He went on to add:
Poppies, a symbol of remembrance for lives given in sacrifice for God and nation. LEST
An essay by Gavin Finley MD
It was in the late 19th Century that Great Britain approached the peak of world power. This was the heyday of the Victorian era and 1897 was the year of Queen Victoriaís "Diamond Jubilee". It was an occasion for much celebration throughout the British Empire. At that time one of Britainís best-loved poets, Rudyard Kipling, struck a somber note. He wrote 'Recessional'. This was a poem that turned out to be strikingly prophetic for the English speaking people. The 20th Century was about to dawn. And out across the horizon were seen the portents of momentous future events. As usual, the artists were the first to become aware of this.
Rudyard Kipling wrote;"God of our fathers, known of old
Lord of our far flung battle line
Beneath Whose awful Hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget, lest we forget!"
"Lo, all our pomp of yesterdayThe Edwardian age was a heady time. The British Empire was at the peak of its power. British colonies and dominions covered fully one quarter of the globe. Many British colonialists had become fabulously wealthy. The Edwardians of those pre-war years were the 'yuppies' in that era of British world dominance. Under the spell of men like Cecil Rhodes they believed that total global dominion under their Christian British Empire was just within their grasp.
is one with Ninevah and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet
Lest we forget, lest we forget!"
Was this a likely historical outcome? And for Christians of the British Empire was this concept scripturally founded? Did the Bible give them any reason to go along with this? Well no it did not. But that didn't matter. There was a grand national party going on! Politics, power, patriotism, wealth, powerful friends, slaps on the back.... And the international bankers were there. Certainly an auspicious time. Who would want to interrupt all that with a call for a Bible study on the Millennium or on the Seventy Weeks of Daniel or the future second coming of Messiah?
How would it be if you were the vicar in those days, and you were invited to the the party? How would you respond to all this peer pressure by peers of the realm? Would you want to rain on this parade? This was a powerful and happy crowd. What churchman in his right mind would want to walk away from such bright and prosperous company, people with such fabulous dreams of world dominion? And who would want to warn them of erroneous thinking? What if a churchman did warn them? Just how long would such a vicar retain his parish appointment? Church and state were joined at the hip. He would soon be out on his ear.
The English ecclesiastical establishment of the time were under pressure, (as usual). They had to toe the line. For those who knew the scriptures it was a problem of conscience. But those placed in positions or religious authority knew that they had to compromise. They and go along with the program, - or resign. These were intelligent and discerning men. The king had expressed certain religious expectations. They knew what would please him. They also knew which Biblical truths would get them into trouble with the king. In short, they knew which side their bread was buttered on. So most of them were happy to toe the line. They would go along with this British national vision for the future. They would sign on with this national agenda of world dominion. It was a nationalistically inspired dream to be sure. And dominion theology is always intoxicating to those at the top of the wave of history. Many churchmen were drawn in by the prospect of all the power and wealth that would come when this dream began to manifest. So they fancied the idea of a global church takeover by their state system and state church. Could it be true? Well, it certainly would be nice!
The Edwardian age in the early 20th century was an intoxicating time of celebration of wealth and power in England. This was not all related to the clinking of glasses at British parties of the rich and famous. Nor was it the brandy imbibed in those smoke filled rooms. The English Church was getting heady and high minded as well. During this season of patriotic fervor a new eschatalogical doctrine began to emerge. Optimistic British Imperialism had crossed over into English religion. It would become theologically expressed as a key eschatological element of global dominion theology. This was the doctrine of 'post-millennialism'.
The popular belief was simply this. The British Empire had arrived! This new British era was about to wrap up history. The Brits would be the ones to bring in the grand climax of the age. They would deliver up the "Christian Millennium". They would wrap it up on behalf of Messiah. Then, (if need be, if He should return that is, they would hand it over to Him.
This was a subtle play. Whether or not Christ even needed to bother to return or not was no longer a big issue. To please the Christians the churchmen would vaguely allude to the idea that He "might come at some future time". To please the gnostic pagans and the British traditionalists they would suggest that Christ could jolly well stay up in the heavenly realm. He was not needed down in this cosmos at all. Whether or not there would be a second coming of Christ didn't really matter. Because they would wrap up history for God and king. They would do the job!
To these people the Millennium was not a literal future thousand years under Messiah as described by the Apostle John in Revelation 20. The Kingdom of Christ was in every sense an earthly, yet spiritual kingdom in the here and now. The Millennium to these people was nothing more than the "Age of the Church". According to their thinking, the Millennium/Kingdom was destined to be completed victoriously and perfectly by the British Empire.
Of course there was no scriptural foundation for such a notion. No such eschatology could be found written in their Bibles. But what did it matter. At least it was a "truism". And as the British celebration went on more and more people were inclined to believe it! It was politically and socially very popular. So as a matter of political expediency and as a matter of pragmatism this post-millennial theology started to become the norm in British Christendom. It was injected into the national Church by the power politics, (and the politeness), of the time.
It is a sad fact of history that Church-state realities all too often drown out the still small voice of biblical truth. If the Bible was saying something different to what the spirit of the age or national rulers and the people wanted to hear then the Bible had to be put beneath the feet of the nation. This is an awful truth, but demonstrated by history time and time again. The churchmen went along with the crowd. They simply would not "rock the boat". They would let the matter 'ride'.
Of course they were very busy. They were not inclined to spend too much time checking out their sermons with a careful study of the Holy Scriptures. Post Millennialism was, in fact, an erroneous doctrine. But as long as it was "politically correct" then what did it matter? If the king and the crowds believed it and as long as they were happy with it then who cared?
There is no question that this post-millennialism, a doctrine of a Christian world under the British Empire, was a Utopian dream. Dominion theology had crept into the national psyche. Many of the British traditionalists were rolling in money and drunk with power. They were a people who were, (at least in their own minds), about to take dominion globally. This is how the dominion theology and the notion of the "Kingdom Now" began nestling itself into the English Church at the beginning of the 20th century.
Dominion Theology came into the British Church when the British Empire was at the peak of its power. Here is an awesome question. Could the same thing happen to the American Church?
The risk of this happening is very real. Reconstructionism has been around in the older denominations for some years now. It has been quietly linking up with the Kingdom Now movement as it emerges amongst the New Charismatics and in the post-modern church. These are parts of the church that do not immerse themselves in a study the scriptures. Nor do they submit themselves to what the Holy Spirit is saying to them in the Bible. All too often they access certain verses of scripture only to put their own personal "human potential" spin on them.
There is good evidence that this postmillennialist mindset has already begun to install itself quite firmly in the American Church. The Trojan horse this time is the 'latter rain' 'prophetic movement'. And its Dominion Theology is now being widely and enthusiastically received.
Are the Americans familiar with this history? Do they know what happened to the British when they embraced this post-millennialist dominion fantasy? Probably not. But they will. When
".... in the time of Solemn things,These were the words the ANZAC's remembered at Gallipoli as the awful Great War came to its bloody end. The words of warning also come back to us in Rudyard Kipling's poem.
the bell within the tower swings,
and just a little closer brings,
the quick and the dead".
- Robert Louis Stephenson
Jingoism is an intoxicating spiritual potion. During those Edwardian years many Christians were party to the established British church-state system. So they believed that they were on the threshold of their dream. World dominion was just within their grasp. They felt that they were on the verge of wrapping things up worldwide for 'God and King'. Why not just bundle up the entire planet?!
What were they thinking? Did they imagine that the Archbishop of Canterbury would then just hand the world over to the returning Christ as He came sauntering back to reclaim this world? Did they imagine that Jesus would make a special guest appearance at Canterbury Cathedral to take part in their royal and ecclesiastical processions? Would He hand out the awards to the British king and all his victorious church leaders?
Unfortunately for the British, their plans for global dominion,
(along with their dominionist religious reveries),
were not to be realized. In fact they would soon be put aside.
And their post-millennialist eschatology with its
Dominion Theology based upon the global dominion of the
was about to take a tumble as well.
Once again the heady phantasy of post-millennialism
would simply slip out of the crowd and disappear from the scene.
Dominionism would slide down the chute into the
dustbin of history.
...... Until next time.
As we have seen, the Edwardian years of the early 20th century were times of great national pretension and vainglory. But they were significant for another reason as well. This just happened to be the very same time period in which another nation was emerging onto the stage of history. The Germans, masters of the modern industrial age, were beginning to rise up in Europe. And it was during this same era of ostentatious British materialism that something else was about to unfold. It was an event would affect Great Britain very deeply.
Two thirds of the ship's company perish.
It was close to midnight on April 15th when the iceberg
loomed before the eyes of the officers of the watch.
They were unable to steer the vessel clear.
In the ensuing collision 200 feet
of the ship's hull was buckled and opened to the sea.
Not long after midnight the ship's officers made their report
to Captain Smith. They were doing everything possible to save the ship.
But there was no doubt about the outcome.
The ship was doomed.
The loss of the "Titanic" was a great tragedy. Two thirds of the ships company perished in the freezing waters. Many saw this as a stern warning from God. It turned out to be the beginning of the end for the great British Empire. They would not be the nation to wrap up world history after all. Nor would their church be wrapping up the world for Christ. Two years later a generation of young British men were in the trenches in France. There they were in the rain, the mud, and amongst the barbed wire facing the German artillery and machine guns. The losses the British Empire suffered in the Great War were beyond belief.
When World War 1 ended all was quiet on the western front.
But the flower of British and British Commonwealth youth lay silent on Flanders Fields.
Do the British have a lesson to pass on?
Do they have something to tell their American cousins across the pond?
Two world wars have now passed. The Germans have been defeated, and the Japanese as well. British world power and its sea power is now passe. It has given way to American air power. Two atom bombs dropped over Japan in 1945 punctuated the transition. And the American Eagle has landed on the moon.
The Pax Americana is here. It is now well established. American military forces now occupy the cradle of civilization. 150,000 American troops are stationed along the Euphrates River. This happens to be the northern border of the land promised to the children of Abraham. (Gen.15:18) The nations are raging. (Psalm 2) The Third Jihad is in full swing. And U.S. military forces are now camped by the rivers of Babylon.
Meanwhile, American oil companies are right now drilling for oil on both sides of the Caspian Sea. The American eagle now patrols the Caucasus mountains out at the gates of Gog. These are the southern reaches of the former USSR. The Russians are furious.
These are dangerous times we live in. The Russians have just armed the Syrians with 250 sophisticated surface missiles. Each is capable of sending a 1,000 lb. payload 250 miles. These are a far cry from the primitive "Scud" missiles we saw in the Gulf War that failed to launch or failed to land within many miles of their target. These missiles can put a bomb within 20 meters of the GPS co-ordinates dialed in for the target.
As if this isn't enough Syria has just hosted a meeting if Hezbollah, Hamas, PLO and Iranian interests. Their meeting place? Damascus. This is right near the borders of Israel! Do we know what all this means?
Financial power is an important part of the equation here. The early 20th century saw Great Britain with the reigns of global banking. After World War 1 they were the ones who made Germany pay huge reparations and also tightened international banking credit. The German mark collapsed in 1923. The stock markets crashed in 1929. Then the banks failed in the early 30's pulling the world into the Great Depression. This was only eased by the outbreak of World War 2. What had happened to make things better?
At that time Winston Churchill came to America. He said, "Give us the tools and we will do the job!" The British purse strings were then loosened. And with the injection of all that British capital and with the enormous demand for war materials the American giant began to stir.
The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was certainly a day of infamy.
But on that day there was no doubt.
The American giant was now fully awake.
1945 saw the defeat of Germany and Japan. The atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki by American B-29 bombers heralded the rise of the United States into world power. At that time the specter of international communism was looming over the west in Korea, in Cuba, and in then in Vietnam. To counter this growing threat a new superpower was rising up on the world scene. And America was now calling the shots.
The English speaking people have been greatly blessed. Both in their time have possessed the gates of their enemies. Great Britain held the Suez Canal, Gibraltar, and Hong Kong to name just a few. America has controlled the Panama Canal, the straits of Hormuz and the international business and trade. A little known fact is that oil must be paid for with U.S. dollars. See this article by Krassimir Petrov PhD. Great Britain and America have been superpowers in their day. Each have controlled the breaches, the sea lanes, air power and mastery of nuclear tipped Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. The British assumed world power through sea power and "gunboat diplomacy". The Americans now do it by air power and "Tomahawk missile diplomacy". The Brits had their British Empire. And now the Americans control all international trade through the multinational mega corporations and the World Trade Organization.
The English speaking superpowers have been the and most powerful nations this world has ever seen. They have experienced riches beyond measure. But now, as the 21st century dawns, they have entered into a precarious state. There are the ominous signs of an emerging national spiritual pride. Few realize the great danger this presents. Nor have they heeded the specific warnings about this which is expressed so clearly in Rudyard Kipling's poem, "lest we forget".
In the poem, "Lest we forget" the subject for the remembrance is not the nation. Nor is it the nation's soldiers. The nations have not forgotten their fallen soldiers. And it is entirely appropriate that they do remember them. They do so each Armistice Day. But is there something else we may have forgotten? Is there Someone else the nations have failed to "remember"?
Could it be that we have forgotten our God?
The English speaking people have been truly blessed. America is now the nation which has the international political stage. She also has the military might to go with it. We were not to abuse the authority that came with this power. In the pages of the Bible we have seen the many warnings given by the prophets of Israel. We have been exhorted to keep in close communion with the Holy One of Israel. He is the Sovereign God who overrules in all of history. He presides over everything that goes on in this cosmos. He is just and righteous in everything that He does. As God Almighty, He is the One who sets rulers in place. He determines their years in power and their time under the sun. And He is the One who brings them down again.
We all remember the Titanic.
Many understand that it was a warning from God.
And now the Victorian Age is over.
The great British Empire has come and gone.
The great airship is consumed in 30 seconds.
This terrible tragedy happened as the German nation was approaching the peak of her power. Nazi Germany was on the rise. Germany was about to make her bid for global supremacy as the superpower. The fiery loss of the Hindenburg was an awful catastrophe. Was it also a warning to the German nation from God?
As people with roots in western Europe we consider ourselves
citizens of "Christian" nations.
Western Europe was once referred to as 'Christendom'.
But how real is our allegiance to God?
Do we stop to consider the One who came among us us as our Redeemer?
Do we believe His promise that he would return as Messiah
as this age comes to its tumultuous climax?
Human flights of fancy can be so compelling. This is especially so when we want to believe them. Evolutionary Theory is a case in point. At the same time Rudyard Kipling wrote "Lest we forget" Darwin's book the "Origin of the species" was being sold out in the book shops of England. Profane people were all too ready to kick God out of the universe. The gay spirit of "Gaia", the goddess of the cosmos, was set up instead. This was the new materialistic worship of the creation that was being set forth in the west.
But what has happened to true science? Why has it got itself mixed up in all this humanistic nature worship religion? Why is it departing from the usual scientific discipline and scientific method to get carried away by this cosmos centered religion of a self existent self creating material universe? Why are the Evolution faithful forcing their goddess religion onto science?
As with everything scientific we need to look at the facts. And just what are the facts? Has the phenomenon of trans species evolution ever been observed, - even once? All mutations of DNA are destructive of the original order. Most often they are are fatal and cause the death of the organism. And let us return to true science here for a moment. Has life ever been created by man in a test tube?
The coming of the electron microscope has been a great embarrassment for evolutionists. It has revealed just how incredibly intricate the structures within each cell are. Do we really believe that all the wonders we see in the cosmos and in nature all around us just came about by accident? And what about this notion of evolution by accident and not by design? Even if we do it a billion times can a Boeing 747 be expected to pop up one day out of an explosion in a machine shop?
Millions of schoolchildren are being brainwashed to believe this Disneyesque fantasy. Are we playing games in our mind here? Does not an intricate design brought about by protein synthesis presuppose a designer? And if the design is laid out according to a DNA and RNA blueprint then who wrote the code for this highly complex well orchestrated process?
Well the fact of the matter is that science cannot provide answers here. So scientific "authorities", our modern "high priests of the cosmos" have taken it upon themselves to launch into speculation and embrace "mother earth" nature religion.
Don't we have a better explanation for the wonders we see in nature? Doesn't the Holy Bible provide us with a credible account of how the universe and the created order came into being? If we, as part of that created order do not have the answers is it not then reasonable to consider the presentation of revealed truth from the Holy Bible? It is sent to us from and omnipotent, omniscient Source outside this earthly realm. And He was there when the foundations of this earth were laid. No scientist ever observed any "Big Bang". It is pure religious fantasy from our new high priests, these Darwinian shamans of pseudo-science.
There is a God who is sovereign and omniscient.
He is a Designer and the Creator of this cosmos.
The record of the Bible is that this God can also
be known personally. He even came to earth in human form.
He came that first time to minister to us and then to die for us.
Have we considered our ways?
Have we considered Him?
The warnings of the prophets of Israel
still echo down through the centuries.
The message is going out to a people
who would be a
'nation under God'.
Have we been inclined to forget?
In spite of a profusion of huge sumptuously appointed churches and all our religiosity the moral decline of the English speaking peoples in recent decades is all too apparent. Stones of masonry have taken pre-eminence over the building up of 'living stones', the lives of Christian men, women, and children in the faith. Doctrine is considered too divisive to deal with faithfully by the scriptures. "Unity" and "growth" at any cost is the new mantra for churchmen nowadays. Christians are being entertained rather than being challenged and built up in true blood covenant Christianity.
Sound doctrine based upon the Word of God is very necessary. It is crucial for true Christian growth and maturity. The consequences of this neglect in the churches has been devastating. The lifestyles of Christians is not much different from non-Christians. The most fundamental national building block, the family unit, has been shattered. Divorce among Christians has now exceeded the divorce rate of non-Christians. As a society we have become very sophisticated. We are now quite 'tolerant' of evil. "Gay pride" parades are held in the streets of major cities from London to San Francisco to Sydney. Most English speaking people are not even concerned about this shameful national conduct. Here is God's word on the matter.
"The look upon their faces
Bears witness against them,
And they boldly declare their sin as the sin of Sodom;
They do not even hide it.
Woe to their soul!
For they have brought evil upon themselves." - Isaiah 3:9
The messages brought by the prophets to Israel
in the former times are quite applicable to the
English speaking peoples today.
Were God's warnings directed to us as well?
"Alas, sinful nation,
a people laden with iniquity,
a brood of evildoers,
children who are corrupters!
They have forsaken the Lord,
they have provoked to anger the Holy One of Israel,
they have turned away backward." - Isaiah 1:4
The city of New Orleans has always celebrated blatant immorality.
But this past summer the city opened its arms to host the most vile
and abominable party ever seen.
It was slated to host
"Southern Decadence Week".
This was to be a week long public orgy in which
homosexuals and lesbians from around the country were to gather
and celebrate their Sodomite lifestyle.
The summer of 2005 was to be a celebration of evil like no other.
Homosexual acts were to be openly and publicly performed in the streets.
But on the opening weekend of August 29 it seems that
Someone else had different plans.
Hurricane Katrina, the largest and most costly hurricane
in Amerca's history came roaring in from the Gulf of Mexico.
The levees protecting New Orleans from Lake Pontchartrain were breached.
And the waters poured in, submerging the city in the flood waters.
The name 'Katrina' means "pure".
Was this a coincidence?
Mismanaged power and prosperity can bring men and nations into great peril.
God has given us many warnings concerning national pride.
Alas, these warnings have gone unheeded.
Oh yes, we rail against the immorality and the evils of our age. And we pride ourselves on setting up our programs based on our own socially engineered set of "core values". But how much have we committed ourselves to the authority of Jesus Christ? And how much do we depend upon the leading of His Holy Spirit?
Both America and Great Britain and the nations of the
British Commonwealth have been especially forgetful when it
comes to the things of God.
Now America has taken center stage as the superpower.
This was the first time NASA had ever lost a crew.
American history is now world history. And American history is now coming to some sort of a climax. The nations are raging against the little nation of Israel. Why is this so? The principalities and angelic powers who are rulers over nations are in an irrational rage. What is vexing then so? Could it be that they are dreading the coming of Israel's promised Messiah?
Apparently this is precisely the case. Raging against the Throne of David is in fact the root cause of antisemitism. King David wrote a song about it three thousand years ago. (Psalm 2)
Quite clearly we are on approach to some sort of a grand climax. History is not just found in dusty old textbooks. Holy history, what our German friends call "Heils geschicter" or "salvation history", has now come knocking at our door.
Through it all, Godís Word of warning thunders down through
three and a half thousand years of history. The Holy One of Israel is
still speaking to His Judeo-Christian people.
The western nations are a company that was once known as "Christendom".
But we are a generation who have
lately become rather heady and high-minded.
We, as English speaking people, have forgotten our God.
The consequences of this are serious.
God warned the British in 1912 when the Titanic went down.
He warned the Germans in 1937 when the Hindenburg went down.
And He warned the Americans when the Challenger went down in recent years.
All these warnings came as the nation came to the peak of their power.
We have been repeatedly warned, 'lest we forget'.
We have departed from the ancient paths. - Jer.18:15
And have we forgotten who we are. - Hos.1:9-11
Here is Godís message given through Moses to His covenant people.
It was spoken way back at the beginning of our journeys.
This message is for us today.
"Then it shall be, |
if you by any means
forget the Lord your God,
and follow other gods,
and serve them
and worship them,
I testify against you this day
that you shall surely perish"
- Deuteronomy 8:19.
We serve a God who writes the Book of Life.
He is God Almighty, the Sovereign One who oversees history.
As the Holy One of Israel He has declared that,
"The nations are as a drop in the bucket.The poet admonished us that nations are forgetful.
They are counted as small specks of dust in the balance." - Isa.40:15
Jesus Christ came into our cosmos as Emmanuel, 'God in the flesh'.
As the Sacrifice Lamb He shed His blood to redeem His people.
He has opened wide the doors to salvation.
Even now He beckons us to enter in.