Artwork: Gustave Doré, Final Judgment
Recently, I have come to believe that the difference between a Christian pacifist and an activist is found, at root, in the titled question.
Now, this post has emerged from more than one conversation with dear friends as well as my own personal experience. Based on such, I understand the debate to go a little something like this:
If THIS (whatever THIS happens to be at the moment: a virus, a war, a decapitated economy, etc…) is God’s judgment, how then can we justify fighting against God? The only proper recourse to God’s judgment — truly — is repentance. Is it not? This view also holds that indeed wicked leadership may be used to accomplish God’s purpose of judgment.
But if THIS (whatever THIS happens to be at the moment: endless civil divisions, unhindered and applauded immorality under the guise of virtue, the political choking of a nation, etc…) is simply the result of wicked and godless leadership, should we not fight? Is there any time we ought to stop fighting for Godly just and right laws and leadership — regardless of what our nation, what all the nations, deserve?
Both ideas have their Biblical placeholders, and I have observed the course of our world for most of my life in the perspective of the first: Our nation under God’s judgment. Today, I’d like to present an argument challenging that view, however, as it was shared to me by a friend.
Acts of Fallen Humans or Acts of God?
In defense of the second view, we can say that God allows some events to happen that He does not originate. This also can be substantiated from scripture. Many, however, respond to such a statement with the belief that God allows Satan to do harm and evil to humanity and ascribe this permission as God’s retribution or judgment against man’s sin and rebellion.
Let’s examine the case of Job.
God placed a hedge of protection around Job and blessed the works of his hands (Job 1:10). God protected him from the accuser, who is Satan, and it was when that protection was removed that suffering and death came upon Job, his family, and even his servants — not from God but from the evil one.
Now, consider how Job is deceived: He believes it is God who has afflicted him.
(Really, I feel I could put a giant SELAH there and the point would be well made!)
God, while conversing with Satan (Job 1:8), calls Job a blameless and upright man who fears God and shuns evil. It is safe to say that Job was born into sin along with all of humanity — right? “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). So, at some point, Job has a conversion from unbelief into belief and becomes a target of destructive hate from Satan and his evil agents.
Let’s recap the threads of this story:
We have a blameless and righteous individual, Job;
We have Satan, an accuser and revengeful enemy and destroyer of God’s people;
We have a holy and sovereign God who protects Job’s life but permits a time of severe testing of Job’s faith and loyalty;
And we see Job deceived as to the source of his affliction.
Though we cannot make a perfect parallel here, it may be worth considering our present circumstances in light of Job’s own story.
While we cannot call America blameless nor righteous, it is true that, to some degree, she was founded upon godly principles as a nation. Many who began here were God-fearing men and women seeking to escape persecution elsewhere. So, while the parallel is not perfect, let’s consider the beginning principles of our nation as we seek to uncover our own potential deceptions as well.
Satan remains the accuser and destroyer;
God remains sovereign, perfect in justice, and is the Defender of His own.
Now, we must ask whether we are deceived as to the source of our own afflictions. Is our nation’s present circumstances mere happenstance? Judgment directly from God? Or the battlefield of the destroyer, Satan — who comes to steal, kill, and destroy?
Many sincere Christians believe that we are now living under God’s direct judgment, and that is hard to argue against when considering all of the corruption and evil that has permeated every sector of our society. It would seem to the listening ear and the watching eye that we may have reached the level of Sodom and Gomorrah. Since we don’t have a truth-telling media and since it is biased against Christians, we have to go further behind the scenes to capture a measure of truth…
Is It What It Is?
What percentage of our society are really LGBTQ? The news and entertainment media present these individuals as though they are dominating our society — but are they? Do their numbers even qualify as a minority? Certainly, not all of society is in harmony with the mindset of the LGBTQ community — even when tolerant.
To quote a Biblical picture: Not all have bowed the knee to Baal, as God said to Elijah in I Kings 19:18: “I have kept 7,000 men who have not bowed their knee to Baal.”
Paul repeats this verse in Romans 11:4 and follows in the same spirit in verse 5, saying, “In the same way, then, there has also come to be at this present time, a remnant, chosen by grace.”
In short order, things simply aren’t always as they seem to be…
According to statistics, just 3% of the population control liberal leadership positions. Thirty percent of the population in our country are Christian. If true, and if these are genuine Christians, then we have a 10:1 ratio of those who have not bowed to Baal. Does that seem a situation where the Lord of Heaven would find cause to personally destroy America or permit her to be destroyed by Satan?
Perhaps… I realize my opinion doesn’t count for much unless it can be substantiated with scripture and spiritually discerned. There is more than one variable hidden within those first few paragraphs. I only mean to point out that the media is using a megaphone at close range while many of us tip-toe in whispers feeling deafened and defeated…
Israel was allowed to experience tremendous hardship and, at times, the Lord empowered Israel’s enemies to defeat her. This was the Lord’s attempt to bring His people back to the reality of their need for Him in all areas of their lives. We might refer to these times of hardship as probationary periods or the testing of their trust and loyalty to God.
So, back to America — Are we in a period of probation and testing? Does the duration and severity of hardship push people to the place where they only see the hope of deliverance by God Almighty? And at what point do they cry out for help?
Is it time to repent or fight?
Or is it time to repent and fight?
The State of the Chatter Address
America faces real enemies. Our world is at war with itself. On the one hand, our nation is scorned for its meddling and superpower-hungriness. On the other hand, we consume more than any other nation and, thus, line the pockets of every other nation — as seen in the major development of the up-and-coming countries. Truly, to destroy America will be to shoot every other nation in the foot, as the saying goes…
There are entire empires of media built around the proclamation that we are in the ‘last days’ — God’s final judgment has come upon all of mankind. With one vision, prophecy, and news reel after another, they claim Christ’s hand here or there and coming soon to a rapture near you…
Don’t fight it. Just relax and smile. Jesus is coming! Get right with God!
There are also empires of media built around the proclamation of revival in the land. Many who claim to be prophets are saying that God is not done with America and that He will yet fight for us if we will help out a bit. Perhaps, the train wreck of events can be put at a standstill and reversed. Most in this mindset do not preach only repentance but also call for the Christian invasion of every political arena:
Don’t just stand there! Do something!
For sure change is coming, one way or another. Pacifist, warrior, SAHM, or prophet, we each play a part in that change.
For certain we have an enemy who wants us dead — spiritually and physically (many).
Does America stand in the way of a global government and agenda? I think so… But for how long?
One of the interesting things a friend pointed out to me recently about God’s judgment, Biblically, is that before God destroys, He warns:
Also, when it was time for judgment, God often worked supernaturally — as in the case with Sodom and Gomorrah (and Egypt). Fire from heaven isn’t the working of man — just so we’re clear.
(On the other hand, with geo-engineering, rockets, bio-weapons, sonic weapons, nano-weapons, and technology, even what once could only be explained as an ‘act of God’ has now been thrown into questionable light: Was that terrible storm God’s heavy hand or the result of cloud-seeding and mad scientists?)
I think it is pertinent to ask: Has God warned us of impending judgment? (I would say yes, despite my uncertainty that THIS is it…) Do we only have past prophetic written accounts in the scripture as warnings or are present words being spoken by prophetic voices? Or both? Are we in for the final gasp judgment in our day or is this just another passing blip on the historical radar?
Some pray for discernment while others look for signs and events to draw conclusions. Some look for signs of the power of God, signs that He is at work…
In Matthew 24:3, the Disciples ask Jesus, “What will be the sign of your coming and the end of the age?”
Jesus’ first words back to them? — “Take heed that no one deceives you.”
Has anyone recently claimed to be Christ? — You might ask.
Do many claim to speak for and in Christ’s name today? — I might counter.
“For Jews request a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified; to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Gentiles, foolishness. But to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”1 Corinthians 1:22-25
It is one thing to fight against an enemy that is visible and a whole other thing to be muted, sidelined, and destroyed by an invisible agent. One is war, the other cruel deception. Much of the chaos happening in our nation today has all of the earmarks of a planned, evil, and somewhat esoteric plot to terrorize and demoralize and subdue the people and destroy the economy (and, subsequently, the economies of the world). Who exactly is pulling the strings — well, that’s a guess and an opinion everyone carries, though the World Economic Forum speaks plainly for itself.
Whether one decides to protest, join a convoy, send aid to foreign countries, join the military, become a philanthropist, or just watch and pray: I believe in freedom insofar as God’s sovereignty and His Word does not restrict it. And I very much believe with Solomon that there is a time for all things — including war. Indeed, that is the very thing Jesus returns to take care of, isn’t it? — A great war?
Nonetheless, I very much agree with my husband and other friends who echo the sentiment that our primary necessity is to be right with God, to be sure our own calling in Christ is secure. (There are several proofs; I highly recommend studying it out in the Bible.) I believe this because remembering to look after our own spiritual house first puts the rest into better focus.
In other words, when my own soul is at peace, whether today is the last day and I am gloriously raptured within dancing skies or China and Russia join forces, trample America, reset the map, and enslave us, or the WEF gets their way, establishes globalism and a darling anti-Christ figure and the ‘last days’ truly get under way, or I die of some unheard of disease tomorrow — It’s all superficial really if I am found in Christ.
Believing that God’s judgment was upon our nation made me act passively so far as it regards our nation’s concerns. Reconsidering whether I was right about the times has caused me to see the things happening in our nation in a whole different context.
Which is right? (I very much doubt that I have laid the debate to rest here, but.) Well, I suppose that’s a bit like the question of salvation itself:
I guess we’ll know when we see who has endured until the end.
In the meantime, follow the cause of Christ, remember that the weapons of our warfare as it regards spiritual forces (our truest enemy) are not guns and daggar-laced mouths, and our battle is not against flesh and blood either… though we do indeed, like Job, face those enemies under the guise of skin and mortal affairs. Final judgment — the physical and spiritual sort — belongs to Christ.
“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be as wary as serpents, and as innocent as doves.”Matthew 10:16
(So far, The People’s Convoy’s leadership has heeded these words, by the way… Pray for them!)
I am not willing to die for my country; you won’t see a military recruit here. I’m not about that war. When I say that only Christ has my allegiance, I am dead serious about that one. Nonetheless, I do not believe in passively letting the children be trampled by men and women and confused people with wicked schemes. Love is not mutually inclusive of abuse — unless God leads you to your own literal cross.
That’s a bridge to cross another day. But before that day, I think we are amiss to just lay down and die because the government says so… There is more of cowardice than godliness in that course.
Before their time had come, Jesus and Paul many times escaped the angry mobs. I suppose they did that without even trying… ;-). Selah.
Be blessed. And thank you to my writing contributor — You know who you are. =)