This book was not written to make individuals feel good about themselves. If you bought this book hoping to read about God giving you permission to follow the ways of the world and live in sin, you are going to be disappointed. You are also going to be quite angry about spending your hard earned cash on a book that will not support or condone your actions like so many others. I will not apologize.
This book also was not written to support or condone the words and actions of any organization referring to themselves as the "church" either by the use of that word or any other. Although there are some churches which are doing a good job, many others are allowing the ways of the world to creep into the organization. Some toes are going to get stepped on. I will not apologize.
Nor was this book written to repeat the party line of any political party. Being patriotic will often lead people down the wrong path. Although the Constitution of the United States of America contains religious sounding phrases, the actions of the government often oppose those words. This book will seem unpatriotic. I will not apologize.
So what is the purpose of this book?
A lot of people are going to read this book and think the only goal is to set a world record for the largest number of people who can be angered by the words of the author. If this does happen, I will be in good company. Millions of people throughout time have been offended when faced with the harsh reality of historical truth and God's Word. Christ tells us the world will hate us when we turn against the world (John 15:18&19).
But I am not writing this book to intentionally make enemies. Instead, I am writing it in the attempt to do as Christ did when he called people out of the world. The only reasons to follow the world are to become popular, wield power, build up a bank account, and satisfy every lust of the flesh. I am writing this book to get Christians - the people who really want to follow Christ - to re-evaluate what they believe about the world and the Word.
In order to accomplish the goal, the world must be discussed first. Because of the sneaky and sly tactics used by the world, most Christians do not even realize when they are being led astray. Historians, politicians, and many other people will sugarcoat the facts to make them more appealing to the masses. Even worse, instead of admitting to the mistakes of the past and those still being made today, they twist the facts or spout outright lies in order place the blame squarely on the shoulders of the victims. By doing these things, those people make it appear as if we are the good guys. The more often we blindly follow in the name of patriotism and good citizenship, the more they chip away at our Christian beliefs, values, and way of life.
From the moment the first European set foot on what was to become the United States of America, things went badly. One reason many settlers gave for facing starvation, diseases, and death on the long ocean voyage to the "New World" was so they could escape being persecuted for their deeply held religious beliefs. Who would not jump at the chance to live somewhere he or she can freely worship God? Within a very short time, the Jews and people of other religions joined the exodus from the "Old World". All was peace and goodwill as long as each group stayed within the boundaries of communities segregated by religion or denomination. It did not take long for the reality of religious intolerance to rear its ugly head.
The original inhabitants of this land, the natives who had been here for thousands of years, quickly went from being viewed as the saviors who got the settlers through the first lean years to being seen as vermin to be completely eliminated from the land. The bloodbath and genocide lasted for more than one hundred years. Some Europeans participated in the killing to supposedly make the country safe during westward expansion; still others wanted to eliminate the heathen influence from a new, "Christian" nation.
"All men are created equal" fell flat before the paperwork was signed or the ink even had a chance to dry. In fact, it was a lie as soon as the man responsible had the thought. To make it truthful, the phrase "if you are a white, European male" should be added to the statement. The only natives who were considered peers and equals were those who became Christians and lived like the white men. Slavery was already well-established in every colony before it was declared that "all men are created equal" and the signed document did not change the status of the slaves.
But things have changed, haven't they? Sure they have, but instead of eliminating the problems, those things have only been shifted to other groups of people. Instead of rushing in with guns blazing, the people with influence and power use stealth, not to mention practices never envisioned by the so-called "founding fathers" of this country. Stealth involves taking little baby steps toward the ultimate goal. If citizens will not tolerate the end goal, find what they will tolerate and implement that part of the plan. Every time they finally accept and get comfortable with the change, take the next step. In the end, the original goal has been reached.
Face the fact that we have all fallen into the trap. Christians will compromise with the world. This is seen in the numbers of them who will not proclaim the Gospel because doing so is now viewed as intolerant and not being politically correct. Most people find it acceptable for the government to invoke the rule of eminent domain in order to build a prison to keep them safe from the criminals or to allow developers to build businesses which will boost the economy - until it happens to them. Racism, running rampant among both Christians and non-Christians, still prevents the equality of all men.
And the future does not look any brighter. Obeying the laws of the land and taking the advice of talk show hosts and motivational speakers are all red herrings. The forced peace falls apart as soon as following those leads keeps a person from obtaining the health and wealth promised by the movers and shakers. As soon as this occurs, more laws have to be passed to keep the troublemakers in line. Now they not only have to control what happens in public, they have to make adjustments to the private lives of everyone choosing to live here. It makes sense then to promote and proclaim independent thinking and then legislate what is or is not included in that phrase.
If you make it through the information presented in the first section without tossing this book through the nearest window or having a stroke caused by your elevated blood pressure, section two will begin by examining most of the topics from section one through the lens of Scripture. No matter how good the advice and ways of the world might sound, they have no place in the lives of any of the true disciples of Christ. Those methods only appear harmless until we recognize they only lead us further away from the ways of God. The only methods, words, actions, and lifestyles that are acceptable to God are those presented in his written Word.
The remainder of the book will refute the teachings of the world and prepare Christians for the battle lying ahead. As will be seen, there is a price to pay for following Christ and not compromising with the world. We become the troublemakers who destroy the peace and harmony established by man. As the timeline of history moves forward, every day brings new rules which make us a little more of an enemy of the state if we do not fall into line with the world. Failing to become an integral part of the parade marching straight towards the gates of Hell will cause the marchers to react in negative ways. We will be alienated from our family and friends, persecuted for our beliefs, and imprisoned for disobeying laws which go against the laws established by God.
Avoiding the harsh treatment by going along with the ways of the world will not be acceptable to God. Instead of giving in, we need to identify the false prophets of this world as well as those within the church - especially those within our ranks. Many Christians begin to compromise the truth because the person standing in the pulpit does not teach God's truth. Seen as the final authority on beliefs and doctrines, the congregation is afraid to question the teachings of their "shepherd". The Bible is read by the people in the pews, but instead of reading the truth, they see only what the pastor tells them it means.
It is time to stop the invasion. It is time to step out of the world and into the Word. The armor of God will not protect us from retaliation, but it will prepare us to enter the battle. Once we put on our armor, we need to wear it at all times because we never know when or from what direction the attack will come. Although we might have to suffer or even die for Christ, this is a war we must wage. It is part of taking up our crosses and following Christ. It is time we all stand firm on and live in the Word.
In the end, what we do in this world leads to rewards or punishment. The world believes that everyone will be saved, but the Word tells us differently. People only fool themselves into believing they can sign some kind of divine life insurance policy by saying they accept Jesus as Lord and Savior and then continue living in opposition to their Master. God can not be fooled. The final judgment will separate the goats (the people who follow the ways of the world) from the sheep (the people who live by the Word).
Now that you have read the brief introduction to my book, you have probably already decided what type of person I am and whether or not you will continue reading.
Am I a fool suffering from paranoia and falling for every crazy conspiracy theory? Am I an unpatriotic citizen who should either remain quiet or move to another country? Am I a traitor who should be locked up in the same prison with suspected and known terrorists? If you answer yes to one or more of those questions, you are a follower of the world and not of the Word.
Am I a religious fanatic for pointing out the faults of the country some people refer to as "the greatest nation on earth"? Am I a heretic for disagreeing with the things being taught by the false prophets of our time? Am I stirring up trouble for the church by calling the soldiers of Christ into battle? If you answer yes to one or more of those questions, you are a follower of the world and not of the Word.
I am all of those things and none of those things. The world sees me as foolish and paranoid because it refuses to see what is really happening. The world sees me as unpatriotic and as a terrorist because I choose to be a citizen of God's kingdom instead of a good citizen of the world. The worldly church labels me as a religious fanatic for standing firmly on God's Word, a heretic for proclaiming God's truth, and a troublemaker for declaring spiritual warfare against the evil within the organization calling itself the church.
God has a different opinion about me and the other people who are brave enough to proclaim his truth. The prophet Isaiah described a man who would be "a voice calling in the desert" and instructing the people to "prepare the way for the Lord". Matthew 3:1-3 tells us that John the Baptist fulfilled that prophecy as he proclaimed "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near". God has sent some of us into the wilderness of the world to do the same. This book was written to follow God's call on my life to be one of those voices.
Is the kingdom of heaven near? Wasn't that referring to the onset of Christ's earthly ministry? Both of those questions can be answered in the affirmative. But Christ's death and resurrection was not the end of the story. Revelation tells us the Messiah will return. Until the time of the Second Coming, God will call and embolden people who will serve in the same capacity as John the Baptist. Those people will not fear either persecution or death.
Am I a nut who should be locked up and medicated or a person who has been called to be a voice proclaiming God's truth from and into the wilderness? Read every page of this book with an open mind before making your judgment and passing on to the sentencing phase in my trial. But before continuing, read and memorize the Scripture quoted at the end of this introduction.
Following the ways of the world might allow you to live comfortably, but in doing so you forfeit your soul. Living by and in the Word might lead to death at the hands of man, but the reward of eternal life is worth far more than anything offered by this world. This book will provide the information you need to lead you out of the world and into the Word.
If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up
his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will
lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will
it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or
what can a man give in exchange for his soul? - Matthew 16:24-26
Excerpted from "The World or the Word" by Sheila Rae Myers. Copyright © 0 by Sheila Rae Myers. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.