Some churches are, I suppose, quite worthy of the epithets “toxic” and even “bigoted.” Be careful, these terms should never be thrown around lightly, even if they often are. But when something is deserved, it is deserved.
A church in the northeast has been in the news lately, mainly because an internal memo leaked online from former members. This church has always been a bit overbearing, but now it has clearly moved into worship territory. The memo read: “It has come to our attention that some of you, our members, have been spreading opinions that run counter to what our prophets have said. This can never continue. From now on, all oral, written and especially online communications must be pre-approved by our new Prophetic Communication Council. Anything you communicate to others will be filtered and, if necessary, corrected before it is allowed out. Any communication that in any way circumvents the Prophetic Communication Council will result in discipline.
I hope this shocks and angers you. I hope it also makes you happy that you are not part of such a so-called “church”.
The Corinthian church was probably the most disjointed church in the entire New Testament. The members were arguing, saying all kinds of different things, coming up with various opinions. And look at how “arrogant” Paul was in dealing with it:
1 Corinthians 1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all say the same thing, and let there be no divisions among you; but let you be perfectly united in the same spirit and in the same judgment.
Paul said, “I beg you. It basically means, “Please, I ask this very kindly; please start being on the same page in what you say. Paul was an apostle, the most authoritative office the church has ever had, and he had to resort to kindly asking people to please get on the same page. In other passages he went so far as to ask the church to reject heretics. But never, ever, has there been an occult council set up to monitor, correct and punish unapproved communications. For a church to do just that should scare people to death.
By the way, the church I’m talking about is that of the United States of America, with its newly created Disinformation Governance Council, led by prophetess Nina Jankowicz.
For a very long time, thanks to a wonderful little thing called the First Amendment, our divine right to free speech was never really seriously questioned. But now it looks like our current administration is far more adept at following Orwell’s 1984 as a guide than the Constitution and Bill of Rights. And as believers, who have enjoyed the benefits freedom and liberty in America have given us, such as the ability to evangelize the lost and expose sin, this should trouble us greatly.
The DHS secretary was asked in an interview on CNN if this new entity would monitor US citizens. Mayorkas replied: “No. The board has no operational authority or capacity. What it will do is collect best practices for dealing with the threat of disinformation from adversaries of foreign cartel states and disseminate those best practices to operators who have been working to deal with this threat for years. (https://nypost.com/2022/05/01/mayorkas-says-disinformation-board-wont-track-us-citizens/)
Well now that politician talk makes me feel better, how about you? It will simply (wink, wink) be used on “foreign state adversaries and cartels”. And since we don’t have entities already tasked with handling this, like, say, the CIA, NSA, FBI, etc., that makes good sense (sarcasm).
Mayorkas went on to say that he thought Prophetess Jankowicz was “completely objective.” To be honest, she’s not, and even if she was, it wouldn’t make a difference. None of us should be willing to accept government scrutiny and correction and even discipline for speech that Big Brother (or, in this case, Big Sister) doesn’t like. For quite a large part of the last 2000 years, believers in Christ have been persecuted and even put to death for “unsanctioned speech”, and therefore I am not willing to give an inch of ground on this one. Today’s so-called narrow focus on foreign entities and cartels will be about as stationary and immobile as the 1% income tax rate introduced by the Revenue Act of 1913.
It probably comes as no surprise to anyone who reads my writings that I am a conservative and generally, but not always, vote Republican. And in view of the likely red tsunami to come in the next two election cycles, it would be easy for me to say, “All right, put this council in place; you won’t like it so well when our camp takes care of it! But I will never do that. It doesn’t matter which side holds the levers of power, it’s a wicked, horrible, dystopian idea, and I will defend the left against its existence and use the right as quickly as I do.
Or, as Glinda the Good Witch told the Wicked Witch of the West (Wing), “Go away! You have no power here.”
Pastor Wagner can be contacted by email at [email protected]