This is the first of a ten-part series on the most important set of guidelines in human existence: the Ten Commandments. I’m not covering them in numerical order or even in order of importance. This isn’t a count-down; it’s a refresher.
The Ten Commandments are as equally relevant today as they were when they were given to Moses. In fact, they’re even more relevant. The main attack against the Commandments is that they’re “old-fashioned” and out of step with current realities. Nothing could be further from the truth.
God’s truth doesn’t change. Hemlines change; beauty ideals change; scientific theories come and go, but God’s truth remains as fresh and clear and refreshing as ever. And the worse it gets down here on Earth, the more we need God’s help and guidance.
Thank God for the Ten Commandments! They’re both your first and your last line of defence. They’re meant to be memorized as a “To Do” list and a “To Don’t” list; you should know them as automatically as you know your name.
The commandments aren’t meant as a way to interfere with your pleasure, but to keep you from making choices that will lead to pain.
If you find yourself wondering what you should do, look to Jesus, because the solution to every problem we’ll ever face during our time here on Earth was modeled by something Jesus either said or did. And, as we know, Jesus based his teachings on the Ten Commandments.
THOU SHALLT NOT COMMIT ADULTERY
The commandment I want to talk about today is the one concerning adultery. We are not, of course, to commit adultery. Sounds clear enough. But what exactly is adultery?
Jesus made himself more than a few enemies and even lost some followers over his clarification of what constitutes adultery. Adultery means to engage in sexual relations with someone you are not married to. It also includes fantasizing over someone (who may or may not be aware of your existence) and becoming “emotionally involved” in a romantic way with someone who is not your spouse. Adultery extends to relationships you have after you divorce your spouse. Jesus explained that if you divorce someone and then remarry while that person you divorced is still alive, then you’ve committed adultery and the person you marry commits adultery. And if your spouse remarries while you’re alive, your spouse commits adultery, as does the person your spouse ‘marries’.
From this, we can see that divorce is wrong because it almost always leads to multiple instances of adultery. Jesus explained that divorce only became an option because the people in Moses’ time were so hard-headed and hard-hearted. In other words – it was meant to be an option for people who weren’t obedient to God, meaning mostly everyone (but that shouldn’t include us). Divorce is only acceptable in God’s eyes if the spouses involved live celibately until the other dies.
Being obedient to God is only hard when you have a disobedient mindset. God’s rules aren’t difficult either to understand or to follow; as Jesus said, his burden is light. If you find God’s commandments difficult to follow or out-of-step with today’s world, that’s because you’re out-of-step with God and Jesus.
Mainstream Christianity has, of course, embraced divorce, which essentially means they condone adultery. The Catholic organization has even tried to camouflage the sin as a ‘re-do’ by offering to annul marriages that allegedly were not consummated. Annulling means legally treating the marriage as if it had never occurred, as if the marriage vows made before God can be rescinded or made null and void. In this, Catholicism is fooling no-one, least of all God. Jesus said that what God has joined, let no-one tear apart.
Marriage is for life. That means, you stay married until you or your spouse dies. If you find yourself in an abusive or love-less marriage, you separate from your spouse and live celibately. Meanwhile, you pray that God will help you find a way to heal your marriage. But you don’t divorce and you don’t remarry, not as long as your spouse is still alive.
Jesus didn’t mince his words, and neither do I. The world will not only tell you it’s your right to divorce for any number of reasons, and then the world will seduce you into remarrying while your spouse is still alive. General rule of thumb here is: If the world encourages or approves it, it’s almost guaranteed to be the wrong choice.
Jesus explained that the sole grounds for divorce is fornication. Now, for fornication to occur, there has to be a non-marital situation, otherwise it’s adultery. A good example of fornication as grounds for divorce can be found in Jesus’ parents. Mary showed a pregnancy shortly after her marriage to Joseph but before they had consummated their union (meaning they hadn’t yet had sex). Joseph knew that Mary hadn’t had sex with him prior to their marriage, so he had clear grounds to divorce her. However, because Joseph was obedient to and loved God, God told him the circumstances of Mary’s pregnancy, and he agreed to continue with the marriage. What appeared to be fornication (Mary having sex before marrying Joseph) was instead a miraculous conception. Isaiah said that the Messiah was to be born of a virgin, and so he was.
Mainstream Christianity has skewed Jesus’ sole exception (fornication) to mean adultery. Catholics readily receive permission from “the Church” to divorce as long as they can prove adultery. But adultery was NEVER meant to be grounds for divorce. We see this in John 8, where Jesus forgives the adulterous woman while warning her not to commit that sin again. He didn’t advise her husband to find a good lawyer and file for divorce; he warned the weeping and repentant woman not to sin again.
As an escaped (and hopefully soon to be excommunicated) Catholic, I can honestly state that the problem with Catholicism is, well, everything. Catholicism consistently misrepresents the gospel because those in charge of that organization and those who laid the ground rules for it are blind and deaf; they aren’t born again; they haven’t got a clue what Jesus said. People who follow the advice of Catholic or other mainstream Christian organizations regarding divorce and adultery are classic examples of the blind leading the blind.
Someone out there needs to hear this today. Someone out there is “involved” where he or she shouldn’t be. You know that Jesus says that even to look at someone with lust is already to have committed adultery with them (if you or they are married). The best way to avoid this trap is to ask God to help you, to sincerely ask God to help you. Not in a lukewarm or half-hearted way, but to sincerely ask for help. Sin is not only knowing that you’re doing something wrong; sin is consciously persisting in doing something wrong even after you’ve been warned. God gives you second chances (think of the woman in John 8), but at some point, time’s up.
If you’re being tempted to sin, ask God for help. Don’t ask a minister or a friend; ask God. Ultimately, God is the only one who can really help you, so you might as well go right to the source, just like Jesus did when he was in our shoes.
The Bible is an open book for anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear.
If you want to know anything about God, including what he has in store for us, all you have to do is ask him. He’ll tell you, and then he’ll show you supporting passages in scripture to back up what he said.
Having rejected mainstream Christianity as a belief system built on doctrines of devils, I don’t waste a lot of time poring over its contrived nonsense. But every so often God points something out that he then suggests I should point out to others. One such item is Millennialism.
Millennialism is the notion that Jesus will return to Earth at his second coming and reign here for a thousand years. The thousand year time-frame may be literal or figurative, but the actual reign of Jesus in a physical body, on planet Earth, is an indisputable part of Millennialism. Even those who reject Millennialism (e.g., Catholic Amillennialists) still believe that God’s Kingdom will physically be set up on Earth as a geo-political entity after Jesus’ second coming.
Consider that this ‘notion’ developed and spread even though Jesus himself declared to his disciples nearly 2,000 years ago that his kingdom had already arrived, that it is not of this world, and that he would return in grand style with his holy angels just long enough to gather together the few believers that were remaining on Earth, and then leave everyone else behind to “mourn”.
Not once did Jesus make any mention of putting down roots here after his second coming.
To find out more about Millennialism, I did a quick google search. I wish I hadn’t. Some things you just can’t unsee. Suffice to say, it’s all nonsense piled on nonsense infused with outright lies and topped off with a large dollop of crap. I’m ashamed of those who’ve bought this stupidity, and I’m even more ashamed of those who’ve created and spread it.
I do have a sneaking suspicion, though, as to just who is behind this crazy little thing called Millennialism. It’s that same certain someone who benefits from people being duped. (You know who I mean.) But what could he possibly gain from getting people to hope and pray to live in a Golden Age on Earth?
Imagine if that same certain someone could convince not only Christians but also adherents of other religions to believe in a coming Golden Age where there would be peace on Earth under a benevolent ruler. Imagine if you could find a common thread connecting all religions to this one theme, and imagine if all religions agreed that all religions agree on this one point and this one point only.
This is how the devil works, and this is how the world works. We’ve been warned that the devil will send a strong delusion that will fool not only false believers and unbelievers, but even some of God’s own children (meaning us).
Muslims are waiting for their messiah leader who will come after an age of widespread turmoil, unite the world, and usher in an age of peace.
Jews are waiting for their messiah leader who will come after an age of widespread turmoil, unite the world, and usher in an age of peace.
Millennialism Christians are waiting for Jesus to return after an age of widespread turmoil, unite the world, and usher in an age of peace.
I don’t know about you, but I see a pattern developing here. Buddhists and Hindus are also waiting for a messiah-like leader who will – yes, you guessed it – come after an age of widespread turmoil, unite the world, and usher in an age of peace.
In fact, it seems that every organized religion on this planet promotes the coming of a messiah-life figure to put things right after everything goes terribly wrong. This should not be surprising to us, since Jesus tells us that many will come saying they are the Christ, but they will be false Christs and false prophets. He warned us nearly 2,000 years ago not to be taken in by their deceptions that will come in the form of ‘miracles’ and doctrines of devils (like Millennialism).
The alleged basis for Millennialism is Revelation 20. But when I read Revelation 20, I see a description of a God’s spiritual kingdom on Earth, not a geo-political realm. I see a description of a spiritual realm that is very much in power here today, not in some hazy future. The passage describes God’s church, of which I am a card-carrying member. Jesus said that his kingdom had already arrived, is not of this world, and is eternal. He meant that his kingdom was not a geo-political structure confined by time and space. Jesus never intended to set up an earthly kingdom. Anyone who truly knows God and truly knows Jesus knows that.
Bluntly put – every form of Millennialism, including Amillennialism, is a lie. When Jesus returns, it will only be long enough to rescue whatever followers are remaining here and to show himself as the true Messiah. Scripture says that everyone will see him and everyone will know who he is. There will be no doubt and no need for persuasion or explanation: Everyone will just know. And then his faithful followers will leave with him, and everyone else will be left behind to face the final destruction of planet Earth, as foretold in Daniel’s visions.
On the cross, Jesus said: It is done. He didn’t say: “Well, that’s all for now, folks. But I’ll be back for more fun and games after everything’s been polluted and destroyed, and most of God’s creatures are extinct. Can’t wait!” What possible motivation would Jesus have to set up a physical kingdom on Earth when he already has a spiritual kingdom here and a perfect home in Heaven where he reigns at God’s right hand? It’s illogical for him to set up physical kingdom on Earth. And it’s redundant. And it plain just doesn’t make sense. Add to that it’s ascriptural, and you’ve got the makings of a true heresy.
So, Millennialists are living a lie, and Jews who deny that Jesus is the Messiah are also living a lie, because, well, Jesus IS the Messiah. Jews who pin their messianic hopes on anyone other than Jesus are just setting themselves up for a fall. They are deceived. Muslims who believe that Jesus will co-rule with their long-awaited messiah are likewise deceived. As explained above, Jesus won’t be hanging around long enough to share a throne, let alone attend committee meetings. And regardless of what the Koran says, Jesus is not Islamic.
I don’t know Buddhism or Hinduism well enough to go into any detail as to why their messianic hopes are also false, but it doesn’t make me any less certain that they are, for the same reason that the Millennialism Christians’ Jews’ and Muslims’ hopes are false. You don’t have to throw yourself face-first into a steaming pile of manure to know that it’s manure; it’s sufficient just to stand within smelling range. The Buddhist and Hindu messiahs have more than a whiff of the Millennialist, Jewish and Muslim messiahs about them, and for that reason alone do not pass the smell test.
Ultimately, the devil’s game is to deceive us so that those who are on their way to receiving the truth will turn away and get lost, and those who already have the truth will lose it (as the devil did). The messianic deception is the devil’s final and most heinous trick – and how important it must be if he’s been working on it since before Jesus was even born! In fact, you can say the whole of human history has been a behind-the-scenes arranging and rearranging of events and circumstances, all leading up to the enthroning of what Paul called the “man of perdition” or what we know will be the false Christ or ‘Antichrist’. Supporters of Millennialism have had a hand in his crowning, as have Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, etc., as well as those working towards the establishment of the global police state known as the New World Order.
We cannot stop the false messiah from coming, but we can be aware that he is a false messiah and do what we can to make others aware of it. Like Jesus, all we can do is tell the truth. It’s up to others whether or not they want to receive it.
We know from scripture that the devils speak the truth as well as lies. Demons were among the first to ‘out’ Jesus as the Messiah, and he had a devil of a time shutting them up. Paul and Peter later had the same problem, with a demon-oppressed fortune-telling slave-girl following them around and declaring: “These men are the servants of the most high God, which show us the way to salvation” (Acts 16:17).
What should be a good thing – declaring Jesus as the Messiah, and his way as God’s way – turns into a bad thing when it’s spoken at the wrong time to the wrong people. Rather than promote to the general public that he was God’s Christ, Jesus requested the people he healed not to reveal who he was. You would think that hiding rather than proclaiming who he was would be the opposite of Jesus’ mission, but in this, as in everything else Jesus did, there was a method to his perceived madness.
Jesus often mentioned that the Jews were out to kill him. He meant the Jews in positions of power in Israel, not the everyday-Joe Jews. The Jews in power wanted to kill him because if the everyday-Joe Jews saw Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah, their established power and authority under Roman rule would be threatened. The establishment Jews had the most to lose both in Jesus being the Messiah (eternal damnation) and in Jesus being seen as the Messiah (worldly loss of power), so the best way to rid themselves of this all-round threat was to get rid of Jesus.
Knowing this, Jesus avoided traveling and preaching in some areas. So when the demons ‘outed’ him by speaking through demon-oppressed people and taunting him with “we know who you are”, Jesus told them to be quiet before casting them out. Paul and Peter did the same thing to the demon who spoke through the fortune-telling slave girl. In these cases, the demons were speaking the truth, but at a time and place that put Jesus’ and the apostles’ lives at risk. The truth, when spoken by demons, is always bad news.
Obama has a way of saying things about Christianity that casts Jesus in a bad light and therefore threatens those who follow him. Obama’s latest attack on Christians was launched at the National Prayer Breakfast a few days ago. At the breakfast, Obama stated that Christians should “get off of their high horse” about how brutal the Muslim religion is, considering how brutal the Crusades and Inquisition were, both of which, Obama declared, were carried out “in the name of Christ”.
Obama is speaking the truth in saying that the Crusades and the Inquisition were brutal and were carried out in the name of Christ (meaning, under the banner of Christianity). However, in pointing out atrocities that were carried out in Christ’s name, Obama puts Christians in the same boat as Muslim fanatics who are carrying out mass murders and other atrocities today. In equating Christians with Muslim fanatics, and Muslim fanatics with terrorists, Obama condemns both Christians and Muslim fanatics for the same crimes and thereby implies that these groups are equally dangerous and thus equally enemies of the free world.
This is how demons speak the truth – with the intent to harm, not to help, and their target is almost always followers of Jesus. Yes, the Crusades and the Inquisition were horrendous, and yes, they were carried out in the name of Christ, but Obama’s dredging up of past crimes against humanity serves as a means of deflecting from current atrocities carried out by so-called “extremists”. Obama’s statement is also only “truthful” if taken at face value, considering that the Inquisition was carried out first and foremost to find and ‘convert’ to Roman Catholicism genuine followers of Jesus who refused to submit to the pope. That it was carried out under the banner of Christianity doesn’t mean it was a Christian act.
It should not be surprising that Obama would defend Islam and attack Christianity, given his Muslim upbringing. It should also not be surprising that Obama would attack Christianity, given that the world is under Satan and the POTUS is one of Satan’s chief spokespersons. Islam is a fanatical ideology whose founder was a murderer who encouraged and sanctioned murder. The Koran is filled with exhortations to kill and torture ‘infidels’, meaning all those who refuse to submit to Islam. In contrast, Christianity is an open invitation to live your life by faith by following the example of its founder, Jesus, who never committed murder and always counseled his followers against murdering anyone. The New Testament is filled with exhortations to “love your enemies” and do good to them. The two ideologies – Christianity and Islam – could not be further apart, either in word or deed.
Yes, horrendous acts were committed long ago in the name of Christ, but these acts were carried out by demon-inspired people who did not know God, did not know Jesus, and did not know the New Testament. The horrendous acts being carried out today in the name of Islam use the Koran as an instruction manual for those deeds and bear Mohammad’s seal of approval. The demon speaking through Obama at the Prayer Breakfast may have been speaking the truth, but its intention was not to enlighten, as truth should; rather, the demon’s aim was to deflect blame from the guilty and, in so doing, condemn the innocent.
This is not the first time it’s happened, and likely it won’t be the last: An Oregon baker who identifies as ‘Christian’ has refused to bake a cake for a couple who identify as ‘lesbian’.
The two women took the Christian to court, and now the Christian has to pay them $150,000 in damages.
O, woe is me! What’s a Christian in modern-day America to do? Attacked on all sides by the heathen, and now being undermined by court decisions!
Was the baker right in refusing to bake the cake for the lesbians on the grounds that it violates his religious beliefs? Or, more accurately – was the Christian right in refusing to serve a non-Christian? Because that’s what it boils down to: a Christian refusing to serve a non-Christian.
What does God say about this?
Jesus says that his followers have come to serve, not to be served.
Paul says that we are to do all things as unto God.
The baker has a job to do: that job is to bake cakes. The job is not to bake cakes only for people who identify as Christians but for all people who walk through the door of his bakery.
Let’s role-play here for a moment. We’re all bakers working in a small family-run bakery. We love our job and we’re good at it. In fact we’re so good at it, we have the reputation for being the best bakers in town.
Then one day, two women stroll hand-in-hand into our shop. Gleefully, they announce that they’re lesbians, they’re getting married to each other, and they want us to bake their wedding cake. Now, we suspect they’ve targeted our bakery as being owned and operated by Christians, and we also suspect that they think we’ll refuse to bake their cake, thereby finding grounds to sue us and walk away with a court-ordered pay-out. But SEEING THE WOMEN AS OUR EQUALS AND AS EQUALLY LOVED BY GOD AS JESUS IS LOVED, we thank them for choosing our bakery for their special occasion, we diligently take their order, and we promise them we’ll bake them the best cake they’ve ever had. And then, as they turn to leave, we wish them a wonderful day, just as we wish all our customers a wonderful day, and we let them know that if they need anything else to go along with their wedding cake, we’d be more than happy to provide it.
The two women look slightly stunned as they make their way out the door. They stop holding hands, and the last we see of them, they’re walking slowly down the sidewalk, deep in thought.
Meanwhile, we thank God for trusting us enough to send us these women, and pray that they make the kinds of choices in their lives that will bring them to know and love God the way we do. We don’t tell the women we’re praying for them; we don’t tell anyone we’re praying for them: we just do it.
Then the phone rings. It’s one of the women. She says they’ve decided to go with another baker for their wedding cake. We thank her for letting us know, and wish her all the best.
Every day, every one of us ‘serves’ people who are not born-again. Bakers should be no different. The so-called Christian baker was not acting very Christian in refusing to bake the cake on “religious grounds”. Even worse, he lost a God-given opportunity to demonstrate what it really means to be a follower of Jesus. The best we can take from this sorry tale is to learn from the Oregon baker’s mistake and not make the same mistake ourselves.
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Twenty years ago, if someone had told me that I would one day be hosting a blog for born-again followers of Jesus, I would have laughed in his or her face. Then I would have let loose with a few choice curse words, and then a few more, and a few more, until the trickle turned into a stream and the stream into a flood and the flood into a tidal wave of hate. I hated anything that had to do with God, and even just hearing his or Jesus’ name would set me off into the emotional equivalent of a grand mal seizure. This extreme response was, of course, due to the legion of demons who’d taken up residence in and around me. On the day I was born again, I read the New Testament for the first time, and when I got to the verse: “And seven devils were driven out of Mary Magdalene”, God said to me: That’s what happened to you, only there were a lot more than seven.
God has a great sense of humor, which shouldn’t be surprising considering that he created both our sense of humor and our ability to appreciate it. Here I was, just newly born-again and brought weeping back to the fold, and there God was, cracking jokes to make me feel more at ease, more at home. This quality of God’s is what I remember most from my first few days as a newborn-again. God wasn’t “up there” or “out there somewhere”, pointing his finger at me and calling me evil, he was right here with me, cuddling me in the crook of his arm and telling me jokes.
I mention this because we (and by “we”, I really mean “I”) – we have a tendency sometimes to look at people who’ve done horrible deeds and curse them for the evil that obviously is working through them. I’m ashamed to admit it, but there it is. Some might argue that it’s a natural “human” response to shun and recoil from people who do horrible things, but such a response can and should be overcome in us born-agains. Jesus talks about the servant who couldn’t repay his debts, so his master forgave him those debts, only to have the servant turn around and start beating on his own servant and demand he immediately repay him. As the noted atheist writer Samuel Clemens (alias Mark Twain) once commented: “It ain’t those parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me; it’s the parts that I do understand.” If you’re genuinely born again, God forgave you a lot to get you to that amazing state of grace that you’re in. The least we (I!) can do is to treat other people as God treated us.
I read in the news today that a captured soldier was burned alive. The same political contingent that burned the soldier to death also beheaded a journalist a few days ago. These are without doubt horrendous acts of savagery. Regardless of who is actually behind them, the acts themselves are condemnable. What we need to be careful of, when condemning these acts, is not also to condemn their doers or to consider them beyond God’s help and mercy.
My personal pre-born-again history would likely make your toes curl, and not in a good way. I’m not going to recount my deeds of woe and horror because they’re over and done with. Suffice to say I was pretty bad, and again, not in a “good bad” way. Although I (thank God) stopped short of burning someone to death or hacking their head off, I might have, had I continued along the road I was on.
And yet here I am, hosting a blog page for born-agains.
If I can turn, anyone can turn.
Paul, as a Pharisee, viciously persecuted and even executed early followers of Jesus. And yet that same Paul, once he’d turned, became a powerful witness to Jesus as the Messiah. I look around at the people I know and the people I read about (including whoever burned that poor guy alive today), and I think: Who’s the Paul among them? Who’s going to turn some day and become a powerful witness?
That potential to turn and to witness for Jesus is in everyone. And strangely, it’s those who we think are least likely to turn that actually end up turning into the biggest “Jesus freaks”. If there’d been a category in my high school yearbook for “the girl least likely to become a born-again follower of Jesus”, I would have won that award hands down.
As bad as I was, I still wasn’t beyond God’s help and mercy, and neither was Paul, and neither is that person who lit the match under that human bonfire today. We need to remember this.
I need to remember this.
You are being electronically monitored nearly everywhere you go. And if you’re not actively being monitored, the technology is within viewing, hearing and implantation range, set up and ready to roll. All it requires is to be installed and activated. Communications grids that enable instantaneous global communication also serve as tracking systems. Yet these monitoring and tracking systems, however impressive, pervasive and invasive, are nothing compared to God’s surveillance state.
God, being God, designed and engineered the first and best of all possible surveillance, protection and alarm systems. This combined system (better described as a state) is perfect. And it works without unsightly wires, cameras, microphones or other cumbersome hardware that can easily be compromised or break down. Through his state, God knows exactly where you are at all times and exactly what you’re doing and saying and seeing. Plus, as an added bonus (and one that the world’s surveillance systems designers can only dream of) – GOD ALSO KNOWS ALL YOUR THOUGHTS. There’s nothing and nowhere you can hide from God.
But wait – there’s more! God not only knows everything about you in the here and now, he also knows exactly where you’ve been and exactly what you’ve done, said, seen, and thought THROUGHOUT YOUR ENTIRE LIFE thus far.
And if you’re not sold yet on how God’s surveillance state blows the world’s surveillance systems completely out of the water, this oughtta clinch it – as incredible as it sounds, God knows everything YOU HAVE YET TO DO, SAY, SEE AND THINK!
So there you have it: God knows everything about you, past, present and future.
Let that sink in for a minute.
Most born-agains don’t spend a lot of time thinking about God’s surveillance state. That’s part of the built-in mechanism, I guess, to keep us from being paranoid about it and to allow us to exercise our free will, well, freely. And when we do think about God’s surveillance state, it isn’t with fear or reproach. We love God as our Dad and appreciate that he watches over us as a good Dad would and should. We’re glad that he knows everything about us because his intimate knowledge of us, together with his perfect justice system and his unconditional love, helps to keep us on the straight and narrow road to heaven. We also appreciate and feel safe knowing that God is protecting us all the time.
Ultimately, God created his surveillance state for our benefit. It isn’t about spying on us in order to catch us so that he can punish us; it’s about teaching, guiding and protecting us, all for the sole purpose of helping us.
The world’s surveillance systems, on the other hand, are all about the opposite. Although sold to a gullible public as being the technological equivalent of sliced bread, these systems exist for the sole purpose of intimidating and punishing us. And what are we being punished for? Committing crimes, of course – ‘crimes’ like speaking openly about what the world’s powers (who are, not surprisingly, also the initiators and supporters of this technology) are doing behind the scenes politically, financially, scientifically, and so on. How ironic, that the same Earthly powers whose technology is trained on us night and day are the very same powers that are making it a crime to know and report on what they’re really up to.
Scripture tells us about these kinds of powers – the ones that operate in secrecy where they think their dark deeds will not be known. They’ve been operating “behind the scenes” since the beginning of human history. Intensely paranoid themselves (a guilty conscience will do that to you), they want us likewise to be paranoid: It’s their natural state of being. They don’t hide their electronic snooping but instead reframe it as a benign means to enable enhanced communication, target consumer products, and protect us from the latest contrived boogey-man (like, for instance, ‘terrorists’). And if we’re not aware that they’re potentially everywhere that a camera or microphone is (i.e., your smartphone, your laptop, etc.), they’ll send agent ‘messengers’ like ‘Edward Snowden’ and give him blanket mainstream media coverage for months and months, just to make sure that you are aware that you’re being watched and listened to, indoors and out, 24/7. After all – a paranoid populace is an easily controlled populace. We can see the truth of that in how easily controlled by Satan the ultra-paranoid powers-that-be are.
Jesus says the world is under Satan except for those who are in God’s kingdom. Jesus also tells us to shout the truth from the rooftops, and that we’re not to fear those who have power over our body and possessions but not over our will. If you live in fear of the world’s punishment, you’re fearing the wrong thing. Big Brother might be watching you through your computer, but God is watching Big Brother, and God’s got your back.
God’s surveillance state is perfect. It is based on love for us and respect for our free will, and it operates solely for our benefit.
In contrast, the world’s surveillance systems are deeply flawed. They are based on disdain for us and disrespect of our rights, and they operate solely to our detriment.
Yes, the world is under Satan, but thank God we don’t have to be. Never be paranoid and never be afraid to speak the truth, regardless of the Earthly consequences. We all have to die for something; it might as well be for the truth.
Just before I was born again, God did me the very great privilege of showing me my soul. Mind you, at the time, I had no idea it was my soul because I was an atheist. I won’t go into detail about what I saw, but let’s just say that it was enough to finally break me. And broken, I was shortly thereafter and very tenderly put back together again by God.
Oscar Wilde wrote a book about seeing the state of one’s soul. In it, a vain young man, exhilarated by the power and privilege that his youthful beauty conferred on him, makes a wish that he could keep his good looks for the rest of his life and that a newly painted portrait of him would instead bear the marks of aging. The young man’s wish comes true, but instead of only bearing the marks of aging, the portrait also shows the man’s sins. As the portrait starts to age and turn ugly, the young man covers it and hides it in the attic so that no-one will see his secret shame. I recommend reading the book. The 1945 film (you can see it on Youtube) is also worth watching.
We spend a lot of time worrying about our physical health, including our appearance. In fact, it becomes a source of pride for some of us. There’s nothing wrong with taking care of our body; it is, after all, the vessel of God’s spirit and we’re expected to look after it properly so that we can do the work we need to do. But when our physical health becomes more important to us than our spiritual health, then it’s a problem.
Whenever I hear the wail of an ambulance siren, I think: Imagine if a siren went off every time someone’s soul was in mortal danger? Imagine if, when someone was just about to make that final fatal choice condemning him or her to an eternity of pain, a siren went off, piercing and wailing, so that everyone within hearing range would rush in prayer to help?
Imagine, too, if well in advance of that siren going off, we were able to get people to think about their soul? Imagine, if instead of talking about the weather or physical aches and pains, we started off casual conversations with “How’s your soul?” Imagine if soul talk became as common a communication starter as weather talk or sports talk or money talk?
The health of our soul should be our clear priority, not our physical or financial health. As born-agains, we have the very great privilege of being able, at any time and any place, to know the exact state of our soul, and we should take advantage of that by making frequent spot-checks. We should be checking our soul’s health with the same diligence as the world is told to check blood pressure, blood sugar, BMI, tooth decay, bank balance, stock reports, engine oil, and so on. Some people are afraid to get check-ups for fear of what they might find. Don’t be that person.
As an atheist, I was never asked “How’s your soul?” Mind you, I didn’t believe I had a soul, so had someone actually asked me, a whole different conversation would have ensued, during which the exact health of my soul would have become glaringly and appallingly evident to anyone within viewing, hearing, and spitting range. Think “pea soup scene” in “The Exorcist”. Then you have an idea of how I would have responded to any inquiries about my soul.
Still, such an inquiry should have been made, regardless of the unpleasantness of the anticipated response. In the movie, the mother didn’t back away from her hideously afflicted child, and neither did the priests. As born-agains, we take on these fearless and caring roles, just like Jesus did. We are priests and mothers at large. We love and tend to needs, even as we’re cursed for it.
People need to hear the words “How’s your soul”. They may not want to hear those words, but they need to hear them. They need to be reminded that they have a soul and that the health of their soul should take priority over all other concerns.
So, how’s your soul?