I mention one personal lesson I'm still learning in the next section, but the one at the top of my list is learning to curb my temper. I may finally have learned it after blowing up at a friend in such a way that I may have irreparably damaged the relationship. Time will tell. Something provokes me, and I do get provoked in a strongly physical way, start shaking sometimes, it even feels like a physical need to yell, but that's the thing I need to learn not to do. It can happen over an opinion or over my five-year-old grandson's rambunctious misbehavior. I shouted so ferociously at him to stop doing something recently that I scared the wits out of the little guy and he burst into tears. He also scrambled so fast to undo what I'd yelled at him to stop doing -- turning off a particular light (he wanted to make the room completely dark and wasn't taking No for an answer until then) -- that I was amazed. That never happened before but it made me aware I really do have an effect. I'm of two minds about that, I'm sorry I upset him so, yelling at the top of my lungs isn't the right way to discipline a child, but I'm really really glad he isn't the total deaf ear to adult disapproval I'd come to think he is. He was so upset I had to give him a big hug and tell him I love him -- also thanked him for turning the light back on -- and we made up and that was nice, but I've known for a long time I need a much better way of responding to such provocations.
So that's Number One on the personal side of the year's lessons. There were a number of similar incidents over the last year. I think God finally got MY attention.
But I'm just as impressed with general knowledge I picked up over the year, one major area being about the Catholic Church and the Jesuits, another about the American founding and documents. Both of these I learned about from Chris Pinto's ministry. He also contributed very useful information that fits into my Bible Hoax blog.
The other major event of the year was my promotion of Jonathan Cahn's book The Harbinger in over a hundred posts here, including attempts to defend it against some very unfair attacks by critics. The book is THE confirmation of the fact that the nation is under God's judgment that so many Christians seem to be oblivious to. I learned some new things about the state of the nation and about theology through that experience, and about divisions among Christians. All things I'm continuing to learn about.
Then with the eruption of evil in the senseless murders of children at Sandy Hook and the immediate predictable irrational knee-jerk misdiagnosis of the problem as the possession of guns by anybody and everybody, along with aggressive efforts to do away with them, threats against the civil order that many Christians have been watching build up for many years got that much closer and more sinister.
There's a sketch, now for some detail.
Enter Chris PintoIt's only been maybe a year and a half that I've even been aware of Chris Pinto, having first discovered him through his film Hidden Faith of the Founding Fathers at You Tube, which started the process of disabusing me of any lingering ideas I had about the Christian foundations of America. Pinto might not be happy to be promoted by the likes of me, who knows, but for me his work has been a Godsend.
I've actually had someone accuse me of taking *everything* Chris Pinto says about anything as gospel truth, someone in a discernment ministry as a matter of fact. Of course such an accusation is pretty depressing. I don't take anything ANYONE says as gospel truth. But it certainly seems indisputable that for me he's been the single source of more mind-blowing knowledge of important things over the last year than anything or anyone else.
I have to add here one of those personal lessons learned, that over the last year I've had the unsettling experience of getting to know some fairly well known people in various ministries and finding that it strongly affects how I write -- or at least I have to fight letting it affect how I write. It's not easy to write something that strongly disagrees with someone whose ministry you appreciate, someone you've also come to know, however slightly, through email exchanges. I wouldn't have guessed it could be so hard. The only way I'm able to keep my mind free is not to have any contacts with anybody, sad to say. That can't be the best solution, so this is a lesson I'm still learning.
Anyway, I've been following Chris Pinto's ministry more closely than just about any others because he happens to have his finger on the pulse of some information I consider to be of great importance to the Christian life that is still mostly new to me. He has convinced me of these things BY HIS EVIDENCE -- not by who he is or anything he's said about anything else -- and it's information I'd like to disseminate to other believers as far as I'm able because I'm so coninced of its importance to the Church.
Chris Pinto's Revelations about the American FoundersFrom Pinto I got EVIDENCE about the attitudes of SOME of America's founders, the Big Five I've come to call them -- Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Franklin and Paine -- that make it painfully clear that they were not only not Christians but have to be called "antichrists" by the BIBLICAL definition, that is, by the fact that they denied that Christ is God who became a man, or "came in the flesh" as scripture puts it.
Before I knew about Pinto I was aware that Jefferson denied all the supernatural elements of the Bible and that Adams was a Unitarian, but I hadn't really followed up on the implications of that knowledge, thinking that at least they promoted Christian principles and that Christian principles underlie the institutions they helped to form. As my last post shows, I now know that to be false. While a case can be made for Biblical law and morality in the formation of the nation, morality is not in itself a Christian principle. I knew little about the other three founders except that I was aware of a strong push to characterize Washington as a Christian, which is now also debunked in my mind. I had tried to rationalize away the evidence of the Treaty of Tripoli that denies that America is a Christian nation. In all this I was probably mostly following the ministries such as Wallbuilders that make America out to be Christian in a blanket way that glosses over contrary evidence.
There are people who have heard the kind of evidence Pinto presents and still insist on the Christian character of these men, which I find very puzzling, since once you know that they are in print denying the Deity of Christ and ridiculing the virgin birth there isn't any rational way to continue in such a belief. I have to think that some people just have a problem grasping the implications of the evidence.
It also always has to be said that although these particular founders were not Christian, the nation was originally settled by true Christians whose influence and institutions were clearly Christian, and the vast majority of even the founding generation and the population of the nation at large, were true Christians as well. The sad thing is that our founding documents reflect the beliefs of the Rationalist minority rather than the Christian majority, and this was recognized by many early on only for some reason today's Christians have been denied that knowledge.
Pinto's Revelations About RomanismI credit Pinto above all with making me aware of the continuing efforts of the Roman Church to undermine true Christianity -- efforts that are ongoing, present and active rather than long since past and over with, and especially his revelations about the Jesuits -- their historical attacks on governments, national leaders, attempts through education to promote Romanism and discredit Protestantism and disseminate ideas destructive of Protestant culture, and their ultimate aim of reinstituting the Inquisition.
Yes, I already thought of the Roman Church as an Antichrist system, as did the Protestant Reformers; I expected it to have a big role to play in the unfolding of the very last days. Such developments as the ecumenical project of the 90s, Evangelicals and Catholics Together, distressed me greatly, partly because of some of the big name evangelicals who supported it I'd previously admired, and I applauded those such as John MacArthur who vigorously opposed it. I also read up on the Marian apparitions which seem to have increased in the last century and are most certainly demonic in origin and have to have something to do with the coming together of the global religion we're all anticipating.
I also knew the Jesuits were known for a distinctive brand of sophistic thinking and that they had been soundly trounced by Blaise Pascal, but I thought of that as an episode in the distant past.
But after hearing some of Chris Pinto's research all that suddenly appeared to me as the tiny tip of an enormous iceberg, the hidden part of which was startling in its implications of ONGOING efforts to destroy Protestantism, reverse the Reformation, even bring back the Inquisition, all now to my mind present realities and not merely past history or future possibilities, realities that are on the very verge of succeeding in their ultimate aims, realities that explain phenomena I'd been attributing to other causes -- such as the rapid deterioration of American morality over the last half century. It's like you've been contemplating world events in a great gray shifting fog in which images appear and disappear and reappear, pondering scripture and wondering if the Antichrist is soon to be revealed, watching in particular the odd meteoric rise in popularity of Islam in the last decade since 9/11 and the ongoing disturbances in the Middle East surrounding Israel, when all of a sudden the fog clears and the Pope's visage takes shape before your eyes with startling clarity. Wow, it's Romanism after all! And bigger and more ferocious than you could ever have imagined.
It's deeply distressing to me to discover the looming extent of the influence of Romanism in this way, at a point when it's succeeded so well at making a comeback after one might have thought the Reformation had defanged it effectively forever and consigned the Inquisition to the dead medieval past, now to discover it's never given up its ambition to rule the world and do away with enemies and "heretics," yet being taken by so many Christians as just another Christian denomination. We needed to know all this YEARS ago. Now it seems it could be too late.