Reading accounts concerning the numerous intercessory prayer groups which convened prior to the recent election in order to pray for Obama’s defeat, got me wondering about how they might be reacting to having their prayers obviously denied. I was particularly interested to see if False Prophet and self-appointed Apostle Dutch Sheets responded. You may recall back in 2008, after the election, Sheets sent out an email to his subscribers in which his anger and proclamation of impending judgment(s) was directed toward Christians who, in his opinion”should have done more”
How Did This Happen? I’ve been asked if this could have been averted had there been more prayer. I’m not sure. I believe there was a remnant of Christians fervently praying over these elections-I don’t think there was anything more they could have done. Others, obviously, should have done more. The complacency and lack of discernment concerning our real condition in America-especially by the Church-is both appalling and horrifying….
Though I understand our reasons, we must be careful in our attempts to placate our feelings and calm our fears through religious phrases like “God is still on the throne” or “God has a plan”….But please be careful with this. Too much emphasis on God’s sovereignty and we’re worthless; too little and we’re hopeless.
Has the fact that my prayers weren’t answered shaken my faith? No. I’m a little confused and discouraged. I’m also somewhat angry at the nation in general and much of the Church.
I’ve been asked if my feelings about Sarah Palin have changed. They have not. I believe she is an Esther, a Deborah, with a huge mantle from God for reformation. – more at From Dutch Sheets, Dutch Sheets Ministries November 6, 2008
Well, he has responded.
As you may already know, Dutch Sheets (leader of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) and apostolic head over the NAR’s 50-state prayer networks), had earlier this year endorsed Newt Gingrich, so I guess he felt it was now his ‘duty’ to say something to his followers.
Before the election, Cindy Jacobs hosted a “Reformation Day” prayer rally in which speaker after speaker prayed/prophesied that President Obama would be defeated and Jesus glorified in the election. Among the speakers was Dutch Sheets, who proclaimed that the “systems of anti-Christ” that bound the nation would be broken … but that obviously didn’t happen, as Obama was re-elected, which has prompted Sheets to now declare that God’s wholesale judgment is about to rain down on this nation because “God has put up with all of the mocking He intends to from Barack Obama” – Sheets: Judgment is Coming Because ‘God Has Put Up with All of the Mocking He Intends to from Barack Obama’
Sheet’s full response can be read at his website here, but I wanted to post a few excerpts,
It has been a week since the presidential elections in America. Many have asked me for a response. I felt it wise to wait a few days in order to think, process and prayerfully consider my opinions. And though it is probably impossible to filter out all of my own thoughts, theologies and paradigms in order to hear only the Lord’s, I have made a great effort to do so.
(Another) position I’ve heard often is that God is sovereign, so we shouldn’t worry about the results. These individuals’ definition of God’s sovereignty means that He is in control of everything, therefore they contend that nothing happens on earth which He doesn’t cause or directly allow. To them, the results of this election must be God’s will and His purposes will definitely be accomplished. Their bottom line response then, is, “Don’t worry about it. In fact, rejoice.” Those who espouse this doctrine can often be heard making statements along the lines of, “Put your faith in God, not a leader or political party. Regardless of who wins—He is still on the throne and knows what He is doing.
I struggle with this explanation… I don’t believe the fact that God is sovereign equates Him to being responsible for everything that occurs on earth. I contend that most, if not all, of what occurs on earth is the result of choices we humans make.
The solace we take from blaming bad things on God’s sovereignty is not only bad theology; it often breeds irresponsibility. I can accept any encouragement to keep my faith in God, rather than a person or political party and I do, in fact, make every attempt to do this. This doesn’t change the fact, however, that it does matter greatly who is the President or leader of a nation. In fact, scripture makes very clear that entire nations were sometimes judged with great devastation (and others were blessed!) because of the actions of their leader!
*(Another) explanation I’ve heard is that many of us simply have a wrong perspective about America and the election, a paradigm rooted in pride, nationalism and a desire for American exceptionalism. They contend that God is simply restructuring the nations, moving the chess pieces in order to accomplish His purposes, and America’s economic, spiritual and moral demise is all a part of this. They further imply that those of us who endeavor to make a spiritual demand on what we perceive as America’s covenantal roots and promises—asking God to reconnect us to them—are guilty of looking back, not forward.
In light of the above criticisms, however, I have taken an honest and deep look into my heart and mind to see if my passion for an awakening in America is rooted in pride or nationalism. Is it….to keep America number one in wealth and power? I can honestly say that I never remember having such a thought.
I certainly believe America is and will continue to reap judgment. And I believe the fruit from the reelection of Barack Obama will be our most severe judgment to date…..Our economy will suffer greatly. The financial devastation and quality-of-care deterioration associated with socialized medicine will be staggering; more liberal, pro-abortion, Constitution disregarding, anti-God Supreme Court justices will be appointed (meaning more babies will die, marriage will be dishonored and immorality will be defended); Islam will be emboldened; our military will be weakened; and devastation from natural disasters will continue and perhaps increase. This is the short list.
The fact that Obama is a judgment, his policies will increase judgments, and this will be used by God to turn America is clear to me.
The fifth and final explanation is there simply wasn’t enough desperation, prayer, repentance and humility on the part of the church in America. Others disagree, contending that millions prayed concerning this election, and there was enough. One leader boldly proclaimed he was positive there had been enough effort; therefore God caused Obama to be elected for other reasons. Of course, only God really knows for sure if this is true; the rest of us are merely offering educated opinions. Personally, I’m not so certain there was enough effort by the church.
I don’t believe God was looking for quick, easy, one or two sentence prayers offered up during our quiet times or normal church services. I’m afraid most believers in the United States are still looking for convenient, inexpensive answers to our plight. There are none.
I woke up Wednesday, the morning after the elections, thinking of Wilberforce, the great English statesman who spearheaded the effort to remove slavery from the British Empire. It took him 40 years, but he and his co-laborers won the battle. They did so incrementally. God gave the same one-word encouragement—“Wilberforce”—to two other friends of mine on the same morning. Just as He did for Wilberforce and his fellow reformers, God is storing up every prayer we prayed, and every act of obedience we performed. Nothing was wasted. It would also be appropriate to think that our prayers and worship accomplished nothing at the present time and will only be used later. The Holy Spirit spoke to another friend of mine the morning after the election saying, “Your prayers and worship did prevail…though not in the way you wanted. Because of them, however, I will now deal with this man who has mocked Me and My laws.”
Two more friends of mine had dreams in which Barack Obama was named Belshazzar. This was the ruler in Babylon who saw a hand writing on the wall of his palace—as he and his friends were mocking God. The ominous message written by the hand of God was, “You have been weighed on the scales and found deficient.”
The writing went on to say Belshazzar’s reign would end. I don’t know what form the judgment of the Lord will take, but I am quite confident that God has put up with all of the mocking He intends to from Barack Obama, and that Daniel 5 is now his passage. I say this without malice or ill will, but nonetheless, confidently.
It’s interesting that Sheets (both in his 08 and 2012 letters) never once considers or even entertains the possibility that he and his fellow NAR cronies were not praying in line with God’s will.
I’ve followed Christ for (almost) 33 years but one thing I learned pretty quick is when praying for a specific thing, sometimes God just says ‘No’. Believe if you looked in Christianity 101 you’d find that information spelled out within the first few pages. Don’t you think?
Also, comparing the contents of both letters it sure seems like Dutch Sheets is still struggling with accepting God’s sovereignty.