A few years ago, a preacher related a dream he had during his sleep. In it, he saw himself walking toward a church, which was holding a Sunday service. But there on the church’s steps, he saw Satan crying buckets of tears.
He walked up to the accuser of the brethren and asked, “What’s your problem, Satan?”
“They’re telling lies about me in this church,” replied Satan through his sobs.
“Yes,” said Satan. “They’re blaming me for all of their problems, when most of the time, it’s not even me doing it. It’s God who is causing them their troubles.”
Does God really cause trouble for believers?
Let’s look at California’s Proposition 8 fiasco.
Prop 8 was a California ballot proposition that proposed an amendment to the California state constitution. The proposition labeled itself as the California Marriage Protection Act and stated: “Only marriage between a man and woman is valid or recognized in California.” It was placed on the ballot for the November 2008 state election.
The supporters of Prop 8 included evangelicals, Roman Catholics, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Union of Orthodox Jews, American Family Association, Focus on the Family and countless other Christian organizations. The opponents included numerous gay and progressive-liberal organizations and individuals.
Both sides together spent more than $100 million in their intense campaigns, with a large proportion of the money coming from out-of-state groups and individuals.
President Obama ended up winning California with a slam-dunk total of 61 percent on Election Day, but Prop 8 eked out a 52 to 48 percent victory. This new law went into effect on Nov. 5, 2008, the day after the election.
All of the Christians cheered and clapped their hands after the election results were posted because God had vindicated their efforts. Or had He?
Then, the battle heated up again.
Gays picketed churches and religious organizations. Opponents of Prop 8 posted the names of supporters and their addresses on websites. Companies who supported the amendment were boycotted. People lost their jobs or resigned for supporting Prop 8. Bitter ads were placed in newspapers and so forth.
Prop 8 opponents then filed federal lawsuits against the state of California, citing the new law was illegal according to the U.S. Constitution under the 14th Amendment’s equal protection and due process clause.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown refused to defend Prop 8 in the various court cases. Outside legal groups were forced to take up the fight against the opponents of Prop 8. But in the end, the decision by Schwarzenegger and Brown not to back Prop 8 ended up being the law’s downfall. The Supreme Court ruled in 2013 the proponents of Prop 8 had no legal standing in its courtroom.
Thus, same-sex marriage became a reality in California.
Did the same Christians who cheered and clapped for joy on election night in 2008 fall to their knees and weep after Prop 8 was struck down, realizing God had not backed their efforts after all? Most of us didn’t, but we should have done that.
Why didn’t God back the proponents of Prop 8?
In fact, why has God failed to back most of the Christian efforts against the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender forces over the last five or six years? LGBT groups are now entrenched in the California K-12 public school systems through books used in school curriculum, teacher indoctrinations, special days commemorating LGBT accomplishments and heroes, sex education classes and more. It’s been victory after victory for them.
And now, Assembly Bill AB 2943, could be the first step toward banning Bible sales in the state of California because of LGBT concerns.
Why is God failing to back Christians in this all-out struggle against the kingdom of darkness?
“Blow the trumpet in Zion …” (Joel 2:1)
The nation of Judah in the days of the prophet Joel faced many of the same problems that presently confront the Body of Christ in California. Judah wanted all of the benefits and protection of God while only halfheartedly following Him. After all, the Hebrews were God’s chosen people, and their enemies were pagan dogs! Shouldn’t that be good enough reasons for God to come to their rescue?
Joel urged Judah to repent and wholeheartedly return to God with fasting, with weeping and with mourning. The prophet listed the promises God would pour out on the nation if the people obeyed his prophecies.
But Judah refused to listen to Joel. The judgments of God became progressively worse until Jerusalem was destroyed and Judah was carried off and enslaved by Babylon.
There is no doubt Satan and evil men possess major influence in the state of California, but they are not California’s biggest problem right now. God is our primary problem. Our only hope is to repent of our apathy, lethargy, compromise and to wholeheartedly return to God, following the instructions written in the book of Joel.
It’s my belief that my home state of California will either go one way or another in our battle with God. We will either be an example of God’s great mercy or His fearsome judgment to the rest of America.