The Pagan Path

Those who wonder are not lost; they are trying to awaken! 'The Sleeper must awaken!'

Monday, September 30, 2013

Molech Worship; We're Killing our Children!

How many Christian parents out there ( for I do not call them anything but ignorant ) place their offspring in the public, or government school system, thinking that somehow, their impressionable and immature children will not succumb to the peer-pressures of the evil that it has become, but will instead have a salvific effect on that corrupted society?

Common sense alone should tell you that, if your child's teachers tell your child one thing for 8-9 hours a day, no matter how much you try to train up that child in the way he or she should go, you're going to be fighting a losing battle and your child will most likely end up being more confused than those other children, along with whom he or she is being indoctrinated!

In most, if not all American prisons today, the inmates often lead a healthier ( physically speaking ) existence than some of those who abide by the laws of the land! A guaranteed three squares a day, a warm cot, and a free education ( if you want it ); sure, it can be dangerous, but, in some of our larger cities, isn't it just as dangerous outside the prison walls? Never mind the fact that probably at least 75% of convicts will live the rest of their lives behind bars, plaguing society with the burden that society has unwittingly and ignorantly laid upon their own backs! Sure, there are those who actually do pull off a true reform behind bars, and end up becoming productive members of society ( once again )! Some have even entered into a true and good relationship with their Heavenly Father while physically imprisoned! By the same token, it is quite possible, with God as their helper, that a young Christian could have an influence on, rather than be influenced by, the corruption that has become our society! Not likely though, and as Jesus replied to His tempter, 'You shall not tempt the Lord your God'; for a Christian parent to place their child into one of these centers of indoctrination is akin to throwing him or her into a den of lions!

In today's American public schools, the education may be 'free', but is it really, especially for the Christian? Your child will learn that he or she is the only one that matters; what he or she wants or likes is what is most important! They will learn, among other things, that you can be anything you want in a 'free society' ( and I use both words very loosely ), as long as its's not a Christian, unless you keep it behind your eyes and between your ears. Even then, you'll most likely end up in some sort of trouble; either that, or end up losing your religion! Most, or many, will end up becoming so indoctrinated and brainwashed that they will end up behind the bars of a prisons, often before they have left the confines of the schoolyard! Speaking of schoolyards; how many public or government schools have you seen, or heard about that have razor wire fences raised high around their yards, whether to keep Nature out, or to keep the children in, until the whistle blows or the bell tolls? How many of these institutions of ( mediocre, at best ) learning have metal detectors that the children must walk through before they can enter? How many have bars on the windows ( for whatever reason )? How many have armed guards patrolling the hallways or standing at attention in darkened doorways? All this is quite understandable; reprehensible, but understandable. The government schools are simply a breeding ground for America's prison population!

How has America veered so far off course; where did we go wrong?

Public schools, not necessarily government schools in the beginning, started well, but because humanity is so prone to corruption, any human institution is prone to it as well! This is where the Church, or Body of Christ comes in: She is to be a transformational force in society, rather than conforming to it's image! As a body though, made up of corruptible and easily deceived men and women, the institutionalized church, rather than transforming society into the Image of the Creator of Society, has conformed so much to a corrupted society that there is almost no noticeable difference!

What may be done, you may ask, to remedy this abominable and horrific situation??

'And these words which I command 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.'
Deuteronomy 6:6 & 7 

We, as parents, especially Christian parents, are instructed to teach those children that God has entrusted to us, in the way in which they should go, the way of life! In the care of these ( government ) centers for indoctrination, they learn, more often than not, the way that leads to death; not always to physical death, but death nonetheless! We are to teach them the importance of communion in the corporate Body of Christ; the public schools teach them the importance of communion with themselves ( is that even possible?! )! We are to teach them to love God and their neighbor as themselves; there, they are taught the importance of loving yourself and being nice to those who are nice to you! We are to teach them to do unto others as we would have them to to us; there, they are taught to make a preemptive strike, doing unto others before they have a chance to do it to you!

If we, as Christian parents, would shoulder the responsibility that God has placed upon us and educate our own children, teaching them from their youth the way in which they should go. By not sacrificing them on the altar of convenience, and allowing a corrupted government school to confuse them, and likely foster their own natural corruptibility, we can break the cycle and begin to raise a new generation of God-seekers! 

There are those who have floundered through the public ( government ) school system and made it out okay, but, sad to say, most of these seek after God within the walls of some institutional church building! It  seems like a vicious circle, but it can be broken! It will be broken with the help of our beneficent and most gracious God and Father! With His help, and with the perseverance of His Saints, we will raise up a generation that knows no other God but the One, True and Living God!

May it be,
Charles Haddon Shank

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Perfection Point (for Ginger Schatz )

Is there a point at which humanity will reach physical perfection?At some point in the future, will mankind reach a sort of utopia where there is no sickness, no sighing, crying or dying? We'd all like to believe that there is such a place, and especially that we will live long enough to see it, or maybe our children or grandchildren; it's a beautiful dream, isn't it?

If we could only return to the Garden like it was in the beginning, where man had direct Communion with God everyday and everything was right, good, and as it should be!

What a minute; what about the snake, or serpent?! We can't forget either that there was a forbidden Tree in the Garden that God planted and in which He placed His good Creation! Whether you believe that he serpent was possessed by that fallen spiritual being known as 'Satan', or whether you subscribe to the Scriptural ( and shocking? ) notion that this 'serpent' was simply a man who was outside the special Covenant that God had typologically made with Adam and his descendants; the fact that God had placed this Tree in the Garden, knowing that Adam would disobey His voice and eat of it, should give us pause!

One would almost think that God planned it that way, knowing that man, in his imperfection, would carry out His Divine Will and Purpose for His Creation! Now, don't get me wrong; I'm by no means saying that because we carry out God's Will in our imperfection, that we should, as the apostle Paul was accused of preach, 'sin more, that Grace may abound'; God forbid! All I'm saying is that we should rest in the fact that though we are imperfect, at least, according to the modern usage, God works His purpose through those imperfections, for, as the apostle also wrote that His 'strength is made perfect in weakness'.

Now, as we can see, from passages like Hebrews 10:14, we have been 'perfected forever'! This definitely is not ( by any means ) to say that we, as individuals, are perfect, at least, not according to the modern usage, but as the Body of Christ, the Body which all of the writers of Scripture had in view, we ( corporately ) have been made perfect, or complete in our fullness, in Christ. Another way to say this is that we fulfill His perfection; we fill it up daily by living our lives according to God's Law of Love!

According to the modern usage of the word, we do not fulfill God's Law of Love on a daily basis, not to mention hourly, minutely, or even secondly!

In his first letter to the churches, John wrote, 'There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love' ( I John 4:18 ); was he saying that if one fears, he does not love in truth, or was he saying that if one has fear, but casts it aside for the sake of love, that he has been made perfect in love? Earlier in this same passage, John wrote to his 'children', 'If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us'. It sound like, if we love God, and our neighbor ( brother ), that we have reached the 'Point of Perfection'!

Now, again, do we do it perfectly? Not at all! But, like a wise man said, 'we have been perfected in our imperfection'!

Will we ever reach the point of perfection, where we will never fail to always love perfectly, will we always be able to cast fear aside and love without fear? Its a nice dream, but human nature has proven time and time again that this is impossible! With God, however, we know that 'all things are possible', and it is only through and in Him ( Him in us ) that we have reached that 'Perfection Point'!

May we always remember John's words, for by loving God, and our neighbor as our self, we can be assured that we have been perfected in His Love, and that all fear has been cast aside!

Charles Haddon Shank

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Conversations With a Bullfrog; 'Just as I Am'

Out of the blue, the other morning I received a call from my old friend and sometime nemesis, Jeremiah Bereano. 'Where have you been?', I demanded, quite rudely! There was silence on the other end for a bit, then kinda of a short, terse reply ( like I'd hurt his feelings or something )'Well, hello to you too'. I hadn't heard from him in some time, and I reminded him that he had promised to keep in better touch, but he replied ( in reminder to ME ) that it worked both ways; I coulda called him, and it had been a shorter time this time then the one before, between calls! I had to ( grudgingly ) admit that he was right on both counts, then and so, I asked quickly, 'what's up, Doc?' ( apparently, he was now Dr. Jeremiah Bereano, PhD. )

Well, it seems that my friend, in his spare time, along with the doctorate and all, had been doing some thinking. 'You know I'm single again, right, Chuck?' Well duh; I knew that he was in circumstances much like my own, and I quickly reminded him of that lamentable fact! 'Yes', I slowly and deliberately said. ( like, DUH! ) 'Well", he said, 'I've been thinking.......... 'I wonder if some of us aren't able to better serve the Kingdom of Heaven better as single people'; maybe that's what Jesus meant when He said, 'there are eunuchs who were born thus from [ their ] mother’s womb, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He who is able to accept [ it ], let him accept [ it ]'. ( Matthew 19:12 ) 'I know that you believe all Scripture has been fulfilled, and that this passage must be read in the covenant context of audience relevance, but might not this Scripture apply to us today?' 'Being the husband of one wife, and women naturally being jealous, wouldn't it make practical sense that if one were unmarried, he would have a better opportunity to minister to people, in particular, women?'

He had a point, as far as that went; not that women are the only ones naturally jealous ( men are too-and just like men, not all women are ). 'Isn't it God's Plan though, according to Scripture, that 'each man have his own wife, and......each woman.........her own husband' ( I Corinthians 7:2 ) To be fair, audience relevance and context could be argued here as well, but thankfully, my friend didn't push the issue! The immediate context, as well, of Paul's words ( 'because of sexual immorality' ) nix the whole idea that everyone should necessarily be married! Marriage obviously, on its own anyway, does not put the brakes on sexual immorality! Later on in his letter to the Corinthian Church, the apostle Paul stated that it was better if they could remain as he was, whether unmarried, divorced or widowed. ( I speculate that Paul was previously married, but that his wife divorced him when he became a Christian )

'I realize', he said, 'that some are trying to make the Bible, or Scripture, not applicable to us today, since we are not Jews and all of Scripture has been fulfilled, but I agree with you Chuck ( I about dropped dead here ) that the meaning of 'fulfilled' had a better connotation of 'filled up', rather than 'ended'!' 'Just because Jesus and Paul were speaking and writing to those first-century Jews, according to the situation ( not unlike ours today ), doesn't mean that those words hold nothing for us today!'

'Well', I replied, 'their situation was like yet unlike ours today; we are merely facing a paradigm shift, they were facing the end of all things!' 'We are dealing with the Eternal Covenant which the end of their paradigm/age ushered in; they were dealing with a paradigm shift as well, but theirs was a paradigm shift that made the people of God His New Temple, as they were meant to be!'

'Did you know that Paul used the same word in Ephesians 5:21 as he did in 5:22?' 

'What does that have to do with whether or not we can serve the Kingdom better being married or being single?!' ( My friend could be annoying sometimes, with his seemingly out-of-the-blue 'switching gears' )

'It is related', he reasoned, 'sorta'! 'If the husband is to submit to the wife as much as the wife to the husband, then that kinda blows out of the water the whole notion that men are somehow the final authority, and that the woman is the only one who needs to bow, or submit to that authority!'

'Okay, I still fail to see how that relates!'

Apparently, this is what he really wanted to talk about when he called! Therefore, it's related........because he said it did! Okay, so we were still on the subject of marriage, although a slightly different aspect..............okay, we can do this!

My friend, the PhD, soon advised me of this very fact! 'While it is true', he said, 'that God did set the man over the woman, or wife, as the head of the family; He also gave the wife just as much authority over her children, and charged them both with submission to each other!' Okay, Paul said as much in his letter to the Ephesians (5:23 ); 'For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church'. In the immediate context, though, Paul tells them that 'He is the Savior of the body'. We,as men, are certainly not a perfect picture of Christ, as the heads of our families! Nor, I think, are we meant to be; by submitting to each other, in the Lord ( as our children are to obey us in the Lord ) we submit ourselves to Christ as our True Head!

'This may be a conversation for another day', my friend remarked, before he hung up ( something about a meeting ), 'but what exactly did Jesus mean when He said that 'those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage' ( Luke 20:35 )?' 'I know that these words were primarily meant for the ears of His first-century audience, but as we are the sons of that coming age He talked about, those words are for us as well, don't you think?' 'I'm not trying to say that the institution of marriage is over and done with, but I would think that they have some meaning, as most Scripture does, beyond the first-century!'

Well, my friends, Dr. Jeremiah Bereano was right; that was a question for another day!

We both said our quick goodbyes and hung up our respective phones; back to the glorious rat-race of Kingdom Life; he to his, and me to mine!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Rise and ( Coming ) Fall of the American Empire

I am by no means a history buff, nor am I all that knowledgeable about American history. All that I do remember though, about our history as a nation, came, not from any of the newer, and thus probably corrupted versions, but from older and likely less biased history books. Keeping in mind, of course, that it's usually the winner that gets to write the history books, we might remember that pretty much any history will probably be thus at least somewhat biased!

When America was founded, well over 200 years ago, depending on whose version of history you read, the founding fathers of this great nation, while being driven by more or less Christian principles, did not disallow for it to become an empire, much less one in direct opposition to their Creator and His Law. Even though our nation still is known in some circles as a 'Christian nation', and has, in the past anyway, vaunted itself as 'a city on a hill', 'a light to the nations', if you will; the government of this nation has been turning towards empire-building for at least three-quarters of it's existence! As far back, I believe ( and any history buff may correct me ), as the early 1800s, the beginnings of this empire-building, this Roman idea of bringing democracy or peace to the rest of the world through any means necessary, was employed by the leaders of this 'city on a hill'!

It may be argued ( and quite well, in fact ) that at least the First Barbary War was unavoidable, and in fact justifiably necessary! The Second, though delayed by the War of 1812 ( also 'necessary' ) was a much shorter and decisive one that spelled the end of any tribute payments ( heretofore made ) to the Barbary Coast States, and did much to enhance the reputation of the United States Navy as a force to be reckoned with. I trust that this information is correct, but whatever the case may be, it is without doubt that, as far as ( proclaimed ) foreign wars go, this marked the beginning of the American Empire!

As time wore on, and America waxed in her power and ability to assert that power overseas, wars became almost a matter of fact! Though most often provoked, it seemed that the reason behind these wars grew less and less, and the provocation for them, greater and greater!

Though many of these battles ( wars ) for domination were fought overseas, there were battles fought as well, within the boundaries of North America. The Mexican-American War, fought in the mid to late 1840s, was fought as an almost direct result of our expansionist policies, in other words, our possession of the Republic of Texas. Again, this war was no doubt justifiably provoked. Though this war was a direct result of our expansionist policies, and succeeded quite well in that design, it was not without controversy and even some opposition from certain elements.

The Spanish-American War of the late 1800s may have been the first example of a war that the US got themselves into because of their interventionist policies! Although this conflict lasted less than three months, with the help of native revolutionaries, a decisive end was brought to this war, which also spelled the effective dominance and even end of the Spanish Empire! Following closely on the heels of this war came the little-known ( to me anyway ) Philippine-American War. This conflict came as a result of Philippino revolutionaries vying for native control and freedom from the Americans, to whom the Spanish Empire had ceded control after their defeat.

Doubtless, many more examples of needless foreign wars, either because of our interventionist or expansionist policies ( or both ), could be enumerated here, but I hope you're beginning to get the idea! It should be clear by now that war led to war, led to war, led to war!As the new super-power of the world, America, or the U.S, soon began to view themselves as 'a light on a hill', 'making the world safe for Democracy ( at the point of the sword )', or as I like to call them, 'world police'.

America will never be destroyed from the outside.
 If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.
Abraham Lincoln-1838

Although I'm sure that Abraham Lincoln had high hopes that this day would not come, he uttered this prophecy in truth. It is not from any outside force, though they are and will be involved, that our destruction is coming! It is a cancer that has corrupted the heart of good intentions that is eating this nation from the inside out! The damage has been done, the gauntlet has been thrown down, and when the smoke clears and the dust settles; America will not be as she once was. It may take up to a century ( like as not, much less ), but it is physically unavoidable!

Clearly, America as a nation, or more specifically, the U.S. Incorporated, has begun to falter! Writing on the 12th anniversary of 9-11, as I am, we should be reminded that, though the impetus for these attacks ( on the surface, anyway ) came from outside our national borders, two of the greatest monuments to our financial prowess came crashing down! 12 years later, and throughout those 12 years, look where we stand! We are in the midst of an already bankrupt economy, which is seemingly being held up by false hopes and digits on a computer screen.

Without even exploring the notion that the attacks of 9-11 occurred as the result of 'an inside job', or even going in over my head and discussing ( at length ) the coming financial ruin of America ( the longer we hold it back with a false economy, the worse it will be ), suffice to say that the U.S. Inc. will not be recognizable, if even in existence, when it's all said and done!

With all the 'doom & gloom', some may ( or have already turned to ) despair, but there is Hope for America! This Hope alone is to be found in a national repentance for all the atrocities ( such a the 'murder of the innocents' ) that have been perpetuated in this nation since it's inception, and a wholesale turning in obedience to our Creator, Almighty God! If this national repentance does occur, and I believe it will, although this will necessarily spell the end of the U.S. Inc; America, through much trial and tribulation, may be ( will be ) preserved!

Amen, May it Be!
Charles Haddon Shank

Friday, September 06, 2013

The Decline of Western Civilization, Part Two

Okay, let me get this straight; we're going to bomb Syria................because Syria bombed Syria?!

Really, how much sense does that make?!

Well, if you're in the know, and in the general context of our foreign policy for the last 2oo years, give or take, it makes all the sense in the world! The rulers of the American Empire seem to think that it is their duty to 'police' the world, to make it safe for democracy. This haughty attitude has engendered many unnecessary problems in the world at large, and has been the cause of much heartache and loss of lives ( 'Bring the Boys Home' ) here in America.

Beginning as much as two centuries ago, our Founding Fathers, and certain subsequent 'rulers' started out with what seemed like a good foreign policy; America was 'a city on a hill' to all the other nations! She was ordained ( of God? ) to shine the Light of Democracy into the farthest reaches and darkest corers of the world! She was, in essence, ( up till 1948, anyway ) the New Israel, to minister the Good News of Freedom to the nations who labored under tyranny and oppression!

Fast-forward to the present-day dilemma facing the 'powers that be'; to bomb or not to bomb, to stick our metaphorical nose in even farther where it does not belong! As was hinted at earlier, this is just the next logical step for a nation that has back-pedaled from being a bright and shining ( 'a thousand points of' ) light, to being hated by many nations for our often unwanted and always intrusive foreign policy!

The blame for much of what has gone wrong with our foreign policy, along with a host of other evils, can be laid almost wholly and squarely at the feet of the Church in America! When the first 'ruler' had a notion, however good and righteous it seemed, that we should be 'policing' the world, or even intervening in the affairs of nations outside our own borders ( we have enough to deal with here ), America's preachers should have been among the first to nix the whole idea! However, as it stands now, 'a silent pulpit is a complicit pulpit', and though She bears much of the blame, and more and more preachers, praise God, are waking up to this abominable fact, She is still, to a large extent, silent and complicit!

Much of the blame, I will admit, for the frightened silence of many of America's churches, can be brought right back around and laid at the feet of her secular 'rulers, those 'powers that be', as the mistakenly term them. Because the 'rulers & authorities' which the Church in America has allowed to gain sway have departed from the principles & precepts found in Scripture, and to some extent followed by our Founding Fathers; the Church, they have, through tyrannical oppression & subterfuge, put into effect their own corrupted and perverted system of checks & balances concerning the Church Herself!

It is not too late; in fact, it's never too late! America, and even the Church in America ( thank God? ) will never be the same, but the most awesome Creator of the universe is as immutable as He is powerful! What evil man has done and will yet do can never undo or even alter the eternally infinite and perfect Plan of our Almighty Father! There WILL be consequences, no mistake about that, but we can rest assured, that with all the machinations of man, and 'the evil that men do', nothing can interfere with Almighty God's plan for His Creation!

Let us rest in this joyous fact, not cowering in the safety of our 'bunkers by the River', but bravely, fearlessly, and joyfully shining the Light of God's Love and Kingdom, as 'a city on a hill'!

Charles Haddon Shank