Posts Tagged ‘Preacher’

“The Light shines through the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.”  John 1:5

The older I get, and the more I grow spiritually, the more I realize that there are no gray areas in the Kingdom of God, or the supernatural realm.  It is either white or black.  The white represents light and everything of God (good).  The black, of course, represents darkness and everything of satan (evil).

The people who are not followers of Christ do not understand this simple, but true, reality.  They talk about darkness and evil  as if it’s just another philosophical debate that is open-ended and leads to no right or wrong conclusion.  Some even take the stance that “Satan isn’t really the bad dude everyone makes him out to be.  He’s been given a bad rap.”  Of coures, this is utterly false, ignorant and  ridiculous talk. 

That’s concerning the bad, the evil.  Regarding good and light, many of these same people point to God as being the “bad guy”, the one who is mean-spirited and wrath-centered.  All this is understandable coming from the source.  Satan and the world has blinded them to the Light and ways of God.

But when people profess Christ as Savior and still hold to these same false and ignorant beliefs (really just opinions), then that’s when we blur the lines and cross a dangerous threshold.  Suddenly, the gray (which is still really dark or black) comes into the equation and acts as a spiritual black hole, sucking in innocent victims that are forever separated from God because they’ve bought into a well-disguised false religion, false doctrine.  Then they get hyped up and passionately spread the “Good News” they’ve embraced, spreading a false truth that they are convinced is a real, ol’ fashioned revelation from God.  Some new wisdom that God has given to them to teach others about so that all the “confusion” of God’s Word can finally be cleared up. 

Take this Associated Press article (excerpts below) entitled, Evangelical Church Opens Doors Fully to Gays:  Renegade Pastor in Denver Finds New Followers But Makes Enemies Too, as prime Exhibit A:

Then the 55-year-old pastor with spiked gray hair and blue jeans launches into his weekly welcome, a poem-like litany that includes the line “queer or straight here, there’s no hate here.”

The Rev. Mark Tidd initially used the word “gay.” But he changed it to “queer” because it’s the preferred term of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people invited to participate fully at Highlands Church.

Tidd is an outlaw pastor of sorts. His community, less than a year old, is an evangelical Christian church guided both by the Apostle’s Creed and the belief that gay people can embrace their sexual orientation as God-given and seek fulfillment in committed same-sex relationships.

“…..Highlands Church represents a breakout position, where you have a gay-affirming stance that moves beyond the traditional kind of liberal-conservative divide,” said Mark Achtemeier, an associate professor at University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, which is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). “I’m finding lots of moderate conservatives just think there’s something wrong with a default position of excluding gays from the life of the church.”

……Tidd said Highlands is not a one-issue church but one committed to social justice. He describes it as “radically inclusive but still rooted in the essentials of the Gospel.” The church discourages promiscuity and encourages healthy lifelong relationships.

Tidd said he supports gay marriage and would perform same-sex blessings if asked. A gay man in a committed relationship sits on the church’s board of trustees.

“Our position is not one of lenience, but a matter of justice,” said Tidd, a married father of five. “It’s not that we don’t acknowledge the reality of sin. It’s not a sin to be gay or act in accordance with your nature.”

Tidd was raised a nominal Catholic in Boulder, Colo. He had a born-again Christian experience and joined the Jesus movement of the 1960s, which blended hippie culture and Christianity. Eventually Tidd was ordained in the Christian Reformed Church and shared its conservative position of homosexuality.

His change of heart began when, as a pastor in Boulder, a distraught couple sought his counsel when their young daughter began identifying as a boy — introducing Tidd to the transgender issue.

He began to question applying the “plain meaning” of ancient Biblical text to here-and-now homosexuality. The Bible, read literally, suggests the earth is flat and could be used to justify slavery, he said.

He accepted the Biblical interpretation of other gay-affirming Christians: that verses condemning homosexual behavior refer to idolatrous pagan worship or violence.

“We reach an understanding of the Bible not just by studying God’s word, but by studying his world,” Tidd said. “If you think he’s the author of both, they both inform each other.”

“…..We have no real reason to champion this thing, other than we think it’s right,” said DiPrince, a 34-year-old Web developer and artist. “I just didn’t feel God would tell a person to deny a big part of who they are and to keep it a secret.”

“I think people are going to reopen their Bible and look at it and not assume anymore,” Briscoe said, adding that he thinks the Highlands position can be held by “mature, faithful, Bible-believing people.”  full article: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34493087/ns/us_news-faith//

And we wonder why the American-brand of Christianity isn’t winning souls, setting the spiritual captives free and transforming lives!  God is Light.  God is Good.  Satan is Darkness.  Satan is Evil.  It’s either Light or Dark, white or black.  In the supernatural realm, there is no gray, no middle ground.  Pastor Tidd is wallowing in the gray (really….the darkness) like a pig wallows in the muck and mire.  And sadly, taking too many people with him to the pig pen. 

In closing, we, as “Little Christs” have to continue to love people as God loves them and to show grace to those that continue living in sin and in direct opposition, defiance of what God clearly states in His Word but we can’t fall into this worldly web that satan has masterfully crafted to ensnare the weak and spiritual fence-walkers so he can devour them.  It’s time for the real Church,  the Body of Christ to rise up and place this type of spiritual slop under the feet of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.  Then, give them the real Jesus and the real Truth found in the geniune Light of God.

 

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” (7)  Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world.  Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.  (8)  Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully.  (9)  Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God;  whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.  (10)  If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him.  (11)  Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work.”  2 John 1: 7-11 (NIV)

“The thief comes to only to steal and kill and destroy;  I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  John 10:10

President Barack Obama – Nobel Peace Prize recipient.  Rhetoric won Obama the presidency.  Now it has won him the Nobel Peace Prize. 

“Explaining this year’s selection, the committee credited Obama not for concrete accomplishments but for atmospheric ones. “Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future,” the committee said. “His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world’s population.””  Slate – The Wizard of Oslo

On the basis of values and attitudes?  Let’s examine some of Obama’s “values and attitiudes” and the “values and attitudes” that the world is increasingly sharing:

  • God:  I read a quote from an unknown source the other day that fits Obama (and many Christians):  “Satan doesn’t mind if people profess Christianity as long as they don’t practice it.”  Obama is a smart guy…he knew if he played the race card and the Christian card, he would gain vital votes in winning the White House.  He professed his devotion to God and his Christian ideals to perfection.  Because of the Christian vote, he’s acting President.  He professed it eloquently but practices it….well, he doesn’t practice it. 
  • Faith and Religion:  Obama himself has denounced America as a Christian nation (this from a professed Christian), and is making deliberate and aggressive moves to “court” Muslim countries and Muslim Americans.  Muslims would like nothing better than to wipe Christianity and the Truth of Jesus Christ from existence (as well as America/Americans).   Additionally, he is determined to sign the Hate Crimes bill into existence as quickly as possible (as early as this weekend), which could/would suppress and oppress religious freedoms, particularly Christian beliefs.
  • Life:  If you managed to be born into this world and you aren’t an elderly person,  then your life is valued, a precious gift from God.  However, if you are an unborn child, then your life is an inconvenience on all those mother’s and father’s who “made a mistake” due to their lack of understanding or irresponsibility, or can’t handle the thought of living with a child that doesn’t fit their unrealistic, romantic views of the child they’ve always wanted to parent.  Under Obama, it’s easier, and getting easier, than ever to have an abortion (i.e. – kill an unborn child).  Heck, during the election, he even stated that he was thankful that if one of his daughter’s got pregnant as a teen that she’d have the opportunity to correct her mistake by aborting “it.”  Now, under his proposed Health Care Plan, taxpayers who are pro-life would be financing (taxpayer $) abortion, and the elderly could be refused services or medical care if it was determined to be cost-prohibitive due to their age. 
  • Family:  Marriage is a spiritual institution from God himself.  God intended it to be between a man and a woman….period.  Obama has been a national cheerleader for homosexuality and the right for homosexuals to marry.   He is speaking at the Human Rights Campaign banquet on Saturday night.  The HRC is a major homosexual activist group that is determined to promote their radical homosexual agenda and attack biblical, Christian truths regarding God’s clear admonition and hate of homosexuality.  Homosexuality is a direct assault on family values and the institution of marriage.

If these are the values and attitudes that are valued in this world (which is becoming more evident each passing day), then the end is closer than any of us truly realize.  If this is what Peace, Hope and Change looks like to the Nobel Prize Committee and the world, then label me as a antagonist to this ideal. 

As Christians, we are to have Christ-like values and attitudes that are counter to the world’s values and attitudes.  We have to be  lights that shine through the darkness, pointing the way to Christ and the true Peace and Hope that comes from being followers of the one, true God. 

Being a Christian in an increasingly dark and evil world isn’t easy.  It’s out-of-vogue but we have to move forward with a boldness, courage and willingness to confront satan and his dominions.  We have to stop being passive and lukewarm Christians that conform to this world.  There is an authority and power that is supernatural and has the ability to bring forth a revolution in true Love, Hope, Faith and Peace.  First, we have to believe in that authority and power, and then we need to take hold of it, using it to wage spiritual war against the values and attitudes that mock God, oppresses and persecutes the Truth of Christ and His followers, promotes false gods and religions, kills unborn children and destroys the foundation of marriage. 

Isn’t it time Christians rise up as Spirit-filled warriors and say, “Enough!”?

July 2007:  From the moment of our first encounter with Audrey and his wife, Andreia Feitoza, Christy and I were drawn to them. They were different….their faith was different.  Without understanding why or how, we sensed that they would forever hold a special place in our hearts, and play a vital role in this infant mission ministry called Gospel for Brazil.

They had traveled north from Acre, Brazil to meet with the Gospel for Brazil caravan to trek with us into the northeastern desert village of Ubauna.  They didn’t know us and we didn’t know them but God had given them a divine appointment in Ubauna to conduct a spiritual reconnaissance mission to scout the enemy and determine if God was assigning them to this remote outpost.

Now, standing at the back of the hot, cramped school building filled with lost and hurting souls, I curiously watched Audrey ministering for the first time to the crowd anxiously assembled. I sensed that they didn’t quite know what to expect or even what to think about this gathering orchestrated by a group of Americans that had traveled several thousands miles south just to be with them.  Honestly, I didn’t quite know what to expect either.  But God was in complete control, and He was getting ready to take this “Come to Jesus” gathering in Ubauna, Brazil to a place few of us had spiritually gone before.

Audrey had been calmly but passionately preaching his heart out to the “crowd” when he stopped and asked a question.  Not understanding a lick of Portuguese, I was in the dark as to what was going on.  After a few moments, an old man and an old woman raised their hands.  Audrey said something to them and up they went from their seats, hobbling slowly and gingerly up front to where he was standing.  

The old woman beat the old man by a fraction, so whatever was going on was going to happen to her first.  Audrey approached and began speaking to her.  She was nodding and pointing all over body, each time telling him something.   He would nod, smile, say something and then stop talking.  She would then continue talking and pointing.  Finally, he mouthed something to her and she raised both arms straight up in the air.  I didn’t see any guns pointed at her so I knew she wasn’t being robbed at gunpoint by some con-man imitating a traveling preacher but because this was all happening in a  language I didn’t speak nor understand, I was still in the dark.

While her arms were still held up, Audrey then grabbed her wrists with each hand and began to tell somebody something rather authoritatively in a surprisingly calm manner.  He stopped, then asked her another question.  She nodded and then pointed some more.  Again, up in the air her arms went and again he began telling somebody something.  Stopping, he then asked her another question.  This time though, she didn’t nod and point.  She nodded and a large smile came onto her face.  The next thing I know……to be continued

We have been journeying south to Brazil with Gospel for Brazil since 2004 (four missions total) to share the truth, grace, love and hope of Jesus Christ with the lost and hurting of Brazil, particularly the northeast desert region of the state of Ceara.  Each and every trip we come back stronger christians with a greater knowledge of God’s Ways and changed as people.  You can’t walk into the fire without a lot of old and unclean ways of this world being burned off to be left behind in a pile of ashes. 

When we are in Brazil, we know we are walking in the center of God’s Will for us.  We know we are there for a specific purpose, as a group and as an individual.  We may not fully know all of God’s purpose for us being in the desert of Brazil but it’s not important we have it all figured out. 

However, we often get asked, “Why do you go?” or “Is it worth it?”  or “Couldn’t you just send the money you’re wasting by going to the ones in need?”  And this is from fellow christians.  Most of the time, I don’t even indulge the ignorance.  You just won’t convince them of it’s true spiritual value.

So, as confirmation to us that go and to all christians, I would like to share a letter that our GFB pastor in Tiangua sent to Joe.  I think it answers these questions perfectly.

danilo-letter1

On Sunday morning at the church he attended (Reformation Lutheran Church), Dr. George Tiller was fatally shot during worhip services.  He was serving as an Usher while his wife was pulling choir duty.  His wife called it “an unspeakable tragedy” and community/church leaders stated it “is also a loss for the city of Wichita and women across America. George dedicated his life to providing women with high-quality health care despite frequent threats and violence.”

The alleged gunman, Scott Roeder entered the church and proceeded to blow Tiller away.  Why?  What was Roeder’s issue with Dr. Tiller?  It seems that Dr. Tiller, according the the Associated Press, “remained one of the nation’s few providers of late-term abortions through decades of protests and attacks.”  The Associated Press went on to report that “Tiller’s Women’s Health Care Services clinic is one of just three in the nation where abortions are performed after the 21st week of pregnancy.”  Mr. Roeder, it seems, is an extremist Anti-Abortion protester, and took it upon himself to end Dr. Tiller’s Reign of Death.  Doesn’t seem Roeder is pro-life after all, huh?  Great way to bring attention to the senseless act of murder.

First, I agree that the killing of Dr. Tiller was unwarranted, and is a great loss for his family.  Regardless of Dr. Tiller’s beliefs or actions, he did not deserve to die at the hands of Mr. Roeder.  Although you could question Dr. Tiller’s actions and his understanding of what it means to be a follower of Christ, he did nothing illegal (to our knowledge).  Only the law can judge a person through the eyes of  justice, and only God can judge him spiritually and eternally. 

President Obama, who has already made it easier for women to kill their unborn babies, expressed “outrage” and “shock” over the killing.  But really?  Are we truly “shocked” and “outraged” at the behavior of Mr. Roeder?  I am not condoning the killing of Mr. Tiller but I’m not “shocked”, “surprised” or “outraged.”  I feel deeply for his wife, kids and grandkids because they shouldn’t have to experience the grief of losing someone so dear to them.  They need our prayers, privacy and sympathy.

However, when you, me, us….anyone plays with the fires of hell, there should be the expectation that at any moment, that fire can engulf us and torch our souls.  Satan is a devious, lying, manipulating, conniving, evil and powerful enemy of God that has caused many angels to fall from God’s grace so why do we continue to fool ourselves as Christians that we can walk outside of God’s Word and not get destroyed?  Why do we believe that we can play spiritual “hop scotch” between heaven and hell and our lives will not get ripped to pieces by satan and his army?

I didn’t know Dr. Tiller but its appears he took great pride in his killing of unborn babies, and that his church was fine with that.   Granted, his church should have continued to welcome him in love as a member because there is no better place for us to be when we are living in sin (or at anytime) but they allowed him to participate in a active, visible manner.  What a great example to the youth of the church and his fellow believers?  Why?  I don’t know the answer to that question but could it possibly be because of his social standing or his financial standing in the church? Who knows but I believe those are good guesses.

When are we, as the American Church, going to stop dining with Satan at his table of spiritual destruction?  He feeds us lies and deceptions and we gorge ourselves on them.  He makes the lies and deceptions taste so sweet that we eventually stop caring who the one supplying them is because we crave the sweetness.  Sin is what it is – a foul, putrid piece of spiritual excrement that God cannot stand in the presence of or tolerate.  Sometimes we see it for what it is but don’t care or our senses have become so numbed to it that we don’t recognize it.  Most times though, we recognize it but satan has made it look and smell so sweet and attractive that we can’t help ourselves.  Just like in the Garden of Eden.  But as soon as we partake of it, our souls and spirits begin to rot, and we find that we can no longer stand in God’s presence.

Satan is a master illusionist, and is strategic in his attack on the church body of Christ.  He doesn’t hang out in bars and perform his act there because he’s already got them believing the lies and deception.  No need to waste his time.  Satan attacks the believers of Christ, and he starts at the top because he knows that if he can get a pastor or spiritual leader to eating his sin-filled “fruit”, then he has access to the whole congregation.  He knows that we trust our leaders, our pastors and their knowledge, wisdom and discernment regarding God and His word, and will fall in line with his beliefs, rituals, traditions, etc.   However,  once satan has gotten a spiritual leader believing the sin is truth, then his job becomes easier and frees himself up to move on to the next church because the pastor/leader will in turn become the master illusionist. 

If satan wants to decrease the power and authority that we have through the Holy Spirit, then he will attack our trust and knowledge of spiritual gifts.  We can’t use a spiritual gift with power and authority if we don’t believe in the viability of a particular gift.  If satan wants to infiltrate and attack God’s sacred institution of marriage, then he will attack it by placing homosexual leaders in our churches that preach “openness” and teach acceptance of spiritual morals and values that are in direct opposition to God.  If satan wants to attack the sanctity of life, then he will place a pastor or leader in the church that tolerates abortion, or even practices it.  If satan wants to attack “salvation by faith” (which is the foundation of salvation), then he will place a leader in the church that is legalistic and ritualistic. 

We have some strong persons of God leading our churches (Pastor McDaniel/s – here’s a “shout-out” to you both) but for every strong one, the American Church produces a Joel Osteen or Benny Hinn that builds up huge congregations of passive, ineffective, “praise me”, “bless me”, confused, ignorant and hypocritical folks that wouldn’t know Jesus or His Word if they tripped over them. 

The time has come for our leaders to rise up and preach/teach the truth of Jesus Christ in love, in mercy and in grace but without apologies and without compromise.  They have to be the spiritual Generals of our churches, setting clear expectations and Christ-like examples to those they are leading.  We cannot afford to allow homosexuals, abortionists, adulterers, or any other person living an unrighteous life to be in visible, active roles in our churches just as we can’t allow those that deny any parts of God’s Word or that chose to preach only scriptures that rationalize their worldly and carnal desires to lead in our churches. 

There is always a “Trickle-Down Effect” that starts with our leaders.  The question is, “Is the Truth of Christ being trickled-down or are the lies and deceptions of satan being trickled-down” in our churches?

Good question!  A “Grandmuddy” is another name for my great grandmother.  Grandmuddy lived in a rural town in the south during a time when women were expected to stay close to home, but instead of staying close to home, Grandmuddy was obedient to God when He called.  So what was Grandmuddy called to do?  She was called to be an evangelical preacher, traveling all over the United States in a church bus, preaching under tents and holding revivals.  She went as far west as Nebraska!  Wow! 

It’s so exciting that she was willing to step out of her comfort zone because God was leading her to teach others about Him and His saving grace.  I am amazed at how brave she was and the adversity she must have faced because of her obedience to God. 

Even though she passed away before I was born, I feel a connection with her because of the legacy that she left here on earth and in heaven. There are incredible numbers of people with her and Jesus in heaven because she stepped up when she was called.  She allowed God to work through her and use her.  She didn’t have formal training.  She didn’t take a special course.   She let go of the preconceived notions of what most women were doing in her small town, and God equipped her. 

I call my paternal grandmother “Grammy”.  My Grammy is Grandmuddy’s daughter and she has been sharing Grandmuddy’s legacy with me.  Keep checking our posts for more about Grandmuddy, her obedience, her adventures, and her legacy.

C.