First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. -- 1Timothy 2: 1-4 (ESV)
The leaders within the corporate church structure are positively giddy with the inauguration of their new savior, Donald Trump, just a day away. They are forming coalitions, creating fake prayer shields, and marching on Washington to show that they mean business with the new president. None of it matters of course for several reasons. It is time Christians and the church understand what our correct role is and what it is not. I have been using the following analogy which seems to work well. America is the Titanic and we have already struck the iceberg. There is only one lifeboat and His name is Jesus. We can either spend time directing people to the lifeboat or arguing over who is best equipped to guide the ship into the icy depths. So let us reason together and clear up what I am sure is confusing many churchgoers and Christians alike.
The first point we must realize is that America is Sodom, not Israel. Many in the realm of alleged Christian leadership engage in what is known as "replacement theology." This is where the church replaces Israel. The Bible makes it clear however that God has not abandoned His people. They are still the apple of His eye and the church is grafted into Israel. We further must understand the differences between Israel and America so we do not misinterpret the Old Testament. Israel was a theocracy. God was their leader. Even when they asked for a mortal king, Israel remained a country led by God. When they disobeyed and worshipped other gods, His favor left them. When they would do the right thing, His favor returned. God established a covenant with Israel and God never breaks His covenant. As such, it is wholly plausible to refer to the sins of Israel as a nation. When Israel loses a battle with Ai, early on in its formation, it is determined that only one man sinned. Yet Achan's sin was enough to condemn the nation in that battle. In Deuteronomy 28 God outlines all of the blessings and curses that would befall Israel based upon their obedience or disobedience to the Mosaic Law.
America however, is not Israel. It is Sodom. It is a pagan nation that has always been a pagan nation. Now, is America the best secular country in history? I think it is fair to make that argument but that has nothing to do with righteousness before a holy God. Was this country founded by men who espoused some form of Christianity? Yes and no. Many were deists, which meant they believed in a God but rejected the God of the Bible. Jefferson rewrote the Bible removing all references to the deity of Jesus Christ. Some were atheists. We have to realize that the world itself was more Christian 200 years ago. But many of these denominations we would dismiss today as not being part of the church. Many of the people who founded this country were escaping religious persecution. The last thing they were trying to set up was a theocracy.
So what you have in America is a country that has done a lot of good over the years and also a lot of bad. It is a melting pot of people who believe what we believe, follow other religions, are agnostic and even some that are atheistic. We also have a role in this world and the Bible prescribes the view we ought to hold of this world:
Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. -- 1Peter 2: 11 (ESV)
But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ -- Philippians 3: 20 (ESV)
"You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet. "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. -- Matthew 5: 13-16 (ESV)
Beloved the Bible is very clear. We are not to idolize this country. We are not to be fighting for this country. We are not charged with saving this country, getting this country to repent, conquering the seven mountains of culture in this country or any of the other silliness the false leadership of the church is espousing. We are sojourners and exiles -- merely passing through. We do not belong here! Our citizenship is in heaven yet this past election season you had Christo-political operatives insisting that you were going to be held to account for sin if you did not vote a certain way. How unbiblical and absurd! Our role is very specific beloved. We are to be salt and light to a dying world. That means we preserve, not destroy. It means we shine the light of Christ with our words and our deeds. We are supposed to be a shining city on a hill, which means we are to stand out to people. The world should look at the church and want what we have. Instead they look at the church and see rank hypocrisy.
Yet what do these pseudo-Christian leaders say now? They say that we need to revive this country. You cannot revive what was never alive. They say that the country just needs to repent. Once again, America is not Israel. The truth is that they do not view America as Sodom because they like living in Sodom. They do not want to be pilgrims and sojourners -- they want to be permanent residents. They espouse a dual citizenship theology that acts as if our American citizenship is intricately tied to our heavenly citizenship. They have formed what they call a "Potus Shield" and are calling for unified intercessory prayer for President Trump for his "aggressive" first 100 days plan. Never mind if all of those plans align with Scripture. Never mind what the Bible actually says about it. Never mind the obvious hypocrisy.
This brings us to our second point today. Hypocrisy. Funny, but I do not recall these folks rallying the troops to pray for the previous president. They actually cite the key verses today as their biblical rationale for these efforts but they have taken these non-partisan texts and applied them to their guy, from their party. It does not work that way. If you read these verses, our prayers for intercession are not for a political party. They are not for a specific person or their "first 100 days." It is for all people in high positions! So yes we ought to pray for Mr. Trump but no more or less than for all members of Congress, the Supreme Court and even our state and local officials. The issue is not WHO we are praying for but WHY. God spells out the why very plainly in two parts within our key verses. First of all so that we might lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. Sounds like that shining city on a hill we already talked about, no? The way most Christians behaved during this election season was anything but godly and dignified. It was hardly peaceful and quiet. It was filled with rancor, angst and outright lies for the political cause du jour. The lesser of two evils is still evil but Christians did not seem to care. They embraced their evil. They trumpeted it as loud as anyone can hear. Now that their guy got in, they are continuing with the foolish notion that God selected this evil or that evil. Nonsense. God does not care what our trade policies are. He could care less about the national debt. What does He care about? It is the other consideration within the key verses! He desires all people to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. All people beloved. Even those we secretly or publicly hate. Even those we want to ban from coming into our country. Even those we want to build a wall against. Are we following the prescription here? We pray for all leaders so that there will be peace and we can live our lives in a godly and dignified manner. This in turn allows for a clear, unambiguous, and uncompromised preaching and display of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which according to Scripture is the only thing that has the power unto God for the salvation of men. When we operate outside of these motivations for our own carnal politics, the hypocrisy is not lost on the world. It does not matter if our intentions are good. It does not matter if we have convinced ourselves that our lesser evil somehow has the slightest trace of righteousness. God does not want to hear our wisdom about the lesser evil argument any more than the world does. He just wants that all people be saved. That means pointing to the lifeboat not forming a "Potus Shield" around the captain of a sinking ship.
The third consideration today is recognizing who is calling for these ridiculous and unbiblical things. It is time the real church stood up and refused to follow the false teachers and leaders that continue to pollute the body of Christ. The Potus Shield members include Dutch Sheets, General Cindy Jacobs, Lance Wallnau, Lou Engle, and Jennifer Leclaire, to name a few. A finer group of heretics and false prophets may not be able to be found in one place. This is a hodgepodge of folks from the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), the Kansas City Prophets Network, Generals International and the Council of Prophetic Elders, Charisma News and the False Signs and Lying Wonders network of false churches, teachers and prophets. Wow. The NAR teaches that we must conquer the seven mountains of culture in order to bring about the second coming of Jesus Christ. Engle just held the fake revival meeting out in Azusa California. Leclaire claims that God just spoke to her audibly about releasing the "angels of transition" to help Trump on top of releasing the "angels of abundant harvest" a few weeks back. The latter "release" was held back so Jennifer could get a book out about it to make a little coin on the "prophecy." This nonsense should be easy to discern beloved and we should want nothing to do with it.
It is time the church stops coddling wolves. These people are not our brothers and sisters in Christ -- they are devouring our brothers and sisters. We have zero biblical mandate to pray for them. According to Titus, we are to rebuke them. According to Romans we are to mark them because their falseness is what causes the division in the body of Christ. Should we pray for our leaders in this country? Absolutely but we should pray for all of them and for the reasons outlined by God. Not for our own politics no matter how much we have convinced ourselves that the lesser evil is somehow righteous. Let these charlatans hold hands and pray to a God they do not know. It matters not. What matters is not falling for it anymore. There is a world out there that needs the Gospel. They do not need place their faith in the captain as he drives the ship into an icy grave. They need to know where the lifeboat is.