FAITH: Religion always prevails — even in face of communism
I read with interest readers’ responses to varied events.
It seems there are many frustrated, disappointed and upset people out there.
Lashing criticism and angry reactions give short-term relief.
Many feel there’s nobody who listens or cares.
It is interesting how an increasing number of people react to religion, especially when religious individuals or groups do something wrong, dishonest, stupid or use political shrewdness for selfish gain.
One such issue is brewing in the Czech Republic, where I was born.
It has to do with government’s restitution of church properties confiscated by the communist government.
There are churches that built things from their own resources and by sacrifice of their members.
First, the communist government seized the businesses and properties of merchants, manufacturers — even homeowners.
Churches were next on its agenda.
When communism fell in 1989, people who could legally prove ownership of nationalized confiscated properties could claim them back.
The same principle should be applied to churches, right?
This is where the problem comes in.
There is an organization whose historical record indicates a good number of its properties were acquired by rather questionable means.
A huge part of the pie is portioned out to this one entity.
This includes large financial amounts plus large real-estate properties.
All of this in times when the country is in deep economic problems with deficit budgets.
The brunt of economy’s downturn is paid for by excessive taxation of common people, pensioners — people already struggling just to make it.
People today are well-informed and sense politicians and the church are in cahoots.
History teaches us church and government make for rather bad bedfellows.
So, the angry and frustrated voices cry, “Get rid of all this religion and most of our problems will be solved — ours will be a better world!”
I lived 21 years in a system that promised to solve these problems and create an ideal society.
Atheism believed it, practised it and enforced it.
Religion was the opium of masses and had to be discarded.
This experiment lasted 41 years and ran aground.
North Korea promotes the same philosophy and I wonder how many critics who put all religion into one heap to sweep it from the table would like to migrate to that paradise.
Historians tell us the French Revolution, with its rise of atheism, dethroned God and the Bible.
In its place it enthroned “the goddess of reason” and the results were terrible.
The French Revolution was a frustrated reaction and revolt against abuses of a powerful, corrupt church and clergy and self-indulgent nobility and ruling classes.
They were in cahoots and forgot their God-given place to serve, protect, care and rule with justice.
The angry France did not distinguish between what was true in Christian faith and what was counterfeit — and France and Europe were thrown into a terrible bloodbath and trouble.
Jesus and the apostles had much to say about corruption of genuine Christian faith.
Just as the declension and corruption of the Hebrew faith had preceded the first coming of Jesus, so it will be prior to His second coming that many believe cannot be too far.
For example Christ’s words in Matthew 24:18.104.22.168: “Be careful not to let anyone deceive you. Many will come using my name. They will say, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and they will deceive many people. Many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. And because there will be more and more lawlessness, most people’s love will grow cold.”
Are you rejecting the true because of those who misrepresent Christ and twist His teachings?
Are you surprised?
You shouldn’t be. Instead of jettisoning God and the Bible overboard, take it and study it prayerfully for yourself.
Let your life be the best argument to disappointed sceptics.
Karel Samek is pastor of Seventh-Day Adventist churches in Logan Lake and Merritt. KTW welcomes submissions to its Faith page. Columns should be between 600 and 800 words in length and include a headshot of the author, along with a short bio on the writer. Submissions can be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org