Why should people who are basically caring and loving becoming such anathema to the world, when once (in recent times) they were the standard bearers of godliness and personified goodness and decency and were viewed as the community’s morale anchors.
Now they are scorned and lambasted by media, intellectuals, and esoteric groups such as Gays, unions, ethnic minorities, politicos on the left, and even by some from amongst their own ranks, basically those who align themselves on the fringes of the Liberal church.
First of all, those who consider themselves true Disciples of Christ (not the church group which uses that name to identify itself and its doctrine) truly know who should be considered members of the true church.
Most Christians who identify themselves as believers of God (whether they attend church or not) have a hard time identifying with those who call themselves Christians, based mostly on their blatant in-your-face messages they see on “Christian” radio and television shows, and the recent (about 35 years) political visibility that strongly emerged in the Reagan era, groups like the Christian Coalition that gained the most significant amount of political power in American history. Those are pious ones who call those who don’t become involved in the political process, nor attend church on a regular basis, “heathen” and have the tendency to look down on them as being “back-slider (fell away from the faith) Christians.” This is mostly an American perception phenomenon, which few from other countries, as well, fail to understand. When speaking of this group, Europeans and most Third World countries don’t know if these folks consider themselves Christians or Americans, having difficulty in trying to identify one from the other. Most of these folks can’t distinguish the difference themselves!
Let’s do a little historical review of the Church here, which hopefully will help those who call themselves Christians and those who are concerned that they are giving true Disciples of Christ a bad name, which in essence is one of the main reasons they are becoming the brunt of religious hatred as never before since true Disciples were being fed to the lions in the Roman Coliseum.
After the Resurrection of Christ, and His subsequent departure to heaven, His Apostles, for the most part, carried forth His message and the Gospel, which basically states that those who believe in the atoning work of Christ will be saved and will eventually go to heaven. From that day forward, the Gospel of Jesus Christ began its downward spiral. Numerous well intended adherents began a “revisionist” dissemination of God’s word, which didn’t really experience a more coherent doctrine until the Protestant movement which began about the year 1517, when a former Catholic priest and theology professor, Martin Luther, posted his now famous The Ninety-Five Theses, which are widely regarded as the primary catalyst for the Protestant Reformation. Luther used these theses to display his displeasure with some of the Roman Catholic clergy's abuses, most notably the sale of indulgences; this ultimately gave birth to Protestantism. Luther's popularity encouraged others to share their doubts about Catholicism. His refusal to retract all of his writings at the demand of Pope Leo X in 1520 and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms meeting in 1521 resulted in his excommunication by the pope and condemnation as an outlaw by the emperor.
Luther taught that salvation is not from good works, but a free gift of God, received only by grace through faith in Jesus as redeemer from sin. His theology challenged the authority of the pope of the Roman Catholic Church by teaching that the Bible is the only source of divinely revealed knowledge and opposed sacerdotalism (the religious belief emphasizing the powers of priests as essential mediators between God and humankind) by considering all baptized Christians to be a holy priesthood.
However, before Catholicism took its power, which has (for the most part) been under its leadership’s control since around the early years of 325 A.D. unto this day, the true believers in Jesus Christ kept the faith but yet under the harshest persecutions ever in the history of mankind. Then along came Constantine, the Emperor of Rome, who turned the history of the world into a new course and made Christianity, the religion of the State. Basically, Constantine enacted this edict not so much because he truly believed in the apostolic message of Jesus Christ, but rather to satisfy his other constituents (mostly believers in pagan cults) and hopefully bring peace to Rome. Since that time, the Gospel of Jesus Christ had been compromised until Martin Luther’s defiance against the Catholic Church.
The history that follows the acts of the Catholic Church (Inquisitions, crusades and other dastardly deeds) since the mid 300’s is what has caused the majority of disdain it has brought upon itself, and Christianity as a whole. This association between church and state is the main cause that established this (American) country by Europeans who wanted to practice their religion apart from state control. Wikipedia and the Catholic Encyclopedia both recount these facts, although the Catholic Church has modified some of the true meanings to fit their Apostolic and the Pope is the Vicar of Christ doctrine.
The word church is actually a misnomer! In the Greek translation, the word church is ekklesia, which means “a people called out.” The word does not mean a building or an organized entity, but solely a people called out to serve God. The term church (Anglo-Saxon, cirice, circe; Modern German, Kirche; Swedish, Kyrka) is the name employed in the Teutonic languages to render the Greek ekklesia (ecclesia), the term by which the New Testament writers denote the society founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ. The derivation of the word has been much debated. But it is now agreed that it is derived from the Greek kyriakon (cyriacon), i.e. the Lord's house, a term which from the third century was used, as well as ekklesia, to signify a Christian place of worship. Ergo, “Are you going to church this Sunday?” rings of the authenticity it has bestowed on itself, confusing millions of people who do not know that the true church is a body of people who represent Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and who have and are now devoting their lives to spreading the Gospel.
This, though the less usual expression, had apparently obtained currency among the Teutonic races. The Northern tribes had been accustomed to pillage the Christian churches of the empire, long before their own conversion. Hence, even prior to the arrival of the Saxons in Britain, their language had acquired words to designate some of the externals of the Christian religion.
According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, it states that in order to understand the precise force of this word, something must first be said as to its employment by the Septuagint, the body of translation work performed by a group of Greek scholars, translators of the Old Testament. The Catholic Encyclopedia claims that although in one or two places (Psalm 25:5; Judith 6:21; etc.) the word is used without religious signification, merely in the sense of "an assembly"; this is not usually the case. Ordinarily it is employed as the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew qahal, i.e., the entire community of the children of Israel viewed in their religious aspect. Two Hebrew words are employed in the Old Testament to signify the congregation of Israel, viz. qahal 'êdah. In the Septuagint these are rendered, respectively, ekklesia and synagoge. Thus in Proverbs 5:14, where the words occur together, "in the midst of the church and the congregation", the Greek rendering is en meso ekklesias kai synagoges. The distinction is indeed not rigidly observed -- thus in Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers, both words are regularly represented by synagoge - but it is adhered to in the great majority of cases, and may be regarded as an established rule. In the writings of the New Testament the words are sharply distinguished. With them ecclesia denotes the Church of Christ; synagoga, the Jews still adhering to the worship of the Old Covenant. Occasionally, it is true, ecclesia is employed in its general significance of "assembly" (Acts 19:32; 1 Corinthians 14:19); and synagoga occurs once in reference to a gathering of Christians, though apparently of a non-religious character (James 2:2) But ecclesia is never used by the Apostles to denote the Jewish Church. The word as a technical expression had been transferred to the community of Christian believers.
More importantly, it is recorded that King James, when he ordered that the Bible be translated into English, he made suggestions to the translators that certain key words be changed to reflect the authority his empire needed to rule with biblical power and authority over its adherents.
I could summate the veracity of these comments about the word church and move forward. But, in order for the reader to best understand what this misinterpretation truly means, they must read the evidence and experience the knowledge reality of the most oft misconception the world has ever known. To gain the best grasp of biblical alterations, there is no greater explanation than that provided by scholars George Davis and Michael Clark in their great article, The Great Ecclesiastical Conspiracy. Here is a small part of their article:
History is brimming with men whose hearts were forged in times of religious tyranny. The abuses increased until someone came forth with God’s cry for freedom. Men like Peter Waldo, John Wycliffe, John Hus, Savonarola, Martin Luther, Huldreich Zwingli, and John Calvin, to name a few. Some of these gave their very lives for that declaration. These were men crying for reformation. The word reformation implies that the church to be reformed was deformed or malformed. What was in need of reformation? What was wrong? Some things seemed obvious, but average people had no way of proving or disproving their suspicions. If they did speak up their lives would be endangered by the very institution that claimed to speak for the God of love. The terror that plagued the hearts and minds at the very mention of the word heretic kept them silent, for the end of everyone who was given the title was the same--burning at the stake.
There was one that would not keep silent. His keen mind had been honed in the finest schools of 15th century England. William Tyndale was a graduate of Oxford and Cambridge, a Greek scholar. He was a man moved by compassion for the plight of the people of England. He despised the tyranny of the papal Church, showing his contempt by referring to its priesthood as scribes and Pharisees.
"Moreover, because the kingdom of heaven, which is the scripture and word of God, may be so locked up, that he which readeth or heareth it, cannot understand it: as Christ testifieth how the Scribes and the Pharisees had so shut it up (Matt 23) and had taken away the key of knowledge (Luke 11) that their Jews which thought themselves within, were yet so locked out, and are to this day that they can understand no sentence of the scripture unto salvation, though they can rehearse the texts everywhere and dispute thereof as subtly as the popish doctors of dunce's dark learning, which with their sophistry, served us, as the Pharisees did the Jews. (Tyndale’s New Testament, preface 1534)
Furthermore, he accused them of altering the scriptures to suit their own purpose.
"I thought it my duty (most dear reader) to warn thee before and to show thee the right way in, and to give thee the true key to open it withal, and to arm thee against false prophets and malicious hypocrites whose perpetual study is to leave the scripture with glosses, and there to lock it up where it should save thy soul, and to make us shoot at a wrong mark, to put our trust in those things that profit their bellies only and slay our souls."(Ibid, Preface)
Later George Fox wrote:
Master Tyndale considered this only, or most chiefly, to be the cause of all mischief in the Church, that the Scriptures of God were hidden from the people's eyes; for so long the abominable doings and idolatries maintained by the pharisaical clergy could not be espied; and therefore all their labor was with might and main to keep it down, so that either it should not be read at all, or if it were, they would darken the right sense with the mist of their sophistry, and so entangle those who rebuked or despised their abominations; wresting the Scripture unto their own purpose, contrary unto the meaning of the text, they would so delude the unlearned lay people, that though thou felt in thy heart, and wert sure that all were false that they said, yet couldst thou not solve their subtle riddles. Foxe, pp. 141-142.
Tyndale's assessment of the problem was that the scriptures were hidden from the eyes of the people. As a result, the people could not solve the priest’s subtle riddles. The clergy covered up their abominations and idolatries by hiding the scriptures from the people's eyes and darkening the right sense of the scriptures by their fallacious arguments. This went well beyond mere verbal deceit to tampering with the scriptural text.
Tyndale set himself to solve this problem by producing the world’s first English New Testament, translated from the original Greek into the common vernacular of the people. In doing so, he exposed what we call the great ecclesiastical conspiracy that was at the heart of all the abuses. The church had something to protect and protect it they did, and in their usual manner they began to plot the death of the heretic.
Michael Scheifler tells of the general sense of ill will toward Tyndale by those of the papal church, and why.
"Sir Thomas More, had this to say about Tyndale- he calls him 'a beast', as one of the 'hell-hounds that the devil hath in his kennel', discharging a 'filthy foam of blasphemies out of his brutish beastly mouth'...
So what had Tyndale done in his translation that was so heretical? According to David Daniell, Tyndale had translated the Greek word for 'elder' as 'elder' instead of 'priest', he had translated the Greek word for 'congregation' as 'congregation' instead of 'church', the Greek word for 'repentance' as 'repentance' instead of 'penance' etc. Why were such differences important to the church? The Roman Church has priests, not elders. A congregation implies a locally autonomous group of believers guided by the Holy Spirit and not a hierarchical unified church subject to a Pope. The Roman Church is built on penance and indulgences to the priest and Church, not repentance to, and forgiveness from God. In trying to faithfully render the Greek into English, Tyndale's translation exposed the errors of the church to the people which quickly brought the wrath of the church down on him. (Michael Scheifler William Tyndale - Heretical Blasphemer)
Even the casual reader of history will discover that there was in fact an attempt by the Church of Rome to adulterate the scriptures. An attempt to replace the Greek and Hebrew text with Latin to keep the true meaning of the scriptures from the people, concealing them in a dead language that only scholars knew. It was a conspiracy conceived in hell.
Let us digress for a moment.
By 600 AD Latin was the only language allowed for scripture. The scriptures were thus subject to Papal interpretation and were most certainly altered to suit the church’s ecclesiastical paradigm. This explains the hatred for the Hebrew and Greek texts, since the original texts exposed their farce.
Albert Gilmore explains,
"The languages of the early Bibles, Hebrew and Greek, were no longer of interest. So marked did this lack of interest become that when, after the Renaissance, Cardinal Ximenes published his Polyglot edition with the Latin Vulgate between the Greek and Hebrew versions of the Old Testament, he stated in his preface that it was 'like Jesus between two thieves" (Gilmore, The Bible: Beacon Light of History, Boston: Associated Authors, 1935, p. 170).
Tyndale was right. They were wresting the scriptures unto their own purposes. How far had the church fallen from its original norm? Suffice it to say that it was nothing like its founder (Jesus) intended. Amazingly enough, the Bible itself was the primary tool for deception. By the adulteration and misrepresentation of the scriptures, ambitious men justified their jobs in a system ruled by despotic pontiff kings and their hireling bishops. This is no less than a conspiracy that continues to this very day. The following questions may help us see the depth of this conspiracy.
How did the Greek word Ekklesia, meaning a called out assembly, come to be translated church, a word that is neither Greek or English but is of doubtful Latin or perhaps Scottish origin and implies temple worship? Some believe it to be of pagan origin. Regardless, what is a word that is neither Greek nor English doing in a Greek to English translation?
Why did the Greek words presbytery (the elderly), apostle (envoy or sent one), and deacon (servant) remain untranslated into their Anglicized form? Why was the Greek word presbuteros (older or elderly) translated priest? Why indeed! There is little doubt that these words remained untranslated so the clergy could redefine them, interpreting them with the strongest institutional and hierarchical connotations. Was this mere ignorance, or a means of creating a ruling class of super saints? It is clear to us that down through the years the scriptures have been subjected to papal tampering. There even remains evidence that some of the early manuscripts were altered.
But almost all authorities on the text agree that they preserve a better text than the standardized 5th century one, which shows clear signs of having been edited. (Erdmans handbook to the Bible, pp. 73)
It is also clear that this tampering was to promote and justify a system of church government ordered after the government of "the kings of the Gentiles," which Christ had strictly prohibited, saying, "But you shall not be so." (See Luke 22:25-26). Whatever happened to the servant-hood that Jesus and the early Church modeled? How did these servants of the first century give way to the pontiff kings of the fourth and fifth centuries? Had Christ’s declaration, But you shall not be so, been forgotten?
The early believers followed the Lord's example and instructions on this all-important matter, and they viewed servant-hood as the highest vocation. But by the close of the first century, the subtle signs of the rise of the bishops began, ever so cunningly, to corrupt the simplicity of the faith and to defile the example of the lowly Christ. As absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely, so the corruption began. Like a dead corpse rotting away, in time the Church bore only a vague resemblance to what was once living and vibrant.
In the third century, the wound worsened by the full marriage of this apostate church to paganism. This new "Christianity" became the imperial religion of the Roman Empire. It was there at Constantinople that the very first Christian temples were constructed. They were merely Christianized pagan temples. The priesthood was fashioned after a mixture of the Old Testament and pagan priesthoods. Finally, Rome had done it. If they could not add Christ to the pantheon, they would bring the pantheon to Christianity. The Romans had long since tried to further unite their empire by uniting all its gods in one temple, the pantheon. There the worship of the Son was mixed with the worship of the sun, so much so that a third century mosaic from a tomb found under Saint Peter’s in Rome depicted Christ as the sun god in his chariot. It was not until the fifth century that the worshipers in Rome stopped bowing to the sun before entering Saint Peter's basilica.
"Pope Leo 1, in the middle of the fifth century, rebuked worshippers who turned around to bow to the sun before entering St Peters basilica." (Erdmans? handbook to the history of Christianity pg. 131)
The deception reigned unchecked for 925 years, until William Tyndale challenged this religious institution with the light of the truth. He revealed part of the conspiracy that had enslaved the family of God in this twisted, abnormal thing, which the pharisaical clergy called the church.
Although he revealed some of the conspiracy, changing history forever, it none the less remains. The light sent it scurrying into the shadows only to return in a more subtle, congenial form, an anglicized form. It now smiled as it placed the dagger between the forth and the fifth rib. A tame beast is still a beast, and though defanged and declawed, it can still cripple and maim.
After Tyndale was martyred for his efforts, and all but two of his Bibles destroyed, several important events occurred. First, Henry VIII evicted the Catholic Church from England because the Pope refused to annul his marriage with Catherine of Aragon and sanction his illicit relationship with Anne Boleyn. The break with Rome came in 1534, when Parliament passed the Supremacy Act, making Henry head of the Church of England. Henry was somewhat sympathetic to Luther's views, which opened England as never before to Protestant influences, including translating, printing and importing Protestant Bibles. Some men, such as Coverdale, were inspired to continue in the spirit of Tyndale's work.
There was also the Geneva Bible, which effected great changes throughout Europe. In the tradition of Tyndale, these Bibles no longer promoted the divine right of kings and ruling bishops, but instead recognized the priesthood of all believers. To kings and bishops who exercised absolute authority over the masses, this was intolerable. More than anything else, this set the stage for the translation of a new Bible. The king's new Bible was translated to solidify the station of king and bishops, preserving and advancing a system of Church government that stood in antithesis to Christ's example and teachings and continues to do so until this very day.
We believe in the inspiration and accuracy of the koine Greek texts of the New Testament. However the translations that have followed are not as reliable for a number of reasons, not the least of which is ecclesiastical ambition. Historically, this love letter from God that we call the Bible was shaped into a scepter of power in the hands of popes, kings and would-be kings to further consolidate their power over the masses. Undoubtedly this very ambition has tainted the translations from Jerome onward. This reached new heights at a time when bishops sought the approval of kings to authorize translations that had been purposefully skewed toward their ecclesiastical paradigm.
It is ludicrous to many that the Protestant Church could be guilty of carrying on any of the traditions of the Catholic Church that it so loudly objected to. To some, the idea of an ongoing conspiracy is even more unbelievable, because they already possess the unadulterated truth. They hold it in their hands, professing that it is the ultimate authority, the only true Bible, the authorized Bible, the King James Bible. Authorized by whom? No less than King James himself! King James did his part in preserving the conspiracy.
An understanding of the political climate of the early 16th century is crucial if we are to comprehend the motives and logic behind the king's new translation. King James was a staunch advocate of the divine right of kings, as facilitated by puppet bishops. This was the Anglican answer to papal succession, in which active resistance to pope or king was considered a sin worthy of eternal damnation. In his Basilicon Doron, in the second sonnet entitled "THE ARGUMENT OF THE BOOK" (written to his son), we catch a glimpse of James' exaggerated appraisal of kingship.
This is devastating information, to say the least. But, then, how many people are even aware of the history of the Bible and how it came about; and how many attempts at altering the word of God have been made by nefariously inspired heretics throughout history.
Therefore, whenever we have discussions between those who we are trying to share the word of God, and the word church comes up, most uninformed individuals have been exposed to a certain degree of information about the “church” they believe represents the true disciples of Christ. Their immediate reaction recalls for them the Inquisitions, the Crusades, the slaughter of millions of people throughout history who challenged that “church”; and they do not want to have any part of it. I don’t blame them! I don’t either.
Therefore, whenever I am asked “What church do I belong to,” my answer is “None!” When they ask me what is my faith or denomination,” I answer that “I’m a child of God, one who strives daily to be an effective disciple (a learner, pupil, a student) of God’s word, and a faithful servant. A servant in essence means being a slave to His master; metaphorically, one who gives himself up to the service of Christ, in extending and advancing His cause among mankind, devoted to Him to the disregard of his or her own self interests, a servant, an attendant, to do the will and please the living Christ, by adhering to His principles, which firstly and foremost means to care for the poor, the orphans, the widows, the downtrodden and the infirm, and to strive to be not contaminated by the things of this world.
When they ask me if I am a Christian, I say “No!” They look at me askance and kind of grin at me with that sheepish smile, as if to say, “Oh you poor thing; here, let me help to save you!”
It would take a ten hour sit down dinner to explain my response to these types of individual; however, I will let another scholar, Richard Anthony, explain what the word “Christian” really means, and how it has been inappropriately used to identify the children of God, His disciples, His servants, those who truly believe and daily seek to imitate Christ as best as humanly possible:
How and when was the word "Christian" first used? The term 'Christian' was used to describe a follower of Christ in terms of the world, from the world’s point of view. The pagans at Antioch called the apostles "Christians" first (Acts 11:26; 26:28) and used it derogatorily because the apostles didn’t follow the commercial world of the pagans. "Christian" is an adjective, not a noun. The substance is not in the word "Christian", the substance is in the heart of the man it is attempting to describe, and which the pagan user cannot see. Christ never called himself a Christian; Christ never called his followers Christians. The apostles never called each other Christians. Christ never used an adjective to describe himself. So how are we to identify ourselves then? The disciples called each other, "brethren", "disciples", "apostles", "servants", "believers", "followers", "the faithful", "the elect", "the called", and "saints." We can also identify ourselves as "bondservants" of Christ.
Hopefully this small (but profound) lesson concerning who is being attacked and for what reasons has helped the reader to best understand what is really going on in today’s society regarding the persecution of the “church” and professing “Christians.” Those who identify with the “traditional church” and “traditional Christianity” will obviously find it hard to stand firm in their faith and its subsequent action. Those who cling to and incessantly defend their respective denomination, whether Baptist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, charismatic or whatever doctrinal persuasion they have been inculcated since youth (or recent conversion), they will experience more and increasing tribulation (as I exhaustively write about in my book, Why Christians Will Suffer Great Tribulation), as we patiently await the return of Jesus Christ.
Many Christians and church folks (especially in America) believe they should be involved in the body politic, that they should promote and attend those silly stadium-filled crusades and conferences held throughout the country by charlatan preachers whose sole aim is to fleece lambs from their hard earned wages; and many believe they should get out their theological hammers and beat other uninformed people over the head with varied Christian doctrine and rhetoric that has been pounded into their heads by teachers and preachers who have no idea what it means to be a disciple of Christ. It is these so-called Christian teachers and preachers and church leaders who have been promoting man made traditions rather than the word and fruitful actions of God’s children.
Why are Christians and church groups coming under so much attack, and is it justified? Of course it is! Because they bring upon themselves such scorn and ridicule because their theatrical version of “church” is not biblical! True believers do not need an officially sanctioned by the government body to preach, pray or tend to the poor. They seek tax right offs from the myriad of funds they raise annually; although, funds being donated to those mega church entities are dwindling of late. And, we wonder why?
The true Disciples of Christ, His servants, are all about loving, forgiving and caring for their enemies! They do what Christ told them to do in Mark 5:44 and Luke 6:35-37: But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
When was the last time you heard any Christian or church group telling the press that this is what they are doing? When have you heard a Christian or a church group going on television or a radio show and telling the host that they pray nightly for God to forgive the homosexual, the liberal politician or those radicals who send out hate messages because they support Proposition 8? When is the last time you heard of a Christian or a church group hold a news conference to say they forgive Osama bin Ladin and al-Qaeda, or radical Islamic extremists for attacking America on 911, or bombing the state of Israel with human bomb-carrying suicide extremists? No! You don’t hear of these things. Instead you hear those Christian Zionist preachers admonishing those who do not support the nation of Israel that God is going to crush them, urging millions of (their) church members to donate more money to support the purchase of more weapons and military training for the state of Israel to nuke and destroy and totally demolish radical Muslims, Palestinians and members of the Taliban. This is how those Christians and various church groups think and act, not knowing (or maybe they do) that those efforts go contrary to God’s will.
But the true disciples of God don’t spend the majority of their time lobbying the federal government for funds, or raising funds for austere church buildings, nor for funds to continue the killing sprees of humanity; they pray for and trust that God will provide all of their needs. In fact, many of them have sold off all of their belongings to help their next door neighbors in need. And God honors these acts of faith and provides for these valiant soldiers of the cross. They may not be earning millions of dollars for writing books about increasing their wealth through some bogus Christian formula, nor do they drive around in fancy cars or live in stately mansions, but they are storing their treasures in heaven with their selfless deeds of serving those who are infirm, downtrodden, lowly, homeless and lost!
To hell with our enemies,” is their response. “We are going after those pesky Liberals; those perverted Gays, those who disgrace our marriage institutions, those corrupt politicians who are trying to turn our once proud nation into a socialist nation. We are going to fight back!”
Through those tactics they incur the wrath that is being poured out on individual Christians and on their various church groups. And they don’t even know why this is so.
Now you know why Christians and different church groups in America are under attack! It's because they serve their various church groups' distorted doctrines and its leaders, rather than serving God and His will, which is clearly stated in His word that no one should be confused or doubtful!
Yes, they are being ridiculed and scorned, but no one is beating them physically nor throwing them in jails or prisons, torturing them or even killing them because they are demanding they be treated fairly by their secular enemies. Nope! This is America, where they are safe, where they can complain about their Constitutional rights to be treated with fairness, respect and dignity.
Yet, they are not being treated as badly as those devout disciples of Christ in numerous foreign lands, such as China, Pakistan, North Korea and other nations that will not tolerate even the name of Christ spoken in their midst. These disciples are being persecuted and tortured for standing up for Jesus, many even killed on a daily basis. Not famous Christians nor well known church groups. Just small and simple people who have picked up their cross, and were willing to follow Jesus wherever He leads them, fearing not for their lives, but knowing soon they will be with their commander, for eternity, while others will weep when Christ returns, desperately pleading entry to the Kingdom of God, crying out, “Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not, (Matthew 25:11-12).
August 3, 2009