The Suicide of Western Civilization Part 2.1: Religious Causes

If you have not read Part 1, you will need to in order to understand where this starts.

Please read Part 1 to get the full understanding of what is discussed here.

Your Government isn't getting traction on some political issue. People are growing dissatisfied with Government and don't trust it. Government needs something more powerful than itself to appeal to. It needs a religion with a powerful deity, but it can't look like the Government is pulling the strings on their deified puppet.

Starting a religion is a lot of work, however, so it's much easier to just take one that already exists and bend it to serve your purposes. You take what you want, cut out what you don't, and then use social pressure and the people's desire to stay in "the group" to guide the compliance of those people towards following this new system of religion that benefits from all the connotations of the existing labels and terms, but in action goes a completely different direction and produces an entirely different fruit.

This has already happened in the USA, the religion of choice to undermine was Christianity, and the work was completed decades ago.

Don't believe me? Then read the article at this link.

This dissection starts best with making a detour to talk about the source of the article before we dive into the content of the article. If you don't pay attention to who you take information from, and just trust blindly, then you will be led into sin. It happened in the Garden, and it's been happening regularly ever since.

"Relevant Magazine" currently has a tagline of "Faith, Culture & Intentional Living". Does that send up any red flags to anyone? It should. "Faith" and "Intentional Living" are fairly neutral, they aren't actually unique to Christianity, but what does "Culture" have to do with Christianity? Christianity doesn't care about the culture at large, because it is a culture unto itself. The methods of evangelism may certainly be influenced by the culture that serves as a backdrop for evangelism, but evangelism isn't Christianity.

To further make the point, in the current "September/October 2016, Issue 83" of the magazine, an article appears which is titled "We Nominate Aziz Ansari To Do All The Talking". The article starts out:

Sure, we still have months before this year is over. But we're ready to go ahead and pronounce 2016 the year of Aziz Ansari. It all started when he released last year's mold-breaking book, Modern Romance. Then, along came Master of None, Ansari's funny-serious show exploting issues like racial inequality, millenial wanderlust and generational differences.
This year, he's using his platform to become one of our most important social critics. While accepting a Peabody Award for his work on Master of None, Ansari addressed the lack of diversity in Hollywood.

To address the elephant in the room, where in any of that was Jesus or the Bible referenced? Why is a magazine that folks are looking to explain how Christians should respond to the "refugee crisis" also publishing articles talking about social justice issues?

Perhaps because before "Faith, Culture & Intentional Living", their tagline went "God, Life, and Progressive Culture." This should be setting off huge red flags that this publication is not teaching Christian principles, but is instead "Christian principles" in the same way that folks like Joel Osteen do. It is seeking to subvert actual Christian teaching by modifying Christianity to fit modern proclivities and desires.

This magazine is a publication which preys on the ignorance of believers in order to make money off of them. It's a for-profit magazine which sells ad space, just like TV shows and "free" internet streaming services. It shouldn't take anyone long to realize that if you're going to sell advertisement space in a magazine, you will then need to sell magazines, and if you want to sell more magazines, you need to cater to what people want to hear. Does that sound familiar?

If you want to sell more magazines, you tell people what they want to hear, and you entertain them so they "put up with" the advertisements. Reading scripture isn't entertaining. Being told you're wrong and don't think correctly isn't entertaining. Being told that you will experience suffering in life when following Jesus isn't entertaining. The "Relevant" magazine is not a replacement for sound biblical teaching, because their goal is not to uphold, but undermine, actual biblical teaching. That's demonic influence at work folks.

Now, keeping that in mind, let us start approaching the details of the article, to look at how a perverted and demonic intent leads to perverted and demonic teaching.

To start, one must remember that the Hebrew or Israeli nation of the Old Testament and the Christian faith of the New Testament are two entirely different things. The religion was both church and state, a theocracy. However, Jesus threw out both the state and the church, and made the relationship with God direct and personal without either the state or the church being able to get in the middle.

Christian church is, at the most basic level, Christians coming together to share in their personal relationship with God. Part of that sharing includes acting out on the love we have been shown and acting in a sacrificial manner to help those in need.

Note that this is not Christianity, but a result of Christianity. The "works" do not save and are inspired by, but not the source of, our relationship with God. If you are alone, stranded on a desert island, God is no less able to have relationship with you because you cannot do "works"
There's a problem though: the "works" can also be done by those who do not have relationship with God, because actions can have a variety of motivations. Even actions done in the name of God can be done by those who do not have a relationship with God:

Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ - Matthew 7:22-23 (NKJV)

So by the same token that "works" do not save us, neither do they demonstrate that we are saved, and in turn doing them or not doing them says nothing about your actual relationship with Jesus.

There's a reason that the fruit of the spirit are listed as motivations or mannerisms, and not a specific action or series of actions:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.- Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV)

What this really really means is that by outward appearances, and even by actions taken or not taken, we cannot know whether someone else is in a reconciled relationship with God. Why do I keep harping on this? Because the article directly states that it is "discussing how Christians should treat immigrants, refugees and those in need of help."

The implication is that if you're a Christian, you're should behave as these verses describe, and exactly how this article presents them. To go against this is implied as going against the Bible and not being Christian, because unless you have a Bible verse which says otherwise, you need to be obedient to what the Bible clearly states. The author is intentionally setting up a litmus test for the behavior of the person to determine if they are Christian or not.

This is a thinly veiled act of manipulation, in that now instead of folks discussing whether the interpretation was actually correct or not, they're searching the Bible to find verses which support alternative positions, instead of pointing out how none of these verses were being applied correctly in the first place.

They're tasked to do an impossible job because instead of challenging the original interpretation, they scour the Bible looking for specifics that aren't there. The usual act then is to retreat to agreeing with the interpretation that was provided, even if they disagree with it, because they don't want to be seen as disagreeing with the Bible.

The real problem is that the original interpretation is disagreeing with the Bible, and so we have no need to find scriptures to refute the conclusions drawn from the improper interpretation of scripture, the claims can be shown fallacious in and of themselves. Put differently, I don't have to "disprove" an interpretation that was never "proven" to begin with.

At long last, lets get to the specific verses. Citing anything in the Old Testament which was part of the theocratic system that Israel worked by as evidence for how Christians behave is just plain wrong, because God was giving them instructions on how to run a nation and a religion, where Jesus is giving us instructions on how to run our personal lives. As such, the verses in Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, 1 Kings can be immediately dismissed in their prescriptive nature because Christians are not under The Law.

Note that this is not dismissing the intent behind The Law, but the specific prescriptive actions. The motivations as to why God had Israel behave in a certain way will not have changed for Christians, but unless God repeated the prescriptive actions to Christians, Christians are not bound to them.

Christians are not required to run their personal lives and the living out of their faith in the same way the nation of Israel was run (repeated rebellions and all).

This was the original division between Christians and Judaisers. The Judaisers wanted Christians to add faith in Jesus to The Law, to be bound by all the same practices and actions, despite those things having been part of a theocracy that, through Jesus, was no longer the means by which we find reconciliation in our relationship with God.

So, unless a specific prescription was repeated in the New Testament, Christians are not bound to follow it, nor can one be called a Christian because they do or don't do it.

Ezekiel 16 does not say it was the "only" sin, but that the sin being done by Jerusalem was also committed by Sodom and Gomorrah, which would be evident if they continued on to the next verse:

And they were haughty and committed abomination before Me; therefore I took them away as I saw fit. - Ezekiel 16:50 (NKJV)

What was the abomination? Rampant sexual depravity:

Now before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally. So Lot went out to them through the doorway, shut the door behind him, and said, “Please, my brethren, do not do so wickedly!- Genesis 19:4-7 (NKJV)

The reason this was ignored is because elsewhere in the theocratic system of rules any adulterers, homosexuals, transgenders, and other forms of sexual deviance were immediately punishable by death. Many in modern culture have tried to re-interpret scripture to make sexual deviance of all forms acceptable, yet traditional marriage roles as misogynistic and oppressive.

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! - Isaiah 5:20 (NKJV)

Yet these same folks are not calling for sexual deviants to be stoned based on the Old Testament commands. Why is that? Because they're picking and choosing the verses they want, not taking into account the context of the rest of the Bible, and then pretending like what they're doing is sound biblical interpretation. This is again evidenced in who they look to for guidance. It's not Jesus or scripture, it's atheists like Aziz Ansari who reject Christianity altogether. Why is an atheist being referenced as a source for commentary in a Christian magazine? Why is a Christian magazine ignoring scripture when it doesn't suit their narrative? Because it isn't a Christian magazine.

Malachi 3 contains is a prophetic message about the future judgment of Judah and Jerusalem, the respective capitals of the split Israeli nation, for their behavior. It's not about Christians, and just because Christians took on the mantle of "God's chosen" through Jesus, does not mean that all prophesies and judgments declared on prior "chosen" will then be applied to us as well unless they're called out specifically.

Again, Judah and Jerusalem were part of theocracies, and the judgments and commands of them would include things which would no longer apply to Christians, because Christianity is personal, not political.

The effects of a Christian living out their faith may encompass politics, but God is not interested in ruling nations, God wants to rule in people's hearts. Christianity can exist without the state or the church. 

If you're stuck on a desert island by yourself, you can still be a Christian and have a personal relationship with God.

Job 31 has Job explaining his righteousness to others who were trying to say that Job was being punished for something wrong about Job's behavior. This is highlighted when you continue on to Job 32:

So these three men ceased answering Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. Then the wrath of Elihu, the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, was aroused against Job; his wrath was aroused because he justified himself rather than God. Also against his three friends his wrath was aroused, because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job. - Job 32:1-3 (NKJV)

Note that this is before well before God lays into Job and excoriates him starting in chapter 38. This is Job justifying himself to other people, not God, and that is a very important distinction. God doesn't care about Job's self-righteousness. This is clearly evidence in how Job's tone has changed by chapter 42, and his declarations of self-righteousness are not revisited.

The book of Job is a demonstration of the arrogance and ignorance of humans trying to understand God's motivations based on what God permits to happen. The circumstances we face are almost never entirely the result of decisions we ourselves have made in a vacuum, and so for better or worse, God's love of us and inherent goodness is not always visible in our immediate circumstances.

The flow of history is complicated, and we may never know in this life what things needed to happen in order to lead that flow to where God intended it to be.

Matthew 25 is, again, taking something out of context and then not taking the lesson of the passages and instead substituting a new meaning. If we back up to the beginning of the section, which in NKJV is called "The Son of Man Will Judge the Nations":

“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. - Matthew 25:31-32 (NKJV)

Now look at what God says about who these acts of kindness were done to:

And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ - Matthew 25:40 (NKJV)

Can you think of any way in which a culture that perverts the definition of "the least of these" would find a way to exploit this? In a culture where everyone is racing to become "the least", or differently, "the biggest victim", all the sudden those seeking to be judged righteous are in a competition to find the least of "the least" so that we are not judged as a goat, and to signal their virtues to others. In doing so, we go outside our own nation and find people who are "the least" somewhere else, and help them, believing that ignoring "the least" at our literal doorsteps and in our neighborhoods will go unnoticed by God.

Are any of the "sheep" nations judged because there were people in the "goat" nations that were not taken care of? Nope.

In addition to this, the exhortation is in regards to being "invited into your home" not "set up in taxpayer funded housing and have access to taxpayer funded welfare". Unless you think of government housing as "your home", you are not actually inviting people into your home when you merely invite them into your nation and set them up in a home which is not yours to give.

On top of even this, the Greek word "xénos" does not have the same definition and connotation as "allodapós", so even this type of aid is not to be talking about foreigners from another nation, but people who are foreign, strange, or unusual to us. This is why people who twist scripture hate "word studies", because careful analysis of scripture in both its original and translated forms tends to expose the liars for what they are. Anyone who makes a doctrinal or theological point based only on an interpretation of a translation that is not supported by the original manuscripts is reading into the text things which are not there.

1 Corinthians 12 is about Christians. 99% of the "refugees" are Muslims. Do I really need to explain how Muslims who reject Jesus Christ have not been "baptized by one Spirit" with Christians?

Galatians 5 is another scripture sniping. If you look at some of the surrounding context:

For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself." But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another! - Galatians 5:13-15 (NKJV)

And then see the quoted reference in Leviticus to add context to the intent:

You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord. - Leviticus 19:18 (NKJV)

Galatians is about how Christians are to treat other Christians, not about how Christians treat non-Christians. 99% of the "refugees" are Muslims, and prominent Muslim countries in much closer proximity are not taking them in. Why is that?

Luke 10 is the coup de grâce, right? Here is a perfect example of how a foreigner was showing kindness and care, so we should always be showing the same sacrificial care to foreigners as well, right? There's no way that this simple and straightforward story could be twisted, right?


Let's note a few important things about the parable. First off, the road between Jerusalem and Jericho is outside of Samaria. Secondly, the Samaritan brought the injured man to an inn, not his home, and not an inn in Samaria, because that would have been a long journey and the man may not have survived the trip. Thirdly, the Samaritan's charity did not include providing for the entire health and wealth of the injured man for the remainder of his life, but in helping restore him to full health.

If the story was that the Samaritan took the man home, provided him with care, a job in his business, a daughter to marry, and so on and so forth, then that would be one thing. The moral of the story however is that you shouldn't pass by those in need that you can directly help for vain or pseudo-moralistic reasons, and guess what happens when you insist we spend resources to bring in "refugees" while ignoring those in need in our community? Especially when you insist that instead of trying to provide aid to the Syrians while they are still in Syria we bring them here?

You pass by those in need for vain and pseudo-moralistic reasons.

Since this is already very long, I will break here and continue in Part 2.2: Religious Causes.

There I will overlay the review of the article with the original "secular logic" discussed back in Part 1, to show how the supposedly Christian view is just modern secular moralism plus "God".