Unoffendable

Free speech isn't the only liberty at risk—the Gospel message itself is being threatened. 

‘Freedom only to speak inoffensively is not worth having.'

My approach in this article might be considered a bit strange since it's coming from someone who has a high value for holiness, love and honor of others. The right to offend opens up the floodgates for all sorts of cruel, immoral, hateful and ungodly behavior. In fact, we as Christians should never desire to cause others to fall into the prison of offense by our unrighteous words or actions. 

I've written and taught on this critical topic for several years, and it's quite possibly the most feeing message I've ever delivered.

If you'd like a free copy of my eBook Becoming Unoffendable, you can dive deeper into the power of a life lived free from offense. Check it out HERE

The Bible tells us that in the end, love will grow cold. Offense overtaking a culture is a key indicator of the arrival of the latter part of the end times:

“For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.” (Matthew 24:7–10, KJV 1900)

If we are going to survive and avoid falling away, we must live a life free from offense. We must be unoffendable.  The moment offense takes root is the moment we have adopted the identity of a victim. We point fingers at others and blame and complain and allow their actions against us, beliefs about us and words said about us to define us. Instead of laying down our lives, loving, forgiving and blessing those who curse us, offense causes us to strike back. Imagine if Jesus did this as his haters were mocking him as he was dying naked on the cross.

This is why the vile sin of gossip is so destructive. Gossip erupts from the soul of an offended person. It's a form of hatred and revenge, and it is a powerful and wicked weapon against those who oppose us. Further, gossip breeds even stronger offense as it seeks to destroy, shame and manipulate.

With this in mind it's critical to understand that we have a dire responsibility to love with such passion that the unapologetic truth of Jesus will touch as many people as possible. We don't want people to be offended. Why?

“A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: And their contentions are like the bars of a castle.” (Proverbs 18:19, KJV 1900)

If we, through mean spirited, arrogant or unloving words or actions cause people to be unnecessarily offended, we imprison them. It's next to impossible to win them to Jesus.

So, I understand how it might seem a bit bizarre that I'm promoting “the right to offend.”

A CALL TO REPENTANCE IS POSSIBLY THE MOST OFFENSIVE MESSAGE MANY WILL EVER HEAR

The Daily Mail, a British publication, reports, “Judges have insisted that freedom of speech includes the ‘right to offend' in a landmark ruling which could help to turn the tide on ‘woke' intolerance…”

Presiding over a case in the Court of Appeal, Lord Justice Bean and Mr Justice Warby said: ‘Freedom only to speak inoffensively is not worth having.'

They added that ‘free speech encompasses the right to offend, and indeed to abuse another'. The judgment from two senior members of the judiciary will set a precedent for future cases involving freedom of speech.”

The reason Christians must support the right to offend is simple: the message we have been mandated to deliver to the world is by nature offensive to those who reject it.

According to the Bible, the cross of Christ is offensive. We can't avoid that. We can't soften it. Jesus offended to such a severe degree that people tortured and murdered him. Yet, he loved and forgave. 

Our attitude when serving the message to our audience should never be offensive. We must preach with fire in our veins and tears in our eyes. Our hearts must be broken over the pain and hopelessness of the world. The moment we start shoving our favorite Bible revelations down the throats of the lost is the moment we started teetering on the verge of losing our own salvation. This is abhorrent behavior to say the least.

However, while the Gospel message is the greatest revelation of love the world will ever know, it is also threatening, corrective, invasive, unmoving and, yes, offensive. 

“So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” and “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.” They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.” (1 Peter 2:7–8, ESV)

The Gospel message invades the private spaces of those who have rejected God. The Holy Spirit will confront the rebellion and the pain and the confusion in an attempt to reach the deepest places of their hearts. Many of you who are reading this know exactly what I'm talking about. It's quite possible, normal even, to be offended into the Kingdom of God!

The resulting collapse to their knees as they cry out to God for the first time in their lives is evidence of the power of sanctified, holy offense that the Holy Spirit is perfectly skilled at delivering. When the message offends, God can transform lives powerfully. However, when the messenger offends, ears are shut and hatred results.

THE RIGHT TO OFFEND GOES EVEN FURTHER

Let's bring this topic into the natural, secular realm.

The justices on the other side of the ocean are on to something. A nation becomes weak and liberties are threatened when its people become easily offended. The snowflake culture is more threatening to the strength of our nation than we know.

Does it make any sense that certain affinity groups would have a right to be protected from what others are saying while the rest of civilization does not? Why would those who have adopted a transgender lifestyle (which was the focus of the Daily Mail's article) have a specialized right to not hear what others have to say while the rest of the world has no choice but to have cruel, hateful vomit spewed all over them?

I was so saddened when I was watching a TikTok video the other day. A wonderful special needs adult who has a large following on the platform was attacked by a troll. This terrible person said it's “cute” when special needs children are on display on social media, but adults? They should be euthanized.

I was sickened. This was hateful speech. In comparison to an individual refusing to refer to a transgendered person by their preferred pronoun, well, there is no comparison.

Anyone who spends any amount of time online will see the most heinous people in our nation freely hating, attacking, trolling, bullying, mocking, canceling, shaming and attempting to wound anyone they disagree with. It's everywhere. So, again, the question is, why would certain affinity groups be protected from free speech while the rest of us are not?

My wife and I have a travel channel on YouTube. We are privileged to have a great community of people who are pleasures to interact with. However, there have been several who have been hurtful. Guess what? They have a right to say what they want. They can attack. They can hate. They have that right. I will defend their right to projectile verbal vomit all over me.

Comedian Dave Chappelle unleased absolutely disgusting, vile, unfunny and hateful language in the direction of conservative activist Candace Owens. I won't come close to sharing what he said here, but I will share the shocking and refreshing response from Candace. She tweeted:

To every Democrat tweeting me the clip of #DaveChappelle insulting me: I’m not a leftist. I have a sense of humor & I think comedians SHOULD make fun of people. Dave Chappelle is one of the greatest comedians of all time and I made it into one of his specials. That’s POWER!

Whatever the opposite of a snowflake is, that is Candace.

When Congressman-elect Luke Letlow recently died of COVID-19, many truly sick individuals started launching I-told-you-so attacks against him (regarding his more right-leaning beliefs concerning the virus that ironically took his life). The hatred that flooded Twitter and other social sites is protected free speech, but people become enraged when their affinity group isn't affirmed? This offensive, demented and loveless barrage of missel strikes on Luke Letlow has most certainly devastated even further his precious wife and children who are in mourning. 

Of course we know Christians are often targets of hate. Where is the outrage?

The Daily News reports:

On New Year’s Eve, left-wing journalist and New York Times bestselling author Kurt Eichenwald wished “pain & misery” on Republicans and said that he wants to find an “antimasker” and “beat them to death.” During the volatile rant, Eichenwald also scolded alleged “anti-mask” “F***ING ‘Christians’ who preen about God saving [them] from COVID,” claiming they are who “Jesus condemns.” “I have so much hate in my heart tonight.”

With all sincerity, I pray God touches Kurt's heart and heals his pain.

Again, on TikTok, a creator was greeted with a comment that said, “I really hope this is a video of you having a stroke that will end your life.”

And, again, that hate speech is perfectly okay? Understand, comments like this are flooding the social-sphere night and day. Innumerable people being sniped by innumerable commenters with unfathomable hatred. Well, of course it isn't okay, but it's legal, and it should be. Voicing opinions, no matter how politically incorrect, evil or personal is protected in our nation. It's called free speech.

The saying goes, sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me. Of course, that's untrue. Words hurt. But, in our nation we are free to use hurtful words. We are free to use hateful words. Spend ten minutes outside of your Christian bubble and venture into the real world of public opinion. Every form of vile language and unrelenting hate-filled assaults are non-stop when it comes to politics, abortion rights, gay rights, masks, lockdowns, sports, parenting and pretty much every other hot topic in our culture. 

Please tell me why this hate speech is protected but other hate speech is censored, rooted up and out. While you are considering that, let me know why some lies are affirmed while other lies are banished from social media.

THE RIGHT TO LIE

Okay, this is getting downright blasphemous. A Christian author supporting the right to lie? 

It's not blasphemy. Honestly, it's common sense.

Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites have emerged as today's thought police, independently becoming arbiters of truth. They are either attaching disclaimers to “deceptive” tweets and posts or completely deleting them. Entire conservative accounts being deleted has become quite normal. In a nation that not only celebrates but was founded on free speech, alternate viewpoints (conspiracy theories) and even mainline, honest evaluations have become flagged as deceptive. 

No longer can we question the election, share our beliefs regarding biology (science) when it comes to questions of gender or debate many of the liberal ideologies of the day.

Here's why we must support the right to lie. You will agree that it is common sense. The truth of the Word of God is already being rejected as a lie. If we don't support the right to lie or to hold positions that differ from secular society, our freedom to preach truth will be stripped. 

Facebook, Twitter and the others: stop the moderation. You can't sanitize your platform of the truth you call a lie. If people want to promote belief in aliens, so be it. If we want to discuss election fraud, surely we should be allowed to. Our President surely should never be censored. (I'm talking to you, Jack Dorsey.)

But, friend, we have to know that as the end draws nearer, truth will be called a lie and lies will be called truth. This is why we must support the right to lie. We as Christians must be unmuzzled, free to spread “lies” that will set the captives free.

“Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator…” (Romans 1:24–25, ESV)

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20, ESV)

WE MUST BE UNOFFENDABLE

If we are unoffendable, we will remain full of life, joyful and victorious no matter what people say to us. Yes, words hurt, but they should not debilitate. 

Both in the spiritual and the natural, we must discover this strength. Our churches and our nation will become stronger, healthier and enduring when we refuse to melt when the verbal (or written) attacks come. 

The Daily Mail continued, “Mr Justice Warby explained that the relevant parts of the Communications Act ‘were not intended by Parliament to criminalise forms of expression, the content of which is no worse than annoying or inconvenient in nature'. Mr Justice Warby also suggested that the prosecution had been an ‘unjustified state interference with free speech'.”

Please hear me. I have already made the case that we should never desire to offend, but when we as Christians stand for truth, offense will come. There is a careful, Spirit-led balance that must be discovered. There is a time to avoid offending people, as Jesus made clear:

“When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax went up to Peter and said, “Does your teacher not pay the tax?” He said, “Yes.” And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tax? From their sons or from others?” And when he said, “From others,” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are free. However, not to give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for me and for yourself.”” (Matthew 17:24–27, ESV)

There's also a time to stand for what is right, defending the liberty of society, even though those who aren't willing to be graceful may strike back. It makes no sense that it's okay to call for a special needs adult to be killed but it's a crime for someone to call someone a he instead of a she. A spirit of offense truly is overtaking the world, and we cannot allow it to dictate laws and culture.

I'll conclude by requalifying and clarifying my position on personal holiness. We as blood-bought Believers must be spotless, rejecting a life of sin and driven by the love of Jesus. We should not lie, hate or intentionally offend. Our passion must be the transformation of those who God so deeply loves. The world needs to see us as an unoffendable army of lovers of our mighty God. We must stand for truth even when it's determined to be a lie. We must deliver the offensive truth of Scripture from a pure and unoffended heart. We must love so deeply that those who vehemently resist it lash out and call us haters.

Simply, get ready for persecution that living a consecrated life will bring.

Originally published by The Stream.

Nancy Pelosi

The science argument has neutered much of the church's potent, supernatural message.

“(Nancy Peolosi) suggested that some government officials and members of Congress were anti-science because of their faith.” ~The Blaze

Nancy, I'm sorry I used a trigger word in the title (trump), but I had to jump at the chance to address something you said. You were dismayed by “faith oriented” members of Congress who put more stock in God's healing power than in man's scientific advances. As a leader in this Christian nation, I'm stunned that you would have such a viewpoint. Sadly, many Christians have adopted similar faithless ideologies, straying so far from the wonders of supernatural, miraculous, shock and awe faith toward a natural, godless version of spirituality (if such a thing were possible).

The bible calls it a form of godliness. The problem? This style of religion is devoid of power. It's atheistic at its roots, only dressed up to appear just superstitious enough to pass as spiritual. 

We are in the last days, and this issue makes it onto a very sobering list:

“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.” (2 Timothy 3:1–5, ESV)

Lovers of money. Proud. Arrogant. Heartless. Lovers of pleasure. To top it all off, an appearance of godliness and a denial of God's power. 

Avoid such people.

As followers of Jesus, we should be living in the miraculous realm every moment of our lives. It's disheartening that so many professing Christians have fallen for the delusion that science is superior to faith. Scientific fact is the ultimate litmus test. If science proves something in Scripture to be wrong, then science is the clear victor. Nonsense.

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE MIRACULOUS CHRISTIAN LIFE?

People have attempted to use science to silence Christian zealots for centuries. Christians have stumbled over their own arguments by attempting to agree with the opposition. Their debate is fueled by the thesis that what is found in the Bible will always affirm science. They declare that biblical truth will always affirm scientific fact. This argument is doomed from the beginning.

From cover to cover in Scripture we see science defied. It's everywhere. 

Jesus walked on water. Science defied.

Lazarus rose from the dead. Science defied.

A sea split in half. Science defied.

A paralytic walked. Science defied.

The sun stood still. Science defied.

Thousands fed with a few loaves of bread and a few fish. Science defied.

An iron axe head floated in water. Science defied.

And, the Savior of our world was conceived without his parents having sex. Thank God, science was defied. 

WHERE ARE THE AUTHENTIC CHRISTIANS DURING THIS GLOBAL CRISIS?

In an article I wrote titled Christians are Being Embarrassed By The Coronavirus, I dealt with the mostly natural, scientific approach so many followers of Jesus have defaulted to:

Are you taking the opportunity to show the lost you are fearless, full of faith and joyful? Or do they sense your anxiety about coronavirus?

A crisis of faith has been exposed. Coronavirus is embarrassing the church.

Have you noticed any difference at all between the godless world and those who are seated in heavenly places with Christ Jesus, the Healer? Bold decrees of faith, not confessions of fear and worry, should be exploding out of our mouths!

Instead, Christians are hiding in caves, running from the battle and trembling not in the fear of the Lord, but the fear of the enemy.

Sure, take precautions, but don’t cower. Don’t respond like the world. Don’t allow the enemy to impact your life. Live! Be free! You are covered by the blood of Jesus!

An unmoving devotion to belief, to faith, to confidence that supernatural, divine healing is our portion should be the mark of every Christian. Faith trumps science.

In fact, when we gain more confidence in vaccines and other medical measures than we do in God's desire and ability to heal, we set ourselves up for judgment.

“In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was diseased in his feet, and his disease became severe. Yet even in his disease he did not seek the LORD, but sought help from physicians. And Asa slept with his fathers, dying in the forty-first year of his reign.” (2 Chronicles 16:12–13, ESV)

King Asa's devotion to doctors to the exclusion of God resulted in his judgment. Death.

To be fair, what Nancy said isn't completely untrue:

“People say around here sometimes, ‘I'm faith-oriented so I don't believe in science' and I said, ‘Well you can do both. Science is an answer to our prayers and our prayers have been answered with a vaccine,'” 

To be clear, I doubt the people around her who live by faith actually said that they don't believe in science. Gravity is real. So are germs. So is medicine. Nobody would debate any of that. My guess is they were saying that faith trumps science. That is what I agree with, and apparently what Nancy disagrees with.

However, she did point out that both faith and science can work together. Scientific discovery can be the answer to prayer. I agree with that. What I disagree with is that faith must align with science. If our faith must come under submission to scientific fact, then we'd be nothing more than full blown athiests. A people who deny supernatural wonders whenever they contradict with scientific proof. These people are rejecting the power of God and the Bible commands us to have nothing to do with them.

NANCY, I IMPLORE YOU TO REPENT AND TO DISCOVER THE GLORIES OF SUPERNATURAL LIVING

By giving science and the natural realm more credence than the invisible realm, we imprison ourselves to its restrictions. This is a terrible, disappointing and powerless way to live.

When we live our lives not by sight, but by faith, everything changes in a moment! Miracles are common! The impossible becomes probable! The presence of the Holy Spirit radiates all around us!

We can't live like King Asa, running to the physicians, the scientists, the logical intellectuals in search for answers. Our first and continual focus must be on our omnipotent God and his plan to work miraculously in our lives. From that place we can certainly take advantage of natural remedies. But, our faith must be extreme and it must be in a God we cannot see and his abilities that are far greater than any scientist that has ever lived. Yes, Nancy, faith absolutely trumps science. Every day of the week.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5, ESV)

Photo credit: “Nancy Pelosi Introducing Obama in SF” by jurvetson is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Originally published by The Stream.

Alyssa Milano

Hate has become the emotion of choice for a lot of people this year – including a whole bunch of Christians.

It’s more evident than ever just how toxic our culture is. 2020 has been quite the litmus test for love and civility.

I was recently interviewed about a recent article I wrote for The Stream titled Is Today’s Prophetic Movement Fake News? In the midst of a discussion on the unhealthy nature of much of today’s prophetic movement, I noted that I’m concerned that the church has wasted the opportunity that 2020 has provided us. The church’s often volatile reactions to the pressures of this season have been telling. People from all sides, the left, the right, the saved and the lost have been spewing poisonous personal revelations about everything from masks to freedom to Trump to equality. No, there’s nothing wrong with holding to a strong opinion on important matters. We’d be socially dead if we didn’t. However, the moment we villainize, attack, shame, cancel and blacklist those who disagree with us is the moment our true, dark hearts are revealed.

WE WEREN’T READY FOR 2020, AND WE AREN’T READY FOR 2021

I wrote an article for Charisma Magazine on January, 2nd 2020, just as the year was beginning and well before true concern for COVID-19 had arrived. Few knew about the coming pestilence, or at least the severity of it. I re-read the article and got chills. The call was clear: adopt humility, fervent prayer and a radical devotion to holiness in our pursuit of Jesus as the plagues and pestilence visit us:

2020 is here. Does God have good plans for His true, remnant church? Sure. However, His true church isn't primarily concerned about that. Those aren't the words they want to hear. They are in tune with the assault of the spirit of the age, with the immorality in the land, with the abominations that both the world and the church are in alignment with and with possible judgment and wrath that can strike our nation if we don't turn. They are crying out for God to prophetically speak about this stuff. They want to be warned, and they want to share those warnings with the world.

I'm not saying the following passage is a prophetic word, but it sure is a much better exhortation than many I'm reading concerning the new year. I propose we do this:

“When I shut up the heaven and there is no rain, or when I command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence on My people, if My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayer of this place (2 Chron. 7:13-15, MEV).

I’d encourage you to read the entire article here.

On December 19th, 2019, I posted to Facebook:

So much of “prophecy” today is utterly useless, a distraction and often dangerous as it leads the immature and those who can't discern into false hope and down wrong paths.

I don't know how often I read prophecies on Facebook that cause me to say, “My time was just wasted. I didn't need to know that, even if it is true.”

While so much of prophecy today is an embarrassment, we must respond to the true call of the Spirit of God in this hour. Humility, love, prayer and holiness are most certainly part of that call.

In the face of the greatest global chaos in any of our lifetimes, the church should have been leading the way by calling for solemn assemblies, heart-wrenching prayer meetings and whatever else must happen to see a move of God overtake us. Instead, too many have become enraged, offended and puffed up at political leaders for restricting their freedoms and shutting down the churches. Why? So they can get back to their tired, predictable and mostly powerless 90-minute karaoke sing-a-long’s and story telling sessions?

“Consecrate a fast; call a solemn assembly. Gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land to the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to the LORD. Alas for the day! For the day of the LORD is near, and as destruction from the Almighty it comes.” (Joel 1:14–15, ESV)

Before you become unglued (yet again), allow me to make a point. I too have opinions and strong beliefs. I firmly believe the Bible out ranks our governmental officials. When God in his Word commands us to meet together, we meet together. We should do it safely and with wisdom, but, in my opinion, I am convinced that we should be gathering together. However, if we rise up in pride against supposed tyranny just so we, in a spirit of independence, can have our way (in the guise of protecting our Constitutional rights) then we have failed. Rebellion can never be a Christian’s weapon against our oppressors. Today we have companies of arrogant, spiritualized rebels, defying authority in the name of God, as God himself resists them.

“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry…” (1 Samuel 15:23, NKJV)

“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6, ESV)

FIGHTS, ACCUSATIONS, DIVISION AND HATRED

2020 is the year of losing friends, or at least a time when we learned just who our true friends were.

Social media has allowed for the unleashing of all types of self-important proclamations. Don’t dare have an opposing opinion about masks, our President, racial issues, our freedoms, the Constitution or pretty much anything else unless you want to be assaulted in the comments. It’s disgusting. No matter how righteous your pursuit is, handling it without love, honor and respect will nullify it.

I’m stunned most every day at how rude blood-bought Christians can be, especially on social media. Have you not encountered the love and the fear of the Lord? I mean, really had an overwhelming encounter where our omnipotent, holy and all-consuming God laid you out? If not, I propose you cease all of your attempts at heroism in our social fabric and hit your knees. Cry out to God with raw, guttural groans. Repent. Yearn for his presence and his glory to saturate you. Ask for your hip to be taken out and for a tongue of fire to ignite over you. Honestly, little else matters.

That brings me to those of you who have had such encounters, yet you still don’t know how to love. Stop everything. Learn to love. I’m not talking about the sappy, passive, new age, beta-male style “kindness” that is being promoted (mostly by unbelievers) all over the world. In fact, check out one of my most popular articles, The Great Love Deception, to understand just what I mean and what I don’t mean when I mention the world love. False love is truly on the rise and we must expose it and promote true, biblically defined love.

From the article:

Philippians 1:9-10 (MSG) 9 So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings 10 so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. Live a lover's life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of…

We are to learn to love appropriately. This scripture is a critical exhortation! Why? It means there are inappropriate ways to love. There are deceptions that feel right, but are poor representations or even counterfeits of truth.

As God’s love begins to manifest in such amazing, deeper ways at the end of the age, we have to be aware that the enemy will work hard to redefine, misrepresent and twist true love. He has a castrated version to offer us.

I’ve run into several people, many who were once grounded Believers, who have bought into this supposed new revelation of love, and the stench is putrid. Supposedly Donald Trump is the candidate of arrogance, division and hatred while Joe Biden promotes humility, unity and love. People who wear masks are the poster children for true love while those who are anti-mask are selfish and hateful of others. Those who make such claims are delusional beyond belief. (On the contrary, those who refuse to wear masks when required and pout like children when pressed on the matter have no idea what love looks like either. Neither do those who cancel everyone in their lives who don’t support Donald Trump. I could go on and on.)

Love can (and often should) be very direct, unrelenting, unapologetic and aggressive. However, it must be done with grace, honor and respect. The alternative? Well, 2020 has taught us that anything from riots to destroying people’s lives when we disagree with them is on the table.

THE WORLD IS WATCHING

Yes, we as Believers are watching the world, and weeping. The vaccine has arrived, and now people are shaming whoever their political enemies are for being among the first to take it. It’s yet another opportunity for them to accuse their foes of killing grandma.

Both the left and the right, and Hollywood and Nashville, and every other sphere of influence in our nation have been guilty of hatred. The right assaults Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, Alyssa Milano and many others on a daily basis. Of course, the left attacks with vengeance Donald Trump and anyone who even whispers a minute amount of support for him or his policies.

Yet, more sadly, the world is watching the church. And, with some notable exceptions, I believe the church has failed miserably this year.

Where is the anointing? The power? The undeniable, supernatural love? Too many of today’s Christians have chosen social justice over holy justice. We need an other-worldly move of God to absolutely crush our nation. Where are God’s people who are truly repentant (and repenting), who are rending their hearts, who are interceding for their enemies instead of bashing them?

Where are those who are more interested in the salvation of Washington D.C. and Hollywood then they are in campaigning for the restoration and protection of their personal freedoms? Are there any who, while still maintaining concern for the direction of our nation, will focus mostly on contending for their enemy’s souls?

Can you imagine what would happen if some of our nation’s influencers had a genuine, undeniable, supernatural, life-altering visit by a holy, burning God?

I suggest the following passage of Scripture would make an excellent focus of intercession for those who have yet to experience God in this way:

“Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last,” (Revelation 1:12–17, ESV)

An encounter like that would fix, overnight, the tyranny in California and New York. It would change politics, media and the landscape of our entire nation in a moment.

More than fighting our oppressors, let’s truly pray with passion for them. Let the tears flow. Cry out. Pursue love. Go hard after legitimate revival. Start a revolution.

If you'd like to kick start your intercession, leave a 60-second prayer for Alyssa Milano at www.prayerteam.tv.

Photo credit: “File:9.12.15AlyssaMilanoByLuigiNovi1.jpg” by Luigi Novi is licensed under CC BY 3.0

Originally published by The Stream.

No matter what ultimately happens with the election, we need reformation in today's prophetic streams.

I've hesitated writing this article for several weeks. The reason? I'm placing myself right in the crossfire of the prophetic zealots (of which, ironically, I am one) and those who are fed up with the mystical, self-serving foolishness that's rampant today. I'm in that group too.

Truly, it's a no-win situation. However, ministry isn't about winning. Ministry is about communicating truth so the Kingdom of God can most powerfully advance. So, onward.

It's important for you to understand that I have been embracing the prophetic for years. My entire life has been marked by strange and glorious supernatural occurrences. God's leading has been nothing short of remarkable and miraculous. I'm humbled and in awe.

I believe that God speaks, moves and interacts with every Christian who has an ear to hear. The wonders that so many experience on a consistent basis are not only dramatic, but they are required if we are to move in the direction the Spirit of God is leading us.

Without hesitation I admit to endorsing the often bizarre, sometimes confounding and always stunning biblically-based prophetic ministry. Honestly, it would be impossible for me not to. I've written about my personal, humanly impossible, logically indescribable prophetic happenings in several of my books. I can't doubt.

FALSE PROPHETS!

With that, I'm also disturbed by the butchering of prophetic ministry today.

Before you attempt to offer me a high-five in celebration of finding another who is bent on exposing today's false prophets, you need to hear me.

Let's deal with the elephant in this article. Several high profile prophetic leaders have boldly predicted another four years for President Trump. You need to understand that I personally know some of these people, and I've been following the ministry of several others. To call them false prophets based on the current state of our nation's affairs alone would be ridiculous.

These men and women of God are so pure, so passionate about Jesus and radically locked-in to God's heart. They are also imperfect.

Let's settle something right now. Missing a prophecy does not deem one a false prophet. As I stated above, that is ridiculous. There's a difference between false prophecy and poor prophecy. False prophecy is demonic while poor prophecy flows out of imperfect children of God at times (just as poor teaching, poor pastoring and poor evangelizing does).

Of course, at the writing of this article, the election isn't settled. President Trump could very well be re-elected, even at this late stage in early December, 2020. This would, I suppose, vindicate the prophets. But do they need vindication?

NEW TESTAMENT PROPHECY

Old Testament prophecy and New Testament prophecy are markedly different.

In the Old Covenant, a small handful of prophets received occasional, clear, precise messages from God.

In the New Covenant, every Believer in Christ, including those who hold the office of Prophet, can hear God's voice. However, while Old Testaments prophets received messages, today we perceive God's messages. Today, prophecy is intuitive, often abstract and, in most cases, it must be learned.

Quite often, prophetic signs, dreams, visions, impressions and other spiritual data must be interpreted. It also must be weighed, analyzed and prayed through. The Holy Spirit brings the understanding to the precise parts of the divine message entrusted to us.

That process can result in accidental errors.

Prophecy is tricky. We need to exhibit both faith and humility. Admitting there is a chance we might be wrong either partially or completely isn't exhibiting a lack of faith. I don't believe we should ever give a “thus sayeth the Lord” when prophesying. We should say, “I sense the Lord saying,” or “I have a strong impression that…” Why? We can miss it.

Prophecies in Scripture are absolute. Prophecies today are not. Further, prophecies not found in the Bible are conditional. We have a role to play in the outcome.

All of this is why I believe declaring a prophecy that is not found in Scripture to be one hundred percent certain to come to pass is inappropriate and irresponsible.

FAKE NEWS PROPHECY

This brings us to the necessary reformation.

Are there foolish, self-satisfying people growing a pseudo-prophetic ministry that's fueled by the enemy? Absolutely there are.

Are there others who are immature in their understanding of the prophetic, and as a result are out of step with true biblical prophecy? Yes.

Has the prophetic become way too dominant in some people's lives, to the exclusion of basic, orthodox, historical Bible truths? Most definitely. (Though I'd suggest there are way more who have excluded a true, biblical, prophetic lifestyle in favor of dry, dead religion.)

Simply, is much of today's prophetic ministry that's flourishing all over social media fake news? It is.

I'll introduce some sub-points that should at least get us thinking:

PURPOSE

Predictive prophecy (foretelling) often leaves me asking a question: why was it necessary to share that message? What is the purpose?

Understand, it's just a question. There may be a legitimate answer. Of course, Scripture is filled with predictive prophecies. Yet, there must be a reason God would reveal this information to us.

Why did we need to know that President Trump would supposedly win the election? What is that purpose? On one hand, it could be to bolster a prophets resume of successful predictions. Is there another hand? Maybe. But we really need to know what's in that hand. What is our role in response to the prophetic word?

STRATEGY

I personally believe all prophecy not found in Scripture is conditional. I believe it was designed this way by God as a catalyst to rally the troops.

For example, if the prophets are revealing that Trump was God's choice, what must the church do to advance that agenda? Prophecy that is devoid of a strategic call to action is at least suspicious.

Prophetic messages should provoke a response, whether it's a warning or revelation of God's heart or an uncovering of the enemy's plans, we as hearers of the word need to know how to proceed.

FORTHTELLING VS FORETELLING

Personally, I am significantly more impressed with prophetic preaching, forthtelling, than I am with foretelling, revealing future events.

Understand, I affirm and value both, when handled well. But, give me a Leonard Ravenhill any day over one of today's pop prophets. Forthtelling always has a fiery, urgent and unapologetic call to action. Unfortunately, too many of today's foretellers are more excited about their ability to craft the perfect fortune cookie message than they are revealing the depths of God.

THUS SAYETH THE LORD

I dealt with this above, but I wanted to put it in the list of thought provokers. When I hear someone declare that “God said” and that what they heard is perfect, complete and guaranteed to come to pass, I change the channel.

We prophecy in part. We see in part. We understand in part. And, guess what? We are fallible humans. We can miss it.

Again, New Testament prophecy is intuitive. I'm not saying it can't have a measure of clarity. It absolutely can. I'm not saying it can't be overwhelming, weighty and convincing. It can. In fact, we need to live in the realm of the weighty much more than we do today. The prayer rooms should be soaked with sweat and tears from the brows of the prophets.

However, we aren't privy to an unmistakable voice booming out of a burning bush. The Holy Spirit is the one brooding and impressing upon God's people mysterious and often illogical messages that require discernment, prayer and interpretation to grasp.

PROPHECY IS CONDITIONAL

I posted the following to Facebook recently:

What percent chance do you give Trump being reelected at this stage of the game? (If you say 100% or 0%, you are delusional. I'm sure you are nice, but still delusional.)

Needless to say, a bunch of delusional friends responded! (I say that with a friendly smile on my face.)

There are so many factors at play in the prophetic that we can rarely if ever proclaim that a prophetic word is certain to come to pass. Remember, prophecy not found in Scripture is conditional. It's an invitation, not a guarantee.

Several promoted the idea that thinking anything less would be a violation of faith. This is not true. We have a part to play.

This is what happens when “thus sayeth the Lord” style prophecies are accepted as the norm. They can seduce people into a false sense of comfort as they sit back and wait for it to come to pass.

THE ENEMY

Anybody who has adopted a prophetic lifestyle knows that prophetic words must be warred over. Simply receiving and believing is far from enough.

Satan is exceptionally skilled at disrupting the plans of God in our lives. When we simply receive and believe, we are playing right into the enemy's hands. We must go to battle! Presuming a prophecy will come to pass without a sword in our hands is akin to wishing upon a star.

FINAL THOUGHTS

There are many other factors at play including timing, sin in the lives of the prophets, fear, doubt, presumption, etc.

I feel some great first steps in reforming the prophetic would include:

  • Prophesying from a place of fervent, Spirit-driven intercession.
  • Considering the purpose of the word.
  • Majoring on forthtelling, minoring on foretelling.
  • Communicating prophetic strategies, not just a prophetic word.
  • Inviting the word to be weighed.
  • Admitting when you missed it.
  • Giving grace to those who missed it.
  • Avoiding presumptive prophetic guarantees.

Photo credit: “Fake News – Person Reading Fake News Article” by mikemacmarketing is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Originally published by The Stream.

Prayer Team | Intercession for Influencers

Why are so few talking about the one solution to the crisis and the chaos that can turn our nation?

As the never-ending election drama continues to play out, we are hearing from all sides a mix of opinions, solutions, emotions and irritations.

Those on the right are exhibiting passion at a level our nation has never seen. The clear and obvious answer to society's ills is the reelection of their man, Donald Trump.

The left has gone to great extents to protect our nation from the continued threat of mean tweets from the President. Their vision of a nation free from first amendment tyranny is within their grasp.

WHY DO THEY ACT LIKE THAT?

Like many of you, I feel so grieved, perplexed and saddened when I watch the interactions of today's cultural influencers on television or on social media. It's deeply disturbing when their ungodly agendas are promoted and celebrated. My stomach turns every time abortion is defended, sexual deviance is promoted and wickedness is celebrated.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted:

Abortion bans aren’t just about controlling women’s bodies.

They’re about controlling women’s sexuality. Owning women.

From limiting birth control to banning comprehensive sex ed, US religious fundamentalists are working hard to outlaw sex that falls outside their theology.

Katie Perry said:

“I don't believe in a heaven or a hell or an old man sitting on a throne. I believe in a higher power bigger than me because that keeps me accountable.”

Kathy Griffen, famous for holding a replica of Donald Trump's bloody, severed head in her hand, said this in 2007:

“A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus. Suck it, Jesus! This award is my God now!”

Social media dictators like Mark Zukerberg and Jack Dorsey are aggressively blocking Christian and right-leaning content.

Joe Biden is determined to restore funding to Planned Parenthood and Kamala Harris voted against a bill that would limit abortions to the first 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The fact that millions of supposed Christians affirmed the brutality of child-killing by supporting pro-death candidates in this year's election simply doesn't register. It's as if that knowledge doesn't have a place to land in my intellect. Why? It doesn't make sense. As far as I'm concerned, Christians don't do that.

I suppose a mean tweeter is more of a national irritant than those who unabashedly promote the right to slaughter children.

We could talk about the perverse and casual sexuality that permeates social media, movies, television, music and marketing. People like Miley Cyrus are doing great damage to the wholesome, godly fabric of our nation. To me, she is still Hannah Montana.

The abhorrent agenda of the political left merits discussion as does the legalization of heroin and cocaine in Oregon.

Don Krahel said:

The Democrat Party has betrayed our Founding Fathers! The Democrat Party has betrayed God!

To vote Democrat makes you complicit. The party of slavery is now the party of abortion. Jesus would not support their evil, anti-God agenda.

As the stench of the demonic vomit that is hacked up all over our nation very minute of every day hits my nostrils, I remind myself why it happens. These cultural influencers who are exhibiting such defiling evil (usually while presuming their beliefs and behaviors are at least positive if not righteous) simply do not know Jesus. That's it. That is why they act like they do.

THE HOPE

Imagine Kamala Harris, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Miley Cyrus, Mark Zukerberg or any of the other ungodly cultural influencers having a Damascus Road experience. Wow. Just think about it.

Check out the condition of Saul's heart in the moments prior to fire from Heaven consuming him:

“But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord…” (Acts 9:1, ESV)

We see this hateful, anti-Christian attitude at every turn we make in this nation (and the world). A threatening, murderous spirit is manifesting through many of today's infleuncers, and unless there is an undeniable, authentic, tangible and shocking invasion of God's glory into their souls, it will only get worse.

Two verses later in Acts chapter nine we see the answer to society's wickedness:

“Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” (Acts 9:3–5, ESV)

Saul became Paul in a moment and he became one of Christianity's greatest and most important leaders. The very Word of God flowed through him in great measure as one of the most prominent divinely inspired human authors of the Bible.

I propose Joe Biden, Lebron James, Ellen DeGeneres, Anthony Fauci, Nancy Pelosi, Megan Rapinoe, Harry Styles, Cardi B, Beyonce, Jennifer Aniston, Billie Eilish, Johnny Depp and so many others can radically turn this nation, and fast.

A dramatic, life-altering encounter with glory will do that. The shock and awe of the fire of the Holy Spirit will send them to their knees. These people can shake our nation out of the wicked slumber it's in into full blown revival.

I'm thankful for God moving in the lives of influencers like Justin Bieber and Kanye West. Let's see God continue to invade Hollywood, Nashville and Washington D.C. with his love!

THE STRATEGY

For quite some time I've found myself suddenly interceding for one of our nation's influencers. Out of nowhere someone would drop into my spirit and my mind. Sometimes it would come in the form of a dream. Often it's an individual I don't think of regularly, if at all. This makes it more clear it's the Holy Spirit initiating my assignment to pray.

Simply, we need to contend with fervency and passion for today's influencers. This will be much more effective than trying to turn an election or to pass positive legislation (though those efforts are important).

I developed a tool that can help. Use it if you would like, but most importantly, intercede for these precious souls. If you want to connect with my specific strategy, visit www.prayerteam.tv. There you will be able to choose an influencer and then leave either a sixty-second audio prayer or a prayer in the form of text, or both.

This brand new project has already encouraged me as I've listened to the short yet powerful prayers of people I've never met. These intercessors are moved by love for the people on God's heart.

The rules are simple: pray with passion from an attitude of encouragement. This isn't the place for preaching or rebukes or snarky digs. Should an influencer stumble upon the site and hear someone going to battle for them in prayer, we want tears to well up in their eyes. We want them to feel love and encouragement as the anointing of the Holy Spirit washes over them.

That's the assignment. Head over to www.prayerteam.tv or just adopt the prayer strategy and make it your own. The most important thing is to pray.

There is a Damascus Road encounter awaiting many of our culture's influencers, and your intercession will help push back the demonic resistance in their lives. You can play a part in someone's great, eternal salvation. Your intercession is that important.

PHOTO CREDITS: “Jimmy Fallon” by ElizaPeyton is licensed under CC BY 2.0 “Vice President Joe Biden visit to Israel March 2016” by U.S. Embassy Jerusalem is licensed under CC BY 2.0 “Ellen DeGeneres” by ronpaulrevolt2008 is licensed under CC BY 2.0 “File:LeBron James (15662939969).jpg” by Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 “Taylor Swift 2010” by avrilllllla is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Originally published by The Stream.

ANNOUNCING A NEW INTERCESSION INITIATIVE: MOBILIZING FIREBRANDS TO CONTEND FOR INFLUENCERS

VISIT WWW.PRAYERTEAM.TV!

My passion is legitimate, authentic and indisputable revival. Interestingly, I often find myself burdened for people I've never met, and usually, people I know little about. Yet, more times than not, those who suddenly land on my spirit to pray for are influencers. Celebrities, politicians and others who are shaping our culture.

I'm convinced God is speaking to many others who have been awakened to the call to intercede for them as well. This site is devoted to serving people in Hollywood, Nashville, Washington D.C. and other locales known for national and world impact.

Satan surely rages against us all, and possibly to a greater extent, those who have great influence over millions. Let's contend in prayer for them together. Jesus died for them. Heaven wouldn't be the same without them.

John Burton

TODAY'S CALL FOR INTERCESSION: President Donald Trump

Please post your audio or text prayer for President Trump below. Please always keep the intercession life-giving, understanding the individual you prayer for is deeply loved by God. Consider that they may potentially hear or read your prayer.

I declare in the powerful name of Jesus that every enemy, every scheme and every force opposing our President must relent. God, we pray a massive angel army surround Donald Trump today and going forward.

Holy Spirit, fill President Trump with your fire. Give him rest and give him zeal for you and for our nation.

Let every instance of fraud in the election be exposed. Bring those who are promoting wickedness also be exposed, with an opportunity to repent and surrender to Jesus. I decree that justice will prevail!

Thank you God for the man of God who has been faithfully serving the United States of America for the last four years. As you will, allow him to remain in that position of leadership.

Amen.

Photo credit: “Donald Trump” by cornstalker is licensed under CC BY 2.0

This is an unprecedented, historic and special season for Christians as we rally around an administration that is so zealously honoring of God.

I was deeply moved as I watched President Trump along with his team including White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany engaging with passion in a vibrant, Spirit-filled, prophetic church.

Deeply moved? No, that's woefully understated. The Spirit of God was burning and blowing through me as I watched. There was a tremble within that suddenly activated as I watched our President and those who surround him in the midst of a cyclone of Holy Spirit activity in Las Vegas. Tears filled my eyes.

“This is your third time here, that means you’re a church member. I don’t care what anybody says. I love my president,” Pastor Marc Goulet said.

President Trump, encouraging and exhorting the pastor and staff, declared that he'll be back to the International Church of Las Vegas many times.

NOT VOTING FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP?

I know many are already smirking and arguing that this was nothing more than an attention-grab. A photo-op.

First of all, I don't care, and I'll tell you why in a moment.

Secondly, if this was your reaction, and you consider yourself a true disciple of Jesus, you have no option but to repent.

As Believers we are to make judgment on others when done according to Scripture. What is inappropriate is a judgment of motive. Clearly, we are mandated to judge fruit. We are to carefully and lovingly analyze situations God brings before us.

“Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life!” (1 Corinthians 6:2–3, ESV)

However, we don't have the license to judge motive. Such a judgment results in gossip, division and accusation. We align ourselves with the enemy. He is the accuser. In fact, Revelation 12:10 reveals he accuses Christians day and night before the Lord.

Others may say they have the gift of discernment and it's that gift that allows them to judge President Trump's motive. News flash: there is no such gift revealed in the Bible as the gift of discernment. It's not there. When people declare they have this gift it's usually an excuse to operate in some good old-fashioned charismatic witchcraft. Gossip. Manipulation.

“…to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.” (1 Corinthians 12:10, ESV)

The gift they are probably referring to is the discernment of spirits, or to “distinguish between spirits.” This is the gift that comes in handy when taking someone through deliverance. We know what spirit is manifesting (or hiding) and we are able to confront it with spiritual intelligence. This gift has nothing to do with judging the motives of someone else. This is God's job and his alone.

Now, the reason I said that I don't care whether President Trump's appearance was merely an opportunity to grab attention (which I don't believe it was) or not is simple: this man, in unprecedented fashion for a sitting President, has surrounded himself with authentic, fiery, devoted and uncompromising lovers of Jesus.

A vote for Donald Trump is a vote for Mike Pence, Kayleigh McEnany and the many reputable and anointed pastors and Christian leaders who have remarkable access to him.

Simply, this is the most Spirit-driven administration America has probably ever seen. More striking is the night and day (dark and light?) comparison between such an unashamed embrace of Jesus and the wickedness so many of the liberal left represent.

THE FOOLISHNESS OF REJECTING DONALD TRUMP

I want to encourage you to watch some of the videos from yesterday's church service. You'll witness powerful decrees, intercession and exhortation in an atmosphere marked by extreme Holy Spirit activity. I've wanted to visit this church for years, and I was thrilled to see our President placing himself and his team in the midst of that whirlwind.

We can all vote for anybody we desire. That's the American way.

That being said, I'm stunned that any person who names the name of Christ would even consider for a moment allowing the nefarious agenda that the left is aggressively promoting to become rule in our nation.

Like him or not, Donald Trump is be far the most pro-Christian, pro-church, pro-faith President America has ever had. Stop and think about that. The left? This year most probably represents the most immoral, anti-God political advance in our nation's history.

Have you witnessed the brilliance of Kayleigh McEnany as she runs her press conferences? As phenomenal as she is on her own merit, I'm sure she would agree with me that her poise, wisdom, boldness and effectiveness in her position is mostly the result of a weighty and unusual anointing of God on her life. She is in her position as a result of Donald Trump authorizing her, commissioning her and entrusting her as the spokesperson of the highest office in the land. If we remove Trump, our nation's next spokesperson will most certainly be anointed by a very different spirit indeed.

Consider Vice President Mike Pence. Again, like him or not you have to respect his fervent devotion to Jesus. I shudder to even ponder the comparison between this godly man and the current Democratic Vice Presidential candidate.

DONALD TRUMP IS A LEADER WHO HAS BEEN MARKED BY GOD

I didn't vote for Donald Trump four years ago. I wrote in Ted Cruz. I absolutely will be voting for him this time around.

I have watched this man transformed before our nation's eyes. He is a story of redemption, and at age 74, it's a story that is still being written. He's much different than he was in 2016. He'll be even better in the years ahead.

Is he perfect? No way.

Do I hope for the sanctification process to ramp up in his life? Sure.

Do I believe God has anointed him for this hour. Absolutely.

I'm disheartened by professing Christians who are wholesale rejecting President Trump simply because they believe him to be rude, arrogant or a jerk.

Listen closely: I'd rather have a flawed yet growing Christian who may be considered a jerk than someone who clearly exhibits rotting (and dangerous) fruit like many of those on the liberal left. There's no comparison.

In fact, many misunderstand the traits that mark many leaders, including those in the church. A mega-church pastor once said that he'd never hire a staff member with a strong spiritual gift of mercy. He explained that those people all too often refuse to make the tough and necessary daily decisions because they are too concerned about people's feelings. That may sound harsh and unloving to you, but the truth is that too many pastors refuse to lead with boldness today. So they compromise the mission to appease a few.

It takes an in-your-face fighter, anointed by God, to lead churches and nations today. Yes, we must be loving in our approach, but we can't be passive. I believe if more pastors followed Donald Trump's “You're fired” approach we'd have healthier churches and we'd be much closer to revival. Again, we can do so with love and tenderness while also being strong and decisive.

When is the last time you heard about a pastor following this mandate in Scripture?

“It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you… And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you.” (1 Corinthians 5:1,2 ESV)

Isn't it interesting that Scripture calls those who are dismissive of sin in the camp arrogant? Today we'd presume someone who expelled them from the church to be unloving, harsh, accusatory and arrogant. Yet, that's exactly what God demands.

Brash leadership isn't by default ungodly. Yes, it can be, of course. We simply cannot look at someone who is offensive and deem them to be unrighteous or unfit for leadership. Often times godly leadership demands an offensive, aggressive and unapologetic approach. Donald Trump, while quite imperfect, exemplifies this.

So, just to make my point vividly clear, no I don't care about his aggressive, brash and sometimes irritating demeanor when he is making the tough godly decisions for our nation.

Am I saying Donald Trump is ready to lead a church? No. He's not. Yet, with refining he would make a modern day apostle unlike the world has ever seen. For now, I do believe, as a man in progress, even with all of his rough edges, he is clearly the right choice for the next four years.

Originally published by The Stream.

If your candidate supported killing children under the age of two for any reason, would you vote for him or her?

ALIEN-0000000 10-8-2020 12.33.07 PM

I'll never forget something a remarkable pastor who was deeply invested in the prayer movement and in justice for the unborn told me. At a citywide pastor and church leader gathering in Detroit a call for prayer requests was made as the meeting was coming to a close.

This pastor simply asked the room of spiritual leaders, “Please keep us covered in prayer as we contend against abortion in Detroit.”

What happened next stunned him speechless. A prominent pastor brashly retorted by saying, “Sir, you must know that many pastors in this room support a woman's right to choose.”

Pure, unabashed wickedness.

How this man and others in the room who have aligned themselves with the slaughter of children can call themselves Christians, much less pastors, I don't know. Like the pastor, I'm speechless. I'm also sickened, grieved and enraged. You should be too.

CHRISTIANS VOTING PRO-DEATH

I was again nauseous after Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris trumpeted her and Joe Biden's faith during the debate last night.

Conservative commentator Allie Beth Stuckey tweeted:

The Washington Post reported, “Kamala Harris… voted last year against the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which would punish doctors who fail to provide medical care to a child born alive after an attempted abortion.”

Allow me to propose the question again: If your candidate supported killing children under the age of two for any reason, would you vote for him or her?

Look forward into time I can see this scenario playing out sooner than later. If people like Kamala Harris are in opposition to saving the lives of children who have been born after a failed abortion, that same murderous spirit will easily support the right to kill others.

The moment a toddler becomes an irritable inconvenience to the mother or father they are but a lethal injection away from peace and quiet. In fact, if they were to adopt the methods of abortion “doctors” they would have the option of ripping off the child's arms and legs, sucking out its brains and disposing of it in the trash. More progressive people might try to make a buck by harvesting the child's organs.

If my writing that disturbed you, perfect. You should be disturbed.

If you think my prediction is ridiculous, that's okay. My point wasn't to prophesy the future of destruction in America. My purpose was to make something vividly clear:

Killing children, toddlers who are breathing, laughing, walking, talking and a precious and valuable part of humanity is no different than killing those who are unborn.

It is exactly the same.

Literally.

No difference whatsoever.

THE MURDEROUS SPIRIT OF MOLECH

A “Christian” who supports a mother's right to choose has exposed an alliance with a murderous, demonic spirit who seeks to steal, kill and destroy. If they have the right to choose to slaughter their child before birth, then, by extension, they are supporting the right to slaughter their child after they are born.

Is it possible the barbaric culture we now live in is exponentially worse than during the time children were sacrificed to Molech? Absolutely.

History is filled with barbaric cultures. One of the worst, though, has to be the ancient Canaanites. As was customary in that culture, parents offered their newborn children as sacrifices to their god Molech. Most depictions of Molech include large metal statues of a man with a bull’s head. Usually these statues had outstretched arms to hold the baby sacrifices.

During the sacrificial process, the Canaanites would light a fire inside or around the statue to heat up the statue as hot as they could. Then they would place their newborns into the red-hot arms of Molech and watch the children sizzle to death.

During this gruesome event, the Canaanites would play flutes and bang on drums to drown out the sound of their shrieking children. No wonder God ordered the Israelites to destroy them.

So, again, the question is, would you vote for someone who supported killing children?

Apparently many professing Christians plan on it this upcoming election day. In fact, I was stunned to hear Jason Upton, a renowned worship leader and musician, make an absurd statement:

I believe Ruth Bader Ginsburg was ProLife in her own way.

Someone who was directly responsible for the horrifying death of millions of children is “pro-life in her own way?” This was an irresponsible remark by Jason. Shockingly, many other well known ministers and worship leaders voiced their agreement with Jason's statement. This is why we can't be too surprised when Christians are leaning left and rallying behind pro-death politicians.

I asked a simple question on Facebook today:

Approximately how many professing Christians do you know who are voting for Biden? I'm writing an article and I'm trying to get an unscientific pulse on the situation.

I hope the responses disturb you.

  • Right now my mom is voting for Biden. I can’t comprehend how/ why she would do that as a born again believer. ~Kathryn
  • Unfortunately a lot. ~Janet
  • Oh goodness I have lost count but it’s a huge number all across the Country. ~Kerri
  • Lots. ~Melodie
  • Over twenty. ~Michael
  • Over twenty here too. ~Aimee
  • Maybe 5 or 6. ~Chad
  • I know quite a few supposed Christians who are voting for Biden. ~Amy
  • I go to a liberal seminary and I would say the vast majority of my fellow classmates and in particularly the teachers are voting for Biden. ~Aaron
  • I know about a dozen, but I'll never understand how they can make that choice – on the Life issue alone. ~Timmerle
  • Christians voting for Biden-Harris? None. ~Don
  • Professing is the correct term…. ~Tim
  • Way too many! One is too many!! ~Bev
  • Lots. Rachelle
  • I would say probably at least 20% of the people I know are voting for Biden. ~Karen

BUT PRO-CHOICE PLATFORMS REDUCE THE NUMBER OF ABORTIONS!

First of all, this has not been proven to be true.

Secondly, if it were true it wouldn't matter.

If a politician made a campaign promise that he or she would kill every young child that was not appropriately secured in a car seat or booster when in a car, would you vote him in? Of course not. Why? Because the politician would be exposed as a demented sociopath that probably needs to be locked away in prison or safely secured in a hospital for the mentally ill. He'd be an extreme danger to society.

Yet, if the promise of the political sociopath became law you can be absolutely certain that deaths of young children would plummet, not increase. In fact, it would probably be quite rare for police officers to pull out a revolver to terminate children during traffic stops. Parents would be obsessively careful to ensure their children are perfectly strapped in no matter how short their commute might be.

Absurd, right?

Allowing mothers to kill unborn children is an absurd strategy to bring the abortion statistics down. Vile even.

There are many other arguments that are equally pathetic. Many would say the election isn't only about abortion and that there are other equally important issues. What they are actually saying is they are okay with children being ripped out of wombs as long as the economy is strong, the poor are taken care of and universal, affordable health care is available.

These same people will most likely be among the first in line to endorse the anti-Christ, someone who will offer peace and safety in exchange for their soul.

Make no mistake, a vote for a pro-death candidate is a vote for Molech. An endorsement of someone who promotes killing children invites an invisible yet powerfully destructive spirit of death into your home. Don't underestimate the supernatural implications.

I'll say what few will: if you vote for a candidate who is in support of abortion, your supposed Christianity is suspect. You can't presume to be saved. You are truly in great eternal danger.

FINAL THOUGHTS

If you have considered even for a moment voting for a pro-death candidate, I implore you to repent. Then, go deeper in God than you ever have in your life. Pray with fiery passion. Devour the Word of God. Fall in love with Jesus. Become a passionate radical for God. Invite the Holy Spirit to consume you.

If enough do this, revival just might break out and America may shift from being a barbaric nation to one that truly promotes life.

Originally published by The Stream.

Defying authority can either catapult the church forward or result in judgment.

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.” (Romans 13:1–2, ESV)

2002 has given the church an unusual opportunity to learn a critical end-time lesson. When is it time to defy authority, and when should we remain submitted?

Choosing correctly can launch the church forward in the face of tyranny and persecution.

Choosing incorrectly can result in God himself bringing judgment against the church.

There seems to be a misconception among many Believers that God is cheer-leading a spirit of rebellion as we fight against the very authority that he put into position.

News flash: We are mandated by Scripture to honor and obey all authority, be they good or evil, just or unjust. Yes, there are exceptions, but we don't start there. The exceptions are not the norm. By default, we submit.

“Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly.” (1 Peter 2:18–19, ESV)

I'm confident many will argue this point. That's okay, but I want to challenge you. Argue it with Scripture, not with your own emotions, intellect, common sense or ego. The Word of God is the authority, no matter if it makes sense to us or not.

Remember, God requires us to obey both good and evil authorities, both good and bad laws.

The Bible couldn't be more clear. Every person is required to subject themselves to (submit to) governmental authorities. Why? Because God placed them in position and granted them authority. Further, if we resist the authorities that God has empowered, we will (not may) incur judgment.

A SPIRIT OF LAWLESSNESS

It's easy to accuse rioters, for example, of operating from a spirit of lawlessness. After all, it's obvious to all that they are boldly breaking laws.

I propose it's the same spirit of lawlessness that is driving the rebellion in many Christians who refuse to follow state and local mask and social distancing mandates. We don't have the option to reject an ordinance simply because we disagree with it. We are required by Scripture to be subject to governing authorities, and if they require masks in certain situations, we as representatives of Christ must respond with integrity and wear masks.

I am personally not a fan of masks (though I must admit they may be beneficial in certain circumstances) and I believe there are some nefarious influences behind all that the coronavirus has unleashed. However, I also realize I am not authorized by God to defy the mandates. I'd be in rebellion both to man and God if I did.

It's disturbing to see pastors breaking the law by allowing meetings, small groups and other events to take place without adhering to local mask and distancing ordinances. This rebellion invites God's judgment, even if we are convinced the masks are unnecessary or that the government is attempting to implement freedom threatening controls.

By all means, do what's appropriate to have the laws overturned. Attend city council meetings, vote politicians and policy makers in or out of office and sound all of the alarms you can in hopes of drawing attention to the cause. But until the laws are overturned the laws must be obeyed.

If we truly fear God, we won't play games, rise up in pride or arrogantly resist those he put into position.

THE EXCEPTIONS

The exception to all I have written above is simple: if the Word of God would be violated by us obeying an earthly authority, then, and only then, do we refuse to submit. We honor God and not men in this scenario.

So, if the government mandates that churches remain closed and that Christians don't gather to worship, we can't comply.

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24–25, ESV)

The Bible clearly requires us to meet.

If the government allows the church to meet, but demands we not sing, again, we refuse to obey that order.

“Praise the LORD! Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise in the assembly of the godly!” (Psalm 149:1, ESV)

When (not if) the time comes that we are told by lawmakers that we cannot preach certain truths of Scripture, we boldly reject their mandate.

“And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them, saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:27–29, ESV)

The principle should be quite clear and simple. If the Word of God would be violated should we submit to a governmental decree, we do not submit. If the Bible wouldn't be violated, we do submit.

One response results in the favor of God and another the judgment of God. It's not about being a champion of what is right (in your own eyes). It's about aligning with God's commands. Many are shouting “Persecution!” in selfish arrogance simply because the government is requiring them to submit to laws that are merely inconvenient and that in no way violate Scripture.

We see this truth played out in the Book of Daniel:

“He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding;” (Daniel 2:21, ESV)

“If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”” (Daniel 3:17–18, ESV)

God put the king in position, and then the king gives an unrighteous decree. The king was to be honored until he mandated worship to an idol. At that moment, the three Hebrews had no option but to refuse the command.

WHAT SHOULD THE CHURCH DO?

The church should obey the laws of the land unless those laws are clearly unscriptural. Gathering together and worshiping as Believers has been instituted by God. So, gather, with masks on if the local ordinance requires that.

In my city of Branson, Missouri we are required to wear masks in any public setting unless we are able to remain six feet away from others. Since this is a theater town, the law allows us to remove our masks when seated in an auditorium as long as we maintain social distancing. Public speakers, singers and performers can remove their masks when on stage. The same rule applies to the church. So, this means masks must be on at all times except when socially distanced in the sanctuary or speaking, singing on the platform. Prayer lines, altar time, greeting time and other times would require masks to be worn. Small groups and other gatherings should adhere to the same guidelines.

We need to be wise and carefully choose our battles. Again, favor or judgment hang in the balance.

THE ARGUMENTS

I've heard all sorts of extreme arguments in opposition to what I'm addressing here.

“What about Anne Frank? Are you suggesting she should have obeyed her government and turned Jews over to the Nazis?”

Several people have angrily blasted that argument my direction. Of course the the answer is no. Why? We'd be complicit in murder, and murder is forbidden in Scripture.

“What about Rahab who lied to protect Israeli spies?”

Rahab was commended for giving lodging to the spies, but not for her lie.

I find it disturbing that Christians are becoming more enthralled with their own wisdom while at the same time looking for loopholes in the Bible so they can do what they desire. Many don't consider the Bible to be the final authority on a matter or to be the infallible Word of God. We are most certainly in the end times.

FAVOR OR JUDGMENT

I don't want this point to be missed.

No matter how convinced of how right you are or how righteous your position is, if you defy God's established authority, God's judgment rests on you.

However, if you honor authority in every instance except when they would require you disobey Scripture, God's favor rests on you.

Oh, and by the way, understand that the written Word of God is the final authority, not your own prophetic revelation. We can't use the God card here. If your local government requires you to wear a mask or a seat-belt or to pay your taxes or to wear pants in public, and you think God told you something different, you can know it's not God's voice you are hearing.

PHARAOH IN THE CHURCH

As I close, I want to encourage you to read an article that will give strategies to resisting tyrannical and wicked human governments. I understand the arguments about masks and lock-downs and control. Greater persecution (by far) was experienced in Egypt under the rule of Pharaoh. The strategy there wasn't to defy Pharaoh's authority, as God placed him in that place of ruler-ship.

God sent a messenger and immense pressure to Pharaoh. The goal? For Pharaoh, the Hebrew's legitimate authority, to make the decree that they may go. He released them. It was at that moment in time that the authority over the Hebrews shifted from Pharaoh to Moses.

This is why we must be living, walking and praying in the Spirit. Prayer movements and prophetic decrees will bring down unrighteous human systems. Pride, arrogance, anger and rebellion however will only strengthen them as God's fury rains down on us all.

Originally posted by The Stream.

Functioning primarily out of our soul results in division, fear, recklessness and arrogance.

Riots.

Violence.

Pandemic.

Lockdowns.

National Election.

Social media has been distressing to my spirit this year. Really, all media has been, including the few sources that might be considered trustworthy. I'll be the first to admit it's easy to dive into debates at a soul level, arguing logic that seems so obvious while being legitimately confused at how anybody else just cannot see it the same way.

Everything from masks to President Trump to racism has polarized our nation. The damage left in the wake of the raging debates has been devastating. More concerning, the church has been caught up in the exact same soul-level social battles.

When our soul leads the way in our debates and decisions, the results can be quite toxic. We've seen fear and division overcome the people of the “home of the brave.” Arrogance has been masquerading as authority and recklessness as freedom.

The soul is the center of emotions and logic, and without the anointing of the Holy Spirit, arguments initiated from that level are not to be trusted. Powerful emotions with the help of seemingly obvious logic will convince people they are functioning from a place of wisdom when in truth they are reacting in fear. Faith is eliminated from the equation. Wisdom (fear) trumps faith when we don't live, breathe, pray and walk in the Spirit.

25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. Galatians 5:25-26 (NIV)

DIVISION IS NOT ALWAYS NEGATIVE

34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn “‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law 36 a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.' Matthew 10:34-36 (NIV)

The true church will always introduce division simply because of the topics we are promoting. There is an agenda. Jesus made it clear that ecumenical unity wasn't his goal. World peace wasn't the focus.

We can expect division when the Gospel is preached. When revival hits, people will be split like the Red Sea with many running to the altar and many running out the back door.

Many pastors today are attempting to avoid the very necessary schisms that clearly define the remnant and the pretenders. Truth rightly presented demands decisions. In the end the Final Judgment will bring the greatest division of all, separating the sheep and the goats for all humanity to see.

Many Christians have attempted to apply this principle of biblical division to their own humanistic stubborn opinions. They celebrate as their pet positions cause others to get riled up and split off. They feel spiritual, but this is soul-level activity and it is grieving to the Lord.

30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another… Ephesians 4:30-32 (NIV)

Preach the Word of God and, often times, you can expect division.

Preach masks, politics, the Constitution and on the racial issues of the day? We as Spirit-filled, blood-bought children of the King should speak with great love and grace. Is there ever a time to strike against wicked arguments with force and precision? Absolutely. But, not from our soul. This type of engagement must be led fully by the Spirit.

WHAT IS GOD SAYING?

Church, it's time to come up higher. In this toxic season of politics, sickness, murder and distress, we need to resist the urge to function from our soul. It's time to minister from our spirits.

We've heard all of the arguments about masks, both pro and con. We know all of the reasons people are going to vote for Trump or Biden. People are dogmatic about taking a knee or not. The memes and GIFS and posts and rants about all of these volatile issues and others have become predictable — and nauseating.

Where are those who have emerged from their closets of intercession, those who have a clear word from the Lord? Where is the tangible anointing that pierces through arguments? In this critical, historic hour, where are the true prophets?

Understand, this doesn't mean we can't discuss issues at a logical level. I'm not even saying the soul (emotions and logic) should be minimized. God gave us a soul and he will certainly cause us to speak intelligently and even passionately on secular matters, with wisdom, love and clarity. Debates and discussions can be beneficial. The critical call, however, for every Christian, is to do so with the mind of Christ.

The greater the activity of the Holy Spirit in our lives, the more impacting our words will be. I would challenge you to disengage from the madness that has bewitched so much of the world and the church. Pull back. Stop functioning mostly from your soul. Don't get so excited about your logic. Be teachable. Die to your own opinions. Speak truth under the anointing of the Holy Spirit and people will be absolutely confounded.

When the truth you speak causes both people and demons to react, you know you've moved from soul-level arguments to spirit-driven, authoritative declarations:

22 The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. 23 Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit cried out, 24 “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are–the Holy One of God!” 25 “Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” 26 The evil spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek. 27 The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching–and with authority! He even gives orders to evil spirits and they obey him.” 28 News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee. Mark 1:22-28 (NIV)

TAKE A BREAK

As I said above, it's easy to get sucked into the soul-level debates of the day. And, as I said, not all of these debates are unhealthy. However, a whole bunch of them are.

They can distract those who are supposed to be functioning in the realm of the Spirit and cause us to fight in the flesh. If your revelations on the matters of the day aren't burning with anointing, take a break. If you aren't having dreams and visions about how to address the madness of this hour, take a break.

Seriously. Resist the urge and stop posting to Facebook. I'm not talking about the infamous month-long breaks from social media that people regularly announce. Those folks are back and active usually in less than 24-hours.

I'm talking about going deeper in God than you ever have. See the futility of your arguments. Humble yourself. Finally understand that nobody needs to hear what your soul has to say. Find your prayer closet and discover what God is yearning to reveal to our nation.

The whole world will want to hear what you have to say then.

Originally published by The Stream.