In my post “Conversations that need to be had“, I talked about the fact that Benjamin Watson had got it right when he said the issue in Ferguson is not a race problem but a sin problem. There was a reader/commenter who expressed his resentment of any insinuation that as a black man anyone could tell him to act a certain way in order to ensure his safety from being targeted by police. Granted I mentioned and linked-to two other videos wherein black men expressed opinions that blacks need to stop blaming whites, and start taking a look at themselves and behaving better, but those were not the point of my post, yet they were the only message the Christian black male commenter seemed to hear. Ok. I get that this is a volatile issue and that as a white female I can’t possibly know what that feels like. He quoted someone who had said “you have the complexion that ensures protection”.
I want to be clear, and I realize that my mind is often going in so many directions at once, and write in such a stream-of-consciousness way, that I sometimes don’t do a good job of making my point. And of course, I write as if to those who have been with this blog all along and know a little about me, that I do care. As I responded to his comment, I think that everything that happened in Ferguson is a tragedy. It is a tragedy that a young black man is dead. It is also a tragedy that a police officer who never had to fire his weapon in the line of duty before, did so and is going to live with that knowledge the rest of his life. It is a compound tragedy that so many black business owners now have had their livelihood wiped out, and that those who participated in this travesty have made those of the Ferguson community look bad. Especially when a lot of the looters were not locals, and there were provocateurs fanning the flames.-
This writer was a nurse. I worked in hospice. I am no stranger to death and the signs of impending death. America as a Constitutional Republic, is on her deathbed. Obama and others have over-played their hand with the race card this time around. Many more Americans are still waking up. But those who would rather not take personal responsibility, will always eagerly and readily project that blame onto someone else. The politicians know this, and they use it to their advantage. With a media that is complicit, the narrative gets broadcast and incessantly reinforced.
I don’t hate black people. There is one race. The human race. There are different ethnicities in each of our heritages, but we are all just people. We all have a sinful nature, though, and that is what is at the root of all of it.
Police brutality is also a major issue. But all of the evidence presented to the Grand Jury in Brown’s case says he was a real and immediate threat to Officer Wilson. l of the black individuals think that this brutality is aimed only at blacks, I can tell you that it isn’t. It seems pretty equal-opportunity, actually. In a world where “right and wrong” have purposely been made fuzzy and vague, I would imagine a police officer, who is supposed to enforce the law, might have a pretty high level of frustration. The law used to mean something, and as an officer of the law, the authority of the law was behind them in their job. These days, though, they can risk their lives to get a real bad guy off the street, only to see him released with little or no repercussions whatsoever.
Sometimes people get mad and do foolish things, and sometimes people do really stupid and foolish things because they are already angry. I don’t doubt there are a lot of angry cops out there. The really angry and bitter ones who see criminals get away with murder, sometimes decide, “why not me?”
I don’t doubt that a lot of the folks who took to the streets of Ferguson were angry. But I don’t think it was about Brown. Kind of like the “Occupy” movement. What were the protesters protesting? Anything and Everything, each his own thing. Mad, and determined a whole lot of some bodies are going to know about it!
The political manipulators know this about an angry person. They are so easily manipulated because they don’t care to exercise self-control or restraint. They are “bloodthirsty” for chaos, mayhem, destruction, and actual blood.
That is demonic. Demons know this about an angry person too. And will use it.
This blog doesn’t focus only on America, and yet lately, with all that is going on, you’d think that was the focus. I guess that is because America has always been a sort of “world hero”, and no one enjoys watching a hero fall. Cosby is like America’s Dad in a symbolic way, and it’s almost like watching a ritual sacrifice. Who can anyone look up to anymore?
God deals with people and He deals with nations.
If you are looking for answers and truth, to make sense of all that is happening in this world, you won’t find it in elected officials. If you are looking for true justice, you won’t find it in courts. If you are troubled by the direction things are going in this nation, it won’t be fixed via politics or activism, or protests. If we could get every person in America to hold hands and come together, we still could not achieve the peace we seek. Because of sin.
Sin is an unpopular word. It has fallen way out of favor. But you know what, in a world where we so value “expression” and so “struggle” to achieve it, the fact is, we can’t express anything if we don’t have some universality to the meanings of words. We can’t have peace if we don’t have laws that say and mean exactly what they say and mean. It’s like the Tower of Babel all over again. Don’t you see it?
We have thrown off all restraint and denied all absolutes, and now the very building blocks of communication, civility, and an orderly society are no more. We are tearing them down brick by brick. We are throwing away with both hands, all the blessings God has so graciously given America. I say we, because all of us are guilty to one degree or another, if only in taking it all for granted.
But what is happening is not just happening to America. There is something much bigger going on, across the entire globe. This is going somewhere. And the one place to figure out where this world is headed, is in the Bible. Yes, that old book. Some say it is outdated. But those who read it know better. The explanation is all there. People don’t reject the Bible because it is irrelevant or because it contradicts itself. They reject it because it contradicts their behaviors and their evil hearts. They don’t like what it says. But no matter. That doesn’t make it any less true.
People caught up in the welfare state, are stuck there because they choose to believe lies. The Bible says those who love not the truth will be given over to delusion. When you look around doesn’t it seem like a lot of people are delusional? Starting with the man in the Oval office and the other heads of state, and right on down.
There is a split that has always existed. Jesus said you are either reconciled to God by His blood (if you are willing) and adopted as a son into God’s family or you are “of your father the devil”. Hal Lindsey talks about a split in his report today. It is a split in the church, but this church he refers to is the biblical “Harlot” of Revelation. It is the church of those who practice a form of godliness and yet deny the power thereof (of God Himself, who is able not only to kill the body but cast the soul into hell). The world’s religions are very much in the front pages of the news these days, have you noticed? Islam, the Pope, Jews, Satan-worshippers, Christians being tortured and killed in many places, and harassed by atheists, the gays, government officials. Seems like in the last 20 years the few holdouts who didn’t want anything to do with spiritual things, suddenly took interest in spirituality, and started a trend (with Oprah leading the way) of cafeteria-style religion.
When you mix red and blue, you get purple. When you mix red and blue, and yellow and green and pink and brown and orange and purple, you get a murky, muddy black mess, no “color” at all. Nothing is distinct after that. This “universal religion” will be a mixture. It will mix complementary beliefs, and then embrace opposing ones. Ecumenical.
Followers of Christ know to come out of her, this harlot church. She is doomed. She will unite the world and facilitate the rise of a world leader, who will then destroy her. America has more churches than any other nation. The harlot is alive and flourishing in most of them.
The wars that are “in the making” will change some dynamics. Many of the radical Muslims will die. Peaceful Muslims will then have no reason to fear and will go ahead in the quest to unite with other religions.
All throughout the Bible God speaks of chosen out a people, both from the Jews, and out of every kindred, tribe and nation. Some day, true justice will be served. But when we face our Creator, we will not be there to lodge our case against others. We will be there to be judged ourselves. On that day it will not matter how good a person you feel you are. Because He will be the judge. There is one defense, and one only. The blood of infinitely sinless Jesus, shed for infinitely sinful sinners. Has that ransom been paid on you behalf by Jesus? Have you asked Him to save you from hell?
Call upon Him while there is still time. Sudden destruction is going to befall this world soon. Everyone knows it. As the lines are drawn, are you trying to figure out how to “weather it”? Your only safety is in Jesus. He is the bridge that closes the gap between you and your Maker that is a great chasm, not just a schism. When God withdraws His grace, and pours out His wrath, only those hidden in Christ will escape it. Lets quit pretending it is just a matter of my truth vs. your truth. Lets stop pretending that just because we don’t like the truth sometimes, that actually nullifies it. Most blacks are killed by blacks. Well guess what? Most whites are killed by whites. Most Muslims are killed by Muslims. Murder is sin. Along with lying, stealing, and adultery. The gays didn’t destroy marriage, heterosexual self-professing Christians did. If we are going to talk about a slippery slope, then let’s go all the way back. God gave His law to the Jews and to the Christians. Where we fail to uphold it, the unbelievers can hardly be held to account. He gave the gospel to a small group of Jews who He chose to be the first Christians, revealing Himself as Messiah, and extending His grace to all people. We live in that age of grace now, but it is coming quickly to an end.
About a thousand years ago, there occurred an event long known as “The Great Schism.” And it has impacted much of the world ever since.
No, it was not an earthquake of magnificent proportion. Nor was it a volcanic eruption that split the surrounding terrain with a gaping chasm.
It was not the sudden collapse of the earth that results in a massive sinkhole, swallowing everything which stands on it.
It wasn’t even a great war or violent uprising or breaking apart of a glorious civilization.
Instead, it was the splitting of the “Christian” church into two branches: the west and the east.
The west one we now know as the Roman Catholic Church and its leadership emanates from Rome. Its current head is Pope Francis. The east one, which is really a collection of some 14 independent bodies, is referred to as the Eastern “Orthodox” church and is led by Bartholomew I, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople.
Though some will say this is an oversimplification, the split essentially occurred because of a dispute over the primacy of the western pontiff or the eastern patriarch. There were other issues, such as differences of opinion over the origination of the Holy Spirit and some other arcane theological disagreements, but, essentially, it boiled down to a fight over who was really in charge.
Over the millennium since the split occurred in 1054, relations between the Catholic church and the Orthodox churches have been strained at best and downright bitter at worst.
The reason this is important is that we’re talking about major world forces here.
The Roman Catholic church claims 1.2 billion adherents. The Orthodox churches include more than 300 million. That’s 1.5 billion, virtually equal to the total number of Muslims in the world.
That’s a lot of people in the world who have been directly impacted by this schism. What’s more, that doesn’t include the close to 1 billion Protestants around the globe, who are not led by either the Pope or the Patriarch, but who claim the same spiritual heritage, i.e., the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
So “The Great Schism” has potentially impacted the lives of more than 2.5 billion people and may have prevented that number from being even larger.
It makes one to wonder what would happen if those 2.5 billion people — more than a third of the world’s total population — were actually united under the leadership of a single, powerful figure. That would be an immensely powerful force — if not unstoppable, at least unimaginably influential — in our world.
Of course, that could never happen because, in the first place, 1.5 billion of them already can’t agree as to who their leader is and the other almost-billion don’t believe that either the Pope or the Patriarch represents theologies with which they can identify.
But… what if….?
In 1969, I wrote about this very question in the closing pages of my book, The Late Great Planet Earth.
The fact that over the last few years the Popes have been extending olive branches to the Orthodox Patriarch brings this “what if” into sharper relief. Further, a few days ago, Pope Francis traveled to Istanbul where he prayed with Patriarch Bartholomew I, then signed a joint declaration of unity between the two churches.
When you add to this list the dismaying reality that many of the mainline Protestant denominations are abandoning their historic theological roots and frantically embracing a more “ecumenical” worldview, the latest efforts by Pope Francis (who has singlehandedly introduced more unsettling doubt into traditional Catholic theology than any Pope in recent memory), I felt it was time to revisit these questions and see what Bible prophecy has to say about these developments.
This week, I’ll examine what “Unity at All Cost” means in these closing days of the Age of Grace.