Sermon title:

Can you feel the foundations shaking?

Immanuel Baptist Church – Sunday, January 10, 2021

 

 

 

Do you feel the foundations shaking?

 

No, I’m not referring to another earthquake,

like the one we felt a few weeks ago.

I’m referring to the foundations of our way of life.

 

The peaceful, democratic, Christian foundations

of our American republic.

 

The Psalmist in the 11th Psalm speaks of such a time

when he says, beginning in Verse 2,

2 “For look, the wicked bend their bows;

they set their arrows against the strings

to shoot from the shadows

at the upright in heart.

3 When the foundations are being destroyed,

what can the righteous do?”

 

If the foundations are being destroyed

from right under our feet,

what can we do?

 

A few weeks ago there were riots

in cities across America.

 

Police cars and police stations were being attacked

and set on fire.

 

There were gunshots and Molotov Cocktails in the streets.

Violent mobs toppled statues of Christopher Columbus,

Teddy Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.

 

When my wife spoke on the phone with a friend

in another state, the friend expressed relief

that it would be a long time

before it reached the rural area where she lived.

 

But, this week, it has reached her rural area.

 

It has reached our City of New Bedford, too,

and every other part of this great nation.

 

Not in the form of riots and Molotov Cocktails,

but in another shocking way

that may pose even greater danger.

 

If you used to read Facebook posts

by the President of the United States,

you can no longer read them.

 

First, Facebook began attaching caution labels to his posts,

warning that his statements were false.

 

And now Facebook has completely shut down the account

of President Donald Trump.

 

Twitter has done the same thing, cutting the President off

from speaking to the millions of people

who had signed up to receive his Tweets.

 

And, of course, the President had been relying on

these personal messages directly from him,

because the major TV networks had long ago

stopped giving him air time.

 

If television news reported at all on the President’s speeches,

it was only to take some soundbite out of context

to use against him.

 

It appears that the only recourse that remains open

for the President of the United States

to speak to the American people

would be to activate

the Emergency Broadcasting System—

and some are saying he may do that.

 

Things like this have happened before

in some of the African or South American countries

that people disparage as “banana republics.”

 

In a number of those places over the years,

military coup leaders have taken over

the only TV or radio station in their capital,

surrounded the Presidential Palace,

and held their President prisoner

while they broadcasted to their nation

the coup leaders’ message.

 

Here in the United States,

something similar has been accomplished

this week

by the news media and now social media

shoving a gag in the President’s mouth

by cutting off his communications.

 

The effect has actually reached the rural area

where my wife’s friend lives,

because she can no longer hear from her President.

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And I experienced the censorship first-hand on Friday

in a way that really surprised me,

and brought it right home to my doorstep.

 

I’ve always relied on Google to give me

the best and most comprehensive search results—

as most Americans have -- to the point that

Google’s name is a verb in our vocabulary,

and when we search for something,

we say we “googled it.”

 

Well, I discovered the hard way,

that Google is now part of a propaganda machine,

serving an evil agenda,

and presenting only the search results

that promote that hidden agenda.

 

A beloved sister in Christ shared with me on Friday

a video about retired General Michael Flynn

and reports of an Italian computer expert

who testified under oath

that he took part in fraudulently adding

votes for Joe Biden

to voting machine counts

in the United States.

 

To check out this story, I Googled “Gen Flynn Leonardo”—

Leonardo being a key name in the story.

 

The Google results came up immediately:

-- the LinkedIn profile of a guy named Flynn

who works as a manager in Pennsylvania,

-- another Flynn in Florida, unrelated to any of this,

-- a “Flynn” elementary school in San Francisco,

named after someone with that surname

--But I saw nothing about the news story

that claimed to supply critical information

on election fraud.

 

“That’s strange!” I thought.

 

So, I switched my browser’s search engine from Google

to DuckDuckGo.com,

and did the exact same search.

 

The DuckDuckGo search engine

gave me a page full of results

about the major news story

Google was trying to hide.

 

My Google search was being censored,

with the results tailored to fit Google’s political agenda.

 

All sorts of stories are being circulated—

some true and some false—

but a search engine’s job should be

to show them all to you,

and let you sort it out—

not to give you only one side of the story,

and hide from you

the facts and opinions the search engine doesn’t like.

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So, this censorship—censoring President Trump,

and censoring what shows up on my own laptop—

is another indication of the foundations crumbling—

the foundations of democracy,

and the foundations of a country

founded on Bible principles.

 

Dirty politics have existed down through the centuries,

and politicians have often used underhanded means

to attain their ends.

 

But, what concerns me at this time, is that the struggle

is not between Democrats and Republicans

or between liberals and conservatives.

 

The two parties in American politics

have both produced great presidents over the years,

and, except for the slavery issue that led to Civil War,

Democrats and Republicans

have traditionally worked together

and reached compromise solutions.

 

But, what we see happening now

is a struggle between good and evil—

 

--between those who tear babies limb from limb,

and those who see babies as precious gifts from God—

 

--between those who teach our children

to practice homosexual perversion,

and those who uphold biblical marriage—

 

--between those who sacrifice their personal fortune

for the sake of the country,

and those who enrich themselves

by selling out our country’s interests

to the Chinese Communists

and other foreign enemies.

 

--between those who want to speak the truth online

and the politicians and technology companies

whose finances are tied in tightly

with Chinese Communist Party censorship.

 

--between those who uphold the Christian values

our country was founded on,

and those who would tear down, not only statues,

but also our Constitution and our faith.

 

As we’ve already seen,

the Eleventh Psalm says,

2 “For look, the wicked bend their bows;

they set their arrows against the strings

to shoot from the shadows

at the upright in heart.

3 When the foundations are being destroyed,

what can the righteous do?”

 

Yes, what are we to do

when the foundations are being destroyed?

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Is it really not that big a thing?

 

Will this all just blow over, once Joe Biden is in office?

 

We can learn valuable lessons from history.

 

As we continue to watch the media frenzy

and the political frenzy

that erupted after the Capitol was breached,

we might benefit from looking back

at something remarkably similar

that happened at another capitol building

back in 1933.

 

The Reichstag fire in 1933

was an arson attack on the Reichstag building in Berlin,

home of the German congress—

the German equivalent of our Capitol building

housing our House and Senate.

 

It occurred at the time when Adolf Hitler

was trying to seize absolute power.

 

Before the fire, he had been appointed Chancellor,

but his power was very limited.

 

His Nazi party held a lot of seats in their congress,

but did not have the majority.

And Germany’s President was not a Nazi.

 

The Nazi Party used the fire as a pretext

to claim that its political opponents were dangerous

and needed to be squashed.

 

Hitler urged German President Paul von Hindenburg

to issue an emergency decree

to suspend civil liberties,

and then the government instituted mass arrests.

 

They arrested representatives in their congress

who were opposed to Hitler.

 

With their seats empty,

the Nazi Party gained a majority,

and enabled Hitler to consolidate his power.

 

Some historians believe, based on archive evidence,

that the Reichstag fire had been ordered by the Nazis

as a false flag operation.

 

Hitler's Nazis themselves set the fire,

so they could use it as a pretext

to eliminate their enemies.

 

And that’s what they did—brutally suppressing dissent

and giving Hitler absolute power.

 

Then Germany descended

into more than a decade of deep darkness,

with Hitler consulting astrologers and Islamic allies,

as he plotted World War

and the annihilation of the Jewish people.

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The similarity today is that,

half a million supporters of President Trump

marched peacefully outside,

while a relative handful of Antifa thugs

and other trouble-making extremists

 went into the Capitol building.

 

A skeleton crew of officers can be seen on video

opening gates and doors

to let unsuspecting people in.

 

Other officers can be seen retreating

before a handful of trouble-makers.

 

And then they shot to death Ashli Babbit

an unarmed woman—

a veteran of 14 years military service to this country—

as she banged on a door.

 

And now the news media are and leftist politicians

are calling it an insurrection,

and trying to blame it on President Trump

and his peaceful supporters.

 

They’re frantically trying to remove the President from office

a week before Inauguration Day,

and they’re firing from their jobs

individuals who went to Washington, DC,

simply to attend the rally.

It’s becoming as extreme as

the German reaction to the Reichstag fire.

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But, think about it.

 

Who stood to gain from disorderly disruption

of the congressional proceedings on Wednesday?

 

The nation was about the hear the evidence

of massive election fraud.

 

President Trump wanted that evidence to be heard.

 

His half-a-million supporters demonstrating outside

wanted the nation to hear that evidence.

 

But the handful who caused the disorderly disruption

stopped the nation from hearing that evidence.

 

From that point onward, everyone’s focus

was on the disruption instead.

So, who really stood to benefit from such a mess?

 

Who would have wanted to cause chaos

instead of hearing President Trump’s evidence?

 

Who would have done such a thing?

 

Several states, where election fraud was alleged,

sent two sets of electors for the Electoral College:

one set of electors for Joe Biden,

and another set of electors for President Trump.

 

The U.S. Constitution gave Congress the responsibility

to choose between those sets of electors,

based on the evidence.

 

But the disorderly disruption took everyone’s eyes

off the evidence,

and led to emotional reactions instead.

 

Who would have wanted that result?

 

Who would have instigated the chaos

that prevented President Trump’s electors

from being seriously considered?

 

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What’s really going on?

 

It’s hard to sort truth from lies,

with the media joining the battle

like a river full of piranha in a feeding frenzy.

 

Or, like a lynch mob out for blood.

 

I remember back in 2016

when Donald Trump was just a candidate,

and their published stories accused him

of being anti-Semitic, a man who hates Jews.

 

The media was full of such accusations.

 

Then I found out that his son-in-law Jared Kushner,

his most trusted adviser, was an Orthodox Jew,

and that his daughter Ivanka married Jared

and converted to Judaism.

 

That’s when I stopped believing anything the media

had to say about Donald Trump.

 

So, what’s really going on?

 

At a time like this, the only truth we can really count on

is the truth found in God’s Word the Bible.

 

John 18:36 tells us,

36Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”

37“You are a king, then!” said Pilate.

Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

38“What is truth?” retorted Pilate.

 

Politician Pontius Pilate dismissed Jesus’ words about truth.

 

We can hear the ridicule and sarcasm in Pilate’s voice

when he answered, “What is truth?”

 

For him and other politicians,

truth is a moving target—

just as fluid as they claim gender is,

with men declaring themselves women,

and women declaring themselves men.

 

For them, truth is whatever they say it is,

and may change to suit their selfish goals.

 

But, for us Christian believers, truth is sacred.

 

That’s because, as Jesus said at John 14:6,

“I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life.”

 

Jesus is the Truth.

 

And he doesn’t change.

 

Hebrews 13:8 says,

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

 

What can we do, when

the foundations are being destroyed?

We can rest on Jesus Christ, the Solid Rock.

 

And we can focus on the Bible, the written Word of God,

where we will find truth that cannot be denied.

 

Malachi, the last book in the Old Testament

spoke about a time

like the time we are living through right now—

a time when Christians may feel down,

depressed and disappointed.

 

Malachi 3:14 quotes Almighty God as saying,

“14 You have said, ‘It is futile to serve God. What have we gained by keeping His requirements and walking mournfully before the LORD of Hosts? 15So now we call the arrogant blessed. Not only do evildoers prosper, they even test God and escape.

 

And that’s how it may seem today—

that wicked evildoers are getting away scot-free.

 

The evildoers prosper,

even when they speak and act against God.

 

But Malachi went on to describe

how God’s faithful people

would speak with one another,

to encourage one another.

 

And how the Lord sees all that is going on

and sees the faithfulness of his people,

even if those who remain faithful are small in number.

 

The Lord keeps track of who continues to uphold his Word.

 

We read,

16 At that time those who feared the LORD spoke with one another, and the LORD listened and heard them. So a scroll of remembrance was written before Him regarding those who feared the LORD and honored His name.

17 “They will be Mine,” says the LORD of Hosts, “on the day when I prepare My treasured possession.

And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.

18 So you will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.”

 

The battle against evil that is raging right now

is one that we cannot win by force of arms

or by human efforts alone.

 

Our job is to remain faithful to God, and uphold his Word,

while he fights and wins the battle.

As the Apostle Paul wrote at 2 Corinthians 4:3,

Though we live in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh. 4 The weapons of our warfare are not the weapons of the world. Instead, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5We tear down arguments and every presumption set up against the knowledge of God; and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

 

The sword of the Spirit is the written Word of God.

 

And we uphold his Word by speaking the truth.

 

Now is the time for God’s people

to spend more time reading the Bible,

to spend more time fellowshipping with believers,

to spend more time in prayer,

and to be prepared for persecution.

 

And our prayer is for the change of government

that will come when God answers

that constant prayer

for his Kingdom to come,

and for his will to be done

on earth as it is in heaven.

Come, Lord Jesus!