Sunday, October 14, 2012

America - The Modern Golden Calf


AMERICA 
THE MODERN GOLDEN CALF

My heart grew heavier as I read this article. In 1975 I was born again and God had used a Billy Graham broadcast to help me see who Jesus was. I have been to several Billy Graham crusades and I have met others, including preachers and missionaries, who came to Christ through his preaching and ministry. But as I grew in the Word I began to realize that some of his associations were unbiblical and were a part of a continuing compromise. He would quote the Pope and join forces with the Roman Catholic Church, and he would endorse such heretics as Oral Roberts and Robert Schuler. At first I used to think it was in order to reach people with the gospel but later I realized that Billy really had some obvious doctrinal weaknesses. He even said he now believed a sinner on some island who never heard of Jesus could still be saved just by believing there is a god.

But Billy Graham never endorsed politicians and basically became a friend to almost everyone. Be it conservative or liberal, he was invited to the White House for prayer. Of course he would also pray for God to help America win wars, just as he did with the latest President Bush. But he began to get involved with certain moral issues such as gay rights and traditional marriage. His son, Franklin, not only was a rabid patriot but was seen publicly as being anti-Obama. Franklin would further blur the lines between following Jesus and following America. It is all so sad and not only reveals a level of Scriptural compromise, but it has led to a state of apostasy in today’s evangelical church that lives in America. As only God can, God is using the candidacy of Mitt Romney as a mirror to the church.

Today we have our cults and our branches of Christianity that have led many astray. The Emergent Church and the Purpose Driven teachings and Your Best Life Now lies continue to impact the religious culture and the visible church as a whole. Many churches who still do not espouse such movements will not warn their people about these false teachers. The entire spiritual war rages in open view and attacks the Person of Christ and His precious gospel, and yet preachers remain silent? And many of these same preachers will speak about politics and morals and marriage and prosperity but shut their lips as it pertains to this slide into apostasy.

But in the last 20 years I have also come to realize something very clandestine and clothed in what seems like earthly righteousness but what is in reality heavenly treachery. This issue of nationalism has been a Trojan Horse which has brought in damnable heresies and all kinds of deceptions regardless of how well intentioned or how “orthodox” the preacher may be. In the last 20 to 30 years its intensity and scope has taken a quantum leap and has grown exponentially within the western community of faith. It already had a stronghold within the liberal mainstream denominations, but it spread rapidly throughout evangelicalism at large.

This has now become an unspoken doctrine, and although you may not find it in a church’s statement of faith it lives with strength in its belief system and practice. Nationalism is not just your run of the mill idol worship. Idol worship comes in many forms. Some believers love cars, some love houses, some love singers, some love preachers, some love sports and sports teams, and there are many and varied expressions of idol worship in the western church. All of them compromise the spiritual life of an individual believer, and some even become departures from the faith like the prosperity movement. But what is absolutely astounding is how idolatry in the form of nationalism has found its way right into the church and is now embraced by orthodox, liberal, and cult alike.

And this kind of compromise has now taken wings and has affected almost every area of evangelical thought and practice. America has become the latter days golden calf and millions upon millions who claim to follow Jesus now bow before this idol. And they pledge allegiance to this idol, and in a stunning display of apostasy, millions pledge allegiance to this golden calf even in the sanctuary on July 4th services. Millions of professing believers file into a place reserved to worship the Risen Christ on July 4th and they sing songs to America as if it was a god! Blasphemy of blasphemies!! Horror of horrors!!

And tens of millions of people not only do not see anything wrong with this, but they embrace it as divinely approved! Can there be any greater deception? And with this kind of deception the church leaves its gospel calling and labor of love, and works to preserve America and return the culture to its imaginary moral roots. Do we assume that the generation of the founding fathers were sinners on a lesser scale than what exists today? Do we assume that the words of the Spirit that says God has concluded them all in unbelief and that there is none righteous, no not one do not apply to the original thirteen colonies? What kind of mental illusion have we created and why have we created it? It is obvious that we view America as an object of our love and affection and seek to crown it with all kinds of accolades regardless of there veracity.

And because we have made traditional marriage and capitalism and being anti-abortion the tenants of this new gospel, we now join hands with unbelievers to establish this new kingdom. And not just run of the mill “conservative” unbelievers, but members of cults. And not just members of cults, but with a presidential candidate who is a priest in good standing within that cult and who has given many millions to support that cult as they deceive people around the world. And there are two basic reasons for this kind of support that stem from nationalism:

A love for money and a hatred for Obama.

And armed with those practical expressions emanating from the unclean spirit of nationalism, evangelicals by the millions will flock to a voting booth which represents the fallen cesspool of politics and they will vote for Mitt Romney. That probably includes the 94 year old Billy Graham. All in order to form a “more perfect union” while at the same time besmirching the perfect kingdom to which we are exclusively called. It is an amazing feat of deception by the wiles of the kingdom of darkness. If you could sit in an air balloon hovering 20 miles above the United States on November 6th you would see over a hundred million people streaming to local places of worship called voting places which are in effect the local churches of humanism.

And sprinkled in that colossal mixed multitude will be child molesters, gay people, abortion providers, pornography sellers and producers, adulterers, thieves, murderers, drug users, wife beaters, cultists, throngs of Christ rejecters, and oh yes, millions of professing believers. And many of those believers will never witness to someone about Christ, but they will rise early to vote. Some never pray and others attend church rarely, but they will rise early and vote. Some never read the Scriptures, but they will rise early and vote. And as you watch from your balloon, do you see God in all that? If you do, then your view of God and His Christ is your own and not the revelation of Scripture.

I have said all this because the time is now to come out from among them and be separate. You must not allow people whom you respect and admire and even love to keep your from a personal Berean journey to discover whether these things are true. You must not allow anything to compromise your devotion to Christ, and you must see nationalism for what it is. This spirit has imprisoned the church and has become so strong that now men like Billy Graham will endorse cult members and remove any material from their internet sites which would be deemed offensive to that cult. Now I ask you, just how strong must a deception be for men to do something like that? And if that kind of Christ-denying compromise was around for the last two thousand years in the church, there would have been very few martyrs. This spirit of nationalism is now a full blown spirit of apostasy and is part and parcel of the end times deceptions.

Although I am a nobody, no one has accused me of being too rigid and legalistic. Read my views on the scope of redemption as it pertains to possibility of a gay person believing on Christ. I stand firmly on the side of grace. But curiously many other preachers and teachers who take serious exception to my views in that area practice nationalism and patriotism and spread falsehoods about the origins of the country and the spiritual purity of its founders. And most of them pledge allegiance to an idol. My point being that I try not to be graceless and a self absorbed legalist and heresy hunter.

But it is time to call nationalism for what it is. It is a spirit of apostasy, albeit sophisticated and multi-layered, it is apostasy none the less. By overt suggestion it teaches that God can create a nation that allows for all kinds of gods to be worshiped and He calls it “Christian”. And people who say they believe the Bible endorse that kind of open falsehood? Yes, but that just reveals the depth and scope of this widespread deception. And while we were doing sentry duty to guard against the Rob Bells and the Joel Osteens and the Rick Warrens, the enemy has come in and sown the tares of deception of nationalism that are bearing much wicked fruit within the church. And Rob Bell, Joel Osteen, and Rick Warren enthusiastically embrace this deception as well and yet we will not even stop to consider the implications of that?

We criticize Graham and others as they join forces with infidels but we join forces with Bell and Osteen and Warren in patriotic endeavors? But we cover our sin by suggesting that God suspends His Word when it comes to patriotism? The hypocrisy and duplicity are incredulous. But do not misunderstand me, I was once just as blind as the next. I sang “I’m Proud to be an American” in church. So my mission is not to hold myself or anyone else up as an example except as examples of God’s grace. And it is in that grace alone I exhort you, I beseech you, I beg you to study and pray and even fast and ask God to open your eyes in any area in which you have been blind.

I pray you will. And if you do, I know He will.

18 comments:

Ramone said...

Painted & wrote this in early April this year: "Liberation from the School of American Fear"

Justine Votaw said...

If we as Christians do not try to help save our country then we won't have a country where we can worship God and try to rescue other souls from the coming hell. We should not put country before God, but we should try to help our country maintain right and godly values. Don;t you care for your family are they an idol?

Justine Votaw said...

Trying to keep the this country safe to worship God in and raise our children is not anti christian. It is not worship of politics or the USA. See what happened in Germany when no one cared. We need to pray for this country. Israel was a country. You are wrong, very wrong in what you wrote. I strongly disagree. God should always be first. Politics can become an idol you have to use wisdom.

Rick Frueh said...

I understand your perspective. The greatest movement of evangelism in these modern times took place under the communist government in China. democrcy is not any guarantee to worship God, and America has provided ample temptation for the church to compromise. We have never been called to defend any country, and if we can only worship God when it is free and convenient, then we are worshiping the wrong God. raising our children should depend upon our own discipleship and not due to the surrounding culture.

Thank you for your comment.

Velda Johnson said...

Good Post!

JMD said...

Trying to vote for the lessor of two evils is still voting for evil. At least in my opinion.

Rick Frueh said...

Exactly. It is not a Biblical principle. It's like being asked a question, and two lies enetr into your mind, and you choose the lesser of the two lies.

dalayna said...

I am so glad that God is my judge instead of you.

Anonymous said...

Agree with it all here. For me, the biggest issue is not patriotism becoming an idol, but christians who are fighting amongst themselves, families dividing over politics, and evangelical christians pretending, yes, pretending that they are so concerned about the unborn. Where were they during the Bush years? Or the previous presidential administrations that paid little attention to implementing laws and passing legislation to ban abortion? If it's up to elected officials from each district who are representing their constituents, then why haven't any inroads been made all this time? Why weren't christians demanding radical change and fighting until that change took effect. Where were all the christians these past 20 years? I don't recall seeing the hype and nationalistic fervor and pro-life stances then that we see now, since a black man was elected.

What has motivated christians to be so outspoken against abortion and gays now? What really lies at the root of their sudden passion?

Does it never occur to these christians that they sound pretty hypocritical; living the world and enjoying the fruit of their labors under a democratic administration, enjoying the peaceful times, enjoying that someone else fights for that peace, enjoying the vacations and job promotions and available affordable health-care, yet character assassinating politicians, (who never claimed they live for Christ), yet who may try to live for Christ in a way they show by example. If Jesus asked American christians to give up their nice homes, careers, achievements and live elsewhere, they'd cry "foul" - because they feel entitled, and because they would rather live surrounded by all men's sins than leave their comfortable easy lifestyles. So they compromise. They are no more righteous or holy than anyone else that they accuse.

The thing is, because of all of our weaknesses, Jesus is so merciful he might not ask us to move or give the luxuries up; but only because He is merciful. So with that grace, why don't they show that same grace to others, show compassion, meakness, caring, to the food stamp users, the welfare families, the Medicaid users, the unemployable, and abusers of social programs, the oppressed, depressed, mentally ill, abused, drug addicted, homeless, criminals, petty thieves, and all lawbreakers, and realize that all these may have come from unloving unChrist-like broken homes.

The same christians who attack and criticize and blame a Party for all the ills on the nation, and believe they themselves never touch "the unclean thing" are fooling themselves. They've contributed to society's ills in a negative way just as much as those they judge. There is an "unclean" thing that each one of us has to spiritually battle every day. I never heard of sins being on a scale of 1 to 10 in severity.

Putting faith in a man to lead a nation down the path of religious righteousness is folly. Do they think that God will forgive all trespasses once Romney might get elected because he claims he is pro-life? What if he secretly has sin? What then? Will God forgive the nation as a whole if he only has the sin of greed? Or maybe the nation can be doubly prosperous if he tithes his earnings. Or even more prosperous if he makes a stand against gay marriage?

None of the arguments of the Church makes sense any more. It truly is being deluded. Help us all, Lord Jesus!!

Anonymous said...

to those who think that we are responsible to live in a free nation so we may worship god freely, i ask you to ponder a few points.

When the missionaries were kicked out of china in 1949/50, there were only 50,000 christians in china...when they returned there were 50 million christians in china. The church thrives in persecution and tribulation for it is written in acts 14 that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

this is Jesus command to us..Matthew 6:33
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness...

HIS Kingdom...not any kingdom of this world, for abraham sought a better city For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

I could go on....but please allow me a final but important point.

The coming tribulation which is predicted in scripture is NOT only to judge the world...but to purify his people as explained in dan 11:9-10.. 9 And he said , Go thy way , Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. 10 Many shall be purified , and made white , and tried ; but the wicked shall do wickedly : and none of the wicked shall understand ; but the wise shall understand .

This cannot happen under the easy life we have here in America. We are as guilty as when ezekiel proclaimed... 48 As I live, saith the Lord GOD, Sodom thy sister hath not done , she nor her daughters, as thou hast done , thou and thy daughters. 49 Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.

I pray for us all and myself, that we have the mind of those in the early church ...Hebrews 11:35
Women received their dead raised to life again : and others were tortured , not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection

i pray for God's grace to also obtain a better resurrection willing to lay down my life for OUR KING....and not for a temporary kingdom on earth known as the usa

I see NO instance in the New Testament wherein Christians concerned themselves with politics or anything that had to do with worldly matters...for to be friends with the world is to be an enemy of God.

Let us watch and be ready to recieve the Lord Jesus at his coming. Amen

Rick Frueh said...

Very well said. If we can only worship God under accommodating circumstances then He is not Lord but just a convenient religious idol.

Josef Sefton said...

http://idrawanimals.wordpress.com is a wonderful thing to do. We hould encourage it, for where there is love for our fellowman there is still hope that our great Creator can draw sinners to trust and obey Lord Jesus Christ. God's gift of the Holy Bible is available to be explored and those who are growing more loving are best eqipped to benefit from reading, listening ho and and trusting and obeying it
Truly studying Jesus' words is a worthwhile challenge for Americans to set for themselves.

Josef said...

Cultivating a love for our country and fellow man is a wonderful thing to do. We should encourage it, for where there is love for our fellowman there is still hope that our great Creator can draw sinners to trust and obey Lord Jesus Christ.

God's gift of the Holy Bible is available to be explored and those who are growing more loving are best equipped to benefit from reading, listening and trusting and obeying it. Truly studying Jesus' words is a worthwhile challenge for Americans and all of God's creation to set for themselves.

Let's consecrate ourselves to hallowing our holy righteous gracious loving Lord God and He will protest us from idol worship as only He can.

Anonymous said...

Justine, I also understand your perspective. I shared it not long ago. But my heart and my eyes have been opened and I have been converted; how radical are the sayings of Jesus! How complete is our redemption OUT OF the world.

For any of us to act upon an impulse to "save our country" is actually an exercise (well-meaning though it may be-yet misguided)of humanism=man's power and man's wisdom and man's attempts to do what is "good." Only the Lord "saves" anyone or anything. Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord. Cursed is the man who trusts in the flesh. Some trust in chariots and some in horses (military strength) but we will remember the Name of the LORD our God. All authority is ordained by God. Even wicked authority. We can rest in His Lordship.

While we must undoubtedly bless the world around us, and work toward the betterment of the common grace realm, we do it with the church's commission as ambassadors of His kingdom, with spiritually powerful righteous works. We must maintain our separateness from the world and from the spirit of the age; never succumbing to using them ourselves, which defiles us and renders the Church impotent. Eph. 6:12 and 2 Cor. 6 and 10:1-7 bear on this important distinction, I would say.

May the Lord bless you, Justine. Keep searching like a Berean. Glad you're here on the blog.

Victoria

Anonymous said...

I don't trust Franklin Graham any farther than I could throw him. This guy is a regular on TBN with the pink hair lady.I think his finding God is a reason for him to line his pockets with money and not have to work for a living. I think it was last year that the Charlotte Observer outed this guy for claiming to work two full time jobs at the same time for compensation of a million bucks or so. Of course he supposedly made some kind of amends but he would still be pulling this stunt if not outed by the newspaper.

Evelyn Stephenson said...

Your article stated "As only God can, God is using the candidacy of Mitt Romney as a mirror to the church." I would also add that the hatred for Barack Obama is also being used as a mirror to the church and the reflections are ugly and hateful.

Radiance said...

So the man who directed and narrated the fear-mongering propaganda film, "Obama 2016" (the movie by the way is NOT an honest assessment of Obama's liberal social views but rather a ruthless, envy-ridden attempt to infantilize him on a personal level and diminish the grandeur of his accomplishment as the first black President. Not to mention how it is critical of Obama's tempered patriotism and anti-imperialist principles-principles that actually echo Christ far more than warmongering!) and who is the author of books like "What's So Great About America," "What's So Great About Christianity," and "The End of Racism" -- who has been the president of Evangelical "King's College" in Manhattan resigned from his post today amid an embroiling sex scandal: Dinesh D'Souza.

Link with great perspective:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2012/10/17/no-no-no-we-were-fine-with-the-racism-but-the-adultery-is-upsetting/

Anonymous said...

When I would occasionally read the Graham ministry's "Decision" magazine back in the '60s and '70s, it was primarily evangelistic in tone. Today it is heavily personality- and political-issue-oriented, leaning, of course, toward the Right. A few years back, I actually heard a man declare on a weekday nationwide satellite-fed Christian radio music/preaching series that the Lord Jesus Christ will return shortly after Billy Graham's death, because NOBODY in North America can get saved anymore EXCEPT through Graham's preaching.

Talk about idolatry!