Is Rick Perry on a mission from God?
by: marsha west | published: 11 03, 2011
GOP hopeful Rick Perry is an evangelical Christian. Recently his wife stated that before he made his decision to run “He prayed about it, he really prayed about it.” Praying before making important decisions isn’t unusual for most Christians. What’s unusual, and also troubling, is her comment that “He threw that fleece out twice to make sure it came back wet.”
Anita Perry was referring to a Bible story about a leader in Israel whose name was Gideon. (Judges 6-7) God spoke to Gideon and told him to gather the Israelite troops to defeat the Midianite invaders. Gideon wanted to be sure it was actually God’s voice he heard so he asked for a sign. Wanting to determine God’s will, Gideon put out a piece of wool overnight and asked God to make it wet while keeping the dirt on the threshing room floor dry. God graciously complied. The next morning the fleece was wet enough to wring out.
Now, we have no way of knowing if Rick Perry actually heard from the Lord -- but he thinks he did because, not only is he running, his wife believes that the Lord called him to be the next U.S. president.
Putting out a fleece is the way in which some believers, especially those in the charismatic movement, seek God's approval for doing what they feel “led” to do. Here’s a quick example of how this works. A man applies for a history professor position at a college in Ashford North Carolina but he’s not sure he wants to uproot his family and move to NC. So he prays, “Lord, if it’s your will that I take the job in NC, please give me a sign.” A few days later he gets a call from a college buddy he hasn’t talked to in years. He’s astonished to learn that his buddy’s a high school teacher in Ashford, Connecticut! College, Ashford, teacher…God must be telling him to accept the job. Get the picture?
On the campaign trail Anita Perry said of her husband: “He is the only true conservative.” Then, realizing her blunder, she added, “Well, there are some true conservatives. And they’re there for good reasons. And they may feel like God called them, too. But I truly feel like we are here for that purpose.”
Does Anita Perry have a private hotline to God?
Before I answer that question here’s something else to ponder. At another campaign rally Mrs. Perry told the crowd that her husband didn’t want to run so he needed some convincing. She said, “God was already speaking to me, but he felt like he needed to see the burning bush. I said, ‘Let me tell you something: You might not see the burning bush but other people are seeing it for you.’ ”
What Anita meant by “burning bush” comes from Exodus 3 where God spoke to Moses through a burning bush to instruct him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Evidently Rick Perry used the burning bush metaphor during a conversation with his wife because he wanted to be certain God was leading him to run the country before he tossed the proverbial hat into the ring.
APOSTLES AND PROPHETS AND GOVERNORS OH MY!
Perhaps the answer to Gov. Perry’s prayers came through so-called “apostles” and “prophets” who believe they actually do have a private hotline to God. On September 28, 2009 they declared that the governor would have a leadership role beyond Texas:
On this day, the Lord’s messengers arrived in the form of two Texas pastors, Tom Schlueter of Arlington and Bob Long of San Marcos, who called on Perry in the governor’s office inside the state Capitol. Schlueter and Long both oversee small congregations, but they are more than just pastors. They consider themselves modern-day apostles and prophets, blessed with the same gifts as Old Testament prophets or New Testament apostles.
The pastors told Perry of God’s grand plan for Texas. A chain of powerful prophecies had proclaimed that Texas was “The Prophet State,” anointed by God to lead the United States into revival and Godly government. And the governor would have a special role.
The day before the meeting, Schlueter had received a prophetic message from Chuck Pierce, an influential prophet from Denton, Texas. God had apparently commanded Schlueter—through Pierce—to “pray by lifting the hand of the one I show you that is in the place of civil rule.”
Gov. Perry, it seemed.
Schlueter had prayed before his congregation: “Lord Jesus I bring to you today Gov. Perry. ... I am just bringing you his hand and I pray Lord that he will grasp ahold of it. For if he does you will use him mightily.”
And grasp ahold the governor did. At the end of their meeting, Perry asked the two pastors to pray over him. As the pastors would later recount, the Lord spoke prophetically as Schlueter laid his hands on Perry, their heads bowed before a painting of the Battle of the Alamo. Schlueter “declared over [Perry] that there was a leadership role beyond Texas and that Texas had a role beyond what people understand…” (Online source)
Schlueter and Long are a part of a cult-like movement known as the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). Those in the movement believe that God has given them the authority to bring about social transformation and usher in the Kingdom of God on Earth. Not only have they declared Gov. Perry God’s anointed president, they also proclaim that Texas will lead the U.S. to an economic and spiritual recovery.
But what about the other GOP candidates that claim they’re Christians? Among the group are those who self-identify as evangelical and Catholic plus there are a couple of Mormons. They all believe they will lead the U.S. to an economic recovery. Some of them might even believe they’re God’s anointed president. And remember that Barack Obama’s supporters truly believe he’s the Anointed One.
Confusing isn’t it?
DIVINING GOD’S WILL
The question Christians must ask themselves is this: Does the Bible teach that God’s people should seek guidance from Above by putting out a fleece or looking for providential signs? Rick Perry thinks so. After all, he put out a fleece.
Here are a few more questions to mull over: Does God speak to His people today the same way He spoke to them in the Old Testament? Does the Holy Spirit “whisper in our ear”? Do we hear from Him in visions and dreams? Through prophets…angels…animals…signs…coincidences? What about through a subjective experience? A “feeling?” A “burning in the bosom”?
Consider what I wrote on this subject in Found: God’s Will:
Looking for signs through coincidences, or flipping through the Bible and placing your finger on a verse, or relying on the first thought to enter your mind after a prayer, are forms of Christian divination.
If you search the New Testament you’ll find no explicit command to “Find God’s will.” Read through the book of Acts and you’ll see what I mean. The Apostles were given no clear instructions on how they were to discern God’s will. No prayer ritual. No magic formulas. Nothing!
Applying hidden meanings to Scripture is irresponsible and it’s unbiblical! Anyone who twists God’s Word for their own purposes does so “to their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16).
FINDING GOD’S WILL
Dr. John McArthur is the pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church. Recently Phil Johnson, Executive Director of MacArthur’s radio broadcast Grace to You, interviewed his boss and asked for his perspective on the modern day belief that the Holy Spirit leads us by “nudging us or whispering to us or giving us dreams [and] things like that.” Following is an excerpt from their discussion:
Well, I think the Holy Spirit does lead us but there is no way to perceive that that’s happening. … I don’t have a red light that goes on in my head and it goes around and around and around when the Holy Spirit’s leading. I don’t know when the Holy Spirit’s leading. I don’t know when I’m just following my impulses or my desires or whatever. I have no mechanism to know that. But in retrospect I see that. And I categorize that in the providences of God. … my life is just one amazing act of divine providence after another, after another, after another …
Further in the interview MacArthur explains what he did when he was given a list of people who invited him to come and speak:
“Did I begin to go into some kind of mantra and say, “Ommm...” and see if I can induce the Holy Spirit to know what to do? No. I just look at it and say, “Well, I can’t do that. I don’t think I can do that. That wouldn’t be a priority. Maybe I should do that. And you know what happens if I am open and want to do God’s will, it’s amazing how … I can look back and say, “Wow, it was absolutely critical that I be there because look what happened when I got there, and this happened and that led to this, and this led to that.” That’s how my whole life has unfolded. So there’s no mechanism that we possess that tells us at the moment when the Holy Spirit is leading us in some supernatural way. …
Later he commented on the role of the Holy Spirit:
The Holy Spirit never illuminates anything to me that I don’t understand. You’ve got to understand it before the illumination kicks in. There is a certain illumination that’s salvific. In other words, being regenerated is in itself the source of illumination. When I pick up the Bible and I read [about] God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, sin, man, redemption … I get it. So there’s a generic kind of illumination in revelation. And you could leave it at that level. You could go to the milk of the Word and say, “Okay, I’ve been illuminated on the milk of the Word, I get it, I understand the simple things of Scripture, you know, as many as received Him, became the sons of God,” and so forth. I can read that [passage] and understand it. … But for me to dig down and to enjoy the full illuminating possibilities of the work of the Holy Spirit in my life, I have to dig deep into the Scripture. It’s what I grasp that He illuminates. It’s what I understand that He illuminates. So yes, there’s a sense in which I am illuminated enough to understand Scripture at its basic level, the milk level, as Paul would call it. But to get the meat level, I’ve got to dig down in it. (emphasis added) (Complete transcript)
God still speaks to us today -- but not through putting out a fleece. In fact, this is pagan divination. God doesn’t speak to us through a burning bush either. God speaks to us through His Word, the Bible, which is inspired by the Holy Spirit (2 Tim 3:16-17). Thus believers must never doubt that what the scriptures say is 100% true. If we just take the time to read and study the Bible we’ll understand what God’s will is. His will isn’t hidden—if He loves us why would He hide His will from us? Answer: He doesn’t! Again, putting out a fleece is unnecessary—and besides that, it’s unbiblical!
Any time someone claims that God has spoken to him/her, we must go to the Bible to find out if what he/she says lines up with what Scripture says. God never contradicts Himself because He cannot deny Himself. (2 Tim 2:13) God does not tell us something in Scripture and tell us something different through the NAR.
Many of Perry’s supporters pleaded with him not to unite with the NAR and the International House of Prayer (IHOP) for a prayer rally he held in August. He was warned that both of these groups are on the radical fringe of Christianity but he ignored their warning even though there’s abundant proof that the NAR/IHOP is highly unorthodox. These whack-a-doodles seriously believe that God, through the Holy Spirit, has given them supernatural powers to perform “signs & wonders” that include raising the dead to life, healing the sick and casting out demons – and as of late, choosing an American president!
I’ll conclude by presenting a condensed version of the NAR, aka dominionism, to make it clear why a number of traditional Christians have grave concerns over Rick and Anita Perry’s religious alliances. For two decades dominionists have traveled the globe performing “spiritual warfare” on “demonic strongholds” with their aim being to shoo away powerful demons and take dominion over the power of Satan. They’ve performed spiritual warfare “through intense worship and praise, and by spiritual mapping, identifying strongholds, rebuking demonic powers and binding territorial spirits” in many U.S. cities. “Doing the will of God will bring about God's purposes and God’s reign.” (Online source) They allege that San Francisco has a demonic stronghold so they’ve invested an enormous amount of time conducting spiritual warfare to drive demons out so that they can take the city for Christ.
Am I missing something? SF shows no sign of becoming a godly city. Just the opposite is true! It’s clear who’s winning the battle: Demons 100 -- Dominionists 0.
The NAR/dominionists believe “the world will be conquered through an elite group of overcomers who produce signs and wonders unlike anything ever seen, even in the early church by the apostles. This they believe will lead us to the greatest revival of history. An endtime harvest of billions of souls, where the majority of the world will be won to Christ and the kingdom would be established or ready to be received by Christ.” (Ibid)
I cannot stress enough that NAR/dominionists apply a completely different meaning to passages of Scripture than what was intended by the author. The result of this sort of Scripture twisting as well as adding to Scripture (what they deem “new revelation” through prophecy) is blatant heresy!
I’ve put forth only a small part of what dominionists are up to and why they fall into the false teacher category. Jesus had harsh words for people like them. He called them ravenous wolves! (Mat. 7:15)
One last thing. The Perrys are not alone in practicing Christian divination to discern God’s will. This sort of practice is rampant among undiscerning Christians. The Perrys are also not alone in uniting with the NAR/dominionists. Many Religious Right leaders have joined forces with them (also with other apostate movements and the cults) for purely political purposes. As a result, they’re losing respect…and donations are dwindling.
Links to articles--On Solid Rock Resources
Dominionists are on the move...and they mean business—By Marsha West
Walking in God’s Will—Sermon video by Voddie Baucham. He addresses pagan divination in the Church and explains a biblical understanding of how to walk in the will of God or discerning God’s will.
Does God Whisper? Part 1—By Greg Koukl
Wide is the Gate: The Emerging New Christianity… New Reformation…New Apostolic Reformation/Dominionism/Kingdom Now…Word of Faith…Purpose Driven/Seeker Friendly…Emergent…Contemplative prayer/meditation…Ecumenism/merging various beliefs to become one…Christian divination—By Caryl Productions
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