02 March 2013

Pilgrim Sociology and the Martyr-Prophetic Voice

I feel compelled at this point to stop for a moment and take stock lest some misunderstand the motivation behind what I’m writing about in dealing with these political, economic and social issues.

Is this a rant? Is this just rank negativity and poisonous rhetoric? I hope not. I expect the world to function this way. It’s a cesspool of sin. But as Christians we should be exposing darkness and shining the light of truth regardless of political affiliation. Dominionists berate my theology as retreatist and failing to properly address the issues of culture. I find it all the more ironic when their transformist agenda actually ends up serving and vindicating the world system and the Beast-state.[i] To me by perpetuating Establishment ideas and concepts it is they who are have sold out and gone to sleep.

While I personally get angry with what I see out there, what upsets me the most is the Christian support for what I can only call a criminal racket and an evil system. Above all other critique, we should be calling out and exposing this wickedness. We shouldn’t be afraid to speak truth to power. Social evils are one thing, but when they’re baptized, vindicated and promoted within the Church, that’s something else entirely.  When Christians support the world system, encourage sin and promote evil… then I believe we have an imperative to speak out. And if that comes across as negative, angry, grumbling and complaining, then I suggest those who say so have never read the Old Testament prophets or much of the Bible.[ii]

As Christians we are possessed with a spirit of contentment and inner joy. And again, I expect the world to work this way. I am but a pilgrim but I have to understand something of the world so I’m not taken in by its tricks and deceptions, or especially its temptations.

But part of being a Pilgrim is that we live in the wilderness, we are exiles in Babylon awaiting the return to Zion the Promised Land. While we can have joy and contentment, it’s not a pleasant place. Thanks be to God this isn’t our home. We shouldn’t expect it to be all wine and roses now or in the future. Though we personally can find and focus on the things of beauty and goodness, it is place of evil and injustice.

Woe to those who confuse it with the Kingdom of God or think they can baptize it and make it part of the Holy Realm.

Woe to those who worship power and have confused a Kingdom of love and redemption for a mandate to conquer. They have rejected the suffering Christ and have come to call good evil and evil good.

As I’ve said many times, the things I’m writing about are weighty and often dark. You cannot consist on a diet that relies exclusively on the things I’m writing about. I will only say that I also know those who refuse to even look at the types of issues I write about. They do this in the name of joy and to maintain an uplifted spirit. To a certain extent I can respect that and yet I also find them to be very subject to deception and manipulation because like it or not, even if they refuse to read history or watch the news they are affected by these forces. Even if we try to retreat (which I do not advocate) we cannot live in a vacuum.

Not everyone needs to invest the time I do into looking into these matters. Why do I do it? Why am I writing about these matters? I’ve been put in a place where I have experiences to draw from and resources to utilize. I find these topics to be interesting and for some reason God has both granted me an ability to learn, opportunities to interact and also a burden to speak out on behalf of those I believe are being exploited.

As one who grew up politically conservative and who at one time would have been a militarist, a defender of the corporate empire I am driven to penetrate and expose the lies which once deceived me. As one who worshipped the American state I also do this to try and help others to see and to provide mechanisms by which they can begin to disentangle themselves from the idolatry and blasphemy which grips the apostate American Church.

If all this comes across as an angry rant, a tirade of discontented complaint then in some ways I have failed in what I’m trying to do. Indignation is present and cannot help but come across and yet I hope readers will detect a far greater motivation. I’m not writing to just whine and complain. I’m trying to expose darkness and hopefully reveal a world of shadow that once seen, becomes stark and is found to be ubiquitous within society and the church. And once this stunning reality is grasped it literally takes your breath away and leaves you trembling as you watch millions who believe they are pleasing God and doing his will…fall off the cliff into the abyss.

Growing up in a Dispensational home I looked for the sensational[iii] and hoped to witness the unfolding drama of the ‘Last Days’ and the impending Tribulation. While this theology is in error, the sensational drama and the deceptions of Antichrist have been at work all along and are quite present with us today. I don’t need to imagine a futuristic science fiction tale placing the Church in dire straits as a remnant force in a persecuting world of lies. Open your eyes. The enemies aren’t politicians in the United Nations. They are among us. They smile and shake your hand and all too often they’re carrying a Bible and wearing an American flag pin on the lapel of their jacket.

[i] If I write hundreds or thousands of pages against what they believe, I’m a retreatist doing nothing. But were I to write for them or even just say that I support this or that political campaign or gave money to one of their causes I would be using my talents wisely, I would be a conscientious steward, and a faithful Christian.
[ii] Everybody can rail all they want until they encounter someone who is speaking against them. Then suddenly you’re too negative, too dark, you’re ranting, you’re mean and disrespectful. I remember loathing Bill Clinton and yet being shocked as a new Christian to hear the way many spoke about him. One Theonomist congregation employed imprecatory prayer calling on God to strike him dead. I remember one Baptist pastor going on about how if he had to see his ‘ugly face’ one more time on television then he was going to….
And yet when George Bush was president, suddenly there was reverence and awe and Romans 13 would be thrown in your face if you dared to question God’s anointed. And then under Obama it’s all flipped back again. It’s rank hypocrisy and ought to be exposed.
[iii] Hal Lindsey’s books were fascinating to me. “Satan is Alive and Well…” and “The Late Great Planet Earth”… I read them over and over again.


Mark Nieweg said...

Hello Proto,
Have you read Abraham Heschel's book "The Prophets"? If you haven't, I would recommend it. I first became acquainted with this book in a pastor's seminar on the topic. It is a book that gets you into the heart and mind of these great people, and thereby into the heart of God. You are correct; if readers see what you are writing as a rant, they don't know these books at all. Heschel brings out much of the same failings of Israel as is happening to the church - in our case the church in America - to first remember whom they belong to, what they were called to, and their defeat through remaking God in a nation's image (idolatry) and lack of discernment. The book really brings out the pathos of God in a way that brings tears, and hopefully repentence, to the reader.
Keep up your work. So few grasp this, and those few need this kind of encouragement.

Protoprotestant said...

Sorry it took me so long. I've been extremely busy this week and haven't been online.

I appreciate the recommendation. No I hadn't heard of it. I looked it up and it definitely sounds interesting. I put it on my Amazon wish list.

I appreciate the fact that he's trying to deal with both the Divine and Human aspects of Prophetic inspiration. It's a mystery to be sure. The Holy Spirit is speaking through the Biblical authors and yet they too are still people and their character and personalities jump from the page. Paul is not Peter or John and Jeremiah...well, he's in a class all alone isn't he?

I think it would be such an interesting thing to see people from the Bible interact with modern American Christians and Christianity. They would not be liked or appreciated would they?

Thank you for your very encouraging comments.