By chance I found Pastor Chuck Smith's (Calvary Chapel - Costa Mesa) old sermon notes on Habakkuk on the Blue Letter Bible's web site, which was sobering. It was a reminder he has been warning the American people of the repercussions of dealing with the symptoms of sinas opposed to the causefor decades now.
The Chaldeans/Babylonian harassment of the nation of Israel is a good characterization and metaphor for the same "invaders" American Christian dominated culture has been to some extent inadequately fighting to repel in past decades. Liberalism, Post-modernism, Secular Socialism, Pluralism, Progressivism at the expense of American traditionalism, and now today, Islamism, as it seeks to put into place a parallel culture on American soil, these "isms" are all examples of hostile forces that comprise ideas arrayed against Biblical Christianity, more effective today than visible armed insurgents.
I just finished reading a self-published book, Islam related, written by a retired career Foreign Service officer. I tend to seek these out because some offer insights you might not find in the mass-marketed publications that are promoted to the widest audience. I initially heard him speak at a meeting hosted by an organization formed to oppose the Islamization creeping into American cultural life. This one was interesting (a smoldering train wreck of ideas, actually), a magnification of the frustration and in-effectiveness of many "cultural conservatives" trying to stop the ongoing, decades long decline of American greatness... and not realizing how completely hobbled they are in their efforts.
A very morally confused man, like many in American life today without a clear understanding of Christianity in the founding of this nation and a Biblical world vieweven many Christianshe modeled a befuddled moral relativism that the very radical ideology he and the organization hosting him are purportedly resisting is feeding off of. Predominantly a cathartic rant and riddled with unworkable "solutions" to halt the Islamization of American culture, while he was discussing Saudi billionaire Sheik Khalid Salim A. Bin Mahfouz's "libel terrorism," and how he should be banned from this country, he off-handedly states, "Perhaps a true patriot somewhere will take stronger action...."
Like many other allusions I regularly read in our cultural social forums to take "stronger action," against Islam (the majority rank and vandalous acts consisting of much bacon or pig blood) what does that mean? An individual "patriot" assassinate or attack the guy? Torch a mosque for Jesus? Let's see what happens when a weak-minded "patriot" pulls a Charles "The Hammer" Martel and take such declarations to heart in today's political environment:
On July 04, 2010, the city of Corona, California, was hosting the annual city picnic and fireworks at Santana Park. The local mosque, situated by chance on this particular park's perimeter, had a booth set up offering water to the passersby while offering to "answer questions about Islam." Two men walking by assaulted one of the representatives at the booth.
The Council of American/Islamic Relations (CAIR), which many have understand is a front for HAMAS and the Muslim Brotherhood in America, and whose South Cal director attends this very mosque, unsurprisingly jumped on the golden propaganda coup with a predictably lurid "press release:"
"The alleged victim, who is a Navy reservist, reported to CAIR-LA that he was staffing a booth in front of the Islamic Society of Corona-Norco (ISCN) on Sunday evening to answer questions about Islam and Muslims from people passing by to attend the city's fireworks display at Santana Park. The booth included a sign stating, "Ask a Muslim." Members of the mosque were also distributing bottled water to those attending the city's fireworks showas had been the mosque's custom in the past.
According to the Muslim victim, one of two men who were walking toward the park saw the booth and yelled, 'This is bulls**t.' The Muslim volunteer replied, 'I'll answer any questions that you have.' That reply was allegedly met with, 'I'm going to knock you out.' According to eyewitness accounts, both men charged at the mosque volunteer and punched him in the face.
When one of the assailants was arrested, he reportedly suggested that the arresting officer 'kick out' all the 'ragheads.'"
Did the responding officers "kick out all the ragheads"? Of course not. The perpetrators were arrested and will probably face a costly lawsuit outside of guaranteed jail time for the assault and battery, if not other charges.
In short, the damage incidents like these cause by frightening the reasonable people trapped in Islam into a "siege mentality," and magnified by their CAIR captors, who might otherwise be brought out of this false belief system, is costly. It further strengthens the position of the PC multiculturalist cultists and their "tolerance" campaigns directed against Biblical Christianity, as well as they further use these incidents to great effect opposing and beating down American traditionalists, the true Patriots.
No, I am not saying these people were Christians. I not even saying they were sober! But when the rhetoric starts getting hot in a frustrating environment, it is the dullards like this who will make everybody else's lives more difficult by taking violent rhetoric to its logical conclusion.
In a recent account posted at FreeRepublic.com, a member purporting to be a Christian posted a news account of a Florida church hosting a "Burn A Koran Day," and insisted "We need to bring America back to it's Constitution and Christian roots and this is the way to start." The debate back and forth on the discussion of this article was instructive of some radically different views on this, the few being Biblical.
"And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will." [II Timothy 2:24-26]
"Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." [Romans 12:21]
Back to our morally confused writer and speaker mentioned previously, although I do not question the respectable motives of "non-sectarian" organizations opposing the spread of radical Islam, without strong oversight on the local and national levelas the ideas of Islam are consistently separated from the people who hold themvery damaging incidents like these are inevitable. It goes without saying Christians should not support or be involved in this in any way.
[2 Tim 2:19] "...Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity."
[1 Peter 4:14-15] "If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed [are you], for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people's matters."
"Non-sectarian" in today's lexicon refers to "the world's" way of doing things, not American traditionalism founded in the US Constitution, nor the Spirit-filled church's. "Non-sectarian" is a secular term, twin of the ambiguous "human rights," divorced from Biblical precedent and truth, and codified by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They are ambiguous, descend from and are "granted" by government and the notoriously corrupt United Nations, not inherent, "unalienable," and granted by God. Their vacillating commitment to them modeled well by Iran's election to the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women, and ignoring genocide in Darfur; suppression of dissent in Syria and Russia; rape as a political weapon in Zimbabwe; sex trafficking in Asia; denial of human rights to minorities and women in Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries, etc., while relentlessly targeting Israel for every imagined and manufactured "atrocity." Yes, those unalienable "human rights."
The superiority of the Bible and American traditionalism needs to be held up and bureaucratic, overarching government and the U.N. continually marginalized for the daily farce they are.
Any other method or effort to stop the spread of political, expantionist Islam in America, whether the growth of Muslim "enclaves," Shariah law and the development of "parallel Islamic societies," or the building of the Cordoba Mosque at Ground Zero, will simply be ineffective. They will build that mosque at Ground Zero, regardless of national protest, and what if they don't? They'll just build fifty more someplace else. Does anybody have any real credible ideas to halt the spread of this hostile ideology? I just read another article, one of thousands like them, bluntly titled "Islam Must Be Stopped In America." Seriously? In today's crippling PC socio-political environment?
The very fact the Islamists present in America would consider this affront at Ground Zero reveals something much worseabout us. The cultural rot of "multi-culturalism," "religious pluralism" at the expense of truth and the tenets of Post-modernist liberalism, especially infecting the current American cultural standard of Evangelical Christianity, is the sewer of ideas, the fertile ground Islam is growing in; truth crippled by political correctness; Emergent faux-Christianity no deterrence at allthese should be more loudly condemned than any Islamist incursion.
1 Peter 4:17 "For the time [has come] for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if [it begins] with us first, what will [be] the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?"
Spirit-filled Christianity is now struggling under national correction. We were warned by very qualified men of God decades ago. Fighting against the consequences without personal judgment"For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged." Cor 11:31is still battling the symptoms, while the disease continues to expand; political and financial "reform" without any credible self-reflection a door to more government intrusion, and taking "action" simply fighting a holding, if not a rear-guard action.
[Matt 5:13] "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men."
We are beginning to really see how bad things can quickly become in America as a result.
The summation of Habakkuk in verse 12 offers a core reason for these invasions and taken to its logical conclusion, offers the only path to true victory in this "war of ideas."
"...Are You not from everlasting, O LORD my God, my Holy One? We shall not die. O LORD, You have appointed them for judgment; O Rock, You have marked them for correction."
The current state of the economy, the market crash, and grinding recession can be traced back in part to the dilution of Biblical financial principles in the national marketplace. Capitalism is the freest and best economic system known, but without respect for moral truth, it will quickly degenerate into a system of pure avarice. In today's relativistic environment, these moral restraints have been severely weakenedand thus capitalism, as modeled in the Wall Street train wreck, becomes exploitive. Will God stand by and do nothing, seeing this? Not by what is revealed in Habakkuk's observations.
Hanna Rosin's "Did Christianity Cause the Crash?" in The Atlantic magazine online details the influence of the materialistic, consumerist, and certainly superficial "prosperity gospel" in the national arena. Many in response have dismissed this opinion. I think it had a lot to do with it, as Christianity is still the dominate cultural religious influence in America. Yet, as the Ken Copelands and Joel Osteens of T.V. fame continue to bank their millions hawking their books, CDs and seminars, ambitious Christian realtors and brokers who made risky sales and wrote shaky mortgages are paying for it now, while discontented Christians, against common sense, signed off on properties they could hardly afford and subsequently lost their homes when the house of cards collapsed, manipulated by a few very smart money-changers on Wall Street who should not have this type of influence over Biblically literate people.
No worries; just pray, and God will shower you with blessings. And the artificial high-flying financial times of the millennium's first decade came crashing down, impacting the Spirit-filled Church in America at a very critical time in its history.
[I Timothy 6:6-10] Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into [this] world, [and] [it is] certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and [into] many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all [kinds of] evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
Evangelical Christianity just had unprecedented access to Washington and the White House during the Bush years, only to see a substantial collapse. Well, what happened, after the thousands of man hours spent and millions of dollars offered to the political process? Where is the long-term benefit? Power and hubris and "control," all temporal, worldly power and built on the shifting, treacherous sand of fickle Washington.
Self-judgment, repentance, and evaluation of priorities is Habakkuk's messageand the Lord's. It is not Muslims and Islam, nor Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Barney Frank that are the problem, the symptoms, but Spirit-filled Christianity in America living carelessly and recklessly and continuing to rebel against the correction by God's loving hand Habakkuk spelled out in his writing.
A writer at FreeRepublic.com recently penned an assessment of the contemporary American character few could refute:
"...You have misidentified the source of the problem.... American has changed, not because of liberals but because of its citizens.... I am sure you can list the trends of 20 yearssupport of slackers and a government controlled and managed economy, out of wedlock births, the culture of victimization, support of crime, massive immigration (which really is the story of America) but in this case without assimilation... .These trends have occurred in Republican and Democrat years, under liberals and conservatives... What is NOT "American" (in the traditional strict Constitutional sense) will be supported and grow...what is American will be hemmed in, and slowly strangled. That is because of who we have become. The cultural memory is fading. We are changing...."
Why has this come upon the nation? The "isms" mentioned earlier are all ideas and constructs opposed to Biblical ideas of individual human worth, liberty, dignity, and American traditionalism and Constitutional law, and only effectively opposed by the Gospel and a Biblical world view.
What of the Gospel? What of The Cure?
The Barna Research Group revealed only 9 percent of professing Christians have a biblical world view, which explains a lot.. Because of this, today's believers live very similarly to non-believers. A personal sense of significance is rarely experienced, we spend our money and time on things that fail to satisfy and we begin to wonder what life's ultimate purpose really is. We are, in short, losing our bearings as a people and a nation. [From The Truth Project]
Focus on the Family's The Truth Project was crafted to counteract this embarrassing slide within the body of Christ, and I urge any pastor or small group leader to look into presenting this program to their particular sphere of influence.
The Truth Project has to be one of the most comprehensive, effective national level programs to be developed in decades. I wish it had been put together years before this, as it has a huge potential to re-orient the Spirit-filled Church's world view at this very critical time in our history. We sure haven't been listening to Chuck Smith up to now.
The cure for the disease, and subsequently the symptoms so many are fighting in a misguided action is the need to return to the foundations, the Biblical world view which birthed this nation.
"While our country remains untainted with the principles and manners which are now producing desolation in so many parts of the world; while she continues sincere, and incapable of insidious and impious policy, we shall have the strongest reason to rejoice in the local destination assigned us by Providence. But should the people of America once become capable of that deep simulation [that is, hypocrisy] towards one another, and towards foreign nations, which assumes the language of justice and moderation while it is practicing iniquity and extravagance, and displays in the most captivating manner the charming pictures of candor, frankness, and sincerity, while it is rioting in rapine and insolence, this country will be the most miserable habitation in the world; because we have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."John Adams to the Officers of the First Brigade of the Third Division of the Militia of Massachusetts, October 11, 1798, in Works of John Adams, vol. 9.
Frank Pastore wrote in "Why Al Qaeda Supports the Emergent Church" concerning Biblical Christianity, "...only Christianity has the intellectual and spiritual horsepower to defeat radical Islam and prevent the world from returning to the darkness of the 7th century. After all, the story of the birth and growth of Western Civilization is pretty much the story of the birth and growth of Christianity. The divide between East and West today, fundamentally, is the divide between Islam and Christianity. Christians and Muslims know this, it's the secularists who don't get itor at least won't admit it.
That's why anything that helps to further separate the West from its Biblical roots ultimately weakens the resolve of the West to fight. Anything that helps the ACLU to further de-Christianize America, to further silence the Christian voice like the current hate-crimes legislation or the fairness doctrine, and to further weaken the Church and devalue the Bible as the religious left has done for decades, are things that empower our enemies and weaken our allies."
Furthermore, a Biblical world view also by default includes an evangelical world viewjust like the New Testament Church.
Dave Hunt wrote in the July 2010 Berean Call newsletter, in "The New Inquisition":
"...Christ gave His life to save sinners, and His followers must be willing to lay down their lives to bring this good news to the world. Biblical salvation is a free gift paid for by the death of Christ, who said, Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). That command includes today's one billion Muslims. They present a tremendous (and inescapable) challenge to every Christian. ... Yet Christ also died for Muslims, and His love compels us to share the good news."
In a recent Christian Post article Pastor/evangelist Greg Laurie stated, "If there's one thing that Christians and non-Christians have in common, it's this: we're both uptight about evangelism....
"Far too often we don't know how to cross over [to our culture]. Far too many Christians today are unnecessarily offensive, hopelessly lame, and generally inept at communicating," he said at the launch of his new "Crossover" sermon series at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, Calif.
"We're just no good at evangelism," he said plainly.
To not share the Gospel is criminal, Laurie stated bluntly. To not bring the Gospel message to others can even be a sina sin of omission.
It would be like finding the cure for cancer but not sharing it with others, he illustrated.
"We have something even more significant than a cure for cancer. We have the cure to sin, and guilt and the cure for hell and the hope for heaven," he explained. "How much more urgently do we need to get this message out?
"How can I be passive about sharing my faith? How can I say I'm too busy to do that?"
I know some hostile to Islam and Muslims because of the fatigue of violence and turmoil it has unleashed on America promptly dismiss Arab culture and Islamists as "unreachable." This does not comport with reality or Biblical precedent. The biggest contemporary refutation of this notion is "Son of HAMAS" Mosab Hassan Yousef. Read his story. Even Joel Rosenberg and his associates at Iran Alive Ministries are having a great impact within Iran today!
Yet America, with her irrefutable Christian history and the largest population of Spirit-filled Christians in the world languishes under our current cultural malaise. This just simply does not have to be!
I argued in "The American/Roman Road" that it would be against the very revealed nature of a gracious and loving God, the One who stepped down from Sovereignty to pay for the redemption of humanity Himself; His nature revealed throughout the canon of scripture, that knowing what is to soon come upon the world as He has lain out in the Bible and the only One "knowing the day and the hour," would not engage in an extraordinary and unprecedented effort by the power of His Holy Spirit to issue a forceful and definitive appeal to this self-destructive, lost, and dying world, before the events of the end times commence.
Yet, five years after writing that I come to the further realization that definitive appeal has been more than just a short resurgence of New Testament Christianity in American culture in recent decades.
That forceful and definitive appeal to this world has been the very birth and meteoric rise of America in the entire human story, as America is still recognized by the world as a nation whose majority influence has been New Testament Christianity. May we recognize America's remarkable purpose in God's plans by focusing our time and resources on the first thingsevangelism and a life dedicated to truth!
I understand the times are frightening and circumstances are very tough, and the tendency to frustration and irritation and a feeling of futility while the logical results of a misguided world view by many American Christians are evident everywhere. Likewise, I understand the inclination is to just stand down and let it ride. But Jesus said, "Occupy till I come." Luke 19:13 This means no choice but to daily fight the good fight; Thus I fight: not as [one who] beats the air, but to win! 1Cr 9:24-26. America's final history is still not written!
May we finish well!
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