Thursday, June 25, 2020

The Train to Tribulation and the Road to Hell

Thanks for coming back.

In yesterday’s post we were attempting to understand the massive collectivist “winds” that are blowing across the modern world right now. The purpose was to help Christians see that these are nothing new, nothing unexpected, and nothing untypical of mankind. The language changes, maybe, but the forces at work are always the same.

Exposition So Far

Yesterday, we began with a simple point: men can try to achieve their goals either with respect to God or without regard for him completely.

Those who reject God have to find another way to effect change and get the things they want from their world. But individual man lacks the means to do this, so he looks to marshaling others to his cause. He mobilizes other men.

To do this, he needs to invent or adopt an ideology that will imbue his colleagues with a common vision and purpose. So he does this. And when it fails to produce the changes he wants, he begins to think that’s the fault of a lack of power. So he tries harder, pushes others harder, gets louder, becomes more demanding, then more forceful and violent, and spins into fanaticism. Hatred and destruction follow. But man’s sense of self-righteousness increases as he becomes more fanatical and violent.

However, collectivist efforts all fail. And this frustrates a man, and makes him rage. He seeks out explanations, but only those which do not require him to repent or rethink. He locates scapegoats and begins to denounce them. He becomes increasingly vicious in his repression of dissenters and opters-out of his ideological scheme. And he is committed to riding this train until it either reaches its goal, or smashes itself into reality with such force that it is shattered beyond reclaim.

The latter is what always happens.

Today’s Task

Hopefully, we all now understand what we are seeing. But the question for today’s post goes beyond that. We are Christians, and as Christians we may well wonder what our attitude to all this must be. After all, today we are being summoned to allegiance to collectivist causes. Some of these goals sound sufficiently noble that we might wonder if we can join the name of Christ with them. Some, obviously not.

Either way, the easiest course might seem to pick up as many elements of the popular ideology, rhetoric and objectives as we can, “Christianize” them, and ride along with the collectivist train a ways. Our goal may be to avoid trouble, or to be recognized as moral people ourselves, or even improve the public profile of Christianity. We may intend well.

But, as they say, “The road to hell ...”

Persecution Comes

So now, we must understand the truth about the Christian position relative to all this. This is a cycle which has been repeated time and time again, each time with increasing effects. And in the game of secular, collectivist ambitions, the Christian has always been the principal enemy.

Why should this be? It is precisely because of two inherent features of Christianity: first, and most importantly, that a Christian never reckons without God. Because of this, he looks for his ideal not to the collective arrangements of the world of men, but to eternity. This changes his whole psychology from that of a natural man to something most unexpected: a patience of hope, an enduring optimism, a gentleness in the face of wrong, a patience in suffering, a dedication to peace and personal righteousness instead of social control, and a refusal to join the world in its schemes. None of this helps the revolution.

Secondly, the Christian only ever stands as an individual before God. He knows with absolute certainty that when he gives account for his life, it will not be in the company of others — not his race, nor his nation; not his culture or his tribe; not even his church, his friends or his family. He will give account to God alone for what he has done. So his conscience is permanently captive to God himself; he responds to that one-to-one relationship that organizes his entire life. This is not useful to the collective, and it does not seem at all reasonable to the secular ideologues among whom the Christian daily lives. They neither understand him nor use him in their schemes.

So they hate him. He is the bitter pill the collectivist aspiration cannot swallow. He holds the new order itself in judgment before eternity. And he extracts himself from its total control, and gives himself into the moral regulation of Another. For them, this simply cannot be allowed to happen.

The Christian, then, is the natural enemy of all collectivism. He can only please the collective to the extent that he utterly denies this basic principle of his faith, that of being an individual whose accountability is to God alone — that is, by not spiritually participating with the collective mind. And only by relinquishing his faith entirely can he be fully integrated into the collective. Thus, if he remains a Christian, he must be eliminated. There is no other alternative.

Can We Compromise?

Why am I writing all this?

I am writing because we are living in an age in which collectivism is once again rearing its ugly head. More and more, it is being embraced in various forms: globalism, internationalism, “democratic” socialism, neo-Marxism, social justice … all have had a voice in the universities and colleges, the public and primary schools for quite some time now. But now their voices are swelling, under the banner of economic federation, open borders, equality and even anti-racism. And since at least some of the collectivist ambitions seem well-intended, moral, and perhaps even “Christian” (if taken at face value), Christians are beginning to debate what they should do relative to these very powerful collectivist trends.

Two recent articles in Christian publications of some standing have campaigned for this very thing — one in a small, conservative blog I shall leave unnamed, and the other in Christianity Today. The authors of both advocate Christians signing on to the latest collectivist social justice movements without reservation. And those of us who range the internet find their voices blended with others which, to one degree or another, likewise call for us all to unite our testimony with the spirit of the present age.

“Surely alliances can be made,” they think. “Do not we Christians also believe in fairness, justice and the equality of mankind? These are good causes. Surely we can ride this train for some distance, and surely it would be unpardonably impolite if we did not do so. Besides, will we not get a lot of criticism for not enthusiastically supporting the great masses of people who are rushing into the streets to proclaim the next liberation? And will it not give Christianity a bad name if we hold back?”

“So,” they say, “let us join the name of Christ with their cause. Let us go as far as we can with them. And should it turn out that they go in some unsavory direction, will we not have opportunity to step back? For now, let us laud the great cause, and see how far it will take us. If nothing else, it will surely prevent us from being instantly on the outs with the present public mood.”

A Burr in the Saddle

This kind of argument has an instant appeal, but is ultimately disastrous. We need to understand from the start that Christianity is NOT collectivism; in fact, it is the dead opposite, the most adamant form of individualism there can be; for it calls all men, individually, to accountability before God, and insists that all human collectivist projects are nothing more than Towers of Babel.

We also need to understand that collectivists sense this. They know that we are not them. And until we are made into them, we will always be a burr in their saddle, an irritation in the corner of their eye that they simply will have to get out some day. They will turn on us, and savagely, too: and they will require of us the renouncing of the most fundamental principles of our faith as a prerequisite to having their forgiveness and their permission to be reabsorbed into the collectivist project. They will never forgive us for being what we are.

And a real Christian can never stop being a Christian. That is why their unrelenting hatred is all we can eventually expect.

The Choice

So I say this to my Christian brothers and sisters today: do not join yourself with the mobs and masses, the seething collective which is sweeping the world right now. It is neither safe nor wise to do so — and it is not godly. Do not join their programs and efforts. Do not adopt their terms or their framing of the situation in the world. Do not harmonize with the siren songs they sing, nor bow the knee at their altars when they call you to do so.

Make no compromise here, for if you do, God will not approve your work. And one day you will not like yourself for what you have done. Moreover, your compromise will not ultimately save you from the world’s venom or make them approve of you. Do not imagine they can endure you so long as you remain a Christian, or that they will like you after you ingratiate yourself to them. Nobody likes a traitor. They will surely destroy you when they are done with you.

You may not be this enemy, but you will certainly be the next enemy. Count on it.

Now is the time for Christians to stand apart. The offense of our faith is upon us again, whether we will it to be that way or not. The time is at hand to stand for the Lord, or to fall under the sway of men. God will judge us for how we act in this day.

Remember your morals. Remember your allegiance. Remember what God commands and requires of you: first and foremost, that you stand in all your dealings in his presence, alone, as an individual. Secondly, that you join yourself to no false idols, and make no association with the wickedness of the nations which do. Thirdly, that you walk before him humbly and obediently, being kind to all and hating none, but …

Walk alone before your God. Keep yourself to him. Keep company only with those who do the same, who love the name of the Lord more than their association with men.

The Last Collective

There will be one more great collective of human beings. This time it will involve the whole planet. All nations will assemble together and unite in the great cause of the Antichrist, the man of lawlessness, who will bring the earth collectively to disaster and judgment.

If it’s not now, it’s soon. Prepare. Fortify yourself against the propaganda. Set your resolve on obedience to Christ alone, and set your compass for eternity.

Babel has long been with us. And Babylon, its last expression, is surely coming soon:
Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues; for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.”

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