Inside the American Empire: The World Bank, IMF, WTO and Christian Evangelicals

[Formerly: INSIDE THE AMERICAN
NEW WORLD ORDER SYSTEM]

September 7, 2002
By S.R. Shearer

"... Nichts ist schwerer und nichts erfordert mehr Charakter, als sich in offenem

Gegensatz zu seiner Zeit zu befinden und laut zu sagen: Nein!"

- Kurt Tucholsky, Germany, 1934

[Nothing is more difficult, and nothing requires more character than to find oneself in open opposition to one's time (and those one loves) and to say loudly: No!]

[A good deal of the information for this article was derived from Michael Parenti's insightful book, Against Empire, published by City Lights Books in San Francisco. Please see www.citylights.com for a listing of Parenti's other books and articles. ]

I SIT A QUEEN!

AMERICA
Rev. 18:7 How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I SIT A QUEEN, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.

INTRODUCTION

The Bible speaks of a great "Latter Day" nation that shall rise up at the "end of the age;" a nation that will glorify herself as a dazzlingly beautiful QUEEN (Rev. 18:7), but a nation that the Bible says is -

"... DREADFUL and TERRIBLE, and STRONG EXCEEDINGLY with great iron teeth: that DEVOURS and BRAKES IN PIECES, and stamps the residue (i.e., those who remain) with its feet ..." (Daniel 7:7)

Isaiah describes this nation as an "OVERFLOWING SCOURGE" (Is. 28:18) - and the Bible goes on to say that this "BEAST-NATION" (Dan. 7:7) will gain mastery over the entire earth and establish a ONE-WORLD EMPIRE that will bring ruin and poverty to the peoples and nations of the world. [For a detailed Scriptural identification of this great "Latter Day" nation, please see our article, "In Search of Babylon" What Does the Bible Say?]

WHAT ARE WE TALKING ABOUT HERE?

A one-world empire that will dominate the earth and bring it under its control? - one that the Bible says will be "DREADFUL!" "TERRIBLE!" "STRONG EXCEEDINGLY!" - and one that "DEVOURS" and "BRAKES IN PIECES!" What nation is that? - Mozambique? Zambia? Costa Rica? The answer is obvious to anyone outside American Christian circles, proving once again that -

"... the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light." (Luke 16:8)

Come on now, can there be any doubt that it's America? What other nation today can even come close to such a description? For example, Thomas Donnelly, Deputy Executive Director of the Project for the New American Century, writing for the magazine, Foreign Affairs [a CFR publication], writes:

"THE FACT OF A (ONE-WORLD) AMERICAN EMPIRE IS HARDLY DEBATED THESE DAYS. Even those who fear and oppose it - in this country, the libertarian right and the remnants of the new left; abroad, a variety of voices from Paris to Baghdad to Beijing - define international politics almost entirely in relation to U.S. power, and especially U.S. military power. The 'unipolar moment' has become a unipolar decade and, with a little effort and a little wisdom, it COULD LAST MUCH LONGER."

WHAT DO WE MEAN WHEN WE SPEAK OF EMPIRES?

The word "empire" is derived from the word "imperialism," which Michael Parenti describes as -

"... a process whereby the dominant politico-economic interests of one nation EXPROPRIATE for their own enrichment the land, labor, raw materials, and markets of another people."

Think about that! - imperialism is the process whereby one nation ROBS, LOOTS, STEALS, and PILLAGES the land, labor, raw materials, and markets of another nation. And isn't that exactly what America is doing in Nicaragua, Brazil, Costa Rica, Argentina, Angola, Nigeria, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, ad nauseum? That's certainly what the great majority of people in those nations think - but I suppose they're all wrong, and Americans are right in thinking that they are only being "little angels" in these countries - and that the only purpose their multinational corporations are there for is to "uplift" these people economically and bring them "the blessings of democracy?" If you think that, I have a life-time membership in the Flat Earth Society I would like to sell you!

Moreover, the form of imperialism that the United States practices today is a particularly vile and cruel kind - "CAPITALIST IMPERIALISM." Parenti explains:

"Imperialism (itself) is older than capitalism. The Persian, Macedonian, Roman, and Mongol empires all existed centuries before the ... Rockefellers (and the DuPonts). Emperors and conquistadors were interested mostly in plunder and tribute, gold and glory ...

"Capitalist imperialism differs from these earlier forms in the way it SYSTEMATICALLY accumulates capital through the ORGANIZED exploitation of labor and the penetration of overseas markets. Capitalist imperialism invests in other countries, dominating their economies, cultures, and political life, and integrating (their) structures into an international system of CAPITAL ACCUMULATION."

GETTING BEYOND PAVLOV

Unfortunately, when most Christians hear the words "IMPERIALISM" and "CAPITALISM" employed in this kind of pejorative sense, they immediately reject all talk connected to these concepts as nothing more than "socialist blather," and that's the end of it insofar as they are concerned! - AND THAT KIND OF RESPONSE BY MOST CHRISTIANS IS NO ACCIDENT!

The fact is, American Christians have been carefully trained by their religious leaders (most of whom are little more than boot-lickers to the economic Right - fawners and toadies to the rich like D. James Kennedy, Robert Schueller, Tim LaHaye, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Charles Stanley, etc.) - to react precisely in this kind of unthinking manner; and so much so that over the years their reaction has become almost PAVLOVIAN!

But maybe Christians had better get beyond such Pavlovian responses, recognize the possibility that they have been cynically "PROGRAMMED" to react in this fashion, and seriously consider the question why they've been trained to respond in this way: That maybe - just maybe - they've been TRICKED to act as unthinking flunkies to the economic elites in COMPLETE CONTRAVENTION to the teachings of the New Testament. It's something to think about! - after all, the Bible says concerning the rich (i.e., the economic elites):

"... THEY THAT WILL BE RICH FALL INTO TEMPTATION AND A SNARE, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which DROWN MEN IN DESTRUCTION AND PERDITION.

"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." (1 Tim. 6:9-10)

SANCTIFYING GREED AS A MORAL IMPERATIVE

TRICKED! - that's exactly what has happened to Christians in this country! - they've been "programmed" as sycophants to the elites! They've been suckered into the perverse notion that spiritual success with God can be measured by the material things they possess, and in "buying off" on that notion, American Christians have somehow or other "bought into" a belief system purveyed by the elites THAT HALLOWS THE HUMAN QUEST FOR PROSPERITY, AND SANCTIFIES GREED AS A MORAL IMPERATIVE.

Of course, it isn't as if the Scriptures had not anticipated this condition of things at the "end of the age" - i.e., this perverse alliance between the church and the elites of this world. It has - in the figure of a woman (the church) riding a beast (the state; specifically, the economic elites of America's "New World Order System"). [Please see Chapter 15 of the Antipas Papers, "The Woman Of Revelation 17."]

A WOMAN RIDING A BEAST AND CEASELESSLY SEARCHING OUT THE WORLD FOR WAYS, as Parenti puts it, FOR "MAKING ... MONEY IN ORDER TO MAKE STILL MORE MONEY" - that's what the "end of the age" is all about. If you once understand that, you are close to understanding everything there is to know about the "end of days."

THE UNHOLY TRINITY

At the very heart of America's New World Order System is the unholy trinity of (1) the World Bank, (2) the World Trade Organization (WTO - i.e., the GATT system) and (3) the International Monetary Fund (IMF) - ALL AMERICAN-CONTROLLED INSTITUTIONS DESPITE THEIR INTERNATIONALIST FACADE.

OF COURSE, LURKING IN THE BACKGROUND IS THE UBIQUITOUS AND LOOMING PRESENCE OF THE U.S. MILITARY READY TO POUNCE ON ANY NATION OR GROUP OF NATIONS FOOLISH ENOUGH TO CHALLENGE THE AUTHORITY OF THESE GLOBALIST INSTITUTIONS

It is precisely this "coterie of pernicious institutions" - i.e., the World Bank, the WTO, and the IMF (backed up, of course, by the guns of the American military) - that creates and maintains the economic environment necessary to make the American New World Order System work.

THE RACKET THAT UNDERGIRDS
THE NEW WORLD ORDER SYSTEM

The "RACKET" - and that's exactly what it is - that this system is based upon approximates the same kind of loan-sharking racket redevelopment agencies use to get control of properties slated for genteel, yuppie-land "redevelopment" projects in places like Georgetown in Washington D.C., or business redevelopment projects in Manhattan; for instance, in Lower Manhattan where the World Trade Center was built.

The first part of this kind of "redevelopment" scheme entails, naturally enough, getting control of the property slated for "redevelopment" by evicting or dispossessing the current owners. Often this involves sending in unscrupulous loan sharks offering residents money in the form of loans - loans that most of these people would never qualify for in a million years. Once the residents "buy off" on these loans, they're hooked.

Inevitably - because of their poverty - most of them begin falling behind on their payments. Now under most conditions, one would think that this is not something the banks would want - but in this case, that's EXACTLY what they want. The banks will then offer to refinance the loans - at higher interest rates, of course - and while this eliminates the immediate pressure on the borrowers, it inevitably leads to greater pressure down the road - until, finally, they are forced into DEFAULT, at which time the bank seizes the property and evicts the occupants.

THE RACKET AS IT IS APPLIED
TO "HOOK" THE THIRD WORLD

In the 1970s and early '80s a loan racket analogous to the one described above was pressed on Third World countries by private American banks like Citibank, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Morgan, Chase, etc. So massive was the effort that when finance ministers of these various nations occasionally met in Washington D.C. for conferences, they were literally accosted on the street by loan hawkers from one bank or another. Indeed, on the short walk between the Shoreham and Sheraton hotels the finance minister from one poor Latin American republic was stopped by five separate loan officers all hawking loans at high interest rates for projects of dubious value. One former Latin American minister of finance recalls how -

"... the bankers tried to corner me at conferences to offer me loans. They wouldn’t leave me alone ... It’s terribly tempting to borrow money ..."

THE TRAP IS SPRUNG - ENTER THE WORLD BANK

By the mid-'80s most of the Third World nations that had accepted these loans were beginning to reach a point where they were in danger of default. It's then that the private banks passed the baton to the World Bank (the first member of the "unholy trinity" in America's New World Order System), AND THE TRAP WAS SPRUNG! - and it was a very elegant trap indeed.

The World Bank offered to loan money to "bail out" the Third World. Now one needs to be clear here about what these loans by the World Bank to the debtor nations were (are) really all about. To hear the mainstream press tell it, one would think that the money being loaned is going to help the poor in these countries. NOT SO! The money is being loaned so that the various debtor nations can continue to service the "INTEREST" on their original loans from the PRIVATE banks that loaned the money in the first place.

So it's NOT the poor in these countries that are benefiting from the money loaned by the World Bank, but the PRIVATE BANKS - Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citibank, Morgan, etc. - AND THE EXTENT TO WHICH THESE PRIVATE BANKS ARE BENEFITING IS ENOUGH TO TAKE ONE'S BREATH AWAY! The interest on the loans coupled with the "conditions of repayment" are structured in such a way that the original amount borrowed is paid back over and over and over again. It's like borrowing money from the Mafia. One never gets out from under the crushing burden of these loans. Naturally, the private banks love it - IT IS A VIRTUAL "MONEY MACHINE" FOR THEM that continues paying ad infinitum. As the president of Citibank once put it,

"Around here, it’s Jakarta (or Bogota, or Buenos Aires, or La Paz, or Bangkok, etc.) that pays the check."

THE WTO: THE NOOSE IS TIGHTENED

Naturally enough, one would think that what these nations should do is simply DEFAULT on the loans, and start over again. Sort of declare bankruptcy. Well, in the American New World Order System there is no such a think as a nation declaring bankruptcy. Of course, one might say, do it anyway - and some countries have tried. That's where the WTO (or the GATT system) comes into play. Countries that default on their loans are simply EXCLUDED from international trade. They can't buy ANYTHING on the international market - NOTHING! Not food, not oil, not medicine - NOTHING! That's what happened to Cuba, and no country wants to go through what Cuba has gone through for the past forty years. [And one should be clear here, Cuba has been EXCLUDED from the "family of nations" NOT because she is some kind of "terrorist regime," but because Castro opted out of the American New World Order System and she has been made an example of what happens to any country that tries that.]

THE IMF: THE VICTIM IS SKINNED ALIVE

As a result, most Third World countries opt to stay "in the system," AND ACCEPT THE LOANS FROM THE WORLD BANK. And this is where the IMF, the third institution of the unholy trinity in America's New World Order System comes into play. When a Third World nation accepts a World Bank loan, the nation receiving the money must agree to IMF oversight of the loan - which means - in effect - submitting their economies to IMF supervision (i.e., to IMF "restructuring terms").

"Restructuring" of a Third World economy usually means the "privatization" of the countries public services: for instance, its public health care system, its public utilities (e.g., its gas and electric utilities, its water systems, its telephone system, etc.), its publicly owned businesses - for example, in Mexico and Venezuela, their oil industries, etc.) and so forth and so on. All these heretofore publicly-controlled institutions are privatized - a euphemism for transferring ownership of these firms from "the people" into the hands of American multinational corporations for a fraction of their real worth.

As we explained in our article, "Today's Church: Making Zombies our of Christians - The Apostles and Prophets Movement," what happened in Cochabamba, Bolivia when the Bechtel Corporation took control of that city's water system as a result of "PRIVATIZATION" is typical of what's been occurring. Within weeks after taking control of the system - AND WITHOUT MAKING ANY IMPROVEMENTS WHATSOEVER IN THE WATER SYSTEM itself, Bechtel doubled and tripled water rates to the poor.

Now think about that for a minute. An American multinational comes to town, takes over the city's water system - a heretofore public water system that had been successfully providing water to the city's residents for years and years (and that had even managed to turn a slight profit) - and begins charging the poor of the city $15 or more a month just to keep their water running. And all this in a city where families live on less than $60 per month. AND REMEMBER HERE - THE BECHTEL CORPORATION NEVER SANK ONE RED DIME INTO IMPROVING THE CITY'S WATER SYSTEM ITSELF - NOT ONE DIME! You ask, maybe Bechtel was just trying to "recoup" its investment first before taking on the financial burden of improving Cochabamba's water system? What investment? - the company got control of Cochabamba's water system in a "sweet-heart" deal arranged by America's local "client-state" elite which owed its own status and power as a provincial "ruling elite" to the CIA, and the death squads the CIA and its "lackey elite" ran in the country.

Parenti elaborates on what "restructuring" means in Third World countries:

"A country must cut back on domestic consumption while producing more for export in order to pay off more of the debt. The debtor nation must penalize its own population with cuts in food subsides, housing, and other already insufficiently funded human services. It must devalue its currency, freeze wages, and raise prices so that its populace will work even harder and consume less. And it must offer generous tax concessions to foreign companies and eliminate subsides to locally-owned and state-owned enterprises.

In other words, according to Parenti, what restructuring does is transfer the wealth of -

"... the working poor of the Third World to the coffers of international finance capital."

AMERICA'S NEW WORLD ORDER
SYSTEM IS DEVOURING THE WORLD

Parenti says that this system is DEVOURING the world -

"... IT CHASES OVER THE WHOLE SURFACE OF THE GLOBE. IT NESTLES EVERYWHERE, IT SETTLES EVERYWHERE, IT ESTABLISH CONNECTIONS EVERYWHERE ..."

And in the process of "nestling everywhere," it gobbles up everything and everyone it comes in contact with, and subordinates them to its will. People who once owned their own farms and produced food for their own families and agricultural products for their own local communities, are supplanted by giant agri-business "factory farms" that force them - by "hook or by crook" - off their land, and turns them into disfranchised and pitifully-paid wage workers for giant agri-businesses like Bunge, ConAgra, Archer Daniels Midland, Cargil, Nestles, Lever Brothers, etc. that produce agricultural products NOT for the local community but for markets in far-off lands. [This phenomenon is beginning to occur in the United States - please see our article, "A Growing Rage in America's Heartland;" also, for a sad discussion of how this process is unfolding in Mexico, please see our article, "Chiapas: The Effect of the New World Order on the Poor."]

The rest of the population is pushed out of the countryside altogether and into filthy, dingy shanty towns, and are forced into indigence, beggary, and reliance on occasional food-handouts from the local government and / or UN aid agencies. And what carnage to the local economies is left undone by the giant First World agri-businesses, the mining, oil companies, and other first-world capitalist enterprises complete. Parenti gives an example of what's happening:

"A few years ago the Los Angeles Times carried a special report on the rain forests of Borneo in the South Pacific. By their own testimony, the people there lived contented lives. They hunted, fished, and raised food in their jungle orchards and groves. But their entire way of life was ruthlessly wiped out by a few giant companies that destroyed the rain forest in order to harvest the hardwood for quick profits. Their lands were turned into ecological disaster areas and they themselves were transformed into disfranchised shantytown dwellers, forced to work for subsistence wages - when fortunate enough to find employment."

And this is happening everywhere today where North American corporations and their lackey institutions in Europe and Japan are doing business under the auspices of the World Bank, the WTO, and the IMF.

HOLDING THE AMERICAN NEW
WORLD ORDER SYSTEM TOGETHER

Naturally enough, such a barbarous and devilish system that reduces whole nations and peoples to the status of human chattel in Nike or Liz Claibourne "contract factories" in Indonesia, and / or economic "castoffs" (i.e., human trash) living in dingy, dirt-poor shantytowns made of cardboard and bits of wood in Mexico City or Lagos can be held together only through the use of BRUTE force and great CRUELTY - and that's precisely how the American New World Order System is maintained. Edward Herman, Professor Emeritus of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania writes:

"Since World War II, the U.S. government has given more than $200 billion in military aid to train, equip, and subsidize more than 2.3 million troops and internal security forces in more than eighty countries, THE PURPOSE BEING NOT TO DEFEND THEM FROM OUTSIDE INVASIONS BUT TO PROTECT ... MULTINATIONAL CORPORATE INVESTORS (AND THE LOCAL LACKEY-ELITES THAT SUPPORT THEM) FROM THE DANGERS OF DOMESTIC ANTI-CAPITALIST INSURGENCY. Among the recipients have been some of the most notorious military autocracies in history, countries that have tortured, killed or otherwise maltreated large numbers of their citizens because of their dissenting political views ..."

Elaborating on what Herman says, J.W. Smith of the California-based Institute for Economic Democracy (EID) writes:

"... while mouthing peace, freedom, justice, rights, and majority rule - all over the world state-sponsored terrorists (acting under the direction of the CIA) have been overthrowing democratic governments, installing and protecting dictators, and PREVENTING peace, freedom, justice, rights, and majority rule. TWELVE TO FIFTEEN MILLION MOSTLY INNOCENT PEOPLE ... (HAVE BEEN) SLAUGHTERED IN THIS 45 YEAR EFFORT ... (to establish and maintain America's New World Order System) ..."

AMERICA AS GOD'S REDEEMER
NATION? - HARDLY!

That's twelve to fifteen MILLION people! Think about that! - and this (i.e., the United States) is a county that countless numbers of Amercan Christians think is God's REDEEMER NATION? - the chosen vessel through which Christ will manifest Himself to the world? HARDLY! - Anti-Christ's kingdom, maybe, but surely not Christ's!

TORTURE AS AN INSTRUMENT OF CONTROL IN
AMERICA'S NEW WORLD ORDER SYSTEM

And then there is the matter of America's routine and methodical use of TORTURE as an integral part of forcing compliance on recalcitrant client-state populations in its New World Order System - a systematic use of torture and pain that, make no mistake about it, is ACTIVELY supported with MASSIVE amounts of financial and technical assistance from the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Take, for example, the maniacal and demonic techniques developed by CIA operative Dan Metrione in Brazil and Uruguay - teaching local police and "security" personnel there how to "apply the right amount of pain at just the right times in order to get the response you want from the individual." You're shocked that Americans are involved in such things? - well, you shouldn't be. The documentation is there. It's easy enough to find outside the confines that usually define the narrow social and cultural parameters of most American evangelicals. If you haven't seen this documentation, it's because you haven't been looking for it.

The truth is, there exists ENORMOUS amounts of documentation and eye-witness accounts of how government-sponsored death squads -- death squads that have been formed and trained at the U.S. Army's "School of the America's" at Fort Benning, Georgia (and that operate routinely in such countries as Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Venezuela, Columbia, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Indonesia, the Philippines, etc.) -- have forced their victims to witness the torture of friends and relatives, including children. Former CIA official John Stockwell - a highly decorated CIA officer who became sickened by what he was seeing "in the field" and quit (and there are quite a few like Stockwell) - commenting on the huge amount of evidence of direct American involvement in the use of torture throughout its system of client-states, writes:

"They (i.e., the death squads) go into villages, they haul out families. With the children forced to watch they castrate the father, they peel the skin off his face, they put a grenade in his mouth and pull the pin ... they gang rape the mother, and slash her breasts off. And sometimes for variety, they make the parents watch while they do things to the children ...

"THIS IS NOBODY'S PROPAGANDA. THERE HAVE BEEN OVER 100,000 AMERICAN WITNESSES FOR PEACE WHO HAVE GONE DOWN THERE AND THEY HAVE FILMED AND PHOTOGRAPHED AND WITNESSED THESE ATROCITIES IMMEDIATELY AFTER THEY'VE HAPPENED, AND DOCUMENTED ... (THOUSANDS) OF PEOPLE KILLED THIS WAY, MOSTLY WOMEN AND CHILDREN ..."

Parenti has seen the documentation too, and has talked to witnesses himself. He writes:

"They (i.e., the death squads) have raped women in the presence of family members, burned sexual organs with acid or scalding water, placed rats in women's vaginas and into the mouths of prisoners, and mutilated, punctured, and cut off various parts of victims' bodies, including genitalia, eyes, and tongues. They have injected air into women's breasts and into veins, causing slow painful death, shoved bayonets and clubs into the vagina or, in the case of men, into the anus causing rupture and death." [Please see Parenti's book, The Sword and the Dollar; Imperialism, Revolution, and the Arms Race. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1988. for a detailed account of all this. Please also see our articles on this subject, "The Death Squads: Bringing in the Kingdom of God Through Terror, Torture, and Death;" please also see "Christian Evangelicals and the Death Squads: Oh What a Tangled Web We Are Weaving for Ourselves" and "Pat Robertson, D'Aubuisson, and the Death Squads." ]

PERPETUAL WAR AS
A MEANS OF CONTROL

The type of environment in which this kind of TERROR is practiced is called "low intensity conflict" - a kind of PERPETUAL WARFARE aimed at cowering client-state populations into compliance with the economic interests of America's New World Order System. "Low intensity conflict" is designed to avoid all-out, high-visibility, military engagements - for example, the kind that occurred in Vietnam - and thereby minimize the use and loss of U.S. military personnel and war weariness at home.

A low-intensity war is a PROXY war, using mercenary troops of the U.S.-backed client-state government. With Washington providing military trainers and advisers, superior firepower, surveillance and communications assistance, and generous funds, these forces are able to persist indefinitely, destroying a little at a time, with quick sorties into the countryside and DEATH-SQUAD assassinations in the cities and villages. They forgo an all-out sweep against guerrilla forces that is likely to fall short of victory and invite criticism of its futility and savagery at home.

THE SAVAGE NATURE OF LOW-INTENSITY CONFLICT

Low-intensity warfare is designed to continue for decades unnoticed by the American public except for an occasional "blip" concerning it on the back pages of the morning newspaper. The purpose of "low-intensity" warfare is to demonstrate to the civilian populations of America's client-state system that the U.S. and its proxies have endless time and resources, and that they will be able to outlast the guerrilla forces not only militarily, but also politically because the American population "back home" in the "mother country" hardly notices what is happening behind their backs. "Low-intensity warfare" is designed to "fly below the radar screens" of the American population, while savaging the populations of America's client-states - AND SAVAGE THEM THEY DO! For example, Stockwell writes:

"What we're talking about is going in and deliberately creating conditions where the farmer can't get his produce to market, where children can't go to school, where women are terrified inside their homes as well as outside their homes ... and where the U.S. utilizes its proxy army to engage in a program of killing, and killing, and terrorizing people, THE AIM BEING TO REINFORCE U.S. HEGEMONY."

And, again, for the most part all this goes unnoticed by the American populace - especially American Christians. For instance, how many Americans have ever noticed the almost continual "counter-insurgency" war the U.S. has been carrying out in Indonesia for the past several decades - where between 500,000 and one million people have been killed. Not many, I suppose - despite the fact that the New York Times has called this war one of the most savage mass slaughters in modern political history. The same kind of continual warfare is being carried out in Malaysia and in the Philippines with similar results - but most Americans remain totally oblivious to it all.

All this to say nothing of the protracted war being carried out in Columbia (and not only in Columbia, but in Venezuela, Peru, Brazil, Ecuador and the entire Amazon basin of Latin America for the past 30 years - where MILLIONS of people have been butchered; and then there is the 70,000 Salvadorans who have been killed, and another 540,000 forced into exile; and the 100,000 people who have been killed in Guatemala, and another 60,000 who "have been disappeared" there - and on and on and on.

All these are CIA sponsored, "low-intensity" conflicts that have been generally hidden from the American population - BUT THEY HAVE BEEN (ARE) SAVAGE CONFLICTS, NONETHELESS, WHERE TORTURE AND MURDER OF CIVILIANS HAVE BEEN (ARE) THE NORM RATHER THAN THE EXCEPTION.

This kind of warfare is going on EVERYWHERE today in America's system of client-states - AND IT IS PRECISELY IN THIS FASHION THAT THE POPULATIONS OF AMERICA'S CLIENT-STATES IN AFRICA, LATIN AMERICA, AND MUCH OF ASIA ARE KEPT "IN LINE."

A CONCRETE EXAMPLE OF WHAT'S HAPPENING: COLOMBIA

Take what's been happening in Columbia, for instance. For many, many decades Columbia has been ruled by an extremely repressive U.S. client-state oligarchy under whose rule the population of that devastated nation has been reduced to penury in the interests of U.S. multinational corporations eager to plunder the country of its abundant natural resources of oil, coal, gold, emeralds, platinum and uranium. All this to say nothing about how U.S. agri-businesses have gobbled up the land of the peasant farmers, creating huge latifundia (i.e., "farm factories") that use farmers who have been dispossessed of their lands - often illegally - as "hired hands" for pennies a day.

The ubiquitous presence of these huge latifundia in Third World countries is one of the main reasons why there is so much starvation in these countries because they take farmland that once produced food for the "locals," and turn it into land devoted exclusively to the production of "cash crops" like coffee for export to the United States so that American yuppies can sip "Colombian Coffee" at Starbucks. What all this does is create an oxymoronic phenomenon that leaves locals to starve to death despite the fact that great quantities of crops are being produced on the land they once owned: It's just the wrong kind of crops; people can't eat coffee - and even if they could, the coffee is not meant for local consumption, but for consumption in trendy coffee houses in Seattle and San Francisco.

Obviously, like the economies of other Third World nations, this kind of one-sided economic system is not one that has been calculated to produce a lot of happiness and satisfaction for the people of Colombia, and can - as a result - only be maintained at the point of a gun. And the Colombian people know who is responsible for their misery: the United States. Reporting on what the people of Colombia think about the United States, the Colombia Support Network (CSN) - an independent human rights group - reports:

"The U.S. is already distrusted at best, DETESTED at worst, throughout Latin America because of a long list of ignominious actions in nearly every country (in the region) - Chile, Guatemala, Brazil - actions that years later the U.S. seems to deny, distance itself from or even (and rarely) apologizes for. IT IS APPARENT TO THE CITIZENRY IN LATIN AMERICA THAT SUCH HEAVY-HANDED U.S. INTERVENTION (IN THE AFFAIRS OF LATIN AMERICA) IS NOT TO PROMOTE DEMOCRACY, BUT IS A THINLY DISGUISED EFFORT TO PROTECT U.S. COMPANIES' ACCESS TO RAW MATERIALS, CHEAP LABOR, AND THEIR MARKETS BY INTERVENING MILITARILY TO ESTABLISH 'STABILITY'."

OCCIDENTAL OIL

The list of U.S. corporations involved in the plundering of Colombia reads like a Who's Who of America's Fortune Five Hundred Corporations - but one U.S. corporation stands out above all the rest: OCCIDENTAL PETROLEUM. Nefees Mosaddeq Ahmed - in an extremely insightful article on what's going on in Colombia (and one that touches on the activities of Occidental Oil) published in Media Monitors Network of California and entitled "American State Terrorism: A Critical Review of the Objectives of U.S. Foreign Policy in the Post-World War II Period" - writes:

"Such powerful business interests originating in the U.S. exist simply because Colombia has abundant resources ... The country is therefore a primary target of U.S. hegemony, under the sacred principle of America's absolute access to world resources at the expense of the vast majority of the populations of the world. We may take the region Magdalena Medio as an example of the strategic importance of Colombia. According to another human rights organization, the Colombia Support Group of Minnesota, 'The Magdalena Medio is a strategic zone in that it is rich in gold, uranium, petroleum, silver, emeralds, and fertile land.

"Unfortunately, the civilian population in this region is caught in the middle of a power struggle between paramilitary (i.e., CIA-supported death-squads), the government and guerrilla forces', PERPETUATED BY THE U.S. AND U.S.-BASED CORPORATIONS WHICH ARE SUPPORTING THE JOINT OPERATIONS OF GOVERNMENT AND PARAMILITARY (again, the CIA-supported death squads) FORCES TO ELIMINATE PEOPLE'S MOVEMENTS, AND THEREBY CONTROL AND EXPLOIT COLOMBIAN RESOURCES.

"The U'wa Defense Working Group - a coalition of U.S.-based human rights and environmental organizations working with the indigenous U'wa people of Colombia - reviewing the latest U.S. policies in this regard, reports the testimony of Carwell James from Project Underground who has been working in support of the U'wa since 1997: 'THE TRUTH ON THE GROUND IN COLOMBIA IS THAT A U.S.-BACKED POLICE AND MILITARY FORCE IS USING VIOLENT TACTICS TO SERVE A U.S. COMPANY - OCCIDENTAL PETROLEUM - AGAINST A PEACEFUL COMMUNITY, ALL IN THE NAME OF OIL'."

POVERTY: IT WAS NOT ALWAYS SO IN COLOMBIA

And what Occidental is doing here is being replicated over and over again throughout Colombia by other myriad U.S.-based corporations, all to the detriment of the Colombian people - and the results have been ruinous. For instance, sixty-six percent of Columbia's population now lives in poverty, with forty percent of it living in a state of "absolute poverty" in which rudimentary subsistence needs are not met. Eighteen percent are unable to fulfill even basic nutritional requirements and consequently live in conditions of "absolute misery." And what is so tragic about all this misery and poverty is that it is almost entirely man-made.

The reality of poverty in the Third World - contrary to what most people in the so-called First World have been told - is that it is a relatively new phenomenon. IT WAS NOT ALWAYS SO, and insofar as Colombia is concerned, it appeared in Colombia on a widespread basis only AFTER Columbia had been absorbed into the American New World Order System and "brought to heel" by U.S. multinationals.

A POPULAR REVOLUTION AGAINST THE U.S., NEW
WORLD ORDER SYSTEM BREAKS OUT IN COLOMBIA

As Colombia gradually sank into its new reality of being just another "province" in the American Empire -- a "province" whose purpose was NOT to provide for the economic welfare of its own citizens, but to provide raw materials (i.e., oil, coal, gold, etc.) at inexpensive prices, labor-intensive agricultural commodities and, increasingly, to act as a source of "cheap-labor" for the manufacturing industries of the First World -- and as increasing numbers of the population were systematically reduced to beggary in the interests of America's corporate elites and coffee-sipping yuppies at Starbucks, guerrilla movements that wished to free Colombia from American rule began forming in the late 1980s. The main groups were the FARC and the ELN.

In 1985, the Colombian government - whose relationship to Washington approximated Herod's boot-licking relationship to Rome at the time of Christ - offered amnesty to those guerrillas who would give up their arms to form a peaceful political party that could compete in free elections with the political parties of Colombia's ruling elites. The FARC and the ELN accepted the government's offer, and formed the Union Patriotica Party (UP). The UP swept the elections as the Colombian people flocked to its banner throughout the country. UP members were voted into office in village, city, and state elections all over the country. A large bloc of them were also elected to office in Bogota at the national level.

AMERICAN TREACHERY

BUT IT WAS ALL A FARCE! - A TRAP THAT HAD BEEN CAREFULLY RIGGED IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE CIA! Shortly after the elections, and before the UP members could take control of their elective offices, the Colombian elites sprang the trap, arresting thousands and thousands of UP members, and murdering over 4,000 of them - including the UP's presidential candidate. The FARC and the ELN had no choice but to return to their guerrilla activities. Their aim since then has been to pull Colombia out of America's New World Order System and expel U.S. corporate interests from the country - WHICH EXPLAINS WHY THE U.S. HAS BEEN FIGHTING SO HARD TO ELIMINATE THEM.

BRINGING THE COLOMBIAN POPULATION "TO HEEL"

Since then (1985) the U.S. has greatly increased its death squad activity in Colombia where between 1986 and 1988 an estimated 40,000 Colombians have fallen victim to politically motivated killings, the majority of whom were poor peasants. In addition, between 1988 and 1995 another 100,000 Colombians have been killed, and thousands more "have been disappeared" - and the numbers killed and "disappeared" have been increasing exponentially since then. The victims have primarily been civilians, including community leaders, trade unionists, political and social activists, human rights defenders, and peasant farmers.

THE WAR ON DRUGS: A MYTH

The U.S. government maintains that most of these killings have been carried out in connection with America's "War on Drugs" or by FARC and ELN guerrilla activity. But that's a lie - an easily pierced subterfuge. Almost all these killings and "disappearances" have been the result NOT of FARC or ELN activity, but of government death squads operating under the indirect and murderous control of the CIA and U.S. Army Special Forces units. This is the unanimous conclusion of almost all outside "observers," including UN observers, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch. All these groups report that at least EIGHTY PERCENT of the killings and human rights abuses that have occurred in Colombia have been carried out by the Colombian military in conjunction with CIA-sponsored death-squads, a fact that even the U.S. State Department, while denying that the death-squads are CIA-sponsored (a blatant lie! - they are CIA-sponsored) - grudgingly admitted in its annual report.

And insofar as the so-called "War on Drugs" is concerned, Amnesty International charges that it is NOTHING MORE THAN A MYTH in Colombia - a facade behind which the U.S. is prosecuting a SAVAGE war against the FARC and the ELN to keep Colombia from pulling out of America's New World Order System.

The truth is, most of the narco-trafficking in Colombia is conducted by groups that are allied with the government, not the FARC or the ELN. THE VERY REAL (AND SHOCKING) FACT OF THE MATTER IS, MUCH OF THE DRUG MONEY THAT IS BEING GENERATED IN COLOMBIA IS BEING RECYCLED BY THE COLOMBIAN GOVERNMENT AND THE CIA BACK INTO COLOMBIA TO FIGHT THE FARC AND THE ELN WITH - JUST AS THE CIA RECYCLED DRUG MONEY SOLD ON THE STREETS OF L.A. TO FIGHT THE SANDANISTAS WITH IN NICARAGUA IN THE 1980s - a ruse that Gary Webb exposed in the early 1990s in the San Jose Mercury News.

The appalling truth is - as MICHAEL RUPPERT has pointed out - much of America's "Wars of Empire" are financed by the CIA's involvement in drug trafficking. [Please see our articles, "The Elite's Explanation of What's Happening in Chechnya," and "A Story Concerning the Drug Lords the United States Government Has Allied Itself With in Kosovo" for an expose of America's involvement with the drug trade.]

BROTHERS AND SISTERS - THIS IS WHAT THE AMERICAN NEW WORLD ORDER SYSTEM IS ALL ABOUT! - AND THIS IS THE SYSTEM THAT TODAY'S AMERICAN EVANGELICAL CHURCH HAS ALLIED ITSELF WITH - the church of Juan Carlos Ortiz, C. Peter Wagner, Beverley LaHaye, Ern Baxter, Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin, Oral Roberts, Jerry Falwell, Chuck Colson, Jack Hayford, David Yonggi Cho (yes, even Cho who isn't an American, but a Korean), Robert Stearns, Mike Bickle, Reuven Doron, Che Ahn, Frank Hammond, Cindy Jacobs, Bill Hamon, John Eckhardt, Bobbie Byerly, Dutch Sheets, Jim Goll, John Paul Jackson, James Ryle, Frank Damazio, Ed Silvoso, Carlos Annacondia, Claudio Freidzon, Roger Mitchell, Ted Haggart, Paul Cain, Chuck Pierce, Rick Joyner, Kingsley Fletcher, Jim Laffoon, Barbara Wentroble, ad infinitum. THIS IS THE CHURCH THE SCRIPTURES PORTRAY AS A WOMAN RIDING A BEAST:

"And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:

"And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

"AND IS SAY THE WOMAN DRUNKEN WITH THE BLOOD OF THE MARTYRS OF JESUS..." (Rev. 17:4-6)

A RADICAL NEW CHURCH

IN LIGHT OF ALL OF THIS, WE NEED TO HAVE A NEW AND RADICAL KIND OF CHURCH LIFE THAT STANDS IN TOTAL JUXTAPOSITION TO THE CHURCH OF TODAY AND THE ALLIANCE IT HAS MADE WITH THE RICH OF THIS WORLD.

Listen to me dear brothers and sisters in the Lord - I tell you the truth: Contrary to what most of your pastors have probably told you, CAPITALISM IS NOT "GOD ORDAINED," and Adam Smith, David Ricardo, and Thomas Malthus are NOT Biblical figures on a par with Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel. No where in the Bible can one find even the smallest suggestion that the "Dismal Science" of Adam Smith, or the dreary and gloomy economic system that Malthus and Ricardo contrived are biblically based. This evil and pernicious world of Oliver Twist that Smith, Ricardo and Malthus conceived is entirely a man-made system; it has NOTHING to do with God or the Bible! NOTHING! - AND NEITHER DOES THE AMERICAN NEW WORLD ORDER SYSTEM THAT IS BASED ON THE NOXIOUS TEACHINGS OF THESE THREE MEN.

WE NEED A CHURCH THAT IS IN OPEN OPPOSITION TO
THE SELFISH, SELF-CENTERED CHURCH OF TODAY

We need a church-life that stands in OPEN opposition to the self-centered kind of church-life practiced by George Bush, John Ashcroft, Karl Rove, Don Evans and their "Promise Keepers-type of Christianity" - the kind of Christianity the Bible portrays as a "WOMAN RIDING A BEAST;" the kind of church-life where the rich are honored, and the poor "are sent packing."

The very real fact of the matter is, the kind of Christianity that is practiced today by those so-called Christians that surround George Bush is a BOGUS kind of Christianity. God help those who fall victim to this kind of Christianity; in doing so they fall victim to a mean-spirited coterie of the "filthy rich." It's a FRAUD and a SHAME to the cause of Christ - and it is for this reason that God has turned so completely away from them:

"Go now (get away from Me), ye rich men, WEEP and HOWL for your miseries that shall come upon you.

"YOUR RICHES ARE CORRUPTED, and your garments are motheaten.

"Your gold and silver is cankered; AND THE RUST OF THEM SHALL BE A WITNESS AGAINST YOU, AND SHALL EAT YOUR FLESH AS IT WERE FIRE. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.

"Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.

"Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, AS IN A DAY OF SLAUGHTER.

"Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you." (James 5:1-6)

A pretty heavy indictment of today's Christianity! - and a warning of coming judgment! For this reason, God has chosen the poor of the world to reveal His grace:

"Hearken, my beloved brethren, HATH NOT GOD CHOSEN THE POOR OF THIS WORLD rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? (James 2:5)

THE CHURCH-LIFE OF TODAY REPELS THE POOR

The truth is, the kind of church-life that the rich practice REPELS the poor of this world. It is REPUGNANT to them! - and that's why the poor choose socialism over Christianity whenever they are given the choice. That's why the Russian people overthrew Christianity in 1917 - because the church was seen as nothing more than an institution of the rich that had partnered with them (i.e., the rich) to subjugate the poor. That's why during the Mexican Revolution of 1911, the poor there abolished the church; and that is precisely why in 1789 the French people overthrew the church in France. In all these instances, the church had been turned into an instrument of oppression against the poor - which is exactly what is happening today in this country and throughout the American New World Order System. The church has become nothing more than a disgusting HARLOT arrayed -

"... in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls (and) ... DRUNKEN WITH ... BLOOD OF THE SAINTS ..." (Rev. 17:4, 6)

COME OUT OF HER

This kind of church-life - the kind that is being practiced today in the United States - is an ABOMINATION to God, and we are told to -

"... COME OUT OF HER, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." (Rev. 18:4)

The church - the real church - is a DEMONSTRATION to the world that she is NOT of this world, and that she stands in juxtaposition to the world and the values the world holds dear. Can that be said of today's American church? - surely not! What difference is there today between the MONEY-GRUBBING of a Kenneth Hagin or a Bennie Hinn (or for that matter, a D. James Kennedy and a Charles Stanley) and the MONEY-GRUBBING exhibited by the CEOs of America's "Fortune Five-Hundred" companies? - there is none! The Bible says:

"... BE NOT CONFORMED TO THIS WORLD: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." (Rom. 12:2)

A GOD WHO HUMBLES HIMSELF

Self-centeredness and self-seeking are at the heart of today's church - just as these things are at the heart of the world system of man. And where you have these kinds of things, you cannot have God! And you cannot have the church! The Bible says:

"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

"Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

"But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

"And being found in fashion as a man, he HUMBLED himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." (Phil. 2:5-8)

Think about that! - Jesus, who was "equal with God" took on the form of a servant, and HUMBLED Himself for our sake. Is this the kind of mindset that governs the life of a C. Peter Wagner, Charles Stanley, Bennie Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, James Robison, etc. that "strut their stuff" like proud peacocks every Sunday behind their flower-bedecked pulpits? Surely not!

In the churches over which these men preside, self rules and men seek after their own welfare rather than the welfare of others. But the Bible says:

"Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others." (Phil. 2:4)

That's what the REAL church-life is all about - and so much so that in the Church at Jerusalem, the believers -

"... HAD ALL THINGS COMMON ..." (Acts 2:44)

Indeed, the Bible says:

"And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: NEITHER SAID ANY OF THEM THAT OUGHT OF THE THINGS WHICH HE POSSESSED WAS HIS OWN; BUT THEY HAD ALL THINGS COMMON." (Acts 4:32)

AND THEY HAD ALL THINGS "IN COMMON"

Pretty scary, isn’t it? It certainly strikes at the heart of our idea of what Christianity is all about in the United States - again, a Christianity that honors Adam Smith, David Ricardo, and Thomas Malthus more than it does Peter, James, and John - all of whom were heavily involved in the "socialist-appearing happenings" in the early church in Jerusalem.

These are realities that very few Christians in the United States feel comfortable with today; the fact is, most Christians in America would just as soon see Acts 2:44 and Acts 4:32 EXCISED from the Bible altogether! Indeed, the apparent socialism of the early church is "written off" as an aberration - an "excess of enthusiasm," and that's the end of it insofar as most Christians are concerned in this country.

BUT THE VERY REAL FACT OF THE MATTER IS, SOCIALISM AT ONE LEVEL OR ANOTHER WAS COMMON IN THE EARLY CHURCH UP UNTIL THE TIME THE RICH BEGAN FLOWING INTO IT IN GREAT NUMBERS AFTER 325 A.D. (when the church married the world with the emperor Constantine acting as "best man" at the marriage).

IF A BROTHER OR SISTER BE NAKED AND DESTITUTE

Pretty "heavy," isn’t it? - all this "socialism" in the early church! But to the extent that this frightens those who are reading this material, it’s to that extent that we have missed the mark of what the REAL church-life is all about - "the unreserved sharing of one another in a community of believers who possess the life of Christ" - the kind of church-life that would have meaning to the poor and destitute of the world. The Bible says:

"What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

"If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,

"And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

"Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone." (James 2:14-17)

And that's PRECISELY the kind of Christianity most Christians in this country are involved in! - a DEAD Christianity!

LOOK NOT EVERYMAN ON HIS OWN CONCERNS

The church brings believers together in oneness - not the "ickey," "huggy," honey-sweet oneness of today's church that is more often than not NOTHING but a pretense and a fraud, but the oneness that commits each member of the Body to every other member of the Body to such an extent that Philipines 2:4 ("Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others") becomes as natural and effortless as breathing. And to that extent, the church-life becomes a living DEMONSTRATION of Christ on earth -

"That they all may be one (i.e., that they may have "community" with each other); as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us (i.e., that they may have "community" with God): that the world may believe that thou hast sent me." (John 17:21)

"That the world may believe that thou hast sent me." This is very important! How does the world know that God sent Christ into the world? - because believers have (1) "community" with each other, and (2) "community" with God! That’s our testimony: Community! And how is this "community" accomplished? - through the church! - brothers and sisters committed together to such an extent that there is an attitude of "oneness" that extends even to their material possessions.

THE CHURCH IS A FAMILY, NOT AN INSTITUTION

It should be pointed out, however, that the church is NOT a socialist institution, any more than it is a capitalist institution. For those on the left who claim to see an embryonic form of socialism (or even communism) in these passages of Scripture, or for those on the right who believe that the actions of these individuals (i.e., the brothers and sisters in Jerusalem) resulted merely from an "over enthusiasm of the moment" (or who would really rather see these passages excised altogether from the Scripture), they are missing the point altogether. The church is not a socialist institution; neither is it a capitalist institution. IT IS A FAMILY!

Institutions - whether of the right or of the left - derive their validity from power, i.e., force or the ability to coerce or compel others. Not so with a family. Coercion has no part in a family. Families derive their validity from love. What motivates the action of family members is love, not coercion. We repeat, the church is a family; it’s not an institution! We are the Lord’s "brothers" and "sisters," and "brothers" and "sisters" one of another. The Bible says,

"While he (i.e., Jesus) yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him.

"Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.

"But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?

"And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!

"For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother. (Matt. 12:46-50)

Together, we all share the same life - Christ’s life. Jesus said:

"Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

"I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

"If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. (John 15:4-6)

By abiding in Christ, we share Christ’s life, and because we share Christ’s life, we become Christ’s family. This is why Jesus said:

"If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. (John 15:7)

We are members of his family, and this is why we can ask the Father what we will - because we ask as His children:

"... what man (i.e., father) is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?

"Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?

"If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them (i.e., his children) that ask him? (Matt. 7:9-11)

We are the Father’s children because we are the brothers and sisters of Christ; we share Christ’s life - and this is what motivated those of wealth to sell their property and give the proceeds to the church: For example, "Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus ..." (Acts 4:36) And, of course, there were many more who likewise were led of the Lord out of a willing heart to do so (Acts 4:34) - evidently to meet the very great need of the church at the time [which had, in a matter of days, expanded from a few hundred souls to thousands and thousands, many of whom were desperately poor (Acts chapters 2-5)].

WITNESSES TO CHRIST

LOVE motivated them to sell all that they had in order to help. What LOVE! What COMPASSION! This giving was not forced upon them by an unfeeling bureaucracy and the force of institutional power, but instead flowed out of love. It had nothing to do with an institution’s compulsion, and everything to do with the love of one family member for another. THIS IS WHAT PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD ARE WAITING TO SEE: THIS KIND OF CHURCH-LIFE - AND AS WE DEMONSTRATE THIS KIND OF LIFE IN CHRIST, WE BECOME WITNESSES AGAINST WHAT PASSES TODAY AS CHRISTIANITY.

The world is looking for this kind of Christianity - and just how desperately they are looking is revealed in a WONDERFUL little play that has been making its way around the country in recent years - AND AS I TELL YOU ABOUT IT, I ASK YOU TO PUT ASIDE YOUR PREJUDICES AND BIASES AND JUST HEAR ME OUT ON THIS MATTER. The play is partially sponsored by the socialist magazine, International Socialist Review, and it was written by Howard Zinn, author of that splendid (and informative) history of the United States, A People's History. It's called MARX IN SOHO, and IT HAS BEEN DRIVING THE ELITES CRAZY.

MARX IN SOHO

Such a seemingly trivial and modest play for such a large commotion. Only one actor, Brian Jones (who plays Marx). And really, only one act! Moreover, the usual audience has never numbered more than 250 people, and sometimes as little as 13 - and it plays in high school gyms, college campuses, union halls, and "off, off, off Broadway" venues in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, and it has been having a profound effect on all those who see it - and many more who have only heard about it. Jones describes what he was feeling concerning the play's success just shortly before the Seattle demonstrations against the WTO (the World Trade Organization) back in 1999:

"We knew there was a growing feeling of anger in the U.S., which is part of why the play is such a hit ... As we toasted our success, and Marx's return, we had no idea that, in just a few weeks, this anger would explode into action on the streets of Seattle, and things would shift sharply in our direction.

"In Washington D.C. we got our first big break. The show was a tremendous success; the audience was filled with students, teachers, and even Teamsters! After the show, Zinn joined me on stage, and we entertained questions from the audience. One of the first questions came from a man who was clearly annoyed that Marx had been given 75 uninterrupted minutes to speak.

"'Don't you think that, given everything that has happened in the 20th century, Marxism has been massively discredited'? he asked, barely able to conceal his irritation. Zinn turned to me, 'Do you want to take this one'? I proceeded to reiterate what the play illustrates so well: the enormous gap between bureaucratic, Stalinist politics and Marxism, which is, at its heart, about working-class people in the U.S. and around the world. 'It (i.e., unregulated capitalism) has just melted the Asian Tigers (Indonesia, Malaysia, etc. were called the Asian Tigers because their economies were growing so rapidly in the 1990s). So now people in Indonesia who had a job in a Nike sweatshop don't even have that - they're boiling tree bark for food. I think capitalism (not socialism) has been massively discredited'. He sat with arms folded, muttering an angry response, but by the applause, I would say the crowd preferred my angle on it.

"After the show, a woman came up to me and explained that she was a public school teacher and she really enjoyed the show, but she had one question: 'About the PARIS COMMUNE - did that really happen'? Now plenty of people probably think that Marx had a lot to say about what's wrong with capitalism; but many fewer think he had any workable ideas about what could replace it. I love the part of the script (in MARX IN SOHO) that describes the PARIS COMMUNE ... when workers took control of Paris and ran it for themselves. It's an amazing story that shows us a glimpse of what could happen if classes really were abolished. All decisions were made democratically, all officials were paid regular workers' wages ... 'THEY STORMED HEAVEN', as Marx put it.

"Having performed MARX IN SOHO for thousands and thousands of people, it is clear to me that this is the most radical part of the play. This teacher's question turned out to be the Number One Most Frequently Asked Question. 'Did that really happen'? It was not only the most frequently asked question, but the most important, because IF IT REALLY DID HAPPEN, after all, IT COULD HAPPEN AGAIN."

TRYING TO STORM HEAVEN WITHOUT GOD

Marx, of course, believed in a kind of brotherhood of man without God - without Jesus. And who could really blame him? - all the poor of Marx's time ever saw of Christianity was the Christianity of the rich, of the ruling class! - and, as a result, Marx rejected it!

Sadly, the testimony of the church in Marx's time was so besmirched by the rich who had insinuated themselves into it, that all the poor could see was a church that had partnered with the rich to oppress them. So they chose a path to heaven without God - and they failed. Man is simply too proud and too self-centered - even at his very best - to pull something like this off: To "storm heaven," as Marx put it, without God. BUT WITH A GOD WHO HUMBLES HIMSELF (Phil. 2:5-8) LIVING WITHIN US - WHO TOOK UPON HIMSELF THE FORM OF A SERVANT - IT IS POSSIBLE FOR US TO STORM HEAVEN.

HEAVEN IS THE DREAM! - "a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God" (Heb. 11:10); a place where -

"... God shall wipe away all tears from our eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." (Rev. 21:4)

ANSWERING THE CALL OF GOD ON YOUR LIFE

Listen dear brothers and sisters: God is calling you - in this troubled time, He is asking:

"Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" (Isaiah 6:8a)

And we must answer:

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

But - as Oswald Chambers has said - whether or not we hear God’s call depends upon whether or not we are daily IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD. Many are called but few are chosen, that is, few prove themselves the chosen ones. The chosen ones are those who have come into the PRESENCE of God and, as a result, hear the still small voice calling all the time, "Who will go for us?" It is not a question of God singling out a strong man or woman and saying, Now, you go. Isaiah was in the PRESENCE of God and because of that he overheard the call, and realized that there was nothing else for him but to say, in conscious freedom, "Here am I, send me."

OH, THAT I MAY NEVER FEEL ASHAMED

How we answer this call will determine whether we feel ASHAMED at His appearing or not. Paul says,

"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)

Again, while we admit that standing up against what is happening in the church is easy to suggest, but difficult to do - still, it's not, as we suggested in the Antipas Papers, an impossible task, at least not yet. What it probably will mean, however, is ostracism from your circle of friends, and maybe even your families. But the fact is, if you can't face that, then you have no right to call yourself a "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)

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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