Category Archives: Current Events

False Prophets

If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee. (Deuteronomy 13:1-5)

Before going into Babylonian captivity, false prophets arose in Judah proclaiming that Judah would have peace and not fall prey to the Babylonian Empire. At the same time, the prophet Jeremiah preached a much different message warning of coming invasion if the people did not repent from their idolatry. The people refused to listen to Jeremiah and instead treated him harshly for his message of impending doom. “Now Pashur the son of Immer the priest, who was also chief governor in the house of the LORD, heard that Jeremiah prophesied these things. Then Pashur smote Jeremiah the prophet, and put him in the stocks that were in the high gate of Benjamin, which was by the house of the LORD” (Jeremiah 20:1-2).

Jeremiah preached a message that was distasteful and unpopular, but it was the message God gave him to warn the people of Judah, and it was the truth. Jeremiah disliked giving the message. He said, “Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the LORD, and because of the words of his holiness” (Jeremiah 23:9). God knew these false prophets well, and he would deal with them in due time. “Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD. They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you … I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied … I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed.  (Jeremiah 23:16-17, 21, 25). Not long after, Jeremiah was proven right and the others paid with their lives.

We have false prophets today. This should not come as a surprise. Jesus warned us to look out for them. “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many” (Matthew 24:11).  Mark records Jesus’ words this way, “For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect” (Mark 13:22, emphasis mine). Long before Jesus took on human flesh, Moses warned about false prophets. “If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, … Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deuteronomy 13:1-3)

It becomes apparent that false prophets can actually make accurate predictions so that they can “seduce, if it were possible, even the elect” (Mark 13:22). I point this out because recently modern-day “prophets” have arisen making astonishing claims, and their claims have come to pass. All of these come from a Pentecostal background that supports the notion that the gift of prophecy given to some believers includes not only “forth-telling” – expounding Scripture – but “foretelling” future events as revealed to them directly from God. You hear them say things like, “God spoke to me and showed thus and so…” The revealed message is always something extra-biblical, but they will include Scripture to help validate the new revelation.

One such prophet was the late Kim Clement. You can still find his videos on YouTube. Clement dramatically and accurately prophesied the election of Donald J. Trump. There are others that have followed in his footsteps who predict that Donald J. Trump will win a second term. In many ways, I hope they are right because I do not like the alternative, but on the other hand, I hope they are wrong and that God will expose them as the false prophets that they are.

There exist among us other false prophets that do not presume to foretell future events. Rather, their forth-telling distorts Scripture making it say things that God never intended. Sadly, we have those in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) that are promoting Socialism – the redistribution of wealth – and promoting the “woke” church.[1]

Other false prophets have been around for a while now. These preach “another gospel” than the one delivered to us by the Apostles.[2] These include the LDS church (the Mormons), Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh-Day Adventists, and others. These have either added to Scripture, reinterpreted Scripture, or in some form or fashion distorted Scripture.

The true modern-day prophet is the one that says “Thus saith the Lord” by “rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15), not the one that says “God spoke to me …” Do not listen to the latter, even if his/her predictions do come true. Consider this. Satan is no dummy. He is crafty and cunning, and he knows the Scriptures. He can analyze current events and predict what “might” happen much better than we can. However, he is only making his best guess. Only God knows the future. We need to be careful to whom we listen, even if they get a prediction right every now and then or demonstrate some kind of “sign.” If they are not coming strictly from Scripture reject their message.

Notes:


[1]  Article and video at https://protestia.com/2020/11/27/movie-launch-documentary-of-the-scandalous-first-baptist-church-naples-story-is-out/

[2]  Galatians 1:6-9

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Fear

For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. (Isaiah 41:13)

Dictionary.Com defines “fear”[1] as “a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.” Note, first of all, that fear is an “emotion;” thus it is subject to irrationality. Note also that fear can be stirred up by a sense of “impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined.” Fear is rational when the danger is real as in the case of a physical attack. Fear is irrational when the danger is imagined as in the case of less than a 1% chance of catching COVID-19. In either case, the emotion of fear can cause us to react in an irrational manner.

We can prepare ourselves to confront fear rationally by training for a variety of scenarios. We can prepare for a physical attack by taking self-defense classes and practicing, at least mentally, for different situations in which we may come under attack. Our military and police do this on a regular basis so that when they come under threat, they can respond rationally to a fearful situation.

In the case of COVID-19, or any disease that may afflict us, we can prepare ourselves mentally with information, so that we can take proper and sensible precautions. The danger of COVID-19 is real, but it is not a threat to everyone. Ninety-nine percent of the population will not contract the virus. Yet the media bombard us daily with increased percentages of “cases” of COVID – not deaths, only “cases.” When they report a 50% increase in cases, that sounds like a lot, but they never report on what the percentages are based. Does 50% mean half of the entire population or only half of what was previously reported? Such careless reporting serves only to feed the fear in the audience who by and large do not exercise critical thinking when listening to news reports.

And how accurate are the tests anyway? Recently, Elon Musk tested positive and negative for COVID-19.[2] He tested four times. Two tests returned positive results and two tests returned negative results. With inconclusive results, he still has no idea if he really has had the virus.

By the way, has anyone, besides me, noticed that no flu deaths have been reported by the media this year? Yet, “During the 2019-2020 influenza season, CDC estimates that influenza was associated with 38 million illnesses, 18 million medical visits, 405,000 hospitalizations, and 22,000 deaths”[3] compared to 34,200 deaths in 2018-2019.[4]  Why do we not hear about flu deaths? Could it be that the flu is less sensational?

As for deaths from COVID-19, only 6% of the deaths associated with the novel coronavirus died solely from the virus, the rest were brought about by other underlying conditions. In an article by “LiveScience” attempting to debunk the social media claim “that ‘only 6%’ of the reported COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. are solely attributable to the new coronavirus,” the writer seems to validate the claim. He says,

This claim stems from an Aug. 26 update the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) posted on its website, which provides a detailed breakdown of the accompanying health conditions (known as comorbidities) and contributing causes of death reported in people who have died of the new coronavirus in the United States. The CDC noted that “For 6% of the deaths, COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned.”

In other words, 6% of people who died when they had COVID-19 didn’t have underlying conditions, such as diabetes, asthma or heart disease, and didn’t experience any medical complications, such as kidney failure or sepsis. But the other 94% of deaths were still caused by COVID-19, infectious disease experts said. That’s because many chronic, underlying conditions can make diseases that a person might otherwise recover from, such as COVID-19, suddenly deadly.[5] (Emphasis mine)

The fact remains that of those that have died with COVID-19, only 6% died solely of COVID-19. The claim (in bold above) that the other deaths were “caused by COVID-19” is misleading. The deaths were caused by multiple complications including COVID-19.

A Google search on “Current COVID Deaths” reported 245,000 deaths with COVID-19 to death – at 6%, only 1470 from COVID only compared to 22,000 deaths from the flu. The current population of the United States is 328,200,000. Using simple math to calculate the percentage of the population that has died with COVID-19, results in an unimpressive 0.0074649% of the population.

Each one of us has a 0.007% chance of dying with COVID-19, and only 6% of those have a chance of dying from COVID-19 alone.

Why are we living in fear over COVID-19? Why have our churches been restricted from exercising our First Amendment right to assemble and worship as we please? Why have our churches capitulated to unconstitutional mandates rather than adhere to God’s command that we not forsake our assembling together (Hebrews 10:25)? Why do we continue to succumb to the irrational edicts of those who only desire to exercise control over our lives?

I, for one, am tired of wearing masks. I am tired of social distancing. I am tired of going to church in limited numbers. I am tired of singing praises with my face covered and muted. I am tired of restricting the fellowship with my brothers and sisters to the church parking lot – at a social distance, of course. I am tired of all the senseless restrictions imposed by self-appointed demagogues pretending to have our best interest at heart. Stop with the fear-mongering!

I have heard it said that the Bible has 365 admonitions to “fear not”[6] – one for every day of the year. I have not counted them for myself, but they do seem to come up frequently in my reading. The first “fear not” appears in the Book of Genesis. There God tells Abram, “Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward” (Genesis 15:1). A shield protects us from incoming blows, and a reward is something we get for doing something right. What did Abram do that was right? “And he believed in the LORD; and [the LORD] counted it to him for righteousness” (Genesis 15:6). In the last book of the Bible, Jesus says to John, “Fear not; I am the first and the last” (Revelation 1:17). The Apostle Paul reminds Timothy, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). So, my brothers and sisters in Christ, why do we allow ourselves to get sucked into the fear over that which we cannot control?

C. S. Lewis once said, “If we are going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb [or the coronavirus], let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint [he wasn’t Baptist!] and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs [or COVID-19]. They may break our bodies (any microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.”[7] That sounds like excellent advice to me!

Notes:


[1]  Fear – https://www.dictionary.com/browse/fear?s=t

[2]  https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/13/world/does-elon-musk-have-the-coronavirus-after-four-tests-he-still-doesnt-know.html

[3]  https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/2019-2020.html#:~:text=During%20the%202019%2D2020%20influenza,405%2C000%20hospitalizations%2C%20and%2022%2C000%20deaths.

[4]  https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/2018-2019.html#:~:text=CDC%20estimates%20that%20the%20burden,from%20influenza%20(Table%201).

[5]  https://www.livescience.com/covid-19-comorbidities.html

[6]  “Fear Not” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2020/08/16/fear-not/

[7]  Martindale, Wayne & Jerry Root, The Quotable Lewis, (Tydale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois, 1990), p. 606, quoting Present Concerns: Essays by C. S. Lewis, “On Living in an Atomic Age” (1948), para. 3, pp. 73-74.

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What’s Next?

Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: (Isaiah 46:9-10)

On Tuesday, November 3 the final votes will be cast to see if Donald Trump retains the presidency or if Joe Biden will take command. Aside from the presidential race, there are many challenging races for places in the House of Representatives and in the Senate. They say, as they have in every political race in the past, that this is the most significant race in history. The pundits may be right.

I voted early and in person last week. As you might guess from last week’s article,[1] I voted for all Republicans except for three Democrats that ran uncontested. I later learned that I could have left those positions unmarked. In Texas, where I voted, they removed the option to vote a straight party ticket, so I had to mark each candidate for each office individually. It was not bad. The process took less than 15 minutes.

So, what’s next? I am no prophet or the son of a prophet to know what the immediate future might bring. Several scenarios come to mind, and none, by worldly standards, look too promising. The presidential race is running neck-and-neck. If the crowds gathering for the Trump rallies give any indication, President Trump may win a decisive victory. If he wins (and I pray he does) chaos in our streets will get worse. The Democrats condone ANTIFA and BLM by the very fact that they refuse to denounce their lawlessness. Some conspiracy theorists suggest that the funding for these lawless groups comes from Democrat sources. Such allegations are difficult to prove, but judging from Democrat attitudes toward our President, I suspect those allegations are true. From the day of his inauguration, the Democrats have unrelentingly attacked President Trump to find some way to forcefully remove him from office. The viciousness of their assaults suggests that they will only double down if he wins a second term. In fact, they already talk about impeachment proceedings against Trump’s latest judicial pick, Justice Amy Coney Barrett, if she will not recuse herself from current cases coming before the court. One of those cases might be the legitimacy of the election should Trump win, and the election is contested. The fury, hate, and anger of the Democrats will explode, and they will turn loose their hounds of hell to terrorize the nation. It will not be pretty!

If Joe Biden wins, some believe the Democrats will find some way of replacing him – the 25th Amendment[2] comes to mind – and Kamala Harris will become President. Even if Biden remains, we can kiss the America we once knew goodbye. All one needs to do is read the Democrat Party Platform to see the heavy Socialist leanings of the Democrat Party. The only reason they do not call themselves Socialists is because they know the term offends most Americans, but regardless of how they identify themselves, the ideology is clear. The Democrat Party is all about government control. This COVID “plandemic,” as some have called it, is nothing but an experiment in population control – forced masking, social distancing, closing down churches, closing schools, restricting businesses, etc. Then there is the Green New Deal, which will impose greater controls – curtail oil production in lieu of “renewable energy” like wind and solar. The Green New Deal will enforce restrictive building codes to make all structures energy-efficient without regard to the high cost of such an undertaking. The Socialists, I mean Democrats, will open our borders to allow anyone and everyone into our country with the promise of providing social welfare, free healthcare (because it’s a “right”) to everyone. By various means, they plan to redistribute wealth making everyone equally poor. The “pigs” on the other hand will live in luxury while the rest of us animals freeze and starve to death out in the barn.[3]

Neither option seems too promising. However, at least with a Trump presidency, we can trust that he really does have America’s best interest at heart. He is a nationalist. He believes in putting America first. The Democrats only care about putting their party first.

So, what’s next? I have no clue! I do know this. Jesus is coming soon! The signs He gave[4] announcing His return intensify every day. Some scoff and say, such things – wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes, famines, etc. – have been happing throughout history. Yes, but not all at once! All the signs are converging. Jesus said, “All these are the beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:8). The “sorrows” He describes are birth pangs. Like a woman in labor, the pains come infrequently and erratically, but they become more frequent and more regular the nearer the time of the birth. What we see now is just the “beginning of sorrows.” Jesus gave these signs about His Second Coming. These signs will intensify during the seven-year Tribulation before He returns to reign on earth. However, before He returns to reign on earth for 1000 years,[5] He will snatch up His bride, the body of believers that have “gone to sleep” and those who are alive[6] at the Rapture of the Church. Because I see the signs for His Second Coming converging and intensifying, I know the Rapture can happen at any time, maybe before the election or maybe right after the election. Regardless, the only hope for this broken world is Jesus.

At a personal level, the only hope for a hopeless, broken, messed up life, even in this world, is Jesus. Time is getting short. If you do not know Jesus, please get acquainted. I can help; just read my page on “Securing Eternal Life.” It makes no difference who is sitting in the White House; what matters is who reigns in your “heart-house.”

Notes:


[1]  “Can’t Vote Democrat” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2020/10/25/cant-vote-democrat/

[2]  Section 4 of the 25th Amendment in part reads, “Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President Pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.”

[3]  Reference to Animal Farm by George Orwell

[4]  Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21

[5]  Revelation 20:1-7

[6]  1 Corinthians 15:50-53; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

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Can’t Vote Democrat!

When the wicked rise, men hide themselves: but when they perish, the righteous increase. (Proverbs 28:28)

The presidential elections are upon us again, and my choices are quite simple. I remember a time in my life, at least 40 years ago when I voted for the first time, that one could vote for an individual regardless of party affiliation. One could examine each candidate and vote for the one that most agreed with one’s views, and one could be pretty sure that he/she would legislate according to the interest of their constituents.

Differences between Republican and Democrat have existed since the founding of our nation, but those differences could be laid aside when legislating laws that affected the American people. There was a time when “reaching across the aisle” meant that differing views could be debated, and a workable solution acceptable to both sides could be achieved. That day is long gone.

Today, one party still maintains the ideal of individualism that allows members to cross party lines in legislative matters. Some of those consistently cross party lines and are affectionately (or maybe not so affectionately) called RINOs – Republicans In Name Only. The other side has no DINOs – Democrats In Name Only. They all vote the Democrat party line as a block. They remind me of “The BORG.”[1] Their idea of “reaching across the aisle” means that Republicans must capitulate to their side – “We are the BORG. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctive to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.”[2]

Democrats march in lockstep. They all vote as one block. It is extremely rare these days for a Democratic legislator to vote contrary to the party line. Such defections result in disciplinary action against the offender in one form or another.

There is strength in unity, but unity in unrighteousness destroys the nation. I would gladly vote for a Democrat if I could trust him/her to vote in a manner consistent with biblical values. (One does not necessarily have to be a Christian to hold biblical values.)

I spent several hours recently reading through the Democrat Party Platform – all 91 pages of it. Here is some of what I learned. First of all, the Democrats voted in 2008 to eliminate God from the party platform. In the entire platform, they mention God once and only as part of a hyphenated word. “Democrats remain committed to ending poverty and enabling all Americans to live up to their God-given potential” (p. 23 of the platform). That could be any god, not necessarily the God of the Bible. The Bible says that “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10). How can Democrats rule with understanding if they have no “fear of the LORD”? After this, the platform loses substance.

Democrats support abortion at any point in pregnancy – many even support infanticide within a few minutes after the birth of a child. They camouflage their callous disregard of human life under the pretext of “women’s reproductive health rights” – a misnomer if I ever heard one. What is “reproductive” about ending the life of a baby? They say, “Like the majority of Americans (emphasis mine), Democrats believe every woman should be able to access high-quality reproductive health care (emphasis mine) services, including safe and legal abortion (emphasis mine). We oppose and will fight to overturn federal and state laws that create barriers to women’s reproductive health and rights (emphasis mine), including by repealing the Hyde Amendment and protecting and codifying the right to reproductive freedom” (p. 41). Since the party is fundamentally atheist, the sanctity of human life means nothing because they reject the Creator of life. Without a Holy God superintending His Creation, nothing is sacred. For that reason, I cannot vote for a Democrat.

The Democrat Party is morally bankrupt. The party promotes LGBTQ+ Rights as if the laws protecting all Americans are insufficient for the sexually deviant community. God considers sexual perversion an abomination,[3] but since the Democrat Party rejects God, it has no problem supporting and even encouraging sexual deviancy. The Party goes so far as to support the raising of children in a sexually deviant environment. “We will work to ensure LGBTQ+ people are not discriminated against when seeking to adopt or foster children” (p.42).  For that reason, I cannot vote for a Democrat.

The Party claims to support religious freedom unless they determine that religion discriminates against select groups like LGBTQ+ or “women’s reproductive health rights.” They say, “Religious freedom is a core American value and a core value of the Democratic Party. Democrats will protect the rights of each American for the free exercise of his or her own religion … Democrats celebrate America’s history of religious pluralism and tolerance, and recognize the countless acts of service of our faith communities, as well as the paramount importance of maintaining the separation between church and state enshrined in our Constitution (emphasis mine) … We will reject the Trump Administration’s[4] use of broad religious exemptions to allow businesses, medical providers, social service agencies, and others to discriminate. (p. 48). In other words, religious freedom is permissible as long as it goes along with on-demand abortion for any reason and the LGBTQ+ culture or anything else the party supports that violate religious tenets. In the same paragraph they threaten, “We will confront white nationalist terrorism and combat hate crimes perpetrated against religious minorities” (emphasis mine) I am not sure what they mean by that, but it does not sound good! For that reason, I cannot vote for a Democrat.

The Democrat Party Platform is racist. Almost every platform page contained statements about how black lives matter (they do, but so do all lives), and about government efforts to better the lives of an assortment of ethnic groups in various ways. The fact that “race” dominates so much of the narrative gives evidence to the party’s racist perspective. Race should not even be part of the conversation. The platform should apply to all Americans regardless of race or ethnicity. To selectively point to different “races” for special treatment is racist. For that reason, I cannot vote for a Democrat.

The Democrat Party Platform offers many big ideas for government to benefit the American people (mostly “minorities”) without thought of the cost or who will pay for the government’s benevolence. They also speak a lot about climate change and how the United States, the cleanest, the least polluting country in the world, is obligated to lead the world in cleaning up the environment and controlling climate. The Democrat Party favors a global system of world government. They do not say that in so many words, but it is hidden between the lines throughout the platform. For that reason, I cannot vote for a Democrat.

Every Democrat running for office, regardless of what they say in their campaign ads, will have to conform to the Party Platform once they are in office. I cannot understand why any Christian would vote for any Democrat running for any office knowing that they are obligated to tow the party line. They must assimilate to the BORG; resistance is futile! For that reason, I cannot vote for a Democrat.

I admit, not all Republicans are saints, but at least they maintain a semblance of individuality so that they often vote contrary to their own party. Not Democrats, they vote a straight party line, and that party line violates Christian principles in multiple ways.

I have heard so many Christians say they cannot vote for Donald Trump because they do not like his personality.  Personally, I do not care for his personality either, at least not what I see in the media. However, I do not know him personally, and neither do many of his critics. Many who have met him in person say he is very personable and even likeable.

So, disregard his media persona and consider what he has done for the national economy; he cut taxes for all Americans. He cut taxes and regulations for small and large businesses resulting in higher employment for all Americans – unemployment is rate down to 3.5%.[5] Consider what he has done to advance religious liberty, much to the chagrin of the Democrats. Consider how he has strengthened our alliance with Israel – the “apple of God’s eye.” Consider how he has advanced American interests around the world. He has either placed or reinforced sanctions on our nation’s enemies, Iran, China, North Korea, Russia, etc. Consider that he pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement, which punishes the U.S. and makes allowances to world polluters, again, to the chagrin of the Democrat Party. Consider how he is making other NATO nations pay their fair share for their own defense. Consider how he has cut funding to the United Nations. Then consider the Democrat’s desire to negate Trump’s advancements according to the 2020 Democrat Party Platform. I simply cannot vote for a Democrat to any office, but especially not to the presidency of the United States. It would be the most unchristian thing I could do in carrying out my civic duty.

One final thought, God is in control. He rules and reigns in the affairs of men. In the meantime, He expects His children to do what is right according to the principles He has laid out in His Word. The Democrat Party violates the Word of God in so many ways. For that reason, I cannot vote for a Democrat, and I cannot see how anyone claiming to be a Christian can vote for a Democrat. It makes no sense to me. Vote, but please sincerely pray about it before making your choice. Oh, and not voting means a vote for the Democrats; do not neglect your civic duty.

Notes:


[1]  “The Borg” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2018/11/11/the-borg/

[2]  Quote from “Star Trek – The Next Generation” – https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=resistance%20is%20futile

[3]  Leviticus 18:22-23, 27; Romans 1:26-27, 32; 1 Corinthians 6:9

[4]  The 2020 Democrat Party Platform brings up many unsubstantiated charges against the Trump Administration. They make claims without any sources to verify the claims. You must believe what they say because they are the BORG and resistance (or critical thinking) is futile!

[5]  Since the COVID-19 lockdowns, unemployment rates have risen once again but that can hardly be blamed on President Trump. He did not cause the pandemic and lockdowns were put in place by individual states under the advisement of the CDC, not Donald Trump.

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National Revival

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

This oft-repeated verse offers a tenuous hope for American Evangelicals that, if we only put its tenets into practice, God will keep His end of the deal and heal the trouble in our land. However, as I have asserted in the past[1], this verse is taken out of context and misapplied. If Israel’s history can teach us anything, it is that God has His limits when He will no longer hear the pleas for a nation.[2]

Recent history teaches us that, in regard to God, Americans are a fickle people. Following one disaster after another, America has turned to God in repentance only to return to its vomit[3] as soon as things get better. We find ourselves in a mess again. The Wuhan Bug paralyzed our nation with fear. Everywhere you look you find masked people avoiding contact with one another. You can even see masked people driving cars or walking outdoors. Fear over COVID-19 has shut church doors for fear of retribution by authorities and also for fear of spreading the virus.[4]

Unrestrained rioting in the streets of many of our major cities adds to the fear of many Americans, and everyone can see that our country is in serious trouble. Consequently, many evangelical leaders call on American Christians to pray for revival in our nation (again). They sincerely believe the promise that “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16), and we can reverse the course our nation. Without getting into differences of eschatological views, many of these believe that through the hard work of prayer, Christians will turn the world around and usher in the millennial reign of Christ.

The prophet Jeremiah encountered a similar optimist in Hananiah.[5] God had already told Jeremiah that Judah would go into Babylonian captivity, and to demonstrate by way of an object lesson, God instructed Jeremiah to carry around a heavy ox yoke to illustrate the bondage into which Judah was going. However, Hananiah painted a different picture, “Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying, I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon” (Jeremiah 28:2), and he took the yoke off of Jeremiah and broke it to demonstrate what God would do. But that was not God’s plan, and Judah soon came under the yoke of Babylon for 70 years. Hananiah, the false optimistic prophet, did not live out the year for speaking falsely in the name of the Lord.

I am not a prophet, at least not like those through whom God spoke in the Bible. But I do study the Word, and I try to see the world through the lens of Scripture. In Scripture, God’s “chosen” people were punished for their disobedience and their idolatry – which involved sexual perversion and infanticide in their worship. If God so dealt with “His” chosen nation what makes us think that we will fare better just because we pray? Not every person in Judah was corrupt. Take for example Daniel, Hananiah (not the false prophet), Mishael, and Azariah;[6] they went into Babylonian captivity and they maintained their devotion to God. Surely there were others, but that did not stop God from punishing the “nation” of Judah for their sin. Nor will He save our nation at this point for our national sins even though “His people” pray.

Consider the downward spiral of sin described in Romans 1:18-32 and compare that to our nation. Our nation holds truth in unrighteousness. Our nation denies God and promotes the idea that all things came into existence by natural causes, and though they cannot prove their ideas, they invent “just so” stories and present them as facts. We profess ourselves to be wise, but indeed we are fools and only deceive ourselves. Rather than worship the Creator, we worship the creation and in our own feebleness attempt desperate measures to protect the planet (The Green New Deal).  As a consequence of our denial of God, He has turned over our nation to perverse lusts “to dishonour their own bodies between themselves” (v. 24). Think about the various ways we disfigure our bodies through tattoos, body piercings, the unnatural coloring of hair, other types of mutilations, homosexual perversions of all kinds, etc. God has turned over our nation to the “vile affections” of homosexuality – women with women, men with men, and even the sexual perversion of children. God has given over our people to “reprobate minds” so that they are incapable of reasonable thought. Simply consider the irrational reasoning they offer in support of some of their crazy ideas about climate change, about abortion, about the benefits of socialism, etc. Does it seem that the world has lost its collective mind? It has because God has allowed it as punishment for our sin.

Look at how Paul’s description perfectly fits America today. “Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication [any sex outside the bonds of marriage], wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them” (Romans 1:29-32, emphasis mine). Does that not fit America today?

Do you know what God told Jeremiah about praying for the people of his day? God said, “Don’t pray for these people.”[7] Their grace period had expired. I fear America’s grace period has also expired, and God is saying, “Don’t pray for these people.” The train is hurtling downhill fast and the brakes are out. Our Lord’s return gets closer by the day. Every new fire ignited by lawless rioters brings us closer. Every murder that takes place closes the gap. Every baby that is aborted draws the noose tighter. Jesus is the only fix to this broken world.

Still, we pray. We are instructed to pray for our leaders[8] that we might live “peaceable” lives, but that does not necessarily equate to praying for the salvation of a too-far-gone nation. I could be wrong, but as I have searched the New Testament, I do not find any admonition to pray for the nation, the leaders yes, but not the nation. I would like to see a national revival, but I sincerely doubt that it will happen. Our national track record in that regard testifies to the improbability of that happening. Still, my baby brother and I will join thousands of others on the Mall in Washington DC on September 26 for a Franklin Graham sponsored prayer march on the nation’s capital.[9] We will march from the Lincoln Memorial, past the Washington Monument and on to the steps of the Capitol. We will march, and we will pray as we go. If the direction of the nation is to change, our leaders need to change either physically or spiritually.

National revival is improbable, but not impossible. Who knows! Our Lord may delay His coming, but His judgment is not only for our nation but for the whole world. The entire world needs repentance. If only our nation repents, it may not stop the judgment that is coming upon the whole world. In any rate, it would be great if our nation experienced a national revival. We can pray.

Notes:


[1]  “If My People” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2016/08/21/if-my-people/

[2]  “When God Won’t Hear” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2016/07/17/when-god-wont-hear/

[3]  2 Peter 2:22

[4]  “Fear Not” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2020/08/16/fear-not/

[5]  Jeremiah 28

[6]  Daniel 1:6

[7]  Jeremiah 7:16; 11:14; 14:11

[8]  1 Timothy 2:1-2

[9]  Washington Prayer March 2020 – https://prayermarch2020.com/

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