In the first weeks of 2020 I sat down with a Pastor and tried to tell him what was coming. Some of the Scripture I shared with him actually shocked him. If he had ever read those words, he had skipped over them, certain that they did not apply to him, his church or America. He argued with me, actually saying that we would never face the kind of persecution faced by Christians in the Middle East and Africa. They were, he maintained, suffering for thousands of years of sins. America would never see that kind of persecution.
Just a few weeks later, America, along with the rest of the world, was locked down by the Corona Virus. The judgment of God had begun and, surprise, surprise, neither America nor American Christians were exempt. That Pastor found his church closed and himself holding drive in services in the parking lot. Imagine that!
For years, I have fought against this American Christian Arrogance… For years, I have warned of judgment coming to America. For years, I have wept over the self-inflated pride and egotism of American pastors and their deceived little sheep…
Thirty years ago I was a missionary, working in the backwoods of a third world nation. I heard, even then, what they thought of the United States and the American Christian. It was not pretty. The American Government used money and might to blackmail their government into doing things that were very bad for their own people. The American churches would come on Short Term Mission Trips and teach things that did not work there. Name it, claim it does not work in a third-world jungle. These Christians would promise to send support and money for the Christians there… They never, ever, sent a penny.
The Church in the third-world faces death, pain and suffering every day. Miracles come in little packages… a couple of eggs in the hen’s nest or a neighbor sharing a little meat from an animal he butchered because he could not feed it. There were miracles… lots of healings! I saw my own son’s legs move and his feet reform in front of my eyes as God healed his severely clubbed feet. Demon’s fled and people were freed… but Christians we prayed for suffered and died. The idea of claiming a new car or a house in a gated community was inconceivable.
When we returned to the States, I was overwhelmed by the arrogance and the inflated egos in the church. A Pastor in a working class church, full of people making it day to day, called out his whole congregation to admire the new Lincoln SUV “the Lord” had bought him!!! He spent at least ten, sometimes twenty minutes every Sunday morning talking about tithing… It was the sacrifice of these poor people that paid for that car… but he never mentioned that.
Then, there is the idea that we can manipulate God… God, according to the American church, exists to make them rich, healthy, and happy. They are at ease in Babylon. Somehow, we can be totally ignorant of Scripture and history, existing in a happy bubble. The overwhelming belief in both Pentecostal and Charismatic churches is that by cherry-picking a few happy-verses out of the Bible and quoting them over and over, and over, we can build our faith and that faith can force God to do what God never wanted, planned or even thought of doing.
The United States has been in a moral and spiritual freefall for as long as I can remember. The answer was to quote 2 Chronicles 7:14 ten billion times. We do not actually have to repent or change our ways… No, all we have to do is quote that verse enough times and God will be forced to save America. What utter and absolute foolishness!
If we ever speak of the sufferings of Paul or his death, or the death of Stephen, Peter, James and the rest… If we were to mention Timothy’s stomach troubles… that would ruin everybody’s faith and they would stop making so much money, and the offerings would decrease… If we talked about the Judgment of an angry God or taught on the destruction of Jerusalem… people would abandon our church altogether and go find a pastor more willing to tickle their ears…
Those days are over. Some American pastors will repent and weep over their error. Most will burn in Hell, cursing God for all eternity for not bending to their will and doing what they told him to do… “After all, God, I quoted that verse 1,572 times… Why didn’t you do what that verse said you would?” I can hear God laughing now… The absolute arrogance of one who pulls verses out of context, ignoring 98% of the Bible and insisting that God must perform “according to his Word.” He is performing exactly according to his Word… It is not his fault that you never read it and had no idea what it really said.
May God have mercy on the American Pastor and the American Christian… Perhaps COVID-19 and the coming judgments will prove God’s mercy by bringing them to their knees.