Some Things Change, Some Things Stay The Same
It has been said, that the lesson most learnt from history, is
that we do not learn from history, and this assessment certainly
applies to present world attitudes. To demonstrate this, the
following scenarios are good examples.
We see the moral dilemma facing nations over
the definition of sexual relationships. We see crisis in the
scientific arena over what is acceptable
regarding human intervention and manipulation of nature,
particularly cloning and genetic modification.
Another area of alarm is the rapid change taking place in the
legislative processes of law and its subsequent
impact on the church, justified under the guise of religious
The last, but by no means the final issue, that comes to mind
is, the ecological debate on what if anything
needs to be done to stop the abuse and depletion of the
earth’s God-given natural resources.
Complicating the issue, is that fact that not all parties
agree that we actually have a crisis on our hands, and those that
do, disagree that the projected outcome is able to be resolved by
a singular methodology that all can embrace. So how does the
title of this article relate to the above? Let me explain. In
each of the above subjects of discussion, before any progress can
be made, honest, searching questions on moral, scientific, legal
and ecological grounds must be asked and then subsequently
answered. Furthermore, we must have a central point of reference.
How can you address a matter if you do not agree on whether a
problem exists or what objective one is seeking to resolve the
We need to ask ourselves a difficult question. Does history
reveal any examples which show us that our present course
(encompassing the issues mentioned above) is doomed to failure?
The answer, I believe, is a resounding YES!
MORALS: Disintegration of morality brought about the direct
collapse of the Babylonian, Grecian and Roman empires including
many others. Kings and kingdoms, and the regimes that replaced
them, also fell as a tyranny of dictators seized the opportunity
to line their own pockets and live as lords over the common
people. The end result was the collapse of their respective
SCIENTIFIC: Today, in the name of science, man has elevated
himself to god-like status by assuming the right to interfere
with nature, often without due consideration to the
There are many examples of unacceptable scientific research,
including: Joseph Mengele’s Nazi medical camps with
barbaric and bizarre experimentations using real people. Do a web
search on the names listed below and see for yourself that not
only megalomaniacs resort to this behaviour.
Project MK Ultra, Project Artichoke, and Project
Monarch reveal macabre lengths to which western governments
stoop to justify control of their fellow man for supremacy.
Drug Companies driven by an endless pursuit for dividends,
unleashed Thalidomide on an unsuspecting world resulting in an
epidemic of Spina Bifida. Devilish manufacture of biological
warfare agents by western governments has resulted in gross
deformities. Biological terrorism, brought to birth as a direct
result of militarily focused superpowers, has forced those same
superpowers to contend with terrorism where their enemies use
their own creations. There is vast information available today
alleging that the curse of Aids directly stemmed from laboratory
experimentation and scientific foolishness.
LEGAL: With regard to the law we see the imposition of
restrictive legislation such as the Patriot Act, which, by the
way is not just United States law. Similar legislation is now
being implemented in many European countries, even appearing in
New Zealand and Australia under different names such as the
Terrorism Act. Alongside all of this, we need to bear in mind we
have the International Criminal Law Court in the Hague that has
responsibility for assuming, administering and converging all
world law. This world-wide push for anti-terrorism legislation is
repressive to say the least and draconian in its control. It is
highly debateable whether its impact will serve any good purpose
other than inhibit the civil liberties of the law abiding.
Most legislators take the approach that when a violation
occurs in law, maximum retaliation must be drafted to control it.
It is never suggested that the extreme of the law will be imposed
at the time, but the frightening proviso is that in a time of war
or national crisis the extreme law is there, and can be
instituted at any time. In this regard, sadly once again history
bears out the truth. At times when instability and national
security become issues, extremes of the law become the hammer, by
which governments subdue citizenry.
Hitler, Mao Tse Tung, Nicolai Ceausescu, Idi Amin, Robert
Mugabe and countless others are examples. The camps at Abu Graib
and Guantanamo Bay are very present reminders of repressive
legislation that is able to skirt the law because the populace
accepted the premise that injustice and repression is acceptable
in time of unrest. To a Christian these extremes are not
acceptable in any form let alone in modern society.
The Church is not immune to the excesses mentioned above. The
established church is now facing its own liberties being
redefined, not by a biblical world view, but by a socialistic
humanistic view which gives no moral, traditional, family or
Many of the consequences we are now seeing forced upon us are
self-induced, having taken root because we have allowed nonsense
and hype to subvert Christianity in the name of being blessed,
much of which is no more than a doctrine of self exaltation, and
not the biblical truth of self abasement and sacrificial
I coined a phrase some years ago when watching the entry of
materialism and prosperity-focus into the church: "The
western church has sacrificed biblical truth on its self-exalting
altar of expedience and social acceptability". Bookshelves
today are full of manuals on such matters, peddling acceptance,
success, popularity, achievement and self esteem instead of a
love for souls.
Most of them promote the principle of goal and focus, mind
conditioning philosophies which often disregard others while
promoting self. This is a totally anti-biblical position
contradicting, "In honour prefer another" or in another
place "Esteem another more than you esteem yourself ".
Psychology replaces theology in today’s Christianity.
ECOLOGY: Lastly, the issue of ecology. Something I see
demonstrated, which stirs all sorts of western world reaction
when voiced on my travels internationally, is the slave, master
mentality. This may have dissipated in our society but remains
embedded in our mindset.
To prove my point may I remind you that the world is
commercially driven. In all respects from aid projects through to
business both in the church and outside it, facts show we in the
developed nations are the consumers, and the undeveloped nations
are the producers. While we can exploit their efforts for our
comfort and benefit we will continue to do so, and willingly
According to surveys taken on use of accumulated offerings
collected in western church organisations, less than one per cent
of that amount goes beyond its point of origin. Again I say, some
things change some things stay the same. We convince ourselves we
are moving forward, signifying change and progress, but mostly it
is lip service. We are just treading water, remaining aloof and
Surely we live in the Laodicean church age.
Brother Barry Smith prior to his journey homeward, made an
impact on folk around the globe, with very lasting results. The
denomination to which I belong, acknowledged that of all the
known travelling evangelists, Barry was the most successful in
bringing people to Christ, with a higher percentage of remaining
converts than any other ministry.
With Barry’s particular style and personality, his wit
and humour - yet direct confrontational approach, he managed to
address issues without creating offence, issues that most would
not have the courage to address. Not everyone would accept
totally Barry’s summations of the subject matter he
presented, but I’m sure most would admit, it was difficult
to remain neutral to his message.
This magazine could never replace nor presume to replicate the
ministry of Barry Smith. However, it would be a tragedy not to
keep challenging, by letting his memory and message fall to the
ground as a voice of a bygone era, like so many other preachers
before him. If there is a message I heard him constantly repeat,
and one I would endorse, it is "Folks, Jesus is coming - are you
ready?" Some things change - some things remain the same. We can
not remain silent. The society in which we live is disintegrating
faster than we are able to maintain it. The fear of the Lord must
again return to the church and regardless of whether it is
acceptable to Christians living in a Laodicean post-Christian age
or not, it must be preached.
Finally, I conclude that after several decades in ministry,
preaching the End Times message, the greatest contributor to a
paralysed, insipid church that has long since ceased being the
conscience to the nations, is the fact that generally, we have
ceased preaching the impending judgement and accountability
associated with the Lord’s return.