Right Wing Watch has looked into organizers of Gov. Rick Perry’s The Response from Cindy Jacobs, who blamed the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell for mass bird deaths in Arkansas, to televangelist John Hagee, who claimed God sent Hitler to be a “hunter” of Jews, and the rabidly anti-gay International House of Prayer. The Response’s National Church and Ministry Mobilization Coordinator Doug Stringer, a Texas ‘Apostle’ who believes that the America only had it self to blame for the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 because the country rejected God and His protection:
In our gathering in Dallas, we realized there are three primary things in Scripture that are so disheartening to God that they cause Him to be ill, and they ultimately cause His presence to depart from His people:
1. Ritual or temple prostitution
2. The shedding of innocent blood on the altar
3. Licentiousness or moral looseness to the degree that it is “in your face,” including homosexuality
Immediately after the tragedy of 9/11, I was contacted by national media who asked me if I thought this was a judgment of God. Along with Anne Graham Lotz, I stated:
“WE ASKED GOD NOT TO BE IN OUR SCHOOLS, NOT TO BE IN OUR PUBLIC VENUES, NOT TO BE THE LORD OF OUR LIVES ANY MORE EXCEPT IN IMAGE. YET WE WANT TO BLAME GOD WHEN THINGS LIKE THIS HAPPEN?
“IT REALLY DEPENDS ON WHAT YOU MEAN BY â€˜JUDGMENT’ OF GOD. IF YOU’RE SAYING GOD’S NOT PRESENT SO JUDGMENT COMES, THEN THE ANSWER IS YES. BUT THE BIBLE SAYS SIN PRODUCES DEATH. IT WAS OUR CHOICE TO ASK GOD NOT TO BE IN OUR EVERY DAY LIVES AND NOT TO BE PRESENT IN OUR LAND. THIS IS NOT AN ACT OF JUDGMENT, IT’S A WAKE-UP CALL. GOD IS LONGING TO BE IN THE MIDST OF HIS PEOPLE AGAIN.”
When I asked my friend David Ravenhill to address a gathering of pastors in Houston, he challenged us with this question: “Are you asking God to come as invited guest or as an inhabitant?”
I have many close friends who will invite me into their houses and tell me to make myself at home. While there, I know I can help myself to the kitchen, get up or go to bed when I want to, borrow a book from a bookshelf. But what would my friends think if I began painting the walls, changing out the furniture, or redecorating the living room to fit my own tastes?
This is, sadly, what we do with God. We want Him around, but only as our invited guest rather than One who has the right to create an atmosphere or an environment in which He wants to dwell.
My spiritual grandfather, Leonard Ravenhill, used to say, “Is the life you’re living worth Christ dying for?” We cannot live the kind of life worth the price our Savior paid unless we allow God in, not as a guest but as an inhabitant. We must open our hearts, our churches, and our public venues as dwelling places and allow Him to conform them to fit His preferences instead of our own. That is the difference between institutional Christianity and impartational relationship with the person of Jesus Christ.