Monday, March 20, 2017

Here we go again ...

It has always puzzled me how and why President Trump, who has never pretended to embrace the basic doctrines of the historic Christian faith, could receive so much support from evangelical Christians. An article I read today shed light on that phenomenon, focusing on one fast-growing group.

Writing in “The Conversation,” Brad Christerson, a professor of sociology at Biola University; and Richard Flory, of the University of Southern California, identified a group to which they referred in their book “The Rise of Network Christianity” as “Independent Network Charismatic,” which focuses not on building churches but “in spreading beliefs and practices” and that has close ties to conservative U.S. politicians, including Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry and more recently the president.

The article says that INC leaders have identified "seven mountains of culture" to be surmounted that would include business, government, media, arts and entertainment, education, family and religion. “In this form of ‘trickle-down Christianity,’ ” the article says, “they believe if Christians rise to the top of all seven 'mountains,’ society will be completely transformed.” It sounds good and wonderful for those who subscribe to the “culture wars.”

Don’t be fooled in the least, however, because it actually represents nothing more that just another demonic deception. If that sounds arrogant, consider the devil’s only real goal — to keep people from knowing and recognizing Jesus as LORD, and he will misuse even “Biblical principles” to do it.

Yes, I chose the term “misuse” carefully and deliberately. If you have the “principles” and the resultant cultural power, what do you need God for? You’ll have to excuse me if this appears to be the 1980s redux, complete with organizations that answer to no one — not even to God.

It seems that people just don’t learn from their mistakes. The kind of revival such groups and their supporters want is possible only through local churches and comes from the bottom up, not through major campaigns from para-church groups that try to impose an ideological agenda from the top down. What we’re seeing here is yet another attempt to impose Christian values on society without the bother of spiritual warfare — which, of course, is hard and doesn’t get the quick results folks want because they don’t want to address the transformation of hearts. (That, of course, would include their own in the process.)

Moreover — and here’s the dangerous point — those Christians willing to do things “the old-fashioned way” and not go along with this movement, let alone speak out against it, will have their faith questioned. We know this because that’s happened in the past.

This appears to be yet another occasion for Jesus to say at the final judgment, “I never knew you.” I don’t see INC as having sanction from the Holy Spirit and, as such, failure is guaranteed.

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