"Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls."
1 Peter 1:8-9 (KJV)
1 Peter 1:8-9 (KJV)
As a person more so than a minister, I want to take some time out to address some personal convictions upon my heart that may or may not reflect the heart of anyone else. After much consideration of the scriptures, prayer, and seeking the heart of God I realize that these issues should be addressed as they do not reflect the nature of Christ in any way. I want readers to remember that this is not some liberal arts college student or left-wing campaign staffer. I am a southern Pentecostal preacher who holds a Seminary degree from Liberty Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. So, before you label me as a “New Ager” who is ignorant of the facts, hear me out. What I have to say is strongly backed by the Gospel and I will do my best to show you.
I now speak to the fellow who has a talk radio show on a popular Christian radio station here in Rocky Mount N.C. on the weekdays from around 2pm-3pm. I hear the show every day on the way to my job daily, but have begun to listen to another contemporary Christian station as I do not agree with the insinuations or biased opinions without Biblical support to back your claims. I don’t know his name, and I don’t ever get a chance to catch his name, but I know about the talk show because it interrupts the life giving music and Gospel that the station normally plays daily. The situation I wish to address is not really just a problem with the opinions that he shared today on this radio show, but with the common misunderstandings the average evangelical believes due to conservative media all around our country. We all know that extreme political positions left or right can lead us into some of the same positions. I am afraid now more than ever our country has come to a split of extreme right and extreme left dug up by our nuisance media in this great country we call America. I am under the assumption that we still live in “the land of the free” and with that assumption, comes the idea of living as such. Your opinion is that the problem of Terror is Islam, just as the problem with our bathrooms is the gay people. Since I am myself a Christian I am well aware of the fact that both are sinful issues that do get confronted daily in our society. The problem is not that you address the actions, but rather you tend to focus on the people. You throw around strong speech that gives the obvious impression that you hate these people and not the actions that are sinful.
Jude 22-23 (ESV)
22 And have mercy on those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment[a] stained by the flesh.
Sir, today you said “the problem is Islam, there is no moderate Islam.” I happen to disagree with this statement. While I do not defend terror nor am I a Muslim, I defend those who won’t be given a voice to be heard in these matters. I have multiple Muslim friends and acquaintances who I have had the pleasure of discussing theological matters over time with and I have yet to see even a fraction of the level of hostility that many Christians show when confronted with a different belief system. Regardless of the persecution that they have suffered for another man’s decisions to blow himself up or terrorize others, they have always remained good natured towards people of other faiths. I have over my lifetime spent a great deal of study on the faith of Islam and I will be the first to tell you that there are almost as many divisions among the faith as there is Christianity. To say that “there is no moderate Islam” is simply not true. There is liberal, moderate, extreme, and everything in between. The differences can be huge and to say that all Muslims are terrorists at heart is parallel to saying that you are not a sinner at heart. We already know the heart of man itself is corrupt as was proved in the Gospel. Don’t be so quick to judge a man based on the only underlying fact as his religion as a motive to condemn all people who share that faith system in common. This bigoted view was the whole reason that Nazi Germany was built into an empire that made human kind suffer so greatly. Rather than judge the Muslim people, we should share our faith with them. Humans are often afraid of what they do not understand. Instead of making the mistake of being afraid why don’t we educate ourselves on the various faith bodies represented in our country? Knowledge is power, especially knowledge of God’s Word and if I am correct; God’s Word tells us to share the gospel not inflict our own evil version of justice.
Mark 12:30-31 (KJV)
30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
I agree that a large percentage of people who live in the Middle East want to see war waged on America, but you have to ask yourself first why? Is it because of our faith, or is it because they have been fed them hate instead of the love of God. Even if they have a good worldview, what good things do we now see coming from America that a small child in that portion of the country could view as good? Is it our porn, Hollywood cinemas, entertainers, or even athletes? The answer is nothing but the Gospel. That is the only good that seems to be coming out of this country in small trickles as an export at the moment and even that is beginning to disappear due to the lack of support. If sinfulness and pagan lifestyles are our exports along with our side order of hate via guided missiles or drone strikes which kill civilians, what more do we expect from this region of the world? Do we expect to be greeted with love and open arms? Of course as a nation and people we must be willing to defend our troops and borders which goes along with protecting our freedom. Our error is when our country believes it can dictate the affairs of the world and expect no backlash. Now, let’s understand that the hatred of the Middle Eastern regions towards the U.S. has nothing to do with most American Muslim people. Those regions would still hate us if we were the Muslims and they were the Christians. As a matter of fact, wasn’t it the Emperor Alexius Comnenus with the help of Pope Urban II who began many Crusade massacres hundreds of years ago? To answer the question of violence in the Quran, yes the wording can be strong for someone who takes it out of context. I have read the Quran and agree that spiritual warfare should not be confused with actual physical violence in this world. If we look at Islam as a violent faith because of the wording of its text then what would others say about ours. Just look in the Old Testament, or the Talmud, or even the Torah and you will see where God has ordained the killing of homosexuals in the Law. Leviticus 20:13 says, “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them (KJV). Do we kill homosexuals just because it is written in the OT law or was that law considered for another time? We all know what the answer would be, but with the level of hostility towards Muslims and Quran, would we truly ever give them the same benefit of thought? Should we call Jews a violent people, or are they now “modern” or “moderate”? The answer to all of this is, Jesus. Ultimately we were given a solution to the problems with the Law through the blood of Christ, but instead of being “Christ Like” we judge according to the law. Our hate breeds nothing but more hate, while if we would just love we would see what God could do with a region like the Middle East. With such a large potential for ministry, it is sad to see the real reality of the situation going on there. It will take us a long time, a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to fix the relationships there, but with God anything is possible! So please, let’s stop the hateful ideals and theologies that have spread like wildfire through our country and let us begin to shine the light of Christ in a dark world. That is our responsibility as a ministry for the Gospel. Our greatest commandment is to love one another as Christ loved the church. Let us begin to do God’s will today!
While our government steals our rights daily, many Christian media outlets have a tendency to focus on ratings rather than truth. They employ fear tactics when the channel that they broadcast on should be reserved for the life giving Gospel of Christ and His worship. It is very contradictory to hear a man speaking his mind on ministry radio without the support of the Gospel in my own opinion. Often I hear the sharing of warped ideals and radical solutions to our nation’s problems. It is time that we left personal opinions and side objectives alone and focus on the task at hand, which is sharing the Gospel. Christian radio is a ministry and non-profit just as the church and should act accordingly. If someone wants to hear a conservative talk show, they should be able to turn the knob to that specific channel that shares conservative news and talk shows. Christian radio and television have been turned into mere entertainment venues and it is time that the tables be turned over in the Temple before it is too late and Christ returns to do it himself. Let us as brothers and sisters of Christ join together to accomplish the Father’s will.
Matthew 21:12 (KJV)
12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,
John 2:13-19 (KJV)
13 And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:
15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables;
16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.
17 And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.
18 Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?
19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up
Target’s bathroom policies although they are extremely liberal and dangerous, should not be the focus of a ministry. There is no way that a non-believer can tune into your station and be witnessed to by hearing the amount and degree of discussion going on about signing some pledge to boycott Target stores. We already know where Target stands on this issue, stop kicking the dead horse and move on. Until the Target executives are converted or just give up they are not going to change their policies. They believe that they are doing the moral and righteous duty of a major big-box retailer with their level of influence just as you believe that you are standing up for Christian morals and practices. Self-righteousness is one of the most dangerous of heart conditions, and is always leveled out by the slyness of Satan. If Target is wrong we will see them judged as such, but if we are wrong in focusing on the deceit of the world instead of the true will of the Father we will suffer the consequences of this decision as well.