An Alternative Church Mission

In Pakistan, a historic church was attacked and dozens killed. In Kenya, a shopping mall was attacked and the dead are still being tallied. What these two events have in common is that they were perpetrated by militants of Islam against Christians.

In Sudan, slavery is fully practiced and Christians are the main source of slaves.  In China, Christians can face prison and torture while house churches and church buildings are regularly dismantled.

The question that comes to mind over these stories is what American Christians should do about it. The secular government has no vested interest in protecting Christians as a group since much of their rise in American culture was due to efforts that were deliberately anti-Christian. A religious people cannot turn toward and trust irreligious leadership for protection. What motivation would atheists have for protecting Christians besides personal gain?

If there is any will or desire to end the oppression, enslavement, and killing of Christians, part-time mission trips to share smiles, bibles, and Coca-Cola are not going to work. Perhaps instead of bringing American luxuries with their bibles, missionaries should bring tools of war, such as guns.

The issue of Christian pacifism is not common since it is assumed that war and violence of any kind is incompatible with Christianity. However, in a world where Christians still face violence for their faith, secular diplomacy may prove to be completely impotent.

American Christians have three possible responses to persecution suffered by Christians overseas. They can carry on and do nothing, they can provide material comfort, or they can bring to bear heavy military force to put an end to the persecution. Right now, the first two options seem to be most popular.

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Joseph Didn’t Man Up

To illustrate how feminism has entered the church and taken hold, the Christian has but to read the account of Joseph, wife of Mary, mother of Jesus, and transport the situation to modern day.

First, let’s recap.

Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly (Matthew 1:18-19 ESV).

Joseph’s fiance becomes pregnant before they are formally wed.  Not knowing that the pregnancy was from God Himself, He did what a righteous, God-fearing man would have done with a fiance that had cheated on him. He decided to break the engagement.

I imagine that Mary’s explanations concerning angels and messiahs did not help to sooth his mind.  He must of have thought his young bride-to-be was both a whore and insane.  Here she was, promised to be his and he promised to be hers, and she is not only pregnant, proof that she slept with another man, but was declaring it was “God’s will.”

Joseph was a man whose loyalty to God came before his loyalty to his fiance.  To marry a woman in violation of God’s standard of holiness would have been a gross violation of his faith and desire to follow God.

Now, let’s transpose this situation to modern day.

A Christian man is engaged to a Christian woman and they both have been chaste before marriage.  It is discovered that she is pregnant from having sex with another man.  His fiance swears up and down that despite the fact that she committed adultery, that in the end, the situation must be God’s will for their happiness.  He decides that marrying her would be detrimental to his life as a Christian and his pursuit of whatever ministry he is seeking, so he breaks the engagement.

In times past, the Christian man would have been admired for standing for his faith and convictions and his fiancé would be criticized for cheating on him and then trying to justify her recklessness by invoking God.

In times present, the Christian man in the same situation is looked upon as pariah, a villain cruel and judgmental, for not accepting and forgiving his fiancé of her sexual “choice.”  He is expected to “man up,” marry the woman, and then raise another man’s child as his own.  There are numerous women who have not been chaste and who are single mothers.  Christian men are expected to stay chaste until they marry and then accept these women as potentials brides.

That is what passes for “men’s ministry” in evangelical Christianity.

In Joseph’s day, he was a righteous man for his choice to break his engagement to Mary.  Even God acknowledged his faithfulness by reassuring him that he was doing no wrong.  However, women today who have sex outside of marriage are committing adultery, and violating God’s holiness.  Invoking God to justify that sin makes the situation almost blasphemous.

Christian men who practice chastity and have their faith as a priority should not be required to accept unchaste women as options for their brides.  While God does forgive sin, forgiveness is becoming a convenient screen for justifying women’s rebellion from the holiness of God.  Men should not be required to bankroll that rebellion.

This is nothing new.  Paul dealt with it in his day and the church is facing it in this day.

In church, Christian men need to find this  …

Modest women

And not this …

Party girls

Why Homosexuality?

Guess what. Christians find this insulting and offensive.

When Christianity meets homosexuality (read gay rights), the resulting rhetoric is explosive. However, the question is why this particular trend? Homosexuals make up a relatively small portion of the American population (at least outside of prisons), but they have clashed harder with the church than Socialists and Satanists.

Christianity has a standard for human sexuality called marriage. One man, one woman, monogamous for life. Deviations from that standard are considered pathology and sins against God. These include divorce, adultery, fornication (casual sex), and incest, among others. No one sin is considered worse than another. In fact, so serious is the sin of divorce that without special considerations it is considered the same as adultery. And as Paul wrote,

Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them (Romans 1:32).

Sexual sins are serious business within Christianity (or they used to be).

The primary reason that homosexuality is the go-to sexual sin for the modern, progressive culture is that it is so aggressively rebellious against Christianity.

Homosexuality, manifest and enshrined in the “gay lifestyle,” is openly and blatantly defiant of Christian marriage. While people divorce, and commit adultery, and have casual sex, there is still an air of politeness around it all. Divorce is considered a painful thing, adultery is quietly frowned up (especially when committed by men), and even casual sex is considered inferior to marriage. The church is asked to be forgiving of these failings of the human condition and the church complies. Divorced couples remarry into new unions, adultery committed by women is forgiven so that the union can heal (adultery committed by men is not), and fornicators are encouraged to make their sexual union honest by marriage.

Homosexuality, on the other hand, is held as completely acceptable. It is not even considered a sin before God. In fact, being against homosexuality is considered a sin, so sacrosanct is the lifestyle. Christians are experiencing the desecration of what is sacred to them celebrated loudly and proudly. There is no politeness toward Christianity in the gay crowd. There is a lack of apology from homosexuality, coupled with an active push to discredit and reject any Christian objection to it.

The desecration and defamation of Christian beliefs is becoming enshrined in law, ensuring future hostility towards the church. Homosexuality is, for all intents and purposes, a litmus test for the church’s convictions. Yet, another compromise in the face of such blatant defiance is tantamount to complete surrender on the issue of marriage. This is complicated by the fact that declarations of atheism are justified by the church’s refusal to accept homosexuality.

Christians are simply not going to back down on this issue, nor should they. Homosexuals and their atheist supporters will continually clash with that lack of compromise and will continually defy and attack Christians for their lack of compromise.

An Answer For Apocalyptic Readers

Rein in blood
“Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”

In my previous post, I wrote:

It seems insane for Christians to invest in material matters (read: worldly matters) like marriage and family if there is no future for which posterity to inherit.

Many apocalyptic teachers carry the book of Revelation as if it were a fifth gospel, the final word of “good news” to a damned world. Such thinking places an emphasis not on the satisfying of God’s wrath through the death of Christ, but on His second return to rescue the faithful few from a corrupt world. The Rapture and final judgment are considered the final arbitrators of a man’s status before God. Salvation is shifted to a miraculous event in the future, a salvation awaited for. However, Christianity has held for nearly two millenniums that it is the first advent of Christ that purchased salvation for those who believe. The focus on tomorrow is erroneous as what happened yesterday makes Christians who they are today.

Another view is that this world and everything in it is governed by Satan himself. All institutions such as organized religion, government, and education are all manifestations of the sinfulness in man and man’s efforts to be God. The only institution held as sacred is marriage and that because it is was ordained before the fall.

So marriage is Christ’s, but everything else is viewed as Satan’s. Yet, apocalyptic Christians still attend church, go to work, own property, participate in elections, and function as citizens in the devil’s civilization. They have children in a world they believe is going to make them suffer in greater measure than at any time in history. In such times, why don’t Christians retreat into the far corners of the world to live as shepherds in tents? Let the ground be their bed, a rock their pillow, and faith their blanket.

What answer is there for Christians living in the devil’s world? If the apocalyptic messages are correct, darkness conquers light. Satan has been given power to conquer the saints. We can resist, but resistance is futile. The saints must patiently endure. The world is the devil’s and the fullness thereof. All things are the devil’s when they are received with thanks giving. Children are a gift of the devil and sin’s inheritance. All things are in Satan and all in all. All there is left to pray is, “Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”

And so, here I part ways with these ideas. There is life after the fall of empires and a future after the destruction of the wicked. There is hope and a future and for that I strive.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

A Question For Apocalypse Readers

Prepare for the endAs Donal Graeme and Bonald noted, things are messed up and will get worse.  We’ve read the book of Revelation; we already know things do not end well for this world.

Sunshine Mary wrote this in a recent blog article. This simple statement of inevitable and imminent decay and destruction of our material universe is popular in evangelical churches today. Spurred by the popularization of dispensational eschatology (end time teaching), the Left Behind story, it has captured evangelical hearts and minds in a dark and cynical grip.

Often times, preachers or Christians will repeat the above ideas and then quote something like 2 Chronicles 7:14.

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Declaring an apocalyptic end of all things blatantly contradicts the hope offered in the Chronicles scripture quote. Hence, the question for apocalyptic readers.

Why should Christians humble themselves, pray, seek God, and turn from their sin if Revelation tells us that matters will only worsen, indicating that God will not heal their land? If destruction of the land is now inevitable and imminent, then praying, seeking, and repenting will accomplish nothing for the land, for the here and now.

In a previous article, I wrote:

Christians abstain from fornication, marry, pray, and go to church because they are commanded to, but not necessarily because these things might actually go any good.

It seems insane for Christians to invest in material matters (read: worldly matters) like marriage and family if there is no future for which posterity to inherit. Celibacy, service to the poor, and monastic preaching in this physical world seem more rational if all results are spiritual and metaphysical. If there are no fruits to be had here and now, then all things here and now should be purged from the Christian life for the sake of holiness.

The End is Near

 

Love And Not Marriage

If Cody Lee Johnson had only known ...
If Cody Lee Johnson had only known …

Fox News reports that Jordan, 22, is facing life in prison for murdering her 25-year-old husband, Cody, soon after they married. Her first act as his new wife was to push him off a cliff and then lie about his whereabouts. For what reason could she have for murdering her new husband?

She’d been telling people she knew she never wanted to be married, she just wanted to have a wedding, and that’s apparently what they were arguing about.

This is one of those moments where the decadent and privileged heart of so many American women is revealed in all its feminist-backed glory.

What Jordan wanted when she went through the marriage ceremony was not the vows of commitment and service to her husband under God, but rather a coronation establishing her status as royalty with her husband as her perpetual servant. It was the feelings of enthroned ecstasy and the overwhelming attention that drove her to accept his proposal and utter the words, “I do.” The husband, the vows, the idea of having sex with a man were all annoyances she simply was not willing to endure.

It does not say whether Jordan was a Christian or not, but it would not be surprising to learn she was part of a relevant, contemporary evangelical mega-church. In American churches, weddings are not between a man and his wife, but between a princess and her pet monkey.

This is why men must constantly dote on their wives with gifts and submit to her headship. It keeps her feeling those feelings. It may get to the point where a husband may have to pay for a new wedding every few years, to ensure his wife does not detonate the family in divorce court for “irreconcilable differences” …  or murder him.

Of course, it could be argued that Cody got off easy …