November 8th is approaching quickly - what to do - what to do!? That is the scenario that most of us face as we watch the time when we will step into a voting booth and express our right and responsibility to be patriots. The problem we also face is how to be both a patriot in the United States and also be a Christian in our conscience. To be perfectly honest with you - I am also in the throes of such a decision. I continue to pray about it - read to become better informed - and maybe - just maybe fret about it a little more than I should (Told you I was going to be honest).
First of all, I need to be candid. I will not under any circumstances vote for the Democrat Party or their standard bearer Hillary Clinton. The Bible teaches us that the life in the womb does have rights. It may not have rights in the eyes of the Democrat party or in the eyes of their presidential candidate - but God’s authority is infinitely higher than theirs - and He says that the precious baby in the womb is His masterpiece. God forbid that I would do anything to strengthen the hands of those who add innocent blood through abortion to the massive amount we’ve already spilt advancing erotic freedom without responsibility. I also cannot vote for this agenda because I am not in agreement with giving the LGBT community a carte blanche to rewrite the first amendment to the Constitution so that religious freedom is stamped out via the revisionist decisions made by the Supreme Court. There are a host of other reasons that would take too long to list here, but suffice it to say that until the agenda in the Democrat party changes - I will be casting no votes for any of their candidates.
Now to the much harder part of the coming election. Can I vote for a man like Donald Trump - who if he said and acted toward my wife or daughters in the manner in which he has - I wouldn’t want him to be in charge of anything - other than his own reformation of character? If I can do this - what would I be sacrificing as a believer and as someone who holds to a biblical definition of character? (all the time knowing that I don’t even measure up in some areas myself - thank God for His grace and gift of righteousness through Jesus Christ!) That is where I am having such a difficult time - even today. These are matters that I will have to continue to wrestle with for a few more weeks. Eventually I will go into a booth and vote my conscience - and hopefully support someone who will lead our country, albeit haltingly, in a somewhat better direction that it is currently being led. Each time I consider that - I am no more excited than I was before.
If you began reading this hoping I would come up with some magic formula to make this easier - I’m sorry that you will be disappointed. God has begun taking me in another direction - even as I continue in the quandary over how to cast a vote that will in some way honor Him. It has always been a comfort to me to remember God’s sovereignty in this world. That sovereignty can both change the direction of a nation toward righteousness - or allow a nation that turns from Him to descend into ruin. Both are seen clearly in Scripture - especially when it refers to His people.
God began putting the question into my heart, “What are we going to be doing on November 9th?” If Trump is elected, and that is a big “if” will all our problems be solved? I am so glad to see so many prayer meetings and special times of prayer being called. It is an encouraging thing to watch God’s people pray. But can I ask if we will be praying after the election? Will we have the same passion to pray - when maybe, and it is a big “maybe” Hillary Clinton may be elected president of the United States? Are our hopes so set on electing one candidate over the other that we are blind to the spiritually desolate condition of the church in the United States of America? Are we so set on protecting our Constitutional rights that we are deaf to God’s call for bus to lay down all our rights for the sake of His gospel and His kingdom? Will we be so depressed that Christians were so divided over - and let’s be honest about this - such a divisive candidate that we don’t see our need to come together over a greater need of loving one another and living to glorify God and advance His gospel - no matter what form or perversion of our government that will exists after this election? Will the upward call of God in Christ Jesus be enough to motivate us to pray as passionately after the election as the political call to win an election over the ungodly agenda of the Democrat party? I hope and pray the answer to such questions is that we will pursue God with greater passion - knowing that no government has ever been able to extinguish the glorious light of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The early church and the persecuted church have shown us that regardless of those who reign in the realms of men - God still reigns over the hearts of His people. They had no political standing and yet turned the world upside down. They advanced the gospel through their willingness to lay down the lives for Jesus Christ. They advanced the work of God with no favor in the courts - no favor with the emperor - and often with great persecution from others within their society. Yet God prevailed. The one thing God is graciously allowing me to begin to see is that when it comes to His gospel and His plan and purpose - neither Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will prevail over it. God is sovereign - and His eternal purpose WILL PREVAIL. I hope you will forgive me for quoting such a long section of Scripture as I close this article - and engage in a little exegesis as well - but here we go. Paul wrote something we need to grasp - prior to a call for prayer. We might need to see it again - in light of our current circumstances.
To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; 10 so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.
Paul makes it clear that our purpose is to “preach the unfathomable riches of Christ” which is the riches made available to us in His gospel. This glorious message has been being presented to our world since it began. It truly began to mean something to us at the Fall - when our sin meant separation from God - and the prospect of eternal punishment for such a foolish rebellion. This message is called the “manifold wisdom of God” which is supposed to be being made known to all “through the church.” This plan and purpose - that the gospel be proclaimed through the church is in accordance with God’s eternal purpose. LET ME PUT THIS IN ALL CAPS - NOT BECAUSE I’M MAD - BUT BECAUSE IT IS IMPORTANT. GOD’S ETERNAL PURPOSE IS THAT THE CHURCH LIVE AND PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE WORLD. According to Paul it is through the relationship we have with Christ Jesus our Lord - that we have boldness and a confident access to God - so that we might carry out this purpose!
13 Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory.
Paul also states. in one small sentence, the reality of his life as he lives to accomplish God’s eternal purpose of preaching the gospel to the world. He is facing tribulations - troubles - trials - hardships - beatings - all because he chooses to embrace God’s eternal purpose. He tells them, “not to lose heart” at the tribulations he is facing. Instead he says that those tribulation are for your glory! What?! Yes - it is our glory to see that living for and preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ will involve tribulations. In fact Jesus Himself told us that we would be treated just like He was if we embraced true discipleship. So where does this lead us? Paul had to preach the gospel in a hostile environment - without political support - facing persecution and difficulty. Yet he spoke of boldness and confidence in the midst of it. HOW!?
14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. 20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. - Ephesians 3:8-21
Paul knew the true battle was not for a political win over society - but over the manifestation of Christ dwelling in the hearts of His people. He knew the true battle was that we all would be rooted and grounded in love for God and one another. He knew the true battle would be to know the breadth, length, height, and depth of the love for Christ. This is a love for the Father. This is a love for one another. This is a love for the lost. It is even a love for those who hate us, persecute us, and speak evil falsely of us on account of our embrace of Jesus as Lord. And this battle was so that we might be filled up to all the fullness of God Himself - as His Holy Spirit works in and through us to preach the gospel, speaking the truth in love. Paul also promised that this battle was going to be won on our knees as we trusted in the one who as able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or imagine - according to the power with which God will work in us and through us. This battle was to see God glorified in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever!
Dearest precious saints of God - on November 9th our calling will be the same as it was prior to the election. It will be to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. It will be to love one another as Christ has loved us. It will be to take the gospel of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth for the glory of God. It will be to see the glory of God shine ever brighter THROUGH His church! So - regardless of whether Trump or Clinton become president - our purpose remains an eternal one. And just as Paul has indicated through the Spirit in Ephesians - HOW MUCH MORE DOES THAT CAUSE CALL US TO PASSIONATE PRAYER! Oh pray, dear saints - pray prior to this election. But please, I beg you, please don’t think all is lost if it does not turn out as you hope and pray. Regardless of who is our president - our Lord still reigns supreme! So, therefore, let us be bold, be loving, be prayerful, and always be abounding with hope that our work in the Lord is NOT in vain! And may that work always be to take the gospel of Jesus Christ everywhere for the glory of God!
Recently at the Soul Train Awards, Jamie Foxx referred to President Barak Obama as, “Our lord and savior, Barak Obama.” Granted, Foxx is a comedian and an actor, and he was basically responding to the atmosphere of the event as he said earlier, “It’s like church over here, it’s like church.” But, there is a growing body of evidence that many who follow our current president are taking things way too far – even if these things are mentioned in jest or overjoyed hyperbole. Let’s take a look at these things and see how maybe we should be a little concerned at where things are headed with our re-elected president.
It would be easy to write this off as just an actor/comedian gone goofy – but unfortunately this is getting to be a trend with the President. A book entitled, “The Gospel According to Apostle Barak” makes a case for likening President Obama to both Martin Luther King Jr. and Jesus Christ. Here is a quote from the book written by Florida A&M professor Barbara Thompson.
“I learned that Jesus walked the earth to create a more civilized society, Martin (Luther King) walked the earth to create a more justified society, but, Apostle Barack, the name he was called in my dreams, would walk the earth to create a more equalized society, for the middle class and working poor,” she wrote in an excerpt published by The Daily Caller. “Apostle Barack, the next young leader with a new cause, had been taken to the mountaintop and allowed to see over the other side.”
Let’s put aside the fact that Jesus did not come to create a more civilized society. He came to be the savior of the world – by dying for sin’s penalty and by shedding His blood to pay that price. Thompson’s statements lift our President to uncomfortable levels – at least in the mind of Biblical-thinking Christians. What is more disturbing is that Thompson purports to write such things under the direct revelation of God – as God has revealed these things to her in dreams.
Another depiction of our President that greatly concerns me is now on display as part of an art exhibit at Bunker Hill Community College in Boston, Massachusetts. The painting, done by Michael D’Antuono features President Obama with his arms outstretched as if being crucified. One might argue against this interpretation except that he is wearing a crown of thorns as well. The piece is called, “The Truth.” What is fascinating is that the showing of this piece was cancelled four years ago because of the controversy it caused. D’Antuono asserts that the piece is purely meant as a political statement – with no disrespect to people’s religion. What D’Antuono refuses to see is that it is very offensive to Christians – whether Democrat or Republican. I can only wonder why he did not represent the President as a figure of Muhammed? Maybe it is because the reaction to Islamic blasphemy is a little more pronounced than that of Christian blasphemy, which this picture is.
These next things may be seen as just overzealous followers or those seeking to make money where they can. Italian artists last month created figurines representing the president and first lady in Nativity scenes. These were highly criticized by those in the Catholic church. Also during the DNC convention vendors sold products that depicted President Obama as God – one specifically of a picture of our president looking over Scripture with the title, “prophecy fulfilled.”
Newsweek in its November 10, 2010 issue printed a picture on the front of the magazine of President Obama under the caption, “God of all things.” It showed the president in a position of the cosmic dance of the Hindu diety, Lord Shiva. I guess that means he crosses over multiple religions as God in all of them. Again I see such depictions as news people selling magazines – but I have to ask, was any other president ever depicted this many times as God? It is disturbing – because our president had to pose for this particular picture – so you know he had to know what the cover would say. This is where I get into my deepest concern for him in all this.
In Acts 12:22 we read of another leader who began to sound much more like a god than a man in what he said and did. That man was Herod and as he spoke the people cried out in protest, “The voice of a god and not a man!” The way that God dealt with this was to have an angel of the Lord strike Herod because he did not give glory to God. Herod died immediately – found to be eaten by worms. That is how God dealt with a leader who did not give glory to Him and decided he wanted to be god.
I am not saying by this that President Obama thinks he is God. He has not said anything like this – nor has he claimed to be God. But somewhat disconcerting to me is the fact that he has also yet to deny such things and inform his followers that he is neither God – nor the Messiah. Some may argue that a president does not have the time to negate every over-eggagerated reference to himself made by his supporters, and in theory I would have to agree. But when these things begin to reach a critical mass as I believe they are now doing – it would be comforting to Christians to hear such a straight forward denial. I don’t need such a denial because I’m confused on such matters. I am under no delusion, nor do I have a “thrill running up my leg” over these matters.
Let me put it another way. When Islam was being blasphemed by a ridiculous “YouTube” film our president and all his associates felt the need to vehemently deny and distance themselves from it – and what it portrayed. I have to publicly wonder why they see no such need to assuage the feelings of committed Christians who are deeply offended by these public comments referring to him as our Lord and Savior. I realize that we don’t riot and throw public fits – allegedly burning down embassies and killing ambassadors and former Navy Seals, but I was hoping that this was a plus for those of us committed Christians who see such behavior as reprehensible. It would just be comforting to know that our president sees portrayals of blasphemy against Jesus (especially when it personally involves his own image) as something equally reprehensible.
There is one other reason why I would like our president to do this – to publically distance himself from such blasphemous statements. It is because since the election I am trying to pray for him far more regularly. One of my prayers in the midst of this situation is that he will be wise and give glory to God. Speaking as honestly as I can, he needs to do this! God does not take blasphemy lightly, and His mercy on our president in the midst of this should not be taken as either weakness on God’s part – or acquiescence to what is going on currently. God is evidencing His amazing mercies toward our president – just as He does toward me when I sin. I only want to remind our president that there will be a day when both he and I will stand before God to give an account. In that day I can promise him that he will not regret taking the time to publically deny the blasphemies being voiced using his name and personage. When that day comes this will be the scene we both will see,
Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:11-15 (NASB)
There will be no doubt in either of our minds Who is God and Who is Messiah and the Christ in that moment. Currently I have no doubt Who is God and Who is Messiah right now. Mr. President . . . do you?
NOTE: Please pray for our president - that is what we are commanded to do in 1 Timothy 2:1-2!
Where Do We Go From Here?
(An Open Letter to Christians After the Election)
Day 1 – Rejoice!
It is November 7th, 2012. We have a president who was duly elected by the process we agree to as a nation. That president is Barak Obama, who will now serve his second term as our president (note the word “our”). For some reason (probably because I’m a pastor and I’m used to caring for God’s sheep) I feel the need to share with the body of Christ for the next couple of days. The question I would like to address is this, “Where do we go from here?”
First of all, I want to quote a Psalm God reminded me of as I met with a couple of men to pray this morning. If you don’t mind, I’d like to quote it in context.
The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief corner stone. This is the LORD'S doing; It is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day which the LORD has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:22-24
As I quoted this in my mind, I only quoted verse 24 – which was enough this morning. Go ahead and say the last verse to yourself – loudly. THIS is the day – November 7 – which the Lord has made! I will (choose) to rejoice and be glad in it! That should be our heart – regardless of whether your human guy won or not. God gave us another day – that is an act of sheer mercy when you understand the holiness of God. Therefore we should rejoice and be glad in the day He gave us! Not even Al Gore can give us a day – therefore we should never take one of these things for granted. If you have another day to live – God gave that to you! Don’t waste it – live it to the full for the glory of God and the advance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Take a look now at this verse in context. I was not aware of the context until I looked it up in my Bible. “The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief corner stone. This is the LORD'S doing; It is marvelous in our eyes.” Those two verses took my breath away this afternoon. Who is this stone Who has become the chief cornerstone? It is a prophecy of Jesus Christ. It is a reminder to me that the only thing that will stand in the end is not whether a Democrat or Republican won the 2012 Presidential election. On that day both Romney, President Obama, and everyone who voted (and even those who did not) will be on their knees before the Ultimate Ruler. Why can I rejoice and be glad in the day God gave me? Because this day, as well as every other one that has ever been has been (and will be) built on that Cornerstone – Jesus Christ.
God says to us in His Word, “This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.” The election yesterday (and every other one before it) was man’s doing. It was men making a choice of their leader – good or bad. But the Gospel is God’s doing! There will be an end to any President’s term of service. There will NOT be an end to the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ! It is an everlasting kingdom that will endure forever. It is a kingdom not based on race, color, or creed – not based on political party – and not based on endless political commercials. It is a kingdom paid for by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ – and it is one given to men on the basis of grace. Anyone who comes in repentance of sin and faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord can come. Oh, and by the way, this does not come up for a vote every four years. God has done it – He has sealed it – and the resurrection of Jesus Christ put a divine exclamation mark on it for all time.
Saints of God – whether you lost or won yesterday – your future is not based on a Presidential election. It is based on that rejected Stone becoming the Cornerstone! This should be “marvelous in our eyes.” So let me ask a question: Is it marvelous in your eyes? If it is not – I bet you are not rejoicing in this day either? Guess what!? You can wake up every day and rejoice, if this is your focus. For too long we’ve allowed the specter of an election to cloud our view of the glory of God’s Gospel. Take your eyes off the things of this world – and look full into the face of glory! Fix your eyes on a Savior Who endured the cross – Who was buried – and Who resurrected the third day to bring a joy into our hearts that cannot be dimmed by a mere mortal election.
Where do we go from here? We go back to the Gospel of Jesus Christ – back to the Rejected Stone Who became the Cornerstone. We go to Him because that is where we should have been all along. We go to Him because the future that is truly going to matter is the one we spend in His presence for all eternity. We go because in His light we see light. We go because we need to make a serious decision whether our joy is going to based on the kingdoms of this world – or – on the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ. Where do we go from here? We rejoice – today – and every day God gives us in the future. We do so because God in His mercy has redeemed us – has saved us – and has called us to a heavenly calling. Live for that kingdom and for that calling!
This past Wednesday everyone held their breath awaiting the Supreme Court decision on the Health Care bill that has been dubbed, "Obamacare." There was a thought among conservatives that the court would strike down part or all of this law. The part most egregious to many was the so-called "mandate" for all Americans to buy health insurance. When the ruling came out there was a sigh of relief for some - and a sense of wide-eyed horror for others. I was among those horrified by the outcome because it forever fundamentally changes the relationship between the government and the citizens of the United States. It was only later, after I had turned to the Lord and sought Him in the midst of my anger and disgust that God showed me something in myself that I found even more disgusting.
Early in the week I was asked by some of the precious people I pastor what my reaction was to this ruling. Again, as stated above, my early reaction was anger and disgust. I was angry and disgusted that the Supreme Court basically allowed the existing administration to lie to the American people to get something passed - and then let the truth of the law come out only when interpreted by the courts. We were told repeatedly during the debate, however limited it was, that this was NOT A TAX! Over and over again this was asserted because, this bill would have gone down in flaming defeat if it was offered as the massive, regressive tax that it was later upheld as being. So we were told this was a "commerce" issue. As a commerce issue this was declared unconstitutional - but as a tax, it was upheld. Therefore one of the things that happened last Wednesday was that one branch of government could pass a law based on their version of the truth - while another could uphold it denying the first truth - and then making up another. Now, the fact that our government lies to us is not shocking. The fact that they have lied on this scale for the creation of a first time right to tax us for all we are worth - a little more shocking. One can only imagine the founders spinning in their graves at the way in which we are being taxed once again without representation - or at least truthful representation.
After I worked my way through my initial anger and disgust, I was leveled one day while praying with a couple of brothers for revival in our churches and awakening in our land. What floored me was a verse that I believe the Holy Spirit brought to my mind. Here is the verse:
"You are the salt of the earth ; but if the salt has become tasteless , how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything , except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men . (Matthew 5:13 , NASB)
As I meditated on this verse, God reminded me that throughout the entire health-care debate we continued to kill 4,000 babies a day through abortion. Nothing was mentioned, even by Christian conservatives, about this issue. Nothing was mentioned about heterosexual immorality in our nation which is rampant. No one made an issue of the flood of pornography that continues unabated on our airwaves and through the internet. (Actually the legal system did make a move in this area. It removed the fines imposed for the intentional wardrobe malfunction that happened during a Superbowl broadcast. Oh, and by the way, our highest court also made it easier to use foul language during prime time television - as if God recognizes times when it is OK to use perverse language - only prohibiting it from 6-9 weeknights!) Nothing was being said about gay marriage - which we were promised would NEVER happen only years ago by our elected liars - oh, sorry - that's supposed to be elected officials (same difference in most cases). We once again bought the lie that it is, "the economy stupid" that is the issue. Let me say in the strongest way I can, "It is not the economy - it is our lack of morals" that is the problem. Let me say even stronger, "It is a tasteless, unsalty church that is the worst of our problems in America."
The church has been losing its saltiness since the 1950's - when it became vogue to have an affair outside of marriage - the church did not respond by falling on her knees and crying for revival and repentance. In the 1960's we were introduced to "free love" - which is nothing more than fornication dressed up in groovy clothes - the church did not respond by falling on her knees and begging for restoration and revival. The 1970's and 80's were the me-generations - with live being lived for self and self alone. The immorality increased - and pornography began to explode with the advent of videotape - the church mulled over church growth strategies and spoke of dealing with the un-churched, rather than the ungodly. The 90's gave rise to a growing homosexual movement that became more and more radical. This was inevitable to anyone who has read Romans chapter 1. The rejection of God through heterosexual immorality inevitably leads to rampant homosexuality. Because the church was not cleaning her own house, rocked by one sexual scandal after another, she had little voice in society. One might call that a serious loss of saltiness. In the 2000's and now in the 2010's all these problems are converging as atheists are rising, God is openly mocked, and more and more oppressive laws are being passed limiting the freedom of the church.
I don't know if you see it yet - but the Supreme Court ruling should not have been such a shock to us. Neither should further rulings that allow us to be trodden under foot by men. The church has not been what she should be for generations now. The result of this is that freedom has been - and will continue to go away in our land. God is not pleased over the rampant innocent blood that is being shed - the rampant sexual immorality that is being advanced - and the rampant blasphemy and mocking of His name. He is also not pleased that the church is just kind of "treading water" in the midst of this. The church is more concerned with their creature comforts and comfortable living being taken away than they are with any moral decline that is happening in our land. How do I know this? I know it because we have yet to hit our knees in pray that inconveniences us on a daily basis.
My prediction is that November 5th, 2012 will make little if any difference in the moral trajectory of our nation. In all that is being argued leading up to this election - almost none of it even concerns the moral failings of our nation evidenced by heterosexual immorality, homosexuality, and abortion. They will barely even be blips on the political radar. The only difference that will happen in the Fall is that we will determine how fast we go down the toilet as a nation. Since none of the real causes are being addressed - I have little hope that they will be after the heat of the election is over.
What should we do in light of the Supreme Court decision on Obamacare? Honestly . . . if we do not come to the point where we fall to our knees in repentance and brokenness over sin - nothing we do politically will really matter in the end. The church should repent - over this decision - as well as any other that comes after it. Our problems do not ultimately rest on the greatly undermined Republic in which we live. They rest on the character and godliness of the people voting those who represent it into office. Our hope lies in the mercy of God moving in our hearts to drop us to our knees. Saints of God - we have only one chance - and that is that we see a coast to coast movement of broken-hearted, sin-confessing, God-honoring prayer. Our one chance is that the church will turn from sin and turn to God - then turn to intercessory prayer. Our one hope is that there will be a heaven-sent, world-shaking revival that will so stop sin in its tracks that we will once again see the church making inroads to sin - not the other way around. Oh to see hundreds of thousands - even millions coming to Christ, throwing off their sin and embracing Jesus with all their hearts. Oh to see churches overflowing their parking lots for prayer meetings - and for meetings where seekers hear the gospel of Jesus Christ preached without apology. This is our hope - this and this alone.
Bottom line - this ruling by the Supreme Court only shows me that the church continues in her faltering slouch toward saltlessness. It comes as no surprise that God is removing all protection so that the oppression of an ever-expanding government will continue to tread her underfoot. I am not shocked that a president who is acting more and more like a dictator is rising. It would not shock me if we even saw a takeover and martial law declared so that the November elections don't even happen. We are being stepped on, saints of God, and it is actually a biblical thing we are experiencing. The only way to stop the trampling is to repent, return, and fall to our knees in prayer. We have never needed the admonition of 2 Chronicles 7:14 more than we do in the shadows of this most recent decision.
"If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways , then I will hear from heaven , will forgive their sin and will heal their land ." (2 Chronicles 7:14 )
Lately, I’ve been noticing a lot of truly ridiculous statements being made – and not being challenged for the foolishness that they are. In an effort to expose these statements for what they are, I am going to institute a monthly award to be given out to those who make them. The name of my award is the “Doofus of the Month” award. It will go to the person whose statement truly exhibits all the very best (or worst, if you think about it) of doofus thinking.
The initial winner of the “Doofus of the Month” award is Richard Dawkins. Recently Dawkins was quoted in an interview with the UK Guardian as making the following statement. “Jesus was a great moral teacher and I was suggesting that somebody as intelligent as Jesus would have been an atheist if he had known what we know today.”
Let’s look at why Mr. Dawkins deserves this award for his truly amazing “Doofus Thinking.” First of all, if we are going to take an honest look at Jesus, we can only do so on the basis of the teachings given to us in the Gospels. It is our original source material on Jesus Christ, what He said, and Who He is. The gospels assume – and go to great lengths to prove that Jesus is God Himself. There are numerous statements attributed to Jesus of Nazareth in which He calls Himself God. Therefore for Jesus Christ to one moment state that He is God – and in the next (at least in Dawkins' thinking) deny even the existence of God at all – would make Jesus Christ one of two things. He is either a spiritual schizophrenic, or worse, a charlatan of the highest order. This then pokes serious holes in Dawkin’s statement that Jesus was a great moral teacher. As C. S. Lewis asserted, if we take Jesus at His Words in the Gospels, we are left with one of three conclusions. Jesus Christ is either a liar, a lunatic, or Lord. If someone is crazy enough to call himself God when he is not - even willing to die a horrendous death on a cross for it - he is not a good moral teacher - he is nuts. So, Mr. Dawkins, Jesus has to be one of the two - He is either insane or He is Who He says He is - God. Those of us who are Christians believe that His teachings, His works (miracles), His fulfillment of prophecy, and ultimately His resurrection prove He is the latter.
The second thing that truly manifests “Doofus Thinking” of the first order is Dawkin’s comments that if Jesus knew what we knew, He would be an atheist. It is hard to decide if this is more “doofus thinking,” or just arrogance reaching to new heights. Truly this man sees himself as superior in his scientific thinking than the rest of us lowly unscientific serfs. Dawkins lifts the current world as superior in knowledge to any that ever existed – and evidently sees himself as high priest of such knowledge. This is how he can utter such absolutist statements about the intelligence of Jesus – and how it was inferior to our own. How else could a great moral teacher make such gargantuan blunders in advancing belief in God – when of course the enlightened ones of our current age have made such belief obsolete with their infallible science and its discoveries.
The God revealed in the Bible is represented by that revelation as omniscient (Mr. Dawkins, that means He is all-knowing). Jesus manifest that omniscience by knowing what His detractors were thinking. We learn in Philippians 2 that Jesus, being God of very God, chose to lay aside His attributes. He emptied Himself and took upon the form of a servant, being made in human form. He did so to eventually bear the sin of the world – and pay the full measure of punishment and wrath due that sin. But in no way does that mean Jesus was just too simple-minded and dumb to not realize there wasn’t a God – and He wasn’t Him.
Mr Dawkins also has a problem with his reasoning - because he asserts that there is a thing such as a "great moral teacher". That assumes that there is good moral teaching - or at least a set of morals that should be embraced as better than other morals. Unfortunately for him an atheistic evolutionary view of the world militates against even the existence of morals. Classic evolutionary theory is founded upon a world that has one moral code. That code is the advancement of superior species, and the ultimate extinction of inferior ones. It is even wrong to suggest that this is moral in any way - because this advancement of superior species is totally random and happens only because life is perpetuating itself. The existence of morals assumes someone who can speak with authority as to why one behavior or choice is superior to another. In Dawkins' atheistic, evolutionary model no such authority exists. It would be more consistent for Dawkins to say that Jesus was a bigoted, authoritarian, arrogant man who had the audacity to assume his moral positions were superior to what another person considered their own truth. If Jesus were a true atheist, the first thing he would shed would be the moral assertions of his own teachings. He could hold such a moral code for himself - but to assert that others should hold it as superior to their own thoughts and desires would be the height of arrogance and religious bigotry. Only a "doofus thinker" wants to have it both ways.
Mr. Dawkin’s statement defies any kind of reason in its assertion. He simply is defining himself as the ultimate authority on God. His statements lack credibility because, as one who rejects absolute truth, he himself is making absolute statements about God. In so doing he is making himself “god” in the process (well at least god over all thoughts and belief systems about God). One has to wonder if one day in the future other, far more enlightened scientists will one day state that if Mr. Dawkins knew what they knew, he would not have held his own views in such high esteem – thus making him an “A-Dawkin-ist.” Congratulations Mr. Dawkins! You are our very first "Doofus of the Month!"
What is happening in the Middle East? We’ve been watching for the past couple of months and it seems that there is a revolution that is happening in country after country. Our president and others have said that these uprisings are coming because of a cry in the region for freedom and democracy. But could it be something else? Could it be something far more dangerous to us and to those who choose to worship God as He is revealed in the Bible?
The Muslim “street” is rising up and demanding to be heard. That is what is happening in Egypt, Syria, Libya, Tunisia, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain. What our leaders wrongly identify as a yearning to be free in western terms is much more like a yearning to be far more radical in their Islam. As the dust begins to clear from many of these uprisings, we are slowly learning that the hand of Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood is often at the root of the call for change. Some of these uprisings began because of a lack of food and crushing poverty – but they are quickly being co-opted by groups who are using their ability to organize the people into a group who are demanding a more stringent type of Islam. What may have begun as a call for freedom and the throwing off of oppressive governments are quickly becoming a call for Sharia law and a truly Islamic Caliphate in the region.
The Muslim Brotherhood has now emerged as the strongest group in Egypt – and we are learning that they are also appearing as a political possibility in other regions as well. As embarrassing as it may be, we supported rebels in Libya who have ties with Al Qaeda and other radical Islamic groups. The Egyptian version of the Muslim Brotherhood has called for Egypt to break its peace agreements with Israel and take a far more anti-Israeli stance in their politics. Elements of Iranian influence have been arrested recently in Kuwait – and in countries like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Yemen their influence is backing the movements to overthrown their governments. Where is all this leading?
This is leading in one of two directions, based on how you interpret end times events. The first option is that the kingdom of the Antichrist is going to be Islamic in nature. There is an astounding parallel between the eschatology (end times teachings) of radical Islam and the Bible. The problem is that the 12th Imam (who is also called the Mahdi) far more matches the actions of the Antichrist than he does anything God is doing in Revelation. Some think that radical Islam will be the vehicle by which the Antichrist rises to power and then rules over much of mankind during the 7 year tribulation period. They point to the likenesses between the Mahdi and the Antichrist – as well as other things like the ones beheaded for their faith – and the fact that one of radical Islam’s forms of execution for infidels is beheading.
I do not hold to this view – although I see its validity at points. My view is that we are watching the rising of group of nations that will be represented when the Gog/Magog invasion comes. These nations who are coming together in a far more radical Islamic practice – very closely parallel those in Ezekiel 38-39. I believe we are watching them come together – and as they do – they will spew their vehement brand of hatred toward Israel. This hate is on display regularly through the statements of Ahmadinejad in Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the Palestinian territories, as well as in groups like Hamas and Hezbollah. It is difficult for me to see how these groups would ever make peace with Israel and allow them to rebuild the temple on the Temple mount. A much more likely scenario is that they will come together with Russia and Turkey (who has turned far more toward radical Islam after their most recent elections) to attack Israel after a localized war with the Palestinian Authority, Syria, and possibly Iran. What could bring such a situation? Unfortunately the Iranian nuclear problem is the perfect reason for this to happen. Iran continues to fund the procurement of rockets and military hardware in the region – helping both Hamas and Hezbollah to rearm with a vengeance on Israel’s borders. If the world powers do not halt the Iranian push to become a nuclear power I believe we will watch Israel be forced into taking measures into her own hands to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. What I believe will happen after that will be the destruction of Damascus as a city (prophesied in Isaiah) as well as the event which will bring all these nations together to punish Israel for her actions. Oh, the final thing will be as Israel braces for the hordes of troops that will descend from her north in terror – she will watch as Almighty God – Jehovah God – her God – will defend her by destroying all those armies by His power. Then Israel will know that Jehovah alone is God – and – we will be poised to see events like the rapture of the church as well as God bringing Israel to her Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ – over a 7 year tribulation period.
Let me state though that these are POSSIBILITIES of what is currently happening in the Middle East. What I have written is NOT meant to be a prophecy of what IS going to happen. It is an attempt to take what is happening on the current pages of history and postulate as to how they will work into what God has said WILL happen in Biblical prophecy. Some tend to get depressed or scared when they read things like this – even turning to survivalist tendencies and actions. Too often that is the case – and it almost always leads to a discrediting of prophetic studies. What we should do as we respond to such possibilities is to rejoice that our Lord may return soon – actually hoping and praying that He does. We should also decide that since He is coming soon, we will redouble our efforts to live for Him, witness to His gospel as the ONLY saving message for mankind, and prepare our hearts by walking in purity and righteousness so that we will not need to be ashamed at His appearing.
What is the Prophecy/News Update?
At Calvary Chapel of Jonesboro, we believe that history is moving toward fulfilling God's plans and purposes. In an effort to help us be prepared for His appearing - and also to chronicle news items you just won't see in the national media - this page is devoted to sharing those items and their possible significance to
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