Monday, November 24, 2008

That Is the Question

Apparently, fearmongering is the way to go with conservatives/fundamentalists/Republicans. I found McCain/Palin's fearmongering obnoxious and offensive, but, in reviewing conservafundican articles over the last few weeks, I have found one underlying theme: fear. (And racism. And crazy. But today's blog is about fear.)

This brings us to "To Fear or Not to Fear" by Faith Noles.

The week following this 2008 presidential election has left many feeling as if they have just walked through a cold mortuary filled with the post mortem remains of a once beautiful and blessed America. I’ve seen the solemn expressions of prophecy teachers and anointed preachers who have spoken since the election. I’ve seen the down cast faces of faithful believers who have passionately prayed for the healing and redemption of this nation. Many are disheartened and may even feel as if God has not heard their prayers.

This is not the first "America is dead now that you idiots have elected Obama" article since November 5. This handwringing over the US's corpse before Obama has even taken office is silly at first glance. My first thought was, "What kind of power do they imagine the President has?" Then I thought about all the shit Bush has done in the last 8 years- free falling stock market, severely depressed housing market, wire tapping, two wars, etc.- and I realized this wasn't silly. Then I thought, but Obama is going to at least to attempt to undo those things. Then it hit me.

These people think Bush did a good job. Think about that. Economy in the toilet, thousands wounded and dying in Afganistan and Iraq, foreclosures in the millions, people in the US starving, unable to afford medication or heat, and they're afraid this will end.

The worst part is, if the faithful really did pray for redemption and healing, then God did answer their prayers. McCain/Palin would have given us neither of those things. (I doubt they were really praying for redemption and healing, though. More like, "Please god, don't let that MUSLIM!TERRORIST!HE'sBLACK! in office.")

David Wilkerson wrote in his book, God’s Plan To Protect His People In The Coming Depression that “Every serious follower of Christ has to realize America deserves the full fury of God’s wrath”. Not an authority on anything. History is filled with examples of God’s judgment upon wicked nations. With the election of Obama, Christians in America see the ‘writing on the wall’ and know that God’s judgment on America is right at hand. Yeah, God was following the election on CNN. Now he will punish even those who voted for McCain for the election of Obama. Because god doesn't understand how the electoral college works.

This is appalling for two reasons. First, history is not full of examples of God's judgment, it is filled with natural disasters and miscalculations and human error, and above all, tragedy, misfortune and suffering. To attribute this as the just action of god is to ignore the tragedy and suffering. It is also to place oneself above the sufferer. "You deserved what you got, sucker, and it's never going to happen to me. Nyah, nyah, nyah."

This is monstrous.

I do believe that America is about to be judged. However, God wants to remind His children that He is still on the throne. Billy Graham once made the statement “God is unchanging in His love. He loves you. He has a plan for your life. Don’t let the newspaper headlines frighten you. God is still sovereign; He’s still on the throne.” God has not changed. Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” Malachi 3:6 “For I am the Lord, I change not.” None of the events of this old sinful world has taken God by surprise.

Yeah, I dunno. Random bible quotes. But think about what Ms. Noles says. Basically, god is going to spank us all while saying, "this hurts me more than it hurts you . . . but yeah, you're all going to die in the plague. it'll be a horrible way to die. but more painful for me."

Yes, he's back: God as abusive parent with serious self esteem issues! Why would anyone want to worship this guy, anyway? He makes Satan sound like the better option, if you have to choose one.

I will spare you the list of random, tangentially related bible quotes. (Just open a bible to a random page and point at random to a verse. Do this 8 times and you'll get the picture.) Then we get this delightful story:

There’s a story about a mother hen who overshadowed her baby chick with her wing during a tall grass fire. Afterwards, the farmer walked over the burnt field to assess the damage of his property. He stood still when he saw something move underneath a hen that had died in the fire. He picked up the charred wing of the mother hen and there laid her baby chick untouched by the scorching flames. . .

. . . but dead of smoke inhalation. No really, think about that. What does that mean in this context? That god- GOD!- is powerless to prevent the coming judgment? That god will die protecting us? My mom will die protecting me? If you're going to use analogies to make your point, make sure they actually do make your point. Otherwise you get this confusing mess.

What a comfort to know that you abide under the shadow of God Almighty! Years ago, during an especially trying time in my life, I prayed “Oh God are You here?” Someone had threatened my life and ridiculed my relationship with God. What? What the hell is she talking about? Did some guy hold a knife to her throat while screaming, "You're stupid to believe in god!" More likely, she got an angry email response to some equally horrible article. While the rest of us have the sense to ignore that sort of thing, this is Ms. Nole's melodramatic overreaction: I thought as James and John did in Luke chapter nine, that God would rain fire on this man, but He didn’t. Seriously? You actually thought god almighty was going to rain fire and brimstone on some random internet troll? *wild, uncontrollable laughter* I couldn’t understand why God just didn’t strike this person dead or at least put him in a coma or something. Ya know, the god of love and mercy and compassion and forgiveness. That guy. Yet, God taught me many things while I walked through that valley. What valley? Why have we moved on to travel plans? God reminded me that He loved us while we were yet unlovable. God was showing mercy to this ungodly man. God didn’t take me out of the trial immediately, but He protected my life and gave me the strength to endure. One terrible, lonely night, I sat at my piano, weeping and asking God for deliverance. With tenderness and compassion, God reached down and wrapped me in His arms Replace the word "god" with any man's name and this gets very interesting and gave me this song:

Really bad song lyrics that make me happy I can't hear the music.

There is no need to fear if you are washed in the blood of the Lamb and abiding with Jesus. Isaiah 41:13 “For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee”. However, for those who refuse to turn from their wicked ways, I think the tagline for the 1986 movie The Fly can apply to you... “Be afraid, be very afraid”. Hebrews 10:31 “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God”.

Nyah, nyah, nyah! God's gonna get you, god's gonna get you!

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