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Lawrence and I began this blog to discuss our faith with our friends. Anyone is welcome to chime in. Also see our most popular posts for the week on the right. God bless you. Susan Fox
Saturday, September 7, 2013
Christian Bakery, closed by Oregon (In)Equality Law, resists the Mark of the Beast
By Susan Fox
“But when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION standing where it should not be (let the reader understand), then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains.” (Mark 13:14)
Well lately I thought I caught a glimpse of it parked outside my house, a huge Abomination of Desolation looking like a giant pink Cadillac.
Have you seen it? There I was -- a placid American --thinking nothing could harm me because we have not been invaded since 9/11 and Pearl Harbor.
Barack Obama was elected, and I thought I’ll just shut off the news for four years… well make that eight years now, and then we’ll go back to a prosperous peaceful life.
But then Aaron and Melissa Klein lost their wedding bakery, Sweet Cakes By Melissa. They and their five home-schooled children lost their livelihood because they refused to put a same-sex couple on a wedding cake. They face thousands of dollars in fines if the Oregon State Bureau of Labor and Industries find them guilty of violating the Oregon “Equality” Act.
Elaine and Jonathan Huguenin, Christian photographers, who declined to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony in Taos, NM, lost their livelihood and thousands of dollars in fines when the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled last month that the owners of Elane Photography were compelled by law to compromise their religious beliefs.
Being a Catholic, we’ve already seen the devastation caused by the politically correct atheistic liberal movement. They shut out the Catholic Church from adoptions in Boston because we couldn’t in good conscience allow gays to adopt children. Not many realize it, but the survival of the Catholic hospital in the United States is now in jeopardy because we cannot offer birth control, abortion services or pay for such for hospital employees – and this last is mandated by Obama “Care” with very limited exceptions.
The Christian Company Hobby Lobby is fighting for its life because it does not want to offer abortion services for its employees. It violates their religious beliefs. My husband said if we were writing this blog in Canada or the United Kingdom, we would be prosecuted for our free speech.
Obama “Care” mandates that those on Social Security will be required to attend an “end-of-life planning” seminar every five years (i.e. Death Counseling). It’s in the bill page 425, line 4-12. And who could forget p. 419, line 13-25: “The government will specify which doctors can write an end of life order” That’s how they plan to cut health care costs?
The Abomination of Desolation is a term coined in the Book of Daniel – it means an idol or a sacrilege in the temple usually accompanied by a large number of deaths, especially of the people resisting the abomination – the religious ones. Daniel’s prophesy was fulfilled when King Antiochus IV in 167 B.C. entered the Temple in Jerusalem and erected statues of false gods on the altar of holocausts. The idol was a sign of “abomination” (idolatry) and desolation. Antiochus’s actionsrepresented a type of desolating abomination as he forced the Jews to abandon their religious beliefs, and profaned their temple. These religious injustices were accompanied by the murder of 80,000 Jews, including women and children, and the same number were sold into slavery.
Jesus referred to a similar future event when he said, “So when you see the desolating sacrilege spoken of by the Prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand). Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.” (Matt 24:15) And as He carried his cross to Calvary, he met a large crowd of people, and the women were weeping for Him. “But Jesus turning to them, said: Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not over me; but weep for yourselves, and for your children.”
He referred to the coming Abomination of Desolation: in less than 40 years after the death of Jesus Christ, Roman armiessurrounded Jerusalem. Pilgrims had come to the city from all over the world to celebrate Passover in 70 A.D. Contemporary Jewish historian Flavius Josephus estimated that 1.1 million people died during the Roman siege of Jerusalem.
But not the Christians! They fled to the mountains when they saw those Romans parked outside Jerusalem. “Run!” Jesus said. If you are on the housetop don’t go back for your belongings, and the guy working in the field should not return for his coat, but alas for those who are pregnant or nursing in those days. “Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a sabbath.”
But the Jews were overconfident in their city’s defenses and they stayed, so they were slaughtered, and the temple desecrated. Since 70 A.D. no Jew has ever worshipped in the Temple. That represents quite a change of plan. Jews from all over the world came every year to celebrate Passover in Jerusalem for thousands of years. Never since has that celebration taken place.
Of course, the desolating sacrilege has shown its face again many times in history. It is always accompanied by religious persecution and murder. Communist Russia and Nazi Germany are two examples. I have met Christians from Russia, who told me they were not allowed into an educated career because of their Christian beliefs. They had the best grades in high school, but they were not allowed to go to college, and they had to become farm workers.
My medical massage therapist is from the Ukraine, and her grandfather was a Communist soldier, so on the surface he had to pretend like he rejected Christianity, but he secretly baptized his whole family. That is definitely survival under the authority of a desolating sacrilege. What irony that today Russia is anti-gay marriage, and people in the United States, who are standing up to gay marriage are now losing their livelihood.
And in the United States, when I speak of the Church’s position on gay marriage, I hear, “Shut up!” “Keep your opinions to yourself!” And like Melissa Klein, I am accused – even by straight people – of being a bigoted homophobe.
This is a sign of the Beast. In order to engage in commerce under totalitarian regimes, the Christian must either accept the Mark of the Beast or lose his livelihood, even his life. That's what happened to the early Christians: either worship the emperor or stop working. Many chose death.
It seems we are living in just such beastly times. The Beast, and the second Beast appear in the Book of Revelation chapter 13. St. John introduces the first beast’s violent acts and blasphemous language to show that its power derives from Satan. Only those sealed with the Holy Spirit, who acknowledge and follow Christ, can avoid worshipping the Beast and retain their freedom of conscience.
The second beast is identified as a false prophet because he is exhorting the earth and all its inhabitants to worship the first beast. According to St. John, the second beast with two lamb horns and a dragon’s voice deceives the inhabitants of the earth, and forces all – free or slave, rich or poor -- to be marked on the right hand or forehead “so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name.” (Rev. 13:17)
Melissa and Aaron Klein obviously didn’t have the right mark. Instead, they were sealed with the Holy Spirit. Their livelihood is threatened as a result.
“Basically, the beast is a symbol for regimes which reject God and put man on a pedestal. Nowadays emperor worship is seldom a problem but militant atheism has been a modern parallel whether in the form of atheistic secularism or of dialectic materialism. St. Hippolytus describes the mark and seal of the beast in these words: “I reject the Creator of heaven and earth; I reject Baptism; I refuse to worship God. To you (Beast) I adhere; in you I believe.” (Footnote from the Navarre Bible)
St. Gregory the Great, adds, “The beast that rises from the earth stands for pride in earthly glory; and the fact that it has two horns like a lamb means that its hypocritical sanctity makes it appear to have wisdom, whereas only the Lord has true wisdom.”
And so I read the comments of those boycotting Melissa’s bakery, and I was appalled to read Americans crowing in delight because a little family with five children from Gresham, Oregon had lost their livelihood, the bakery, “Sweet cakes by Melissa.”
“Your homophobic rants will not be forgotten and you will go out of business. This is the 21st century, a**holes.” And “maybe your god will send you some cat food to eat when you are living on the street?” Further, they rejoiced because it was “God’s will” the bakery be closed.
Can’t you hear the crowds taunting Jesus on the cross, “And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” (Matt 27: 39-40)
I do boycott big businesses in the hope of changing their behavior, but this crowd went after a family, which did nothing but stand up for their religious beliefs. And apparently the people of Gresham, Oregon, went along with it because Melissa said her wedding cake orders – on which her business depended -- were cancelled and no new ones were placed.
But why did Melissa Klein stand up to the Abomination of Desolation? Why did she risk her children’s livelihood and refuse the Mark of the Beast? Why did she give up a business she worked to build up over a number of years?
“I have lost something I worked really hard for … but I know that really doesn’t matter. My eternal home is what matters.” Melissa told TheBlaze in an interview. “It is so worth it just to sit back and watch how God provides for you. I struggled in the past with trust and even with my faith in Him. And through this (ordeal) my faith has grown, my trust has grown tremendously.”
“Suffering” says Pope John Paul II, “as it were contains a special call to the virtue which man must exercise on his own part. And this is the virtue of perseverance in bearing whatever disturbs and causes harm. In doing this, the individual unleashes hope, which maintains in him the conviction that suffering will not get the better of him, that it will not deprive him of his dignity as a human being.”
Or as St. Paul says, “I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Gal 2:20)