Please Don’t Awaken the Sleeping Church

By Al Benson Jr.

Recently on http://www.thedailybeast.com I read an article entitled: A Global Slaughter of Christians, but America’s Churches Stay Silent. It was written by a Kirsten Powers. I don’t know anything about this lady but she did posit some thoughts that American Christians should be thinking about and probably haven’t a clue about.

Anyone who has read my material in recent years realizes that I have grave questions about what the Church in this country is doing (and isn’t doing). The Church today seems to be submerged in what I would call a wait for the rapture, just be nice, the Lord’s in control and so we do nothing theology. That’s about the briefest way I can describe it and keep it civil.

Powers states in her article: “Christians in the Middle East and Africa are being slaughtered, tortured, raped, kidnapped, beheaded, and forced to flee the birthplace of Christianity. One would think this horror might be consuming the pulpits and pews of American churches. Not so. The silence has been nearly deafening.” She noted further down in the article an event that took place in Nairobi, Kenya that killed more than 70 people. She said: “The Associated Press reported that the Somali Islamic militant group al-Shabab ‘confirmed witness accounts that gunmen separated Muslims from other people and let the Muslims go free.’ The captives were asked questions about Islam. If they couldn’t answer, they were shot…In Syria, Christians are under attack by Islamist rebels and fear extinction if Bashar al-Assad falls.” It’s interesting that weve been told what a bad guy Assad in Syria is and yet Christians, it seems, have been safe under his government and they realize that if he goes, then their safety net is gone.

It’s the same game they played in Iraq a couple decades ago. We were all told what a scumbag Saddam Hussein was, and I will agree, he was no Sunday school teacher, but yet under his regime, Christians in Iraq were left alone. You can’t say that has been the case since. Christians in Iraq now are an endangered species. I find it interesting that in these instances, regimes that have not harassed Christians are the ones that our government has targeted. Any pattern here?

Powers has observed that: “American Christians are quite able to organize around issues that concern them. Yet religious persecution appears not to have grabbed their attention, despite worldwide media coverage of the atrocities against Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East.”

So what’s the problem with America’s churches? And what “issues” do they organize around that are so important that they easily overlook what happens to their brethren in other areas? Some organize to combat abortion. That’s good. No problem there except that not enough are doing it and not enough are concerned.

I am a Reformed Christian and so I expect I will make some folks mad with my comments, but I feel I have to say what I am saying here. This is a subject I have struggled with. Many churches and Christians today, and for over a century have been caught up in what I call “the rapture cult” (there was a book written by that same name around 30 years ago). The main idea is that the Lord could come back anytime now and so why be involved in anything political, educational, or culture changing because we won’t be here anyway—so just sit back and do nothing and don’t worry about it. You have to wonder where the rapture was for those poor folks getting slaughtered in the Middle East, or for all the martyrs over the centuries that have died for their faith, some of which are still dying for it. It almost seems that this rapture concept was invented for American Christians to keep them on the couch, and therefore doing nothing. Now understand, when I question the “rapture cult” I am not questioning the Lord’s second coming. Scripture says He will return and I believe that. I just don’t think it will happen in the next ten minutes like some of these folks do. Their belief in this neutralizes them.

Then there are the “just be nice” folks who don’t want to offend anyone, anywhere, at anytime and to call sin by its real name they’d have to do that, and so they don’t—anytime. Now admittedly, Christians shouldn’t run around trying to be ornery, but stop and think a bit. Obviously Jesus “offended” the Jewish religious establishment or they would not have schemed to get the Romans to nail Him to the cross. If you read the Gospels, Jesus spent quite a bit of time offending the Jewish religious establishment—and He did it not only by healing and helping people, often on the Sabbath, but He did it by telling that establishment the truth about Himself. They weren’t having any of that. Three years after He started His ministry they proved it. And they continued to prove it all the way through the Book of Acts if you care to read about it. Jesus told them that their religious establishment had become apostate and revolutionary and that He had come to inaugurate God’s Kingdom and do away with their religious establishment and that really ticked them off. It ticks off some Christians today, too, who feel that Christians ought to support political Zionism no matter what. This is a complicated subject and I will try to do another article on it later.

And, last but not least, at least for me, come the folks, many of them Reformed, who say “The Lord’s in control of it all, so why worry or get upset, just let Him take care of it all.” Again, let me state that I have never said the Lord wasn’t in control of all things. I don’t doubt He is, but, again, lots of folks use this as an excuse for doing nothing. If the Lord’s in control then He will sort it all out and I don’t have to do anything except go along for the ride. Another great neutralizer! The Lord’s in control, therefore, I don’t gotta do nothin’. I’ve talked with some of these folks and put forth the novel concept that, while the Lord is in control, maybe, just maybe, He wants to exercise some of that control through His people. That doesn’t go over real well. They don’t like that idea anymore than the Pharisees liked the idea of Jesus healing someone on the Sabbath.

I recently heard a minister say that maybe God is allowing Islam to do what it’s doing in this country and in Europe because the church is basically asleep, or so concerned about non-essential issues that it doesn’t have any time for what’s important. That might explain the great big yawn American Christians give when they hear about horrendous atrocities being committed against their brethren in the Middle East and Africa.

Somehow, American Christians seem to have been neutralized to the point where they really think “it can’t happen here.” They don’t realize that as long as they sit and do nothing about anything it will happen here and is happening while they enjoy spiritual slumber.

Between the Scofield Bible Notes, bland evangelicalism, and unconcerned “Reformers” the Church is in serious trouble in this country and in others as well.

Has America Turned Into Amerika?

by Al Benson Jr.

The question asked in the title of this article is one that I have pondered in recent years. As a youngster, growing up in the late 1940s and into the 1950s, I grew up in what we all supposed was the typical American culture. Some of it was good and wholesome. Some if it wasn’t, but either way, it was still our culture and at no point did we or do we want to see that part of it that is still good destroyed.

A little over thirteen years ago my wife and I visited some good Christian friends in West Texas. On our way home (we still lived in Illinois at the time) we drove up through the Oklahoma Panhandle, an area that has some pleasant memories for me, and on up into Western Kansas because we wanted to take a look at Dodge City, the temporary place of residence for so many legendary frontier lawmen (if such they can be called).

It was an interesting side trip (and I won’t even begin to get into our experience in abolitionist East Kansas) and while in Dodge City, we stopped in a small fast food restaurant for lunch after our sightseeing. Mind you, this was Dodge City, Kansas, not El Paso, Laredo, or Nogales. As we sat and ate lunch I listened to those around me talking. The one language I heard almost none of was English. Ninety percent of what I heard was Spanish, or the Mexican variation of it. We had run into similar situations in the Chicago suburbs, where you could go into one of the park district parks in some towns and you could hear just about every language except English being spoken. As we sat in the restaurant in Dodge City, the question entered my mind–is this even America anymore?

I used to write article for the old Sierra Times web site before it faded out seven or eight years ago. I was sorry to see it go because it was a site that tried to hit a lot of areas that needed discussion, and they had some good writers. At any rate, I did an article for Sierra Times noting our experience in Dodge City and questioning just where American culture had disappeared to because there seemed to be so little of it left among all the third world cultures that were busy taking over here. I got all kinds of email over that article, some from folks who had shared our experience and could identify with what I said. To be charitable, some of what I got could legitimately be labeled “hate mail.” I never forgot the one that wished me “a long, miserable life.” But I had touched a nerve. I had addressed the looming disintegration of real American culture and I wasn’t supposed to do that. It wasn’t politically (culturally Marxist) correct. My comments offended some of the radicals from Somalia or Ecuador or some other places that were turning up in my country and promoting their cultures at the expense of mine. I was just supposed to ignore that and say nothing. Just “be nice.” I wasn’t.

Since that experience in Dodge, I have taken note of the cultural trends in places we have traveled to. Understand, I don’t have a big problem with folks from other countries coming here legally and bringing their cultures with them–as long as they don’t try to bury mine. When we got to where they want to replace mine with theirs and I’m supposed to accept that–then we have a problem.

Since they come here from other places, there has to be a certain amount of assimilation–on their part–to what we have here. For them to refuse any assimilation and expect Americans to bow to their cultural norms, is patently ludicrous. Hopefully, most thinking Americans will not do it–and they shouldn’t. Fuzzy-headed liberals who are afraid of offending anyone except white Christians may do it and there will be the usual pressure from the media and certain “civil rights” groups to cave into these people and let them deep-six your culture, but most folks, hopefully, will not buy into that hogwash.

If some of these recently-arrived Muslim groups want Sharia Law, that’s great–let them go live in a country that already practices that. We don’t need it here, no matter how many gurus from Washington tell us it would be beneficial for us. Our laws, at least at one point, were based on the truth of Holy Scripture, and that’s as it should be.

I noticed just today, an article on the Western Journalism web site about a group of public school kids in the Denver area that had been taken on a “field trip” to visit a synagogue, a Greek Orthodox Church, and a mosque. the girls were all required to wear “Islam-compliant clothing” into the mosque. There are lots of problems with this. Why is a public school taking these kids to visit these places anyway? Religion is supposed to be anathema in public schools–or is it only Christianity that is? Why aren’t Christians complaining about this? And if Christians today really understood the cultural implications of their actions, would they even have their kids in public schools?

On our recent trip to Minnesota I noticed, in the suburbs around Minneapolis, a goodly number of Muslim people. They are on their way to becoming a sizable minority there. I have to wonder, if and when they get to comprise 20 percent of the population in that area, will there be demonstrations in favor of Sharia Law for them in the areas they live in, thereby setting up a situation whereby you have two groups living side by side in this country but being governed by different sets of laws? That’s a prescription for disaster if ever I saw it. And don’t think it can’t happen here. There are some ultra-liberal (socialist) judges in this country that would dearly love to preside over the judicial destruction of whatever Christian culture we might still have left. It’s what they live for.

There are Marxists in Washington and many of our state capitals that have agendas that call for the gradual dismemberment of America and replacing it with some form of Third World socialism. That effort has been going on for decades while Americans, particularly Christians, have slept–confident that the Lord would “rapture” them out of this mess here before it got really sticky so they wouldn’t have to stand up and DO anything about it. What if that doesn’t happen for them? What about the possibility that the Lord’s solution to all this is to make them go through what they so badly wanted to get away from–to make them learn to have to deal with it and to begin to put up some Christian resistance to evil? Heaven forbid that they even have to think about that!

And what about those thousands of illegal immigrants that have, in the past year, been swamping out Southern border–employing the basic Cloward-Piven strategy of overwhelming the system to the point where it shuts down literally? The Border Patrol has been turned away from its duty of apprehending illegals and pressed into service as an illegal diaper-changing service. What effect does all this have on our culture?

To be continued.