And neither did Jesus…..but we want to think he did. Our fascination with expecting God to be on our side, as if we have the right perspective on everything from the bible to biblical history, is really dangerous. I have mentioned before that there is no Satan as a created being that roams the underworld in search of ways to get us to think bad things, ruin our “walk with the Lord”, or keep us from being fruitful for God. “The Satan”, being a title not a name, is a construct of humanity…to blame something for the things that we willfully do to others but want to. All those “satanic” things done out there were done by people, nature, or the combination of both. The choices we make and the lies we believe can be the satanic. Through that, we are the satanic in the lives of others and in our own life. If this is realized, it puts a whole new weight on what we say, do, and choose every second of the day. We have no one to blame but ourselves (I do understand that early influence plays a huge part on this) for the satanic mechanism that is at work in every aspect of our lives…..from the way we treat our kids to the words spewed by pastors on sunday morning to how we view others around us. We draw the line in the sand and declare anyone not on our side (because we somehow believe God is on our side of the line…always) to be against God or on the side of the devil. All the while, our very action against those people is the Satanic Mechanism at work. We participate in it and think we are standing for God’s principles. However, we have become the accuser and we use the bible to justify it. Jesus came to overcome this religious thinking. To enter into the Kingdom of God is to leave behind this vicious religious thinking….to see a greater way that is seen demonstrated in Jesus. So when we say God divinely interceded for Trump to become President of the United States to defeat the evil Hillary Clinton, we join in on the Satanic Mechanism of drawing the line in the sand and accusing those on the other side of our line. All the while, we don’t see that God has no part of our lines or accusations. And without a doubt, God has no part in Trumps accusations either.
I have been forced to deal with an interesting question…”How much control does God actually have?” It’s a great question to ask ourselves. Why? Because maybe we give to much credit or put to much responsibility on God’s shoulders for the things in our lives. We are all guilty of wanting God to fix everything for us or asking God why everything is not going right. Or we thank God when everything is good and we blame God when things are not going our way at all. I’ve heard people say, “God I have tithed my whole life. Why did I lose my job or lose my house”? Maybe we have been asking the wrong questions. Maybe we have had the wrong mindset all along. Maybe God doesn’t have the control we think he has. Maybe we made up the idea that God is in control of everything.
What spurred on this conversation for me was reading an article called God Punished David by Killing a Baby and Forcing his Wives into Adultery, that questioned why God would use the death of David’s son and the unfaithfulness of his wives to punish David for the Bathsheba debacle. Read it. You don’t have to agree with it (I don’t agree with his conclusion that God is evil) but at least think about the real questions that come out of it. Does God use evil to punish people? If God is Love, then why would he call for the death of anyone? Does God actually have that much control? Be free to ask questions. If you are in a religious setting where you can’t ask questions freely…then you may be in a cult that is controlling your life. Jesus is different.
Do we believe that satan is a little devil lurking in the shadows trying to temp us? Or is the Satanic something that is much worse? Read this article to start asking your own questions on the satanic….maybe its us?
In this article, “Which Neighbor Should Evangelicals Love?“, you can clearly see the satanic mechanism at work in the preservationist mentality of Franklin Graham and a big portion of the Evangelical community. We must start to see that we are not battling a literal created being named Satan, but the satanic principles that are capable of coming out of each and everyone of us, even those who cast out demons, prophecy, and perform miracles in Jesus name (Matt 7:22-24). When we draw a line in the sand and define the “enemy other”, as if God is on our side and not theirs, we have very clearly become the satan ourselves. All the while, we can stand behind a pulpit and say the name of Jesus….yet the satanic mechanism is deeply at work. Just think about it…do we live in fear of death? Or do we live in the Spirit of Jesus Christ, who loved his enemies and gives life?
We are in interesting times here in Christianity. There are more and more people starting to wonder if what they have been doing on Sunday mornings (along with Sunday nights, Wednesday nights, and youth nights) is really the point or pinnacle of their walk with God. The lack of relationship and community with others has stirred discontent among many. Along with several reasons, one aspect of why more people are starting to question the traditional organized church is they see that it is just like a worldly business. You know…CEO’s, board members, employees, salaries, retirement funds, vacation time, and so on. So the question is….should churches be run like business’s? I will tell you, that is the million dollar question because evangelicals will respond with….”how else is there to run a church?” Being so ingrained with the American Dream and pastorpreneurs that need to succeed because of “denominational seed money“, we can see why this is attractive. Not to mention that most people see prosperity as “favor” from God (of course the opposite is considered a curse), so whatever model, usually meaning a business, an organized church can use to look prosperous will usually be used to appear as “favor”. With most evangelicals these days being taught that building wealth brings financial peace then I can see why religious leaders want to run their organized churches as business’s and make a profit that can be used to expand the empire. But the real question is…”is this American approach to religion anywhere near the heart of the Father?” ……I would say no. Continue reading “It’s A Business….right?”