Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Can Anything Good Come Out of Nazareth

A friend whose opinion I normally respect did a serious riff on Glenn Beck's Theology the other day. He echoed the sentiments of others like Dr. Russell Moore and Jim Wallis who have characterized Beck as dangerous.  Reminds me of the reaction of the political/religious leaders of Jesus' time when John the Baptist and later, Jesus, showed up. They were suspicious of any charismatic leader who didn't report to and take orders from the Sanhedrin.  "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" they asked, then proceeded to plot against the popular young preachers.

At the end of time, scripture tells us that God will call us to "Come out of her My people." I, personally think that's happening right now.  So what if Glenn's a Mormon? Last week, I never heard anyone at the Restoring Honor Rally call anyone to come be a Mormon. Beck and his fellow speakers simply echoed the very call of Revelation to "come out of Babylon" and return to God.

Beck's critics are harshest in their criticism that Beck mingles religion and politics. That seems odd since Babylon as described in Scripture is a political as well as religious entity. You cannot separate the two functions of the entity John calls Babylon.

The religious leaders who are up in arms believe any revival should not only be led, but only spoken about by a purely religious leader-here, I imagine a guy in a Men's Wearhouse suit with that big plastic televangelist hair.  God seldom calls the same folks our politicians would choose if they could choose God's messengers for themselves.  Lets face it. They'd choose someone who would flatter them and acknowledge their power.  Certainly, Ahab would not have picked Elijah for the court prophet. Pharoah certainly wouldn't have picked Moses to represent the Jews.  God has always chosen his own messengers, taking little in the way of advice from the current crop of Scribes and Pharisees.

No, I suspect God will be quite able to sort out the sheep from the goats all by Himself. And who would I think I am to criticize God's choice of who is a sheep, much less what shepherds he sends out for the lost lambs? I believe that in the coming months we'll be surprised at who steps forward and begins to proclaim the same message of Restoration, faith, hope and charity that I heard last Saturday.

And it will be also, no surprise at all if the hounds of hell do not beset those messengers who call for a return to faith in God.

As to Beck's theology, I suspect a brief Q&A at the Pearly Gates will take care of any errors any of us might be laboring under and who's going to argue with God when he or she is standing on the Sea of Glass. A movement is beginning. It is without acknowledged leaders. Did you notice how quick the opposition came to assume Beck wanted to run for President?  Of course they did, because who among those who oppose his message would not jump at an opportunity to seize power if given such a springboard.  They cannot seem to understand that Beck isn't seeking power. He reminds me of that "voice crying in the wilderness". Beck constantly talks like a man who believes God must increase while I must decrease.  He knows that what he says will likely get him killed. He wore a bulletproof vest on stage because his wife asked him to, knowing he was only inviting a sniper's head shot.  Remember John the Baptist's messages were often political too.  Herod locked him up because John had the audacity to criticize the King. He executed John because his entourage (the bloggers of his day) demanded it.  The Sanhedrin convicted Jesus because he was drawing followers away from the "rightful" religio-political rulers of the day. Pontius Pilate executed him to satisfy the mob gathered at his gates.

I would echo Joshua's words today, "Choose you this day whom you will serve."  If it is any other than God, you're off the boat, even if that thing you serve is your church, a church leader or a political leader.  Anything between you and God is not from Him. That's precisely why church leaders are up in arms.  They see Beck as a threat, a sheep stealer. Like the Scribes and the Pharisees, they will seek any means to bring anyone down who does not acknowledge their power and authority. Who do you think those folks were working for?  Certainly not God.  Is it any wonder Jesus that the only name-calling he ever did was reserved for the nation's politicians and their business partners?

I choose to dedicate the next 40 days to prayer and meditation on what is happening, upon His soon coming and upon my relationship with God. It's a great idea. I'm glad Beck suggested it.  I see no harm in that.

Just one man's opinion....

Tom King

No comments: