I read this article today: Texas Megachurch Pastor Says Obama Will ‘Pave Way’ for Antichrist. The money quote for me in that article is this one:
"President Obama is not the Antichrist. But what I am saying is this: the course he is choosing to lead our nation is paving the way for the future reign of the Antichrist."
Jeffress would go on to say that "it is time for Christians to stand up and to push back against this evil that is overtaking our nation" and to do so via "the ballot box
After reading that article on Jeffress I read through Isaiah 8. It’s amazing how fitting this passage of Scripture is to our current political unrest.
“Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. But the LORD of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.”
My point in this article is not really even political. I care little about a discussion on Obama, Romney, or any third-party candidate. What I do care about are those professing to be believers being swept up in worldly fear. The “they” in Isaiah 8 is not talking about Gentiles that are not part of the covenant. The “they” in Isaiah 8 is talking about people like the king of Judah that is wringing his hands in fear because two powerhouse nations are now in cahoots and seeking to terrify Judah.
That would be a scary thing. I do not want to minimize that. Nor do I want to minimize the reality of some of the fear that people have for our nation. There are real issues that ought to cause people real concern. The problem is not with the presence of concern. The problem is with what type of fear and concern is present.
Fear-Mongering Reveals Kingdom Loyalties
What Jeffress said is fear-mongering plain and simple. It is the Christianized version of the fear-mongering that takes place on much talk radio. If A happens then B is going to happen and then we’re all in big trouble. Christians get swept up into this and we start to fear the same thing that the world fears.
Is it wrong that I do not fear the Antichrist? Of course I would prefer that I never have to live during the reign of the Antichrist. I would prefer that my children and grandchildren do not either. But I do not fear his mock reign. Because that is all it is—a mock reign. Jesus will never lose His throne. It is to his kingdom that I am aligned. You can take away my American dream, my American economy, my American freedom and comforts, but you cannot take away Jesus. You cannot boot him out of the schools. You cannot boot him out of our nation. He’s not going anywhere.
Such fear-mongering reveals kingdom loyalties. When we “fight for America” through worldly fear-mongering we subtly reveal where our kingdom loyalties lie. The kingdom that we ought to be “fighting for” through loving proclamation is one that is not built by fear. It is built by love. And it is a kingdom in which such fear is not only wrong headed it is called idolatry. Our fear is reserved for our King alone.
Such thinking misunderstands evil as well. The “evil” in our nation is not the result of dirty politics. The “evil” that we are pushing back against isn’t found on the other side of the aisle. It is found in our hearts. Evil cares less about destroying America than it cares about destroying Americans. In the same way Christ did not come to rescue America; he came to rescue Americans…and people from every tribe, people, nation, and tongue.
Isaiah 8 calls us to fear the Lord. Let’s leave the fear-mongering to worldly politicians and ideologues and use our pastorates for proclaiming a kingdom that cannot be shaken.