COURTEOUS GUIDES ON
THE ROAD TO HELL
By: SR Shearer
Pastors John Hagee and Glen Cole: courteous guides on
the road to hell
A dear brother told me recently,
"Steve, people really don't like you very much. They
think you're cold and callous; that you're an 'unloving person';
that you're harsh, acrimonious, bad tempered, and brusque."
But these kinds of charges are nothing new to me. It's true
- I don't seem to engender "warm," "fuzzy"
feelings, and those who would like to throw a rock at me have
to take a number and get in line. The fact is, it's a very difficult
thing today for people to speak honestly and frankly on a subject
that others find "uncomfortable" or controversial
without being labeled "pompous" and "arrogant."
This brings me to the subject at hand: It appears that many
of our readers think that the tone of some of my recent articles
has been too "unyielding" and "inflexible"
– especially insofar as my twin brother and Richard Paradise
are concerned, all of whom I have "been relentlessly ‘pounding’
for the last several months." [Please see our article, "The
Great Grief Associated with Preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom;"
please also see "The Good
News of the Coming Kingdom" and "The
American New World Order System Must Give Way to the Kingdom
"Pompous," "arrogant," "egotistical,"
"overbearing" - these are but a few of the descriptions
that have been hung around my neck. It seems that being direct
with people is considered to be impolite and ill-mannered. Don't
back people into a corner; don't hurt their feelings; don't
offend others by trying to push your convictions on them. Be
"tolerant" and "civil" in the things you
say and do - and, God forbid, if you do decide to make a direct
statement on an "uncomfortable" or controversial subject,
be sure to precede your statement with "weasel words"
like, "I think," or "It's my opinion," and
then - when you're finished - be sure to ask those who have
been listening to you, "What's your opinion?"
EVERYBODY HAS A PIECE OF THE TRUTH
That's the "likable" thing to do; after all, nobody
has a corner on the truth - and if we just listen to others,
and if we are willing to "communicate across our disagreements"
and "find common ground" then everything will work
out. Typical of this kind of FEEBLE-MINDED thinking (OOPS,
there I go again) is a letter I received several years ago from
one of our readers who wrote to me in reaction to another one
of my more intemperate and unrestrained articles, "Capitalism
The article dealt with the "deceitfulness of riches"
(cf., Matt. 13:22); the reader - who was evidently quite
wealthy - was deeply offended by what I had said, and wrote
to me in an attempt to "moderate" my views:
"While the content of the article is largely true, I
found it interesting that you used, as support, references
from the Bible - in particular one that is commonly read as
"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a
needle than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven."
My understanding is that the original Greek read "...
for a tax collector..." rather than "... for a rich
man..." and that the prevalent interpretation was introduced
into the King James translation because of the effects that
were becoming evident on the tax revenues flowing to the crown.
"While I am unsure as to the original, untranslated
content of your other supporting scriptures, it seems to me
that perhaps in the case of this particular verse, it is not
altogether solid in its support of your stance. Thoughts on
your part? THEY ARE WELCOME SO LONG AS THEY ARE POLITE
AND RESPECTFUL." [Please
see addendum at the end of this article for the proper interpretation
of this portion of Scripture.]
BE POLITE AND RESPECTFUL?
Wow! I must tell you, this kind of wimpy, mealy-mouthed person
makes me want to vomit! Be polite? Be respectful? Of what? -
of this form of absurd thinking? Is this what Jesus was doing
when He said to the Pharisees and scribes (i.e., the "Religious
Establishment" of His day):
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, HYPOCRITES!
For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments
of the righteous,
"And say, 'If we had been [living] in the days of our
fathers, we would not have been partners with them in [shedding]
the blood of the prophets.'
"Consequently you bear witness against yourselves, that
you are sons of those who murdered the prophets.
"Fill up then the measure [of the guilt] of your fathers.
"You SERPENTS, you BROOD OF VIPERS, how
shall you escape the SENTENCE OF HELL? (Matt. 23:29-33)
Where is there any respect here by Christ for the opinions
of the scribes and the Pharisees? Where is there any willingness
on Christ's part to "communicate across His disagreements"
with them? Where is there any effort here to be polite? Surely,
there is none!
Nowhere in any translation of the Bible can the STUPIDITY
evinced in the letter above (and that's exactly what it is!
- stupidity) be maintained - i.e., that the word for "rich
man" should be translated "tax collector" in
Matt. 19:24. The fact is, this kind of thinking is so far "out
of line" that it can only be accounted for by some kind
of pre-disposition of mind intent on emasculating the Bible's
very clear injunctions against the rich. One needs only to take
the time to consult Strong's Greek Lexicon (#4381) to dispel
such thinking. Maybe the Bible according to the Republican Party
(or the freakish Gospel according to Kenneth Hagin or Kenneth
Copeland or Robert Schuller or Bennie Hinn) might offer such
a translation, but nowhere else!
COURTEOUS GUIDES ON THE ROAD TO HELL
No! - this person is entitled to the UTTER contempt
that I feel for him! - which is exactly the kind of loathing
that Jesus gave to the "Religious Establishment" of
His day (and, again, that's precisely what it was: loathing)
when He referred to his religious opponents as "DESERVING
THE SENTENCE OF HELL" and called them a den of "POISONOUS
SNAKES" and a "BROOD OF VIPERS."
Moreover, one's disdain for such people should not be diminished
by the rather "effete" and "polite" manner
in which they present themselves and their opinions. The fact
is, this kind of dishonesty in the handling of the Word of God
leads to hell, and whether one is guided there in a courteous
manner or not won't much matter in the end after one has at
last arrived at that destination.
Prissy leaders of today's church
This is the sort of Christianity that has nothing definite
to say to anyone, the kind of Christianity that is so "moderate"
in its beliefs that it feels no chagrin in using such prissy
phrases as "My understanding is," "The prevalent
interpretation is," "While I am unsure," and
that final wickedly delicious phrase, "Thoughts on your
part? THEY ARE WELCOME SO LONG AS THEY ARE POLITE AND RESPECTFUL."
These phrases are all typical of the kind of effeminate, sissified
Christianity in vogue in America today; the kind that affluence
inevitably creates; the kind that refuses to trespass on anyone's
WHEN PROPHECY IS A DREAM
This is serious stuff, and most people draw back in fear when
confronted with it. They would prefer to ignore all this, to
say that we are making a mountain out of a mole hill, that we are stretching
things too far; or they prefer to believe that we are not as
close to "the end" as we really are.
When prophecy is a dream, it's fun
When prophecy is a dream - when it is nothing more than a mental
image, a kind of fantasy or "furtive meditation" -
it's sort of fun; it's like a secret GAME we can play
on a cold night in the safety and comfort of our own living
rooms with good friends, good food, a warm cup of chocolate,
and a crackling fire in the fireplace - the kind of GAME
that Tim LaHaye's "Left Behind" series of books
casually and vacuously promotes.
It lifts us out of the "ordinary" and elevates us
into a whimsical world where we are no longer nameless cogs
in a giant, uncaring socio-economic machine that doesn't give
a whit for us, but are instead heroes and heroines ("Knight-Templars")
of our Lord and Savior immersed in great feats of "daring-do."
And the wonder (indeed, the pleasure) of it all is that this
GAME doesn't cost us much to play. Maybe a little, but
not much. No real sacrifices are demanded of us; we don't have
to "pay to play;" no relationships are threatened
beyond those we don't care that much about anyway; no jobs are
put at risk.
But when prophecy transmutes itself into reality, when it is
no longer played as a game, when actual relationships are threatened,
when money is really put at risk, when jobs are actually lost,
and when lives are in fact jeopardized, then prophecy becomes
something else altogether, AND NOT TOO MANY PEOPLE WANT TO
BE A PART OF THAT" – and this is exactly where my twin
brother and Richard
Paradise are. They are precisely the kind of people
about whom Jesus - when speaking to the leaders of the religious
establishment of His day - said:
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye
shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither
go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering
to go in." (Matthew 23:13)
There is only one hope for such people: SHAME
them into an admission as to what they are doing – and that
is EXACTLY what I am trying to do. I am faced with a
situation where I see my erstwhile friends in danger of going
over the falls, and they seem UTTTERLY oblivious to what
I have called out to them, but they have not heard me, so now
I am throwing stones at their little rowboat, trying desperately
to awake them to the danger they face, AND I AM ACCUSED OF
BEING MEAN-SPIRITED IN DOING SO.
But I would rather be accused of that in my attempt to get
their attention, than to say and do nothing, and watch then
them plunge over the falls to their destruction.
God bless you all!
IT IS EASIER FOR A CAMEL TO GO
THROUGH THE EYE OF A NEEDLE
"... it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's
eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."
There are, of course, those Christians who have been told
by their pastors that "the eye of the needle" through
which a "rich man shall hardly pass" (referenced also
in Matt. 19:24 and Mark 10:25) is the name of a narrow gate
in the walls of Jerusalem, through which a camel, with some
difficulty, could actually get through. This is what Father
John Neuhaus, a Catholic and the darling of all those evangelicals
who today are pressing for a rapprochement with the Catholics
-- evangelicals like Pat Robertson, founder of the Christian
Coalition and president of the Christian Broadcasting Network;
Charles Colson, head of the International Prison Fellowship
Ministry; Steve and Lou Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition;
Dr. Richard Land and Dr. Larry Lewis, officers of the Southern
Baptist Convention; Mark Noll, of Wheaton College; Glen Cole
of the Assemblies of God, etc. -- believes.
But such a contention is so COMPLETELY ridiculous that even
Peter Singer (hardly a Christian), clearly sees through this
hypocrisy. Writing in the humanist magazine Free Inquiry,
Singer sarcastically (but very properly) reveals the "pretense
to virtue" of Christians as they squirm to avoid the clear
meaning of these Scriptures (i.e., Luke 18:25, Matt. 19:24 and
Mark 10:25) - A "PRETENSE TO VIRTUE" UPON WHICH THE
OIL ELITES CLEARLY HANG THEIR HATS.
As Singer points out, there is zero archeological or historical
evidence for this interpretation, which can only be traced as
far back as the ninth century. Jesus was using a metaphor popular
at the time, although one that usually referred to elephants
rather than camels. And, moreover, the disciples very evidently
understood what Jesus meant here - i.e., that it was impossible
for a rich man to enter heaven - because,
"... they were ASTONISHED OUT OF MEASURE (at this
teaching), saying among themselves, Who then can be saved?"
To this question, Christ offers a crumb of reassurance:
"With men this is impossible; but with God all things are
possible." Possibly! Maybe! - but the original injunction
stands: Christians who want to follow Jesus and inherit eternal
life will do well to give all they have to the poor. Hardly
an idea calculated to win Christianity the devotion of the rich!
Hardly a saying that pastors - who desperately need the support
of the rich if they are going to keep up the mortgage payments
on their super-churches - can use to persuade "men of wealth"
to take a seat on their Board of Trustees as Second Baptist
Church in Houston, Texas has done with Archie Dunham, the Chairman
and CEO of Conoco Oil.
Neuhaus haughtily denies Singer's assertion that the Christian
ethic tells us to share extensively with the poor, and he seems
extremely annoyed that a "humanist" like Singer would
be telling him (supposedly a Christian) how to interpret Scripture.
Neuhaus responds to Singer:
"... the Christian ethic ... underscores that we
are 'situated' creatures with duties framed by specific place
and time and possibility ... The Christian view is grounded
in the particular, and most particularly in the incarnation
... (of Christ) ... The vaulting ambitions of Singer's concept
of 'a morally descent person' (giving their money to the poor)
are implausible in theory and impossible in practice."
In other words, what Neuhaus is saying is that Christ's
injunction to His disciples to share EXTENSIVELY their wealth
with the poor is not only "implausible," but "impossible;"
that we are creatures of the "situation" God has placed
us in, and as such we have "responsibilities" to that
"situation" that take precedence over "giving
to the poor."
What DRIVEL! What utter NONSENSE! - and Singer clearly recognizes
it as such. He sneeringly (and mockingly) retorts to the "idiocy"
advocated by Neuhaus:
"Presumably Father Neuhaus is suggesting that from
the fact that God has been incarnated in the form of a PARTICULAR
person (i.e., Christ), it follows that we have particular
duties, to our families, friends, compatriots, and so on,
which override the injunction to sell what we have and give
it to the poor. But by what principle of interpretation does
a vague reference to the 'incarnation of Christ' count for
more than the EXPLICIT Gospel account of the WORDS OF JESUS
HIMSELF? ... Only, I guess, because the idea that the founder
of Christianity told us to give away our assets is not at
all to Father Neuhaus's liking. Nor, presumably, would it
be congenial to the conservative Christians of ... (today)."
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
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