David at the cave of Adullam
“I said for so long, for years, that because of the mounting iniquity in America, the Church is going to suffer for the sin of America. I don’t believe that any more. I believe America is going to suffer for the sin of the Church.”
– Leonard Ravenhill
Last week, I read an article by my former pastor, Keith Tucci, called Apostolic War. A few days later, I saw a similar article by street evangelist Pat Necarato. It is the same “God idea” with some of the same words. The part that spoke to me the most is where Pat asks if we are spies in the land hoping not to be seen or soldiers intent on conquering the land.
Keith’s article points out correctly that the church in our culture as a whole is far too immature to respond to a call to all out war. We are left with a little rag-tag group who are willing to take the battle to the streets. The analogy that I immediately think of is that the only ones who are ready to fight at this moment are like David’s mighty men. According to 1 Samuel 22:2, David’s mighty men were at first made up of “every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men.”
That’s about right. In any state or region of our country, we might be fortunate to have 300 or 400 such warriors. Now my question is: Where are these mighty men? And where are our captains? In the pro-life arena in particular, I know people who resemble this description. I don’t yet see an organized force. We are still in the place where we are gathering together in caves (1 Samuel 22).
Even more importantly, what will be the result if we do follow such captains with inferior numbers and few resources? We will flush the enemy out and he will attack us. Then we will win if we stand and fight.
In early 1999, there were four lawsuits launched by the Roe v. Wade lawyer, Roy Lucas, for abortion provider plaintiffs Patricia Baird-Windle and James Scott Pendergraft. These were frivolous smokescreens designed to scare pro-life evangelists into surrender. As a result of the lawsuits, the following happened.
- Pat Windle almost went bankrupt and later closed her abortion mill (in her own words according to her book, Targets of Hatred).
- James “Scotty” Pendergraft went to federal prison for a time after being convicted of extortion (although his sentence was later overturned).
- Roy Lucas, later died of a heart attack while on vacation in Europe.
The funny thing about this lawsuit is that I had moved to Pensacola a few months before it was devised and served. Roy Lucas actually wrote in the suit that I was in hiding and had moved all of my assets (supposedly worth millions of dollars!) out of what he called the “Spy House” in Melbourne to a place unknown. So I responded by mocking him on several Internet forums writing that I was praying for his ruin. That only made him madder of course. My pro bono lawyer told me that Lucas flew into a rage when my name was mentioned. He told me, “For some reason he really doesn’t like you.” He told me Lucas claimed that he was going to take my home (which is protected under tort law in Florida).
No one thought this hilarious lawsuit would survive summary judgment except maybe Lucas’ deceived clients who paid him. It was dropped before it got that far, but not before Lucas’ clever public relations ploy worked its mischief. Not before the local press reported it as though it was a viable lawsuit. Not before I had a few Christian “friends” tell me that God was finally judging me for my arrogance. Not before I developed my theology concerning imprecatory prayer as a weapon of spiritual warfare against infamous abortionists.
There can be no “self” in this type of war. No selfish person would choose to pick this fight. It’s no easy road. But here is a little realized secret. We can’t lose if we fight. If our cause is just and we are doing God’s will, God himself will fight for us. They can come after us with famous lawyers and millions of dollars in their war chest. They will lose if we fight. As the Apostle Paul wrote, “We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Cor. 4:8,9).
Yes, it may difficult for a time. But we are not simply hiding out in the hills awaiting martyrdom. We are fighting to win. We have to struggle against the darkness with an eye toward winning, not simply hiding out. Pat Necarato explains what this means. In short, Jesus’ plan is the church and there is no “plan B.” We are in the “caves” right now, but when the church begins to fight, we will see the full victory.
Pat Necarato’s article is formatted as a PDF file. I encourage you to read it at his website:
Here again is the link to Keith Tucci’s brief and amazing article:
By Keith Tucci – July 2011
The apostolic ministry, when it begins to mature, becomes tribal—not exclusive, but highly covenantal and purposeful—especially when it comes to pushing the enemy off of God’s inheritance. Not giving up the land is the backdrop of the book of Deuteronomy, and its code of civil law and doctrine is recorded for that purpose.
Tribes are like battalions. They communicate well, they move swiftly, they have a clear chain of command. They understand their purpose and will clearly identify an enemy. There can be no victory without warfare and no warfare without clearly identifying an enemy.
Jesus said to love your enemies. He didn’t say to pretend that they didn’t exist. His version of loving them is treating them with basic human dignity, not adding validity to their anti-Christian agenda. The lack of mature apostolic ministry is leaving the church wide open to enemy take-over. While there are, of course, a growing number of seasoned, mature apostles, the manifestation of the tribe is yet immature.
What fellowship has light and darkness—Christ with Belial? For those who will not identify the unholy trinity of abortion, homosexuality and Islam as clear enemies, we will only lose ground while the enemy camps in our ground. For apostolic ministry to be mature, there must be mature pastors. Together we have a fighting chance. Apart we lose.
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