MICHAEL ANTHONY BLOG
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PULLING TEETH FROM A ROARING TIGER
One of the reasons America is in such a mess is because we Christian leaders don’t seem to give a darn about the damned. The level of mistrust, competition and disinterest between pastors works against the unity that Jesus prayed for in John 17:23:
In light of the moral decline, racial division, financial turmoil and political nonsense we are seeing this election year, I’ve been reaching out to pastors and Christian leaders, trying to get us all on the same page – God’s page – so that we can fulfill Jesus’ prayer in John 17 and actually reach the lost. Here’s what I’ve found: getting Christian leaders together these days is about as easy and comfortable as pulling teeth from a roaring tiger.
We don’t need the devil to derail us. We are doing a find job all by ourselves. Isn’t it ironic that we are pursuing church growth and “ministry” without prioritizing unity – the most important ingredient for church and ministry success? At the end of day, we’re shooting ourselves in our own feet by diminishing the importance of Christian unity. No wonder the world yawns when we open our mouths. Can you blame them? We don’t practice what we preach.
We don’t seem to believe what Jesus taught: people are persuaded about the love of God in proportion to the unity among Christians. The greater the unity, the more irresistible God becomes. The more divided we are, the less people care about Christ. If our objective is to get people to follow Jesus, we have to start following Him ourselves. Until we do, we are nothing more than hypocrites. We want people to love and follow a Jesus we’ve left behind.
It’s not complicated. Our disunity reveals that we Christian leaders don’t seem to really care about reaching the lost. If we did, we’d be doing far more to be unified, because unity convinces people that God is real and the message of the cross is true.
A few months ago, I asked my assistant to reach out to senior pastors from neighboring churches, asking if we could “set up a time to meet in regard to the state of the nation and how churches can cooperate together in unity.” Here is the ironic response of one such pastor:
Is that really God’s “very best”? We make false assumptions about each other that keep us at arms length – in the same city, at this pivotal time in American history. What is wrong with us? We leaders have lost our way. How is it possible to talk “shop” without the shop itself? If we keep talking about all the other issues we face, except the most important issues of the day, aren’t we merely postponing the inevitable day when the circling wagons will achieve their goal? Aren’t we wasting precious time – and precious souls – in the process?
We pastors and Christian leaders all need to repent – big time. We’re too divided to be of any use to the Jesus we say we want other people to follow. The National Week of Repentance is coming October 30 – November 6. Get involved and be part of the solution to the division that is so obvious within the Church. Visit RevivalMatters.com and sign up, now.
ARE YOU A CATALYST FOR UNITY, OR ARE YOU SHOOTING YOURSELF IN THE FOOT at this key time as history is being written? do you give a darn about the damned?
We’re Getting the Leaders We Deserve
(And We’re Getting 2 Chronicles 7:14 All Wrong, Too)
Can we please stop the insanity? We’re praying for the wrong people. The problem with our view of “revival” is that we think it’s exactly what everyone else needs. We are getting 2 Chronicles 7:14 all wrong:
“…if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (ESV)
2 Chronicles 7:14 – the most popular verse cited when the topic of “revival” stirs – is not a call for intercession, it’s a plea for humility and real repentance among God’s people. We American Christians have not yet begun to humble ourselves and repent the way we must if we hope to see things turn around. The biggest threat to America is not an Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP). It’s unrepentant, arrogant Christians. Before you dismiss this, consider that our arrogance is far more subtle than we realize.
THE ENEMY WITHIN
The root problem in America is not “out there” – it’s within the walls of our churches. The control, gossip, slander, hypocrisy and lack of love for God and people has become so commonplace, so normal, that we have finally succumbed. We’re okay with it now. But God isn’t. If we are really honest, we have to admit that the leaders we’re getting look exactly like us. You would never know this by the look of our “church faces.” But you would if you were a fly on the wall in our homes, where we do and say things far worse than anything Mrs. Clinton or Mr. Trump have done or said public.
But it’s not just our behavior that’s the issue. It’s that we’re okay with our behavior. We don’t see any real need to change our ways. We only see the need to maintain our public appearance of being nice, polite, respectable people. And yet we have the audacity to demand better presidential candidates.
Today’s “radical” is the Bible‘s presentation of basic faith. We no longer understand that the total denial of self is what it means to have basic faith– not “radical” faith – in the Bible. Our problem is that we don’t even realize what we’ve done or what we’re doing. God, however, does – and it grieves Him. Still, it doesn’t, grieve us – because the best we do is keep calling for “intercession” for America.
It also amazes me that God’s seemingly elect keep thinking that this election is the most important in our nation’s history. No, the response by Christians – or, should I say, the lack of response – to all that is happening at this vital time, is the most important in our history. We are detached and apathetic.
MAKE THE CALL
We should be calling on God for mercy – not for people “out there” but for ourselves. We need to. We need real, deep, penetrating moves of God – not among the lost, but among the saved. In fact, I would go so far as to say that American Christianity needs to be… saved.
Neither Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Trump nor any other presidential candidate is going to make our nation greater, or great again, if we keep thinking mere mortals are the solution to our woes. They never were, are not now and never will be. America has problems ahead, regardless of who the next president will be – and those problems will worsen as long as we keep thinking everyone else needs to change.
Real change does not begin in the Senate, the House of Representatives, the Supreme Court or the White House. Real change begins in God’s House, among Christians. It begins with real repentance.
Let’s all stop quoting 2 Chronicles 7:14 as if it is a verse on intercession. For the love of God, it isn’t. It’s a red-alert plea for humility and real repentance – starting with you and me. Let’s stop simply signing petitions and start petitioning God. I mean really petitioning Him. And, get your friends, family and neighbors to do the same. If America doesn’t see real movements of God spring up across the land, no elected official will do anything more than give us more of the same old, same old.
The National Week of Repentance is coming October 30 – November 6. Get yourself and your people ready at RevivalMatters.com. It is time for the hope and change only God can deliver. The humble courage we so desperately need will only arise if there is a real move of repentance in America, and it needs to begin with you and me.
DO YOU THINK WE’RE GETTING THE LEADERS WE DESERVE? HAVE YOU MISUNDERSTOOD 2 CHRONICLES 7:14?
Lead, Follow – And Get Out Of The Way
You may have heard the saying, “Lead, follow OR get out of the way.” I think it’s time for us Christians embrace a new mantra, and here it is: Lead, follow AND get out of the way. I don’t write this as if I’m outside the problem. I think we pastors are part of the problem – perhaps even the epicenter. I think it’s time we became so sick about the condition of the Church (not simply the nation) that we start to lead, follow and get out of the way – out of God’s way.
Yes, it would be wonderful if we had a wise, godly man or womanelected to the presidency this year. Yes, it would be fantastic if wise, godly senators and representatives were elected as well, and if wise godly judges were appointed to the courts. But are these the places where real hope and change begin? Does real change really begin in the White House? I think it begins in God’s House – and if you really read your Bible, you’ll agree.
I think this election year we have it entirely backwards. This reversal needs to be reversed, and it needs to begin with us pastors, elders, deacons and Christian leaders.
In a very unfortunate way, many of us want the world to love a Jesus we aren’t even following. We want others to follow a Jesus we don’t truly love. This is not a small matter. It is the most serious problem facing America.
More and more, I hear pastors, Christians and Christian leaders referencing 2 Chronicles 7:14 – no doubt because we all recognize our nation is slow jamming out of control. But each time I hear this verse referenced, it is almost always misinterpreted. Nearly everyone uses it as a call to intercede for America. Intercession is good and biblical, but 2 Chronicles 7:14 is not a call for intercession. It’s a call for repentance – not among the world, but among God’s people.
If we, the leaders in the Church, aren’t discerning the times and interpreting the Bible correctly, how in the world can we expect the world to do so? No wonder we don’t have a plan of action. God, however, does.
2 Chronicles 7:14 says,
“IF my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, THEN I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
The word “intercession” doesn’t appear in this verse. It is an “if-then” statement – and it all has to do with a serious (re)discovery of genuine, biblical repentance. It’s a call for deep changes in mind and heart that lead to changes in behavior – among God’s people, not the world. If a saving move of God is going to happen in this nation, it must begin within the Church. Thinking otherwise is backward.
Yes, the original context of 2 Chronicles 7:14 was to the nation of Israel, not America or any other nation or people. Yes, there are limitations about how much of a one-for-one parallel we can expect today in the U.S.A. or in any other nation that is broken. But what we should not be debating is the unchanging nature of God, and that He absolutely does wait at certain times for His people to move before He does. If God is anything, He is a gentleman. He will not force Himself upon people who are not eager for His company.
America needs a big time bath, but it needs to begin with us pastors, elders, deacons and church leaders. We don’t get it – and until we do, others won’t either. We need to begin to thoroughly repent for
- Seeing each another as competitors instead of brothers and sisters;
- The spirit of control that we allow to guide both us and ministry rather than the Holy Spirit;
- Depending on our own strength instead of God’s strength;
- Being more interested in speed, size and numbers than real moves of God among our people;
- Teaching the Bible as if it has no relevance for 21st century living;
- Being fearful of being called “political” when the truth is that many politicians have hijacked theology and the issues we, Christian leaders, should have been addressing all along;
- Isolating ourselves from the world when we should be engaging it head-on, and
- The racism and division in our own churches. America is simply a reflection of what we tolerate Sunday after Sunday, and each day in between.
The only agents of change are God and us sinners working together. This divine-human partnership has always been God’s way. He has been waiting. Don’t you think we’ve kept Him waiting long enough?
TIME FOR ACTION
I am humbly calling for the people in every church throughout America to engage in a morning of humility, fasting and prayer to confess our sins and ask God for forgiveness this coming weekend. Leaders, call your people to a solemn time of repentant prayer and dependence upon God during your worship gathering. Start doing this in your church every single weekend from now on. We need an unwavering commitment in the same direction – for as long as it takes.
And don’t just pray for America. Ask God to break you, to start a real spiritual awakening in your own life. When God has answered your prayers, Plan A will be underway. Remember, there is no Plan B.
It is time for the hope and change that only God can deliver. Remember, America, there is no Plan B. Lead, follow and get out of the way.
What do you think? Should we keep God waiting any longer?
Are You “TransChristian”?
America is a “transChristian” nation – and it’s killing our witness. It may be killing yours. The need for real, penetrating spiritual awakening in the United States has never been greater. This week’s shootings of two black men by police, one in Minnesota and another in Louisiana, and yesterday’s sniper attacks that killed or wounded at least 10 Dallas police officers, should convince us. It is the same thing, different day, in America.
Hatred, division and racism are at all-time highs – and so is hypocrisy. If the downward spiral is not reversed by a real move of God, the move of men will triumph. God may not be dead, but if we marginalize him by our actions – and inaction – haven’t we achieved the same end?
TIME TO SAVE OUR FAITH
A “transChristian” is someone who self-identifies as a Christ-follower but whose actions contradict their confession. Look around and you will notice that America is filled with transChristians. Look in the mirror. You just may find one staring back at you.
American Christianity has been hijacked by an inside job. Inside each professing Christian, there seems to be a still, small voice that embraces compromise, complacency, comfort and convenience rather than biblical surrender that alone can save the faith.
Ironic, isn’t it, that Christianity needs to be saved? It’s true. If Christianity isn’t saved, our nation will be truly lost. America in 5-10 years will not be recognizable. If you merely think this is unfortunate, you aren’t thinking deeply enough. You should be cut to the heart – and this is the problem. Most professing Christians living in America have a heart problem. We are not yet cut to the heart over what is happening to our nation. Christian, where are you?
SUNDAY’S BIG GAME
If you plan on attending church this Sunday, ask yourself what you plan to bring to the event. Will you enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise, or with a critical spirit ready to analyze the music and critique the preacher, the modern equivalent of Balaam’s donkey? Balaam beat his donkey. (See Numbers 22). Don’t pummel your preacher. God, like Balaam’s ass, may be speaking through your pastor.
Pastors, have you forgotten your high calling? 1 Peter 4:11 says, “If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God” (NIV). If you are preaching anyone’s words but God’s, please do everyone a favor and step away from the pulpit. America is burning. We need to hear the thunderous, inspiring and transforming voice of the Almighty, not your clever attempts at rhetoric and prose. In as little as six months from now, no one will remember what you preach this Sunday – unless God shows up when you open your mouth. Your messages need to count here and now by bringing eternity into temporal lives. If they don’t, please don’t waste anyone’s time. The pulpit is your chance to mobilize your flock to become a mighty army for the glory of God. Don’t squander it.
Elders and deacons, do you fight with your pastors? Do you seek control rather than a real move of God among your people? Is your own reputation and opinion more important than that of Jesus? Can we really afford to be divided any longer? Have we forgotten what Jesus warned when He said,
“And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand” (Mark 3:25, ESV)?
Division among church leaders at this time in America is spiritual suicide. Stop infighting and get focused on the real enemies of the faith – the world, the flesh and the devil. If you haven’t noticed, they are doing a number on America. The reason? You’ve lost your focus.
IT’S NOT SOMEONE ELSE’S PROBLEM
A transChristian is someone who self-identifies as a Christ-follower but whose actions contradict their confession. TransChristianity is responsible for the slow, agonizing death of America. The political freak-show that is now upon us shows no sign of going away any time soon – and it won’t without real revival across America.
We need to stop talking about and praying for “revival” as if it’s something everyone else needs. The truth is that our nation needs a big-time bath, and it’s time for you to draw up your own water and grab a bar of soap. This fake brand of Christianity we’ve all embraced has killed the faith that needs to be resurrected.
The only way to resurrect real Christianity is through genuine, biblical repentance as a matter of lifestyle. Jesus’ first words on the scene were
“’The time has come,’ he said. ‘The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!’” (Mark 1:15, NIV).
The verb tense of the Greek of Mark 1:15 would be best translated as “repent and keep repenting” and “believe and keep believing.” Biblical belief can’t be separated from perpetual repentance.
If you’re not in the process of perpetually repenting throughout each day – changing our ways, your thinking and your lifestyle so that they really reflect the ways, thinking and lifestyle of Jesus Christ – you are living as a transChristian. You’re merely self-identifying as a Christ-follower, but aren’t actually following Him at all. It’s time to rediscover – or perhaps discover for the first time – what it really means to be a Christian. You simply can’t be one if you aren’t following the Leader.
The National Week of Repentance is coming. It couldn’t come soon enough. You need to participate in this national event from October 30 – November 6, because Christianity in America has been hijacked and it’s time she was saved. To participate, visit RevivalMatters.com – and spread the word. It’s time to crucify the transChristian movement that has overtaken our nation and choked the source of all real hope and change.
AND NOW, A WORD FROM OUR READERS. WHAT DO YOU THINK? HAS CHRISTIANITY IN AMERICA BEEN HIJACKED? ARE YOU “TRANSCHRISTIAN”? DOESN’T OUR NATION NEED REAL REVIVAL – AND DOESN’T IT NEED TO BEGIN WITH YOU?
We’re extremely grateful for The Daily Wire and their exclusive interview with Michael Anthony on his thoughts about Donald Trump, Christianity and Religious Freedom. This interview is the result of Mike’s spontaneous interview with Dr. James Dobson that went viral about Mr. Trump allegedly giving his life to Christ recently.
CLICK TO READ THE INTERVIEW:
– EXCLUSIVE –
INTERVIEW WITH DR. JAMES DOBSON
DID DONALD TRUMP RECENTLY ACCEPT CHRIST?
JUNE 29 UPDATE . . .
EXCLUSIVE: Q&A With Pastor Michael Anthony On Trump, Christianity, and Religious Freedom, The Daily Wire, released moments ago.
JUNE 27 UPDATE . . .
CNN LIVE: Michael was interviewed about his interview with Dr. James Dobson that went viral. Continue reading this blog for more commentary, and to listen to the actual audio interview that got the conversation started.
June 25 update (Original post below) . . .
It’s been a whirlwind day, with the news in this blog getting picked up by The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Politico, Charisma, The Blaze and literally dozens of other news outlets. The story was even a trending topic on Facebook – and sparked thousands of tweets. (You can read mine at @Godfactor. Catch me on Facebook at Facebook.com/Godfactor). Additionally, this blog post was viewed over 50,000 times today alone as a result of the report I provided within. Clearly, people are interested in this story. But what is the REAL story?
I’m thrilled about how widely the story is being spread – not because I care about clicks on this blog, but because I care about the message of this blog. And that message is this: Regardless of what somebody thinks about Donald Trump and whether he did or didn’t surrender his life to Christ, salvation is real and available to all. What excites me isn’t the political discussion, but the spiritual one — all across the country, people are talking about how Jesus saves. And Christians, I hope, are praying and repenting – as I urge at the end of this piece – not just for Trump but also for our nation. My prayer is that we would, as a church, embrace repentance and welcome revival to our land. Because it is urgently needed. (This is a key reason why the upcoming October 30 – November 6 National Week of Repentance is so vital, and why that is so heavily on my heart. Visit RevivalMatters.com to participate and spread the word).
If you have a moment, help keep the conversation going and share this blog – or one of the stories linked to above. Let’s flood the web and social media with the truth that all of us — from presidential candidates to ourselves – need not only to accept Jesus, but to worship and follow Him. If, after all the debate, we miss this important truth, we will have missed THE REAL STORY. That, would be tragic.
And, no, this is not an endorsement of Donald Trump or any political candidate. It is to bring the Bible to bear on a relevant topic for everyone, so we can all THINK, PRAY and live for Christ in a day when doing so is very much out of fashion . . .
HERE IS THE ORIGINAL JUNE 24 POST AND INTERVIEW THAT’S GONE VIRAL . . .
I WAS AT TUESDAY’S HISTORIC “CONVERSATION WITH DONALD TRUMP AND BEN CARSON” at the Marriott Marquis on Broadway. About 1,000 evangelical leaders attended this historic event. While there, I met Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family and Family Talk. I asked Dr. Dobson his views on the meeting and he shared some things that will not only blow your mind, but should also have you on your knees, praying for Mr. Trump and our country with a fresh perspective. Click here or below to listen to this “you heard it here first” interview.
MY THOUGHTS, WITH A CHALLENGE TO ALL CHRISTIANS, ARE BELOW . . .
I was also interviewed along by the American Family Association, here. My comments come at the end. Here it is:
And, Cortney O’Brien from Townhall.com interviewed me on my thoughts. You can read the interview here.
Here are my thoughts – whether Trump did or did not accept Christ – and what YOU should consider and do no matter what:
I remember when I accepted Christ, it took me two years to begin to understand what God did in me. Two years. My walk with Christ was more akin to a crock pot than a microwave. It is for many Christians. And then, even when we think we are walking with Christ we have blindsides. I think anyone who doesn’t realize this doesn’t really understand the depth of our sinfulness.
In regard to Trump, I think – if he really accepted Christ – that it is important to understand 1 Timothy 1:12-16:
“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service. Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.”
Saul wasn’t at all like Christ when he began his journey. He spent 14 years in Arabia, so that God could get a hold of him before he began ministering as “Paul.” See Galatians 1. Often, we expect instantaneous change – complete and absolute change – in a person. When, in reality, God’s work is often gradual. It is often dramatic in some areas, and subtle in others. If Trump really gave his life to Christ, it is already changing – in ways that neither you nor I can see, but God sees. And, people closest to him, will see. It can take a long time to see a dramatic change in someone who has so dramatically missed it. But, in the end, haven’t we all, if we are really honest?
Check out Acts 9:26-27:
“When he came to Jerusalem, he was trying to associate with the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took hold of him and brought him to the apostles and described to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had talked to him, and how at Damascus he had spoken out boldly in the name of Jesus.”
If God gets a hold of Trump, it won’t be the first time people didn’t believe it. It won’t be the first time that a terrible person who lived completely against Christ, came to know him. Saul, who became Paul, is a great example. I’m not saying Trump is a real believer. I don’t know. But if he is, there will eventually be fruit. In the meantime, it’s not surprising to see people be skeptical. They were with Saul/Paul until they could begin to see his change in behavior. If you are a Christian, pray for Trump. See 1 Timothy 2:1-5. It’s not a suggestion. It’s a command to do so for all who really know Christ. In fact, anyone who doesn’t believe they weren’t a terrible person, a sinner, before accepting Christ, doesn’t really understand the Gospel. One sin is all it takes to make one a sinner, in need of forgiveness.
Pray for Trump, whether he really accepted Christ or not. He needs it. Let’s not make excuses for him, but let’s also not belittle what God can do through a man.
America needs a bath. This is why the October 30 – November 6 National Week of Repentance is so vital – and YOU need to participate. Every single person on American soil should. True change begins in God’s House, not the White House. participate by signing up now at revivalmatters.com.
GULLIBLE OR BIBLICAL?
Is one gullible to believe God could save and transform Donald Trump? Maybe so. But, then again, God has done so in the past. Maybe, just maybe, believing it’s possible is to believe more in God than in man after all. This is what it means to pray for change, see it happen, and then believe that God could do what man cannot. This is what biblical faith looks like, after all.
Wouldn’t it be classically ironic (and hypocritical) of all of us who say Trump needs to change, if we who prayed for that change wound up not believing when/if God actually answered our prayers?
To those who keep screaming about “tolerance,” and rail against hatred – are you intolerant and hateful? Do you love your enemy, as Jesus commanded? Or, are you selective in who you love, editing the commands of Jesus? Do you love only progressives? Only conservatives? Jesus commands you to love everyone – especially your enemies – if you say you “follow” Him. We are to love our enemies and pray for them.
And when you pray for your enemy do you pray with bitterness and hatred or true concern, compassion and brokenness? The whole idea of praying for an enemy is to pray without enmity. If you pray with enmity for an enemy, you miss the whole point.
Pray for Trump. Regardless of where he stands with God, it’s not stupid to pray for him and believe God can transform him. It’s actually exactly what biblical praying and faith looks like. if you ridicule this practice you don’t understand the Bible in the most basic of ways, and are, in the final analysis, a very poor Christ “follower.”