Why did Russia and the West reverse roles?

Russia, the West and persecuted Christians

 

by Don Hank

 

There is evidence that Russia is, for whatever motive, interested in protecting Christians. One article in Interfax bears the title “Putin vows Russia will defend persecuted Christians abroad.”

So how sincere are the Russians? There has been a plethora of commentaries on the subject here in the US, mostly attacking Russia for defending her own interests under the pretext of Christian concerns. Who knows?

But here are some things to contemplate:

1–Even in the atheistic Soviet Union, churches that had been bombed out in the war were lovingly and painstakingly restored, at enormous cost to the nation, as were other places of cultural value. The Russian government may have publicly criticized Christianity, but the Russian people would not have stood for the physical destruction of Russian Orthodox churches. Now, I did visit one such church in Leningrad (name now reverted to Petersburg), which was, sadly, converted to the so-called Museum of Religion and Atheism, a deplorable example of desecration and unveiled blasphemy. But the entire building and its furnishings, including the icons, were in mint condition. Unlike in Mao’s China, traditional things and antiques were not destroyed, quite the opposite.

2–The Russian opposition to Western intervention in Kosovo was also culturally/religiously rooted. The Slavic population there is and was mostly Russian Orthodox, with church services generally being held in Old Church Slavonic, an archaic Slavic dialect universally understood by the clerics. Let us recall the themes of Christian repentance in the novel Crime and Punishment, and the pro-Christian message of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. Both books were printed and published in the Soviet Union and were available to the public at low prices throughout much of Soviet history (I know because I bought my copies directly from the Soviet Union, and for a pittance). The name Raskolnikov, the protagonist of the former novel, comes from “raskolniki,” a persecuted Christian sect of 17th Century Russia which stoically suffered excruciating torture for their faith. The Russian soul empathizes with persecuted Christians, particularly those of its own brand, but by extension, with all confessions of Christianity.

4–In both Moscow and Petersburg, mayors have opposed “gay” parades, refusing to issue permits and even arresting those who defied the law to hold the parades. This is as much cultural, related as it is to the Slavic variety of “machismo,” as it is religious. It is difficult to separate the Paulian doctrine on homosexuality (which has never died among the people) from a purely cultural phenomenon, but in denying permits for homosexual events, the local governments were without a doubt appealing to the Russian people’s respect and love of traditional family. Contrast that to Western schools that sell filth and perversion as if they were something divine and cherished.

5–Russia opposed Western intervention in Egypt, Libya and now Syria, specifically voicing concerns over the fate of the Christian population there.

Now you can argue that Russia is only concerned with its own Realpolitik, fearful of its own restless Muslim population and how they will respond to the Syrian outcome, or with economic issues or the like. There might be some truth to that.

But one thing is certain. While Russian officials have had the courage to publicly deplore the plight of Middle East Christians, officials of our own “Christian” nation have said nothing about it during the last 2 decades of Western military intervention and the resulting persecution, banishment and murder of Christians abroad.

For whatever reason or motive, the first is now last and the last is first.

 

Further reading:

http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=dujour&div=157

http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=9070

 

Will you help this brother?

…And if you can’t help, then please pray for the safety of Julio and his family.

 

Don Hank

I had reported previously on Julio Severo, a man of God who almost single-handedly stopped the passage of a legislative bill in Brazil that would have effectively prohibited pastors, or anyone, from preaching the biblical view on homosexuality (for example, as expressed in Romans 1:25-28). Like Herod’s government or the Roman Empire, open persecution and imprisonment of Christians would have been mandated by law.

Julio recently reported to WorldNetDaily that a Brazilian pastor who led a criminal to the Lord and prompted him to give himself up to the police was subsequently arrested for interfering with the traditional religion of voodooism.

In March of 2009, Julio himself was forced to leave his native Brazil because he had opposed the sacred cow of the far left government – homosexualism. Not because of any government ban, but because homosexual activists had threatened to kill and harm him and his family  — just as they have done elsewhere.

Back in 1995, Julio planted a church in Brazil. A year later, Julio, who could not be silent on sin, left the church he had planted for the denomination Heal our Land Evangelical Fellowship, when the church fathers decided to support far left pro-homosexual candidate Lula da Silva, who later became president thanks in large part to the efforts of shameful “Christians” like them.

In Julio’s own words:

In 2002, as a leader of the church I had planted for them, by the authorization of the denomination’s headquarters, all churches of this denomination were sent packets with THOUSANDS of tracts with an evangelical message from evangelical leaders supporting the election of Lula as president. I burned the packet that my local church received.

Also, Bishop Robson Rodovalho, the president of Heal Our Land Evangelical Fellowship, officially supported the election of Lula.

Mainstream churches in the US and Europe are no better than they.  It is nothing less than surrealistic. “Pastors” are no longer content just to be apostate. They now see fit to promote leftwing agendas like open borders and amnesty for lawbreakers, socialism, anti-Israel boycotts, rapprochement with Islam or homosexuality, even ordaining openly homosexual “pastors” or “bishops” and performing same sex marriages.

Jesus knew this was coming when He said:

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Mt. 7:15).

So did Paul:

“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And do not marvel for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:13-14).

and Peter:

“But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways” (2 Peter 2:1,2).

Sadly, the most unusual kind of pastor we can encounter in today’s church is a solid biblical Christian who refuses to compromise on any of the principles taught by Christ and the early saints. And yet, the Bible clearly states that these traditional principles are an unalienable part of our faith:

Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. 2 Thessalonians 2:15

Which brings me to the purpose of today’s message. Just a few days ago, a Christian brother and friend of Julio’s emailed me and told me Julio is again forced to pull up stakes and leave the country that had provided temporary asylum for him. As in most Western countries, there is simply no room at the inn there for Christians who refuse to compromise with sin. To make matters worse, not much safety is promised in the new refuge either, due to cartel activity, and there is no promise of permanent residence status. This brother therefore prevailed upon me to exhort my readers to help Julio as they see fit and as they can afford by going to his site Last Days Watchman Blogspot (http://lastdayswatchman.blogspot.com/) and clicking on the Donate button.

I think you can see that a life may depend on you.

Yet, despite his apparently desperate situation, Julio wrote in his last email that God has chosen to send him to this new refuge and he is going on faith.

God grant me such faith.

Finally, besides financial support, if you or someone known to you has a possibility of securing asylum for Julio in the US or Canada, please let us know. And if you can’t help in any other way, pray for the safety of Julio and his family as they undertake this new voyage into the unknown.

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Matthew 25:40.

 

Julio’s site Last Day’s Watchman Blogspot:

http://lastdayswatchman.blogspot.com/

 

The visual generation — the death of discernment

 

The Visual Generation – The Death of Discernment

 

When Chairman Mao of China wanted to reach an entire generation, many who were illiterate, he produced his communist message in “comic book” style. It resulted in an entire generation of youth jumping onboard Mao’s red wagon and subsequently tearing down the culture and traditions and the very structures of one of the oldest societies in the world.

 

In America it is mindless, Godless and feckless TV programming, You Tube and Hollywood’s latest offering of films that pour images on an entire generation. The result is exactly the same as it was in China but on a much larger scale and with so much more to lose.

 

If you asked anyone who is considering voting for Barack Obama or any liberal why they chose that candidate, the answer you will most likely hear is, “I like him.” or “he looks good to me.”

 

If he, she or it looks good that’s good enough for the “media generation.” No discernment needed, wisdom is too hard to acquire and who has more than a few seconds of time in this world of screen shots, blips and spot messages to look any deeper. A new language and a new media has developed that thrives on abbreviated communications; OMG could I be talking about texting?

 

People who read entire books and articles to learn something or to see an authors point are becoming rare. Just getting to this sentence means you probably are one of those people. You may have read some Hemingway, Joyce, even Shakespeare or at the very least the morning paper. You may be one of the rare breed of people that actually forms opinions and conclusions based on a careful weighing of all the facts.

 

In the Bible (1 Cor 12:10) there is mention of a “spiritual gift” known as “discerning of spirits.” Unfortunately that gift is often placed in a list of charismatic type gifts that end up being thought of as something only practiced by a few Pentecostal people. In fact the language of 1:Cor 12:10 connotes the idea of a “judging through” of any and all matters not a fleeting spiritual thought dropping out of the ether.

 

Discerning of spirits is a God given enterprise that does not work unless God is brought into the equation. He unveils, reveals or shows the deepest meaning of things to the deepest people. They are a peculiar people who weigh everything and refuse to make prejudiced and extraneous judgments based only on what they see or have heard from the grape vine, the media or God knows where!

It is the rarity of such people that serves as only one of a few reasons that can be found for the wholesale blindness that seems to be accompanying the decisions made by the American public about their presidential candidates.

 

The biblically based reason is far more obvious and it reads like this, “In whom the god of this world (Satan) hath blinded the minds of them which believe not” (2 Cor 4:4a) It is what allows people to assent to what late night talk show hosts say about candidates instead of listening to the candidates themselves and comparing that to all that has gone before. It is almost perverse, because it is a “spirit” that drives the average person to use no “spiritual” discernment at all.

 

It is what causes thousands to think Rick Warren is actually helping the American public to choose a better candidate by bringing John McCain and Barack Obama to “Saddleback” so they can smooth out their differences.  The program or show (side show) is partly sponsored by Meg Riley who formerly headed up her denomination’s homosexual advocacy office.  It raises the serious question of whose purpose is the author of “The Purpose Driven Life” fulfilling? It’s a show, a visual, and a media attraction with or without knowing exactly what is really driving Rick Warren’s purpose. What Evangelist Bill Keller told his over two million subscribers on his daily devotional July 26, 2008, was that Warrens sideshow is a “load of garbage.”

 

Has Keller crossed the sacred PC line and sinned against society? No, what he has really done is used God given discernment based on sound scriptural teachings and mustered the guts to say it out loud to a You Tube generation that would rather watch hours of delightful nonsense and tripe  rather than discern anything that matters. Kudos to Bill Keller, shame on Rick Warren!

 

Sadly, what is really happening is what the Apostle James and other biblical authors predicted would become commonplace as we approach the second coming of Christ. James said,”Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?” (James 2:4) King James Version or not this is exactly the meaning of “choosing between the lesser of two evils.” Not much discernment needed to know what that means. This is America today.

 

The greatest loss from the abandoning of discernment is that America has lost the connection. We are no longer able to discern the “connection” between our morality and all the other issues. The truth is that the economy, our security, and all the other matters of our national life depend on and are inextricably linked to our morality. We have mistakenly allocated morality to an aspect of our religious life and have thereby disconnected it from our own larger national welfare and security.

 

Political candidates, the news media and pundits rant about the economy, the war, taxes, crime and all the so called “critical issues” while ignoring the gross immorality of homosexuality, abortion, media filth, evolutionary dogma that passes itself of as academic freedom and general sensory driven visual tripe from Hollywood and similar sources. Morality is relegated to the churches and a few PC deficient fundamentalist Bible thumping diehards who just won’t seem to go away.

 

The result of all this distraction derived from the lack of discernment is in a word: judgment. But is it inevitable? Does the sun Rise? Does the sun set? It is God’s judgment that follows the refusal to use our own better judgment.

 

Using judgment is not a luxury that is reserved for a few and can be ignored by all others. In fact it is a biblical imperative that if ignored will have an immediate and devastating effect on everyone in our nation “The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.”(Isa 59:8)

 

The simplest rule for using good judgment turns out to be just the opposite of what is being done in America’s visual generation. Here it is; “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” Jesus, John 7:24.

 

If you have any discernment left and you must if you’ve gotten this far into this article then let me suggest that you pray for America to once again make decisions based on sound wisdom and spiritual discernment.

 

Rev Bresciani is an author and columnist for several online and print publications. With over two million readers worldwide and growing you will enjoy the articles, movie reviews, commentary and much more visit www.americanprophet.org

 

 

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