Spirits of control and rebellion are hovering over our nation.

Take a half step back and gain a wider view of the epic clash that’s playing out in America. You’ll witness a supernatural assault that is fueled by mankind’s resolve to be in control. An unwitting alliance between puppet and puppet master has been working brilliantly in recent months. Invisible and extremely powerful demonic entities are the ones in control of the strings. The brilliance? They have convinced a culture that control is a desirable weapon, all while they are the ones truly in charge.

Opinions and actions concerning masks, politics, riots, the election and other trending topics of the last year are all too often manifestations of control and rebellion. It’s witchcraft. Has a spell been cast over America? Well, I question whether a spell is needed when so many of its citizens are so eager to embrace these extremely powerful tools of destruction.

As a pastor for many years I can tell you that witchcraft is an extremely powerful force. I’m talking about traditional witchcraft like I’ve experienced first hand many times. I’m also talking about what’s known as Christian witchcraft that manifests in gossip, manipulation and betrayal. I’m sure many pastors would agree that it’s easy to discern that evil spirit of control and rebellion even if there are no outward signs.

However, there’s an even more subtle form of witchcraft (control and rebellion) that even the most secular (or most Christian) person can employ. This is what we are seeing bring destruction to our once great nation.

CANCEL CULTURE IS A MANIFESTATION OF HATRED AND CONTROL

It shouldn’t surprise us that the largest population group in America would have the greatest influence. The non-Christian segment of our nation is leading the charge. This is detrimental to us all as they simply cannot exhibit leadership marked by true biblical love. Consistently producing fruits of the Spirit such as peace, patience, kindness and gentleness isn’t possible. It’s not because they are all terrible people, but rather because they don’t have the enabling power of the Holy Spirit. Christians have a tough enough time trying to walk in this life-giving manner. Without the indwelling of the Spirit of God, it just can’t happen.

Without the power of God, the strings of the puppet master become enticing. The veiled promise of control and power the enemy offers is too hard to pass up. The virtue signaling can then begin as the ungodly promote their agenda.

The ambitious goal of cancel culture is to eradicate hate, abuse, immorality and other national and personal sins. It will never work.

The threat of being canceled may, to a very small degree, modify the outward expression of hatred, but it will do nothing to cause someone to stop hating. In fact, it may have the reverse effect of adding fuel to their fire.

Only a radical encounter with Jesus can remove the wickedness of hatred and all of the other sins cancel culture is attempting to address from a person's heart.

Further, cancel culture is inherently evil as it loathes what is possibly the greatest expression of love and transformation: forgiveness. No, cancel culture thrives on punishment, shame, control and, yes, hatred. You can't eradicate hatred with hatred.

The cancel culture alarmists unilaterally determine what should be canceled and what should not. They are writing the rule book. They are controlling the narrative.

Why aren't they also canceling promoters of other national atrocities? Porn? Abortion? Drug use? Greed?

The model of Jesus is, yes, despising wickedness. It's also loving enemies, costly forgiveness and redemption.

I wonder if there's anything more contrary to the Gospel in America today than the hate-driven, punitive, shaming and life-destroying cancel culture.

In fact, if we saw the underbelly of cancel culture we’d understand their agenda isn’t at all about eliminating hand-selected American vices. It’s about control. They have been seduced by this strong and wicked spirit of witchcraft and will stop at nothing to gain control of the narrative. They eagerly destroy people’s lives in their pursuit of power. The seduction dilutes any sense of love and forgiveness as they rip to shreds any and all who stand in their way. Their picture of a perfect America is worth casualties and collateral damage. They destroy with passion.

A SPIRIT OF CONTROL HITS HOME WITH MASKS AND LOCKOWNS

If there’s a trigger word today it’s masks. Lockdowns would be a close second. I suppose Trump is in the mix too.

For the past year social media has been dominated by aggressive opinions, accusations, finger pointing and all sorts of rebellious behavior regarding masks and lockdowns. I’m convinced that many a politician enjoys a guilty pleasure when they enact mask laws. The rush of power and the satisfaction of controlling others are addictive. Am I saying nobody has pure motives in their mask and lockdown legislation? No. Am I saying the science supporting masks and lockdowns is entirely flawed? No, not entirely. However, it’s abundantly clear that many politicians and people of influence are capitalizing on the opportunity to gain greater control over the people they were called to serve.

I’ve often wondered why there’s such a clear divide on the issue of masks and lockdowns between the left and the right. It’s truly fascinating. Is it as simple as big versus small government? I don’t think so (though I do believe big government thrives on control). Is it because freedom-loving Christians are typically right-leaning conservatives? Possibly, at least in part. Could it be many on the right are marked by independence and personal responsibility while many on the left are more focused on systems that diminish personal responsibility and promote a sort of quasi-fairness for all? Probably. Could it possibly be that those on the right are often marked by their zealous love for America while those on the left tend to be less patriotic while focusing on the negative issues in our nation? While I understand these are generalities, we have to consider the possible nuances. Those on the left are quicker to identify issues by taking a knee while those on the right celebrate the positives while standing for the flag. Again, I understand there’s overlap, but these general ideas warrant consideration.

Regardless, it’s still interesting how it plays out. Many on the left are enraged when they can’t control others and force them to wear a mask. The rage may even be greater on the side of the right as they tend to become unglued when forced to wear a mask. Have you seen some of the fights that have broken out at shopping centers simply because someone was asked to wear a mask?

I’ll be direct: the invisible yet powerful evil spirit of control is manifesting in both the left and the right. Some people want to control others while others want to maintain control of their own lives. Witchcraft has seduced both with a wicked concoction of control and rebellion.

If a spirit of witchcraft is driving your beliefs and emotions, you will find yourself agitated, triggered and aggressive when control is removed from you. The threat of losing charge of your American experience is enough to cause you to adopt the puppet master’s tactics instead of being driven by the Spirit of God.

When we are led by our flesh we get agitated when people don't see things the way we do.

When we are led by the Spirit we love more deeply when people don't see things the way God does.

Freedom isn’t defined by the absence of controlling factors in our lives. It’s defined by refusal to lose our liberty in the face of oppression. Only Jesus makes this possible.

IT’S TIME FOR AMERICAN PRIDE TO DIE

Pride is what caused the fall of Lucifer. Pride is what will cause the fall of our nation.

We need mass repentance in America, and fast. It’s time to sever our ties with the enemy and renounce control, rebellion, pride and all forms of witchcraft. The spell of witchcraft on our nation was cast not by wicked witches, but by pure-blooded Americans who are fueled by their own prideful desires. It’s time to humble ourselves and to cry out to God for mercy on America.

Photo credit: “Witch” by www.metaphoricalplatypus.com is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Jack Dorsey

Politics are at the center of the story of Jesus. His historical life ended with a political execution. ~Marcus J. Borg

Under its new guidelines, Twitter users who are deemed to have peddled false COVID-19 information will be given a strike.

Five strikes and you are out. Banned. Terminated. Forever.

Something is abundantly clear to anyone who has been surveying the rapid and sudden eradication of our freedoms: muzzles have been securely adhered to the mouths of Christians and conservatives. The ungodly decision makers of America are pouncing on the opportunity the recent global situation has provided to silence their dissenters. 

Jack Dorsey, Mark Zuckerberg and rest of media have been agitated into a frenzy. They are unapologetically attempting to play God by eliminating anything that threatens their humanistic utopia.

THE THREAT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

Jesus proved to be such an extreme threat to the religious and political system of his day that they paid Judas 30 pieces of silver. Then the bloodthirsty political mob killed him. They were willing to do whatever needed to be done to shut down the “propaganda” and to regain control of the narrative.

They failed. An earthquake, several passed out soldiers, a displaced boulder and a missing body created a new and greater threat. Desperate to avoid losing power and influence, the “sleeping” guards, just like Judas, were given a large sum of money to stop the threat. A wicked scheme was put into action and lies were spread to combat the truth of freedom and righteousness.

The body of Jesus was stolen. His disciples were hallucinating. Any excuse would suffice. Even one of their own, Thomas, doubted anything miraculous happened. Jesus was, as the coroner of the land of Oz might say, not only merely dead, he's really most sincerely dead. 

WE ARE AT WAR

We must understand this isn't about an attempt to ensure correct information about COVID is being disseminated. It's about cancelling any and all who promote anything that contradicts the personal beliefs of those who control mass communication. We have truly entered into a time when crafty propaganda is manipulating the thoughts of millions. Social engineering is alive and well. Refusal to comply with tech leader's ideologies will result in eradication. Jesus was killed because of his message and influence. Today, Christians and conservatives are being eliminated from social media because of our message and influence. Oh, and don't think that we won't also be killed for our message one day. It's coming.

THE RIGHT TO LIE

I know it's strange and even a little concerning to hear a devoted follower of Jesus promote the right to lie. I'm not suggesting that we as Christians ever actually lie. What I am suggesting is simple: those who are in control of communication in our nation are determining themselves exactly what qualifies for truth and lies. 

So, those who are exchanging truth for lies are unilaterally calling good evil and evil good. This means for us to reveal truth, the right to lie becomes indispensable. 

Should we not, as free Americans, be allowed to communicate our deeply held personal beliefs no matter who may disagree? Isn't it an American right to promote any variety of conspiracy theory? Are we no longer allowed to suggest aliens crashed at what is now Area 51? Can we not share our views about the Illuminati, the assassination of President Kennedy, the existence of Bigfoot, Loch Ness Monster sightings, time travel and other debatable topics? Should we lock up Ben Shapiro? Does the left not have a right to spew hatred, lies and filth about the recently deceased Rush Limbaugh?

Yes we should be able to talk about aliens. No, Ben shouldn't go to prison for being ridiculously balanced and smart. And, no, vile monsters shouldn't be cancelled because they smeared Rush. It's called freedom of speech. Truth and lies should be aggressively scrutinized while completely free of restriction.

“If I had to say something positive I guess I’m glad Rush Limbaugh lived long enough to get cancer and die,” comedian Paul F. Tompkins said.

In another attempt to silence conservatives, any suggestion that the election was stolen has been judged to be an untruth by social media giants. These Goliaths will taunt their enemies and restrict any debate that threatens thier points of view. Anyone who is intellectually honest must conclude that there may have been a possibility of election indiscretion. There's no way it can be definitively determined that zero fraud took place. Yet, today's uncircumcised Philistines overseeing mass communication aren't what you'd call intellectually honest. Their truth is the only truth that matters.

So, whether it's COVID or Trump or masks or riots, many of the messages conservatives and Christians are communicating have been determined to be lies, and subsequently erased from social media. Therefore we absolutely must support the right to lie. If we don't, it's five strikes and we are out.

THE GOSPEL TO BE CANCELLED NEXT?

Truthfully, much of the Gospel has already been cancelled. Just as cultural leaders frantically attempted to modify the truth of the resurrection before it reached the whole of society, the truth of Scripture is being rewritten to meet the strict guidelines of today's censors.

In fact, the Bible has already been censored or outright outlawed in many places around the world. The living truth it contains is as threatening today as it was to the religious and political leaders two thousand years ago.

If the Word of God deals with hot topics such as homosexuality in a manner that runs contrary to today's intellectually awakened humanistic gurus, it's cancelled. Not only cancelled, but whoever embraces what the Bible teaches can have their lives destroyed by today's woke mob.

When love speech is called hate speech simply because people are radically resistant to the type of love the Bible reveals, you know we are in trouble as a nation. God and his methods are not only being rejected wholesale in today's ungodly American culture, but those who have decided to follow Jesus are shamed, despised, ridiculed, hated and cancelled.

We shouldn't be surprised. The Bible we believe and the God we serve have made it clear this would happen. Sadly, if things don't change now, it's only going to get worse.

“Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” (Matthew 10:21–22, ESV)

Photo credit: “Jack Dorsey” by jdlasica is licensed under CC BY 2.0

 
Originally published by The Stream.

 

Tiger Woods

Pray fiery prayers for Tiger Woods

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said Woods is “lucky to be alive.”

My heart goes out for Tiger Woods who was involved in a tragic car accident today. With the gut-wrenching death of Kobe Bryant not far behind us, news like this hits the raw, exposed nerves of our rattled nation. Of course, as so many are communicating, we must pray for Tiger right now. Yet, I’m suggesting our intercession go far beyond a petition for his physical healing.

Fox Sports reports, “The sports community was rattled on Tuesday shortly after news broke that golf legend Tiger Woods was involved in a serious car wreck. Woods, 45, suffered “multiple leg injuries” after being involved in a “single-vehicle roll-over” collision on the border of Rolling Hills Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes at around 7:12 a.m. local time, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and his agent Mark Steinberg.“

IT’S TIME FOR AWAKENING TO COME TO OUR NATION’S CELEBRITIES AND INFLUENCERS

I’m grieved in my spirit any time I hear reports like this. Just the other day I was watching a video of a celebrity dropping an F-bomb from her hospital room, clearly shaken as she was about go undergo major surgery. After a very short recovery period, she entered eternity. She was gone. Today she is very much alive and alert in her eternal home. I’m grieved at just where that may be.

I wish I could express how deeply such news impacts me. News of Tiger’s accident today should make it vividly clear that we are all mere inches and moments away from our spirit leaving our body and either entering into God’s glorious presence — or into the maddening torments of hell. I don’t know where Tiger is spiritually, but if he isn’t zealously in love with Jesus and wildly surrendered to him, it must happen immediately. Tiger, if you are reading this, I implore you to grab hold of God’s hand as he draws you into his heart. His passion for you is immeasurable.

Yes, prayer for physical healing is absolutely appropriate, and as Christians we know that God has quite a track record for stunning, miraculous, divine healings. He’s been delivering the shock and awe of his healing power for thousands of years. Yet, as incredible as a physical healing is, it lasts for but a time. We need to shift our focus from the temporal to the eternal. Every one of us will be living forever somewhere. One hundred years from now we will all be alive and alert either with God or with Satan. A million years later and we will be in the very same place. It’s a message that fewer and fewer preachers are sharing today, yet it’s critical truth that can’t be denied. Either heaven or hell awaits.

REVIVAL IS OUR ONLY HOPE

This is the church’s greatest hour, an opportunity to rise up in fervent intercession and supernatural faith for a massive move of God in our nation. Literally and without any exaggeration, revival is America’s only hope. It’s time that we see heart-wrenching repentance overwhelm all of us. There’s no way we can expect our nation’s celebrities to hit their knees and surrender all to Jesus if the church doesn’t push back the enemy and go to battle for their souls. We have been called to live pure and holy lives, to embrace radical consecration, to go deep in God and to pave the way for culture-shocking, earth-shaking revival.

I yearn for the day when we see celebrities overcome with emotion as they lift their hands in undone worship. I long to see Michael Jordan, Charlie Sheen, Tom Cruise, Oprah Winfrey, Nancy Pelosi, David Letterman, Adam Sandler, Tiger Woods and so many other influencers lifting their hands in passionate worship of Jesus as tears stream down their cheeks. I so deeply desire to see them free, alive and transformed by the overwhelming love of Jesus. Holy Spirit, move on them and bring an awakening to their souls!

A REVELATION OF JESUS

When Jesus manifests in a person’s life, everything changes. Of course, after experiencing the glory of God in my own desperate life it troubles and saddens me beyond words when others reject such a great salvation. There is nothing that compares to knowing God. Nothing. Fame, fortune, power and the lusts of life are pathetically devoid of what only God can give. Encountering such a holy, omnipotent, supernatural entity that fills his days with thoughts of love for me results in rivers of tears and oceans of gratitude that no human words could ever express.

If it hasn’t happened already, I so desire for Tiger Woods to know the lover of his soul, Jesus, like this. I want God to visit him, to transform him, to wash away the pain, to heal his body, to touch his heart and to overwhelm him with love. I pray the forgiveness of his heavenly Father will flood his soul as he gladfully surrenders all. A revelation of Jesus (not just knowledge about Jesus) will result in a never-ending tremble within. Something in the neighborhood of billions of pounds of despair, heartache, sin, fear and everything else that troubles mankind will dissipate in a split second at the moment we lift our hands, hit our knees and release control of our very short lives to God.

This is what I pray happens for Tiger, Michael, Oprah and the rest. One second in the presence of God is all they need. The first second in the fires of hell, however, will result in nothing short of regret, hopelessness and terror. The thought of people saying no to Jesus rips at my soul.

It’s time to be an outspoken, fiery, zealous and undignified worshiper of Jesus. Church, we must rise up in intercession. There are terrible accidents planned well in advance by the enemy. He wants to rip us to shreds. He’s bent on death and destruction. We can’t play games anymore. People are inches and moments from eternity. Let’s go to battle for their souls and see a mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit hit Hollywood, the sports world, Nashville, Washington D.C. and our entire nation.

Photo credit: “Tiger Woods driver” by TourProGolfClubs is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Originally posted by The Stream.

How to stay connected with the ministry

Hi!

I wanted to take a moment and send out a personal note to my email subscribers.

My workflow is such that sending out emails hasn’t been as regular as I’d like. I wanted to share some of the different places my articles and messages are appearing so you can stay informed. The following sources are receiving my material several times a month if not more often.

THE STREAM

I submit most of my articles first to The Stream. Due to a standard exclusivity agreement I wait three days after the publication date before submitting the article elsewhere including Facebook and my own site.

You can see my articles on The Stream HERE.

CHARISMA MAGAZINE

I’ve been writing for Charisma Magazine and their various publications for several years. Most of my articles are published on Charisma News. You can read articles at the following links:

Charisma Magazine

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MY WEBSITE

After exclusivities have ended, you can read articles on my site at www.burton.tv/articles. In addition to articles you can watch and/or listen to sermons and podcasts.

PRAYERTEAM.TV

I’d encourage you to be a regular visitor to www.prayerteam.tv. You have the opportunity to submit a text or audio prayer for celebrities and influencers. Today I submitted a call for intercession for Nancy Pelosi.

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Trump Biden

Love and honor have been abandoned by too many in this volatile political season.

It’s been said the two topics we should avoid around the family reunion dinner table are politics and religion. Of course, I disagree, but the point is well taken.

It’s nothing new that people tend to be more passionate about their political and spiritual positions than they are about guarding the hearts of the people they are debating with. Sadly this reality has reared it’s extremely ugly head again and again over the last year.

HAVE WE FORGOTTEN THE THREE PRIMARY REASONS WE ARE ALIVE?

I’ll give you a hint. It’s not to debate politics and it’s not to save America.

“And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37–39, ESV)

One: Love God.

Two: Love people.

“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”” (John 13:35, ESV)

Yes, there are many expressions of love including both tough and tender, but we need to understand that blaming and shaming our enemies are excluded. Anger expressed toward the liberal left will never win them to Jesus, which, by the way, is the third primary reason we are alive.

“As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” (2 Timothy 4:5, ESV)

WE ALSO CAN’T AVOID POLITICS

Preachers avoiding politics from behind the pulpit and keyboard is like a police officer refusing to confront crime. It makes no sense. The police are authorized to make arrests and Christians are authorized to tear down strongholds.

We as Christians have been granted a level of spiritual authority that few will ever grasp. When culture is steeped in wickedness, we have no option but to expose the darkness.

“Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” (Ephesians 5:11, ESV)

Unrighteous laws, widespread corruption, the darkness of immorality and national evils must be dealt with, and Christians are those who are most authorized to do so.

Silence by passive preachers is a violation just as a fleshly, carnal response is. There’s a way to move in love and honor while bringing dangerous political and cultural agendas to light. To stay silent, for example, on the issue of abortion would be inexcusable. To spew venom toward those who affirm or even administer abortion would be equally inappropriate for followers of Jesus.

THE GREATER SIN

While avoiding the spiritual clash in today’s deeply wicked society is unfathomable, my opinion is that the greater sin is a wicked reaction guised in high-minded righteousness by Believers in Jesus.

We must be aggressive with issues and tender towards people.

My heart is broken over the lack of revival in Hollywood, Nashville and Washington D.C. I think about people like Nancy Pelosi, Jim Carrey, Ellen Degeneres,Taylor Swift, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Alyssa Milano and hundreds of other influencers who are attacked non-stop by Christians because of their political positions.

Will they feel love by our mean-spirited assaults of righteous indignation? No.

I may write a separate article on this issue as it’s just wrecking my heart, but suffice it to say that I’m deeply grieved that so few celebrities and national leaders are falling in love with Jesus. Church, we are not handling their hearts well. Demonizing them will not win them.

OUR LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER

Rude, snarky and unloving behavior among Christians thrives on social media.

The moment a Christian is condescending and divisive on a Facebook thread is the moment their credibility is shot. While I understand we are living in a different era, there’s a part of me that yearns for yesteryear when yes sir’s and yes ma’am’s were indicative of respect in our culture.

Today it’s normal for followers of Jesus to attack, shame and ridicule anybody who disagrees with their viewpoints, especially when it comes to politics and religion. Many are unteachable, stone-hearted, immovable and more in love with their ideals then the people they are dialoguing with.

At the end of the day, I don’t care who the President is if we can’t discuss and debate with love and honor.

THE BLAME GAME IS STRONG THIS YEAR

Possibly the best litmus test for spiritual health and maturity when it comes to politics and culture is blame. If we lash out and blame and accuse and attack others who believe differently than we do, we are not in a good place.

The moment we blame is the moment we create unnecessary division. We need to stop blaming President Biden, President Trump, teachers, parents and others who, in our opinion, are opposing our personal agendas or beliefs, no matter how righteous those beliefs are.

“But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” (Matthew 5:44, ESV)

Don’t blame. Love. Pray. Don’t be an angry, complaining victim. Go low. Humble yourself. Serve. Contend for the souls of those who are making your life difficult. Again, be ruthless on issues, loving toward people.

There’s a better way, friends. Being mean-spirited isn’t it. Blaming doesn’t help. Shaming is simply cruel. People are more valuable then positions and agendas. Our enemies should be blessed and prayed for more than our friends.

The lyrics of a quirky and boldly honest bluegrass gospel song by Rhonda Vincent seem to fit here:

Oh you don't love God
If you don't love your neighbor
If you gossip about him, if you never have mercy
If he gets into trouble, and you don't try to help him
Then you don't love your neighbor
And you don't love God

One more time, deal strongly with issues and go out of your way to make sure people feel the love of Jesus. As we do this, we can most certainly hate evil, love good and establish justice in our nation.

“Hate evil, and love good, and establish justice in the gate…” (Amos 5:15, ESV)

You can submit a text or 60-second audio prayer for celebrities and influencers at www.prayerteam.tv.

Photo credit: “Trump and Biden” by uwwvmzjh8 is marked with CC PDM 1.0

Originally published by The Stream.

From cancel culture to shadow bans to unbridled hatred for a man who makes pillows — a strange delusion has arrived on American soil.

“Just as they have chosen their own ways, And their soul delights in their abominations, So will I choose their delusions, And bring their fears on them; Because, when I called, no one answered, When I spoke they did not hear; But they did evil before My eyes, And chose that in which I do not delight.” (Isaiah 66:3–4, NKJV)

Sounds about right.

Welcome to America, 2021.

HAVE PEOPLE TRULY GONE MAD?

Daily I’m watching or reading stuff that makes me wonder if people have gone crazy.

The Washington Post reports: On Twitter, one owner said that although he couldn’t throw away his pillows because they help him sleep, he would punch them daily “to show my anger . . . then will not buy any new ones.”

Of course, this is in reference to MyPillow chief executive Mike Lindell promoting the claim that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump. Some, like the Washington Post writer, would call it a false claim.

This isn’t normal behavior. Someone is so upset that they beat their MyPillow brand pillow because the CEO holds to a common opinion that the election was stolen? Madness. Another customer threw her pillow in the trash and sent a photo to the company. Who does this? They are enraged simply because someone expresses an opinion? A strong delusion is hovering over our nation.

People have a right to boycott. However, it’s the strange emotional response that I’m talking about. People are getting strangely uptight about the most benign things. Who cares if Mr. Pillow questions the fairness of the election? In fact, any balanced, smart and wise person would at least entertain the possibility and consider the evidence. 

The Bible passage above is about God’s response to Levites who were worshiping improperly. If God will send a delusion to them, it shouldn’t surprise us that he would also do the same to an openly perverse culture. Madness is upon us.

“…because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false,” (2 Thessalonians 2:10–11, ESV)

SOCIAL MEDIA IS LEADING THE WAY

People actually believe it’s a heinous violation to suggest that the election was stolen. Madness. Such a consideration is low level, non-threatening, perfectly legal water-cooler banter. There's nothing immoral about it. Yet social media is banning such discussion and cancelling those who refuse to comply with their restrictions.

Yeah, I know, it sounds like I’m talking about China.

In a report from 2010 about Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, a democracy advocate imprisoned for seditious speech, we can see very quickly how America is beginning to look a lot like this Communist nation. Author Brian Palmer wrote, “Not every Chinese dissident who speaks out of turn winds up in jail. Other penalties include a stern rebuke, losing your job, brief detention, or re-education through labor.”

Speaking “out of turn” is costing many Americans when they promote ideas that run contrary to today's controlled narrative.

If our speech wasn’t being controlled, we should be free to openly communicate on social media. We should be able to lie, to share conspiracy theories, to challenge narratives, to go against the grain, to provoke people to think, to gather a following and even to spur on a healthy, legal resistance to ideas we disagree with. I'm not saying it's all good and healthy, but I am saying it's what free speech looks like.

The sky is green, aliens have infiltrated Arkansas, the earth is flat, Donald Trump is still the President and our nation is truly free — all perfectly acceptable conspiracy theories that should never be banned by social media.

BE CAREFUL WHEN BRINGING UP THE NAZIS — IF YOU ARE A CONSERVITIVE

The Walt Disney Company became the top trending topic on Twitter when they fired actress Gina Carano from her role on The Mandalorian for simply sharing an opinion. Literally, that’s all she did. She exercised free thought. Publicly. Like the imprisoned Chinese Nobel Peace Prize winner, she spoke “out of turn” by suggesting similarities between the hate-driven beliefs of the Nazis and the hatred many Americans have for those with differing political views. That’s all it took to end her Disney career. Cancelled. Shamed. Outed. Hated as if she were some vile criminal.

Ironically, liberal star Pedro Pascal used Nazi comparisons as well, yet he remains employed. In a now-deleted tweet in 2020, Pascal compared Trump supporters to Nazis according to a New York Post report.

The truth is, under Nazi rule, controlling the narrative was prime in their efforts of domination. They used propaganda to promote their beliefs about Jews in magazines, films and other media. They burned books and took over newspapers to ensure their message prevailed. How can you not compare what happened then to what’s happening now? No, millions of Americans have not been slaughtered (well, I take that back. #abortion), but we can’t help but to question the eerie similarities between the narrative controlling efforts.

It’s a good thing I’m not employed by Disney. I’d be out of a job after that last paragraph.

THE DELUSION CAN BE SEEN ON THE LEFT AND THE RIGHT

Before you presume this is an all-out assault on the left, I’ve been stunned at the level of madness on the right as well. 

Many pro-Trump conservatives have become unglued this election season. I mean, many of them are nuts! They are often more triggered than many liberals when their beliefs about Donald Trump aren’t affirmed. I’ve witnessed many a “solid, balanced, mature and Christian” conservative go off the rails at the mere suggestion that Donald Trump is no longer our President.

On one hand I can almost sympathize with the liberals. Most of the strange, crazy conspiracy theories that are being promoted as right-wing propaganda are ridiculous. I’d love for the world to be eradicated of them too. (Yes, I know I just supported the right to promote conspiracy theories in the previous section, but whether it’s helpful or not is another question.)

The delusion is strong and we can’t presume that it's limited to those on the other side. If we have become resistant to what God desires, or worse, if we are erroneously suggesting our unrighteous, unhealthy desires are endorsed by God, we are ripe for a spirit of delusion to overcome us.

“And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.” (Romans 1:28, ESV)

FEAR, DELUSION AND HATRED

…So will I choose their delusions, And bring their fears on them…

God brings the delusions. God brings the fears.

You might be thinking that I’m using biblical principles simply to make a dramatic point. You’d be wrong.

I am literally suggesting that God may very well have sent a delusion to America.

I’ve never seen fear overtake a people like I have over the last twelve months. Hatred is everywhere. People are shaming others for not putting a piece of cloth over their mouths. Those being shamed are lashing out in anger and sometimes violence. A customer slapped a grocery store worker in the mouth after being asked to wear a mask. Again, who does this? What normal person gets so agitated by others who won’t wear masks and what normal person goes mad when asked to wear one? Normal people don’t do this.

The only solution is to deeply repent, to surrender our lives to Jesus and to abandon our own sinfulness. God isn’t playing games. His passion is for mankind to turn to him. There is an amazingly simple yet costly solution to the delusion:

Humble ourselves. Pray. Seek God’s face. Turn from our wicked ways.

“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name 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 heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place.” (2 Chronicles 7:13–15, ESV)

If we don’t do this, the delusion will only grow stronger and the madness will overtake our nation. Don’t ever presume you are exempt. The times are dire. God help us.

Extreme reform must come to the out of control prophetic movement.

I believe we must see a radical increase in authentic prophetic ministry. While there are issues and extremes in today’s prophetic movement, the truth is that most churches are woefully shallow or outright resistant when it comes to developing a prophetic culture.

An electric, supernatural and stunning spirit of prophecy should be energizing our church services. The Holy Spirit is moving powerfully and it’s critical that we tap into what he is doing and saying.

“Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good.” (1 Thessalonians 5:19–21, ESV)

A CALL TO REFORMATION

The famine of the Rhema voice of God in so many Christians and churches has been a burden of mine for decades. Unfortunately, it seems some have tried to fill that void with either unhealthy, unbalanced or outright unbiblical prophetic practices. Reform is needed.

NO MORE PROPHETIC GUARANTEES

Have you ever heard someone in church belting out a revelation that starts something like, “The Lord is saying to you…” or for some of our more traditional Pentecostals, “Thus sayeth the Lord…”

Yeah, this has to stop.

People are sharing prophetic words as if they are guarantees. They fail to consider the myriad of variables that come into play regarding a prophetic word. People are mortal. They can make mistakes.

Further, prophetic words are always conditional. People have a role to play. A failed response can result in a word that doesn’t come to pass.

Also, hearts can change. Someone can fail to measure up to the demands of the word. They can reject the word. They can fall into sin. On and on.

Prophetic guarantees can do great damage to people’s faith. I’ve known people who have made very costly life decisions because of a prophecy. They have quit their jobs, sold their homes, moved across the country, married the wrong person, and on and on simply because they received a prophetic guarantee. Like I said, this has to stop.

A better way to say it would be, “I sense the Lord is saying,” or “Be sure to pray over this and weigh it carefully. I feel God is saying…”

PROPHETIC WORD SHOULD BE SUBMITTED FOR ANALYSIS

“but test everything; hold fast what is good.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21, ESV)

The Bible clearly requires all prophetic words to be tested, weighed and judged.

“Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said.” (1 Corinthians 14:29, ESV)

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God…” (1 John 4:1, ESV)

It requires humility to invite a thorough critique when releasing a prophetic word. Instead of a prophetic guarantee, we should be submitting our divine revelation for consideration. We should invite people to analyze it, to pray over it and to judge it. If people did this with each word they communicated, it would remove much of the stigma surrounding the prophetic movement.

MINIMIZE FORETELLING, EMPHASIZE FORTHTELLING

Has anybody else grown tired of the circus-like, crystal ball-style fortune telling in so much of the prophetic today?

Understand, I absolutely do believe in foretelling, in revealing future events as the Holy Spirit gives the revelation. The Bible is filled with such prophetic information and authentic foretelling absolutely happens today.

That being said, there has become an unhealthy obsession with gazing into the future. It’s time for a fresh, anointed prophetic climate to emerge that is driven by forthtelling, by a Rhema revelation of timeless biblical truths. We need prophetic preachers who breathe fire as they release oracles from Heaven that erupt right out of the Bible. The Word of God must again be primary.

WE NEED TO QUIT LEANING SO HEAVILY ON PROPHETIC WORDS

As someone who affirms the need for a radical increase of true prophetic ministry, you might be surprised that I rarely get excited or uptight about a prophetic word.

This is true when the word is for me personally and it's true if the word is a public word.

Why? It's simple. Prophetic words take time to unfold. Also, they are often flat out wrong. If they are true, I need to discover what my role is and how I should steward the word. There is process.

It's not like winning the lottery or finding a genie in a lamp.

Does this mean I don't prepare if a prophetic word is given to warn me? No way. I prepare as the Lord leads, but I don't get spun out about the word or overly obsessed with the word.

Does this mean my faith isn't encouraged if a positive prophetic word is given to me? Nope. Faith comes by hearing the word of God. The Rhema, prophetic word of God.

However, you'd be shocked at how many positive, encouraging words I've received that have never come to pass. Good people were attempting to bless me but wrongly labeled their encouragement as prophecy.

Prophecy can be wrong no matter how convinced we are that God said something. We can interpret incorrectly. We may miss the analysis. We may not rightly steward the word. We might wrongly discern the timing.

The prophetic is less like a fortune cookie then many realize.

WE NEED BOTH GRACE AND ACCOUNTABILITY

The Old Testament “stone them if they are wrong” mindset needs to finally come to an end. In the New Covenant prophecy is markedly different. While a prophetic word can certainly be extremely weighty, it’s never complete. In fact, prophetic data comes not in the form of a bellowing, clearly heard and perfectly understood voice erupting out of a burning bush, but rather as abstract, nebulous impressions and sensations.

Consider dreams. They require interpretation. So does every other type of prophetic impression. Today, it’s not difficult to be deeply intimate with Jesus, living a life of prayer, humbly surrendered, wholeheartedly given to God’s call on our lives and also mistaken about a prophetic word. We need to give people grace when they miss it.

Yes, as I have already said, grace will be more easily extended when the prophets stop slapping a “thus sayeth the Lord” on every word they deliver.

And, yes, we also need a more solid system of accountability. What happened to those who prophesied that COVID would be gone nine or ten months ago? What about other failed words that go unjudged and are long forgotten? There’s a healthy way to handle this. Ignoring it isn’t the answer.

QUIT SHAMING THOSE WHO WEIGH AND JUDGE PROPHETIC WORDS

If you hang on to prophetic words without weighing them, and shame those who are in fact weighing, you have no idea how biblical prophecy works.

There is no medal of honor given to those who are unmovable regarding prophetic words. Scripture, in fact, requires that we are flexible as the outcome of prophecies can change depending on many different variables.

There has been a spirit of mean unleashed this past year by those who have white-knuckled grips on prophetic words about the election and other key issues. Dare to weigh the words, as the Bible commands, and question them in the slightest, and you better duck. Some uber-spiritual people will launch assaults questioning your faith, your spirituality and even your salvation. It’s disgusting.

REJECT WORDS NOT BIRTHED FROM THE FURNACE OF PRAYER

If the person delivering the word isn’t burning hot in the furnace of intercession day after day, their word cannot be trusted. Throw it out. If it’s truly a word of God, it will jump right back into play and it will be undeniable. However, I’ve found it to be quite rare that a prophecy can be truly trusted if it’s not birthed from the place of intercession.

There are other measures we can take to see the prophetic become healthy and effective, but if we can start with the above, the prophetic culture this nation so desperately needs will become vibrant, anointed and accurate again.

Mark Zukerberg

In an era of muzzled speech and shadow bans, it’s time for Believers to wise up.

We need to finally admit what has been true for years. Jack Dorsey, Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai, Jeff Bezos and the rest of the liberal tech and media decision makers control the narrative. These are leaders who have the right to promote or shut down activity that they deem appropriate or inappropriate for their respective businesses. The fact that their businesses are vehicles for our media makes no difference.

What they don’t realize, as unbelievers in Jesus, is that they are being used. They are puppets of a wicked, devious spirit that intends to mold society as it sees fit. They are drones being manipulated and navigated to fly high above the culture so as to capture and punish unsanctioned behavior. This is the world we live in.

My heart is grieved mostly because Jack, Mark, Sundar, Jeff and the others have not encountered the shock and awe of God’s overwhelming, indescribable, supernatural love. Yes, the restriction of speech in our nation troubles me deeply. Yes, the rapid decline of godliness in our culture is gut wrenching. Yes, the corruption in the media, whether mainstream or social, can’t be ignored. We are living in threatening times.

However, none of that compares to the reality of eternity. Heaven won’t be the same without Jack, Mark, Sundar and Jeff. I can’t imagine the horrors of hell that await any human that rejects the ridiculously generous, loving and completely undeserved offer of forgiveness and eternal life. We need to pray for an invasion of God’s love to overtake the hearts of our nation’s leaders.

WE HAVE A PROBLEM

I’m also troubled by the muzzling of Christians and conservatives.

Jack Dorsey recently made the decision to permanently ban the leader of our nation, Donald Trump, from Twitter. Stop and think about that. Such an act is unheard of in America. A citizen shuts down the President? You just don’t cancel the voice of the highest ranking official in America, and one of the most powerful people in the world. Is treasonous too strong of a word? Yes, but it sure smells similar.

Other recent bans include Focus on the Family for the following:

The Daily Citizen, which is a part of Focus on the Family, engaged in “hateful” rhetoric, according to the social media platform, when they tweeted January 19: “On Tuesday, President-elect Joe Biden announced that he had chosen Dr. Rachel Levine to serve as Assistant Secretary for Health at the Department of HHS. Dr. Levine is a transgender woman, that is, a man who believes he is a woman.”

Twitter has also banned My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell:

Mike Lindell, the CEO of MyPillow, was banned from Twitter Monday night, according to a Twitter spokesperson.

Twitter made its decision based on a new policy it enacted after the Capitol insurrection whereby people who repeatedly share election misinformation can be permanently banned.

“The account you referenced has been permanently suspended due to repeated violations of our Civic Integrity Policy,” the spokesperson told CNN.

Of course, Jeff Bezos’ Amazon along with both Apple and Android eliminated conservative leaning Twitter alternative Parler from their services.

It’s stunning that simply believing things and saying things can get you muted in our free nation. But, then again, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to discerning Christians. The persecution has barely begun, and we should have seen it coming.

THEIR PLATFORM, THEIR RULES

We need to remember, the decision makers for our nation are, by and large, unbelievers. They live by an entirely different code of ethics. What makes sense to Christians simply does not make sense to them. We need to understand this. Attempting to force our values on them will have no positive effect. Even if we are able to grab the reigns, their hearts will not be turned to Jesus by brute force. Their resolve to resist what we’d define as righteousness will only grow stronger.

Those who have followed my ministry know that I’m not adverse to dealing directly with issues. I don’t shrink back or surrender when the Lord is calling me to advance with unapologetic ferocity. Compromise is not an option. That being said, I believe it’s important to communicate something: Twitter, Facebook, Google, Amazon and the other businesses that have become largely indispensable in our daily lives make the rules for their own platforms. If we don’t like the rules, we can leave. Sadly, too many Christians are pouting and complaining about being singled out as they are poking the social media beast with malicious intent.

If I’m in a library and the librarian asks me to whisper, I whisper.

If I’m visiting a church, I don’t presume to be welcome to take the pulpit and preach.

The businesses we are visiting makes the rules.

If a restaurant doesn’t allow people to wear MAGA hats, they have that right.

Christian bookstores don’t have to order Harry Potter books for their customers and secular bookstores don’t have to stock Bibles.

Their business, their platform, their rules. Are their inconsistencies and lack of fairness at times? Absolutely. We have witnessed that several times, including a Christian baker's business being destroyed because they refused to bake a cake. We as Christians need to understand that the world will not be friendly or fair to us, and attempting to force them to comply may work at times, but in the end, we need to be ready for persecution.

But, as it stands, the laws of the land allow businesses to run things the way they see fit.

If Twitter doesn’t want certain things said on their platform, so be it. The same is true for Facebook and the rest.

Yes, I agree that such a position by a massive facilitator of communication does put our American values at risk. But, unless the laws change, they have that right.

Facebook can shadow ban, Twitter can suspend, Amazon can choose not to sell your book, Google can reject your app. They have those rights.

Again, their value system is radically different than ours. It’s humanistic instead of godly. It’s based on secular wisdom instead of divine wisdom as revealed in the Bible. It’s carnal versus spiritual.

A NEW GAME PLAN

Some consider me to be a bit provocative in my writing as I don’t typically hold back when communicating truth. Interestingly, while it may change at any moment, unlike many Christians on social media, I’ve never been in Facebook jail. I’ve never been shadow banned (to my knowledge). I’ve yet to be suspended from Twitter. Why is this? I believe it’s because I’ve attempted to use wisdom when posting while also refusing to compromise the message. I try hard to play by the rules of the platform I’m on. It’s their platform, not mine.

This is part of the new game plan that I’m suggesting. It does us no good as Christians to adopt the aggressive, bombastic and threatening disposition that so many on the political right (or left) have. The unnecessary conspiracy theories have to go. The mean-spirited accusations against our enemies (you know, the ones we are supposed to be blessing and not cursing) has to stop. The blatant rule breaking is unacceptable. We should be wiser. We can get the message across, in most cases, while honoring the place that gave us an opportunity to speak.

We are guests on the various social platforms, and they have the right to uninvite us at any moment. Using Facebook and Twitter and the others is a privilege not a right. Using these platforms foolishly will only cost the church in our nation.

Instead of feeding our addictions on social media by sharing every controversial, conspiratorial viewpoint that pushes you closer to the edge of a violation of their terms and conditions, why not play nice, stay inside their boundaries and advance the Kingdom of God? Preach truth. Exhibit love. Let that be what drives you instead of anger, complaining and vitriol over politics and other hot topics?

I think we need to tread carefully and use the media that's available to us responsibly. I'm not saying we cower or compromise. Never. I'm saying there's a wise way to deliver your message without going over the edge and triggering those who have the power to shut you down. Honestly, my personal opinion is that President Trump would have done well to follow this advice.

We should treat people well. Don't accuse. Don't be combative. Don't spread conspiracies. Don't ridicule. Exhibit the fruits of the Spirit. Love, joy peace, patience, kindness goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (You know, be Christians.)

MANY of the opinions people are sharing really don't need to be shared, or they can be reworded in such a way that it's much better received. That is the goal, right? For people to receive what we say?

But, as I said, we don't compromise. We speak truth in love. We also choose our battles. Social media is most probably going to shut down all Christians at some point. We just need to be smart by not expediting the process.

Am I saying we are silent on the hot topics? No. I’m not saying that at all. I’m suggesting we play by the rules of the platform so we can continue to have a voice at all.

Am I saying we should not fight illegal policies or unfair censorship in social media? Not necessarily. If we take up that battle, it needs to be in the form of something other than complaining and sharing supporting videos and posts on the very medium you are taking issue with. In fact, the conservative website www.louderwithcrowder is suing Facebook. Candace Owens is suing fact checkers retained by Facebook and USA Today. This will surely be more effective than incessant posting about our disagreements.

Do I believe our speech as Christians will be ultimately restricted even further in the near future? Yes, I do. This is why we must come up with a strategy of advancing the Gospel that takes this into account. The underground Chinese church has done it. Other restricted and persecuted groups of Believers have done it. It's time for a social media underground movement to emerge. Until that happens, we need to tread carefully and respectfully on the surface.

LESS FACEBOOK AND TWITTER, MORE INTERCESSION, MORE STRATEGIC PLANS OF ACTION

Honoring the rules of the platforms we are on simply requires that we monitor what we are communicating. I’m personally less interested in using social media for ministry than I have been in the past. I wonder just how more impactful we can be if we put our energies into fiery intercession instead. Pray with passion for the Jacks, Marks and Jeffs of the world. Contend for their souls.

My primary outlets will continue to be writing on my site and on other platforms that choose to publish my articles. I'll still use social media, but I'll be guarded.

I believe the fact that so many choose to take breaks from social media (breaks that typically last much shorter than announced!) is an indicator that we may need to take this desire seriously. We are addicted as a nation to Facebook especially. I would suggest a serious shift away from social media. Don’t look for conservative replacements. Don’t just take a short break. Consider eliminating it entirely or minimizing it greatly. If we do use it, use with great caution.

Just take a moment and consider the possibilities of intercession. If Jack Dorsey got radically saved, the entire world shifts. The same is true for Mark, Sundar and Jeff. The enemy is zealously working to keep them from the truth of the Gospel. If they find Jesus, the enemy’s schemes are shattered.

Attempting to force them to comply with our standards, however, will only cause them to fight back all the harder. Which path seems more effective? Let’s pray for passion for these men, precious people being pursued with passion by the Spirit of God. He loves them.

PRAY FOR JACK DORSEY

The most recent post at www.prayerteam.tv is about Jack Dorsey. You can add a 60-second audio prayer or a text prayer on the site. Here’s the prayer I included there:

Jesus, Jack Dorsey is known by millions as the founder of Twitter. What is most important, however, is that he is known by you. God, I ask that you touch Jack’s heart as only you can. Absolutely overwhelm him with your love. I pray he’d fall to his knees and cry out to you and surrender every part of his life to your leadership. This is a remarkable man who has a powerful calling on his life. In the name of Jesus I declare that he will fall desperately in love with Jesus, will become a mighty instrument in God’s hand and will impact millions for the Kingdom! In Jesus’ name! Amen!

Photo credit: “Mark Zuckerberg” by jdlasica is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Originally published by The Stream.

Unoffendable

Trump, right, wrong and a deeply divided nation

As Christians we have a sober responsibility to expose darkness, promote righteousness, preach truth and bring glory to God. Yes, when handled well, shining the light of truth on the darkness in our nation can bring positive results that will raise the water level of godliness. However, when handled wrongly it can bring death.

A bite from the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil most certainly will empower one with data that can be used against their opponents. The prideful indignation feels pure and righteous as they are, after all, promoting what is good and true. What they fail to understand is that fruit can bring nothing but destruction. It kills.

If your emotional health is dependent on you being right and others acknowledging that you are right, you will not last. You will not endure. As our end-time mission intensifies, we will have every opportunity to be offended, or to advance with our beliefs and ideologies in such a way that offense of others is all that results. You may be right about whatever you are attempting to communicate, but your tainted heart infects the hearers with the same bitter fruit.

IT’S NOT A MATTER OF RIGHT VERSUS WRONG

As I said, as end-time Believers, we do have a mandate to expose wickedness, to sound alarms and to do all we can to rescue the perishing. Sadly, too often this noble pursuit becomes compromised when the heart of the matter (whatever our cause may be) becomes more important than the heart of people.

The news media, for example, provides an endless source of information that is fueled by the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The intent of most in the media is not to nurture, encourage and bless those who are watching, listening and reading. As we well know, fake news is alive and well as biased people attempt to manipulate the national narrative. The media isn’t in existence for our benefit, it seems, but for theirs.

This same spirit has infiltrated many in the church. Flip on over to Facebook and try to stomach a barrage of finger pointing and accusations against any and all who disagree with their views, especially when it comes to Donald Trump, masks and other recent hot topics.

As Christians, we have a choice, We can live off of the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and be right about whatever battle we are fighting. Or, we can live from the tree of life where we still advocate for truth, but we do it from a heart of love and with a strong desire to bless others.

You see, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil masterfully pumps out the fruit of offense. It manifests often in blaming others for our ills.

I’m right, you are wrong!

You hurt me!

My pastor won’t affirm my ministry!

That politician is destroying America!

Those people are hateful!

This results in living as victims, professing that we are hindered because of the actions of another. The accusatory shout is, “You are ruining my life!” instead of blessing those who curse us and forgiving those who have offended us.

I’m dismayed by Christians who refuse to pray for President Biden, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Nancy Pelosi, Kamal Harris or other Democrats. Instead, they seek to call them out, to ridicule them, to shame them and to blame them. The fruit they are eating results in them unable to see them as future children of God, brothers and sisters in the Lord, and people who God deeply loves. No, instead they want to snipe all who threaten their concept of righteous American political viewpoints.

Take a few moments and peruse various news outlets. Take note of how many articles, quotes and opinions include blaming others for whatever problems they are experiencing. You’ll be stunned. Or, maybe not. Then, take what you have discovered and ask yourself whether you employ the same tactics in your own life.

Wives do it to husbands, and husbands to wives. Employees do it to employers and vice versa. Conservatives do it to liberals. The left does it to the right. Students do it to teachers. Church members to it to pastors. Blame, it seems, has infected our entire society. The tree of knowledge of good and evil is our nation’s buffet.

In this world of blinded eyes, dull ears and hardened hearts, the life of God isn’t imparted according to formulas, facts and carefully researched data, but rather by dynamic, life-giving relationships. We can and should deal directly with problematic issues while dealing in a life-giving, honoring manner with people, especially brothers and sisters in Christ.

A person living in the tree of life loves and serves in the spirit of Truth (Jesus) while those living in the tree of knowledge of good and evil are fueled by facts. If we become enraged by situations in our lives and then seek to accuse and blame others for our troubles, we can know we have been poisoned by desirable fruit from a deadly tree.

I don’t question people’s desire to stand for truth by supporting Donald Trump. Their determination to expose darkness and any fraud and corruption is good. Unfortunately, few have discovered how to do so without blaming and accusing and with a heart of love. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil is the quickest route to gathering facts and winning debates while losing the heart of God in the process.

THE DESIRE FOR GODLINESS

Much of the venom from Christians today is a result of their strong opinions about the election. Sadly, too many have not figured out how to stand for truth while also being life-giving in the process. Their heads are raised and fangs out when they come across anyone who isn’t in perfect alignment with their perspective on the outcome of the election.

Interestingly, most every time their aggressive retort comes in the form of facts, videos, conspiracy theories, interviews, prophecies and other supposed evidences. The goal is to shame their opponent with facts instead of honoring them as children of God.

Genesis 3:4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.

Interestingly, Satan appealed to Eve's desire for godliness, but, while it resulted in knowledge, it was devoid of life.  A form of godliness but devoid of power. Eve was pursuing godly knowledge! This is such a powerful truth that can easily be missed. The problem was that God knew mankind would not know how to handle the information with humility, love and surrender.

Their recognition of their own nakedness was correct, but it was different than the revelation that God wanted for them. They were suddenly ashamed instead of free.

He wanted them to be childlike, but now they didn't have that capacity.

When they ate of the tree, which provided absolutely accurate knowledge, they became servants to it.

This same poison has infected much of the church, and certainly most all of secular society. A desire for “rightness” has resulted in division, hatred, anger, blame and shame.

THE BLAME GAME

Many Christians live in the tree of knowledge of good and evil their entire lives.

John 5:39 “You diligently study the scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”

Remember, we should be seeking out truth, not facts. We should be blessing, not blaming. Adam was compromised immediately upon eating the fruit.

Genesis 3:11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.”

Blame! Can you see it?

The tree of the knowledge of good and evil always causes us to point at somebody and say “I can’t, because they didn’t,” but living from the fruit on the tree of life causes us to proclaim, “I can, no matter what they do.”

This is a prime reason why I personally don’t get spun out because Joe Biden is our President. We as the church can advance the Kingdom of God no matter what policies a secular politician advances.

I’m not naïve either. I know it’s important to engage the secular, political system as light bearers. We should not stay silent. But, we shouldn’t be dismayed either. We engage, we love, we prophesy, we proclaim, we expose and we advance, but from a life-giving perspective. I absolutely can see Joe Biden and the rest as on-fire worshipers of Jesus! He doesn’t threaten me, we as the church threaten him with prophetic decrees of salvation, love and abundant life!

Someone called me a liberal hiding behind a pulpit because of my positive view about the election. I had to laugh. If anything, I’m not a liberal, BUT if my love for our new administration results in accusations of being a liberal, so be it!

Do you see the difference between being driven by truth instead of facts? The truth sets people free while facts have the power to imprison.

Jesus told us the truth must be written on our hearts, not our brains!

John 8:30-32 (NKJV) 30 As He spoke these words, many believed in Him. 31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Proverbs 3:3-4 (NKJV) 3 Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart, 4 And so find favor and high esteem In the sight of God and man.

Facts have the power to divide, but truth delivered in love, with mercy, as they are written on our own heart, will result in favor with man!  It's a powerful contrast!

The tree of knowledge of good and evil just grows and grows as we attempt to figure out right versus wrong. Again, remember, we have a duty as Believers to expose the darkness, but being fueled by facts in order to defeat another with arguments and accusations only results in the darkness growing more impenetrable.

The blame game must come to an end. If it doesn’t, the consequences are dire.

Matthew 24:9-13 (KJV) 24:9 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. 10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Will you endure to the end? Will you be blameless? Will you refuse to complain and dispute?

Philippians 2:14-16 (NKJV) 2:14 Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.

I feel impressed to invite many of you who are reading this to consider repenting for the way you have responded to Joe Biden’s election to President of the United States. Then, pray a heartfelt prayer for him, his family, his Vice President and the rest of the liberal left. Don’t pray a haughty prayer of rebuke. Don’t stop short by only praying for his salvation. Don’t pray manipulatively (God won’t hear you). But, pray something like this:

Father, I thank you for the next four years in our nation. I trust you to be the Lord and leader as we see your Kingdom advanced in unprecedented fashion. I ask that you would powerfully and mightily bless President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and the rest of his team. I ask that you would visit him, speak to him and draw him close to you. Give him great wisdom to lead our nation. Touch his heart with your fiery love and transform him more and more each day. I pray the more he sees you, the more his leadership is modeled after the life of Jesus. I’m believing we will see this manifest in the years to come. I thank you for his life and I honor him as your established leader for this time.

This teaching has become one of my most requested. I’d like to offer the eBook, audio teaching and sermon notes for free when subscribing at www.burton.tv/free.

Originally published by The Stream.

Hocus Pocus, Conspiracy Theory, Vigilante Christianity In A Post-Trump America

Post-Trump America. If those three words have you screaming from the depths of your agitated soul, “Joe Biden is NOT my President!” you have stumbled upon the right article.

I voted for Donald Trump and I am quick to shout from the rooftops that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have teamed up to create a terrible disturbance in the force in our nation. The first several days in office have proven this as they are aggressively and without apology promoting the immorality and wickedness that the liberal left is so famous for. Christians should be deeply grieved, yet so many are actually celebrating the ousting of Trump and the establishment of our new President and Vice President. In fact, I’m sure many who are reading this are among those who are rejoicing over the new administration. I honestly am more troubled and grieved by professing Christians supporting such a devious political party than I am the fact that the left is now leading our nation.

Based on what I’ve seen on social media, there are millions of professing Christians who are vigorously applauding Joe Biden’s election. I’m talking about radical Believers who are known to be deeply devoted to Jesus. I’m stunned.

I don’t believe it’s a stretch to suggest that the blood of millions of future dismembered children will be on the hands of those who voted for a pro-death politician. As I’ve often asked, if a political candidate admitted they would promote legislation to make the killing of any child under the age of two allowable, would you vote for him or her? If they believed parents had the right to tear off their toddler’s arms and legs as they bled to death if caring for them became too inconvenient, would it be right to support their candidacy? Of course not. It would make both the politician and the supporter horrid monsters. This is why Christians (or any sane person) supporting a pro-death party simply makes no sense.

This among many other disturbing “values” of the left including an alleged stolen election should be enough to make any support laughable.

JOE BIDEN IS OUR PRESIDENT

It would seem, given what I have already written, that I would be right along side those who are plastering all over social media that Biden isn’t my President. I’m not. In fact, I don’t believe any honest Christian who lives a life of integrity can. The truth that cannot be debated is that Joe Biden is the President of the United States of America. He’s living in the White House. Donald Trump isn’t. You might argue the “clear and obvious” voter fraud, the corrupt courts and all sorts of other accusations of illegal activity, and you may be right (and you may be wrong). However, none of that has changed the legal outcome of the election. Joe Biden is our President.

Left-leaning George Stephanopoulos said the following:

No election is perfect. But there were 86 challenges filed by [former] President [Donald] Trump and his allies in court. All were dismissed. Every state certified the results.”

He also insisted that former Attorney General Bill Barr even said that there was no “evidence of widespread fraud.”

I’m personally disappointed by the #notmypresident mantra that so many Christians have adopted. Well, not adopted, it was borrowed from the left.

Check out this from the Washington Post:

Hillary Clinton dismissed President Trump as an “illegitimate president” and suggested that “he knows” that he stole the 2016 presidential election…

And, from another source online:

“They are clapping back with the trending hashtags #NotMyPresident and #ImStillWithHer, simultaneously decrying Trump’s win and showing support for his opponent, Hillary Clinton.”

A post on Twitter summed it up:

I refuse to accept that a racist, homophobic, pig is going to be president. #NotMyPresident #ImStillWithHer

— Brennyn (@UnicornsSlay) November 9, 2016

To employ such a juvenile attack strategy by kicking feet, pouting and whining and slapping #notmypresident all over the interwebs is embarrassing, especially for God’s holy church. Christians, shame on you.

HOCUS POCUS PROPHECY

As a Charismatic Christian who strongly believes in the importance of embracing legitimate prophecy, it’s easy for me to admit that we need reformation in today’s prophetic movement. So much of it has become bizarre hocus pocus released by unleashed ministers without any of the weighing and judging that Scripture demands.

You might be shocked at the personal attacks I’ve experienced simply because I am doing what the Bible mandates we do by weighing and judging prophetic words. One lovely Christian told me that God has turned his face from me. Others have accused me of not having faith. Some have let me know that I don’t know how to stand in the midst of trial. Someone called me ignorant and accused me of perpetuating the lies of the left. My agreement with the Hell’s agenda makes me complicit, said another.

Why is there so much vomit coming out of the mouths of Christians over this election?

An intense, negative reaction to the results of the election should terrify you. It reveals where your hope rests. It exposes your lack of readiness for the end times. It opens the door of your soul to the anti-Christ spirit and, in the near future, the anti-Christ himself.

Understand, I'm not talking about being passive or not being aggressive against the enemy. I'm talking about triggered people. Depressed, angry, mean, rude, divisive people. Those who have become unhinged and nearly hopeless. Those who will shame, assault and divorce anyone who doesn't join them in their emotional crisis.

In fact, I’ve called people to pray for our new President, and I’m so disheartened by many people’s replies. Some refuse outright to pray for him as he’s an “imposter.” Others refuse to pray anything but God’s judgment on him. It’s madness! The state of the church must be very bad indeed if this type of response to a call to lovingly pray for someone is so common.

I believe a key reason for this intense, unrighteous reaction is partly due to the unbalanced, unrestrained prophetic movement that had such an influence on gullible people during the election.

Remember, I’m a promoter of healthy, biblical prophecy. We need more, not less of it. A holy prophetic spirit must emerge in the American church if we have any hope of surviving the vicious wickedness that is both here and on the horizon. But, too much of what has been labeled prophetic in this current season is either flat out wrong or it was handled wrongly.

Mario Murillo said:

“There were true prophets and false prophets. And, while their messages about Trump seemed the same, there was a stark difference. The true prophets rightly coupled the promise of Trump’s victory with a call for the Church to repent. But the false prophets spoke as if we were entitled to an automatic victory.”

Mario’s point is extremely important. Prophecy is conditional. It must be presented with the conditions so the hearers know how to respond. This is part of the prophetic reformation that is so necessary today.

CONSPIRACY THEORISTS AND CHRISTIAN VIGILANTES

Has anybody else noticed the morphing of recent prophetic words about the election and the QAnon style conspiracy theories? In one breath someone is declaring they are standing on the words of the prophets about Donald Trump’s reelection, and in the next they are attempting to prove their positions by sharing various videos and left field news stories.

Am I saying all of these reports are false? Of course not. Do I believe there is no fraud, secrecy, corruption or illegal and unconstitutional activity surrounding the election? I actually believe there may be.

The problem comes with the way Christians are handling their suspicions.

Does that mean we can't keep hunting for fraud? No.

Does that mean we can't be hopeful for a dramatic, miraculous turn of events? No.

But, let's do so honestly and with integrity. Joe Biden is our President. Saying he's “not my President” is simply false and those who are saying it are surrendering their credibility.

All you have to do is consider what is required for someone to be legally elected President of the United States. Joe Biden fulfilled every obligation.

Many of you remember the trial of the century as OJ Simpson was accused of the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. Many (most?) would argue that the evidence that OJ Simpson was guilty was absolutely overwhelming. In fact, some would suggest you’d have to be a fool to believe he didn’t kill them. However, in our nation, in our judicial system, little matters other than the verdict. The verdict is superior to the facts. No matter how convincing the evidence was, OJ Simpson was found innocent. Not guilty. That was the judgment. He was a free man. It doesn’t matter whether you believe it or not or whether he did it or not. It doesn’t matter what the evidence was. He was free and he could never be tried for those crimes again. It was settled.

The same principle applies with the election. Once the verdict has been delivered, the evidence doesn’t matter. What we believe doesn’t matter. The suspected fraud doesn’t matter. The courts refused every single case. Of course, you might argue that the courts are biased or even corrupt. You may be right, but it doesn’t matter. The decision of a biased or corrupt court is still the only decision that matters. All we can do is take it to a higher court. And, as Christians, it sure would be nice if we stormed the courts of heaven over this instead of hurling accusations against everyone who doesn’t dance to the drum the conspiracy theorists are incessantly beating.

The vigilantes are out in force. Cross them with any suggestion that we should move ahead under the leadership of Joe Biden and his administration and you will be outed, mocked, shamed and assaulted with all sorts of conspiracies and supposed proofs. Get ready for your Facebook Messenger to be flooded with stories and videos that prove their point. This is no way for loving Christians to act.

Remember, I believe there may have been some improprieties, I agree there may have been fraud. But conspiracies and goofy prophecies have hijacked too many people. They drank the Kook-Ade (I meant to type Kool-Ade, but I think I’ll leave it as I wrote it) and they have lost their balance as if what they were drinking was spiked with an intoxicating and wicked potion.

Dr. Michael Brown wrote regarding the failed election prophecies:

What you prophesied did not come to pass.

There is not an alternative, spiritual reality in which Trump is still functioning as president.

Nothing is going to change in a month or a year.

It’s over.

Even if there was massive electoral fraud, the results of this election will not be overturned.

Donald Trump will not serve a second, consecutive term.

Face the facts, be accountable before God and man, take the hits that will be coming, and humble yourself before the Lord and His people.

This is not the time for excuses. This is not the time to concoct spiritual myths. And this is absolutely not the time to blame others.

If you prophesied falsely, you and you alone are to blame.

More than any other Christian voice today, in my opinion, Dr. Brown brings wisdom and biblical balance to this volatile situation.

He also said:

So many of God’s people are hurting, and the world is mocking us, thinking that our faith in Jesus is just as false as these failed Trump prophecies.

He’s right.

Leaders like Mario Murillo and Dr. Michael Brown are needed more than ever today when conspiracies and divisive Christians are multiplying every moment. Sadly I’ve heard Christians proudly declare they have stopped following Dr. Brown because of his stance. I’m sure many will unfollow or block me too.

Oh, and by the way, if the conspiracy theorists are correct and the election is somehow overturned and Donald Trump is restored as President. I’ll celebrate, but sadly too many of the Christian vigilantes will be filled with pride, pointing fingers and puffing themselves up as spiritually superior. How do I know this? Nonstop I’ve heard from them predicting their victory in this strange, divisive battle. “You’ll see!” “Your faithlessness will be exposed!” “Just wait, the prophets are right!”

Well, I hope those who are prophesying God’s heart are right. I’m ready to celebrate with my vigilante brothers and sisters in Christ. Break out the confetti.

Photo credit: “Lunch with Joe Biden” by jurvetson is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Originally published by The Stream.