Christ Pantokrator–Ruler of All
My excuse is that I couldn’t possibly cover all the stories that have a bearing on our case, no matter how I tried. The ones I do report on are bad enough.
Ezekiel sometimes protested that people wouldn’t listen to him, why bother? God told him, Never mind–if they listen and mend their ways, good; if they won’t, then whatever happens to them, it’s not your fault. I’ll only blame you if you don’t warn them.
Not that any blogger can claim to be a prophet. But it does worry me sometimes: “Did I do wrong, not writing up the latest Democrat abomination just because it made me sick?” No–everybody else has already covered it.
And besides, there’s always popular demand…
11 comments on “‘The Stories I Don’t Cover’ (2018)”
I don’t see it that way. The bad things happening are symptomatic of a deeper problem, but it isn’t necessary to examine each one. At a certain point, it becomes impossible to process all that is happening, and one’s eyes glaze over.
Speaking only for myself; I find the instances where goodness prevails to be more notable.
I led a Pro Life group for 20 years and that was our view, if we didn’t sound the alarm blood would be on our hands. Today I live in the most Pro Life state in USA!
Evil can be overcome, but only if we do something.
Sometimes it takes an overload of evil to shake people out of their inertia and make them rebel against it, if only by their own conversion to the good.
In your February 27, 2018 post, “The Stories I Don’t Cover” (a superb post), were these comments:
“Hopefully the true ruler will appear soon.”
“He did warn us that it would be when the whole world least expects it.”
“Thanks so much for reminding me “checkmate” is coming. I’m hanging on, barely.”
“Come, Lord Jesus!”
These kinds of comments are common on many Christian blogs, stories, and articles. And are also found sprinkled throughout your many finely written posts and News With Views columns.
I have attempted to point out recently, these kinds of musings permeate almost the whole Christian Church. It’s no wonder evil is overwhelming our nation and most of the Western world. It’s as if most Christians are pleading; “Help me Jesus, come take me out of this evil world, deliver me from my griefs and trials. All the bad things going on around me, the murders, crimes, thefts, and other evils … there is nothing we can do to defeat the darkness pouring over our nation and the whole world. We are defeated, come rescue us.” Jesus prayed; “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world; but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil” (John 17:15).
“Rapture us out of here, Lord, it’s so bad.” Seems to be the prayer of many. Down through the ages, that was never the prayer of God’s people. God’s people walked into darkness, into places wholly filled with evil, evil wicked men and women given over to the practice of dark magic and spells.
To the New Hebrides islands in November 1839, came John Williams and James Harris, from the London Missionary Society. Unfortunately, only minutes after going ashore, both missionaries were killed and eaten. On to these same islands came other missionaries such as John Paton. By 1872, on the island of Aneityum, the darkness was gone, all of that island was said to be Christian.
Mary Slessor (lovingly called the Queen of Calabar) went into an area of great darkness in 1876, Calabar, West Africa. She helped bring light to the once Dark Continent.
Is the darkness you face worse than those who I mentioned, and what the tens of thousands of other missionaries faced? They confronted evil, looked it in the face, and changed the whole culture of nations. What ever happened to the fearsome Viking warriors, who terrorized the sea lanes and shores and coasts of many nations for many years? Christian missionaries happened. Whole nations were converted! And thus, those warriors ceased their marauding ways. Do you live next door to the Hell’s Angels? Could they be worse than the Vikings? They might number 20 or more, but whole nations were filled with evil warriors, who were faced down by a few Christians, and defeated.
I am acquainted with, at times an overabundance of grief, troubles, and trials in my life. But I don’t have an appointment later today with the rack, where I will be torn apart literally limb by limb for my faith in Christ. I don’t have a lunch date tomorrow with lions, where I will be the main course, as tens of thousands of Christian martyrs have experienced. Nor will I be burned at the stake for preaching the gospel, nor thrown into prison for my faith sometime later today. My neighbors are not cannibals, as were John Paton’s (the whole island was given over to that practice).
Do we deserve rescue more than those millions of Christian martyrs who gave their lives for the gospel during the last 1800 years? Does a horrible fate await for any Christian in the USA today because of his witness, testimony, faith, or preaching the gospel? I am sure there have been a few cases, but nothing close to, as we find which has occurred throughout history.
Let me make a few observations on the four comments from this post.
The true ruler has already appeared (He died on the cross, and rose from the dead), and gave commands to His troops: “Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples or Christians of all nations) all nations, baptizing them…Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you…” (Matt. 28:18-20) Those commandments by Jesus have not been rescinded. The “checkmate” has already occurred, by His resurrection from the dead, where Paul tells us, He was set at the right hand of God “Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named … and hath put all things under his feet” (Eph. 1:20–22)
CHRIST REIGNS AS LORD AND KING NOW
There isn’t going to be a coronation of Christ in the future, for He has already been crowned Lord of Lords and King of Kings.
Christ’s kingdom is not secular in nature. His chosen ones do not do battle with tanks, guns, or an air force. “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds. Casting down imaginations (Greek: reasonings), and every thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (II Cor.10:3–5).
Peter preached on the day of Pentecost that Christ, after the resurrection, had taken his seat on the throne of his father, David. Peter said, “God … would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ” (Acts 2:30–31, 5:31). Paul says we are now in the kingdom of Christ (Col. 1:13)…Paul tells us when Jesus was raised from the dead, He was set at the right hand of God “Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named … and hath put all things under his feet” (Eph. 1:20–22)…
Jesus now sits at the right hand of God. “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God” (Heb. 10:12). Jesus will also reign until “his enemies be made his footstool” (Heb. 10:13).
…There are many verses of Scripture that teach Jesus is King now, He is reigning now, and His kingdom is a present reality. If Jesus had not been crowned King, He would not be reigning. Consider the following:
“[W]e have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities … Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:14–16).
“For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father” (Eph. 2:18)…
“All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth … lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world” (Matt. 28:18–20).
“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matt. 18:20)…
“The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye many know … the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe … Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all” (Eph. 1:18–23; see also; Matt. 28:18–20; Eph. 2:18)
These verses clearly delineate the fact, the setting up of Christ’s kingdom is a past historical event, for He is now seated upon His Throne. He holds all power and has dominion over every earthly king and kingdom.
For the last 18 centuries, and more so within the last two hundred years, men have taught “we” were living in the last days and end times, as many of you seem to think. But consider this fact, those who taught those things have been wrong 100% of the time. So why would anyone think they are correct this time?
Well, you’ve said it all. Was this the message you’ve been working on?
We can’t help wondering why God allows the wicked to prey on the human race, unrestrained by decency or law. So of course it looks like end times. The problem is, history is crammed chock-full of end times.
Viking (a verb, not a noun) ended when Norway, Sweden, Denmark et all converted to Christianity. It was a complicated process that took several centuries.
Anyway, Mike, thank you for your hard work and serious thought. I hope everybody reads your post. And I salute the way you have handled the question without insulting anybody.
No, it wasn’t. And you will not be reading it now, for this post brought forth a few things I believe needed to be said.
OK–it was a very eloquent post.
I agree wholeheartedly with Mike, that Christ is victor and our great Commander who urges us on to battle, not to despair. Yes, things are terrible, and yes, they will no doubt grow worse. All the more reason to stand fast, to acknowledge the evil and refuse to give in to it. I think of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who always said, “God calls us not to be successful but to be faithful.” But even more I think of G.K. Chesterton’s great book-length poem, “The Ballad of the White Horse,” about King Alfred the Great driven back by the invading Danes to the small island of Athelney, apparently defeated just like the rest of Christendom facing attack by heathens from all directions. He has a vision of Christ’s mother, and he pleads with her to tell him whether this will ever end. She responds that Christians aren’t given to know the future, but “The men who carry the cross of Christ / Go gaily in the dark.” At the end she tells him:
“I tell you naught for your comfort,
Yea, naught for your desire,
Save that the sky grows darker yet
And the sea rises higher.
“Night shall be thrice night over you,
And heaven an iron cope.
Do you have joy without a cause,
Yea, faith without a hope?”
After this, she disappears, and Alfred reaches for his weapons to fight again. He goes “gathering Christian men” from all over Britain: Eldred the Saxon franklin, Mark the Roman settler, and Colin the Gael from the outer reaches of the land. Each one at first begs off in a different way, just wanting to be free of strife in what seems a lost cause, but when Alfred recites the above message to them, they too reach for their weapons and prepare to fight again. In the Battle of Ethandune, as it happens, all three are killed, but all maintain their faith, and finally, after a seeming defeat, Alfred and his remaining ragtag army defeat the Danes, and their King Guthrum even becomes a Christian.
At the end of the book, peace has been established in Britain for years — and then word comes that the Danes are invading again. Alfred is asked why the peace hasn’t lasted, and Alfred points to the White Horse carved out of the hills and says the grass will always grow and will always have to be cut back again. And then he makes a prophecy about new barbarians of the future, who will fight with words and ideas and will lead men to despair. It’s really Chesterton’s description of early 20th century civilization, but it’s still a prophecy of what’s happening today, especially these lines where Alfred is describing how men will recognize the new barbarians:
“By weird and weakness winning,
Accursed from the beginning,
By detail of the sinning
And denial of the sin.”
Sorry to go on so long, but Mike has inspired me. In the Catholic Church, we used to receive a slap on the face as part of our Confirmation ceremony, to remind us that henceforth we’re expected to stand fast as soldiers of Christ. They don’t do that any more. I wish they would. Yes, we need to know the worst, and yes, we need to acknowledge that things will get even worse. But yes, we soldiers of Christ must put on the armor of God and keep fighting.
Thank you, Mike. we needed that slap.
Amen, Phoebe! Amen, Michael.
Thank you Phoebe for that story.