Into the ditch?The election is over. The dust has settled. My thoughts follow.

A Battle of Truths

My church is doing a worldview series featuring The Truth Project from Focus on the Family. I’ve seen one installment so far, and I must say it was excellent. I look forward to viewing the rest of the teachings.

We adjourned for discussion afterwards. As the  meeting was the day after the election, the talk rapidly shifted to the results. A strongly prolife church, most of us were disappointed with the election outcome. But I reminded everyone we are also an almost exclusively white, penturbian church.

What many white evangelicals who are strongly anti-abortion have not been able to see is another strong truth that drove record numbers of black voters to the polls. In many ways, this election pitted battling truths: The long, grim shadow of abortion in America against the longer, grim shadow of slavery and its hold on the black American psyche.

In the end, the election of a half-black president forever ends “The System.” It’s the culmination of the civil rights movement. It puts to death a long nightmare for American people of African descent who have never truly been able to close the door on what happened to their ancestors.

And white Evangelicals can’t see this racial triumph as a win. But then again, how can we since we were never on the receiving end of 400 years of prejudice?

I’m strongly anti-abortion. I was a part of Operation Rescue. I’ve been in the trenches. I’ve argued strongly here and on other blogs that the baseline for any Christian voter must be prolife because anything else is barbarism and anti-God.

I noted a couple posts ago that I’ve been getting nonstop email from Christians about the election and the abortion issue, plus other issues, that have driven people into a frenzy.

I have a response.

And here is where it gets tricky.

You see, for all our talk, we Evangelicals had an opportunity in 2000 to throw our weight behind the most prolife candidate ever to run for president. No one running that year ran a stronger prolife, profamily, pro-Constitution ticket than did this candidate. He had been appointed to high office by the king of the conservative movement, President Ronald Reagan—an imprimatur if there can ever be one in conservative ranks—and is regarded by many as one of the smartest men in politics. He was a leading Republican contender for president that year, finishing a strong third in Iowa in a packed GOP field. When the first set of GOP debates was held, most pundits agreed that he not only won the debate but blew the other candidates away.

Conservative Evangelical Christians had the opportunity to put this man into the White House, but they ultimately rejected him in droves in favor of George W. Bush.

That man is Alan Keyes.

And Alan Keyes is black.

You see, we Evangelicals had the chance to elect the first black president AND the most prolife, profamily candidate to ever run for the office. In one fell swoop, we could have dealt with both battling truths that came to the fore in the 2008 election and possibly kept the radically pro-abortion Obama off the national scene and out of the presidency. We could have brought about genuine healing for our nation on two different and very worthy fronts and done so on conservative terms.

Didn’t happen, did it?

Instead, we threw our allegiance behind what has proven to be the most impotent presidency since Jimmy Carter.

So, if we white Christians are asking for repentance from black Christians who voted for Obama because he was black (thus rejecting an anti-abortion platform in favor of a racial one), how are we repenting for failing to support the candidacy of Alan Keyes when we had the opportunity?

Think about it.

Which leads me to my next point.

The Republican Party has done next to nothing for born-again Christians…

…yet we continue to mindlessly suck at its teat. For all our talk of supporting righteousness and foundational American truths, how is it that so many Christians in this election voted slavishly for a man who was soundly repudiated by us same Christians just a few years ago for being nominally Christian, nominally Constitutional, and in bed with Democrats to the point of having his party allegiance questioned?

If we were so interested in supporting prolife, profamily, pro-Constitution Christians, and if all of our prophetic “words” really lined up with what we say we believe, then Christians would have voted as a block for Chuck Baldwin and not John McCain.

Chuck who?


Our rhetoric doesn’t line up with truth very well, does it?

No, the devotion to the GOP continues to not only bite us but show us as not all that dedicated to our principles.

Many people were shouting that it’s all about the Supreme Court justices, and that principles begin there. Yet the GOP’s record of getting conservative justices on the court who ultimately act like real conservatives has been dismal. So why the sudden idea that putting another Republican in office (especially one with a history of dancing with the center-left) would change this trend?

We look like sheep in the end. And not the Lord’s sheep, but GOP sheep. Baa on all of us. It’s the old case of fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.

There’s a reason we’ve been fleeced:

Politics is not the answer and never has been

Cal Thomas says it well:

Thirty years of trying to use government to stop abortion, preserve opposite-sex marriage, improve television and movie content and transform culture into the conservative Evangelical image has failed. The question now becomes: Should conservative Christians redouble their efforts, contributing more millions to radio and TV preachers and activists, or would they be wise to try something else?

Read the entire piece: “Religious Right R.I.P.” (If you’ve been a reader of Cerulean Sanctum for long you’ve already read most of Thomas’s comments, but I want them to come from someone else.)

The only “Change We Can Believe In” is Jesus Christ. Neither the Republicans nor Democrats offer real change. Anything or anyone else that gets billed as change is a lie.

If want to to see our land healed, then we do what Jesus Christ told us to do in the Great Commission: We make disciples.

Because a nation right with God only comes about through the transformation of human lives by Jesus Christ. And that happens when you and I do the one thing so few of us care to do.

Politics is easy. It takes very little to put up a sign in our yard announcing our choice in candidates.

Evangelizing the world is much tougher, especially in a post-Christian West that has been inoculated against the Gospel by Christians who talk a good faith but who live it haphazardly. Heart change only comes, though, when Christians stop talking about evangelism and actually start doing it. It’s when our walk matches our talk. When our rhetoric matches the Bible and is lived out before the world, then people might sit up and take notice. We have to stop dedicating so much time to erecting our individual kingdoms and spend more time working with the Lord to build His Kingdom His way.

I have a word that is not so much prophetic as it’s just common sense: If we don’t get back to doing the Great Commission and tending to the least of these, then four years from now  we’ll have the same old Christian pundits and “prophets” claiming that 2012 is “the election to end all elections.” As the great pundit Yogi Berra said, it will be déjà vu all over again.

God help us if that’s the case.

One last comment…

Distracting voices only get us off our mission

As much as the loss of this election has taught some of us Christians a lesson, I hope those infatuated with the modern prophetic movement learn more than anyone.

Fact is, almost every “prophetic word” that I heard about this election was wrong. End of story.

McCain didn’t win. It didn’t come down to Ohio. Palin proved to be a nonfactor. In fact, it wasn’t about any of the things I heard coming out of any of the typical sources for “prophecy” that cluttered my inbox. If there was a massive failure anywhere in this election, point a finger at the prophetic movement because it could not have been more off on nearly everything it said.

It is high time charismatics stopped listening to the self-proclaimed prophets out there. The real prophets of God don’t mess around with this political garbage. Instead, genuine prophetic utterance calls people to repentance, to the Lord, and to the Christ-ordained work of the Church.

But that’s not flashy. It doesn’t allow people to get comfy in some pseudognostic in-crowd, either. It’s simple stuff, the whisper that carries the voice of God when the earthquake and storm do not. We charismatics have got to be more discerning on all these “words” or else we are going to be perpetually tossed around like ragdolls on a rollercoaster by our so-called prophets.

It’s time to purge the house of God, folks.

If we truly want change, God-honoring change, then it begins in our own hearts by the work of the Holy Spirit. And there’s only one way to get that change, too. We should know the way by now.



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. Soon to be standard issue...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:

  • Numbness
  • Denial
  • Hysteria
  • Depresssion
  • Rationalization
  • 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…

Thursday Thoughts


Just a few things I was thinking about or read elsewhere and thought were worth sharing…


Given the hoopla over this “revival” in Florida (which I spoke of earlier this week) and the rise of prophetic ministries across this nation, consider what revivalist Leonard Ravenhill said were the marks of a true prophet and see if any of those characteristics match prophets in today’s modern charismatic movement. (Ravenhill’s comment that “The degree of his effectiveness is determined by his measure of unpopularity” should be a good indicator of direction.)

Also in this vein, with people obsessed with signs and wonders, consider what David Wilkerson authored in his message “A Christless Pentecost: Is Christ Becoming a Stranger in Our Midst?

What is it with people acting like animals at some of these supposed revivals we keep hearing about? Nothing disturbs me more than to hear this kind of nonsense. The late Derek Prince offers some discernment that is much needed but rarely heeded.

Had enough charismatic-bashing from me, a charismatic? Well, how about this for positive spin?

Because I write Christian fiction, I’m all too aware of the traps that such an endeavor poses. It’s very easy to lead one’s readers into a ditch. Tim Challies does a worthy job dismantling the questionable theology of the über-bestseller The Shack.


I’m finding that the latest version of WordPress is much slower than previous versions, not only in the Admin pages, but in loading the blog itself. WordPress dropped gzip compression and their object caching. Without them, this site loaded like molasses, so I restored that functionality and cut load speeds to a third of what they were after the upgrade. I’ve spent several hours trying to optimize Cerulean Sanctum for faster loading.

Firefox 3.0 RC1 is a fine update, but it proved devastating to the way my computer ran. I have an old PC running XP that has 512 MB of RAM (and the cost of 1GB of 168-pin ECC PC-133 DRAM for it is ridiculously high, so I’m stuck with the following issue and solution). Between all the bloatware updates on Windows and most other software out there, my processes were paging, including my satellite Internet drivers, causing them to spontaneously unload when Firefox grabbed all the CPU cycles and RAM. Grr. If you have a similar problem, setting Firefox 3.0’s process priority to “Below Normal” will solve that problem. Don’t understand why the software slams the CPU so hard, but there you go. If the upcoming update of Firefox were a kid, the verdict would be “Doesn’t play nice with other children.”

Creation Care

I’m surprised that no one is looking at the upcoming Beijing Olympics as the cauldron of some future pandemic. You’ll have people from all over the world descending en masse on China—the world’s petri dish for disease. The Asian continent, and China in particular, serves as the birthplace of many communicable diseases, influenza being only the most prominent example. The Beijing Olympics will concentrate groups of far-flung people who normally never congregate and do so in that disease-spawning region. It not only offers the possibility that people dispersing after the Olympics will take disease worldwide, but also that people will bring diseases into the region that may find the environment to their liking, either mutating into something more virulent or finding some combination of factors that encourage DNA-swapping. No matter what occurs, we should keep our eye on this.

I think this is one of the coolest, wettest springtimes I can remember. What does this say about global warming?

On the other hand, scientists are finding that the massive increase in carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere since the 1950s has created ultra-potent poison ivy. As someone who never used to be bothered by the stuff during my years in Christian camping ministry, I can attest to the change.

As an Audubon member (and treasurer of my local chapter), I keep a lookout for birds. My neighbor, the chapter president, and I both note an alarming lack of bluebirds this year after years of increases. Anyone out there seeing bluebirds or noting changes in their numbers?

On the other hand, we have plenty of meadowlarks on our property, a bird that is rapidly dying out due to the overdevelopment of pasture land. This article at Audubon notes other familiar birds that were once common but are now in trouble.

I continues to grieve me how carelessly we trash the world God gave us in pursuit of avarice. On another blog, a commenter lambasted me for my concern that putting in a massive Wal-Mart superstore in my little town would ruin the night sky. He told me in no uncertain terms that if I cared about that loss I should move out of the area. My valid question: Are there any such places left, and if so, how long before they, too, get turned into a strip mall? Sometimes I am just staggered at our willingness to defecate all over our living spaces and think nothing of it. Heck, even dogs don’t do that.

Think deep thoughts this weekend. When we get opportunities to relax, we need to be considerate and thinking people. Christians, more than any other people, must be wise. We know the Source of wisdom, right?

Be blessed.