Italy has elected Giorgia Meloni, its first female prime minister, whose focus on protecting the institution of the family and national identity has caused some media outlets to compare her ideology to “fascism.”
The 45-year-old firebrand insists she’s no fascist, just a proud conservative and nationalist, comfortable nevertheless with some of the hallmarks of Italian fascism, like this motto: God, fatherland and family,” CBS’ Chris Livesay reported.
The politician’s supporters see her as committed to upholding the values of God, family, and country as European leaders increasingly embrace cosmopolitan and secular values of supranational organizations like the European Union as opposed to individual nation-states. However, mainstream media outlets have tied Meloni and her party to fascism. As conservative political commentator Ann Coulter pointed out, a New York Times article used the word “fascist” or “fascism” 28 times when discussing the possibility of a Meloni victory.
Meloni has elaborated on her philosophy in multiple speeches over the past few years. In a speech at the World Congress of Families in 2019, she asked, “Why is the family an enemy? Why is the family so frightening?” “There is a single answer to all these questions,” she suggested. “Because it defines us. Because it is our identity. Because everything that defines us is now an enemy for those who would like us to no longer have an identity and to simply be perfect consumer slaves.”
Meloni lamented what she viewed as attacks on “national identity,” “religious identity,” “gender identity” and “family identity.” She expressed concern that “I can’t define myself as Italian, Christian, woman, mother” but instead must define herself as “citizen x, gender x, parent 1, parent 2.”
“I must be a number. Because when I am only a number, when I no longer have an identity or roots, then I will be the perfect slave at the mercy of financial speculators,” she added. Meloni stated that her opposition to serving as “the perfect slave at the mercy of financial speculators” is why “we inspire so much fear.” Meloni vowed to “defend the value of the human being,” stressing that “each of us has a unique genetic code that is unrepeatable.” “That is sacred. We will defend it. We will defend God, family and country, those things that disgust people so much,” Meloni said. The Italian politician cited the defence of God, family and country as necessary to “defend our freedom” and ensure that “we will never be slaves and simple consumers at the mercy of financial speculators.”
A new study released by the Southern Baptist Convention-affiliated Lifeway Research titled the “State of Theology, found that 60% of U.S. adults believe that religious beliefs are “a matter of personal opinion” and “not about objective truth.”
Scott McConnell, the executive director of Lifeway Research, said in a statement released Monday that he believed the COVID-19 pandemic played a factor in the findings.
“Religious identity, beliefs, and behavior are interrelated,” said McConnell. “When in-person church attendance behaviors were interrupted and habits were broken, it affected some Americans’ beliefs about the need to gather with other believers to worship.”
“Many Americans think about God as if He had only revealed Himself in a vague, nondescript way. They seem to fill in the gaps with whatever they want to believe,” McConnell stated.
“This creates sharp contrasts between what Americans believe about God and how He revealed himself in great detail in the Bible.”
It is interesting that the study revealed that a little over half of U.S. adults (53%) still say sex outside of traditional marriage is a sin, in contrast to 42% who disagree. In fact, it marks an increase in Americans who see non-marital sex as sinful compared to 2016 when 49% said it was sinful which is a hopeful sign.
The study reported that 46% of Americans believe that the Bible’s condemnation of homosexual behavior is not relevant today, while 42% believe that it is still relevant.
“Discussions of sin are inherently theological because they explore whether God set standards and what behaviors miss this mark,” McConnell noted.
“So, those who acknowledge certain behaviors as sin are acknowledging a deity’s standards. This is a different discussion than whether society agrees on an ethical standard of conduct that we determine.”
Just as God’s nation Israel fell away from understanding God as Creator and the one whom they should fear. America a nation founded on knowing and fearing God likewise is falling away fast and opening the nation up to God’s judgment and ultimate wrath.
“Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it.” Deuteronomy 10:14
“And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord, which I am commanding you today for your good?” Deuteronomy 12:11-13
Jesus told us beforehand that in the last days before His return that people would no longer believe He exists and to be feared, as a result, lawlessness will increase.
“And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” Matthew 24:12-13
Will you be one of those that endure to the end and as a result be saved?
There is a misconception about the fear of God, but that’s where true wisdom begins.
Fear is not always bad. It keeps us alive, it keeps us from hurting ourselves, it keeps us from hurting others, fear makes us take our children or ourselves to the doctor. Fear keeps former alcoholics away from social gatherings where alcohol may be served, so fear has kept people alive and out of trouble, but it can also become debilitating if it’s an irrational fear, however, the fear of God is not this kind of fear. It’s not the fear of being struck dead or cast into hell because God gives us a choice. Jesus said, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him” (John 3:36).
If you reject Christ as your one and only hope, then you have every reason to fear. Jesus said we should “not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28). For believers, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love”. (1 John 4:18). Believers fear God, but it’s not the fear of judgment. Their sins were placed upon Christ. This fear is a deep, holy, reverential fear and respect for God and His Word. Fearing God means we obey God and His Word. That is the fear of the Lord, and that is where wisdom begins
Seeking Wisdom: To have wisdom is to have the ability to think and act using past knowledge and life’s experiences, and then understanding how these two relate. Wisdom is having a common sense and insight that only time, experience, and education can bring. Based on this, we can act with confidence in making choices or decisions, and knowing when it is best to avoid certain situations. Most people gain wisdom the hard way…by making mistakes, but these are often the best teachers. If you’re faced with an important decision, then pray to God and ask Him for godly wisdom. James tells us that “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (James 1:5). Scripture is full of wisdom. Moses wrote that we are to “Keep them and do them (God’s commandments), for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples.” (Deuteronomy 4:6a).
“The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?“Psalms 27:1
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains are moved into the heart of the sea” Psalms 46:1-2
“Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who greatly delights in his commandments! His offspring will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed.” Psalms 112:1-2
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” Psalm 23:4-5
“You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday… because you have made the LORD your dwelling place, the Most High, who is my refuge, no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent.” Psalms 91:5-6,9-10
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?“Psalms 56:3-4
The Word of God is enough, you do not need words from Ron Edwards.
To build Christians that will stand strong and stay the course, leaders will need to not only to teach sound doctrine, but even more importantly, be a godly example and live a sanctified life of fidelity to the truth, thus helping to mature the saints. Ministers and especially pastors/shepherds will, like leaders in the Book of Acts, need to share their lives with their flock, and therefore, teach more by their life example perhaps than anything else.
In Jesus’ parable (Matt. 7:24-27) He uses a storm, signifying the pressures, hardships and trials of life, as well as the persecutions we will suffer for the gospel, as a measuring gauge for how solid our foundation is. And what is our foundation based upon? Jesus taught us that it is based upon doing His sayings. Obedience is the issue. “”Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 7:21). Obedience, not lip service, is what God requires.
Have you ever thought about what gives us the strength and fuel to obey God? Why are some people obedient and some are not? Why are some doers of the Word and some are not? Why do some people stay faithful to God and remain true while others do not? Why do some start this Christian race but never finish? What is it that causes us to endure to the end (Matt. 24:13)?
I would like to suggest that it is the fear of the Lord. Obedience to the Lord is not only proof of your love for Him (John 14:21), but also of your fear of Him. There’s been an emphasis on love, although we’ve fallen short of the full counsel of God in that area, too, but there has not been nearly as much of an emphasis on the fear of the Lord. It takes both of them to produce a strong constitution in your Christian life. Notice in the following two different translations how the love of obedience in Jesus was rooted in the fear of the Lord. They are identical. Or a better way to say it would be that the manifestation of the fear of the Lord is obedience to His Word and His commandments.
“And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.” Isaiah 11:3 ESV
“He will delight in obeying the Lord.” Isaiah 11:3 NLT
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7
By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; Proverbs 24:3
If we build our lives and homes on the true wisdom and knowledge of God that comes from the foundation of the fear of the Lord, we need not fear the storm, because we will stand.
Paul’s Great Desire
One of the apostle Paul’s greatest burdens was this very thing: that the people He ministered to would stand firm in their faith and remain obedient to God even in the midst of the troubles and persecutions of his day. Other New Testament writers shared the same burden.
Paul’s great desire was that the people he taught would not falter under pressure, lest his work be useless or his labour be in vain. Notice his great concern for the Thessalonian saints (1 Thess. 3:1-9). He had warned them of the troubles that would soon come. In his farewell speech to the Ephesian elders, he warned them of the same troubles (Acts 20:25-31). To the Galatians and the Hebrews he did the same, warning them not to turn back to the Law. He was preparing them for the storm and the persecution they would receive from preaching the cross and paying the price to follow Jesus. Warnings are such a large part of the Scriptural admonition that Paul and the other New Testament writers gave to the churches. Today there is a glaring absence of these warnings in our preaching.
Here are some more scripture warnings: Matthew 7:15, 10:17, 24:4-5, 24:11-13, 24:24; Mark 12:38-40; Luke 12:1, 15; Acts 20:29-31; 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10:12, 11:3; Galatians 6:7; Ephesians 5:6, Philippians 3:2, 18; Colossians 1:28, 2:8; 1 Timothy 4:16; Hebrews 2:1-3, 4:1; 2 Peter 1:10, 3:17.
Fellow minister and preacher, how well are you preparing yourself and your people for the storm? Are you teaching them the whole counsel of God or catering to itching ears? Are you including the warnings in your preaching? Are you preaching on only the goodness and mercy of God, or do you also preach on His severity, wrath and judgments? Are you only preaching on the love of God, or do you place emphasis on His holiness too? Do you ever preach on sin and repentance? Are your concepts of the love of God and the grace of God accurate and in accordance with Scripture?
If not, then Paul warns, we may be guilty of the blood of men: “Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I did not keep from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. …. Therefore watch, remembering that for three years night and day I did not cease to warn everyone with tears” (Acts 20:26-27, 31).
Make sure you are preparing yourselves and those whom God has entrusted to you for the storm. Oh, how much stronger our churches would be if we included these things in our preaching and teaching and living them out before the people!
Jesus expected the church to remain in a state of fear of the Lord:
“Do not fear those who kill the body but are not able to kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matt. 10:28).
But I will warn you whom you shall fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell. Yes, I say to you, fear Him” (Luke 12:5).
“Fear came to every soul. And many wonders and signs were done through the apostles” (Acts 2:43).
In the Hebrew, there are two types of fear: one is to revere, and implies a state of fear. The other indicates sudden alarm, or being afraid which is a temporary condition.
In the Greek, just one word is used—to frighten, alarm, or be in awe.
The fear of the Lord referenced in the church in Acts was indicative of a continuing “state of” fear, i.e. being in awe of the Lord, rather than a temporary condition.
A brief survey of the rest of the New Testament reflects this theme of the fear of the Lord in the early church:
“On hearing these words, Ananias fell down and died. And great fear came on all those who heard these things. The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him. About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter said to her, ‘Tell me whether you sold the land for this amount?’ She said, ‘Yes, for that much.’ Peter said to her, ‘How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.’ At once she fell down at his feet and died. Upon entering, the young men found her dead and carried her out and buried her beside her husband. Great fear came on the entire church and on all those who heard these things. Many signs and wonders were performed among the people by the hands of the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon’s Porch” (Acts 5:5-12).
Also see: Acts 9:31, 13:16, 19:17-19, 2 Cor 7:1,11, Eph 5:21, Eph 6:5, Phil 2:12, 1Tim 5:20; Heb 4:1, 12:28; 1 Pet 2:17, 3:2,3:15
Most importantly, the fear of the Lord always results in one key behavior found in 1 Peter 4:1:
“Therefore, since Christ has suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin” (1 Pet. 4:1).
Living in the fear of the Lord always results in the cessation of sin. Proverbs 28:14 shows the contrast between living in fear of the Lord and otherwise: “Happy is the man who always fears, but he who hardens his heart will fall into mischief.”
The fear of the Lord is seen to come upon the church in two ways throughout the New Testament:
External Pressure: God moves supernaturally to respond to sin/evil (Acts 15 and 19) and the people understand and experience the fear of God. This is a reactive response of the church to judgement of sin.
Internal Submission: Believers cease sinning because of fear/awe toward God. This is a proactive response of the church.
Actually, it is the spirit of fear of the Lord that rises up in the heart:
“The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.He shall delight in the fear of the Lord, and he shall not judge by what his eyes see, nor reprove by what his ears hear” (Isa. 11:2-3).
The spirit of fear of the Lord is one of the seven spirits of God (Rev. 1:4).
The fear of the Lord is a spirit sent by God (Rev. 5:6), which rests upon us (Isa. 11:2).
So then, the answer to the question of how the church can rise to this level of unity is: by living in the fear of the Lord.
The fear of the Lord may come in either of two ways to the church:
It comes sovereignly as God exposes and judges sin in the church (Acts 5:5, 19:17; 2 Cor. 7:11).
It comes as believers forsake sin and submit to the Holy Spirit (to convict of sin and convince to righteousness and concerning judgment, 1 Peter 4:1).
Extract from article by Louis Posthauer is the executive director of Hunters of the Harvest Ministry.
“JESUS, who in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His godly fear (reverence).” Hebrews 5:7
Are your prayers being answered? Are you praying with godly fear like Jesus, with vehement cries and tears like Jesus.
“If My people, who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
Notice it is only IF we do theses things, and it is only CHRISTIANS – MY PEOPLE who can pray. It is when we HUMBLE ourselves and TURN FROM OUR WICKED WAYS & SEEK HIS FACE only then He will hearfrom heaven and answer our prayers.
We cannot pray righteous prayers if we are committing unrighteous acts.
The process of restoration:
CONVICTION of sin by the Holy Spirit
CONFESSION of sin by us.
FORGIVENESS by God, through Christ’s blood by FAITH.
REPENTANCE is a conscious decision to turn around and sin no more.
RESTORATION of our relationship with God.
In order to be restored we need to move from CONFESSION to REPENTANCE. CONFESSION is not REPENTANCE.
WHY WE SHOULD FEAR GOD: 1. We should fear God because of WHO HE IS – Psalm 89:6-7, Jeremiah 10:6-7. 2. We should fear God for WHAT HE HAS DONE – Psalm 33:6-9. 3. We should fear God because of WHATHE IS DOING – Psalm 66:5, Psalm 130:3-4, 1 John 1:9, 1 John 4:18
PROMISES FOR THOSE WHO FEAR GOD: 1. The promise of PROVISION – Psalm 34:9-10. 2. The promise of PROTECTION – Psalm 33:18-19. 3. The promise of PURITY – Psalm 103:12-13, 2 Corinthians 7:1. 4. The promise of BLESSING – Psalm 128:1-4. 5. The promise of PROLONGED DAYS – Proverbs 10:27.
Check out all of these Scriptures you will be blessed when you do.
LIVE ETERNAL NOW, you will be blessed when you do.