For ‘Peace and Safety’ – The Foolish Trade Off

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.   

The Government and Religious Committee of Georgia

You get the point.

For Grace and Peace in Jesus Christ Alone

Carl

Christian Church Growth in China

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.

https://mailchi.mp/671aa29f4143/the-naked-spiritual-rhythms-for-the-enneagram?e=169825fd77

Source: Berean Call
   

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

New Law Requires Chinese Christians Fully Submit to Communist Party

The Chinese government has tightened its reign on its citizens by announcing that all religious personnel of any faith must submit to and evangelize about the Chinese Communist Party.
“In practice, your religion no longer matters, if you are Buddhist, or Taoist, or Muslim, or Christian: the only religion allowed is faith in the Chinese Communist Party,” said a Chinese Catholic priest, according to CBN.
Starting on Feb 1, all religious groups must adhere to the new rules, which consist of six chapters and 41 articles. They require government approval for any type of gathering and total submission to the Communist Party.
One law, Article 17, states: “Religious organizations must spread the principles and policies of the Chinese Communist Party, as well as national laws, regulations, rules to religious personnel and religious citizens, educating religious personnel and religious citizens to support the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, supporting the socialist system, adhering to and following the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics…”
Manuscripts from each religion are also not immune to censorship. The Daily Mail reports that the Communist Party intends to complete a “comprehensive evaluation of the existing religious classics aiming at contents which do not conform to the progress of the times.” As Christian Headlines previously reported, this means that books such as the Bible or the Quran will be rewritten to “reflect socialist values” and any paragraphs that the government deems “wrong” will be changed.
“In many ways, the Chinese government’s control, including censorship of the Bible and the Quran, has twisted the doctrines of these religious texts and thus the religions,” said Patrick Poon, a China Researcher at Amnesty International. “There is simply no genuine religious freedom.”
The new laws come after finishing off 2019 with the “worst religious persecution in the country’s history,” according to the Federalist. A pastor of house church Early Rain Covenant Church, Wang Yi, caught international attention last year when he was arrested and later sentenced to nine years in prison for “inciting subversion of state power” and “illegal business activities.” His family wasn’t even sure if he was alive until they heard about his sentencing.
(Mikaela Mathews, “New Law Requires Chinese Christians Fully Submit to Communist Party,” ChristianHeadlinesOnline Tuesday, January 7, 2020)

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

Communist China Church Update

As you are probably aware, the communist government is ravaging the Christian church in China. Many pastors have been beaten and imprisoned, church buildings destroyed or converted to secular use, church members beaten and some imprisoned, a rewrite of the Holy Bible to make it “pro-communist”, youth forbidden to attend church, and other suppressing tactics.

Yesterday at church I spoke with a sister-in-Christ who had done much gospel work in Communist China over the years. I asked her what her contacts were saying about the current outbreak of persecution. She said that some are saying it is really bad.

Others said they had been praying for persecution to return because the Christian church in Communist China was becoming too much like the church in America and it needed persecution to purify it.

Think about that for a moment.

Please pray that the Chinese Church will go “on in the fear of the Lord and the comfort of the Holy Spirit (Acts: 9:31). That the true believers would be “…all filled with the Holy Spirit and ” begin “to speak the word of God with boldness (Acts 4:31)”.

“Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body. “. Hebrew 13:3

Carl

Communist China City Pays Up To $1500 To Report Christians

China’s crackdown on Christianity escalated March 20 when the government of the fifth-largest city began issuing rewards to those who report “illegal religious activities,” including house church meetings.

The Bureau of Ethnic and Religious Affairs in Guangzhou said it would reward prizes of 3,000, 5,000 and 10,000 yuan ($450, $750 and $1,500 U.S.) to Chinese citizens who spot and turn in their neighbors to government officials, according to Asia News

The size of the prize will depend on the scale of the illegal activity. 

All churches in China are required to register with the government. Some churches, though, face severe restrictions in how they worship and practice their faith. Because of this, millions of Chinese Christians worship underground. 

“The authorities could not have picked a better time, just before Easter to introduce these measures,” a priest told AsiaNews. “At this time, we often meditate on the passion of Jesus and Judas’ treachery for 30 pieces of silver. The Guangzhou government wants to turn people into many mini Judas.”

Guangzhou, with 11 million people, is the fifth-largest city in China and the capital of the province of Guangdong.

Last year Guangzhou authorities shut down the 5,000-member Rongguili Church, but members still meet in homes, Asia News reported. 

Referencing the new regulations, one Christian woman told the website, “Now here in China we live in a Big Brother atmosphere.” Under the new law, citizens can report suspicious Christian activities at the government office, by phone or via letter. 

The law lists as dangerous people who “establish religious places without authorization; non-religious groups; non-religious institutions; non-religious places, temporary places of worship, religious activities and religious donations.” This includes “organizing unauthorized religious courses, conferences, unauthorized pilgrimages,” AsiaNews said. 

Children under 18 are not allowed to take part in Mass or catechism, according to AsiaNews.

Related:

Chinese Official Vows to Eliminate Christianity in China

How I Can Only Imagine Smuggled the Gospel into China

‘We’re Not Allowed to Print Anything’ about Jesus, Chinese Print Shop Tells Church

Persecution Rising in China: And Things Could Get Worse

Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.

Photo courtesy: Pixabay