By E.J. Cox | TRINICY.org | Volume I Issue IV
To the Legion of Christ: These are unprecedented times. I never thought that I would live to see the day that going to church in the United States of America would be considered dangerous or reckless or somehow immoral. When the State government of Nevada would encourage the casinos and strip clubs to stay open but try to keep the churches closed. When liquor stores and abortion clinics would be propped as essential to the health of the nation but the church would be considered as dangerous to the national health. When National, State and Local leaders are calling for the closure of the churches but are outwardly supporting rioting and acts of violence, it is time for the members of the Church of Jesus Christ to stand in defiance of Caesar.
What is even more concerning to me are the Christians, especially those of my generation, who would value perceived safety over their duty to worship Christ and fellowship together. When has the Church ever allowed itself to be intimidated by slander, loss of popularity, or threats of fines or imprisonment? How shall the Church have been created if Christ had refused the Cross? How shall the early Church have been fed if Paul had allowed himself to be silent to avoid imprisonment? Let us not forget the countless saints who were thrown to the lions in the Colosseum, who were burned alive, who were sawn in two, and who were crucified. The American Church has grown so soft from lack of persecution. Don’t misunderstand me, I am glad that we in the American church have had such freedom, unknown to the history of the church, but we have become weak from a lack of persecution. What is worse, too many in the American church desire earthly friendship, peace, and comfort more than they value their fellowship with their fellow soldiers in Christ.
Lastly, when did the Church of Jesus Christ become so afraid of death? We are called to be above the fear of death. Whether it be from a virus, cancer, disease, nature, or our fellow man, we are called to embrace death. I chafe under the constant use of phrases, such as “Until it’s safe.” Safety is an illusion! I am sorry to say it but death is an ever-present character in your life. It may strike you at any moment! There is no escape from it and there is no way to truly prevent it or escape from the reaper’s grip. For what reason should the follower of Christ fear death? As the apostle Paul wrote “For to live is Christ and to die is gain”! The more expediently you can embrace this simple fact, the more expediently you will live without fear of death.
I therefore issue a call to you, my fellow soldiers, my brothers and sisters, my friends:
STAND FIRM AND UPRIGHT IN YOUR DEFIANCE OF TYRANNY!
Our Christian duty is to obey government as long as it follows the edicts of God. However, as Paul also wrote, “We ought to obey God rather than men.” We must determine that we will die on this hill my friends. If we allow ourselves to be cowed and persuaded to abandon our duty to God in the interest of perceived safety, we will allow ourselves to be persuaded little by little to not meet at all. I encourage you to have no fear, to look persecution, slander, loss of popularity and social acceptance in the face and laugh. These concepts are so temporary in comparison to the wondrous and eternal acceptance and love we have in the arms of our Savior. We will not be scared of a virus, whose supposed danger has been used as a political tool to divide and weaken our body and our country. We will not allow the media, either or professional or social, to dissuade us from our Holy mission. Let it be recorded in the history books that the Western Church stood in defiant obedience to Christ. No King but King Jesus!
Legionnaires, Soldiers, stand firm and keep the Phalanx!
My friends, no doubt you have seen and heard about the trying times in which we live. I do not endeavor to recount all the world events that you know are occurring in our world. That would accomplish nothing but introducing more stress and I will allow the mainstream news media to peddle that product. My intention is to encourage you through our common belief in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The first thing we must recognize as the body of Christ on earth is that we were never promised comfort or painless living on this earth. From the Old Testament to the New Testament, we are confronted with the absolute pain, torment and degradation that all the prophets, saints, and believers have had to suffer on this earth. Job suffered terribly with the loss of his wealth, the murders and killing of his children and the loss of his servants and employees. Job even lost his own health and was reduced to scraping the puss out of his open sores with bits of broken pottery (Job chapters 1-2).
In the book of Acts, Paul lists the various ways in which the Apostles and disciples of Christ were persecuted, tortured, imprisoned and afflicted.Acts 7:54-60 recounts how the Jews stoned and murdered Stephen the Martyr.
The ultimate example of all of these cases, of course, was the scourging and crucifixion of Christ. This month, we have celebrated this event and the resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday. We know from historical documents left by Roman historians like Tacitus and Josephus that the death Christ suffered was on of the most excruciating deaths imaginable.
As a part of His scourging, He would have been beat to the point of near death. His ribs and internal organs would have even been slightly visible through the wounds that would have been inflicted upon Him. He would have lost control of His bowels. By the time He was nailed to the cross (yes, he was nailed and not tied up by rope, as some might say), He would have been an unrecognizable slump of flesh on that cross. In fact, crucifixion was such a horrific form of execution, it was forbidden under Roman law to crucify a Roman citizen. This is the reason Paul was beheaded and not crucified.
However, despite all of this, we have a hope that surpasses all hopes, my friends, because three days later He arose from the dead! The prophet Isaiah foretold this hundreds of years beforehand when he wrote some of the most magnificent words found in the scriptures.
He wrote, “’He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces; The rebuke of His people He will take away forever; for the Lord has spoken’” (Isaiah 25:8). My friends, we have NOTHING to fear! We know that Job was restored, that Stephen sang hymns and prayed as he was stoned to death, and that Christ rose from the grave!
For us, death can only be a positive. Death means that we receive the reward Christ died and was resurrected to win for all Believers. Death means we get to see the Lord face to face. Death means no more crying, no more sorrow, no more pain, no more depression, and no more failure.
My Brothers and Sisters, the Spirit has put it on my heart to address the first, and perhaps most insidious, of the devil’s weapons that has been used against the church. This is a weapon that many of the church, myself included, have fallen victim to over the years. It is my recommendation that if any reader has young, impressionable children that may read this address, to kindly keep this issue of Onward Christian Soldiers from their eyes until they have reached a proper age to understand the content of this issue. It is my belief that the only way to truly combat any weapon is to be able to talk plainly about said weapon in order to more logically understand and combat its intended devastating effects. While this will not be a vulgar analysis, I will not overly censor the nature of the topic.
That weapon which I wish to address is pornography. This weapon is of supreme danger to the life of a Believer. At the present time, estimates suggest that between 60-80% of men in the church, across denominations, are struggling with some form of pornography addiction. Pornography, as defined by dictionary.com, is “sexually explicit videos, photographs, writings, or the like, whose purpose is to elicit sexual arousal.” At one time this material was relatively difficult to find in that it had to be purchased in physical copies from shops that had a social stigma already associated with them. However, the devil has developed this weapon to be much more potent as technology and the internet have made information so quick to procure and so easy to hide. A person can be on a pornographic website within 10 seconds using their smartphone or computer, consume the content, and, when they are done, clear their search history, effectively removing the “evidence” of their activity. It enables a person to live a double life wherein they may live an outwardly positive life, but inside, they are being eaten up with this cancerous spirit.
In recent years, pornography has taken a decidedly darker turn. This new access to online pornography fuels a habit that is comparable to illicit drug use. The brain pathways that excessive internet pornography use create are like those found in addicts of such drugs as methamphetamine. These pathways, once formed, dull the mind to explicit images. This makes the porn-addicted mind seek out more violent and hardcore depictions of intercourse. A person who would have previously been greatly disturbed and disgusted by such images then becomes numb to the material. Pornography addiction creates severe and extreme bouts of depression, anxiety, loss of self-worth, and ultimately deep and dark feelings of loneliness. Additionally, this weapon is the greatest consumer of modern-day slavery and sex trafficking, which has resulted in there being more slaves in the U.S. than before the American Civil War.
Obviously, to us as Christians, we should be concerned about this weapon. Those of you who are students and teachers in high schools or colleges around the world have seen the effects of this weapon on your classmates and students. The loss of empathy, the illicit sexual relationships as people live out what pornography has programmed into them, in fact the complete inability to have healthy relationships is evidence of this weapon’s power. There is no doubt in my mind that it is one source of the growing LGBT sickness in the West. It is the propaganda arm of the over-sexualization of our cultures.
YOU MUST GUARD YOUR HEARTS! GUARD THE HEARTS OF YOUR CHILDREN!
The enemy is working as hard as he can to make sure that your children fall into the aim of this weapon. The average age of an American boy’s first exposure to pornography is roughly 6 years old. Once this addiction is started it will take every ounce of strength to throw off its chains. The enemy will attack you with ever increasing bouts of depression, anxiety, and doubt. He will do everything he can to drive you back into the addiction. But the situation is not hopeless my friends! There is good news from the battlefield!
Just two months ago, around the world, we came together to celebrate the birth of our Captain! He is the one who has come to set the captives free. He is not only the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, but He is the Commander of Commanders and the General of Generals. He is the most intelligent, most seasoned, most proven Leader in history. And, He is on our side! He has delivered us from the weapons of the enemy. Isaiah wrote these words: “’ No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their righteousness is from Me,’ Says the LORD.” My friends, no matter how dark the night, no matter how fearsome the fire of the enemy, we are on the winning side! No matter how loudly the devil yells in your ears, no matter how far down he drags you, you are never outside the reach of God. You only need look up and pray. He will deliver you!
*If you or someone you know is suffering from porn addiction, please find a good Christian Counselor or therapist in your area. The Lord has equipped these people with wonderful talents and skills to destroy this addiction and heal your mind. You CANNOT do it alone. I personally recommend Dr. James Dobson’s Counselor database at https://www.focusonthefamily.com/get-help/counseling-services-and-referrals/. This is a very trusted and rock-solid Christian organization who will get you in touch with a good Christian counselor.
TRINICY: What spiritual habits and disciplines do you follow on a daily basis?
E.J.: I try to read the scriptures and pray on my knees by bedside every night. I find that humbling myself before God resets my spiritual clock for the next day and continually allows God and the Spirit to continuously fill me. I also find that I digest and retain the scriptures better if they are the last thing I read at night. In the morning I try to watch a teaching by one of the great Christian leaders of our time. My go-to teachers are Chuck Swindoll, Charles Stanley, C.S. Lewis (or the recordings of his broadcasts) and Ravi Zacharias. I will also watch Dennis Prager and Jordan Peterson help satiate the need to keep my brain sharp.
TRINICY: Out of all God’s attributes, which one amazes you most? Why?
E.J.: The attribute of God that I admire the most is His unfailing love and grace. There is not a Christian I have met who did not deserve the most painful of deaths and eternities, myself included, for the sins committed against God. Yet, His mercies are new every morning and He blesses us above and beyond anything we can possibly earn or deserve. I am constantly reminded of Hosea's commandment from God to marry an unfaithful woman and love her unconditionally [as his wife]. So many times we are nothing more than unfaithful adulterers, turning ourselves over to the changing winds of culture and popular opinion, and yet, God is always there ready to accept us back into His arms.
TRINICY: Who led you to Christ? Who are you leading or hope to lead to Christ?
E.J.: A local Christian radio host, Bob Burney, was the one the Spirit spoke through to me. At the Baptist Church I grew up in, we always had an old-fashioned American tent revival in the summer. Mr. Burney was always one of the invited speakers. However, one year, he was invited to come to teach in springtime. It was March 2007. I was 10 years old. Mr. Burney was preaching on the Pharisees - specifically, how they believed themselves righteous because of their knowledge of the Law and Prophets, and yet they had no love and no real understanding of God's nature. The Spirit convicted me that I had been like a Pharisee, full of Knowledge but without love or wisdom. I gave my life to Christ because I realized I could only attain the love and wisdom of God through Jesus. I was baptized on Easter Day 2007.
TRINICY: What primary talents and gift(s) has God given you? How are you using them for the kingdom?
E.J.: From an early age, God inspired me with a desire to gain knowledge and wisdom. Even more so than that, God imbued me with a love of reading and writing at an early age. As I have grown and matured my chosen area to use these skills is in the discipline of history. History is nothing more than the recounting of the story that God has already written. And in the reverse, the future is nothing more than the story God has already written but which we have yet turn the page to. They are chapters yet unread. Therefore, my goal in academics, is to make sure that as I write and explicate the history of man, I turn man's eyes back to the Author of it all. It is a large part of the reason I am so enthusiastic to join TRINICY is that it gives me an outlet and tool to accomplish this task.
TRINICY: Which person from the Bible do you resonate with the most? Why?
E.J.: My immediate answer would be David. David was such a flawed man and filled with many emotions and doubts. All one has to do is read the Psalms. David shares his darkest moments of despair and doubt in the future as well as the great heights that God elevated him to. He was a great warrior. Perhaps some of my favorite scriptures to read are of the battles David fought. He was a military genius. He even shared the same temptations with which many Christian men today wrestle. David faltered many times in his sexual purity, going so far as to order one of his best men and friends, Uriah, on a suicide mission so that David could have Uriah's wife. But through all of his faults and worldliness, David comes back to God every time. He humbled himself continually before God. Thus, this broken and, by today's standards, unlovable man was chosen as the fountainhead through which the Messiah was to be born. His story should inspire every Christian today, especially men of the church. In a day where many western societies are spitting upon the idea of masculine manhood, where emasculated men are shown to our boys as what they should aspire to be, we need to look to the examples of David, Solomon, Samuel and all the great men of the Bible.
TRINICY: What social issue do you care most about? Why?
E.J.: It is too hard for me to pick any one issue. If I had to pick a top three, they would be 1. the leftist revolution and its effect in the higher realms of academia; 2. 2nd Amendment rights; 3. the over-sexualization of society and the problems that can cause.
I care about these issues because they are all related in one way or another to the basic rights inherent to human beings. With issue 1, we are seeing blatant attempts to remove the exercise of free speech on campuses, free speech and thought being the basis of any real academic substance or learning. Issue 2 is important because, without the ability to exercise our 2nd amendment rights, our freedoms will be trampled upon because the citizenry loses its ability to defend its sovereignty. Issue 3 is perhaps an unspoken issue, but it is directly responsible for the lack of empathy our society is seeing. I think it is responsible for many of the identity and gender issues in Western society. It is also directly responsible for keeping the slave trade alive and even growing it to levels unseen.
TRINICY: What does being a Christian mean to you? Why Are you a Christian?
E.J.: Being a Christian to me is making Jesus the head executive over everything in your life and allowing Him to guide you where ever He needs you to go. It means you are now enlisted as a soldier in the War of the Ages and you should behave as such.
TRINICY: What does being a Conservative mean to you? Why Are you a Conservative?
E.J.: Being a Conservative means that I am devoted to the traditional values of Christendom that have survived through the ages. It means that, while I may disagree with someone, I support their right to disagree with me. It means that I am cautious of change and I examine everything that is occurring around me through the lens of the Bible and what it tells me is correct or incorrect. It means I have a respect for those dead generations who sacrificed their tomorrows for my today and I will fight to uphold the values and institutions they died to maintain.
TRINICY: What has your experience been like as a Conservative Christian on and/or off campus?
E.J.: I have experienced blatant bias against my opinion. I have been blessed with a firm foundation that, while shaken, was not broken. I have seen many Christians walk away from the faith because of the lies and poison they allowed into their hearts at University. I even distinctly remember the Bible Study I was a member of, being told that we could not put up posters with crosses, whereas the LGBT club could plaster buildings on campus with pride flags and the Muslim student group was allowed to post posters with political causes on the main thoroughfares on campus. I learned very quickly to blend in and hold my tongue until the right moment.
TRINICY: What were your first thoughts when you heard about TRINICY?
E.J.: I was ecstatic! I was so glad to finally become part of a group that has the real potential to effect change on campus and right many of the wrongs that have occurred in Academia.
TRINICY: What book(s) do you recommend conservative Christians read to help strengthen their faith in a secular and/or liberal setting?
E.J.: The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. This Present Darkness and Piercing The Darkness by Frank Peretti. The Crisis by Thomas Paine. I would also highly recommend reading the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights as these documents are inspirational and help to illustrate the most effective ways for Conservative Christians to make a difference.
TRINICY: What advice or resource would you offer to fellow conservative Christians today?
E.J.: GUARD YOUR HEARTS! It is so easy to be taken captive by the many vices floating on the airwaves and in our society as a whole. Do not be deceived, even if you go to a Christian University, the enemy's agents are working in every way to tempt you into sin. Remember, their penultimate goal is to drag you away from the promises that God has laid out for your life. Test every thought and spirit that comes into your mind. Be especially wary of those people who speak of "humanistic" ideals. These ideas lead very rapidly to the dismantling of faith, but are presented as good and can even be mistaken by the uninitiated as somewhat Christian. The Bible tells us that the Devil is both the father of lies and that he will appear at times as an angel of light. Trust me, I have seen a number of good Christians and good men get pulled down by these deceptions. Above all things, remember who you are and most importantly Whose you are. Pray continuously and constantly search for Jesus' leading and His knowledge and wisdom.
TRINICY: What is an interesting/unusual fact most people don’t know about you?
E.J.: I was an actor through most of middle and high school and my two favorite characters I played were Oliver Warbucks in Annie and Justice Wargrave in the stage adaptation of Agatha Christie's novel Ten Little Indians.
TRINICY: What passion or dream keeps you up at night or wakes you up in the morning?
E.J.: My desire to continuously find in history, both ancient and present, where God was at work. There are so many examples!
TRINICY: If Jesus were physically here now, what would you want to ask Him or talk about?
E.J.: What was it like writing this great story and how big is the Universe, really?
TRINICY: What are the three greatest life lessons you’ve learned thus far?
E.J.: 1. Never Never Never give up. 2. Always put God first. 3. (For men) A righteous woman is truly rare and worth more than most anything in this world.
TRINICY: Which Christian song best connects with you?
E.J.: There are honestly too many to pick one. Since it is the name of my column, the hymn "Onward Christian Soldiers" has always resonated with me personally.
TRINICY: What legacy do you want to leave as a Christian?
E.J.: I want my legacy to reflect the grace and love that was shown to me by Christ. When the books of my life are closed I hope that, while I may not be counted as one of the lions of the faith, I can proudly say that I encouraged and supported them and drove them on to victory.
TRINICY: Which teacher has impacted you most? How?
E.J.: In terms of academics I would have to say my second grade teacher, Mr. Edward Ziegler. He is the one I credit with my passion for history. Every Friday was story day in his class and, because he grew up in Gettysburg PA, he would tell us stories of the Civil War and the battlefield he grew up playing on. I have certain artifacts in my collection that are from Mr. Ziegle.
TRINICY: What is your life verse? Why?
E.J.: Of the many, many verses I would choose, one that has stuck with me from my early days was Psalm 144:1 "Blessed be the Lord my Rock, Who trains my hands for war, And my fingers for battle." This verse, written by David, has always illustrated that God forms your skills and talents. While this is in reference to warfare (of which God has always been a perfecter) and it resonates with me because of that, more so, it shows that nothing you do for God or in His service is completely of your own power.
HAVE MORE QUESTIONS FOR E.J.?
What did you think of E.J.'s brief Spotlight Interview? Is there a follow-up question you'd like to ask based on his answers above? Is there a question you wish we had asked or he had answered? Leave them in the comments below or email us to continue the conversation!
WE WOULD LOVE TO FEATURE MORE CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIANS ON TRINICY.
If you know of other conservative Christians on or off campus we could feature, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By E.J. Cox | TRINICY.org | Volume I Issue I
Attention to Orders! Members of TRINICY, you have been recruited to the Armies of the Living God. You are entering, whether you are aware of it or not, the War of the Ages!
The forces of the Devil have been allowed to ravage our educational system for too long. They have infiltrated even the highest levels of Academia. That beautiful palace, once the thinking place of great Christian scholars like Newton, Galileo, and Da Vinci, has been slowly poisoned into an atheistic, pluralistic, and anti-Christian cesspool of deceit. Many of these current scholars have for too long pushed for the destruction of the basic and inherent human rights to free speech, free thought, self-defense, and self-autonomy.
We, my friends, have been called to combat this destruction of Christian morals and Christian law. We have been called to use our many great and varied gifts to bring the light hurtling back into Academia. We are that great counter-offensive which will make the Devil and those who follow his deception quiver in their boots. This will not be an easy battle. Many of us will be unfairly mocked, derided, disenfranchised and otherwise cut from society. In fact, some of us may face physical violence in parts of this world. But we must look to our Captain, Jesus, and have faith in the final victory assured to us on the Cross. Have faith and press forward the attack like the knights of old!
Our cause is just, and we know that no matter the enemy or his fire, we shall press forward all the harder. “The wicked flee when no man pursues, but the Righteous stand bold as a lion” the Proverbs tell us. No matter your age, race, whether you are male or female, health or wealth, stand your ground! We must embody the spirit of the Greek soldiers who stood at the Battles of Marathon and Thermopylae. They used the phalanx formation, where one man’s shield covered the left side of the man next to him. Those men behind used their shields to help push the front men forward and kept the line from bowing or breaking. The phalanx was almost completely protected from the arrows and the horses of the enemy. The phalanx could only be broken when the Hoplites could no longer stand together and could be picked off individually. We must rely on each other to survive these dark days of intellectual and social combat ahead of us. Therefore, I leave you with these words of encouragement:
Keep the Phalanx and On to Victory!
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