This is why I’ve found myself criticizing Ann so much over the last few years: “Why I’m considering quitting.” Read it if you must. Though it contains a lot of truth, there is so much wrong with this screed, I wouldn’t recommend reading it. The title says it all. She hasn’t quit yet, but she’s at the end of a very long process of quitting that began over two years ago. People warned her – lots of people – that in addition to listening to the Right Voice, she was also listening to some of the wrong voices. If she ever considered that advice, she hid it well. She did what she’s good at doing; she isolated herself and lashed out at the very friends who dared to caution and criticize her, apparently preferring instead those who only praised her. Ironically, that is the opposite of what she sought to teach others.
But that’s probably a too-simple assessment. She’s a complex woman and I don’t know her well enough to judge. But here’s what we DO know. All of us will be judged by our fruits, and the fruit of this particular painful essay by Miss Barnhardt is despair. That is proof of something I will not even dare to mention. But I’ll pray, as I have been doing for two years, for her to open her eyes to the hope that certain twisted spirits have succeeded in preventing her from seeing. That is, the fullness of hope that our Good God promises, that exists not merely for the next life, but runs, gushing, like a raging torrent, into this one.
Updated from the comments … (from response to Wraith):
I don’t dispute her facts about where things are in this formerly-great nation. However, I DO think that Ann’s perception of those facts has been exceedingly narrow for some time, and worse than that, she’s allowed her narrow view to cause her to willingly exclude many facts that might change her perception of what’s possible. I believe her faith has been damaged by it. She still has a strong faith, but it’s the faith of a martyr already mortally wounded. And it’s not just her faith in the people around her that has been compromised. Her faith in God, Himself, has become woefully diminished if she really thinks He is not working right now to deliver us and doing so by raising up genuine saints and heroes all around us. She is blind to their existence because she has made herself blind to them. Why? I have no idea. But she is stuck in a rut of lamenting day after day about how God has given her such shit to work with when she is sitting at the wheel of a solid gold Ferrari built by angels. But she can’t see it. She has not taken the time to wipe the dirt from her glasses.
Let me tell you something I know for a fact. We are living in a time of extraordinary events like nothing that’s happened before. The seemingly endless repetitions of history will not last much longer. It’s been foretold, Jack, and we’re there. Things are going to happen within the next few years that you will be glad you were around to see. There will be plenty of suffering and humiliation to go around, for sure. We’re not quite done with that. But God doesn’t do anything without showing off a little. Sometimes a lot. And He always does it with the help and cooperation of those who love Him. Let me tell you, there are lots of those people still left. Millions of them. Hundreds of millions of them. Some of them are positioned, even now, to make a big difference in coming months. But such is the nature of God’s work that it gets revealed suddenly and often without warning. Ann’s job, and her great opportunity, if she would only choose to accept it, is to clue people in on some of the encouraging things happening in the shadows so that they might know what to expect when the time comes for a little real glory. Back in 2010, she performed that task beautifully; so well, in fact, that many are still drawing inspiration from the memory. But since then, she has decided to pass on that commission. Don’t keep going down that road, Ann. Embrace the mission, once again. Please.