Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Prophets Dilemma

The following comes from my political blog
Is George Bush a modern day prophet? Because the story of the prophet Jonah is quoted by Jews for Yom Kipper this week, two editorial writers, Michael Oren and Mark Gerson, were inspired to editorialize in the Wall Street Journal regarding the plight of prophets.

Ordered by God to go down and call the people of Ninevah to repentance in order to escape destruction, Jonah found himself in a Catch 22. He realized if the people of Ninevah listened to him, destruction would not come. Then when nothing happened, they would be furious at him for making them give up their good times for no reason. On the other hand, if he did not go and they were destroyed, he would have to live with that. So Jonah cut and ran. Forced later to prophesy anyway to the people, everything happened like he expected. The people were angry with him.

The writers then give modern examples of Jonah’s dilemma. Churchill predicted that a rising Germany was a threat. But, if he pre-emptively attacked, would people thank him for averting World War II or accuse him of unnecessarily starting it. Truman prophesied that Japan would never surrender and that a quarter million Gis would die taking the mainland. He dropped the bombs, ending the war. Then he faced the judgement of historians who claimed it was unnecessary. God alone knows if those two made the right decisions and He is not telling us.

Which leads to George Bush. He prophesied that Islamic fascists would get weapons of mass destruction. He took the battle to them. Has that action kept the jihadists off balance for these past five years of no attacks on our homeland, or caused the problem, as some charge? Only God knows. We can never know.

The next president also has to be a prophet. Should we nuke the rogue nations before they use theirs and risk accusations of provoking Armageddon? Or, do we wait and see what happens? No wonder Jonah tried to high tail it out of town. Why does anyone want to be a leader?
Posted from the WSJ 9/21/07

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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Prayer Failed? Don't Look to the New Testament

The other day, someone reading my blog was upset about what I had written on prayer. She had lost her son and she was the type who would take what I said and blame herself for her failed prayer. Once again, I became aware of how difficult it is to teach on the prayer of faith. I asked God to help me answer her pain, but I had to admit to her that He gave me no response.

If you include Jesus commanding sicknesses away as His type of praying, none of His prayers for healing went unanswered. If you omit one prayer of Paul’s, I don’t think there are any instances of prayers in the New Testament not being answered. (As to Paul’s prayer about his thorn in the flesh, I am among those who thinks his thorn was the persecution he suffered. I know other’s think it was an illness, however his statements are ambiguous at best). Therefore, if I tried to explain a failed prayer, I would have to go outside the New Testament to make up an explanation. There are no examples to point to.

So, I fell back on a story. When I first started learning to pray for healing, God put me together with three of His experienced prophets–all itinerant mountain preachers/prophets. They invited me to their regular prayer meetings.

Shortly after beginning with them, I read an article in Charisma Magazine by the Rev. Jerry Falwell in which he was outlining reasons why sometimes God did not heal. The article irritated me and I wrote a letter in which I said the following: “Babe Ruth was known as the home run king but he was also known as the strike out king. When I pray for healing, I would rather go for a home run every time. Even if in doing so I would sometimes strike out, I still would rather go down swinging.”

Charisma published my letter, and the night it arrived was a prayer night. Arriving a little late, one of the prophets entered the room saying, “Don I had a vision about you. It was strange. I saw you in a baseball cap and God said to tell you that you would not strike out.”

With no experience of prophecy that on target, I went ballistic. I accused all three of them of conspiring together in order to sell me on prophecy and I did not think that was funny. However, in a few moments, experienced psychologist that I am, I could see total confusion written on every face.

Not one person in that room knew what I was talking about! The poor young man who had given the prophesy had never even heard of Charisma Magazine! I spent a lot of the next hour apologizing and asking for forgiveness for my false accusations. (In atonement, I later bought the prophet a year's subscription to Charisma.)

When one of the presidential candidates was asked recently if he would be willing to be a vice-president, he indignantly responded that you don’t run for president thinking about being vice-president. No, and you can’t hit for the bleachers already making up your excuses as to why you might strike out. You can’t pray the prayer of faith if you are thinking of what you will tell yourself if you fail. Like Paul, I have to be true to the heavenly vision given me.

Unfortunately, in our Christian walk we have to become grownups. If we have a failed prayer, we can not look to the New Testament for our explanation. The only thing we can do when we fail is dust ourselves off, pick up another bat and practice, practice, practice.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Christians say yes to tongues, the world's largest Christian Portal with twelve million monthly page loads, recently asked, "Is it Biblical for Christians to speak in tongues today?" ChristiaNet's president. 5,000 Christians responded to the question of using the gift of tongues in today's times and 71% said "Yes."
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Loving God with all we have

I was riding in a truck the other day. The owner had two well-behaved boxer dogs in the back seat. However, the moment the owner left the truck to buy something, I was set upon by these two giant dogs. They licked me. They nibbled me. They slobbered all over my head, shoulders and arms. One jumped in my lap, licking me in the face; the other on my back nibbling the top of my head. It was hilarious. It reminded me of the commercial in which puppies are giving all this love to a little boy and he is giggling with delight. I was doing the same. Never had I experienced such total demonstration of affection!!

I have written on this subject before of our animals’ devotion to us as model for our love for God. That experience in the truck drove the message deeper. The first commandment–Love the Lord thy God with everything in you. I could just hear the Lord saying: “Donald, I sent you these devoted creatures for you to model how I want to be loved–with everything that is in you.”

I still say, if God enjoys being loved on half as much as I did that day in the truck, I can understand why He created us.

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Sunday, September 2, 2007

Social Conservatives and Rudy

Interesting new thought on Sunday talk show regarding choices for Social Conservatives/Christian Right. Because of his success with crime in the Big City, and because of his cool headedness after 9/11, many Republicans believe that Giuliani has the best track record to protect us from our enemies. The observer said the question was whether Social Conservatives would be willing to make the trade off of their regular issues of abortion and traditional marriage on the one hand, for the struggle against the threat from a fast growing world-wide anti-Christian movement on the other hand.

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