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Church Shooting – Questions about Compassion and Evil

In Agape Love, Anger, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Compassion, Confusion, Demon, Demon Possession, End Times, Evil, Exhortation, Fear, Forgiveness, God, God's Voice, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Grief, Hate, Hatred, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Loss, Mental Disorder, Mental Illness, Persecution, Suffering, Truth, Wicca, witchcraft on December 10, 2017 at 4:15 pm

Please feel free to send me any of your own thoughts or questions, locate and click the comment link below. I will continue to address them in follow up posts. This post and/or related posts will be the only post[s] I will be making available for the next few weeks, as I believe this topic needs to stay front and center for a season.

To address some additional thoughts and questions…

Compassion for Perpetrators

Yes, if we are unable to find compassion, which is an aspect of agape love, for those individuals who are so wounded or damaged that they wound and damage other people we are no different than the world. Scripture makes it clear that it is easy to love those who love us but not so easy to love those who mistreat us.

Luke 6:32–36 (NKJV) Jesus speaking

32 “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. 35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. 36 Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.

I was wounded just recently by someone I care a great for, wounded more than they most likely realize. However, I have chosen to trust God to deal with the matter and not retaliate. I realize that the individual can only treat me with the spiritual, mental, and emotional maturity they currently possess despite what my heart might desire.

Evil

Yes, evil does exist! It is a powerful spiritual force that can destroy individuals and lives. Evil is a byproduct of the fall of both Satan and the fall of mankind in the Garden of Eden. If we had to trace goodness back to one source that source would be God. Likewise, if we had to trace evil back to one source that source would be Satan. Evil and its father, Satan, are a very powerful force second only to God and not one to be taken lightly.

Please understand this point. Without God man is completely powerless over evil. Whether you are a child of God through the rebirth of your spirit or a child of God through creation who has yet to recognize God as their Father you would not be able resist evil without God’s help. Without God this entire world would be consumed with evil. The world is Satan’s playground, his domain in some manners and therefore we are not to be naïve when it comes to the evil that surrounds us in our society.

Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV)

12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

The issue of labeling evil as demon possession, demonic influence, congenital evil, or consensual evil is in all honesty an extremely difficult thing to do. People like to place labels on things or actions but in order to truly label almost any action or behavior a person would require so much information that gathering said information would be almost impossible. This is why I find it difficult to respect people who place labels. Yes, we can offer insights and possible reasons for why someone will say or do something but to say, “we know” without doubt and place a label on that person is in my belief almost impossible – it also borders on condemning a person, the worse form of judging another person. Most people do not even talk to people enough to get a good understanding of what they think, believe, or to understand why they took certain actions much less gathering enough information to slap a label on them. Therefore, I would exhort you to be very careful before deciding what type of evil might be presence in a situation.

Evil is a topic that is challenging to undertake in such a forum as the sheer volume of what could be written on the topic is enormous. I will address just a few matters here but in no way, will I even scratch the surface of what should or could be written on the matter. I will confine myself to the previously mentions aspects of evil – demon possession, demonic influence, congenital evil, and consensual evil.

Demon possession did exist during biblical times, and does exist to date. Evil spirits aka demons where sent upon King Saul (1 Sam. 16:14). Both Jesus (Luke 7:21) and Paul (Acts 19:11, 12) acknowledged demons and demon possession casting demons out of those afflicted. There are situations where people are labeled as being mentally ill, which I believe without much doubt are cases of “demon possession” yes, demon possession. With that said, I also believe some people have been considered possessed by a demon when they were legitimately mentally ill. Overall, I believe there are a great deal of things labeled as mental illness or mental disorders that are in truth a form of evil influence or a result of sin.

People are prompted to do evil by the demonic influences around them or around someone who has access to their life, such as was the case with Ahab (1 Kin. 22:1–23). Demonic “influence” is possible for all people including Christians. For this reason it is extremely important that we examine our every thought, feeling, action, and prompting against the Truth found in God’s Word. Every thought must be taken captive, so we do not fall prey to the insidious influences that find their way into our own hearts (these influences enter people’s hearts through various means which I will not go into here, but it is not always the person’s own fault.)

2 Corinthians 10:3–6 (NKJV)

3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.

Matthew 15:19 (NKJV) Jesus Speaking

For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.

Congenital evil has to do with those things we find that run in our families or as some would like to say, ‘are in our DNA.’ Evil can be passed on through families via the environmental influence that opens the spirit to such evil. There can also be evil in the heredity of a family, evil known as generational curses. However, through the power and blood of The Lord Jesus, The Christ, generational curses of all type can be broken whether physical curses, behavioral cures, or mental curses.

Exodus 34:6–7 (NKJV) – When Moses was being given the second set of Tablets in the Wilderness, after the Hebrew children of God had left Egypt.

6 And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, 7 keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”

Exodus 20:5 (NKJV) In relation to and inclusive in the Ten Commandments.

5 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,

Restated in Deuteronomy 5:9 (NKJV)

9 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,

That leaves us the final form of evil we will address here, consensual evil. A person can become demon possessed through opening themselves up to evil in their actions. Through choices they have made to involve themselves in evil actions, in satanic activity, etc. Christian can open themselves up to evil influence in a greater degree by involving themselves in sinful behavior and even evil activities. There are those people who claim to be Christians yet partake in tarot cards, horoscopes, evil media, attempting to channel, consulting spiritualist or fortunetellers, etc. These are not actions God would have His people partaking in, He expects them to shun all evil and cling to goodness, godliness, and Truth. I exhort you not to think you can play or tamper with evil without getting burned – run from all forms of evil, run quickly and far!

Deuteronomy 18:10–12 (NKJV)

10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. 12 For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you.

Romans 12:9 (NKJV)

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.

1 Thessalonians 5:22 (NKJV)

Abstain from every form of evil.

John 17:15 (NKJV) Jesus speaking

15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.

Jesus’ prayer for his disciples is my prayer for each of you.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

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Church Shooting – Questions about Spiritual Abuse and Hypocrisy

In Abuse, Anger, Anxiety, Apostasy, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Confusion, Courage, End Times, Evil, Exhortation, Fear, God, God's Voice, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Grief, Hate, Hatred, Hypocrisy, Jesus, Persecution, Religious Freedom, Renewal, Revival, Spiritual Activism, Spiritual Activists, Spirituality, Suffering, Truth, Uncategorized, Wisdom on November 28, 2017 at 8:47 am

Please feel free to send me any of your own thoughts or questions, locate and click the comment link below. I will continue to address them in follow up posts. This post and/or related posts will be the only post[s] I will be making available for the next few weeks, as I believe this topic needs to stay front and center for a season.

Several thought and questions have come my way. I will attempt to address these in this and the next posting.

Persecution and Church Effectiveness

I do not agree that there is one source for the anger and hatred toward the Body of Christ, the Church. Is there hypocrisy in the Body of Christ? Yes, absolutely. Is there spiritual abuse within certain denominations? I would say there is some spiritual abuse within all denominations as well as within churches that have no denominational affiliation. Have both hypocrisy and spiritual abuse affected the effectiveness of the Body of Christ? Without a doubt. The cause of persecution directed toward the church and the ineffectiveness of the church is not “just” or “simply” hypocrisy or spiritual abuse nevertheless I will address both.

There are different forms and motivations for hypocrisy. There is worldly hypocrisy (Matt. 23:5–7), legalistic hypocrisy (Rom. 10:3), evangelical hypocrisy (2 Pet. 2:10–22), and hypocrisy satanic (2 Cor. 11:13–15). Therefore, attempting to get into each in any depth does not truly serve any purpose in addressing the concerns here. Different groups or denominations may in fact show various forms of hypocrisy somewhat distinctive to that group but despite the current popular fade I do not believe “rebranding” those denomination is the answer. Dealing with the hypocrisy, the spiritual abuse, and the spiritual deadness is the answer!

There is a general distain for organized religion in the form of denominational religion for religion sake. It does seem as though people have assigned certain perceived acts of hypocrisy to certain denominations. The denominations answer to how turned off people are by organized religion is to rebrand themselves. However, a denomination renaming themselves to hide or remove all traces of denominational affiliation is counter productive in the long run because they go from being perceived as hypocrites in a specific area to being perceived as both hypocrites and deceiver regarding who they are and what they stand for.

We are seeing a great deal of the “rebranding” today because non-denominational congregations are the fastest growing and largest congregations in America today, while denominational congregations such as Baptist, Assembly of God, Presbyterian, Church of Christ, Methodist, etc. are shrinking and dying off all together. There is a very good reason for this dynamic, one I believe is God driven (I believe this based upon something God showed myself and many other godly spiritual leaders in the 1990’s about what He would be doing with the Body of Christ during our lifetime). My response, I too left denominationalism at that time and involved myself in beginning what would become a very large non-denominational church and school of ministry.

To say that the ALL of the persecution or ALL of the ineffectiveness the Body of Christ is undergoing at this point in the history of The Church is NOT OF GOD, would be inaccurate – aspects of the persecution are God driven, some are society driven, some are sin driven, and some are driven by evil. To place a single label on any specific persecution can be vey difficult.

Spiritual abuse to me is not a denominational issue it is an individual issue with a leader. Leaders who repeatedly spiritually abuse their people should be removed, period! People should not put up with spiritual abuse, nor should they allow hatred to build for a denomination because they were spiritually abuse by an individual within a specific denomination. Spiritual abuse happens almost everywhere unfortunately from the Catholic Church to a non-denominational church and all denominations in between.

I acknowledge that the spiritual abuse is there, and I sympathize. I have seen it, counseled those who have been through it, and heard of all kinds of spiritual abuse – ranging from sexual abuse, verbal abuse, public shaming, manipulation, gossip, character assignation, exploration for greed or profit, deliberately damaging a person’s reputation with people through misrepresentations, lies, and gossip, leader driven shunning, over working people, misrepresenting the Scriptures, and so forth. All spiritual abuse causes wounds, wounds can cause anger if not dealt with correctly, anger can lead to bitterness, and bitterness can lead to persecution of a person or group. If you have been spiritually abused in any manner get godly spiritual and emotional help from a godly minister, please.

It saddens me that both of these issues, hypocrisy and spiritual abuse, have diminished the respect people once felt for Christianity as a whole and Christian people in general.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Church Shooting

In Agape Love, Anger, Anxiety, Apostasy, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Confusion, Courage, Encouragement, End Times, Evil, Exhortation, Forgiveness, God, God's Voice, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Grief, Hate, Hatred, Holy Spirit, Humanism, Jesus, Mental Disorder, Mental Illness, Peace, Persecution, Prayer, Prophecy, Psychiatric Drugs, Religious Freedom, Remnant, Renewal, Revival, Rhema Words, Spiritual Activism, Spiritual Activists, Spiritual Fruit, Spiritual Remnant, Suffering, Truth, Uncategorized, Wisdom on November 8, 2017 at 6:43 pm

This will be one of the longest pieces I have written for posting in a couple of years but if you will stick with it and read the whole thing you just may find it was well worth your time. Please feel free to send me any of your own thoughts or questions, locate and click on the comment link below. I will address them in follow up posts. This post and/or related posts will be the only post[s] I will be making available for the next few weeks, as I believe this topic needs to stay front and center for a season.

Since Sunday afternoon I have prayerfully contemplated how to address this matter, when to post this piece, and the content of this posting. Ignoring what happened in that congregation, to those members of the Body of Christ on Sunday morning during their time of worship was not an option but providing an answer to the “Why?” questions regarding why it happened was also not an option. Therefore, what to do, I asked God and myself. My answer, not to attempt to provide any answers or spiritual platitudes that hurt more than they help but instead to simple reflect on several insights provided throughout the week that should be reflected upon and considered in light of the tragic events of Sunday, November 5th, 2017 in Sutherland Springs, Texas at the First Baptist Church.

Compassion, a word, or a choice.

It is my desire through this posting to allow God to use me to express some thoughts for reflection that might actually help us, us being the Body of Christ, really help us in due course and overall instead of just soothing us and placating us. The safest and simplest way to approach this topic would be to demonize the man who killed all of these people and move on. However, to handle the situation with that type of approach would be very spiritually short sided for a godly Christian spiritual leader. As Christians we like to say that we have compassion but how many of God’s people can find compassion for this man, this gunman, that killed their brothers and sisters in Christ? Compassion for what he must have been going through to turn to such a horrible and evil act. We, the Body of Christ, should have compassion for both, the victims, and the perpetrator.

The persecution of the American Church, the Body of Christ in America.

For far too long the Body of Christ has buried their heads in the sand when it came to persecution in America. The persecution, again, in America, does take another form now, then it did during the early church’s history, and a different form than it does in other countries. In America Christians have become targets of lawsuits for living out their beliefs. They have become targets for those who wish to use the legal system to try and silence Christians from expressing their beliefs in a public forum. Christians have become people targeted by a psychologized society that believes psychology has all the answers and that there is no place for God in the equation, a society that refused to accept absolutes or the individual who has firm beliefs and refuses to back down or be quite about them. Christian who still believe that talking about Jesus in their everyday lives at work, in businesses, and other public forums is a normal way to function and their God given, as well as constitutional right, are considered extremist that people avoid. And in the most extreme form of persecution we find our dear brothers and sisters of First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, who suffered a persecution unto death by someone who was so hurt, damaged, angry, and/or evil that he chose to express it through killing – just as nine of our brothers and sisters were persecuted, being killed by a gunman in June of 2015 in South Carolina at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. The Body must face that they are being persecuted in various forms in America and band together to resist such persecution while at the same time showing compassion for the spiritual blindness that causes their persecutors to act as they do.

It was once said to me when I expressed concerns over the fact that a congregation only had one race and culture represented, ‘Don’t you think it is simply because we all tend to stick to our own?’ Well, for the record, no I do not think that is why you find congregations with only one race or culture represented. Yet, when persecution happens to the Church the barriers of race, culture, education, and economics are quickly dropped to band together for a greater cause, Us, The Body of Christ. I was in Charleston, South Carolina shortly after the killings that took place there and every race, class, education level, culture, and economic group of Christians were represented at that church in a powerful show of unity and spiritual support. In those tragic times we can find the time to leave our congregations and reach out to other congregations or members of The Body of Christ in general, however, this should be a regular practice at all times. There is no doubt that the Bible teaches us, and the history of the Christian Church teaches us, that God uses persecution to grow and/or change His Church and people.

The influence of evil.

I was interviewed a few years back for a book on a serial killer who had once tried to kill me along with about a dozen other people the early 1980’s. According to the author of the book I was the only person he could find to interview, most of the people were dead and a couple unlocatable. The interview was many hours long and during the course of this interview the author wanted to know how I could consistently express so much compassion for this serial killer knowing so much about his history and all the horrible things he had done, and how could I show no anger, bitterness, or resentment toward the man who had been the source of my physically body being damaged to the point that I still lived with the results causing difficulty and pain in daily life. These questions opened up the door to discuss the influence of evil. There was one profound thing that God over the years had helped me to understand, which helped me place the responsibility for evil acts where it lay – with Satan.

That truth was…

Evil causes psychological damage, and psychological damage opens the door to evil.

As long as the psychological community continues to disavow the spiritual side to mental and emotional problems we will continue to see people who never actually get better, change, or heal. As long as the Christian community continues to either, a) ignore the emotional and mental damage done through the wounding of people or b) allow themselves to become so psychologized they no longer make the spiritual connection to a wounded person’s emotional and mental problems, we will continue to see ourselves as a Body grow spiritually weaker and weaker as our biblical worldview becomes overshadowed or at least mixed with a secular worldview. We must find the balance that allows the Church and the mental health community to both realize that they have pieces of the puzzle that will help wounded people become whole again.

Church effectiveness and respect for Christianity within our society.

People do not respect the Christian community like they once did in America. This is our fault, the Body of Christ’s fault in general. There are so many reasons this has happened over the years there is no way to exhaustively address the reasons. However, just to address a few: 1 – We have become too much like the society in which we live. If you are no different than I am in your standards and practices why should I respect you. 2 – Our behavior whether it was intended to be or not “appeared” or “appears” hypocritical to people. We need more transparency that allows us to share our own struggles, yet still promote God’s Truths and His Standards for how we are to aspire to living our lives. 3 – The Body of Christ lacks backbone anymore. What might the zealous Peter and bold Paul say about the stands we take today for Truth or lack thereof, and the boldness we lack in expressing Truth as found in God’s Word.

We lack effectiveness in our society today as well. We lack effectiveness as Christians because we have either checked out of our society or we wish to avoid the ugly side of our society. We are barely able to allow ourselves the ability to remain in relationships long enough to allow ‘iron to sharpen iron’ much less invest ourselves relationally with those who might need our help. What happen to the need to show agape love for people, that love Jesus asked us to show, love that is displayed by our actions, our investment, and our involvement with people.

Proverbs 27:17 (NKJV)

As iron sharpens iron,

So a man sharpens the countenance (character) of his friend.

John 15:13 (NKJV) Jesus speaking

13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

Luke 6:35 (NKJV) Jesus speaking

35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.

Matthew 5:44 (NKJV) Jesus speaking

44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,

In the early 2000’s two young boys barely in their teens living in the Pensacola, Florida area are convicted of killing their father and burning their family home down. Allegedly a result of years abuse and the influence of a child predator who also lived in the area. On the road leading up to their home, which was located in the 1,100 block, there were eight churches before the 1300 block and 4 churches within the 1070-1200 block. All of those churches in that community but how many of those congregations were “in that community” with their time, actions, involvement, and love – especially if some people in that community were tough to love.

Now back to this shooting at the Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. The sheriff, Tackitt, in an interview stated that the pastor of this church, Frank Pomeroy, had stated in the past that he did not want the gunman, who had previously been involved in the congregation, in his church and asked the sheriff, “How do I run him away from my church?” – yet this was not the pastor present on the day when the gunman killed 26 of his congregation members (25 men, women, girls, boys, and 1 unborn child) and injured 20 more. The gunman’s mother and father-in-law were members of the church, also not present on the day of the shooting. Dare I pose the question, but I must, how might things have been different had that pastor reached out with love, invested his time, and attempted to help this damaged young man instead of searching for ways to ‘run him away from “his” church?’ Yes, pastors must protect the flock but protecting them does not have to involves ridding yourselves of all those you deem undesirable, it should instead involves helping those you see who are wounded or damaged by life.

Religion acceptable, true godliness is not – a hate breeder.

People are watching what the Christian Churches are doing to each other and to their own people. It is not just the churched that are affected when things are not handled in a godly manner, those looking from the outside or sidelines are also affected. Far too many godly people who love Jesus have left many church congregations and many have been incredibility wounded by their brush with religion. Religion seems to be very acceptable in most of today’s churches, but true godliness or aspirations to that end is not welcome. Sadly, in far too many congregation it is not acceptable to believe that God’s Truths are still a valid standard for living today. We live in an age where the loveless, the compromising, the corrupt, the dead, and the lukewarm churches (Rev. 2-3) reign and truly devout congregations aspiring to God’s Principles and acting with Jesus’ agape love are rare. Religion in every capacity has taken over and controls the leadership thus by extension the people. They do not hunger or thirst for Jesus and to grow in Christ, they do not long for revival to sweep across our land, they are just about the business of church. My biggest challenge and greatest heartache is dealing with the types of Christians, Spiritual Leaders, and churches found in Revelation 2 and 3- the loveless, the compromising, the corrupt, the dead, and the lukewarm.

These types of congregations and individuals have hurt so many people who truly love or loved God, desire or desired to be all God wanted them to be, and yearn or yearned to see the Body of Christ be all Jesus means for it to be. The religious people and congregations have caused wounds great enough that individuals have pulled back from the poison of religion without godly spirituality. Let us never forget that our LORD, our Saviour, Jesus, the Messiah, the Christ, was persecuted, maligned, and His crucifixion brought about through the Religious Leaders of His day! If devout people can be affected by a religious society this way, how much more would a wounded or damaged person be affected by this type of treatment from people who are supposed to be “the best people on earth” – Christians? I have heard it said that this man who was the gunman in this attack on this small church was an atheist, and very vocal about his atheistic views. Atheist do not go to church, seekers, the confused, the agnostic goes to church in search of something – if religion is all we have to offer them, then I fear their hate for us will grow.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Charleston Church Shooting Effect

In Agape Love, Anger, Anxiety, Apostasy, Bible, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Courage, Depression, Encouragement, End Times, Exhortation, God, God's Voice, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Grief, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Loss, Love, Persecution, Prayer, Prophecy, Prophet, Prophetess, Religious Freedom, Remnant, Renewal, Revival, Rhema Words, Spiritual Activism, Spiritual Activists, Spiritual Remnant, Spirituality, Suffering, Truth, Uncategorized on July 3, 2015 at 4:09 pm

I was in Charleston, South Carolina on June 25th and June 26th during the services for the Christians that were shot and killed on the evening of June 17th 2015 during their regular Bible Study at Emanuel AME Church. In attendance were President Obama who spoke on Friday, June 26th 2015 and Rev. Jesse Jackson who arrived the evening of Thursday, June 25th to a large crowd of Christians present paying their respects to their fallen family members, family members many of us had never met but family they were nevertheless.

Family and effect is what I want to address in this piece in the wake of the mass shooting that took place at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston where nine people were shot and killed, including the senior pastor, state senator Clementa C. Pinckney; also where a tenth person was shot yet survived.

I did not go to Charleston originally because of this event. Our trip was previously planned by my spouse as a birthday trip but in the end it turned out to be much more – it became a moment in history and an opportunity to see what drives Christians.

Our hotel was just a few blocks from the Emanuel Church and it was the first place we headed for upon arrival and check in at the hotel. It took only minutes to walk the few blocks and encounter the street barricaded and filled with police officers and media. Yet, there was also an overwhelming Christian presence, God’s people where there in heavy numbers.

We made our way down to the front of the Church about the time the Rev. Jesse Jackson arrived and as I looked at this now aged gentleman I could not help but recall that as a young man he had stood on the balcony with Dr. Martin Luther King at the moment when Dr. King was shot. Now Rev. Jackson was here in his advanced years to give aid and comfort for yet more men and women of God who had been shot and killed out of anger and hate. My heart went out to Rev. Jesse Jackson as I ponder all he has seen and endured through the years. Both a reverend and an activist, as many of us are.

Spiritual Christian activism on the part of Bible Believing Christians is very important. As our beliefs and our rights to believe as we desire are coming continually under fire we need more Christians who are willing to stand up for and fight for their rights both as Americans and Christians combined. A Christian is not merely an American and an American cannot give up his or her Christian rights and beliefs as our country changes and becomes more and more ungodly. I wonder if we have enough Christian people who are willing to be inconvenienced, let alone killed for their beliefs, like Rev. Jackson and Dr. King.

Which leads me to my next point. What did I see and sense there in Charleston, among those people gathered there? How did the family react? What effect did this shooting have on the Christian family?

Christians are a family and we function like a family when tragedy strikes. Families disagree, they argue, they even fight. They might not talk for months but they are family. They might live in different towns and attend different churches but family is still family. We, the family, can talk about each other all we want. We can argue and perhaps even hurt each other more often than we might like. However, let an outsider come in and hurt the family or a family member and watch how we react. No, no, no – no one messes with the family.

That is exactly what I sensed in Charleston, South Carolina. A place filled with people who had never met, who came from different denominations, of different cultures, different races, different social and economical backgrounds but all part of one whole, one family – one Body, The Body of Christ. There was a comfort and an ease among the people. The family had been attacked and the rest of the family was rallying to give their support through their presence and prayers. Every hotel in the area was booked solid from what our hotel concierge told us.

Banners hung on the neighboring churches with Scriptures on them, one of which had 2 Timothy 1:7 on display.

2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

I assure you there was no fear in that crowd. These people were not afraid they were there to show how faithful they were to the family.

There was no disunity found on that street as people from every denominational background, color, culture, economic class, and race stood side by side talking and praying. As I talked with a fellow Christian, an African American Woman, I am Caucasian, we spoke about how this young man had messed with the wrong group, Christians are not easily frightened and when attacked they pull together and offer their support to one another. When Christianity is persecuted it flourishes and grows it does not shirk back or diminish. Courage defines the Christian experience both past and present. We pull together during persecution and find courage and strength through the support and prayers of our brothers and sisters in Christ. As the young woman put it so well, ‘He will not make us afraid.’ No, persecuting Christians does not result in fear; it results in faith and a fierce infusion of courage. That is exactly what I sensed and felt coming from the crowds of Believers in Charleston, South Carolina.

The people of Charleston, South Carolina both Christian and non-Christian handled themselves with such dignity and poise during a difficult and terrible time and under such tragic circumstances. There were no riots or protest there, no uprising of any type. This in my view is a result of both the Christian faith at work and southern manners. Having been raised both in the south and in a Christian home, I know firsthand there are certain expectations regarding how one handles themselves during a crisis. Bravo to Charleston, they honored the south and southern manners superbly!

Effect according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is defined as follows:

5: power to bring about a result: INFLUENCE

The effect this young man and his actions had on Christians, Charleston, and the south was to give us an opportunity to display our unity, courage, love, compassion, manners, hospitality, grace, and FAITH. The enemy sought to bring harm but God’s end game was to bring good [Genesis 50:20] and in Charleston on June 25th and June 26th 2015 He certainly did that. If you want to see a Christian community rise up and become even stronger persecute the people.

Genesis 50:20 (NKJV)

But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.

As I prayed on June 25th at Emanuel AME Church I asked God, why He allowed this to happen. He did not cause it but He most certainly allowed it since our God is sovereign and able to control anything He wishes to control. He did not tell me why He allowed this to happen but He did tell me that He intended to bring something MAJOR out of this incident. That it would have an effect on the Body of Christ like nothing else has in a long time. I continue to pray and seek Him for more information about His Plans for this event as He, and if He sees fit to reveal them to me according to His Will.

 

 

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.