Mixing the Bible and Politics
Vol: 46 Issue: 18 Monday, July 18, 2005
The dictionary offers three possible definitions for the word ‘advocate’; 1) “One that argues for a cause; a supporter or defender:” or, “One that pleads in another’s behalf; an intercessor:” and, finally, 3) A lawyer.
The dictionary defines a ‘propagandist’ as “one who advances the systematic propagation of a doctrine or cause or disseminates information reflecting the views and interests of those advocating such a doctrine or cause.”
I often get emails from people either accusing me of being an advocate for what is loosely defined as the ‘conservative right’ or slamming me for spreading Republican propaganda.
Given a superficial reading of the body of my work, one could make a strong case that I am guilty on both counts. The reason is, based on the dictionary understanding of the words, I am guilty of both advocacy and the dissemination of propaganda.
But I am innocent of the charges as specified. I am not an advocate of the conservative movement, I am an observer of it. But I am an advocate of the truth, and there is less truth to be found among the liberal left, so it is easy to conclude I am an advocate for conservatives.
I am guilty of propaganda, in the sense that I advance the systematic propagation of the doctrine that Jesus Christ offers the free gift of salvation to all mankind, and that no man can be saved apart from Jesus Christ.
I am an advocate for the cause of Christ, and the cause of Christ is the advancement of His gospel, the encouragement of His Church and to sound the warning of His soon return for His Church.
But that does not make me an advocate for the conservative right or a propagandist for the Republican agenda. Where their agendas converge with what is true, at best one could say we are temporary allies.
That being said, the purpose and mission of your Omega Letter is to sort out what truth can be found amongst the agenda-driven spin, compare it to the events foretold by Scripture for the last days, and demonstrate where the two intersect.
It is a bit like trying to decipher the lines on a road map; I don’t have any particular preference for the colors assigned to the roads, I am just looking for the most accurate route to my destination. If most of the roads marked in red turn out to be the most direct way to get there, then I take those roads for that reason.
Because they are the most direct. If it requires getting off the red route onto some other colored route for a time, it isn’t a case of disloyalty to the red routes, since loyalty was never an issue. Getting from point A to point B was.
It is difficult not to fall into the trap of advocacy when one sees someone doing something good, and it is hard not to become judgmental when one sees someone doing something bad, but, in the final analysis, from the perspective of Scripture, events are not in our hands, but in God’s.
Take, for example, the Bill Clinton administration. I was a bitter critic of Clinton, his policies, acts of what I can only term treason, his moral failings and the damage he caused our culture.
But, at the same time, Scripture says Bill Clinton held the Oval Office at God’s pleasure. God permitted Bill Clinton to ascend to the Oval Office according to His will and as part of His overall plan for the last generation. Blasphemy?
“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” (Romans 13:1)
That verse doesn’t provide the Church with a lot of wiggle room without the application of some pretty energetic situation ethics. For example, one might argue that Paul never intended that verse to apply to someone like Bill Clinton.
Except that the ruling ‘higher power’ of Paul’s day was the immeasurably evil Emperor Nero, and of was of Nero that Paul spoke when he said the ‘powers that be are ordained of God’.
Moreover, Paul writes, “Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall RECEIVE TO THEMSELVES DAMNATION” (Romans 13:2)
“Damnation” as used in this verse isn’t ‘damnation’ in the sense of eternal separation from God. It is derived in this verse from the Greek word ‘krima’ which means ‘condemnation of wrong’ in the judicial sense, of a matter to be judicially decided, like a lawsuit or other court case’.
The word ‘damnation’ in the sense of eternal separation from God is ‘krisis’ which literally means, ‘separating’, ‘sundering’ ‘collection’ or ‘judgment’ as used in Mark 3:29 when Jesus talks about the penalty for the unforgivable sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit by rejecting His call to salvation.
This is an admonition to the Church concerning resisting the governing authority to whom we are subject. Paul says that God ordained them. Resisting what God ordained means the secular judicial price attached to such resistance is on your own head. In other words, says Paul, you should have trusted God.
There is a difference between ‘resisting’ and ‘opposing’.
“Resisting”, says Webster s, means “To strive to fend off or offset the actions, effects, or force of.” “Opposing” means, ” To be in contention or conflict with.”
They may sound like distinctions without differences, but the differences are there. I opposed much about Bill Clinton, but opposing is not resisting.
Being in contention with a political worldview that opposes the ordinances of God is not the same as resisting the government, and advocating for the truth is not the same as being loyal to the government.
A Christian’s first loyalty is to the ordinances of God, the first and most important of those ordinances being truth.
Sometimes, the Omega Letters sound too political — sometimes even more political than I intend or want them to be. But politics is what the last days are all about.
It is impossible to adequately understand the timeline of the last days without a fundamental understanding of its dual nature — the Tribulation is where politics and the things of the spirit intersect.
Human history is the history of politics. The first national political party in recorded history was the ‘party’ of the Kingdom of Heaven. God appointed judges to rule over the nation of Israel according to the heavenly ‘party line’.
When God permitted the Israelites to choose their own king, the two-party system made its debut in Israeli politics; and when the politics of the kings conflicted with the politics of heaven, the political clashes between the Israeli kings and the prophets of God became a central theme of Old Testament Scripture.
Those who argue that ‘religion and politics’ don’t mix are correct. ‘Religion’ and politics each have conflicting platforms — both are competing for the allegiance of men.
But Christianity isn’t ‘religion’ and it, in the final analysis, is all ABOUT politics, but THAT conflict is settled BY the understanding that Christians are ‘in’ but not ‘of’ the world.
A Christian’s citizenship is in heaven, and his politics are the politics of heaven. The earthly powers that be are ordained of God, but the effect of the earthly powers also affect that part of Christianity that, for now, at least, is ‘in’ the world. Are you following me?
For the Christian, earthly politics are important because God ordained them to His purpose, and His purpose is that ‘all should be saved and come to repentance’. So He provided us with an outline of the politics of the last days as evidence for the Church that the time to choose is drawing short. And so, too, is our time to present that choice to the lost.
When we examine politics, it is in relation to the outline Scripture describes of the political beast of Revelation. Revelation’s outline of the system of the political beast can be summarized as follows.
He will arise at a time of global political turmoil, coming to power by introducing a political settlement to the conflict over Jerusalem. (Jerusalem is the hottest political potato in the world today. Settle that, and one eliminates the root cause for the war on terror.) He will unite the world under a single political banner.
His settlement with Israel is based in political deception, and Daniel says that deception will be revealed as a false peace three and a half years after its inception.
Daniel says his power is in deception, and it is through a deceptive ‘peace that he will destroy many.’ (“And through his POLICY (politics) also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many:” – Daniel 8:25)
Without understanding how global politics is creating the perfect environment for his government to flourish, we have no real way to gauge the Biblical timeline.
It is our mission at the Omega Letter, not so much to be an advocate for a particular political party or to advocate a particular political platform, but rather to expose the increasingly acceptable politics of deception and the successes it enjoys among the willingly deceived of both parties.
Those on the left are more than happy to be deceived into accepting the premise that George Bush is a liar and deceiver who stole the Oval Office for the express purpose of settling old family scores with Saddam and enriching himself and his friends.
It isn’t that they don’t know that Bush is already as rich as he’ll ever need to be. Or that being a former president is as powerful as any person can ever hope to get. As for settling an old family score, I can’t account for how anyone above the age of eleven can repeat that one without laughing.
They aren’t deceived, they are willfully ignorant.
Those on the right are more than happy to be deceived into the premise that George Bush is an evangelical Christian who shares their doctrine and intends to govern accordingly. That George Bush is saved, I accept without question. That George Bush shares my doctrinal worldview is clearly untrue.
Indeed, George Bush, as a Methodist, holds to the doctrine of ‘replacement theology’ — a Protestant doctrine that holds that God’s covenant with Israel is null and void and that its blessings were transferred to the Church.
Replacement theology dictates that God was finished with Israel at the Crucifixion and that modern Israel plays no role in God’s future plans. I must admit that I believe replacement theology is the root and branch of Christian anti-Semitism and as such, is something I view as a particularly repugnant heresy.
It is self-delusion to expect George Bush to govern according to his understanding of Scripture, and I pray with all my heart that he doesn’t, although his recent comments about Israel returning to its 1948 borders gives me fear that he just might.
Our role at the Omega Letter is not be an advocate for a political party or a political worldview, but to examine those that are out there to see how and where they fit with Bible prophecy for the last days. To return to the road map analogy, in order to know how far you’ve come on your journey, you have to know where you are now.
In America, there are two prevailing political worldviews competing for power. One is built completely on lies and innuendo, and dedicated to seizing power at any cost, including damaging the security of the United States — that portion of the world that I find myself ‘in’, if not ‘of’ — spiritually speaking.
Its platform includes denying me the opportunity to freely express my relationship with Christ, worship in public places, deny me the right to educate my children as I see fit, using my tax money to fund the murder of innocents, and supports subordinating the United States to an unelected global power like the UN.
The other platform opposes those same issues, although it does embrace some pretty bizarre political agendas, like opening our borders with Mexico, granting special status to illegal aliens and embracing Islam as a ‘religion’ of peace.
When we compare the various political worldviews, we can document and gauge the prevailing winds of prophecy. How successful would the antichrist’s platform be in the United States? Today, the majority would not accept abandoning Israel. There are still too many Christians, even among our government, that would oppose such a policy for the antichrist to be able to pull off a smooth transition to power.
How successful would the antichrist be in convincing America it would be better off under a global dictatorship, however benevolent, to be headquartered and run from Europe? At this point, there are too many Christians, including many in power, who would recognize him from Bible prophecy.
How successful would the antichrist be in convincing America that the only way to survive economically was to submit to an economic mark that also required them to worship him as a god? There are far too many Christians in America for him to be able to pull it off without war.
And how successful would any country, including Europe, ever hope to be in imposing such values by force against a nuclear-armed America?
But we know from the poll numbers that, while the majority of Americans would oppose it today, there are a significant minority who would welcome the same political plan with open arms. John Kerry won 55 million votes on a promise to subordinate US military forces to the UN. The Left is overflowing with politicians demanding we withdraw support from Israel and withdraw from Iraq to appease the terrorists.
There is little reason to think they would oppose economic integration with a global entity that promised economic prosperity — it is not much of a step from worshipping wealth to worshipping the perceived author of that wealth. (Witness the heavy sighs of longing for a return to the ‘Clinton Prosperity Years’).
Remove the political obstacle represented by the majority populations of the Red States and what remains? The rulers of America would be John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.
Now, along comes some charismatic politician from Europe, who offers financial stability, free health care for the poor, higher minimum wages, military protection, safety from the terrorists, religion without accountability as a path to political power, a solution to Middle East peace, and voting status in a democratically elected global government.
Our examination of politics in relation to Bible prophecy takes on a new relevance, does it not? The only thing withholding the appearance of the antichrist is the United States. The Bible says that during the Tribulation Period, there are four spheres of world power, not five.
Remove the Red States, and Blue State America’s Kerrys, Pelosis, Kennedys and Clintons would line up to embrace the utopian vision of global government the Bible says the antichrist will offer.
“And NOW ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth ALREADY work: only He who now letteth will let, until He be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming:” (2nd Thessalonians 2:6-8)
But first, He must be taken away. “And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you FOREVER; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be IN you.” (John 14:16-17)
Note Jesus’ Promise carefully. The Comforter, the Holy Spirit, ‘dwelleth with you, and shall be IN you’ and note also that Jesus promised that He will abide with you FOREVER’. No matter how carefully one parses that promise, there are two points that are beyond dispute. The Holy Spirit INDWELLS me, and Jesus promised He would indwell me FOREVER.
But Paul says He will be ‘taken out of the way’ and only AFTER that has taken place, ‘shall that Wicked be revealed’. That ‘that Wicked’ is the antichrist is self-evident, both because that ‘Wicked’ is used as a proper noun, describing an individual, and that his ultimate destiny is his destruction by Jesus at His coming at Armageddon.
So, added together, we find a political situation tailor made for the coming of antichrist, that, with the removal of the Red State obstacle, would pave the way for America to become part of the antichrist’s sphere of global influence, explaining the absence of a fifth global power during the Tribulation.
We know that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is what withholds the antichrist’s revelation, and that His ministry will be ‘taken out of the way.’
We know that Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit will indwell the Church FOREVER, and that if He is taken out of the way to allow unrestrained evil, and if His indwelling presence in me restrains evil, then there can be only one possible way for Jesus to keep His promise.
At some point, BEFORE that Wicked can be revealed, “the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1st Thessalonians 4:17-18)
And other explanation has the Holy Spirit withdrawing His indwelling Spirit from me, uniquely among all the saints who have gone before, and leaving me, comfortless, to face the greatest time of trial and judgment ever to befall the earth, all alone.
Which, if true, makes a mockery of the very next verse.
“Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1st Thessalonians 4:18)
A Personal Note to the OL Family:
The mid-summer season is usually, and understandably, our leanest period financially. People go on vacation, are husbanding their resources to get ready for the next school season, etc., etc.
We have come to expect it, but this summer, the timing is particularly painful.
We find we haven’t the in-house resources to do as much to help Wylie Porterfield s family in their time of need as we would like to.
Wylie died with no insurance. Literally. None. A double-bypass some years back forced him to cash in what life insurance he had to meet his bills, and after having had double by-pass surgery, he was unable to obtain more.
Fate left the Porterfield family with two old broken-down cars, an uninsured mortgage, a host of unpaid medical bills, and a future that couldn’t look more bleak.
(Believe me, their situation is worse than it sounds. Recea had to borrow the money to pay for Wylie’s burial expenses.)
We will do what we can, personally, but we could use whatever help you can provide. If the Lord has spoken to you, if He has granted you an increase, and if you feel led to help a widow that has run out of options, won’t you pray about it?
Paypal has an option where you can include an optional email message with your gift. Just mark it ‘for the Porterfields’.
Those of you using 2Check can select the option ‘Order a Gift Subscription for a Friend’ and enter ‘email@example.com as the friend and we will forward your gift on to Wylie’s family.
Please forgive me for making a plea for money — the Lord knows who can afford what and we are trusting in Him to lead those who can to help as they are able. I am merely making you aware of the need.
God is equally aware of who cannot afford to help out and I trust and pray that He will not put a greater burden on any than they are able to bear.
But for those of us who can, let me leave you with the verse the Lord has laid heavily on my heart and I’ll leave it to the Lord to see what it says to you.
“If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed.”(1st Timothy 5:16)