Hard truths must be said today. Life is complicated.
I hope to help you make sense of some of it.
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There is a conflict in the Bible that is not immediately addressed when it comes to declaring who was right and who was wrong. But time always tells, and so does God. The conflict I am referring to creates a question, and it is this:
Who was right – Paul or Barnabas when it came to John Mark? (Acts 15:36-41)
John Mark, for reasons unknown, abandoned a mission trip. So, when the time came to leave for the next one, it was a hard No from Paul for John Mark to come along with them again. But, John Mark’s cousin, Barnabas, the encourager, wanted to give him another chance. There was such a disagreement over this, that Paul and Barnabas decided to take separate mission trips. Not surprising, John Mark accompanied Barnabas. Scripture does not settle for us who was wrong in their perspectives.
Notably, years later, Paul requests John Mark’s presence, which he considered a comfort to him. So somewhere along the way, these two worked out their differences. I am sure John Mark worked hard to regain Paul’s confidence. (2 Timothy 4:11)
Likewise, we have two very different perspectives on leading America. We say one group is on the left and one is on the right. But instead of John Mark being the disappointing one, it’s the evangelical church of America in the story I will tell today. I am afraid that we are clearly failing our mission – the Great Commission.
I can hear the Evangelical Church of America ask: What is our failing?
Inquiring minds want to know!
Allow me to explain.
Soon after President Donald Trump was sworn into office in January, 2017, I heard a pastor say that he was hearing from other pastors how God’s people were feeling very “emboldened” under this president. I must admit that I wasn’t feeling that same vibe. Although this candidate’s candidacy was on a conservative platform, I could not identify any new emboldened feeling of faith inspired by President Trump’s rhetoric or history. (And really, is any human supposed to be source of boldness for the Church?)
Fast forward to four (4) years into the Trump Administration in 2020, where I was stunned by many Christians’ reactions to the outcry for social justice and the mask-wearing mandate during a pandemic.
Hear me out:
- We are a civilized nation who had a group of people begging government officials to review the killings of certain black people by police. If only, we could have collectively said “We hear you. We will investigate. We will commit to address any findings. We will not tolerate this.” But instead what I saw was many evangelicals dismiss their complaints with insensitive Facebook posts.
- A pandemic surprised us. We did not know what to think, or do, as its cruel rhyme and reason made no sense. Some get “the Corona”. Some do not. Some get it bad. Some have no symptoms. And some die! Healthcare professionals recommended that we wear masks to protect one another. Many evangelicals should have recognized the “One Another Ministry” of the Bible, but they did not. (It’s like missing one of the easiest questions on a test, darn it!)
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Ephesians 5:21
Like John Mark, we have abandoned our mission. We have not loved others as we love ourselves. We have demonized those who do not think like the Republican party, and we somehow still think we can hate people to Jesus. (Now that would be a real jedi-mind-trick, wouldn’t it???)
This is when I began to sense a rebellious spirit among some of God’s people, and it was played out in full view at the US Capital on January 6, that we now call the Insurrection. Jesus was there in name, but not in Spirit. They waved banners and flags about Jesus, but that did not anoint their misguided beliefs about an election. Ironically, people who call themselves Patriots would rather unlawfully overturn an election and/or invoke Marshall Law before they “allow” God to establish His chosen government authority, as described in Romans 13. Let.that.sink.in.
And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man. Genesis 6:3
Since we had the Insurrection, I started hearing this word “emboldened” again. Multiple news reporters stated that under President Trump’s administration, white nationalist and supremacy groups have grown more emboldened.
When President Trump lost the election, a large group of evangelicals placed their faith in “credible prophets” who believed it would be overturned by God. I’ve already addressed why God does not need to overturn an election in this post. There were so many mainstream Christians claiming God was going to make an eleventh hour move, that I must admit, were so compelling that I even wondered about what was what!
After spending a lot of time in prayer about these concerning events, this is what I believe God revealed to me a few days ago: These false prophets are not hearing from the Spirit of God, but instead are privy to the insufficient plans of people who are aligning themselves with white nationalists and supremacy groups because my church has been infiltrated by these ungodly ideals. And My people are putting their faith in fallen plans and fallen men instead of Me.
And I knew then that Joseph Robinette Biden, jr. would be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States of America. Not because he is better than the former president, not because he is Catholic, not because he is democrat, but because this is the person God has chosen to lead America at this time. If you disagree, read this passage of scriptures.
These right wing groups I mentioned are made up of a rebellious people and they are deceiving God’s people. So, I say all of that to say this…
Some of God’s people have mistakenly
partnered with a rebellious spirit.
But there is good news! But first…Are you curious about if it was Paul or Barnabas who was right concerning John Mark? Drum roll to the answer….Both were!
You have to have both Paul’s and Barnabas’ in the house of God. You’ve got to have godly people tell you flat out when you are wrong and it is impeding your mission, when others may not, just like here. And you also need a Barnabas or two in a corner pew, encouraging you to repent and try again. Today, I speak as both. I am shooting it straight and then I am encouraging those who are caught up in theories and fake realities to RESET and REFOCUS their mission on saving the lost instead of a non-stolen election.
Scripture does not say how John Mark repaired his relationship with Paul and regained his confidence, but I can think of a few things we can do as the body of Christ to get back on track in our mission:
- Reflect deeply and recognize when our actions conflict with scripture.
- Read large amounts of scripture weekly, like I teach how to here.
- Though we may enjoy cable opinion news programs, consider watching network news stations and reading credible newspapers as a plumb line, especially when what you normally watch or listen to makes you feel frantic or hopeless. God’s people should be neither of these things.
- Be open to other’s point of views in the house of God – hear them out and compare to scripture and credible avenues of news, as mentioned in #3. It’s good to be challenged.
- Commit to taking Truth and operating in what is True. I share how to do this here.
- Pray and ask God for revelation knowledge. He will give it. (James 1:5)
- Put your hope in Christ, no matter who is president; Don’t act like the end of the world has come. God’s people are better than this and we were meant for so much more than this.
- Focus more on sharing your faith in Jesus than opinions on politics: consider the 80/20 rule.
- When you feel your soul is under siege by panic and worry, follow the instructions of Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–
think about such things.
These are hard words, my friend, but my ministry is not named Churchtown Ministries for no reason. I care about the health of the church. So much so, that I will say the hard and unpopular things in order to clear a path for its redemption. This is my prophetic voice.
If you have meaningful dialogue to share about this topic, I am all ears. Share away in the comments section below. I recommend we use a Christlike manner at all times.