Close, very very close…….part 2

This is a follow up to my previous article which was based around Matthew 24:6-10. I would suggest that if you haven’t read that yet, please do so, as it forms the foundation of what is to follow. For those who did read it, as a reminder I would like to provide a brief summary.

We are presently living in a time of intense war and strife. The past 100 years has seen this planet turned into one vast graveyard as a direct result of war, and compounding disasters in every land and continent. Matthew 24:6 and 7 are being played out before our very eyes. And not only nations are at war, but we also witness sectarian violence, terrorism, gang warfare in our local suburbs, and family violence in our homes. So poignant are the words of Jesus when He described the last days as being as the days of Noah, “the earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence” Genesis 6:11.

But Matthew reveals to us a subtle change. After describing a period war and natural disasters, Jesus tells us that these are just the beginning of sorrows, with the real heavy stuff beginning in verse 9 where He tells us that Christians will be hated of all nations for His name’s sake. The nations, after being at each others throats for millenia, finally find something that unites them. A hatred for God’s people. The reason for this, I believe is clear. They blame the church for all the troubles that have come upon them. In Luke, Jesus said that the nations would be perplexed at the troubles. They have no solutions, no answers. But why blame the church? Because they have turned to religion as a last resort to solve their problems. Revelation informs us in chapter 13 that the whole world will worship the beast and its image. Believing it is the will of God and to appease who it believes is an angry God pouring out His last day judgments upon mankind, Babylon the Great decides that the only way to avert annihilation is to destroy the only remaining people who refuse to bow their knee to his authority. This ‘remnant’ the scriptures inform us are they “who keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus”. (Revelation 12:17; 14:12)

So how could such a scenario come about, especially in a nation like the United States which has religious freedom enshrined within its constitution? I read an article in my local paper here in NZ just this week-end which made my heart race. A reprint of an article in Newsweek magazine written by Lisa Miller, the headline reads…
Fear and Loathing at Ground Zero, with the subtitle …

A proposed mosque near where nearly 3000 died in terror attacks tests the limits of American tolerance.

We are all aware of the recent furor and debate over the plans to build a mosque by New York Muslim leaders a block or two from the former site of the World Trade Centre. And from my side of the world, it seems the debate is getting very very heated indeed. I can fully understand the angst and heartache that many must feel at what they deem a frontal assault upon their most sacred and cherished memories, an insult many claim to the memories of the many who lost their lives, some of whom simply disappeared without trace. But aside to this, there is a much bigger issue at stake here.

The headline I quoted above deeply concerns me. Is it true that religion in America is now only tolerated?
Has religious freedom in America now been reduced to something one may practice only by permission? Toleration certainly is far better than intoleration, for I would far rather be tolerated in my religious practice than be bundled off to the nearest gallows or bonfire for choosing to worship God in a manner different than what the government deems ‘appropriate’. But is that what religious freedom in America is? Toleration? If I should come to America and take up residence there, if I should practice my religion, being a member of a minority faith, would I be merely tolerated? Or would I truly be free as your founding fathers intended I should be? You see, to be tolerated is not the same as being free.

Thomas Jefferson said, “God hath created the mind free; that all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burdens, or by civil incapacitations tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion.” If religion is between man and God, and not between man and the state, then the state (nor the people who live in the state) has no more right to ‘tolerate’ my religion than do I have the right to ‘tolerate’ fishing in Alaska.

The Act of Toleration in Britain permitted religious freedom for everyone, except Jews, Catholics, and Unitarians. The founding fathers of your great nation wanted something better. Having the forefathers live through what amounted to ‘toleration’ during the dark ages in both Europe and Britain, they desired true freedom. Your Bill of Rights states, “That religion, or the duty we owe our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, being under the direction of reason and conviction only, not of violence or compulsion, all men are equally entitled to the full and free exercise of it according to the dictates of conscience.”

Intolerance, as practiced in Communist Russia and Saudi Arabia and in Europe under the medieval papacy assumed the right of the state or the church, or a combination of both,to withhold the right of conscience. Toleration, as it appears to be now making itself manifest in the United States, particularly in relation to the current argument over the building of a mosque in Manhattan, assumes the right of the state to grant the right of conscience. The rights of religious minorities in this world, regardless of recent history and hurt feelings, are just that, rights. For “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights” and surely, among those “unalienable rights” is the the right to “full and free exercise of it (religion) according to the dictates of conscience”. This is religious freedom. And it goes way beyond what is constitutional and what isn’t, it is who we are as created beings. And if we should demand that freedom for ourselves, so ought we demand it for everyone else. The states role is not in defining that freedom, nor is it in tolerating it, but solely in protecting it. And the moment the state, or the people starts down the road of intolerance or tolerance, then true religious freedom disappears under a tide of popular opinion.

When Babylon the Great or Antichrist, in his attempts to placate God and defuse His judgments he will influence the state to introduce legislation that enforces a particular brand of worship. That is what Revelation 13 is all about. Worship. Worship and deception. And this religion I speak of is not a secular/humanist type of religion nor is it Islam, nor is it any other of the worlds main religious branches. The religion of the Antichrist, Babylon the Great, is a form of apostate Christianity. And the entire world is deceived. Jesus warns us time and time again of false prophets, false Christs. Mohamed is not a false prophet. He is a true prophet of a false religion. False prophets are false prophets of the true religion. And the greatest false prophet of them all is soon to come, speaking as a dragon and causing “all both great and small to receive a mark”. This false prophet is a beast. A nation. A nation that once had horns like a lamb’s, innocent and Christ-like.

To tolerate is to suffer that which at some future time you may prevent or prohibit. Professor Robert Alley in his book “The Despotism of Toleration” writes…
“evidence is persuasive that whenever persons advocate some form of a Christian state or argue for the messianic role of the United States as God’s chosen nation, there is a corollary, the introduction of toleration as a principle. And while the implementation may be benign in the beginning, the departure of Madison’s principle of religious freedom as a natural right is replaced with the ‘despotism’ of toleration”.

However distasteful it may seem, however awkward it may feel, all Christians in America should be demanding the right of Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf to build his mosque. For if we believe that we are merely ‘tolerating’ Islamic culture and religion in America, and deem it appropriate to remove said ‘toleration’ then we have planted both our feet upon the slippery path to fulfill Revelation 13 to the tee.

Abraham Lincoln once said: “Familiarise yourself with the chains of bondage (or withhold Imam Rauf his right to build his mosque) and you prepare your own limbs to wear them. Accustomed to trample upon the rights of others, you have lost the genius of your own independence, and become fit subjects of the first cunning tyrant who rises among you.”

When the dragon makes war with the woman and the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus; when ye shall be hated of all nations for Jesus’ names sake; and when he ( the false prophet) cause all both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand or forehead , whose side will you be on? Do you truly agree with and support the concept of true religious freedom as an unalienable right, or do you believe certain minority religions are only to be tolerated if certain conditions or agreements met?

The mark of the beast is not a code or tattoo or chip giving people the right to buy and sell. That is not what Revelation 13 is all about. The mark is a form of false worship, and those who don’t submit are forbidden to buy or sell as an inducement to comply. The death sentence will be the final inducement. Upholding true religious liberty, regardless the cost and pain or embarrassment this may cause, is the first step in resisting Babylon the Great. And it starts today. Islam is not the real enemy. The real enemy is to be found within our own churches. The whole world will not be deceived by Islam, but the whole word will be deceived by a form of apostate counterfeit Christianity, a counterfeit so close to the real, that only by the scriptures can the differences be discerned. And freedom to make that choice must be protected, in whatever country we live in. It is our unalienable right, and everyone else’s also.

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3 thoughts on “Close, very very close…….part 2

  1. While I agree with the main premise of your blog, I disagree in regards to the specific instance you discuss–the ‘ground zero mosque’ as a form of religious expression by Muslims.

    If only things were so simple in real life! But, we have a clever adversary . . .

    Note again, your quotation from the Bill of Rights (with emphasis added):
    “That religion, or the duty we owe our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, being under the direction of reason and conviction only, *** not of violence or compulsion, *** all men are equally entitled to the full and free exercise of it according to the dictates of conscience.”

    This is the problem that we are seeking to confront. Islam (translation: ‘submission’) is a ‘religion’ that is bent on causing all the world to submit to its dictates via compulsion, violence, and terror.

    This leaves us in murky water, indeed. Where does one draw the line as to what portion of such a ‘religion’ is safe to the welfare of others and permissible to practice? Certainly many Muslims live in peace and do not endanger others.

    But–can allowing the practice of any measure of Islam truly be safe when its basic foundation and characteristics are held up to scrutiny? I am not proposing that it be outlawed, but I am saying that by allowing the practice of any part of it, we will continually be confronted with those who wish to practice it fully, and thereby introduce its associated compulsion and violence into our communities.

    To the end, Islam will be a ‘thorn in the side’ of all peace loving, non Muslim nations who desire to preserve religious liberty.

    As you point out, it is a two-edged sword, to merely ‘tolerate’ any religion. The winds of favor are fickle, and those who are accepted today will someday be the object of persecution. Ironically, it will be the laws they pass that, in later days, convict them.

    I think this is one of those ‘perplexing’ (aka: ‘no way out’) situations!

    • Hi. I agree that there is no easy solution. I am however glad you agree that religious liberty is worth protecting; I guess it will eventually be up to the people how much they are willing to pay for that protection. Interesting that Revelation 13 reveals that it is actually the people who form the image to the beast. That the image will then be a global entity attracting the worship and loyalty of everyone but the small remnant who keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus, is a powerful indication that it rises within a democratic nation, and that nation has global influence that transcends any other nation. At this moment in time, there is no other nation on earth other than the US that could accomplish such a feat. And current geopolitical events would indicate there will not be another for a very long time.

      PS Did you read Close very close part one?

      Brendan

      • Yes, I did read part 1.

        I think, ultimately, Islam is going to ‘force our hand’. I think it will be because of the danger that Islam presents, that we will end up curtailing religious liberty for all.

        Rev. 13 says that the ‘false prophet’ either commands, suggests or, perhaps, entices (depending on which version you read) the people to make an image to the beast.

        I am not sure how you draw the conclusion that the image will rise within a democratic nation. Nor am I sure that it will be a ‘nation’ as we presently know them.

        There are many scenarios that could play out. One possibility is a Muslim America. If Islam, and the forces that presently hold the White House, were to defeat the ‘elite’, and continue on their present course of restricting liberties (especially if aligned with the Muslim belief that Islam is the only acceptable religion).

        Another possibility is that the pendulum swings to the opposite extreme. We could see a coalition of western (apostate) ‘Christian’ nations (lion, bear, and leopard) band together to defeat Islam after a significant Islamic attack (the ‘fatal wound’ to one of the heads). It is quite possible such a coalition would make war against Islam, and would then have the motive, and the means, to curtail the expression of other ‘anti-Christian’ religions around the globe.

        The image would be a patriotic type symbol, and a potent reminder of their near destruction. It would not only strengthen the people’s resolve, and give them a strong ‘religious’ pride, but it would keep them in remembrance of the ‘threat’ posed by giving religious liberty to all. (Traumatized people can become very self-protective.)

        Either way, I am fairly certain that Islam will play a very large role in the fulfillment of the prophecies of Revelation and Daniel.

        It bears remembering, that even though we have the prophecies to warn us of the eventual outcomes, we will eventually find ourselves in the position where we are ‘forced’ to make certain choices, out of prudence. Eventually it will come down to making decisions that are backed up by wisdom, common sense, and necessity vs. a few people opposing them because they understand the eventual outcome, as predicted in prophecy. (Of course, those who oppose, merely because of prophetic implications, will be pushed aside and ‘common sense’ and necessity will win out.)

        When that day comes, remember: God does not call us to oppose actions because prophecy foretells a bad result. That is like trying to avoid a spanking, when the real problem was the misbehavior that brought us to that point.

        Prophecy WILL come to pass. Choices will be made for GOOD reason, based upon where society finds itself, after many years of disobedience to God’s ways. Consequences WILL follow disobedient actions.

        It is not the Christian’s job to try to hold off the inevitable. OUR place is to live by Godly principles and demonstrate a relationship with God that is based on faith and obedience.

        Nations that will not repent will suffer God’s judgment. We (Christians) are first to repent, then to call upon our nation to repent. After that, we are called upon to demonstrate patience and endurance during God’s judgment upon our nation, if it fails to heed the call for repentance.

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