August 26, 2009

Loud Cry to Modern Christians!

This is a message from a modern-day prophet, an Isaiah or Jeremiah for the times. It is not a message to tickle your ears. You will not sit there with a warm glow of satisfaction as you read. It is a wake-up call, a winnowing stick that will determine whether your faith is a solid kernel... or a thin husk of chaff that can be blown about by the winds of deception.

What are my credentials, you ask, in this age of expert-worship. What credentials did Isaiah or Jeremiah have? Jesus was a carpenter’s son and presumed apprentice; what qualifications did he have to lecture the people of his day? What enduring spiritual insight has been uttered by the mouths of the credentialed professionals, that you should seek them to soothe your itching spirit? If you are truly a Christian, the Holy Spirit should be getting your attention, and should guide your outlook, and provide you with sufficient ‘gifts’ to at least recognize truth when it hits you in the ego.

The Spirit of the Lord speaks thus to His followers in the rich, ‘Western’ lands of plenty:
if you are still under the delusion that the USA is other than a land completely and utterly under the domination of satanic forces, then you haven’t done your homework, Christian! You just haven’t been paying any attention over the last decade as events have unfolded on the world scene. You have spurned the spiritual gift of discernment, thinking it too strenuous, and turned such weighty matters over to your eager-to-please pastors. You’ve been content to sit in your pew for that pathetic hour on Sunday when you are a credentialed Christian, and listen to your hired, professional shepherd tell you what to believe about the faith and current events.

When you appear before your Lord and Judge on that Day, you will try to use the excuse that “they told us we were blessed among the nations for our Christian heritage”? Will you whine that “they said our prosperity was a sign that God was blessing us for going to church and donating to its upkeep”? Didn’t Jesus soundly chastise the Pharisees for that same smug attitude? “We are Abraham’s children, so God must be pleased with us.” Didn’t the prophets of yore raise a loud cry against their ‘blessed,’ complacent compatriots who exploited the masses while claiming the benefits of being an Israelite? Your riches are no sign of spiritual health, Christian! Far from it. If you still sit there passively or actively supporting the depredations of your government, smugly assured that it is carrying out God’s work, you are in a most sad spiritual condition. If you believe that Israel is a land blessed by God and destined to rule over the nations, regardless of the methods it employs and its treatment of its neighbors, then you are living the New Testament with a stony, Old Testament mind-set.

Mind-set is a modern word for what the Bible calls your ‘heart.’ The biblical writers were not referring to the physical organ when they talked about the heart; it’s the term used for the beliefs of your soul, your inner convictions... or lack thereof. The Christian mind-set in modern America is that of an adolescent-- ‘gimme everything I want because I deserve it.’ That’s the gospel of divine entitlement that is so prevalent in America over the last half century, and that is so eagerly lapped up by the masses of pew-warmers. While Americans have bloated their bodies on over-abundant junk food, they have likewise dulled their souls with the pop dogma of Christian prosperity. The USA must be blessed because of its surfeit of material wealth, so the logic goes. It’s so easy for the purveyors of such mind-mush to push this nonsense because their flocks are dull of mind, happy to abdicate the responsibility of discernment to ‘credentialed experts’ who make them feel so good about their wretched excess of wealth in a world where two-thirds of humanity live in pitiful poverty.

Yes, it’s so pleasant to listen to those sermons that quote scripture here and there, and supply all the Christian rationale for sitting contentedly in the land of plenty while the majority of humanity barely survives. In fact, the experts are not content with simply justifying the gross inequalities of the modern world; no, they go on to blame the victims for their poverty, their lack of initiative, their inability to hoist themselves up by the boot-straps (never mind that they can’t even afford boots-- that’s their problem). How many Christians in the US have joined the righteous battle against the ‘evil’ of universal medical care? How dare those ‘communists’ try to extend health care to the undeserving poor! Any attempt at a slightly more equitable distribution of wealth in the land of plenty is met with a storm of indignation, largely from the Republican ‘right,’ the haven of indignant Christians of various stripes, united in their fear of losing their privileges.

While Christians (some at least) rail against the false doctrine of Evolution, they have unconsciously bought into the allied, subtle dogma of economic Darwinism, or social ‘survival of the fittest.’ That cunning view has insinuated itself into the mass mind-set, and envelops a host of social evils with an air of listless inevitability. Thus, the poor get what they deserve; and presumably, so too, the rich. Hence, no need to exercise moral imperatives to address such inequalities-- they are unavoidable consequences of human, Darwinian behavior. How convenient... especially for the rich class! In this manner, the modern Christian is a dupe, speaking against anti-Christian teaching on one hand, while unwittingly accepting and promoting it on the other.

Again, in the realm of core faith, the American Christian has blindly accepted the precepts of the Old Testament while pretending to live under the New Covenant of Christ. It doesn’t occur to them that they are living a contradiction! After all, they reason, the pastors would have told them. As Hosea lamented in his day, My people are destroyed by lack of knowledge. What do I mean? Let me spell it out. The Old Covenant (or Testament) was given to a specific group of people at a time when they needed it. The Old Covenant, given thru Moses to the people of Israel, out in the Sinai wilderness, some 3,300 years ago, was like a ready-made constitution. They needed it to endure as a viable nation after leaving the ancient culture of Egypt. Over time, the Israelites corrupted their covenant, and their society broke down into the many ills decried by their God-sent prophets. The primary alarm of those prophets was the spiritual exploitation by the priests and scholars over the laity, the unschooled populace. Abusing their office, those shepherds led their flocks into spiritual destruction (and often physical destruction, as well). The same tragedy is unfolding in our midst, and this messenger condemns it!

After twelve centuries of corruption of the ‘Laws of Moses,’ God sent His Anointed One (for that is what Messiah means) to His people, Israel. By then, there remained only one remnant of Israel, the tribe known as Jews. Jesus was born a Jew, and delivered a radically new message to the Jews and to the surrounding peoples. In place of the rigid ‘Law of Moses’ with its legalistic, flinty, unbending outlook on morality, Jesus proclaimed a gospel of Love. It starts with the crazy belief that God, rather than seeking to destroy you, really loves you! Yes, God wants people to live a decent, upright, and fulfilling life... and to inherit everlasting life in the beyond. It was a radical message that upset the socio-political-religious order of his day... and continues today to fly in the face of human logic in all aspects of society. The organized Christian Church, within two centuries of Jesus, and to this very day, has not been able to accept his gospel. Instead, using human cunning, the powers that run the Christian churches have invented a hybrid gospel, one that has mesmerized almost everyone. The false, hybridized gospel proclaims the New Covenant message that God is Love, and we are saved by His grace obtained thru Christ’s ministry... and then it adds the proviso that we must thereafter live under the Ten Commandments-- which are the heart of the Old Covenant! The problem seems to be that the hierarchy cannot accept that ordinary believers could allow their mind-set, their heart, to be conditioned and directed by God’s Holy Spirit. So, in their zeal to impose external constraints (‘binding guidelines’) on their flocks, they graft Moses’ Laws onto Jesus’ gospel. Voila-- modern Christianity-- neither New nor Old, neither hot nor cold, but pitifully lukewarm (as per Rev. 3).

American Christians are particularly vulnerable to deception and manipulation. Since most believers are very comfortable by world standards, they have little to motivate them to study the deeper, spiritual meaning of life. (‘Life is good; why bother to ponder?’) All Americans have been purposely conditioned over many decades to put their trust in experts who know better than them. In the religious sphere, the same logic holds sway: don’t study the Bible because it’s too complicated; only trained pastors understand it. Thirdly, despite the promises of the technologists that life would become lazy with futuristic inventions, modern life is, instead, kept at a mad rat-race pace, so that working people have little energy or inclination to devote time to spiritual enquiry. These factors have made it easy for unscrupulous leaders to bamboozle their congregation into believing all kinds of errant articles that would be exposed with some focused Bible study.

Yet some of the worst offences of Christians are among the most obvious contradictions of the true faith of their founder. While Christians believe they are covered by God’s grace, they apparently do not believe that grace should extend to anyone else (ie. to non-Christians, or even, incredibly, to non-Americans!). Thus, they bask in assurance of the good life, here and hereafter, while supporting a government that kills women and children in other, (mostly Arab) countries around the world. Some such Christians, demonstrating the extent of their glorious ignorance, would argue with me that no, their government only kills ‘bad guys,’ and the death of innocent civilians is purely accidental (‘collateral damage;’ tut, tut). That childish response is hardly worth the effort to rebut since it merely indicates the degree of worldly brainwashing of the one who utters it. Just as comfortable Christians can’t be bothered to investigate scripture, neither can they be bothered to determine the truth behind the ‘news’ fed to them like daily pabulum by their major media outlets, the servants of the masters in Washington.

It’s hard for onlookers, whether people of faith or atheists, to comprehend ‘Christians’ who seem to honestly believe that all those fingered by their government as terrorists must be guilty and ergo, deserve whatever punishment meted out. Those ‘loving Christians’ who support the wars of aggression in Iraq, Afghanistan, and covert wars all over the globe, are a menacing mystery to a puzzled world of non-Christians everywhere. Even those with the vaguest notion of Jesus understand that he stood for ‘love thy neighbor,’ and some even know that he said ‘love thy enemies.’ But the armchair ‘Christians’ of modern America have complacently accepted the ersatz, bellicose beliefs palmed off as Christian by the crafty, religious shysters of our day. Instead of social justice and equity, Christians are tilting their rhetorical lances at the windmills of homosexuality and abortion. Sure, these may be behaviors anathema to Christian teaching; but in the big scheme of life, when the streets of poor nations are running with the blood of the innocent, Christians ought to be mature enough to know where the priorities are. Instead, Christians in America prefer to wrap themselves in the star-spangled (and blood-spattered) banner rather than the pure, white robe of Jesus.

You eat up all the nonsense about ‘spreading democracy’ with military might, and strive vehemently against phony, concocted ‘communism,’ and cower at the Oz-like specter of ‘global terrorism,’ of which your government is a major dealer. But you go to church, and call yourselves Christian! You bring only shame on his name! Christians must yearn for the gift of spiritual discernment, and learn to exercise it in every walk of life. If they are so easily deceived by their own shepherds, they will be easily devoured by the great Adversary, the Devil, who pretends to bring light... but it’s the headlight of an approaching locomotive. They must learn to hear the true shepherd’s voice-- not the dulcet demagoguery of those who make empty and hypocritical promises.

Like the hypocrites, I could have littered this diatribe with Bible verses. But this message is based on the most elemental tenets of the faith of Jesus! You don’t need a Ph.D. or doctorate in Theology to use the common sense God endowed all humans with. You don’t need a penetrating insight into scripture’s nuances to grasp what the Holy Spirit speaks to your heart. All you need is the basic Christian faith that rests in the giver of that faith, the ‘true light that gives light to every man’ (Jn 1:9). There is no excuse, Christian! You must wake up now to seek that true light... before you stand before Him, and have no defense but to point your fingers at the false prophets who sold you what your ears were too eager to hear. (2 Tim 3; 4).

© W. Kazimir, Aug. 2009

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