What Do the Elections and Covid-19 Have in Common?
Volume 1, January 9, 2021
By Mark Ledbetter
One thing U.S. Elections and Covid-19 have in common is the prophets who have declared emphatically that President Trump would be elected to a second term, and prophesied the certain demise of the Coronavirus. Time has passed and the results are in: President Trump has conceded and the Virus is still with us.
Prophecies proclaimed Trump's certain landslide victory.[i] Dreams have been interpreted as a sudden collapse of the economy should he fail to be elected.
The failed forecasting of these two major events impacting not only the U.S., but both indirectly and directly, the World, has drawn attention to both prophecy and prophets in the Post-Modern (Post-Christian) Era – and has had negative consequences.
The first consequence of failed prophecies is the exposure of the fallibility of human nature that is drawn to charismatic characters who prey upon the spiritually immature who are easily drawn to the sensational. In the case of U.S. elections, the so-called “prophets” contributed to the fallacy of Christian Nationalism – the politicization of Christian values and ideals, and retaining/regaining Christian influence on politics.
Apparently Christian Conservatives learned little from the now defunct Moral Majority. As Cal Thomas and Ed Dobson point out, both leading contributors to the organization, “Two decades after the conservative Christians charged into the political arena, bringing new voters and millions of dollars with them in hopes of transforming the culture through political power, it must now be acknowledge that we have failed.” (Blinded by Might, back cover).
Because of accommodation, the Cultural Church has lost its “saltiness” - its witness and moral influence.[ii]
“One reason the National Council and World Council of Churches no longer have the moral power and authority they once enjoyed is that the married government to God. In the process, their moral power evaporated and they became, as the Religious Right has become, just another special-interest group to be appeased by politicians.” (Blind, 94)
As Thomas writes, “But a crisis of moral authority will not be solved by an appeal to political power. Our public interest depends directly on the private virtues of our people. If we cannot change this, the reform of our society will be impossible.” (Blind, 95).
Abortion, racism, sexism, violence, poverty, drugs and other moral issues are not political issues. They persist because of the myth that education and/or legislation, politics and politicians can change hearts. Authorities may coerce behaviors contrary to social and political agendas, but they cannot transform hearts.
Only God can change hearts and political agendas and platforms are no substitute for proclaiming the Gospel and the Advancing of the Kingdom of God.
A second consequence, related to Christian Nationalism, is the emergence of what Jack Jenkins refers to as “civil religion.”[iii] Civil religion is expressed as “a throwback declamation of traditional God-talk so common in American presidential rhetoric.”
This became a prominent component in campaign speeches offered by Obama, Trump, and Biden. In the case of Trump, as Thomas claims, Trump’s Christian rhetoric became a major attraction for the Religious Right. Obama energized an growing undercurrent of the Religious Liberals, who became mobilized by their opposition to the Religious Right, and are certain to become emboldened by Biden’s administration.
Plastered on social media platforms, “prophets” announced the demise of Covid-19, even cursing it. Some even provided detailed dates of it ending by Passover 2020 (last April 8th). A quick vaccine was predicted. As of yet, the vaccines are slow to roll out, while some are fearful of its immediate effects as well as its long-lasting impact upon health – is the cure worse than the cause?
A recent report of a variant strain of the corona virus in South Africa suggests that the new strain is more contagious and resistant to any countermeasures.[iv]
A third consequence is the exposure of prophetic extremism that lends credence to the position Prophecy and Prophets are illegitimate expressions in the Church. Many who have prophesied are at best prophet wannabes, and at worst presumptuous/false prophets who do not deserve the time, attention, and loyalty the receive from those who are drawn to them.
In the Church, these shenanigans perpetrated upon the susceptible serve to support the position of cessationist – those who advocate the prophetic function and voice ceased with the last of such in the early church and have no valid operation in the Church.
While there is no Scriptural or historical support for the cessationist view (a matter to be addressed in a subsequent issue), the false prophecies regarding presidential elections and the Covid-19 virus does energize their position and objections.
The course of the United States is the course of all nations. Eventually, America must line up under the global agenda as revealed by the Apostle Paul (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12; Revelation 13:1-18).
As Jesus and the Apostles reveal, there will be proliferation of false prophets speaking smooth words to sooth itching ears, feeding the hearts and minds of those who want teachers to appease their conscience and justify their sins.
Therefore, the Church must heed to the call to a revival of prayer and holiness, a restoration of its call to advance the Kingdom of God and the Gospel. The Church must begin now to prepare for the Return of Jesus Christ.
“I am a voice crying, ‘In the wilderness make straight the way of the Lord’”
John 1:23 (Isaiah 40:3).
[i] There is the possibility of a second term should President Trump run and win the 2024 election.
[ii] See Matthew 5:13.
[iii] Jack Jenkins, “Biden is Ushering in a Second Coming of Religious Liberals,” The Daily Beast, January 3, 2021, thedailybeast.com
[iv] Dr. Fauci Just Issued This Warning About Another New COVID Strain, https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/dr-fauci-just-issued-warning-184511453.html
The Prophetic Voice
© 2021 by Mark Ledbetter. Published by The School of the Prophets 401 S. Broadway Ave., Sylacauga, AL 35150 USA
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Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission