I'm not sure if it is comforting to know this, but it isn't the first time this world has been threatened with collapse. Archaeologists have discovered evidence pointing to the historic demise of the Byzantine Empire amid volcanic activity and plagues.
But our present day situation seems more intense doesn't it? Is it just because it is happening to us? That it's not history we are reading but our headlines?
The present crisis is pushed in front of our eyes everywhere we go. Like when we look at our bank account perhaps. The CDC reported in June that 40% of adults are struggling with mental health and substance abuse issues.
And it's not just a virus; it is the violence too. This is the first time modern Americans have experienced war on American soil against what makes America America, our form of government. Many are afraid and hopeless for good reasons.
As Christians what is our responsibility? Do as many have been doing and keep on doing it: preach the message of salvation in Jesus.
But there is also something else we can do and that is teach the biblical worldview of current events and the philosophies driving these events. It will help to answer the question, "Is this the tribulation?"
The Washington Times ran an op ed recently that linked the coronna virus response with Saul Alinsky.
Alinsky was a community activist and an author who wrote on political theories. One of his best known books is Rules for Radicals. If you are not familiar with Saul Alinsky here is a link to a video which summarizes his rules. After watching it, you can discuss these with your students or bible study friends and try to analyze our current events and see if you see Alinsky's thumbprint.
Here are some quotes from the book discussing the tenth rule of ethics. They are found on pg 36 in the chapter "Of Means and Ends."
"The tenth rule of the ethics of means and ends is that you do what you can with what you have and clothe it in moral garments."
"Does the opposition possess the power to the degree that it can suspend or change laws? Does its control of police power extend to the point where legal and orderly change is impossible?"
Ben Carson pointed out that Alinsky dedicated his book to "the first radical, Lucifer who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom.” In a 1966 interview, Alinsky said he would organize hell because it is full of have nots. He may not have believed in a biblical Lucifer. But more importantly, Lucifer understood the value of an Alinsky and used him to advance his agenda.
Many wonder about the antiChrist but 1John 4:3 is quick to point out the spirit of antiChrist was already at work in the world. He uses men to carry out his ideas and the world has had many such men. Even the protestors trying to choke the street preacher in Seattle were his servants.
Alinsky wasn't the first rebel as he noted, but he won't be the last either.
Alinsky also promoted tactics Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527) wrote about in The Prince and The Art of War. Both Alinsky and Machiavelli were influenced in their ideas by criminals and mobsters; specifically, Al Capone for Alinsky and Cesare Borgia and the Medici family in Machiavelli's case. Eventually Machiavelli and Alinsky influenced the mafia. In fact, John Gotti could quote Machiavelli.
It is said Hitler kept a copy of The Prince by his bed. That's not hard to imagine. But let's not forget Karl Marx contributed his conflict theory to the agitators' pot of stew. Basically, create a problem, hire someone to stir it up to get attention and make the problem bigger. Then, be the one with the solution and get rid of those you hired. Modern class warfare, be it in the form of race, gender or whatever topic you can divide over, is a blend of these men's philosophies. Marx's thumbprint is visible too.
What is the purpose of us learning about these men and the influences that shaped them?
It helps us to rightly discern a pattern in these theories that should be crystal clear to a Christian with a biblical worldview and a good foundation in biblical literacy. Deception, division, fear, strife, chaos, destruction and a power takeover. Sounds like Lucifer doesn't it? He hates freedom founded in Jesus.
Jesus said Satan is a liar and the father of it. Jesus said Satan was a murderer from the beginning and his goal is to steal, kill and destroy. But he comes to us as an angel of light and like a prowling lion seeking whom he may destroy. Notice that he is not a lion to a Christian. To a believer he carries a threat and an invitation to surrender your protection in Jesus. You have to give him permission.
And revealing the pattern reminds us our fight is not against flesh and blood. Which is what the street preacher knew. Satan wants a freedom based on lawlessness. CHAZ was Exhibit A for his kind of freedom.
Carson rightly contrasted the Alinsky philosophy of politics with the fact that America is founded on Judeo-Christian values and the inalienable rights given to us by our Creator, that we as a nation are under God. It might seem trivial to some but it is really as simple as that. The attack on the ground in America can be summed up as the lawless one trying to assert himself over the Giver of the law.
The big picture of our history is coming into focus. The birth pangs of Jesus coming for those that are His are getting stronger. Not just in America, but globally. It is loud. These times are prompting some Christians to start prepping.
But the Bible never says to stockpile goods to survive. Revelation 3 tells us to keep our eye on God's word (tēreō to guard it, to watch and hold fast to it) and not deny (arneomai, contradict, reject) His name.
Moderate liberals may have thought they were the ones in charge, but recently they've gotten a surprise. Turns out the result of teaching Marxism for decades has finally produced fruit. Now Bernie Sanders can say that his ideas which were "considered radical are now mainstream" because they are.
But the Marxists are biting the hand that fed them. They don't care about Democrats or Republicans any more than they care about black lives, brown lives or the LGBTQ community despite what they say their beliefs are. They don't care because Satan doesn't care. He has made them a Trojan Horse for Antifa. The rioting and ruined cities tell the truth, and so are some people who want to get the word out.
The fact is the Democratic Party is dead because they've given Satan permission to work there. Now the Marxists have taken it over and they have their own agenda. At least they think it is their agenda. Savvy believers know better.
We also know something else. We know where Lucifer is today...under our shoe. He can't take over yet, but it doesn't stop him from trying. Hope this helps as you pass Jesus on to those around you and the next generation.
And this is comforting: Christians who understand their authority in Jesus know Satan will not prevail against the Church. We are growing despite viruses and protests because he can't work unhindered until we are taken out of the way in the Rapture. Praise Jesus!
Image by Gift Habeshaw courtesy of Unsplash
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