2 Thessalonians 2:9-12
Dr. Kevin Donnelly ‘INTRODUCTION’ (published 2021)
‘Cancel Culture and the Left’s Long March’
” Imagine a society where people, from high to low, are fired from their jobs for entering into the ‘wrong side’ of a cultural debate, where academics are routinely sacked or sanctioned for expressing incorrect views on climate or sexuality or politics, where celebrities are stripped of accolades and authors are disinvited from award ceremonies for harboring opinions that fail to accord with the prevailing view.
Imagine a society where students inform on their professors for transgressing speech codes, where priests are brought before tribunals for teaching the tenets of their faith, where multiple institutions from the police to the media to the courts collude to imprison an innocent man because he holds to a purer ethic, they deem dangerous and obsolete.
This isn’t a passage from a mid-century dystopian novel. It’s not an account of conditions suffered under totalitarian regimes in the Soviet Union, China, or North Korea. No…..this is contemporary Australia. All the events described have occurred in Australia in recent years, yet this is but a spattering. To list all the things in this category that have occurred around the former liberal, Western, democratic nations would doubtless require volumes.”
“Are you now or have you ever been a conservative or a Christian? This is the stuff of the new witch hunt the Left is now fully engaged in….there is a full-scale purge underway by the radical secular left. They are on a search and destroy mission. Any and all recalcitrant Christians who dare to believe the Bible, who dare to stand up for God’s plans for human sexuality, and who dare to offer help and prayer to others WILL be rounded up and dealt with by the Christophobic State.
There will be no exceptions or exemptions. All these evil Christians MUST be properly dealt with. And that includes being banned from every form of public life in which they might have some influence. That includes anyone attempting to get into politics.”
In August 2020, a diverse working group of prominent thinkers, scholars, and practitioners produced what they called the Philadelphia Statement:
“Social Media mobs. Cancel Culture. Campus speech policing. These are all part of life in today’s America. Freedom of expression is in crisis. Truly open discourse – the debates, exchange of ideas, and arguments on which the health and flourishing of a democratic republic crucially depend – is increasingly rare. Ideologues demonize opponents to block debates on important issues and to silence people with whom they disagree.
We must ask ourselves: Is this the country we want? Surely not. We want – and to be true to ourselves we NEED – to be a nation in which we and our fellow citizens of many different faiths, philosophies, and persuasions can speak their minds and honor their deepest convictions without fear of punishment and retaliation.
If we seek a brighter future, we must relearn a fundamental truth: Our liberty and our happiness depend upon the maintenance of a public culture in which freedom and civility coexist – where people can disagree robustly, even fiercely, yet treat each other as human beings – and, indeed, as fellow citizens – not mortal enemies. ‘Liberty is meaningless where the right to utter one’s thoughts and opinions has ceased to exist.’ Frederick Douglass declared in 1860. Indeed, our liberal democracy is rooted in and dependent upon the shared understanding that all people have inherent dignity and worth, and that they must be treated accordingly.”
Erwin Lutzer “No Reason To Hide”
“There was a time in America – not so long ago – when Christians didn’t have to take sides in the socalled culture wars swirling around us. We could live in what someone called ‘the mushy middle,’ keeping our views to ourselves. But when we did speak our mind, it was assumed we had a right to do so. We could say what we believed about a particular matter and move on. NO LONGER
In today’s climate, tolerance no longer means a willingness to put up with different points of view; rather, tolerance now means joining the revolution, getting on board with the ‘right side of history’. Soon, and this is already happening, you will be expected (if not coerced) to declare what you believe about gender and racial issues on job applications for positions in education, business, the arts, and more. And parents will face vilification if they refuse to allow their children to be indoctrinated in radical leftist orthodoxies. You will be subjected to racist-driven -diversity-seminars.’ And those who think they can simply remain neutral will be ‘doxed’ (that is, called out by leftists who reveal private information about them online). Even churches are not exempt.
Today, those who claim to be TOLERANT actually seek to be DOMINANT. Truth is no longer viewed as a search for objective reality, but rather, as an individual choice not subject to outside scrutiny. Right or wrong, common sense or irrationality, genuine dialogue or vilification – all of these distinctions are lost in a maze of ideologies that are not to be questioned.
Ideology even trumps science and known facts of history.
Be warned; America is no longer the country some of us remember it to be. A cultural tsunami has arrived, and there is no safe ground.
Surrender, sink, or swim to the shore.”
Later Erwin Lutzer makes this statement to challenge the church and pastors in America: “I believe that in the days ahead, we are either going to see a renewed all-around commitment to exalt Christ above our expected comforts, or the church will lose its witness through more compromise, more apostasy. Increasingly, Christians are finding it difficult to stay in that ‘mushy middle’. The fearful are going in one direction, the faithful are going in another. The wheat is already being separated from the chaff.
As a pastor, I have often asked myself, What if God wanted to do something in the church that wasn’t listed in the bulletin? Are we making music or just acting as if we are? Are we, as pastors, open to the leading of the Holy Spirit? Or are we just depending on the past without fresh wind for the present and the future? Are our people being delivered from their addictions? Do we see marriages being put back together? Do we see ourselves and our members making hard and painful choices in favor of Jesus?”
T.S. Eliot wrote a poem titled THE ROCK
“Have you built well? The Church must be forever building, for it is forever decaying within and attacked from without.”
“The Military Guide to Disarm Deception” by Col David Giammona
Summer 1991, Khobar Towers, Building 131, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, Early Morning
‘Sir, I am concerned about the safety and welfare of our troops in this location.’ I told my commander.
‘What do you mean, Chaplain?’ ‘I mean that this building that houses our troops is so close to the road and vulnerable to enemy attack,’ I answered.
That commander probably thought, ‘HEY, WHAT DO YOU KNOW? YOU’RE JUST A CHAPLAIN, AND I’M A HARDENED INFANTRY SOLDIER WITH YEARS OF EXPERIENCE.
He replied, ‘Nonsense, Chaplain. We’ve spent a lot of time hardening this site and have taken all necessary precautions.’ ‘Very well, sir,’ I replied. But I was not convinced.
It shook me to my core. In Rose Barracks, Germany, I could not believe what I was reading, yet I had predicted the outcome five years before; 19 airmen had died and more than 400 U.S. and international military members and civilians had been injured in the terrorist attack at Khobar Towers in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, on June 25, 1996.
The front Building 131 was blown off, exposing eight stories of rooms after terrorists detonated a fuel truck parked nearby. Khobar Towers had been attacked by a truck bomb, and many U.S. Air Force 4404th Wing personnel were wounded and killed in the very place I had stood.
Even military commanders can get lulled into complacency – defined as self-satisfaction, especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies – when everything is going well. Our enemies, however, whether spiritual or physical, never rest. Encouraging complacency is one of the major components of deception. Deception has played a major role in history, especially in the military.
The Art of War by Sun Tzu
ALL WARFARE IS BASED UPON DECEPTION.
Let me give you four simple tactics, techniques or procedures that will help you not to become complacent, since the hour is later than we know.
1. What is one area in which you know you need to grow spiritually?
2. Have an attitude of continual improvement. Do not settle for where you are in your relationship with the Lord. (Hebrews 11:6)
3. Change a common routine you have in some way – shift focus!
4. Military AAR (After Action Reviews) to analyze what went wrong and to learn from mistakes. Do not let your past dictate your future.