Tag: power

Christian, What Your Continued Support Of Trump Is Screaming To The World

Perhaps it’s not your intention—that is, the true message your continued support of President Donald Trump is sending to the world. In your mind, you’ve been innocently choosing between lesser evils, seemingly caught in a no-win conundrum. Initially, your vote for Trump to become President was birthed with an underlying hope that he would shed his campaign antics and mature into a more solid presidential leader that supports your values with integrity and poise. Yet, despite consistent clear evidence to the contrary, as neither his character nor his leadership competencies have improved whatsoever, still to this day he retains your allegiance. Twittering like a middle schooler, bullying his disagreers, lying blatantly, harboring serious duplicity, and exuding strong levels of narcissism and greed still don’t seem to phase you the least. In all the ways that Trump and Jesus clearly and undeniably don’t mix, your continued loyalty is sending a deafening, disturbing, and revealing litany of messages to the world that you may not fully realize.

Whether it’s your desire or not, with every ounce of continued support you garner for this President, you are trumpeting these sure declarations to the world about you and your brand of Christian faith.

“We Seriously Lack Discernment and Spiritual Maturity”- As much as your creed declares to know and have the Spirit, perhaps you’ve somehow triggered the “turn off” valve. For either your capacity for spiritual discernment is all but nonexistent, or you’re taking every opportunity to turn a blind eye—the epitome of immaturity. From “pussy grabbing” to denying healthcare to millions. From blatantly racist comments to trash-talking his perceived enemies. From lusting after his own daughter, to having multiple failed marriages. From the temper tantrums of Spicer to the “not sucking my own cock” of Scaramucci. The undeniable ever growing list of immoral and inconsistent red flags and sounded alarms is staggering with this President, especially when compared to your corresponding silence and excuses. With every pass you grant to Trump’s ungodliness, you reek of your lack of ability to put spiritual eyes onto the President in front of you and have the maturity to confront reality. Perhaps, so seduced by a conservative right-wing Evangelical ideology, it’s as if you’re convinced that denial, rationalization, and double standards are now spiritual gifts that can be excused as necessary evils to the furthering of your mission. Whatever your conclusions may be, this is not spiritual maturity nor discernment, it’s joining forces with the darkness—the sure message your continued support of President Trump is screaming to the world.

“For Us, It May Be About Our Faith, But It’s Certainly Not About Jesus”- As innocent and benign as your intentions may be, the days are surely over when one can support President Trump and still yet claim their brand of faith is founded and centered on Jesus—period. A house divided cannot stand nor manifest spiritual integrity. With all due respect, to praise Trump and Jesus at the same time is to declare to the world your faith has little to do with Him—Jesus. Directly or indirectly as you continue to support President Trump, you join forces to nationalize conservative Evangelical Christianity, further white privilege, condemn the LGBTQIA community, turn a deaf ear to sexism and racism, belittle minorities, demonize perceived enemies, and foster xenophobia—telling the world everything they need to know. If it was ever about Jesus for your brand of Christian faith, it certainly isn’t now. For Jesus has never and would never condone such bigotry, hatred, self-centeredness, imperialism, condemnation, elitism, and discrimination—in fact, He died at the hands of such things in order to put an end to such things. Keep on lifting your hands in worship, building more buildings with crosses on top, sending missionaries across the globe, and declaring your solidarity with the Bible—the world isn’t buying it one bit, but rather hearing the sure message screaming from your continued support of President Trump, “For us, it may be about a lot of things, but it’s certainly not about Jesus.”

“Our Gospel Bottom Lines On Personal Power and Privilege”- Perhaps you are truly unaware or blinded to the moment, but while Jesus is washing feet, your continued support of President Trump intimately connects you with those licking their chops to step on them—especially if that’s what it takes to move the conservative Evangelical machine forward. With assumptions as sickening as those that equate unchristian immorality as being connected to a person’s tendencies to need healthcare, nothing is more clear than right wing religious conservatism’s desire for power and privilege. The underlying diabolical promise that your support of Trump declares is that if you think, believe, and act the way we do, you’ll be blessed above and have power over others. Don’t be fooled or live in denial, “Make America Great Again” was first born in the incubator of your faith understanding which has reduced Jesus down to a personal white republican gun-carrying Savior whose chief desire and calling upon your life is to make you great and give you a great life, no matter the expense to others. Sadly, while perhaps your gospel is great news for you and those who conform and fit the mold, it’s terrible news for all others, particularly those your brand of faith deems to be the enemy. Just ask Muslims, minorities, women, immigrants, and the LGBTQIA community. The message your continued support of President Trump is screaming to the world is that you’re completely at peace with using Jesus as the hood ornament of your conservative Evangelical world bulldozer, fueled by your ultimate desire for personal power and privilege.

“Our Brand Of Christianity Is A Scheme Not A Dream”- For let’s be honest, no dream remains a dream the moment it must take advantage, condemn, discriminate, or harm another in order to see its fruition. No matter how spiritual and noble your brand of faith postures itself, your continued support of Trump engrafts you to a political and religious scheme pimped as the American dream—eroding it all into one big nightmare. For how many people must suffer condemnation, discrimination, marginalization, and even death as a result of your brand of faith’s efforts to survive and prosper? How can denying millions of people healthcare be in concert with the dream of Jesus for their lives? How does your continued support of Trump serve to feed the hungry, heal the sick, foster true equality, uplift the downtrodden, give shelter to the homeless, love the enemy, extend mercy, bless the meek, empower the minorities, and rescue the least of these? How does your continued lifting up of Trump as a God-appointed leader inspire future generations towards the ways of Jesus? The truth is, it doesn’t, none of it—for it’s all one great big scheme. It’s always been about you, moving your faith ideology forward at all costs, but yours—that’s the message your continued support of President Trump is screaming to the world.

“We Have Become Inhumane People At Best, And We’re Basically O.K. With It”- Perhaps this is the message heard round the world the clearest. In every way you should be leading the way, you are desperately falling behind. Instead of holding up love as the highest of priorities, it’s violently thrown to the ground and deemed an accessory at best. Instead of looking for every way to live at peace, you’re always searching for an enemy to conquer—contriving them into existence when a real one can’t be found. Instead of extending the table of hospitality, tolerance, freedom, grace, and true equality, you’re insistent on building walls to protect and prosper your privilege. If it wasn’t for your ultimate benefit, prosperity, or greedy fulfillment, so much of what we as a country and people do for the world you would have ceasing to exist—for you’re always looking out for number one—you. At the end of the day, it’s all about protecting your way of living, believing, and doing, even at the expense of Jesus and your fellow human. For apparently, Trump is merely a manifestation of your true creed, character, and aspirations—what else are we all to believe when the one message we never hear is that of you renouncing him? At the end of the day your continued support of President Trump screams a clear message to all the world, “We don’t give a sh*t, call us inhumane, evil, or whatever you want, this is our faith and this is our nation—like it or leave it.”

Whether it’s your desire or not, with every moment of your continued support for this President, you’re blasting these sure declarations to the world about you and your brand of Christian faith.

Perhaps, now would be a good time to listen to the echoes—asking yourself a simple question, “who or what do I truly serve?”

Jesus and the world surely know the truth.

The questions is—for you, does it even matter?

As it stands today, your silence, excuses, and continued support of President Trump tell us all the answer—apparently not.

Grace is brave. Be brave.

Dear World, Franklin Graham Doesn’t Speak For Us, Or Jesus

I’ve had enough, and I’ve heard enough.

There is perhaps no greater evil upon all the earth than those who pillage the person and message of Jesus, and shroud their hate, arrogance, privilege, and imperialism under the guise of godliness, biblical faithfulness, purity, and the valuing of life.

Jesus understood there would be those who would exploit His truth and hustle a gospel that is in fact, no Gospel at all. In so doing, He asserted the importance of observing the fruit of a potential imposter’s beliefs in hopes of discerning and circumventing the cut of their spiritual claws.

Rev. Franklin Graham has become the mouthpiece of conservative Evangelical Christianity. With its deceptive mixed-message of “God loves you…but,” filled with traps, conditions, and controls, this increasingly aggressive movement within Christianity has had a long history of sowing seeds of poisoned fruit. Since the dawn of discrimination, conservative Evangelical Christianity has been a prominent enabler of racism. In fact, only in 1995 did its Southern Baptist denomination finally, but reluctantly, apologize to the black community for their intimate role in using the Bible to endorse racism and slavery. Conservative Evangelical Christianity is the leading incubator for the vile theology of Calvinism which portrays God as hand-picking some for heaven and joyfully discarding the rest to an eternity of tormenting hell—all founded by a man who murdered his disagreers. Christian conservatism has led the way in the discrimination of women in ministry, work, and home—even turning a blind eye to domestic and church abuse. Where once, Evangelical Christianity aggressively condemned the divorced to an eternity in hell, it cleverly came up with the word, “desertion,” to serve as a kind of biblical loophole, enabling those men left behind by the women who wised-up and “deserted’ them, to have the freedom to play another round. In fact, it was a conservative brand of Christianity that influenced Adolf Hitler towards Nazism and sat firmly in the hearts of those European settlers who raped the American Indian of their land, life, and culture for some kind of “Manifest Destiny.” Now, with a heart to spiritually and culturally exterminate those it deems to be sinning, conservative Evangelical Christianity is the dominant faith understanding behind the spread of homophobia and the false condemnation of the LGBTQ community, conveniently adding the word “homosexual” to the Bible, where it hadn’t appeared in any translation until 1945.

With the drastic uptick of good people leaving churches, thinking for themselves, questioning their indoctrination, and opening their eyes to the piles of carnage left in the wake of Christian conservatism, a perfect storm with a perfect kind of Satan has emerged. Franklin Graham has climbed up the cliffs of Evangelical Christianity’s fiery pit to lead the way in trumpeting their desperate call to war—a battle purposed on retaking that which they perceive to have lost as the world awakens to their evil.

Make no mistake, Franklin Graham and the perverted faith-understanding he represents is far from the heart of Jesus and many of us who follow Him alone. We deplore the nationalization of any faith, the discrimination of any person, the weaponizing of any Bible, and the condemnation of any soul. The disgusting Americanized version of Jesus and His Gospel that has given rise to Empire Christianity, church franchising, spiritually arrogant congregants and faith communities, and privileged, judging, and elitist followers makes us all want to vomit, right along side you. We are appalled, repulsed, and infuriated at was has become of the Jesus we adore and the Grace-centered faith that liberates us.

With all due respect to Mr. Franklin Graham, as good and spiritual as his ministry to the poor throughout the world appears and surely blesses, as much as he quotes the Bible and exclusively claims to possess and know its every truth, as much as his father was a beacon of faith, compassion, and a love for God, and as much as he postures himself as valuing life, moral wholeness, and biblical faithfulness, the screeching sound of his bigotry, pride, self-righteousness, mean-spirited condemnation, and imperialistic faith overtakes and overshadows all.

For where Jesus brings freedom, he seems determined to wrench down with control. Where Jesus brings Grace, he is quick to draw lines of condemnation. Where Jesus defines and redefines scripture, he worships it as perfect and claims to know it infallibly. Where God is pure Love, he claims He is not purely. Where Grace is declared sufficient, he says it isn’t completely. Where Jesus makes it personal and communal, he wants to make it political and national. Where Jesus makes it all completely free, he and his faith-understanding makes it all so conditionally conditional.

Everything Jesus stands for, Franklin Graham seems to stand so firmly against—a sermon on a Mount, apparently makes little-to-no difference.

For where do we see him serving the LGBTQ community? Where do we see him truly loving the enemy? Where do see him refusing to lean on his own understanding, and instead displaying a spirituality of listening? Where do we see him washing the feet of people who are transgender? Where do we see him laying down his life to escort one safely into a bathroom? Where do we see him truly loving his neighbor—Islamic, Atheist, Progressive, or even Illegal Alien? Where do we see him fighting for the rights of the marginalized, discriminated, and even those with whom he disagrees, instead of vehemently gripping onto the privilege of the privileged? Where do we see him rationalizing, excusing, and giving grace to sin on behalf of those who sin differently than he, instead of only doing so for those from whom he can gain power, influence, and the furthering of his faith ideology? Where do we see him trusting the Spirit to guide people in all truth instead of trying to control, contain, and conform them?

We don’t.

So, why should I give care and credibility to the sin he claims to see in me, everyone, and everything, when it’s clear he’s entirely oblivious to the storehouse of depravity to be seen right within his own being? Why should I line up to be assimilated into his spiritual Borg and learn the marching steps of his creed, when it’s become so blatantly clear it’s a faith understanding that doesn’t want to just normalize hate, but give it spiritual necessity? Why should I bow down to his biblical interpretations, faith perspectives, and God teachings when it all seems to desire nothing more than to control, condemn, and conform me into his image and faith collective?

Make no mistake, I refuse and resist with all my being in becoming anything like the King of disowning. My soul, worth, and value is not, nor will ever become, the imminent domain of any self-righteous, faith ideology.

The true message of Jesus is that God is proud to belong to me and every other, especially in all the places and ways that Franklin Graham and conservative Evangelical Christianity despise me and all others.

Dear world, Franklin Graham is not our leader, not our pastor, not our spokesperson, nor our example—and with all due respect, in my personal opinion, he’s nothing like Jesus.

No Longer

 

What church, ministry, religion, trying, striving, and rule-keeping could not accomplish, Grace has.

Because of God’s pure Grace through Jesus Christ upon my life, I no longer…

-believe God’s love is anything like that of my father’s conditional love.

-see spiritual growth as a process of working on my sin, but rather of knowing my righteousness in Christ.

-become unraveled by what people think or don’t think of me.

-worry about my health and future

-need to validate my worth by becoming a celebrity pastor

-succumb to certain sins and temptations

-live ruled by shame, guilt, and a consciousness of sin and rule keeping.

-am inspired by messages to “be a better Christian”, “do more for Jesus”, or “get your life together”

-feel an obligation to isolate, condemn, and speak against people who sin differently than me.

-can overlook the religious spirit prevailing in church-world today.

-feel a need to compel people to be interested in my life who don’t want to be.

-am intimidated by people who disagree with me

-concentrate on what I dislike about a person.

-look down on people who don’t seem as spiritual as me

-read the Bible apart from the context of the new covenant of God’s Grace through the Gospel.

-assume that what people need is more church and to do more spiritual things.

-have to fake my love for Jesus while being suspicious of His goodness

 

What has God’s Gospel of Grace caused you to no longer…

 

 

The Power of Ignorance

Find me a place in your life (or mine) where Satan is having his way, and you will have found of place where likely there is ignorance. Hard to hear, hard to say, but true.

I have long believed that if you get the first couple chapters of the first book in the Bible right, much of your life will go right also. Unfortunately, most people don’t get the first 3 verses quite right, let alone the rest. Admittedly, this was the case for me for many years, so don’t feel bad if it’s true for you too.

Genesis 1:2-3 reads…

The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.

There are three problems this scripture identifies that existed at the beginning of creation. We can know this by digging under the surface to the deeper Hebrew meanings of three of the words.

The Hebrew word for “without form” carries with it the idea of “disorder,” the word actually means this at its root. The word for “void” is the deeper word in Hebrew for “chaos.” Where there is disorder there is also chaos, the two fit hand in glove. The word “darkness” interestingly, is not the word that communicates the absence of illumination. It’s not the kind of darkness you get when you go into a cave or your closet at night. Rather, the word darkness is also the Hebrew word for “ignorance” or “without divine knowledge.”

The problems of disorder, chaos and ignorance/darkness are not from God. In fact, the Bible says the God is light, in Him there is no darkness. It also says that God is not a God of disorder nor is He the author of chaos. Rather, throughout scripture and creation, we see quite the opposite, God has put order into everything and His handwork and character can be seen in His creation. That’s because, in verse 3, God provides the solution… “light.” But it’s not the kind of light that you get when you flip the switch in your house, as a matter of fact, you may be surprised to notice that the “sun” is not given until verse 16. Rather, the word “light” is also the Hebrew word for “divine revelation” or “divine knowledge.”

So, in the Bible, where Satan is referred to as the “Prince of Darkness” it starts to make deeper sense. This reference to Satan doesn’t mean that he is the ultimate expert on how to navigate your car down a back-country road at night. The word “prince” carries with it the meaning “first to rule by.”

So Satan is the first to rule by ignorance. Very interesting.

One of the primary ways that Satan desires to rule your life is through ignorance. Find a place in your life where evil, disorder or chaos of any kind are getting the upper-hand, and I will find you a place where you are likely ignorant of God-knowledge. Either you have never received it or you have rejected it.

In the book of Hosea, the first three chapters put on display just about every problem or manifestation of evil a nation and/or a person can have in their life. The list is pretty exhaustive. Lust, corruption, depravity, violence, unrest, sin, turmoil, fear, and the list goes on and on. Yet what is so interesting is that in chapter 4:6, God reveals the root of the problem, and what He identifies might surprise you. God says, “my people are destroyed from a lack of knowledge.” Really? Not sin, not Satan, our two customary excuses? It really is true, the areas where you and I are being destroyed and discouraged in our life, are probably areas where we lack divine revelation or we have rejected it. There are principals of God that would provide the solution if applied, but either we do not know the principal(s) or we have rejected them.

Let me give you an example from my own life.

For some time, I was ignorant in an area of my walk with the Lord, probably because of a combination of a lack of revelation and a rejection of it. The bottom line is for a time, I was ignorant of how important it is to be “filled with the Spirit.” I was ignorant of the plain teachings of scripture that there is a difference between having the Holy Spirit “in you” and having Him “upon you.” One you receive at conversion, the other you need to ask for, receive, and open your life to following conversion. Yet, I always thought, at conversion, you get the Spirit “in you” and that’s it, game over, mission accomplished. Wow, was I ignorant. But once I heard and received divine knowledge about what Paul taught to converted Christians in Ephesus and elsewhere in scripture “be filled with Spirit” everything changed and my life and ministry moved to a whole new level of power and purpose. Areas where I had been defeated and discouraged, I was no more. As a matter of fact, soon after, God began to do miracles in my life, even a physical healing, and now He is doing miracles through my life, and that’s just the beginning.

If your marriage is in shambles, perhaps what you need isn’t more prayer, but to discover and apply revelation from God about how to have a healthy marriage. If your finances are in disorder, perhaps what you need is not another shouting rebuke of Satan, but to pursue God revelation for how to manage your finances and then apply what God reveals.

Satan can have no more power and authority in your life than you allow him. Where he has authority and power in your life is only where you have agreed with him to have it. Adam and Eve gave Satan authority by agreeing with Satan that eating the forbidden fruit was the best/right thing to do.

And chances are, whether it be in your marriage, your self-image, your finances, your attitude etc., where you are agreeing with him, you are doing so because you either lack divine knowledge or you have rejected it.

Satan would love nothing more than to drag you and me around by the leash of ignorance.

Pray, rebuke, fast, claim, declare, but don’t forget to not be stupid.

“My people are being destroyed by a lack of knowledge…” “The earth was in disorder, chaos, and ignorance, and God said, let there be “divine revelation.”

Thanks to Miles Munroe for inspiration

© 2017 Chris Kratzer

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