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Reformer

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Blessed by Darkness
« on: September 11, 2019, 04:02:44 AM »
Blinded by Darkness
(How evangelicals put Donald Trump ahead of Christ)



Evangelical historian John Fea opens an important discussion of how his community abandoned its supposed values

by Paul Rosenberg

John Fea is an evangelical Christian and a historian. When Donald Trump was elected with 81 percent of the self-described white evangelical vote, Fea was both stunned and surprised. “As a historian studying religion and politics, I should have seen this coming,” he notes. Yet he did not. Which was why Fea ended up writing his new book, “Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump.”

On its own terms, the book clearly succeeds in making sense for Fea and others like him, with potential for reaching wavering Trump supporters as well. He identifies and lucidly explores three fundamental flaws in evangelical thinking that have led them to embrace a leader who is wholly unfit by their own once-cherished moral standards, in pursuit of ends they cannot possibly achieve — restoring 1950s America via government action. In a key passage, Fea explains:
Quote
   "For too long, white evangelical Christians have engaged in public life through a strategy defined by the politics of fear, the pursuit of worldly power, and nostalgia for a national past that may never have existed in the first place. Fear. Power. Nostalgia. These ideas are at the heart of this book, and I believe they best explain the 81 percent."
Fear is Fea’s central concern, and the one most directly at odds with the Bible. “The Bible teaches that Christians are to fear God – and only God,” Fea writes. “All other forms of fear reflect a lack of faith, of failure to place one's trust completely in the providential God who has promised to work all things out for good for those who love him.” 

That's a specific reference to Romans 8:28: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." But this teaching seems lost on those who shout about God the loudest and the most, and it’s far from clear how Fea’s book can help change that. What it can perhaps do is help make sense of the evangelical majority for others, like Fea, who are in the minority within that world and already inclined toward finding another path.

“Despite God's commands to trust him in times of despair, evangelicals have always been very fearful people,” he notes, “and they have built their understanding of political engagement around the anxiety they have felt amid times of social and cultural change.”

Fear is the subject of the first three chapters of "Believe Me." They’re presented in reverse historical order — first come the 2016 primaries, then the shaping of the Christian-right playbook from the 1970s to the present, then a selective, episodic overview from colonial times to the modern era. The fourth chapter, dealing with power, examines the role of the “court evangelicals” who have come to support Trump, while his chapter exploring nostalgia examines its centrality in Trump’s fatally vague promise to “Make America Great Again.”

Fea’s first chapter is especially riveting for the light it sheds on how evangelicals came to support Trump when they had so many other superficially better-looking options to choose from. He argues convincingly that other GOP candidates did a superior job of courting evangelical voters by traditional means, after eight years of Obama had brought more change than they could handle — Marco Rubio with an impressive advisory council, Mike Huckabee with a track record and issue positions, Ben Carson with an appealing personal story, but most of all Ted Cruz, who "turned fear-mongering into an art form,” which should have trumped everyone else, especially given his father’s history as a popular apocalyptic preacher.

But collectively, Fea writes, they succeeded too well.
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    Between the summer of 2015 and start of the primary season in early 2016, they were able to diagnose the crisis that the United States was facing in a way that brought great anxiety and concern to American evangelicals. But their strategy backfired. … The evangelical candidates stoked fears of a world they seemed unfit to train. Desperate times call for a strongman, and if a strongman was needed, only Donald Trump would fit the bill.
It’s a powerful, convincing explanation — though incomplete, as I’ll return to below. But Fea is not content just reflecting on what has been. “I want to explore alternatives to the fear, the search for power, and in nostalgia,” Fea writes. “How do we reconcile the white evangelical politics of fear with the scriptural command to ‘fear not’?”  he asks.
Quote
“What would it take to replace fear with Christian hope?” The answer he at least prepares the way for comes from an unlikely source — the black church, as reflected in the history, spirit, and legacy of the civil rights movement, which he turns to in the book’s concluding chapter. They model a contrasting triad of hope, humility and history that Fea highlights as providing a powerful alternative model, a road not taken by white evangelicals.
But because the preceding five chapters have been so insular, concerned with the white evangelical world, this solution has the feeling of deus ex machina. Fea himself provides no model for what it might mean or how it might work, until his seemingly belated epiphany. It’s an effective cri de coeur, though as serious sociological and theological critique, much less so. Toward the book’s end, he writes:
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    How might hope, humility, and history inform the way we white American evangelicals think about politics and other forms of public engagement? I hope that what I've written here might spur conversations and initiatives born out of possible answers to this question. 
Yet for the white evangelical community as a whole to arrive where Fea wishes, it will have to confront its own dark shadows that Fea only lightly touches on — most crucially, all the centuries of unspeakable evil they’ve projected onto others, in pursuit of imagining themselves pure. For those outside that community, the definitional issue of race stands out for how gingerly Fea treats it, downplaying even Trump’s crucial conservative reinvention via birtherism. This is, after all, a book about white identity politics, one that skirts the most difficult aspects of that identity’s formation.

Most dramatically, as historian Seth Dowland noted in a recent critical essay for Christian Century, “American evangelicalism and the politics of whiteness,” the Civil War radically reshaped American religious identity. “The center of evangelicalism did not — could not — hold,” he writes. “The sectional crisis and Civil War divided American Protestants regionally and racially into three groups: northern white Protestants, southern white Protestants, and black Protestants. … The near-absence of black believers in white churches was the condition for the development of a distinctly white evangelicalism.”

Like Fea, Dowland admits that his own work didn't prepare him for the rise of Trump, but he has adjusted his thinking more fundamentally:
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    What most distinguishes white American evangelicals from other Christians, other religious groups, and nonbelievers is not theology but politics. More than anything else, identifying as an evangelical in the United States denotes certain attitudes about American politics and usually indicates a white racial identity. It’s not that theology isn’t important to white evangelicals; it’s just not the primary thing that distinguishes them from other religious groups.
Fea’s book is about that theology, or rather about how fear, power and nostalgia underlie its faults and distortions. "Believe Me" is extremely compelling in that regard.  But it is also cut off from the wider sweep of political history, from which white evangelicals have sought to distance themselves. Race is a submerged subject here, which only emerges distinctively toward the end.  Yet, race remains such a central subject, so highly charged, that it’s difficult to fault Fea’s approach — save for his lack of attention to the role of white evangelicals in the abolitionist movement, and subsequent chapters of anti-racist struggle. There are committed anti-racist white evangelicals to this day, whose perspectives, unfortunately, Fea fails to register.

Earlier, I said that Fea’s explanation of Trump’s strong white evangelical support was incomplete. This is true in at least two ways. First, it leaves out the question how Trump became a credible option in the first place, due to his lead role in promoting birtherism, which was equal parts flat-out racism and tinfoil-hat conspiracy theory. Fea makes no mention of Trump’s 2011 flirtation with running against Obama, which the then-president undercut by releasing his long-form birth certificate, after Trump had spent months building up toward a paranoid crescendo.

Nor does Fea discuss how Republican doubts about Obama’s citizenship actually increased by early 2012, despite that documentary proof. Neither Trump’s means of making himself a credible option nor evangelicals’ means of disregarding unwanted evidence receive the attention they deserve. Birtherism is hardly a lone example of fantastical, conspiratorial thinking in the annals of American evangelical or racist history — a theme whose absence should be noted.

More broadly, Trump’s omnipresent conspiracy theories meshed with long-standing evangelical responses to modernism and denigrations of professional expertise — which Christopher Douglas at Religion Dispatches has described accurately as “The Religious Origins of Fake News and ‘Alternative Facts’” — as well as older traditions of confabulation and fear, tracing back to colonial America.

As I discussed here in December 2015, conflicts with Native Americans gave rise to America’s first popular literary genre, the captivity narrative, which the influential Cotton Mather used to connect all his perceived enemies together — including “captivity by specters,” in cases of witchcraft — a master conspiracy-theory prototype. “The Puritans' captivity fears were in some sense a matter of ‘envious reversal,’” I wrote, “a switching of roles of victim and aggressor. It was, after all, the Puritans who were capturing the Native Americans' whole world, the entire continent on which they lived.”

These represent darker aspects of American history that Fea mostly downplays in his book, even though his third chapter ably discusses a range of fear-infused episodes since colonial times, while the fifth chapter pointedly highlights how Trump tends to suggest that America was greatest during some of the darkest periods of our history. What’s missing is an analysis of how these things reflect a cultivated set of beliefs and cultural practices that repeatedly produce similar responses.

Fea recognizes repeating patterns, but only vaguely. “Despite God's commands to trust him in times of despair, evangelicals have always been very fearful people,” he notes, “and they have built their understanding of political engagement around the anxiety they have felt amid times of social and cultural change.” That connection between fear, change and political power-seeking is the crux of Fea’s critique, but it never becomes  systematic. True to his evangelical roots, Fea seems far more comfortable expressing this in terms of individual failings, even as he clearly wants to press for more supportive broader norms.

Two sets of examples from his exploration of power are instructive. The first concerns its problematic nature, the second, his overview of who the “court evangelists” are. As Fea describes, the problem with the pursuit of power is both that it distracts from the primary concern of saving souls (“Mixing horse manure and ice cream,” a Baptist saying goes, “doesn't do much to the manure, but it sure does ruin the ice cream”) and that it fails in what it purportedly sets out to achieve. What’s more, he notes, this view has been repeatedly endorsed by those who’ve learned the hard way. The examples are individually telling, but the movement as a whole never seems to learn — nor does Fea draw any comprehensive lessons.

First came Billy Graham, who Fea notes, “was the official spokesperson for American evangelicalism for more than five decades.” After 1968, “Graham's relationship with Richard Nixon brought him closer to the world of presidential politics than he had ever been before,” but that ultimately proved disastrous when Nixon’s profanity-laced White House tapes were released — making Graham “physically sick” — after which Nixon resigned in disgrace. “Years later, Graham admitted that his relationship with the disgraced former president had ‘muffled those inner monitors that had warned me for years to stay out of partisan politics.’"

But while Graham may have learned a lesson, he couldn’t stop others from making similar mistakes. “Journalist Cal Thomas and evangelical pastor Ed Dobson were two of the Moral Majority’s most important staff members,” Fea notes, “But in 1999, Dobson and Thomas reflect soberly on their experience with Falwell and the Moral Majority in their book Blinded by Might: Can the Religious Right Save America?' They concluded that the answer to the subtitle's question was a definite 'no.'" They didn’t abandon their views, but they "were forced to admit that the strategy they forged in the 1980s had failed.”

Finally, he cites the example of David Kuo, an evangelical political operative and speechwriter who served in George W. Bush’s Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. “Very early in his tenure at the White House Kuo realized that political power and Christian compassion seemed to not mix very well. His efforts at the office of faith-based and neighborhood partnerships were largely ignored unless they were an immediate benefit to Bush's political fortunes.” His book of regrets was titled, “Tempting Faith: An Inside Story of Political Seduction.”

The fact that all these individual experiences have not had more of a systemic impact ought to be a matter of major concern for Fea. It underscores how white evangelicals’ individualistic outlook severely limits their capacity to learn wider lessons — a problem, he should note, that has not affected black evangelicals in the same way.

Fea’s overview of the “court evangelists” suffers from a similar analytical shortfall. He divides them into three camps: The old Christian right, preachers of the "prosperity gospel," and those Fea identifies as "Independent Network Charismatics." The first includes prominent names such as James Dobson and Jerry Falwell Jr., but Fea focuses attention on Robert Jeffers, a Dallas preacher less well known outside evangelical circles, whom Fea once debated on NPR’s “Interfaith Voices.”

During that exchange, Jeffers said, “Look, the godly principle here is that governments have one responsibility, and that is Romans 13 [which] says to avenge evildoers. God gives government the power of the sword, of capital punishment, of executing wrong-doers.” Fea notes what a dramatic shift this marks from Jeffers’ pre-Trump position. That specific example makes his argument concrete, but adds little in the way of broader understanding.

Regarding the prosperity gospel, Fea cites the work of historian Kate Bowler, writing, “Prosperity preachers teach that faith in God combined with positive thinking and an optimistic attitude will ultimately lead to monetary wealth, good health, and victory over the difficult circumstances of life.” His broader background descriptions are adequate, but his focus on one figure, Paula White, who has a long history with Trump, is not fleshed out much.

Fea mentions but does not elaborate on Trump’s youthful experience hearing sermons from Norman Vincent Peale, author of "The Power of Positive Thinking," and never delves into how Trump’s own business practices have reflected the influence of such figures, such as this 2011 New York magazine story about Trump's multi-level vitamin marketing scheme. The prosperity gospel is the utmost in individualism, while at the same time relying on a powerful and persuasive social environment, which Fea’s analysis does not include.

Then there are the Independent Network Charismatics — apparently this is the new evangelical term for what used to be called the New Apostolic Reformation movement. Sarah Palin was the first nationally prominent Republican to be associated with this movement, which primarily comes out of Pentecostalism, but has a long history of being branded as heretical or even pagan, going back to its post-World War II origins in the “Latter Rain” movement. Their profound theological break with 500 years of orthodox Protestantism — proclaiming themselves “prophets” and “apostles” with authority directly from God — does not make a ripple in Fea’s account.

In short, Fea’s individualist focus truncates his analysis repeatedly throughout his book, despite his clear understanding and concern for the importance of community. This does not detract from his stated intention in writing the book, to “spur conversations and initiatives born out of possible answers” to an important question: “How might hope, humility, and history inform the way we white American evangelicals think about politics and other forms of public engagement?” It merely underscores how much broader those conversations must be in order to bear fruit.


R. Anspach

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Re: Blessed by Darkness
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2019, 09:17:35 AM »
 )GoodPopst(
"But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith." Galatians 3:11

Diane Moody

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Re: Blessed by Darkness
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2019, 10:05:56 AM »

Great post Reformer. It seems to me that so many have been marked by the beast that they can no longer distinguish between Calvinism and Trumpism. I have come to the conclusion that the Jerry Fawell Jr. right-wing evangelical blind support for Donald Trump is because Trump preys on worldly fear with the promise of vengeance upon the politically wicked and those that would deny their nostalgic pilgrimage to the "good ole days" when America was sinless, indigenous and white.  :-X

Stan Pat

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Re: Blessed by Darkness
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2019, 04:10:52 PM »
Great post Reformer. It seems to me that so many have been marked by the beast that they can no longer distinguish between Calvinism and Trumpism. I have come to the conclusion that the Jerry Fawell Jr. right-wing evangelical blind support for Donald Trump is because Trump preys on worldly fear with the promise of vengeance upon the politically wicked and those that would deny their nostalgic pilgrimage to the "good ole days" when America was sinless, indigenous and white.  :-X

It is a good post. But as for Jerry Lamon Falwell Jr., he is just like all the other alleged Christian supporters of Trump. He is a liar, a false teacher, a crook, and a Charlatan, just like his father. No faithful Christian will continue to support the likes of Trump after seeing his character these 4 years. Of that much I am sure. You can't serve antichrist and Christ. Organizations are cutting ties and distancing themselves from Falwell, but that won't stop the cult from supporting him. It's a sickness that5 is spreading in the church.

Why evangelicals won't care about Jerry Falwell Jr.'s apparent sex scandal

Jerry Falwell Jr’s Denials Backfire — as Photographer Posts More Shots of Him Partying at Miami Beach Nightclub

‘Hypocrite’ Jerry Falwell Jr. Slammed As New Miami Party Pics Surface

PS, Jerry Falwell Jr. and these evangelical Trump cultists are not Reformed and never has been. Blessed by darkness is right. And many just like him in this forum.


Melanie

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Re: Blessed by Darkness
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2019, 02:23:53 AM »
John Fea is an evangelical Christian and a historian. When Donald Trump was elected with 81 percent of the self-described white evangelical vote, Fea was both stunned and surprised.

I was surprised, but not stunned. The way Christians have rejected truth, I could not be stunned by their collusion with the dark side. However, I am stunned by their continued support for this man after coming to know what type of corrupted person he really is. As I see it, 2016 could be forgiven as a lack of reasonable knowledge of the man, but 2019 cannot. I can only conclude that they are as deceived as the man whom they support.


Quote
He identifies and lucidly explores three fundamental flaws in evangelical thinking that have led them to embrace a leader who is wholly unfit by their own once-cherished moral standards, in pursuit of ends they cannot possibly achieve — restoring 1950s America via government action.

Pie in the sky, which Christians should know doesn't exist, never did, and can't be restored. Very much like the nation of Israel looking for a restoration of something they never had. The evangelicals have sold their soul for an earthly kingdom as sure as those blessed by darkness have. And still thinking they are God's children regardless of how they think, act and excuse.

"Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul. 1 Peter 2:11"


What blessed darkness is it that the deceived soul walks in.

Maurice

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Re: Blessed by Darkness
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2019, 10:29:23 AM »
This is the first time I've ever heard Christians say Christians are hypocrites.  Doesn't that defeat the purpose of evangelism?

Peng Bao

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Re: Blessed by Darkness
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2019, 11:25:20 AM »
No.  )Bible-Red(

George

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Re: Blessed by Darkness
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2019, 05:49:08 PM »
So again, what you are saying is that all of us are not Christian because we back what the President is doing? Such a narrow view of what is a Christian. Or maybe it is just because we are Premillennialist evangelicals who are part of the Republican party and you are Amillennialist liberal Democrats who hate that Trump is cleaning the swamp? In any case, we have the majority because the President was elected and we will always support him. That's what really bugs you, Reformer and the rest of you Calvinists, isn't it?

Philly Dawg

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Re: Blessed by Darkness
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2019, 01:16:56 AM »
So again, what you are saying is that all of us are not Christian because we back what the President is doing?

People are not Christian only when they choose not to follow Christ. It's as simple as that. Follower of Christ equals Christian. Antichrist equals not Christian.

  Kellyanne Conway: Sometimes Trump Lies Because
 He Doesn't Know the Truth, Okay?

Reformer

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Re: Blessed by Darkness
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2019, 09:34:25 AM »
So again, what you are saying is that all of us are not Christian because we back what the President is doing?

Are you saying we should believe every spirit that says he is of Christ, regardless of his fruits?

1Jo 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

Once again, I think I was very clear in my statement and it needs no additional clarification. Whether you are a Christian or not is up to the Lord. And thankfully, mercifully, the Lord has given us his word to prove all things. It's not my fault some false Christians choose to pretend God is silent on the matter. As for me, I find it extremely hard to believe that anyone can be an Actual Bible Believing Christian and support this man who is an affront to every goodness, law, truth, righteousness, rule, order, peace, discipline, faith and morality that my gracious God stands for.

So is that plain enough for you? That's like asking can I be a Christian and support Judas as representing faithful Christians. The answer is no, Judas represented selfish, self-centered, false Christians, the sons of perdition, not the sons of God.


Quote
Such a narrow view of what is a Christian.

Lu 6:44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.

Your answer (and a lot of false Christian's answer) to Christ would be yes, a thorn in the flesh like Trump is bringing forth the fruits of Christ. My response would be that you are delusional. According to the precepts of scripture.


Quote
Or maybe it is just because we are Premillennialist evangelicals who are part of the Republican party and you are Amillennialist liberal Democrats

You may confess that you are Premillennarian Republican evangelicals, but you cannot make any of us liberal Democrats who hate that Trump. I have no hatred for Trump, I have hatred for every false way, be it traveled by Democrat or Republican.

Quote
who hate that Trump is cleaning the swamp?

Cleaning the swamp? Not only is he not cleaning the swamp, he has embraced it, polluted it, packaged it, disguised it, and extended it 100 fold. And for you and so many others to actually believe that Trump is cleaning the swamp in Washington just shows the depths of the spiritual insanity in the church. Trump wouldn't know how to clean if you gave him a bucket of soap and all-day lessons.


Quote
In any case, we have the majority because the President was elected and we will always support him.

Which only proves my point. I believe you. You will always support him. In my dictionary, we call that a cult.


Quote
That's what really bugs you, Reformer and the rest of you Calvinists, isn't it?

No. What bugs me is a plague of locusts and a group of professing Christians dancing in the field oblivious to the destruction going on.


ZeroCool

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Re: Blessed by Darkness
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2019, 01:00:43 PM »
 ]ThUmBsUp[ )God-Bless-You(

Erik Diamond

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Re: Blessed by Darkness
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2019, 01:25:30 PM »

Quote from: Reformer
No. What bugs me is a plague of locusts and a group of professing Christians dancing in the field oblivious to the destruction going on.

Agreed...speaking of the locusts:

Rev 9:1-10
(1)  And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.
(2)  And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.
(3)  And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.
(4)  And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.
(5)  And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man.
(6)  And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.
(7)  And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men.
(8 )  And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions.
(9)  And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle.
(10)  And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.

This is talking about the strength of men with the spirit of antichrist who seeks to destroy Gospel Truth. They are the army of Gog and Magog of Ezekiel 38-39 that deceives many:   


Eze 38:7-13
(7)  Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.
(8 ) After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.
(9)  Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.
(10)  Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought:
(11)  And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,
(12)  To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.
(13) Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?

This is an assualt upon God's Elect within the congregations by the false prophets, false christs, and "many people with thee", the professed Christians. They are out there to take a spoil and take a prey upon the Truth because they do NOT love the Truth.  This is how the congregation of God has become Babylon the Great which is now spiritually desolate.  I believe that Sheba, Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish represents the Elects who have came out of her and prophesy against Gog and Magog for taking a spoil and to carry away silver and gold, cattle, and good, all that represents as Gospel truth. 

Now with all the truth spoiled in the church, the conscience of professed christians will be seared enough not only that they will not repent of their deeds but also to contiune support and follow the President of the United States because they will not see anything wrong what he did. 

I think the battle of Armaggeeddon is already taking place.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9)

Reformer

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Re: Blessed by Darkness
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2019, 06:19:43 PM »
Now with all the truth spoiled in the church, the conscience of professed christians will be seared enough not only that they will not repent of their deeds but also to contiune support and follow the President of the United States because they will not see anything wrong what he did. 

I think it is true that they will not repent of their deeds, but I think they do see something wrong with what the President is doing, but I think they just don't care. I think we as a church are letting hem off too easy. I believe we sit on 12 thrones judging the tribes of Israel by the witness of the word. There is no way I believe these intelligent people don't know what the President is doing is wrong or is sin. They may say that, but they know better. Pilate tried to wash his hands of the blood of Christ, but he knew better, even calling Christ an just man. But he still sent him to his death.

Mt 27:24 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.

Was Pilate now innocent of the murder just because he washed his hands? Are these people innocent because they claim they are Christian and they really believe Trump is chosen of God to fix America and can do it any lying, self-enriching, lawless, corrupt, and wicked way that he sees fit? These people are deceived, but they are not innocent in it.

Joh 9:40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?
41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

God judges people because they do know their sin, but they just do not care because they are in bondage to it and their si is according to their will.. It's like the person who smokes and knows that smoking is slowly killing him, but he is so in bondage to the nicotine that he convinces himself that the truth is an exaggeration, or he justifies it on the grounds that everyone sins, or his own will, pleasure, personal freedom, etc., etc. The same thing with any sin, like lying, abortion, drugs, premarital sex or divorce. They know they are wrong, but like Pilate, they justify themselves in their actions. Guilt is the symptom of their sin. Adam and Eve weren't really oblivious to their sin,they knew they had sinned, that's why they ran and hid when they heard God coming. They didn't care right up to the point God was coming and then they feared and started justifying themselves. Eve blaming the serpent and Adam blaming the woman. These professing Christians who are deceived aren't going to be justified by their protests that they believed Trump because God knows better. Yes like Adam and Eve they are deceived, but it isn't justification for their blind faith, actions, beliefs or sin. Like Adam and Eve in ther being deceived, all things are made naked before God.

Heb 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

So while I'm sure there are many self-serving, blind, professing Christians here, in the Republican party, and in large evangelical circles, who blindly support the journeys into darkness and wickedness by this vile little man masquerading as a messenger sent from God, we can take comfort in the scriptures that that there is not any creature that is not revealed in his sight, and that all things are laid naked and open unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. Merciful Lord, Amen.


Pilgrim

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Re: Blessed by Darkness
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2019, 06:54:22 PM »
 )GoodPopst(  )iagree(
"And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." -Matthew 1:21

Manuel

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Re: Blessed by Darkness
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2019, 12:03:11 AM »

I truly believe that he is one of the antichrists, denying Christ and sent to bring division, disorder and chaos into the world A child of el diablo.

 


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