Freedom of assembly is a basic human right. But recently a California town imposed a fine for holding a Bible study meeting in a home without a permit.
by Rollin Stearns
Link to Story
A news item caught my eye recently. The city of San Juan Capistrano (a famous mission town halfway between LA and San Diego) recently fined a couple, Chuck and Stephanie Fromm, $300 for holding an “unauthorized” Bible study with a small group in their home.
The city claimed that this Bible study made the group a church, and that any gathering of more than 3 people required the payment of a costly fee for a “conditional use permit.”
Mind, there were no complaints from the neighbors, who were supportive of the couple. The gatherings caused no inconvenience or disturbance. Yet the city said that any further meeting without its permission would result in another fine of $500.
When the government requires such a permit, what they are really declaring is that they have the right to decide who gets to meet, for study or for worship, and who does not. Have any satanic or wiccan groups been charged in this way?
This gives the government the power to restrict any group that teaches Biblical laws that do not accord with the laws of the state. An obvious example would be a law that Gov. Brown of California recently signed, mandating that “gay history” be taught in California’s public schools.
FROM THE USSA TO CHINA
I’m a member of a church that supports missionary work in China. The situation there is delicate. Officially, our missionaries are there to teach English, and in return the Chinese government turns a blind eye to the missionary aspect of their presence — as long as it doesn’t become overt.
In China, there are officially recognized Christian churches (e.g.,the “Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association” and the “Three-Self Patriotic Movvement”), which are controlled by the government, much as the USSR used to control the Russian Orthodox Church through its KGB-appointed bishops.
As a result, in China real Christianity for decades has centered around house churches. The Chinese government has periodically persecuted these home churches. It seeks to suppress any religious movement (e.g., the Falun Gong, as well as Christianity) that threatens to become the object of a loyalty independent of the state.
I remember vividly when one of our missionaries came with his wife and son to visit our church on sabbatical a few years ago. They demonstrated how hymns have to be sung in that part of the world. They stood before us, moving their lips and “singing” a hymn — voicelessly.
BACK IN THE USSA
Here in America, of course, we don’t suffer persecution like that. Yet the news item from San Juan Capistrano (and many other such items) indicate a growing intolerance of genuine religion that is not co-opted by the state.
Over the past century, the Illuminati have attacked the Christian faith and the church. They have also sought to control it in “kinder, gentler” ways — ways that may be more effective than outright persecution, as the latter arouses resistance and strengthens people’s faith.
The most general form of control is financial. By getting churches to accept — and then depend upon — a tax-exempt status, the state has turned the church into a corporation, which it can then regulate. In 1954 (when he was up for reelection), Lyndon Johnson succeeded in inserting language into the IRS Code that prohibited churches from endorsing or opposing candidates.
As a result, rather than risk their 501(c)(3) status, churches will err on the side of safety, and interpret these restrictions even more broadly than they were written, thus emasculating themselves.
I discovered this years ago when I tried to get local churches involved in the struggle to end legalized abortion. Many pastors were sympathetic, but they didn’t want to stick their necks out by getting “political.”
Of course, the ideal way for the Illuminati to control the Christian church (other than abolishing and destroying it, which experience in openly Communist countries showed them was not effective) is to take over the church from the inside.
One way to do this is to finance and sponsor deviant theologies and make them mainstream (as in the case of Dispensationalism, popularized through the works of C. I. Scofield, which resulted in turning much of American evangelical Christianity into a form of Zionism). Another is to gain control of the seminaries, and to promote the leaders who will do your bidding while still seeming to preach the gospel.
Billy Graham is the outstanding (but far from only) example. Financed and promoted by Bernard Baruch and William Randolph Hearst when he was a young up-and-coming preacher, Graham became immensely popular and influential among American Christians. He could have used that influence to affect the national debate on abortion, but instead chose never to mention the subject.
Graham was never opposed by those who should have feared him. When he did a crusade in San Francisco, a local gay leader spoke highly of him. Graham, he said, “always has a positive message.”
From the 1950s to Clinton, Graham had the uncanny “knack” of being a personal friend of every President. He always got (and still gets) star treatment in the media. In truth, he seemed to be a tool of the Illuminati establishment, presiding over and helping to control and guide the evangelical church.
Nowadays there is a new generation of Christian “leaders.” These are often pastors of mega-churches, such as Rick Warren of the “emergent” church movement. They attract masses of people.
But I think there are also many people who have quietly dropped out of the church. Turned off by rapture-doctrine Zionism, tired of “seeker-friendly” pseudo-Christian slush, bored by churches and pastors who avoid taking a stand for anything real, many people now study and worship at home, by themselves or with a few like-minded friends.
They are also networked in informal communities, where they can say what they think. They don’t want to go to a church and sit in a pew, staring silently or saying polite meaningless words. They don’t want to pretend to an enthusiasm they don’t feel.
Cities like San Juan Capistrano aren’t going to stop these people from seeking genuine religious experience and expression. It is this that forms the bedrock opposition to the Illuminati agenda.
Related – Cathy Burns “Billy Graham and his Friends”
Rollin Stearns is a former book editor who lives in Maine.