Sunday, August 13, 2017

End Time Bible Prophecy Fulfillment, Part 3: Showing Them The Money

He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads,  and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.  

Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.


Revelation 13:16-18

The end times, as we have been stating throughout the duration of this blog, are a period of time in which the rebellion of humanity against the knowledge and will of God as spelled out through the Gospel of His Son, Jesus Christ, will arise to lead global society towards a full blown apostacy from all that He has revealed about life, death and the future.  These cataclysmic seasons where mankind's rejection of His light for the darkness of its' sin and Satan's alternate reality in the fallen human world order have been described throughout the Old and the New Testaments by the prophets and apostles of Bible.  We've been talking about what are the prophetically foretold warning signs that the Scriptures plainly describe for us to understand these times.

The third end time Biblical prophecy we must examine is that of the warning of the "Mark of the Beast" in the book of Revelation written by John the apostle. Revelation 13's account of the emergence of a totalitarian super-power that dominates and controls global governance is ended by the plain truth of this prophecy. It has been the source of untold amounts of speculation throughout history and not a few bad Hollywood movies but just considering the minimal reading of it, in context with the rest of the book, is blood chilling enough.

That super-power is personified by the rise of a literal personage, a world leader whose influence will harness the known geo-political currents swirling on the earth in that future time on a blazing ascent to power - energized by the evil malevolence of Satan himself to establish his own antichristian agenda. He is called "the Beast" and his human charisma and well placed position in human events - in conjunction with the power of Satan's deceptive influence - will enable him to become the final world ruler in the end times as man's grotesque inability to lead itself gets worse and worse.

This ultimately is the final manifestation of fallen humanity's search for a lord, an authority under which it may seek refuge .. completely apart from God. This is what we've been talking about for years on this blog behind what cultism is and here we see the entirely secular emergence of this tragic dynamic of human existence. Let the video below give you a glimpse into the ongoing slide into anarchy the frightened nations, seeking a Hero, are looking for ..

video


It all sounds like a cheap horror story from Syfy or a ghost story to frighten little kids by, doesn't it?

I'm sorry to disappoint you, but this is the Gospel truth (as we've seen in Matthew 24) behind a future coming so fast at us, we're all largely ignorant of it and we would dismiss it readily as "extremism." But as we've said, it is the hard-hearted dullness of heart and mind that evil will readily slip around to establish it's new beachheads of horror among the nations.

And as part of the machinery this Beast will exploit, to gain the unimaginable and absolute control over humanity he will achieve, the economies and commerce of humanity will come under his power. His utter obsession is for the people of the world to literally worship of him as divine.  For the skeptical who might find worship of a demonically driven human being distasteful, they will immediately find that there's no greater way to compel their allegience by taking control of its banks, markets, payrolls and all other forms of digital infrastructure to the degree his rule will achieve.

The Scripture warns just what degree of sovereignty the Beast's control will pull off - that those who submit to his agenda must "receive a mark"  simply to live under that kind of new world order.  In a world where the love of money and self becomes underscored by self-preservation itself, the Scripture makes clear that the masses of dominated humanity will become nations of sheep bowing to the scepter of rule that tracks their coming and going, the operation of their online banking and their employer's ability to toe the new line of social orthodoxy.

The ability to marshal this kind of domination and make it as personal as a punch in the nose, as Robert Heinlein might have described it, has of late come up in the recent decision of a Wisconsin business to invite its employees to be given insertions of microchips in their left hands to facilitate operations there. Purely voluntary, the employer stated. No way personal identification or privacy breaches can occur, they informed us. Mm hmmm.  Just like the personal Social Security number is America's way to identify its workforce for benefits "securely."

In a not too distant future world devastated by the judgments of God that include plagues, wars, violence and destruction beyond belief, the longing of rebellious man for someone who will turn them around will arise to a religious fervor upon which the Beast will seize and ride for all he can .. and this won't be any dystopian novel to thrill bored readers with. It will be reality itself.

And the Beast's journey toward global control began long ago in the innovations of financial and social engineering we see all around us, things that we see frankly delight modern man in search of "convenience" .. remember, this is indeed a world wide phenomenon. We conclude this entry with a couple of recent news stories about how the cashless society and the "office of the future" have helped to drive man down its broadband road to perdition:


video

With our relinquishing of our independence with a trust and naivete that is beyond surreal, we can see how readily a world that increasingly desiring security and convenience is being primed for the emergence of a new world order, a social system upon which they think life will become better.


video


How rude this sign will shatter them with a surprise for the ages. And Jesus said it will be like this!

Anyone listening?

Thursday, August 3, 2017

End Time Bible Prophecy Fulfillment, Part 2: Signs In The Heavens, Not SFX ..

And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come ..

Acts 2:19-20

People in the last days live in such a way that the spectacular and the amazing is mundane. The eye popping special effects of popular entertainment, the thrills of theme parks, the jolt of extreme sports of all kinds and the on demand access to a blizzard of social media and personal photography originating on billions of smartphones and websites is an immersive reality that so permeates our life that even t
he materialization into our natural world order of natural phenomenon that is completely beyond our control gets readily viewed, downloaded, oohed over and then promptly forgotten. 

Eclipses, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions and the like are predicted, observed and promptly filed away in the cultural POV as just another fireworks display in a perfectly predictable, orderly natural universe subject to human editing. "Natural phenomenon" seen in the skies are just light shows these days.

Yet it is this very thing that Christ said would be a herald of his Coming as the Scripture has said. And it has taken the past generation to develop the media machinery of mass communication that will shout it all down.

The coming total solar eclipse that will span our entire nation this August certainly qualifies. It's been turned into a teaching moment for kids in science classes and a cottage tourist industry. Skeptics of all varieties will snort mockingly that this stuff has been going on since this third rock from the sun came into existence .. just as the apostle Peter wrote in 2 Peter 3:3-6 prophetically almost two thousand years ago:


 .. knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.”

Watch a great example of this kind of human laxity in a couple of news spots on the recent approach of asteroids within miles of the earth and the general spirit of the day.


video

It's breakfast time patter and fill in to the next segment. However, as we will see, it can get very real and very fast when a sign from heaven departs from the script .. 

video

And Jesus said it would be like this.

We're not ignorant of the very things He's warned us of. We're just bored with them. This is how the great "millenium" of human life is shaping up. The signs in the heavens are all around us. And we yawn as we talk about it.



  

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

End Time Bible Prophecy Fulfillment, Part 1 : Where's The Love?

The bitter life of a hateful woman is a sign of Bible prophecy.

And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

Matthew 24:12
  1. Our ministry proceeds from the rock solid observation that we live in the final days before the return of Jesus for His church and the beginning of judgment on this sinful planet. Since time is so much at a premium here, I'll keep these as concise as blogging demands you to be. I'll be speaking on the ongoing fulfillment of Bible prophecy about His return .. 

Jesus' prophecy here was in response to the questions of his disciples about his return and the end of all things? " .. what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?"

He made it soberingly clear: the human faculty of love, the emotive state of mind that elevates, restrains and sacrificially gives of itself unto others,  will become worn down to a frozen, lifeless and ultimately worthless shadow in the lives of fallen humanity. And that will be as a direct result of the unimaginably poisonous influence of the sinfulness of that same rebellious race.  Love will turn to frigidity due to the wickedness of today.

I would dare say that the present state of affairs today very well qualifies.

From the ongoing bloodbath of people shooting each other over slights in Chicago to the vicious divide that politics has become in America at large, it's no secret. It's a no brainer when seeing how completely cold the world has become. Every human institution is breaking down and you have to be living under a rock to not see this breakdown in human society .. when ISIS fighters can butcher babies and stream it for their edification, kids are bullied to suicide, and corporate business uses the emotional triggers love has to market your dollars into their coffers. When churches can mushroom in a town while social problems mount, it's plain to see. It's all around.

The Black Eyed Peas in 2003 sang about this sad state of humanity .. and redid the song in 2016 since the times have gotten that much more savage. 

video

Where is the love? Will.i.am and his posse just don't get this: the only love that doesn't wax cold is the love of God burning out of the presence of His Spirit in the life of His children. His love is an undying fire for all to cling to. The problem is that humanity is so toxically bent toward itself and so ready to buy into the innumerable counterfeits for love all over that it never truly sees His love shown in His Cross and the faith it offers. They'd rather binge watch the Hallmark Channel (or Brazzers).

And Jesus said this is what would happen .. before His return.





Saturday, July 22, 2017

When Zeal Without Understanding Becomes The Road To Hell


And the rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the porters, the singers, the Nethinims, and all they that had separated themselves from the people of the lands unto the law of God, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, every one having knowledge, and having understanding;

They clave to their brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse, and into an oath, to walk in God's law, which was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of the Lord our Lord, and his judgments and his statutes ..   Nehemiah 10:28-29
Did you know you can go farther than you are supposed to go .. and that the road to hell still is paved with the best of intentions?

He who has ears to hear, let them hear ..

Our church has been reading through the Bible this year and a few weeks ago, we read through the book of Nehemiah, the book written by a servant of the Persian King who had essentially enslaved Israel as another captive class of servants in Persia. God used the Persian Empire to bring a renewal of the nation .. and in so doing, a genuine spiritual revival swept those whom the King allowed to return to destroyed Jerusalem, rebuild it and the Temple.

 And in so doing, the zeal and the passion for truth that went beyond what God's Word had said compelled these people into taking the first steps toward hell. It struck me as I studied this then and I'm only finding time to speak of it here. This is another Biblical illumination into the falling away that this blog comments on.

In their hunger for purity, the survivors of the captivity in Babylon and then Persia set forth the creation of a spiritual legalism by determining they would "cleave to" each other and bind curses upon themselves for not following the Law they had just re embraced. This effectively spelled their spiritual doom. They set forth their own religious customs that would metastasize into the innumerable Talmudic and rabbinical traditions that warped so much of the spiritual life of Israel since that day.

They meant well, but by turning to their own religious impulse and creating their own hierarchy of religious authority apart from what the Law had set forth, the seeds were sown for a harvest of hurt. Israel today still lives under that shadow, blinded to her Messiah, and chained into cultural traditions that powerfully bind it to religion and block them from trusting their Redeemer. Here in these verses, we see the nation throw itself wide open to religious innovations that would enforce with actual curses to indict and condemn those who didn't measure up to the level that they established was acceptable.

It is singularly telling that this was a movement among the people and not a direction from God. It would go on to become the foundations for cultural and social evolutions that would culminate in the creation of the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the scribes of the Law who would come to assume an autocratic power over Israel. And it would be their traditions that would become what the Lord Jesus Christ roundly condemned and what he would contend with them over during his earthly ministry in ancient Israel.

The spiritual bondage to these purely human traditions are what led the nation into its' Pharisee-orchestrated rejection of Christ's call for Israel to believe the Gospel that He preached. And it was this stubborn rebellion that Christ would weep over, even as crowds around him shouted his praises in the streets of Jerusalem only a week before His crucifixion.

Here we see the first steps of "the elect" barely back from one frying pan into the fire that would consume them and which has them completely bound today. They are a cautionary illustration of the nature of fallen nature as well as the apostasy around us.

Today, this same kind of legalism is what has been one of the greatest snares used by cults and false prophets of every shade. Cultic legalism is a powerful tool of manipulation that, when combined with the group dynamics of cultic mind control and the deceptive nature of cultic recruitment, turns the underestimated dogma of the Jehovah's Witness pioneer, the Remnant Fellowship weight loss "expert" and the La Luz del Mundo pastor into the most powerfully transformative and enslaving power of the heart mind and conscience the world has ever seen.

It hasn't stopped. The victim count continues to pile up.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Lindsey Factor: A Cautionary Episode Of The Internet Shame Game


Lindsay Stone is the young woman in the picture above who felt that going to a place where respect for those who died defending American freedom was still a place you could publicly act like a rebellious 13 year old. Her alleged impulse, as she would later insist, to be cute and contrary and make "funny pictures" came, of course, from that part of human nature that resists authority, despises and pushed set boundaries and does what it wants to. It's regrettable that what she characterizes as being "funny" became a moment that she and a friend needed to be documented for their amusement.

So when it hit Facebook, as the ancient books say, "it was written" that she would find Internet notoriety knocking on her inbox and voicemail. For the Internet made her famous, in all the ways you don't want to be immortalized for it.

This foolish young woman realized that the closest thing to sacred ground in even a secularized land like America is not a place you do such things. It goes to show you how ill advised people can be and the inevitable shaming she encountered for a private moment of stupidity becoming globally public for syndicated consumption was a lesson for us. It's what I call the "Lindsey Factor," something I'll be blogging on in the future. I want to take a look at how the power of the media and the phenomenon of mass personal outrage magnified by the Web is a potent source for change for both the good, evil and all points inbetween .. and how the essentially well intended sense of establishing right and wrong can go terribly yet predictably wrong.


Lindsay, if you are still Googling to find out how far you've been able to move beyond your admittedly pathetically unfunny and insulting image you created, and you happen upon this blog, I want you to understand, as a veteran and a pastor, I am both infuriated and saddened still - how you could choose such a place to "mock-disrespect" and so completely ignore the national sanctity we hold for it. I am taking time to actually travel there this summer to pay respects at a memorial of a tragedy aboard my old ship, the U.S.S. Forrestal  that took place when I was only seven years old that cost the lives of many men serving our country. It matters enough to me that it should be remembered by all the country and Arlington is a timeless place it should be remembered at.  As a man old enough to be your father, I am sorry you now reap what you have sown but that is the nature of things.

You seem to be an intelligent and compassionate young woman who is mortified and trying to move on.  I've no interest in belittling you and believe in redemption and growth. So I am glad you are trying to still do good in a world that you've rightfully enraged over an act that didn't need to happen. I hope your help of the autistic goes well, for autism is a tragic dimension of reality in our world that you are trying to alleviate.  But your lapse has become a teachable moment to bring light upon the darkness in our world for which future writing will come. I'm just shaking my head that it had to be you .. or anyone else.

I'm certain you've now come to understand that our freedom .. and yours .. isn't free. It came at a price your example terribly mocked.

I truly hope that is the life lesson you had here.

                          
                          

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The End Time: Still On Schedule Even Though I Have Not Been There Myself



It is better to learn late than never at all.   Publilius Syrus


Life does come at you pretty fast sometimes. There's much in one's personal transitions during the ebb and flow of life that can consume you so very much that whatever you've set up before as a priority suddenly gets torn down again by a newer or greater one. Change is the one constant of life, from deaths to births, from revisioning to scrapping, from relationship to relationship. Whether you a believer or an atheist, whether rich or poor, whether Asian or African and no matter where you live in the great human continuum of existence, we all face the lightning strokes of personal change and the uncertainty it brings, followed by sometimes purposeful and often frantic scrambling to react and/or respond to it.

Such has been 2016 for me and my house. I am now an associate pastor at the Crossroads Church at first in Lynwood, then in Sauk Village, Illinois where I serve to help shepherd, care and grow the flock under the senior pastorate of James Schulker.  Last year was one of the greatest years of transition in both churches - while we were just starting to get our ministerial launch in Lynwood, the Sauk Village Church of God invited us to combine with them to create a new congregation. Both congregations agreed and the Crossroads Church of God was born in August, where my wife and I have served ever since and our first year anniversary is coming up. Since then our ministry has kept us quite engaged on a local church level and we anticipate deepening levels of it to come, to the glory of God in Christ by His Spirit. It would take a whole post in and of itself to discuss how I've gotten to this point .. but we know one thing. Elizabeth and I are here for this place, at this time, and for the building of the Kingdom of God.

This blog has been about discussing how the end times apostasy in our world spreads and continues to deepen and deceive.  You may now understand why I've not had time to do much with it at all for over a year, after repeated relaunching to keep it current over the years, despite my desire to keep blogging.  Time is now at an absolute premium. My calling as a pastor now is asserting itself, my long standing desire and passion, and while my calling to be also an apologist and countercult activist remains the same, it is the priorities that are now changing. This has been ongoing since 2013 and it is where He has been leading.

But Spiritwatch Ministries and this blog will continue and must remain. The ongoing rebellion of humanity against its Creator as its time is about to be overshadowed by prophetic judgment must be foremost in a truly informed person's mind when considering the days ahead. Somehow, someway, I will now continue to blog about this fallenness, about the dark days ahead because it is certain that the days are indeed getting more troublesome and uncertain. In such a time as this, the Gospel of Jesus and a living hope in Him that is an anchor of the soul are the eternal standards that will stand all change that chaos seeks to impose. Spiritwatch Ministries stands firmly upon that!

We're still going to do as we have, here in the Chicago metro area and Northwest Indiana. We're still counseling victims of spiritual abuse, still witnessing to cult members, still tracking apostacy, still consulting with pastors, still keeping the websites up and the prayers going on. Every Tuesday, at our church, I lead a weekly prayer meeting for our world with emphasis on the cultic groups and apostate elements in our culture that need prayer for conviction, for deliverance and for truth. We're not giving up .. just again reprioritizing again in the midst of change! Thanks for your patience and attention, folks! Pray for us! We'll be blogging more next week!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Of Cartridges And Things: The Latter Day Saint Legacy Of Divine Violence

The ongoing occupation of a Oregon federal wildlife refuge's grounds by dissident rancher activists again provides for us an opportunity to look beyond the headlines to the bigger picture behind their protest. The leader of the group, one Ammon Bundy, draws his moral high ground for his actions as much as from deep seated convictions that the federal government has disrupted his livelihood and that of his neighbors as well as an earnest appeal to several generations of Latter Day Saint political pietism in the Northwest. 

A recent Religion & Politics column written by Benjamin Park is well worth a read to grasp how such a seemingly harmless faith like Mormonism has provided for Bundy and many of his following a platform to become a rallying point for dissent, even armed conflict:

Even on an issue as crucial as violence, the LDS culture has enough tools at its disposal to construct various, and seemingly conflicting, idols. ..

Indeed, examining the relationship between Mormonism’s tradition and the current standoff in Oregon is a reminder that the construction of political theologies is always an exercise in creating religion after one’s own image.


It's an article well worth the read and shows how quickly the acquired absolutism drawn from one's lifetime in the thrall of an authoritarian group becomes both the potter and the clay in the cottage industry of good old fashioned cultism.



Saturday, January 9, 2016

ICSA 2016 in Dallas on Recovery From Cultism: Hope To See You There!


It is an honor to have been accepted as a speaker at the 2016 International Cultic Studies Association. I've not been at a conference in quite a good while outside those Spiritwatch Ministries has helped facilitate so some great friends have encouraged me to consider providing my own input there for a while and so I applied, and was accepted.

I've spoken in evangelism conferences (like the one above) about cultism for my movement, the Church of God (Cleveland) as well as in those operated by the Midwest Christian Outreach and EMNR coalition over the years.  Speaking at conferences has always been challenging and yet profoundly encouraging. I hope to someday get more of our conference audio and video online this year. So when this opportunity came, I felt I should offer my own interaction. I appreciate the recognition of the work and plan to be there.

The ICSA was at one time called the American Family Foundation and I have watched it from afar off and have been too absorbed in too many other things to go the next step up to be involved there. It has done a tremendous job in being one of the major resources on cultism and cultic abuses that victims and survivors can look to. I have been working to help people in cults in one way or another since 1983 and have been aware that people of like minds have been doing the same all over the world. The ICSA is a band of professionals, survivors, ministers, lawyers, therapists and genuinely caring people - although diverse and global in populace, it is dedicated to pretty much the same thing I have tried to address in the one small segment of the Cultworld I've tried to work with.

The topic of the conference deals with recovery from cultic groups and I will be giving a talk on the development of a Christian model of cult recovery that is non-coercive and yet faithful to Christian principles. I don't believe recovery from the abusive manipulation of cultism and compassionate Christian ministry to those who have experienced it are mutually exclusive whatsoever. That is what I will be sharing with, in a 30 minute paper presentation (with of course, the obligatory PowerPoint) and 15 minutes of questioning.

I'm not sure what the date for that will be but it will occur during the conference in Dallas, Texas from June 30 through July 2, 2016. We hope to see some of you then. More information will follow ... the latest conference into can be read here at the ICSA website.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Who Said There's No Free Lunches Anymore? When The Criminals Can Help Run The Land


 Most people think that your life ends when you are sentenced to a long term of incarceration. Au contraire.

In fact, for a fair number of convicts, the American prison system becomes the greatest thing to happen to them. They get room, board, medical care and the chance to earn privileges which they capitalize on to change their lifestyle and "mend their ways."  It's unlike jail time in much of the world anywhere else.

In fact, it's a proven fact that convicts can remain involved and connected with their former external lives in ways thought impossible. Imprisoned organized crime lords still get their underlings to run the show while they're gone. Embezzling businessmen can still buy, sell and trade, drug traffickers get their destructive product distributed, and rapists and other misanthropes like cult leaders Charles Manson and Warren Jeffs can live pretty well empowered lives. Manson's murderous cult was largely broken up when he was brought to justice, but he still writes books, charms women, and dispenses his warped thinking via a website. Jeffs still runs his LDS fundamentalist people group with an iron hand even after his child rape conviction and does so with an authoritarianism that would make Brigham Young proud.

So, if cult leaders and other organized miscreants can run their empires from prison, why can't we re-elect and swear in government officials while they are arrested for suspicions of murder and drug dealing? Right here in Northwest Indiana, such a spectacle continues. An East Chicago council man, Robert Battle, is about to be sworn in while awaiting a court date for suspicion of homicide and drug trafficking conspiracy. Before his arrest, he was running unopposed for the position, got 308 votes for the job during the election which took place and was arrested shortly after his victory. His trial won't be until next summer, but until then, he's likely going to continue to draw pay and be able to run government.. from jail.

Only in America do you see this kind of pandering to the criminal element of our fallen society go on.

As I've said before, you can't make this up. Click here for the latest sordid details.

What was that old saw about the inmates running the prison?

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Meat The Press, part 2015: How Pop Apostacy Pops Up In The Media

There's nothing .. and I mean nothing .. so jaw droppingly amusing when the media takes to its massive networks of print, internet, TV and radio mediums to take to task those whom it feels the need to cut down to size. 

There's perhaps no more pathetically hilarious season then when certain talking heads, steered by their producers pulling their strings by earpiece, want to remind us what "real Christianity" is all about when Christians and Christian institutions refuse to compromise to the social conventions everyone demands of it.
With polls and the cultural pulse takers of the day telling us how disconnected the church has become from the foundational truths which it has upheld for over two millenia, it's easy to feel that maybe we need to "evolve" and "revision" a more "user friendly" faith that isn't so intolerant, archaic, and out of touch with modern sensibilities.

So G. Shane Morris' biting response to the gainsaying day we live in is a refreshing reminder of just how countercultural that the Christian faith is and must be and shall be.

What matters, and what the media can’t for the life of them seem to understand is this: We, as Christians, do not worship a generic God-of-the-philosophers, non-trinitarian, and infinitely customizable to various faiths. Our God insists on being known as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as revealed in the New Testament.

When a Christian or a journalist demands we act like Jesus and just get along with everybody, I remind them that Jesus wrecked the Kumbaya of first-century Jewish theology by making exactly the claim about himself I’m making now: He is God in human flesh.
Do Christians and Muslims worship the same god? Well, is Jesus Christ God? You can’t answer “yes” to both, no matter how loudly the theologians in the media insist otherwise.

His throwing down of the gauntlet can be read in full here.   I can only wish I'd written it first.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

If It Quacks Like A Duck, And Walks Like A Duck: The Ongoing Cultism Of Remnant Fellowship

Cultism to this day still gushes out of the filthy cisterns of the Remnant Fellowship's authoritarian leadership as inspired by the micromanaging orations of its self proclaimed "prophet" Gwen Shamblin. The underlying spiritual terrorism of Shamblin's religion isn't lost on observers not dazzled by its bling and zeal.  Suzanne Titkemeyer, a blogger and administrator of the No Longer Quivering  online support community dedicated to helping women who are spiritually abused, did not fail to note Remnant's aberrance in a blog post from last year:

Years later I heard that Gwen (Shamblin) had said most Christians weren’t very Christian or serious about their faith. At the time I was shocked by her statement but after eight years out I have to say I agree with her. Where I disagree is in the fact that she started her own church, The Remnant, which has more in common with Michael Pearl and other dangerous theology than any movement to free Christianity from legalism.







Click the link above for the complete article of Suzanne's painful reminiscence and discovery of the cultism of Remnant and it's leaders.  It's well worth the biting, irreverent read .

Monday, January 4, 2016

When Transmission Belts Fail: One Columnist's Minority Opinion

A civilized society's first line of defense is not the law, police and courts but customs, traditions, rules of etiquette and moral values. These behavioral norms — mostly transmitted by example, word of mouth and religious teachings — represent a body of wisdom distilled over the ages through experience and trial and error.

They include important thou-shalt-nots, such as thou shalt not murder, thou shalt not steal and thou shalt not cheat. They also include all those courtesies that have traditionally been associated with ladylike and gentlemanly conduct.

The failure to fully transmit these values and traditions to subsequent generations represents one of the failings of what journalist Tom Brokaw called "The Greatest Generation." People in this so-called great generation, who lived during the trauma of the Great Depression and fought World War II, not only failed to transmit the moral values of their parents but also are responsible for government programs that will deliver economic chaos.

And the United States pays for it daily, in both the ongoing moral and financial decay of our land. As much as we have to laud our forebears, there remains this stark truth: it failed us horrifically when it came to teaching and living out what it meant to live right from wrong. The apostasy today does indeed have roots and wings.

To read the rest of Walter Williams concise and brutally honest commentary piece, click here.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Clouds Without Water: The Shameless "Examples" Of Apostacy Roll On

On this blog, we discuss how much more of the slippery slope of apostacy from the Christian faith we have slithered down, how cultism, the culture wars and just life in general shows how utterly in need of a Savior humanity really is. We've reviewed a lot of the sordid, the sensual and the spiritually deceptive over the years and as 2016 dawns, I intend to continue that trend primarily because of the dark hour we live in that demands that discernment and truth be heralded in the face of a world of lies.

So, with that in mind, we often must be reminded that there's a real reason why things are written in the Bible as they are and as they sound. In a world that wants to make the 10 Commandments, for example, into 10 Suggestions and the nature of God so fluid as to encompass flying spaghtetti monsters and reincarnated lepers, the Bible stands alone as a standard to live by. It's not a book of mystery and fable, but one filled with honest accounts of God's dealing with his stubborn and rebellious creation, and how warped we can be.

So when Jude 12-13 perfectly and infallibly prophesies about just how shagnasty and loathesome an spectacle of carnal self-interest that "prophets" "very spiritual persons" and "church workers" today provide, we'd better listen: there's a reason why the apostle writes with a burning and almost lyrical passion there ..

These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear:clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;  Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.

Without shame, such wolves in sheep's clothing continue to do their thing. Knowing the level of discernment and gullibility is at an all time high among those who wish to believe, they impudently, shamelessly, boldly offer themselves as morally pure repositors of Christian faith and balanced spirituality. The three examples above aren't even close to being a representative sample of this tribe of impostors. We trust you'll see why Jude says what he says here.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Art Still Imitates Life .. All Too Well

It's 2016 ... another year of apostasy has completed to seamlessly flow into another. In the last days, it's about the only thing we can really count on occurring in this crumbling world order.

Spiritual abuse, agenda-laden socialization and fallen human nature on every hand keeps breeding perfect storms of deceptive and cultic manipulation. It is so mundane that it can be found everywhere in human society. It's always noteworthy when it finds an uncommonly piercing light thrown on it.


The power of authoritarian social pressure that unethically compels people to make lifestyle decisions plainly inspired by the groupthink surrounding them is an old reality. People want to belong and be lead by those who promise them meaning, fulfillment and community based upon the allure of the group they are invited to join.  But this is not a phenomenon limited to religious cults. Oh by no means .. 


Click here to see a piercingly and painfully on target observation of how cults on college/university campus are often hidden in plain sight, thus allowing them to create parallel universes within them .. The young film student who created this exceedingly disturbing work has found her film being cut off from YouTube and other sources and vilified as a jealous wanna be. She's also lit up, in just a few months, a sizeable portion of the Internet.

We think as you watch this you'll get her point: Cultism truly is an equal opportunity scourge of humanity.



Sunday, June 28, 2015

One Minister's View On The Erosion Of Society, Post 6.26.2015


 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace–but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side.  They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you (Luke 19:41-44 NIV).

Our national turn embodied in the recent Supreme Court decision to establish same sex marriage unions has been one towards an ultimate deviance from God's order for human sexuality and the family has been towards inviting His judgment upon us.

That's not being hateful, nor intolerant, much less being something to make you sound politically correct .. but is upholding a fundamental design for life we now toss to the winds for our "happiness." Instead, a curtain of deception and confusion will smother us in the years to come. The only "forcing of morals and beliefs" I see here was when the Supreme Court's activist judges decided this was a civil right which is complete fantasy ..

It won't change my feelings about those who embrace this (I love all people regardless of their lifestyle choices) and will not refrain from befriending or helping anyone. I have known homosexuals in my workplaces and in my life and have never treated them with anything but respect and dignity, even though our lifestyle choices are so radically at odds.

At the same time, as a minister of the Gospel of Christ, I will not stay silent on what is right or wrong on this matter, no matter what our hellbound culture rises up to sanctify. While civil same sex unions may be what it lauds, those truly faithful to God's ordained standards for what marriage is are now going to be found only in the declarations and actions of the Christian church's voice itself.

As an expositor of that truth, I cannot but speak and proclaim what those are .. regardless what the consequences might be as a matter of my own conscience and what the Christian faith historically teaches us on how to live. I invite God's judgment upon me if I choose to ignore, downplay or ignore the implications of social pressures to compromise on this. I love His established truth too much to not stand up for it. For me to remain silent upon this would make me part of the vast fogbank of human depravity that I am expected to compromise to .. and after 31 years in the Christian ministry giving my life to live for truth, I am not going to contribute to that whatsoever. My love for the souls of the people all around me won't let me do that.

And being that the increasingly amoral church is the final place for which any kind of moral declaration in our society is ultimately appealed to, this will be the focus for a global campaign of feral demand for the Christian faith to capitulate to modern convenience and conviction on the LGBT agenda unlike anything it has seen in the 2 millenia it has existed. I am not surprised by such an assault when I realize this societal twisting is precisely what Jesus said we would expect in the last days and Matthew 24 continues to unfold prophetically in our culture.. as we continue to slouch toward divine judgment.

If that makes me in its eyes an intolerant hater, that's their POV. I categorically reject that. All who know me and persist in that kind of demonization to protect a morally bankrupt position they want to endorse have resorted to the only way they can legitimize it ... and speak volumes about how "tolerant" they are and how tragically compromised they are for judging someone they know to be a person who cares about all people as some kind of hatemongering Fred Phelps clone. You may unfriend me if you will, but it won't be my doing. You'll quit me but I'll keep loving you .. and won't stop upholding the truth.

God save America .. because she is about to get spanked. Mark what I say, in tears, sorrow and a sense of dread unlike any I've ever had before.

Jesus Christ is coming .. come quickly Lord and may faith truly still be on this earth when you do.

Friday, June 26, 2015

It's Official: Same Sex Marriage Is Legally Sanctioned & The Apostasy Ramps Up A Notch or Two


"If you are among the many Americans—of whatever sexual orientation—who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today's decision. Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal," Chief Justice John Roberts wrote. "Celebrate the opportunity for a new expression of commitment to a partner. Celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it.
"

Same sex marriages just became the law during today's Supreme Court judicial activism and a supposed "civil right" that had previously been all but assured cultural adoption is now the new "normal" in America.

Do the math: which of the three couples above will perpetuate society, will give birth to children?  This no longer matters, says our culture when the demand for loving relationship at the cost of society itself at large is far more important.

June 26, 2015 will mark a significant day in American history, when the slouch to Gomorrah became a skip.

The gayification, if that is a word that can be used, of culture - that is to say, the final efforts of the LGBT agenda to paint their lifestyle choice as a part of normative equality, has now pretty much claimed it's room at the table of the American way of life. No one in any institution anywhere can raise any objection and not be demonized in the ultimate intolerance. But that's the way it's been and has been a reality long coming. In light of the many years of legal tyranny and skullduggery to overturn state's rights to define what marriage is as well as the ongoing national accommodation of gay relationships and marital unions, this was a given self-fulfilling prophecy that was foretold years before the first 

And the Christian church supposedly is the last place where any objection to gay marriage can possibly yet be heard, except for the ultimately futile attempts by ultra conservative lawmakers to pass a constitutional amendment banning it.

But the tide of cultural apostasy is too advanced to stem now and as so goes the culture, in these last days of deepening darkness, so will go the church. The pressure on the church to sanctify gay marriage and lifestyle as a part of "progressive" Christian faith has just increased a hundred fold. When homosexual pastors "come out" and decide to militantly declare that "God has always honored our unions," then we can safely say that those who disagree will find themselves under the baleful glare of those who would demand they get with the gayme plan and be "Inclusive" and to stop being unwilling to have "deep discussion" about it, as local gay pastor Randy Duncan would assert.

The final moments of waning light are now fast fading .. and I'll let Larry Norman, despite his own checkered past, have the final say on where we are ..

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Strange Case Of Rachel Dolezal, Child Abuse And Outing In America

Human nature, the stuff through which moral depravity of every kind proceeds, is truly a maelstrom of contradiction, self-incrimination and just plain deceptive weirdness. And it always finds the most unbelievable ways to manifest. It is within the medium of warped human perspective and worldview that the apostacy of humanity keeps on trucking in.

If you would have asked me a few years ago if it was possible to see how the twistedness of a family under the influence of self-anointed scions of abusive fundamentalist child rearing could somehow take down an NAACP chapter leadership, I'd have been a bit baffled at trying to get my hands around that. But since we know that it's possible for an allegedly "Christian" diet group to become a mind controlling cult and command national media attention for it's "successes", I would have to regrettably agree since people are just so .. uh, funny.

And boy has it ever. The strange tale of the white civil rights activist Rachel Dolezal's bid to be accepted as a black woman and therefore head up the Spokane, Washington chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has all of the elements of the above, and apparently, so much more.

Her parents Larry and Ruthanne Dolezal and an adoptive brother mounted a media campaign to "out" her, that is to say, to expose her true identity as actually not quite Negroid. It would seem that they wanted "the truth told" about her Caucasian past and an apparent mental instability that deeply concerned them. This flies in the face of  her breezily self-assured conviction that she indeed is African American and that her family really aren't her family. This is symptomatic of a calculating and ruthlessly intentional effort to reject her racial reality and by default her own past itself.

Dolezal's personal life, in keeping with the script for outing as written by social media engineers, been spilled over all the internet to show the quirks of an apparently very complex persona. By her own testimony she is bisexual, a claimed victim of marital domestic abuse involving sex tapes and assault which a divorce court didn't buy, and a liberated woman who felt she needed to do a nude photo shoot in which she exposed a lot of apparently spray-tanned flesh. She also felt white activists and Latinos could not speak on racism involving blacks and gained another Kodak moment for herself by inciting violence among the protesters in the recent racial unrest in Baltimore. Being how her extracurricular activities concerning racial social justice seemed to be all good, not a lot of attention got drawn to her decidedly questionable activity - until her family seemingly wanted the truth told.

But in checking their own past and history, what looked like a time for clarity and resolution has gotten a lot murkier and far more darker (no pun intended) than what can be believed.

Why would an idealistic 37 year old woman launch herself into a campaign of self-serving deception for a supposedly greater good? What led her to so identify with a minority that she ditched her own personal history and past?  As the meme above suggests, something in her past personal experience turned her focus away from her own undeniable personal reality into a fantasy she thought was justifiable personal transformation so she could serve others. This well intended farce becomes a tragedy when that something well may have involve a family dynamic mediated by and influenced by a highly controversial and I might add pretty dangerously imbalanced Christian subculture which their family was conversant with and lived by.

A good review of that grotesque side of the Dolezal story is found here at our dear friend Cindy Kunsman's blog and specifically, a good overview of the fatal results that came about which involved the very influence the Dolezals came under, that of Christian teachers Michael and Debi Pearl can be read here and viewed in a 2013 CNN report here.

More twists and turns than what you'd find at a convention of Chubby Checker fans are likely ahead. It's enough for us to note once more the old but true saw how there is no right way to do the wrong thing: as Dolezal's ex-husband Kevin Moore, a supposedly devout Christian, well said ..
“Rachel, you may not believe in God but that does not mean that he does not exist,” he wrote to his ex-wife in an email that was included in court documents. “God has seen everything you have done and He continues to watch.”
After listening to Dolezal's windy dismissal of direct questions about her racial identity on the NBC video clip above, I don't know how much more of this I care to actually watch. It makes me want to throw up a little in my mouth.


But this Latino knows he's Latino and doesn't need monthly spray tans to prove it.  Here's a pic of me from 1986 after a summer of outdoor landscaping employment taking a break with lily white Sheila Walsh at Cornerstone 86 -- and as best as I know, she's still claiming to be white.





Perhaps it was simply coincidence that a reporter approached Rachel’s parents now, and perhaps if he hadn’t they still wouldn’t have said anything. But I have to say, the timing is concerning. Did Rachel’s parents out her as white simply because they care about the truth? Or were they also motivated bya  desire to discredit her so that they can, by association, discredit the victim she is supporting, and thereby protect their son from the sexual abuse charges that have been levied against him? Did Rachel act inexcusably in lying and deceiving people? Oh, hell yes. But elevating her parents heroes or truth-tellers while ignoring this troubling context is worrisome.
And perhaps that’s what’s bothering me about this story. Rachel’s parents have been paraded and lauded across the media, their words taken at face value, despite the fact that they have been (successfully) accused of abuse and despite the fact that they are defending their adult son against accusations of child sexual abuse. And as someone familiar with the dynamics of abuse, this makes me really uncomfortable.
- See more at: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2015/06/lets-talk-about-rachel-dolezals-parents.html#sthash.z3PP93tI.dpuf
Perhaps it was simply coincidence that a reporter approached Rachel’s parents now, and perhaps if he hadn’t they still wouldn’t have said anything. But I have to say, the timing is concerning. Did Rachel’s parents out her as white simply because they care about the truth? Or were they also motivated bya  desire to discredit her so that they can, by association, discredit the victim she is supporting, and thereby protect their son from the sexual abuse charges that have been levied against him? Did Rachel act inexcusably in lying and deceiving people? Oh, hell yes. But elevating her parents heroes or truth-tellers while ignoring this troubling context is worrisome.
And perhaps that’s what’s bothering me about this story. Rachel’s parents have been paraded and lauded across the media, their words taken at face value, despite the fact that they have been (successfully) accused of abuse and despite the fact that they are defending their adult son against accusations of child sexual abuse. And as someone familiar with the dynamics of abuse, this makes me really uncomfortable.
- See more at: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2015/06/lets-talk-about-rachel-dolezals-parents.html#sthash.z3PP93tI.dpuf

Saturday, June 13, 2015

To This Day .. We Are Still In Need of A Savior

We are still living in the last days Jesus warned us about in Matthew 24. Make no mistake about that. The last days, as we have mentioned here on this blog, are the Biblically prophesied time in human history in which humanity's descent into self-destruction will steeply nosedive and figure prominently in the advance of the end of the world.

It's what we've shared for years what the apostacy is and how much further along toward judgment we know march.The corrupt nature of humanity that underscores our existence will be seduced and exploited by powerful figures and forces of delusion and deception, working hand in glove with our common human denominator of self-centered pursuit of life without submission to the Lordship of God in Christ. People in short, will live as they will live, by God and to hell with telling THEM how to live, they will live life freely as they please.

And of course, as we've observed, this is what Jesus said would happen in the last days. Read it for yourself. It's not a mystery or the plot line for some cheesy bad flick about the Tribulation. It is a fact of life.

The moist poignant and saddening aspect of this life in the end times is how our children are universally seen as the final examples of innocence and purity we can still look to. To behold and cradle a sleeping infant or child's helpless and tiny little body and to look into their face betraying total absence of worry, woe or wrong, what parent or grandparent or family member does not then get inspired to strive and labor and fight to keep them as protected and insulated from the darkness of our fallen world as we can.

But as any parent of children knows, when the little ones grow, so does the wakening of their minds .. and wills. And the march toward corruption continues. This powerful video shows how the mundane and pervasive birth of evil in human nature has been our birthright since the fall of mankind .. and how it manifests in the most destructive of ways.

video

To know that children are capable of cruelty to the extent they are is still more proof of our continued need of a Savior. For us to live as we do with the evil speech we utter is proof that evil does indeed exist today.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

When The Friend Becomes The Accuser: The Grotesquerie of Acts 29's Village Church Leadership

Acts 29 is the name of a network of churches that loftily assure us they are organized for the sake of the Gospel of Christ and to facilitate church planting (they used to be called denominations before it became too frustrating for evangelical church marketing gurus, but that's for another post another time). Acts 29's website describes it's intentionality this way:

Our focus is not simply on our own congregations, but on the work of God through the gospel of Jesus Christ, making his name famous to the ends of the earth. In the DNA of all Acts 29 churches should be a deep and driving desire to see churches planted across the world, all of which are  defined by theological clarity, cultural engagement and missional innovation.

Part of that church planting strategy is to partner with Christian world missions organizations to help facilitate overseas global missions growth. I understand that the churches in this denominational umbrella all retain their congregational autonomy and sovereignty as individual member churches partnering for a common good. There's certainly no quarrel with this kind of Christian diversity in unity.

However, one thing Acts 29's ad blurb on it's site wants to speedily distance itself from was the plain fact that it founded by the certifiably abusive and manipulative megachurch preacher Mark Driscoll who programmed an authoritarian totalism into the polity and culture of the movement. He was finally expelled from the group last year, yet it is clear that he left more bitter seek that even now still reaps a harvest of poisonous fruit.

Such is the pathetic example of an Acts 29 member church called The Village Church (TVC) in Dallas, Texas. One Matt Chandler is now the new leader of the Acts 29 movement and the head pastor at TVC.  But Driscoll's loathesome example of "grace and mercy" seems to have lingered there and has found fertile ground to grow. The proof is in the pudding of how TVC checked out of a responsible and compassionate response to the pain and horror of one of the missionaries they supported when she discovered her missionary husband had a serious addiction to child porn.

And what did TVC do? They effectively made the victim into a target for their punitive sanction. 

This going on in a church movement stylizing itself as the next New Thing of church growth, as the next chapter in Christian missionality (remember, there's only 28 chapters in the book of Acts and the plain implication here is that Acts 29 picks up where the apostles did .. Feh).


You can't make this stuff up: this abomination of spiritual abuse is apparently embedded in their culture by a membership contract and because the devastated woman didn't follow their prescribed process that downplayed the danger her pedophile husband posed to children on the mission field, they actually set her forth as a target .. for discipline!

It seems that covenants and lofty words are far more important than love or justice among this curious group of Calvinistic folk (I'm not surprised).  So it wasn't until the Internet became the Holy Spirit (with an outcry against TVC's legalism that includes downloadable files documenting the church's abuse of power and authority) that TVC woke up to smell the pizza. Chandler finally made official that they would no longer discipline her for being open about the brokenness of her marriage and sounded even appropriately contrite about their heavy handed attempts to silence her.

For more information on how to recognize this kind of slickly concealed abuse within abusive churches today, check this excellent article out. Reading the responses to it is almost as good as the article itself and shows just how far "grace" really has been warped into something destructive today in too many places where it should be flourishing.

But Jesus said it would be like this ... the love of many, as he said in Matthew 24 "will wax cold."

Yes Lord, yes Lord.