The religious right publicly insists that all it wants is a place at the table for Americans with traditional values. But all too often, when the nation’s so-called moral guardians don’t think anyone’s paying attention, they reveal their true colors. In their unguarded moments, they talk about building a “kingdom of God” that bears an uncomfortable resemblance to Taliban-era Afghanistan or the Islamic State.
We got a lovely example of this earlier in the week, when a rising star from one of the most extreme elements of the religious right claimed to have gotten a vision–God was about to sweep out those who oppose his kingdom.
Much of Donald Trump’s most loyal support among evangelicals comes from the New Apostolic Reformation, an overtly fascist element that believes it can literally bring about the Second Coming by taking over the world and putting down all who dare to oppose them. Key to this strategy is taking over the “Seven Mountains,” or forces, that influence our society. Namely, business, entertainment, media, religion, family, education, and above all else politics and government.
One of the rising stars in this movement is Andrew Whalen, an evangelist–or as he calls himself, a “prophetic revivalist”–from Colorado Springs. He’s close friends with a number of bigshots in this movement, such as Lou Engle–the guy best known for his role in “Jesus Camp,” in which he got a bunch of little kids to join the battle to end abortion. In case you missed it, watch here.
Soon afterward, Engle launched “TheCall,” an organization intended to stir up “spiritual awakening” in this country, principally among young people, and recruit them into the fight against abortion and marriage equality.
Whalen considers Engle to be his “spiritual father,” as this video he shot last summer shows.
Engle has returned the favor many times by endorsing many of Whalen’s “prophetic words” distributed on the Elijah List, a repository of “prophetic words” from so-called apostles and prophets around the world. For some time, these “words” have been staggeringly extreme, and in some cases overtly fascistic. For instance, another prominent leader in this movement, Rick Joyner, openly admitted back in 2007 that the regime he wants to set up will look an awful lot like a dictatorship.
On Thursday, Whalen blasted out his latest word, called “Awakening Will Sweep Through America.” It was endorsed by Engle. Whalen said that he had recently had a dream in which he was tasked to “pray and prophesy over the intercessors of America.” While doing so, he saw himself prophesying that as intercessors “speak forth the name of Jesus over this land,” we would see the beginnings of an awakening that would “sweep through America.”
The emphasis was on the word “sweep”–which Whalen took to mean that God was going to use this awakening to “remove demonic structures and people who have been planted to oppose the Kingdom of God.” This imagery is very familiar in NAR circles. NAR followers believe that once those standing in God’s way are either forced to convert or perish, it will pave the way for Jesus’ return.
Just in case he didn’t make himself clear, Whalen reminded his audience that “demonic narratives” and “the fruit of witchcraft” have ensnared much of his generation, in part because of the messaging coming from “the top of mountains of our society.” But, he said, that’s about to change and soon.
God is not willing to let a mass spiritual awakening occur in America only to lose the harvest to the demonic messaging coming from the mountain tops of our society. The awakening that is coming, and even now is upon us, is going to sweep through the high places of cultural and societal influence. God is beginning to trumpet a new sound in such “mountains” as government, media, education and entertainment, that will deconstruct the narratives that have captured a generation through a frequency of lies.
The message is obvious–Christians are poised to take over those mountains in order to pave the way for the Kingdom of God. This sort of talk is what passes for mainstream in the NAR.
This kind of talk is all too familiar to anyone who has watched this element of the religious right. After all, these guys have led their followers to believe that everyone who opposes them is being played by the devil. They’ve managed to convince a segment of the American people who sitting and talking with those who disagree with them is a bad idea, as it opens the door for the devil to come in. It’s how you get people like Lance Wallnau, for instance, claiming that those who oppose Trump are opening the door for the devil to come into their houses.
Trump has struggled to get his approval ratings out of the 40s–numbers that would be lethal to any other president. But the religious right is still firmly in his corner. It’s partly because of people like Whalen, who tell their followers that their foes are agents of the devil who are about to get destroyed as the Kingdom of God is supposedly arising.
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