Sunday, April 29, 2018

Jezebel Spirit and a Mutant Strain of Theology in Politics

Senator Jason Rapert of Conway livened up the GOP Primary for Governor when he compared outsider candidate Jan Morgan to Jezebel from the Old Testament. For those of you not up on the Old Testament accounts, Jezebel was a wicked queen of Israel who manipulated her feckless husband King Ahab. Among her unjust acts was framing an innocent man for a crime so that she could have him executed, clearing the way for her husband to seize his land. According the account, the Prophet Elijah confronted King Ahab when he went to take possession of the land.

Obviously comparing either candidate in the race to Jezebel is over-the-top. Jan Morgan isn’t like Jezebel, and Governor Asa Hutchinson is not like Elijah. One of my pet peeves is preachers wrenching bible stories out of context so that they always become about us and what is going on in our lives instead of focusing on what they tell us about the nature of God.  But after some research I am starting to believe that there is something darker and more sinister going on here.

Before I get to that part, one more comment about the comparison. It doesn’t fit well either way, but if you could get past the sex of the parties doesn’t the comparison fit a little better the other way? That is, Gov. Hutchinson is the powerful ruler who is using his power in ways the “true believer” considers sketchy to abhorrent? And then wouldn’t Jan Morgan fit the analogy better as Elijah, the outsider who boldly speaks truth to power? Of course to see that one has to get past the sexes of the two parties, and I have a feeling Rapert would have trouble doing that.

Now let’s take a look at one of the Senator’s most provocative statements on this topic….

What “spirit” is the Senator claiming has entered the room? Many have chalked it up as a metaphor. But the fact is there is a mutant strain of pseudo-Christian theology which makes a “thing” out of “Jezebel Spirit”. This doctrine ought to be “fringe” but is actually too big to be fairly called that, and as you read on you may understand better how Rapert’s behavior is explained by his falling victim to it.

Here is a You Tube video on “Unmasking the Jezebel Spirit.” The ramrod on that was John Paul Jackson, now deceased. He was one of the first to coin the term “Jezebel Spirit” and was once associated with the controversial and probably heretical group called by others the “Kansas City Prophets”. Here is one called “Stop Tolerating Jezebel Spirit”. This one is called “Discerning the Sneaky Seductive Jezebel Spirit”. Here is one about “Overcoming the Jezebel Curse”. Here is an article describing the “Jezebel Spirit” according to one of these very, very unorthodox ‘teachers.’

And here is a screen shot of one of his face book posts about the “Jezebel Spirit”. It is from a Pastor friend of his from Conway. Do you notice any “projection” going on here?  Most of this list could fairly be applied to Rapert himself….

The more I look into it the more I am convinced that Sen. Jason Rapert was not just using a weird metaphor. Instead he was applying a weird theology- one which does not have much in common with the gospel or classical Christianity at all. Rather it uses the name of Christ and the bible as a talisman to leverage power for the one that practices this variant view.

For example, in classical Christian theology, we are all bound up in sin. It isn’t that we are the “good guys” and our opponents are the “bad guys”. We are all the bad guys, only saved by faith through the grace of the one true Good Guy. Thus it behooves us to love our enemies, do good to them who say all manner of evil against us falsely, and forgive our debtors as we wish God to forgive us our debts. All that is de-emphasized under this mutant strain of theology which makes your Man of Power for the Hour the “Good Guy” and thus anyone who would speak ill of them- even if it’s the truth- the “bad guy”. It’s a philosophy which leaves little room for introspection, repentance, and thus improvement.

Such a mind-set leads to a lack of accountability for those in leadership. Have you wondered how so many Republican legislators could get sucked into the Ecclesia scam? Where was their discernment? “Hey, our team is the “good guys” and a bunch of us are doing it so it must be OK.” This is the exact opposite attitude which true Christian faith should engender. The one who believes in the faith once delivered says “I am a sinner saved by grace and so is my pastor, so both of us, and everyone else, should have accountability.” But in this other view, trying to hold your leadership accountable is akin to blasphemy.

I think this whole “Jezebel Spirit” thing started because some pastors did not want to be held accountable and they needed a way to tamp down on any women in their church who got too “uppity.” That last link above says “Remember, this evil spirit desires to silence your spiritual authority by quieting your voice.” Later I think they also expanded the concept to men, because anyone who “came against God’s anointed” obviously is a tool of the Devil!

In classical Christianity Christ is God’s anointed. That is what the word “Christ” means. All the anointed people in the Old Testament were merely shadows pointing to Him as the Type. What these men are doing with their use of the term is take the focus off of Christ and take His place themselves! They become the anointed that you had better not “come against” by demanding accountability from them. It’s an abuse of scripture and the Faith.

Our system of government helped make this a great nation when people in government had the classical Christian view of these matters. Now that they have this warped view, our politics is increasingly becoming toxic. A logical extension of this thinking leads to a rejection of the “two kingdoms” view whereby we are citizens of an earthly kingdom and a heavenly one. The two are connected but separate. So we can work to make this world a better place, but we don’t get so hung up on forcing our vision on others, because this life is the test, it’s not the main show. But this mutant strain of theology does not recognize this distinction. After all, “God’s anointed” is not just Christ in Heaven, it’s your guy down here. So politics becomes theology. Church and state move together, with state actually pushing church out of the way and assuming the central role.

Jesus said the Kingdom of Heaven won’t be something we can point to. But once you toss out the two kingdoms concept “God and Country” meld together. Your guy is the special guy who can do no wrong and your country is the special country that can do no wrong. Somehow that same federal government that we chafe at when they try to run our lives here is the entity we cheer for when they try to run people’s lives over there.

This doctrine does not allow for introspection for either ourselves or our leaders, because we are “the good guys.” We are no longer sinners in need of His grace, but His warriors chosen to bring His wrath on the heathen/our political opponents! The picture below, where the flag is moved to the center and Christ pushed to the edges is a good representation of where this ends up….

The sad thing is that this sort of thinking does not make our country better. It makes it worse because people who have fallen victim to this mentality think questioning their political leader (so long as he is of their tribe) is tantamount to questioning God. Our nation was better when its citizens considered that its public servants should constantly be held accountable.

To show how this lack of introspection leads to an almost psychotic inability to self-evaluate, here is a post Rapert made calling for civility in public discourse. 

He really doesn't see himself as violating the standards which he is calling on others to adhere to because his sense of right and wrong is becoming too self-referential. In his mind he is the good guy, so whatever he does is, by definition, "good". Those who call him on his hypocrisy and double-standards are of course "coming against God's anointed" and therefore there is good reason to suspect a wicked "spirit" is working through them! How can a person who believes this become a better person over time? They can't. 

I can see why non-Christians would recoil at the thought of having Christians governing them, if this is what Christianity really was. But this is a perversion of the Christianity which the bible teaches. It has snuck into the church because it appeals to the sinful pride of those in authority, and even our own sin nature which will believe any con to avoid facing daily the truth of what God’s word says about us- we are all the bad guys.

Fortunately we serve a merciful God. I can repent of my sins and God will forgive me. Jason Rapert can repent of his sins and God will forgive him. The same thing goes for Jan Morgan, Asa Hutchinson, and even you dear reader. We can go ahead and admit to ourselves that we have been wrong about this or that in the faith with assurance that He will forgive and heal. This is the path to redemption. Only if we are too prideful to admit our errors will they become a part of us.


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