MICHAEL ANTHONY BLOG
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We’re grateful to our friends at Charisma magazine for publishing this piece Mike wrote, calling on both Trump and Clinton to repent. We’d love your comments, below. You can catch the original publication in Charisma by clicking here.
I think it’s time to stop using Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as scapegoats. If we’re brutally honest with ourselves (and, sister, it’s high time for a dose of honesty in America), both of these candidates look strikingly similar to a great majority of Americans. Both profess to be Christian. Hillary is a long-standing Methodist; Trump, a Presbyterian. Yet both candidates have done, and keep doing, things that are entirely out of character for someone who is really following Christ. I think our major party candidates are the symptom of America’s real, major problem: Christianity needs a reset.
“What is God trying to say to America at this vital time?”
I think God has given us leaders just like ourselves. Stop for a moment and let that theory sink in. This election is not happening in a vacuum. It’s happening in the environment that is America. And just as we can’t get ourselves out of the mess we’re in, neither can our presidential candidates—because they are symptoms, not solutions, of America’s deep and deepening problem. I don’t think either major-party candidate for president has the character, temperament or humility to do what is required of leading our great nation forward through what I’m convinced will be her greatest challenges. If you do, I respectfully want to suggest that I don’t think you’re really paying attention. Herein lies our problem. I don’t think the majority of self-identifying Christians is familiar with the ways in which God speaks. If we are unfamiliar with His voice, we most certainly won’t recognize His message while He speaks.
What is God trying to say to America at this vital time? The very last verse of the book of Judges is we find words so subtly compelling, riveting and disturbing that they beg for resolution. I think they can be applied to life in 21st-century America:
“In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judg. 21:25).
That is not the way to end a book—unless you want to incite the reader to change. People doing what is right in their own eyes, rather than in the eyes of God, is not a good thing at all. If we read our Bibles, we learn that God has a multiplicity of means to get the attention of His people—to get their eyes and hearts back on Him once they’ve strayed. One such way is to give His people leaders exactly—and I mean in the spitting image of—themselves.
Enter Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
The majority of us Christians seem strangely “committed” to getting other people to follow a Jesus we don’t seem to be following ourselves. The majority of us don’t seem to be resolutely in love with Jesus, do we? This is a sin Jesus spoke against most severely. In Twitter terms, we would call it #doublestandard. Were it not for social media, we’d simply call it “hypocrisy.”
Don’t get me wrong: I’m a recovering hypocrite and sinner. You are too if you’ve truly given your life to Christ. In fact, we are the only clay God has in His pottery barn. But there is a world of difference between being committed to recovery and being a walking contradiction rather than a living sacrifice (Rom. 12:1-2).
I believe God, more than either major political party, is trying desperately to get our attention — by doing nothing more than giving us leaders who look and act just like the majority of us. Could it be that our distaste for them is really a distaste for what each of us who claims to know Christ has become? When will we realize the brilliance of God? And what more manner of self-inflicted foolishness must we endure until we come to our senses and repent?
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton both need to repent, big time—as do the majority of us Christians in America. God has, in the past, spoken to his people through a jackass (Num. 22). I think He is again speaking—very loudly and clearly—through an elephant and donkey, not about which one we ought to vote for, or against, but about a far more pressing and eternal need: the condition of our souls and our witness. Are we listening?
America needs a bath. You can jump in during The National Week of Repentance, coming Oct. 30-Nov. 6, the week before the election. You don’t have to travel anywhere to get your personal overhaul underway. It will happen simultaneously across the nation. Visit revivalmatters.com, sign up now, and you’ll be on your way.
WHAT DO YOU THINK? Do both candidates need to repent? What about the rest of us? We’d love your thoughts . . .
The National Week of Repentance starts this Sunday! Don’t miss this historic, simultaneous event happening across America. People in all 50 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and even the United Kingdom are participating! The beauty is that you don’t have to drive or fly anywhere to join in. Wherever you are, you can be part of this move of God and people. Visit RevivalMatters.com to sign up and participate!
Here’s an excerpt from our Wednesday livestream about the National Week of Repentance where Mike gives a genuine invitation for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump to repent, along with the rest of us . . .
Video except from the October 19 lifestream for the upcoming National Week of Repentance (Facebook.com/Godfactor). Don’t miss the National Week of Repentance, a historic, simultaneous, nation-wide movement of God and people happening October 30 – November 6. Visit RevivalMatters.com and sign up now.
The Myth of Progressive Christianity
“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” – 2 Timothy 4:3 (NIV)
There’s a breed of revisionist Christ-follower making the rounds on social media these days. They are not at all selfless. They are selfish and self-serving. In the name of love, they hate. In the name of tolerance, they are intolerant. Meet the progressive “Christian,” the man or woman masquerading as a follower of Jesus Christ. They are walking contradictions, not living sacrifices.
In the name of progress, progressive “Christians” have regressed – and they want you and throngs of the orthodox to follow them in their downward spiral of moral, theological and social decay. They defend killing the unborn (abortion), and embrace biblically alternate views of God, heaven and hell, gender redefinition and more. Pay attention, because they are not merely after you, but also your children. They are hell-bent on change – not because they’ve been liberated, but because they’re deceived.
These self-identifying “Christians” often morph into social media gigolos and prostitutes. They are sold out sell-outs, having denied historic Christianity that is founded upon the overt, obvious teachings of the Bible for the cheap and temporary gain of growing blog audiences, Twitter followers and Facebook likes. They’ve sold their souls, and there is nothing Christ-like about them at all.
MORONS, IN THE CLASSIC SENSE
A moron is “a person who is notably stupid or lacking in good judgment.” A progressive Christian is, by definition, a moron – and I say that respectfully, in the classic, dictionary meaning of the word. They may be sincere, but they sincerely lack good judgment.
The terms “progressive Christian” and “progressive Christianity” are oxymorons – only embraceable when we ignore huge portions of the Bible to suit a liberal, diabolical agenda. Anyone in favor of abortion in the name of it being a “woman’s right to choose” while claiming to be a Christ-follower is a walking contradiction, not a living sacrifice. The push for redefining sex and sexuality apart from clear biblical standards follows from their morally deprived, self-serving system of ignoring huge, obvious portions of the Bible. They must ignore it, because it is literally impossible to support their views with the sacred text. Instead, they put their own “logic” and unreasonable thinking on par with the writings of the Scripture.
One may claim to know and follow Christ all day long in blog, Twitter and Facebook posts. If you teach and promote things that oppose the sacredness of life for the unborn, the sacredness of sex in the context of heterosexual marriage, you certainly have every freedom to do so. But the rest of us, those who actually know what the Bible teaches and do our best to put it into practice, albeit imperfectly, have every right – and biblical obligation – to call you on the carpet.
Heresy and heretics are not to be embraced. They are to be exposed and avoided. The progressive “Christian” is a heretic, embracing and promoting false teachings about Christ, the Bible and God. That’s not a small thing. It’s huge – and you should speak up when you see it happening and warn everyone you know.
IT’S ALL RELATIVE
The surge of progressive “Christians” and “Christianity” is a reflection of the growing rejection that absolute truth exists. Relativism reigns in the twenty-first century, making ours an age ripe for Scripture-twisting folks to redefine God – and His teachings – in their own image.
Don’t fret – but do pay attention: the Bible predicted this uprising long ago. Paul said it well in 2 Timothy 4:3. Beware the fake Christ-follower appearing to be sincere, loving, tolerant and compassionate. Jesus’ words are more pertinent today than when He first spoke them nearly 2,000 years ago in Matthew 7:15 (NIV):
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.”
DUCKS AND WOLVES
If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, it’s a duck. Progressive “Christians” are following a Jesus – but He’s not the Jesus of Scripture. He’s the Jesus they refashioned to suit their own means. If someone claims to be a Christ-follower, but supports the murder of the unborn in the guise of a woman’s right to choose, or if they use linguistic gymnastics to reinterpret the basic meanings of words, that’s a huge red flag.
Yes, we live in the twenty-first century, but claiming to follow the biblical Jesus still requires that we follow His teachings as found in the Bible, not distort them to suite our own aim.
Do you see them? They are all around and increasing in number. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing, claiming to know and follow Christ, when all they are really doing is following a retooled, mythical Jesus to suit their desires. It’s time for the faithful to stand up and speak out, to follow the biblical Jesus like never before.
America needs a bath. You can jump in during The National Week of Repentance, coming October 30 – November 6, the week before the election. You don’t have to travel anywhere to get your personal overhaul underway. It will happen simultaneously across the nation. Visit RevivalMatters.com, sign up now, and you’ll be on your way.
We are very grateful for Fox News publishing Mike’s open letter to the police and protesters in Charlotte, North Carolina. Here is the letter, as well as the Fox News link as it appeared today. We would love your thoughts . . .
AN OPEN LETTER TO POLICE AND PROTESTERS IN CHARLOTTE, NC
There are two things I am not, which I will not pretend to be: a police officer or a black American. I cannot, and will not, imply that I either understand all that is going through your hearts and minds these days, nor will I insult your intelligence by trying to suggest that the solutions to the deep issues that keep resulting in altercations and deaths are easy. They are not.
Charlotte, you’re not alone. In fact, you reflect the new, increasingly violent, divided America. Words fail to express my grief, anger and bewilderment over the death of Keith Lamont Scott, a black man who was killed a few days ago by a black police officer in your city.
It’s nearly the same thing in a different city in America. Just a few days ago, Terance Crutcher was shot and killed in Tulsa, Okla., by police. It is reported that Scott was carrying a gun, while Crutcher had a gun neither on his person nor in his vehicle. In either case, death is always tragic, and is to be mourned.
In this day where so many are so polarized, and the spread of violence leaves the Zika virus in the dust, the ingenious words of Albert Einstein should awaken us: “Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results.” It’s time to try something different.
“It’s time to deal with the root issues behind
the altercations, violence and death. It’s time that both sides –
and all of America – sit down and seek the real solution.
Until we become humble and bold enough to pursue it,
nothing will change.“
Neither putting police officers on administrative leave, nor rioting in the streets, will remove the underlying mistrust, misgivings and misunderstandings that keep perpetuating the ghastly insanity that is the new normal in America.
It’s time to deal with the root issues behind the altercations, violence and death. It’s time that both sides – and all of America – sit down and seek the real solution. Until we become humble and bold enough to pursue it, nothing will change. In fact, I’m humbly confident that the insanity we’ve witnessed will only get worse and spread.
Here’s the truth we need to face: We’re all dirty. There are no exceptions. Our entire nation needs a bath. Not the kind where we draw up warm water and soak to remove surface grime, but the kind where we draw near to something greater and grander than ourselves and seek to truly remove the filth within. That’s the cure for violence; that’s the antidote to racism.
For some of us, Christians like myself, that will look like drawing closer to the God who recognizes all life as sacred, all people are worthy of respect, all hatred or fear rooted in skin color is a generational evil that must be eradicated.
This is why I, as a pastor, have put out the call for a National Week of Repentance, to be held Oct. 30 to Nov. 6 (Visit RevivalMatters.com to participate). It’s time we Christians really humble ourselves before Christ.
I understand this is not the path for all. But humility is something we can all pursue. For some this will look like stepping out of the comfort zones that surround you — visiting different communities, striking up meaningful conversations with different people, challenging yourself to think differently about what you have long considered “right” and “wrong.”
For others it will mean taking a serious inventory of what’s in your own heart before you point the finger. Maybe for some it will even look like spending less time plugged into social media that often perpetuates the divide so you can spend more time being social – and helpful – in person.
We’re unified in this: the insanity must stop.
We need to try some fundamentally different things. We have to get to the heart of the matter, and the heart of the matter is your heart and mine. A bit of humility at this vital time will go a long, long way.
Michael Anthony is founder and president of Godfactor.com; founder of the National Week of Repentance (RevivalMatters.com); and lead pastor of Grace Fellowship of York, Pa. (GraceYork.com). All views expressed are his own and not the official position of any organization. Follow him on Twitter @GodFactor.
What do you think?
why I hate evil far more than the 2nd amendent
( and you should, too)
IF YOU ARE AGAINST VIOLENCE, YOU HAVE TO BE IN FAVOR OF ITS DEATH.
The past 48 hours have been especially violent for America, with deadly attacks in Minnesota, New York and New Jersey. As much as none of us in our right minds rejoices in the death of anyone, there are times when the death of evil should – and must – take precedence over the death of the innocent.
I don’t love guns – but I do love innocent people. This is why I know how to use, and have been certified to conceal-carry, a legal firearm. It’s why I encourage others to do the same as a means of being prepared to stop evil when it rises up.
For the record, I’m a pastor — and since we’re talking about the record, let me set it straight, because so much of our thinking about evil is askew. Hold on a moment, because if you really think about what I’m saying you just may find yourself agreeing – all ideology aside.
What happened at the Crossroads Mall in St. Cloud, Minn., on Saturday – a knife-wielding attacker stabbing nine, thankfully none fatally — supports my stance. It is a stance made continually by law-abiding, conceal-carry citizens who unabashedly love the Constitution and the 2nd Amendment. Our hatred of violence and love of a peaceful society where freedom, not violence and control, reigns, is part of what drives us. Sometimes, the only way to deal with violence is to use deadly force. Spare the violent and the meek can be murdered.
In a news conference, St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis provided a synopsis of the knife attack, and how it was stopped by a law-abiding, violence-hating, off-duty police officer who just happened to be carrying a concealed firearm:
“Jason Falconer, a part time police officer for the Avon Police Department, was shopping at Crossroads Mall at the time of the attack . . .
“Officer Falconer walked into the department store and identified himself to the suspect. The suspect then waved a knife and lunged at Falconer, quickly closing the 20-foot gap between them. Falconer raised his gun and shot the suspect. Knife still in hand, the suspect got up and continued to approach the officer and was shot again. The suspect tried to get up two more times before being fatally shot.”
Mayor Kleis and Chief of Police Blair Anderson credit the off-duty, conceal-carry-permitted officer with preventing further carnage.
What if Minnesota was a state where conceal-carry was illegal? What if we lived in a nation where the 2nd Amendment was marginalized or altogether eliminated? What if law-abiding citizens were restrained from restraining violence? You know the answers, and they lead nowhere good for a peaceful, lawful, free society.
THE UPPER HAND
If we keep rejecting common sense by villainizing such law-abiding citizens who hate evil and conceal-carry as a means of restraining it, evil will gain the upper hand. In fact, I think we’re already seeing this happen, thanks to politically correct people who are theologically incorrect.
You see, the sixth of the Ten Commandments is not, “You shall not kill” (Exodus 20:13). Better translations are “You shall not murder,” and “You shall not take an innocent life.” The proper translation is a game-changer. The truth is that innocent, law-abiding people have a right – and an obligation before God and each other – to do all they can to protect other innocent, law-abiding people and to strive toward a peaceful, free society. To not do all that is within our power to restrain evil is, by default, to promote it.
A FOUNDATION OF COMMON SENSE
Our Founding Fathers were men filled with common sense – a trait going the way of the panda bear in our modern times. It’s what led them to draft and adopt The 2nd Amendment, the right to “keep and bear arms.” Why? For no other reason than to restrain evil. The 2nd Amendment is not an endorsement of hunting, my friends. It’s a means to prevent the evil that is in the heart of every single one of us from gaining the upper hand. The Founding Fathers knew that the heart of man is dark, and when darkness reigns, freedom wanes.
We really are in a titanic fight between good and evil in America. Good prevails when we are intentional about stopping evil. If we shrink from this responsibility, chaos, disorder and violence.
America needs a return to common sense, and a real spiritual awakening courtesy of God Himself. We have to get to the heart of the matter, which is the heart of humanity. This is why The National Week of Repentance, coming October 30 – November 6, is so important. If you’re against violence, then you need to participate and spread the word. Let’s stop dealing with the symptoms of our problems and get to the causes. Visit RevivalMatters.com and get yourself ready for the kind of hope and change that only God can provide.
WHAT DO YOU THINK? WHAT IF AMERICA BECOMES A NATION WHERE THE 2ND AMENDMENT IS MARGINALIZED – OR ELIMINATED?