Yes, I’ve been absent for a while. I had a big freelance project to work on, but I just sent off the first draft, so now I have a bit of spare time. So here we go…
About a week ago I came across a YouTube video in which an evangelical “prophet” prophesies—get ready for a big surprise … just kidding, it’s boilerplate Pentecostal claptrap—God’s judgment on the USA. Seriously, though, the “prophet” did provide a bit of a surprise. He didn’t begin his prophecy by decrying the evils of homosexuality or abortion; instead, he began by lamenting our nation’s massive national debt.
Historically, conservative Republicans—and evangelicals overwhelmingly self-identify as conservative Republicans—have vilified Democrats as “tax and spend liberals” who drive up the national debt with their welfare programs. So the prophet’s starting place wasn’t a total surprise. But it was a classically illogical non sequitur.
As I mentioned, the prophet began by pronouncing great “woes” on America because of our national debt. Then, after half an hour of dubiously dissected Bible verses, he and the moderator donned their aluminum-foil conspiracy caps and warned of the dreaded “deep state.” So, by inference, “the deep state” is responsible for the bloated national debt, which in turn is the cause of God’s burning wrath, which He will soon pour out in His furious judgment. That, the “prophet” says, is why the USA is not referred to in the Bible.
After half an hour of dubiously dissected Bible verses, he and the moderator donned their aluminum-foil conspiracy caps and warned of the dreaded “deep state.”
I couldn’t resist; I commented, pointing out that the USA’s national debt rose by nearly $8 trillion, a 40 percent increase, in just the four years of Trump’s presidency. (Although for the 60+ percent of Americans who did not vote for Trump, those four years felt more like four grueling, depressing decades.) Anyway, if God is indeed going to judge America because of our massive national debt, Donald Trump—not the fictional “deep state”—is clearly to blame, I wrote.
I expected to see several wrathful replies to my comment. But nothing. So then I began to search for my comment—which definitely posted. It was gone. No sign of it. Conservative Christian cancel culture on full display—or, more appropriately--on complete concealment.
Many evangelical leaders—particularly those who claim to be modern-day prophets—have largely abandoned truth in favor of tribal politics. Most of the followers of these hucksters will never bother to seek out the truth for themselves, so these charlatans can spout even outrageous lies and deceptions and go unchecked and remain unaccountable. The lies then spread, influencing still more gullible folks, and eventually their misplaced anger spills over into what they see as “righteous indignation,” which in turn all too often leads to incidents like the January 6th assault on the nation’s Capitol building.
Somehow—while still respecting the First Amendment—we must find a way to hold these manipulative false-prophet hucksters accountable. (In Old Testament times, false prophets were put to death. Just sayin'.) The alternative could very well be a tragic national civil war.