Many churches post out front some sappy slogan, such as “What is missing: C H _ _ C H.” The church down the street does that. A lot of them do.
A few years ago one of them read: Don’t Worry, I’m in charge….signed, God.
This stuff is embarrassing. It’s nothing more than feel-good fluff. Days later, terrorists flew airplanes into the World Trade Center. Both buildings collapsed. 3000 people died.
I wondered if that silly sign was still there, so I drove past the church. It had been changed! “God Bless America!” it now said. I saw the priest in my mind’s eye hurriedly swapping letters at 3 AM, hoping no one would see him. What once seemed cutesy was now obscene.
Immediately after 911, for once, the clergy had nothing to say. Many were wondering how they could possibly explain things come Sunday. Falwell had the answer. God was mad about pagans and abortionists and feminists and gays and lesbians, but the outspoken clergyman later backed away. But as long as you maintain that God’s in charge, it does seem that you have some explaining to do.
Only Jehovah’s Witnesses had answers that day. The truth is that God is not in charge. The slogan is wrong. The patchwork of sovereign powers all pushing and shoving each other, as if in some adult version of King of the Mountain, is not God’s idea. He doesn’t bless it. It’s not his arrangement for governing earth, but is a consequence of rebellion at mankind’s beginning.
In the year 29CE, just after Jesus was baptized, he was led off into the “wilderness,” where he fasted 40 days. During that time he was temped by the Devil. The second temptation is instructive:
So he brought him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the inhabited earth in an instant of time; and the Devil said to him: “I will give you all this authority and the glory of them, because it has been delivered to me, and to whomever I wish I give it. You, therefore, if you do an act of worship before me, it will all be yours.” In reply Jesus said to him: “It is written, ‘It is Jehovah your God you must worship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred service.’” Luke 4:5-8
Jesus refused the offer, but he didn’t deny the premise…that the Devil is in charge of all kingdoms, and that he can deliver it to whomever he wishes. Just like if I offer you a watch, it’s understood that the watch is mine to give. At any rate, Jesus said nothing to the contrary. So the Devil, not God, is the one in charge of this present mess of manmade governments.
How earth’s rulership got to be this way, and what are the implications, is the subject of another post….this one, for example.
I was one of many in the ministry the next day. People were mellow, easy to talk to,more open than usual to the Bible’s promise of God’s Kingdom rule, which will accomplish for earth what no human government can even dream of.