Q & A: An Open Door?

Q: [RE: Politically Correct, Spiritually Incorrect, published Nov 11, 2002, in which I mentioned that, according to a dream I had, the life of president Bush was in jeopardy, and in which a reader commented, “I blame [president Bush] because he has said many times that Islam is a religion of peace. He knows very well that it is not at all.”], Do you suppose, that in making a statement that is spiritually incorrect, as a born-again Christian, President Bush opened a door for an attack by the enemy, and that is why his life is in jeopardy – Satan has access?

A: Wow! What a question! You’ve actually asked a question that had also crossed my mind. The fact is, president Bush has made some comments about Islam that are inconsistent with what the Bible teaches. Apparently, he has done so in order to appease Muslims and not “rock the boat”, as it were. In other words, being a Christian himself, he really ought to know better than to say that Islam is a religion of peace. He should know that it is not. And I think that it is fair to assume that a man of his stature and experience is responsible for knowing that this is the case. I don’t think that he can plead ignorance on this one, in other words. He said that Islam is a religion of peace, but he spoke words that are inconsistent with what the Bible teaches.

Could president Bush’s comments have opened a door for the enemy, and that is why his life is in danger? Well, as much as it is not my will to say anything critical or negative against president Bush, because I respect the man, yet from a Scriptural standpoint it is possible that he could be “disciplined” by God for doing things that are outside of God’s will, and one way that God disciplines his children is to allow the enemy access to our lives in some way, large or small. The classic passage that teaches this is from Luke 22 where we read, “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired [to have] you, that he may sift [you] as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” (Luke 22:31b-32)

What is Jesus saying in this passage? He is saying that first, any attack from the evil one must go through him, because Satan had to ask permission from Jesus first in order to get to Simon Peter. Secondly, we see the purpose in allowing the attack in that Jesus says, “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” Notice in particular the words, “and when thou art converted”, meaning, “when you have changed”. Thus there was something wrong in Simon Peter’s thinking and/or behavior at that point in time which I think it could well be reasoned was the “reason” why Jesus was willing to give Satan some limited measure of access to Simon Peter. The fact that there is a definite “flaw” in Simon Peter, of course, is clearly seen two verses later where Jesus states, “I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.”

Note the heart of Jesus in allowing Satan access to one of his children. It is one of wrath? Absolutely not. God may allow Satan access to our lives, but he does not hate us. In fact, he will be with us in the midst of the attack, and desires to strengthen us through it. The compassion of God, and his desire that we be strengthened through the trial is clearly seen in the above-mentioned passage, in which Jesus says, “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not.” This truly reflects the heart of God in allowing any evil to come against his children. Second, there is the bigger picture in allowing the trial to come on us, which is demonstrated by Jesus’s words, “and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” Thus Jesus desires for us to go through the trial so that we can be strengthened in our faith, so that we, in turn, can be used of God to help strengthen others. It sounds like a “win-win” situation to me, but it does require that we go through some testing sometimes.

Was a door opened because president Bush made these comments? It is possible. Like Jesus, our attitude should be, “I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”