Coincidence, or Awfully Eerie Providence?

Coincidence or Providence? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Posted: June 05, 2009 1:00 am Eastern By Steve Deace © 2009

It might have been just a coincidence, but if it was, it was an awfully eerie one.

Last week, 13-year-old Kayva Shivashankar won the 2009 National Spelling Bee by spelling the word "Laodicean." That word left a lot of Americans befuddled. Typically, the vast majority of Americans that are products of our nation's collective calamity known as the government schools have no clue how to spell or define the words used at the National Spelling Bee.

"Laodicean" is certainly no different.

The uninformed mainstream media did its typical best to keep Americans as uninformed as they are. Most of those mainstream media reports defined "Laodicean" as simply meaning "lukewarm in religion or politics." That's not a contextually complete definition, but I'll give the secular media credit that this time they only told a half truth regarding a spiritual matter, when most of the time they just tell Americans outright lies.

Others may have gone to their favorite online search engine to find out what "Laodicean" means, and they probably got more than they were bargaining for if they did. In fact, if they were honest with themselves, they probably thought it hit a little too close to home.

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That's because the most famous cultural reference to "Laodicean" comes from the Bible, specifically the book of Revelation. One of the seven churches of Asia Minor that receives a letter from Jesus Christ is the Laodicean Church. The name "Laodicean" is Greek for "peoples' opinions and judgments" or "peoples' rights." The Laodicean Church was also known for its material wealth.

So in the Laodicean Church we're dealing with a body of believers that cares greatly about what people think, holds its own opinions on matters in high regard, and is banking on its bankroll.

Sound familiar? Stay with me; the eerie coincidences are just getting started.

In the third chapter of Revelation, Christ writes a letter to the church in Laodicea in which he says some of his most oft-quoted words:

These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. We live in a post-modern culture that considers it tolerant to have multiple perspectives on truth, or enlightened to say that truth can't even be known at all. Sadly, the post-modern culture is taking its cue from the church, since our bookstores more proudly display the unbiblical works of the Emergent Church with front-window shrines, while works of apologetics and discipleship from the likes of Chuck Colson or John Piper gather dust on a dimly lit corner shelf in the same store.

We live in an age where counterintuitive phrases like "I know it's wrong for me, but who am I to judge for somebody else" are no longer considered signs of cultural complacency, but rather signs the culture is progressing. But the culture is just taking its cue from the church, since some of our largest and most visible church leaders have adopted a contrived unity via watered down doctrine inside their massive mausoleums with a Pottery Barn décor.

We live in a time where most of our citizens believe the strength of a nation isn't so much found in its moral foundation as much as it is in its monetary one. For instance, abortion mills kill babies by the thousands nationwide each day, but most of America is oblivious to it because there's the stock market to worry about, don't you know. The idea that our financial difficulties are rooted in our moral depravity is a non-starter with most Americans, since even some of the conservative ones identify themselves as just a "fiscal" conservative. Yet, once more the culture is simply following in the footsteps of the church, which is obsessed with material wealth. The Christian best-sellers not written by the emerging heretics are often the ones written by the prosperity pimps that give Elmer Gantry a bad name.

Rebuke and discipline aren't on the menu, either. We idolize our Christian and conservative leaders so much that any attempt to question why so many of them have either lied to us or have been acting gutlessly is met with hisses and boos from the very lemmings they're lying to and leading over a cliff. Some of our "pastors" have become such huge stars it's hard to tell if the people are worshipping them or Christ.

Remember when I said these were some eerie coincidences? Maybe it's not eerie at all. One of the men who got me started in the radio business used to always say that "coincidence is God's way of staying anonymous."

There are scores of defunct or extinct civilizations of antiquity that Shivashankar could've been asked to spell with the entire nation watching. Could it be that she was given "Laodicean" for a reason?

Those who have an ear to hear, let them hear what the Spelling Bee says to the church, and to the nation.