USA – where to?

The crisis, so evident, in Europe is not limited to that continent. Yesterday I did an interview with a US radio based station. Challenging as very clearly the Lord spoke to Gayle and I a little over a year ago that we were not responsible for the US – others must pick that up. In the light of that I have not commented on events there as the more we take responsibility for something the more we can comment. I do though have a small history across there, in 2005 while there I prophesied that the outcome of the election in ’08 would not be the one that the majority of charismatic Christians wanted, but if they could not embrace that then the ’12 election would be worse from their perspective. I wonder if ’16 only makes starkly real the course of those years.

In my understanding the core of why there would be a divergence between that of the hope of the charismatic believers and the actual outcome was over the belief of where the source of transformation is. The keys are not held in the white house… they are not held at the top. Luke 3 records that: In the fifteenth year of the emperor Tiberius… the word of the Lord came to John in the wilderness. I am convinced Jesus came to release a political movement, the very terms surrounding the gospel suggest this, but he did not come to start a political party. He cannot be boxed as a socialist nor a capitalist. Politicians in Washington, Westminster or Brussels have important roles but I think we are fooled if we think they shape all things. There are powers that they serve, sometimes knowingly but often unknowingly. Those powers are at times incarnated in individuals and power groups but often not. Biblical words such as powers, principalities and even the ‘city’ concept open our eyes to those realities. We also need an understanding that grass-roots is where Jesus is found. He eats with the powerless, the marginalised. It is not that he is not present elsewhere but if he is not found at the margins we will not discern, but distort, his presence elsewhere. Scripture does not confront gifting, entrepreneurship and the like. Far from it. It does however challenge head on the flow of the fruit of that entrepreneurship.

It seems to me that the issues facing us are much deeper than finding a ‘Christian’ politician. Peter Wehner who served in the last three Republican administrations wrote a piece in the New York Times on The Theology of Donald Trump. In it he suggests that the overriding paradigm is that of strength is right, the effect being the dehumanising of all who are weak – or disagree. I would find it hard to give that kind of ideology a vote, and I think for obvious reasons. Maybe some see voting this way as the ‘lesser of two evils’. Maybe. But I struggle to see it as the most redemptive vote possible. At the end of the interview yesterday I was asked to pray. My prayer was for a generation to rise who would take responsibility for the US and with a passion that far from calling God to make the US great, that he might lead her to become a servant to the world.

Our hopes can never be placed in Trump or an alternative. They will always have limited effect. Our hope has to be placed in the disciples of Jesus who, as they embrace the place of weakness and marginalisation (as far as is visible) they will discover that the place of royal priesthood is effective. Then I consider we will see released politicians who are free-er from the powers, and more able to act and release levels of justice. If there is a role as priests to be embraced, my question I am asking is – is the priesthood of the church releasing a political manifestation and if so what does it look like? And the second question is – is the political manifestation that we are too quick to endorse and put our hope in removing our calling to be a priesthood?

My hope is in the body of Christ. The Spirit is present there in a unique way. My hopes at times are dented. Dented, not because people vote the ‘wrong’ way (as if I could be the judge of that!!) but because of our marriage to the belief that top-down power is where it is at. My hopes rise though when I realise that the way God works also means that there are greater manifestations of realities before they come to their appointed end. I guess we are in for TURBULENCE as some very ugly dehumanising powers manifest. The ultimate form of atheism is dehumanisation – and sadly atheism is not limited to those who have no faith.


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