Overcoming the war on christians
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    Overcoming the war on christians Overcoming the war on christians Document Transcript

    • Overcoming the War on Christians Copyright © 2013 by Maria M. Kneas. Scripture quotations are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible. Hymns quoted are old ones that are in the public domain. ISBN-13: 978-1493537051 ISBN-10: 1493537059 2
    • For Doug and Joe Hagmann Their families, their sources, their guests, and their supporters With gratitude. And for fellow listeners of The Hagmann and Hagmann Report. I hope to meet you in Heaven some day. 3
    • These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33) Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6) And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. (Revelation 21:4) 4
    • Thou Hidden Source of Calm Repose Jesus, my all in all Thou art: My rest in toil, my ease in pain, The medicine of my broken heart; In war my peace, in loss my gain, My smile beneath the tyrant’s frown, In shame my glory and my crown; In want my plentiful supply, In weakness my almighty power; In bonds my perfect liberty, My light in Satan’s darkest hour; My joy in grief, my shield in strife, In death my everlasting life. 5
    • Light After Darkness Light after darkness, gain after loss, Strength after suffering, crown after cross. Sweet after bitter, song after sigh, Home after wandering, praise after cry. Sheaves after sowing, sun after rain, Sight after mystery, peace after pain. Joy after sorrow, calm after blast, Rest after weariness, sweet rest at last. Near after distant, gleam after gloom, Love after loneliness, life after tomb. After long agony, rapture of bliss! Right was the pathway leading to this! 6
    • Foreword This book is really a family effort between me and my Mom and Dad, even though they are with the Lord now. We were all keenly aware of current events, and of the potential for persecution here in America. And we all studied and meditated on Scripture and sought to apply it to our daily lives. For years, we followed the ministries of people who help persecuted Christians overseas, and did what we could to support them. My Mom even wrote letters to Russian Christians who were in prison. She got a Russian Bible, and used Scripture passages as the text of her letters. A friend who knew Russian showed her which books corresponded to our English ones, so all she needed to do was look at the chapter numbers and verse numbers, and copy the passages. She was artistic, so she was able to copy the Russian characters. Concern for persecuted Christians, and awareness of current events, and applying Biblical principles in practical ways, was a normal part of our everyday lives. And that is precisely what this book is about. I wrote the first four chapters of this book, chapter 12, the poems, and the appendices. Chapters 5 through 11 are a joint effort between me and my father (James Morrisson). And my Mom was an inspiration for doing it. Mom and Dad became Christians when they were in their sixties. Dad became so enthusiastic about Scripture that he got an M.A. in Biblical Studies. For the rest of his life, he continued studying Scripture. He died in 2005. Dad wrote a book titled Standing Firm in the Faith. It is more than a discussion of important Biblical principles. It is also a personal testimony of how the life-giving, mindtransforming power of Scripture can change our lives. 7
    • Dad’s book was written in the trenches. He was fighting cancer when he wrote it. The book was published a few months before his death. You can read it online at www.StandingFirmInTheFaith.com Standing Firm in the Faith is a long book (311 pages that are packed with information and over 1,500 Scripture quotes, plus many more Scripture references). (I ought to know. I was my Dad’s live-in secretary.) My Mom asked me to take material from Dad’s book and use it to make a shorter book. That is what I am doing here, but it is a joint effort. Most of the text about Scripture is Dad’s, but my articles (which are the appendices) are the longest part of the book. I wrote four of these articles while Dad was still alive, and he liked them. I changed Dad’s Scripture quotes to the King James Version. I also made his text easier to read by breaking long paragraphs into two or three shorter ones, and making some long sentences into two shorter ones. Where Dad incorporated Scripture verses into his text, I often broke them out as indented quotes, which makes them easier to read. And where he gave Scripture references, I wrote many of those so that you could read them instead of having to look them up. Mom died last year. I believe that she and Dad would have been pleased with this book. I hope that it will bless you. 8
    • Contents Foreword ............................................................................ 7 1. Declaring War on Christianity ................................... 11 2. Faith Undermined ...................................................... 17 3. Regaining Trust in Scripture ...................................... 19 4. A Common Sense Approach to Scripture .................. 22 5. The Problem of Pain .................................................. 31 6. Pain and Hardship are Part of Life............................. 38 7. God Can Bring Good Out of Pain .............................. 42 8. Loving God for Who He Is ........................................ 51 9. The Issue of Fairness ................................................. 59 10. Renewing Our Minds ................................................. 66 11. How Can We Deal with Pain and Hardship? ............. 77 12. The Bottom Line ........................................................ 87 Poems ............................................................................... 91 Appendices A. Persecution of American Christians .......................... 97 B. Heading for Dictatorship ......................................... 126 C. Teaching Kids to Be Sociopaths .............................. 148 D. Thought Police ......................................................... 155 E. Detention Camps for Americans .............................. 161 F. Pagan Goddess Worship in America ....................... 169 G. Creation Versus Evolution ....................................... 180 H. Creation in Scripture ................................................ 211 “Courage is fear that has said its prayers.” (Dorothy Bernard) 9
    • Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God. (Corrie ten Boom) 10
    • Chapter 1 Declaring War on Christianity “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (2 Timothy 3:12) There are three wars going on in America. The first two are in the news all the time. They are the “war on terror” and the “war on drugs.” The third one isn’t talked about. But, as you will see, it’s all too real. It’s the war on Christians. For starters, the Department of Homeland Security considers anybody who believes the Bible and talks about the End Times to be a “potential domestic terrorist.” 1 And the military teaches that the American Family Association is a hate group because it believes in traditional family values.2 War has been declared on Christianity in America. We thought that it couldn’t happen here. But it has. We are already in the early stages of persecution. Appendix A (“Persecution of American Christians”) gives documented information about this. The war on Christianity takes a number of forms. One approach is modern psychology, which denies personal responsibility and teaches blame shifting. This is contrary to the Biblical approach of repenting of sins and forgiving those who have wronged us. Another approach is humanism, which makes man the center of everything, instead of God. Thanks to the humanist John Dewey (the “father of modern education”), our public schools are based on humanism, and they undermine Christian faith and morals. And so do most universities. In addition, movies, TV shows, music, video 11
    • games, and popular novels promote self-centeredness, greed, occultism, and sexual immorality. The Bible warned us that such things would happen. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:1-4) Laws have been enacted which can be used to try to force people to act against their faith and their conscience. We seem to be incrementally moving towards some kind of dictatorship which could make life difficult for Christians. The following quotations demonstrate how badly some people want to destroy Christian faith and morals: “Some opponents of Humanism have accused us of wishing to overthrow the traditional Christian family. They are right. That is exactly what we intend to do.” 3 (The British Humanist Association, 1969) “If you give me any normal human being and a couple of weeks… I can turn him from a Christian into a Communist.” 4 (Psychology Professor James McConnell, 1966) “For many generations we have bowed our necks to the yoke of the conviction of sin. We have swallowed all manner of poisonous certainties fed us by our parents, our Sunday and day school teachers.” 5 (Dr. Brock Chisholm, 1946. Dr. Chisholm was the 12
    • first Secretary-General of the United Nations’ World Health Organization. He is a psychiatrist.) “If the race is to be freed from its crippling burden of good and evil, it must be psychiatrists who take the original responsibility.” 6 (Dr. Brock Chisholm) “The battle for mankind’s future must be waged and won in the public school classroom. The classroom must and will become the arena of conflict between the old and the new—the rotting corpse of Christianity and the new faith of humanism.”7 (John Dunphy, 1983. He is a humanist.) How is this battle being waged in classrooms across America? Look at how Thomas Sowell described it back in 1993, which was 20 years ago: “The techniques of brainwashing developed in totalitarian countries are routinely used in psychological conditioning programs imposed on American school children. These include emotional shock and desensitization, psychological isolation from sources of support, stripping away defenses, manipulative cross-examination of the individual’s underlying moral values, and inducing acceptance of alternative values by psychological rather than rational means.” 8 Another approach is to get New Age beliefs and practices into the churches. A Time of Departing by Ray Yungen tells how that has been done in Protestant churches. The Unicorn in the Sanctuary tells how it has been done in Catholic churches. Taking things a step further, overt paganism is becoming mainstream in America. It is even getting into 13
    • the churches. Goddess Unmasked by Philip G. Davis tells how pagan goddess worship and witchcraft are getting into universities, nursing schools, and mainstream churches. Ungodly Rage by Donna Steichen tells how it is getting into Catholic colleges and convents. One example is the fact that a Lutheran college has appointed a practicing Hindu to be the head of its Department of Religion. One of his goals is to enable students to “see the world through Hindu eyes.” Although some parents have protested, the school authorities see no problem with this.9 Wiccan beliefs and practices are getting into mainline denominations. For example, two Methodist clergywomen participated in a “croning ritual,” which is a witchcraft initiation ritual. Both women wrote articles praising their experience in Wellsprings, a journal for Methodist clergywomen. When contacted by Insight on the News, they both confirmed their participation in the croning ritual, and said that their bishop (a woman) had also participated. When their bishop was contacted, she said that she had ‘witnessed many croning rituals.’” 10 Appendix F (“Pagan Goddess Worship in America”) describes how paganism is becoming mainstream. I think you will be surprised at how far it is spreading—especially among young people. Humanism is a tax-exempt religion, and its first article of faith is evolution. (See Appendix G, “Creation Versus Evolution.”) You can be a Christian and believe in evolution, but your confidence in Scripture will be weaker, and as a result, your faith will be weaker. If the world tries to pressure us into renouncing our faith, then we cannot afford that weakness. So please give that appendix your thoughtful and prayerful consideration. Following that is an appendix that consists of seven pages of Scripture quotes, showing that from Genesis to Revelation, the Bible teaches that God is our Creator. 14
    • What can we do in the face of such challenges? We need to remember that we can do all things through Jesus Christ, who strengthens us. (Philippians 4:13) No matter what we are going through, and no matter how weak we feel, God’s grace is sufficient for us. (2 Corinthians 12:9) And God has promised to make everything work for the long-term, eternal good of those who love Him. (Romans 8:28) The appendices in this book describe the problems. The rest of the book describes the solutions. Two chapters tell how God overcame attempts to prevent me from believing, and to undermine my faith once I did believe. The other chapters give some valuable Biblical principles for dealing with difficulties. One important thing is to remember to test everything against Scripture. The world has gotten so crazy that there is no longer any such thing as a safe denomination or a safe church or a safe pastor or a safe teacher or preacher. People can change and churches can change. Sometimes all it takes is one seminar or one video or one book or one new friend. So we need to test everything for ourselves. We cannot put anybody in the position of doing our thinking for us. We need to think for ourselves. There is a Scripture passage which is very important to remember because of the times in which we are living: “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32-33) 15
    • NOTES 1. “The New Terrorists,” April 21, 2009, WorldNetDaily. www.wnd.com/2009/04/95619 2. “Obama’s War on Christians: AFA Called “Hate Group,” October 15, 2013. (AFA is the American Family Association.) www.wnd.com/2013/obamas-war-on-christians-afa-called-hate-group 3. Marriage and the Family, The British Humanist Association, 1969. Cited by Dr. Dennis L. Cuddy, The Globalists (Oklahoma City: Hearthstone Publishing, 2001), p. 124. 4. Psychology Professor James McConnell, 1966. Quoted in Dr. Dennis L. Cuddy, The Globalists (Oklahoma City: Heartstone Publishing, 2001), pp. 133-134. 5. G. Brock Chisholm, “the Re-Establishment of Peacetime Society,” Psychiatry, February 1946. (Dr. Chisholm was the first SecretaryGeneral of the United Nations’ World Health Organization.) 6. Ibid. 7. John Dunphy, The Humanist, January/February 1983. 8. Thomas Sowell, “Indoctrinating the Children,” in Forbes, February 1, 1993, p. 65. 9. “Hindu Appointed to Run Christian Religion Studies,” June 8, 2007. www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=56067 10. “Wicca Infiltrates the Churches—Wiccan Rituals Gaining Popularity in Christian Churches,” by Catherine Edwards, Insight on the News, December 6, 1999. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_mi1571/is_45_15/ai_58050620 16
    • Chapter 2 Faith Undermined “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” (Colossians 2:8) When I was an unbeliever, attempts were made to prevent me from becoming a Christian. Once I did, then my faith was undermined. However, God is faithful, and He restored my faith and made it stronger than ever. When I was in high school, my parents decided to attend a Unitarian church, so I joined that church’s youth program. It was designed to inoculate young people against Christianity. We studied the Egyptian pharaoh, Ahenaten, and his worship of the Egyptian sun god, Ra. We also studied a book titled Jesus the Carpenter’s Son. The theme of the book was the Jesus was just a regular guy—not a Savior or a God. Our class had a field trip that consisted of attending a Catholic high Mass, conducted in Latin, complete with incense. Our teacher told us that this was a typical Christian service, and the boys and girls laughed at how silly those Christians were, with their ridiculous rituals. Some of the boys said that the chalice must hold a lot of wine, so the priest must get drunk. This lack of respect, and even irreverence, was typical and was encouraged. For example, we sang a number of songs mocking Christianity. Here are the words to one of them. It was sung to the tune of a Pepsi Cola commercial from back in the days when a 12-ounce bottle of Pepsi only 17
    • cost five cents. I apologize for the irreverence of these words, but it’s necessary to let you see them in order to give you a feel for the kind of thing that I was constantly exposed to at that Unitarian church. “Christianity hits the spot. Twelve disciples, that’s a lot. Jesus Christ and a Virgin too. Christianity’s the thing for you.” Years later, I found out that my parents had no idea of what was going on in the youth group. Although they were not Christians at that time, they would have been appalled by the lack of respect and the mocking attitude. In many different ways, our Unitarian teachers said and implied that in order to be a Christian, a person must either be stupid, or ignorant, or mentally ill. That made it difficult to even consider the possibility that Christianity might be right. I knew that I was educated and intelligent. Therefore, if I became a Christian, my Unitarian friends and family would literally think that I was crazy. That’s a lot of pressure—especially for a teenager. But God was drawing me, and when I was in my early twenties I became a Christian. Then I ran into the next big hurdle. Because I wanted to learn more about the Bible, I went to a college that claimed to be Christian, and majored in Religious Education. And my college professors totally undermined my belief in Scripture. Somehow, I managed to keep on loving Jesus in spite of that. But I was devastated. And that is precisely what the world is doing to so many of our young people. Please pray for our young people. Our culture is out to destroy their faith and their morals. 18
    • Chapter 3 Regaining Trust in Scripture “Open thou mine eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” (Psalm 119:18) God, in His mercy, got me to attend a charismatic prayer meeting. How I got there is a long story, and I’ll spare you the details. The important thing is that I got there. There were times when people had accurate words of knowledge. They said that God was showing them something, and it was something that they had no way of knowing naturally. And it turned out to be true. That showed me that when the Bible talks about God showing things to people, I can believe it. I saw a demonstration of the gift of interpretation of tongues. I was standing in the back of the hall when somebody gave a message in tongues, and another person gave the interpretation. I was behind two men who were talking, one of whom came from a foreign country. The foreigner told the other man that the person who spoke in tongues was speaking his (the foreigner’s) native language. And that the interpretation that was given was quite accurate. That got my attention. Those experiences showed me that when the Bible talks about speaking in other tongues, that people from other countries can understand, I can believe it. In addition, it also showed me that when the Bible talks about the gift of interpretation of tongues, I can believe it. I saw some people get healed at that prayer meeting. And I believe their testimonies, because I was also healed. 19
    • My husband Ray had died some years before, at a young age. After his death, I developed heart problems. I had angina, and often had to take nitroglycerin. Almost every day (and sometimes several times in a day) I would get severe chest pain, going down my arm. And I would take the nitroglycerin, and sit there and wait to see whether I would have a heart attack or whether it would pass. One evening, after the prayer meeting, I got talking with a young woman who had been baptized in the Holy Spirit that night. She said that when the people prayed for her, her whole body got hot. That was hours before, and her hands were still hot. All at once I just knew that if this woman laid those hot hands on me and prayed for me, I would be healed. So I asked her to do it. And she did. And I was healed. I went home and did all of the things I could think of that would set off that angina problem, including running up the stairs. And I was fine. For many years, I never had any more chest pain. (I’ve occasionally had some chest pain in the last few years, but at 70 years old, that is reasonable. And it has never been to the extent that it was back then. I was free from chest pain for over thirty years.) My own healing, and the testimonies of other people who were healed, showed me that I can believe accounts of healing in the Bible. There were two men in that prayer group who had a deliverance ministry. I talked with them and heard stories of people getting set free from being tormented by demons. One day I was talking with a young man who said that he had been seriously suicidal ever since he was a young boy. He told me that it began when he watched a movie on TV about voodoo. One character in the movie told a man that if he said some special words, then he would get special powers. That character said those words, phrase by phrase, and the other man repeated those words after him. 20
    • Well as a boy, this young man thought that it would be neat to have special powers, so he said those words out loud along with the character in the movie. From that time on, that boy was tormented with thoughts of suicide. In addition, he had horrible dreams, and other tormenting thoughts. I suggested that he go get deliverance from the men in the prayer group who had the deliverance ministry. And when I saw that young man a few weeks later, his face had changed so much that I barely recognized him. Instead of being tormented, he was full of life and joy. Later, I talked to the two men with the deliverance ministry, and they told me that the young man had indeed been set free from some serious spiritual bondage. So after that, I could believe it when the Bible tells about Jesus and the apostles casting demons out of people. Because of those experiences, devils and demons are very real to me. In that respect, I am more like a person from the Third World than a typical westerner. The whole spiritual world is very real to me—God, good angels, the devil, and demons. Heaven and hell are very real to me. As a result, I care intensely about people making it to Heaven. For many Americans, such things are two-dimensional and rather unreal. They seem like intellectual abstracts, or Bible stories from childhood, as opposed to being solidly three-dimensional, and very real, and very relevant. I’m grateful that, because of my experiences, the whole spiritual world is so real to me. That helps me understand the Bible better. Now that I know that I can trust Scripture, I use it as my plumb line. I test everything against it. 21
    • Chapter 4 A Common Sense Approach to Scripture “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) Years ago, an “expert” told me that in one place, the Bible says that Judas hanged himself (Matthew 27:5), but in another place, the Bible says that Judas’ body burst asunder in a field (Acts 1:16-19). He said that shows that the Bible contradicts itself. And he implied that the Bible cannot be trusted. I was troubled by that for many years—until I took a trip to Israel. In that hot climate, bodies decompose quickly. If Judas’ body was decomposing when somebody cut the rope to get the body down, then it could easily break open when it fell to the ground. In addition, much of the country is very hilly and full of rocks. Judas could have hanged himself from a tree that was at the top of a hill (or part way up a hill). In that case, the body could have also rolled downhill and struck a rock, or a tree, and burst open. So there is no contradiction at all. Matthew described the beginning of the process, and Luke (the author of the Book of Acts) described the end of it. Following is another example of something that appears to be an inconsistency in the Bible. This involves whether or not Christians should eat meat offered to idols. In 1 Corinthians, chapter 8, Paul talks about eating meat offered to idols. And he says that the problem with eating meat offered to idols is causing a stumbling block for a 22
    • brother with a weak conscience (i.e., somebody who doesn’t realize that it would be alright to eat that meat). Eating the meat in itself is not the problem. The problem is setting an example that encourages somebody else to go against their own conscience, which would be a sin. Revelation 2:18-29 is the letter of Jesus to the church at Thyatira. And there was a serious problem in Thyatira, because a false prophetess named Jezebel taught people to eat meat offered to idols. And to commit fornication. So why is it alright to eat meat offered to idols in 1 Corinthians 8, but seriously bad to do it in Revelation 2:1829? I’ve wondered about that for many years, but recently I heard a sermon that gives the solution to the problem. (The preacher is a friend of mine, and he is rock solid.) There were two different ways of eating meat offered to idols. The temples had meat markets associated with them. If someone sacrificed an animal and it didn’t all get eaten during the sacrifice, then the leftover meat was sold in the meat market. It was alright for Christians to eat the meat from the market. But it was seriously wrong to eat the meat as part of participating in temple sacrifices to a pagan god. And notice that what Jezebel taught about eating meat sacrificed to idols was associated with fornication. Well, those pagan temples were full of temple prostitutes. So if a man ate meat there, then he was in a place to be tempted to commit fornication (or adultery). This is an example of how things that appear to be inconsistencies really aren’t a problem at all. But it can take years to find out the answers to those questions. And some of them we probably won’t get answers to this side of Heaven. And that’s a good thing. Because if we had all of the answers, then our confidence would be in ourselves (i.e., in our own understanding) instead trusting in God. The question is—Will we trust God even if we don’t have all of the answers yet? 23
    • Let me put that another way. After we die, everything will become very obvious. We will indeed have all of the answers. But at that point, it will be too late to choose sides. Either we will go to Heaven or else we will go to hell. It is only while we are here on earth—before we have all of the answers—that we can have faith. It is only while there are still some plausible reasons for doubt that we can choose to trust God, in spite of the fact that all of the evidence isn’t in yet. There have been a few times in my life when I was falsely accused. And there were plausible reasons for believing those false accusations. I was innocent, but I couldn’t prove it. Eventually, it became obvious that I was innocent. And at that point, everybody knew that the accusations had been false. Now I did not stop loving the people who hadn’t trusted me. But my relationship with the people who did trust me became deeper and closer. It was different than it was with people who had not trusted me. Right now—before all of the evidence has come in— before it becomes glaringly obvious who God is, and that the Bible it true—this is the only time when we can develop that kind of deep and close relationship with God. Because this is the only time when we can trust Him. This is the only time when we can have faith. Once all of the evidence is in, and there is no longer any room for doubt, then the question of faith and trust will be irrelevant. At that point, we will KNOW for sure— absolutely sure. Then the question will be—Did we use our time here on earth to love and trust God, in spite of the fact that we didn’t have all of the answers yet? Did we build the kind of personal relationship with Him that can only be built when 24
    • there are still some plausible reasons for doubt and not trusting? Once we die, then we will know all the answers. But in the meantime, we need to have a standard for making practical decisions and moral judgments. God has provided that in the Bible. However, we can’t live Biblically unless we have confidence that the Bible means what it says, that it is reliable, and that it is credible. Many problems that people have with Scripture are caused by heeding Scripture “experts” who don’t use common sense. For example, Jesus gave the “Sermon on the Mount” and the “Sermon on the Plain.” Some “experts” consider that to be a contradiction. Was it a mount or a plain? They have forgotten something. Jesus was a traveling preacher who taught for three years. Therefore, He taught from many mounts, and many plains, and from ships, and from seashores, and in houses, and from every kind of place that a person could preach from. Similarly, some people raise questions because Matthew, Mark, Luke and John have different versions of a parable or a teaching. Again, they have forgotten that Jesus was a real live preacher. And in real life, traveling preachers use the same teachings and illustrations many times, with variations in how they present them. Some people are troubled if Matthew, Mark, Luke or John have differences in how they relate something that happened. For example, with the beggar Blind Bartimaeus, one of the Gospels mentions two blind men but the others only mention one blind man. Well, in real life, if you had five people witness an event and write about it, you would have variations in the reports. Different people would focus on different things. As far as the number of blind men goes, there were many beggars on the roadsides, and some of them were blind. It would not be unusual for a blind beggar like 25
    • Bartimaeus to have friends who were also blind beggars, and to want to be with his friends. So one account mentions Bartimaeus’ fellow beggar, and the other accounts don’t. There is nothing unusual about that. It’s the kind of thing that often happens in real life. Another thing that causes problems for some people is differences of writing style in Paul’s letters. In real life, writing style and vocabulary depends on who we are writing to and on the subject matter. We should expect Paul to write to Gentiles differently than he writes to Jews. We should expect him to write to mature Christians differently than he writes to immature Christians who are having a lot of problems. We should expect him to write to Timothy (a fellow minister who was close to him) differently than he would write to people he hasn’t met. Think about your own letters and emails. Would you write to your boss the same way that you write to your son or your daughter? Would you write to a nonbeliever the same way that you write to your pastor? Would you write about a football game the same way that you write about a research project you are doing at school? Here is a practical example using this book. If a scholar analyzed the Foreword and the appendices, would he think that they had the same author? Probably not. But they do. It’s me. Sometimes Greek verb tenses can cause confusion. For example, 1 John 1:8 says, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” So John is saying that we all sin. But later, in 1 John 3:6 he says, “Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.” Now that could be confusing. The problem is the Greek verb tense. 1 John 3:6 is saying that if we abide in Him we do not keep on sinning. It’s not a one-time event. It’s a lifestyle. Any Christian can sin and repent. That is very different from habitually 26
    • sinning. (I don’t know Greek, but I’ve heard that teaching from several preachers.) Some scholars say that the Sermon on the Mount is a compilation of teachings, rather than one sermon. They have forgotten something. We live in a televised world where many people have short attention spans, and many preachers have short sermons. Back in 1858, when Abraham Lincoln debated Stephen Douglas (the famous Lincoln-Douglas Debates), each debate lasted for three hours. So people in those days were able to do serious listening for three hours straight. I did an experiment. I read the entire Sermon on the Mount out loud, at a slow, conversational pace. (It’s the Gospel of Matthew, chapters 5 through 7.) It only took 15 minutes. Surely Jesus preached longer than that to people who went to all the trouble to find Him and listen to him. He was only going to be with those particular people one time. So He had to get as much truth to them as He could during that one time of preaching. We know that Jesus and His followers did some lengthy preaching. On one occasion, the Apostle Paul preached all night long, until daybreak. (Acts 20:7-12) Therefore, I would expect that what the Bible gives us from the Sermon on the Mount is only a selection out of many teachings that Jesus gave on that occasion. And the quotations from Jesus that we have may only be the conclusions that He gave following longer teachings about those issues. Matthew’s account of the Sermon on the Mount is the result of the Holy Spirit showing Matthew which of the many teachings that Jesus gave should be included in the report, and which statements Jesus made should be quoted. It is also the result of the Holy Spirit enabling Matthew to remember accurately. Jesus promised His disciples, 27
    • “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (John 14:26, emphasis added) Matthew 5:38-42 is a good opportunity to use some common sense. Jesus basically told people to be loving and forgiving instead of quarreling and vengeful. For example, He said, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” (Matthew 5:38-39) First he said, don’t try to get revenge. Then he said to allow someone to slap you on the cheek. Being slapped is unpleasant, but it is a relatively mild degree of pain and hardship. Jesus did not say that Christians should passively allow people to rape their wives and murder their children. He didn’t even tell Christians to passively submit to persecution. He said, “But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another” (Matthew 10:23) Similarly, Jesus said that if someone sues us for our tunic, we should let them have it, and even our cloak as well. (Matthew 5:40) That is just some clothing. Although clothing was more difficult to obtain back in those days than it is now, it was still just clothing. Jesus did not say that we should allow people to take our home and our farm or business, so that we and our family become homeless and destitute. 28
    • Here is an example of using Scripture to interpret Scripture. Jesus said, “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” (Matthew 7:1) Some people interpret that as meaning that we should never criticize anything that other people say or do. However, that cannot be the meaning of this passage because, later on in the same chapter, Jesus said, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.” (Matthew 7:15-17) How can we beware of them if we can’t recognize them? How can we warn our friends and family to beware of them if we aren’t allowed to say anything negative about anybody? According to what Jesus said, He expects us to be able to recognize false teachers, and to discern the difference between good and bad fruit in a person’s life. How do we reconcile that with not judging people? Jesus warned us against condemning people, because only God knows their hearts and their motives. But we can condemn sinful (or harmful) behavior. The Bible gives us guidelines for doing that. We cannot condemn people. However, we are expected to be “fruit inspectors” who can tell the difference between people who teach Christian truth, and false teachers. (Matthew 7:15-20) In addition, Jesus commanded us to “judge righteous judgment.” (John 7:24) Here is a practical example from real life. If we have reasons to question someone’s morality and their level of 29
    • responsible behavior, we cannot condemn them, because only God knows their heart. However, we should not let them babysit our children. And it would be foolish to become business partners with them. If we come across a passage in Scripture that doesn’t make sense to us, we can ask God to help us understand it. If we pray, and consider that passage some more, and we still can’t understand it, then we can just set it aside and go on reading. There have been times when a Scripture passage that I didn’t understand before suddenly makes sense. It’s like a light goes on, and I can see it. Reading Scripture is a lifetime adventure. What we do understand is more than enough to guide us and help us know the Lord better. Let’s use what we can understand, and trust God to take care of the rest of it in His own good timing. 30
    • Chapter 5 The Problem of Pain “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) One of the problems we all have to deal with is that of pain. Some even find that the existence of pain, to the degree that we see it in this world, causes them to doubt their faith in God. They say, “If God is both all-powerful and loving, how can he allow so much pain and suffering?” Some conclude either that God is not all powerful (which means that he is not God), or that he is not loving (which is a denial of Scripture). Implicit in this kind of question is the assumption: “God, if I were in charge, I would not do it your way.” This is an assumption that we are not entitled to make. Most people can handle a good deal of pain if they can see a reason for it. Athletes, mountain climbers and others who place great demands on their physical bodies willingly subject themselves to a great deal of pain. Soldiers accept suffering, hardship and death in the service of their country. Most women are able to accept the pain of childbirth because they love their baby. Many people will work very hard if they see their work as bringing a reward. But when suffering seems meaningless, it is hard to accept. Scripture gives us some clear guidelines for dealing with pain, suffering, and hardship. These Biblical principles have practical applications for our daily lives. In considering pain, it helps to remember that God is faithful and he loves us. No matter what happens to us, He is willing and able to make it work out for our good. 31
    • “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good” (Genesis 50:20) God Strengthens and Empowers Us Paul prayed that the Ephesians would have the eyes of their heart enlightened so that they might know “the exceeding greatness of his power” for believers. (Ephesians 1:19). (Also see Ephesians 3:20.) God’s incomparably great power is at work within us. We may not feel it, but Scripture says that it is there. “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” (Ephesians 6:10) God wants us to live every aspect of our life in his strength and his mighty power. “For in him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28) We should do everything in his great power. Apart from him, we can do nothing (John 15:5). In all things we can draw on the mighty power of the God who lives in us and in whom we have our being. Paul wrote, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13) 32
    • “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9) He prayed that the Colossians would be “strengthened with all might, according to [God’s] glorious power” (Colossians 1:11). When David was greatly distressed, he “encouraged himself in the LORD his God” (1 Samuel 30:6). (Also see 2 Samuel 22:33; Psalms 28:7, 46:1, 119:28.) While on earth, Jesus Christ ministered in the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:14). He told his disciples, “ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you” (Acts 1:8). This includes the power to love people who seem unlovable, to forgive those who have wronged us deeply, and to get rid of all bitterness. God can make us willing and able to cast off everything that hinders (Hebrews 12:1) and to persevere in the face of great obstacles. He can enable us to live by the Spirit, to show the fruit of the Spirit, to minister in love to others, and much more. It is God’s power to become what we could never become on our own. Grace came through Jesus Christ (John 1:17), and part of the definition of grace is God’s influence working in us. It is only by God’s power working in us that we can possibly hope to develop godly character qualities. I find all this astonishing. Of ourselves we are weak and fallible. Of ourselves we can do nothing. But the Almighty God, who created and sustains the universe, has enabled us to be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. By the mighty power of God working in us, we can overcome the world’s temptations and pressures, and we can surmount every difficulty and problem we may face. Whatever our problems or difficulties may be, the one who lives in us is greater. We need to learn to believe this, to feel it, and to act on it. 33
    • We Have Hope With God there is always hope. He is “the God of hope” (Romans 15:13). (Also see 1 Timothy 1:1, 4:10.) “Happy is he… whose hope is in the LORD his God” (Psalm 146:5). (Also see Psalms 33:20, 37:9, 39:7, 62:5, 130:7, 147:11; Jeremiah 14:22.) Those who believe in God will always have hope (Psalm 71:14). Part of standing firm in the faith is to “hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering” (Hebrews 10:23). We need to “continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel” (Colossians 1:23). “Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast” (Hebrews 6:19) God has given us new birth into a living hope because of the resurrection of Jesus (1 Peter 1:3). Peter is there talking about the hope of eternal life, but with God there is hope in this world also. “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31) Abraham in hope believed God’s promise that he and Sarah could have a son, and their hope was realized (Romans 4:18-22). The Psalmist wrote, “I hope in thy word” (Psalm 119:81). (Also see verse 147.) He wrote, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.” (Psalm 42:5). (Also see Psalms 42:11, 43:5.) Whenever we find ourselves getting discouraged, the answer is to put our hope in God. 34
    • Those who are without God are without hope (Ephesians 2:12). “[B]rethren… sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13). (Also see Hebrews 2:15; Job 27:8; Proverbs 24:20.) Christian hope is not wishful thinking. It is confident expectation. As Christians we can be sure of what we hope for (Hebrews 11:1). Those who hope in God will not be disappointed. “Hope maketh not ashamed” (Romans 5:5). Our confidence is based on who God is. We know, without any doubt, that God is far greater than any problem or concern we may have, that he is a good and loving God, and that he is faithful to keep his promises. We know that “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28). One of the remarkable things about our position in Christ is that so often we find ourselves in a win-win situation. However it comes out, we will be winners. Paul gives us one example. He wrote that God’s power is made perfect in weakness, and therefore Paul delighted in his weaknesses, because when he is weak (in himself) then he is strong (in God’s power) (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). So whether Paul feels strong or weak, it all works out for good. I can give an example in my own life. I am fighting advanced cancer. If I should die soon, then I will go to be with the Lord. That is a very good place to be! And if I go, I am sure that God will continue to take care of my family. On the other hand, if, as I hope and desire, God heals me of this cancer, then I will have more time to serve him here on earth. So I cannot lose. Whatever happens, God works it out for good. Because of our position in Christ, we can know that, no matter how difficult the outward circumstances may seem, we can, in God’s strength, be overcomers. And so we can be “rejoicing in hope” (Romans 12:12). 35
    • We Can Overcome Any Adversity God enables his people to overcome evil. “…his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness.” (2 Peter 1:3) Therefore, we can overcome trials and tribulations, and we can conquer the temptations of the world, the flesh and the devil. Jesus said, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) But then Scripture says that we can overcome the world. “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:4-5) When Scripture says that we can overcome the world, I believe this means that no matter what our problem or difficulty, the power of God is greater. Paul was an overcomer. He had learned how to be content in any and every situation (Philippians 4:11-13). He was no longer at the mercy of his circumstances. We are more than conquerors because nothing can separate us from the love of Christ (Romans 8:35-39). We can see this with Stephen. An angry mob stoned him to death, but Stephen saw the glory of God and he died praying for his enemies. They conquered him physically, but Stephen was more than a conqueror. The mob couldn’t 36
    • destroy his relationship with Jesus Christ or his godly character. (See Acts 7:54-60.) We have “power… to overcome all the power of the enemy” (Luke 10:19). We can overcome every evil influence because, “…greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4) 37
    • Chapter 6 Pain and Hardship Are Part of Life “Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.” (Job 5:7) I start with what may seem an obvious proposition. In this imperfect world, pain and hardship are a part of life. No one is immune from them. No one can claim any right to be free of them. Some suffer more than others, and that may be thought to raise a question of fairness, which I shall address later. But no one is exempt. When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, our sins are forgiven, we enter into eternal life, and we can look forward to spending eternity in heaven with God. We have the Holy Spirit living within us, we become adopted sons of God, and we are enabled to start a remarkable process of transformation in our lives. These are tremendous gifts, which we do not deserve, and for which we should be very thankful. We receive them by the grace of God, and part of the definition of grace is “unmerited favor.” But I do not see anything in Scripture that says that we are exempt from pain and suffering. Scripture says that we can expect difficulties, testing and suffering. One difference is that we are much better able to deal with them because of the power of God working in us, because of the hope that God always gives us, and because of the support and love of our fellowbelievers. God has many blessings for us. He is “able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us” (Ephesians 38
    • 3:20). But blessings are gifts. No one is entitled to them. When we get them we give thanks, but if we do not get all that we hoped for, we have no right to complain. God does not owe us anything (Romans 11:35; Job 41:11). In the light of the tremendous blessing of forgiveness of sins and eternal salvation, everything else becomes relatively unimportant. (See 2 Corinthians 4:17.) We Live In An Imperfect World When God created the earth, put plants and animals on it, and created man, he looked at everything he had made and saw that it was very good (Genesis 1:31). There was no sin and no death. Eventually, there will be a world in which there is no sin, no death, no pain and no suffering. But for the present, pain and suffering are a part of our life. How did this come about? The Fall in Eden At the Creation, God put Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. He gave them everything they needed. They had food, shelter, and dominion over the earth. They walked with God every afternoon. He put only one restriction on them. He told them not to eat the fruit of one tree. He did not want them to know (experience) evil. They disobeyed and were driven out of Eden. Adam and Eve, who knew God intimately, chose to believe the serpent (satan) rather than God. They chose to do things their way rather than God’s way. The result was that sin and death came into the world for the first time. “…by one man sin entered the world, and death by sin” (Romans 5:12) 39
    • “…by man came death.” (1Corinthians 15:21) Pain is mentioned for the first time. God told Eve, “in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children” (Genesis 3:16). He told Adam that he would have sorrow and would have to struggle against thorns and thistles (Genesis 3:17-18). Pain and suffering came into the world as a result of the wrong decision Adam and Eve made. Since the Fall in Eden, the earth has been under a curse. “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” (Romans 8:22) Why did God allow this to happen? Because he wanted men and women to have free will, to have genuine freedom of choice. He wanted them to serve him and love him by their own free choice, and not because they were incapable of doing anything else. Having free will means that you can choose wrongly. The price for giving man free will was that man, in the persons of Adam and Eve, made a terrible mistake, which had profound consequences. Some might question God’s decision to give man free will. But God is God, and we cannot change him, nor should we want to. “Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?” (Romans 9:20) God said to Job, “Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?” (Job 40:8). We have to accept God as he is, and give thanks that he is such a wonderful God. 40
    • If we want to blame someone for our suffering, we should not blame God. If anyone is to blame, it is Adam and Eve. There Will Be a World Without Pain and Suffering At some time in the future, there will be a world without pain and suffering for those who are righteous and follow God. “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Revelation 21:4) “…the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.” (Isaiah 65:19) There will be “everlasting joy” and “they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away” (Isaiah 35:10). (Also see Isaiah 51:11.) “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain” (Isaiah 11:9; 65:25). “And there shall be no more curse” (Revelation 22:3). Our bodies now are perishable, dishonorable and weak; but we shall eventually have bodies that are imperishable, glorious, and powerful (1 Corinthians 15:42-44). Even animals will no longer eat each other (Isaiah 11:6-9, 65:25). The present world is not the way God finally wants it. But for the present, we have to deal with the world as it now is. 41
    • Chapter 7 God Can Bring Good Out of Pain “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4:17) In the present imperfect world, pain and hardship serve a useful, and even necessary, function. Let me illustrate this in several ways: The Physical Body For our physical bodies, pain serves as a necessary warning system. We put our hand on a hot burner and instantly snatch it away. We cut or scratch ourselves and react instantly to get away from whatever is causing the injury and to deal with the injured tissue. We feel an internal pain which gets us to the doctor, who tells us that our appendix is inflamed, we have kidney stones, or whatever else is wrong, and we get it attended to. Pain is like the warning lights on a car, which alert us to things that need attention. Our pain system is carefully designed and adapted to our bodies’ needs. For instance, the pain sensors are much more strongly concentrated in some areas than in others. Some areas are very sensitive to pressure but less so to pricks or scratches; etc. The system is carefully and specifically designed. Interestingly, the same nerves that transmit pain, also transmit pleasurable sensations. There are some people who are unable to feel pain, such as lepers, advanced diabetics, and some others. They 42
    • can injure themselves and not know it. Their life is full of hazards and very difficult. They would give much to be able to feel pain. Study with these people, including unsuccessful attempts to create a workable man-made warning system, has made it clear that any warning system must give a strong enough signal so that we cannot ignore it. Physical pain cannot be turned off, and it is so insistent that we cannot ignore it. It’s a good thing that the signal is strong and unpleasant. Does pain also serve a function in our spiritual life? I think it does. Responsibility for our Choices There are many “natural laws.” Ignoring them often results in pain. If we try to walk off a rooftop, we will fall and hurt ourselves. Foolish, dare-devil actions can produce painful consequences. If we touch a hot thing, we will get burned. If we smoke heavily, we have a greater likelihood of getting cancer or respiratory illness. Drinking heavily, overeating, and using “recreational” drugs can all have painful consequences. If we were to be relieved from all pain and suffering, we would never have to face the consequences of our actions. The same is true with spiritual laws. There is a spiritual principle called sowing and reaping. “Do not be deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7) If we sow anger, hatred, hostility, bitterness, unforgiveness, ingratitude, selfishness and the like, we shall receive the same from others. If we choose to cause harm to others, 43
    • we can expect to receive harm. By the same principle, if we are giving, loving, considerate, thoughtful, and unselfish towards others, we shall receive many blessings. “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” (Luke 6:38) This principle does not work perfectly. Nothing does in this imperfect world. But it still is true, in my experience and that of many others, that those who choose to be giving and loving usually receive love and generosity, while those who choose to give anger and hatred receive anger and hatred. If there were no painful consequences to our negative actions, would we ever learn to give them up? Would we perceive them as harmful and spiritually dangerous if we did not have a pain mechanism to warn us? If there were no unpleasant consequences from violating them, could these even be said to be laws? The principle applies more broadly. God has given us certain commandments and laws. For them to be meaningful, there need to be consequences from following them or violating them. In many places, Scripture sets forth blessings and curses. God says, behave in this way and you will be blessed; behave in that way and you will be cursed. In Deuteronomy, chapter 28, for example, God set forth a series of blessings and curses. If his people obey his law and commands, they will be blessed with prosperity, military success, and honor and recognition. If they disobey, God will send on them plagues, wasting diseases, military defeats, oppression, madness, blindness, confusion 44
    • of mind, and much more. Then in Deuteronomy 30:19 God says, “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19) God uses the possibility of intense suffering as a way of bringing his people into obedience. In the New Testament, Paul contrasts two ways of life: living by the flesh and living by the Holy Spirit. Living by the flesh results in sexual impurity, idolatry, hatred, discord, jealousy, dissensions, drunkenness, and the like. “…they which do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:21) “Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.” (Ephesians 5:6) In contrast, those who live by the Spirit receive the “fruit of the Spirit,” which is “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” (Galatians 5:22-23). One group is miserable and suffers; the other group is blessed. Paul expresses the difference as that between life and death (Romans 8:5-17). God has declared that those who believe in Jesus Christ will have eternal life, while those who do not believe in him are condemned already (John 3:16, 18). He has established a judgment in which the righteous go to “life eternal” and the unrighteous to “everlasting punishment” (Matthew 25:46). The righteous will “shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father,” while the wicked will be 45
    • thrown into a “furnace of fire” (Matthew 13:42-43, 50). (Also see John 5:29.) In all of these, we see the use of pain and suffering as a means of enforcing the laws God has established, and as a consequence of violating those laws. God Uses Pain and Hardship to Train and Strengthen Us God’s priorities are not our priorities. We tend to want physical health, freedom from physical and emotional pain, and enough material possessions to live comfortably. We may feel deprived and unjustly treated if we do not have these. God wants us to have “good” things. (Psalm 84:11) However, his primary concern is not with our physical circumstances. I believe his primary concerns are: • Our eternal salvation • Our growth into Christian maturity and character • Our usefulness (“fruitfulness”) in the kingdom of God The early Christians endured a great deal of suffering. They were a persecuted church. What was their reaction to hardship and suffering? The record of Scripture is absolutely amazing! They did not complain about it, or say that it was more than they could bear. They welcomed it as something that taught them and strengthened them! Look at what they said about it: “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have 46
    • her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” (James 1:2-4) “…we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” (Romans 5:3-5) “…though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:6-7) “For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he [God] for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees” (Hebrews 12:10-12) The unanimous voice of the New Testament writers is that pain and suffering teach us and strengthen us and help us to become mature. These were writers who had, themselves, experienced considerable suffering. There is a principle in athletic training that says, “No pain, no gain.” I suggest that the same principle applies to our growth into spiritual maturity. Quite often it seems that we grow only in the presence of discomfort or pain that 47
    • makes us feel the need for change, and forces us to cry out to God. I want to make one thing clear. These New Testament writers did not seek out pain. They did not deliberately inflict it on themselves. But when it came, they welcomed it as an opportunity to grow and to learn. There have been, and still are, some people who deliberately inflict pain on themselves as a way of showing devotion to God or attempting to achieve holiness. I find no support for such a view in Scripture. This kind of selfinflicted pain is not what I am talking about. God Uses Hardship and Pain to Get us to Depend on Him God can also use hardship, pain and suffering to get us to depend on him rather than ourselves. Paul refers to the great pressure he was under in the province of Asia, which was so great that he despaired of life, and then says, “…that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead” (2 Corinthians 1:9) Paul asked God to take away his “thorn in the flesh” (2 Corinthians 12:7-8). God replied, “My grace is sufficient for thee, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9) Paul added, “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10) 48
    • Paul’s weakness made him strong in the sense that it caused him to rely to a greater degree on God’s incomparably great strength. God used this “thorn in the flesh” (which evidently bothered Paul quite a bit, whatever it was), to cause Paul to depend on God at a deeper level. This is an important principle. We see it illustrated in a number of ways. For example, Jesus said that it is hard for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 19:23-24). One reason is that a rich person tends to rely on his own riches rather than on God. More generally, those who are comfortably off, and successful by this world’s standards, often feel that they do not need God. Those who are in very difficult situations, and do not see how they can get through them, may be much readier to turn to God for help. When things are going well, we can easily believe that we are self-sufficient. In the face of hardship and suffering, the myth of self-sufficiency loses credibility. We see this in another way. In the relatively affluent West, the Christian church has tended to be weak. Not only are its numbers declining, but many individuals and churches seem to be lacking in strong commitment to God. In other parts of the world, such as Africa, where many people face hardships, the Christian church is growing and strong. It is striking that in China, where the independent Christian church faces severe persecution, the church has been growing rapidly. The rate of growth has been far greater under Communist persecution than it ever was before. I have seen this operate in my own life. The experience of having to deal with advanced cancer has not been easy. But I can see that it has done several things for me. It has increased my faith. I have been put in a position where I had only God to depend on, and I have become willing to depend on God. I have identified and gotten rid of a number of things that had been weakening my faith. I 49
    • have been praying more consistently and more effectively. I have gained a greater appreciation and thankfulness for the many blessings God has given me. I believe that this difficult experience has helped me to get my knowledge and understanding of God beyond the intellectual, head level, to a level that reaches the heart. My wife and I were commenting the other day that, on the whole, this has been a good experience. 50
    • Chapter 8 Loving God for Who He Is “Thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” (Matthew 22:37) God wants us to love him for who he is, and not just for what he does for us. This is the issue in the Book of Job. Job was a wealthy man, with a large family; “the greatest of all the men of the east” (Job 1:3). Satan said to God, “Doth Job fear God for naught?… But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face” (Job 1:9,11). But Job remained faithful to God. Then satan said, “But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face.” (Job 2:5). But no matter what happened to him, Job did not “sin with his lips.” (Job 2:10) Job’s wife told him to “curse God, and die” (Job 2:9). But Job replied, “Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10) Job complained to God, he demanded explanations, he showed anger at God, but he never turned away from God. At the end, when God gave him no explanations, he was content with the fact that “now my eyes have seen you” (Job 42:5). He remained faithful to God for who God was, even though God had allowed satan to take away his family and wealth, and to inflict on him a painful disease. He served 51
    • God for who he was and not for what he had bestowed on Job. David wrote, “Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” (Psalm 37:4-5) Often, before God is ready to give us the desires of our heart, he may test us to see whether we have truly committed our ways to him and are willing to trust him. It is when things are going “badly” that we have to trust in God because we have nowhere else to turn. Just as he did with Job, God may test us with troubles so that he, and we, can know whether we are really committed to him and trust in him. When the three young Hebrews refused to worship Nebuchadnezzar’s statue, he threatened to throw them into a very hot furnace. They replied, “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” (Daniel 3:17-18) They believed that God would save them from suffering. But even if he did not, they would serve him. Their serving God did not depend on what he did or did not do for them, but on who he is. If God always blessed us with good things, and rescued us from suffering, then we would be tempted to love and serve him just for what he does for us. Our faith in him would be based on greed and self-advantage. 52
    • God does not want that kind of faith. He wants us to believe in him, and to love and serve him, for who he is, and not just for what he does for us. There are many reasons for loving God for who he is. These include his character and his greatness. God’s Character The important thing to remember about God’s character is that it has many aspects. God is loving, compassionate, merciful, forgiving, and kind. He is amazingly patient with us. He also disciplines those he loves. He is holy, righteous, and just. He cannot tolerate evil. He is a God of judgment. God has all wisdom and all knowledge. He is faithful; he keeps his promises. He reaches out to us and desires our companionship. He wants us to know him personally. But he is also a great and powerful God. He is awesome in the original and true meaning of that word. I could go on and list many more aspects of God’s character. It would take a whole book to begin to deal with them adequately. But the point I want to emphasize is that we need to deal with every aspect of God’s character. One of the great sources of error in our thinking about God is that we sometimes put so much emphasis on certain aspects of his character that we neglect the others and arrive at a distorted picture. We need to know and follow the whole teaching of Scripture about God, and not just parts of it. Let me illustrate this by just one example. Paul wrote, “Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God” (Romans 11:22). God is a loving God. “God is love” (1 John 4:16). “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). 53
    • God is merciful and patient with us. The Lord longs to be gracious to us (Isaiah 30:18). He lavishes his grace (his unmerited favor) on those who love him. But he is also a just God and a holy God. He will not forever tolerate evil and sin. He is a God of judgment. “…we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ” (Romans 14:10). (Also see John 5:28-29.) Scripture tells us to love God, and also to fear God. How can we do both? How can we both love God and fear him? A simple example may help. A young child loves his daddy. But he also fears him, especially when his daddy finds it necessary to discipline him physically. We need always to be aware of these two aspects of God. In the past, there have been those who put such emphasis on God’s severity that we tended to lose sight of his love and mercy. Today there are some who put such emphasis on God’s love and mercy that we tend to lose sight of his wrath and judgment. Either view is incomplete. Either view, without the other, is a distortion of God’s character. The Greatness of God God has all wisdom and all knowledge. He is faithful; he keeps his promises. He reaches out to us and desires our companionship. He wants us to know him personally. But he is also a great and powerful God. “O LORD my God, thou are very great; thou are clothed with honour and majesty” (Psalm 104:1) “For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also. The 54
    • sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.” (Psalm 95:3-7) “Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.” (Psalm 145:3) “Behold, God is mighty… he is mighty in strength and wisdom.” (Job 36:5) To get some sense of God’s greatness, I suggest reading Isaiah, chapter 40, and Revelation, chapters 4 and 5. Even they do not give the whole picture. God created the earth, the sun, the moon, our solar system, and millions upon millions of stars, most of which are larger than our sun. He created a physical universe that extends, so our scientists tell us, for a huge number of light years—distances that most of us cannot begin to grasp. And he is greater than his creation! We cannot begin to conceive the full measure of God’s greatness, his splendor, his majesty, his power. He has given us, in his Scriptures, some remarkable visions of him; but they are incomplete and partial. God lives “in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see” (1 Timothy 6:16). Part of God’s greatness is that he is all-powerful. God is the Almighty. That is his nature. That is what it is to be God. God’s power is incomparably great (Ephesians 1:19). He can do all things. “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” (Luke 1:37) 55
    • “Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.” (Genesis 18:14) “I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.” (Job 42:2) “But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26) God’s purpose and plans will prevail. Nothing can thwart or defeat them. “The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.” (Psalm 33:11) “The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand” (Isaiah 14:24) The Fear of the Lord Because God is so great, we should fear him. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom” (Psalm 111:10) “The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.” (Psalm 19:9) 56
    • “O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.” (Psalm 34:9) “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7) What does it mean, to fear God? I think it means that we recognize God’s tremendous power, and his potential for wrath against things that are ungodly. God is not mocked. We need constantly to keep watch over how we live. It means that we do not presume on God. “Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins… and I shall be innocent from the great transgression” (Psalm 19:13). What are presumptuous sins? We presume on God when we take him for granted, or seek to manipulate him. We presume on God when we put him to the test. (See Matthew 4:7.) Jesus would have presumed on God if he had thrown himself from the Temple when God did not tell him to do so. (See Matthew 4:6-7.) We presume on God whenever we think we can obligate him to give us something or to do something on our behalf. God does not owe anything to anybody. He is not obligated to anybody. (See Romans 11:35.) God is not a heavenly vending machine in which you put in a prayer and get whatever you have asked for. God is sovereign. And note that the Psalmist refers to presumptuous sins as “great transgression.” It means that we recognize that we cannot hide anything from God. God knows us completely (Psalm 139:1-6). He knows our every thought and action. And we cannot escape from him (Psalm 139:7-12). Even those who deny the existence of God will ultimately have to deal with him. It means that we are serious about our faith. God wants a total commitment of our lives to him. 57
    • It means that we take his Scriptures seriously. We don’t just ignore them, or give them lip service, or construe them in a way that waters down their clear meaning. It means that we act on them and live by them. Some do not like to consider God’s greatness because it makes them feel small. That is where God wants us. Scripture tells us to humble ourselves before God (1 Peter 5:6; James 4:10). This is part of the fear of God, that we recognize how much greater he is than we are. Confidence in God God’s greatness also means that, by his incomparably great power working within us, we can conquer whatever problems and difficulties we may have to face. God is bigger. He is bigger than anything we have to deal with. Nothing is impossible for him. In him we can overcome trials and difficulties. It is wonderful to be able to trust in such a great God. Freedom From Fear To put it another way, if we fear God, we do not need to fear anything else. If we do not fear God, then we will fear everything else. 58
    • Chapter 9 The Issue of Fairness “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9) When we encounter suffering we often ask, “Why me? What have I done to deserve this?” Our sense is that it is unfair for us to have to suffer. However, when “good” things happen, we seldom ask, “Why me? What have I done to deserve this?” Perhaps we should. But let’s look at this issue of “fairness” in a little more depth. Scripture speaks much about God’s grace, the unmerited favor he bestows on us. Would we want to receive only what we deserve and never receive God’s grace, his unmerited favor? Would we want to deny ourselves the “exceeding riches of his [God’s] grace” (Ephesians 2:7) by insisting that we receive only what we deserve? Scripture warns us to be “diligent” not to miss the grace of God (Hebrews 12:15) Would we want to miss the grace of God by insisting on a principle that we receive only what we deserve? If we received only what we deserved, none of us could be saved! We are saved by grace, by God’s unmerited favor (Ephesians 2:8). Whatever may happen to us in this life is minor compared to the suffering of spending eternity in hell separated from God. If we complain about suffering here on earth, are we not a little bit in the position of someone who receives an 59
    • unmerited gift of $1,000 and complains because it is in $20 bills rather than $100 bills? So long as we have the unmerited gift of eternal salvation, should we complain to God because our life on this earth is relatively more or less difficult? This idea of asking God only to let us have what we deserve cuts two ways, and I suggest we should not want to have him establish such a principle. “He [God] hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.” (Psalm 103:10) So let us not complain that sometimes we may have to undergo suffering that we think we do not deserve. People also say, “Why is this happening to me and not to this other person?” Would we want to have God make things “fair” by making the other person suffer as much as we suffer? Jesus predicted to Peter how Peter would die. When Peter saw John he asked, “Lord, what about him?” And Jesus answered, “If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.” (John 21:22) It is none of our concern how God treats somebody else. We need to focus on our relationship with him. Jesus told a parable about workers in a vineyard. Some came to work in the beginning of the day, and agreed to receive one denarius (“penny”) as a wage. Others started work at the third, the sixth, the ninth and the eleventh hour. The owner of the vineyard paid each of them the same wage. Those who had worked the longest complained that this was not fair, and the master (God) replied, 60
    • “But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?” (Matthew 20:13-15) Scripture tells us not to compare ourselves with others (Galatians 6:4). One reason this principle is applicable here is that we cannot know fully what the other person may be going through. Often others, who seem outwardly to be doing well, may be struggling with difficulties we know nothing of. Or they may have come through periods of severe pain in the past. How are we to measure pain? How do we compare the pain of arthritis or cancer with the pain of a marriage that is breaking up, or a rebellious child? It is better to stay with Jesus’ “What is that to you?” (John 21:22). Examples of Dealing with Pain and Hardship Scripture gives a number of examples of those who dealt with suffering. Above all, there is Jesus, “who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame” (Hebrews 12:2). Whenever we feel overwhelmed by the pain we have to endure, we can consider the agony that Jesus voluntarily suffered for us. Whenever we complain about what we consider to be the unfairness of our suffering, we can consider the injustice that Jesus willingly suffered. There is also Joseph, who was sold into slavery by his brothers, unjustly accused by his master’s wife and thrown into prison, and forgotten by those who promised to help 61
    • him. So far as Scripture records, he never complained. Eventually he became one of the rulers of Egypt and was able to save his family from starvation. He told his brothers, “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good” (Genesis 50:20) There is David, who for years was running for his life, just a step away from death. His Psalms are full of words of pain and agony, physical and spiritual. (See, for example, Psalms 6:1-3, 13:1-3, 38:68, 55:4-5, 69:1-3.) Yet David always sensed that God was with him. David said, “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me” (Psalm 138:7) “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4) One of the noteworthy things about the psalms is that, while they often start in despair, they usually end in affirmation, as David turns his eyes from his own suffering to the greatness of God. “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.” (Psalm 42:5, 11) But I want to talk about Paul. When Paul accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior, God said, “For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake” (Acts 9:16). Paul later said, 62
    • “…we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:22) And suffer he did. Read this recital and think what each phrase of it must have meant: “Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.” (2 Corinthians 11:23-28) Even this list may not be complete, for elsewhere he speaks of fighting wild beasts (1 Corinthians 15:32), and of encountering such hardships in the province of Asia (part of modern Turkey) that he despaired of his life (2 Corinthians 1:8). What would five whippings, three beatings with rods, and a stoning do to a man’s back? I expect that Paul was in almost constant pain. This may be why he said, “I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection” (1 Corinthians 9:27). (The Greek word translated “keep under” can mean to “subdue.”) Yet Paul, writing from a Roman jail, could say, 63
    • “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.” (Philippians 4:4) He wrote, “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) He could say, “…I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” (Philippians 4:11) How did Paul achieve this? I think we can see some keys. • Paul took his eyes off of the circumstances and focussed them on eternal things (2 Corinthians 4:18). This is also what David did. He took his eyes off his problems and put them on God. We generally cannot control what happens to us. If we see ourselves as “victims” of circumstances we cannot control, then we feel helpless and abused. If we focus on God, on his almighty power, and the security of our relationship with him, then we can see ourselves as overcomers. • He looked to see what he could learn from difficult experiences. “[W]e glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope” (Romans 5:3-4). • He understood that he did not have to deal with difficulties, danger and suffering in his own strength. 64
    • He could call upon God’s great power (Ephesians 1:19, 6:10). “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13). He even rejoiced in his own weakness, because in it God’s power was made greater (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). I want also to mention one fairly contemporary example, from among a great many. The terrible suffering of the Nazi Holocaust has been hard for many to accept and understand. Yet there are those who overcame it. One such was Corrie ten Boom. During the Nazi occupation of Holland, her family hid a number of Jews in their home and enabled many of them to get out of Holland, knowing the great risks of doing so. They were betrayed, and imprisoned by the Nazis. Corrie’s father died in prison. Corrie and her sister Betsy were sent to one of the Nazi death camps, Ravensbruck. Betsy died there. Corrie, by what may have been a clerical error, was released just before she was scheduled to be gassed. She spent the rest of her life ministering to others, telling them of God’s greatness, his love, his tender mercy, his goodness. She was even able to forgive one of the Nazi guards who had mistreated her and her sister, and to bring to Christ the man who had betrayed her family. She lived a life of joy and gave great joy to many. Despite the terrible things she endured, Corrie was an overcomer. She kept her eyes on the greatness of God, rather than the terrible circumstances in which she had found herself. 65
    • Chapter 10 Renewing Our Minds “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2) In order to deal with pain and hardship, we must think Scripturally instead of thinking the way that the world does. The theme of transformation runs throughout the New Testament. God does not want us to stay where we are. He wants us to change—radically. Change is often difficult and can be painful. But it is what God wants and expects of us. A Radical Transformation God expects that, when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we will be radically changed, transformed. The Greek word is metamorphoo. This transformation is to be a metamorphosis, of a magnitude at least comparable to that by which a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. God expects us to become totally different. Scripture uses many different images to express the change that should occur: • We become “a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). We really become a new species. Scripture speaks of the first Adam who was earthly and fell into sin, and the second Adam (Jesus Christ) who was sinless and holy (1 Corinthians 66
    • 15:44-49). (Also see Romans 5:12-19.) It says that we will bear the likeness of the second Adam. • “But we all, with open [unveiled] face beholding as in a glass [mirror] the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:18). • We are to be “renewed in the spirit of [our] mind” (Ephesians 4:23). • We “put off… the old man” and “put on the new man” (Ephesians 4:22, 24). (Also see Colossians 3:910.) • We live by the Spirit and not by the flesh (Galatians 5:16; Romans 8:13). • We become “instruments of righteousness” rather than “instruments of unrighteousness” (Romans 6:13). • We have “been buried with him by baptism into death” in order that we may “walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4). • “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me” (Galatians 2:20). • We have “been made free from sin” and have “become servants to God” (Romans 6:22). We are no longer servants “of sin unto death,” but have become servants “of obedience unto righteousness” (Romans 6:16). 67
    • • God has “delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Colossians 1:13). Our citizenship and our allegiance have been changed. • We have become adopted children of God (John 1:12-13; Romans 8:15-16). • We are born again (John 3:3, 5); born from above, of the spirit and not the flesh. Each of these images, in a different way, emphasizes the magnitude of the change that is expected. Each is dramatic and astonishing in itself. Their cumulative effect is even more powerful. We are talking about a tremendous transformation. It should be visible to others, but its internal effect should be far greater than what others can perceive. If a person is not significantly changed by their salvation, then we are entitled to wonder whether their salvation was genuine. We are supposed to be salt and light to the world, and to let our light shine before men (Matthew 5:13-16). We need to so live that the difference between Christians and non-Christians is inescapable. We need to stand, boldly and clearly, for what we believe. The Fruit of Transformation What is the result of this metamorphosis? Scripture states it in a number of different ways, which overlap and can be seen as different ways of expressing the same basic concept. Scripture often does this, because our minds are inadequate to comprehend—and our language inadequate to express—the full scope of God’s revelation to us. 68
    • Developing Godly Character The whole concept can be summed up by saying that our character is to become more and more like God’s character. We are to “put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:24). “…ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” (Colossians 3:9-10) God intends us “to be conformed to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:29). We are supposed to think more and more like Jesus Christ does (1 Corinthians 2:16). (Also see Philippians 2:5.) Let us look at some other ways of expressing the same concept. Living for the Things That Are Unseen Two of the great statements about this transformation are: • “But we all, with open [unveiled] face beholding as in a glass [mirror] the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:18) • “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17) A look at what is said between those two statements tells us a good deal about the nature of this transformation. 69
    • In 2 Corinthians, chapters 4 and 5, Paul repeatedly contrasts the material world in which our bodies now live, and the spiritual world. He tells us that the spiritual world is the real one, on which we should focus. He says that we should not regard people from a worldly point of view (“after the flesh”) (2 Corinthians 5:16). And he points out that the man without the Spirit cannot understand spiritual things. Paul said, “…the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (2 Corinthians 4:4) “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14) “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18) “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7) “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” (Colossians 3:1-2) 70
    • God is spirit and he lives primarily in the realm of the spirit. He lived in that realm before there was any physical universe, and he will live in it even though heaven and earth pass away. (See Isaiah 51:6.) We need to learn to see things from God’s perspective. This results in a wholly different order of priorities. First, the natural person, the untransformed person, lives primarily for material things. His priorities are those of the material world. In contrast, the transformed person lives primarily in a spiritual world. He lives primarily by faith in God and in God’s word, rather than by his physical senses. He regards the unseen things of faith as more real and more lasting than the material things which surround him. The transformed person is living primarily in a different world, a world in which spiritual rather than material things have primary importance. Second, where the natural person lives only for this life, the transformed person is already living in eternity. Paul speaks of this in many ways. For Paul, tribulations and difficulties of this world become minor when compared to the glory to come. Paul says, “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-17) “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.” (1 Peter 4:12-13) 71
    • Paul says, “Therefore we are always confident” (2 Corinthians 5:6), because we know that when we leave this earthly body we will be with the Lord, which is better. (Also see Philippians 1:21.) Jesus told those who believed in him that in this world they will have tribulation (John 16:33). Paul said that “We must through much tribulation enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22), and that “all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12). However, we should rejoice in our troubles, because we learn and grow from them (James 1:2-4; Romans 5:3-5), and because the glory that is to come is far greater than our troubles are. As believers, “we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). Third, those who live should no longer live for themselves, but “unto him which died for them, and rose again” (2 Corinthians 5:15). Hence, we should make it our goal to please him (2 Corinthians 5:9). We should not be like those who “loved the praise of men more than the praise of God” (John 12:43). (Also see Isaiah 51:12-13.) Jesus has told us, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” (John 15:18-19) These are all major shifts in our attitudes and priorities. Truly they require a renewing of the mind. 72
    • Living by the Spirit When we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, God sends us the Holy Spirit to live with us and be in us (John 14:16). It is because we have the Holy Spirit living in us, and his power working in us, that we are able to be transformed. But the process is not instantaneous. The Holy Spirit inhabits our spirit, but our soul and body need to be brought under the Spirit’s control. Becoming Yielded to God Part of what living by the Spirit means is that we are wholly yielded to God. We are no longer servants of sin, but servants of obedience and righteousness (Romans 6:16). We submit ourselves to God (James 4:7). The Process of Transformation This transformation is a process. It does not happen all at once. We are transformed into his likeness with glory that keeps increasing (2 Corinthians 3:18). We spend a lifetime learning how to live by the Spirit, to live a new life. We must keep making every effort to be holy (Hebrews 12:14). We must submit, and keep on submitting, to God. Over and over and over we must take our thoughts captive to obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). Near the end of his life, Paul did not consider that he had arrived (Philippians 3:12). One aspect of this transformation is showing the “fruit of the spirit.” A farmer cannot cause fruit to grow. However, he can create conditions that are favorable to its growth. 73
    • In somewhat the same way, we cannot cause God’s character to grow within us. Only God can do that. But we can create favorable conditions for its growth—by faith, prayer, Bible study, and guarding our thoughts. Believe We need to believe that God can, and will, transform us into his image—that this astonishing metamorphosis can, and will, occur. We need to consider him faithful who has made the promise (Hebrews 11:11). Choose We must make an act of the will. We must choose to be transformed, choose to put off the old self and put on the new self, choose to live by the Spirit, choose to submit to God, choose to be weapons of righteousness, etc. Stay in God’s Word The agent that renews our mind is the word of God. It is not enough just to read Scripture. We need to believe it, take it seriously, and follow it. We need to let it dwell in us, work in us, become engrafted in us, become a part of us. Scripture speaks often about the importance of meditating on the word of God (Joshua 1:8; Psalms 1:2, 119:78). The Hebrew word for “meditate” suggests a cow chewing its cud, working the material over and over to extract all the good from it. 74
    • Guard Our Thoughts If we would be transformed by the renewing of our mind— be made new in the attitude of our mind—we need to guard carefully what goes into our mind. We need to think on those things that are true, noble, right, pure, etc. (Philippians 4:8). Even more important, we need to guard against our own wrong thoughts—the thoughts that come from the flesh and not the spirit. We need to take our thoughts captive to obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). We need to do this, not just daily, but moment by moment. Whenever we find ourselves thinking unscriptural thoughts, we need to repudiate them, renounce them, and replace them with thoughts that are Scripturally true. Pray We need to pray for wisdom and for any other quality that we lack. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” (James 1:5) “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Matthew 7:7) The form of the verbs means “keep on asking,” “keep on seeking,” “keep on knocking.” When we keep asking God to change us into his likeness, we unite our will with his and cooperate with his work in our lives. 75
    • Persevere Jesus told his disciples to persist in prayer (Luke 18:1-7, 11:5-10). We are to “run with patience the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1). (Also see Hebrews 6:11.) Scripture is full of words telling us to apply ourselves diligently to the task before us. We need to keep pursuing, making every effort, pressing on, continuing, standing, etc. 76
    • Chapter 11 How Can We Deal with Pain and Hardship? “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) There are no easy answers, no formulas. Everyone has to work it out for themselves. Dealing with suffering can be extremely difficult, but with God’s help, it is possible. We need to be wary of the pat answers that are sometimes given. They usually do not work. Job’s “comforters” gave him pat answers, and God said of them, “You have not spoken of me the thing which is right” (Job 42:8). One pat answer is that suffering is always the result of sin, so the way to deal with it is to discover and get rid of the sin. It is well to examine ourselves and see if there is sin that needs to be dealt with. But suffering is not always caused by sin. Jesus was sinless; yet he suffered terribly. Paul suffered much. Can we say that this was because of sin he had not dealt with? Christians have been persecuted and martyred from the First Century until today. Would anyone suggest that this is because of sin? Another pat answer is that, if our prayer to be relieved of suffering is not answered, it must be because of lack of faith. We do need to pray, believing (James 1:6). There have been times in my present illness when I realized that I lacked faith, and was able to do something about it. But 77
    • lack of faith is not the only reason why men endure suffering. The prophets who suffered in terrible ways were commended for their faith (Hebrews 11:32-40). When God refused to heal Paul’s “thorn in the flesh,” he said nothing about a lack of faith. Rather, he said, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9) God did not answer Jesus’ prayer that he not have to endure the Crucifixion (Matthew 26:36-42). Would anyone suggest that it was because of a lack of faith? Let me suggest a few Scriptural principles that may be helpful. Have the Right Attitude Underlying everything else is the attitude with which we deal with pain, suffering and difficulties when they come, as they will to most of us. I can identify three general kinds of attitudes. First, when suffering, difficulties, or hardships come, we say, “Why me?” We dwell on the seeming injustice and unfairness of it. This easily leads to self-pity, to feeling sorry for ourselves, which is one of the devil’s most effective schemes for making a Christian ineffective. From there it can go on to blaming God for allowing the suffering, and to anger and bitterness at God. Ultimately, this can in some cases lead to a total turning away from God, a total rejection of God. This approach can be very damaging, very destructive. It does nothing to relieve the suffering or make it easier to bear. 78
    • Many of us go through the early stages of this approach for a while when suffering or difficulties come. But if we stay there, and do not move on, the result can be very destructive to us. Second, we can decide to take a constructive attitude. We can say, “God, this suffering, this difficulty, is here. I don’t like it but I need to accept it. What are you trying to teach me by it? How can I use it to grow? How can I bring good out of it?” With this approach, we can turn the suffering, the difficulty, to our good. We can use it to increase in maturity and strength. We get our mind off our suffering and onto God and what he is doing in our lives. If we can see some good purpose in the suffering, it becomes easier to handle. There is a third approach which builds on the second and is even better. Paul asked that he might “know him [Jesus], and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings” (Philippians 3:10). What does this mean? I am not sure. I am not there and have not experienced what Paul is talking about. But I suggest that Paul is saying that, when suffering comes, we can see it as a means of drawing closer to Jesus. As we suffer, we can begin to understand better what Jesus voluntarily suffered for us, and appreciate more fully what he did for us. As we are unjustly treated, we can begin to understand more fully the rejection, injustice and false accusations that Jesus continually suffered. We can become more like Jesus, which is the goal of our transformation. A related concept is found in 2 Corinthians 1:4-5, where Paul says that God “comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.” Those who have lost a spouse can understand what others are going through who have lost a spouse; they can 79
    • speak to them in a way that others cannot. Those who have been physically or sexually abused can understand what others are going through who have suffered abuse. Those who have endured physical pain can understand what others are going through who have to deal with physical pain. And so on. Our own suffering enables us to minister more effectively to others who are suffering. Thus our suffering helps to bring us together more closely as the body of Christ. It helps us comfort and encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ, and to “edify one another” (build each other up) (1 Thessalonians 5:11). Once we have taken care of our attitude, there are some other specific things we can do. Accept Hardship Pain and hardship occur. They are part of this world. No one is immune or exempt from them. There is no guarantee that they will not occur. When they come in our life, we need to be able to accept them. As Peter wrote, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you” (1 Peter 4:12) This is not easy, but it is essential. Scripture tells us to go further, and to “count it all joy” when trials come (James 1:2). I confess that I am not yet at this point! But if we can see pain and suffering as experiences from which we can learn and grow, then perhaps we can begin to see them as things that God is using for our good, and be able to rejoice in them. 80
    • Decide to Overcome Scripture says that, in God’s power, we can be overcomers. We need to come to a decision to believe those Scriptures. We need to make a conscious decision that, with God’s help, we can and will overcome the pain and suffering. We need to decide that we will not allow it to undermine our faith in God, our joy, our peace, or our ability to function. Do What You Can Paul wrote, “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Ephesians 6:13, emphasis added). He was talking about facing the devil, but I think the principle applies to every kind of adversity. God wants us to do everything we can. In the case of pain and suffering, this means to get all the help you can. Medical science knows quite a lot about pain management. What they have to offer does not always work, does not always work fully, and sometimes has side effects we prefer to avoid, but we might as well use it when we can. Having a prayer partner, or a close friend in whom you can confide, can be very helpful. Prayer is always helpful. So is reading, studying, and reflecting on Scripture. My point is, avail yourself of anything that will be genuinely helpful in relieving your pain. There is no virtue in unnecessary suffering. There are, however, some techniques of pain relief that Christians should avoid. Two examples are hypnosis (which involves allowing someone else to manipulate your mind while you are not aware of what he is doing) and New Age forms of meditation (which originate in pagan religions). Anything that derives from, or involves, a pagan 81
    • religion should be avoided by Christians. There is little sense in relieving physical pain at the cost of spiritual harm to yourself! Pray One of the things we can always do, and one of the first things we should do, is to pray. “Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray.” (James 5:13) Prayer brings us in touch with the almighty power of God. God does not always take us out of difficult circumstances. But he is with us in them. He is “a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1, emphasis added). “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4) Prayer also takes our mind off of our circumstances and puts it on God. Focus on God and Not Your Circumstances Paul, who went through a remarkable amount of suffering, wrote that in all circumstances we should give thanks (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Our thanks do not depend on the circumstances. Our thanks depend on who God is, on the salvation he has so freely given us, and on the relationship we have with him. As Paul wrote, 82
    • “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18) To Paul, five whippings, three beatings with rods, stoning, and many other hardships were a “light affliction,” which was just for a moment! This seems amazing. But when we compare all that Paul suffered during some 60 years on earth to the joy of spending eternity in heaven with God, it becomes quite minor. Because our thanksgiving does not depend on the circumstances, we are not at the mercy of the circumstances. I think this is what Paul was talking about when he said that he had learned how to be content in every situation (Philippians 4:12). You don’t look at the situation—you look at God. It is by this that we can achieve “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding” (Philippians 4:7). Our faith and hope also need to rise above our circumstances. Abraham “believed in hope” (Romans 4:18). All the circumstances gave Abraham reason to believe that he and Sarah could not have a child. But against that expectation based on his situation, Abraham set his hope, his confident expectation, based on God’s promise to him. He went past all the natural circumstances to believe God’s promise. Whatever our situation, we need to believe that God is bigger than anything that we face, that he will enable us to bear it, and that he will bring us through it. Whatever our circumstances, we need to believe that God will strengthen us with all power according to his glorious might, so that 83
    • we may have great endurance and patience (Colossians 1:11). In painful situations, many have found that it helps to focus on God. Jesus endured the Cross “for the joy that was set before him” (Hebrews 12:2). He looked at God’s power and his promise rather than looking at his own physical agony. Stephen, while being stoned, had a vision of heaven with Jesus standing at the right hand of God (Acts 7:55-56). After Paul and Silas were beaten with rods and put in stocks in the inner prison, they prayed and sang hymns to God, and God moved mightily on their behalf (Acts 16:25). The Christian martyrs in the Roman arena sang hymns as they faced the wild beasts who were about to eat them. Many other martyrs have faced their martyrdom with praise to God. Let God Bring Good Out of the Situation There is a further reason to focus on God rather than the circumstances. God works for good in all things, even in the most unlikely situations (Romans 8:28). Use praise, prayer, Scripture reading, reflecting on Scripture— whatever works for you—to draw closer to God and see things more from his perspective. Turn your situation over to him in prayer. Ask him to deal with you and to show you anything he wants to show you about it. “Draw nigh to God and he will draw nigh to you.” (James 4:8) Be honest with God. He can handle anger, frustration, and even discouragement and despair. Job complained and got angry at God. And God spoke to him at length, revealed 84
    • himself to him, and said that Job had “spoken of me [God] the thing which is right” (Job 42:8). David often complained and poured out his heart to God. And God called him “a man after mine own heart” (Acts 13:22). God does not mind hearing the distress and even anger of one who is genuinely seeking after him. Remain Faithful to God Job asked the question that many of us ask when suffering comes. He said, “…shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10) Do we love God for what he gives us, or for who he is? Can we love him and serve him even in suffering? Even if he seems to have deserted us? Even if he seems not to answer our prayers? In his great end-time prophecy, Jesus told the disciples that they would be persecuted and put to death. He said that many people would turn away from the faith, and the love of many would grow cold. (See Matthew 24:3-14.) Jesus ended by saying, “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” (Matthew 24:13) In each of the letters to the churches in the Book of Revelation, there is a promise of blessings to the one who overcomes. God has promised that we can be more than conquerors (Romans 8:37). “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world” (1 John 5:4) 85
    • God has made it possible to overcome pain and suffering, no matter how severe and prolonged. May God bless us all as we seek to live according to His Word! 86
    • Chapter 12 The Bottom Line “And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.” (Matthew 11:6) The Apostle Paul wrote nearly a fourth of the New Testament. He had amazing revelations about God. Much of our theology is based on his writings. Yet he said: “For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.” (1 Corinthians 13:9) Paul includes himself among those who only know “in part.” If the Apostle Paul only knew in part, then no church, no denomination, and no individual has all the answers. All of us have areas where our understanding is limited. What will we do if things don’t make sense to us? Will we become offended with God and abandon our faith? There was a time when many of Jesus’ followers became offended with Him and left Him. The twelve Apostles were troubled, but they were loyal and remained: “From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.” (John 6:66-69) There was a time when King Nebuchadnezzar commanded Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to bow down and worship a huge golden idol. If they refused, then 87
    • they would be thrown into a fiery furnace. They answered the king: “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” (Daniel 3:17-18) What will we do if the unthinkable happens? Will we be faithful to God no matter what, or will be only be faithful if things work out the way that we think they should? The apostle Paul said: “For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” (2 Timothy 1:12, emphasis added) Notice that Paul said “whom” (a person), not “what” (theology, understanding, Scripture interpretation, etc.) Paul’s primary confidence was in the person, Jesus Christ. And that is where our primary confidence needs to be. The Bible says: “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:13) This says that we can expect to have to face at least one “evil day.” You may know people who have had to face a number of them. But even though that time may be 88
    • incredibly difficult, God will enable us to stand if we cooperate with Him. The apostle Paul said: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13) According to Jesus, tribulation is a normal part of life. It is to be expected. The important thing is that we can trust Jesus to get us through it. The Bible tells us: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes; fear the Lord, and depart from evil.” (Proverbs 3:5-7) What if something happens to us which doesn’t make sense to us? What if it seems to be contrary to what we were taught by our teachers, or pastor, or our Study Bible notes? What will we do? Will we call God a liar? Or will we say that evidently our teachers didn’t fully understand (or adequately explain) that issue? Will we become bitter against God? Or will we choose to trust Him? Will we turn away from God? Or will we turn to Him for strength and comfort and wisdom? God promised to make everything work out for our good if we love Him (Romans 8:28). When the pain and the tears come, will we trust God to bring good out of our situation? We can ask God to increase our trust in Him and our love for Him. We can ask Him to make us faithful. We can ask Him to enable us to stand with Shadrach, Mesach, and Abednego—to be determined to be faithful to our God no matter what happens to us and the people we love. 89
    • “The LORD will give strength unto his people” (Psalm 29:11) “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” (Romans 8:37) 90
    • Poems GOD'S LOVE The God who made the earth has always loved us. Before we drew a breath, our heart was known. God created us to live with Him forever, To sing and dance with joy before His throne. Our time on earth is hard, but it is fleeting. No matter how things seem, God’s always there. He’ll guide us and protect us and watch over us, And take away each tear and fear and care. And when the toil and pain and fear have ended, When sorrow’s gone, and all we know is love, Then we and God will celebrate forever, Rejoicing with the saints in Heaven above. 91
    • FAITHFUL FRIEND Jesus, You’re the friend who’ll never leave me. You’re the friend who’ll always understand. You will not forsake me or deceive me. You’ll stay by my side until the end. When I’m afraid, You’ll put Your arm around me. You’re the faithful friend who’s tried and true. No matter what the troubles that surround me You will find a way to get me through. Your love is strong, it’s deeper than the ocean. It’s higher than the moon and stars above. When earth and stars are gone and time has ended, I’ll still live, rejoicing in Your love. 92
    • JESUS, SON OF DAVID Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me. Light my path and guide my way. Make me faithful, so I’ll stay Close to You throughout the day, Devoted to You in every way. Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me. Open my eyes that I may see The precious truth that You have for me. Open my heart to love as You do. Enable me to be faithful and true. Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me. 93
    • CHOOSE LIFE God sets before you life and death. Choose life. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. The devil is a liar and a thief. He wants to kill your hope and steal your joy And fill your days with endless grief. Jesus came to give unshakeable peace And the only freedom that’s real. He wants to fill your heart with everlasting joy. He wants to love and bless and heal. God sets before you life and death. Choose life. 94
    • YOUR WORD Your Word brings life to save my soul. Your Truth brings light to make me whole. Your perfect love casts out my fears, Comforts me, and dries my tears. I’m in the shadow of Your wings Where you teach my heart to sing. Safe and secure from all alarm, Your faithful love keeps me from harm. I will bless You all my days. You fill my heart with songs of praise. 95
    • LEAVING THE PAST BEHIND Following Jesus, my Lord and my Savior, Leaving the past behind. I press on to the mark of God’s high calling, Leaving the past behind. Forgiving, forgetting, and giving to Jesus, Leaving the past behind. Replacing old voices with the truth of the Bible, Leaving the past behind. 96
    • Appendix A Persecution of American Christians Some years ago, I worked at a job where another colleague and I had to go out of town on an assignment for a week. Since I was going to spend a considerable amount of time with my co-worker, I asked her some questions in order to find out what we had in common and what kinds of things we could talk about. Some of my questions were about religion. I wanted to know if she was a fellow Christian. If she was, then we would have a lot in common and we could share openly about our faith. I was not in any way trying to convert her. I just wanted to have some idea of where she stood. She never gave any indication that she did not want me to ask those questions about religion. When we came back to the office, she filed an official complaint against me. My supervisor informed me that if I talked about religion with co-workers again, I would be in danger of losing my job. That was persecution, but it was mild and easily remedied. All I needed to do was either change jobs or else not talk about religion. I have a friend who went to prison. (Some Christians did bad things before their conversion. Sometimes their past catches up with them.) Friends who visited him were allowed to give him a Bible. They also ordered some Christian magazines to be sent to him directly from the publisher. The prison refused those magazines and sent them back. However, when I spoke with prison officials, I was informed that magazines could be sent, as long as they came directly from the publisher, and as long as they were not “inappropriate.” I asked what “inappropriate” meant. I was told that pornography and violent material were not 97
    • acceptable. Evidently, somebody at that prison considers Christian material to be as offensive as violence or pornography. This was not a serious situation, because my friend had a Bible, he was able to go to chapel with other Christians, and his prison term was short. His situation was more serious than mine, but it was limited in the scope of damage caused. I have a friend whose son is in prison, and is expected to be there for many years. He is not allowed to receive Christian literature, and the prison officials will not allow him to have a Bible. The prison has plenty of Muslim literature and Wiccan literature. However, Christian literature is not allowed. (Wicca is a religion that is based on witchcraft, nature worship, and goddess worship.) This is a much more serious situation. The young man is not able to remedy it. He needs to have a Bible. He told his mother that being a Christian in his environment could result in violence against him. Because of that, he has considered converting to Islam. In terms of the entire country, this is a small, localized problem. But for him, it is very serious. Many prisons have volunteer Wiccan chaplains. A Wisconsin prison hired a full-time Wiccan chaplain (a Wiccan priestess who calls herself Rev. Witch). In that prison, I would expect to find a lot of Wiccan literature. Life there may be difficult for Christian prisoners.1 I know a man whose daughter was given an English assignment that requires her to read anti-Christian literature and write a paper about it. This is involuntary, antiChristian indoctrination. Its purpose is to undermine the faith of Christian students, and to make it more difficult for non-Christian students to become Christians. Mercifully, this girl is a strong Christian, and she comes from a solid Christian family. 98
    • I have an adult friend who told me about something that happened when she was in high school. Her English teacher required the students to read literature about witchcraft, including how to cast spells. Since students can’t graduate without passing English, she was under pressure to read the literature in order to avoid getting a bad grade. The Bible condemns witchcraft, spells, and fortune telling. (See Exodus 22:18; Deuteronomy 18:9-13; Galatians 5:19-21; and Revelation 21:8) So this assignment required her to do something that was contrary to her Christian beliefs. (This would also be a problem for Jews who take Exodus and Deuteronomy seriously.) Wicca is a modern pagan religion that involves witchcraft and spell casting. This English assignment openly promoted Wiccan beliefs and practices. It was religious indoctrination in the name of public education. If these are isolated incidents, then they are spiritually challenging for the children who are involved, but they are not a widespread danger. However, if this kind of thing occurs at many schools, then we have a serious problem. I know a Christian minister who was falsely accused of child abuse by someone who resents his ministry. As a result, his children were suddenly taken from their home and from their parents. Eventually, they were returned. A representative of Child Protective Services later apologized to him, because the case was so unfounded. His children were traumatized, but they live in a home with mature Christian parents, and God is healing the emotional wounds. This was a serious situation, but it was resolved. God promised to make all things work out for our good if we love Him. (Romans 8:28) This minister and his children love the Lord. So God is using their situation to make them become stronger, more mature Christians. 99
    • After my Dad retired, he became a part-time social worker and his job was helping children get adopted. His supervisor tried to prevent Christian families from adopting children, because she considered Christian homes to be a bad environment for raising children. A federal court has ruled that it is illegal for students at the Virginia Military Institute to say a nondenominational prayer before meals.2 Now that a legal precedent has been established, the ACLU could bring lawsuits against military academies in other states. It could come to the point that chaplains on aircraft carriers are not allowed to pray with military pilots before they fly into dangerous situations.3 The early stages of persecution can spread quietly, unnoticed except by the individuals who are personally affected by it. By the time the general public becomes aware of it, it may have progressed to the point where it is difficult to stop it. The Supreme Court ruled that prayer in schools is unconstitutional. However, one bad Supreme Court decision can be reversed later. (This has happened in the past.) With the Supreme Court, everything depends on whether the school prayer decision is one isolated incident, or whether it indicates a trend that could become more and more destructive in the future. If the Supreme Court develops a mindset that is contrary to that of the framers of the Constitution, then it will become a source of destruction, rather than protection. There is a web page called “Seeds of Persecution.” It gives detailed summaries of events setting precedents that could lead to persecution, and of events that actually constitute persecution. Each summary has a title. If you click on it, you will go to an article about the subject. www.crossroad.to/News/Persecution/seeds.html 100
    • David Limbaugh wrote the book Persecution: How Liberals Are Waging War against Christianity (Regnery Press, 2003). He gives documented cases showing how Christian children are being persecuted in public schools and in colleges, and how they are being involuntarily indoctrinated with humanist, New-Age, pagan, and antiChristian teachings. He also describes cases where the government has oppressed Christians, and he documents public attacks on churches and Christians. (I will discuss these issues later.) I suspect that what David Limbaugh has reported is just the tip of the iceberg. These are documented cases that have become public knowledge. For every documented case, how many unreported cases are there? I told you about some cases that I am personally familiar with. Not one of them has been reported. Persecuting Students A fourth-grade student named Raymond Raines was in the habit of thanking God for his food before meals. While in his school cafeteria, he bowed his head to pray. A teacher publicly humiliated Raymond in front of the other students by ordering him to get out of his seat and go to the principal’s office. The principal ordered Raymond not to pray again. This happened three times. This 10-year-old boy was publicly ridiculed for his religious beliefs, subjected to school discipline because of them, and was eventually put in detention for a week. His family sued the school and the principal. Finally, the school board decided to allow students to pray at school as long as it is not “disruptive.” (David Limbaugh, Persecution, pages 21-22) (You can read about this online.)4 A kindergarten student named Kayla Broadus was used to saying grace out loud before meals. She said: “God is 101
    • great. God is good. And we thank Him for this food.” Her school ordered her to stop praying. Her parents sued the school, and she was finally allowed to pray again.5 These children and their parents had the courage to stand their ground. The children kept praying and their parents took the matter to court. How many other children have caved in and stopped praying? How many other parents were not willing to sacrifice the time and money that are required to sue a school? Two middle-school students (sisters) carried their Bibles to school. Their teacher confiscated the Bibles and took the girls to the principal’s office. She contacted the girls’ mother, and threatened to call Child Protective Services. In other words, she accused the mother of child abuse because her daughters took Bibles to school. When the mother came to the school, the teacher waved the Bibles and said: “This is garbage!” Then the teacher threw the Bibles into the trash can. (Persecution, page 45; this is also in an article online.)6 Three middle school students had school books with the Ten Commandments on their book covers. School officials threw the covers in the trash. They said that the Ten Commandments are “hate speech.” 6 If those school officials are unusual, then what they did is bad for their students, but we don’t have a serious national problem. However, if their attitude toward the Ten Commandments is widespread, then we could be on a road that will lead to persecution of Christians and Jews. A federal judge in Texas ruled that students are forbidden to say the word “Jesus” during their school’s graduation ceremonies. He said that a U.S. marshal would attend the graduation. Any student who said “Jesus” would be arrested and sent to jail. Students would face up to six months in jail. (Persecution, pages 5-6; you can also read about this online.)7 102
    • In Vermont, a child in kindergarten was forbidden to say that God is not dead. He was told that such talk is not allowed. In a Kentucky public school, administrators told a student that he was not allowed to pray or to talk about God. In Florida, a teacher told two elementary school students that they were not allowed to talk about Jesus while they were in school. (Persecution, page 6) In Connecticut, police officers told a man that they would arrest him if they had evidence that he gave religious tracts to a student. They said that giving such literature to a student constitutes “corrupting the morals of a minor.” (Persecution, page 6) Now I realize that evangelizing is not always welcome, but people can always throw the tracts in the trash. That is a far better solution than throwing the people in jail. Freedom of speech means that people need to learn to deal with unwelcome speech in civilized ways. In 2002, a California atheist named Michael Newdow sued his daughter’s school because her class recited the Pledge of Allegiance, including the words “under God.” The Court of Appeals ruled in his favor. (Persecution, pages 60-62) The Supreme Court has agreed to take this case. If it decides in favor of the atheist, then nobody in the United States will be allowed to publicly use the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance.8 Michael Newdow also sued Congress. He wants to abolish the practice of having paid chaplains for the House and the Senate. America’s very first Congress passed the law that established government-paid chaplains for Congress. James Madison was personally involved in that legislation. He was one of the authors of the Constitution. So having Congressional chaplains be paid with taxpayers’ money cannot be against the intention of the framers of the Constitution.9 103
    • Anti-Christian Indoctrination in Public Schools John Dunphy is a secular humanist. He wrote an essay called, “A Religion for A New Age.” It was published in The Humanist magazine in 1983. In this essay, he said that there is a battle going on for the future of humanity, and it must be fought and won in the public schools. He said that teachers should see themselves as evangelists of a new faith—humanism. They should teach humanist values in every subject they teach, at every level of education from day care and preschool to state universities. He said that the school classroom will become a place of conflict between the “old rotting corpse of Christianity” and the “new faith of humanism.” 10 In 1994, Dunphy published an articled called “Dunphy Strikes Again” in the Secular Humanist Bulletin. He reaffirmed what he had previously said in “A Religion for A New Age.” In addition, he said that there is a “cultural civil war” going on in America, and “humanism is going to win.” 11 Other humanists have said similar things. Horace Mann said that public schools must get rid of the concept of God. John Dewey said that God does not exist and there are no moral absolutes. He said that schools should exclude “dogma and creed” so that “immutable truth” will become “dead and buried.” Charles F. Potter said that American schools are a powerful tool for humanism. Paul Blanshard said that the purpose of schools is to promote a secular society by eliminating “religious superstition.” G. Richard Bozarth said that if humanists can make sure that schools only teach secular knowledge, then they will be able to “kill the god of Christianity.” 12 104
    • In the United States, humanism is a tax-exempt religion. In the 1950s, when humanists were seeking taxexempt status as a religion, they openly declared that humanism is a religion. But then some Christians claimed that humanist religion was being taught in the public schools. So the humanists changed their tactics. They now claim that humanism is not a religion. But they still keep their tax-exempt status as a religion.13 There are humanist ministers. They have the same legal rights and privileges as Christian ministers. There are even humanist churches.14 In 1961, the Supreme Court declared that humanism is a religion. It stated that one reason for its decision is the fact that the American Humanist Association has ministers who perform weddings and funerals.15 Some people are trying to have secular humanism become the established, governmentally-endorsed religion in our educational system. This is contrary to the Constitution, which prohibits the state from establishing any religion. A United States Congressman said that “fundamental Bible-believing Christians” do not have the right to teach their religion to their children. A university professor said that children belong to the state. It has even been said that, in order for children to have “equality of opportunity,” they should be taken away from their families and raised communally.16 Dr. Chester M. Pierce (a Professor of Educational Psychiatry at Harvard University) said that American children are “insane” because they are loyal to America, to their parents, and to their belief in God. He said that it is the job of teachers to heal these “sick children” by turning them into the “international children of the future.”17 Dr. Paul Brandwein is a child psychologist. Evidently he agrees with Dr. Pierce. In his book, The Social Sciences, 105
    • Dr. Brandwein said: “Every child who believes in God is mentally ill.” 18 Public schools have psychologists. If they agree with Dr. Brandwein, then they could make life difficult for Christian and Jewish students. When “experts” say that Christianity constitutes mental illness, I take such statements very seriously because of things that have happened in other countries. Do you remember when Russia was communist? It used to be part of the U.S.S.R., which was a block of communist nations. In the U.S.S.R., the authorities said that Christians were mentally ill because they believed in God. Christians were put in mental hospitals for “treatment.” They were not considered to be “cured” unless they renounced their faith. Some of these Christians were given medications that impaired their mental functioning so badly that they were reduced to a “vegetative” state. One Christian man spent 25 years in a mental hospital because he refused to renounce his faith.19 Today, in Communist China, Christians are being forcibly committed to mental hospitals. So are members of other religious groups. Political dissidents (people who are politically incorrect) are also being put into mental hospitals. Some of these people are being tortured in the hospitals.20 Public schools are using history textbooks that rewrite American history to eliminate any mention of Christian influences. They have removed information about the Pilgrims and the Mayflower. Many public school textbooks say that Thanksgiving was the American colonists giving thanks to the Indians, or to the earth goddess (as opposed to thanking God). One high school textbook on American history has 6 lines about George Washington and 6½ pages about Marilyn Monroe. The calendar of the California Teachers Association leaves out Christmas, Thanksgiving, and the Fourth of July. But it has an “Internment of 106
    • Japanese Day” and a “Buddhist Nirvana Day.” (Persecution, pages 65-77) Seventh-grade students in California were required to study Islam for three weeks. This included mandatory role playing. The students had to pretend that they were Muslims. They prayed to Allah, chanted praises to Allah, and adopted Muslim names. They played a game that simulated a jihad (a holy war against enemies of Islam) and they planned a pilgrimage to Mecca. Students were encouraged to dress like Muslims and to use Muslim phrases. They were required to memorize Muslim prayers. During Ramadan, they had to fast at lunchtime. Teachers told the students that, while they were taking this intensive course about Islam, they would “become Muslims.” The textbook about Islam did not mention Islamic conquests or Islamic violence against Jews or the treatment of women in Islamic countries. The Muslim religion was only shown in a good light. (Persecution, pages 76-77) I have heard from two sources that some American public schools are showing an anti-Israeli film that was produced by Hamas (a Muslim terrorist organization that sends suicide bombers to Israel). However, I have not been able to find written sources to verify this information. Public school students are being indoctrinated with New Age teachings and practices. Children are taught to put themselves into a trance and get counseling from imaginary friends, including Pumsy the Dragon. This teaches children to use “spirit guides,” which is a New Age practice. The Pumsy curriculum is used in 40 percent of American public schools. A similar curriculum, using Duso the dolphin, is also popular. (Persecution, pages 79-81; this information is also online.) 21 Some Christians believe that spirit guides are really demons. Other Christians believe that they are a selfhypnotic deception. Either way, they aren’t Christian, and 107
    • they aren’t wholesome. This is a pagan practice that is associated with some pagan religions. The Bible warns us not to participate in pagan religious practices. The Old Testament prophets rebuked the Israelites when they participated in pagan practices. There is a reader called “Impressions” that is used in the second and third grades of some public schools. It teaches the students how to cast spells. One of the exercises is to pretend that some children have had a magician cast a spell on them. In order to help the children, it is necessary to reverse that spell. The students are told to write the spell that the magician used, and then write another spell to reverse it. Then they are told to chant their spells. By making them chant the spells, the teacher is requiring them to do role playing. They are taking on the role of a sorcerer or a witch.22 This exercise requires Christian students to act like witches or sorcerers. This is contrary to their religion, because the Bible strongly condemns witchcraft and sorcery. (See Exodus 22:18; Deuteronomy 18:9-13; Galatians 5:19-21; Revelation 21:8) The exercise also promotes the Wiccan religion, which involves witchcraft, rituals, and spell casting. Wiccan rituals and spell casting can involve chanting. Another “Impressions” exercise involves a story about a witch who goes shopping for items such as bats’ wings in a grocery store. Students are supposed to discuss spells before reading the story. After reading it, they are told to create a chant that is based on what the witch wanted to buy. Some Christians believe that this will desensitize children to witchcraft and make it easier for them to become involved in such things later in life. They believe that the book promotes the acceptance of things that are contrary to Christian values.23 Wicca is a religion that is based on witchcraft, goddess worship, and nature worship. It is recognized as a tax108
    • exempt religion, and there are Wiccan chaplains in the military and in prisons. Our country guarantees freedom of religion, and Wiccans have every right to practice their religion, and to tell their friends about it. However, these witchcraft exercises are, in effect, teaching the Wiccan religion in public schools, at tax-payer expense. The Constitution forbids the government to establish a religion. That includes teaching religion in public schools. If Christianity should not be taught in public schools, then neither should Wicca, or humanism (which is also a religion). Some school children have been taught to make “worry dolls” to ward off evil spirits, and to make representations of Hindu gods. One Earth Day assembly taught students that their mother is the earth and their father is the sun. Some schools teach children to perform Medicine Wheel ceremonies (a Native American ritual) and to use “dream catchers” as protection against evil spirits. Students are taught to do Native American ritual drumming and dancing. They are taught New Age teachings about crystals. (Persecution, pages 81-82) This overtly promotes pagan religions. It also makes Christian children do things that are contrary to their religion. The Bible tells us not to engage in pagan religious practices. A school in Pennsylvania had children from the third to fifth grades act out the Aztec practice of ritual human sacrifice. A school in California taught children about the Day of the Dead (a pagan custom that is commonly practiced in Mexico) and encouraged them to participate in rituals, including making altars. (Persecution, pages 83-84) Not only are these pagan practices, but they also glorify death. According to the Bible, death is an enemy. (See 1 Corinthians 15:26) In addition, participating in the enactment of human sacrifice desensitizes children to the horror of murder and the evil of human sacrifice. 109
    • Some public schools teach reincarnation. This is contrary to Scripture. The Bible says that we die once (as opposed to being recycled) and then we are judged. (Hebrews 9:27) One student said that death was portrayed as being glamorous, and living was portrayed as being hard. She said that students were taught that reincarnation would solve their problems, because they would return in a better life form and eventually they would “become like God.” (Persecution, page 84) I have watched children play video games where a good strategy for winning is to deliberately get your character killed so that he will come back into a better situation and in better condition (more strength, energy, “powers,” weapons, etc.). I have often wondered if doing that over and over and over might make an emotionally vulnerable child more susceptible to suicide. Some public schools teach “death education.” Some even have a “suicide talking day.” On that day, students write suicide notes. They write their own obituaries and discuss what they will look like in their caskets. One student said that before “suicide talking day,” she never considered the possibility of suicide. After that day, she began to contemplate it. She thought that it would “liberate her spirit” so that it would no longer be “enslaved to her body.” In addition, it would help with the problem of global overpopulation. She said that the suicide training made her “brave enough” to commit suicide. (Persecution, pages 84-85) Do you remember Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, where two students shot a number of their classmates and then committed suicide? That occurred in 1999. Since 1985, Columbine has been teaching death education classes. In 1988, the Atlantic Monthly had an article about death education. It said that thousands of 110
    • schools had the classes. Some of them only lasted a few days. Others took a full semester. In addition, many schools incorporated death education into other classes, including health, home-economics, social studies, and literature. In 1977, the National Education Association wrote a report saying that, just as sex education resulted in “wider acceptance” of a number of sexual practices, death education classes will radically change attitudes towards death. (Persecution, pages 84-86) Earlier I mentioned a teacher who called the Ten Commandments “hate literature.” Well, if you want students to feel free to commit suicide, then the Ten Commandments are a hindrance to your agenda. (“Thou shalt not kill” includes suicide.) A school in Massachusetts had an unusually high rate of suicide. The death education teacher said that it would not necessarily be better to have fewer students kill themselves. (Persecution, page 86) Wesley J. Smith wrote the book Culture of Death (Encounter Books, 2000). It is about modern bioethics and its impact on our society. There are “experts” in bioethics who actively promote death in various forms. These include “voluntary euthanasia” (killing patients who want to die, which is assisted suicide) and “involuntary euthanasia” (killing patients who have clearly said that they do not want to die, which is murder). It looks as if the bioethics approach towards suicide has influenced death education in our public schools. In addition, there are some physicians who could be called “suicide evangelists.” Dr. Kevorkian is well known, but there are others. Some popular sex education books include graphic pictures of sexual acts. Not many years ago, these pictures would have been condemned as pornography. The books teach children how to perform the kinds of sexual acts that are done by gays and lesbians. Some sex education books 111
    • also say that it is normal to have sex with animals.24 Such things are contrary to Biblical morality. In America, all sexual orientations are legal, and people are free to practice them. Every religion (including humanism) has its own moral values, which includes approaches to sexuality. Parents should be free to teach their religion to their children, including the moral values of their religion. When the children grow up, then they can change their religion if they want to, and that may include changing their moral values. As adults, they can make informed decisions about such things. But while they are children, the public schools should not undermine the rights of parents to raise their own children according to their own moral and religious beliefs. Values clarification is a technique for getting school children to make moral decisions that conflict with Christian moral values (and Jewish moral values). It denies the reality of good and evil. It often manipulates children into making a decision between two morally wrong choices. One prominent educator has openly stated that the purpose of values clarification is to change the moral values of school children in a way that protects teachers from “getting caught.” In other words, the name of the game is to systematically destroy Christian moral values.25 Goddess worship is being promoted in publicly funded, accredited colleges and universities. Some nursing school textbooks overtly promote goddess worship. Nursing schools also teach New Age practices. For example, “therapeutic touch” (passing one’s hands above a patient’s body in order to manipulate “auras” and “energy-fields”) has reportedly been taught to thousands of nurses in 80 North American nursing programs.26 Wicca has brought back the ancient pagan practice of worshiping pagan goddesses. This practice is condemned in the Bible. (See Jeremiah 7:16-18.) Schools that teach 112
    • goddess worship are openly promoting the Wiccan religion. This is teaching religion in publicly funded schools. According to the Constitution, the government is not supposed to establish any religion. Driving Wedges Between Children and Their Parents A high school health textbook encourages students to “test” their “ability to function sexually.” It recommends doing this in early teenage years, with children of the same sex. It tells students that they might come to the conclusion that growing up means rejecting their parents’ values. There have been reports that students are not allowed to take this health textbook home with them. (Persecution, page 78) In one school, classes about sexual harassment were substituted for algebra classes for four days. A student’s parent had the student removed from the class. The teacher urged the student to attend the class in spite of the parent’s objections. The teacher said that the child’s parents “don’t have to know.” (Persecution, page 78) An eighth grade student told his teacher that “health” materials that were given to the class were against the beliefs of his parents. The teacher told the student to inform him if the parents caused any problems. The teacher said that he would “handle them” (the parents). (Persecution, pages 78-79) I have a friend who is a high school teacher. He is a member of the National Education Association. He told me that the NEA sent its members information about how to “handle” parents who have moral or religious objections to what their children are being taught in school. 113
    • Persecuting College Students A survey was made of college professors in 1988. Nearly a third of them said that Evangelical Christians are a “threat to democracy.” Many philosophy teachers advocate atheism. Some students say that their religion was ridiculed during class. One biology professor refused to recommend students for medical school unless they believed in evolution. (Understanding it was not sufficient. They had to say that they believed it.) College professors have lost their jobs because they told students that there are some flaws in the theory of evolution. (Persecution, pages 111-118) One teacher had educational material that included publications saying that Christians and conservatives are subjected to censorship and intimidation in the education establishment. This material was available, but students were not required to read it. The professor made a point of telling them that it was optional. His school administration demonstrated that his educational material made accurate statements. They forced him to stop using those materials. In other words, they censored the conservative viewpoint. Evidently, “tolerance” is a one-way street. It is not used when dealing with Christians and conservatives. (Persecution, pages 118-119) Ron Brown was assistant football coach at Stanford University. He was denied the head coaching job because of his Christian beliefs. School administrators openly told him that he was not acceptable because of his beliefs. A Christian student received a scholarship. However, when the college learned that he planned to major in religion and philosophy, he was told that scholarship grants are not given to religion students. (Persecution, pages 122-124) Christian clubs have been denied permission to meet on school grounds because of their religious beliefs. At Rutgers University, a Christian group was told that it was 114
    • guilty of discrimination because it required its officers to be Christians. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill sent threatening letters to 17 Christian groups, threatening to cut off financial support for them unless they did things that compromised their Christian beliefs. (Persecution, pages 124-126) Most universities have speech codes. There are hundreds of cases where professors or students were punished by university authorities for expressing views that were deemed to be politically incorrect. Other Forms of Persecution A former teacher is a motivational speaker who encourages students to avoid drugs and other destructive behavior. He was not allowed to speak to the students because he is a Christian. The presentation was strictly secular, and he had made over 200 similar talks without mentioning religion, but he was rejected because he was a Christian. When one school cancelled his presentation, others followed its example and also cancelled. (Persecution, page 39) Some municipalities are using zoning laws to keep churches out of communities. Churches have even been ordered to leave areas that are zoned for churches. For example, Refuge is an inner-city church in St. Petersburg, Florida. It ministers to poor and needy people. Zoning said that, because of that, it is a social service agency and not a church. They required the church members to abandon their church building, because the area is not zoned for social service agencies. (Persecution, pages 205-207) A church in Portland, Oregon provided meals for lowincome families and homeless people. The local government ordered it to stop providing meals. It ordered the church not to have more than 70 people attend services (even on Sunday). And it placed restrictions on evening 115
    • Bible classes and other church activities. (Persecution, page 207) Zoning laws are also used to prevent Christians from having Bible studies and prayer meetings in their homes. A couple in Marietta, Georgia had a weekly Bible study for six to eight people. Guests parked in their driveway, so they did not take up parking space that was needed by neighbors. The meetings were not noisy. The city government told the couple that they were “operating a church” and ordered them to stop the Bible study. In Onalaska, Wisconsin, the zoning board ordered a couple to have their weekly Bible study (which only had seven people) meet once a month instead of every week. (Persecution, pages 209-210) Violence Against Christians Chuck McIlhenny is a pastor in San Francisco. His church was vandalized and then set on fire. His home was set on fire in the middle of the night, while his family was sleeping. A fire bomb was used, and the fire spread rapidly. The family barely escaped in time to save their lives.27 There have been some cases where American Christians were killed for their faith. These are genuine martyrs. (Don’t let suicide-bombers steal the word “martyr” from our vocabulary. Remember what it really means.) On April 20, 1999, two students at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado shot and killed 12 of their classmates and a teacher, and wounded 23 other people. They also killed themselves. They asked three Christian girls if they believed in God, and killed them when they said “Yes.” The girls were Cassie Bernall, Rachel Scott, and Valeen Schnurr. Rachel had shared her Christian faith with the boys several weeks earlier. (Some classmates 116
    • overheard the conversation.) The boys made a video in which they cursed Jesus Christ and cursed Christians. They singled Rachel Scott out for an insulting tirade, mocking her by name.28 On September 15, 1999, there was a rally at Wedgewood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas. A gunman entered the church and methodically shot Christians who were attending the service, and then shot himself. Seven people died and others were critically wounded. The gunman was shouting, cursing Christianity, and cursing the Christians for believing it. The FBI found anti-Christian writings in his home.29 So far, these cases have been few and far between. But there is a lot of anti-Christian indoctrination going on in our schools. That could eventually result in more frequent—and more serious—attacks against Christians. And if Christians are attacked, then Jews are also likely to be attacked. What Can We Do? The mighty men of David were skillful in fighting with both their right hands and their left hands. (1 Chronicles 12:2) We can do something similar. We can fight in two different ways at the same time. For example, if a government official tries to close down a church, then the church can fight in the law courts. It can also fight on its knees, with prayer and fasting. We will need to strengthen our “forgiveness muscles.” We have to avoid bitterness at any cost, because it is deadly and it is contagious. It is caused by failure to cooperate with God’s grace, and it results in defiling other people. The Bible says: 117
    • “Looking diligently, lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.” (Hebrews 12:15) Booker T. Washington was born into slavery in 1856. He experienced serious racism, including living under the threat of lynching. But did he become bitter? No. He said: “I will not give any man the power to make me hate him.” Forgiveness is not easy, and it does not come naturally. We may have to ask God to change our hearts and enable us to do it. Sometimes forgiveness requires perseverence and continued prayer. Sometimes it is a process, like working your way through the layers of an onion. The apostles asked Jesus to increase their faith. This was immediately after Jesus had told them that they had to keep on forgiving their brothers. It is in that context that Jesus said that if we have faith like a mustard seed, we can command a tree to be uprooted and thrown into the sea. (Luke 17:3-6) What kind of things will we need to uproot? During persecution, we will need to uproot fear and anger and bitterness. We may need to uproot paralyzing emotions and traumatic memories. Jesus promised that if we have faith in Him (even small faith, like a mustard seed), then He will enable us to get rid of these things. We need to built up our faith and our commitment to God by reading Scripture and having it become more and more a part of our daily lives. Scripture should be our compass, our plumb line, our constant reference point for daily living. It needs to become a living part of us, like a branch that is grafted into a tree. (See James 1:21) 118
    • We need to strengthen our personal relationship with God. This can be done through prayer, worship, and obedience to Scripture. We can ask God to help us love Him more, understand Him better, and have a more obedient heart. God promised to make everything work for our good if we love Him. (Romans 8:28) He is able to keep us from falling. (Jude 1:24) What the world means for evil, God can use for good. (Genesis 50:20) The Church in China is an example of this. Mao Zedong destroyed churches, burned Bibles, and put pastors in prison. The Christians went underground and became stronger. In the late 1970s, there were two million Christians in China. Now there are over sixty million Christians. Mao’s efforts to destroy the Church were used by God to build, strengthen, and purify the Church. Our God is faithful, and His love is so great that we cannot comprehend it. NOTES 1. A Wisconsin Prison has hired a Wiccan chaplain who calls herself Rev. Witch. www.madison.com/wisconsinstatejournal/local/8446.html www.100megsfree4.com/farshores/pchap.htm www.jsonline.com/news/metro/dec01/witch06120501a.asp www.jsonline.com/news/state/dec01/3593.asp 2. A federal court ruled that Virginia Military Institute can no longer have a nondenominational prayer before meals. www.ncfpc.org/stories/030429s1.html http://george.loper.org/~george/archives/2003/May/905.html www.boundless.org/2001/features/a0000545.html www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=26206 Three judges made the original decision. There was an appeal to have the full court reconsider the case. The court has refused to reconsider the case. (These links worked in 2003 but they are no longer working.) www.ohio.com/mld/ohio/news/nation/6525516.htm 119
    • www.news8.net/news/stories/0803/98634.html 3. There is concern that the ACLU will continue to sue military academies. They could even try to prevent chaplains on aircraft carriers from praying with military pilots who are about to fly into dangerous situations. www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2002/11/22/171707.shtml 4. A fourth-grade student was ridiculed, disciplined, and put into detention for a week because he prayed before meals in the school cafeteria. www.christianinformer.org/jimmyray.htm 5. A kindergarten student was ordered not to say grace before meals. She was used to saying, out loud, “God is great. God is good. And we thank Him for this food.” Finally, after her parents sued the school, she was allowed to pray. www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=35420 6. Two girls in middle school were told that their Bibles are “garbage.” The teacher threw the Bibles into the trash can, and took the girls to the principal’s office. Three students at the same school had school books with the Ten Commandments on the covers. School officials threw the book covers into the trash, saying that the Ten Commandments are “hate speech.” www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=35420 7. A federal judge in Texas said that any student who uses the word “Jesus” during the school’s graduation ceremonies would be arrested and sent to jail. www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=35420 This article has brief summaries of cases where Christian students have been persecuted. To find the information about the school in Texas, search for “Jesus.” www.pytlik.com/observe/deliverus/fences-02.html 8. A California court has forbidden the public use of the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance. www.cnn.com/2002/LAW/06/26/pledge.allegiance/ 9. There is a lawsuit to prevent Congress from having paid chaplains. http://classicliberal.tripod.com/misc/hannity.html 120
    • www.thesandiegochannel.com/news/1642562/detail.html www.wash.org/pr04sep02.html 10. John Dunphy, “A Religion for A New Age,” in The Humanist (January/February 1983). Quotations from this article are online. This has the quotation from Dunphy. It also has some eye-opening quotations from other secular humanists. http://winn.com/whee/PUTwistedRoots.html “Secular Humanists Give Dunphy Another Platform.” This article is only one page. The quotation is about half-way down the page. www.eagleforum.org/educate/1995/nov95/dunphy.html 11. John Dunphy, “Dunphy Strikes Again,” in Secular Humanist Bulletin (Summer 1994). This article is discussed online, with extensive quotations, including a paragraph from “A Religion for A New Age.” www.eagleforum.org/educate/1995/nov95/dunphy.html 12. Quotations from humanists who say that public education will be used to replace Christianity with humanism. http://winn.com/whee/PUTwistedRoots.html Other quotations from humanists. They are contained in an article by a Christian who was shocked to discover that children who are raised in Christian families often do not share the religious and moral values of their parents. He discovered that the reason is humanist teaching in public schools. www.biblicaltheism.com/whatshap.htm 13. “The Courts Define Humanism As a Religion.” (An article written for humanists by a humanist.) www.arthurmjackson.com/rootsf.html Articles about the religious history of humanism, including citations from court cases. Originally humanism claimed to be a religion. It received tax-exempt status as a religion. When Christians said that teaching humanist beliefs in schools constitutes teaching a religion, then humanists started claiming that humanism is not a religion. http://members.aol.com/Patriarchy/definitions/humanism_religion.htm http://dianedew.com/seculhum.htm http://jrcm.faithweb.com/religion/i_school_religion.html 121
    • This article says that humanism is the established religion of the United States, and public schools are the main vehicle for promoting it. www.christiananswers.net/q-sum/sum-g002.html 14. There are humanist ministers who have the same rights and privileges as Protestant ministers, Catholic priests, and rabbis. http://jrcm.faithweb.com/religion/i_school_religion.html www.hsof.org/celebrants.htm There is a “Church of Scientific Humanism” http://scihuman.org/church_of_scientific_humanism.htm There is a “Church of Spiritual Humanism” which ordains ministers. www.spiritualhumanism.org/ 15. In 1961, the Supreme Court declared that humanism is a secular religion. The following article has a quotation from the Court. http://jrcm.faithweb.com/religion/i_school_religion.html 16. This link had a lot of good quotations in 2003. Unfortunately, the link no longer works.. http://xld.com/public/campaign/12a.htm 17. Dr. Chester M. Pierce said that American students are “insane” because they are loyal to America, to their parents, and to their belief in God. He is Professor of Educational Psychiatry at Harvard University. Therefore, he is influencing students who are likely to become leaders in our society. http://members.tripod.com/~bcbruns/rev.htm www.eagleforum.org/educate/2001/sept01/socialism.shtml 18. Dr. Paul Brandwein, The Social Sciences: Concepts and Values (New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1970, Teachers Edition, Levels 3 and 4, 1970). (Dr. Brandwein is a psychologist.) http://bcbruns.tripod.com/rev.htm www.textfiles.com/occult/othr11.txt You can see a list of all 39 of his books at his website. http://brandwein.org/biography 19. In the U.S.S.R., Christians were sent to mental hospitals because of their faith. I learned about this from newsletters from Christian ministries that help persecuted Christians. I read about one Christian 122
    • man who was given drugs that damaged his mind so much that he was unable to remember his own name. This article tells of Soviet Christians who were sent to mental hospitals. One man was there for 25 years because he refused to denounce his faith. www.stvladimirs.ca/library/declaration-free-world.html 20. Communist China is putting people into mental hospitals because of their religion. Some of these people are tortured in the hospitals. Articles from Falun Gong websites. They mention that members of the Falun Gong and other religious groups (including Christians) are being put into mental hospitals because of their religion. Some of them are being tortured in the hospitals. People who are political dissidents (politically incorrect) are also being put into mental hospitals. http://clearwisdom.net/emh/articles/2002/8/30/25966.html http://clearwisdom.net/emh/articles/2001/8/10/12825.html www.clearharmony.net/articles/200208/6620.html An article by Human Rights Watch. This article mentions the Falun Gong but fails to mention Christians. However, according to two Falun Gong websites (above), Christians are also considered to be “religious dissidents” and they are also locked up in mental hospitals. The article says that the reason why these people were brought to the mental hospitals for evaluation is that they expressed views which “offended the political sensitivities” of the Communists. Since Communists are atheists, Christianity offends them. http://hrw.org/reports/2002/china02/ These articles mention “dissidents” and “nonconformists” but don’t specifically mention Christians. However, Christians are nonconformists in a Communist society because they believe in God, and because their primary loyalty is to God rather than to the state. http://hrw.org/press/2002/08/china081302.htm www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,773569,00.html 21. This article has information about the curriculum that uses Pumsey the Dragon. In addition, paragraphs 2-5 have some very important information about public education and New Age indoctrination, with informative quotations from secular humanists and New Agers. (The link worked in 2003 but it no longer works.) www.asiteforthelord.com/sys-tmpl/educationandthenam 123
    • 22. This article is about Halloween. It also discusses occultism in public schools. To find the information about the “Impressions” curriculum, do a search for “chant.” www.jeremiahproject.com/halloween.html 23. The “Impressions” reader is being used in second and third grade classes. It has children discuss spells and create chants. www.subgenius.com/subg-digest/v2/0119.html 24. Information about sex education, with descriptions of books www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles/CollisonSexEd.htm How American sex education changed from teaching students about hygiene to encouraging them to experiment with various kinds of sexual behavior. http://home.att.net/~r.s.mccain/reisman.html www.newswithviews.com/Blumenfeld/Samuel2.htm 25. Values clarification denies the reality of good and evil. It gets school children to make decisions that are contrary to Christian morality. www.crossroad.to/Books/YourChildNewAge/YCNA-3.htm This is a good, comprehensive article. However, it is somewhat difficult to read in Adobe Acrobat. I recommend printing it. The article is only 7 pages long. www.advancepublishing.com/schoolsincrisis/sicch13.pdf This article has some quotations from humanists about the use of public schools to indoctrinate children in humanism. It includes some information about values clarification. http://straitway.org/2002/05042002.htm 26. Philip G. Davis, Goddess Unmasked: The Rise of Neopagan Feminist Spirituality (Dallas, Texas: Spence Publishing Company, 1998), pages 29-33. The author is a university professor who wrote this book because he was concerned about Wiccan teaching at his university. 27. Frank York, Chuck McIlhenny, and Donna McIlhenny, When the Wicked Seize the City (iUniverse, 2000). 124
    • An article describing mob violence against the church in 1993. www.baptistpillar.com/bd0204.htm An article about violence against Christians. It includes information about the fire bombing. http://hreview.tripod.com/vol2/faith1_18_98.html 28. Christian teenagers were shot at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=14726 29. A gunman shot Christians at Wedgewood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas. www.mcsm.org/bias.html www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/1999/cyb19990917.asp http://reformed-theology.org/html/issue10/hate_crime.htm 125
    • Appendix B Heading for Dictatorship “Giving leaders enough power to create ‘social justice’ is giving them enough power to destroy all justice, all freedom, and all human dignity.” (Thomas Sowell) “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” (George Santayana) “The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse.” (Edmund Burke) “And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the Lord thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish.” (Deuteronomy 8:19, emphasis added) History shows us that as free nations become complacent, they become vulnerable to manipulation. Most dictatorships rise gradually—a step at a time. Smoothtalking politicians make each incremental step seem reasonable, because the masses are blind to the tides of change. The wisdom of Wendell Phillips fades away: “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” Austria illustrates the power of gradualism. In 1933, it was a free nation. In 1934, its government began to centralize its power and welcome the influence of Nazi sympathizers. By 1938, it had become a Nazi dictatorship. 126
    • The downward slide began with one crisis after another. A third of the people were out of work, inflation rose to 25%, and political turmoil caused civil unrest. People longed for a leader to rescue them. Adolf Hitler campaigned in Austria, promising to solve their problems if they were annexed to Germany. A persuasive speaker, he gave them hope and won their hearts. The Austrian people voted him in.1 Why? How could the Austrians be so blind? The answer is simple: they faced hard times, so they chose to believe Hitler’s promises. They didn’t see him as we do— brutal, arrogant, narcissistic and ruthlessly ambitious. That image came later, when it was too late to escape his grasp. In the beginning, Hitler appeared as a caring, charismatic, captivating visionary.2 His words brought hope of prosperity, and his public image was intentionally shaped with pictures of his smiles, benevolent deeds and warm encounters with children and babies.3 After the annexation, new government jobs were created and order was restored. The people were encouraged and hopeful, and—for a short while—the nation prospered. Then it crashed. This transformation is described by Kitty Werthmann:4 “I lived in Austria under Adolf Hitler’s regime for seven years. Dictatorship did not happen overnight. It was a gradual process starting with national identification cards, which we had to carry with us at all times… Gun registration followed, with a lot of talk about gun safety and hunting accidents… Freedom of speech was the next target… With a large network of informers, people were afraid to say anything political, even in their own homes.” She tells of other changes, including nationalization of education; indoctrination of children; socialized medicine; 127
    • government control of businesses; and a lack of respect for human life. Before the annexation, most Austrian mothers stayed at home to take care of their children. Under Nazi rule, both parents had to work, so the children were sent to government-run daycare centers. Gun control came in two stages. First there was gun registration, and then the people were required to give up their guns. Once the people were unarmed, they had no way of defending themselves against the Nazis. After that, political correctness replaced freedom of speech; taxes were increased to eighty percent (i.e., four fifths of income); the nation was filled with informers; anybody who spoke against the government was arrested; and the people lived in constant fear. In Austria, the transformation from freedom to dictatorship was incremental. No nation is immune to such things, including the United States. In fact, America seems to be following some of the same incremental steps toward totalitarianism. National Identification Cards In 2005, Congress passed the Real ID Act. This, in effect, would turn drivers’ licenses into a national ID card. However, the law is controversial, and 17 states have passed legislation or resolutions opposing compliance with it. 5 Congress eventually repealed the law. However, there are ongoing attempts to do things that are similar, but not as comprehensive. According to an article dated March 28, 2013, Senators Chuck Schumer and Lindsey Graham are determined to get a biometric national ID card required for everybody who is employed. And this is so important that they met with President Obama to discuss the matter.6 128
    • Nationalizing Education and Indoctrinating Young Children Kitty Werthmann told us how Hitler nationalized the education system. Christian symbols were removed and prayer was banned. Through their government-run child care program, the Nazis would indoctrinate the children with politically correct ideology and absolute loyalty to Hitler. Hitler worship became part of the new structure. The daycare workers were trained in Marxist psychology, not motherly love, for Hitler was fascinated with communist mind-control. Children idolized Hitler and sang his praises. Some American children have been taught to do the same for Obama. (For example, there is a YouTube video titled “Barack Obama Kids and Hitler Youth Sing for their Leader.”) America is also a nation where prayer is no longer allowed in school, and daycare is common. Obama is centralizing the public schools. His administration is completing a process begun in the nineties during the first Bush administration. A national curriculum with national standards, national tests, and a national database is fast becoming a reality. The goal is to provide “cradle-to-career education for all of America’s children.” The federal government is encouraging the states to provide children with “early learning experiences from birth through kindergarten entry.” 7 By imposing government education at such a young age, this un-American system exposes Christian children to the worldviews of secular humanism, neo-paganism, and countless other beliefs that clash with home-taught values. It subjects them to anti-Christian peer pressure, and to teachers determined to undermine their faith. No wonder children raised in Christian homes from coast to coast are 129
    • fast rejecting our God and His ways. Meanwhile, churches and youth leaders are bending backwards to conform to the new values and wants of our youth. Government schools and the judicial system work hand-in-hand to undermine the faith of Christian children. Take Amanda, a ten-year-old Christian homeschooler. She is “well liked, social and interactive with her peers, academically promising and intellectually at or superior to grade level.” Her homeschool curriculum meets all state standards. Yet, a judge has ordered her to attend public school because of her “vigorous defense of her religious beliefs.” The judge wants her to consider “different points of view at a time when she must begin to critically evaluate multiple systems of belief.” In other words, he is forcing her into government education in order to confront her Christian faith.8 Buried inside the health care bill is a provision that gives the federal government control over all student loans. As a result, the government can now decide which students are able to go to college. It can also refuse loans for students who want to attend colleges that the government doesn’t approve of, thus putting financial pressure on colleges to be politically correct.9 New federal regulations would enable the federal government to control the accreditation of all U.S. colleges. According to former U.S. Senator Bill Armstrong, “the Department of Education is attempting to subject every college and university in America—public and private—to political supervision.” 10 130
    • Government Control of Health Care and Businesses Obama’s massive health care bill established government control of health care, which is one sixth of the nation’s economy. Its regulation will have a devastating effect on the medical profession. Why would bright students invest in medical school when the pay would be minimal and medical “murder” would be mandated? My foot doctor told me, “Obama wants to make me retire early.” My general practitioner told me, “Let me take care of you while I still can.” The government wields increasing control over businesses, both directly and through regulations. Obama’s destructive control over Chrysler has been called “another extraordinary intervention into private industry by the federal government.” As a result, many car dealerships were closed.11 According to an attorney who represents some of those dealers, Chrysler closed them because it was “under enormous pressure from the President’s automotive task force.” 12 Treating People Like Livestock Farmers can kill animals that are born sickly or become too old to be productive. Likewise, Hitler talked about getting rid of “useless eaters.” In modern America, some “experts” want to dispose of people with a poor “quality of life.” Kitty Werthmann told how the Nazis killed the mentally retarded people in her village. That was a result of Hitler’s eugenics program. Following the unconscionable Darwinian ideals of an evolving, purified human race, he wanted to produce a Master Race of strong, intelligent Aryans. People he considered to be inferior (including Jews and the mentally retarded) had to be eliminated.13 131
    • Because of the Holocaust, eugenics was discredited. However, euthanasia (both voluntary and involuntary) is spreading. Voluntary euthanasia is a form of suicide, where patients choose to die—usually with a physician’s help. This is legal in Oregon and Washington.14 Involuntary euthanasia is based on new, convenient medical standards. In Holland, where thousands of patients have been killed against their will, some elderly people are afraid to go to the hospital.15 A concerned Belgian citizen warned Western nations to guard themselves against “the encroaching euthanasia agenda.” 16 An influential bioethicist in the Obama administration actively promotes health care rationing.17 Obama’s health care law includes “death panels” with authority to deny life-saving medical care.18 Once such care has been denied, it becomes unavailable even to patients who would pay the cost themselves. Gun Control U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has a long record of supporting gun control. In a 2008 brief to the Supreme Court, Holder claimed that the Second Amendment does not pose any obstacle to banning guns.19 Obama has initiated a back-door approach to gun control by means of an international treaty known as CIFTA. President Clinton signed this treaty in 1997 but the Senate refused to ratify it. Now President Obama is promoting it. According to John Bolton (former U.S. representative of the United Nations): 132
    • “The Obama administration is trying to act as though this is really just a treaty about trade between nations, but there’s no doubt—as was the case over a decade ago—that the real agenda is the control of domestic arms.” 20 Enforcing Political Correctness President Obama has co-sponsored a United Nations resolution that calls on countries to criminalize “any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence.” Since the President of the United States is backing the resolution, then Americans will be expected to abide by it. As a result, this U.N. resolution would take priority over our constitutional right to free speech. In addition, as Robert Spencer said: “‘Incitement’ and ‘hatred’ are in the eye of the beholder—or more precisely, in the eye of those who make such determinations. The powerful can decide to silence the powerless by classifying their views as ‘hate speech.’” 21 In 2008, a Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) warned that the FCC is likely to implement regulations that will give the federal government control over the content of radio, TV, and the Internet.22 In 2009, a high-ranking official in the FCC called for a “confrontational movement” to increase federal control of the media.23 He openly expressed admiration for Hugo Chavez’ efforts to stifle criticism by seizing control of Venezuela’s media.24 133
    • The Chairman of the FCC is “poised to add the Internet to its portfolio of regulated industries.” 25 In other words, the media must be controlled by the government: “The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is poised to add the Internet to its portfolio of regulated industries. The agency’s chairman, Julius Genachowski, announced Wednesday that he circulated draft rules he says will ‘preserve the freedom and openness of the Internet.’ “With a straight face, Mr. Genachowski suggested that government red tape will increase the ‘freedom’ of online services that have flourished because bureaucratic busybodies have been blocked from tinkering with the Web… Mr. Genachowski’s draft document… is stamped ‘non-public, for internal use only’ to ensure nobody outside the agency sees it until the rules are approved in a scheduled Dec. 21 vote. So much for ‘openness.’” 25 (Compare those statements with the slogans in George Orwell’s book 1984.) An FCC Commissioner has proposed a plan: a “public value test” for media. Who will pass that government test? “Michael J. Copps, one of five members of the Federal Communications Commission, claims the FCC exists as ‘an honest-to-goodness consumer protection agency’ and part of its mandate is to ensure ‘all citizens have access to… information our democratic dialogue requires…’ Copps declared FCC adoption of his Public Values Test would provide an antidote to the current state of affairs by requiring: more diversity… enhanced disclosure of 134
    • information… If adopted, said Copps, failure to meet his test values could result in FCC nonrenewal of licenses.”26 Those words “regulated industries” remind me of the difference between Russian Communism and Hitler’s National Socialism. Stalin ended up with a very poor country. Hitler’s socialism allowed for government controlled “free” enterprise, and at first it seemed to succeed. The difference between the two forms of tyrannical socialism was that Stalin’s government owned everything, while Hitler controlled everything. Informers In 2002, the federal government attempted to recruit four percent of the population as informers. These spies were to include people with access to homes and businesses, such as mailmen, meter readers, cable installers, and telephone repairmen.27 After a public outcry, this plan was abandoned. However, the attempt to have informants throughout the country is not new. It has continued in various ways, for years.28 As part of President Clinton’s war on “hate crimes,” the Justice Department had a website that encouraged children to report relatives who made a “derogatory comment.” 29 Now that Congress has passed the “Hate Crimes” bill, we need to be alert to similar attempts to turn children into informers. A “smartphone” is a wireless, pocket-sized computer that also functions as a cell phone.30 It can take pictures. 31 The iPhone is a line of Internet smartphones produced by Apple Computer. People can get “applications” (“apps”) for it, enabling them to do a wide variety of things, including GPS navigation and social networking.32 A 135
    • person could use their iPhone to take a picture, get the precise location of the place (via GPS), and send the picture and location information to somebody via email, or post it on the Internet. A new “app” for iPhones enables citizens to spy on one another and report directly to several federal agencies, including the FBI and the Department of Justice.33 Although this “app” is promoted as a means of preventing terrorism, these spying citizens are also encouraged to report on things such as “environmental negligence” and “discrimination.” 34 The Ability to Arrest People at Will The President can legally declare a state of national emergency on his own authority without the approval of Congress. There is no legal accountability. Once a national emergency has been declared, the President can “take over all government functions” and “direct all private sector activities” until he declares that the national emergency is over.35 A Master Arrest Warrant enables the U.S. Attorney General to have people arrested if he personally considers them to be “dangerous to the public peace and safety.” He can keep these people incarcerated indefinitely without legal accountability.36 According to a U.S. Congressman, former Rep. Henry Gonzalez, there are detention camps in America. He said that, in the name of stopping terrorism, the President could evoke the military and arrest American citizens and put them in these camps.37 If American troops are unwilling or unable to carry out such arrests, then the President can use Canadian troops, thanks to a military agreement called the Civil Assistance 136
    • Plan.38 The President can also use troops from the United Nations.39 In 2009, a bill in Congress (H.R. 645) required the Department of Homeland Security to establish at least six more detention camps on military installations. It also appears to further expand the president’s emergency power.40 Jerome Corsi observes: “We are talking about a slippery slope: camps being prepared to be used in emergencies can easily be used to imprison dissenters.” 41 The bill failed to pass. However, it was introduced again on January 23, 2013 as H.R. 390. Further Increasing Federal Power The Obama administration’s Financial Reform Bill was signed into law on July 21, 2010. It establishes an Office of Financial Research which would have “unprecedented, real-time access to a wealth of personal and corporate financial data.” 42 This new agency would not be accountable to anyone, and it could use coercion to get information.43 The Senate has a bill which would give the federal government much more control over our food supply. It threatens to increase food prices and drive many small local suppliers out of business.44 Even without this new law, Federal agents have already harassed small farms. In April 2010, they invaded a private dairy that doesn’t sell to the public.45 The Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission are discussing ways to regulate what Americans are able to read and hear. These 137
    • proposed regulations “would apply across the board to print media, radio and television, and the internet.” 46 In July 2, 2008, presidential candidate Obama said, “We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.” 47 In March 2009, President Obama again discussed the need for a Civilian National Security Force.48 One approach to this is via Obama’s Health Care law. It establishes a Ready Reserve Corps that would be subject to “involuntary calls to active duty during national emergencies and public health crises.” 49 An article giving details about this corps is titled “Obama Just Got His Private Army.” 50 Another approach is the Universal National Service Act. If passed, this bill would require every American (including young mothers) from ages 18 to 42 to spend two years either serving in the military or doing national service as defined by the President.51 The bill contains some provisions that could be used to promote a globalist agenda.52 A National Security Letter (NSL) enables the FBI and other federal agencies to require people to give them information without “probable cause” or judicial oversight. Under the Patriot Act, the NSL includes a “gag order.” 53 According to Judge Andrew Napolitano, this makes it a crime for people to speak the truth. He said, “If an FBI agent shows up at your house with a self-written search warrant, the agent will tell you, you may not tell anyone about this… You can’t 138
    • even answer truthfully in a courtroom under oath whether or not you received one of these warrants, without violating the Patriot Act.” 54 Bypassing Congress and Ruling by Executive Regulations On December 23, 2010, the Department of Interior issued a Secretarial Order giving itself the authority to designate public lands as “Wild Lands.” On the same day, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that it will impose carbon emission regulations on power plants and oil refineries. This is “another power grab effectively enacting what Congress had firmly rejected when presented as cap-and-trade legislation.” 55 The Washington Post wrote an article about these executive power grabs. It said, “The move… demonstrated that the Obama administration is prepared to push its environmental agenda through regulation where it has failed on Capitol Hill.” 56 Accuracy in Media called The Washington Post’s article “matter-of-fact reporting about lawlessness by the federal government.” It called this a reflection of the sad state of American journalism, saying, “There was no hint that this approach is illegal or unconstitutional. The account simply assumes that the Obama Administration can do what it wants, no matter what Congress or the law says.” 57 These administrative power grabs reflect the advice given in a recent report written by the Center for American 139
    • Progress, which is funded by George Soros. The report is titled “The Power of the President: Recommendations to Advance Progressive Change.” 58 The original health care bill contained mandatory end-of-life counseling. Many saw this as being a slippery slope that could lead to “death panels.” Because of the controversy, Congress removed the provision from the bill. But now end-of-life counseling has crept back in through a new Medicare regulation.59 Once again, the Obama administration has used regulatory fiat to bypass the will of Congress and the American people. Charles Krauthammer says, “These regulatory power plays make political sense… How better to impose a liberal agenda on a center-right nation than regulatory stealth?” 60 Increasing Militarization of the Police Policemen used to be “peace officers” who served and protected the public. However, the new trend is to become increasingly militarized, including using SWAT teams for minor offenses, and traumatizing families in the process. For example, in 2008, a SWAT team with semi-automatic rifles raided a rural home and food co-op, holding the family (including small children) at gunpoint for hours.61 These days, some policemen dress and act like soldiers, complete with military-looking vehicles. You can read about the extent of what is going on, and how this trend developed, in Radley Balko’s book Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces, which was published in July 2013. 140
    • Our Response as Christians The Bible tells us to love our enemies, to warn all who will listen, and to trust God—no matter what happens. It says: “Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day…” (Acts 20:31 ) “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32) “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7) If we are willing to obey Jesus and love even our enemies, then God will give us the grace to do it. And if we aren’t willing, then we can ask Him to change our hearts and make us willing. With God’s grace, we can forgive and love. His grace is sufficient, and His strength is made perfect in our weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9) NOTES NOTE: Some of these links are so long that they are too wide for the page. In such cases, I have broken the links at logical places. 1. “Socialism vs. Freedom.” (Video of a talk by Kitty Werthmann) (For more information by her, see Note 4.) www.sdfamily.org/Kitty+Wetrthmann 2. “Adolf Hitler and Charismatic Leadership.” 141
    • http://eeuropeanhistory.suite101.com/article.cfm/ adolf_hitler_and_charmismatic_leadership 3. Hitler with a little girl. www.fpp.co.uk/Hitler/images/children/Inge_Terboven_on_Hitler.jpg Hitler with a baby. www.golivewire.com/forums/img.cgi?i=62823 4. “Don’t Let Freedom Slip Away: Sobering Steps from Freedom to Fascism.” (Kitty Werthmann) (For more information by her, see Note 1.) www.crossroad.to/articles2/010/fascism.htm 5. “National ID: Another Step to Totalitarianism.” www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.printable&pageId=45536 6. “Biometric National ID Card Could Be Mandated on All American Workers,” March 28, 2013. www.naturalnews.com/039683_biometric_ national_id_card_mandatory.html 7. “Cradle-to-Career Plan by Obama and Duncan.” www.crossroad.to/articles2/010/edwatch/garner/1-cradle-to-grave.htm 8. “Court Orders Christian Child into Government Education: 10-Year-Old’s ‘Vigorous’ Defense of Her Faith Condemned by Judge.” www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.printable&pageId=108084 9. “Where’s the Outrage Over What Just Happened to Student Loans?” www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/03/26/dana-perino-studentloans-health-care-sen-kent-conrad-democrats-students/ 10. “Eye-Popping Power Grab: Licensing of U.S. Colleges: Federal Scheme Poses ‘Greatest Threat to Academic Freedom in our Lifetime.’” www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=209589 11. “Chrysler Files to Seek Bankruptcy Protection.” www.nytimes.com/2009/05/01/business/01auto.html 142
    • 12. “Plan to Ax Dealers Not Chrysler’s Decision.” www.reuters.com/article/idUSN2632731920090526 13. “Eugenics and the Nazis—the California Connection.” www.waragainsttheweak.com/offSiteArchive/www.sfgate.com 14. “5 People Die under New Washington Physician-Assisted Suicide Law.” www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2009/07/06/prsc0706.htm” 15. “Have Researched Euthanasia Speak Out.” www.hospicepatients.org/euth-experts-speak.html 16. “‘The Weekend Cleanup: The Gruesome Aftermath of Legalized Euthanasia in Belgium.” www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jun/09060109.html 17. “Obama’s Health Rationer-in-Chief: White House Health-Care Adviser Ezekiel Emanuel Blames the Hippocratic Oath for the Overuse’ of Medical Care.” http://online.wsj.com/article/ SB10001424052970203706604574374463280098676.html 18. “Palin Firestorm Brings Fresh Scrutiny to ObamaCare ‘Death Panels.’” www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/aug/09081109.html 19. “Eric Holder: Gun Grabber.” http://97.74.65.51/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=33694 20. “Obama, the U.N., and the Right to Bear Arms.” http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/18882 21. “Obama Declares War on Free Speech” www.humanevents.com/article.php?print=yes&id=33869 22. “FCC Commissioner: Return of Fairness Doctrine Could Control Web Content.” www.businessandmedia.org/printer/2008/20080812160747.aspx 23. “Inspired by Saul Alinsky, FCC ‘Diversity’ Chief Calls for ‘Confrontational Movement’ to Give Public Broadcasting Dominant Role in Communications.” 143
    • http://cnsnews.com/news/article/53055 24. “FCC ‘Diversity’ Czar on Chavez’s Venezuela: ‘Incredible… Democratic Revolution.’” (This article includes a video of Mark Lloyd’s statement.) http://newsbusters.org/blogs/seton-motley/2009/08/28/video-fccdiversity-czar-chavezs-venezuela-incredible-democratic-revol 25. “Wave Goodbye to Internet Freedom: FCC Crosses the Rubicon into Online Regulation.” www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/dec/2/ wave-goodbye-to-internet-freedom 26. “FCC Commissioner Copps Proposes ‘Public Value Test.’” www.heartland.org/infotech-news.org/article/28940/ FCC_Commissioner_Copps_Proposes_Public_Value_Test.html 27. “US Planning to Recruit One in 24 Americans as Citizen Spies.” www.smh.com.au/articles/2002/07/14/1026185141232.html 28. “Your Friendly Community Spies.” www.crossroad.to/articles2/2002/spy.html 29. “The War on Hate Bans Christian Values.” www.crossroad.to/text/articles/cwhbcv3-98.html 30. “Smartphone.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smartphone 31. “How to Take Better Pictures with Your Smartphone’s Camera.” http://lifehacker.com/5662812/how-to-take-betterpictures-with-your-smartphones-camera 32. “iPhone.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPhone 33. “I Spy: Controversial PatriotApp Lets Citizens Alert the Feds.” www.livescience.com/technology/patriot-app-iphone-101214.html 34. “Mobilizing the Globe” [PatriotApp]. http://patriotapps.com/PatriotApp.html 35. “Bush Makes Power Grab.” 144
    • www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.printable&pageId=41728 36. “Hidden Threats—Part I.” www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.printable&pageId=6111 37. “Detention Camps on American Soil.” www.rutherford.org/articles_db/commentary.asp?record_id=400 38. “North American Army Created without OK by Congress: U.S., Canada Ink Deal to Fight Domestic Emergencies.” www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.printable&pageId=57228 39. “A UN Militia in Your Community?” www.crossroad.to/text/articles/rapid-reaction99.htm 40. “Bill Creates Detention Camps in U.S. for ‘Emergencies’: Sweeping, Undefined Purpose Raises Worries about Military Police State.” www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.printable&pageId=87757 41. “Is the US Government Preparing to Send Dissenters to Prison Camps?” www.newswithviews.com/NWV-News/news123.htm 42. “Big Brother Loves ‘Financial Reform.’” www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/apr/30/ big-brother-loves-financial-reform/print/ 43. “Financial Regulatory Windfall.” http://spectator.org/archives/2010/04/30/financialregulatory-windfall/print 44. “New ‘Safety Plan’ Would Control What You Eat.” www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.printable&pageId=146957 45. “Federal Agents Invade Farm for 5 a.m. Milk Inspection.” www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.printable&pageId=144557 46. “Future of the News.” www.americanthinker.com/2010/07/future_of_the_news.html 47. “Obama’s ‘Big Brother’ Vanishes from Speech: ‘Civilian Security Force’ Missing from ‘Call to Service’ Transcript.” 145
    • NOTE: This article has an embedded video of the speech. Obama’s call for a Civilian Security Force was omitted from the transcript of the speech, as published by the media. www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=69784 48. “Civilian Security Force on Agenda Again.” www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=92109 49. “Obamacare Prescription: ‘Emergency Health Army.’” www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=132001 50. “Obama Just Got His Private Army.” http://frontpage.americandaughter.com/?p=3549 51.”Democrat: Let’s Have Mandatory National Service.” www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=184325 52. Rep. Rangel proposed this same bill in 2006 and 2007. Its provisions are discussed in “The Draft is Back—Again! ‘Universal National Service Act of 2006.’” www.crossroad.to/articles2/006/draft.htm 53. National Security Letter, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Letter 54. Judge Andrew Napolitano, Natural Rights Patriot Act—Part 3 of 3 NOTE: The information begins at 2:01 minutes, starting with the sentence, “Do you know that the Congress has used the Commerce Clause to make it a crime for you to speak the truth?” www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=7n2m-X7OIuY 55. Charles Krauthammer, “Government by Regulation,” December 31, 2010. www.nationalreview.com/articles/256104/ government-regulation-charles-krauthammer 56. “White House Presses for New Climate, Wilderness Protections,” The Washington Post, December 24, 2010. www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/ 2010/12/23/AR2010122305643.html 146
    • 57. “Media Excuse Obama’s Power Grab,” December 26, 2010. www.aim.org/aim-column/media-excuse -obama%e2%80%99s-power-grab/ 58. Center for American Progress, “The Power of the President: Recommendations to Advance Progressive Change,” November 16, 2010. www.americanprogress.org/issues/2010/11/executive_orders.html 59. “Medicare Regulation Revives End-of-Life Planning,” December 25, 2010. http://washingtonexaminer.com/politics/2010/12/ medicare-regulation-revives-end-life-planning 60. Charles Krauthammer, “Government by Regulation,” December 31, 2010. www.nationalreview.com/articles/256104/ government-regulation-charles-krauthammer 61. “SWAT Team conducts food raid in rural Ohio.” www.crossroad.to/articles2/08/swat-team.htm 147
    • Appendix C Teaching Kids to Be Sociopaths For years, our public schools been promoting “values clarification,” and teaching kids that there are no moral absolutes. That there is no such thing as objective truth. That there is no such thing as objective right and wrong. The definition of being “criminally insane” is being unable to tell the difference between right and wrong. So we are literally teaching school kids to become criminally insane. Or to put it another way, we are teaching them to become sociopaths. Dr. Brock Chisholm is a psychiatrist who was the first Secretary-General of the United Nations’ World Health Organization. Following are some things that he wrote back in 1946. Therefore, when the United Nations talks about wanting global mental health, we need to wonder what they really mean by that. Look at what Dr. Chisholm said: “For many generations we have bowed our necks to the yoke of the conviction of sin. We have swallowed all manner of poisonous certainties fed us by our parents, our Sunday and day school teachers.... “If the race is to be freed from its crippling burden of good and evil, it must be psychiatrists who take the original responsibility.... “Can such a program of re-education or a new kind of education be charted?” 1 148
    • Following are some of the practical results of having our schools destroy children’s ability to tell the difference between right and wrong. Recently, WorldNetDaily had an article about a race riot in Virginia Beach. There was wide-spread violence and destruction by black college students who were “having fun.” This involved forty thousand college students. That is a huge number of people. It’s like a full-fledged invasion.2 Their “fun” included destroying a small family business that had taken a lifetime to build. It was the kind of small place that gets “regulars,” where people know each other. That “fun” also resulted in three stabbings, three shootings, and numerous beatings—one so severe that it resulted in bleeding in the brain. These college kids were terrifying people “for fun.” All of the victims were white, and all of the perpetrators were black. (For the record, my writing about this incident has absolutely nothing to do with racism. I was a civil rights activist back in the days of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. These are facts that show something about the state of many of our young people, regardless of race.) These were not gang kids. And they were not poor, oppressed, deprived, inner city kids. These were college kids. They had enough education and enough money to be able to go to college. The destruction and violence wasn’t based on anger due to some kind of Rodney King incident or anything like that. It was just a bunch of college kids “having fun.” This reminds me of the video of college students having “fun” at a birthday party by playing a game called “abortion battles.” Pairs of boys put balloons underneath their shirts, pretending to be pregnant. They attacked each other’s bellies with forks, trying to pop those balloons. And the party crowd was laughing and cheering them on, yelling things like, “Kill that baby!” These were college 149
    • students, mostly white, and girls as much as boys. (You can see a video of this on YouTube.) 3 It also reminds me of some kids who gang raped a girl. Then they laughed and said things like, “She is so raped!” They also urinated on that girl, and bragged about it, laughing as they did. (You can see a video of their bragging on YouTube.) 4 It also reminds me of something that happened back in the days when I was a temporary secretary, going from place to place. In one office, I worked with a young woman who cheerfully told me that she had deliberately gotten pregnant in order to see if she was able to. Then she had an abortion, because she didn’t want to have a baby. She deliberately murdered a baby in order to find out if she was fertile. She told me about this cheerfully and pleasantly, as part of light conversation, as if what she had done was normal behavior. Here again, we are are not talking about some poor, disadvantaged, uneducated person. We are talking about a secretary—a professional with education and special training. There is a TV channel called Nickelodeon. Years ago, it had reruns of good old-fashioned clean-cut shows like “Leave it to Beaver.” Parents believed that their kids could safely watch this channel, because of the shows that it carried. However, between the segments of the shows, they had quick skits showing kids with total disrespect for their parents, and things like that. Perhaps you could call those “commercials” for a spirit of lawlessness. They also had a game show. I saw one episode of it. They took two teams of school kids, and put them in rooms (nice rooms, with nice things in them). The aim of the game was to totally trash the rooms as fast and as thoroughly as they could. There was upbeat music playing while they did it, and the audience was laughing and 150
    • cheering. The team that trashed their room the fastest won a prize. That game was teaching those kids to do exactly what those college kids did to that family business in Virginia Beach. And it was teaching that lesson to middle class kids in nice homes, in nice neighborhoods, all over America. This kind of stuff is satanic. However, most of these kids are not satanists or occultists. Most of them are not being cruel and destructive in an attempt to get occult power. Rather, they are just “having fun.” Other people don’t seem like real people to them. They perceive them as being just props on their stage—just objects to be used. These kids are acting like sociopaths. And our entertainers and our teachers have taught them to be that way. To that mix, add the fact that many colleges today are teaching that, by definition, every white person is a racist. And that racism doesn’t depend on what they say, or what they do, or how they think. According to those colleges, just having white skin, by definition, makes people racists. Therefore, the teachings of those colleges encouraged those black kids to attack, terrify, and vandalize white people in Virginia Beach.5 We all know that the Nazis and the Communists did things that were cruel and destructive. But for many of them, that was not their original intention. They had been taught that what they were doing would lead to a utopia, to a better world for themselves and for their children. They saw themselves as doing something that was necessary in order to bring about the utopia that they longed for. Because they had a conscience, they had to be deceived in order to get them to do bad things. It took a lot of clever propaganda, shameless lying, and brainwashing techniques in order to get the people to the point where they would call evil good, and call good evil—and act accordingly. 151
    • They were taught that what they were doing would lead to a “greater good,” to a better world. Of course, their thinking was twisted. But because they had been deceived, they thought that they were doing the right thing. With Muslim jihadists, it is something similar. They think that it is a religious duty to get rid of “infidels.” They believe that it pleases their “god” Allah—that he wants them to do it, as has been written in the Koran. And they are also looking for a utopia—a world-wide caliphate with universal sharia law. Muslim clerics teach them that it is a virtue to hate “infidels.” I saw a video of one cleric who proudly said, “I hate them from the bottom of my heart.” Again, it is twisted. They are calling evil good, and calling good evil. However, because they have been deceived, they think that they are doing the right thing. What we are seeing here in America has gone even further down the slippery slope. These kids don’t have to think that mayhem is for the purpose of creating a “greater good.” They will do it just to “have fun”—as if it’s just a video game. Violent video games that they play keep reinforcing that. So does the violent rap music, or demonic rock music, that they keep pumping into their heads. And so do MTV’s music videos. Years ago, I once saw one of those MTV music videos when I was visiting somebody in the hospital. He turned off the sound, but I saw an incredible amount of violence and death and occultism, all mixed in with sex. Of course, that associates death and violence with sexual pleasure. It was unspeakably depraved. Kids like these would fit in well for working at concentration camps, and being torturers, and so on. They have no conscience at all. They have become sociopaths. And these college kids will become leaders in society, because of their education. 152
    • However, none of this could have happened if the Christians in our nation had been vigilant, instead of being seduced by the world, and distracted with materialism and busy-ness. Dr. Erwin Lutzer describes the essence of this problem in the title of his book—When A Nation Forgets God. His book also describes the consequences of such behavior.6 We didn’t need to have a Babylonian invasion in order to destroy America. We have done it to ourselves, from within. And the “cultural Christians” in this nation have allowed it to happen, right under their noses. But, as in the days of Elijah, God has a faithful Remnant. And He can use even this mess for His glory. He can use it to wake some people up, and make them realize that they need God. They cannot make it on their own. They desperately need God. So, as in the days of the early church, under horrible persecution by the Romans, the true church will grow and get stronger. True Christians will become more serious about God, and more devoted to Him and to their brothers and sisters in Christ. What the enemy means for evil, God will use for good. We are heading for some hard times. But individuals who love God will come through the refiner’s fire as pure gold. Look at Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Corrie ten Boom. NOTES 1. G. Brock Chisholm, “The Re-Establishment of Peacetime Society,” Psychiatry, February 1946. 2. “‘Beach week’ Draws Black Crowd—and Violence,” April 30, 2013 www.wnd.com/2013/04/beach-week-draws-black-crowd-and-violence 3. “‘Abortion Battles’ Game Caught on Video” www.youtube.com/watch?v=78rYupgxxoI 153
    • 4. “Teens Caught on Tape Laughing About Sexually Abusing and Urinating on Underage Girl” www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9-JARpqoj4 5. See Appendix D, “Thought Police.” 6. Dr. Erwin Lutzer, When A Nation Forgets God: 7 Lessons We Must Learn From Nazi Germany (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2010). 154
    • Appendix D Thought Police “The way to redefine a word is to get the new definition repeated as often as possible… This, so far as words are concerned, is the public opinion battle for belief in your definitions, and not those of the opposition. A consistent, repeated effort is the key to any success with this technique of propaganda.” (L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology)1 “A racist is one who is both privileged and socialized on the basis of race by a white supremacist (racist) system. The term applies to all white people… living in the United States” (The University of Delaware)2 “The redefinition of words is done by associating different emotions and symbols with the word than were intended.” (L. Ron Hubbard)1 “The University of Minnesota… intends to redesign its admissions process so that it screens out people with the ‘wrong’ beliefs and values—those who either do not have sufficient ‘cultural competence’ or those who… will not be able to be converted to the ‘correct’ beliefs and values even after remedial re-education.” 3 Letter to University of Minnesota The University of Delaware has about 7,000 students living on campus. It requires these students “to adopt highly specific university-approved views on issues ranging from 155
    • politics to race, sexuality, sociology, moral philosophy and environmentalism.” Students are “pressured or even required” to make statements that comply with the school’s views.4 Being quiet about their beliefs isn’t enough to keep students out of trouble. They are interviewed, one-on-one, with intrusive questions. If students fail to give politically correct answers, then a report is written about them, and the students are subjected to “treatment,” namely compulsory re-education. (This is a state university, which means that it is supported by taxes. Therefore, people who would be appalled by such things are required by law to support them financially.) The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has produced an online video about this brainwashing. In interviews with students and professors, it shows how the university’s Office of Residence Life used a variety of methods to “coerce students to change their thoughts, values, attitudes, beliefs, and habits” so that they would “conform to a highly specified social, environmental, and political agenda.” 5 One of the university’s views is that all whites of European descent are, by definition, racists. That would include William Wilberforce, a white Englishman who spent his life working for the abolition of slavery.6 Hard to believe? Then read these current definitions from the University of Delaware Office of Residence Life Diversity Facilitation Training: “A RACIST: [A]ll white people… By this definition, people of color cannot be racists, because as peoples within the U.S. system, they do not have the power to back up their prejudices, hostilities, or acts of discrimination.” (page 3) 156
    • “REVERSE RACISM: A term created and used by white people to deny their white privilege. Those in denial use the term reverse racism to refer to hostile behavior by people of color toward whites… In the U.S., there is no such thing as ‘reverse racism.’” (page 3) “A NON-RACIST: A non-term. The term was created by whites to deny responsibility for systemic racism, to maintain an aura of innocence in the face of racial oppression, and to shift responsibility for that oppression from whites to people of color (called ‘blaming the victim’).” (Page 3) The “racist” label would apply to James Reeb, a white American man who was beaten to death by segregationists on March 11, 1965, because he participated in Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s march for civil rights in Selma, Alabama.7 It would also include my friend Sheila, a white woman who also participated in that civil rights march in Selma. Although timid by nature, Sheila could be strong when it came to standing up for what she believed in. She risked her life to participate in that march, and she had to face police dogs and cattle prods. But the University of Delaware says that Sheila is a racist because she is white. It would also include white couples who adopt black children. And it would include whites who marry blacks. According to the university, these people are, by definition, racists—no matter how they behave, and no matter what they believe. So according to the University of Delaware, “racism” has little or nothing to do with behavior, beliefs, and motives. It is all about the university’s philosophy and 157
    • ideology. What men and women actually think, and how they actually behave, is irrelevant. There was strong resistance to this program at the University of Delaware. As a result, it was discontinued in October 2007.8 But in May 2008, the program was revived. And it still has the same definition of racism.9 The University of Minnesota has proposed a similar program. It apparently intends to change its admissions process in order to screen out potential students who have “wrong” beliefs and values. Present students whose beliefs don’t conform to the university’s ideology, and who do not change their beliefs as a result of mandatory re-education, would not be able to get degrees. In other words, after successfully completing their studies, they would be refused the degree that they earned because of their personal beliefs.10 This program of indoctrination is especially aimed at future teachers. The Teacher Education Redesign Initiative is a group whose objective is to “change the way future teachers are trained” at the University of Minnesota. It requires teachers to embrace (and teach) its worldview, which sees America as being “an oppressive hellhole: racist, sexist and homophobic.” 11 Many American colleges are indoctrinating students instead of educating them. This widespread problem is documented in Jim Nelson Black’s book Freefall of the American University: How Our Colleges Are Corrupting the Minds and Morals of the Next Generation (Thomas Nelson, 2004). This process involves coercion, mind control, and the unconstitutional lack of free speech and freedom of conscience. It also involves “service learning”—sending students into troubled neighborhoods where they are trained to justify immorality and despise traditional values. What does this do to the ability of students to think logically and to deal with objective facts? 158
    • Replacing real education with indoctrination creates a generation of students whose beliefs and behavior are ruled by propaganda and feelings instead of facts and logical thinking. These victims of contemporary brainwashing can easily be manipulated by clever slogans, clever music, and clever TV ads. This is a perfect set-up for power-hungry politicians. Back in the fifties, countless Western prisoners-of-war faced Communist brainwashing in Asia and the Soviet Union. Only those whose faith and values were anchored in unwavering truth were able to resist the disorienting assaults on their minds. Genuine Christians demonstrated a spiritual resistance that baffled Communist change agents and even converted guards. Never has it been more important to stand firm in God’s Word, train our children to reject compromise, and stand together in God-given strength as we face a world that hates our values and mocks our God! “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31) “The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?” (Psalm 118:6) NOTES NOTE: Some links are too wide for the page. Where that happens, I broke them a logical place. 1. L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Church of Scientology http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/L._Ron_Hubbard 2. “University to Students: ‘All Whites Are Racist.’: Mandatory Program ‘Treats’ Politically Incorrect Attitudes,” October 30, 2007. www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=58426 159
    • 3. Letter to University of Minnesota www.crossroad.to/Quotes/Education/re-learning/ letter-u-minnesota.htm 4. “University to Students: ‘All Whites Are Racist’: Mandatory Program ‘Treats’ Politically Incorrect Attitudes,” October 30, 2007 www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=58426 5. Video: “Think What We Think… Or Else: Thought Control on the American Campus” www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EbQfmVoOfM 6. “William Wilberforce (1759-1833)” www.brycchancarey.com/abolition/wilberforce.htm 7. “James Reeb” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_J._Reeb 8. “University Drops ‘Whites Are Racist’ Plan: Prez Says: ‘I have directed that the program be stopped immediately’,” November 1, 2007. www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=44340 9. “‘All Whites Racist’ Indoctrination Revived!” May 28, 2008. www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.printable&pageId=65532 10. “Teaching Plan: America ‘an Oppressive Hellhole’: University Outlines ‘Re-education’ for Those Who Hold ‘Wrong’Views,” November 27, 2009. www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.printable&pageId=117313 11 “At U, Future Teachers May Be Reeducated: They Must Denounce Exclusionary Biases and Embrace the Vision. (Or else.),” November 22, 2009. www.startribune.com/opinion/commentary/70662162.html 160
    • Appendix E Detention Camps for Americans “The Master Arrest Warrant… directs the head of the FBI to: arrest persons whom I [the U.S. Attorney General] deem dangerous to the public peace and safety. These persons are to be detained and confined until further order.” 1 “[Y]ou could, in the name of stopping terrorism… evoke the military and arrest Americans and put them in detention camps.” (U.S. Congressman Henry Gonzalez)2 “‘Intelligence Activities, Senate Resolution 21' exposed the covert agenda… to monitor, infiltrate, arrest and incarcerate a potentially large segment of American society.” 3 I am deeply concerned about the erosion of free speech in America. Looking at Europe, we can see how entire nations can be gagged by political correctness. For example, in England, because of laws against “hate speech,” people who criticize Muslims can be convicted as hate criminals. But nobody dares apply those laws to Muslims for fear of riots and terrorism. So Muslims are free to preach hatred and violence with impunity.4 The growing Muslim population in America has created situations that demonstrate how political correctness can result in oppressing American citizens. For example, the city of Lewiston in Maine is so afraid of offending its 161
    • Muslim community that a Middle School was willing to charge one of its students with hate crimes for putting a piece of ham on a cafeteria table where Muslim students were eating.5 This was a mean schoolboy prank that should have resulted in school discipline—not attempts to prosecute the boy as a criminal. The state Attorney General’s office said that it did not constitute a hate crime, but the incident demonstrates the extent to which Americans are already willing to go in order to avoid offending Muslims. America is building internment camps for civilians. President Reagan had a program for building these camps, and it has been reactivated by President Bush. A subsidiary of Halliburton has been given a five-year contract to build internment camps (each capable of holding 5,000 people) from 2006 through 2010.6 The stated purpose for these camps is “in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs.” 7 However, if a sudden influx of immigrants is really the reason, then why wasn’t a fence built on the Mexican border years ago? And why isn’t the fence being built now? (They were supposed to build a 700 mile fence, but only 2 miles were built.) In addition, there is that troubling phrase “to support the rapid development of new programs.” That is so open-ended that it could include almost anything. Could it include incarcerating American citizens who value our liberty and our national sovereignty, and try to warn the public about things that endanger our freedom? The origin of these camps goes back long before President Reagan. In 1939, President Roosevelt met with J. Edgar Hoover (the Director of the FBI) to develop plans for such camps. This plan authorized the FBI to arrest up to 20,000 people and put them in camps. The people had no right to a court hearing or to habeas corpus appeal. Senate 162
    • hearings held in December 1975 revealed that the internment plan was never terminated. The Senate report (Intelligence Activities, Senate Resolution 21) “…exposed the covert agenda… to monitor, infiltrate, arrest and incarcerate a potentially large segment of American Society.” 8 The 1975 Senate report also exposed the existence of the Master Search Warrant and the Master Arrest Warrant. These were never terminated. They are still in force. The Master Arrest Warrant authorizes the U.S. Attorney General to give the head of the FBI instructions to “Arrest persons whom I deem dangerous to the public peace and safety. These persons are to be detained and confined until further order.” (emphasis added) (“Whom I deem”—so there is no accountability and no basis for appealing the incarceration.) The Master Search Warrant authorizes the head of the FBI to search premises where “it is believe that there may be found” certain items. (emphasis added) (“May be found”—so no probable cause is needed; searches can be done for any reason.) The items to be searched for are anything that violates “the Proclamation of the President” and they include “firearms, shortwave radio receiving sets, cameras, propaganda materials, printing presses, mimeograph machines…” (emphasis added) (“Propaganda materials” would be writings that are not considered to be politically correct.) The 1975 Senate report mentioned “printing presses” and “mimeograph machines.” Today, items searched for would probably include computers, fax machines, and copiers.9 In 2007, the Army released information about the Pentagon’s Civilian Inmate Labor Program. It gives 163
    • guidelines for “civilian inmate labor programs and civilian prison camps on Army installations.” 10 When you put that together with the building program for detention camps, it looks as if civilian prisoners will be an involuntary labor force in military detention camps. Journalist Peter Dale Scott believes that these “detention centers could be used to detain American citizens if the Bush administration were to declare martial law.” 11 (Future administrations could do the same thing.) Following Hurricane Katrina, President Bush asked Congress to give him the power to use the military in law enforcement for emergencies such as a bird flu epidemic or a national disaster like Hurricane Katrina. Some political commentators see this as being “akin to introducing martial law.” 12 We need to remember Lord Acton’s warning that “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” When you combine that fact with the existence of those camps, and a building program to build more camps, it is troubling. In addition, some political commentators are alarmed by the “combination of the Bush administration’s expansive reading of its own power and its insistence on extraordinary secrecy,” and wonder “how far the Pentagon might go in involving itself in domestic matters.” Among other things, the Pentagon wants to control the Internet.13 That could be used to muzzle watchdog groups that are dedicated to protecting our freedoms and our sovereignty. If there is a wide-spread protest against amnesty for illegal aliens, could the President declare martial law and put the protestors in those camps? Could Americans who object to things that undermine the freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment be imprisoned there? Could U.S. citizens be incarcerated in those camps for objecting to things that compromise our national sovereignty? It looks as if these will be military work camps for civilian prisoners. If so, then their similarity to concen164
    • tration camps is strong enough to be very disturbing. All that is lacking is guards who are hardened enough to abuse American citizens. And we are creating those hardened military personnel. According to the ACLU, 44 prisoners died in Afghanistan and Iraq while being tortured by Navy SEALs, Military Intelligence, and other governmental agencies.14 What has that done to the American men and women who had to torture them? It must have traumatized them and hardened them. That could provide the core for a tough, hardened military group to run the internment camps. The purpose of torture is to get information, not to kill people. If 44 prisoners died while being tortured, then how many hundreds (or thousands) survived? That sounds like a large-scale operation that must be impacting and hardening a lot of American military personnel. And there are probably other sources of hardened men and women who could man the camps. For example, after Hurricane Katrina, the streets of New Orleans were patrolled by “heavily armed paramilitary mercenaries from the Blackwater private security firm, infamous for its work in Iraq.” These mercenaries have a reputation for being “some of the most feared professional killers in the world.” 15 I’ve read that hundreds of these camps already exist, and that some of them are under the jurisdiction of the United Nations. I suspect that some reports are accurate and others may mix facts with speculation or inaccurate information. Some concerns are valid fears, while others may be paranoia. The valid fears need to be investigated. And history demonstrates that sometimes even fears that seem to be paranoid are worth investigating. In Nazi Germany, Hitler intended to do things that were unthinkable and incomprehensible. Some people recognized the danger signs and 165
    • tried to warn others, but they were dismissed as being paranoid. Unfortunately, their fears proved to be realistic and well founded. Following the terrorist attacks of 9/11, “new martial law plans began to surface similar to those of FEMA in the 1980s.” The old FEMA plans included martial law and “suspension of the Constitution.” The new plans include “deploying troops on American streets.” 16 According to the Cato Institute, President Bush has significantly expanded the powers of the Federal Government.17 However, I don’t know whether or not the President would be able to suspend the Constitution if he declared martial law. The combination of building these camps, developing plans for declaring martial law, increased federal power, and the question of whether or not the Constitution can be suspended, is worrisome. However, as Christians, we need to remember that our true citizenship is in Heaven. The Bible is not politically correct. Therefore, whatever the present purposes for these camps may be, eventually they could be used for people who follow God’s standards instead of political correctness. Bible-believing Christians, who disturb the “public peace” by warning others about the UN guidelines for “tolerance” and “unity” and “community,” could wind up in those camps. However, God makes ALL things work out for good for people who love Him. (Romans 8:28) His grace is sufficient for us. (2 Corinthians 12:9) And He is able to keep us from falling. (Jude 1:24) “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee,” He promises us. “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) 166
    • “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27) “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” (Matthew 5:11-12) NOTES NOTE: I wrote this in 2007, so some of the links may no longer be working. 1. “Hidden Threats—Part I” by Geoff Metcalf, May 11, 1998. www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=19492 2. Ibid. 3. Ibid. 4. “The Menace of the Lobby” by Paul Johnson, April 23, 2007, Forbes.com. http://members.forbes.com/forbes/2007/0423/025.html 5. “Lewiston School Plays Down Muslim Ham Incident” by Sher Zieve, April 26, 2007. www.michnews.com/artman/publish/article_16588.shtml 6. “Bush’s Mysterious ‘New Programs’” by Nat Parry, June 27, 2007. www.alternet.org/story/32647/ 7. Ibid. 8. “Hidden Threats—Part I” by Geoff Metcalf, May 11, 1998. www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=19492 9. Ibid. 167
    • 10. “Bush’s Mysterious ‘New Programs’” by Nat Parry, June 27, 2007, Consortium News. www.alternet.org/story/32647/ 11. Ibid. 12. “Bush Military Bird Flu Role Slammed,” October 6, 2005. http://edition.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/10/05/bush.reax/ 13. Op cit., “Bush’s Mysterious ‘New Programs’.’” 14. “U.S. Operatives Killed Detainees During Interrogations in Afghanistan and Iraq,” October 24, 2005, ACLU.org. www.aclu.org/intlhumanrights/gen/21236prs20051024.html 15. Op cit., “Bush’s Mysterious ‘New Programs.’” 16. “Homeland Security Contracts for Vast New Detention Camps” by Peter Dale Scott, February 6, 2006, Global Research, Pacific News Service. www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=1897 17. “Power Surge: The Constitutional Record of George W. Bush” by Gene Healy and Timothy Lynch, The Cato Institute. www.cato.org/pubs/wtpapers/powersurge_healy_lynch.pdf 168
    • Appendix F Pagan Goddess Worship in America “‘Has a nation ever changed its gods? (Yet they are not gods at all.) But my people have exchanged their Glory for worthless idols. Be appalled at this, O heavens, and shudder with great horror,’ declares the LORD. ‘My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.’” (Jeremiah 2:1113) The worship of pagan goddesses is most obvious with Wiccans. However, it is also common in universities and nursing schools. It is promoted by the media and is a component of New Age feminism. It has infiltrated mainline denominational churches and its influence can be felt throughout our society. This movement is impacting our culture, and especially the younger generation. One troubling aspect of it is that, according to some of its proponents, facts and logic are “patriarchal” and therefore they are irrelevant. As you will see, some so-called scholars openly say that it is alright to make things up and present them as if they were historical facts. Philip G. Davis wrote Goddess Unmasked: The Rise of Neopagan Feminist Spirituality (1998, Spence Publishing Company, Dallas, Texas). Davis is a professor of religious studies at the University of Prince Edward Island in Canada. He wrote the book because he saw that goddess 169
    • worship was being taken seriously in religious institutions, and that myths about the goddess were being taught as factual history on campus. Creating a “Goddess-Friendly” Culture The “Age of Enlightenment” gave birth to rationalist materialism. In reaction against this denial of the importance of emotions, a generation of Romantic poets, novelists, artists, musicians and philosophers developed. Many of them were involved with drugs, the occult, Rosicrucianism, or Freemasonry. Following Darwin’s theory of evolution, they speculated wildly about the evolution of society. Nationalism became a romantic search for pagan roots, as seen in Wagner’s operas and the fairy tales researched by the Brothers Grimm. Womanhood was idealized. The myth of a past utopian matriarchy was developed. Psychologist Carl Jung idealized the concept of the “anima,” the feminine side of man. (See chapters 2 through 12 of Philip G. Davis, Goddess Unmasked.) Romanticism even invaded history and archaeology. Bachoven developed a theory of matriarchy which was openly based on imagination, and not on searching for hard facts. Feminist scholars followed Bachoven’s lead. A historic myth was developed in which an ideal, matriarchal, goddess-worshipping society was destroyed by patriarchal invaders who brought with them all the ills of modern society. (See chapters 2, 11 and 12.) The scholarship involved in these studies of history and archaeology is so faulty that Philip Davis says: “An important lesson of this book is the ease with which patent falsehoods may clothe themselves in 170
    • the garb of scholarship and masquerade as truth.” (Goddess Unmasked, p. ix). Feminist scholars and other academic radicals say that objective facts and historical accuracy are not even a valid goal. “A feminist scholar told her audience that it is indeed ‘ethical’ for an historian to ignore historical evidence in order to construct a narrative which would prove fruitful in dealing with contemporary political situations, while still presenting it as history.” (Goddess Unmasked, p. 360) “[M]any of today’s academic radicals explicitly reject the quest for objective truth; they claim that objectivity is not only impossible to achieve in pure form, but actually illegitimate in the first place because it expresses a patriarchal, oppressive mentality. They argue that all human beings see the world in terms of a subjective ‘perspective’ which is irrevocably shaped by the group to which the individual belongs: race, sex, or social class. Most scholarship, therefore, is simply the narcissistic exploration of one’s own perspective.” (Goddess Unmasked, p. 360) Before full-blown goddess worship developed in the 1950s, American art showed that popular imagination was being prepared for it. For example, the Statue of Liberty looks like a Greek goddess and is over three hundred feet high. The inscription presents the statue as speaking, and she calls herself “Mother of Exiles.” 1 A 1915 poster for the Red Cross shows an American nurse with a billowing, hooded cape that makes her look like a cross between a 171
    • nurse and a Greek goddess. She carries a placard which says: “I am the Red Cross of Peace. I heal the wounds of war. I am a refuge from fire, flood and pestilence. The love of little children is mine. I am the Red Cross of Peace.” 2 The Wiccan Goddess Wicca was developed in England by Gerald B. Gardner, who was the first fully public witch of modern times. He was a spiritualist, a Freemason, and a Rosicrucian, with an extensive background in the occult. He was a member of the Golden Dawn. Aleister Crowley (a satanist) initiated Gardner into the fourth degree of the O.T.O. (Ordo Templi Orientis). Gardner was acquainted with a witch named “old Dorothy Fordham” and claimed to have been initiated into a coven. He used various occult texts in developing his rituals, including texts by Aleister Crowley. (Goddess Unmasked, p. 334) Aiden Kelley, a Wiccan trained in biblical criticism, applied his critical skills to Gardner’s archive. Based on Kelley’s findings, Philip Davis concludes that: “First, [Kelly’s] identification of Gardner’s literary sources leaves little doubt that Gardner’s own witchcraft texts were his personal creation and not something handed on to him from an ancient tradition; paradoxically, then, Wicca is not a revival of an old pagan religion, but a modern paganization of materials which originated within the Judeochristian tradition (the Kabbalah) or in direct reaction to it (Crowley).” (Goddess Unmasked, p. 334)3 172
    • Therefore, it is difficult to know how much Gardner’s Wicca resembles ancient witchcraft. Doreen Valiente was Gardner’s High Priestess. She was informed enough to spot the passages from Crowley in the rituals, and she rewrote them so that Crowley’s name wouldn’t discourage potential inquirers. Initially, the male, horned god and the High Priest were pre-eminent. By the mid-1960s, the goddess was the supreme deity in Wicca, and ritual authority was vested in the High Priestess. (Goddess Unmasked, pp. 336-337) Through Wicca, goddess worship has infiltrated our American culture. “Gardnerian Wicca was the first modern Western Goddess religion. The appearance of the Goddess in other radical feminist circles, and then in churches and universities, did not occur until after the establishment of modern witchcraft as a viable new religion.” (Goddess Unmasked, p. 341) “The modern Goddess religion is another manifestation of the European neopagan counterculture… Partly because of its alliance with and usefulness to a vocal and visible political movement, gender feminism, Goddess spirituality seems well on the way to becoming the most successful of all these neopagan manifestations in the Englishspeaking world.” (Goddess Unmasked, p. 343) Wicca presents itself as a wholesome worship of a gentle, benevolent goddess. It’s motto is, “An ye do none harm do what ye will.” However, in real life the results of Wicca are not wholesome at all. William Schnoebelen and his wife Sharon were High Priest and High Priestess of their coven, and they believed that they were doing a good thing. However, Wicca led 173
    • them to satanism. Rivalry developed with another coven, and the witches put curses on one another. Several of their witches became drug addicts. All of their witches had their marriages destroyed. William Schnoebelen’s book Wicca (Chick Publications, 1990) tells of their experiences and how they became Christians. The Goddess and Main-Line Denominational Churches In November 1993, a Re-imagining Conference was held in Minneapolis. Most of the 2,000 participants were women. It was an ecumenical church conference attended by Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans, Roman Catholics, and members of almost a dozen other denominations. They invoked Sophia, the goddess of Wisdom, calling her their Creator. Prayers and liturgies were addressed to this goddess. Communion consisted of milk and honey instead of bread and wine. They openly rejected the doctrines of the incarnation and the atonement. Christian lesbians were applauded for coming out of the closet. They encouraged “sex among friends” as a norm. This conference was initiated by, sponsored by, and attended by representatives of the major American churches. (Goddess Unmasked, pp. 3-4, 28-29) “Re-imagining was an unprecedented event: an interdenominational assembly of Christians openly bent on destroying the historic Christian religion root and branch, and steering the churches into wholesale neopaganism.” (Goddess Unmasked, p. 29) 174
    • Neopagan and Wiccan themes are amazingly prominent within older religious establishments. One reason for this is the quest for “inclusive” language and the attempt to apply more female imagery to God. Liturgy reform and revised hymnals have featured feminine imagery and metaphors for God the Mother. (Goddess Unmasked, pp. 24-25, 27) The Unitarian-Universalist church developed a tensession workshop on feminism which encourages goddess worship and even endorses witchcraft. This workshop is called Cakes for the Queen of Heaven. It has been circulated through the major denominations and adopted for use in many mainstream churches. (Goddess Unmasked, pp. 24-25) The following quotation from Jeremiah gives God’s perspective on this: “Do you not see what they are doing in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? The children gather wood, the fathers light the fire, and the women knead the dough and make cakes of bread for the Queen of Heaven. They pour out drink offerings to other gods to provoke me to anger.” (Jeremiah 7:16-18, emphasis added) A Canadian television station ran a five-part series titled Return of the Goddess, which introduced many people to goddess worship. The National Film Board of Canada produced Goddess Remembered, which became one of their most popular productions ever, being featured by public broadcasting TV stations in the United States as well as in Canada. Cakes for the Queen of Heaven and Goddess Remembered have both become staples for study groups in some major denominations. (Goddess Unmasked, pp. 25-27) 175
    • The Goddess and the University The credibility of goddess worship has been increased by its acceptance by university professors and its incorporation into textbooks. (Goddess Unmasked, pp. 2931) “This little-noticed event is actually a striking development: after the long modern struggle to free higher education from church control, the doctrines of a new religion are being packaged and promoted as factual material for use in publicly funded and accredited institutions of higher education.” (Goddess Unmasked, p. 31) The broader plans of gender feminism seem to have been most fully articulated, promoted and implemented among academics. Some feminists have even demanded that the goddess be given parity with the God of the Bible in university religion programs. This will impact our entire society because universities and colleges are training most of our future leaders, including government, health care, and the clergy. (Goddess Unmasked, pp. 361, 363). “Repudiating the quest for objective truth and arguing that all teaching is therefore indoctrination, radical professors are increasingly open about using the classroom for recruitment, turning students into political activists. The campus, therefore, is a natural place to look for signs of the radical feminist New Age as it emerges.” (Goddess Unmasked, p. 361) 176
    • The Goddess and Health Care Goddess worship has become strong in the field of health care, particularly nursing. Health care professionals are actively promoting New Age practices. For example, “therapeutic touch” (passing one’s hands above a patient’s body in order to manipulate auras and energy-fields) has reportedly been taught to thousands of nurses in eighty North American nursing programs. (Goddess Unmasked, pp. 31-33). Goddess worship has been overtly promoted, as can be seen from the following quotation from the National League for Nursing, which is an accrediting agency for nursing schools. “Women’s wisdom is ageless and timeless, and passes from generation to generation primarily by oral tradition. Women’s wisdom is all too often the hidden foundation of patriarchal scholarship throughout academic, religious, and philosophic literature—without credit to the origins of the ideas. These origins are grounded in women’s experiences, female symbolism, and the spiritual roots of the Triple Goddess.” 4 Wiccan Indoctrination in Public Schools Ron Campbell’s ministry, The Jeremiah Project, deals with the occult. It discusses ways in which occultism has gained widespread acceptance in America. One of these ways is through the public school system. He says: “Increasingly the curriculum in many public schools is becoming a primer in occultism. Impressions, a curriculum used in many school districts, instructs teachers and students in how to 177
    • cast spells. One teacher’s manual reads, ‘Tell the children that a magician has cast a spell on some children. Have them work in pairs to write the magic spell the magician used. Have each pair write another spell to reverse the first spell. Have them chant their spells.’ About 16,000 school districts use the Pumsey the Dragon curriculum, by Jill Anderson. Many of the relaxation techniques used are identical to those used in hypnosis. Another curriculum called Duso the Dolphin employs relaxation techniques and sends hypnotized youngsters off on guided fantasies to a place called Aquatron.” 5 Notice that the children are told to chant the spells. Their teachers require them to role play being magicians or sorcerers or witches, and chant spells. This is enforced training in practical witchcraft, paid for by U.S. tax dollars. What Can We Do? We need to be informed so that we can help people we know who have become confused by these things. God may show us practical things that we can do. Above all, we need to take the following Scriptures seriously, and apply them to our daily lives. “If my people, who are called by my name, will 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.” (2 Chronicles 7:14) 178
    • “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. (James 1:5) NOTES 1. Information obtained by phone from the Public Information Office of the Statue of Liberty. 2. This poster is in the Valentine Museum in Richmond, Virginia. A picture of it appeared in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, September 29, 1998, p. D-1. 3. The Kabbalah (which can also be spelled “Cabala”) is: “A kind or system of occult theosophy or mystical interpretation of the Scriptures among Jewish rabbis and certain medieval Christians.” (Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 5th edition) 4. Charlene E. Wheeler and Peggy L. Chinn, Peace and Power: A Handbook of Feminist Process, 3rd ed. (New York: National League for Nursing), pp. xi-xii. Quoted in Goddess Unmasked, p. 32. 5. “Halloween: Its Origins and Customs.” www.jeremiahproject.com/halloween.txt 179
    • Appendix G Creation Versus Evolution Years ago, I was fighting cancer and I needed to trust the Lord. In spite of the fact that God has always faithfully taken care of me, it was amazingly difficult for me to really trust Him. I said the right things and prayed the right prayers, but deep down inside, I was afraid. It is always easier to trust the Lord from a point of safety, but my difficulty went deeper than that. So for months I asked God to help me trust Him and to deal with whatever was hindering that trust. Gradually, the Lord showed me that His sovereignty wasn't real to me—I knew about it in my head, but it hadn't connected at a gut level. So for months I asked God to reveal His sovereignty to me and to deal with anything that was hindering my ability to really believe in His sovereignty. Then, one day, someone unexpectedly gave me a catalog of books and videos produced by the Institute for Creation Research (ICR).1 Mount Saint Helen’s Volcano Out of curiosity, I ordered a video on Mount Saint Helen’s. On watching that video, I saw with my own eyes a wall of sediment six hundred feet high which had been laid down by the volcano since 1980. Rather than being laid down gradually, it was laid down in spurts by lava flows, mud slides, etc. For example, in one day, 25 feet of finely stratified layers were laid down. Some of those layers were less than a centimeter thick, and were laid down in seconds. I had always been taught that layered rock like that takes millions of years to form. 180
    • I saw with my own eyes a 100-foot-deep canyon system that was carved out in one day by a hurricane-speed mud slide which cut through solid rock. The canyon system looked like a miniature Grand Canyon. It even had a stream running through the bottom of it. I had always been taught that canyon systems are formed over millions of years as a river gradually cuts its way down into the rock. The video was interesting, but I had no idea how important it was until the next time I read the Bible. The Bible seemed more real, more believable. I felt the Bible’s authority in a way that I had never felt it before. I had always believed things that I was personally familiar with. I believed that Jesus healed people because God sovereignly healed my mother’s back. I believed that Jericho’s walls fell down, and many other events in biblical history, because they have been verified by archaeologists. I believed biblical prophecy because it has been verified by history.2 However, it was difficult for me to believe unfamiliar things such as Creation and Noah’s flood. I was always looking for other evidence to support what Scripture said because the Bible’s authority wasn’t enough for me. I’ve always been interested in science. As a result, I was thoroughly steeped in evolution. In college, the religion department taught me that the Genesis account of Creation isn’t true because science has proved evolution, so Genesis can’t be taken to mean what it says. Starting with that assumption, they tore the entire Bible to pieces. Theological and Biblical Implications Seeing the video on Mount Saint Helen’s broke the power of what I had been taught in college. Evolution no longer seemed like a rock-hard, unquestionable fact. For the first time, I was free to seriously question evolution. For the 181
    • first time, I was free to consider trusting the Book of Genesis. The result was that I found myself trusting the authority of the Bible in a new way. I ordered more videos and some books. As I studied them, I saw a change take place in the way I shared the Gospel with people. Before, I had never been able to tell people why it was necessary for Jesus to shed His blood. I had heard and read the standard explanations many times, but they never really made sense to me. Intellectually, I knew that “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:21-22) I could quote it, but it didn’t really make much sense to me. However, once I became familiar with the creation books and videos, that statement came alive for me. For the first time in my Christian life, I became comfortable talking about the sin of Adam and the need for the shed blood of Jesus. Before those creation materials set me free, I had been double minded. With part of my mind, I believed the Bible, and with part of my mind, I believed in evolution. Evolution says that animals suffered and died for millions of years and gradually changed into people. In other words, death and suffering were in the world millions of years before Adam existed. The Bible says that there was no death or suffering before Adam’s sin. Therefore, evolution denies that death and suffering are the result of sin, thereby denying the reason that Jesus died. The following quotations from the American Atheist and The Humanist show the importance of this issue. 182
    • “When the theory of evolution was advanced, that was the date that the Judeo-Christian religion began the decline in which it now finds itself in the West.” 3 “Destroy Adam and Eve and original sin, and in the rubble you will find the sorry remains of the son of God.” 4 “Darwin’s discovery of the principle of evolution sounded the death knell of religious and moral values. It removed the ground from under the feet of traditional religion.” 5 These quotations also show the importance of creation in evangelizing. It is difficult for people who believe in evolution to believe the Bible, which means that they usually aren’t open to being led to Jesus through Scripture. Once people learn that creation is scientifically and logically reasonable, then a major hindrance to faith is removed and they become more open to the Gospel. The controversy between creationism and evolution is not a disagreement between science and religion. Rather, it is a dispute between advocates of opposing religions: scientists who believe the Bible versus scientists who believe in humanism. Humanists define themselves as a religion in the “Humanist Manifesto.” Evolution is one of their basic articles of faith. Humanism and atheism are both taxexempt religions.6 “The fact that a theory so vague, so insufficiently verifiable, and so far from the criteria otherwise applied in ‘hard’ science has become a dogma can only be explained on sociological grounds.” 7 183
    • [The theory of evolution is] “…universally accepted not because it has been observed to occur or can be proved by logically coherent evidence to be true, but because the only alternative—special creation— is clearly incredible.” 8 Some Basic Problems with Evolution Many scientists who were formerly evolutionists have become creationists as a result of the scientific evidence. They have found that the scientific model of creation followed by a world-wide flood explains the evidence better than the scientific model of evolution.9 There are many problems with the theory of evolution. Gradual improvements are supposed to be caused by mutations. However, geneticists say that mutations never cause beneficial changes. Mutational changes are always harmful or neutral. Chemicals are supposed to have formed simple life forms, but microbiologists have discovered that there is no such thing as a simple life form. Even the most primitive one-celled creatures are incredibly complex. Scientists specializing in probability theory say: “The chance that higher life forms might have emerged in this way is comparable with the chance that a tornado sweeping through a junk-yard might assemble a Boeing 747 from the materials therein.” 10 If evolution occurred, then the fossil record should be full of missing links. However, only a few have been found, and every single one of them is disputed by experts. For example, archeopteryx used to be considered a missing link between reptiles and birds. However, fossils of modern birds have been found which are older than archeopteryx. (It can’t have been a missing link—something that was 184
    • slowly evolving into a bird—if birds already existed.) Also, the eohippus-to-horse transition turned out to be a fallacy. Fraudulent Ape Men Every single ape man has turned out to be a regular human, a regular ape, or a fraud. Even the celebrated Lucy is considered by many experts to be a regular chimpanzee. The only bone in Lucy which makes her seem human is the knee joint, which was found a mile and a half away from the rest of the skeleton and 200 feet lower down in the rock. Skeletons of modern humans have been found which are older than any of the ape men. (Ape men can’t have been slowly evolving into modern humans if modern humans already existed.)11 Evolutionists are so anxious to have evidence that ape men existed that they continue to teach them in textbooks and museum exhibits long after they have been proved to be mistakes or frauds. For example, Peking Man consisted of ape skulls, human implements, and the assumption that the owners of the skulls used the implements. However, six complete human skeletons were later found at the same site. Obviously, the humans were the creatures that used the human implements. In spite of that, Peking man continues to appear in textbooks and museum exhibits. Furthermore, a furnace was later found at the same site, along with a pile of ashes over two stories high. No primitive ape man could have built a furnace like that. Java Man was a fraud, but it is still treated as an ape man. Eugene DuBois found an ape skull and a human leg bone, and he said that they belonged to the same creature— an ape man. Before his death, DuBois confessed that he had found two fully human skulls and four other human leg bones at the same site. Therefore, Java Man (also called 185
    • Homo Erectus) was just a normal human. However, it is still presented as an ape man in textbooks and museum exhibits. Paleontologists don’t get research grant money for finding apes or men; they only get it for finding ape men. Therefore, they are tempted to suppress evidence and claim that a find is an ape man when they know that it really isn’t. Another example is Piltdown Man, which was a deliberate fraud—a human skull cap and an ape’s jaw with teeth that were filed down to look like human teeth. It had been chemically stained to look old. Piltdown Man was exhibited at the British Museum of Natural History in 1912. In 1916, a dental anatomist examined it and wrote a report showing that it was a fake. However, the museum sup-pressed his report.12 They exhibited a copy of the fossil, locked the original skull in a safe, and refused to allow scientists to examine it. Piltdown Man remained on exhibit until 1953. By then, the man who discovered the skull was no longer around. Personnel and policies at the museum had changed, and some scientists were allowed to date the skull; in the process, they discovered that it was a fraud.13 In other words, leading scientists of a world-renowned museum suppressed the information that Piltdown Man was a fraud. They exhibited Piltdown Man as an ape man— knowing that it was a fake—for 41 years. Furthermore, they deliberately concealed the evidence by locking the fossil in a safe and refusing to let other scientists examine it. This shows a desperate need to convince people that ape men exist, whether or not there is any real evidence. 186
    • Suppressing Evidence The way that the British Museum of Natural History handled the problem of Piltdown Man is an example of the suppression of evidence which is contrary to the theory of evolution. Another way of suppressing “inconvenient” facts is to automatically discredit any evidence which is contrary to evolutionary theory. I was always taught in science class that if the facts don’t fit your theory, then you are supposed to change your theory—not throw out the facts. However, in practice, the opposite is often true. There are a number of motives for doing this. They include job security, the ability to get funding, fear of causing a controversy, professional reputation, and the philosophical implications of evolution. One example is the “Calavaras skull” which was found 130 feet below ground by a California gold miner. The skull was almost completely mineralized. It was authenticated by a physician as a modern type of skull. J.D. Whitney is a chief of the California Geological Survey. He authenticated that it was found in the Pliocene rock, which is supposed to be over two million years old. The problem is that, according to the evolutionary timetable, human beings weren’t around then. So it was assumed that the skull had been planted there—in spite of the fact that the rock was also full of stone mortars, bowls, and other signs of human workmanship. (How could anybody plant a skull in solid rock?) To this day, the skull is ignored or explained away, while Whitney’s report lies buried in the museum archives.14 Another example is two half skeletons that were discovered in Utah in 1975. They were completely encased in rock. The bones were taken to the University of Utah for official testing and confirmation. However, nothing was 187
    • done; no report was issued. The experts refused to follow up on this discovery. The man who discovered them had to come back to pick them up. Why were the experts afraid to follow up on it? Because the bones came out of a rock layer that was supposed to be a hundred million years old.15 Some Honest Evolutionists Who Exposed Some Problems Fortunately, there are some evolutionists who are scientists of integrity, men and women who genuinely seek the truth and aren’t threatened by ideas that are different from what they were taught. Real truth-seekers aren’t threatened by facts. They don’t try to suppress evidence that is contrary to their position, and they don’t try to exaggerate evidence that favors it. Such scientists are often aware of how shaky the evidence for evolution is in their own area of science, but, having been taught evolution by teachers they trust, they assume that other scientific disciplines must have the solid evidence for it. Once they study the evidence in other areas of science, and realize how weak it is, some of them become creationists. Stephen Jay Gould, a prominent evolutionist from Harvard University, tried to explain the lack of fossil evidence by developing the theory of “punctuated equilibrium” which pictures evolutionary history as long periods when nothing happens, punctuated by sudden evolutionary spurts which occur so quickly that no record is left in the fossils. Other evolutionists have tried to explain the lack of solid evidence for evolution by saying that it occurred somewhere else in the universe and the resulting plants and animals were transported to Earth (the theory of “directed panspermia”). 188
    • Many animals and plants show a precision of efficient engineering design that can’t have occurred by chance. Some evolutionists recognize this but are unwilling to acknowledge that God is the designer. Therefore, they attribute plan and purpose to evolution itself, or to the earth, or to mystical New Age forces. In other words, they personify evolution (or the earth) and make a god out of it. Michael Denton, an Australian microbiologist, believes in evolution and openly mocks the Genesis account of creation in his book Evolution: A Theory in Crisis.16 Yet his book shows that biochemistry, microbiology, genetics, embryology, paleontology, and probability theory all fail to support the theory of evolution. His book contains so much information showing that the evidence of science is contrary to evolution that ICR scientists re-read it every time they are scheduled to have a public debate with evolutionists. Could Transitional Life Forms Survive? There is also the problem of how transitional forms could have survived. For example, according to the theory of evolution, reptiles gradually changed into birds, which means that their front legs gradually changed into wings over millions of years. But wings and legs function in completely different ways. How did those transitional animals survive without the use of their front legs during the millions of years before those legs became functional wings? If you want to understand this in practical terms, then get down on the floor and crawl on all fours. While you are still crawling, suddenly pick up your arms and hold them out sideways like wings. It takes more faith to believe in evolution than it does to believe in creation. 189
    • The problems of gradual evolution have led some scientists to postulate the “hopeful monster” theory, which says that one day a reptile laid an egg and a bird hatched from it. But a baby bird cannot survive without a mother bird to feed it, take care of it, and teach it to fly. No mother reptile could do that for a bird, even if she wanted to. (Reptiles lay their eggs and leave; they don’t take care of their babies.) Also, how could such a bird reproduce with no other birds around? In spite of this, “hopeful monsters” are considered serious science, and articles about them are published in scientific journals. The American Association for the Advancement of Science even endorses a children’s book which promotes the idea. Evolution as a Faith One of the world’s greatest experts on fossils is Dr. Colin Patterson, Senior Paleontologist of the British Museum of Natural History. His museum contains over seven million fossils, which is the largest collection in the world. After more than 20 years of studying fossils, writing books on evolution, and teaching and speaking on evolution, Dr. Patterson gave the following statement during his Keynote Address to prominent evolutionists at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, on November 5, 1981. He said that, after studying evolution for 20 years, he realized that: “…there was not one thing I knew about it. That’s quite a shock to learn that one can be so misled so long.” 17 The introduction to the 1971 edition of Darwin’s The Origin of Species states that evolution has not been 190
    • scientifically proved, and therefore belief in evolution could be considered faith rather than science. It says that evolution is the foundation of biology and, as a result, “…biology is thus in the peculiar position of being a science founded on an unproved theory—is it then a science or a faith?” 18 Harvard’s Nobel prize winning biologist George Wald said, in Frontiers of Modern Biology on Theories of Origin of Life: “I do not want to believe in God. Therefore I choose to believe in that which I know is scientifically impossible, spontaneous generation leading to evolution.” 19 Evolution requires immense amounts of time to be at all plausible. (If a princess kisses a frog and it turns into a prince, that’s a fairy tale. If a frog turns into a prince over millions of years, that’s evolution.) According to radiometric dating, the earth is over four billion years old. However, there are a number of problems with radiometric dating. It requires making several assumptions. Each one of these assumptions cannot be verified, and many scientists consider them to be unrealistic. Furthermore, as explained below, there is a problem caused by water.20 Radiometric dating depends on precise measurements of radioactive materials such as uranium, thorium, strontium, rubidium, and radioactive potassium. All of them occur as salts, which dissolve in water. If a rock containing them is left under water, the radioactive salts will leach out of the rock, and radiometric dating will show the rock to be far older than it really is. The presence of fossil fish on 191
    • mountain tops indicates that the earth has known extensive flooding. There are at least 68 other “natural clocks” which can be used to date the earth. These include: • The rate at which land is washed into the ocean • The rate at which salt collects in the ocean • The amount of cosmic dust on the moon • The decay of short-period comets • The rate at which oil leaks out of oil deposits • The earth’s shrinking magnetic field Most of these “clocks” give a maximum age of thousands of years.21 The inaccuracy of radiometric dating is shown by studies of underwater rocks which were formed less than 200 years ago by lava from two Hawaiian volcanoes (an active volcano named Kilauea and a volcano near Hualalei). The rocks were dated using radiometric dating. The ages obtained from Kilauea’s rocks ranged up to 22 million years.22 The ages obtained from rocks formed by the volcano near Hualalei ranged from 160 million years to 3 billion years.23 Both sets of rocks are known to be less than 200 years old, because their formation by the volcanoes is a matter of historical record. Evolutionist William Stansfield recognizes the serious problems with radiometric dating. In his textbook on evolution, he says: 192
    • “Age estimates on a given geological stratum using different methods are often quite different (sometimes by hundreds of millions of years).” 24 This is of great practical importance because, during Noah’s flood, the entire earth was under water for over a year. The rain only lasted for 40 days, but it remained 20 feet higher than the highest mountains for 150 days. After that, it took a year and ten days for the earth to dry out enough for Noah to come out of the ark. (See Genesis 7:178:16)25 Many discoveries indicate that processes which we were taught take thousands or millions of years, actually occur quite quickly. For example, the volcano at Mount Saint Helen’s laid down 25 feet of finely stratified layers in one day. Many of them were less than a centimeter thick and were laid down in seconds. A 100-foot-deep canyon system was carved out at Mount Saint Helen’s in one day by a hurricane-speed mud slide which cut through solid rock. If you want to see these for yourself, get the video “Mount Saint Helen’s” from ICR. Other examples are coal and oil, which can be formed quite rapidly in a laboratory. They don’t require millions of years. All they require is the right conditions. Given the right conditions, wood can be petrified quickly and fossils can form quickly. Many fossils of modern items have been found, including a fossilized 20th century hat. Many fossils have been found which indicate rapid burial under catastrophic conditions. For example, a fossil of an 80-foot whale was found standing on its tail, buried in diatomaceous earth.26 (Diatomaomaceous earth, or diatomite, is formed by microscopic organisms with hard exterior skeletons or shells.) That whale had to be buried so quickly that it couldn’t rot or fall over. One witty letter to the editor in Chemical & Engineering News remarked: 193
    • “The baleen whale simply stood on its tail for 100,000 years, its skeleton undecomposing, while the diatomaceous snow covered its frame millimeter by millimeter.” 27 Evolution Versus the Laws of Physics Another basic problem with the theory of evolution is that it goes directly against several important laws of physical science. The Second Law of Thermodynamics, also known as the Law of Entropy, states that everything wears out, has less and less energy available for use, and becomes less and less ordered. You can see it all around you: your body is wearing out, your car gets more and more run down, you have to fight to maintain your house in decent shape. But evolution goes completely contrary to all that by saying that, on their own, things will become more and more complex, more ordered, that they will go upwards instead of running down. Evolution also goes contrary to the First Law of Thermodynamics (conservation of energy and matter). In addition, it goes against the Law of Cause and Effect. And it also goes against the Laws of Probability. Why is evolution taught so dogmatically as an absolute, unquestionable fact even though many scientists recognize that there are serious difficulties with the theory? Because John Dewey (the “father of progressive education”) almost singlehandedly revolutionized education in the United States. He was a staunch humanist and a signer of the original “Humanist Manifesto.” He was determined to make the American school system conform to humanist ideals. An important part of that goal was indoctrinating students in evolution.28 194
    • Moral and Theological Implications The Bible says that one of the signs of the last days will be that people will choose to ignore three facts: (1) God created everything; (2) Noah’s flood was a world-wide judgment sent by God; and (3) there will be a coming judgment by fire. The refusal to acknowledge these things will be associated with moral corruption. “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” (2 Peter 3:3-7) There is a definite connection between moral corruption and not wanting to acknowledge God as our Creator. If God created us, then He makes the rules. If we evolved from animals, then we make the rules. Therefore, anybody who doesn’t want to abide by God’s rules has a vested interest in promoting evolution. Sir Julian Huxley, a famous atheist and one of the leading evolutionists of the 20th century, said during an interview on a talk show: “I suppose the reason we leaped at The Origin of Species was because the idea of God interfered with our sexual mores.” 29 195
    • Widespread belief in evolution has had a devastating effect on the morals of our society. Even Will Durant, a humanist philosopher who doesn’t believe that he personally needs God, can recognize it. “By offering evolution in place of God as a cause of history, Darwin removed the theological basis of the moral code of Christendom.” 30 Belief in Evolution Contributed to Oppression, Slavery, and Genocide The principles of biological evolution have been extended to social, economic and national affairs, with tragic consequences. These are extensively documented by Henry M. Morris (The Long War Against God) and Ian Taylor (In the Minds of Men).31 The notorious capitalists in our nation—who amassed great fortunes by crushing small businesses and treating workers ruthlessly—used evolution to justify their actions. They considered themselves to be carrying out the principles of evolution by eliminating the weak. Hitler, Mussolini and Marx considered themselves to be applying the evolutionary principle of “survival of the fittest” to national affairs. Hitler believed that Jews were an inferior (less evolved) race. He decided to speed up the evolutionary process by exterminating them, as part of his plan for producing a “super race” in Germany. Slavery and racism were justified by saying that negroes had not evolved as far as whites. Evolutionary scientists publicly justified racism until Hitler’s massacre of the Jews made it unpopular. Another result of evolutionism was the murder of Australian Aborigines to provide specimens for study and museum exhibits. It has been estimated that 10,000 dead 196
    • bodies of Australia’s Aborigines were shipped to British museums in an attempt to prove the widespread belief that they were the “missing link.” Edward Ramsay, curator of the Australian Museum in Sydney in 1894, published a museum booklet which included Aborigines under the designation of “Australian Animals.” It gave instructions on how to rob graves and how to plug up bullet wounds in freshly killed “specimens.” “Collectors” working under Ramsay were paid bounties for Aborigine skulls, brains, skeletons, bodies, and skins for mounting. Amalie Dietrich, a German evolutionist, was known as the “black angel of death” because she had so many Aborigines shot for specimens. U.S. evolutionists also collected specimens of “subhumans.” The Smithsonian Institution in Washington holds the remains of 15,000 individuals of various races. Even in quite modern times, aboriginal bones have been sought by major institutions. Aboriginal leaders and others are asking to have such remains be returned and given a decent burial.32 Contributing to Violence and Suicide Evolution contributes to suicide, especially among teenagers. Physician Michael Girouard has, in the course of his medical practice, seen a marked increase in suicidal thoughts when teenagers in science classes accept what evolution says about them—that they are just animals who exist because of blind chance, with no reason for being.33 A friend of mine vividly recalls the day in twelfth-grade science class when he suddenly saw the implications of evolution and concluded, “I’m just a piece of meat!” Our nation was shocked by the brutal beating of Rodney King at the hands of the Los Angeles police. People were horrified by the events that followed: rioting, 197
    • looting, burning, beatings, and killings. But should we really be surprised? What else would you expect from senseless animals? What we saw in Rodney King’s beating and in the riots that followed is people who were living out the evolutionist philosophy that they were taught in school. School children are taught that they are just animals who have evolved from apes. Many people say that our schools today are a zoo. But what else should we expect from children who were taught that they are animals? Our teachers have been telling them that they are animals without thinking through what the practical consequences will be when they grow up. Undermining Logical Thinking Everybody knows that you can’t have a watch without a watchmaker and you can’t have an airplane without an engineer. But our school children are being taught that incredibly complex things such as the eye and the human brain developed by blind chance. In other words, we have been teaching them to think illogically and to discount everything they have learned through personal experience about how things are made in the observable world around them. We have taught them to think the opposite of what logic, reason, and common sense teach them. Then should we be shocked to see them grow up to be people who do things that are illogical, unreasonable, and senseless? By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them Belief in evolution has had a devastating effect on our society. It has paved the way for widespread immorality, secular humanism, atheism, and New Age religions.34 198
    • The bad fruits of evolution are obvious, and Jesus said that we would be able to recognize what things really are by their fruits. (Matthew 7:17-20) The scientific case for creation is very strong. This is very encouraging. However, we must never depend on science to prove the Bible. Rather, we should let the Bible show us whether or not science is valid. For example, many psychologists tell us that it is “healthy” for people to be sexually involved outside of marriage. The Bible tells us that those ideas are absolutely wrong. As a result, we need to be cautious about accepting other statements that psychologists make, and we should never seek counsel from any psychologist who doesn’t believe in the Bible. The Problem with “Experts” All human beings—including scientists—have limited knowledge, limited understanding, and questionable motives. They make mistakes, they deceive themselves, and sometimes they tell deliberate lies. We need to put our confidence in God, rather than in weak, fallible, sinful human beings. God knows everything, there is no limit to His understanding, and He is absolutely truthful. This world will pass away, but “the word of our God shall stand forever.” (Isaiah 40:8) In the past, humanist Bible scholars told us that archaeology had disproved the Bible, but God raised up archaeologists to show that the Bible was right after all. Humanists have been telling us that evolution is an undisputable scientific fact which disproves the Bible, but God has raised up scientists to show that creation explains the scientific evidence better than evolution does. Humanism will continue to raise up “experts” in many fields who will try to disprove the Bible. Therefore, we will 199
    • have to stand our ground and keep on trusting the Bible, whether or not those false claims are disproved in our lifetime. Jesus said, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” (John 15:7) The word “abide” can also be translated as “stand,” and “endure.” It is not a passive word; it has the military connotation of holding your ground against enemy attack. As Jesus said in the parable of the sower, the devil is always trying to snatch the Word of God out of our hearts. We need to stand our ground and refuse to let God’s Word be stolen from us. The Bible speaks of God as Creator from Genesis to Revelation. Creation is woven into the very fabric of Scripture. When Jesus was questioned about divorce, He used the creation account in Genesis as the basis for his response. (Matthew 19:3-6) When the angel in the Book of Revelation flew in midair, proclaiming the “eternal gospel” to all mankind, he cried: “…worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” (Revelation 14:6-7) Appendix The Bible speaks of God as our Creator from Genesis to the Book of Revelation. Appendix H (“Creation in Scripture”) quotes some of these Scripture references. Noah’s Flood is also Scriptural. The Institute for Creation Research (ICR) has many books and videos dealing with it. In addition, you can find information about it on their web site. Information about them is given under “Sources of Information” at the end of this appendix. I will just deal briefly with one aspect of the Flood. 200
    • Ethnology is the science of studying the writings of ancient ethnic groups of people. Historical records were available for thirty-three of these groups. These ethnic groups were located in widely separated areas, so they probably had little if any influence on one another. If a world-wide, catastrophic flood occurred, then we would expect many of these people groups to have some kind of record of it. Examination of the writings of these thirty-three ethnic groups gives the following information. Every one of them mentions some type of flood. Ninety-four percent describe the flood as being totally destructive. Ninetyseven percent say that mankind was miraculously rescued from the flood. Eighty-five percent say that a boat was used to rescue mankind. Ninety-one percent say that animals were also saved. Seventy-six percent say that the boat landed on a mountain after the waters receded. Eighty-eight percent say that birds were sent forth from the boat to find out whether or not the flood waters had receded. Ninety-one percent mention divine favor being shown towards the survivors, and refer to a “bow” (rainbow) of colors in the sky. Ninety-four percent say that after the destructive flood, the people who were saved offered public worship to a god.35 Sources of Information Moody Institute of Science, 820 North LaSalle, Chicago, IL 60610 (phone 312-329-2190). Films for Christ, 2628 West Birchwood Circle, Mesa, AZ 85202 (phone 800-FFC-2261). It is affilisted with Eden Communications, P.O. Box 41644, Mesa, AZ 85274 (phone 800-332-2261). 201
    • Institute for Creation Research (ICR), 1806 Royal Lane, Dallas, TX 75229 (phone 800-628-7640). ICR has books and videos at all levels from children’s books to a technical journal. Most of their material is strictly scientific. Some of their scientific works also include a Christian perspective. ICR also publishes some devotional and theological books for Christians. They carry many of the books and videos cited in this appendix. Their website is www.ICR.org. Jeremiah Films, P.O. Box 1710, Hemet, CA 92546 (phone 800-828-2290). Most of their videos deal with pagan and occult influences in our country. They have some videos on evolution because they believe that it has opened the door to paganism and new age religions. Creation Resource Foundation, P.O. Box 16100, South Lake Tahoe, CA 95706 (phone 916-542-509). Recommended Books What Is Creation Science? by Henry M. Morris and Gary E. Parker (Master Books, El Cajon, California, 1987). This is a good, general book on the creation-evolution controversy from a purely scientific perspective. Although it deals with a lot of technical material, it is readable and easy to understand. It is available through Christian bookstores and directly from the Institute for Creation Research (ICR), whose address and phone number are given under “Sources of Information” above. In the Minds of Men by Ian T. Taylor (third edition, TFE Publishing, Toronto, Canada, 1991). This comprehensive book deals with the philosophy of evolution and the practical consequences of its influence on our society. It 202
    • also presents important evidence against evolution which has been concealed from the general public. Darwin on Trial by Phillip E. Johnson (Intervarsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois, 1991). Phillip Johnson is a law professor who analyzes the case for evolution in terms of his legal specialty—logic and evidence. He exposes false reasoning, invalid evidence, and unscientific approaches, and he makes a strong case for evolution being a philosophy rather than a real science. The Controversy: Roots of the Creation-Evolution Conflict by Donald E. Chittick (Multnomah Press, Portland, Oregon, 1984). This book deals with the world-view confrontation between the two belief systems of creation and evolution. Evolution: A Theory in Crisis by Michael Denton (Adler & Adler Publishers, Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, 1985). Michael Denton is an Australian microbiologist who believes in evolution and openly mocks the Genesis account of creation in his book. Yet in his book, he shows that biochemistry, microbiology, genetics, embryology, paleontology, and probability theory all fail to support the theory of evolution. Not By Chance! by Lee Spetner (Judaica Press Inc., 1998). Dr. Spetner is a recognized expert on the genetic code. He demonstrates conclusively that chance mutations will never result in evolutionary change. While not a Christian creationist, this Jewish scholar shows that all useful genetic information must have been present at the start. Darwin’s Black Box by Michael Behe (Simon & Schuster, Old Tappon, New Jersey, 1996). Behe is a professor of biochemistry with expertise at the molecular level (cell 203
    • level). He shows that Darwinism falls on its face at the molecular level. Nobody has even tried to deal with the irreducible complexity at the cellular level. The Answers Book by Ken Ham, Andrew Snelling, and Carl Wieland (Master Books, El Cajon, California, 1991). This book scientifically addresses twelve of the most-asked questions on Genesis and the creation/evolution issue. (Available from ICR.) Recommended Videos Moody Institute of Science These videos show the wonder of God’s creation. Rather than discussing creation versus evolution, they demonstrate that creation is an incredibly complex masterpiece of engineering. I personally believe that the quality of these videos is better than that of National Geographic films. They can be ordered through Christian bookstores or directly from Moody Institute of Science (see their address and phone number under “Sources of Information” above). “The Wonders of God’s Creation.” This 3-video set deals with the earth, animals, and mankind. “Journeys to the Edge of Creation.” This 2-video set deals with astronomy. “The Awesome Forces of God’s Creation.” This 3-video set deals with the power of God as observed through floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, etc. 204
    • Incredible Creatures That Defy Evolution This fascinating three-video set is appropriate for both adults and children. It is produced by Exploration Films. (You can get this at Amazon.) Origins This 6-video series features Dr. A. E. Wilder-Smith, an international speaker with three earned doctorates from prestigious universities. These videos are beautiful, gracious and persuasive. Although very scientific, they are not dry. They are available individually or as a set from Films for Christ and Eden Communications. They are: “The Origin of the Universe” “The Earth, A Young Planet?” “The Origin of Life” “The Origin of Species” “The Origin of Mankind” “The Fossil Record” Good Videos from Three Sources “The World That Perished.” This video gives persuasive evidence for Noah’s flood. It ends with a salvation message. (Available from Films for Christ and Eden Commuications.) 205
    • “The Case for Creation.” This video features Rev. D. James Kennedy. It is an exposé of how the evolutionary establishment controls public education and most research grants. Valid scientific information is being withheld from our students and the general public. (Available from Films for Christ and Eden Communications.) “Evolution Conspiracy.” This video shows how secular humanists have used political strategy and power tactics to indoctrinate the public with evolutionism. (Available from Jeremiah Films.) Videos from the Institute for Creation Research “Mount Saint Helen’s.” This video has dramatic photographs and film footage but the verbal presentation sounds like a college professor giving a lecture. Some people will find it fascinating and exciting, but others may find it somewhat dry. The following videos have presentations that are academic in style, similar to workshops or college classes. They are valuable and informative but lack dramatic visual impact. People hungry for information will find them fascinating and informative. People who are less hungry may find them somewhat dry. “Understanding Genesis.” This is a 10-video series with a study guide. “Evolution: Fact or Belief?” “Ape Men: Monkey Business Falsely Called Science” 206
    • “Genesis and the Decay of the Nation” “Creation and the Last Days” “Genesis 1-11” (Answers the 12 questions which are asked most often.) NOTES 1. The Institute for Creation Research, 1806 Royal Lane, Dallas, TX 75229 (phone 800-628-7640). They have children’s books, home schooling materials, books and videos for laymen, Creation Magazine, technical monographs, and a technical journal. They also have speakers available for presentations, debates, and Christian media. Their website is www.ICR.org. 2. See Josh McDowell, Evidence That Demands a Verdict, Vol. I (1979) and Vol. II (1990) (San Bernardino, CA: Here’s Life). Fulfilled prophecy is discussed in pages 267-324 of Volume I. Archeological discoveries relating to biblical history are discussed in pages 17-24 of Volume II. He now has a new book titled The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict which includes both volumes, plus some new material. 3. O. Hambling, “Genesis and Evolution”, in American Atheist (January 1988), p. 7. Quoted in Henry M. Morris, The Long War Against God (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1989), p. 119 (available from ICR). 4. G. Richard Bozardh, “The Meaning of Evolution,” in American Atheist (February 1978), p. 30. Quoted in The Long War Against God, p. 119. 5. S.S. Chawla, “A Philosophical Journey to the West,” in The Humanist, Vol. 24 (San Francisco, CA: September/October, 1964), p. 151. Cited in Ian T. Taylor, In the Minds of Men, 3rd edition (Toronto, Canada: 1991), p. 422. 6. Ian T. Taylor, In the Minds of Men, 3rd edition (Toronto, Canada: TFE Publishing, 1991), pp. 394-395 and 420-422. 207
    • 7. Biologist Ludwig Von Bertalanffy, as quoted by Huston Smith, Beyond the Post-Modern Mind (New York: Crossroads, 1982), p. 173. Quoted in The Illustrated Origins Answer Book (P.O. Box 41644, Mesa, AZ: Eden Productions, 1991), p. 114. 8. D.M.S. Watson, “Adaptation,” in Nature, Vol. 123 (1929), p. 233. Quoted in Henry M. Morris, Scientific Creationism (El Cajon, CA: Master Books, 2nd edition, 1985), p. 8. 9. Luther D. Sunderland, Darwin’s Enigma: Fossils and Other Problems, 4th edition (Santee, CA: Master Books, 1988), pp. 7-8. 10. Sir Fred Hoyle, “Hoyle on Evolution,” in Nature, Vol. 294 (12 November 1981), p. 105. Quoted in The Revised Quote Book (Sunnybank, Brisbane, Australia: Creation Science Foundation Ltd., 1990), p. 21. 11. See In the Minds of Men by Ian Taylor. Point by point, it exposes the fuzzy reasoning behind textbook presentations of evolution. It also presents counter-evidence that has long been concealed from the general public. 12. Peking Man, Java Man, Piltdown Man, and all of the other “ape men” turned out to be normal men, normal apes, or frauds. Revealing evidence about them is shown in the video “Ape Men: Monkey Business Falsely Called Science,” which is available from ICR. 13. Phillip E. Johnson, Darwin on Trial (Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 1991), p. 187. This outstanding book was written by a law professor who specializes in logic and evidence. 14. Ian T. Taylor, In the Minds of Men, pp. 217-218. 15. Dennis R. Petersen, Unlocking the Mysteries of Creation (El Dorado, CA: Creation Resource Foundation, 1988) p. 131. 16. Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (Bethesda, MD: Adler & Adler, Publishers, Inc., 1985). 17. This speech was tape recorded and transcribed with the permission of Dr. Patterson. Quoted in The Revised Quote Book, p. 4. 208
    • 18. L. Harrison Matthews, FRS, Introduction to Darwin’s The Origin of Species (London: J. M. Dent & Sons. Ltd., 1971) p. xi. Quoted in “The Revised Quote Book,” p. 2. 19. George Wald, Frontiers of Modern Biology on Theories of Origin of Life (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1972) p. 187. Quoted in Rex Russell, M.D., What the Bible Says About Healthy Living (Ventura, CA: Regal Books) pp. 273-274. 20. See Henry M. Morris, editor, Scientific Creationism, 2nd edition (El Cajon, CA: Master Books, 1985) pp. 131-170. Also see Henry M. Morris and Gary E. Parker, What Is Creation Science? (El Cajon, CA: Master Books, 1987) pp. 253-293. Also see the video “Evolution: Fact or Belief?” These are all available from ICR. 21. Henry M. Morris and Gary E. Parker, What Is Creation Science?, pp. 284-293. 22. C.S. Noble and J.J. Naughton, “Deep-Ocean Basalts: Inert Gas Content and Uncertainties in Age Dating,” in Science, Vol. 162 (October 11, 1968), p. 265. Cited in Scientific Creationism, pp 146147. 23. J.G. Funkhouser and J.J. Naughton, Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 73 (July 15, 1968) p. 4606. Cited in Scientific Creationism, p. 147. 24. William D. Stansfield, The Science of Evolution (New York: MacMillan, 1977) p. 84. (See pp. 80-84.) Quoted in What Is Creation Science? p. 285. 25. The flood began on the 17th day of the second month of the year. (Genesis 7:11) On the 7th month, the ark landed on Mount Ararat (the highest mountain). (Genesis 8:3-4) On the 10th month, the water had gone down enough for the tops of other mountains to become visible. (Genesis 8:5) On the 27th day of the second month of the following year (one year and ten days after the flood started), God told Noah to come out of the ark. (Genesis 8:13-15) 26. Kenneth M. Reese, “Newscripts,” Chemical & Engineering News, October 11, 1976, page 40. Cited in Donald E. Chittick, The Controversy: Roots of the Creation-Evolution Conflict (Portland, OR: Multnomah Press, 1984), pages 218-219. 209
    • 27. Harvey O. Olney III, “Letters,” Chemical & Engineering News, January 24, 1977, page 5. Cited in Donald E. Chittick, The Controversy: Roots of the Creation-Evolution Conflict, (Portland, OR: Multnomah Press, 1984), pages 219-220. 28. Ian T. Taylor, In the Minds of Men, p. 425. 29. Quoted by Henry M. Morris, The Troubled Waters of Evolution (San Diego: Creation-Life Publishers, 1974), p. 58. Available from ICR. 30. Will Durant, “Are We in the Last Stage of a Pagan Period?” Chicago Tribune, April 1980. Quoted in Henry M. Morris, The Long War Against God, p. 149. 31. Henry M. Morris, The Long War Against God (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1989). Ian T. Taylor, In The Minds of Men, 3rd edition (Ontario, Canada: TFE Publishing, 1991). 32. Carl Wieland, “Darwin’s Bodysnatchers,” Creation Ex Nihilo, Vol. 14, No. 2 (March-May 1992). For further information, contact Creation Magazine (P.O. Box 710039, Santee, CA 92072) or Carl Wieland (Director, Creation Science Foundation, Brisbane, Australia). Creation magazine and the Institute for Creation Research should both have Carl Wieland’s address. 33. Dr. Michael Girouard discusses the relationship between evolution and teenage suicide in the video “Ape Men: Monkey Business Falsely Called Science,” which is available through ICR. 34. Kenneth Ham and Gary Parker, Understanding Genesis Study Guide, (El Cajon, CA: Creation Life Publishers, Inc., 1988), p. 4. This book and the video series that it accompanies are available through ICR. 35. Dick Eastman, University of the World (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1983), pp. 26-27. 210
    • Appendix H Creation in Scripture From Genesis to the Book of Revelation, the Bible speaks of God as our Creator. Some of these Scripture verses are given below. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. (Genesis 1:1) And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. (Genesis 1:31) For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. (Exodus 20:11) For ask now of the days that are past, which were before thee, since the day that God created man upon the earth… (Deuteronomy 4:32) And Hezekiah prayed before the Lord, and said, O Lord God of Israel, which dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; thou hast made heaven and earth. (2 Kings 19:15) Thou, even thou, art Lord alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshipeth thee. (Nehemiah 9:6) 211
    • Thine hands have made me and fashioned me together round about… (Job 10:8) Remember I beseech thee, that thou has made me as the clay… (Job 10:9) In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind. (Job 12:10) He… hangeth the earth upon nothing. (Job 26:7) The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life. (Job 33:4) When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that thou visitest him? (Psalm 8:3-4) The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork. (Psalm 19:1) By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. (Psalm 33:6) The heavens are thine, the earth also is thine: as for the world and the fulness thereof, thou has founded them. (Psalm 89:11) Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. (Psalm 102:25) Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honor and majesty. Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain… Who laid the 212
    • foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed forever. (Psalm 104:1-2, 5) O Lord, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches. (Psalm 104: 24) My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:2) The Lord that made heaven and earth bless thee out of Zion. (Psalm 134:3) Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God: Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth forever. (Psalm 146:5-6) The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew. (Proverbs 3:19-20) The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made even both of them. (Proverbs 20:12) …for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? Or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding? (Isaiah 29:16) Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? (Isaiah 40:12) 213
    • Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? (Isaiah 40:28) Thus saith the Lord, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the Lord that maketh all things; that strecheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself. (Isaiah 44:24) Woe unto him that striveth with this Maker! (Isaiah 45:9) I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded. (Isaiah 45:12) For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else. (Isaiah 45:18) Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: (Isaiah 48:13) I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass; And forgettest the Lord thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth (Isaiah 51:12-13) But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. (Isaiah 64:8) 214
    • Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. (Jeremiah 1:5) He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion. (Jeremiah 10:12) I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are upon the ground, by my great power and by my outstretched arm, and have given it unto whom it seemed meet unto me. (Jeremiah 27:5) He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heaven by his understanding. (Jeremiah 51:15) Seek him that maketh the seven stars and orion… (Amos 5:8) The burden of the word of the Lord for Israel, saith the Lord, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him. (Jeremiah 12:1) Have we not all one father? Hath not one God created us? (Malachi 2:10) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:1-3) He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. (John 1:10) 215
    • And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: (Acts 4:24) Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest? Hath not my hand made all these things? (Acts 7:4950) God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands (Acts 17:24) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10) For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him (Colossians 1:16) God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high (Hebrews 1:1-3) For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. (Hebrews 3:4) 216
    • Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God (Hebrews 11:3) Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. (Revelation 4:11) Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. (Revelation 14:7) 217