Our Opinion of the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election
By Bonnie and Dave Duell
We all have different opinions. These varying opinions caused our country to elect Barack Obama to be our next president. Yes, many of us are disappointed that a president was not elected who has the same values as many believers have. Yet, it is a fact that Obama's victory has filled most African Americans and many others with a deep sense of joy.
Contrary to some opinions, God is not in control. He did not control the outcome of this election. He does not do whatever He wants because of his “sovereignty.” He has not made us puppets. He allows us to choose.
But God promised to bring good out of everything for His children (Romans 8:28). We are expecting that to happen on a daily basis. We do not believe our nation will be destroyed by this election. It is not a time to despair; it is a time to pray with vision and with hope.
We cannot look to a man or system to supply our every need. Many have done that in this election. Only God can be our Source. God wants us to live in victory regardless of what is going on around us. He has infused us with His Holy Spirit, with His strength, and we can do anything that He calls us to do.
Paul, the apostle, instructs us to pray for all in authority “so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity” (1 Tim. 2:2, NASB). God’s will is for America to experience peace and prosperity so that we can continue to impact the nations with the Good News.
We pray that the Holy Spirit will soften Obama’s heart, so that he will be willing to hear and be guided by His voice. We pray that Obama will govern with wisdom from God. We pray that our nation will enjoy God’s peace and blessing during the Obama administration.
As our pledge of allegiance so aptly says, we are "one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
How to Judge Prophetic Words
How are we to judge prophetic words we receive from people who mix the Old and New Covenants?
What is the difference in Old Testament Prophets?
In the Old Testament days the Spirit was upon the prophet, and they were speaking to help people hear God’s voice when they had no other means of hearing from Him.
New Covenant Prophets: I do highly respect the function of New Covenant prophets and prophecy. The difference in the New Covenant is that the Holy Spirit is inside of us. We all have the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the GIFT GIVER, He Himself, inside us to lead us into all truth! We are able to hear personally from God. What is spoken to us by someone else using prophecy is to confirm what we know by the Spirit.
If the prophet has a mixed covenants “mind-set,” whatever prophetic word they hear is filtered through that paradigm or view of God. That is why many see judgment from God! They forget we have been judged righteous in Christ.
What about any effect of our government meddling into the land covenant with Israel and God?
God, Himself called the land covenant with Israel an everlasting one. We are not CURSED by any action as believers but we can surely feel the consequences of bad decisions we make in this natural realm. And we can also surely feel the effects of the decisions of others around us.
God is not acting out curses from Old Testament scriptures on us as a people (Americans), because Jesus finished His work of taking the curse for us. He became a curse for us that we might be set free and blessed.
However, we can certainly be affected by decisions in our government, and we need to pray for wisdom for the leaders!
God is not acting out curses from Old Covenant scriptures onto us as a Nation, as this would be denying the finished work of Jesus Christ.
We believe the idea of God acting out curses comes from Old Testament Scriptures mixed with the view of the "Sovereignty of God" teaching that is in mainline Christianity. This teaching hinges on all people being small creatures in the way of God and His purposes; that His ways are higher than ours and unknowable. This attitude gives people the idea that we are simply being smashed under the wheels of a “Steamroller God” who is plowing through history to create a Kingdom on earth for His own glory. But Jesus came to show us the true nature of the Father, and the gospel tells us that PEOPLE are what God is after. People are His goal, not governments or events in history, or even glory for the sake of being esteemed. He is not an egomaniacal God simply needing to be glorified. He is our loving Heavenly Father.
God does warn us about many things in prophetic words.
The Holy Spirit is sometimes going to tell us of things to come. BUT God isn't warning us of HIS WRATH on our Nation due to the leader’s actions or on us by default as citizens! He might warn us of things to come, even very tough things, such as persecution or natural disasters. His angels often move us out of the way of impending accidents and danger.
Satan would be the CAUSE of any destruction such as earthquakes.
The problem is that some prophets, who do not understand that things changed at the cross, think God is unleashing disaster as a judgment UNLESS we pray enough—to earn mercy!
Paul, an apostle, was given the warning by the Holy Spirit that "chains awaited him" (Acts 10:23). From the moment of his born-again experience, the Lord told him that he would be persecuted for the sake of the gospel, and he would go before kings and rulers. Then Agabus, a prophet (Acts 21:10-14), told him he faced chains in Jerusalem. This comforted Paul and gave him courage to do what his destiny and call was all about.
Another portion of a “prophetic word.”
“We, as a nation, are on a major collision course with God Himself and His covenant with Israel. Even though we are also the greatest nation with the most blessings, more Christian influence and more lovers of God and Israel among its citizens than any other nation, yet no nation has ever touched the apple of His eye without severe and quick retribution.”
If this is the case, where is that retribution on the fanatical Muslims who are sending rockets and suicide bombers into Israel?
So, what is my reaction to such prophecy? I tend to be wary and not trust a "word" that is a mixed message. Does that seem harsh? Why should I have to pick out the truth from a mixed message? Can God not speak to me by the Holy Spirit who is in me too? For the sake of the "purity of the gospel," I think it is better to discount something because God is surely big enough to speak to you and me personally! We don't have to wait for a "prophet" to speak for God to us as in the Old Testament.
Old Testament prophets were often “pronouncing judgment” because Jesus had not satisfied the demands of the Law yet! A permanent fix for sin had not been accomplished. But it is now accomplished through the Lamb of God, the Sacrifice of Jesus, God’s only begotten Son!
How do I reconcile a word that isn't edifying since I know God to be good and to have love and good intentions toward me as a believer? This sounds harsh, but the whole of these prophetic words goes against the gospel message that God loves the world and wants no one to perish!
1 Corinthians 14:3 AMP, But, the one who prophesies, who interprets the divine will and purpose in inspired preaching and teaching, speaks to men for their upbuilding and constructive spiritual progress and encouragement and consolation.
So, we know that it isn't God who would be the cause of a major earthquake on the New Madrid fault line to judge America, unless we pray enough to change His mind!
Could the door be open for satan to do this natural disaster? Certainly!
Would God warn us to get out of the way? Yes, if we were listening! I don't believe God does natural disasters. He hasn't come to kill, steal or destroy but to give abundant life. (John 10:10)
Yes, pray for our President! Pray for him to have wisdom. Pray for wisdom to bless Israel. Pray that Israel doesn’t accept a false peace out of weariness of war! Pray for the radical Muslims to be dealt with! Pray for this Nation to have the guts to do the hard thing and deal with them if we must.
The truth is that America is Israel's only friend in a world working hand in hand with satan, who is trying to destroy the Israelis. Satan can't help himself. He hates what God loves. And God loves people.
Any word that contradicts the finished work of Jesus Christ, or what salvation has done for us as believers, should be disregarded.
A Response to a Double Life Scandal
1. What do you think are the reasons that there are so many 'double-life' scandals in the world of religion and politics?
It is our opinion that a "double-life scandal" occurs because of a person not knowing and dwelling on their true identity. We are all tempted, and if we think the temptation comes from some evil inside of us, we have no hope to resist. If we realize that our own thoughts and the enemy (satan) cooperate to tempt us with evil, then there is a "way to escape." Temptation is common to man. Therefore, our meditation needs to focus on how God sees us, who we are "in Christ," on every good thing that is now in us. That we have the same power that raised Christ from the dead living inside us, in our spirit man. And that power can manifest in the realm of our soul to conquer temptation.
Ted Haggard is quoted as saying, "I am a sinner. I am a deceiver." Those quotes show he does not yet know what Jesus accomplished for him on the cross. Yes, Ted sinned and deceived, but it is not who he is. He is now a New Creation, the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ. (II Corinthians 5:17-21) It takes a revelation from the Spirit of God to make these truths become alive on the inside of us - a renewing of our minds. Otherwise we are trapped in our five senses. God, by His grace, has already provided everything we will ever need and has already placed it inside of us "in Christ." (Ephesians 1:3)
As we can all see, Ted definitely is reaping the consequences of his sin. Sin kills. It will take a long time for trust to be rebuilt in Ted’s life so that he can have a credible ministry once again. So many people will be negatively influenced by what Ted allowed to happen in his life. Paul tells us in Romans 6:11 to consider ourselves dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
2. What do you think of how Ted Haggard's church responded, and how should other leaders respond to this issue?
I think New Life Church responded very well. They had a system of government in place that seemed to work flawlessly. And the people in the congregation have responded with heartfelt sadness expressed in love towards Ted and his family. They were probably all thinking, "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone." Hopefully, other evangelical leaders will be as mature.
3. If you could speak to Ted Haggard, what would you say?
Here is the essence of what I wrote in a card to Gayle Haggard when I awoke early Friday morning and cried over the Denver Post headlines. I could sense her immense pain. The card had the scripture from Matthew: "Peace be to you and your household." I told her that I was so sorry for all that was happening. That I was praying supernatural peace and comfort to be theirs; that the Holy Spirit would put a hedge of protection around their children; that we are here for them; that they will get through this and come out victorious. That God adores them. Etc. My heart goes out to the immediate family members. . . And to Ted. I pray they will have revelation of how God sees them, so that they have the power to rise up from their so-called ashes of defeat.
4. How can the pain of this kind of situation be avoided in the future? Do you have a proposal for bringing healing?
There is no way to avoid this type of thing in the future, unless the body of Christ begins to realize all that God accomplished through Jesus Christ in His death, burial and resurrection. Even then, humankind will still succumb to temptation when we try to make it on our own, when we enter into "works righteousness" (operating in our relationship with God according to Law and our own performance, which is "falling from grace," according to Galatians 5:4) rather than "faith righteousness." It all proves, once again, that we all need a Saviour! Praise God for Jesus! He has provided peace with God. God is no longer angry with people because Jesus sacrificed Himself to pay the huge price for sin. We are now sons of God and righteous, in right relationship with God. As we like to say, "God's not mad; in fact; He's in a good mood."
As John 8:32 states, "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." God has already done His part and it is our job to positively respond in faith to what He has done by grace!
Dave and Bonnie Duell