American Christians Seem to be Missing the Point, Part 1

June 27, 2016 at 10:42 AM 9 comments

We’ll get back to our other series – GABA, GABA, Doo – soon, but I wanted to discuss something else that has been of concern to me lately. I touched on this when I wrote the series about Dominionism, but we had a missionary gentleman at our church yesterday who summed things up nicely about how Christians in America tend to see themselves relative to the world around them and especially across the pond into Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. He presented some slides that highlighted facts that most Christians are very likely unaware of today.

missions1First, as noted on the slide called “The Extent of Persecution,” he told us that at least half of the world’s Christian population lives under persecution, with an average of 1,200 Christians being martyred every year. He also noted that there have been more martyrs in the 20th century than in all previous centuries combined.

Stop and consider these facts for a moment. This is not the first century where history tells us that the treatment of Christians was brutal and often abysmal with many Christians losing their lives for their faith. We are some 20 centuries removed from that first century and yet, martyrdom is higher now than it was then.

Here in America, we are too often kept safe from the type of persecution that visits many Christians throughout the world. It’s simply a fact of life in America that we do not experience the constant threat of brutality or death by those who are directly opposed to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Certainly, there are criminals to be wary of, but generally, people are not assaulted, attacked, or murdered for their faith in Jesus. The exact opposite is true in many countries throughout the world. This, of course, is especially true in Islam-dominated countries where it is common for roving bands of Muslims (Taliban, ISIS, etc.), to kidnap, rape, torture, and kill Christians solely because they are Christians and for no other reasons.

The reason we do not experience this type of thing here in America is because it is America where the Bill of Rights and the Constitution itself reigns supreme, not Sharia law as in Islamic countries. Though many rights and privileges guaranteed within these documents are being constantly eroded, we Christians still benefit from the fact that they exist at least in some form. Because of this, we tend to see our “rights” as being sacrosanct and something that is even on par with God’s Word. For many Christians, whether they realize it or not, our rights here in America are often recognized as superseding the truth and authority of God’s Word, though they would never admit that.

Does this describe you in any way, shape, or form?

Does this describe you in any way, shape, or form?

In short, Christians in America have become exceedingly content with their lives. We love our lives so much that we see anyone as an enemy who attempts to change it through legislation or executive orders. There is a delicate balance that needs to be reached and maintained in a country like America because of the rights and privileges we have here. There is always the temptation to see those rights and privileges as something that is part of Christianity when in reality, they are not. We enjoy them because we are in America, many of us born and raised here. However, those rights are really secondary to Christianity, or should be, solely because our true citizenship is in heaven, not here on the earth (cf. Philippians 3:20). Too many Christians are zealous for their patriotism, but not their desire to fulfill the Great Commission of Matthew 28.

We love America so much that we see anyone who wants to destroy it as a personal enemy. When we do that, we fail to see that Jesus is the Master of our fate. Is He or is He not? It can’t be both or sometimes.

I was involved in a thread on a social network the other day where a number of Christians discussed how they would not submit to the government. One individual even quoted Romans 13 and then reasoned (inappropriately in my view), that God would not expect us to submit to an evil government so that person said he would not. Others in the thread agreed.

The problem with this mentality is that he misinterpreted the content of Romans 13, in my opinion. Certainly, he disagreed with me and kept to his position, but Romans 13 (as well as in other areas of Scripture), point out the importance of submitting to the authorities that God has set up. Many Christians are thoroughly upset that President Obama is the president. I disagree with many of Obama’s policies myself, yet ultimately, is it not God who allowed or even designed it so that Obama would become president? We don’t like to admit that, do we? We point to voter fraud, corruption in government, and other things (as I myself have done in the past), but we don’t credit God with ultimately creating a situation in which He chose/allowed the individual who is now president to be in that position. How is it possible with all the Christians praying day and night for God not to have overseen that situation? Whether voter fraud, corruption elsewhere, or something else entirely was the immediate vehicle that got Mr. Obama elected, isn’t it true that God Himself oversaw that entire situation?

So many Christians in America today have their eyes firmly set on themselves, not Jesus. Doesn’t it all go back to this one question: why did God leave us here after we became Christians? He could simply take each new Christian to heaven after they receive salvation, but He doesn’t do that. He leaves us here so there must be a reason for it, right?

Ask the Dominionist and he/she will tell you that we are here to change society. Go to Matthew 28 to hear Jesus tell us we are here to preach the gospel and introduce the lost to Jesus and salvation, making disciples of people from all nations. Yet, Christians in America are so concerned with the potential loss of rights that we have lost sight of our true purpose for being here in the first place. We have gotten lazy, self-indulgent, and self-absorbed.

Christians in America only THINK we know what persecution is...

Christians in America only THINK we know what persecution is…

When we focus on changing society, we pick and choose our “enemies” in that society. We see people who oppose us as enemies and begin treating them as such. We are incapable of seeing them as people loved by God and whom He does not want to perish. In fact, because we see them as enemies, we cannot see them as people who need salvation. It’s impossible to do both! Because we live in America, anyone who attempts to deprive us of our rights under the Constitution is considered our enemy. Politics first! Society must change all for God’s glory! That’s not what the Bible says. He will change society when He returns with His righteous judgment. We cannot do that, yet we persist in trying.

Historically speaking, every time persecution of Christians has increased, growth of the Church has also increased. Why is that? It is because Christians are forced to give up what they hold onto and cling to God. At that point, they learn to accept whatever He sends their way because they do understand then that He is Master and Lord. This is a tremendous witness and testimony to the people who see that attitude and demeanor because it turns their attention to God. Christians who are so busy fighting the political system are often seen as bigots, hate-mongers, racists, and the like. It destroys our testimony and hampers the spread of the gospel of Jesus. We must remove ourselves from that and God may allow or even send persecution our way to join us together in Him, make us stronger by removing all the things that appear to be propping up our lives, and bring us to the end of ourselves.

We’ll look at this a bit closer next time to determine what the truth is regarding Christians, persecution, and those who need the gospel throughout the world.

 

Entry filed under: Agenda 21, christianity, Cultural Marxism, Emotional virtue, ISIS, Islam, Islamofascism, new age movement, Political Correctness, Politically Correct, Politics, Racism, Radical Islam, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation, second coming, Sharia Law. Tags: , , , , , , , .

GABA, GABA, Doo, Part 8 American Christians Seem to be Missing the Point, Part 2

9 Comments

  • 1. Eric  |  July 14, 2016 at 2:54 PM

    Thank you for your response. I suppose my question was more of a theological one, more than anything, and was wondering what you thought about the subject. Not so much the politics of it or anything else but more on the nature of God as it relates to the nature of evil and suffering. I know we really can’t get around that one. But I understand enough to know when we are licked with God, heh-heh. Thank you for your quick response though. I think the issue was stated briefly and succinctly in paragraph 9 of the “Technocracy to Tribulation” article. This is the issue I was hoping to convey as it is ‘man’s beef’ with God, if you will, and always is and will always be. In this world anyway. It is not so much what man can do but what God can do…and that can be a difficult issue of faith. The issue is an existential one that points directly to our humanity whether we like it or not. Like I would tell my Dad from time to time regarding the ‘bottom line’ of the Christian faith, if you will, is that in the end all we find is “Faith, Suffering, Death.” That is it…whether we are called to evangelize or not (or what not) be it the Great Commission or any other endeavor to His credit. This is our call. The way is narrow indeed and difficult but we are to endure….endure the race set before us. When my Mom died from her three surgeries for her stage 4 pancreatic cancer two years ago, my Dad reminded me of Lazarus, as an example (after our grieving period, of course), that Christ wept when Lazarus died prior to raising him from the dead with the full knowledge that Lazarus would once again, yes, die again! This always brought comfort to us as it brought to mind the way Christ identified with our grief, our sorrow, our pain, our humanity. Not for a lack of faith but the reminder that we are indeed pilgrims passing through. This is not our world (i.e., Babylonian system, et al., etc.). Only until Christ steps foot once again on the Mount of Olives. Otherwise, no sense to take stock in it. Like the old saying goes, “The two things we are most certain of is death and taxes.” Haha. The point being…we can’t avoid these things. Eventually, my Dad told me that amidst of all of this…despite of everything….the fact that we live in a fallen world….he was reminded that, “The just shall live by faith.” That’s it. As simple as that. Regardless of what happens around us. That will always stand true in comforting us. The flesh will tell us otherwise, “That something has got to give somewhere!’ or something of that nature…but God will deal with these things in His time. We all know that. But for now…we are called to “live by faith.” What else can we do?! After all, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28, NKJV). Well, thank you for your response. May the Lord continue to bless you and your ministry in everything you do, now and always. God bless.

    — Eric

    • 2. modres  |  July 15, 2016 at 4:14 PM

      Was out most of the day, Eric, and did not see this until now. Thanks for your words. I tend to agree because there is so much evil, self-righteousness, and illness throughout this world – nothing really escapes it – and it is all due to the fact that humanity sinned and ruined what God had created. The plan to fix the problem was immediately put into effect though as we know.

      I find it fascinating when I read many of the Psalms, where the Psalmist cries out to God at the pain, misfortune, and even agony of this life sometimes, much of it created by “evil people.” We see this today as well. The end though – as the Psalmists constantly point out – is that God will ultimately fix everything. What the Psalmists may not have completely understood is that those fixes will not take place with any sort of permanence until after this life and during the time Jesus physically returns. Until then, we endure, we persevere. If not, we will be found wanting when we stand before Him. We really have no choice but to endure. There is no other real option for us because every other option falls far short of that and who wants that?

      The older I get the closer I come to eternity. Without sounding morbid (because there are many things in this life I truly appreciate with most of them being my wife and grown kids and their families), I welcome the day I am taken to heaven.

      Thanks for your prayers for me and this ministry. Thanks for being a constant reader of the things I write. I appreciate your encouragement and your sentiments. May the Lord bless you as well.

  • 3. Eric  |  July 13, 2016 at 6:56 PM

    As I have brought up in an other post, it is very unfortunate that both Globalism and Christian Reconstructionism (i.e., Dominionism, Kingdom Now Theology, Theonomy, etc.) go together ‘like a horse and a carriage’ (including its variations in Replacement Theology, Displacement Theology, etc.) for various reasons. Sadly, I saw this coming many years ago at the local university (as a Philosophy major) in having to pore through so much and so many [so named/so-called] ‘postmodernist’ readings, lectures, etc, or more aptly and correctly noted — double talk. Today’s academia in a nutshell. (‘Postmodernism’ is simply political correctness given ‘academic’ credibility and nothing more). In any case, this is when I saw this eerie connection of Globalism to postmodernist thinking inasmuch as I saw Dominionism’s hand as the central focus of Christian Reconstructionist theology/thinking. They went together hand in hand! It was then that I knew something was up. Like Globalism, inadvertently or not, Christian Reconstructionism lends to itself the idea of control in a similar fashion. But, indirectly, in overstating mankind’s ‘goodness.’ It does so in action in how its theology is applied to the world. That is, the idea that mankind can be saved through ‘reform’ — reachable through ‘good works’ via politics and legislation (at the least).

    It is very interesting that this subject may be the basis of the work of Robert Congdon, it is my understanding, regarding the ‘new’ Calvinism (as he calls I understand) in which he hits the target dead on. It is my opinion that this Calvinist thinking is also a guilty candidate. Yes, such kinds of Calvinist theology/thinking may be called ‘reformation’ as a potential for a greater (or great) good but to what end? At what cost? What of man’s sinfulness? Especially as such compromise often takes precedence in the name of ‘culture’ and/or ‘tolerance’ for God’s Kingdom?! (!) This does not make sense. It is a contradiction in terms and, hence, the apostasy.

    It is this kind of thinking that brings all harm (i.e., compromise, danger, etc.) in thinking/believing mankind is reachable and can be saved via ‘good works’ through ‘reform’ by way of politics and/or legislation, et. al., That is, believing if mankind can be reformed, mankind can change, but often forgetting the true source of man’s hope and salvation. It is outward reform at best and nothing more without the true source of that genuine/authentic change and/or transformation that comes within which is found in the person and work of our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus. Utimately, without Christ, in the end….this is all it is…reform and nothing more. Their idea of ‘Christianizing’ the world in order to set up God’s Kingdom (or ‘ours’ as the basis of their theology) for Christ’s return is preposterous. Especially in this day and age of man’s goodness? (!) The world is certainly not going to get better with a greater opportunity for man’s goodness for greatness. Again, this merely lends to itself nothing more than the greater propensity for apostasy which we are now seeing come to fruition today. In short, what they are saying in conclusion is…God is not in control, we are….and God is not truly sovereign in all things. After all, what can one infer from this kind of thinking? The Lord bless.

    — Eric

    • 4. modres  |  July 13, 2016 at 7:18 PM

      Thanks for your comments, Eric.

      • 5. Eric  |  July 13, 2016 at 11:47 PM

        Thank you, Dr. DeRuvo. It is interesting when one considers the immense ‘persecution’ faithful followers/believers of Christ the world over often contend with on a day to day basis, particularly outside this country. You are ever so right. We in the West, are bombarded with entertainment as we are entertained to death all the while the life of believers outside the U.S., where death is both ruthless and indiscriminate, is valued on the same level as a discarded t-shirt! If anything, this alone certainly shoots down any form or hope of optimism (or at least should) of the Theology of Dominionism. After all, really, on what grounds does Dominion Theology stand where such enormous ‘persecution’ of believers leave little to hope for in having/claiming ‘dominion’ of any kind? Especially where dire situations or circumstances of this sort are heavily weighed. Certainly the ‘name It claim theology’ of the ‘faith and prosperity’ movement or ‘health and wealth’ gospel can not nor does not answer that call. In fact, believers overseas, more often than not, often deal with those literal life and death scenarios in trying to stay alive day to day, at best, and all for the name of Christ.

        This brings up a difficult question that, perhaps, you can help in providing your thoughts on the matter. Without my sounding too resigned or fatalistic, I have to admit, one of the most difficult topics for me to discuss is the subject of the nature and reality of evil and human suffering. This is one of my ‘hot’ buttons. When I read paragraph 4 of this article, I could not help but think of the information Walid Shoebat provides in this regard for example. It, too, unfortunately, has hardened me in many ways in how I view God’s role in all of this. That is, God’s role or place in all of this when I see and/or read the continuous, systematic killing of Christians (as it has been since the inception of the church). As much as I disagree with much of his views/theology, I am very grateful for his stance against Islam, in particular, as a case in point. I know that your response to Islam may be about the same as your response was regarding the topic of Obama (that you had mentioned in your book, “God is in Control”). That is, your approach to the topic of Islam is about the same as a ‘paper plate.’ That is, neutral on the individual or subject as opposed to values neutral. In any case, I have a difficult time dealing with the subject when I think of the massive and extensive slaughter of believers and non-believers alike, for the most part, I suppose, And, of course, the continuous bloodbaths have came from the hands of Islam as it has for centuries. It is both continuous and never ending. In fact, I recall Jack Van Impe not long ago refer to the entire U.S. population (present population) as the number of ‘Christians’ Islam has slaughtered throughout history in its name. To date, of course.

        If anything, my reaction to the topic borders more on the subject of evil and injustice. It angers me (and bogs me down) when I always see/hear stories of believers (i.e., including elders and children) being killed in every way imaginable (i.e., decapitation, burnt alive, hacked — you name it) that is ruthless, merciless and indiscriminate, without due cause. This is the reality. It’s a very, very helpless feeling especially knowing nothing is done to remedy the situation. I do not want to harden my heart for that very reason – that is, because of the frequency of it. That is, ‘it happens and has always happened and will continue to happen’ kind of attitude because ‘there is nothing I can do about it.’ No matter what because everything is in the Lord’s hands. We are called to ‘love our enemies’ just as much as we are to ‘render to Caesar what is Caesars.’ So, what are your thoughts on the matter? Especially in light of Islam and Sharia Law — that is, what is happening in our own backyard regarding the subject, for example. Evil, Corruption, the legislation of immorality, so on and so forth in all its forms is becoming quite tiresome to the point of ad nauseam. Yes, we have been comfortable in the U.S. and, yes, things have always have not been so in every other country outside the U.S. But things are getting worse, nonetheless, despite the fact that man does not change. That is, sinful man. The sin nature. But the gravity and frequency/degree of it is increasing quantitatively as it is also getting more sophisticated as technology becomes more sophisticated. Yes, everything is compounding and building up and in the Lord’s hands, but still the feeling — the motions and emotions of it all — are still difficult.

        On a negative note, many times I find myself saying these two ‘phrase’ verses that, really, sound fatalistic in nature but is Biblically true nevertheless, “..vanity of vanities, all is vanity” and “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” On the other hand, I find myself telling myself, “My grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in weakness” as “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” We have the Great Commission, to be sure, but it doesn’t help much whenever I am in that mindset, heh-heh, because it reminds me of the title of a Stephen Brown book, “No More Mr. Nice Guy!: Saying Goodbye to ‘Doormat Christianity’.” This is where I feel Jewish sometimes, haha. I feel something needs to be done sometimes. The injustice I tell myself! Aside from the Word, of course, do you have any books you recommend or a book of yours that talks about these things at greater lengths. A response would be most helpful and appreciated. The Lord bless you now.

        — Eric

      • 6. modres  |  July 14, 2016 at 6:00 AM

        Hi Eric, you’ve addressed a number of issues, but let me focus on Islam. The difficulty is that we are often tempted to see the SYSTEM and ignore the people caught up in that system. As a Christian who lives in America, I have certain inalienable rights guaranteed by the Constitution. I can “fight” to retain/maintain those rights through all legal channels. The problem though is when Christians see their fight as against Islam, which is then often grouped with the Muslims in that system. We are not enemies of Muslims, but we are certainly opposed to the demonic system of Islam. It’s a fine line, but whenever we are tempted to go BEYOND the Great Commission to fight a system, I think we are not only wasting energy, but quite possibly bringing dishonor to the Lord.

        We should never forget our primary calling and responsibility is to fulfill the Great Commission, which means reaching out to the lost for Jesus, so that the truth might set them free, just as we have been set free.

        The more I watch the secular news, the easier it is to get caught up into this movement or that one, in order to “save” America. Again, we have legal means at our disposal to right wrongs, but we should never allow that to overtake our calling to the Great Commission.

        For instance, in Iowa last week, the legislature there passed a law that would have required churches to have young boys and girls shower together, etc. This is due to Iowa’s “equality” law. In response, churches banded together and filed a federal lawsuit based on the 1st Amendment. Were they right to do that? Absolutely because they did everything within the confines of the law. Before the suit even got to court, the state of Iowa amended its new law so that churches are fully exempt from it. Had churches done nothing, the new law would likely have stood as law.

        It is fine to do what we can to change things that are not right. My concern with myself is knowing how easily I can get caught up into the way the world thinks – that we need to be obnoxious and even use force against the government to right wrongs. This mentality pits Christians against the lost. We begin to see them as enemies, not people who need salvation.

        I look at someone like Hillary Clinton or George Soros and I see unadulterated evil. If I focus on them as people, that’s all I see and I find myself being tempted to ask the Lord to take them out of this life. If He did, they would likely leave this life without salvation and because we currently live in an age of grace, God’s love and mercy still extends even to them. When I consider that aspect of things (as opposed to their character), I find myself praying for their salvation and the thwarting of the evil they do in society.

        I do not live this perfectly at all. But I’m growing into the reality that my first calling is the Great Commission. Everything else is secondary. Not sure if I answered your question or not, but hopefully, I’ve shed a bit of light on it.

  • […] the guest speaker and he had some extremely important things to say as we begun to unfold in our first part in this series. We noted that a great many Christians throughout the world are currently undergoing great […]

  • 8. rutnerh  |  June 27, 2016 at 2:59 PM

    Amen, brother! Jesus said that IF we are His truly obedient followers, we shall, not may, be hated and persecuted as He was (John 15;18-23). In contrast dominionists or lukewarm CINOs seeking to christianize society or defy authorities are also hated but for the wrong reasons.

    • 9. modres  |  June 27, 2016 at 3:03 PM

      Yep, I could not agree with your more – thanks! I have to admit though that a few years ago, I was falling headlong into that same Dominionist trap, but I’m very grateful the Lord pulled me from it! We have ONE job and it is called the Great Commission.


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