In the well known “Parable of the Sower”, Jesus taught that while sowing the good seeds of God’s Kingdom, it is also necessary to beware the thorns, the weeds and the tares.
These include the stumbling blocks and wrong concepts, often sown by people yielding to our spiritual enemy Satan, which can choke the seeds of truth. But they can do so only if we permit them to.
Sadly today, just like the early Galatian church, believers seem to have been mesmerized or “bewitched” (Galatians 3:1) – blinded even to some of the most basic Christian principles.
Charity, Duty and Social Welfare
Many churches have now almost completely ceded their limited but explicitly scriptural responsibilities as a local hub of social welfare for the poor, to the state:
Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need. – Acts 4:34-35
If any believing man or woman has widows, let them relieve them, and do not let the church be burdened, that it may relieve those who are really widows. – 1 Timothy 5:16
Worse still, most churches – some passively, some very actively – now teach that even basic family obligations have, for the most part, been superseded by government “welfare” programs. At the same time, they actively encourage financial contributions for various church projects.
But Jesus strongly rebuked religious leaders for advocating the financial dishonor of parents, while claiming the money for themselves:
For Moses said, “Honor your father and your mother”; and, “He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.” But you say, “If a man says to his father or mother, ‘Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban’ (that is, a gift to God), then you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother – Mark 7:9-13
The New Testament also warns us severely, that failing to uphold personal duty toward family members is to directly oppose the Kingdom of God – even to the point of heresy:
“if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” – 1 Timothy 5:8
Indeed, in majority Hindu, Moslem, Buddhist, African or other pagan cultures, it is considered unthinkable to abandon elderly parents or family obligations. But in the traditionally Christian West, to be old very often means to be isolated and alone, or else abandoned to institutional care.
Responsibilities toward the young have likewise been abandoned – and with the full support of most churches:
Compulsory, “free” and godless education places young minds in the hands of their captors, while parents as well as children can be fined or arrested should a child fail to attend.
Early sexualisation, political indoctrination, anti-Christian secularism, parental disrespect and the anti-family agenda, are all hallmarks of a system designed to forge “politically correct” cogs in the giant wheels of the state and its corporate allies – not morally responsible individuals.
Behind the broken and tattered facade of “in loco parentis” lies a reality in which mothers – the most qualified teachers of all – are typically forced out to work and pay for the inflated cost of living plus taxation that overall, can approach or exceed 50% of family income.
That can certainly make the option of private or, better still, home education look daunting – but where there is determination and faith, there will always be a way. Speaking to parents, not the bureaucracies of the state, and with a grave word of warning to all others, the Bible says:
Train up a child in the way he should go. And when he is old he will not depart from it. – Proverbs 22:6
“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” – Deuteronomy 6:5-7
Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them and said… “…whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” – Matthew 18:2-6
Law and Disorder
It seems that in most areas of life and across almost all denominations, a pattern of misdirected faith – from God’s ordained natural authority to the state – has repeated itself.
That especially includes matters of “law and order”.
In this particular area, churches have so merged and confused the Kingdom of God with the governments of this world, that they are not even aware of their own God-given judicial authority. In fear and servility, church leaders and elders believe that they must simply bow down while the state sits in a place of divine judgment over the people of God.
Indeed, from inception, many Christian organisations are financially founded upon threatening their fellow believers with government court action over copyright on songs, books and recorded messages. Contemporary Christian music, public gatherings, hymns/ choruses, the order of church services, and even media distribution of the Gospel message itself, are all literally enslaved to this system.
But God, through the Apostle Paul, specifically identified this as an “utter failure” – a matter of “shame” – and made clear that looking to agents of the state to judge us, is to look to those who should be “least esteemed” (1 Corinthians 6).
Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints? …If then you have judgments concerning things pertaining to this life, do you appoint those who are least esteemed by the church to judge? I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge between his brethren? But brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers! Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated? No, you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren!
It is true that our liberty in Christ does not mean openly violating the rules and demands of the ungodly – “lest” as Jesus said, “we offend them” (Matthew 17:25-27).
Yet, as if the Corinthian passage did not even exist, churches go far beyond any possible prudent or sacrificial compliance with regulations, “for the Lord’s sake” (1 Peter 2:12-16). Indeed, with great esteem and improper reverence, they publicly glorify the “law enforcement” agents, courts and systems of this world, while preaching near unconditional subservience as if to the arm of God.
War and Destruction
In many churches, members are sent forth not to preach, but to invade distant parts of the world – in the full knowledge that large numbers of “collateral” killings of innocent people are certain. Those who do so are not only justified but publicly honoured, as if they had fulfilled a holy missionary calling.
Yet at God’s invitation, Abraham – the “father of all those who believe” – interceded for the innocent among the guilty of Sodom and Gommorah and in the end, those few did escape:
“Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” So the LORD said, “…I will spare all the place for their sakes” – Genesis 18:25-26
But unlike Abraham and in fact, much more like the disobedient prophet Jonah – who wanted his own nation’s presumed enemies destroyed – many Christians show little concern for the innocent:
Then God …relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them… But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he became angry. …But the LORD said, “Is it right for you to be angry… should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left—and much livestock?” – Jonah 3, 4
And so Christians today, by placing the violence of government alongside God as a “holy” instrument, have compromised their point of moral reference. For the purpose of discerning the will and internal voice of God, their spiritual truth “filter” is therefore broken, and they are easily deluded.
So deluded in fact, that many were once utterly convinced that US military aggression would lead to a massive Christian conversion of the violated populations. The influential Christian leader Kenneth Copeland for example – who recently met and prayed with both Donald Trump and the head of the Vatican – delivered the following “prophetic” word (or listen here) shortly after “9/11″:
“And there are going to be multiplied millions upon millions, there’s going to be close to a billion people that have been trapped in that religion, that over the next few months are gonna to come into the kingdom of God.” (cheering) “That’s gonna happen, you watch and see what I’m telling you. Because … I’m telling you Satan’s fat is in the fire, he pushed it over the line, and God has moved, and for over a hundred years the United States has been an instrument of judgment in the hand of God. That’s one of the reasons we’re blessed, amen? …I can tell you this, that thing has come to an end, its over – I’m talking about Islam and every, all that that stands for. That’s over with. Now, God is making His move.” – Kenneth Copeland, Word of Life Christian Center, Honolulu HI, Evening, Dec. 2, 2001
The sad truth however, was underlined recently when Iraqi priest Father Douglas Bazi confirmed to a shocked American audience that in his country, most of the once thriving and free Christian population has either fled or been killed – and their numbers reduced from over two million to around two hundred thousand.
To minister such death and destruction not only to the world but even to fellow believers, is surely a devilish deception. But there is also another reason why – unlike the prophet Agabus to the early church (Acts 11:28) or Joseph to the Pharaoh (Genesis 41) – the public “prophetic” predictions of Christian leaders today are either so ambiguous, conditional or generalised as to be unverifiable, or else all too verifiably false.
Some may have a genuine and – in other ways – beneficial ministry calling. But outside of a relatively few followers, not one is widely recognised as a prophet. There is a very good scriptural reason for this:
Church, State and Gender
Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says [see Numbers 30]… for it is shameful for women to speak in church. Or did the word of God come originally from you? Or was it you only that it reached? If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord. But if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant. Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues. Let all things be done decently and in order. – 1 Corinthians 14:29-40
The New King James Version, in a side note confirms that here, the word “ignorant” is also translated, “without recognition“. It also means, “not known“. In other words:
“your women… are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive… if anyone does not recognise (know) this, let him not be recognised (known)“
Note that the context for this passage is set out earlier in verse 23: “when the whole church comes together“. It is therefore not referring to meetings of women, young people or children and certainly not private conversations; but rather to the presence of all – including husbands, with their fellow heads of household.
This is not a matter of male “oppression” or contempt, but of natural leadership. In fact, in any kind of meeting, remaining “silent” is a basic principle of submission to and respect for it’s leadership, which can also apply to men:
· In a boardroom, a male employee would never publicly interrupt, instruct, or rebuke the directors.
· Nor should a child, in a gathering of mothers.
· Or a young man, when being advised by his elders.
· Or a deacon, in a council of senior church leaders.
· Or any church member, while the leader is expounding from the pulpit.
Not long ago – before the rise of the welfare state and of effective artificial birth control – male leadership, protection and provision, along with a woman’s primary calling as a “helper” (Genesis 2:18) and her dependant status as a child bearer, were all generally recognised as simple facts of nature. Most Christian teaching supported this.
In line with these natural gifts, godly women have proven to be invaluable when called to help in many areas of church and ministry:
· Miriam the prophetess led the women in procession (Exodus 15:20);
· Elizabeth prophesied to Mary (Luke 1:41-58);
· Older women are instructed to teach the younger women “to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed” (Titus 2:3-5);
· Many women assisted Jesus and supported the apostles of the early church.
However, it is true that in special circumstances, an essential task may temporarily have to take priority over the natural order:
· Contrary to nature, God even used a donkey to rebuke the prophet Balaam (2 Peter 2:16).
· In a time of great danger, God first used ravens to feed Elijah and then a penniless widow to provide for him (1 Kings 17)
· Just as uniquely, the prophetess Deborah did act as a judge in difficult times – yet she plainly informed the man God called to lead, that it was a disgrace to be guided by a woman (Judges 4:8-9).
· And many godly women are forced to act as heads of household, for example, when widowed or abandoned.
But when a helper and child-bearer – influenced by false church teaching or today’s trans-sexual culture, and feeling “empowered” by state enforcement agencies – deliberately seeks to assume church or home leadership; she leaves her calling (1 Tim 2:11-3:5).
Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control. This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop he desires a good work. A bishop then must be blameless… one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?)
Whenever female leadership is permitted by church leaders, then the patriarchal order in the Kingdom of God – our Heavenly Father – is directly challenged. To participate in and bow to such “politically correct” state sponsored social disorder is to stand in direct opposition to the natural order ordained by God. It can only be called idolatry.
Taken together with the adulterous teaching commonly used to justify divorce (facilitated by running to government courts or agencies); this means that many otherwise fine churches have become vulnerable to error and false prophets. And their social fabric has been torn apart by fully state approved and documented – but nevertheless adulterous and therefore sexually immoral – relationships that follow from state approved divorce.
“whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.” – Matthew 19:4
Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife. – 1 Corinthians 7:10-11
In Revelation 2:20, the risen Jesus tied the spiritual root of this problem to a wicked woman called “Jezebel” of the Old Testament. So wicked in fact, that in the end she was eaten by dogs when she would not listen, after being publicly warned of this by a prophet of God (2 Kings 9).
The one weapon the woman Jezebel grasped above all to empower herself was the state. And through manipulation, she gained the upper hand over her weak but equally wicked husband, King Ahab (1 Kings 21:25).
In Revelation 2, her spiritual successor is identified. This woman has the dubious distinction of being the only female church leader in the New Testament. Note that believers are rebuked first of all for allowing this:
“I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first. Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds.”
It is fair to conclude of Christian churches as a whole, that at all levels – family, church, judicial and business – God-ordained order has been either partially or completely compromised. Church teaching which should present the world changing the Kingdom of God, instead actively undermines natural God-ordained authority by proclaiming, serving and uniting with the government systems of this world.
It is now high time for Christians to break out of these dark spiritual strongholds of the mind: an Earthly government is not the Saviour. It offers no real hope and, in earthly matters as in heavenly matters, it should not be the object of our faith or allegiance in any way.
Instead, we have an eternal allegiance and a far more powerful message of truth to deliver: The wonderful Good News of the Kingdom of God announces our freedom from all oppression in all realms, both spiritual and material.
Above all, it proclaims that true hope is to be found only in the love and sacrifice of our risen, everlasting and only King, the Lord Jesus Christ – and through upholding the natural order and principles of his Kingdom alone.
Paul Green [send him mail] provides internet and communications privacy services worldwide - and shares the Good News of Christian liberty from his website, SetFree.Now.im.
Copyright © 2017 Paul Green
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