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" Carnal Militance "
    "The good man has perished from the earth, and there is no one upright among mankind. All of them lie in wait for blood; each one hunts his brother with a net. BOTH HANDS ARE ON EVIL, TO DO IT WELL. Both the ruler and the judge ask for a bribe. And the great one speaks the lust of his soul; and they WEAVE IT TOGETHER." (Mic7:2-3)

    "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil; who put darkness for light and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and understanding in their own sight!" (Is5:20-21)

    "And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: I know your works, that you have a name that you live, BUT YOU ARE DEAD." (Re3:1)

As this is being written the world is having displayed to it a militance and activism, more than merely an extension of last year's "Arab Spring" and the political machinations of the Muslim Brotherhood towards world domination. Somebody doing some "housecleaning" was throwing out what appeared to be "garbage". Not necessarily looking at every scrap of material being thrown, does like people do: There's that 'pile' over there... get rid of it. Some people in this country use the expression "scoop shovel" when doing such cleaning. Get the bulldozer and push it out, pile it up, set a match to it. It's a "pile" to be cleaned out. There is no thought for specific 'items'. It is a "pile". It is a bunch of 'stuff'.

And so, within this "pile" are discovered to have been some copies of the Koran. As a result, as of this writing (end of February), several have been killed, and the rioting continues. You who pay attention to the news, know what's been going on.

On the other hand, by contrast, several years ago a US commander ordered a whole pile of Bibles destroyed. Some servicemen had taken them to Iraq, planning to distribute them to any interested Iraqis, during their own time, when off-duty. Where was the out-cry and rioting? And it was not 'accidental'. It was a 'targetted' destruction...of BIBLES

In the mean time, muslims dig around the Temple Mount, excavating, and throwing away ancient artifacts, that prove the existence of a prior Jewish presence. While there is whimpering, where is the out-cry and rioting?

Today Islam engages in selective holiness. If one reads in the OT, one sees how God had commanded Israel to be holy. If somebody strayed into idolatry, they were to be stoned. (De13:6-9) If there was immorality, the guilty parties were to be stoned. (De22:25) When they went to take possession of territory, they were to tear down the idols, sacred pillars, groves, etc. (De12:3) And in most cases in conquering territory that they intended to occupy, they were to go in and completely wipe out all living creatures, both man and beast. (1Sa15:3)

But Islam's holiness is selective. If a gang of men rape a female, the female is stoned, but the men get off free. If a foreign teacher in innocence gives her children teddy bears with the name "Mohammed" she is condemned to lashes, but male children are named Mohammed regularly.

A few decades ago there used to be a segment of conservative Christianity that held to -standards-: God's Word was absolute, standards of dress, moral behavior, eschewing of certain worldly ways, standards of conduct in the meeting place to hear the teaching of Doctrine, singing and worship; and a whole host of things. Seeing as how we live in Caesar's world, not a theocracy (Mt22:21, Rom13:1-7), and the rules for the Church in the NT are "grace" rather than "law"; nevertheless there -are- NT standards; the Church does not stone people for infractions. But there is the concept that certain of the more puritanical and austere sects call "shunning"; which follows Paul's exhortation regarding a person, claiming to be a Christian, but behaves like the world...

    "But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; not even to eat with such a person." (1Co5:11)
But along the way Thyatira allowed Jezebel in "to teach and lead astray My servants to prostitute themselves to sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols." (Re2:20) And given enough time Sardis is now "dead" (Re3:1) And the militance to stand holy for God has become watered down "lukewarm" and that which is called the "church" is about to be vomited out. (Re3:16)

However, this 'deadness' and 'lukewarmness' is not about everything. The church is dead to Christ, and lukewarm about maintaining God's holiness. But regarding carnality and false doctrines the "church" is going gang-busters, gung-ho, full-steam ahead!

Paul exhorts...

    "Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Ro6:11)
But the "church" today is alive unto sin and dead to God. As Israel was in Isaiah's day, and God pronounced "woe" to those calling good evil, and evil good. And like Isaiah uses the example of a person doing something with their hands... If a person casually throws a basketball in the direction of the hoop, they might one-hand it. But when -carefully- making a freethrow, it is focused attention with -both- hands. If a person is tossing things around, they will do so with one hand. But if careful assembly is being done with something like computer parts, and mechanics...-both- hands are used, as Isaiah says, "to do it well". The church today is doing as Israel was in Isaiah's day, doing -evil- WITH BOTH HANDS....TO DO IT WELL.

Last month we observed a few points from a particular church's policy statement regarding music and worship. Whatever they do, they are doing it 'carefully' (well) by thinking it through and writing up a detailed statement. Whatever they do, they are not doing in ignorance. They do it with purpose, planned aforethought.

Unlike the current "occupy" movement, where when a reporter sticks a microphone in front of a participant, they can't string two coherent sentences together to explain -what- they are protesting. They don't know 'why' they are doing it, except that they are doing it. Muslims have a little better idea of their rioting...it's about the Koran and "killing the infidel".

Last month we spoke of "the 70s". While this local church has a well thought-out statement, back in the 70s it was more like today's Occupy and Muslim protests. They knew to object, complain and get angry; but they hadn't yet quite figured out their own counter-doctrine. Only: they knew they were rebelling against traditional conservatism. It's what the hippies were doing... whatever was "establishment", they were against it. The hippies would protest on campuses, some of the radical ones would blow up government buildings, lie down in the middle of the road and block entire multi-lane freeways, etc.

Meanwhile the "christian" hippies would disrupt church meetings. If somebody was teaching Godly Biblical doctrine they would rise up and vocally attack the teacher...objecting to anything that even -hinted- at holiness, and as a result might suggest that their lives needed to change. That they should -DO- what was taught. And their objections were with vehemence. The nature of their anger was such that, had it been in a different culture, at a different time, they would have repeated the dragging out, like the Jews did to Stephen, and stoned him. Stephen had been saying to them....

    "You stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always oppose the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they, who received the Law by the command of angels and did not keep it, killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers. When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth." (Ac7:51-54)
You see... the militance with which God seeks holiness towards Himself, away from the world... it is that same militance in which they turn away from God and attack God's faithful servants. God says...
    "And you shall love Jehovah your God with all your heart, with all your soul, exceedingly in every way. And these Words which I am commanding you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up." (De6:5-7)
Rebellion says...
    "As for the Word that you have spoken to us in the name of Jehovah, we will not give heed to you. But we will prepare and do whatever goes forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense to the Queen of Heaven, and to pour out drink offerings to her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our rulers, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem...." (Jer44:16-17)
Today's false church!
    "But sexual perversion and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no prostitute, unclean person, nor covetous person, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one beguile you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. WALK AS CHILDREN OF LIGHT" (Eph5:3-8)
Faith into Deeds!
    "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead also." (Ja2:26)
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