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SELF-CENSORING AMERICAN CHURCHES: Surrendering In Liberty While Illegal Churches Thrive In China

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        Real Christianity’s ongoing forty-year surge in China is due in part to the incessant attempts by the Communist government to control and eliminate it.

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        This attempt failed in Rome two thousand years ago. The Roman Empire at first made little issue of real Christianity. Yet, while the Lord’s Community was in its early formative stages, the Romans began getting somewhat concerned as the burgeoning Ekklesia began exploding in growth. Its impact began being seen and felt all over the empire and its presence soon threatened the established ideologies and cults, especially the emperor cult.

         In Rome the emperor was god, and all Roman citizens and subjects were forced to honor this credo whether they wanted to or not. The idea of religious freedom and a personal conscience was a joke. Forced faith was the order of the day. Those countries where religious freedom exists at present should know this but many don’t (or do and don’t care). Legal religious freedom is not only seldom appreciated, those who paid the price to gain it are often slandered by later generations. 

         Constitutional religious freedom in America has been under attack for so long that many American Christians have apparently decided to throw in the towel, get dumbed-down to the fact, made numb by their lack of actually obeying the Lord Jesus, and weakly succumb to largely ineffective and vapid forms of “church life.”

         Many if not most church leaders in America continue to fudge it and censor themselves, and refuse to do what the Lord has commanded we do, namely preach the real Word as He preached it so people can actually get delivered from sin, be born again, and gain spiritual power over the enemy. Real Christians are doing this in China on a massive scale and the government there will never be able to control it now. It is too late for them but they certainly keep trying.

CENSORED “LEGAL” CHRISTIANITY IN CHINA

       They only allow two “Christian” entities and both are government controlled: The National Committee of Three-Self Patriotic Movement, the official umbrella group for Chinese Protestants, and the Chinese Catholic Church. These two account for about a third of the practicing Christians in China, but the overwhelming majority of Christians there, conservatively estimated at perhaps 100 million, reject both of these government-sanctioned legal bodies and are essentially practicing their faith outside the law. And no matter how much the government tries to control them through authoritative, dictatorial practices they continue to flourish. Sound familiar?

         When Christianity was illegal in the Roman Empire it flourished the same way. The real Christians, though, were not anti-government, were not radicals, and were not trying to overthrow anything. They simply honored the Lord Jesus as God and not the emperor, and they obeyed the Lord’s directives and refused to practice the idolatrous religions of Rome. Their impact was staggering. It is presently the same in China.

         The illegal Christians in China now outnumber the members of the Communist Party.

        What do you think will happen next? Will the Communists surrender or clamp down harder? It is now merely a matter of survival and only one of these can win. Here’s a clue which one that will be:

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COMPROMISE THROUGH ECONOMIC PROSPERITY

      The enemy is presently attempting to tempt the real Chinese Christians with the increasing economic prosperity of that nation without understanding that it was the real Chinese Christians who brought it about through spiritual means in the first place. The Lord always brings prosperity to His people but it must be put in perspective and handled with proper discipline. We must understand that blessings can never be allowed to circumvent or detract from our spiritual duty.

         This has mainly failed in America. Christian bodies have given in to being dictated to by money and economic success and eschew any attempts toward reining in that which has caused millions of Christians to become compromised and spiritually lazy. It took place gradually over time but has happened nonetheless and this becomes clear when attempts at proper and corrective reform are made. The reformers sent by God often eventually get shown the door because the nature of such closed-minded congregations and groups borders on the cultish with the usual domineering leader asserting primarily a vaunted rightness and secondly, an imposed inferiority upon those unlike them which must result in the aforesaid rejection. You can see, then, how it makes perfect sense for the Chinese government to make life very hard for those Christians who won’t go along with their program.

CHRISTIAN BARBARIANS

       We know this sinister paradigm quite well if only from the reams of data regarding centuries of church history. Some people have a tendency to go nuts when they gain illegitimate authority and will do anything to keep control. This is the main reason why there has been so much Christian-on-Christian bloodshed and why millions of Christians have been taken advantage of and ripped off.

         One of the clues regarding the real infilling of the Lord’s Spirit is that one will act as the Lord Jesus acted. One will do as He did. One will have His nature. Developing the mind and nature of the Lord and gaining spiritual maturity must obviously take place over time. Some never get there. Most are never filled with His Spirit to begin with and can therefore hardly be expected to act in His stead according to His nature and purpose. As a case in point, why do so many big time preachers insist on special privileges (such as body guards)? The Lord never did this. The apostles never did. We can certainly see by the things that happened to them that they were men of faith who subjected themselves to whatever may happen in spiritual warfare. They simply did not see themselves as special or as members of a higher caste which deserved superior benefits.

         How many real Christians have been murdered for their faith in China? How many have been sent to prison where they often died, languishing away from loved ones? How many have suffered in so many ways and still suffer today simply because they have given their lives to the Lord and faithfully serve Him? And how many have suffered because they were betrayed by other Christians? The numbers are likely in the millions.

         When one considers the fact that the underground “illegal” Christians in China are equivalent to one-fourth or even one-third of the United States population, it should make us all reconsider just exactly what it is that we are attempting for the Lord.

         They are getting so much more done with so much less while American Christian pastors censor themselves to make sure they remain in compliance with whatever will keep the money and prestige flowing in. Many Christian leaders do not see themselves as compromisers and that’s the problem. Though a decided minority, there is always an ongoing dynamic of stronger and more mature Christians wanting us to go deeper in following the Lord, more correctly appropriate what He called us to do, and achieve that which really matters rather than play around in the shallows.

         What a sad occurrence it is to have complete religious liberty in America guaranteed by the Constitution and so much blessing only to squander it all in order to save face and look “respectable” as a means to stave off inevitable persecution. How should the Lord Jesus respond to such an attitude? I have said long ago (and you can find it documented in my book) that a time of great Christian persecution would arise in America. The Lord revealed it during a time of great prosperity in this nation when so many Christians were going the opposite direction and didn’t care. The idea that Christian persecution would arise here was seen then as ridiculous and that remains the case for many. They will get a wake-up call, because when persecution arises there will be no outward distinction regarding who the recipients will be. All Christians will be subjected to it and all will be forced to make a choice. The compromisers will quickly succumb and surrender since that is their adaptive nature.

       The strong and mature Christians, however, will fare best and continue to be productive since they had already been tested and strengthened, having been previously persecuted for years by their own brethren.

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.    

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Duck Dynasty: I Support Phil Robertson

         I discovered Duck Dynasty about a year ago. It was an immediate hit with me. They were showing one show after another and I kept laughing through each one. It was a good night.

         I found out later they were Christians. And I appreciated them all the more. Standing up for the Lord Jesus is not an easy thing to do these days in America. In my memory, though, it’s never been easy. It’s just getting more difficult.

         Why? Because in the not so distant past people would make fun of you, run you into the ground, call you all manner of derogatory names, gossip about you, and generally make you feel like the biggest idiot who ever walked the earth.

         It has now developed into something much more sinister.

         This has always been the case. Real Christians catch the worst of a sinful world. Unreal Christians simply blend into and become part of a group or a congregation, the way gang members do, or ancient small communities up against the world did. And if this is done in America where people have rights to peaceably assemble and practice whatever their religion may be, they will receive virtually no persecution whatsoever.

         But when the group is small and dedicated to the Lord, the individuals making up the group will have a hard row to hoe. And individuals will have the toughest time. Imagine how hard it was for the Lord after they kicked Him out of the synagogues for good.

         On top of it, the Lord instructs His disciples to remove themselves from their groups at intervals and travel throughout this world of darkness preaching the Gospel to make more disciples. The only way to do that is just get out there and do it. And one must be passionate about it or will have little success.

         Practicing real Christianity is a 100% option. It demands all of one’s heart. It takes everything a person has. Oftentimes, everything one has is only good for staying alive and maintaining. But no believer is asked to experience anything the Lord has not already experienced. He got the worst of it.

         It all goes with the territory:

         “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves. But beware of men, for they will hand you over to the courts and scourge you in their synagogues; and you will even be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles.

         “But when they hand you over, do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given you in that hour what you are to say. For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.

         “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved. But whenever they persecute you in one city, flee to the next; for truly I say to you, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes.

         “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master.

         “It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household!

         “Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops.

         “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” [Matthew 10:16-28]

         The Lord told us to preach the Gospel. There are two basic parts to the Gospel. One involves the unconditional love of God. One involves repentance from sin.

         Loving and being loved is the easy part. It is a supreme act of love to go forth preaching the Good News to those who are bound by sin and the terrible effects of sin. When the Gospel is presented correctly the way the Lord presented it love comes first. One must have the love of God. It must be real.

         But one must also define sin and expose it. This is the hard part. This is what gets real Christians killed. Prior to hearing the real Gospel preached for the first time I considered myself a good guy. I never really thought that much about sin. But when I heard the Gospel I suddenly knew I was a sinner. I discovered that I was violating God’s laws. I later realized I was living according to a moral code that was perfectly fine and even very good according to a worldly standard, but I came up very short according to God’s standard.

         It grieved me. In my own way I had always loved the Lord, or so I thought. Being raised in a Christian home by good parents gave me an understanding at an early age that Jesus was a cool guy. As I got older and began venturing out into the world I found out that the world was composed of many, many jerks—they treated people bad, had no heart or compassion, cussed like sailors, and had no inkling of love toward the Lord or others.

         And this was only in grade school.

         As I got older it only got worse. We all know this and we deal with it.

         Long story short, I found out that religion is no substitute for the Lord. By the time I got out of high school I went on a search for truth. My hunger for “I knew not what” allowed the Lord to guide me over in His direction.

         He changed my life forever.

         The same thing happened to Phil Robertson though at an older age. He gave his life to God. I’ve included his testimony at the end of this article.

         The words he spoke in an interview that hit the newsstands yesterday have become the equivalent of a shot heard round the world concerning America’s moral compass and our right as Americans to speak freely.

         As anyone who has read my blog knows, I supported Ron Paul for president last year. I believed then and I believe now that he was the best candidate, especially regarding all the issues that have hit the fan as of late. Many people and many Christians thought I was an idiot for supporting him and one of the reasons used was that he was not very forthright regarding the gay issue. He does not believe it is necessarily a black and white issue and is more concerned about the individual.

         I believe what the Word of God says about it. The Word of God defines sin. And the bottom line here is that every person who ends up in heaven was a former willful sinner who had to repent and do his or her best to get right with God. But also, everyone who ended up getting right with God was loved into that place both by God and His people that He worked through. And often the greatest act of love is telling the truth. Good parents teach their children right from wrong. God is the best Parent there is.

         So that which Phil Robertson said was not really about a gay issue. It was about Christians being hammered incessantly by an anti-God agenda that has taken hold in this country, including all manner of threats against them. The number one threat at the moment is financial persecution. The government and all major corporations have bought into this agenda and have been enforcing it. People are afraid of losing their jobs and income if they speak out.

         Phil Robertson got fired from Duck Dynasty, the most popular and successful show in cable television history, as a result of exercising his First Amendment rights.

         The LGBT lobby has been incredibly successful in pushing their agenda. The majority of Christians in America should be absolutely ashamed for sitting around doing effectively nothing for the last several decades while the country becomes what it has become. The Lord called us to be salt and light. He said His people were the preservative in a sinful fallen world that would grow more rotten and dark as time progressed.

         Christians in foreign countries with no rights at all face physical persecution everyday but continue serving the Lord. They are having a huge impact. News flash: Physical persecution of Christians in America is almost here. Prepare yourself.

         Perhaps this is a wake-up call. It is a call for all Americans to get off their duffs and speak out. It is a call to love our neighbor. It is a call to honor the Lord and quit slacking off concerning His commands and directives.

         Thank you for speaking out, Mr. Robertson.

         We are in the early stages of a national Great Awakening.

         “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

         “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.

         “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

         “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.

         “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

         “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.

         “Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

         “For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” [Matthew 5:10-20] [1]

         © 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

Phil Robertson’s Testimony:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTRRtGs94QA


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.