It seems to me that one of the toughest lessons of the 2020 global totalitarian coup, with its assimilation of the churches, has been to emphasize the failure of discernment of many of those Christians who lived the most exemplary lives of obedience to what might be termed 'Gospel precepts' (i.e. those behaviours most associated with being-a-good-Christian).
Plenty of those people whose actually-achieved lives were most completely in-line with the commandments, rules, and principles of good living - and the denominations/ churches that most strictly enforce such behaviours; have enthusiastically bought-into the birdemic-peck strategy of evil; as well as endorsing some or all of the major ideological planks of Satanic Leftism - such as antiracism, CO2 climate-change-environmentalism, the poverty-industry and socialism.
From which I infer that the major motivation for traditional 'Christian good behaviour' was conscientious obedience to external social pressures; not goodness of heart.
In other words, too-many well-behaved people are only 'good' because they obediently follow the rules and practices of their chosen social group. And when that social group is assimilated to the agenda of evil; then these well-behaved people continue to obey their leaders.
In most instances, therefore, 'good behaviour' is only skin deep - good behaviour is, indeed, easier and more likely, the less a man is personally and actively motivated - and the more he is merely externally and passively obedient.
Are such people Christians at all?
Only if there is more to their exemplary adherence to Gospel precepts than obedience; only when passive obedience to social pressure is subordinated to guidance by intuitive knowledge of God's providence and to the guidance of the Holy Ghost.
Post-2020 experience has demonstrated that when 'Christian life' is in practice reducible to the most perfect obedience to any external 'authority' (institution, organization, person); then such life is an empty simulacrum of Christianity.
A well-programmed android, or brainwashed shell-of-a-man could do as much.
This harsh lesson is unavoidable; since all actual and possible Christian groups are already assimilated to the evil Global System, in process of such 'convergence', or else vulnerable to it.
Sooner or later every Christian will be confronted by the absolute need for personal discernment (individually motivated, based upon direct knowledge of the divine) to be applied to external authority of whatever kind.
Such are these End Times.
And in this situation; qualities of temperament such as conscientiousness, deference and obedience - which in the past enabled someone to be an exemplar of Christian living - will now tend to lead them across to the dark side.
@DJ - I too am utterly impatient with those who would set a few verses of Paul's (aiming at little more than an expedient modus for church operations) against the overwhelming example of Jesus himself - his life and teachings.
I don't know any.
@FGW - Given what you have lived through since 2020 - https://charltonteaching.blogspot.com/2021/12/the-age-of-great-apostasy-this-worldly.html - this comment suggests that either you don't know many Christians; or that you were/are yourself on the dark side.
Joker in Dark Knight said it best:
"Their morals, their code; it's a bad joke. Dropped at the first sign of trouble. They're only as good as the world allows them to be."
@MS - It is not just, or mainly, that they dropped the morals/ code in face of social pressure - it is that they have joined the other side, and are actively aiding the demonic strategy; and lack even the basic discernment to notice the fact, indeed strenuously deny it.
Thus are end times prophecies fulfilled.
This posting brought Revelations 3 powerfully to mind. I doubt it explains it all but the self-satisfaction and lukewarm-ness parts jumped to mind.
14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
KJV Rev 3.14-22
Where I live we are now perilously close to being imprisoned for our faith. Our church was one of a tiny handful that held in-person services at Christmas. Our government is closing in on us. More importantly, the majority of our fellow Canadians will look the other way when that government finally descends.
Should all Christians go to prison, or worse, in these circumstances? My default answer would be yes, do not comply and take the consequences.
The Scorcese masterpiece Silence addresses this question. In the "hopeless" conditions of 17th century Japan (where Christians were ruthlessly exterminated) a priest converts to Shintoism (?) and complies fully with the Japanese authorities, even becoming an exemplar for them of Christian apostasy. Yet we understand that he possibly retains his love of Christ deep within himself, making small gestures in Christ's name when the opportunity arises.
Do we all resist and suffer the consequences? Or is there a place for going with the flow while quietly carrying on God's work for us?
@Nova - I don't believe that general advice can be given on such matters - and we should not even try. The point is for each person to discern what he *ought* to do - with seriousness and honesty.
Doing it, or not, is the next matter to deal with - and depends on many factors (personal, societal etc) but it is important to separate what is right, from whatever action/ inaction follows.
The two are separate issues, and conflating them is a common way of excusing sin.
I believe this is a clear example of the problems a rich man has in trying to enter heaven. It seems that those blessed with worldly comfort are less likely to see the truth of the world (discernment) than those living in more modest conditions.
@JC - Something in that - but I think matters are worse than just prosperity. But we will soon know, because prosperity will not last much longer.
Oh, I agree. It just struck me that there is a connection between prosperity and/or privilege and what I call a shallowness of conviction. Regardless, I believe we are in for a very interesting time. Makes me think of Padre Pio.
On a related track, it is also interesting that with the coof, potential war in the Ukraine or Taiwan, looming food supply disruption, and the apparent conquest of the West, all four horsemen of the apocalypse are making an appearance.
@JC - I think the link perhaps lies back at the start of the industrial revolution, when there was some kind of civilizational decision to delete the spiritual from life, and take the path of prosperity and power - to use the new technologies to make more wealth and to dominate; rather than to pursue Christian-shaped goals. I think we can see this decision point in the writings of William Blake. Successive generations have remade that same decision - and here we are...
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