Heavenly Minded

“Those who are the most heavenly minded are also of most earthly use.”

William Wilberforce (24 August 1759 – 29 July 1833, British politician, philanthropist, and one of the leaders of the movement to ban the slave trade).

Source: Berean Call

Fellowshipping With Your First Love

“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.

Carl

Matthew Maury’s Paths of the Sea

  Today’s oceanography and meteorology owe a great debt to Matthew Maury. He exemplified the biblical principle that whatever we do, we should do it “to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). Maury’s scientific research revered God’s Creatorship while benefiting hisfellowman.1

  On a monument erected by the state of Virginia to his memory is found a plaque that reads as follows: “Matthew Fontaine Maury, Pathfinder of the Seas, the genius who first snatched from the oceans and atmosphere the secret of their laws. His inspiration, Holy Writ, Psalm 8:8; Ecclesiastes 1:6.”2  

Genius indeed! Maury epitomizes the godly investigator whose creation science begins with the Creator’s written revelation—the Bible.3

  “I have been blamed by men of science, both in this country and in England, for quoting the Bible in confirmation of the doctrines of physical geography. The Bible, they say, was not written for scientific purposes, and is therefore no authority in matters of science. I beg pardon! The Bible IS authority for everything it touches.”1

  As a child, Maury was taught the Psalms at home, and that divine book of praises imprinted upon his intelligent, investigative mind. Decades later Maury would live out his lifelong commitment to doxological creation science.4 Maury recognized the Holy Bible as perfect in whatever it taught, including being authoritatively relevant and accurate in scientific matters.1,4 Among the insights he gleaned are:  

1. The Gulf Stream washes nutrients from the Gulf of Mexico into the North Atlantic, benefiting whales, seabirds, and other oceanic creatures. This illustrates the scriptural principle of God’s providential care for animals (Job 38:41; Psalm147:9; Matthew 10:29; Luke 12:6).

  2. The general system of atmospherical circulation is referred to in Ecclesiastes 1:6.

  3. The water cycle matches Ecclesiastes 1:7.

  4. Atmospheric pressure is a geophysical reality mentioned in Job 28:25 as the “weight for the wind.”

  5. Maury’s most famous Scripture-based insight is that the oceans have subsurface currents with regular circulation patterns—the “paths of the seas” in Psalm 8:8.5

  Maury trembled at the privilege of uncovering the logic God carefully built into His creation, noting that scientific discovery is discovering God’s own mind.

  As a student of physical geography, I regard earth, sea, air, and water as parts of a machine, pieces of mechanism, not made with hands….And when, after patient research, I am led to the discovery of one of these [mechanisms], I feel, with the astronomer of old [Johannes Kepler],“as though I had thought one of God’s thoughts,” and tremble. Thus, as we progress with our science, we are permitted now and then to point out here and there in the physical machinery of the earth a design of the Great Architect when He planned it all.6

  Virginia’s monument to Matthew Maury reminds us of his historic testimony and scientific achievements. The more important “monument” to his godly work is the ongoing impact of Maury’s life of reverent research in God’s service, which has secured for him “treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:19-21).  

  References  
1. Major, T. J. 1995. Honor to Whom Honor…Matthew Fontaine Maury (1806-1873). Creation Research Society Quarterly. 32 (2): 82-87, quote from page 83.

2. Gish, D. Paths of the Seas. Days of Praise, October 6, 1993. “One day, while reading Psalm 8, [Maury] was struck by an important truth in the 8th verse…‘the fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.’ He immediately saw the great practical significance of that verse, recognizing that there must be currents of water in the oceans, just like vast rivers, as well as in the atmosphere (Ecclesiastes 1:6).”

3. Maury, M. F. 1855. The Physical Geography of the Sea and Its Meteorology. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, Inc

4. Johnson, J. J. S. An Oceanographer’s Insight, for Researching and Analyzing Oceanic and Littoral Ecosystem Dynamics, Guided by ‘High-Definition’ Biblical Philology, presented at the Creation Research Society Conference, Dallas, Texas, July 31, 2015, especially pages 3-13 and 17

5. Adapted from Major, Honor to Whom Honor, 85.

6. Meyer, J. R. 1982. The Life and Philosophy of Matthew Fontaine Maury, Pathfinder of the Sea. Creation Research Society Quarterly. 19 (2): 91-100, quoting from page 95 (from Maury’s keynote address “at the laying of the corner-stone for the University of the South in the Sewanee Mountains in East Tennessee on Nov. 30, 1860”). https://www.icr.org/article/matthew-maury-paths-of-the-sea/

Chicago Schools Drop TM

Why Did Chicago Public Schools Just Quietly Drop Transcendental Meditation?  

Three years ago, as a part of its mission to teach Transcendental Meditation to a million at-risk kids, the David Lynch Foundation partnered with the University of Chicago’s Urban Labs and Chicago Public Schools(CPS) to test whether Transcendental Meditation (TM) could reduce crime and improve school performance.

Two thousand students in five high schools located in high crime Chicago neighborhoods participated in the $3 million study through its “Quiet Time” (QT) program.   Earlier this month, in response to a direct email inquiry, RD was notified by a CPS official that “CPS is no longer allowing for the official Quiet Time Program through David Lynch Foundation to be offered in CPS schools.” But why would CPS quietly drop such a high-profile program?

Though CPS decline to elaborate further, a July 26, 2019 article in the Chicago Tribune provides a clue. Hannah Leone’s article includes some disturbing information about the program based on the harrowing recollections, before the Chicago Board of Education, of Dasia Skinner, a substitute teacher, and Jade Thomas, a fourteen-year-old high school student.    After hearing their testimony, the CPS chief education officer noted that while she personally visited the QT program at Bogan High School, none of the information reported in the presentations was shared with her. So what didn’t they tell her about this “simple… non-religious technique,” as the David Lynch Foundation’s brochure describes TM?   

According to Skinner, the 60 students she spoke with shared a similar experience, Jade Thomas among them. Thomas told the Chicago Board of Education that her experience began with a mandatory “initiation into the meditation program” (elsewhere in TM materials referred to as a puja, a ceremony performed by Hindus, as well as many Buddhists and Jains). Students are taken by a QT “facilitator,” two at a time, to a dark, incense-filled room with all the windows covered.   

According to Thomas, they were made to hold flowers in their hands while the instructors “chanted in a foreign language, threw rice, seasonings, [and] oranges on a pan in front of a picture of a man, ”after which they were to place the flowers on the pan. Following the ritual, they were given their mantras and were told “don’t tell anyone else your word.”(Keeping one’s mantra a secret, it should be noted, is common in some sects of Hinduism.) Thomas also notes that students were told they would be sent to the dean’s office if they declined to participate and that they would be threatened with reduced grades if they talked during the twice-daily QT sessions. She describes feeling uncomfortable about her participation because the ceremony went against the Christian religion she practiced in her home. 

  Unless this ceremony departed from the standard TM puja, as described by Business Insider, the man in the picture was likely Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, or ‘Guru Dev,’ with whom the founder of TM, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, “studied the Upanishads, the segments of the four ancient Sanskrit books of scripture known as the Vedas that focus on the self and its relationship to God.” And yet this is “an act that the Maharishi did not consider to be compromising to his practice’s secularity.”  

According to Professor Candy Gunther Brown, author of Debating Yoga and Mindfulness in Public Schools, the federal appellate case of Malnak v.Yogi (1979) ruled that teaching TM in public schools constitutes an impermissible “establishment of religion.” Indeed, the court’s ruling against TM left little room for debate:   Although defendants have submitted well over 1500 pages of briefs, affidavits, and deposition testimony…defendants have failed to raise the slightest doubt as to the facts or as to the religious nature of the teachings of the Science of Creative Intelligence [TM’s Hindu underpinnings] and the puja.

The teaching of the SCI/TM course in New Jersey public high schools violates the establishment clause of the first amendment, and its teaching must be enjoined.    TM proponents argue that the case is over 40 years old and no longer relevant. In an exchange in the Wall Street Journal 3 years ago, Lynch Foundation CEO Bob Roth wrote,    “TM is not a religion. Over 8 million people of all religions practice TM. It is taught in public schools, on military bases, and in large and small businesses. In each case, a team of legal experts has done due diligence and researched the accusations and claims and found them to have no basis.”   

When I pointed out in response that the puja ceremony is exactly the same today as it was in 1977, and that the establishment clause has not changed, Roth responded, “In the nearly 40 years since the 1979 court case you cite, tens of thousands of students have learned to meditate as part of voluntary Quiet Time programs with the full support of school boards and parents.”    That may be strictly true, but given what we’re learning about the Chicago case, that support may be largely due to the fact that TM isn’t entirely forthcoming in what it shares with school boards and parents regarding the explicitly religious content that permeates the program.       

But not all is bliss in the TM world. For example, TM teachers created “checking notes,” as a guide to handle pain and discomfort that might arise even within the first days of TM instruction. The existence and use of the checking notes document that the TM organization is well aware of these potential problems. Shaking and body movements, as well as overpowering thoughts, are frequent enough even during the first few meditations that an entire section of the checking procedure is devoted to these severe symptoms. 

More generally, a non-profit called Cheetah House, which is affiliated with Brown University, Harvard, and a number of other prestigious institutions, exists to provide “information and resources about meditation-related difficulties to meditators-in-distress.” And this is a major part of the mission of a proponent of meditation. In addition, while the UK’s National Health Service notes that meditation can be very helpful in many cases, “The serious, long-lasting nature of some of the negative experiences reported [in a recent study], however, are cause for concern.” These potential issues may be perfectly acceptable for adults voluntarily participating in TM workshops, but for children and adolescents required or even urged to participate it hardly seems appropriate. 

It took three years for CPS to conclude that TM is more than a secular relaxation method to reduce stress. And while it’s still unclear whether they dropped the program due to issues with the establishment clause, potential risks to students’ health, or both, one thing that is clear is that TM proponents will not be deterred from approaching other school systems and institutions. You might say that their belief in the benefits of TM is… religious.    https://religiondispatches.org/exclusive-why-did-chicago-public-schools-just-quietly-drop-transcendental-meditation/    

Source: Berean Call

Hypocrite vs True Christian

“The hypocrite is like the waterman*, that looks one way and rows another; the true Christian like the traveller, that has his journey end in his eye. The hypocrite soars like the kite**, with his eye upon the prey below, which he is ready to come down to when he has a fair opportunity; the true Christian soars like the lark, higher and higher, forgetting the things that are beneath.” A Commentary On The Whole Bible – Matthew Henry (1721)- Vol. 5, page 81

“If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” Paul in Colossians 3: 1-3

Carl

*The person rowing a boat ** Eagle-like bird of prey feeding predominately on fish

Just Enough But Not Enough

“We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.” Jonathan Swift –

Some of the meanest people are church people.” –Anonymous

“Minister, we been praying for revival of religion. And now God poured out his Spirit, we all ‘fraid for it.” –A Believer participating in the 1860 Jamaica prayer revival

Religion is dangerous in the sense that it is unregenerate man’s attempt to reach God by church membership, rituals, sacraments, obeying man’s commandments and teachings and performing other good works. It can only reform man, not change him. Religion can not cause man to be born again; therefore, it does not free man from his enslavement to sin. It still dominates him; therefore, though religious, he still hates and can be as mean as a snake. Listen to Brother Paul writing to the Christian church in Colossae concerning the keeping of religion’s commandments:

“These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.” Colossians 2:23

Religion can not give us victory over our sinful nature. Paul said this about religious people: “…holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power…” (2 Tim. 3:5). The power to radically change our sinful life only comes when we are born again by the Holy Spirit (John 3).

Flee to Jesus Christ, and to Him alone, to escape man-made religion s0 you can experience true life. Ask Him to save you today and to forgive all of your sins and be your Lord and Savior. He will cause you to be born again and the Holy Spirit will come to you and be your Comforter and Guide in this life. And He will change you by causing you to will (desire) and do of God’s good pleasure, bringing freedom from the human sinful nature.

Flee to Jesus today!

Thank you for your precious time. God bless! Carl

Christianity in Conflict with the Collectivism of Today

It is true that historic Christianity is in conflict at many points with the collectivism of the present day; it does emphasize, against the claims of society, the worth of the individual soul. It provides for the individual a refuge from all the fluctuating currents of human opinion, a secret place of meditation where a man can come alone into the presence of God. It does give a man courage to stand, if need be, against the world; it resolutely refuses to make of the individual a mere means to an end, a mere element in the composition of society. It rejects altogether any means of salvation which deals with men in a mass; it brings the individual face to face with his God.

 J. Gresham Machen, Christianity and Liberalism

Source: Berean Call

Separation and Character


“It seemed clear to me from the teaching of the Bible that Christ’s people should be separate from the world in everything which denoted character and that they should not only be separate but appear so.”

― Catherine Booth (17 January 1829 – 4 October 1890, co-founder of The Salvation Army, along with her husband William Booth.

How Should Jesus’ Followers Respond To The Chaos?

“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you….And if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same…But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” Jesus The Messiah Luke 6: 27, 32, 35-36

Lord Jesus in Luke is speaking to people who were living under the iron hand of the Roman Empire. These words must of been shocking to them….just as they were to me when I reread them last week. Yes, shocking I say. So against my human sinful nature which wants to rail, condemn and hate the anarchist, Marxist and communist who are working tirelessly to destroy my America.

But Lord Jesus says “And why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46)

It is ONLY our responsibility to obey and not argue with Him. To submit to his Lordship and not rebel. Therefore, let us repent of hate and put aside our “old man” or “old self” and put on our “new man” created in Christ Jesus and conduct ourselves in newness of life by the power of His Spirit. Then we can love our enemies just as He loved us …… when we were His enemy, ungrateful and pernicious (evil).

“…that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind and put on the new self which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth….and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us…” Ephesians 4: 22-24, 5:2

Carl

Critical Race Theory, Southern Baptist Convention, and a Marxist “Solution” That Will Not Work

Dear Reader

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/

You Can Be A Christian, You Can Be A Marxist, But You Can’t Be Both

Christians are being pressured into repeating the beliefs of a neo-Marxist, collective guilt ideology that’s incompatible with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
— Read on thefederalist.com/2020/06/11/you-can-be-christian-you-can-be-marxist-but-you-cant-be-both/

In The World But Not Of The World

May God help us to be in the world but not of the world; and not to be so wrapped up in the world that we are not interested in Jesus’ coming again. When the trumpet sounds, we’re going home, brothers and sisters. Whatever you’re going through today, it’s only temporary. Tears are for the night, but joy comes in the morning. So hold on. Stay very close to Jesus, until he takes us home and we hear him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant”! Pastor Jim Cymbala

Report: ‘Tremendous Progress’ Ahead for Religious Freedom Worldwide | News & Reporting | Christianity Today

Report: ‘Tremendous Progress’ Ahead for Religious Freedom Worldwide | News & Reporting | Christianity Today
— Read on www.christianitytoday.com/news/2020/april/uscirf-tony-perkins-international-religious-freedom-2020.html

Michael Youssef warns entertainment-driven church ‘making people feel good all the way to Hell’ – The Christian Post

Prominent pastor and author Michael Youssef issued a blistering condemnation of the entertainment-driven church, warning that the judgment of God will fall heavily upon the Church if it fails to return to His plan for discipleship.
— Read on www.christianpost.com/news/michael-youssef-warns-entertainment-driven-church-making-people-feel-good-all-the-way-to-hell.html

Why communist and leftist governments hate Christianity – The Christian Post

Why is it that Communist and Leftist governments persecute and hate Christianity so much?
— Read on www.christianpost.com/voices/why-communist-and-leftist-governments-hate-christianity.html

“…not having hope and without God in the world.”

no hope

A few weeks ago I visited a local church to hear a friend share about suffering as a Christian. During the Q&A that followed, a middle aged woman asked how she was to cope with the sucides occurring in her family circle and among her acquaintances. There had been four in a short time, maybe less than a year.  The latest was a forty year old man who committted sucide only two weeks ago.  She had only recently come to Christ.

This discussion reminded me of Paul’s comments to the Ephesus Christians about their condition before they became Christians. He said

“…you were at that time separate from Christ…not having hope and without God in the world.” (Eph. 2:12 NASB)

This is one of the saddest statements in the whole human vocabulary when we  understand the implications.

“…without God in the world.”  (Eph. 2:12)

The world is satan’s kingdom. The night Jesus was betrayed by Judas, who satan had entered (John 13: 27), He told the disciples “The ruler of the world comes and he has nothing in me.” (John 14:30).  To be in satan’s kingdom without God on our side is a very dangerous place to be. We are satan’s slaves, on the way to destruction until we are born again.

“…not having hope…”. (Eph. 2:12)

 People who do not know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior have no hope.  What a deep, dark abyss to find yourself in.  Add to that the demonic torment in the mind telling you that “you are hopeless, no one cares about you, you’ll never amount to anything, you can’t do anything right, look what you did!, God could never love someone like you”, and finally, “you may as well kill yourself and “escape” from this rejection and loneliness”. Then they find themselves in a Christ-less eternity.  Is it any wonder people are depressed and hopeless, taking their own lives?

“…you were at that time separate from Christ,…” (Eph. 2:12 NASB)

This also describes us before we came to Christ.  We were without a Messiah in an evil tyrant’s kingdom. We did not know the Deliverer.  No One to redeem us from the slave market of sin. Flying solo, deceived by the powers of darkness. Headed to eternal torment.  Thank you Father for saving us out of this horrible, hopeless situation!

Why don’t you and I be a witness today to someone who is  without a Messiah, without hope and without God in the world. Let the “rivers of living water” flow out of us today on to someone’s parched, hopeless life.  We can share the Messiah with them. He is the God of hope (Romans 15: 13).   Tell them God considers them so precious that He sent His only Son to die for their sins! Tell them He has a purpose for them existing and that He will conform them to the image of His Beloved Son. That He is preparing a place for them in Heaven and will come and get them one day. Hold forth “confident expectation of good” (biblical hope) to them if they will repent and believe in God’s Only Son.

Pray for the lost. Give someone a gospel tract or Gospel of John.  Take your authority as a child of the King and be His ambassador in the earth today and every day.

Be “…children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding forth the word of life…” (Phil. 2: 15-16 KJV)

Thank you for your time.

“…fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ…” (I Peter 1:13 NASB)

To Him who saved us by His grace and is able to keep us from stumbling, be all the glory before all time and now and forever!  Amen.

Carl

They Are Targeting Your Children and Your Grands

Exorcists Condemn Children’s Book on Summoning Demons  

The International Association of Exorcists (AIE) [in Rome] has issued a statement warning parents of the dangers of a 2019 children’s book that gives instructions on how to summon up demons.   The statement refers to A Children’s Book of Demons, a book targeting children aged 5-10 by Aaron Leighton, an illustrator and “fan” of occult practices. The book invites children to summon demons as a way of dealing with unpleasant problems such as chores, homework, and getting rid of bullies. “Summoning demons has never been so fun!” it proposes.   The book, published by Koyama Press, presents a number of demons, each accompanied by a sigil, to be drawn by kids as a means of conjuring the demons for their personal benefit.

  “Leighton’s renderings of the multieyed, multiarmed, sharp-toothed demons are outlandish without being creepy, and the creative concept will likely inspire some readers to create demons of their own,” Publishers Weekly declares in its review of the book.   The author presents the calling up of demons as something “ordinary and recommendable,” says AIE president Father Francesco Bamonte, “inviting children them to ally themselves with [the demons], to take advantage of them.”   The priest notes that Leighton teaches children to summon demons by drawing the demonic seal, or sigil, that represents them. “Thus, the children reproduce symbols very similar to those featured in the grimoires, manuals of magic spells that teach, with meticulous detail, the procedures necessary to contact evil spirits,” he said.   In their statement, the exorcists warn that a book like Leighton’s totally subverts the “discernment between what is good and what is bad.”   https://www.breitbart.com

Communist China and The Christian Church: A Glimpse Into The Future

Chine Creating “system of persecution for the future”, Open Doors warn.

WASHINGTON — China is creating a “blueprint” “system of persecution for the future” that could be sold to persecute people across the globe, head of the prominent Christian persecution watchdog agency Open Doors USA has warned. 

Open Doors CEO David Curry, joined by pastors from China, issued the dire warning about how China could be shaping the future of international religious minority oppression through its use of surveillance technologies to monitor Christians and other religious adherents. 

Open Doors, which operates in 60 countries, released its influential annual World Watch List data report Wednesday at an event attended by representatives of the Trump administration, Congress and human rights activists. The annual report ranks the top 50 countries where Christians are most persecuted.

During a briefing, Curry warned that the “greatest threat,” in his opinion, to human rights worldwide is China, which rose in the rankings from No. 27 to No. 23 in the 2020 report. 

Although the communist nation is not ranked as highly as other violators on the list, Curry stressed that the implications lie in China’s development of surveillance to control its people. 

“Its implications are not just for Christians within China but for every country and for religious freedom generally,” Curry said. “Let me put it together. It is like a puzzle. The pieces are there but it is not until you put it together that you see it clearly. When you see it clearly, it is frightening.”

David Curry, president and CEO of Open Doors USA, addresses the rise of global Christian persecution at the 2020 Open Doors’ World Watch List press conference in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 15, 2020. | Open Doors USA

The pieces of this puzzle, Curry said, involve China’s use of a social score system that grades its citizens based on their actions and the government’s creation of a network of surveillance cameras that have been put on street corners and in churches. 

“Imagine a system where citizens are given 2,000 points and every time you do something they government disagrees with, you are marked down for it,” Curry detailed. “Eventually, your travel is restricted, your children won’t get into the best schools. You lose points for taking your children to Sunday School. That is what the experience is like for many Christians in China.”

Curry traveled to China just a few weeks ago. 

“I saw with my own eyes the surveillance on the street but also in the churches, watching their congregation,” he said. “Facial scans when you come in and then tracking you and generating reports [with] assumptions built into their artificial intelligence system that is tracking Christian behavior.”

Curry said that the more often a person is seen going to church, the more often they are to be labeled a “radical.”

“They are shutting down house churches at a massive rate — 5,596 churches shut down, many because they refuse to put surveillance cameras up to watch their congregation.”

Pastor Jian Zhu, who was raised in China but now is the director of the China Institute at Lincoln Christian University in Illinois, told those in attendance that China’s persecution against house churches is now the worst he has seen since 1979. 

“The Chinese government now has placed severe restrictions and policies on the house churches, asking neighbors to spy on one another, pressures school teachers and college professors to betray and sign a statement to denounce their faith as well as to do the same to the students,” Zhu said. 

Zhu explained that many churches are asked to take down crosses inside and outside their buildings and put up pictures of President Xi Jinping at the center of their worship stages. Underground churches are also accused of illegally fundraising because they collect offerings from congregants. 

Zhu said he has heard of cases where some cities have shut down all house churches.

“Now, they are trying to eliminate Christianity from public life,” he said. “Cameras are all over to watch church and Christians go to Sunday service. Families are threatened to not go to church or they will be punished or their relatives could be in trouble.” 

One Christian from China who attended the Open Doors event told The Christian Post that he and his family fled from China after the house church he attended was shut down.

Curry stressed that the data “seems to point to the fact that China seems to be resurrecting the god-as-government state.”

“We are all threatened by this: atheists, Jews, Muslims, everyone,” Curry said. 

“They are using this artificial intelligence and surveillance to a whole new level,” he added. “All indications show that in 2020 — and this is why we are highlighting this — they are bringing these two systems together. They are merging the social scoring system and surveillance and artificial intelligence to give them the tools and the power to oppress the people.”

Curry said that the indications are not “just fear” or “unfounded.” 

“It is already happening in a very grave way: not to Christians but to Uighur Muslims,” he said, noting that hundreds of thousands if not millions of Uighur Muslims have been sent to “re-education centers” in Western China. 

“Muslims are forced to give up their faith and their culture. It’s only a matter of time before the world is going to jump on this technology because China is selling it to Iran, they’re looking to sell it to Egypt and other countries as well.”

When asked why China was not ranked lower on the World Watch List, Curry told CP that the World Watch List scores across measurements of private life, national life, violence, and others. 

“So while China is No. 23, we are highlighting it because of what I think is this blueprint,” Curry contended. “They are creating a system of persecution for the future and we have to call it out now. Otherwise, it will be too late. Otherwise, they will sell it to Iran and others to oppress their religious minorities. That is why it needs to be really highlighted. Within five years, it would be almost too late to stop them.

Curry said that Open Doors has asked the White House and others to support proposed legislation that he says would provide steps to “control the use of artificial intelligence and facial recognition around the world.”

“What assumptions are being built into this that we need to know?” Curry asked. “Does going to church make you a terrorist in China? These are things we need to know.”  

From The Christian Post