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Watchman on the Wall

The Church’s role in America’s Culture War

Introduction 
America is currently engaged in the longest Religious War since the Reformation, a war between Biblical Christianity and secular Humanism. Make no mistake about it; we are in the midst of a very grim war in which only one side can triumph, a war waged, not with bullets and bombs but with ideas and reason; A war that few Americans recognize and even fewer understand the serious consequences for the loser. The battlefields are our churches, our courts, our schools, our legislatures, and our political institutions. At stake are our Republic and the traditional American Culture left to us by our forefathers.

Although the struggle between good and evil began in the Garden of Eden, the religious war in America started in the latter part of the colonial period during the “Unitarian controversy”, the first major political assault in modern times was launched in the Presidential campaign of 1912 when four political parties vied for the office of President. All four nominated progressive (American Socialist) candidates, leaving the American people to select between the lesser of four evils. The party platforms on which the candidates ran were all slightly different, but all contained the most important planks of the then defunct Peoples Party; a graduated national income tax; the popular election of Senators, and protective tariffs, among other things.

Eugene Debs was nominated by the Socialist Party, Ex-President Theodore Roosevelt by the Progressive Party, Woodrow Wilson by the Democratic Party and incumbent President William Howard Taft by the Republican Party. Taft and Roosevelt split the Republican vote giving the Presidency to Woodrow Wilson. In 1913, the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Amendments to the Constitution were ratified, paving the way for the Socialist’s primary goals of income redistribution and a consolidated national government. The Seventeenth Amendment providing for the popular election of Senators weakened the protection of the Tenth Amendment making the consolidation of national government all but certain. Since that time, successions of Progressive Presidents and Congresses have waged a relentless attack on the institutions of American Society.

It is only since the election of socialist Barack Obama and the rise of the patriot movement, known collectively as the Tea Party Movement, that many Americans have become aware of the battle raging around them and the possible devastating consequences of its outcome. However, of those who are now paying attention to what is going on, few recognize the real nature of the conflict. Most see it as a political struggle for control of government and the enemy as the socialists in the progressive Democrat party, when in reality it is a conflict between two worldviews for control of the American culture. The real enemy is the progressive religion of Humanism that has become the Official religion of government, political progressives and the Democrat Party, “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Eph. 6:12)

The identity of a nation is determined by the nature of its three primary components, its form of government, its economic system, and its common culture. In America, the form of government is drawn from the principles set forth in our Declaration of Independence and codified in our Constitution. The Constitution contains the rules and limitations placed on the federal government, but deals only tangentially with the culture and the economy. American Socialists are determined to destroy all three components of American society and replace them with the institutions of socialism based on the progressive-socialist religion of Humanism. For the most part, they have been successful in shredding the Constitution and corrupting our culture and economic system without the American people fully understanding what is happening.

The American Culture 

The American culture is built on the foundation of our Christian principles; not the denominational doctrines quibbled over among America’s nine hundred self-identified Christian denominations, but the principles set forth in the Old and New Testaments of the Holy Bible. Our Founders recognized the necessity of a religious foundation for our culture in order for the Constitution to fulfill the purpose for which it was created. John Adams, our second President, stated plainly that, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

George Washington reminded the American people of the importance of religious principles in connection with governance in his Farewell Address when he said, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity.”

“Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation deserts the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”(1796)

The wisdom of President Washington has become evident over the past few generations with the left’s determination to cast out the moral values on which our culture is built. Along with the efforts of American Socialists (progressives) to purge Christianity from our culture and replace it with the modern religion of Humanism, we have witnessed a steady decline in the moral foundations of our politics and economy as well.  We marvel at the equanimity of our elected officials as they look directly into the lens of the TV camera and lie to us with a sanguine belief that the American people will believe their fabricated assertions in spite of the evidence of experience and common sense; unfortunately too many of us do.

Our economic system rests on the centuries old principles of free market capitalism where individuals make their own economic decisions based on their perception as to what is in their own and their family’s best interest. The system worked fine in the days when “a man’s word was his bond”, and deals were sealed with a handshake. However, the corrupting influence of the continuous, incremental successes of American Socialism has replaced free market capitalism with an amoral, and often immoral, “crony capitalism” and is moving us ever closer to the centrally planned economy coveted by socialists the world over.

Both our political and economic well-being is dependent on the moral character of the culture that gave it birth. As Benjamin Franklin Observed on the final day of the Philadelphia Convention, “I agree to this Constitution with all its faults, if they are such; because I think a general Government necessary for us, and there is no form of Government but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered, and believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in Despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic Government, being incapable of any other.”

As we continue to move further into the twenty-first century we have to make a national decision; we must decide which course we will follow. One leads to a return to liberty and prosperity, the other to poverty, misery and servitude to the state.  There can be no middle ground. We cannot compromise with an enemy whose objective is to destroy our way of life. It must be defeated. Have we, as Franklin mused, become so corrupt as a nation that we can only be ruled by despotism? Are we so lacking in character that we prefer the false security promised by American Socialism, or are we willing to take the risk proposed by a growing number of Patriots and battle for liberty, freedom and a return of the blessings of God, settling for nothing less?

Church And State 

Of all the institutions in America that affect our culture, there are none more important than the Church. And yet, for the most part the modern Church has remained on the sidelines as our culture continues to decline and we move ever closer to a point of no return. In fact, many churches give “aid and comfort” to the enemy by embracing many of the Humanist religious doctrines espoused by progressives. There are many reasons why churches do not become publicly involved in the political and cultural controversies of the day. Perhaps the most prominent one is the doctrine of “separation of church and state”. 

It should be pointed out however, that this is neither a constitutional doctrine nor a Biblical doctrine. It is taken wholly from a metaphorical clause in a letter written by Thomas Jefferson in 1801 in reply to a letter from the Danbury, Connecticut Baptist Association, seeking assurance that Jefferson, as President, would respect “freedom of conscience”. In his reply Jefferson writes, “I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.”

The first clause of the First Amendment reads, Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;” This clause actually establishes the independence of religion from the legislative and judicial powers of the federal government, not separation. It also prohibits the federal government from regulating or otherwise interfering with any form of worship or expression of religious faith, publicly or privately. Over time, this “first principle” of religious liberty has morphed into religious toleration only, applying mostly to Christianity. In practice, Christianity is heavily regulated by all levels of government today. Christian worship or expression is limited to places of worship, religious gatherings or among willing acquaintances. It is prohibited in virtually all public venues and events.

As Christianity is forced out of our public institutions by law and popular opinion, it has created a vacuum of faith that has been filled with the progressive religion of Humanism. Anthropogenic climate change, environmentalism, LGBT equality, internationalism, “reproductive rights” (abortion), multi-culturism, and sodomite marriage, are all Humanist religious doctrines supported and promoted by government through legislation, the courts and bureaucratic rule making. These same Humanist doctrines are taught in all our educational institutions and propagandized through the popular media.

Humanist religious doctrine is presented and defended as being based on “settled science”. It represents logical conclusions drawn from the acceptance of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution popularized at the turn of the twentieth century. Evolution is the accepted science of our day, but it is by no means “settled science”. Most people are surprised to learn that there are over a thousand scientists, every bit as credentialed as those who teach evolution, who oppose evolution theory. Creation science is a fairly new scientific discipline that has experienced rapid growth and increasing acceptance over the past two or three generations. The reader can type the term “creation science” into an internet search engine and find a plethora of scholarly websites, white papers, theses, articles, books and video presentations on the subjects of creation science.

Both the evolution scientists and the creation scientists are usually educated in the standard scientific disciplines of physics, anthropology, geology, astronomy, astrophysics, quantum mechanics, etc., but they often arrive at completely opposite conclusions from the same data. Beginning with a preconceived hypothesis that the theory of evolution explains the origin of all things, the evolution scientist concludes that, “the universe [is] self-existing and not created…that man is a part of nature and that he has emerged as a result of a continuous process [of evolution]”. The creation scientist begins with a preconceived hypothesis that the Bible story of creation is the true explanation of the origin of the universe and all life, and he finds ample support for the faith-based belief that, “In six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is,” (Exodus 20:11)

Evolution Science and Creation Science generally agree on those things that can be studied and tested in the physical world using scientific methods. It is when Evolution Science leaves the world of science in the here and now and speculates about events before secularly recorded history that the diversity of opinion arises. All the confirmed findings of real science are consistent with claims of Creation Science that the universe and all its life forms could have come into existence as described in the creation story recorded in the Book of Genesis.

On the other hand, Evolution Science has a number of problems with both science and reason; matter evolving from nothing and life evolving from inanimate objects are two of the most obvious. According to evolutionism, in the beginning there was nothing. Over time, this “nothing” gathered itself into a highly charged ball of energy, possibly no larger than the period at the end of this sentence. At an unspecified point in time, billions of years ago, the ball of energy spontaneously exploded (the Big Bang), its fragments creating the universe. A tiny part of that exploding universe, Earth, just happened to end up at precisely the right location, and with just the right amount and types of resources to support life. A molecule of these resources eventually evolved into a living cell that grew, divided and multiplied, gradually evolving into all the living things on earth.

Evolution was presented by Charles Darwin in 1859 as a theory: “an idea of or belief about something arrived at through speculation or conjecture.” (Encarta), not a theorem: “a proposition or formula in mathematics or logic that is provable from a set of axioms and basic assumptions.” It was routinely referred to by writers of science textbooks as “Evolution Theory” until fairly recently.  It was not until sometime around the middle of the twentieth century that it started to be accepted by the academic science community as “settled science”. The speculative claims of Evolution Science about how the Universe, earth and mankind came into existence still have to be accepted by faith without objective scientific proof of their validity. For that reason, evolution should be considered as a religious doctrine not a system of scientific facts.

Of course, the same thing could be said of creationism; however Creation Science does not claim to prove the creation story. It only claims to show that proven scientific facts do not contradict any of the events or circumstances recorded in the Book of Genesis, possibly by eyewitnesses to those events, during man’s first 1700 years on earth. Christians readily admit to accepting the Biblical record on faith alone. While the findings of Creation Science may strengthen the Christian’s belief in the accuracy of the Biblical record, they are irrelevant to his faith.

The Bible And Politics

Christians often give as their reason for not being involved in the culture war politically as a belief that the New Testament teaches we should “suffer evil”, “turn the other cheek”, and “submit to all the laws of government”. Their usual authority for this is Matt. 5:39 “But I say unto you, that ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” And, I Pet. 2: 13-14 “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.” In the quote from Matthew, Jesus is warning against the very human desire for personal revenge and “getting even”. In I Peter, Peter is encouraging good citizenship as a testimony to the Gentiles.

At the time of Christ and the founding of the Church, Rome had consolidated its authority over the entire civilized world and was generally at peace. It had a pagan, idolatrous culture with many different religions and gods. Because of the many and varied religions practiced in Rome, for the most part, religious freedom was permitted and citizens could practice whatever religion they wished. The persecution of Jesus and the early Church came, not from the Roman Government, but from the Jewish religious leaders of that day. Due to the short period of history covered by the New Testament and the fact that whatever political strife that existed within the Roman Empire at the time did not substantially affect the ministry of Christ or the Church there is not a lot of guidance in the New Testament for the modern Christian to determine how we should deal with the apostasy and political animosity prevalent in America today. For answers we need to look to the Old Testament.

Some might object that the Old Testament does not apply to the Church and that we should seek answers only in the New Testament. However, in 2 Timothy 3:16 the Apostle Paul reminds the young preacher Timothy that, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” At the time Paul wrote this, the New Testament was not complete and the New Testament canon had not been firmly established; Paul was referring to the Old Testament Scriptures.

There is certainly no shortage of Old Testament teachings and examples of God’s dealings with nations and governments that would apply to conditions in America today. We can open the Old Testament randomly at any page, and the chances are good that before we have read more than a few pages we will learn something about God’s standard for dealing with nations, governments, cultures and leaders. The Old Testament is a history of God addressing the apostasy and idolatry that was rampant throughout the history of Israel.

Two lessons stand out about God’s relations with men and nations. First, God usually  works through people to carry out his will. Second, God routinely uses nations and governments to chastise and punish His people for disobedience, apostasy and idolatry. One of the most familiar stories in the Old Testament of God using a nation and its ruler to punish his people is the story of Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, who God sent to punish Judah for the iniquity that took place under King Manasseh. Parts of the story are found in two historical books and five prophetic books in the Old Testament. The most important parts are found in 2 Kings and the Book of Daniel.

2 Kings 21, records the reign of Manasseh over the Kingdom of Judah, 2“And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, after the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.”

As a result of the idolatry that permeated the culture of Judea during the reign of Manasseh, God pronounced judgment on the land through His prophets.

11” Because Manasseh king of Judah hath done these abominations, and hath done wickedly above all that the Amorites did, which were before him, and hath made Judah also to sin with his idols: 12 Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Behold, I am bringing such evil upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whosoever heareth of it, both his ears shall tingle.”

Even here, however, we see the longsuffering and mercy of God. After the death of Manasseh, his son Josiah took the throne. Josiah, after rediscovering the Books of the law, led a revival in Judah. The idols were destroyed and the groves were burned. The people returned to the worship of the Lord. It was not until the reign of Jehoiakim, the son of Josiah that God brought the judgment prophesied against Judah.

24:1“In his days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his servant three years: then he turned and rebelled against him. 2 And the LORD sent against him bands of the Chaldees, and bands of the Syrians, and bands of the Moabites, and bands of the children of Ammon, and sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servants the prophets. 3Surely at the commandment of the LORD came this upon Judah, to remove them out of his sight, for the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he did;”

From these and hundreds of other passages in the Old Testament we can see that God punishes and chastises his people when they turn their back on Him and reject his commandments. Perhaps not as dramatic as the founding of Israel, but nevertheless, just as certain, America was founded as a Christian nation. It was not until after a series of Supreme Court decisions in 1962 and 1963 that America officially rejected God in our national public life. (Engel v. Vitale, 1962, Murray v. Curlett, 1963, and Abington Township School District v. Schempp, 1963); dissenting Justice Potter Stewart criticized the Court’s ruling saying, “It led not to true neutrality with respect to religion, but to the establishment of a religion of secularism.”(Humanism)

A statement by Thomas Jefferson in his Notes on the State of Virginia is certainly appropriate here, “Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep forever..;

Events over the past dozen or so years, when viewed in the light of history and Scripture, can easily be seen as the beginning of God’s judgment on America. The Church today (in the institutional sense) is much like the Church at Laodicea described by Jesus in Revelation 3; “15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:”

Today’s “Laodicean” Church of provides a mixture of psychology, philosophy, entertainment, clichés, and platitudes, with an occasional Bible reference thrown in to give it a Christian flavor. It watches with equanimity as our culture, our political system, and our economy collapse. It is neither Christian nor pagan, embracing many of the Humanist’s doctrines so as not to appear staid or old fashioned. It values inclusivity with little or no standards for church fellowship. It strives for self-aggrandizement and worldly success rather than the glory of God. The “Laodicean” Church has become as “sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal”. (1 Cor. 13)

The Last Days

False prophets are one of Satan’s favorite tools for misleading the Children of God. Prophesy was not given by God that we might be able to predict the future, but that when prophesied events take place we might understand and glorify God. “And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations,” (Deut. 30:1) Since the desire to predict the future is a part of human nature, Bible prophesies concerning the last days are fertile ground for false prophets. Much mischief has come to the Church from attempting to establish the prophetic chronology of events prophesied in the Bible concerning the Return of Jesus Christ to earth. The nineteenth century witnessed the rise of several new “Christian” denominations inspired by false prophets who believed they had determined the time when Christ would return for his saints.

In 1822 William Miller, a Baptist lay preacher, produced a twenty-point document in which he wrote the following; “I believe that the second coming of Jesus Christ is near, even at the door, even within twenty-one years,—on or before 1843”. Miller began publicly proclaiming his new doctrine, based primarily on the book of Daniel, in 1831. By 1840 Miller’s beliefs had become a national movement. By 1844 over a million copies of his writings were in circulation. Several dates were proposed for the return of Christ, with the final date being set as October 22, 1844.

When Christ failed to return on the expected date, many of Miller’s followers became discouraged and left the movement, returning to the Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist and Campbellite churches from whence they came.  Others stayed true to the faith, and after some adjustments in prophetic doctrine formed into what is today, the seventeen million members strong, Seventh Day Adventist Church.

Around 1870, Charles Taze Russell, combining some of the teaching of the Adventist movement with the Pyramidology of Charles Smyth and Joseph Seiss, began developing a new prophetic chronology for Christ’s second coming. Russell and his associates later formed the Watchtower Tract and Bible Society. Russell was succeeded in 1917 by Joseph F. Rutherford who, in 1931, introduced the name of Jehovah’s Witnesses to distinguish his group from other groups associated with the Watchtower Tract and Bible Society. Today this group claims a worldwide membership of over seven and three-quarter millions followers.

Another prophetic doctrine that was popularized during the “Second Great Awakening”, not quite as radical, yet very important in the days in which we live, is the doctrine of the Rapture. Many born-again evangelical Christians are aware of the corruption in our government and culture. They see the immorality and lasciviousness in our entertainment industries, and the licentiousness creeping into our civil laws; yet they fail to see the seriousness and urgency of these changes in our culture in relation to themselves.

Rather than actively resisting the evils in society, their attitude seems to be, “we know that in the last days there is to be a great falling away and a time of troubles, but our duty is to hold fast to the faith and to look and pray for the coming of the Lord.” They know that tribulations are coming but are persuaded that the Rapture will rescue them from having to endure it. There are many New Testament passages that seem to support this belief. 2 Peter 3, and 2 Timothy chapters 3 and 4 are perhaps the two best examples.

The Rapture

 For more than ten years in my early Christian life I wholly believed in the doctrine of a secret Rapture; my church taught it and my Pastor preached it. As a new Christian, whatever my Pastor taught, I accepted as Biblical truth. Later I surrendered to the ministry and enrolled in Bible College. One day, our hermeneutics professor assigned our class the task of substantiating a pre-tribulation Rapture, using the Bible only. I, of course, was certain this would be an easy assignment. I still recall the anguish of soul, as I diligently and daily searched the Scriptures, slowly beginning to realize that what I had previously believed so strongly may be different from what the Bible actually taught.

It is easy to find proof in the Bible for that which we already believe. I often think of an event that occurred during the third visit of Jesus with the disciples after His resurrection, recorded in John, chapter 21. Jesus had just charged Peter to feed His lambs and His sheep as a sign of his love for Christ, He then tells Peter, “18 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdest thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. 19 This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, follow me.”

20 “Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? 21 Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? 22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou me.”

23” Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?”

We could easily speculate from this exchange that Peter harbored some jealousy toward John because of his relationship with Jesus. That may be true; however, that is not what the passage is about. We could also speculate that Peter started the rumor mentioned in verse 23, but again, the passage does not support that. The valuable lesson we learn from this passage is to  never base our belief on what we think the Bible means but rather, on what it actually says. A belief based on an implied meaning we find in a text must always give way to a clearly written contradiction elsewhere.

At another time our hermeneutics professor asked us to explain the meaning of Mark 1:1, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;” It was utterly amazing to listen to the speculation of the class as to what message Mark was attempting to convey. Some related it to Genesis 1:1, others to the ministry of John the Baptist as the forerunner of Jesus Christ. Still others focused on Jesus as the Son of God. The lesson the Professor was trying to get across to his aspiring students was not to read more into a passage than was actually there.

With that thought in mind. Let us consider the doctrine of the secret Rapture and how it relates to the Church in the twenty-first century.

The word “Rapture” is not found in the Bible, although the idea is found throughout the New Testament. Its meaning is to be “caught up” or “taken away”. In 1 Thessalonians 4:17 the Greek verb form ρπαγησόμεθα (harpagisometha), is used, which in the KJV is translated, “caught up”. The word “Rapture” is believed to have been coined by John Nelson Darby sometime around 1830 from the Latin word, “raptus” which means “a carrying off”.

Darby was ordained as an Anglican priest in the Church of Ireland in 1826. While recuperating from a serious injury he sustained in a fall from his horse in 1827, he spent his time studying Bible prophesy and revising his theological views, particularly in eschatology (Bible Prophesy). During this time he began meeting with an interdenominational Bible Study group who simply called themselves, “The Brethren”.  In 1831 he separated from the Church of Ireland and a year later presented his beliefs concerning dispensationalism and a pre-tribulation Rapture at a prophetic Bible Conference held at the Powerscourt estate near Enniskerry, Ireland. Darby is considered to be the father of dispensationalism.

The Bible study group Darby was associated with eventually became known as the Plymouth Brethren. In addition to its teaching on dispensationalism and a pre-tribulation Rapture, Plymouth Brethren also objected to the use of clergy, insisting that the Holy Spirit could speak through any member of the assembly. Darby traveled extensively throughout Europe and Britain, eventually arousing the ire of Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

In the June 1869 issue of Sword and the Trowel, Spurgeon commented on a treatise by a Mr. Grant; “Mr. Grant has done real service to the churches by his treatise on ‘the heresies of the Plymouth Brethren’, which we trust he will publish in a separate form. It is almost impossible for even his heavy hand to press too severely upon this malignant power, whose secret but rapid growth is among the darkest signs of the times.”

The teachings of John Darby were widely disseminated in America during the twentieth century through the popularity of the Schofield Reference Bible published in 1909 by Cyrus Schofield, Bible Colleges such as the Dallas Theological Seminary and two bestselling authors, Hal Lindsey and Tim LaHaye.

Hal Lindsey graduated  from the Dallas Theological Seminary in 1958 earning a Master of Theology degree. After working with Campus Crusade for Christ for several years Lindsey published his bestselling book, The Late Great Planet Earth in 1970. After selling several million copies in hard cover, the book was republished by Bantam Books as a paperback, selling over 28 million copies by 1994. It was also made into a popular 1979 movie, starring Orson Wells. The book featured the dispensational eschatology of Darby including the pre-tribulation Rapture.

The most widely known author of “Rapture” literature is Tim LaHaye, the writer of more than fifty books, both fiction and non-fiction. The most popular of his books were the “Left Behind” series of apocalyptic fiction depicting life on earth after the Rapture. Between 1995 and 2007 LaHaye published a total of 12 titles in the series, selling over 65 million copies.

By the end of the twentieth century virtually all of the fundamental, evangelical denominations had accepted the doctrine of a pre-tribulation Rapture. Lay Christians and Ministers were heavily influenced by Schofield’s comments on the Rapture found in his study notes.  Nominal Christians and many un-Churched of all persuasions were persuaded by the books of Lindsey and LaHaye.

What someone believes about a secret Rapture and the chronological sequence of events accompanying it is not essential to the gospel message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ and should not be a test of Christian fellowship. However, it is a stumbling block for many Churches, Pastors and Christians, excusing them from defending the faith against the continuous onslaughts of Humanism and the corruption of our culture as they patiently wait for the Rapture and the hoped-for deliverance from the troubles prophesied for the end of the Church Age.

For this reason alone we should learn and teach as much as we can concerning what the Bible actually teaches about the second coming of Christ. There are more than thirty passages in the New Testament that refer to Jesus returning to gather up his Church, most of them unequivocal and not open to speculation. For example,  “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:2, 3)

The passage most often quoted by pre-tribulationists is I Thessalonians 4:13 – 5:16;

13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

5 1But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night .3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

A common misperception among New Testament Christians was that the return of Jesus was imminent.  That idea still persists today among pre-tribulationists. The saints at Thessalonica were becoming concerned because some of their brothers and sisters were dying and Jesus had not yet returned. Paul wrote this passage to comfort the loved ones of those who had died. (Verse 18) Jesus and the New Testament writers did not teach an imminent return. In fact, there are many prophesies given in the New Testament that are to be fulfilled before Christ’s return. The phrase that fosters the belief of an eminent return is, “as a thief in the night” used by Paul in verse 2, Chapter 5 above. Peter uses the same phrase in 2 Pet. 3:10. These are the only two places in the New Testament were the phrase is used.

Jesus uses the word “thief” in the same sense in the parable of the unfaithful servant in Matt. 24:43, and Luke 12:39. He also uses it in Rev. 3:3 as a warning to the Church at Sardis, and in Rev. 16:15 as a general warning. In all of these passages where Christ is pictured as coming unexpectedly as a thief, it is as a warning to non-believers and unfaithful Christians, but as Paul says in verse 4 above, “ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” Notice the usage of pronouns in verses 3, 4, 5 and 6.

This passage also calls into question the idea of a “secret Rapture”. Verse 16 says Jesus will return, “with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God:” Couple this with the descriptions of the Rapture in Matthew 24:40, 41 and Luke 17:34, 35, “Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left,” and it is difficult to understand how the Rapture  could be in secret without someone noticing. Certainly if a family was sitting at dinner and mom or dad, or one or two of the kids suddenly disappeared, someone would notice and tell others.

Paul continues to address the expectation of the Thessalonians for an imminent return of Christ in 2 Thess. 2:1-12 where Paul beseeches, “2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.”

“3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”

The “man of sin” in verses 3 and 4 evidently is a reference to the “Beast” of Revelation 13, and “the abomination of desolation” in Matt. 24:15, and Mark 13:14, foretold by Daniel the prophet.

None of the many passages in the New Testament concerning the return of Christ for His Church reveal a definite sequence of events as they relate to the great tribulation, with the exception of two, Matthew 24 and Mark 13. In Matthew 24 we read;

“24 1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. 2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”

“3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”

Mark identifies the disciples who spoke privately with Jesus as John, Peter, Andrew, and James. (Mark 13:3) Note that the disciples asked three questions, (1) when shall these things be; the destruction of the temple? (2) What will be the sign of Jesus’ coming? (3) What will be the sign of the end of the world (age)?

Most Bible commentators relate this passage to the destruction of the Temple by the Roman general Titus in 70 A.D. That is speculation on their part and may or may not be true. It is also possible that Jesus chose not to answer the first question, instead giving a summation of the entire Church age up to the time of his return in verses 29 – 31, including the Great Tribulation in verses 15 – 22.

Matt. 24:  “4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

8 All these are the beginning of sorrows”. (Run-up to the Tribulation?  Sounds like the twentieth century)

9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”

“14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come”. (Also see Rev. 14:6)

The phrase “gospel of the kingdom” is used only three times in the Book of Matthew — here, and in Matt. 4:23, and 9:35. However, the phrases “Kingdom of Heaven” and “Kingdom of God”, which appear to be synonymous, are used 86 times in the four Gospels and is the central theme of Christ’s preaching throughout the New Testament. Jesus continues…

“15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand)”

(Daniel 11:31, “And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.”  Daniel 12:11, “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.”)

Matt:24 “16 Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains: 17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house: 18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. 19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day:

21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

From the description given in verses 21 and 22, this could not be the tribulation brought about by Titus. It is said to be worse than any in the four thousand years preceding, including those of the Egyptian Pharaohs, Babylon, the Medes and Persians, Greece and Rome (“since the beginning of the world to this time”); and worse than any since, including those of the Dark Ages, the Muslim conquest of the Holy Land, The Holy Roman Empire, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, etc. (“nor ever shall be”) This passage can only be referring to The Great Tribulation.

Matt 24:  23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

25 Behold, I have told you before. 26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.

27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 28 For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

This passage and the parallel passage in Mark 13: 24-27 are the only two passages in the New Testament that clearly gives a time sequence connecting the Tribulation and the Rapture. In order to establish either a pre-tribulation Rapture or a mid-tribulation Rapture we have to explain away the phrases “immediately after the tribulation” in verse 29 and “after that tribulation” in Mark 13:24.

Our purpose is not to proselytize for a post-tribulation Rapture, although if we have piqued your interest and your independent study of Scripture with the aid of the Holy Spirit convinces you, so be it. Our purpose here is to show the very real possibility that the Church will go through the Great Tribulation, the necessity of preparation, both spiritually and mentally, and to encourage pastors and laymen alike to take a more pro-active role in resisting the evils of Humanism that permeates our culture.

Everywhere, when Christ or the Apostles warn us about the end times or the Return of Christ for his Church we are exhorted to watch. But, what are we to watch for? I have heard more than once from the pulpit, “Jesus could come before this service ends.”  If that should happen, I fear there would be more stripes given out than rewards. (Luke 12:42-48) The command to watch is a warning not to slack off in our devotion to Christ, especially as we see the day approaching.  One such warning is found in Luke 21: 34-36.

“34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. 35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”

Pre-tribulationists often read the words in verse 36 as implying that Christians will be taken out of the world before “these things that shall come to pass”. Matthew uses a similar phrase in Chapter 24:13, 13 “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” A synonym for the word saved is “rescued”. Since this passage is talking about the Tribulation, Jesus is saying that those who endure to the end of the tribulation will be rescued; by the Rapture.

Just what we are to be watching for is found in the parable of the fig tree. “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors”. (Matt: 24: 32, 33) Jesus is talking here about the signs He has just given to the four disciples who asked. The most important sign is the “abomination of desolation” in verse 15, which ushers in the most severe part of the tribulation that “except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved”. It is this sign that gives hope to those Christians that are found watching that they may endure to the end and be rescued. They know they only have to hold out for a short time until Jesus returns to rescue them.

The Watchman

When we are dealing with Bible prophesy, we need to be careful that we teach only that which is revealed in the scriptures. We know from history the damage and destruction that can be brought about by false prophets, and we are not prophets, false or otherwise. God makes it clear in Deuteronomy 29: 29 that, “The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” There is no need for prophets today because everything we need to know is revealed in the Scriptures by prophets of the past.

There is certainly enough revealed in the Bible concerning how God deals with cultures and nations who defy him that we do not need to claim the gift of prophesy to know that the hand of God that was once the source of so many blessing for America, is now a hand of judgment. We need only look at the changes that have transpired over the past century in our culture, our politics, and our churches, and realize that God’s longsuffering and mercy cannot last forever, to recognize that America is in danger of His wrath and in fact, may be experiencing it already.

Awareness of these facts should make the responsibility of the Church, its Pastors and its Teachers clear. The Churches are the light of the world and the salt of the earth. Pastors and teachers are the watchmen for the Church. The warning given by the Prophet Ezekiel should be heeded by our Church leaders of today.

Ezekiel 33:2-11; 2 Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: 3 If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; 4 Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. 5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.

6 But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.

7 So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. 8 When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

9 Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

10 Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live? 11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

Remember, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” This passage is certainly appropriate for the churches of the twenty-first century as we see the doctrines of Humanism crowding the doctrines of God out of our culture daily.  The satanic doctrines of Humanism; abortion, sodomy, and environmentalism (Earth worship), promoted by our public institutions, that defy the authority of God and even question His very existence, can no longer be ignored by the churches.

There are several things in this passage that should be profitable for us today. First of all, we see that the sword is brought upon the land by God himself in response to the iniquity of its culture. Second, note the three-fold audience to whom this message is addressed, the watchman, the entire culture, and the individual. Third, the end goal of the message is that they “turn from their way and live”. Fourth, the watchman is selected by “the people of the land”. In the Church that would be the Pastors and teachers. If America is to avoid the wrath of God, there must be a national repentance and a return to God with an acknowledgement of His sovereignty over all the affairs of nations. If the people will not hear because, as Franklin said, “the people [have] become so corrupted as to need despotic Government, being incapable of any other”, the church will have done its duty and the blood of the land will be on the heads of those who promote America’s official religion, secular Humanism.

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Farewell Chicago

art wilsonDear Chicago,
In case you’re wondering where I am, I’ve left you and Illinois for another city in another state. It took some time but I finally realized that I am who I am and I certainly can’t change you. It’s not that I didn’t try these past six years. I voted in every election. I tried to explain conservative principles to hundreds of your citizens, (apparently printing money is more popular than I thought). But you and your state seem hell-bent on destroying yourselves and I just couldn’t live there and watch it happen. Oh don’t get me wrong, I still hear about you and what’s happening with you all of the time. In fact, just last week I heard Illinois credit rating fell to the worst in the country. Congratulations. You just beat California for being the worst “drunk” in the country. Keep spending. You don’t have a problem. And I hear about you in the news all of the time these days. Apparently the murder rate in January, (42), is the highest since 2002, (77). This is despite the gun ban you’ve had in place all of these years and the statistics that show over and over again that the gun bans haven’t worked. Instead of acknowledging you have a problem, you just blame something else. Seriously, global warming?

Don’t get me wrong; it wasn’t all bad. I enjoyed living next to the lake and being able to walk to Wriggly Field for a Cubs game. Watching a Blackhawks game at the United Center is an experience, not a sporting event. Lincoln Park Zoo, the aquarium, the Field Museum, the restaurants. Oh I could go on and on but that’s what makes you a great place to visit. It does not make you a great place to live. I’ll definitely miss my friends there. The conservatives are few there but they are some of the most solid in the country. (You really know what you believe in after you’ve had to argue explain it to the people around you a million times). I’ll miss my church – one of only a handful that’s not preaching the social gospel downtown. But Chicago, you did everything you could possibly do to push me away.

Let’s talk about values. Mayor Rham Emanuel spelled it out loud and clear last July when he stated Chick-fil-A’s values were not Chicago’s values. It wasn’t the statement as much as the threat by he and Alderman Joe Moreno that unless a private business agrees implicitly with what they believe, they wouldn’t consider allowing zoning rights to a Chick-fil-A in that ward of the city. Since when did elected officials start strong-arming people into believing exactly as we do? I would have just as much of an issue with this if a pro-gay business was treated this way. This is yet another reason why businesses will have to think long and hard before deciding to open up shop in Chicago. You’ve made it quite clear that if a business can’t play ball the Chicago way they can stay the hell out. Good luck with that.

And then there was the Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle budget proposal last year. Chicago you already have some of the highest taxes in the country and you want to do what? Another dollar tax per pack of cigarettes, the highest in the country. A violence tax – a nickel for every bullet and an additional $25 per gun. The idea being that this county tax would offset the county hospital costs due to the extremely high violence in the city. Yes Chicago, you have the audacity to suggest taxing law abiding gun owners for the crimes of the gang bangers that will never see the tax. Oh, and you wanted to tax certain goods bought in other counties with an additional tax. Chicago, you will never ever be satisfied with the amount of money you collect. I just can’t live there and watch you push yourself into bankruptcy and drag me in along with you.

And the political corruption. Number one in the country again last year. 1,531 convictions for public corruption between 1976 and 2010. But that was so long ago. Surely things would be different right? Well….. Rep. Jessie Jackson Jr.      Ald. Sandi Jackson     State Rep. Derrick Smith…..   All investigated, charged or indicted and still voted back into office anyway. Wow. Talk about an enabling constituent.

I could keep going Chicago but what’s the point. It just didn’t work out. I don’t see a future there – not one that I would want to be a part of anyway. So farewell Chicago. And good luck. You’re going to need it.

Art Wilson

Warning: U Turn or Crash

U-Turn to right permitted

U-Turn to right permitted

For a very short time in the history of the world, America was an oasis of liberty in a global desert of humanistic oppression. That era is rapidly coming to an end. Furthermore, it appears more evident each day that we may have passed the point of no return. No matter what decisions our leaders make in the next few months, we cannot defy the laws of economics and math. Eventually, we will end up in financial bankruptcy and social chaos. At that point, based on the lessons of history and the law of cause and effect, order can only be restored to the chaos by draconian government intervention.

When that happens, we will have lost all hope of ever returning to a constitutional republic. America will lose its place as the “leader of the Free World”. We will no longer be the “policeman of the world” helping to maintain world order. The disorder and confusion we now see in the Middle East and Europe will continue to spread until chaos extends throughout the world, requiring the same solution, draconian government intervention. Conditions will then be ripe for establishing the long sought after goal of humanists, socialists, communists and other left wing groups, for a one-world government; the “New World Order” spoken of by George H.W. Bush many years ago.

Many of my readers are probably thinking to themselves, “The old man has finally lost it”. In 2008 when I first began to write about the dangers of an Obama Presidency, the most common response from my friends was, “that could never happen here, the American people would never stand for it.” I was also chided by my friends when I labeled Barack Obama as a socialist when he first appeared on the political scene. For some reason, I do not hear those criticisms so much today. Anyway, before you click off this page, let me assure you these thoughts are not original with me. They are gleaned from political philosophers, news accounts of current events, and the writings of commentators on political and religious history. For example, the modern progressive goal of a one world government dates back to the utopian thinkers of the twentieth century as a means for ending war, curing world hunger and furthering the socialist idea of “social justice”.

A number of groups have long sought to bring global trade, finance, transnational businesses and natural resources, under international control. The vehicle through which they hope to exercise control is the United Nations. The most active of these groups are the American Humanist Association and the Unitarian Universalists Association; both recognized United Nations NGOs with consultative status on a number of UN committees. The ultimate goal is a secular federated world government as stated in the 1973 doctrinal statement of the American Humanist Association.

“We deplore the division of humankind on nationalistic grounds. We have reached a turning point in human history where the best option is to transcend the limits of national sovereignty and to move toward the building of a world community in which all sectors of the human family can participate. Thus we look to the development of a system of world law and a world order based upon transnational federal government.” Humanist Manifesto II (1973)

If we understand this, we are closer to understanding those who work for open borders, amnesty and a “path to citizenship” for illegal immigrants, not to mention such UN programs as Agenda 21 and the Kyoto Protocol. It also helps to explain the thinking of those who advocate the power to tax for the UN. Our national sovereignty is being attacked and slowly chipped away by the UN, issue by issue, and with the full support of too many in Washington; much in the same manner as the federal government has worked for years to destroy the sovereignty of the states.

America is on the verge of social and economic collapse. Once that happens, it will be a simple thing to surrender our sovereignty to the “democratic” protection of a world government. A large segment of our population — perhaps even a majority — have already been conditioned to accept it, through amoral secular education and the alluring promises of humanistic socialism. Any reform or reversal of our current trend must take place before we reach that point. Once we allow a societal collapse, through apathy or avarice, there will be no hope of returning to the America past generations sacrificed so much to build and preserve. As we prepare for the struggles ahead, it would be well to remember that our battles are not only fiscal and political; they are spiritual as well; “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Eph. 6:12.

This nation was founded by the Providence of God and it can only be salvaged by the Providence of God. Our government must return to our plainly written founding documents, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and our churches must return to the authority of the Holy Scriptures if we are to see true reformation. A Biblical passage that has been quoted so frequently lately, that it has almost become a cliché, is “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” II Chronicles 7:14. Cliché or not, it is a promise from God that America cannot afford to ignore.

Buckle Up For The Cliff Ahead

cliffAs we rush headlong toward the so-called “fiscal cliff”, Republicans are cowering in a corner fearing they will be blamed for the consequences. Conservatives from the Atlantic to the Pacific are exchanging emails and writing blogs blaming Barack Obama, George W. Bush, the Democratic Senate, or all three, for the mess in which we now find ourselves. Here’s a news flash for the constitutional neophytes in the Republican Party. Neither the President nor the Senate is in control of the nation’s finances.

For the first 169 years of America’s existence, we were a collection of colonies under the rule of the British King. Laws governing the lives of the citizens were made by colonial Legislatures in each Colony. The members of the Legislatures were chosen by the citizens of each Colony. These Legislatures were given complete control over the Colony’s purse strings. If a Governor, reporting to the King, wished to expand his carriage house or build a new bridge across the local creek, the money to do so had to be appropriated by the Legislature. Monies for the Crown came from excise taxes and tariffs imposed on Commerce. The “power of the purse” was so absolute among the colonies that they sometimes refused to appropriate money for the Governor’s salary until the Governor came around to their point of view. (For more discussion of this subject, click here)

The Governor had a simple choice, if he wanted his paycheck; he had to acquiesce to the wishes of the Legislature, even if that meant disregarding the direct orders of his superiors in England. Attempts by the British Parliament after 1763, to wrest control of the purse away from the Colonies led to widespread protest, and eventually to the Revolutionary War and the loss of the Colonies for Great Britain. By 1787 when the Constitution was written, citizen control over how taxpayer money was spent was so ingrained in American thinking that the new Constitution placed the power of the purse in the House of Representatives as the only branch of government elected directly by the people.

Article I, Section 7, Clauses 1, 2, says, “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.” You do not need a JD Degree to understand the clear meaning of this simple decree. Only the House of Representatives can originate tax laws or other means of raising revenue. The Senate can “propose” amendments, but the House does not have to accept them. The House has the final say over how taxpayer money is spent. For the past four years I have listened to conservatives bemoan the fact that neither the President nor the Senate has presented a budget since Obama has been in office.  It is not the job of the President or Senate to present budgets. The only duty of the Senate is to concur with the Budget presented by the House or to offer amendments for the House’s consideration. A legitimate question may be asked at this point, “What happens in case of a stalemate?” Here to, the Founders did not leave us in the dark.

Article 1, Section 9, Clause 7, says, “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.” Again, a Law Degree is not required to understand the meaning of this Clause. If the money has not been appropriated by the action of the House and concurred with by the Senate, it cannot be spent. The President cannot buy a postage stamp with taxpayer money unless it has first been appropriated by the Congress for that purpose, and don’t forget to get a receipt. “What then”, you may ask, “is the President’s responsibility in drawing up budgets?” Again, our Framers anticipated this important question.

Article 2, Section 3, Clause 1, says, “He [the President] shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient;” Here, the key phrase is “recommend to their consideration”. Until President Obama solidifies his position as the dictatorial leader of America, he only has the privilege of “recommending” to Congress how he would like to see us spend our hard earned dollars, but neither he nor his minions in the bureaucratic monstrosity, created by former Presidents and Congresses, has the authority to spend money for things and in ways that Congress does not give its prior approval.

If a CEO in the private sector spent money he was not authorized to spend, it would be called “embezzlement”; he would be issued an eight foot by ten foot cell and a striped suit, and it would be years before he could again view a sunrise from the comfort of his patio. When a President does the same thing, he should face impeachment, be turned out of office, and prosecuted for his misuse of taxpayer funds. Congress members, who conspire with the President to steal from the taxpayers and use the money for political advantage, should be turned out of office and prosecuted if the situation warrants it. It is time the American people said, “Enough is enough” and put an end to the misuse of taxpayer money and the wholesale abuse of taxpayers’ labors.

If the Republican Party does not take a stand against raising the debt limit and/or increasing taxes now, this song and dance and the Ponzi scheme that has become the way our government operates will go on for the foreseeable future. We can only expect these unconstitutional practices to continue ad infinitum until all our money is gone and America becomes just another destitute, third-world power. When we go over the looming “fiscal cliff” it won’t matter who gets the blame, it is the American People who will suffer; and there may be a degree of poetic justice in that, since we are the ones that allowed our elected officials to get out of control, believing that we could somehow benefit personally from their lawlessness.

Chicago: All American City?

CNS News quotes Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel as saying, “Chicago is the most American of American cities”. It’s not so much that I disagree with our illustrious Mayor, although I think he is premature in his evaluation. Chicago is what Wall Street would refer to as “a leading indicator”, but even in that, it is not number one. Cities like Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Detroit and New York City are other leading indicators, as are the states of Illinois, California and New Jersey. If you want to know what your city or state will be like in a few years, assuming the current trends continue, you only need to look at these leading indicators of our culture.

Chicago has the highest murder rate in the country, along with the most stringent gun control laws. Its schools are among the worst in the nation, which may explain why its former school Superintendent, Arne Duncan was tapped by Barack Obama to be his Secretary of Education. Chicago’s property, business, sales, gasoline and cigarette taxes are consistently among the highest in the nation. Along with the high taxes, Chicago continues to gouge its citizens with additional “fees” for city services such as, ambulance, parking, and public transportation. The Fiscal Times reports that Illinois leads the nation in citizen exodus following a recent 67% increase in the state’s income tax rate.

Chicago has always been a leader in our slide into socialism. As far back as 1889 a Nationalist Club, advocating for the nationalizing of the nation’s economy was formed in Chicago with famous attorney Clarence Darrow as its head. In 1927, the University of Chicago became the home of America’s first Humanist Fellowship. The U of C has been the Midwest center of the socialist/progressive movement since the turn of the nineteenth Century. It is not by coincidence that President Obama and a surprisingly large number of his closest advisors have their roots in the Chicago socialist/progressive community.

While Chicago has long been a breeding ground for liberals, socialists, communists, humanists, and progressives of every stripe, it is still a long way from being an “all American city” as the 2012 election map shows.

2012 Election May by County

2012 Election Map by County

The electorate was fairly evenly divided in both the 2008 and 2012 elections. The problem was that not enough Republicans, represented by the red states  turned out in sufficient numbers to overcome the Democratic city machines located in the blue patches. Almost all of the (blue) areas where Democrats won in the ’08 and ’12 elections are located around major cities with Democratic Mayors and controlled by “machine politics”.  As this map shows, there is not a single state, with the exception of New England where the Democrats dominate the entire state.

In rural areas the “ground game” is not as effective in getting out the vote because the low population density makes person to person communication more difficult; and they are not as exposed to the constant bombardment of political advertising as those in “major markets”. Also, people in sparsely populated areas are not as affected by regional despots in their day-to-day lives as those in more densely populated areas, therefore they do not “feel” the urgency to vote or see the danger as clearly as their city cousins.

Before the next election we have to figure out how to get patriots in the rural areas of the country more organized and focused on the need for their participation in saving their country from the ravages of humanistic socialism. Tea anyone?

If We Only Had a Constitution

United_States_ConstitutionWe are learning today what it is like to live in a Democracy without a Constitution; and it is not pretty. No Democracy has ever lasted more than two hundred years before falling into chaos to be replaced by a tyrannical oligarchy headed by a “strong man” dictator. We have lasted a little longer only because of the lingering influence of the Constitution we once had. In a non-constitutional Democracy, or in our case, a post-constitutional Democracy, politicians have to give the majority of the people whatever they perceive it wants in order to hold onto power. This arrangement only lasts until the government has grown powerful enough that it no longer needs the approval of the people to stay in power. At that point, messy elections can be dispensed with, and the newly minted “leader” can rule by fiat until the next successful revolution.

Imagine how different things would be today if we had not abandoned our Constitution. We would not be sixteen trillion dollars in debt because the government would only be allowed to spend money for things the Constitution delegated as its responsibility. We would not be spending four million dollars to send our President on a Hawaiian holiday, because all expenditures would have to be first appropriated by the House of Representatives, and approved by the Senate for that particular purpose, with an accounting made to Congress and the people. The President would not be allowed to issue “Executive Orders” with the force of law, affecting the every day lives of the American people.

Federal laws would only be made by the federal legislature. Courts would not be making laws telling us how and when we can pray, or how we should educate our children.  Bureaucracies would not be issuing “rules” to tell us what kind of light bulb we should use, what kind of transportation we should buy, or what we should eat or drink and how much. Bureaucratic activity would be only what is needed to administer the specific laws written by Congress. Those bureaucracies and departments not established under the delegated powers of Congress would not exist. Our doctors would not have to consult with government to know how to treat our illnesses. Business failure or success would not be dependent on favorable laws by government; the market would determine what goods and services were needed and how much we were willing to pay for them.

We would have more control over the laws governing how we live because they would be made by our state and local legislative bodies whose members are within easy reach and more sensitive to our wishes. Laws passed would be more in keeping with the values of the community, not the values of politicians who had never set foot in our state, much less our community. We would not be working forty percent of our lives to supply the government with money used to buy the votes of its government-created dependents. Our tax burden would only be what is needed to carry out the delegated powers of government. Our schools would not be used to indoctrinate our children in statism and immorality, because they would be under our control and community supervision. Our teachers would consider their jobs a “calling” not a career and would teach for the love of teaching and not for fringe benefits.

Ah, for the good-old-days when America was ruled by law and not the whims of men; and those laws could be written in a few paragraphs easily understandable by the average person with a workable knowledge of the language and a good dictionary; when all laws flowed from the Supreme Law of the Land and not from the desire of “do-gooders” who believe that we all should live in a two-tier society made up of the ruling elites and the worker drones who subsist on the largess of government. Is it possible that liberty, once lost, can ever be regained? Let us pray that it can.

The Progressive Mind, Part 1: Moral Values

To the Christian mind, socialism or progressivism, as it is called in America today, is the epitome of evil. However, to the socialist mind, it is the essence of morality and virtue. Most believers in Biblical Christianity find it difficult to comprehend how anyone could support a philosophy that has resulted in the enslavement, torture and murder of millions of people, just during the past century alone. In attempting to understand the slavish devotion of millions of people to the doctrines of socialism, it is important to realize that it is much more than a philosophy of politics and economics. It is also a religion. More specifically, it is a division or “sect” of a religion. That religion is Humanism, the established religion of modern America and most other nations of the world today.

As a religion, Humanism is the mirror image of Christianity, which is a monotheistic religion that worships and glorifies the God of Creation, revealed in the Bible and worshiped by most of America’s Founding Fathers. Humanism is a polytheistic religion worshiping and serving the creature more than the Creator. Humanism has many gods. Its two major ones are, the human race en toto, and its political systems — “the State”. Its lesser gods include science, human reason, and nature — including the earth and its creatures. Just as Christianity has many divisions or denominations, Humanism also has many divisions or sects, but rejects both the Christian God of Scripture and the Scriptures themselves.

Background of Humanism

The lure of humanism first appears in the creation story of the Garden of Eden, in the dialogue between Eve and the serpent recorded in Gen. 3:1-6.

“Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, ‘Yea, hath God said, ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”

“And the woman said unto the serpent, ‘we may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, ‘Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die’.”

“And the serpent said unto the woman, ‘ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”

The history of mankind is the history of man’s efforts to cast off the boundaries established by God and creating or becoming our own gods, determining for ourselves that which is right or wrong, good or evil. That is the essence of Humanism, which is normally divided into two types, religious and secular. Our purpose here is to examine the influence of organized and focused Humanism on our culture, economy and government. Since both religious humanism and secular humanism share the same worldview and the same vision for America and the world we do not distinguish between the two.

Modern Humanism traces its beginnings back to the sixteenth century Unitarian movement started by Ferenc Dávid in 1565 in opposition to the reformed theology taught in the Churches of Switzerland. David was court preacher to János Zsigmond Zápolya, Prince of Transylvania, a historic section of what is today Romania. David rejected the doctrine of the Trinity and later came to believe and teach that Christ’s existence began with his birth. A similar movement sprang up in Poland at about the same time as the one in Transylvania. This group was known as the Polish Brethren and was completely suppressed by the established church. One of its best known leaders, Michael Servetus was burned at the stake.

Eventually Unitarianism spread to the colonies among dissenters to the Calvinism preached in the Congregational churches. In the mid to late-eighteenth century two momentous events transpired in America, the Enlightenment and the Great Awakening. Proponents of the enlightenment sought to apply science and reasoning to human nature, religion and society. The Great Awakening was a time of widespread religious revival. Along with the tremendous growth in the more traditional Christian churches like the Congregational, Presbyterian, and Baptist, Unitarian congregations also experienced considerable growth as a backlash to the “hell fire and damnation” preaching styles of evangelists like Jonathan Edwards, John and Charles Wesley and George Whitefield.

The eclectic mixture of Calvinism, Armenianism, and scientific reasoning created an ambivalence in America’s religious climate that continues to this day. Many of the Founders attracted by the intellectual nature of the enlightenment were drawn to the Unitarian point of view. The Dictionary of Unitarian Universalist Biography lists John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Dr. Benjamin Rush, Thomas Jefferson and several others as Unitarians. Although Jefferson never joined a Unitarian congregation he makes it clear in his correspondence that he embraced the Unitarian philosophy of his day. In a letter to Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse, June 26, 1822, Jefferson writes, “I rejoice that in this blessed country of free inquiry and belief, which has surrendered its creed and conscience to neither kings nor priests, the genuine doctrine of one only God is reviving, and I trust that there is not a young man now living in the United States, who will not die an Unitarian.”

In 1791 Joseph Priestly, an English scientist, philosopher, and Unitarian theologian, fleeing persecution in London, migrated to America. He settled in Northumberland County near Philadelphia where he became the Pastor of a Unitarian congregation. Philadelphia served as the seat of the federal government from 1790 until 1800 while buildings were being erected in the District of Columbia to house the new government. Priestly became one of the leading ministers in Philadelphia with many government officials regularly attending his sermons. He developed a close friendship with Jefferson and is credited with providing the encouragement and inspiration for the famous Jefferson Bible.

In America, the early unitarian movement—as opposed to an organized religion— was led mostly by Congregationalist ministers or former ministers. Unitarians at the end of the eighteenth century still clung to many of the doctrines taught by the Congregationalists. Most had a strong faith in the providence of God, believing He ruled in the affairs of men and nations, as expressed in the Declaration of Independence. They rejected the divinity of Christ, however, as well as the infallibility of the Scriptures and the doctrine of original sin. Since Unitarianism is primarily a free thought movement, it has no creed or firm theological position. Although most held the scriptures in high regard they did not consider it to be either infallible or the final authority in matters of religion. Their primary source for religious truth was nature, science, and human reason which were to be used in understanding Biblical teachings.

As time went on Unitarian teachings gained widespread acceptance among the “intellectual” classes. In 1805 Unitarian Henry Ware was elected Hollis Professor of Divinity at Harvard, a school originally founded to train Congregationalist ministers. The Arminianism that had become popular during the first Great Awakening mixed with the teachings of Calvinism from the Reformed movement and Unitarianism from the age of reason to form the religious “soup” that produced the second Great Awakening in the nineteenth century.

The influence of Unitarianism can be seen in the work of the antebellum reformers of the early and mid-nineteenth century. Brook Farm, one of the more famous utopian communes of that era, for instance, was founded by former Unitarian minister George Ripley and his wife Sophia in West Roxbury, Massachusetts. Although many of the utopian communes were started by reformers not connected to the Unitarian movement, they all were based on the Unitarian doctrine, the “perfectibility of man”. Although the belief that man was a being created by God was still widespread, many rejected the Creation Story and the story of the “fall” in the Bible as myth. The common belief among the reformers was that man’s development was progressive and the utopian communes were designed to help that progression along. It would be some time before they found a satisfactory answer to how mankind came into existence.

During the second Great Awakening a new reform element emerged with the preaching of the “social gospel” and the widespread popularity of millenniumism. This new wave of reformers attempted to create “Heaven on earth” and bring in the Millennium Kingdom through social reform. The temperance, abolitionist, feminist, prison reform, asylum reform and the settlement house movements were all reforms inspired by the social gospel and the developing religion of humanism.

With the ratification of the Constitution and Bill of Rights in 1788 and 1791 the United States became the first civilized nation in history not to have an established religion. For the first time man could allow his imagination to run free in matters of religion, believing, teaching and preaching whatever his fantasy could conjure up without government repercussions. New churches were formed and old ones split as congregants followed the new doctrines of their latest charismatic leaders, resulting in the nine hundred or so divisions we currently have among the self-identifying Christian churches in America. Without the objective authority of the Bible, Unitarians, the unchurched and nominal Christians gravitated toward the developing humanism, the “natural” religion of man without God.

In the 1850’s, two books were published in Europe that were to have a lasting effect on American religion, culture and politics. They were Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto and Charles Darwin’s Origin of the Species. Both of these books furthered the development of the humanist philosophy. They provided answers to the two basic questions of existence, “where did we come from?” and “where are we going?” Evolution theory validated the utopian efforts of the reformers. If man was not created, but came into being through the natural processes of evolution, then he must still be evolving. If man does not possess a sin nature as a result of the “fall”, then the evil we see about us must come from life experiences and the social environment in the culture.

Therefore, since mankind is in a state of perpetual evolution, it just makes sense that in order for that evolution to have a positive outcome, a proper environment must be created to guide man’s development. That is where utopian socialism comes in. An ideal environment for human evolution cannot be left to chance or the whims of individual men. It must be planned and controlled collectively, that is, by government. While the labels of Marxian socialism has never been accepted by American socialists, its precepts along with Darwinian evolution theory were incorporated into the humanist religion destined to later become the de facto established religion of America. As Norman Thomas observed in 1944, “The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of ‘liberalism’ they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.”

By 1825 Unitarian ministers had formed a denomination known as the American Unitarian Association. For the next hundred years Unitarianism continued to grow as a liberal and forward thinking segment of Christianity. In 1867 two Unitarian ministers, David Atwood Wasson and William J. Potter, founded the Free Religious Association. Its stated purpose was to, “emancipate religion from the dogmatic traditions it had been previously bound to.” It opposed organized religion and supernaturalism, promoting the supremacy of individual conscience, reason and the perfectibility of humanity.

In 1927 a group of seminarians and professors at the University of Chicago organized the Humanist Fellowship and began publishing the New Humanist magazine. In 1933 a group of 34 Unitarian ministers and academics from America’s leading colleges and universities convened and drew up The Humanist Manifesto. The Manifesto has since had two updates, the first in 1973 and the most recent in 2003. The updates reaffirmed the principles expressed in the original and expanded its vision for a one world government with an even distribution of resources and incomes around the globe.

“We deplore the division of humankind on nationalistic grounds. We have reached a turning point in human history where the best option is to transcend the limits of national sovereignty and to move toward the building of a world community in which all sectors of the human family can participate. Thus we look to the development of a system of world law and a world order based upon transnational federal government.” Humanist Manifesto II (1973)

Corliss Lamont was a leading light in the Humanist Movement for most of the twentieth century. He authored many books on Humanism and Socialism, among them The Philosophy of Humanism and You Might Like Socialism. In a document titled “Humanist Support The United Nations” Lamont writes,

“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted in 1948 by the United Nations, is in its entirety a Humanist document. Which could have easily been inspired by our own Humanist Manifesto”.

The first Directors of three prominent United Nations Departments were also prominent in the Humanist movement following World War II, Julian Huxley of UNESCO, Brock Chisholm of the World Health Organization, and John Boyd-Orr of the Food and Agricultural Organization.

Humanism supplies the underlying value system of American socialism, Progressivism, and America’s Democrat Party. The three organizations that have exerted the most influence during America’s journey from a Constitutional Republic to a Democratic Socialist state were, the American Humanist Association, The Unitarian Universalist Association, and The Democratic Socialists of America. The American Humanist Association has been particularly active in efforts to eliminate the influence of traditional Christianity from our national discourse and public institutions, working through the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and its own Appignani Humanist Legal Center (AHLC).

The ACLU was begun in 1920 ostensibly to “defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country”. Corliss Lamont, mentioned above, served as Director of ACLU from 1932 to 1954, and until his death in 1995 was Chairman of National Emergency Civil Liberties Committee. This group successfully blocked Senator Joseph McCarthy’s Senate Committee attempting to expose Communists in our government. History has shown that McCarthy was right in many of his accusations.

In the Introduction to the Humanist Manifesto I, the author gives the reason for the necessity of such a document as, “While this age does owe a vast debt to the traditional religions, it is none the less obvious that any religion that can hope to be a synthesizing and dynamic force for today must be shaped for the needs of this age. To establish such a religion is a major necessity of the present. It is a responsibility which rests upon this generation. We therefore affirm the following:…” He then goes on to list the basic principles of Humanism. It is ironic that the ACLU, a creature of organized Humanism that presents itself as a defender of the Constitution uses the First Amendment of that same Constitution to suppress religious liberty for Christians and to censor any attempts to teach Creationism in any of our educational institutions in favor of its bedrock doctrine, Evolution.

The ACLU with two hundred staff attorneys and thousands of volunteer lawyers working pro bono file hundreds of lawsuits annually designed to suppress Christianity and further the doctrines of Humanism. Although, according to its manifesto Humanism was organized to establish “a religion” “shaped for the needs of this age”, it is allowed to operate freely among government departments and officials, as well as our educational and other social institutions without sanction. Since it does not recognize any Deity or maintain places of worship, it is not officially considered a religion and is not subject to the restrictions of the widely held doctrine of “separation of Church and State”. Laws designed to further its doctrines as a result of its litigation and lobbying efforts among our state and national governments, however, have made Humanism our de facto established national religion. The eighty-five members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, considered by the Democratic Socialist of America as its Washington lobbying arm, also serves as the chief lobby for Humanism in the nation’s Capitol.