Navigating True North, in a ‘Post-Truth’ World

sailing-ship

Post National . . . Post Modern . . . Post Christian . . . Post Toasties® (?!?)

And now, to make 2017 a truly delightful year – we embrace ‘post-truth’!!

“Oxford Dictionaries has declared “post-truth” as its 2016 international word of the year, reflecting what it called a “highly-charged” political 12 months.

“ . . . It is defined as an adjective relating to circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than emotional appeals.”  [BBC News; 16 November 2016; UK section]

“ . . . editors said that use of the term “post-truth” had increased by around 2,000% in 2016 compared to last year.

“ . . . (post-truth) had taken on the meaning of “belonging to a time in which the specified concept has become unimportant or irrelevant”.  [Guardian News and Media Limited; 15 November 2016]

A time where truth has become unimportant or irrelevant? Where objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than emotional appeals? The fact that we now acknowledge this, could, in fact, be a moral high-point; a splash of cold water in the face; a wake-up call. However, I fear that we, regardless of cultural, religious, ideological, geographical or national viewpoints, will blow right through this, quickly seeing it in the ‘rear-view mirror’ of our cultures, and simply accepting it as the way things are!

STOP!

Truth is important. Truth is relevant. Truth is absolute!

And, Truth is Infinite!!

That Intelligent Being who created everything – who has introduced Himself in the Holy Bible as the Almighty God – set forth Truth. It is seen in the foundation of everything in our modern world. And, by His very nature, God is Immutable – never changing.

As surely as 2 + 2 = 4 and ∏=3.141592653589793 . . . etc., God exists and His Truth is the foundation that enables a culture or civilization to survive and thrive’.

Truth is NOT relative. It does not change as a civilization or culture decides to redefine it. A post-truth world would be a morass of human failure. Karl Marx, Charles Darwin, John Dewey, Bertrand Russell, Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Adolph Hitler, Jean-Paul Sartre, Margaret Sanger, Fidel Castro, and Mao Zedong – just a very few of the leaders who were convinced they could redefine truth, and left a wide path of social and/or human destruction in their wake.

In the USA, particularly over the past 18 months, truth has taken a beating! ‘Fake News,’ which is a term that soft-pedals the fact it is a lie, e.g. not truth, is being bandied about; and it seems to be taken lightly.

“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”” [Isaiah 40:8 NIV]

As a leader in the rapid downward spiral of culture and morals, the USA continues to grovel after personalities and hedonistic lifestyles. In order to do so with an anesthetized conscience, it is necessary to deny that foundational truth exists.

We are clearly seeing how poorly we have chosen. No one in their right mind could posit an argument that we are morally or culturally better off today than even 50 years ago. Look at the news headlines. Our cities are war zones. Our out-going President and his former Attorney General actively sought to encourage lawlessness in order to advance a socialist agenda! All they accomplished is to create an environment where the law enforcement agencies are viewed as the bad guys. An admitted felon campaigns for President of the USA, and she nearly wins. Racial violence and prejudice is increasing. Persons flooding across our borders illegally are given more rights than citizens.  I could go on and on; but, does anyone care?!?

As a nation we spew this poison around the world. Where once stood a ‘shining city on a hill ‘ now lurks a specter of ‘post-truth’ relationships, abject immorality, back-stabbing of allies, elevation of evil regimes and two-faced diplomacy! We are like a ship whose anchor chain has broken, and it is moving to and fro, responding to whatever direction the wind blows.

Truth pre-existed what we know as the Creation, because God is Truth. He made it clear that Truth emanates from Him when He introduced Himself to Moses.

“And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,” [Exodus 34:6 KJV]

As the people through which God would redeem the fallen world, the Jews were enlightened with this body of Truth through God’s revelation to the Prophets. And the Israelites were forewarned about the fatal consequences of rejecting His Truth, while scrambling after the lusts of the flesh and the pitiful efforts of mankind to redefine truth. They chose the wrong path, and God brought judgment on them!

” . . . LORD, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain?” The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart, whose tongue utters no slander, who does no wrong to a neighbor, and casts no slur on others;” [Psalm 15:1-3 NIV]

Mankind has always sought ways to justify their self-centered pursuits, their pride, and the familiar lust for money, power and unbridled sexual licentiousness. Our courts are making a mockery of justice. Journalism is lost in editorializing every subject to advance an agenda.  Money and ideological power are prostituting the system, corrupting our Constitution. God’s Word is clear; as it was 3000 years ago, so it is now!

“Friend deceives friend, and no one speaks the truth. They have taught their tongues to lie; they weary themselves with sinning.” Jeremiah 9:5

“There are those who hate the one who upholds justice in court and detest the one who tells the truth.” Amos 5:10

“These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts.” Zechariah 8:16

Historians have proven that societies and cultures based on a solid Judeo-Christian foundation have always prospered. Only as those cultures began to reject that foundation, for the express purpose of seeking to pursue an amoral lifestyle, have they begun to falter. God, who is infinitely Merciful, is also infinitely Righteous and Just. We are seeing His Judgment played out in our country today.

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” [John 14:6 NIV]

The organized church has caved to the ravenous desires of the backslidden and the non-believer for entertainment and anti-biblical approval of their sinful lifestyles. The apostate church vehemently argues against God’s Truth, just as in the days of Noah!

There would be no turning back from an actual ‘post-truth’ culture. I don’t I believe we are there yet; nor do I even know what that would look like! But we are definitely on the downward side of that slippery slope.

Let us commit ourselves to telling the truth in love, in every circumstance. On an individual basis we will find our lives easier to navigate standing on a hard-rock foundation of Truth. Let us stand our ground for Truth, no matter the cost. God will honor such steadfast, unwavering pursuit of the truth.

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” [John 8:32 NIV]

 

Open Letter to Mr. Rich Stearns, World Vision

Mr. Rich Stearns, President                                                                                       31 August 2016

World Vision

P. O. Box 70399

Tacoma, WA   98481-0399

Dear Mr. Stearns:

This letter is to regretfully inform you of our decision to eliminate our financial support for World Vision. Our real regret is for Nazzy Lungu, (ID/Pledge Number  ___), the young lady in rural Zambia we have been supporting since 2006.

My wife and I watched with sorrow as the you and the WV leadership took a stand in favor of non-biblical marriage, contrary to the very clear presentation of God that marriage is between one man (physiologically born male) and one woman (physiologically born female). You disingenuously backed off of that position when a large number of Christians threatened to drop their support. Our younger daughter made that move, withdrawing her support of the girl she had been supporting for nearly 10 years. We decided to maintain our support of our child, for Nazzy’s sake. However, it was obvious your theological position was set in stone, even though you backed away from its implementation.

This most recent problem brought to the forefront your apparent support of a two-state land grab in Israel. Your people supposedly did not know the person you hired to oversee the WV funds was 1) not a Christian, 2) had a background with the Muslim Brotherhood and radical Palestinian groups, and 3) was recruited to infiltrate World Vision. That level of incompetence does not speak well of your organization. After that, when informed by the Israeli government of the fact that your representative was funneling WV money into the radical jihadist organizations, you chose to ignore the problem (and probably aided in the deaths of numerous Israelis and Palestinians).

After a little digging, it became clear to us that you hold a favorable view to Replacement Theology; a spiritually dangerous position and an idea that cannot be supported by Scripture (ref. News Article). And you are allowing that position to direct your decisions with regard to your relationship (or lack thereof) with Israel.

You are using the hundreds of millions of dollars given to support children and whole villages around the world to advance your hidden theological and political agenda. How does that set with your Mission Statement and Corporate Charter?

It is for these reasons we are withdrawing our support for World Vision. Please close our account and remove us from your mailing list.

Sincerely,

What Have We Done With the Jew?

For Reference See My Post “What Would You Do with the Jew?

I have long wondered why so many Americans have a bad attitude, or actually hate people of Jewish ancestry. I grew up in a conservative Christian home. My parents never exhibited open hatred or resentment toward other races, and certainly not of the Jews. For that reason I remained unaware of the ChristiansHolocaust-StarOfDavid who despised and rejected people of Jewish ancestry. As an adult I began to see some of this, but still I did not hear that theology taught or preached in the various local church groups where my family and I worshipped.

Perhaps it is because of the current tensions in the region of the Middle East, and specifically in the nation of Israel, that Christian views are being forced into the light of day. I know what God says through His Word. God’s Covenant with the Jewish people is irrevocably joined to His plan for all eternity.

“For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession. The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.” [Deuteronomy 7:6-9]

The Apostle Paul, an orthodox Jew, a Pharisee, and a Christian called by God to be the evangelist to the Gentiles, was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write, “ From the standpoint of the gospel, the Jews [at present] are enemies [of God] for your sake [which is for your benefit], but from the standpoint of God’s choice [of the Jews as His people], they are still loved by Him for the sake of the fathers.  For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable [for He does not withdraw what He has given, nor does He change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call].” [Romans 11:28-29 AMP]

It is far beyond the scope here to speak directly to the inept policies the current US Government and the United Nations are implementing and seeking to implement with regard to the nation of Israel. The United States has, from 1948 to 2009, been a close friend and ally of Israel; our only ally in the Middle East. We are, to our shame, forsaking them now. President Obama made his position clear in his very first international trip, when he snubbed Israel and lauded Egypt’s radical Islamic revolutionaries. Since then, to our shame, virtually no one in the senior positions of the administration has stood for Israel.

I have often said that, at least since the 1950’s, people live in a tightly defined “time bubble.” Everything outside that bubble is considered irrelevant. So, we only look forward a year or two; and our concern and knowledge of the past, may be five years. That is not to say we don’t know things; but very definitely we don’t learn from the past nor do we seriously plan for the future, except where money is concerned. Shaking our fist in the face of God obfuscates planning for the future.

Consider the following:

“In the ancient Near East, people sealed relationships between individuals or nations by covenant. When larger, powerful nations and smaller, weaker ones made a covenant. The entities operated like father and son or master and servant. Each had a distinct role to perform.

“The more powerful kingdom (called the suzerain) would adopt the smaller one (the vassal). In exchange for the vassal’s allegiance, the suzerain would provide military protection and financial provision in times of need. The suzerain had authority over the vassal. It might allow the vassal to maintain its own government and traditions, but it maintained legal ownership of the vassal’s land and agricultural harvest.

“The vassal was expected to operate in submission to its suzerain. In addition to giving a percentage of its annual production, the vassal was expected to be completely loyal. A vassal could only have one suzerain. Making a covenant with another suzerain was high treason and would incur horrendous consequences. The vassal’s loyalty was pledged to the suzerain and could not be shared with another

“The Bible translates this kind of loyalty using the Hebrew word hesed. It means love, faithfulness, or covenantal faithfulness. A vassal’s faithfulness was described as love expressed to his suzerain. Rebellion was to hate the suzerain.” Taken from ‘The Deliverance Principle’, as found in “Gideon: Your Weakness, God’s Strength”; by Priscilla Shirer.

My concern is the Biblical position many in Christianity have taken regarding the Jew and the nation of Israel. The verses quoted above are difficult to misread. Yet, there are many who believe the Covenant that God initiated and backed by His Name has changed, and He has turned His back on the Jewish people. If a Christian believes God could ever break any Covenant, then what assurance do we hold that He would not break the New Covenant – that of His Son Jesus.

A Transcendent, Eternal God, who lives outside of time and knows the beginning from the end, cannot make a Covenant and then break it. It is against His very nature as an Almighty, Righteous and Just God.

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” [Romans 1:16 NIV] Thus wrote Paul in his letter to the church in Rome.

So, where does this lead us?

At the risk of being repetitious, let’s hear what God said, at the very beginning, to Abram:

“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” [Genesis 12:2-3]

  • May 14, 1948: late morning eastern standard time (late afternoon in Palestine): David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, reads a “Declaration of Independence,” which proclaims the existence of a Jewish state called Israel beginning on May 15, 1948, at 12:00 midnight Palestine time (6:00 p.m., May 14, 1948,eastern standard time).
  • May 14, 6 p.m. eastern standard time (12:00 midnight in Palestine): The British mandate for Palestine expires, and the state of Israel comes into being.
  • May 14, 6:11 p.m. eastern standard time: The United States recognizes Israel on a de facto basis. The White House issues the following statement: “This Government has been informed that a Jewish state has been proclaimed in Palestine, and recognition has been requested by the provisional government thereof. The United States recognizes the provisional government as the de facto authority of the State of Israel.”.
  • May 14, shortly after 6:11 p.m. eastern standard time: United States representative to the United Nations Warren Austin leaves his office at the United Nations and goes home. Secretary of State Marshall sends a State Department official to the United Nations to prevent the entire United States delegation from resigning.
  • May 15: On May 15, 1948, the Arab states issued their response statement and Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq attack Israel.

[From the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum; Recognition of the State of Israel.]

The USA became the very first nation to recognize the new nation of Israel. Israel is the only nation in the history of mankind, to have been dispersed by invading armies (70 AD) yet maintained a national identity and ultimately reborn.

Over the next two decades the US was blessed with spiritual, economic and military growth beyond compare. Our infrastructure advanced as the standard of living spiraled upward.

Some may call it a coincidence. But, the obvious fact is that it resulted from God’s Covenant Promise to His Chosen People. The US was blessed because of the Genesis 12 promise.

Today, notwithstanding the Church’s malaise and retreat from Biblical Christianity, our schizophrenic relationship with Israel, now bursting into an all-out rejection of the plainly stated Biblical position of the Jew, has brought the US into a place where our two greatest adversaries are literally ‘thumbing their noses in our face.’ Russia and China have both, in the last 12 months, begun making aggressive moves, militarily, geographically, politically and financially, that place our nation at extreme risk.

Israel will stand – alone, if necessary – of that you can rest assured. Holocaust Memorial-StockholmAlmighty God has spoken. Biblical prophesies cannot be lectured away by the religious intelligentsia; nor can land-for-peace treaties be expected to be honored by Palestinians; nor will the UN be able to accomplish any of their anti-Semitic resolutions. Jerusalem will never be divided again and the Temple Mount will not be controlled by Palestinians. And Peace will come to Jerusalem, but not in the form the world thinks.

Peace will come to Jerusalem when the Prince of Peace sets foot on the Mount of Olives in His triumphal return to reign upon the earth!

So, while the European and North American politicians play their silly games, Iran blubbers that they will cause Israel’s demise, and the Arab nations feign blustery anger at Israel’s fair treatment of the Palestinians – TAKE NOTE!

The One enthroned in heaven laughs;

the Lord scoffs at them.

He rebukes them in his anger

and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,

“I have installed my king

on Zion, my holy mountain.”   (Psalm 2:4-6)

What Purpose Selfless Sacrifice?

In the early morning hours of 6 March 1836, a rag-tag group of about 200 volunteers were overrun by approximately 1800 Mexican Regular Army calvary and infantry soldiers at the Alamo Mission at San Antonio.

Texas Alamo

This company of men had held off General Santa Anna’s army for 12 days. Repeated requests for reinforcements gained no response, until 32 men rode in from Gonzales.

An intense battle of several hours followed the commencement of this predawn, multifaceted attack. The outcome was never in question. All of the defenders perished, their bodies burned. A handful of women and children were allowed to leave. It was over. The Mexican dictator had won the day.

Or had he?

“Remember the Alamo!” became the rallying cry for the battle for Texas independence. People worldwide continue to remember the Alamo as a heroic struggle against impossible odds — a place where men made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom. In April, less than two months after the Alamo fell, the Texans, led by Sam Houston, pulled a surprise attack on the much larger Mexican Army at the San Jacinto River, defeating them and capturing General Santa Anna. The General agreed to the demand for Texas Independence in exchange for his personal freedom.

The deaths of those who made a choice to stand firm ignited a fire among those who previously had stood on the sidelines.

What is the lesson learned here?

Sometimes it is the selfless sacrifice of one or a few who turn the tide in a conflict. There are examples, too numerous to mention, where Christians willingly gave there life on the mission field, and God poured out His Holy Spirit followed and a multitude of lives were transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Today, in the USA, there is a torrent of anti-Christian bias deluding a large number of people and leaders of the reality of Religious Freedom guaranteed in the US Constitution. There is lawlessness like never before coursing through the very heart of this nation. Religious Freedom is a cornerstone of our country. Constitution-LincolnThose against it have no idea what its loss will do to the other freedoms we enjoy.

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” [2 Corinthians 3:17]

In the state of Kentucky, a single County Clerk determined that her faith and her right of conscience would not be trampled. Kim Davis has stated she will not bow to an unconstitutional ruling by 5 justices; to the point that she has been willing to relinquish her freedom for her stand.

“The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.” [Proverbs 4:18]

Most people in the US believe she is being foolish over a non-sequitur. They believe her actions do not logically follow. However, it is a far deeper issue. Marriage, as defined by our Creator, and as lived out by ALL CIVILIZATIONS since the beginning of time, is foundational to a healthy society – whether Christian or not. Mrs. Davis knows this and is willing to selflessly stand against this tsunami of irrational actions perpetrated by a handful of radicalized homosexuals.

What does her sacrifice mean? This action forces everyone in this nation to slow down – take a breath – and actually pay attention to the real issue

“The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity. Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death. The righteousness of the blameless makes their paths straight, but the wicked are brought down by their own wickedness.” [Proverbs 11:3-5]

The juggernaut of emotional frenzy, lies and uneducated misinterpretations of the US Constitution (as well as the Bible) has been, at the least, slowed by clear thinking, honesty and proper interpretation of the laws. The rampant influence peddling, abuse of a passive Legislative Branch by judicial activism, breach of the public trust in all three branches, coupled with probable bribery and extortion, and ultimately the Administrative Branch moving with dictatorial fervor, is now coming under scrutiny.

“The rich among you have become wealthy through extortion and violence. Your citizens are so used to lying that their tongues can no longer tell the truth.” [Micah 6:12]

May the Wisdom of Almighty God engulf us like a mighty storm; and may we be filled with fortitude and courage of conviction to stand firm and reverse some of this insanity!

Celebrate US Constitution Day, September 17, 2015

Awaiting the City of God

A Devotional; by R C Sproulnew_jerusalem

Evangelical Christians love America. Some see in her the last hope of creating a Christian nation. But it is not a Christian nation. It is pagan to the core. It is in danger of becoming, if it is not already, the new “Evil Empire.” The Mayflower Compact is a museum piece, a relic of a forgotten era. “In God We Trust” is now a lie.

Yes, we must always work for social reform. Yes, we must be “profane’ in Martin Luther’s sense of going out of the temple and into the world. We do not despise the country of our birth. But in what do we invest our hope? The state is not God. The nation is not the Promised Land. The president is not our King. The Congress is not our Savior. Our welfare can never be found in the city of man. The federal government is not sovereign. We live—in every age and in every generation—by the rivers of Babylon. We need to understand that clearly. We must learn how to sing the Lord’s song in a strange and foreign land.

America will fall. The United States will inevitably disintegrate. The Stars and Stripes will bleed. The White House will turn to rubble. That is certain. We stand like Augustine before the sea. We pray that God will spare our nation. If He chooses not to, we ask for the grace to accept its demise. In either case, we look to Him who is our King and to heaven, which is our home. We await the city of God, the heavenly Jerusalem, whose builder and maker is God.

Coram deo: Living before the face of God

Are you looking to your King and to your eternal destiny, despite the circumstances around you?

Keep your focus on the heavenly Jerusalem, whose builder and maker is God.

“Brothers, I tell you this: Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, and corruption cannot inherit incorruption”. [1 Cor. 15:50 HCSB]

“Jesus answered, “I assure you: Unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”” [John 3:5 HCSB

“Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” [2 Peter 1:11 NLT]

Good Without God[1]. Really?!? (Part I)

The history of the formal Humanist movement is less than 100 years old. But its effects on all aspects of American society, as well as other lands and nations touched by the US, has been catastrophic.

The original Humanist Manifesto was published in 1933. Now titled A Humanist Manifesto I, recognizing the fact it may evolve and change, the first article reads as follows.

Religious humanists regard the universe as self-existing and not created.”

Religious Humanism was thus ‘formalized’ by a group of 33 self-proclaimed intellectuals. One prominent educator and avid disciple involved in writing and proliferating this was John Dewey, considered by many the Father of Modern Education. Observing the dysfunctional US public education system in the 21st century, they may be right. (More on Dewey and his legacy in a later post)

And God said, . . .

“The fool says in his heart, “God does not exist.”” [Psalm 14:1 HCSB]

“Stay away from a fool, for you will not find knowledge on their lips.” [Proverbs 14:7 NIV]

The instant anyone thinks they know better than their Creator, they have bowed their knee to a false god.

Following the violent human rampages of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan in World War II, a revision identified as Humanist Manifesto II was developed in 1973. Somewhat longer and less ambiguous, it still oozed with optimism in the human evolution.

The idea of ‘religious humanism’ seems to have been jettisoned, and the ideals were merged with those of the Secular Humanist movement. The authors must have seen a need for creating a differentiation, and to formalize the idea of ‘freedom FROM religion’, which stands in direct conflict with the freedom OF religion granted in the US Constitution

Religion: a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects.[2]

“Among the oft-quoted lines from this 1973 Manifesto are, “No deity will save us; we must save ourselves,” and “We are responsible for what we are and for what we will be,” both of which may present difficulties for members of certain Christian, Jewish, and Muslim sects, or other believers in doctrines of submission to the will of an all-powerful God.”[3]

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” [John 3:16-18 NIV]

“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” [Isaiah 40:8 NIV]

Secular Humanism is a religion. It should be recognized as such, just as the original founders of the movement formulated it. Changing the name to secular humanism did not change its core belief system.

Humanist Manifesto III, entitled ‘Humanism and Its Aspirations’, was published in 2003 by the American Humanist Association. Two foundational points worthy of mention in this version are as follows:

  1. Humans are an integral part of nature, the result of evolutionary change, an unguided process.
  2. Respect for differing yet humane views in an open, secular, democratic, environmentally sustainable society.[4]

“Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” [Genesis 1:26-27 NIV]

It is worth noting that the “respect for differing views” idea, though not stated as such, excludes the Christian Worldview entirely. Empirically speaking, of course.

Socialism and Communism

Modern Humanism actually found most of its roots in the writings of Karl Marx, the German philosopher, writer, etc. Marx was perhaps the strongest voice in formulating the concepts of socialism and communism. As with many such philosophers all he developed was unproven theories. However, the rapid changes swirling around the world, from the geo-political landscape, social crises, and industrialization enabled these ideas to take root. The USA offered one of the most fertile fields in history to plant such ideas.

Karl Marx (1818 – 1883) clearly had an understanding of ‘religion.’ Just as clear, though, is that he did not know the Almighty, All-Wise God of the Bible. Oddly he must have held a belief in some god or he could not suggest he would dethrone that god.

  • My object in life is to dethrone God and destroy capitalism.
  • Religion is the impotence of the human mind to deal with occurrences it cannot understand.
  • Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.

The wise store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool invites ruin.” Proverbs 10:14

“Stay away from a fool, for you will not find knowledge on their lips.” Proverbs 14:7

Socialism and communism get greater traction in societies that are already in crisis. Whether from the abuses of a monarchy or totalitarian regime, or because of ineffective governance creating social and economic problems, these ideas can be molded into what seems to be a solution for the problems. Unfortunately, as we have seen, socialism always leads to an inordinately strong central government. As socialist ideas emerge in the USA we are seeing more abuses by the Federal government.

I believe it could be proven that the ideas of Marx (probably Nietzsche and Darwin, as well) added fuel to the flame of theological ‘higher criticism’ that spread through Europe in the 19th century, fostering division among Christian theologians and pastors.

Humanism Humanism is not new. Nimrod, great-grandson of Noah through Ham, was a mighty hunter, renowned leader. His arrogance before Almighty God and his defiance of God’s command to “fill the earth” (Genesis 9:1,7) led to the building of a kingdom on the plains of Shinar, with several cities. One of those cities was Babel, where Nimrod sought to build a great, tall edifice to survey his kingdom. God’s judgment of that humanist plan caused Him to confuse the language and scatter the tribes to the ends of the earth.

But that great city, known to us as Babylon, was, has been, and is to this day a center of operations for Satan’s plan to overthrow the Kingdom of God.

While Marx may have solely been focused on throwing off what he considered to be the yoke of religious Christianity, the reality is that his future disciples simply created another form of man-made religion. Humanism!

People with financial power and/or civil power have found that humanism provides the ‘opiate’ they need to actually control the masses without the problems of absolute truth (such as the foundations of Christianity). Humanism is the perfect blob of nothingness that allows those with influence to define a set of rules in whatever way necessary to motivate people to do their bidding.

Humanism could not exist, in fact, cannot thrive except in a world made sane by the Light of Jesus Christ. Humanism can only find a foothold where Christianity has laid a foundation.

Humanism is based on the principal lie of Satan, himself a created being who believed he could experience greater freedom by rejecting His Creator God. A baffling paradox – the creature rejecting his Creator because the Creator gifted him with a mind and a will. In itself this displays the Omnipotence and the Omniscience of our Ageless, Creator God, that He would create man in His image. That fact elevates man above the animal world. Therefore, only fallen man has the innate capacity whereby God can reignite that eternal life, which died in the Garden of Eden. This He did through the Life-giving and life sustaining power of His Son, the Man-God Jesus, who freely offered Himself up as a perfect sacrifice to redeem this corrupted creation; who died and arose bodily, victorious over death, and now seated at the Right Hand of God!

God has chosen, in His infinite Wisdom, to keep man’s free will intact. In other words, we get to choose. Pure and righteous justice. Unfortunately, the entrance into humanity of the Light of the world, to redeem man back to a right relationship with God, is being met with an up-turned nose; a self-absorbed ‘thanks but no thanks’ dismissal.

“The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him.” [John 1:9-10 NLT]

Part II: Humanism in the Church (coming soon).

[1] Tagline of The American Humanist Association

[2] Dictionary.com

[3] Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia; Article. Humanist Manifesto

[4] Ibid.

The Ratchet

The ratchet has revolutionized the world of hand tools. If you don’t know what a ratchet is – I’ll tell you. It is a rotating and locking mechanism which allows you to move forward but not back. In the case of a socket wrench – place the socket on the bolt head, set the wrench to loosen the bolt, and the ratchet locks and turns the bolt in one direction, then moves freely in the other, allowing you to reset in order to turn the bolt head again.

Why are we talking ratchets? Because the concept can be seen in everyday life in the creep of controversial social issues. And the majority of people – of all political and social stripes – don’t understand this and can’t see it. Therefore, radical changes take place, generally moving slowly, and, like a ratchet, always forward, never backwards.

People say they can’t understand how “such and such” happened until it is pointed out by a path of seemingly insignificant steps that very few people noticed. The ones who do notice, and cry out to beware, are many times ignored as fanatics, because the mainstreams of people grow weary of such discussions (‘crying wolf’, etc.)

And then, some see a change that they may not agree with; but they assume it is an isolated issue, fixed, no further concern needed. The proponents of that change, however, see these small steps as “beachheads” that they will never give up (the ratchet effect) and from which they will make further incursions (moving constantly forward).

One such issue that most in the USA have grown weary of is the “abortion debate” (in the realm of our Creator God, Who values all life = an oxymoron). The vast – VAST – majority of Americans disagreed with the Roe vs Wade decision of 1973. This was a classic case of Supreme Court legislation, circumventing the legislative process established by our Founding Fathers, of government by the people and for the people.

Arguments have been put forward that such heinous disregard for human life would have a backlash in our culture. We see that today in the “throw-away children” and the blatant disrespect for life and property. Proponents of abortion rebut the pro-life argument by leveling a smokescreen regarding ‘when does life really begin’. That argument would have no credence with a people who believed in Almighty God and honored His Scriptures. “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.” (Psalm 139:13-15a)  But the ‘beginning of life’ arguments went largely unchallenged in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. World wars, incredible technological innovations, leaps in scientific discoveries, affluence and severe financial crises overshadowed these weighty cultural and theological debates. The Church universal lost its way; became enmeshed in social changes and politics that actually ran counter to everything in Scripture – especially the teachings of Jesus – and began to respond with man’s devices. “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.” (James 1:5-8)  It abdicated its position as propagator of the gospel and defender of the orphan, widow, prisoner, slave, and outcast. No longer is God feared – and thus His Wisdom is not present in the “debate.” King Solomon warned, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” (Proverbs 9:10).

The ratchet of social change and anti-God teachings moved slowly, one small step at a time – always forward, never backward. The Church, having gone to sleep, was caught off guard when abortion was legalized. Today, ideas of euthanasia and infanticide are achieving stronger platforms. Winds of change, economic instability, debt crises all push people to cast aside these issues, saying we must focus on the “greater” problems facing us. Peter Singer, an Australian ethicist, just to name one, smiles and continues to “ratchet” forward, propagating arguments for “post-birth” abortion (infanticide), against animal cruelty (save the lab rats, abort the babies), and for euthanasia. The elite intelligentsia is groveling to get on-board with these ideas, while young idealists consider these thoughts to be the new wave of an evolving generation.

Another ratchet movement is the groundswell of support for homosexuality. For years the argument that homosexuals are born that way, a position soundly rejected up until the second half of the twentieth century, was pounded into our culture by intellectuals and liberal sociologists. The ratchet moved one notch forward; the argument gained momentum and the media took up the mantra; the ratchet clicked into another notch; same-sex marriage became the focus of the movement; the ratchet is moving forward again. Christians have been ‘cowed’ into remaining quiet.

However, transcendent above all this human wisdom, our immutable God seeks to refine a Church that will be salt and light in this world. Whether we want to admit it, a Sovereign God is in control and will not continue to bestow blessings on a people who reject Him, regardless of how many times we invoke “God Bless America”. We may cry and wring our hands, and get emotionally distraught over someone proposing infanticide to reduce medical costs and long-term care issues, but we will do nothing about it. We may “preach to the choir” our belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman – as God created it. The Church will preach fiery sermons and hold toothless “prayer” meetings inside our little cloisters, then go out in the world and blend in, ashamed of the gospel. Paul fought this same issue in a world increasingly hostile to followers of The Way, and said, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.” (Romans 1:16) Note that political debate, man’s laws and government intervention aren’t mentioned by Paul as relevant options.

The ratchet keeps moving forward – never reversing. We will not stop its progress through man’s power. We have a “ratchet buster” that can reverse any of these. And it would be well for us all if we remembered this in the current morass of political debate and culture wars.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging . . . “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:1-3, 10)

“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” (Psalm 62:5-8).

This nation will not change by political debate or legislative intervention. We cannot focus on the symptoms. The root cause is a rebellion against our Creator God. We must be about our ministry of reconciliation. “For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him (Jesus Christ), and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation” (Colossians 1:19-22)

One final note. Many thousands of folks around this country have committed to pray for the US, the election process, our military personnel, the financial crisis, our governmental leaders (yes, that includes our President), and, of course, for REVIVAL, on a daily basis. It is a call to pray one minute in concert every day – at 9:00pm Eastern Standard Time (8:00pm central, etc, etc.). Of course, these prayers are ‘toothless’ without faith and trust in the One to whom we are praying, in full belief that He can change hearts. Please join this chorus of prayer, make the commitment to pray, and spread the word. God hears the prayers of a humble, contrite heart.

“He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”  Micah 6:8