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Suffocation of True Christianity

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Suffocation of True Christianity

Introduction
 
As anti-Semitism is burgeoning, similar cultural moves to neutralize conservative Christian influence and harm its adherents are growing. America’s moral base is being redefined by what people feel and experience rather than from Biblical principles. Internal apathy within mainstream Christianity is marginalizing its elevated mission. Ninety percent of Christian churches have indifference toward referencing the good news of Jesus’ Second Coming. Pastor Tom Hughes of Calvary Chapel in San Jacinto, California, analyzed:

  1. They don’t understand prophecy and are not being fed truth.
  2. Pastors’ fear of offending members or scaring people.
  3. They are also concerned about losing tithe if end-time events are mentioned.
  4. They worry about being identified with “fringe” groups, resulting in decreased loyalty.[1]

Those who really hate the mores of traditional Christian faith meet decreasing resistance in their anti-Christian activism.
 
President Abraham Lincoln read his Bible every day. During that era there was near total Biblical literacy; now – there is near total illiteracy. Half of American college seniors do not know who Cain and Abel were. Ten percent of Americans are unaware of the Ten Commandments.

Affronts to Judeo–Christian values deepened when the Supreme Court of Italy ruled that public masturbation is legal (except in front of minors) and when the New York City Council voted that public urination was not a criminal act.[2] The divine fabric that historically stabilized society is being ripped apart. True Christian principles are being suffocated.
 
Puzzling Catholic Stances
 
Dating back to the mid-1800s, San Domenico School in the San Francisco Bay area has maintained a strong Catholic heritage. That has now changed. Since 80% of its students are of other faiths, many dramatic decisions were made to make even non-Christians “feel welcome” (according to the School Board of Trustees chair, Amy Skewes-Cox).

  • Untitled-2The word “Catholic” has been removed from the mission statement. In its place, “world religions” has been inserted.
  • Statues of Jesus have been removed.
  • That allegedly makes the many Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim students feel more inclusive.
  • Catholic theology has been replaced by studies in world religions.

“The school’s director of philosophy, ethics and world religions” is trying “not to teach there is only one truth.”[3] Overall, the moves are an attempt to make San Domenico not “feel” Catholic.
 
In 2018 Pope Francis “critiqued the tyranny” of unfettered capitalism and claimed that “trickle-down economics” made life worse for the poor (which is incorrect). That was an excuse to claim that he knew some good Marxists back in his home country of Argentina. This “hinted” at his utopian blueprint to govern.
 
From that orientation Francis easily shifts to promoting the Catholic Social Doctrine (which is Marxist), claiming it fights for the “poor” and against the “wealthy” (i.e., inequality)! Large numbers of conservative Christian leaders have joined in its social fight against abortion, demanding right-to-life rights, women’s rights and now even gay rights. All this has empowered the papal agenda.
 
The rudiments of a Christ-centered life have been minimized or even shelved. “Political and social expediency” is the new ecumenism. It is this “cause” that currently drives Protestants toward Catholics. Perhaps the modern Christians’ new “gospel” commission relates to social concerns!”[4]
 
Yet! “In a stunning rebuke of U.S. conservative Christians, two close aides to Pope Francis have drawn comparisons between Islamic terrorists and American evangelicals, accusing the latter of advancing ‘a theocratic type of state.’ [too sensitive about spiritual concerns at the expense of social plights].
 
“Marcelo Figueroa, a Presbyterian pastor and editor-in-chief of the Argentinean edition of L’Osservatore Romano, and Antonio Spadoro, editor-in-chief of the Vatican’s La Civilta Cattolica, teamed up to write the blistering attack on U.S. Christians – including some Catholics who embrace the conservative values of evangelicals.
 
“The authors characterize Francis as ‘courageous’ for giving ‘no theological–political legitimacy to terrorists…’” (i.e., to American evangelicals)![5] Horrors!
 
Do you catch their duplicity? It’s all about conservative Christianity – and actually, Biblical Christianity.

  1. Protestants are welcomed by joining the growing cultural movements that the papacy extols.
  2. Yet – to posture as virtuous shepherds, Rome bitterly criticizes conservative Protestant desires for a God-centered government where Biblical standards reign.
  3. Subliminal message? They want to be a governing power, the world’s religious (secular) standard bearer. Biblical, principled competition is demonized as inferior.

It’s an arrogant intimation that they have a better view of pleasing God and how to administer the affairs of state. This echoes the words and actions of the Little Horn prophecies of Daniel 7 and 8! What might be more comfortable than to have a church whose leader (the following originating from Pope Francis):

  1. Has concern for inequality and poverty?
  2. Won’t judge homosexuality?
  3. Envisions a world order where everyone has an obligation to take care of those around them? To do that, one must be a steward of one’s resources (everything we own really belongs to everyone else). “It would be the new world order.”[6]
  4. Criticizes the evils of capitalism because it creates so many wealthy individuals?
  5. Encourages world peace by equating Jesus Christ with Mohammad and Jehovah with Allah? (Making them “distinctly the same.”)
  6. Claims that there is no hell?[7],[8]

Strange things out of Rome are suffocating true Christianity.
 
Spiritualism and the Metaphysical
 
Interest in “spirituality” is booming as interest in Biblical religion plummets. The majority of Americans now believe it is not necessary to believe in God to have good morals.

  • Meanwhile, about 50% of young adults accept astrology as a science.
  • The psychic metaphysical service industry (e.g., astrology, aura reading, spirit séances, tarot card reading and palm reading) is now worth $2 billion annually.

Danielle Dyoka, founder of the spiritualistic magazine, Mystic Lipstick, said that people are identifying with these things “to heal!”[9]

  • Where is the “Balm of Gilead,” that healing “ointment” which represents the wonders that come from Jesus (cf. Jeremiah 46:11)?
  • Jesus said, in beautiful language: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls (Matthew 11:28-29).

One can assume that fewer and fewer people have never met that Friend, Jesus. There is a search to find something seemingly objective, yet which resides in the mystical!

  • Even among Christians there is an engrossing interest in a “New Spirituality,” craving and experimenting with new ways to contact God/god.
  • Barna research has shown that this “new way” is a “shift away from Christianity.”[10] It is a move into the metaphysical world.

Karl Payne, a pastor of Leadership Development and Christian Education at Antioch Bible Church and author of Spiritual Warfare, suggests that there is a hunger for a “spiritual experience,” but in today’s hedonistic culture, spiritism and occultism are being embraced.

  • Payne eloquently points out that people are dancing with demons instead of embracing Jesus Christ.
  • Those demons have an ultimate goal – destroy their dancing partners!

Payne also argues that “the decline of Christianity has essentially opened the belief in tenets and ideas which are anti-Christian but nonetheless supernatural.”
 
“I believe this decent into hell is going to culminate in the open worship of Satan incarnate, who is promised to rule the world for a short period of time before the Lord Jesus Christ returns to destroy him and all of his followers and their works, …For the world to be willing to embrace the open, blatant worship of Satan through his antichrist, it makes sense to me that there will have to be a conditioning of people to be willing to make this foolish decision, and think it is normal in the process.

“I believe there is going to be an increasing interest in the Spiritism, the paranormal and occultism the closer we draw to the return of Jesus Christ for his bride, the church. Again, it represents a cheap imitation of the real thing, satisfying the need, but not the soul.
 
“There can be no doubt that Satan is a decidedly ‘religious’ being, … He often operates within the realm of apostate beliefs, where he plies his diabolical trade of rejecting the Gospel of Jesus Christ, while at the same time replacing true faith with the false spirit of religiosity. I am convinced that much of the world’s fascination with the occult realm flows from the ubiquitous presence of this last-days spirit.” [11]
 
Television shows feature exorcisms as entertainment, Lucifer is shown as a crime-fighting hero, occultism is glorified and there is an increasing reference to pagan symbols. It is not difficult to argue that Judeo–Christian influence is no longer mainstream.
 
Pastor Carl Gallups, author of several books, including his most recent, When the Lion Roars, says that Christian culture has been systematically dismantled, and he shares the view that occultism has contributed to this:

“We are living in decidedly prophetic times. The demonic outpouring of the last days, predicted in the Bible, is now among us. And, that outpouring is certainly making its presence known in the world of ‘art.’

“Think of the dramatic rise in abject pornographic displays, all manner of sexual perversion as well as the vilest forms of vulgarity imaginable. Every day these ‘expressions’ are becoming increasingly status quo and touted as normal and even healthy. [then he quotes:]

  • Romans 12:1-2 notes: ‘Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’
  • Proverbs 23:7 indicates that if you can control a person’s thinking, you can control their subsequent actions. The entertainment industry understands this as does the Department of Education, with its vast sex education programs in the public schools.[12]

“Spiritism” is suffocating Christianity.
 
Islamic Influence
 
In May, 2018, students at Mountain Ridge Middle School, Gerrardstown, West Virginia, were given a packet to take home related to Islam. It was part of a world-religion class.

  • In it were quotations from the Koran to study.
  • Part of their assignment was to write in calligraphy the Shahada, the Islamic profession of faith, that declares Allah is the one true God and Mohammad is his messenger.

The unit that covered Christianity had no Bible texts and referenced Christ only briefly.[13]
 
In the Florida school system a history book is currently being used that totally “whitewashes Islam’s violent history of conquest and subjugation.” Meanwhile, to combat Islamophobia and bullying Muslim students, the San Diego Unified School District has partnered with CAIR.

  • CAIR (Council on American–Islamic Relations) has been designated by the Justice Department as an unindicted co-conspirator in a terror-funded plot. They also have been designated by the U.S. government as a terrorist organization.
  • That Southern California school system has had a deep prejudice against Christianity, wanting nothing related to Jesus appearing in its education materials. Yet, these Muslims are consultants for “their” children’s education!

A high school in Frisco, Texas, has set up an Islamic prayer room for Muslim students. A similar room has been set aside in St. Cloud, Minnesota. There are no moves to develop “quiet places” or “meditation rooms” for Christian children. Some of their schools (Texas and Minnesota) require students to recite portions of the Koran and Muslim prayers.[14]
 
“‘The late conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly wrote of a double standard in public school teaching. ‘Drop Christianity down the memory hole but give extensive and mostly favorable coverage to Islam. Textbooks, she noted, generally give a false description of women’s rights under Islam.
 
“The books don’t reveal that women are subject to polygamy, a husband’s legal right to beat her, genital mutilation and the scandalous practice misnamed “honor killings,” which allows a man to murder a daughter who dares to date a Christian.’”[15]
 
In Niece, France, June 2018, thousands of Muslims blocked a main street to have prayer to end Ramadan. Loud speakers accompanied the religious demonstration. This also occurred in other French cities. Their sheer numbers made enforcement of laws impossible.[16] Traffic and businesses were blocked.
 
Islamic forces have penetrated the bureaucracy of our nation’s security apparatus. They actually have a master plan that endangers America’s system of constitutional government.[17]
 
In January, 2018, Muslims began legal action to silence the Sunday bells of the Catholic Church in Genoa, Italy. It’s not the noise that offended them – they want to silence “Christianity.”[18]
 
When Muhammad wrote the Koran, he knew exactly what he was doing. He was creating a new religion to rival and suppress Christianity.
 
The Koran actually attacks the major doctrines of Christianity. The Christian faith has several key beliefs. One teaching that is unique is that there is one God who eternally manifests Himself in three persons: the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is known as the Godhead or the Trinity. Another critical doctrine is that Jesus of Nazareth is the only begotten Son of God; therefore He is unique from everyone else. His Father was not human, but the holy God over all. A third key doctrine is that the Lord Jesus died on the Cross to pay the penalty for man’s sin and then rose from the dead. There are many others of importance, but these three comprise the very heart of the Christian faith. But:

  • Sura 4.171: “O followers of the Book! do not exceed the limits in your religion, and do not speak (lies) against Allah, but (speak) the truth; the Messiah, Isa son of Marium is only an apostle of Allah and His Word which He communicated to Marium and a spirit from Him; believe therefore in Allah and His apostles, and say not, Three. Desist, it is better for you; Allah is only one God; far be It from His glory that He should have a son, whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth is His, and Allah is sufficient for a Protector.”
  • Sura 9.30: “… the Jews say: Uzair is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away.
  • The Koran literally says that the Lord Jesus did not die on the Cross. It claims that He appeared to have died on the Cross, but He was not killed nor was He crucified. Sura 4.157:And their saying: Surely we have killed the Messiah, Isa [Jesus] son of Marium, the apostle of Allah; and they did not kill him nor did they crucify him, but it appeared to them so.”[19]

3The growing number of laws protecting the Islamic faith marginalize Christianity. Speaking out against their faith in some areas is “hate speech.” Resisting their intrusive moves to appropriate time, space and message, is bringing more people under the arm of their influence! Sharia law is actually ruling in an area of Great Britian, subverting the normal legal system.[20]
 
Aggressive Islamic teaching and the Muslim culture are suffocating Christianity.

Alternative Christianity

John Burke is the Founder and Lead Pastor at Gateway Community Church, a multisite church based in Austin, Texas, that has grown to over 4,500 people. He is past president of Emerging Leadership Initiative (a “fluid” approach to Christianity). He has been a speaker at the Ancient Wisdom conference that identifies with ancient religions.

He said: “What do a Buddhist, a biker couple, a gay-rights activist, a transient, a high-tech engineer, a Muslim, a twenty-something single mom, a Jew, a couple living together, and an atheist all have in common? They are the future church in America! Most of them are in their twenties or thirties and [will become] … followers of Christ.[21]
 
His church is “everything” to its attendees. The gospel of Jesus Christ is less “spiritual” and more “sensual.”[22] Its leadership influence among pastors is powerful.

Thom Rainer is the president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources. He notes that “The churches in our nation are much less evangelistic today than they were in the recent past. In my own denomination, we are reaching non-Christians only half as effectively as we were 50 years ago.” He said that we measure success by membership and annual baptisms. They are down, and the trend is disturbing.

He recalled “the pattern in the early church where ‘every day the Lord added to them those who were being saved’ (Acts 2:47). In too many of our churches today, the congregations are reaching no one for Christ in the course of an entire year.”

Pastor Rainer conducted an informal survey of pastors and church leaders as to what might be behind this: “The response was highly informative for me. Here are the top fifteen responses listed in order of frequency:

  1. Christians have no sense of urgency to reach lost people.
  2. Many Christians and church members do not befriend and spend time with lost persons.
  3. Many Christians and church members are lazy and apathetic.
  4. We are more known for what we are against than what we are for.
  5. Our churches have an ineffective evangelistic strategy of ‘you come’ rather than ‘we go.’
  6. Many church members think that evangelism is the role of the pastor and paid staff.
  7. Church membership today is more about getting my needs met rather than reaching the lost.
  8. Church members are in a retreat mode as culture becomes more worldly and unbiblical.
  9. Many church members don’t really believe that Christ is the only way of salvation.
  10. Our churches are no longer houses of prayer equipped to reach the lost.
  11. Churches have lost their focus on making disciples who will thus be equipped and motivated to reach the lost.
  12. Christians do not want to share the truth of the gospel for fear they will offend others. Political correctness is too commonplace even among Christians.
  13. Most churches have unregenerate members who have not received Christ themselves.
  14. Some churches have theological systems that do not encourage evangelism.
  15. Our churches have too many activities; they are too busy to do the things that really matter.”[23]

Fascinating! Most of these reasons are why “experiential Christianity” is moving horizontally and not vertically.
 
True Christianity is suffocating from “alternative Christianity.”
 
The Cultural Factor
 
Radical changes against Christianity began to emerge in the 1960s when the theories of cultural Marxism captivated social philosophers. It argued that societal problems are related to traditional morality, the bonds of race, and gender identity. They were chains of “tyranny” which must be broken by revolution.
 
Motherhood and fatherhood were seen as burdens that should be shattered. Antonio Gramnsci taught that Christianity must be overwhelmed by socialism.[24] These narratives are paraded endlessly in our education system today. They are not natural or accidental. They have been constructed by intellectuals and academics who have had a radical agenda to transform the nation, and benefit themselves in the process.

The strategy of Marxists is always to cultivate a victimized group and then convince its members that solidarity is required against the oppressors. This creates resentment and hatred and is how Marxist ideologies fulfil their revolutionary objectives.[25]

Such a “mind restructuring” philosophy drove atheist and political commentator George Will to levy cynical criticism on Billy Graham after he recently passed away.

Will “derided those who walked the aisle to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord at Graham’s crusade meetings. Then noted: ‘His audiences were exhorted to make a decision for Christ, but a moment of volition might be (in theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s phrase) an exercise in cheap grace. Graham’s preaching, to large rallies and broadcast audiences, gave comfort to many people and probably improved some.”[26]

Cultural Marxism brought fear during the Obama era to churches over the “right” of men who “identify” as women to use the ladies’ restrooms.[27] In Massachusetts the legislature identified churches as places of “public accommodation”! Therefore, sermons cannot undermine issues related to gender identity – and, of course, the restrooms must accommodate all.[28]
 
This mindset has led the media to go only so far in reporting sex crimes. Cover the issue lightly and don’t follow up or reveal the details of the stunning aberrant practices. That cover-up is criminal in itself.

  • Yet thousands of children have been abused by politicians and Catholic priests.
  • Registered sex offenders have been given paid employment at foster homes, group homes and day-care facilities for children, especially in California.[29]

The warped thinking of liberals was laid bare by Tucker Carlson of Fox News recently.
 
“Self-righteousness is always a marker for secret creepiness. The people yelling the loudest are usually hiding the most…. Hypocrisy isn’t just a feature of modern liberalism. It’s the heart of modern liberalism. Ever wonder how people who advocate for abortion can say they stand for children? How a movement that demonizes an entire race can claim to oppose racism? In the same way, Al Gore can travel by private jet while trying to ban your SUV.
 
Elitists say: “‘We’re good people; therefore, we must rule. You are not; therefore, you must obey.’ ‘You can’t commit sin if your intentions are pure.’ And liberals believe their intentions are the purest. It’s a replacement for the Protestant Christianity that the left worked so hard to undermine and destroy.”[30]
 
Another cultural strangle was reported by Breitbart News, a site being affected by growing “internet screening” (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube). They note: “No other organization in history, save perhaps the politburo of the Soviet Union during the era of the Warsaw Pact, has had this much influence over so many news outlets at the same time.”
 
Their foreign reach is also powerful – “they can now [even] choose to strengthen the political establishments of foreign countries – to the point of nearly snuffing out opposition … or weaken them.” Since the liberal agenda is being threatened in the United States by Christianity and truth, communication liberty is being slowly suffocated by the “barriers” of those three agencies.
 
That has become a fearful anti-Christian power in America with their accelerating blockades! They have actually declared war on many conservatives by shutting down their ability to get their messages out.

  • There is decreased visibility of news sites and publishers in some Christian arenas.
  • Rush Limbaugh has labeled them as “pure Satanists.”

Targeted sites that are speaking out include the Daily Caller, Daily Wire, the Blaze, Gateway Pundit and World Net Daily. Dennis Prager’s Prager University has been restricted as has Pastor and conservative Christian Michael Brown. Anything negative against pornography, homosexuality and abortion, as examples, is being censored. Topics like salvation, prayer, Judaism, God’s promises, hell and the Book of Revelation are being flagged negatively.[31]
 
Suffocation of Christian liberty is on the rise.
 
Christianity is being Challenged Globally
 
Hate crimes against Christianity are accelerating in Germany. This has spanned the criminal gamut from arson to murder. Reaction has been from “silence” to “all convictions must be welcomed in our culture.” “Tolerance” laws have muted legal backlash. It has become a cultural, legal and moral problem.[32]

In Norway all rapes in the past five years were perpetrated by Muslims. One rapist said that he had the right to do with a woman what he wanted because of his religion. His victim was twelve years old. Legal resistance to this “religious norm” is minimal.
 
A hot new play in the Czech Republic depicts Jesus raping a Muslim woman. It was sold out. Many reported that this was how Christianity gets back at the Muslims.[33] Cultural evil is at work.
 
In America, Christian parents of a 17-year old girl lost custody of their daughter for opposing her wish for transgender treatments. In the Ohio court proceedings, the religious persuasion of the parents was seen as obstructing the right of the child.[34]
 
The “confusion of convictions” deepened when the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed in 2017 that judicial decisions can be influenced by societal norms! Chief Justice John Roberts in his dissent said that the majority opinion desires to remake society according to its own insight.[35] America is speaking like a dragon.
 
“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20 – NIV).

  • There is a divide between right and wrong that is getting wider.
  • It is cultural versus conservative, Marxism versus Christian morality.[36]

Reflection
 
“In his book Our Sacred Honor, William J. Bennett writes: ‘What made this country different from all others was a prevalent belief that God played a direct and active hand in founding a people.’”[37]
 
In 1796, George Washington said in his farewell address:  “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.” “In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens.”
 
Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville, a diplomat, political scientist and historian, wrote in Democracy in America (1835 and 1840): “Religion and morality were indispensable to the maintenance of the American republic. While the constitutional law of liberty allowed Americans complete freedom to do as they pleased, religion prevented them from doing that which is immoral and unjust.
 
“Liberty could not be governed apart from religious faith, lest there be anarchy.”[38]
 
Satan’s successes keep compounding. That is anticipated within end-time prophecy. The cry of “How long?” by Gabriel, Daniel and the martyrs is reverberating. The hatred, the immoral choices of society, the “deep state” and its drive to change Judeo-Christian America and the open resistance to Bible principles is on the march – but, thankfully, their time is divinely restricted.
 
Expositor White notes: “The United States is a land that has been under the special shield of the Omnipotent One. God has done great things for this country, but in the transgression of His law, men have been doing a work originated by the man of sin. Satan is working out his designs to involve the human family in disloyalty.”[39]
 
There will soon be a major rise in an alternative Christianity that will be politicized. That will bring a difficult time to God’s remnant: “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake” (Matthew 5:11).
 
“When the religion of Christ is most held in contempt, when His law is most despised, then should our zeal be the warmest and our courage and firmness the most unflinching. To stand in defense of truth and righteousness when the majority forsake us, to fight the battles of the Lord when champions are few – this will be our test. At this time we must gather warmth from the coldness of others, courage from their cowardice, and loyalty from their treason.”[40]
 

Franklin S. Fowler, Jr., M.D.
Prophecy Research Initiative – non-profit 501(c)3 © 2018
EndTime Issues…, Number 215, July 5, 2018
Click here to go to PRI’s website: endtimeissues.com
 

 

References:
 
[15] Ibid.
[38] The Philadelphia Trumpet, July 2018, vol. 29, No. 6, Editorial.
[39] White, Ellen G.; Manuscript 17, 1906, quoted in The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 975.
[40] White, Ellen G.; Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 136, 1882.

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