The assault on the church

Our modern society has brought forth many things that many of us, including myself, never imagined would be discussed openly, much less practiced and or accepted as normal.  However, this is a different era that we are living in.  The 21st Century has been a total roller coaster for the last 16 years from a morality point of view, and shows no signs of slowing down.  When churches stick to biblical teachings about morality, they come under immediate attack.

The latest attack recently came to Dallas, TX when a gay man recently posted a letter to his Facebook page castigating Watermark Church in Dallas for revoking his membership because he was gay.  The letter went viral almost instantly, and within 24 hours, it made the local network news, and within a few days, local columnists were ripping the church to shreds as being “hateful” and as one columnist addressed it, “that church did not deserve you anyway.”

As part of this man’s Facebook post, he posted an actual image of the letter that Watermark sent him revoking his membership in the church.  Oddly enough, the entire posting was celebrating a one year anniversary, in this man’s view, marking one year to the date that they had revoked his membership.  I will address the timing of this later on.

Immediately after this story broke, Watermark Church posted a statement regarding their decision to further clarify what took place.  However, this did not stop local Dallas Morning News columnist, Jacquielynn Floyd , from publishing an opinion article making false statements that the church dismissed him from formal membership through a letter only.

Had Mrs. Floyd actually done some journalistic research, or maybe have reached out to Watermark directly, she would have seen their statement where they reiterate the same things in their formal letter to him.  To wit, that they had met with him in person on numerous occasions to discuss his views on homosexuality, and that it was not consistent with following Yeshua.  However, clearly this did not matter to the media and thus Watermark has had to endure relentless attacks from the media and of course the outcry on social media has been nothing short of horrific.

However, I do not want this blog post to be about one gay man’s rebellion against G-d, but rather to address the bigger issue going on here.  That is, when a church sticks to sound biblical teaching, it comes under immediate assault from our rapidly turning liberal culture.  Also, this attack is not just the collective outrage of people who are by and large, biblically illiterate, but more so is a calculated attack by persons being used by the devil.

In the case of the Watermark controversy ask yourself this:  Why did this man wait an entire year after the event to post what happened online?  What was the purpose of posting it in the first place?  Some will say that maybe in his view he is celebrating some liberating moment, which is how the viral posting portrays itself.  However, the purpose of the Facebook posting by this man was clear, and thus, ties in to the overall point of this blog.  That is, the only purpose for bringing this up a year later was to purposely slander a church, it’s leaders, and it’s members as being a group of hate-filled Christians.  It was and is a deliberate attack to destroy a church.

It was designed to target people who would be “outraged”, because those same people are by and large uneducated about how the church works according to the Bible.  They themselves are living outside of a church.  It is kind of like someone who knows nothing about the sport of football trying to tell a football’s coaching staff how to coach.  It’s silly.

However, this is part of a growing trend against churches, and I fear, is just the beginning of more attacks against the body of Christ.  Last year in Houston we saw a mayor and city council that demanded that local pastors turn over sermons and speeches in the wake of the trans-gendered bathroom controversy.  This was pushed back by the community of believers, but nevertheless, the waters were tested.  What is happening is that a church in this modern era that does not accept sin, is deemed hateful and will pay a price.

Unfortunately, what is coming down the pike are major legal battles for churches.  Just last year when President Barack Obama was addressing people at a DNC event, he stated that should gay rights come in conflict with religious beliefs, religious beliefs will lose.  That is a powerful statement coming from the highest office in the land.  So if you hold biblical beliefs sacred in your heart and teach that to your congregants, and someone attending your church is offended, I can clearly see the path where churches will be brought in front of judges being sued.

What we as believers need to be doing is getting deeper into G-d’s Word.  The reason for that is we need to have scripture ready on our lips to quote whenever the attacks come, be they against our churches, or ourselves as believers.  The Bible clearly states, Do all you can to present yourself to God as someone worthy of his approval, as a worker with no need to be ashamed, because he deals straightforwardly with the Word of the Truth. 2 Timothy 2:15  You see, G-d’s Word tells us right here that we as believers should not allow ourselves to feel ashamed when we are holding firm onto G-d’s Word, which comes through diligent study.

The Bible also states that in the Last Days that “scoffers will come”.    These are going to be people who are looking for ways to discredit not just the church, but G-d’s Word is what this verse refers to.  The enemy’s ultimate goal is to distort and lead people away from the love of G-d.  He does this because he hates us, humans, because we are G-d’s creation.  We were made in the image of Him, so every time the devil looks at us, he sees the face of the One who ousted him from heaven.  That is why he makes people believe that they can be gay and still a Christian, or an alcoholic and a believer, or whatever you care to insert.  Those people then are used unbeknownst to them as agents of the enemy when they attack churches.

Therefore it is up to us as believers to not just sit back and be the silent majority, but to take a firm, but loving stand for our L-rd and for His Word.  I believe that Watermark has accomplished this in stellar fashion, but to those whose hearts are far fallen, it does not matter to them that they are following the tenets of faith that the Bible teaches.  This is disregarded, because in this dispensation of time the word “no” is a mystery to them, because many people have rarely encountered it.  We as believers know about the word “no” from our Father in Heaven, because just as a parent corrects their child of undesirable behavior, so does our Father correct our behavior through His Word out of love for us.

We as believers, now more than ever, need to lift up one another in prayers, as well as our church leaders and ask G-d to give them strength and direction during these troubling times.  We also need to intercede for those who are being used of the devil that they will come to their senses and turn away from sin before it’s too late.

 

Shalom

 

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October Surprise

October Surprise

Definition:  October Surprise – any political event or news story, that is orchestrated or apparently orchestrated in the month before an election in the hopes of affecting the outcome.

 

We have just completed the first full week of the month of October 2016.  Many were speculating that there would be an October Surprise for either candidate.  However, as of the writing of this blog, I do not think anyone could imagine the type of blowback that would occur with a Donald Trump October surprise.  That event took place on late Thursday into Friday of this past week.

If you do not know what that event was, I will summarize.  A recording was released of a conversation that Donald Trump had while making an appearance on a soap opera in 2005.  His mic was “hot”, meaning that it was turned on, and someone was recording.  Without going into the gory details, Trump made some very disparaging comments about literally sexually assaulting women, and that he could get away with it, because he’s famous and that women would let him do such a thing.  I have dressed things up nice and neat here, but suffice to say, his comments were vulgar and highly demeaning towards women in general.

As you can imagine, the media has been having a field day with this.  It is now Sunday and this has dominated the news cycle for going on 4 days now.   Trump has come out an apologized, if you can call it an apology, but the damage has been done, and continues to spread.  So far some prominent Republicans have pulled their endorsements of Trump, such as Senator Mike Lee, Senator Jason Chafffetz, Senator John McCain and most likely there will be more to come.  The fallout is so bad that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan cancelled any appearances of Trump at any of his events, and the Republican National Committee has issued a “stop” message to any and all persons working on any victory project for Trump.

The damage is so bad that some Republican lawmakers are calling for Trump to step down, and for the RNC to initiate an emergency process to insert a replacement candidate.  At this point, we are 31 days away from election day, and we have a major political party in such turmoil that they are wanting to replace their nominee.  I have been following politics since I was a young child and I can tell you that I have never witnessed an election year like this one.

Now when all of this unfolded, the Trump apologists went into overdrive defending their candidate.  As I listened on Friday to the radio talk show hosts, many of them took the line of reasoning like this:  “Well Bill Clinton actually cheated in his marriage multiple times.”, or, “Bill Clinton is more depraved because he actually committed a sex act in the Oval Office with a White House intern.”, and finally my absolute favorite, “Guys says things all the time that they don’t mean.  It’s locker room talk, nothing more and nothing less.”

All of these excuses are exactly that.  They are excuses and pathetic ones at that.  What is disheartening to me as a believer is that in the days since this story broke, I have had conversations with believers about this and many of them are also trying to make moral equivalencies in terms of who is least bad of the two candidates.  Many of them attempt to make the point that, “we are all sinners and who are we to judge?”  Of course there are still some believers that are holding the line of, “We are not electing a pastor, we are electing a President of the country.”  These all may sound well and good, but they are 100% flawed in their line of reasoning.

First, the whole “lesser of two evils” is a ridiculous school of thought in the first place.  Choosing the lesser of two evils, a person is still choosing evil!  As I stated previously, some try to compare the transgressions of Hillary Clinton as being worse than anything that Donald Trump has ever done.  This latest scandal they have harped on that even more.  The problem is, voters and especially the evangelical crowd, are totally dismissing the fact that Trump for the better part of his life has been a womanizer, which means sexually immoral.  This goes directly against the Word of G-d, and yet they continued to support him.

Trump has also stated with his own lips that he has never asked G-d for forgiveness.  Yet somehow he is a Christian according to Paula White, because she said she led him to the L-rd and can vouch for him.  Again, we are to take the word of a woman who is a pastor by profession that divorced her husband and then married a man who is a rock star.  In other words, she is no different than he is when you get down to it.  Yet believers have totally accepted his newfound conversion despite the fact that one of the key acts that a new believer must do to be saved is to confess one’s sins to G-d and ask Yeshua to forgive oneself for their sins.

As for the whole position of, ”it’s locker room talk”, while it may be true that guys may try to act like a big shot and say all sorts of things, the bigger issue is what is the condition of the heart to say such things in the first place?  In other words, a person who truly turns their lives over to the L-rd is supposed to resist even the mere appearance of evil.

Now people are saying this happened 10 years ago before his conversion and that we have all done things in the past we are not proud of.  True, I have done many things in the past that I am not proud of as have millions of believers.  However, the difference between us and Trump is, we genuinely asked Yeshua to forgive our sins and Trump to this very moment has not.  I know that the “rainbows and unicorns” type Christians will not like to hear this, but according to the Word of G-d, Trump is not saved.  That’s not my opinion, that is what is clearly written.

Romans 10:10 – For with the hear one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.

From the very early days of the election season I made it very clear that Trump was of seriously questionable moral character.  I have mentioned more times than I care to count how many so-called “evangelical leaders” have literally set aside the Bible to support Trump, because they subscribe to the whole lesser of two evils type doctrine.  Some have even dismissed his behavior by saying, “We are not electing a pastor, we are electing a President.”  Funny how morality is thrown out the window for the highest office in the nation, and arguably, the most powerful seat in the entire world.  One would think the opposite would be true.

The reality is this about America.  We are no different than the nation of Israel was right before the Babylonians invaded.  G-d repeatedly warned the nation to return unto Him by sending prophet after prophet telling Israel to truly repent, turn away from other gods, and follow the G-d of Avraham.  They did not listen, and finally the judgment came.  Some have stated that if Hillary Clinton were to get elected to office, that her Supreme Court appointments could affect generations to come in a very negative way.  I do not doubt that is the case, but we also must consider that none of us truly know what type of person that Donald Trump would appoint to the Supreme Court despite some of the names he’s floated out there in recent weeks.

If America is to return unto G-d, and it takes the election of a deplorable person like Hillary Clinton to make that happen, then so be it.  I would rather have the nation 4 years from now experience a massive revival of their relationship with the L-rd, and have a referendum of our politicians the likes that this nation has never seen, than to continue this same old song and dance of elections that we have had literally for decades.

Finally, for who think there are no alternatives to vote for, that is simply not true.  There are third party candidates out there running for President.  Do they have a statistical chance of winning?  The answer is no.  However, if enough people, especially believers in Yeshua, were to say “enough is enough RNC.  You have lied to us.  You do not represent us and we are pulling our support.”, and to throw their votes behind honorable men and women who truly fear G-d and respect the Constitution of the United States, then we might actually get people into office who truly represent our values and will work for us.

Our nation really needs prayer at this moment.  As of the writing of this blog, we are literally 30 minutes away from the second Presidential debates.  At this point, I cannot imagine what is going to take place tonight.  All I can do is sit by and watch it unfold just like any of us will do so this evening.  May G-d have mercy on this fallen nation, and may we collectively repent of our sins, so that He can heal our land.

 

Shalom