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Why We're Getting Close to Christ's Coming

Christianity Under Siege

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Christianity Under Siege
 

Introduction

Since the Cross there have been myriads of antichrists. The Bible anticipated such leaders by warning Christians about their destructive influence. These “individuals” are all portrayed as religiously powerful but in apostasy. Prophecy talks about a final, distinct antichrist preceding the escaton who will sadly enamor the world. Additionally, there will be unnumbered God-despising movements. Anti-Christian collectivism is now accelerating. The basis for this final assault on Bible truth was launched over a century ago:

  • In the 1800s Charles Darwin’s The Origin of the Species, John Darby’s Dispensationalism movement, Karl Marx’ Marxism – the birth of the Theosophical Society with Helena Blavatsky (1875–1888) and Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum (1891) joined the Jesuit “Counter Reformation” of the sixteenth century to vandalize the Apostolic faith.
  • In the 1900s Georg Lukacs and Felix Weil, both Marxists, envisioned adding a “Cultural” element to that subversive movement. At The Frankfort School in Germany the Institute for Social Research was formed as a “think tank” (1923). A demonic “science” called Cultural Marxism was born. Because of the war, the Institute moved to New York and emerged under the umbrella of Columbia University. It birthed many academic treatises, e.g.:
  •  Max Horkheimer, Critical Theory (1975 – from 1930–1940 essays), criticized the pillars of Western culture, i.e., family, democracy, freedom of speech; and they advocated releasing people from anything that oppressed them.
  • Theodor Adorno’s The Authoritarian Personality (1950) redefined traditional gender roles and sexual mores, calling them prejudiced.
  • Herbert Marcuse, Eros and Civilization (1955), claimed that Western culture was inherently repressive and regressive toward social progress. This shaped the sexual revolution of the 1960s. It also gave birth to feminism, racism and homosexual rights.
  • Herbert Marcuse, Repressive Tolerance (1965), called for tolerance of any ideas coming from the left and intolerance of those from the right.

Add to this list the penetrating influence of a mentor of both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in the person of “radical” Saul D. Alinsky, a cultural Marxist. His 1971 Rules for Radicals encouraged “resistance” activists on campuses and the political left’s anti-law enforcement riots. He struck a sympathetic note with the violent nature of man and outlined how to topple a nation and set up a socialist state.[1]

  • All these influences defied our nation’s Judeo–Christian values. The moral conscience of this nation gradually became calloused toward the meaning of Christianity. Add to this the corrupt entertainment broadcast into households via television and one can perceive Satan’s stunning success.
  • The American mind increasingly resists “standards” that elevate man’s dignity. Secularism is shattering God-ordained cultural principles. Life is being defined more by sensory pleasure rather than by cognitive loyalty.
  • Sadly, anti-Christian influences have overshadowed even churches.

Paul warned about the dynamics of such evil:

  • “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves … Having a form of godliness, but denying the power” (II Timothy 3:1-2a, 5a).
  • “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient” (Romans 1:18).

At some point the appeals of heaven will cease. One can now hear faint echoes of a past cry: “Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone” (Hosea 4:17).
 
Violation of the Mind
 
At a time when “guiltless” freedom to “submit to desire” began to firmly infiltrate American thought, the noble inspiration and leadership of Martin Luther King, Jr., rose. His call to respect the dignity of man led to the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Yet, a cultural revolution hijacked this epoch moment to promote radical black studies, then women’s rights, followed by gay and lesbian permissiveness. Then the world of academia became awash with “multiculturalism.”[2] These spilled into society, and Christianity ceased to be a contemporary concern.

  • Multiculturalism entrenched a new avenue for evil, giving its leaders the ability to “indict,” bring divisiveness and “collective guilt” into the nation’s politics through humanistic laws.[3]
  • “Political correctness” became a sinister spin-off, making man-derived values, for which respect and protection was then demanded. This progressed into the “rights movement,” leading many legislators to mandate license to use the bathroom of the opposite sex.
  • The power of Judeo–Christian virtue commanded in the past has nearly disappeared from society.

The inevitable occurred: First, all religions are equal. Witches and Satanists became on par with Christians. Then the September 11, 2001, attack really announced a jihad or holy war on Christians and Jews. This rise in religious extremism began to compete with Christianity. The frail political world began to acquiesce, finally claiming that Islam was a religion of peace – another deception. Satan once again succeeded in causing Christian-led nations to lose their “backbone” and cease to call sin by its right name.

  • That September attack began the exploitation of a rudderless America.
  • Chaos seized liberal thought leaders. Without deep religious convictions, the easiest path: capitulation. Nondiscrimination became further nationalized. The tyranny of multiculturalism is now rapidly eroding freedom and security.
  • The Muslim faith is now the fastest growing major religion in the world and is having a negative impact on Christianity.[4]

“Absolute nondiscrimination meant we no longer enforced standards, made judgments, distinguished between good and evil, friend and foe. We grew lazy, stupid and careless – about our borders, about national security, even about previous terrorist attacks against us. We worried over our ‘hate crimes’ and our ‘racial profiling,’ while men resided in our midst who seethed with murderous fury even against our children and plotted our destruction.”[5]

  • The “American Experiment” is nearly broken. Its moral fabric, previously knitted together with Christian values, has unraveled.
  • To “make America great again” seems almost a fantasy. A generation of “regressive change” has altered the “DNA” of true liberty and a God-dependent nation.
  • The “Trump Experiment” is off to a start with the power of the president’s pen and executive force. But – so far interest in this country’s founding Christian virtues are absent.

Transformational Events that Morphed America
 
The 1960s shook the fabric of civilization and the dignity of humanity.

  1. President John Kennedy’s assassination – a known philanderer
  2. The incompetent execution of the Vietnam War
  3. Rock music invasion into America from Europe
  4. Mind altering drugs
  5. Speculation that God was dead (Time Magazine, April 8, 1966)
  6. The secularization of Christianity following Vatican II
  7. Pope Paul VI’s Populorum Progressio encyclical that called for a Marxist approach to “social needs,” while demeaning democracy
  8. The “helplessness” of the cold war between Russia and the “free world”
  9. Roe versus Wade in 1973
  10. “No fault divorce” – first signed into law in California by Governor Ronald Reagan
  11. Invention of the Internet – today threatening minds through pornography
  12. 30% of the internet industry is porn, netting $3000/second
  13. 17% of women are now addicted to porn
  14. Words "sex" and "porn" rank 4th and 6th among the top ten internet search terms.[6]
  15. Nearly 2/3 of Christian men look at porn at least once/month
    46% of men between 18-68 years of age look at porn several times/month[7]
  16. The sexification of the entertainment industry with its foul language

Though most Americans claim to be “Christian,” the nation’s culture, laws, education and media are progressively anti-Christian. Our founding fathers warned of such a time:
 
Insight from American Founders

John Adams (in a speech to the military in 1798) warned his fellow countrymen: “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion … Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” John Adams, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, was our second president.

Benjamin Rush, Signer of the Declaration of Independence said. "[T]he only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be [aided by] religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments. Without religion, I believe that learning does real mischief to the morals and principles of mankind."

Noah Webster, author of the first American Speller and the first Dictionary said, "[T]he Christian religion, in its purity, is the basis, or rather the source of all genuine freedom in government…. and I am persuaded that no civil government of a republican form can exist and be durable in which the principles of that religion have not a controlling influence." 

George Washington, General of the Revolutionary Army, president of the Constitutional Convention, First President of the United States of America, Father of our nation, “Religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil society.”

Benjamin Franklin, Signer of the Declaration of Independence “[O]nly a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”
 
“Whereas true religion and good morals are the only solid foundations of public liberty and happiness … it is hereby earnestly recommended to the several States to take the most effectual measures for the encouragement thereof.” Continental Congress, 1778.[8]
 
Secularization of Religion
 
If societal factors alone explained the anti-Christian bias infiltrating America and even the globe, it would be frightful. But mainstream religion has profaned Calvary.

  1. Roman Catholicism: Has paid out over $3 billion to settle legal claims regarding sexual abuse of children mainly between 3 and 11 years of age. 19% were female. Over 10,000 priests have been implicated – but few punished. There is a suggestion that 7% of all priests are pedophiles. Its claim that salvation can only be found in that church is degrading blasphemy and spiritually regressive. Pope Francis’ stance on homosexuality, “Who am I to judge?” has withered Rome’s moral integrity.[9]archbishop rowan williams
  2. The former head of the Church of England, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams praised a brand-new translation of the Bible which contradicts traditional core Christian beliefs on sex and morality. Titled Good as New, the new Bible was translated by former Baptist minister John Henson for the "One" organization, to produce what the group calls a “new, fresh and adventurous” translation of the Christian scriptures.
  3. “Instead of condemning fornicators, adulterers and ‘abusers of themselves with mankind,’” says Ruth Gledhill, the London Times religious affairs correspondent, “the new version of his first letter to Corinth has St. Paul advising Christians not to go without sex for too long in case they get ‘frustrated.'”
  4. “The new version,” Dr. Williams says he hopes “will spread in epidemic profusion through religious and irreligious alike.”
  5. In keeping with the times, translator Henson deftly translates “demon possession” as “mental illness” and “Son of Man,” the expression Jesus frequently used to describe Himself, as “the Complete Person.” In addition, parables are rendered as “riddles,” baptize is to “dip” in water, salvation becomes “healing” or “completeness” and Heaven becomes “the world beyond time and space.”[10]
  6. Then, in addition, there is a “Christianity” without Christ that is invading the Protestant world.[11]

The Ultimate Rebellion
 
“Christian” practices have decidedly turned to the “left.” In fact, the Religious Left has risen as a competitive force, weakening the Religious Right. Front Page writer Jacob Laskin explained this progression through a National Council of Churches illustration:

“Founded in 1950, the New York City-based NCC has, for more than half a century, remained faithful to the legacy of its forerunner, the Communist front-group known as the Federal Council of Churches. At one time an unabashed apostle of the Communist cause, the NCC has today recast itself as a leading representative of the so-called religious Left. Adhering to what it has described as ‘liberation theology’ – that is, Marxist ideology disguised as Christianity – the NCC lays claim to a membership of 36 Protestant, Anglican and Orthodox Christian denominations, and some 50 million members in over 140,000 congregations.

“Prominent religious figures have voiced concerns that the NCC is less a spiritual than a political organization, consumed less with securing the souls of its parishioners than in attaining a future in line with its leftist agenda. Criticism of the NCC has issued from a number of religious groups, including Southern Baptists, Pentecostals and evangelicals, all of whom charge the NCC with elevating political activism above its spiritual calling.”[12]

What about that “Liberation Theology”?

  • The phrase was coined and the movement popularized in 1971 by a Peruvian priest, Gustavo Gutierrez.
  • It was a “moral reaction” against injustice toward the “poor.” It has been transformed into a political arm of the Social Doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church.
  • On September 11, 2013, Pope Francis hosted the aging Gutiérrez in his Rome residence, leading many to comment that this was a sign of warming relations between the Church’s hierarchy and the Marxist leaning liberation theologians. The same month, L'Osservatore Romano published an article by Archbishop Gerhard Müller praising Gutiérrez via the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (the policing arm of the church).[13]

That support raised this ideology to the level of orthodoxy among Catholic activists. This means nothing more than strengthening their Marxist Social Doctrines to the level of “religious dogma.”

  • Rising Catholic geopolitical influence is framed through its social interests, especially toward the “poor.”
  • The sweeping populism movement that drove President Trump’s victory, and is now threatening the European Union, undermines this philosophy and its geopolitical drive for power. Francis has not minced words in criticizing Trump’s leadership.

Pope Francis hosted the heads of the European Union on March 24, 2017, and spoke against populism. He pled for the preservation of the “advanced moves” already taken by geopolitics.
 

“The solution to today's multiple crises wouldn't be found in ‘yielding to fear’ or ‘false forms of security [is that what national identity really means?],’ but in rediscovering ‘the centrality of man, effective solidarity, openness to the world [the New World Order], the pursuit of peace and development.’ These offer ‘the most effective antidote to modern forms of populism.’

"Forms of populism are instead the fruit of an egotism that hems people in and prevents them from overcoming and 'looking beyond' their own narrow vision, [i.e., nationalism] … Europe has a patrimony of ideals and spiritual values unique in the world that deserves to be proposed with passion and renewed vigor. This is the best antidote against the current vacuum of values which provides fertile terrain for every form of extremism.”[14]


Nationalism and populism do not create a vacuum unless Christianity is missing. Could this be what Francis means in this stunning “political moment”? Deceptive is this secular appeal and devoid of religious principles. Intriguingly, those leaders traveled to the Vatican to hear this pope.

The papacy is vying for and moving with force toward leading a united geopolitical world. The appeal is not founded on a Bible-based “spirituality” but on a humanistic “moral interest,” claiming it invigorates peace and unity. Couple this with the sinister work of the National Council of Churches, the antichristian leadership of the Church of England and the Emerging Church movement within Protestantism, and the historical sensitivities of our Founders have been seared. Apostolic Christianity seems to be aging.

Deepening Apostasy
 
As secularization alters the face of global Christianity, individual churches have begun to embrace homosexual leaders, even clergy [e.g., Episcopal (USA), Methodist, Anglican, Lutheran, Presbyterian and Catholic churches]. The number of persuasions claiming homosexual relationships as not sin is vast.[15]

  • There is a “social agenda” within “Christianity” to eliminate the stigma attached to sexual activity no matter how bizarre.[16]
  • The late Francis Shaeffer, a great evangelical thinker, noted the silence of Protestants toward sin and its accommodation to be adopted easily into the liberal culture.[17]

Albert Mohler noted in The Disappearance of God that the Emergent Church is animated by “change,” apostasy and heresy. It relates more to tolerance, inclusion, entertainment and feelings. It rejects discipline and obedience.[18]
 
Michael Spencer warned that such compromise is leaning toward hostility against Biblical truth.[19]
 
Christianity and the purity of the gospel are being undermined. Here is a smattering of headlines in the past year and a half that reflect this broadening concern:

  1. “What Newly-Leaked DNC Emails Revealed Should Terrify Christians” – Michael Cantrell (2016). The Democrat Party has been working with anti-religious freedom groups to curtail religious exemptions to those who do not support LBGT rights (allenwest.com).
  2. “ACLU Lawyer Blames the Christian Right for the Orlando Carnage (50 people were murdered) – Cortney O’Briet (townhall.com – June 12, 1016).
  3. “How the Deportation of God from the Once-Christian West is Working Out” – Dennis Prager (Sept. 14, 2016), World Tribune. Radical and aggressive secularism and atheism have replaced religion in virtually every school in America. History shows that this will amount to “civilization suicide.”
  4. “Hillary Clinton is a Threat to Religious Liberty” – Marc A. Thiessen (Washington Post – Oct. 13, 2016). She publically appealed for the need to “re-think” religion in America.
  5. “Fear Sweeps Churches Over Bathroom Policy” – Bob Unruh (World Net Daily – 2016). Churches face sexual integration in restrooms or face legal action.
  6. “Dr. James Dobson Calls for Civil Disobedience” against Obama’s support of transgender bathroom policy. (World Net Daily Exclusive Editorial – 2016 – a follow-up to the above).
  7. “‘Religious Left’ Emerging as U.S. Political Force in Trump Era” – Scott Malone (Reuters – March 27, 2017). Devoid of Christian values, progressive Catholic and Protestant churches are moving to block deportation of immigrants, repeal of Obamacare and are encouraging political activism in support of liberal causes.
  8. “An Open Door Closes” – Jan Markell (Olive Tree Ministries – April 4, 2017). A growing number of pastors now have indifference toward eschatology. Church youth are more troubled over injustice than Bible prophecy. Emergent church teachers are more interested in yoking with Rome than with Christ.
  9. There has been a major acceleration of antichristian tyranny recently in Turkey,
    Germany, Russia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, France and China (PRI files).
  10. “Europe’s Populist Parties Pose a Challenge for the Church” (National Catholic Register – March 23, 2017).
  11. They are using savory language to undermine nationalism: “lies,” “doesn’t offer the right answer,” “weariness,” “frustration,” “fear and anger,” “walls of divisions” and “false forms of security”
  12. Their expressed political positions are anti-Christian. They are devoid of remorse.

The effects of these “godless” or “secularized” trends will soon bring national anguish. As liberalism does, the search for a cause will point once again at true believers. Inevitably, a search for a “liberator” will occur.
 
From cultural secularization of American ideals to “spiritual minimization” by Christian leaders, fragmentation of Christianity is underway. Is it any wonder that the Islamic world is rising in numbers and power?

Distressed by the antichristian trends in America, investigative journalist David Aikman published One Nation without God? The Battle for Christianity in an Age of Unbelief (2012). From litigation over coaches starting games with prayer to expulsion from college for refusing to endorse beliefs at odds with the Christian faith, he noted that hardly a week goes by without news of the declining influence that Christianity has in the public square.

Aikman’s journalist's eye described a true rise of hostility toward Christian expression in America and the alarming decline of orthodox belief among those who call themselves Christians.[20]

cross persecutedIn a recent insightful article, “Anti-Christian religious persecution on the rise,” published in The Japan Times, Feb. 27, 2017, Doug Bandow, senior fellow, Caito Institute, addressed the non-Christian world:

Religious differences run deep in our pluralistic world. It may come as no surprise that such disagreements sometimes end up in violence.”

He noted that this ugly reality is evident in the latest “Hall of Shame” report released by International Christian Concern (ICC). The group starts with the worst of the worst….As always, North Korea heads the list. Next are Iraq and Syria. “Today, Christianity in Iraq and Syria is on the verge of extinction as a result of atrocities by ISIS.” After discussing Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, China, Egypt and Pakistan, he made a surprise observation!:

The ICC added a “new and noteworthy” category for nations which are not nearly as bad as the foregoing. Events in some nations “indicate declining religious freedom and are cause for alarm.” The U.S. heads this list, since political correctness now legally trumps religious liberty in many states.

Concluding Thoughts
 
There will soon be a group of true Christian militia that holds the Cross of Christ high as a noble banner that enlightens the world. Their mission will succeed, as is pointedly noted by John in Revelation 11:5-7a. Expositor White looked forward to this time when she said:
 

“As the end approaches, the testimonies of God's servants will become more decided and more powerful, flashing the light of truth upon the systems of error and oppression that have so long held the supremacy. The Lord has sent us messages for this time, that will establish Christianity upon an eternal basis; and all who believe the present truth, must stand, not in their own wisdom, but in God's wisdom, and raise up the foundations of many generations; and they will be registered in the books of heaven as ‘repairers of the breach,’ the ‘restorer of paths to dwell in.’ In face of the bitterest opposition, we are to maintain the truth because it is truth. God is at work upon human minds; it is not man alone that is working. The great illuminating power is from Christ; the brightness of his example is to be kept before the people in every discourse. His love is the glory of the rainbow encircling the throne on high.”[21]

 
Who will be on those front lines? Who will brave opposition? Who will remain firm when it becomes “painful” to remain loyal to the Cross? Who will enlighten the global conscience that the antichrist trends will lead to eternal ruin?
 

Franklin S. Fowler, Jr., M.D.
Prophecy Research Initiative – non-profit 501(c)3 © 2017
EndTime Issues…, Number 201, May 4, 2017

References:
 

[1] http://investmentwatchblog.com/saul-alinskys-doctrine-8-steps-to-topple-a-nation-and-create-a-socialist-state/
[2] Kupelian, David, The Marketing of Evil, p. 88.
[3] Ibid., p. 247, Reference #4: “The Merchants of Cool,” Frontline, PBS, February 27, 2001; see http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/cool.
[5] Ibid., p. 96.
[12] http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles5/LaskinNCC.php?/articles5/LaskinNCC.shtml
[16] Kupelian, op. cit., p. 222.
[17] ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­http://www.rationalpi.com/theshelter/disaster.html
[18] Mohler, Dr. R. Albert; "The Disappearance of God; Dangerous Beliefs in the New Spiritual Openness;" Multnomah, May 5, 2009, as quoted in http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/kimball/130805
[19] http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/kimball/130805
[20] https://www.amazon.com/One-Nation-without-God-Christianity/dp/0801014123
[21] White, Ellen G.; The Review and Herald, December 13, 1892.

 

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