Why the Heathen Rage
Dr. Michael L. Ford
9 January 2008
“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?”
After Hurricane Katrina some relief workers on the Gulf Coast made an observation on the Internet. They pointed out that in some areas there was looting and robbing of things that had nothing at all to do with survival. In these same places, particularly New Orleans, other terrible crimes were committed such as rape. In the same locations where lawlessness was greatest there were calls for government to step in and restore people’s lives. But in other places people began quietly helping one another and putting their lives back together. The observers said that where quiet endurance and self- reliance was most visible where Christianity was most influential.
France was the first of the countries of the Protestant Reformation (1517-1648) to be dominated by liberal theology. This lead to the French Revolution (1789–1799) which was the first secular humanist revolution in history. Missionaries, back in the early 1980s, told me there were then more people practicing occult religions in France than there are those practicing any form of Christian religion. It is interesting to note France’s history of practicing discrimination against its Jewish citizens, which allowed the Dreyfus Affair (1894-1906). With the resurgence of open anti-Semitism in France, there has also been an increase in riotous radical elements (mostly Islamic) torching communities and destroying property. Some of the horrific events of recent years has been the kidnapping, prolonged torture, and murder of people mainly Jews.
Spain had two Civil Wars. (1820-1823 & 1936-1939) In many respects the second Civil War was not just a culmination of continuing problems in Spain from before the time of the first Civil War, but it was also a monarchist and religious war for Spain. Because of the participation of so many nations it could also be sort of a mini world war. It was the place where the Germans would practice the blitzkrieg air war tactics they would use in WWII. One of my professors in College said of the time of the second Civil War in it “a whole generation of Spanish men were lost.” A Baptist missionary to Spain remarked just a few years ago that trying to reach individual Spaniards with the Gospel message was extremely difficult. More recently we have seen terrorist activity able to change the expected result of a Spanish election.
Currently the President of the U.S.A. is enroute to Israel to bring more pressure on Israeli leadership to cede territory necessary to its safety to the Palestinians. Once again, as has been happening consistently since his father’s time, when his home at Kennebunkport was destroyed by an unusual storm, natural disasters are taking place in the U.S.A. This time it is out of season tornados tearing up the Midwest. Heedlessly, he continues on a foolish path in spite of the fact the very people he is trying to help are calling for his assassination. At the same time the nation is involved in the primary process to determine who will be the next President and some people are very critical of Christian participation whether as a candidate or as a voter.
Over the last few years I have made contact with people involved in Christian work over the world. One individual I came to know saw his family killed over several days before he was martyred in Pakistan. When Benazir Bhutto was assassinated there recently, many of the people in that country went on a rampage destroying things, actions that accomplished nothing but the destruction of property. This has been the consistent actions of people who worship a false god in recent years.
Currently there has been rioting and unrest in the land of Kenya. Two Kenyan pastors I know, and a third an American pastor friend knows personally, has been driven from their homes and are currently struggling to feed their families. How many more have been affected by the actions of the faction who did not like how their elections turned out I do not know. I do know that there seems to be an anti-Christian element in the actions taking place.
Why do the heathen rage and wicked people imagine a vain thing? Because their hearts are separated from the Spirit of God that dwells in those who come to the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation and submit to His Lordship! There are two elements in the overcoming believer, salvation and surrender of self to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. In those the Spirit will dwell richly and in those who reject so great salvation a perverse spirit will reign supreme resulting in the works of iniquity.
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