Grace and Peace to you.
Something is seriously wrong with America.
Today, for some reason, I decided to go to YouTube and type “Neighbors Spying” into the search engine. I was amazed at how many hits I got. It seems that during this depression (or is it a recession?) an ever-increasing number of Americans have been busy little bees. Americans are spying on one another.
The videos that I saw on YouTube prove without a shadow of a doubt that a lot of Americans are involved in spying on their neighbors. There were videos that people have posted of them spying on others. There were videos that people had posted of others spying on them. There were videos showing you how to spy on others, as well as videos showing the ways that others could be spying on you. There were videos by people who had videotaped others involved in malicious activities against them, as well as videos people themselves had made of them committing malicious acts against others.
I was amazed—simply amazed—at the sheer number of videos and the lengths people will go to know what their neighbors are doing.
When I finished watching these videos, I understood:
That many Americans are behaving very badly.
That many Americans want to behave badly, but need guidance.
That many Americans are willing to give them guidance.
That there are people out there who are taking advantage of all groups.
That some people have way too much time on their hands
That there is a reason it’s called YouTube.
One thing that was very clear in the videos was motive. It was clear in most cases that the people doing the spying considered the subjects their enemies. It was also clear that the people considered those who were spying on them their enemies. And it was clear that the people who were videotaped committing malicious acts considered the victims their enemies. By their actions, therefore, all of these people have declared war on each other, even though there was no formal declaration of war.
This is important because we as Christians are involved in a war, even though we don’t always behave as though we are in a war. In fact, most of us don’t even know that there is a war going on.
It’s just like the war in Afghanistan. We know there is a war going on, but we forget, because we are not directly involved in that war. However, those who have family members who are involved in the fighting as well as those who have lost family members know full well that we are fighting a war. Christians are like that. Those Christians who are on the front lines of this spiritual war can testify that there is indeed a war going on—and hot and heavy, but those who are in the rear or who are “back home” may have no idea that a war is going on.
Now to most liberal Christians this may sound very unloving, but even a cursory glance through Scripture would make it clear that we are involved in a spiritual war. Most pastors, however, rather than preach this fact, are preaching love, tolerance, acceptance, and inclusiveness, and are sadly doing their congregations a major disservice.
Knowing your enemy is a major part of preparing for any war. If you don’t know your enemy: his tactics, his strengths and weaknesses, what weapons he uses, etc., you will be at a major disadvantage when you meet him on the battlefield. This is what is known as intelligence. It is information on your enemy that you can use to your advantage to defeat him. All successful armies collect intelligence and gather all the data they can on their enemy using any means at their disposal—including spying. You can rest assured that our enemies are gathering information on us, because they fully intend to win this war.
But we are not engaged in conventional warfare:
“But though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds)” (2 Corinthians 10:4).
That means that we don’t gather information on our enemy, because ultimately it is not we that do the fighting, but God. And He has all the information he needs. But we are in a war. How then, do we fight? We fight by praying and witnessing—by the Word of God. But to even begin to do this we have to know who our enemy is and what he believes. If we don’t know who our enemy is, we can’t pray for him; and if we don’t know what he believes we may not witness to him.
Let me give you an example. Thanks to the ecumenical movement, most people, including many Christians, think that Roman Catholicism is Christianity, because they pay lip service to Jesus Christ. Because of this, most Christians don’t even bother to witness to Catholics because they think that they are already saved. Moreover, many Catholics use Christian terminology but with different meanings attributed to them. They are thus able to fool many Christians into believing that they are saved, and the Christians therefore do not witness to them.
If Christians knew what Roman Catholics really believe and practice, they would know that Catholics are not saved and are desperately in need of salvation. For starters, they worship an idol named Mary, who they believe is the mother of Jesus, but in fact, is not. Not only is the worship of Jesus’ mother un-Scriptural, but also idol worship is expressly forbidden in the Bible. If Christians knew this, they would feel a burden to witness to the Catholics, and give them the true Gospel.
Another example is Islam, which many Christians consider a peaceful, God-fearing religion that emphasizes family and community. What they fail to realize is that Islam, though acknowledging Jesus, considers Him no more than a prophet, saying that “Allah Had No Son.”
I know this for a fact to be true, because about four years ago, when I lived in Germany and attended a Christian church, I was passing out tracts at a busy outdoor mall one Saturday morning with the pastor and a few other members of the church, when a middle-aged Turkish gentleman came rushing up to me. “You must understand,” he said, “to be a good Muslim, one has to believe in Jesus.” “I realize that,” I said, while handing him a tract, “but you believe He was only a prophet, whereas I believe He is the Son of God, and in fact God Almighty.” “Allah had no son,” he said, waving his hand and walking away.
Now if I had not known and believed that the Bible teaches,
“God gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
or that Jesus said,
“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no man cometh unto the Father but by me” (John 14:6).
“He who denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father” (1 John 2:23),
I would not have bothered to witness to this gentleman.
Now, doubtless, there are many good people who are Roman Catholics. There are also many good people who are Muslims. When I lived in Germany I met and befriended both Catholics and Muslims before and after I was saved. Only after I got saved, I felt it my responsibility to witness to my Roman Catholic and Muslim friends, not only to obey the Great Commission, but because I understood that they were my enemies because of Jesus’ sake. Whether they know it or not, their religions teach this in some fashion, and if their leaders were to tell them to persecute Christians and they didn’t, they would be considered heretics and infidels and could themselves be persecuted. This can be confirmed by many sources.
Both the Roman Catholic church and Islam have persecuted Christians throughout history, and the Christian that refuses to accept this is only deceiving himself. Christians living in Muslim countries can testify to this right now. By witnessing to our friends, neighbors, and relatives who are trapped in these belief systems, we may save someone from the damnation of Hell, and maybe even turn an enemy into a friend. At the very least, by knowing what these religions actually teach and believe, we would know and recognize a potential enemy, and pray for those individuals, and not put ourselves in a vulnerable position.
I live in a predominately Roman Catholic city in a mostly Roman Catholic neighborhood. Believe me when I tell you that my neighbors have gone to great lengths to let me know that they do not approve of me. Things have happened to me that only happen to people in the movies. These same things happened to me when I lived in Munich, Germany. This is why I personally believe the things I have read about Roman Catholic persecution of Christians. I have lived it. Now, I know that there will be someone out there who will vehemently disagree with this, but I also know that there is someone out there who knows that what I’m saying is true.
Now, because of what I have gone through, I had to constantly pray to God to show me how to love my neighbors, because they were making it far easier for me to hate them than to love them. Of course, this is exactly what Satan wants. I knew that I was being a very ineffective witness for Christ to my Catholic neighbors. Two whole years had passed and I had only given out three gospel tracts to my neighbors and not one was on the errors of Catholicism. This weighed heavily on my conscience. I felt a burden for them, but at the same time, I was beginning to despise them. Not good. I continued to pray and fast over the matter.
Then one day, a neighbor had done something particularly irksome to me, but rather than get angry, I grabbed as many Catholic tracts as I could carry, and went door to door handing them out until I didn’t have anymore. When I got home I immediately dropped to my knees and gave God the glory: I had finally witnessed to my neighbors. The persecution has by no means stopped; as a matter of fact, in some ways it has intensified. But I know that I have done what God wanted me to do. I gave them the Gospel. I also know that I could never have done this if I truly hated them. More importantly, I would never have done this if I had believed that they were already saved.
Understand, dear brethren, that if you are a Christian (as well as anyone else), you are being watched, and that your neighbors are not all who or what they appear to be. Know also that there is a war going on and that this activity is totally consistent with war. Let this be an opportunity for you to walk the walk rather than just talk the talk. As someone said, just make sure that what you say and what you do is truth. Be honest in word and deed. Bring glory to God.
Before I understood I was being spied on, my next-door neighbor, who is a chronic drunk, once called me Superman, and on another day he called me Mr. Perfect; both times in a negative manner. I used to wonder what about me would make him call me those things when I am far from perfect. It was only when I realized that he was spying on me, that I understood that he watched me when I wasn’t looking and saw that my private character was consistent with my public character. This angered this man to no end, but it was because his own conscience was pricked. Godly behavior (not to be confused with perfect behavior) is an indictment on the ungodly.
Get out there and witness to your neighbors. Understand that spying, just like pornography, reality TV, and magic, is very addicting, and, like those, is a doorway through which Satan can enter a person’s life and get a toehold. And once he gets a toehold, its over. That is why many of us see our neighbors getting stranger and stranger. Satan has come into their lives and will not let them loose. Their only hope is Jesus Christ, and only you can tell them about Him. So, why not do it?
If you are a Roman Catholic and now understand that your religion is not true Christianity, and you want to have a real relationship with Jesus Christ, click here.
Be encouraged and look up, for your redemption draweth nigh.
The Still Man
Copyright © 2011-2012 Anthony Keeton, The Still Man ®. All Rights Reserved.