The prophetic, prophetic words, and Prophets have been under the microscope lately due to recent national words prophesying a second term for Trump. A few Prophets have apologized for error. Some Prophets have spiritualized the word given making it more about some other non-political way of fulfillment removing its time and space truth to a more elusive interpretation that is difficult to affirm or deny. Still, some are holding fast to the word that we will see a second consecutive term for now former President Trump.
I cannot help but cringe at this last pronouncement. First let me say that the prophetic community within the Church is my stream – it is my church family. I love the prophetic. I will not write disparagingly of the Prophets. I know firsthand what it is like to hold on to a word from God beyond its apparent death and to still believe for a resurrection when there seems to be absolutely no way for it to come about. I applaud that sort of faith. Some words from God take many years to come about. Some prophetic words die and look impossible before they resurrect.
A Polarized Nation
But I cringe in this instance because such a reversal of what is – even if what is, is unjust or simply not desired – would rend our already tremendously polarized nation in two. Moreover, prior to the inauguration it seemed that some wanted President Trump to declare martial law and stay in office by force. It was the no holds barred mentality that utterly dismayed me as an American patriot that believes in the sanctity of our Constitution and the peaceful transfer of power. Have we come to this?
Casting Blame on Our Own Family
Recently, Beth Moore, a Baptist teacher came under fire for being critical of the uncritical, unnuanced support of President Trump. She asked that believers remember Jesus. She opined that it is all about Jesus. Now some are blaming her and “her followers” for the unfulfilled prophetic word declaring this conservative Christian sister and longtime church leader derisively “woke.” Suddenly, the unfulfilled word is the fault of other Christians who did not unify with those who believe the pronounced word. Prophetic words are often conditional, but to place that responsibility of the conditions upon another group that the first group disagrees with is uncouth. I did not agree with all the theology of Ms. Moore’s statement, but I could hear her heart and her love for the Body of Christ. Some of what she said had merit. Some needed more conversation to arrive at the fullness of what she communicated, more than a tweet can provide. But regardless she is our sister in Christ and should be treated as such.
Freedom of Thought and Speech
Can we not disagree anymore without being labeled as an outsider? I think differently than most – the more I read the more nuanced my approach to these issues become. Will I be so despised one day? Can I not have the freedom to think and speak something that may not be popular? Some of those who spoke when it was unpopular or even dangerous to do so, ended up changing the world such as Wycliff, Jon Huss, and Martin Luther. Have we lost freedom of thought again within the Church? How can we criticize Mark Zuckerberg if we can cancel culture inside the Church? This kind of criticism comes back to bite you. I uphold the freedom of these who gave Prophetic words to speak what they believe they need to speak, taking the risk of being wrong or of being misrepresented. I am not going to be condemning of them due to any disagreement I may have with their position. But I am going to say that those who disagree have just as much freedom to speak as anyone else. We all need a great deal more respect and love for each other.
How Well Are We Loving?
The world is supposed to know us by how well we love each other. I am not sure we are doing a great job of this right now. We can be free to speak and debate ideas without taking shots at each other. When I see people make error, or sometimes simply difference, the grounds for ugliness or ostracizing, I do not see Christian love. I want my ideas to be challenged so we can arrive at truth. I could be wrong. But I do not want to be treated like I do not have a seat at the table in the conversation because I said something that people did not like. I want my liberal and my conservative friends to feel free to speak without condemnation around me. Let argument drive truth to the surface rather than emotive responses. For argument to occur we must respect each other’s right to speak, whether right or wrong or somewhere in between.
Politics v. Discipleship
We have made politics the whole. We have made political power the means of reforming a nation when politics in this manner has never been the answer. We do not disciple a nation through force. We disciple it through truth. If we continue to double down on politics as the primary or only way to make our nation whole again, we will create our own undoing. It will not be the fault of secularism; it will be our fault.
In fact, our nation’s problems have never been the fault of secularism, progressivism, Marxism, liberalism, pro-choicers, LGBTQ, etc. Never. All these things flourish in our nation because Christians do not disciple our nation in truth. The philosophies of darkness are not greater than the light. They are not fought with weapons of this world (political power) they are fought with truth. It is the truth that sets a nation free.
Now more than ever before we need a Christian community that is full of the fruits of the Spirit, the gifts of the Spirit, and walks out the holiness of life lived with the Lord in all areas of life. The world needs to see our marriages shine forth as examples Christ’s relationship with the Church. They need to see our children growing up mature and unwounded. They need to see our churches as communities where people experience the love of God and are trained in the ways of God. We must disciple in all of life so that Christians live out God’s truth in all that they do.
Picking up the Baton of Discipleship
Historically, discipling a nation in biblical truth works. It works for a long time. We are still a Christian nation – even now – while becoming post-Christian because truth worked for a long time and lingered well past our ceased discipleship.
We have our work cut out for us: Work we should have been doing the last four years, the next four years, and the next four hundred. It is best that we think generations out rather than short term. Reformation takes generations, not one or two-term Presidencies. If we want to see our government healthy, we need to make our culture healthy. Politics is down stream from culture. All this endless chatter about politics and President Trump is distracting us from the real work of reformation. Work that continues no matter who is President. Work that matters in the darkest of nations to the most Christian of nations.
Have Hope for the Future
There is hope for each nation to become a discipled nation. No worldview prevents such a reformation except when the Christian worldview we have has no theology for it. If we are going to go on believing that the darkness in our nation is so great that we cannot overcome it through discipleship, then we will fulfill our own prophecy. We will have been beaten by our own worldview.
I have great hope for America. My hope does not come from a prophecy or a President, it comes from the Lord and His Word. It cannot be shaken by who is or who is not President. I will continue to hold to the truth of Scripture that demonstrates to me the power of truth to change the world around me as I bring heaven’s reality to earth wherever I go with the truth that I disciple in and the Kingdom that I walk in. I refuse to allow the circumstances of the current condition of politics to dissuade me from the path of reformation. How about you?
To reform a nation, you need to know what makes a nation truly great. Understanding America’s beginnings creates a pathway forward for all nations. From America’s first President, to the birth of capitalism, to the shaping of its institutions, Karla Perry shows the reader what makes nations flourish.