Call To Endurance

Archive for the tag “general”

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”

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.

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. 

MSNBC believes it’s their job to control what we think

Everyone Who Believes

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