For today I wanted to share something more meaningful, a continuation of analyzing the story of Joshua’s invasion of Canaan, how this war and Jack Chick’s spiritual warfare against Dungeons & Dragons are somehow connected.
But it’s after 3 am and I’m tired. And I’ve been concentrating my energies on another writing project which has me burning the midnight oil as of late. So will talk about that other stuff in Part 3.
Yet I will share brief anecdote about Matthew 7:15-20, New Revised Standard Version.
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns or figs from thistles? In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will know them by their fruits.
How many times was this cited to me, as a teenager, as I began my spiritual exploration into Christianity going from one church denomination to another, trying to find the right one?
I visited a Pentecostal Church, and the Pastor said, what other Churches have you visited?
Oh, I’ve only been to my grandparent’s Friends Church when I was younger.
Do you still go there now?
Good. Because you have to be very careful about false prophets, false cults, as it says in the Book of Matthew.
After the Pentecostal Church I visited an Assembly of God church. Where, once again, a church leader asked me about other churches I’d visited. And, once again, they cited Matthew 7:15-20 and to be wary of false prophets, bad fruit.
Another person tried to get me to attend a different church (Calvary Foursquare) and warned me about ever attending the Pentecostal Church and the Assembly of God Church again. False prophets. Matthew, Chapter 7.
All of them warned me about the perils of the Catholic Church and how Catholics weren’t true Christians (well, maybe some, but they were few and far between).
They, the ones in the Churches (though I didn’t visit a Catholic Church), spoke much about spiritual warfare, how most other churches were in a fallen state. One pastor told every church within the city limits of my hometown was under the dominion of the Devil. His was located in the country, where the land was somehow more pure.
Later I discovered that Assembly of God and Calvary Foursquare were also Pentecostal…
I’m not here to denounce these denominations or the people who attended them. For the most part, the people were polite, courteous, and welcoming. But the ones I talked to possessed a fear of the other that I could see in their eyes. They were concerned for me, to say the least.
Needless to say, this all left an impression.
I will say something positive about these Pentecostal Churches: they had a lot excitement and passion in their worship.
As for the cleansing power of fire, is Matthew 7:15-30 where some people have gotten the idea that its okay to burn down churches like bad trees? Say in Thirty Years’ War or the English Civil War?
I don’t know. But I had to tie it all back to the Military History of Religion somehow.
To answer these questions requires further inquiry…