Hashkama #61 - British Christianity under Fire
We hardly ever hear the word “demon” mentioned in sermons these days. At one time, forty or so years ago, demons seemed to be everywhere. They were in the sermons, in books, in conferences. There was an abundance of teaching on such themes as the occult and New Age religions. I don’t know if the Church became so proficient at casting out demons that there are none left to talk about now, or if we have moved on to some other phase—Has the Church moved from casting out demons to accepting the doctrines of demons? Certainly there is a plethora of false teaching to pick and choose from.
During the era I am speaking of, teaching and warning about the New Age was particularly unpopular, and upset many Christians as they were involved in much of the stuff themselves. Those involved in yoga then tagged the name “Christian” onto their practise calling it Christian Yoga, as if adding the name of Christ to something makes it Christian. You see buildings with “Christian Spiritualists” displayed on their meeting places. Without knowing or caring they were affected by the religious input and influence of eastern religions. To teach that it was not Christian brought their wrath upon one, and some became very animated. Churches and Cathedrals held interfaith services all worshipping “the same god.” I remember praying with a group of believers that met together to pray outside of Canterbury Cathedral when an interfaith service was being conducted. Even though we were praying very quietly the Cathedral guards moved us on; while the pagan service inside the Cathedral continued.
There were books abounding, from authors such as Doreen Irvine. Doreen had been a witch before she became a Christian, and wrote a book called “From Witchcraft to Christ.” There were reportedly covens in various places that were praying and working against Christians. One of their methods was to record their spells and incantations on the old tapes – that was before CD’s came out. The witches would then spread the tape over their victim’s gardens and trees. I remember we got up one morning to find the brown tape spread all over the shrubs in our front garden. I can’t remember whether I binned it or burned it.
The Jekyll and Hyde personality of some Christian leaders are revealed in their interpretation of Jesus, and of the Father and the Spirit. There is an incident in Luke Ch.11. Jesus was casting out demons. The crowds were amazed, but some were not so. You always get some! “But some of them said, ‘He casts out demons by Be-elʹzebul, the ruler of the demons’” (Luke 11:15). What would you say to this—If Jesus was casting out demons by the power of the devil, would He be doing something good or something evil?
Jesus went around doing good
Jesus said that only God is good, and Scripture tells us that, “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him” (Acts 10:38). The God who is good anointed Jesus, who did good in the power of the Holy Spirit. The Three Persons of the Godhead are all involved in doing good. The Pharisees in Luke had wrongly attributed the power of Jesus to Satan – not good and not God!
There is propaganda in our day that attributes the work and power of God to some other power. There are Christians and Christian leaders that claim that the re-gathering of the Jews to Israel from all corners of the earth is not the work of God. They attribute the work of God to the spirit of man, fallen man, politicians. They claim that the State of Israel that exists today is simply down to political forces and the manoeuvrings of man. They say that God is good, but they deny it is His power at work; and they also refuse to believe that the Jews returning to the land called Israel is good. This is no different to the mentality of the Pharisees that challenged Jesus about His power. It is the same. Their refusal to believe it is God at work is as serious as the Pharisees denial that Jesus was working by the power of God. It is extremely serious.
In our schools, colleges, and universities it is taught that the universe came into being by accident; everything came into being by certain things that didn’t exist coming together under the right circumstances. They put it down to evolution. They attribute the power of God to some mystical bang that occurred by the gathering of gases that came from nowhere because nothing existed for it to come from. They deny that it was God going about doing good; however, Scripture tells us that God saw all that He had made, and it was good. We have become used to “educated minds” telling us that the Universe was not created and that there is not a Creator; but it is very serious to attribute the power of God to something or someone other than God.
There is a disclaimer now, put out by educated people, stating that Britain was not at any time affected by Christianity. In an article written for the Times (27th April, 2014), philosopher, AC Grayling (one of the signatories that sent an open letter to the Daily Telegraph –see Hashkama #58) said: “Even Christianity is not really Christianity.” His argument is that Christianity had been so changed and affected by Greek and Roman influence, that the religion which came to Britain wasn’t the religion of Jesus. Therefore, according to his argument, Britain was not built upon a foundation of Christianity. His article goes on:
“Much of the religion’s ideas – and many of Britain’s defining characteristics – really come from Greece and Rome.” “. . . after Augustine’s visit in 597, Christianity was the dominant religious outlook of England, and eventually the entire British Isles. That hegemony over thought and belief lasted until the 18th century, when a more ambiguous attitude increased among educated minds.”
Grayling clearly confuses Christianity with Christendom in his article.
The erosion of the Christian faith and influence has brought out more of the Greco-Roman regressive influences on our society in recent years. The sexual freedom among heterosexual and homosexual would fit in very well in those societies. The predominant thinking of man becoming god was also very fashionable then, and is becoming increasingly so now. The educated minds are re-directing us from Christian influence to the destructive forces that were at work in the Greek and Roman empires, and just as those forces brought about their destruction, so they will ours. Our civilisation has almost run its course and the signs of the end are evident all around us.
Grayling made three points in his article of which the third point said:
“Third, for most of the time since the 17th century, Britain and its empire were run by graduates of the ancient universities, where the main studies were the classics. So the British governing class was brought up on the literature, philosophy and history of classical Greece and Rome. This was a fine education in government, military strategy, ethics, political theory, management of an empire, social conditions, education, law and much besides. Aristotle and Cicero, Homer, Aeschylus and Virgil, the ancient myths and legends, the examples of Horatio and Mucius Scaevola, had as much if not more influence on ruling-class minds as Christianity, which provides little instruction — beyond a few bland generalisations about being nice — for dealing with life’s complexities.”
“And this is not surprising: if you go to the New Testament for instruction on how to live, you are told to give away all your possessions, make no plans for the future, reject your family if they disagree with you and stay celibate if you can (see Matthew xix, 21, Matthew vi, 25, Matthew xii, 48, and I Corinthians vii). This is the outlook of people who sincerely believed the Messiah would return very soon, within weeks or months. It is an unliveable ethic and when, after several centuries, hope of the second coming had been deferred indefinitely, more was needed. Where did it come from? From Greek philosophy, not least from the Stoics, and the Roman republican virtues of probity, honour, duty, restraint, respect, friendship and generosity that Cicero, Seneca, Virgil, Horace and others wrote about. “Christian values” are largely Greek and Roman secular values. So Christianity is not even Christianity.”
Grayling’s comments are clear proof that the carnal mind cannot understand the things of God. But because he has an educated mind he believes he is qualified to contradict the teachings of Scripture. “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit” (1 Corinthians 2:14). For those educated in the classics the language of the KJV might be preferable: “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” Grayling has not got the understanding to comment on Scripture because he has not asked God for it. Because he hasn’t asked he has not received, and because he has not received, he cannot give—even if he thinks he can. He is an unregenerate mind trying to interpret spiritual truth from Scripture. It cannot be done. What has been more damaging to people in churches is that they have often been taught by unregenerate leaders, people who have no understanding and are the blind leading the blind. Then there are those that are turning away from revealed spiritual truth and are following their own inclinations and doctrines of demons. This is happening in our churches today. We are in the midst of apostacy.
A further quote from Grayling’s article shows again where he falls short in his understanding:
“The early Christians, like St Paul, were Jews. They believed that when you die, your body sleeps in the grave until the last trump, at which point the graves open and the dead rise to be judged. St Paul said that the faithful will “see no corruption”, that is, their bodies will not rot in the grave. But when Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire, new needs arose. Churches were being built apace, all wanting relics of the saints. But when the saints were dug up, they were found to have rotted in their graves. This embarrassing problem was quickly solved by importing another idea from Greek philosophy — Plato’s doctrine of the immortal soul. That is how, starting several centuries after the lifetime of Jesus, Christians came to believe such a thing. Once again, Christianity is not Christianity but borrowed Greek philosophy.”
Plato’s doctrine of the immortal soul is not a Biblical doctrine and was not taught by the early Church. It is ridiculous to quote philosophers as though they were teachers of Scripture. The fact that some religious aspects of Christendom adopted these spurious teachings does not make them Christian. Indeed, Christian writers and authors such as Steve Maltz have gone to great pains to point out the error of those views propounded and applied by some in the Church today and in Church history. For a list of books go to:
Gross error did enter the Church and it has inflicted damage, but true followers of Jesus have influenced Britain all the same with Biblical truth. God always keeps a remnant of true followers, and He has done that in Britain as well as other nations. Grayling’s comments on the return of Jesus could have been answered for both him and the people he quotes had they simply read and understood 2 Peter 3:4. “They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” This verse shows the Coming was not imminent and that a time would come when people would say—just as Grayling is saying, “Where is this ‘coming’ He promised.” Grayling himself is fulfilling Scripture, and I give thanks to God that He has allowed me to live to see this day. “Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” (1 Corinthians 1:20). One could also turn to the apostle Paul as he was correcting the misunderstanding of the Lord’s Second Coming by the Thessalonian believers in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 – “Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.”
I also thank God that I am numbered amongst the foolish and weaker things of this world:
“Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong….” (1 Corinthians 1:25-27).
AC Graylings article rides on the back of David Cameron’s Easter comment about Britain being a Christian nation. Grayling goes to great pains to point out that Britain has never been Christian or even influenced by Christianity. Writing to Timothy, Paul says, “Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge” – 1 Timothy 6:20
The fact of the matter is that two-thousand years ago, when the Jews were celebrating Passover two men with the same name were brought before the authorities.
In 2014, while Christians were celebrating the death and Resurrection of Jesus the Messiah, humanism in Britain rose to the fore.
Two thousand years ago man was chosen over God, and God was nailed to the Cross. The man, Barabbas, whose name means Jesus son of the father, was the choice one of the time, and he was allowed to go free. The other, was the Man named Jesus Son of the Father. This Jesus was rejected of men and Crucified.
The Greco-Roman world worshipped man as God, and British humanist are following in the footsteps of that age-old tradition, rejecting Jesus Son of the Father, while choosing Jesus son of the father (Barabbas).
The Greco-Roman world is certainly influencing present day Briton. Homosexuality has not only been legalised by the British government and establishment, but society is being press-ganged and gagged into accepting it as normal behaviour, if not more normal than heterosexuality. Violence is an everyday occurrence. Our land was one where children could once run free without fear; now parents dare not let their children out of their sight. We knew who our neighbours were and we could leave our front doors open. Now we have to keep them closed with security locks on the doors and windows; many houses even have burglar alarms. The list could go on and on as our educated, humanistic minds lead us further and further away from God. If you want to be a scientist you have to buy into their creed which includes evolution and also global warming. If you reject these ‘theories’ the scientific establishment rejects you. We are moving into a scenario where if Christians reject what the government says is natural and good, then society run by the government, will reject Christians. Humanists cannot tolerate opposition to their faith and creed. You either bow to Caesar or lose that part of your anatomy where decisions and choices are made. Educated men have killed and murdered in the name of religion in the past, and they will do so again. The violent arm of Islam is active, and the religion of humanism is no less destructive.
Going back in time a bit now, there was an Islamic ruler, Tamerlane, also known as Timur who lived from 1336 until 1405. Timur began life as a sheep-rustler and a bandit. Later, as his ambition enlarged, he began to see his rule as the restoration of the Mongol Empire of Genghis Khan (an interesting transition!). He grew up in what is now Uzbekistan to rule a huge empire that stretched from Baghdad in the west to Delhi in the east.
In the building of his empire he became one of the greatest persecutors of Christians. Scholars estimate that his military campaigns caused the deaths of 17 million people, amounting to about 5% of the world population, leading to a predominantly barbaric legacy.
Biographer William Rubinstein wrote: “In Assyria (1393-4) Tamerlane got around, ‘he killed all the Christians he could find, including everyone in the, then, Christian city of Tikrit, thus virtually destroying Christianity in Mesopotamia.’” The one-time sheep rustler turned into a sheep-killer as he turned on the followers of Christ.
Roman history is an example of our chosen path. When Rome was a republic it was quite small and there was not the plethora of gods that the Roman Empire came to worship and accept. The empire gathered idols like nobody’s business. Wherever the Romans conquered they took on the gods and the idols of that nation and culture. Archaeology and history of the Roman republic suggests that there were normal relations between men and women. When Rome became an empire, all of that changed. Fourteen out of the first fifteen Roman emperors were homosexual and did not have normal relations with their wives; and the rot at the top seeped down to the lot below. The stench of openly sinful lifestyles permeated the whole of Roman society right up until its demise. World civilization today tragically is on the same trajectory.
Humanists want their time again, to reign and rule as they did in the Greek and Roman empires. How does that old cowboy song go? – “Give me a Rome where the philosophers moan, and the sky is cloudy all day…where seldom is heard, a sensible word…” – It’s not quite right, but something like that. Humanism will have its day and a man will be worshipped as god. The appearing of the Antichrist will come as ordained in Scripture.
“There is a philosophy which is vain and deceitful, which is prejudicial to religion, and sets up the wisdom of man in competition with the wisdom of God, and while it pleases men’s fancies ruins their faith; as nice and curious speculations about things above us, or of no use and concern to us; or a care of words and terms of art, which have only an empty and often a cheating appearance of knowledge.” – Matthew Henry
The Bible: “Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles…” (1 Corinthians 1:22-23)
Blessings and shalom,