Truly it has been a long time since anything has been posted here.As a deep freeze settles across our nation, I have been immeasurably blessed to escape to a tropical climate and enter into a time of much needed rest. After many years of gratifying yet incredibly arduous ministry, I spent much of 2012 and 2013 feeling almost completely burned out. Mourning over what seemed like an endless spiritual dry season, I was worshipping during a personal prayer time in late October when the Lord interrupted me with this phrase, “I want you to return to the simplicity of talking to me, and the glories of LOOKING AT ME!” I knew then that I was being invited into a focused 40 day season of intentionally talking to God throughout the day, looking FOR Him in my daily surroundings and activities, and looking AT Him through the Word and in whatever ways He chooses to reveal Himself. In a society where technology has provided hundreds of ways for us to look at lesser things, cultural battles implore our participation, political and moral dilemmas demand our allegiance, celebrities vie for our attention, and the pressures of daily survival monopolize our focus; I am embarking on a journey this year to shut things down, stop talking aimlessly to people, talk to God, and look at God. My hope is to creatively capture some of what i’m hearing in my dialog with God, and what i’m seeing as I encounter Him in my daily life. I’ll be posting these findings both on this blog and other social networks with this designation: #LookatGod. While there are many people using this tag to brag about worldly things or selfish ambition, I hope to contribute in ways that will put the majestic attributes of the resurrected Christ and His Father Yahweh on display. If you feel so inclined, join in..create, and post your own experiences with this hashtag as well. Who knows what may happen…let’s create Godaganda (God Propaganda) together. Grace and Peace to You.

 

Praying the Rainbow

Posted: June 5, 2012 in General

This time last year, the Lord began to give me a revelation of the rainbow during an annual evangelistic outreach that we do during Gay Pride week. After watching thousands of homosexuals revel underneath the rainbow flag, the Holy Spirit whispered “As long as the rainbow flies, there is mercy.”  The hyper-condensed version of what He revealed is:

Many Christians (seeing it as a blasphemous perversion of something biblical) are upset about those in the homosexual lifestyle adopting the rainbow as a banner for their “nation”. However, whether gays know it or not, the rainbow is actually a manifestation of intercession. Just as the Father looks at the blood of Jesus and remembers mercy, the rainbow acts as a reminder in the heavens that there is still time for these people to receive the mercy of God through the blood of Jesus. Otherwise, he would do to them what He did to the earth in the days of Noah.

BeachRainbow

The scriptural context for this is Genesis 9:9-16.

9 “I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you 10 and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth. 11 I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.”

 12 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 1415 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”

This was further confirmed the next day through an encounter that one of my friend’s had after seeing a gay pride float while driving past the celebration:

This morning, I believe the Lord spoke and said TAKE BACK the/MY RAINBOW(take back MY covenant Promise) and of course, I was reminded of the scripture in Genesis 9:11-17. No more destruction of the earth by water. But God is sending  FIRE in the spirit(to manifest in this earthly realm). This, reminded me of the contender Elijah ‘s victory over the prophets of Baal.(1Kings 18) The Fire that consumed everything, including the water!
   

As I continued to pray in the spirit, the colors kept coming to my mind. I remember the colors according to how I learned them in school ROY.G. BIV- red, orange, yellow, green blue, indigo and violet. Abba, through Holy Spirit, lead me to pray against this spirit of perversion, by praying according to the colors. Red- the Blood of Jesus taking away our/their sins.  Orange- the fire of God burning/consuming, all unrighteousness! Yellow- (golden color) that God’s GLORY will be revealed and shown amidst us/them. Green-that life, true life in Jesus would come forth (SALVATION)! Blue, Indigo and Violet- (royal colors) that the establishment of God’s kingdom would manifest, his Preeminence, Sovereignty, righteousness, holiness, justice and victory.(fear of the LORD) Thus displaying, signs wonders, miracles and visitations.

So, I prayed that, from now on, I will not look at a rainbow(associated with homosexually) with discouragement, fear, or disgust, but with hope in the colors and being reminded of God’s covenant promise with the earth and towards us! TAKE BACK HIS RAINBOW,so when a rainbow flag is raised, God is raised!

Since this was shared, we have been praying according to the colors and using various scriptures that correspond with what the colors represent. With the seemingly overwhelming flood of rising resistance to biblical truth and national tension with the advancement of the homosexual agenda, I would encourage believer’s everywhere to join with us and PRAY the RAINBOW!

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“There’s power in the blood of Emmett Till, There’s power in in the blood of Medgar Evers! There’s power in the blood of Dr. King!”–Jesse Jackson
When I read Jesse Jackson’s quote from a sermon on a recent Sunday, my heart began to burn. The next day, I attended a march in downtown Indianapolis where over 2500 people showed up seeking “Justice for Trayvon”. As I hurried out the door, the Lord instructed me to put on my preacher’s robe because He had something for me to say. I quickly wrangled my black robe (which previously I have only worn once to officiate a wedding) out of it’s bag and made my way to the rally. Within minutes of my arrival, I stood on a hill far away from the crowd and surveyed the landscape, taking in an image that mimicked the photos that so many of us have seen from the Civil Rights Movement Era. Then something surprising happened. A young pastor who I recognized, emerged from the crowd with a megaphone and began to run towards me. Within seconds, a throng of the crowd began to follow suit and within 5 minutes the whole crowd was standing below the hill looking up at where I was standing. To my right was this young pastor, to my left was an older pastor, and behind me was an Imam from the Nation of Islam and his whole security crew dressed in slick suits and red bow ties. I don’t know how it happened, I wasn’t an organizer or even a part of the event. Maybe it was the robe, but suddenly, where I was standing became the pulpit.

Since the days of slavery, the pulpit has been the ultimate place of leadership in the black community. Rooted in the reality that only Christ could set us free, our ancestors looked to the infallible and Eternal Word of God for rescue and not the temporal solutions of men. Most of all, our forefathers who endured grueling beatings from slave masters knew that even if they did not see justice in their lifetimes, there was One whose back was ripped open to purchase justice on their behalf and who would one day vindicate them: Jesus. This knowledge was sufficient to keep them in perfect peace and give them and their children strength for the generations to come. When I read the words of Mr. Jackson who went on to call Trayvon a martyr, I was stirred with Godly frustration over the fact that Jesus the martyred and RISEN redeemer, was not welcome in the conversation. Interestingly enough, He also wasn’t invited to the rally in Indianapolis. As these leaders stood and passed the megaphone, the crowd chanted with great fervor: NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE! Ministers of the “gospel” next to me delighted in stirring the crowd. It seemed as if it was almost a competition to see who could say the words that would provoke the crowd the most; recounting the years of injustices, the defiance needed for change, and the need not to be oppressed. I was grieved as I watched the unholy spirit of the gospel of ethnocentrism, throw the crowd into convulsions of zealous response.

I posted briefly on facebook about the Jackson sermon and posed the question, “Do you see what Gospel is being preached?” A friend responded that no one was taking away from the power of the blood of Jesus but rather highlighting the powerful actions that can come from the bloodshed of those who have died. However, the very lack of mentioning THAT BLOOD, the blood that was shed for not just black people, but that liberated ALL of HUMANITY from slavery and the fallen systems of this world at the very moment where people need to be reminded of where TRUE hope and TRUE justice prevails..is an AFFRONT to heaven. The blood of Emmett Till and M.L.K. JR has changed public policy and created billions of opportunities for African Americans. However, our prison system is filled beyond capacity with black males, the family unit is in shambles, our graveyards are filled with hundreds of thousands of “Trayvon’s” (many of whom’s lives were taken at the hands of young men who look like them), and literally millions of other African American lives are being cut short by their own mother’s IN THE WOMB. Due to the blood of MLK and the hard work of countless others; billions of federal, state, local, and private dollars have been spent since his death to try and break the perpetual cycles that have become common place in every low income area in America. (I have a non-profit org in the inner-city so I personally have benefited from it.) However, the SAME problems not only continue exist but seem to be multiplying and morphing with each new generation.If the branches of all this “progress” produce the fruit of the statistics in this generation, what kind of seed did this tree come from?

And racism? Oh yes, without question it still exists. Guys like Jackson and Sharpton have bounced from pulpits, newsrooms, and street corners for over 45 years calling for “JUSTICE” by articulating the real and perceived injustices of the African American experience; igniting emotions, and leading thousands to demonstrate time and again. While they have succeeded in being visible and vocal, their messages have not led to a HEALING of the HEART. Meanwhile, the substance in many pulpits has become an empty “black liberation theology” that brings a measure of social change through activism but is powerless to break the death grip of oppression that all racism/hatred is rooted in: SIN. Only the blood of Jesus can deal with that. Furthermore, this DIVINE INNOCENT BLOOD compels us not only to sympathize with Trayvon but to love, forgive, bless, and pray for our enemies (whoever we think they are..which in this case is Zimmerman). Rather than being so easily reactive when the media blows up a news event, the church should be modeling the character of Christ. What should set us apart is how we RESPOND rather than REACT in the face of being wronged.Proverbs 12:16 says, A fool’s anger is known at once, But a prudent man conceals dishonor. Instead, many of our churches are revealing their own lack of divine wisdom by allowing our pulpits to be used to fan the anger into flame and draw us into valuing our earthly identity over our heavenly citizenship. By default, due to the historicity of the relationship between the church and the black community, the rest of the culture follows suit.

Any purveyor of biblical truth should know that racism, oppression, and injustice of any kind is not a political or cultural issue, but rather a spiritual issue. You can throw all the protests, policy, money, and time that you want at something but if it is not dealt with in the spiritual realm, it will only manifest in another form at a given time. But we haven’t been able to deal with it because the Church is the most segregated place on earth. How can we bind up and reconcile that which binds us and for which we need to be reconciled? If we who are supposed to be known by the world for our love, cannot genuinely “act JUSTLY and love mercy” (Micah 6:8) toward one another, why do we expect anything different from the fallible systems of this world? Maybe we’ve trusted in the blood of earthly Messiah’s so much when it comes to solving social justice issues that we have forgotten how the blood of THE Messiah applies? Unfortunately, when Obama was elected, a large portion of America fell under an illusion that we had crossed the river and entered into a new utopia of racial harmony and progress. However, Matthew 24:7 informs us that as we near the days of Jesus’ return, “nation will rise against nation.” Nation can be translated to “ethnos” or ethnic group. What this means is that we can actually expect to see racial tensions increase not just here in America but across the globe. In these days and the days to come, every believer black or white should be able to bring clarity in the midst of growing racial tensions because we understand the solution according to Ephesians 2:14- For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.

At the rally, the microphone finally made it into my hands. They told me I had 60 seconds to speak so I encouraged the crowd of many faiths that I was there to speak primarily to the Christians. I reminded them of Ephesians 4:26 which says to “Be Angry. But in your anger, do not sin. Don’t let the sun go down on your wrath (don’t hold on to your anger, but give it to God), lest the Devil get a foothold.” The crowd was silent. There were very few cheers. The mic passed and within moments, the pep rally continued. Later, the party moved to monument circle and the vow “NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE!” penetrated the air. That’s when I realized that the only microphone I needed was my vocal chords and that my pulpit would be every individual. So I walked through every portion of the crowd and shouted at the top of my lungs “JESUS IS OUR JUSTICE! JESUS IS OUR PEACE!” It caught people by surprise at first and I watched as many of their expressions changed from anger to silence. As if processing what I was saying and the implications of it, the words began to penetrate through the noise of the media and the leadership that we’ve become so accustomed to. I imagine that suddenly young people were getting flashbacks of their praying grandmothers whose first response in the face of mistreatment was singing a song of praise. I watched as older women began to say Amen and older men said, “Now you betta preach that!” I moved closer to the new pulpit area as those around me motioned for me to come closer and said, “Now YOU should be on that megaphone! They ain’t sayin nothin but you sayin something!” And I realized, this message is the only message that will sustain, preserve, protect, and lift us beyond any injustice, real or perceived.The Trayvon situation is merely the manifestation of humanity. Zimmerman is fallible. Trayvon was fallible. The police are fallible. The justice system is fallible. Our marches are fallible. Our policies are fallible. We are fallible. Therefore, we must preach about a blood that is infallible, a government that never fails, and a ruler whose reign is established on the foundations of Justice AND Righteousness. Our ancestors understood this in the midst of unimaginable oppression. We must REPENT and RETURN.

Jesus is our Justice, Jesus is our Peace!

–Jonathan Tremaine Thomas

Posted: March 28, 2012 in Race/Ethnicity, The Church
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After a stunning series of miraculous comeback’s, one would have to live in Antarctica to know nothing about “Tebow Time”. However If you have no clue what that is then please stop reading this right now and proceed to Google :-). One major headline recently proposed the question, “Tim Tebow: God’s Quarterback?” In response, I assert that there is little to no need for me to add to the abundant pontificating of the Tebow phenomenon (which I really haven’t followed very closely at all). However, I felt that it would be prudent in the spirit of the sons of Isachaar to offer this perspective. These sons were some of King David’s infamous mighty men who understood the times and knew what should be done within the context of those times. We are living in a time where the whole of creation is longing to be awakened and released into full contact with it’s Creator. But God sends awakening by first sending awakened ones.

I live in a city that is affectionately called “Nap-town” by those who are hip to using such language. The biblical principal of the power of the tongue has not so surprisingly caused much of the atmosphere of the city to reflect the nature of this nickname. Many discerning individuals who have lived here for any length of time can attest to the “sleepy” spirit that is on the region. While fast-paced thinkers quickly find themselves frustrated with the Hoosier lifestyle, most would defend it not so much as sleepy, but as “comfortable”. Although there are pockets of resistance, this widespread complacency has by and large given place to an apathetic pursuit of God and no real spirit of prevailing victory over the realm of darkness in recent regional church history. Moreover, it has created a city that only seems to pulsate with life around the energy generated by a winning professional sports team or a traditional main event like the Indy 500.This is not a phenomenon that is unique to Indianapolis. Without question, we could assess the spiritual climate of many cities around the nation and soundly discern strengths and weaknesses that are unique to that particular region. But what role should the sons and daughters of God play in shaping the atmosphere of a city? Undoubtedly, God cares about whole cities and His influence within them. Take for example Psalm 46:4 which says: There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, The holy dwelling places of the Most High. This scripture clearly points to these facts:

-There is a consistently flowing source from which we should draw most of our vitality.

-This source changes the atmosphere. The term “make” implies that this river takes the city from a state that is other than glad, and thrusts, creates, renews, or transforms the atmosphere into one of joy.

-These cities are where HE HIMSELF LIVES.

If the Holy One lives within ME and I live within this city, that means HE lives here.In light of this we have to examine ourselves and ask, how is our presence in our city/town visibly influencing the cultural or spiritual climate of our city? Using this question as a measure of the corporate authority and fruit of today’s Church in the West, i would say that we left the banks of the river long ago.As a result stadiums, coliseums, and arenas have been constructed as sanctuaries for a billion dollar entertainment industry that provides temporal distraction from the mundane and stirs us with an exciting false gladness on any given day. The Glory of divine communion, ethereal power, and mystical majesty that lends itself to eternal awe; has been willfully replaced with empirical activity, human energy, and cerebral study. As a result, many well intentioned ministries (and ministers) are filled with the very ingredients of the vitriol that causes disruption to the clarity and vibrancy with which one hears and interacts with the Holy One. Through the consistent drone of today’s depressing news feeds, lust-filled solicitations, and idolatrous celebrity worship, society is being lulled beyond sleep and into the death grip of Babylon. With a gross famine of the Word of the Lord in cities around the nation, we find ourselves as witnesses of the ancient Romans 8:19 condition:

For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.

It’s the longing. I would submit to you that this is why Hollywood is so successful. This why in a crushed economy, people are still willing to give their money to men in suits who write checks to men in tights. Whether it’s the woman with the “perfect” teeth, hair, body, voice, or personality in an imperfect situation on the reality tv show; the quarterback with thighs like tree trunks and a rocket arm who overcomes all the obstacles, or the baller who can leap over skyscrapers; we are captured by our longing to see divinity. In our frail condition, these “larger than our lives” individuals are the closest to Sons and daughters of God that we can imagine. Therefore we’ve built textile mills to create and mass produce not only the individuals that can be put on display to fulfill our need, but all of the accessories that will help maintain the illusion of there godlike-ness.

So back to the question. Does God have a favorite quarterback? Does He choose sides in a football game? Does the One who created the Heavens and the Earth REALLY care about such petty things in the midst of famine, war, disease, poverty, and so much abounding injustice?  My answer would be no. But He does care deeply about the longing. As a result, He will use the both the high places and the low places in our lives to reveal His Son. He will even use the foolishness of overpaid men pounding each other to get a piece of dead pig across a line, if that will capture the hearts of His beloved creation and turn them toward the majesty of the fellowship that we were designed to have with Him throughout eternity. So in His mercy, he places true sons within the  system that not only deflect the glory of man’s worship away from themselves and back to their Father through the message that they carry, but who (like Jesus) actually ARE the very message of Heaven to the generation of those who are alive in that time.  Since one of the primary characteristics of what signifies a true son in the Father’s House is his access to and understanding of the heart and mind of his dad. These sons actually know the Father’s will and are absolutely zealous for it to be done. When they get closer to accomplishing it or experience any measure of success or failure, they are absolutely zealous for the Father to be glorified.

Speaking as a true son in the house of the Lord, I believe that Tim Tebow is a prophetic sign to nations of the earth in this hour.  I think it is no coincidence that Tebow’s popularity is getting more press than Santa Clause at a time when the incarnation or First Advent of Christ is traditionally celebrated across the globe with increasingly less reverence.As a sign, God has released him  and others to change the spiritual climate of a nation and prepare the way of the second coming of Christ while Satan has released demonic sign’s like Lady Gaga to unleash the Anti-Christ spirit in greater measure. As I looked at his name on a news headline the other day, it was as if the letters of his name rearranged to reveal a clear statement to the earth: Tim Te bow= Time t Bow. God is saying that just as Tim has comeback with the Broncos in the fourth quarter and won in overtime, we are in the fourth quarter of human history approaching the Second Advent of Jesus, who in overtime will come with all of heaven on a white horse and administer full defeat to His enemies. While analysts marvel at his fourth quarter “comeback” ability,  and sociologists discuss his influence on the role of faith in the public sector, people from every nation and language are imitating his position of reverence before the Father.(tebowing.com) Whether they realize it or not, the “tebowing” pose is a manifestation of this blazing message from heaven..It’s time to bow. When the glory of God is fully revealed in the Son, there will be no more analysis, argument, debate, or controversy…just the manifestation of “tebowing” all across the heaven’s and the earth in full measure according to Revelation 14:11:

“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.’”

We’ll among those that on saw in Revelation 7:9-10:

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10And they cried out in a loud voice:

   “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”

Then we will receive our full inheritance as sons and daughters and our longing will be fulfilled as we finally behold the first Son.  But  until then as God continues to release signs in the heavens and in the earth throughout 2012, let us be sober and vigilant. Pray to be like the sons of Isachaar, that we might train our sense to discern between what is holy and profane. As it was when Jesus was on the earth, let the mind and heart of the Father be in us…the sons and daughters.

Posted: December 16, 2011 in Entertainment Industry
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Posted: August 10, 2011 in General

I’ve always been a cultural observer. Like a weatherman examines Doppler systems to identify weather patterns and assimilate a forecast; I often spend hours reading the news headlines, listening to popular music, examining the most popular tv shows and films in order to gauge the spiritual temperature and atmospheric conditions of our generation.   For the past few years, i’ve tried to diligently become a student of human history. Most importantly, the history of God in and among humanity. One of the things that i’ve noticed is that for every noticeable increase of the Kingdom of God in our lives, there is a seemingly more pronounced movement in the realm of darkness on the Earth.

Just this past week, an incredible and I believe “historic” gathering took place in Chicago, Illinois called “Jesus Culture Awakening”. Over 15,000 “revivalists” gathered for three days of encouragement and encounter with God. Even though I wasn’t there and was watching it on a webstream, I could feel the impartation of HOPE that was released. Hope that in SPITE of and even THROUGH the crumbling infrastructure of our external condition, we have a loving and mighty Advocate in the Holy Spirit who WILL transform our hearts AND the nations to the Glory of the Father. Then, a day of prayer for our nation called “The Response” was held in Houston, TX at the invitation of Gov. Rick Perry. Although it  was preceded by a firestorm of controversy, I was moved as nearly 40,000 people laid down what was theirs (in terms of agendas, denomination, suspicion, tradition, etc.) and picked up what is His (love, mercy, humility, gentleness, unity, etc.) in prayer and worship. From conversations wiht my brother who led worship at the event, to friends who came back from Chicago…there seems to be an overwhelming sense of AWE being infused into the lives of believers. But in the wake of global financial disasters, droughts, natural disasters, and civil uprisings; there is a corresponding sense of dread, fear, desperation, and chaos being infused into the hearts of the nations. If I were to be considered a national “spiritual meteorologist”, I would say the atmospheric conditions are just about perfect for an unprecedented move of God.

In the past two days, I have been made aware of multiple “mob” induced incidents of violence. From London to Wisconsin to Texas, there is a riotous spirit of HATE-induced “pandemonium” gripping people groups.  With the increase of bad news regarding violent outbreaks of mob violence across the nations, I am encouraged by the reality that it is simply a counterfeit distraction from the MASSIVE LOVE-induced move of God that is currently BREAKING OUT all around us.

For example, although racism has been dealt with in various ways throughout history; God’s solution to racism has always been Him. Although it garnered immense national attention for blind eyes opening, limbs growing, and “glossalalia”, this truth was one of the most prominent marquee miracles of the ministry of William Seymour of the Azusa Street Revival.  Sid Roth asked, “Did you know that the Azusa Street Revival that happened in the early 1900′s was the first integrated church in America? God picked a one-eyed black man to lead the greatest move of God’s Spirit in miracles I believe since the first coming of the Messiah….”

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I believe the outpouring of the spirit at Azusa Street, clearly pointed to what the last days church should earnestly desire: unquenchable love for Jesus and unconditional love for each other. History books and news archives all proliferate the incredible atmosphere of love that filled the meetings at Bonnie Brae street. It was the only place in America where european immigrants, blacks, Jews, hispanics, Asians, caucasians, and native Americans could gather in the same place and love on each other as if here was no color line. In fact, Seymour preached that in Christ, the only color is “red”. Historian Frank Bartleman adds, “The color line has been washed away in the Blood.”

True revival always brings lasting reform, therefore MANY denominations and world missions movements were brought forth from this revival. Today over 500 million living people can trace their faith expression back to this outpouring including the Assemblies of God, Church of God, Church of God in Christ (largest African-American denomination), Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, and many other modern-day charismatic/pentecostal expressions. Unfortunately, a few people’s disagreement with the racial unity, contributed to splits and the current “black church” “white church” normalcy that we are accustomed to today. But the Bride that Jesus is returning for…will NOT look like what we currently call Church. It will be mature in love. It will look like and be filled with every characteristic that is expressed in Ephesians 4:2-15! (Read it!) To that end, God is raising up those who will labor with Him in preparing His Bride (the Church) for the great wedding day. This includes revealing, restoring, and redeeming the unique gifts of God within entire familial bloodlines, ethnic groups, cities, regions, and nations.

The Winds

Posted: August 4, 2011 in General

It was a Saturday in March. Someone knocked on the door and it was a group of Jehovah’s Witnesses. As we stood on the front porch in conversation, even  I was shocked by the tangible grace of God that was present for me to sift through their words and get to the root of their deception. As they left my porch, visibly shaken by the encounter; the wind began to blow violently. Instantly the Holy Spirit whispered the aforementioned statement. My mind was drawn to the two news stories that had dominated the headlines that week: “Record number of tornadoes rip through the U.S.” and “Does Hell exist? Evangelical Preacher releases controversial new book.”

The Bible inextricably ties the weather patterns to the reality of the spiritual climate and the times that we live in. This is clearly delineated by Jesus throughout the Gospels but one striking passage is Luke 12:54-56

54 He said to the crowd: “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘It’s going to rain,’ and it does. 55 And when the south wind blows, you say, ‘It’s going to be hot,’ and it is. 56 Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time?

Interestingly enough, according to the National Climatic Data Center, April was the deadliest tornado month in recorded weather history with 753 reported tornadoes. If these tornadoes represent destructive doctrines and false ideologies, this brings a renewed sobriety and  intensity to for true believers to mature in this Ephesians 4:14  admonishment:

As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every WIND of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ…

Amen.

Spots in the Love Feast

Posted: July 9, 2010 in General

Black pastors, ministers, and political leaders across the city are organizing prayer gatherings, rallies, and marches demanding justice in response to a 15 yr. old that was recently beaten by a cop. While the words “peace”, “justice”, and “rights” are being thrown around with nostalgic aplomb by these pious individuals, it is clear that “wisdom” and “righteousness in the fear of the Lord” are not as well received.

Certainly many individuals and policies in the federal, local, and state governments are far from “holy” as indicated by generations of systemic injustice. Whenever this bitter truth touches someone in the black community, we add the incident to our repertoire of legitimate reasons for being angry. However, the lack of peace and equity in our city, for which we so valiantly strive by optimistic bursts of activism, is rooted in a very humbling reality. Our community is bending underneath the weight of the spiritual and moral bankruptcy that has manifested in the leadership of the church.

In just a few days, one of the largest churches in this city will host a prayer and peace gathering in an effort to unify the black community. As a people, the physical chains around our necks and lashes on our backs have ceased. We are no longer fighting for the right to vote, or the opportunity to drink out of a water fountain. However, the number of fatherless kids and single-parent families in our communities is astounding.  Our teens are being swept away by music and media that promotes death, while our young men without purpose or hope, are filling up prisons cells and graveyards. HIV/AIDS, violent crime, illiteracy and poor education plague us while the death decree of abortion is exterminating us as a race. The battle in this hour is for the lives of our sons and daughters.

Meanwhile, our pastors and leaders are brazenly unleashing their newest man-concocted agendas, jockeying for political favors, and inviting a glaring apostate who disgraces the God of the Bible and His Church (Al Sharpton); to lead our city in prayer in order to create headlines. Malachi 2 says that rather than inviting God’s blessing, these things actually bring a curse:

1 “And now this admonition is for you, O priests. 2 If you do not listen, and if you do not set your heart to honor my name,” says the LORD Almighty, “I will send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have already cursed them, because you have not set your heart to honor me.

3 “Because of you I will rebuke [a] your descendants [b] ; I will spread on your faces the offal from your festival sacrifices, and you will be carried off with it. 4 And you will know that I have sent you this admonition so that my covenant with Levi may continue,” says the LORD Almighty. 5 “My covenant was with him, a covenant of life and peace, and I gave them to him; this called for reverence and he revered me and stood in awe of my name. 6 True instruction was in his mouth and nothing false was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and turned many from sin.

7 “For the lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge, and from his mouth men should seek instruction—because he is the messenger of the LORD Almighty. 8 But you have turned from the way and by your teaching have caused many to stumble; you have violated the covenant with Levi,” says the LORD Almighty. 9 “So I have caused you to be despised and humiliated before all the people, because you have not followed my ways but have shown partiality in matters of the law.”

In the last 40 years, it seems that in matters of the law, the Black church at large has been completely silent on issues of righteousness and Godly justice such as gay marriage and abortion. However, we have been overwhelmingly vocal on issues of man-centered justice such as health care or perceived racism. In the midst of this, we’ve confused or even chosen racial and cultural zeal, over biblical truth and the zeal of the Lord. This couldn’t be more true than in the case of Al Sharpton. A man who has repeatedly called for racial justice while simultaneously rejecting biblical righteousness. With even a brief look at Sharpton’s public life and the ideologies for which he has been a voice, one can clearly see that he is a man full of words but not a purveyor of biblical truth. His primary identity is found within his ethnocentric religion of being black, rather than the “imago dei” of Jesus Christ. In his January 2009 speech at Tabernacle Baptist church in Atlanta he said this about Proposition 8 which forbade gay marriage in the state:

It amazes me when I looked at California and saw churches that had nothing to say about police brutality, nothing to say when a young black boy was shot while he was wearing police handcuffs, nothing to say when the they overturned affirmative action, nothing to say when people were being delegated into poverty, yet they were organizing and mobilizing to stop consenting adults from choosing their life partners. There is something immoral and sick about using all of that power to not end brutality and poverty, but to break into people’s bedrooms and claim that God sent you.

Malachi 2 speaks of the Lord’s response to such men:

17 You have wearied the LORD with your words.
“How have we wearied him?” you ask.
By saying, “All who do evil are good in the eyes of the LORD, and he is pleased with them” or “Where is the God of justice?”

We are further admonished by the Lord as pastors, ministers, and children of light to weigh such men on the scales of God’s Word. The Apostles exhorted us repeatedly to be sober and vigilant such as this warning from Jude:

3 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God[b] and our Lord Jesus Christ.

However ignoring and embracing such actions is the manifestation of 2 Timothy 4:3-

3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;

With this being clearly laid before us in scripture, how can we continue in our wicked ways and expect the Lord to hear our prayers and bring real change to this city? In Malachi 1 the Lord says:

10“Oh that there were one among you who would (U)shut the gates, that you might not uselessly kindle fire on My altar! I am not pleased with you,” says the LORD of hosts, “(V)nor will I accept an offering from you.

He would rather we shut EVERYTHING DOWN and do nothing, rather than to continue with our religious gatherings and well-intentioned plans without purity. In this context, our well quoted and beloved scripture out of 2 Chronicles 7:14 becomes exponentially potent:

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

We must not breeze through this instruction lightly. We need to camp out on every word of this verse and seriously consider our ways. With every homicide and every injustice, I can feel the weight of blood on the doorsteps of the Church and the hands of those who profess Christ. We must repent and return to the Lord because the day of the Lord is near!

15Blow a trumpet in Zion,
Consecrate a fast, proclaim a solemn assembly,
16
Gather the people, sanctify the congregation,
Assemble the elders,
Gather the children and the nursing infants
Let the bridegroom come out of his room
And the bride out of her bridal chamber.
17
Let the priests, the LORD’S ministers,
Weep between the porch and the altar,
And let them say, “Spare Your people, O LORD,
And do not make Your inheritance a reproach,
A byword among the nations
Why should they among the peoples say,
‘Where is their God?'”  (Joel 2:15-17)