A Clear and Present Danger
If we face a clear and present danger from the “Beasts” of Revelation, what do they represent?
It would be easy, but I think wrong, to answer “Ah, of course, the Muslim Menace!”. Easy because Muslims are in the news in Western countries out of all proportion to their numbers. For a start here are the obvious Jihadist terror attacks throughout the West and the war with Islamic State. Then Islam is wildly over-represented in domestic non-terror related news. For example in Australia the latest census figures are just out and show that 52% say they are Christian, 30% “no religion” 2.6% Muslim, 2.4% Buddhist … Yet the media are for ever quoting Muslim spokespeople and affairs, but there are nearly as many Buddhists and they hardly aver get a mention.
For all that I believe they are not the present danger. Future – I fear they may indeed be; but not present. There are many “moderate” Muslim countries with whom we live and trade peacefully – and long may it remain so! But I certainly fear the probability that fanatic Jihadists may overthrow one or more of these governments. That would be a tragedy for the millions who live in that/those countries in so many ways. One tragedy is that such a government would very likely make war on a neighbouring Christian country. Then we would likely all be at war.
I for one pray this may not be! But given we do live in a fallen world where there will be wars until the end, I also pray that Western countries are armed and prepared so that should it happen, we will win. And for the sake of all, win swiftly.
However I believe there is a much more immediate threat. This threat comes from within, has been at work for decades but has just begun to visibly rear its ugly head. It is progressive ideology.
Progressivism is the new “religion”. Have you ever tried arguing with a progressive “true believer”? You can't. There is no discussion. They explode the minute you indicate any disagreement. Look at universities, they used to be places for free and fearless debate. Now they are filled with “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings” and free speech is curtailed to the extent it disagrees with the progressive narrative. It is a while since we have seen in the West such intolerance of dissent. It reeks of dogmatic “human” religion. So it starts to fit the “Beast from the earth” of Revelation.
Another alarming, but not surprising result of our recent census is that in just 5 years people declaring as “Christian” (all denominations) fell from 60.1% to 52%. I think churches generally should take to heart Cardinal Woolsey's famous lament, amended to: “If we had preached Christ one half so much as we have preached politics, we should not be so afraid of dying now!”
Progressivism with its new morality of sexual licence – remember the '60s and 70's chant: “make love not war” - its promotion of the cult of “self” and destruction of the old morals and manners and pulling down of “authority” and even “honesty” is making our civilisation dystopian. More of that another time, my point just now is only that this “religion” promised freedom and fulfilment, but has delivered misery and destruction of all that is lovely.
Progressivism is fiercely anti Christ. It reviles all that God is and stands for. Yet for all this so many Christians have blindly accepted it. True it says it will achieve many things that a Christian would want to achieve. But its methods are human, not God's. It is humanity trying to be God. So, many Christians and most churches much as they may think they follow Jesus are in reality the spiritual equivalent of the Vichy French during WWII!
Muslims are the “darlings” of the progressives. You notice they would not and still barely can, tell the truth that the continuing terrorist attacks against the West are Muslim extremists. Part of the reason Muslim commentators are getting so much publicity is that they are being promoted by progressive media. Why? My answer it that consciously or sub-consciously progressives are using them as a stick to beat real Christianity with. That is one reason why I believe it is important to recognise that – at least in places like Australia and the U.S. - Muslim communities are not the present threat, they are just unfortunate pawns in the progressive agenda. They are doubly unfortunate in that having basked in such approbation by progressives, they are acting up just like spoilt children and creating a negative reaction in the community which was not there before.
In countries like Germany and France where progressive governments have flooded the country with Moslem migrants who are largely impoverished, uneducated and seeded with militant fanatics the situation is extreme and possibly threatens national stability.
An even more immediate threat to Christians by progressives is promotion of homosexuality and in particular “same sex marriage”. Once again the moderate “live and let live” homosexuals are in the unfortunate position of being used as pawns by fanatical homosexuals who “hate straight” and progressive manipulators in their fight against Christianity.
You think that is claiming too much? Look at some more census statistics. Only 0.72% of those describing themselves as “couples” listed themselves as “same sex couples”. You did get that – 0.72%.! Yet here, and in many countries the push for same sex marriage – and in Australia same sex couples already have all the legal benefits of marriage – would make you think that such a burning issue must affect a huge number of people. It doesn't! So why is it being pushed by so many with such vehemence? Can you think of any reason other than as a conscious or sub-conscious move to usher in a new persecution of Christians?
Let's look at that next post.