THE SERVANT GENERAL
CULTURE OF LIFE
THE AFFLICTION AT HAND
Today’s reading: 1 Maccabees 1:10-63
The two Books of Maccabees tell the story of the suppression
of Judaism in Palestine in the second century B.C. There are
many parallels to what is happening in the world today regarding
the culture of death.
V.10a -- “There sprang from these a sinful offshoot,
Antiochus Epiphanes.” Today there are many counterparts
to Antiochus Epiphanes. There are the “kings”
like President Obama of the USA or Prime Minister Cameron
of the UK. These are also the powerful institutions such as
the European Union and the United Nations. Then there are
the billionaire philanthropists and international liberal
media. All of them strongly promote the culture of death.
V.11a -- “In those days there appeared in Israel men
who were breakers of the law.” Today the western nations,
the liberal Protestant churches, the United Nations, Catholic
dissidents are all breaking the laws of God, in their acceptance
of contraception, abortion, divorce, euthanasia, same-sex
-- “and they seduced many people.” The anti-lifers
seduce people with what seems to them to be reasonable arguments,
like women’s health, right family size, tolerance and
acceptance, individual rights, diversity.
-- “Let us go and make an alliance with the Gentiles
all around us.” Christians have allied themselves with
the world around, accepting secular humanism, modernism, liberalism,
materialism, consumerism, hedonism.
-- “since we separated from them, many evils have come
upon us.” Good is now considered as evil, such as many
children, life-long marriage between a man and a woman, preaching
against sins like active homosexuality, homeschooling, prayer
in school, the Ten Commandments in government offices. The
anti-life forces give us the lie that if we do not accept
the culture of death, we will be afflicted with many evils,
such as poverty, overpopulation, unhealthy family life, environmental
-- “The proposal was agreeable; .... they allied themselves
with the Gentiles and sold themselves to wrongdoing.”
Many Christians have accepted the lies, and began to live
accordingly. Some even participate in persecuting faithful
-- “the king .... authorized them to introduce the way
of living of the Gentiles.” The western anti-life governments
are using their economic, political and military power to
impose the culture of death on the world.
V.15a -- “They covered over the mark of their circumcision
and abandoned the holy covenant.” Many Christians have
turned away from their faith, violating God’s laws on
-- “He insolently invaded the sanctuary .... after he
had spoken with great arrogance ....” Western governments
are imposing the culture of death on the developing nations
with impunity and arrogance, unmindful of their objections,
culture and traditions, and are assaulting their faith and
-- “.... and shed much blood.” “And they
shed innocent blood ....” There have been over a billion
abortions in the world, many of which involved cruel dismemberment
and crushing of the child. Much innocent blood has been shed.
This is the holocaust of the unborn.
-- “the beauty of the women was disfigured.” Many
women who have had abortions have been permanently scarred
emotionally. Further, their beautiful role in bringing children
into the world and the wonderful privilege of being mothers
have been denied them.
-- “There they installed a sinful race, perverse men,
....” Sinful living is now the order of the day, where
abortion is widespread, casual sex is common, divorces are
rampant, and marriages are now for those of the same sex.
Sexual license has led to perversity, and even children at
very tender ages are being taught perverse sexual acts through
valueless sex education. Homosexuality is celebrated, oftentimes
with Gay Pride parades where there is a profusion of perverse
-- “She became a stranger to her own offspring.”
The mother who is the one who should protect the life in her
womb has become her child’s killer, sometimes considering
what is in her womb as not a child but just a blob of tissue.
She looks to her rights rather than to her child’s rights.
V.38d -- “and her children forsook her.” There
is widespread family dysfunction. Children are growing without
their fathers and/or mothers. Parents are no longer taking
proper care of their children, even abandoning them.
-- “Her sanctuary was as desolate as a wilderness.”
The wombs of women have become desolate wildernesses. Churches
have been emptied of worshipers.
-- “Then the king wrote to his whole kingdom that all
should be one people, each abandoning his particular customs.”
“The king sent messengers .... ordering them to follow
customs foreign to their land.” The western powers are
imposing their culture of death, their materialistic and hedonistic
lifestyle on the world. They are unmindful of national cultures
and traditions, and use money and power to force these nations
to abandon their heritage. They are imposing a global culture
-- “to prohibit holocausts, sacrifices, and libations
in the sanctuary, to profane the sabbaths and feast days.”
There is a deliberate and concerted assault on faith. Prayer
in school, crucifixes in government offices, and even Christmas
carols are banned.
-- “to build pagan altars and temples and shrines.”
Socialistic atheism is being promoted. Abortion is ultimately
pagan sacrifice to Baal.
-- “to leave their sons uncircumcised, and to let themselves
be defiled with every kind of impurity and abomination.”
Children are no longer raised in the faith. Governments are
taking over the roles of parents in the education of their
children. Society and culture are infused with the promotion
of sexual licentiousness.
-- “so that they might forget the law and change all
their observances.” A cultural brainwashing is going
on. The faith is systematically being undermined by secular
humanism. Even very young children are indoctrinated in the
ways of sexual license.
-- “Whoever refused to act according to the command
of the king should be put to death.” Christians today
are not yet being fed to the lions or crucified, but laws
are more and more being passed to force everyone to partake
of the culture of death. Hate speech laws are being enacted.
Conscientious objection is being removed. Christians are in
danger of being charged in court (even for such things as
homeschooling or refusing to allow a gay couple into a B&B)
and meted excessive fines. Christians may not yet lose their
lives, but they are losing their freedom and property.
-- “Many of the people, those who abandoned the law,
joined them and committed evil in the land.” Many have
boarded the culture of death bandwagon. These include Christians,
even bishops, clerics, Catholic adoption agencies, Catholic
social agencies, Catholic schools and hospitals.
-- “the king erected the horrible abomination upon the
altar of holocausts, and in the surrounding cities of Judah
they built pagan altars.” The holocaust of the unborn
is being offered at the altar of Baal. Paganism is being promoted
to replace authentic Christian faith. The horrible abominations
of abortion, homosexuality and sexual license are already
enshrined throughout the world.
We today live in a very darkened world. Our very faith and
our families are under serious threat. How do we respond?
we simply must resist the culture of death. “But many
in Israel were determined and resolved in their hearts not
to eat anything unclean.” (v.62). The devil offers us
to eat of the fruit that promises “you will be like
gods” (Gen 3:5). We are enticed to be masters of our
own destinies, enjoying life as we like to, not being restrained
by anything or anyone, giving full license to the desires
of our flesh. We must resolve in our hearts to obey God and
live a life of faith in Jesus. And we must be determined,
especially in the face of worldly pressures, to resist the
culture of death and to promote the culture of life.
we must be willing to give our all, even to lose our all,
in order to remain faithful. “They preferred to die
rather than to be defiled with unclean food or to profane
the holy covenant; and they did die.” (v.63a). The early
Church was propelled by the blood of the martyrs, and so grew
strong. Today Christians have been disarmed, and they want
the pleasures and comforts of the world. It cannot be that
way with us. We are called to live pure. We are called to
defend the faith. We are called to promote the culture of
life. We are called to live out our covenant. We must do so,
embracing our crosses as we go along, and even willing to
literally die for our faith.
affliction was upon Israel.” (v.63b). Terrible affliction
is today upon the whole world. And it will get worse before
it gets better. The culture of death rampages over the whole
land, devastating families, cultures, nations.
know that God is victorious. But nevertheless we suffer the
onslaught of godless men who push the agenda of death. Let
us then be faithful to God and our call, and rise in defense
of faith, family and life.