A friend sent me an article written by Katherine Yurica about President Bush and Dominionists and the war in Iraq. I'm having a lot of mixed reactions to this, and I want to try to put them in words.
First some background on my own views... I don't believe that America has a God-given mission to destroy countries in the Middle East. I do believe that what is happening right now is part of a series of events that is inevitable. We don't really know what someone else would have done after the 9/11 incidents. I've read a lot of drivel about those attacks being staged as part of Bush's initiative so he would have justification for the war on Iraq. I just can't buy that. I can believe that there is a bit of secrecy in some areas of the government, but I can't live a life of mistrust in any Christian who comes to a position of political influence.
Katherine Yurica, from what I am seeing, appears to have a bit of an agenda of her own: getting Christians out of the sphere of influence. I can't and won't respond to that by defending leaders just because they are Christians; but I also can't and won't be so afraid of deceit that I automatically jump and question everything that moves and breathes.
There is a basic flaw in the article. Thirty-five million people are Dominionists, waging some kind of war on the other 245 million? Where does she come up with these numbers? I have a serious problem believing that there's some cult out there that 35 million people are secret members of. For all I know, she could meet me and hear me say something that sounds just right and assume that I am also a Dominionist. I don't think so. I think the truth is that most people in the world want what makes them feel safe, and they do what they can to make safety a more likely possibility. For most people, that means getting like-minded people into positions of power so that the government will do what they want it to do. It makes no difference to me whether it's Christians or Jews or Martians. Everyone wants his own interest to be dominant. This is one reason why I dislike politics in general.
I can't quite buy the idea that Bush has some secret agenda. I'm not even sure I can buy the idea that he just wants to finish what his dad started. I know some people believe that. I also know that a lot of things have gone on since 1991 and anyone who is in the president's seat has to do the best he can with the resources and information he has to work with. I would never want that responsibility.
I'm thinking about the age-old struggle between acceptance of people vs. tolerance of "sin." It's not an easy balance, and it's something I have also struggled with personally. Wouldn't God want me to be happy? Doesn't He love me? Do I have to be perfect in order for Him to love me? No, I don't have to be perfect, but God is pure and He made me to be pure. That plan got all messed up, and ever since then we (people in general) have been trying to get back "in God's good graces," all while extending as little effort as possible. We don't admit sin willingly because of our pride and fear that God will reject us. He doesn't reject us, and He gave His all to show us so. So what is the answer about acceptance and tolerance? The answer is to accept the people, to be gentle with them. The answer is also to hold to truth--and truth hurts much of the time.
There are things we don't understand in this life and things that are too big for us to handle. But we take them into our own hands anyway and try to handle them "in the name of God." What does that really mean? Most of the time it means we try to change the situation ourselves and we use God's name as a justification or scare tactic. Of course, in the end that never works, and God is the one who picks up the pieces. I fear that is what's happening in America.
What does this have to do with "End Times?" A lot. I know that it seems like a group of people are trying to hasten the return of Christ by taking matters into their own hands. I can't speak to their motivations, but I can speak to what I see. I see a lot of things happening around the world that are all very likely pointing to changes we know as "the End Times." It isn't just in the United States or even in response to things we have done. There is a "peace process" going on with Israel, and along with this there are also plans for rebuilding the Temple--guess where. In the very place God predicted it would be rebuilt. There is an organization called the European Union, and there is a unit of currency called the Euro. Between other things going on in the Middle East over the years and the current war in Iraq, everybody is thinking about wanting peace. What does that set the stage for?
The sad part about all of this is that it makes deception so easy and successful. But the solution has nothing to do with who we put in the President's chair, Congress, etc. It has everything to do with getting deep in God's Word and standing firm and being wise. We really can't afford to sit on fences ... not if we are devoted to God.