October 17, 2017

I Can’t Say What I Want to Say About the 40/40 Prayer Emphasis….but You Can

LINK: Read Matt Davis’s take on the 40/40.

Resource: IM lurker Pastor Scott sends along Greg Boyd’s sermon/prayer guide for a current emphasis in his church called “The Great Reversal: The Upside Down Kingdom of God.” Woodland Hills Church media for the series will be here starting Oct. 5.

UPDATE: Read IMB Missionary in the comment threads.

I can’t blog what I want to blog on this post. Wouldn’t be prudent, as George H. W. Bush often said.

I’ve just spent the last 30 minutes looking through this Prayer Guide promoting the current big emphasis in the Southern Baptist Convention, The “40/40” Prayer emphasis.

The 40/40 Emphasis is for “Personal Revival and National Renewal.” It’s as big a focus on the culture war as I’ve seen in the SBC, straight up.

Reading this promotional piece, I learned a lot about where the Southern Baptist Convention is right now, and where its leadership wants to go in the future. I learned a lot about my denomination, and what it wants to emphasize and teach as election time approaches.

And there’s a lot I want to say. But I can’t. A lot. It’s very hard not to write the post I want to write, but I have to be realistic.

But you can. If you are a Southern Baptist, layperson or minister, download this pdf. Look through it in detail. Get the feel for what it’s telling us about the church, the Gospel, the relation of church and state, the SBC and the culture war…..there’s a lot to keep you busy.

If you have some thoughts, use the comments here and share them. If you have a blog, take it there and I’ll link it here, up top, and drive you some traffic. If you are an SBC employee, use an alias and share your feelings.

I can’t blog about this one, but you can.

Comments

  1. thanks but no thanks. i’ll be sticking with the book of common prayer for my prayer guide.

    so tell me again why baptists are so hard on catholics and more liturgical churches for doing 40 days of lent in preparation for easter, but there is no qualms with 40 days in preparation for the presidential election?

  2. Welcome to the great American Theocracy!

    I was looking for a reference to 1 Timothy 2:1-2

    1I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— 2for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

    As I understand this verse, the Christians were living under a godless Roman Empire, and their response was to ask God to have the authorities leave them alone.

    Or how about 1 Peter 2:

    “13 Submit to every human institution
    because of the Lord, whether to the
    Emperor as the supreme authority”

    I found the verses in the PDF, but the surrounding commentary was all about how to manipulate the election process. How to put your leaders into position of power.

    These verses look so very different to what is being proposed in this document doesn’t it.

    Now you may know that we are also having an election up in Canada. I think it is worth comparing how the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada is helping Christians have an informed vote. I wrote about it a couple of days ago in Election issues from an evangelical perspective. I think the difference in tone is quite striking.

  3. John Brunson says:

    Can I ask a really stupid question? Why aren’t you allowed to comment??

  4. Scott Miller says:

    I like the final three hour countdown. It’s D-Day! (or E-Day).
    The Apocalyptic tone is amazing. The “civil religion” is assumed. And the underlting message about praying against standard persecution seems genuinely surprised that we have any at all! The only reason that the world is against us and we haven’t ushered in the new Christian age is obviously because Christians aren’t praying.

  5. I read through the first 6 days of prayer for personal revival. I liked day 6 alot:
    “Revival begins when Christians repent of their sin and embrace holiness.” What about embracing Jesus?!? I saw no direct, clear references to the person or work of Jesus in those 6 days of personal revival.

  6. My, my, my….my heart is truly heavy after reading the 40/40 guide. My mind wants to yell to its author, “You self-righteous hypocrit…be honest. Just come straight out and say, “Don’t vote democrat or you’ll go to hell for killing babies and promoting homosexuality.” But my heart says, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”

  7. “Enforced uniformity confounds civil and religious liberty and denies the principles of Christianity and civility.” (Roger Williams)

  8. It makes me very tired. I guess everyone has their own take on dominionism. Ours just looks crazier than yours.

  9. An IMB Missionary says:

    Michael,
    Thanks for the questions and directing us to this prayer guide.

    First, I hope this doesn’t turn into a rant by non-Baptists about Baptists. Hopefully before commenting, people will heed Michael’s request to keep SBC members and leadership as the main entries in this discussion.

    Second, I’m going to “live comment” through the prayer guide. I’m going to attempt to do this separated from all of my biases against Land and the ERLC, biases for/against certain other members of leadership, etc. So here we go:

    1. Why is the Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission in charge of making a prayer guide? Is this really about prayer or is about getting the SBC out to vote?

    2. I like the introduction page. It’s not your typical Baptist commit to prayer page, but actually asks for confession, focus, commitment and meditation. That’s good.

    3. I’ve had seven semesters of Hebrew, and many, many Old Testament classes. Therefore, to read 2nd Chronicles 7:14 as applied to America as “the land” and the SBC as “my people” makes me sick at my stomach. This blatant misuse of this particular Scripture is so common in all denominations, but its still rather sickening and disrespectful to God and his word.

    4. I’m glad the schedule works from inner revival to outer revival, but I’m somewhat disheartened that there is only one week of personal revival, two weeks of church revival (including leadership), two weeks of national revival (which does get political at the end), and then two weeks of purely political prayer. IMO, the personal focus should be much longer, and so should the church focus…revival must begin with us, or are we so arrogant as to think that one week of prayer will cut it in regards to personal change? Why must the 40 hour vigil be done directly prior to the election?

    5. The individual prayer guides aren’t as political as I expected them to be based on who put together the guide and the focus early on. My primary gripe is that whoever chose the verses clearly chose them with a concordance and without much understanding of the biblical context. Many are terribly out of context to the point of humor at points. It always amazes me when someone quotes a verse about God’s mighty acts or the awesome thing he is about to do and don’t realize the context is talking about how he is about to judge the nation, haha. But this is pretty common in most American devotional literature regardless of denomination.

    6. It’s very individualistic isn’t it? The individual prays for the church, but their isn’t much talk of the church as a whole asking for forgiveness, or the church as a whole seeking God’s direction in changing within its walls. And where is the prayer for the world? Why are we just praying for leaders to make decisions and not praying about the “biblical issues” that the prayer guide talks about?

    In the end, I’m glad that Richard Land and the ERLC do not represent the SBC as a whole (although they often do to the outside world since they get the press coverage). I would give anything for three weeks with their leadership. I would take them first to some of the SBC missionaries in Western Europe or Canada and show them what happens when the evangelical church is out of touch with society and doesn’t meet people holistically. Whenever I lived in Calgary I met people who had grandparents who were deacons and pastors, yet they personally didn’t have a clue who Jesus was…its coming (and already here) in much of America if the church doesn’t get a clue and start reaching people with Jesus’ message in new, fresh, holistic ways. The second week would be spent with the ministries that our organization has going on in southern Sudan. It’s not just about “sharing our faith” and the ERLC needs to realize that…it’s about living it out among the least of these. Finally, I would bring them here to China and let them see what God is doing in both the house churches and the government churches. Maybe they would get an idea that the way God works in the world isn’t only how he worked in the south during the 1950s. I would give them no opportunity to talk or preach at these churches, but give them lots of people to listen to…I think it would be revolutionary for the leadership of that commission and they would be forced to re-evaluate much of what they do. To be honest, I’d give anything to bring most of the people in our churches nationwide on this tour, because it would be good for the convention as a whole.

  10. Southern Baptists are down with the underground. Peace out.

  11. I think he has a flawed hermeneutic.

    It is wrongheaded, in my opinion, to take 2 Chronicles 7:13-14 and apply [what was originally spoken to Israel about them and their land] that to Americans and their land without New Testament revelation pointing one in that direction.

    When, in his article “The State of the Culture”, he says “God will not bless a nation in which those who claim to be ‘born-again Christians’ do not live Christlike lives. God will not bless families who take their vows casually. God will not bless churches that fail in their responsibility to stand for biblical holy matrimony. God’s blessings upon our nation will be in direct proportion to the percentage of the population who are living lives that are pleasing to God” he comes across to me as having a hard-core Old Covenant outlook on America.

    In the Old Covenant it was a “IF you obey, THEN you will be blessed” system.

    But in the New Covenant Christ has obeyed and we are blessed.

    Sure blessings come as a byproduct of a believer’s obedience [to Christ], but obedience is not the basis on which one earns God’s blessing.

    The kindness of God’s blessing leads to repentance–Romans 2:4.

    And speaking of Israel, God did not wait around for Jews to live right, but sent Jesus to bless when they were living in sin–Acts 3:26.

    The message today is not “Live right and God will bless you”.

    That’s Old Covenant legality.

    Grace [Eph. 2:7]

    Benji

    P.S. By the way, I’m pro-life.

  12. It’s good to know Dr. Land is keeping us SBC’ers holy.
    If we follow his plan – get “God’s Revived People to Register to Vote” (Oct 5) – and God heals our land, will we finally get that cloud by day and pillar of fire by night?

  13. Um, wow. 40 days to revival… after skimming the table of contents… most of it is prayer for believers, for churches, for church leaders, and for the government. “Wisdom to elect the best officials?” As if revival comes through civil government? Revival shouldn’t focus on believers OR the national government!

    Why doesn’t this guide focus on God’s longing to draw people to himself? What about prayer for the poor, the widow, the downcast, the prisoner, the addicted, the hurting, and downtrodden? What about people reaching out in love to those in their communities and making a difference one life at a time? Why isn’t this the prayer focus?

    Also, in the end, we can do NOTHING to initiate revival. Only God can do that, at his choosing and by his means.

  14. I really don’t want to be cynical, or cruel, or sarcastic in responding to this, because it comes from a community that I was once a part of and that still holds meaning for me. All that to say, reading this made me sad, and I don’t know what else to think about it or say that wouldn’t lead to me getting very bitter and angry.

  15. Are they joining us in the 40 days of prayer for Life?

  16. Why does the Ethics and Riligious Liberties Commission feel the need to improve on the best prayer guide ever constructed? The B-I-B-L-E.

    While in tenth grade my daughter was asked during a (HOBY) Hugh O’Brian Regional Youth Conference, “What is the most dangerous thing in the world?” Her answer……”Honest, sincere, unadulterated………….IGNORANCE.”

    IBM

  17. WOOPS…submitted accidentally. Wanted to add..IBM Missionary…thank you for you work and most of all…your compassion for those who seeming exist below the radar.

  18. Astonished,

    You write “Why doesn’t this guide focus on God’s longing to draw people to himself? What about prayer for the poor, the widow, the downcast, the prisoner, the addicted, the hurting, and downtrodden? What about people reaching out in love to those in their communities and making a difference one life at a time? Why isn’t this the prayer focus?”

    I was looking for that too, and was quite saddened not to find it in the document.

  19. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    so tell me again why baptists are so hard on catholics and more liturgical churches for doing 40 days of lent in preparation for easter, but there is no qualms with 40 days in preparation for the presidential election?

    Because The Presidential Election is SO Much More Important than whether Christ rose from the dead, that’s why!

    Has the guy over at Onward Forward Toward (formerly Totem to Temple) heard of this one yet?

  20. Memphis Aggie says:

    It seems to be pretty ordinary stuff – you pray for your family don’t you why not pray for your country? The prayers are general banalities, neutrally phrased. From where does this aching desire to post a grievance come from? A post or two ago you’re talking abut how everyone knows … Well everyone knows Southern Baptists are political – why such an anguished outcry? It’s well past time to pull this pebble out of your shoe, forgive and move on.

  21. On day 23 one of the goals of pray is, “Raise up new entertainment personalities who promote godly values”

    OK, everybody join in!

    “Second verse, same as the first!”

  22. I haven’t been able to read more than the cover page so far, but I have to say, that I always cringe a little when I read things like:

    “…it will be extremely difficult to restore our nation’s moral foundations.”

    Are we talking about the same moral foundation that led to:
    – 200+ years of slavery
    – 100 years of legal segregation (and the accepted racism that accompanied it)
    – The slaughtering of Native Americans and the forced removal from their lands
    – A failure to believe women are capable of voting for the first 150 years of our country

    I know our moraliy is different today, but the idea that our nation had better morals in the past seems to me a rather narrow view of our history as seen from the eyes of only a few (and usually those who had power).

  23. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    If we follow his plan – get “God’s Revived People to Register to Vote” (Oct 5) – and God heals our land, will we finally get that cloud by day and pillar of fire by night? — Joe J

    And Young Earth Creationism taught in every public school — right after the altar-call prayer!

    And Praise & Worship (TM) taking over EVERY rock-music station!

    And steaming piles of fresh produce, drenched in butter!

    P.S. Took a look at the PDF. EIGHTY-FOUR PAGES?

  24. I didn’t read the whole thing. I saw some things to criticize, but I also saw some really good things to pray for.

    For example, this is from day 27:
    Ask God to…
    • Help people who disagree with each other to treat each other with respect
    • Remind community leaders to insist on high standards of public morality
    • Give judges the wisdom to rule on obscenity issues like pornography and vulgarity
    • Convict people to dress modestly in public
    • Put it in the hearts of media producers to want to produce media that promotes the public good
    • Help people engage in acts of kindness toward others
    • Restrain Satan from encouraging violence and hatred

    What is wrong with praying for those things? I want people to treat one another with respect. I want the leaders in my community not to be crooks, but to actually work for the betterment of my community. I want judges to protect children from being exploited and exposed to sewage that is passed off as “free speech.” As someone who constantly fights the battle for purity, I would love it if the women around me (including in my own church) would give me a little help by not dressing in revealing clothing. And yes, I want people to be encouraged to do acts of kindness, and I want Satan restrained and violence to decrease.

    In other words, I am praying for His kingdom to come, and His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.

    I’m not advocating a Theocracy or a civil religion. But I would like William Wilberforce like Christians who work to make society better. How is it wrong to pray for that?

  25. Wow. This is just so sad. Much could be said here, and already has, but I’ll keep it to a few very brief points.

    1) There’s a lack, or denial, of memory and history. Historically, whenever the church has sought and weilded political power, the gospel has suffered.
    2) Whole swaths of the Christian life and faith as laid out in scripture are absent. What about the poor, the oppressed, the outcast, the widows, the orphans, and others on the margins of society and established religious institutions? What about the poor in spirit? Won’t they be blessed?
    3) Two words entered my mind and sounded louder and louder as I scanned the outline for the program from start to finish: wrong kingdom.

  26. Noah, no one suggested it was all bad.

  27. I know I’m again on a tangent in regard to the purpose of you post, however, the photo which you selected (and I’m sure you agree with me and you used the photo for its shoke value and statement) makes me nauseous. Praying hands wrapped in an American flag . . . puke, puke, puke and puke again!

    Yes, I love God, I think. Yes, I love this country I live in . . . but never the two should meet!

    How many 4th of July church services have I had to walk out of when the Pastor has us all stand and say the pledge to the flag (almost an oath isn’t it and to a secular institution . . . give me a break). Yeah, I can pray for my leaders . . . but what comes next, Uncle Sam nailed on a cross?

  28. Michael, could you clarify why you can’t blog about this?

  29. I’m not nearly goofy enough to think that Republicans walk on water or that everyone of them is Godly. However, how any Christian can vote for a candidate that is pro-abortion and pro-gay marriage is beyond me. But then again, I’m just an old right-wing fundy.

  30. Joe:

    Serious question.

    Do you believe it is Biblically ethical to be a two issue voter? (Really one issue if you mean nominations to the Supreme Court.)

    I ask that because the prophets in particular have a considerably larger moral issue menu than the two you mentioned.

    I could not say that I had cast an ethical vote if the only issue I considered was Supreme Court nominations, particularly given the tendency of those nominees to change once they are on the bench.

    peace

    MS

  31. iMonk – I blogged my thoughts on this at http://kcillini77.wordpress.com/2008/09/26/country-first/

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

  32. My posting above, “shoke value” of course, meant “Shock value.” That’s what I get for trying to type on a “smart phone” with my thumbs.

  33. iMonk

    I believe those are the two worst issues. Further, I didn’t and don’t say that ‘Pubs are lilly white and pure, what I do say anyone who says baby murder is ok and that anti-God legislation (pro-gay marriage) should not be in elected office. My conscience is quite comfortable with that.

  34. JOE:

    ‘THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STORY’

    The two-issue only vote has become the total focus within many churches. As you stated, “pro-choice and pro-gay marriage is the horribly negative connotation associated with the ‘democratic’ voter. The result of the narrow focus from the pulpit has convinced many church members that ‘democrat’ equals ‘evil.’ More than that, it’s caused these honest and trusting hearers of the doctrine of supposedly “family values” vs the doctrine of supposedly “evil values” …to become desperate when voting so as to vote the RIGHTEOUS man into office. This ‘righteous’ President will put Biblical values before the nation. Good, they believe will then prevail over evil. Families have become entangled in serious debate to the point of hurt feelings……..over POLITICS. I know. I recently had a three-day Gatlinburg fellowship trip with my two sisters. Both sisters are Independents who have always voted Republican on national elections. One sister possesses Christian maturity and is not threatened by differing views. She has her convictions….lives those convictions…and does not attempt to influence others to her way of thinking. The other sister absorbs all the indoctrination from the pulpit and is desperate to change the whole world to her view so she, personally, will not be held accountable by God for abortion and gay marriage. During our trip….the second sister continually brought up politics and that the Christian is to ‘hate’ evil. Since I am a democrat..she sees me as ‘pro-abortion and pro-gay marriage.’ Because of the deliberate ‘rhetoric’ of the republican party, she cannot hear me when I say, ‘I, too, am pro-life. I, too, want marriage between a man and a woman because gay marriage robs, steals, and cheats those involved. And the Word does say homosexuality is ‘an abomination before God.’ I believe homosexuality is a sin. But I’ve not totally gotten the log out of my own eye and my judgement is continually against myself. I hate the father of evil but I don’t hate the person whose sin is no smaller or larger before God….than mine. I am a democrat and many, many, many democrats are pro-life. The national democrat party platform says it is pro-choice because Roe vs Wade is the law. It does not say it is ‘pro-abortion. It says ‘pro-choice.’ God made us in his image, ‘knowing both good and evil.’ He gave us the power to choose! He leave Heaven or Hell to the individual choice of the person. I grew up as a Republican and a Baptist. Immediately out of high school, I married a democrat and Methodist. My husband was a carded union sheet-metal worker. For the first time I studied the origins, philosophies, and practices of both parties. I chose the democrat party when I saw values important to me…especially that of ‘we are our brothers keeper.’ I am pleased that part of my income goes to the social programs which help the very unfortunate…..even though there is serious abuse. The abusers of those programs will account to God as we all will for sin. I believe in unions which are only…and no more..’for the mutual benefit and support of the worker.’ Every profession has an association, council, or union for “the support and benefit of its members. Again, the political rhetoric has distorted truths…and this is a healthy tactic of both parties. More important to me in how I vote is the fact that I see government as ‘Caesar.’ Whose image is on the coin? He rules only a worldly government and merely runs the business of the nation in global capacity. He was never intended to be the spiritual leader. I am in the world but not of the world. My government is the Kingdom of God. God is my President. The prophets are my Congress. The martyrs for the Word of God are my mavericks.

    The hurtful encounter with my sister heightened when she said, I am so afraid for my grandchildren. They are influenced by what they see from public officials.” The encounter ended when I, tearfully and brokenheartedly said, “Oh ye of little faith. The battle is the Lords. Fear is not of God. Perfect love casts out fear. Our eyes are to be on character and traits of our Heavenly Father, not on the President of the united States. You will remain upset, worried, and judgemental until you learn to trust God over the President. I went down to the lobby and she immediately came down…apologized and said, I’d even vote democrat for you not to be upset with me.” We hugged and it was as though it never happened.

    But, Joe, my serious reservations with the 40/40 Prayer Guide is on page 42. My father was a long-time evangelist who before his retirement had built a successful business then later left that business to run the local hometown newspaper for 15 years. He was a genuine Christian…complete with the meekness, kindness, and mercy. He had voted Republican for years as did most of his extended family. In retirement years, he lived off savings interest and then the actual principle which dwindled quickly. He believed the Democrats were sincere concerning their attempts to better the health care and prescription drug problems for seniors. He wanted to vote Democrat but he had already begun to have his Christianity questioned by his fellow church members…..because …and only because of the two issues.

    Prayer vigils like 40/40…serve to cause division, mistrust, and even persecution of Democrat church members.

    “THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STORY” (ABORTION): Because of a federal law, a woman who chooses to do so… can abort her unborn child (and notice I said ‘child’). Roe vs Wade will be turned around from the bottom to the top…..same as with when the issue was made law. The desire of my heart is that some day, some way, an individual will successfully gain the ears of the Supreme Court on behalf of the unborn. Meanwhile, these unborn angels just go back to the heart of their God. And that is a good thing!

    “THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STORY” (GAY MARRIAGE): Because the Word of God is my Constitution and Bill of Rights, I believe homosexuality is base and ultimately “fleshly.” I believe the account given in scripture concerning the attempted rape of the Angel of Destruction by the homosexuals of Sodom. I have a long-time friend, an SBC member and retired school teacher…who lived a in-the-closet homosexual lifestyle until age 55. He came before the church, denounced the lifestyle, and turned from those situations. We talked four years afterwards. I said, “How are you?” He said, “I feel as though I’ve been cheated!?” I said, “You have been cheated. That was the point. Satan came to kill, steal, and destroy. In this case, as in most like it, my friend is incredibly talented, intelligent, and well-like. He comes from a prestigious family of educators. I am against homosexuality because it causes most who embrace the lifestyle to live with self-guilt, self-condemnation….as well as the real threat of dying prematurely with aides. But I don’t believe when God looks down….that He sees homosexuality any more “fleshly” than obesity, alcohol, drugs, gambling, or any other addiction which makes a person subservient to its practice.

    Love all you Republican…Love all you Democrats!

  35. John Brunson (25 Sep @ 9:17 p.m. and Kent Sanders (26 Sep @ 6:09 p.m.):

    I would not presume to answer for Michael, but isn’t it pretty obvious? He would like to keep his job.

    Or, as he quoted former President George Herbert Walker Bush (Old 41), “Wouldn’t be prudent.”

  36. Commenters: If you are going to write blog post length comments, then perhaps you should consider starting a blog and linking to those posts? Just an idea.

    Check out http://www.wordpress.com

  37. Carolyn,
    “Meanwhile, these unborn angels just go back to the heart of their God. And that is a good thing!”

    Oh, so it’s ok to vote for baby murderers. That makes it all beter. Thanks.

    “But I don’t believe when God looks down….that He sees homosexuality any more “fleshly” than obesity, alcohol, drugs, gambling, or any other addiction which makes a person subservient to its practice.”

    Wow, that’s an amazing analysis. I guess that’s why obesity, alcohol, blah, blah, blah, were punishible by death in the Old Testament. I mean, if one crime gets you a slap on the wrist and the other one is “Off with your head” they’re both just as bad in God’s eyes. I get it.

  38. OK. Everyone has made their point in this last exchange. End of that conversation. Take it to email if you want to continue it.

  39. Imonk,

    Sorry! I made a mistake. Opinions are a dime a dozen and everbody has one. One seldom is able to change the mind of another under any circumstance…no matter how well intended. You won’t hear from me again.

  40. Carolyn:

    I’m guessing that you might be new to the internet and to commenting at blogs.

    There’s no reason to withdraw from commenting, I assure you.

    I actively moderate my comments and no one should take my moderation as a personal request to do anything unless I personally request them to do it.

    Long comments are rarely read. Many people who write long comments would have a better audience to start a blog and link to it from comments. I’ve been blogging for almost a decade and this is good advice.

    Your opinions and comments are welcome here.

    peace

    MS

  41. Imonk: You are right. Found you about a week ago. Good blog. Thanks for your gracious response.

    peace

  42. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    I like the final three hour countdown. It’s D-Day! (or E-Day).
    The Apocalyptic tone is amazing.
    — Scott

    Don’t you know We Are Living In The End Times (TM)?

    (Though that DOES beg the question: If Christ Is Coming to beam us up tomorrow (at the latest) and It’s All Gonna Burn, why bother to take over the country and Turn It Into A Christian Nation (TM)? I know Rayford LaHaye Steele does that when he’s handed the New Heavens and New Earth at the end of Left Behind: Volume 12, but do we have to do the same as LaHaye’s author self-insert?)

    I’m not nearly goofy enough to think that Republicans walk on water or that everyone of them is Godly. — Joe Blackmon

    No, The Obama’s the One Who Walks on Water. (Have you ever HEARD Obama Fanboys? After Dubya’s been cast as The Antichrist for the past seven years of Great Tribulation, now Obama’s cast as The Coming Christ to Save Us All. It’s Left Behind for Brights (TM).)

    However, how any Christian can vote for a candidate that is pro-abortion and pro-gay marriage is beyond me. — Joe Blackmon

    IMonk, was it you or some other blogger that claimed the Gospel being preached from today’s pulpits has been reduced to nothing more than “We Denounce Abortion, Homosexuality, and Evolution”? How did those become the Words of Eternal Life?

  43. Feels like the eighties all over again–good Christians misusing good Scripture with good intentions for the “good of the country.” But it’s bad for the gospel, bad for the church, and bad for the kingdom of God. Can’t add a lot more, but a few thoughts:

    1. There is no NT doctrine of “revival.” It is a word the church made up to describe a movement of the Holy Spirit, but it has morphed into something that some misguided parts of the church believe they can create, expand, manipulate, and manage. It lays the burden of guilt on the body for not praying hard enough, or not having enough faith. It feels to me a lot like prosperity gospel and Joel Osteen wrapped in the US flag. That kind of “Revivalism” is not a good thing in my view.

    2. Even if there was such a doctrine as “revival,” shouldn’t the focus be on the Gospel? There is very little Gospel message that I can see in this 40/40 document. It’s more about church changing culture to make it better for Christians, not about church changing lives to make it better for culture. Can we go back to the church renewal movement?

    3. I lose all respect for any educated Christian who applies 2 Chronicles 7:13-14 as some kind of divine promise for America. It’s misusing Scripture to promote a denominational program. It makes me angry, but I suppose they would just say I’m in need of their revival. Sigh.

  44. clay of CO >> “…its more about church changing lives to make it better for culture

    AMEN…enjoyed your comment.