When people ask missionaries about missions the easiest answer is to give details about ministries and what we’d like to think we see God doing through us and around us. There have been times when our own reports sound more like an investment prospectus than a report of what God is doing. Most missionary blogs and newsletters do not begin with a list of failures and brokenness. And while the secular cults of personality and comparison have invaded the church and made the quest for personal significance and success into idols,
His strength is made perfect in weakness.” We would rather boast in our infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon us. For when we are weak, then we are strong. 2 Corinthians 12:8-10
Brokenness remains the key to missions.
Therefore we are always compelled to first qualify ourselves according to our failures and infirmities before we qualify any ministry we do. Our lives before Christ included things like addiction, divorce, suicidal ideation, and prison to name a few. I struggled with alcoholism for two decades and failed at everything before being instantly delivered from it and the buckshot coming my way amidst a point-blank shotgun blast. I wasn’t looking for Jesus at the time. I was looking to die. I did. Cathy was essentially looking to do the same when Jesus delivered her. John 15:16
The extent to which God uses us today remains a function of our brokenness and the utter dependence upon Jesus that flows from it.
That brokenness is not just historical.
Like most aspiring missionaries we had dreams of changing the world for Jesus when we began. That’s before we accepted that God may use us but He doesn’t need us to do anything for Him. He places us where ever He does because where He puts us is the best place for Him to conform us to His image. Rom 8:29 As easy it might be to tell tails of adventure and harrowing brushes with death, and how we are saving Honduras in spite of it. The fact is that while the adventure is real it is God and sometimes Hondurans who save us. If that weren’t bad enough, for the record, we have never led a single person to Christ. We have planted and watered a lot of seed. 1 Cor 3:6-8 We have also been present when people made the decision to surrender John 4:36-38. We have never healed anyone. We have seen God heal people when we prayed for them. John 11:4 I once saw a demon-possessed man set free on a short term mission trip as I prayed. But honestly, I only prayed because I was last in line in a fire tunnel and the pastor was yelling at me. I didn’t know what to say so I just started saying “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus” over and over until he fell down sobbing at my feet. People said it was amazing. I was more amazed than anyone because I didn’t believe in any of that stuff at the time. When we teach we assume we are there for one person because most people usually don’t care what we say. As it turns out we frequently teach in tongues. Many times we hear, “Wow I really liked what you said.” Only we never said what they heard. My point is that our path was and is one of God accomplishing His will in spite of us rather than because of us. We are not spiritual special forces as some are prone to view missionaries. We are people that God uses to prove that He can use anyone anywhere provided they are a yielded vessel. He is the potter. We are His cracked pots. We just keep putting one foot in front of the other as His will and purpose unfolds before us.
Most times it feels like we are just along for the ride.
I realize this might not be the purposeful and intentional way in which many imagine the great the commission should unfold.
However, it does lend some perspective to Eph 2:8-10
There is a tendency in the contemporary body of Christ to pursue Mat 17 Mount of Transfiguration type experiences. Many Christians spend their entire lives chasing prophetic affirmations mostly about themselves and encounters with the manifest presence of God. Yet the mountain top is the place where God reveals Himself as the anchor to which we tether our faith as we venture into the valley below. It is the firey crises of faith in the valleys of life that burn off the dross and purify us.
Becoming a missionary is volunteering for the valley.
COVID was one such valley for us as we found ourselves locked down immediately after moving to a remote mountain village where we didn’t know anyone and many had never even met a gringo before. The State Department kept sending emails advising us to evacuate. When the border closed we knew we were committed and that we were on our own if we get sick. Several months in, depression and anxiety crept up on Cathy. A sense of futility bordering on apathy snuck up on me as I heard that familiar Gen 3 whisper, “Did God really say?…” “Did God really place you here? Or were we imagining things?” There were only two places to go to at this point. One was what AIM alumni know as the “Q” zone (the quit zone) deep in the valley of the “Project Mood Curve”. The other was deeper into the Secret Place.
Thankfully we were both compelled toward the latter.
Yet even that was a function of His grace more than it was our will and our choice.
That’s when His purpose opened up. God confirmed that we are exactly where He wants us.
Perhaps the biggest difference between full-time missions in the third world and ministry in the first is that missionaries have fewer options from which to choose before God becomes the only one. While the first world rewrites the book of Ecclesiastes, missions offers a short cut to the truth in chapter 12.
Never the less it is a paradoxical process of growth that He brings us through.
All that being said, “becoming” a missionary is simple. It is hearing and being obedient to God’s call regardless of whether it makes sense. It is counting the cost and laying down in faith whatever is, for what God’s word says could and should be.
“Being” a missionary is living in James 1:4 and sometimes enduring the reality of the verses immediately before.
Lately, it’s been walking through mountain jungles to deliver food because of the lockdown.
And filling the gap at our house because fear canceled school.
Of course, the true purpose is neither food nor school but opening doors to eternal Truth. More often it means planting in hope that another may harvest. One thing we have learned;
People don’t care what you know until they know how much you care.
We are into our fifth year on the field and our fourth year in Honduras.
Right now, we are in a fairly remote mountain location called Cerro Azul Meambar and in Luke 10 forerunning stages of a new ministry among partly Miskito Indian people. That means going low and slow, building relationships and trust, and becoming a part of our new community. We do a lot of children’s ministry. Children are great ambassadors between us and sometimes more skeptical adults.
Our real heart is for discipleship which among other things means involving kids ages 10 -13 in outreach.
The second aspect of forerunning is not as fun. It is finding and binding the Mat 12:22-30 strong man. In missions terms, the strong man is the person, issue, or situation that impedes gospel truth. It can be an individual, political party, or social issues like poverty, domestic violence, or addiction, etc. After nearly six months we are narrowing it down. Most children here only attend school up to the 6th grade at which point they might grow coffee and net an average $3 for every hundred pounds of beans they grow. If they harvest for someone else, they might make $2.
Hondurans are notorious for their stoic, and fateful surrender to hopelessness.
Our prayer is that the fateful become faith-filled.
That said, the strong man appears to be alcoholism here.
It makes perfect sense in the spirit. In addition to the two of us being former addicts, I was an adolescent substance abuse counselor and a clinical supervisor for a decade before I was a missionary. For fun, Cathy and I ran a faith-based co-ed transitional housing program for prison inmates. We lived with 5-10 inmates and sometimes their children for twelve years. As much as we have tried to get away and do something different, God continues to place this population in our path. It was our brokenness that led us to Christ. Apparently, it is still the same brokenness that continues to qualify us in ministry. Ok, Lord.
Several years ago, Cathy had a vivid dream involving butterflies before we left for mission school in Africa and then moved to Honduras. Then she began seeing butterflies and butterfly symbols everywhere she went. It was happening so often that it seemed more than just a little prophetic and she began researching the history and symbology of butterflies. As you might expect the butterfly is a universally, age-old symbol of transformation.
Some transformations are sudden. Most are gradual. Romans 12:1-2 tells us “not to be conformed to the ways of the world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds”. In Mathew 17:1-13 we see Jesus suddenly transformed in the presence of Peter, James, and John on the mount of transfiguration before leading them into a crisis of faith in the valley below. Israelis call this peak Mt. Tabor or “A Megiddo “ (Above Megiddo). Megiddo is the valley of the final prophetic battle of Armageddon. We were more than amused to find ourselves surrounded by butterflies as we walked this sacred ground when we were blessed with a free ticket to Israel in 2019.
God shows up in so many poignant ways for us since we entered the mission field that only made sense that we would find ourselves surrounded by the most amazing butterflies in Cerro Azul when God uprooted us in January.
There is one variety here that only appears in pairs. They are small, pure white, and too fast to photograph as they dance in perfect unison forming a double helix as they ascend. They fascinate me. Ironically, I hadn’t seen any in several weeks when two of them suddenly appeared as I wrote about them here.
It occurred to me that maybe they were always there, and I had merely stopped seeing them.
We Christians can be rather impetuous in our expectation that God should always do a new thing. The end result can look a lot like ingratitude and even idolatry.
Cathy has always been just a tiny bit anti-dog. Don’t get me wrong, she loves dogs. Unfortunately, she’s allergic to shed animal hair. While we had dogs in Hawaii, they did not enter the house. Here in Honduras, she didn’t even want dogs in our yard. Then one day we went to buy eggs and carried a shedless short hair puppy home. If that weren’t enough this dog lives inside like a child. As of this writing, she’s even been sleeping in our bed.
Still, our dog did not have a name.
As might be expected we are the only gringos here. In fact, many in our village had never met one face to face. Suffice it to say we have a near-constant flow of people knocking at our door. Ten-year-old Carmen, one of the firsr girls we met was the first to come knocking that day.
¿Cuál es su nombre? What is her name? She asked. “She doesn’t have a name yet,” we said. “What should we name her?” “Mariposa” she replied without hesitation.
Mariposa means butterfly.
I have yet to meet a Honduran dog named “butterfly”.
It seemed like a no brainer to me. “That’s too long,” Cathy said.
“Dog names should only be two syllables.”
Thirty minutes later a family we’d never met came to sell papayas. The daughter looked to be about Carmen’s age. She freaked out with joy when she saw our new puppy. ¿Cuál es su nombre? She asked? She doesn’t have a name yet. What should we name her? The girl paused and said,
But Cathy was still bucking the name. Go figure. That’s when I posted “Name our dog” on Facebook.
We got well over one hundred excellent suggestions. Any of them would have worked in my book. But Cathy was still racking her brain. Hosanna, Java, Esperanza, Glory, all of them sounded so good.
“Help me, honey.” She said.
On Saturday we had our usual children’s ministry.
One sweet little girl named Alicia showed up early. Cathy had gone to retrieve a new girl and I was left to introduce our new puppy myself. Alicia was enthralled. ¿Cuál es su nombre? she asked. “Nunca.” “None” I began in my characteristically horrible Spanish. “Que nombre para mi perita?” What should I name her? I asked.
“Mariposa!” Alicia blurted.
Perhaps the prophetic people out there will see a deeper message in all this. There’s certainly no lack of prophetic words these days. I think God wants us to see the sacred within the moment, to pay attention, to remain grateful amidst the current and coming chaos, and embrace the miraculous within the mundane. I am certain more will be revealed provided we don’t allow the times to change who we are. Thankfully there’s nothing quite like children and a puppy to facilitate our transformative process of growing down in Honduras.
For now, it is a simple act of obedience when I declare,
How do you determine what is true? How do you discern right from wrong?
How you answer these questions is determined by your world view. There are many. If you are Christian the Word of God should interpret your experience and frame your world view. Deception results when people interpret the Word of God via their experience and allow their experience to frame their world view. The first is objective. The latter is subjective.
Subjectivity is a growing problem in the body of Christ
Many refuse to see it.
In Mark Chapter 3 Jesus appoints the 12 disciples and gives them the power to preach, heal, and cast out demons. When the Jewish Scribes and Pharisees heard this they tried to attack Him.
Jesus was the Truth and they called Him a liar and a devil.
So He used the laws of coherence and correspondence to refute their claims. The laws of coherence and correspondence require that a truth claim makes sense and corresponds to reality within the context in which it is being stated. Violations of these laws are most easily demonstrated by the oxymorons like this famous nursery rhyme that result.
“One bright day in the middle of the night two dead boys got up to fight. Back to back they faced each other, drew their swords, and shot each other.”
In this case, Jesus simply points out that a house or a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand and asks,
“How can Satan cast out Satan?”
He goes on to say that
“No one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods unless he first binds the strong man. And then he will plunder his house.”
While people tend to focus on the unseen supernatural power involved in casting out demons, Jesus began every confrontation with the truth. E.g. Luke 4:1-13, John 8, John 17:17. Objective truth is the most often overlooked supernatural aspect of God.
The strong man is the lie that masquerades as truth.
Of course, the natural man wants to find a natural manifestation of the lie to oppose in the flesh. Social media and our city streets are proof positive of this. Yet we do not war against flesh and blood. While our battle is ultimately metaphysical against rulers and principalities of the air Eph 6:12 the more tangible context is often in the realm of belief and world view. It makes sense given that everyone’s eternal disposition is contingent on these.
That’s probably at least one reason why belief is addressed 148 times in 135 verses in the New Testament alone.
Satan has from the beginning always attacked belief on the grounds of the existence and nature of truth.
Today we are facing an outright assault on truth in the form of a calculated deconstruction of our history, identity, language, education, culture, and most importantly our faith. While people like Paul-Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida often get much of the contemporary credit, deconstruction began with Satan in Genesis 3,
“Did God really say?”
Deconstruction always attacks meaning and is ultimately about power.
Random and crazy as it often appears, deconstruction is neither of these.
On January 10, 1963, Cleon Skousen a former undercover FBI Agent, presented 45 stated American communist party goals to congress. These enumerated deconstructive goals included tearing down statues, defunding the police, and replacing them with mental health professionals who would diagnose anti-communist propensities as mental disorders. It proposed using the UN to achieve a global communist government. Getting people to accept this would be gradual and achieved by first circumventing education and dumbing down the curriculum. This would be further supported through the discrediting of parents and the institution of the family as a whole and finally teaching violent student insurrection as a legitimate method for achieving political goals.
Of course, the Christian church and our faith was and is acknowledged as the primary obstacle to achieving all the other goals.
Communist agenda #27 “Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with social religion. Discredit the Bible andemphasize the need for intellectual maturity which does not need a religious crutch.”
This is happening!
In addition to the social and political deconstruction of the American way of life, there is a growing Christian deconstruction movement resulting in people including leaders rejecting Christ. The supporting intellectual framework is often just a cover for sin and or a worldly agenda. The most sophisticated arguments usually revolve around apparent textual inconsistencies in the Bible, as yet unproven historical claims, fake science, and false justice. “How could a loving God…? “If God is real why doesn’t He…? “Where is the proof of….?” They demand proof according to human criteria in apparent ignorance that God is sovereign, His ways are higher than our ways and that faith, not empirical proof is the foundation of lived Christianity. Luke 18:8 In the end Biblical truth is deconstructed according to the standards of man. Like Jesus, in Mark 3 God and His Church are judged as evil.
Of course, nature abhors a vacuum.
Once God is removed from the equation, those programmed by media to embrace an entitled, monetized victim mindset are more than ready to accept the State as the god who provides.
Do not be deceived. The real battle is against God regardless of the social issues in which it manifests.
Today we have growing divisions in the church. There are political divisions, racial divisions, and divisions over gender to name a few. More importantly, there are divisions regarding God’s position on these and other issues. Every conflict is ultimately rooted in Pontious Pilate’s question in John 18:38,
“What is Truth?”
If you are a Christian then Jesus is the Truth. He is also the Word. We learn what is true by studying it. 2 Tim 2:15
We bind the strongman by knowing and proclaiming it.2 Cor 10:4-5, 2 Tim 2:15, Col 2:8-10
Biblical truth always corresponds with the Word of God and remains coherent within that context or it is not Truth.
Coherent exegesis is always God-centered and objective.
Man centered exegesis is always subjective and results in perverted truth, sin, and divisions.
Hence Jesus ended the discussion with a warning.
“Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation”—because they said,
“He has an unclean spirit.”
In it’s simplest form, blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is the insistence that the Truth is a lie and a refusal to be corrected.
If we profess to be Christian but lean on our own understanding of God and His will and refuse to be corrected by the Word of God, then we risk being as guilty as the Scribes and Pharisees and subject to the same consequences.
So how do we avoid this?
“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool. Isaiah 1:18
Anytime you find yourself passionately arguing for or against a particular world view or moral issue etc. be like the Acts 17:11 Bereans and do so Biblically. That means citing scripture or at least being able to support your position with scripture if and when your position is questioned or opposed. It means demanding the same regarding all truth claims from brothers and sisters whether or not we agree with them.
“Where is that in the Bible?” Should be our default.
Sometimes this requires long-suffering and bearing with one another while Prov 27:17 sparks fly. Unfortunately, the exact opposite is happening today. People are refusing to even discuss let alone debate essential doctrines. In the case of radical subjectivists, either you agree or you get canceled. This rapidly emerging trend looks a lot like a 2 Thes 2:1-3 falling away. So be it. The Bible says that will and must happen.
One thing is certain. Truth isn’t Christian Truth unless it corresponds with scripture and remains coherent within that context.
Any other standard of truth, justice, or righteousness is at best an attempt to cast Satan out with Satan. At worst it is the manifest presence of Satan himself. Many today refuse to hear this. The organization Black Lives Matter is a perfect example. I realize that my saying this will send some people into a rage. Several have already accused me of misrepresenting Jesus. Others have accused me of white supremacy and of representing Satan myself.
I’m ok with that.
“A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they call those of his household!” Mat 10:24-25
Besides, Jesus “didn’t come to bring peace but a sword.” Mat 10:34-39
In any case, BLM supporters should definitely watch this and listen to the words directly from their founders before disagreeing.
The salvation of some could very well be in the balance.
What fellowship does light have with darkness?2 Cor 6:14
Call it subjectivism, Marxism, witchcraft, progressivism, Critical theory, postmodernism, deconstruction; call it whatever you want. The Strongman is doing home and church invasions.
If we don’t bind him with Truth now, we are going to be bound and plundered later.
As missionaries, we view the story of the Samaritan woman at the well in John Chapter 4 as a wisdom treasure trove and a template for ministry and missions especially within the context of racial prejudice.
As is the case with pretty much every ethnic conflict, 1st century Samaritans and Jews were diametrically opposed to each other on the basis of race and heritage. The Samaritans lived by Jacob’s well and believed they were God’s righteous people. The Jews in Jerusalem believed the exact opposite. The Samaritans worshiped on Mount Gerizim. The Jews worshiped on Mount Moriah.
Both groups were focused on the fleshy constructs in the name of the kingdom.
Samaria was regarded by the Jews as a racial no go zone kind of like the old “wrong side of the tracks” or “skid row” in the US. In fact, Jews would walk several extra miles around Samaria when journeying between Judea and Galilee just to avoid walking through it.
John 4 says Jesus “needed to go through Samaria.”
Upon arrival, He encountered a disenfranchised adulterous woman at the community well and asked her for a drink. Community wells were a focal point for village social life among women. The same practice can be seen throughout the third world today. That the Samaritan woman was there alone in the heat of the day is an indication of just how ostracized and shame-based she must have been. Not only did Jesus violate the rule that Jews did not talk to Samaritans. But Jewish men, and especially Rabbis did not talk to women at all let alone known serial adulteresses. While both the woman and the disciples were incredulous that Jesus would even acknowledge her presence, He turned around and drank Samaritan water from a Samaritan cup. Anyone involved in third world missions will be familiar with the thoughts that run through one’s mind when handed a cup of potentially bacteria-ridden water to drink. It always comes down to a question of personal well being versus honoring your host.
Honor is the foundational key to opening doors in missions and reconciliation.
Racism, be it rooted in ideas of racial supremacy, purity, or systemic power, is anti-relational at its core in that it denies an individual or group their inherent, God-given dignity in order to dominate them. That Critical Race Theorists and Social Justice Warriors do so for the sake of achieving dominance over those whom they regard as abusively dominant still qualifies as racism. As in the case of any sin, the devil doesn’t care if one is obsessed with continuing to sin or obsessed with not doing it. He just needs sin, not God to be the main focus.
The same applies to the sin of racism.
Jesus repeatedly ignored man’s interpretations of identity, value, culture, and morality. He never debated because He knew what was in man, namely a constant vying for personal prosperity, privilege, and power. Neither did He debate the devil when he tried to tempt Him with power and privilege. That’s not just white people. That’s all people and is a result of the Fall. Sometimes he exposed and firmly rebuked those like Peter, who should have known better than to judge according to the standards of fallen man. More often He simply short-circuited false and or disingenuous arguments with parables and scripture then left people alone to wrestle with the truth before God.
The story of the Samaritan woman is poignant in regard to race and racism because Jesus modeled the correct approach. He honored her in spite of her sin and in the presence of those who normally would not have. He didn’t embark on a long diatribe about inequity or misogyny. He did not engage in a long philosophical and historic apologetic analysis of systemic issues. Neither did He ignore the woman’s sin. He called it out in a very matter of fact way and then directed her attention to Himself.
The end result was a flipped script among everyone present and the transformation of a shame-based and marginalized woman into the first recorded evangelist in the Gospel.
There are so very many lessons and prophetic implications contained within this story. The moral as it relates to racism is that racism is best countered by ignoring all its fleshy social constructs and short-circuiting it with honor in the presence of others. Healing comes with an intense focus on Truth. Jesus was clear.
True worshipers will worship in spirit and in truth. John 4:24
Flesh based socially constructed racism is not possible within that context.
There istherefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.Romans 8:1
I grew up in a very old town with even older money. While my family was not poor, neither did we qualify to be part of the local country club elite and I was always very aware of being looked down upon by wealthier children. In fact, there were just two classes of kids in our school, “cool kids” and “skids”. I was never sure if “skid” referred to skid row or “skid mark” but I knew it wasn’t good.
I became an official skid at 14 when my family fell apart and I ended up living on my own. My newfound status was made abundantly clear when I found myself no longer welcome at the homes of many of my friends. Some parents were afraid I’d become a bad influence on their children. Others were simply dumbfounded and overwhelmed by not knowing how to respond. The same fear driven, paralysis manifests everyday all over the world as people pass by the nameless and forgotten on park benches,sidewalks and the sides of roads. You know what I am talking about. The image of that one person you passed by when Holy Spirit said to stop is still etched in your mind.
I might be a missionary but I’ve done it myself.
When the snobs of Jesus’s day questioned Him regarding His association with potentially bad influences like tax collectors and sinners in Luke 5:27-32. Jesus replied, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
Over and over we see Jesus bucking the false social constructs of race and class. The story of the Samaritan woman in John 4 shows the incredulity of both the Samaritan woman and the disciples regarding Jesus’s rejection of society’s expectations. “How is it that you being a Jew ask me a Samaritan woman for a drink?” Normally Jews would not even walk through Samaria let alone talk to someone who lived there.
Yet Jesus drinks from a Samaritan cup.
Here in Honduras, the wealthy upper crust in our village would not even qualify as the lower class in the US. A lot of people would simply assume they were criminals if they saw them wandering on a US city street. Even so, we encounter the same old spirit of snobbery made even more absurd by the poverty in which it exists. In the US you hear stereotypical warnings like “be careful, they’re “from the wrong side of tracks”. In our village, we hear, “be careful, they’re from the “wrong side of the bridge”. “Don’t go there,” they say. Why not? “They’re bad people.”
So we went.
It seems that no matter where we go we find modern-day Samaritans.
Yesterday one of the young local Samaritans to whom we minister visited us and parked his mule by our house. Our neighbor had a fit. “Who does she think she is?!” “It isn’t even her property!” I said.
“Wait a minute. Is she being a snob?”
That’s when I remembered how much I had hated the rich people in my town. Those girls who looked down their noses and sneered in disdain as if to say, “don’t even think about it scum!” Those boys who snickered as if to say “You’ll never measure up! You’ll never make the grade!” If it were today I might be in the streets protesting their privilege fueled by my own never-ending projections of “as if to say”.
My problem wasn’t them. My problem was me.
Every bit of conflict in our society today is the result of the same stupid albeit ever-expanding social constructs upon which people justify taking offense. I despise the ideas of those Marxists protesting in the streets. But if I am honest before God and take the plank out of my own eye, when I look at the people in groups like ANTIFA all I can say is
“There but for the grace of God go I.”
We have witnessed the consequences of this same Mat 7:3-5 dynamic among all kinds of people from those in the US to remote Teramanani and Huaorani tribes in the Amazon and South Sudanese people in the Rhino Refugee camp in Africa. People have been beheaded in a village where we served in Mozambique. We have seen violence in Honduras. We will see it here again. We are seeing it in the streets all over the world today. Those whose identities are informed by social constructs rather than God inevitably come to the same end of a pointed finger; destruction and bloodshed in the name of a socially constructed false concept of righteousness.
There is nothing new under the sun. Apart from Christ, the sins of one generation continue through the next three or four and even seven until all involved are stripped of everything but the inescapable FILTHY RAG reality of Isaiah 64:6-7 and Rom 3:10-18.
No One is righteous. Not one!
But that’s the red pill that fewer and fewer are willing to actually swallow let alone preach. Hence Jesus said “wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Mat 7:13-14
Every last one of us is born into a proverbial crash at sea and everyone is drowning. Jesus is the one and only life raft. He has space enough for everyone. John 3:16 But we have to repent Acts 3:19 and embrace the ministry of reconciliation that He has provided. 2 Cor 5:16-19 That said, He only responds within the context of the recognition of our own spiritual bankruptcy. A drowning man who doesn’t know he is drowning must first be convinced. A drowning man who refuses to a knowledge he is drowning can not be saved at all. Yet if we throw our hands up in surrender He always responds. He responds because of who He is and in spite of who we are. This is paradoxical to the natural mind. It requires humility to accept it. Understanding comes later. In any case it is through humility, and brokenness, not status or class that we find freedom, true life, and purpose.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Eph 2:8-10
Ironically as much as we like to read ourselves and others into various parables and verses, those whom Jesus called “sick” do not represent any particular group, ethnicity, or class. At the end of the day, “Sick” could be a cool kid pointing a finger at a skid or a skid pointing a finger at a cool kid. While many remain consumed with the perpetration of a fraudulent worldly facade,
Today is Aug 8, 2020. It was on this day in 1968 at 6:01 pm that Martin Luther King was shot and killed. His desire was that one day his “children would be judged according to the content of their character rather than the color of their skin”, that “the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood”.
There is only one way this will ever be possible.
Finally today there is a scripturally sound seed of hope.
The young people to whom we have ministered through the years and those who have been following this series of posts know how adamantly opposed I am to the false social justice gospel that has emerged out of Critical Race Theory and all it’s attendant Intersectional “ists” and “isms”. Well-intentioned or not, the implicit denial of Imago Dei in favor of dividing people according to categories of oppressor and oppressed along the lines of race, gender, and class, etc. is Marxism. Those familiar with the works of Richard Wurmbrand know that Karl Marx was not just an atheist as so many have claimed. He was an initiated Satanist.
While being unwittingly duped by Marxist ideology does not in itself make one a satanist, Marxism is the spirit of anti-Christ.
Some of us were alive when the system that resulted in the deaths of more than one hundred million people in the 20th Century reached its crescendo and collapsed with the fall of the Iron curtain in 1989. Others have been unwittingly indoctrinated into a diluted form of Marxist ideology within our very own public school system. (more on this later)
“If the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness.” Matthew 6:23 Similarly, if what you believe is the truth is actually a lie, how great is that lie? In any case, the bible is clear.
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” 2 Cor 6:14-17
While most if not all of the warnings we have sounded amidst those who were not alive during the Cold War or the Civil Rights Movement have fallen on deaf ears, it is with the knowledge that our “casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” 2 Cor 10:5 remains in the context of 1 Cor 3:6-9. “Only God gives the increase”. We are “not shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter…”2 Thes 2:2when people recoil, rebel or gnash their teeth at us.
“Understanding is a wellspring of life to him who has it. But the correction of fools is folly.” Prov 16:22
One of the benefits of age is a deeper understanding that we all reap what we sow Gal 6:7 and that learning often requires affliction Psalm 119:71. While the requisite “great falling away”2 Thes 2:1-4 is almost certainly upon us, we know that the “gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations” (Ethnos; People Groups)Mat 24:14 We take comfort in the fact that the suffering and confusion in the last days will be accompanied if not offset by an even greater revival and harvest Zephaniah 3:9-10.
I believe that today Aug 8, 2020, at 6:01 PM represents a window of opportunity for the body of Christ to choose God and reject friendship with the world James 4:4 by casting down the vain imaginings of secular social justice through which the enemy seeks to “spoil many through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”Col 2:8 It is a call to replace false secularized justice with true biblical justice in Jesus Christ who gave us the ministry of reconciliation, the spiritual lens through which “we regard no one according to the flesh” 2 Cor 5:16-19 but according to whether or not we be “alive together in Christ Jesus.”Eph 2:1-10
At the end of the day, all must choose between “the doctrine which accords with godliness” or “the useless wranglings of men”1 Tim 6:3-5
One thing is certain. Our enemies are doing everything in their power to foment a violent Marxist revolution under the guise of empathy and compassion. THE ENEMY wants bloodshed. He doesn’t really care why or how it manifests.
Therefore won’t you join us at 6:01 today as we partner with others in the spirit and pray that the USA and the world would
Like much of the rest of the world, COVID cases in Honduras continue to climb in accordance with increased testing. The more relevant mortality rate has remained at around 2.5 – 3.1%. Whatever the biological and clinical reality of COVID turns out to be, the economic fallout is wreaking havoc in the cities here. Thank God we are not in a city. At this time we are allowed out to buy food in the city once every 15 days. For the most part, we eat, rice, eggs, beans, and bananas.
The good news is that at the time of this writing, the uber strict nationwide lockdown has started to ease. A lot of Hondurans are convinced the whole thing is a power grab and are ignoring the lockdown anyway. Of course, that could change at any moment.
We still don’t want to catch COVID in Honduras.
Thy Will Be Done!
I’ll be honest, it has been hard at times. I really don’t like to admit that. I’ve never really experienced anxiety over God’s provision before. The havoc that has been wrought upon the global economy means money is tight for everyone and our personal support has dwindled. Lately, I’ve been wondering if God isn’t going to take us to that place that so many other missionaries like Hudson Taylor have described, of being down to their very last dollar or dime or piece of bread only to be lead by God to give it away. At the end of the day, being a missionary isn’t about being some kind of world-changing superhero as so many imagine. It’s about growing in dependence upon Him. That always involves a shaking and a breaking. There’s a lot of that going on today. Heb 12:25-28 While James 1:4 “But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” is my official mission motto, I know a breaking is taking place when I sit in our river and cry and can’t for the life of me explain why. As Cathy recently wrote, this is an ongoing daily call to surrender even if it means
“living like this for the rest of my life – if it is your will, God.”
Thank God, we have each other. Even so, we miss our friends both here in Honduras and in the US, not to mention our family. Some times the enemy plays mind games and we wonder if anyone cares or if we’ll ever even see anyone again. These are the days when we lay it down even more. Other days we wrestle with the feelings of utter uselessness and futility. Cathy just presses harder into the Lord when this happens. “Where there is no vision people perish…”Proverbs 29:18 is a bigger struggle for me. The men in my family keep going until their purpose is gone. Then they die. My sympathetic nervous system responds to a lack of purpose as a life-threatening event. Of course, the struggle is not for a lack of knowledge. We both have the words we would and have given to those whom we counseled through the years. In any case, I’m sure we are not unique. So…
Cathy made her own prayer closet in the old coffee mill / guest house in our yard.
In any case, we both spend a huge amount of time in God’s word. While I’m not the least bit prophetic, I keep hearing the word “preserved”. The other day Cathy mentioned the fact that Abraham waited 25 years, Moses 40, Joseph 13, David 22, Jesus 30, and Paul waited on the Lord for 14 years. Any genuine word that one of us receives is always confirmed by the other. One thing we have learned. If you don’t know how to wait,
don’t even think about doing full time missions.
Hope In Time Ministries
We are still working to get Hope In Time off the ground. Unfortunately, Josh is still in the US and Paulet lives in another village. She’s definitely got her hands full there right now. Initially, we had envisioned getting scholarships to get kids into school, showing the Jesus film in remote villages and doing discipleship with people an families struggling with substance abuse. We thought we’d be providing solar power to families without electricity and concrete floors. We could blame it on the enemy but it is the Lord who is saying otherwise. Again, sometimes roadblocks are for our growth and protection. Proverbs 14:12
In any case, Cathy and I have built many relationships over the years. We wanted to let people know where we are at without speaking on behalf of the ministry as a whole. That’s why we are doing this update on our website rather than on Hope In Time’s. God willing Josh will back in the next month or two and the next update will be a formal Hope In Time newsletter.
If you’ve been following Hope In Time Ministries posts then you’ve seen our Hope In Time outreach videos where we delivered six thousand pounds of food to Lenca Indians.
We had to jump through a lot of bureaucratic hoops to pull it off but it happened. This is the same village in which we have been slowly building relationships for several years.
We still struggle with the language. But the soul to soul encounters we’ve experienced sometimes makes me think that words are overrated.
And true gratitude is often better seen than heard.
I wonder what you all see when you look in their eyes?
Of course, we had to quarantine inside our home for 15 days when we finished.
Then COVID came to Bacadia, the village where Paulet lives about three miles down the road. Normally we could walk there. But the leaders of Cerro Azul locked us in.
We didn’t really want to walk three miles to return a vacuum cleaner anyway. JK.That’s actually Cathy’s idea of a good time.
In the meantime, Cathy and I continue to look for opportunities to build relationships and share the gospel anyway we can.
As it turns out, landslides are a relationship catalyst. Especially when you own your own ax and shovel.
“Why are you helping us? We can’t pay you.” is a great conversation starter.
The village has a school but many of the children still don’t read.
Sowe started a children’s library.
Carmen (in light blue) reads a little. Valerie reads a little more. Even so, Carmen has excellent taste in literature.
Green Eggs and Ham es mi favorito!
Carmen and Valerie are a bit intimidated by Cassie and Daisy who read really well. They declined to participate when they came to the door and saw the other two girls sitting at the table. Turns out girl drama is cross-cultural. We’re working on it. In any case, we gave them a children’s bible and we hope to create questions in their minds that will lead to ongoing discipleship.
He spent some time working in the United States then returned to Honduras where he was attacked by a man with a machete during a robbery. Today He has one hand, one ear, and one eye.
This is his coffee and yucca and Malanga farm.
It’ a hard one hour walk through the mountains and rain forest just to get there. Alfonzo walks it alone every day and carries what he needs.This day he carried I tree he wanted to plant.
The locals here know a lot about natural medicines. This bark “is good for your stomach”. “Some people get drunk on it,”he said.
Alfonzo has his challenges but he never complains, he is always grateful, always joyful.
and he loves the Lord.
He’s also a former Honduran Marine which probably explains his ability to adapt and overcome.
His coffee is nearly ready to harvest.
He nets $3 for every hundred pounds of raw cherries he picks. If he’s lucky he’ll bring in $90 this year.
How much do Americans pay for a cup of coffee at the highly WOKE Starbucks?
We are researching coffee and the coffee industry in hopes of creating a coop and finding a way to get these farmers fair market value for their coffee and their labor.
That said, we are not experienced entrepreneurs.
If you or someone you know is knowledgeable in this area and would like to help or advise us we’d sure appreciate it.
In the meantime, we keep pushing deeper into the mountains above our village on foot.
and leads to some pretty amazing views
On this day we were looking for a boy named Manuel and his family. Manuel had come to our door to sell plantains one day and he invited us to his house. We finally found them. Manuel is in the rear.
This was our first visit so naturally, we wanted to honor them and didn’t take many pictures. Like so many Hondurans their house has a dirt floor and everyone sleeps in the same room. They may be cash poor but they are rich in love. Norma the mom looks like she might be pregnant but Cathy didn’t want to ask. A low protein, high carb diet often consisting of nothing but corn results in an odd combination of malnourishment and weight gain in women here. The whole family seems to be nearsighted and needs glasses. It would be great to have a small medical brigade visit here one day. Anyway, we stumbled through a conversation with our not so good Spanish, and played some worship music over which the girls were mesmerized. We prayed for the whole family and invited them to visit us. We look forward to a growing friendship.
We think this is an abandoned baby “?”
Manuel found him and was caring for it. He tried to give it to Cathy.
We spent some time with our friend Jose on the way. He’s another hard-working farmer who also spent time in the USA.
Jose works hard and is very proud of his farm. He has a fair amount of land but is only able to work seven to ten acres by himself. He grows beans, corn, and coffee. Everything is done by hand.
Jose says he likes to hunt raccoons when he has time.
There is so much to learn each time we venture out. We are constantly amazed by the ingenuity and resilience of these people. There is so much we’d like to do to help. At the same time, we have seen the damage that Western materialism has wrought in the lives of indigenous people. We want to honor them as brothers and sisters in Christ, equals in the the light of Imago Dei and not as props in a missions drama that supports our own sense of purpose and significance. They have survived and thrived here for generations.
If you’re anything like me you probably wake up each day, turn on some electronic device to look at the news and think… What the…
While the media keeps us focused, afraid, and outraged at personalities on the screen so that our amygdala stays in overdrive and the higher cortical parts of our brain remain suppressed,
ideas and world views are where the knowledge battle is fought.
Bad ideas are like viruses. They invade culture and begin to replicate. Left unchecked they eventually overwhelm the host.
An Open Society
If you are over 40 and of a conservative bent then you have probably heard of George Soros, the Jewish currency trader extraordinaire / billionaire hedge fund manager whose philanthropic endeavors include involvement with color revolutions in the middle east, civil war in Ukraine, the Occupy Wall Street movement, immigration, and Black Lives Matter to name a few.
If you are more fond of the left-handed path, then you might ignore Soros’s Machiavellian propensities and dismiss the myriad allegations of subterfuge in order to view him, and his Open Societies Foundations as pragmatically humanitarian and driven to create a better, more equitable, open global society for all.
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!
Soros is by his own admission an atheist and pragmatically amoral. Even so, the mistake that many conservatives make is to focus too much on Soros himself instead of his ideas. An all too common tendency is to cast him as a real-life Emperor Palpatine or the Biblical man of perdition. Don’t do that. It’s a trap and only results in marginalization and being labeled as a conspiracy theorist. Of course, the word “conspiracy” implies “secret”. While Soros can be cryptic at times, he is anything but secretive about his plans.
I have been following him since my earliest currency trading days.
Back then I viewed him as just another a gifted trader with the knowledge I needed to succeed.
Those familiar with the psychology of trading know that markets themselves are amoral and emotion is a trader’s worst enemy. Being a sociopath can be a plus. Soros’s world view appears to be the fruit of his time spent with the Nazis during WWII. He was only 14 when with the help of his father and a family friend he posed as a gentile in order to survive and ended up helping to confiscate the possessions of his Jewish brethren as they were hauled off to be gassed. Soros reasons that if he hadn’t done it someone else would have.
Financial markets are the same he says.
Soros is best known for nearly bankrupting the bank of England when he shorted the British Pound in 1992. The moral implications of this do not appear to have been a relevant concern
The opportunity was there.
If he hadn’t done it someone else would have.
Ironically, Soros says making money was just something he happened to be good at. He really wanted to be a philosopher. But no one took him seriously at the time and he applied his philosophy to managing hedge funds instead. After years of success, he decided to use his billions to shape the world in accordance with his philosophy.
The first order of business in the creation of an open society is the deconstruction of the entire global system of nation-states and economies. The goal is to bring order out of the resulting chaos in the form of an open social utopia sort of like a global European Union administrated by appointed technocrats.
The idea is not new.
Just to be clear, Soros is not the wolf.
He’s more of a hammer.
Soros’s philosophy and methodology are inspired by postmodern theory and David Hume’s idea that “reason is the slave of passion” and “The idea of a disembodied intellect or reason is a figment of our imagination”.
There is no objective truth or objective moral law.
An objective moral law assumes an objective moral lawgiver. If there is no objective moral law then it only follows that there is no God. If there is no God then good and evil do not exist.
Reality is what we make it.
Or rather what he makes it.
While postmodernism is at its core, Soros’s philosophy is based on an economic theory called Reflexivity. In its simplest form reflexivity states that a positive feedback loop is formed by investors’ perceptions which affect economic fundamentals, which in turn change investor perceptions which affect economic fundamentals and so on and so forth.
I wrote about this previously in the context of individual confirmation bias in Truth or Trump and explained how “smart money” and institutional investors use “dumb money”, (consumers, and private speculators) to drive the prices of stocks and other financial instruments. While reflexivity preys upon individual confirmation bias, it is the foundation and framework for Soros’s world view and method for changing society. Imagine a fad like the newest exercise free, eat what you want, guaranteed to lose 10 lbs in a two-days, weight loss program.
For those in the know; it’s like taking candy from a baby. What is important to understand is the power that constructed narratives have to, alter collective beliefs, and control collective behavior.
Chaos is often a good indicator that a reflexivity driven agenda is in play.
More often than not, while the public separates into tribes and fights with each other over what they believe is the correct moral side of what they think is the real issue;
smart money is busy making money and or advancing an agenda
The example I gave is
In June 2016 Barack Obama talked about a possible assault weapons ban. The media pumped a false pending executive order narrative the credit for which was attributed to the anti-gun lobby.
Ironically this came as previously climbing guns sales had started to decline.
Gun owners panicked.
Smart money cashed in.
People perish for lack of knowledge
It behooves one to know a bit about snakes before walking into a jungle.
You want to know which varieties will kill you and which ones just make you sick, where they live, and the best ways to avoid them. Speaking from experience, it’s a good idea to know how to fearlessly and decisively separate a snake’s body from its head. Similarly, you should know how to “rightly divide the word of truth“. 2 Timothy 2:15 We are in the midst of a culture war. Our right and ability to speak the truth are at stake. As believers, we need to understand and articulate the reasons why a lie is a lie and the truth is the truth.
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle”.
– Sun Tzu –
Right now people are freaking out over demonstrably questionable virus statistics and whether or not they will die if they don’t wear a mask. Still, others are burning the nation down, shooting cops, and each other in the streets and calling for the end of the USA. Why? Because police are allegedly engaged in a genocidal campaign against blacks. Why?
Because CNN said so.
Meanwhile, billionaires like Gates, Bezos, and Buffet just made 308 billion dollars and are on track to make trillions more with vaccines, and technology designed to consolidate, track, and control us in the name of health, equity, and security.
In case you haven’t figured it out,
Whatever the public is freaking out about might be real, but it probably has very little to do with the actual agenda being advanced.
It would appear that Soros and Hume are correct. Reason is the slave of passion. Soros says human behavior is determined by two things. Namely, the Cognitive Function by which we form our understanding of the world and the Manipulative Function by which we alter reality to our advantage.
Control the collective cognitive function via the manipulative function and you can control entire populations.
At the end of the day there are two types of people, manipulators and manipulated.
A Fertile Fallacy is a fancy term for a big fat LIE.
More specifically a self-perpetuating lie that works with Reflexivity to manipulateand shapethe collective public consciousness and opinion.
You can probably identify a few fertile fallacies in play today.
A good example where the collective emotional charge has dissipated, for now, would be the Central American migrant caravans and their attendant state side Neo Marxist chants,
“No borders no walls, no USA at all!”
After all, a borderless world is Soro’s stated goal.
If the end justifies the means then funding migrant invasions around the world makes perfect sense. In this case, the fertile fallacy was the idea that caravans primarily out of Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula Honduras were composed of Central Americans fleeing war scale violence.
That qualified them as refugees.
The resulting emotion put the principle of reflexivity into play. First, it caused many in America to support illegal immigration. That made it easier for illegals to enter the US. That resulted in more Central Americans learning that journey had become easier. So, more people followed suit. This led to more Hondurans hearing that crossing the border was getting easier…
You get the idea.
Instead of dumb money jumping on the investment train, we had joyful immigrants jumping on the La Bestia train.
Of course, Central Americans have been doing this for years.
Traditionally men would make the previously more dangerous journey alone. They would go to the US, work as many jobs as they could for a few years then return to Honduras to buy land, build homes, put children through school, and start businesses. We know a lot of people like this. If that wasn’t enough, another fertile fallacy was added. The evil, racist Trump administration was separating families at the border and placing children in cages. It didn’t matter that illegal immigration is a crime in every country, that adults and children can not be incarcerated together anywhere in the US, or that previous administrations had done this on an even larger scale;
families needed to be kept together.
Fertile Fallacy disciples like Alexandria Occasional Cortex pumped the reflexive narrative with a staged, on-camera public sobbing over an empty parking lot. And boom! The left-hand path public went ballistic. Had this been a standard dumb money marketing pitch AOC could have become an overnight billionaire.
It’s always a variation of the same basic script.
Of course, Hondurans didn’t know about any of this nonsense. They love the US and its people and want to be like us. They weren’t being disrespectful by crossing the border. They didn’t follow our immigration laws because we didn’t follow our immigration laws. They just wanted to to get ahead and provide a better future for their families. Then the news got out that being accompanied by a child amounted to a free ticket across the border. Honduras is extremely family-oriented and so many here were ecstatic. Now everyone could go together. The sheer volume of excited Hondurans headed for the US made it easy for the corporate-controlled media to generate and sustain a fleeing refugee narrative. Instead of increased border security there were protests and proposed legislation calling for the elimination of Border Patrol and ICE. Instead of a promised border wall, people demanded the end of borders period. The current anti-globalist administration and their nationist base were framed as heartless fascists as left-hand path constituents around the world bit the bait.
Meanwhile, child traffickers took full advantage of the situation.
In fact, a Honduran social worker told us that at the peak of the caravan wave nearly all the resources of DINAF (Honduran child protective services) were consumed with stopping child sex trafficking at the Honduras / Guatemala border. The current Fertile Fallacy that the US is inhumanely separating families at the border may help the never-Trump coalition but it ignores the fact that ICE and Border Patrol have been thwarting a major escalation in child trafficking. And it facilitates the continued victimization of immigrant children. As much as one-third of all detained children were found to have no genetic ties to the adults they accompanied. At the time of this writing, 21,000 unaccompanied children and over 43,000 family units have crossed the border this year alone.
That’s as much as 21,000 potential child trafficking victims.
Ironically while we’ve experienced some really crazy things in Honduras and will almost surely face more,
the country was never more peaceful than when the alleged refugee crisis and the subsequent immigrant caravans were at their peak.
Keep in mind, I am not saying that Soros financed the caravans himself. Frankly, that’s not what is most important. Again, regardless of how correct our accusations might be, focusing too much on persons more than ideas and principles is a trap. Anyone capable of altering the direction and survival of nation-states around the world is more than capable of duping SNOPES.
The more relevant point is that Soros’s philosophy and methods were successfully employed in a way that coincidentally just happens to support his end game.
I’m trying my best to be fair to the old guy here.
Soros genuinely believes his plans are good and his way is the best way. It just so happens that the nation-state and the United States, in particular, is his primary obstacle in creating a utopian world of his own making. Honestly, it would be so much easier if we’d all just go along. Of course, he wasn’t the first.
“For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”Isa 14:13-14
The Bible is clear. God, not George, made the nations and established their borders.
“And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation.” Acts 17:26
As for creating an open society, well, God’s people have been calling for an open society in the form of an open heaven for thousands of years and we sing songs about it today. Jesus had the power to call for heaven to open. Mark 7:34 God will eventually make it happen.
“Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness, He judges and makes war.
We aren’t going to stop the apocalyptic trajectory. But we can do our best to stand, preserve the truth “and walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Eph 5:15-16
Paul said, “evildoers and impostors are going from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived”2 Timothy 3:13. Like the Corinthians, we need to be on guard because just “as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so our minds could be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”
We need to “beware lest any man spoils us through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men”. Colossians 2:8 And while we don’t want to expend a huge amount of time and effort studying the darkness. Eph 5:12 Verses 11-13 still apply. “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.”
As elaborately creative and emotionally triggering recent fertile fallacies have been, most conservative evangelicals have remained unwilling to drink the Neo Marxist Koolaide and surrender their autonomy to a heteronomous global Marxist hive. Given that they still represent the single largest voting block in the USA, fundamentally transforming the Gospel narrative is a must for Open Society plans to succeed. That’s exactly what is happening. I covered some of the details regarding HOW it’s happening in my previous blog.
While older evangelicals tend to have their heels dug in with regard to sound doctrine, many of their children do not. What began as a politically correct seeker-sensitive marketing campaign driven by a “sell them grace now, tell them the hard truth later” narrative opened the door to fertile fallacies. Today, Soros and his Open Societies Foundation fund Social Justice based Christian organizations the premier of which is Jim Wallace’s Sojourners with their convoluted, distinctly leftist, politically based gospel.
“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever, therefore, will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” James 4:4
None of this is about Jesus, His Gospel, The Kingdom of Heaven, or the Great Commission. It’s definitely not about the Cross and Christ Crucified let alone an eschatological view of the coming of The Son of Man. It’s about making God in man’s image in order to reshape the world.
It’s about twisting Truth in support of an agenda.
That agenda has and will continue to be pushed into the future until the global collective cognitive function can be manipulated into voluntarily accepting the required level of consolidation, tracking, and control over our identities, lives, and destinies.
The only thing that stands in the way right now is good old fashioned American Christian autonomy rooted in Imago Dei.
Granted there are people who like the idea of a complete absoluotion from responibilty that global consolidation of power and populations might bring about. 2 Corinthians 11:14
But where in the world are they going to put all the people?
How did we get here?
The same way Israel got there.
“Hear the word of the Lord, ye children of Israel: for the Lord hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood...My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children…I will punish them for their ways, and reward them their doings.”Hosea 4:1-9
Today the gospel and the very definition of truth are under attack within society and the church.
Most people don’t even know it.
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. 2 Cor 10:4-5
There is a false gospel among us hiding under a veil of empathy and compassion.
“But I fear, lest byany means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” 2 Cor 11:3-4
“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:” Gal 1
Paul was constantly addressing heresy throughout the course of his ministry. For example, he rebuked the Galatians because as a result of ‘some that troubled them‘, the gospel of Christ was being perverted. He makes it clear that it doesn’t matter who does it, be it a person or an angel from heaven; preaching a false gospel will result in a curse.
“Accommodate means to adapt, to make suitable and acceptable, to make convenient, to adjust to the desires of others to placate, to appease and attract sinners.”
There are well-meaning people twisting the gospel because they allow truth to be determined according to “lived experiences” instead of interpreting lived experiences according to the gospel. Today we are witnessing a perversion of the Gospel in the name of Social Justice.
“Social Justice” is another term for Neo Marxism.
Blessed is he who understands the hidden causes of things.
According to Marxist theory, the proletariat or working class is unfairly dominated or oppressed by the power-wielding bourgeoisie or the wealthy capitalist class. Marx saw these divisions as solely economic. He assumed that the alleged economic repression of the working class would naturally result in their eventual revolt against the capitalist class. He did not take into account that while the rich get richer within capitalism, the poor get richer too. Long story short those adhering to Marxist philosophy realized they needed a different strategy for tearing down the status quo in order to usher in a Marxist utopia. The 1930s saw the advent of “critical theory” developed by a group of sociologists and philosophers known as the Frankfurt School.
Instead of working-class versus capitalist class, contemporary critical theory a.k.a. Critical Race Theory states that society is divided into oppressor versus oppressed groups along lines of race, class, gender, sexuality, etc. Sexism, racism, classism, ageism, heterosexism… are the main forms of oppression. While oppression was traditionally defined along the lines of cruelty, neglect, and violence, etc. Critical Race theory focuses on ways in which the dominant social group, namely older white Christian males, imposes its values and standards, on others for the sake of its own interests. Injustice results from everyday practices of society at large via its normalized language, habits, cultural traditions, and symbols.
Hence the underlying thought process that validates the recent destruction of monuments and statues to include Francis Scott Key and Ulysees S Grant across the United States.
Concepts like objective truth especially objective moral truth which is foundational to Biblical truth, are viewed as Western ways of thinking created and maintained by older white Christian men to preserve their “white privilege”. Critical Race Theory assumes that people never seek truth for truth’s sake. Instead, every social interaction amounts to a vying for power. If someone asserts a truth claim the first question is not “is this claim true?” and “are there data and facts that support this argument?” but rather “what incentive does this person have in making this claim?” Hence the abject futility of confronting a committed Critical Race Theorist / Social Justice Warrior with data and facts. Their response will invariably be along the lines of
“IFEELlike you are saying, think, mean…. etc.”
While you are trying to identify the truth. Their entire world view is rooted in POWER.
Critical Race Theory has so many layers, terms, and concepts like Interest Convergence, Positional Epistemology, Standpoint Epistemology, Grievance Justice, Research Justice, Deconstruction, Intersectionality, and the most recent Cancel Culture movement.
As Christians, we should familiarize ourselves with these things because thanks to postmodern theory, reality itself is now viewed as being completely subjective such that we can’t even assume that we are speaking the same language.
As missionaries, we understand the three primary cultural paradigms
Now we have a fourth that seeks to twist all three, namely “Privileged and Oppressed” forming right under our noses. As Stuart Greaves, the leader of IHOP’s Twenty Four Hour prayer room and author of False Justice said, this generation of Social Justice warriors are being prepared to usher in the antichrist.
For example, while equity in society traditionally refers to equity of treatment particularly in regard to “opportunity” where individual outcomes are primarily determined by competence, Critical Race Theory is focused on the equity of outcomes. Competence models are viewed as being rooted in privilege and are therefore a form of oppression.
Suppose an average white male from a middle-class family whose nonminority status precludes him from certain types of financial aid works three part-time jobs, sleeps an hour a day, and eats Ramen noodles for eight years while putting himself through medical school. We used to call people like this inspiring role models. According to modern Critical Race Theorists, he only succeeded as a result of his inherent white privilege. Therefore he needs to do his anti-racism work, atone for his privilege, and become an ally committed to equity. What this amounts to is the monetization of a “victim status” and the obliteration of resilience.
That is Marxism.
Any committed Critical Race Theorist who tells you otherwise is deceived or they are lying.
Of course, being that there is no objective truth or objective moral law this statement will only confirm your guilt.
I could go on unraveling the subtly twisted, constantly morphing nuances of critical race theory. It’s a never-ending, journey down a rabbit hole to what looks to me like hell. If you want to read more on the history of Critical race theory I recommend starting with the Derrick Bell Reader. That said, rather than subject you to another 1500 words in an attempt to narrow it all down, I made a two and half minute animated summary of the most relevant epistemological concerns for the church.
Trauma is real. It happens to individuals. It is healed in the context of individual relationships, counseling, therapy, and ultimately by God. As a former counselor, I am definitely supportive of helping individuals heal. I do not deny that racism is real. It is a sin for which repentance is required. The fact remains that the contemporary Critical Race Theory of Derrick Bell was birthed out of very real trauma stemming from the horrendous and unjust history of American slavery along with the absolutely valid concerns regarding racial injustice and systemic inequality for people of color and women during the late 1950s into the 1970s. Many of Bell’s concerns were valid especially at the time when he was a black professor of law at Harvard. He even made a decent case for slavery reparations based on the fact that the descendants of slaves were robbed of the inheritance they might have received had slaves been paid for their labor.
This is blog is not about pointing fingers at people or groups. It‘s about epistemology.
The problem for the Church today begins with modern Critical Race Theory’s approach and doctrinal emphasis on the collective rather than the individual. It focuses on deconstruction rather than construction. Instead of solving problems by improving the existing system, it seeks to throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater by canceling culture, reinterpreting scripture, and eliminating the status quo a.k.a “the patriarchy”. Unfortunately for them, Christianity is patriarchy. Its author and ruler is our Father in Heaven. The biblically aligned marriage and its patriarchal structure is a model for Christ’s relationship with His church. While Critical Race Theory ignores the fact that the chronic absence of fathers in inner-city homes is at the root of problems like gangs and black on black murder. The solution is not the abolition of the patriarchy but for men to fulfill their God-given calling and authority in the family and society at large.
I know that probably ticks some people off.
Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.Col 2:8
The gospel rooted in Critical Race Theory otherwise known as the social justice gospel is a false gospel.
It is as subtle as it is pervasive in that it rarely overtly opposes the true gospel on scriptural and, epistemological grounds. Instead, it relies on appeals to emotion.
Please try and suspend your emotions and think logically as you read this next part.
The recent death of George Floyd at the hands of the police is a good example. The method of restraint was clearly unjust, and Floyd did not deserve to die. The actions of the White, Black, Asian, and Hispanic officers now charged with murder may have been driven by race. But at the time of this writing, it has yet to be proven in a court of law. Given that they didn’t flinch at being filmed by multiple people they obviously believed they were acting within their rights and scope of authority. As it turns out Floyd may have had multiple illegal drugs in his system and it has not been confirmed in a court of law that his death was caused by the officer rather than a drug-induced heart attack. This is why we have the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution.
However, the officers have already been tried and convicted in the media and court of public opinion. The sentence is being carried out on police and property across the nation. Meanwhile, much of the church has enshrined Floyd as a role model for youth and memorialized him with the likes of Martin Luther King as a godly Christian man martyred at the hands of systemic racism and white privilege.
In this case the exact opposite is being played out.
The content of George Floyd’s character is being ignored because of the color of his skin.
Meanwhile, gutless accommodating purveyors of a false gospel are taking a knee before the image of Floyd and repenting for their white privilege while supporting a narrative based on a lie that black people are being genocidally murdered by police every day. They are not. Last year 48 police officers were feloniously killed in the line of duty as compared with 9 unarmed blacks and 20 unarmed whites who were shot and killed by police. The true gospel says truth matters.
Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them. Eph 5:6
The first indication that you are dealing with an accomodating false gospel is a leader who caters to people’s feelings and accommodates falshood.
Jesus was clear.
The knowledge of the truth is what setsus free. John 8:32
“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Rom 3:10-18
Another common indication is the overwhelming emphasis on the word “justice”. While racism is sin and justice is certainly part of God’s plan, the false Justice Gospel emphasizes justice within the context of society and society’s standards while excluding personal righteousness before God. Their idea of righteousness is synonymized with justice brought about by the will of man.
That is Critical Race Theory
Biblical righteousness is the righteousness of Jesus Christ that we walk in because we are grafted in John 15:5 and are then granted supernatural power to be obedient to His word. Rom 8:1-5
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Mercy and truth go before Your face. Psalm 89:14
Righteousness precedes justice. There is no justice apart from righteousness. This is where we see Critical Race Theory seeping into the church in the form of misinterpreted and misapplied grace. The overwhelming focus is on perceived, often factually invalid, injustice toward what the new religion of Intersectionality identifies as oppressed groups. Calling so-called oppressed people to repent or face eternity in hell is viewed as legalistic, insensitive “and probably some form of ‘ist’ or “istic” when “grace” is what is required.
Meanwhile, the definition of grace has shifted to align with the world’s definition. While the true gospel understands grace to mean the undeserved gift made available to us as a result of Jesus’s propitiation for the sin of all mankind on the cross, grace within the social justice movement means tolerance for or even the condoning of sin. The Bible is clear regarding those who do not repent.
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Gal 5:19 -21
Another subtle indicator is the politicization of Jesus is rooted in the belief that Jesus was unjustly crucified. They say Jesus conquered IN SPITE of the cross as they correlate His suffering with some Intersectional oppressed group today. In truth, He was born to die on the cross as a final sacrifice in fulfillment of prophecy and the law. Jesus conquered THROUGH the cross as a result of His submission to it. We often wonder how today’s Christian SJWs would have reacted had they been present when Jesus was crucified. Today we have allegedly spirit-filled Christians in the streets acting as the hands and feet of Jesus while preaching “a new gospel narrative”. In reality, they are deceived by Leaven of Herod which is a political spirit Mk 8:15.
The false social justice gospel always looks to worldly solutions in the name of Jesus as they politize His name. All one needs to do is read publications like “Sojourners”, Jim Wallaces Progressive Christianity magazine, to see that progressive Christianity is a political monster financed and driven by organizations like the Open Societies Foundations.
But that’s a subject for another time.
The bible says Jesus “was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” Heb 4:15 I can only imagine the thoughts and temptations that Jesus wrestled with before God in the Garden of Gethsemane while sweating His own blood and begging His Father to remove the cup of suffering from Him. After all, He could have fulfilled the hopes of the apostles and conquered the Roman Empire, with a single word. Yet he was submissive and obedient unto death. Isaiah 53:10 He is our example in the midst of oppression and injustice.
If I am correct and we have entered into the beginning of sorrows Mat 24:8 then the next step in the process is that we are to be delivered up to be killed. Of course, I don’t have a timeline. My point is that it will most certainly represent a clear violation of our constitutional rights. The Social Justice gospel has us demanding and perhaps fighting for global worldly justice. The true gospel has us preaching repentance, the coming Kingdom, and being led like lambs to slaughter for doing so.
Jesus was a Refugee
False justice gospel exegesis is forever correlating Jesus with refugees, “Jesus was a refugee” they say because Joseph and Mary had to flee to Egypt. Mat 2 or that He had no place to lay His head. Luke 9:58 But Mat 2 is the story of God’s supernatural intervention and preservation of Jesus, not His victimhood and His intersection with an oppressed class. Jesus’s reference to Daniel 7 in Luke 9:58 was a proclaimtion of His deity, humility and rejection of worldly methods and comforts.
Jesus was a man of color
The false justice gospel is forever obsessed with Jesus’s ethnicity. “Jesus was a man of color”, or “Jesus was a black man!” they say as they compare and correlate Him with the racial conflicts of today. While we might surmise that Jesus was olive-skinned based on His Palestinian geographical origins, the Bible says very little about what He looked like.
He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Isaiah 53:2-3
Jesus was the Word that became flesh and dwelt among us. John 1:14 He didn’t intersect with an oppressed class. He was God who intersected with all of mankind who stand equally guilty of oppressing Him through the voluntary rejection of Himself and His law. That’s a hard pill for some to swallow.
There is no wisdom or understanding Or counsel against the LORD. Pro 21:30
Social Justice is obsessed with “isms” and “ists”
When you see one, beware! For example, the false justice gospel calls Jesus a feminist because He honored women. Of course, He did. They bear his image. But Jesus came for all of mankind. As I explained in the above video, Intersectionality is the offspring of radical feminist ideology that seeks dominance and power rather than equality with their fellow image-bearers Gen 1:26. Image bearers who stand equally guilty as God’s enemies until they turn to Him, repent and live according to His word. Rom 5:10.
The false social justice gospel is the “yeah but” gospel. “Yeah I know what scripture says but…” These people are often on fire with regard to things like healing, prosperity, and prophetic words. But trusting God with their lives and especially their families by remaining obedient to His word amidst the possibility of persecution and death is an entirely different thing. The true gospel is clear,
“all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” 2 Tim 3:12
The false gospel places personal opinion and revelation above the word of God. It says I am made in the image of God, I am filled with His spirit, his laws are written on my heart. I hear His voice. If what I hear and think appears to conflict with His word it’s only because you don’t see and hear and therefore do not understand as I do. My lived experience as a black, brown, female, ist, ism …child of God informs my righteousness. What I feel is right; is right. What I feel is wrong; is wrong. It is my job as a Christian to make the wrongs I see right.
That is Critical Race Theory.
There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
The Bible says “…lean not on your own understanding In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes.”Prov 3:5-7
Wise in our own eyes results in a “yeah but” gospel that embraces almost everything except obedience.
Obedience comes with a cost. Romans 13 is an example.
“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.”
Yeah but what? There are avenues to petition the courts and government. There are ways to effect changes in-laws. There are laws that already address certain issues that are not enforced. We elected a black president twice. Killing police, looting and burning businesses are inexcusable. Sympathizing with the criminals who do it while supporting a false persecution narrative based on an intentional and culturally programmed belief in oppression while ignoring the sin that has them on a fast track to hell is neither loving nor Biblical. The false gospel says it is the church’s job to comfort and appease people even if they are lying to themselves and others. The true gospel says they need to repent and that it is the church’s job to call it out. Is that an unpopular message? You’d better believe it is. It got Jesus killed. The bible says it is going to kill a lot of us who remain faithful.
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Rev 12:11
The Social Justice gospel only points the finger and is devoid of gratitude.
Two of our friends in Cabo Delgado Mozambique where we previously served have been crying out to us for prayer because people are being tortured and murdered by Muslim extremists. One of thier friends was just killed in the fighting. Forgive us if we feel a bit angry at what is clearly a twisted and manipulative bid for power masquerading as caring for Black Lives.
The fact is that no SJW ever acknowledges the blessings of being born in America. They are entitled brats masquerading as victims. But not to worry. Jesus declared a principle that mainly applies to knowledge of the Kingdom. But I think it applies to other principles as well.
Principles like, gratitude.
“For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.” Mat 13:12
Grateful people usually end up with more to be grateful for. Those without gratitude usually lose what they have.
I get the sense that a lot of entitled people are about to lose what they didn’t realize they had.
The false gospel is consumed with the here and now. Its adherents are consumed with free economic benefits and politics. It always demands immediate justice. But rarely calls its adherents to immediate repentance before God for their own sins. Rather it points the finger outward and demands eternal penance from others for their privilege. The Bible says
If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Col 3:1-4
False gospel messages may allude to biblical principles and cite misinterpreted scriptures but the exegesis itself does not refer to, nor is it supported by actual scripture. Instead, it relies on personal experience, personal revelation, politics, and Appeals to Emotion. The true gospel insists on an Acts 17:11 verification of truth according to scripture because
AllScripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16
These are just a few of the subtle roots and signs that you are dealing with a false gospel. There many others. In fact, more are being generated every day. That said the most profound and overt indication that you have come face to face with a false Gospel is a movement that is growing by leaps and bounds. It is a movement that calls itself
The WOKE Church.
While there is an attempted Eph 5:14 true gospel rebuttal underway on the part of people like Erich Mason and Voddie Baucham, “Woke” is a term straight out of Critical Race Theory. A Woke Christian is a person who identifies and owns the inherent sin of racism within themselves and their church and is willing to do their life long “anti-racism work” in the name of diversity. On the surface, it sounds almost reasonable and embracing of Psalms 139:23-24,
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
However, it’s purpose is to appeal to the inner shame of the Carnal man regarding God’s blessings that SJWs claim are the sole result of one’s privilege. The true gospel says that one of God’s purposes in blessing us is that our thanksgiving(should)abound to the glory of God. 2 Cor 4:14-15 Gratitude to God for His blessings is a form of worship. But the social Justice gospel demands we atone for God’s blessings.
This cultist indoctrination that is pervading academia, the workplace and now the church, glues people and their identities to a victim group instead of “in Christ” Eph 2:6. It is a satanic Rev 12:10katēgoréō (categorization) that manipulates people into feeling guilty for things they never did. It is a method for corraling and controlling people in the name of Godly justice.
It is neither Godly nor just. It is a lie from the pit of Hell cloaked in pseudo loving charismania.
Its extreme end game looks like this this.
Now more than ever we must “study to shew (ourselves) approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Tim 2:15
Of course, Psalm 139 always applies. If you are a racist than you darn well better repent. That said, my inner man keeps saying “objection your honor!” each time I am accused of white privilege etc. Then I realized I should be yelling “PROJECTION!” We Bible-believing Christians need to employ a favorite apologetic tactic known as “apply the claim to itself”.
If you encounter a person primed and ready to accuse you of some unwarranted “ist” or “ism” simply tell them,
“Own your own ism.”
You have no knowledge or authority when it comes to my “lived experience.”
We were with South Sudanese Refugees in the Rhino Refugee camp in Northern Uganda when our team was asked to address leaders from multiple tribes several of whom had previously fought one another in the ongoing civil war. Unity was the theme. We were all assigned a time slot in which to teach. I felt completely inept and I don’t remember anything said by our team only one South Sudanese leader, a former child soldier and “Lost Boy” who stood up at the end and proclaimed,
“There is no good tribe! There are no good people!There is only one who is good! That one is Jesus!” He went on to say, “We must forgive. We must turn the other cheek. We must love our enemy!”
After praying with a woman whose child had just died Cathy asked the man with whom she was walking. “How do you cope with all this pain?”“We have nothing…” He smiled as he continued,
“…but we have Jesus!”
These doctors, nurses, lawyers engineers, teachers, professors, and preachers in the camp never imagined they’d end up living in the dust with their children in scorching heat without food or water for days at a time. They never imagined that at least one of their children would die every day due to starvation or a lack of medical care. Now they understood the futility of human resolutions and justice. Now they were on fire for God in the spirit of 2 Chron 7:14.
“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
I can not even describe how much we loved these people.
If there is any other place we would most like to serve as missionaries it would be there in the dust with Jesus.
I recently wrote a blog about the Fourth Turning by two historians who observed an Ecclesiastes 1:9 and Chapter 3 cycle in American history. They identified a pattern where a new era, a season, or “Turning” emerges every 20 -25 years. Four turns or seasons amount to a Saeculum or the length of a long lifetime. If you are unfamiliar with the Fourth Turning you can get the breakdown here Character.
Here are a few highlights.
“Sometime before the year 2025, America will pass through a great gate in history, commensurate with the American Revolution, Civil War, and twin emergencies of the Great Depression and World War II.”
“…The risk of catastrophe will be very high. The nation could erupt into insurrection or civil violence, crack up geographically, or succumb to authoritarian rule…”
“ …Through much of the Third Turning, we have managed to postpone the reckoning. But history warns that we can’t defer it beyond the next bend in time…”
The Reckoning is Here
We were in the beginning stages of the Corona crisis when I said I believed we are in another 4th Turn Crisis that will ultimately culminate in another 1st Turn High.
I want to scream every time I read things like the over 74 people shot one of whom was a 5-year-old in Chicago on, and immediately following Memorial Day weekend. What happened to George Floyd was dead wrong. But where is the logic? Where is BLM when scores of black people are being killed by black people in inner cities every day?!
Why do black lives only matter when a white person takes a black life?
I don’t see how we move forward without first identifying the truth regarding all the bogus agendas. Lately, I’ve been battling a temptation to make another appeal to critical thinking on social media. I wrote about cognitive dissonance in The Devil Went Down to Georgia. The problem is that the agendas of man are at the center of everything and emotion in King. Suffice it to say that given the reactions I received, things probably would not have gone well for me if I were saying all this in the street. Luckily I am safe in Honduras. How’s that for irony?
the problme is that too many refuse to see, hear, and be confronted with facts.
Either you agree and “virtue signal” your approval or you are regarded as the enemy.
I was living on my own by the age of 14. I understand the temptation to hate, to succumb to fear, and the trauma that arises out of violence. I’ve been robbed at gunpoint and beaten down by a mob. I’ve had my nose broken, jaw broken and my neck fractured. As a young adult, I lived in a neighborhood full of crack houses and nightly gunfire. My ex-wife was raped by a gang of black men and our house was burned to the ground. The difference is that I never once blamed it on the perpetrators being black. Instead, I blamed it on crack!
Besides, most people said we deserved it. After all, I was a drunk and my ex-wife was a heroin addict.
My healing came years later when I surrendered to Jesus, repented before God and forgave man.
Now I’m supposed to get on my knees and repent to man for being created white?!
Then the Lord spoke to my heart.
This is exactly what the enemy wants; everyone acting like donkeys instead of horses. When threatened, donkeys look outward to focus on an enemy and then proceed to kick each other. Horses look inward and do the opposite.
I’ll let you decide which one applies.
Like a lot of people I was getting sucked into a world over which I have no control, and of which I am not supposed to be a part.
Even so, I am human and it can hard to avoid. That’s why God gave us His Word. I don’t know about you but Cathy and I are in a season of Sola Scriptura because
sound doctrine is being sacrificed on an altar of secular humanism masquerading as love and Holy Spirit.
Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.Mat 24:4-5
It seems like this fits the definition of a contemporary secular social justice warrior, more than some poor nut job claiming to be God.
“And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.”Mat 24:6-8
Ethnos is the Greek word for nation.
Ethnos means people group. It is the word from which we derive the English word ethnicity.
For Ethnos will rise against Ethnos
And there will be famines, pestilences…
Global deaths due to hunger are predicted to double this year thanks to “wars and rumors of wars“, and ongoing pestilences like Ebola, COVID, and locusts in Africa and Eurasia to name a few.
and earthquakes in various places.
According to the NOAA and the National Disaster Database there has been a 400% percent increase in yearly natural disasters since 1970.
As for the character of people; Paul nailed it again.
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves,
lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.” 2 Timothy 3:1-9
Furthermore, Jesus warned us to avoid the leaven of Herod which is the politicization of a spiritual issue.Mk 8:15
There is a whole lot of rebellion and Herodic leavening going on today.
“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound doctrine, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions.”2 Tim 4:3
There is a famine of sound doctrine.
To paraphrase a comment on a recent blog that I read,
“The problem started when we stopped teaching our children right from wrong and began discussing it instead”
Today there are growing numbers of Christians who pursue Jesus but seek identity in everything but Him. There is lip service to the Word. But individual actions demonstrate an identity and faith more rooted in worldly things like psychology, the enneagram, and postmodern political solutions to spiritual problems. There is a celebration of God’s power when He heals a headache, but a deference to the world’s methods the moment God doesn’t come through as expected. There is a cherry-picking of scripture to fit an unbiblical narrative supporting a path to justice in a Postmillennial kingdom of heaven on earth. Most are sincere and not even aware that they are in error. Still, others are blinded by resentment and pride. This latter group is growing fast.
The error is rooted in an interpretation of reality according to experience instead of experiences according to the Word of God.
Jesus has become a social justice warrior within instead of the substitutionary, propitiation for sin. This movement is obsessed with worldly justice. As a result, it has become a friend of the world James 4:1-4 in unwitting opposition to the scheduled fulfillment of biblical prophecy regarding God’s redemption of man and the reestablishment of His Kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven. Its priests and prophets are the likes of Antifa and Black Lives Matter. The media is their pulpit and smartphones their sanctuary. It is fraught with anxiety, and a false understanding of John 13:35Koinonia. This movement emphasizes fellowship with the body at the expense of Truth. It pursues consensus, comfort, and validation in lieu of conviction. It’s adherents expect to be seen, heard, and pursued. Questioning them is regarded as harsh, intolerant and unloving, sexist, or racist. While the outward compassion of this group may manifest “a form of godliness, it denies its power”. 2 Tim 3:5 The growing Deconstructionist movement and the subsequent abandonment of the faith by so many should be no surprise as self-centered, worldly expectations of a narcissistic generation become impossible for a headless body to fulfill.
Paul was clear that this must happen as well.
“Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first…” 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3
As for the current chapter in the ethnos versus ethnos conflict…
Even TD Jakes recently admitted “we are in the last days” and said “this is not about black and white. It’s about right and wrong.”
He also said, “We need truth”.
We do need truth.
“Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.” Rev 12:10
The Greek word for ACCUSER in this verse is katēgoréō. It is the word from which we get the English word
Satan literally categorizes us before our God day and night.
His minions in the media and the streets are doing the same.
Black and White are categories.
They are not identities.
Not Godly ones anyway.
If you are really a Christian then your identity is in Christ. Eph 2:4-6
The job of those in Christ is to preach the Gospel to every Ethnos and invite them in.
Judgment and the sword of justice will come with Jesus when He returns. And for the record, Isaiah 61 isn’t talking about narcissistic Christians anointed to bring forth justice on their own.
Its a prophecy about the anointing and justice of Jesus.
In the meantime…
It doesn’t matter if its the cop who killed George Floyd, George Floyd, Ahmad Arbery, or the father and son who killed him. It doesn’t matter if its an abusive black cop, white cop, Hispanic cop, Asian cop, or a BLM member shooting at cops in the streets. It could be a SJW repenting for white privilege, the thug beating up the SJW, or the Antifa methhead throwing Molotov cocktails at SJWs in a suburb. They could be looting a home or defending a store. Jesus said we will all spend eternity in hell unless we repent to God.
“Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Luke 13:1-5
The desire to repent and power to forgive is a true sign and wonder that follows the preaching of the Gospel.
All our empathy, virtue signaling, inner healing, and understanding of enneagrams isn’t going to change a thing. All the repentance for being created white won’t help either. It just perpetuates a false worldly narrative. All the protesting and demands for reparations, all the secular counseling, committees, political parties, and political solutions in the world will never bring an end to racism and true social justice to fruition. That’s because secular justice is of the world and according to the flesh.
In case you didn’t know or forgot, it was the myth of Jewishprivilege that justified the Holocaust in the minds of German Nazis.
Secular justice simply tips the scales in the opposite direction.
Biblical justice is the ministry of reconciliation.
Reconciliation is not appeasement.
“From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”2 Cor 5:11-21
One thing is certain. God is no respecter of individual differences or the ways in which we categorize each other. His only categories are those who love Him and obey His commandments versus those who don’t. Acts 10:34-35
For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
As for us, we are on our knees with broken hearts. This is a season of Lamentation. We need to learn to sit in the dust and lament instead of taking to the streets in protest, to pursue the knowledge of Christ and Him crucified so that we may do our best, incompetent as we are, to disciple the Ethnos God puts in our path. Mat 28:19
Even so, the only prayer we seem to be able to pray is