God’s Warriors & A Prayer of Depression

Last night, Christiane Amanpour concluded her 6 hour special on “God’s Warriors” with a 2 hour look at “God’s Christian Warriors.” She tackled issues like culture wars, Christian Zionism, and the marriage of politics and faith. I have been so excited to see this documentary, however “excited” was the last word I could use to describe my attitude after the 2 hour show.

After the show was over, my general attitude was one of depression.

I am depressed because I feel hopeless that true Christianity will win out over radical extremism in our country. I am depressed that so many Christians in our country are so concerned with the morality of a secular society that they would go to war with it. I am depressed to see a man brainwashing tens of thousands of teens into having a public dispute on the streets of San Francisco with homosexuals. I am depressed to see a man standing in the pulpit and screaming at the top of his lungs “To not vote is a sin!” I am depressed to see people labeling and persecuting a preacher for teaching his congregation to take care of planet earth – because this is “dodging the real issues.” I am depressed to see Christians say that government has “removed God from the public square.” (Who can “remove” the Almighty God from anywhere?) I am depressed to see so many Christians proclaim that being Republican is a prerequisite to being accepted by God. I am depressed to see such a huge divide between secular society (the ones we’re supposed to love) and Christians (the ones secular society now hates). I am, in general, depressed.

What’s more – I am ashamed today of the name I wear – Christian (that’s right – ashamed). Because people think that is what I stand for – and it’s not. So, at least for today I go by “disciple” and not Christian (just a quick reference – the word “Christian” is only found 3 times in the New Testament – “Disciple” is found 269 times – see Dallas Willard)

Here is my prayer today – a prayer of depression at what I see around me from my brothers and sisters who proclaim to wear the name “Christian”.

Lord,

How long will you be, O Lord? How long will you be? Where did your love go? Where is compassion and love? Why do we bear the name of your Son, but deny him by our actions. Why do we pledge allegience to your Kingdom, but serve America more? Why do we hate women who abort babies? Why do we hate politicians who don’t understand our vantage point on the sanctity of life? Why do we hate? Why are we incapable of loving homosexuals? Why can’t we see clearly to remove the speck of sawdust from our brother’s eye? Is it for the plank in our own? Why do we elevate one sin over another and say it is worse? Why do we concern ourselves with two issues and ignore the thousands of others? Why do we strip away our brother’s freedoms for the sake of morality? Why do fight for prayer in schools, instead of just praying in school? Why do we battle for the freedom to pray publicly, when you called us to do it privately? Why do so many Christians wave the pro-war banner? Why do they insist that killing is the way? Why did “Christians” bomb abortion clinics in Georgia in the name of Jesus Christ? Why do we look at the “ends” and say “whatever means necessary” to accomplish your will? Why do so many Christians seek politcal power to enforce your law or accomplich your will? Why don’t they seek first, the power of your Spirit? Why do they suppose you need political power? Why do we even think that WE can accomplish YOUR will? Why did I hear a pastor say on national TV last night that we should bomb Iran pre-emptively? Why doesn’t that pastor love his enemies? Does your law only apply when it’s convenient? Where did your love go? Why? How? How long must we wait on your return – on your justice? How long must we wait for you to silence those who proclaim you with their lips, but hate you with their lives? How long must we wait in patience? How long must we wait in silence? How long must we wait in love of enemy? How long must we wait in opression? How long must we see this “Christian Nation” make a mockery of your law of love? How long will you be, O Lord? How long will you be?

Amen.

If you question my integrity in pouring my heart out this way, then please, read Psalm 13 today. It is my inspiration, motivation, and friend today (and likely in days to come).

Comments

  1. amen, your prayer is mine as well.

    militarism in the church has been high since 9/11. although I think it was there before, just latent.

    Reply
  2. I think there is a place for patriotism, but not to the point that it forsakes our focus when we assemble to worship our Lord and Savior. I cautiously say that it is easy to “reprimand” those who are overly patriotic when we live in a country where we are free to “reprimand”. You see, there are countries where you would not have this freedom to speak your mind on a post such as this. There are countries where the people are oppressed, starved, and brutally attacked if they dare to speak out. So, in my opinion, we are so blessed to live in the country of the USA. In my opinion, God put us here for a reason. ( Perhaps we should all ponder as to what that reason is, and fervently pray that we do God’s will.) Does that mean that I think that God loves the residents of the US more than he loves the residents of the more oppressed areas of our world? No, but I do believe He may expect more from us. I am not ashamed that I am an American. I thank God that He placed me in this free nation, so that I may worship Him without fear for my life. I have an obligation though, to share His Word, to live the life of a disciple to the best of my ability, and to love.

    Remember, that while you describe those who “hate” in the name of Christianity, you must be careful not to “hate” those who “hate”. Do you get it? They need your prayers that their eyes be opened as to how they are appearing before the non-Christian world.

    One more thing, not all Republicans think that you must be a Republican to be a Christian. And sometimes the news can really mess with your mind. Just because CNN chose to report the way things seem, doesn’t mean that is the way it is. The news has a way of creating havoc and causing stinks, especially when they may have a hidden agenda. The hidden agenda in my mind is to make Christians look bad. They did a good job, don’t you think?

    Reply
  3. Donna –

    At the same time you ask me to be aware of what CNN made things “seem” like, I will ask you not to be “naive”.

    There are millions of Christian American’s that claim to be “Zionists” – not hundreds, not thousands – millions. Millions of Christians who believe that we should support, aid, and defend Israel at all costs. Also, the Southern Baptist Convention encourages this teaching.

    Without concern as to how to defend, aid and support Israel, many of these zionists find it perfectly in keeping with the law of Christ to pre-empitively KILL other humans (in Iran) simply because they pose a threat to America and mainly Israel – (noting that many Southern Baptists would not take it this far).

    It is not “seeming” but a reality that John Hagee, a zionist “Pastor” said that bombing others to defend Israel is the way for the Christ follower on CNN. REALITY!

    Someone must speak out. Defend the law of love. I will not remain silent and watch “pators” and “shepherds” and “gospel preachers” rape the gospel of love for the sake of socio-political agendas. I will not! And I will not stand by and listen to “pastors” and “shepherds” and “gospel preachers” teach people that to be a Christian is to be politically conservative – making politics a pre-requisite for faith! I will not!

    I too and thankful for our freedom – although I never would have killed to get social freedom. I also am not sure, that I am thankful to God for this freedom. God has loved, cherished, and surrounded His people for all ages, but they have always lived under social oppressors. Your social status does not stem from your favor in the eyes of God (which you noted, I think). I just have to question whether or not God “gave us” this free land – since we had to take human life to get it.

    Underlying all this is the recognition (on my part) that government has to do what government has to do. I am not angry with the functioning of our government. They have a job to do and their primary concern is with the doing that job as they see fit. My anger is towards the Christian leadership in this country – pointing their flocks in the direction of socio-political concerns that only distract them from the main point – “Go and make disciples of every ethnic group, baptize them into the trinitarian presence, and teach them to follow me!”

    How can we focus on this – THE MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL MISSIONS! – when we are so busy protesting homosexuals? Doesn’ the homosexual need a friend and not an enemy? Why is the Christian community public enemy number 1 for the homosexual community… am I the only one who sees a problem with that?

    You see, it is not a matter of patriotism or thankfulness for my country. It is matter of loyalty to the mission and cause of Christ – for “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (The often overlooked John 3:17)

    Reply
  4. Do what, defend Israel? All countries have their own government and their own forces to defend their country and their beliefs. If they don’t or if they are unable then so be it. If you are an American then I would certainly hope that you would help defend America. If you do not think you should then please leave and go to a country that you believe in, get a backbone. Quit being a judge about what other people do and look at yourself. You have the freedom to say wqhat you want because you live in America. It is not the job of America to defend other countries, we have lost millions of lives doing it and it is wrong. We haver lost millions of lives defending ourself,I wish it wasn’t so but freedom is not free. Wake up and take care of home. Oh by the way, I am proud to say I am an American, Disciple, and Christian

    Reply

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