But the matter was displeasing in the sight of Samuel when they said, "Give us a king to judge us." And Samuel prayed to the Lord. And the Lord said to Samuel, "Listen to the voice of the people regarding all that they say to you, because they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being King over them. - 1Samuel 8:6-7 (ESV)
As we drive deeper into the end times we see the great apostasy unfolding before us and it is led by pastors espousing politics instead of the gospel and love of country over the love of God. It is a clear violation of the very first commandment is it is nothing short of idolatry. We talk about it a lot because the forces arrayed on the other side are growing. Many people are going to be greatly disappointed like those in Matthew 7 when they stand before Christ wondering "Lord Lord." One such apostate leader is Shane Idleman, pastor from California. Once upon a time Shane seemed to have a firm grasp on the gospel but then he become enamored with this country. He started listening to the wrong voices and now his entire brand is NAR dominionism. He shamelessly mixes obvious political talking points into his Christian defense of his unbiblical positions. His above linked article is supposed to be about common pitfalls Satan uses to take out American Christians. Therein lies Shane's problem because there are no such things as American Christians. Sure, there are Christians who happen to live in America but they understand that they are but pilgrims and sojourners through this land and their real citizenship is in heaven. The people Shane is referring to place America before Christian. Their identity is American primarily and they use Christianity as a cudgel to try and beat into submission anyone who disagrees.
"A post on social media read: "The largest problem with the American church is that it is American before it is the church." I don't want to read too much into this post, but with the complete failure in Afghanistan, the rise of Critical Race Theory, and the increasing disdain for America, the timing of it seems to reveal a political bent. There is too much at stake to remain silent. Are there people at the other extreme elevating America above God? Of course, but why throw many Christians under the bus? Why throw the baby out with the bath water? Why not clarify our positions instead of leaving them open to wrong and misguided interpretations? These types of posts are political rants by those caught up in the "woke," politically correct church. They disdain Trump but say nothing about Biden's clear destruction of our nation and its God-given foundation. They are influenced more by TikTok than God's clock, more by Hollywood than the Holy Spirit, more by the liberal media than by the literal meaning of Scripture." - Shane Idleman
That post is quite an accurate quote Shane. The modern church in America is essentially apostate at this point but the primary driver of that is the idolization of America. The dominionism ushered in by the New Apostolic Reformation is fueling a wave of pseudo-Christians more enamored with this world than repentance. The largest problem with the church is not putting something before the word church but rather putting something before God. I understand that dominionists like Shane Isleman may very well be sincere but as my pastor is fond of saying, we can be sincere and sincerely wrong. Someone taught Shane these heresies he has embraced. Likewise, he now teaches as many he can reach the same heresies. Realize we are not talking about someone who likes the song God Bless America or who celebrates the Fourth of July with vigor. Certain aspects of Americana are expected in people who live in America. It is the blurring of the lines between the carnal and the righteous. It is the blurring of the lines between the holy and the profane. It is the abandonment of truth in pursuit of political talking points. Let me give you some topical examples.
The opinion that Afghanistan was a complete failure is just that, an opinion. Even if you ascribe to that point of view there is certainly 20 years of blame to go around including 12 years led by Republican presidents and 8 by a democratic president. The truth is that if the current president was Donald Trump and he withdrew similarly, people like Shane Idleman would be praising his decisiveness. This blatant hypocrisy is caused by the core problem of dominionism - ascribing righteousness where it does not belong. It is not just that they idolize this country it is that they pick sides. Everything on the Democratic side is deemed evil and everything on the Republican side is deemed righteous. The truth is that neither party cares a whit about the cause of Jesus Christ. It leads to following talking points found on suspect "news" outlets rather than standing for truth in all circumstances. For example, there is no "rise of critical race theory." This subject matter is taught only in graduate level coursework yet Republican legislatures have embarked on a crusade banning it from being taught in public schools - where it is not being taught! It is not about sowing disdain for America. Instead it is about being truthful. While America has been a beacon of freedom for so many throughout our history, it has not always been on the right side of history. As a Christian, whose citizenship is in heaven, I do not find this insulting but rather honest. The disdain for Trump aside, the fact that Shane Idleman refers to the Biden administration as clearly destroying our nation tells you all you need to know about who he serves and it is not God.
"The biggest problem in America is sin and the absolute failure in the pulpit to proclaim all of God's truth in the power of the Spirit, and "woke," politically correct leaders are a major part of the problem. They don't call out sin or call the nation to repentance. Sadly, it appears that many of these pastors are not spending sufficient time in prayer while looking to God's Word for strength, direction, and boldness. Instead of allowing brokenness and humility to guide them, they often choose cowardliness and political correctness. They are "woke," but asleep to the things of God. The more concerning issue is that most who support the types of posts mentioned above, also embrace liberal theology. Isn't that interesting? This group typically has a problem with the inerrancy of Scripture as well as difficult truths, such as repentance, judgment, and sin. They also welcome anti-scriptural agendas ... the LGBTQ onslaught comes to mind." - Shane Idleman
If Shane is drawing a comparison between his extreme, unbiblical stance and that of the polar opposite hyper-liberal denominations then he is both right and wrong. Neither extreme is of God. The issue with the hyper-liberal churches is not that they are "woke" it is that they too mix the holy with the profane. They just do it on the opposite side of Shane Idleman. Neither are correct. Notice the nuance however. Shane's problem has actually nothing to do with the pulpit. He is upset that not all pastors are as politically involved as he is in screaming at sinners. Except that is not the gospel. The gospel of Jesus Christ certainly calls for repentance but it does so with an understanding of grace and mercy. It also does not embrace horrifically sinful and compromised men and women in politics to help deliver this message. In the 1990's the church wailed about morals when Bill Clinton's sexual dalliances were revealed. Now just 20 years later the dominionist church embraces a thrice married, thrice unfaithful, grab em by the genitals president as their political savior? Do you think that is lost on the world?
"Again, love of country is not the problem (God wanted Israel to be thankful for their nation); love of sin is the problem. Many pastors are more worried about the opinions of men rather than God's opinion. They tickle the ears but never challenge the heart. In the last days, people will actually be drawn to these types of leaders: "For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions" (2 Timothy 4:3 ESV). Sadly, we think if our posts generate a hundred "likes" and fifty "amens" that we must be doing God's will. Be careful here: "for they loved human praise more than praise from God" (John 12:43). The spiritual condition of those who applaud anti-America, politically-correct posts is often not in a healthy state. A quick glance at their walls, feeds, and threads will bear this out." - Shane Idleman
This is just scriptural abuse. Those verses from 2Timothy are about gathering around false teachers, who preach skewed doctrine. Shane Idleman is one example as his doctrine is all about this country and very little about God. All one has to do is read this article. To the dominionist such as Shane, having a negative opinion of his Idol is simply intolerable. Like Gollum in Lord of the Rings, this country has become precious to him and no one better try and take it from him. Due to his demented thought process, mere disagreement with him means you are not in a healthy spiritual condition? Wow. God wanted Israel to be thankful for Him, not their nation. He does not share His glory. The reality is that Israel abandoned God when they demanded their own king, as we see in the key verses today. The truth is that Shane Idleman tickles the ears of those who prefer this world over the promises of the kingdom. We like the sin and excess this world offers. In this world Shane has a near international platform. He can write books, speak at conferences, and still pretend he is a pastor. He has the power and prestige within the apostate system. Sure, maybe not as much as someone like Joel Osteen but enough to sell out his Savior for 30 pieces of silver carnality within this dying world. That is why dominionists worship this country. In the kingdom the first will be last. We all will bow to the true king.
"The "out" for many pastors to remain silent is to say, "I'm just not political." But God has given us a wonderful gift known as America. Its government isn't bad or good; the people determine its success or failure. Why would God ordain the concept of government and then not want us to steward His gift? Many have been guilty of not getting involved by saying, "We shouldn't say or do anything political. All we need to do is preach the gospel." Be careful, although the gospel is our primary focus, this shouldn't be an excuse against taking action. Please understand: I take no joy in writing this, but we are at the crossroads in our nation. Those remaining silent are the ones who should be speaking the truth in love. Our kids are looking for direction, people are searching for hope, and our nation is in desperate need of bold and godly leadership. Silence simply leaves the battle for the next generation." - Shane Idleman
God has given us a wonderful gift in America? Can the idolization be any starker? The government most certainly can behave in morally good or bad ways. Who would deny that the governments that openly persecute and kill their citizens based on faith are not practicing an evil execution of their government? The same can be said here. When we choose to destabilize other countries, overthrow other governments, or go to war for seemingly financial motivations one can argue that those are evil decisions. Just like when we step up and send vaccines to indigenous countries one could argue that those were morally good decisions. It is folly however when we think that all decisions made by evil men can result in solely good decisions. Here is some unsettling news for Shane - God did not ordain government. Unless you count the theocracy He set up for Israel before they went rogue in the key verses. This distortion of history and the bible is always at the heart of the false dominionist teachings. God did not give us the government to steward. Just examine the life of Jesus, who refused to get involved one iota with the governments of His day and when His people were facing real persecution! The problem with saying something political, is that politics divides by nature and forces you to take sides. Sure, you might be able to discern the lesser of two evils within political choices but you still end up defending evil as if it were righteous! What we see here should alarm us greatly. This is a man who claims to be a pastor advocating that just preaching the gospel is not enough. Utter blasphemy! Speaking the truth in love has nothing to do with political opinions as neither side is truthful. People are seeking bold and godly leadership? None seek after me - none! The only hope for the unregenerate heart is the preaching of the gospel - so says Romans. The nation is not at a crossroads. It is dying and will pass away. Just read the bible! The church however is at a crossroads between what God outlined in scripture and the growing apostasy.
"Our only hope is to have men and women on fire for God, and those flames are only stoked in the prayer closet. Boldness for the truth comes from persistent prayer, unconditional brokenness, and complete surrender to the will and Word of God. If this article upset you, please take it to the Lord and ask if He wants you to refocus and re-prioritize your life. Ask Him if you've pulled up the anchor of truth and are drifting toward the rocks of political correctness. There is still time to humble yourself and re-anchor to the Rock. If you love this article and can't wait to post and share, please examine your heart as well. Pride is just as deadly as carnality. Jesus' fierce words were often against the prideful. If we are to see a genuine move of God (which is the only hope for our nation), then we must humble ourselves and confess our pride: "Pride must die in you, or nothing of heaven can live in you" (Andrew Murray)." - Shane Idleman
As always, Shane tries very hard to sound pious. The truth is if he really took this to the Lord he would be rebuked. God is no respecter of man. Remember, this is not just a zeal for your country. Dominionism takes sides. It alienates half of the people who see value and justice in the other political opinion. I can think of no greater scheme of the devil than to have pastors preach a false gospel that eliminates half the people at the very beginning. The reaming 50%? They just have to be indoctrinated to hate the very people who need the gospel the most. This article upset me only because people follow Shane. They will be taught wrong and the church will continue to drift away from correct doctrine and further into the apostasy promised in Thessalonians. The sad part is that Shane or most dominionists would respond to correct criticism by accusing others of taking the wrong side. I take no side before God. All have fallen short. I saw recently, renowned heretic Mario Murillo declare that anyone who voted for Joe Biden is going to hell unless they repent! What an absurdity! My evil man is better than yours! That is your defense? They are all still evil! Stop chasing this false revival. There is no genuine move of God coming. He genuinely moves every single day through everyone who genuinely preaches the gospel. Your political party cannot save you. When you stand before Christ, your voting record will not save you. Your perceived lesser evil is still evil at the end of the day. Be careful what you are advocating for in the name of the Lord.