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Christian Worldview

A Medjugorje Outlook...

 
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 What is Happening to Christ?
What Will Happen to Those Who Title Themselves Christians?


With Thanksgiving inaugurating the beautiful season of Christmas, there is much for which to be thankful. But as we reflect upon these things, there is a very disturbing growth in our culture that also calls for our reflection. This disturbing growth is happening not only in our nation, but in all the nations of the earth, with the prevalence of abortion now making fertile ground for the also very real abortion by the “Mother Culture” of its Christ Child. Today, everywhere we look we see a struggle against that little Infant known to the world as Jesus. Even at His birth, more than 2,000 years ago, the government wanted Him dead and thought nothing of killing the children of Bethlehem because of Him. He was their cause of action. The effect of the cause was the slaying of the innocents by the government. Through the centuries the “cause,” of wherever His name was announced, resulted in the “effect” of millions being persecuted and martyred for this Name. JESUS. Despised by the world at His birth and even until now, despised at the very mention of His Name. Yes, there were ages where His followers flourished and yes, much of the world was Christianized. But ever present in the ages have been the failures of Christians to live in fullness the faith of Christ. This weak living of the Christian life results and allows the effect of the rise of hatred against Christians. However, an unwritten principle would then take over. As the weakness of Christians reaches a certain point, the “cause” (weak Christian living) changes places with the effects (persecution and martyrdom), reversing the results, and Christians become strong again living in fullness the Christian life through the purifying effect of the persecution. In other words, when Christians do not live their faith, their enemies are emboldened and begin persecuting those who profess their faith in Christ. The persecution results in strengthening the Christian. This cycle “merry-goes-around” throughout the ages. It’s the principle of “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of Christianity.” You may acknowledge that severe persecution and martyrdom is a reality in India, yes, in China, yes, but not in our country. Do you think severe persecution and even martyrdom cannot happen in this nation or other free societies?
 

On a daily basis, we are seeing more and more the disturbing trend of “Mother Culture” aborting centuries of what the Christ Child brought to the world and built up in Christian nations. Every vestige is quickly disappearing. Very disturbing, indeed, extremely alarming is what the U.S. Supreme Court recently gave in a judgement on November 16, 2009. The fact that makes this even more grievous is that six of the Supreme Court Justices, which makes more than a majority, are Catholic. What did they do?
 

When Brittany McComb was chosen as one of three valedictorians to give the graduation commencement speech at her high school in June 2006, she wrote of her achievements and failures. But she mentioned that her true fulfillment and satisfaction was when she came to experience something greater than herself. That which gave her this fulfillment was Jesus Christ and God’s love. When Brittany was chosen for this honor, the high school placed no restriction on any mention of faith or Christ’s Name. However, school officials, upon reviewing Brittany’s speech, edited out three Bible verses within her speech, as well as “the Lord” and the word “Christ.” Brittany knew her First Amendment right of free speech was in clear violation and she, therefore, made the decision to give her original speech at the graduation. She felt clearly it was her right to say that it was her Christian faith that formed her character that led to the honor of being chosen valedictorian of the school. School officials and their attorneys threatened her, saying that if she spoke any of the phrases that they had struck out, they would cut off her microphone.
 

As the 400 students gathered for the ceremony, plus their families and guests, many were aware of the tensions. As Brittany began her speech, school officials stood over the control board as vultures, as in the days of Stalin, in alert mode of censorship, listening for the despised Name, “Christ,” and any reference thereof. They would not tolerate the Name of Jesus Christ being mentioned.
 

As Brittany stuck to her original speech and began to stray from the school’s edited version, they cut her mic before she could mention the Name of Christ. Immediately, the students stood up and booed and jeered in support of Brittany, protesting the school officials, yelling at them, “Let her speak.” 1 The uproar, negative reaction and backlash certainly unnerved the officials, but their fear of the Name of Jesus and Brittany’s Christian convictions trumped the fear of the backlash of the large crowd. School officials held fast. Brittany spoke without a mic and officials came to her to stop and tell her to announce the next speaker. Many classmates expressed their support and admiration for her. Brittany said the day after her June 15, 2006, speech:
 

“All of my classmates came up to me and were so happy. They told me they loved me.” 2

Brittany was not surprised by the censorship, saying:
 

“Even in the Bible it says that the name of Jesus will be hated.” 3

Brittany, understanding this principle, none-the-less was very surprised of the flagrant violation of her right of free speech according to her opinions. Attorneys for the Rutherford Institute filed a First Amendment lawsuit in federal court in defense of free speech and Brittany’s right to profess her faith in Jesus Christ in a public address as valedictorian of her school. Her attorney John Whitehead said:
 

“What happened to Brittany should not happen in a country that prides itself on promoting freedom. This is a clear case of censorship and discrimination and an egregious violation of free speech as protected by our First Amendment.” 4

Lacking confidence the school would win, the school’s tactic was to have the case dismissed. With common sense, the Nevada Federal Court rejected the school’s attorney’s request to dismiss the suit stating, “the lawsuit raises substantial claims of infringement of Brittany’s right of free speech.” 5 The school, determined to stop the Name of Jesus from ever being used, then appealed for a dismissal from California’s very radical Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, known for their ruling against the verbiage in the Pledge of Allegiance, “One nation under God,” and its aggressive attacks on traditional marriage. Belligerently, the Ninth Circuit Court ruled against Brittany, in favor of the school’s illegal censorship. The Rutherford Institute appealed the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court, which is two-thirds Catholic, in what was a clear case with great implications, on November 16, 2009, incredibly and alarmingly refused to hear the case. In doing so they, thereby, affirmed the 9th Circuit Court judgement approving the school’s action to censor Brittany McComb’s speech by cutting it off at the Name of Jesus. It is a disturbing, astounding decision by judges who are lawyers who no longer know the law. Nine judges, most of whom profess to be Christians, who no longer know the Christ. Nine judges who no longer know God’s Word. Who is Jesus Christ? The Light of common sense. The Word became flesh. Jesus is the Word of God. Our Lady said:
 

December 2, 2007

“…God’s ‘Word’ which is…the light of common sense.”
 

The courts and the culture no longer have common sense because they reject Jesus. Common Law is no longer understood nor upheld. By Common Law alone, Brittany’s right to speak was law since the United States’ founding. This is a devastating judgement against Christ. Where are the pulpits across the land ringing out, rallying the hearts of the Christians? Are you not, O Christians, disturbed at such silence? And yet, we have little hope that this outcry will ever come from our pulpits. Or when it does, it will be too little, too late.
 

Do you understand what is happening to Christ?
 

He is being aborted!
 

What then, will happen to Christians?
 

If we do not take a stand while we are able, we too, will be aborted! You think not? In the same message above, of December 2, 2007, Our Lady said:
 

“…Is my Son, your God truly in the first place? Are His Commandments truly the measure of your life? I am warning you again. Without faith there is no God’s nearness…”


In other words, God removes Himself from man when man does not seriously put Him in the first place in their lives, not only in their homes, but in the life of the culture. William Yates wrote of what happens when the proper order of things breaks down. He writes:
 

“Things fall apart—the center cannot hold—mere anarchy is loose upon the world.” 6

The proper order of things happens when God is “truly in the first place.” When He is rejected, the center cannot hold because He is the center. In the time that Christ walked the earth, the apostle Peter, with the change of events that led Jesus to His Crucifixion, turned on Jesus Christ Himself, even cursed Him and denied Him three times! Many in the crowd who had followed Christ believed in Him, even honored Him with palm branches as He came into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, but in the next moment, they became part of the crowd yelling, “Crucify Him!” Do you not know, O Christian, that if you wear His title Christian, what they are now doing in rejecting His Name in this modern day, what they will soon do to you? From one moment to the next. Yes, your friend, your neighbor, just like Peter, just like the crowd, can change in a moment. It is Our Lady who said:
 

November 25, 1997

“…Holy martyrs died witnessing: I am a Christian…”
 

But, we live in the United States of America or another Christian rooted country! If those whom Jesus healed, those whom Jesus loved turned against Him, what makes you think there will not be those yelling for your martyrdom, even among those you have always thought of as civil? What would happen if different circumstances developed in the culture, if there came a time of anarchy? Things quickly progress to a tipping point. In the book, The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell, Gladwell writes of an experiment involving normal, stable people who were placed in certain circumstances that changed their behavior from one moment to the next. They became totally radical, different people. Think of how many “normal” people looked the other way to what Hitler did, and then they even began to walk with him? Gladwell, in his book tells of the experiment:
 

“In the early 1970’s, a group of social scientists at Stanford University, led by Philip Zimbardo, decided to create a mock prison in the basement of the university’s psychological building. They took a thirty-five-foot section of corridor and created a cell block with a prefabricated wall. Three small, six-by nine-foot cells were created from laboratory rooms and given steel-barred, black-painted doors. A closet was turned into a solitary confinement cell. The group then advertised in the local papers for volunteers, men who would agree to participate in the experiment. Seventy-five people applied, and from those Zimbardo and his colleagues picked the 21 who appeared the most normal and healthy on psychological tests. Half of the group were chosen, at random, to be guards, and were given uniforms and dark glasses and told that their responsibility was to keep order in the prison. The other half were told that they were to be prisoners. Zimbardo got the Palo Alto Police Department to “arrest” the prisoners in their homes, cuff them, bring them to the station house, charge them with a fictitious crime, fingerprint them, then blindfold them and bring them to the prison in the Psychological Department basement. Then they were stripped and given a prison uniform to wear, with a number on the front and back that was to serve as their only means of identification for the duration of their incarceration.

The purpose of the experiment was to try to find out why prisons are such nasty places. Was it because prisons are full of nasty people, or was it because prisons are such nasty environments that they make people nasty? How much influence does immediate environment have on the way people behave? What Zimbardo found out shocked him. The guards, some of whom had previously identified themselves as pacifists, fell quickly into the role of hard-bitten disciplinarians. The first night they woke up the prisoners at two in the morning and made them do pushups, line up against the wall, and perform other arbitrary tasks. On the morning of the second day, the prisoners rebelled. They ripped off their numbers and barricaded themselves in their cells. The guards responded by stripping them, spraying them with fire extinguishers, and throwing the leader of the rebellion into solitary confinement. “There were times when we were pretty abusive, getting right in their faces and yelling at them,” one guard remembers. “It was part of the whole atmosphere of terror.” As the experiment progressed, the guards got systematically crueler and more sadistic. “What we were unprepared for was the intensity of the change and the speed at which it happened,” Zimbardo says. The guards were making the prisoners…march down the hallway, in handcuffs, with paper bags over their heads. “It was completely the opposite from the way I conduct myself now,” another guard remembers. “I think I was positively creative in terms of my mental cruelty.” After 36 hours, one prisoner began to get hysterical, and had to be released. Four more then had to be released because of “extreme emotional depression, crying, rage, and acute anxiety.” Zimbardo had originally intended to have the experiment to run for two weeks. He called it off after six days. “I realize now,” one prisoner said after the experiment was over, “that no matter how together I thought I was inside my head, my prisoner behavior was often less under my control than I realized.” Another said: “I began to feel that I was losing my identity, that the person I call (his personal name), the person who volunteered to get me into this prison (because it was a prison to me, it still is a prison to me, I don’t regard it as an experiment or a simulation…)was distant from me, was remote, until finally I wasn’t that person. I was 416. I was really my number and 416 was really going to have to decide what to do.”

Zimbardo’s conclusion was that there are specific situations so powerful that they can overwhelm our inherent predispositions. The key word here is situation. Zimbardo isn’t talking about environment, about the major external influences on all of our lives. He’s not denying that how we are raised by our parents affects who we are, or that the kind of schools we went to, the friends we have, or the neighborhoods we live in affect our behavior. All of these things are undoubtedly important. His point is simply that there are certain times and places and conditions when much of that can be swept away, that there are instances where you can take normal people from good schools and happy families and good neighborhoods and powerfully affect their behavior merely by changing the immediate details of their situation.” 7

The social scientist, Zimbardo, said, “What we were unprepared for was the intensity of the change and the speed at which it happened.” The same thing happened in a flash 2,000 years ago when the Hosanna crowd, a few days later, became accomplices to Christ’s martyrdom. Do we not recognize the signs of the times? Our Lady said:
 

February 25, 2000

“…this is a time of grace…”


We have the grace now, the hope now, to change our situation. Do we not recognize we can change our direction, just as the city of Nineveh did in the Bible, before it’s too late? But have we waited too long, now that we are beginning to be silenced? Pulpits must ring out truth now!! The unrighteous way, being lived by many Christians, must stop now! The call for holiness must prevail now. Then with power, then with conviction, we can stand and say NO! NO! to the courts, you cannot rule over the natural order. NO! you cannot redefine marriage. NO! your abortion laws are invalid.
 

But what if we do not? What if we do not change? What if we Christians do not stop divorces amongst ourselves and denounce this scourge of marriage? What if we continue to accept or at least tolerate abominable, sinful lifestyles? Then beware, O Christian! You shall be put to the test! Will you have the courage to pronounce and profess the Name of Jesus Christ, the test being, not by having your microphone cut off for saying Jesus, but by having your head cut off? Oh, you say that cannot happen. Oh, but back to you, it has always happened. When Christians grow weak, when they cease to convict the unrighteous because they themselves live as pagans, when through the hardness of their hearts they cannot be convicted of their sins, they will be thinned out to prove who are the real Christians and who will become apostates because they do not have the spiritual fiber to stand for Christ. And by this cause of weak Christians, it will bring about the effect of those who will wear the robes of red, won by martyrdom, and it will be they who will have the joy of bowing before the little crib of He who bears the Name of Jesus Christ!
 

May this Christmas be one of reflection, of change, of living the way of the life of conviction. At this moment kneel down, confess weakness, profess Jesus! Ask Him to convict you to change you.


With All the Love of the Christ Child,
our Hope, our Life Who through His Birth Gave Us His Mother, 

Friend of Medjugojre

Endnotes:
1. http://winteryknight.wordpress.com, “Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Case of Silenced Christian Valedictorian,” November 18, 2009.
2. “Valedictorian’s Speech Cut Short By School District”, June 19, 2006, http://www.kvbc.com.
3. Hilary White, “Valedictorian Speech Cut Off at the Name of Christ,” June 22, 2006
4. Nisha N. Mohammed, “Rutherford Institute Sues Nevada High School for Pulling the Plug on Christian References in Brittany McComb’s Valedictorian Speech,” The Rutherford Institute News, July 13, 2006.
5. Nisha N. Mohammed, “Federal Court Dismisses Valedictorian,”Accuracy in Academia, March 24, 2009.
6. Bishop Fulton Sheen, Retreat for Priests, Loyola Retreat House, Potomac, MD, February 1972.
7. Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point, How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, Back Bay Books, 2002.


P.S
. A Call to All Electricians, HVAC Men and General Construction Workers

With Retooling the Tabernacle of Our Lady’s Messages comes several major alterations to accommodate the new equipment. We are putting together a volunteer force of an electrical crew, air conditioning, heating and duct work crew, and a crew of those with general construction experience. It is kind of like Habitat for Humanity, except rather than building something just for one family, it is for the whole of mankind. If you or someone you know has any of these skills to be used in Our Lady’s service, please call 205-672-2000, ext. 333 This is really an opportunity to use your skills for the purpose of the conversion of the world. What you help to install will be working for years to come, producing printed materials of the messages to spread across the world to reach hundreds of millions of people. Everyday you invest here, volunteer for this special project with your special skills, will result in books, booklets, etc., printing into the millions!

 
The Cross at Caritas on Penitentiary Mountain