First, I want to thank you for taking the time to invest in a somewhat lengthy message. While I believe that it is prophetic, it is written or expressed in a different manner which does not simply stab at a end time event, but provides the state of our societies and what I believe are the opportunities and mandates that the Spirit is speaking to the churches today to provide a better tomorrow for individual lives. What the world needs from the prophetic community is not open-ended statements, unanswered questions, vague mysticisms, natural disaster predictions, and hyper-spiritual catch phrases. The world and the church are listening and looking for solid solutions and concrete answers. dk
Whether you tilt toward the political right, the political left, or simply don’t care, people in today’s world share certain assumptions and beliefs. Those with spiritual and prophetic discernment recognize that the same contrasts or varying viewpoints are also reflected in the church. Both politics and religion have very individualistic, world, local, and social viewpoints. For instance, many, if not most predominately black churches are democratic and many if not most white churches are republican or libertarian. I realize that this is not all inclusive, but true in regard to majority leanings. Why is this the case when both platforms are now so diametrically opposed? Are Christians to be in one accord? Regardless, both religion and politics have evolved to assume that “society” is a kind of weird social contract between autonomous and independent individuals. Both are on a straight road which promotes “policies” designed to expand individual choice. Our individualistic tendencies will cause great harm as the days unfold unless the church embraces the social blessing of family, connection, community, and genuine love for others. Much of today’s politics (a “true” reflection of its people) is recognizably shallow in regard to deep bonds, friendships, and what I call the “invisible norms.” This will become more clear as the message progresses.
Conservative and religious activists embrace individualism of the market and the individualism of personal pride. They react with fury against any effort by the state to erode individual economic choice and “religion” reacts with even greater fury when its sacred cows and doctrines are refuted. Benjamin Franklin was ostracized by the traditional church of his day in stating that lightning was simply negative and positive charges in the atmosphere. The church persecuted Franklin even up to the late 1700’s, because it still believed that lightning was a kind of sign reflecting God’s “mood” rather than submit to proven science and common sense. Many dogmas and sacred cows that many hold on to with white knuckles will seem rather primal tomorrow as the genuine prophetic article begins bringing the messy and murkiness of life into clear view. Conservatives create and adopt policies designed to maximize economic freedom with little to no personal accountability. Likewise, many in the grip of religious spirits desire freedom without spiritual accountability and leadership. The days of humility have arrived and the events of the last days will demand strong leadership and an even greater demand for hearts that are humble, contrite, open to correction, and willing to recognize the Lord’s authority. The days of entitlement are over for humanity, the church, and political agenda. You are entitled to nothing from another! You have been granted freedom in Christ which does entitle you to His power which works mightily through you to accomplish “possibilities” and fulfill your destiny.
Political conservatives want lower tax rates but yet, religious conservatives are the least philanthropic via reliable data and create a myriad of excuses to not drop a buck to support communal goodness. These conservatives want to keep “their” hard earned money and privatize Social Security so folks can control more of their own pensions. Yet, so many I know in the religious camp barely have two nickels to rub together because of a culture of entitlement, natural laziness, and spiritual excuses. The right-wing wants voucher programs so parents can choose schools for their children, yet America still reflects some of the highest dropout rates for both high school and college within advanced societies. Yes, we want a lot of superficial ideologies without understanding the root causes of why we want these things and why the need is still prevalent.
Liberals embrace individualism, but in a strange moral sense. They also react with fury against any attempt by the state to erode choices about marriage, family structure, the role of women, and aspects of life and death. Yet, just as tragic – the divorce rate, pornography, and luke-warmness are the same or just as prevalent in the “church.” The left-wing gravitates and embraces policies designed to maximize social freedom. Thus, they rationalize that individuals should be free to make their own choices about abortion, euthanasia, and similar social matters. The left essentially assumes the role of God (the highest form of idolatry) while denying God and in course turns to a shade of gray what is moral and immoral within a society and country. Likewise, the church has also preformed the role of “god” very well throughout history and our stains throughout history are many and clearly documented.
Activist groups on the left protect the rights and “choices” of what the majority of Americans consider immoral or barbaric but the same group will not protect the rights of free expression in regard to a cross, menorah, a Christmas manger, or any other religious symbol under the excuse as not to impinge upon another conscience. Since when did “consciousness” become a one way street? Is there a “conscious” reason that a Christian would vote for a candidate that supports abortion? Will Christians continue to support demonic and anti-Christian values void of definitive morality? I believe that many “Christians” (especially in minority laden churches) will continue to support the left agenda because as I stated earlier, it serves their “individual” interests rather than the interests of the kingdom of God. This is the spirit of religion and the power of its deception. The day of reckoning is at hand and blood is upon the hands of many regardless of ethnicity or race. It would be better in that day if you had not voted than to support the murder of millions; a system of government reliance; and socialist tendencies which have proven through history to have deathly side affects. Ignorance will not change the verdict nor blood guilt which is coming upon us.
The extreme individualism of the right and left have produced three successful political movements in modern history which are clearly defined: The Civil War era, the early 1960’s, and then again in the 1980’s. The church in the west has likewise produced three successful movements: The Great Awakening, The Holy Spirit Outpouring of 1900/1901, and the Charismatic Movement of the late 1960’s. The prevailing winds of the last two political movements blew strongly in the direction of autonomy, individualism, and personal freedom. The warming winds of communal trust, social obligations, and relational bonds were overcome by the cold winds of individualism and a whirlwind or tornado of cultural disaster was left in its path.
Ultimately, this points towards materialistic and mechanical mindsets. Both liberals and conservatives in our culture are drawn toward economic explanations for any social problem and usually come up with various solutions to these problems that involve “MONEY.” The right argues for child tax credits to somehow restore marriage, low tax shelters to combat urban poverty and plight, and school vouchers to somehow improve education. The left gravitates toward the opposite side of fiscal responsibility and prefers spending money they do not have. They attempt to direct more dollars to fix broken schools and spend on programs to enhance student aid in the strange belief that it will solve college graduation rates which is currently at an all-time low. Ironic? “No Child Left Behind” under the republican watch is not the answer. How can a teacher generate acceptable test scores when half of their time is spent on teaching English or comprehension and addressing parental deficiencies?
As strange as it seems, both sides assume that there is a direct relationship between improving material conditions and problem solving. However, both sides have neglected the essential and godly matters of character, culture, and defining morality as the core solution.
The church is very similar in its approach. It compromises its culture and witness by promoting material wealth as a means of spiritual success. Religion promotes one program after another believing that it will fix the state of humanity without addressing the root area of the soul and building relationships. The religious politic send missionaries around the world to evangelize and enforce dogmas not led by the Spirit and the end result is reliance and poverty. So called “third world countries” could always rely upon what God provided in nature to live a life of provision with a lack of stress. However, the spirit of religion demands conformance, utter reliance, and bondage which leads to the stealing of culture and slavery to an economic machine which stated earlier – leads the indigenous into natural poverty.
It is interesting that the majority of white American Christians reflect a socio-political perspective that falls in line with those who embrace guns, banks, war, and monetary budgets. Somehow, we are convinced that a president or cabinet of elected officials which reflect these core values can solve our nation’s issues. Really? Without the Spirit God and a understanding of kingdom government principles – we will continue to taste cultural and economic shortcomings. On the other hand, folks who embrace or lean toward family policy, early childhood education, and community relationships are strangely labeled as tree huggers and liberal crack-pots. I bet that if I pulled a senator or state representative aside and try to talk to him or her about the importance of maternal bonds for future human development – that individual would look at me like I was nuts and maybe trying to raise money for the Dali Lama! Of course, he or she would gravitate toward something much more subliminally “important” like a tax bill, military contract, or pet project. The political and religious arena have much in common. They both promote the stated doctrines, dogma, and policies which sound good on the surface, but lack the understanding of the human soul. They both think in terms that are mechanical rather than spiritual because they need to quantify or measure (metric) their results. This is a tragedy that is continuing to evolve and is birthing its offspring. The human soul is complex and cannot be measured (See my blog article titled the “Prophetic Soul.”). We only need to take stock and review the myriad of policies in both political and religious institutions which have been disastrous for humanity.
The policies of religion and politics have interwoven since the 2nd century. These policies and dogmas have produced adverse affects for common reasons. The ideologies rearranged the material conditions in some positive ways, but they also severely undermined social relationships and the accountability of communities to each other. For instance, liberal reformers in the 1950’s and 1960’s saw run down neighborhoods with decaying homes and they vowed to replace them with brand new building projects. The prophetic insight and wisdom which the reformers lacked was that although the neighborhoods were a bit decrepit, they also possessed strong cultural support systems interwoven with community bonds of accountability that were rich and deep. When the neighborhoods were bulldozed for new projects, people’s lives may have been initially or materially better, but they were also spiritually worse. The projects would soon turn into wastelands of survival of the fittest and hopelessness expressed in its graffiti. The welfare policies of the 1970’s would continue to undermine the culture and positive habits or bonds of families. Government checks helped the material conditions, but in the midst of this cultural upheaval it also encouraged young girls to give birth out of wedlock for a quick financial gain which destroys the foundations of a happy and intact family.
Many other policy failures came from the right within the age of deregulation. Monster store chains and corporate conglomerates have virtually destroyed local and community store owners that added to the bonds of a society. Networks of friendships and community were soon replaced by the hustle and bustle of a dollar savings. Global banking conglomerates bought out small local banks and the local trust of a town bank was replaced by an unknown board of directors a thousand miles away in a penthouse office making millions of dollars. The customer became a number and a wild-west or self-serving trading frenzy began with your hard earned money. We had the privilege to witness the S&L and the Wall Street bailouts with “your” money of which the stated frenzy precipitated. We have mega churches and television ministry conglomerates that likewise play with the hard earned money of many and like the bankers a thousand miles away – we have local churches with no more than 50 members, but only a few truly know one another. We’re just a number in the fast paced race we call life … even in the church.
We can put this in perspective when we recall how free-market experts flooded into Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union. They offered grandiose and superficial advice on business privatization but forgot about the soul and spirit of a man and how to build communal trust, law, and order which is the seedbed of genuine prosperity. The US invaded Iraq, believing that simply replacing the nation’s dictator and its institutions could easily remake or rebuild a nation. The minds of the invaders were oblivious to the psychological effects that a generation of tyranny had interwoven into the local cultures as well as the hatred which was simmering below the surface which quickly exploded into an ethnic bloodbath. The errors are simple to realize when seen through the lens of prophetic vision. You and I (the church) can only truly give what we truly possess. The problem is that the gift or giving of deep relationship is rarely exercised and nurtured in the church as the core solution to “life.” We are continually told so often what not to do and who not to be, that we have forgetten who we are…In Christ.
Financial deregulation promoted by the right erroneously assumed that global traders needed no protection from their own emotions, greed, and temptations. Men left to their own devices without wise regulations have produced tragedy after tragedy if you understand history. There is a man somewhere and somehow who would cut the last tree down for a profit. (Read the history of Easter Island) They still believe that reducing tax rates in inner cities will cause local economies to grow; this has been proven wrong. The left promotes scholarship programs designed to reduce college drop out rates, when the main problem is not a lack of financial aid. In fact, only about 8% of students are unable to complete college for pure financial reasons. The more important issues have to do with emotional disengagement from college and a lack of academic preparation because of a lack of parental interest and correct relationships which produced high school truancy and educational mediocrity. Once again, political entities and much of the religious base attempt to solve personal issues in a mechanical or measured manner rather than solving the issues which reside deep within the soul. Both secularism and religiosity continually attempt to fortify material development, but end up weakening the social, emotional, and spiritual development that underpins it all.
Besides the damage done to societies by government, a cultural revolution has also eroded the healthy habits of old and traditional family structures. An economic revolution has replaced neighborhood businesses and downtowns with big malls and chain stores. The information revolution has replaced community and civic organizations that reflected face to face engagement and built-in relationships. It is interesting and I speak this with prophetic clarity that many governments unknowingly played a strong supporting role in all of these revolutionary changes due to spiritual and prophetic ignorance. The end result is the false security of financial capital and the dilution of social capital. Much of the church is deceived and believes it is now more “connected” due to these technological revolutions. This cannot be farther from the truth and people have actually become much more loosely affiliated in areas that truly matter with eternity in the balance. The networks of relationship that encourage self-restraint, respect for others, and social sympathy have lost much of its power and depth. These effects may have benefited in a weird liberating way the educated and wealthy, who possessed the social capital or currency to explore this new and loosely knit world, but they were also devastating for those without that sort of capital. Family structures began to disintegrate, especially for the less educated. Out of wedlock births skyrocketed, crime rose, and trust in institutions at all levels collapsed.
The effects of these collapses are what we are experiencing today and will continue to intensify. This causes the state to step in to restore a resemblance of order. The individualist revolution in the nation and in our churches did not end up creating freedom and free societies. They produced an environment in which the state exponentially grows in the attempt to fill the gaps created by social disintegration. The less informal social constraints there are in any society, the more formal state power will be needed to address the vacuum. The current culture is what we have created as collective citizens and Christians. The church was sleepwalking for decades and many fail to see that the elements for the spirit of antichrist are in place. Politics was playing detente during the cold war and church was playing detente with the enemy of our souls. Detente simply means: “I’m not interested in complete victory. I’m content to not mess with you if you don’t mess with me.”
We already see the state filling the social gaps in many parts of Europe where cameras are the norm to combat local crime. The UK alone has four million security cameras just to control everyday life. Neighborhoods disintegrate and the welfare state steps in, further displacing the fabric of social networks which is far more important than the “institutionalized medicine” being served up to cure humanity’s ills. Economic markets, unconstrained by the traditions of informal and compromised standards will require more intrusive prosecutors to police them, further draining resources. If we look for a moment with honesty, we are a bipolar nation. We have become a bureaucratic, centralized state that presides over an increasingly fragmented, disempowered and isolated citizenry. Where is church? Who really is the church? Has church become “individualized?”
Without a healthy social and loving fabric interwoven into our cultures, politics in both secular and church government will become even more polarized. One party has evolved to represent the state and the other has evolved to represent the market and much of the church has picked both sides for a one night stand every few years. One party tries to shift institutions of power and money to government; and the other tries to shift those exact same things into various market entities. Sadly, both, including the church, neglected and ignored the greater institution: The institution of virtue and family life. In socially deficient nations, most people begin to form their personal identities and belief systems around their political faction.
Politics (secular and religious) has become a contest pitting one ideological identity group against another. It has no longer become possible to form healthy dialog and arrive at a consensus that serves the people’s best interest because of the unconscious polarization pulling us away from God and into the snare of the antichrist system. This scenario has played itself out over and over for thousands of years but is now culminating in global strength. The result of this partisan ugliness in modern times is that public trust in government (both secular and spiritual) has rightly suffered. In a densely interconnected society, people can see the gradual chain of institutions that connect family to neighborhood, neighborhood to town, town to regional associations, regional associations to national associations, and national associations to federal government.
In a socially depleted society, the chain has been broken and the sense of connection gets broken with it. The state will continue to strengthen and manifest as almost alien and intrusive. People will continue to lose faith in the government’s ability to do the right thing and will have corrosive attitudes about their national leaders. For the church to deny the importance of national leaders, society, law, order, family structure, etc. is deception. Living under tyranny does not promote the harvest of souls nor does it provide quality of life. It’s time for church to set the example of genuine love and relationships as a template for the world to witness. These are the keys that have been placed in the church’s hands. It time we unlock the power of deep love by the Spirit of God towards each other and toward mankind. It’s time that we move in prophetic wisdom and drop the lip service and foolish mysticisms which have little to no impact on humanity.
Instead of humanity being bound by genuine loving, caring bonds, and occasionally being called for corporate or communal sacrifice for the betterment of all, a cynical persona and culture has manifested to “grab what you can get before the other guy gets it!” The result is never-ending public debt and a public unwilling to accept the sacrifice of either tax increases or spending cuts required for fiscal responsibility. Thus, neither side trusts the other to hold up to their end of the agreement. Without deep social trust and spiritual education which addresses the soul of a man, humanity will continue into a political state which reflects nothing more than brutal shoving matches that will eventually lead into ideological brawls of which will reflect and validate the culture of the end days.
With this said, I do believe that a spiritual revolution is currently taking place. The health of our societies is determined by the health of its relationships and not by the maximizing of individual choice. This is where the western church has failed in its mandate. We have gazed so far down the road that we have failed to recognize the needs right under our own nose: family, family extended, co-workers, and neighborhoods. Politics and the church love the word “freedom” to roll of its institutional tongue. In fact, freedom should never be the ultimate end. The ultimate focus and end result in both secular and religious government should be the “character” that is fostered and encouraged from the individual level to its communal levels.
Spiritual, political, and social institutions influence the unconscious choices which under-gird human behavior. Governments can either create environments that nurture virtuous choices or they can create environments that undermine them.
Our current methods of solving humanities issues maximizes the individual. However, we can begin to truly address our global issues by putting the health of social networks and communal relations at the center of our efforts. Simply put, it’s time we move from economy-centric investments to relational-centric investments. In other words, we can pump money into poor areas, but without cultures that foster self-control, we will continue to experience social regression and cyclical behaviors. We can lower and raise tax rates, but without trust and confidence, businesses won’t form and people will not invest in each other. The bottom line is that we can have election after election, but without responsible and virtuous citizens, democracy will not flourish nor be fully realized and experienced.
Benjamin Disraeli wrote, “The spiritual nature of man is stronger than codes or constitutions. No government can endure which does not recognize that for its foundation, and no legislation last which does not flow from this foundation.”
Everything ultimately comes down to character which means that everything comes down to the quality of relationships, because relationships are the seedbed of character. The reason that both politics, spirituality, and the very core of life is so hard is because relationships are the most important. Likewise, they are also the most difficult to understand.
The word “Socialism” has been tossed around much in the United States over the last four years. It’s really strange that the 19th and 20th century political thinkers called themselves “socialists.” In fact, this word was stolen and warped by the spirit of antichrist to deceive humanity. Those who call themselves socialist are not really socialist, they are “statists” and value the state over culture and society. They are the farthest thing from a political body which would promote the social well-being, liberty, and value of a culture. “True socialism,” which the Lord is redeeming, would put social life and relationships first as the essence of life and the solution to many of our societal issues. It is character and culture that really shape behavior. Government can, in limited ways, shape culture and character. However, this must be limited to creating “possibilities.” State power is like a fire — warming when contained and fatal when it grows too large. It is not the role of government to run people’s lives nor to dictate their experience of life. This only weakens the responsibility and virtue of its citizens. Government could, to a limited degree, provide and nurture environments that serve and foster relationships and promote the spirit of its citizens. Ironically, it has done just opposite over the last 60 years.
Much value is gained when the state simply performs the tasks that it was framed to do such as providing the blueprint for law, order, and security for the common good; defending against foreign or external attack; regulating (a bad word with right wingers, but needed anyway) economic activity and prosecuting those who cheat the market system built on fairness; protecting property rights; dictating a fair punishment for crime and providing a basic level of civic order.
Some of this can be done by reducing or eliminating the myriad of programs which weaken culture and character. The core social value woven within the soul of a man is that effort leads to reward. But very often, government rewards people who have not provided effort at the civic level. Thus, many aspects of current welfare programs discourage work. Lobbyists secure earmarks, tax breaks, and subsidies so their companies can secure revenue without having to earn it in the marketplace at the economic level. These various programs of political “good will” have actually weakened public trust and confidence and only enhance the appearance that the current political state is rigged and corrupt.
Aristotle wrote that legislators habituate citizens. Whether they mean to or not, legislators encourage certain ways of living and discourage other ways. State-craft is inevitably soul-craft.
The fracturing and dislocations of unconscious bonds and relationships is at the root of most of humanity’s issues today. These are the “invisible norms” which I mentioned at the beginning of this message. Government can only effectively play a very limited role as I stated earlier. The core changes and initiative must be birthed within all of us and must start as the church in motion. Only the church has the power of the Holy Spirit and the prophetic insight to launch such a change in culture and attitude to take back spiritual territories and cultural landscapes which have been forfeited. Many “spiritual” people are content to hide in prayer closets and simplistically believe that God will just “handle it.” They are unaware of the stench of natural laziness that exudes from their pores. Far too many believers are hiding behind the masks of religiosity as an excuse to do nothing and are of no earthly or practical good. Our spiritual maturity will define our legacy and this is walked out in everyday life. We are only to be separate from the world in regard to the sin nature; We are a vital part of the rest of life and have a part to play in God’s redemptive work.
I will end by addressing terrorism and HIV which rank among the world’s foremost tragedies. The spiritual entities behind both of these “killers” are difficult to defeat as their roots are ancient. However, the weapon to defeat these demonic entities is the power of imparting virtue and purpose. Many assume that terrorism is a product of poverty and a lack of economic opportunity in various parts of the world.
Once again, we find think-tank scholars, politicians, and the media trying solve a problem by believing that the solution resides in material or mechanistic roots. Research in regard to database backgrounds of terrorists reveals that 75% of the anti-western terrorists come from middle-class homes and 63% have attended college. The problem is not materialistic, but relational and social. When we look into the eyes and soul of a terrorist through the prophetic vision of the Holy Spirit, we see that they are detached from any specific country and culture.
They are caught in a type of no-man’s land between the ancient and the modern. They invent make-believe ancient purity requirements to give their lives meaning or purpose. They take up violence in the name of jihad because it attaches them to something. Ironically, they are not usually politically active before they join a terrorist organization, but are searching for some larger creed to give their existence shape and form. These choices (many of them just children) can only be prevented if there are other causes to provide them a different route to fulfillment, affirmation, and happiness.
The end of times are upon us and millions of souls are in the balance. The days of defeating an insurgency or enemy on the battlefield by simply killing as many folks as possible are over. I believe that both Afghanistan and Iraq have proven this. True victory can only come through winning the trust of the population and every population will know us by the fruit we bare. We have much ground to make up as the church for we have sowed much terror and bloodshed within its history. Today is the day of Lord and the day the Spirit is speaking to the churches. Today is the day of new beginnings and new expressions in Christ to a lost and dying world.
The world and especially the west has thrown great technical knowledge at the problem of AIDS/HIV. We have produced drugs by the boatload, but the effectiveness of these drugs has little to no effect if the people continue to engage in unhealthy behaviors. Once again, mechanical, technical, and monetary insights do not change behavior nor resolve core human issues. Even education and raising awareness is insufficient. The truth is that all people in the most severely afflicted countries already know about the dangers of HIV, but they engage in risky behaviors anyway. Providing condoms has not solved this issue as many do not use them as current infection rates reflect.
I recently read of a village in Namibia where all the middle-aged people were dead from AIDS. The children had nursed their parents into their graves. And yet, against all of the most primal incentives of survival, the children were soon replicating the exact same behaviors that had led to their parents death.
These behaviors defy logic and self interest at a very foundational level. But does it? Programs that focus upon logic and self-interest will never work. It is only the program of relationships in changing the culture within (the soul of a man). It is forming deep bonds of accountability through relationships that create virtuous people, who would not put themselves in the path of such destructive temptation.
“Behold, I am coming quickly, and my reward is with me, to render to every man according to what he has done.” Revelation 22:12