Sheep, Goats, and Hurricanes

It occurs to me as I’m waiting for what seems like just a lot of rain to turn into the mouth of hell: what if this is really bad? Like Armageddon bad? (There I did it — I busted out the tinfoil hat crazy word!) I know the media always over-hypes these kinds of things. It is going to hit pretty close to New York City though, so it could be a super-Katrina. I was praying a lot last night for God to protect us. I said to Him, “You can send this out to sea if you want to.” I have also had a constant prayer over the past several months that I have felt strangely compelled to pray: “Make their fruit plain.” And it made me think of how natural disasters have a tendency to separate the goats from God’s sheep.

After September 11th happened, Jerry Falwell got onto the 700 Club with Pat Robertson and said: “I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way – all of them who have tried to secularize America – I point the finger in their face and say ‘you helped this happen.'”

Some imbecile is going to get on TV or the Internet and say something similar if there’s a big tragedy in New York City or somewhere else. And I hope they do. I hope lots of them do. Because then they will be revealed for the goats that they are. Maybe the goats will scramble out to stockpile ammo thinking that Jesus is coming and they’d better be ready. I hope they do. I hope they don’t hurt anybody, but I hope they do enough so that it’s clear to the world and to their fellow Christians who they really belong to.

Because the people who really belong to Jesus will respond too. The sheep will show the world how the lamb of God leads His people into battle. They will be the ones who feed the hungry, clothe the naked, let random strangers sleep in their homes, take clothes out of their closet and give them away to people who lose everything. They will be too busy speaking Jesus’ love with their actions to make ridiculous claims about the God who might send bigger hurricanes now that we’re playing with the dials on His atmosphere but doesn’t have any more to judge than when the goats of yesterday did all kinds of perverse, abominable things to their slaves and wives and the people whom this land actually belonged to.

I’ve been fretting over the fact that this stupid hurricane is hitting right before an election. Because I don’t want there to be a dirty reason that whoever wins the election gets it. That’s been the thing that’s made me the most angry this entire time: the dirtiness, the contempt for God that is shown when you tell a man, any man, regardless of whether his ideas are any good or not, that he hasn’t made any progress over the last four years while forgetting to mention that your side has been hell-bent on sabotaging every move he’s made. There. I said it. I’m done.

So I’ve been all worried about the election in thinking about the hurricane when what’s really relevant is whether the gospel is preached in how God’s people respond. Maybe God’s true sheep won’t have time to vote because they’re helping people (and whichever wrong guy wins as a result), but what if that’s the reason that thousands of people who didn’t know Jesus make Him their eternal candidate? And what if that’s how an even greater portion of the body of Christ rediscovers our earthly vocation to build the kingdom here and now?

I really do hope the goats do their thing. I know that sounds awful, but the eyes of God’s people need to be opened by what they do so that we aren’t slowly corrupted into doing and thinking things that are unthinkable to us today the way that people in other societies have been in the past.

I know that God’s true sheep will do what they’re called to do. Pray for all of us, you out there in places outside the range of this monster storm. I’ve got another post that’s pre-scheduled for tomorrow. But this is probably my last live communique for a while. Let those who live in darkness make their darkness plain. As for you, be icons of the light that will overcome the darkness.

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