I’m still glad I kissed dating goodbye; Despite the falling away of author Josh Harris

This is a guest editorial, this eloquent lady ‘s perspective is very valuable and poignant…

I Am Still Glad I kissed Dating Goodbye by Candace Gage

Early last week found me getting a check-up for the first time in more than a decade. With medical professionals in my family, I can too easily put off those preventative appointments. So, I sat in the olive-green vinyl chair, the sort that populate doctors’ offices across the country. I felt a bit sheepish, like I’d been getting away with something by not going to the doctor for so long. The nurse took my vitals. The doctor asked the routine questions. What medications am I on? None. Do I have any allergies? No. Am I sexually active? No. Have I ever been?

At 34, I don’t always know what response I will get when I describe my sexual history. This was my first time at the clinic, and I wondered what my doctor would think.

I grew up in the ‘90s, when the purity movement was in full swing — especially within my homeschool subculture. I read When God Writes Your Love Story by Eric and Leslie Ludy. I meditated on Elisabeth Elliot’s Passion and Purity. And like most girls my age, I devoured I Kissed Dating Goodbye, the classic manifesto penned by a young, good-looking homeschool graduate named Joshua Harris.

Like so many other teens during that era, I gave my love life to God and vowed to save myself for marriage. I remained dedicated to the courtship method of dating into my early twenties, even when such conservatism became unpopular among my peers. Things got more complicated once I started putting my theories into practice. My views matured with experience — but my convictions regarding sexual purity have never changed.

Since its early proponents came of age, the purity culture we all created has received a heavy amount of criticism from within, and with good reason — it had its problems. Some odd traditions sprang up — purity rings, purity balls, courtship contracts. Young men and women took the whole thing so seriously that they struggled to even talk to one another. People — especially women — were shamed when mistakes were made. Despite our best efforts, so many of us have found ourselves with a string of broken relationships and no marriage to show for it.

And then, starting a couple years ago, our one-time poster boy Harris began rescinding his early teaching on Christian relationships. Last month, he consummated his new position by announcing his divorce and renouncing his faith. While we may all speculate about Harris’ motive for this massive shift in thinking, Dr. Albert Mohler suggested struggles with the Christian sexual ethic were a major factor in Harris’ decision to walk away from Christianity. 

I didn’t really believe it when I first heard the news. I took a tour of Harris now infamous Instagram account and was stunned. Then I was sad, and angry, and confused. I offered prayers for both Harris and his family. And I thought about Harris’ legacy, the purity movement, and the way my own life has been affected.

I’ve written elsewhere about some of the hard lessons God taught me through courtship and dating. In the fifteen years since my first relationship, I’ve learned that God’s plan for my love life won’t protect me from having my heart broken. The long years of celibacy have taught me that God doesn’t necessarily reward good behavior the way I once hoped — being obedient hasn’t earned me a wedding. I’ve come to realize more fully that serving God with my sexuality is about my relationship with Him, not my relationship with a future husband who may or may not exist. These days, I don’t think of myself as “saving sex for marriage,” because that motive misses the point. Instead, I’m honoring God with my body, living in accordance with the natural world he created. The place of sex in God’s creation is between a husband and wife, and I submit to that order by practicing celibacy as a single woman.

Still, I’m grateful I Kissed Dating Goodbye found its way into my hands. At the time, I was a teenager living in a tiny town in rural North Idaho. We had no bookstore, no Wal-Mart, no Amazon (that we knew of yet). I was beyond thrilled when I found a copy of the much lauded book at a garage sale I was visiting with my mom. Harris gave me a vocabulary for taking dating and purity seriously in my own cultural context. He painted a picture of the way relationships could look when serving God was their focus. At the time, that picture was one of the only of its kind. Everywhere I looked, I saw the world’s way of dating. I could see it on the big screen, hear it on my Sony Discman, read it on the covers of teen magazines. In practical terms, Harris gave me a glimpse of what God might mean by romance. As Matthew Lee Anderson wrote in his Mere Orthodoxy piece:

The absence of a script for how to enter marriage was partially a consequence of the loss of a social vision for why one would marry in the first place—and on those scores, Harris offered a picture of a world that in fact might have been better than the Calvinball-like environment surrounding us. It was nostalgic, yes, and was doomed to be distorted in being implemented. But then, every vision is.

Harris’ call to return to old practices helped many families — including my own — recover structures to protect the virtue of young people in days gone by. The courtship movement may have been awkward at times, but I think we all took stumbling steps toward something truly good.

All these thoughts shuffled through my mind the week before my doctor’s appointment. As I sat there that day, I squared my shoulders and answered the medical history question — “No.”

Being a virgin isn’t popular these days. As one writer put it, it isn’t cute anymore — even among many Christians. Still, my virginity lets me off the hook from several routine tests and procedures, because I am not at any risk. And to my relief, I got a smile from the doctor who told me how “rare” this is. I joked about still holding out hope for settling down. She said she knew how hard it must be these days. I mentioned the recent news: Joshua Harris may have taken back his teachings in I Kissed Dating Goodbye, but I’m still thankful for the wisdom I gleaned and the boundaries I learned from those pages.

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Repenting of Their Repentance?

If there was ever a true move of God in my Chrstian journey, here in America, it occurred throughout the 1970s and 1990s, when millions of Christians made an Exodus out of the State run school systems, (Once the envy of the world, but already turning into a cesspool of leftist consciousness) and began Homeschooling, and or private Christian schooling.

I suppose it was part of a larger “return to family” movement, very Christ centered, which swept our nation in the wake of millions of baby boomers coming into the “born again” experience. We didn’t want to turn our precious children to the wolves of secularism, so we launched out into various streams of alternative education.

Revivals have consequences.

The emphasis on returning to the Christian concept of ‘home and family’ took other forms as well. There were “purity” movements; young people pledging to turn away from the tide of promiscuity and sexual libertinism. We didn’t want our children to repeat the sins we were redeemed out of.

Tokens such as Fathers giving their daughters “purity rings” as pledges to save themselves for their husband, were not uncommon.

As our Christian children came of age, There was much teaching and reaction against the “hook up” culture among evangelicals, and people were looking for better ways for their children than the “dating culture”.

This was the milieu out of which came the classic book, “I Kissed Dating Goodbye”, by Joshua Harris. It is not my purpose to review or critique the book at this time. I thought it a wonderful aid, and assed it out to my daughters and to the young people of our church, and still do not see anything wrong with the basic premise.

Harris’s book and “Passion and Purity” by Elizabeth Elliot, I credit with giving many young people the moral teaching and strength to pursue God honoring ways of meeting each other, which involved their parents and as an antidote to the toxic “Hook up” culture developing at the time.

But as you now know, Harris has repudiated his book, (along with his marriage, and his Christian faith). He “grew up” and cringed at what he wrote twenty some years ago as a 19 year old young man.

He “re -thought” the whole issue and concluded that he no longer believed in his earlier criticism of the “dating culture”, and that he had been too narrow in his critique and had been wrong to discourage young people from participating in dating and even experiencing limited displays of affection. Harris actually apologized to the Gay, Lesbian and Bi-sexual community for not affirming “marriage equality”.

This from Instagram by Harris,

“I have lived in repentance for the past several years,repenting of my self-righteousness, my fear-based approach to life, the teaching of my books, my views of women in the church, and my approach to parenting to name a few.”

But I specifically want to add to this list now: to the LGBTQ+ community, I want to say that I am sorry for the views that I taught in my books and as a pastor regarding sexuality,” he continued. “I regret standing against marriage equality, for not affirming you and your place in the church, and for any ways that my writing and speaking contributed to a culture of exclusion and bigotry. I hope you can forgive me.”

Harris is not alone among influential Christians of the 1970s-1990s, in rethinking and even repudiating earlier pro family, pro marriage, and pro-life positions , which sprang out of Christian revival.

There are a good many Christian leaders who once fought against the forces loosed by the sexual revolution, feminism, and the left in general in order to tear down the family in America. These Christians once saw themselves (rightly) as fighting the good fight of faith, but now sheepishly look back and make inane comments such as “We have to admit that we idolized the Family” in those days.

But now they seem sheepish about it, and seem to have succumbed to the reproach of the World against the Christian concept of Family, as though being concerned about the purity and sexual integrity of our sons and daughters is something to be ashamed of.

Idolized the family? Rather we fought for it, and to struggled to re-define and re-enculterate the Christian ideals of family, which had developed in the West over centuries of Christian influence but have now come under attack.

How would apologizing to the sexually degenerate “community” be anything but a denial of Christ? Does the LGBT community have anything better to offer than the two parent Christ centered home? The Christian revelation of Marriage, sexuality and sexual roles are some of the very points of the revealed truth which is currently suffering it’s greatest attack om our generation.

Harris is a portent and not an outlier, he represents thousands of demoralized and disillusioned Evangelicals who are now rethinking everything they once stood for in the name of Christ, and are being tempted to think of their younger battles as foolish and misguided, when seen through the prism of the last forty years of the collapse and decline of our civilization, due to forces of Atheism, libertinism and even Satanism.

Make no mistake about it, this Transgender and homosexual movement is Spiritual warfare. It is Spiritual to the core and is a harbinger of AntiChrist and final Judgment. For now, it seems, Satan is being allowed to make “War on the Saints, and (in part) to Overcome them”.

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The Reason For Their Damnation… the delusion

And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. ( 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12)

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. ( John 3:19-20)

The Apostles and Prophets of the Bible and our Lord Jesus Christ himself, bring a very severe warning, especially to we who live in this terminal generation. We have been discussing that warning in this series; ie that God himself will send a strong delusion to this generation, causing them to believe the LIE and consequently they shall be damned.

They will be damned…ruined forever…banished from all that makes being a human being worthwhile… forever exiled from God and all that is holy, true and beautiful. Every little comfort and satisfaction that we have ever known, but barely noticed or taken for granted, will be stripped away from the Damned.

And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:  Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; ( 2 Thessalonians 2:7-9)

But the Damned will remember every opportunity to be redeemed that was ever presented to them…forever. Perhaps one of the most agonizing spiritual torments we can imagine, is regret. I mean deep seated, hearted wrenching remorse… . Jesus is the one who puts it best, “there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth…” in the place of eternal damnation.

How could the loving and Holy God send a “strong delusion” to seal the perdition of the Damned? Why would he allow them to believe the lie and be damned?

They (the Damned) insisted on it, they even demanded the LIE. They made it obvious time after time, that they much preferred the LIE to the Truth that God sent to them.

As I have said many, many times, in the course of my meager but constant public ministry , If there wasn’t a Joel Osteen, TD Jakes, Kenneth Copeland, or a Benny Hinn, someone wold have to invent one. Why? Because all they are is projections of the unfaithfulness and idolatry of people in the church itself who have rejected the truth in preference of baubles such as Prosperity, non judgmentalism, and the deification of man.

So it is in the World. They will have been presented with Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Matthew, Mark, Luke or Paul, time and again.

But the Damned much prefer false prophets such as Oprah Winfrey, Mohammed, Deepak Shopra, Ghandi, Mother Teresa, or the other countless thousands of false prophets who are operating in and out of the church today. All of them preach something very humanistic and man centered that appeals to certain segments of the Damned.

Oprah lets us know that we are all a part of God. This appeals to many because pantheism and panentheism have pretty much replaced the old Judeo Christian Theism. Thus the sharp distinction between Creator and Creation has been blurred.People think we are all “gods”, which is the lie of the serpent.

Mohammed is very appealing, almost irresistible to one out of seven people in the World, because He tells them they are superior to those they hate and seek to subjugate. This message is very tempting to the fallen nature especially among the overwhelmingly poor and backward people who comprise the Muslim world. Islam is a religion that puts them in charge of “infidels” and elevates them above others.

I could go on and on, but you get the point, I think.

The Apostles and Prophets have a completely non man centered message to bring, one that tell us we are all sinner, depraved and ruined and responsible for our own misery. The Gospel humbles us and turns us as needy sinners to the God, who humbled himself and even died upon a rude cross!

Why would anyone turn from a man centered and man exalting vision like Islam or the New Age lie, to a broken and bleeding Saviour on a cross, dying for our sin and substituting for our guilt?

But we know that it is TRUTH. Truth is God sacrificing himself for his Creation, it is the Lion who is a Lamb bearing the very marks of slaughter in his flesh, yet being the central object of worship in Heaven. Truth is Love pouring out itself in sacrifice for sinners.

Here we are at the end, and I believe the God of the Bible is already sending strong delusion upon this generation…

Would The Apostles and Prophets sanction the perversions and licentiousness of today? Do you think they would go along with “Gay Pride” month? Would they preach universalism and multiculturalism in order to please the masses? Would they be able to make peace with the claims and demands of this generation?

You know the answer to that, and you know what this generation would do to them if they could, and what they will do to those few of us left who uphold the truth yet.

The Reason for their Damnation will be that they preferred the LIE to the Truth. They Loved the Darkness, as Jesus said, because their deeds were evil.

How they hate the Light that exposes! They now lash out at it, they persecute those who bear the light, and seek to silence us from speaking in the light.

We have come to the point where they just don’t want to hear it. They actually believe in their delusion that they have the right not to hear anything which contradicts their delusion.

Abortion is another example of this. We are long past the part where they debate whether or not a “fetus” is a human life. They know it is! It isn’t even debatable! They know Babies hurt and cry and cringe when instruments of slaughter invade the birth canal.

But the LIE is preferred above every human consideration, even the most sacred of them, such as motherhood. So they fight to the bitter end to have abortions. They march in the streets and parade around with obscene parodies of their own body parts, in support of the right to kill babies.

Abortion is the expression of total autonomy and of godlike power over life itself!

The reason they will be damned is because they prefer this lie and all of the Lies which make up the one great LIE, human autonomy, “You shall be as gods knowing good and evil…”.

So the Most High will give them the delusion they crave, He will allow them the fantasy for a brief moment, He will allow them to kill the last sympathy they once had with truth in their body deformed and diseased hearts.

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The Deeper Teaching About The Self…the delusion

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. ( 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4)

I hope I have made it obvious, to all who have ears to hear, that our society is being set up for a delusion which will be damning. God will send this delusion as a judgment, but only as the culmination of a thousand little steps in the direction, freely chosen by those who will be judged in it. They who will be deluded had to have rejected the Truth revealed in the Incarnation of Jesus, and by the Apostles and Prophets of the Bible.

Instead those trapped by the delusion, are the ones who have fancied their own ways, they cherish the false illusion presented by the army of false prophets, teachers, opinion molders and shapers coming to them in our culture in the form of popular entertainers, spiritual innovators, people like Oprah Winfrey, popularizers of Yoga and Eastern religion, Rock and Roll entertainers, which have been poured out upon our culture over the last 100 years or so.

Truly does scripture itself warn us, “There is a way which seems right unto man, but the end leads to death…” (Proverbs 14:12)

In my previous article I mentioned the transformative “Self revolution” which swept modern culture, sweeping aside the old Judeo Christian approach to the self, (self denial and distrust). The modern discipline of Psychology, promoted and invented by atheists such as Freud, and even pantheists such as Carl Jung, have successfully inculcated most of the west in an entirely different doctrine of self.

It is amazing that Paul the Apostle, among others predicted this and warned that in the “last days men would be lovers of Self”, and that this development would become one of the prime dangers of those days, making them “perilous times”.(see 2 Timothy 3).

New terms such as “SelfLove, Self Esteem, Self fulfillment, and self actualization” have flooded the consciousness of the West, turning people away from any fear of God, and into themselves.

This blight has badly affected the church as well, which would be the reasonable antithesis to the Self revolution. But the Shepherds have too often put confidence in the Psychologists and have promoted and deferred to those with “Psychological credentials” as if the Bible itself is not sufficient to teach us about the human soul.

My friend the late Dave Hunt used to make this powerful point that Psychology, a compound word meaning “Soul Study” should be the arena of those who believe and promote the Word of God. The Bible alone is sufficient for the cure of soul. It is not as if God had to wait for godless atheists such as Freud, Maslow and Fromm, to bring us new insights about the human condition! What a denial of Christ!

There is an even deeper teaching about the self which would be the inevitable end of the idolization of self, and the usurpation of Christian ministry by Atheists. Sooner or later in apostasy all roads head east.

Atheism can not sustain for long, for man is incurably spiritual and has spiritual longings. Jettison the Judeo Christian heritage of scripture, church, the view of the Fall, the state of man, heaven and Hell,judgment and even eschatology, at the end most people end up incredibly empty. And into the void of the west for many people has meant turning to Eastern religion.

What is the essential teaching of Hinduism ? That we must come to the realization, that we ourselves are God. All is one. The “true Self” within each of us is God. All meditation, ascetic practices, Yoga, fasting, prayer is to be self focused and directed within. As spaceandmotion.com articulates it,

The metaphysical foundation of Hinduism, which is expressed in both the Vedas and the Upanishads is that Reality (Brahman) is One or Absolute, changeless, perfect and eternal. The ordinary human world of many separate and discrete (finite) things (which our mind represents by our senses) is an illusion. Through meditation and purity of mind, one can experience their true Self which is Brahman, God, the One infinite eternal thing which causes and connects the many things. True enlightenment is Self-realisation, to experience the supreme reality as Self.

The deeper teaching about the SELF which has come to us from the East, as a consequence of our abandonment of the Judeo Christian revelation, is that the Self is Divine, that we are all part of God, and we need to “self realize”, this “enlightenment”. This is the New Age movement in a nutshell, or I should call it by it’s more current name, “the consciousness revolution” which is erupting all across the West. It is also the lie of the serpent in the garden.

There is one very important distinction, in one primal verse of the Bible which is either a polemic to this error, or if ignored leads to it. I speak of Genesis 1:1, (You cannot get any more primal than that)

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

What does this verse teach us about reality and existence? ( This verse is so full of light , thousands of books could be written about it alone), But I will direct you to my point; this verse teaches us that there are only two kinds of existence, Creator, and Creation.

Ours is a binary world. All is not one, all is two. * Everything that exists is either the Creator, or Creation.

The Creator is self existing, He always has been, He is and Ever shall be, and He is absolutely distinct from his Creation. Creation is dependent, all of it, on the Creator, and is separate from him. He, the Creator is transcendent, and eternal. The Creation has a beginning and an end.

The Serpent denies this, by blurring the distinction between Creator and creation, teaching pantheism, and panentheism, (ie either all is a part of he whole, which is god, or that god is in everything and everyone.

This lie achieves two huge things, 1) it depersonalizes God, and 2), it turns us from seeking God to seeking ourselves, it turns us within. Of course sin and repentance does not factor in, because there is no sin in the Eastern view, only ignorance of ones own Deity.

Atheism has left people empty, looking for spirituality, but most reject Christianity. what is left? Islam or pantheism. The appeal of pantheism is that one can now be spiritual but not lose their autonomy. Thus this generation is buying into the new teaching, that the Self is what we should be seeking , for it is god! A perfect religion for a self absorbed society.

  • I highly recommend the books and lectures by Dr Peter Jones on this subject, which answer a lot of questions on the baffling nature of modern cultural developments.

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Self Exalted Above God… The Delusion

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;  Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. (2 Thessalonians 2:4-5)

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,  Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.( 2 Timothy 3:1-6)

One of the problems that will lead directly into the Delusion, and render most people utterly unable to recognize it or resist it, is the fairly recent approach to ‘the SELF’ , which our modern society has embraced.

Jesus taught plainly that the disciple who would follow him , must “deny self, take up a cross and follow him“. Christians have known and taught this for centuries , as basic Christianity.

Christians through the centuries may have misunderstood or over emphasized the renunciation of the Self, such as in the extreme asceticism of the Monks and mystics, but there was a general understanding that the SELF was a large part of our trouble and certainly was not to be exalted and esteemed.

What would the real Christian teaching about Self be? What does it really mean to deny self?

I believe that in it’s simplest form, self denial is saying “No” to self. It starts by accepting the gospel evaluation, that we are sinners, badly ruined by the fall, and certainly not the good people we imagined ourselves to be. The Christian life begins by a self renunciation. If there be a “sinner prayer” it is also a self renunciation, “LORD, I am a sinner in need of mercy, I believe Jesus died for my sins and rose again, please save me and take over my life”.

This saying “no ” to self permeates the Christian life, for example as we “renew our minds” by the Word, we have to say no to our own understanding, and accept the Divine Revelation. As we progress, we must constantly renounce our own righteousness and goodness, and confess “Not I but Christ”. In dealings with others, we are to esteem others better than ourselves, put others first, and serve rather than seek to be served.

But the last century, which saw the dawn of Psychology, is called “the century of the SELF”. Self Love and self seeking became acceptable through the teachings of humanistic Psychology, throughout our society. Love of Self and self esteem were sen and taught as personal virtues worth cultivating, eventually even infiltrating the churches, and usurping the former insistence upon self denial.

The True Church and self indulgence are at odds with each other. Truth itself is authoritative and makes demands of us that we conform to it. Christian teaching on morality and ethics is also at war with the modern culture of self gratification, and self glorification.

But there are a good number of modern innovators in Evangelicalism as well as in the mainstream churches and in Catholicism, who have been working on a re-interpretation of Christianity which is more palatable because it allows people to preserve their own autonomy.

There is a tremendous crisis in authority in our day too, because true submission to authority is an act of self denial and humility. But there will be no honoring of parents, or pastors or any other authority, in the day of self love, because no one can be above anyone else in any sphere. One man’s opinion is as good as another’s, who is that Pastor to tell me what the Bible says ? We now make God in our own image, and try to seek him on our own terms.

Supposedly now, one can be Christian and be gay, or a fornicator, or you name the sinful self identification. We can all worship God according our tastes, and worship is our personal experience rather than the adoration of the thrice holy God.

The Word of God is being re-interpretted along these lines as well, troublingly. Get ready for the new “Gay” Bible interpretations coming out, which will show us that the church has been wrong all along about homosexuality, and other forms of deviancy. Theologians and apostate pastors are lining up to get on the “right side of history” and to take the side of Sodom in the culture wars.

All of the old certainties are under assault, our final conflict and testing is rushing upon us.

There is a church growth movement which has exploded since the 1970s even in Evangelical and Charismatic churches, employing marketing principles to fill a new kind of “consumer” religion, a church which offers an “experience” and which caters to the tastes of the “target” market of “the unchurched”. In some cases polls have literally been conducted asking people what they would prefer in a church, or what they would not have./

Subtley this “SELFist” trend has transformed church culture, making congregations into consumers, or shoppers, seeking for the most beneficial programs, or the “best worship experience” or perhaps the most dynamic services to attend on the basis of entertainment value.

People’s tastes are being catered to in the name of God!

Thus there is very little utility in actually insisting upon repentance, the horror of sin, the everlasting reward or judgment, and even the Prophetic plan of God . Because this upsets people, and perhaps humbles them, the new kind of Selfist churches instinctively avoid such subjects, knowing people may leave the churches which they have carefully built to cater to them.

This is how the warnings of the Self obsession of the last days are being fulfilled.

The AntiChrist will merely be a man of his times. He “Opposes… all that is called God”. In the new world, SELF is supreme. AntiChrist will be admired because he is the embodiment of the principle of SELF above God.

He is against “…all that is worshipped” in the true sense.

There is a “Worship” revolution going on in churches. Sanctuaries are being painted black, or dark colors , young, breathless musicians are leading thousands in worship services across the nation. Never has the “worship genre” been more popular in music.

But Lester Ruth, a professor of worship at Asbury seminary did a study on the top 72 songs over 15 years sung in Evangelical churches to examine them for content, asking “What is the object of Our Worship?” Here is what He found according to Christianity today,

Dr. Ruth examined the seventy-two top contemporary songs over a fifteen-year period of time with his primary question being, “Are these songs rooted in the Triune nature and activity of God?” His conclusions are alarming: “None of the songs in the corpus of seventy-two explicitly refer to the Trinity or the Triune nature of God. … Only three songs refer to or name all three persons of the Trinity.” While Jesus is named in thirty-two of the songs, the Holy Spirit is named in only two songs. “With so few of the songs naming or worshiping all three persons of the Trinity, it is therefore not surprising to find little remembrance of Triune activity in the corpus.” This results in a “de-emphasis on commemorating God’s saving activity.”

True Worship and adoration of the Triune God, in Spirit and in truth, goes against the supremacy of SELF, it is not self exalting, it is in fact humility. We need to worship and were made to worship; to adore, and to prostrate and admire that which is above us. But only the worship of the only true God is elevating to us. All other worship, whether it be a sports team, a political party or an ideal, is destructive and corrosive to the soul.

AntiChrist denigrates the true worship of God, but will instead convincingly demand the worship of himself, and perhaps of mankind. People are being set up for it, by the self revolution, the false worship, the usurpation of the church by the consumer church, and in countless other ways.

The final act of apostate worship won’t even seem like worship to the deluded ones.

There is a deeper teaching on the SELF which this passage warns of that we will go into next…

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The Mystery Of Iniquity…

For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. (2 Thessalonians 2:7)

And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. ( I Timothy 3:16)

There are two rival mysterious spiritual principles working simultaneously in the world today, vying for the hearts of all men.

Paul tells us that both are actively doing a work, building rival kingdoms, developing a following, and leading to a final outcome.

The Mystery of Iniquity, (iniquity is lawlessness) originated in the garden of Eden, and was first annunciated by the serpent when he tempted the first man and woman, telling them that by breaking away from the Creator, they could become “as god, knowing good and evil…”.

For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. (Genesis 3:5)

This aspiration to be one’s own “god” and to be able to decide for ourselves what is “good and evil” is the very root of all lawlessness that runs through the fallen heart of mankind. This is the Lie that undergirds all other lies. By this lie the Devil, who is the father of Lies and the original murderer, seduced and decieved Adam and Eve and spiritually slew them.

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. ( John 8:43-44)

In the end the whole world will come under a “strong delusion” and believe “the LIE” and thus will be damned.

The core of this lie?

The damning, God sent delusion will allow people to believe that we are all “gods” or that “we are all part of god”. The Creator /Creation distinction will be erased in the minds of the world. The Creator will be rejected, and the world will finally “be as one”. The deceived will ‘realize’ that really we are all one with each other, and with nature and one with the universe.

There is a counter mystery to the mystery of iniquity, called the Mystery of godliness. It was revealed from the very beginning too, but the fullest revelation of it came in the Gospel of Jesus…“God was manifested in the flesh…”.

This spiritual principle, and revelation from heaven, flies in the face of the mystery of iniquity. It insists to fallen sons of Adam and Eve, “You can not ascend to become a god…you are a fallen creature unable to save yourself… But instead GOD DESCENDED AND BECAME A MAN….”.

This truth underlies the only genuine religion and thus the only real godliness (Devotion to God). God humbled himself, He came down to us bankrupt and ruined sinners, in order to save us. The only possible way we could ever go to heaven, is by God coming down and entering into flesh as a man. The Incarnation of God in Christ, is the only cure for the soul.

What corrupted me? Wanting to be “as god”. To determine for myself good and evil, to be master of my own fate, to go my own way.

How can that corruption be reversed in my soul? By embracing the God who came down, and who became a man to die for my sin.

“No man has ascended to heaven, but the Son of man who has descended…” John 3:13

The entire world is polarized, and the line runs through the heart of everyman. Either they partake of the “Mystery of Iniquity” and imagine themselves to be ‘as gods’ or ‘part of god’ or that they have a ‘god within’ . This Hindu belief has been becoming popular in the western world with the advent of the Beatles, and of Psychedelic drugs and the consciousness revolution of the 1960s.

The end of this movement is mass allegiance to the Anti-Christ, the ushering in of his short-lived Kingdom of evil (3 and a 1/2 years). AntiChrist will embody all of the ideals of those who receive and believe in the lie. He will seem to be the proof of it, but only for a short time.

On the other hand there is a remnant in the earth who have received and clung to the opposite message; “We are not “gods” nor could man ever be “god”. But the only true God, humbled himself and became a man…for God was in Messiah, reconciling the world unto himself…” . This message is the true cure for iniquity and for the rebellion which has poisoned our spirits.

The visible head of this movement, is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Shepherd who willingly died for his flock. As the returning King, He will soon possess his universe again, and bring in an age of everlasting righteousness.

This is the spiritual principle of godliness, ( true devotion to God), and the way back into communion with the Creator who we once broke away from.

“All we Like Sheep have gone astray, we have turned everyone to his own way, but the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all..” (Isaiah 53).

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The Delusion of Their Own Goodness…

And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.( 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12)

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!  Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! (Isaiah 5:20-21)

How is it that people all over the western world are participating in celebrations of perversion, marching in the streets with various sexual degenerates, allowing children to participate with adult men, in acts of depravity, and even pushing now, for pedophilia, and yet they do not believe they are evil, in fact they believe they are good?

Part of the delusion that is damning people, is the illusion of their own innate goodness. They actually believe that what they are doing is somehow righteous, they think they are marching for “human Rights”, and that they are standing up for the marginalized and persecuted of society. So they bring their children to a parade which features grown men in obscene leather costumes, and transvestites are there as well as the whole panoply of degeneracy.

In our lifetime the consensus of what is “good” has changed, and of what is “evil”in our western society.

Formerly the consensus in this once Christian country was basically Biblically informed. Sexual sins were universally considered evil, thus though they have always existed among us, there was a good deal of shame associated with things such as adultery, Divorce, illegitimacy or any other deviation from the Christian understanding of Righteousness.

Obviously , people being fallen sinners, there have always been those who fail to live up to their own standards, and there will always be hypocrites. But there was a consensus on good and evil. Good was to be admired and evil to be shunned, it was just that simple.

The battle in society is “Good against good”, what God says is good, and what man determines from himself to be good. One can be an adulterer, but if he is pro choice, and anti smoking, and openminded to progressivism he is considered “good”.

The new “good” is tolerance, openness to nearly everything, non-judgmentalism, unconditional love, and never, ever telling anyone they are wrong. This is the new good.

Abortion is now seen as responsible, and a good choice… those who oppose it are hateful and spiteful.

Families are lining the streets to celebrate June as “Pride Month”, (Pride is now good). Mothers fathers and children get in on the wholesome family fun, rainbow themes dominate clothing, costumes, flags and t-shirts. Supposedly ‘history is being made’ and no one wants to be on the wrong side of history.

This is how millions are being blinded, and deluded to hell itself.

Had there been an attempt 60 years ago, at one of these modern “Gay Pride Marches” with all of the disgusting public displays that go along with them, there would be a massive outrage, arrests, convictions and much indignation. There was still enough of the light of God’s word to give clarity to the people, even to unsaved people.

But our sense of “right and wrong” has been blurred, exchanged and even reprobated.

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;  Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,  Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:  Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. (Romans 1:28-32)

Read these words and weep! Is this not a description of our generation? I believe that the Delusion is coming upon people right before our very eyes.

There is a spectrum of reprobation;

People go from knowing something is wrong, but shamefully indulging into it…

to doing something wrong, just because it is wrong…

to Loving wrong and evil,

to having an incapacity for shame…

to actually thinking wrong is right…

finally at the end, the reprobate thinks right is wrong and evil!

Yet these very people in many cases, think that they are good; they are the champions of human rights, and free expression. They are throwing off the shackles of the haters, and liberating society.

They also have developed a bias that decent people who would have a problem with children being slaughtered in the womb, or being used to participate in debauchery, are haters, evil, narrow minded bigots! Paul warned us that they would be “Haters of those who are good”.

Are we ready for the deep contempt, for the perception and disenfranchisement which is coming? “All those who will live godly in Christ Jesus, will suffer Persecution”.

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