The Difficulty of Reconstruction

Everyone you talk to today knows the System is broken. In my previous articles, I have outlined the degradation of every institution our Society has hitherto been supported on. The Enemy (not who you think), doesn’t care that the masses are waking up to the fact that something is really wrong in the world. He has divided us into racial, economic, and political camps so that the Great Unwashed ( the way the elite look at the 99% of us) are angry. We don’t trust… each other. The root source of all this strife goes unnoticed.

So Revolution and Upheaval are on their way. The four horsemen are preparing to ride. Blood will flow and graves will fill. For what? The coming storm is necessary, and even ordained. Where our difficulty is going to be is what Government comes after? When the survivors stick their collective heads out of their shelters, how do they restore order, reestablish the institutions like health care, education, worship, family, etc…?

The challenge now is we are all over the boards as a human race of how our world should be run. Among my own family, we consist of 2 socialists, a capitalist, a libertarian, and even a monarchist (myself). You can realize the difficulty our founding fathers had in crafting our constitution which, until recently, worked magnificently,

History is full of instances where bad kingdoms or governments were overthrown for something worse, (You can see this in Mubarak’s Egypt, Saddam’s Iraq, Or North Korea.) How do we as humans strive for something better to replace what clearly isn’t working? I sure don’t have a clue. The way it looks now is that the same Psychopaths that are running things now are planning to run things after the great upheaval. Will we as the masses accept this?

The challenge is that, in these days, we as individuals have changed to the point that we are unable to work together to come to any consensus whatsoever in what a post apocalyptic society should look like, As another famous writer once said, ”Without a vision, the people perish.” In this vacuum, the current elites have a pretty good chance of ending up on top once again. The likely alternative to this would appear to be a Mad Max scenario. (Road Warrior was the most interesting movie in this series) Every man for himself. Anarchy. Pretty stark.

The concept of Hope comes into play here. Not a pie in the sky grasping at straws hope. Something outside of ourselves. John Lennon missed it entirely with his song “Imagine”. Arthur C Clarke touched on it with the upcoming blockbuster “Childhood’s End”. In his Sci-Fi story, aliens from another planet rescue us. Close. But where do the Aliens come from? How did they learn?

I put to you another scenario. One that was written about ranging 3,000 to 2,000 years ago, by over 40 different authors. A kingdom where our hearts are necessarily transformed. Everyone in this kingdom has the same heart, the same goals. No sorrow, no pain, no tears. Only joy. And a race of humans doing what they were created for. One King forever. He will be a just King. All powerful. I said Lennon missed it entirely, but he did say one thing. “You may say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope (pray) someday you’ll join us”

Solving the World’s Problems 101, Pt 4

As the World Collapse approaches, and suffering and persecution are in store for us, we have examined the 2 main responses that many in the church are contemplating. Besides the Rambo or Red Dawn scenarios, along with the withdrawal and isolationist approaches I have discussed, there is one more line of thought I have observed with many Christians. Many are just burying their proverbial heads in the sand and refusing to see the coming troubles. This response is the least effective from an evangelical standpoint, and will cause quite a shock to the person in denial when the grocery stores are bare, and their money doesn’t buy anything.

So what is the best way for us as the Church to handle the coming crisis?  Lets look at some Biblical models to help guide us. We can see how God’s children related to governments much more cruel and Godless than ours. As a matter of fact, we see the positive relationship of many of God’s children with Governments. Some Old Testament examples are Joseph, David, Nehemiah, Esther, Daniel and his 3 cohorts. Each of these governments, in varying degrees, make our present US Government seem like a wonderful operation. In each case, each of the men and woman exemplified the the Romans 13:1-7 mandate referred to in Part 2 of this series, mainly that all authority is ordained by God, thus we are to obey them in almost all cases.

Lets look at another example; that of Moses. On the surface, Moses appears to have components of both the withdrawal, and the Rambo approaches in his relationship to  Pharaoh and Egyptian law.  It is true that he murdered an Egyptian Foreman, and fled to the hills, but after getting his mind right in Midian, (with a lot of direction from God), we see a man returning to one of the most pagan, persecuting, and Godless governments. During his remaining time in Egypt, he obeyed the laws, and petitioned Pharaoh through legitimate channels. It was God who did the fighting. Moses was the messenger at this point.

If God was on one side in this battle, who was the opponent?  Pharaoh?  Ephesians 6:12 tells us that the battle is not between flesh and blood, but against Powers and Principalities, meaning a supernatural hierarchy of spiritual beings. The amazing irony of this story is that Pharaoh, with all that he was and did against God, could have become one of God’s family if he would have bowed his knee and confessed with his tongue that the God of Israel was Lord. In fact, God gave him many chances to believe, up to the point of his death.

Through it all, God administered the plagues, They weren’t so much an attack on Egyptians or even Pharaoh as much as against the Gods the Egyptians worshiped. Each plague demonstrated victory over the “Powers and Principalities” that ruled the Egyptians.

As a result, God maneuvered the Israelites out of Egypt, God plundered the Egyptians on behalf of His people, and ultimately destroyed the Egyptian army. The Israelites responded to Pharaoh legally and submissively in all circumstances (although with a lot of grumbling).

Yes, Pharaoh was defeated and the Israelites escaped to the promised land, but more than that, the “Powers and Principalities” mentioned previously were dealt a serious blow.  Satan had a plan to eradicate an entire nation, and thus cut off the line of his greatest foe, the Redeemer, mentioned all the way back in Genesis 3.  That was the battle here… not the rights of the Israelites.  Satan’s attacks ultimately were to defeat God’s plan more than to punish a nation.

Today, we must also ask, “Who is the enemy?” Is it really the President? Is it the Supreme Court? Is it Gays? How about Russia? Isis? If we are to apply God’s truths consistently, our enemy is undoubtedly Satan and his minions.  All of the people mentioned above are souls being fought over by unseen players.  Each one of these seemingly nonredeemable individuals is capable of believing Jesus as their Lord and Savior.  The Bible is full of people that seemed impossible to reach for Christ, such as Jacob, Naaman the leper, the Disciples, and Saul of Tarsus. I will put myself on this list.  I was just as lost as them until I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior.  And while we are on this subject, how about you?

And who does the fighting?   Is it our mission to resist the authorities? How about letting God do our fighting?  How about letting Him rain down the plagues today while we go about making disciples for Christ?  Back in Ephesians 6, after we are told to put on the armor of God, we are then commanded to “Stand Firm”, not fight.  Like the Israelites, God will ultimately deliver us out of the hands of our oppressors.

You may think, “If we are depending upon God to fight, when is it appropriate for us to resist authority?” According to the Biblical Model, it is appropriate to resist when we are prohibited from declaring the Gospel, or compelled to break God’s law.  In Daniel 2 for instance, three Israelites exiled to Babylon were ordered to acknowledge and worship a false god.  It was at that point they resisted authority.  In Acts 4, the religious leaders (who had some civil authority) ordered Peter and John not to preach the Gospel.  They resisted as well.

Finally, each person should decide for themselves what their response to government should be when confronted with oppression and persecution. The response shouldn’t be what we think is right, or how we were brought up, or any other reason except what God wants from us.  And that response can be found  through the Bible and prayer.

Solving the World’s Problems 101 , Part 3

As we continue looking at various answers as to how the Church is to deal with the coming world crisis, we last looked at the “Red Dawn” approach.
Another approach is the separatist, or pacifist response. Throughout history we can see this type of response through monasticism; withdraw completely from society. In other words, maintain a separation of the Church from the World to preserve purity. In the dark and middle ages, men retreated to monasteries to meditate on God, usually in remote deserts or mountains. Today, followers of this response may not seek the remoteness of mountains or deserts, but instead have separate communities. The Exclusive Plymouth Brethren, Amish, and Quakers are some contemporary examples of this approach . They have ordinances of not fighting in the military, or using worldly devices that may corrupt their holiness.
The biggest obstacle to follow this response is the lack of biblical model. Nowhere in the New Testament did the Church act in this manner. Soldiers weren’t instructed to quit the military and not fight. On the contrary, the apostles are constantly in contact with the worst of humanity. Jesus is even criticized for eating with “sinners”. If the Church is to be salt and light to the world, she has to be in the midst of it. Disengaging from worldly affairs may prolong our lives, but it defeats the purpose that God assigned us; that is, to reflect and glorify Him. We are supposed to do this by teaching, worship, preaching, evangelizing, and setting the example of loving one another.
So if armed rebellion, and pacifism aren’t the optimal response to Global meltdown, what is? How does the Church fulfill Her mission of Matthew 28:18-20 the way God wants it done?
Tune in next week.

 

 

 

 

 

Solving the Worlds Problems 101, Part 2

In this Blog entry, I will begin to look at various approaches to what everyone agrees is a crisis. Most would agree that, due to the foolishness, (or worse),  of politicians, this will probably lead to a collapse of institutions and infrastructure in America. For instance, the Banking system could collapse. That would lead to food and supply shortages in stores. ATMS and credit card transactions could be suspended. That would lead to rioting and the collapse of local law enforcement. Hospitals and Pharmacies would be overwhelmed. Roads would be clogged with refuges. Corruption and lawlessness would be the order of the day.

Then the wise men who got us in this mess in the first place would step in. Martial Law, confiscation of weapons, rounding up the troublemakers would soon follow. Looters shot on sight, Military troops patrolling our streets a la Jade Helm 15. All in all, this would be a totally transformed country, with segments of the population at each others’ throats.

Pick your catastrophe. An EMP (electromagnetic pulse) attack by a hostile nation, a severe natural disaster such as an earthquake, or even a medical epidemic could all lead to the same result.

How would we as a Church, the Body of Christ, deal with this?   I am speaking of approaches within the church in general, because that is the institution God gave us as Christians to operate in.

Everyone seems to have a solution for what is happening to us. Most of the people who hold to these ideas are decent and sincere, but wrong. The following ideas are what I have heard among Christians .

(Keep in mind that the easy part of any analysis is picking apart others’ solutions.)

First is the “Red Dawn” plan. Also known as the “prepper” school. Store away enough food, water, guns and ammo, and head to the hills to evade capture. (A permutation of this is to take said supplies and hunker down in a home or even an underground shelter.) Many of these folk talk about their “God Given Rights” in the Constitution, and their rights to defend against losing them.

Its good to be prepared for disaster, and it would be wonderful to keep our rights. There are, however, two arguments not to take this course of action too far. First, the theological one. A wise man once said, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.”
(Romans 13:1-7 ESV)

At the time the Apostle Paul wrote this, Nero was probably the Emperor of Rome. The Ceaser who mercilessly persecuted Christians.   Jesus echoed this by summarizing “Render unto Ceaser the things that are Ceaser’s”.   Nowhere did Christ tell his followers to fight Rome to get their rights.

The fact is, we are entitled to nothing in this life but eternal condemnation. Human rights, contrary to the Declaration of Independence, are not “inalienable rights”.   As a matter of fact, no country in the history of the world been blessed by God with our freedom and prosperity. We have been an aberration, an outlier of what the rest of humanity has faced.  Compare the statements in the Declaration of Independence with the above Biblical Passage. When there is a contradiction, which document will prevail for you? (for instance, “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. “ Preamble)

I have often considered what would have become of our nation had we, like Canada, “rendered unto King George the things that are King George’s” and not fought a bloody revolution.

The second argument against going to far with armed resistance, is this,  It only takes one bullet to end your time on this earth.  Are your rights worth it?  What are you willing to die for as a Christian?  What does God say?

… More on this next week.

Solving the World’s Problems 101

There is a point of contention among the Church that needs to be reconciled for all of us. It involves the relationship between a Christian individual or family, and the Government, specifically in times like these. First, it is obvious that our constitutional rights are being eroded. This entry is going to be in multiple parts, with the first part identifying the issue, and what to do about it in subsequent entries.

It is becoming evident that there are individuals in our government that want to reinterpret our founding documents so that our freedoms of speech, right to bear arms, and our right to practice our religion, are either taken away, or drastically restricted. In addition, the tax code of 16,000 pages is enabling the rich to escape taxes, and the poor to not only be exempt from paying taxes, but to receive food, phones, housing, and other benefits. This leaves the tax burden on middle class workers, who are vanishing as you read this. Thirdly, elements of the Press, Educational Establishment, and Government are pitting Americans against each other. White against Black, Rich against Poor, Police against the Population, Democrat against Republican, you name it. When crises rise out of these conflicts the Government creates new laws to take away more freedoms (go back to the first of the list) . As a result of this method of ratcheting down our rights, little by little, we are being divided as a country, distrusting and even hating those whom we have been told are our enemies. Differences are exploited instead of celebrated.

Look around. It doesn’t take Einstein to see the massive changes in our country regarding the above situations. Don’t you agree that, in a short time, the United States of America will be unrecognizable to earlier generations?

In my conversations with all types of Americans, they see the same conflicts. Most blame the manufactured enemies that are created, by an untouched segment of power hungry individuals who are known by many as the elite. The enemy is a political party and whoever is a member of it. It’s a racial minority (or majority). It’s the rich. It’s the poor, They are causing these problems. We are too distracted by our own limitations to see that we are all being played. We as Americans see our above fellow countrymen, as well as immigrants, as enemies, or as my wife says, Popular Blame Targets.

I would suggest that we, as the church, all need to look at ourselves, and what filter we look through, before we consider adopting a viewpoint as to the problem. Before we can even consider solving today’s problems, we should be certain that our assessment of what is going wrong doesn’t lead to more problems. In my next blog, I will identify what I see are errant viewpoints that are held, and will pin down the real enemy facing us. Then I will attempt to create a suggested course of action for us as Christians to follow. You may not like what you read, but I assure you that it will lead to better things if tried. Stay tuned.

The More Things Change…

A funny thing happened recently that once again demonstrated the adage that “History repeats itself.”, and also’ “Those that ignore History are doomed to repeat it.”

Last month, the popular Pope Francis, speaking on behalf of God and the Roman Catholic Church, declared that Global Warming is mostly man made. He urged quick action. The mainstream media has jumped on this with an “I told you so” tone that permeates these kinds of stories. Here is an example: http://www.nbcphiladelphia,com/news/local/Pope-Francis-Climate-Change-Global-Warming-Encyclical-Catholics-Environment-298530081.html

Notice the complimentary manner in which a “Christian” leader is portrayed, so unlike the treatment preachers, missionaries, and families receive in TV shows, news stories, and comic routines.

Lets see… a pontiff declaring a scientific theory as fact, with the science showing the opposite conclusion. Meanwhile, professors and scientists who disagree with these conclusions are vilified and ridiculed. Some have lost their funding or their jobs. Meanwhile their arguments are dismissed. “The argument on Climate Change is Over.” as the noted scientist Leonardo DiCaprio in the Green World Rising documentary series.
Global Warming skeptics are labeled as “deniers” and worse. Sound familiar?

In 1610, a noted astronomer issued “Starry Messenger” and went against the accepted science of the day by stating the earth wasn’t the center of the universe, and that it even orbited the Sun. Wikipedia’s entry for this episode states “Galileo’s discoveries were met with opposition within the Roman Catholic Church, and in 1616 the Inquisition declared heliocentrism to be formally heretical. Heliocentric (earth orbits the sun) books were banned and Galileo was ordered to refrain from holding, teaching, or defending heliocentric ideas.” Declared a heretic, he was imprisoned for the rest of his life.

Oh, by the way. The inquisition was run by the Jesuits, Pope Francis is a Jesuit.

 

Don Cook