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6. Wondering After the Beast

Jonathan Zirkle
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Jonathan Zirkle

Evangelistic Trial Attorney; Director of Advent Hope Ministry in Loma Linda and serves as an adjunct faculty member at Weimar College teaching History

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  • January 2, 2016
    3:15 PM
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This message was presented at the July seed twenty fifteen conference. Told. Chosen in Louisville Kentucky. For other resources like this visit us online at W W W W Y C Web dot org Let's power has authority for. Dear Lord. We thank you so much for the freedom that we enjoyed to come together and worship today on this your holy seventh day. Lord I asked that you would send your Holy Spirit to be with us. Lord please anoint my lips that I may speak the words that you would have me to speak. Lord please let us all be blessed. Yes this in Jesus name in men. OK So we've heard a lot of things in this presentation. As far as my presentations go we started off talking about Pagan Rome and seeing how Papal Rome is really modeled on. Peg in Rome. And when you look at the religion of Papal Rome. And what they were trying to do it was a very public religion. And it was one the the rationale behind it was. If all the gods are being worshipped properly. Then the empire will prosper. And so they enforced to worship their worship of all the different gods. And then into that came Christianity and Christianity posed a problem because Christianity. Called for exclusive worship of one God and the Christians would it worship. All the gods and they wouldn't worship the Emperor They would it bring incense to the idols. And so persecution started. And then. Constantine. At least nominally converted to Christianity. And we got a whole different kind of persecution going on and if you'll recall we read some of the early Christian fathers. They understood religious liberty as well as we did. And the Donatists. They understood religious liberty. Very similar to the way we do. And this persisted for quite some time into the time of Martin Luther. And during the time of Martin Luther we saw that there were actually state churches created during the Reformation. But we also learned about the radical reformation. And in the radical reformation you had the end of Baptists and their big sin was is believers baptism. Where you would only be baptized if you believed. And so therefore they were creating another church that wasn't national and character. It was a because you actually believed. And that was a very radical thing and that got a lot of them burned at the stake. And then as we were looking through history we saw how these thoughts coalesced and came to America. And then Roger Williams came in Rhode Island and it was a new day for freedom and listening to Roger Williams He says the same things that we say today especially Seventh Day Adventists about religious liberty. And so that brings us to now. We talked about the U.S. Constitution if you're the things we don't have time I've seen review everything. And so I like to bring us to today. I'd like to start though by reading a quote. I think that this is. This is one hundred percent true it says this. This is a Lord Acton he was a historian and a politician in England. And he had to say this liberty is the delicate fruit of a mature civilization. The reason delicate We need to remember that at all times. Sincere friends of freedom have been rare. And its triumphs have been due to minorities. And really that's where you need liberties for the minorities in the corollary of that is that it's destroyed by majorities and we need to keep that in mind. Turn with me well and your bible says if you will to Revelation thirteen. You've already looked at some of this. Believe that this is America and prophecy. Revelation thirteen. Looking at verse eleven it says and I beheld another beast coming out of the earth. And he had two horns like a lamb and he spake is a dragon. So we see this as another study to show this is American prophecies so hopefully this is not a question to you but we see that America is going to speak as a dragon. And he exercised this. All the power of the first beast before him and caused that the earth and then the do well there into worship the first beast. Whose Deadly Wound was healed. So we see that issues worship. And he do with great wonders that he make a fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men and deceive us them that do well on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast. Saying to them that dwell on the earth that they should make an image to the beast. How do you make an image to the beast an image is something that the duplicate is the original right. So they're going to make a duplications of something to the beast which had the wound by the sword and did live. And he had power to give life. And to the image of the beast now when you think about that this is not just some simple image this is something that moves and talks it's it's scary. There's a real power here. That the image of the BE should both speak in cause that as many as would not worship. The image of the BE should be killed. This is definitely a loss of religious liberty here. And he causes all both great both small and great rich and poor free and bond to receive a mark in their right hand or on their foreheads. On the hand the action in the foreheads the heart. You can go either way they don't. They don't care. And that no man might buy or sell safe he had the mark. Or the name of the beast or the number of his name. Great conversely has this to say. The prediction that it will speak as a dragon and exercise all the power of the first beast plainly foretells a development of such of a spirit of intolerance and persecution. And the statement that the beast with two horns causes the earth and them which dwell there into worship the first beast. Indicates that the authority of this nation is to be exercised in forcing some observance will still be an act of homage to the papacy. Such action would be directly contrary to the principles of this government to the genius of its free institutions to the direct and solemn of Val's of the Declaration of Independence and to the Constitution. The founders of the nation wisely sought to guard against the employment of secular power on the part of the church with its inevitable result intolerance and persecution. There's a professor from St Louis University. James Fischer. He said this commenting upon. Catholicism in America is kind of interesting what he had to say. He's a Catholic so it's sort of interesting the way he puts it but I do agree with what he said. The situation of Roman Catholicism within the American culture has always been a puzzling issue to scholars and citizens. I'm not sure it's that puzzling. But it is a special situation. Many Protestants in early America were sure Catholicism was antithetical both to genuine Christianity and democracy. A sentiment manifest in much of the rhetoric. Rhetoric. Inspiring both the American Revolution. And the Union cause. During the Civil War and they'd seen fifty's a Republican order and a native US proclaimed America. American civilization in its ideal. It's historically. The political aspect of the Reformation. And it's true if you were listening to our our earlier talks you see how the American government and the genius of his liberty is really based on the. The fight for religious liberty and the Reformation. Now before we think oh it's just some kind of conspiracy mongering about what was going on with the union. And not being pro Catholic. One thing that we should remember about the history of the civil war. Is that the Catholic. Nation the Vatican. Was the only nation on earth to recognize the self. So. The U.S. Constitution guarantees liberty of conscience. When this was going on during the Civil War a number of things came out of the Vatican. That I think are really interesting if you go back and can find in cyclicals in the bowls in these kinds of things that came out of the Vatican in the eight hundred fifty thousand eight hundred sixty S.. Some very interesting things are being said. Pope Pius the tenth that isn't sick local letter. August fifteenth eight hundred fifty four said. The absurd and Iranis doctrines or ravings in defense of liberty of conscience. Are most pest. Pestilential ever. A pest of all others. Most to be dreaded in a state he hated liberty of conscience. And remember where liberty conscious came from it was from this believers baptism. Which was divorcing people from a state church in December eight hundred sixty four. He also went on to say that those who assert liberty of conscience and of religious worship. Also all such that. Maintain that the church may not employ force should be. Anathematized. So didn't want liberty of conscience and one of the church to be able to employ force. So this is kind of old and I said I was going to be talking more about today so let's move this forward into one thousand nine hundred sixty. I want to analyze a speech that. John F. Kennedy made just before his election. He was the first Catholic president. And there was a lot of tension people still remembered. The Catholic issue at the time that J.F.K. was running for president. And so he gave a speech and. I don't know whether he believed or not but it's actually a beautiful speech and. Let's analyze it for a second. He said this. I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute. Amen. Were no Catholic probably would tell the president should he be Catholic how to act. And no Protestant minute minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote. Were no church or school or church school is good. Granted in any public funds or political preference. And where no man is denied public office merely because of his his religion. Differs from the president who might appoint him or of the people who who might elect him. Well what's happened since one nine hundred sixty think about what he was saying there. Right. In one thousand nine hundred six Bill Clinton has provides monies to faith based groups that are providing government services in two thousand and two. President Bush creates the faith based community initiative funding any creates a whole office inside the government was a cabinet level but it's a high level office. To do these things. And today. We spend money. The federal government provides money to faith based organizations so that they can provide government services on behalf of the government. If you look back at history in Virginia. It was this very issue that came up that caused the Virginia legislature to provide religious freedom for Virginia. And they said no. Going on J.F.K. speech he says I believe in America that is Fishley neither Catholic Protestant nor Jewish were no public official either requests or excepts instructions on public policy from the pope. Think about that we just had the pope here in America. He goes on the National Guard not from the Pope or the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source. Were no religious body seems to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace. Or the public acts of his officials. And where religious liberty is so in divisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all. If you look today. Every major faith tradition every major faith has a political action. A Packer political action committee. They're all out funding. There are fund raising for candidates. And they're pushing agendas and they're very very active in the political realm. We're not here. With what Kennedy wanted. He goes on for a while. This year it may be a Catholic against him the finger of suspicion is pointed in other years it has been and may someday be again a Jew or Quaker or a Unitarian or a Baptist. It was Virginia's harassment a Baptist preachers for example. That helped lead to Jefferson statute of religious freedom. He knows his history Amen. And in fact this was the kind of America for which our forefathers died. When they fled here to escape religious tests. Of the denied office. To members of less favored churches. When they fought for the Constitution the Bill of Rights in the Virginia Statute of religious freedom. He goes on I ask you tonight to follow in that tradition to judge me on the basis of my record of fourteen years in Congress which my declared stand against in and Bassett are to the Vatican. Against and Sconce situationally to Pericles schools and he goes on. Amen. So in one thousand eight hundred four. President Reagan a poison and that ambassador to the Vatican. And we have a long history of helping Procul schools whether it be buying textbooks or there's been examples of even hiring teachers to teach non religious subjects in schools. And as far as the papal visits go. Well my nine hundred sixty five the pope came for the first time five years after the speech the pope came to America for the first time. Eight times he's met with U.S. presidents in the White House. One time he met with U.S. president in Alaska he had a stop over and Reagan went up to visit him four times he's been to the U.N. and one time. He's been to Congress. The president's a vet visited him in the Vatican twenty two times. I have some long statements here but I'll just read a little just little pieces here. This is from a new service. Published in April eighteenth two thousand and five it says a seismic shift has occurred in the way. American evangelical and fundamental property. Prop Protestants have understood the religion of Rome. It's not. I mean this seismic shift is in the politics. It's in the way. The nation is governed. Billy Graham. Quoted in Time magazine December nine one thousand nine hundred one said this. No other man in the world today could attract as much attention on moral and spiritual subjects. As John Paul the second. The country is responding in a magnificent way. The pope has reached millions of Protestants. This is a pig. Shift. And you have to remember our country and our liberties were based on it's an out working of the Protestant Reformation. The gives us all of our liberties. President George W. Bush. This is George Bush the first said this the best way to honor Pope John Paul the second. Truly one of the great men is to one take his teaching seriously. Is to to listen to his words and to three. Put his words into action here in America. This is the challenge we accept. So you look at this the pope came to America. We could talk about all the little different details and I'm I'm just we just don't have time today. But I would like to talk a little bit about his speech to Congress. When he came to Congress he. He talked about. About four Americans that are remarkable that we know well in history and I'm just going to talk about a few of them right here. Because I think that they're really relevant to the whole discussion the one that the. I find well. To these are very interesting. First is he spent a lot of time talking about Lincoln. Well think about Lincoln. What do we just hear about the civil war. The Pope. Supported the South. In the civil war. The Pope. Issued a bunch of negative statements about the North. And I wish I had a few of them here. I want to try to find them at the last minute I've seen the many times on the Internet. And they're hard to find right now. So it's mentioning fifty years in the Church of Rome. Very interesting book by Father Chinnock way and I would suggest everyone to read it very very controversial. Especially the statement says that Lincoln made a statement actually blaming the. The Catholic Church. For the civil war in that book. So. Another thing though that's that's that's more publicly and well known. Is is the assassination of Lincoln. There was investigations obviously into the assassination and I know my parents probably showed me pictures we were it's a link in it too young an age because I will tell you I have burned into my head. Those conspirators hanging from the gallows. Well I've gone on and I've read more about that. And you know. They're all Catholic. And there was all Catholic involvement in that and. There was some Civil War generals who looked into what was going on and they accused the Vatican of harboring some of the conspirators in the Vatican after. After the assassination header curd. So I find it very interesting that the pope could come and come to Congress and talk about Lincoln. And not a listen. Any response. The other person in talked about that I think is particularly interesting is Thomas Merton. I don't know how many of your familiar with Thomas Merton but. Thomas Merton was a trap as I believe it was a Trappist monk I know that he was a monk and very much into mysticism. Very mystical and. Merton has gone on to become someone who is very popular in both the Catholic Church and. In other denominations in the ecumenical movement. And the aspect of his popularity is mysticism. He spent a lot of time with Buddhist monks in the east. Meditating with them learning their practices and bringing them into the West. Well I want to read something that I think you'll find kind of interesting if you think about this. This is from a book that was written in the one nine hundred twenty S. and early twenty's. Written by an Adventist I believe he was talking about religious freedom. And this is where he talks about Catholicism. Where Catholicism doesn't have the upper hand. Where it doesn't it isn't the mainline main majority church. It in gauges. In different strategies to change that. And one of the things he said is they engage in mysticism. And this is why says mysticism. Contributes by diverting attention from dogma. To experience and equating the way to God with the way of suffering. Which comports more readily. With martyrdom. And with persecution. He goes on to say. Talking about sectarianism that comes in sectarianism is also used. And he says this as in the case of the spiritual Franciscans. The sectarianism places obedience to God or to the founder of the order or to the Holy Spirit. Above obedience to the pope. At this guy wrote long before any of this happened I mean this is about one hundred years ago right. And he sees that mysticism. When you can denigrate downgrade. Doctrine. Now you don't have anything to argue about you can just experience together. And then he talks about the Franciscans and the idea that if you have this. Sectarianism that you have with inside Catholicism that you can kind of promote some of these. Some of these groups and they appear to be kind of like the suffering Saints. I mean St Francis of Assissi definitely has that kind of feeling. And when you look at this. I mean this was prophetic what this guy wrote. What is the pope's name. Pope Francis where to get it from the Franciscans. And so you have this this pope is very very popular and he. It's just using this we see this. Here today. And this is in a book on religious liberty. So how does religious liberty work. And what's an inefficient way to think about it. I thought about you know I could take you through a bunch of case law I think your eyes just kind of glass over man I don't want to hear that. And I would I would apologize for something that may want to hear it. But there's been a lot of thought about this. And there's two main lines of reasoning within the U.S. Supreme Court decisions and all the court decisions. There's two main directions that have gone throughout their decisions on religious liberty in this country. And the two decisions go one way. Where they follow strictly. Roger Williams and his separation of church and state. And that's also I constantly say Roger Williams But the reason why it really got into the Constitution why we have it here and probably more talked about is Thomas Jefferson because Thomas Jefferson got it from Roger Williams. But it's this wall of separation between church and state. And the other way is what they call accommodation which basically means. We're not going to pass any law that damages or restricts religion. But you're going to see here that. You know religions compete with each other a little bit in this method may not be the very best but let's talk a little bit about separationist. First the real high point for separation is the the real highpoint decision was probably Everson versus Board of Education from one nine hundred forty seven and. Now had to forgive me because I'm going to talk about a few cases here. And basically. This is what they had to say when they made their decision they said they're talking about the establishment of religion. Clause of the First Amendment. And that they talk about you know. You can't have a church. You can't establish a state church but then they go on and say these things. Neither can force nor influence a person the government can either force or influence of person to go to or remain away from a church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. That's awesome right. No person can be punished for entertaining a professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs for church attendance or non-attendance. No tax in any amount large or small can be lived. Can you can be levied to support any religious activities or. Situations. Whatever they may be called or whatever form they me adopt. To teach or practice religion. Neither a state nor the federal government can openly or secretly participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson the closet against a savage mint of religion by law was intended to erect a wall of separation between church and state saying no tax. Doesn't matter how big or small can support a religious activity or institution. And yet what we have in America today is we have these faith based initiatives where we give money to the faith based organizations so that they can provide the government assistance. So we've moved away from the separationist. Now there's one thing that I think bears. Bears talking about because I think you need to be efficient to answer this question if anybody ever asks you what about the chaplains and in the military. But about chaplains in the other different. Government organizations. Well. This is what they said about this in one thousand nine hundred sixty three. It says this. It's good rationale. Since the government has deprived of such Person of the opportunity to practice their faith. At places of their choice. When you're in the military now right. He can't just go to any church you want to government may in order to avoid infringing on the free exercise guaranteed. Provide substitutes. Where requires such persons to be. So that's your exception. Because we know otherwise you would go into the military or some other organization like that and you would have no religion. And so under those circumstances you can provide for chaplaincy. So. I hope you like this Adventists go to court I know you'd want to hear this right. There is a very important case one of the more important religious liberty cases. Was was brought by a Seventh Day Adventist. Miss sherbert sherbert was forced to work on Saturday. And when she went to her boss. She couldn't get an accommodation the boss said if you won't work on Saturday. You'll have to quit or be fired. And so she allowed herself to be fired. And she applied for unemployment. Well the case. The state said. You know what you are ready willing and able. You're ready and able not just not willing to work and so therefore you don't qualify for unemployment. And so she was denied that benefit. Well that went up to the United States Supreme Court in the U.S. Supreme Court said that we shouldn't deny her. Her benefits based upon her exercise of her religious rights. And they found against the state and gave her her rights and her her her unemployment. And they said that unless a state has a compelling interest. We have to we have to give the benefit to a person. Well. I was reading. There's a there's an organization I can't remember the name of it right now. But it was just really interesting interview by a guy. Not an Adventist. I'll get to it in just a second. Not an advantage city says. He says what's the what's the the the most interesting or most important. Recent religious liberty case and he says well let me tell you what the worst one is. And he said the worst one is Employment Division of Oregon versus Smith. And let me just read what he had to say and I answer your compelling interest right. He said this. He Smith is so important because it is so terrible. He says and sherbert versus Verner that's the case we're just talking about the advent of the court had formulated the compelling state interest test for interpret in free exercise cases. Now you ask What's what's a compelling state interest. And I'll try to give you some examples. But I'm thinking of them in religious liberty. Context which I guess is OK I wish I could get away from that but the one that comes to mind right now is one that was the case against the. The Mormon Church and basically they said we have a compelling state interest to not allow polygamy. It's actually kind of interesting considering the L.G.B. T. cases in the in the gay marriage cases that we've had here recently. But basically they said the state has a compelling interest to see to it that the home is. There's a hearth and home kind of philosophy. And this actually goes back in. In political science all the way back to the Greeks I mean every single nation on earth his has has been interested in this. If you don't have a strong hearth and home. You won't have a strong populace. And you won't be able to field a strong military that it's hard to field a military that doesn't have a home worth fighting for its that practical. So that there can be other compelling interest. You just everything is kind of on a on it on a sliding scale and the more important the interest the state finds it. The more likely there's going to say it's compelling. If it seems trivial it's not compelling. So anyway. He's talking about this is talking about Smith and saying just how terrible it is. Oh here we go he's either going to say a little bit more about it. That meant. The compelling state interest that before the state could interfere with religious activity. It had to show a compelling interest in public welfare and safety. The state had a high bar to hurdle before it could declare any religious activity illegal. And perhaps at that activity. Smith to declare the compelling interest test. Does scuse me Smith discarded the compelling state interest test and replace it with this test. A neutral law. Of general. A plug ability. Now the state had to hurdle a much lower Berry before it to prohibit religious behavior. That decision enormously advanced the power of the state and church state relations. And is still the law of the land. Smith was a case where there were some Indians that were smoking pay O.T.. And they said you can't do that and they said look the law against P.O.D. is natural it doesn't say Indians can't smoke. It says no one can smoke Paleo. So. So because it was just neutral across the board the No one gets to smoke Perry it's OK. It doesn't single out a religion. And that became the new test they didn't look to the effect of the legislation. Another thing that's interesting this came up. Just yesterday I got to make a telephone call based upon this line of cases. And this line of cases the Jehovah's Witnesses the job as witnesses go out and they solicit solicits the wrong term that's a technical term I shouldn't say solicit. But they proselytize. Which is precisely what we were doing yesterday in outreach. And it's precisely why I had to call the captain of the police department in Indiana and explain to him that we would continue to do this and that it was OK and I'm sure his statute was actually his ordinance was actually written. And a constitutional matter and that there wouldn't be a problem. And then I had the same conversation with a. With a sergeant. Here in Louisville and. But he came around very quickly and said that the officers were just asking what people were up to because they had some burglaries in the in the neighborhood. But praise the Lord for the Jehovah's Witnesses for going for going. For going ahead of us. So let me tell you the rationale. So we talked about separation in the high wall of separation. The idea that they're supposed to be nothing nothing. Crossing between the church in the state in the legislation in the rules you know separation separation of church and state now what does. Accommodation. Look Like. Well this is what someone who believes in religious accommodation theory would believe in. They would believe this. They would think religious liberty means the founders only intended to remove religious requirements for office. To prevent the creation of a natural. National Church. And to protect your freedom of conscience. But that the government is free to fund religion so long as it doesn't favor one over another or. The government is free to pass laws. Accommodating or supporting religion. So long as it doesn't favor one religion over another. But they're completely forgetting for getting the foundation of religious liberty in this country and what they're actually fighting for. They didn't want to find religion in any form whatsoever. That's what the whole debate in Virginia was all about. And the other thing that they're forgetting to is that. Remember we talked about Massachusetts an eight hundred thirty three they were the last to get rid of their church. And the whole issue was fighting over money and who's going to get the parish church member they had those parish meeting houses in each township and they they went to each denomination and they were arguing about which denomination should get in who should pay what tax and also the kind of stuff OK. They weren't arguing over religion only stuff this was just Monday and political infighting. Very neutral. Very neutral from there. From today's standard of neutrality right. But the Massachusetts voters voted down that that. That impartial funding scheme they called it in impartial funding scheme. They voted it down. Ninety percent. That's huge if and if you've watched elections have you ever seen anything passed by ninety percent. It doesn't happen. So the current Supreme Court is highly accommodationist. That's the direction they're going we just saw that in the Smith case. We should talk a little bit about the Supreme Court. It's very interesting when you look at the Supreme Court. Out of the out of all the justices. There's the there. They're all Catholic. Except for three we have three. Jewish. Wonderful I I think I made a mistake here. There was a little bored. Now here we go. Hold on just for a second. I want you to to get a feel for this. Oh you hate the internet when you have one hundred twelve justices who have been appointed to the court. Ninety one have been from various protestant denomination. Twelve have been Catholics. Eight have been Jewish. And one had no known religious affiliation. So out of the nine we've got six Catholic today. And three Jewish. And when you look. That's half of the total that if we've ever had a Catholic. We've had that today. It's no wonder that their commendation ist in their thinking. I want to read a couple things from a couple Supreme Court justices William Rehnquist the former chief justice of the Supreme Court had said this and Rehnquist was really well respected. I know at least when I went to law school he was. He says this that the wall of separation between church and state is based upon bad history. It should be frankly and explicitly abandoned that's an interview in Time magazine. December one thousand nine hundred ninety one. Antonin Scalia he used to love reading school his opinions when I was in law school. He writes The Pythias most logical just tight opinions I really liked reading about listen to what he said he's saying is that in the future rulings of the United States Supreme Court will be decided on the basis of majority benefit and traditional values instead of individual rights of conscience. Wait a second. Religious liberty. That's created what do we really want to Lord Acton say. It's based on the freedom loving minorities. And it's the majority. The takes it away in America there's a phenomenon. That's happening to you that you can see in the courts. It hasn't made much progress in the courts but there's opinion some dicta and things being said right now that open up the door for this. And what you see is a movement toward something called a civil. Religion in America. What they're talking about today's they're talking about kind of a judicial deism. Basically the idea is you can have a religion that everybody can agree on. Can we just have a religion that everybody can agree on. And the elements of this is a belief in God. A belief in the afterlife. That virtue is better than vice. You can have a prayer to go with it you have songs. Statements of Allegiance. And if you look at it it's kind of fear radically possible. In the courts. And this is the kind of thing that gets said. When we hear these cases about prayer in schools and prayer in public places. This is a movement right here to establish the civil. Religion. But there can be no true civil religion but. But think about Rome what was wrong trying to do. They wanted to have a public religion. One where you worship the deity of the state. Perhaps the Emperor. Right. And the reason why you did that was because you wanted the Empire to flourish and to make the gods happy. Is this not persist sleeve the same arguments we hear for an establishment of a civil religion here in America today. It's the same thing. We're making and Emmett. To Rome. You know. There's a few big things that we have today. I'll talk about a couple of them. The Probably one of the things that really bothers me and concerns me the most is the L G B T issue. The gay marriage issue. And what's going on with that. As I said before. The political scientists. All the way back to Plato. Understood the importance of the home and of of marriage and raising children. And they believed strongly that the state had an interest in that. Now. The reason why they thought it had an interest in it may not be one that you and I really like. Because it really went to this military talk. And they needed to have a strong military in a strong society based on that. But nobody's ever contested that the state could be involved in that and truly the state is deeply involved in that we have divorce laws. All the family laws. All of these relate to the they're all a cluster of issues. When you think about that in terms of. Roger Williams And what he had to say. He said that the state could never legislate. In the first four commandments. But that the state must legislate for the last six. And if you look at every single society it's always legislated in the last six. How do we know that murder is wrong. It's in the last six in every state can discover that. And every state can outlaw murder. And do we have any problem with that. None whatsoever. And yet today we come along. And we're being told the seventh commandment should be pulled out. Pulled out of that second half that we can legislate in. And we're not be able to legislate in that area because that's fundamentally where issues of marriage. Come from is in the seventh commandment. And we're being told that this is a religious thing. Now. To add to that. What do you do. If you're a church organization. And you need. You need to hire and fire people right. What do you do with a game ploy. Let's say that that's one of your standards that you do not want to have a gay employee. It's a rhetorical question. I'll answer I. Please forgive me I'm not trying to give any legitimacy to the action I know this is a charged. Difficult subject. But let me tell you what's going on and what we need to think about from a religious standpoint. Under the under the law. There's been religious exceptions for religious organizations. So if I run a church. I can say I'm only going to hire Adventists. And that's considered a religious a religious designation. But then in the realm of race. I can't run a church and say oh only hire a white. That's because I'm violating a non religious civil right now what's going on is is homosexuality. A civil right a non-religious civil right. Or is it a sin. Is it. Religious is a based on a religious belief. And we are right now at a time when the state is trying to make that determination. And when they were up in front of the U.S. Supreme Court arguing gay marriage. One of the justices asked. Does that mean that if a church. Won't perform a wedding. Will they lose their tax exempt status. Well you know what they very well might because if any time you violate a civil right. The I.R.S. is to remove your tax exempt status. And so this is going to be the next place that we fight on this particular issue. And it's just happened in a state court right now. There was a school that said we will not hire a gay teacher and. They were ordered to hire them and so now they're going to be stuck with this kind of choice. Well. I don't want to spend too much time right here. Because I want to keep the so much to talk about and we're so much out of time. So how to think about this man. The Catholic Church is difficult to think about. And it's difficult to talk about. You have speeches like J.F.K.. But then you have this incredible history of persecution. And I want to tell you what their official dogma is you can look this up it's a little hard to find but you can find it this is the official dogma. But rather than read it because it's long and hard to find I mean it is. I'm going to read it from a from a book to summarize it says in Catholicism only summarize some of this very first in Catholicism. There is no belief in toleration and freedom of conscience we've seen that. So. So what do you do with statements like Kennedy made or ones that are made perhaps by American bishops. That sound just like Kennedy. Well they have an official dogma and when a bishop says something just like Kennedy said. They're following Catholic dogma and it's called expediency. Says the only ground for tolerance is expediency. But this is a larger ground than one would first guess for expediency maybe ecclesiastical political or religious the church can argue from the Clichy ASCO point of view the persecution. Will recall upon Catholics. And do the church more harm than good. This is the situation in the United States. If any church had been established it would have been a Catholic church in the Catholic Church and if there. The Catholic Church would have been persecuted and it probably would have been exempted. So leaving American Catholics have clearly recognized the situation in the past of wholeheartedly adore indorsed. The American system of toleration. But you know truly. The Catholic Church has a global a global view. And it's it's it's a megalomania. Way of looking at the world. Pope Benedict in his in Sicko from two thousand and nine. Said this to manage the global economy to revive economies hit by the crisis. There's an urgent need of a true world political authority. It would be. It would need to be universally recognized and to be vested with the effective power effective power what kind of power we're talking about here. The economy needs ethics in order to function correctly. Remember that no man may buy or sell. This is going after the economic side. This is from Reuters October twenty fourth two thousand and eleven. The Vatican called on Monday for sweeping reforms of the world economy. And the creation of an ethical global authority to regulate financial markets and it goes on and on. It wants to have these to be world wide scope with Universal Gerson diction. And it says this of course this transformation will be made at the cost of a gradual balance transfer of a part of each nation's powers to a world authority. Listen to what the ambassador the U.S. ambassador to the Vatican said this is Thomas Mann. From one thousand nine hundred ninety one nine hundred ninety three was the ambassador he says this. I believe that the United States is the world's only superpower. And the Holy See is the only world why. Moral political sovereignty sovereignty. Have significant roles to play in the future. Their actions will impact the lives of people in all parts of the globe. When you look at it. There's only two powers on earth that can do this. The United States. And the papacy. Have you remember Tony Palmer. And the protest has ended. That was why he said gleefully over and over again. What he's talking about the protests he's talking about the Protestants and where do we get our name from Protestant. From protest. And what were we protesting. What did they say they said hey we can have a peace. You Protestants you can be Protestant. Just be fine just. And will be Catholics over here. But you can't proselytize anywhere. And the Catholics said. I mean excuse me the Protestant said. Now. We protest that. We will proselytize. Everywhere. And for that the battle was on. And we've been Protestants. Ever since. Pope John Paul the second in one thousand nine hundred one on his tour in Poland said. He denounced the separation of church and state of corn in Time magazine. Now Pat Robertson's got a political action committee or think tank I'm not quite sure which this is but anyway this is a quote in Time magazine. From the executive director. He says this The wall of separation between church and state. That was a wrecked it by secular humanists. What such secular humanist and other enemies of religious freedom. Anime's of religious for who see calling an enemy. Hasta come down that wall is more of a threat to society than the Berlin Wall ever was. Those a poet. Opposing our views are the new fascists. The Protestants are joining right into this. Running out of time here folks I could go on and on and on. In two thousand and fourteen. There was a group of Protestant ministers that went and had meetings with Pope Francis. Quoting here Joe all Steen I love the fact that he's made the church more inclusive. He said. Not trying to make it smaller but trying to make it larger to take everybody in. So that just resonates with me. So all sitting there. Nov seventeenth two thousand and fourteen. The Vatican hosted interface conference on marriage in the family. He had leaders from twenty three countries fourteen religions including Christian Jewish Mormon Islamic Buddhist and Hindu religions. Look this is just like the old Roman system as long as you worship EVERY GOD then the gods will be pleased. The pope is the ultimate ecumenical leader. This is what Rick Warren had to say about this. He went to this. And he said. As long as Catholics and Protestants love Jesus we're all on the same team. And then he went on to say when the pope invites you to go. You go. L. White had this to say to the true great heirs the immortality of the soul and Sunday sacredness say it will bring the people under his deceptions. While the former lays the foundation for spiritual ism. The latter creates a bond of sympathy with Rome. The Protestants the United States will be foremost in stretching their hands across the Gulf. To grasp the hands of spiritualism. When they reach over the abyss to clasp hands with the Roman power. And under the influence of this three fold Union. This country will follow in the steps of Rome and trampling on the rights of conscience. When she wrote this. I mean. We hadn't had a Catholic on the Supreme Court we hadn't had a Catholic president. She had lived through the Civil War she'd seen way. Gone there. And we none of this would make sense to write this. You'd have to be nuts. And yet we're seeing it for filled in our day. So what's the answer. What Jesus. Amen. Let me read you something and I want to propose an answer. Amen brother. December eighth. Eighteen nineteen Jefferson road to atoms are both former presidents at this point right. And he's wondering Jefferson's asking Adams a virtue once lost to a nation could ever be restored and Adams replied asking this question. Have you ever found in history one single example of a nation. Thoroughly corrupted. There was afterwards restored to virtue. And without virtue there can be no political liberty. Then Adams asked this question Will you tell me how to prevent riches from becoming the effects of temper. From becoming the effects of temperance an industry. Now there is where a temperate industrial nation. We're going to be rich. Says how you tell me. Will you tell me how to prevent riches from producing luxury. Will you tell me how to prevent luxury from producing a feminine see intoxication. Extravagance vice and folly. When you answer me these questions. I hope I may van venture to answer yours. Yet. All these not to discourage us from the exertion. For I believe no effort in favour of virtue is lost and all good men ought to strong. Struggle. Both for their counsel and example. Adams didn't recommend a course of action. To foster virtue. Because that's only religion. Adams later said the Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. And the responsibility for virtuous character must rest with the people. So what's the solution. My my you got the L.G.B. T. issues coming on and I didn't even mention Islam this is coming on to. We've lost so much of our virtue just in the average member of society we see the culture going down the tubes. But I can tell you there is no way we know from our experience. The government cannot create virtue. Government religion doesn't have any place in government and the second you put Christianity. Into religion. I mean into the state. You take your you take Christianity out of the state. It's definitional ie not possible. And so I would propose this. For every problem you see. You can't solve it with government. He needs Jesus Amen. If. If we would convert. Homosexuals. If we would convert. Islamic these problems would go away. It's our job as the churches. We have to get out there and do that but we can't do it with the stay. We can't ask the government to help us. We're just going to create a disaster. Every principle of the constitution will be repudiated. And the sad thing is today we're starting to see that happen. When executive rules by executive order. Instead of through the legislative process. We're seeing that happen. When you see. Agencies like the N.S.A. and other agencies. Spying on its citizens. You're really doing away with the Bill of Rights. And we're starting to see that happen. I want to take you back to another time I want to close with this thought in the with this story. I want to take you back to May fifteenth fifteen twenty seven. This is at the very beginning of the radical reformation and there's a Michael Salar. He was a man about this. He had been out. Baptizing people. And he got arrested by the Roman Catholic Inquisition in Rotenberg stria. It was not just him. It was him and fourteen other defendants they've all been arrested. The main charges that were brought against them was this. They said that communion was an ordinance and not a sacrament. To which Michael Sattler replied. I am not aware that we have acted contrary to the Gospel in the Word of God. I appeal to the Word of Christ. They said that he believed them believers baptism. And his only response was affirmed. They said that he despised Mary the Mother of God and that he condemned the Saints. His response that he never reviled Mary of their saints. Mary or the saints most esteemed of all women. But not a mediator. We are the living saints he said. Those who die in the faith. We consider blessed. They said he married. Because he was he was a priest and he should the married right. And he cited the gross immorality of the monks in that marriage had been ordained by God. They accused him of sympathizing with the Turks. And he had this to say. He said that he prays that God would deliver us from the Turks. And he said the turkey is a true Turk and knows nothing of the Christian faith and is a Turk according to the flesh. But you wishing to be a Christian and making your boast of Christ. Persecute the pious witness of Christ and are Turks according to the spirit. He went on to express hope that the judges would repent and receive instruction. And he requested to discuss the scripture with the judges to which the judges laughed. Someone said this to him. Oh you. Infamous desperate villain in monk. You would have us and gauge you in a discussion. The executioner will dispute with you. We think for certainty. Salaries reply was let the will of God be done. People from the crowd shouted out. When I see you get away I'll believe you. Why not stay Lord of the monastery. And he replied I was Lord according to the flesh. But it is better than us. Two days later he was executed. He was taken to the marketplace. They cut a piece out of his tongue. They tore flesh out of his body with hot tongues. Sattler play. Prayed first persecutors. They bound him and pushed him into the fire. He said Almighty eternal God that art the way in the truth. Because I have not shown to be in error. I will with I help to this day testify to the truth. And seal it with my blood. He raised his hands in victory is the ropes were burned. And he said Father I commend my spirit into the hands of the three others were X. three others were executed next eight days later they drowned his wife. There was a Lutheran pastor and a pair of his said this Sadler's character lies clearly before us. He was not a highly educated divine and not an intellectual. But his entire life was noble impure true and unadulterated. You know. Sattler wasn't martyred. Because he believed in believers baptism. He wasn't martyred for any of those things he believed in. He was martyred because he baptized people. It wasn't just because he believed in the baptism. He did it. And what did that baptism signify. It signified that you had entered into the true church of God. You were no longer in some state church that you were automatically a member of just by virtue of your birth. And that's why the State Church couldn't tolerate. Believers baptism. But think about where were headed. Sunday. Versus Saturday. Isn't it the same issue. It's the identical issue. We keep Saturday. Because God. Asked us to and were his people. Sunday is the day of the state. And it's not enough just to believe that Saturday. Is the seventh day in the Sabbath. You have to keep it. And I think. If you kept it maybe tears self privately. The state might still leave you alone. But if you preach it. And if you preach the three message. You will be doing just like South or. You'll be out. Baptized. And so I challenge each one of you. Religious liberty is fragile. We have had thousands of years of Earth history and less than two hundred years of true religious liberty in this country. Now there's been bright spots here and there. And it would have been great to live in Rhode Island in sixteen thirty right. This is a fragile state we're in and work call. We're called to spread the Gospel and to spread the three engines message. And we need to be like Salar I challenge you know the times they were in take the knowledge that you've learned here. Learn as much as you possibly can educate your friends educate the politicians. But more than anything else. Spreads Jesus. It's really the only solution. This will come to an end. We know it well. Let's close with a word of prayer. Dear Lord. We thank you so much for this place in this time. When we can come together. We thank you for America. And for the religious liberty that she offers us here today. Or we don't know why we were so blessed to live in this time. The Lord we thank you and I pray that each one of us will recognize the value of the religious liberty that we have. And Lord May we seize the time. May we make good use of the time to do the I will. To get your work done. Lord I pray for each one of us. There may be. I believe there will be very very rough times for us to go through in our own lifetimes. I pray that we will be so grounded in the faith that we will be like the martyrs of old board. And that we will not reject you. But that we will suffer. Your suffering and participate in your victory or please help us to thank this message was recorded at the G Y C twenty fifteen conference called chosen. They fall in Louisville Kentucky. You I see the supporting Ministry of a Seventh Day Adventist Church. Seeks to inspire young people to be bible based Christ centered and soul winning Christians. To download or purchase other resources like this visit us online at W W W G Y C web.

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