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Propoganda (A Political Agenda) PDF Print E-mail
Written by W.R. Daniels, Jr.   

We are living in a time (last times 1Jo. 2:18), in which the world’s ideas and concepts are sometimes applied to scripture and used in the church. This always gives rise to trouble and confusion. God’s thoughts and ways are not the thoughts and ways of men. (Isa. 55:8-9). Often well meaning men in the church will unwittingly  use the  world’s system of the “Propaganda Attack,” which  is not seeming or suitable to Christian behavior.

The world’s system of “Propaganda Attack” is primarily used in the arenas of religion and politics and is made up of three parts:

Guilt by Association.

Argumentum Ad Hominem. “Attacking a man, his character and motives.”

Expanding the definition of words or concepts.

There can be no question that the “Propaganda Attack” is a ploy of Satan, the “accuser” of the brethren. Each of the three parts in themselves is calculated to cast doubt, fear, and misunderstanding, not unity and brotherly love. How sad it is indeed when this ploy is used in the church. By it brethren become divided, churches declare non-fellowship with each other, and a spirit of hypocrisy is manifested. 

Looking into the scriptures  we see  that  this  kind of behavior was  used against Christ. In John 9:24 we read, “Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner.” This is what the Pharisees (which were hypocrites), said about Jesus. Now these were religious men! They said he was a sinner because he associated, yea, even ate with publicans and sinners. The Jews attacked the character and motives of Jesus when they accused him of having a devil, and casting out devils by the prince of devils. “Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?” (John 8:48). “Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that  thou hast a devil. . . .” (John 8:52). “But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of devils.” (Matthew 9:34, 12:24, Luke 11:15). The expansion of the meaning of words and concepts is seen in John 21:22-23. “Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou me. Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die: but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?” The Pharisees were always trying to find something that Jesus said that they might use against him. “And as he said these things unto them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to urge him vehemently, and to provoke him to speak of many things: Laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him.” (Luke 11:53-54). I have seen this ploy used, and I am sure that you have too. It is a ploy to expand what some one has said into that which he did not say, thereby changing the concept and meaning of what was said. Again this creates doubt, fear, and misunderstanding.

Now I want to show how the “Propaganda Attack” works in the church. Please remember that the “Propaganda Attack” is of the world, so if we see it at work in the church, we know then that that much of the world is in the church, and it is enough to reek havoc among the brethren.

Guilt by association:

Here is a man, woman, boy, or girl who has joined the church in their local. Soon they go to visit some friends and family who are members of the church where they live. They learn while there that they are not allowed church fellowship because of some division that took place many years ago and their church is in fellowship with the church where the alleged problem was.

Here is an Elder in the church which calls himself a “conservative,” (political term), and considers himself sound in doctrine and practice. He will not associate or preach at certain churches of like faith because they associate and fellowship a church or churches that he says are “liberal” (political term).

Perhaps we all have had some experience along this line. The division of the church into warring factions is a disgrace to the name “Christian.” In talking to a preacher one day about the sermon he had just preached, I said I believe you believe what you preached today, and I believe what you preached, and I preach it the same way. I then asked, now why is it that we can not preach together? He answered by saying, “Oh, Brother Daniels it is just a matter of who you run with.” I would fellowship him, but he would not fellowship me. You see, I was “guilty by association.”

Attacking a man, his character and motives:

Preacher A has been led of God into some particular ministry and he is obedient to the calling.  Preacher B thinks preacher A has erred, and without ever talking to him he attacks  with all sorts of accusations and innuendo whereby preacher A’s motives and character are brought in question, and he is put in a bad light before the people.    

The apostle James tells us that the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. He says that the tongue is a fire, and that it sets on fire the course of nature. The nature of man is to lash out, to talk about, to rail upon, to speak evil of etc. When someone attacks another it is usually with the tongue, which James says is an “unruly evil, and full of deadly poison.” When we see this kind of behavior we know that it is the working of the devil because James says that the tongue is set on fire of hell. So the fire of hell sets the tongue on fire, and the tongue sets on fire the course of nature, and the course of nature lashes out in its subtle furry, hence an attack upon a man, his character and motives.

Once something has been said in an attack on another it usually mushrooms, it passes from one to another and then to another until it becomes a great matter. It starts out little, but soon grows into a monster. James said “Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!” (James 3:5). What is so sad is usually the accusations and innuendo are received without any witnesses, and the accused is presumed guilty until proven innocent. Whereas, the scriptures teach that “in the mouth of two or three witnesses let every word be established.” This should be done before any judgment is made. It seems to me that we are so bent on destroying our brother and letting the real enemy (the devil) go. It reminds me of the Jews behavior toward Jesus Christ, when they said “crucify him,” “crucify him,” and demanded that the notable prisoner Barabbas be set free. Surely, the course of nature was set on fire in that instance, and the tongue was the weapon used to condemn the innocent. Will we ever learn?

Expanding the definitions of words or concepts:

I will use the word “moderation” which is found in Philippians 4:5 for an example here. The meaning of this word is: “seeming, suitable, equitable, fair, mild, gentle.” It has to do with behavior, but it has been expanded to mean a “middle position” which has to do with a political persuasion.

The use of the political terms “conservative,” “moderate,” and “liberal” in identifying the brethren has been borrowed from the world. The usual case scenario is one in which a person who considers himself a “conservative” will label those with whom he disagrees as “liberal.” Since brother “conservative” thinks that he is  right he thinks that brother “liberal” is wrong, therefore he isolates brother “liberal” and encourages others to do likewise. Now someone else comes along and says, well, both brother “conservative” and brother “liberal” are wrong because they are both extreme. I am in the middle, it’s the safe position, it’s the right position, I am a “moderate.” After all did not the apostle Paul say, “Let your moderation be known unto all men?”

Since brother “moderate” has quoted the apostle Paul and based his position on that scripture let’s look at it again for a moment. Philippians 4:5, “Let your moderation be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.” The word “moderation” is from the Greek epiekes, ep-ee-i-kace’, which means: “seeming, suitable, equitable, fair, mild, gentle.” It is clear from the definition of the word epiekes that it referrers to behavior and not a political persuasion or a middle road position of two political extremes. Paul is saying that our behavior among ALL MEN should be that which is seeming and suitable to the life of a Christian. He is saying that we should be equitable, fair, mild, and gentle in our dealings with mankind, for this is seeming and suitable. He is saying let this type of behavior be known by ALL MEN by living this way. Why? “The Lord is at hand.” In other words the Lord is here. For proof of this scriptural interpretation let us look at Mark 14:42-43, “Rise up, let us go; lo, he that betrayeth me is at hand. And immediately, while he yet spake, cometh Judas, one of the twelve . . .” Yes Jesus is at hand. He knows our works. Nothing is hid from the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

I fail to see the scriptures to teach the political positions of “conservatism,” “liberalism,” and “moderatism,” and I fail to see that we have the authority to choose which of the three we want to live by. Whatever label one goes by he thinks he is right and all others are wrong. This strikes at the heart of the matter because there are only two positions taught in the scriptures and they are RIGHT or WRONG. The fact that there are three world positions politically; proves that they have no place in the church. Again let me say that  using these political positions in the church has brought much pain and sorrow to the Lord’s people. I know of cases where ministers claim to be “conservative” and yet their so-called “liberal” brethren are much more “conservative” than they are on some issues. So after all the labels don’t mean a thing. They are divisive tools of Satan used by him to weaken the church and her witness here in the earth. I do not believe in the practice of brethren labeling brethren. We all are subject to error. We all are to strive to live right in doctrine and practice, but again, we all are subject to fall from time to time. Much of the time when a brother falls into error or we think he falls into error we immediately want to label him and ignore him. What does the scriptures say we ought to do? James 5:19-20, “Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the err of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.” We are, or should be in the saving business, not in the destroying business.    

The use of the political position of the middle or “moderate”, necessitates the use of two other positions one on the left, the other on the right. Hence, the political positions of “the religious right” or “conservatives”, and the “religious left” or “liberals.” Let the world use its “Propaganda Attack”, let them play their word games, let them expand the meaning of words and concepts. Let them practice character assassination. Let them do these things, this is the WAY of the world. It is a monster, which if allowed to get into the church  will eat away at its spirituality. “There   is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Pro. 16:25). Oh, let us be on guard against this way. Let us strive to get it out and keep it out of the church. How can we do this? Stop feeding it and it will die. Stop walking in it and it will soon disappear and the green grass of gospel truth will grow over it. It will take discipline in each local church to accomplish this. Once this is done,  we must be ever watchful lest Satan get the advantage and start beating out the way again.

As far as I am able to see and understand, the scriptures with the exception of one instance knows nothing of the “middle” position theory. Even then the scripture shows that God does not like it. It is man that likes this position because it is comfortable. Man thinks it is the safe position, but it is not. Here is what God said to the church at Laodicea in Asia. “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold or hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” (Rev 3:15-16). 

I said before that the scriptures teach that there are only two ways, and  they  are right and wrong. There are many other words in scripture that teach this basic principle. Words such as: good and evil, righteous and unrighteousness, godly and ungodly, holy and unholy, clean and unclean, just and unjust, obedient and disobedient, true and false, a narrow way and a broad way. The scriptures also teach that we are saved or lost, alive or dead, and that we are going either to heaven or to hell. You see, there is no in between, no middle road.

Let us for the sake of reason, look at the word “moderation” in Philippians 4:5 with the idea that it is speaking of a “middle” position. I understand that in the church the word “conservative” is used to convey the RIGHT WAY, hence, they are on the right, and the word “liberal” is the WRONG WAY, so they are on the left. If this is true, why is there a need for a “middle” way when it too is said to be the RIGHT WAY?  The moderate sees his position as RIGHT because he is in the middle of two WRONGS, which are “two extremes.” Question, Why is both the “conservative” and “liberal” wrong? The “moderate’s” answer must be because of their extreme positions. Question, What makes their positions extreme? Answer, Because one is to far right and the other is to far left, in other words, one is “extra conservative” and the other “extra liberal.” Oh, so now we have five positions, two on the right, two on the left and one in the middle. Question, How far to the right is the “extra conservative” from the “conservative”, and how far to the left is the “extra liberal” from the “liberal?” It looks to me that this thing is expanding beyond reason. Since we now have five positions, and the two “extra positions” are WRONG, this leaves us with three RIGHT positions. Umm, something is wrong here. Okay, lets see if we can fix it. Since Paul said let your “moderation” be known unto all men, and the scriptures say nothing about a “conservative” or a “liberal” in a political sense, the “moderate” must be right. So by making the “conservative” and the “liberal” wrong that leaves the “moderate” in the right, right? WRONG, for two wrongs don’t make a right. Someone may ask, if both the right and the left is wrong wouldn’t they be in the same position so that there would then be two positions one right and one wrong? No, because we still have three positions. We still have the “middle,” and there can be no “middle” if there is no right side and left side. Whew what a mess! Amen! Why a mess? Because this three position idea is built upon a false premise, that being the world’s “political agenda.” The truth is, if the scriptures say nothing about the “conservative” and “liberal” positions, then they say nothing about a “moderate” position. Since the scriptures say nothing about the three political positions, and the church is to function according to the scriptures, I take it that we are not to have political positions in the church.

We are now left with the scriptural positions of “right” and “wrong.” Who is to make the judgment as to right or wrong? Why God of course. He has already made the judgment and gave it to us in the form of the scriptures. The church of God is his depository for the truth. Paul said in 1Timothy 3:15 that the purpose of his letter to Timothy was that he might know how to behave himself in the house of God, which is the church of God, the pillar and ground of the truth. It is from the church that the truth is to be sounded out into the world. (1Th. 1:8). If a member of the church falls into error, they that are spiritual have the authority and ought to use it, in the spirit of meekness to restore the erring one. (Gal. 6:1, James 5:19-20). Here is where the “moderation” spoken about in Philippians 4:5 comes in. In dealing with our brethren, or all men, for that matter, it must be in a way that is seeming and suitable to what the scriptures teach concerning our behavior to others. Our dealings with others should be equitable, fair, mild, and gentle considering ourselves lest we also be tempted. This is the spirit of meekness Paul speaks of in Galatians 6:1. In cases of public offences that require disciplinary action, even to the point of exclusion, the church should act in the same way and manner as mentioned.

I hope and pray that we will all resolve to eschew (shun) the evil of the world’s “Propaganda Attack,” and that we will seek peace and ensue (pursue) it. (1Peter 3:11).

I have written what I believe to be the truth about this subject. I believe it to be in harmony with the general tenor of scripture. If I am in error, I trust that my brethren would cast a mantle of charity over me, and for the sake of truth direct me therein.         

Written in love of the cause and kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the glory of his name and the benefit of his people. Amen.

 W. R. Daniels, Jr.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 03 September 2006 )
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