Monday, June 16, 2014

REPOSTED: My Easy Trip from Youth Minister to Felon

On June 12, 2014, Christianity Today posted an article by a youth pastor who had sex with one of his students.  Due to an overwhelming amount of backlash, they had a "change of heart" and removed the entire article.  What they left behind was a link to the edited article at the Internet Archive.  However, that link is less than useful because it will only let you read the first 2-3 paragraphs.  In any event, I believe that deleting that article was a GRAVE ERROR!

The article, which was written by an ANONYMOUS former youth pastor, is about the effects on him, his family, his local church, their families and the ANONYMOUS young girl he had a relationship with.  Due to the overwhelming quantity of ANONYMITY involved in this article, I believe that it can and SHOULD BE used as a WARNING to others who would involve themselves in youth ministry!

Christianity Today says that part of the reason they regretted posting the article, was because "The post adopted a tone that was not appropriate given its failure to document complete repentance and restoration."  That's nonsense.  The author is currently serving a prison sentence and is unable to effectively communicate PERSONALLY with ALL of those that he harmed.  I sincerely believe that this writing is an EXCELLENT FIRST STEP towards that goal AND I have made it available here IN ITS ENTIRETY, for you to decide for yourself.

My Easy Trip from Youth Minister to Felon
The spiral into sin that destroyed my life and ministry.
Name Withheld

Seven years ago I was hired by my church to be the new youth minister. The youth group was on life support at the time, with only a few students involved. My wife and I, newly married, already had good relationships with the students and their parents and, with my college ministry experience, I seemed to be the perfect fit for the position.

The ministry grew steadily. Within a few years the group that once struggled to fill a minivan was taking over 40 students to camp every summer. Teens were involved in every area of our church. The students were participating in local, regional, and international missions, and were inviting their friends to our activities. The gospel was being taught, and students were accepting Christ, getting baptized, and serving.

Other youth ministers, wanting to experience the same growth in their groups, would ask me for tips on how to reach and connect with students. The growth of the youth group was so significant that our church was pursuing the purchase of a bus and considering plans to expand the facility and build a gym. We had outgrown our own building. I had no doubt that God had called me to the position and that he had even greater things in store for the ministry and for me.

But there was one problem. Because of that problem, I am now in prison and the youth group is back on life support. This is the story of how I went from being a successful youth minister to a convicted felon in 3 easy steps.

My inner failure

A few years into my marriage and ministry I began to believe a lie. The realities of parenthood and marriage were sinking in, and I felt unappreciated at home. From my perspective, I was excelling at work and at home—and this perceived lack of appreciation led me to believe I deserved more.

Meanwhile, there was someone else in my life that appreciated me very much. Seeking approval and appreciation, I gravitated toward that person. She and I were always happy to see each other and looked forward to each other's company. Before long, we were texting each other and interacting through social media. Nothing scandalous or questionable—a Facebook "like" or comment here, a friendly text there. Things friends do.

But I knew what appeared innocent was, in reality, wrong and very dangerous. Red flags kept popping up. Why was I not talking about this "friendship" with my wife? Why was I being secretive and sneaky about it? Why didn't I, in the earliest stages, when I knew the "friendship" was rapidly escalating beyond what it should be, slam on the brakes?

The answer: I had failed to address the sin in my life. Sin that is not dealt with doesn't fade away. It destroys us from the inside.

Consider King David's adulterous relationship with Bathsheba. Well before Bathsheba's pregnancy and David's successful plot to have her husband Uriah killed, the King was already acting selfishly:

"In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab and his servants with him, and all Israel. And they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem." (2 Samuel 11:1.)

At a time when kings went out to war, David chose to stay home and pursue leisure rather than fight alongside his countrymen. David's choice to stay home provides an insight into where his heart was at the moment. He was being selfish. Perhaps he considered himself better than his soldiers or deserving of more pleasure than the average man. David's selfishness led to adultery, which then led to lying, deceit, and murder. The effects of his sin hurt his family for generations.

Selfishness is at the root of all sin and I had been very selfish. I fooled myself into thinking that by working hard and being a good father, I had earned a certain amount of reward. Since I felt I was not being rewarded at home, I deserved to be rewarded elsewhere. I never thought those words clearly, but my actions clearly revealed the condition of my heart.

A wrong and vicious cycle

Wrong thinking leads to sin, and sin leads to more wrong thinking. In the early stages of this extramarital relationship, I thought that I was seeking approval from someone other than my wife because I was not receiving it from my wife. But me seeking approval and appreciation elsewhere had dramatically impacted how I related to my wife. The unaddressed sin—my selfishness—caused my wife to respond to me differently. I see now that I failed to nurture our marriage properly, but at the time I silently blamed her for driving me away.

The "friendship" continued to develop. Talking and texting turned flirtatious. Flirting led to a physical relationship. It was all very slow and gradual, but it was constantly escalating. We were both riddled with guilt and tried to end things, but the allure of sin was strong. We had given the devil far more than a foothold and had quenched the Holy Spirit's prodding so many times, there was little-to-no willpower left.

We tried to end our involvement with each other many times, but it never lasted. How many smokers have quit smoking only to cave in at the next opportunity for a cigarette? We quit so many times, but the temptation of "one more time" proved too strong.

Like David, my selfishness led to infidelity. Then, to destruction.

Loving me, instead of Jesus

As a minister in my early 30's, I was in the sweet spot—about halfway between the age of a student and the parents. The students looked up to me as a cool older brother that they could go to with life's problems. The parents saw me as a responsible young adult with whom they could trust their sweet, rebellious teens. I wanted the parents to trust me and the students to love me.

If the parents trusted me, they would support the ministry. But I didn't want just a youth group full of students that were forced to attend. I wanted the youth to love their group. More honestly, I wanted the students to love me.

The youth group was very small the first few years. The beauty of a small group is that one can build meaningful relationships with every student in the group, a task which proves more difficult when the group grows. In those early years, the group was very close. It felt like a family. As the years passed, the students who were middle-schoolers during the group's infancy became the core members, the leaders in a large group. Youth group is a year-round commitment. School teachers have students for 9 months, then trade them in for a whole new group. A youth minister is involved in the lives of his students year-round for up to 6 years. Over the years I had become very close with the small handful of students that had been involved since the early years. They had developed into leaders and I depended on them for feedback when planning activities. One of those students, though, I was depending on for more than just feedback.

My heart was not totally corrupt. My team of youth workers and I worked hard to have a Christ-centered ministry and there was much fruit to prove it. But I was often made the hero of the group's successes. With false modesty, I would accept the praise of parents, church members and students. Many were aware of the group's humble beginnings. They patted me on the back for ushering in a season of unprecedented growth. I would pay lip service to their compliments by crediting "a great team of committed youth workers," and "students' boldness in inviting friends." I knew that when the youth workers and students were recognized, it was still a reflection upon my leadership abilities. Not once did I credit the Lord —as Paul did in 1 Cor 3:6: "I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth."

If I was applauded by the church. I was revered by the students. They loved the camps, retreats and mission trips I planned. The activities and games I organized were the most fun. My lessons were smart, funny and memorable. I was preaching about Christ crucified, but if He had shown up at one of my events, He would have been no higher than the second most important man there. I was the king of my own little kingdom, but pride comes before the fall.

In early June of 2012 I was the keynote speaker at a baccalaureate service for the graduates of the largest high school in our community. Later that month I took over 40 students to a missions-based camp. There were hundreds of students at camp and my youth group was the largest. A couple of weeks later I led a mission trip to Haiti for the outgoing seniors. Throughout all of this, the too-close relationship continued.

By all visible measures, I was a success and the youth group was firing on all cylinders, a model for other ministries to emulate. By the invisible measures that only the Lord can see, though, I was filthy and bringing nothing but dishonor to my position as a minister and to Jesus' name. In spite of me, the group continued to grow, flourish and produce fruit.

Warnings ignored

If the consequences of sin are so painful, so severe, why doesn't God prevent us from falling so far? God does not stop us from sinning, but neither is he sitting idly by, waiting for us to stumble. He provides clear warnings for us in his word. He uses other believers to hold us to account and, most amazingly, he use the Holy Spirit to speak to us from the inside.

In his Word, God gives ample warning against sin as well as instructions on how to avoid it. He repeatedly calls believers to be holy because he is holy. Our failure to fully recognize the holiness of God is directly responsible for our failure to obey him.

When Uzzah saw the Ark of the Covenant tipping over and was struck dead for reaching out to stabilize it, was God being unfair? No, God had given clear instructions that no one was to touch the ark because it was holy.

R.C. Sproul writes in his seminal book The Holiness of God that Uzzah considered his hand more holy that the muddy, sinless ground beneath him. He failed to recognize how completely holy God is and how much sin separates us from him. God does not look upon sin. The reason Jesus cried out from the cross "My God, why have you forsaken me?" was because in that moment he was bearing the sins of the world. Jesus felt the Father's gaze leave him. We wonder why we don't feel the presence of God in our lives while we're all tangled up with sin. It is because we separated ourselves from him.

Just like Uzzah had no excuse, neither did I. God's Word gave me plenty of warnings and instructions, which I failed to heed.

God also uses other believers to draw attention to our sin. Early in the relationship, my "friend" and I were accused of being too close to each other. We were offended and dismissed the allegations as jealous words. After all, at the time we were just talking. Even then though, we were lying to ourselves and others. We knew that our relationship had crossed a line and discretion was needed. We played off the allegations and used them as an excuse to draw closer to each other. Sin had a powerful hold on us.

Third, God convicts us of sin through the Holy Spirit. The very Spirit of God lives within the believer. He is guiding us to all truth, discerning spiritual things for our human minds, praying for us with deep groans when our words fail and convicting us of our sin. Consider this: The same Spirit that hovered over the face of the deep at creation lives within you. The same spirit that came in power on the day of Pentecost lives within you. The same Spirit that Jesus promised to send to us as a counselor lives within you.

That Spirit, the spirit of God, convicts us and pleads with us to resist sin. Yet we ignore the warnings. We quench the Holy Spirit. Once a sinner ignores the prodding of the Holy Spirit the first time, it is easier to do each subsequent time. Eventually the sinner becomes numb to the prodding of the Holy Spirit.

God never gives up on us, but when it is the only remaining option, he will give us over to our sins. In the Bible, when God "gave them over to their sin" (Romans 1:24), it means that he allowed sinners to hit rock bottom, so they would then realize their need to be rescued. God does not want anyone to sin. He hates sin and does not look upon it. Yet he also knows when someone is so lost in sin that their only hope of returning to him is to reach the end of themselves and recognize their need for a savior.

In my extramarital relationship I did not heed God's warnings or commands given to me in the scriptures. I failed to admit my sin and repent when confronted by another believer. I also quenched the Holy Spirit and became numb to the Spirit's pleadings.

All things come into the light

You may have guessed by now that the "friend" in my relationship was a student. She was one of the core students, involved from the very beginning. Our families were very close, which meant a lot of time together over the years. She adored me and I loved the adoration.

When my wife discovered incriminating text messages on my phone, I knew instantly that everything was about to come crashing down. After hours of screaming and crying, she packed some bags, loaded our 2 kids into the minivan and left the house at 3 AM. I have not seen my kids since. It has been over a year. The only time I have seen my wife has been in court. We have not communicated in one year. I lost my job, and was required to drop out of seminary. I pleaded guilty to 2 felonies, am serving time in prison and will be a registered sex offender for the rest of my life.

You know your own area of selfishness. Maybe it's dangerously close to mine. Are you flirting with a student, playing favorites or struggling with lust? Whatever it is, stop now. Repent of your sin and make it known to those who need to know: your spouse, your boss, your accountability partner. Deal with your sin before it destroys your life and brings down your family and church in the process.

Submit your ministry, marriage and life to the Lord. He is faithful. He will establish you and guard you from the evil one. Put to death in you what is earthly, so God can get back to using you for His glory.

Sooner or later, all things come into the light.

After what I'm sure was an insurmountable amount of backlash, the article was edited with the following ADDITIONAL comment from the original author (to be honest, I think it was overkill):

Author's Note: In response to readers' concerns, the author of this piece has offered the following clarification: "I recognize that what I initially considered a consensual relationship was actually preying on a minor. Youth pastors who do the same are not "in relationship" but are indeed sexual predators. I take 100 percent of the responsibility for what happened."

So what do you think?  Should this article have been ELIMINATED from the Internet, or is there some actual value in it?  Is there anything useful that WE can learn from it?

Proverbs 27:17 (GW) - As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens the wits of another.

I think that there's some useful discussion that should take place here...
Will you join me?

NOTE: This is a family-friendly blog.  That means that CRUDE LANGUAGE will not be tolerated.  Please use your inner-editor to filter out extraneous and unnecessary words.

NOTE2:  If somehow the original author of this piece finds this site, I would love to hear from you so that I can update people on your situation without unfairly biasing what you have to say.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Was Jesus a Liberal and a Socialist?

In a brief interaction with a liberal Christian the other day, I came upon this statement:

Claim: Jesus was a LIBERAL and a SOCIALIST!

I hear this claim every now and again, and every time I hear it, it gets me upset...  If you do any amount of research on this topic, you'll find elaborate, fanciful and overly creative articles written by people who go WAY TOO FAR, just to answer a simple question...

Here is the very simple reply and answer that I offered to this claim:
I'm not sure where you are in your walk with God, but to claim that Jesus was a liberal and a socialist, is like claiming that Karl Marx was a great philanthropist and humanitarian. 
Jesus feeding the 5,000+ men, women and children was not an act of socialism, it was a MIRACLE, performed to show EVERYONE that He was indeed God. 
Jesus saying "He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.", wasn't an act of liberalism, it was a lesson to those of us who would pronounce judgement, without seeing that our own SIN is *just as* vile and contemptible before a Holy God. 
Each group (political, denominational or otherwise) tries to hijack Jesus for their own use and purposes, instead of just allowing what He did and what He said to speak for itself (in context of course). From time to time I've been accused of the same thing, but I always take the time to show people where they can find the answer (or correction) to their incorrect or perhaps *false* understandings. 
Please take your time while reading Scripture and ensure that you have a Pastor in your life to help you to better understand the verses that prove challenging and NEVER allow your own personal bias to influence your walk with God. If you take the time, the Holy Spirit will be more than happy to tell you the things that you NEED to know... :)
Now you have an example of what to say if/when you're faced with this false claim... 

Monday, June 9, 2014

My Platform for Presidency of the United States

Have you ever stopped to think of what YOU would do IF you were elected President of the United States?  Well I hadn't until today...  I believe that there are many things that the citizens of the United States NEED and Obamacare, IRS Attacks, Forcing religious entities to pay for employee abortions and supporting Socialism are not among them!

So these are some of the things I would do IF I was President....
Would you vote for me?  ;)

All comments are welcome, but please avoid vulgar language.

1. All men (and women) are created equal.  That includes homosexuals, LGBT, etc.

2. Marriage is not a RIGHT, it's a UNION between man, woman and God.  I would however support civil unions, only as a measure of keeping the peace.

3. Climate change is a proven farce and no new spending or regulating should be implemented unless clear, present and obvious danger are presented.

4. Alternative energy sources are a GOOD THING.  I would not only support all current methods of natural or naturally occurring fuel sources, but more importantly, i would encourage MORE research of solutions that are based on "free" or "over-unity" types of devices.  Keeping in mind the laws of thermodynamics of course.  I would put together a group of the finest engineers and scientists and together with the inventors, we can get to the bottom of which technologies work and HOW they work.  This will put an end to the claims from the past 100 or so years, that say "the government is burying or suppressing these devices". Additionally, over the past several years, the powers that be have decided to use FOOD for energy creation needs.  In light of how many HUNGRY people there are both here and in the world, wasting food this way is UNCONSCIONABLE!

5. Immigration reform IS needed in this country.  I would support limited amnesty programs, but it would be necessary to exert whatever resources are needed, in order to prevent such weak border control and enforce LEGAL IMMIGRATION.

6. The military in the United States is a mere shadow of what it was only 20 years ago.  A revitalized and adequately trained military is necessary for the future stability of this country.

7. The U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights has never been more important than they are right now.  Past regimes have disregarded or outright ignored their existence.  A move back to them is required.

8. Gun control laws have become increasingly more restrictive.  Proper controls should be in place to prevent mentally unstable citizens from possession or usage and criminal penalties need to be much more swift and decisive.  Possession and the RIGHT to bear arms was a KEY amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in order to ENSURE that our Federal Government never does to us, what the English government did to them.  Tyranny will not happen on my watch.

9. I would support the abolishment of the IRS as it exists today, in favor of a FAIR and EASY TO UNDERSTAND flat-tax system.

10. Our government has become a "nanny-state", in that they believe it's their job to tell you what to eat, what to drink, how to raise your children, etc.  This needs to stop.  Individual liberties are what this country was founded on and a return to this is required.  States are afforded the right to create their own laws and this practice should be supported.  The government is not the "police" for states, it is it's SERVANT.  No Federal Judge should ever be in a position to ORDER a State to comply with something OTHER THAN what the people of that state have voted for.

11. Individual privacy has become almost non-existent in this country.  If "John Smith" wants to have their personal details remain private, it should be made MUCH EASIER than it is currently.

12. The government is not responsible for offering or regulating HEALTH CARE.  Every citizen should have the ability to purchase affordable health care, regardless of preexisting conditions, and any previous acts regarding this shall be done away with.

13. In light of growing atheism in the United States, the responsibility of CHARITY has been taken away from the churches and the individual and instead, has been given to the Government.  Charity begins at HOME, not in Congress.

14. Spending in this country has gotten BEYOND out of control.  Expenses need to be reeled back in DRAMATICALLY.  If liberals want to continue being liberal, they should be afforded the ability to, and encouraged to spend THEIR OWN MONEY as LIBERALLY as they would like.  Just about every economist on the planet is warning of the impending collapse of not only the U.S. economy, but of the U.S. Dollar as the monetary standard used in the world.  Every effort should be made to turn back the clock in this regard.  If they're not willing to spend their OWN money, how can they expect the government to spend YOURS in their place?

15. Israel has been and shall continue to be one of the greatest single allies of the United States.  The land currently controlled by Israel BELONGS to Israel and they should populate it, build on it and govern it AS THEY SEE FIT.  After all they've been through over the past 4,000 years, if they want to have a primarily Jewish state, it is THEIR RIGHT to decide.  Neither the US nor the UN should mandate what any sovereign country chooses to do.  We should be a Blessing to Israel, not a thorn.

16. Internet access SHOULD be made significantly more affordable for those that can not afford it.  Not through regulation or laws, but by working with the private sector to make such a thing happen.  Alternatively, Internet access as a municipal public utility is an idea I've often thought about, that would solve this problem.  Think of it as a public bus vs. a private car.  You'll get where you're going, but one will be faster and perhaps more convenient.  Also, Net Neutrality (in its current conceptual form) is NOT the solution.

17. Medical research should continue to be encouraged, but it is NOT the responsibility of government to fund it.  A strong and healthy society not only benefits the individual, but greatly benefits the manufacturers!

18. Special interest groups should be discouraged.  Nobody deserves "special rights" or treatments.

19. Globalization is not in the best interest of the United States or its citizens.  All benefits and incentives given to companies that hire individuals outside of this country should be revoked.

20. China & Japan have loaned this country a ridiculously significant amount of money.  All efforts should be made to pay them back as quickly as possible, in order to improve the credit rating of the United States of America (and of course to keep our debtors happy).

21. Encouraging boys to become REAL MEN and girls to become REAL WOMEN should become a priority in this country.  The individual is not more important than the whole.  Our society relies upon each gender for each of their strengths and together we make this country better AND stronger.

22. Social Justice (as practiced in the United States) is not only illegal, but should be immediately discontinued.  Any past grievances that any particular group has had, have been redressed to the absolute limit.  As there's nobody left alive who is DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE for the past actions or inactions of governments past, there is no one left to be punished or corrected.  We need to move on as ONE PEOPLE AND ONE NATION.

23. Racism has got to be stopped.  Black vs. White vs. Mexican vs. Cuban vs. Puerto Rican, vs. whatever. This is not a sporting event, where you choose your team and want the other to fail.  This is our country, we all live here together.  Yes, there are cultural differences between us, but focusing on what makes us the same should be encouraged and ignorance should be corrected.

24. The United States has been in the past and should be seen once again, as the "World Police".  No other country in the history of creation has ever done as much as, or as often as the U.S. has for other countries in need.  There are people in all parts of the world that may despise the U.S. for our arrogance, but when things get bad, they should know that they can continue to count on us to be there when they need us most.

25. Our founding fathers were all taught about the creation of the universe in primary school.  We credit them with creating the most perfect "governmental system" in the history of the world, yet we are denying our children the same (or similar) education, in favor of something akin to science fiction - and then teach our children that it's a fact.  Our founding fathers never suggested kicking God out of government and never suggested kicking God out of our classrooms.  They did however want to restrict the government from ever ESTABLISHING a national religion, which I might add has never happened.  Our founding fathers also wanted to protect the free exercise of religion as well, but instead we've banned prayer from the classroom and Bibles from being brought to school.

26. A return to the "Rule of Law" should be encouraged and a departure from "Case Law" should be encouraged.  Case law is flawed from the ground up, as there have been and will continue to be individual Judges who do not properly understand the technicalities of case law and rule inappropriately.  I would site most technology based cases as an example.  A return to the "Rule of Law" will eliminate precedents and the erroneous expectations that they create.

27. This country has been at the mercy of POLITICIANS for ages and this practice MUST STOP.  Citizens have become so polarized that they no longer care about the CANDIDATE, but only the party membership.  As most of us have become aware, the differences between the parties have become almost a blur.  As each candidate attempts to lure members of another party, what they truly believe, vs what they "say" has become less reliable than the predictions of a weatherman in Colorado.

28. Industry needs to be revamped dramatically in order to ensure that our reliance on imports decreases.  Doing so will not only create jobs, but will ensure future American innovation once again.

29. No more bailouts!  Just as every citizen should have the ability to fail or to succeed, every business, corporation and bank should have the right as well.  If this is a problem for some banks, they should return their customers money, close their doors and let a more responsible institution manage peoples money.

30. While I am personally AGAINST abortion, the United States of America should not be in the business of supporting the murder of our unborn children.  While I wouldn't mandate that abortion should be illegal, any and all funding for abortions by the U.S. government should be immediately halted. People can make their own decisions, government should not have the role of encouraging or discouraging what they do in this regard.

31. Farmers and Ranchers in the 21st century should not only be encouraged and supported, but applauded!  Never in the history of this country have we had so many people to feed.  Genetically modified foods should not only be banned for use in this country, but their very existence should be outlawed.  There are NO LONG TERM STUDIES to show what negative effects (if any) exist with GM foods.  Again, over the past several years, the powers that be have decided to use FOOD for energy creation needs.  In light of how many HUNGRY people there are both here and in the world, wasting food this way is UNCONSCIONABLE!

32. While the very foundation of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid have obvious roots in what's referred to as "Socialism", the need for such programs should be continued, ALBEIT in a significantly different way.  With that said, our Social Security system is in great need of an overhaul.

33. Judicial activism should be punished with stiff penalties.  Too many Judges are making too many questionable and illegal calls to be called IMPARTIAL anymore.

34. The Internet is not and SHOULD NOT BE regulated by the government.  Inasmuch as nobody should regulate what you should be allowed to say on a telephone call (short of threatening or harassment), no government should be allowed to tell you what to do or how to do it online.

35. While the federal government should have no say in this matter, I personally support the continuation of no state or other imposed taxes on internet purchases that cross state lines.  Taxing people to death is not in the best interest of government OR the people it's supposed to be serving.

36. Your personal, private health care related information is NONE OF THE GOVERNMENTS BUSINESS - PERIOD.  All databases maintained by the government should be DELETED and healthcare organizations should continue to be encouraged to freely share information with other institutions as needed.

37. The FBI should be empowered immediately, with the authority to bring Cyber-terrorists to justice.  We have the technology to find and catch these people, it's time that the FBI was given the authority to use it.  A safe experience online ensures the reduction of billions of dollars of annual lost revenue due to viruses & malware attacks.  It's the internet equivalence of spreading AIDS by injecting someone with infected blood.

38. The United States government has TOO MANY EMPLOYEES.  Significant cutbacks are required to reel in redundant and patently unnecessary jobs.

39.  The United States Postal Service has overextended itself in order to become "competitive" with private industry.  This is a mistake and should be stopped.  The U.S. Postal service should discontinue competing and go back to doing what it does best - DELIVER THE MAIL.  Private industry is able to do it better, more reliably and less expensively than the government has ever been able to.  This should also result in a decrease in unnecessary government jobs and lead to a leveling-off (or reduction) of the price of a simple postage stamp.

40. This country thrived significantly more SOCIALLY when God was included in all things.  Since abandoning Him in government, schools and the general mind of the atheistic or agnostic public, there has been a huge breakdown in what is considered good, decent and acceptable behavior.  I will encourage active worship standards, in whatever form is considered (by the masses) generally peaceful and acceptable behavior.

So what do you think?  Am I lost?  Have I lost the plot?  Or maybe you think I'm on to something?  Please let me know in the comments below...

PS: I don't claim to have the answers to "all things", nor do I claim that my wording on certain things are perfect.  When people VOTE for a candidate, they're not voting on the candidates "perfect state", they're voting for that candidate, because that candidate most closely represents someone they believe will do the things that they believe in MOST.  Unless of course you're a racist/bigot, then you vote for the person with the same skin color/nationality/religion as you do, REGARDLESS of what the candidate stands for.  That last one makes me sad.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Are you a Christian or a Disciple?

WARNING: God's Word has been known to be offensive to those living outside of God's perfect Will.  Read to your own edification!


Do you call yourself a Christian?


Does Jesus tell you anywhere in Scripture to "Go out and become a Christian"?

Did you know that the word "Christian" can be found only 3 times in the whole Bible...?

And 2 of those times, it's used in a discussion surrounding suffering or death!

Yet many of you will use that "title" alone in order to describe yourself.  Something that you either deem as a badge of honor, inferring your rebelliousness to the world at large or simply just to show people how "good" or "righteous" you are...

But I'm here to tell you today, that Jesus Himself was more concerned about DISCIPLESHIP than He ever was about you attending church, joining a religion or making up or following your own ways and practices, thanks to what the United States calls "Religious Freedom".

John 8:31 - Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed."

John 13:35 - "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

John 15:8 - "By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples."

Jesus wants more than anything, for you to desire to be His Disciple.  He won't make you, force you or coerce you into doing so.  God says that once you accept the fact that only the Blood of Jesus can wash away your sins and make you perfect in the eyes of God, that He will give you a NEW HEART!

Ezekiel 36:26 - I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you...

Psalms 51:9-13 - Hide Your face from my sins, And blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners shall be converted to You.

But what does Jesus instruct us to do with that New Heart?

Matthew 28:19 - "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit..."

The verse above is referred to as "The Great Commission".  It's the single biggest thing that Jesus called for His Elect to do.  He didn't tell us to "go into all the world and make Christians", He didn't tell us to "go into all the world and extort money from people, by way of tithing, in order to open up a new church" either.  He also didn't call us to "Stay home, watch TV, go to movies and wait for His impending arrival... someday".

Jesus says that if you TRULY HAVE a changed heart, that you will place all of your faith and trust in Him alone and in doing so, that you will love and respect Him more and more each day, with that love FOR HIM continuing to grow within you DAILY!

How do I know this?

I know this, because Jesus made it crystal clear for us...

Allow me to help clarify it here for you...

Luke 14:25-34 - Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them,"If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.

And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.

For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it --- lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish'?

Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace.

So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.

Before you can "make disciples of all nations", you yourself need to be HIS DISCIPLE FIRST!  But Jesus, who knows our pride and foolishness wanted to help us to understand WHO His disciples really are.

In those verses from Luke 14, Jesus says that in comparison to how much you love your family, friends and your own life, it should be as if you hated them in comparison to how much you love Him.  He says that if you don't love Him more than them, then you CAN NOT BE His Disciple.

He then goes on to tell you that as His disciple, you too will have your own cross to bear!  You may not be nailed to a cross, but going into all the world, in order to make disciples of all nations will probably get you into a lot of trouble.  The two analogies that Jesus next gives you, are to help you recognize that you had better count the cost BEFORE you decide to follow Him.  He says that if you can't (or are not willing to) bear that cross, then you CAN NOT BE His Disciple.

Finally Jesus wraps up with His last warning.  He says that if you are not willing to leave your old life behind, then you CAN NOT BE His Disciple.

So I would ask you this follow up question...

You don't call yourself a Disciple of Jesus Christ, do you?

Why not?

SilverWorks Ministries can help...
Please visit us on the web @

Monday, April 7, 2014

Pastoral Self Importance - STOP IT!

As a Discipleship Minister, I'm often placed in a position where I need to reach out to local churches, in order to help create a smooth transition from my care as a Shepherd, over to a long-term Shepherd.  At any given time, I have between 5 and 25 people from around the world who seek out my guidance on discipleship.  Once I get people to a certain point, I encourage them to find a local church to get additional fellowship.

To date, I've had ZERO PERCENT SUCCESS at accomplishing what should be a ridiculously simple task...

Good question!

I blame the Pastors for this problem.  All Pastors?  Probably not, but out of all the Pastors that I've encountered, I've been unsuccessful at EVER getting past their secretaries!  And let me be clear....  Most of the churches I've contacted are SMALL...  Every now and then I contact a larger one too, but so far the situation has been pretty much the same...

Oh Pastor Keith, our Pastor X would love to speak with each and every member of our church, but it's just not possible.  What-with outreach and sermon prep and hospital visits and baby dedications and funerals and bingo to prepare for, there's just no time!  He does make himself available after every Sunday service in order to shake everybody's hands though!  Isn't he the greatest?!


Let me get this straight...  The secretary is tasked with telling SHEEP (and other Shepherds) that the Shepherd is TOO BUSY FOR THEM?  How on earth is the Shepherd too busy for the SHEEP?  Is this some kind of sick joke? IS THAT THE MODEL CHRIST GAVE US TO FOLLOW?!

Is there Biblical support for this insanity?  Something in the "book of Pomposity" that states, "Hire thyself a secretary in order to prevent the sheep from contacting you.  Only then shall thou be able to fleece thy flock!"?

I'm raving mad about this... RAVING!

I told another Minister (who's a friend of mine) to SMACK ME if I EVER make myself unavailable!

I told him that God forbid that I should ever make myself so self important, that he should smack me as hard as he could in order to snap me out of it.  God forbid I say, God forbid...

Proverbs 30:32-33 - If you have been foolish in exalting yourself, Or if you have devised evil, put your hand on your mouth. For as the churning of milk produces butter, And wringing the nose produces blood, So the forcing of wrath produces strife.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Agendas, Propaganda and Lies... Oh my!

NOTICE: As I referenced in my last post on the subject, this is my second (and hopefully final) post regarding this particular issue.  

Next, I'm putting this at the beginning of this post, because those of  you with ADD might not make it all the way through.  There is no hate of any kind contained within this post.  Twist and turn all of my words if you'd like, but you're not going to get away with saying that my words or my intent are hateful.

There's an old "school of thought" that basically goes like this, "If you ignore em, they'll go away!".  Well, we've been ignoring and ignoring and ignoring and ignoring and I'll tell you what...  There must have been an active decision made by those who refuse to let it go, to not go away ON PURPOSE.

For the first time in the history of the United States, we're trying to treat the homosexual community as a type of ETHNIC GROUP.  Which the LGBT folks are NOT.  They don't deserve "special rights" or considerations because they choose to have lustful encounters with members of their own gender.

I say that if they want to do that kind of stuff, they should go right ahead.  No government, nor "morally conscious group of individuals" should have the right to tell you what to do with your private parts.  Seriously, go on.... Live it up while you can...  I know that hasn't always been the position in the U.S., but now, why not?  God gives each one of us SOVEREIGNTY.  He lets us decide what to do with it.  God has never once forced anybody on this planet to COMPLY with His commands.  And make no mistake about it, they're commands.  Just because an individual disobeys doesn't make it any less of a command.

Ok, so now that nobody really cares what you do in your bedroom, maybe now they just want respect?  Ok, but not CORPORATE RESPECT.  Nobody should be FORCED to respect someone because they're a homosexual, inasmuch as nobody should be forced to respect someone because they're black or asian either.

So we're out of your bedroom and you're eligible for the same "respect" as everyone else on the planet is.  Now what do you want?  I know!  You want to invade something that God created for 1 man and 1 woman to share.... You want to get MARRIED!  See, this is where you cross the line.  Share your bed, thoughts, dreams, money, time and whatever else it is that you want to share, BUT DO IT OUTSIDE OF MATRIMONY.

From the 1828 Webster's Dictionary:
Matrimony - Marriage; wedlock; the union of man and woman for life; the nuptial state.

From the 1913 Webster's Dictionary:
Matrimony - The union of man and woman as husband and wife; the nuptial state; marriage; wedlock.

From the 1963 Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary:
Matrimony - The union of man and woman as husband and wife

From the 2014 WordNet Dictionary:
Matrimony - The state of being a married couple voluntarily joined for life
Marriage - Two people who are married to each other

See?  That's what happens when the people "perpetrating the crime" go to work at trying to turn their demented form of "love" into something that is EQUAL to something else, that is considered Holy, Sacred and Special.  They take that special relationship between a man and a woman AND GOD and they DEFILE IT and water down the meaning.

For the past 4-5 years, the homosexual community, which has been lead primarily by The Huffington Post and Google (yes, that's right, I said Google) has been getting louder and louder and louder by the DAY.  I thought I had enough, when in 2012 I caught the last half of a Dateline show about how there was this mother of a 6 year old BOY.  And (long story short) this BOY was having emotional problems and one day the mother decided to buy her SON girls clothing.  Well, miraculously, the BOY now felt better dressing and looking like a girl, so the mother decided to let her SON LIVE LIKE a girl.  Now before some of you start thinking things like "well maybe he was born in the wrong body" or "you never know, it could happen", you have to understand that as of the broadcast date of this show, the BOY was now 10 years old.  They have it RECORDED and right out of this BOYS mouth, that "Maybe I want to be a boy" and HE is asking HIS mother what HE should be!  So much for "born this way"...  I've maintained all along that homosexuality is a mental problem, disorder, etc.  Fact is, the American Psychiatric Association used to TEACH THIS FACT in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, at least up until 1974 when the association became full of homosexual doctors, that had the motivation to have this FACT turned on it's ear.  After all, you wouldn't want a psychiatrist with a mental disorder treating you, now would you?  Look, this fact is common knowledge among mental health PhD's and is recorded in numerous places that you can read for yourself on the internet.  The "gay activists" of the time also wanted to have a say in what our DOCTORS said and did.  Isn't that just wonderful?

Like I said at the beginning of that last paragraph, "I thought I had enough when...."  Except apparently I hadn't actually "had enough" quite yet.  Or perhaps I just hadn't been lead by The Holy Spirit to say something about it until now.  A few days ago, the 2014 Winter Olympics began.  On day one, I was in the kitchen washing my hands and I overheard Bob Costas speaking with someone about what Russia and President Putin "thought about" and was going to "do about" all of the homosexuals that were participating in the Olympics.  And then the next day, I overheard that the United States was sending over Brian Boitano and Billy Jean King to be the "U.S. Ambassadors" to the Olympics.  Are you kidding me?  The United States thought it was a good idea to turn this international event into their opportunity to call out Russia on their stance regarding homosexuals?  Oh, perhaps you don't understand.  Both Brian and Billy Jean are two of the most blatantly homosexual "sporting related figures" that the Unites States has ever "produced".

And because of this "Homocentric Olympiad", it's turned the media into a "Coming Out Party Outlet"...  Since the 2014 Olympics began, I've seen the following individuals ride the "coming out rail", in order to ensure their relevance for at least 1 more day.  Conner Mertens, Ari-Pekka, Michael Sam, Ellen Page, M.K. Nobillette, Casey Stoney & Ryan Dolan.

So why was this the straw that broke the camels back?  I'm not certain.  What I do know, is that the LIBERALS are going CRAZY in order to promote the nonsensical concept of TRANSGENDER EQUALITY, as if a "Transgender" is some kind of new GENDER.  It isn't.  They'll try to convince you that it should be, but if you've got a minimum of 10 brain cells left if your head, you'll know better.

So let's get down to business...

You've read it before and I'm going to repeat it for you again:


God absolutely CONDEMNS homosexuality as a sin EVERY TIME IT IS MENTIONED!

Leviticus 18:22 - You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.

Leviticus 20:13 - If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 - Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

Romans 1:26-28 - For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;

And if that's not bad enough, God even tells us that those who would SUPPORT the homosexual agenda are also in big trouble with him too!

Romans 1:32 - Though they know God's decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

It's one thing to be TOLERANT of things.  It's another to push God's Word aside in favor of your own thoughts, feelings and interpretations...  To those of you I'll call "confused christians", your feelings are irrelevant when they contradict what God has to say on the matter.

In case you're not aware (I've been teaching this extensively), there are an estimated 38,000 Christian Denominations -- Each one it's own RELIGION.  Like it or not, "Liberal Christianity" is something that's become increasingly shoved into our faces over the last 5 years or so.  They teach that Jesus loved everybody equally and he is accepting of any and all ways that we have, that he understands and accepts us for who we are and there's nothing wrong with what you do, as long as you're happy and don't hurt anyone while you're doing it".  Well what Bible do we get this from?  Is that out of the original Hebrew or Greek?  Perhaps it's in the Aramaic?  Maybe we can derive this from the Latin Vulgate?  No, no, no AND no.  It's not in the Bible.  Never has been and never will be.

God goes out of His way to express for us in the most clear and concise way possible, to let us know what He deems to be a SIN and tells us in no uncertain terms that PERFORMING HOMOSEXUAL ACTS IS SINFUL BEHAVIOR.

The solution to this problem (and the CORRECTION to the false teachings) can be found in the clear words of Paul in the book of Galatians:

Galatians 5:16-25 - I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

And that last underlined verse answers the next part of this puzzle...

"Should practicing homosexuals be allowed into our churches, should they be allowed to fellowship with the "weak sheep" and should they be allowed to get married to other practicing homosexuals?"

I don't know how to be more clear about this, so let me be even clearer with the answer...

If you are a "practicing homosexual", meaning that you happily and willingly have relations with a member of your own gender, then how can you even THINK that you're saved?  God tells us to REPENT AND SIN NO MORE.  Sure, sin still happens, but the question is, "are you sinning on purpose?"  If you are an unrepentant sinner, then NO, you should not be allowed to fellowship with the "weak sheep", you should not be permitted to fellowship with REPENTANT members of the Church.  GOD SAYS SO HIMSELF...

2 Corinthians 6:17 - Therefore "Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord."...

Don't you know that the word SANCTIFICATION actually means to "become separate"?  If God has not sanctified you (separated you for Himself), then how can you claim to be a disciple of Jesus Christ?  How can you claim to be a Christian?  Indeed, how can you claim to be saved?

And then of course we go back to "A loving god wouldn't agree with you Pastor Keith!".  Really?  Is that what you think of God?  Your "god" apparently doesn't have moral absolutes.  The God of the Bible does.  What's a "moral absolute"?  It means that morality is something that is not subject to change.  In other words, God wouldn't say in Leviticus that homosexual behavior is an abomination and then say in another book something like "homosexuality is equal to any other form of love".

And don't think for one second that I don't realize what I'm telling you is POLITICALLY INCORRECT.  It is however BIBLICALLY CORRECT and to be honest, I know which one I prefer.  The more politically correct viewpoint would be something like "there's nothing wrong with two people just loving each other.  Besides, doesn't God tell us not to be judgmental?"  See, that question can only be asked when the "god" you worship doesn't have moral absolutes.  The homosexuals and their supporters want to convince you that their behavior should be "normalized", and they'll use things like "society", "common sense" and "basic human rights" as a means to get you to agree with them.

So what's the answer?  Look...  "Society" doesn't always get it right.  The majority of Nazi Germany agreed with Adolf Hitler (and not by force).  So what "society" believes isn't really worth anything.  As for "common sense", what do I know?  To me, it's common sense to flush the toilet when you're finished, but walk into any public restroom on any given day and you'll see something that shouldn't be there.  So "common sense" doesn't mean too much either.  So what about "basic rights"?  Well, as far as I can tell, we all have basic human rights in the United States.  It would seem to me that the homosexuals are looking for SPECIAL RIGHTS that protect their unholy and vile passions.  And that's the part that upsets me.

Think about it like this...  If tomorrow, the "Tea Party" comes out and says something like, "Our group is the only group still in existence in the United States that still believe in the values that our founding fathers had in mind when they formed this country.  Because of this fact, we want only politicians in office who believe as our founding fathers did and we want our ideas to not only be included, but also accepted."  Yeah, that would go over really well, right?  Liberals just love the Tea Party, right?  No, they don't and it would NOT go over very well.  I can't make this any easier, The liberals want laws passed that protect peoples sexual behaviors and to redefine marriage and then require that everyone else accept it.

And you know what that means right?

Well, it means that homosexuality is now being promoted (and has been for a few years)  in schools, TV, and movies as "normal" and "healthy" behavior and a "lifestyle choice".

So what does this mean for our children?

Well, if you're letting society and the public school system be in charge of your kids, then you can look forward to a new generation of children that only thinks about how to satisfy their lusts and that either doesn't believe in God at all, or has created a "god" of their own, that is accepting of who they are.  Trust me, this isn't speculation, it's already happening all around us!

And that brings me back around to politics.  I see all of these different "groups" banding together around certain things and then it SHOCKS ME, to see that their political leanings don't match their values.  This happens, because so many people don't understand the political landscape in the United States.  Here's a quick and easy guide to help you understand it.

1. If you value GOD over everything else, you're a conservative, not a liberal.
2. If you value the traditional FAMILY, a group that must contain a MOTHER and a FATHER and possibly some children, then you're a conservative, not a liberal.
3. If you believe that the government is there to SERVE US and not us to SERVE THEM, you're a conservative, not a liberal.
4. If you believe that the Constitution of the United States is the most perfect governmental document ever created by any country since the creation of the world and that fact is proven by the fact that it has lasted longer and stood the test of time longer than anyone else's in history and it remains so, BECAUSE IT DOES NOT CHANGE, then you are a conservative, not a liberal.
5. If you believe that it's YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to take care of your family, then you're a conservative, not a liberal.
6. If you believe that every single individual has and SHOULD HAVE the right to fail or succeed based on their own abilities and merits, then you're a conservative, not a liberal.
7. If you believe that you have a right to privacy and that the government has made it so that just about everything about you is public information and you don't like that, then you're a conservative, not a liberal.

So if you're on the opposite side of any of the above items, then you're a liberal.
In future elections PLEASE vote for the CORRECT candidate!

Oh yeah, that reminds me...

SOCIAL JUSTICE IS NOT A BIBLICAL OR GODLY CONCEPT.  As a matter of fact, most of you have NO IDEA WHAT SOCIAL JUSTICE (as experienced in the United States) MEANS...  And the liberals don't want you to know!  Well I know and I'm going to tell you now....

Social Justice (in the United States) - The idea that the Rich White Men in the United States have lived very well for the past 200 or so years and now it would be only JUST to TAKE THAT AWAY FROM THEM and GIVE IT to other ETHNIC GROUPS.  For more on this subject, see Payback for being held back, payback for glass ceilings, payback for slavery, payback for land theft, payback for not being White.

If you are in support of social justice, you clearly don't put God or His Word first.  Because that whole concept CAN NOT BE FOUND ANYWHERE IN SCRIPTURE!  As a matter of fact, The Bible says the opposite...

Romans 12:19 - Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord.

Trust me, if any of those things listed as "payback" are indeed outside of God's Will, He will take care of it FOR YOU.

Trust me, if I ever ran for President of the United States, I think that I'd probably lose.  I'd lose not because I'm uneducated (which I am not), not because I'm a Christian and not because I'm a Pastor, I'd lose because I'd care LESS about how everyone had different opinions and ideas and MORE about doing the RIGHT THING.  You see, that's what a TRUE LEADER does.  A true leader doesn't do and say things that are popular.  A true leader doesn't do or say things that will make people love him.  A true leader is TASKED with making the tough decisions.  Decisions that aren't always popular, but need to be made in order to get his people where he needs them to be!

Anyone born before 1963 KNOWS that the things that I write to you are true.  It's not so today.  What was known as fact has become unpopular.  What was known as fact has become suspect.  What was known as fact has been discredited in order to make room for the ideas and aspirations of those who don't want to live under the rule of God.

Here's a letter written by Noah Webster (the creator of the Webster's Dictionary) that sums up everything in this post nicely...

In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed. . . .No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people…

Any system of education, therefore, which limits instruction to the arts and sciences and rejects the aids of religion in forming the characters of citizens, is essentially defective. . . .

An attempt to conduct the affairs of a free government with wisdom and impartiality, and to preserve the just rights of all classes of citizens, without the guidance of Divine precepts, will certainly end in disappointment.  God is the supreme moral Governor of the world He has made, and as He Himself governs with perfect rectitude.  He requires His rational creatures to govern themselves in like manner.  If men will not submit to be controlled by His laws, He will punish them by the evils resulting from their own disobedience.

Webster, Noah, Letter to David McClure, New Haven, October 25, 1836.

Make no mistake...  And especially to the atheists reading, God IS in charge, even though you can't see him.  Remember, we can't see gravity either.  Should we say that gravity is superstition then?

To the people who would call themselves "Christians" who disagree with what is in this post, I would have you SERIOUSLY check yourself, before you say that I'm wrong.  Read this next passage and tell me how you fit into the equation:

Luke 14:25-33 - Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them, "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it --- lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish'? Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.

Allow me to simplify it for you, so that you are not confused...

1. Jesus is not talking about "hating" as if to DESPISE your family members, He's drawing a comparison saying "In comparison to how much you love your family, it should be AS IF you hated them, in comparison to how much you LOVE ME.  Also, in comparison to how much you love your life and being alive, you should hate that in comparison to how much you LOVE ME as well".

2. Jesus is not telling you that you need to "bear your cross" inasmuch as you are crucified with nails through your wrists and feet.  He's telling you that you're going to have hardships and have difficulty in the world if you choose to follow in His footsteps. (LOL, I can't think of too many churches that are teaching this)

3. Jesus is not telling you to "forsake all that you have" inasmuch as you "sell all of your possessions".  He's telling you that IF you're going to be His disciple, you should be WILLING TO GIVE UP everything that is WORLDLY, in order to BETTER AND MORE FULLY FOLLOW HIM.

This has been at the forefront of my Discipleship training for the past 2 years and to date, has been the single biggest help in assisting NOMINAL CHRISTIANS to discover that they've been using the name Christian in vain!  Remember all of the words in RED are right out of the mouth of God Himself.


What's the "price", you ask?

Matthew 10:22 - And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.

Matthew 24:9 - Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake.

Does that match up with what you learned in church or about Jesus?  Isn't it enlightening to actually SEE what Jesus said for Himself?  Isn't it interesting to see that most Pastors are afraid to teach you the truth?

So I would then ask....  If you're not willing to do those things, do you STILL believe that you're a Christian?

If you answer YES, then you're the single biggest reason for the downfall of "civilization as we know it".  Thanks for that.  It'll bring Jesus here sooner...  :)

Matthew 24:42 - Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.

So there you go...  
It's time for those of you who don't agree with me to call me a bigot... 
But am I really?

Let's see what Webster had to say about that word in 1828:

Bigot - A person who is obstinately and unreasonably wedded to a particular religious creed, opinion, practice or ritual. The word is sometimes used in an enlarged sense, for a person who is illiberally attached to any opinion, or system of belief.

There are 2 things I'd like to point out...

1. First of all, the fact that I appear to be "illiberally attached" to what I've shared with you today, could make you believe that I'm being a bigot...

2. So the question has to be asked...  Am I being illiberally, obstinately and unreasonably wedded to what I've shared with you today?


How could I be?  See, you think that I'm sitting here in judgment, when all I'm doing is being the messenger!  God is the one that has declared homosexuality to be a sin, NOT ME.  With all of the "luke warm christians" out there, it's part of my responsibility as a Minister to share God's Word with you AS HE INTENDED IT TO BE UNDERSTOOD.

Revelation 3:14-16 - "And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, 'These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth."

Remember what I said earlier, red letters equal the Words of Jesus HIMSELF.  Does that sound like the made up, make believe "god" that many of you have created for yourself?  You know, the one who only exists in your mind?  You know, the one who accepts any and all ways?

For the nominal christians reading this, here are the 1st and 2nd commandments for your convenience:

Exodus 20:3-6 - You shall have no other gods before Me. " You shall not make for yourself a carved image --- any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

For those of you who supposedly love Him, don't you get it yet?


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