It’s Time for Backbone (An Open Letter to Preachers)

Tough words that are really needed. Going to share this post with the pastor of the church we are attending. Fortunately, he is the kind of preacher you are encouraging all to be.

The Recovering Legalist

This morning I watched a YouTube video in which Todd Friel (Wretched Radio) declared: “The problem with today’s preachers; nobody wants to kill them.” His point was that the reason preachers from centuries ago were imprisonned or killed was their determination to preach truth regardless the culture’s feelings. Too often our modern preachers and pastors are afraid of offending.

It is with that sentiment that I penned the following open letter. We need to love desperately, but without compromising our message.

Dear Fellow Preachers,

Now’s the time – it’s actually past time – for some honest-to-goodness, strong-as-steel, George S. Patton and John Wayne-like BACKBONE!

I don’t care if you’re Baptist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, Nazarene, Methodist, or whatever…MAN UP!! Stand in the gap! Quit being a politically motivated, crowd-pleasing, purse string-tying wimp and PREACH THE WORD!

Seriously, check out what’s going on in the world and what’s coming to America. Gentlemen, more…

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Commonalities of Christians (We have none)

Don’t feel alone if you see yourself with nothing in common with other church members and Christians.

The fact of it is: we have been chosen as Christians as the Bastard Child out of those who reject our Lord. So then, as misfits, leftovers, rejects,malcontents, losers, ‘different’ people we are similar to each other only in one way: and that way is that we suffered condemnation from God due to sin. The apex of all of this is Christ as he paid the price for our ransom, but in worldly terms,we have nothing really in common.

In this sense one should be glad we stand out as such to be counted by the Father and into His Kingdom and disposed from this world and into the abyss of Christianity.

And so find yourself in good company. You don’t quiet fit in? Who gives a flying flip? I don’t and I will never care as long as I have been stamped with the approval of Jesus as my Savior.

And since our priceless commonality with Jesus is a result of His death on the Cross and redemption, we should be GLAD we do not fit in with the rest of the world.

With Jesus, our commonality is that we are all broken vessels, all brought to our knees after fighting it out with ourselves and this world.

In the end, we came to the conclusion that only through Christ are we brought into Salvation with our God. And to that effect, it makes no difference if we enter the Gates to God’s throne either alone or with the company of those who are despised by the world the same as we.

In a Perfect World

As a Christian and in a perfect world, whenever someone bothered us, we’d forgive them in a heartbeat.

In a perfect world, there would be no problem nor hesitation in forgiveness at all. In a perfect world, we would love and give freely all that we have with no reservation. Joy would be the only satisfaction we would seek as our heart would yield the Christ unto perfection

The fact is, we do not live in a perfect world. Exercising your rights and duties as a Christian is oftentimes next to impossible.

The impossibilities include: forgiving sex offenders, sex predators, murderers, sadists, warmongers, divorcees, thieves, felons, those who offend us… And many many many more.

In other words our imperfect world forces us to choke on forgiveness. In all this we must remember, the chasm that separates us from God is the element of sin. Insomuch we might like to think we are good people, the truth is that we withhold most of the fruits of the spirit due to our roots in the earth. In other words, we are human.

The idea here is to strive toward perfection in Christ knowing we are anything but perfect. Our goal ultimately is to be like Christ. Our performance one is still 1 to 10 is probably in a subzero range. In fact without the grace, that wonderful gift from God, none of us would make a mark. Sin would ensure our failure.

Thank God for Jesus. And when we strive in this imperfect world, in all remembrance we should realize not only are limitations as humans but the glorification we find and discover in God’s kingdom. In the interlude of the return of our Lord we must attempt to serve as imperfect beings. This leaves no room for bragging. Too, as easy as it is to give up because we cannot achieve perfection it is our duty, our charge to try. In this sense the virtue is a loving our God with all our heart, mind, and soul. Our task is to perform this in an imperfect world.

All the Things you would have said (That you didn’t say at all)

As a kid, we’d oftentimes say something when in reality, we’d meant the opposite. In approaching a girl, as a boy I might pull the girl’s hair and say something like calling her ugly, when in truth, I really meant I liked her and thought she was cute.

Adults on the other hand, often withhold all of their words as there is an invulnerability in showing our hand when it comes to emotions. And when it comes to those of whom we are close to, it sometimes smacks us in the face when circumstances change and our loved ones are no longer even around such as in a death or when they move a great distance away.

All of the things we should of: would of…could of said, but we said noting at all.

Damn it. We should have told them we loved them. Not once, nor twice, but at least daily.

We should have told them how very special they were.

We should have spoke about all those golden moments we had with them:

How the world is better off because of them.

How important they made us feel…

And how smart they were, and beautiful they were and how unique and how they so freely gave of themselves and how

Much we miss them when they are away.

These and so many of things we should have said…Yes, we should have said them many times, but sadly, now they are gone and we said nothing, nothing really at all.

Shut the Blank Up (When you have nothing really to say)

 Proverbs 17:28

Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.

How many times, when finding yourself in a delicate situation have you blurted out something stupid when saying nothing at all would have been much better?
I am sure some of us are more guilty of this than others, but oftentimes the driving principle behind our stupid words and outbursts are our need to seem smart or at least intelligent in a timely situation.

We see where Peter also had this bad habit: He was once told in the transfiguration to shut up and was told that by God himself. “This is my beloved son. Hear HIM !” This was in response to Peter who had shot off at the mouth.

We can say something just as bad: A friend tells us of the death of a friend, and we respond…”Was it anything serious?”

While visiting another friend in the hospital who suffered a terrible accident…we slap our recovering friend on the leg…”My, you are extremely lucky…”

It might be similar when telling a mother who just lost a newborn baby…”You can simply have another one until you get it right…”

And while these expressions might be extreme examples I think it does pronounce the severe harm we can inflict with the sometimes painful words from our lips.

These should remind us: when faced with a tactful situation where skill and diplomacy is involved, there is but one simple rule to get it right: and it is really not all that hard or difficult and that is quite simply to Shut the Blank Up for a while and sit there and listen instead of running your mouth.

Which One of You Do We See?

Without fail we are a conglomerate of many personalities. We possess a small voice, a large voice: a voice of weakness and a voice of power. We tout a voice of gratitude and one of defiance. But among these voices we also command a voice of foolishness, of wisdom, of temperance, of looseness, one of silliness, and a host of many many other voices.

Each voice projects a personality; each personality represents not only a person but an image of that person that given the summation of all the parts consists of one whole. Yet out of the hole for most people, one facet of our personality dominates over the other.

By and large for what we are most of the day… Which voice, which one would we see?

Would we see the person of gentleness, one of forgiveness or the voice of compassion and forgiveness: one of hope.

Or would we resolve ourselves as one of distemper, a voice of rage or callowness?

I am sure we would like to think we are the image of stability, of kindness and want of value in the substance; yet this day of solid-state drives and mobile devices in a number of our personalities might be recorded beyond the benefit of posterity.

Anyone can maintain a personality of an imposter for some duration. However eventually our true identities are found out. The question remains… As a Christian… Which person of Christ would we see?

I would like to think that if I came across you I would see love, joy, exhilaration, inclusiveness… I would like to think I would find another human that identifies with me as a person and one that is accepting and one producing elevation. I would not want to discover your snarl or growl or worst yet a proverbial plastic smile as if placed there by a used car salesman. Moreover, I would like to think that by meeting you I am better off as a person and that my life has benefited from your personality, your presence.

I would like to think that the person of you that I meet is the same person found at home around the family or at work or even in times of disturbance.

The guide should be our Lord, Jesus. Whoever or whatever we project to others should encompass the substance we have gathered from knowing Jesus and his church.

The person we meet, the person we see should be consistent with whoever they are not only to me but the world as a whole with perhaps some minor dips and falls. The person I see above all things and above all realities should at least be 100% you as you are. Finally I would hope that whoever you are benefits the two of us, one to another as you present yourself as no other than the person you are. Amen

Those People

With today’s groupism, we hear repeatedly words that divide, that oppose and words that formulate groups: generally one group against another.

In this context, we speak or heard spoken about ‘our people.’ These are not your people, mind you, but their people.

In reference to slavery or the civil war we hear items such as: ‘we lost’ or ‘when we were slaves.’ Mind you now, no one else were ever slaves in history, no, and that the ones speaking were never slaves, but still they claim status of it.

To complicate matters with the individuals also claiming various status to one group or another. For example one Senator has been enjoying the label of Native American Indian when in fact, she has very little Native American blood in her at all. On similar lines, one lady as among others identify themselves as African-American when in actuality they are Caucasian. In sexuality we see identifier marks represented by various letters of the alphabet—now spanning the sum of at least 10 letters.

It is condescending to speak of other people as designated groups per se. In one case in the Bible during Jesus’s time we see an issue of separation in reference to the Samaritans and the Jews. Yet even in this separation we find that Jesus was impervious to the issue of discrimination. Jesus never let one group versus another separate either his person or his love.

One might argue that we are called into separation as Christians. And while I would agree we are called to separate only in reference to behavior, there would be no separation in distinction and identity of God’s people. In summation we are all God’s people. Thus we need to remove identity markers that cause people from interacting with one another or and to cause stereotypical judgment to each other. This is wrong as we are not called into division, but into unity. Finally we know God sees us unlike how men see us for God judges the heart. In the final analysis I would probably be correct in determining that all hearts are red. With that means is that we all belong only to one group. Ultimately that one group is to be a family consisting of God’s children.