Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Bridal Mantles and Iron Skillet Hands: Quotes from Reformation Day

Ready for some New Apostolic Reformation rhetoric before Election Day? Good!

Generals International and Christ for the Nations hosted a Reformation Day prayer rally in Dallas, Texas on October 31st. Meant to coincide with the 495th anniversary of Martin Luther submission of his Ninety-Five Theses, the Reformation Day rally overflowed with rhetoric about American exceptionalism, abortion, homosexuality, and reclaiming America for God. The intent, it seemed, was to condemn political issues in America that the New Apostolic Reformation leaders frowned upon (abortion, LGBTQ issues, church-state separation, debt, secularism) as a pivotal election loomed on the horizon. For your reading pleasure before the election, I have selected some choice quotes from the rally.

The event began with music, prayer, and the waving of American, Israeli, and Christian flags as musicians performed "God Bless America." Cindy Jacobs of Generals International praised the intercessory prayer of David's Tent D.C., whose prayers during Hurricane Sandy's onslaught she compared to the steadfastness of Valley Forge soldiers who persevered against severe weather and bleeding feet. At the 40:22 mark, Jacobs prayed that her fellow Christians would replace America's "veil of deception" with a "bridal mantle."
"There has been a veil of deception over this nation, and we believe that tonight we are here to rend the veil and remantle the nation with a bridal mantle of intimate worship, restoring the tabernacle of David, that a generation will seek the face of God. COME ON! This is good news!"
Later, the rally played a video of Jim Garlow speaking at Statutory Hall in the U.S. Capitol Building on May 8, 2012. At the 45:01 mark, Garlow claimed that American exceptionalism sprung from its recognition that God bestows rights.
"Let me pose a question. How many people in a debate format when asked by the moderator of the debate,'what is the first thing you will do if you're elected,' how many times have we heard someone say, 'my first official act, I will call on Almighty God.' That's what our first president did in his first speech as his first act ... American exceptionalism doesn't mean we're great and they're not. It doesn't mean we're hot and they're not. It's not some kind of elitism statement. It says that there is something within our fabric that is an exception. What is that? ... At its core, American exceptionalism says that of the 192 nations of the world, only one of them has in its sacred documents specifically its birth certificate, the Declaration of Independence, a statement that clearly states all of our rights come from God, endowed by their creator. It is a tragedy when high level elected officials manage to delete those three words when citing the Declaration of Independence."
Garlow blamed the "silence of the pulpits" for the current moral state of America, insisting that if religious leaders had spoken up, America would not be facing enormous debt, the "Holocaust" of abortion, or the "catastrophic price" of same-sex marriage. He plugged pulpitfreedom[dot]org, urging the church not to "abdicate" its role in American affairs. At the 49:32 mark, Garlow depicted religious leaders as persecuted by "radical secularists."

"I recognize that radical secularists and historical revisionists will try to write you out of the scope of history and cause you to feel less than wanted at the table. Stand up and declare authentic Biblical truth ... If you are going to be a disseminator of truth and freedom and justice and righteousness in this age, they're going to come after you. Accept it as part of the price. It's our time to demonstrate the courage."
Jerry Tuma, president of Cornerstone Financial Services, told listeners that the U.S. is allegedly showing symptoms of an empire in decline, such as military overreach, moral decay, emphasis on personal rights, etc. He urged the government to be rid of socialism and radical Islam, urging "reformation" in education, immigration, tax structure, and other areas of public life. At the 1:23:00 mark, he warned the audience that God will tear down "certain social structures," a warning he delivered after reciting the Biblical story of a drought that befell Israel after King Ahab imported paganism into the land.

"We're in an age right now where we're going to see God beginning to tear down certain social structures in this land and certain things that do not rely on God. The government is not God. The government is not the messiah and it has to be changed and reformed from the inside out."
Several preachers of color from the Religious Right spoke at the event, including 8:18 The Sign founder Dehavilland Ford. In the throes of ecstatic prayer, Ford repented of complacency and a "stagnant spirit" in the church, begging God to remove everything that exalts itself against his glory. At the 1:47:38 mark, she prayed to God for forgiveness for the church's "complacency" regarding abortion and sexual matters.
"That would you would raise up voices and you would forgive us for being complacent on the issues that are burning in your heart! You would forgive us for being complacent over the shedding of innocent blood! You would forgive us for being complacent on the issue of sexual purity! You would forgive us for being complacent when we have defiled your altars, oh God!"
Will Ford of Hilkiah Ministries made convoluted correlations between ancient human sacrifice, abortion, homosexuality, and adultery, insisting that too many people in the church overlook such things in favor of religious entertainment. At the 2:11:00 mark, he made this odd statement.
"The reason why I believe abortion has such a stronghold in this nation [is] because it has such a stronghold in the church. That's the truth of the matter. See, back when they used to worship Baal, they would actually beat religious drums to drown out the screams of the children as they were being burnt in those iron skillet hands of Moloch and Baal, to drown out the screams. Ain't it interesting how they use religious entertainment to cover up the immorality in their midst. Yeah, we do it today. You know, we see that person we know is leading the choir, know something is not right, homosexual or whatever, and we just go ahead and say, 'You know what? Turn up the music a little bit louder.' We got the pastor we know is sleeping around with other women and sometimes men, we say, 'You know? Go go ahead and whoop and preach a little bit harder. In other words, entertain us while we watch you die, because all we care about is your ability to entertain us instead of your walk with the living God.'"
Audience members as well as scheduled speakers promoted the right-wing themes of the evening. During a prayer call, an unnamed young man prayed ecstatically on stage, exalting America for God and condemning abortion at the 1:59:20 mark.
"This is your nation! You bled for this nation! You sent your son for this nation! Father God, we were founded in you, Lord. As Israel was founded under God, Father God, so was the united states of America, Lord! And we are the United States under Jesus Christ ... We will be in government, we will be in jobs, we will be in media, and we will take this nation by storm! ... Those babies that have been slaughtered, Father God, the blood that cries out! ... I pray right now, no longer will it happen. No longer will it happen, Father God. The end of abortion is near!"
Despite all the ecstasy and spiritual language of the event, Reformation Day resembled the many New Apostolic Reformation events of the past, condemning abortion and homosexuality while promising Christian hegemony in America. For attendees at Reformation Day, the spiritual mingled with the political in a time of upheaval and elections.

To watch a full recording of Reformation Day, visit www[dot]generals[dot]org/reformationday/

To read additional commentary, visit the following links.

Right Wing Watch: Highlights from the Generals International 'Reformation Day' Pre-Election Prayer Rally

Christian Research Network: NAR's Cindy Jacobs, Dutch Sheets Seek 'Reformation Day for America'

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