God’s Appointed Leader

There is a great American divide arising. Democrats, Republicans and all those falling into such camps are arming themselves with as much clout, money, and free flowing power to manipulate prevailing culture. The fortitude of this divide will surely unravel the nation. Predicted, if not premeditated, calamities are coming to fruition. The elected leader of a world power came to office as a weak, infirm, elderly man. Personal security cannot hide President Biden’s frailty…

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This is no indictment against frail elderly.  They should be esteemed and cared for in every way, not propped up for political puppetry.  After only three months we are seeing the façade crumbling.  What and who will rise up to the forefront will inflame national division and stir implosion.

If God appoints leaders, and He does, and God appointed Joe Biden, what is God’s call to His body in the USA?  Why is God exposing our national weakness, frailty, and utter folly?  

The greatest interest of Almighty God is His people on the earth.  Through them He determines to be glorified and exalted.  Towards this the Lord can orchestrate events and circumstances to separate His people from this world.  Perhaps it is not hard for believers who live under Communism, Islam, or dictatorship to ‘separate themselves from the world’.  But Christian Americans have interwoven themselves through church, civic duties, and charitable initiatives to their nation.  Our light however, is not casting out the darkness, the darkness is dimming our light.  

Dare we read the scriptures in this manner….

Do not love the United States or anything in the United States.  If anyone love the United States, the love of the Father is not in him.  For everything in the United States – the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does – come not from the Father but from the United States.  The United States and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.  (I John 2:15 & 16, modified)

Is the USA in the world or isn’t it?

The devil is happy to see the people of God clamoring after a man made constitution, vying for their rights in a condemned world, and diluting their faith with ‘right minded’ unbelievers. That is no threat at all to the powers of darkness! But let the body of Christ fully trust in God’s unchanging word and separate themselves unto God. Then will we, individually and together, be enlivened by the Holy Spirit to proclaim the Gospel to both sides of the American divide.

According to the late Art Katz, from his book Apostolic Foundations, “…there is something about the nature of nationhood that encourages patriotism, which is an idolatrous preoccupation with one’s nation.”

Satan loves patriotism. It justifies a defendable self-righteousness and deceives even matured Christians. Gaining the attention of ‘important people’ in ‘high position’ is an irresistible allurement to Christian leadership. And still, Satan is happy, for neither Jesus nor His apostles ever jockeyed up the social or political ladder. Every rung on that ladder requires compromise and with each step we lose God’s presence until we reach ICHOBAD.

Through our nation’s division and discord, God is exposing the idolatry of patriotism. Rallying to maintain prosperity, moral ideals, and our constitutional rights makes it impossible to “pick up our cross and follow Christ”. The crucial message of the Gospel becomes little more than a generic message of God’s love instead of proclaiming Christ’s return as Judge and King and calling for repentance.

We are a nation now led by folly, frailty and a crumbling façade. Reprobate minds will lead us further into darkness. May this grip our hearts toward God, may we wait upon Him daily. He may not lead us into powerful political arenas or exciting rallies but to the ordinary, the broken, and those who hunger as the Good Shepherd seeks out His lost sheep.

“Direct my footsteps according to Your word; let no sin rule over me.” Psalm 119:133

“Christians On The Brink of Losing Religious Freedom”…Is That A Bad Thing?

Embedded within ‘Christian politics’ and campaigns is the ongoing rally by Christian leaders, pastors, TV celebrities, authors and watchdogs to preserve our religious freedoms. This is especially prevalent during this pre-election season. (Here see here for example) The ‘danger’ and ‘risk’ of losing religious freedom and constitutional rights even provokes leaders and ‘shepherds’ to influence their churches and communities toward various candidates based on extra-Biblical criteria.

I am a Christian and an American, but wonder if we so cherish ‘religious freedom’ more than God’s call to holiness and separation.  Do our values and priorities resemble those established by the apostles and Body of Christ in the New Testament – under the New Covenant? There are no Bible verses or precedents to undergird our rallies for government favor and support.  Jesus Himself certainly had the power, popularity and influence to effect change and establish ‘religious freedoms’ and the people wanted Him King to do so!  But neither the Lord nor the apostles ever used their following or influence to implement governmental change, even though believers were oppressed, persecuted and tortured.

I understand that the opposite of ‘religious freedom’ can lead to great suffering. Millions have perished and lives destroyed at the hands of persecutors.  The Armenian Genocide perpetuated by the Ottoman Turks as well as the holocaust of WWII are only two examples. Horrific and wicked acts continue today through radical Islam and other groups. I am grateful to live in a ‘free’ and ‘safe’ country and pray that those suffering can find such refuge. So how could all this clamor to secure ‘religious freedom’ be a bad thing?

1. Our Christian forefathers, moved by the call of God, relied on the power of  the Holy Spirit to establish the Gospel in the world. They never depended upon the ‘rights’ bestowed by any government.  They expounded ‘separation from the world’ as a mandate, hardly aligning with secular governments. Alignment with the world never brings the world nearer to the Lord but compromises us, conforming us more to the image of the world.

2. The American Church as a whole is addicted to worldly freedom, enjoyment and prosperity. We extol our ‘freedom to worship’ but isn’t worship birthed in our heart, most genuine in the privacy of our prayer closet? No one can interfere with those who worship as Jesus defines, “in spirit and in truth”. Moreover, no one can stop us from our greatest call, “to be conformed to the image of Christ”.  Is our alarm stirred by impending threat upon the business of Christianity in our country? Does our enjoyment, even pride, come from our prosperous megachurches and ‘gains’ we claim in changing social values?

“When the church was persecuted, it was powerful.  When the devil saw that persecution wasn’t killing the church, he made them prosperous.”  Zac Poonen

3.  How will Americans stand in these last days?  Rather than girding ourselves in the Lord     and the power of His word, many of us choose to bask in ‘religious freedoms’.  “When” not if trouble or persecution comes, many of us will fall away.

“What was sown on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away.” (Matt 13:20-21)

4. Is God grieving about our possible loss of ‘religious freedom’ or is He grieving at our lack of holiness? How different would we be if we tossed our moral and political compasses away and joined together in seeking holiness before God?

5. The quest to secure ‘religious freedoms’ necessitates inclusive collaborative actions. Supporters are finding ‘common ground’ amongst many types of faith.  This innate drive of self preservation is a snare that will prepare many to accept the growing body of ‘ecumenical Christianity’.  Loss of discernment is worse than loss of ‘religious freedom’ – one day a net will cast wide for a one world religion and most will be ready to join.

Of course losing rights and freedom is a ‘bad thing’.  I don’t want to be persecuted, attacked, rejected or killed. I don’t even want a sneer or harsh word toward me. But the closer we draw to the heart of Christ, the further we should stand from the world’s arena. Our devotion to the Lord is necessarily tested through loss, harm, persecution and suffering (I Peter 1:7).   Our strength to endure and to honor God is directly related to our separation unto Him.

True strength flows from our dependence and confidence in Him.  The quest for political influence and preservation of rights increasingly promotes a wrong vein of dependency for Christians. When trials of faith come upon us, we will not be like the tree planted by the water, our roots will be shallow – planted in a temporal and condemned world.

God is for His people. He wants to indwell us, move through us and enable us to be “the light of the world” and “the salt of the earth”. But that doesn’t come from securing our rights, it comes from dying to them….  ‘Pick up your cross and follow Me’.  

A person carrying the cross of Christ has no rights.  They are dead to the world around them.  They are totally dependent on the life of Christ to empower them, to give them life, and lead them to victory.

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