Posts Tagged 'Characteristics of Believers'



False Prophets and Political Christians

I have seen a definite rise in false prophets and so-called “political Christians,” which are those people who use the Bible to defend or justify mostly political issues without much consideration of what Jesus actually said. I have also seen: a number of people using ministries to spread political Christian messages; politicians talking about the “evangelical vote;” and folks acting like simply because the President sat in a room while some people prayed and took pictures, he must somehow be a follower of Jesus.

Watch out, Saints. End times prophesy predicts the rise of false prophets, and so we shouldn’t really be surprised by that. But remember that, whenever anyone uses God or the Bible to justify a particular political, legal, or social issue, Jesus was neither Republican nor Democrat. He is both conservative and liberal, and would likely find fault with parts of both sides. Line everything up to Him. Line it up to love.

By the way, we had to stop giving to a particular Christian legal organization because it slowly crossed that line between doing purely God’s work in this world to representing radically conservative views that only hurt God’s people. Normally I would spot such a change, but I got caught off guard on that one.

Right before the election, I said the current president wouldn’t win, but that if he did, we should watch out because it meant it was a supernatural event. Now that we’re in it, start brushing up on your supernatural principles, end times prophesy, and what you will personally do to get ready.

Denise and I have been a bit too busy to write. She has an excuse, as she works more than anyone I know. But I did want to mention that my new album was just released and it’s being rejected more than usual by the secular radio (probably because I have scripture on the cover and tunes with titles like, “Come Holy Spirit”). It’s still doing pretty good (on 135 stations) but I’m convinced this relative rejection is due to the word “Christian” and what the false prophets have done to it. Every time, for example, a group of us lays hands on the president and acts like everything is okay — i.e., that he actually believes in what’s going on and is somehow following the teachings of Jesus on a daily basis — makes people think that we followers of Jesus don’t know what we’re even talking about.

Making God a Viable Option

I like science and scientists. As a Christian, I welcome the scientific inquiry because ultimately I think science will prove the existence of God for some people who don’t think we have enough proof already.

But there are a couple things that stand in the way of that. The first is that scientists don’t always consider God to be a plausible scientific hypothesis or theory. Science works by people proposing a hypothesis or theory and then by scientists conducting experiments designed to support or reject the theory. This is good, but if the evidence starts to stack up against a given theory, scientists ultimately have to switch to a new theory. The problem is that if the ultimate question revolves around how our universe was created, there are only a few theories out there. One theory is that God created the universe, but scientists frequently don’t accept that as a valid theory to begin with. That’s why you can have so much evidence staking up against the theory of evolution without anyone saying, “Hey, we need to focus on a better theory.” So far, they don’t have a better theory in the natural world, and God is in the supernatural. So even if we have a ton of naturalistic data pointing to the existence of God (which we do), it’s like that data doesn’t exist.

The second thing that stands in the way of science proving God are certain scientists who really hate God or religion so much that they’ll do about anything not only to keep themselves from considering it, but to keep others from doing so, too.

That’s the case with a guy I heard on Science Friday on PBS recently. He wrote a book about physics, but he simply couldn’t stop from making disparaging remarks about religion and God. Even the title of his book, “The Greatest Story Ever Told So Far” is a dig at those of us who believe in Jesus Christ. He called that “other story” static – which means he has never read the Bible – and a few other things that made me think that even though he’s a scientist, there are simply certain things that he refuses to consider.  I’m just not sure what drives a person to hate God so much that he’ll publicly dis Him, and it’s sad.

But then I realized the author’s main issue, which appeared to be in the way in which he perceived “religious” people and religion in general, especially in this new American world of a so-called Christian President who lies and hates all the time (he spent a bit of time talking political). And, you know, he’s got a point. We have done a horrible job at explaining what true Christianity is, and we’ve allowed people to claim they’re Christians even as they act extremely un-Christian. Overall, we’ve allowed so-called “religion” to muck up everything Jesus taught. We’ve also allowed so-called “political Christians” to twist Jesus’s words to achieve certain political goals. And we’ve done a lot of hateful things, all while attending church and Sunday school with the kids. This author is Jewish, too, and so I suppose we’ve also done a pretty poor job at explaining God’s purpose and plan for his chosen people.

So we’ve got to start explaining God in ways that keep scientists and others from recoiling in disgust.  I’m convinced that if we did, scientists like the one on the show would begin to lighten up on trying to get everyone to stop believing, and maybe even consider God a viable theory worthy of scientific inquiry. But to do that, we may need to clean house a bit and toss out some of the “religion” and the Christian pretenders.

This country is being torn apart. Two sides exist that hate each other, and can’t see past their own biases to find solutions. Accordingly, some group has to emerge in the middle to bring them back together; a group that can show that both left and right are both right and wrong for different reasons. A group that can explain why it believes what it believes, and show people how to act in a way that is not hypocritical. That group should be Christians, but we have too many people just giving lip service to following Jesus for anyone to take us seriously.

Jesus said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.” If we can convince people we follow the God of love, not hate – love even for those we disagree with – and the God of truth and light, and not falsehoods and darkness, I think people will be much more open to Him. So let’s start where we are. Start looking at everyone – including people who hate God and want you to hate Him too – as if they were you. You know, empathy. The Golden Rule. We believe in the God of love. Now it’s just time we started to act like it.

Yeah, I know, science throws a fit when I say it might “prove” God. Nothing is ever truly provable, science says. But we can at least get to the point where we portray the true God of the Bible through our thoughts, words, and actions. If we do that, we can at least make God a viable option.

Getting God’s Attention

My pastor’s definition of love – the best I’ve ever heard – is doing things for other people at your own expense. It’s a definition that gets at the heart of what Jesus did, and it takes care of that little problem noted by Jesus when he was talking about loving you enemies. He said, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners’ love those who love them.” (Luke 6:32) If you find that love is always easy, it’s probably not the kind of love that Jesus was talking about.

Indeed, the kind of love preached by Jesus involves a bit of sacrifice toward people that you – or anyone else – wouldn’t normally sacrifice for. And this kind of love, I think, is epitomized by the guy I recently saw in an HBO documentary called “Ebola – the Doctor’s Story.” It mostly follows Javid Abdelmoneim, a British emergency response doctor working for Doctors Without Borders in an Ebola treatment center in Sierra Leone.

This guy routinely suited up and interacted with people dying of a disease that has a 50-70% fatality rate for those who contract it. Virtually nobody else wanted to take care of them. So Dr. Javid and a few other extremely rare individuals did. The whole time I watched I was thinking that even if this guy wasn’t a purposeful follower of Christ, he was still following Christ.

Loving the unloved is hard, but I think it really gets God’s attention.


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