Q: Why is Jesus such a big deal? Isn't there anything else? I mean isn't this really narrow-minded?
For one thing, everyone is narrow-minded about a whole bunch of things. The individual who won the Nobel Prize for Tolerance would be extremely narrow-minded if he noticed the guy adding a new patio deck to the house started laying down a foundation of walnuts and ice cream. If we all would be extraordinarily insistent that he use bricks and concrete, why aren't we the same way about our eternal destiny? This question is so important, I devote a whole page for my answer: Go here.
Q: What about the Bible? Why is that such a big deal? Why isn't it just another book? And why should we trust it when it has so many translations, was written so long ago, and all that?
Whenever anyone asks this I simply ask them, "What about following Edward? Or Martha? Or anyone for that matter?" The reason I ask is because the issue is: From where does one gets his ideas? Everyone gets their ideas, their world view, their life perspective from somewhere indeed from someone. They don't just appear in an individual's brain from a vacuum.
The Bible is the most accurate, definitive exposition of reality there is. Rejection of it particularly when it hasn't been actually read is exactly like going to a doctor and saying, "I broke my arm." The doctor takes out the medical book to consult, and the patient says "No, don't use that. I don't believe in that. Instead use this book," and he hands him a guide to better gardening. In other words, it's not that it's a book that is the issue, it is that it is God speaking about not only what it true, but what is gracious.
There is no question, the Bible lays out what life is in all its beauty and wonder and joy. All those passages about death and destruction and war are only there to demonstrate the profound love God has for those He loves, and how much He wants us to have beauty wonder and joy in the face of those driven to take it away. Anyone or anything going to try to take out those He loves? He will take them out. That's what loving, compassionate fathers do.
What is so phenomenal is that He's so loving and compassionate that He graciously invites the fiercest of His enemies to join Him. To even be in His family. Thing is, they can't do it on their terms. How utterly foolish for them to think they can be saboteurs in the Kingdom. God would laugh heartily at them if He wasn't so impassioned as to grieve that they are so stubborn. So then they are given exactly what they want: they are left outside. They may shout and snarl at the gate, but that is part of their Hell isn't it?
It doesn't have to be that way, and He died to tell us that.
One added thing about the Bible: In and of itself, it is just a book. That is, it is really just pages with a binding. Jesus was much more interested in people following Him, becoming His disciples (yes, by thoroughly immersing themselves in His word), and then going out and being His words to others. People want vibrant living flesh, not ponderous print on limp paper. The World has managed to convince so many that they cannot love others by being Jesus' hands and feet much more His voice so when they go out to "preach the word" they are just as boring and irrelevant as some ancient religious book.
Q: Why the extensive attention to the Catholic Church? Why is that so significant?
The Roman Catholic Church is merely the contemporary ecclesiastical division of the World System, first set in motion by God shortly after the advent of humankind to administer the prosecution of sinners. The System employs a number of different means to accomplish this end.
The Catholic Church's way is to lay out an elaborate system of things to do designed to keep people believing that as long as they try real hard and pass every test along the way, then they are in decent shape. In many ways it is no different from what any other religion does the key is that the Catholic system is the archetype of all other religious systems. Like all those religions, it glories in showing its best side all those good, nice, neat things that make us question whether the Catholic Church is bad at all. This doesn't change the core nature of the system.
It is not as much that the Catholic Church is a "works-based" religion. This frequently offered critique while in many ways valid has significant drawbacks, the chief of which is that everyone does certain things merely from the desire that God put into all of us to accomplish. It is natural that as much as we are human beings, we are all also human doings. "Working" is not really the issue.*
The most important thing to look at is who exactly it is the individual is working for, and why. Everyone is working for not just something, but someone. And yes, working for someone who is not the Lord is phenomenally daunting. This is why the critical issue is who, and when one is not following Him, it is by definition idolatry.
More than anything else, the Roman Catholic Church is an intractably idolatrous institution. Several items could be noted, but the simple act of taking a small whitish wafer and claiming that it is that thing that must be worshipped brings the institution under the judgment of God. (Substituting hair-splitting terms like "adoration" for "worship" changes nothing.) All the other things this institution lays out indulgences, the priesthood, Mariology, all the rest of it are all wrapped around this fundamental principle.
Many find it hard to accept that no one can change what the Catholic Church does. It must do what it does as long as there are sinners who demand its services. Jesus Christ graciously asks whoever will listen to come out of that system and find freedom, peace, joy, and mercy in His kingdom because of what He did on the cross. So what shall we do with someone who is very religious and doesn't know Him, someone who is given over to the typical torturous bipolar lifestyle of sin and condemnation? You may certainly pray for them, and you may graciously speak truth so they may perhaps come to Him and be truly free, clothed in His righteousness.
Sadly too many stay because they are taken in by its counterfeit Jesus. Many others don't fully get out because they are convinced that they are the Superhuman Christians who will change the World System, that they will "convert" Cain and "transform" his dominion into some paradise. For all their huffing and puffing and swinging and swatting, all that happens is they get sucked into the raging Battle of Counterfeit Jesuses. They're like bugs in a tornado from inside the turbulently swirling vortex just before being summarily torn apart, they shout "Watch how we're going to reform this fine institution! "
But then again, without Jesus, it's what they do.
(A whole page has been devoted to why the Roman Catholic Church is indeed the preeminent governing authority in the world, and how its influence shapes everything the unredeemed do in society. Go here.)
Q: What exactly does "Catholicist" mean? Is it Catholic?
It is a term I've coined to describe an individual or institution who believes that their religion will save them, who is deceived by Rome and its covert operatives, and who is contractually obligated in some way to the World System. It includes any number of other characteristics that are more or less explained in "The Catholicist Nation Identified," but a key is that they somehow someway give lip service to Jesus Christ but are actually addressing a Straw Man Jesus. The reason for the term "Catholicist" is that it refers to an entire mentality emanating from the Catholic Church itself to draw people from the One who'd actually, veritably save them from their sin and death.
The devout Catholic may claim he does trust in Jesus, but if his Jesus is the classically Catholic Jesus or any other Jesus peddled by the System, then he is gravely mistaken about the object of his affection. The non-Catholic may claim that he has nothing to do with the Catholic Church, but if he still gives reign to his sin, then by default he is a subject of the Catholic Church's World System, the overarching mega-institution assigned the task of prosecuting his evildoing. In that sense, he too is a committed Catholicist.
(Pronunciation guide: Kuh-THAW-luh-sist. It is a descriptive and identifying form of the term for the ecclesiastical philosophy that drives the system, Catholicism.)
Q: What makes you so right? You're so critical of other religions, how can you play God like that?
The most striking aspect of this very common complaint is in the intimation "You shouldn't be judging." The obvious problem is that the one who makes this assertion is himself judging. "You're arrogant! You're narrow-minded!" they screech. Hand-in-hand with that is the claim that anyone who says he has the truth is dangerous. Oh? Is that, ahem, the truth?
When two contradictory truth claims present themselves, at least one of them must be wrong. Let's cut right to the chase: The reason so many people make this appeal to "tolerance" is that they are afraid of telling someone they are categorically wrong. Quite an odd position considering that apparently the follower of Christ who says he knows of true salvation is categorically wrong. He is guilty of the crime of dogmatism, convicted by a jury of dogmatists.
Where is the rule that states that we can't we flatly say to the Buddhist, "You're thinking on this is wrong. When you die you don't go into nothingness, you indeed go somewhere." When was the prohibition enacted that declares that we can't we flatly say to the Catholic, "You're belief is misguided. The Jesus you worship is not the Jesus of the Bible." Yes, I understand the world is hungry for grace, but grace never ever displaces truth.
One reason for the pandemic pusillanimity is because so many have this presumption that religious things are ultimately the stuff of fairy tales another strange stance since this idea is itself injected deep in the minds of the Catholicist populace by those they all follow religiously. The Catholicist often adds that religion, really, is stuff that can't be really tested for truth such as the things that, say, science looks at.
I admit that I may be wrong about what is true. That's cool. But if you say I'm wrong you're making a truth claim. So how about if we're just honest. Let's mix it up, take a look at things, see what's true. You may tell me I'm wrong, but you'll have to give me a good reason why I'm wrong. Don't just sneer "You think you're right" because everyone thinks they're right. For my part I can demonstrate that my case for the truth has as much merit as a biologist who would demonstrate the principle of photosynthesis. And yes, if I brashly told the scientist that photosynthesis would hold me in the air when leaping untethered off a high building, I would hope that he would tell me I was wrong!
This is all very much like the common illustration the evangelical uses to describe his task of truth-telling, of introducing Christ to another. He spots a house on fire and shouts to the occupants inside, "Hey! Your house is on fire!" The illustration is intended to highlight the reality of one's destiny namely hell if one stays in his sins. The persuasive evangelist expects them to respond with the requisite alarm and promptly ask for a rescue Jesus is the "fireman" so to speak.
But in the Catholicist Nation all too often they reply, "No it isn't, we don't see any fire."
"No, really! It's on fire! Get out now!" the evangelist insists.
They come back with, "Not only is our house not on fire, but a whole lot of other people have told us our house is not on fire. Thanks for trying to help though."
Here is where the insidious undertaking of the Nation's operatives hits its mark. At this point the evangelist starts to doubt. "Maybe they're right. Maybe those flames I saw were a grand Walt Disney simulation. Mmm, they look real, but yeah, perhaps I was being a bit alarmist. Okay, I feel better about it all now." He returns the next day, however, to find the house in cinders, and he asks a fireman cleaning up what happened to the occupants. He tells him they all perished.
Now, what do you do at the moment the flames are about to engulf the home? Do you do all you can to help another know the truth about their predicament, even though it can't be "tested scientifically"? Or do you just move along, content that the Company's men and the Father General all know best: that one mustn't be too divisive, too arrogant, too narrow-minded?
Who exactly are "the Company's men" and "the Father General"? They are none other than the extraordinarily influential, militant oath-bound operatives who persuade the individual to believe that there is really no such thing as objective spiritual truth. That everyone has their own beliefs about things and it is best not to meddle yes, that's the first rule, isn't it: don't discuss religion or politics. It's not hard for the Company to do, really. They are extraordinarily adept at it.
Their secret is not to get people to abstain from religion or politics, it is to direct their attention away from what really matters by getting people immersed in so many diversions many of which include religion and politics! It involves convincing people that insane ideas like "all paths lead to God" have a safe, mainstream flavor to them, and maybe even more importantly, that such ideas certainly did not come from a massive deliberately designed program managed by individuals sworn to keep you from the only One who can rescue you from your spiritual peril.
So what about it? Is your soul safe in the hands of the One who really cares about you? Or is it in the clutches of the one who is committed to keeping you on the treadmill of diversions so you simply can't see the flames? If you still don't like all this "intolerant narrow-mindedness," by all means, don't listen to me. Listen to Jesus who talked about your destiny all the time. The kicker is that He always said phenomenally intolerant things, like this: He once told people not to fear those who could kill the body, but fear the One who could destroy both body and soul. Ouch, that's harsh.
Let's face it, you too have very dogmatic ideas about things you really think are really true. And those ideas came from someone. So once again, from whom are you getting your ideas about the things that really matter? From the One who actually loves you so much that He died for you to very narrow-mindedly take out the sin and pain and death of which we are all intolerant, or from the Company Director the one whose master is himself the father of lies and a murderer from the beginning?
Q: You speak about the "Agency of Cain" frequently. What exactly is that?
The Agency of Cain is the preeminent governing authority, the World System, put into motion by God from the time man first manifest his sin in order to prosecute evildoing. Cain had a mark to identify himself (any authoritative government must have a seal) was given seven times the power of any other individual (government must have such power to do its job effectively against evildoers) and built a city (for the vast government bureaucracy to operate). You may see the it all laid out with links to the Agency's respective branches on this page.
Q: It sounds like you want to be perfect and expect perfection from others. That's just impossible and very oppressive. Do you really want this?
Yes, it's true! I do want perfection, and would love to see it in others, of course! And this is mostly because God wants to see it in us. (I remind you that biblical citations are offered on the "Citations" page.)
Before you impulsively dismiss this as maniacally unreasonable, let me explain.
We seem to think that being perfect means that we walk around in life as Stepford people, that we should all be heartless, obsequious, and ultimately sinister computer zombies. Or that we should all adopt the lifestyle of Oliver Crangle, a Twilight Zone character played by Theodore Bikel, who obsessed about shrinking all the bad people in the world to a height of one inch. (You may be happy to know that at the end of the episode he himself became one inch tall.)
Is any of this perfection? No although much of the World behaves in these ways anyway. The fact is, however, Jesus is very clear in Matthew 5 verse 48: "You are to be perfect." Volumes have been written about this through the ages, much in response to the very issue people have with it: "Oh no, 'perfection?!' That's impossible!" The issue though is really this: that people still like to sin and work hard to evade its consequences, so a convenient escape is to shrug it off with "Nobody's perfect," coupled with all kinds of rationalizations about what Jesus really must've meant.
To the perceptive Catholicist's credit, he may certainly see how burdensome the World System's idea of perfection really is. Inquisitions are just as evil, and the System has so many of them that any hint of a program that would perfect society is met with profound revulsion, and rightly so. The tricky part is that when someone says, "Don't make me perfect!" he is expecting perfect compliance with his request. "I want to be perfectly non-perfect," he declares, "and I want you to as well, so I don't fear your attempts to turn me into one of your Stepford people."
Perfection to Jesus is very different, and the World cannot understand it because they don't understand Jesus. Oh they have their straw-men Jesuses, many of whom are good-buddy Jesuses who look the other way when they sin and then return later with a wink. You may be able to see then that the World's idea of perfection is driven by fear, and religious people in that world have carved in stone great laws and rules and regulations to dictate how people must submit in order to attain the perfection they expect from you. This is far from what the Jesus of Scripture was about, and in and around telling us about the Kingdom, he forcefully censured anyone who led people into this kind of hell.
The main component of perfection in the Bible is love. Indeed Jesus told us that perfect love drives out fear, and that one who has Him will love perfectly. What is so awesome is that Jesus didn't leave us hanging on this point He Himself tells us what that perfection is, right there in the verses before verse 48! Jesus never said "Don't make mistakes." We are human, He made us that way, each of us with beautiful talents that He rejoices in seeing flourish. What He did say very clearly is, "Don't sin." He even told us that would be easy if we just follow Him. Indeed those verses, 43-47, contain a convincing intimation that to be perfect means that addressing man's condition with His love is to have a deep understanding of human nature and desire.
Make a mistake? Welcome healthy interaction with those who love, listen to wise instruction, humbly endure correction and rejoice when people forgive. Someone among you make a mistake? Embrace the individual, steadfastly seek and share and honor truth, exhibit grace, and above all forgive. The key is that all of this should be easy Jesus made it that way by doing all the hard work for us, on the cross. When we try to do it the World's way it is daunting and aggravating.
Commit a sin? This frequently occurs when an individual takes his mistake and covers it up in his pride. All of the above engagements regarding making a mistake should still be employed, but when the sinner behaves in a reprobate way (that is, he stubbornly refuses to understand his evildoing by the light of God's word and fails to come to repentance), then the only option is to give him over to the one institution God put in motion millennia ago, the Agency of Cain. This is actually the merciful thing to do, for perhaps through this ministry of condemnation he will see his condition and humbly and authentically turn to Him.
Sadly the state-churches today have crippled themselves in the task of reconciliation because with their 501c3's they've grafted themselves to the World System, making the Agency and the Church indistinguishable. A lot of people may indeed do a lot of magnanimous things, thus convincing us that they are "good people." But "a lot" is not the same as being righteous, in practice, all the time. Yes, it is impossible to do it all the time without Christ. That is precisely why trusting in Him, knowing Him, letting Him be our righteousness is what it takes. Without that, we will always drift toward seeking a "righteousness from the law," which God says categorically cannot earn His favor. And the kicker is that the reason for this is just not hard to understand: it is because when we subcontract out what God would already give us in great abundance, we show we still fear.
Those working in the Agency properly condemn, prosecute, convict, and sentence. Too often churches try gallantly to conduct themselves in a godly manner, but end up doing what the Agency does and fierce spiritual confusion reigns. Those in the truly free and redeemed church know what Caesar's duty is and they leave him to do his job. They then (see it there at the end of Matthew 5 again) love, pray for, greet, bless, and serve another, and they do this for friend and enemy alike.
When we do these things, we are being perfect, just as our heavenly Father is perfect. That's all.
Q: You're missing an important part of "being perfect." Very powerful individuals want to have control over their people and set up a totalitarian state with their idea of "perfection." This is the thing people fear most. Don't you remember ruthless dictators like Stalin?
This concern comes from the common misunderstanding of the difference between the Kingdom and the World. As this site has pointed out a number of times, if you are a sinner without Christ you are necessarily under a totalitarian state. You are already enslaved to your sin, and the Agency of Cain is already there with the oppressive force of the law to try to control your sinfulness. I recently heard a pithy quote in a newspaper article about the need for more prisons: "If you build them, we will fill them." This actually reflects the chilling reality that all are sinners and if there were enough prisons every one of us would be in one.
The only way we may be truly free is in Jesus Christ. In Him is where we may return to being who He made us to be and live in the joy He's always wanted for us. Only under His care would we also know and experience the one thing that makes any perfection meaningful, and that is love. All the ways of the World to "love" are just pretentious meanderings that may make some feel that they're "free" for a while. Cain is fine with them because while you're play-acting he can go after the worst evildoers. But this does not obviate the fact that without Christ, you're still under the screws of a totalitarian regime. And it takes so many forms! In today's terrorism-dominated public discourse you can't help but see everything there is to know about the Islamic variety. It is abjectly harrowing!
Yes, there is indeed sin around. No kidding. What is a bit more complex is the reason there is sin: people take the gifts God has given them and misuse them because they live by fear. That is, the beautiful, glorious things we were made to do (that is actually kind of, um, perfect!) are turned into behaviors that wreck lives. The dictator sees that and tries to keep that from happening. That truth is harrowing, much because he must always throw the baby out with the bathwater in prosecuting the evildoing he also destroys the capacity for people to use their gifts to build those beautiful, glorious communities.
It is sadly true that in the mid-20th century Soviet Union, Stalin murdered many people. Certainly he did much of it unjustly, and because he said he was doing it in the name of "perfecting society" doesn't mean it was. Hundreds of other Stalins have been around and still prowl the World. Jesus said, however, that here in this temporal life many would suffer terribly if they named His name. But if you are in His embrace, even the most agonizing death cannot keep you from Him. Do you know that love? Every single person on earth wants that kind of perfection. Those who'd deny that are lying, and a lot of that is because they've been convinced the only kind of "perfection" is the World's. That scares them to death.
What's more, political totalitarianism isn't the only kind there are perfectly fine religious and economic ones too. For those of you who feel that "fundamentalist" Christianity is pretty oppressive, with its insistence on a legalistic merry-go-round that the Bible says kills, the liberal kind is just as bad. Telling people God winks with a smile when they indulge themselves in whatever the "progressives" happen to think is okay simply makes them slaves in the hell of themselves. Any "perfect" church or company grafted to the World will always be an exploiter and work industriously to get people to believe the hoops they jump through for their particular organization will earn them some measure of favor.
Q: Doesnt our engagement with the World as followers of Christ require us to enter into contracts with the world?
Ahhh, the old We must be in the World but not of it pap. Yes. The sad fact is that just saying this doesnt make it true that one is not of the World, too. Many think that they can rationalize their very questionable relationships with Worldly operatives and operations by spitting out those words, when all theyve done is just sign on with whatever everyone seems to have told them to sign on with.
It must be noted that the one who refuses to come to Christ must have the law to guide his behavior. This point cannot be underscored enough, because many of the very best evangelical Protestant Christians claim that the reprobate Catholicist is "deceived" and that the things that government legitimately does federal income tax, Social Security identification, incorporation procedures are all unjustified. Oh yes, they are all unrighteous, but hardly unjustified for those who choose to live by the World and make Caesar their lord. To rail against these valid activities is to risk entering into rebellion the Lord hates. To put it very simply, everyone is a "law-abiding citizen," even the worst criminal (ask an incarcerated felon if he knows the impact of the law). The question is, are you a Christ-following disciple? If you are, then Caesar will have no issue with you. As such there is no need for you to acquire what he offers.
To read more about this question, a full page is devoted to the answer. Go here for more...
Q: Is the United States a "Christian" nation?
The answer lies in one simple clarification: What is it precisely that you mean when you say "Christian"? Many will claim we are a Christian nation because so much Christian stuff (Bible-oriented cultural dissemination, many holding membership in established Protestant community, government leaders invoking God's words, and so forth) has been prominently evident since settlements from largely "Christian" people began in the 1600's. Others say no, and point to the vast diversity of religious beliefs given free expression in this country. Sometimes the anti-"U.S. is a Christian nation" folk perceptively point out the repulsive ways "Christianity" has exploited people through the years and stridently disavow any association with such religious comportments.
The truth is that one cannot fully grasp whether or not the U.S. is "Christian" unless that term has a strict meaning that all can usefully understand, and because so many in this country have been so Catholicized by forces determined to maintain the persistent confusion, that will never happen. Any one individual may have clarity, of course, if he decides to let the mind of Christ saturate his understanding. To the extent he doesn't do that, his capacity to answer this question will be seriously inadequate.
While many people in this country have and do live under the precepts of some form or Christianity, at least in a sociologically measurable sense, much of this is actually the Christian "civil religion." This is the widely promoted nebulous belief in a God that everyone can be happy with, useful for keeping everyone's conflicts at a simmer. The issue for this website is really more about the contrast between the World's construction of Christianity and what God's Kingdom is really like, and whether or not the governing authority maintaining that construction is indeed a Christian one. We have "In God We Trust" on the money and say "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. Certainly these things and many like them are held dear by many pious people, but they in no way do they make the government Christian. If you look closely enough you'll see that the government of the United States is wholly Roman.
This is indeed the way God laid it out to be. Now, does that make it "Christian"? No, it merely means that God sent this instrument of judgment out of His presence. It has often worked very well, if indeed oppressively and mercilessly. That's how it's supposed to be: Caesar kicks evildoers all over the yard until they decide they want mercy and grace from Christ. To the extent that a Christian enlists in government service, he becomes a condemner too.
In other words, if the Christian works for the World, he will join others in using the law to prosecute sinners. That's not necessarily a bad thing, and that is the United States government. If he works for the Kingdom, he will use truth and grace to reconcile sinners to God. That is the better thing, and "America," the government, and its civil religion are completely outside that realm.
Once again, the critical factor is that the church today makes itself a condemnatory institution by entering into a binding contract with the U.S. government as a 501c3 non-profit corporation. What I see then is a lot of people instinctively scorning the horrors of evildoer prosecution, and as such wrestle with the question. But because so many conceptions of Christianity and Christian nation have been devised and distributed, it is nearly impossible to see what's really what. You've merely got more raging battles in the culture war, and you can largely thank the fine efforts of the Society of Jesus for that.
Briefly, a book that has received some attention is The Myth of a Christian Nation by Gregory Boyd (2005). He offers a terrific take on the question, well worth reading, but sadly he doesn't have that insightful understanding of exactly why all of this is happening. The tone of the entire book is the typical frustration that so many are so blind, and I must say that I consider the reason he is not quite there to see how is because, regrettably, he too is the pastor of a 501c3 church.
Q: So what's with all the ancient references "Babylon"? "Cain"? "Caesar"? What's the point?
Many people consider these concepts meaningless only because they think that there really is no such thing as sin. Such a foolish assertion comes mostly because they just don't like God taking action against their sin. But the fact is He does use instruments of judgment against the people who do rotten things to one another, and these terms refer to such instruments. A brief primer, if you will:
Babylon: Sometimes used to refer to a place of extravagant and sometimes amusing lasciviousness, it merely refers to the first empire established by Cain, one that has been carried through history in other forms (in order: Persia, Greece, Rome, Britain, United States) but always sustaining its God-conferred task of prosecuting evildoers. Whenever Babylon is used here, it refers to the world empire, the overarching administrative hegemony over those who refuse to be clothed in the righteousness of Christ. Anytime a country's potentate judiciously enforces the law, he working on behalf of the empire. For the plain exposition Babylon's establishment, read Genesis 4. Also check out the book Jeremiah to see how and why God used Babylon as an instrument of judgment against Israel.
Cain: The first ruler of the World System. The Bible makes his credentials very clear: Cain had a desire to take the place of God Almighty by insisting that his sacrifice, that of a man, was better than that of his brother Abel's. He was then sent from the presence of the Lord, allowing him to carry out his duties of prosecuting sinners by himself being the foremost sinner. To help him in his task, he was given a mark of identification so no one could mistake who he was, and to protect him from anyone who challenged his authority he was given seven-fold power over such an individual. These characteristics enabled him to become the chief city-builder, and as such he and those under him had great power to rule the empire, which again is today embodied politically in the United States government. (It's religious manifestation is the Roman Catholic Church; the economic is the centralized banking system.) For more on the wide effect of Cain's activity demonstrated today, go here.
Caesar: A reference to the preeminent governing authority of the day. Through history some variation of the term (such as "Czar" or "Kaiser") has been used by potentates to designate this power. In its most basic form, this individual is the one who enforces World System law in order to mitigate the evildoing of its residents. It doesn't matter if you live in a "democracy" or a "republic," Caesar is still the term for the secular ruling entity that is the final law-framer, the highest law-executor. So any time the president of the United States is referred to as "Caesar," this means he's merely doing what Caesar does, no matter how much the mythology of "the American way" clouds that fact.
Please note that Jesus Christ does not disapprove of what Caesar does it was He who sent him out to administer the system to begin with. Christ does, however, invite people into the Kingdom, and as such out of the World. This does not mean isolating oneself physically from Babylon where ever you go, you're in it! It does mean that if you believe on Him, you inoculate yourself spiritually that means you may now love with His love. Caesar doesn't love, he's not supposed to. But all too often the one who names Jesus gets mixed up in Caesar's ministry of condemnation and becomes a servant of the World. He may vehemently deny this, but whenever he and his neighbors contract with Caesar through incorporation, or they mobilize in some government-endorsed program for the purpose of fixing the world, they are in the service of Caesar to some degree. Go here for more on the contracts with Caesar.
Thank God that He offers an instrument of mercy so we aren't overwhelmed by the harrowing burden of this retributive ministry. That comes through His Son who died to satisfy the justice Caesar is expected to implement against each of us for our own sin. We may enjoy that mercy merely by accepting it, or we will continue to agonize as much as we think we can be good without Him. In a particularly sublime way, Caesar is always there to whack us that maybe we'll eventually get tired of it and finally enter into that Mercy.
Q: Who exactly is the "Father General" referred to frequently here?
This is actually the endearing title his subordinates use for him. Officially he is the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, and as the head of the Jesuit order he is the only one with the qualifications, the ordination, and the wherewithal to fully command the administration of the World System for the purpose of mitigating the effects of those who sin. With the aid of those sworn to his service, individuals with single-minded devotion and comprehensive training, he is the force of the law for those who refuse to enter into truth and grace as manifest in the person of Jesus Christ.
He is considered a highly respected leader of the Roman Catholic Church and the top military officer of that institution. He does the work of Caesar, deftly handling information from around the globe and directing the System through the Society's authoritative influence over education and in turn the media. His charge is Cain's avowed commitment to be his brother's keeper, but because he is fully outside the presence of God he must use deceit and murder to accomplish this for the World's faithful.
The amazing thing is that none of this is hidden or secret. While not necessarily widely broadcast, all of this information is available to anyone. The Bible speaks frequently of what he does, the Roman Church describes his duties plainly, the governments he manipulates must identify themselves with authoritative iconographic signatures, and the terms of the contracts he asks individuals to sign are explicit. To accomplish his assigned task, the General does use the arts of deception brilliantly with a vast array of Sun-Tzuan weapons, but people who refuse to live by the Light of God's Word love the darkness more, and so are accustomed to such interaction.
It's not that it isn't a challenge to understand all of this, and the issue is not so much the General being deceptive and treacherous that's his job. It's about the scales over people's eyes that keep them from seeing it. Many times, simply asking Jesus to heal one's blindness is the first step out of Babylon and into the Kingdom. Walking that path may take some time, but He'll walk with you. That also means, however, leaving Caesar and his generals to do their work where they are and you seeking to love God and love another individual where He is.
Q: Isn't all this just Catholic-bashing? What do you have against the Catholic Church?
There are generally two ways people look at the Roman Catholic Church. One is to be a member, an attendee, a "born-into-it" type with no ill-will towards it at all, or a sympathizer seeing no harm in its mainstream religious status. The other is to dismiss or reject it in some measurable way, many times expressed as the standard Protestant "They're just silly papists" and "They bow to a wafer," or the more generic worldly "They won't let women be priests" and "They reject birth control."
The premise of this website is that the biblical response to the Catholic Church is much more rarely adopted. While it is still a fully reprobate institution much of what the Reformation claimed about its core idolatrous nature is indeed true it is supposed to be this way as the ecclesiastical manifestation of the agency of Cain, clearly set forth in the fourth chapter of Genesis. The author of this web endeavor in no way censures, reproves, or dismisses what this institution has been charged by God to do from the very beginning of civilization.
To put it simply, the Roman Catholic Church is the government, and when people embrace it however much they do, they are conceding their need for expansive sin management in their affairs. When they actively revile it however much they do even if it is the slightest verbal rebuke they are doing exactly the same thing. Perhaps seduced by the deft provocation of World operatives, they are nonetheless confessing the church still has power over them. Furthermore, any attempt to change it, persuade it, reform it, protest it, or engage it in any way is a work of utter futility. This brutal fact does not mean, however, that we may not speak with one another meaningfully about it.
The biblical approach is clear. Leave the Catholic Church alone. Many Protestants will say they do this, but do they really? How many contracts with the World System do they clutch? How much do they get sucked into denouncing the church in such ways that the church appears victimized and gathers more sympathizers? Have you noticed how criticism of the Catholic Church is so pronounced and how often the criticizer is made to look foolish?
What is a follower of Christ to do then?
Many who scorn the Catholic Church do so with a hatred that is reasonably seen as aggressive, violent, and fearful it is no surprise that few Catholics want to interact with individuals or groups who even remotely appear that way. On the other hand, to rally with it as an ally in the righteous war against all bad things is also terribly misguided.
The follower of Christ should be looking at this institution with the proper perspective and graciously sharing important information about it with others. While this may involve sadness as one discovers its history and contemporary activity, it certainly involves wisely discerning its nature and purposes in light of Scripture. The Bible has always spoken about such an understanding of Babylon and whatever form it takes, including the one that is the Roman Catholic Church.
As the follower of Christ lets this church to do its business as God set it out to do, he must also make the quite volitional decision to reject being grafted to it through the incorporation contracts he may hold with it. If indeed he is not a sinner by the blood of Christ, then what does he have to do with such a place? Furthermore, being out of such a body of death and in the embrace of Christ, he too may love with His love and show the Catholic the overwhelming bounty of truth and grace offered in the Kingdom. Then maybe the Catholic will come out of that church, even more the Catholicist will come out of the World that enslaves him and experience the rapturous freedom that is Christ.
For a further explanation of the nature of the Catholic Church and the Christ-follower's approach to it, the very best thing to do is to be a committed reader of Scripture. Other sources on this site include What is the Catholicist Nation? and Why the emphasis on the Catholic Church?
Q: Are you suggesting in all this we should go back to living like Puritans?
The presumption here is that the Puritans lived such strict, boring lives because they actually obeyed God in everything He said. No dancing, no drinking, no card games, no having fun of any kind. What many don't realize is that the term "Puritans" did not come from the idea that they "purified" every kind of thing people did so there would never be any chance anyone could ever sin. It came from the fact that this group of people wanted to purify the Church of England.
No one can deny that that in courageously venturing to North America, they suffered terrible hardships. In many ways they expressed deep vibrant charity towards one another with the most rigorous industry, even to the point of death. Their devotion to the things of God was indeed admirable and a model for all Christians. The critical issue to address, however, is that the Puritans got derailed because they actually thought they could change the World System and make it into their image.
They also had an obsession with Calvinistic practice that institutionalized deep suspicion among everyone. While they desired a "city on the hill," they did more to try to replicate tyrannical 16th century Geneva. The fearful "Are you in the club or not?" mentality set the stage for the wide state-church network in America, the logical extension of which is the 501c3 incorporation of virtually every church today. As church communities grew in the colonies with the more Anglican influence, there was an even greater emphasis on the power of the organization. It didn't matter what you believed, just that you were signed up so your behavior could be kept in check. This essentially made a idol of social cohesion, and is a lasting characteristic of the World, not the Kingdom.
Another group that "spun off" from the Church of England was the Separatists, better known as the Pilgrims settling in Massachusetts. They did want to be separate from the Church, but their detriment was that they felt they needed to be physically distant from the people God wanted them to touch. Where was the inner strength to stay holy so they could have the impact on those around them? Taking off to a land across the ocean was escapism, even though God used that to establish some measure of Christian presence here so His word could be proclaimed.
Obviously the reason so many are wary of the whole Puritan thing is because they feel so threatened by that rigidly strict lawful society. What is ironic about that is the detractors just don't seem to get that they too are under the screws of such a society. While it doesn't quite look like the Puritan one, it has many of its characteristics, namely if you break the law then some oppressive penalty is assessed against you. That is indeed the burden of the law that kills, and no amount of protest is going to change it.
Contrary to what so many think, Puritan sympathizers and Catholicists alike, God does want us to be happy. But contrary to what the "Name-it-claim-it" "Have-faith-in-your-faith" prosperity televangelists say, you can't be happy by the ways of the World. So then, there it is, that question everyone asks all the time: How do you be happy? Did the Puritans do things that made them happy? Certainly and they did some things that made them unhappy. But this is the way it is for anyone, Puritan and Philistine alike. The best way to know what the things are that make one truly happy is to simply look in His words, and to interact with those who've absorbed those words so much that you can't help but see the one thing that distinguishes them from someone devoted to the World:
How they authentically and vibrantly express love.
Q: Aren't we supposed to give full respect to the governing authority, as it says in 1 Peter 2, verses 13 and on?
If you are in the Kingdom truly, authentically, vibrantly, profoundly, wholly living and breathing and moving as a sold-out disciple of the Living Word then guess what: You can't help but honor the dutiful efforts of ordained rulers. The entirety of the text in that portion of the first letter of Peter is all about living so far beyond the law that the potentate cannot censure you for a thing, much less prosecute you for breaking the law. You would indeed be "silencing the ignorant talk of foolish men." (Please note: "Beyond the law" does not mean arrogant presumption against the government, it simply means being fully in the Grace and Truth that is Christ.)
This principle of honoring the governing authority is also confirmed in Paul's letter to the Romans there in chapter 13, but make sure you are reading the full context of these passages. They are much less about what government does but what the follower of Christ does in His relationship to those authorities.
What is the way he or she is supposed to behave in this respect? It is clear: Live so much for Christ that contracts with the potentate are not necessary he knows you cannot do anything that requires his prosecution. When you think about it, all government wants is for you to be good! If Christ makes you good, what is the issue? And how much easier is it for Caesar when he doesn't have to fill out all the paperwork!
Sadly too many Christians are so Catholicized that they go around bleating, "I'm just a sinner. I can't help it. Everyone's a sinner so it's no big deal." And out of that they know they need the law to crack their heads when necessary.
A contract with the "head-crackers" just expedites the processing, notifying them in plain language that you are a sinner in need of their services. In that sense, really, having those contracts actually puts the Christian in the uncomfortable position of disrespecting God's word as written there in the First Peter and Romans passages. The reason is simple: You are always telling Caesar he's got more work to do because you want to remain a sinner.
It should be added that many governing authorities have the addictive desire to keep their job, perfectly reasonable since they are the legacy of Cain outside the presence of God and obsessively feeding off sin management. As such it will indeed elaborately provoke the "governed," tempting even the follower of Christ. But what should that individual's response be? Is it to challenge, posture, revile, rebel, or boastfully spew all sorts of vitriol against it? Is it to timidly cower in his little God club with 501c3's and W-4's to keep the racket from smashing in their windows?
Or is it to do precisely what those biblical passages say to do?...
Q: Isn't all of this just wild-eyed conspiracy theorist stuff?
To call someone a "conspiracy theorist" is to accuse him of being a kook spewing shamefully false ideas about the way things happen in the world. Some conspiracy theorists do make crazy assertions about UFOs, government plots, and sinister plans of secret societies. Their rants can be quite meaningless, even comical, and as such they can sometimes even be fun.
The problem is that it is far too easy to label someone a conspiracy chaser, and it is almost always done to avoid facing difficult truths or to dismiss people unfairly as dabblers of no consequence. There are actually a few individuals seriously committed to detailing significant activity within the World System and elucidating factual information about what those working within it actually do. My humble intention, then, is to be a World System factualist.
I recently read an all-too-common web piece from a professional (and quite mainstream) observer of high finance that really gets at the heart of meaningful conspiracy. After remarking on investment banking giant Goldman Sachs' sustained and often questionable exploitation of the market, he concluded with a question habitually asked by those genuinely concerned about the power wielded by World operatives. It was simply, "Is it a conspiracy if everyone is in on it?"
After all, the word conspiracy merely comes from the Latin for "to breathe together," or even more accurately, "to harmonize." A conspiracy is simply a "harmonization," if you will. The most evocative truths regarding "the conspiracy" actually involve a lot of people working quite deliberately, corporately, and methodically. What is important to know is that many of those truths are surprisingly laid out for anyone to see.
World System factualists merely point out things that the subdivisions of that System do to legitimately carry out the duties of Cain's legacy. The most visible of such activity is often considered standard procedure, so it is never considered "conspiracy." The most egregious work is generally kept from wide purview, yet every once in a while some of it is brought to light. The issue here then is that many of those light-bearers end up being just muckrakers, decrying the awful things the conspirators do and then shifting into the "theorist" ranting mode. They sound so much like Chicken Little that, sadly, it is easy to see why they are so readily shrugged off, even ridiculed.
It is the purpose of this site to highlight the World System's covert machinations with the big picture in mind. To screech "The sky is falling" and run around with flailing arms gets people nowhere. What is worse is that many endorse rebellious behavior to get Caesar to avoid doing things he's already sworn to do. This is something that not only makes the conspiracy rock-turner impotent, but perhaps even an unwitting accomplice in the System's tasks he so reviles. Some "conspiracy theorists" are actually deputized agents of Cain themselves, deftly stirring things up to get people shaking their fists, or fomenting such absurdities that all who think carefully about such matters are discredited.
I never want someone to read the content in this webzine or any single individual's material just to get frenzied about conspiracy, particularly anything that'll ultimately just tickle ("Ooo, that's what really happened to Kennedy?") disappoint ("That's it? Kennedy was shot to shut somebody up?") enrage ("Let's get a new investigation on Kennedy's murder, damn it!") or even put to sleep ("Kennedy was associated with one, Marvin Fleeker, who in turn did the dry cleaning for 31st degree Mason, one Pablo Girksnoff, who in turn...")
My intention is for the reader to look more insightfully at the historical record that many times is prominently available, the current events that are plainly happening all around them, and especially the one source where the conspiracy is talked about the most, the Bible.
Maybe they'll see it with understanding and then know God. That's the main point. (This is even expressly what God wants. Want to see it? Check out the end of the ninth chapter of the book of Jeremiah.)
A bit more on the approach to conspiracy theories is on this page.
(This page still under construction more FAQ's to come)
This page was originally posted by David Beck at yourownjesus.net on April 17, 2005