the strange times in which we live

If someone had said 20 years ago that Christians in this country,
which prides itself on its religious freedoms,
would soon have to gather in secret
for fear of being arrested or charged with ruinous fines,
they would not have been believed.

Dr. Gavin Ashenden


(areil shot of a Christmas pyramid / Julie Cook / 2013)

Seek ye the LORD while he may be found,
call ye upon him while he is near:

Isaiah 55:6

Reading this line from Isaiah yesterday I was struck by some of the wording…
as in ‘hit on the head’ sort of struck.

It was the use of the words ‘may be found’ and ‘while he is near’…
meaning, there is no guarantee that He will always be able to be found
nor that He will always be near.

Whoa.

So in turn, this must mean that there will be a time when what we take for granted will
no longer be around…
As in no longer available.
No longer an option.

I read this particular verse after I had read Dr. Gavin Ashenden’s
latest post.
A post that any Christian reading would find unsettling.
A post entitled “the turning of Christians into criminals.

The turning of Christians into criminals…

Dr. Ashenden was writing about a problem that he is currently witnessing taking place in the UK…
He writes about a current problem that is taking place in an area we’d normally take for granted.
The problem is the conducting of church worship and religious services.
Activities that normally would never be an issue but then again this year happens to be
anything but a normal year—and so everything and anything seems to be an issue.

And since there is a pandemic, there is thus a glitch.

Activities we take for granted such as exercising our religious freedoms, are
now a problem during a pandemic.
Or might the pandemic be a rouse; more of an excuse for those enemies of the
Faith to flex an intolerant muscle?

Dr. Ashenden’s lamentations might as well have been written about our lives
as worshipers here in the States.

The signs are very troubling on both sides of the pond in that there is very
little that seems to be separating us and that of our leadership’s approach to this pandemic.
In a word…shut them down…but by all means, keep Walmart up and running.

The good doctor notes:
“In an increasingly fluid situation,
where the church is coming under more and more destructive pressure,
every Christian ought to say to the Lord,
‘What would you like me to do in this situation?’,
and I want to recognise that some Christians will find that their role is
quiet and passive and prayerful and anonymous.
Other Christians on the other end of the scale may find themselves called to martyrdom.

“One of the things that has become clearer to me is that whilst this virus
is obviously a morally neutral biological phenomenon,
it has become the instrument for evil, if evil is expressed in terms of
attacks on the worship of Christ and the integrity and the
conscience of Christians as disciples of Christ.
And that’s certainly the situation we are facing now.”

If someone had said 20 years ago that Christians in this country,
which prides itself on its religious freedoms, would soon have to gather in secret
for fear of being arrested or charged with ruinous fines, they would not have been believed.
In deciding on this legal action, the courts have the opportunity
to avert this crisis, shun the path taken by the Marxist tyrannies of the past,
and bring this country back in step with hard-won, centuries-old traditions of liberty.

After reading Dr. Ashenden’s post, I next turned to read Mel Wild’s latest offering
over on his site, In My Father’s House

https://melwild.wordpress.com/2020/11/30/subterfuge-conspiracy-theories-and-myths-that-may-be-true/

Now whereas Mel’s post is more or less examining the madness known as “this election”,
he actually has some very similar feelings akin to Dr. Ashenden’s regarding this pandemic…
a pandemic that seems to be very much “an instrument for evil”
Evil on a multitude of levels.

“We may even be led to believe that this pandemic was an accident,
that it has nothing to do with other things we’ve endured in 2020—-
the George Floyd protests-turned-endless-riots,
Marxist BLM demands to defund the police, BLM and Antifa thugs terrorizing citizens,
looting and burning down some of our cities,
the economic lockdowns which severely damaged small businesses but greatly benefited
the corporate and big tech oligarchs,

and even the election chaos that’s still being uncovered right now.”

“Is this all just a coincidence?
Are these events unrelated?
Maybe so, but some experts say, no.
They say all it’s all very much connected.”

Mel does conclude however on a positive note of hope…
“Now, the good news! While it can be very discouraging when we see the
overwhelming evil that’s been perpetrated against our country,
I want to encourage you not to lose heart.
Not only has Christ already won the ultimate epic battle,
but we’re not done with the ideological and political battles either.
We must stay strong and put our hope in God, not political outcomes.

The script over this year has not been fully written, and many things are still in play.
This election is far from over. There are still many legal battles and surprises yet to come.
This all could just be a prelude to something unexpected and wonderful!”

And so I am brought back to where I began this little observational post, back to Isaiah.

I believe it would behoove all of us, no more importantly so than now,
in these odd times in which we find ourselves living,
to know that we must seek God—as in seeking Him now while He can still be found and
call upon Him by all means while He is still near to hear…
because sooner rather than later, He will have moved on…taking many with Him,
but sadly leaving many behind.

For you see it’s a choice on our part.
We follow Him or we don’t.
There is no time for capitulation and no time to kneel before the State.

Seek and call…now, while the time remains…

14 comments on “the strange times in which we live

  1. […] the strange times in which we live […]

  2. Tricia says:

    Really good post Julie! It expresses lot of what I’ve been thinking lately but could not find quite the right words. The pandemic has most definitely many a great opportunity to exploit it to their not so great ends. Once you see it, you can’t undo it and it drives you to research and learn more which is the only reason why I’m a tad hopeful this giant scam will soon come to an end. Too many people have woken up. I hope.

    Or maybe not. Here in California there is practically no resistance to the ridiculous mandates outside of a few brave churches and (my own included) still holding services. I get really disheartened at times but Mel is right about Jesus already having won the battle and you are so right about calling upon Him now, while He is still here.

    • It’s our only Hope Tricia and I think that’s the revelation in all of this— we’ve been stripped of everything we pretty much have counted on— especially our elected officials who we always believed had our backs of we the people— not all mind you but we remained somewhat Pollyanna in thinking our government would have our backs— HA!
      They have their backs!!!!—
      And that was what I could appreciate about President Trump, he really didn’t need anything from us accept for recognition of a job well done— many call that hubris, I instead saw a little boy in all that bravado who simply wanted to be told he had done right by the people— he didn’t need to profit, he was already wealthy — so now we the people will be sold out and nobody in any sort of leadership position will care— and so they will continue taking and stripping us of everything— even our right to worship—and once we are lain bare— that is when we begin to earnestly seek God-the only real constant in this great big, dangerous messed up life!!!!

  3. Good post, Julie! Something that has been really painful for me to see is watching the Christian community divide. Our tiny church has gotten reported for illegal meeting a few times, as has my work. Those complaints, that turning people into the authorities has been done mostly by other Christians. But while I’m dealing with hurt feelings and shattered illusions about a church overall that has your back, I can really see the Lord separating the wheat from the chaff. There’s a purpose to all this madness, people are being squeezed and what comes out of them is either a sweet fragrance or a stinky mess. “Choose this day who you will serve,” is no joke. Now of course there is plenty of grace available, nobody is perfect, and God loves us dearly, but yeah, the time is coming to pick sides and whose side you are on is really going to matter.

  4. Salvageable says:

    It may be premature to speak of “martyrdom.” But then I also never felt attacked by the greeting “Happy Holidays.” Every attack on the Church is also an opportunity to speak the truth and explain why the Bride and Body of Christ matter to him and to the world. In that sense, we can be martyrs in the original sense of the word–not victims, but witnesses. J.

  5. oneta hayes says:

    Yes, come while he is near. You have pulled jewels out of this scripture. Very good.

  6. SLIMJIM says:

    Gavin’s opening quote you have really put in perspective this crazy year doesn’t it? Thanks for thist post

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