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Castles in the Sand
In Defense of the Faith
Monday, March 04, 2013
Pete Garcia

With all governmental power grabs and eroding Constitutional rights as of late, many Christians are wondering what to think and what to do in these days of growing uncertainty.

What I can’t figure out though, is why Bible believing American Christians seem panicked these days?   Is it that they are more concerned about losing their freedoms, or is it the thought of facing the potential persecution that would come as a result thereof?  Or both?  It shouldn’t be a surprise though, should it?  After all, the Bible does say that in the last days, that ALL of mankind would be under the thumb of a singular global political, economic, and religious system.  If that is the case, then we should expect to see the world moving towards this centralized global governance at increasingly frightening pace…at least this side of the Rapture.  Maybe what is disconcerting to a lot of believers is that we knew this day was coming; but we just didn’t expect it to come so suddenly.

Christendom here in the West has been too comfortable, for far too long.  Where most of the world struggles in abject poverty, facing a constant threat of death and/or imprisonment, we on the other hand have to deal with: Name it-Claim it “pastors” on television siphoning off the last pennies from their misguided masses, mega-church corporations where attendees come for their lattes and weekly ‘positive affirmation’ sermons so they can walk out feeling better than they came in, Emergent Church movements spreading aberrant and apostate ‘universalist’ doctrines, and thousands of Pseudo-Christian cults who are growing and spreading like the plague.

Thy Kingdom Now

Almost 1700 years ago, Satan effectively utilized a new tactic to corrupt and attempt to destroy the early Christian church by easing persecution in the Roman Empire.  After 10 waves of violent persecution, Diocletian being the last, Emperor Constantine legalized Christianity in 313 AD and for the rest of the 4th century, we saw the emergence of a hybridized Christian/ pagan power structure form that would later morph into what we now know as the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) system.  Satan successfully converted the pagan clergy and temples into Christian churches and priests.  He then showered this newfound religion with wealth, political power, military might, and kingdoms.  This seemed to be a far more effective plan in the division and oppression of true Christianity than anything persecution could ever hope to do.  It would seem that the RCC accepted the offer that Jesus rejected during His temptation in the wilderness.

Satan then introduced the false theology that the church would come to reign over the earth.  This Dominionist-styled theology drove the RCC’s motto to be In Hoc Signo Vinces (In This Sign, Conquer) from the 6th century until today to bring about the kingdom of God to earth now, rather than waiting for the future and eternal Kingdom to come with Christ as its King.  In the 5th century AD, the RCC embraced Augustine’s eschatological viewpoint of Amillennialism (no literal millennial reign of Christ on earth), and has since the 6th century, replaced Jesus with a Pope who rules from Rome as the “Vicar of Christ” here on earth.

Dominionism

The belief that we (mankind) have a mandate to build the “kingdom of God” on earth, restoring paradise, by progressively and supernaturally transforming ourselves and all societal institutions, through subduing and ruling the earth by whatever means possible, including using technology, science and psycho-social engineering; and then and only then will a “Christ” manifest his presence on earth.  Apprising Ministries

The RCC had the longest and most successful reign as a theocratic kingdom of any religion in history, ruling over kings and empires for close to a thousand years.  All power and authority was held exclusively by the RCC through the use of ex-communication (the threat of hell) in order to prevent peoples from leaving the faith.  Millions of Christians would die in various Inquisitions, either burned at the stake or tortured to death as heretics because they had the audacity to challenge Papal authority by either reading their own Bibles or dissenting with Dogmas.

But Dominionism is not unique only to the RCC; it was also embraced by many in the Protestant Reformation from John Calvin’s time to certain powerful factions within the Christian Charismatic movement today.

Comfortably Numb

I feel I can say with a certain degree of confidence, that American Christendom will suffer no such violent persecution like the rest of the world faces, this side of the Rapture.  How do I know?   Because Satan has been studying mankind for thousands of years.  He knows that every time he’s attempted to crush the true church, it’s only caused it to spread like a wildfire on a windy day.

No, he’s done far more damage to Christianity by introducing half-truths and aberrant theology, than any violent overture ever could.   Whether it is true or not, the world’s perception is that the United States is a Christian nation.  And the Bible states that the last dominant face of Christendom in the era of churches would be wealthy, blind, and luke-warm.  I can think of no other time and place that resembles this state of spiritual numbness than today’s Western style Christendom…Catholic and Protestant.

“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.  So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’ and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked" Revelation 3:15-17

I think part of the problem is that we’ve just become too attached to this world and the way things are.  We think we are free now, but it really all is one grand façade.  We don’t know what good is, because we’ve never lived in a world without sin, death, decay, and violence.  Why are we clinging on to this dying system now?  Although the below quote speaks more to a political perspective, I think it could also apply to the spiritual realm in terms of our illusion of what we consider to be free today.

"Most Americans are unaware of a decline in individual liberty, and the reason is obvious: the decline rarely takes the form of sudden personal deprivations but, instead, takes the form of unnoticed erosion and, thus, we come to regard whatever state we are in as a normal condition."  Leonard E. Read

Yet, there are still a few good churches left out there from all different kinds of denominations, but they are becoming increasingly harder to find these days.  If you are living for Jesus Christ today, you may find more and more skeptical and calloused responses to your earnest efforts to share the Gospel with hardened hearts in today’s fast paced world.  You may find friends and family distancing themselves from you.  The persecutions we face today here in the west are more emotional or intellectual rather than physical.  But don’t let the thought of persecution get you down.  Persecution in and of itself is not necessarily a bad thing.  It is a refiner.  And at the very least, it has a tendency to weed out the tares hiding in our midst that claim to be Christians, but do so in name only.

So if you’re feeling persecuted as a Christian, rejoice!  The deadliest movement within Christianity today, is not Ecumenicalism.  It's not Hebrew Roots or the Prosperity Gospel.  It is being affluent and comfortable.  If you’re not being challenged, rejected, neglected, or abused because of your testimony... you may want to take a look at your walk with Christ.  Christ said "the servant is not greater than the Master, and if the world hates the Master, they’re gonna hate you as well.

Closing Thoughts

Jesus said, “My Kingdom is not of this earth” and neither should ours.  He didn’t leave us here so we could plant our own little fiefdoms here on Terra Nova.  One day, Christ will set His kingdom here by His own power and authority.  We are just transients passing through.  We are ambassadors on His behalf that could be called home at any moment.

Politically speaking, what are we fighting for as Bible believing Christians?  Are we trying to keep a dying and corrupted system alive?  If so, then it’s a losing battle.  God, who declares the end from the beginning, already knows how this is going to play out and He’s told us.  We were told to occupy until He returns, but we were also told to be watching, waiting, lifting our heads up in hopeful expectancy.  We need to cling loosely to the things of this world, even our own lives.

We are strangers in a strange land, hated by the world, because the world hated our Lord first.  Our hope isn’t tied up in; a political party, a political movement, televangelists, or even in our Constitution.  Our hope is based on the Promise Jesus gave us before He left the first time:

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also."  John 14:1-3

Even so, Maranatha!

About Pete Garcia

Last week: The Chronicles of Life and Death



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