THE AMERICAN EMPIRE:

The Corporate / Pentagon / CIA / Missionary Archipelago

December 5, 1998
Written By S.R. Shearer

[Much of the information for this article came from Noam Chomsky's book, The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism and Gerard Colby and Charlotte Dennett's book, Thy Will Be Done.]

"We are only in the very dawn of COMMERCE, and we owe that dawn, with all its promise to the channels opened up by CHRISTIAN MISSIONARIES ... The effect of the missionary enterprise of the English speaking people will be to bring them the ... CONQUEST OF THE WORLD."

- Rev. Frederick Gates,
Baptist Minister
Letter to John D. Rockefeller, Sr.
April 17, 1905

"For the love of money (i.e., COMMERCE) is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
"But thou, O man of God, FLEE THESE THINGS (i.e., money, commerce and the things related to them); and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness."

I Tim. 6:10-11

"... so-called (American patriots - including much of today's evangelicals) not only do not disapprove of atrocities committed by ... (the United States), but they have a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them."

- Adapted from a saying by George Orwell
"Notes on Nationalism," 1945

"God grant us the ability to see ourselves the way others see us."

- Robert Burns

INTRODUCTION

In the early part of this century a rather peculiar phrase - "Banana Republic" - entered our vocabulary and became a part of the American lexicon, spreading so far and wide in the popular mindset that millions and millions of teenagers today proudly wear clothes purchased from stores which bear that label. To modern young people, the term "Banana Republic" means chic, and is connected to the "Smart Set," the "In Crowd" and "The Clique." But it was not always so.

The term was originally coined by "muckrakers" to describe what they considered to be the iniquitous and almost criminal goings-on of certain rapacious and predatory American companies in the Caribbean and Central America - particularly, the behavior of the United Fruit Company. The United Fruit Company had been formed in the early part of the twentieth century by a group of Boston investors associated with the First National Bank of Boston who were connected to Latin American fruit, sugar, coffee and railroad interests. These investors came early on to realize that huge profits - profits far beyond what were possible here in the United States - could be made by exploiting what we today call the "Third World" or the "Developing World." These countries, they realized, were not burdened by restrictive tax laws, regulations on labor conditions, rules on banking practices and usury, etc. as were companies whose operations were indigenous to the United States. As a result, enormous "returns on investment" were possible. The countries in which United Fruit came to operate were called "banana republics" after the fruit which the company harvested there for export back to the United States and later into Europe. United Fruit was closely linked to the Rockefeller holdings.

UNITED FRUIT'S INVESTORS

In addition to the creme de la creme of Boston society and Rockefeller banking interests, there were other very important people who were associated with the company; for example, there was Nelson Rockefeller's former assistant at the State Department, John Moors Cabot (part of the Cabot-Lodge nexus), who owned a large block of stock in United Fruit (he later wrangled for himself a convenient ambassadorship to Guatemala); then there was John's brother, Thomas C. Cabot, Jr., who briefly served as president of United Fruit; there was also John J. McCloy, later closely associated with the CIA and the World Bank; there was also John Foster Dulles, head of the Rockefeller Foundation and later head of the U.S. State Department, and his brother Allen, who became CIA Chief under President Eisenhower - and on and on ad infinitum. It was a Who's Who of some of this nation's wealthiest families - pretty much the same ivy league crowd which later took over the CIA and the State Department after the Second World War.

So powerful did the company become over the years in Latin America, that in certain countries, particularly Guatemala and Nicaragua, it set up and put down governments at will on the basis of how these governments related to the "bottom-line" of the company's ledgers: those governments which served the interests of United Fruit (and, ipso facto, the company's investors back in Boston) were supported; those governments which did not were ruthlessly and mercilessly squashed - usually with the help of the U.S. consulate in the area.

UNITED FRUIT'S SHAKE-DOWN TECHNIQUES
AND THE SEARCH FOR "COMPLIANT WORKERS"

The "shake-down" techniques "pioneered" by United Fruit consisted of relating the financial interests of the company to those of the host country's local military and business communities, and then combining with them to seize the national government and subordinate it to the accomplishment of their own aims (which meant, of course, their mutual enrichment). Among the objectives which served the interests of United Fruit were special tax privileges, wage controls (which usually meant subsistent wages for everyone except the company's "managerial class"), a "favorable investment climate" (i.e., the "free flow" of capital in and out of the country so as to insure that profits would revert to the investors back in Boston and not to the indigenous population), and most importantly, compliant and "willing" workers - which meant, naturally, no unions.

What all this translated into insofar as the great majority of the population was concerned (approximately 80 percent of the populace) was the destruction of their indigenous economy [which, while it had not provided a high living standard (though in many ways it had provided a standard of living comparable to that enjoyed by settlers in the American rural west in the latter half of the nineteenth century), it had not reduced them to a state of "indentured servitude"], the reduction of the peasants into a kind of "farm slavery" in the service of United Fruit's local plantations, and their concomitant "marginalization" insofar as the political process was concerned. "Democracies" in such countries were "open" only insofar as the 20 percent or so of the population which had combined their economic interests with United Fruit. The rest of the population was "cut out" of the political process much in the same fashion that blacks were cut out of the political process in the American South from the 1870s to the early 1950s.

DEMOCRACY AS A THREAT TO
U.S. CORPORATE INTERESTS

Naturally, the broadening of the political process by reformist-minded local politicians to include the 80 percent of the population which had been left out of the financial benefits of United Fruit's "new economic order" were discouraged - even to the point of using terror. As noted by Edward A Jesser, Jr., chairman of the United Jersey Banks, in a speech to the American Bankers Association, democracy was clearly not conducive to a "favorable business climate:"

"Quick and tough decisions can be made in a relatively short time in a ... (military dictatorship) compared to the difficulty there is in reaching agreement on what actions to take in a democracy."[1]

Democratic threats by populist reformers aimed at the interests of foreign investors - i.e., efforts directed at improving the lot of the poor and oppressed, including the encouragement of independent trade unions - were dealt with harshly. Take, for example, what happened in Guatemala when the agrarian reformer, Jacobo Arbenz, was elected in 1952 to the Guatemalan presidency in one of the few honest elections that Guatemala has ever had. After taking office, Arbenz embarked on a program of land redistribution that included expropriating uncultivated land. The largest owner of uncultivated land in Guatemala was, of course, Boston's United Fruit Company. The purpose of the land reform was to return to the peasants the land which had earlier been stolen from them by greedy Guatemalan businessmen - with the active encouragement of United Fruit - who had then eagerly turned around and re-sold the land to United Fruit. On paper, it all looked legal. It gave title deed to the land to United Fruit. But the people who had sold the land to United Fruit were the same people who had stolen it from the peasants - and all this was no secret to United Fruit's investors. Indeed, behind the whole unseemly land sale - from the original expropriation of the land from the peasants to its re-sale to United Fruit - were the unscrupulous, unprincipled, and venal hands of United Fruit's investors back in Boston.

ADOLF BERLE

Fearing that Arbenz was about to "re-expropriate" all "their" land (again, land which they had earlier swindled from the peasants), these investors coalesced in a "study group" in October 1952 sponsored by the Council on Foreign Affairs - the "liberal" arm of America's ruling elite[2] - and issued a report entitled "Political Unrest in Latin America." The study group was led by Adolf Berle, a businessman inexorably linked to Rockefeller interests in Latin America. Berle also served on the board of the Society for the Investigation of Human Ecology, a foundation the CIA created as a cover for MK-ULTRA. "I am frightened about this one" (meaning MK-ULTRA), Berle wrote in his diary. "If the scientists do what they have laid out for themselves, men will become manageable ants."[3] [Please see our articles on MK-ULTRA] What all this served to emphasize was how fundamentally intertwined the interests of the CIA and American business were in this matter.

At the meeting, several of United Fruit's Boston investors voiced their opinion about what to do regarding Arbenz's land reform policies. Much heated discussion followed. At last, Adolf Berle made a suggestion - and in doing so, he laid bear what the American elite was really up to in its "War Against Communism:" "Let's characterize the Arbenz government as ... communist," Berle suggested, "and (not merely) communist, but as a Russian-controlled dictatorship."

U.S. CORPORATE INTERESTS AND
THE "WAR AGAINST COMMUNISM"

Berle knew, as did most of his cronies at United Fruit, that what was going on in Guatemala insofar as Arbenz was concerned had little to do with communism - especially Russian communism - and everything to do with their own greedy, self-absorbed avarice. Arbenz was no communist and most of his peasant followers weren't either. The fact is, none of the peasants had any real understanding at all of this rather complicated ideology. All they knew was that their land had been stolen from them by United Fruit, and they wanted it back. They wanted to work their own land, not work as "day laborers" for subsistence wages for United Fruit on land they had once owned - hardly a recipe for communism (communism does not permit the private ownership of land). Nonetheless, in Berle's mind, it followed - somehow - that an elected government that displeased American corporate interests like United Fruit was communist, and - even more than that - "Arbenz himself represented ... a clear-cut intervention by a foreign power, in this case, the Soviet Union."[4] In other words, according to Berle and his associates at United Fruit, Arbenz was a communist agent of the Soviet Union.

How convenient for American corporate interests which get into trouble with indigenous populations in foreign lands as a result of their own cupidity and avarice. Blame their troubles on the communists, wave the flag back home, and call in the American military to "save the country for democracy" - and to hell with the lives of the American soldiers which would be lost as a result, to say nothing of the lives of the native population of the "host countries." That fork taken, Berle raced down a path which in the years to come was to become a well trodden one for U.S. corporate interests throughout Latin America: "It seemed to me that there was perfectly good ground for the United States to invoke the Act of Chapultepec and the Treaty of Rio de Janeiro, pledging all hands to defend against domination from without the hemisphere ... Certainly the Council on Foreign Relations the other night agreed generally that the Guatemalan government (of Jacobo Arbenz) was communist."[5] But what else did Berle expect from the CFR? - despite their "liberal" proclivities with regard to certain social and religious issues, all the members of the CFR, like Berle, held vast amounts of stock in America's multinationals. They were all very wealthy individuals who had as much at stake in the capitalist system as did Berle. Communism was as much a threat to their wealth as it was to United Fruit's wealth.

In short order, the corporate interests involved with United Fruit began to converge around the Rockefellers. The "team" was being assembled: "I am arranging to see Nelson Rockefeller," Berle said, "he knows the situation and can work a little with General Eisenhower on it."[6] Shortly after Eisenhower's election, Berle also brought the machinations in Guatemala to the attention of CIA Director Allen Dulles. Berle had now brought three members of the team together: (1) Corporate America, (2) the Administration (specifically, the State Department), and (3) the CIA. He now began work to bring the fourth member of the team aboard: the American evangelical community.

PROTESTANT MISSIONARIES AND
THE "WAR AGAINST COMMUNISM"

For this, he turned to an old friend of his; another associate of the Rockefeller's, J.C. King. King was an "old hand" in Latin American affairs, having won promotion up through the intelligence bureaucracy because of his involvement in sensitive intelligence work in Argentina, one of Latin America's most volatile posts. King had been a military attaché there shortly after the war. Nazi scientists and Gestapo officers were being recruited by the U.S. Army Command in Germany for work against local communists; many of these men were then allowed to pass through the "rat pipeline" with Vatican passports from Italy and Spain to Argentina, where King, who had gained access to seized records on secret German holdings in Argentina and other Latin American countries, was monitoring the corporate investments of the fugitives. At least a dozen of these top Nazi fugitives were "turned into" CIA assets in countries like Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Columbia, Paraguay, to say nothing of Argentina itself.

The success of King's operation in Argentina was evident by his meteoric rise to the equivalent rank of a lieutenant general in the CIA, and his appointment as the agency's first Chief of Clandestine Services in the Western Hemisphere. For intelligence gathering, he relied on American businessmen who were overseeing subsidiaries of major corporations in Latin America, as well as the local police. The problem with these sources of information were that they were severely limited insofar as their ability to gather information at a country's grassroots level: its peasant population. American businessmen could hardly be counted on as a reliable source of information insofar as the peasants were concerned. And the peasants feared the local police. As a result, the American intelligence community was severely limited in its capacity to provide accurate and broad political intelligence on a grassroots level - particularly in the countryside, where most of Latin America's population still lived in 1952. Other sources of information were needed, people who, if not members of the targeted population themselves, had the trust of those who were: people whose presence in the rural areas would not be threatening or lacking in reason, who were academically trained and could give insightful analysis into mores, if not political developments. The answer? - American Protestant missionaries!

THE CATHOLICS AND THE CIA

The CIA tended to avoid involving the Catholic clergy in their activities. First of all, the Catholic clergy was not as enamored with the CIA and the American business community as were the Protestant missionaries; secondly, so appalled had much of the Catholic clergy become over the worsening conditions of the poor in Latin America that many of them were beginning to embrace a new and revolutionary theology known as Liberation Theology, a theology which, in essence, stood against everything U.S. corporate interests were up to in Latin America. All this goes a long way in shedding some light on why the governing elites of Latin America opened up the doors of their countries to the Protestant missionaries. One would have thought - given the Catholicism of most in Latin America's ruling elite - that they would have done the opposite - prevented the penetration of their countries by the Protestants. But their financial interests took precedence over their religious interests - hence the aid they offered, in coordination with the CIA, to the Protestant missionairy.

THE PROTESTANT MISSIONARIES
AND THE CIA IN THE PHILIPPINES

The CIA had used the Protestant missionaries to great effect in another Catholic country: the Philippines. They had been "employed" in that country in a CIA campaign against the Huks. There, the CIA, operating through an organization called the Free Asia Committee, had collaborated successfully with a number of Protestant missionary groups - especially two: (1) the Wycliffe Bible Translators and (2) the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) [in reality, both were really one and the same organization] - to quash the Huk uprising and install Ramon Magsaysa as president of the Philippines. To be sure, Wycliffe and the other Protestant groups had not been engaged directly in any of the combat activities directed against the Huks, but they had acted as "pamphleteers" for the CIA and as "information gatherers." The same Protestant missionary organizations, King and the CIA believed, could be effectively used in Guatemala. And the bait the CIA used to reel the Protestants in? - money, of course. The "exchange" between the CIA and the missionaries was a simple one: money for information and propaganda work on behalf of the CIA's "War Against Communism."

The CIA turned to its corporate clients, and the money faucet was opened. Rockefeller money and other corporate funds poured into Wycliffe's coffers and the coffers of other Protestant groups. It was a bananza! Now the world could be evangelized! - but at what a price: over the bodies of millions and millions of "Third World" peasants throughout the world who were branded as communists and slaughtered in the service of U.S. corporate interests. Missionary activity directed at helping the CIA in its "war against Communist subversion" thus became King's (and, ipso facto, the CIA's) answer for getting reliable people "on the ground" in areas "off limits" to the American business community and the local police. Missionaries could go where business people and the police were unwelcome. Moreover, they had "cover" - specifically, their missionary activity.

MONEY AND THE GOSPEL,
LIKE OIL AND WATER, DON'T MIX

In their defense, it must be said that many of the missionaries involved (though certainly not all) had no idea of what was going on. All they knew is that they were receiving a lot of supportive attention from local authorities (i.e., the police and the local military) and from the U.S. embassy. Indeed, many of them received standard, pro-forma briefings from their mission boards to avoid contact with U.S. intelligence officials. Nonetheless, intelligence officers have ways of debriefing people who are not in the "know" in ways they can't imagine - and so it was with so many of the Protestant missionaries. Of course, that was certainly not true with everyone. Many of the missionaries were fully cognizant of their "secondary mission" insofar as their evangelizing was concerned. And most assuredly, the upper echelons of their organizations knew perfectly well what was going on. Indeed, they not only knew what was occurring, they supported it.

They had become convinced - in their frequent conversations with their new corporate sponsors - of the righteousness of their cause. In their minds, the "War on Communism" and the "Preaching of the Gospel" became one and the same thing. MONEY HAD BLINDED THEM TO WHAT WAS REALLY HAPPENING - THAT THEY WERE BEING USED AS "TOADIES" IN THE SERVICE OF CORPORATE AMERICA, AND IN DOING SO, HELPING CORPORATE AMERICA ENSLAVE THE VERY PEOPLE GOD HAD CALLED THEM TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO. Money makes dupes out of all of us! - even the best of us, even people like Cam Townsend, founder and president of SIL and the Wycliffe Bible Translators.

Yes, thousands and thousands of people over the years have been brought to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ through the dedicated and sacrificial work of missionaries connected to Wycliffe, SIL, and other Protestant missionary groups, but at the same time, countless others in the "Third World" have been "turned off" to Christianity as a result of the connection of missionary activity with American corporate interests. In the eyes of many of the poor in the "Third World," Christianity is a "rich man's religion."

Jesus despised money [indeed, the great Italian Christian writer, Giovanni Papini, in his Life of Christ, has said that there is no real indication (either in the Gospels or the Epistles) that Jesus ever handled it - which is probably true], and took great care to avoid connecting it with His Kingdom, and it's for this reason that He -

"... called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two ...
"And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse:
"But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats. (Mark 6:7-9)

Jesus knew what money would do to the Gospel: it would compromise it. This is why He told the "rich man" in Mark 19 to -

"... go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me." (Matt. 19:21) [And note something here: Jesus didn't want the rich man's money - not even to advance the work that He was doing; instead, He told him to give it to the poor.]

THE CHURCH DOESN'T NEED
THE WEALTH OF THE RICH

Money corrupts! It pollutes and stains everything it touches. This is why Jesus cautioned His disciples:

"... Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.
"The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.
"Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?
"And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit?
"If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?
"Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
"If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?
"And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. (Luke 12:22-29)

CHRIST WILL TAKE MONEY FROM THE
POOR THAT IS SACRIFICIALLY GIVEN

Now, this isn't to say that all money is useless in the work of the Gospel; money that is given sacrificially - from the hands of the poor - that kind of giving is acceptable to Christ. But money that is given out the abundance of one's surplus - a surplus one has wasted a lifetime accumulating - i.e., money from the rich, that's quite another:

"And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.
"And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.
"And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:
"For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want (i.e., of her poverty) did cast in all that she had, even all her living. (Mark 12:41-44)

Jesus doesn't need the wealth of the rich, and pastors and other Christian leaders who take it are making a big mistake. In time, they will be made a prisoner of those who give it! Christ's advice to the rich man, was for him NOT to give it to the work of the church, but to get rid of it! - and by doing so, to save himself from its corrupting influence (Matt. 19:21). But He will take money that is sacrificially given. That is an honor and a glory to Him. The widow's penny is worth more to the Kingdom of God than all the millions of the wealthy.

And what do we mean by "sacrificial?" - we mean this: when you go to give your money, don't do what most people do: pay their monthly bills and take care of their own needs and pleasures first, and then if there is anything left over, the Lord can have it. That's a shame to the Lord - the Lord God gets the hindermost. Give first to the Lord - and as much as possible, do it in secret! Don't make a show of it. And give what He tells you to give. Sometimes it may be little, sometimes it may be much, and sometimes it may be everything - just as it was with the "poor widow" who gave "... all that she had, even all her living." (Mark 12:44)

MONEY CORRUPTS GOD'S CHURCH

The sad thing about all this is, while evangelicals give lip service to these verses, they don't really believe them - AND THIS IS WHY THE CHURCH HAS GOTTEN INTO SO MUCH TROUBLE WITH THE WORLD OVER THE YEARS. This is why the church has been so corrupted.

And it's not only the wealth of "outsiders" that corrupts the church, it's the wealth of "insiders" as well. How many pastors, for instance, have been corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ Jesus by the money of certain individuals in the church? - money that the pastor has come to depend upon. Oh, the corruption that comes from such things: the subtle twisting of mind and soul that results. The slow bending of the church to the will of those who have wealth: for example, the contamination of W.A. Criswell's First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas because of the Hunt brothers; the introduction of anti-Semitic speakers (i.e., the Rev. Gerald L.K. Smith and others) into BIOLA and R.A. Tory's Church of the Open Door in the 1930s as a result of the influence of Ford and Union Oil money, etc. The list is endless. There's probably not a Christian reading this article that doesn't have some kind of story to tell about this matter in his or her church.

James, the brother of Jesus, recognized the corrupting influence of money, and warned the disciples against letting themselves become captives to the influence of those who possess it:

"My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with {an attitude of} personal favoritism.
"For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes,
"and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, "You sit here in a good place," and you say to the poor man, "You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,"
"have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives? "Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world {to be} rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?
"But you have dishonored the poor man. Is it not the rich who oppress you and personally drag you into court?
"Do they not blaspheme the fair name ... [of Jesus by their life-styles and their ostentatious show of wealth][7] "... if you show partiality, you are committing sin ..." (James 2:1-7, 9 NASB)

How many pastors today hate themselves for what it has done to them! The secret, self-loathing that it creates in the hearts and souls of pastors and leaders all over the world is too much to even be estimated. The fawning, cringing and sniveling "toadies" that it eventually turns many of God's leaders into is a sad, albeit, secret story that most pastors and leaders shy away from telling - even while they smilingly continue to abase themselves week after week before their wealthy parishioners. It is an untold tragedy that is played out Sunday after Sunday in countless churches all over the world, but especially here in this country.

GETTING BACK TO THE STORY OF GUATEMALA

All through the rest of 1952 and 1953, the CIA worked feverishly with United Fruit, the Administration, and its friends in the evangelical community to bring about the destruction of the Arbenz government. Arbenz was branded a "communist;" and the Eisenhower Administration worked to reassure the American people that what was at stake in Guatemala was not just the property of the United Fruit Company, but the introduction of communism into the hemisphere [a patent absurdity! - and everyone who was in the "know" (i.e., Berle, the Dulles brothers, the Cabot brothers, the CFR, etc.) knew it].

It was decided by all to use the OAS (Organization of American States) as a "front" to overthrow Arbenz. After three weeks of intensive lobbying among Latin American diplomats in Washington failed, the State Department's political action officer in Guatemala suggested economic warfare to keep Guatemala off balance until Washington could line up votes for the proposed OAS meeting. The economic warfare included diverting oil tankers to create a gasoline crisis, suspending credit to Guatemala, and spreading a CIA rumor about impending U.S. economic sanctions to stimulate a business panic and a "flight of capital."

The CIA's station chief in South Korea, Colonel Albert Haney, was tapped for the job of overthrowing Arbenz. Haney's plan was for a multimillion-dollar "Guatemalan exile" invasion backed by U.S. Marines, helicopters, and C-47 transports, if necessary (interestingly, only 300 people ever actually joined themselves to the "invasion force.") The CIA's "Voice of Liberation" radio station (located in Honduras) began beaming to the country a "call for desertion" by a Guatemalan pilot who had supposedly fled. Frightened, Arbenz grounded his air force to prevent other air force desertions. It was his first serious error. This left the skies open to CIA pilots. Flying out of clandestine airstrips in Honduras, the bombers began pounding Guatemala. There was not one Guatemalan pilot among them - all were Americans in the pay of the CIA.

All the while, protestant missionaries contributed to "the cause" by supplying vital information as towhat was going on with the grassroots public, and where possible, helping to keep them "pacified" and clear of the fighting - a project which later won them the effusive praise of their CIA patrons. The missionaries had proven to be an invaluable asset, especially in the mining state of Huehuetenango and among the Cakchiquel Indians.

Unable to silence the CIA's radio broadcasts, Arbenz contributed further to the panic by shutting off Guatemala City's electricity. This left the CIA's radio as the only source of "developing news" consisting of made-up reports about mythical rebel columns approaching the city. The capital's residents promptly set up portable generators to listen - and began to flee. With the CIA's explosions flashing over the darkened city from the phony "air force" the CIA had assembled, the residents of Guatemala City became convinced that they were experiencing something like wartime London during the blitz. The end came quickly when the army - terrorized itself by all the bombing, and never very supportive of Arbenz in the first place - balked on taking to the field to crush the leader of the coup, Castillo Armas - a CIA and United Fruit puppet.

THE MISSIONARIES' SAD LEGACY

The missionaries were ecstatic as they celebrated the fall of the Arbenz government, but even as they celebrated, many of their Protestant converts were being swept up in the massive arrests that followed. Egged on by United Fruit's investors, and by their lackeys in the Guatemalan military and business communities, the police rounded up thousands and thousands of Guatemalan peasants with little regard as to whether or not they were under the supposed protection of the Protestant missionaries. It seemed that in the rush to "settle old scores" with the peasants who had "expropriated" their land, United Fruit didn't give a fig as to the peasants religious affiliations or the promises they had made to the Protestants. "Christianity" for United Fruit's investors and the CIA had been merely a convenient mask for them to use in helping to enlist the support of the missionaries - a mask which they would find convenient to wear over and over again in the upcoming years. [Please see our article on the Death Squads, "Death Squads: Bringing in the Kingdom of God Through Terror, Torture And Death," and "Evangelicals and The Death Squads: Oh What a Tangled Web We're Weaving."]

In the eyes of the CIA and United Fruit, it seems that the protection the Protestant missionaries had bought for themselves didn't extend to their parishioners. Protestant Indians - including nineteen in Cam Townsend's original mission - were executed. Many others "suffered the judgment of God" for having even the slightest connection with the Arbenz government, which meant - ipso facto - communism, at least insofar as United Fruit and the CIA were concerned. A woman doctor with whom the Townsends had been closely and lovingly associated had to flee after her husband was arrested as an Arbenz supporter. Over 500 Ixil Maya Indians who had been closely associated with Wycliffe, but who had also been Arbenz supporters and had, as a result, participated in the land reform in northern Quiche, were exiled to the jungles of Peten. Pocoman Maya Indians who, like the Ixil Mayans were Christians, but who - like their brother Indians, the Ixils, had been active in helping to unionize United Fruit's plantation holdings in Guatemala - were jailed. It seems that belonging to a union was the same as being a communist too. One Cakchiquel Indian pastor who could watch his people die at the hands of the new government for only so long, took to the hills to lead a Cakchiquel guerrilla unit; eventually, he too was hunted down and killed. What a deal the Protestant missionaries had cut! - protection for themselves at the expense of their followers.

All the lands distributed to the peasantry by Arbenz were returned to their former owners, predominantly United Fruit. More than 500 union locals lost their legal registration, which effectively destroyed the banana workers' federation. Guatemala's lands, its Indians, its plantations, and its mines were once again open to American "investment" - and there was Cam Townsend in the middle of it all - as a "toady" to his "big business" allies. It was a black day for Wycliffe and SIL - but it wasn't to end there.

The CIA and United Fruit needed help in covering up what had happened, and they turned again to Townsend for help. Townsend began by helping to muffle the protests of the Guatemalan Indians over the rollback of Arbenz's agrarian reforms - and in spreading the CIA "cover story" back home among his Protestant evangelical supporters, i.e., that Guatemala had been saved from a near communist takeover. In return, SIL got land from the government and money from United Fruit for a new headquarters. But there was a price to be paid even beyond the sacrifice the Protestants missionaries had made of their Indian followers - from that point on, Wycliffe and the other Protestants became inextricably bound to the CIA and their corporate allies, and the tone of Protestant missionary work throughout the world became tinged with a second message besides the Gospel - saving the world for the "American Free Enterprise System." It seems that capitalism and the Gospel had become one and the same thing. Behind the rhetoric of the CIA and their corporate sponsors about "God and democracy" lay their real whispered message of corporate profits and greed - and it was this quietly spoken message rather than the Gospel that got Cam and his Protestant allies their unique ability to move freely in the board rooms of America's largest corporations.

THE AMERICAN EMPIRE

Now it's not without reason that we have taken the time to tell this story. We have told it because, in a nutshell, it lays bare all the real facts behind America's new global empire - an empire which by now encompasses nearly all the world. The driving force behind this empire is corporate greed, the same force which drove United Fruit's Boston investors into Guatemala in the first place. The attractiveness of the "Developing World" to American investors lies in the fact that enormous profits can be had there - profits on investment which are not possible to achieve in the United States with its restrictions on the use of labor, with its banking regulations, with its laws against usury, with its trade unions, with its plethora of government regulations, etc. No worry in the Third World about overtime pay, sick leave, holidays, worker safety, etc. No concern there about toxic dumping. No concern there about having to negotiate the clumsy political processes of democracy.

Governments in most of the Third World can be easily seized, held at minimum expense and made to serve the economic interests of the multinationals. All it takes is the cooperation of the local military, the local police, the local business establishment - and a smattering of "hangers-on" (but no more than 20 percent of the population, lest there be two many locals involved with whom the multinationals must divvy up the profits). This is what the Philippine Republic under Marcos was all about; this is what Chile under Pinochet was all about; this is what Iran under the shah was all about; this is what Argentina under the junta was all about; this is what Zaire (the Congo) under Mobutu was all about; this is what Indonesia under Suharto was all about; this is what Mexico under Salinas was all about; this is what Panama, Guatemala, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, Malaysia, Columbia, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Morocco, Turkey, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela on ad infinitum are all about. This is what the American Empire is all about - CORPORATE PROFITS!!

The naked truth of the matter is, since the end of World War II, the United States - essentially using the model United Fruit "pioneered" in Guatemala - has organized under its sponsorship and protection a neo-colonial system of client states all over the world. The phenomenon of Guatemala has now been "globalized." It is a system ruled mainly by terror (i.e., through the use of "death squads" and state sponsored terror) which serves the interests of American multinational companies and a relatively small group of indigenous local businessmen and military oligarchs.

The ugly proclivities of these U.S. client states - including the systematic use of torture - are functionally related to the needs of U.S. business interests and are designed to help stifle unions and contain reformist threats that might interfere with the freedom of action considered necessary by the multinationals in order to enhance (maximize) profits. The proof of the pudding is that U.S. bankers and industrialists have consistently welcomed the "stability" of dictatorships in the American system of client states whose governments are savage in their treatment of dissidents, labor leaders, peasant organizers or others who threaten "order" (i.e., corporate profits), and which are at best indifferent to the mass of the population - but states who otherwise have been accommodating to the large external interests of the multinationals which they serve; in other words, states who have bought their stability through the use of terrorism. In an important sense, therefore, the torturers in the client states are functionaries of IBM, Citibank, Ailis Chalmers, Nike, Liz Claiborne, Ford, G.E., etc. This is what "Free Trade" is all about - the sustenance and maintenance of this globe-girdling American Empire of client states - client states whose purpose is to serve the interests of America's system of multinationals, and - ipso facto - feather the nests of their shareholders with the exorbitant profits which are possible when doing business in the "Developing World." [Please see our article on Chiapas.]

HIDING THE REAL STORY
FROM THE AMERICAN PUBLIC

With the spread and huge dimension of the American system of client states - complete with death squads, torture and repression - the gap between what the American people have been told about their country and what it has been up to in the Third World, and what it actually is and what it has been doing there, has become a yawning chasm. But woe to the person who tries to separate fact from fiction especially insofar as "Free Trade" - the glue which holds the American Empire [please see section II of chapter 14] together - is concerned. He does so at the expense of becoming a very ugly target of those who are benefiting by "Free Trade," specifically, America's corporate elites. Even Ross Perot - as rich and powerful as he is - who tried so desperately to bring the truth about "Free Trade" (specifically, NAFTA) to average Americans during the Presidential election of 1996 - has now been "marginalized" by America's elite-controlled press. By the time the elite media finished with him, he had been savaged like few others in recent history, and made to look not only like an idiot, but an "unbalanced" one as well. This is what happens to people who "fool around" with the issue of "Free Trade." "Free Trade" is the elite's ticket to extravagant wealth, and anyone who dares to touch it is dealt with in the harshest possible terms.

Nonetheless, so great has the gap between reality and fiction grown insofar as America's regime of "Free Trade" is concerned, that with each passing year it is becoming ever more difficult to hide the truth from the American public, especially insofar as the cost "Free Trade" has imposed on the paychecks, job security, and working conditions of average Americans. Despite the fact that just about all the ideological institutions of the country - all of which are in one way or another in the service of America's corporate elite - have been brought to bear in support of the Free Trade myth, the effort is beginning to fray at the margins, especially as ever growing numbers of ordinary, average American workers see their high-paying manufacturing jobs moved out of the country and into Third World sweat shops, with the pay differential being pocketed by Corporate America. Moreover, it is becoming ever more difficult to depict Third World thugs like Pinochet, Mobutu, Suharto, etc as respectable "leaders" worthy of the nation's subsidies and active support. Equally serious is the problem of portraying the United States as the "guardian of democracy" and "human rights" in the context of its sponsorship of an American Empire controlled by what amounts to be an international Mafia of ruthless dictators and greedy multinational corporations whose only concern is the "bottom line."

Despite everything, however, the pundits and other soldiers of the elite media carry on in their formidable task of rewriting history and selecting, processing and creating "information." In this regard, the so-called "Free Press" in the United States is functioning very much in the manner of a system of state-controlled propaganda, and their achievements are, in fact, quite awesome, despite the fact that, as we just indicated, the effort is beginning to show signs of strain. The fact is, the ability of the "Free Press" in the United States to falsify, obscure, and reinterpret facts in the interest of those who dominate the economy and the political system is a wonder to behold.

THE EMPIRE IS BEGINNING TO FRAY

Nevertheless, while the U.S. and its allies have armed their client elites in the Third World to the teeth, and have saturated them with counterinsurgency weaponry and training, long-term elite control of the underlying populations is by no means assured, unless and until the U.S. and its other allies in the "First World" (i.e., Britain, France, Germany, Japan, etc.) acquire the stomach to use RMA technology (see our article, "The Revolution In Military Affairs And American World-Hegemony") against these populations in a much more ruthless and merciless manner than they have done up to now.[8] The economic and political abuse of Third World majorities in the empire has by now become so flagrant, and their leaderships so corrupt, inept and visionless, that explosions and loss of control are highly likely in many states over the next several decades.

Not only that, it is possible that developments in the United States and other industrialized states might also lead to an explosion, leading to a real crisis at home (i.e., in the U.S. and in the "home countries" of America's First World partners) which could result in a massive shift toward rightist totalitarianism, a "Guatamalization" of the United States. The massive loss of high-paying manufacturing jobs in the United States, coupled with growing worker unrest and a new assertiveness in the nation's labor movement has the potential to cause a lot of trouble for First World elites, most particularly, American elites - the kind of unrest which the elites could deal with only by a naked resort to force. (More about all this in upcoming issues.)

Experience shows that even the most effective system of ideological control has its limitations once unrest reaches a critical mass. That kind of unrest has already taken hold in many rural areas (please see our article ), and if and when it reaches the cities as a result of worker unrest, "all bets are off" and the battle will be joined in the cities between the elites and the left wing (i.e., the labor unions and their socialist allies) and in the rural areas between the elites and the populist right (i.e., the militia groups, etc.). [please see our article on "A Growing Rage in America's Heartland."] You can bet that when this happens, the elites will slavishly turn to their Religious Right allies - just as they did in Guatemala - for help. They'll offer them anything - money, support for their social agenda (and this time they will follow through) - anything! God help us all when this happens, for the most likely result when all this occurs is that the Christian community in the United States will take the bait. When it does so, there will be a massive rightward politicization of the evangelical community.

BEGIN TAKING ACTION NOW

To many, it will seem that the Millennium has arrived. God and country will be united. The dream of a "Christian America" will be realized. But it will all be a hoax - a chimera -a dream designed by the elites not for the Gospel, but rather for the preservation of CORPORATE PROFITS. Nonetheless, it will all seem so real - just like it did sixty-five years ago in Hitler's Germany.

It's for this reason that we ask you to begin to take action now. If we can't begin to do so now, we certainly won't be able to do so then, when the flags are flying, the bands are playing, the soldiers are marching, and there's euphoria in the churches and in the streets. If you can't do it now, you won't be able to do it then. To use a crude, but very real example, it's like a man who sees a beautiful female co-worker at work. He begins to meet her at the water cooler, and to make up excuses to meet her at the coffee machine. The Lord says no, but he says everything's OK. He has control. They begin to meet for lunch - then dinner. The Lord continues to tell him to break it off, but still he delays. Finally, he finds himself in a motel room in bed with her - and now he thinks he will be able to say no? Not very likely!!! If he couldn't say no at the water cooler, if he couldn't say no at the coffee machine, if he couldn't say no at lunch, if he couldn't say no at dinner, what makes him think he will be able to say no when he is at last lying in bed with her?

You laugh, but that's the way so many of us are. We say that we will be able to say no when the time comes. But if we can't say no now, we won't be able to say no then - when the flags are flying, the bands are playing, and all our friends and loved ones are urging us to "get with the program."

This is for real!! No kidding around here!! We must begin to take action now - if we wait, we may wait too long. The warning of Scripture is:

COME OUT OF HER MY PEOPLE!!

Rev 19:4

That's the first thing we must do!

THE CHURCH'S SHEPHERDS

Pastors who are reading this - and we know that there are a lot of you who are doing so - you must make an honest decision as to the direction of your denomination is taking - a decision which in the end you alone will be held responsible for. And remember this: you cannot abrogate this responsibility!! There is no escape for you - if in your honest assessment, the denomination with which you are affiliated is slipping away, you must LEAD your church out of it - no matter what the cost!! As we said in the Antipas Papers, the fact is, the church's leadership bears a good deal of responsibility for what has occurred. The failure of countless numbers of pastors to LEAD - even in the face of a loss of income and the loss of their ministry - bespeaks a cowardliness rarely exhibited in the history of the church. Indeed, one of the most reprehensible faults of pastors today is their failure to accept personal responsibility for what has occurred. Church leaders who should know better vie with one another to blame what has happened on everyone but themselves.

A church leader, however, cannot avoid the responsibility to lead - even if that means that his entire congregation leaves him - and this responsibility of leadership is recognized by secularists and Christians alike; for example, as we indicated in the Antipas Papers, take Louis XV of France; he clearly recognized this responsibility when - after the disastrous battle of Tournay - he led the dauphin, who had been responsible for France's defeat, onto the field of slaughter and told him,

"... Here behold the victims you sacrificed (because of your timidity and failure to lead) ... Preserve this in mind, that you may not sport with the lives of your subjects, and be prodigal to their blood ..."

In the light of this, what will the leadership of today's evangelical church do when at last they - like the dauphin of France - are brought to the "field of battle" by their Lord and confronted with the loss of their congregations to heretics because of their failure to take a stand against those who led them astray? Pastors would do well to remember that while it is a fearful thing to lose their paychecks and ministries for the sake of speaking out, it is a much more fearful thing to be called onto the carpet by Him to whom they must someday give account. They can be sure that on THAT DAY, the necessity of preserving their paychecks and ministries will not loom quite as large as it does now. Concerning those shepherds who fail to take responsibility for the flock over which they have been given charge, the Bible says:

"Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds ... and say ... Woe be to the shepherds ... As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became meat to every beast of the field ... Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against the shepherds; AND I WILL REQUIRE MY FLOCK AT THEIR HAND ..." (Ezek. 34:2, 7-10)

The church's shepherds should bear in mind that in today's church, a church leader seeks office; he is neither born in or driven to it. A pastor, the head of a ministry, a teacher, an instructor at a Bible school or seminary, etc. wants to hold his office. In turn, the church's membership supports him, enhances his position with privileges and perquisites, and endows him with honor not normally given to the "rank-in-file." But, in return, the church's membership is entitled to expect honesty and spiritual courage from their leaders - honesty and courage enough to tell them not necessarily what they want to hear, but what they need to hear, even if it means sacrificing themselves and their families - after all, do they think they are somehow better than Christ who sacrificed Himself for them?

THE CHURCH'S LAITY

But that's not the end of it. It's not just the leadership of the church that will be to blame, it's the so-called "laity" that will have to bear much of the blame as well. The fact is that while the church's leadership is an easy target, blaming the condition of today's church solely on its leadership is nothing more than a convenient "cop-out" for most. In the end, it won't wash - at least in America [where there has never been such a thing as a "national church" which is supported out of the state's coffers regardless of the real popularity it enjoys from its membership (such as is the case with the Anglican Church in England or the Lutheran and Catholic churches in Germany - even today)]. Such an excuse by American evangelicals is farcical. The churches in America are supported exclusively by the money they receive from their membership, and if those who constitute that membership feel their particular church is not "performing up to standard," they are free to withdraw their support, leave and go to another church more to their liking - or even form one of their own. In such circumstances, to indict the church's leadership is to indict the church's membership.

The truth is, in America the church's membership is demonstrably more responsible for the leadership's behavior than anywhere else in the world. The difficult reality the laity must face is that the membership of today's evangelical church has in fact supported much of the direction the church has taken in recent years! - from the rapprochement with the Catholics, to the "hokus pokus" that goes on in many of today's Pentecostal and charismatic bodies, to the political relationships many church leaders have established with the Moonies, to the participation of many church leaders (i.e., Cubie Ward, Larry Lea, Pat Robertson, etc.) with "death squad" activity in Central and South America (see Religion in Politics, vol. 1, nos. 2 and 3), etc. All this hasn't been necessarily foisted on an unsuspecting church membership, and when evangelical "lay-people" fail to speak out against what is happening, they are acquiescing to what's going on - no matter what the reason they give for not speaking out.

It's for this reason that the onus for the sorry condition of today's evangelical church must fall primarily on the so-called "laity." The fact is, that if a sufficient number of them in any given church spoke out and demanded a change - a return to the old-fashioned evangelicalism of D.L. Moody, Harry Ironside, Donald Barnhouse, etc. - than the leadership would undoubtedly go along, whether they wanted to or not. After all, their pay checks are dependent on the tithes and "offerings" of the "lay-people," and if enough of them left, they (i.e., the church's leaders) would be out on the street. This is, after all, not the 16th century, and American evangelicals are not confronting - at least not yet - some omniscient, all-powerful church which can call upon the state to put guns to the heads of those who, for the sake of conscience, want to leave.

While we admit that leaving one's "church home" is easy to suggest, but difficult to do - still, it's not an impossible task, at least not now and not in America. Indeed, the contention by some well-meaning Christians that in confronting the errors of our leadership, evangelicals are facing the same difficulties the Reformers faced 500 years ago is beneath contempt. American evangelicals are not in danger of losing their lives when they confront the power of their leadership; they're not in danger of having their property confiscated; they're not in danger of torture for speaking out. The most they face is ostracism, and if they can't face that, then they have no right to call themselves "Christian." Jesus said,

"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it." (Matt. 10:34-39)

FEAR OF OSTRACISM

The fact is, however, evangelical lay people do fear losing the respect of their families and friends, even for the sake of conscience - and this, more than anything else, explains why they refuse to speak out. They care more for the love and respect that their friends and families offer than they care for the love of the Lord Jesus Christ. Fear of ostracism does more to explain the feckless acquiescence of evangelicals to their church's rapprochement with the Catholics than anything else. It's not that they don't know better! It's not that they are not familiar with the Gospel. It's not that they really fear the church's leadership when it threatens those "who refuse to go along" with the judgment of "hell-fire" for "rebellion against the Lord's anointed." Most evangelicals don't really believe that! - these are just contrivances, excuses that they give for not speaking out! What evangelical "lay people" really fear is not the danger of "hell-fire," but the danger of losing their families and friends. Unfortunately, what they are really demonstrating by this fear is their "unworthiness" for citizenship in the "Kingdom of Heaven" - their unworthiness of being called disciples of Christ! Isn't this what Jesus said? Isn't this what He meant when He said,

"He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me?" (Matt. 10:37)

Surely it is! By "going along to get along," by worshipping at the feet of "unity at any cost," "lay evangelicals" are - by their deeds, if not their words - demonstrating the fact that they are not worthy to be called "evangelical."

Heretics (for that's what evangelicals of years gone by would have called anyone who countenanced a relationship with the Church of Rome) have seized control of the church using "unity" as their battle cry and threatening ostracism against anyone who speaks out against what they are doing. The fear by the "lay-people" of losing family and friends is the basis of the power these heretics wield over the church. Of course, compared to what the Reformers faced, this power is empty of any real substance - and the failure of American Christians to confront it is a testimony of how little they really love the Lord Jesus Christ, and how little they honor His Word.

HOUSE CHURCHES

We have said that in the Last Days, the battle that we will all confront is a battle for the church - for the church's soul. We must all become engaged in that battle, because we cannot fight the forces of hell as isolated individuals. The Bible says that the gates of hell cannot prevail against the church (Matt. 16:18) - but you can bet that they sure can prevail against us as isolated Christians.

The Bible says that it is through the church that God intends to make known unto the -

"... principalities and powers in heavenly places ... the manifold wisdom of God,
"According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord ..." (Eph. 3:10-11)

To those of you who belong to churches who are now taking a stand against what's going on, we urge you to stay! As we have said so often before, pastors who are standing up against the apostasy of these "Last Days" deserve all the support they can get.

But for those who cannot find such a church - you are not thereby relieved of the responsibility insofar as the church is concerned.

DEALING WITH THE CHARGE THAT "HOUSE-
CHURCHES" ARE NOT REAL CHURCHES

There are many who will say that house-churches are not real churches. They maintain that house-churches cannot possible contain all the ministries of the "real church;" that at best home meetings can function only as prayer groups, Bible studies, etc. - but not as churches; that people who meet as a "house-church" will never reach maturity in the Lord.

However, such thinking is spurious and contrary to church history and the Scriptures. While it's true that the apostles initially went into the synagogues (which were, of course, the relatively large meeting halls of the Jews) to preach the Gospel, it wasn't long before they were kicked out - and where did they go then? - to their homes! And there they stayed for almost 300 years (until 325 AD). Are we to say, then, that these early churches were not real churches? - hardly!

And what about the Scriptures? What do they say? The fact of the matter is, they lend undeniable and very concrete support to the concept of the "house-church:"

Rom. 16:5 - "... also {greet} the church that is in their house. Greet Epaenetus, my beloved, who is the first convert to Christ from Asia."

1 Cor. 16:19 - "The churches of Asia greet you. Aquila and Prisca greet you heartily in the Lord, with the church that is in their house."

Col. 4:15 - "Greet the brethren who are in Laodicea and also Nympha and the church that is in her house."

Philem. 1:2 - "... and to Apphia our sister, and to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in your house ..."

Acts 2:2 - "And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent, rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting."

Acts 2:46 - "And day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart ..."

Acts 12:12 - "And when he realized {this,} he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John who was also called Mark,where many were gathered together and were praying."

Acts 16:34 - "And he brought them into his house and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, having believed in God with his whole household."

Acts 16:40 - "... And they went out of the prison and entered {the house of} Lydia, and when they saw the brethren, they encouraged them and departed."

Acts 20:20 - "... how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you publicly and from house to house ..."

Moreover, if house-churches do not constitute real churches, then what does one say about the Church in China - a church that has met ONLY in homes for the past sixty years, but one which, nonetheless, is flourishing - having grown to over a hundred million souls. Is this not a real church?

HOUSES vs. BUILDINGS; IS THE ONE MORE
"SPIRITUAL" THAN THE OTHER?

In all of this, one thing should be clearly understood; we are not saying that it is unscriptural to meet in buildings; neither are we saying that to meet in homes is more "spiritual." We are just saying that to meet in homes is NOT unscriptural! nor does it necessarily lead to less of a spiritual result than meeting in large meeting halls. The fact of the matter is, there are good things and bad things attached to both modes of meeting. And we should leave it at that!

While theologians have gone to great lengths to define the church, to model it in a particular fashion, and to impose their concepts on other people (and other cultures), it's interesting to note that the Bible itself is rather vague on the subject of how the church should meet - whether in buildings or in homes, whether formally or informally.

This vagueness stands in stark contrast to the detailed and sometimes even ponderous instructions in the Old Testament as to how the Temple service was to be organized. In comparison to what the Old Testament has to say about the Temple service, the New Testament has very little to say about how the church is to meet.

But it's vague on purpose! Why? - because the church is universal and was structured to adapt itself to different cultures, different times, and different situations. Indeed, it's precisely this adaptability that has been one of the great secrets of the church's success through the ages - it's ability to adapt to differing cultures and differing situations!! There is, therefore, no point in arguing which way is right or which way is wrong. There are pros and cons to each form. The important thing for the church is to follow the Lord and adapt to the circumstances and time in which it is living. The only question before us now, therefore, is if these are the "end times," which form of "church life" should we adopt to best enable us to get through the coming persecution (which will break out against us not only as the result of state persecution, but also as the result of the persecution of the "Apostate Church"). In other words, which form of "church life" should we embrace which will enhance our ability to be witnesses to the unmerited favor and Grace of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, in a situation characterized by severe, unmitigated and unrelenting persecution?

Even if we believe that the message of the Antipas Papers is only half-right, then I believe - eventually - there will probably only be one answer - we must adopt the "house-church" model! Even for churches which are able to extract themselves as a whole from the Apostate Church - even those will be forced, eventually, into their homes - and pastors must begin to prepare their people for such an eventuality.

Again, remember what prophecy is all about! - prophecy is like a road sign which warns of dangers to come BEFORE they come, because if we wait to do anything about the danger until it finally presents itself, it will be too late to act.

THE CHARACTER OF THE
"END TIMES" CHURCH

But such fellowships must go far beyond the shallow fellowships that characterizes far too much of Christianity today. It must be the unconditional sharing of our lives with one another as members of the Body of Christ. The church should consist of thousands and thousands of small, informal and structurally independent communities of loving defiance to the Babylonian system of things which now surrounds us. Christian fellowship in the early church meant the total spiritual, emotional and financial availability of one to the other. Through such commitment, the early church was able to defy the Roman world - so also with us today.

If we organize ourselves in such a fashion, then we will be able to carry on the work of the church come what may - and that work is to prophesy against the apostasy which is now organizing itself against the true church of God "clothed in sackcloth" (Revelation 11:3):

"And I will give power to my TWO WITNESSES (Israel and the Church) and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days [3-1/2 years], clothed in sackcloth. 'These are the TWO OLIVE TREES and the TWO LAMPSTANDS standing before God ... " (Rev. 11:3-4 and 7:9-10, 14) [Again, please see Chapter VII of the Antipas Papers ("The Two Witnesses.")]

Soon, very soon, we will begin Dene's series of articles. Pray that God will prepare your hearts to receive this message - remember, the church is the issue in the "End of Days."

God bless all of you.

S.R. Shearer
Antipas Ministries

  1. See page 53 of Noam Chomsky's book, The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism, Boston, South End Press, 1979. Jesser's remarks were made specifically about Brazil - but they reflect the attitudes of most American investors in Latin America.
  2. But bear in mind here, the American elite also has a "conservative" arm - more about that in later articles.
  3. pg. 265, Colby.
  4. Pg. 233, Colby.
  5. Colby, pg. 233.
  6. Colby, pg. 233.
  7. Understood.
  8. There is a good deal of indication that it is preparing to do so insofar as the Muslim nations of the Middle East are concerned - using the threat of "terror" as a pretext and a "cover." (What they're really protecting, of course, is ARAMCO, Mobil Exxon, etc.)

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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