Daily Devotional for Tuesday August 28, 2007
Intimidated into Silence
(Galatians 6:1-12, 1 Timothy 4:1,2)
Intimidated into silence! This coming Friday, Liveprayer will be 8 years old. Every day since Liveprayer started, I have produced a Daily Devotional. Other than about a dozen from the first few months, every Daily Devotional I have written can be found in our "Devotional Archives" on the Liveprayer.com website. Eight years, 96 months of writings. An historical record of what I have said. That is important since from the very beginning I have telling my readers that because we have abandoned the marketplace, have quit reaching out to the lost and hurting masses outside of the 4 walls of the church, the opportunity to use the same secular media vehicles the world uses to propagate the lies of satan that lead men's souls to hell, will soon be impossible for Christians to use to bring people God's Truth and the hope of Jesus Christ! The very small window that was left is now virtually closed and will never be reopened!
The secular networks will never support and endorse any program that is preaching the pure Truth of the Bible, bringing a Biblical worldview to their viewers. They do, however, fill their programming with every kind of sin you can imagine and clearly support a view of the world and life in complete rebellion to the Bible and the Christian Faith. Of course, they are in the entertainment business, not the ministry. However, the entertainment they feed on their airwaves has a foundation of sin and rebellion to God, His Truth, and a faith in Jesus Christ. They are open to dealing with "spiritual issues," but from a New Age viewpoint, not from the Bible. The only way to access their airwaves is to buy time in those few hours a day they designate for PAID PROGRAMMING, which is usually sold to infomercial companies.
The few Christian programs that do pay to be on secular stations usually buy time on Sunday morning or between 2am-6am to troll for Christian viewers. These programs are the exact same programs these ministries air on Christian television, geared strictly for a Christian audience except for local churches who broadcast their Sunday morning worship service. When I started the Liveprayer TV program I knew to attract a non-Christian audience it had to be a different type of program from the standard preaching/teaching programs, geared to non-Christians, and have a similar feel to the secular programs it would compete against without compromising the Truth of the Bible.
Thus was birthed the Liveprayer TV program back on March 3, 2003 on the CBS owned UPN (now CW) affiliate in Tampa, Florida, the !2 TV market in the nation. "Live" every Monday thru Friday from 1-2 a.m. following the last network program. I would simply deal with the current issues in the world and people's lives from a Biblical worldview, take calls from the viewers to debate them, answer their questions, counsel or pray for them, and just love people who were hurting, struggling with life, and give them a word of encouragement and the greatest gift of all...hope!
As of last Friday, for 1,170 nights, except for 2 nights when the studio was closed due to the hurricanes we had in 2005, and 2 nights I was out of town and couldn't get back due to weather, I have been in my chair to share God's Truth with the viewers and minister to them. In addition to being on the CBS owned station all that time, for 52 weeks (July 2005-June 2006) the program was up on satellite and also seen live on the ABC owned stations in Miami, West Palm Beach, and Jacksonville, and the WB affiliate in Ft. Myers. For 10 weeks in 2006 the program was also seen nationwide on the "i" Network.
During this time, millions of people across the nation and around the world via the Liveprayer.com website have seen the program. Over 10,000 people we know of have made the decision to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior by faith. We have taken over 12,000 phone calls from viewers, responded to over 3 1/2 million emails for prayer, and have over 30,000 praise reports archived from people who took the time to emails us back and tell us how God moved in their life. What we have done is use the secular media to bring the unadulterated Truth of God's Word into people's lives who for the most part don't go to church, don't read the Bible, aren't Christians, and see their lives transformed by the power of God. The hunger is out there, but so are those who hate God, reject the Bible as Truth, don't believe in Jesus, and want to silence the Truth from being told!
You can only imagine the outrage by people who are in bondage to a sin like homosexuality when I had the audacity to share that the Bible calls their choice a sin. You can only imagine the outrage by people who have chosen to put their faith in the false gods of the world, follow the cults and false religions that are out there, when I had the audacity to look them in the eye and tell them they are following a lie to the fires of hell. You can only imagine the outrage by people who don't want to be held accountable by God or anyone, when I would sit there night after night and tell them that Absolute Truth does exist and that they are free to believe and do whatever they want, but there will be consequences for their choices. Forty years ago, there would not have been the outrage from someone preaching a Biblically based message. There is today!
Each night we get many hateful emails, every month several death threats are received by email, letter and phone. The drive to take this program off the air started virtually after the first program and has never stopped. For CBS, we were a paying client. We pay them nearly $400,000 a year in air time and product costs. The station managers over the years took the position that we had what some considered "controversial content," but so did many programs and that is why they put up the disclaimers before and after our telecast. Liveprayer was a good customer and the people who didn't like the program didn't have to watch. They also knew that I was a broadcast professional and that I would never do anything to violate FCC regulations and that we did tremendous good in the community and in many lives through the program.
More vocal than even the numerous homosexual groups, Scientologists, Mormons, and atheists who have been trying to take us off was CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations. CAIR, who is currently listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in a Dallas trial involving a terrorist fund raising operation, is viewed by much of the mainstream media as a Muslim version of the American Civil Liberties Union instead of the face of the radical Islamic movement that it has been proven to be since its inception here in the United States. CAIR believes that free speech ends when someone tells the truth about Islam. Sadly, CBS caved into the intimidation tactics by CAIR and told us they would be taking our program off the air on September 11th. 9/11, an interesting date. You can read more about this radical Islamic group at: http://www.anti-cair-net.org/
However, God always has a ram in the bush. Six months ago, we had begun developing a new morning program on a competing network in the Tampa market to reach that "morning prime" audience. The program would be a bit different, since it would feature secular guests each morning from the local Tampa Bay community. People from the area attractions, restaurants, sports teams, business and political communities, to deal with the issues in this area. That would help us to attract a more secular audience which would also be hearing the news and events in the world from a Biblical worldview. We would continue to take some phone calls each day, counsel people, and share with the audience the Truth of God's Word and the hope we have in Jesus.
Over this past weekend, I pressed for a meeting to see if we could salvage the program. Out of love and concern for the thousands of people who depend on the Liveprayer program to be there each night, I met with management Monday morning, but it was clear the content of the program would be an ongoing issue for them. So even though we could stay on CBS until 9/11, we chose to have our final program on Friday, August 31, the 8 year anniversary of Liveprayer, and will debut the new morning program "Liveprayer AM," the following Monday at 7:30 a.m. ISN'T GOD GOOD!!!
I love you and care about you so much. My message for you today is simply this. Don't ever let anyone or anything silence you from telling people the Truth. The Truth of God's Word is all we have. It is our only message. I realize that we will not have much longer before there won't be any secular venues left to bring forth the Gospel, but as long as there is one, I will be there. The better percentage of two full generations don't go to church, don't read the Bible, and unless they come to know Jesus as their Savior will die and go to hell. WE MUST REACH THESE PEOPLE, AND TO DO THAT, WE HAVE TO INVADE THEIR LIVES WHERE THEY LIVE!!!
Towards that end, we still have a small window to get the night program back on nationwide on the "i" Network. I have an option that expires this Friday to be back on Monday, October 1, "live" every Monday-Friday from Midnight -1 a.m. EDT reaching 90 million of the 100 million TV households in the nation. I told you last year how critical it was to get the program on and keep it on, since once the window closes it will be closed for good. We are feverishly working on several situations to make that happen, so please pray. We need $3 million to cover our first 3 months on the air, after that, we have our in-house sales team now in place that can secure enough advertising to keep the program going long term. If God is speaking to you about this, contact me and let's chat. There isn't much time left to be able to bring a true Biblical message to the marketplace using the secular media, we must take advantage of the time we do have. THE ETERNAL SOULS OF PEOPLE, YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS ARE AT STAKE!!!
Thank you for all of your love and prayers, for your concern, and for your support. It has been a wild few weeks, with several more ahead, but God is good. I told my attorney the other night that CBS by cowering to CAIR might have just helped execute me. The international wire services are reporting that I am some anti-Muslim extremist who is inciting violence against Muslims. This has caused a rash of death threats and no doubt, made me a marked man in the Muslim world. The sad reality is, I am only interested in saving their souls, it is Islam that is about killing those who oppose them. But God is good and I will keep pressing on towards the prize. I know where my home is and I also know that as long as God has work for me to do He will have his legions watching over me.
Tomorrow is promised to none of us. Every second someone is dying and going to hell, someone that could have been saved if they had been told about Jesus and His love for them. That is what drives me each second of each day, to keep telling all that I can about our wonderful Savior who loves them, died for their sins, so that they could be forgiven and have the assurance of heaven. That is the Gospel message and we can't let ourselves be intimidated into silence!
Many people ask me why I keep fighting so hard each day, go through all I do each day. Some get upset that I ask people to support God's work here. I don't play mind games with you, I don't take passages of the Bible out of context to try and manipulate you. I don't bribe you with gifts to send Liveprayer money. I simply tell you what our needs are and ask you to pray about helping me to do the work God has called us to do. Not everyone is called to be physically on the front lines like I am. Some go to the front lines through their prayers and through their giving. A war can't be fought without money and some are called to help finance the war! The reason I put myself out there, the reason I beg you to help me, is because of people who send me emails like this:
"Dear Pastor Bill, Without your inspiration and constant presence in my life over the past two years, I have no doubt that I would NEVER have developed the frame of mind or sense of hope and optimism to even try to get out of bed and function again. In addition to the thyroid cancer you know about, I was struck by lightning in 1988 and it severely damaged my nervous system and broke my spine completely. It is a miracle I can walk at all! Last year I had three small heart attacks followed by strokes, and now I have been diagnosed with COPD and emphysema. Given all that plus a 60 mile an hour motorcycle accident and 4 serious car accidents over the past 20 years, I truly believe you when you say that God still has work for me to do. Otherwise I would simply have died. I had given up any thought of ever being a "productive" member of society again, considering that magnitude of physical and mental adversities I was faced with. But you inspired me to keep going, to get out of bed and try to walk tall in the light of the day again. I can never thank you enough!"