Saturday, January 09, 2021

American Prophetic Failure (1)

There are two major problems with the prophetic claims that God would intervene, despite the outcome of the election, to install Donald Trump as president for a second term.

The first problem is that American prophets have failed to understand what God can and can’t do. God is all-powerful, but when he created the earth, and humans in his image, he limited his sovereignty by giving them freedom. This means that he cannot make people do what they don’t want to do. God can constrain the evil spirits that harass people, and he can put thoughts into their minds to persuade them, but he cannot force them to act against their will.

Accomplishing his will is not as easy for God as many Christians assume. Even the people who have promised to serve him frequently choose to do their own thing and fail to obey him. More so, people who hate him or cannot trust him. If they know his will, they are quite likely to refuse to do it. God has the power to get his will done, but he has chosen not to use it because he wants humans to be free. God does accomplish his purposes, but it takes time. The Holy Spirit works out his plans by removing obstacles and putting the right people in place ready for when he wants to bring change. The process is often slowed because some of the people that he has called refuse to get on board.

It took thousands of years for him to get everything lined up so that it would be safe to send Jesus to earth, so it will take many years before he is able to achieve the great harvest of the earth that has been promised and establish the fulness of his Kingdom. God will eventually achieve his purposes, but he does it by working patiently and wisely through humans to achieve his objectives.

Some prophets have been saying that the outcome of the election is in God’s hand, not the hands of men. They have assumed that God can flip the election any way that the chooses. This is not true. God has given authority on earth to humans, so he cannot enforce changes that they do not want.

Adopting democracy places even greater limitation on what God can do.

In a monarchy, removing a king and replacing him with another is much easier. God can cause a king to become sick and die (Acts 12:23), or to be killed in a battle (1 Kings 22:34-35). This opens the way for a replacement king to be installed (the Holy Spirit can influence the process of appointment).

In contrast, democracy is a system designed to give humans control over who rules them. The Holy Spirit can make suggestions to people about how they should vote, but he cannot force them to vote for the person he wants to rule.

The result of an election will be determined by the people and not by God. He cannot destroy votes or create extra ones. He might be able to cause some voting papers to be lost, but that is not how he usually works. The outcome of an election will usually be determined by voters.

Teaching that God determines the outcome of an election is misleading. The only way to change to really change the rulers in a democracy is to preach the gospel effectively so that people’s hearts are changed, enabling them to be able to listen to the Spirit and vote according to his will.

God cannot just snap his fingers and miraculously flip the result of an election. If it were that easy to get his will done, the entire world would have come to faith in Jesus by now. That has not happened. Not because it is not God’s will, but because humans have used the freedom that he gave them to reject his will.

Changing the outcome of an election is not that easy for God, especially if some of the population hate him, and many who say that they love him do not know how to hear the voice of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit has to persuade thousands of people who don’t know how to hear his voice to change the way that they will vote. People are usually stubborn about their political loyalties, so it would not be easy for him to persuade them to change their vote.

Many prophetic people have been saying that God determines the outcome of the election, not man. In a democratic system that is simply not true. The democratic process is actually set up in a way that makes it difficult for the Holy Spirit to have influence. It enables humans to choose their leader, and God will not force them to change their choices. Under democracy (rule of the people), humans determine the outcome of elections.

Some American prophets have claimed that God would intervene miraculously to install Donald Trump as president. By implying that God could do this if they prayed enough, the prophets have created a false hope that will lead to disappointment.

The prophets who declared that America would be swept by a red wave and that Donald Trump would get a second term as president are wrong because they were promising that God was not in a position to deliver, even if he wanted to (I am not certain that he cares about the outcome of the election as much as the American prophets do, but that is a story for another day). If they had said that God wanted Donald Trump to have a second term, this would have been better, because the outcome would be conditional on how people responded.

Unfortunately, numerous prophets went further than that and declared that his second term was certain. Their certainty gave people a false hope that has now produced massive disappointment, and probably loss of faith. Their failure to teach people what God can and cannot do is a serious mistake because it will undermine the faith of many Christians. Faith based on a false understanding of how God operates is bound to be disappointed. Serious disappointment in God will cause many people to turn away from him. That is sad because prophets are supposed to teach people how to deal with the troubles of life.

Prophets should be careful about confusing God’s desires with his intentions. They must not confuse what he wants to happen, with what will happen. They must be careful about declaring that outcomes which are conditional are certain. In a world where humans are free, very few events on earth are certain.

Modern prophets sometimes speak as if God has meticulous control over everything that happens on earth. That is a false doctrine. God has made humans free. This means that humans decide much of what happens on earth, not God.

The big mistake of the American prophets in this season was not hearing wrongly about the outcome of the election, although that was a serious mistake. Their big mistake was declaring the outcome was certain, despite the reality that God was not free to deliver it because he is unwilling to force humans to do things against their will.

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