Daily Devotional for Tuesday September 6, 2011
The Christian Faith is now Seen as Extreme
In 2011, the Christian faith is now seen by most to be "extreme" and a faith that is "against" everything. When I preach in churches or at events, people love that my messages are rarely longer than 20-30 minutes. I have one key topic, I hone in on it, hit it hard, and than challenge the listeners. However, today's topic is an issue I could pull a Paul and preach about all night long. In this nation, the Christian faith is now seen as "extreme." We are best known for being a faith that is "against" everything. This has been an effective way the non-believing world has found to intimidate Believers into silence and keep them out of the marketplace. Sadly it has worked!
This week, as we commemorate the 10 year anniversary of 9/11, I will be dealing with the rise of Islam in this nation. Today's Devotional is the perfect place to start, since Islam is being advanced the same way the radical homosexual lobby in this nation successfully brought that sinful choice into the mainstream of our culture. Just a few years ago, homosexuality was accepted by most people, even by those who chose this deviant form of unhealthy and unnatural sex, as a sin. Now this sin is socially acceptable in our culture. Don't forget, the Bible says in Romans 1:25 that they will "exchange the truth for a lie!"
The advancement of the radical homosexual agenda in this nation came about primarily due to Christians sitting back in silence. We allowed the world to intimidate us into keeping our mouths shut. You don't need a better example of this than the upcoming season of ABC's popular program "Dancing with the Stars." DWTS has already featured many openly homosexual contestants, but one of their participants this season will be transgender activist Chaz Bono. If you are old enough, you should remember the old Sonny and Cher variety program. At the end, they would bring out their adorable little girl Chasity. Chasity has now undergone surgical procedures to become a man, Chaz.
The sad reality is, people, even many Christians, will continue to watch DWTS because our society has now accepted those who choose to live in these deviant sexual lifestyles as "normal" and "mainstream." Yet it is the media and this world that calls us extreme! During this upcoming Presidential race, you will see Bible-believing Christians labeled as "radical," "extreme," and "dangerous." Yet the current President, a true enemy of God by his support of killing babies, the radical homosexual agenda, and the enemies of Israel, was given a pass for going to a liberal church pastored by the racist Jeremiah Wright, a church whose denomination supports abortion, gay rights, and the enemies of Israel!
Even though it should be obvious, I still get emails all the time asking me if I am the Bill Keller who is the executive editor of the NY Times. NO, though I would love his job for one day. I would write an editorial that would bring many to faith in Christ. But the Bill Keller of the NY Times is no Christian or fan of Christianity. He has recently joined in the media feeding frenzy underway to label people of the Christian faith as extremists and dangerous to the nation.
Why are we called extreme? We believe the Bible to be God's inspired, inerrant Word representing Absolute Truth and our final authority in all matters. Based on God's Word that it is the ONLY Truth, it makes all of the other religions, belief systems and philosophies false. Based on God's Word, it means those who deny faith in Jesus Christ will go to hell. I'm not the one who calls all of the other religions and philosophies in the world false, God is! I'm not the one who has determined who will go to Heaven and hell, God already did!
I get so sick and tired of hearing nonbelievers, and INFURIATED when I hear Believers say, "Who are you to call someone's religion false? Who are you to tell someone that they will be going to hell?" I DIDN'T, GOD DID! IT IS IN THE BIBLE! EITHER WHAT GOD SAID IS TRUE OR IT ISN'T. THE BIBLE SAYS THERE IS ONLY ONE TRUTH, GOD'S! THE BIBLE SAYS THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY TO BE SAVED, FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST! THAT MEANS THE OTHER RELIGIONS AND PHILOSOPHIES ARE A LIE AND THAT ANYONE WHO DOES NOT ACCEPT CHRIST BY FAITH WILL DIE AND GO TO HELL! GOD SAID IT, NOT BILL KELLER!
We are also seen by the nonbelieving world around us as the faith who is against everything. We are against homosexuality. We are against people living together outside of marriage. We are against a woman being able to choose to kill her baby. We are against this and against that. Again, it is not us that is against these things, it is God! We didn't dream up a list of things to be against, they come from the pages of the Bible! We are simply taking a stand against the things God is against and calls sin in the Bible.
Because this world we live in has rejected God, the Truth of the Bible, and faith in Jesus Christ, they have been successful in labeling Christians as extreme. In the United States just 50 years ago, Christianity was considered mainstream. In a single generation it has gone from being mainstream to extreme. It is a faith that has gone from being loved to reviled, accepted to ridiculed. How did that happen? Gutless and compromised spiritual leaders! The flock is only as good as their shepherd. There are too many pastors and those God called to spiritual leadership who have compromised their calling by denying the Truth of the Bible or by getting caught up in building their own kingdom instead of God's Kingdom.
The liberal theology that has crept into the church over the past 40 years is why you now have so-called churches condoning and glorifying gross sins like homosexuality and abortion. That can only happen when you deny the Truth of the Bible like so many churches now do. The heart of the church is God's Word, and when you deny what the Bible truly is, that church is no better than the local strip club!
You also have too many pastors and leaders who are more worried about the temporal pleasures of this world than the eternal work of the Kingdom. Gutless pastors who proudly proclaim on nationwide television they don't preach about sin. Supposed men of God who are more worried about selling books than saving souls. Men and women of God who rather than taking the Gospel to the world that needs it, hide in the "Christian trough" preaching to the choir so they can buy a new private jet, a 5th mansion, build bigger buildings!
Additonally, you have so many churches that have been created not through people getting saved, but through modern day man-created marekting campaigns like the seeker/purpose driven/emerging church/propseprity movements. This has created a generation of people who do go to church, many who aren't even saved, for the msot part are Biblcailly illiterate, weak, and ineffective in livign out their faith on a dialy basis in the world we live in.
So it is no wonder why so many men and women who know the Lord go to work, go to school, play sports, are involved in different hobbies, face people every day out in the marketplace, and will NEVER even admit to being a Christian, let alone take a stand for Christ and the Truth of the Bible! They are petrified at being called intolerant, hateful, extreme, a bigot, and ridiculed, scorned, and abused for being a follower of Christ and standing up for the Truth of God's Word in a group of non-believers. So they simply shut up, INTIMIDATED INTO SILENCE! Why are sinners who serve satan so bold and vocal in declaring their lies while the children of God who possess the only Truth there is sit back in silence???
Is there a price to pay for speaking up for Christ? Absolutely!!! The cold hard reality is that few pastors and very few Christians are willing to pay that price. So why are we surprised we now live in a nation that mocks our faith, ridicules us for our beliefs, and continues to do everything they can to eliminate God, the Bible, and our Lord from even being mentioned in the public square!
Look at what happened to Paul for taking his stand for the Lord. He was nearly killed many times before being martyred. Thrown in jail. Despised and hated everywhere he went. HE DIDN'T CARE! HE UNDERSTOOD IT WASN'T HIM THEY HATED, IT WAS CHRIST. Look at the Old Testament prophets. Same thing. The people hated them because of the message they delivered from God. Look at Steven in Acts 7. Literally stoned to death for simply declaring the Gospel. How many countless men and women over the ages have literally died for their faith!
Is there a price to pay for speaking up? Yes and the simple fact is, most won't pay it even though Jesus paid it all for them!!! This is my message to you today! Don't let these bullies of the world, the homosexuals, the Muslims, cults like the Mormons, the atheists, or anyone else, intimidate you into silence! FIGHT BACK! Why are they allowed to speak and we aren't? Why do you think you have airports every day adding footbaths to accommodate Muslims who can't wash their feet and pray at home, but have to do that at the airport now! Why do you think we will be having many school NOT celebrating Christmas because it offends Muslims and other false religions and those who deny God even exists? GUTLESS PASTORS, GUTLESS CHRISTIANS WHO HAVE BEEN BULLIED AND INTIMIDATED INTO SILENCE!!!
I love you an care about you so much. One comment I hear often is that I don't act like Jesus. They say Jesus would never tell people they were gong to hell. Really? I LOVE people who have rejected Jesus, don't even believe Jesus is who He is, but love to use Jesus as their example. I reminded them of the fact it was for telling the Truth about who He was that Jesus was put to death. It was Jesus who said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life, and NOBODY comes to the Father but through me." That pretty much eliminates all of the false religions and cults in the world and means the ONLY way to be saved is through faith in Jesus Christ, if you believe what Jesus said! I also believe Jesus in speaking to Nicodemus in John Chapter 3 talked about people NOT PERISHING but have everlasting life if they believed in Him!
JESUS LOVED PEOPLE ENOUGH TO TELL THEM THE TRUTH ABOUT THEIR ETERNAL SOULS, AND IF YOU REALLY WANT TO BE LIKE JESUS, YOU WILL LOVE PEOPLE ENOUGH TO TELL THEM THE TRUTH THAT THEY WILL DIE AND GO TO HELL FOR ALL ETERNITY UNLESS THEY ACCEPT HIM INTO THEIR HEARTS AND LIVES BY FAITH!
I want to challenge you and encourage you today to take some time and pray. Pray and ask God how you can be more bold in sharing your faith with others. Pray and ask God to give you the opportunities to take a real stand for Him and for His Truth in the midst of this unbelieving world. The reason we see unbridled sin loose in our world today is that those who know the Lord and His Truth have been intimidated into silence and WE have allowed sin to take over.
Over the course of one generation in this country, we have went from being right to wrong in the eyes of the masses. People no longer hold the Bible to be what it is, God's Truth for men to live by, and people like myself who go into the public arena to share that Truth now look like the extremists while those who hold to other beliefs look normal. THE TRUTH HAS BEEN EXCHANGED FOR THE LIE EXACTLY AS THE BIBLE SAID WOULD HAPPEN IN THE LAST DAYS!
I know that every day men plot to destroy Liveprayer.com. We have two full-time employees whose full time job is to deal with all of the targeted attacks on our Internet infrastructure designed to wipe us off the Internet. Based on the number of death threats I receive each month, I know there are people out there who want to permanently silence my voice. I have been telling you for over 12 years now that simply sharing the Truth of God's Word in the public square will one day soon be against the law. This is why I am so passionate about what I do each day. Every day I am alive, every day Liveprayer.com is online, the Truth of the Word is being heard by this lost and hurting generation around the world and people are finding everlasting life through faith in Jesus Christ.
For those who still haven't figured it out yet, this is not about Bill Keller, it is about Jesus Christ. I don't do this for money or fame or I would be doing what most the high profile ministers do. I live month to month depending on God to move on people's hearts to support His work here and my fame is amongst those who hate the Truth and want to see me dead. But that is OK since I know God will watch over me just like He watched over Paul, the Old Testament prophets, and so many others over the years. He will not let anything happen to me until my work here is complete. So my only job each day is to be obedient and faithful to that work.
Part of that work is to challenge and motivate you to rise up and take your stand for Christ and let your voice be heard. Jesus said, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven." It is time to WAKE UP and SPEAK UP!!!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,