Nov 292012
 

“For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.”

(2 Corinthians 10:4 ESV)

I posted an article about the life and horrific death of Maria Santos on Tuesday.

The only thing that surprised me about her execution was that it took so long to happen…I told you she was a dead woman walking back when the insipid, cowardly American press was hailing her a a new Mexican heroine.

The ground in Mexico is full of heros and heroines.

The surprise about the story for me was that I didn’t see it first on one of the numerous feeds I have set up for such information…I saw it first on a close friends Facebook page.

Somebody had been listening and there was some consolation among the tears.

Many of you here then took the story and posted it as well…and I thank you.

You see, in my opinion…we’re the only ones that can change this situation.

We…meaning Christians.

I believe that a first century Christian observing the carnage in the south would instantly recognize that all hell had literally broken loose in Mexico, that there was a supernatural, demonic component to this tragedy that transcends politics and economics.

The first century Christian would also understand that politics and economics inevitably become tools in the hand of the beast to carry on his work.

The twenty first century American Christian can no longer see such things as our spiritual vision has been blinded by politics, power, and prosperity.

We no longer recognize either the work of the enemy or the power of God and thus we are impotent salt without savor.

We want pragmatic, political answers to spiritual problems and have not noticed that Dagon has fallen and can’t get up.

These only come out by prayer and fasting…not an act of Congress.

The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but the weapons have grown dull and rusted from lack of use.

Our neighbors find themselves torn between two beasts…the one that governs them and the one that governs us.

The common persons death in Mexico is collateral damage to those who profit from the horror on both sides of the border.

The church is the only institution that can both recognize and combat what is happening.

It will require the taking up of our weapons again…prayer, fasting, and above all else love.

It will require sacrificial amounts of them all.

Many of you today will dismiss me as a superstitious crank or just a bleeding heart liberal.

You do so to all of our peril.

You see I’m smelling the acrid smoke of hellfire here in this country…this state…and my home.

You, as always, should make your own application.

 

  53 Responses to “Broken Weapons”

  1. I can’t imagine *this* article being dismissed as liberal or superstitious. You are absolutely right in this, Michael, and I thank you for bringing it to our attention.

  2. I agree with Josh’s agreement.

  3. Isaiah 19 was my reading scheduled earlier today and was on my mind as i came to visit the PhxP: “Our neighbors find themselves torn between two beasts…the one that governs them and the one that governs us.” i think both nations are at risk from our governments … perhaps, as we answer Michael’s call to pray, we should pray as hard or harder for the Body of Christ as a whole, in both our countries – for eyes to be opened to see what God sees in His Church now?

  4. post script – my above Scripture reference was not an intended interpretation of the chapter beyond the principle of an evil government’s end (taking the people with it)

  5. I pray that the Mexican Govt. allows their People to be armed (with a law of the land similar to the US 2nd Amendment) and that Rule of Law prevails in our neighbor to the south.

  6. The only disagreement I have – and it’s one we’ve had before – is that Paul DID make a difference both spiritually and politically. It may have been as short lived as Josiah’s reforms, but as I read Acts, I see that Paul wielded his authority as a citizen of Rome and as a citizen of God’s kingdom. In Acts 16, Paul made such a stink that for a while at least, due process would have been given at least a cursory glance in Philipi, and a glance was more than had been given the day before Paul arrived.

    Paul’s “end game” if you will was to present the Gospel up the chain among the kings and finally to Caesar, but on the way, he made a stink, used his citizenship and took full advantage of the political system – advancing the Gospel and (albeit temporarily) making a corner of Philippi more judicious in its treatment of citizens. Paul made the powerful bend to his own will. He made them accountable.

    The Scripture says the king does not bear the sword for no reason, and the Constitution here in the U.S. give the citizen a tiny holding spot on the handle of the sword. If we don’t render unto Caesar our own voice and influence as best we can, aren’t we abdicating the possibility of the full impact of the Gospel? Can’t we, like Paul, pursue God’s highest and best and promote the Gospel AND make this tiny corner of the world better, if only briefly?

  7. Rob,
    It doesn’t have to be either/or.
    It usually isn’t.
    However, in my opinion…we have abandoned the weapons unique to us in favor if those of the world.
    Most can vote, only the Christian has throne room access.

  8. In this situation neither country has the political will to end the violence, so the power of God is the only hope.

  9. “Most can vote, only the Christian has throne room access.”

    Amen.

  10. re: #s 6 & 7 – we, the Church today, don’t seem to really involve ourselves in more than token prayer until that is all we have left …
    perhaps, legitimately as it’s hard for the average person, in the U.S. to be centered on Christ today, so many time consuming distractions – our focus if off – “ignore at your peril” – not out of Scripture, i don’t think, but … “perilous times” is

  11. Here, the Church has little interest in working with those who have drug addictions. Occasionally a church will host a 12-step program, but rarely an evangelical church in my experience. There are a handful of parachurch organizations who get their hands dirty, but by in large, the programs are bandaids that aren’t there for the long run. But again, the solution isn’t organizational, but personal. Believers don’t listen to the Spirit anymore, they listen to their pastors, and the pastors aren’t calling believers to work with the least of these very often. We don’t labor in prayer or fasting because that’s personal, not organizational & the organization isn’t directing us to do it. The American “church” is wobbling off-centered into irrelevance.

  12. …instead we’ll get a repackaged “Purpose-Driven Life” manual and all the media blather and ministerial hype that surrounds these things…

  13. “Prayer means that we have come boldly into the throne room and we are standing in God’s presence.” E.W. Kenyon

  14. ‘The American “church” is wobbling off-centered into irrelevance’

    Well said, Filbertz.Whenever When I think of what you said, I think the Christian talk radio shows, They’re a combo of third-rate theology and third-rate psychology.

    I think it was Francis Schaeffer who said that the Church (and this was 40 years ago, true today, too, in large measure) is too often seduced by members whose only goals are personal peace and affluence. As long as we have those, hey, everything’s great!

    Sarcasm mode off.

  15. Filbertz
    Ex drug addicts are most of our church and staff.

    I don’t know where other churches get their staff and volunteers….what do they find hired hands from the Internet?

    We’re fighting this fight, Michael.

    I’ll just say we have a family member of the former “lord of the skies” from El Sicario here….and they are reaching their peers here.

    If ALL of us DO SOMETHING where we are and urge our churches not be lame status-quo centers of mediocrity, this will work!

    Down with the cities of the mighty and their strongholds!

  16. would it be correct to say that many good pastors today, perhaps well meaning and so taught, are taking responsibilities, setting goals that God has not ordained to the office?

  17. You are the eagle eye here … post what you know and see and we will repost it… until we make more people care

    Just heard a man preach who has recently buried 7 friends to this war….

  18. shouldn’t post when my mind is not fully engaged – what i meant at #16 is the “what’s in it for you” salesman’s focus may not be so much the fault of the men who are pastoring today as it is of their training … if so, there’s hope

  19. Jtk, your words are encouraging to hear.

  20. So thankful for you… For teaching us to open our eyes even when our impotence to make a difference is paralyzing.

  21. I was set up to hear your message. Years ago, i was on a missions trip in Mexico. I was painting with some children when suddenly a giant field of refuse next to the orphanage was swarming with federales. We soon after got word that in a tin barrel, among the heaps of trash, was the dead body of a child. Even more chilling was the fact that their reaction made it clear that this wasn’t a rare occurrence. Still could lose it just remembering…

  22. If the Mexican People get sick enough of it….they’ll demand the right to bear arms, they’ll bear those arms and they’ll put a stop to the violence.

  23. …of course it would take what would probably be some violence in the form of some sort of revolution to do that. Martin Luther has a famous quote about that

  24. IMV – the “Macho mindset” of Mexico is still alive … a woman who steps into the public arena and asserts herself, who goes mano a mano up against male dominance is viewed entirely differently there … not defending it, just thinking the outrage that many here are, rightfully, feeling just isn’t there among that population – dunno

  25. Alex,

    Demands in Mexico are answered in the picture with this article.
    As I said, the ground in Mexico is full of people who demanded change…

  26. There’s times I am honestly overwhelmed by it all. I have personal trials that I am trying to handle. Then there is my wife, three children, two grandchildren, my mother, siblings, etc. Depended on circumstances my energy is consumed in trying to navigate their circumstances.

    My cousin within the last month had a double masectomy. Our niece is still coming through thyroid cancer. My wife’s sister had back surgery yesterday.

    Keeping up on local news is depressing because it’s filled with nothing but bad things ranging to outright evil. Taking a look online I am startled by the number of convicted pedophiles that are nearby.

    On a national level where on earth do we begin? Christians are under attack for their beliefs and we have no moral compass. Everyone is doing what is right in their own eyes.

    Internationally our children are often forced into the slave trade. They are objects of sexual perversion to the highest bidder. There are wars everywhere with people losing their lives daily and “collateral” damage is commonplace. What is happening in Syria is gut wrenching. I’m sure more of that is going on quietly throughout the world.

    Then across our southern border is the tragedy of the country of Mexico. People can’t walk the streets freely. Evil rules the day. The carnage is beyond comprehension.

    And I sit in my home with air and heating, no shortage of food, anda loving family. I play with my grandson daily and he lights up our days.

    At times it seems the battle for hearts and souls for God is losing out to those who are given over to lies and false religions. Without a supernatural move from God we are going to lose the battle to the supernatural forces of evil that are often shrouded in light.

    It seems the place to begin is with myself. Am I willing to be honest where my treasures are kept? Can a church look within and see where their hopes and efforts are being wasted? Are people willing to do the will of God once He reveals it to them?

    I think many of us choose to escape reality. It can be television, politics, arguing theology, and so many other diversions that are so easily available.

    Pride must be set on the altar and consumed. We have the power of the almighty at our disposal and yet we so often neglect or flat out don’t believe it. I want to believe the glass is half full. Sorry for the length…

  27. Erunner,

    Well said, my friend.

  28. noman’s and erunner’s posts blessed me, too … such good hearts, honest before the Lord … IMHO, if the world was populated with PhxP folk, folks responsible for the horror pictured above would quickly learn where the mercies of God end … dunno … evil is the reason there’s a hell, i think

  29. along with a sad picture of a barefoot New York beggar was this report from a CNN item today:
    “…..Jennifer Foster, of Florence, Arizona, sent the following note, along with a picture she took, to the NYPD, which posted it on its Facebook page.

    “Right when I was about to approach, one of your officers came up behind him. The officer said, ‘I have these size 12 boots for you, they are all-weather. Let’s put them on and take care of you.’ The officer squatted down on the ground and proceeded to put socks and the new boots on this man. The officer expected NOTHING in return and did not know I was watching. …..”

    just thought a little encouragement was in order tonight – the system isn’t all broke here

    God keep

  30. We know it took force to end the evil of Hitler’s Nazi Germany.

    Other evils have been remedied through populist uprising, etc.

    Prayer is important, yet answers to prayer often come in the form of the things referenced above.

    It would be great if Jesus would miracle a peace there with the wave of a wand, but it doesn’t generally seem to work that way. It seems to work in the way of people saying “enough!” and then doing something, either externally, internally or both.

  31. Heck, even “peace on earth” seems to come at the tip of a spear, Jesus on the White Horse comes back with an Army…and slays everyone in sight with the sword of his mouth etc until the blood is bridle high etc. Metaphor? Literal? Even in metaphor, sounds pretty gnarly.

  32. Maybe 0bama can Drone Kill the Cartels and send in Seal Team Six. I know he won the Noble Peace Prize and all, but he’s got like tons of successful drone kills. Seems to be and effective means to assassinate other folks, why not the Cartels?

  33. Let me say this one more time.
    The United States has no intention of “winning” the war on drugs.
    It would cripple the Mexican economy and many American businesses depend on it.
    The Mexican army has killed as many people as the cartels…and we give them a stipend to do so.

  34. Alex, serious prayer isn’t a fairy wand waving about … prayer today doesn’t rain OT fire from the sky either (hmm maybe it could, tho dunno 🙄 ) … what it does do is move the hearts of the rulers … turn events to come together to accomplish an end and usually looks quite natural to the naked (human) eye … as i keep pontificating here, i think that the solution involves a whole lot of targets that no one earthly ruler can pull off … those cartels are hydra-headed and are the result of a whole lot of evils that have come together in one ugly compost … IMHO

    now i’m gone 🙂

  35. Michael, praying that your efforts here move things forward at the very least … and more …

  36. I see it a bit differently, but I could be wrong. I do think creating awareness and calling for prayer is a very good thing.

  37. Em,

    I can only try to raise awareness and hope that we think these things through.
    Thank you for all your prayers and support.

  38. Babylons dread,

    Name your price to hear today’s perspective on Mexico from your conference, from you…..

  39. If things are as Michael says, because people in the US continue to consume illegal drugs, people in Mexico die, then what is to be our prayer? Prayer is a funny issue.sometimes and you end up praying funny things.

    My prayer is that people in the US who use these drugs just die, so that people in Mexico don’t have to. The corporate executive who snorts up at lunch, the college kids at their weekend parties and the “druggies” on the street – God please take them out!.

    I don’t know – I don’t even think we have an answer in prayer, other than… “God forgive me.”

  40. “My prayer is that people in the US who use these drugs just die, so that people in Mexico don’t have to. The corporate executive who snorts up at lunch, the college kids at their weekend parties and the “druggies” on the street – God please take them out!.”

    “GOD, PLEASE TAKE THEM OUT”???????????
    :: OH MY GOD!!! ::

    Um, I am seriously freaked out at reading such a post. I must be missing something here.
    I am reeling! Damn, that is just over the top, even from a guy I respect and consider a friend.

    I, and those who are Jesus’ Disciples, wish no man, woman or child’s death, even if they are “reaping what they sow” because Jesus didn’t want that, even for those who murdered Him.

    …ok, trying to contribute something of value in the face of such hopelessness.
    Thoughts about how I navigate the weirdness of this thing we know as prayer and what the drug thing means to me.

    I have no general prayers because they are way too vague, but I pray for those in my consciousness whenever they come to mind, individuals I have met, classmates from all of my school years and professional classes, those in my path, my co-workers, my neighbors, those I meet on Facebook and here at this blog and other blogs, those with real & screen names or simply faces, who I might, in some small way, be able to have an effect.

    These prayers are truest when the words are few, and the groaning or joy is deep and almost inexpressible.

    …which is why I have a small bit of interaction with those who are addicts, who want to get clean & sober and stay that way. I learn from them, am inspired by them, and prayerfully worship with them, one day at a time. I’m not an addict, but I have seen the deepest reality of faith in the lives of these, my brothers and sisters.

    I hope this can counteract the hopeless post I just read.

  41. G,
    I think you are helping to make my point – you have prayers for people you meet on FB, but I saw no such offering for Mexico.

    When someone says “pray for Mexico” – what are we to pray – specifically? Are we to pray for the killing to end? Michael makes it sound as if there is a one to one correlation of drug users in the USA to the deaths in Mexico. Don’t we pray that the cause of the death’s goes away?

    You missed my last line above – the only thing I can pray is to make my sins go away.

  42. There are many thing that the we are compared to. Farmers Builders Athletes
    Pottery Sheep A Bride The human body
    —A Soldier
    I find in the military model one that all the others fit into – It gives
    us a good picture of what needs to be happening throughout the Church.
    In the Military there are all facets of life, from those who prepare food to
    the hospital, So in the body of Christ all facets of life are provided for.

    If you go back to the O.T. you will find it dominated with war and battles.
    A great portion of the Word of God is given to war and Yet I find that
    Little of the teachings of Pastors follow in that priority.
    1Pe 4:1 Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves
    also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased
    from sin,
    1Co 9:7* Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who plants a
    vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and
    eateth not of the milk of the flock?
    Php 2:25* Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my
    brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and
    he that ministered to my wants.
    2Ti 2:3* Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
    2Ti 2:4* No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of [this]
    life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
    Phm 1:2* And to [our] beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and
    to the church in thy house:
    1Ti 1:18* This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the
    prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good
    warfare;
    1Ti 6:12* Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto
    thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many
    witnesses.
    Eph 6:11* Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand
    against the wiles of the devil.

    and The man who had the greatest faith in all who were in Israel. —
    Mat 8:5* ¶ When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking
    for help. 6* ³Lord,² he said, ³my servant lies at home paralyzed and in
    terrible suffering.² 7 Jesus said to him, ³I will go and heal him.² 8* The
    centurion replied, ³Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof.
    But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9* For I myself am a
    man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ŒGo,¹ and he
    goes; and that one, ŒCome,¹ and he comes. I say to my servant, ŒDo this,¹
    and he does it.² 10* When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to
    those following him, ³I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in
    Israel with such great faith.

    Think on that one. A man who was a professional solder

    I think there is an overall failure to realize the military nature of our
    faith. and the battles like the one in northern Mexico are neglected because
    we don’t know how to fight the real enemy anymore. Most teaching on warfare
    I have heard from pulpits are defensive in nature. The church is more
    concerned with keeping what they have, than in taking what belongs to the
    real enemy. The money and energy spent by the church tends to be aimed
    entertainment that will get the largest numbers of existing believers to
    come from some other church and very little is spent on taking ground from
    the enemy of our souls. Churches have a fortress mentality, they want people
    to come into their fortress, when our real marching orders are not HOLD but
    GO —

    We need those who are willing to go, we need churches commit to sending, we
    need to wage a good warfare.

    In war there is only one real goal – Victory – and Victory will only be ours
    if we go on the offense and take the battle to the enemy, it will never
    belong to those who only want safety and security, it will go to thief who
    are willing to sacrifice all.

    Our nation won World War Two by everyone putting all their energy into
    Victory. It was a huge undertaking and the cost was high both in lives and
    money spent. And the church needs to be just that piratical, we need to have
    the correct objective, and then be willing to spend money and lives to gain
    that objective and in the past the Church had men and women go to the
    darkest most dangerous places on earth, backed by a home church that was
    willing to give to the point that it hurt. The USA rationed many things, and
    the people at home were willing to go without so our troupes in the field
    were supplied with what they needed.

    Today many missionaries never go because there is no support for them, and
    many return because the supports trickles off.

    The only real answer for Mexico is the Gospel message conquering one soul at
    a time, and for that to happen people must go. If you want, do a survey. ask
    those who are saved if they were saved by a personal relationship, that is
    some person they encounter during the daily discourse of their lives some
    person invested time and not only told them the Gospel but lived the Gospel.
    Yes many come to Christ by many different means, but be it a message
    preached in church ot radio or TV, but if you ask further you will find that
    it was not that one encounter that really changed them and that those
    methods only worked because there was a person in their life who took them
    to church or had already shown them what a Christian was. It takes people on
    the scene, or as the military puts it “boots on the ground”

  43. I thought I’d write a song about this, because that’s what songwriter’s do. And I might. I do think art has the ability to speak to hearts more efficiently than just about anything else. However, then I asked would I still be willing to write this song if I though it would put me or my family in real danger, and my answer is no, I wouldn’t.
    Then I realized I am full of crap.

    God, help me care.

  44. So very true what Michael has written..wish I knew more about the type of prayer that Michael talks about, “that is mighty to the pulling down of strongholds”. I have an inkling that it is closely related to what Erunner talked about. That and the stupor so many of us find ourselves in–riches, ease, plenty, all have rendered us impotent. Well, I will speak only of myself–did not mean to imply anyone else is in a stupor! I pray that this begins in my own life a deep repentance and looking for better opportunity to do, in whatever small way I can, something to help Mexico, the US and my own small corner of the world. I know that God is merciful and gracious, and His heart must bleed over the spilled blood in every culture due to the violence the Beast brings in his wake. I commit to making this situation a part of my daily prayers, hoping God will show me better ways of praying for these poor souls.

  45. MLD,
    Whew! Ok, for a minute there I thought I was going to have to kidnap you from your office and take you outside in the rain and splash cold water on your face.

    Let me suggest a little creative writing tactic, the strategic use of quotes when framing sarcasm within something written. What you intended as a mock prayer within your point sounded like you had decided to “write off the poor b*stards” much like the deity character did during the flood myth, completely uncharacteristic of the character of The Eternal Father who loves his children as revealed by Jesus, or His followers who are to be known by their acts of compassion and never vengeance.

    The reason I have not prayed for “Mexico” is the same reason I do not pray for “America”. It is a tribal world view that enlightened facets of religion have evolved away from, and uttering a prayer for a nebulous, amorphous “nation” of nameless, faceless people is utterly a waste of energy. The Gospels are about God intimately interacting with individuals, extending Himself across the illusion of the thing we humans create and insist on identifying within as “countries”, and “peoples”. There is no effective dynamic regarding “nations” but effective change of a heart and life and all who are within that person’s influence happens when the individual responds to The Living God.

    Instead, I seek for and pray for and actively engage in the well being of “Luis”, “Marco”, “Celestno”, men who I know from Mexico, who have children and extended family, and half of my family who are in the Central Valley, my aunt who is from Mexico, for example. I do what I can, one person at a time, one moment at a time, and I count on The Butterfly Effect (“where one storyline diverges at the moment of a seemingly minor event resulting in two significantly different outcomes”*) as an ultimate reality

    * (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly_effect)

    I’m truly committed to navigating the “world” one relationship at a time and I think that is the only way I will see or influence change in a locale where I have limited connections.

  46. DMV said, “In war there is only one real goal – Victory – and Victory will only be ours
    if we go on the offense and take the battle to the enemy, it will never
    belong to those who only want safety and security”

    Yup. Amen. Roger that.

  47. G said, “I’m truly committed to navigating the “world” one relationship at a time and I think that is the only way I will see or influence change in a locale where I have limited connections.”

    Equally valid point IMO and also supported by example and teaching in Scripture

  48. John D, this is exactly what my pastor has been teaching on. He want’s us out of the church and in the community.

  49. MLD, “My prayer is that people in the US who use these drugs just die, so that people in Mexico don’t have to. The corporate executive who snorts up at lunch, the college kids at their weekend parties and the “druggies” on the street – God please take them out!.”

    MLD’s sarcasm sounds like a good idea to me … but i think God is more likely to come down with more wisdom and in His timing … BTW – including the folk addicted to drugs in order to give the above scornful view more impact is cheap and distorts the issue – it is the recreational drug user who is guilty of willfully supporting the carnage to the south – the addicted are victims of the U.S. drug culture, also

  50. I remember earlier this year I was doing a 6 part study for my church bible class on prayer, when I heard on the radio someone ask for prayer for Seal Beach. The were having high tide, gigantic swells and expectations of flooding. So I thought, what should the prayer be? Should I pray that everyone is smart enough to get out of harm’s way? Should my prayer be that the storm be redirected to Sunset Beach and let the destruction happen there? or should my prayer be that the storm just stop and ruin the entire eco system?

    So I didn’t pray as she requested – anyone have a good idea of what should have been prayed at that time?

  51. MLD, pray (a short one) for the old ladies and the infirm who were going to get wet 🙂

  52. I’m late to this thread, but just want to say that there will be no dismissal from this corner of the peanut gallery. I join you in prayer and fasting, and asking the Lord how to manifest His love.

  53. MLD pray for the safety of the people, and then pray that the Christians near by would use whatever happens as an opportunity to preach the Gospel with their hard work and sweat. If a family goes and finds one family and makes a difference in the name of The Lord. All solders need to be opportunist and be ready for any circumstances that would allow positive contact with others. Anything from giving back money when someone gives you to much change to taking a family in and feeding them and helping then after a disaster

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