PATRIOTISM IN LIGHT OF THE SCRIPTURES 2 (August 2007)
Continuing the thoughts expressed in Part 1 of this second installment of the Patriotism articles, we are about to discuss some of today's big names in American Christian life, and some of what they are teaching. Again I want to state that we have nothing against these men at all, and in fact I was a fan of most of these men for many years. The problem only resides in a shift toward a worldly interpretation of the words of Jesus, and the people he told us to be. A dereliction of Christians being submitted to their Lord's spirit for direction into "supporting your leaders" as a principle of obedience to God. Jesus would never have inspired us to do many of the things that Televangelists in America are telling us to support and his Spirit cries out against killing in his name. The current landscape of Christian opinion in this country is horrifying and deceitful, and is being led to confess and commit nearly blasphemous betrayals against the principles of our faith, and we will continue to speak up until the Lord calls us home. Let's continue this discussion and see where it leads.
PATRIOTISM OR PARTYISM? A "WHO'S WHO" IN 21ST CENTURY CHRISTIANITY
Pat is one of the men I will give some detailed info about.
Founder of the "Christian Coalition", (the second really successful movement of main stream Christianity into the political realm in this country along with the "Moral Majority" founded by the late Jerry Falwell). Robertson's Ministry "The 700 Club", was converted to a for profit "Christian broadcasting network" a number of years ago...
Pat is a man who's program originally focused day to day on teaching Christian principles, prayer, sharing testimonies of transformed lives and glorifying God, but now engages in hardly anything more than political rhetoric, discussion about the "great and glorious country of America", and fund raising. What used to be spots on how folks saw the 700 club, and their lives were affected to the point that they became new Christians who's lives were radically transformed has turned into spots about people who began to be "obedient" and gave money to the 700 club, and how they are now well off. Seasoned 11th Hour readers will remember another Article we posted where we described this exact same change taking place in another televangelist's ministry. Do you remember? That same transformation happened to Jim and Tammy-Fay Baker's "PTL Club" and we all know how that ended up. Continuing on the current course, the 700 club, like others in the past who have walked this path will fall apart and be gone. All of the good things they have done withering away with it.
This, like so many other Christian programs, has changed it's focus from looking to and longing for the return of our Lord, to a focus on the world and on life. On almost every program you can view, these things are what you will see. It has gone from sermons, teaching and endorsing music CDs, books and writings by authors about the faith and serving our lord, to political speeches, highlights of American history, health and diet tips, and Life, life, life! Offerings of even secular books about America, military victories, people in American history, and money. The world becomes a pretty appealing place to talk about and live for when the pot is sweetened by a few hundred million a year. I would challenge ANY of you to tune into the family channel and find more than ONE 700 Club program a month that does not spend significant amount of time focusing on the daily workings of "this great and glorious nation". This represents a complete sellout of the content of the 700 club to the political realm, life, and the world.
I personally was an admirer of Pat, and had been a 700 Club member for many years. Where so many television preachers had taken the bait that Satan laid before them, and turned their ministries over to the enemy for sex with a beautiful woman, or wealth, riches, pride, or drugs, Pat seemed to remain faithful to the simple work of our faith, which is the preaching of the gospel. Then he too turned his ministry over to the enemy for the allure of political power and influence, extraordinary wealth, and the flattery of motivated political leaders. The 700 Club still has some good ministries, such as Operation Blessing, and some others, but remember what the scriptures we quoted earlier said? Have we not done many wonderful works in thy name?
After I stopped giving to the Ministry, a representative called me and asked why I no longer contributed to the 700 club. I told her that I could no longer support the ministry since Pat had given both himself, and for the most part, the entire workings of the ministry to the political realm and the world. Contributor's funds were being diverted from things like Operation Blessing, and world wide missions, to things like running political campaigns, or hiring and employing expensive Christian legal teams to fight worldly, political battles. The 700 Club representative was absolutely speechless. She said, "wow, I never really thought of it that way." She excused herself from the conversation very quickly, and I guarantee she shrugged it off, and dialed the next number on her list.
The ultimate manifestation of that reality at the 700 club was when Pat gave up his tax exempt status as a ministry and became a "for profit" venture. When Pat converted the years and years of "gifts" given by faithful Christians to what they believed to be God's work, into a multimillion dollar empire for him and his family to come. Pat was no fool. He knew his political activity would eventually disqualify the 700 club from its tax exempt status, so he needed to make some changes. The changes he made were unfortunate for those of us who poured millions into his pockets over the years, and unbelievably the business still takes in hundreds of millions in "gifts" a year. The ministry has become a business and has become about the world, and trying to patch the sinking ship of a world that God himself has said is destined for destruction. It has stopped trying to save the people and has started to try and save the world, preaching a message that teaches people to love the present world rather than the one to come, (and be assured, as I stated, the political realm is exactly what the scripture is talking about when it says "the world").
I was ministered to by the program back when Ben Kinchlow was Pat's co-host through many difficult times in my life, and was very thankful for it until the program was transformed into a political endeavor. So much so, that Pat gave up his tax exempt status voluntarily, knowing full well that the 700 club represented millions and millions of dollars for him and his descendants even after paying taxes. Pat knew that the political rhetoric that the show was going to be engaging in would have cost him his tax exempt status anyway. I have seen Pat shamelessly brag on the show many times about his financial status, and how "extensive" his portfolio is. Once asked a question about Christians seeking wealth I saw with my own eyes he said, "I say, if you got it flaunt it baby!"
This represents a huge attitude change on the 700 Club in recent years. This is why the current super wealthy preachers have changed their tune about the world and now see lots of reasons why the political realm and the world should be saved by doing things like infiltrating the political realm and making it "godly". They want to save the world because it has become a pretty nice place with its Rocky mountain estates, and its Malibu beach homes, which they now afford easily. I don't understand what makes men and women who claim to be in ministry to God, think that its ok to skim millions of dollars over the years off the "donations" that people believe they are giving to God's work and keep that money for themselves. I imagine there are all kinds of justifications for it, "I worked so hard to..." or "It was MY vision that created and set up this ministry, I deserve to have..."
We all know this is not the only ungodly attitude that has emerged on the 700 Club... Pat has unfortunately become famous world wide for this statement...
It is horrible to think that there are millions of Christians in this country
that would attempt to defend that murderous statement, and offer all kinds of excuses and
justifications for it, much less continue to send their hard earned dollars to
This one really hurts because I have always been a BIG Charles Stanley fan. I used to love to watch him preach. Hey, Straight out... I like this guy. He is one of my all time favorite preachers. I like his manner, his personality, even his accent, and until recent years, his adherence to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the word of God. But my love for a man can NOT sway my willingness to "bend" the truth to agree with him, or accommodate his error and that should be the case for every Christian. I was completely blown away when I heard that Charles made this statement on his program about 4 years ago. (Also after the tragedy of 911... It seems a lot changed on that day!)
It is such a surreal and hideous thing to watch these transformations take place for no more than any one of the following reasons...
Why would a man like Charles Stanley Americanize his preaching after all these years of being truthful and straight with the message of scripture? Like I said, its surreal and disconcerting. I feel sorry for any teacher, pastor, spiritual leader, bible study leader, author, preacher, spiritual advisor, counselor, deacon, elder, or any other person in a position of influencing people, who teaches the people they have been entrusted to lead to support this madness we are witnessing in the world today called "the war on terror", even who's very name is a falsehood. I pity them for the reality we will soon be faced with, when the real numbers of people killed in the middle east comes out and starts to be admitted by officials all over the world. It seems a shame that it won't be acknowledged for what it truly is until the number of dead reaches or exceeds 6 million.
This one bothers me but does not surprise me. I have grown up listening to Chuck preach. As far back as the early 80s I remember listening to his stuff and being entertained by it. He is a very good speaker. But blatant, boisterous mannerisms have never been quenched in Chuck's sermons, and its a sad shame that over the course of the last three years I have heard him say "this Marine" making sure everyone knows he served in the military, more times than I have heard him say anything. It is a sad day in Christianity, when men can as regularly as Chuck or as Pat Robertson does, express blatantly hateful statements against those who disagree with American political policy. And I am not making this up either, I have listened to Chuck's radio broadcast for years, and I know exactly what he is preaching. It seems to get worse every year now.
After 911, like the rest of the preachers mentioned so far, his sermons took a horrendous turn toward a nationalistic, patriotic, spiritual justification of American killing and military domination of the world, and probably more than any of the men I will mention, this man will come right out and say things like "And this Marine doesn't care less what anyone thinks of it" (I actually heard Chuck say that in one of his "auxiliary" sermons... I'll define auxiliary sermons shortly).
That the so called "spiritual leaders" of the American Christian world can so brazenly stand behind declaration of war, resource hijacking, and the unjustified killing of some 500,000 to 1 million people as being divinely inspired is truly a scary and horrible thing to watch. There are NO exaggerations of the numbers in that statement Brothers and Sisters, and that will be confirmed soon. And this whole killing in the name of God thing is not new in this country either. Let's review...
You may be asking yourself, "What is an auxiliary sermon?" An auxiliary sermon emerged in America right at its founding, and obviously has not been corrected in the 231 years since its founding. This is one of the reasons we vehemently reject the statement that America is either a holy nation, or founded on holy actions and principles. Auxiliary sermons were sermons of encouragement that the political leaders of the day encouraged church leaders to preach to encourage men to go out and fight in the wars fought during the American Pilgrim's struggle to break away from England and become a nation. Preachers would preach about how horrible English rule was, and they would put the church's seal of approval, and as we are discussing about today's preachers, they would use the church's influence, and imply that God approved of their killing, and their mission. Placing the church's "moral support" behind these wars, and in service to the political designs of the secular leadership of their day, preachers preached what are now referred to as "auxiliary sermons".
All of today's famous and wealthy preachers demand that Christians are ordered by God's word to support their leaders, and use that concept as the demand to support American military domination of the globe and the republican party regardless of how many millions die. Seemingly ignorant of the fact that this country was literally founded on those very same actions against the leadership in England. I am sorry, but brutal murderous killing in the name of God is as wrong today as it was in 1776, as it was during the inquisitions, during the 3rd Reich, and is as far from being supportable by the word of God as it was when Jesus preached this sermon in Mathew Chapter 5 that I am outlining. Wealthy televangelists in this country are well aware of the fact that supporting the government's designs is directly related to their future and ongoing success, and although they would all line up to vehemently deny that, when they took the 4 billion dollar faith based initiative bait, they also put the church's "moral support" in service to the government.
The "truth" today has been reduced to an excuse the government and the religious leaders of our time use to justify almost any action the government feels the need to perform or support. After all, this president was the first one to call himself an evangelical Christian, and to give the church some big money, so it must be of God right? This translates for men like Chuck Swindoll, Pat Robertson, Chuck Colsen, James Dobson, and just about every preacher of notoriety in this country that as long as it is this country that is doing it, (killing hundreds of thousands of people for its purposes), it is ok, and if it is another country that is doing the same exact things, it is an evil dictatorship that needs to be destroyed.
Funny, that is exactly what Americans have been condemning the Muslims for for decades. Has this country become the most self perpetuating, hypocritical nation in the history of the world? Have the most visible and television based preachers thoroughly jumped on board with these actions? Is it Nebuchadnezzar's Babylon? Is it the Roman Empire all over again? Is it that world dominating "protector of Israel" nation that betrays Israel in the end times? Probably all of the above.
There are a HOST of other "big names" in Christianity who are chiming in on this new, nationalist, "patriotic" Christian movement, that is willing to ignore the word of scripture in order to follow the "higher call" of supporting this government. The likes of Albert Moeller, President of the Dallas Theological Seminary, Oral Roberts, world renowned televangelist, Franklin Graham, Son of the Legendary Preacher "Billy" Graham, The Hagees, another popular televangelist family, Rick Warren, Council on Foreign relations committee member, and author of "The Purpose Driven Life"...
There is also a long long list of well known and respected Christian leaders, Christian performers, pastors, teachers, and spiritual advisors from all over this land burning in the hatred that 911 fostered, and falling into the trap laid once again by a cunning and hideous enemy... revenge, retribution, hatred.... Patriotism?
You may remember my Article The Abomination That Makes Desolate Parts one and two, in which I discussed the Letter that Richard land of the Southern Baptist Convention, along with a host of co-signers of notoriety sent to George W Bush in 2002, in support of his actions in the middle east. Another list of "Who's who" quality was found on that letter. From left to right...
Richard Land Chuck Colsen Bill Bright D James Kennedy Carl Herbster
These men are, and were, (Bill Bright passed away a few years ago), some of the most popular names in Christian America today. I would challenge you to read that article, and find out what the letter said to George Bush... Honestly Brothers and Sisters, in light of how Jesus told us to live in the sermon in Mathew Chapter 5, and in light of the truths we now know about the false pretenses under which we went into Iraq, it is HORRIBLE.
DR. JERRY FALWELL
Look, I care about people too, and I am not going to go into a big diatribe about Jerry Falwell. Like I said earlier, Bill Bright has also passed away, and I am not going to harp on men that have passed away. I only mention Jerry Falwell because you can barely have this conversation without making mention of Jerry. His early ministry included many sermons about how wrong political activism was for servants of Jesus Christ. Fortunately I have been around long enough to have heard with my own ears what most of these preachers were saying back in the 70's and 80s, so I don't have to go on a possibly untrue account written in a book or on a web page somewhere. Jerry was vehemently opposed to entering into the political realm when his ministry began, and somewhere along the line, that took a turn for the worse just like all the other folks mentioned in this article.
Jerry needs mention here, because he was the founder of the largest political activity group the church has ever spawned, and that spirit lives on today in Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition. Jerry started out standing up for a solid gospel message, and was persecuted regularly for his messages. Then at one point in time, having been frustrated by the government and having been frustrated by the judicial system where he erroneously went for retribution for being slandered and derided, he also took the bait and went head long into the futile world of Christian political activism. Contrary to having preached for years that GOD is our refuge, and that we would be mistreated and slandered by the world, he took the same wrong turn we are outlining in this article.
As I stated, since Jerry has passed on, I am not going to go into a lengthy examination of Jerry's activities, and I don't need to. Pat Robertson and all the others are more than sufficient proof that American Christianity has been sucked into the futile void of distraction of purpose, and have taken the bait, chasing political battles and supporting some of the greatest atrocities of our time. Jerry Falwell was obviously one of the pioneers that led Christian America into the political darkness, and the void of futility, and as stated he bears mention, but we'll leave it at that. We have plenty of material to cover without going over Jerry's public life, especially since most folks reading this article know it full well.
DR. JAMES DOBSON
Of all the preachers and well known Christians I have mentioned, no one other than maybe Pat Robertson has taken the American "mission" to heart more than Dr. James Dobson of "Focus on the Family", which hasn't really been focusing on the family as much over the last few years as before 911 occurred. I have been listening to his daily radio program over the course of the last few months, and I am extremely troubled to say, that I listened to 9 of 10 programs that were dedicated to discussing political items, America, and the presidents of today and the past. More than any other Christian program on the radio today it seems. It has been absolutely unbelievable! But again, before I get into it let me say, I really have no issue with Jim Dobson. He seems like a really nice guy, and his ministry does a lot of good stuff, but Brothers and sisters, we have got to remain faithful to the truth of the word, and since we know that how much "good" we do does not save us or weigh in with a holy God before whom our actions are filthy rags, we also know that how much good we do does not buy us credit to go astray. Let me show you what ten recent Focus on The Family programs I listened to were "Focused" on... I listened to program after program, and here are some of the topics they went into..
These items all aired within a period of about two weeks, and I haven't even listed all of them. But lets stop there on the items. If you are listening to Jim Dobson's program you don't need me to list 4 or 5 more shows that deal with political items, you know what I am talking about. Like I said, I'm not here to harp on this guy, we are addressing a hideous error that is taking place in American Christianity, so I would rather get back to that than list Jim Dobson's program list.
Just think about what exists in those 6, and it is safe to say that the program, although not quite as blatant as The 700 Club, has turned its focus in a huge way to political activism, which is exactly the kind of stuff we are trying to point out here. This is serious folks. This is not a time to play with words and make foolish excuses for the Church entering into the political realm to seek protection, money and favors.
WHO IS WHO?
There is no way to escape the fact that right now in this country, the "Christian right" is so engrafted into the political realm, which is the exact definition of being "of the world". We are clearly told not to enter in among them. The political establishment is the same entity that Jesus stood against in ancient Israel, which was then run by the hypocrites we know as the Pharisees, who turned Jesus over to the Roman authorities, and it is the same entity he was crucified by. It is so incredible that "supporting our leaders" has become a religion in this country, when we KNOW that when supporting our leaders conflicts with Jesus' teachings, we are to remain faithful to Jesus' teachings. It got the Disciples killed, it is the way Christianity has worked since Jesus was crucified, it was what got Paul killed, and I might ad MILLIONS of martyred Christians since Paul, and it is the meaning of the scripture in this verse...
The horrifying and immediate truth that needs to be acted upon by every Christian who reads this article, is that the church saw that the political establishment, law-making and the trends of our society were getting worse and worse in this country, and when they did not see the changes they were praying for happening in government, they decided that meant that God was telling them that they needed to enter in and participate, or that meant that they were supposed to go in and fix it themselves. I went over all the reasons why this thinking is disastrous in the articles about Warfare Theology. These kind of ideas were presented by wealthy televangelists who's mentality has now shifted from watching and preparing for the return of the lord, knowing that the decline they see is the very decline that was predicted in scripture for the last days, to preaching that we need to "take the world for Christ", which no longer has anything to do with the evangelical mission it represented in the 60s and 70s, but rather one of self perpetuation and using the American government to accomplish what today's "Christian" leaders have decided is best for the world.
The real kicker in this whole equation is that the Church doesn't even realize it was nothing more than a tool that the current administration used to forward its true designs, which were totally corporate in nature. These Christian leaders who think they are accomplishing God's divine will, and who think they are going to "take the government, and of course the world, for Christ" are actually accomplishing nothing more than taking the bait that Jesus turned down in the desert 2000 years ago offered to him by the same enemy that offers it now. They are buying into the promise: "All this will I give unto thee if you will only serve me" and, "all the kingdoms of the world are mine to give to whom I desire" And who is it that makes these offers to Pat Robertson, and James Dobson, and all of the high profile Christian leaders of our time, who are telling the Christian world to support the President? I will tell you who...
The current administration and the government of the United States Of America, that's who.
Could we PLEASE have some straight talk here for a minute? Folks, it is time for some serious repentance here. Many Christians in this country have given their "moral support", which really means their spiritual support to the killing of hundreds of thousands of innocents in the middle east, and most of those same Christians refuse to admit any fault, responsibility or truth about these hideous actions!! Do you understand the horror that represents??? Do you realize the gravity of what I am saying here? I can't even tell you how lame some of the foolish, ridiculous excuses Christians have offered on behalf of this president, in the name of "supporting our leaders"! Its like braking up two young kids when they fight, "They started it!" "They came over here and attacked us!" "This one or that one is evil, so I don't care that the reasons were all lies" These are CHRISTIANS saying these things! Wake up oh vain and stubborn Christian! The world is dragging the church down the broad road with luxury, money, wealth, comfort, and the promise of greatness as has been the enemy's case since the garden of Eden! This is not all that complicated, it is happening again! The bait is laid, the trap is sprung, and wonderful Christian people who used to be so filled with love that they would tear up while praising God, have been hardened into hateful supporters of what basically amounts to a modern day holocaust in the middle east. Search your heart, search your church, and the eyes of your fellow Christians when you discuss it. You will see the truth if you are looking for it. If you can not...
In Christ, F. E. Reilly
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