In Part 3 of The letter to the church in Pergamum, we’ll look at the “But …” section. Usually, this is not good news for the receiving church. Often, it’s a caveat that goes along with the Divine Knowledge. In this case, it has something to do with Jesus saying, I know where you live — where Satan has his throne … — where Satan lives. Is that as bad as it sounds? Let’s find out!
Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit
How did Christianity get to be like this? You ask, Like what? Let me answer, initially, with a hint, rather than a direct answer. Some think one of the worst things to happen to Christianity was when Roman Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity. As history is showing, that’s more significant that most people probably realize. The parallels to what’s going on in the U.S. today are incredible.
Historians now debate whether “the first Christian emperor” was a Christian at all. Some think him an unprincipled power seeker. What religion he had, many argue, was at best a blend of paganism and Christianity for purely political purposes.
Every Christian should know what the Great Commission is. And pretty much everyone in the U.S. probably at least heard of separation of church and state. So when someone receives an award for “Selfless and Steadfast Service in the Lord’s Vineyard” I expect them to understand the relationship between the Great Commission and the idea of separation of church and state.
Instead, we read a headline like the one of foxnews.com:
Barr says ‘notion’ of separation of church and state misunderstood because of ‘militant secularists’.
For the church in Pergamum, being where Satan lives and has his throne means there will be plenty of false teachers and false prophets. The question remains for this study though – were Jesus’ words a reminder, a warning or a wake-up call?
The same is true for us. In a way, these words are for all of us. Remember what Jesus said about Satan and this world. The entire passage is important for us to remember and to live out. It’s full of important things for us – the Holy Spirit, living as Jesus taught us, not being afraid, having peace. And for this topic, especially verses 30 and 31 at the end, regarding the prince of this world – Satan.
Do American Christians care about truth at all? That should be a dumb question. Dumb in the sense that all Christians care about truth. Don’t we? Sadly, apparently not.
The headline from NBC News reads: RNC airs video clip of ‘Biden’s America’ — it was actually Barcelona. Just in case you’re not aware of it, Barcelona is in Spain. You know – Spain, as in the country across the Atlantic. In Europe. Not in America. Although some people, notably our President – Trump – don’t seem to know this. Or maybe just flat out don’t care?
Blessed are the peacemakers. But who / what are peacemakers? Some of you will think of a Colt handgun. Or a strategic bomber. Or maybe even an MX Missile. If you’re Christian, or think you’re Christian, hopefully those aren’t the first things that come to mind. Why not? Because Blessed are the peacemakers is something Jesus said. It’s one of the Beatitudes, from the Sermon on the Mount.
If God is here, where is He? That question seems to have a lot of doubt built into it. Not since God is here, or since God exists, but If God is here. Not to mention the obvious doubt that God is here, since there’s no apparent evidence of Him.
However, there are people who end up at this site looking for answers to questions like these two:
What does God want?
Does God cry when we die?
These are people that believe that at least God is here, but maybe wondering whether he still cares.
Do Christians want power? What kind of question is that? Look around. Of course Christians want power. Check out the Republican Party. Witness the strange almost worship-like adoration of Donald Trump by so many Evangelical Christians. They want power. So why does Scot McKnight say Christians don’t want power? And why is he right? How, in the face of all we see, can McKnight possibly be correct when he says Christians don’t want power?
Actually, both statements are correct – Christians do want power. But also don’t want power. It’s not really a question of whether or not Christians want power. It’s a question of what do we mean by power.
Hey Trump Christians – these questions are for you. How do you feel, supporting a President that claims to be the best President ever for Christians, and yet acts the opposite of what Jesus told us to act? Two says ago, Trump said, “We are a very reciprocal nation with me as the head. When somebody does something negative to us in terms of a country, we do it to them.” In other words, we repay evil with evil. Does that sound even remotely like something Jesus ever taught? Does it bother you that your chosen candidate says and does things like this? On top of that, consider the likelihood that you support Trump because of his claims about being so much in favor of Christians.
If you are unhappy with it, where is your voice? More and more, polls show that the U.S. is no longer a Christian nation. The fact that we have a leader who blatantly acts very un-Christian and yet claims to be so supportive of Christians tells us something. It tells us that the polls are right. We are more un-Christian as a nation. A nation of individuals. Individuals who seem to have lost sight of what Christianity is really about. Or maybe we’re just a nation of so-called Christians who look to the devil to promote our Christian religion?
That might sound a bit strong. Maybe very strong. And yet, when so many Christians – including Christian leaders – are so silent when their candidate of choice says and does things like this. When Trump claims to be so pro-Christian, where is the push-back or the talk of the reality of what he really does being so anti-Christian? And it’s the same thing when he speaks like this. Where’s the push-back, asking how someone who claims to be so pro-Christian can say things like that? Isn’t accountability part of Christianity anymore?