4.15.2009

Governor Hair Gets Busy


As welcome as this is, I have to wonder if Governor Hair (Tex. Gov. Rick Perry) has had his annual life insurance checked...

4.14.2009

Persecution and Reflection, Part 10

4/14/09 - 3rd Day - Afternoon. We returned from our 6 week trip to Australia in late 2002 with a deeper and more abiding understanding of the fallen nature of both men and the modern institution that calls itself the "church". In just a few short years I had gained the beginnings of an education on what the Bible has to say about persecution, namely that "all that will live Godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution" (2 Tim. 3:12). This is not a promise to any but those who will live Godly in Christ Jesus. I determined to learn more about Persecution, its roots and causes, its nature and character, and in 2006 I wrote an article entitled Persecution a Promise. There are those who, since they are naturally predisposed against the message that I preach, or because of some personal enmity with me, will conclude with no evidence at all that my preaching and teaching on Persecution amounts to a Persecution or martyrs complex. This is inevitable. But anyone who had lived through any of the events I describe in this series (all very public events, all testified to by witnesses) would come to the conclusion that maybe the Lord was allowing these things because he desires witnesses against this wicked and corrupt age, and a testimony of His goodness and mercy in times of trial and tribulation.

I had originally determined to keep going through all of the subsequent events, year by year, to drive home the point, but I have since concluded that this would really only further sicken and harden the reader - and it may come across as vengeful or angry on my part, which is something I do not desire or feel. However, during the rest of this series, I hope to examine some of the roots and causes of persecution and strife, and in doing so I will just generally share some quick lessons from subsequent experiences in the years between 2003 and the present.

I have previously noted that virtually every case of persecution or attacks had its root in covetousness. Also, a little over a month ago I wrote an article entitled Charity and Guile which I included in the 2nd part of my "How to destroy Christian Community" series (which I have not yet completed). Hopefully the reader has had the opportunity to read and study about those characteristics, because a good knowledge of those root causes will help as we move forward. Particularly, if you have the opportunity right now to go read the Charity and Guile article, it will be very helpful. Only recently I came to a deeper understanding of the character and nature of persecution. After some recent events, I went back and examined many of the events I've related here for you in this series, particularly with the goal of trying to draw further parallels between events, persons, etc. that might be helpful in our study. A friend then recently reminded me of something I had said about one of the men who had moved down here to our Christian community some time ago, but who, due to his own bad character and temper had been unable to live his life in true Christian community, and who had since become a virulent attacker of me and the ministry. This man had moved into our community claiming that he had a desire to live Godly and separated in Christian community, but very soon after he had moved down we discovered that his life and character were completely contrary to how he said he wanted to live. On many, many occasions this man could be heard yelling and screaming the most vile obscenities at his wife (I mean obscenities that would make a truck driver or a sailor blush). The problem was that at one point he lived more than a quarter of a mile from me, and we could still hear him on many nights cursing his wife - so this is not a case of people eavesdropping on them. My children, unhappily, learned many new words during this time. This man was confronted on several occasions, but this cursing was not his only public vice. Anytime he and wife were confronted with some act or offense, they would laugh as if it was funny. They had no real feeling or sorrow for anything they ever did wrong. If they realized they were in some trouble, they would apologize, but only through giggles and laughter. The man would tell shocking stories of how he would torture and kill animals (pets, cats, dogs, etc.) when he was young, and he would do this before the whole group, and he had no sorrow or real repentance for these actions. It is acceptable in some few cases to speak of our past sin in order to teach through it or to show repentance and sorrow for it, but it is never acceptable to glory in it. He was actually bragging about these things, and he would laugh when telling the stories. When at last his behavior became too much for anyone to bear, I confronted him with all these things, and I told him something that a friend just recently brought back to my memory. The friend said, "You called him a sociopath". And he was a classic sociopath. And when this friend brought this back to my memory it caused me to go back through many of the events of the last several years and I was not surprised to find that sociopathy was a common thread running through many of the events.

So what is a sociopath and why is it important? Read closely and pay attention...

A sociopath is a person who has no real human care or emotion. He or she may have emotions, but they are twisted and unnatural. A sociopath has no empathy, meaning that they are incapable of true Biblical love and care for anyone or anything. They see all people and objects as means to an end, and not as creations of God that bear witness to His glory and power. They generally cannot hold a job or have any real relationships for any length of time. Every other person, to a sociopath, is seen in relation to how they can benefit the sociopath. When a person cannot benefit that person, they are easily and willfully cast aside or destroyed. The sociopath NEVER, EVER, EVER takes responsibility unless doing so will bring some benefit. For example, the sociopath will feign sorrow or repentance but only if he/she sees it as necessary to his or her short or long term good. When the person sees no personal gain to be had from an apology or repentance, they will never, ever apologize or repent. They will apologize if they think that the event is making them look bad, or if it exposes them in a light they do not accept for themselves, but they will not Biblically repent in sorrow. The sociopath is generally a con man, but not always an open and avowed one. They change like the wind to their circumstances, and they are always in some type of "game", meaning that they are looking to gain carnally from every experience. The sociopath is generally not a producer, but is a consumer and they are usually very adept at latching themselves on to some person or group that they feel can help them. As I said before, the sociopath has no real care or emotion for anyone, but sees everyone as a means to an end. The sociopath, when caught or exposed, will always make counter-charges and if he determines he cannot "win" he will flee, rather than do the right thing. The sociopath can be the most vociferous and hurtful enemy because he or she has spent the entire span of the relationship gathering information to be twisted and used if the need ever were to arise. Most sociopaths have these traits codified in them before they turn 15 years of age, and they very, very rarely ever are healed of their sociopathy. Sociopaths are ubiquitous in religious circles because they have found that religious people are usually far more gullible, far easier to "con", and far more willing to forgive and forget offenses for a longer period of time. Young sociopaths are very likely to be animal torturers who grow into worse habits because an animal (like people to the sociopath) is only an object to be used and abused for pleasure or fun. An animal is not seen as an object of God's creation that exists for a purpose and which is deserving of respect and care. An animal is also not capable of "telling" or exposing the abuser. Now, this is not saying that all children who abuse animals (most will abuse them until they are taught not to) are sociopaths. It is saying that sociopaths generally do not learn not to abuse, and when they do find out it is wrong, they are not sorrowful or repentant about it. Sociopaths, then, sometimes will become child abusers, pedophiles, spousal abusers, etc. Some incarcerated sociopaths will come to admit that they have all these traits and qualities, but they find they are unable to do anything about them. Some define themselves as emotionally stunted, selfish, carnal, or "twisted". Not all sociopaths will exhibit all the symptoms, but virtually all of them will exhibit most or many of them. Sociopaths will often, but not always, marry or "couple up" with other sociopaths.

An understanding of socipathy is important to our study because I began to reflect on how many of the people we whom have encountered in our journey of Christian separatism and community are actually sociopaths. It is also important to note how difficult it can be to know beforehand when you are dealing with a sociopath. The sociopath can have many of the traits of the very people who are truly seeking Christ and His true ways of life and living (I will explain this at the end of this section), and the sociopath is an expert in copying or falsifying "fruit". The sociopath is often a very quick and diligent student when he or she knows that there is great benefit to be had by such study; and the sociopath is usually a master mimic and con man. If I write an article explaining some trait or fruit of true Christianity (such as meekness, etc.) the sociopath will begin to carnally act out what he sees as meekness, despite having no spiritual principle of meekness to display. Some sociopaths, in fact, will adopt an entire lifestyle and character of false humility, false meekness, etc., meaning that some few will always engage in self-deprecation or self-humiliation, often to put off or deflect the need for anyone else to challenge or confront them. Immature Christians, and even some mature ones, then, will often constantly forgo or neglect their duty to examine true fruit, and to challenge or confront the sociopath.

As I said, sociopaths are quite often found in professing Christian groups or surrounding religious groups or institutions in some way. Some just feel the need to be around something holy and good, while most sociopaths are looking for some benefit to be derived from the relationship. This effect is multiplied in the internet and blogging age. Any person with access to a computer and the internet can start up a blog and write about Christianity. The sociopath is a master of spiritual thievery and plagiarism, and often will portray themselves online in the most pure and holy way, and literally millions are often deceived by them. For example, we had a couple who moved down to participate in our fellowship that had all the outward signs of truly desiring in a spiritual way to live this life. Not long after they moved down I had to have a long talk with the husband because, as I told him at the time, he had no evident love or affection for the brethren. The couple had moved down because of their previous relationship with me, and though I am just one member of a large community, this couple really made no attempt to show any true love or affection for anyone else in the group. This couple felt (wrongly, of course) that if they were close to me, that they were untouchable. After I confronted the husband the first time, they made an obvious attempt to put away the view that they were unloving or uncharitable by having other families and individuals over to their house for dinner, but it soon became obvious that dinner at their house was actually just an opportunity for gossip and for this couple to gather information on other members of the group. The wife soon started a blog, and if you just read that blog and did not know her, you would think everything was, as we say, "sunshine and baby ducks". She spent hundreds of hours and hundreds of dollars creating a blog that said all the right things and that portrayed her and her family in a light that was not true. There was copious scripture and plenty of quilts and flowers and aprons, and lots of talk of Agrarianism, separatism, etc., but in reality she spent a good part of her day gossiping, going from house to house to spiritually murder others, and basically being a backbiter. While portraying herself as a Proverbs 31 woman, in fact she was a Proverbs 7 woman.

The penultimate wicked experience with this woman was when she slithered up next to my 15 year-old daugher (Tracy) while my wife and I were out of town in order to try to get her to say that her father (me) was an immoderate drinker and that I was abusive. My daughter was so offended that she sent me an email to tell me what happened. The woman had tried to insinuate that I was a heavy drinker and that I got drunk all the time. When Tracy told her I did not get drunk at all, and that I only had a drink or two sometimes in the evenings, she told Tracy that maybe I didn't get "drunk" per se, but only "tipsy". When Tracy told her that she had not seen me tipsy and that I did not abuse her, her mother, or the children, the woman told her "Well, just think about it". Tracy said that she did think about it, and the more she thought about it the more she concluded that this woman was up to something. Tracy concluded her email to me in this way:
"I believe she has made this up out of the clear blue sky. I live with you and I don't see you drink so often as she puts it. I have talked this over with Mom, and she told me that you should know and offered to tell you, but I decided to get around any twists that might come out of going through so many people. Not against Mom by any means, but you know how things get started. I do not feel I am betraying Kris as I have gracefully ignored many, many other things she has concocted, telling myself that she will get over so-and-so before long, and then I don't have to listen to her so awful much. She should have the backbone to tell you her worries as a Sister in Christ, looking out for you. Or at least get her husband to confront you. This behind your back stuff doesn't sit well with me. But I have been guilty of it before. Sadly. But anyways, I will let you get back to work, and know that I for one am behind what you decide. And I pray the Lord guides you to what you are to do.

Tracy Michelle Bunker
"
I am very well pleased to have such a mature daughter. If only the grown-ups could be so mature.

As time went by the couple made it clear that they had no intention of building a homestead, but instead they desired to BUY one. By this I mean that they believed that if you wanted a homestead, you went to the world for a few months to make as much money as you can and you just bought whatever you think a homestead looked like. They figured if you threw money at the situation, you could fix it. The elders noticed that the couple spent all their time in the world, either earning money or shopping for "stuff", and after more than a year here they had grown no garden or crops, owned no animals (other than a dog), and had made no real off-grid progress (but they did have a nice blog.. you see, being an expert in Internetland is easy!). Their entire existence revolved around shopping, buying, manipulating, and soul-murder. Eventually it became obvious that their covetousness had run rampant. They desired their neighbors acreage, and every attempt over many years was made to try to kick others off their property or to convince them to move elsewhere so that they could expand their holdings. The wife was often confronted for gossip and backbiting, and this past winter she had to be kicked out of the fellowship for 3 weeks for unchristian and uncharitable behavior. After she supposedly had understood what she did wrong, she went from house to house campaigning against the ruling of the elders because she believed it portrayed her negatively. Eventually, as you can imagine, everything came to a head. When they were confronted after their latest attempt to attack a single woman in the community in order to see her kicked off her land, they, of course, blew up and began to attack me unmercifully with lies and slanders. They had seen me daily for almost 2 years, and had every opportunity to tell me if they thought I was doing anything wrong. But, when specifically asked if they had ought against me, they had said no. After they were confronted though, of course, they had a book of "charges" going back 2 years (none ever made public or brought forth until the husband was confronted for his misdeeds) that they used as rationale for their attacks.

***pause*** I break here because when I say, they had a "book", you might think that I am exaggerating. They and their cohorts literally produced a 40 page professionally bound book of lies, half-truths, innuendo, concoctions, and bizarre remembrances... actually that is not technically true, the book was 90% copied and pasted from various commentaries and the Bible, as I said, sociopaths are generally good mimickers and plagiarists. They will make a false statement (such as... Michael Bunker gets drunk every night) and then they will post 5 pages of commentaries about how getting drunk is bad, even though they know I would agree with that. Anyway, they then distributed this book, even in town to unbelievers, in order to campaign for themselves! More on this in the next part ***unpause***

After they were unanimously removed from the fellowship, of course, they fled both the community and the region. The point is that if you read their blog, you would be totally unaware of their true character. She is always talking about "getting back to her first love", and "trying to live like True Christians", etc. But when the time came to walk the walk, they cut and fled - leaving a trail of lies, deceptions, slanders, and destruction in their paths.

If you have studied what the Bible has to say about guile, covetousness, and if you have a good understanding of the sociopath, you can then understand why these things happen.

There is no real reason to go through each of the events in the last several years in detail because they follow the same pattern, and inevitably I am the one who gets brutalized and attacked because I am generally the one tasked with confronting such abuses and errors... the term "kill the messenger" was coined for a reason.

There was the guy who lived with his momma until he was in his late 40's. He hated any "menial" work (which means any work done with the hands), and was more than happy to live on my land, eat my food, and basically live as a squatter and a do-nothing. One evening when a guy in the ministry went to ask him to help with some necessary chore before the sabbath, he was found in his camper (the door was open) dancing around in women's underwear. He was completely afraid to ever say anything about me to me, but when I grew tired of hearing from people who would come to me and tell me the evil things he had to say about me, I confronted him. As you can guess, he made a boatload of accusations and slipped away during the night never to be seen again.

One man moved down with a big sob story about how his wife was an evil Catholic and he just wanted to live simply in Christ Jesus. Again, we found out soon enough he hated to do work and he spent most of his time online and in chat rooms. He was caught violating ministry rules when he left Ranchfest with a woman and had an adulterous fling with her in a local hotel. When he was confronted, he admitted it and feigned sorrow - he felt his gravy train pulling away. But it got worse... When he was caught and punished by the group and it became public, another woman with whom he (unbeknown to us) was having regular internet and phone sex, got really jealous and angry and attacked and blamed me for the whole fiasco - even though I confronted it and dealt with it as soon as I knew about it. Being a forgiving bunch, over a year later we let this man (who repented furiously and repeatedly for his misdeeds) return to the community. Not long after he returned I found out that he was basically making advances on my then 13 year old daughter. As you can guess, he left here permanently after that - really blessed to be alive and not in prison. When he got back out into the world he attacked me personally and claimed I had made it all up.

Just recently we had a family move down. These folks really took the cake, so to speak. The husband was a Jesuit trained (supposed) ex-Catholic and his wife was a not-very-ex Charismatic. I probably should have seen the trouble coming a year earlier. They had intended to come down for Ranchfest a year earlier but after I wrote a blogpost saying that I had taken my wife for an anniversary trip to San Antonio where we like to go listen to the Jim Cullum Jazz Band (and mentioned that I like beer!) - they wrote me a very hateful attack email claiming I was a devil and a "Jesuit" (!!!) because I liked beer and old dixieland jazz. If I had paid better attention, I would have noticed how many errors were in that email. They claimed I went to a "Jazz festival" (which was not true, but It would be nice if it had been), and there were other exaggerations in the email. Many months later the wife emailed me a long supposedly sorrowful apology. She assured me her husband wanted to apologize to me in person (I never got an apology) and said the family wanted to come down to visit with the idea of moving down sometime towards the end of the year. Being a very forgiving and forgetting kind of group, we invited them and received them hospitably. In February, the husband joined with another couple (mentioned previously) and another single man in order to attack an innocent single woman in the group in order to get her kicked off her land so the other couple could expand their land holdings. When I confronted the whole lot of them, they participated in publishing that 40 page book of virulent and untrue attacks on me. This family even went to the extent of posting anonymous, sickening attacks on me on the internet (they posted them anonymously, starting on a UFO site) - attacks they later admitted making and for which they not even half-way apologized. If you have read some of the recent attacks, then you have probably read this couples handiwork. Although they admitted in a private email that they had written the internet postings "out of emotion", and they half-way apologized for them, they have still not publicly apologized or asked for the relevant internet forums to remove the posts. So the posts are still out there, though the casual reader would not know that the writer has admitted that they were false. Very Christian... eh?

If you are like me, even reading this stuff makes your stomach sick. You may say, "Wow... maybe it isn't even worth it", or "I would never want to be part of a community where such things took place". But hold on. Hopefully you have been studying all of this diligently. One of the reasons these things take place is because true Christians are hospitable, open, loving, caring, giving, and forgiving. It would be simple for us to avoid these confrontations. All we would have to do is refuse to help anyone. I receive literally dozens of requests a year for folks to come down and visit, to come see how we live, etc. Hospitality is an obligation to a Christian. Remember that true Christians have many of the same beginning attributes that we saw in these wicked wolves. Many true Christians are "different" from the world, and they find themselves estranged from it. Many true Christians are not able to hold down jobs because they refuse to compromise with corporate wickedness. Many true Christians have trouble with relationships because they have high ideals and they desire true Christian fellowship. Many true Christians have been through sorrows and troubles, and they have truly repented and God has saved them. It would be easy enough for us to avoid all problems merely by refusing to show Christian love and charity to strangers, although some have entertained angels unawares because they are hospitable. It would be easy to avoid persecution - all we would have to do is stay in the world and be a friend to the world. If we would allow wolves to consume the sheep, the wolves would have no quarrell with us. If we would allow deceivers to deceive the flock, deceivers would love us.

Now, hopefully you are starting to get the point I have been driving at throughout this series. It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! (Luke 17:1) Jesus could have avoided persecution and crucifixion. Paul could have avoided being hated and persecuted by the Jews. Persecution is a promise, and all those who choose to live Godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

One more part to come, and I hope you will stay tuned for it.

Your servant in Christ Jesus,

Michael Bunker

4.10.2009


3/13/09 - 2nd - After Breakfast. I'll post this little after-Ranchfest update, then hopefully, if the Lord wills, I'll get back to the Persecution and Reflection series tomorrow. Ranchfest was a great success, and very pleasant, except for the weather. We had weird, bizarre weather the whole week. We had a freeze that killed most of my garden, and we had some days above 90. The wind blew almost consistently above 20 mph and up to 50 mph, which is very odd for this area during this time of year. It would have been difficult to have had a more atypical display of weather for our guests. This in addition to the continuing drought which has been plaguing us for awhile. I'm sure some of our guests felt positive that they were in a windy desert during the summer and winter at the same time. Anyway, Saturday night we received over an inch of much needed rain, and we praise God for that, even if it was much too late to impress most of our Ranchfest guests. Hopefully we'll receive more later this week.

In the top picture (I will try to post more Ranchfest pics later), you will see our Olympic Fencing Team. We were able to complete an almost 300 ft. fence which will be part of what is necessary for me to completely fence in my little homestead from the rest of my acreage before the June 1st deadline when we are going to turn our Pure Longhorn herd loose on the whole ranch to free-range. I want to thank all the men and women of Ranchfest for their diligent work and for the pleasant week of fellowship. If you are interested in the names for the above pic... from the distance moving forward:

Mr. Plumley, Mr. Sifford, Mr. Woods, Mr. Sustaire, Mr. Gurau, Mr. Powers, Me, Mr. Braley, and Mr. McCarthy. Mr. Woods and Mr. McCarthy are the only ones looking backwards. The rest of us are either optimists, or we didn't see whatever predator was sneaking up behind us.

The last Ranchfest guests left on the 7th day, and my parents and sister were coming to visit yesterday (The Lord's Day) so I brought the family into town (Brownwood) and we procured a hotel room next to the one in which my parents and sister would be staying. So we were able to take showers and get a little rest from Ranchfest before the Bunker's arrived to take us to supper. This morning I am writing from the hotel in Brownwood. We will be buying some supplies this morning to replant the garden and hope to be back at work at the ranch later today.

Like I said, I'll try to get back on the Persecution and Reflection series tomorrow morning, so y'all stay tuned.

Your servant in Christ Jesus,

Michael Bunker

4.08.2009

Spring Ranchfest 2009 Update

3/08/09 - 4th Day - After Breakfast. Greetings y'all. Thought I'd post a little update from the Ranch here during Ranchfest. The weather has been variable and interesting. Yesterday morning we had a freeze (down to 29) and it got into the 70's during the day. The late freeze did some havoc in the garden and most likely will negatively affect some of our fruit crop. We will be having to replant some stuff starting next week after Ranchfest. This morning it is 39 degrees, and we are expected to get up to 89 today. Nothing like a good 50 degree swing to make your young garden plants yell UNCLE!

This has really been the Un-Ranchfest. Usually, we have dozens of people who confirm they are coming to Ranchfest, but most of them cancel during the last week or so. This Ranchfest, we had only 6 people confirm in the last two weeks before Ranchfest, but we have had 16 attend, with possible one or two more coming by for a day close to the weekend. So my office was busting at the seams last night for our fellowship. Today we will continue to work on building some fences, we will be installing a new storm door on the front of the cabin, and we will likely begin work putting the metal roof on the smokehouse. Tonight, if the Lord wills, we will have a sermon down at the office, and tomorrow we will be having a Passover seder in the evening.

I hope to get back to our continuing story on Persecution and Reflection as soon as Ranchfest is over. Then, we will be having a special feature for the whole month of May that I will announce soon. You will definitely want to be checking in on the blog every day in May.

It is funny, when people hear we live off-grid out here, they often shake their heads and mutter something silly, like "how quaint", or "why?"... Well, because we have been telling you all for years that your grid system is unreliable and that it will be your downfall...

WASHINGTON - Wall Street Journal - Cyberspies have penetrated the U.S. electrical grid and left behind software programs that could be used to disrupt the system, according to current and former national-security officials.

The spies came from China, Russia and other countries, these officials said, and were believed to be on a mission to navigate the U.S. electrical system and its controls. The intruders haven't sought to damage the power grid or other key infrastructure, but officials warned they could try during a crisis or war.

Yep, here's what y'all got going for ya...

Your electrical grid is penetrated by Russian and Chinese spies,

Your debt system is supported completely by Russian and Chinese investments and deposits that they have promised to end.

Your currency is supported by Russian and Chinese reserve holdings that they have just announced they will now change.

One of your enemies just launched a ballistic missile and the Russian and Chinese governments have told you not to sweat it.

Your internet (which supports and upholds your economy) was recently announced to have been severely hacked and infiltrated by Russian and Chinese hackers.

...but don't you worry, nothing bad could ever happen to you - because you are special. Don't let those quaint off-grid folks get to you. What do they know?

Hey, y'all be cool!

Your servant in Christ Jesus,

Michael Bunker

4.02.2009

Scattershooting in April

4/02/09 - 5th Day - After Breakfast. Hey y'all. Sorry to break into the Persecution and Reflection story, but it is going to be difficult for me to give you all a new episode any time soon. Ranchfest begins on Saturday, so we will have guests here and will be doing projects until the 11th, then my mother and sister are visiting on the 12th, so it looks like all of next week will see no new episodes. However, this blog features a great "re-runs" feature, so all you have to do is go to the archives section over in the right-hand column and you can go back and re-read your favorite episodes!

This caused me great pain... Herrick Kimball has quit his regular blogging and will just be posting a monthly Deliberate Agrarian update. Herrick, I envy you, and I will miss your regular blogs. There are only about 2 other blogs that I check every single day, and yours was one of them. I hope you leaving was not because of the recent stupid and emotional attacks on Christian Agrarianism and the good folks like you who have contributed so much to it. As you said, Christian Agrarianism is not a cult, and exhorting people to get out of the failed industrial system, and to separate from the wickedness of that system, is not cultish or legalistic. One of the unhappy realities of the internet age, is that any nobody worldling with a wrecked personal life, a complete absence of any qualifications, and a trail of personally caused disaster behind him, can start a blog, lie about his credentials and history, and come across as an expert - and, unhappily, gullible people who have never been taught to check the real fruit in a man's life, will read such stupid unlearned and personally driven attacks and pabulum and will suddenly begin to feel peace in the worldly consumerist life that God has condemned. One day I will quit too, Herrick, and I hope it will be sooner and not later. I certainly don't think my work is done yet, but let's just say if the internet disappeared tomorrow, though I would miss many of the friends I have gained through it (like you) I know that I would not miss it. I appreciate your honesty and your honorable way of life, and I hope you stay in touch. I hope to see you again and to have the opportunity to share another meal with you if we ever get the opportunity.

For those of you who just stop by every day to see what's going on, and maybe you don't keep your fingers on the pulse of "Christian Agrarianism", you may not know that the world and it's lovers and adherents have launched a pretty wide and systemic attack on Agrarianism and Separatism lately. The attack has mainly been launched by world-loving women and men who are basically women (neutered males who operate by emotion), but it is impressive in that it is now gaining its "piler onners" (those who already hated the idea of Agrarianism and Separatism, but who were too cowardly to be the first to break a window), the spineless "me too'ers" who claim to have some love for Agrarianism and who glad-hand "separatism" so long as those things are never defined, and so long as no one is ever convicted of worldliness or syncretism by that definition. Now most of you have never been in a mob riot, but I have, and there are very few things more frightening than a mob of "me too'ers" with rocks or sticks out to destroy something because its existence threatens them or enflames their consciences. Frankly, worldlings and industrial air-condition lovers have the whole internet to hawk their wares and to recruit false "christians" to their way of life, so I find it interesting that many of them now find it necessary to seek out such a small sliver of the internet society to attack... Most of these attacks and attackers fit into the following categories:

1. I really, really, really, really, really want to be obedient, and don't want to live in a way that God condemns, so I really, really, really studied and prayed about Christian Agrarianism. I felt really, really, really condemned and I felt like people were telling me I wasn't saved, so I prayed about it a whole, whole, whole lot and God showed me that Christian Agrarian Separatists are all legalists who are in a cult, and God just wants us to be happy, and I'm not giving up Christmas AND air-conditioning and TV you can bet on that, so I just want to experience grace and I pray for all of you who are stuck in the legalistic cult of Christian Agrarianism!

2. Me too! I was in such a cult (I'm not mentioning Michael Bunker's name or Biblical Agrarianism, but you get the point) and God freed me from it. I used to live with Bunker at his compound (I mean "ranch") and I was in the leadership (I mean I was a dropout who he couldn't trust to take out the trash). I was rudely treated (Michael and the leadership advised me not to run off with an unbeliever girlfriend whose Father did not approve of us getting married) and they were really legalistic and judgmental towards me (when I married the unbeliever against all advice and counsel and she then dumped me and took my gun and killed all my chickens, they refused to run to my aid or take me back). By God's grace I was delivered from Christian Sectarianism (Godly separation) when I met another girl who I married. Now that I'm a good 28 year old divorcee Presbyterian with a hot red sports car and I have been delivered and set free, I'm going to be the foremost expert in helping others get delivered from this cult too!

3. Me too! God just wants to love you and save you! He loves inner city pimps just as much as he loves Christian Agrarians. So go be an inner city pimp! God loves whores and tax-collectors - the Bible proves it - so don't let anyone tell you that God has a promise of a better way of live, less dependent on the world, more dependent on Him and His providence. That's not true. I saw Hustle and Flow and I know God loves me no matter how I live.

4. Me too! Christian Agrarianism is NOT Christianity! I mean, some of these people out there equate Christian or Biblical Agrarianism with Christianity, meaning that you cannot be a Christian unless you are one of them! HA! (what follows is more Red Herrings, Straw Men, Excluded Middles, Lies, Innuendo, and numerous other logical fallacies). Cult! Compound! Leading Astray! Bad, bad, extra-biblical teaching! Phhhhttt! I used to be one of them, and I felt CONDEMNED! Phhhhtttt!

Ok, enough of that. You should know that this attack is out there, and you should examine the roots of it because most people (especially movement groupies who really have no hope or plan of ever living the life they like to read about) are cowards who are not willing to stand and defend what they say they believe. Rats will be jumping off the Christian Agrarian bandwagon now that a bunch of women have decided to throw it under the bus. I ask those of you who have truly been motivated by God to seek a more true, holy, and Biblical way of life to stay tuned, stay tough, and stand.

I know that I have better things to do than to debate scorned women, failed 20-something divorcee songwriters, and manic depressives, so I'll get back to work.

Y'all be cool,

Michael Bunker

3.30.2009

Persecution and Reflection, Part 9

3/30/09 - 2nd Day - Mid Afternoon. When we left our story, Danielle, Tracy, and I were in Western Australia on a 6 week action-packed speaking trip. Adrian and Craig had made plans for the Pastor of our host "church" to come by and talk to me about all the conflict and trouble they had caused while we had been away on our bus trip of southwestern Australia. The Pastor had said he would come alone, but I had predicted that he had every intention of bringing the whole "church" leadership and a certain charismatic exorcist named Steve, the "Pope of Perth" who, I was told, would try to cast a demon out of me.

The Pastor was supposed to come over that afternoon alone, and we had plans for later in the evening to meet with the Pastor of the local Free Presbyterian Church there in Perth. His name was Patrick. I say that because I enjoy saying "Patrick the Pastor of the Free Presbyterians in Perth"... if only I could find a peck of pickled peppers to take with me. Now Patrick was not the Pastor of the host "church". Don't get them confused. Patrick turned out to be quite a nice fella and a very gracious and hospitable man. The Pastor who was coming to visit me was the Pastor of the "church" who had originally invited me to Australia, but who had since brutally attacked me and excommunicated many of the members of the "church" because of me.

So I hope we're all on the same page. I'll continue...

Just as I expected, when the Pastor pulled up in front of the house - here came all of his retinue of attendants, including Steve, the Pope of Perth. I said, "Look y'all, it's my Kangaroo Court, I suppose I am going to stand trial for disturbing their peace". Craig was laughing his head off. He said, "Steve is going to try to cast a demon out of ya mate! I guarantee it! I can't wait!" Oh goody, I thought.

The one thing you can count on with abusive, power-hungry religious authorities - they will lie about just about anything. The Pastor never had any intention of coming alone, and it was good for me that I knew he was lying from the beginning. It is worth noting that for a meeting where I was supposed to be accused of being a liar, the Pastor lied about his intentions of coming alone to the meeting. He expected me to be overwhelmed by sheer numbers, but that just wasn't going to happen - I hope you all already know that. Among the visitors, as I mentioned, was the Pastor and his wife - a very tall woman who was an ex-cop, and who talked all the time and obviously was the real power in the "church". Her functionary husband, the Pastor, was generally silent around her and usually did her bidding immediately and without hesitation. Also among the visitors was the lady who had offered to give us a house. She was there with her second husband. Apparently she and her new husband had dropped their first spouses when they met one another. Nice. Good to know who your judges are. Her husband also never said a word throughout the meeting. My wife Danielle was also there, along with Adrian and Craig, and next to them was Steve the exorcist. I think there might have been some others there, but they never said anything, so I won't try to rack my brain and remember. Craig had a look of glee on his face like he was going to the circus. The only time I had seen him happier was when we had introduced him to Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. On that occasion he had yelped "PEANUT PASTE YUM YUMS!!" amid his fascination and joy. This meeting was only second to Peanut Paste yum yums to Craig.

Ok, so the meeting started pretty quietly. The Pastor's wife read me the short list of offenses that they claimed I had committed:

1. They claimed that I had lied to them about what I was going to preach, and claimed that they had no knowledge that I preached on the Doctrines of Grace, Predestination and Election, etc. They felt that they had been defrauded and that had they known what I believed, they wouldn't have invited me.

2. They claimed I had lied about the event at the University of Western Australia. They said that I had said that all the windows of the cars had been smashed, when clearly ALL of the cars had not had their windows smashed out.

3. They believed I had treated them unfairly in my website posts since the troubles had erupted, and that I had judged them harshly.

Hmmmmkayyyyy.

Charge #1. To the charge that I had lied about what I was going to preach about, I asked the Pastor and his wife if they had received the Confessions of Faith (Westminster and the London Baptist Confession) that I had sent them, along with my letter claiming that everything I preached would be out of those confessions. The Pastor said, "Yes, but we didn't actually read them". I asked him if he didn't read them because he was already familiar with them. He said he was not familiar with them. I then told the group that those two confessions were the primary confessions of faith of all of Protestantism until 100 years ago, and that it was their responsibility to read the materials I had sent them. How can I have lied if I had told them plainly what I was going to preach and had provided them with the materials so they would know in advance? The Pastors wife very snidely claimed that it was not on overt lie or anything that could be proved, but that they had expected me to talk mainly about technology and tyranny subjects, and had not expected me to teach on the Doctrines of Grace. I told her that her expectations were her own, but that I had been very clear about what I was going to preach. The conversation then degraded into charges by the "church" against Adrian and Craig. They now claimed that I had not lied, but that Adrian and Craig had mislead them, and that Adrian and Craig should repay the money the "church" had spent on my trip. I finally interrupted and told them that since I had obviously been cleared on that point, they could work out their differences with one another on their own time. "Let's proceed to point two, shall we?"

Charge #2. Charge #2 was a baffling one to me. The Pastor's wife read to me from my website where I had repeated what the first guy to report on the window smashing at the UWA meeting had said to me. In my article, I had repeated word for word what the guy had said to me... "Michael, they smashed out the windows in all the cars in the parking lot". Of course I had not seen the parking lot when it was full. When I left the auditorium, there were only two or three cars left in the parking lot, although there was a lot of glass on the ground. She said, "Clearly ALL of the cars in the parking lot had not had their windows smashed, so this is a lie". Then something occurred to me, and I can only say that it was God helping me out as I had been dragged before this court. If you'll remember from earlier in this series I had related the story of when I first preached at the host "church". I had packed the place. It was standing room only. The second time I had preached (after the preacher and his wife had called everyone to try to make sure no one showed up) there was only about three times the normal Sunday attendance there, but that was still quite a few less people than had attended the first sermon. Anyway, right at that moment when this charge was read, I remembered how the Preacher had introduced me the second time. I remembered it because it was quite stupid and insulting, and at the time I had made a conscious effort to let it go and not address it. When the Pastor introduced me, after all of his week-long attempts to keep people from attending, he had said, "Ladies and Gentleman, today we have a speaker who can fill up a Church, or he can empty one out... please welcome Michael Bunker".

So anyway, the charge had been that I had exaggerated or lied in saying that ALL the cars in the parking lot had had their windows smashed. I turned to the Pastor and I said, "Do you mind if I ask you a question?" He said, "Sure, I don't mind". I said, "That second Sunday that I preached at your 'church', was it empty?". He said, "No, but I don't know what that has to do with the issue at hand." I replied, "Well, it has everything to do with the issue at hand. When you introduced me, you claimed that I could 'fill a church or empty one out', so I ask you again, had I emptied out the 'church', or, in fact, was there not at least three times the attendance that you normally get on a Sunday? Even after you and your wife had spent all week trying to make sure no one attended?".

They all sat there dumbfounded for a minute.

The Pastor's wife said, "That's ridiculous. He was just using a figure of speech".

I said, "That's not a figure of speech, its an exaggeration used to make a point. A figure of speech is something like 'a man for all seasons'. What you said was plainly untrue, and it was a bit rude, but I accepted it as an exaggeration used to make a point, even if the point was in error. My statement, however, at the time, was not even an exaggeration. It was what I had been told, and it matched what I saw. Clearly I did not have all the information, and I hardly expect that any one of my readers took it absolutely literally. I would imagine that even in the most extreme situation there could have been ONE car that did not have its windows smashed. And if there was ONE car that did not have its windows smashed, then literally ALL the cars did not have the windows smashed. I say all of this to point out how stupid and lame this charge is. Your husband said something that was absolutely not true in order to make a political statement that was rude towards a visiting guest. My statement was made because it was what I believed was accurate at the time. No amount of asterisks or disclaimers will change what I was trying to communicate... which was that people who did not want us speaking, and who did not want people to hear what I had to say, went to enormous and violent lengths to disrupt and cause havoc at that meeting, and it is extraordinarily telling to me that you are here arguing statistics on how many cars had their windows smashed in at a Gospel meeting, instead of a) denying your involvement in the attack, or b) expressing your horror and rejection of those kinds of tactics".

At this point the Pastor's wife was seething. You could actually see she was fit to be tied. She turned to her husband with anger and hatred in her eyes and she said "YOU APOLOGIZE TO HIM RIGHT NOW FOR WHAT YOU SAID!". He looked at her with a confused look, "What? Apologize? He knows I didn't mean 'EMPTY' when I said it". She squinted her eyes and said, "YOU APOLOGIZE RIGHT NOW!". He said, "Fine, I apologize".

Now, here is where it gets fun and interesting. As all of this is going on between the Pastor and his wife, from the corner of my eye I see Pope Steve over to my left (we are sitting in a big circle of chairs) starting to fidget. I can tell he is trying to get his courage up and he is gripping his Bible with white knuckles. After the preacher apologizes there is a half-minute of silence, then Steve finally gets the courage and he stands up demonstrably and, holding his Bible in front of him like a sword, he begins to walk the few steps towards me. I'll relate what happened in order, so you can get a visual picture of the whole event...

He says as he is stepping toward me, "In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ..."

I interrupted him with a very serious glare and said very sharply, "Sit down man and don't patronize me!"

He immediately hops backwards the couple of steps and almost launches himself into his chair, saying, "I'm going to sit down right now".

Seriously. Everyone there was stunned. It was comical. He actually said, "In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I'm going to sit down right now". He did not open his mouth for the rest of the time we were there. Not one word. Not a squeak. He sat there looking down at the ground for the rest of the meeting.

Like I said, Everyone was stunned. The exorcist had just been completely shut down right in front of the whole "church" leadership.

After a brief moment of confused silence, the Pastor's wife moved on to Charge #3.

Charge #3. They believed I had judged them too harshly. I looked at them all for a minute. I said, "Are you kidding me? You all come over here with these drummed up charges after all you have done that was plainly un-Christian and unbecoming since I have been here. All of you come over here after the Pastor promised he was coming over here alone. You come over here with this sham Kangaroo Court and you are forced to back off all of your charges, and now you have the gall to claim you have been treated unfairly by ME? Really? Well, we'll dispense of this charge directly, since it is merely your opinion and not a charge... I disagree. Good enough? Anything else?"

They all just kind of looked at eachother.

So I grabbed Danielle's hand and said, "Clearly you all have no repentance or sorrow for what you have done. We have a dinner engagement for tonight and we need to get ready, so we'll be excused". We left the meeting and went to get ready for dinner.

The meeting went on for another hour. There was shouting and accusations going back and forth. We could hear that they had turned their wrath on Adrian and Craig. Frankly, I was shocked and surprised that Craig and Adrian didn't just throw them out. Well, the meeting went on for so long that we were at risk of being late to our dinner engagement, so I went back out to the meeting and interrupted to tell Craig and Adrian that we really had to get going. I guess everyone agreed, because everyone started to break up and put up the chairs. As I was heading back to the house, I was caught from behind by the Pastor's wife. She had her Bible opened and she was pointing at it. I looked around and saw her husband hiding behind a section of fence. She was pointing at the Bible and had that angry Church Lady face, and she said, "In the Bible..." I held up my hand and stopped her and said, "Woman, where is your husband?"

She stopped and looked around.

I said, "Ma'am, I would be glad to be corrected out of the Bible by your husband, but I will not put up with it from you".

She slammed closed her Bible and said, "Bless ya's, Bless ya's" with a very sarcastic voice and stomped off, dragging her husband behind her. Jezebel has left the building.

Hmmmmmkayyyyy.

And somehow they really thought that I was their biggest problem.

Like I said, it was interesting and illustrative. I really felt like I had been translated back to the first century, only in this case these people did not have the power to stone me. I am certain they would have if they could have. And in the six and a half years since then, the Holy Spirit has brought not one of them to open repentance, and not one of them has attempted to contact me to make things right.

Not long after that meeting, we were jetting home to Texas, and I had a pocket full of experiences to draw on, and lessons to use to teach others.

I do have to give the "church" their credit in one thing. At least they were willing to face me. That is actually very, very rare in my long experience with these types of events. Awarehouse never gave me the opportunity to be heard, so I have to give these Australian folks the credit for having the courage to stand up and make their absurd charges publicly. Of course they didn't follow the Biblical model, and they had blatantly violated scripture in numerous other areas, but they were rare in that they didn't just hide themselves and slink away like most people do when they are exposed to the light.

Like I said, I have a point to make in this series, and I hope you are gleaning a lot from it. These experiences are given to us by God for our edification and education. From them we can learn a lot about ourselves, and we can see why and how things happen the way they happen. As we learned in the earlier parts of this series, sometimes the Lord brings an accuser to repentance so that we can see His power and His sovereignty in all of our afflictions. Sometimes He gives us comfort in persecution so that we can know that His perfect will is being done. Sometimes He confuses and confounds our enemies and causes them to do ridiculous and comical things. Sometimes he shuts their mouths, and He almost always causes them to fall into the traps they have prepared for God's children. He fights for us, and He gives us the words to say when we are dragged before authorities (pretended or not) to give an account. He is good, all the time.

To be continued...

Your servant in Christ Jesus,

Michael Bunker

Short Commercial Break

3/30/09 - 2nd Day - After Breakfast. Sorry for the interruption in the P&R series. I probably will not get a new part to the Persecution and Reflection series today, but I will try. I was hoping to keep you all hanging on the cliff for a bit, to help build the tension. Danielle and I went to Waco for the weekend to Homestead Heritage and Danielle took a one day course in soap making. She said she had a great time and that she learned a lot. She also made a bunch of soap. I was able to visit some bookstores and I bought some valuable books which will remain boxed up until the office is usable. I recently received the new, expanded, and updated version of James Wesley Rawles book Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse.


I read the original version back in 2000 and I have handed out a lot of copies of this in the past. Rawles recently released this updated version and I am anxious to get in and read it. I highly recommend the book to all of you. Even if you read this book back in the day, you should check out the newer version which is updated to include much of the things that are going on today.

The book is currently ranked in the top 1300 in books on Amazon.com. It would be awesome if all of you who can go and buy a copy of this book (and maybe a couple of extras to hand out) and we can push this book further up the list so it will get more attention. Our reference point is #1287, if you all can buy a copy, I wonder how high we can push this thing today? I hope to be doing a full review of the book in the near future on my blog. Ok folks, I have to get to more work. Y'all be cool.

Your servant in Christ Jesus,

Michael Bunker

3.27.2009

A New Q&A; Fridays

A New Q&A Fridays issue is up at the Q&A Fridays! Blog.

Thanks,

Michael

3.26.2009

Persecution and Reflection, Part 8

3/26/09 - 5th Day - After Breakfast. It was just past the middle of October in 2002 and we were in the last few days of our bus tour of the southwest part of Australia. We had been out of Perth for a good long time, and we had relaxed for over a week at Tony's ranch down by Albany on the southern coast of Australia.

On the trip back we visited some national parks, saw some huge trees, and crossed some rivers in the bus on narrow dirt roads that had no bridges.

We had an interesting stop in a small, small town off a very narrow road in the middle of nowhere Australia. I think the town had a population of about 200. It may have been called Dumbleyung, but I may have that mixed up - I really don't remember the name of the town. Anyway, this was a small town that looked like many of the small towns in West Texas. We had the meeting at the football (footie) club. Of course the sport they call footie in Australia is neither American football or soccer. Footie is Australian rules football, which looks to me a lot like rugby though I'm told it is different. It seemed every small town we drove through had a large footie field (or do they call it a "pitch"? I don't know) and next to the field would be a clubhouse - which was more like an American Legion hall or a country club or something, with a bar, etc. Anyway, we had the meeting in this small town in the footie club and I was shocked because it seemed like the whole town plus a few people from out of town showed up. It was standing room only and the people were on fire for the truth.

The local "church" leaders were there too, and they were not as happy. I learned during the first break from a dozen or so of the townspeople that:

a) They had never been taught any semblance of the Doctrines of Grace, though they always wondered why the "church" never spoke about all of the talk of election and sovereign grace in the Bible. Ephesians, and Romans chapters 8 and 9 were never a subject of any teaching there. In fact, I'm pretty sure there wasn't much expository preaching at all.

b) The "church" had recently been pushing a pretty corrupted Bible version on the people and was trying to get all the people to go through a heretical teaching called "The Alpha Course", which basically was an attempt to create a broad ecumenical movement (bringing all the so-called "denominations" together, including Protestants and Catholics) with the added impetus to infiltrate the more conservative denominations with Charismatic influences like tongue-speaking and faith healing.

c) Through the Alpha Course and other teaching there had been a de-emphasis on sin, obedience, and judgment. Instead, the "church" there was emphasizing ecumenism, unity, and more of a secular morality.

After learning this during the first break (I spoke for somewhere around 3 hours), you can probably guess what I preached about for the next 2 hours! I strongly condemned what the so-called "church" was doing there in the town, and I preached vociferously on sin, judgment, and obedience. I identified the apostasy of the age, the importance of rejecting corrupt Bible translations (like the NIV, which was what was being pushed by the Alpha Course apostates), and on the importance of a right view of a sovereign God. I spoke of apostasy and heresy, and then I basically went through the lessons in Swarms of Locusts and how Popery had infiltrated and corrupted the mainline Protestant denominations with Arminianism and other Jesuit teachings. As you can imagine, during the second break, the "church" leadership was first in line to talk to me. They couldn't say much, except that they were confused and hoped they hadn't done any harm with what they were teaching. They said "we'll have to pray about it", which generally means that they had not been convicted and they were probably going to do nothing but wait until Michael Bunker was out of town to start damage control.

The people, however, were of a decidedly different mind. When I finished speaking, they rushed our tour bus and surrounded it. They begged me not to leave. They wanted me to stay and preach to them. They asked me when I was going to return, and they would only leave the tour bus and let us go if I would assure them that I would do whatever I was able to do to return to them some day. I exhorted them to go out and get a good King James Bible and to study and pray that the Lord would give them truth. I asked them to study what the true Church believed throughout history (until the corruptions of Romanism, and eventually the counter-reformation ushered in our modern apostate religion) and to never let the insitutional "church" push new and apostate doctrines on them. I do feel badly that I was never able to return, but I also am convinced that God freed all of those whom He loves and that He will do a mighty work in those whom He calls.

Sorry for that side story, but I thought it was important to include it here, particularly when it can be placed in contrast to how we were received by the religious pharisees of Perth.

We returned to Perth with less than two weeks left on our trip. We still had a major address planned at the University of Western Australia there in Perth, so the fellas and I got to work planning my presentation. We learned through the grapevine that the host "church" and its very, very angry leadership was working to try to make sure no one attended the university talk. We had been exhorting the leadership of that group to sit down with us and talk for several weeks, but they let us know in no uncertain terms that they just wanted me to get on a plane and go back to Texas. When the day of the university talk came, we gamely headed there to set up the lecture hall. We found out on our arrival that someone had cancelled the talk, and there was only an hour or so before the meeting was scheduled to begin. Not only had they cancelled the rental on the lecture hall, but they had gone around campus with professionally produced CANCELLED stickers and had pasted them on the posters that had been posted all over campus. I'm not talking about someone writing cancelled on the posters with a marker... no... they actually had bright red CANCELLED stickers printed up and pasted across the posters announcing the meeting.

Some of our supporters were able to contact the university and get our lecture hall unlocked, so we set up for the meeting expecting that no one would actually show up. Unhappily for our attackers, we had a very, very good showing. The most boisterous and supportive of the groups that attended the meeting were representatives from the Underground Church in China. They were a group that smuggled Bibles and materials into China from Australia by boat. One of the most touching and emotional moments of the trip happened when this group of Chinese radicals came up to me after the talk. They had a sandwich bag of American dollar bills and coins. It was money they had raised to donate to my ministry. I was stunned. These people didn't have any money, and what they did have was spent on travel and expenses to get smugglers into China, but they had taken an offering among themselves to give me a donation. Of course I tried to refuse it, but they would not hear of it, and I was informed by others that I would offend them greatly if I did not receive the gift. That gesture was one of the most humbling things that happened to me on the whole trip.

Back to the excitement. When the talk was over, I was busy talking to people and answering questions for quite a while. The guys were breaking down all the equipment as most of the audience was filing out. Not too long after that, one of our supporters came to me and said, "They broke out all the windows of the cars in the parking lot!" I shook my head, "What? Who broke out the windows". He said, "Apparently whomever it was who didn't want you to speak here tonight". We were finished packing up, so we all headed out to the parking lot. There were just a few cars left in the lot, but there was glass all over the ground. The two cars other than the one we came in (we came in Adrian's) had broken windows. I was stunned. We were very sorrowful that someone had sunk to such depths as to damage property in order to threaten people who were preaching the Gospel. I wrote a letter which appeared on my website that listed all that we had gone through in Australia, and it seemed that people everywhere were appalled. What I had taught all along was proven. The basics behind persecution never change. Sometimes, as many great Christian historians have taught, our enemies may not be enabled by law to kill us. Sometimes, due to conditions and political realities out of their control, our enemies may not be able to crucify us, burn us, or pull us usunder; but never, ever think that they would not do so if they could. If it were lawful and acceptable for our enemies to take our lives, they certainly would, and we have ample proofs of that. Their intentions and their crimes are no less heinous and wicked just because they happen to live during a time when they are restrained by God from doing that which they would do if they were free to act. The day is coming, and it may come in your lifetime, when your enemies will kill you for what you believe. But they will only kill you if you really believe it, and they will only know you really believe it if you live it. Most modern "christians" are persecution proof because they do not live what they say they believe. Most modern professors are Alpha Course "christians" whose lives and worldviews threaten no one. They do not shine as lights in darkness, rather they blend in with darkness and defend it as evangelism.

After that, we had several meetings in Adrian's back yard, and each meeting got bigger and bigger. The last sermon I did in Perth (entitled ELECTION) was a standing room only affair. People were walking up and down the neighborhood borrowing chairs from neighbors. Many people had to park blocks away just to get to the house.

A day or so before we were to leave Perth, Adrian received a call from his former Pastor. He wanted to meet with me before I headed back to Texas. Adrian put him on hold and came to me and asked me what I thought. I smiled at Adrian. I said "He wants to meet with me, meaning just the Pastor?" Adrian asked him and he said "Yes, he would be coming alone". I said, "Ok, I'll be glad to meet with the Pastor, and since he said he would be coming alone, I will expect him to be alone". Adrian passed on the message and then hung up. As soon as he hung up the phone, I looked at Adrian and Craig and I said, "He'll show up here with the whole 'church' leadership, and he'll probably have your Pope of Perth (Steve the exorcist) with him. Adrian said, "Nah, if he said he'll come alone - he'll come alone".

Right...

In the next part... The Kangaroo Court and Steve tries to cast a demon out of me.

To be continued...

Michael Bunker

3.24.2009

Persecution and Reflection, Part 7

3/24/09 - 3rd Day - After Breakfast. As the last part ended, it was September 2002 and we were flying across the Pacific headed for Perth in Western Australia. Now, if you have never studied about or been to Australia, you may get a wrong impression about where we were headed. I'm from Texas and I have to tell you that Australia is BIG. Most of what you read about or see about Australia is actually Eastern Australia where the big cities like Sydney, Melbourne, etc. are. Most of the population of the continent is in Eastern Australia. When you see pictures of wide open spaces, or of the outback, you are probably seeing pictures of either the Northern Territory, or very likely of Western Australia.

We were heading to Western Australia, over 4000 miles away from Sydney. The state of Western Australia is 1/3 the size of the whole continent, and has a population of just over 2 million people. In other words, as a single state it is four times bigger than my home state of Texas, but with 1/10 the amount of people. About 85% of the population of Western Australia lives in a pretty small area around the main city of Perth, which means that most of the rest of the state is very lightly populated. And, unless you are wealthy, you don't just "fly to Perth". Perth is a long way from anywhere. Our trip was going to take a good part of 2 days. We flew from Lubbock to Dallas, from Dallas to LA, from LA to Taiwan, from Taiwan to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for a 24 hour layover, and from there due south to Perth. This was September 2002 and the "war on terror" was in full swing, so that made it interesting. Malaysia is an Islamic country, and there were terror alerts and warnings while we were there. We were told not to leave our hotel, and to be on alert. We were even given numbers to call at the Australian embassy (the US embassy was closed) in case anything happened while we were there. If you remember the Bali bombing that killed so many people (and many Australians from Perth) on vacation at Bali, that bombing happened at just about the time we flew over Bali and Indonesia from Malaysia to Perth.

With God's help and protection, we made it safely to Perth. We were picked up at the airport by Adrian, and we were taken to their house which is where we would stay for a portion of our trip. We were there for 6 weeks, but we had a lot to do. I was going to be doing some speeches on technology and government spying, and some regular Gospel preaching. Adrian and I had decided that we were going to create some videos and materials to show during the technology speeches, and we needed a high-speed computer to use to build the videos. At that time, the Australian dollar was about half of a US dollar, so my money had some good purchasing power, and since Australia has such good access to Asian markets and materials, we decided to build a powerful (at that time) computer to use to make the videos and presentations. So we got to work building the computer, while I started putting together video clips and other materials that we would work into the videos. One of the clips we put together was one from 1999 of me predicting the terrorist attack on New York and me naming who would be blamed for it. We cut into the video to show the actual planes crashing into the World Trade Center buildings to show how what I had said would happen, had happened. Putting the computer and the presentations together took time, but we were still able to relax, hang out with the brothers, meet some new friends, and get over our jet-lag.

The first Sunday I was to preach at our host "church", and it was quite the event. We filled the little ol' Church building and it was standing room only. The sermon was well received, and after I was done the Pastor came up to me and said, "That was the best sermon I have ever heard in person". After that, at least for a few days, I was a hit. One of the ladies from the "church" there offered us a house which she said she would give us if we would only move to Perth. The ladies took Danielle to the park and treated her like the Queen of England. They really impressed on her how much they would like us to move down there, and for me to preach. But all that didn't even last a week. At a meeting we had during the week, I started preaching and talking about the Doctrines of Grace, and I said that Perth was inundated with the Jesuit false co-redemption gospel of Arminianism.

Ouch.

...And then I proved it from out of my book Swarms of Locusts.

Boom.

Things started to boil. Phones started to ring. "How DARE he preach on predestination and election!" "Does he really teach that the pre-tribulation rapture is a false doctrine?" "Is he calling us Catholic?" The buzz was out there that our host "church" was not happy at all. "What is this new doctrine?" they asked, "the only denomination around here that believes that doctrine (the Doctrines of Grace) is the Free Presbyterians and they aren't crazy enough to actually PREACH it here". Word got back to Adrian and Craig that they were in big trouble. Mind you, nobody had the courage or the integrity to call me personally. No one came by the house to ask me what I thought, or to ask me to show them the doctrines in the Bible. There was just a whisper and slander campaign. I was accused of just about everything you can imagine, and some things you can't.

Some of the folks who had been listening to me were being convinced, and they began to tell us what was being said about us by the "church". "Michael Bunker is a heretic!" they said. "We paid to bring this man here? He must have lied about what he believed in order to trick us!" "FRAUD!"

I was scheduled to preach at the "church" again on Sunday, so I prepared a sermon about the Fruit of the Spirit. I figured we'd test to see what Spirit was operative in the people. Well, the whisper campaign had had its effect. On Sunday, we didn't fill the place up like we had the week earlier. We only had about 3 times the normal attendance at the "church". Not bad, but not what we had expected. Craig told me "Yep, the Pastor and his wife warned everyone not to come, but you still beat how many people he gets for one of his sermons!"

The sermon went off without any fireworks. After the sermon, there were some impromptu meetings between the Pastor and his flunkies who spoke privately to Adrian and Craig. There was a lot of whispering, but nobody said a word to me. The visitors - those people who were not members of the Church - came to me and thanked me for the sermon. They told me they appreciated it, and many of them asked me for my website address and for other materials. Apparently, someone had neglected to be prescient enough to warn them or threaten them from coming to the sermon. The intention of the Pastor was that no one would show up. He was a bit upset that so many people did.

We were scheduled to load up the bus and head out on our bus tour of Southern Australia the next day. A good friend of Adrian and Craig was driving up from down south to pick us up in his school bus. Tony had 11 children and having a bus was just a natural thing for him. He had offered to be our bus driver, and he had offered to put us up at his mostly off-grid ranch down in Southern Australia for awhile so we could have rest and relaxation. Tony was amused at what all was going on in Perth. He had been a closeted Calvinist (we found out that that was the only kind of Calvinist there was there at that time) for many, many years (even his wife was not with him at that time), and he would laugh and laugh at what all was happening. He got a kick out of it. A day or so into our trip, we learned that Adrian and Craig and just about everyone else who had had anything to do with Michael Bunker, had been kicked out of the "church". Excommunicated. They were told to never step foot in the "church" again! No hearing. No trial. No accusers. No proof. Nothing. They were just booted out. Tony really got a kick out of that. He was actually seeing stuff that he had only read about in his books. Tony had a secret library of Puritan and Reformed works which he would show me when we got to his farm. He was having a good old time.

Tony was a full-on southern country Aussie. When I first met him at a meeting we did in Perth where I had taught on The Doctrines of Grace, Tony had come up to me and was talking about Coffee. I honestly did not understand a word he said, his accent was so thick and heavy. Most of his words were slang or colloquialisms, and he had that heavy accent and he kind of blurred all of the words together. I had to tell him about 3 times that I didn't understand him before he slowed down like he was talking to a mentally challenged deaf person... "SO...I... SEE... YOU... LIKE... COFFEE... MATE", he said, pointing at my 5th or 6th cup of coffee. When he first said it, it sounded like "Sewaseeduwalockacoffymite". "Oh yes", I told him, "I love coffee - but this ain't coffee". I explained to him that I had not had a proper cup of coffee since I had been in Australia. They drink tea in Australia. When I was a guest, people would offer me coffee, but what I would get was a hot cup of water and a jar of freeze-dried Sanka. Yuck. Anyway, Tony and I finally learned to communicate, and by the time we were several days into the bus tour, Tony had become one of my favorite people. He told me a lot about Perth and about the spiritual situation there. He explained that Adrian and Craig's "church" had been founded by a Charismatic Arminian whose son Steve ran most of the non-denominational fellowships in the Perth area. Steve was the "Pope of Perth" Tony told me, and he ruled by intimidation and fear. He claimed to be an exorcist, and if you crossed him or even if you fell asleep during a sermon, he would claim you had a demon in you. If you didn't let him cast the demon out, then you were excommunicated and shunned. I hadn't met Steve when I was in Perth, but apparently he was the one behind me being slandered and attacked, and he was the one who had Adrian, Craig, and a whole bunch of other folks kicked out of the "church". I smiled. Silently I hoped I would get to meet Steve. I wanted to look him in the eye.

So we had a fabulous bus tour. Everywhere we went, we were well received and the people loved the message and were hungry for the gospel. We stayed down at Tony's farm for more than a week, and that was a real blessing for us. One day, Tony and I went to town and on a back shelf at a grocery store I found a pound of honest-to-goodness Italian roast coffee. At another store we found a French press coffee pot. Tony smiled at me, "It's about time we try out this proper coffee you are always going on about", he said. The next morning, I wandered up from the small cabin where Danielle, Tracy and I were staying. When I entered the kitchen of the main house, I saw Tony standing there with a mischievous look on his face. "Ready for some coffee mate?" "Yep", I said. He had brewed up the coffee and poured us two huge cups. Then he went to the refrigerator and got the fresh cream from yesterday's milking. He spooned off a large portion of cream into a bowl and then whipped it up like whipping cream. Then he added some honey to each cup and a large dollop of cream.

Then we took a drink. Tony's eyes opened wide like he had just gotten a peak at heaven! "Wow!" he said. "Now I know why you yanks are on and on about this stuff!".

Of course I had to lecture Tony about ever calling a Texan a "yank", and I think he understood. I told him that a couple million of my southern brethren had fought a war to not be called "yanks", and I didn't think he wanted to relight that particular candle. He understood. After that, all other Americans were still "yanks", but I was a Texan. Anyway, the coffee was a huge hit after that, and every morning Tony and I shared a big cup of coffee together.

The turmoil in Perth was still going on, and the accusations against me had gone from bad to worse. We were now being accused of tricking the "church" into inviting me, so that we could steal the tens of thousands of dollars they said they were spending on my trip! Of course the word "heretic" was used whenever my name was mentioned, and even worse things were alleged by whispers. On the 11th of October, I wrote an open letter directed to the leadership of the "church" in Perth, and I published it on my website. I highly recommend that you go and read that letter, and that you spend some time praying and thinking about it. I will submit a relevant passages here:

"As we began to preach the gospel here in the country of Australia, the lay people received the word with gladness. Excitement about God’s Gospel spread like wildfire. At first even the religious leaders rejoiced at the word, because their idolatrous false gospel had not yet been challenged. One of them pronounced my first sermon, “The greatest sermon he had ever heard”. But when their Arminian, hyper-dispensational idolatrous altars were crushed before their eyes out of the plain Word of God, they rushed to rebuild them with panic in their eyes. Refusing to accept the plain teaching of Scripture, they fumbled through their pop-prophecy books for any defense they could mount against God’s plain truths. Unable to make a biblical defense for their blatant fouling of God’s precious sheep, they began their assassination plots in private. The phones began ringing, and email messages rocketed around Australia.

Once again the private murders of the religious order abound. Unrighteous judgment, pronounced in darkness, is heralded by the corrupt agents of the enemy. The leaders have been exhorted by righteous men to bring their accusations forward so that they can be examined in the light of day. So far they have refused to do so. We have been renounced as heretics in private, while in public the same men and women flee from our faces. As hundreds of God’s children in Australia hear the message of freedom and rejoice, scores of foul birds lurk in the shadows looking for the opportunity to snatch the seed as soon as it is planted. Once again we see God’s great sword of Truth divide asunder that which is flesh and that which is Spirit.

I implore those ministers who still claim obedience to Jesus Christ and His glorious Gospel to heed and obey His Word. The thirteenth chapter of Romans gives unto those religious authorities the right and responsibility to examine Christian teaching according to God’s Word, and to pronounce righteous judgment regarding my service unto God and his sheep. For this cause the scripture commands that I “must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.” (Romans 13:5) But my service and honor unto religious rulers is conditioned in those same scriptures, as it plainly defines a proper authority as one who serves justice, punishes malefactors, rewards the righteous, and bears the sword of Justice against those who pollute and blind the sheep of God.

Having been denied such righteous judgment, and having been murdered by those who reject the Truth of scripture, I give them space to do that service for which they have been sanctified and called. I pray that they repent of their offenses before God and men, and that they humbly submit themselves to God’s Word as it is required of them in the Bible. I pray that they renounce the works of darkness, and publicly rebuke those who remain in them.

By the stated precedent set by the apostles and prophets of God I refuse and decline to be judged by unrighteous and corrupt rulers. I appeal unto the people for justice, and pray that the people will plainly refuse to hear the rantings and murderous slanders of those who work darkness. I declare and openly teach the Doctrines of Grace as taught by the Apostles and Reformers. I rest on the authority of Holy Scripture and appeal to it as the only truth whereby I consent to be judged, and I plainly claim that,

“my battle is against the proud and cruel hypocrites of this age, as that battle of those most excellent instruments was against the false prophets and malignant church of their ages, neither ought any man think it strange that I compare myself with them with whom I sustain a common cause; neither ought you, my Lords, judge yourself less addebted and bound to me, calling for your support, than did the princes of Judah think themselves bound to Jeremiah whom for that time they delivered notwithstanding the sentence of death pronounced against him by the visible church.” – (John Knox, The Appellation, 1558)"

After our relaxing stay in southern Australia, we turned the bus back north. We had several stops to make on the way back to Perth, then we had only a bit more than a week before we would be leaving Australia. We still had one major address planned at the University Of Western Australia in Perth, and I was very curious how that talk would go - seeing that our hosts were now actively working against me there. My "letter to the authorities" had not gone over well, and those authorities had a kangaroo court planned for me back in Perth. Shockingly, I suspected that none of them planned to repent publicly.

I knew it would be interesting, to say the least.

To be continued...

Michael Bunker

3.23.2009

Persecution and Reflection, Part 6

3/23/09 - 2nd Day - Late Afternoon. If you've been keeping up with this series, it was late 2001. The world had changed dramatically because of 9/11 and Danielle and I, along with a few intrepid supporters, were trying to put things back together after our very interesting couple of years. In only 4 short years I had been reported to my company's corporate headquarters for a whole laundry list of false charges, and I had been reported to the federal authorities as a possible terrorist because I dared question my government and predict 9/11. The first case had resulted in me leaving a pretty good job, and the second had resulted in our very dramatic separation from our homegroup and fellowship.

It was time to take stock.

There were things to be learned here, spiritual lessons to be studied. The first thing I learned was that I hated, hated, hated the way we had been treated at Awarehouse. I promised myself and God that I would never let that sort of thing happen to anyone else if I had anything to do with it. The whole concept that I could be attacked privately and anonymously, that I would never know who my accusers were or what charges were being made, and that there was no recourse or justice available to me - that whole concept really struck me as Anti-Christian and evil. I had given the group and its leadership every available opportunity to do things right. There was no Matthew 18 intervention offered to me. There was no facing my accusers. There was no requirement for witnesses. I made a mental and spiritual note to make sure that any group with which I would ever be associated MUST have a means for correcting errors and providing justice to those who are wronged. I had no problem with Church discipline, in fact in that case I had offered to throw myself under the bus. I had actually offered to sit silently while people made untrue allegations against me, and I would sit silently and receive punishment, if only they would be willing to face me and make their accusations. I was willing to be wronged. I was willing to suffer even though I was not guilty. All I asked was for some system whereby my accusers would not be allowed to slink around in darkness and make baseless and false accusations.

The Bible has a clear and evident system for dealing with personal differences, and even with sin - both in leadership and in the group as a whole. That system, outlined in Matthew 18, is provided so that no one is without recourse or is deprived of justice. The Bible defines a system where complaints can be heard, provided that those involved have tried within the confines of Biblical statute to resolve differences. Because of what happened to us, I have no patience or care for any system, group, or individual that tries to skirt the obligations we all have as Christians to extend justice to those who profess to be in the Body of Christ. In my years, I have experienced this grievous sin in both directions. I have been the one accused by my leadership of unnamed and unlisted sins, and I have been given no recourse to face my accusers or to be heard. I have also seen others, when accused of sins or errors, who have reacted in an un-Christian way to being accused. Like the leaders of Awarehouse, individuals are just as likely to try to skirt the rules, the laws, and the Bible. Some, when accused, will just take off and run... in fact most will. They won't submit themselves to group discipline because they have never really submitted themselves to any authority at all. Most, when they are confronted will grow angry and begin to spray countercharges - anything at all that they think might stick, and tons of stuff they know will never stick. They just feel that by shouting countercharges, they have proven themselves right. But, when it comes time to follow the rules of the Bible to solve the individual problems, they flee. They run. They cannot face truth or the light, so they flee to the darkness. Their motivations are the same as those who, while in authority, deny justice to those over whom they exercise that authority.

In either case, they deny justice. So, when it comes time for them to be truly judged, unless they repent, they will be denied justice.

Back to what I have learned.

In both of the cases that I have thus far shared with you, my attackers had subsequently fallen into the pit they had prepared for me: They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. Selah. (Psa 57:6)

In both cases, the foundation or motivational principle behind the attacks was covetousness - usually in the form of jealousy or envy.

I would find years later, after going through a dozen of these types of events, that there is a unifying strand running through them. In every case, the root of the division and strife is covetousness. Covetousness is a big category, and it covers a lot of ground, but the Bible is pretty clear that covetousness is the root of sin. Paul said "I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet" (Rom 7:7). Once Paul knew that God had forbidden coveting, he knew he was dead. You see, you can force yourself to obey the letter of the law in most cases. You can decide to not murder. You can decide to obey and honor your parents. You can decide to not steal. You cannot decide to NOT COVET. Coveting is wanting something that does not belong to you. Concupiscence is wanting something that is unlawful for you to have. Once you realize that you cannot NOT covet by the strength of your will, you realize that you are dead in the law, and that you are in far greater need of Grace than you possibly ever imagined. Only grace can show you that.

"But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died" (Rom 7:8-9).

If you look at the first case in this series, you will find a man that had been very jealous and angry about my relationship with my boss; and he became even more angry when I was promoted over him. He envied the fellowship many of us had in our Bible study, and he knew he was ignorant and dead spiritually. His anger burned against me because he was covetous, and that covetous spirit led him to try to get me fired. Instead, I was cleared of the charges, and he was fired.

I won't go through the details of each case, but you will see the pattern repeated. Sometimes it will be very clear and evident, other times it will be more subtle. Sometimes you don't see the truth until later when God reveals it to you. We have seen conflicts because men coveted after women, because women coveted after authority, because couples coveted power and land, because men desired acceptance and attention. We've seen people blow up because they wanted others to see them as they saw themselves, and because the group did not give them the honor they felt they were due. Unhappily, we've seen men come here who even wanted to BE ME. I don't know why they would want that, but it is true. Some people are just taken away in covetousness and sin, and they become blinded to their sin. Others are highly delusional, and wicked to the core. But the only way to avoid conflict, is to avoid obedience...

I could have kept my job, agreed not to bring a Bible to work, agreed not to proselytize or speak about my faith, and I would have likely made a lot of money. I would have avoided conflict, and I would have maintained my reputation and position in the world system. I could have made a million excuses... I could have said, "Well, we have to have money, and God wants us to be happy." I could have said, "I'll be obedient after I get what we need, and then I'll walk the things I say I believe".

I could have maintained our relationship with our "church", or with Awarehouse. All I had to do was shut up and stop stirring up the waters. If I had been willing to accept Arminianism, I would probably be a pretty big shot at our old "church". If I had been willing to teach Antinomianism (lawlessness), Futurism, and Zionism, I would have been the Belle of the Ball at Awarehouse...

...but then again, if you look at the results, I probably would have lost my children to the world, or worse, and I would have been heaping up destruction for myself and my family.

2002 came and I was back at work. I restarted the Election in the Gospel of John series, and I kept up my travels. I was teaching and preaching for a few weeks on the road, then I would return and teach at home. I was also writing a book on how the Jesuits had influenced and corrupted mainline Protestantism.

Sometime in 2002 I was contacted by some fellas down in Australia. They had watched several of my technology videotapes and they were wondering if I would come to Western Australia to speak to their Church. They said they had tried to get Kent Hovind to come speak there, but that he had required that they come up with some ungodly amount of money, or guarantee them 800 people would show up, or he wouldn't come. They said, "How much would you require?" I laughed. I said, "generally, if someone will show up to hear me, I'll show up to speak". I said, "I don't have any money to pay for travel, so you might have to come up with that, but I would be glad to come if it would help."

There were some problems, and I identified them right away. I told the two brothers (Adrian and Craig) who called me, that I believed Kent Hovind taught a false gospel... he is an Arminian. I told them that I taught the Doctrines of Grace and since I would be preaching, they needed to know that. They were curious so Danielle and I sent them a bunch of my teachings and materials on the Doctrines of Grace. The brothers were still excited about the trip, but they said that the "church" was going to require me to send a Confession or Statement of Faith. I sent the Westminster Confession and I believe the London Baptist Confession as well. I told them that everything that I would preach could be found in there. I also expected that it would be only me traveling, but they insisted that I bring the family. Robert and Jennifer were too young, so we told them that the youngest two would stay with my parents while we were gone. Danielle, Tracy, and I would go.

To shorten the story, the plans were made, the tickets were purchased. We were to spend 6 weeks in Western Australia, from the middle of September until the end of October (our autumn, but spring down there). I was going to be preaching at the host "church" for a bit, then we would be going on a multi-town/village bus tour where I would be preaching all along the way. It was all very exciting, and I was really looking forward to it.

But the next case study in attacks and persecution would be an international one.

In mid September we were jetting over the Pacific on our way to Western Australia. We might as well have been jetting back to the first century, because we were going to get a first-hand look at first century style persecution.

To be continued...

Your servant in Christ Jesus,

Michael Bunker

Quick Update

3/23/09 - 2nd Day - After Breakfast. Time for a quick update, then we'll get back to the story. A new Q&A Fridays! Issue was posted on the new Q&A Fridays blog. Please bookmark that URL and check it out weekly. Also, you can continue to send Q&A Fridays questions to me via email at: editor ( at ) lazarusunbound ( dot ) com.

Thanks,

Michael Bunker


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