We interrupt the end of the world for this news bulletin…
Have you been receiving some of the same emails I have?
You’d recognize them if you saw them. They come from Christian parachurch ministries. They come from ministry leaders who are not yet somebody on the national stage but who hope to be some day. They come from friends you’ve known for years.
What they all have in common is their begging. Not for money, but for you to do the right thing come Election Day.
When you lean into those emails and take a whiff, can you smell it? The fear? It’s all over them.
In fact, it seems to be all over everything nowadays. The Christian blogosphere reeks of fear. The media. Your neighbors. Maybe even you.
But it’s about more than just the election. People seem to be panicking everywhere I look over any old thing. Seems like someone called a run on the national storehouse of pins and needles. And that panic results in ramblings and ravings that make no sense to those who fit this truth:
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
—2 Timothy 1:7
Many of the most revved up writings I see lately are coming from people entrenched in the modern prophetic movement. Though I consider myself a charismatic, I have yet to see any fruit coming from the self-appointed prophets who litter the charismatic landscape.
Lately, much of the prophetic talk has centered around a particular vice-presidential candidate. Or it’s a rant about Supreme Court judges. Or the need for us to kowtow to what the national Christian “leaders” say we believers MUST DO—OR ELSE. Most of it contradicts itself. And sadly, it contradicts the Bible more than anything else.
I could reproduce some of the “words” going around out there, but you can see an example in one of my previous posts: “Only One True Kingdom.” Truth is, that “word” is tame compared with some of what is making the rounds.
Here’s my word for the state of things today: Unhinged.
Recently, I read a book that discusses how people react during disasters. A quick look around shows all the signs:
- Obedience to small, daily routines despite emergency conditions
- Sudden onset of blindness
While that final one may not be literal in this case (though it does happen in disasters), it sure satisfies the figurative element for what is going on in our country at the end of The Year of Our Lord 2008.
But it shouldn’t. The Church, especially, should be calmer, wiser, and more discerning than this. That same disaster book discusses how it’s the small people who step up (such as the busboy who saved hundreds during the Beverly Hill Supper Club disaster that occurred in my community), the nobodies, the normally powerless, who can make all the difference. Isn’t the Church supposed to be filled with small, powerless (by the world’s standards) nobodies who end up leading others to safety?
The world doesn’t need a Church that has gone nuts. It needs levelheaded people who stay true to the Word and Spirit.
So if you’re one of those folks sending me emails featuring the kind of stuff I’ve mentioned here, I have a not-so-prophetic “word” for you: Stop.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled apocalypse, already in progress…
24 thoughts on “Unhinged”
Have enjoyed browsing & reading your articles … thank you for your thoughtful truthfulness & your insightful website.
Your faith shines thru your words!
I have included several of your articles at:
David Kuo, who used to work in Bush’s (43) faith-based agency wrote a book called Tempting Faith. I haven’t read it, but I’ve heard it had to do with him being disillusioned at the admins behind-closed-door treatment of Christians. Its conclusion, which I heard Kuo say when doing the media book promotion rounds, is that Christians should fast from politics. Novel idea. This was not met with openness.
I suggested the idea to some friends of mine who believe in the whole politics of Christianity. You would have thunk I was telling them to deny Christ.
Another side note. I was talking to some other friends this past weekend. They brought up Prop 8 (gay marriage amendment) here in California. One wanted to know what I thought. At first I said I didn’t want to say. They pressed me on it, so I told them that as far as I’m concerned, God wants the gay community to know how much he loves them. Get that settled first, then we’ll talk about gay marriage amendments…if we need to.
Brian, as a fellow Californian, I have heard lots of talk in my local church about Prop 8. I had trouble articulating my thoughts, but I would say your line “God wants the gay community to know how much he loves them. Get that settled first, then we’ll talk about gay marriage amendments…if we need to” is a very sound position.
“The Christian blogosphere reeks of fear.”
Sadly, I find that to be true too Dan.
Yup. Most people know better than to send that stuff to me, but today even I got one forwarded by a woman in our church who I had a good deal of respect for. Granted I still do but it makes me wonder. Is it just stupid of me to believe that God has this? I think not.
I prayed. I voted. It’s over. God has it.
Worrying is unbelief. Unbelief is sin.
Stop calling God a liar and just pray and let it GO people!
I agree, fear dominates much of the Christian establishment and it demonstrates that they are more driven by the politics than Spirit.
We fear that our rights will be lost, more than we fear the sovereign God we serve. Check out this post.
ACTION ALERT “Your Freedom Can NEVER be Lost!
We live in a constant state of manufactured fear: From the plastic in Chinese milk and eggs to the radiation from cell phones. It’s drummed into us from the day we are born to be careful of others, that we are surrounded by those who would do us harm. The end result is an orgy of legislation and administration that is designed to cradle us in a safety net from cradle to grave and to put all our effort into protecting that net.
IT’S A SMOKE-SCREEN! It’s designed to divert us from our goal.
What happened to “consider the lilies of the field?” Christians need to stop, take a deep breath, and remember from Whom our life comes from. We then need to take that confidence into the world so that people ask us “Where does your hope come from?” And we need to be ready to answer.
Thank you Lord, I am not crazy. I was beginning to loose hope of my sanity after receiving yet another daily e-mail like the ones described above. I do not believe them. I will not cave to fear. God is in control.
I am Australian and therefore my interest in your American election does not have the complication of personal responsibility. However, as the saying goes †“ when America sneezes, the world catches cold.
The main observation I’ve made regarding this election is how much the rumourmonger is having a field day. Christian forums and newsletters are promoting all manner of wild, unsubstantiated accusations about the presidential candidates (one in particular). If this is an indication of how little those Christians value truth †“ then they are obviously in desperate need of getting to know THE Truth; and maybe they should reassess their right to describe themselves as Christians.
In Australia we have a self-proclaimed apostle/ prophet/evangelist /pastor (yes he uses all of those “titles) who is telling Australian Christians to pray for a Republican win. This man is a proven false prophet who refuses to repent and take responsibility for failed predictions. He persistently tries to manipulate the political landscape, using the name of the Lord to push his personal political views. Last year he tried to convince Australian Christians to vote for one particular party in a series of State and Federal elections †“ claiming that God had revealed to him who He wanted in power.
There is an agenda in a growing section of “the church, to attempt to bring about “revival through political means. At the extreme end of the spectrum this ultimately leads to the expectation that the church will establish God’s kingdom on earth, enabling Jesus to return as its King. Those I’ve come across that are making a big “prophetic issue of Sarah Palin’s Pentecostal background, tend to be promoters of this extreme teaching.
Beware of those religious leaders who would try to sway your vote “in the Lord’s name. If God wants you to vote a particular way He is more than capable of directing YOU personally. You don’t need any man, somewhere between yourself and God, to pass on the message.
While politics and the democratic system are important realities of our western nations, we should not make the mistake of giving those systems more importance than they deserve. Those systems are SEPARATE from the Kingdom of Heaven. They are the WORLD’s systems and God’s Kingdom is not of this world. Jesus and the apostles made this distinction several times throughout their ministries (e.g. give to Caesar that which is Caesars and give to God that which is God’s).
Put worldly politics into its correct perspective based on scriptural teaching; but that teaching NEVER leads us to expect that godliness can be increased through the political process. All political candidates are mere men and women. They can only act and legislate according to political constraints. Only when Jesus returns will we see a perfect “political system established.
– totally agreed.
there is an aspect, I cannot trace in your post – the one of a pushing, squieking, thundering angryness in the air around us.
THIS is what makes a lot of ( christians) to react , unconscioussly, as they do – not inverse.
It s true, that He won already. And to stay calm and trusting.
..but the angryness is almost…touchable.
Sorry, but I’m slammed with work the last few days and have not been able to respond to your comments.
The conversation here is normally free-flowing, but November’s shaping up to be a bear for me work-wise, so I may be a little less involved than usual.
Thanks for understanding. And please talk amongst yourselves, too!
I’m glad of it.
I was a faithful active charismatic if you will in my youth.
As a child of the sixties I left that all behind as the congrgation
became enraptued senselees tongues that constantly were
be falsely interpeted.
Late in the sixties I returned to the pentecostal faith after
I vowed I would follow Christ if I struck me blind like Paul
As I knelt there and was born again I opened my eyes to
the shekinah . After this experience I felt safe and warm
in the arms of the Lord. But when I attended church or
Bible study I was confronted with tongues again be right
and wrong. False tongues terrify me and I kept my faith
but shunned the gatherings. finally I was ready to pack it
in and was actually hitching a ride to San Diego to join
my stoner friends as I felt abandoned. Well a car stopped
and it was friend who was having a B_=day party that
evewning. So I went to the party. There I met a wonderful
woman who answered my questions about the Catholic
Church she took me to meet a very charismatic priest
and I was baptised (my 1st time) I told my old faith
pardon I was he said “praise Cod you have a home
well I didn’t become apriest but ended up marrying
that lady 36 yrs ago.I taught scripture in a catholic
prep school and later became the religion specialist
at our public library. I give my testimony to you.
In Jesus name we revivre our life with the trinity every day.
ps lakeland is strange and bears many signs of why
I left That Lord is not in Confusion as my mother taught me
Amen! I’m so tired of everyone I seem to know assuming that since I am a Christian, I must obviously know that which candidate God wants to win and that the other candidate will put us all in concentration camps and close our churches. Good thing I’m not an unbeliever–I’m not seeing much faith in the Lord being in control of things from my believer friends. Sad.
sadly, if you hope is pinned to a politician or party, you have lots of reasons to be unhinged, but if your trust is in the LORD, you should be okay….
what’s wrong with us?
The faith of many American Christians is more in America than in Christ…
I too am thankful for this post and the responses, some of my Christian friends seem to have lost their minds over this political and economic season. Glad someone else smells the fear in it too!
The sad fact is, there is always plenty of money and notoriety available to the most skilled of the panic-mongers.
Using the name of God for political gain is abominable.
Politics and the political process is not going to be the agency by which righteousness is introduced to any nation.
Even IF there was a genuine born again, spirit-filled Christian standing for political office, it does NOT mean that person would be God’s choice for that particular role at that particular time. God may have His own reasons for appointing a godless tyrant to the position.
Please read Romans 1 and see WHY things like homosexuality and lawlessness increase. It is BECAUSE God’s wrath is being demonstrated – God gives a particular society OVER to their desired sins so that they store up wrath for themselves. This is the same thing as when God sends strong delusion upon those who do not have a love for the truth.
Do not view the political process from the point of view of which candidate is most likely to enforce our idea of righteousness on a nation. Seek God to see which candidate is the one who would achieve GOD’s will at this time.
How does GOD want to deal with your nation after the election?
I disagree—strongly. I believe if a qualified, born again Christian who supports the Constitution of the United States runs for office, he should get our vote, period.
If God chooses to put a godless tryrant into office as judgment against our nation, then that is His doing. All He asks of me is that I be faithful to His revealed truth and reflect that in my voting. That is the simple answer on this issue. I do not believe that God wants us to scry out His thought process on this. I don’t ever see Him asking me to vote for a godless tyrant because I have an inkling that godless tyrant might be a positive force for judgment against our nation. The prophets did not rejoice when an unrighteous king came into power. All the while they were calling for righteousness.
Therefore, I cast my vote for righteousness and let God be God.
IF a GENUINE born again spirit-filled Christian WAS standing for office †“ then I agree that a Christian should vote for that person. These days the situation is becoming less clear cut because even in THE CHURCH and church leadership it’s becoming more difficult to distinguish genuine believers from the false.
However you don’t have that situation – as far as I’m aware, NEITHER of the presidential candidates is born again †“ though maybe both profess to have Christian faith for political convenience.
My earlier comments, to which you are objecting, were expressions of my disgust at many of the comments I’ve read (made by Christians) regarding the candidates running in this election. I’ve read an unbelievable amount of unsubstantiated allegations and rumours being presented as truth. When Christians stoop to spreading rumours and innuendo regarding particular candidates in order to promote a different candidate †“ then they are already casting a vote for unrighteousness in their nation.
I object to the politically manipulative techniques being employed “in the name of the Lord by far too many Christians.
I apologise if my thoughts weren’t expressed clearly enough to avoid misunderstanding.
http://www.baldwin08.com/ – to answer the question in your first paragraph.