Friday, October 23, 2015

The Curious Case of Opal Covey

When I moved back to Toledo a couple years ago, I had forgotten how much fun the mayoral elections can be. To help explain how the illustrious Carty Finkbeiner could keep getting elected, just look at the competition, including perennial candidate Opal Covey.

Recently Opal went on the radio to talk about her platform. It didn't go well. So she confronted the host about his sinful defiance of God's will that she must be mayor. Seriously. Just watch:

Another fun interview with her can be found here. Please watch this one to the end. You can thank me later.

These clips and her prophetic electoral history (four previous times she's been told by God she would be mayor, without success) raise a host of questions. The shenanigans on display here don't come about in a vacuum, and frankly what she's doing, while maybe more exuberant, is far too familiar.

1) Where are the people to defend her? Why is there no mention of this on or She has a prophetic word from God and is being mocked and resisted - why don't they take up her cause? And lest you think this is just too far out there for them to defend, take a look at what they actively promote, and tell me how this is any different from, say, a typical Jennifer LeClaire piece.

2) Why is nobody proposing an "open but cautious" stance? How is it that we all instantly know this is total garbage, but with other 'prophecies' and 'tongues' we're supposed to wait and see because you never know? What, specifically, is the difference between this and the thousands of 'words from the lord' that will be spouted at charismatic churches this Sunday?

3) How is it that a talk radio host in Toledo, OH knows the simple equation that self-proclaimed prophet + false = false prophet, and he's not afraid to tell her so (even as she speaks in tongues against him!), but major evangelical leaders and theologians can't figure it out?

4) How is her schtick any different from what happens daily on TBN? How is she different from the New Apostolic Reformation or IHOP or Chuck Pierce or Patricia King or Benny Hinn or Pat Robertson or Bill Johnson or the Elijah List or Todd Bentley or...

5) Is it the William Tapley effect? As Chris Rosebrough often points out, William Tapley plays the same game as Robertson, Hagee, Cahn, and many others who rake in millions while he's a laughingstock. Why? They're slick and polished, while Tapley is... well, just watch his videos. Is that all that's at play here, why Opal Covey is a laughingstock while Bill Johnson has a global following and TBN rakes in cash by the billions? What exactly is different about her, other than the polish?

6) Note carefully the "I speak in tongues against you". Somehow tongues went from declaration of the wonders of God in understandable foreign language previously unknown to the speaker (Acts 2) to gibberish random syllables as a curse. In other words, from spiritual gift to witchcraft. Now, is that common practice in charismaticism? Before you answer, consider the word-faith theology of Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, and their ilk, the idea that you're a little god who creates the future through the power of your words. How is what she did any different?

7) While it's easy to dismiss her as crazy and disturbed, does she understand the implications of what she's saying better than many? Consider - she claims to have a prophecy that she will be mayor. Fred Lefebvre doesn't accept it and seems to work against it (by exposing her utter lack of qualifications). So she accuses him of the gross sin of opposing the work of god, and pronounces judgment on him. Because god told her she would be mayor, everyone who has heard the prophecy is morally bound to obey, and disobedience to her word is tantamount to disobeying god, liable to the fires of hell.

It all makes for a good laugh, except for one thing - if she actually received a real prophecy, her pronouncement would be 100% correct. She didn't, and she's a false prophet and blasphemer, but if it was actually a word from God, she would have been correct that opposing it is vile sin.

So why does this woman understand this, but so much of the church doesn't? How many pastors have an extrabiblical 'vision' they claim is God's revelation to them? How many projects are launched with no justification beyond "God put this on our hearts" or "God gave us a vision for this"? How often is "God is telling me..." or "God is leading me to..." tossed out in casual conversation, as if direct orders from the almighty creator are on the same level as a comment about the weather?

Why do we put up with this? How do we not understand - if Opal Covey can understand it, I'm sure it's not beyond our grasp - that a divine revelation morally binds all hearers, and to oppose it is sin? If they claim the message is God's word, no matter how soft they sell it, to disobey or fail to support it is direct rebellion against God himself - if it's actually from God. If it's not, and at this point in redemptive history we can safely say it's not, then they are sinning by taking God's name in vain, and they're false prophets.

When we let that kind of thing fester unopposed, a generation of Opal Coveys is the result.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Obvious Happened. What Now?

The University of Toronto, in good progressive fashion, started using "gender-neutral" bathrooms in some dorms. You will no doubt be shocked to find out that college guys like looking at naked girls, and some particularly sleazy ones decided to do so without the girls' permission.

So what do we make of this? It's tempting to start with "I told you so" and "How could they not see this would happen?", and plenty of good folks are already on that train. The point needs to be driven home that this result is entirely predictable, and this foolishness needlessly puts women and children in harm's way.

There's one problem nagging at me, though. I have a hard time buying the underlying assumption - that the people responsible for these asinine policies couldn't see this coming. These are generally people with advanced degrees - no matter how worthless those degrees may be, they require some intellectual acumen to obtain. Am I really to believe they are capable of academic achievement, yet utterly ignorant of what could happen when young males are granted free access to naked vulnerable women?

Of course they knew what would happen. They don't care. Advancing the progressive agenda is much more important to them than frivolous concerns like the safety and purity of women and children. There are goals to accomplish, and if some women and children have to be sacrificed - through sexual assaults, being torn limb from limb inside the womb, whatever - along the way, that's collateral damage they're willing to live with. Eggs and omelets and all.

The ultimate goal isn't feminism or 'equality' or a gender-free society or any small potatoes like that. Those are mere means to their doomed-to-fail end: the eradication of God. It's the same goal humanity has shared since Genesis 3, when our father Adam rebelled against God and exalted his own creaturely wisdom above that of the Creator. Following Adam's sin-corrupted nature, we rebel against God and fight against all that necessarily flows from Genesis 1:1. God created, and therefore has all sovereignty and right to define. We want to rule, so we do all we can to defy God.

And so we have these projects to cast off what God has said is good. God created male and female, so we invent the choose your own gender adventure society. God rules over life and death, so we claim for ourselves the right to kill at any time, for any reason; people are only alive when we deem them worthy of life. God created man in His image and gave him dominion over animals, so we imagine man in the image of ancient apes, just another animal, one the world would be better off without. There is no truth so obvious that we won't overturn it to send the message, "We are in charge here!" There is nothing so good that we won't destroy it to spite God.

The problem isn't ignorance, but wickedness. The cure is not common sense (though a dose of common grace sure wouldn't hurt!), but repentance. Foolish policies like the gender-neutral dorm bathrooms come from despising the obvious, but not merely the obvious about boys and girls. It comes from despising the obvious truth that God created and rules over us; we have sinned against Him, and deserve nothing but the harshest judgment. Our only hope is to repent and turn in faith in Jesus Christ, trusting his propitiatory death for sin and righteousness credited to all who trust in him alone.