By Larry Jones
Extreme zealots on the religious right are in the attack mode in hopes of reorienting
This may well be a sign of things to come in the fabric of American political life. Participants in this conference railed against what they described as the “continuing availability of abortion, the spread of gay rights, and attempts to remove religion from American public life and school history books.” The Virginia-Pilot reported that Gingrich argued that, while Christianity is the foundation of American citizenship, Americans are experiencing a period where they are being “surrounded by paganism.”
The meeting was not open to the media, but the list of invited celebrities included Iran-Contra felon Oliver North,and former presidential candidate Mike Huckabe. Gingrich who tried to refute Barack Obama’s statement in
The perverse notion that the
The organizer of the event was a dangerous firebrand named Lou Engle, a major leader in the
Bruce Wilson of Talk2Action wrote that the gathering at
· JOEL’S ARMY, with Todd Bentley as its general. According to an intelligence report by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Bentley is “a 32-year-old, heavily tattooed, body-pierced, shaved-head Canadian preacher” who leads ‘supernatural healing revivals.’ … Joel’s Army is prophesied to become an Armageddon-ready military force of young people with a divine mandate to physically impose Christian dominion on non-believers,” because the end times are at hand. How many times in my long life have I heard that Armageddon is about to occur?!
On his website, Bentley declares: "The trumpet is sounding, calling on-fire, revolutionary believers to enlist in Joel’s Army. … Many are now ready to be mobilized to establish and advance God’s kingdom on earth."
· THECALL, founded by Engle, organizes young people to conduct rallies and pray that the church will “turn to God in repentance and humility, by confessing her sins [the church is a ‘her’, but god is a ‘he’] and the sins of her nation.” Engle claims that there is “no hope to be found in the political realm,” even though he organized the recent political gathering in
I attended one of their rallies a few years back, one of many around the country called for by Engle’s cohort Ron Luce of Teen Mania Ministries. They carried red flags, so when I arrived with some of my righteously left wing friends, I congratulated the maniac teens for holding the long-standing banner of revolutionaries and Communists. They said that wasn’t what they symbolized and that the red stood for the blood of Christ. Luce also calls for “Battle Cry” teen conventions where they are trained (brainwashed?) to “ACQUIRE THE FIRE.
APOSTOLIC COUNCIL OF PROPHETIC ELDERS (ACPE), a group of people who believe they receive direct revelations of the “word of God.” One of their prophesies for 2009 on their website is that “there will be massive struggling and clashing of kingdoms against kingdoms. The
· NEW APOSTOLIC REFORMATION, organized by C. Peter Wagner, a long time dominionist writer and organizer. (You remember the dominionists, those folks who want their version of god to run the nation and the world under biblical law.) Wagner teaches his followers, of which Sarah Palin, is one, to conduct “spiritual warfare.” Wagner serves as pastor to Joel’s Army.
The three levels of spiritual warfare, according to Wagner, include the casting out of demons from individuals, “occult-level warfare” against “powers of darkness,” (basically any person or group who doesn’t think like they do) and “strategic-level warfare” against whole geographical areas thought to be controlled by Satan. By “spiritual mapping” they determine which geographic areas are centers of unbelief where they seek to drive out such evil forces and claim territory for god.
They All Sound Ridiculous, but Take Them Seriously
This network and the persons and groups which comprise it should not be taken lightly. These political forces are not going away because Bush is no longer president, and they are no less determined to impose their fascistic theocratic will upon society as a whole. Conciliating to or “seeking common ground” with them will and can only lead to submitting to them. Sarah Palin, perhaps their best known believer, recently drew a crowd of over 10,000 in
Relying on the Democrats and Obama to stand up to these developments as the storms gather and break is an extremely dangerous illusion.