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   This feature article is written to share a concern over the grave danger in which this nation has placed itself. After centuries of experience, mankind still fails to see the signs of its demise.

   When Jesus was born and when He was killed, few recognized who He was, yet, now, in these modern years, so many think they know who He was. Could that be so, or is it that equally few recognize Him today? This may be considered by some as unimportant, but it is highly relevant. The failing of Jesus' generation to recognize Him only guaranteed the destruction of that generation not many years later.

   History repeats itself and all men are tested now as they were two thousand years ago, but few are aware of that test when it comes. Jesus reveals Himself to the generations in different ways, ways appropriate to their time. Jesus said He would come as a thief. That is, few would be aware of Him when He came. They would not realize His coming because they would be asleep to spiritual realities.

   What was it that happened with believers two thousand years ago when the Christian church began? They, too, were not recognized as the children of God and they, too, experienced dispossession as Jesus did. Because of this, they shared everything in common. They gave up houses and lands and finally left Jerusalem just before it was destroyed by the Romans. This was not a curse for them, that they should give up everything; it was truly a blessing, for it freed them from the false ideas that rule the hearts and minds of worldlings and it saved their lives as well. They began to see in a clear light what is truly the worldly motivation. They ascended above the world. God's children have recently experience dispossession again. It is happening in many places, but, specifically, I write now of the circumstances that surround our own congregation, The Lord Our Righteousness. This is not a sad day for us, since dispossession from the earth is that for which Christians pray. We call it the coming of Jesus. Dispossession causes Christians to see what truly motivates the world, by that, making themselves free from the world and ascending above it. It is a sad day for the world though. When God's people, or anyone else for that matter, are by law not allowed to follow their conscience without losing their homes or their living, it means the end of civilization as we know it is at hand. For the Christian it is the time for their ascension and for the world it is the time for their destruction.

   Concerning our own congregation this is revealed in the following way. In the past year our church recognized that our property taxes were helping to support young children in learning things that would be to their detriment for life. We could see that the public schools were not educating the children for their good but, instead, creating a system of child abuse. We do not intend to demean the honest efforts of parents or governments regarding the education of their children. It is simply true that Christians cannot support that current system of education. Because of this, The Lord Our Righteousness sought a property tax exemption on the land owned by the church to free the church from having to support those things that are openly against God's government. This was denied us, though exemption is justified according to the law. Specifically, the principles Christians cannot conscientiously support are:

   1. Competition. Competition is not according to God's government. The competition of grades or sports, prizes and awards are against the truth as it is in Jesus. We would not subject our own children to these abusive practices and it is against the truth to pay to have the children of others subjected to them. What people do with their children may be considered their business, but when we are forced to pay for that abuse it becomes our business. Competition sets up the idea that others are to be beaten. It fosters the notion that others are one's enemy and one must gain the upper hand and win. In competition it is viewed that some are better than others especially if one can beat someone else. This is all desirable from the worldly perspective; the world sees nothing wrong with it and this is one reason the world is in the condition it is in.

   In our church the children are taught that all humankind is blessed of God and none are better. If there is one who has lesser abilities, he is to be helped and not beaten.

   2. Unbelief. The children are educated so that doubt in God's Word is fostered. Instead of creation as taught in the Scriptures, evolution is taught as truth, by that, making the Word of God a lie. God's Word specifically states that God created the world in six days (evenings and mornings). Children learn in public school to disregard what God said and accept the suppositions of men. These suppositions take faith to believe. Evolution from lower to higher species has never been proven. It is only a worldly theory that one takes by faith. It is a theory that also changes periodically. So it stands that the faith of the world may be taught as truth in public schools but not the faith that the Scriptures teach. That is promoting the religion of man over the religion of God. This is discrimination of the highest sort. God created the world, yet humankind discriminates against Him. We cannot in good conscience pay to educate children that God's Word is not true and cannot be trusted.

   3. Immorality. Children are subjected to "sex education" that compromises our best instincts how girls and boys should behave. Their familiar association also brings them into temptation that should be avoided. Much of the country's woes regarding unwed mothers and welfare can be traced directly to this. It can often be heard that the youth should practice "safe sex." Where in the Scriptures is safe sex mentioned? Sex will be safe if in marriage and only with one's mate. Children learn that sexual activities outside marriage is alright if it is safe.

   4. Atheism. Public schools are Godless by federal law. You may pass out condoms but not Bibles. You may speak about spiritualism and celebrate satanic holidays such as Halloween, but not the truth as is found in God's Word. We are not saying that public schools should be a place to teach the Bible, but they should not exclude the truths that are in the Bible. Public schools may allow individuals to go into a room and pray if they like, but the system of itself is against the true things of God.

   5. Degeneration. Finally, largely attributable to the aforementioned principles, the general low moral state of the public schools creates the atmosphere for child abuse between children, sexual harassment between students, disrespect for authority, violence and a general declension of those attributes that make for a strong and enlightened society.

   Jesus was taught at home. In our church we homeschool our children because it is high on our list to keep our children from child abuse. Child abuse takes many more forms than sexual and we must exercise our God-given responsibility to educate our children to God's glory. In the public school system great efforts are made to protect children from physical harm. They provide flashing lights on buses with crossing guards and stop signs, but almost nothing is done to protect their souls, the true worth of the child.

   God holds those who pay for these abuses responsible for the results of them. This country today is filled with crime, vice, hatred, violence and fear. We know some of the causes of this condition. This general condition cannot be blamed on bad TV programs alone. One's basic educational foundation is primarily responsible. Society today seems hardly aware that it is itself responsible for these things because society chooses to ignore them rather than end them.

   As a church, this is a large issue to us. By supporting the education of children contrary to our faith and in support of the faith of those contrary to ourselves, we, in principle, pay for our own destruction of faith in God. This is unconscionable from our standpoint. Can one imagine that any church in the community would actively evangelize against its own existence by paying for the activities of those who evangelize against them? This may be happening with some professing Christ, but this cannot happen with those who truly have Christ. With us this has not been a preference but a conviction for which we will sacrifice our houses, lands and lives.

   Believers in the Soviet Union experienced dispossession when they stood for their convictions. Although the Soviet constitution said there was freedom of religion, it did not turn out that way. Freedom of religion is often interpreted to mean one has freedom of religion as long as one's beliefs do not go against any personal whims of the ones who govern.

   In the Soviet Union, Christian land was confiscated and the members scattered unless their activities were approved by the state and in harmony with the state goals, ideals and attitudes. In America we have had a higher profession than that. As it turns out, it has only been a profession. When a nation must force its citizens to support its practices or else lose their homes or livelihood, it no longer can be considered a free country, but, instead, a dictatorship. In this country it has become a dictatorship of law rather than a dictatorship of man. The dictatorship of law has gone unrecognized for what it is. If it were a pure dictatorship of law, it may not be so tragic, but it is not pure. The laws are interpreted to say whatever the enforcers of those laws decide. This is true because truth or principle is no longer the governing factor of our nation. The governing factor is money. Truth and justice are no more appreciated in this country now than in any other fallen civilization.

   Gandhi wrote: "When a man submits to another through fear, he does not follow his nature but yields to brute force. He who has no desire to dominate others by brute force will not himself submit to such force either. Recognizing, therefore, that man who fears brute force has not attained self-knowledge at all."

   You may remember the story that is in the Bible about Moses and the children of Israel. Moses asked Pharaoh if they might be free from those things that enslaved them. They wanted to go out a little way and worship God according to their conscience. Pharaoh was not happy with that request and that the children of Israel would express some independence from his government, so he refused to let them go. He used brute force to keep them enslaved. Pharaoh did not realize the effect his refusal would have upon himself. Pharaoh's greed and desire for power would cost him everything he had.

   It is the prerogative of the county officials to deny us our request as they have done. God has given them authority in this matter. They are His civil ministers as was Pharaoh. But when force and the threat of loss is used to entice us to give up our convictions, the cost to the county and the state will be far more than the few hundred tax dollars that might have been collected. If our convictions had been respected, the benefits would have far outweighed the few hundred dollars in taxes. God simply rewards every man and government according to their ways.

   This is not a tax issue with us. We believe that citizens should pay their fair share of the public burden, but when citizens are forced against their will to support with their labors the corruption of young minds which someday must rule the nation, we must protest. If we do not protest, we make ourselves responsible for those destructive effects which exist in our country today and for the destruction of the world in general.

   If we fail to pay our taxes, our land will be confiscated from us. If we fail to vacate, police will come to encourage us to leave. If we still refuse, the threat of weapons will be employed or we will be forcibly removed so our land can be sold for taxes.

   We choose, instead, to leave our land and find a home wherever God may lead and in a place He can bless. This will be with the knowledge that the expected benefits will not be realized by those who govern. After the sons of God experienced dispossession from Jerusalem, it was not many years until the city was destroyed and there was not one stone left upon the other.

   Cause and effect has a way of working itself out. Some call it Karma. Others say, "what goes around comes around." Jesus said, "As you have done it unto the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me." The Tax Code clearly states what property is exempt from property taxes. It reads: "The following property is exempt from taxation: Property belonging to any religious corporation or society of this state, used exclusively for and in connection with public worship, and any parsonage belonging to such corporation or society and occupied as such, and any recreational hall belonging to and used in connection with the activities of such corporation or society; and this exemption shall extend to property owned by any religious corporation or society which is used for any combination of religious worship, educational purposes and recreational activities, not designed for profit. ...and real property utilized by religious organizations for summer encampments should be exempt from ad valorem taxes, since all activities conducted thereon, although in some aspects charitable, and in some aspects educational, are nevertheless directly related to the religious purposes for which such groups are organized." From Revenue and Taxation 63-105B pg. 18&20.

   You see, the tax code authorizes churches to be free from taxation on church land it is using for "purposes for which such groups are organized". This was denied us.

   The motivation behind these laws is separation of church and state. The county may justify its human rights violations for one reason or another, but God sees these violations. The state is to have no authority over the conscience. The state is not to regulate the affairs of the church of God.

   We make this case because we believe most people do not know the consequences of coercing the conscience. God cannot bless a society governed by the principles of force.

   This nation has enslaved the blacks, decimated the Native Americans, subjugated the world through the so-called United Nations and now it grinds down its own citizens. It does this by reinterpreting the meaning of its constitution and its laws for its own purposes. Men cannot buy or sell except they are marked with the characteristics of this nation. They must have "the mark of the beast". Citizens will be dispossessed or even killed for their desires to be free of unrighteous controls. The Word of God speaks truly of our nation. "Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all." Dan. 11:37.

   There is only one power that has authority regarding the conscience of man and that is God's power. When men seek to control the conscience of another, they lay claim to the prerogatives of God.

   The Scriptures speak again of this land. "I beheld another beast [The United States] coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. ...And he causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand [the labor] or the forehead [thinking] , so that no one can buy or sell [keep his home] unless he has the mark, or the name of the beast or the number of his name." Rev. 13:16-17.

    This poem was found on the Internet. It seems to speak well to the issue. It is called,

"A Visitor From the Past."

I had a dream the other night, I didn't understand.
A man walking through the mist, with flintlock in his hand.
His clothes were torn and dirty, as he stood there by my bed.
He took off his three-cornered hat, and speaking low, he said:

We fought a revolution, to secure our liberty.
We wrote the Constitution, as a shield from tyranny.
For future generations, this legacy we gave.
To the land of the free and the home of the brave.

The freedom we secured for you, we hoped you'd always keep.
But tyrants labored endlessly while your parents were asleep.
Your freedom gone, your courage lost, you're no more than a slave.
In the land of the free and home of the brave.

You buy permits to travel, and permits to own a gun,
Permits to start a business, or to build a place for one.
On land that you believe you own, you pay a yearly rent.
Although you have no voice in choosing, how the money's spent.

Your children must attend a school that doesn't educate.
Your Christian values can't be taught, according to the state.
You read about the current news, in a regulated press.
You pay a tax you do not owe, to please those who assess.

You've given your control, to those who do you harm,
So they can padlock churches, and steal the family farm,
And keep our country deep in debt and put men of God in jail,
Harass your fellow countrymen, while corrupted courts prevail.

Your public servants don't uphold the solemn oath they've sworn.
Your daughters visit doctors, so their children won't be born.
Your leaders ship artillery, and guns to foreign shores,
And send your sons to slaughter, fighting other people's wars.

As I awoke he vanished, in the mist from whence he came.
His words were true, we are not free, we have ourselves to blame.
For even now as tyrants, trample each God-Given Right.
We only watch and tremble, too afraid to stand the sight."

   Bravery and nobility are traits that only exist when a nation is sensitive to morality and the conscience of its citizens. When a nation is no longer sensitive to the conscience of its citizens, but, instead, dispossesses them or even attacks them with weapons of war, one can know that nation's heart of bravery and nobility has turned to a heart of despotism. It may profess to be a lamb and a peace lover but, in reality, it speaks as a dragon. It may paint its weapons of war white and call its armies "peace keepers" but it is still a dragon. It may very well be that the heart of a dragon is what this nation wants, but it also should be understood that that heart will always lead a nation to its end. One cannot oppress without being oppressed. Eventually, the nation turns against itself and national ruin is the result.

   God's ways are the only ways that truly work and lead to the well-being of all. If a nation turns from that, there will be no well-being for anyone who lives on the earth.

   This article is not intended to change things. Humankind has no intention of giving up its insensitivity to the truth. The purpose of this letter is to bring judgment that this nation is not at all what it professes itself to be, "the land of the free and the home of the brave." It is the home of citizens who are fearful to stand for what is right and just if it is not financially expedient or if someone may think ill of them for believing what they do. It was the same in Jesus' day. When freedom for any man is gone, freedom for every man is gone. So, "The hour of His judgment is come" as Jesus said. "Your house is left unto you desolate". The nation has revealed her hypocrisy. As for The Lord Our Righteousness, she shall ascend by obeying the command... "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." Rev. 18:4.

Written 1996


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