Friday, February 17, 2017

Jesus Does Not Say the Pledge of Allegiance

Nationalism is a snare for the congregation of faith, going back to the 4th century Church-State merger under Constantine, which seduced God's people away from their first love and left them lacking the spiritual fortitude to withstand the Islamic juggernaut of the 7th century. Beginning in the 11th century, the Crusades showcased a perverted facsimile of the faith, one totally reliant on the arm of the flesh, with a sprinkling of mystics boasting of dreams and visions. The legacy of the Crusaders was a lifeless form of Christianity which christianized anti-Semitism, and allowed the conquest of the eastern church by the Ottomans. By the 13th century, the Crusaders' chief mission was to hunt and persecute heretics in Europe. After the 16th century Reformation, the Protestants vied with the Catholics for state power, and used the state to punish heresy. The end result of Catholic and Protestant hegemony in Europe was two world wars, which were accompanied by the complete secularization of the West, as socialist governments took over the responsibility of caring for people that the Church had abdicated in its zeal to silence dissent and pursue military might.

History shows that we learn little from history. God's people continue to embrace nationalism in the forms of American Exceptionalism and Zionism. The re-emergence of Muslim nationalism - Jihad - is a direct result of western attacks on Muslim countries. This stubborn fact will withstand all the jingoism and invoking "bible prophecy" based on the half baked doctrines of greedy televangelists. The fact that our rulers arm the same radicals who are supposed to be an existential threat to us is widely known outside of America, and those in our country who don't know it are willfully ignorant.

God is merciful and will restore His congregation to her rightful place of influence and authority when she stops conflating nationalist fervor with the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.

"But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light" (1 Peter 2:9)

Friday, January 27, 2017

Nationalism, Crusades, and Anti-Semitism

Just learned that today is both Holocaust Remembrance Day and the March for Life. The latter is on a different date each year, the former is always on January 27, commemorating the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp in 1945.

Many seem to think that the Nazis rose to power in some backward, unrefined place.

But Germany in the 1930's was the most educated country in the world, according to historian Paul Johnson. A culturally advanced, learned people allowed a monster to take control of the government, and two state supported churches - Catholic and Lutheran - helped the regime scapegoat Jews. Thank God for some exceptions (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Confessing Church), but the sad truth is that anti-Semitism has its historical roots in "Christian" churches.

If the church doesn't exist to stop tyranny like Hitler, what is the church here for? I am not reassured by the blind allegiance to Trump among Evangelicals - the spirit of nationalism is foul smelling and not easily reined in once loosed.

I've been studying the Crusades lately, and learning some things I didn't want to know.

To wit:

In 1095, Pope Urban II called Christians to a crusade to take Jerusalem from the Muslims. En route, the Crusaders learned to love killing, including entire Jewish villages. They started out hating the Muslims as "enemies of Christ" and along the way many of them decided that Jews were "enemies of Christ" as well. These demonic hordes, marching in the name of our Lord, were the source of blood libels and pogroms, and the evil and stupid idea of blaming all Jews for the crucifixion of Jesus.

When the Crusaders arrived at Jerusalem in 1099, they not only slaughtered Muslims within the city, but also Jews as well. The Muslims had banned Christians because they were regarded as polytheists for adhering to the doctrine of the Trinity.

Interesting to me is the fact that Jews were banned from Jerusalem until Muslims retook the city in 1187. Saladin invited them back to the city, and also allowed Christians from Greek and Eastern churches to remain, because they had not persecuted Muslims.

It seems that anti-Semitism has been more prevalent among "Christians" throughout history than it has been among Muslims, with notable exceptions.

Spiritually speaking, I observe the same filthy spirit in today's anti-Muslim crusade as inhabited the anti-Muslim crusades of the middle ages. I hope it doesn't redound to a new wave of anti-Semitism, although it apparently already has in parts of Europe. There were neo-Nazis among those who staged the Ukrainian coup that our government and NATO backed during Hillary Clinton's tenure at the State department. It also is not helpful for our government and evangelical Christians to blindly support Netanyahu's oppression of Palestinians, or the demonization of the entire Persian/ Iranian race.

This is a heart issue. Stereotyping of any one ethnic or religious group tends to snowball into hatred of other groups. Pope Urban II called forth a mob against Muslims. He didn't intend for the mob to go after Jews, but he was powerless to restrain the juggernaut he had launched.

Do we ever learn?

The answer is blowing in the wind?

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Balaam, Branson, and Donald Trump

Beware of the false prophets...  (Matthew 7:15a)

Mario Murillo is at it again, and God's people should be aware of the latest efforts by Mario to attach the Lord's name to his own sensational pronouncements.

I believe God had me speak out because America was on the brink of an unalterable disaster.  On November 8th, we will either be rescued by Trump or driven into the ground by Hillary. 

Thus saith Mario via blog post on September 15, 2016.

I have a wait and see attitude about certain prophecies regarding Donald Trump, including some that see him as a modern day Cyrus (Persian king who allowed Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild Solomon's Temple) or Jehu (Israelite king who destroyed Jezebel and hundreds of Baal worshippers).

I know that many godly Christians believe Donald Trump will be used by God to stem the advance of evil in our country.

I have no quarrel with most of them, whether I agree or not.

But Mario Murillo
has earned our mistrust, and when he speaks of our country being "rescued by Trump" he doesn't rate the benefit of the doubt.

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.(Psalm 20:7)

Remember, this is the same Mario Murillo who came on his high horse to Branson claiming to be the fulfillment of the (thoroughly debunked) Branson - Corrie ten Boom legend. On October 16th, 2015, Mario proclaimed that the so called "Branson Outbreak" that he spearheaded would be known worldwide within two weeks.
 

Did that happen?

For those who guide this people are leading them astray; And those who are guided by them are brought to confusion. (Isaiah 9:16)

Jesus is our Savior, not Donald Trump.

Furthermore, God doesn't need the United States to fulfill His plan.

God's people need to be full of God to fulfill their callings.

Warning about false prophets is not popular in Charismania today. One reason for this is that false prophets bring in a lot of money. Another is that bible teaching is not valued unless it is "prophetic" - this results in liberty for prophetic utterance, but no provision to judge such utterance.

Branson has more than its share of false prophets.

How do we identify a false prophet?

Well, start with prayerful reading of Deuteronomy 13 and 18.

In Branson, here's a sure sign of a false prophet: if the prophet has promoted the Corrie ten Boom legend, and hasn't repented, you have a false prophet. The reason is that Corrie ten Boom did not prophesy about any worldwide revival beginning in Branson, and the legend that she did is simply Charismatic-Evangelical folklore.

Balaam was a prophet. He was gifted to operate in the spirit realm, both with Yahweh, the Creator, and with evil spirits. There are many such "prophets" loose today, including here in the Branson area. 


Beware.





Monday, August 1, 2016

A TAWDRY COUNTY TALE

Once upon a time in Tawdry County, there was an Assessor named Mr. Strongman. He ignored state standards for assessing property values. Seniors who owned condos sometimes had their assessments tripled, while locals who were part of a political organization called GOBAG ("Good Old Boys And Girls") got low assessments.

Mr. Strongman was a talented politician, knowing whose bread to butter.

But the state government didn't like the way assessments were done in Tawdry County, and the state government withheld nearly $1 million in funds for the Assessor's office.

This didn't bother Mr. Strongman, because he had friends on the County Commission who belonged to GOBAG. They gave Mr. Strongman county funds to replace the money withheld by the state. And they supported his noncompliance with the state's assessment standards.

In the Assessor's office, there were some dedicated employees who worked hard for the county. But there were other employees who loafed, doing personal business on county time, or leaving work early. This group of employees was known as the "Thrift Store Gang," because one of their favorite things to do was to go shopping at thrift stores on county time.

Thrift Store Gang members  had a friendly relationship with GOBAG.

One day, Mr. Strongman got an idea: "I'll run for the State Senate, so I can do more favors for my friends." But another politician from Tawdry County, Mr. Strawbus, ran against Mr. Strongman, and they split the vote in Tawdry County. A third guy from Blarney County beat them both in the Senate race.

And so Mr.Strongman was out of office.

In the meantime, Mr. Penwell was elected to be the new Assessor.

Mr. Penwell was a good and honest man - and therefore not a member of GOBAG. This was bad enough, but Mr. Penwell also had a work ethic that caused him to think that employees who were on the clock.... should work!

The Thrift Store Gang didn't like their new boss.


Also, GOBAG didn't like Mr. Penwell being the Assessor. So, some of the leaders of GOBAG decided to create trouble for Mr. Penwell by getting his employees who were members of the Thrift Store Gang to lie against him.


The leader of GOBAG, Mr. Hessman, approached a Thrift Store Gang member, Mr. Hairding with an idea:

"Hairding - is that Penwell treating you OK?"

"He's terrible - he gets on me for how I treat the public, and expects me to do the job the way he wants it done."

"You poor fellow - I feel your pain. I have a plan - if you will do exactly as I tell you, there's some money in it for you."

"I trust anything you GOBAG guys tell me - you've always steered me right. What do I do?"

"Follow these steps to the letter: 1.) talk to Penwell about all sorts of things - be friendly.... then just casually note his Bible on the desk, and start talking about that....2.) Penwell will let his guard down, and after you convince him that you are a fellow believer, he will now and then mention the Bible, or God, or some verse. 3.) at that point, you should perform as poorly as possible without getting fired - take advantage of Penwell's merciful heart, and push him to the limit 4.) at this point you have accomplished two things: First, Penwell thinks you are a believer, and so feels free to share matters of faith, Second, Penwell has to talk to you about your job performance, and because he's a good guy, he'll probably still show respect for you, and treat you as a friend. 5.) this is where the s*** hits the fan - you're responsible for the s***. You file a complaint of religious discrimination, alleging that Penwell forces you to listen to scripture, and punishes you, not because of your p**s poor job performance, but because you don't want to hear verses. 6) We GOBAG members control the County Commission, and we will make sure your complaint gets settled quickly. There will be no opportunities for Penwell to give his version of things, and we will agree to a settlement that'll put a nice chunk of change - how does $30k sound? - into your pocket... you'll need to resign, but you'll have a great severance package to enjoy life while you look for a different job!"

"Well it sounds great! What's in it for you?"

"We will leak news of your complaint just prior to the election. Penwell isn't running, but it will damage his allies, and when it's his turn to run, we'll get some more of your Thrift Store Gang who want some cash to help us out. We have a friend at the newspaper who will blame Penwell for the money we give to you."

"Awesome!"

And this is how things are done in Tawdry County to this very day.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Trump vs. the Race Card Industry

Donald Trump: racist?

I doubt it. I could be wrong, but not based on what people are showing me.

I think three or four denunciations of the KKK should suffice. After that, the reporters are just badgering the candidate, and obstructing the airing of other issues. The exception would be if there is credible evidence of Klan involvement, like all the evidence the Left ignored in the life of the late Senator Robert Byrd (D- WV). Senator Byrd skated on that, everywhere but talk radio.

But what about video showing black people being roughed up at his rallies?

That could be racist. It could also be misanthropic, or just thuggish.

In some circumstances, it could be justified - depending on what sort of menacing actions the person might have been doing.

If white people are doing the same thing, and getting kid glove treatment, while black people are singled out for the rough stuff - that would indicate racism.

Just the fact that protesters are removed from a rally is not wrong.

If I pay for a hall, it's so people can hear from me, not from my detractors - that is right in line with the first amendment. You don't have a constitutional right to disrupt a meeting in a venue for which someone else paid.

That said, I believe Trump is not a friend of the first amendment, and that some of his comments about the press - as dishonorable as many of them are - portend a return to the Alien and Sedition Acts under John Adams, and the imprisonment of those who protested wars under Lincoln and Wilson.

Also, it is certain that Trump is a nationalist, and that his followers have authoritarian tendencies (based on this article and my own interaction with many of them). And yes, Trump comports himself as a potential dictator, especially at his rallies.

Reminds me very much of when ancient Israel demanded a king.

Which did not end well for them.

Nationalism is not synonymous with racism, although many racists are also nationalists.

Ben Carson struck me as a nationalist, even before he announced his support for Trump today. An endorsement which likely shocked some of Ben's supporters, but not those who pay close attention. Ben is as ignorant about foreign affairs as he is brilliant in his field of neurosurgery.

I don't think Ben Carson is stupid, nor is it helpful when Trump's opponents call Trump supporters stupid.

Also, I don't think Carson is a racist, and if he was, I would assume his racism would not be directed at black people, eh?

Friday, March 4, 2016

Hillary's Email to Donald

Darling Donald,

We've been friends a long time, and your support has been greatly appreciated.

Congratulations on your pending nomination. You've made sport of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, and for that you have my undying gratitude. These vermin made a huge deal out of a few rapes and assaults that my husband may have committed. You of all men know what a tough road it can be for an alpha male with a severe testosterone imbalance.

It's gratifying to see you steamroll over these little people - but I wonder if you might be enjoying yourself a bit too much? Duping all those Christian leaders into supporting you was understandably fun for you - especially that ditz, Sarah Palin - but I frankly became alarmed that in order to fool those naive people, you denied your progressive views on abortion. You've amassed an impressive list of Christian luminaries: Falwell, Peter Wagner, Pastor Jeffress, Paula White, etc. who have bought the idea that you are God's man to protect them. Is it possible that your ego has been stroked a bit too much by these zealots? These are the same people who regard my husband as a moral reprobate, and they don't seem to mind that you have openly boasted about sleeping with other men's wives! Their cognitive dissonance is marvelous theater, but their ignorance of their own book could redound to your harm if you allow them to crown you as king - they may not be mindful of the story of King Saul, but you would do well to consider it.

Donald dear - please recall what the script calls for during the coming campaign between us.

Remember, our arrangement was for you to help me win this election by making me seem likable by comparison. Also, don't forget how friendly my administration will be to aggressive business men such as yourself - for one thing we can assure that federal judges will continue to uphold your very creative interpretation of eminent domain takings that benefit your enterprises.

My dear friend, I know that Latin is not your forte', but I was led to believe that you understand the meaning of 'quid pro quo.'

My affection for you is deep - the admiration that a witch feels for a warlock. Out of love, I remind you that "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!"

Know what I mean?

Love ya,

Hillary

P.S.
Should this FBI business take an unexpected turn for the worse, I'll consent to a change in our agreement, and will of course need you to issue a full pardon when you take office.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Apocalypse Branson: the Corrie ten Boom Legend

Corrie ten Boom is rejoicing in heaven, so she's been unavailable to comment on the hype that has been taking place in her name in Branson for about two decades, and notably since Mario Murillo began holding a crusade here in late August.

The Corrie ten Boom / Branson legend is this: Corrie allegedly was on a plane and asked the name of the town being flown over. When she was told "Branson" Corrie is said to have prophesied that the glory of God was going to go out from there to the rest of the country. One version of the story - the one parroted by Mario Murillo - is that noted Christian author Gary Smalley was seated next to Corrie and heard her amazing prediction. As of this date, no comment from Mr. Smalley has been made public, but his son, Greg, was interviewed by author Gaye Lisby, and stated that he never heard it. Moreover, Corrie's personal companion for the last seven years of her life emphatically told Mrs. Lisby that Corrie never made the alleged comment.

Despite a complete dearth of corroboration, the legend of Corrie's word persists throughout the Branson area, especially among Charismatic Christians, of which I am one. Word-Faith teacher Billye Brim established her ministry in the area, and cited Corrie ten Boom's prophecy in so doing. Jim Bakker's ministry is in the area, too, and Jim has gone so far as to infer that those who disbelieve in the prophecy need to have demons cast out of them.

My comment is that the prophecy about the glory of God going from Branson to the rest of the country is a fabrication, and those who use it to undergird their meetings are engaged in Divination, not prophetic ministry.

Jim Bakker is the one in need of deliverance, and Billye Brim makes my baloney detector go off.

Last night, those who came to hear Mario Murillo found the church doors locked and a notice on the door (see below). Mario's blog says that the church board was behind the action, and that he, Mario, had planned to announce new locations for the meetings last night, apparently insinuating that some kind of retribution was behind the cancellation. Some of the "intercessors" are framing this as a demonic attack on their revival, and imprecating against unnamed foes.



One thing certain: somebody was very inconsiderate of all the people who made a trip for a scheduled meeting only to find locked doors.

Another: the rivalry among revivalists in our area doesn't comport with the unity of the Holy Spirit that will characterize genuine revival.

But then these meetings have been characterized by hype and mirrors. Mario can insinuate anything he likes, but his credibility is in doubt because he's continually invoked the bogus tale of Corrie's Branson prophecy throughout his crusades.

Godly intercessors are so very important in our time (cp. Ezekiel 22:30). Intercessors are similar to midwives, serving the Church as she travails to bring forth offspring. Although the imagery of intercession is often feminine, men are called to this ministry as well, there being no male and female in Christ. (Of course there are military metaphors regarding spiritual warfare as well)

Intercessors who are beguiled by unclean spirits engage in divination. They see a revival as "their baby" that they have birthed, rather than assisted in birthing. The uncleanness of this kind of "intercession" is manifested when anyone challenges any claim or aspect of their revival - "their baby."

Example: When I challenged the veracity of the Corrie ten Boom legend, one of these "intercessors" imprecated against me thus: "God will deal directly with the religious spirits who doubt God moving in signs and wonders. I place this in God's Courtroom of Heaven. Touch not my anointed and do my prophets no harm." (the whole Facebook conversation is pasted on pages 15 -17 of this document, which is a collection of comments and Facebook posts about the so called "Branson Breakout" and other examples of Charismania such as the Lakeland, Florida revival of 2008 .


This kind of "intercession" is unclean. For one thing, I didn't "doubt God moving in signs and wonders" - I challenged the veracity of the Corrie-Branson prophecy.

Ironically, the same "intercessor" who tried to put a curse on me is now vociferously claiming that a Jezebel spirit is opposing her revival.

Very ironic. Like the pot calling the kettle black.


A PRAYER FOR REVIVAL

God help us your people to turn away from falsehood. Help us repent of our unteachable spirit, our elitist sectarianism, our "I have no need of thee" attitude. Every member of Christ's body is important. Lord, help us to share the revelations You give without pride. We need grace to know when to yield to others, and wisdom to know when to be assertive. Let every self appointed Prophet, Apostle, and Intercessor be brought down some, but in Your mercy preserve them so they can be participate in Your genuine visitation to Your people. Others, Lord, embolden to step up and reveal the things You have put in their hearts over the decades as they have quietly waited like Anna and Simeon waited for the holy Child to appear in the Temple. In the name of Jesus. Amen.