Christians, standing on the firm foundation of Scripture, can freely assert in the face of climate cultism that Mother Earth is no deity at all, but is merely the footstool of the Father. We need not fear the several false deities and emergent mystery cults in our idolatrous land; we need only fear the God who creates and sustains us, who offers us salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ, and who will one day call us into account for our deeds in his world.
The headlines of the Western world have for several years been rife with tidings of impending climate doom. In the last week alone, media jeremiads have reliably informed the public that there exists an extinction date for all mammals in some quarter-billion years, and that climate change has started to generate stronger hurricanes much earlier in the summer.
The evidences that climate alarmism has become a religious cult are manifest, with Gaia joining the ranks of Molech and Ishtar in the perverse pantheon of our American empire. Take, for example, how a recent Apple advertisement featured Mother Earth, played by a matronly yet stern Octavia Spencer, and her demands that Tim Cook and other executives hold themselves accountable for various corporate sustainability benchmarks. Rather than facing judgment before the resurrected Christ seated on the throne of heaven, these executives provided an account of their deeds before a portly black woman seated at the head of a boardroom table.
Beyond this unintentionally laughable knockoff of Christian eschatology, the climate cult has gained ground in the public square: legal nonprofits are now seeking the recognition of a legal “right” to a clean climate, while teenagers driven by climate anxiety are taking vows to save the environment by no longer bearing children. One investment note even concluded that the “movement to not have children owing to fears over climate change is growing and impacting fertility rates quicker than any preceding trend in the field of fertility decline.” The litany of new paganism must always coalesce. The Center for American Progress wants you to know that “climate justice” and LGBTQ “rights” are inseparable. Both must be supported, of course, and to support one is to support the other. Climate idolatry, then, imports the entire apparatus of regime theology.
These confessors of the climate cult, though they would never describe their actions in such terms, are prophets of Baal who “cut themselves after their custom with swords and lances” (1 Kings 18:28). As with all false worship, those who hate the wisdom of God “love death” (Proverbs 8:36), and “like smoke they vanish away” (Psalm 37:20) by means of their folly.
Never to miss an opportunity for false worship, however, the National Association of Evangelicals likewise declared last year that they wished to address the matter of climate change and “love the least of these” by calling for legislation to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Yet this august assembly has never issued a meaningful statement on child genital mutilation or any other blood sacrament which the aforementioned pantheon holds dear. The priorities of NAE are clear, and they are in lockstep with approved opinion.
The assertions of the climate cult and their professing Christian sycophants, beyond their obvious absurdity, most fundamentally contradict the truth of divine providence, by which the Triune God sovereignly governs his creatures and the creation in which he placed them.
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By Forrest L. Marion — 2 years ago
Written by Forrest L. Marion |
Monday, January 10, 2022
The activities of the Red Guards in the 1960’s under the auspices of the . . . Cultural Revolution had certain interesting characteristics. The major slogan these young students were acting upon was to ‘smash the old and make room for the new.’ Tens of thousands of high school and university students traveled all over China, especially to such big cities as Peking, Shanghai, Canton. . . . They stormed some of the most treasured Chinese cultural sites – Buddhist temples, Protestant and Catholic churches – invaded the libraries, and desecrated the graves of their ancestors.
Fifty years ago, a scholarly study of the Cultural Revolution in Mao’s China serves as a case study to those in America today who may remain unable to perceive or unwilling to admit the religious nature of the neo-Marxist-based movement in our own culture. In recent months, a number of articles and blogs have shed light on the secular quasi-religion currently ravaging America, some of them in the pages of The Aquila Report. Perhaps today’s neo-Marxists’ reluctance to admit the religious nature of their movement is because Marxism is supposed to be a purely secular, a-theistic, non-religious movement. Bible readers will know, however, that as God has placed eternity in man’s heart (Ecclesiastes 3:11), so must mankind in all ages be found to worship something or someone. The present writing uses several excerpts to make clear that this is no cherry-picked interpretation of past events. Some readers may even be surprised to learn that the study from 1971 that I draw from was published by the University of California Press at Berkeley – not exactly a hotbed of conservatism, then or now.
Nineteen sixty-six marked 17 years since the Communists had secured mainland China, having kicked out the Nationalists who withdrew to Taiwan where the Republic of China government was reestablished and remains to this day, albeit under increasing near-daily threats from the mainland. The year 1966 also witnessed the beginning of the Cultural Revolution in Mao’s People’s Republic of China (PRC). Five years later, Asian Survey published an article entitled, “The Role of Religion in Communist Chinese Society.” The writer, Lucy Jen Huang, a sociology professor at Illinois State University, collected her materials for the article from reports, editorials, newspapers, and official documents “published in Mainland China and intended for internal Chinese consumption,” supplemented with firsthand accounts provided by emigres from China and Western visitors to the mainland.
Huang noted that beginning in 1949,
Communist leaders, via the newspapers and monthly magazines, launched a diligent campaign against religion in which it was argued that religion and superstition were similar in that all religious activities were superstitious, but that not all superstitions were religious activities. . . . As long as class and class struggle are present, the struggle against religious superstitions will always be associated with the class struggle.
While the nature of the “struggle” – in reality, one small part of the war against God described in Psalm 2 – has shifted largely from class to other concerns in contemporary America, it was clear from the founding of the PRC that religious activities were to be equated with superstition.
Referring to the start of the Cultural Revolution, Huang wrote, “Every religious revival movement requires the true believers to spread the ‘word,’ in this case mainly selection[s] from the little red book, Quotations of Mao Tse-tung. Soon after the beginning of the Cultural Revolution, Red Guards [students, mainly], in the role of missionaries and disciples of the religious movement, traveled all over China.” A Canton news article recounted that the Red Guards in their missionary work, “. . . spared time every day to help the teenagers and children study quotations from Chairman Mao, teach them to sing revolutionary songs, and help the residents do household work.”
Lucy Jen Huang continued:
Maoism, by this time, had taken the form of extreme adulation of the great leader, sage, poet, philosopher, military genius, statesman, worthy successor to the mightiest of Emperors, and the great prophet of Marxist-Leninist thought. The worship of Mao could be discerned in the report on [the] Red Guards’ visit to his birthplace in Hunan Province. The house where Chairman Mao lived had been carefully preserved and an exhibition hall has been built near it. . . . Red Guards wrote the following pledges in the guest book: ‘We shall give our lives to defend Mao Tse-tung’s ideas! Henceforth, we live to implement Mao Tse-tung’s thought!’ . . . ‘Neither mountains of swords nor oceans of flame hold any fear for us as we work under your guidance. We shall follow you always. Let the seas dry up and the rocks crumble, but our hearts will never change.’
Bible readers perhaps will reflect on several passages of Scripture, of which the aforementioned is but a cheap plastic, soul-destroying imitation.
The article described activities engaged in by the young Red Guards:
. . . the heart and soul of the younger generation of Chinese was aroused by this Maoist religious experience. . . . Red Guards were set loose in the streets of Peking to demand that the traffic lights be changed so that red signaled ‘Go’ and green ‘Stop’; to rename the great Peking Square from ‘Heavenly Place’ to ‘East is Red’; to smash stamp collectors’ shops as ‘Bourgeois’; to break into people’s homes and toss out non-revolutionary pointed shoes and sport shirts. Persecution of the unbelievers can be traced in a Red Guard document entitled ‘One Hundred Examples for Breaking the Old and Establishing the New.’
Sadly, American readers may substitute their own terms for today’s Red Guards let loose in their streets, not of Peking, Shanghai, and Canton, but Portland, Seattle, and Chicago – smashing shops, breaking the old and seeking vainly, if not hypocritically, to establish the new (utopia).
In terms frighteningly and disgustingly familiar to many Americans today, Huang summarized the devastations in China:
The activities of the Red Guards in the 1960’s under the auspices of the . . . Cultural Revolution had certain interesting characteristics. The major slogan these young students were acting upon was to ‘smash the old and make room for the new.’ Tens of thousands of high school and university students traveled all over China, especially to such big cities as Peking, Shanghai, Canton. . . . They stormed some of the most treasured Chinese cultural sites – Buddhist temples, Protestant and Catholic churches – invaded the libraries, and desecrated the graves of their ancestors. They smashed the statues and crosses, burned the Buddhas, and fed books into the flames. When they broke into Peking’s Roman Catholic Church, tore the crucifix from the altar and set up a plaster bust of Mao, the symbolism of the deification of Mao was complete.
In conclusion, Huang pointed out part of the contradictory nature of the quasi-religion of Maoism:
The official policy of the Maoist regime has been anti-religious and anti-superstitious in nature. However, paradoxically, there are undeniably religious dimensions in the official tactics and ideology resembling the very phenomena of religion and superstition which the regime claims to oppose. Mao, as the symbol of god and prophet; Maoism the Bible, in the form of quotations of Mao Tse-tung; and the faith in Mao and his teachings, which have supposedly achieved superhuman feats and miracles, have stirred the religious zeal of Mao’s followers.
As was to be the case with the disciples of Wokeism in America fifty years later,
For many followers of Maoism they may have found in the Communist regime a seeming dedication to justice, international brotherhood . . . and tireless service to mankind. They are no longer confused and alienated. But for others who are overly idealistic and impractical, Maoism may turn out to be ‘the God that failed.’ It has challenged and fired their enthusiasm but may be unable to satisfy their cherished dreams and idealism.
One writer in 2021, questioning how “siblings, neighbors, colleagues, and classmates [could] turn on one another so viciously?” concluded that Mao’s “Cultural Revolution was fundamentally a civil war.” Perhaps 40 percent of China’s population in those days was fifteen years of age or under; nearly half were under twenty years, and they provided most of the Red Guards. Some estimates list as many as 1.5 million killed in China, 36 million persecuted, and tens of millions in addition affected “in a countryside upheaval” that lasted from 1966 to 1976, when Mao died. By 1981, the Chinese Communist Party called the Cultural Revolution an error, but deflected the blame from Mao toward his wife and his closest associates. The supposed “worthy successor to the mightiest of Emperors” could not suffer loss of reputation – at least not shortly after his death.
For the student of the Bible, perhaps much of the assessment of China’s Cultural Revolution is as unsurprising as it is disheartening, except perhaps in the degree of its ruthlessness, vileness, and destructiveness. But the main point here is simply to recognize that, regardless of what Wokeism’s participants or observers may claim in 2021, it – like Maoism fifty years ago – is, in essence, a religion, and a false religion at that. But as is the case for all men in all ages, the follower of any worldly –ism – including Wokeism – is called to repent and believe the gospel of the grace of God in Jesus Christ, and he shall be saved.
And for any that have believed the gospel but have been led astray by false teachers, heed the words of John to the angel of the church in Sardis: “Remember therefore what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. If therefore you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come upon you” (Revelation 3:3).
Forrest Marion is a ruling elder in Eastwood Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Montgomery, Ala.
 Lucy Jen Huang, “The Role of Religion in Communist Chinese Society,” Asian Survey, vol. XI, no. 7 (Jul. 1971): 695. Unless cited otherwise, all quotations in the remainder of the present writing are taken from Huang’s article, pp. 698-701, 707-708.
 Pankaj Mishra, “What Are The Cultural Revolution’s Lessons For Our Current Moment? The New Yorker, Jan. 25, 2021.
By Joni Eareckson Tada — 2 years ago
God permits awful things, but (to paraphrase Dorothy Sayers) something so grand and glorious is going to happen in the world’s finale that it will more than suffice for every pain we experienced on this planet. God will exponentially make up for every tear (Psalm 56:8), and will abundantly reward us for every hurt (Romans 8:18).
I remember it like it were yesterday. I was fresh out of the hospital, barely out of my teens, and sitting at our family table with my friend Steve Estes with our Bibles and sodas. We had become acquainted when he heard I had tough questions about God and my broken neck. He also knew I wasn’t asking with a clenched fist, but a searching heart.
So, Steve made a bargain with me. I’d provide sodas and my mother’s BLT sandwiches, and he would provide—as best he could—answers from the Bible. Though I cannot reproduce our exact words, the conversations left such an indelible impression on me that even now, over fifty years later, I can capture their essence.
“I always thought that God was good,” I said to him. “But here I am a quadriplegic, sitting in a wheelchair, feeling more like his enemy than his child! Didn’t he want to stop my accident? Could he have? Was he even there? Maybe the devil was there instead.”
Decades later, Steve would tell me, “Joni, when I sat across from you that night, I was sobered. I mean, I had never met a person my age in a wheelchair. I knew what the Bible said about your questions, and a dozen passages came to mind from studying in church. But sitting across from you, I realized I had never test-driven those truths on such a difficult course. Nothing worse than a D in algebra had ever happened to me. But I looked at you and kept thinking, If the Bible can’t work in this paralyzed girl’s life, then it never was for real. So, Joni, I cleared my throat and I jumped off the cliff.”
God Permits What He Hates
That night, Steve leaned across the family table, and said, “God put you in that chair, Joni. I don’t know why, but if you will trust him instead of fighting him, you will find out why—if not in this life, then in the next. He let you break your neck, and perhaps I’m here to help you discover at least a few reasons why.”
Steve paused and then summed it up with ten words that would change my life:
The sentence hit me like a brick. Its simplicity made it sound trite, but it nevertheless enticed me like an enigmatic riddle. It seemed to hold some deep and mysterious truth that piqued my fascination. “Tell me more,” I said. “I want to hear more about that.” I was hooked.
God permits what he hates to accomplish what he loves.
Over that summer with Steve, I would explore some of the most puzzling passages in Scripture. I wanted to know how God could permit hateful things without being in cahoots with the devil. How could he be the ultimate cause behind suffering without getting his hands dirty? And to what end? What could God possibly prize that was worth breaking my neck?
He Does Not Afflict Willingly
So, let me parrot some of Steve’s counsel to me that summer. He started off with Lamentations 3:32–33:
Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men. (NIV)
In the span of a verse, the Bible asserts that God “brings grief,” yet “he does not willingly bring…grief.” With that, Steve was able to reassure me from the top that although God allowed my accident to happen, he didn’t get a kick out of it—it gave him no pleasure in permitting such awful suffering. It meant a lot to hear that.
But what about my question of who was in charge of my accident? When it comes to who is responsible for tragedy—either God or the devil—Lamentations 3 makes it clear that God brings it; he’s behind it. God is the stowaway on Satan’s bus, erecting invisible fences around the devil’s fury and bringing ultimate good out of Satan’s wickedness.
Buck Stops with God
“God’s in charge, Joni, but that doesn’t mean he actually pushed you off the raft,” Steve said. “Numbers 35:11 pictures someone dying in an ‘accident,’ calling it ‘unintentional.’ Yet elsewhere, of the same incident, the Bible says, ‘God lets it happen’ (Exodus 21:13). It’s an accident, but it’s God’s accident. God’s decrees allow for suffering to happen, but he doesn’t necessarily ‘do’ it.”
By Tom Nettles — 2 years ago
The event for the righteous, that is, those accounted righteous for the sake of Christ, is an event of unparalleled joy, bliss, and glory. “The souls of the Righteous being then made perfect in holiness, are received into paradise where they are with Christ, and behold the face of God, in light and glory.” In his great sermon, “A Believer’s Last Day His Best Day,” Thomas Brooks (1608-1680) pointed to six changes on the day of death that constitute the reality of the believer’s hope.
31:1. The bodies of those who have died return to dust and undergo destruction. But their souls neither die nor sleep, because they have an immortal character, and immediately return to God who gave them. The souls of the righteous are then made perfect in holiness and are received into paradise. There they are with Christ and behold the face of God in light and glory while they wait for the full redemption of their bodies. The souls of the wicked are thrown into hell, where they remain in torment and utter darkness, reserved for the judgment of the great day. The Scripture recognizes no place other than these two for souls separated from their bodies.
(Genesis 3:19; Acts 13:36. Ecclesiastes 12:7. Luke 23:43; 2 Corinthians 5:1, 6,8; Philippians 1:23; Hebrews 12:23. Jude 6, 7; 1 Peter 3:19; Luke 16:23, 24)
Second London Confession, 31:1
A Common Experience of Disembodied and heightened Consciousness.
“The bodies of men after death return to dust and see corruption.” What happens to the relationship between body and soul at death. This in its immediate effects is the same for all persons. At death the bodies of all persons complete their state of corruption by a rapid deterioration to dust. “From dust thou art to dust thou shalt return” (Genesis 3:19). The curse that fell upon all person as a result of the sin of Adam was the certainty of physical death. The special provision made by God for the immediate reception of Enoch and Elijah do not render the general curse doubtful or erratic (Genesis 5:21-24; 2 Kings 2:10, 11). The preacher of Ecclesiastes pointed to this universal certainty in saying, “Remember your Creator before the silver cord is loosed, . . . Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and spirit will return to God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:6, 7).
Paul expected that death would mean that the consciousness of the spirit would be unclothed for the earthly house would be destroyed. He desired to move immediately from residence in this earthly, corruptible body to the “habitation which is from heaven.” Being unclothed, having a heightened consciousness outside the body, was not the ultimately desirable state. He knew, nevertheless, that to be in this corruptible body was to be absent from the Lord and to be absent from the body was to be present with the Lord. Before we go into the presence of the Lord, these bodies will die and then will undergo corruption unless our mortality is immediately swallowed up by life (2 Corinthians 5:1-8). The vagueness of mind that finds death so impenetrable, the immediate presence of God so mysterious, or the deluded assumption of some that consciousness simply ceases immediately gives way to a presence of the bright personal holiness of the triune God. Both the believer and the unbeliever will be consciously present—conscience, affections, memory, thoughts, unfiltered by devices of self-protection—before the all-knowing, all-seeing Creator and Judge.
The soul neither dies nor sleeps. “But their souls (which neither die nor sleep) having an immortal subsistence, immediately return to God who gave them.” The soul is a created thing and does not have self-existence and thus its immortal subsistence is due to something given by God when God breathed into Adam’s nostrils the “breath of life” (Genesis 2:7). “Let us make man in our image,” the triune God said (Genesis 1:26). Out of all the created beings, only man was given responsible moral character, the ability to discern right and wrong, to reflect the character of God in the choice of the good, right, and holy. Man ‘s moral nature made necessary his unceasing life in the light of the eternal relevance of his moral responsibility. Because eternal consequences are at stake in each moral choice, humans can never simply pass out of existence but will bear the consequences, in body and soul, in the way they have responded to God’s righteousness as revealed in his Law. Though man is finite, his interaction with an infinitely holy God gives each of his actions infinite and eternal relevance. Nothing arising from the moral nature of image-bearers will go unanswered and none can perish or sleep for there is never a moment when moral responsibility is absent or the moral judgment of God rests.
Particular blessings of death for the Righteous
The world recedes; it disappears!
Heaven opens on my eyes! My ears
With sounds seraphic ring:
Lend, lend your wings! I mount! I fly!
O Grave where is they victory?
O death, where is thy sting?
– Alexander Pope –
The event for the righteous, that is, those accounted righteous for the sake of Christ, is an event of unparalleled joy, bliss, and glory. “The souls of the Righteous being then made perfect in holiness, are received into paradise where they are with Christ, and behold the face of God, in light and glory.” In his great sermon, “A Believer’s Last Day His Best Day,” Thomas Brooks (1608-1680) pointed to six changes on the day of death that constitute the reality of the believer’s hope. One, there is a “change of place. . . . He changes earth for heaven.” The confession says that the souls of the righteous are “received into paradise.” “Today,” Jesus told the repenting, believing, adoring thief, “you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:40-43). Presently we are not in our place, therefore, we groan. On the day of death, groaning ceases, for believers have departed that environment and “they are with Christ” who has loved us with an everlasting love.
Second, death brings for the righteous a “change of company.” No longer do the profane, the vile, the wicked, the scoffer poison the society, no longer is the soul vexed with the oppressive jocularity of the skeptic, but the reality of the living God, Jesus the Mediator, the presence of holy angels, the spirits of just men made perfect, the perfect harmony of a redeemed assembly immediately provide a company of true fellowship and undiluted joy.
A third change becomes obvious when the employment of our energies in a constant fight and warfare against the world, the flesh, and the devil cease. What an unimaginable release from conflict and constant watchfulness is accomplished on the day of death. This fight is exchanged for praise and the consciousness of perfect triumph with no insurrection of enemies even contemplated.
Fourth, there is a change of “enjoyments.” These enjoyments move from being obscure to being sweet, from imperfect to perfect, and from transient to permanent—“the Souls of the Righteous being made perfect in holiness.” This perfect holiness gives an unchangeable and optimal quality to the enjoyments of the Christian.