This post may well cause some of you to unsubscribe; it’s okay.
In John 6, Jesus did some interesting miracles and quite a few folks followed Him, thinking this was the political Messiah they had been expecting. By His miracles He would defeat Rome and everyone else and revive the Davidic Kingdom on earth. So after some more miracles, He made note that their literalistic thinking about the Messiah was a huge mistake. He offered a teaching about Himself using parabolic language, ancient Hebrew symbolism that would have been easily understood back in Moses’ day. But the people couldn’t handle it any more, and rejected His true mission. The crowds quit following Him, and only a tiny minority whose hearts were bound to His truth continued with Him.
In His compassion for the masses, this was in their best interest. To let them follow on a false basis would damn them. When the time came for Him to take up the Cross, too many of them would have taken up arms and died in a bloody revolt. He still had to discipline Peter in the Garden of Gethsemane about that (John 18:1-11). This had something to do with his denial of Jesus while hanging out during the illegal hearing that night (John 18:15-27). Jesus forgave Peter in that famous scene after the Resurrection (PDF).
I’m not Jesus, just a follower. It’s not for me to decide who wants to hang around our virtual parish and read my chatter about that effort to follow Him. I love all of you and hope you find what I’ve found. As He leads me farther in this path, it’s bound to take directions some of you cannot and should not follow. No, I don’t need an outpouring of support comments; I’m just noting the reality of things.
While I may not claim to wear the vestments of prophet, my ministry is unavoidably prophetic in nature. Sometimes I do perceive something in my heart that can only be a prophetic message. Sometimes I’m obliged to share it. One of those prophetic messages came some months ago when I predicted an exodus from some mainstream Christian churches. Recently the Spirit of God made that message vivid again. I’ve been praying for some understanding: What kind of thing would cause a noticeable exodus from organized Christian churches?
I’m not telling you this is a word from God to supplement that prophecy. Rather, this is what my prayerful meditations have provided as morally plausible: It centers around Dispensationalism. In my recent series on The Cult, I warned that the very same folks who steered things to make it possible for Israel to be reestablished as a modern state were not really that interested in it. Rather, they wisely realized this was a tool for manipulation and captivity. The agitation and desire was already there in a lot of crazy minds, but they saw an opportunity and it has worked out richly. And now we have a captive Zionist Christian audience numbering in the millions, and a massively powerful political voting block, and billions of dollars, all in support of claiming that the modern State of Israel is a fulfillment of biblical prophecy.
I call this a heresy, though I’ve never felt compelled to crusade on behalf of my beliefs. I can be friends with Dispies. Still, I stand against this teaching and I mention it from time to time when it’s appropriate. It is appropriate today because we need to ask the question: What would happen if Israel were destroyed and the End Times didn’t come as many imagine it must? That alone would shake a lot of folks’ faith. I’m not saying there won’t be complications, such as a moment where the Christian Zionist lobby puts serious pressure on churches to take on some additional commitment that turns into a blind alley. That’s quite likely and it would make this thing even a bigger scandal when it falls apart before their eyes.
I believe this will happen, but I don’t offer at as a distinct prophecy. The exodus from the churches is a prophecy; the reason remains to be seen. Still, this is what I suspect God is up to these days.
This may be too much woo-woo stuff for you (as our dear Sister Wildcucumber puts it) and I won’t blame you for moving on to other things. I’ll be glad to answer your questions.