Normally, on a page where a Christian group declares its beliefs, you find a set of values in regard to the Godhead, the infallibility of the Word of God, the Deity and work of Christ and the Holy Spirit, the work of the cross and resurrection of Christ, etc, all linked to orthodox Christian beliefs, and based on the creeds and statements of the early Church, in line with scripture.
The chookwatchers [CW], however, have a conspiracy theory in their set of beliefs. I kid you not. This is how they start their page ‘What We Believe’ at their new, fifth and all-encompassing site chookwatch-central:
WE ARE CONFESSING
The church is living in very dangerous times. We live in a world that:
1. demands the church to not “endanger” the culture/community/nation’s “existence or offend the moral and ethical sense” of people.
2. expects the church to offer a “positive Christianity without binding itself to any one particular confession”.
3. expects the church to embrace anti-semetic beliefs
4. wants to convince us “that a lasting recovery … come[s] about from within on the pinciple [sic]: the common good before the individual good.”
Excuse me? Chookwatchers confess what the world says? That is their confession – what the world demands, and expects and wants?
Well, who cares what the world says? Who gives a rip what the world demands? Or expects, or wants?
Why would any Christian group start a page of their beliefs with a passage on what the world demands, expects or wants?
But over at chookwatch-central, that is exactly what they have placed on their ‘What We Believe’ page.
Apparently, according to CW beliefs, we are living in very dangerous times because of what the world demands, expects and wants of the Church.
Frankly, we’re not here on earth to be concerned about what the world demands, expects or wants from us as Christians. We are here to resist the world and its god, satan, and follow the instructions of Christ, who is the Head of the Church, and has given us a clear set of defined values, principles, commands and instructions.
Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
We are not supposed to be concerned about what the world demands, expects or wants, but, rather, to change the world by making disciples of all nations. Jesus came to save the world, not meet its demands, expectations or wants. He sent us, the Body of Christ, to accomplish this in his name.
Be of good cheer
Jesus tells us that the world will hate us because it hated him, but to be of good cheer because he has overcome the world (John 16:33).
He reminds us that we are in the world but not of the world, but he has sent us into the world.
John 17:15-18 “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.”
We, the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, are sent by Christ and sanctified by the truth. We are seated in heavenly places in Christ, far above all principality, and power and dominion (Ephesians1:21-23, 2:6).
We are not supposed to be concerned or intimidated by the world. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God for the pulling down of strongholds and every high thing that exalts itself against the Word of God (2 Corinthians 10:3-6).
We are here to declare the praises and glory of God and preach the gospel of Christ to a dying and fallen world, with the object of rescuing as many from the clutches of the devil as we can, as we are led and empowered by the Holy Spirit.
We are the Church of the Living God. Jesus told us that the gates of hades would not prevail against the Church. He gave us the keys of the kingdom (Matthew 16:18-19). Jesus has the keys and has delegated the work of the gospel to us. He is building his Church.
The gates of hades, the place of the lost dead, cannot prevail against the Church that Christ is building. We are called to plunder the enemy’s captives and bring them to Christ by preaching the gospel to a fallen world.
Revelation 1:18 “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.”
If the gates of hades cannot prevail against the Church of Christ, how on earth could the world be any different, given that it is under the spell of the enemy of Christ and we, the Body of Christ, are equipped, empowered, led and sent to walk past the gates of hades, rescue lost people and bring them to the gates of heaven.
CW’s political agenda
What CW wants people to believe is that the churches they oppose are in some way fascist, so they set up this strategic narrative that there is some world-driven conspiracy that is entrapping people because they seek unity in the Body of Christ which is, they claim, actually some kind of trick fascist agenda.
The meme they are promoting relies on the false belief that the world is somehow overpowering the Church with its vain philosophies and seducing the Body of Christ into thinking that community is the only way, which is an utter fabrication of scriptural truth on unity. Community is common unity. The Bible clearly preaches unity in the Body.
The meme was originally set up by Chris Rosebrough in a failed, fabricated and very tediously incorrect lecture he gave, which CW has swallowed hook, line and sinker, and now, it seems, made part of their entire belief system.
OK, so the CWs have a conspiracy theory. They wouldn’t be the first, and won’t be the last. But the astonishing thing is that they have placed this conspiracy theory lead in on their ‘What We Believe’ page. It is part of their belief system attached to Who they believe God is and His working with the Church, as they see it.
They follow their introduction with a confession called ‘The Barmen Declaration’, which we have already covered on this site. It is fairly orthodox, albeit in a Reformed way. It was compiled by a Christian resistance movement during Nazi Germany’s purge of the German Church in the lead up to the second world war. It is a brave and worthy document, and, apart from aspects of its Reformed/Calvinist basis, we have no criticism of it, but acknowledge that the very strong statement the ministers made is highly courageous. It is of and for its time.
However, CW is clearly using this document for its own political purposes. It is a declaration of their own intent to slur the Pentecostal Churches of Australia with false accusations that, because they promote unity of purpose as Christians under Christ, they are in some way promoting fascist beliefs simply because, CW claims, fascism promoted community. Well so does communism! As does any other ism! That is why they are isms. CWs claims are ludicrous at best. And work against Christ, who preached unity, not with the world, but within the Body of Christ.
In fact, the fascism claims by CW are a preposterous twisting of the instructions given by Christ and Paul regarding the unity of the Body of Christ, about which there are many verses in scripture, and which is a theme throughout the New Testament. Let’s just take one.
Ephesians 4:11-13 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ…
‘Until we all come to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God…’ We cannot come to the fulness of the stature of Christ until we are able to live in maturity and unity of faith and knowledge of Him. There is one Body. One Head. One Spirit. One God. Christ is not divided.
‘The whole Body’, Paul goes on, ‘is joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causing the growth of the Body for the edifying of itself in love’.
That is as complete an admonition for unity as you can get. Unity is of God. It is not an option. We are called to be of one voice and spirit in the bond of love. Paul says we need to come out of the world and into Christ, and to there be in unity with one another in Him, as Christ is One with the Father.
The truth about Christ’s call for unity in the Body also shines the light on CW’s ridiculous introduction to their ‘What We Believe’ page. For instance, ‘The Barmen Declaration’ is a confession of unity amongst believers from different churches and is opposed to fascism. CW’s own confession defeats its claims.
CW promotes the world’s designs, and adds a declaration against WW2 Nazi Germany’s reich rather than placing an orthodox, non-political set of beliefs on that page, as any normal Christian organisation would do.
Christ overcame the world
The world does not have the power to overcome the Church. It may kill the body, but will never reach the soul or spirit of a believer. The Church is here on earth and in the kingdom of heaven, whether living or sleeping in Christ, and Christ has been given all authority over heaven and earth.
In the end the Church will prevail, regardless of what we might be going through right now. Many souls have been martyred by the world’s systems, including that of Nazi Germany during the war. We honour those martyrs, who died to resist naziism, and remember what Paul says of dying for our faith “For me to live is Christ; to die is gain”. Whether we live or die all is unto Christ, and for God’s glory.
We are not afraid of the world, or what the world demands, or expects, or wants. We are only concerned with what God, in Christ, wants, on what He commands, and on what He has set us apart to do, as the Church of the Living God, under the leadership and guidance of the Holy Spirit.
We do not have to mention the world’s aims in our statement of belief, only what we believe of God, of His nature, character, and interaction with us. We believe the gospel of Christ which is entirely given to save the world.
What we believe should reflect God and His purposes alone. What the world wants has nothing to do with it, except to call on them to repent and be saved. Jesus has already overcome the world, and sin, and death, and the adversary.
John 16:7-11 “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.”
The world is already judged. Why should we be afraid of what the world demands, or expects, or wants? Why is CW even mentioning it in its set of beliefs? Jesus has long since overcome the world. All we have to do is believe God and minister hope so that many will come out of the world and enter the kingdom of God.
John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”