THE RICH HAVE SEIZED
CONTROL OF THE CHURCH!

May 7, 2000
by: S.R. Shearer



"I used to think, when I was a child, that Christ might have been exaggerating when He warned about the dangers of wealth. Today I know better. I know how ... (impossible) it is to be rich and still keep the milk of human kindness. Money (or the desire for money) has a dangerous way of putting scales on one's eyes, a dangerous way of freezing people's hands, eyes, lips and hearts."

Dom Helder Camara

THE RICH HAVE SEIZED CONTROL OF THE CHURCH

Since the early part of the last century (i.e., the 1900s), the leadership of the American evangelical community has been "bought and sold" by the business elites of this country. The path that the history of this sordid alliance has sketched on the record of the church runs like a well-worn trail from the Red Scare of 1919-1921 through the Isolationist and "America First" movements of the 1930s, the McCarthy era of the late '40s and early '50s straight to the present coalition between the Religious Right and the "Fat Cats" of today's Republican Party. It is a squalid and shameful partnership which has brought an untold amount of humiliation and disgrace to ordinary Christians throughout the country who have had very little themselves to do with this alliance.

Professor Daniel Bell, writing for the Columbia University Forum in the Fall of 1962 remarked that in no other Western country - not in England, not in Germany (since the end of the war), not in France - has the alliance between the conservative Christian community and Big Business been so pervasive and deep-rooted (please see our article, "The Business Right And The Christian Right An Alliance Made In Hell").

WHAT THE ELITES REALLY THINK
ABOUT ORDINARY PEOPLE

Of course, most ordinary, "everyday" evangelicals have very little idea as to the extent their leaders have sold them out to the corporate elites, and how their churches are "managed" in the interests of those same elites; nor do they seem particularly aware of how they are regarded by these elites - of the utter contempt the rich have for "common people" (please see our article on this phenomenon, "The Elite, Money, and the End of Days" please also see, "Creating a Common Partnership Between the Moneyed Elites and the Religious Right"). To the elites, the so-called "worth of the ordinary man" enshrined in America's mythology is nothing but an empty phrase to be honored more in the breach than in the keeping; and democracy? - it's merely a contrivance through which the elites "manage" the "people" for their own benefit.

Indeed, Edward Bernays, the leading figure of America's modern public relations industry - the industry from which most of the "operatives" which staff the Democratic and Republican party campaigns are drawn - betrays the thinking of today's elites insofar as the "management" of people are concerned when he says: "... the very essence of (today's) democratic process" is "the freedom to persuade and suggest" - what he calls "the ENGINEERING of consent."

"A leader," Bernays continues, "frequently cannot wait for the people to arrive at even general understanding ... Democratic leaders (by which Bernays means the elites) must play their part in ... ENGINEERING ... consent ... OF GETTING PEOPLE TO SUPPORT (their) ideas and programs." And although it remains unsaid, it is evident enough from what Bernays is suggesting here that he considers that it is the task of the elites to "educate the American people as to what is in their best interest" - or, as an AT&T executive once observed, "to control the public mind." The arrogance and pomposity here is mind-boggling, but such is the egotism and vainglory that pervades the rich.

And it is not just Bernays; take journalist Walter Lippmann who once described the practice of American democracy as "THE MANUFACTURE OF CONSENT." Lippmann believed that "the national interest very largely eludes the public entirely, and can be managed only by a specialized class (i.e., the elites) whose personal interests reach beyond the locality."

And then there is Harold Laswell, considered by many to be the father of modern sociology, who warned his students in the Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences that they should not succumb to "democratic dogmatisms about men being the best judges of their own interests." They are not, according to Laswell; the best judges are the elites, who must, therefore, "be ensured the means to IMPOSE their will for the common good." And what about theologian Reinhold Niebuhr who once told his seminary students that they should recognize "the stupidity of the average man"?

Historian Thomas Bailey agrees; he argues that "because the masses are notoriously short-sighted and generally cannot see danger until it is at their throats, our statesmen are forced to DECEIVE them into an awareness of their own long-run interests. DECEPTION of the people may in fact become increasingly necessary, unless we are willing to give our leaders in Washington a freer hand."

And it's not just liberals and so-called "New Agers!" - the conservative contempt for democracy was succinctly articulated by Sir Lewis Namier, who wrote that "there is no free will in the thinking and actions of the masses, any more than in the revolutions of planets, in the migrations of birds, and in the plunging of hordes of lemmings into the sea." Namier believed that only disaster would ensue if the masses were permitted to enter the arena of decision-making in a meaningful way.

FYODOR DOSTOYEVSKY'S "GRAND INQUISITOR"

The truth is, across a broad spectrum of articulate opinion the fact that the voice of the people is heard at all in democratic societies is considered a problem to be overcome by the elites. At the root of the elites' attitude towards the so-called masses [and here we include both the religious elites (who offer their constituencies up to the rich as "foot soldiers" in the armies that the wealthy have arrayed against the poor) and the business elites] lies the logic of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Grand Inquisitor who bitterly assailed Christ for offering people the freedom to worship God as individuals and not merely as cogs in a machine (i.e., an "Establishment Church") which had been constructed to serve the interests of the state. The people were not capable of true freedom, the Grand Inquisitor maintained, and Christ - by offering the people such freedom - had condemned them to misery.

It was, therefore, the duty of the elites to correct the "evil work" of Christ by offering the "miserable mass of humanity" the gift they most desired and needed: ABSOLUTE SLAVERY IN THE SERVICE OF AN ALL-POWERFUL STATE SUPPORTED BY AN ALL-POWERFUL CHURCH.

To accomplish this (i.e., to make the church over into an instrumentality of the state), average, "every-day" members of the "Establishment Church" had to be forbidden any meaningful role in the ministry of the church; they had to be reduced to sitting passively and obediently in pews. Only the "learned" - specifically, those with degrees from "accredited" seminaries [seminaries which had been "endowed" (i.e., "bought up" and compromised) by the wealthy] - should be permitted access to the pulpit and the teaching ministry of the church.

It was to be emphasized to average Christians that they were not able by themselves of understanding the nuances and subtleties of the Scripture (they were, in the words of Reinhold Niebuhr, to be taught to recognize their own "stupidity"). They must be "conditioned" to defer to the wisdom of the church's priestly class - to say with Bill McCartney, the founder of the Promise Keepers, "We (i.e., the laity) cannot rightly divide the word of truth. We need you (i.e., the pastors and the priests) to teach us."

In order to meliorate Christians in their "do-nothing" condition and hold them captives to impotence, the church must dazzle them with miracles, and surround its pastors and priests with the aura of sanctity seemingly unattainable by "every-day" Christians. By doing so, according to the Grand Inquisitor, the elites could keep the people (and the priests and pastors could keep their "ignorant" and "stupid" parishioners) disciplined and content."

PRISONERS OF THE "PARTY-LINE"

So it was with Dostoyevsky's Grand Inquisitor, and so it is today. Naturally enough, the frank acknowledgment by the elites (both church and secular) of the need to deceive and render impotent those over whom they rule is rarely admitted, and it would be an error to suppose that the elites (again, both secular and religious) typically engage in CONSCIOUS deceit; few reach the level of sophistication of the Grand Inquisitor or maintain such insights for long.

On the contrary, as the elites pursue their grim and demanding vocations, they readily adopt beliefs that attend the needs of the institutions they serve - and those who do not quickly discover that they will have to seek employment elsewhere. The chairman of the board may sincerely believe that his every waking moment is dedicated to serving the needs of humanity - but were he to act on these delusions instead of pursuing profit and market share, he would no longer be chairman of the board. And so it is with those leaders in the Christian community who stray too far from the "party line" - they too, like the CEO, will quickly find themselves in the unemployment line. The institutional factors that constrain their actions and beliefs in the end make prisoners of them all.

Of course, in connection with this, it is obligatory for us to note what is probably all too evident to any good student of human behavior: and that is, how easy it is for even the most inhuman of monsters, even the Himmlers and the Mengeles of this world, to convince themselves that they are engaged in noble and courageous acts - such is the nature of the pathology that is driving the elites that govern our society and our churches; such is the titanic egotism which impels them, and the delusions under which they labor.

But what a shameful and odious alliance this is: the alliance between the church and the moneyed interests of this world! What has Christianity to do with the rich and the mighty? - it's no accident or "play on words" that Christ said of them,

"It's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven." (Mark 10:25)

THE OPIATE OF MONEY

Ah, but money is a magnificent opiate; a narcotic which unfailingly seems to deaden even the most sincere person's sense of right and wrong - and, unfortunately, Christians are no exception to this rule. This is precisely what has happened with the leadership of today's evangelical church; their sense of the plain teaching of the Scriptures regarding money has been deadened by their alliance with the rich - people who care little or nothing for the essentials of the Christian faith and who are governed solely by their lust for money and their need to control the church and "keep it in bounds." One sees the result of this loathsome bargain everywhere throughout the church - the fawning adulation of the Hunt Brothers at First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas; the sniveling veneration of the Rockefellers by Cam Townsend, founder of Wycliffe Bible Translators; the cringing deference exhibited by WYAM towards its bevy of rich contributors - the list is endless. And it's not just at these lofty levels that this disgusting exhibition can be seen, it occurs every week in countless churches throughout the country by pastors who have been reduced to whimpering supplicants at the feet of their rich parishioners. (Please see our article, "The American Empire: The Corporate / Pentagon / CIA / Missionary Archipelago.") The shame! the disgrace! the dishonor of it all!!

James the apostle wasn't just kidding around when he warned Christians to beware of the rich, "Do not rich men oppress you?" he asks rhetorically. Are they not the ones who "... draw you before the judgment seats (i.e., the debt collectors)?" Are they not the ones who "... condemn and kill the just ..." (James 2:6; 5:4-6) Yes! Yes! A thousand times yes!!!

Christians somewhere along the line have forgotten that the poor were the people who in the end turned to Christ and became His followers, not the rich and the mighty.

WHEN THE RICH CONTROL THE CHURCH

It is precisely because Christians have forgotten this great truth that the Christianity of the West, and most especially the United States, has become such a vacuous affair - a Christianity that is geared more towards materialism and worldly success than anything else. The Christianity of the United States is today a Sunday-go-to-meeting-kind of Christianity adjusted more towards making the individual Christian a more productive member of the secular society which surrounds him and with upholding social conventions and personal propriety than it is a Christianity capable of leading its adherents into a living, loving relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and with other Christians. It is a minimalist kind of Christianity oriented towards the busy life-styles of men and women who are "on the make;" who are oriented towards "keeping up with the Joneses," of moving up the corporate ladder, and of acquiring a BMW "just for the show of it." It has very little to do with the REVOLUTIONARY Christianity of the early church, and very much to do with personal success in the "here and now."

But how could it be otherwise when the rich control the church? How is it possible for the church to be the REVOLUTIONARY instrument it was during its infancy, when the rich shunned and persecuted it, but the poor poured into it in untold numbers? The rich are not into revolutions! They are the ones against whom revolutions are directed!! When the rich control the church, the church cannot but lose its fervor, its fire, its appeal to the poor, the hungry, and the destitute. What real interest do the rich have with the poor? - they are the ones who have robbed the poor to get rich by shipping the poor's jobs overseas - and not to give opportunity to the destitute and downtrodden of the lands to which those jobs have gone (i.e., Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines, etc.), but to work them as virtual "slave-laborers" in their sweatshops at wages averaging just a few dollars a day, and pocketing the difference.

When the leaders of today's church make bargains with the elites of this world, they cannot help but empty their churches of meaning and significance. When the rich control the church, they inevitably diminish it and render it capable only of dispensing the vacuous, BMW, Lexus, and Volvo values of the rich - and then the church wonders why the poor turn away from it? Why the destitute and the social outcasts of this world find in the atheistic message of communism, socialism, militant feminism, and in the homosexual community more compassion and hope than they find in the pronouncements of church leaders against the poor as "lazy bums" and "moral failures."

When the Tim LaHayes, the Pat Robertsons, the Jerry Falwells, the James Kennedys, etc. of today's church make bargains with groups like the CNP, the Heritage Foundation, the Olin Foundation, the Coors family, and so forth (please see our article, "Political Christianity" ) - to say nothing of the Moonies, the Mormons, the Catholics, etc. - they reduce the church to a desolate wreck adrift on a sea without horizons; a sterile, empty hulk bereft of cargo. And what value is there in a ship without cargo? It's good for nothing except to be sunk as a derelict - and this is exactly what the Scriptures have in mind for today's church.

THE LAODICEAN CHURCH

Concerning the church which will hold sway over the world just prior to Christ's return - i.e., the Laodicean Church - the Bible says:

"And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

"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 (i.e., VOMIT) YOU OUT OF MY MOUTH." (Rev. 3:14-16)

Now, if this offends you, don't argue with us, argue with God. Your controversy is with Him, it's not with us! - and don't try and dodge the issue by claiming that the believers in Laodicea were (are) not real believers. They were (are)!! The Lord is clearly addressing CHRISTIANS in these verses. You doubt? - well, remember what a church is; it is an "assembly" of BELIEVERS - hence, when Christ refers to the "assembly" in Laodicea as the "church" in Laodicea, He is, ipso facto, recognizing the condition of the individual Christians in Laodicea as being "born again." These are not "pretend" believers - the kind of people who populate the liberal churches and the Roman Catholic Church. These are real believers!

Nonetheless, Christ says of them that their condition as Christians is so loathsome and disgusting, that He is about to VOMIT them out of His mouth!! Now, no matter how one may interpret this statement, one has to at least recognize the fact that it is a somber one with very frightening implications!!

MISTAKING MATERIAL WEALTH
FOR SPIRITUAL WEALTH

And what exactly is it that has produced this heinous condition in the Christians at Laodicea? - they have mistaken material wealth for spiritual wealth; they are unable to differentiate between the wealth of this world (kosmos) and the spiritual wealth of the Kingdom of Heaven. This is what Jesus says:

"Because thou sayest, I am (materially) rich, and increased with (material) goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art (spiritually) wretched, and (spiritually) miserable, and (spiritually) poor, and (spiritually) blind, and (spiritually) naked:

Christ is juxtaposing the material wealth that this world offers against the spiritual wealth that the Kingdom of Heaven offers - and in doing so, He is implying that they (i.e., the believers in Laodicea) have made the wrong choice: that's what this verse is all about:

He then says,

"I counsel thee to BUY of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see." (Rev. 3:17-18)

Gold tried in the fire is spiritual wealth; He is saying that the Laodiceans must BUY it! In other words, it will cost them something to secure this wealth (i.e., spiritual wealth - the kind of wealth that means something in the Kingdom of Heaven). And what is that? - their material wealth. It will cost them their material wealth. They are going to have to give it up! Christians who have no money need to quit pursuing it; and Christians who do have money must learn to live as if they had none!

MATERIAL WEALTH LEADS AWAY FROM GOD

Brothers and sisters, you must clearly understand something here - material wealth INEVITABLY leads believers away from God. This is a hard saying, but it is not something Antipas made up. It's what the Scriptures plainly teach! That's what Jesus plainly taught. Jesus said:

"No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. (Luke 16:13)

In other words, if you love money, you will HATE God! If you serve money you will despise Christ - maybe not in words, but certainly in the way you live your life. That's what the Bible says! You cannot serve money and God at the same time.

Again, the Bible says:

"... they (meaning Christians) that will be rich (who desire wealth) fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. (I Tim. 6:9)

What Paul is saying here is that those Christians who desire to be rich will be "drowned in perdition" - that may not be what you want to hear, but, again, if that's the case, your argument is not with us, but with the Bible. Moreover, those Christians who fall under the allure of money (i.e., material wealth) - which, remember, is the problem with the Christians in Laodicea - will stray from the faith (i.e., they will fall into false doctrine), and they will be "pierced through with many sorrows."

Then the Bible says:

"For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." (I Tim. 6:10)

THE LOVE OF MONEY IS
THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL

Now think about this: "THE LOVE OF MONEY IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL." Not "some" evil, but ALL evil. Some, of course, will make a differentiation between the "possession" of money, and the "love" of money. But that is a very thin reed on which to rest eternity - YOUR eternity! In all my sixty years, I have only met a handful of Christians who have been truly able to walk that very, very thin line, who have been truly able to differentiate between the "possession" of money and the "love" of money. Of course, most Christians who have money claim that they are the exceptions to the rule, but their ostentatious life-style - the houses they live in, the cars they drive, the furniture that graces their homes, their business practices, and their attitude towards the poor - inevitably gives them away. Shortly before His death, Paul wrote with a heavy heart,

"... I have told you often before, and I say it again now with tears in my eyes, there are many who walk along the Christian road who have become the enemies of the cross of Christ. Their future is ... loss ... (for) all they think about is this life here on earth." [Phil. 3:18-19 (Amp.)]

Dom Helder Camara of Brazil has been much maligned because of his connection with Liberation Theology - a theology which attempts to involve Christians in left-wing (as opposed to right-wing) political causes. But Camara was right at least on one point when he wrote:

"I used to think, when I was a child, that Christ might have been exaggerating when He warned about the dangers of wealth. Today I know better. I know how ... (impossible) it is to be rich and still keep the milk of human kindness. Money (or the desire for money) has a dangerous way of putting scales on one's eyes, a dangerous way of freezing people's hands, eyes, lips and hearts."

LAY UP FOR YOURSELVES
TREASURES IN HEAVEN

Jesus advised His disciples,

"Lay not up for yourself treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also ..." [Mat. 6:19-24]

And Paul wrote,

"But thou, O man of God, flee these things (i.e., material wealth, cf. 1 Tim. 6:9); and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness." (1 Tim. 6:11)

BE ZEALOUS FOR THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN

Getting back now to Christ's admonition to the Church in Laodicea, Jesus then says:

"As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be ZEALOUS therefore, and repent.
"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." (Rev. 3:19-20)

Be zealous! That means, take radical measures in your life to affect a change in it. People will call you a fanatic for doing so - but so what! It's OK to be a radical for God. It's OK to be a zealot for God.

Brothers and sisters - you MUST get this one thing in your mind: the church stands in UTTER opposition to the world. Jesus said,

"... know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the ENEMY of God. (James 4:4)

The church should have nothing to do with this world or any of the institutions of this world. The second we became Christians, the instant we were "born again," we were translated out of this world and made citizens of another kingdom, a heavenly kingdom - and so much so that Jesus could say,

"If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." (John 15:19)

If we don't see this - if we deny the truth of these Scriptures, if we fail to come to grips with their significance - then it can be truthfully said of us that we haven't even yet begun our Christian walk; that our view of what Christianity is all about is both short-sighted and probably extremely convoluted! And if that's the case, what does that say about Jerry Falwell, James Kennedy, Pat Robertson, Tim LaHaye, etc. and their efforts to "return America to Christ and the church?" It says that the blind have seized control of the church!! The blind are now leading the blind! - and ultimately, that means that both they and those who follow them will inevitably fall into a ditch! (Luke 6:39)

In the Antipas Papers, we wrote,

"... sadly, your greatest hindrance (in your Christian walk in the compromised and Laodicean age we live in) will probably be those dear Christian brothers and sisters who claim to see what you see, but who caution "moderation." Those who do, however, are usually people who have a stake in the status quo - in other words, there's a reason behind their so-called "moderation" - they probably have a lot more to lose than you do. The fact of the matter is, not many rich, not many successful, not many "high church officials" will abandon "moderation" - they have too much to lose. This is why Jesus said, "... It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God" (Matt. 19:24) and why Paul said, "For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called ..." (1 Cor. 1:26).

"Mostly, those who caution "moderation" are people who - while they might see objectively what you're talking about and who might even find it stimulating to sit in the safety of their living rooms for hours on end discussing this or that "end-times scenario" - will go ballistic if you actually suggest doing something about it. That's when the "moderates" panic! That's when people get labeled a "Jim Jones," a "Branch Davidian," a reckless and irresponsible radical, an "Unloving Person." But look beyond the labels and you might see something else at work here! - a selfish effort by the "moderates" to shame you into silence and inaction. Why? - because if such thinking were to really catch on, they will be shown to be what they really are - spiritual cowards who have too much at stake in this world and in the status quo of today's church to get involved - whether it be pastors who have their reputation and pay checks to guard, ministry leaders who depend on "compromised" sources of income, wives who have their "nests" to protect from the "irresponsibility" of a husband who has hit the "nut circuit," Christian business people and professionals who have their "social standing" to protect, etc. - and in order to hide that fact, they are willing to stop at nothing to put the "radicals" to an open shame.

"Moderates" are the people who are given to writing time-consuming memoranda, holding "bigwig" conferences, "reasoning" with the opposition, discussing things endlessly - and not for the purpose of finding out the truth, but of "buying time" and "confusing the issue" - "Did so and so really say such and such? - I don't care whether a thousand witnesses heard him - let's find out what really happened." The object here, of course, is not to get to the bottom of what happened - after all, if a thousand witnesses won't suffice, nothing will - the real object is to get everything so tied up in red tape that by the time it's "sorted out," the main issues have been forgotten about and the whole thing blown over.

"To the "moderates," we would simply say this, What does one do with people who purposefully are leading the church into apostasy and into a rapprochement with the Catholics? - reason with them? What's there to reason about? These people know what they're doing! - and you are not the first to question them on these matters. They've heard all the arguments before. What value is there in meeting with such people? What does one say to a Paul Crouch, for example, when he says that those who are standing against the church's rapprochement with the Catholics should be shot? Discuss with him the kind of gun that is best for such a purpose? Negotiate with him over the ammunition that should be used? What utter nonsense!" - after all, what's at stake here is the church's soul! There is nothing to negotiate about! And if those you love in the church refuse to go along, and you think to stay for their sake, be assured, you'll accomplish nothing - you're "going" will accomplish more than your "staying" ever could by showing them by deeds rather than words how serious matters really are - Remember, what's at stake here is eternity! - your eternity!

"Get involved! Don't wait until it's too late!"

DO SOMETHING RADICAL FOR GOD

Antipas is a call to you to get involved. Don't wait! Take radical action - and do it now!

In Isaiah chapter six, verse eight, the Bible pictures God leaning over the parapet of heaven saying,

"Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?"

And Isaiah answered,

"Here am I: send me." (Isaiah 6:8)

Brothers and sisters, the call of God is not to "the special few," it is for everyone! But God will never force a decision on us - it's up to us to answer. Nonetheless, Paul says that how we answer that call will determine whether we feel ashamed at His appearing or not. He writes,

"My eager desire and hope is that I may never feel ashamed, but that now as ever I may do honor to Christ in my own person by fearless courage - whether that means life or death, no matter! (Phil. i, 20-21 (Moffatt)

NOW IS THE TIME OF DECISION

Brothers and sisters, now is the time of decision. Control of today's evangelical church has been seized by the rich - people who, as we just indicated, care little or nothing at all for the real message of the Lord Jesus Christ. All they care about is money and "this life here on earth."

Moreover, the seizure of the church by the rich has been acquiesced in, and agreed to by a great portion of the church's leadership - by its pastors and elders, by its ministry heads and paid professionals; they have become nothing more than "water carriers" for the rich, "flunkies" to the elites - sycophants paid to lick the boots of the wealthy. They have - in the words of Paul - "become the ENEMIES of the cross of Christ." (Phil. 3:18-19)

Together, the rich and their toadies in the church's leadership have robbed the poor of their place in the church and reduced their "input" to arranging chairs, licking stamps for mail-outs, cleaning the church's toilets, vacuuming the floors, occasionally teaching a Sunday School class (the curriculum of which has been carefully screened by the church's paid professionals), and generally acting as a "good audience" to the performances of the "paid professionals" - people who "whoo and ahhh" at the appropriate moments, laugh at the pastor's jokes, and say "amen" and "hallelujah" at the appropriate spots.

As we said in the Antipas Papers,

If there is any hope - and there is - that hope rests not in our establishment leaders, but in the "little people - people like you! After all, who were Peter, John, James, Andrew, etc. - if not the "little people" of their day? None of them were a part of the religious establishment - not one of them! Indeed, the establishment figures of that day were astonished by them, perceiving that they were uneducated men of no consequence: "Now when they (i.e., the establishment figures of the day) saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled ..." (Acts 4:13)

The hope of the church now rests with people like you - and more than anything else, the Antipas Papers is a call to you to take action; it's a book which places a demand on your life. Think about it! - (1) if we really are living in the "end of days; (2) if we really are going to go through the Tribulation; (3) if the United States really is "Prophetic Babylon, and evangelicals - rather than separating themselves from it - are actually to be found promoting the church's political involvement with it; (4) if the Roman Catholic Church really is the Woman of Revelation 17 and evangelicals - rather than distancing themselves from her - are becoming ever more involved with her; (5) if we really are called to be witnesses in these "last days;" etc. - why then do we not act? The fact is, we can't pretend that we don't know what's happening - we do know! - and this knowledge hangs like some kind of biblical sword of Damocles over our heads. To do nothing is to invite it to fall on us. The Bible says:

Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman:
If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people;
Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.
He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.
But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand. (Ezek. 33:2-6)

RADICAL OPTIONS - COME

Now we know that not everyone can come to Sacramento - NOR SHOULD THEY! But for those of you who - like Stephen Bradley (please see our last newsletter) - feel that you are somehow or other "... in the "wrong place at the wrong time," we say COME; for those of you who feel that you "... are working three jobs and getting nowhere," we say COME; for those of you who feel that things are "drying up," we say COME; for those of you who feel that they are "treading water and getting nowhere," we say, COME! Young, old, middle age - who cares? just come. There is plenty to do here in the work of the ministry. We will train you and send you out like Sean and Jack (and we need many more such teams); we will teach you how to PROPHETICALLY demonstrate to the "Powers that Be" in the evangelical church; we will teach you how to preach the Gospel and make you "fishers of men." We will use you in our internet ministry. We will teach you how to raise up "house churches" - all these things and more. Do something radical! COME!

IF YOU ARE LED TO STAY WHERE YOU ARE -
START THE REVOLUTION THERE!

For those of you who are led to stay where you are, we urge you, begin opening your mouth and speaking forth what you have read about on our websites; begin taking a stand insofar as what you have read.

Start the REVOLUTION where you are!! Begin where you are!! Believe me when I tell you, there are plenty of Christians who feel just as you do - disgust for the present condition of the church. Remember Elijah! Elijah - like so many of you - felt that he had been abandoned; that there were no other faithful ones left in Israel except he and Elisha. That the condition of Israel had collapsed to the point that there was no one left! But what did the Lord say to him:

"... (Elijah), I (still) have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him." (1 Kin. 19:18)

Yes, dear Christian, God has His faithful ones - they are there, near you. You just need to find them. And how do you do that? - by opening your mouth and speaking forth God's word. Download the literature we have sent you, and distribute it to you neighbors and friends. Make a NUISANCE of yourselves, and as you do so, God's faithful ones will see you and be drawn to you! Then start a Bible study in your home - and when you are able, expand it into a "house church." You can do it!! YES, I say again, you can do it!! (Please see our article on the Church-Life.)

God bless you all!

S.R. Shearer
Antipas Ministries

We need your help to spread the word concerning Antipas Ministries and the eschatological viewpoint it represents; WE NEED YOUR HELP BECAUSE WE DO NOT "LINK" WITH OTHER SO-CALLED "CHRISTIAN" WEBSITES which are, for the most part, "in the tank" insofar as their loyalty to the United States is concerned - a loyalty that has made them partners in the BLOODY trail the American military has left in its TERROR-RIDDEN rampage throughout the world, as well as making them partners in the abject poverty that American corporations have imposed on the peoples and nations the American military machine has ravaged - A BLOODY, TERROR-RIDDEN RAMPAGE THAT HAS TO A LARGE DEGREE BEEN CARRIED OUT IN THE NAME OF THE "PRINCE OF PEACE." [Please see our articles, "The Third World as a Model for the New World Order," Inside the American New World Order System" and "The American Empire: The Corporate / Pentagon / CIA / Missionary Archipelago."]

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