There are some fairly horrific parts of the word, and today we have two of them. They are related, because the Jews give us a pattern. They have been stubborn from the beginning, and at times this has led to the destruction of their kingdoms and power.
And when that happens, it has been relentless.
The opposition has led to them being conquered, over and over. The Romans occupied Palestine and Jerusalem in the time of Christ and Paul: the temple had not been destroyed. The ultranationalists were aiming to restore the Maccabean theocracy, though a council of scholars ruled, not God, nor a king. But that led to, again the Jews opposing the will of God for the sake of their nation.
There are those among the Jews who still fight against any semblance of the worship of God. The Jews were divided then: they are divided now.
The reformist fight over the Western Wall is one of the permanent fronts that are looking to troll the Orthodox dominance in Israel. Radical anti-religious Leftists joining into that fight clearly shows what the cause of the fight is. It is about hurting the Orthodox dominance or the culture and government, and opening up an easy point of engagement and provocation. The constant clashes over prayer near the Western Wall should be perceived as part of the consciousness campaign.
So when Amos speaks against the House of Israel, and sees the Lord standing at his temple -- which was in Jerusalem, in the neighbouring kingdom of Judah -- and notes that the people are apostate, he is saying that there will be a clearance, root and branch.
9 I saw the Lord standing beside the altar, and he said:
“Strike the capitals until the thresholds shake,
and shatter them on the heads of all the people;
and those who are left of them I will kill with the sword;
not one of them shall flee away;
not one of them shall escape.
2 “If they dig into Sheol,
from there shall my hand take them;
if they climb up to heaven,
from there I will bring them down.
3 If they hide themselves on the top of Carmel,
from there I will search them out and take them;
and if they hide from my sight at the bottom of the sea,
there I will command the serpent, and it shall bite them.
4 And if they go into captivity before their enemies,
there I will command the sword, and it shall kill them;
and I will fix my eyes upon them
for evil and not for good.”
It is worth noting that the Kingdom of Israel had been the kingdom of Elijah and Elisha. It had seen reformation and revival. It had also a most corrupt and apostate elite.
So, though we should not forget our heritage as the English speaking nations, we should not assume that our debasement will be allowed because previous generations based their lives on the word of God. We have fallen from that position, and within the reign of one monarch, who had been made powerless to stop it by the clerks and scriveners of Whitehall and the Law Courts.
12 When it was day, the Jews made a plot and bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. 13 There were more than forty who made this conspiracy. 14 They went to the chief priests and elders and said, “We have strictly bound ourselves by an oath to taste no food till we have killed Paul. 15 Now therefore you, along with the council, give notice to the tribune to bring him down to you, as though you were going to determine his case more exactly. And we are ready to kill him before he comes near.”
16 Now the son of Paul's sister heard of their ambush, so he went and entered the barracks and told Paul. 17 Paul called one of the centurions and said, “Take this young man to the tribune, for he has something to tell him.” 18 So he took him and brought him to the tribune and said, “Paul the prisoner called me and asked me to bring this young man to you, as he has something to say to you.” 19 The tribune took him by the hand, and going aside asked him privately, “What is it that you have to tell me?” 20 And he said, “The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down to the council tomorrow, as though they were going to inquire somewhat more closely about him. 21 But do not be persuaded by them, for more than forty of their men are lying in ambush for him, who have bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink till they have killed him. And now they are ready, waiting for your consent.” 22 So the tribune dismissed the young man, charging him, “Tell no one that you have informed me of these things.”
23 Then he called two of the centurions and said, “Get ready two hundred soldiers, with seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen to go as far as Caesarea at the third hour of the night. 24 Also provide mounts for Paul to ride and bring him safely to Felix the governor.” 25 And he wrote a letter to this effect:
26 “Claudius Lysias, to his Excellency the governor Felix, greetings. 27 This man was seized by the Jews and was about to be killed by them when I came upon them with the soldiers and rescued him, having learned that he was a Roman citizen. 28 And desiring to know the charge for which they were accusing him, I brought him down to their council. 29 I found that he was being accused about questions of their law, but charged with nothing deserving death or imprisonment. 30 And when it was disclosed to me that there would be a plot against the man, I sent him to you at once, ordering his accusers also to state before you what they have against him.”
31 So the soldiers, according to their instructions, took Paul and brought him by night to Antipatris. 32 And on the next day they returned to the barracks, letting the horsemen go on with him. 33 When they had come to Caesarea and delivered the letter to the governor, they presented Paul also before him. 34 On reading the letter, he asked what province he was from. And when he learned that he was from Cilicia, 35 he said, “I will give you a hearing when your accusers arrive.” And he commanded him to be guarded in Herod's praetorium.
The Centurion is an example to our brothers still in the military of how an officer works. He appraised the situation, assessed the risk, took action, and reported to higher. He did not think overly abstractly. And thus Paul arrived in Rome. The centurion could see his duty, and did it. Rome had some virtues: it is worth noting that the woke are trying to destroy the military because those virtues are a clear and present danger to them. Regardless of the need every nation has for men who will stand between the enemy and hearth, home and people.
But the times are fallen.
That our world is so saturated with people who make "issues" from theories and practices that are obviously harmful to children reveals just how wicked, unholy, vile, base, and malicious our world truly is.
Moreover, that we allow these "issues" to actually become "issues" is an indictment against us all.
Why do we allow atrocities committed against children - gender transitioning, sexual mutilation, sexual propaganda, and all the rest of it - to be discussed under some banner of "human rights"? Why do we allow these monstrosities committed against children to establish a toehold in public and political "discourse"? Why do we allow for supposedly civilized debate over these kinds of evil barbarity against children?
There's no place for discussion or debate when it comes to open and obvious evil committed against children.
Open and obvious evil committed against children warrants only one response - making a whip from cords and driving out from society all who endorse, discuss, or debate such abominations.
Some evils - particularly those committed against children - are not and should never become "issues." They are simply too evil to justify such conceptualizations.
Stop justifying these sorts of "issues" as "issues".
Cleanse them instead.
I can see two options for the West. There are two patterns.
The first is that we double down in our evil. We continue to restrict the church, we hound those who think this is wrong, we shut down the blogs, we call all that is not of the approved narrative hate speech. Our governments have experimented with microregulation through the time of COVID lockdowns and some of them have found they like it. In that case, God will not be mocked and there will be a reckoning. People will wake up one day and their social welfare system will be gone, their woke status points a liability, and their credentials useless. Christ noted that the timing of his return will be when there is no other option left on this world.
The second is that we change our ways and repent. Individually, and collectively. What this looks like is called extremism by the elite. As Frances Berger pointed out, we rid our lives of evil. We don't support companies that promote evil. We don't attend the rituals of the corporate world, from mass sports events to their parades and ceremonies.
We vote with our feet and our wallets.
And then, we may find that in our individual responses we build a new community. For then, if we honour God, God will honour us.