December, 2014

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Who is responsible for the untimely death of Myles Munroe?

Dr.-Myles-MunroeIn my previous writing, I talked about how the premature death of Dr. Munroe sent shock waves through the charismatic world. I argued that we should never be shaken and stunned because of this misfortunate happening, and question our faith and the trust we have on The King. In this article, I’d like to briefly talk about a couple of important issues. Following this article, I’m going to write two articles that depict the lessons we should learn from his life and legacy: a) The significance of dying empty, and b) Preparing successors while we’re alive

Whose fault was that?
In my previous article (http://assegid.org/?p=505), I talked about how God is in control. Nothing that happens in this world surprises God- He foresees things. The question is why God allowed such a thing to happen against His committed servant? Is God evil? Does He enjoy violence? Not at all! Only God has explanation for letting this tragedy to occur.

I’m aware that we may not come in agreement about the different speculations that have been surfaced since the death of Myles. However, we all who adore and worship the King of Kings, the Alpha and the Omega, the Sovereign King who is always RIGHT, may agree on, at least, one thing. That is, whatever led God to ‘let’ that accident happen, He had very strong and justifiable reasons.

Are we, who loved and respected Myles, happy that God reached that decision and watched that accident happen? If you’re like me, you may not be happy at all. The follow up question is, should we question the sovereignty of God and blame Him for this tragic accident? I’d say NO!

If we truly understand true worship and love, we should submit to the King and say: Let Your will be done all the time and regardless of whether we agree with Your decision or not. Jesus just did that when His request to His Father to take away a bitter and humiliating death was denied (Matthew 26: 39).

God is the King and has the prerogative authority to decide what must happen in His own real estate. He has the right to allow whatever He believes right transpire for or against creations He brought forth in this universe. The latter has been designed, molded, and sustained by His unlimited and infinite provision. He has the entitlement!

That being said, one thing we are sure, from God’s inherent nature: He is faithful to those who served Him and He wouldn’t have harshly punished one of His servants. But I would like to challenge you. God authorized humanity here on earth. What happens in our life is directly dependent on our faith and whether we follow His instructions and will or not. If we fail to pursue His will or believe that bad thing is going to happen against our life, ‘there is nothing He can do’.

In this regard, Myles authorized his passing by frequently saying that he is ready to die and there is nothing left for him to do. He even encouraged, a few weeks prior to the accident, his audience to prepare like him- ready to die.

However, I don’t think that Myles was ready to die that particular day nor God was eager to take him away while Myles was still in his prime life, healthy, energetic, and wiser. At least, he had hoped to facilitate the Global Leadership Forum. Not only that, I am hundred percent sure that he didn’t want to die that way. The question then is whose fault was that?

The simple answer is that nothing bad happens against us without our involvement. Either we fail to follow instructions, violate His commandments, or we are stupid enough to rely on our understandings. Even worst, we may recklessly use our faith and ‘tempt’ God. God never be the source of bad things. He is perfect, loving, caring, and forgiving as far as we align with His will and rely on His counsel. At the same time, God never allows any one to manipulate and twist His Hands.

Then, whose fault was that? According to the preliminary report from the task force that was established to investigate the accident suggested that the bad weather was responsible.

But we know that if we pray and believe, God can protect us from anything including bad weather. I’m fine with the report but weather or, for that matter, any powerful thing in this world bows down to its Creator. The question is whether the crew prayed, actively listened, and sought His direction or not? What I’m saying is that we cannot put blame on weather. Then, who is responsible, you may ask? Let me be bold and put blame on someone 🙂

Why the pilot ignored the warning of the control tower?
Whoever ignored the warnings from the Control Tower is responsible for this accident, not God or the powerless devil or the weather. I don’t still understand why the pilot attempted to land the second time even if he was told by the Control Tower that it was dangerous?

Another commercial plane that attempted to land during that the same hour returned to the main island following the advice of the Control Tower. Why then Dr. Munroe’s pilot ignored the abort command and proceeded to land the second round?

I’m openly discussing this issue and asking these questions, while mourning the passing of my mentor who empowered me, isn’t to be judgmental. Who knows, I’d have done the same thing if I found myself in this situation. I’m asking because we who are alive should draw some lessons from this accident. Hope, you too are ready to take one or two lessons…

The most important lesson is we don’t necessarily need to hear the audible voice of God all the time to make a right call when we are faced with sticky decisions. He uses people, situations, and circumstances. Our responsibility is to pay closer attention to the instruction of our Guide- the Spirit of God. If you ask me, God already spoke through the Control Tower, and the pilot shouldn’t have attempted to land.

The consequence of failing to walk the fine line carefully
Yes, we have all kinds of inherit power bestowed on us. He created us in His own image, and delegated us to rule the universe on behalf of Him (Genesis 1: 26). You just quickly read the last phrase- “…on behalf of Him”.

Did you get it? Some people forget this reality and find themselves in a precarious and ‘unrighteous’ position. The latter leads to pride, and then it is needless to say that we act as if we are God. We contradict with the author of our authority, and then fail to hear Him and align ourselves and our acts according to His counsel and will. I pray that we may not find ourselves in this unsafe and unprotected position.

Starting from Lucifer who first tried to take the sovereign’s place, no one has been spared when they crossed this fine line. Even if God may ignore such a transgression, the Angels won’t let that to happen. They were brutal against their own kind- the devil- when he crossed the fine line and attempted to become God. May God help us never cross this deadly line. That is why humility is a great virtue in the Kingdom of God!

Unfortunately, many charismatic believers don’t get this. In the name of faith, they attempt to pressure and force the King to perform miracles in situations that don’t warrant urgency? There were times God changed the principles He put in place. But, He was discrete. Once Joshua asked God to delay the sunset and He did it because that was very important in the timeline of God’s agenda for that particular generation (Joshua 10: 13). Unfortunately, many of us, rather than seeking His will, follow His lead, and if necessary submit our will, we go ahead by ourselves to do and pursue things we desire and act as if we are God and make faulty decisions and pay the consequences of our negligence.

What is tricky is that the devil knows from experience the consequences of pride that he deceives God’s people, especially those who are gifted, popular, and successful. Lucifer was successful, gifted, and at the top. This extraordinary and privileged position tempted him to rebel.

Likewise, some successful people may forget, even if it is for a moment, that they are human created by the sovereign King. They bask upon their success and fail to respect the sovereignty of the Lord. Rather than listen and follow His instructions very strictly, they follow their own instinct or the advice of others. Think about the prophet who was eaten by a lion. He knew the strict instruction from the Lord: “I have been told by the word of the Lord: ‘You must not eat bread or drink water there or return by the way you came’” (1 King 13: 17). Unfortunately, he ate and drank, violated and defiled the instructions of the King, and he paid the consequence- He was eaten by a lion (1 King 13: 24).

But you and me should be careful not to miss His instructions and command. In every situation we should be alert. And if in case, by mistake, we find ourselves acting like God, we should immediately confess and redirect the credit to the one who deserves it. Think about what Paul did when people worshipped him because he wasn’t dead after being attacked by a poisonous snake (Acts 28: 3). He humbled himself and told the people that he is just a man like everybody else. He knew what would have happened if he failed to immediately redirect the worship to the King, who only deserves adoration.

On the other hand, go back in history and read about what happened when people in high places crossed the fine line. Think about King Nebuchadnezzar. He was warned in his dream, which was interpreted for him by Daniel (Daniel 4). He failed to turn from his pride. Rather made a statement that fulfilled what he saw in his dream: “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?” (Daniel 4: 30) Since he crossed the fine line, he was turned into an animal and ate grass like an ox for seven years, and until he acknowledged the fact that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth. What about king Saul. He undermined the instructions of the Lord, and his kingdom was taken away from him and his descendants (1 Samuel 15: 28).

Let’s learn from our ultimate teacher, who had all the right to be worshipped but willingly forsaken His right and gave credit to His Father for every credit humanity gave Him while He was on earth. Jesus said, “Why do you call me good? No one is good–except God alone” (Mark 10: 18). Another example, the devil once thought he could deceive Jesus. The trick didn’t work. Jesus rebuked the devil when he tempted Him to exercise His right to be rescued by Angels if He falls from the top of a building. He responded, “It is written again: ‘Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.’” (Matthew 4: 7) Not only that Jesus refused to fall into temptation when the religious elites requested Him to show them signs so that they may believe in Him. Jesus, as humble He was, didn’t care whether they believe in Him or not. He didn’t want to tempt the Father, and recklessly use His right. He responded, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah” (Matthew 12: 39).

Did Dr. Munroe ignore God’s instruction?
We already know that the first landing was aborted. The Control Tower cancelled the second attempt but the pilot approached to land. Was that the sole decision of the Pilot? I am assuming that was the case. You may wonder why I reached that conclusion. Many reported that Myles was on the phone talking to local leaders at Free Port by the time the accident occurred. By the way, I wasn’t happy to learn this fact. While the lives of nine people at stake and experiencing a threatening weather and while the Control Tower is warning not to land, why Myles was on the phone? Shouldn’t he be praying, and seeking God’s direction?

On the other hand, I kept wondering whether this is the fault of my own mentor. Knowing his humility and obedience, it is hard to reach this conclusion though. I respect and love Dr. Munroe but I kept asking myself did Myles fail to listen to God’s instruction about how to proceed in that dangerous situation?

It is understandable that Myles was preoccupied with the upcoming high profile leadership forum. His attention was coordinating the event with the local organizers. He might have undermined the direness of the situation. But as Christians, we have to pray without seizing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Let alone in such grave circumstance, in our daily life, we should listen His instructions 24/7. Why then, Myles on the phone and talking rather than praying and asking direction from the King? Am clueless…

This is just a speculation but if Myles failed to pray and listen the Spirit of God, it was wrong. We cannot afford to disconnect from the Father for a second, especially in that kind of dangerous situation. Of course, I’m not trying to correct my mentor. The fact of the matter is that Jesus strictly followed the Father’s instructions. No one is bigger than Jesus. He is our prototype and if He prayed and constantly followed the instructions of the Father, why not Myles?

Do you remember how Jesus delayed his visit to raise Lazarus? The Bible says, “So when he [Jesus] heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days” (Luke 11: 6). A serious sickness leads to death and what a better way to heal Lazarus while alive? But, Jesus didn’t react to events; He reacted to His Father’s instructions. The plane of Dr. Munroe could return back to the main island that day, and come back the next day early morning. It is a 30-minute ride, and they still could be able to open the next day forum on time.

Did Dr. Munroe use his faith reckless?
A close friend of Dr. Munroe’s since Oral Robert University, who also served alongside with him, posted a YouTube video. In this video, he recounted their youth-hood friendship and how he views this tragic accident. The video footage was touchy. One comment, however, surprised me. He said that Myles has this reckless faith (he gave some examples), and may be he was the one who forced the pilot to proceed regardless of the Control Tower’s warning to abort. It’s very hard for me to believe this but the Bishop knows Myles better than I do and that may be the case.

And if that was the case, that wasn’t right. And that is why I mentioned in my previous article that some charismatic preachers become overzealous and teach their followers to claim and get what they want without seeking the will of God and abiding to His counsel. We cannot force God in the name of faith or prayer to get want we want. We have to abide to His will. Our prayers and requests must be aligned with His will (1 John 5: 14).

Any ways, the incidence could be as simple as a pilot error or maybe Myles recklessly used his faith and ordered the pilot to land. Any ways, enough of speculations, we have to wait for the final report of the investigation to know what exactly happened on that fateful day.

Let me stop here, and give you a break. I will finish the remaining part of this article very soon. In this up coming blog, which I’ll soon post on our Ministry’s website, questions like what was the role of God in this accident, what lessons should we learn from this tragic accident, did Dr. Munore was finished by the time of his death, should we grieve his passing, and more will get coverage. Until next time, meditate on what we discussed here today. This is key, especially if you’re a leader. If you’ve not fully comprehended the magnitude of pride, this is the right time to reevaluate your position. And if you’ve not learned how to align with the will of God yet, this is time to make a U-Turn.

Happy New Year!!