In this life I have discovered three undeniable truths.
1. The Infomercial Insight – If something sounds too good to be true it’s because it is.
2. The Oprah-ite Observation – There is only one God and we are not Him.
3. The Pauline Principle –
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. (Galatians 6:7)
There is no doubt about the fact that we tend to get out of life what we put in to life.
And although there are those who spend six days a week sowing their wild oats and then spend the seventh in church praying for crop failure, sooner or later the bills come due.
This principle works every single time –
But even more importantly, doctrinally.
Believe it or not, what we believe about God has just as much impact on where we are in this life as it will in where we will spend the next.
If we understand God’s ways as revealed in His Word we are on the path to a full and meaningful life.
But of we deny or distort God’s truth, well, there is inevitably a price to be paid.
They found that out the hard way up in Michigan this week.
Nine Charged in Militia Plot
Michigan Religious Group Plotted Violent Government Offensive
ADRIAN, Mich.—Nine members of an anti-government militia group were charged Monday with conspiring to kill a law-enforcement officer in an effort to start a “war” against the U.S. government, authorities said.
The group, known as Hutaree, planned to kill an unidentified local law-enforcement officer in April and then attack local, state and federal officers who came to Michigan to attend the funeral, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan said in a 12-page indictment.
The indictment said Hutaree, a small, armed militia group based in rural southeast Michigan, had practiced attacks and other military maneuvers for more than a year, and had planned to use homemade bombs like those used against U.S. forces by insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan. The bombs were the key part of the alleged plot to attack the funeral of a law-enforcement officer, the indictment said.
After that attack, the group planned to retreat to a remote “rally point” from which members would resist an expected response by the government, sparking what Hutaree’s alleged leader, David Brian Stone, hoped would be a wider uprising against the government, the indictment said. FBI agent Andrew Arena called Hutaree “an example of radical and extremist fringe groups which can be found throughout our society.”
The group, whose name means “Christian Warrior,” according to its Web site, didn’t respond to emails. The Web site said the group was preparing for “the anti-Christ” and expected to “one day see its enemy and meet him on the battlefield.” The site quotes scripture passages alluding to battle and the sacrifice of lives for a greater cause. The group used tiger-striped camouflage uniforms, the indictment said.
Now there is no doubt that any group that defines their service to God as killing cops and detonating bombs at their funerals has some deep-seated moral problems.
But did you catch a glimpse of a serious Scriptural error that fueled this fire?
This militia believed they were going to not only see the Antichrist, but were actively training to fight against him in a battle.
Let’s address this two-part “End Times” error, one flaw at a time.
First, the Bible never tells believers to be on the look out for the Antichrist.
A healthy and biblically sound view takes a decidedly higher focus.
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. (Titus 2:11-14)
Those who grasp the authentic message of the Second Coming understand that we are looking for Jesus Christ, not the Antichrist.
Those who get this priority reversed inevitably “reap what they sow”.
Sensationalists who have sold books or bagged hits on a web site by speculating that:
“Mikhail Gorbachev is the Anti-Christ – Just look at that mysterious wine stain on his forehead!!”
“Ronald Reagan is the Antichrist – Ronald has six letters Wilson has six letters and Reagan has six letters!!”
And now, of course:
“Barak Obama is the Antichrist – just look at this twisted out of context statement from the Gospel of Luke!”
-have inevitably only made themselves objects of scorn and ridicule to the world and cautionary examples to God’s people to never substitute speculation for a solid search of the Scriptures.
But in this case, the damages of distorted doctrine went far beyond a red face.
Innocent people nearly lost their lives.
The second flaw in the Hutaree doctrine goes to their violent ambitions.
The clear teaching of Titus 2 tells us that if we really understand the message that Jesus could come for us at any moment, we will live lives that reflect that by living “soberly, righteously and godly in the present age.”
I may not be the greatest Greek scholar who ever lived, but I am fairly certain there are no references to building bunkers, killing cops or inventing improvised explosives in this passage.
The saddest comments I have read regarding this incident came from the estranged wife of the commander of the Hutarees.
She said the whole thing began as a Bible study that just seemed to get off track into politics and finally paranoia.
The moral of the story?
Stick with the clear teaching of God’s Word.
If someone tells you that their group alone understands the “deeper truths” of God, run -don’t walk – out of there.
If someone starts in by saying, “This isn’t really in the Bible, but..”, get up and leave.
And if the focus of a church, ministry, or small group is on a pastor, a program or politics, find another place to fellowship – focused on Jesus as He is revealed in the plain teaching of the Scripture.
Your life – both physically and spiritually – may depend on it.