DHS Puts Bible-Thumpers on Terrorist List

Apparently, the Department of Homeland Security did not get the e-mail.  “Aunt” Elsa died last week, on April 3rd, at the age of 91.  They can call off the Bible-sniffing hound dogs.  Elsa has gone on to live with the Lord.

“Aunt” Elsa was one of Mom’s best friends.  She could, quite literally, quote the Bible chapter and verse.  She couldn’t say “Hello” without first saying, “Praise the Lord!” according to Mom.  Her youngest son and her daughter noted during her memorial service that she wrote scripture on the walls so her four kids would better memorize the Bible.

Mom says Elsa wasn’t always that way.  At one time, she was a real party girl, a bobby-soxer during World War II.  There’s even a picture of the group of them – Elsa, her sister Marian, her cousin Ruthie, and Mom – listening to Frank Sinatra between shows at the Paramount Theater.  The photo was republished back in the Seventies in the New York Daily News.

By this description, you might have thought Elsa was too sober to scream in ecstasies at the sound of “The Chairman of the Board.”  But Mom says Elsa yelled the loudest and wasn’t above kicking up her heels in the aisles of the famous theater.  She was always fashionably dressed, and beautiful in the style of Ingrid Bergman.  Elsa and Marian’s descendant were Norwegian and German.  Elsa made the most beautiful bride this side of Elizabeth Taylor, at least judging by the pictures.  She and her pastor husband were married in South Carolina, so Mom wasn’t able to attend the wedding.

According to her daughter, though, while she was in her twenties, she had an epiphany.  Although she was a Christian – Lutheran, to be exact – something didn’t “feel” right.  She came home from the library with armloads of books on various religions:  Judaism.  Islam.  Hinduism.  Zorastrianism.  But she said none of them had any “life in them.”  You died and that was it.  She wrote in a diary later, which her daughter read, that she felt that she was a mean person and couldn’t believe the horrible things she said about people.  Mom couldn’t hear the service at all and couldn’t make any pronouncements to the contrary.  Later, when I asked her if it was true, Mom said, “Not really.  She was a normal human being.”  Which is to say, she probably did say things behind people’s backs, as all normal people do.

Elsa converted to the Baptist line of Christianity.  Mom didn’t particularly think the change was for the better.  She said that after Elsa’s conversion, that’s all she wanted to talk about was God and Jesus.  And stocks.  She and her husband (who, after a brief turn as a minister, became a chemical engineer) invested heavily in stocks and bonds, successfully, with the intention of turning most, if not all, of the money over to charity after they were gone.

If Elsa had been a mean person before her conversion, none of the vestiges of that young person remained by the time we children got to know her.  She was very sweet and kind.  Mom regarded Elsa and Marian as sisters.  Growing up in her abusive grandmother’s home in the Bronx, the deli their parents ran was a haven, a refuge for Mom.  One Christmas, Mom tried to please her grandmother with a small Christmas tree she had decorated.  Her grandmother brushed her off, saying she was too tired to be bothered with even looking at a Christmas tree.  Her step-grandfather ordered her out of the room.

Mom went across the street.  The deli had closed at 8 p.m.  The family lived in the apartment above the store.  There they were, happily decorating their Christmas tree.  Mom, of course, was welcomed.  The parents knew all about my great-grandmother and how she treated my mother.  Mom broke down crying, thinking, “This is how a family behaves at Christmas.”  She broke down again at the funeral, which was very embarrassing, as this memorial was supposed to be about Aunt Elsa.  I quickly turned the conversation to stories of the Paramount Theater.

Elsa wanted to be in the first ranks of the Lord’s Army, and she was.  Mom rolled her eyes, but it’s hard to beat God defeating cancer.  I mean, totally.  Not just “surviving” but totally wiping it out.  Aunt Elsa was diagnosed with a melanoma.  The couple told their four children that she was going to lose her leg; she was going to lose her life.  Mom came home and told us that the doctors gave Aunt Elsa six months to live, at the most.  Mom never held back, not even from three and four year olds.  I remember leaning on Mom’s legs as she sat in her chair in the kitchen and told us.   “Aunt Elsa’s going to die?”

Then, sometime later, Mom came home with much better news.  Aunt Elsa wasn’t going to die, after all.  When the doctors tested her again, the cancer had completely vanished.  They’d examined her from tip to toe.  Nothing.  She was clean.

We were astonished.  “How could that be?” we asked.  “There is no cure for cancer.”  This was the 1960s.

“It was God,” Mom said.  “Elsa and Uncle Robert and the children all gathered around in a circle, kneeled down and prayed to God not to let Aunt Elsa die.  They said it was all they could think of to do.”  It was just the most amazing thing.

Her daughter said that once in a while, a mole would pop up.

“See that?” Elsa said to her daughter.  “That’s Satan, trying to scare me.  Well, he’s not going to scare me because God is taking care of me now!”  She lived to the age of 91, with no recurrence of the cancer.  She died of a stroke.

One of her sons said that she wrote scripture on the wall, and thinking back, I can remember the writing on the wall.  If we children (that is, me and my brothers) made a comment or asked a question, she’d put a finger to her lips and say, “Now wait a minute.  God has answer for that.  Let me see.”  She’d then get up and find the particular scripture on the wall.

I’d have hated to tell her or her children, but my mother was a lot quicker.  I’d ask her a question about some problem say, at school, and she’d think for a moment, and the answer would pop out of her mouth.  Always last in line for kickball?  “’Jesus says, the first shall be last and the last shall be first.’”  Hand me down clothes (we were very poor).  “’See the lilies of the field?  They spin not, they toil not, they weave not, yet not one of ye is so arrayed as one of these.’”

My grandmother (Mom’s mom) taught me to read the Bible in this way:  “Whatever your problem is,” she’d say, “tell God what it is, then just let your Bible open itself and the answer will appear in the writing.”

Mom said that Jesus is always watching over us, especially the children.  “If you’re ever in trouble and there’s no one around to help you, if Daddy or I, or your big brother, or Grandpa can’t get to you, get down on your knees like this,” – and she and I knelt down beside my bed and folded our hands – “and pray to Jesus to help you and He will.  Or He’ll send someone to help you.”

I was four.  Several times through my life I had to do this very thing – and it worked.  “Praise Jesus!” as Aunt Elsa would say. 

Imagine what the DHS would say if they broke down the doors to Aunt Elsa’s house and saw the writing on the walls.  They’d have a field day, dragging her poor, elderly husband off in chains, interrogating her daughter and son-in-law (a minister).  The two remaining sons live out-of-state.  They’d probably have to change their names.

But as Aunt Elsa – and my grandmother – would say, the Bible has an answer for the DHS.  A couple of answers as it happens:

Here’s the Grandma Elsie version (letting the Bible speak for itself, so to speak):

 “Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the Lord with shouting, and with sound of the cornet, and with trumpets, and with cymbals, making a noise with psalteries and harps.  And it came to pass, as the ark of the covenant of the Lord came to the city of David, that Michal the daughter of Saul looking out a window saw king David dancing and playing: and she despised him in her heart.”  Chronicles I:  15:28-29

If you search for the answer, having read the Bible thoroughly, or at least perused it and remembered some verses, with a little searching, you come up with Psalm 14.  There are a number of Psalms that would the support, but 14 does very nicely, now that I’ve looked them over:

“The fool hath said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’  They are corrupt, they have done abominable works.  There is none that doeth good.  The Lord looked down from Heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.  They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, no not one.  Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge?  Who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the Lord?  There were they in great fear:  for God is in the generation of the righteous.  You have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the Lord is his refuge.  O that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion!  When the Lord bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoined, and Israel shall be glad.”

There’s also the prophesy from Psalm 76:12:  “He shall cut off the spirit of princes; He is terrible to the kings of the Earth.”

Finally, what would Jesus say to the DHS’ declaration that Christians are terrorists?

A follower, who had seven brothers, each of them dying, and in turn, leaving the widow to the next brother until the woman finally died, asks of Jesus whose wife the woman shall be after the Resurrection.

“And Jesus, answering, said unto them, “Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God?  For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels which are in heaven.  And as touching the dead, that they rise:  have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?  He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the Living:  ye therefore do greatly err.”

Later in the same book (Mark), one of the disciples remarks to Jesus how well-made the Temple.  That’s when Jesus says, “Seest thou these great buildings?  There shall not be left one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down.”

Going with Jesus up to the Mount of Olives with Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him about the things to come.  This is what Jesus said, and what is most pertinent to those of who fear the DHS:

“And Jesus answering them began to say, ‘Take heed lest any many deceive you:  for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ, and shall deceive many.  And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled; for such things must needs be.  But the end shall not be yet.  For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be earthquakes in divers plaes, and there shall be famines and troubles.  These are the beginnings of sorrows.

“But take heed to yourselves.  For they shall deliver you up to the councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten; and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them.  And the gospel must first be published among nations.  But when they lead you and shall deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate; but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye; for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.

“Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death.  And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.  But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”

Children rising up against their parents; that’s what happened in the Soviet Union and in China.  Chinese families were required to turn over to the authorities ancient genealogies of their families.

According to The Blaze, “Trooper Joe Kluczynski taught a two-hour section on sovereign citizens.  Kluczynski spent most of his two hours focusing on how, in his view and apparently the view of Homeland Security, people turn to the sovereign citizen movement.  Kluczynski started off by saying there are probably some sovereign citizens in this room and gave a generalized list of those groups that have sovereign citizen views.  Among those groups, Kluczynski had listed, were those who believe America was founded on godly principles, Christians who take the Bible literally, and “fundamentalists.”  Kluczynski did not explain what he meant by “fundamentalists” but from the context it was clear he was referring again to those who took the Bible literally or “too seriously.”

Aunt Elsa took the Bible so seriously that she wrote it on her walls.  God took her devotion so seriously that He cured her of an incurable cancer.  Laugh if you want.  Take away their guns, if they have any.  Take away their Bibles, and you’ll find that some, like Aunt Elsa, have memorized the entire canon of scriptures.  Imprison them for spreading their beliefs, as the Romans did the saints and martyrs, and the followers of Jesus will beatify them. 

The government is messing with a power it can’t begin to understand.  You just don’t mess with God.  Some people have Bibles so they can conveniently read the word.  Others have the scriptures written on their walls.  Our government used to have certain scriptures inscribed on their buildings and even on our money.  It’s the people who have the Word of God written on their hearts whom the government will have the most trouble persecuting.

In China, Christians worshippers can be arrested.  In Muslim countries, they’re executed.  The government is coming for all our books, but it is The Bible they most fear and the book to which we should continue to cling.

 

 

 

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Published in: on April 9, 2013 at 6:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

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