Philemon was a Christian brother who lived in Colossae, Asia Minor (Turkey). The apostle Paul was imprisoned in Rome where,by God’s providence (Phile. 1.1) he met a runaway slave named Onesimus. It so happened that Onesimus was a slave to Philemon, with whom Paul had been closely associated in Christian fellowship. What then occurs is instructive to all.
Paul sent Onesimus back to his owner Philemon with the inspired cover letter in the New Testament by the same name. After introductory matters, the apostle begins in (v. 8) with Accordingly, though I have all boldness in Christ to enjoin [command] you to do that which is proper … Paul is asserting he can be more assertive that he is presently.
But instead, he writes (v. 9), because of love’s sake, I would rather encourage you as Paul the elder. What is the essence of Paul’s encouragement? I beg you for my child, whom I have begotten in my bonds, Onesimus (v. 10). The prisoner of the Lord recognizes that Onesimus was “once unprofitable to you [Philemon] (v. 11), but now, because of his conversion to Christ, he is profitable to you and to me.
Now comes the key point. Paul says, I have sent him back to you … (v. 12), but at the same time I would like to have kept him with me that in your behalf he might minister to me in the bonds of the gospel; but without your approval I would do nothing.
The word “approval” in my translation above is from the Greek word (gnome) which is “purpose, intention, mind, mind-set, opinion, opinion, judgment, approval.” In other words, Paul needed Philemon’s agreement to have kept Onesimus on in Rome as his assistant. Note that the apostle considered the slavery of Onesimus still binding.
Slavery is an institution at variance with the gospel of Jesus Christ. As one writer puts it, the principles of Christ “cuts up slavery by the roots.” “The principles of the gospel worked into the conscience of a nation destroy slavery.” However, the institution of slavery has imbedded itself in nearly every society and culture in the world. Instead of overturning society by upheavals or riotous behavior, the gospel of Christ works like leaven upon not only the hearts of men, but upon societies and cultures (Matt. 13:33).
Changing a person begins with the heart and works outward in behavior (Matt. 12:33). Changing society is much the same. It is gained one heart at a time, not by taking a wrecking ball to a culture to overturn what is despised.
In 1 Corinthians 7:20 Paul gives us further insight into the question of slavery. Let each man abide in that calling wherein he was called. That is, whatever life situation you may find yourself in, so remain in Christ. One does not come to Jesus Christ to be removed from a physical situation. Were you called being a slave? Care not for it; even if you can be free, use it rather! (ASV). Colloquially the text reads: Even if you were called into Christ being a slave—don’t worry about it. Use your slavery – that is, for Christ. The word “use” has often the sense of “undergo” or “endure.” That is, “use your slavery” for Christ.
The central point here is that there are greater questions of import to men’s souls than whether they are slaves or not, or descendants of slaves or not. The chief question is a spiritual relationship with God. Would that America would learn this simple truth from Paul’s letter to Philemon.
John the Baptist was imprisoned and beheaded by Herod Antipas (Mark 6:14-29; Matt. 14:1-12). The territory of Antipas included the Trans-Jordan district where was located the famous fortress called “Machaerus.” It was here that John was imprisoned, according to Josephus (Antiquities 18:116-119). Eusebius, a later Christian historian, corroborates the location.
The fortress of Machaerus (Greek word meaning “sword”) was originally built by the Hasmonean Alexander Jannaeus in 90 B.C., destroyed by the Roman general Gabinius in 57 B.C., transformed into a royal palace and city by King Herod the Great in 30 B.C., and destroyed by the Nabatean king Aretas IV in AD 36.A post-Herodian fortress was reconstructed by Judean rebels during their final war with Rome.
The fortress was located on a hilltop east of the Dead Sea, providing a panoramic view all the way to Jericho and the Temple of Jerusalem, Masada to the south, and even to a well north of Jericho overlooking the Jordan Valley.
Machaerus was said to be the second most fortified place in Israel in the time of Christ, only behind Jerusalem. Destroyed by the Romans in the winter of 71/72 A.D., the post-Herodian Machaerus disappeared from the maps for nearly two millennia.
The fascinating element of this biblical site is that its ruins have been excavated by archaeologists for the past fifty years. Its once magnificent 7,000 square-foot royal courtyard complete with a throne-niche, where once sat Herod the Great as well as Antipas, has now seen the light of day. With the assistance of modern technology that is able to trace and even project the figures of the buildings, it is almost as if one is stepping back into a 2,000-year-old time capsule.
Biblical figures come to life. Herod the Great, his son Tetrarch Herod Antipas and his second wife, Princess Herodias, her daughter Princess Salome, and of course, the one and only John the Baptist. Remarkable reconstruction models are found in Biblical Archaeology Review.
Hatred causes people to do unimaginable things. Pouring forth from the leftist cultural elites, directed toward conservatives, has been the most poisonous and vile attacks we have ever witnessed. It was exacerbated from the very moment Donald J. Trump was announced the winner of the presidency in 2016. It continues until this hour, even after Biden “defeated” Trump for the White House.
One of the chief purveyors of the gall of bitterness is the former First Lady herself, Michelle Obama. She proposes that Trump be banned from social media platforms forever. First Amendment be hanged. Socialist Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, without one scintilla of real evidence, blames Trump for inciting this week’s attack at the US Capitol. Today, the Democrats of Congress are pressuring Trump’s cabinet to remove him office or else face another impeachment debacle. Never again will a conservative be brave enough to raise his or her head out of the bunker.
Not to be outdone, president-elect Joe Biden throws more fuel on the seething fire in America by ignorantly and ludicrously stating that resistance to rioters in Washington, D.C. would have been treated differently had they been Black Lives Matter protestors.
A more willfully ignorant and inciting commentary could not be made. BLM and Antifa, as well as all other of the Marxist leftists in America, have burned cities to the ground so that at the epicenter of these riots look like Baghdad in the aftermath. These are styled “peaceful” by the establishment, and one would be hard-pressed to find one single BLM person killed in any of the mayhems that engulfed our cities this past four years.
Yet, practically every single one of them occurred because police were told to “stand down.” Apparently, no one wants to “anger” the thugs that dance on cop cars and smash store windows or set fire to buildings lest they be called the forbidden term “racist.”
Biden, in bed with the MSM, continues to demonize Trump and half of the American electorate all of the time by blaming them for everything wrong in America. This turns everything into a powder keg—and they know it.They are daring the American right to act out.
In the wake of the Capitol riot on Wednesday of this week, news stations are now all telling us that “this nation needs to come together and heal.” I hate to break this news to America, but that is not going to occur. Not because those of us on the right do not wish for it and pray for it. Not because we endorse violence. But because ultimately, our worldview is completely at odds with those on the left—and it has been for over 100 years. The gap is widening.
The differences between left and right today are irreconcilable. America is on the road to tyranny, and only the foolish or late-comers to the game fail to realize it. Those of us who live on the right want to live in law-abiding freedom and liberty, unhindered by government control. The left wishes to control us and take our hard-earned money for every globalist, socialistic, communistic, and selfish project that they can conceive. Confiscation of middle-class earnings today is close to 50% in many cases—all so that the left can redistribute it and ingratiate to them the masses of people who know no better.
It needs not even be said that the Constitution makes no difference whatsoever to the socialist Democrat Party. Citing the law of the land and the basic principles upon which our nation was founded is an exercise in futility. We are preaching to the choir.
But the differences go much deeper than this. At the heart of the issue is the belief in God and His Holy Word. God places responsibility for sin and all its consequent societal problems in the heart of man. “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23).
Socialism/Communism sees the root of societal problems in the amount of money one possesses or opportunities that are offered. Redistribution is the sole solution. Vergilius Ferm, in his Encyclopedia of Religion, explains this gross error of socialism.
American socialism is heir to the tradition of materialism and atheism. It relies on the growth of automatic perfection, not indeed by virtue of the given natural faculties of man, but as the product of causally inevitable economic changes. The result is parallel to that of the liberal utopia, a self-contained world of man, individualistic here, collectivist there, and redeemed from evil, once and for all, by the economic process, much as this requires men conscious of their opportunity. This is an overtly anti-Christian doctrine.
The fact that even those who occupy pulpits, such as Raphael Warnock, recently elected to Congress in GA, pipe the false gospel of “social justice,” shows how deeply rooted socialism has become.
The most bitter pill in all of recent events is the fact that for all intents and purposes, free elections, and thus freedom, is a thing of the past in America. Evidence of voter fraud in this election is massive. The evidence is there for those who wish to see. Was it enough to turn the election to Trump? Who knows? A very reasoned and principled request was made by Senators such as Ted Cruz (TX) and Josh Hawley (MO) to have a 10-day waiting period of examination simply to discover how deep the fraud had been perpetrated.
This was cast aside by the powers-that-be. No light of day will be shed. Those on the right, who believe with justification, that the election was fraudulent, are to lump it. Instead, they, and President Trump, are being blamed for the ruckus that occurred on Capitol Hill. Now there is an online petition to remove Ted Cruz from office and Josh Hawley has lost a book deal with Simon & Schuster. Our cultural leaders continue to beat the drums for their heads on a platter.
Is it time for the heartland of American states to go their own way? Would that be better than a civil war that certainly is brewing? What does the future hold? I don’t know for certain the answer to any of these questions. But you can bet on one thing. The communistic left (aka Democrats) are going to drive hard and fast to finish the job of socializing America and erasing what vestige remains of our liberty. There will be no more free elections.
Selwyn Duke tells in The New American of a tour guide in Hungary who once explained to visitors how that nations’ Marxists “dealt with” Christians. “It wasn’t that you couldn’t be a Christian … you could pray at home, worship at home and with your family, even get baptized and go to church. However, you had a choice. You could either be a Christian … or you could be successful.”
Unfortunately, this is the same picture that is being filled in America today, and will become eminently so if and when Biden takes the oath of office. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), which is America’s largest and most powerful LGBTQ Lobby, is pushing the incoming Biden Administration to target Christian Colleges and Universities, and in essence, Christianity itself. The HRC offers 85 suggestions in their Blueprint for Positive Change, including eliminating non-discrimination exemptions for religious colleges if they refuse to ABANDON the biblical position on marriage.
Holding the federal government’s “accreditation” standards above the heads of Christian educational institutions, the HRC recommends:
Language regarding accreditation of religious institutions of higher education in the Higher Education Opportunity Act could be interpreted to require accrediting bodies to accredit religious institutions that discriminate or that do not meet science based curricula standards. The Department of Education should issue a regulation clarifying that this provision, which requires accreditation agencies to ‘respect the stated mission’ of religious institutions, does not require the accreditation of religious institutions that do not meet neutral accreditation standards including nondiscrimination policies and scientific curriculum requirements.
There it is in plain language. Withhold accreditation to Christian Universities if they do not abandon biblical standards for teaching, hiring admissions, student housing, student life, college clubs and organizations, and even teaching. There will be no student loans—since the government already has removed that from the free market several years ago—no grants, no assistance to fund private university education. Christian schools must lose their Christianity.
Setting aside the forcible co-opting of “science” to imply that people are born homosexual—for science is not determined by political pressure, and science has NOT substantiated that people are born homosexual—consider also the fact that converting people to Jesus Christ is to be outlawed.
Beneath the section Department of Education, a sub-section is entitled “Prohibit Pupil Services from Engaging in Conversion Therapy or Referring Students to Conversion Therapy.”
“Conversion therapy,” the phrase that the LGBTQ community uses for making efforts to “convert” or “change” a person from their so-called “sexual orientation”, is absolutely forbidden. As noted above, the homosexual community dons the false mantra of “science”—aided and abetted by the Democratic/Socialist Party—and from that standpoint, demands that no “school counselor” or “school-based mental health professionals” or “social worker” provide or even refer students to “providers of conversion therapy.”
What shall we say to these things?
First, this means that the homosexual agenda is so weak that it needs the full strength of government force to demand that society “recognize” that homosexuals are “born that way.” It naturally follows from this that there will be no preaching of the message of Christ which requires repentance from sinful activity. This is tantamount to setting the government itself up to define what is SIN and what is NOT Sin.
For those who suppose that this would never occur in America, they are lagging in information. Such laws already exist in states such as California and New Jersey—the latter state having implemented similar programs during Gov. Chris Christie’s governorship.
Second, this is nothing less than an unabashed war on Christianity and biblical values and anyone who espouses them. Next we will be hearing, “Bring on the Lions!” It is past time for Christians to engage and get political, if they wish to preserve their freedoms. The Democratic Party, and now the government itself, is at war with you.
An example of how the homosexual agenda turns logic and morality upside down is its push for recognition of “inalienable rights.”
The Homosexual Lobby explains that, in the past, “The Commission on Unalienable Rights” was created by the State Department “to challenge the international consensus”; but it had a too “narrow view of human rights.” This narrow view has left “LGBTQ people” out. Hence, the HRC demands the Biden Administration bring on a “principles based approach” which would be fully “inclusive” for homosexuals.
In short, HRC demands that homosexual practices be counted as an inalienable right. However, This empties the concept of all meaningful content. Rights are inalienable because they are given by God—that’s why they are inalienable—they cannot be removed without incurring the wrath of God. This is sole reason government was formed to begin with—to protect what God gave us. “…to secure these rights governments are instituted among men…”
But HRC repudiates God and His Holy Word. As a matter of fact, not just the HRC’s strategy, but any effort that seeks a government endowment to define or give “rights” has nothing to do with the concept of “inalienable.” Government endowments are not inalienable. They are government grants; government creations. And what government can give, the government has the ability to remove. When God is removed from the equation the concept of “inalienable” evaporates.
Over a century and a half ago, Frederic Bastiat, who was trying to preserve freedom in France, explained to the world the following.
Life, faculties, production—in other words, individuality, liberty, property—this is man. And in spite of the cunning of artful political leaders, these three gifts from God precede all human legislation, and are superior to it. Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.
The inescapable quandary of the homosexual community is this: it wishes to repudiate God—Who makes our rights “inalienable.” Yet, it wishes to retain the idea of “inalienable.” Beware of the HRC and its influence on the Biden Administration.
Under the new world order envisioned by the proponents of the United Nations-backed “Great Reset,” humans will be merged with machines and technology. Literally. Perhaps most incredibly, the Deep State globalists behind the efforts are coming out of the closet. These days, they are openly and literally proclaiming their intention to abolish private ownership of property and even fuse microchips into people’s brains that will be able to read and manipulate individuals’ thoughts.
Just last year, the schemes peddled under the “Great Reset” banner would have been dismissed as “crazy conspiracy theories.” Today, top globalists such as World Economic Forum boss Klaus Schwab, UN chief (and socialist leader) Antonio Guterres, IMF leader Kristalina Georgieva, and others are trumpeting their agenda from the rooftops. World leaders such as far-left Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are doing it too, despite frantic efforts by the fake media to downplay the significance.
As The New Americanreported this summer, shortly after the “Great Reset” agenda was unveiled, there are many elements to the plot. Everything must change, from education and business to the global economy and governance, Great Reset advocates declared during the summit announcing the scheme. However, one area that has not received nearly as much attention is the plan to fuse human beings with technology under the guise of “improving” mankind.
WEF chief Schwab, the chief marketer of the Great Reset who recently released a book with that title, has proclaimed that a key element of the “reset” will be the so-called “Fourth Industrial Revolution.” And in very public statements, he has explained what this means: merging man with machines. “What the fourth industrial revolution will lead to is a fusion of our physical, digital and biological identity,” Schwab explained in a speech to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
Schwab, whose accent and demeanor make him appear to be almost a caricature of some evil cartoon villain, even wrote a book on the subject in 2016 entitled Shaping the Future of The Fourth Industrial Revolution. In it, the globalist schemer explains how looming technological changes will allow governments to “intrude into the hitherto private space of our minds, reading our thoughts and influencing our behavior.”
“Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies will not stop at becoming part of the physical world around us — they will become part of us,” continued Schwab. “Indeed, some of us already feel that our smartphones have become an extension of ourselves. Today’s external devices — from wearable computers to virtual reality headsets — will almost certainly become implantable in our bodies and brains.”
Among those technologies are “active implantable microchips that break the skin barrier of our bodies,” Schwab explained. These “implantable devices,” Schwab continued, “will likely also help to communicate thoughts normally expressed verbally through a ‘built-in’ smartphone, and potentially unexpressed thoughts or moods by reading brain waves and other signals.”
Even more creepy, perhaps, is that Schwab suggested these technologies would be used by governments to determine who may travel and even for “pre-crime” purposes. “As capabilities in this area improve, the temptation for law enforcement agencies and courts to use techniques to determine the likelihood of criminal activity, assess guilt or even possibly retrieve memories directly from people’s brains will increase,” he explained, adding that authorities might require “a detailed brain scan to assess an individual’s security risk.”
In a post on the WEF website by Danish Parliamentarian Ida Auken, the direction and goals of all this transhumanism become more clear. “Welcome to the year 2030,” Auken writes. “I don’t own anything,” including a home, and “I have no real privacy. No where I can go and not be registered. I know that, somewhere, everything I do, think and dream of is recorded.” But her biggest concern is those who refuse to participate.
“My biggest concern is all the people who do not live in our city,” Auken explains, noting that some stubborn individuals refused to merge with machines. “Those we lost on the way. Those who decided that it became too much, all this technology. Those who felt obsolete and useless when robots and AI took over big parts of our jobs. Those who got upset with the political system and turned against it.”
The push toward transhumanism and merging with computers is becoming especially obvious in the “education” system amid the hysteria surrounding COVID. From moving everything online and sidelining teachers to bringing in Artificial Intelligence and algorithms, the technology is getting downright creepy. Huge totalitarian firms such as Google, which brazenly discriminates against Christians and conservatives, are key players as they gather enormous amounts of sensitive data on children and blatantly manipulate the public.
The WEF, which is leading the push with help from the UN and the IMF, is a powerhouse. Every year, it brings together billionaires and even mass-murdering dictators from around the world to promote globalism and technocracy under the guise of “helping” humanity. Naturally, all of the major tech companies — Facebook, Alphabet, Microsoft, and so on — are intimately involved. Fringe billionaire totalitarians such as George Soros are key players, too.
The push for the “Great Reset” is hardly the first time the elites have peddled the trans-humanist agenda. At the 2018 “World Government Summit” in the United Arab Emirates, top globalists and “world leaders” gathered to push, among other key themes, the normalization and glorification of “cyborgs.” Indeed, the confab, which brings together top leaders of government and business, offered a prominent role to a self-proclaimed “cyborg” named Neil Harbisson, who argued that governments must facilitate the transition to at least some people becoming “part-technology, part-human.”
“I have an antenna that is implanted inside my head, which allows me to extend my perception of reality beyond the visual spectrum,” said Harbisson, co-founder of the Cyborg Society and the Transpecies Society which fight for people who “identify” as non-human. “I can sense infrared and ultraviolet, and I also have an internet connection in my head that allows me to receive colors from other parts of the world, or connect to satellites so I can send colors from space.”
The year before that, globalists at the World Government Summit gathered under a replica of the “Arch of Baal,” a monument to the demon god of the Canaanites frequently referred to in the Bible. More than a few commentators saw it as an ominous sign.
The transhumanist movement has been on the fringes, under the radar, for decades. In the late 1990s, Swedish economist Nick Bostrom of Oxford and British “philosopher” David Pearce founded the World Transhumanist Association. And more recently, in his book Homo Deus, Israeli author and historian Yuval Noah Harari has also been peddling the idea that mankind is on the verge of evolving to god-like status through technology. Ultimately, humans would be re-designed using genetic modification and technological “upgrades.”
“It is very likely, within a century or two, Homo sapiens, as we have known it for thousands of years, will disappear,” Harari said at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs recently. “We will use technology to upgrade ourselves — or at least some of us — into something different; something which is far more different from us than we are different from Neanderthals.” The establishment media has been breathlessly parroting his propaganda.
Of course, the advancement of transhumanism requires a destruction of Christian moral principles and a negation of the fundamental truths about humanity and reality that revealed in the Bible, analysts have observed. Indeed, many of the leading proponents of transhumanism believe their route to “eternal life” involves uploading their consciousness to a computer and merging with technology.
One of the prominent experts speaking out against it all is Dr. Miklos Lukacs de Pereny, a professor of science and technology policy at Peru’s Universidad San Martin. “The Fourth Industrial Revolution is literally, as they say, a transformative revolution, not just in terms of the tools that you will use to modify your environment, but for the first time in human history to modify human beings themselves,” he told LifeSiteNews, adding that he believed the COVID-19 hysteria was being engineered to enable the Great Reset transformation.
Even though world leaders are openly talking about it all, in response to a public backlash, far-left fake-media outlets such as the New York Times and the BBC are currently engaged in frantic “damage control.” Incredibly, they are even falsely claiming the Great Reset is a “baseless conspiracy theory.” Apparently New York Times writer Davey Alba is not familiar with the definition of the word conspiracy. He also reported on his efforts to pester Big Tech social-media firms about censoring people’s comments about it.
If the comments under its videos on YouTube are any indication, the globalist Great Reset is less popular than cockroaches and head lice. However, that does not mean the Deep State will give up on trying to advance its agenda under the slogan, which fits nicely with the UN and Biden, “Build Back Better” and the schemes outlined in UN Agenda 2030. It is basically the same old “New World Order” agenda, complete with the elimination of private property, privacy, self-government, and nation-states, now fused with transhumanism. Those who value truth, liberty, and humanity must resist.
An amazing irony is observed in one’s choice to live a life of denial. It is personally satisfying to ignore reality and believe the convenient. It is easier to excuse personal duty when you refuse to admit reality. It is tempting to sit back and “wait” for someone else to “fix” the problem. It is soothing to say, “Well let’s just pray about it and not say anything!” What is actually being said by that ridiculous comment is that if we close our eyes and refuse to listen to facts, then it will all “go away.” But…reality will not go away!
This article is asking the question, do you refuse reality OR do you realize reality?
Buchenwald was one of the largest concentration camps in the German Democratic Socialist governing system. It was the first camp to be liberated by American troops. Just outside the barbed-wire fence was a thriving town (Weimar, Germany) whose population went about its daily schedule and never noticed the horrors that they saw. General Eisenhower forced the town citizens to march through the camp’s horrors and look at what they had permitted.
The citizens of Weimar, Germany lived a life of reality’s denial. Their denial brought catastrophic results and, frighteningly, these catastrophes lay in the immediate future of our nation.
Scripture stresses that mankind must accept and confront reality so God’s Law is honored. Look at a few of the many verses:
• Exodus 32: 25, 26, “Moses saw that the people were out of control…then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Whoever is for the Lord, come to me!”
• 1 Chronicles 26:14, “Zechariah, a counselor with insight”
• Ezra 8:18, Sherebiah “a man of insight of the sons of Mahli”
• Proverbs 12:8, “A man will be praised according to his insight”
My personal favorite is 1 Chronicles 12:32, “The sons of Issachar, men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do.”
This is reality today…your nation is perched precariously on the precipice of catastrophe. Our nation needs an unquestioned majority of those mimicking the sons of Issachar “who understand the times and with knowledge of what the USA should do!” This is the reality that YOU must either refuse or realize.
Two personality types deal with reality. These are life’s perspective in opposite ways. You are one or the other.
The first is “Pollyanna.” The term is from Eleanor H. Porter’s 1913 novel. This novel focuses on an orphan named Pollyanna. She has an unrealistic optimistic attitude. It is an entertaining and escapist read BUT it is a totally banal possibility for reality. It refers to a person who is excessively and blindly optimistic person. Thus, it identifies one who is unreasonable and illogically optimistic. Such a person is a fool, an idiot and a coward.
Modern psychology has identified the Pollyanna syndrome as “an excessively or blindly optimistic person who refuses to accept reality.” They say “Well things are not so bad.” These refuse to look at reality. The syndrome describes the difference between an ineffective and an effective approach to problem solving; the difference between escaping responsibilities from delusionary optimism and being realistic about personal duty to challenge reality.
The “Pollyannas” of this world threaten responsible living. Such offers no specific counsel but only generalities that can be understood in various ways. These remain silent “but prayerful.” They utilize “prayer” as a convenient amulet or talisman for dismissing the “bad situation” being discussed. These profess confidence in God BUT they fail to put faith into practice—they fail to uphold and bind God’s Laws. James asks this group, “What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?” (2:14). If you have faith that God will overcome then you will be active in that belief and aggressively seek God’s righteousness in reality (James 2:17, “Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself”).
A Pollyannaish character embraces compromise that leads to disaster. Such people are unreasonable, illogical and subversive to reality. These are NOT the characters you want by your side in war. Victory is assured to those who are boldly confident and aggressively active in their faith in the Almighty God. This brings us to the next personality…
The second is Phinehas. He was the son of Eleazer and the grandson of Aaron. This is a man of heroic statute. When God’s enemies tried to compromise Israel and bring the nation to ruin, they first hired Baalam to curse the nation. But God turned Baalam’s curses into blessings. Baalam was dismissed but as he left, he advised how Israel could be compromised. The narrative states, “the people began to play the harlot with the daughters of Moab. For they invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods. So, Israel joined themselves to Baal of Peor, and the Lord was angry against Israel” (Numbers 25:1-3).
The compromise of Israel at Peor was devastating. The flagrant anarchy was shocking. No authority was respected. The population was in chaos. The existence of Israel as a nation was “hanging by a thread.”
There was consternation in the nation. People were upset at what was happening. Numbers 25:6 describes a large group standing at the Tabernacle. They were witnessing the disintegration of their society. Their culture was unraveling before their eyes. They were weeping. They were whining. They were asking “What is happening! What can we do!” They were wringing their hands in nervous anxiety and shaking their heads in dismay. Even Moses was present but inactive. No one was trying to correct the issue. The only action was crying, wringing hands, shaking heads, perplexing words and an overwhelming sense of defeat.
In the midst of the anarchy and hopelessness, “when Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he arose from the midst of the congregation and took a spear in his hand, and he went after the man of Israel into the tent and pierced both of them through, the man of Israel and the woman, through the body. So the plague on the sons of Israel was checked” (Numbers 25:7-8).
Phinehas realized the reality of his situation. His faith prodded him to confront reality. His heroic faith saved his nation and glorified God.
He was aggressive; he was realistic; he was bold; he refused to cower to the prevailing actions; he refused to be intimidated by the compromised majority. He was steadfast in his faith in the Almighty God. This faith refused to be intimidated or silenced.
He took the initiative.
Phinehas understood that he must recognize reality. He did not seek a comfortable excuse to avoid being involved. He did not hide behind a Pollyanna optimism that God will suddenly pop up and put an end to the anarchy.
Phinehas took the initiative, realized the reality of his nation’s sin and anarchy, and acted with bold aggression. Because of this he is held in great esteem throughout the Scripture. He is a hero NOT because he was timid and nice BUT because he was upholding God’s righteous Law.
Here is how Inspiration memorializes this hero, “Phinehas stood up and interposed, and so the plague was stayed. And it was reckoned to him for righteousness, to all generations forever” (Psalm 106:30-31). Phineas saved his nation not by being “nice” to the anarchists but by upholding God’s righteousness.
The United States of America needs citizens who are like Phinehas NOT as Pollyanna. Our nation desperately needs citizens aggressively standing for God’s righteousness. Our nation needs voices boldly proclaiming and defending biblical truth. Our nation seeks the heroic hearts that are more concerned about upholding righteous morality and individual freedom instead of being “nice” and ignoring flagrant blasphemy that is known to them.
The presence of a Pollyanna is entertaining and it is an escape from reality. It is comfortable and convenient. It is “nice.” But you cannot survive in such a delusional existence. The Pollyannaish perspective is criminal; it is inhumane; it is ungodly; it is cowardly. During the horrors of the German National Socialist governing the general population lived in a Pollyannaish delusion. They refused to look at the reality of the evil surrounding them. As the daily purging of the “deplorables” continued, the residents of Weimer, Germany awoke each day to milk their cows, till their gardens, work their jobs and enjoy their families. Within easy eyesight were the walls of Buchenwald that held unfathomable horrors. They would hear rumors but conveniently dismissed these saying “Oh where is your proof? You are always looking at the negative. You are not being nice.” But they could not escape reality for very long with such Pollyannaish dismissals.
The real issue asks, “Are YOU a Phinehas or a Pollyanna?”
As you consider the points above, I ask, “Where are YOU with the reality of our nation today? Are you more concerned with being ‘nice’ and silent or are you striving to teach God’s righteousness? As you observe family, friends, and associates whose behavior, words and attitudes are contrary to God’s righteousness, do you respond as Pollyanna or Phinehas?”
This is YOUR reality…your nation is being decimated; morality is nonexistent; politicians refuse to condemn violence, rioting, looting and murder. YOU have family, friends and associates who have thrown away God’s righteousness to accept a personal anarchy. You cannot casually dismiss their behavior and be excused just as Weimar’s population could never excuse their silent approval of Buchenwald.
Are you a Pollyanna or a Phinehas?
Exactly what will Inspiration say about the way you refused reality or realized reality?
This is where YOU are today…your nation is perched precariously on the precipice of catastrophe. Current polls have the Dems winning both Houses of Congress and the Presidency. I pray the polls are significantly wrong and that God’s Providence will provide for us to continue as “one nation under God.”
Our nation needs an unquestioned majority of those mimicking the sons of Issachar “who understand the times and with knowledge of what the USA should do!” This is the reality that YOU must choose so that Inspiration will memorialize your life with the same compliment earned by Phinehas.
Plutarch’s Parallel Lives records the history of a General Lucius Cornelius Sylla. His general appearance was foreboding. He was of unusual height, had piercing blue eyes, and his face’s complexion was described as “white with blotches of fiery red.” He was a commander who was followed by committed troops. He held a “vehement and implacable desire” to conquer Athens, and he did so. On one maneuver he prepared siege to a city. He directed his troops to divert the River Cephisus. The troops were obedient to the order but they really desired to attack the enemy. Sylla pointed them to the most difficult position that had to be taken and told them to show their valor by their actions. The spirit of the men and their devotion to their Commander carried them forward and in spite of the difficulties, the victory was won. The moral of that historic victory must not be lost in our current situation. A courageous spirit is half of the battle won and often the courageous wins unexpected successes! It is this heroic courage and unquestioned commitment to our Commander that identifies us as “Phinehas.” This illustrates well Inspiration’s words, “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).
John Kachelman, Jr.is a Christian patriot, preacher, and missionary for Jesus Christ to foreign countries. He lives in Montgomery, AL.
The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah is known as “the weeping prophet.” He was a citizen of a nation that had ascended to the pinnacle of world power. That nation had set the world’s standards for economic, civil, military, and political successes. These accomplishments were not approached by any other nation until Columbus discovered America in 1492 and the United States of America declared her God-given sovereignty in 1776.
But Jeremiah uttered an anguished cry, “Oh that my head were waters and my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!” (9:1) and “Let my eyes flow down with tears night and day, and let them not cease; for the virgin daughter of my people has been crushed with a mighty blow, with a sorely infected wound” (14:17).
The prophet sorrowed because his nation had dissolved into anarchy. The Rule of Law that once assured peace, safety, and successes had been replaced. The prophet was perplexed by this catastrophic change in his nation’s direction. “I have listened and heard, they have spoken what is not right; No man repented of his wickedness, Saying, ‘What have I done?’” (8:6) and again “I know, O Lord, that a man’s way is not in himself, nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps” (10:23).
Jeremiah walked his city looking at the corrupt culture. No doubt he shook his head and asked “What IS happening to my country?!” He mourned, “We waited for peace, but no good came; for a time of healing, but behold, terror!” (8:15)
With one brief word the Prophet summarizes the culture of a nation in crisis—“Terror”!
Rule of Law in America?
This highlights a historical constant—when a nation dissolves the Rule of Law that sets boundaries and regulates behavior, then that nation’s foundation begins to crack, crumble and collapse. It does not matter how strong the military is. It does not matter how weak the enemy is. It does not matter how vibrant the economy is. If God is denied and the Rule of Law is ignored, catastrophe is certain.
This truth has been recognized. Perhaps one of the more recent comments, “If we ever forget that we’re one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.” (President Ronald Reagan August 23, 1984).
Another truism states, “A nation without God is a God-less nation.”
The truth of history repeatedly validates that when a nation turns away from God and refuses to restrict the immorality of its population, then evil rules and national collapse is near. Such a message was sent to the World Empire of Nineveh (Jonah 3:4). That nation repented and was spared collapse until it turned away from God’s Rule of Law and refused to repent. It was then destroyed.
This historical constant applies to modern America. This is not just a boring historical fact to be welcomed by a “ho-hum” sigh. This is our present reality. The United States of America is experiencing Jeremiah’s desperation, “We waited for peace, but no good came; For a time of healing, but behold, terror!” (8:15)
The added stress is the fact that many appear to have surrendered to this cultural anarchy. Night after night people are attacked, kicked to the streets, victims of arson and anarchy. The law officers are resigning. Many are surrendering to the anarchists. Now the protestors are marching into the suburbs demanding the houses be given to them. “Racism” and “reparations” are used to justify the vilest acts of inhumanity.
Two Revolutions Compared
But…this situation in the United States of America is not new. It is only a repeat of the historical constant that lawlessness destroys peace and a lawless culture does not bring personal freedom but a total national collapse.
The late 1700’s provides us with an amazing lesson validating our point. Two revolutions marked that era but each was diametrically opposed to the other. One based its foundation on the Rule of Law that comes from “the Creator” (God Almighty). The other based its foundation on the Rule of Law that is established by “Man’s Reason and Enlightenment” without God Almighty. It is this choice that America faces in 2020—which Rule of Law will our nation choose to follow?
Consider the foundation of each of these nations.
We first consider France 1789 the “Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen” was composed. This claimed to be a document safeguarding the basic charters of human liberties. Its 17 articles, adopted between August 20 and August 26, 1789, by France’s National Assembly, served as the preamble to the Constitution of 1791. The basic principle of the Declaration was that all “men are born and remain free and equal in rights” (Article 1), these rights were specified as the rights of liberty, private property, the inviolability of the person, and resistance to oppression (Article 2). This document inspired the French Revolution. The vague terms were used to disguised a malevolent goal—yes property, liberty, and personal rights were stated BUT they would be defined far differently than the general population understood. Yes “oppression” was to be resisted BUT ONLY as defined by the elite. The general attitude of the anarchists implementing this Declaration is well voiced by a politician in recent weeks who said, “Yes everyone should have a choice in wearing face masks as long as they make the RIGHT choice.”
It is significant to note the sources of the Declaration included the major thinkers of the French Enlightenment, such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Voltaire.
This Revolution was founded on a God-less basis and subsequent actions were God-less tyranny, evil, murders, arson, confiscation of private property, and the total destruction of a nation.
The second revolution to be considered was that in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania [July 1776] where The Declaration of Independence was composed and ratified. In total contrast to the French the Declaration of Independence stated, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” (Preamble to the Declaration of Independence).
The contrast between The United States of America and France is stark. In fact, it is actually SHOCKING. One places trust and confidence in the protection of the Almighty Creator. The other exalts human reasoning and man’s “enlightened” freedom from religious obligations.
The greatest contrast is found in the consequent history of each nation. The USA soared to success and world influence. The economy, military, and culture of American became the envy of the world. The jurisprudence governing our civility made “true justice” a reality. France devolved further into anarchy. Historians identify the period of time (June 1793-July 1794) following France’s “Declaration of Man” as “The Terror.”
Even the blind can see this frightening contrast.
An explanation of France’s acceptance of anarchy that led to its collapse is suggested by this historian. “It is ironic that of all countries in Europe, France was the only one that could have had a revolution—not because she groaned under the lash of tyranny, but, on the contrary, because she tolerated and even invited every conceivable dissension and heresy. Restlessness, a passion for novelty and the pursuit of excitement were everywhere in the air. They were the fruits of idleness and leisure, not of poverty.” (PARIS IN THE TERROR, June 1793-July 1794. Stanley Loomis. J. B. Lippincott Company. Philadelphia and New York,1964. Page 12).
Culture cannot cancel history! The “cancel culture” is another point of absurdity that should be discussed but I do not have time to address it here. But I simply note the absolute fact that the prevailing pressure and riotous actions of today’s blasphemous culture CANNOT cancel the historical constant!
There is an idiom stating that one “cannot whistle past the graveyard.” This idiomatic phrase describes the attempt of one to stay cheerful in a dire situation. One thus described is going forward into a situation and ignoring a certain hazard. Even if the hazard is recognized the fool proceeds hoping for a good outcome. Those thus described enter a situation with little or no understanding of the possible consequences.
This is where the United States of America is in 2020. We are at a crossroad with a choice to follow the historical precedent that made our nation great or to choose the historical folly of Revolutionary France.
There is much more to say about this choice and its ramifications for modern America.
I close with a reference to another historical event that chronicles the collapse of a great nation into anarchy’s chaos. Hosea 4 addresses Israel’s surrender of allegiance to God’s Rule of Law and her acceptance of anarchy’s terror.
“Listen to the word of the Lord, O sons of Israel, for the Lord has a case against the inhabitants of the land, because there is no faithfulness or kindness or knowledge of God in the land. There is swearing, deception, murder, stealing and adultery. They employ violence, so that bloodshed follows bloodshed. Therefore, the land mourns, and everyone who lives in it languishes along with the beasts of the field and the birds of the sky, and also the fish of the sea disappear” (1-3).
Unspeakable catastrophe results when there is “no knowledge of God in the land.” There is violence, immorality, lawlessness, and disrespect for the governing legal officers. The entire scene is sadly summarized “bloodshed follows bloodshed.”
What is the answer? It is either follow man’s arrogance or submit to God’s sovereignty. One way brings “terror” and the other brings tranquility.
Hosea’s message highlights these primary points…
Truth and mercy are attributes and virtues of humanity only IF the population follows God’s Rule of Law.
Truth implies uprightness in speech and behavior. True integrity in character and conduct is possible only IF the Law of the Almighty God is permitted to transform one’s thoughts and actions.
Mercy combined with truth makes a man kind as well as honest, benevolent as well as upright. These blessings are possible only IF one submits to the Almighty God. When man rejects God’s Law and chooses anarchy, he will NEVER find kindness, honesty, benevolence and integrity. Those involved in today’s riots illustrate this truth and they join the anarchists of the French Revolution.
The knowledge of God is the only cure for the problems of society today. The cure cannot be legislated. The cure cannot be coerced by an angry mob violence. And, the cure cannot be achieved by the culture of cancelation of things that are offensive to a minority.
If we know God to be a God of truth, we will cultivate truth in our hearts, express it with our lips, and practice it in our lives.
If we know God as a God of mercy, who has shown boundless mercy to us in pardoning our multiplied and aggravated offences, we will imitate that mercy in our relations to our fellow-man.
The Prophet’s point was clear—violence, bloodshed, and anarchy result because the nation did not know God. This point was further stressed in chapter 4:
Verse 6, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.” Destruction is coming because knowledge was rejected. The people knew God but refused to obey God. Verse 7, “The more they multiplied, the more they sinned against Me; I will change their glory into shame.” The degree and examples of sin multiplied greatly. Verse 8, “They feed on the sin of My people and direct their desire toward their iniquity.” The impact of the general sinning increased the intensity and shocking nature of sin in society. Verse 10, “They will eat, but not have enough; they will play the harlot, but not increase, because they have stopped giving heed to the Lord.” There is no satisfying the anarchist’s appetite. Anarchy cannot be placated. You cannot appease terrorists. Verse 19, “And they will be ashamed.” The finality of a nation that has turned from God and chosen anarchy is sorrowfully recorded for history to hold.
The United States of America was founded upon principles taught by the Almighty Jehovah God of the Bible. If we reject that we are one nation under God’s sovereignty, we face destruction. Jeremiah 20:4, “(T)hus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I am going to make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends’.”
John Kachelman, Jr.is a Christian patriot, preacher, and missionary for Jesus Christ to foreign countries. He lives in Montgomery, AL.
The painting shown above is by Ivan Alekseevich Vladimirov entitled “Confiscation of Church Property in Petrograd”. It was painted in 1922. Ivan Alekseevich is known as a painter of the Socialist Realism and a member of the Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia.
His paintings depict the realism of the Russian Bolshevik Revolution. In 1917-1918, he worked in the Petrograd militia. This position helped him create documentary sketches of the events of these years. Here is a link to some of his more recognized paintings- Russia Travel Blog| All about Russia in English. Note: Closely examine these paintings. They are intended to portray the realism of the Russian Revolution that was to usher in Marx’s “synthesis” (remember this synthesis promised the ideal society; total equality; and astonishing contentment. Ivan Alekseevich’s paintings are a real portrait of what happened—anarchy and oppression!).
Subsequent history agrees that it was all a lie! No ideal society. No total equality. No contentment. All that resulted was a brief period of anarchy and then totalitarian dominance of the majority by the elite!
I am not a follower of or believer in Confucianism. However, there are some accurate truisms presented. Reportedly Confucius said, “Study the past if you would define the future.” This practical truth was repeated by Edmund Burke (1729-1797), “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.” Later the Spanish philosopher George Santayana (1863-1952) remarked, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” The ploughman’s simple version of this truth says, “Learn from your mistakes.”
Tragically many do not like to study history. Many, ignorant of history, blindly walk into catastrophe. And, the majority follow the Pied Piping of evil because they are deceived about the coming consequences which they encourage by silent acceptance.
This article examines a remarkable and redundant historical event. Its evil is amply documented but it is on the verge of being embraced by the United States of America in 2020-2021.
An interesting footnote in history focuses on the two significant revolutions in the 1700s. The Colonies in America revolted against King George III’s tyranny. The French Revolution revolted against social and political standards. The two were polar opposites. One primary difference was the religious perspective. The Colonists emphatically embraced the sovereignty of the Lord God Almighty of the Bible. The French viciously vilified any association with the Supernatural. One revolution focused on God’s power and the other focused upon mortal ability.
A milestone event of the French Revolution was the abolition of the privileges of the First and Second Estate on the night of August 4 1789. This abolished the right of churches to receive donations. On October 10, 1789, the National Constituent Assembly seized the properties held by the Church and sold them as “assignats” (a form of monetary exchange). On July 12, 1790, the assembly passed the Civil Constitution of the Clergy that subordinated the Church in France to the French government. The Church could function BUT only as the French government allowed.
The Revolutionary Government promised equality in a perfect society. The French Government said the Church was not necessary; that the church ownership of buildings was improper; and, that the practice of religion was absurd. However, subsequent history shouts that it was all a political lie! No ideal society. No total equality. No contentment. It was a subtle design erasing the presence of religion in society. The promised peace was displaced with a murderous reign of anarchy called “The Reign of Terror”! Such aptly summarizes the consequences when governments control religion.
The Spanish government was in great debt. For the “greater good,” the government confiscated land and property from the Church and religious orders that had received possessions from donations, grants, and will. The Spanish government then sold the property. Confiscation was one of the political weapons with which Spanish liberals modified the system of land ownership during the first half of the 19th century.
The Spanish government’s purpose was presented as enriching the nation and establishing equality. History examines this and unmistakably announces that it was all a lie! No ideal society. No total equality. No contentment. The promised peace was never found and modern Spain continues to struggle with problems left festering from its efforts to assist the “greater good.”
1917-1918 the Bolshevik Revolution
In 1918 Vladimir Lenin began consolidating all aspects of the revolution. It was a godless revolution utilizing Karl Marx’s “dialectic” to create the perfect society. The focus was upon the State’s absolute supremacy. Various decrees were passed and implemented that would assure the absoluteness of the State. One such decree issued by Lenin deprived the Russian Orthodox Church of its legal status, the right to own property, and the right to teach religion in schools or to children.
On February 5, 1918, the Soviet government issued the Decree on Separation of Church from State and School from Church. According to this document, all property possessed by the Russian Orthodox Church and other religious organizations (land, church utensils, etc) was nationalized and became the property of the State. Basically, this meant that all buildings and objects intended specifically for liturgical purposes were now the State’s property. Resistance was crushed, and resistance activists ended up in prison.
And history adds an interesting development. In 1921, a severe famine struck Russia. There was a need for money to purchase bread, but the Republic of Soviets said it did not have the money. An idea was suggested that there were unused and ample valuables in the Churches and these could be used to feed the hungry. On February 23, 1922, the All-Russian Central Executive Committee issued a decree called “On the Seizure of Church Jewelry.” The decree ordered local mayors to remove from the churches all products made of gold, silver and precious stones and transfer them to the “Central Fund for the Relief of the Starving.” Patriarch Tikhon, the 11th Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, hindered this confiscation. He forbade the seizure of sacred objects and called this act “svyatotatstvo” – stealing of sacred things. Tikhon’s opposition did nothing to stop the State and assured his punishment. The removal of jewelry from churches in Russia “for the help of the hungry” was completed on May 26, 1922.
The revolutionaries had promised that the stealing of the Church properties and valuables would give the hungry bread. But it was a lie! No ideal society. No total equality. No contentment. No vanquishing of hunger. The promised peace was never found and thieves and anarchists plundered and pillaged and the hungry died of starvation.
The timeline now brings us to times that are easily remembered. Idlib is a city in northwestern Syria, 59 kilometers (37 mi) southwest of Aleppo. “We have nothing left in Idlib, no properties, houses, or rents. The Sharia Committee seized everything.” With these words, Issa from Idlib city described what happened to his family’s property after the Islamic factions took control over the city.
Issa adds, “We had a house, agricultural land, and a number of stores, all of which, were rented through my father’s agent, who used to transfer the rents to us on a regular base.” He continued saying, in 2019, the Sharia Committee issued a decision providing for the confiscation of any property that was not managed or supervised by its original owners. “Due to the decision, our properties were confiscated, and we were told the rent would be paid to us. But the rents were paid to the committee and not us.” The confiscation of property owned by Christians in Idlib was supposed to restore equality and peace in the war-torn location. It was a lie.
This is the reality awaiting those victimized by a government seizing property under a pretense of “helping” others.
Whenever Issa’s 86-year-old grandmother left her one-room house to visit her children in other locations, she returned to find the door’s lock broken and the house inhabited by a foreign family on the pretext of being “displaced.” This happened repeatedly to his grandmother, who had to go to the Sharia Committee to file a complaint; nevertheless, she had to sleep outside her house for at least a month every time until the committee found another housing alternative for the displaced family.
While we are stopped in Syria and observing how the government said that confiscation is necessary for the “greater good” (when in reality it is only for the governing elite), let me observe how this confiscation mentality leads to total destruction. Not only are the buildings, possessions and legal rights of the Christians violated, but historical and cultural destructions result because of anarchy’s evil. As the destruction of ISIS spread through Iraq, Syria and Libya, it left behind the ruin of cultural monuments and objects of historical note. It was a deliberate and savage destruction of the cultural heritage. In Iraq, between the fall of Mosul in June 2014 and February 2015, ISIL had plundered and destroyed at least 28 historical religious buildings. In the name of “justice” and “liberty” historical monuments, sculptures and statues were demolished. On 26 February 2015, ISIL released a video showing the savage destruction of various ancient artifacts in the Mosul Museum. The video shows the defacement of a granite statue by a jackhammer. The Palace of Ashurnasirpal II was bulldozed and destroyed. Perhaps the greatest evil was in the destruction of Palmyra where all statues were destroyed because they were deemed “unfit.”
The savagery of ISIS in destroying monuments, statues and sculptures that were deemed unfit was done “for the protection and reconstruction of society and culture.” But such was action prompted by evil objectives promising a mirage of the perfect Caliphate. Religious properties, possessions and valuables were seized in the name of helping the “greater good.” Historical statutes, memorials and sculptures were decimated to bring “justice and liberty.” But it was all a lie! What resulted was an act of savagery that left a wasteland of destruction by those intent on following man and not Jehovah.
2020 LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA July 27, 2020 the LOS ANGELES TIMES published an Editorial: “Just say ‘Yes in God’s backyard.’”
The editorial urges a historical re-run…Californians need homes, and houses of worship have land; California’s homeless needs a place to live and Churches have land they do not need. The echoes of The French Revolutionaries, the Spanish Confiscators, Lenin’s Bolsheviks, and ISIS are heard once more.
California’s Senate Bill 899 is a proposal that makes it much easier for religious institutions and nonprofit colleges to build affordable housing on their land. Just as Lenin’s Bolsheviks first presented their position, we now hear how the Church can work with the government and provide for the poor. We await the next shoe drop in the Bolshevik scheme…seize the Church’s property and possessions because the State has the ownership of everything. Individualism must be replaced with a communal personality.
We are told by Los Angeles that “many churches, synagogues and mosques are sitting on large, underutilized properties. As fewer people choose to participate in organized religion, many congregations have seen their membership shrink along with their budgets. So why not encourage them to use their land to help ease one of California’s most pressing problems, which is the crushing shortage of affordable housing?”
This editorial asserts a number of untruths to cloak its dastardly objective. Listen carefully…“Roughly 38,800 acres of land in California — roughly the size of the city of Stockton — are used for religious purposes and could be developed for housing, according to an analysis by UC Berkeley’s Terner Center for Housing Innovation. Nearly half of those acres are in so-called high-opportunity neighborhoods that have low poverty and greater economic, educational and environmental amenities. These are communities where it can be particularly difficult to build affordable housing because of the price of land, zoning and neighbor opposition.”
The unwitting reader is led to this conclusion…“SB 899 would streamline the process by allowing 100% affordable housing projects to be built by right — meaning they wouldn’t need planning commission or city council approval — if the projects are on land owned by religious institutions or nonprofit colleges, and the institutions partner with nonprofit developers to build the housing.”
Do you see the maneuver? An unbelievable “win-win” situation is presented! How can anyone oppose this? Of course the individual would not need any of the State’s planning or approval because the individual has become the State!
The urging continues with this baited insinuation that “something” is in this for everyone…“The idea is to create a new supply of land for nonprofit developers who build housing for low-income residents, while letting religious institutions better use their property and generate a small income from rentals. For nonprofit colleges, it would make it easier for campuses to add affordable housing for employees and students.” Note the baited phrase: “letting religious institutions better use their property and generate a small income.”
And the final crowning conclusion, the climatic crashing of cymbals, the completion of California’s manipulative arm-twisting sweet-talking, “SB 899 can help houses of worship turn their buildings, offices and even parking lots into homes.”
But wait! This is exactly what Lenin suggested in 1917 in his appeal for the Church to cooperate with the State. The promised payment was NEVER received. Never was the Church allowed independence. This is exactly what ISIS said to Issa’s 86-year-old grandmother but never once did they receive any of the rent from their confiscated possessions. It was all an amazing mirage—a promise that vanished. Here is a pure illustration of the doublespeak of the State!
The end result is very clear for those with eyes to see. The result is the “transformation” that the Democrats promise—“SB 899 can help houses of worship turn their buildings, offices and even parking lots into homes.” Note: the operative word is “turn.”
Sisyphus is the mythological figure depicting the ultimate re-run. The truism attributed to Confucius is certainly valid: “Study the past if you would define the future.” When confronted with the lunacy of absurd politics President Reagan often sighed and remarked “Here we go again!” In response to the LA Times editorial Sisyphus, Confucius and Reagan all sigh and exclaim “it is happening AGAIN!”
Another truism says, “Freedom isn’t Free.” Freedom is a fragile state. There are constant encroachments threatening our individual freedoms. These are masked with deceptive words and purloined presentations. These hide the destructive, evil reality that they seek to develop. They promise a “transformation” that brings equality and societal bliss. They focus on the real, or imagined or manufactured evils suggesting that the newly emerging nation arising from this “transformation” will not be controlled by evil. But it is all a lie!
Efforts to destroy freedom appear as Lenin’s “useful idiots” are involved in probing actions. These initiate riotous rallies and hijacked protests. These seize legitimate concerns and manipulate them for their evil purpose of destroying freedom and dominating societal thought and action.
When framed in the context of history, the Los Angeles Times editorial is greatly disturbing. Cultural thinking refuses to learn from historical anecdotes. Today we hear constant clamoring that total equality and a perfect society is possible ONLY IF we allow anarchy and savagery to control the population and refashion civility into a perfect society (i.e. “houses of worship, buildings, offices and even parking lots” are transformed; historic monuments, statutes and sculptures are destroyed).
This has never worked in civilization’s past. The failure of this to work in today’s society is a repetition of a redundant historic failure. Why? This guaranteed failure comes because ignorant man fails to study the past and define the future by responsible criterion. Ignorant man thinks he has a better way.
The incremental pillaging and plundering of the Church continues. Deceptive promises announce the “ideal” solution that only possible in the total consumption of and silencing of the Church. Evil’s cunning and man’s gullibility are the tragic historical constant.
The Old Testament prophet observed this tragic historical constant and observed: “They do not know, nor do they understand…they cannot see and…they cannot comprehend. No one recalls, nor is there knowledge or understanding…You felt secure in your wickedness and your wisdom and your knowledge, they have deluded you…evil will come upon you…there is none to save you” (Isaiah 44:18-19; 47:10-11,15).
And, once again, man sacrifices God on the doublespeak altar of feeding the hungry!
John Kachelman, Jr.is a Christian patriot, preacher, and missionary for Jesus Christ to foreign countries. He lives in Montgomery, AL.
The 1619 Project, sponsored by the New York Times, is a series of essays and multimedia creations designed to “reframe American history” by claiming America’s founding is based on racism and slavery instead of freedom and liberty. The chief writer for the project, Nikole Hannah-Jones, calls white people “savages” “bloodsuckers” and “murderers” who used Christianity as an excuse to enslave different peoples of the world. Her vitriol, which seems to know no bounds, is now being picked up by many others who are concerned about slavery in America’s history.
A slave is considered to be a person owned by another, without rights, and—like property—to be used and disposed of in whatever way the owner may wish. 1The Encyclopedia of Religion defines slavery as “[A] social and industrial system in which the person and labor of one individual may be disposed of as the property of another.” 2
Setting aside Hannah-Jones’ ignorant vilification of “white people” as the sole perpetrators of this institution, as well as her abysmal lack of knowledge of American history, what is particularly concerning here is that she assails the Bible in her diatribes as somehow teaching the practice of chattel slavery.
What Does the Bible Actually Teach Regarding Slavery?
Moses writes by inspiration that are human beings are created in “the image of God” (Gen. 1:26-27; 9:6). Of all the philosophies of the world, this Divine assertion alone gives all men and women equal dignity. All persons are equal in value to one another. Life itself is a gift of God.
Placing man in the Garden of Eden, God ordered him to “dress the garden and keep it” as well as to “eat of the fruit” which he gathered (Gen. 2:15). These commands imply freedom as well as the right to property. “Thou shalt not steal” is built into the very foundations of the created order.
From these simple premises it is easy to see that God never intended one human being to be the property of another. However, as is the case with polygamy which departed from the marriage institution that God created (Gen. 2:24)— mankind departed sharply from God’s design.
Separated from God men have concocted many schemes which ignore these plain biblical ideals, particularly regarding the value of human life. Aristotle, for example, developed the theory that some persons were servile by their very nature. 3 The school of philosophy known as Stoicism later considered slavery as a mere accident of fortune and therefore it was not a just cause about which one could complain.
The ancient world was actually steeped in slavery, whether it be the Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Greek, or Roman world—all practiced slavery. As Everett Ferguson writes, “Slavery was pervasive in ancient civilization.” Thomas C. Edwards, in his superb commentary on the book of 1 Corinthians, notes that the practice of slavery actually sprang from a rejection of God’s Word regarding the dignity of man. “Slavery was an institution that sprang from other fundamental ideas—namely, the superiority of men over women; the religious preeminence of Jew over Gentile; the Greek consciousness of creative political genius …” 4 It was the devaluing of human life that brought about slavery.
1 The Illustrated Bible Dictionary, vol. 3, p. 1462. 2 Ed. Vergilius Ferm, p. 714. 3 Everett Ferguson, Encyclopedia of Early Christianity, 854 4 Commentary on 1 Corinthians, p. 182.
Slavery was almost universally practiced in all cultures during Old Testament times. Men and women were enslaved by capture in war (1 Sam. 4:9) or by purchase (Gen. 17:12-13, 27). The Law allowed Hebrews to purchase slaves from foreigners at home or abroad (Lev. 25:44ff). Children born “into the house” of slave-parents were evidently called “house-born slaves” (Gen. 17:12-13).
Interestingly, slavery could be entered by other methods as well. God legislated that if a convicted thief could not make “restitution” and pay his damages and/or fines, money could be raised for this purpose by selling him as a slave (Ex. 22:3). This law showed that slavery involved the production or labor of a person was considered to be his property, which now became the property of the one wronged.
The insolvent debtor, as well as his family, became enslaved to the creditor (2 Kings 4:1). It was also possible for one to sell himself and his labor to escape poverty (Lev. 25:39-43).
However, there are some important considerations that the Old Testament includes. First, in the case of the insolvent debtor, he was not to be treated as a chattel slave, but as a “hired servant” and to be released at the Year of Jubilee (every 50 years on the Jewish calendar) (Lev. 25:39-43). The person who purchased him was instructed “not to rule over him with rigor, but shalt fear thy God.”
Second, to abduct a person and to reduce a stolen person to slavery was punishable by death (Ex. 21:16). Third, to murder a slave was punishable by death (Ex. 21:20; Lev. 24:17,22). The reason for this is once again because of the intrinsic value of a human being. Fourth, the enslaved debtor was to be released after six years (Ex. 21:2). There was no lifetime enslavement.
God, in the Old Testament, taking men where they were, regulated the practice of slavery and softened the edge of it. Contrast that with Roman law whereby a slave is not considered a person.
Old Testament scholar K.A. Kitchen summarizes the spirit of the Old Testament.
Generally, a more humane spirit breathes through the OT laws and customs on slavery, as illustrated by the repeated injunctions in God’s name not to rule over a brother Israelite harshly (e.g. Lev. 25:43,46,53,55; Dt. 15:14ff). Even when Hebrew law and custom on slaves shares in the common heritage of the ancient Semitic world, there is this unique care in God’s name for these people who by status were not people, something absent from the law codes of Babylon or Assyria.5
5 The Illustrated Bible Dictionary, vol. 3, p. 1464.
The New Testament
When asked about marriage, our Lord refers questioners back to the beginning and God’s initial intention with the sacred institution (Matt. 19:3-9). In similar fashion the New Testament elevates the dignity of man (Jas. 3:9) by carrying him back to God’s created order. The beautiful principles of Christianity, influencing cultures one heart at a time, eventually eradicated the practice of slavery by re-asserting the value of human beings.
It is important to see however, that New Testament teaching did not smash with a sledge-hammer one single social institution that had imbedded itself in society. Instead, the doctrine of Christ works as a leaven in the soul of individuals, nations, and cultures. Slavery was one of those institutions.
This explains why the inspired apostles, when discussing the the question of slavery, not only advise masters and slaves how to behave in their particular life-situations, but address themselves to the deep antagonisms in the social world. This will be brought out below.
A cursory reading of the NT might cause one to think that sometimes the apostles seem to sanction slavery; at other times to proclaim its abolition—in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave or free, male or female; all are one man in Christ Jesus (Gal. 3:28).
But Christianity abolishes slavery by assimilating and sanctifying the relation of master and servant in its inmost nature. While it refuses to wield the sword and destroy civil institutions by violence, it so transforms their ruling ideas that those institutions become what they never were before. For instance, Christ bestows on the most degraded and despised slave who is a believer, spiritual endowments that cannot fail to inspire him with a consciousness of freedom. He ceases to be a slave by the very fact of knowing that in the sight of God he is free, and his service ceases to be a bondage because it is now a willing obedience to Christ.6
What about those deep antagonisms that exist in all societies between different peoples? Paul’s overall theme in teaching is summarized in 1 Corinthians 7:10-24 which might be entitled, Live in Harmony with One Another. Like several NT passages in which slaves and masters are addressed, and who were part of local congregations to which the apostles ministered 7 some of the Corinthians were slaves and some were slave-owners. How did God counsel them?
“Let each man abide in that calling wherein he was called. Were you called being a slave? Care not for it [that is, do not be overly concerned with your social condition. Your calling in Christ ECLIPSES this consideration]. Even if you can be free, use it rather …” (7:20-21).
The phrase “use it rather” following “even if you can be free” has been variously interpreted. It is either interpreted as (1) “… use your freedom,” or, (2) “use slavery …” Many modern commentators, and even the translators of the NIV, consider the phrase to be saying, “if you can gain your freedom, do so” –opting for the first alternative.
But it seems out of character with the theme of the entire section which is to Live in Harmony—even in challenging situations. Further, the next line in the passage (v. 22) begins with the word “for”—which is explanatory of that which has just been said. “FOR, he that was called in the Lord, being a slave, is the Lord’s freedman …” That explanation does not follow if Paul has just said, “if you can become free, do so.”
As John Peter Lange points out in his classic commentary, the “whole drift of the argument is—to make men content with their lot …” 8 That being the case, the translation is, “but even though you may be made free, use your servitude rather [as a means of discipline, and an opportunity for glorifying God by showing fidelity therein].”
6 Edwards, p. 186 7 See Eph. 6:5-8; Col. 3:22-4:1; 1 Pet. 2:18ff. 8 Lange’s Commentary on the Holy Scriptures, Vol. 10, p. 153.
In any case, the main point should not be lost on us. The important thing is to serve God “and the slave should not worry unduly about the fact that he is a slave. If God has called him as a slave, He will give him grace to live as a slave.” 9
F.W. Grosheide understands the verse as simply saying, Use your vocation—whether slave or free. 10 The entire argument of Paul is that the over-riding concern for the Christian is that of spiritual blessings “in Christ”, and this outweighs all other concerns—including slavery! The dominant factor is being a Christian.
How does this fit within the current context of so many churches and Christians all at once becoming extremely exercised about black slavery in history, or stirred to the point of anger about discrimination in the Jim Crow era? How does Paul’s advice comport with emotionally driven screeds today that demand a removal of a Christians’ name from Christian college buildings because those preachers lived during the segregation era but did not stomp it out with vengeance?
An interesting New Testament episode involves the runaway slave Onesimus. Paul met him while a prisoner in Rome (circa 63-64 A.D.), converted him to Christ, and sent him back to his owner, Philemon, a Christian man who lived in Colossae. A cover letter was sent with the returned slave (Col. 4:7,9). It is the book of Philemon.
In it Paul admonishes Philemon to “receive him back” and treat him no longer as a slave, but as a brother in Christ. “Not now as a slave, but more than slave, a brother beloved specially to me, but how much more unto you, both in the flesh and in the Lord?” (16) It is noteworthy that Paul does not command Philemon to “free him” but appeals to him on the basis of brotherhood. It is also worth mentioning that Paul actually sent Onesimus back to his slave master.
Once again, Christianity revolutionizes and changes the world, but not by pouring out into the streets, holding a nation hostage with violence and smashing its cultural symbols. It does so with the teaching of the peace of Jesus Christ.
John Peter Lange summarizes the entire disposition of biblical Christianity to slavery. Christ and his followers “assailed no existing social institutions from without—marriages, callings, and conditions were to remain as they were.” Christianity wrought “from within” a “sanctifying and ennobling” influence over individual character.
Biblical principles “employed the existing bonds of society as conductors through which to diffuse its saving power—sanctifying wives through husbands, and husbands through wives, children through parents, and parents through children; and even servants through masters and masters through servants.”
Further, as seen above, Christianity aims at the preservation of peace in a society—as far as possible—in consistency with being faithful to God (See Rom. 12:17-21). Christ wants us to “ignore outward distinctions—counting outward distinctions as of little moment, in comparison with the inward state.” How our society needs this lesson! What a difference this would make to the writers of the New York Times and the 1619 Project!
9 Leon Morris, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, 1 Corinthians, p. 113. 10 NICNT, 1 Corinthians, p. 170.
Christ’s teachings “begot contentment with the outward estate, by imparting a blessing which more than counterbalanced all earthly ill.” Not only so, but the Lord Jesus “reconciled the opposite poles of human condition, freedom and obligation in the love it engendered, making the slave a freeman, and putting the freeman under obligations to serve, and making all alike free, and all alike obligated.”
Finally, the Bible places “all in the presence of God, in whose sight it constrained believers to live; whose honor it urged all to sub-serve, and from whom it invited all to derive their chief good.” 11
The gospel brings to mankind a belief and obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ. Faithfulness is commanded which involves the improvement of one’s character which in turn improves the conditions of society. When people place the glory of God foremost, not only is slavery eradicated as a social condition, but it is seen to be a very little thing in the ultimate scheme of things. It is past time for people to come to Christ and lift themselves above the grievances of slavery past or racism present.