Why the Poor Are Important To God

Why the Poor Are Important To God March 18, 2019

The Bible has a lot to say about the poor and what it means to God. ….something we should all do as we’re able.

Being Blessed

Of course we don’t help the poor just so we’ll receive rewards. We do it because it’s the right thing to do. Most of us have been blessed. Yes, we will receive rewards from the Lord, according to what we’ve done here on earth, but we give because it is the right thing to do, and besides, God takes it personally when we help those who are unable to help themselves. The Proverb says, “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will repay him for his deed” (Prov 19:17), and “Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor” (Prov 22:9). This is something we should all do as we’re able. We can’t solve world hunger, but we can at least help locally. The Apostle Paul says, “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). As Jesus said, “Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you” (Matt 5:42).

Unto Him

Someday, “the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matt 25:34). Why? He goes on to say, “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me” (Matt 25:35-36). When we minister to those who are less fortunate than we are, we minister as unto the Lord. In fact, Jesus says, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me” (Matt 25:40). The way God sees it is, “Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him” (Prov 14:31). It’s really a good idea anyway, not just because we do it unto Christ, but “Whoever gives to the poor will not want, but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse” (Prov 28:27). The Lord our God, Jesus Christ, says, “Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Luke 12:33-34). Outside of our bills and monthly payments for car, house, utilities, and other things, where we spend our money reveals where our heart is at, and it reveals what we really treasure.

Not for Gain

As we have read, we give to the poor because it is the right thing to do. Jesus once gave an example of unselfishness in Luke 14:12-14 where He said, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” We don’t give in order to be repaid. If we do, then we’re no more than a lending institution. There will be a time of rewards, but we who are blessed are in a position to help, obviously not all, but at least some. Just because there is so many needs doesn’t mean we can’t help at least someone with a need. We know that the poor aren’t going away anytime soon. Scripture says, “For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land” (Deut 15:11), so “If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday” (Isaiah 58:10). When the Apostle Paul was asked about remembering the poor, he said that this was “the very thing I was eager to do” (Gal 2:10b). We should be eager to do the same.

Conclusion

Helping the poor is a command from God, in the Old Testament and the New Testament, and it is incumbent upon us who have to help those who have not. God says, “If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be” (Deut 15:7-8). The Apostle John asks a very convicting question: “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him” (1 John 3:17)? Remember God says, “Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered” (Prov 21:13). The day you get in trouble and go hungry may make you appreciate God’s Word about helping the poor, because “Whoever despises his neighbor is a sinner, but blessed is he who is generous to the poor” (Prov 14:21). Be blessed by being a blessing.

Article by Jack Wellman

Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is a writer at Christian Quotes and also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Christian Crier or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • pud

    Who cares what the buybull says janitor jack?

    Why should anyone care what the buybull says janitor jack given that it is demonstrably WRONG about nearly everything?

    “Helping the poor is a command from God”

    Demonstrate that ANY “god” past or present has ever existed/exists…FAIL

    Why doesn’t your “god” send “blessings” to the poor instead of tsunamis and tornadoes?

    There is no “apostle” “john”…the BOOK has a no name author. Your entire BOOK is a work of fiction.

    “Remember God says, “Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered”

    Lie….Your BOOK was written by no name religious lunatics as is clearly evidenced by the hundreds of errors and contradictions. No “god” has EVER “said” anything to anyone.

    Demonstrate that any such “blessing” exists, is real, is true and isn’t a make believe bit of nonsense like everything else you peddle to the stupid, credulous and gullible.

    How many homeless shelter in your church janitor jack? How many share your home? Tell us how you donating a can of soup now and then is doing as you’re “commanded”? Do you lock the doors to your church every night janitor jack? Why? Do you lock your home? Your car?

    “The Lord our God, Jesus Christ, says, “Sell your possessions, and give to the needy.”

    Nope…There is no evidence of any “lord” nor did this character say anything to anyone. Have you sold all your shit janitor jack? When are you sending me a check?

    Hypocrite! Fraud!

  • pud

    “Most of us have been blessed. Yes, we will receive rewards from the Lord”

    So why doesn’t the “lord” bless everyone janitor jack?

  • Guestie

    If I’ve understood this correctly, it is important to God that some people are poor because the poor are proxies for the adulation God craves. “When we minister to those who are less fortunate than we are, we minister as unto the Lord.” It isn’t enough for God that people minister directly to God. God could eliminate poverty if he wanted to (being all-powerful) but he doesn’t want to because it would reduce the adulation he gets.

    • Matthew 22:37

      How do you know those people aren’t poor because they wasted their money and did not give to the poor?

      The Bible doesn’t say why people are poor.

      But there you go Mr. Evil Heart Motive projecting your evil onto Holy God.

      Luke 6:45, New American Standard Bible
      “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.

      • Guestie

        How do you know that people aren’t poor because God wants there to be poor people?

        • Matthew 22:37

          I suggest you learn to take control of your thoughts but you will need Jesus to do it.

          From gotquestions.org:

          How can I take control of my thoughts?

          Answer: Many Christians struggle with this issue, especially in our highly technological world, but taking control of our thoughts is essential. Proverbs 4:23 states, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” The “heart” includes the mind and all that proceeds from it. Someone said that every sin we commit, we commit twice, once in our thoughts and again when we act upon those thoughts. It is easier to rid our lives of sin if we attack it at this fundamental thought level rather than waiting for it to become rooted in our lives by our actions and then try to pull it out.

          There is also a difference between being tempted (a thought entering into the mind) and sinning (dwelling upon an evil thought and wallowing in it). It is important to understand that when a thought enters our mind, we examine it based upon God’s Word and determine if we should continue down that path or reject the thought and replace it with another thought. If we have already allowed a habit to form in our thought lives, it becomes more difficult to change the path of our thoughts, even as it is hard to get a car out of a deep rut and onto a new track. Here are some biblical suggestions for taking control of our thoughts and getting rid of wrong thoughts:

          1. Be in God’s Word so that when a sinful thought enters our mind (a temptation), we will be able to recognize it for what it is and know what course to take. Jesus in the wilderness (Matthew 4) responded to each of Satan’s temptations with Scripture that applied to the direction He knew His mind should take instead of beginning down the path of the sinful thought. When tempted to meet His physical need (turn stone into bread), He recited the passage about the importance of relying upon God. When tempted to serve Satan in order to obtain the glory of the world, He brought up the passage that says we are to serve and worship God alone and speak of the glory that belongs to Him and those who are His. When tempted to test God (to see if God was really there and would keep His promises), Jesus responded with passages that stress the importance of believing God without having to see Him demonstrate His presence.

          Quoting Scripture in a time of temptation is not a talisman, but rather serves the purpose of getting our minds onto a biblical track, but we need to know the Word of God AHEAD of time in order to accomplish this. Thus, a daily habit of being in the Word in a meaningful way is essential. If we are aware of a certain area of constant temptation (worry, lust, anger, etc.), we need to study and memorize key passages that deal with those issues. Looking for both what we are to avoid (negative) and how we are to properly respond (positive) to tempting thoughts and situations—before they are upon us—will go a long way to giving us victory over them.

          2. Live in dependence upon the Holy Spirit, chiefly through seeking His strength through prayer (Matthew 26:41). If we rely upon our own strength, we will fail (Proverbs 28:26;Jeremiah 17:9; Matthew 26:33).

          3. We are not to feed our minds with that which will promote sinful thoughts. This is the idea of Proverbs 4:23. We are to guard our hearts—what we allow into them and what we allow them to dwell on. Job 31:1 states, “I have made a covenant with my eyes; Why then should I look upon a young woman” (NKJV). Romans 13:14 states, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” Thus, we are to avoid periodicals, videos, websites, conversations and situations that will set us up for a fall. We should also avoid spending time with those who would encourage us down these wrong paths.

          4. We are to pursue hard after God, replacing sinful thoughts with godly pursuits and mindsets. This is the principle of replacement. When tempted to hate someone, we replace those hateful thoughts with godly actions: we do good to them, speak well of them, and pray for them (Matthew 5:44). Instead of stealing, we should work hard to earn money so we can look for opportunities to give to others in need (Ephesians 4:28). When tempted to lust after a woman, we turn our gaze, praise God for the way He has made us—male and female—and pray for the woman (for example: “Lord, help this young woman to come to know you if she does not, and to know the joy of walking with you”), then think of her as a sister (1 Timothy 5:2). The Bible often speaks of “putting off” wrong actions and thoughts but then “putting on” godly actions and thoughts (Ephesians 4:22-32). Merely seeking to put off sinful thoughts without replacing those thoughts with godly ones leaves an empty field for Satan to come along and sow his weeds (Matthew 12:43-45).

          5. We can use fellowship with other Christians the way God intended. Hebrews 10:24-25 states, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Fellow Christians who will encourage us in the changes we desire (best if of the same gender), who will pray for and with us, who will ask us in love how we are doing, and who will hold us accountable in avoiding the old ways, are valuable friends indeed.

          Last and most important, these methods will be of no value unless we have placed our faith in Christ as Savior from our sin. This is where we absolutely must start! Without this, there can be no victory over sinful thoughts and temptations, and God’s promises for His children are not for us, nor is the Holy Spirit’s power available to us!

          God will bless those who seek to honor Him with what matters most to Him: who we are inside and not just what we appear to be to others. May God make Jesus’ description of Nathanael true also of us—a man [or woman] in whom there is no guile (John 1:47).

        • pud

          It’s all part of “gods” plan…don’t ya know? That’s why there’s suffering…for your own good…and why “god” doesn’t intervene when a tsunami cuts a path of destruction….some lesson for the sinners I’m sure seeing as “his ways are not our ways” . bhwaa!

      • Guestie

        So why do you think the poor are important to God since you seem to reject the reason given in the OP?

        • Matthew 22:37

          There is no reason given for poverty in the OP.

          I suggest you take your blasphemy elsewhere.

          Jesus died on the Cross for you and you do nothing but twist the truth to slander God.

          I guess Satan owns you now. He’s the slave master of sinners who refused to leave sin.

          Do Christians really want to read the words of a man too weak to oppose the devil but allows the devil to chain him in sin and become his slave.

          You have made it clear you are against God in your thoughtlife by your words so why don’t you go hang out with Satan’s cohort where you belong.

          You are rebelling against God so go and rebel with your own kind. The people with evil heart motives. You didn’t think Christians wanted to share your evil blasphemous thoughts did you?

          • Guestie

            Did you not notice the headline of the OP? “Why the Poor Are Important to God”. Now you seem to be suggesting that the OP author doesn’t know what he is writing about. Pretty rude of you.

          • Matthew 22:37

            I will put you on block now.

            I suggested nothing. I said you are a slave to sin and it could be affecting your thoughtlife.

            But your sin is not going to affect me.

            You will have to work out your sin problem on your own because you seem to make a joke out of a very serious matter.

            I hope you see the light some day. Bye.

          • Brien

            and she puts everyone on ‘block’ but never seems to do that either….
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0474a7309efc76fdc7c1a1ba48d5398146609ad794d75332726abfa3f2af825a.jpg

          • Robert Conner

            Matty, why don’t you STFD and STFU? That would be useful.

          • Matthew 22:37

            Goodbye. I will put you on block. I don’t let people dictate to me what to think. I am much too independent a thinker.

            You can continue to rebel or you can seek God. That’s up to you but I’m not trying to persuade someone who is objecting to the existence of God.

            You can be wrong without any attempts by me to correct you because the responsibility to ascertain spiritual truth is on you.

            I just deliver God’s messages. I don’t control other people’s thinking even when they are wrong. They will have to reap the consequences of being wrong but they were already warned and chose to disregard the warning.

            Why would I over heed the media when the media can be slanted or bought or wrong.

            The only One who won’t lie, exaggerate or be wrong or be bought is God.

            Have a nice day. Bye!

          • Brien
          • Brien
          • Matthew 22:37

            This ad hominem attack is a logical fallacy you are engaging in.

            Dr. Lisle explains the fallacy you are engaging in:
            https://answersingenesis.org/logic/ad-hominem

            Other more rational people that actually reason don’t accuse people of lying when they change their minds and remove a block like you do.

            Check with Einstein on it. He says intelligent people change their minds all the time.

            Don’t bother responding with more of your logical fallacy. I will just change my mind and put you on block again.

          • Brien

            Yep – no gods here – just the deluded who can only deflect and quote the idiocies of their fable book!!

            Yep no gods here…..
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5001581bf2cd865b5b8bce90a327f27bd103656a2bd7a5051012153b39ea89f2.jpg

          • Matthew 22:37

            Lol. It does not matter what I prove. The arguments proving the existence of God are a matter of philosophical record.

            Ever heard of the fine tuning argument.

            There is no burden of proof on me to prove something to your SUBJECTIVE satisfaction.

            Good bye Mr. Cheap Shot through a logical fallacy. That’s all you’ve got.

            I don’t submit to people who display bad ethics. Ad hominem attacks are bad ethics and a logical fallacy.

          • Brien

            and not proof – just silly philosophy (wow a pretty big word for you…)

            Yep – no gods here in reality…. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2627433cc7f640ede9a434ca503200b1cf6110943e3620556b91db553360d6b3.jpg just silly lies of the deluded …

          • Matthew 22:37

            Here is an answer for you.

            Is there an argument for the existence of God?

            Answer: The question of whether there is a conclusive argument for the existence of God has been debated throughout history, with exceedingly intelligent people taking both sides of the dispute. In recent times, arguments against the possibility of God’s existence have taken on a militant spirit that accuses anyone daring to believe in God as being delusional and irrational. Karl Marx asserted that anyone believing in God must have a mental disorder that caused invalid thinking. The psychiatrist Sigmund Freud wrote that a person who believed in a Creator God was delusional and only held those beliefs due to a “wish-fulfillment” factor that produced what Freud considered to be an unjustifiable position. The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche bluntly said that faith equates to not wanting to know what is true. The voices of these three figures from history (along with others) are simply now parroted by a new generation of atheists who claim that a belief in God is intellectually unwarranted.

            Is this truly the case? Is belief in God a rationally unacceptable position to hold? Is there a logical and reasonable argument for the existence of God? Outside of referencing the Bible, can a case for the existence of God be made that refutes the positions of both the old and new atheists and gives sufficient warrant for believing in a Creator? The answer is, yes, it can. Moreover, in demonstrating the validity of an argument for the existence of God, the case for atheism is shown to be intellectually weak.

            To make an argument for the existence of God, we must start by asking the right questions. We begin with the most basic metaphysical question: “Why do we have something rather than nothing at all?” This is the basic question of existence—why are we here; why is the earth here; why is the universe here rather than nothing? Commenting on this point, one theologian has said, “In one sense man does not ask the question about God, his very existence raises the question about God.”

            In considering this question, there are four possible answers to why we have something rather than nothing at all:

            1. Reality is an illusion.
            2. Reality is/was self-created.
            3. Reality is self-existent (eternal).
            4. Reality was created by something that is self-existent.

            So, which is the most plausible solution? Let’s begin with reality being simply an illusion, which is what a number of Eastern religions believe. This option was ruled out centuries ago by the philosopher Rene Descartes who is famous for the statement, “I think, therefore I am.” Descartes, a mathematician, argued that if he is thinking, then he must “be.” In other words, “I think, therefore I am not an illusion.” Illusions require something experiencing the illusion, and moreover, you cannot doubt the existence of yourself without proving your existence; it is a self-defeating argument. So the possibility of reality being an illusion is eliminated.

            Next is the option of reality being self-created. When we study philosophy, we learn of “analytically false” statements, which means they are false by definition. The possibility of reality being self-created is one of those types of statements for the simple reason that something cannot be prior to itself. If you created yourself, then you must have existed prior to you creating yourself, but that simply cannot be. In evolution this is sometimes referred to as “spontaneous generation” —something coming from nothing—a position that few, if any, reasonable people hold to anymore simply because you cannot get something from nothing. Even the atheist David Hume said, “I never asserted so absurd a proposition as that anything might arise without a cause.” Since something cannot come from nothing, the alternative of reality being self-created is ruled out.

            Now we are left with only two choices—an eternal reality or reality being created by something that is eternal: an eternal universe or an eternal Creator. The 18th-century theologian Jonathan Edwards summed up this crossroads:

            • Something exists.
            • Nothing cannot create something.
            • Therefore, a necessary and eternal “something” exists.

            Notice that we must go back to an eternal “something.” The atheist who derides the believer in God for believing in an eternal Creator must turn around and embrace an eternal universe; it is the only other door he can choose. But the question now is, where does the evidence lead? Does the evidence point to matter before mind or mind before matter?

            To date, all key scientific and philosophical evidence points away from an eternal universe and toward an eternal Creator. From a scientific standpoint, honest scientists admit the universe had a beginning, and whatever has a beginning is not eternal. In other words, whatever has a beginning has a cause, and if the universe had a beginning, it had a cause. The fact that the universe had a beginning is underscored by evidence such as the second law of thermodynamics, the radiation echo of the big bang discovered in the early 1900s, the fact that the universe is expanding and can be traced back to a singular beginning, and Einstein’s theory of relativity. All prove the universe is not eternal.

            Further, the laws that surround causation speak against the universe being the ultimate cause of all we know for this simple fact: an effect must resemble its cause. This being true, no atheist can explain how an impersonal, purposeless, meaningless, and amoral universe accidentally created beings (us) who are full of personality and obsessed with purpose, meaning, and morals. Such a thing, from a causation standpoint, completely refutes the idea of a natural universe birthing everything that exists. So in the end, the concept of an eternal universe is eliminated.

            Philosopher J. S. Mill (not a Christian) summed up where we have now come to: “It is self-evident that only Mind can create mind.” The only rational and reasonable conclusion is that an eternal Creator is the one who is responsible for reality as we know it. Or to put it in a logical set of statements:

            • Something exists.
            • You do not get something from nothing.
            • Therefore a necessary and eternal “something” exists.
            • The only two options are an eternal universe and an eternal Creator.
            • Science and philosophy have disproven the concept of an eternal universe.
            • Therefore, an eternal Creator exists.

            Former atheist Lee Strobel, who arrived at this end result many years ago, has commented, “Essentially, I realized that to stay an atheist, I would have to believe that nothing produces everything; non-life produces life; randomness produces fine-tuning; chaos produces information; unconsciousness produces consciousness; and non-reason produces reason. Those leaps of faith were simply too big for me to take, especially in light of the affirmative case for God’s existence … In other words, in my assessment the Christian worldview accounted for the totality of the evidence much better than the atheistic worldview.”

            But the next question we must tackle is this: if an eternal Creator exists (and we have shown that He does), what kind of Creator is He? Can we infer things about Him from what He created? In other words, can we understand the cause by its effects? The answer to this is yes, we can, with the following characteristics being surmised:

            • He must be supernatural in nature (as He created time and space).
            • He must be powerful (exceedingly).
            • He must be eternal (self-existent).
            • He must be omnipresent (He created space and is not limited by it).
            • He must be timeless and changeless (He created time).
            • He must be immaterial because He transcends space/physical.
            • He must be personal (the impersonal cannot create personality).
            • He must be infinite and singular as you cannot have two infinites.
            • He must be diverse yet have unity as unity and diversity exist in nature.
            • He must be intelligent (supremely). Only cognitive being can produce cognitive being.
            • He must be purposeful as He deliberately created everything.
            • He must be moral (no moral law can be had without a giver).
            • He must be caring (or no moral laws would have been given).

            These things being true, we now ask if any religion in the world describes such a Creator. The answer to this is yes: the God of the Bible fits this profile perfectly. He is supernatural (Genesis 1:1), powerful (Jeremiah 32:17), eternal (Psalm 90:2), omnipresent (Psalm 139:7), timeless/changeless (Malachi 3:6), immaterial (John 5:24), personal (Genesis 3:9), necessary (Colossians 1:17), infinite/singular (Jeremiah 23:24, Deuteronomy 6:4), diverse yet with unity (Matthew 28:19), intelligent (Psalm 147:4-5), purposeful (Jeremiah 29:11), moral (Daniel 9:14), and caring (1 Peter 5:6-7).

            One last subject to address on the matter of God’s existence is the matter of how justifiable the atheist’s position actually is. Since the atheist asserts the believer’s position is unsound, it is only reasonable to turn the question around and aim it squarely back at him. The first thing to understand is that the claim the atheist makes—“no god,” which is what “atheist” means—is an untenable position to hold from a philosophical standpoint. As legal scholar and philosopher Mortimer Adler says, “An affirmative existential proposition can be proved, but a negative existential proposition—one that denies the existence of something—cannot be proved.” For example, someone may claim that a red eagle exists and someone else may assert that red eagles do not exist. The former only needs to find a single red eagle to prove his assertion. But the latter must comb the entire universe and literally be in every place at once to ensure he has not missed a red eagle somewhere and at some time, which is impossible to do. This is why intellectually honest atheists will admit they cannot prove God does not exist.

            Next, it is important to understand the issue that surrounds the seriousness of truth claims that are made and the amount of evidence required to warrant certain conclusions. For example, if someone puts two containers of lemonade in front of you and says that one may be more tart than the other, since the consequences of getting the more tart drink would not be serious, you would not require a large amount of evidence in order to make your choice. However, if to one cup the host added sweetener but to the other he introduced rat poison, then you would want to have quite a bit of evidence before you made your choice.

            This is where a person sits when deciding between atheism and belief in God. Since belief in atheism could possibly result in irreparable and eternal consequences, it would seem that the atheist should be mandated to produce weighty and overriding evidence to support his position, but he cannot. Atheism simply cannot meet the test for evidence for the seriousness of the charge it makes. Instead, the atheist and those whom he convinces of his position slide into eternity with their fingers crossed and hope they do not find the unpleasant truth that eternity does indeed exist. As Mortimer Adler says, “More consequences for life and action follow from the affirmation or denial of God than from any other basic question.”

            So does belief in God have intellectual warrant? Is there a rational, logical, and reasonable argument for the existence of God? Absolutely. While atheists such as Freud claim that those believing in God have a wish-fulfillment desire, perhaps it is Freud and his followers who actually suffer from wish-fulfillment: the hope and wish that there is no God, no accountability, and therefore no judgment. But refuting Freud is the God of the Bible who affirms His existence and the fact that a judgment is indeed coming for those who know within themselves the truth that He exists but suppress that truth (Romans 1:20). But for those who respond to the evidence that a Creator does indeed exist, He offers the way of salvation that has been accomplished through His Son, Jesus Christ: “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12-13).

          • Brien

            All the usual repeated and parroted crap – and still – STILL not a shred of evidence – NOTHING in the way of proof !!

            You have the lies of your lying pastors!!

            Prove a god or shut up with the obvious lies….. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cda18c565a4695f127c11b0d11158c4591e525a2f0eea5286ff8cd9a6666cf1b.jpg

          • Matthew 22:37

            What would you know. You are living a logical fallacy.

            Living a lie by disobeying God. Now Satan gets to own your thoughtlife and you are busy making his case all over the Internet.

            Materialism’s first premise is disprovable according to Paul Davies and he is an award winning scientist.

          • Brien

            Yep- after 5000 posts – this extraordinarily dumdum has yet proven her god – but has proven that she cannot do so – and has proven that she also knows it…. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8b01c8b87885ff68baa6263fd75d28084a3ee6befd860ef2a625ee3506576d8e.jpg

    • pud

      Oh Oh! There’s some of that “reason” stuff….prepare for a barrage of stupid replies apologizing for the almighty.

    • Jack Wellman

      It is important to take care of the poor, so how you construed this verse to say that is beyond me.

      • pud

        Why does your “god” allow poverty jack? That was his point. duh

    • Jack Wellman

      Blocked. Don’t respond to trolls.

      • Brien

        TROLLING

        Yes – Trolling, exactly as the religions have been doing!!

        For millennia….

        and we have been forced to listen to and see the crap from religions everywhere!
        [we hear the same crap over and over – the same unproven rubbish –
        for 2000+ years
        (usually at the point of a sword, or on the fire)]

        constant repetition of the same old lies!!!

        – in our courts
        – and in government meetings
        – and in our public schools
        and you try this hypocrisy – just pure arrogance!!!

        We will soon start arresting parents for child abuse when they tell these lies to children!!!
        {we already are imprisoning the religious parents for refusing medical help to children based on idiotic religious beliefs…}
        Btw – there are no gods….
        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5cc820da361d62197ac2f66c213110ca6c998503db7c44eadd4cdfaa294adf27.jpg

      • pud

        LOL! He makes a perfectly rational and reasonable point…BLOCK HIM! BURN HIM!

        Shows just how cowardly and dishonest you truly are jack

        You ONLY respond to those who sing your praises and steadfastly REFUSE to address any challenges to your claims. You were clearly shown to be wrong and hypocritical but instead of humility you show your true colors by shutting down dissent like a spoiled child.

  • Matthew 22:37

    Good teaching, Pastor.

    • Jack Wellman

      Thank you my friend.

      • pud

        He’s a more rabid lunatic than you jack…you should pick your “friends” better

      • Matthew 22:37

        Thank you, Pastor for presenting the healing words from Jesus.

        It is truly sad to read so many crippled thoughts from spiritual blindness on this blog and others around the Net.

        Apparently, these people think their crippling hateful thoughts go unnoticed. There is no reason for them since Jesus loves these people and all they have to do is acknowledge Jesus as per Romans 10:9 then Jesus does all the rest. He even gives people the gift of repentance at the right time.

        Have a great day, Pastor, and thanks for persevering in God’s work which is really a sacred privilege.

  • Brien

    Keep them poor and they flock to the churches;
    Keep them stupid to not question the absurd ideas of gods…

    Btw – there are no gods…. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/faea0864cd8086a98d3ddb0e22c4a0645fb04434b1ea943af1a08537c9aa15fa.jpg

    • pud

      “Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.”

    • Matthew 22:37

      Some people have proved God exists.

      But evidence evaluation is subjective.

      Read former nihilist and atheist Paul Davies’ proof of God section on his site philosophy of science.com.

      Davies explains:

      Materialism’s Major Premise is:

      Physical matter is all that exists.

      Therefore, physical matter or inanimate matter was the only thing that existed before the first genomes and the first life forms were designed, programmed, created, and manufactured.

      Consequently, the rocks or various different forms of physical matter designed, created, programmed, engineered, and manufactured the first genomes and life forms on this planet. – end of premise

      He also explains:

      ALL of the scientific evidence and empirical evidence that we have available to us proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Materialism’s Major Premise is false. Invisible and non-physical forces and fields such as gravity, magnetism, thoughts, quantum waves, psyche, the strong and weak nuclear forces, the zero-point field, dark matter, and dark energy falsify Materialism’s Major Premise. Physical matter isn’t the only thing that exists.- end quote

      You can go to his site and read him because I don’t debate impolite trolls who like to ad hominem attack people who think differently from themselves. Especially not when there are other people with better refutations than my own.

      Such closemindedness should be a cause of concern to you.

      Go read Davies’ Proof of God section on his philosophy of science dot com site.

      And bye. I am blocking you later today for a lack of social intelligence. I just wanted to make sure you got this info because it “might” improve your social intelligence one day if you can get saved.

      Til then you can research alternate explanations and proof on your own unless wanting evidence is a falsehood on your part and you’re not really seeking the truth.

      Davies really thought about it obviously and it overturned his atheism.

      Have a nice life. You are on your own from here on out as you act like you know everything when nobody knows everything except God.

  • Brianna LaPoint

    Poor people are easy to manipulate. So are people that believe what they are told.

    • Matthew 22:37

      Lol. Not if you are told by the right Person. God is Holy.

    • The poor are important because they have a very easy chance of knowing they do not belong in this world. It is hard to become comfortable in it when you do not have any reason to love this world.

      you hate your soul as much as you love your ego.

      • Matthew 22:37

        Be sure to re-read this thread for the causal linkage between atheism and dialectical materialism.

      • Matthew 22:37

        Nigel be sure to point out to atheists that suffer from evil confirmation bias that archaeology supplies evidence for God.

        Just yesterday I posted this evidence and an atheist spammed the post removing the evidence from a public inspection of it.

        Here it is:
        http://www.bibletoday.com/ebook/Archaeology.pdf

        Why do atheists cherrypick the evidence if the devil isn’t ruling them through the evil sin of evil confirmation bias?

        Have a good day and may His grace abound to you.

    • pud

      That’s quite true…christianity was the “faith” of the poor and slave class….It was an easy sell to illiterate downtrodden masses as it promised them bullshit in the afterlife. Nice sales pitch

  • Robert Conner

    Meanwhile millions in “charity” funneled to hate groups.

    https://readsludge.com/2019/03/19/americas-biggest-christian-charity-funnels-tens-of-millions-to-hate-groups/

    Surprise, surprise.

    • Matthew 22:37

      That’s a far left opinion. Some groups in the far left like the Southern Poverty Law Center demonize anyone on the right.

      So they are hardly neutral and objective.

  • Matthew 22:37

    Gotquestions. org writes:

    What is dialectical materialism?

    Answer: The phrase dialectical materialism rarely comes up in conversation; however, it is related to more-commonly discussed concepts such as Marxism, communism, and socialism. According to dialectical materialism, human ideas are purely the result of physical interactions, most especially those related to economics, and are constantly in a process of change. Initial ideas generate contradictions or struggles, which lead to changes, which lead to a new idea. In short, dialectical materialism could be described as evolution as applied to philosophy instead of organisms. Dialectical materialism is the root assumption of Marxist and communist political theories.

    The two words in the phrase dialectical materialism carry separate meanings. Materialism is used to describe an approach to philosophy, as well as a lens through which to interpret history. In the philosophical sense, materialism is the belief that only physical entities exist and that all ideas, thoughts, and even minds are simply an effect of physical interactions. The interpretation of evidence or experience through a materialist mindset is referred to as naturalism.

    At the same time, materialism is also the name given to a certain approach to history. According to this idea, human life is mostly defined by “producing” the material requirements to survive, such as food and water and shelter. Thus, per historical materialism, human development, government, economics, and so forth are all driven by the fundamental need to survive.

    Dialectical materialism incorporates both of these uses of the term materialism.

    In philosophy, the word dialectical refers to a pattern of interaction between ideas, where an initial idea results in a response, and these two then re-combine to form a final idea. This is often referred to using the terms thesis (the initial idea), antithesis (the response or contradiction of that idea), and synthesis (the final idea formed by resolving the contradictions). As it applies to dialectical materialism, this idea is particularly tied to the philosophy of G. W. F. Hegel, though Hegel’s dialectic was not materialist.

    Dialectical materialism combines all of those major themes: a rejection of the non-material, a claim that economic issues drive all of human history, and the suggestion that all things are constantly evolving through the process of thesis-antithesis-synthesis. Through the writings of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, this became the philosophical basis of Marxism and communism.

    According to Marx and Engels, all developments of human history have been driven by economic issues. In their view, the transition from agriculture to industry caused most people to lose ownership of their own labor, creating two major classes: the power-and-property-owning bourgeoisie; and the laborers-producers of material goods, the proletariat. Indirectly, the writings of Marx and Engels lay out the structure of what we now call dialectical materialism—an economically focused, atheistic process of thesis-antithesis-synthesis. This process, in Marx and Engles’ view, would result in a transition from capitalism to socialism, which would then evolve into complete communism: the total elimination of all classes and inequities. Through this philosophical lens, they suggested the solution to the flaws of capitalism was to evolve human economics.

    Dialectical materialism suffers from several major flaws. First and foremost, it assumes there is no such thing as God or any reality beyond the physical. Beyond being factually false, this approach has proved dangerous due to the results of applying atheism to government. This relates to the second major flaw of dialectical materialism: its naïve assumptions about human nature. In order for a society to actually “evolve” from capitalism to socialism to communism, human beings must act in the best interests of others and never out of selfish desires—a profoundly unrealistic expectation. Third, dialectical materialism assumes that human culture is shaped almost entirely by economics, an idea not well-supported in modern historical or economic studies.

    While it may sound sophisticated, dialectical materialism boils down to the same basic idea expressed in biblical passages such as Romans 1:22 and Psalm 14:1. When man attempts to explain truth without God or to interpret history without truth, the end result is disaster. The horrific toll that atheistic and communist governments have taken on mankind is the natural result of assuming that man is nothing but matter and that controlling economics is a means of controlling men.

  • Matthew 22:37

    Persecution of Christians in the Soviet Union from metapedia:

    The history of Christianity in the Soviet Union was not limited to repression and secularization. Soviet policy toward religion was based on the ideology of Marxism-Leninism, which made atheism the official doctrine of the Soviet Union. Marxism-Leninism has consistently advocated the control, suppression, and, ultimately, the elimination of religious beliefs.[1]

    The state was committed to the destruction of religion,[2][3] and to this effect it destroyed churches, mosques and temples, ridiculed, harassed and executed religious leaders, flooded the schools and media with atheistic propaganda, and generally promoted ‘scientific atheism’ as the truth that society should accept.[4][5]

    In any case, religious beliefs and practices did persist among the majority of the population,[4] in the domestic and private spheres but also in the scattered public spaces allowed by a state that recognized its failure to eradicate religion and the political dangers of an unrelenting culture war.[2][6]

    Official Soviet stance

    The Soviet regime was ostensibly committed to the complete annihilation of religious institutions and ideas.[7] Militant atheism was central to the ideology of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union[8] and a high priority of all Soviet leaders.[3] Communism required the abolition of religion.[3] Convinced atheists were considered to be more virtuous individuals than those of religious belief.[3]

    The state established atheism as the only scientific truth.[9][10][11][12][13][14][unreliable source?] Criticism of atheism or the state’s anti-religious policies was forbidden and could lead to forced retirement, arrest and/or imprisonment.[15][16][17]

    The holding of a religion was never officially outlawed and the Soviet Constitutions always guaranteed the right to believe. However, since Marxist ideology as interpreted by Lenin[18] and his successors dictated that religion was an obstacle to the construction of the communist society, putting an end to all religion (and replacing it with atheism[19]) was a fundamentally important ideological goal of the state. The persecution of religion was carried out officially through many legal measures that were designed to hamper religious activities, a massive volume of anti-religious propaganda as well as education, and through various other means. The official persecution was also, however, accompanied by much secret instructions that remained unofficial. In practice the state also sought to control religious bodies and to interfere with them, with the ultimate goal of making them disappear.[19] To this effect, the state sought to control the activities of the leaders of the different religious communities.[7]

    The official persecution was often disguised under euphemisms in official party documents such as ‘struggle against bourgeois ideology’, ‘dissemination of materialist ideology’, etc. The government often rejected the principle that all religious believers should be treated as public enemies,[18] partly due to pragmatic considerations of the large number of people adhering to a faith and also partly from the belief that there were many loyal Soviet citizens included among the number of believers whom ought to be convinced to become atheists rather than outright attacked.

    Religious believers were always subject to anti-religious propaganda, legislation that restricted their religious practice or suffered restrictions in Soviet society, however, as a result of the paradigm stated above, they were rarely officially ever subject to arrest, imprisonment or death simply for having their beliefs, but usually they suffered those things during the persecution as a result of some perception (real or imagined) of their resistance to the state’s broader campaign against religion.[20]

    The campaign was designed to disseminate atheism, and the acts of violence and terror tactics that would be used, while being almost always officially invoked on the basis of perceived resistance to the state, in the larger scheme they were meant not simply as acts against rebellion, but to further assist in the suppression of religion in order to disseminate atheism.[20]

    Soviet tactics
    The tactics varied over the years and became more moderate or more harsh at different times. Among common tactics included confiscating church property, ridiculing religion, harassing believers, and propagating atheism in the schools. Actions toward particular religions, however, were determined by State interests, and most organized religions were never outlawed.

    Some actions against Orthodox priests and believers along with execution included torture, being sent to prison camps, labour camps or mental hospitals.[21][22][23][24] Many Orthodox (along with peoples of other faiths) were also subjected to psychological punishment or torture and mind control experimentation in order to force them give up their religious convictions (see Punitive psychiatry in the Soviet Union).[22][23][25] During the first five years of Soviet power, the Bolsheviks executed 28 Russian Orthodox bishops and over 1,200 Russian Orthodox priests. Many others were imprisoned or exiled.[1]

    In the Soviet Union, in addition to the methodical closing and destruction of churches, the charitable and social work formerly done by ecclesiastical authorities was taken over by the state. As with all private property, Church owned property was confiscated into public use. The few places of worship left to the Church were legally viewed as state property which the government permitted the church to use.

    Protestant Christians in the USSR (Baptists, Pentecostals, Adventists etc.) in the period after the Second world war were compulsively sent to mental hospitals, endured trials and prisons (often for refusal to enter military service). Some were even compulsively deprived of their parent rights.[26]

    • Matthew 22:37

      Political abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet Union

      There was systematic political abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet Union,[1] based on the interpretation of political opposition or dissent as a psychiatric problem.[2] It was called “psychopathological mechanisms” of dissent.[3]

      During the leadership of General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev, psychiatry was used to disable and remove from society political opponents (“dissidents”) who openly expressed beliefs that contradicted the official dogma.[4][5] The term “philosophical intoxication”, for instance, was widely applied to the mental disorders diagnosed when people disagreed with the country’s Communist leaders and, by referring to the writings of the Founding Fathers of Marxism–Leninism—Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, and Vladimir Lenin—made them the target of criticism.[6]

      Article 58-10 of the Stalin-era Criminal Code, “Anti-Soviet agitation”, was to a considerable degree preserved in the new 1958 RSFSR Criminal Code as Article 70 “Anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda”. In 1967, a weaker law, Article 190-1 “Dissemination of fabrications known to be false, which defame the Soviet political and social system”, was added to the RSFSR Criminal Code. These laws were frequently applied in conjunction with the system of diagnosis for mental illness, developed by Academician Andrei Snezhnevsky. Together they established a framework within which non-standard beliefs could easily be defined as a criminal offence and the basis, subsequently, for a psychiatric diagnosis.[7]

      Applying the diagnosis

      The “anti-Soviet” political behavior of some individuals — being outspoken in their opposition to the authorities, demonstrating for reform, and writing critical books — were defined simultaneously as criminal acts (e.g., a violation of Articles 70 or 190-1), symptoms of mental illness (e.g., “delusion of reformism”), and susceptible to a ready-made diagnosis (e.g., “sluggish schizophrenia”).[8] Within the boundaries of the diagnostic category, the symptoms of pessimism, poor social adaptation and conflict with authorities were themselves sufficient for a formal diagnosis of “sluggish schizophrenia.”[9]

      The psychiatric incarceration of certain individuals was prompted by their attempts to emigrate, to distribute or possess prohibited documents or books, to participate in civil rights protests and demonstrations, and become involved in forbidden religious activities.[10] The religious beliefs of prisoners, including those of well-educated former atheists who had become adherents of a religious faith, was considered to be a form of mental illness that required treatment.[11] The KGB routinely sent dissenters to psychiatrists for diagnosing to avoid embarrassing publiс trials and to discredit dissidence as the product of ill minds.[12] Highly classified government documents which have become available after the dissolution of the Soviet Union confirm that the authorities consciously used psychiatry as a tool to suppress dissent.[13]

      According to the “Commentary” to the post-Soviet Russian Federation Law on Psychiatric Care, individuals forced to undergo treatment in Soviet psychiatric medical institutions were entitled to rehabilitation in accordance with the established procedure and could claim compensation. The Russian Federation acknowledged that before 1991 psychiatry had been used for political purposes and took responsibility for the victims of “political psychiatry.”[14]

      The political abuse of psychiatry in Russia has continued, nevertheless, since the fall of the Soviet Union[15] and human rights activists may still face the threat of a psychiatric diagnosis for their legitimate civic and political activities.

      An inherent capacity for abuse

      Psychiatry possesses an inherent capacity for abuse that is greater than in other areas of medicine.[26] The diagnosis of mental disease can give the state license to detain persons against their will and insist upon therapy both in the interest of the detainee and in the broader interests of society.[26] In addition, receiving a psychiatric diagnosis can in itself be regarded as oppressive.[27] In a monolithic state, psychiatry can be used to bypass standard legal procedures for establishing guilt or innocence and allow political incarceration without the ordinary odium attaching to such political trials.[26]

      In the period from the 1960s to 1986, the abuse of psychiatry for political purposes was reported to have been systematic in the Soviet Union and episodic in other Eastern European countries such as Romania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia.[28] The practice of incarceration of political dissidents in mental hospitals in Eastern Europe and the former USSR damaged the credibility of psychiatric practice in these states and entailed strong condemnation from the international community.[29] Psychiatrists have been involved in human rights abuses in states across the world when the definitions of mental disease were expanded to include political disobedience.[30] As scholars have long argued, governmental and medical institutions have at times classified threats to authority during periods of political disturbance and instability as a form of mental disease.[31] In many countries, political prisoners are still sometimes confined and abused in mental institutions.[32]

      In the Soviet Union, dissidents were often confined in psychiatric wards commonly called psikhushkas.[33] Psikhushka is the Russian ironic diminutive for “psychiatric hospital”.[34] One of the first penal psikhushkas was the Psychiatric Prison Hospital in the city of Kazan.[35] In 1939, it was transferred to the control of the NKVD (the secret police and precursor of the KGB) on the orders of Lavrentiy Beria, the head of the NKVD.[36] International human rights defenders such as Walter Reich have long recorded the methods by which Soviet psychiatrists in Psikhushka hospitals diagnosed schizophrenia in political dissenters.[31] Western scholars examined no aspect of Soviet psychiatry as thoroughly as its involvement in the social control of political dissenters.[37]

      Classification of the victims

      Upon analysis of over 200 well-authenticated cases covering the period 1962–1976, Sidney Bloch and Peter Reddaway developed a classification of the victims of Soviet psychiatric abuse. They were classified as:
      [89]

      advocates of human rights or democratization;

      nationalists;

      would-be emigrants;

      religious believers;

      citizens inconvenient to the authorities.

      The advocates of human rights and democratization, according to Bloch and Reddaway, made up about half the dissidents repressed by means of psychiatry.[89] Nationalists made up about one-tenth of the dissident population dealt with psychiatrically.[90] Would-be emigrants constituted about one-fifth of dissidents victimized by means of psychiatry.[91] People detained only because of their religious activity made up about fifteen per cent of dissident-patients.[91] Citizens inconvenient to the authorities because of their “obdurate” complaints about bureaucratic excesses and abuses accounted for about five per cent of dissidents subject to psychiatric abuse.[92]

      Encyclopedia quotes taken from “Political abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet Union” on wikipedia.org

      • Matthew 22:37

        The sixth sector of the OGPU, led by Yevgeny Tuchkov, began aggressively arresting and executing bishops, priests, and devout worshipers, such as Metropolitan Veniamin in Petrograd in 1922 for refusing to accede to the demand to hand in church valuables (including sacred relics). Archbishop Andronik of Perm, who worked as a missionary in Japan, was buried alive.[48] Bishop Germogen of Tobolsk, who voluntarily accompanied the czar into exile, was strapped to the paddle wheel of a steamboat and mangled by the rotating blades. .[48]

        In 1922, the Solovki Camp of Special Purpose, the first Russian concentration camp and a former Orthodox monastery, was established in the Solovki Islands in the White Sea [1]. Eight metropolitans, twenty archbishops, and forty-seven bishops of the Orthodox Church died there, along with tens of thousands of the laity. Of these, 95,000 were put to death, executed by firing squad.[citation needed] Father Pavel Florensky was one of the New-martyrs of this particular period.

        In the first five years after the Bolshevik revolution, an English journalist estimated that 28 bishops and 1,215 priests were executed.[49][50] Recently released evidence indicates over 8,000 were killed in 1922 during the conflict over church valuables.[49] This included people like the Grand Duchess Elizabeth Fyodorovna who was at this point a monastic. Along with her murder was Grand Duke Sergei Mikhailovich Romanov; the Princes Ioann Konstantinovich, Konstantin Konstantinovich, Igor Konstantinovich and Vladimir Pavlovich Paley; Grand Duke Sergei’s secretary, Fyodor Remez; and Varvara Yakovleva, a sister from the Grand Duchess Elizabeth’s convent.

        They were herded into the forest, pushed into an abandoned mineshaft and grenades were then hurled into the mineshaft. Her remains were buried in Jerusalem, in the Church of Maria Magdalene.

        Specialized anti-religious publications began in 1922, including Yemelyan Yaroslavsky’s Bezbozhnik, which would later form the basis for the League of the Militant Godless.

        With the conclusion of the campaign of seizing church valuables, the terror campaign against the church[51] was called off for a while. The church closings ended for a period and abuses were investigated.[52] The propaganda war continue, and public institutions worked to purge religious views from intellectuals and academia.[53][54]

        The old Marxist assumption that religion would disappear on its own with changing material conditions was pragmatically challenged as religion persisted. The Soviet leadership debated with themselves of how best to combat religion. The positions ranged from the ‘rightist’ belief that religion would die on its own naturally with increasing education, and the ‘leftist’ belief that religion needed to be attacked strongly. Lenin called the struggle to disseminate atheism ‘the cause of our state’.[55]

        The government had difficulties trying to implement anti-religious education in schools, due to a shortage of atheist teachers. Anti-religious education began in secondary schools in 1925.

        Quotes above taken from metapedia’s “Persecution of Christians in the Soviet Union”

      • Matthew 22:37

        The Orthodox church suffered terribly in the 1930s, and many of its members were killed or sent to labor camps. In the period between 1927 and 1940, the number of Orthodox Churches in the Russian Republic fell from 29,584 to fewer than 500. 1929 was a watershed year in which Soviet policy brought much new legislation in place that would form the basis for the harsh anti-religious persecution in the following decade.

        Anti-religious education was introduced from the first-grade up in 1928 and anti-religious work was intensified throughout the education system. A massive purge was conducted at the same time of Christian intellectuals, who mostly died in the camps or in prison,[59] in order to take away the church’s intellectuals and assist official propaganda that only backward people believed in God.[60]

        The church’s successful competition with the ongoing and widespread atheistic propaganda, prompted new laws to be adopted in 1929 on ‘Religious Associations’ as well as amendments to the constitution, which forbade all forms of public, social, communal, educational, publishing or missionary activities for religious believers.[58] This also prevented, of course, the church from printing any material for public consumption or responding to the criticism against it. This caused many religious tracts to be circulated as illegal literature or samizdat.[21] Numerous other measures were introduced that were designed to cripple the church, and effectively made it illegal to have religious activities of any sort outside of liturgical services within the walls of the few churches that would remain open, and even these would be subject to much interference and harassment. Catechism classes, religious schools, study groups, Sunday schools and religious publications were all illegal and/or banned.

        The League of the Militant Godless (LMG), under Emelian Yaroslavsky, was the main instrument of the anti-religious campaign and it was given special powers that allowed it to dictate to public institutions throughout the country what they needed to do for the campaign.[37]

        After 1929 and through the 1930s, the closing of churches, mass arrests of the clergy and religiously active laity, and persecution of people for attending church reached unprecedented proportions.[2][58] The LMG employed terror tactics against believers in order to further the campaign, while employing the guise of protecting the state or prosecuting law-breakers. The clergy were attacked as foreign spies and trials of bishops were conducted with their clergy as well as lay adherents who were reported as ‘subversive terroristic gangs’ that had been unmasked.[61] Official propaganda at the time called for the banishment of the very concept of God from the Soviet Union.[62] These persecutions were meant to assist the ultimate socialist goal of eliminating religion.[62][63] From 1932-1937 Joseph Stalin declared the ‘five year plans of atheism’ and the LMG was charged with completely eliminating all religious expression in the country.[62] Many of these same methods and terror tactics were also imposed against others that the regime considered to be its ideological enemies.

        The debate between the ‘rightist’ and ‘leftist’ sides of how to best combat religion found some conclusion in 1930 and after wards, when the state officially condemned extremes on both sides. Marxist leaders who took either position on this issue would find themselves attacked by a paranoid Stalin who did not tolerate other authorities to speak as authorities on public policy.[64]

        A lull in the active persecution was experienced in 1930-33 following Stalin’s 1930 article ‘Diziness From Success’, however, it swept back in fervor again after wards.[65]

        In 1934 the persecution of the Renovationist sect began to reach the proportions of the persecution of the old Orthodox church.[66]

        During the purges of 1937 and 1938, church documents record that 168,300 Russian Orthodox clergy were arrested. Of these, over 100,000 were shot.[67] Many thousands of victims of persecution became recognized in a special canon of saints known as the “new martyrs and confessors of Russia”.

        A decline in enthusiasm in the campaign occurred in the late 1930s.[68] The tone of the anti-religious campaign changed and became more moderate .[62] It ended at the outbreak of World War II.

        Official Soviet figures reported that up to one third of urban and two thirds of rural population still held religious beliefs by 1937. However, the anti-religious campaign of the past decade and the terror tactics of the militantly atheist regime, had effectively eliminated all public expressions of religion and communal gatherings of believers outside of the walls of the few churches that still held services.[69] This was accomplished in a country that only a few decades earlier had had a deeply Christian public life and culture that had developed for almost a thousand years.

        Quotes above taken from metapedia’s “Persecution of Christians in the Soviet Union”

  • Matthew 22:37

    Oh look someone wanted to delete another post of mine labeling it as spam to suppress my freedom of speech:

    7 hours ago
    Detected as spam Thanks, we’ll work on getting this corrected.

    Persecution of Christians in the Soviet Union from metapedia:

    The history of Christianity in the Soviet Union was not limited to repression and secularization. Soviet policy toward religion was based on the ideology of Marxism-Leninism, which made atheism the official doctrine of the Soviet Union. Marxism-Leninism has consistently advocated the control, suppression, and, ultimately, the elimination of religious beliefs.[1]

    The state was committed to the destruction of religion,[2][3] and to this effect it destroyed churches, mosques and temples, ridiculed, harassed and executed religious leaders, flooded the schools and media with atheistic propaganda, and generally promoted ‘scientific atheism’ as the truth that society should accept.[4][5]
    In any case, religious beliefs and practices did persist among the majority of the population,[4] in the domestic and private spheres but also in the scattered public spaces allowed by a state that recognized its failure to eradicate religion and the political dangers of an unrelenting culture war.[2][6]

    Official Soviet stance

    The Soviet regime was ostensibly committed to the complete annihilation of religious institutions and ideas.[7] Militant atheism was central to the ideology of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union[8] and a high priority of all Soviet leaders.[3] Communism required the abolition of religion.[3] Convinced atheists were considered to be more virtuous individuals than those of religious belief.[3]

    The state established atheism as the only scientific truth.[9][10][11][12][13][14][unreliable source?] Criticism of atheism or the state’s anti-religious policies was forbidden and could lead to forced retirement, arrest and/or imprisonment.[15][16][17]

    The holding of a religion was never officially outlawed and the Soviet Constitutions always guaranteed the right to believe. However, since Marxist ideology as interpreted by Lenin[18] and his successors dictated that religion was an obstacle to the construction of the communist society, putting an end to all religion (and replacing it with atheism[19]) was a fundamentally important ideological goal of the state. The persecution of religion was carried out officially through many legal measures that were designed to hamper religious activities, a massive volume of anti-religious propaganda as well as education, and through various other means. The official persecution was also, however, accompanied by much secret instructions that remained unofficial. In practice the state also sought to control religious bodies and to interfere with them, with the ultimate goal of making them disappear.[19] To this effect, the state sought to control the activities of the leaders of the different religious communities.[7]

    The official persecution was often disguised under euphemisms in official party documents such as ‘struggle against bourgeois ideology’, ‘dissemination of materialist ideology’, etc. The government often rejected the principle that all religious believers should be treated as public enemies,[18] partly due to pragmatic considerations of the large number of people adhering to a faith and also partly from the belief that there were many loyal Soviet citizens included among the number of believers whom ought to be convinced to become atheists rather than outright attacked.

    Religious believers were always subject to anti-religious propaganda, legislation that restricted their religious practice or suffered restrictions in Soviet society, however, as a result of the paradigm stated above, they were rarely officially ever subject to arrest, imprisonment or death simply for having their beliefs, but usually they suffered those things during the persecution as a result of some perception (real or imagined) of their resistance to the state’s broader campaign against religion.[20]

    The campaign was designed to disseminate atheism, and the acts of violence and terror tactics that would be used, while being almost always officially invoked on the basis of perceived resistance to the state, in the larger scheme they were meant not simply as acts against rebellion, but to further assist in the suppression of religion in order to disseminate atheism.[20]

    Soviet tactics

    The tactics varied over the years and became more moderate or more harsh at different times. Among common tactics included confiscating church property, ridiculing religion, harassing believers, and propagating atheism in the schools. Actions toward particular religions, however, were determined by State interests, and most organized religions were never outlawed.

    Some actions against Orthodox priests and believers along with execution included torture, being sent to prison camps, labour camps or mental hospitals.[21][22][23][24] Many Orthodox (along with peoples of other faiths) were also subjected to psychological punishment or torture and mind control experimentation in order to force them give up their religious convictions (see Punitive psychiatry in the Soviet Union).[22][23][25] During the first five years of Soviet power, the Bolsheviks executed 28 Russian Orthodox bishops and over 1,200 Russian Orthodox priests. Many others were imprisoned or exiled.[1]

    In the Soviet Union, in addition to the methodical closing and destruction of churches, the charitable and social work formerly done by ecclesiastical authorities was taken over by the state. As with all private property, Church owned property was confiscated into public use. The few places of worship left to the Church were legally viewed as state property which the government permitted the church to use.
    Protestant Christians in the USSR (Baptists, Pentecostals, Adventists etc.) in the period after the Second world war were compulsively sent to mental hospitals, endured trials and prisons (often for refusal to enter military service). Some were even compulsively deprived of their parent rights.[26]