It is said that one out of every three Americans are Christian. These statistics may mean less than at any other time in our history. Recently one source reported that in fact it may be only 15 percent of Americans are actually professing and practicing Christians. We can hope this is not an accurate statistic, but with so many believers going rogue, liberal and licentious, perhaps, sadly - it is!
The 2012 elections reflected the apostasy of both Catholic and Protestant believers. Whether it is the Bible or the current position of the Catholic Popes, abortion and same sex marriage are forbidden and in direct opposition to the word and will of God. So how did President Obama, a man who supports abortion and same sex marriages, sail unscathed into a second term?
The Catholics alone could have blocked Mr. Obama’s re-election bid with over 60 million Catholic voters, but they chose to go with the popular consensus rather than their own under-shepherd. What went wrong can be described in a single word – apostasy. The ‘falling away’ of the church is both prophesied and clearly defined, (2 Th 2: 3) but the product of the apostasy is so much more than a mere definition.
The apostate church is a divided church, and its product is weakness which allows the advancement of the opposing forces of darkness. The god of this world (Satan) is delighted with wishy-washy Christians and welcomes the trend to bend, to meet his agenda for the end. He is chomping at the bit to be ‘revealed’ to the world as Paul told the Christians in Thessalonica, but the believers have to ‘give it up’ for that to happen. Don’t look now, but that that trend is already a speeding train without brakes.
The world reads the wispiness of the believers as a lack of courage and a failing of conviction. We can hardly fault them for taking this view of us since our Lord himself gave us fair warning about salt that loses its ‘savour’ (Mt 5: 13) and workers who become ‘unfit’ (Lk 9: 62) because they are prone to look back. What could be more telling about Christ’s view of the vacillating heart than this verse spoken to all the churches?
“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” (Rev 3: 15, 16)
Reason number one for blaming the Christians, the right or the conservatives when things go bad, like the recent attack in Boston, is because Americans are keenly aware of cowardice and they hate it!
They will argue tooth, nail and claw against our stated positions, but when we fold like a house of cards they will despise us even more. The line from our national anthem which says ‘o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave’ is based on the understanding that maintaining freedom always requires bravery. Are today’s Christians brave?
The commandment to love does not come with a promise of recognition
The impetus for this article was given by the thoughtful question an editor who asked how we could apply the admonition given in Philippians 2: 1-2 to the Boston attacks and if that alone should be the Christian approach to the horrors that recently fell on those at the historic Boston Marathon. More importantly should this alone be the role Christians must play when events like this occur.
Paul declared, “If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.”
Clearly speaking, this should always be our first response to anyone or any community that undergoes an onslaught of evil, or a great loss.
What is naïve is the assumption that if we love the hurt, fallen or forlorn that we will get recognition and none would dare infer that we may be culpable in part, or fully, for the events taking place.
When Christ cried out “forgive them; for they know not what they do,” (Lk 23: 34) not the Romans, the Jews nor the believers rushed to the cross to remove Jesus and end his sufferings. The envy and hatred that caused him to be judged worthy of death continued unabated. The ignorance and ungratefulness of his persecutors did not deter him, or them, from staying on course.
Getting the crucifiers to admit they were wrong would have met with futility.
When journalist S. E. Cupp, of The Blaze tried to get Salon writer Joan Walsh to admit that she was wrong for implying or perhaps hoping that the perpetrators of the Boston bombings were ‘right wing’ or even Tea Party members she found herself up against a solid brick wall.
Hoping that a particular group of people are responsible for a pure act of evil is a pure act of prejudice and is always predicated on a predisposed disdain of a particular race, religion or societal division. There is absolutely no other definition but pure blindness for this kind of behavior.
The bottom line is that the most loving response we can give already has a strike against it. Jesus made that clear when he firmly warned that “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.” (Jn 15: 18) Do we love anyway, do we stay on course? Without doubt!
Please, give us your Sentimentality – Not Your Honesty
Adages are available for a dime a dozen, but some stand the test of time and should be learned, practiced and elevated almost to the level of the scriptures themselves. One to learn, and remember, is this: ‘Truth without love is cruelty and love without truth is sentimentality.’
This world wants us to love it, people want the Christians, principled right wingers and conservatives to feed the poor, save the fallen, build the hospitals and show unmitigated kindness regardless of circumstances. They will never fault us for doing this, but it is our moral stand that irks them.
Because Christians are loving is never the reason they are criticized, it is always because they are willing to say that certain behaviors are un-Godly and ultimately lead to judgment. We know such warnings are acts of love as much as feeding the poor, the world does not know that, nor will they ever accept it. Again, are we deterred? Should we just get sentimental and shut up about sin?
The ‘Great Divider’ is no Father Figure
Christ’s demand that we be ‘wise as serpents, and harmless as doves’ (Mt 10: 16) creates an almost impossible balancing act at times especially when we are addressing those in high office or revered workers in the faith such as ministers and evangelists.
Nearly four full years into his presidency it is now impossible not to come to certain conclusions about Barack Obama. We may think he is dishonest because of the hidden matters of his past, we might see him as deceptive because of covered issues like ‘Fast and Furious’ and Benghazi, but one thing about him that comes from the long run rather than any particular issue is that he is no father figure to the county like almost every other president throughout our history as a nation.
Remarks are made on a daily bases which indicate that Americans don’t feel that he really loves this country. It is an assessment that Mr. Obama has given rise to, on countless occasions and the Boston bombing is no exception.
His reticence to identify the Muslim extremist cause of the attack with speech and action that would assure us that he is going to do something about it leaves us with the feeling that there is no father in the house. When that is coupled with the knowledge of his Muslim background we wonder if in a pinch, he would give us all up for a song and side with the Muslim haters of America - some say – he already has.
After calling the Fort Hood massacre, ‘workplace violence,’ will he label the Boston attack, ‘sports event violence?’
Not being a patriarchal figure, a Muslim background and an unwillingness to properly identify the source of threats to Americans, adds to the divisiveness we are experiencing as a nation.
In this generation of the fatherless family must the entire nation now get along without a father or a decent father figure at the helm?
Writer Tadd Cronn summed it up on Godfather Politics April 22, 2013 – “Since President Obama came into office, the federal government has become progressively more desensitized to Muslim terror. There has been evidence produced publicly that the Administration has been infiltrated at many levels, including the White House, by agents of the Muslim Brotherhood and other radical Islamists who have maneuvered themselves into positions of influence.”
Cronn added, “It’s also clear from the president’s non-reaction to such reports that Obama is OK with those people in those positions. The fact of radical Muslim influence in the Administration is not inconsequential, as law enforcement agencies such as the FBI have been altering training of agents to increase “sensitivity” toward Muslims and to focus their energies chasing the Administration’s phantom Right-wing terror threats.”
It is beyond comprehension that in this present day believers are often heard saying that they know nothing about politics and - don’t want to know. While they are off seeking blessings and the solution to life’s everyday ebb and flow the politics of the day has labeled them dangerous people.
Christ, prophets, apostles and every witness of the gospel since the first century until today were attacked, persecuted and driven out by none other than civil authorities. Political movements, kings, presidents, emperors, and civil rulers have been the number one persecutors of the church. Is the answer to that, to stay out of and completely aloof to the workings of politics? The scripture says we are to be ‘harmless as doves – not dumb as doves. (Mt 10: 16)
Accusing Christians of Terrorism is Very Close to Blasphemy
It is clear that quacks and extremists exist in every area of life. We have quack doctors, lawyers, scientists and lest we try to cover it, even a few Christians. Heeding the call to always consider the source brings us to a conclusion that cannot be argued against. Most Christians and especially Biblically based believers are not terrorists.
What terrorist turns the other cheek, (Mt 5: 39) or goes out of their way to do good to their enemies? (Mt.5: 44) What Christian has not been told that to lay down their lives for others, rather than take a life is Christ’s way? (Jn 15: 13) Only someone totally devoid of any biblical knowledge would fail to see that nowhere does Christ or his Apostles ever give us leave to harm or kill another human being.
We can hear echoes’ from the classic film ‘Cool Hand Look’ so clearly “What we have here – is a failure to communicate.”
Christians are the ones that stand for life, want to preserve life, save life and protect life. Blowing up everyone we disagree with into kingdom come, is not part of our training, our bibles or our nature. To suggest that it is, most certainly borders on blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.
When the Pharisees accused Jesus of casting out devils by the power of the devil, he warned them of committing the unforgivable sin of blasphemy. (Mt 12: 31)
To label the Spirit that resides in believers as an evil spirit of terrorism and death is as close to blasphemy as it gets.
If intended it is blasphemy, but even in the case of it being inadvertent blasphemy based on ordinary ignorance of the facts, it is always high perversion.
At this moment in time there are over twenty five countries where Christians are persecuted, jailed, tortured and killed – just for being Christians. All of those countries are Muslim.
Terrorism is a last day’s sign and it is well prophesied
When God’s law was first given to Israel he gave them a list of 14 blessings if they would keep it. Conversely he outlined over 58 verses of curses that would result if they did not – one of those was terror.
“I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.” (Lev 26: 16)
That promise was fulfilled from time to time as Israel kept sinking into sinfulness and idolatry. But near the second coming of Christ so much war and confusion will be released as to make the entire period leading up to and during the reign of antichrist a total time of terror. Some think we are approaching it a breakneck speed, daily newscasts confirming.
Gospel writer Luke penned these prophetic words: “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Luke 21: 25-28)
Don’t worry; it will not be Christians, right wingers or conservatives bringing this on the world, but it will be those quite clearly on the other side of the fence.
Copyright ©2013 Rev. Michael Bresciani