Corona, Rodney Howard Browne, and Jeremiah

Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded. But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: ( Proverbs 1:20-25)

Wisdom is always crying out in the streets, and particularly through current events which are widely known. There is often a huge hand writing on the wall for our generation. The problem is interpretation, What is God saying through events?

Today we awoke to news that a certain mega Pastor, Rodney Howard Browne was arrested for holding an “unlawful Assembly”, bussing in hundreds to an already crowded church service, in defiance of the Governor’s ‘social distance’ decree.

Browne was already in the news for a few other things recently and over the years. The South African immigrant to America had proclaimed that “Quarentine is for Pansies” and that his church would remain open “until the Rapture!”.

Around the time of the inauguration of the President , Browne was among a handful of Pastors and Spiritual leaders allowed to gather around in the Oval office and lay hands on and pray for the President. Browne is a ministry colleague of Paula White, President Trump’s ‘spiritual advisor’.

On the one hand, I understand the indignation at the decrees shutting down churches across the nation, as ‘nonessential’, especially when in many places Planned Parenthood, continues to function.

There will be many that lionize Howard Browne, for standng up to the State, or as a champion of freedom of religion.

But on the other hand, there really is a dangerous plague, and personally I give the Governor of Iowa the benefit of the doubt in this, and pray fervently that as soon as the physical danger is passed, we can meet again as a whole flock. After all, the Word for church , ‘Ecclesia’ means an Assembly. We are not to forsake the Assembly of ourselves, this is the LORD’s command.

I have struggled with this myself, and been in much prayer about it.

I believe God has given me an insight into how we are to look at this;

Do you remember the Prophet Jeremiah? When the pagan Babylonians surrounded Jerusalem, He was given a rather unpatriotic message. He was told to tell Jerusalem to go out and submit to the Babylonians, even though it would be humiliating to them as proud Jews, because God was in the Babylonian invasion. Jeremiah 27 is an example of this preaching.

As usual there were hundreds of false prophets like Hannaniah, who prophesied resistance, victory, and triumph. Jeremiah was hated for his “cowardly message” which amounted to submitting to the harsh discipline of God and not resisting.

When Rodney Howard Browne proclaimed that Quarentine was for Pansies, I thought of Jeremiah immediately. There is nothing Spiritual about the bravado of mockery of the manhood of people who ae trying to be prudent. Browne and his accomplice, Kenneth Copeland, who prophesied that CV 19 would be vanquished by the end of March, are just like the false prophet Hannaniah, who “…Make God’s people Trust in a Lie”, (Jeremiah 28) and eventually discredit the cause of Christ.

I hope you understand these people have an errant theology. They believe that God has given them the power to become “little gods” through the New Birth, and to be able to decree and command reality to submit to them, it is called “The Word Of Faith” heresy. Copeland once told an audience that had he known what Jesus knew, He (Copeland) could have gone to the cross also! They are classic gnostics and heretics.

I hate not having full Assemblies, I admit that. I do not put absolute trust in the Government either. But God has allowed many limitations to come upon us; no Sports, no restaurants, no entertainments, (Not as many), and in my view, worse of all, No easy gatherings of Christians, in the tens and hundreds or even thousands. This is one of the beautiful and joyous things about being an American!

But all of that has been suspended. The Word of God is not bound, of course.

Do you believe it has been allowed as a discipline of God? Or is this just the Devil? OR could it be a combination of the two?

Like Judah, in the time of Jeremiah, we proud Americans don’t believe we could ever be curtailed in anything, much less worship. What if these restrictions are the discipline of a loving Father, that we must submit to? Would fighting them be fighting God? Privileges have been stripped, without debate, discussion, or due process, liberties have been suspended indefinitely and that galls all of us.

The Constitution is a wonderful document, but it is not the Word of God.

Could this be a time ordained for repentance? Soul searching and seeking God?

Be careful of modern Hannaniah’s appealing to our pride and vainglory but pretending it is faith.

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20 Responses to Corona, Rodney Howard Browne, and Jeremiah

  1. luvncrafts says:

    Good thoughts.
    Another thought… God had provisions in His law for the Jews for quarantine of those who were sick. This shows He does care about preventing the spread of illness.
    This is not a case of religious persecution; but of everyone being a part of keeping this from spreading.
    We are not forsaking the assembly if we stay home for a few weeks to help stop the spread of illness. We are loving our neighbors.
    As Christians, we should be helping as we are able, and showing people that we care about about their health.
    Most importantly, we should be using every opportunity to use this to spread the Gospel.

  2. Deemar says:

    That passage from Jeremiah is a great example and very fitting for these times!
    A little humility goes a long way in showing where our hearts are really at.
    Being truly contrite and SORRY/repentant – willing to submit to the God-given punishment/consequences… that is what the LORD is desiring from His people…
    even on the behalf of others. We (who love Jesus) know that our nation deserves judgment for shaking our fist in His face and constructing our own gods instead.

    I completely agree and can clearly see that we (USA) have used our “liberty” for such gross offenses against an Almighty and Holy God; it is truly incredible how long the Lord has allowed this to go on. Just when we kept thinking things couldn’t get any worse/immoral, our society/nation has continued on a path of willfull self-destruction – ultimately asking for God’s judgment against us.

    “Pride goes before a fall”… and the Lord is surely using this crisis to bring people to humility and repentance… both in the Church and in the world.

    The arrogance of the word/faith movement is astounding and petrifying – there is no fear of God in their camp.

  3. Onesimus says:

    we proud Americans …

    Idolatry!!!

    You can not serve two masters.

    • billrandles says:

      Give me a break brother, I am not saying I am a proud American, i am saying as an American, that Pride is a national Characteristic and could be why God has humbled us this way…

      • Onesimus says:

        Sorry if I misunderstood – but my misunderstanding was influenced by previous references to patriotic leanings that I’ve seen expressed in earlier posts, as well as political commentary that is ironically in agreement with those who are commonly deemed as false prophets because of their desire to bring about national revival through political influence.

        And as a final note – it’s not all about America and humbling America. This disease is worldwide and from a health perspective will potentially affect the “third world” far greater than the west.
        Economically, this virus will perhaps expose the shallowness of the kind of western materialist culture that the western church has also adopted

      • billrandles says:

        I love my country, so i guess I am guilty of ‘patriotic sentiment’, but having said that, Like Jeremiah, I am a harsh critic of it…

      • Onesimus says:

        I love my country, so i guess I am guilty of ‘patriotic sentiment’

        And there we return to my original comment.

        Idolatry!
        You can’t serve two masters.

        Ever consider the origin of the word “patriot” and the alarm bells that should sound regarding Christians with patriotic sentiment?

      • billrandles says:

        The definition of Patriot simply means, I Love my country…I cannot help it, I Love America. I do not serve it as a master, nor do I Idolize it, or justify it , But God divided the nations and determined the boundaries where we should live. I do not hate my Country, I love it with all of it’s flaws. Obviously I am a citizen of another country, but while I am here, i will love it

    • Jeanne T. says:

      “Keep a Christian from entering the church sanctuary and you have not in the least bit hindered his worship. We carry our sanctuary with us. We never leave it.” A.W. Tozer

      “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. 7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.” Romans 13:1-7

      “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.” Hebrews 13:17

      “For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” 1 Peter 4:17

      FYI, another pastor in Louisiana has now been arrested for defying the COVID-19 order. The Scriptures tell us, (I’ve never understood the attraction to such individuals; I guess it was that sensible Swedish Baptist upbringing of mine that inoculated me from this kind of nonsense.) What happens if people become infected with this virus and it can be traced back to Brown’s church? The New York Times, in a piece last week, blamed evangelical Christians for COVID-19, calling them anti-science. It was a very ignorant article for many reasons. The early Christians were blamed for the fires in Rome, when it was Nero who was setting them. We can expect more of this as the days grow darker. Christians will once become scapegoats, as has been a problem for the Jews forever. But antics like Brown’s only gives credence to the bigotry and prejudices of people like the author of the NYT piece.

      The church is not brick and mortar, and we should be thankful for the technology that allows us to view live streaming services, or recorded services, on our internet devices. Our small church even sends out the bulletins for the service so that we can follow the order of the service. And they even did the children’s time sermon so that children watching on TV or the internet at home could still get a lesson. This week we will be starting an initiative of volunteers who can run errands, buy groceries, etc. for people who cannot get out. This is what the Church, the “Assembly” is all about, not buildings. But it is natural and right that we miss worship in the physical presence of our brothers and sisters.

      How is this pandemic affecting the underground church in China? (Take your time answering that one.)

      The churches are not being singled out for quarantine in the U.S. And I don’t believe that the United States is not being singled out in this crisis; the entire world is being affected by this pandemic. Is this God’s discipline? Judgment? Maybe. We need to be careful about speaking for God, about speculating. However, this seems like it could be a preview of what is coming on the whole world. Some have likened this to the Braxton Hicks, the false labor before the real and intense labor right before the baby is born.

  4. joiful77 says:

    Wonderful article Bill. As in the past, I will do just a little editing and post it with a link to your site. Very well done and needed! And Warren will be thrilled that you discussed RHB.

    Deborah Dombrowski

    Lighthouse Trails Publishing, Inc.

    406-889-3610

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    Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. (John 8:12)

  5. Marc says:

    I believe you may be correct in what you say Brother Bill.
    America has become a pagan nation similar to Israel.
    Many believe we are beyond judgment because of our past laurels and God’s good mercy on our nation. They confuse Gods mercy for His approval of our perverted lifestyles and the so called church following the doctrines of demons. That is just another example of Gods warnings about an apostate church.
    Why would God not allow judgment and chastisement fall on such a nation.
    I am a 21 year navy veteran and love this country but it is not the same country it was 40 years ago. I believe in the constitution as it was intended by our founding fathers and am grateful to God for it. You are correct however that we are to follow the Word of God before any patriotism.
    May God have mercy on us all, and give us boldness to tell the truth in love while we still can. May God make us fruitful.
    I don’t believe this will be the last judgment we will see as I believe we are heading towards the last 7 years; Jacob’s troubles.

    • Marc says:

      I believe you may be correct in what you say Brother Bill.
      America has become a pagan nation similar to Israel.
      Many believe we are beyond judgment because of our past laurels and God’s good mercy on our nation. They confuse Gods mercy for His approval of our perverted lifestyles and the so called church following the doctrines of demons. That is just another example of Gods warnings about an apostate church.
      Why would God not allow judgment and chastisement fall on such a nation.
      I am a 21 year navy veteran and love this country but it is not the same country it was 40 years ago. I believe in the constitution as it was intended by our founding fathers and am grateful to God for it. You are correct however that we are to follow the Word of God before any patriotism.
      May God have mercy on us all, and give us boldness to tell the truth in love while we still can. May God make us fruitful.
      I don’t believe this will be the last judgment we will see as I believe we are heading towards the last 7 years; Jacob’s troubles. Excellent thoughts. Amen.

      I may be using the word “judgment” incorrectly. I know Gods providence is at work as His Word says these things will happen but we are to look up for our redemption is near.
      God’s particular judgments in the last days will be specific for those years.
      I don’t understand it all but I believe God is shaking what can be shaken. I am trying to stay focused on Gods promises.
      He is our help and our shield.

  6. Philip Snow says:

    As one of our small group of Believers here in Britain said, …..WE have brought sexual perversion into the Church – God has had them shut! ……We have brought Sexual Perversion into the Schools – God has had the shut! And I believe this is only the beginning – beware the Lull between the Birth Pangs!

  7. Great thoughts, thank you. I am struggling with the churches being shut down and I have more peace about it after reading your take.

    I suspect we all, as Christians, are being individually and collectively sifted by this.

    While I love online sermons for education and edification, and I am grateful this option remains–I am also convicted by Jesus’s words: ‘wherever two or more gather, there I am with you’.

    Nothing is stopping me from studying the Bible, taking communion, and praising God with others living in my home. Except, perhaps, arguments and being emotionally disconnected from one another. Or complacency and desiring the ease with which we can tune in and ‘watch’ a service put on for us, on Sunday morning. It does take connectedness and some effort to participate in an intimate and small gathering of our very own–led by the Holy Spirit and joined by Jesus. And I am as guilty of petty arguing and/or falling into ease and comfort as any, hence I feel convicted to enter further into the messy process of intimacy and wholeheartedness for God and others as a family unit now. That kind of thing is best with only a handful rather than many people anyway. So perhaps we have an opportunity before us, to shore up our own hearts and closest relationships?

    Your continued fellowship services try to be as participatory and intimate as is possible online; and I appreciate that 🙂

    • Jeanne T. says:

      Amen! There are so many places in the world where Christians must meet in secret, where they must “steal away to Jesus”, to quote the spiritual of the black slaves. We have had it so good here in the West, and this virus is testing us. But I think our response will reveal how much we actually trust the Lord, whether our faith is real.

  8. It is a painful thing to do but we have suspended our services until the plague passes by. I have been doing the preaching in our little church since our pastor had a stroke, so it is doubly painful for me. These people have been somewhat starved from preaching that is more Bible based and less story hour.
    God knows what is best though, in recent days I have learned that there have been some that took ill with the COVID 19 and one death in our small community of less than 5000….
    Till The Storm Passes Over, we shall be under the protective wing of God.

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