“But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” (Psalm 1:2)
L.B.’s family is in the cattle business, and the following was written on Facebook to the women in L.B.’s Bible Study.
According to L.B., “When a cow eats, they inhale a lot of roughage (hay, grass)! In order for a cow to properly digest that tough food, they have to be able to regurgitate parts of the food, a little at a time. To do that means the rumen in their stomachs mixes all the (good) bacteria, juices and lots of other stuff and they burp it back up to chew on for a while…then swallow once again. It’s quite complex and amazing!”
“We always say that when a cow loses her ability to chew her cud, she’s sick…that’s a real problem. Now…put that thought in line with meditating on God’s word! We ‘eat’ a lot, sometimes quickly from God’s Word. Not sure about you, but I certainly can’t digest it all properly as it goes down the first time! If I didn’t have the ability (or desire) to (pardon me for saying it this way, Lord) “burp” God’s Word back up, chew on it, digest it again, and again and again…I’d be sick too! Spiritually sick! Eventually dead!
“This will stick with me! Hope it helps imprint on your mind, too, how important God’s Word is!” (by L.B.)
L.B.’s above description really shows how, in biblical meditation, the mind is always active (chewing the cud, so to speak). Not so with New Age and Eastern meditation, or with so-called contemplative prayer. The goal of these is to still the mind, to halt all thought, and to enter the silence, where much spiritual deception can take place. Unfortunately, contemplative prayer has already infected many in the Body of Christ.**
Concerning contemplative prayer, Ray Yungen, author of A Time of Departing, writes, “The question may arise–how can credible Christian organizations justify and condone meditative practices that clearly resemble Eastern meditation? As pointed out earlier in the book, Christian terminology surrounds these practices. It takes only a few popular Christian leaders with national profiles to embrace a teaching that sounds Christian to bring about big changes in the church. Moreover, we have many trusting Christians who do not use the Scriptures to test the claims of others.” (pg.182)
**Who has helped bring this practice into the church? Rick Warren, Timothy Keller, Mike Bickle, and many others. Ray Yungen warns, “Contemplative prayer is presenting a way to God identical with all the world’s mystical traditions. Christians are haplessly lulled into it by the emphasis on seeking the Kingdom of God and greater piety, yet the apostle Paul described the church’s end-times apostasy in the context of a mystical seduction. If this practice doesn’t fit that description, I don’t know what does.” (Yungen, A Time of Departing, pg. 140).
In recent years, the number of Christians identifying as “Christian Socialists” or “Christian Communists” has skyrocketed in a way not seen in over 40 years. Sarah Ngu, in her 2020 article “Why These Young American Christians Embrace Socialism” wrote the following: “Over the past three years, some American Christians have rediscovered this tradition and found themselves gravitating to socialism—in all its varieties, from democratic socialism to full-fledged communism.” Gary Dorrien, a professor of social ethics at Union Theological Seminary, writes “The revival (of Christian socialism) is a Christian flank of the current upsurge for democratic socialist”. For the most part, the orthodox Christian community has remained silent about this growing trend, seemingly oblivious to the dangers. It’s time we acknowledged how the Trojan Horse of Socialism entered the Church, and fight back.
First, doctrine and history make clear that Biblical Christianity and Socialism and/or Communism are in opposition on fundamental levels. The intellectual forefather of Socialism, Karl Marx, taught this about Christianity: “The social principle of Christianity preaches cowardice, self-contempt, abasement, submission, humility….” Marx further asserted “The more of himself that man gives to God, the less he has left of himself”. Like all future communist and socialist leaders who follow Marx, he believed: “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of the heartless world, and the soul of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opiate of the people.” (Communist Manifesto, the Bible of Communism).
The history of the socialist war against Christianity is instructive. “The League of the Militant Godless” was developed by early Soviet leaders like Leon Trotsky and Lenin. Its slogan tells volumes: “The struggle against religion is the struggle for socialism”. In just over 15 years, the League boasted 3.5 million members and included a hundred ethnicities. This was while Soviets in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) were executing tens of thousands of Priests, millions of Christians, demolishing churches and ruthlessly suppressing Christianity. The official literature of the Comintern (International Communist Front), stated “One of the most important tasks of the cultural revolution affecting the wide masses is the task of systematically and unswervingly combating religion – the opiate of the people.”
Ben Gitlow was a top figure in the early Communist Party (USA), and twice ran as Vice President of the US on the Communist Party ticket in 1924 and 1928. He left the Communist Party in 1929, and began hearings before Congress about Communist infiltration in America starting in 1939. According to Gitlow in answering Congress about the Communist “united front” technique of infiltrating America: “the tactic of the united front adopted by the Communists in 1922 after they realized that their militant policy for instigating a revolution in Germany and then throughout Europe and the world had failed…….. The united front tactic enabled the Communists to greatly increase the effectiveness of their infiltration activities.” The aims were to first build pro-Soviet sentiment in America. Second, to set conditions for Communists to capture trade unions. Third to “Spread Communist propaganda, incite discontent amount the people, undermine the loyalty of the American people and to divide them on religion, national, racial, and economic lines.”
Importantly, Gitlow said this about infiltration of the Christian Church in America: “the united front policy enabled the Communists to widely expand their infiltration activities on the religious field because instead of using the Communist Party directly (on Christian organizations)”, they used united-front organizations not directly connected to the Communist Party. Communist Party USA leader Manning Johnson told Congress that “deceit” about the anti-Christian nature was “a major policy of the Communist Propaganda”. According to Johnson: “(Communists) made fine gestures and honeyed words to the church people which could be will likened unto the sea nymphs luring millions to moral decay, spiritual death, and spiritual slavery. An illustration of this treachery, I might point out, is smiling, sneaky Earl Browder, for example, who was vice chairman of the American League Against War and Fascism, greeting and praising ministers and other church workers participating with him in the united front anti-war activities, while secretly harboring in his heart only contempt for them and for the religion that they represented.”
The Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 and no longer commands the worldwide Comintern. However, Communism as a worldwide movement continues. The ideology spawned during those decades made substantial inroads into the Church and academia (an estimated 18% of American Professors today identify as Marxist). United Methodist Reverend Lindsey Joyce provides a window into the modern infiltration: “Socialism gave me a politics that finally provided clarity….. It wasn’t about my individualistic faith or spiritual gifts.” Christianity centers around individual spiritual redemption, while socialism is about the collective and material. Communist “Christian” Dean Dettloff is indicative of the fraud being promulgated to soften and revive Communism within the Church. Dettloff claims “the worst abuses in history have actually been committed by people who are devoted to Jesus Christ”. This glosses over the upwards of 100 million people who died under 20th century communism, a number that dwarfs almost 2000 years of alleged Christian “abuses”.
The Church can no longer remain silent. The Trojan Horse of Socialism and Communism, wheeled in to the US in the 1920s, is a growing “enemy within”. Neither Communism, nor Socialism can be reconciled with Christianity, and it’s time to voice that truth boldly and loudly. We fight back with spiritual weapons and in Christian love, but against this threat we must fight back.
Bill Connor, a retired Army Infantry colonel, author and Orangeburg attorney, has deployed multiple times to the Middle East. Connor was the senior U.S. military adviser to Afghan forces in Helmand Province, where he received the Bronze Star. A Citadel graduate with a JD from USC, he is also a Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. Army War College, earning his master of strategic studies. He is the author of the book Articles from War.
Blog note: Since communism is an enemy of God and Christianity, I wanted to share this article with you. It originally appeared on Lighthouse Trails blog. God bless you and yours, Carl.
LTRP Note: Color, Communism, and Common Sense was first released in 1958 and written by Manning Johnson, who spent ten years in the U.S. Communist Party because he believed the “red” party would help improve conditions for black people. When he finally came to realize that the opposite was true, he rejected communism. The following is chapter 1 of his book. We referenced Johnson in our recent booklet on Critical Race Theory and the Southern Baptist Convention because of the shocking similarities between his story and what is happening in the U.S. today. (Note: In Johnson’s book, he uses the term “Negro,” which was the term used in the 50s and 60s for black people and was not considered a disrespectful term at that time. We have maintained Johnson’s writing just as he wrote it.)
Ten years I labored in the cause of Communism. I was a dedicated “comrade.” All my talents and efforts were zealously used to bring about the triumph of Communism in America and throughout the world. To me, the end of capitalism would mark the beginning of an interminable period of plenty, peace, prosperity, and universal comradeship. All racial and class differences and conflicts would end forever after the liquidation of the capitalists, their government, and their supporters. A world union of Soviet States under the hegemony of Russia would free and lead mankind on to Utopia.
Being an idealist, I was sold this “bill of goods” by a Negro graduate of the Lenin Institute in Moscow.
The color of one’s skin is no bar to a young man or woman dreaming of making a better world. Like other Negroes, I experienced and saw many injustices and inequities around me based upon color, not ability. I was told that “the decadent capitalist system is responsible,” that “mass pressure” could force concessions but “that just prolongs the life of capitalism”; that I must unite and work with all those who more or less agree that capitalism must go.
Little did I realize until I was deeply enmeshed in the Red Conspiracy, that just and seeming grievances are exploited to transform idealism into a cold and ruthless weapon against the capitalist system—that this is the end toward which all the communist efforts among Negroes are directed.
Indeed, I had entered the red conspiracy in the vain belief that it was the way to a “new, better and superior” world system of society. Ten years later, thoroughly disillusioned, I abandoned communism. The experiences of those years in “outer darkness” are like a horrible nightmare. I saw communism in all its naked cruelty, ruthlessness, and utter contempt of Christian attributes and passions. And, too, I saw the low value placed upon human life, the total lack of respect for the dignity of man, the betrayal of trust, the terror of the Secret Police, and the bloody hand of the assassin, during and since, those fateful years when I embraced communism.
I was lured into the red movement by way of the American Negro Labor Congress, one of the many “front organizations” set up by the communists to trap naïve, unwary, unsuspecting, and idealistic Negroes. The use of such attractive and appealing fronts as a means of entrapment is a most important serpentine method of the reds.
After two years of practical training in organizing street demonstrations, inciting mob violence, how to fight the police, and how to politically “throw a brick and hide,” I was ready, in the opinion of my leaders, for a top communist school.
At a secret national training school in New York City, I was given an extensive and intensive course in the theory and practice of red political warfare. As a result, I was appointed District Organizer by the Political Bureau of the Communist Party in the Buffalo, New York area, one of the vital industrial sections of our country. It was in the position of District Organizer that I learned to use secret codes, “mail drops,” organize clandestine meetings, “shake police shadows,” and other underground activities. At the same time, I became acquainted with the nature of communist sabotage and espionage.
My zeal, training—both theoretical and practical—combined with loyalty and willingness to sacrifice, changed me from a novice into a dedicated red—a professional revolutionist. Consequently, I climbed rapidly to the National Committee, the highest governing body of the Communist Party in America.
Being a Negro top communist, I was placed on the National Negro Commission, an important sub-committee of the National Committee of the Communist Party. On this Commission, which was created on direct orders from Moscow to facilitate the subversion of the Negroes, I began to realize the full implications of how the Negro is used as a political dupe by the Kremlin hierarchy. Under the guise of “unity of black and white in the struggle,” several top white communists, such as James S. Allen, Elizabeth Lawson, the late Robert “Bob” Minor, and George Blake Charney were placed on the National Negro Commission. These white communists wielded more power than the nominal Negro heads of the Commission. In a word, they are like white overseers. Every Negro member was aware of the fact that these white overseers constituted the eyes, the ears and the voice of the Kremlin. Moreover, these white overseers are the surest functional guarantee of the maintenance of the hierarchial authoritarian control of the Kremlin over their Negro lick spittles directing the conspiracy among Negroes in America.
Indeed, it is the white group on the National Negro Commission that holds full sway. They flatter one or two top Negroes by making them feel they are actually participating in the formulation of policy by consulting with them prior to meetings of the Commission. Then these two Negroes are assigned to lay down the line to the other Negroes on the Commission. The white members check to make sure they do. Their opinion of what a Negro member says at a meeting can either make or break him. Usually, the Negro who is broken is accused of “petty bourgeois nationalism,” that is, placing the interests of the Negro above the interests of the Communist Party.
In this connection, I observed how white women communists are used as political prostitutes, cohabiting with high-level Negro communists in order to spy on them. Through such intimate relations, these white women communists are able to elicit information pertaining to family background, sources of income, marital difficulties, arrests, convictions, opinions on communist policy and communist leadership. This information is invaluable to the red hierarchy in their relations with their Negro lickspittles. In top red circles, this is known as “bedroom politics.”
White communist women are also used to maneuver top Negro reds into compromising positions that, if revealed, would result in public scandal or disgrace. In this way, the reds make these Negroes permanently subject to blackmail if they ever consider leaving the red movement. Moreover, this information is used to destroy the credibility of the defectee, should he decide to fight the red conspiracy.
The highest position I attained was candidate for the Political Bureau (Politburo) of the Communist Party. The Politburo is a small, close-knit body, carefully selected by the Kremlin hierarchy. Each member holds his position solely on the approval of the reactionary, rapacious despoilers in the Kremlin. This is the real governing body of the entire red conspiracy in America. A candidate is invited to sit in on deliberations with voice but no vote. Usually, a representative of the Kremlin participates in all meetings and deliberations of the Politburo. This writer sat in such meetings when Gerhard Eisler, alias Edwards, Brown, Hans Berger, etc., was the Kremlin representative. Eisler later jumped bail and fled the United States on the red Poish liner “Batory” after he was exposed and convicted of passport fraud.
The assignment of political commissars to the red movement in America is not limited solely to America, but is an established Kremlin policy in relation to all communist parties in countries outside the “Iron Curtain.” Kremlin agents, such as Eisler, exercise an awesome power over the white, as well as black lickspittles, comprising the leadership. When Eisler spoke, one could hear a pin fall. Each leader sat in rapt attention, hanging on to every word Eisler uttered as if it were, indeed, a pronouncement from the “Holy of Holies.” On several occasions, he expressed the grave dissatisfaction of the Kremlin because of the failure of the party to take advantage of the broad “people’s front movement” to build “progressive groups” in participating organizations such as the N.A.A.C.P., youth, religious, fraternal, labor, etc. These “progressive groups”, he said, “was the only guarantee that the decisions we make with leaders will be brought down to and carried out by the membership.”
Significantly, Eisler emphasized that the “people’s front” or “democratic front” is “a maneuver only” to lay the basis for firm communist direction and control of masses. And, too, that the leaders of non-communist organizations are drawn into joint movements with the communists “only to facilitate the infiltration, ideological and organizational penetration of their respective organizations.” After all, this is a fight for leadership to determine “who shall lead the masses, the communists or Negro reformists.” The “progressive groups,” consisting of communists, sympathizers, liberals, etc., constitute the vehicle on which the reds pin their present hope of victory.
Never once were we allowed to forget the vacillating, uncertain, untrustworthy character of the Negro intellectual, the Negro minister, the Negro petty bourgeois, the Negro reformist and the white socio-liberal, philanthropic, humanitarian supporter. They are accused, on the basis of experience, of “running frantically from one camp (red) to the other (capitalist) when the going gets tough.” So that when communists unite with and support them today, it is necessary to keep in mind that “it may be necessary to denounce them tomorrow and the day after tomorrow hang them.”
Thus, as a participant on the highest level of the communist conspiracy in America, I observed the cold, calculating, ruthless nature of red power politics and political warfare, stripped of all its illusory propaganda and idealistic cover. Click here to read other chapters.
For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.”
I Thessalonians 5:2-3
A friend recently gave me a copy of Rod Dreher’s book entitled Live Not by Lies – A Manual for Christian Dissidents. In chapter four he discusses how we are naively giving up our hard won liberties and privacy for perceived conveniences and safety. The “we” are United States Christians, but the same thought applies to Christians in other countries also.
This helped me understand what our opening Scripture states about “Peace and safety!”. The “they” in verse three are religious people who have been deceived by governmental rulers and false religious leaders in the end times. They have traded the true gospel and its responsibilities for the perceived benefit of peace and safety. The benefit is a false benefit because there is not true peace and safety outside of a personal relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ.
For instance, today we are naively giving up our right to privacy for the convenience of smartphones, the internet, email, smart TVs, smart cars, smart watches, computers, lower car insurance rates, personal assistances, credit cards, etc. All which are or can be monitored by outside parties and data harvested for sale to advertisers and unknown others. We mind but we don’t really mind, because we keep using the devices and allow it to happen. Deep down inside we love the convenience and safety it provides.
We are being conditioned.
Communist China TODAY is using it citizen’s personal data to form a “social score”. Those that follow the Communist Party script develop a high score and reap certain benefits by being allowed to do certain activities: go to college, get a good jobs, etc. The person not following the rules will receive a lower score and not be allowed to participate in certain benefits: no college education, no good job, etc. Being a Christian trying to faithfully practice your faith will surely lower your grade or maybe zero you out.
And this is the danger for us in the U.S. We naively trust in our Constitution and Courts that we will be protected from these abuses and resultant control. But if you have your eyes open, you see the same spirit that is working in Communist China is working now in our government at the highest levels. Hitler, Stalin, and Mao would of loved this ability to spy on their people. They would not have to spend so much time and money torturing people for personal contacts when they have the ability to download their smartphone or email contacts. These past mass murders would have loved it!
We are already seeing the principals of “Peace and safety!” being expounded in certain areas of the world today. When it is bought into by the U.S. government and judicial system, the faithful Christians may receive a letter like the one following:
“Dear Mr. William J. Christian:
Data (Voice Data 17845.exe.4589) indicates that you on March 17, 2021 in a phone discussion (Cell Data: 24082 3/17/2021 spool 17) with a Mr. Rex A. Johnson (Social Security No. 798-43-0211) stated that there is only one way to the true God and that Jesus Christ is that Way. Per our previous discussions with you at headquarters, you are in violation of the United Nations Religious Toleration Act (12/12/20), Section 102, subparagraph cc, which states that all signees will require that religious toleration and harmony be practiced by its citizens for the sake of global peace and safety of all inhabitants of Mother Earth. The U.S. federal government is a signee of said Act.
The Toleration Act acknowledges and affirms that all global religions are seeking the same God. Even Pope Alex II, the Christian Global Representative and Moral Authority, acknowledges and agrees that good Buddhist, Hindus, Islamicist and members of other global faiths are in right relationship with God and on the way to God, just on a different path. You stating that Jesus is the only way to God is offending the members of these global faiths and are creating potential security problems; therefore you are ordered to stop spreading this racist lie.
If you do not stop and desist immediately, the Governmental and Religious Committee of the state of Georgia will take action immediately to maintain harmony within the global brotherhood of man. If you do not appear before the local office of this Committee within seven days to recant your statements to said Johnson the Committee will implement the following restrictions: 1) immediately you will not be able to buy, sell or trade in any economic form or fashion; 2) you will be transferred to a re-education facility for specialized training in global religion and global reharmonization; 3) should these steps fail, to maintain peace and safety of the global community, you will be eliminated in a humane matter.
There will be no need to bring an attorney or witnesses to the local office of the Committee since the accusation has been confirmed by our AI department and data previously mentioned at the beginning of this correspondence. Your legal rights are superseded by the need for peace and safety and are therefore null and void.
Consider this a final warning. For the “peace and safety” of mankind, we pray you will make the intelligent decision and join with us in reaching our global goals.
An article by Jessica Lea, “‘Leaders are scared’ of How Fast the Church in China Is Growing” is both encouraging and raises other concerns.
It is exciting that they are growing: “The number of Christians in China is growing so quickly that it could reach 300 million by 2030, says Dr. Ron Boyd-MacMillan. He believes the rapid growth of the church in China is why the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is targeting believers so aggressively.
“We think the evidence as to why the Chinese Church is so targeted, is that the leaders are scared of the size of the Church, and the growth of the Church,” said Boyd-MacMillan, who oversees global strategy and research for Open Doors International.
Speaking to the Daily Express on Jan. 24, Boyd-MacMillan said, “And if it grows, at the rate that it has done, since 1980 and that’s about between seven and eight percent a year, then you’re looking at a group of people that will be 300 million strong, nearly by 2030. And, you know, the Chinese leadership, they really do long-term planning, I mean, their economic plan goes to 2049, so this bothers them.”
It also may well be as our government continues implementing Marxism into our nation they will tap into their technology of: “tracking the biometric data of church attendees, as well as developing a way of giving everyone in the country a social score based on how well they comply with the government.”
Big Brother will indeed be watching, rewarding and punishing obedience.
I have told my seminary students for years that a society or culture is never in a state of stasis. It is just the nature of human societies – they are constantly in flux, heading in one direction or the other, getting worse or getting better, depending on your perspective.
I have never been more depressed to have been proven right about American society’s increasing volatility. Current news stories contain harrowing reports of ever more radical “woke” philosophies being imprinted on the impressionable minds of our nation’s youth – in this case the six million primary and secondary students attending California’s public schools.
If you were concerned about the cultural divisiveness of the centrifugal forces generated by Critical Race Theory, Intersectionality and Black Lives Matter, wait until you see what the formerly “Golden” State of California is contemplating inflicting on the unsuspecting youth of their state.
Christopher Rufo reports that next week the California Department of Education will decide whether to approve a statewide “ethnic studies” curriculum with the goal of “decolonizing” American society of its biased “Eurocentric” white “hegemony” over the indigenous peoples which allowed white settlers to establish a “regime of coloniality, dehumanization, and genocide.”
As Rod Dreher reports on Rufo’s research “the ultimate goal is to “decolonize” America and replace it with a new social order of “countergenocide” and “counterhegemony” which will overthrow the dominant Christian culture and result in the “regeneration of indigenous songs, chants and affirmations” culminating in teachers leading students in chants to Aztec gods, seeking empowerment to be “warriors” for “social justice” and importuning the Aztec God of war and human sacrifice, Xipe Totec known as “Our Lord the Flayed One” because typically victims of human sacrifice, before they were disemboweled, dismembered and eaten, were skinned alive (Wikepedia, “Human sacrifice in Aztec culture”).
The curriculum asserts that “white Christians committed ‘theocide’ against indigenous tribes, killing their gods and replacing them with Christianity.” This all culminates, according to Dreher and Rufo, with students shouting “Panche beh! Panche beh!” seeking ultimate “critical consciousness.”
This is all so comprehensively evil and destructive it is hard to know where to begin criticism of this dangerous, divisive, retrograde cultural vandalism. The idea that a tax supported public school system would, or could, be used to unleash this vicious cultural and spiritual poison into out young people’s consciousness is both extremely offensive and quite possibly illegal.
How does this curriculum not violate the First Amendment’s “establishment clause?” If public schools are not allowed to sponsor Christian prayers, why would they be allowed to sponsor prayers to an Aztec pagan idol to whom human sacrifices were offered routinely?
If California’s authorities approve this curriculum, they should be challenged in court. Approval of this curriculum would also reveal that California is indeed a state surrounded on all sides by reality.
Thank God for Christopher Rufo and Rod Dreher for having the courage to warn Americans about this looming, highly flammable fuel for a cultural apocalypse. They are like modern, cultural Paul Reveres sounding the warning, “The Barbarians are coming! The Barbarians are coming!”
Rod Dreher titles his column “The Re-Barbarization of California” and asked this rhetorical question:
Social-justice Marxists who want to teach millions of children in the state’s public schools to achieve liberation against the descendants of European colonists of 500 years ago by teaching them to chant to Aztec gods who required human sacrifice. How do you think this is going to end?
Dreher then closes with this line “Wake up folks, and read the signs of the times.”
Here’s a question to ask any pastor: “What’s the greatest challenge to discipleship in your church?” This is the likely answer: “The news.”
When I press for more details, I hear something like this:
People’s preferred news source seems to be the most powerful voice in their lives. It tells them what to believe about who they are, the problems of the world, who is at fault, and what to do about it. The news has become a lens through which the Bible, the Christian faith, and the local church is interpreted and evaluated.
Christians will often agree:
Yes, sensational, heavily political news is the problem. That’s why I only follow [my favorite outlet]. Other people are influenced by the news, but not me. I’m a free-thinker.
Why is news so enthralling? It doesn’t seem rational. Most news content is depressing and terrible. Why do we keep coming back for more?
One theory is that most news sources pitch themselves as a sort of gnostic gospel. Gnosticism began as a second-century quasi-Christian spinoff religion. The church fathers soon identified Gnosticism as heresy because it invited people to trust not in repentance of sin and salvation in Christ but in special mystical knowledge or esoteric insight.
Such special insight is what news offers us. News media say, implicitly, “We’ll give you the inside scoop. Follow us and you’ll be one of the enlightened few and not in the mob of fools.” The news offers salvation through special knowledge.
Follow us and you’ll be one of the enlightened few and not in the mob of fools.
Let’s take things a bit deeper. The news offers a substrain of the temptation presented to the first humans in Eden: to be like God.
God, in his omnipresence and omniscience, knows and cares about all things happening in all places. We, in our finiteness, only have the capacity to know and care about a few things happening where we are.
Contemporary news sources present our finiteness as a problem to overcome. We must transcend our locale and become global. We must leave behind the darkness of not knowing and enter the light of “breaking news.” We must, in short, become like God: knowing and caring about everything.
It’s a heady tonic. This is why following the news makes us feel important. There is something godlike about the illusion of knowing and caring about everything.
Most news is bad: an earthquake, a hurricane, a murder, a scandal. Most news is also inactionable: there is nothing you can do about it. What does knowing all this inactionable bad news create in you?
Most news is inactionable—there is nothing you can do about it.
Anxiety: The sheer quantity of evil reports being pumped at you 24/7, like a firehose to the face, will not leave you more peaceable, more content, or more joyful. It will leave you more anxious.
Loss of agency: Because you grow accustomed to hearing about problems you can’t fix and suffering people you can’t help, you develop a deep feeling of lost agency.
Anger: For anyone with a moral compass, this leads to anger. Because you are made in the image of God, a sense of justice rises against villains.
Hate: Anger is like the evaporated alcohol that rises from fermenting grain. It can be distilled and bottled into hate.
This is why Christians who watch or read a lot of news usually end up hating, not loving, their neighbor. They have been spiritually deformed by truckloads of voyeuristic, inactionable horror stories. They perceive themselves as part of a small, heroic, minority of good people at war against powerful multitudes of the ignorant (at best) or the wicked (at worst).
Most news is inactionable—there is nothing you can do about it.
I ask again: What’s the use of inactionable news?
It doesn’t typically help me love the Lord our God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength.
It doesn’t typically help me love my neighbor as myself.
In short, it’s typically of no use.
Choose Local News
You may respond: “Are you suggesting we should withdraw from society? Retreat from the real world?”
Quite the opposite. News only gives the illusion of engagement and thus inoculates you against actual engagement with real people. I’ll take it a step further: you should not seek to know everything or care about everything, because you should not aspire to be like God.
Your opportunity for obedience to God is a local opportunity. Therefore, the primary news that should matter to a Christian is local news. By local news I don’t primarily mean news about city or state government. I mean something more intensely local, what some thinkers call “hyper-local”:
News about a neighbor with a cancer diagnosis
News about the young couple down the street having their first child
News about someone in the church who’s lost a job
News about someone’s coworker visiting church for the first time
The primary news that should matter to a Christian is local news.
This is news for the average human. This news presents you with an opportunity to love, to pray, to serve, or to celebrate at the human level.
As you respond to such local news, a different kind of formation will work within you. Anxiety will be replaced with confidence, helplessness with initiative, anger with delight, hate with love.
You will not find such hyper-local news in daily papers or TV reports. Rather, you will likely discover it the same way people have for generations: through ordinary conversation.
In Constantine’s day (306-337 CE), the emperor, as the head of the pagan priesthood in Rome known as the Pontifical College (now headed by the Pope), was called Pontifex Maximus. Constantine headed the church, as would the emperors after him for five centuries. He called himself Vicarius Christi (Vicar of Christ). Yet he continued to officiate at pagan celebrations and to endow pagan temples even as he built Christian churches! The popes eventually claimed the emperor’s titles, Pontifex Maximus and Vicar of Christ, as their own. True Christians separated themselves from an increasingly apostate church and began to call the popes Antichrist.
Constantine never renounced his loyalty to the pantheon of pagan gods. He abolished neither the pagan Altar of Victory in the senate nor the Vestal Virgins; and the sun-god rather than Christ continued to be honored on imperial coins. Throughout his “Christian” life Constantine mixed pagan and Christian rites and continued to rely upon “pagan magic formulas to protect crops and heal disease.” Historian Philip Hughes, a Catholic priest, writes:
“In his manners he [Constantine] remained, to the end … the Pagan of his early life. His furious tempers, the cruelty which … spared not the lives even of his wife and son, are … an unpleasing witness to the imperfection of his conversion.”
I will seek the will of the Spirit of God through, or in connection with, the Word of God. The Spirit and the Word must be combined. If I look to the Spirit alone without the Word, I lay myself open to great delusions also. If the Holy Ghost guides us at all, He will do it according to the Scriptures and never contrary to them. —George Müller
God’s Word gives us examples of faith in the fire, faith in the flood, faith when outnumbered by the enemy, faith when facing an indomitable foe, faith in prison, faith during torture, faith when destitute, hungry, and thirsty, faith on stormy seas, faith to lose everything and faith to receive it all back again, faith to procreate though infertile, and faith to die. Every instance of faith thus described is manifested in adversity or great need. To find examples in Scripture of faith operating in a peaceful and bountiful climate would be a difficult task. I’m not sure there are any at all.
The Bible likens God’s way of purifying the faith of a believer to the refining process of gold. Peter writes:
. . . that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:7)
The refining process of gold requires that it be heated to a molten condition whereby the impurities (dross) float to the top and are skimmed off. The prophet Malachi describes this process as an illustration of how God purifies the believer:
[A]nd he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. (Malachi 3:3)
Some might contend that the peaceful climate is the result of faith. That may be true, but it is not faith in operation. Good health is the result of exercise, but it is not exercise. If our comfortable status is faith, then the testings of faith would not require adversity. Further, there would be no biblical examples of godly men and women exercising faith to overcome adversity.
The obvious truth is that the appearance of faith tends to be relatively dormant in times of peace. We are sustained by the benefits of our relationship with God. However, when a true Christian believes he can go through life without any adversity, such a person is being set up to be “channeled.” Now, what I am referring to by “channeled” is this: when someone tries to avoid adversity, he is actually setting himself up to be manipulated and channeled by Satan who is always at work to make it difficult and painful for devoted believers to obey God’s will.
Let me elaborate on this line of thought. If a Christian believer intends to be a light that shines in darkness, he becomes a target of evil entities. If he stands up for and speaks the truth, he will suffer. If he accepts, assimilates, and defends the values of godliness, he will suffer. If he refuses to go with the flow of nominal Christianity or worse, apostasy, he will suffer. If he refuses to deviate from God’s Word in a time of great compromise, he will suffer. If he has a prophetic calling, he might even lose his life for Christ’s sake.
Consider this scenario: A professing Christian has witnessed the suffering of a fellow believer who is being a true witness for Jesus Christ. The professing Christian has tried to do the same and experiences similar sufferings and consequences. As a result, he decides to avoid manifesting any fruit of Christianity that causes contention, rejection, or persecution. He is considered one of the nicest, most gregarious, kindly, friendly, and positive people. Everyone loves him and speaks well of him. What’s more, he is flexible and capable of mingling with any belief system. Nearly everyone enjoys associating with him, and he has excellent rapport with all of them. Secular and religious people of all stripes laud him as an example of a true Christian. And he does not want to lose that status, so he makes every attempt to make sure he doesn’t end up suffering again.
However, such a Christian does not match the examples of what the Bible describes as true Christianity, nor does he match the example of Christ Himself. In reality, such professing Christians, in their efforts to avoid the consequences and sufferings of true Christianity, are being “channeled” by Satan and his imps. Upon seeing this compromising attitude, these adversaries of our souls can re-circumvent lives (i.e., change the direction one is going) by causing situations that re-direct that person in his walk because he wants to avoid suffering, ridicule, and rejection for standing in and defending the faith.
These re-directed channeled Christians have, in effect, turned down their light to a non-offensive level. In fact, they are not actually lights at all, but shadows; they lie somewhere between light and darkness. The path they walk weaves around every uncomfortable and inconvenient situation; they walk in a state of delusion because deceit has become the norm for them. Christ warned about this type of fruitless follower.
Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets. (Luke 6:26)
The apostle Paul described what would befall the ones who truly desire to live godly in Christ. “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12). Peter also wrote about the suffering of true followers of Christ. He mentioned the suffering of believers eighteen times in his first letter.
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. (1 Peter 4:12-13)
Isn’t it interesting (and tragic) that so many modern-day Christians believe it is strange to suffer and that it is not God’s will. They believe they are supposed to be constantly happy, blessed, healthy, wealthy, and peaceful, while enjoying life in this temporal realm. The terms “happy,” “blessed,” “peaceful,” etc, are relative. Those emotions are based on a life ordered by them, not by God. They avoid all negativity. They have no productivity because it is inconvenient.
Heretics find a willing audience in these individuals because they never resist darkness. To do so would be too uncomfortable and painful. Their lives are empty, swept, and ordered (Matthew 12:44). They’ve maintained a shiny neon shell of godliness, but there is no substance inside. The will of God is not included in their order. Standing up for truth, being a true light that exposes evil, obeying God when the price is rejection, or worse, harsh persecution, are not in their order of things to do.
The focus of that type of professing Christian is on milking God’s Word and kingdom of all the benefits without incurring the costs of genuine relationship. They are “professors,” but not possessors. They never exercise faith because they avoid the situations where faith is needed. There is no sense of true victory in them. There must be constant stimulation from a source other than God and His Word. . . .
In the apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he so eloquently describes the role and the results of our willingness to suffer for Christ’s sake:
But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings. (Philippians 3:7-10)
Christians who do not exercise their faith but rather run from it end up in a miserable and decrepit spiritual condition. And allowing such a thing to happen does not honor God at all. For one thing, it ignores and rejects all He has given us for victory, the “precious promises” He gives us for living godly lives consecrated to Him. To such people, the substance of faith is more a happy thought or luck charm than it is a supernatural infusion of iron will to fight the good fight and win:
[W]hereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:4-8)
The damage of the so-called “positive confession” aka “Word of Faith” heresy has been to strip out the heart of a warrior and replace it with the heart of entitlement-mindedness. Even committed followers of Jesus Christ can be affected by this fallacy if they are not watchful. When they suffer and feel alone and rejected, they wonder if God has abandoned them. That is actually an opportunity for faith to go from embers to blazing brilliance. As long as we are humans and children of God, we need the trials. When distraction and disfocus dim our view of God’s glory or our humanity incrementally cools us to a temperature less than hot, we need the fiery trials. In essence, we must embrace them. Paul said he actually took pleasure in them (because he knew the benefits of them):
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
From my own experiences during fiery trials, I can testify that the pain, the angst, and other suffering are conquered the instant I surrender to the flames. It is like falling backwards off a steep cliff into the hands of God. There is no parachute and no stopping halfway. If He doesn’t catch you, then you will hit the bottom and die. That is literally the goal of faith—to trust God with your life and everything in it. All that is not put into His hands is unprotected and causes us angst and suffering. However, when all is surrendered, we receive a deep serenity that the fire will not burn anything except what needs to be consumed. That’s when the gold shines.
Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:6-9; emphasis added)
Remember, the destiny of Christ was a cross. Our destiny is also a cross. Only when we accept that destiny, will we understand. Newness of life has its birth and growing pains. But the heart of a believer in Jesus Christ holds this proverb by its roots:
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18; emphasis added)
In the meantime, let us not grow weary of the trials and tribulations of this life, knowing that God is doing His work within us for His glory:
But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. (Job 23:10)
“But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” Lord Jesus in Revelation 2:4
I have a book, Deeper Experiences of Famous Christians, that has a story about Billy Bray, one of God’s quaint vessels. He would offend some Christians today, but he had a real experience of salvation and he did not know what to do except express himself. They made fun of Billy Bray and laughed at him. “Why, Billy Bray, you are so happy, so joyous, all the time. Suppose you discovered you are not saved at all, you are really not a child of God, and suppose when you die you go to hell?” Billy Bray said, “Well, I suppose if I die and I discovered I am not a Christian and I go to hell, Jesus has been so real and wonderful and precious to me in life I will just have to shout all the way to hell. When I get down to hell I will have to run up and down the streets of hell shouting ‘Hallelujah, praise the Lord.’ The devil will come over to me and say, ‘Billy Bray, we cannot stand that down here; we cannot put up with that. We will just have to send you to heaven.” That is the joy of salvation.
Exploring 1.2.3 John – Jerry Vines (1989)
Dear born again Christian, how is your joy level right now?
Is it full and overflowing? Maybe it has been a while since you had fellowship with the Joy-Givers, our Heavenly Father and His Mighty Son Jesus, your First Love. There is real, deep joy around their throne and, as His child, He wants our joy to be made complete. Why not “wash your feet” in the precious blood of Jesus (John 13:3-10) and get rid of that unconfessed sin in your life which prevents your fellowship with the Joy-Givers. After that, spend some time in prayer and Bible readings in His presence. Read I John 1: 4-10 for example and think on the awesome privilege you have in being called into fellowship with the Creator and Sustainer of all things, including you.
In your First Love’s presence there is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11). Return to your First Love today! Do not be a carnal Christian who is running around on his First Love, loving the devil’s world and their old, stinking, fleshly, sinful ways.
Instead, may rivers of living water, the Holy Spirit (John 7:38), flow out of you today and every day and may the people around you be watered by this spiritual, life-giving, river of God.
…We must be very careful to examine the words and fruits of those who speak in the name of God. Credulity is dangerous. We can be led astray and lose our souls.
It is said that when Alexander the Great went to war against Darius, King of the Persians, he took a bath and caught cold. His friend, Philip, a physician, cared for him. Just at that time, Alexander received a letter from his most faithful commander advising him to be suspicious of Philip and not to take his medicine because the physician was in collusion with King Darius to poison him. Philip had allegedly received money and the promise of Darius’ sister for his wife. When the physician entered the room with his medicine, Alexander took the glass in one hand and with the other drank while Philip read. Then Alexander said to him, “I have confidence in your medicine and in your friendship.” He regained his health.
This example is often quoted in sermons to suggest that if we can have such confidence in man, then we can have even more in God –our greatest Friend.
It is my firm conviction that, assuming Alexander really responded in this manner and the story is not legend, he was misguided. Many kings and rulers have been poisoned by their physicians. Many of Stalin’s comrades were killed in this manner.
Jesus taught, “Beware of men” (Mt. 10:17). We must beware of men in material things, financial matters, and everyday affairs. Even more, we must not easily give our confidence when the eternal destiny of the soul is at stake.
If anyone desires salvation and sanctification, he might find a religious teacher who is trusted with speaking the oracles of God but be very choosy.
The Oracles of God – Richard Wurmbrand, p.68-70
Brother Richard warns us that “credulity” is dangerous. Credulity is the state of being credulous which is being gullible; ready to believe without proof. Don’t be credulous.
Be a Berean. Acts 17:10-11 tells us the brethren “sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea; and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things were so.
They were checking what Paul said about the Messiah against what the Old Testament Scriptures said. They were not gullible. They wanted to see it in the Scriptures for themselves.
It is prudent for us to read our Bible daily asking the Holy Spirit to teach us the truth. He was sent to lead us into all truth. We need to let Him.
Last post we discussed the 503rd anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation. (You may scroll down past this post to read last post) We saw that Martin Luther was infuriated by the selling of indulgences to the German people. Having begun to read the New Testament, he knew that salvation from sin was not for sale by God.
Following are statements from contemporary documents which reveal, to those who know their Bible, that this was all devilish. It caused people to put their trust in the Pope and his word instead of the Holy Bible and what it says about the finished work of Christ on the Cross for sinful man.
Luther wrote the following concerning the Dominican monk named Johann Tetzel who was selling the indulgences for Pope Leo X:
“…with might and main he sold grace for money as dearly or as cheaply as he could.
2. He had grace and power from the Pope to offer forgiveness even if someone had slept with the holy Virgin Mary*, the mother of God, as long as a contribution will be put into the coffer.
3. Furthermore, The Red Cross of indulgences and the papal coat of arms on the flag in the churches was as powerful as the cross of Christ.
4. Moreover, even if Saint Peter were here now, he would have no greater grace or power than he (Tetzel) had.
5. Furthermore, he would not want to trade places in heaven with Saint Peter, for he had redeemed more souls with his indulgences than Peter with his sermons.
6. Furthermore, if anyone put money into the coffer for a soul in purgatory** the soul will leave purgatory** for heaven in the moment one can hear the penny hit the bottom.
7. Furthermore, it is not necessary to show remorse or sorrow or to do penance for sins when purchasing indulgences or a letter of indulgence.
8. He even sold indulgences for future sins.
9. Such abominable things he did abundantly, he was merely interested in money. ”
Martin Luther, Wider Hans Worst, 1541 (WA 51, 538)
The sale of the indulgence for the construction of Saint Peter’s in Rome was regulated by a ‘Summary Instruction’ issued by Albert of Hohenzollen, Archbishop of Magdeburg and Mainz. Two details set forth in the instructions are:
“The first of the four graces that could be obtained is the complete remission of all sins. Nothing can be called greater than this grace, since man, living in sin and deprived of divine grace, obtains complete forgiveness by these means an enjoys anew the grace of God. Moreover, through such forgiveness of sins the punishment which one is obliged to undergo in purgatory on account of the offense of the divine Majesty is all remitted and the pain of purgatory** altogether done away with.”
“The 4th distinctive grace is for those souls which are in purgatory**, and is the complete remission of all sins, which remission the Pope brings to past through his intercession, to the advantage of said souls, in this wise: that the same contribution shall be placed in the chest by a living person as one would make for himself.” ( from Intructio Summaria (W. Kohler, Dokumente zum Ablasstreit, pp. 104-16.)
In closing, Martin Luther knew what Tetzel was doing for Pope Leo X was an abomination to Holy God. God is not for sale and neither is His marvelous grace. And especially not the precious blood of Jesus that was shed for payment for our many, many sins. You can not bribe or buy God off.
**And I pray, Dear Reader, that you know there is no such thing as purgatory in the Bible. Hebrews 10:27 says, “…It is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgement.” Almighty God only recognizes the precious blood of Jesus as the payment for man’s sin. The fires of this cooked-up purgatory is not going to purify anyone of their sins. The forgiveness of our sins had better be settled before we take our last breath on earth. Once we die, our permanent destination in the next world is set: heaven or the place of torment. There is no moving around.
Purgatory is a great money maker for the Roman Catholic Church but it was cooked up in hell and given to men who had seared consciences to deceive the unsuspecting (I Timothy 4: 1-3).
*Mary, the mother of Jesus, realized she need a Savior just like everyone else. She said “My soul exalts the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God, my Savior (Luke 1: 46). She is blessed among women but she is not the co-redeemer of man and no one should be praying to her or other dead people. Read Deuteronomy 18: 10-14 where God forbids this.
Luther was just in being angry about all these lies. How we need a Reformation today, a Luther to rise up and expose these dangerous errors that still lead lost, religious man to eternal ruin!
Note: All quotations are from The Reformation – A Narrative History Related By Contemporary Observers and Participants by Hans Hillerbrand, Editor
“A dear friend of mine who was quite a lover of the chase, told me the following story: ‘Rising early one morning,’ he said, ‘I heard the baying of a score of deerhounds in pursuit of their quarry. Looking away to a broad, open field in front of me, I saw a young fawn making its way across, and giving signs, more-over, that its race was well-nigh run. Reaching the rails of the enclosure, it leaped over and crouched within ten feet from where I stood. A moment later two of the hounds came over, when the fawn ran in my direction and pushed its head between my legs. I lifted the little thing to my breast, and swinging round and round, fought off the dogs. I felt, just them, that all the dogs in the West could not, and should not capture that fawn after its weakness had appealed to my strength”. So is it, when human helplessness appeals to Almighty God. Well do I remember when the hounds of sin were after my soul, until, at last, I ran into the arms of Almighty God.” — A.C. Dixon – The Necessity of Prayer by Edward M. Bounds (1976)
Yes, lost soul or hurting Christian, run in the right direction…into the arms of Almighty God. Oh, how we are tempted to run to some temporary crutch that sin tells us will solve our problem, make us happy, but it is deceit. We were all created to worship and serve God Almighty and we will never be truly happy or fulfilled until we are properly related to Him. Jesus Christ died on the Cross and was raised from the dead so that we could be reconciled to this holy, loving God.
“He who was delivered up because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification. For while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.” Romans 4:25,5:10-11
This booklet is from Lighthouse Trails and sheds light on what is behind certain actions in the USA and other countries at this time. God bless and remain free in the grace of Almighty God and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Carl
— Read on www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/