May 3, 2022
By Reverend Paul N. Papas II
“Church?!? Why bother? It’s just a hangout for hypocrites!” I’ve heard that before, haven’t you? Some have managed to express their dissatisfaction with a little more literary panache, as did Daniel Defoe [Robinson Crusoe] who wrote:
Wherever God erects a house of prayer,
The devil always builds a chapel there;
And ’twill be found upon examination,
The latter has the largest congregation.
Or Ralph Waldo Emerson’s thought, “God builds his temple in the heart on the ruins of churches and religions.” (1)
Sometimes we just have to admit some truths that we would rather not admit. I was looking through the cable guide while watching television and came across the Cartoon Channel. I made the remark to my wife that they just don’t have good cartoons any more. You know — Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd; the Road Runner; and, of course, Popeye. I thought about one particular character that I just loved as a boy … Snagglepuss, the toothless lion. Nobody was afraid of him.
The Bible reminds us that Satan goes about as a lion just looking for one that is afraid of him. He’s looking for someone to deceive so that he can “steal, kill, and destroy”. The Body of Christ has sometimes suffered from a lack of memory. We must remember that just like old Snagglepuss, this lion is toothless. His roar is much more frightening than his bite. He stands no chance, and indeed, has already been defeated by the real LION.
In Amos 3:8 we read, “The lion hath roared, who will not fear? The Lord God hath spoken, who can but prophesy?” This Lion is the Lion of Judah. The early Church witnessed what happens when we are in the presence of the Lion. The Scriptures tell us how Peter and John witnessed of the power of Christ. Acts 4:13 reads, “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.”
There is always the temptation of being intimidated and even bullied by Ol’ Toothless, but when we come into the presence of the LION and hear his roar and know His power, and then we will have victory in our life.
The Enemy is defeated and his roar is muffled, for the Lion of the tribe of Judah, King Jesus lives and reigns, and His roar causes Satan to tremble and the Church to rejoice. Come into His presence today and walk victoriously … the LION is with you!
There is a noisy group who are trying to deceive even the elect, as the Bible written two thousand years ago said would happen. The noisy group would have you believe that the Supreme Court would abolish the ability to abort a baby. A reversal of Roe v Wade would only remove a fictional constitutional right. You would still be able to murder babies if Roe were reversed. The noisy group is fearful that other fictional rights might also disappear in time.
Notice how Paul Harvey’s 1965 Warning broadcast came true:
“If I were the devil … If I were the Prince of Darkness, I’d want to engulf the whole world in darkness. And I’d have a third of its real estate, and four-fifths of its population, but I wouldn’t be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree — Thee. So I’d set about however necessary to take over the United States. I’d subvert the churches first — I’d begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: ‘Do as you please.
To the young, I would whisper that ‘The Bible is a myth.’ I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around. I would confide that what’s bad is good, and what’s good is ‘square.’ And the old, I would teach to pray, after me, ‘Our Father, which art in Washington…
And then I’d get organized. I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting, so that anything else would appear dull and uninteresting. I’d threaten TV with dirtier movies and vice versa. I’d pedal narcotics to whom I could. I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. I’d tranquilize the rest with pills.
If I were the devil I’d soon have families at war with themselves, churches at war with themselves, and nations at war with themselves; until each in its turn was consumed. And with promises of higher ratings I’d have mesmerizing media fanning the flames. If I were the devil I would encourage schools to refine young intellects, but neglect to discipline emotions — just let those run wild, until before you knew it, you’d have to have drug sniffing dogs and metal detectors at every schoolhouse door.
Within a decade I’d have prisons overflowing, I’d have judges promoting pornography — soon I could evict God from the courthouse, then from the schoolhouse, and then from the houses of Congress. And in His own churches I would substitute psychology for religion, and deify science. I would lure priests and pastors into misusing boys and girls, and church money. If I were the devil I’d make the symbols of Easter an egg and the symbol of Christmas a bottle.
If I were the devil I’d take from those who have, and give to those who want until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious.
And what do you bet I could get whole states to promote gambling as the way to get rich? I would caution against extremes and hard work in Patriotism, in moral conduct. I would convince the young that marriage is old-fashioned, that swinging is more fun, that what you see on the TV is the way to be. And thus, I could undress you in public, and I could lure you into bed with diseases for which there is no cure. In other words, if I were the devil I’d just keep right on doing what he’s doing.”
Paul Harvey, good day.
Will you heed Paul Harvey’s 1965 warning?
Leave Snagglepuss the toothless loin in the ditch and join the Lion of Judah if you haven’t already. The Lion of Judah will lead through the dark places and bring you into the light.
(1) Dr. Steven A. Peay, “Life Together: The Authentic Church”