See my recent article on this here. - Joseph Mattera
The leaven Mattera speaks of in this secondary article is the mixing of politics and faith. He goes over several good points as I am sure he has seen them manifest in his churches. The problem is that he does this while stating in the article that while he believes in the separation of church and state he does not support that notion of separating God and state, which is of course at the heart of the NAR dominionist platform. So, while Mattera always scores points for understanding how insidious the leaven of Herod can be, he squanders those points by promoting the very same false doctrine only in a more cloaked manner.
"3. Much prayer won't necessarily change election outcomes. I am a great proponent of fasting and prayer for revival and national awakening. On the other hand, I also know that God judges the hearts and motivations of people when they pray (James 4:3). Alas, despite multiple thousands of conservative evangelicals rallying for days of fasting and prayer, they did not get the result they were looking for. My only conclusion is that much of the prayer was probably not in line with the will and heart of God. This is a prerequisite for Him to hear and answer (1 John 5:14). Perhaps our motives in prayer were related to avoiding persecution and retaining religious liberty (things the church in China, Iran, India and so forth) do not believe are essential for the church to thrive. Perhaps the prayers would have been better spent seeking the face of God to heal our land rather than striving for a particular candidate to be elected (2 Chron. 7:14)." - Joseph Mattera
Oh, it is so painful to watch someone dance around the truth and still not see it. Perhaps you should not have spent so much time praying for a singular candidate? Really? How about examining the person you tied your prayers to? Then examine how he was packaged and sold to the church as an almost messiah-esque figure. Donald Trump was the second coming of Elijah, remember? No wait, he had a Deborah mantle, right? He was offered to the church as somehow magically being saved, or maybe just a baby Christian, right? His braggadocious nonsense? Ignore it. His grabbing women by the genitals? In the past! Three marriages and three infidelities? Judge not! He is not running for pastor in chief after all! The Mattera's of the world cannot see that the issue was not merely praying in line with the heart of God but praying for something so unrighteous and yet swearing to all involved that it was God's cause. Perhaps God does not approve of the blood sport you support in your politics. Maybe your starting point that only people in your political party are righteous and everyone else can go to hell is not exactly God's way. Maybe being a shining city on a hill does not mean guessing the lesser of two evils and then pretending your selection is somehow not evil at all. The church did not vote as a way to avoid persecution of avoid losing religious liberty. It was mostly fueled by anger, hatred and resentment of the other side. Owning the libs is not a righteous cause however.
"4. The church must continually pivot for forward motion. The effective church must always be willing to adapt according to the times in which its people live. At the beginning of the pandemic, many of us had to work day and night for weeks to reinvent how we did church." - Joseph Mattera
Ahh Joseph, many more did not. Therein lies the real problem. If you truly used this time to grow and reinvent how the church serves people then God bless you but you are the outlier. What the pandemic revealed about the church is its seeming inability to adapt or change at all! So many churches were built upon the Purpose Driven Church model (PDC). This required pastors to hold court in person every Sunday for an hour and a half. That was how business was conducted. That was how revenue was generated. I expected the Rodney Howard Browne's of the world to spit in the eye of authority in order to open far earlier than they should have. This sin however was everywhere. John MacArthur fed his own sheep into the woodchipper for money too. His defense was so unbiblical you could have sworn someone else wrote it for him. Yet there he was doing interviews with NAR dominionist outlets like Charisma News. No Joseph. Most pastors did not work day and night to try and reinvent the church. Instead, they spent day and night figuring out how best to violate the law while still playing the victim card. They did not succeed.
"5. Only the remnant will persevere. The pandemic has caused most church attendance to drop between 25-50%. Consequently, those half-heartedly committed to Christ used the virus as an excuse to disconnect from church even after the lockdown was over. However, immediately after the lockdown, the faithful remnant church began to assemble again. Regarding those with COVID concerns for missing church, the test is whether they are still participating in the life of their church through Zoom, online services, and giving tithes and offerings." - Joseph Mattera
So much wrong in such a small paragraph. Those people Mattera refers to as half-heartedly committed to Christ we know as falsely converted. Every pastor always speaks like stepping into a church building miraculously saves you. It does not. It is not at all surprising the 50% of the church never went back because they were not saved to begin with. Combine with this the way the church behaves. People see the political wrangling and see that the church has whored herself out to one political party regardless. They saw in the pandemic pastors more concerned with tithes than with lives. They saw pastors lie from the pulpit and tell everyone it was safe to come back when it most certainly was not. By the way, the remaining 50% are not the remnant either. They are just the Kool-Aid drinkers of the apostate church. They are fully invested in dominionism and to them their church could do no wrong anyway.