A Webzine of Meaningful Contrasts

July-August 2017

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"We should always be disposed to believe that that which appears white is really black, if the hierarchy of the church so decides."

- Ignatius of Loyola

The other night on my early evening walk I found myself strolling beneath the branches of this tree, pictured on the right. I'd been feeling a bit of the pain of my own woundedness and feeling it regarding that of others I'd hurt in the past, and I stopped to gaze above and ponder those things, and this tree.

I did a bit of looking about on the web and found that this is called a mimosa tree, and it has blooms of bright red wisps, hundreds of them, and I thought, yes...

They are just like my sins.

Hung there up on the tree, stained by the blood of Christ. Up there taken away, put far away by God and His eternal forgiveness. An amazing blessing, really.

I had to realize, however, that along with those of mine, many of these are the sins of others no matter how horrific, the things others have done in the past to hurt me are there too. God's forgiveness means nothing unless I forgive others too.

It doesn't mean we turn a blind eye to the wicked things people can do to one another, that we turn a deaf ear to the rotten ways people encourage people to do horrific things.

What it does mean is that there are generally two ways to approach the interactions among men.

 

The World way and the Kingdom way.

 

I've written for 13 full years in this webzine about these ways, and blogged at least once every month augmenting them. It does indeed comprise quite a written volume, and if print publishing was not losing its viability as a means of information transmission I would love to assemble it into a decent sized book. Maybe I still will, we'll see.

But these truths don't exist merely in a modest webzine or blog, they're already fully detailed in Scripture, and I'd like to think there are a few out there who do grasp the contrast. Sadly, I see so very little to indicate many really do. I pray like a crazy man that there'd be more who'd act courageously on Kingdom truths, but, well...

 

The latest evidence of the eminently august World System song and dance is this action by Donald Trump to constrict the impact of what is regularly called "The Johnson Amendment", the provision in federal statute that prohibits church personnel from openly and actively engaging in politically partisan behavior as a condition of the church's 501c3 non-profit tax exempt status.

The idea is simple: Church bodies who officially endorse a candidate in a civil election are doing so outside the bounds of their tax exempt privilege other politically active organizations that are generally not religious in nature do not have that same privilege.

I wrote an entire webzine piece on this phenomena, and emphasized the double-mindedness of people in a church assembly who from one side of their mouth proclaim "Jesus is Lord" while from the other either "Smith should be elected to be Lord" or "Caesar tells me I can't tell everyone we should all make Smith our Lord".

When President Trump signed this order, he did a couple of interesting things. He said, "We're giving churches their voices back." Hmm, does Caesar determine what things a group of Christ's genuine disciples may or may not say on behalf of the Kingdom? Trump's statement is true enough for those who ask Caesar to regulate their speech. I wonder, what precisely does a Christ follower, living by His perfect law of love, need Caesar to govern regarding his speech?

Trump also directed the IRS to use "maximum enforcement discretion" in administering the new policy. Many church leaders were delighted about this finally the U.S. government was firmly easing the threat of revocation of the tax exemption should a pastor let slip from the pulpit that he indeed favors Smith in the next election. The core problem is that this is a plain confession that a church official of any stripe is eagerly welcoming the law to govern their affairs. Scripture clearly states that the law is the power of sin but that those with Christ's name on their lips should be living by Him in Truth and Grace, above and beyond the precepts of law.

The essence of what Trump did though, really, was...

Nothing.

He did nothing that is any different than it was before. Nothing will change no matter how much oblivious pastors are now breathing easier or how much squawking legal protection organizations like the Alliance Defending Freedom can let their guard down a bit. 501c3 tax exempt non-profits are under the thumb of Rome's magistrate in some measure. Most high-falutin church personnel will still be careful about what they say because they know deep inside they're compromised. Some more ferocious ones will indeed feel emboldened to let their parishioners know what's what about a given political figure.

So what. The fact is nothing will happen because the mainline church is just about dead anyway. It doesn't mean a spittle of anything is because the church is pathetically moribund, and much of that is precisely because it is so beholden to Caesar.

There are gobs of evidences to demonstrate this truth. Just browse through George Barna's work to get a taste of how wretchedly milquetoast the church has become in having a significant impact on society. Allow me to use a simple anecdotal incident to illustrate this.

 

A month ago I spent the weekend with my elderly father at his home about 100 miles away. On Sunday morning we attended the services of the area's Presbyterian church, I thought it would be nice since I grew up with a Presbyterian background and my dad is a bit more of a traditional Christian. I had not been to such a service for some time.

The church building was large and pleasant, one of those mid-size city kinds built in 1970 or thereabouts. It was well-kept and landscaped, and the parking lot had a good number of cars there. When I walked inside, however, it was very interesting, and very disturbing.

Among the attendance of about 80 all together (not even filling a fourth of the entire sanctuary), I'd say about 60 of them were 70 years old or older. Of the around 10 or so who were 20 or younger, every one of them looked like they did not want to be there.

The following Monday at the invitation of a friend I attended something called "The Skeptics Forum" in which Reasons to Believe founder Hugh Ross answers questions about science and the cosmos his work is awesome. He shared the most amazing things about how science points to God in every instance. There were about 60 people there, but the troubling thing is no one was under the age of 30, maybe a sparse few. Most were over 40.

Where are all the Millennials?

Really? Are they all off just grooving to the latest Taylor Swift bilge or the Christian equivalent? How much intellectual and spiritual rigor are they getting in churches today? Yes I can't extrapolate what the world of the next generation will look like from these experiences. But really, what is the reality of what's happening, is it any different beyond the conclusions of my observations here?

Because the Society of Jesus has been so successful extirpating Protestantism from the inside of the church itself, there is really no difference between the religious and the secular. Young persons today are much more likely to adopt the perspective of Caesar's officers most significantly whatever the academia and media say they should believe and behave, much because the church is no different. In the mainline church older people are either adapting to the secular drumbeat or dying off all together. Even churches that are hip, happenin', with-it, and pimped-out for the millennial generation are desperately stunted if they are 501c3's.

Church has merely become a social gathering place where pithy things are shared no different from the secular counterpart whatever that may be. "Alternate spiritualities" are considered just as viable for "life enhancement". The most pronounced Americanist mantra is "This is what I believe", you know, to avoid getting somebody ticked off you'd actually know the truth, that you'd be so uncouth as to ruthlessly try to employ some oppressive power grab over them.

The benighted proficiency of the Jesuit Order has so emasculated 501c3's that they don't stand for anything anymore. They have become the quintessential "God club", just a place to hang out and smile at everyone else. There is no conviction of sin ("Don't interfere with sexual freedom") no sorrow for the horrifically wounded ("Caesar has a government program for that") no recognition of the devil's sophisticated workings ("Rome is just a meaningless Christiany thing") no desire to judge righteous judgment ("The worst thing is to be called a narrow-minded bigot") and no capacity to richly elucidate the wide deep love of a Risen Savior ("Jesus is just a fairy tale after all but we'll still humor you")

I'm convinced much of this is because churches refuse to become ungrafted and be truly, actually, fully sold out to Jesus.

 

When I looked up information about the mimosa tree, I discovered something else interesting about them. I found that the seeds and the seed pods are extremely poisonous. Made me think more about the metaphor, the seeds make for another fine part of it.

For the tree to grow the seeds must die.

But what happens if you want to eat those seeds? Maybe they are very tasty, I will never try to find out.

How many people do.

How many people are so enticed by the World System's designs and attractions that they take and eat. How many people at one time long ago were young (or young at heart!) and committed and courageous in vibrant Protestant churches drawing people to Christ and fellowshipping with them in His riches and glory?

Do you know a while back I heard about a scholarly sociology study that proved that the single most important factor in a nation's fine industrialized economy benefitting from the least amount of corruption in government was the measure of robust vibrancy of the Protestant church 100 years before? Not what it is like today, but 100 years previous. Not any old church, but the Protestant one.

Don't you find that quite telling?

What does the Protestant church look like now?

And what does that tell you about what it may be like 100 years from now?

 

Or sooner...

 

***

Notes:

  • Again here is the link to the pages with information about the dangers of a 501c3 obligation. Here is a page with thoughts about being in the world even when insisting not being so.

  • This recent home page piece gets into the truth that there is indeed hate speech for which the speaker will be held to account. The question is what is it exactly that comes from the speaker's mouth? Is it righteous or unrighteous, that is the real question.

  • A page with my take on the authoritative disinformation is here.

  • Some pages about being ungrafted, that is, separating a worship assembly from all the debilitating provisions Caesar offers: For assemblies, for organizations, for congregations, for the individual.

  • For those who may take issue with my characterization of the church, particularly the most industriously evangelical mission-focused churches, I have a page with objections addressed. I am not so cynical as to disregard the efforts of the genuinely faithful, take a look there for more specifics about legitimate concerns with this premise.

  • Here is a pdf of the study demonstrating that the truly determining factor of enjoying corruption-free society is the impact of Protestantism in a given nation 100 years before.

  • George Barna's website is here. Ignatius Loyala is the founder of the Roman Catholic Church's Society of Jesus, or the Jesuit Order.

  • The last three verses of the 15th chapter of the first letter to the Corinthians: "The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord."

  • In case you'd like to read through this webzine as a book, start here and at the bottom of each page is a link to advance to the next "chapter". A table of contents is here.

  • Some thoughts about The One Who Is Truth And Grace are here.

 

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To best identify the characteristics of the church attached to the Catholicist Nation and to understand Christ's response to it, please read carefully both of Paul's letters to the Corinthians.

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The Latest in the Webzine (July 2017): Wonderful Matters is the name of my blog. I have a "Tupper Saussy" group on Facebook, ask to join if you are a like-minded ROEder. Even though I'd written my piece on value transfer a couple years ago, I'd love to augment it but for now it may inspire some contemplation given the rank misconceptions about value that are splashing about everywhere these days. I'd love to expand the breadth of this webzine, so if you know of someone who is well-versed in computer systems, web design, or web marketing, please let me know. Here is my email address - if you share some of my vision,  i would love to hear from you. Thanks!

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The website The Catholicist Nation at  yourownjesus.net was originally uploaded by David Beck on August 3, 2004

The home page essay above was written by David Beck and was posted on this site on July 1, 2017