This is part of a series of posts on the sin of Assimilation. Click here to see the entire series.
Chapter 13 of Revelation speaks of the “beast coming up out of the sea”. Depending upon your eschatological view, that beast can signify different things. In my view the beast represented Rome at that time and, by application, all State governments since that time. The beast speaks arrogantly and seeks to be the sole object of worship of all the people in the land. The beast also “opened his mouth in blasphemies against God”. With respect to the struggle for ultimate power and authority, “it was given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them; and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him.”
I believe that the description of Rome at that time also directly applies to today. I believe the Church has lost the war to be superior to the State and the net result of that loss is that the secular humanist State has become the supreme authority in the land. Under the oppression of the State, true believers are persecuted. But not all professing believers are persecuted. In the State strategy, those who are willing to throw in their lot with the State are deemed to be worth keeping around. As long as the Church agrees and supports the State, everything is fine. If the Church ever does not agree or support the activities of the State, it is persecuted. The false church that seeks to avoid persecution is known as the False Prophet.
Verse 11 says this about the false prophet, “And I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke as a dragon (Satan)”. The false prophet is empowered by Satan, just like the beast. But the false prophet serves at the behest of the beast. Verse 12 says, “And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast.” The role of the false prophet is to support and encourage worship of the State.
Based upon what I have argued thus far, it is my contention that the evangelical Church in the United States is serving in the prophetic role of the False Prophet in that she exists to promote the worship of the State. True religion and the God of the Bible are carefully tucked into the corner. Proponents of the living God are persecuted for their beliefs and activities, primarily by the False Church. The False Church, and her members, want nothing more than to get as close to and cozy with the all-powerful State government as they can. It is no problem for a false Christian to swear an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States. It is a great thing for a false Christian to become a part of the State apparatus. Believers feel blessed to be recognized and honored by the State and the State media. It is easy for a false Christian to suppress and persecute those who preach and teach the Bible.
In order to conclude this essay it is vital to make an appraisal of the current “State of the Church”. Just like the President delivers a “State of the Union” address at the start of each year, it is important for us to appraise the “State of the Church” on a regular basis. If what I have been arguing in this essay is true, we should expect to find that the state of the Church is miserable indeed. If my appraisal of the extent of our assimilation is true, it should also be the case that the Church is in a horrible state of apostasy. On the other hand, if my position is in error, it should be easy to prove that the Church is under the blessing of God. If what I have argued is false, then the Church really is being obedient to the revealed will of God and should show many evidences of His blessing. Hence, to conclude my argument that the Church has become the false prophet by assimilating to the culture of the United States, I present my analysis of the State of the Church.
The State of the Church
The God of the Old Testament (who is the same God as the God of the New Testament, except in the opinion of modern Marcionite heretics) very clearly says that obedience has consequences. Deuteronomy 28: 1-2 says, “Now it shall be, if you will diligently obey the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today…all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you will obey the Lord your God.” Conversely, God also promises to curse those who are disobedient to His law. Deuteronomy 28: 15 begins a list of curses that goes on for several pages of biblical text with these words, “But it shall come about, if you will not obey the Lord your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes which I charge you today, that all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you…”
The fact that God blesses obedience, wherever He finds it, and curses disobedience, wherever He finds it, is incontrovertible. It is therefore necessarily the case that a determination can be made about the relative obedience of a people by the degree of blessedness or cursedness that they are experiencing. This is especially true for the Church. Amazingly, most Christians simply assume that God is in the business of blessing His Church. To even bring up the possibility that God is not blessing His visible Church is considered an act of great unfaithfulness. By presupposing that God is always blessing the Church it necessarily follows that the Church must always be obedient to God’s commandments.
I have shown that the United States continually breaks all of the commandments of God. Based upon the Constitution of the United States, it is not possible for the government to not be in continual revolt against God’s commandments. It is not possible that the Church could be aligned with the government and not also be guilty of breaking all of the commandments. On the other hand, if the Church is truly obedient to the commandments of God, it is not possible that it could be aligned with the United States government. There are no other options. So, an interesting question arises, is the Church being blessed or cursed? If the Church is being blessed then we have strong evidence that she is being faithful to God and is not a manifestation of the false prophet of Revelation. If the Church is being cursed then we have strong reason to believe that she is disobedient to the commandments of God and is quite possibly a manifestation of the false prophet of Revelation. I am going to examine ten characteristics of the blessed Church. The ten characteristics are not intended to be an exhaustive list but it should be enough for us to be able to answer the question at hand.