The Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida is hosting a “Koran Burning” on September 11, 2010. They have given no consideration to the effect this will have in inciting radical Muslims to do violence against the United States of American here and abroad. Our soldiers in Afghanistan most likely will be targeted because of this irresponsible action of the pastor of a 50 member church. It is clear that they have no concept of “loving our enemies” and no concept of being light in a dark world. We do not need to judge this pastor and his congregation because God will take care of that. Lord Help Us know you better today.
Ephesians 4:11-20 (NRSV) “The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ. We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. But speaking truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love. Now this I affirm and insist on in the Lord: you must no longer live as the Gentiles live, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of their ignorance and hardness of heart. They have lost all sensitivity and have abandoned themselves to licentiousness, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. That is not the way you learned Christ.”
As I consider the news that is available to us each day much of it is focused on whether the President of the United States is Christian or Muslim. Other news is focused on Glen Beck and his recent rally in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D. C. Today one internet piece asked “Does Glen Beck being a Mormon matter?” First it is important to recognize that the freedom of religion offered to citizens of the United States of America is wonderful. It clearly means that people in the U. S. can believe what ever they want to believe and not be persecuted or prosecuted for that belief. As for us who claim faith and salvation through Jesus Christ and him alone, it calls us to a greater knowledge of what we believe, what the Scripture teaches, in order that we not be swayed by every wind of doctrine. Too often we make decisions with out the facts, with out understanding and often based on emotion. Some people accept Oprah as a belief system, some accept atheism because they question the compatibility of a loving God and the evil they see in the world. Some believe that their faith is built on associations: Boy Scouts, Lions Club, Republican or Democratic political parties, church membership, and so on. The Word of God teaches us that Faith in Christ is the only means of Salvation and all the others are simply hurricanes of confusion and a way away from God. Lord Help Us to really know You!
Revelation 15:3-4 says: “They sang the song of God’s servant Moses, and the song of the Lamb: Great and awe-inspiring are Your works, Lord God, the Almighty; righteous and true are your ways, King of the Nations. Lord, who will not fear and glorify Your name? Because you are holy, because all the nations will come and worship before You, because Your righteous acts have been revealed.” Lord help us grasp your holiness and our sinfulness. Create in us a clean heart and teach us to love you and one another.
As a young person I was taught that my salvation would be an experience, one that I would never forget. It was! The wave of God’s forgiveness washed over me and I knew that I was clean. From that moment on it was my desire to live for Christ. The experience brought about change in my daily life and a confidence in the future as Christ is my Redeemer, savior and friend. After pastoring for many years I wonder what has happened, in our churches, to the “Experience”? Where are the changed lives, calls to service, and love for one another? In a recent letter to the Council of Bishops the Renewal & Reform Coalition said, among other things, “The main problem facing The United Methodist Church is spiritual and theological in nature. Over the last forty years, our church has drifted from the foundational truth of Biblical authority and Wesleyan doctrine.” So…the “Experience” is gone? Lord Help Us get it back!