Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Mr. Huckabee, I disagree.
The video below of Mike Huckabee has gone viral on Facebook, with Christians liking and sharing and amening, and I have to say, I am sadly disappointed.
If you haven't already watched it, go ahead and play it below, and then I will explain why Mr. Huckabee's message contains hurtful, bad theology, in a tragic time when the world needs truth.
At first, in the video, everything Huckabee says seems right on. He says we can't make sense of what happened in the Connecticut shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, and he says that "Evil has visited this community." Very true.
What follows in Huckabee's answer to 'Where was God?' is where Huckabee's message takes a tragic nose-dive. Huckabee states that "For 50 years we have systematically attempted to have God removed from our schools, our public activities, but then at the moment we have a calamity, we wonder where He [God] was?"
First of all, Huckabee never defines who "we" are. Is he talking about Christians, non-Christians, or both? We don't know, and never find out.
Then Huckabee goes on to say (or make the accusation) that it's not simply the fact that we have taken prayer and bible reading out of school, but that people sue a city for having a manger scene, memorial crosses are taken down, Christian businesses are told to surrender their morals.
Now, just what is Huckabee referring to here? Could it be, oh, I don't know, persecution? Yes, what he is referring to is called persecution! So, we have some persecution coming against Christians in America? Well, praise God! Although, if we look at the examples of persecution that Huckabee sites, well, they are minor to what the first Christians experienced (being stoned to death, boiled, eaten by lions, etc.) or even what other Christians in other parts of the world are going through!
Persecution, my Christian friends, is not something that should shock us, in fact, Jesus said, "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me." (Matthew 5:11)
And why would we, as Christians, ever, ever expect the world to accept our beliefs, or even be glad to support us? Jesus told us, "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first." (John 15:18) Then, 1 Corinthians explains that unbelievers cannot comprehend Christians beliefs: "The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned."
Huckabee unfortunately continues by declaring, "We carefully and intentionally stopped saying things are sinful, and we call them disorders, and sometimes we even call them normal." Wait, did Huckabee just switch gears on us? Again, he says "we" but does not define who he is referring to! Since he mentioned the word "sinful", which is used mainly by Christians, are we to assume he's now speaking to us? Accusing us, too?
Now here's the real kicker: Huckabee says, "...we have escorted Him right out of our culture... and then we express our surprise that a culture without Him actually reflects what it's become."
What? America is a culture without God? I do not know what delusion Huckabee is under when it comes to the history of our American culture, but let me assure you, America has never been a "Christian culture." I'll say it again: Never. So go ahead and dismantle that lie right now. Ever since America established itself (and at the cost of over a hundred-thousand murdered Native Americans) we have had a plentiful share of war, murder, rape, and sadly, school shootings.
Yes, school shootings and massacres are nothing new in America. As far back as the 1700's, through the 1800's, 1900's and up until now, we have recorded, historical accounts of school shootings. This includes the time period when prayer and bible reading were allowed in public schools.
Following Huckabee's outrageous claim about our culture, he adds insult to injury by saying He believes God "did show up" at the shooting, as if God was not already there! What a horrible thing for Huckabee to insinuate! The Bible assures us that God has been present with every person, in every situation, even in every murder from the time Cain killed Abel! In Jeremiah 23:24 it tells us that God's Spirit fills heaven and earth, and Hebrews 4:13 states, "Nothing in all creation can hide from Him. Everything is naked and exposed before His eyes."
Finally, Huckabee ends by saying that we do not need to implement a new law to stop school shootings, because there already is a law that works if we "teach it and observe it," and that law is "Thou shall not kill." Oh my, how very wrong Huckabee is, again.
It is important to note here that the law "Thou shall not kill" was given first and foremost to a people that God chose, that He entered into a covenant with, and set apart from all other people in the world. Yes, the Bible tells us that the law of God is written on every man's heart, which is why we have a conscious, however, the Israelites were the first to receive the actual commands from God, Himself, and receive the promise that would usher in Christ Jesus, who would then reconcile the world back to the Trinity. So, "Thou shall not kill" was given to God's people, not to the world, because God was consecrating them, and using them as an example of who He is and of His loving ways.
I promise, you can teach "Thou shall not kill" to every person in the world until you are blue in the face, and yet, murder will continue. Why? Because the law exists to reveal sin, but the law does not have the power to deliver you from sin.
I suggest you read all of chapters 7 and 8 in Romans to fully understand the difference between the law and the Spirit, but here is part of it, "So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Mike Huckabee has not only shared his bad theology, but his words are likely to bring much confusion and guilt to believers and non-believers alike. What his words are suggesting is that we are being punished by God, and he suggests it is audacious of us to ask, "Where was God?" when we have treated God so badly, made Him unpopular, and turned Him out of our lives with our pride. Really? Has Huckabee not read Genesis lately? Huckabee is accusing us of doing exactly what Adam and Eve did to God, and every human has done since! It's called sin! And isn't sin the very reason the Trinity set everything in motion for Christ to be crucified, in order to win us back to Him?
And how does God win us back to Him? With the one thing Huckabee left out: Love.
God does not point a finger at us and say, "You are repulsive and should be ashamed of yourself. You better straighten-up or I am going to hit you with even more calamities to wrench your puffed-up, proud heart!" No, rather, God comes to us with Himself, with love --love that overwhelms us, love that says, "My precious child, you are broken and in need of mending. I want you to crawl up into my arms and let me saturate your being with my love, for only my love can heal you and change your self-destructive ways. You cannot change yourself, or heal your brokenness, so out of my love, I gave my life for you, shed my blood, and only I am able to change and heal you. In fact, I desire nothing more."
Yes, it is the kindness of God that leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4), and we love Him because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).
Huckabee has not brought God's healing to any of us with the statements he made in the above video. God's love is the answer, the only answer that has ever been, or ever will be, for a broken and devastated world. I pray that Huckabee will experience the saturating, overwhelming love of God for himself, that he may, in return, be a messenger of that love, and not one of guilt and condemnation.