Pastors protesting for their best life now

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Today many pastors across America are joining Canadians in their protest against Canada’s ban on conversion therapy, as well as their new laws that limit their speech in regards to what the Bible says about sexual immorality. 

The Church today would do well to repent from embracing, following, or emulating postmodern pastors. Instead, they should embrace Christ and His chosen men of the Scriptures.

One of my mentors at large is the Apostle Paul. As a matter of fact, if you want to see a Biblical description of “conversion therapy” read Acts 9. When God saved and converted Paul, He did so violently against Paul’s will. He did the same with me by forcing me into a bloody ambush/active shooting at a church. Similarly, to Paul, in the midst of that, I was radically saved and radically changed by a radical God. And God saves & converts His elect against their will.

Back to political protests.

Paul did not engage in similar protests in hopes to pave his way onto an easier street. But rather he rejoiced in his sufferings, his beatings, his arrests, and his persecutions. Even while in prison he wrote the following.

“Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:18-21).

Paul did not flinch in the face of adversity, and he certainly did not get his panties all in a bunch over a world hostile towards Christ and Christianity. He always gloried God, always preached and exalted Christ, and encouraged the church to press on in that boldness. And he did so against the will of the authorities and tyrants.

And he didn’t do this from the comfort of his own pulpit amongst friendlies in a safe controlled environment. No, he did that outside in an uncontrolled, unpredictable dangerous hostile work environment.

Today people try to pray or protest persecution away. But persecution is a blessing, and frankly, though I pray for the persecuted, at times I pray for persecution in America. Persecution separates the goats from the sheep. It strengthens the Church. It brings more blessings. It refines His church, and His remnant remains. And when handled Biblically, it brings honor to our Lord.

Today many believe that division in the church is always bad. But there are many accounts throughout the Scriptures where division is necessary and good.

For example, in Acts 15 Paul and Barnabas were preparing to leave for their next journey/mission trip. Barnabas wanted John Mark to go with them. But since John Mark had already proved himself to be dishonorable, unreliable, timid, and/or a bad witness, Paul refused to allow John Mark to come with him. In other words, as the old adage says, “if you can’t play with the big dogs, then get back on the porch.” I believe today’s pulpits are full of John Marks, and their congregations are a byproduct of that poor leadership.

I wonder how many pastors today Paul would choose to go with him on one of his dangerous mission trips. What would Paul say to me?

The Lord has given me boldness and courage, but at times I too have failed. Years ago, a pastor asked me to lead his church into a Satanic music festival to herald the Gospel. Over that weekend our team preached the Gospel to about 70,000 souls. One of the brethren that joined us was the esteemed Tatsuo Akamine. Tatsuo remained solid and steadfast throughout that event, but I sinfully allowed fear to impair my work. In my own shaken nerves, I even got into a minor vehicle collision while driving away from that hell hole. So regretfully, I too have pulled a John Mark. But we must repent, recover, and return to the battlefield; and put our shortcomings behind us.

The moral of my blog post is this.

America needs more pastors like John the Baptist who are willing to have their head delivered on a platter.

We must rejoice in the difficult roads ahead. We must not seek an easy road, while avoiding the difficult or dangerous ones. We must trust in the Lord, not in our pragmatism or politicians (Psalm 146:3-7). We mustn’t imitate postmodern pastors, but instead, imitate Christ and men like Paul. Because God never promised us our ‘best life now.’ But rather, He promised us many troubles and persecution. And we must do so in spite of what the laws of the land might be (Acts 5:29).

“I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. I urge you, then, be imitators of me” (1 Corinthians 4:14-16).

“Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil” (1 Peter 3:13-17).

So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.  And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:26-33).

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