Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Why is Lou Engle a Lightning Rod?

Well for starters, he's a prayer-and-fasting-animal. That alone is enough to stir up demonic forces. Add to that his outspoken stands against abortion and homosexuality and you've got yourself quite a target.

I like the guy, even if he can't sit still for one minute.

A few things trouble me. Perhaps they shouldn't.

Engle has espoused a thesis or prophetic insight regarding the War Between the States(1) . In this thesis he states, with the implied endorsement of God, that "The Civil War was the day for reckoning for America for the bloodshed of slavery – 600,000 men died in the God’s day of reckoning in America for slavery." In other words, he states that 600,000 were killed for a "blood atonement."

He goes on to make an analogy between the issue of slavery and the issue of abortion. Ironic in that the gays want to claim this analogy as their own. It's a very popular analogy, don't you know?

Lou seems to be stuck on this thesis. He mentioned the war again at his address given at a recent GBW meeting in Charlotte (2). And in his "current" blog article at If it is a thesis it needs to be challenged. If it is prophetic revelation it needs to be tested. Has anyone questioned it?

In essence, he suggests that today, as then, there is now a national blood-guilt that must be atoned for.

The issue is this: can there be any further atonement - or was the sacrificial death of our Lord on the cross all-sufficient for all-time? Engle implies that is was NOT, and I'm having a hard time with this. Quoting Engle "It is not enough that Jesus died. Someone must apply the blood of Jesus to the national sin of (the) USA." To accomplish this, Engle calls for a priestly ministry "to bring forth the blood of the Lamb on behalf of shed blood."

In practice and in teaching, Engle suggests some sort of new priestly order that devotes itself full-time to prayer and intercession. While I believe it is true that the burden to intercede falls very strongly on certain individuals, I can find no suggestion in the scriptures that a new priestly order is prescribed, and I can more likely make a stronger case for the "priesthood of all believers."

While some might accept the suggestion that some sort of priestly ministry could somehow function in an atoning manner, Engle goes on to suggest the slaughter of multitudes to appease a blood-thirsty God if we do not repent. And again, he uses the example of the War Between the States as proof.

Skirting the issue of cause of the war, as Dr. J. William Jones wisely did in his seminal work on revival in the Confederate camps (4) , and the fact that slavery was not peculiar to the USA (a point aptly made by the not-so-pro-south book, "The Hemingses of Monticello" by Annette Gordon-Reed) , Engle could be accused of crossing a theological line when he states "People must die (as an atonement) if innocent blood is shed." And he speaks of this not in the sense of Armageddon, which we all understand, but as a soon-coming pre-eschatological event (5).

As a response to an article by gay activist Matt Comer (6) , Dr. Michael Brown has suggested that militant Christain terminology is speaking of spiritual things, not of actual violent warfare (7) . In general, I ageee. But a plain and simple reading of Engle's widely circulated teaching "Shedding Innocent Blood" does NOT refer to spiritual things. Clearly the vision of youth in military uniforms that Engle refers to is not speaking of the "Salvation Army."

God’s justice may be slow in the way it is meted out. However, suddenly in one generation the sins are required for the sins of past generations. Lincoln cried out that God’s judgments would come to USA because of slavery. Lincoln understood the civil war was God’s judgment on USA.

The Civil War was the day for reckoning for America for the bloodshed of slavery – 600,000 men died in the God’s day of reckoning in America for slavery. If we do not deal with this blood in the courts of man, then it will be dealt with in the court of God.

What will it mean for God to deal with us for the shed blood of 50 million babies? Allen Hood had a dream of his sons in military fatigues. IHOP’s youth will not be at IHOP, but will be in military uniforms in foreign nations. We must stop abortion in America to stop this.

-Lou Engle

Engle uses an interesting literary device in stating "Lincoln understood the civil war was God’s judgment on USA." This implies that if you don't understand, then you are somehow deficient in discernment. Lincoln’s thesis, which Engle has adapted as his own, is not universally accepted as truth. Do we trust now that Engle is speaking for God, or do we hold his pronouncements to biblical scrutiny in the Berean manner?

When some speak of God’s bloody wrath and suggest, in classic Joel’s Army terminology, that we are God’s instruments of righteousness, it is any wonder that groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center (8) and the “Interstate Queers” are alarmed? Or at least are feigning alarm to further their cause?

The point that they may be missing with Engle is that he states: “If we do not find a ‘before the Lord intercessors’ our children will be hung ‘before the Lord’ in death.” Here he suggests that the blood atonement (if that has any theological basis today) will not be directed at the abortionists or homosexuals but rather at “our children.” Again he states with certainty that this has happened before, stating: “This is what happened in the Civil War retribution.”

It is worth noting that in the same teaching, given before the last presidential election, Engle states with the same certainty that “God will drive abortion like a wedge into the coming elections.” I’m not sure that history would affirm that; sadly abortion was not a pivotal issue in the presidential elections of 2008.

I join Engle in his concern for the global epidemics of abortion and homosexuality. And I admire his passion for prayer, fasting, and his willingness to step into the fray. Engle, repeatedly in his IHOP teaching on the Shedding of Innocent Blood states: “We need a clear doctrine on the issue of shedding innocent blood.” I agree. I just don’t think he has it.

1 Engle, Lou.”The Doctrine of the Shedding of Innocent Blood.” The Call Kansas City, December 3, 2007.

2 Engle, Lou. “A Call to Prayer and Fasting.” God Has a Better Way meeting, Concord, N.C. July 5, 2009.

3 Engle, Lou. "Sebelius, Tiller, The Senate on Trial." Blogsite, March 11, 2009.

4 Dr. J. William Jones “Christ in the Camp” 1887, The Martin and Hoyt. Co, 1904.

5 Engle in “The Doctrine of the Shedding of Innocent Blood” states: “There are times when God comes to deal with nations. He waits to judge some individuals but nations are not eternal so they are judge(d) now.”

6 Matt Comer, “On the edge: Religious militancy in the Queen City” internet article July 17, 2009

7 Dr. Michael L. Brown, Why Do You Sometimes Use “Violent” Language In Your Writing and Speaking? Internet article July 19, 2009 language-in-your-writing-and-speaking/

8 Casey Sanchez “Arming for Armageddon” SPLC “Intelligence Report” Fall 2008

This author was interviewed by Sanchez when he was researching this story. Sanchez did not get it right and the shoddy article has been embraced by the gay community.


  1. Yes, Lou Engle can't sit still...he is a restless person, and unless there's a medical reason for his agitation he turns me off by his lack of peace.
    The fact that he champions some good causes doesn't mean that he is himself freed up. If anything, his passion comes over as rather religious and, for that reason (religious rather than real) off-putting to many.
    So, seeing these things, we can pray for him as God leads.

  2. Eskimez,

    I'm curious, what is the longest you have ever fasted, even a partial fast such as a Daniel fast?

    I think Engle is "agitated" because of his continual fasting. Not sure if that is a good or bad thing.

  3. My opinion is that Engle's rocking back and forth is the result of a 'tick' picked up from a kundalini impartation.

  4. I've met him several times.
    His moving all the time speaks of his great passion for the cause.
    I have no idea how you can actually talk about him like that. Can we please stop to fight against each other? there are bigger things to fight for.
    be blessed
    Tony, (Italy)

  5. "I like the guy, even if he can't sit still for one minute."

    jrevolution - actaully the post was supposed to be positive. I did not mean for his restlessness to be the center of the conversation.

    I have noticed than these days everyone want't to focus in on mannerisms and no one wants to have a conversation about doctrine.

    Come, let us reason together.



  6. No there cannot be any further atonement; the Bible makes it clear that Jesus took care of the problem once and for all. BUT even today Jesus' blood doesn’t do us any good unless we believe in, accept it, and let this knowledge change our lives. For example, Jesus died for everyone but that doesnt mean that everyone’s sins are forgiven automatically. You have to have faith and believe in Jesus and follow Him and then the benefits of His the atonement He made for us apply to our lives. This is all that Lou was trying to say in the quote you posted. We are also called to confess our sins on an ongoing basis. This has nothing to do with needing another sacrifice just that we have to apply the one sacrifice that was made for us once and for all. If you asked Lou I am sure he would tell you this, I am not him but I have talked to him personally and have heard him speak many times so I feel that I have a pretty good understanding of what he believes.

  7. Jesse,

    How nice to hear from you.

    Like you, I would like to believe that Engle was talking about the APPLICATION of the blood, or the APPROPRIATION of the atonement, but plainly he is not.

    I've heard Engle speak on this subject.

    Obviously the War between the states was AFTER the crucifixtion of Jesus. Yet Engle uses this an and example of a "blood atonement" that was required because of sin (slavery).

    Quoting Engle:

    "Lincoln cried out that God’s judgments would come to USA because of slavery....600,000 men died in the God’s day of reckoning in America for slavery."

    There can be no mistake that Engle is suggesting that a future bloody judgement awaits the USA because of the sin of abortion. He calls this a "Blood Atonement."

    Here's what Engle says:

    -begin quotes-

    "Abortion is a civil rights issue – the unborn have no voice to protect their lives. Surely blood requires blood in God’s judgment. God so highly values humanity that He protects it with His severe judgment. A day of reckoning is set if man does not obey Him."

    "The most 'dangerous terrorist' is not Islam, but God. One of God’s names is 'the Avenger of Blood'.”

    "If we do not find 'before the Lord intercessors,' our children will be hung 'before the Lord' in

    "People must die if innocent blood is shed."

    -end quote-

    Again I would state that a Engle postulates a national blood-guilt that must be atoned for.

    And the atonement he suggests is not the one-for-all atonement of Christ, but a bloody massacre of retribution to appease an angry God.

    Yes, I believe a judgement will come some day. But this retribution, eschatologically speaking, is not the great final judgement, but something before the end-times (as was the 600,000 killed in the war).

    What Engle teaches however, would be well recieved in the Mormon church.

  8. I see what you mean I will have to think about all of that... Thanks for the response!

  9. Jesse,

    check out footnotes 1 and 2 in the main article.


  10. We have this treasure in clay pots that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us.

    Lou is a clay pot, a human knit together in his mother's womb by God,
    he has rocked since a kid :)
    God is a God that creates us with personality and he loves passion.
    It is good to be zealous for a good thing always Paul said.

    It wouldn't be real if he wasn't passionate and if he stopped rocking, i'm sure John the Baptist looked crazy, (btw Lou isn't John the Baptist :)) it is easy to judge in the flesh. I know clearly it is about applying the blood, and if we don't we will be in a civil war. ultimately repentance is a response of the blood's true application. We are all a priesthood of believers, and the blood needs to be applied.
    Lou is a happy, peaceful really humble man I've walked with him and his family for years. Both he and therese are some of the most goldenhearted saints I personally know. Blessings


  11. Roger Says:

    " I know clearly it is about applying the blood..."

    "We are all a priesthood of believers, and the blood needs to be applied. "

    Roger, if that is the case, he has done a poor job of explaining what he means. I cannot reconcile your uderstanding with his statements about the Civil War. He calls for a blood atonement and uses 600,000 slain and an example of this.

    If he meant "application" and not a further atoning work, then he did a really poor job of stating his case.

    See footnote (1)

    I'd welcome Engle's comments.

  12. Roger,

    Thanks again for your comments. I'm all about talking this stuff over. You said: "We are all a priesthood of believers, and the blood needs to be applied."

    Indeed, Engle, and others, talk a lot about this NT priesthood. Are you implying that we, as some sort of priesthood, can somehow apply blood on the behalf of others?

    Consider Hebrews 7

    Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.

    We may consider ourselves as "priests," (Rev 1:6) but we are NOT holy, blameless, pure, set apart form sinners, exalted abouve thge heavens." And therefore we cannot function in an atoning manner.

    The phrase "priesthood of believers" is NOT in the bible, although the concept is noted in Revelation 1:6 and 1 Peter 2:9. But that concept of priesthood is not one that offers sacrifice or makes atonement. In fact, Hebrews 7 makes it clear- that sort of priesthood is FINISHED: "He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself."

    When Martin Luther made a big stink about the "priesthood of believers" he was not talking about some sort of mystical interceeding NT priesthood- rather he was speaking against the elect few that thought they had that sort of power over us. There is only one who stands betweed us and God- the mediator Jesus Christ.

    My point- "priesthood of believers" does not mean what you think it means.


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