The current judicial exercise in ensuring a hard separation between religion and the federal or state governments has a fairly short history. It really dates to the last century when Justice Hugo Black resurrected a comment that Thomas Jefferson had made in reply to a letter from the Danbury Baptist Association. The Connecticut group had written to congratulate him upon his election to the Presidency in 1804. His use of the phrase â€œa wall of separationâ€ is its first occurrence in text in this land, and in its context it was used as part of his explanation as to why he had chosen not to call for a national day of fasting and thanksgiving as his two predecessors had done upon election. Justice Blackâ€™s appropriation of the remark was much more insidious.
Every age has produced impostors and frauds. We are told that Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses and thereby they withstood God. We know nothing of the “how” and any details beyond that single statement. But we should know that God is not a liar and not capricious and that he does not trick us by giving false statements. Otherwise we would all be wasting our time.
There were impostors in the Jewish age and in the world of the Gentiles who had strayed from God. There were false messiahs who came immediately after Christ, and there are false messiahs around today. Many have been deceived, and many more will be deceived.
The ignoble impostors intent is to deceive the simple. Some of these teach a gospel of self-improvement, some a gospel about a God who wants you to be a success in the world today. Some teach of an Armageddon of the future, some of an earthly kingdom with warrior Christians fighting a dragon with a tail, or helicopters likened to the scorpions mentioned in Revelation.
In 1774 a woman by the name of Anna Lesse instituted a sect known as the Shakers. She was soon styled “The Elect Lady” by adherents, and it was said that she spoke seventy two languages and spoke to the dead. It was stated that “through her all blessings flow” to her followers. She appointed the sacred dance, crying out, shivering, speaking in tongues, and a number of other base activities as “acceptable devotion.” Any of that sound remotely familiar?
In the early nineteenth century a woman known only as “Miss Campbell” was reported to have returned from the dead, and several ministers of the Church of Scotland soon became her close disciples. I ask is there anything new under the sun?
Some “new” varieties are ready to deceive and are open for business today. There are different manifestations springing up almost daily. We should all know why. And the ones tricking people now should be of the greatest interest to those who seek the truth and who wish to convert souls from sin today. Many of these phonies are members and representatives of mainstream Christian denominations, but you will never find what they teach in the scriptures. In fact, there you will find both it and them condemned.
I hope to examine a few of the most notable of these frauds in the next several weeks as I have time to post things. I will only report on the discrepancies between their peculiar doctrines – what is often only taught in secret or in hushed tones, and then compare that to what is plainly given to all in the scriptures. You can make up your own mind as to the validity or lack thereof.
See you next time!