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Category Archives: Today’s World

Conspiring Against Yahweh and His Messiah

 

H E A D L I N E :
“The Rise of Xi Coincides with
Crackdown on Christian Worship in China”

Under President Xi Jinping, China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong,
Christian followers are seeing their freedoms shrink dramatically,
even as the country undergoes a religious revival.

(ASSOCIATED PRESS, IN MIAMI HERALD)

There is a documented hunger for (and a burgeoning of) the Christian faith inside China today. And that has become a most inconvenient truth for the country’s “President for Life” Xi Jinping. His actions against the Chinese Church are moving from harassment, to intimidation, and on to persecution, all in the name of collectivist, statist absolutism.

Chinese Christian funeral procession

(History tells us the Roman Emperors felt and acted the same way as Xi. Here we are, 2000 years later, and the worship of the God of the Bible has swept around the world. And where are the emperors? They remain with us merely as marble busts in museums. Is Xi doomed to repeat?)

Xi understands quite well that he will not be able to eliminate the worship of God, as he might wish. Christianity has, after all, been in China for over 1400 years now, and his “glorious” Revolution isn’t even 70 years old. From his position of power, therefore, his plan appears to be to force Christianity to incorporate and teach his own set of values — “Christianity with Chinese Characteristics,” it has been called.

Xi and the Burning Crosses

Xi Jinping and the Destruction of Crosses

These dubious values include forcing the Church to embrace and teach abject loyalty to the Communist Party and its leaders. As anyone who has even thumbed through a Bible must realize, this type of overt politicization of Christianity is absurd and heretical. “Rendering unto Caesar” [Matthew 22:21] is one thing, and our command to be “in subjection to the governing authorities” [Romans 13:1] is similar to it. But if Xi were successful in his goals, and the Chinese Church became merely a minor Ministry of Jesus with Chinese Characteristics, the resulting new religion would clearly not be Christianity anymore. Nevertheless, Xi’s elevation to “lifetime power” and his jingoistic chauvinism have deluded him into thinking that he and his comrades can successfully “conspire together against the LORD and His Anointed One” [Psalms 2:2]

ChinaAid is a highly respected international not-for-profit organization, committed to promoting religious freedom and the rule of law in China. Their leaders have called the existing and proposed regulations on religious affairs in China “the harshest and most strict policy on controlling religions and religious affairs since the time of Cultural Revolution.” Here are a few of the persecutions currently being inflicted upon Chinese Christians:

  • Teachers and soldiers are forbidden to become Christians.
  • It is illegal in China to give children a religious education, or in any other way to “indoctrinate minors with superstitious beliefs.”
  • Priests are forbidden to pray for the sick and dying in hospitals, and patients are not allowed to pray or read the Bible.
  • These are all against the law: “organizing citizens to attend religious trainings, conferences and activities abroad”; “preaching, organizing religious activities, and establishing religious institutions or religious sites at schools”; and “providing religious services through the internet.”
  • Christians are banned from traveling abroad for religious purposes, and they are forbidden from taking teaching positions outside the country.
  • Chinese authorities raid a worship service

    Chinese authorities raid a worship service

    There are strict bans against the wave of underground churches which are thriving throughout the country. Raids on these churches have brought hundreds of arrests and imprisonments. Witnesses described one female church official being pushed into the back of a patrol car, being slapped across her face, and being grabbed by the scruff of her neck.
  • Local governments have been given the authority to close down and demolish places of worship, on the flimsiest of charges, with the result of numerous churches being bulldozed and crosses torn down. (See photo at bottom of this article.)

According to ChinaAid, for Christians in China, there is “no legal room for the existence of the house churches and Bible reading as well as prayer meetings without explicitly being approved by the Chinese Communist Party-controlled patriotic associations and religious affairs bureaus.”

And as if all of the above restrictions on people and their activities weren’t enough, a recent order from the Central Government threatened that “if unregistered churches are not willing to be managed by the government or guided by China Christian Council, the government shall guide and transform their thoughts.” This new trend of taking a hard line on “extreme religious thoughts” and “external influences” conjures images of “thought police” and inquisitions.

Our Lady of China painting by Chu Kar Kui

Our Lady of China painting by Chu KarKui

And it’s being sold to the Chinese people and the world in the (seemingly) harmless name of “Christianity with Chinese Characteristics.” Notice the beautiful modern painting (in an ancient style) of the Madonna and Child, dressed in Qing Dynasty robes — “Chinese characteristics” indeed. After all, in our art galleries we see that Western Renaissance artists painted Biblical characters wearing 16th-century clothing. Really, we nod knowingly, how bad can that be?

But, no, that’s not what Xi has in mind.

We saw something similar to what Xi has in mind four decades ago. In 1978, leader Deng Xiaoping recognized the need to allow markets to inspire and produce strong economic growth, as had happened universally in Free Market, Free Enterprise, Limited Government, Capitalist economies throughout the world. Unwilling to give up the centralized power and control that China’s brand of Communism afforded, Deng labeled his Western-style reforms “Socialism with Chinese Characteristics.” The markets worked, the Chinese economy took off, but Socialist-style central planning kept its thumb firmly on the process.

The tyrant’s creed: If you cannot defeat it, change how you name it, and fight heresy as you define it.

God will, of course, dispense His grace and implement His plan anywhere He wills (Exodus 33:19; Romans 9:15). But you must understand that the current leadership in China fears Christianity, which teaches that God deserves His followers’ highest loyalty and most fervent worship — above and beyond any human or humanistic governmental system. The Central Government will fight (with force) any and every effort for God’s truth to be preached and believed in China. We are seeing the beginning of a very hard and systemic tribulation for our Chinese brothers and sisters in Christ.

Follow this in the press, discuss it with your pastors, and pray for the Christians’ protection from persecution in China.



Remember the prisoners, as though you were in prison with them, and the mistreated, as though you yourselves were suffering bodily. (Hebrews 13:3)


Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer. Look, the Devil is about to throw some of you into prison to test you, and you will have affliction for 10 days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. (Revelation 2:10)



 
As important in the overall scheme of things as Xi believes himself to be, 3000 years ago a writer of Psalms described people like him and foretold their fate perfectly. Here is Psalm 2, showing on the left side who is speaking in each section.

PSALM 2 (HCSB)

Psalmist: Why do the nations rebel and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand, and the rulers conspire together against Yahweh and His Anointed One [Christ, the Messiah]:
Kings & Rulers: “Let us tear off their chains and free ourselves from their restraints.”
Psalmist: The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord ridicules them. Then He speaks to them in His anger and terrifies them in His wrath:
God the Father: “I have consecrated My King on Zion, My holy mountain.”
Messiah: I will declare Yahweh’s decree: He said to Me,
God the Father: “You are My Son; today I have become Your Father. Ask of Me, and I will make the nations Your inheritance and the ends of the earth Your possession. You will break them with a rod of iron; You will shatter them like pottery.”
Psalmist: So now, kings, be wise; receive instruction, you judges of the earth. Serve Yahweh with reverential awe and rejoice with trembling. Pay homage to the Son or He will be angry and you will perish in your rebellion, for His anger may ignite at any moment. All those who take refuge in Him are happy.

Destruction of Chinese Christian Church


SOURCES:
ChinaAid.org
Mansfield, Katie, “Chinese government shuts down underground churches to ‘transform thoughts’ of Christians”, 28 August 2016
Mansfield, Katie, “China launches ‘religious winter’ in bid to destroy Christianity in fierce crackdown”, 30 September 2016
Mansfield, Katie, “Christians fightback as China wages war to destroy Christianity and wipe out religion”, 8 October 2016
Wang Yanan, “Christian heartland opens window into fight for China’s soul”, 7 August, 2018
 
PHOTO CREDITS:
(PROCESSION) PETER PARKS/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
(CROSSES) DAILY AND SUNDAY EXPRESS/GETTY IMAGES
(POLICE RAID) CURRENT NEWS, DAILY CATHOLIC NEWS
(MADONNA AND CHILD) CHURCH OF OUR SAVIOUR, BEIJING
(CHURCH DESCRUCTION) CHINA-AID

 
 

ARTICLE © 2018, DR. GROVER B. PROCTOR, JR. — ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

 

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… With Your Face Toward the Ground

 

Today is America’s annual National Day of Prayer.

 
This year’s theme is “Pray for America — UNITY,” and the National Day of Prayer Task Force has taken a small snippet of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians as its motto. (See the “media graphic” below.)

Here is Paul’s entire thought (which is broader and far more profound) from which the short fragment was taken:

“Therefore I, the prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk worthy of the calling you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, accepting one another in love, diligently keeping the unity of the Spirit with the peace that binds us. There is one body and one Spirit — just as you were called to one hope at your calling — one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.”
— EPHESIANS 4:1-6 (HCSB)

We call on all Americans today to “bow with your face toward the ground” — in humble “prayer and supplication with thanksgiving” to the “one God and Father of all.” Here is the promise we have been given:

“If I close the sky so there is no rain, or if I command the grasshopper to consume the land, or if I send pestilence on My people,  and My people who are called by My name humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.”
— 2 CHRONICLES 7:13-14 (HCSB)

In other words: “Be humble, seek God through prayer, and stop sinning as a Nation” is promised to bring personal forgiveness and national blessings. Looking around at the state of our country today, I think it’s about time we took the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob up on that promise.

National Day of Prayer - 2018

The National Day of Prayer was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of Congress, and signed into law by President Harry S Truman. In 1988, the law was unanimously amended by both the House and the Senate and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan on Thursday, May 5, 1988, designating the first Thursday of May as a day of national prayer.
Every president since 1952 has signed a National Day of Prayer proclamation.


 

A Prayer for America

 
Our Father and Our God,
         We praise You for Your goodness to our nation, giving us blessings far beyond what we deserve.
       Yet we know all is not right with America. We deeply need a moral and spiritual renewal to help us meet the many problems we face.
       Convict us of sin. Help us to turn to You in repentance and faith. Set our feet on the path of Your righteousness and peace.
       We pray today for our nation’s leaders. Give them the wisdom to know what is right, and the courage to do it.
       You have said, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” May this be a new era for America, as we humble ourselves and acknowledge You alone as our Savior and Lord.
       This we pray in Your holy name, Amen.

— Billy Graham


 

 

COPYRIGHT 2018 DR. GROVER B. PROCTOR, JR. — ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

 
 

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Billy Graham (1918-2018)

The elder Billy GrahamToday we learned of the death of Billy Graham, lauded by many as the greatest Christian preacher of the 20th century. He died at his home in Montreat, located in the beautiful moutains of North Carolina.

During the many decades of his evangelizing around the globe, broadcasting in all media, authoring books, and being the unofficial “Pastor to the Presidents,” his effect on the spiritual life of the entire world was incalculable. Never afraid to hold up a mirror to sin, Graham unabashedly and fiercely called everyone to repentance.

From the church pulpit or the podium inside a 50,000-seat coliseum or in city streets and parks, he had a powerful and polished speaking style, to say the least. He was able to bring emotions up to peaks of joy and expectation of God’s love, and take them down to the burning conviction of our own sins. Tears were common at his revivals, even from seemingly tough, steel-hardened men of the earth and the factories. When Mr. Graham believed that the audience had been fully convicted of their need for repentance and salvation, he would invariably issue an altar call, which usually brought huge numbers of penitents and converts.

But any outsiders looking into one of these arenas (or viewing a television broadcast, appropriately titled The Hour of Decision) would be totally in error to conclude that Mr. Graham’s ministry comprised only emotion and fervor. Anyone reading printed transcriptions of his sermons would immediately conclude they were theologically as well as logically sound, based on doctrines straight from Christian orthodoxy. His emphasis was always on examining oneself, the act of repenting, accepting the saving grace of God, and living a life in which one’s relationship with God is the most important thing in the universe.

Mr. Graham was a keen observer of the issues of the day, but his interest in them was solely limited to a Christian perspective. Trying to classify him as Left, Right, Conservative, Liberal, Democrat, or Republican (or any other similar label) was as nonsensical as trying to assign a gender classification to the Sun. Case in point — We would all do well to deeply consider this prayer of Graham’s which summarizes his view of this nation and the world:

Billy GrahamHeavenly Father,
We come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance.
We know Your Word says, ‘Woe to those who call evil good,’ but that is exactly what we have done:
We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values.
We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.
We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.
We have killed our unborn and called it choice.
We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.
We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem.
We have abused power and called it politics.
We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions and called it ambition.
We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression.
We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.
Search us, Oh God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free.
Amen!

Mr. Graham lived the Christ-centered doctrines of love, repentance, and forgiveness that he preached. He told it like it was, even before that became a thing. And he was uncompromising in his Christian views on even the most controversial topics. A prime example was his early stand on issues related to the country’s racial problem.

    Billy Graham & Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • At a 1953 Tennessee rally (think about that date!), he himself physically tore down the ropes that the organizers had put in place to keep the audience racially segregated. When confronted about his actions, Mr. Graham informed the organizers that they were to leave the barriers down “or you can go on and have the revival without me.”
  • He once warned an all-white audience “We have been proud and thought we were better than any other race, any other people. Ladies and gentlemen, we are going to stumble into hell because of our pride.”
  • As documented by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, “Billy Graham and Martin Luther King, Jr. experienced a unique friendship that dates back nearly 60 years. In the summer-long 1957 New York Crusade, the two friends took the stage together in Madison Square Garden and boldly took a stand to help end segregation in the United States. ‘I think both Dr. Graham and my father were trying to make the world a better place,’ said Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr.”

This morning, Mr. Graham joined all of “those who sleep in death” awaiting the Resurrection to eternal life as Paul described it throughout his writings.* Though parted from this life, this great modern evangelist has left a legacy of preaching total submission to God, abject repentance for sins, undeniable certainty of God’s grace and our need for forgiveness, constant service to our brothers and sisters, and the daily calling to mirror God’s love to the world.

We need that today perhaps more than ever.


A Tribute to Billy Graham (5:51)
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

“When we reach the end of our earthly journey, we will have just begun.”
WILLIAM FRANKLIN GRAHAM, JR.
(1918-2018)


NOTES:
*
ROMANS 13; 1 CORINTHIANS 11 & 15; EPHESIANS 5; 1 THESSALONIANS 4 & 10
PHOTO CREDITS: (TOP) CHRISTIANITY TODAY; (MIDDLE) BILLY GRAHAM EVANGELISTIC ASSOC.; (BOTTOM) BILLY GRAHAM EVANGELISTIC ASSOC.
VIDEO CREDIT: BILLY GRAHAM EVANGESLTIC ASSOC.

 

COPYRIGHT 2018 DR. GROVER B. PROCTOR, JR. — ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

 
1 Comment

Posted by on February 21, 2018 in Today's World, Worship

 

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An Abominable, unGodly Leap

 
What I’ve written below concerns an article which begins this way:


 

Thanks to Screening and Abortion,
No Babies With Down Syndrome Are Born In Iceland

by Jenny Rapson, For Every Mom

       “Yesterday I read this ‘crazy’ quote on a pro-life website, alleging that no babies with Down syndrome had been born in Iceland in the last five years, because 100% of expectant moms undergo pre-natal screening for DS and 100% who get a positive result abort. I was absolutely SHOCKED by this, and set out to research whether or not it is true.
       “And now I sit here at my computer screen, tears streaming down my face…”


(A link to the entire article is at the bottom. But first, let me vent…)

Wait a minute… Iceland has purposefully worked toward this result (as reported by the BBC), and as a nation they are PROUD it of?   HAPPY about it??   This is a national VALUE???

All Christians should tremble and weep at this news.

From Catholic and Orthodox to Episcopal and Anglican, from Coptic to Sabbatarian, Protestant to Reformed, Pentecostal to Evangelical, even monastics to cultists — we all share the same 66 books in the Word of God. Can we not read? Are our hearts and minds not moved?

I fear we’ve taken the following abominable, unGodly leap:

FROM THIS—
God knowing us before we were born:
   • God chose you before He formed you in the womb; He set you apart before you were born. (Jeremiah 1:5)
   • God knit me together in my mother’s womb. (Psalm 139:13)
   • The Lord called me before I was born. He named me while I was in my mother’s womb. (Isaiah 49:1)
   • God filled the child with the Holy Spirit while still in his mother’s womb. (Luke 1:15)

TO THIS—
“We jabbed you with needles while you were in your mother’s womb, and what we discovered made us decide to kill you. We made that decision because we saw you as imperfect, and therefore unworthy and incapable of a meaningful life. Oh yes, and you would be a severe burden on your parents, not to mention a huge financial hardship to all of society.”

Pray fervently and without ceasing that God will blanket the entire world with a powerful spirit of humility and repentance that will Stop the Abortion Holocaust!

Click Here to read the rest of the article I referenced above, from ForEveryMom.com.
Click Here for the original BBC article, well worth reading.

God help us all.

—————————————–
         “The word of the LORD came to me:
‘I chose you before I formed you in the womb;
     I set you apart before you were born.
     I appointed you a prophet to the nations.’ ”
       — Jeremiah 1:4-5
—————————————–
“Considering how often throughout history
even intelligent people have been proved to be wrong,
it is amazing that there are still people who are convinced
that the only reason anyone could possibly
say something different from what they believe
is stupidity or dishonesty.”
       — Dr. Thomas Sowell
—————————————–

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on February 19, 2017 in Today's World

 

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