Is an Unholy Spirit of Protest Overtaking Our Nation?

Protesters gather at MacArthur Park for the May Day protest march in Los Angeles, California, May 1, 2017. (Reuters/Kyle Grillot)

Today's Christian generation in this nation at least is becoming quite the expert at right versus wrong. The fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil has been bitten into, and not only does it taste great, but it's being shared among friends. Eve knew she needed Adam to taste and see that the tree was definitely good to make one wise—and the serpent was very pleased.

When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasing to the eyes and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she gave to her husband with her, and he ate (Gen. 3:6).

My recent article posted to Charisma Media on the debacle with David Dao and United Airlines and various related Facebook posts resulted in some disturbing retorts.

Time and again, professing Christians were speaking as supposed experts in right versus wrong, and many eagerly supported the rebellious behavior of David Dao. They were proud of him for standing up for his "rights" and sticking it to United Airlines. The point that David may or may not be a Christian doesn't matter. It's not his behavior I'm addressing, it's the response from Christians that is disturbing. The behavior of United Airlines or the airport police are non-factors as well, at least in regard to the appropriate reaction we should be supporting. No matter how badly we are treated, we must respond rightly, biblically.

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I'm glad Jesus didn't stand up for His rights when He was wrongly convicted and then slaughtered on a cross. He didn't have to prove his innocence. He didn't have to plot revenge. He didn't have a "how dare they" attitude. He wasn't analyzing right versus wrong.

His famous words would be well repeated by all of us: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34).

If we support violating Scripture in our attempt to right wrongs, we are utilizing a demonic anointing of rebellion and witchcraft to do so. It's that serious.

There's an unholy spirit of protest that's gaining strength in our nation in recent years, and much of the church is cheerleading that spirit from the pews and from the streets. Is there a way to deal with improprieties? Of course, but it involves the fruits of the Spirit. When we advance strategically against the enemy, we can never adopt his own strategies and anointing. The fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control must be evident.

The unhealthy spirit of protest actually plays out every day in churches around the world. People who don't get what they want and who are offended by pastors and leaders do all they can to prove they were violated—while plotting revenge through gossip, complaining, accusation, slander or other devious means.

Stop Using Leaders to Gain What You Want

It's a spirit of religion that's driving so much of the angst and anger that's directed at those who stand in our way.

My definition of religion is: man's attempt to use God to get what he wants.

Further, when we use other people to selfishly advance in our own lives, especially as it relates to spiritual matters, we can know it's a demonic spirit of religion that's driving us. In fact, it was Eve's desire for spiritual advance that caused her to eat the fruit. It's appropriate to desire to advance, but it's improper to walk it out by using people and disobeying the Word of God.

In my nearly three decades of ministry, my heart is grieved at how often people live defeated and then blame leaders, pastors, parents and others for their misfortune.

I love this Tweet by @IHOPKC: "We can do the will of God in our life without relying on others to open doors or be our source of promotion."

We don't have to fight with pastors, bosses, airlines the police or other supposed oppressors. We don't have to blame them for misfortune. There's a better way.

John Burton has been developing and leading ministries for over 20 years and is a sought-after teacher, prophetic messenger and revivalist. He has authored nine books, has appeared on Christian television and radio and directed one of the primary internships at the International House of Prayer (IHOP) in Kansas City. Additionally, he planted two churches, has initiated two city prayer movements and is currently directing a prayer- and revival-focused ministry school in Detroit called theLab University. John also has a web- and graphic-design business and is continually developing new and exciting ventures. He and his beautiful wife, Amy, have five children and live in the Detroit area. He can be reached via his website at johnburton.net.

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