Jesus Warns of Offenses
17 Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come! 2 It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. 3 Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. 4 And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him. (Luke 17 NKJV)
Here it is in black and white – or red – depending on your bible version.
- Offenses are COMMONPLACE.
- Offenders will be JUDGED.
- If you offend somebody REPENT.
- If somebody offends you REBUKE.
- If somebody offends you and repents – FORGIVE.
The big lie on the internet at the moment is that forgiveness should happen regardless. This lie is perpetuated by both Christian and secular writers and speakers.My guess is that the reason Christians perpetuate this lie is that they are taught by others who have not taken the time to really look at this issue. Which is a shame, because it is a fundamental teaching in scripture.
The worldly lie is: Forgiveness is universal, unconditional and unilateral. The emphasis is on the person who has been offended, shall we call them the victim for ease of use. If the offender does not repent, the victim should forgive them. If they do not apologise, the victim should forgive them. If they continue to offend without either repentance or apology, the victim should forgive them. The underlying false teaching is that forgiveness is for the sake of the victim. The almost unvarying corollary to this is that the victim cannot move on with life unless they forgive the offender regardless of what actions the offender has taken to either repent or make reparations for their offense. The upshot of this is – if the victim doesn’t forgive, then they have sinned. Invariably it is insinuated that the victim will also end up with a root of bitterness, in scriptural terms, they will fall away from the faith. So long and short, forgive all offenders or you will end up in hell. This is not just eisegesis, it is a completely ridiculous assertion based on careless handling of the word by generations of believers who have not checked their sources.
Not only is this assertion theologically unsound, it is not even morally sound. Psychologists will preach (rightly) that it is imperative to both recognise and honour the other person’s right to boundaries and emotions regardless of the inconvenience it presents. Therefore, even before you act, you should be aware of those rights and act accordingly. Should you offend another person you should apologise right away and ensure the apology is sincere. Going purely by the number of articles on the subject of fake apologies on the internet even a non-Christian gets upset when presented with an apology which avoids either recognition of wrong or repentance. Further, people get really really upset when the offender continues to offend the same way after having just given a fake apology. So this is a big subject.
A sincere apology involves specific recognition of the offence and an offer to do something about it. It also involves a reassurance that they will not re-offend. This proves that the offender has learned something about other people and themselves. It proves that they are able to change their behaviour for the sake of another. People who refuse to apologise sincerely also prove that they neither recognise boundaries nor consequences. They are also usually repeat offenders. They reason that they have done nothing wrong and if the other person is offended it is their fault. The other person is too sensitive, or they can’t take a joke, they are fundamentalist oddballs, they are killjoys, they need to get a life and so on.
The foundation of the false teaching of unconditional forgiveness is really not about the victim at all. It is about the offender being allowed to get away with their sins the first time, and then also being allowed to continue sinning. The excuse is always, Jesus taught that you have to forgive me, so if you, the victim do not forgive you are actually the bad person. The offender then continues on their merry way habitually sinning and giving themselves a get out of jail free card. In actual fact of course, they don’t get out of jail at all, their sin will continue to affect them and in the end cause all manner of difficulties in their spiritual lives. If they are not Christians, they will simply continue to increase in their attitude of rebellion against God and hardened hearts against their fellow human beings.
Now. There IS a difference between somebody who does not forgive an unrepentant repeat offender and somebody who refuses to forgive a repeat offender who sincerely repents. You might think that genuine repentance means that you don’t continue to offend. But let’s get one thing clear. There is a huge difference between repeat offenses regarding the same sin and the issue of sin continuing to affect us while we are in the flesh. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. We do still sin. The hope and prayer is that we sin less and less as we continue to mature. Part of doing this is to recognise what scripture actually teaches. It is not a sin to not forgive an unrepentant sinner. If we hold their behaviour as a reason to hold grudges and act badly towards them then we are at fault. Here is an example. This is a true story.
I notice my neighbour is having a party – balloons and tent in back yard. I go to my neighbour and ask if they are intending to have loud music at this party because in particular there was a loud party elsewhere the night before and it spooked our animals. The neighbour assures me assiduously that they are NOT going to have a loud party, they are not the type to have loud rock music and upset the neighbours and they agree that the ignoramus behind both them and you also upset their own animals. The neighbour points out how much they appreciate you coming to talk to them personally because somebody in the neighbourhood recently put an anonymous note in their letterbox complaining about their dog barking. So you leave the neighbours house feeling good that you are on the same page.
At about 10 p.m. that night, the party, which had been progressing well, a bit of loud yelling and talking and some fairly quiet music, suddenly becomes a disco. The music is turned right up and some very loud noises then ensue, right at the time you and your family are going to bed. So you go next door to ask them to turn their music down. The woman you spoke to a few hours previously is now drunk but still cogent. She proves to be a very nasty drunk and begins to verbally abuse you for asking her to turn the music down. She also makes a comment about the fact that your dog was barking very early the other morning. You point out to her that a) you immediately hauled your dog inside as soon as you heard her barking and b) that this has nothing to do with her current noise. She starts to get really hostile. Her boyfriend/partner/husband comes to the door, tells the woman to let him handle it, thanks you for coming personally to ask them to turn the music down, and asks if there is anything they can do to help the situation. So you, recognising the irony of the situation, (he is clearly drunk but not as drunk as the woman), attempt to explain again politely that he needs to turn down the music. The male neighbour promises to turn the music down but tells you that he cannot promise to keep the verbal noise to a minimum without asking the guests to leave.
The neighbours then turn the music down. About midnight they turn it up very very loud to the point that it freaks out your dog and cat just before they decide to shut down the party. The next day it turns out the party was a ‘sleepover’ so the point the neighbour made about ‘asking the guests to leave’ was a lie as well since they were obviously intending to stay the whole night.
Three days later, a very small box of chocolates together with a very small card saying ‘sorry about the noise’ appears on your front doorstep. What do you do?
Here’s the thing. If you offend me to my face, you apologise to my face. You recognise that a) you were the one who promised you would not have a loud party and that you really appreciated people complaining to your face and did not like anonymous complaints and b) when we did complain to your face you abused us verbally. You also recognise that you created even more noise after you promised to turn down the music the second time. So in effect, you not only continued to offend but you turned the offence volume literally and metaphorically to eleven.
A five word sentence with a box of chocolates is not a sincere apology. Further, waiting three days (??) to deliver said box of chocolates and micro-card without either waiting to talk to us personally or even knocking on the door is not only further offence, it is cowardly and hypocritical. THEREFORE: – this is not an apology which warrants a second glance, and these are people who have proven their fickle and anarchic character and with whom you do not have any further communication unless absolutely necessary. PS. Some might feel that the chocolates somehow prove sincerity because well, everybody loves chocolate and they at least made an effort right? Cut them some slack. But this isn’t even an argument. Chocolate is not a substitute for attending to the breach in trust and integrity which has been visited upon unsuspecting neighbours whom you have previously manipulated and assuaged with feigned assurances that you are in agreement with them about protecting pets from undue stress and enjoying neighbourhood peace and quiet. These people are not good neighbours, they are habitual liars and have no consideration for anyone other than their bad selves. If they re-offend we will not bother coming to them personally, we will simply report them to the authorities. People write anonymous notes for a reason, and in this case, the reticence of the other neighbours to engage with these people has been proven right.
Here is an example of a genuine apology. This is also a true story.
Recently we have been attending a Pentecostal church, something we have not been used to for some time despite having grown up in these circles. We were used to attending Baptist churches with their usual quiet and traditional services and people. One of the elders at this church greeted the females in our family with a hug and a kiss on the cheek. We were not expecting it, and our daughter showed that she was not comfortable with the interaction. The elder seemed not to notice that she was reticent and went ahead and hugged her anyway. We talked about it afterward, and later Steve went and had a quiet word with him about the appropriateness of his actions. He apologised to Steve profusely and offered to also apologise to us. We did not really want this interaction, but realised he was attempting to attend to the offence he had caused.
He came to us and apologised unreservedly, and such was the sincerity of his words, we told him that we appreciated that he actually offered to come and apologise for his actions and that it meant a lot to us. His face said it all, and as he went away, we all felt good that there was no intention to ignore personal boundaries and that he normally treated women at the church in this manner. In fact, he went so far as to say that his wife was always telling him that not everyone appreciates being hugged by strange men, despite the fact that we were in church. We all had a laugh, but the thought has occurred to me since then. If he is ignoring his wife’s sensitivity and emotional intelligence when it comes to other women, he is going to continue stepping on people’s toes. We hope and trust that he has learned from this admittedly uncomfortable situation.
One thought I should add to this is that our elder friend did not go through all of the steps required for a sincere apology. He did not have to. His heart was clearly in the right place, and love covers a multitude of sins. In other words, when somebody immediately proves that they regret an offence by their facial expression and words, you know you are in safe hands. Obviously time will tell whether he learns from this experience not to hug strange women, but that is between him and God and presumably his wife. We doubt very much whether he will hug us again, and frankly, even if we end up being the best of friends, we still would not want to hug him. In today’s climate, it is better not to give full body hugs to brothers in the Lord regardless of the circumstances. Scripture makes it clear that we need to be avoiding even the appearance of sin and the less physical contact that men and women in church have, the better for everyone. That probably sounds puritanical, but you can still love and relate well between genders without physical touch.
So, the point about sincerely apologising is really only important when you are dealing with insincere apologisers. Kind of redundant really. Genuine brothers and sisters don’t need to be lectured on this topic. Genuine Christians will automatically be sensitive and loving to each other, and if personal or cultural backgrounds mean that there is a misunderstanding, these can easily be dealt with if there is a mutual desire for a loving relationship.
When dealing with the unscrupulous unsaved, and lets face it there are a lot of them, we need to be forthright and open and then when somebody shows you who they are, believe them. We can pray for our neighbours, but when they lie and manipulate, they are showing you they are actually hostile and aggressive and looking for ways to control you. Be aware and fight the demons accordingly.
Update: The neighbours who sent us the ‘apology’ woke us up last night at 1.30 a.m. standing outside their house talking at the tops of their voices and slamming car doors. Our dog who sleeps in the garage went off at them. This simply serves to underline our contention that people will tell you who they are all you have to do is believe them.
Further Update: The neighbours who sent us the ‘apology’ spent the next Saturday afternoon in their garden with their music turned up loud enough for us to hear it in our house with the doors and windows closed. We discovered that their speakers had been deliberately turned towards our house. Our response? We prayed for our persecutors and turned on praise music – quietly enough so that only we heard it. The neighbours noise stopped soon after that.
A comprehensive look at transhumanism and the new technology which even the experts are freaking out about. It talks about how the internet is changing, 5G streaming, robotics, technology which is implanted in our bodies that is linked to the internet, the ‘internet of everything’ and lots more. Something we all need to consider.
In September 2015, the multi-millionaire engineer at the heart of the trade secrets lawsuit between Uber and Waymo, Google’s self-driving car company, founded a religious organization called Way of the Future. Its purpose, according to previously unreported state filings, is nothing less than to “develop and promote the realization of a Godhead based on Artificial Intelligence.”
Samhain (pronounced ‘sow’inn’) is a very important date in the Pagan calendar for it marks the Feast of the Dead. Many Pagans also celebrate it as the old Celtic New Year (although some mark this at Imbolc). It is also celebrated by non-Pagans who call this festival Halloween.
Samhain has been celebrated in Britain for centuries and has its origin in Pagan Celtic traditions.. It was the time of year when the veils between this world and the Otherworld were believed to be at their thinnest: when the spirits of the dead could most readily mingle with the living once again. Later, when the festival was adopted by Christians, they celebrated it as All Hallows’ Eve, followed by All Saints Day, though it still retained elements of remembering and honouring the dead. (BBC Religions site)
There seems to be a growing trend in churches to somehow ‘redeem’ the pagan celebration of the ‘Day of the Dead’. Why is this so? Essentially, evangelical churches see these days as a means of reaching out to the community with the truth and light of Jesus Christ. Instead of getting involved in the usual trick or treat festivities, dressing up, eating weird food, lighting candles in pumpkins etc, some churches simply have an alternative celebration. They use this as a means of offering something else to their children so the kids don’t feel as though they are missing out. It also shows that the church is not opposed to celebration, but that they are celebrating in their own way.
We feel as though we are missing something here. You only have to regard the array of witches, ghosts and devilish characters which manifest in the form of decorations and disguises to know that something is not quite right. Many small children have been scared by people dressing up in frightening costumes, and some have even reported actually seeing demons manifest. Let us be clear, the bible makes no bones about demonic spirits. They are real, they were opposing and oppressing humans in Jesus day and during the New Testament era, they have not gone away, they are still here bothering humans. Paul advises us to put on the Armour of God so that we can fight against the principalities and powers which are arrayed against us. Satan prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. Rather than join him on his own ground, it would make more sense to battle him from the ground on which we already have authority. Rather than attempting to ‘redeem’ occult feast days which actually worship demonic spirits, which by the way has no basis in scripture, we are to simply carry on living holy lives, and knowing that the days are evil, we use the time to pray against the forces which are arrayed against us, and against those who innocently join in the ‘fun’.
A lot of the thinking behind taking occult feast days and somehow trying to use them for Christian activities is the same kind of thinking which causes believers to appease politically correct thought-nazis. We are not to be concerned about whom we will offend with the gospel. Nor are we to conform to the world (Romans 12:1-2). Pagan idolatory has been condemned in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and we are warned against it so vehemently that scripture tells us that idolators will not inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9). If Churches are concerned about their presence in the community, rather than attempt to fight fire with fire, why not educate the community on the feast days of the Lord? Apart from the historical and spiritual insights the community would gain, some of the traditional food associated with some of those feasts are much better than anything we can come up with even on Christmas and Easter.
We think that the world has grown tired of their own cultural feasts, despite the fact that shops and commercial ventures make the most of any community celebration, anything from football games to Mothers day. We have spoken to a lot of people who complain that they are sick of Christmas. Christmas has become stressful, filled with family feuds and clashes and an overabundance of stuff nobody needs or wants. We can eat turkey, pudding, pies and cakes til the cows come home on any day of the week. We buy ourselves stuff every time we get a pay packet, and we can visit family or friends for any reason at all. Father Christmas is a lie, and its not even a cultural one, since most cultures don’t celebrate Christmas, but in western tradition, we do the whole thing because ‘we are supposed to’. The same holds true with Halloween. Australians never used to celebrate this very European and now American cultural day. We used to ignore it completely and it is really only in the last couple of decades that schools and families used to do anything with it. It is NOT a traditional day for us, it is simply the mindless assent to imported cultures which have nothing to do with our own.
We have enough of a problem battling demonic entities in our lives and Christian communities. Why oh why would we need to engage with them on this of all days? Signalling to the principalities and powers that you are happy to play with them merely communicates that you have stopped believing they exist. The best thing that could possibly happen in their opinion. The next best thing is for Christians to attempt to make Halloween a Christian celebration. Nothing could be more delightful for demons to infiltrate your congregations undercover. Why would you give Satan the kudos?
Our best means of fighting the enemy is to recognise him for who he is on this the most occult high day of the entire year. We then recognise our authority in Christ, stand against him with all of our might, and refuse to negotiate a treaty. We do not participate in Halloween, we do not give ground to anything which is roaming around on this or any other night of the year, and we particularly do not attempt to somehow claim the day as belonging to God. This defense above all apologetic is the most offensive. God made his own days, his own feast days and his own holy days. Do NOT attempt to conflate pagan idol worship with the days the Lord has set out for himself.
Any attempt to make out that this day is either just for fun and there are no such things as witches, or that witches don’t worship Satan, or that demons don’t exist etc is simply being ignorant of what the bible teaches. It will not protect you from what happens on the days leading up to Halloween and the day itself. This is a big deal in the occult world and it should be treated with the respect it deserves. We wrestle not against flesh and blood, and the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but they are mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:4). Therefore we pray, we witness and we are not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ and we carry on as though this were any other day of the week. And if little children come knocking on the door, it is perfectly OK to simply explain that you are Christians and you don’t celebrate Halloween. In some communities if you are going to participate in Halloween you either put a porch light on or tie a balloon to your letterbox or use some other method of letting parents know that you are happy to hand out food. This is a good idea, but not everyone does it. You must decide for yourselves how to navigate this, and it is not easy, but the Holy Spirit will give you the direction you need.
We will continue to pray against the spirits which are being summoned and invited to engage with human beings at this time, and we will pray that these spirits are also stopped from tricking your church.
We began this blog as a family and we have covered all kinds of subjects, mainly to do with Christian living and spiritual abuse from cult-like churches. We have recently included some blog posts about specifics regarding our families and why we went no contact with them.
We just wanted to talk about what no contact actually is and what it isn’t and the thinking behind it because a lot of people talk about this on the net, but not a lot of people really understand the reasoning behind it.
Going no contact is not about ignoring or shunning. It is not about revenge and it is not about manipulating in order to get people to do what you want. It is an event horizon.
The phrase ‘drawing a line in the sand’ is something of a misnomer. When you think about it, sand is not something which holds it’s shape. Drawing a line in the sand is more akin to making a temporary boundary than it is to making a permanent one. Drawing a line in the cement is probably a better term to use in this instance. There is time for it to cure and therefore make the line fixed, but after that, it is indelible. Going no contact is about drawing a line beyond which reality changes. It is a time line but also a paradigm shift. It can be temporary or not, the choice is up to you. And this, for abuse survivors is the most significant property of the no contact decision. It is a choice we make to protect ourselves from further abuse. A choice, I say again, that WE make. When those choices are impugned or resisted we learn to live as viable adults who must accept that life is not simple and that we have to accept these tests of our character. It is where we grow and change. Therefore the choice to go no contact is not just a border or barrier to abuse, it is a means by which our identity is matured. Through making and keeping boundaries we grow tougher and at the same time more malleable. We learn to tell genuine belligerence from guileless ignorance. And there is a difference. The real wolves, the real life destroyers, are the blissfully unconscionable, not those people who have simply made bad choices.
Discussion online about going no contact, I think, began among those in the narcissistic abuse community. It grew from discussion about how to deal with narcissists in your family or other relationships who won’t stop abusing you. Most people do not go no-contact on a whim. In fact many people report not actually wanting to cut their abusers out of their lives altogether. Others have a great deal of difficulty making complete breaks. It is neither easy nor always possible to go this route. Often there are cases involving children where this is not possible. What is clear though, is that many recognise very early in their journey to health and wholeness that they simply cannot reason with their abusers. This is actually what prompts most people to even recognise abuse in the first place. It is the act of somebody who lacks the ability to use self-control or empathise with others, the act of somebody without a conscience who figures that laws or consequences are for other people.
I want to point out that for Christians, going no contact is reinforced by scripture. If you go to a brother and point out his sin and he refuses to deal with it, take another as a witness and try again. If he still won’t respond, take it to the church, and if he still refuses to change you refuse the sinner entry into the congregation until they come to their senses. No contact in scripture was always a means to get a sinner to stop sinning and keep the congregation safe from their behaviour. It’s all in Matthew 18.
In the case of the cult, we went to them, or rather Steve went to them, in order to talk to them about their behaviour. Steve got a lecture about how I was a ‘bad influence’ and that Steve needed to side with the elders against me and that if he didn’t…. You get the picture. Since we had already been witnesses to at least one family who they had destroyed, we got the picture very quickly. Fortunately for us, Steve stood up to their ridiculous assertions and we parted company. It took 15 years to get to this point. 15 years of trying over and over to fit in, to understand what was going wrong and usually blaming ourselves. 15 years of ‘discussions’ with cult leaders which ended up being more like confessions. During this time our self-respect was eroded, our mental well-being was undercut time and again and our faith in God and in other Christians was undermined. It was inevitable that we would come to the conclusion that enough was enough. The only reason it took 15 years was because they had not ever dealt with us in such a direct and retributive manner. We were being warned that the elders were targeting us, me in particular, because I had spoken to a ‘person of interest’, namely a woman whose marriage they were already in the process of destroying. They knew that if she talked to me, I would know the truth and they would not be able to deal with two of us knowing too much. They had already isolated her and planned on creating a divorce. In our marriage they simply warned Steve that his place was with the elders and their assessment of my danger to them. Steve saw this venality for what it was and made up his mind.
In cults unfortunately, you don’t get to enjoy the benefit of seeing them come to their senses because while you are cutting ties to them, they are cutting ties to you and lying about why you left to everyone still in the cult. They work on the people you know to ensure that they learn their lines, that we are cursed and that they should not have anything to do with us. So trying to explain to others why you are leaving is often completely pointless. They have already been brainwashed against you. Then you get all the fun things like coming face to face with cult members you barely know in the supermarket and having to ‘overhear’ them talking about you in the next aisle, or having to ask them to get out of your way so that you can get something from the shelf right behind them because they are being deliberately obstructive.
In our case, they also invaded our children’s school. Six months after we left, three cult members became teachers on our children’s campus. One of whom was in our home group for a couple of years and was to be teaching our son Nicholas. Nick was only 11 at the time, didn’t understand the dynamics of what had just happened and figured that his new teacher was a really nice lady. Which she was, to him. It was part of the agenda of dividing families. Unfortunately, she refused to accept that Nick has dyslexia because in the cult, children don’t have learning difficulties because everything is caused by disobedience to the cult leaders. So it became impossible to relate to her. So going no contact was not really an option for us. The minute you leave a cult, you are persona non grata.
As far as going no contact with our families the minute we explained where we were coming from, the more we saw that our siblings in particular were not going to listen to us and were going to protect and agree with our mothers, on both sides of the family. Kind of interesting that both of us had the same dynamics happening.
The fact is that the whole ‘waking up’ crisis involves a deep level of trauma in itself. In effect, dealing with family who support a corrupt leadership is exactly the same as dealing with a congregation who support a corrupt leadership. If its not happening to them they will ignore, minimize, justify, explain and generally blame you instead of thinking that maybe there is something to what you are talking about. People will label you as the ‘crazy one’ rather than take time to understand. If you know anything about brainwashing and group-think, especially in relation to trauma bonding, you will understand that it takes a HUGE shift in thinking and an attendant strong emotional disturbance before you are able to even empathize. People who are not involved in the group will more easily be able to judge your story objectively. We discovered this the hard way. We did not want to have to go and tell our story to strangers, but having come from a cult and then recognizing the same dynamics in our own families, we realized we had no choice. Nobody we knew, nobody who had known us for decades, was going to be able to help us.
In a cult, you may be able to get the other inmates to agree that something is wrong. They may even go so far as to start questioning the status quo themselves. But its’ like being on a piece of elastic. People will only go as far as the elastic allows them and then spring back to their original mindset. It’s a form of self-protection. Any seismic shift in reality is incredibly difficult to manage. Human beings are more likely to stay warm and safe in bed than want to get out and get dressed in the cold. Once you are out however, you realise if you stay in bed, you won’t be living your life, you will be just existing, however warm and comfortable you will be. It is better to die on your feet than live on your knees as the old saying goes. To which I would add, it is better to die in your shoes than be murdered in your beds. You still die, but at least you will have lived first.
So short of deliberately shaking people up you are really forced to make more changes in your life when your family and friends refuse to see the truth and choose rather to continue living with a lie. That is their choice, in the end yours will take you down a different path. What inevitably occurs however, is that while you manfully make your choice and travel down another road, there will be the pain of loss and even further abuse from a family who not only don’t understand your choice but actively oppose it at every opportunity.
So you will have to further consolidate your losses by making the choice to stop the exposure to more abuse. In our cases, we communicated with family members, wrote letters to explain our positions and were met with insults, accusations, fake apologies or attempts to diffuse the situation by saying ‘but we love you so much’ which actually does nothing to deal with the problem at all. Especially when you know that ‘love’ in an abusive environment is not love at all. People can be brainwashed into thinking that they are loved when they get attention, or they are given treats, or they are allowed to spend time with the person they want attention from. It is extremely easy to manipulate people into thinking that the leadership cares about them if the leadership plays good cop bad cop on a regular basis and keeps either the congregation or the group members in a constant state of imbalance, never knowing what is coming next. It is really the definition of “Stockholm Syndrome”. The reason that kidnapping victims end up relying on their captors and in some cases developing romantic relationships with them. They end up getting into a state of learned helplessness and believe that they have to do what they can to survive. Cult members do the same thing except on a much longer term basis. All of the friends we left behind in the cult have been there now for nearly 30 years. Their kids are all married and having kids of their own. It is a loss we feel at a very deep level because our own children were cut off from their friends and should have been having a life with these young adults, and sharing their own children with each other. You might think that we should just get on and ‘get a life’. But bearing the scars of a loss of a friendship group, especially in a christian group where the connection is spiritual as well as social and familial, is not something you can outlive or distract yourself from. These scars are lifelong, they are not to be dismissed lightly and they should be respected. You don’t just ‘get a life’. It is the reason that Christ’s scars remained after his resurrection. His sacrifice for us was not just temporal, it was eternal. Relationships involve deep scars, some sacrificial, some malignant, but we all bear them. It is what makes us human, the images of the God who created us.
Making the choice to go no contact with abusers and their supporters is the very means by which survivors ‘get a life’. We move on with our lives, cognizant of the memories of the people we choose to remove ourselves from, and not without the pain of knowing those relationships will possibly not ever be mended. We have told our relatives, in writing, that when they begin to treat us with respect, we will be happy to talk with them again. The ball is actually in their court. If they want to start talking to us as equals and with a genuine desire to relate in a healthy way, we are happy to talk with them. Nobody has ever taken us up on that. They have simply used our refusal to be treated badly as a weapon against us and even gone so far as to tell their own children that we want nothing to do with them either. This is patently not true. We do not know their children, they have made sure of that. As adults they have their own lives, and they can contact us if they wish to verify what happened. They are not likely to do this unless they experience a waking up of their own through hardship or trauma.
It is really that simple. We have learned to draw the line, to cut off the generational abuse. That may mean that we never have extended family around us until our own children marry and have their own children. We have come to terms with that and do not expect anyone to come searching for us. In fact, we expect the opposite. This blog is not widely read, and probably will never be. It is simply our means of speaking up about what has happened to us and why we have taken the action we have.
We wish no ill on anyone. In fact, we pray to the effect that no ill will happen to our family and even now, knowing that our mothers are old and will very shortly be required to stand and give account to God for their lives, we pray they will be spared the agony of being denied an eternity in His presence. We wish nobody the torment of hell, but since people make their own decisions about God likewise they make their own decisions about hell. I know that our families know the gospel, because we have told them the gospel ourselves. They are without excuse.
28 Peter began to say to Him, “Look, we have left everything and followed You.”
29 “Truly I tell you, said Jesus, “- no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for My sake and for the gospel 30 will fail to receive a hundredfold in the present age—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and fields, along with persecutions—and to receive eternal life in the age to come.
(Mark 10: 28-30)
I was 13 years old and in the second year of High School. A girl I had met in Art class asked me if I would like to go to a holiday camp with her during our Autumn break. I HATED camps. I had no idea why, but I wanted to go on this one. Those two weeks in May literally changed my life.
We had to travel to Christmas Creek in the Lamington Plateau on the Queensland border. On the bus there was a group of girls who were mucking around and having fun. But they didn’t seem like the usual types of girls I had known at school. They were kind and joyful and there was something else. They didn’t do the usual teenage thing with strangers. They didn’t dismiss you with their self-absorption. There was an unspoken acceptance in their faces, there was a glimpse of something preternatural, yet completely compelling. A doorway to heaven opened that day. Light streamed through that opening and hit my deepest soul and I felt as though I had come home.
There were about 7 or 8 other girls in our cabin. The first day they were all lively and chattering together as well as asking me questions out of genuine interest. I wouldn’t even tell them my name. I just told them I was ‘Shelley’s friend’. They were confused but they didn’t badger me. When I was ill, the camp leaders showed compassion and concern and gave me advice and comfort. I was so unfamiliar with this that I didn’t really know what to do with it. Even Bible studies, which were a mystery to me, were fun with these people. They were not trying to play one person off against another, they weren’t trying to embarrass anybody who didn’t know the answers, there was absolutely no sarcasm.
I was totally engaged. And for a kid who had grown up feeling totally isolated, this was a huge change. Something was going on. I had no time to think about it, all I knew was that the two weeks flew by.
Later, when Shelley asked if I wanted to pray and ask Jesus into my heart, I knew I wanted what these girls had. I needed some time to feel ready to do what I needed to do, but one night in the second week of the camp, Shelley and I had agreed we would pray together and I would ask Jesus to come and be my Saviour and Lord. We had planned to get up in the middle of the night and pray together. Why then? It made it more exciting I suppose. We were teenagers. What can I say? Except Shelley refused to wake up. I didn’t want to wake up the others in the cabin, so I simply prayed my own prayer and tried to remember the words that Shelley had used. I knew what I was praying, even if I didn’t have a full grasp of everything that it involved. Jesus became the central point around which my life revolved.
Those two weeks introduced me to the body of Christ and the joy of living that we were meant to have as God’s own children. When they told me I had to share my faith with my family my heart fell. Nobody talked about religion at home except for my oldest sister who had been immersed in the religious teachings of a cult leader in America. There was constant friction every time the subject of God came up. Nobody wanted another religious convert in the family. I hardly knew what to say to them.
All I know is that I tried to explain what had happened to me. I remember crying when my mother made it clear she wanted nothing to do with it. It was a hard thing for a 13-year-old to face but it didn’t change my faith. I had signed up for a free mail-out of Scripture Union booklets with a year’s worth of bible readings and commentary. They were called ‘Daily Bread’. Many Christians have used those resources over the years, but for me, they were an oasis in the desert. I think it was what kept me going during that time. I wasn’t able to get to church except on the odd occasion somebody was willing to drive me there.
Strangely, Shelley fell away. The last time I talked to her was just after I got married. I phoned her up, and she wanted nothing to do with me. No explanation, just angry denunciations and demands that I go and relate to my church friends. We had spent many years after we left school just going to the movies or having coffee together. I will never know what happened to her, but I get a sense she just got too involved in the world and left her former faith behind as though it was a piece of clothing that no longer fitted. Contacting her probably just reminded her of who she had been and it was too much for her to cope with. My prayer is that she finds her way back before it’s too late.
I was baptised when I was 19, but not after having faced months of panic attacks and the recognition that I needed more than just bible studies to thrive as a Christian. But that is another story.
A set of papers which came to our notice recently has changed the way we view the evangelical church. But perhaps that is too broad. It is our view of the movers and shakers of the evangelical church which has been changed. Then again if the ‘pillars’ of the church, those men and few women who have shaped congregations denominations and even generations of believers, suddenly lose their lustre and you see them not as godly mature teachers but secretive lying conspirators then it will in fact affect your understanding of the whole church. It is that grave.
We were reading on the website seekgod.ca a copy of the General Council Minutes of the Fort Lauderdale Elders, the men who began the Shepherding movement of the 70s and 80s and who had such a huge influence on the evangelical and charismatic church during that era. Literally dozens of denominations and congregations were involved in this movement which basically became a cult-like influence on people’s lives. These men, each of whom had their own very influential international ministries via books, tapes and conferences, became a massive force in American evangelical history not to mention in Australia, New Zealand and the rest of the world.
The Shepherding movement was at its heart a means by which a tyrannical pyramid shaped hierarchy was set in place to control and dominate the lives of those who submitted to its power. The five principal men involved were Don Basham, Derek Prince, Bob Mumford, Charles Simpson and Ern Baxter. These men came from varying denominational backgrounds from Assemblies of God to Southern Baptist and were known as the ‘Fort Lauderdale Five’ or the ‘fab five’. You need only to go online to research the heresies and devastation that the shepherding movement produced. The very worst of this scenario is that these men never really repented of their heresies and most of them are now dead. The one man who actually publicly repented via a letter of repentance and refutation of these heresies, Bob Mumford, didn’t actually make a full acknowledgement that the movement and the errors they taught and practiced were not orthodox and were not healthy. If you read the letter in its entirety, (at this site) you will see that he manages to skirt round issues and rather than make specific and direct statements that he was wrong and he recognizes the extent of the damage he and the other men did to the body of Christ, he simply explains why he did what he did.
His opening statement that “I feel as though I have offended the Lord Himself, resulting in His resistance and continued conviction” is a classic fluffy non-statement. He only feels as though he offended God, he doesn’t acknowledge his actions as sin or the result of fleshly desires for power over others. Later in the statement he says “Accountability, personal training under the guidance of another, and effective pastoral care are needed biblical concepts”. Yet he doesn’t produce a bible verse to this effect. The whole point of the Shepherding movement, that we all need to be ‘accountable’ to another human being and that this accountability should include every little detail of life up to and including who you marry and where you live, is antithetical to the freedom, liberty from restriction, grace and power that is found in Christ himself. Yet these men literally controlled whole denominations and the pyramidal structure of ‘accountability’ was such that they were given pope-like adoration by many christians. And I don’t use the term ‘pope’ loosely.
Individually, men like Derek Prince who removed himself from the ‘Fab Five’ in 1983, still had a huge influence on the evangelical church. Even today, his dvd’s books and youtube videos are watched by tens of thousands and many consider his teaching to be biblical and authoritative. We ourselves were influenced by Prince’s teachings, many of which we hasten to add were not heretical in the slightest. This is often the way with teachers and pastors who end up damaging people’s lives. A large percentage of their preaching is biblical and orthodox. It is the percentage that isn’t which ends up damaging the body of Christ and in the end it is what they are known for rather than the good that they have done. Unfortunately, Derek Prince and his cohorts were not just guilty of false theology and praxis. They were guilty of much more that they did not ever publicly acknowledge.
Prince made a statement after Mumford read out his statement of confession regarding the Shepherding movement. He said “I never was involved in asking people to submit to me…I tend to let people go their own way…I don’t believe it was ever God’s intent to start a movement. All of us have to share the responsibility, however, of failing God and failing the body of Christ’. I think the phrase you were looking for Mr. Prince was ‘I sinned against God and the body of Christ’. Failure in scripture is not an option. Recognition of one’s sin is the means by which we are released from the wages of sin, that being spiritual death.
Neither Mumford nor Prince really made it clear in their statements at the annual pastor’s conference at The Church on The Way in November 1989 that they recognised the far reaching effects of their control and domination of the evangelical church. They could have been a great force for good on that occasion. “There were 1700 pastors and spouses in attendance. They represented 700 churches and 34 denominations in 41 states and 17 nations”. *It didn’t get very much bigger than that in that era. Yet they failed not only to fully understand the impact they had but to fully repent and acknowledge their errors and sin and make restitution to the millions of people whose lives they changed.
While all of this is bad enough, reading through the minutes of the General Council meeting of these men sheds a completely different light on their actions, intentions and agenda. For they did indeed have an agenda no less than setting up a world-wide movement which would include the Catholic church and every other denomination that existed at the time. They were well on their way to it if the minutes of these meetings in the mid-seventies prove. These are actual articles, they are not fiction and they prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the ‘fab five’ were intending no less than a world take-over of the evangelical church with their teachings. It is important then for all Christians, especially Christians who have been damaged and had their families destroyed by men like this to recognise that God is ever in control and these men did not get their way. We are not suggesting however, that the agenda of a one world religion has gone away, far from it. It will happen and be part of the final world government, there is far too much evidence of this both biblically and empirically for this to have been a one-hit wonder.
We will give you some quotes from these minutes which were taken from September 1974 to August 1977.
An interesting excerpt from the first set of minutes suggests that these men were only interested in working among themselves in terms of who they took orders from. There were no, at this point, outside authorities or groups who had input into their plans.
Bob Mumford was to be the presiding elder/head of the elders group, Derek Prince was to chair the meetings. The two men who basically admitted nothing about their own sins against God and the body of Christ were the ones with the most influence it appears. Prince stated in the pastor’s conference in 1989 that “I never was involved in asking people to submit to me” is a lie. He was accountable for a small group of men initially in this group which met regularly to table their intentions and plans for the future of evangelical Christianity. He was not only shepherding other men in that group, he was shepherding other larger groups as the minutes will prove.
Here is a very revealing statement:
“We will not make a public announcement about our commitment together. We can be open about the commitment between Don, Ern, John, Derek and Charles now. Steve and Ralph have to get the approval of their community coordinators and inform the Catholic Charismatic Renewal Service Committee. We will discuss at our next meeting how to communicate about the full council”.
There are many statements like this throughout these sets of minutes which not only provide proof of their involvement with the Catholic Church but of their concerns about how their actions will be received by the larger protestant church. One statement urges Derek Prince to be cautious about how he presents himself to the leftist liberal churches and to be sure not to appear to be too conservative to them.
You can read through these sets of minutes yourself and come to your own conclusions. What this information has done for us is to make a huge impact on our understanding of what was going on among men who individually had a great deal of credibility and integrity as leaders and teachers in the body of Christ. They not only were involved in a conspiracy of the very worst kind, ie controlling not just congregations within their own influence, but planning to control congregations on whole continents and geo/political areas. The minutes prove that the Cardinal Suenens, a highly influential Catholic leader called “a major architect of 20th Century Roman Catholicism” in his New York Times obituary (see previous link) appeared to be wanting more control over what these men did than what they were comfortable with, but these minutes only cover a couple of years and are a snapshot of the inner workings of the sanctum of the ‘fab five’.
I find it interesting that the more we research about church history and the inter-connection of denominational leaders and the influence of various teachers throughout the centuries that a much larger picture becomes clear. It almost appears that nobody with a large international ministry can be trusted because as soon as they become leaders with influence and power, they become a part of a much larger global agenda which has been continuing through the centuries since the church of Jesus Christ was formed over 2000 years ago. These agendas are almost always secret and therefore conspiratorial. Paul was aware of wolves in amongst the flocks we was overseeing in the New Testament and so concerned was he that he prayed and urged others to pray ceaselessly. (Acts 20:29) His fight is now done and we are left to continue to pray unceasingly for the faith of the remnant of believers in this day and age who will need every strength and help to continue on in the face of worldly opposition and persecution and the efforts of the enemy Satan to infiltrate the body of Christ and steal our spiritual lives and destroy our walk with Jesus.
We urge you to read these minutes and familiarise yourself with what these men were really about. If you have ever been part of a church which has instituted Shepherding teaching, or any other kind of aberrant teaching which leads to overt control and micro-management of the lives of congregation members, you will be fascinated at how these teachings were actually part of a much larger agenda. In fact, the whole of the seekgod.ca website is filled with proof that this agenda has played out in all kinds of church and secular environments throughout history.
I have to say that these minutes have changed forever the way I see the religious world. Billy Graham is another stalwart who has been proven to have an ecumenical, one-world religion agenda. Not only do these men wish to see a joining of that which cannot possibly be joined, the world and the church, false teaching and biblical teaching, they are interested only in individual Christians having somebody they can be ‘accountable to’ so that they can be controlled.
With the advent of electronic communication and databases such as google and facebook, the governments of the world are keeping a watch on our activities and ensuring that no opposition will go unnoticed. Even now, Youtube and Facebook will block and in some cases remove any upload which contains viewpoints opposed to theirs. It is no longer a free society, we are not able to publish independently of these media giants. In the seventies and eighties, the Fab Five were able to hold their secret meetings with the Vatican and other powerful religious bodies and foment their plans. Those plans may or may not have come to pass at that time. The Shepherding movement may not be lead by the Fab Five any more, but vestiges of the movement are still in operation and still forcing Christians to submit to their leaders in every possible way. The damage is still being done in one form or another.
Of course, the Shepherding movement was only one way in which Christians were being controlled. The Brisbane Christian Fellowship which we were a part of was also affected by the teachings which influenced the Shepherding movement, specifically the Latter Rain/Manifest Sons of God teachings. Not only were we expected to ‘confess our sins’ to the various elders of this church, but unbeknownst to us, our confessions were being tabulated and filed for future manipulation. Our words were taken down and used as evidence against us if we looked like we were going to be a bit of a handful at a later date. When we left, accusations and snide comments were thrown at us proving that the elders we had trusted had been privy to every conversation we had ever had with any of them and then they twisted those words, made us look like evil villains whose every action proved us untrustworthy. The elders who controlled us were the ones who were untrustworthy. They used the classic bait and switch. They showed themselves to be genial, caring compassionate pastors and shepherds and then when we gave them our wholehearted trust, they broke that trust and used our vulnerability to control us.
There really are no words to describe the betrayal of men like this. Not only did the Fab Five betray the body of Christ with their carnal misuse of their positions of trust and authority, but they used their positions to secretively plan to control churches on other continents via the Charismatic and Pentecostal church groups in both Protestant and Catholic denominations. The catholic church was complicit in this and here is the rub. Who controlled who? Whose agenda was it in the end? We will never really know completely, but then we don’t need to.
For us, the event horizon, the point at which the whole picture becomes clear and we can see how everything links and where it is all going, was reading these minutes and recognising that trusting in any man wholeheartedly, even in the Christian church is dangerous. Yet churches everywhere, especially charsimatic churches, expect Christians to commit themselves to their leader’s vision, or their leader’s approval of their decisions or even their leader’s involvement in family and personal issues which have nothing whatsoever to do with them. Church covenants are a world-wide phenomenon which are growing more and more intrusive. Yet Christians continue to sign these ridiculous documents. We are NOT accountable to men, we are accountable to God through His Holy Spirit. We are free in Jesus Christ and have no obligation to the flesh, as Paul himself states in Romans 8; not our own flesh nor anybody else’s. When Paul wrote to submit to elders because they are responsible for our welfare, it was not a blank cheque for leaders to control and manipulate other people’s lives. Paul was making a statement about the responsibility leaders had to God, a much greater responsibility than anybody else had. They were not only looking after their own lives, they were caring for other people’s. This caring has NEVER involved expecting that people come to them as high priests to confess sins or look for acceptance or take the place of the Holy Spirit in their lives. Yet the control goes on.
As yet, we are not clear what this event horizon changes in our lives. It is a huge eye-opener, and all but completes the picture we have been piecing together since our exit from the cult. While we still accept the Bible as the word of God, we still see God’s truth as never failing or passing away, we recognise that nobody in public ministry is immune from the corruption of power. We still believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord and as the son of God and God himself. We still believe that the body of Christ belongs to Him and that He is the author and perfecter of our faith, not men. We everywhere see the failings of men in churches, and especially the failings of church leaders. We all sin, but some sins are worse than others, and the sins of leaders who use their positions to control others are not ignored by God. He is very very concerned about those who use their leadership to profit off the very sheep they are supposed to be protecting.
Shame is about being exposed down to your very inner thoughts, no covering whatsoever. Often it is not physical nakedness which brings shame, but soul nakedness. But who hasn’t had a dream where you are naked and embarrassed trying to find something to cover yourself. We strive so hard to hide our true selves. We cover our sins, we cover our wrong motives and intentions and our wrong thoughts with explanations, defenses and arguments. Often we use lies to do this. We lie to ourselves, we lie to others, we even lie to God. The result of all of these stratagems is confusion, pain and a web of intrigue which traps us. We can’t move beyond that web because that web must move with us wherever we go. We must continue to explain and defend our actions because we are ashamed of our sins. If this goes on for long enough we begin to believe our lies. In fact our lies begin to propagate. Our lies beget bigger and more intricate lies. Then our lies depend on other people believing our lies. In order to get others to believe our lies, we must either coerce or flatter and cajole and sometimes manipulate and bully. Eventually our consciences are seared, we become desperate human beings and so deeply committed to protecting our own web of intrigue that the slightest provocation creates a hostile response. We become experts at discerning the intents of others. We begin to assess whether somebody poses a threat to us and our house of cards. We are not fully aware of it, but that house of cards is constructed so flimsily that really it will take very little to destroy it, so we must protect, protect, protect.
How ridiculous we have become.
All that is necessary is for us to go to Jesus, the lover of our souls, and confess our sins and He takes our shame, that shame that He bore on the Cross on our behalf, and gives us in exchange His freedom from shame. That is all that is needed to have that burden of sin removed and the terrible pain of humiliation that we carry to be taken away. We become free and our shame is gone. We can walk with our heads high, praising God who has given us His life, His glory, His righteousness because of His grace and His love for us. Who is it who claims that only a God who is a pathological murderer would place His son on the cross for us? This is truly a lie from the pit. God is no man that He should either lie or that He should murder. His own law states ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill’. He did not kill. We did. He allowed himself to be murdered on our behalf. Christ’s death on the cross was not the act of a murderous God, it was the act of a loving merciful God who allowed his murderers to do what they willed in order that as a man He might be killed so that as God He might rise again and bring glorious life and salvation to all men. Anyone who rejects this act as the act of an insane God and then rejects God on the basis of that is not only deceived, they are being driven by demons
12 Therefore let us also, seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising shame, and hath sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider him that hath endured such gainsaying of sinners against himself, that ye wax not weary, fainting in your souls. 4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin: 5 and ye have forgotten the exhortation which reasoneth with you as with sons,
We have been watching a lot of Ben Shapiro vids lately. Ben is an American political commentator and an Orthodox Jew who at 17 became the youngest nationally syndicated columnist in America. He studied political science and law and then became a lawyer and editor of a video commentary site, ‘The Ben Shapiro Show’. He was an editor at Breibart before that. So …highly intelligent and his debating skills are second to none. We don’t agree with everything Mr. Shapiro says, but his approach is non-hostile highly logic-centred and common-sense related and frankly, at the age of 33 I don’t think there are very many members of the political left in America who can hold a candle to him. We have seen quite a few of his debates and his youth is his only drawback. I can only assume he will one day be a senator. Which will be a shame. We need ‘ordinary people’ if you can call a genius with an eidetic memory ordinary, to speak up for conservative ideals in western politics without actually joining the fray.
Ben is a great spokesperson for convervatives in America. But as he puts it in this video, he is actually a political libertarian which means that he wants less government legislation not more. In Ben’s words, and we concur, ‘the government sucks at everything’ and should stay out of everyone’s personal lives.* He says that he wants to live in a country where he doesn’t have to care what you do and you don’t have to care what he does. This is the ideal, but unfortunately, everything anyone does has consequences. You can’t just live and let live, although most of us try to. When other people get in your face and force you to comply with their personal perception of what their ‘rights’ are then you need to learn to not only defend yourself but get all your ducks lined up in a row. And this is where Ben Shapiro appears to have excelled. He has thought his arguments through, and is skilled at thinking on his feet. I could not think my way out of a wet paper bag when I am in a confrontation, which is why I prefer writing my thoughts down. However, Ben is actually a good role model for millenials in that if you learn to debate the way he does, you don’t have to use ad hominem, you don’t have to use logical fallacies and you don’t have to get nasty, crude or abusive, you can impress people simply with your ability to think in a straight line and know your facts. He has an unfair advantage with the University students who line up to debate him on college campuses because frequently they have not thought their positions through and some end up actually recognising that. If nothing else, Mr. Shapiro is doing students a favour by helping them smarten their critical thinking skills. I certainly was not good in my twenties at this kind of thing. Not many are. It would be a great thing if more university students were able to recognise groupthink and step beyond it to determine what they actually believe instead of simply being lazy and agreeing with whoever has the loudest voice.
Ben talks about gay marriage and why he doesn’t care what people do as long as it doesn’t become a threat to his own way of life. He is not interested in stopping gay people marrying if that’s what they want, but where it becomes an issue of forcing a business to serve their interests and then suing them for tens of thousands of dollars when there was a baker across the street who would have served them it becomes nefarious. This is where there needs to be a much stronger offensive rather than a snivelling defensive which makes conservatives look either look like the stern headmaster or the pathetic victim. His suggestion is that conservatives don’t let down their guard and recognise that the doors are now open for further incursions into the personal lives of conservative religious people.
This I think is the essence of most conservative qualms about gay marriage. Generally, Australians are happy for gay people to live their lives as long as they don’t bother them. It’s not exactly heroically moral and virtuous, but they don’t start wars either. In essence I guess, a lot of Australians simply don’t want to have to think their way around political agendas, they don’t have the energy. They are too tired from a day’s work trying to pay their taxes and feed their families, and this is something that political lobbyists take advantage of. It is also where America is different to us. Their history and culture has been formed by political dissidents who have hoped to create a libertarian society free from both religious and political bigotry and authoritarianism. There are not enough Ben Shapiros in Australia, in fact I am not sure if there are any. I have zero respect or admiration for any political figures this country has ever produced. They may be great personalities and good for a laugh, but their job is not to entertain but to govern, and they appear to have little desire to actually do this. The political landscape in Australia has been marred by leftist controversy and bad management and right wing indifference and intolerance. Which party rules better? The one who doesn’t make a horses arse of themselves in a public place. Australians may have short memories, but they are not that short. A former labor supporter once publicly said ‘Australians only vote for Labor once in their lifetimes’. It kind of says it all.
My children have not had their own kids yet, they are not even married and probably won’t be for some time. But Steve and I are concerned about the next generation of children and the world they would be growing up in. It would be lovely if everyone had a strong moral worldview and had a developed integrity and sense of self-worth. But that is not going to happen if Christians teach their kids that they have to conform to the way the world is. First of all you have to decide which version of worldly you are talking about. Is it the social justice/environmentally friendly version or is it the ancient gnostic/medieval monastic mystical version or is it the Hillsong Happy Clappy version. I should just mention briefly that Hillsong’s takeover of the AOG church in Australia and in particular their takeover of Garden City Christian Church, which I attended for some years, was not only insidious and cultish it was wrong, wrong, wrong. The Houstons have no authority and no credibility and no thinking Christian should endorse their brand at all, ever. I hope I got that said.
Generally though, those churches which encourage other worldviews and preach a kind of all encompassing everything goes theology have absolutely nothing to offer the next generation. The parents don’t know what they believe, the kids are not going to know what they believe, and the pastors just keep embracing whatever comes at them down the pike because they don’t have a backbone and don’t want to ‘offend anyone’. It encourages a hypocritical religious show which begins on Sunday morning and ends on Sunday night and rears its head whenever they are questioned about their beliefs. The rest of their lives are spent living in worse spiritual squalor than any non-religious person on the planet. A fake Christian is a pimple on the backside of the universe and I could quote you a fair number of scripture verses which make it clear that God himself gives them short shrift.
So when it comes to knowing what you believe and being agreeable about definding it, the video I linked to is a good example. Dave Rubin is a liberal. Yet he is able to have a sensible and even friendly discussion with Ben whilst asking him what he believes and why. Ben’s machine-gun delivery style can be very difficult to listen to at times, especially if you have seen a lot of his stuff, and somebody suggested he may even be Aspergic, which is possible. He tends to interrupt a lot and Dave seems to be a fairly genial guy so doesn’t seem upset about that. If Ben took the intensity down a peg or two he might have been able to relax a little more, Dave certainly did.
You don’t have to compromise your views and beliefs in order to be agreeable. You don’t have to sacrifice integrity in order to tell the other person they are wrong, and you don’t have to be an existential chameleon in order to be acceptable or garner support.
I think in the end this is what everyone, regardless of your political, religious or social beliefs are, wants and needs. The extreme left liberals need to understand this, but as one, they tend towards hostility and aggression when they don’t get consensus of opinion. This above anything else makes me wonder if they are in touch with reality at all. NOBODY expects everyone to agree with them. Nobody. So why are they so surprised, angry and abusive when people have opposing viewpoints. They are not right about everything. Neither is Ben Shapiro.
* Recently saw an old video of Frank Zappa (sixties rock legend) making exactly the same statement about the government from a liberal point of view in 1984. Worth remembering that Zappa was part of the Laurel Canyon set recently alleged by author Dave McGowan to be part of the CIA military intelligence complex and government mind control system. I have included this purely from interest in the possibility of controlled opposition.