Boot camp kills the conscience
so soldiers can do evil without
being convicted in their hearts
If possible, I usually try to find articles already written so I don’t have to reinvent the wheel. There must be great articles written on this subject, but I haven’t been able to find them. So I’ll share what’s on my heart.
I’ll start with some key texts.
Elders’ Qualifications according to 1 Timothy 3:
1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. 2 A bishop [overseer or elder] then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 3 Not given to wine, no striker*, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler….
* A striker doesn’t just strike with his hands, but James-3 curses people from his heart. See my ‘Christians’ Cursing People posts
King David was not allowed to build the temple because his hands were stained with blood. 1 Cor. 22:
7 David said to Solomon his son, “As for me, it was in my heart to build a house to the name of Yahweh my God. 8 But the word of Yahweh came to me, saying, ‘You have shed blood abundantly, and have made great wars. You shall not build a house to my name, because you have shed much blood on the earth in my sight. 9 Behold, a son shall be born to you, who shall be a man of rest. I will give him rest from all his enemies all around; for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness to Israel in his days. 10 He shall build a house for my name….
Does military mind-control programming disqualify church leaders? No, but: according to Galatians 5, true Christians have crucified their flesh and are now free from everything in the first list, here.
Only leaders who are truly called by God to lead and who have crucified their flesh (including the hate programming), exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit in this second list are truly qualified to lead God’s people.
19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious, which are: adultery, sexual immorality, uncleanness, lustfulness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, strife, jealousies, outbursts of anger, rivalries, divisions, heresies, 21 envyings, murders [he who hates his brother is a murderer], drunkenness, orgies, and things like these; of which I forewarn you, even as I also forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God [not go to heaven, see 6:7-9].
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ [true, Christians] have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts [deprogrammed from the works of the flesh, above — NO HATE].
I just took a fabulous fine-art photography workshop in which the instructor said a couple of times that photographers who can’t cry shouldn’t be [art] photographers. Art photography should be from the heart, not just an exercise in logic.
And this would be true of great music too.
I was writing a friend, thinking about how there seems to be this big gap between men and women photographers in being able to shoot from the heart. Women can cry, but I can cry too.
What happened to men so many can no longer cry? Most aren’t born that way. How do men lose their ability to express sorrow and even joy with tears?
Boot camp? A large percentage of men have gone through boot camp. And a huge percentage of children have had fathers who went through boot camp. So what’s the big deal? We need to train men to fight, right?
We’ve seen the movies, the documentaries where they break recruits down to build them up — swearing in their face, telling young men they’re basically a piece of ____, and then telling them: “you’re a Marine!” “You’re a man now,” once they complete the mind-control program called boot camp.
But what just happened to those young men so many will no longer cry, and many will kill on command without question, without engaging the soul?
What happens when the recruits are sworn at, called trash?
I don’t know to what degree this happens anymore, but this is my theory. The drill sergeants teach the young recruits to hate. They teach them to have hate and anger for people, which is a reverse-Christian concept, and they teach these just-barely-not-boys that the enemy are gooks or some other derogatory, sub-human name.
Boys are being conditioned to not love anymore. Loyalty is not the same as love. Their hearts are hardened, and then these men return to civilian life and become husbands, fathers, and even pastors.
Paul said an elder cannot be a striker. How many boot-camp-affected pastors are free of the hate demons installed into them during boot camp or by a boot-camp-graduate Dad, teacher, whatever — pastor???
Anyone can be set free from any demon(s), including these boot camp ones.
Why have I had license plates that say NO HATE for 14 years? I found out that hate and unforgiveness were among the root causes of why people were getting hurt in the church I was attending, and this problem wasn’t being adequately addressed, or solved.
But this is also a community-wide situation. It’s one of the roots of the problem as well as one of the keys to the solution.
Why in the world did most pastors support the Bush/Cheney pro-immoral-war policies without question?
There are many reasons, but I think this boot-camp factor is hugely responsible. Most pastors aren’t even willing to research what these and many of the previous wars are all about. Perhaps they think this would show weakness, but in reality it would show Christlikeness.
“He who hates his brother is a murderer and does not have eternal life abiding in him.” How many men (including pastors) have sold their soul during boot camp and haven’t repented.
And look at the mess we’re in now. They won’t investigate what really happened on 9/11. They rubber stamped every immoral and unconstitutional act that President Bush did. And they wouldn’t support the true Christian, pro-life-for-adults-and-babies candidate, Ron Paul.
And now we’re sitting in this mess.
Please, if you have hate and anger in your heart, remember that we will not be forgiven unless we forgive even our enemies, no matter what the boot camp influenced pastors teach. What did Jesus teach? Would he have gone along with the hate indoctrination, or would he have remained free to love everyone no matter what?
We saw how he died, and how Stephen died. How many modern day pastors would forgive their enemies like Jesus and Stephen did? How many curse people whom merely just disagree with them, people who are trying to bring in peace?
We need a healing from this boot-camp induced hate.
It may be too late to restore America, but we can restore the church to actually doing the greatest two commandments, which are all about loving God with our all and all of our neighbors (including Al Qaeda) as ourselves.
Then we will be ONE as Jesus prayed we would be in John 17: ONE with each other and ONE in God, Himself, Who died so everyone could be set free. Matthew 5:
7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.
Jesus said that only the pure in heart will see God. Only the peacemakers are truly children of God — Christians.
Let that Dirty Thing Go, The Monster That Hides Inside, the demon that hold you back.
And “no John Waynes,” from part 21 of my “Let Us Be ‘ONE'” prophecy. Jesus:
A way that is right for a man is not My way. You must obey.
no John Waynes,
none that disobey,
thinking they are so cool.
I hope you see this, that the world can’t give you life. It’s not full, and pride will cease. Watch it get squashed when the end-times come, the final days the world will see. I will come with a sword, and few will recognize that I am the one who died for their sins, and be thankful, because then it will be too late. Now is the day of salvation. Now is the time to get ready, full of Me.
Strengthen your loins. Make haste to obey. Fill yourselves with righteousness for all to see. Then they will be glad, because you obeyed. Many will follow when the time is right.
Now many are weary. They mistrust. They judge without love. They need to respect My opinion. Then they can relax, once they are in Me—anger no more. Rebellion will cease.
A new way has come, leading many into victory, where they can stay in Me and never get out.
We can be ONE. Many will see it and be glad—for you obeyed.
Power to the Peaceful!
Jeff Fenske : )
Boot camp kills the conscience so soldiers can do evil without being convicted in their hearts
Lose your empathy, and you’ve lost your soul: “Republicans still support Bush’s torture and murder of about two million innocents, and Democrats overlook Obama’s expanded war and torture.” “Once a combat soldier kills a defenseless non-combatant…”
People Cursing Animals (and People?): “Men Who Stare At Goats” — The True Story Behind The Film
“No Hate,” Himself (John Wooden) Recognized as the Greatest Coach!
14 thoughts on “The Boot Camp Factor: The Hate & Anger Factory Where Men are Programmed to Kill and Then Become Our Dads?!! Our Pastors?!!!”
Jeff, you’re an unusual American Christian. I wish you well and I hope you’ll live in peace in spite of speaking up against Big Money and its hate-mongerers.
You might enjoy reading my free e-book, Walkabout: The History of a Brief Century. It runs along much the same lines as your post here.
Besides, having been through our national service here in Finland, I know what you mean by boot camp training, although ours is nowhere near as barbaric as what I’ve seen in American movies. The purpose of the humiliation of the recruits is to make them identify the drill sergeant as a common enemy against whom they can unite as a group. Creating a fighting unit out of a dozen men who don’t know each other seems to be possible only in this way. Without mutual adversity the group spirit just isn’t there, and without the group spirit, you can’t send them against the enemy. The fact that America creates her own enemies in order to increase the wealth of the owners of the defense industry is, of course, another matter altogether.
All the best,
I hope there are many more unusual Christians here in America. “Blessed be the peacemakers….”
I briefly looked at your book. For some reason I haven’t read fiction much in my later life; though, loved it as a child. Perhaps I’m more into looking at truth straight on now. But I do still watch some fiction on the screen. Dunno. Perhaps there are others reading this that would enjoy your work. It looks interesting.
Your character is in Bloomington, Minnesota. That’s specifically where I grew up, a few miles west of the Mall of America. It was a sports stadium back then.
Well, perhaps we shouldn’t be sending our troups out there, like Ron Paul advocates. Like you say, we create our own enemies, and when one really looks into the history of most of the wars (Dr. Stanley Monteith is an excellent historian in this area), some parts of our government have played both sides, have been provocateurs…. We’ve even launched wars againt nations that would keep Satan’s New World Order from happening. It’s so dirty.
Military recruits shouldn’t be programmed with hate to do something they would ordinarily not do. We’re always accountable to God above man. Those who think they are allowed to kill just because they’re obeying orders isn’t biblically correct. Those who are led by the Spirit are the children of God.
America has a right to defend itself with arms. But it better really be self-defense. Even WWII was dirty. Prescott Bush (G.W.’s Skull and Bonesman grandfather) helped finance Hitler. Our boys were told to not bomb certain manufacturing plants in Germany. Our government let the Pearl Harbor attack happen in order to bring us into the war. Eisenhower made Patton stand down and probably was involved in his assassination. Etc.. http://tobefree.press goes into most of this. (You may know all of this, but other readers may not)
Ron Paul is not a pacifist, nor am I. I believe in self-defense of oneself, family, neighbors, country. But I would also look for and pray for a miracle first, and do my best to make sure I’m right with God and all people, which America is not doing — and sadly, for the most part, the American ‘church’ is not doing.
Killing people is a last resort, but not for many preachers, today. They are in big trouble with God. I had a prophecy for a pastor whom I had many struggles with, trying to help him do the right thing. God said that the flames would be neck high.
Neck high forever and ever — no breaks! What are these pastors thinking? The deception is off the charts!
Thanks so much, Robert. Actually, it’s been very hard. I really do get cursed pretty much non-stop, round the clock, 24/7. But those who hate me are really thinking about what I’m saying, and they feel guilty. I wish them all well. May we all be ONE with each other in Christ (Jesus prayer for us in John 17).
I’m doing better at forgiving, and I’ve set out to kind of report my progress publicly, as I state in the first post in my personal blog http://jefffenske.com.
I’ve been taking the easy way out, doing the photo thing mostly, but I need to get going in this stepping out area, both as an incentive for myself to always be free (only “perfect love casts out all fear” demons, and as an encouragement to others to also see how James-3 cursing really works so they will be less inclined to do it and inclined to walk in perfect love, as well as praying in the Holy Spirit, which also helps greatly, praying perfectly for the cursers.
Once people really learn what’s really going on, especially regarding how few are really going to heaven (where they’ll end up if they walk in love, truly ‘in Christ,’ I think revival will then come.
But man, it’s been really lonely during this dark time. But the revival will be worth it.
God bless you! Thanks for your input and the stand you are taking, reaching the fiction-laced-with-truth readers!
Thanks for all that, Jeff! “Fiction laced with truth”–I think I’ll add that to the blurb for the book. Eventually, I hope to get it published, so the better I can present it, the higher my hopes to get through to the right publisher.
Overnight, I thought some more about the dehumanization thing, and I think the explanation for the greater humiliation of US recruits is precisely the fact that they’ll be sent against people who don’t pose a threat against them or their country, but have been chosen to serve as targets so the defense budget can keep growing. Our own armed forces here have the excellent motivation that any possible enemy turning up on our borders would be threatening their wives and children, their homes, and their lives. So we don’t need this blind hatred against anything that moves, just skills and team spirit.
I don’t envy you all that trouble. Over here in Europe, you’d have a lot of support, if people knew about you. That probably makes you a traitor in the eyes of the typical American Evangelical.
Hope you find the time to read Walkabout. Compared with your troubles, my character’s story may be a bit bland, but we end up with the same message: Love is the key.
Oh yes, about Bloomington: I lived in Edina, MN for a year and a half in 1979 and 1980, working for Honeywell downtown. We used to go shopping in Bloomington, as I remember. Never been to the Mall of America, but, given the Web, my character has.
I remember reading a story when I was young about some young men (maybe even boys) possibly in your country who fought to protect the country on skis. I really enjoyed that book. That was truly self-defense. That was clean. And as you say so well, “the dehumanization thing” wasn’t necessary at all to motivate because you Finns “have the excellent motivation that any possible enemy turning up on our borders would be threatening their wives and children, their homes, and their lives.”
This is how it should be. Christians should never allow themselves to live in the “works of the flesh” list that I’ve now put into the first part of this “Boot Camp” article [You may have seen that I’ve added some stuff to it]. Real, going-to-heaven Christians have “crucified their flesh,” the “hate” and “outbursts of anger,” “lust,” “jealousy,” and etc., and now walk in love no matter what.
Legitimate self-defense doesn’t require a person to ever leave the right-with-God-and-man, Gal. 5:22-24 list. Pastors should have taken a stand many decades ago, teaching the people to never allow themselves to be dehumanized in this ungodly boot-camp way.
And the Bible doesn’t teach that if the government orders us to do something immoral that we’re then okay with God and people.
For some reason, many American ‘Christians’ seem to think that once one signs up for military service then they’re off the hook morally. I actually applaud (and have at ToBeFree, my other site) conscientious objectors who say this war is wrong and I will not allow myself to be a part of this. They have chosen not to sear their conscience, and to rather obey it; though, a lot of evangelical, American ‘Christians’ would look down on them for doing so.
It’s really sick what Christianity has become in America. Most ‘Christians’ aren’t Christians in America. It’s really hard to get this message out there, because the James-3 cursers are so active in protecting their positions of leadership and the indoctrination machine is seemingly all-encompassing — even though the truth is right there in plain sight in the Word of God that everybody has. It will be a great miracle for a group of people to sufficiently wake up out of the Matrix state that the ‘church’ is in.
Because God won’t make it happen. He, Himself is power-under, not power-over. It’s so amazing how hands-off He really is, but always right there to help when we really are humble, “resisting the proud but giving grace to the humble.”
I think people actually deep-down think that because God doesn’t come right out and say their doctrine is wrong — in funerals God doesn’t interrupt the service and say: “this person didn’t really go to heaven as you just said, pastor. And you won’t go to heaven either, getting an even stricter judgment….”
I’m amazed at how many people go to heaven according to what is said at funerals across America. And I’m even more amazed at how few people are really willing to study what the Bible truly says about this subject.
Once the truth really gets out on this who-goes-to-heaven subject alone, I think we’ll have revival that will last.
Why don’t people really want to know the truth? I’m just not wired this way. I’ve always been a truth lover, a wonderer, a make-surer. It’s just baffling to me that most people aren’t the same way. This is one of the biggest mysteries to me: why don’t people want to make sure that they are going to heaven?
If anyone can answer this, I’m really interested.
But Robert, back to the fun stuff. I grew up mostly 1/2 block south of the Target store on Thomas Lane (between Penn Ave. and Xerxes, off of 80th, near 494). And I used to visit my uncle (who was just here) who lived in Edina.
If you ever visit Anchorage, Alaska, let me know. Maybe we’ll have revival going by then.
God bless you, bro!
I wish you well in your writings!
Jeff Fenske : )
Yes, that was the Target store where we used to go to, Jeff! Small world.
This is one of the biggest mysteries to me: why don’t people want to make sure that they are going to heaven?
I think you’ll find some thoughts on this if you read chapters 33 to 35 in Walkabout. Most people are religious–they’ll follow the dominant religion or denomination in their culture, or stay in the denomination where they were born, and expect to have things done for them. Just a few have faith–in our case, the Christian faith–and that’s a whole different kettle of fish.
Yes, it was Finland’s Winter War you read about. The heroism of our grandfathers is still held up as a model for today’s youth.
Thanks for the invitation! Ask the good people over there to read my book, so they can learn the difference between faith and religion! It’s still for free.
Wow! to all of what you said!
You were only half a block away!
I read that about 40 years ago. Amazing how I was inspired by those great pure-in-heart Finns, as well as that great author!
Okay, I’ll have to read some truth-laden fiction now. Perhaps I’ll more fully understand this great mystery. Why are people so apt to trust people who clearly don’t have their act together, themselves?
Com’on people. Get out of the Matrix, you all!
Let’s be ONE in Christ, not part of the system….
Great to talk with you, Robert!
Blessings to the Finland. May you enjoy your fjords as much as we in Alaska enjoy our ‘arms.’ I much prefer the term, fjords.
Jeff : )
I read chapter 33 and some of 34. What your character is purporting about who goes to heaven appears to me so far to be somewhat on the right track, but is actually also somewhat similar to what is taught in mainstream American Christianity.
Have you read my Who-Goes-To-Heaven Scriptures — Narrow is the Way article?
You may be surprised at what the Bible really says, mainly because it seems that these texts aren’t taught in churches today. Most people have gotten their doctrine Paul’s introductions. The later, more specific texts are either not taught, or read really fast in order for them to get onto their next set of favorite passages.
I read through the entire New Testament in high school to look for scriptures that talked about whether we can lose our salvation or not. That’s when I found Hebrews 10:26-39.
Since then, I’ve did the same thorough search, but this time to note all of the texts that speak about salvation, what is required, and etc..
Very few people have done this type of research to find out what the Bible really says. It’s important to read Paul’s entire books, for example. Luther seemed to start the emphasis on getting doctrine mostly from Paul’s intros, and American theologians seemed to have just continued the trend.
And now America is falling off a cliff, taking the whole world with it.
If you do read my salvation article, look specifically for what has replaced the old covenant law. Faith in what Jesus did is just the start. Those who are led by the Spirit are not under the law, Paul taught. And those who have crucified their flesh (Gal. 5) and look at what Romans 8 really says. Most people just know verse 1a:
And then Paul goes on to to say this:
Jesus said the same thing, but differently, calling it: abiding in Himself (John 15). And if we don’t….
He also talks a lot about the specifics about salvation in the Sermon on the Mount and elsewhere. So does James and John.
This isn’t a game. This is dead serious. This is about our eternal destiny forever and ever. If we get it wrong now? Imagine….
Luther got “the just shall live by faith” from the intro to Romans. But look at how the writer to Hebrews uses the same exact text in 10:26-39.
If the truth about who goes to heaven would be taught in America (or somewhere else), Christians would be one with each other in Christ, and then the whole world will know…. (John 17)
As it is now, the whole world knows that something is seriously wrong among ‘Christianity’ in America.
Jesus wants to be head, literally. He didn’t put us on this earth as orphans. We can now be personally led by the Holy Spirit, God, Himself.
Robert, have you considered doing a study through the entire New Testament to see what the Bible really says? I’ve done this being willing to accept whatever the Bible really teaches. And my summary is online, and it’s not very long.
Here is another key text (like Hebrews 10:26-39) that’s ignored, and is in my article. John writes Jesus’ words in Rev. 3. Jesus actually states that these believers actually had a reputation for being alive, but how many really are? How big of a percentage from this group will not have their names blotted out from the Book of Life?
The way is a lot narrower than hardly anyone is teaching. And the works of the law are those that are now superceded by being led by the Holy Spirit, abiding in Christ.
We’ll never be tempted above what we are able to bear. We can always overcome because we now have God, Himself inside of us Who gives us the grace to overcome. And overcome we must if we are to enter eternal life in heaven — if we are to truly be His sons.
We need to really make sure what the Bible really teaches. And those of us who teach others as to what the Bible teaches need to be even more sure, because now we’re responsible for how our teaching effects others. Please check out what I’ve written to make sure.
May we be ONE in Him. Then the world will know!
Jeff Fenske : )
What you have against you is the crowd preaching a “marshmallow God”, along with the whole setup pushing moralistic-therapeutic deism. Plus many more.
I’m in agreement with your findings. There’s a fine distinction, though, that I’d like to emphasize–you may have seen it in the text you read from Walkabout.
If you start reading about all those horrible acts in the Bible and decide that you’re not going to commit them, but you haven’t done anything about your attitudes, you’re still just trying to earn your ticket to heaven through works. Committing yourself to Jesus with all your bridges burned, on the other hand, includes a change of your attitudes, which leads to an active desire to live your life according to his example and his expectations.
I recently added this to my manuscript to emphasize the importance of attitude:
It’s like treating symptoms without doing anything about the underlying disease: all that’s certain is that the patient will keep returning, and that a lot of money will be changing hands. Or, from the individual’s point of view, it’s like trying to stop smoking without really wanting to. This is the well-tested business model of religion since the early Catholic Church and even long before that. No denomination has been able to improve on it, so they all teach he same thing: do this, don’t do that.
The concept of a business model for the church is introduced earlier in the book, in chapter 23:
“It’s scary to think of persecutions, though,” I ventured.
“Yes, it’s a frightening prospect. However, it could also be a blessing of sorts. The Christian church retains its original form and purpose only for as long as it’s being persecuted. Look at the early church: it remained undivided and true to the apostles’ teachings, and it became the majority religion in the pagan Roman empire because the heathens could see that Christians, living their faith, had something infinitely more valuable and emboldening than what they themselves had. The persecutions targeted church leaders more than other Christians, and only the brave, compassionate, and selfless became leaders and teachers.
“We still have this situation in places like parts of Africa and Asia, and Christians from there put all of us who live securely and comfortably to shame. As soon as it’s safe to belong to some religion or denomination, it becomes part of the peace-of-mind industry, and its ranks of leaders fill up with politicians, bureaucrats, and businessmen, just like any other organization. The death-defying evangelists are beatified, sacrificed to martyrdom, sidelined, or forgotten, as needed, and the original gospel is relegated to pre-sales work and to draw crowds on big holidays, where it’s always proved its worth.
“From that point onward, clergy simply become peddlers of guilt.”
“That’s a rather sweeping statement,” I observed. “How about a bit of commentary?”
“A code of behavior, even an onerous one, and the supervision needed to maintain it, can be sold for money, as long as the promised reward is attractive enough. Just look at the martial arts, as an example. On the other hand, who’s going to pay you for advertising a free gift? Well, that’s obvious from any marketing campaign: only the giver of the gift. So preaching salvation as a free gift by the grace of God and the blood of Jesus requires living on faith, something professional church leaders and clergy aren’t very good at.”
“Some would take offense at such a direct comparison between religion and business,” I noted.
“Hypocrisy, by its nature, is defensive,” Oliver confirmed. “But the parallel is accurate. Clergy are in the business of evaluating people’s actions and outward appearances, and selling a cure, much like the weight loss industry.
“In an officially accepted church, the objective of a preacher is no longer to share a message at any cost to himself, but to make a living, preferably in a comfortable manner. Although such a priest or pastor liberally claims the same authority Jesus gave his apostles when he first sent them out to preach, he isn’t prepared to live on faith as they had to do.
“So if you’re a people person in need of a job, and you chance upon a belief system, led by amateurs, emerging out of struggles and persecutions, this is what you do. You take its original message of faith—ancient mythology, the Gospel of Jesus, the revelations of Mohammed, the writings of Marx and Engels, whatever—and transform it into something entirely different: a code of conduct, against which you can gauge people’s performance. Since you can’t supervise every person yourself, the code has to be uncompromising and emotional enough to lend itself to both rueful self-criticism by the individual and callous monitoring by others. In effect, you take a message of joy, victory, and triumph, and turn it into one of obligation, guilt, and condemnation by the holier-than-thou crowd.
“To make the scheme fly, you have to come up with just the proper mix of euphoria over belonging to the in-group with remorse over one’s inevitable failings. When you’ve got this right, you also have to cater to births, marriages, deaths, and other rites of passage, plus provide a regular supply of holidays and celebrations according to the seasons. It’s always a good idea to take over the feasts of the old order and rename them after your own saints and potentates; this tends to keep the people happy through the transition.
“Now you’ve created a lucrative profession that provides peace of mind for all involved. By offering the worldly authority your services, you may be able to attain a local monopoly and set your prices as you see fit. Better still, you may even be given the right to raise your revenue as taxes. All that now remains is cobbling together a suitably biased and fuzzy interpretation of the original myth or gospel, so you can explain away its overly simplistic aspects, such as the Greatest Commandment in Mt. 22:35-39.”
“George Orwell comes to mind,” I interjected. “‘All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.’”
“The examples are endless,” Oliver noted. “But back to belief systems: an established religion is more concerned with a solid social position than with changing lives. It makes both membership and salvation contingent on partaking in rituals and paying tithes, while the early church had no such conditions. It persecutes those who leave it and murders its competitors, whether heathens or heretics. It transfers holiness from the object of worship to the organization and its leaders. It dilutes faith in God with faith in the church, and strives to convince you that this faith is all you need. Though St. Paul says clearly that love is greater than faith, such a church will teach you little about love, least of all by example. Learning to act out of unconditional love will qualify you for the Kingdom of God all on its own; there’s no billable contribution by the church in that.
“St. Paul, in I Cor. 1:10-15, wrote a strongly worded condemnation of divisions among the faithful, based on following different authorities. Nevertheless, this kind of church invariably throws up barricades between ‘us’ and ‘them,’ so dissent can be demonized as treason. Belonging to the church, joining its interest groups, taking part in its activities, and paying your dues become the focal points of a religion that’s concerned more with fundraising than with saving souls. No wonder so many find it impossible to accept such churches and their authority over people’s lives.
“Those who teach or practice this kind of religion fall under Christ’s denunciation in Mt. 6:1-17: they have had their reward. If persecutions come, they won’t be affected. But the rest of us may again get an opportunity to show what it means to live one’s faith.”
Another objection I have to focusing only on all these rules at the expense of the Greatest Commandment is that you’ll end up reading your own character and temperament into all this, and you may start thinking that people from entirely different cultural backgrounds must be automatically excluded. Take a lot of people around the Mediterranean, for example: Honor and vengeance have a prominent place in their lives, and you’ll be hard pressed to find a person willing to turn the other cheek. So do we assume that God has rejected all these people because they don’t fit our formula? I don’t think so. With God all things remain possible, and preempting God’s choice of candidates for Heaven isn’t our business, anyway.
I’m learning a lot quickly from you, Jeff. Keep up the good work!
I think I’m seeing where you are coming from, and how readers could perhaps get slightly the wrong perspective by just reading my Who-Goes-to-Heaven… article. Perhaps I should add more commentary someday, so people are aware that the key to overcoming is the Greatest Two Commandments, actually loving the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength, and our neighbor as ourself.
To overcome, love is the focus, not the do’s or don’ts. But the Bible often shows us the do’s and don’ts so we know if we’re in right standing or not.
My “Who-Goes…” article is not a “how to” but a “what if.” I’m trying to let the scriptures speak for themselves, so people can see where they’re at. It’s a warning, for I think most American ‘Christians’ have crossed the line and are in the danger zone. It’s a balancing article, not the whole picture on how to get there.
Perhaps you’d enjoy my “Let Us Be ‘ONE'” prophecy. I just wrote down what I heard. This is Jesus telling us how we can be ONE, how to do it.
A few weeks ago, I believe God told me to complete this. I won’t alter in any way what I’ve heard, but I do somehow have to add commentary and Biblical texts to help people understand what Jesus is saying in these 34 sections. I’ve also in the last few weeks decided that I will add a number of the art images I’m shooting this summer into this online book. It wouldn’t be practical to add color photos to a printed book, because of the cost, but online is another story.
I think the photos will help people see God’s heart. He’s not an ogre, but he’s not ‘marshmallow’ either, like you say. I don’t understand all of the why’s, but I do somewhat understand that God has set up these parameters for the best of reasons.
I don’t understand completely how God has let many generations of preachers blindly follow Luther and others into crossless Christianity, hardly anyone is going to heaven, percentage-wise. How can God sit back? How can you, Jesus? How hard is this on you??!!!
I think it’s like way hard, more than we could ever fathom. I think Jesus hurts big-time, because he’s given mankind free will and mankind is mostly blowing it. He’s waiting and crying, hurt because hardly anyone is abiding and overcoming, respecting their neighbors enough to love no matter what and to not take advantage of God’s daughters who’ve been deceived into showing too much of their anatomy, for example.
Guy’s are supposed to be beyond that. And guys really are supposed to be leading the church. But compromised guys can’t. And that’s when the women get mad and all hell breaks loose.
It’s good to have specific parameters, to know we can’t lust at all, hate at all, envy at all, hold grudges at all — lie at all.
Let’s focus instead on loving to the degree the Greatest Two Commandments call for.
Pulpits across America spend a lot of their time arguing for a lower standard. And so that’s what we’ve gotten — filth.
What we need is just one church in one place to teach and practice the true Biblical standard. Then God will show up, I think, perhaps like a permanent Asbury Revival. Other Christians will gladly show up. They’ll see the light. “And then the World will know,” Jesus said, all because we are ONE.
Robert, regarding your last point about those who choose to take vengeance into their own hands because it’s part of their culture….
It’s part of our U.S. culture to join the military and then claim we’re not responsible because we were just following orders.
None of us have any excuse, Paul says in Romans, because God’s glory is evident by what He has made.
Most people hardly see God’s handiwork anymore. Even the high definition nature programs on TV are largely anti-Creation, anti-God, pro-evolution propaganda pieces. These programs even often elevate animals to be at the level of humans. It’s worse to kill an animal now than to kill an infant in the mother’s womb.
I personally really like photography because I can do my little part in helping people see that there really is glory out there — that God is awesome!!! There is righteousness and peace somewhere. And it should be here too.
Those people over there are just as accountable as we are over here. God sets the standards. He calls the shots and tells us what they are in the Bible and through the Holy Spirit in all the ways He leads those who are willing to be led.
I do say a lot about being led by the Holy Spirit on my site, right? I hope that this site doesn’t major on do’s and don’ts without relationship.
I really go into the tithing issue because this is one of the main doctrines that encourages pastors to follow the old covenant instead of the Holy Spirit — in our pocketbook —$$money$$. There are a number of doctrines that are keeping the Greatest Two Commandments from happening at a group level.
Some even teach that home churches are the solution. Where in the Bible does it say that large congregations are unbiblical? And the home church movement hasn’t delivered the goods either.
What does the Bible really say, really teach? What is the Holy Spirit really saying?
Jesus wants to be head of His church. There is no other way. Pastors are actually actively teaching a different gospel when they teach that we don’t really have to abide in Him. It’s the reverse-gospel. Their standards are not God’s standards. Their teachings are not God’s teachings.
I do think that a large percentage of these evangelical pastors are well meaning. Most aren’t intentionally deceiving. I think that they actually have demons in them which give these men and women the feeling that they are right. And the demons drive them to hate those who disagree. Hate and anger is off of the charts.
One of the deceptions in these last days is also that demons can’t be in born-again believers. Many are realizing how unforgiveness and other willful sins like lust opens the door, but I think most are unaware of how many demons actually drive their ow thoughts.
To me, a large part of my freedom theme is freedom from demons. And only perfect love casts out all fear [demons]. We can’t give the demons a place, or they have the right to drive and torment. Most American ‘Christians’ are tormented 24/7 because they haven’t forgiven everyone from the heart (Mt. 18).
I’m no exception, because I get cursed so much and don’t always respond in my heart with perfect love, which is why I need to do what I said I would do in my personal blog and get publicly accountable to always forgive.
I forgive a lot, and am getting close to the ‘perfect love’ standard, but I need to fully get there, to the promised land — free at last.
I’m not consciously aware of anyone who is always there. Most people don’t know their own hearts. But many of us will get to the promised land — demon freedom. Hardly anyone really understands how infested they are and where these come from, especially if we stand up for what is right.
Luther stood up; got cursed big time; and then decided to curse back.
We can learn from all of their successes and mistakes, and from God, Himself as to what is really going on and how to overcome.
It’s going to be a great ride when a group of people, somewhere, really get free — not just in their own minds — but truly. The proof will be when God shows up. “Then the world will know.”
Robert and everyone, I apologize for not being more clear in my presentations on these sites. And it’s taken me forever to get out what has been on my heart for years. I apologize. This has been a long road to hoe.
And I appreciate everyone who is praying for me and who is helping me, like Robert is here, to do a better job in representing Christ and Truth.
Thank you, again, Robert, and goodnight to you all. May we get our act together and thrive spiritually no matter what happens to us during what appears to be tough times ahead.
God bless! May we overcome, together — in Love, Himself — to bless His heart!!!
Jeff Fenske : )
Indeed, Jeff. Hey, I’ll spare you the trouble of reading my whole book, you know the one on fiction laced with truth! Here’s an excerpt I’ve been maintaining in parallel with the manuscript itself, with the most prominent discussions on faith vs. religion.. That’s my best contribution to your thinking just now. Your concerns are commendable, but you must guard against being misunderstood as advocating moral coercion and salvation by works.
The hard part today in regards to being misunderstood in the way you say….
American evangelicalism seems to have adopted Luther’s Grace + Nothing teaching, hook line and sinker.
Many teachers teach Luther’s “once saved always saved” doctrine to the full extent Luther did: a person can’t do anything to lose their salvation…. That’s pretty radical, but there are many preachers who teach exactly that.
I think the majority of evangelical preachers don’t go quite that far, though. They’ll just say it’s really hard to lose one’s salvation, often adding that the only way to lose it is to reject the Holy Spirit directly, telling God to not be in one’s life anymore.
Well, hardly anyone is going to do that, so basically American evangelicalism teaches OSAS across the board. I don’t know of one TV or radio preacher who teaches otherwise. And this is what Pastor Joe Schimmel calls The Great Deception.
I agree with him. In his talk (on this site), he mentions numerous scriptures that specifically warn against this deception. But when most American ‘Christians’ have been deceived, they’ll label those who teach the truth as divisive and whatever.
But Jesus was divisive. So was Paul, John, James, and etc.. They all warned the church about falling into apostacy by believing the lie that we won’t reap what we sow….
I think it’s wise to look at who goes to heaven from many different perspectives. Historically, for one. This OSAS deception was already starting in the early church to the degree that the NT writers warned about it so much.
But those who teach this doctrine are not going to teach the verses that disagree with what they teach. And they’ve got a lock on what is being taught from the pulpits and over the airwaves in America. And radio stations won’t play any music that contradicts what the teachers say. It’s the great deception that’s destroying the “land of the free,” so now we trust in the military instead of making sure we are right with God, first.
And it’s hard to find an evangelical pastor who is publicly repenting for promoting George W. Bush no matter what. But Bush is a Skull and Bonesman, just like Kerry. Almost all of our public figures belong to secret (often even occult) societies. I just discovered that even John Ashcroft (Bush’s attorney general and famous ‘Christian’ — Assembly of God) is a member of a reverse-Christian, power-over society called The Family.
Americans have been hoodwinked on multiple fronts, which is why I find studying these other deceptions interesting too, what my ToBeFree site is about.
“Salvation by works?”
This is an interesting part of the deception. What Paul was warning about was works of the old covenant law, not following the Holy Spirit.
Grace is not a license to sin, but rather the enablement to overcome sin: “the grace of God teaches us to say no to sin…,” Paul said.
Most American evangelicals think that the law was replaced with grace. “Now we are under grace.” But they haven’t done their homework, and I actually believe they’ve been following doctrines of demons that are demon enforced when people (especially pastors) pray that people believe what they teach without question. People have these ‘familiar’ spirits in them that actively resist change.
Demons are the unseen factor that Americans think they don’t have too many of. We’re sterilized (us and Europe), not like the middle east, Asia or Africa that clearly have a lot of demon influence. We’re civilized.
We live in the Matrix. We appear one way on the outside, but inside, most people fester with pride, unforgiveness, hate, selfishness, lust, self-centeredness, etc., which brings fear. And then when we’re attacked we just attack back, without even making sure that those we’re fighting even attacked us.
It’s sick! America is dangerous, because we have so much firepower without moral restraint. And Israel is much the same way. Neither make sure they are right with God. And the world hates us both. The ‘Christians’ in America have not only not been salt and light, but they’ve been loudly promoting the kill-them-over-there neocon agenda.
But who are these people we’re killing (about 1 million in Iraq alone)? They’re among the countries that would not accept Satan’s New World Order. Look at who our military takes out and who our CIA takes out. America is being used to bring about the one-world government with full approval by the ‘church.’
What is the root cause of this? How have ‘Christians’ been so deceived?
I think it starts with doctrine. Christianity was never meant to be a relationship apart from God. What replace the law and superceded it is the Holy Spirit, not ‘grace.’ There was grace in the old covenant and their is grace in the new.
Paul taught we are no longer under the law when we are led by the Holy Spirit, because then we fulfill the law. Being born-again is just the start of the journey—not the cap. Grace + Nothing is a lie from the pit of hell. Grace + Nothing means unaccountability. It means doing our own thing is now quite okay. “Do what thou wilt” is the key theme in the Satanic Bible, which was made famous in rock ‘n roll. It’s pretty obvious that some rockers are on “the highway to hell.” “Do what thou wilt.” And it’s sad that many ‘Christians’ are too. “Do what thou wilt.”
How many ‘churches’ teach that those who are led by the Spirit are the children of God, and that we must suffer with him — Paul? How many teach still teach Jesus’ words that the peacemakers are the children of God? Or Paul’s words: “Those who belong to Christ [They that are Christ’s – KJV] have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts.”
According to John in 1 John, the children of God purify themselves. According to the writer to Hebrews, we’ll receive the promise after we have done the will of God. Jesus said “not all who say, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only those who do the will of my father….”
Today’s ‘church’ preaches a different Gospel, and those who do will label people like me with maybe the terms you say, as well as being divisive.
What I am is a peacemaker, trying to help bring in the true kingdom of God. The Devil has the ‘church’ in America. Anyone who points out how he does it will get attacked with all sorts of labels.
Fortunately, the majority of ‘Christians’ in America don’t have to understand what the Bible really teaches for revival to happen in America. It will just take a group of open-to-truth minded people somewhere to become ONE in Christ. Then God will show up, and then the world will know.
It’s probably too late to save the United States of America. But perhaps in its fall, people will be more open to what God is really saying about what is Christianity.
Jesus was misunderstood and attacked by the religious leaders of the day. It’s amazing to see that now followers of Jesus will be attacked by the religious leaders of our day who claim to be followers but who don’t even teach actual following. The hate and anger was off the charts then, and is again today. The Devil hates to be found out. And people hate to admit they’re wrong, even if it means spending eternity in hell in the hottest parts.
I need to really love them like Jesus and Stephen did. I think that’s huge for me—to always love and forgive no matter what. To get to that place and stay there, resting. Jesus doesn’t want anyone to go to hell, but He has no choice. Willfully sinning ‘Christians’ are choosing their own destiny. And Jesus really does know what they’re thinking.
The fear of God is a healthy thing, not something to suppress with Prozac or “He’ll Never Let Go” songs.
The real thing won’t need slick hype. It will feel right 24/7. “Do not get drunk with wine but be filled with the Holy Spirit.
May we all be filled the right way.
Freedom in Christ!
Jeff Fenske : )
We’re very much on the same lines, I find. You’re looking at nominal Christians with much alarm, while I’ve adopted a more cynical outlook in my book. Your writings are replete with chapter and verse; my style is compact and opinionated. But we both address the sad fact that a vast majority of people who consider themselves Christians have no idea about what the actual Christian faith is. I grew up in a rather religious family in this Lutheran country, read the mandatory 12 years of religion at school, had quite an active interest in things spiritual, and still, at about 33, discovered that I wasn’t saved and knew nothing about the Christian faith. If it weren’t for my American-born wife, I’d still be a regular, unsaved hypocrite. I’d say that my former state is quite typical of the few Europeans who go to church. The others may be better off; at least they don’t go around thinking they’re OK with God because of going to church now and then.
In Europe, the main problem is routine and indifference among both clergy and laymen. In the States, on the other hand, culture and tradition permit more interaction in the churches, and congregations receive a more vivid message from their pastors. But the other side of the coin is the imperative of maximizing cash flow in order to pay for the lavish facilities American churches have to offer in order to attract and keep members. Thus, you’ll find preachers doing politics–finding outside enemies who, naturally, are precisely those they should be loving and welcoming in spite of their disagreements with them.
In Walkabout, I’ve postulated a general rule that goes like this: If you want a population to do your bidding and pay you money, you’ll have to show them an enemy. Normally, this is what politicians do–clergy should be above such things and live on faith. But in the States, for reasons just mentioned, clergy must do politics to survive. As a result, they don’t give their hearers the message you’d like them to teach. Sad.
But we won’t give up hope. You’re working on a revival; I’m hoping to publish a book. Both will bring us a little closer to where we ought to be.
I’m glad to see that your American wife helped you, and it looks like you’re able to help your American wife.
$$$Money$$$. Oh, if the ‘church’ could ever get off of this old covenant tithing thing that has been totally disproved….
“It’s a Holy Spirit thing,” I found myself yelling in a dream one time…. Now we are supposed to be led by the Holy Spirit — the better way — the new covenant way.
“Clergy must do politics to survive.”
They aren’t surviving. They’re crawling down in the doo doo. This is yuck. Sardis actually had a reputation for being alive, and look at their state. No church in America does today.
I think I know what you mean. Surviving is a matter of paying the bills and keeping the doors open.
But how easily it will be to pay the bills and keep the doors open for the church who accepts real Christianity and teaches the truth. When they repent and God shows up it won’t be a matter of surviving anymore. Thriving without ceasing will be the norm.
Freedom for the people.
May we be ‘ONE’ in Christ. His way all of our lives, no matter what. ‘ONE!’
Jeff Fenske : )