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THREE TYPES OF CHRISTIANS IN AMERICA

Prior to and during the American Revolution, there were three separate and distinct types of American Colonists. Each one comprised about one-third of the population.

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UNITED WE STAND?

America has never been the united country portrayed in standard narratives. It has always been a place of great division. Even in the very early days of the 1600s when American colonists were predominantly if not exclusively composed of the Anglo-Saxon British citizens of the same general culture of their compatriots back home, there remained political and religious differences, some quite diverse.

Remember, though false narratives still abound in America regarding our founding, including within the realm of early colonial history, and that such false narratives have exploded in content as of late, the original colonial settlers perfectly reflected the sharp divisions in England of that time. Nowhere were these divisions more profound than within religious belief and expression.

One can see this division by merely looking at the first two colonies established in America—the first in Virginia in 1607 and the second in Plymouth in 1620. The Virginia colony was founded by Anglicans, those who fully supported the English state church, an entity freshly created in the prior century. It was a mercantile colony. Plymouth, in what later became part of the Massachusetts colony, was founded by their direct opposite, English Separatists, who were fully opposed to the Anglicans and had gone through many years of persecution by government and ecclesiastical overlords. Plymouth Colony was founded principally for the cause of freedom and religious freedom in particular. In these two original colonies we can hear the echo of the Lord’s statement:

“No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” [Luke 16:13][1]

THE GREAT DIVIDE

At the beginning of the Protestant Reformation in the early 1500s, one of the greatest and most necessary events in world history, the English monarchy also made a dramatic change by fully separating from the Roman Catholic Church. The level of gross corruption and arrogant authoritarianism within Catholicism had reached a point in which even European monarchies, no slouches when it came to tyranny, had gagged at the bit.

This always happens when tyrants push too far, as the Catholic religious tyrants of that time had done. It had obviously been building over a thousand years since the beginning of the Constantinian Church in the early 300s AD. This Roman emperor, Constantine I, his national traditional realm having lost to real Christianity, knew the only choice he had left was to make a bold move toward co-opting Christianity by creating his own empire-wide hybrid religious body. He knew he could never get rid of the Christians dispersed throughout the Roman Empire or ever force them to oppose the New Covenant and support Roman pagan beliefs which included emperor worship. Many emperors had certainly tried.

The latest and last gasp of bloody persecution directed against Christians was orchestrated by Diocletian and his gang of four in the early fourth century (303-313). Christians were imprisoned, tortured, and murdered here and there throughout the Empire. Afterwards, having failed miserably to make an impact in furtherance of their tyrannical cause, those in power knew the gig was up. They discovered what previous Christian enemies had learned, that persecution not only didn’t work, it strengthened Christian character and unity and made them even more fruitful than before. Persecution also created a level of sympathy among some in the general population. Hence, Christians had essentially taken root. They were everywhere, spread all over the empire, and to wipe them out would be wiping out the Empire itself. These people proved by their great witness that they were dedicated to the Lord Jesus first and always and would never conform to anti-Christian governmental and cultural norms.

In fact, Christians had actually preserved the Roman Empire as it increasing grew more disgustingly corrupt and morally bankrupt. If not for the great numbers of loving Spirit-filled Christians obeying and putting into practice the bountiful and beneficial teachings of their Savior and the vast successful evangelistic efforts made for almost three centuries in blessing millions with the Light of the Gospel, the Roman Empire would have ceased to exist long before it actually did. These people were truly salt and light. However, rather than recognize the wrongheadedness and governmental futility involved in a corrupt military dictatorship and instead attempting to institute a government composed of principles of freedom in which people may live according to their conscience without being forced into various forms of slavery, including religious slavery, those in control refused to stand down and continued beating a dead horse as it were. It was all about control and insuring that those in power maintained it and kept the wealth flowing in their direction.

In this political maelstrom Constantine saw a golden opportunity to create a government model which appeared new but was actually only a hybridized form of the same former tyranny. Again, knowing he could not defeat Christianity, he decided to co-opt it. He would create a new “Church” and then make it the only legal church. He would make all other “churches” and Christian expressions illegal or “illicit.” And of course, he would rule as a religious dictator. It was indeed a brilliant move though diabolical to the core. He was likely never a real Christian and never cared for the actual application of the Lord’s full teachings. In fact, he wanted a low common denominator Christianity in order to bring all Christians on board and congeal them into a forced controlled mass union.

In essence, as King Henry VIII had done after his nation’s divorce from Catholicism so he could gain a personal divorce and become the Six Wives Legend and create a new state English Church (the Anglican Church), Constantine also created a state Church. He would require all citizens of the Empire to join it whether against their will or not. Thus, the new Constantinian Church would force conversion to his new hybrid miscreation. All citizens of the Empire were forced to become “Christians.” They would be forced to engage and participate in the new “Christian” mandatory practices and dogma designed to create a common governmental and religious belief system which had the implausible goal of creating national Roman unity. Rather than a military dictatorship to force compliance in which emperors must be worshipped as gods, Constantine would rule by force from the top of a religious ziggurat, as the ancient Sumerians, and maintain the thinly disguised emperor worship aspect thereof invoking new gods characterized after Roman deities and a central triad. He would rule through his chosen religious prelates which comprised the first “Christian” hierarchy. These surrogate ecclesiastics and policy dictators in the guise of Christian leaders were basically channeling the old Jewish Pharisees of the first century.

Consequently, official religious freedom in the Roman Empire was essentially dead. No one was allowed to practice their religion legally according to conscience. This was especially true of real Christians. And just as any number of pagan religions would eventually be outlawed, including those which were held in high esteem by the Romans such as Mithraism, real Christianity would also be outlawed. This was the devil’s masterstroke. By creating a replacement Christian religion and forcing everyone by government decree under penalty of law to join it and practice it, he knew the real Christians would never submit. In this way, the enemy could then single them out and direct the greatest persecution effort against them with the full weight of the Roman Empire to back him. In time, the “new” Christians, the backstabbing traditores, would cold shoulder the dissenting real Christians. In a massive turn of events showcasing the devil’s dirty tricks and methods, the “new” Christians, those who fully sold out and conformed to Constantine’s “Church,” would become the chief persecutors of the Lord’s people just as the unbelieving Israelites were the chief persecutors of the believing Israelites in the first century AD.

ORIGINS OF ROMAN TYRANNY

Almost four centuries before this time, in 44BC, it was a big gamble that a government faction of Senators et al murdered Julius Caesar in cold blood in the Senate chamber for fear that his power had grown too great. The perpetrators wanted to make a statement, doing the dirty deed in the light of day in an open forum. That they did. The Roman Republic had formerly granted Julius Caesar his excessive power and he was not necessarily taking advantage of it but merely ruling from the platform he was allowed. Some were fearful he had gone too far or would. Their fears were not disingenuous. The actions of the assassins, however, were a corrective that need not have been made if the government had not previously made Julius Caesar possible. Perhaps the tyrant faction that supported him was answered by a faux freedom faction opposing him, the reported gang of sixty that assassinated him. Perhaps the greatness of the existing Roman Republic and freedom thereof was seen as ending too soon for the comfort of some who saw the writing on the wall sooner than others. Ironically, of course, the death of Julius Caesar had the opposite effect intended by his killers, in that rather than greater freedom it precipitated the end of the Republic and the beginning of a tornadic period of civil war that would later result in the Roman Empire ruled by dictatorial emperors with much greater power than Julius ever had.

And so it was with Constantine centuries later. Seeing the inevitable crumbling of empire soon coming, even after great reforms had recently been made to shore it up (knowing these would not last) and the inability of Roman emperors to effectively rule as before and contain the freedom brought about by the Lord’s Kingdom, he moved on replacing the Lord’s Kingdom with his own kingdom. He created an earthbound religious empire. And sadly, he also moved on replacing the Lord Jesus, making himself the effective first Vicar of Christ (substitute).

What is much sadder, tragic actually, is that so many Christians of one kind or another, evoking Judas, supported his illicit endeavor and disguised tyranny. They were obviously overcome by fear as were all dwellers in the Empire suddenly saddled with compulsory conversion. These low or no oil Christians accepted the unprecedented overarching government mandate without a fight, never questioning the process. Rather than stand up against an otherwise obvious power play by the new potentate and his hierarchical henchmen, they weakly surrendered to a new king, a dictatorial government tyrant, a faux King Saul who quickly morphed into an apostate Solomon.

They betrayed their Savior.

Sound familiar?

© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]


[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.

Come Out From Among Them and Be Separate (Part 2)

         The word popular is defined by Merriam-Webster as : (1) Of or relating to the general public, (2) Suited to the means of the majority, (3) Frequently encountered or widely accepted, and (4) Commonly liked or approved. [1] 

         According to this definition, the real Lord Jesus is not popular. His message is not popular. And his followers are not popular.

         As a result of His non-popularity, it can be argued that what His enemies did to Him 2000 years ago would be done to Him again in any place at any time in world history.

         Those who have given their lives to Him and are attempting with all their heart to live according to His full curriculum know this, because they are being treated by non-followers as He was treated. During His sojourn here as one of us, some loved Him, but most hated Him. That is just a fact, and it is the same regarding real Christians.

         The Lord’s real teachings appear so foreign to unreal Christians that the following such pronouncements are often downplayed or rejected out of hand as the words of a religious nut:

         “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW; and A MAN’S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.” [Matthew 10:34-38]

         Regardless of constant pronouncements to the contrary, there is and always has been a wide gulf between the real and the unreal. The real teachings of the Lord demand totality, while the various watered-down versions of counterfeit Christianity demand the opposite, and are always on the lookout for ways to make living for God easier and more inclusive. At the heart of the false teachings are two prominent pillars of non-separation that unreal Christians refuse to eliminate:

         (1) “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” [Matthew 6:24]

         (2) He said to them, “You belong to what is below, I belong to what is above. You belong to this world, but I do not belong to this world. That is why I told you that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins.” [John 8:23-24 NAB]

         “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.” [John 15:18-19]

         Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. [1John 2:15-16]

         So who is to blame for the current state of America?

         If America is a Christian nation, who elected all the presidents, senators, and members of congress over the last century and gave them charge of the country?

         If America is a Christian nation, who is the real guilty party concerning our current state of affairs, being that “Christians” have always represented the majority?

         If America is a Christian nation, why have 55 million innocent babies been butchered over the last forty years, and why does the slaughter of innocents continue?

         If America is a Christian nation, why was a central bank created one hundred years ago that rules over all our financial affairs?

         If America is a Christian nation, why are spiritual awakenings and the bringing forth of greater spiritual and Biblical truth always fought against, and primarily by other Christians?

         If America is a Christian nation, why has national judgment been steadily increasing, and why is it now increasing exponentially?

         And if America is a Christian nation, why are most of those who refer to themselves as Christians in this nation acting not like their powerful Lord and Savior, but apparently afraid to be more like Him for fear of monetary or legal retribution? Or blowback from their leaders? Or the threat of disfellowship? And instead spend their Sunday mornings acting out their Christianity exactly like the little ones in Sunday School walled off from the world in false safety? This is not the separation God is talking about. Where is the great presence, real love, and spiritual effectiveness of those who turned the entire Roman Empire upside down?

         It should be obvious by now that institutional American Christianity in general has been dehorned and feminized like the rest of the country.

         Words alone are meaningless. The effect of our words is what matters. The fruit, or evidence, of the Spirit of God in one’s life is what separates him or her from the pack. Because the Lord Jesus said only few would discover and walk out the path of life, the community of real Christians will forever be a distinct minority in the world at large, but great numbers have never mattered to God.

         In fact, the Lord has always managed to do great things with a separated but unified few. [2] 

         You are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY.

         Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation. [1 Peter 2:9-12] [3]

         The Great Awakening is coming forth!

         © 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 2 of 2]


[1] © Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition

[2] Consider the story of Gideon’s battle with the Midianites… [Judges 6-7]

[3] 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.

For a current view of Post-Christianity in America, see this latest research from The Barna Group. Copyright © Barna Group. All Rights Reserved.

Come Out From Among Them and Be Separate (Part 1)

         At the great judgment there will be a steady stream of non-penitents going before the Lord. They will be the ones who justified themselves in life despite their sin. The most guilty will be unreal Christians.

         Over the last 2000 years, unreal Christians have rewritten the pure teachings of Messiah Jesus. And for this, like the hypocritical Pharisees of old, they will receive the greater judgment.

         As the world wonders what has happened to Western society, especially in America, everyone has someone or some group to blame. The progressives are blamed for introducing an anti-Christian purely secular blueprint for society that rewrites the culture, for example. But long before the emergence of the all-encompassing agenda that faces us at present, filled with anti-Christian rhetoric and the establishment of new laws to form a new culture, another group had done the same.

         And the former group was much more successful. Rather than the in-your-face tactics of the present purveyors of the current gathering storm, the former group used a low-key approach. It took full advantage of willingly ignorant Christians who refused to follow the Lord but were conditioned to follow religious leaders and whatever they may teach. These Christians never checked to see if their leaders were standing on the Word of God, or cared to. They never checked to see if their leaders even followed the Lord. It was a mass assumption that their favorite clergyites were acting at the behest of God and relaying His pure Word.

         Boy Howdy, were they ever wrong. Whether these so-called Christian leaders were Protestant or Catholic or Charismatic or whatever, America in general took their words and actions as true and correct. American Christians did not bother to see whether any deception was involved. In fact, the very idea that they were being lied to and led astray was verboten. The religious higher-ups had such a powerful hold on the minds of American Christians that said Christians would flatten anyone for even thinking their brand of Christian religion was incorrect.

         They made the fatal mistake of not separating themselves from the false world of Christian counterfeits. They chose to have their names, lives, and reputations recorded in a different registry other than the one commanded by the Lord:

         And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. [Revelation 20:15]

         America was brawnier then. There was more animosity and open hostility between denominations and religious groupings. Biblically illiterate “Christians” were prone to fight physically to protect their turf. They had no idea they were brainwashed by pretenders. Unreal Christianity ruled through threat and pure hatred against any and all reformers.

         Speaking of which, if America has always been a Christian nation, why was there ever any need of reform? Why was there a Great Awakening in the 1730’s and 40’s? Why did other great revival and reform efforts come forth since then? And why were the greatest resisters in these powerful and undeniable moves of God other Christians?

         It has always been this way. Rather than actually obey the Lord Jesus and follow Him, unreal Christians create their own brand of Christianity that is much easier than the full curriculum of the Lord. And rather than crucifying the flesh as Jesus commanded, unreal Christians crucify real Christians.

         So, back to the judgment. Jesus will judge the fakers, be they deceived or not, based on their adherence to a different gospel and the leaders thereof. He will say things like:

         “I never knew you; ‘DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’” [Matthew 7:23]

         A lot of Christians may realize right then and there for the first time that they got it wrong. They will see that their insistence on following someone or something other than the Lord Jesus for the sake of social or religious standing doomed their souls.

         And, of course, it will be too late. An untold number of unreal Christians who have already passed on are awaiting their inevitable fate. Though they will try to plead their case it will not matter.

         While time remains on our side, those of us on this side of eternity might want to make sure we’re getting it right.

         Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness.

         Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved.

         Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, “THE PEOPLE SAT DOWN TO EAT AND DRINK, AND STOOD UP TO PLAY.”

         Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day.

         Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents.

         Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer.

         Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

         Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. [1 Corinthians 10:5-12]

         No one of us is above the teachings of the Lord. Every one of us needs a Savior, and by God’s grace a Savior has been provided. But that doesn’t mean we can simply pick and choose our own Christian beliefs. The Word of God is an all-or-nothing document. Following the Lord and obeying His teachings and commandments is an all-or-nothing proposition. And though we may do some great things on this planet and help many people selflessly and sacrificially, we are not saved by our works. Human virtue is not a ticket to heaven. No matter how righteous we are we will still be proven to be unrighteous by God’s holy standard unless His standard is applied.

         Be encouraged by this opening section of Peter’s second letter. It is an excellent discourse regarding God’s standard of righteousness, separation from the world of sin and deception, and true discipleship unto the Lord:

         Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.

         Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.

         For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.

         Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you. [2 Peter 1:1-11] [1] 

         © 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 1 of 2] 


[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.

For a current view of Post-Christianity in America, see this latest research from The Barna Group. Copyright © Barna Group. All Rights Reserved.