Police brutality in Chicago in 1968 and in NYC in 2011 - DO YOU POSSESS THE SPIRITUAL COURAGE TO STAND UP AGAINST IT? TO NOT BE INTIMIDATED BY IT?
The other day I received the following letter (email) from someone I consider to be a friend; the views she expresses are typical of the kind of response I have been receiving from many Christians regarding our trip to NYC to "partner" ourselves PHYSICALLY with the poor who are demonstrating there against the American New World Order System.
"I have heard that the Occupy Wall Street people are actually union organizers. I have also felt that to participate in the protests is not like the old days and will get you profiled. I've been leery about getting involved in any kind of protests."
NOTE: In making such a statement - i.e., that we are in danger of being "profiled" by the authorities if we go to NYC - she inadvertently betrays what she is really afraid of: The power of the American super-state to harm those who fight against it.
A few days later we received a "follow-up" letter, which was, I assume, a response to the article I published a few days ago entitled "As the Time Draws Near:"
"... I ... choose non-participation, period ... I really don't think that joining with the unions and the rich hippies is going to change anything."
In making the charge that those who are down on Wall Street demonstrating against the American New World Order System are "rich hippies" and union organizers, she is repeating the calumnies that the "established church" of the 1960s and early 1970s heaped upon those who were demonstrating against the Vietnam war.
Edward P. Morgan and the News
NOTE: For the most part, the hippies of the 1960s and early 1970s were NOT rich; most of them came from poor working-class families - "innocents" who were being thrown as cannon fodder into the war. There were, naturally enough, many rich college students who FEIGNED the revolutionary ethos of the hippies to justify the use of "student deferments" that protected them from the draft, but they were merely revolutionaries in style, not in REALITY. As for the "union organizers" that the elites have historically labeled as "thugs," they were the first to join the "hippies" in condemning the Vietnam War. Indeed, it was NOT CBS anchor Walter Cronkite who was the first newsman to come out against the Vietnam War, but Edward P. Morgan who was sponsored by the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union.
and the News
"I'm just a Christian and one that feels the most sensible thing to do at this point is to prepare as best I can to survive long enough to speak about the only true solution, turning to Jesus with all that is within me and let the chips fall as they may. The main stream churches are too far gone and trying to work with them, or to try to shame them or correct them is out of the question at this point. I have found that most of the people in those churches ... have no intentions of seeking the real Jesus Christ and the truth. America really is the strong hold of the evil one and nothing is going to change that but the coming of Jesus Christ."
NOTE: Pay close attention to the passivity she expresses - i.e., "I am here and I can only affect the people the Lord draws into my path ..." This is precisely the kind of pious passivity I condemned in my article, "Sei Vorsichtig," an article that denounced the kind of fake "meekness" she expresses when she says she can only affect those the Lord draws to her:
What these Christians are doing is evincing a kind of thinking toward themselves which suggests, sadly, that they are nothing more than a leaf in a river that is flowing down to the sea; a helpless captive of the stream's relentless current; an object which has no will of its own, and which cannot act in its own right, but can only be acted upon.
Though they probably would never admit it, what they have done is to surrender themselves to a kind of pseudo-spirituality that makes "fatalism" a virtue and "choice" a sin; hence to do nothing is "spiritual" (fake Christians fallaciously call it "trusting in the Lord") and "to act" betrays a "rashness" that is not only carnal, but "ungodly" and "untrusting."
But this is pure nonsense! Fatalism is nothing more than AN EXCUSE FOR INACTION, a pathetic reason for Christians to avoid uncomfortable choices and to put off hard decisions which might inconveniently impact the way they live and cause their friends and loved ones to disassociate themselves from them. Fatalism is a dissimulation - a hypocrisy that allows Christians to cheat insofar as their responsibility to God is concerned.
The sobering fact of the matter is, when Christians "buy into" this kind of mindset - purposefully or perhaps unconsciously and willy-nilly - they have submitted themselves to the "PROCESS" of a SLAUGHTERHOUSE, like -
"... natural brute beasts, made to be taken and DESTROYED ..." (2 Pet. 2:12)
She goes on to say:
"I am not an activist, I'm not a pacifist, I'm not a Marxist, socialist, advocate of the John Galt society or anything ... I don't feel comfortable with the Occupy Wall Street gang ... I don't trust anyone ...
"I don't feel good about it [meaning, I assume, our going to NYC] and I think you are joining yourself to a worldly cause to promote your cause and by joining it you are contaminating your good cause ..."
She says that "The main stream churches are too far gone and trying to work with them, or to try to shame them or correct them is out of the question at this point. I have found that most of the people in those churches ... have no intentions of seeking the real Jesus Christ and the truth;" but in ridiculing the "hippie rabble" down at Wall Street, she is REPEATING the shibboleths the "mainstream churches" of the 1960s and early 1970s heaped on the demonstrators against the Vietnam War, many of whom ultimately became the "revolutionaries" of the Jesus Revolution. She is like those against whom Jesus said,
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, HYPOCRITES! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish [decorate] the sepulchres of the righteous,
"And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.
"Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.
"Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers." (Matthew 23:20-32)
Isn't that EXACTLY what this dear sister is doing? - claiming that her "spiritual" heritage stems from the radical Christians of the Jesus Revolution, while condemning those who REALLY are the spiritual progeny of that Revolution. [Please see our article, "The Jesus Revolution and the Search for Community."]
NOTE: Interestingly, she had written me a few months prior to this saying -
"I wish we could go back to the times of the Jesus Freaks. We were of that time, but I don't expect it's ever going to come back to that. It was a time of real growth and caring, a time when being "weird" for the sake of the gospel was alright and we had friends around to validate that our weirdness was not weird at all but in fact turned the truth!"
Christians don't seem to realize or tend to forget that the "Jesus Revolution" of the 1960s and early 1970s was not produced "out of thin air." It was born in the hearts of the so-called "hippie rabble" that rose up against the tyranny of America's financial and business elites who had taken the country to war in Vietnam - a war in which the elites used America's young people, especially poor blacks, as the "cannon fodder" necessary to prosecute the war "effectively."
The senselessness of the conflict was mind-numbing to those whom the elites were throwing into the war's bloody maw; and the pointlessness of their sacrifice became ever more tedious and wearying as the causalities mounted, and Americans came home savaged both mentally and physically by the war's horror and its futility.
PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO SEE THIS VIDEO - THERE IS AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE HERE!! - IT CONCERNS THE HEAVY PRICE THOSE WHO ARE FORCED TO FIGHT OUR WARS PAY. IT IS THE PRICE I PAID WHEN I RETURNED FROM VIETNAM.
The absurdity and contradictions of the Vietnam War drove countless numbers of that generation - both those who had gone to war, and those who were being threatened by the "draft" to become the war's next victims - into seeking "liberation" from their very real anxiety in the drug culture of that era - a culture that at the very least offered a brief respite from the madness that engulfed them.
The Christianity that surrounded the young people of the Vietnam era offered them no relief from the horror and pointlessness they were facing; it was on the side of the elites who were prosecuting the war - a war the elites claimed they were fighting to preserve the "American way of life" from "godless communism."
And what, exactly, did Christians in the 1960s see as the "American way of life?" The Christianity that they had embraced was geared toward materialism and worldly success. It was a Sunday-go-to-meeting-kind of Christianity adjusted more toward making the individual Christian a more productive member of the secular society that surrounded him. It was a minimalist kind of Christianity oriented toward the busy life-styles of men and women who were "on the make;" who were oriented toward "keeping up with the Joneses," of moving up the corporate ladder, of "relocating" to the suburbs, of buying that extra car, etc. It had very little to do with a Biblical Christianity and a Biblical kind of church-life, and very much to do with personal success in the "here and now."
This was hardly a Christianity which could be of any help to the young people of that era - youths who had pretty much seen through the vacuous nature of their parent's religiosity and their "martini," "Madison Avenue" life-styles. Indeed, the aversion of most of the young people who came to the Lord in those days against the religious establishment of that era was so great that there probably would have been no "Jesus Revolution" had the people who led it felt compelled to work within Establishment Christianity. And it's for this reason that it is so deplorable that much of the history of the "Jesus Revolution" has been rewritten - rewritten largely to accommodate the sensibilities of those evangelicals who had opposed the revolution in the first place.
The fact is, the rewritten history of this era has produced a complete misunderstanding of what the "Jesus Revolution" was all about: It was not about personal success and most assuredly it had NOTHING to do with materialism and ego - the altars at which Establishment Christianity worships. Nevertheless, if one reads most of today's accounts that deal with the "Jesus Revolution," one could very well come away with the view that the revolution had been produced by, and had emanated from, the very religious establishment that had at first opposed it - i.e., Multnomah School of the Bible, Dallas Theological Seminary, Western Seminary, Wheaton, etc. But that simply isn't the case! The "Jesus Revolution" occurred DESPITE these institutions, not because of them.
It is with all this in mind that I cannot help but be repulsed and nauseated by the attitude evinced by this sister and others of her ilk regarding the "hippie rabble" and "union thugs" who have descended on Wall Street.
Regarding the very REAL impact the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators are having on the nation, Bill Van Auken writes:
"The Occupy Wall Street protest, now in its third week, has struck a powerful chord throughout the US.
"The demonstrators and their demand for social equality have given expression to the growing hostility of millions towards America's financial elites.
"The growth of this movement is generating mounting concern within American ruling circles. This was expressed Tuesday in an article by New York Times financial columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin, who quoted a Wall Street CEO worried about his "personal safety" and warned that the protest constituted -
'... a warning shot about the kind of civil unrest that may emerge—as we've seen in some European countries—if our economy continues to struggle'."
What's happening on Wall Street is "... a warning shot about the kind of civil unrest that may emerge-as we've seen in some European countries-if our economy continues to struggle."
Van Auken continues:
"The reality is, however, it is not the bankers who have to fear for their personal safety, but the demonstrators, who have been subjected repeatedly to police brutality and mass arrests for exercising their free speech rights."
Van Auken, being a socialist, knows full well the danger that the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators are facing: THE FURY OF THE FINANCIAL ELITES AND THEIR CHRISTIAN BOOTLICKERS AND SYCOPHANTS.
Van Auken warns:
"Nonetheless, Sorkin's warning about civil unrest is entirely justified. These are among the first prominent social protests in the United States in more than 30 years. Most of those involved in the occupations have never seen significant struggles for social change in their lifetimes. Coming on the heels of the mass demonstrations in Wisconsin last February, they signal the reemergence of open class struggle in the United States, the heart of today's world economic system.
"Such struggles do not arise by accident. They are driven by the powerful contradiction of a world economic system which, three years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, has produced catastrophic unemployment levels and deepening poverty for millions, while those at the top continue to pile up obscene levels of wealth."
As the anti-Wall Street protest has grown in size, the issue has started to bubble up in the presidential campaign. Greeting an overflow room of voters Tuesday at a community center in The Villages, a retirement community in Florida, Mitt Romney was asked about the protests. Romney responded:
"I THINK IT IS DANGEROUS - THIS CLASS WARFARE."
The Villages where Romney spoke - a haven for well-to-do, retired Christians
Romney's remarks come as the protests have grown in intensity, with demonstrations spreading to other cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles and Boston. And later this week, the White House may become a target, with two groups planning to set up an encampment near there.
While the protests have generally been nonviolent, the police in New York arrested 700 people on Saturday after some demonstrators marched on the roadway of the Brooklyn Bridge - giving evidence, if any was really needed, that the police have been put on notice by the elites to "contain the unrest" and intimidate the demonstrators. The police blamed the arrests on the violence of the demonstrators, but "camera vigilantes" demonstrated on film what really happened.
It was a socialist group - the World Socialist Web Site - which first broke the truth about the tactics the NYPD [New York Police Department] was using to intimidate the demonstrators; indicating to them in REAL terms what being locked up in a jail cell is all about; they spoke to one young woman who had been arrested on Saturday at the Brooklyn Bridge. Lily did not want to give her full name.
"I was arrested and just got out of jail last night at 2 a.m., so I may not be as clear as usual. I am a medic. I have been here since day one, and I started the medic committee with a trash bag full of supplies.
"The march Saturday was the biggest we've had. I guess it was about 2,000 people. I was videotaping the whole thing. The walkway on the bridge is so narrow that the marchers began piling up and spilling out into the street."
Lily explained that the path between the entrance to the bridge's walkway and the roadway, where motor vehicle traffic passes, is narrow, and the marchers had stopped traffic by trying to enter the walkway. Lily continued:
"A few groups began chanting, 'Whose streets? Our streets!'
"The NYPD started backing up the street [the roadway] before we started up there, before the march chose to go up there. The march was so pumped up, we just went there and stopped traffic.
"It was a trap. It was a setup. They only told us to get off the street once, and they had already backed up, almost inviting us up there. A friend of mine heard one policeman say to another, 'It worked perfectly. They fell into it.'
"It was a trap. It was a setup. They only told us to get off the street once, and they had already backed up, almost inviting us up there. A friend of mine heard one policeman say to another, 'It worked perfectly. They fell into it.'"
"If you were at the back of this, you wouldn't have known that you were going where we had been warned not to go. The police kept walking alongside of us, and we thought they were actually escorting us.
"We planned just to go into Brooklyn, and to Williamsburg, and then disperse. We wanted to get there and set up a general assembly.
"We were halfway across the bridge, myself and another medic, at the front when everything started happening. The police then formed a line, blocking us off, and we couldn't go any further. We started a chant. 'This is a peaceful protest.' Then the police leaped in and grabbed people viciously and started arresting. We kept our arms linked until they pulled us out.
"Our medic captain was the fourth person to be arrested, even though we medics stayed to the side. Then it got bad with police leaping in and pulling people. We kept telling them there were children in the crowd. They grabbed one protester and threw him to the ground and there was a sickening sound—a thud, which you never want to hear in your life—when his head hit the ground. He was arrested and taken. I hope he was taken to a hospital. Last weekend they left a kid who was knocked out cold for two hours in a police van.
"They grabbed one protester and threw him to the ground and there was a sickening sound-a thud, which you never want to hear in your life-when his head hit the ground. He was arrested and taken."
"They got almost 700 arrests, and cut the march in half so no one could get in or out. I wanted to keep out and not get arrested. They were kettling us to strike terror, while the media and lawyers were walking on the sidewalk. They told them to keep moving. We would yell our names so the lawyer would know everyone who was arrested. Then it came to a point where we all realized there was nothing we could do. We would all be arrested, and we became calmer.
NOTE: Kettling, also known as containment or corralling, is a brutal police tactic for terrorizing large crowds during demonstrations or protests. It involves the formation of large cordons of police officers armed with truncheons and pepper spray who push the crowd into a "containment area." Protesters are left only one choice of exit, determined by the police, where they are forced to run a gauntlet, or are completely prevented from leaving and denied access to toilet facilities, water and food.
"They split the crowd up and took half to the 77th Precinct in Brooklyn and half to the First Precinct in Manhattan, because there were so many of us. The charges depended on who your arresting officer was. Some got a ticket for blocking traffic. Some got disorderly conduct. Some people got three tickets. I got a disorderly conduct ticket.
"No one was read their rights. Everyone was cuffed and put in jail. I was in the last group to leave the bridge. They put us into a bus. We were in the rain for an hour and half before they took us away. We got to the precinct, and they did the booking. They took a picture of us with the police officer. There was a cell with 130 guys in it. We walked by and they all cheered with their fists raised, but we were marched to the back to a holding cell for girls.
There was a cell with 130 guys in it.
"I was put in a cell by myself at first for two and half hours. Later I was put in a cell with four other girls for four hours. We each got two slices of bread with mustard and a pint of milk.
"One person at the 77th Precinct had nothing to eat for 15 hours. There was one group who came out at 4:30 a.m., and they marched to the park chanting:
'Everyone is here for a different reason, but everyone thinks something has to be done. We need to take back democracy, which has been taken away. Our whole First Amendment has been taken away from us'."
The First Amendment is dead
All this gives evidence to the fact that the financial elites who rule Wall Street have no intention of letting the "hippie rabble" and "union thugs," as Gloria and her ilk put it, rob them of their ill-gotten wealth.
What happened on the bridge was a warning shot fired over the heads of the protesters because up until now what the elites have really been trying to do is ignore the protesters and / or belittle them. This is what the elite media has been doing; it is also EXACTLY what both the Democratic and Republican Parties have been doing. But after almost a month of purposefully ignoring the protesters down at Wall Street, the elites have been forced to admit that their effort in this direction has failed.
The unrest has grabbed the nation's attention and garnered the support of large and influential swaths of the labor movement - and there have been calls among NYC students to show their solidarity by leaving school and joining the protest.
As the unrest quickens and begins to "pick up steam," the establishment will inevitably be forced to take a second step, which is to oppose the unrest openly and brutally, and by that I mean they will be forced to move beyond merely arresting protesters on misdemeanor charges, as they did with the protesters on the Brooklyn Bridge, but on felony charges with serious jail time.
NOTE: Moving from misdemeanor arrests to felony arrests is a "BIG THING" because of the "Three-Strikes-and-You-Are-Out" legislation that says if one accrues three felony convictions, one can go to jail for LIFE.
But the elites have to move very carefully here; nonetheless, the fact that they will ultimately be successful in their counter-attack against the poor is attested to by the Scriptures - for the prophetic dynamic unleashed by the Third Rider of the Apocalypse plainly indicates that the division between the rich and the poor will only increase as the end of the age draws near:
"A measure of wheat for a penny [literally - denarius, a Greek coin which represented a WHOLE DAY'S wages], and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine." (Revelation 6:6)
NOTE: The meaning of this is that the condition of man during in the "Last Days" will be reduced to such that he will have to labor (if he can find work at all) a whole day simply to buy a loaf of bread or three measures of barley. But the second part of the saying ["... and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine ..."] means that the famine in these days will not extend to what might be called a "global elite of worthies" who have evidently allied themselves to the anti-Christ's policy of conquest - only the rich in the ancient world could afford oil and wine.
The problem that exists for the American elite insofar as the growing mass of citizens arrayed against them is concerned is that military and police control alone are not enough to put an end to the nation's unrest. The financial elites must at least have the support of what Edward Luttwak, a senior advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, calls a "MINIMUM GROUP."
As the name that Luttwak has given to this group suggests, it does not mean that a MAJORITY per se (or even a plurality of differing and competing factions) in the country would have to support the ultra-rich in their confrontation with the poor.
And what is that MINIMUM GROUP that the elites are counting on? - it is the RELIGIOUS RIGHT. The very real fact of the matter is, the Religious Right today commands an astounding ONE-THIRD of the entire American population, and while there is little evidence that it possesses the ability to expand its popular base of "TRUE-BELIEVERS" (as opposed to occasional supporters and "fair-weather friends") much beyond this figure, that is still an astounding number of people that the ultra-rich have managed to gather about them.
NOTE: One would do well to note the fact that when Hitler came to power in Germany, he commanded about one-third of the German electorate - the same percentage of voters that the ultra-rich now command in the Religious Right.
The elites have created this MINIMUM GROUP out of the "Culture War" that has gripped the nation over the past twenty to thirty years, and this group is now ready to follow the elites into Hell if that's what it takes to "save America for Christ and the church." [Please see our article, "Irreconcilable Differences."]
All that's needed now is a spark to begin the conflagration necessary for the ultra-rich - using the Religious Right as its MINIMUM GROUP - to take over the country. Moreover, the legislation for just such a take-over has already been provided for by the DRACONIAN laws that have been passed since 9/11. [Please see our series of articles on this subject, "The Development of a New National Security Apparatus and What It Will Mean to You" - Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5."
And there's something more! - there can be little doubt that the military would support such a take-over; the military is no friend of the Left. According to Bill Wasik, a senior editor at Harper's Magazine, the military clearly stands on the side of the Republican Party, which is the political institution that the ultra-rich have used to cement their connection with the Religious Right in this country. Wasik writes:
"EVERYONE SEEMS TO AGREE THAT THE ARMED FORCES FIGHT ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE."
What's frightening about all this - i.e., the notion that the Religious Right and the country's ultra-rich will team up to seize power in the US in some way or fashion, transforming the country in the process from a democracy into a dictatorship - is that this IS EXACTLY WHAT THE SCRIPTURES FORESEE. Daniel 7:24 says:
"And he [antichrist] shall ... think to change times and laws."
In other words, he (antichrist) will shred the constitution and set up a dictatorship.
The fact that the Religious Right will act as the ultra-rich's sycophant in this effort is attested to in Revelation 17:1-6:
"And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great WHORE that sitteth upon many waters:
"With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.
"So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
"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 I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration. (Rev. 17:1-6)
These verses portray a Woman - a religious system - sitting on a Beast - the political system - full of names of blasphemy (cursings, profanities, impieties and irreverence) toward God. So intertwined are these two - i.e., the Woman and the Beast - that they seem to be one, though in fact they are two separate entities:
A CIVIL (political and commercial) entity - the BEAST.
A RELIGIOUS entity - the WOMAN.
NOTE: One should be clear that the "religious entity" the Scriptures have in mind here is not some strange "New Age" religion, but one which is clearly characterized as "Christian" (an apostatized form of Christianity, no doubt, but "Christian" as the world counts "Christian" - and to this, most evangelicals - from Barnhouse, to Gaebelein, from Chafer to Pentecost, from Ironside to Ryrie - agree.
Many people - especially those who have grown up in this country during the last twenty or thirty years and who are thus accustomed to thinking that civil power can be separated from religious power - are puzzled as to why the Bible speaks of two Babylons in the "Latter Days" - one a religious entity and the other a civil entity. They seem genuinely bewildered by the picture the Bible uses to portray their relationship one with the other - a woman (the religious entity) riding a beast (the civil entity). Why, they ask, does the civil power (the beast) have need of the religious power (the woman)? The fact of the matter is, however, there is a fundamental mutual interdependence between religion and politics, and today's multicultural and secular elites have been making a grave mistake in believing otherwise. Why? - because civil power, in the end, must be legitimized, and an appeal to the fickle and even capricious "democratic will of the majority" - while adequate enough during periods of cultural and economic stability - often fails to ensure that same stability during periods of turmoil and dislocation, WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT THE CURRENT RECESSION / DEPRESSION IS CREATING IN THE COUNTRY.
Religion gives sanction to obedience on the part of ordinary people and it legitimizes the exercise of power on the part of rulers. For this reason, religion has historically been impressed into all of society's experiences and actions - from simple family chores to the corporate activities of the state. The fact is, in most societies religion has been a state obligation and responsibility. It has manifested the very essence of the state itself - so much so that there has rarely been any question, at least at the popular level, concerning the vital link between the practice of religion and the health of the state. To most societies it has seemed self-evident that all authority emanated from the divine because from no where else could the certitude so necessary to social order be derived. The result of religion has been to put men and women in right relation to their society. It has assured the order and certainty so necessary to the stability of most social structures. The proposition that the state could be separated from a religious undergirding - embodied in the concept of "separation of church and state" - represents relatively new political thinking. "Politically correct" academicians in this country have been making a very grave mistake in over estimating our society's freedom from a fundamental dependence on a religiously based ethical system.
Society organizes itself around culture. Culture sets the parameters of the society. It determines what is "right" and what is "wrong." It provides the underlying assumptions upon which society is based. But what a culture determines to be "right" or "wrong" must be anchored by something. For example, who is to say whether abortion is "right" or "wrong?" or whether homosexuality is acceptable behavior? or whether divorce should be condoned or not? or whether the society should be organized as a patriarchy? or maybe as a matriarchy? One may assert that he "feels" homosexuality is wrong; that abortion is murder; and that men should be the head of the family. But that's not enough. Others may "feel" the exact opposite. And an appeal to philosophy to end the argument is more often than not futile. Philosophical or ethical speculation in the absence of some kind of an anchor has normally proven useless for such purposes. Indeed, all it seems to accomplish is to further erode fixity and stability, the essential ingredients of the bonds of social existence. In the absence of an acceptable anchor, philosophical and ethical speculation exists in a state of perpetual agitation. Should the agitation continue unchecked, it may lead to the ultimate contempt of all authority. [Please see our article, "Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth."]
The fact that the United States will soon be taken-over by the kind of system described by Revelation 17:1-6 is written in stone; AND THE FACT THAT TODAY'S CHRISTIAN ESTABLISHMENT WILL BE A PART OF IT IS ALSO WRITTEN IN STONE.
The questions before you now is, which side will you be on? The side of today's church, or are you willing to go OUTSIDE the camp and suffer with Jesus? -
"Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.
"Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.
"For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come." (Hebrews 13:12-14)
Will you choose to identify yourself with today's fallen church? -- i.e., those Christians who identify themselves with the rich as today's church so shamefully does, OR will you choose to identify yourself with the nation's poor? - i.e., those who are now demonstrating on Wall Street against the American New World Order System.
To choose the one side (i.e., rich) is to choose APOSTASY; to choose the other side (i.e., the poor and the downtrodden) is to choose to remain identified with the REAL message of the church and those who are truly open to the Gospel, OR does one really believe that the rich are open to the Gospel? If you believe that, you believe it in TOTAL contravention to the Scriptures, for the Bible says:
"... It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." (Matt. 19:24)
And, again it says:
"For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble [rich], are called ..." (1 Cor. 1:26)
And do not think - even for a moment - that Christians, in choosing to identify themselves with the rich and the American New World Order System, are doing so out of naivety because as things stand now even the dullest among us can easily see that the pretensions of today's church do not match the reality.
As was the case in 1968, so it is also the case in 2011: Today's evangelical church NO LONGER HAS THE CAPACITY TO PROVIDE ANSWERS THAT CAN CORRESPOND TO EVEN THE MOST MINIMAL NEEDS OF THE POOR AND THE DOWNTRODDEN.
All it has to offer is an "icky-sweet," "Pottery Barn" kind Christianity that purveys nothing more than bland pleasantries, empty kindnesses, and hollow affabilities from its garland bedecked pulpits week after week - the kind of congenial, so-called "family values" Christianity that goes down so nicely in places like Simi Valley, Fort Lauderdale, Malibu, and Granite Bay; the kind of Christianity one hears preached from the pulpits of evangelical leaders like the late D. James Kennedy, Joel Olsteen, Charles Stanley, Jack Hayford, and C. Peter Wagner; but it's not the kind of Christianity that would do those living in South-Central L.A. much good, or the kind of Christianity that would be of any help to the poor in Mozambique, Zambia or Botswana.
The spirituality of today's church is a REI variety of Christianity that is suspicious of passion and fearful of people who communicate their views without concession. It's a Christianity that doesn't trust people who are absolute in their convictions, and who are impatient with "compromise" and the occasional so-called "necessity" of sometimes having to sacrifice principle to what is called "reality" and the "necessities" (really, the amenities) of the "here and now." [Please see our article, "Courteous Guides on the Road to Hell."]
This coffee house kind of Christianity puts great store on "gentleness" and "forgiveness," while ignoring such clear injunctions as Christ's advice to His disciples in Mark 9:43:
"... if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into [eternal] life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched ... (Mark 9:43)
It's as if today's Ben & Jerry form of Christianity had excised or cut out such verses entirely from the Scripture. Dwelling as it does in the temperate zone - neither cold nor hot [and ignoring the Bible's somber warning against this kind of Christianity, i.e., "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue [vomit] thee out of my mouth" (Rev. 3:15-16)], today's Christianity is not compatible with absolutes of any kind. As David Brooks sarcastically puts it in his book, Bobos In Paradise, instead of a "Final Judgment" the REI Christians of today believe in a "Final Discussion," much like a kindly old teacher - a Mr. Chips sort of person - would have with one of his pupils - an exam where the test isn't actually graded, there are no "right" and "wrong" answers, and no one fails.
Brooks describes the kind of heaven the Starbuck-kind-of-Christians that flock around the Joel Olsteens of this world believe in. He writes:
"Picture a ... [Yuppie Christian of today] pausing on her Montana hill top at dusk, with thoughts of her law practice or mutual funds or teaching load far away. The air is still and fragrant, and even her dogs, Caleb and Jonah, pause to savor the silence. As the breeze comes up, she pulls her FoxFibre shirt close around her neck. Lights are coming on in the distant houses across the valley, where former urban professionals [all Christians, of course] have moved to start their own specialty food companies - Uncle Dave's Pestos is just on the far ridge to the north, Sally's Sauces is over to the west, and Yesterday's Chutney is on a few hundred acres south of that. She looks out over the tangle of wildflowers on the fields ... [blah, blah, blah]."
Again, you say that we are being intemperate in this matter! Too absolute! Too condemning and "judgmental!" But, isn't that what Jesus was being (i.e., "intemperate") when He described the "Religious Establishment" of His day as "hypocrites?" "serpents?" and a "brood of vipers?" Isn't that what He was being when He asked them, "How shall you escape the sentence of hell?"
Christ's words here are NOT the words of moderation and temperance! They are NOT the words of someone who is "trying to communicate across disagreements and find common ground." They are NOT the words of someone who would be much approved by today's yuppified Christianity.
Nonetheless, I continue to receive countless numbers of emails from readers like this sister, who I referenced at the opening of this article, this same sister who castigated me for "... joining yourself to a worldly cause to promote your cause and by joining it you are contaminating your good cause ..." She writes:
"You have a way of swatting flies off friends' heads with a sledge hammer ..."
And in a later email she goes on to say:
"You can tell the truth without being a jerk and purposely hurting people. If it hurts a person's feelings to be told the truth then all well and good but to purposely go out of your way to call people names and humiliate them is uncalled for. I do not believe it is honoring to the Lord to be 'pompous, arrogant, acrimonious, brusque and unloving'. No one said telling the truth will be easy, we all know it isn't, but some folks manage to do it in love AND WITH COURTESY, because they are more interested in getting people to listen instead of defending their personality flaws, trying to make them out to be somehow honorable. You are wrong Steve and you need to repent, not for telling the truth, you are respected for that but for making the mistake of bundling your obnoxious rants with the truth in order to somehow justify yourself along with telling the truth. You are a stumbling block." [This sister has reference here to my article, "Courteous Guides on the Road to Hell."]
But isn't this EXACTLY what Jesus did to Peter - use a sledge hammer on him - when He said to him:
"Get thee behind me, SATAN: thou art an offence [affront, outrage, displeasure] to me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men." (Matthew 16:23)
Now, think about that! - He called Peter "SATAN." He said that Peter was an AFFRONT, an OUTRAGE, and a DISPLEASURE to Him.
I would argue that that is harsher than anything I have ever said to ANYONE! - and all this in front of Peter's friends and co-workers. No doubt, Peter was humiliated!
Brothers and sisters, THIS IS NOT A GAME IN WHICH WE ARE ENGAGED. People's lives are at stake, OR does one dare to take cavalierly the words of Christ to His "unprofitable servant:"
"Thou wicked and slothful servant ...
"Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
"For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
"And cast ye the unprofitable servant into OUTER DARKNESS: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 25:26, 28, 30)
And remember here, we are not talking about "unbelievers," but "servants."
WE URGE YOU - DON'T YOU BE FOUND ON THE WRONG SIDE OF HISTORY AS THIS SISTER AND OTHERS OF THEIR ILK MOST LIKELY WILL BE FOUND WHEN "PUSH COMES TO SHOVE."
God bless you all!
IN ADDITION, WE URGE YOU TO DOWNLOAD THE NEW ANTIPAS PAPERS, PRINT THEM OUT YOURSELF, AND STUDY THEM CAREFULLY; SHARE THEM WITH YOUR FRIENDS.
FINALLY, WE URGE YOU TO DOWNLOAD AND PRINT OUT THE FLYER WE SENT TO YOU RECENTLY.
Then make copies and take these copies out to the campuses where you live; pass them out; OR if that seems too "daring" for you right now, post them on telephone poles, the sides of buildings, on campus bulletin boards; post them in union halls, in the neighborhoods of the poor and downtrodden, near employment offices, wherever you can.
Once again, we URGE you to read (or re-read):