Posted in false, passion 2013, slavery

Do the Passion 2013 members know who the real slaves are?

I know I’ve written abut the mega-conference called Passion held annually in Atlanta in January three times last weekend, thoroughly examined some of the things that were said and compared those things to what the bible says. I thought I was done with the issue, and by the amount of traffic and comments, many perhaps wish I was done with it, too, lol. But there are two things that have come up I’d like to look at briefly, and they are intertwined. The Holy Spirit won’t let them go in my mind so in obedience I’ll address them publicly in addition to prayerfully.

The first is the social issue of slavery that the conference set the kids upon. It is a global cultural ill that existed at least since Abraham’s time and exists today. The conference leaders choose a cultural ill to ask the youth attendees to work toward. Last year and this year the social problem they have focused the kids on is sex trafficking and slavery in the world. They raised over three million dollars to donate to various partner groups. Here is the link to Passion 2013’s campaign “Freedom.”

I’d said that doing good is good, but that ending slavery is an unrealistic goal. I’d said that Jesus could have ended poverty or slavery, but He didn’t. Revelation 18 shows us that in the Tribulation there will be a healthy slave trade in men and their souls that Jesus Himself stops at the very end. So this campaign will fail, because just by looking a the bible we can see its futility.

That is not to say we don’t try. But the focus is all wrong. I’ll explain why in just a minute. Now I want to bring up the second issue that has been niggling at me. Adult attendees are not allowed. They are banned. They are not allowed to attend Passion conferences. Here is what the Passion website says

If you are 26 years of age or older, you may only register to attend Passion 2013 as the leader of a group of students attending the conference or as a Door Holder. Leaders must have a ticket to attend. If you are a leader, we ask that you come with your students. Otherwise, we will need thousands of Door Holders to serve over the days of the conference. If you would like to serve, please fill out a Door Holder application here.

Serving at a Passion conference does not allow for much participation in the conference itself. Please come willing to serve and fully aware that there may not be time to attend the conference at all.

For all the speakers’ talk of “community” the Passion conferences, they do much to divide it. They forbid parents, senior pastors, elders, and elder siblings from attending with the youth. Church community is a community of people from all ages. Yet I hear so much from the Passion people about “this generation.” There is so much emphasis on “this generation” that for all the world it looks like they are being separated from the herd. Read Titus 2.

We are instructed in the bible that pastors, teachers and elders teach the young and that children must obey their parents. Now it is true that Youth Pastors attend with their flock, and that the youths attending are not children, but are of college age, but I maintain that any religious endeavor that specifically takes time to split the generations and deliver messages to youth only is not a good thing.

This conference does much to divide the church by capitalizing on a natural youthful zeal and diverts their attention from quiet submission in service to a local church. This co-opting of their zeal to solve a cultural or social ill is not biblical.

Youths haven’t had time or seasoning to determine what their spiritual gifts even are, let along set them on fire to spend money and energy in using them in what are vain attempts to solve an unsolvable social issue. Young adults of aged 18 -25 (the demographic of the Passion conferences), have not served in church long enough to have become seasoned by the Holy Spirit. They may not even know what their spiritual gift is. Even if they have a mere few years of service under their belt and have settled on their gift in ministry, they have not learned self-control in diverse circumstances yet. Frankly, they are too young to be ambassadors for Christ – absent senior oversight.

As to the issue of stamping out slavery in the world, here is what John MacArthur has to say about Slavery

Although slavery is not uniformly condemned in either the Old or New Testaments, the sincere application of New Testament truths has repeatedly led to the elimination of its abusive tendencies. Where Christ’s love is lived in the power of His Spirit, unjust barriers and relationships are inevitably broken down. As the Roman empire disintegrated and eventually collapsed, the brutal, abused system of slavery collapsed with it—due in great measure to the influence of Christianity. … New Testament teaching does not focus on reforming and re structuring human systems, which are never the root cause of human problems. The issue is always the heart of man—which when wicked will corrupt the best of systems and when righteous will improve the worst. If men’s sinful hearts are not changed, they will find ways to oppress others regardless of whether or not there is actual slavery.

In Titus 2, Paul speaks about each of the generations that labor in the home church, and he issues exhortations to Titus as pastor on what each generation’s responsibility is. The responsibility is not to split the generations and to give the youth a charge separate from the elders outside their home church. It is to labor lovingly in quiet service within the bounds of their revealed spiritual gift. The young learning from the elder so that the young can learn submission and how to control their youthful zeal in appropriate ways with a proper model and parental oversight. That is how the church is set up.

I said above that I’d share why the focus of the slavery issue at Passion 2013 is wrong. There are not millions of slaves in the world. There are billions. Eight billion to be exact. Every person on this planet is a slave to Christ, or a slave to satan. If we are converted and saved by His grace, we are slaves to His righteousness, (Romans 6:18). If we are not saved, then we are in bondage to the devil. (Romans 6:16). The focus which the Passion people set the youth toward is all wrong because as MacArthur said above, the first priority of each Christian is to set humans free from satanic bondage. Cultural ills are solved through Christ’s love, not Passion conference money.

Just imagine of 60,000 youth were taught the powerful Gospel truthfully, and were set forth with focused zeal to evangelize in the real Jesus’s name back in their home spheres!

“For many Christians today, as throughout church history, the most important and fertile field for evangelism is the place where they work. That is their mission field. As in almost no other place, unbelievers have the opportunity to observe believers in day by day situations and activities. They see whether the believer is patient or impatient, kind or uncaring, selfless or selfish, honest or dishonest, clean or vulgar in his talk. They have the opportunity to see how well the Christian lives up to the faith he professes and the principles of the Scripture he claims to hold dear.” (Source)

The upshot is that there is a cumulative negative effect. No, giving money to a cause is not bad. Attending a conference is not bad. Being a volunteer and serving is not bad. But in my opinion, Passion 2013’s cumulative effect is bad. Look at it this way: the attendees were drawn to a large event with the tantalizing enticement of rock music, separated from senior pastors, elders, and parents for several days, drenched in a fishbowl of adrenaline fueled zeal, given half-truths to feed on, told by adored celebrity musicians and pastors they were a special generation, diverted their focus from service in church or campus to solving a global problem, encouraged to sacrifice their money, and turned back to their home churches or campuses as new leaven.

Let’s pray that the more kids than not, released back to home churches after Passion 2013, learn who the real slaves are: themselves, to Christ, and their unsaved community members, to satan.

Posted in egypt, morsi, revelation, slavery

Egypt’s cruel leader and Revelation’s prophecy on slavery

Isaiah 19 forecasts that a cruel leader and a harsh master will rule Egypt, even while Egyptians are at each other’s throats in a civil rebellion. That sounds like what is happening now. It is hard to tell if the prophecy means the same man or two different men. It is in Isaiah 19:4

“and I will give over the Egyptians
into the hand of a hard master,
and a fierce king will rule over them,
declares the Lord God of hosts.”

We already know that the newly elected President of Egypt, Mohammad Morsi declared himself above all constitutional rule, effectively becoming a Pharaoh. This woke up all those watchmen who were on the lookout for developments in Egypt. “is he the cruel master’? they wondered. I wondered too. It could mean the antichrist, or it could mean a harsh man who will rule until the antichrist comes.

In addition to that prophecy moving into the spotlight, another one has been on my mind for a long time. It is in Revelation 18. When the LORD destroys the worldwide economic system, the merchants stand by and weep and moan for all the cargoes that are no more. One of those cargoes they weep over, lamenting the loss of such prized items in a wealthy trade, is slaves.

“The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes any more— 12cargoes of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet cloth; every sort of citron wood, and articles of every kind made of ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron and marble; 13cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and bodies and souls of men. (Revelation 18:11-13)

They cry because they can’t buy and sell men any more.

I wrote about this prophecy before, and I was mocked for suggesting that such an uncivil thing as slavery could revive. I was told that Britain and the US got rid of slavery a long time ago, and that most other nations don’t trade in slaves any more either.

It isn’t true that slavery doesn’t exist. It does. It just doesn’t exist in countries we think of or in a way that we remember as being similar to the black slave trade in the US in the 1800s. Ever heard of child trafficking? Debtor-servants, concubines, carpet slaves, cane cutters? Slavery exists.

Anyway, according to Anti-Slavery International, the world’s oldest human rights organization, there are currently over 20 million people in bondage.

It seems that Egypt pops up in the news-AGAIN. This time the issue is slavery. The shariah-constitution the Muslim Brotherhood is writing in this draft has dropped the ban on slavery. Read this from Jihad Watch via the AP–

Egypt: New constitution denies freedom of speech and equality of rights for women, omits ban on slavery
“CAIRO (AP) — An Islamist-dominated panel is voting on Egypt’s draft constitution, the country’s first charter after the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak. The draft largely reflects the conservative vision of the Islamists, with articles that rights activists, liberals and Christians fear will lead to restrictions on the rights of women and minorities and civil liberties in general. Omissions of certain articles, such as bans on slavery or promises to adhere to international rights treaties, were equally worrying to critics of the new draft, who pulled out from the panel before the vote.”

This is big. A nation in the spotlight that is brazen enough to outright omit a ban on slavery when drafting the new constitution while everyone is watching is brazen indeed. The Washington Examiner asks, “Will Egypt embrace the dark side?” NPR asks, “Is Morsi morphing into the authoritarian he opposed?” and I think according to what the bible shows is ahead for Egypt, the answer to both questions is … yes.

Posted in christianity, Jackie Hill, jig-a-boo, slavery

YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS: Jackie Hill performs jig-a-boo

P4CM presents Rhetoric 2012, the largest Christian Poetry event. Featured P4CM Poet Jackie Hill delivered her poem “Jig-A-Boo” in front of an audience of nearly 3,000 people. It’s about complacent Christians who tolerate false teachers, and it is powerful stuff. Powerful, powerful. I found it at Erin Benzinger’s Do not Be Surprised blog, and also at Tim Challies

Posted in end of days. prophecy, human trafficking, revelation, slavery

Human slavery is more prevalent today than it ever has been in history

Revelation 18 speaks of the day when Economic Babylon is finally vanquished. What a day that will be! Though the Tribulation will be a time of great upheaval and supernatural disasters, there will be an economy and there will be people buying and selling. Revelation 13 makes the point that no one without the Mark of the Beast can buy or sell. Revelation 18 lists numerous cargoes that the merchants lament when Babylon is destroyed. Revelation 18:15 notes that “the merchants who sold these things and gained their wealth from her…” So there will be trade, economy, and wealth.

Note the consumer items that are being lamented when economic Babylon is destroyed- they are all luxuries. Note particularly the last item:

“The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes anymore— cargoes of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet cloth; every sort of citron wood, and articles of every kind made of ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron and marble; cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and human beings sold as slaves.” (Rev 18:11-13).

Many people have thought throughout the twentieth century that the slavery being lamented must be a metaphor. It must mean, they thought, “It’s not really slavery, is it? I mean, slavery is so passe.”

In the twenty-first century we also believe that slavery is a thing of the past. As a matter of fact, non-believers who mock the bible as being ‘outdated’ and irrelevant to today’s society often point to this verse about future slavery and mock Christians who believe the bible word for word.

But it does mean slaves. The verse even defines it by saying humans. In no matter what translation you read it, it means people as slaves being sold.

Does slavery exist today? It certainly does. You will be shocked to read that slavery is more prevalent today than it ever has been in all of history. The figures in the link are 2008 numbers, before the current economic crash began. Not doubt the numbers are higher now. The article states, “According to research carried out by the organization Free the Slaves, more people are enslaved worldwide than ever before. In its 400 years, the transatlantic slave trade is estimated to have shipped up to 12 million Africans to various colonies in the West. Free the Slaves estimates that the number of people in slavery today is at least 27 million. The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center suggests that three out of four slavery victims are women and that half of all modern-day slaves are children. ‘Countless other’ people are in other forms of servitude which are not legally classified as slavery, according to the Anti-Slavery Society, described ambiguously by some as ‘unfree labour’.”

Other terms used to describe slavery, thus disguising it from society, “are chattel slavery (the traditional meaning of slavery), bonded labor, trafficking, forced labor, and forced marriage, amongst others.” In a different article, this one in Forbes this week, are also ““trafficked,” “sexually exploited,” “commercially sexually exploited,” “prostitute.”

In 2011 it was reported that Slave traders made $32 billion last year alone, and sold 2.2 million children into slavery. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has said, “Human trafficking has recently been described as “the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world” and the one that brings in the most money after drugs and weapons.

Slavery is real, people, and growing more real every day. Read how Michael Snyder put it today on his Economic Collapse blog:

“When the sun goes down every night, America becomes a very frightening place. There are communities all over the country where drug dealing, human trafficking and gang violence have gotten so out of control that authorities don’t really know what to do about it. In America tonight, thousands of meth heads will break into homes as they desperately search for enough money for another hit. In America tonight, thousands of children will be sold for sex at truck stops and on street corners. In America tonight, millions of criminal predators will be searching for a new victim. From the top levels of the federal government all the way down to the most depraved criminals on the street, America is rotting. Once upon a time our tremendous affluence masked the moral decay that was happening in this nation, but now that the economy is falling apart the damage to the fabric of our society is being revealed. We have become a nation of addicts, junkies, thrill seekers and predators. When we finally see the U.S. economy fully collapse, millions of desperate, angry and depraved monsters will take out their sick frustrations on all the rest of us.”

The Detroit Free Press reported this week on today’s slavery issue.

• Human trafficking is a $32-billion industry worldwide.
• Up to 2 million people are trafficked worldwide every year. Of those, 15,000-18,000 are in the U.S.
• Eight in 10 human trafficking cases involve the sex industry; the others involve labor trafficking.
• In 2010, 2,515 human trafficking cases were under investigation in the U.S.
• Eighty-three percent of victims in confirmed sex trafficking cases in the U.S. in 2010 were American citizens, though 67% of labor trafficking victims were unlawful immigrants and 28% were legal immigrants.
• The National Human Trafficking Resource Center hot line gets 1,000 calls a month about suspected trafficking victims.
• Call volumes have more than doubled in recent years, from 5,700 calls in 2008 to nearly 12,000 in 2011. Hot line calls coming from Michigan also have doubled in recent years, from 87 in 2009 to 173 in 2011.
• Twenty-seven states, including Michigan, have their own human trafficking laws.

Human trafficking, slavery, exists and will only get worse. The lament from the merchants at the destruction of economic Babylon isn’t mourning the loss of lives. They are mourning the loss of slaves they got rich on and the loss of opportunity to keep selling people as slaves.

How can they be so depraved? It is because we have steadily been reducing the value of a human life. We murder mass quantities of children in the womb as a matter of convenience. We teach and preach that we come from monkeys, therefore we’re only animals after all. We refuse to admit Jesus into our schools or public life, therefore generations of people don’t know we are made in His image.

As for the reality of slavery, the first and most important kind of slavery is slavery to sin. Paul in Romans 7:14 says “For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.” We are slaves to sin from birth.  You see in the verses showing how much a going economic concern slavery will be and how depraved the slave merchants are, how deep they are in their sin. They will have traveled far down the sin-road. Nothing will be beyond them, not even a fellow human’s being’s enslavement. However, the Lord came to us from heaven, manifested Himself to us so that we no longer need to be slaves to sin and all the brutality it entails.

“For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own. Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.” (Hebrews 9:24-26). How glorious! He came to us, Himself!! He died as the sacrifice to satisfy the wrath of God and God’s necessary justice. Jesus took the criminal penalty for us.

If you repent of your sins, you don’t need to remain a slave to your sins and you won’t need to worry about becoming an actual slave. You won’t be here during the Tribulation. You will be resting peacefully with Jesus where amazing grace abounds for all eternity. Praise Him!