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By Karl I. Payne
I just finishing reading an article on the plight of Iraqi Christians who are dying daily for their faith. Their churches are being burned, and they have nowhere to run or hide for safety. The Nineveh Plains are no longer a safe haven, and neither is Syria. It appears Iraq is being systematically turned into a Muslims-only state, where Shariah law will govern the entire country. Non-Muslims can convert, pay the jizya tax or die, which is already the case in a number of other countries.
The true reality is Muslims are murdering Christians for the crime of loving Jesus as their Savior and Lord. Two of these stories, one an Iranian pastor and the other a married Christian woman who just had a baby while in chains, have been in the news for weeks – and the response seems to be yawns from most people.
While men, women and children are being jailed or slaughtered, our attention through the media and degree mills, from the cradle to the grave, is turned to ice caps, carbon footprints, climate change, the capability to continue killing babies in the womb, legalizing the illegal overrunning of borders to ensure votes and cheap labor, legalizing the growing and smoking of dope, demanding a guaranteed minimum wage for entry-level jobs be high enough to support a family, windmills, electric cars, adopting unwanted animals, the cruelty of eating beef or poultry and the ultimate destruction of capitalism. With so many causes to contend for, who has time to learn how to read, write, do arithmetic or learn how to speak English in an English-speaking country?
Prominent members of our political establishment continue to recreate at our expense – golf, lavish vacations, invoking the Fifth and refusing to answer questions under oath, claiming selective memory lapses, losing emails, forcing people into health programs they do not want and cannot afford, and then boastfully telling the world that now is the best time in the history of the United States of America for a person to live.
The plan seems to be to continue taking increasing amounts of money from people who actually do work, to give increasing amounts of money to people who do not work. This stroke of genius will continue until we can all be equally mediocre and poor, except for the few elitist who believe it is their privilege to lead the revolution of redistribution. They eat meat and drink wine while those they lead eat beans, rice and drink water. This destructive utopian dream has not worked in the 20th century anywhere other than on the pages of books written by those promoting this delusion, and it will not work in the 21st century either.
The media have no credibility, with very few exceptions, refusing to report the mismanagement of money, broken promises, policy blunders, irregularities and illegalities that seem to mount by the day. More people use newspapers like the New York Times and L.A. Times to line the bottom of their bird cages than read their editorials or op-ed sections.
A political party that could have made a difference has spent more of its capital capitulating to the new normal, in hopes of being liked and getting re-elected, than standing on core principles necessary for supporting the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness of we the people who elected them.
We need more statesmen and fewer politicians.
My hope has never been in man. But there has never been a time in my memory with less to hope for trusting in the hand of man.
Jesus warned His followers that if they have hated Me, they will hate you, too. Evil men run from the light, not to the light. So none of this should be a surprise. It is just the first time in the history of this once-great country that we are beginning to feel or taste the fear and evil that Christians in other parts of the world have lived and experienced on a daily basis, only worse. The leadership and commitment of the religious West continues to compromise salvation through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and confidence in the Bible, the word of God, to the point that their views often seem to be little different than those of our thoroughly secularized culture and those promoting the current ideological slide to self-preservation, religious relativism, secular pluralism and ideological fascism or global socialism, whichever comes first.
It seems clear to me that political regimes of different stripes can and do come and go, some peacefully and some destructively, but until human nature changes or a person experiences a change of heart little will change other than the name, party and policy.
I would say that Jesus must be weeping, but I rather think He is getting ready for a wedding feast to honor those who love Him, and a horseback ride that is coming sooner than later, one that’s going to end in the destruction of all of His enemies. The crooked lines are going to be made straight, and the winners are going to surprise both the growing masses accommodating anything but Orthodox Judaism or Evangelical Christianity, and the political and media ideologues who think this is all a game they can abuse, without any fear of loss or reprisal.
The world is in for a surprise. People have been warned and given a blueprint for life, but this world is more interested and intent on worshiping the creation rather than the creator. Admission or consideration of the existence of a creator or higher power clashes with myths and mantras of “I am free to do what I want, any old time.” and “Dogs run free, why can’t we?”
We must remain vigilant and maximize the evangelistic and equipping opportunities afforded us through diminishing political and religious freedoms while these are still yet available. That door is already closed in parts of the world and is closing quickly in North America.
I am not a pessimist, I am a realist; a realistic optimist. Jesus said things would get much worse before they got better. We just happen to be the generation that is going to see it all come together unless there is another great spiritual wakening that allows Jesus to postpone His coming ride for another day.
I wonder if history is going to look back at the Christian church spending its time relativizing absolutes and absolutizing relatives, while the men and women around them were dying and going to hell, with as much incredulity as it does wondering how Nero could have sat fiddling while Rome was burning or Hitler’s Germany slept while Jewish men, women and children were being systematically exterminated?
We strain gnats while we eat camels. Jesus got that right, too!
Karl I. Payne is a pastor and author of “Spiritual Warfare: Christians, Demonizations and Deliverance.”