In light of the battle raging in Kentucky as we prepare for our national event, I wrote the following article. if you find any merit, please pass it on in your sphere of influence. Thanks
Has the American Church Contracted the Samson Syndrome?
“Then three thousand men of Judah went down to the cleft of the rock of Etam, and said to Samson, “Do you not know that the Philistines rule over us? What is this you have done to us” (Judges 15:11)?
There is a powerful scene depicted in the movie Braveheart. Mel Gibson, who plays the lead role of William Wallace, the great Scottish Freedom Fighter, assembled his rag tag army to go up against the military might of England. Due to his personal courage and daring do, Wallace managed to recruit the common people as well as the Scottish Nobles to join him in the great battle for Scottish liberty.
Unbeknownst to Wallace, however, the cunning king of England bribed the Scottish Nobles to betray Wallace and abandon him on the field of battle. At the critical point of the conflict, which would determine victory or defeat, Wallace lifts up the banner to signal the Nobles to join in the fray. As he frantically waves the banner back and forth, the Nobles coldly stare at him as they saunter off the battlefield. They leave him and the clans to face an overwhelming force intent on crushing their freedom.
To a certain degree, this scene in Braveheart reveals what I call the Samson Syndrome. You may recall how Samson was wreaking havoc in the Philistine camp. Thorough the intrigue of Samson’s weakness for the pagan ladies, several opportunities for battle emerged against the enemy of God’s people. The conflict reached its zenith when the Philistines decided to confront the men of Judah and hold them accountable for Samson’s daring exploits.
God’s Word describes the exchange, “Now the Philistines went up, encamped in Judah, and deployed themselves against Lehi. And the men of Judah said, “Why have you come up against us?” So they answered, “We have come up to arrest Samson, to do to him as he has done to us” (Judges 15:9, 10). Instead of the men of Judah making a stand and joining Samson to liberate Israel from the yoke of the Philistines, they contracted the Samson Syndrome. They actually became allied with their oppressors. They joined the opposition and in so doing, abandoned their chance for liberation.
The men of Judah ended up binding their champion and turned him over to their common enemy. In essence, they cowardly admitted we are not a “radical” believer like Samson. He is your problem, not us. Do us both a favor, take Samson and leave us alone. This betrayal led to one of the most incredible feats of valor on a battlefield ever recorded in redemptive history.
Samson with the aid of a jaw bone of a donkey took on and took out 1000 would be captors in the Philistine army. Obviously, the Spirit of the Lord came upon him mightily. The effort was so heroic, dehydration rather than Philistine weaponry, almost killed him. God in His mercy “split the hollow place that is in Lehi, and water came out, and he drank; and his spirit returned, and he revived” (Judges 15:19).
If anyone has been involved in the modern day battle for the souls of men, the lives of babies, and the future of our bloodstained, perverted nation, you are somewhat aware of the Samson Syndrome. You may not have called the betrayal, ostracizing, and marginalization by your friends, family, and even the church by this term, but you still know the heartache firsthand.
It was not too long after we entered the battle before the Samson Syndrome became a reality in our lives. I can remember a time when a pastor who questioned my commitment to end the American holocaust shook his fist in my face and shouted, “You are worse than abortion.” There were other times when the church removed us from pulpits, cut off our finances, and even kicked us out of our home and left us penniless and homeless with the added burden to care for our young children (four were born and one was about to be born). We were doing home births at the time. The problem was we did not have a home to give birth. As bad as these betrayals were, nothing compares to when the church to protect itself, binds you up, and turns you over to the common enemy.
For instance, when the government came after us to shut down our effectiveness against the culture of death, the government always chose to subpoena us at the different churches we attended. They could have served us on the streets, at the death camps, our home, or another convenient place. Why the church? The government wants to use that setting to send a strong message to fellow Christians who may be convicted to join in the fray to end child sacrifice and the shedding of innocent blood. Their message, in essence, was, “Be careful! Do not follow the example of these people. If you do, the same way we treat them, we will go after you. So, give them over to us and all will be well with you.”
Most Christians are not aware of what happens when the powers that be go after you in the battle. They are not just interested in stopping your work in the Lord to end the evil of abortion; they seek to cut you off from all spiritual and moral support. They want to isolate you, so you can wallow in abject rejection. To the point, you cannot even utter a prayer to describe to the loving Lord the anguish of your tormented soul. It is this kind of psychological warfare that can befall Christians who dare to address and defeat Satan’s crown jewel of our age, abortion. It may come in lesser or greater degrees, but it will happen.
This warfare only intensifies when the church ends up showing more compassion, understanding, and tolerance towards those who are complicit or complacent with this evil. They seem to exercise more outrage towards those who seek to end the injustice then they do toward those who violate His justice. Well did Jesus remind the Pharisees:
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel (Matthew 23:23, 24).
Why does the church have fewer qualms with our lawless government, corrupt culture, the abortion industry, deceived parents, and their own disobedience, than they do with those who seek to love their neighbor as themselves? There is an absurd double standard running wild. For some peculiar reason, most churches withhold from those who seek to end abortion the same love, compassion, and understanding they seem to freely give to those who murder the preborn. This is just one of the manifestations of the Samson Syndrome in our age.
The Skandalon
To those on the receiving end of this strange spiritual phenomenon, it comes complete with a great opportunity to be offended. The offense is called skandalon. The definition for skandalon is, “A stick for bait (of a trap), generally a snare, a stumbling block, an offense.” In this battle, we need to be mindful of taking offense, which can lead to this dreadful state. Our Lord warned that we live in a world that provides ample opportunity to be offended. We must guard our hearts for out of it flows the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23).
To comprehend the snare that is skandalon more fully, picture a big game hunter searching for lions. The hunter digs a deep pit and covers it with jungle foliage. He hangs a piece of bloody meat over the middle of the trap. Instinctively, the animal pounces. He falls into the pit and ends up on the trophy wall of the hunter.
In a sense, the lion was justified according to instinct to seize the meat. Many times, we may feel justified too, especially, when we are dealing with the outcome of the Samson Syndrome. But offenses that are not dealt with properly can render us bound as that animal or even Samson at the end of his life. We must remember that it is not the attack, offense, or persecution that are the critical issues. Jesus assures us these situations will repeatedly occur. In fact, He guaranteed they will come. It is how we respond that makes all the difference in the world.
When people hurt, betray, lie, or abandon us, the natural instinct is to retaliate. We may feel justified to pounce upon the skandalon. We bite and savor its juice only to find it poisoning us. If we do not spit it out, we can end up in a pit of despair and turned over to tormentors (Matthew 18:21-35). Tragically, our enemies will still control our lives as the Philistines mockingly jeer as we go around in circles grinding in their prison just like Samson.
Offenses must be fiercely addressed. We have to face the Samson Syndrome and avoid its binding of our souls. The love, forgiveness, and the truth of God’s Word must be employed to extinguish the fiery darts of the enemy. If we fail, we can develop a deep resentment, which leads to a root of bitterness. Hebrew 12:15 warns, “Looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.”
Turning the Samson Syndrome into David’s Effect
“Therefore David ran and stood over the Philistine, took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it. And when the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled. Now the men of Israel and Judah arose and shouted, and pursued the Philistines as far as the entrance of the valley and to the gates of Ekron” (1 Samuel 17:51b, 52).
Throughout redemptive history God has always used a man or a small remnant to bring about His glorious victories in the earth. The Scriptures remind us that with few or with many our God is able to deliver (1 Samuel 14:6). This was certainly true in the case of David’s defeat of the mighty champion of the Philistines, Goliath. Most of you know the narrative by heart, but the one point I wish to highlight is the profound impact David’s personal victory had upon the rest of God’s covenant people.
God’s army was neutralized by fear. The analysis that led to paralysis crippled their response to the challenge of Goliath. Everyone heard his taunts and instead of rising up in faith to face and overcome their doubts, they succumbed. Another young man (David) heard the same giant defy the armies of the living God and saw the imposing size of this monstrous warrior, instead of thinking he was too big to overcome, however, he thought he was too big to miss. The rest, as they say, is history.
This one act of courage by a ruddy youth produced the desired impact. God’s army was emboldened to take to the battlefield and drive out the oppressors from the land. This is the challenge and yet glorious opportunity set before those who are engaged in the battle for the souls of men, the lives of children, and the future of our bloodstained, perverted nation. By God’s grace and power, we have to turn the Samson Syndrome into David’s Effect.
We must stay faithful in promoting the paradigm shift. We have to continue to establish the Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrate, call the church and state to interposition, and abolish abortion now. We have to keep slinging the stone, keep swinging the hammer, and eventually as God breaks up demonic strongholds and grants some victories, more Christians will be encouraged to enter the battle to end the American Holocaust. So be it Lord, in Jesus’ mighty name!