Monday, May 26, 2014

heroes and buffoons

I'm not one who does heroes well. I figure people are like myself--fallen, sinful, doing even the best of works for suspect reasons. I'm not trying to denigrate anyone, for example military people who go into dangerous situations, or firemen and other types of rescue people. There is much to admire in them.

Perhaps I shall make an exception to my skepticism of heroes with these five men, whose names I don't know, nor much of anything else about them. Christian martyrs are people we can admire, and whose courage we can seek to emulate. And these are only a small representation of such Christians, in North Korea and in many other places, who do not deny Christ when threatened by pain or death. I'm giving only a bit of the account on the linked page.


In November 1996, the 25 were brought to the road construction site. Four concentric rectangular rows of spectators were assembled to watch the execution. Interviewee 17 was in the first row. The five leaders to be executed - the pastor, two assistant pastors, and two elders - were bound hand and foot and made to lie down in front of a steamroller. This steamroller was a large construction vehicle imported from Japan with a heavy, huge, and wide steel roller mounted on the front to crush and level the roadway prior to pouring concrete. The other twenty persons were held just to the side. The condemned were accused of being Kiddokyo (Protestant Christian) spies and conspiring to engage in subversive activities. Nevertheless, they were told, “If you abandon religion and serve only Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, you will not be killed.” None of the five said a word. Some of the fellow parishioners assembled to watch the execution cried, screamed out, or fainted when the skulls made a popping sound as they were crushed beneath the steamroller.
Why have this disturbing account? Several reasons. Because it happened, because similar things have happened and are happening, and very likely will happen in the future. Because accounts like this help me stay strong in this increasingly darkening place.

But one of my main reasons is to show the buffoonery of too much of what passes for preaching and teaching in places that dare to call themselves churches.

Take a trip over to this site, The Museum of Idolatry, and take a look at what far too many places that call themselves churches are doing. There is perhaps no nicer word for it than "buffoonery". The church is acting the fool, hoping that will make the world like it more.

And, of course, in acting the fool, they have lost the foolishness of preaching, and instead preach foolishness. I've listened to several of their sermons, via Fighting for the Faith, and what they preach is simply not in the Bible. It might have a few out of context Bible verses attached, but anyone who bothers to actually look at what the biblical passage really says would find that the Bible is being severely misused by these people.

What these places that call themselves churches teach is such shallow, buffoonish things as how to improve your sex life, how to make your dreams fulfilled, how to have your best life now. They tell their people how to lose weight, how to get their finances in order, how to change the world. They have wrestling matches, circuses, motorcycle jumping, and many of kinds of entertainment in their churches.

Many make the boast that they are places were "No perfect people are allowed". Apparently not, because Jesus long ago left their buildings.

One of the worst outcomes to this is that their churches are basically filled with cowards. They want a cushy, easy life, and think that the easy of their lives, or the fullness of their bank accounts, means they and God have a good thing going.

I have my suspicions that, should these relevance-driven church leader be put in a similar position as those North Korean churchmen, they would be all too ready to do abandon their beliefs. Heck, most of them can't stand against the current attempts to legalize sexual immorality, and that's hardly serious persecution.

Remember these five men, who did not love their lives even to death. Remember them, and discard the teachers who only tell you what you want to hear.

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