Call To Endurance

Christian Persecution

crossThink about this….
Public gatherings to burn bibles: Okay
Public gatherings to read bibles: Banned in some states
It is believed that modern persecution of Christians is currently at the highest levels in world history. It’s estimated that around 160,000 Christians are murdered for simply being a Christian each year. In the US this week a BLM protest in Portland that included virtually no people of color started burning bibles. What does protesting police brutality and racism have to do with burning bibles?
What realities might we soon be looking forward to in this “new normal”? We can look elsewhere on the globe where trends with the same ideas led to severe persecution. Voice of the Martyrs identifies 52 countries where bibles are (1) difficult/dangerous to obtain, (2) illegal or highly restricted, and (3) strictly illegal and only available through covert smuggling.
In North Korea owning a bible or professing to be a Christian is a death sentence. It’s estimated that at any one time there are 70,000 Christians in concentration camps for the sole reason of being a suspected Christian or a family member of a Christian. In North Korea documented incidents against Christians include being hung on a cross over a fire, crushed under a steamroller, and herded off bridges.
In Somalia you can be executed for just being suspected of being a Christian. Persecution can’t stop Christianity from spreading-in fact it has always led to it’s spread. Could it really get that bad in America? History has shown that once communist, socialist, dictatorships, or islamic oppression takes control of a nation and their government things spiral very rapidly. These true stories depict what Christians often face in these hostile countries.
Richard Wurmbrand
North Korean Christians
How are we to respond to persecution should it come to our doorstep?
2 Thessalonians 2:15 – So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.
Revelation 13:10 – If anyone is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes; if anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain. Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.
1 Timothy 6:12 – Fight the good Fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

What Really Divides Us?

dividinglineConsider the miracle of the Bible. Written by 40 writers over a span of 60 generations in 3 languages and yet manages to present a perfectly cohesive unfolding story of redemption. The Bible is excluded from the NYT best seller list because it would always be on top. Over 6 billion Bibles are currently in print in over 2,000 languages. A tiny drop of the overwhelming evidence supporting the truth of the Bible is below.

The Bible was written by men claiming to be speaking for God with the phrase “Thus saith the Lord” appearing over 3,000 times. We have over 24,000 ancient copies of portions of the new testament. The next closest historical document is 643. The Bible accurately reports history down to the exact details. Top secular archeologists report the Bible is the single most accurate and important historical document in their field. It has helped identify countless archeological finds. An astonishing 50,000 plus archeological finds verify the people, places, and events of scripture down to exact details.

Jesus fulfilled over 300 Old Testament prophecies some of which were incredibly detailed. After Jesus death, burial, and resurrection he was seen by at least 552 people over 40 days. His disciples and followers choose to speak on the matter and face horrible executions for refusing to deny his resurrection. How many people do you know that would willingly die a horrible death for something they knew was a lie? They died for the truth. The Bible is alive and continues to shine truth into the hearts of it’s readers today. Those in the world of science are constantly turned back to the Creator.

ASTRONOMY:

ANTHROPOLOGY: The Bible claims that all humans are “one blood” descended from one man and one woman (Acts 17:261 Corinthians 15:45Genesis 3:20). Some nineteenth-century biologists argued that different races descended from lower animals, but today genetics has verified that there is only one human race.

BIOLOGY: The Bible claims that God created animals “after their kind.” Nineteenth-century biologists argued that animals evolved from other, very different animals, but today biology confirms that creatures reproduce within their own kind.

GEOLOGY: The Bible claims that God destroyed the earth and the creatures inhabiting it in the worldwide Flood. Nineteenth-century geologists argued that rock layers and the fossils found in them were formed as sediments were deposited slowly, but today geology confirms that many rock layers were deposited catastrophically, burying fossils within only minutes or hours.

The issue is not the truth of Scripture, but “willful ignorance” (Romans 1:212 Peter 3:5).

A recent 2020 Gallup poll identified that abortion was the issue that most divided liberals from the conservatives. Not only is this a constitutional issue (right to life)-this is an authority issue. Do you believe God’s Word is the ultimate authority and or do you look elsewhere for that authority? What does God consider human life (Jer. 1:5, Job 31:15, Psalm 139:13-16, Ex 20:13). Most divisive issues in this country come down to conflicts with God’s word as authority on any given subject. This is why Christians are viewed as a target that must be squashed or removed to achieve a godless revolution.

Jesus did not promise peace to us now on earth-He brought peace between us and God through his sacrifice on the cross. In fact in Matthew he tells us that the Gospel and His word will divide people. 

Matthew 10:34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36 And a person’senemies will be those of his own household. 37…38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.

Our founding fathers recognized God as the ultimate authority and with many of our country rejecting that-it’s no wonder they reject our founding principles of freedom and liberty. They choose to enslave themselves to another master to their own destruction. When confronted with the uncomfortable truth of the Bible you have to choose to forsake your sin and agree with God or cling to your sin and reject God.  So many want to ride the fence-and claim a different “interpretation” while holding hands with the Bible and the world at the same time.  However, scripture is clear on all the important things we need to know.

2 Peter 1:20 – knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation.

I have witnessed many times when people are confronted with what God actually said about a matter-they read it themselves and realize it’s painfully clear. At that moment I have sadly seen them reject God and His word outright because it doesn’t align with their desires and thinking on issues of morality, sexuality, truth, salvation, or daily living. Until Christ returns this is a spiritual war for the truth and we are trying not to eliminate our opponents as they do to us, but to show them the truth that they might be saved.

Famous Quotes:

Budda “I’m still search for the truth” (end of his life)

Mohammed “I am in need of forgiveness”

 

Jesus: I am the way, the truth, and the life” “It is finished”

Relevant Biblical Arguments Against The Covid Response

cov19With so much evil and chaos happening in the world today it’s critical that Christians read and study the Bible so to know truth from error and not be led astray. The Bible is alive and applicable in our world today. What was true in Hosea’s time is true today also.
Hosea 4:6A My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge..

The New Normal-And It’s Not Good

newnormal

This is a new America and that’s not a good thing. One nation under God? Not anymore. Land of the free? No. Freedom of speech? Association? Peaceable assembly? No, no, no. We have criminalized the law abiding and innocent. 

Those who deface property are hailed as virtuous. Those who try to stop the property destruction are now charged with ‘hate crime’ laws. White protestors scream racial slurs at black officers they are violently attacking in this upside down world while supposedly protesting racism. We have gun control laws that disarm law abiding citizens while the criminals have no difficulty obtaining their weapons. Rioters can shut down highways without fear of arrest, while commuters trying to escape would be murderers smashing windows and shooting into their vehicles are charged with “assault”. Those defending their homes have their weapons confiscated and are charged with a crime instead of the violent trespassers. 

Dictators brutalize their cities and states. Hordes of activists marching shoulder to shoulder can defy social distancing with gushing praise from left-wing medical “experts,” while anti-lockdown and anti-mask citizens are decried as a public health menace. Citizens who get too close to others or don’t wear a mask face snitch hotlines, fines, house arrest, or jail time. Meanwhile prisoners are released in mass while churchgoers are fined or harrassed for assembling. Citizen militia protecting their communities are labeled racist and extremist.

Churches meetings are banned. Worship is banned. House bible studies are banned. Churches are attacked and set on fire. Ankle bracelets are placed on citizens by contact tracers. Children are traumatically removed from their parents home to go to state isolation centers for weeks because because of possible virus exposure. What is evil is called good and what is good is called evil. 

Isaiah 5:20 – Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness,

Police officials confirm it’s too high of a price to pay to protect innocent law abiding citizens’ constitutional rights due to the horrible consequences of the mob. The same people who champion the killing of countless unborn are touting themselves as “virtuous” for wearing a mask or social distancing. The governor who sent sick people to nursing homes resulting in mass fatalities is being called the “model” response. Next will be vaccines and property seizures. If you don’t take the mandatory vaccine you will be excluded from society. You won’t be able to work, buy, or sell. Then as they attempt to creepily mimic or create the mark of the beast they wonder why people might resist the masks or vaccines as they “cause everyone” to take these measures.

Revelation 16 Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave,5 to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, 17 so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name.

We lost the culture war. In a godless culture they elevate evil over good and the creation rejects the creator. 

2 Timothy 3 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good,treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power

Just as in Isaiah’s time there is no justice in the land. 

Isaiah 59:15b-16a The Lord saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice. 16 He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intercede

Neither the citizens nor the police are standing up to the tyranny. If a remnant is spared in North America perhaps it will be those who repent of their sins and seek God.

Romans 3:12 – All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”

Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Acts 2:21 – And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

The Real Issue With Masks

mask

The face mask debate is raging. Paul’s new testament letter to the Colossians gives us timeless guidance. As powerful worldly systems that oppose God and his people continue to wreak havoc on our nation and erode our freedoms these forces are demanding that we wear a mask and ask no questions.
Let’s take a look at some scripture and application today.
Colossians 2:23  These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.
Paul tells us self made religions and severity to the body are of no value in stopping sin. Certainly the government response to covid has become a man made or self made religion. Many proudly seek to show others their “virtue” by the degree of severity they inflict on their body as Paul says. Both God and the world want your total allegiance. You can only serve one and the choice has eternal consequences.
Masks themselves are not an end all. There is a time and place for masks but while masks in the covid sense don’t stop sin-they also don’t keep you safe. So they have virtually no spiritual or physical value in the general public. It’s painfully clear the mask today has become weaponized by an ideological system bent on dethroning God.
The world’s foremost infectious disease experts gave guidance on masks for the general public a few months ago and years prior and said they shouldn’t be worn. There was no shortage of cloth masks when this started and the only explanation for the shift is the worldly system wanting your unquestioning allegiance. The sudden 180 degree turn is a complete disregard for science. Those are not scientists-those are religious followers of the worlds system.
By weaponizing the mask they can easily identify those who refuse to submit or agree with their ideology. Those who are not true to the cause or who could not be forced into submission. Hitler did this with the German salute and the political/medical community is now using those same tactics. In Nazi Germany the medical community was also heavily involved in “science” that was actually an excuse to murder millions they wanted to eliminate.
Actual data on the mask indicates health concerns and red flags. Satan wants committed followers too who will follow his system which gives temporal rewards but is in the end eternal destruction. Christ followers may lose everything in the temporal but gain eternal life.
The mask takes an emotional toll as well. Lost in the human experience are encouraging smiles, facial expressions, encouraging touches, as people become more robotically conditioned to blindly accept state information instead of verify it. As Christians we are instructed to search the scriptures to see if these things are true. We are not to blindly accept what the world feeds us. We are to discern, study, and search out.
Acts 17:11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
Symbols devoid of meaning are neutral, but once meaning is attached to them then they are not neutral. The mask once benign is now weaponized as a symbol of the world’s system that seeks to dethrone and hijak every good thing God has made. There is a constant spiritual battle for our minds, minds of those in the world, and the minds of our children. Our mind belongs to Jesus and not the world as much as they seek to take it. We must still speak truth-and spread truth so some can be saved.
Whether we do that out in the open or underground is a matter of conviction. Both are used in scripture. The Book of Joshua and the life of Paul give us both examples. Paul operating in both ways but primarily out in the open in a bold way. It cost Paul his freedom and his life. Whatever your convictions believers must keep their minds and hearts loyal to Jesus who paid for us with His blood. If we are going to suffer-suffer for Christ, not a works based world system with no redeeming value.
I Peter 4:15-16 But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.

Is Social Distancing Compatible with Biblical Christianity?

Bible

Is social distancing or other mandates such as masks compatible with scripture?
 
1. Social distancing, gathering restrictions, and forced shutdown mandates grant the government power over the church. Christ is Lord over and head of the church-not the civil government (Matt 22:21). The government is not to make rules for the church and when the church complies without a fight it emboldens and fuels further tyranny and persecution. Matt 22:21 says give to Caesar what is his (taxes, etc) but give to God what is His…the church, worship, etc. Does social distancing or any other mandate arise to the level of affecting a church body’s usefulness, integrity, fellowship, worship, and ministry. I would submit that social distancing rises to that level as outlined below. 
 
2. Long term shut down orders banning or restricting gatherings of believers cannot be followed and still be considered in line with scripture (Heb 10:25, Acts 2:42, Acts 2:46). Additionally, self isolation is not considered wise (Proverbs 18:1). 
 
3. Social distancing was not applied in the ministry of Jesus. He touched (healing, foot washing, etc). He walked with others, ate with others, and taught crowds. This is despite the fact that disease outbreaks were a threat then, too. (Matt 8:3, Matt 17:7, Matt 20:34, Luke 5:13, Luke 22:51 are a few). Possibly the only example of social distancing is scripture applies to lepers-but not to healthy people. 
 
4. Social distancing discourages loving one’s neighbor. “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” (James 1:27). Is social isolation and distancing really in line with the ideas of loving the brethren and fellowship with the brethren in the NT? Government has been clear that what started as 15 days to slow the spread is now the “new normal” for the foreseeable future. The Bible seems to suggest the opposite of social distancing with the body of believers. 
 
5. Social distancing reinforces a spirit of fear (2 Tim 1:7 and Matt 10:28). The fear of catching disease can easily deter people from attending church and fellowship with other Christians. Fear of the Lord should be emphasized and what example are we setting for our children to live in such fear? God did not give us a spirit of fear-that is not from the Lord. Social distancing divides and conquers the church community. It causes us to view one another with suspicion-as dangerous disease spreaders that must be kept at a distance. 
 
6. Social distancing is social engineering. We are being trained to behave more like herd animals, easily controlled by the state. In short, we are being trained into total compliance to a godless state. However, we must only give total compliance to the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Cor 10:5). We must not be mind-controlled; as Scripture says, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2a).
 
7. Social distancing is an admission of inconsistency. The churches don’t enforce social distancing for the flu or other such diseases. Why the sudden shift? We should be the beacons of truth and consistency. Bereans should not embrace whatever we are told automatically in the face of inconsistency-but should search the scriptures.
 
8. Social distancing impedes church attendance, fellowship, and impedes spreading the gospel. When interaction is minimized so are opportunities of witness and ministry. We are being trained to operate as if the temporal world is more important than the eternal things of Christ. (John 12:25)
 
9. Social distancing negatively impacts child development and creates socially stunted adults who operate more like machines than humans. We have many parental instructions as parents to raise our children with great care (Eph. 6:4).
 
10. Colossians 2:23 – These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.
Masks and self severity has no value-especially when there is virtually no danger (masks, social distancing). It’s dehumanizing, discouraging normal human interaction, despite the fact that God designed us in His image. Lost and hidden are positive and needed smiles, facial expressions, hugs, positive physical interactions, etc.
The more oppressive this evil system becomes the more clear it appears to conflict with Biblical Christianity.

Never Give Up Your Guns

rifle

After the Japanese decimated our fleet in Pearl Harbor they could have sent their troop ships directly to California. Our Chief of Staff said we would not be able to stop a massive invasion until they reached the Mississippi River.

After the war, the Japanese generals and admirals were asked that question. Their answer….they knew almost every home had guns and the Americans knew how to use them.

The world’s largest army is America ‘s hunters! There were over 600,000 hunters this season in the state of Wisconsin. It would be the eighth largest army in the world. More than Iran, France, and Germany. 750,000 hunted the woods of Pennsylvania and Michigan ‘s 700,000. comprise the largest army in the world. Texas would be the largest standing army in the world by it’s self.

Hunting and Americans with guns — it’s not just a way to fill the freezer. It’s a matter of national security.

Today’s America and Christians plight

socialism
Is there enough evidence to convict you of being a follower of Jesus Christ or will the evidence convict you of being a follower of a worldy system that opposes God? Following Christ might get you cancelled, killed, or persecuted. In light of what is happening to America Christians need to be clear about who their allegiance is towards. Are they bowing down to the god of system controlled media, science, or institutions or the God of the Bible? Some very clear lines are being drawn.
Endorsement of the beliefs of the cultural shift in America today is not compatible with Christianity. This dangerous ideology has manifest itself in recent history in Soviet Russia, Nazi Germany, and Communist China. Cultural marxism turns into socialism and finally manifests itself as full blown communism in the end. Those systems and ideas without exception have resulted in Christian persecution every place they have been implemented.
Those systems at their core are atheistic philosophy with no room for belief in the God of the Bible. Karl Marx was clear on this point. In these systems the state becomes the ultimate authority. This is not compatible with Christianity as we hold God and his word as the ultimate authority. Our nation was founded on the principle that God was the ultimate authority-so this movement attempts to undo that. Are men owned by governments or free souls under God?
They demand to control your thinking, beliefs, actions, and decide what’s best for you. Christians should submit themselves to the control of Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5 “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ”. Our thoughts and beliefs should conform to Christ not the state, system, so called science, media, or the mob. These movements seek to be Christianity without Christ. It’s a counterfeit Christianity. Jesus died in the place of sinful man to pay the penalty for sins for those who believe. These government systems do not want a Savior such as Jesus-they portray themselves as the savior for the problems they create. Either Jesus is Lord or the government system is lord.
Matthew 7:20 “Thus you will recognize them by their fruits”. When a movement becomes lawless and devolves to riots, looting, chants of f— the police, and other such evils those do not flow from God. Those are not fruits of the spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness). Certain government restrictions cannot come from God when they include criminalizing churches and church goers, outlawing singing and worship, and banning religious gatherings.
Matthew 10:28 “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul And body in hell”. The Bible tells us to fear God not man or a virus. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. The message we are being flooded with is fear of everything except the fear of the Lord. The one thing we should actually fear is a holy God who is also just and will punish sin. Is your allegiance to Christ or to the beast of government systems that oppose the one true God?
What are Christians to do in the face of evil government? Some practical application?
Daniel shows us that we obey God over government when conflicts arise. We are already there in America where those conflicts are arising. The books of Nehemiah and Esther show us that we should protect the oppressed, defend homes, families, and communities. We also should take any action possible to thrawt genocide (Esther). The genocide of abortion has killed over 60 million. We may soon face another genocide more visible on God’s people and we should seek to thrawrt that as well. Jesus tells us to give to Caesar what he is due (taxes) but to give to God what he is due (worship and allegiance to his law). If civil mandates rise to the level of conflicting against religious conviction and Biblical instruction we cannot comply with the civil order.
In America we are given even more options-we were given founding documents that gave the people of the nation freedom to alter, reform, or abolish any future action, law, or government that is contrary to the founding documents. We are in such a place today where much of our government is contrary to the founding documents. Nehemiah faced a similar plight and stuck to the original document from the king when provincial rulers opposed his work. Paul and others fled persecution and government. Christians are being forced into conflict with this new system. Some are facing an impasse now-others may still be years before the impasse arrives. When it arrives we must ultimately seek to obey God over government systems. I would urge Christians to read scripture with a heightened level of urgency to better understand how that is to be lived out today.

Escaping The Bolshevik Revolution Part 2

Redoctober

My grandmother’s Russian Mennonite family members and their colony fled just before the horrors of the bolshevik revolution in Russia. What an incredible decision that turned out to be! The civil war that ensued killed 10 million people and 56 million more were slaughtered once they assumed power. We have family diaries, letters, and writings that give us a window into the agonizing decision to leave behind their land, prosperity, and wealth in Russia. We are at a time in America that resembles the early stages of the bolshevik revolution and thought I would share a piece of history that Americans can learn from.

At one time Russia was referred to as Holy Russia because of how many churches it had and mennonites enjoyed prosperity there. While that colony escaped the danger before it was too late many did not. The mennonites who stayed behind suffered a terrible fate and most were murdered or starved. Clergy were executed, families/children were killed, women raped, and mennonite men were used as human shields in armed conflict by the marxist revolutionaries. Survivors were desperate to escape Russia. One group of 217 mennonites made a daring escape into China across a frozen river in the freezing cold. The rural mennonite towns/communities were raided, looted, and destroyed. Thousands fled or attempted to flee Russia. There is an interesting side note about a brief moment of abandoning pacifism and a mennonite militia of 3,000 formed to defend their people during the worst of the violence. It lasted a year before they were over run. 

Some similarities from 2020 America to this time in Russia. You might be surprised to know that Antifa, BLM marxist leaders, and socialist presidential campaigns have openly quoted and idolized the Bolshevik revolution and their brutal methods of overthrow. Cancel culture of “denunciation” is a marxist strategy that killed millions of Russian citizens. America’s cancel culture is now rampant as we have cancelled anything not loyal enough. Riots. Looting. Setting fires. Encouraging Violent Protests. Tearing down statues and monuments. Removal of any Christian influence on education. Attacks on churches and religious freedom. Socialist ideas gain popularity. Government intrusion into everyday life. Restriction on basic rights. Hatred of conservative Christian values, capitalism, and democracy. Forcible seizure of property. Created their own alternative Bolshevik police called the Cheka that carried out violence and brutality. Now we have a movement of defunding the police with the same goal in mind. They used perceived or real social injustices as reasons for their violence. Their leaders were known criminals.

We are at the stage where revolutionary ideas are becoming violent revolutionary actions. This promise of a utopian society resulted in 66 million dead in Russia. I hope and pray American’s don’t suffer this fate. This is a look at what led to the agonizing decision to leave their successful communities and homes in Russia.

The Mennonite colony became alarmed at government intrusion around 1870 and sent a delegation of 12 men to the US in 1874 to scout out the possibility of immigration options. They made many contingency plans in case things in Russia worsened. The reports of the United States were favorable. However, the US was across an ocean and the prospects of leaving their successful communities was not appealing. The colony stayed intact for a while longer in Russia. By 1881 the Russian government took action as they began regulating and intruding in Mennonite schools. Russification efforts then liken to today’s indoctrination efforts at our educational institutions proved to be a huge turning point. These were some of the other concerns that led to them fleeing in time.

  1. Warnings from groups such as foreign soldiers who were in Russia prior to revolution. The Mennonites spoke German and were warned by these soldiers that the Russian peasants resented any German presence and they would rise up and Mennonites would be an immediate target because they spoke German and were property owners. In America we should heed who the threats are towards right now. Police, the constitution, political opposition to the revolution, churches, Christians, and business owners.
  2. Infringement on religious freedom. That was a huge red flag for the Mennonites and should be for us as well.
  3. Mennonites wanted complete control over their own educational system, but had lost the ability to do that. The Bible was used as the curriculum and they spoke low dutch. The Bible has long been removed from American schools although we do retain home school and private school rights. When Russia mandated schools had to teach all subjects in Russian this was an attack on their religious instruction, instruction materials, and culture.
  4. The revolutionary ideas of redistribution of wealth was gaining traction. During the Bolshevik revolution property owners were killed and property seized and taken. This included mobs, riots, and looting of those businesses. Mennonites farmers who remained were easily targeted and their property and livestock was seized. Those who left saw the danger ahead in what would become known as marxist or communist ideology. 

The colony decided to leave Russia. Incredibly, we have a daily diary of this 5 year brutal trek out of Russia that eventually landed in the United States where they once again found freedom. The Mennonites didn’t do everything right but many of them did recognize the danger and threats to their communities and planned accordingly. They did not sacrifice their convictions and beliefs about religious freedom and right to educate themselves. When facing a choice of losing their identity/beliefs or losing their wealth they chose to give up their wealth. 

Already we are seeing American’s fleeing states with harsh lockdown orders, restrictions on religious freedom, restrictions on civil liberties, etc. Colorado is seeing an exodus due to the threat of legislative forced vaccines which would violate many religious convictions. There are those who resist on safety grounds but in case you don’t know why people resist vaccines on religious grounds this is why. Many vaccines development including the all the current potential Covid 19 vaccines being developed use human aborted fetal cells. If vaccines could be developed ethically (which they can-they just choose not to) and without aborted fetal tissue (and without a scary microchip) we could see less resistance to them. It comes back to this incompatible view on when life begins.

NY, California, and Michigan are already seeing exits as well. Nationwide people are starting to flee public education either fearing indoctrination or an education system so altered by the pandemic they choose something else. Colleges are expecting declining enrollment. The environment in America is becoming ominously similar to that of Russia prior to the Bolshevik revolution. We live in such a time of prosperity it’s hard to take any threats or dangers seriously much like the Mennonites who enjoyed prosperity in Russia.

The fundamental principle of the American experiment in rights given to citizens that include altering or abolishing government or laws that are not aligned with those constitutional rights. Those who wish to exercise their rights are now being persecuted, arrested, restricted, and suppressed. That is tyranny and this is an attempted constitutional overthrow that has potential to descend into more violence and a civil war like Russia. Moderate democrats and social justice groups should recognize the forces that are hijacking their movements.

Maybe we can avoid a similar fate with strong constitutional civil activism or peaceful alternatives like ideological succession and returning sovereignty to the states where people can migrate to a government that fits them. Otherwise the ideological divide is already too great and it’s hard to see optimism in the American future. 

Biblical Response To Evil Government

evilgovernmentHow should we respond to evil governments? We know that the Bible often tells us to Fear the Lord and follow him. We need to be on God’s side of a response. Many Christians have disagreed on these matters over time. Let’s start by looking at various situations and scriptures.
First off, in America as Christians we are on the side of the constitution and the governing documents. Those founding documents give us religious freedom and right to life. Both slavery and abortion are in violation of the constitution. Those forces wishing to overthrow and destroy our constitution and government have taken control of almost every area of American life. We are now in a struggle to preserve our government and freedom. It’s possible that the country is past a tipping point of being preserved and something like a secession would be a proper option.
The reasons why it could be right for a Christian to civilly disobey, separate, flee, resist, or secede from an evil government.
A few key starting notes
1. God’s law is above man’s law. If a government commands or forces us to violate God’s law we cannot follow. Some examples could be demands to stop preaching against homosexuality, commands for pastors to have to perform such marriages (in the US has happened), commands that would force doctors to encourage or perform abortions, commands to stop preaching the gospel, etc. Scriptural examples of these are many. Peter, Paul, and the apostles continued to preach when told not to. Daniel continued to pray and worship God when the government told him it was against the law. These verses come after the apostles had been arrested for refusing to stop preaching the gospel.
 
Acts 5:28-29  saying, e“We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you fintend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” 29 But Peter and the apostles answered, g“We must obey God rather than men. 
2. Secondly, God instituted government for our good. The institution of government is always good-while those in power of government are often evil. It’s always right to operate within the laws to try to make the government more godly. Where things get tricky is how people have and should understand this second point. I believe we should consider that God has given Christians options that can all be glorifying to Him in many situations. I draw this conclusion by numerous accounts in scripture of conflict with government and the many different responses that God ordained or allowed. Additionally to this end, Ecclesiastes 3 states.

For everything there is a season, and la time for every matter under heaven:
2  a time to be born, and a time to mdie;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3  a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4  a time to nweep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to odance;
5  a time to pcast away stones, and a time to qgather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to rrefrain from embracing;
6  a time to seek, and a time to slose;
a time to keep, and a time to tcast away;
7  a time to utear, and a time to sew;
a time to vkeep silence, and a time to speak;
8  a time to love, and a time to whate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

Those verses indicate that God allows for a time and a season for nearly everything. Let’s look at a few points relating to our current dilemma and God’s wisdom in areas that apply.
We should seek to put Godly people in power or people who will uphold justice. God is against lawlessness. Government is to bring wrath on those who practice evil.

Exodus 18:21 Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. (Additionally Deut 1:15-16)

Romans 13:4 …But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, tan avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer

We are generally to obey rulers (Titus 3:1, Remind them to be subject to rulers….additionally Romans 13 among others), but God is ultimately opposed to evil rulers. (Isaiah 1:23-26, Isaiah 10:1-3)

Protection of an innocent life in defiance of the government is described as faith and this was done by defying and hiding from the government. Hebrews 11:23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the kings edict. 

God appears to want people to intercede in times of injustice and oppression. We are to defend the oppressed, poor, needy, weak, and vulnerable. 

Isaiah 59:15b-16a The LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice.16 He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intercede;

Psalm 82:3-4 Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

Proverbs 31:9 Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.

Self defense has many Biblical examples. This includes defense of homes, families, cities, and peoples. This goes hand in hand with the right to bear arms. The Jews weren’t the ruling class but they were allowed to fight to protect themselves from genocide. I think we would also be allowed and responsible to fight to protect our families from genocide.

Esther 8: 11 …the king allowed the Jews who were in every city to gather and defend their lives, to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate any armed force of any people or province that might attack them, children and women included,

Esther 9:16 Now the rest of the Jews who were in the king’s provinces also gathered to defend their lives, and got relief from their enemies and killed 75,000 of those who hated them, but they laid no hands on the plunder.

Proverbs 24:11A Rescue those who are being taken away to death;

Additionally, Isaiah 1:23, Isaiah 28:6 speak to these ideas. Abram had no problem rescuing Lot and his people with force (Genesis 14:13-16). In Luke 22:36, Jesus advised His disciples to take swords along with their other provisions. Exodus 22:2, also indicates it is okay to use self-defense.

The examples of Esther and Nehemiah I believe is most applicable to America today. Nehemiah had the permission from the king-just as American’s are on the side of the constitution. Nehemiah had local authorities conspiring and perverting justice and had to resist. They took up arms to defend their work and even migrated into one area together. They weren’t overthrowing the entire kingdom-they were preserving their people. This example could be the best Biblical example and closest to America. In Esther they were given permission to rise up and defend against a Jewish genocide. What would it look like today? Secession? Migration to one area? Seperation? 

Neh 4:13-14 So in the lowest parts of the space behind the wall, in open places, I stationed the people by their clans, with their swords, their spears,and their bows. 14 And I looked and arose and said to the nobles and to the officials and to the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.”

They attempted to scare Nehemiah but he did not flee. In Chapter 7 the people return to the city and basically migrate or immigrate to the same region. The moved to the same region for reasons of strength and protection. They continue to rebuild and they begin returning to God’s law by reading the law in the public gathering.
Was the American Revolution a violation of Romans 13:1-7?
It’s important to understand that many of those supporting the Revolutionary War were deeply religious and felt biblically justified. Some today say they were wrong in this belief, but they knew their scriptures better than almost all American church leaders today and they may have been right: The colonists supported God’s institution of government. They believed that actions against a specific oppressive government were not a violation of the general principle of Romans 13The colonists saw the war as a defensive action. Peaceful resolution was attempted before the British fired upon unarmed citizens in the Boston Massacre. The colonists, therefore, saw themselves as defending themselves after the conflict had been initiated by the British.
In scripture we see different responses to evil government. Paul fled. Jesus instructed his disciples in Matt 10 to flee from persecution from one city to the next. So from fleeing, defying, resisting, and even overthrowing. It depended on what God’s purpose was. Sometimes he ordained war, defense, etc. Other times such as in Ezekiel’s time he told Israel to not fight back because he was against them and judging them and if they resisted they would fall to the sword. If they went into captivity God would spare their life.
Where are we now in America? How should we apply Biblical principles to our situation? Ultimately God will not allow any action to succeed if it doesn’t fall within his greater plan and purpose. Consider the following current issues.
1. Abortion. The mass murder of children. If laws aren’t changed Christians should talk about how to withdraw from this evil. This is at odds with our constitution (right to life) and being forced upon America by those attempting to overthrow the government and it’s founding documents. By opposing abortion we are on God’s side.
2. Homosexuality/Transgender/Secular indoctrination-demands on educators, medical professionals, businesses, and now churches to accept, quit preaching against, or embrace these deviant lifestyles are being mandated at an accelerating pace. Are we past or at a tipping point where separation needs to occur due to these issues as well?
3. Restrictions on religious gatherings and on worship. Are restrictions going against God’s command? You can easily argue they are unconstitutional at best. Should it be short lived and truly for health reasons we should comply. But I would argue that our assembling together is God’s law and restrictions against it are man’s. Government shouldn’t give us instructions on how to worship. We should operate in faith.
4. Riots-lawlessness is always against God’s plan. If the government descends into anarchy Christians may have a true responsibility to secede and institute governments where they are located. God is a God of justice and he instituted government. We should not seek to operate in anarchy and lawlessness.
5. Forced vaccinations. For reasons ranging from protecting your family, to potentially not worshipping the government (beast), to moral issues with how vaccines are developed (fetal tissue)…it would be fair to say no to this. Vaccines aren’t bad, but we should not have to choose vaccines that have been developed using aborted babies or be mandated to take such medicines that have regilious implications.
Whatever actions we take in good conscience-we don’t know the outcome of any of those actions, but we can act in faith.

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