‘Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.’ Voltaire.
I’ve grown up with certainties that we’ve taken for granted, norms which we thought would always be there – stable governments in the West, security, peace, democratic leadership in power. In the last few weeks what struck me was the fragility of it all and the fact that these norms have only been that way for 60 or so years.
In my last blog I prophesied that the Wild Winds of Change were blowing across the UK and that Big Ben would be headline news. This happened with Big Ben and now unprecedented change has swept right across the country and Government with Brexit. We have never lived in a time like it. Some people have suggested that I prophesied Brexit, you can judge for yourself here.
Big Ben is a political sign and what I said was that God was ‘interrupting business as usual’. Without doubt his has happened within politics.
However I disagree with the reaction of some other Prophets to Brexit, either saying that God caused it in order to set us free from a demonic stronghold in the EU to see revival, or in dismissing the job-loss and threat of an economic down turn with its negative impact on communities because it is God’s will; a head in the sand, everything is going to be alright type mentality.
I believe that God’s heart is for the poor and marginalised communities, those who have already been negatively affected by Brexit because of job loss, those who will go on to lose their jobs and the 1 million people relying on food banks. He is not sacrificing these people to set us free from a demonic EU agenda. Jesus sacrificed Himself the first time for our freedom and that was enough.
Was Brexit God’s Will?
It is interesting that people will on the one hand say how Brexit was God’s will and yet defend it for being a democratic referendum where the will of the people was expressed. Whether it was the will of God or not, it was the will of the people in a democracy that voted, either in protest at the Government or for other reasons. If it was the will of the people then it is possible we made a mistake…
BUT the will of people revealed some important issues in our nation that is absolutely on the heart of God to heal- the deep divisions in our society, the fact many feel their voice is not listened to, the effects of austerity on communities. So whether God caused Brexit or not, I do believe that God makes all things work for the Good (Romans 8.28) and will use it to bring healing to our nation.
‘The One World Globalist Agenda’
Tax Collectors vs Zealots
I’ve heard many say that the reason why they approve of Brexit and Trump is because both of these things oppose the ‘One World Globalist agenda’; the idea that there are hidden forces at work in the EU and across the world to bring about a world wide demonically controlled agenda. However I think that to get sucked in to this kind of issue is to make the same mistake as the Zealots.
If there was ever a Government with a One World Globalist agenda with liberal views, extolling a false God it was with the Roman Empire. They were anti Christ enough to kill the Christ! BUT! Jesus did not confront these political issues in his day in order to walk in absolute freedom and authority. He had both ends of the political spectrum as disciples – tax collectors (Rome) and zealots (anti Rome). His mission was not political; he focused on the Kingdom.
So even when you look at revival history around the world, eg underground church in China, which started in the 90s it was not stopped or controlled by the politics of the country or the ruling spirit of communism. The Kingdom is higher than all that. The same is true of every other revival in history. In actual fact it is the other way round – underground Revival influences reform – for example from Wesley to Wilberforce. Revival brings transformation, we don’t need political transformation to bring revival.
So I believe that Brexit did not need to happen in order for there to be revival in the UK. We don’t need to be set free from a One World globalist agenda. That is more conspiracy and spurious prophecy than Gospel reality. Plus it doesn’t match up with my experience. We have been seeing God do amazing stuff, physical healing and people impacted by the Glory for 10 years before Brexit!
Peace through the EU
In actual fact the EU has brought peace and stability to Europe for the longest time in European history. A weakened EU caused by Brexit could bring about decreased security, increased tension, disruption and war. It could cause a domino effect of change across Europe weakening the unity and stability of the continent. All this in the face of the growing threat of Russia and ISIS.
Tribalism and Right Wing Nationalism
Brexit revealed the undercurrent of right wing nationalism and racism in our country. I believe that this is part of a global rise in ‘tribalism’, something which is also happening in the US with the popularity of Trump. This is a back lash against globalisation’s ability to chip away at a nation’s identity.
I think that the UK is in the middle of an identity crises and the US is headed that way so are turning to nationalism and tribalism. Why is this a problem? With tribalism comes fear of the ‘other’, those of a different tribe. It creates walls within society leading to ignorance, prejudice and ultimately discrimination. It lead can lead to national isolationism. I think it has the potential to affect the United States’ place as a global leader because of Trump’s desire to internalise and become insular if he gets to power.
It also creates disunity among the nations. Trump has already challenged the US’s involvement in NATO if he becomes President. (What ever you think of NATO- it is keeping Putin in check). A weakened NATO could allow Russia to creep into eastern Europe.
So with Brexit and Trump there is a weakened EU and the potential for a weakened NATO in the face of a growing threat from Russia… the EU and NATO could be further weakened still.
There is increasing support for the far right and left in Europe which would affect these issues. Marine le Pen’s right wing Front National are anti EU, would leave NATO and would want France to forge a strong relationship with Russia. Spain has the rise of the left wing with Podemos, possibly because Fascism is still in living memory for them, however Podemos is still anti EU.
Creeping Russia, opportunistic terrorists, weakened EU and NATO AND a weakened UK if Scotland leaves. In 1914 there was a bonfire created in Europe, the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand was the spark that lit the bonfire and caused WW1. Today 102 years later it is possible a new bonfire is being erected with these events, awaiting a simple spark that could have devastating effects.
The Cult of Personality
In the US, UK and Russia we are seeing the rise of the cult of personality; a strong leader who manages to create a movement around himself which transcends his own party. The people who support him are often aligned to the individual leader than the party. Trump, Bernie Sanders, Corbyn all created movements around themselves, the support of which transcends their actual political party. With Russia it’s Putin.
If successful they can be good (Civil Rights Movement) If the movement is surrounding a person with proven and trustworthy principles it can be powerful. The dangers are obvious if abused however. The accountability that the political party normally provides can be lost and weaknesses in the leader are overlooked or hidden. It is therefore open to abuse and manipulation and history has taught us that authoritarian leadership with weak accountability is a dangerous thing…
With the Labour party you are seeing an attempt for it to return to its radical roots as a labour movement with Corbyn. It is the institution vs the movement; the institution not recognising the movement and trying to stop it and yet because of the momentum, failing to do so. Corbyn and Sanders have stood for the same stuff for 30 years so their agendas are easy to see (although I’m not saying I support them. I don’t think Corbyn would make a good PM – my opinion not a prophecy).
Trump is a different kettle of fish and more concerning. Trump appears to be a demagogue, someone who will say anything to be popular and will flip flop between what he believes – (pro life, pro choice, pro life) according to whatever will make him be most popular. Time will tell. He has created a movement around himself which seems to be based on fear and fuelled by anger. He is riding the wave of tribalism with his America First ideals. His comments could be divisive, and some appear to be authoritarian in nature- “I alone can solve…” He has advocated breaking the law – (apparently sarcastically) telling Russia to hack in to Clinton’s emails – which is a national security risk and has said he will use water boarding on terrorists and kill their families. This is against international law and Human Rights.
There is a concern with, what appears to be, the ease in which he is willing to break or change laws to get something done.
Propaganda has seemed to reappear too. With the cult of personality there is danger of mythologising the leader. Prophecy can play a part in this and has done in Christian circles with Trump.
Trump, Prophecy and Mythmaking
There have been a lot of prophecies around Trump.
The most popular are:
- He is ‘God’s ‘trumpet’ call to America
- A prophetic Cyrus, who will bring freedom to the Church,
- A wrecking ball to the politically correct spirit
- He will become a Christian when in office
- Some just saying he is God’s choice to be the next President
The question is whether any of these actually relate to reality. There is a fine line between prophecy and fantasy. Prophetic dreams do not over rule the Gospel.
The key check is obviously the teaching of Jesus. Matthew 5: ‘You have heard that it was said eye for an eye, but I tell you turn the other cheek… love your enemies and pray for those who hurt you’ or other teaching like ‘love your neighbour as yourself and pray for those that hurt you’ or the Good Samaritan. Ignoring the Gospel opens the door to deception.
So lets take each one in turn:
Trump, God’s trumpet call to America
If Trump is a trumpet in the hand of God then that means God endorses the things he says. Look here to see if you agree (calling someone a fat pig, appearing to mock a disabled reporter, saying that Mexicans coming in the country are rapists, calling Megan Kelly a bimbo). It also suggests that God endorses the policies he would enact if elected.
Saying he would bring back water boarding ‘and worse’ and take out their families is anti Gospel, it opposes the teaching of Jesus. It is also illegal. Trump has said that the military won’t refuse his commands even if they are illegal by international standards. This sounds authoritarian. No room for loving enemies here?
A prophetic Cyrus who will set the church free
Cyrus was the Persian King who made a decree to set the Hebrews free. It has been said Trump will do this to the church in the US. Wishful thinking? This sort of prophecy just smacks of an Old Testament narrative and makes the same mistake the Zealots made – thinking that freedom for the church will come in a political package. The underground Chinese church did not wait for political change to bring them revival.
Plus this sort of prophecy could only be proven after the election, if wrong it has serious consequences.
Trump will have a Damascus road experience while in office
Maybe he will. But you wouldn’t recommend that your daughter marry an abusive alcoholic in the hope that he becomes a Christian after the wedding. Even if someone prophesied it. That is just stupid and the risks are too great. Plus after Paul’s experience he took 10 years out before assuming any position of authority. Plus ANY leader could have a conversion experience while being President, even Clinton…
A Wrecking Ball to the Politically Correct Spirit
Is he dealing with the politically correct spirit in the USA? There is a difference between political correctness and just being nasty, is there not? Some of the comments made are not going against the politically correct spirit, but are just considered brutish by many people. Even if he is a ‘wrecking ball against the politically correct spirit’ is this even a good or helpful qualification for the office of the President? No.
Will Donald Trump make America great again?
Lets be honest, sometimes Trump is hilarious but that doesn’t mean he would be a good President or that I would trust him to carry out what he says he will do.
True prophesy reveals the heart of a good God and true prophets embody that message. For Martin Luther King, a true prophet – he embodied the message of loving his enemies. This came to be iconic and is one of the things that marks America’s greatness.
(The Irony of American evangelicalism calling for ISIS to be bombed/ killed/ tortured – Martin Luther King the Christian would have disagreed and yet Malcolm X, the Muslim would have supported violent methods)
I’m not sure that Donald Trump is revealing the heart of a good God now, and will in all probability continue down this road if elected.
The Christian support of Trump shrouded in myth making prophesy has the potential to open a door to discrimination in the US which was shut through the life of MLK. This time it could target Muslims.
Desire for the Authentic
However what is clear to see is that there is a desire in people for something authentic. People want the real deal. They are sick of an establishment which is only interested in preserving itself. They are beginning to lose trust in it. They want leaders where what you see is what you get. People want something genuine, something radical and something real. They don’t just want this in politicians but it is what they want from the church.
The tangible Presence of God is the only thing which will quench this thirst in the world. Only love will satisfy. The world needs Pioneers and Leaders who carry the real thing; the manifest Presence of God; who can release encounters that bring love and truth, that bring the lost home; leaders who reveal the heart of a loving Father. We all want the real thing.
Prophets Shape the Future
Troubling times? Times like these have given birth to great leaders who have walked as peacemakers through the storms.
I think this is the challenge to the Prophets – to be the authentic answer in the world; to call forth a future of Hope and stability in the midst of all these challenges – Prophets who won’t just bury their heads in the sand and say everything will be OK but ones that face the issues of our day with courage.
Prophets must embody the message of love – to your neighbours and enemies; who can father the lost and father nations, Prophets that carry nations in their hearts. Prophets who have influence because of the Hope they carry, that in the midst of fear and chaos they have a Gospel which is unshakable. Prophets that know the voice of God and the power of speaking His words into difficult situations.
We need prophets, but not in the vein of the Zealots – those who have put their Hope in a political change but Prophets bearing the image of Christ, who love enemies, carry revival, who decree freedom and release transformation.
This is what I see happening and am calling for in both the UK and US. Love can shape the future, it must, creation demands it. In troubled times the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings.