Friday, September 14, 2012

We'll Never Understand With Just a Surface View

Our stand on the Bible and what it says about the physical and spiritual world, and Satan and evil, will dictate whether or not we truly understand world events. This is critical for everyone to understand, not just a President . . .

In response (I assume) to all the rioting against, and attacks on, America in the Middle East and Africa these last few days the Obama administration has apparently asked YouTube to review the Islam bashing video that is supposed to have started this whole thing. You can read the FOX article by clicking here. In the article it says, "The White House has asked YouTube to review the online video that has been cited as the spark for demonstrations raging across the Middle East and North Africa. The Obama administration is not explicitly asking YouTube to remove the film, but to check if it meets their standards."

They don't get it, and anybody who thinks this is about a video doesn't get it. It's not about a video! Millions of people around the world have seen and read and heard things offensive to their beliefs, faith, etc. and not rioted, murdered, burned down buildings, etc. You probably have—certainly you have if you are a Christian in America. I have heard hateful things about Jesus, and I have heard hateful things from the mouths of professing Christians toward others as well. And yet, we don't do what they are doing around the world right now (and, in reality, it is so far a tiny minority in these countries, not necessarily reflective of the whole country).

But for a U.S. President's administration to get involved asking YouTube to check the video out is naive at best, and at worst a huge mistake in even giving these people an inch. It is as if someone in the world can decide they don't like something America does, riot, and we say, "Sorry. We'll try and change that." and dance to the tune they select as they manipulate our marionette strings. Does anybody really think that even getting the video pulled is going to change the type of people who do these things? It only makes America look weak and afraid—and as every Christian should know, evil doesn't honor weakness and fear, if feeds on it and is empowered by it.

Foreign policy wisdom aside—that isn't really what this post is about—this focus on the video demonstrates a huge ignorance of the reality of world events and of the battle between good and evil. Christians, above all, should know that. The Bible makes it clear that our real enemies are not flesh and blood, but the principalities and powers that drive them. Satan hates God. He hates Christians in whom God dwells and who are adopted by God. He will use any and all means to incite rage and evil against anything that is good or dear to God's heart.

Recently a young adult asked me, in light of talking about 9/11, "Why do people hate us?" I told them that there is no way they will truly understand what is happening and the "why" of their question unless they understand the reality of God and Satan, good and evil, Satan driving evil, and of the fallen nature of man and our choices unconstrained by God. It goes far beyond 9/11, or even Bush, or Reagan, or . . . it goes back to a cross and an empty tomb, and before that Abraham and two sons, and before that a garden and a couple made in God's image and a serpent, and before that . . . well, you know what I mean.

We can never truly understand this world, evil, the hatred directed toward America and Christians, etc. until we understand the spiritual reality that overrides it all—and trying to understand or deal with these issues outside of that framework and reality is ignorant and will never truly work or lead to an understanding of the true enemy. It is like painting over dry rot or termite damage and thinking you've addressed the problem. This is one reason I think it is so important to understand a politician's worldview—we can never truly hope to understand them or hope that they will understand the world unless we know if they understand the truth of what is really going on.

It is not about a video. Just like it is foolish to think everything that happened in Los Angeles after the Rodney King verdict was all truly about people enraged by injustice. Or all the looting and stuff after Katrina—what, were the people who did that mad at the hurricane? Man, apart from Christ, is a breath away from darkness—and darkness needs but little fuel to enpower it and bring it to light.

Just the other day I went on a call to a barn fire that also burnt up a bunch of grass and debris. We spent hours mopping up, making sure every bit was out. Over and over there would be a wisp of smoke as the only evidence of the ember smoldering and waiting below, and then you'd flip a board and the oxygen would rush in and the ember would ignite into flame. Evil, darkness, is like that. It is always just below the surface, smoldering, waiting for whatever it can use to get its "oxygen." In the end it isn't really about the fuel or the oxygen . . . it is about the one putting the match to it or blowing on it. This stuff in the Middle East and Africa isn't about a video! And, to even address the video or think that it is displays a deep lack of understanding of reality.

I thank God for His written Word which helps us understand the true world, spiritual and physical, and for the reality we know as Christians that He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords and that whatever happens in this life is but for a moment in the light of the eternity He has reserved for those who have placed their faith in His Son's work. May His Spirit give us all understanding and open our eyes to truth as we seek to live in this world, but be transformed that we are not like this world.


  1. Very well written and states my feelings as well. This is all so prophetic. I'm glad our friend, Amy Mayfield, shared this with me. Hope you have a wonderful day.

  2. Very well said and I share your feelings. The events we're watching are so prophetic. I'm glad our friend, Amy Mayfield, shared your blog with me and I look forward to others. Thanks.
    Linda W.
    Knoxville, TN

    1. Hi Linda. I replied to your comment but it got inserted as a separate comment and not a reply. It should appear below this. As a side note, since you mentioned that you look forward to others, the best way to find out that there are additional posts is to subscribe to email notifications. Then you don't have to worry about checking back. At least, for me, that is what I have found works best when I want to follow a blog. I have great intentions of checking back . . . but rarely do. But when an email pops up I read it. Anyway, just a suggestion. Looking forward to hearing more from you. My heart has always been that this blog would be a place to share and help each other grow.

  3. Dear Linda. Thanks for your comment and for reading. I look forward to getting to know you better as we journey ahead. I'm glad Amy shared it with you as well. I feel very strongly about what I wrote and, if you browse back through other posts over the years, you will see that I believe world view is more important than most give it credit for in determining how we see things, react to things, make decisions, etc. It is so important that we:
    1. Have a correct world view and doctrine.
    2. Take our thoughts and feelings and choices captive to that world view and make sure the choices we are making and the thoughts we are having are consistent with it.
    Again, thanks! God bless.

  4. They don't get it, or they do and they are just not willing to admit it:

    Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, on Sunday backed up the Obama administration’s position that the violence last week directed at more than 20 U.S. posts in the Middle East is the result of an anti-Muslim video, not America's foreign policy.

    "What sparked the violence was a very hateful video on the Internet," Rice said on "Fox News Sunday." "It was a reaction to a video that had nothing to do with the United States."

  5. Well said and well explained. I have some good news: Mark 13:7:"And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be but the end shall not be yet." This means is he is coming sooner then we think and within our lifetime! And I just happen to know the ending of the story.
    As Christians, we are called not to act as the World would act, nor think as the World thinks. That concept is easy to understand and hard to put into play especially since many within the Christian community don't understand that meek doesn't mean weak. If we are asked to carry the cloak for the Roman soldier for a mile, we are required by our standards to go two. Mat 5:41:"And whosoever shall compel you to go a mile, go with him two". As an ex-fighter and from a tough neighborhood I continually struggle with retaliation and appearing weak to a foe. My Lord and Savior has shown me another way, which to some appears weak, but for me it was far harder to give forgiveness where none was asked, and to love those who would persecute me.

  6. Thanks, "Buildon," for the comment. I appreciate your reading and sharing, and I value what you have said. It is hard to be in the world and not of it---we are so shaped by its priorities and its definitions of success, manliness, strength, etc. What a contrast Christ brings to our lives from who we used to be! I love your reminder that we know the end, and the thought that it could be any day! Of course that means, as we look around and realize time could be short, there is so much work to do! God bless, and have a wonderful week!


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