By Elder Arnie Suntag
Jesus said that in the last days the deceptions would be so great that, if possible, even the very elect would be deceived (Matt 24:24). In order to be true, such deceptions would have to be so well designed and orchestrated, that even those closest to the Lord could, if not vigilant, be misled into stumbling down the wrong path. And indeed this has happened. I would dare say that the majority of those in our church today have succumbed to the clever contrivances of liberal extremists.
From our church leadership to the flock they are ordained to shepherd, millions are parroting the gospel of authoritarians, political hacks and their hirelings who claim to be the bastions of racial equality, and of course the pedestalized and blindly-obeyed representatives of science so-called. Almighty God is no longer in the forefront. He has been supplanted by an unequivocal allegiance to the powers that be. Our faith has become a fanciful excursion into religiosity, where fundamental beliefs are to be taken seriously only when they do not conflict with societal norms and morés.
We are witnessing a complete unraveling of the world around us, just as Jesus had warned would happen. A form of psychosis has apparently gripped millions. It is no less outlandish than the kind of plot one might find in a fiction novel. This perception is only further augmented by the multitudes running to and fro with masks and other protective gear as though they are members of a hazmat team. Monuments and statues are being destroyed, buildings burned, and vocabulary words and proper names that have stood in the vernacular for centuries without even the remotest semblance of disdain, are being torn from the pages of books and stricken from all other forms of communication. There is an aggressive movement afoot to defund police, release inmates from prison, and effectively establish a new societal model that promotes anarchy.
Liberal extremists have capitalized on the opportunity to denude the Constitution, censor our dictionaries and encyclopedias, and of course surgically alter the Bible itself. In fact, it is no secret that their ultimate goal is to dispense with the Bible altogether. This societal metamorphosis could not be more obvious. And it is all being accomplished in the name of racial equality. Even the names of states in the union are being targeted for change because of the incendiary efforts of radical left-wing extremists. The pandemonium around us is a manifestation of sheer insanity, and yet the magnitude of these aberrations apparently escape the scrutiny, and more importantly the protestations, of those who should know better. I am talking about those who profess to be Seventh-day Adventists.
As the remnant church and followers of Jesus Christ that we profess to be, we must be cognizant of the fact that the Bible characterizes us as “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people” and proclaims that we should “shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1 Peter 2:9). That is, we are to distinguish ourselves from the rest of the crowd by standing up for the truth and relying exclusively on our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ — not on the theories, ideas, and so-called wisdom of this world, which scripture declares is foolishness with God (1 Cor 3:19). This is what true believers do. Yet, few in our church are willing to challenge the status quo and take a stand for the truth. During the Protestant Reformation, our forefathers were willing to face torture or even being burned alive at the stake for their conviction to champion the truth, while most of us today are not even willing to offer lip service for fear of reprisal.
Although I am apt to receive some strong criticism for my perspective, the current battle over racism in America is by far a prime example of just how thoroughly the minds of even the most savvy individuals can be diverted from the real agenda that spawned it. On the surface, the outcry over racial justice is perfectly valid and no doubt overdue in a world where hate has become entrenched in human behavioral dynamics. But, on who’s behalf is the outcry being made? It is interesting to note that although the term “people of color” is frequently bandied about, the context in which it is used rarely applies to anyone but those who are black. Yet, even this is only the tip of the iceberg as you will see shortly.
During World War II, Adolf Hitler fomented hatred toward Jews by characterizing them as inferior to the Germanic or Aryan “master race” and ultimately orchestrated the ruthless murder of six million of them. Under his rule, the Nazis forced over 20 million people into slave labor, working them to their death in German industries. Many were thrown in concentration camps and exposed to cruelty beyond the imagination of even the most heartless individual, including torturous experimentation that tore the flesh from their bodies or jolted them with near fatal levels of electric current. The war ended many decades ago, but has the hatred of Jews abated? Hardly. At least not in America. And oddly enough, we hear little about the Holocaust or, for that matter, antisemitism. I should know. I grew up in a Jewish family. Throughout my childhood, I was bullied and beaten merely for being a Jew. On my way to school I was often stopped by gangs of youth who would throw my books into the bushes and then proceed to do likewise with me.
I do not view this merely as a specter from my past – it is a very real threat that still exists today, even for me personally – despite the fact that I am a professed Seventh-day Adventist Christian. Antisemitism is still strong, despite the laws that we have in place to prevent discrimination. I also have a son who is Native America. He is employed in a professional capacity. I frequently listen to him detail the unfair treatment and bigotry to which he has been personally exposed. Similar to the plight of the Jews, Native Americans were impacted by cruelty often beyond comprehension. During the formative years of our country, the indigenous peoples were characterized by the early settlers as pagan savages deserving of slaughter. And indeed, millions were killed. It was genocide. But, there are many others besides Jews and Native Americans that have suffered the impact of racism. The list of those victimized by prejudice, hatred, and overwhelmingly inhumane treatment goes on and on.
The point is that Black Americans are not the only group of people who have been persecuted or enslaved. Yet, the narratives being promulgated by the media, public officials, and even church leadership, clearly identify the injured party as Black Americans, with little mention of any other group. If my focus was not firmly fixed on Jesus Christ and His love for all of us, I would resent this fact because of my Jewish roots and personal exposure to prejudice. Nonetheless, this sudden wokeness in our society squarely points to only one aggrieved group of people. After all, the very moniker “Black Lives Matter” serves to illustrate that point. It is an obviously slanted moniker that is anything but all-inclusive. The outcry from those sympathetic to BLM has led to unprecedented behavior and concessions, even by those in our church.
Many are taking a knee to show their solidarity with BLM and the throngs of protestors inspired by the movement. Whites are begging for forgiveness for acts that neither they nor their own ancestors ever committed nor would have been likely to commit. But here is the interesting part to this manufactured pathos. BLM is a mouthpiece for the LGBTQ movement, among other things that most Christians should vehemently oppose. BLM was founded by three Black women, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi, two of whom identify as queer. The methods directly or indirectly endorsed by the movement include civil disobedience and outright violence, characteristic of other similar movements of the past including one that is quite familiar to me personally – the Jewish Defense League (JDL); another radical organization that in its heyday advocated acts of terrorism. The principles and ideals espoused by these movements are diametrically opposed to the tenets of Christianity. Despite this fact, many in our church, including our leadership, are either endorsing BLM or kowtowing to their demands.
But, what if I were to say that this now prominent movement has little to do with racial equality? What if racism is being used merely as a symbol to run up the flagpole in an effort to distract us from the malevolence that characterizes the real agenda? What if the effort to extinguish racism in America is nothing but a cover story designed to illicit sympathy from those who are ripe for manipulation because of their own personal experience and the emotionalism that surrounds it?
It is probably apparent to any rational individual, or at least should be, that when you pull away the veneer, the methods endorsed by BLM and their frequently violent outcomes have little to do with racism. After all, smashing the windows of a Target store and absconding with major appliances bears no relationship to a call for racial justice. I think, or at least hope, that most people realize this. But what about the peaceful protests? Are these not justified in light of the racial injustice that has gripped America, or has the radical left merely found an extremely effective hot button to mobilize millions of Americans into making demands for change that, for all intents and purposes, has historically proven to be intangible?
I think the first point we need to consider are the factors that actually spawned this movement in the first place and the consequences they have created. Most blame the protests on the heinous act of a white police officer who mercilessly suffocated a black man. This highly publicized event appeared to be at least the starting point for the protests. The disjointed outcome has been for BLM and its allied radical political activists (including a number of prominent government leaders) to demand the defunding of the police. Throughout the nation, initiatives are now being advanced to eliminate police departments. It seems that the rationale for this idea has resonated with many. Rationally speaking, however, how does the act of individual bigoted and racially biased police officers extend to law enforcement officers everywhere? The honest and empirical truth is that there are racists in every profession and every walk of life.
Yet, protestors and politicians alike are nonetheless calling for the elimination of entire police departments. Consider the absurdity of this proposal. Let me offer a reasonable analogy. There have historically been many documented cases of child abuse committed by teachers in classrooms nationwide. Does the fact that some teachers have committed illegal and atrocious acts against children mean that all teachers are pedophiles and that we should consider defunding education? The point is, there are “bad” people in every profession. There are racists in every organization. Are we honestly prepared to dissolve entire institutions because they may possibly include antisocial or hateful people? Do reasonable people advocate throwing the baby out with the bathwater? Has anyone pragmatically considered the consequences of eliminating law enforcement entirely?
To the uninitiated, this sudden foray into racial turmoil and the unprecedented consequences it has wrought seems like a justified and long overdue reaction to decades of bigotry and hatred. Indeed, it would be hard to argue against this point unless prepared for an all-out character assassination and perhaps even physical violence. But the real truth is virtually inarguable. It is a well-known fact that the political left identifies with and promotes socialism. Many see nothing amiss about this ideological penchant, primarily because they have not studied history nor are they aware of the ramifications that the implementation of this political and economic theory has wrought for people in places like the former Soviet Union, Venezuela, and China, to name a few. This apparent lack of awareness by many, even in our own church, has permitted the introduction of initiatives designed to further a socialist agenda with a vengeance that is nearly insurmountable. It is no secret. There are millions who subscribe to the socialist-inspired narratives espoused by radical left -wing political pundits. And while they and many others see no problem with the protests and outright violence incited by BLM and their allied mercenary political provocateurs, they are completely oblivious to the nefarious agenda that has taken more than a century to come to fruition. Unfortunately, as the well-known adage says, those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
For those who are befuddled by the seemingly bizarre and incoherent conditions that surround us today, their focus on the racism issue has resulted in the real agenda going straight over their heads. But, those who grew up in communist countries recognize the emerging societal changes all too well. They have seen it before. And they are terrified. They know with certainty that these changes are part and parcel of a carefully orchestrated effort to metamorphose a country into a communist nation. What may be seemingly inexplicable events to many Americans, such as destroying statues and historical monuments, are actually right out of the Karl Marx playbook. It is a process that can only be identified as classic Marxism. It is a step-wise course of action designed to bring about a social revolution, ultimately resulting in the installation of a communist regime. Sound too incredible? Just read The Communist Manifesto. You will see the indisputable parallels. The process is well-known to historically notable figures such as Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin. It is also the pet theory of people like Saul Alinsky, the author of Rules for Radicals, whose disciples include Bill and Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Nancy Pelosi.
The process of transforming a nation begins with the creation of a sociological divide. In the case of Marx and Lenin, it pitted the proletariat (working class) against the bourgeoisie (the wealthy capitalists). Thanks to the efforts of organizations such as BLM and Antifa, along with left-wing extremists, it is now the blacks against the whites, the left against the right, and the poor against the wealthy. The entire transformational process can be summarized like this: create a sociological rift (in this case a race or a class war), eliminate the rule of law, tear down statues and monuments in order to bury history, destroy small businesses and personal property, stage takeovers of cities and towns, change the names of places and things, place stumbling blocks in the path of personal relationships (including the draconian measures associated with mitigating COVID-19), and create narratives through the media that support radical and anti-Christian ideals while berating and censuring those who dare to speak out against them. Sound familiar? This insidious process leads to a revolution like that of the Bolsheviks, and the ultimate result is communism. This is history repeating itself. The most troubling aspect of it is the lingering question, how was this malignant process able to come in right under the radar and take with it millions of people – those who should have known better – including many in our own church? It is because they have been too preoccupied with the racism issue — looking for the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel while failing to notice the train coming from the other direction.
It is somewhat astonishing to me that those who endorse a movement that has garnered attention and political activism worldwide – and this includes some prominent figures in our own church – insist that the effort is not about politics. I would urge them to anoint their eyes with eye salve that they might see. It cannot be more patently obvious. Just speak with those who grew up in a communist country. To them, it is the elephant in the room – not some obscure conspiracy theory that BLM, the radical left, and their ardent supporters would like us all to believe.
The bottom line to the racial justice argument is that God is no respecter of persons and those in whom Christ abides should not be either. Racism does not exist for those who have a relationship with the Lord that amounts to more than just lip service or the performance of mechanical ceremonies. In that vein, we are not going to tackle the age-old phenomenon of racism, regardless of which segment of our society it impacts, unless the true Gospel is embraced by those who struggle with this character defect.
For those in our church who are still hopelessly hell-bent on tackling the issue of racism with man-made rules, regulations, principles, and practices, I simply say wait and see what happens as a result of the unchecked and unprotested effort by radical extremists to turn our society upside down. It is coming. It will be the Seventh-day Adventists who will be next in line for the kind of discrimination and persecution they are striving to stamp out.
About the author: Elder Arnie Suntag is the founder and president of Walk of Faith, an organization that conducts seminars and educational series on health and disease prevention and provides outreach services to the community.
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