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Saturday, May 8, 2010

You've Got to Show That There's a War Going On...

and you've got to show that the only way to win that war is through love.

Those are the words of God directly and clearly to Darren Wilson, the producer of a movie called The Finger of God. Darren was set on his course to make that movie from two spectacular circumstances. One was that his aunt Patsy and uncle Bob both got gold teeth set into their mouths while at a Pentecostal church service. The other is that an angel named Breakthrough confronted him directly and commanded him to make the movie he was contemplating. That first movie was about miracles, Christian miracles. They included things like gold dust appearing on people as they preached, gemstones appearing in church, and gold teeth appearing in people's mouths.

The second movie was first prophesied by Heidi Baker, who told him that God wanted him to go into the darkness to show the light. Later, in a service at the Toronto Airport church, he was shoved back into his seat and spoken to in no uncertain terms about the second movie, which would deal with the occult and paranormal. He called it Furious Love. He began that filming by going to a New Age convention to "pick a fight." God restrained those efforts and reminded him that it wasn't about fighting, but about love.

When I first heard that I thought two things. First, people don't want to admit that the spiritual realm is also a place of conflict where freewill, good, and evil clash. There is so much of that here in our physical plane, it just seems more that we can grasp that it all goes on there as well. We want to believe that the afterlife or the dimension beyond or physical realm is a place where all issues get resolved, all evil is reconciled with good, and everyone rests in peace. Kind of like Hollywood where improbable happy endings to severe conflicts in our movies make us feel good. Nice people require a nice, benevolent universe, and cannot accept that a God would allow a universe to harbor demons or evil spirits. But God says it isn't so, and so does the Bible, from Genesis 3 to Revelation. The Bible is full of spiritual conflict.

The second thought is that dang, I wish God had said that to Moses, you know, the part about love. Instead we have, "Show them no mercy," and "kill them all." Maybe that's why Jesus was never able to call God Yahweh. He always talked about Him as Father. What a concept! This mighty entity, with the power to nuke the entire globe if He wanted to, doesn't require the title of "Your Mighty, Holy, Highness God of the Universe." It seems the Pope demands more acknowledgement of holiness and authority than God does. God wants to be addressed by all of us as Father, and he doesn't care if we are men or women, slave or free, Canaanite or Israelite, black or white. We don't have to claim to be the dirt under His feet like the Canaanite mayors wrote to the Egyptian Pharaoh in the Amarna Letters. We are His children and He is our inheritance.

I'm not suggesting that the God of Moses isn't the same God that Jesus served. But I guess we have to acknowledge that God is so far above our own understanding that it takes generations and generations to fully grasp who He is and what He wants of us. Moses's job was to show that God is One and has much to offer us. Jesus's job was to show that He offers it because He loves us.

There are a few hints that the Israelites didn't really go in and "kill them all." The Amarna Letters would suggest that the invaders of Canaan made treaties with several cities. Also Joshua made his famous proclamation, "If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." Joshua is not talking about a situation where the idol nazis are going to prowl the villages, pull out the offenders, and beat them to death on the spot. He is talking about choice. He is saying, "You can be stupid and wrong if you want, but I know which way is the right one and my family is going to follow me on that path. I know that it's the best inheritance I can give them."