Following is one of the calmer responses:
“Good morning. I always enjoy reading your emails. Thank you for the work you do and the time it takes to prepare them. I wanted to mention one thing in regards to this past Friday’s. I can't agree more that the fact that America is going through this upheaval right now is the clear judgment of God. However, I can't disagree with Michael Medved more either.
“Here's why. First, I have two personal friends from Wisconsin who's votes were ‘lost.’ They live in a very small town with only about 500 people in the town and majority of them Republican. However, when miscellaneous folks from the town checked to see if their vote counted, the database says they never voted (their votes were ‘lost’). Then, I heard second hand from someone who grew up in our school who is a pastor now in Pennsylvania, that they had people in their church whose votes were lost or in another case, they went to vote, and were told that they had voted already (and they had not). All that to say, I believe very firmly that there was extensive voter fraud in our past selection and President Trump truly did win. If I only heard about the fraud from conservative websites, I would have my doubts. ...
“Yet, I think the fact that the judges have decided not to look at it, and houses of legislatures have ignored it, is a true sign that God is the one that is allowing this to happen. Think of Pharaoh, logically speaking, he should have let the children of Israel go by about plague 3. However, because Pharaoh hardened his heart, God hardened it even more. God wanted to bring to pass His will. America has mocked God for far too long. Sadly, it is what we deserve.
“That said, I believe Christians ought to do whatever possible to retain the freedoms we have here in America. First and foremost, we have to continue to give out the Gospel. However, we should do all we can to keep the freedoms which are nation was founded on. Think of China, It is extremely hard for Christians there to spread the gospel. Hong Kong has slipped into being that type of place as well. If you are not already a ‘Christian,’ it is illegal for you to attend church services. I believe that we as American Christians would be very poor stewards of the freedoms God has given us if we don't do what is in our power to preserve those freedoms. We shouldn’t get sidetracked from our number one goal, but we shouldn’t also just say, ‘Oh well, I guess this is what we have to deal with.’ I’m so thankful that our forefathers didn't do that. Patrick Henry was an outspoken Christian. I’m glad he gave out the Gospel, and I’m also glad that he said, give me liberty or give me death.”
BROTHER CLOUD’S REPLY
Thanks for the feedback. I appreciate it because it helps me to see in what ways I am not communicating effectively. Many have expressed similar views. One longstanding reader said he is finished with my publications.
I don’t know if Trump won or lost the election. I do not doubt that there was corruption and said as much. I said that “there can be no doubt that there were illegalities” and that it is “doubtless” that “Democrats committed corruption.”
I don’t know if Medved is right about this. I do think his view is worth a read and that is what I urged people to do, then make their own decisions. Based on the feedback I have gotten, though, I sense that few took the time to actually read what Medved wrote in the article to which I linked. It could be that Trump won, but I do not believe it was a landslide as he says. That is my point in regard to the election. The “landslide” part is the point. I do believe that it is very likely that a majority of Americans voted against the man. I do believe that Trump should be more humble and accept some of the blame for losing the election.
But my main exhortations are not about the election itself and who won. They are about what time it is prophetically and what God’s people should be doing today and how that so much time is wasted on vanity when the churches and Christian homes are so incredibly weak in most cases, and other such things.
As for the loss of our liberties, of course we should be concerned about that. I don’t know of anyone who believes we should just say, “Oh well.” I certainly have never said that or even hinted at it. I am deeply concerned about what is happening to America in my very lifetime. I have seen more of the changes than most of my readers, because I am older than most of them, and I am deeply concerned.
The question is what we are going to do? What can we do? On the political side, what more can be done than what has been done by millions of hardcore conservative patriots since Carl McIntire’s crusades? You point to Patrick Henry. He and our forefathers took up arms, fashioned a new temporary government, formed armies, went on the warpath. Is that what we should do? Really? Is that what time it is? If not, why quote Patrick Henry? Personally I don’t think it is the same situation and that if we did try to do what our forefathers did at that time we would not succeed even briefly and we would make things much worse for ourselves, for no good reason. I am confident that God would not be with those who attempted a new revolution. That’s what I said in last week’s issue of Friday News. We will be like the godly king Josiah who didn’t understand the times, galvanized his people, and went rip-roaring against Pharaoh out of God’s will to his untimely death.
What can we do? Much, as we have often said. We can pray a whole lot more and we can learn to pray more effectively and we can be on much better praying ground spiritually, and that encompasses pursuing a real revival of purging ourselves and our churches and homes from worldliness and being much, much more immersed in God’s Word and filled with the Spirit, etc. What can we do? We can seek to strengthen the homes in a very serious, determined, focused way, the fathers pursuing being the spiritual heads of the homes, the mothers pursuing being the keepers of the home, the fathers and mothers being the primary teachers and disciplers of their children and carefully overseeing all other teaching. We can seek to strengthen the churches in a very serious, determined, focused way. We can pursue serious discipleship of the youth and renounce the “90% party-party/10% Bible” brand of “youth ministry.” I am convinced that the best churches need to be a whole lot stronger in order to stand in these evil days. The majority of the churches are truly lukewarm, which means they make Christ sick at His stomach. “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth” (Re. 3:16). In my experience, the vast majority of the churches that have a name that they live in reality are on life support and need to be revived and strengthened mightily. Taking any one of the major NT Epistles really seriously would transform most “good, solid KJV churches,” so called. These are no small, part time tasks. This is clearly what God wants His people to be focused on, because this is what we are commanded to do in Scripture. And if we will do what God has commanded us we do, it will do more to help us keep our freedoms than any political action crusade and certainly more than any armed revolution.
SUGGESTIONS FOR TAKING A CHURCH’S SPIRITUAL TEMPERATURE
Some pastor friends helped us put together the following suggestions for taking a church’s spiritual temperature.
- Does Acts 2:41-42 describe the church?
- Does 1 Peter 2:5 describe the church?
- Does Ephesians 4:11-16 describe the church?
- Does Philippians 2:14-16 describe the church?
- Does 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10 describe the church?
- Do the members have a clear personal testimony of repentance and faith, with evidence of regeneration, and do they show this evidence and give this testimony before the church as a requirement for baptism and membership? (Ac. 8:36-39; 16:30-33)
- Is each member familiar with the church constitution, doctrinal statement, and covenant and do they publicly agree to it when joining for membership? (1 Co. 1:10)
- What percentage of the membership are true disciples of Jesus Christ? (Ac. 2:42)
- Are the pastors properly trained and biblically qualified? (1 Ti. 3; Tit. 1)
- Are the pastors serious students of and effectual teachers of God’s Word so that the flock is being built up in the Scriptures and learning to handle the Scriptures for themselves? (Eph. 4:11-16; 1 Ti. 3:2; 1 Ti. 4:13-16; 2 Ti. 2:2, 15; 4:2; Tit. 1:9-11; Heb. 5:12-14)
- What are the pastors’ first loves? (Re. 2:4)
- What is the condition of the pastors’ families? (1 Ti. 3:4-5, 11; Tit. 1:6)
- Is the pastor a humble shepherd or a lording type? (1 Pe. 5:1-4; 3 Jo. 1:9-11)
- Is the preaching according to the description in 2 Timothy 4:2?
- Does the preacher speak as the oracles of God and do the members listen as if they are hearing the oracles of God? What percentage of the church members bring notebooks and pen to take notes and listen intently and on purpose to what is being preached or taught? Is there anything worth writing down?! (1 Pe. 4:11)
- Is the church being effectively warned of worldliness and false teachings? (Ro. 12:2; 16:17-18; 2 Co. 11:3-4; Col. 2:8; 1 Ti. 4:1-5; 2 Ti. 3:5; 4:3-4; Jas. 4:4; 1 Jo. 2:15-17; 4:1-3; 2 Jo. 1:6-11)
- What are the members’ first loves? (Re. 2:4)
- What do the people most like to talk about? (Ps. 37:30-31; 49:3; Pr. 10:20-21; 15:4; 16:21-23; Mt. 12:35; Eph. 4:29; Col. 4:6)
- What is the reality of the daily prayer lives of the people? (Ro. 12:12; Eph. 6:18; Php. 4:6; Col. 4:2; 1 Th. 5:17; 1 Pe. 4:7; Jude 1:10)
- What percentage of the members show up for prayer meetings prepared to and eager to pray?
- What are the contents of the prayer requests (spiritual needs vs. physical and trivial needs)? (Eph. 6:18-19; consider Paul’s prayers - Ro. 1:9-12; Eph. 1:16-19; 3:14-21; Php. 1:4-11; Col. 1:9-13; Phm. 1:4-6 1 Th. 1:2; 2 Ti. 1:3)
- What percentage of church members have daily private devotions? (Ps. 55:17; Da. 6:10; Ac. 10:9; 2 Ti. 2:15)
- What percentage of the church members attend special meetings? (Heb. 10:25)
- What is the level of skill and zeal in personal Bible study among most of the people? (Heb. 5:12-14)
- What is the level of spiritual discernment among most of the people? (Pr. 14:15; Ac. 17:11; 2 Co. 10:3-4; 1 Th. 5:21; Heb. 5:14)
- What is the evangelistic zeal of most of the people? (Mr. 16:15; Ac. 8:4; 2 Co. 5:20)
- What percentage of the people can be described as not conformed to, not in love with, and not friends of the world? (Ro. 12:2; Jas. 4:4; 1 Jo. 2:15-17)
- What are the people doing on social media? (Ps. 101:3; Pr. 29:24; Ro. 12:2; 1 Jo. 2:15-17)
- Is the church well grounded in the music issue so that the people understand and are committed to sacred music as opposed to contemporary? (Eph. 5:18-19; Col. 3:16)
- What type of music do the people listen to in their daily lives?
- What is the spiritual condition of the homes? What percentage of the homes are strong in the Lord?
- How many of the fathers are spiritual heads of the homes? (2 Co. 13:11; Eph. 6:4)
- How many of the mothers are the keepers of the homes? (1 Ti. 5:14; Tit. 2:3-5)
- What percentage of church families have family devotions? (De. 6:4-9)
- Is the church unified in spiritual love? (Eph. 4:1-3, 16)
- Or does backbiting, criticism. and gossip flourish? (1 Co. 3:3-4; 2 Co. 12:20)
- What is the spiritual condition of the youth? What are their first loves? What percentage fit the description of Romans 12?
- Does the church take sin seriously enough to practice discipline when needed? (Mt. 18:15-20; 1 Co. 5)
- Is the church starting new churches or purposefully planning to start new churches and working toward that objective? (Ac. 13:1-4)
- Is the church seeing God call preachers and “full time” workers and is the church training them properly to prepare them for God’s great work? (Mt. 9:37-38; 2 Ti. 2:2)
- Does the church have an effectual part in supporting and praying for biblical missionary works (other than a cut and dry missionary budget and photos on the wall)? Are the prayer letters read to the congregation and prayed over? (1 Co. 9:14; 2 Co. 11:8; Php. 4:15; Tit. 3:13-14; 3 Jo. 1:5-8)
- What percentage of the church is actively looking for the blessed hope and living in light of the' imminent Rapture? (Ro. 13:12; Php. 3:20; 4:5; 1 Th. 1:9-10; 4:13-18; Tit. 2:13; Heb. 9:28; 1 Pe. 4:7; 2 Pe. 3:12; Re. 1:3; 22:10)
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