When I was a boy growing up in Lancaster Country, PA, I had several crucial experiences with Christian pastors that contributed to my loss of faith. Mind you I don’t blame anyone but myself for becoming an atheist. But back then it seemed as though there was really no longer anything to hold onto. The truth is, it was there all the time. I just didn’t see it.
The first such experience was when a pastor that my family looked up to said unequivocally that my two sisters and I would never grow up to adulthood because Jesus was coming back before that. He pointed to Bible prophecies to support that. My older sister was the first to outlive this prediction, followed by the other two of us.
The second such experience was a series of visits to a church in Maryland whose pastor’s sermons were broadcast from a Pennsylvania radio station. The pastor sounded so humble, so kind and so dedicated to the Lord.
But there was a rumor that some of the congregation were or had been KKK members.
Then one Sunday the pastor preached a sermon on negroes. He said that the black race was the “sons of Ham,” a swarthy Hebrew tribe whose patriarch had sinned and which was therefore condemned to serve others forever.
I knew that African blacks were not related biologically to the Hebrews, so this raised questions.
Near the end of his sermon, Pastor Don spoke of intermarriage between whites and blacks and at one point, he shouted “any black man who introduces black blood into a white woman ought to be hung!”
Normally, whenever Pastor Don raised his voice and made a point, the stalwarts in the congregation would reflexively say “amen.”
But this was the early 60s and there was a general sentiment in favor of civil rights. A subtle change had come over the congregation. Not one of the stalwarts said “amen.”
Already inclined to reject religion, instead of focusing on this sign of a positive trend in the church, I indignantly swore to myself never to darken a church door again. My sin lay precisely in this failure to focus on the Lord’s hand in changing hearts in the congregation and my choice to reject Christ based on the pastor’s thoughtless words.
I went wild for 2 decades, carousing and womanizing, and speaking against religion. And then I felt empty and began to seek God again. I scoured the globe, including Taiwan, where I spent 3 years looking for truth among the Buddhists. A few times I thought I had had a spiritual breakthrough, but nothing stuck.
A decade later, through a series of circumstances, God came for me and I was led back to Jesus in an emotional epiphany. I found my faith, but I didn’t find the church of Jesus. It seemed to have disappeared – or gone underground. I found the same shallowness and hypocrisy that had contributed to my falling away decades earlier. But this time, having gone through the school of hard knocks, I knew that the actors involved were of Satan and swore never to be misled again.
Yesterday the world was shocked at the senseless murder of 9 black worshippers at a church in South Carolina.
I couldn’t help thinking of Pastor Don in Maryland and his racist words. But having had half a century to think over that faith shattering sermon, I have come to realize that sermons like the above-described by Pastor Don are not in any way representative of Christianity. In fact, they are tools of Satan who misguide the unbeliever into thinking, as I once had, that Christianity itself is racist and evil. Though it was a sin on my part to think that way, if we look at things from only a superficial viewpoint, it was an understandable conclusion, especially for a naïve teen.
It is quite likely that a few whites-only churches are still racist but how can that discredit Jesus when He preached love and urged Christians – even the gentiles, representing all races – to love one another? It simply can’t.
Like my former self, the U.S. government and its puppets throughout the West, including journalists – who ought to be called propagandists – the public schools and the institutions of higher “learning,” have focused only on the dark side of “Christianity,” or rather on a religion that is nothing but a perversion of that faith. They forget that it was a Christian leader, William Wilberforce, who spearheaded the movement to end slavery in England, and that the civil rights movement in the US sprang up in northern churches. The slaves who fought for emancipation and the blacks who led the civil rights movement in Selma sang Christian hymns even as they were beaten and persecuted, meek and Christ-like, by the police. Meanwhile, there is only one religion in the world today that lends “moral” authority to slavery and that is Muslims, whose ancestors were among the first slave traders in Africa, and whose religion is being subtly thrust upon us by the Washington anti-Christs.
These same anti-Christs also spread the lie that Hitler was a Christian. Yet the fact is, there were German pastors in the 19th century who had perverted the gospel to promote folkish nationalism, declaring, with no supporting evidence whatsoever, that Jesus was actually the illegitimate son of a Germanic mercenary. It was not Christianity that gave us Adolph Hitler but a cynically perverted “gospel” that persuaded mindless Germans to accept the lie that Jesus had come to avenge himself of the Jews.
Likewise, “Christians” are blamed for supporting G.W. Bush’s war in Iraq. But in fact it was atheists who devised the diabolical ideology of Neoconservatism and it was foolish “Christians” who followed these wolves in sheep’s clothing.
While Irving Kristol wrote the book on Neoconservatism and is generally regarded as the “godfather” of the ideology, Leo Strauss has been identified as an early precursor, and today’s Neocons pursue his ideas.
Alternet writes, in an article titled “Leo Strauss’ Philosophy of Deception“:
Among other neoconservatives, Irving Kristol has long argued for a much greater role for religion in the public sphere.
At the same time, he stressed that religion was for the masses alone; the rulers need not be bound by it. Indeed, it would be absurd if they were, since the truths proclaimed by religion were “a pious fraud.”
Obviously, while Neocons want Christians to support them in their policies, notably their wars, they despise us, and we owe it to ourselves and our God to study their history and their writings so as to avoid being deceived by them. How is it possible that genuine Christians who take Jesus’ words to heart, could follow these utter Satanists, who denied the existence of morality itself? Yet in the early 2000s I attended services at megachurches in Lancaster County that wholeheartedly supported G.W. Bush in his wars, mostly because Bush had insisted that he was a born-again Christian. Some pastors even mentioned reports that the US Marines who first arrived in Baghdad had found themselves impermeable to bullets, protected by God. Yet the upshot of this war was that indigenous Assyrian Christians who had survived for millennia among the Iraqi Muslims, found themselves persecuted and banished from their homeland within days of our “victory.” It was Neocon deception at its best. To my shame, I was one of those who were initially deceived by these pastors.
Further, Alternet writes:
“According to Shadia Drury, who teaches politics at the University of Calgary, Strauss believed that “those who are fit to rule are those who realize there is no morality and that there is only one natural right – the right of the superior to rule over the inferior.”
This dichotomy requires “perpetual deception” between the rulers and the ruled.”
How is this different from Nazism? How does it square with what Christ taught? It has absolutely nothing to do with Christianity and is in fact a cynical perversion of the faith.
Thus, although it would seem on the surface that Christianity goes hand in hand with unjustified wars, just as it seemed on the surface that Christianity supported racism and slavery, the fact is, none of these phenomena emerging in the Christian church has a thing to do with Christ’s teachings. Indeed, these perversions prove that Jesus was right when He said in Matthew 24:
9 “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.
10 “At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another.
11 Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many..
You know, Folks, we really ought to thank God in a way for all the adversity, even the perversion of the Gospel by men like the Neocons, because for genuine believers, these perversions – even though they have led to horrible wars and other consequences – are the most solid evidence we have of the power of God and the supernatural prophetic power of Jesus Christ.
True Christians understand that the world’s crises and tragedies, far from being the product of too much Jesus, are in fact caused by too little Jesus.
Thank God, following the murders, the members of the black church gave witness of what it is to be a true follower of Christ. According to the Washington Post,
“Larry Grooms, a state senator, wrote on Facebook:
‘My heart breaks for the loss of Sen. Pinckney, the other victims and for their families. Now is the time for prayer. Let us all unite our hearts in prayer and ask God for His Grace, Love and Mercy’.”