- TABLE OF CONTENTS
- WAR ROOM -
STUDY - MORAL
ISSUES - KING
JAMES BIBLE - CULTS
Pastor Art Barton has been a friend of mine for many years. One of his gifts is to reduce insane heresies, errant church house frenzy, and human nature in general to easy to understand satire and sarcasm.
Is this a biblical form of instruction?
Yes. The Apostle Paul used sarcasm splendidly at times:
Corinthians 4:7 For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou
that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory,
as if thou hadst not received it?
Titus 1:12 One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.
So, here are the First and Second Epistles to the Laodiceans by Pastor Art Barton. I have called them this as my own contribution to the sarcasm of the moment. The Laodicean Church Age is the present church age. This is a church which has put Jesus outside the church where he is knocking, trying to get back inside the Church. Are you a member of a Laodicean Church? Will you let Jesus back in, at least into your own life and home?
FIRST EPISTLE TO THE LAODICEANS
As a Christian and as a pastor here are a few thoughts that are directed at professing Christians, and in particular directed at people that are actually saved, born again (John 3:1-7) Christians.
Since the COVID-19 problems began, I have noticed a goodly number of professing Christians have taken to social media to state their concerns and to warn others about government intrusion into our affairs, and about various and sundry conspiracies to take our rights from us. There is certainly some truth to this notion. Of course, to Christians, the most alarming aspect of this concerns not being allowed to worship as we see fit, the right of which is guaranteed by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
For example, in my home state of Michigan, we have a liberal Democrat governor named Gretchen Whitmer. It was bad enough at first when churches weren't allowed to meet in their own buildings. But things really got out of hand when the governor placed bans on fishing, motorboating, golfing, and buying nonessentials like paint and such at the large home improvement stores. This was intolerable----and was a clear violation of the First Amendment right to worship.
Ban FISHING? After all, we have known for years that saved Christians who go fishing or boating on Sunday mornings are just as close to God out there on the water as they are sitting in church, yes?
The same for golfing----all that green grass, blue sky, birds singing on the flagsticks, people out there actually KNEELING REVERENTLY while they line up their putts----a truly heavenly experience; not like sitting in a church service with all of those hypocrites.
And let us not forget shopping for paint at Home Depot or Lowe's instead of going to church. After all, anyone who has read the Bible very much knows that Ecclesiastes 10:18 says: "By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through." So, in reality, shopping for paint on Sunday to properly maintain your home instead of attending a church service would be SCRIPTURAL.
I had been wondering, as had many pastors of Bible preaching churches, where all of these highly patriotic defenders of the First Amendment had been for all these years, but now that all these opportunities to worship God according to their individual consciences have been taken away from them, they have now risen up in righteous indignation and are now a social media army to be reckoned with.
Now, we are truly seeing revival. Many of these soldiers of the cross who haven't even crossed the road for YEARS to listen to the Bible preached or taught have now gotten so motivated by the loss of their rights to worship that many of them recently got in their cars and drove 50, 100, even 200 miles to Lansing, the Michigan state Capital, many of them with rifles and Confederate flags, to show the evil Governor a thing or two about God, guts, and guns----just like Jesus would have done.
And I fear that I must repent publicly of the false notions that I have been clinging to where Christian warfare is concerned. I had thought that the battle with government intrusion into our affairs and loss of our rights had been ongoing for thousands of years, according to Ephesians 6:12: "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."
I have been deceived. I erroneously believed II Cor 10:4, that says: "(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds)".......I was naive enough to think that I was supposed to fight this kind of evil by fulfilling what is really the bare minimum of my obligations to Jesus Christ after being saved-----by being as faithful as I possibly could in a Bible believing, Bible preaching church, whether in somebody's home or in a building.
I thought that the Christians that I pastor should fight these battles also at prayer meetings. No wonder hardly anyone shows up for a prayer meeting-----not enough heavy discussion about conspiracy theories, and too much boring, dogmatic reliance on praying "For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty (I Timothy 2:2).
Please, dear reader, have mercy on me, and tell me where the next protest is being held, or at the very least, send me a petition to sign! It's time for war!
Editor: Steve Van Nattan:
Thanks Pastor Art for your thoughts. It is time for us all to decide where the real war is, with our adversary the devil, or with the politicians.
SECOND EPISTLE TO THE LAODICEANS
Just one more thought about the COVID-19 situation, and then that is more than enough. One thing that seems patently clear is that this whole thing is extremely complex, all the way from the virus itself to how it is handled down at the individual level. In no way can this simply be reduced to a Republican vs. Democrat or a conservative vs. liberal type of issue, nor for that matter, a Christian vs. non-Christian type of issue.
Based on social media, PAST AND PRESENT, my "take" on this Coronavirus issue, or at least the "take" that I SHOULD HAVE if I am really a true blue conservative Christian is that black helicopters with guidance and control systems connected to 5G towers have been taking off from numerous concentration camps all over the U.S. At these concentration camps, Bill Gates is personally overseeing the loading of these helicopters with drums full of Coronavirus, which of course has been granted a patent with the full blessing of the U.S. Patent Office. After the black helicopters take off, somewhere up in the sky, and nobody knows exactly how, the drums full of Coronavirus are transferred to jet planes and then the virus particles are ejected from the jet planes in the form of chemtrails, which of course fall to the earth and infect people. All the pilots flying these helicopters and planes were trained and indoctrinated at Area 51 in Nevada, and as part of their training and indoctrination they were put into states of suspended animation and kept alive for lengthy periods of time in vats of Pepsi-Cola, which all conspiracy-savvy Christians know contains parts and pieces of aborted babies.
Now, as you might imagine, this type of operation would be huge and would require a great deal of cooperation. So, it follows that in the recent past every person worldwide in a position of authority, every president, every prime minister, every king, every member of Congress, of Parliament, of the Politburo, of the Knesset, every crown prince, every Imam, all the way down to governors and mayors and township supervisors, all got together on a conference call, put all their political differences, races, creeds, religions, cultures, and languages aside, and decided to conspire together to destroy their own countries, their own economies, and even their own friends and loved ones by hyping this Covid-19 into being a big deal when it is in fact no big deal at all. (It does appear that Boris Johnson in the UK missed a memo somewhere).
We KNOW that all of this is true, because after all, somewhere on YouTube there is a video that you can watch to prove it.
II Timothy 1:7 says: "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." This verse is constantly being misused to shame us into thinking that we should not be concerned about coronavirus in the least, and if we are concerned about it, then we have given in to fear. Of course, there isn't a shred of fearmongering in all of the conspiracy theories out there telling us that the Coronavirus is all a hoax and that the government is out to destroy us by hyping us all to death, right?
Our governments can't fix potholes in the roads, can't make the Post Office run properly, end up paying thousands of dollars apiece for screws and nails that should cost 5 cents apiece, and operate in ways that, if normal people tried, they would go to prison. We are to assume that these elected officials, some of whom have been found not to be able to identify their own home state or country on a map, have expertly put together this worldwide conspiracy to control everyone? Should it be any surprise to anyone that a large number of the governments' "experts" about pandemics have made projections that are way out of line with reality? In fact, you are more surprised, are you not, when governments actually do something right rather than something wrong? Why shouldn't governments go on blowing it the way that they always have? The issue is very simple; governments and governmental leadership don't know any more what to do about this than the conspiracy theorists on YouTube.
"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of POWER, and of LOVE, and of a SOUND MIND." How about the POWER of God's word, how about God's LOVE, and how about A SOUND MIND? Repeat--A SOUND MIND. Much more effective, I think, than conspiracy theories on YouTube. And, even if every single one of those conspiracy theories floating around out there all over cyberspace are true, what are you going to do to fix it? March on your state capital?
"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding." (Proverbs 9:10)
I don't know what is going on, but for what it is worth, I think that the only one that really knows is God. God is not the author of confusion, according to I Corinthians 14:33, but He has certainly ALLOWED a great deal of confusion around this whole thing.
Permit me my own fearmongering, since that seems to be OK on all sides. I think that this is our last gasp----we are near the end, and God has just about had a bellyful, to use an expression. The fear of the LORD is the BEGINNING of wisdom---- which explains all the stupidity out there..... There is NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES---Romans 3:18.
You Christian hyper-patriots who are all of a sudden so exercised and outraged by your governor telling you that you can't go to church---- some of you haven't darkened the door of a church in years, or have been skating by with giving God the absolute bare minimum of your time, talent, and money, but you are righteously indignant when you blast the governmental evil empire on social media, aren't you? By your lack of effort to serve God scripturally you have been BEGGING Caesar for years to tell you what you can and can't do. And now that Caesar has told you, you're a hero of the faith, standing for the rights of Christians. Not.
By using the word "Epistle" I am not implying some sort of divinely inspired principle in Pastor Art Barton's writing. I want no confusion with the ongoing heretical blather and bluster of the Neo Apostolic Movement in which modern church leaders claim to be sho nuff Apostles in the New Testament model. Just so you groupies don't take these writings and add them behind the book of Revelation and get yourself damned to Hell.
Editor: Steve Van Nattan
THE SPIRIT OF FEAR
Fear is discussed, where it comes from, and the resources God has given us to deal with it.
AND, IT DID NOT COME TO PASS
The beginning and end of many conspiracies over recent years.
SEND MAIL What is your situation? Can I help?