God for the purposes of serving Him and bringing glory to His Name.

The same is true of this Mary and Joseph. No matter what sort of culture or nation that they were born in, they would have still fulfilled their duties that came with bringing Jesus Christ into the world. Regardless of whether their external environment was good or evil according to its laws, culture and religion, Mary and Joseph were inevitably going to do the right thing because they were righteous. The reason is that their righteousness was not due to governments and cultures – which are the works of men – because if they were, then men should be able to boast about contributing to their own justification. Instead, their righteousness was due to God’s making them so, and predestining that they would be so. And where man’s nations and systems will inevitably fail, God’s divine sovereign decrees cannot and will not fail. This is with respect to man’s salvation and everything else. That is the meaning of the doctrines of grace.

Make no mistake. Abortion is a great abomination, a great evil, that should be outlawed in any society that considers itself civilized. The same is true of homosexual marriage. However, it was not the absence of legal abortion that prevented Mary from aborting Jesus Christ. (And as stated earlier, Joseph actually opposed the religious and cultural views of the day to obey his dream from God to make Mary his wife and to adopt Jesus Christ as his son.) Instead, it was the fact that Mary – and Joseph – was righteous. Mary and Joseph were not righteous because they were born in a Christian nation. They were not righteous because they were born to a church going family. They were not righteous because they were baptized as infants. They were not righteous because they raised their hands or came forward in response to an altar call (not that I in any way oppose invitations; I support them 100%!), said a prayer, or had their names added to a church roll. Instead, they were righteous because God made them so by virtue of His divine predestination and election. They were righteous because God called them out of this world to be part of His ekklesia. And their righteousness was not demonstrated or proven by their nationality, religious or political affiliation, cultural norms, or even their stated beliefs, but by their behavior, which was unyielding obedience to God and His Word in the face of all obstacles and in spite of all opposition. 

So, despite the evil that goes on in the world (or perhaps because of it) our goal is not to transform the world, to change the culture. In “The Visitation”, the Frank Peretti novel, the protagonist informed a young naive pastor that the job of the church was not to “take the town for Christ” because not even Christ Himself “took a town for Christ!” No, not only did Jerusalem reject Jesus Christ, but the place where Jesus Christ had the least honor, the fewest followers and believers, was His own country, and even His own brothers born in His house did not believe in Him! Instead, our job is to evangelize. To spread the gospel. To preach, teach, minister, disciple, and to baptize. Our job is to be the vessels for the sovereign God to use to call others out of this wicked world just as He called us out of it. And anything that distracts or hinders or redirects us from that task is just that: a barrier erected that opposes the will and righteousness of God. It must, by definition then, be considered sinful, evil, a work of Satan, the adversary, and not of God. 

Christians are not called to transform the world into Christ’s image. Christians are called to reject the world so that we might be fully effective in being used by Jesus Christ to go after His lost sheep. The sad fact that this world is sinful, that people are born in sin, and that people are going to sin. However, the joyful fact that opposes this is that if we would just obey God, He will use us to bring people out of sin and into salvation so that He will transform them, transform His people, transform His church, into righteousness. The issue is not to transform a sinful world, but rather to go after the people that God will conform into the image of His Son. If you profess yourself to be a Christian, please, go about the business of that issue today and every day. Maranantha!

Posted in abomination, abortion, abortion rights, Christianity, Jesus Christ, politics, pro choice, pro life, religious right, Y'shua Hamashiach, Y'shua Hamashiach Moshiach, Yeshua Hamashiach | Tagged: , , , , , , | 37 Comments »

 
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