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I Am Ashamed


What must the body of Christ in other parts of the world be thinking, while watching and reading about the actions taking place here in America right now by the Church…a better question is what does our Lord think?

Yes I’m ashamed…

Please read these quotes. Not all of them pertain to the photo above–in fact only 2 of them were found posted under this story (there were mega-pages): the rest were a random sampling taken from 100’s of comments under another news story (below) yesterday concerning letters sent out out by at least 2 of our rightwing’ Christian political leaders.

Quote..

-They profess to be Christians but they are not true Christians. These people don’t have the capacity to love. They hide behind a false Christianity.

-I can tell you that if Jesus does come back the first ones he throws in the pit will be these losers

-When I observe the stupidity of these people I thank god I’m still an atheist.

-What Would Jesus Do? Do you think He’d lie, smear, scare, just for a political agenda? I think not.

-Is THIS the new evangelical movement! Gee, why are so many people leaving Christianity?? Why is it so hard to recruit new young Americans to Christianity anymore? Maybe it’s the hate and hypocrisy?

-These aren’t Christians. These are religious extremists

-These are the people who push folks away from the church. I wonder if they think that is what Jesus would do.

-The Christian Right continues to act in unChristian ways.

-If Jesus came down today and saw the American churches today, I think He’d want to do the same thing to these people as he did to the moneychangers and turn over their voter guides and mailings and and yell — “My House shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of corruption and politicians!”

-Today, I got an email from an old roommate that said “October surprise–for real” bringing up Phillip Berg and the birth certificate thing. What was remarkable is that throughout the email, it even said that there was a chance that these things weren’t true, but if enough people could read this “well-done 10 minute video” that maybe enough doubt could be cast to swing the election. That video had 2.8 million views already–and supposedly it was just released within the last week. I just had it–Slander is a sin. Lying is a sin. But evidently these evidently are sins they can justify. Some–not all–of today’s evangelical political activists are certainly looking more like money-changers than Jesus.

-It’s astonishing that people who describe themselves as “Christians” can be so filled with hate. They quite clearly, have not really understood the word of Christ. It’s tragic how driven by fear these people are. To preach fear in the name of Christ is a crime against everything the Bible ought to represent. It is in the worst traditions of the Church.

-Gotta love where Christianity ended up…

-And once again I find my early turn to atheism confirmed as the correct choice

-They are a very scary bunch. When I go to church I don’t want to hear about politics and when I look to my political leaders I don’t want to hear about religion.

-The irony is it’s hard to tell fundie Christians apart from radical Muslims

-These so called “Christians” are what the bible refers to as “vipers” “snakes”, “sheep in wolf clothing.” I am still trying to understand who is the Christ they believe in. I am certain it is not the biblical Christ who told us to love others.

-Where is the outrage from the true Christian community? From everything I’ve ever read or been taught about Christianity, you love people. I am not a religious man myself, however, I am a man with morals and I find it extremely offensive when I see the great hypocrisy of these far-rightwing “Christians”. It is their book and their 10 commandments and if they hope to persuade others to follow the teachings of these, they had best lead by example. Actions speak louder than words. As your bumper stickers advise me and the rest of the world, “ASK YOURSELVES, WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?” – For the record , I am a 51 year old white American male.

This is what the lost think about us…about the Church. THANK GOD most of them don’t blame Jesus.

From MSNBC: Christian right intensifies attacks on Obama

Quote..

Terrorist strikes on four American cities. Russia rolling into Eastern Europe. Israel hit by a nuclear bomb. Gay marriage in every state. The end of the Boy Scouts.

All are plausible scenarios if Democrat Barack Obama is elected president, according to a new addition to the campaign conversation called “Letter from 2012 in Obama’s America,” produced by the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family Action.

The imagined look into the future is part of an escalation in rhetoric from Christian right activists who are trying to paint Obama in the worst possible terms as the campaign heads into the final stretch and polls show the Democrat ahead.

Like other political advocacy groups, Christian right groups often raise worries about an election’s consequences to mobilize voters. In the early 1980s, for example, direct mail from the Moral Majority warned that Congress would turn a blind eye to “smut peddlers” dangling pornography to children.

“Everyone uses fear in the last part of a campaign, but evangelicals are especially theologically prone to those sorts of arguments,” said Clyde Wilcox, a Georgetown University political scientist.

But the tone this election year is sharper than usual and the volume has turned up as Nov. 4 nears.

Steve Strang, publisher of Charisma magazine, a Pentecostal publication, titled one of his recent weekly e-mails to readers, “Life As We Know It Will End If Obama is Elected.”

Separately, a group called the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission has posted a series of videos on its site and on YouTube called “7 Reasons Barack Obama is not a Christian.”

The commission accuses Obama of “subtle diabolical deceit”..

But among the strongest pieces this year is Focus on the Family Action’s letter which has been posted on the group’s Web site and making the e-mail rounds.

Among the claims:

  • A 6-3 liberal majority Supreme Court that results in rulings like one making gay marriage the law of the land and another forcing the Boy Scouts to “hire homosexual scoutmasters and allow them to sleep in tents with young boys.” (In the imagined scenario, The Boy Scouts choose to disband rather than obey).
  • A series of domestic and international disasters based on Obama’s “reluctance to send troops overseas.” That includes terrorist attacks on U.S. soil that kill hundreds, Russia occupying the Baltic states and Eastern European countries including Poland and the Czech Republic, and al-Qaida overwhelming Iraq.
  • Nationalized health care with long lines for surgery and no access to hospitals for people over 80.

The goal was to “articulate the big picture,” said Carrie Gordon Earll, senior director of public policy for Focus on the Family Action. “If it is a doomsday picture, then it’s a realistic picture,” she said. (full article at link)

This is nothing but fear mongering folks. Sowing seeds of fear instead of encouraging faith in God…

I read Peter Wagner’s fellow NAR member, Stephen Strang’s Report two weeks ago and thought about posting about it-but decided not too–it was so inflammatory and was written to generate fear. Plus it was filled with speculations, half truths and out-right lies. Thank the Lord a fair portion of the 300 or so Christians who left comments under it, agreed:

I never thought I’d be ashamed of something that came out of Charisma Magazine founder Steve Strang . . . but I am now. I am a faithful bible-believing follower of Jesus Christ. The fear-mongering and borderline racism, the over-the-top alarmist rhetoric of this article is absolutely reprehensible.

Again, I am ashamed…

The lost look on, as well as do our brothers and sisters in Christ, around the world, and we allow these apostates to represent us. I wanted to leave a comment in protest under one of the news articles yesterday in which some of the sad comments above were left–but you know what folks, I didn’t know what to say. I had no defense to make: for myself personally perhaps, but not for this group of Christian right-wing political leaders. It seemed useless to say, “Hey, we’re not all like this!”…when it seems so many are following after and believing these radicals.

They are smearing our testimony, the Gospel, and the name of Christ…all for personal agenda.

Quote from..

Premonition – A Divulge of ‘Fascist Christianity’ – The Rise of Neo-Crusaders

Some folks have asked if I have had any dreams, visions, or words of prophecy concerning the USA and her future lately. I will tell you plainly that I have not had any, however, I have had very strong premonition as to the disastrous direction in which ‘Political Evangelical Christianity’ is headed in the USA.

That direction is none other than ‘Fascist Christianity’ in which some ‘Christians’ use unbiblical Christianity as means to decimate all who are seen as enemies… and thus enemies of the USA.

… it is serious and unless Evangelical Christians in America realize and discern the insanity being preached on her pulpits in the name of “Take America Back”, “One Nation Under God”, “Christian President” and many other ‘Political Christianity’ narratives and clichés, Evangelical America is headed towards days of gloom and darkness with lots of blood that might be placed at her feet.

They say History keeps repeating and those who do not learn from it will keep repeating the same mistakes. It is not the first time that Christianity has been hijacked and used by individuals for political and militaristic purposes.

Those who would take what I am saying as being insignificant should ask themselves why Christians participated in the Crusade wars in the Dark ages and went on a killing spree across Europe all the way to the Middle East to eradicate Islamic expansion and “Take Back Jerusalem” from the ‘infidels. Is it not interesting that today we have Christians who are driven with similar zeal..

Interestingly when the Crusaders arrived in Jerusalem, they turned against the Jews whom they claimed they had come to rescue from Moslem Expansionists. The Crusaders slaughtered the Jews claiming that they were responsible for the death of Jesus Christ. The threat then was Muslim expansion and the threat is the same today according to the eyes of America’s Political Evangelical Christianity…

One would wonder why Christians participated in the burning of witches and the Great Inquisition in the dark ages… What led to Christians turning against other Christians who did not agree with them? How in the world could a Christian who is supposed to preach the Love of Jesus Christ turn to acts of Hate and Murder?

In the 20th century, Christians would again join Germany’s Adolph Hitler in his quest to exterminate the Jews. One wonders why the Church during Hitler’s reign did not speak out against the oppression of the weak, poor, and the Jews. What happened was that the Church aligned itself with the politicians and the result was fascism that the world had never seen before.

Fast forward to the latest example in 1994 when one million Tutsis and moderate Hutus were slaughtered and killed by their fellow citizens in Rwanda. I happened to travel to Rwanda weeks that followed after the genocide ended. We went with a church team to help minister to the Christians that had survived the genocide.  It was shocking to find many Rwandese Evangelical Pastors were involved in the genocide.

What happened was that Tutsi and Hutu moderates would run for refuge in a Christian Church only for the Pastor to call upon a group of young men with machetes who then slaughtered the refugees right inside the Church. It happened across from the Catholic Church, Protestant Church to the Evangelical Church, Preachers, Pastors, Priests and lay Christians participating in hate and then murder.

What would cause a Christian to act in such a way?

Could it ever happen in America? My prayer is that it will not, perhaps Christians would learn from mistakes of the past and not repeat them.

It is important to keep in mind that there are many Evangelical Christians in the USA who are denouncing Political Christianity and all the bigotry and hate being spewed out of American Evangelical pulpits. Evangelical Christianity has been ‘hijacked’ by some groups that are bent on turning it into a Political and even militant group; and these individuals have found their way into pulpits and bible seminaries and it is to such groups and political activists that the American Christian must discern and keep away from.

‘Fascist Christianity’…I thought Christianity was about the Gospel of Jesus Christ…? It sounds like an oxymoron to say ‘Fascist Christianity’ and it is for sure one, but that is the direction in which Political Evangelical Christianity is headed.

They say tough times reveal character and this election season in America has revealed the heart of Political Evangelical Christianity as being vile, intolerant, hateful, and murderous at heart and void of the True Biblical Love and Truth of Jesus Christ.

Political Evangelical Christians consider themselves to be “Pro America” and “Real American”, while all the ‘Liberals’ are considered “None Americans”, “None Patriotic” and enemies…

The terrifying and cold undercurrent of all this Political Evangelical Madness is HATE and that is what I am warning every Evangelical Christian about. It is HATE grounded in fear that Moslems, Liberals and Arabs will overrun the USA. It is this HATE that will fuel ‘Fascist Christianity’ resulting in what exterminating those who are of different opinions.

Some may say this is impossible but how did a well developed and civilized society like Germany end up with Hitler and Christians backing him in his genocide plans? Just like Islam was seen as a threat to Christians in Europe so is Islam seen as a threat to Political Evangelical Christians in America. The result was hate, fascism, and finally murder. The end of the road of fascism is always genocide…

My prayer is that US Evangelicals will not get to such levels…that they will know that their enemy is not the Moslem or Arab and or Liberal but Satan, and that they should wage a war of good acts of kindness, love and truth of Jesus Christ and do what Jesus Christ would do…that they will hold on to Justice and fight for the weak, poor, orphans, and the neglected of this world…that they will not revenge but remember that vengeance belongs only to God.

American Evangelicals are being slowly but surely being conditioned with hate and prepared for fascism..

****

I personally denounce these groups of fear mongering faithless political dominionist nuts! I want no part of them and their agendas. And I do not consider them brethren…not until they repent.

“I trust in You, O Lord….  My times are in Your hand.” Psalm 31:14-15

“Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith.” Hebrews 10:21-22

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

“And let  the peace of God rule in your hearts…” Colossians 3:15

“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: 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.” Hebrews 12:14-15

“…walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:1-3

“[Jesus] saw the city and wept over it, saying, ‘If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.'” Luke 19:41-44

“Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” John 20:21

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95 comments on “I Am Ashamed

  1. Powerful… I am not a Christian, but I appreciate the thought and respect these thoughts…

  2. Wow. This article really sent thoughts swirling in my head. I wonder what kind of speculating I’ll be doing in my sleep tonight…

    Thanks for the scripture at the end. I know when I read things like this…I need a little pick me up…a little reminder at the end to make my thoughts obedient unto Christ and to regain focus.

  3. In “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”, Luther sings:

    “One little word shall fell him.”

    There are three little words, that bring those to fall, who think that their battle for this or that candidate will decide the election (in the US or elsewhere):

    John 18,36: “Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, my servants had fought that I might not be delivered up to the Jews; but now my kingdom is not from hence.”

    Daniel 2,21: ” And it is he that changeth times and seasons; He deposeth kings, and setteth up kings; He giveth wisdom to the wise, And knowledge to them that know understanding.”

    Luke 22,25-26: “And he said to them, The kings of the nations rule over them, and they that exercise authority over them are called benefactors. But *ye* [shall] not [be] thus; but let the greater among you be as the younger, and the leader as he that serves.”

    As a german, it’s not my part to comment on american christians, but because we have the same sort of people over here, I – having them in sight – would like to say: ” And I do not consider them brethren…not until they repent. ” Indeed, indeed and I’m ashamed of them too. There is, in my understanding, nothing that hinders the spreading of gospel in our country moore than this so called “christianity”.

  4. Evangelical Christianity is a misnomer. Only 98% of evangelical Christians actually evangelize. Evangelical Christianity is a cultural movement, not a religious one. Wait, except that rates of divorce and abortion are as high in evangelical Christianity as in the general population, if not higher. So evangelical Christianity is … what then?

  5. Very very sad, and very disturbing . . .

    I was reviewing my own posts this morning and doing some editing. I was thinking that perhaps I was being a little too hard or maybe too repetitive in my writings concerning issues similar to those discussed above. After reading this post I see that we must continue to speak the truth. It’s the most loving thing anyone can do. Things really are as bad as I thought they were!

    Thanks for posting this PJ.

    Blessings,
    Cathy

  6. Thank you PJ for this.

    This is the normal way of thinking for so many Christians sitting in pulpits in America, and it’s so scary. I am really having a hard time wrapping my brain around all of it. At least in my experience, many Preachers have taught people in the pews this authority idea, they believe anything and everything coming out of these pulpits because the “Man of God” said it.

    How did things get to this point? Is it just a little bit of leaven? I for one want no part of this, and yes it’s shameful. I feel like you, I really do not know what to say

  7. It is clear that this is a deliberate campaign to mold the masses opinions.
    Now, we only have to wait for the next campaign: the first bomb planted by these ‘ fundamental groups ‘.

    Maybe, the acts of these real groups are difficult to excuse. But do not forget, that this is the BATE, the powers lay in front of them.

  8. You’ve articulated all I’ve always been thinking about this bunch. An excellent post indeed.

  9. The spirit of fear and the Holy Spirit don’t reside together in a christian. I believe the spirit of fear leads people to do the very things that they fear will be done to them. Love and hate don’t reside together in a Christian either, if someone is full of hate and says they are a chrsitian then they are deceived and do not have the love of Christ in them.

    You know it’s true when Christians act like a bunch of hate mongers why would anyone want what they have? I am concerned all the time that I am going to do or say something that is going to make someone view Jesus through my bad actions, I don’t want to fail him or cause someone else to fall becasue of something I have done or said.

    I am not judgeing anyone for putting Christian bumper stickers on their cars but the reason I don’t is because if I drive like an idiot people see that fish and say there goes another one of those hypocrites. If you have one of those fish on your car please be a courteous driver and don’t drive like an idiot, the world is watching.

    We as Christians need to watch what we are doing and saying because God sees and hears it all, and he is not the only one watching. My unsaved friends watch me more closely now than ever before and I have to make sure they see Jesus in my actions.

    Everyone wants to be loved, we write books about it, make movies about it and look for it in all the wrong places. We have a lost and dying world that is looking for love, they aren’t looking for hate and fear they already have it in the world. The biggest mistakes I made in my life were because I was looking for love, I desired to be loved more than anything else in the world and I continued to look for it until Jesus found me and in him I found what I had been looking for all along. If we display that love people will want to know where we get it and they will want what we have. God is love, we love because he first loved us, we are commanded to love, love is a fruit of the spirit and the greatest of them. We even have to love those that are hard to love, we can’t do it in our own strength though we need Jesus to do it.

  10. […] ASHAMED Jump to Comments Please take a few moments to read the post and comments at the link below.  Every Christian, especially here in America, should give thoughtful consideration to the very serious topic under discussion.   I AM ASHAMED […]

  11. I would put forth a Biblical antidote for you to consider in light of this article:

    Paul wrote:

    Php 4:9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me–practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

    Ask yourself if when people learn, receive, hear and see Christ in you the God of Peace is with them?

    John wrote a most famously quoted verse. I want to quote it and then give some insight into it from some other verses similar to it and ask you if you see and understand the problem based on this antidote?

    John wrote:

    Joh 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
    Joh 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

    The question is how do we live in this anti-God/Christ/Holy Ghost world ruled by the devils, Satan at the helm and not condemn the world but that the world might be saved through the Church/Christ in you, the Hope of Glory?

    The answer I proffer is not difficult to understand as you will see, but is very difficult for some to do.

    John wrote:

    1Jn 3:14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.
    1Jn 3:15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
    1Jn 3:16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.
    1Jn 3:17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?
    1Jn 3:18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

    Now for a little Greek Word study for context.

    In 1 John 3:14 the Greek Word for “life” is:

    ζωή
    zōē
    dzo-ay’
    From G2198; life (literally or figuratively): – life (-time). Compare G5590.

    This same Greek word is used in verse 15.

    Now, in verse 16, 1 John 3:16, another Greek Word is used. It is this one:

    ψυχή
    psuchē
    psoo-khay’
    From G5594; breath, that is, (by implication) spirit, abstractly or concretely (the animal sentient principle only; thus distinguished on the one hand from G4151, which is the rational and immortal soul; and on the other from G2222, which is mere vitality, even of plants: these terms thus exactly correspond respectively to the Hebrew [H5315], [H7307] and [H2416]: – heart (+ -ily), life, mind, soul, + us, + you.

    This word is used for the English words, “life” and “lives”.

    In verse 17 there is another Greek Word that Translators use and translate into the English word “life”. In this verse and in this ESV translation the English word is “goods”.

    The Greek word is:

    βίος
    bios
    bee’-os
    A primary word; life, that is, (literally) the present state of existence; by implication the means of livelihood: – good, life, living.

    What then is the significance of these Greek Words used in context with John 3:16?

    Well, this is the “way” God “so loved the world” through Christ and we ought to love the world in the exact same way!

    Jesus is One of Three “Eternal” True Beings, Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

    Now let’s look at some other verses to help bring clarity to the understanding we True Believers should have when we “love” this world.

    When Jesus was observing the wealthy put money into the Treasury according to the Law of Moses, He said they put in from their surplus. They did not put in anything of value according to Christ. However, when a lone poor woman came and put two mites into the Treasury, He noted that she had put in all her “life”/bios and that was of great value to Him and to God Our Heavenly Father and the Holy Ghost.

    Mar 12:44 For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

    So, when we lay down our life/psuche for the world, sometimes we are to give of our life/bios that there will be a demonstration of God’s Love to the world.

    More to come later. I have to go to Church.

  12. Well, I’m back from assembling together with other Saints within the community of True Believers I am apart of and what a service! The Pastor preached the Word and the power of God was present freeing up my mind, will and emotions, “my soul”, so that I am reminded that I am alive in Christ today! I need to be reminded of that daily. I die daily now! I am crucified with Christ, as in I have no story of my own to live anymore or tell about. I live for, and exalt through my dying daily, the Life of Christ!

    Now, back to where I left off this morning.

    When you look at the sign board that one is carrying, presumably expressing he is against Barack Obama, a purported Muslim and pro-abortion, you have to wonder what story he is putting out there, his or God’s?

    Also the words on the sign board implies this guy is “Christ/like”, or, an Ohio Christian?

    Well, how does that protestor with that sign, a civil right under the Constitutional form of Government the United States is ruled by, accomplish the antidote as I laid it out above?

    Well it doesn’t, do it? The guy doesn’t seem very violent. He is standing there with a sign that reads what we read it reads. Is the sign’s words condemning?

    Well it seems to me they do, or doesn’t it?

    If, when Jesus came into the world to be an example of God’s Love, loving the world, “so loved the world the Way God wants the world loved”, God’s “way”, you should easily understand that the way this guy is “loving” the world isn’t the way God so loved the world.

    Well, just how did God “so love the world”? Well 1 John 3:16 makes it clear His Way.

    The love of God is demonstrated by one’s “soul” life according to 1 John 3:16.

    The easiest way to explain it is to point to another very famous part of Scripture:

    Mat 26:36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.”
    Mat 26:37 And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled.
    Mat 26:38 Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.”
    Mat 26:39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”

    Now do you see the word “soul” in verse 38?

    That is the same word, the same Greek Word John uses in 1 John 3:16:

    ψυχή
    psuchē
    psoo-khay’
    From G5594; breath, that is, (by implication) spirit, abstractly or concretely (the animal sentient principle only; thus distinguished on the one hand from G4151, which is the rational and immortal soul; and on the other from G2222, which is mere vitality, even of plants: these terms thus exactly correspond respectively to the Hebrew [H5315], [H7307] and [H2416]: – heart (+ -ily), life, mind, soul, + us, + you.

    Jesus laid down His “soul” so that our spirit, soul and body might be redeemed from the god of this world, living his way.

    Does loving the people of this world mean we have to love the god of this world?

    No.

    Are we to accept the teachings of this world, the doctrines of demons?

    No.

    My “soul” also is troubled in this world as it should be.

    Why is my soul troubled in this world now? I know I wasn’t troubled before God touched me and joined me to Christ! No, I wasn’t trouble by this world until Christ was formed in me.

    In fact, the sorrow and trouble Christ faced was collectively caused by me and you and by all He was sent into this world to die for, the Elect, the Chosen, His Bride, the Wife of the Lamb!

    Having a troubled soul in this life/bios does not give me the right to offend anyone, the Jew, the Gentile or the Church.

    1Co 10:32 Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God,
    1Co 10:33 just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.

    Now, one final point. I wrote about our “civil rights” in this world. I have been to over 30 nations. The nation, the United States of America, is the only one where we have the kind of freedoms in the area of civil rights. No other country is like the USA when it comes to “civil rights”.

    Why do I note that?

    Well, back to the Greek words used in Scripture.

    Remember the verse I spoke about, the one about the poor woman who gave all her life into the treasury?

    Well, that Greek word is:

    βίος
    bios
    bee’-os
    A primary word; life, that is, (literally) the present state of existence; by implication the means of livelihood: – good, life, living.

    I want to list just three more verses where that Greek word is used for your consideration. [I believe there are 11 verses in all the New Testament where that word is used.]

    Why?

    Because when you let the full extent of these verses weigh on your “soul” you also will no longer love the world in such a “soulish” manner. I believe and hope you come to understand just “how” God wants the Church to “so love the world”.

    The verses then:

    1Ti 2:1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,
    1Ti 2:2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.
    1Ti 2:3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior,
    1Ti 2:4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

    Ok, in these verses Paul writes Timothy to pray for “all” men. Well consider verse 2 and the words “quiet life”. That is the Greek word “bios”, the same Greek word Jesus used noting what the poor widow woman put into His Treasury.

    Next:

    2Ti 2:1 You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus,
    2Ti 2:2 and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
    2Ti 2:3 Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
    2Ti 2:4 No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.

    Here Paul is instructing Timothy “how” Christian soldiers are to live in this world. Look at verse 4. See the words “civilian pursuits”?. Well, go ahead and guess which Greek word is used? “Bios”, same Greek word used by Jesus describing the poor widow woman giving all that she had to God.

    Not convinced yet that we shouldn’t protest in this world like the fella in the photo?

    My final verses:

    1Jn 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
    1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world–the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions–is not from the Father but is from the world.
    1Jn 2:17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

    When you read King James, the phrase is “the pride of life”. Want to venture a guess what Greek word that is?

    “Bios”. You guessed it! 🙂

    My final point is this. We ought to love the world the way God wants the world loved, not the way my soul wants to love the world. Remember Jesus’ prayer?:::> “not my will but Thy Will be done”.

    The anger of man does not work the righteousness of God in this world.

    Let’s pray for our Civilian leaders of all governments and for all men.

    I offer the words of King David as a reflector and a basis for all of our prayers to God:::>

    1Ch 16:28 Ascribe to the LORD, O clans of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength!
    1Ch 16:29 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him! Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness;
    1Ch 16:30 tremble before him, all the earth; yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.
    1Ch 16:31 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice, and let them say among the nations, “The LORD reigns!”
    1Ch 16:32 Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it!
    1Ch 16:33 Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth.
    1Ch 16:34 Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!

    the god of this world does not know how to love and he loves it when we hate the world by loving it the way this guy in the picture is loving the world.

    No thanks. I believe we are being called to a much higher standard of love!

    What do you think?

    Psa 46:4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.
    Psa 46:5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.
    Psa 46:6 The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.
    Psa 46:7 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

  13. I’m proud to be a Christian, but not at all surprised by the shameful behavior of many Christian organizations. Christians really have no business in the things of this world, and once one enters that gate, then behavior begins to stumble inside.

    The Apostle Paul said that ‘falling away’ of the church, had already begun in his own time ( 2 Thessalonians 2: 7). But I think the proper Christian response towards the fall, should be of fervent prayer, and of charity, for those whom are slipping down the abyss. Therefore, one must consider the souls of those led astray, and remember that we too, once walked ungodly, and only by the passion and mercy of Jesus Christ, are we saved.

    While I agree that a Christian is mandated by scripture to expose, rebuke or chastize an unruly Christian, the salt must be tempered by love. Should one not then also, offer wisdom by the revelation of scripture? Is it not far easier to just condemn one’s behavior, rather than study the Word with those in error? Would a study such this, also not undress the hearts of all, and return one’s sight to the Master?

    The great fall of Christianity began just as soon as the Christian church was born. But, in the 1830’s, the walk of a true believer was shaken by the skill of separation. New Christian denominations, like the Jehovah Witness, Latter Day Saint, Adventist, Charismatic, followed the lead of the Baptist, Methodist, and Evangelicals by introducing new Christian doctrines, to divide the church.

    Once an enemy has split the unity of an army, the attack then is directed by subversion. And when the enemy has successfully infiltrated the camp, one can destroy the army, by changing its focus. All organized Christian religions have under gone this very same make over process. Dividing, dividing and dividing gain, until the only thing that remains, is lies and deceits.

    If the well intentioned pastors would take the time to expose the ancestry of any given Christian Movement, along with the error of doctrine, then the believer would have a better understanding of true Christianity. But, these pastors would then have to explain that their teaching is a product of a man-made seminary institution. Further, the pastor would also have to claim that the church organization is built by corporate enterprise, and admit that the goal of most church organizations is to entice, indoctrinate and appease the hearts of it’s congregation. No study of doctrine that would offend, or upset the church family will be tolerated, and any discussion of controversial biblical truth, can be shouted down by the preeminence of the minister, and his anointed, man made education.

    2 Corinthians 11: 13-15 says that the ministers of satan have transformed themselves into ministers of righteousness. They are in the seminaries, behind the pulpits, and are the financial and political backing of modern Christianity. Should one then be surprised by the lack of love demonstrated by some Christian organizations? An honest view of the American church shows that they are more concerned with tithes, and building construction, than preaching the fundamental command of Jesus Christ as expressed in Matthew 25: 34-46.

    Can the Christian faith recover from it’s fall? Yes, but only by individual return to the gospel of Jesus Christ. But don’t expect the modern church to follow. The history of religion is based upon divide, conquer and restore. Therefore, church leadership is actively promoting conflict, from both sides, to formulate a peace within their congregations. As the Apostle Paul concluded in 2 Thessalonians 2: 7, “only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way!”

    Few understand, that he has been leaving for many years. And once he is gone, then the practitioners of Christian religious worship, can mold their congregations into the world church of the anti-Christ.

    Hence, how does one glorify Jesus Christ? By studying the Word of God, so that our witness will be in love, and our example will uphold the truth. One cannot reach the falling soul, unless one is prepared. Therefore, one should prepare their own heart first, and then allow Jesus Christ to work, by our obedience to truth.

  14. Hi Terra,

    I’m glad you visited this site and took the time to read and comment. The article brings up many good points and you brought up a good point as well. You said that you are not a Christian. The point that this article was trying to make is that too many so-called Christians (I can’t judge if they really are or aren’t) are too busy pushing their agendas in the political realm and not spending enough, or any, time taking to task the real mission that Christ set before His true followers: preaching the Gospel of Christ to a lost and dying world. You have admitted that you are in that category. Is that a choice you have made because no one has ever talked to you about the Gospel? Or is it something that you have heard and you have willingly rejected? I only ask because I care first for Christ and obeying His will and secondly I care for the lost and dying and I would love to share the gospel with you if you would like. I pray that God softens your heart to His truth so that your eyes could be opened to see the truth and believe. I don’t normally do this but your post was so short and honest and God laid it on my heart to respond. I care for you and will pray for God’s will to be done. If you respond back to me I will make my email address available and I would love to share the Gospel with you. Don’t take it for granted that you will have a lot of time…”tomorrow is not promised to you”.

    In His Grace,
    Scott

  15. Job,

    Evangelical Christianity is a cultural movement, not a religious one.

    I tend to agree with you Job. Like so many movements today which claim to be rooted in the Gospel of Christ, it has little to do with true Christianity.

    Terra,

    I am not a Christian, but I appreciate the thought and respect these thoughts…

    You and your post have been on my mind and heart the past 48 hours… I hope you know or will at least consider that these people who preach hate are not who represents Christ–nor do they represent those who seek every day to follow after Jesus. To the world it may appear that they do…only because their voices are the loudest.

    I hope you take Reformed up on his offer to contact him.

    There are good loving Christians who leave comments here–any one of them would be more then happy to communicate with you, im sure. You can even reach me through the contact page at the top…

    I apologize as a Christian if you and others have been hurt or even angered by those who have misrepresented Jesus, the Gospel, or the Church, by ugliness, hateful words or accusations.

    This is not what true Christianity is about.

    Its about Jesus…who died for you and me, and for all who will believe. Its about receiving mercy and forgiveness Terra…and receiving eternal life.

  16. Amen reformedone, and amen PJ. These are the hearts of true Christianity. They are not thinking of themselves, nor are they offering their love to gain another member of a church. They simply desire to help another find true peace and love, that will come when one seeks the Lord Jesus Christ. I pray that Terra will find that eternal happiness. Amen

  17. I agree with Dave 2. Perhaps these Christians were brought up in churches that are not preaching the true gospel. I think many are preaching politics today, as well as that which is pleasing to the ears, and I am so shocked. This sort of Christianity reminds me of when Jesus preached about those that only SAID the right things, but inside they were wicked. He likened them to a cup or bowl that was washed clean on the outside only. The inside of the bowl was still filthy. I find it hard to bear that Christ is being used to further these folk’s agendas.
    How did Christianity ever get into such a mess? Is it because many of us have become worldly Christians by way of following after worldly pursuits? And is it okay for a Christian to protest, even in an inoffensive manner? I don’t think there is a way to avoid offending at least a few. But even Jesus upbraided cities for their sinfulness. Are we to do the same, or do we stay out of it altogether? I am confused.

  18. This was the comment i read a few days ago, which struck me to the heart…and believe me when i tell you, this one represented MANY in the same vein, which i read on any number of secular news sites.

    Where is the outrage from the true Christian community?

    From everything I’ve ever read or been taught about Christianity, you love people. I am not a religious man myself, however, I am a man with morals and I find it extremely offensive when I see the great hypocrisy of these far-rightwing “Christians”.

    It is their book and their 10 commandments and if they hope to persuade others to follow the teachings of these, they had best lead by example. Actions speak louder than words.

    I will confess, this along with the other comments i came across, plus the articles i quoted from, have depressed me greatly folks…After posting it all i felt sick and have continued to be down in spirit ever since.

    I’d like to say its because i browse around reading so much every day–everywhere, and maybe i shouldn’t, but i know that would be a cop-out. I “needed” to read what others were saying…i needed to have my eyes opened to just what this Political Evangelical movement has become…and read how it has affected the spreading of the Gospel here, in the US.

    What struck me also were the comments [like those above] could in no way compare to the vile hate filled comments i have been reading on Christian boards and in Christian publicans. And those above did not come from those in the body of Christ!

    I was and am appalled…

    This 50-something year old man who i quoted asked:

    Where is the outrage from the true Christian community?

    I ask too…where is the outrage? And don’t we have any Christian leaders who will stand up publicly against them?

    We should be outraged that Jesus Christ is being represented to a lost Nation by those like Dobson, Strang, Hagee, and the rest of the leaders of this Evangelical Political movement, who have infected a huge part of the body of Christ with their dominionistic political garbage, over the last 30 years.

    I love the Lord Jesus so much guys…He saved me from a horrible life of degradation and sin. He washed me with His own blood and made me His own. He gave me hope! And believe me at the time i had none….

    I want others to know Him too. Others, regardless of what political affiliation they have, or how far down in the depths of a sinful life they have sunk, to come, to meet the Savior. To be set free–to have hope!

    Isn’t that what we all want…isn’t that what we’re suppose to be doing?

    How can we do this, when men [and women] who tell the US and the world they represent us and Jesus; and whom we have sit by and allowed to be the ‘loudest voices’ of Christianity in the US for years, have in affect, destroyed the testimony of Christ?

    I’m sure it will make me extremely unpopular, but i’m going to speak out against these wolves any chance i get…

  19. Amen PJ! Preach it sister!

    I wholeheartedly agree with you. How and what can I do to get this information out and stand up against this “movement” (I agree with Job that is what this is)

    I felt a knot in my gut when I read that same quote. How have we stood by and let this happen? Well I for one was sitting in pew, listening to how to improve my credit, don’t drink beer, live your best life now, etc. and get your purpose driven stuff together. Unfortunately I think most folks have been listening to the same mind numbing drivel for years. I just praise God I only heard it for three! I feel sort of shell shocked about all of this. This election has been like somebody threw a grenade of truth into my trench.

    How can we, the little guys change things? I have been trying to email and tell people, but that feels small and futile. For the first time I am either not voting or going to write in a candidate ..and I know in God’s eyes that is a start. But I am frustrated as I am sure all of you are too.
    I am sorry this is rambling, but I am overwhelmed at this situation.

  20. Good morning brothers and sisters,

    I have read the post and I have read the comments posted thus far. Although I sympathize with the frustration and outrage, I have asked the Lord what He would have me to do. I do not claim to be a prophet or to even have the gift of prophecy, but I do feel that the Lord speaks to us through His word and through the prompting of the Spirit I felt that His answer was, “The harvest is STILL plentiful, and the laborers are STILL few.” I feel that what the Lord was saying to me is that above all else we are ambassadors of Christ and His gospel to reach the lost and dying world to true repentance and belief in Christ. I feel that we are to do what we feel convicted to do in the “worldly” realm, whether that’s vote or not vote, send e-mails, participate in rallies. I for one do not put a whole lot of emphasis into these things but I see nothing Biblicly wrong with this in and of itself. Nor would I condemn anyone who does these things in obedience to what the Lord is telling them to do. However, it is always about the heart with God. As Lisa said, men can outwardly say and do the “right” things but their hearts are like filthy tombs. How effective will their message be to testify to the saving grace of the Gospel? They energize those who are like minded in trying to dominate the world with their moral agenda but there is no love in there hearts. Being angry at immoral sin is one thing but trying to dominate people with your idea of what is moral and what is right, against their will, doesn’t make converts for Christ, it only makes ticked off sinners who learn to hate Christ more than they already do, and hate the so-called Christians delivering the message.

    This political season has been the raunchiest, most evil display of anti-Christ behavior I have witnessed in my 37 years. Out of the heart is where these people’s words come from. And their words are ugly; so their hearts must be ugly. I don’t know what motivates them but it is obviously something different than what motivates me. I have not decided yet if I will vote this year. And I’m OK with that, despite the fact people have told me it’s my Christian duty to do so. No, I respectfully disagree. It’s my Christian duty to obey my master, and his name is Jesus Christ, not Sarah Palin or Joe the Plumber or Barack Obama!!!! And that takes me back to my word from the Lord; “The harvest is STILLl plentiful, and the laborers are STILL few.”

    We, as true followers of Christ, should be concerned with the Gospel of Christ and not the gospel according to the Democrats or Republicans or any other party out there. This election will come and go. We will have a new president soon and the situation will be the same: many lost and dying and hurting people. We need to reach these people with a message of hope and reconciliation. That comes from the Gospel of Christ, not from political speeches or platforms. I do not want to be so quick to judge churches. There are some that have their eyes focused on the true prize and are a wonderful source of unity and fellowship. I just attended one yesterday and it was a JOY! But the point of so many groups and people representing Christ falsely, and the outrage by the true Church, is well taken. I would just pray that before people act, or react, that they ask the Lord to guide their steps in anything they say or do. Knee-jerk, emotional responses can be something that prompt us to speak and then later regret it. We must temper everything we do or say with the Word and heart of God. That is what separates the sheep from the wolves. There should be no fear or sinful anger in the heart of a believer. And if there is, we should ask the Lord to purge it from us BEFORE we speak or act, so that our actions and words will reflect Christ. I love all y’all. Trust God and rest in His will, mercy and grace. This election will not be the end for us, it will be the same goal and tasks as always; we must reach a lost and dying world with the Gospel and that will not change no matter who is our next President. He has not given us a spirit of fear or timidity. Stand strong, believers, and know that God’s got this. Just be willing to obey Him, and Him only!!!!

    Peace and Grace,
    reformed1inpa

  21. “Where is the outrage from the true Christian community?” Our Christian leaders are the one’s leading the charge with this hate speech, while the “true” Christian community is already being pressed underground, preaching to our own choir, on christian blogs like this! We ruffle too many feathers when we speak out, it might keep Ms. (fill in name here) Ministry from gettin’ her marble toilet seat.

    Like Mrs. Bucket says, most Stepford christians sit in thier “best life” pews, go home and feel good. Maybe watch a little football. No need to read our Bible’s, our pastor’s tell us what it says again next week. He’ll probably tell you next week that the Bible says that if you vote a certain way, you’ll be forced to divorce your spouse and become a homosexual, and if you cheat on your new gay lover and get pregnant, you’ll have to carry the baby for 9 months and then abort it. It really has gotten that ridiculous!

    Wow! Forgive my negative tone. I get so upset to think that these people with all of their hate are the public face of the “American Christian”. There is no excuse for not reading your Bible, for not understanding the loving heart and nature of God. I have found that in these last days, the only truth I am exposed to any longer is what is written in my Bible. That’s it. It is the only truth and the only hope. It tears my heart out to think of all of the American “Christians” who have no idea what is actually written in the word of God. And God forgive our Christian leaders who know what it says, but who stand on their pulpits and preach the opposite.

  22. Consider the simple farmer. On the first day, tenderly, he breaks the ground in an even and perfect fashion. Softly, he lays the seed, and gently covers each with a hand of protection. The farmer smiles, and says aloud, “Oh what joy will come in the spring, when I can see the fruit of my labor. In that day, will I be glorified!”
    But on the second day, at first light, the ravenous birds come to steal the seed, and to take away the labor of the farmer. Wisely, the farmer chases the birds into another field, where lay corrupt seed, and allows the birds to feast upon seeds without life. The farmer says to the birds: “My seed, the seed that I plant of my hands, are mine forever, and none shall perish from me!”
    On the third day, an unforgiving sun scorched the land, and drought overcame the field. But the good farmer brings the cool refreshing spring, to moisten his seed, and preserve the growth of his work. “The water that I bring shall sustain my seed, and the heat of the sun will not last!”
    The fourth day saw the rain, and mighty floods over flowed and passed through the land, as the farmer stood by his field. “ Ah”, he says: “ for I have indeed chosen wisely. I have placed the field above the waters, and have dug the rivulets to keep my field from falling away!”
    The winds came, and the ground began to freeze on the fifth day, but the farmer came and saw that his field was warmed by his lamps. As the bitter cold swept by, the farmer spoke to his field, and said: “ Fear not this day, for I have given you roots to withstand the wind and the rain, and now I have come to give you the strength, to withstand the frozen night!”
    The farmer arose early on day six, and when he came to the field, he saw the green haze of life breaking through the land. “Now” he says, “ My children have found the light, and are growing with a sweet scent, and the flower of their birth, is pleasing to mine eyes!”
    On the seventh day, the host from round about, came to see the land, and marveled before the garden, saying: “what manner of beauty do our eyes see. For in this garden, grows the life of all fruits, and they do feed our hearts with much joy!”
    The farmer smiled and said, “My seed are the most fragile, of all things in creation. But when the birds came, they trusted my hand to save them. When the heat of the day made them dry, they knew that I would come, and quench their thirst. And on the day of the flood, I had already provided for them a sanctuary, and they praised my name. When the winds of this world, and the coldness of hearts froze their ground, they trusted in me, and I answered. And when they began to grow in my soil, I nourished them to the fruit of my choosing, and they are happy in the colors of their flower!”
    Finally the farmer said: “ This is my garden for all to see. I am glorified by the trust of my seed, who love me!”

    Perhaps, this is a poor allegory of what I’d like to say, but PJ, never stop being the seed that you are. Lucy, your growth is in His hands, and your fruit is where he planted it. Reformedone, I love your faith in Him, and know that you are His seed to grow in the place He chose. Mrs. Bucket, like all of us, we all form a small part of His great garden, but each of us is vitally essential, to provide the beauty of the whole.
    I praise the Lord for His church, and am not ashamed of the seeds, the Lord has planted, and like PJ, I will not stop warning against the false church, nor will I cease from encouraging others, to seek the Lord Jesus Christ.
    For Terra, please understand, all of us are but fragile seeds, whose works cannot satisfy the heart of God. Therefore, we must depend upon His work, in order to live.
    And Kari, you are right. The Bible is the only answer to anything. I would encourage you to take what the Lord has taught you, and reach out to those whom are dependent upon their church, instead of Jesus Christ. Because this, in simple terms, is why are churches have fallen. We allow it, by our silence. God be with You.

  23. Dave2,
    Thanks so much for sharing that refreshing and encouraging allegory. I though it most effective and appropriate. Thanks for the encouragement and admonition. THAT is what I LOVE about Christ’s TRUE church. It is filled with His love, for Him and for our family. I may never meet some of my brothers and sisters this side of glory, but I feel that I know you and cherish you and love you, all because we share the Love that He first showed to us!!! Amen!! That was a wonderful post Dave, and thanks again for writing it!

  24. Dave2,

    That is one of the most beautiful things I have ever read, I was moved to tears, thankyou my brother in Christ, for your obedience and encouragement of others. I can’t speak for the others but I really needed to read just what you wrote. God bless you!

  25. Thank you Dave2, God bless you brother that was beautiful. It really encourages me to read what everyone writes from your heart. Even when I am down, frustrated and the day has been very long, I can log on here and get encouragement even in the darkest of discussions.

    Thank you Jesus for your precious seeds.

  26. Wow! Forgive my negative tone. I get so upset to think that these people with all of their hate are the public face of the “American Christian”.

    LOL, believe me i understand Kari….

    I was so upset over this stuff i didn’t even have the heart to post much for a few days…All i wanted to do was weep.

    I do not claim to be a prophet or to even have the gift of prophecy, but I do feel that the Lord speaks to us through His word and through the prompting of the Spirit I felt that His answer was, “The harvest is STILL plentiful, and the laborers are STILL few.”

    I feel that what the Lord was saying to me is that above all else we are ambassadors of Christ and His gospel to reach the lost and dying world to true repentance and belief in Christ.

    Praise the Lord Reformed! I believe that is a true word from the Lord, not only to us here but to the Church period!

    I sure sensed it in my own spirit as i read your post.

    Thank you Lord for giving this word of admonition to your son Reformed to share with us.

    Perhaps, this is a poor allegory of what I’d like to say..

    Dave2 it is a PERFECT allegory! Do you realize how it fits together amazingly with what the Lord showed Reformed?!

    Your allegory is a confirmation from the Lord…i really believe that.

    Thank you soooooo much for obeying the Spirit of God and sharing it.

    Thank you ALL, guys….

    You all have lifted my spirit so much tonight by reading your replies/comments.

  27. […] Palin in the White House, but was hindered from immediately addressing it. It is just as well, because PJ Miller did a better job discussing it than I could have. So, let me just add to her post with another angle … actually a political […]

  28. Pray for me and Terra, family. Pray for me that I would effectively communicate the Gospel to Terra. Pray for Terra that she would be open to receiving it. I have acquired her e-mail address and will be getting some verses in order and then them to her. I pray that those seeds will fall on fertile soil that will some day bear beautiful fruit to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

  29. Father God I pray in Jesus name that our dear brother reformed1inpa will be graced with your wisdom, your mercy and understanding. Please give him strength and trust in you and your word. Lord we value him as our brother, and we know and lean on your protection and blessings promised to to him in your holy word. Please Lord we lift him up in prayer as he reaches out to this young woman Terra with your gospel of salvation and redemption. Lord be with him and guide him in your word today. Lord give him confidence and may your praises fill his lips and heart as he ministers to her. Lord we pray in your mighty name that Terra would be receptive and have a soft heart towards you and your precious gift of your only son. Lord we thank you for your blessings and mercy today and we thank you for the fellowship we have here with each other. We thank you for PJ and all the hard work she does. Lord keep her healthy and strong. Encourage her and lift her spirits today. We give you all the praise, all the glory and all the honor above all things. In Jesus amazing, mighty precious name we say a hearty AMEN!

  30. Guys and gals,

    I was just looking at the hate filled photo at the top of this post that started it all.

    Wow it seems at the end of this thing the Holy Spirit has hijacked the post.

    How great is our God!

  31. Father, I just pray that you will be with Scott as he tells Terra of your amazing grace. I pray that you will just speak through him and use him for your glory. I pray that you will reveal to Terra your truth and your love for her. We know it is your spirit that reveals truth and that no man can come to you without you revealing yourself to them. I just ask that your will be done and that you will bring another one of your children home. In your precious, holy name…the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit…Amen.

  32. I love you guys

    youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xi0yLRX4d2M&hl=en&fs=1

  33. Reformed1inpa,

    I can’t wait to hear the good report from you about Terra. I am just preparing to pray, but I feel that the moment Terra accepted your offer, the Lord had already opened all circuits if you know what I mean. God Bless you for allowing God to work through you! God Bless you for reaching your heart out to Terra! God chose you for this job because He knows you will use the gifts that He has given you mightily. He knows that you are His faithful servant.

    Precious Father, Most Holy One, cleanse us of every shortfall and weakness so that we may hold up reformed1 in Your strength as You minister to Terra. Please provide reformed1 with the tenderness and compassion of your Son as the words pour forth to shine light into a dark soul. We can do anything through Christ who strengthens us. Let us be of one accord as we all pray for this precious soul. In Jesus name we ask these things. Amen.

    Dave2, I think your allegory was absolutely beautiful. Thank you, it makes me cry every time I read it.

  34. This is the link that Mrs.B was trying to post, see if this one will work.

  35. Thanks Lucy!

    I tried copying it to trace the link back, but couldn’t…

    Bless you sweetie …

  36. Praying Reformed…I stand in agreement with those who are also praying.

    I was just looking at the hate filled photo at the top of this post that started it all.

    Wow it seems at the end of this thing the Holy Spirit has hijacked the post.

    AHA.. I was thinking the same thing….PRAISE THE LORD!

    Love you too B! 🙂

  37. Such a tremendous work by all of you. How can anyone not see how beautiful our Lord is, when we witness His mighty work. Praise the LORD,

  38. Thanks Mrs. Boo-Kay and everyone else! The seeds have been sewn. I pray that they fall into rich hungry soil. I pray that somehow God used my fumbling words to convey His love and grace and mercy so that His kingdom will be added to. Time will tell. I feel so unworthy. Thank God that it is only because of Christ and through Christ that I am worthy. He is our only hope!

  39. Reformed1,
    I believe that Terra was led to this site specifically for this purpose, and my prayers are your own. Isn’t is ironic that the man with the ugly sign ended up serving God’s purpose after all? God bless you.

  40. Your welcome PJ, I was on the phone with Ms.B trying to figure out what video it was because I was having the same trouble, she had to walk me through where it was on youtube so I could copy the link.

    The Lord is so good! God bless you Reformed1inpa!
    Oh by the way is everything okay in your area, did you get snow in PA? I hear lots of folks have no power, I hope you guys are doing well.

    I have to tell you guys I was out running errands today and the leaves on the trees and the hills here in WV were glorious. How can people not believe that God created all this, it is too beautiful to have just happened. I have taken for granted how pretty it is here in the fall, it is always sad when all the leaves are gone though. Maybe we will get some of that PA snow next.

  41. Hi Lisa,

    Yeah, I’m finding my faith in God encouraged when He takes things the enemy uses for evil and flips the script, so to speak, to use them for His good! He’s awesome!!!!

    Lucy,

    I live over in the southeastern part of the state. I heard rumors of snow but didn’t see any. As a person who drives for a living, most times with 40 tons behind me, I’m never upset if I don’t see snow! LOL However, I do love to see it while I’m sitting in front of the fireplace on the sofa snuggling with the Mrs.! I was actually home with a sick young ‘un on Monday and Tuesday. Our power flashed on and off a couple of times due to the winds but nothing major. Fall is beautiful. Enjoy those colors while you can! God bless.

  42. Lucy37,

    I live in Northern Virginia, however I am presently in Iraq so I am going to miss the fall. I went to Capon Springs in West Virginia last year at the peak of the Fall season, it was really beautiful.

    I am so glad I stumbled on this post…PJ. I am so glad to see that other believers are feeling the same way I do.

    I am an black American, however since my Christian faith takes precedence over my race I was going to vote for McCain-Palin. However, their hate mongering, race baiting fear tactics turned my stomach.

    I honestly fear McCain-Palin more than I fear Obama-Biden. Palin really seems to relish the attack dog role, and she does not seem to care about the fear and hatred she is stirring up. Whoever wins and loses, one of these people will have to run this country, but they don’t appear to care about that. Adapting the same slash and burn strategy that Hillary Clinton tried to use is only going to cause more trouble for this nation if Obama wins.

    While trying to vote for a 3rd party candidate who shared my Christian views (even if they couldn’t win) I accidentally voted for a “Christian” who believes the South should have won the Civil War, that the leaders of the old South weren’t racist, and he is opposed to “multi-culturalism.” Links to this persons campaign web-page discussed things like anglo-Israelism…and other white supremacist beliefs.

    This really opened my eyes, and I have realized that all of the so called Christian candidates who share my political views tend to have some racist issues. Among these people are Chuck Baldwin and Ron Paul.

    I am so disappointed. I am considering that I may have to either abandon the political system altogether, or ignore issues like abortion, or homosexual rights/marriage because they are moot points and they are only being used by the neo-cons to control and manipulate Christians and get their vote.

    More than likely I may just have to stop voting in national elections. I still don’t know what I am going to do…but I know that from now on I am an independent…no party loyalties for me!

    I am more convinced than ever that this world is not my home.

    How ironic that many of these Christian conservatives who criticize the Word-Faith movement for it’s pre-occupation with worldly gain show that they are just as wordly minded by daring to believe that the world will end if Obama becomes president.

    I do not even believe they are even aware of the totally non-Christian fear, racism and hatred they are giving into.

    Wake up people! Jesus does not wake up to the Star Spangled Banner, wrap himself in the American Flag and say “God Bless America.”

    Jesus never told the Christians to oppose the Roman system of government, a system that was more corrupt, blatantly homosexual and sexually deviant than ours is nwo! A system that taxed it’s citizens (and non citizens) far more than we are taxed now! What did Jesus tell them to do? STOP COMPLAINIG AND PAY THEIR TAXES!

    The Jewish Christians and other Christians who happened to not be Roman citizens were treated like dirt and had no rights! Slavery was legal…and what were Christian slaves told to do? Obey their masters and in doing so show the love of Christ to them!

    Heck, he told people to “go the extra mile” if you were compelled by a Roman to carry a load!

    I must honestly say I love James Dobson. He was a father figure to me and his program taught me how to be a Godly father and husband. I will always appreciate him for that…but I have learned the hard way that just because I respect a Christian leader it does not mean I have to accept everything they say. I must test what EVERYONE says to the WORD OF GOD!

    I too fear a conservative Christian-Fascist racially tinged backlash that will take this country back forty years. I pray this does not happen, but I am alert and vigilant. Those who forget their past are doomed to repeat it and I am not ignorant enough to believe that certain things could “never happen in America”, especially when they have happened before.

  43. Hi My3Sons…

    I live in Northern Virginia, however I am presently in Iraq ..

    God bless you brother… I pray God’s hand keep you safe and bring you home to your friends and family, soon.

    I am so glad I stumbled on this post…PJ. I am so glad to see that other believers are feeling the same way I do.

    I am an black American, however since my Christian faith takes precedence over my race I was going to vote for McCain-Palin. However, their hate mongering, race baiting fear tactics turned my stomach.

    I honestly fear McCain-Palin more than I fear Obama-Biden. Palin really seems to relish the attack dog role, and she does not seem to care about the fear and hatred she is stirring up…

    There are many Christians this election season, who are feeling this way….totally turned off by the hate baiting which has been happening by the Republican ticket–and i agree, its been coming more from Palin then even McCain.

    I got slammed by letters [and comments left] by those who felt i was picking on Governor Palin by posting my concerns about her from the get-go. But i tell the truth when i say this woman has caused my discernment ‘warning bell’ to go off strong from the night she was introduced at the convention.

    Over the weeks, watching her plant seeds of discord, hate, distrust, etc which have led to near riots, i know why now. When someone is determined to win at any cost…or further their national political career on a platform built on innuendos, suspicion,fear and hate, they are dangerous. And the fact the person is believed to be a born again Christian makes it 1000 times worse…

    I am more convinced than ever that this world is not my home.

    amen..

    How ironic that many of these Christian conservatives who criticize the Word-Faith movement for it’s pre-occupation with worldly gain show that they are just as wordly minded by daring to believe that the world will end if Obama becomes president.

    I do not even believe they are even aware of the totally non-Christian fear, racism and hatred they are giving into.

    I don’t get it either.

    But you know what, this really shows us how a certain Christians have come to depend on one political party [and whoever its leader is] to represent them. They have become guided into depending on man, rather then God.

    Christianity in America isn’t going to ‘end’ if Obama is elected! To believe such nonsense is silly…Since when did our faith depend on politics or government? Never. And it never will.

    Wake up people! Jesus does not wake up to the Star Spangled Banner, wrap himself in the American Flag and say “God Bless America.”

    AMEN!

    I too fear a conservative Christian-Fascist racially tinged backlash that will take this country back forty years. I pray this does not happen, but I am alert and vigilant. Those who forget their past are doomed to repeat it and I am not ignorant enough to believe that certain things could “never happen in America”, especially when they have happened before.

    Yes, if i live long enough, i too am going to be watching closely.

    “IF” the Evangelical religious-right movement’ gets shut out of this election by the Republican ticket losing, God help us.

    They are already talking about Palin heading up the ticket in 4 years…and she is apparently open to the idea.

    I dare to repeat myself [once again] but persecution (REAL persecution) is coming to this nation–and its not coming from unbelievers as much as its going to come from within what we know as the Church. There is a dangerous fraction at work today…we have gotten a peek at it during this election, and it calls itself the political Christian right.

    I’m sure no prophet but mark my words, we haven’t seen anything yet.

  44. Hey Reformed1, I promise I won’t pray for snow, just some on the grass would be good. My brother in law is a truck driver too, God bless you guys out there, in the wind and the rain and the snow. Be safe!

    Welcome My3sons! Wow you are in Iraq, I hope you get to come home soon to your family! May the Lord bless you and keep you safe. My husbands 93 year old Grammie always says to us this slogan that used to be on these Burma shave signs, and it just came to my mind. “Bye be good and God bless you dear God, take you safely there, bring you safely back and keep you safe all the time your gone.” She says that on the front porch every time we leave her house.

    It is so true, so many people that I know that are Christians are saying the same things, that they just don’t know if they can vote for any of the candidates. So many are struggling with that right now. All I can say is he holds our world in his hands and I am just going to trust him!

  45. My3Sons,
    Hey I live close by when you get home, I am only an 1 hour and a 1/2 from No. Virginia, in Charlottesville. I grew up in No. Virginia though, in Falls Church!

    I had not heard that Ron Paul has racist views. That is very disappointing to me. I have noticed lately though, that if the Big Powers that Be in the government, banking industry, etc. feel threatened, they will paint someone with a really ugly reputation, so I will be sure to look into that before I tell anyone that I support him.

    The reason I say this is because there was a Christian man named William Cooper who wrote a book exposing how powerful people in this world have been members of secret societies that worship Satan. He also had a radio program and did a 42 hour series called “Mystery Babylon”. He said on the radio at the beginning of the series that by exposing these people, he had pretty much sealed his fate. I listened to him and he was no racist. He was married to a chinese woman and always talked about how every color of person is created in God’s image. After the government killed him, they said that he was a militia member and tied to white supremists and it was all lies to discredit him.

    The funny thing is that you mentioned Dr. Dobson, who I used to love and then discovered that he was saying things that were hateful. It is funny because I found out that he is a racist, tied to the whole Obama waffle fiasco (you can read about it here on PJ’s blog) and spoke to racist groups. Who knows anymore? I guess if we don’t hear it from the horse’s mouth, we should not make rash judgements. Williams Cooper used to say, “Don’t listen to me folks, question and investigate everything for yourself. The truth is always there to be discovered.”

  46. I remember being raised as a young boy and hearing Dobson, Swindol and others on the radio. As an adult, especially as a husband and father, I did benefit much from the ministry of Focus on the Family. And now, that’s exactly what I think James Dobson and Co. should do: Focus on the Family. When they became involved in politics it turned my stomach. Their hyper-dispensational premillenialism has them living in fear and looking to the government to legislate morality. I no longer listen to them but am thankful for the many years of family oriented topics and help. I just wish for once a pro-life, anti-homosexual marriage, Christian Democrat would run for office. What would the religious right do then? I’m sure they would find stones to throw somehow! Whatever happened to Alan Keyes? I always was fond of him and his ideas but I have now way of knowing any of his “secret” skeletons in the closet that he may be linked with. The last politician that I really respected was Rick Santorum. He was a senator from PA and he claims to be a Christian and votes very conservatively on social issues. He is no longer employed as a politician because he couldn’t get re-elected because of his mean, hateful opinions on abortion and gay marriage. However, he makes his rounds on Focus on the Family and other “christian” talk shows and fires up the religious right that the end of the world is near if we don’t vote Republican. I’ve had it. I can’t look to these men, or women, to lead me anymore. I don’t want to put my faith in worldly politics, even if they are being led by supposed Christians. John MacArthur’s article hit that home for me.

  47. PJ,

    In response to the last paragraph you just wrote I think you are right. Real persecution IS coming. And it more than likely won’t come from the world…it is going to come from the “churched” who disagree with true biblical Christianity.

    People forget that “anti”-Christ does not necessarily mean against Christ but “instead OF Christ”.

    Jesus said:
    4Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,[a]’ and will deceive many. 6You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8All these are the BEGINNING of birth pains.

    9″Then you will be handed over to be PERSECUTED and PUT TO DEATH, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10At that time many will TURN AWAY FROM THE FAITH AND WILL BETRAY AND HATE EACH OTHER, 11and MANY FALSE PROPHETS will appear and deceive MANY PEOPLE. 12Because of the increase of wickedness, the LOVE of most will GROW COLD, 13but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come…… 24For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to DECIEVE EVEN THE ELECT—if that were possible. 25See, I have told you AHEAD OF TIME.

    The word used for love is “Agape” which we know means genuine unconditional Christlike love. If Agape waxes cold it will mean that the church has abandoned it.

    People forget that JESUS NEVER CRITICIZED OR GOT ANGRY AT THE PAGAN UNBELIEVERS!!! His enemies were the RELIGIOUS LEADERS OF HIS DAY!!!

    Who handed Jesus over to the Pagan Romans to be killed!!! The RELIGIOUS LEADERS OF HIS DAY!!!

    Why do we think we are any better than Jesus?

    Why do we think we are not supposed to suffer as he suffered? Lord knows I do not want to endure persecution or suffering as a Christian…but I am convinced that persecution is the only thing that is going to prevent Sunday from being the most racially segregated day in America. Maybe when we are having to hold our services in basements, inner rooms, and out in the wildnerness for fear of discovery will we finally put aside our racial prejudices and political differences and love one another.

    Lucy37, than you for that little prayer/blessing…it is beautiful! I am going to look that up and print it off! Regarding snow, you better look out for my wife…she is praying for it!

    kari, I do not presume to say who is saved or not, I just believe many Christians are deceived. As the Matthew 24 passage states “deceive the elect, if that were possible”. I don’t think that means believers can’t be deceived, but they can be deceived for a time! Especially if they take their eyes of Jesus.

    I read about the “Obama Waffles”. Those were being sold outside of an event, I know from going to conference centers for Christian events that not every vendor is sponsored, and just because they are out there selling things it does not mean that the speakers support it. I do not believe James Dobson is racist, he has had African-Americans and other minority groups on his show many times. But I do believe he is looking to much at this world’s system for solutions and he may have some prejudices he is not aware of.

    My wife and I are actually glad Obama might win…this nation needs to deal with it’s racism. I only hope, and pray, that many of our truly born again Christian leaders wake up and repent publicly before it is too late.

    Also, Charlottesville is a beautiful place! I have been there a couple of times, although I still haven’t been to Monticello yet! I love American history, and I love living in Virginia because of all the historical sites and places.

    However, even though I love my country, and I love it’s history I can call a spade a spade and I don’t try to deny the sins of our past…like many of our religious leaders do when they discuss the “Christian America.” One of the reason why Sunday IS so racially divided is because well meaning Christians talk about the “good old days” and forget that for black Americans those were the “bad old days.”

    If I see another Christian criticize Martin Luther King as a liberal or an apostate I will be sick….WHERE WERE JERRY FALWELL AND KENNETH HAGIN AND PAT ROBERTSON DURING THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT? THEY WERE ALIVE!!!

    HOW COME IT IS OUR CHRISTIAN DUTY TO “GET POLITICAL” AND PROTEST ABORTION AND GAY MARRIAGE…BUT IT WASN’T OUR CHRISTIAN DUTY TO JOIN YOUR BLACK CHRISTIAN BROTHERS AND SISTERS WHO WERE GETTING PERSECUTED AND OPPRESSED IN THEIR OWN COUNTRY THAT THEY FOUGHT AND DIED FOR IN EVERY WAR THIS NATION HAS EVER ENGAGED IN!!!!!

    Until we are persecuted for our faith we will never understand each other…and we will never come together. When the persecution of our faith comes I believe the black Christians will be able to endure it better because we are accustomed to it to a degree…our white brothers and sisters will have a more difficult time…but they will finally understand what it is like, and we will finally worship together the way our Lord intended from the beginning.

    Be truly blessed you all…forgive me for my ranting at the end, but this whole situation has me feeling ashamed, and very sad….I love my country so much…I hate to see all this stuff coming out…

  48. PJ,

    In response to what you said:

    I dare to repeat myself [once again] but persecution (REAL persecution) is coming to this nation–and its not coming from unbelievers as much as its going to come from within what we know as the Church. There is a dangerous fraction at work today…we have gotten a peek at it during this election, and it calls itself the political Christian right.

    I’m sure no prophet but mark my

    words, we haven’t seen anything yet.

    I agree with you…our Lord said false prophets would deceive even the elect if it were possible. And I believe may many well meaning Christians are being deceived because they are focusing on this world’s system and not looking at Jesus.

    Sunday is the most racially divided day of the week. Mostly because of our prejudices, insensitivity, and our fears.

    Why is it all right for Christians like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson to get involved in politics and protest gay marriage and abortion…but it wasn’t all right for Martin Luther King to get involved in politics and protest racial discrimination?

    We fought in every war this country was engaged in knowing we did not have the same rights as other American citizens. My Grandmother, who served in the Army Air Corps/Air force during WWII told me how German Officer POWs were allowed to go into the U.S. officer club, while black officers were denied! Yet despite slights like this we continued to fight for our nation!

    The near election of a black man with an Islamic name is awakening hatred and fear that was always there. I think this is a good thing, we need to deal with our fear and hatred…I only hope that our Christian leaders repent publicly before it is too late.

    Lucy37, that is a beautiful little expression…I am going to print that off and post it at my desk…thank you!

    kari, Ron Paul has made some negative comments about black Americans. He also believes the south should have won the Civil War. Google “ron paul racism” or “ron paul civil war” and you will see it. He used to make some kind of newsletter. Unfortunately, every professing Christian who is aware of “the conspiracy” always seems to have some racist views too….sigh!!!

    Also, I don’t think Dobson knew anything about the Obama Waffles (or at least I choose to believe that). That guy selling those waffles was a vendor outside the event. Just because you are having a function at a conference center it does not mean that you approve of every vendor. James Dobson has had black Americans on his program many times and other minorities as well discussing racism. I just think he has forgotten that this world is not his home and he has his eyes on the political system and not Christ.

    reformed1inpa: Like you as a young Christian I delighted in listening to Swindoll, Dobson, and MacArthur growing up, I learned a lot from them.

    However, MacArthur is the only one of them with the voice of reason now. He always was my favorite bible teacher because unlike the others he always believed in teaching the bible line by line, precept upon precept, book by book. This is probably why he is so focused and so biblically sound!

  49. My3Sons,

    I am glad you visited the blog and commented. I hope you continue to visit and comment often. PJ runs a very interesting and thorough site and I have made new friends and met new family here.

    Let me begin by saying I am very interested in the racial dynamics of the church. I used the “little c” church because in my heart of hearts I feel that the real Church gets it and would not promulgate racism in the Body of Christ. I could be wrong, however. (One of my icons for the Reformed faith is Jonathan Edwards. I don’t think anyone would argue his role as a most effective preacher of the Gospel. However, much to my disappointment, I recently found out that he was a slave owner. Do I discredit everything he ever did or said as worthless and void of any benefit because I don’t agree with him on the view of slavery? I don’t think I can. I totally disagree with him on the slavery issue but have found that we all have something that disqualifies us, in one way or another, of being perfectly capable of preaching the Gospel without others finding some sort of fault in our personal lives that they may take issue with. We are all sinners saved by grace. We will continue to struggle against sin and the ugly issues it can bring up in our lives, even if we are pastors. None of us are above sin, or reproach.)

    I am 37 years old and a veteran of the US Army. I was raised in Lebanon County, PA. Lebanon County and Lancaster County border each other and both are known for their high concentration of Mennonites and Amish. So, needless to say I lived in a very conservative and non diverse area. Most people were farmers. As a matter of fact I was raised on a small farm. We had 1 black student at our school (which, by the way, was in the middle of corn fields!) and he was adopted by a white couple. He was liked and very well received by most people. Other than him, the only other exposure I had to other races was from the TV and movies (Eddie Murphy, Bill Cosby, etc). I was raised in a Christian home (thank God!) and we were taught to treat everyone respectfully, but the conclusion I came to is that that can’t be tested in a “sterile” environment.

    Fast forward a couple of years. I am now enlisted in the US Army. Basic at Knox, AIT at Sam Houston, 1st assignment in Korea, 2nd and final assignment at Ft. Monmouth in NJ. This is where I met my wife. She is black (I’m white, by the way). Neither of us ever had any intentions of dating outside of our race, BUT neither of us was opposed to it, either. We just both assumed that whoever we dated/married would be within the same race because society seems to dictate that. Nevertheless, we were married and there was plenty of “trouble”. Now, keep in mind, we were both raised in “Christian” environments, but some of the first criticisms we received were from our families! Neither my wife, nor I, despite being raised in “Christian” environments, were Christians at the time. And I think that this initial “static” from our families, who were supposed to be representing Christ, pushed us further away from Him and the church. Needless to say, it wasn’t long until we had full support from both of our families. My parents didn’t care about us being married, they were concerned about any future children and the problems they might have. My wife’s parents weren’t necessarily opposed to us marrying, they just thought we were asking for the hard way to go and they wanted to make sure we knew what we were getting into. Turns out that my parents LOVE my wife (sometimes, I feel, more than they do me!!!) and I love my in-laws. My father-in-law has passed away, but we were very close and I miss him. Only by the grace of God are we still married (going on 17 years now). Our marriage has been through a lot but surprisingly race hasn’t played a major role. Most of it has been “friendly fire”, so to speak. Stupid issues that we inflicted upon ourselves. But race has had it’s fair share of problems and guess where it rears it’s ugly head the most? Yep, church! As a matter of fact, that has been one of the most difficult challenges for us over the years–finding a church where we both felt “comfortable”. Either they swung closer to what my wife was raised in, which was a very emotional based black church where old ladies are always getting the Spirit and dancing around and falling out, or they swung towards my end of the pendulum which was categorized by very stiff, strict, un-emotional hymn singing. It took us years to find a church where we both felt comfortable after we became saved.

    It wasn’t too long ago that our theology took a little bit of a turn. We both realized that we aligned more with a reformed theological worldview and so we embarked on a search to find the type of church that would meet that criteria. We were visiting reformed churches but most of them tended to be Presbyterian which, as you may or may not know, tend to be extremely white. But we were very fortunate that in our area there was a church plant in our city that was conducted by the local Presbyterian church. It was being led by a black pastor and his goal was to go to the heart of the city and reach the “unreachables”–the ones that every one else had forgotten, or was too scared to reach. It’s amazing how people in the suburbs are prejudiced to people who live in the city!!!! Anyhow, he is trying to start this church and I am very interested in helping him. We have not decided to go to this church because of some other issues, mainly that we don’t wholeheartedly agree with some of the Presbyterian doctrines and by-laws (Paedobaptism, etc.) We love the fact that they are reformed and trying to reach the inner city and introduce them to reformed theology as well. But we have found a church that seems to be where the Lord is leading us and my wife, children and I are very happy there. It is diverse enough where my wife doesn’t feel uncomfortable. We aren’t looking for a church that puts a lot of effort into racial quotas, so to speak, our primary concern is that the church preach the gospel. Nothing added to it, nothing taken away from it. We just always assumed that would lead us to churches that were racially blended and all inclusive. Sadly, you are right. Our churches are sooooo divided. I can’t put my finger on why that is, other than to say it is another tool of the enemy to try and divide Christ’s Body. Sure, there are cultural “things” to consider, I guess, but I can’t believe that we can be united as brothers and sisters in the Lord, but meet and worship separately. It baffles us. I don’t feel particularly led by God to make my life’s mission equal racial representation in the churches of America but it is nice when you find those rare congregations that are diverse. I feel my mission is to preach and live by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I feel that when Christ is preached, accepted and lived by, then people will have genuine love for all their brothers and sisters in the Lord’s Family, no matter what color/ethnicity we are! I still want to help that other minister with his city church plant because I believe in his mission. The inner cities are overrun by churches that, for the most part, are preaching everything but the Gospel! Signs and wonders, prophecy, tongues, healings, heresies…but not the Gospel! Someone has to be bold enough to penetrate the boundaries that society has set up and take the Gospel to the places that most people are afraid to go.

    As far as Dobson, Swindoll…I don’t spend a whole lot of time listening to them anymore. Not because I don’t like them, per se, but because of a difference in theological views. However, that does not diminish the fact that I feel there are some men with whom I disagree with, that on the most part, can effectively dissect and preach the Word of God. I would say Swindoll fits in that group. I think he is a wonderful teacher. He’s very humble and I know He loves the Lord. Dobson is too far out there right now for me. Too political. That doesn’t mean I don’t think he loves the Lord, it just means I don’t agree with him on near as much as I used to and I can’t support the way he has decided to go. I do love MacArthur. I agree with what you said about how he handles the Word of God, verse by verse, precept by precept. Very thorough. I have grown to like John Piper, Alistair Begg, C.J. Mahaney, RC Sproul, Paul Washer…they all handle the Word of God with full respect and they all have different, but engaging, styles. Most have online ministries where you can listen to sermons. Being an ex military man I know how hard and lonely that can be for an outspoken child of God. I am assuming that you are in the military since you said you are in Iraq. If that is so, I hope you are finding some sort of fellowship there. I also hope and pray that God will keep you and your family safe and that He will return you home very soon.

    Have you ever heard of Thabiti Anyabwile? I was introduced to him by way of another blog addressing the topic of the reformed church in the black community. He has a message that he preached at a conference called Together For the Gospel that is free for download. The sermon is entitled, “Bearing the Image”, and it deals with the race issue pertaining to our identity in Christ and in the Church. It is fantastic! Thabiti is pastor of First Baptist Church of the Cayman Islands. (BTW, Lord, if you ever call me to full time ministry, the Cayman Islands sounds kinda nice!!! LOL) He has been there since 2006 and before that he served as pastor/elder at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in D.C. under Mark Dever. Anyhow, he comes from a reformed perspective and was a speaker at this years T4G Conference for pastors in Louisville, KY, along with RC, Piper, Ligon Duncan, Dever, Mohler and MacArthur. I have linked Thabiti’s message for you at the end of my post. It is a free MP3 download. I would encourage all people to listen to it. It is very interesting, indeed. If you like the message, or are interested in more of the speakers’ messages, visit the Sovereign Grace Ministries store. They have a lot of conferences and individual messages there as free downloads. Here is the link to download Thabiti’s message:

    http://www.sovereigngracestore.com/ProductInfo.aspx?productid=A2330-02-51

    And here is the link to the Sovereign Grace Ministries store if you are interested in more free downloads of conferences and speakers:

    http://www.sovereigngracestore.com/

    Once you are on the store site, on the left there will be a “Product Categories” section. Click on the “Messages” subtitle and that will bring up the downloads page. Not all are free…you have to look for the ones that are clearly marked as “Free”. Also, once you click on the “Messages” subtitle it will open a bigger menu with “Conference Sets” and other categories. A lot of the conference sets are available for free. Thabiti’s message is message #2 under the conference set entitled T4G 2008 (Together For The Gospel, 2008). You can download the whole conference for free or you can click on the individual sermons and download them individually. I hope if you listen to Thabiti’s message that it will bless you. I’d be interested in hearing your feedback (and anyone else’s) after you listen to it.

    God bless you!

  50. My3sons, it is indeed an honor to correspond with a soldier. I love reading your heart-felt comments, and appreciate your honesty. And although I also served in a foreign land as US Army soldier in Viet Nam, I see a greater calling for those soldiers, whom are also soldiers for Jesus Christ. In all love and respect, I encourage your daily walk with the Lord, in love, peace and safety.
    As a word of caution, the elements of war can, and usually does, bring out the less desirable passions of men. As a soldier, I forgot that there is a two-front battle to face, both a physical, as well as, a spiritual, and did not use my opportunity to serve Jesus Christ. I pray that the Lord will keep you close, and help you avoid making the mistake I did.
    Also, one troublesome aspect of our Christian witness, is our fleshly ability to respond to others, based upon our perception of the individual. As an example, when I observe a drug dealer passing along his merchandise, there is no passion in my heart to love this person. Yet, when I am greeted by a successful and loving Christian, it is only natural, to respond in kind. After all, I can identify with this person, whereas, I want no part in the life of a drug dealer.
    But, as comfortable as one may be in the company of those whom agree with me, should I also love those, whom do not? How many times has the Holy Spirit been kept from doing His work, simply because I looked down my nose, in righteous contempt, upon those whom whom “appear” to be less than me.
    Like it or not, we too often, spread our seeds in the homes we choose, rather than in the hearts of those, whom need them the most. Worse, we sometimes allow our respect of others, to dictate our passions. One should never trust in another. The deadliest bite can come from the most holy of men, because we cannot see the heart, beyond the image.
    Further, mixing racism and service to God cannot heal any wound, because the perception of some towards another, cannot be explained by how black or white people treat each other. For all have sinned. And God loves all. Wounds from the past that influence our perception of others, is not forgiveness, and without forgiveness, there is no love. And without love, we cannot serve.
    Therefore, when I bump into a bum on the street, or am confronted by a gang member, or happen to be in the company of racists, my joy is that my love to these people, can inspire their heart to seek Jesus Christ. Otherwise, just like my wasted time in Viet Nam, I have not fought the good fight. I pray that God will use your love to heal others. Amen.

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