Half-truths and cover-ups and conspiracies, oh my!

Scared yet? Well, you should be. After all, if the Coronavirus doesn’t stab you in your sleep first, the vaccines that we’re all about to get might very well have a chip which carries some code equaling to 666 which will damn all our souls to Hell. But that’s only if President-elect Biden has indeed won the election and President Trump is no longer there to hold back the forces of Beelzebub from devouring our nation… which is why the democrats stole the election because socialism and control or something like that.

Bet you’re really scared now, huh.

Ever noticed how fear moves us?

If an advertiser wants you to buy something, they try to scare you into it “because so much is riding on your tires.”

Political ads are quick to remind you that a vote for (fill in the blank candidate) is a vote for white supremacy or socialism.

When a ministry huckster wants you to buy his next book or teaching series on the apocalypse, he “prophesies” that future president Hillary Clinton is Jezebel reincarnated? And then he preaches against reincarnation when she in fact loses the election.

He might also “prophesy” that Donald Trump will in fact win every lawsuit, which will overturn the election results which will cause a civil war to break out in American streets. But you’ll only learn that in his post-election conference that he charged you $59 to attend virtually.

FEAR! ANGER! RAGE! Cha-Ching.

For a people whose revered holy scriptures explicitly and repeatedly state some variation of the words “fear not” we sure do like to cause people to fear things that aren’t really worthy of our fear.

In fact, those same scriptures direct us to fear God in holy reverence. We’re told in Hebrews 11:7 (NIV) that Noah “moved with godly fear” and prepared an ark to the saving of his household. That godly fear was led by a direct revelation from God that had nothing to do with Noah’s political affiliation and everything to do with his reverence for the God who spoke.

Let’s face it, we live in an age where Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, and others are doing a better job of discipling Christians than most churches.

We feed our fear more than we feed our faith. Is it any wonder then that our social media accounts are filled with conspiracy theories and worst-case scenarios?

Biblical Illiteracy

We simply don’t know enough about the faith we profess.

I am Pentecostal. I love being Pentecostal. I have argued for the continuation of spiritual gifts like tongues and prophecy since my high school days. And I still absolutely believe those gifts are for today. These gifts did not end with the apostles, but since the last New Testament apostle died, some of the gifts have been allowed to morph into something the New Testament church wouldn’t even recognize.

Scripturally, prophecy is utilized for strengthening, encouragement, and comfort (1 Corinthians 14:3) and it always bears testimony to Jesus (Revelation 19:10). That’s the New Testament prophecy that exists today. Somewhere along the way we got confused into thinking that the USA is ancient Israel and these fly-by-night prophets are playing the role of Isaiah and Jeremiah in foretelling the future.

If these ladies and gentlemen were forthtelling, that is bringing the truth of God’s word into our contemporary setting rather than forecasting the future based on their own political persuasion, they’d be completely in line with scripture. Unfortunately, they’ve missed an incredible opportunity to do so.

But here we are. Fear, anger, and rage are everywhere. Masks are demonized. Vaccines are harbingers of the apocalypse. Trump is our last best hope. Biden stole the election. And America is about to become the USSA.

At least you didn’t have to pay $59 to learn that info here.

What should be our response to these things?

Look, I get it. 2020 has been a crazy year. It has been one thing after another after another after another. And yes, some of us have missed it and failed to discern what God is doing, where God is at, and why He has allowed this season to happen.

God’s people have to realize His ways our higher than our own. We can absolutely trust Him.

We must understand that we’re getting nowhere fast by feeding our fear. That doesn’t mean we ignore reality. Rather, we see the real danger that we face, we trust God has a plan and we move forward.

Most of all, we must realize there is hope. And we have no choice but to be people of hope regardless of who is in the White House or who distributes the vaccine.

Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
Though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging
.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come and see what the Lord has done,
    the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease
    to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
    he burns the shields with fire.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”

The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Published by Joel A. Barker

Joel A. Barker is a church planter & blogger from Nashville, Tennessee.

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