Saturday, January 24, 2009

Deceived by Social Justice? - Part 2

Part 2

In order to understand the two forms of social justice emerging in the earth, we must understand something that I like to call "minoritarianism" and the way this influences a secular liberation gospel. As a graduate student of architecture, some of my theoretical research has included the study of philosophies by Guiles Deleuze. (Bear with me for a second as I use some of his work to build a framework for this discussion.) The "Minoritarian" regularly shows up in his writings. Verena Conley, in her essy "Minoriatarian" explains Deleuze's understanding of the minority not by the "paucity of numbers," the standard half minus one, " but by its capacity to become." Deleuze, like most academics, refers to the majority as the social constant with the ability to exalt power and domination, rather than the standard thinking of the majority of half plus one. The difference between the majority and minority does not exist in quantity of numbers, but rather in power relations. In this case, the minoritarian is a force always in subject to the majority's power. Therefore, the minoritarian is in a state of creative potential often with constraints from the majority.

The way this translates through in regular language and in most liberation movements is that the minority is always the victim of the majority's controls. In contemporary culture, this is why we have terms such as "reverse racism," rather than simply allowing any state of of animosity between races to simply be called "racism." The "norm" of a majority group dominating a minority group allows the insertion of "reverse," and in some cases even excuses what many would consider racist behavior from the minority. This is a philosophical mindset that has permeated contemporary culture.

My point is not to deny the horrific actions that have historically occurred to many minority populations, some of whom I'm part of as a woman with a Native American heritage, and others who I'm learning more and more about from my Messianic Jewish husband. My concern, as I'm undergoing this understanding of what true biblical justice is and is not, is that this idea that the minority is in the constant victim state, is perverting our sense of truth about justice. Take the recent Israeli-Palestianian conflict, for example. A recent CNN broadcast announced the destruction of hopes and dreams of the Palestinian people after the Israeli's bombed a school in Gaza. How often has it been mentioned that Hamas has been bombing Israel consistently since early this past summer, regularly hitting schools in Sderot? And all this after a cease fire agreement. Not only has the the media neglected to broadcast the bombing of schools in Sderot, but they also neglected to mention that the school bombed in Gaza was a Hamas headquarters. Little has been reported on this fact because they hold the minority status in this conflict. This will lend the media to always have greater sympathies toward them than the Israelis, even though they often have to pervert the historical path of events, or omit certain truths that would change perception in favor of the majority to do so.

Greaves addresses this issue by presenting the biblical truth of injustice which "has to do with our corporate guilt before God, as the whole human race." Minority status does not elevate one's cause in God's eyes. As Romans 3:23 states "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Majority, minority; male, female; black, white; rich, poor; heterosexual, homosexual; no one is entitled to special rights in God's eyes due to their earthly status. Greaves continues to clarify that while we worship a God of justice, this isn't his primary controversy with humanity. "The burden of the Lord is stirred first for the internal condition of the human race and secondly for the manifestation of that internal condition; both need to be addressed."

But Jesus did feed the poor, right? He met the earthly needs of both the Jews and the Gentiles as he fed them miraculously with fish and bread. He healed the sick and leper. He cared about the earthly experience of those he came in contact with. He continues to meet these needs to this very day, but Greaves made a startling point that I had never considered. In John chapter 6, the people come to Yeshua to be fed a second time, but this time he refuses. "Jesus does not mind meeting physical needs, whatever they might be, but He wants to establish justice in our souls first. It is with this vision of justice in mind that Jesus refused to feed the people a second time. When He told them what He was requiring of them, many were offended and left, refusing to follow Him from that day forth."

One of my favorite scriptures is Matthew 11:6, Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me. In another version it is stated "Blessed is he who does not take offense at me." (NASB) Its obvious to be offended by the fact that coming into relationship with Him requires us to change, but its less obvious to think that we might be offended by the ways His character is different than our ideology wants us to believe. Through out history, many have been offended by the fact that Jesus is Jewish; actually called Yeshua, not Jesus, by his mother. In this generation, many will be offended to know that Yeshua is not a social activist, but rather a jealous bridegroom Messiah with a violent love for his bride. To view Yeshua as a reformer is to understand an incomplete and even false version of His true nature and character. Yeshua is about so much more than meeting our earthly needs. In our daily pursuits of love, we should seek justice for our neighbor with as much depth as Yeshua. We should bring them the full message of justice which cares for their eternal, as well as earthly need. Greaves continues to elaborate on Yeshua's refusal to feed the poor, citing Revelation 6:5 "Jesus breaks open the third seal; He withholds the bread of the nations resulting in the greatest famine in history." Not only does Yeshua break open the seal of famine, but also the seals of conquest, war, disease, martyrdom, environmental catastrophes, and tremendous loss of human life. (See Rev. 6: 1-2, 4, 8, 10-11, 12-14, and chapters 8 and 9)

"What will our message to the poor and the oppressed be in that hour?" asks Greaves. Its a question I'm not sure many people will know how to answer, but as the end of the age presents itself, we need to know.

I have been challenged by the boldness of Stuart Greaves explanation of justice; however, there is one truth I've noticed in my own studies on this subject that Greaves has not mentioned. This is God's heart to see justice in Israel. More on this later.

Deleuze Source:
The Deleuze Dictionary pp. 164-165

Stuart Greaves full article can be found here.

Related Posts:
Deceived by Social Justice? - Part 1
Who Really Cares About the Poor?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Deceived by Social Justice?

Part 1

Social Justice is probably the buzzword of the decade, but what really does it mean? And as a believer that Yeshua is Messiah and Savior, how should it apply to me? This is something I've been mulling over in my head for quite some time now. Probably because this ideology seems to be coming at me from all directions, with some parts of the movement aligning with certain way I understand and know the Lord, but other aspects that just don't quite settle with my discernment. Over the years I've learned that if something seems off, I need to trust that instinct and test it out, so that's what I've been doing.

What is it exactly that bothers me about the social justice movement? Well, in some ways its hard to pin point. After all, the Yeshua I know and love fed the poor and his word clearly states that true religion is caring for the orphan and widow. Isn't this the basic premise of 'Social Justice'? Isn't this a lifestyle modeled by my Lord? Aren't I someone who has spent time in developing nations ministering to the poor? Then what's the problem?

It started to become clear to me as I endured this last election season in advanced levels of academia. Its no secret that the academic community swings to the left, the far left, on pretty much every issue. This means that my days were filled hearing arguments counter to things I know to be true, holy, and just. It was an exhausting experience that sometimes left me feeling bitter if I wasn't pressing in the Spirit of God properly. During this time, a professor who regularly pushed Marxism on our class as an ideal shared with me his great love for modernism because it "transcends all religions." He hopes to see a modernism infused with social justice and believes the election of Obama indicates that this generation is gloriously headed in that direction. And its likely he's right. This is when I began to have the revelation. What troubles me about the truth of his thought is that it seems to me a generation of young believers may be aligning themselves with those abiding by the influence of secular humanism - a doctrine of demons - under the guise of 'social justice.'

Now, don't hear me wrong. I'm not trying to pick on a political party or our new President. Although, I will openly admit that I did not support him or his party this past election. The doctrine of demons that I'm pointing towards is the idea hidden within my professors statement. This notion of "transcending all religions." Statement such as this, directly deny the absolute sovereignty of Jesus, while presenting themselves as 'inclusive' to all belief systems. This is much like the ever popular COEXIST bumper stickers and t-shirts. We can all be different, but still unite because we share a common 'cause.' And this the problem. Or more concisely, the ease with which believers can become deceived by this great lie within the 'social justice' movement is the problem.

During a discussion about this topic with a few people from our congregation my cell group leader, Cy Wegman, pointed me towards Stuart Greaves of the Kansas City International House of Prayer. Cy had just been to Kansas City for their annual "OneThing" conference and heard Greaves speak on this very subject. Greaves has devoted the last 15 years to studying this topic of Social Justice as it pertains to the bible and life of Yeshua.

I believe the Social Justice movement is paving the way for the Anti-Christ, and the church, in its deceived acceptance of this ideology is aiding and abetting in his arrival. As I googled to see what Mr. Greaves had to say about the subject, I found that he shares my view, and then some.

According to Greaves there are "two justice movements emerging in the earth." The first one, a false movement, "is rooted in humanism and undermining the apostolic revelation of Jesus." The other, he believes, is a justice movement founded on Jesus and manifesting through day and night prayer. The culmination of the humanist movement will be the one-world government and worship of the Anti-Christ. This makes sense to me, especially since a direct relationship exists between Marxism and secularism. After all, if the government can meet all of your needs and solve all of your problems, who needs God?

Greaves then presents a warning: "The justice movement as it exists right now has many seductive trappings; much of it is devoid of the preaching of the true gospel of Christ, resulting in social activism with a different gospel and a different Jesus from that which was declared to us by the apostles. This void of truth, if not filled with the love of truth, is causing (and will continue to cause) many to be seduced by the message of a different Jesus and different gospel."

That's serious stuff. Its easy today to get caught up in the good works of various NGO's, christian affiliated or not. Its really even edgy to do so... to have a cause. I'm beginning to wonder, though, does participation in service activities that do not proclaim the name of Yeshua - Jesus - as the true means of justice, a way of becoming a pawn of the enemy in things to come. The more I ponder and pray the more I think this very well could be true.

callie m.

Stuart Greaves full article can be found here.

Related Posts:
Deceived by Social Justice? Part 2
Earth Worship and Child Sacrifice
Who Really Cares About the Poor?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Bush's Pro-Life Legacy

In 1999 Bob Jones prophesied that a burning bush would come out of Texas and do more than any other president to end abortion. Looking back on George W. Bush's last eight years in the white house, its safe to say this word did come to pass. As an avid Pro-Lifer, I am very pleased that this is part of the legacy President Bush has left behind.

Here's a brief look at a few accomplishments of the Bush administration in ending abortion in America:

The 2002 Born-Alive Infants Protection Act which protects the lives of babies born alive during a failed abortion.

The 2003 Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act prohibiting the performance of abortions on late term (second trimester) babies.

The 2004 Unborn Victims of Violence Act which recognizes a child in utero as a separate victim from his or her mother during a violent crime.

And the nomination of pro-life strict constructivist Supreme Court Justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito, both of whom worked to uphold the Partial Birth Abortion Ban in the 2007 case Gonzales v. Carhart.

As for the rest of his controversial presidency, time will tell!

related posts:
Earth Worship and Child Sacrifice

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Shabbat Shalom

Dear Family,

It is nice to be able to write to you again from a settled place. Callie and I have had a crazy year, and to be relaxing in a one place for consecutive weeks is really a blessing. We have settled in quite well to our life here in Northern Kentucky. Callie started back to school this week and the quarter is shaping up to be an interesting one. Please pray that the Lord would richly bless her work. I am still looking for a job, so I would appreciate some prayer in that direction.

With everything happening in Israel, it is becoming increasingly hard to not be there. I know that the Lord has us here for a time, and I am very blessed to be here. For some reason (I am still praying about this) I have not been in Israel the last two times there has been a major conflict. I don't know what that is about, but I am sure God has a reason for it. It has been very hard to see the wave of hatred that has been coming at my people since the operation began. he media has been unrelenting in it's pounding of Israel and there have been Pro-Palestinian protests in every city I can think of. Callie and I were watching MSNBC yesterday, and someone in Israel was reporting on the leaflets Israel was dropping into Gaza. The purpose of the leaflets is to tell the people of Gaza what they need to be doing to stay out of harm's way....but MSNBC did not report this. Instead they decided just to interpret the first two lines of the leaflet in which Israel talks about its strength. This is intended to counteract the lies Hamas is telling the people about Israel being weak. MSNBC gave the impression that all Israel wanted to do with the leaflets was to waive it's power in the people's face. Everyone who watched this program will never never know what these leaflets were truly for and that they are meant to save lives, not to gloat. This is pure hatred of Israel disguised in news reporting and this is what the world sees. Please, if there is some way for you to show your love for Israel this week, I humbly ask you to do so. Israel needs to feel the love of the Lord, and the Body HAS to be the vessel for this.

How are we prioritizing God in our lives? This is something that has been preached on again and again, but it is something that should be repeated again and again. With the things that have been happening in this country, and this world, how have we been responding as believers. I have been in the States searching for a job, and I see how every day, my thoughts are consumed by this search. I am consumed by it, and my mind continues to race on and on about getting one. My prayers have all been leaning in the direction of, "Lord lead me to find the job you want me to have." This is fine, and God definitely wants me to have provision, but am I really showing the Lord that He is the priority in my life? Callie and I are finding that there needs to be a place where we can shut out everything and just be together. The cares and the troubles of the world can and should be dealt with, but we are in this certain place, it is all about being together and sharing our love. This has helped us separate and prioritize each other. This doesn't mean we ignore everything outside. When we emerge from this place, we work hard on the things we need to and they get done. But, for us, we have created this particular place just for that intimacy can grow.

We all should ask ourselves, "Have we been doing this with the Lord? Have we been setting apart a certain place and a certain time just to be with the "Lover of our souls?" I ask my self this because it seems that my prayers have all been directed towards the problems I am facing. I am not just finding a time and place to grow in my intimacy with the Lord. There is absolutely a time for intercession for issues, but we MUST have this intimacy! In the end, this is all that we will have. The world will come against our belief with a flood of hatred and criticism. The only thing that will keep us safe is our intimacy with the Lord. If we have an intimate, set apart relationship with the Lord, it stops being a what have you done for me lately relationship that is so easily shaken. It becomes a passionate, knowing relationship that is solid. I pray that we all could have this in our relationships with the Lord. If we don't have is never to late to start! Blessings!

In Yeshua,

Callie and Devin

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Get Married

For the single ladies, and all who have a Heart for mentoring and matchmaking, I'd like to recommend a great book, Get Married: What Women Can do to Help it Happen, by Candice Watters.

Candice Watters is the founding editor of Boundless Webzine, a website for young adults affiliated with Focus on the Family. I first discovered Boundless during my last year in undergrad while working in the computer lab. During my work hours I would sit at the computer and read articles, amazed and perplexed by the many new things I was learning.

About two and a half years worth of Boundless articles had challenged my heart and mind before I met Devin. I was intrigued by the unconventional council Candice received from her mentor, Mrs. Morken, to "pull a Ruth"* with now husband, Steve. I was inspired by contributors Ted Slater's quick courtship with Ashleigh, and Suzanne Hadley's equally bold article Not Your Buddy stating why she would not be best buds with any guys.

Get Married was released one month after Devin and I became engaged, but I since I had been so blessed by Candice and the Boundless team, I decided to buy and read it regardless of sparkly addition to my left hand. Having so much of the wisdom that I had gleaned over the last few years in one concise source, I was able to see just how greatly Candice, Steve, and the ministry of Boundless had influenced my convictions and lifestyle in a positive way that did indeed help position me to marry a handsome and honorable man.

The principles described in Get Married that I was able to see in our story were the ideas of stewardship, mentoring, networking and prayer. Like me, Candice Watters is the the oldest of five children. It was easy for me to relate to her motivated achiever personality, which caused many of her articles to really hit home. As I read, I realized that the way I was living might have caused me to 'miss' my husband due to my goal oriented nature. Instead, I became aware that I needed to use the valuable years of my twenties to their best advantage if I wanted to be a wife and mother long term. As I took all of my concerns to the Lord, my heart became open the possibility of marrying in the midst of a rigorous graduate program even if this meant delaying school (although it has not as of yet), if He would be so willing to present the opportunity.

During this time, I had been mentoring with Kathleen, who had a son living in Israel (Devin). Many of the women in our congregation, including Kathleen, would comment about us having things in common and possibly being a good match. I started to take them seriously and went to the Lord in prayer. Although I had not yet met Devin, the Lord blessed me with a peace to be open and intentional about seeing where a relationship with him might go if he expressed interest.

Since Devin was living an ocean and a continent away, I obviously would not have met him through a singles ministry. The Lord worked through my mentor (his mother!) and the women of our congregation, as well as deeply invested times of prayer that allowed me to discern the Lord's heart in the matter. I had faith that I was not just being influenced by the opinions of the ladies, but also by the Spirit of God inside of me. A true love was growing. This faith, as well as the support of our community gave me the confidence to say "yes!" to his proposal after only three months of defined dating (preceded by a month of emailing from afar then a month of friendship).

Ruth* is a common player in Get Married. Interestingly enough, since Devin is an Israeli Jewish Believer, and I'm Gentile Believer, I really "pulled a Ruth," not just in Mrs. Morken's terms, but in the literal sense! Devin's God has been my God, but now his people are my people! Baruch HaShem Adonai!

I do believe the wisdom I gleaned from Candice was a prophetic message for my life, and I believe it is the same for so many women of our generation!

*Mrs. Morken instructed Candice to "pull a Ruth" noting the intentionality with which Ruth presented her need for marriage to Boaz. To see how this played out in Candice and Steve's relationship, you'll have to get the book!

related posts:
How Long to Date?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Who Really Cares About the Poor?

Its often thought that Republicans are greedy, but is that really true? It turns out that its not according to Syracuse University professor, Arthur Brooks. In his book Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth about Compassionate Conservatism, Brooks uncovers a the common myth that Liberals care more about that poor than Conservatives. Some basic findings of his research indicate that conservatives are:

- 18% more likely than liberals to give blood

- give 30% more of their incomes to charities (both religious and non religious) than liberal households

- Religious Conservatives are 57% more likely than a secularist to help a homeless person.

Surprised about the religious conservatives? Well, Brooks says holding a religious affiliation is the MOST indicative factor as to whether a person is likely to be giving or not. People who fall into the "religious" category are not only giving but 4 times as charitable as someone who does not affiliate with a religion at all.

If Author Brooks' research isn't swaying enough, consider a recent ABC study conducted by 20/20 that indicates similar findings. In this study, 20/20 placed Salvation Army buckets in two cities with differing demographics: San Fransisco, CA and Sioux Falls, SD. San Fransisco is a wealthy liberal city where only 14% of its residents attend church, and Sioux Falls is a rural community with about 50% church attendance. At the end of the study, the bucket in good ole conservative Sioux Falls had twice as much money as the one in 'make love not war' San Fransisco.

Sioux Falls is the winner, so now which demographic of their overall city gave the most? The working poor. The working poor are classified as those who have the same income with a job as those who live on welfare. Welfare participants and the middle class gave the least.

It turns out that Conservatives really do care about the poor and enough to do something about it. The greatest difference between liberals and conservatives as to poverty issues is not about caring but about acting and what the role of government
should play in this process.

Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth about Compassionate Conservatism by Arthur Brooks's Who Gives to Charity?
ABC's 20/20 Study: Click here for the article.

Related Posts:
Deceived by Social Justice? - Part 1
Deceived by Social Justice? - Part 2
Violence and the Breakdown of the Traditional Family