By Charlie Johnston
“Hear me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside a man which by going into him can defile him; but the things which come out of a man are what defile him.” – Jesus Christ, Mark 14-15
When I was on the road over the last few years, occasionally I would have someone suggest that electronic chips implanted into people, if coercively mandated, could be the “mark of the beast.” I was adamant about shutting such speculation down. It is not just errant, but is dangerously so.
The growing coercive nature of modern governments is a very grave danger. I would not willingly submit to such a thing – and I don’t doubt that the anti-God leftists are eager to impose it on as many as possible in order to cement absolutist control over the population. I don’t go for gadgets like Alexa that can listen to me all the time, while connected (and perhaps reporting back) to some leftist corporation in Silicon Valley. Shoot, I get mildly annoyed when someone asks me where I’ve been when on a simple errand around town. All of these electronic leashes are, perhaps, the most powerful potential tool of oppression in human history.
Regular readers know I most emphatically do not believe we have entered the sequence of events related to the Major Chastisement, that is, the actual end of time. The beast, the false prophet and the Antichrist are personages associated with that period, so I think speculation on such right now is futile. (Note, the spirit of antichrist – small a – has been with us at least since the resurrection, and many have succumbed to it throughout Christian history. The Antichrist – large A – is a specific and unique person who comes at the end of time). We are well entered into the Minor Chastisement, a period of strife and challenge second only to the Major Chastisement in intensity and disorder – so it is the beginning of the greatest crisis the world has seen to this point. It will feel like the end, but is NOT the end. It is the passing away of an old era and the rising of a new era through the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart in which the world and the faith will be renewed. I think of it, often, as the Revelation 12 period.
There are many who would dispute me on this. Fair enough. Even so, something like a mandatory implanted electronic chip could not be the mark of the beast at any period in Salvation History. Faith is an act of the will. So is apostasy. The mark of the beast CANNOT be imposed on you from without; it can only be embraced within you. Men on earth can physically bind your person, even as they bound Jesus. No one can bind your spirit except through your internal consent. Were it otherwise, the whole notion of free will would be nullified. God so loves free will He allows sin and evil to exist rather than revoke it. Can anyone really believe He is going to revoke it to watch the faithful be caught unawares in a snare that is contrary to their will? Never! You cannot step on a banana peel and slip into hell. Christ is your invincible armor, whatever people outside do to you.
Such speculation is deadly dangerous for several reasons. First, it is a pernicious attack on the concept of free will, a fundamental of the faith. Second, it sires hopelessness because it persuades people there is nothing we can effectively do – that someone outside us can condemn us to hell, despite our best efforts and the noblest interior intentions. Third, it distracts us from what we can do, which is purify our intentions, regardless of what hostile figures outside do to us.
“Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can kill both soul and body in hell” – Jesus Christ, Matthew 10:28
It is only by an internal act of your own will that you can be marked for destruction. Make no mistake, the satan is brilliantly clever in trying to seduce you into such an act. Even now, many denominations of churches are tossing aside Christian commandments on the matters of family, marriage and sexuality – either to satisfy their own itching consciences or to gain the favor of the mob that, once again, responds to Christ by crying, “Crucify Him!” Unless these repent, they will have their reward; the approval of the mob for a short time and then damnation for all eternity. They have chosen.
The Magisterium of the Catholic Church stands firmly like a rock on behalf of Christian teaching on family, marriage and sexuality. We have entered into a great crisis because a great number of Church authorities at the highest levels seek to overturn Christ. It makes for a disheartening spectacle, but it will not ultimately prevail.
I have said repeatedly that, throughout the Storm, we are to treat all faithful Christians – Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox – and all faithful Jews as full and equal partners in the work before us, while treating all of good will as true brothers regardless of their faith. Mysteriously, through the instrument of the Storm, God, Himself will see to Christian unity. We need each other. One Protestant denomination has recently made a very public, very bold choice for Christ despite the howling of the mob. Would that our top authorities take a lesson in fortitude and fidelity from these brothers in Christ, these partners in the work.
My friend, Corpus Christi Bishop Emeritus Rene Gracida, joyfully highlighted the recent decision of the United Methodist Church on his Abyssum Website. The United Methodists have decided, with the courage of the first Christians, that they will firmly continue to uphold Christian teaching on the family, marriage and sexuality. Any who choose to go with the spirit of the age are free to go and start their own church. As for the United Methodists and all who would call that denomination home, they will serve the Lord. Following is the original article from Education News on the decision:
GLORIOUS NEWS: THE UNITED METHODISTS VOTED AGAINST LGBTQ, WILL STICK WITH THE BIBLE
Feb 26, 2019 by
“Glorious News: The United Methodists Voted Against LGBTQ, Will Stick with the Bible”
By Donna Garner
Today the United Methodist Church (UMC) delegates to the General Conference voted for the Traditional Plan which relates to human sexuality, marriage, and ordination. The Traditional Plan won 438 to 384. The delegates were divided equally among clergy and lay people.
The Traditional Plan
This plan maintains the current language in the Book of Discipline related to human sexuality, marriage, and ordination. It also maintains the current structure of the United Methodist Church.
There are three main components of this plan that are important to note:
- There is no change to the current language of the Book of Discipline related to human sexuality, marriage, and ordination.
- Provisions are added to the Book of Discipline which enhance accountability of bishops, annual conferences, pastors, and local churches by stipulating stricter enforcement provisions related to the acts of disobedience to the Book of Discipline.
- It allows annual conferences or any group of 50 congregations the freedom to form a self-governing church if they are in irreconcilable conflict with the Book of Discipline.
From a long-serving Methodist pastor leading up to the very important vote today:
The UMC is facing the same issues of human sexuality and specifically homosexuality that we are facing in our culture, and every organization or institution that takes a stand against the progressive attitude in our culture will be attacked. The LGBTQ activists are on the attack to tear down any and every group that opposes their agenda, and the UMC Discipline says that the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.
But it’s not just the United Methodist Church that’s under attack. It’s happening in the Presbyterian, Episcopal, Lutheran, Disciples, and Baptist churches. Some denominations have already compromised their stand, but the United Methodists have not. So we are being attacked and many of the activists who are waging the attack are not members of the United Methodist Church and they are not professing Christians. They are secular humanists who are out to destroy every organization that disagrees with their agenda.
…there are liberal/progressive clergy and laity in the United Methodist Church who have been trying to change our Discipline for 30+ years, but their efforts have been rejected every time at every general conference for 30 years…it would be naive for us to think that even if the Traditional Plan is approved (which it was today on 2.26.19), the controversy will not be over. That Plan includes a way for liberal individuals and churches to leave the denomination, but that isn’t their objective. The LBGTQ activists don’t want to leave our denomination. They want to change our denomination; and they know if they are defeated this time and get out, they won’t have a voice to attack us at the next general conference and the next and next until they finally win. They believe they will eventually win because of the changing attitude in our nation toward the homosexual lifestyle. They may never win, but they will keep trying and creating controversy and doing everything they can to disrupt or destroy the UMC or any church or any organization who stands against their agenda.
The General Conference is composed of an equal number of lay and clergy delegates from United Methodist annual conferences throughout the world. The most recent General Conference (2016) was attended by 864 delegates. The General Conference meets every 4 years to receive, discuss, and vote on petitions and resolutions that result in a revised edition of the United Methodist Book of Discipline (our denomination’s book of law), and The Book of Resolutions (our denominations policies related to current social issues).