Saturday, September 13, 2014
Last weekend I watched a special report about the attack on our country's embassy in Benghazi, Libya. It was amazing to hear a first-hand account of what exactly went on during that deadly attack from the perspective of the soldiers that were in the fire fight, defending our country's territory. Four Americans lost their lives that night . . . while serving their country.
Could you do that? Would you put your life on the line, defending something you believe in?
There are people in Iraq, Christians, who are being killed BECAUSE they are Christians. Would you be one so bold as to NOT renounce your faith in Jesus Christ? So bold that it would cost you your head? I hope that I would stand tall and proclaim His name until the end.
The past few weeks there has been a controversy in our area over a singer named Gungor performing at a Christian event. He said a few inflammatory things in a Christian Post interview about the Bible, stating this about Adam and Eve and Noah, "I have no more ability to believe these things than I do to believe in Santa Clause or to not believe in gravity." You can read the interview here.
His statements, and refusal to repent of them led a local radio station to pull its sponsorship of the event. It also led me and my friend to NOT take kids to the event this year. Then my friend said this, "Staying away from this event will only effect them a little. We should do more." She was right. So we planned to hand out information about the artist's statements, and what it means to be discerning about the things we hear and read in this world.
As it turned out, God already had things under control and Gungor pulled out of the event, thereby removing all of the distractions. A Christian event should be more about God than any one individual.
I am glad my friend and I were willing to stand up against this artist and his beliefs. I am pleased to see a radio station make a stand for the truth of God's Word. Placing non-believers on pedestals or stages gives them authority and if they use that status to present another Gospel other than our Lord Jesus Christ's, it is WE who said nothing who are to blame because WE gace them the opportunity to do so.
We Christians need to be more like soldiers in how we live our faith. According to our pastor, being a soldier for Christ carries with it a higher commitment level than just "believing." That's what I think we Christians need. It would be very easy for us to just ignore false teachings and let the words slide. It is NOT so easy to make a stand and shout the truth from the rooftops.
These days there are many churches that "allow" certain things to go on inside their doors. They take liberties with God's Word, even to the point of condoning sin, all in the name of making members of their congregations happy and comfortable. Being a Christian is not about comfort. Just ask any Christian in Iraq, or China, or Syria. We need to become more like soldiers with God's Word.
The soldiers in Benghazi helped and protected each other. Sometimes it was to their death. We here in the relative safety of our sanctuaries tend to let things slide. That is NOT being a Christian. It is being ANTI Christ.
I'd like you to read a few passages. The first one is from the Book of Acts about the early church and a group of Christians known as the Bereans. They were soldiers, defending God's Word.
"10 The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. 12 Many of them therefore believed," - Acts 17:10-12
Do we examine the scriptures to see if what our pastors say on Sunday morning is true or not? Do we examine the lyrics of hymns in the same way? Are we members of churches that allow behavior contrary to the teachings of God because we don't want to rock the boat or are comfortable in our faith?
God has told us that He WILL test us.
"Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you (. . . WHY?) in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you... to teach you that man does not live by bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord." - Deuteronomy 8:2-3
We Christians need to be defenders of our faith, not merely users of it. God has said He WILL test us. A local radio station in our area (Q90FM) passed the test, Will we?
"4 Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years." - Revelation 20:4
I Am A Soldier - D.L. Moody