commentary: Conspiracy Theory (Part Ten)
John W. Ritenbaugh
Given 07-Feb-15; Sermon #1252c; 11 minutes
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the cumulative effects of Satan's long-term miseducation project, affirms that humanism is a powerful, fully functioning religion, responsible for the 'normalization' of abortion and other perversions, and a white-hot hostility to God and His sovereignty. Advances in technology, such as the Gutenberg press in 1439 to the internet in 1969, have been mixed blessings and curses, used for both good and evil. Gutenberg's press, instrumental in augmenting the impact of the Protestant Reformation, made the mass, ubiquitous distribution of the Bible possible throughout the entire world. The 17th century could be said to be the fountainhead of exponential communication progress, turning the oppressive ecclesiastical and the stultifying feudal world upside down, leading to the immigration of the Israelitish peoples to the western hemisphere, often in an effort to safeguard a base for religious liberty. At the same time, Satan, aware of his limited time to destroy, has been using the same advances in technology, advancing his agenda to neutralize religious liberty, replacing it with a so-called progressive, humanistic agenda attempting to destroy God's sovereignty and marginalize or destroy God's called-out ones.
The first paragraph of an email sent by a Christian organization called "The American Renewal Project" began in this manner:
The secular United States Supreme Court invented its own theology and religion in 1963 in an 8-1 decision which unleashed on America a malignant evil religion: secularism. It has borne much fruit. The distinctive effectiveness of marriage has been abolished. Prayer and Bible reading in school has been stamped out. The mother's womb has become the most dangerous place for a baby. The rights, but not the duties, of fathers and parents of minor girls have been avoided. Divorce has become easier than marrying. The Commandments have been banned from public view, and the natural distinction between male and female is being abolished. The Boy Scouts are under attack. Christmas cards are banned. Pornography is everywhere.
These people recognize that humanism is a fully functioning religion in this nation. How did it get this way? It was well planned and effectively administered, but it did not happen quickly.
When I left off last Sabbath, I reached an important place in this continuing series. There are two educational areas Satan has had to deceptively alter so that the national circumstances we've been born into might seem like they are normal—as though this is the way it has always been. The reality is that it hasn't always been this way, with all these high-level stresses associated with outright rejection of God, constant war, murder, disease, family breakups, natural disasters, infidelity because of homosexuality, adultery, fornication, drug problems and more.
The two areas Satan had to focus on in order to destroy the culture are, first, the Western world's spiritual education, including destroying the reality of God's existence and His sovereignty over the entire earth. The second is our material, secular education.
How could Satan surreptitiously deceive mankind so that, given the amount of time that he had to work with, his miseducation plan would worm its way into man's thinking until God, especially, would occupy less and less of mankind's thoughts?
Recall that I said to you that I believe that Satan had better understanding of the timing of Christ's return than we do. Therefore, I concluded that to work his plan out, considering how long men live and also taking into consideration that he at first as he began had almost no technology that he could use. This technological age we now live in is just over 100 years old. Before then, there was no instant mass communication means to inform the citizenry. No radio or television, and even newspapers and books were exceedingly slow means of deceiving the public.
When Satan began his preparation for the time of Christ's return, virtually everything had to be communicated by word of mouth, and therefore, he had to begin laying the groundwork long before the fruit of his project—that is, almost total deception—would be clearly visible to God's children. In fact, he had to begin centuries earlier than Christ's return for his plan to spread through the populations of the Western world. So much had to be done that I estimated he began his program about the time that the 17th century began. That would have been about AD 1600.
Consider these factors in his timing: Even though Christopher Columbus was not the first explorer to land on these Western shores, it was his voyage of discovery that was celebrated all over the Western world and opened the door to the possibility of people emigrating here. That was in October of 1492, 521 years ago. At that time, God was still moving Israelitish people into and through Europe so that they would be in places He wanted them to be in for Christ's return.
In AD 1500, North America was virtually empty of people. In addition, the Gutenberg press with movable type had just been invented before 1600 began and put into operation a couple of decades earlier. Thus, for the first time in mankind's history, the mass printing of books and newspapers to educate the public at large was made available. Isn't it interesting that those two things happened at about the same time? The availability of reading material on a mass scale is critical to education or miseducating people within the time-frame that we are considering here. To me, this period marks the beginning of the age of technology, allowing mankind to build toward what we see in our day.
At the same time, the Protestant Reformation began. It is generally dated beginning in 1517 with the nailing of the Ninety-Five Theses by Martin Luther. Thus, larger masses of people were introduced to some of God's truths by being enabled to read the Bible in their own homes. The Protestant Reformation was a revolt against the Catholic Church in general, and many non-biblical doctrines and practices in particular. One of the revolt's major concerns was the Catholic Church's heavy involvement in the governance of Europe.
The revolt is generally considered as actively lasting for 150 years. When it was over, it was not just the ecclesiastical world, but the political world, too, was turned upside down, never again to return to its former state. The reformation set the stage for much persecution of those who separated from the Catholic Church, which in turn became the motivation for much emigration to the New World.
King Henry VIII played a role in instigating the Protestant Reformation in England by means of his self-centeredness. He wanted to divorce Catherine of Aragon because she was not producing a son. He wanted to do this so that he would be free to marry Anne Boleyn. It took many years and a great deal of political intrigue, but he eventually was granted a divorce by a local archbishop. The Pope disapproved, but Henry ignored the Pope and married Anne Boleyn. But it caused a major uproar involving parliament that ended with England becoming Protestant. It played a critical role towards getting conditions and circumstances ready for the end time because the turmoil never truly died down for decades.
But when the opportunity came, people began streaming from England, headed for the colonies. We've just reached 1600 AD. In 1607, the Jamestown Colony was established in Virginia, and in 1620, the Plymouth Colony was established in Massachusetts.
So, the movement to settle America was beginning. However, even before the religious turmoil erupted in England, Satan's persecutions for Christ's return were even further underway in Europe and they had great impact. We will begin that the next Sabbath I give a commentary.