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The Persecuted Church




An abandoning of religion,  faith, for a new way of Spirituality?

A Recently article by Michael Snyder End Of The American Dream - November 28, 2018

These are some excerpts of it.

America is littered with thousands upon thousands of church buildings that aren’t being used anymore.

Many of our nation’s churches can no longer afford to maintain their structures—6,000 to 10,000 churches die each year in America—and that number will likely grow. Though more than 70 percent of our citizens still claim to be Christian, congregational participation is less central to many Americans’ faith than it once was. Most denominations are declining as a share of the overall population, and donations to congregations have been falling for decades. Meanwhile, religiously unaffiliated Americans, nicknamed the “nones,” are growing as a share of the U.S. population.

In fact, the “nones” have risen from just 6 percent of the population in 1991 to 25 percent today. That makes them the single largest “religious group” in the United States.

Today, less than 20 percent of all Americans attend church on a regular basis. As a result, churches are dying in very large numbers, and this is a trend that appears to be accelerating. According to Thom S. Rainer of Lifeway, when you break the numbers down it means that “around 100-200 churches will close this week”…

Between 6,000 and 10,000 churches in the U.S. are dying each year. That means around 100-200 churches will close this week. The pace will accelerate unless our congregations make some dramatic changes.

Any institution needs resources in order to survive, and churches are not any different.

So when churches die, what happens to their buildings?

Well, some are torn down, some are renovated for residential or business purposes, and some are being put to other uses

A large number of abandoned churches have become wineries or breweries or bars. Others have been converted into hotels, bed-and-breakfasts, and Airbnbs. A few have been transformed into entertainment venues, such as an indoor playground for children, a laser-tag arena, or a skate park.

A similar thing is happening in Europe, only on a much greater scale. Over there, hundreds of churches have been transformed into Islamic mosques, and this has generated quite a bit of controversy.

As I discussed in my article about demographic trends, we are witnessing societal change happen at a pace that would have been absolutely unthinkable a couple of generations ago.

This is especially true for our young people. If you go back to 1986, just 10 percent of all young adults were “religiously unaffiliated”, but now that number has jumped all the way to 39 percent

That makes young adults the single largest group of “nones” in the entire country. We are living at a time when there is a mass exodus from the Christian faith in America, and it is likely going to take something quite dramatic to reverse that trend.

According to the Pew Research Center, Millennials are about half as likely to attend religious services on a weekly basis as the oldest Americans are.

Church attendance is simply not as important to Americans as it once was. In the old days, churches were central hubs where you got to know your neighbors and important events were commemorated. But now churches sit idle and empty most of the time, and attendance on Sunday mornings is depressingly low in most cases.

When I was growing up, my parents made sure that we were in church on Sunday morning, Sunday evening and sometimes even on Wednesday evening. But today, most churches don’t even have Sunday evening or midweek services because nobody would show up.

Our entire society, including our system of government, was birthed out of a culture of Bible-believing Christians. The following comes from an excellent piece by Dr. Mark David Hall

In 1776, every European American, with the exception of about 2,500 Jews, identified himself or herself as a Christian. Moreover, approximately 98 percent of the colonists were Protestants, with the remaining 1.9 percent being Roman Catholics.

Not only did early Americans identify themselves as Christians, but nearly all of them regularly attended church.

Now our society is moving very rapidly in the exact opposite direction, and many believe that this has tremendous implications for the future of our nation.

On the other side of the coin

The American Psychological Association considers devout belief in God as mental illness.

They now consider an unassailable belief in a deity or a higher power to a point where it impairs one's ability to make conscientious decisions about common sense matters, as a mental illness.

The study showed that deeply religious people often suffered from paranoia, anxiety, emotional distress and hallucinations. The study also states that those who had poor health conditions considered God cruel, and those who consider God kind usually did not suffer from mental illnesses.

They speak of the 'Jehovah Witnesses' that will not accept life-saving donor blood under any circumstance and rather choose to die. According to the professor, such people should be declared 'mentally unfit' for decision making and saved using any appropriate method. The APA will persuade law makers to introduce legislation which would allow doctors the right to force life-saving treatment on those who refuse it for spiritual reasons.

Dr. Andrews also considers people claiming to possess self-healing powers, ability to communicate directly to a God and power to see spirits, as signs of a mental break and a loss of touch with reality. The new classification of archaic beliefs as mental disorder is treated as a step towards positive direction by the APA.  

The JW’s do fall in the same category of Christian Science, how they treat sickness. They do have a point of contention with what should be the best course in saving a life but I do not agree that this falls in the category of a mental illness.

Now let’s consider whom they are watching on TV – the faith healers those who infiltrated and taken over the church preaching the supernatural as the means by which God will heal because you have faith (plus money). This too is not a mental illness though it is wrong. What this tells us that they’re representation of Christianity has hurt not helped the church. All of these would be more accurately categorized as deceptions not mental illness.

Now we come to the last mention that does seem to fit in where these trends fit together and are going.

As the Technology speeds up what is the conclusion, where does it end up?

Where does the introduction of AI lead us to? Are we going to be dominated by super intelligent robots and men and women become increasingly obsolete in work as some are saying?

Experts believe more than jobs are at risk in the Artificial Intelligence revolution. This was also said in the industrial revolution when machines were replacing the horse and buggies and we began to invent stoves and refrigerators. Civilization was all the better for this, but there is always a darker side with progress. This time have we gone too far?

Talking to TV’s, refrigerators and AI in our homes, what of the future such as Designer babies, organic chips in humans to download what we need to know, to have instant knowledge? To choose what we want to be in life. These are all things we will face from technology advancing. Enhanced humanity through the merging of technology.

Consider what Novelist Dan Brown has to say.

Speaking about the advent of this technology, the Da Vinci Code writer said: “Humanity no longer needs God but may with the help of artificial intelligence develop a new form of collective consciousness that fulfils the role of religion.

Are we naive today to believe that the gods of the present will survive and be here in a hundred years?”

He may be a sci fi writer, but there are some things to consider in his statement. He may have a point that he himself may not have considered. Because it fits with Bible prophecy… he previously warned people may no longer worship or pray to God – instead putting all their faith in an AI messiah.

I thought about all three trends and see that they can all fit into the Bibles depiction of the last days. Breaking from futurism (Sci fi) to prophecy, our future in writing. Let’s consider where the path of technology leads us to.

What did the Scripture mean by “the image of the Beast?” That only those whose names are not written in the book of life will worship this counterfeit of God and Christ. Could a synergism take place that will unite man with AI? A god in man’s image? A god of man’s making! A god that is the collective of all our knowledge.

We read in Rev. 13:1-2 of John seeing a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, which relates to the nations under his power and The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.

V.4 the people worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?

He has complete control and no one is able to challenge to usurp him.

He has 42 months to rule, 3 and half years. So this takes place in the middle of the Tribulation.

V.6-10 he blasphemes God, and all that is holy, even the saints in heaven. He makes war with the saints and to overcome them. He has authority over every tribe, tongue, and nation. Only those whose names are written in the Book of Life of the Lamb resist, but they will die.

Rev. 13:14-18 “And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

Could the image be in everyone’s homelike we have TV’s or mass produced streaming devices of some sort (not like the primitive objects of today). It would take technology to have such control over people?

The bible describes the image as part of the antichrist system, it is like a director. It implies that it looks like the man who is the world’s president. People will tied into it to buy and sell, that life will go on for them while others are hunted down as rebels to be killed. This image becomes the norm because of convenience, which is how our age of technology began. In some ways it delivers on other ways it hinders. What will it become in the future?

The image speaks, it is alive (like images on TV and phones?) Could this be an AI hologram that mankind interacts with? Not like those boxes we now use to talk to today but something far more advanced. An AI that is superior in knowledge and knows us individually that we take guidance from it. Not to ignore the supernatural but technology is required to rule over mankind in such a manner described in the Bible. As an all knowing AI this Beast image, will have such an appeal even atheists may accept it. After all we build it. What we do know is that we will take part in our own demise.

According to Daily Galaxy, MIT physicist and cosmologist Max Tegmark said that once this new superintelligence is vastly greater than that of a human, the fate of mankind will depend on it.

No, this is not something that can be attributed to a mental illness but a volitional choice made from a deception that leads to the ultimate rebellion. No longer believing the love of the truth they believe the lie.

No, mankind is not becoming gods or are gods, but mankind will be as Adam in repeating the same, who made a conscious choice to listen to his wife’s deception instead of what God spoke to him. The end will be like the beginning.

Considering how all the young people have their time consumed staring and talking on their phones, they are willing to decorate their whole bodies, what’s one more small tattoo significantly placed, the red carpet is being laid out for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled. They youth are open for anything.

Consider how the world is in turmoil looking for a leader that will bring us together as global community, into a humanitarian socialism. A new religion, a false golden age of enlightenment may be in the very near future, or not. Wars might first be the necessary component to have everyone coalesce into a mindset that cannot be reversed. But we can be assured that what the Bible said nearly 2,000 years after will come to pass, it always has and always will.



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