Sometimes the truth can be ugly but in the days since the event in Nashville a noticeable hostility and blatant disrespect for those who lost their lives and the grief of those whose lives have changed forever has been present in the major news medias. The powers that be just don’t like us or to put it a bit nicer… they don’t like who we are and what we believe.
Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs’ (D) press secretary resigned this week after posting a tweet that appeared to condone using violence against “transphobes” and included a photo of a woman holding two guns – The tweet was posted on the same day that Nashville became the site of a deadly school shooting when three staff members and three children died at Covenant School, a Christian school.
(Reported in article in the publication The Hill 3/23)
For many years now the church has seen an increasing amount of hostility and unprovoked violence against its properties and its people for no more than believing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and it is to him we look for the promise of salvation and life eternal. I am not sure that is the core reason for these feelings, against us, I have come to realize that from the early days of the church Christianity has never been an easy path to follow and to make another point… our Lord and savior made that plain at the very start of his ministry. We must first acknowledge that there has always been opposition to the core values or precepts of the church. I read one of the early threats to the church and there were many in the writings of Paul in the book of Colossians. Toward the end of the first century, the true gospel of Jesus Christ and His true church were being suppressed and slowly engulfed by a religious movement called Gnosticism, that had as one of its condemning features the combining of certain elements of Christianity with the “mystery religions” extant at the time. These “mysteries” involved secret societies, rituals, levels of understanding, and strange practices like “a gripping religious ecstasy” and being “possessed by the god.” This was just one of many factions that have plagued the church to this very day. There were many different people, and things that came against people of the faith and it is at this point that I ask you to consider this… was it the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or the Resurrection, the promise of eternal life or the need for repentance. Today the Methodist Church is the latest of the main-line churches to be going through a split due to social and cultural pressures based on a scriptural interpretation that has been ongoing for over forty years…that’s right, let me put just a number to that so there is no possibility of a misread. 40 Years. Now let me take this opportunity to share this fact with you. The Methodist Church does not turn and has never turned anyone away from God’s Table. The statement in our Book of Discipline says:
In 1972 the United Methodist Church added language to its Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church that “homosexual persons no less than heterosexual persons are individuals of sacred worth.” In other words, all individuals are of worth to God.
When Russell Kibler, a delegate to the United Methodist General Conference from South Indiana, stepped to the microphone with a question It later prompted the addition of the following addition to The Book of Discipline: “The United Methodist Church does not condone the practice of homosexuality and considers this practice incompatible with Christian teaching.”
Over 44 years later the debate rages on. Consider this, from the very first day Jesus called Andrew as the first disciple, those of the faith have faced opposition and persecution. God’s people have been dying for a long time, we have as a world and nation, become a “Jerusalem”.
Matthew 23:37 ESV
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!
What can we do today with a world that hates the Gospel and the good news it brings?
Paul’s advice to the church at Colossae.
9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,
Another way of putting it…Stay steadfast in the faith, work to acquire knowledge and learn to live a Godly life. In chapter 3 verse 9- Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices ….It seems that bending the truth or telling outright falsehoods to convince others to accept one’s philosophy was normal in Colossae. That tactic is still very much in use to marginalize and paint a bad picture of Christianity in society today. 2 Timothy 3:12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted…
There are enough words written in the Bible to describe the actions by the haters of the truth and the Good News for several pages. One problem with that is I hate to overwhelm you who visit the Pew with bible verses. History…not just Biblical History but records of general historical facts will verify many of these stories of violence against God’s people and can easily be found with a little research. Every now and then we post a blog titled “One of the Dirty Little Truths of Christianity.” Here’s one now for you. 1 John 4:21 “And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.”
The God we serve, let there be no misunderstanding, Commands us “to love our brother and sister. For those of you who hate us here’s a little secret for you…There will be a Judgement Day…I don’t judge you and I hope to be judged to have run a good race and spend eternity with my God…for you…What do you hope for?
Life is Good