I watched the news with glee on July 3rd when 33 million Egyptian men and women took to the streets to overthrow an oppressive Islamic government. An entire nation was being swallowed whole with loss of personal freedom and the degradation of their economy. It had reached a point where women couldn’t leave their home without fear of harassment… all in the name of Allah, of course. The United States was propping up this mess, for reasons I can’t explain.
Yet, in a moment the whole thing turned. I think it’s the miracle of the decade. It made me wonder if we would be so brave to stand for righteousness and defeat tyranny in our own back yard. I hope so.
Why not? – The deeper question is why believers are prone to not get involved. Jesus brings a revolution in individual hearts, and he’s commissioned us to “disciple nations.” What holds us back?
Dualism – is a philosophy term for separating the spiritual and the natural. The concept is that spiritual things are good and natural things are evil. Dualism is a few thousand years old, and its present form simply translates to the good things being prayer, worship, church, evangelism, etc. The other mountains are all considered contaminated (business, politics, entertainment, the arts, public education, etc.) Dualism causes Christians to falsely divide their lives into two compartments: secular and spiritual and to try and put all their focus on spiritual things.
Politics is a dirty business – Partly because we believers have been a little prone to abandon the political process; it is indeed a dirty process. That’s why we need to get on top of this mountain. Bribery is a practical reality in many nations. We have lobby system whereby political favor and votes are purchased. We even see Christians succumb to the corruption in US politics, partly because there is a powerful spirit behind it all. It’s still a giant we are well able overcome.
Fear vs. Courage – Confrontation is hard for all of us. Confronting the spirit of deception in the political mountain is not easy, but it is necessary. There is also a price. We’re being invited to establish the Kingdom in His power and in His wisdom. Though we may feel like grasshoppers we are well able to slay this Godless giant. When you see world politics from God’s perspective we have all the horsepower on our side. We just need to learn to use it.
The Sky is falling – Many believers adopt a prophetic “Chicken Little” outlook and point to everything bad that’s happening as though it’s all part of God’s sovereign plan leading to the rapture. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Kingdom is expanding on every front, and what happened in Egypt should have free people everywhere dancing in the streets. I can’t help but wonder if some of the youth rallies for prayer and fasting called One Thing in Egypt in the fall of 2012 laid a foundation for this jail break from oppression. An estimated two million people around the world watched the event online.
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Cor 3:17-18 NIV
The goal is Freedom – Freedom for hearts to choose their path is the real goal. I’m not really down on Muslim people at all. The 30+ million demonstrators are probably nearly all self-described Muslims. They just want to be free from religious oppression. In this case, freedom from sharia law. I wouldn’t want to live under that either… and for the record, I wouldn’t want to live under a government sponsored by the Southern Baptist Convention or the Catholic church or any other theocratic system, for all the same reasons. The Holy Spirit invites people into a relationship with Jesus that changes hearts and behavior; religion tries to box them into the right behavior with rules. It never works.
The price – Some are prone to sum up their political outlook as believing for the best, turning the other cheek and passively accepting whatever comes along. That road occasionally leads to a gas chamber. There really is a spirit and an ideology behind political and religious oppression that we are called to defeat – spiritually, ideologically, and practically (militarily, if necessary). To suggest that Jesus was passive in the face of such tyranny misses the point of His view of the Pharisees. He didn’t just call them names…
So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16 To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market!” John 2:15-16 NIV
He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one… “See, Lord, here are two swords.” Luke 22:36-38 NIV
The United States is called to be the light and glory of the world. We have to credit an American ministry called Open Doors for their involvement with the Coptic Church in Egypt to sponsor the youth rallies. Open Doors is Brother Andrew’s ministry, a Dutch brother who wrote God’s Smuggler, who resides in California and who is now focused on the Middle East. Several events in October of 2012 were attended by over 50,000 youth and led by Egyptian Christians. I’m thanking God. I think we may eventually find out it was the seed that made a national difference.
On the other hand, the events of July 3rd in Egypt are notable miracles that were not anticipated prophetically or practically by the church. Our president and our press even appear to be caught off guard and on the wrong team for something God has done himself… with quite a bit of help from Brother Andrew and the Egyptian people. It’s time for us to get in the game and to join the right team, individually and as a nation. It’s time to take back the political mountain in the United States. It’s OK to be a political Christian and take a stand for righteousness. It’s OK to express your heart in the political mountain and get involved.
Homework – Watch the joy of Egyptians gaining their freedom