Compromise is wrong, dangerous and silly

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I am going to give you some very real hope for America!  I see an army rising up.  Something glorious is coming to our nation in the form of a fiery new breed of believer that will carry awesome power.  Here is the first installment of There’s an Army Rising Up. 

 

There’s an army rising up:  Part one: Compared to what God is sending compromise is wrong, dangerous and silly.

By Mario Murillo

I reposted an article about Hillsong by Andrew Walker.  Some were offended at me for posting. However, I stand by my decision to post it because it is high time that we confronted the horrendous damage that is being done by compromise.

In a week that brought us so much gloom doom and division one thing stands out to me.  The church does not know how to respond to persecution.

Let’s get this one thing straight.  The radical voices in the gay community would love America to believe that overnight Christianity morphed into a hate group that threatens civil rights.  Suddenly the Bible teaches hate and oppression of minorities?   So they came up with this hilarious solution in Houston:  In the name of civil rights they would erase the civil rights of Pastors.

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Only a simpleton will take the bait and think that we should tailor our message to this unambiguous form of black mail, or believe the lie that they want to liberate humanity from oppressive religious doctrine.

If that were the case they would also target Islam.  In Islamic nations like Iran homosexuality carries the death penalty!   So why is the gay mayor of Houston and other gay activists silent in their opposition to sharia law or be- headings?

 

hands raised copyThe reason is clear.  There is a coalition much wider than just Gay activists that is in play. This is all about control.  It is not about marriage or equal rights.  They know that the foundation of America is Christian.  They must get rid of that foundation in order to see their grand dream of a totally secular state.

Another reason for their double standard on Islam is that their lead man, Obama is sympathetic to Moslems.  The women’s movement did this with Bill Clinton.  Because they saw him as a force to help feminists, they overlooked his criminal treatment of women.

In the case of Obama they not only ignore Islam but also the fact that he is the most inept, malice driven president in history.

Now let’s get to something that really makes the argument for compromise fall apart: the idea that we can make the hatred go away.  We must know why we are hated! Jesus told us in Matthew 24:9 that we would be hated by all nations.   While we should never incite anger we should also be aware that no matter what we do, we will be hated.

Look at another way:  many of the 1.6 billion Muslims in the world hate the compassion they see in the Christian message.  For them we are too tolerant in matters of marriage, sexuality and equal rights.   The same logic that says, “hey let’s soften our view of homosexuality to reach New York City could also say “hey let’s turn up the heat beyond Scripture’s demands to be relevant to those 1.6 billion people.

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David Wilkerson reached thousands in New York City with a message that never compromised. Times Square Church welcomes transvestites, prostitutes, addicts and everyone else.  Nobody ever felt condemned or unloved by the call to repent that came from the burning heart of this man of God and continues to come from this powerful church.

The idea of veiling the Gospel in order to stay relevant is subtly wicked.  It rips the fate of the church out of the hands of the Holy Spirit and places it at the mercy of marketing.  It implies that without rebranding the church will die.   Jesus said “On this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it!”

 

So why am I do I so vehemently reject this compromise?  I reject it because it plays into the hands of the enemy.  It facilitates the takeover of America.  It gives the Church the worst possible model. It tells us to be giddy and obsequious kitty cats when we need to be roaring from every pulpit, kitchen, classroom, street corner and roof top, “AMERICA REPENT BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!”

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Tomorrow:  How God can make us relevant and effective against evil in this critical moment.

 

 

Hillsong: A Church in Exile

Religion, and maybe Ebola, owned the news this week. From the confusion and public relations nightmare at the Vatican over the Synod’s Relatio, to the Caesarism of Annise Parker and the City of Houston subpoenaing sermons from pastors, it has been a busy week for the religion beat.

Then yesterday, coverage about a Hillsong press conference came out, indicating that the global evangelical enterprise is triangulating on homosexuality, particularly about whether it should publicly hold what the Bible teaches in light of culture’s rapid change on the subject. According to Jonathan Merritt,

At a press conference for the Hillsong Conference in New York City today, Michael Paulson of The New York Times asked Houston to clarify their church’s position on same sex marriage. But Houston would not offer a definitive answer, instead saying that it was “an ongoing conversation” among church leaders and they were “on the journey with it.”

Houston says that he considers three things when evaluating the topic: “There’s the world we live in, there’s the weight we live with, and there’s the word we live by.”

He notes that the Western world is shifting its thinking on this issue, and churches are struggling to stay relevant. The weight we live in (sic), he added, refers to a context where LGBT young people may feel rejected or shunned by churches, often leading to depression and suicide. But when Houston began speaking about the word we live by or “what the Bible says,” he refused to offer a concrete position.

Merritt’s reporting also quotes this gem: “Lentz’s wife, Laura, chimed in: “It’s not our place to tell anyone how they should live. That’s their journey.”

What do we say about this?

First, if I were writing the Art of Cultural War, this is the strategy I’d use to bring the opposing side to heel. The steps look something like this: Relativize the issue with other issues. Be uncertain about the issue. Refuse to speak publicly on the issue. Be indifferent toward the issue. Accept the issue. Affirm the issue. Require the issue. Hillsong is currently on step three. I don’t think they’ll stay there.

Second, a non-answer is an answer. Let’s be very clear on that. It’s also a very vapid answer. What we’re seeing in many corners of evangelicalism is a pliability that makes Christianity an obsequious servant to whatever the reigning zeitgeist is. With non-answers like this, it isn’t Jesus who is sitting at the right hand of the Father. Culture is. Perhaps Hillsong would rather abide by a “Don’t Ask; Don’t Tell” policy on matters of orthodoxy. That’s their prerogative. But let’s be clear that this is not the route of faithfulness.

Third, this isn’t an issue over whether gays and lesbians should or should not be welcomed in church. This also isn’t an issue over whether young individuals within the LGBT community have faced bullying. Bullying of all sorts is deplorable and should be condemned, and not because the Human Rights Campaign says so, but because Jesus says so (Matthew 7:12). What this issue is about is whether the church models faithful obedience to Christ in a way that both honors Scripture and loves its neighbor. Hillsong thinks it’s doing both; but is actually doing neither.

Fourth, Hillsong thinks itself a contemporary and culturally relevant church. Perhaps it is. But as Christians, we don’t get to define what “relevant” means in terms that are unquestioning of what our culture means by “relevant.” I submit that Hillsong is a church in retreat. A church in retreat doesn’t give answers. It doesn’t storm the gates of Hell. It settles and makes peace where there is no peace (Ezekiel 13:10). A church in exile (and that’s how I’d describe the current placement of confessional evangelicalism) is one that is faithful amidst the culture, regardless of whether that culture looks more like America or more like Babylon. It knows that it may lose the culture, but that it cannot lose the Gospel. So be it.

This is, as I’ve written elsewhere, a gentrified fundamentalist withdrawal rooted in the belief that the foreignness of Christianity can’t overcome the tired intellectual patterns of cultural decay. At the end of the day, I think Hillsong’s non-answer answer is rooted in an embarrassment about what the Bible teaches and the church has held since the time of Jesus. The good news is that the truth of Christianity outlasts the untruths of man’s applause.

When I read stuff like this, my reaction isn’t anger. It’s an eye-roll. Churches should know better than to believe the myth that accommodation will swell their ranks. The opposite happens. 

Following the Apostle Peter, this all means that judgment begins within the household of God, so I’m not writing for outsiders. I’m writing for the church, to the church. I’m writing about Hillsong, a church or enterprise with enormous global influence. What I see, tragically, isn’t a church grappling with a complex issue. What I see is a church exchanging compassion for cowardliness before culture’s consistory.

Rev. Billy Graham: ‘America is Just as Wicked as Sodom and Gomorrah Ever Were’

Rev. Billy Graham: ‘America is Just as Wicked as Sodom and Gomorrah Ever Were’

October 16, 2014 – 4:56 PM
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Rev. Billy Graham. (AP)

Reverend Billy Graham, arguably the most well-known and respected evangelical preacher of the last 50 years, said in a recently published commentary that America was “founded by men who believed in prayer” and that prayer can turn “the tide of history,” adding that while “America is just as wicked as Sodom and Gomorrah” and deserves “the judgment of God,” this judgment can be lessened through prayer.

“Even though America is just as wicked as Sodom and Gomorrah ever were, and as deserving of the judgment of God, God would spare us if we were earnestly praying, with hearts that had been cleansed and washed by the blood of Christ,” said Rev. Graham in his commentary for Decision magazine, published by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

“The problems of the world will never be settled unless our national leaders go to God in prayer,” he said. “If only they would discover the power and wisdom that there is in reliance upon God, we could soon see the solution to the grave problems that face the world!”

Graham is 95 and reportedly often bedridden at his home in Montreat, N.C. His commentary in the October issue of Decision, under the headline “Turning the Tide of History,” was reprinted from a sermon he delivered Jan. 7, 1962 on the Hour of Decision radio program.

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(AP Photo)

Reverend Graham’s comments start off in saying, “Our nation was founded by men who believed in prayer,” and notes that Benjamin Franklin, in addressing the 1787 Constitutional Convention, said that “God governs in the affairs of men.”

“Today the world is being carried on a rushing torrent of history that is sweeping out of control,” said Rev. Graham.  “There is but one power available to redeem the course of events, and that is the power of prayer by God-fearing, Christ-believing people.”

He continued, “One of the reasons the United Nations has become so ineffective in handling world situations is that there is no prayer, no recognition of God. Unless the leaders of nations turn to God in prayer, their best plans will fail, just as did the plans of those who built the tower of Babel.”

Rev. Graham then noted numerous instances from the Bible where people “turned the tide of history by prayer.”  For example, he notes, Elisha prayed and a young man was raised from the dead; Jesus prayed and Lazarus rose from the dead; the thief on the cross next to Jesus prayed and Jesus told him he would go to paradise that day; John Wesley prayed and religious fervor grew in England, and the same happened with Johnathan Edwards in Northampton.

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Rev. Billy Graham, left, and one of his sons, Rev. Franklin Graham. (AP)

“I tell you, history could be altered and changed again if people went to their knees in believing prayer,” said Rev. Graham.

Rev. Billy Graham, whose wife Ruth died in 2007, has five children and 19 grandchildren. He has been listed as one of the most admired men by Gallup almost every year since 1955. Over the decades, his evangelical Christian message was heard, in person, on radio, and through television, by an estimated 2.2 billion people. Rev. Graham is often referred to as “America’s pastor.”

Citizen Sheep Government Shepherds

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There are books that you choose and then there are books that choose you.  This book choose me and its contents captured me in a way that few books ever have.  I consumed it at one sitting.  “I could not put it down,” is not just a cliché, for me it was literally true.   I have been desperate to communicate a message to America. This book does it better than any I know.

Please get your copy of Citizen Sheep Government Shepherd.  I am not getting a dime for telling you this.  –  Mario

From the Book:

If you listen carefully, virtually every political debate is about control. Whether the debate is in a coffee shop, on the floor in Congress or in the media, it is about control. Who has control over the money you earn? You, or the government? Who has control over the property you own? You, or the government? Who takes control of your worldly goods when you pass on? Your heirs, or the government? The Government Shepherds herd us and shear us, and swear they are doing it because they love sheep. After you finish this book, you should know better. The author brings a unique list of life experiences to the subject of government. Before serving in the U.S. Congress, Mike Sodrel logged over a million miles driving semis and motor coaches and he still holds a Commercial Drivers License (CDL). He was a former Staff Sergeant who was later briefed by military generals as a Member of Congress, and a bank messenger who later served on the Board of Directors of a bank. His first paycheck came from bagging groceries, and he wound up employing hundreds. He is self-educated in history and philosophy, with a writing style that makes complicated issues easy to understand. Citizen Sheep, Government Shepherds is written for the people he worked with in real life.

What people are saying about Citizen Sheep Government Shepherds:

“I follow politics and consider myself a student of the US Constitution, but I learned many new things from this book. I give it my highest recommendation. There’s no agenda to the concepts that US Congressman Mike Sodrel teaches. He’s not preachy or flowery with his language. Anyone from a pre-teen to a WWII hero will enjoy this great book based on history and undeniable observation of facts.Mr Sodrel is simply a sharp patriot with an amazing story of hard work and achievement. He has a deep love for what the great nation of the U.S. once was and still could be. This book is a great warning sign for those who would fall victim to the great promises of an all caring big Government. One of the most brilliant parts of the book in my opinion is when he teaches about the political spectrum being a big circle – not a flat line. Liberty is the polar opposite of Govt. control and Govt. ownership (both are equally insidious). My conclusion: No matter what form it comes in (Govt. control or Govt. ownership) it always has been and always will be an enemy of Liberty and Freedom.”
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 “Mike Sodrel has given us an excellent introduction to the modern political landscape in America. He starts with a very brief family history so you know where he’s coming from. There are many nuggets of wit and wisdom from his rich personal life experience, which includes a much too brief version of his own classic American “rags to riches” and “self made man” biography. Through hard work, Sodrel went from being carless and homeless to owning his own companies, and becoming a U.S. Congressman.For the purpose of educating the young people of the next generation(s), he keeps his chapters and sentences short, and he includes many straightforward dictionary definitions and explanations of many of the terms you hear in political discussions today: fascism, socialism, communism, freedom, liberty, Christian Right, religious left, church and state, Constitution, government, self-government, etc. If you are like me, a parent looking for an easy way to explain some of these concepts to your children, this book is a great place to start.”
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This is Mario again.  I want to make it clear that I am not being paid a dime to recommend this book to you.   I simply want you to buy it and read it.  It is available for a great price on Amazon.   I said it before nothing you will read will open your eyes to what is happening right now like this book.  It is not a hysterical rant but a totally compelling case to expose the real enemy of America.  Click on this link to get your copy.    http://Amazon.com     or     http://www.mikesodrel.com

 

 

 

Houston is just a test…a test we had better pass.

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Houston is just a test…a test we must pass.

 

When I first began to speak out against our government many of my fellow ministers thought I was violating my calling.  I warned them that a widespread, complex, long range plan went into effect in 2008 to totally wipe out our liberties.

I have warned American Christians again and again that government wants to control everything from your doctor, the car you drive, the way you buy and sell and now… your pastor.    This moment does not violate my calling it fulfills it.  Not just my calling but the calling of every God-called preacher in America.

Here’s a quick review of what Government has done:

-Obamacare is touted as an achievement when we all know it was rammed down our throats by a single party.  It immediately expands government to control 1/6th of our entire economy.

- When the government purchased General Motors’ it was socialism pure and simple.

-Benghazi is worse than Watergate and we still have no action.  A president literally left Americans die because knowledge of a terrorist attack on 911 would hurt his chances at reelection.

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- Here is government intrusion on a state level: 61% of all the citizens of North Carolina voted to protect traditional marriage.  An activist federal judge appointed by Obama overruled them and imposed Gay Marriage on an independent state.

-167,000 convicted felons, here illegally, roam free in our United States.  A part of the government’s program to avoid deportations.

-The only major employer in 6 years has been the government.

-Ebola could have been controlled why wasn’t it and more to the point why isn’t it?

Here’s the playbook: Expand control over an apathetic public.  Promise cradle to grave goodies and bring in millions more who would welcome government assistance and vote for it.

Now we come to Houston.  Already the Mayor is back peddling and denying she had anything to do with a court order to make ministers hand over their sermons and emails.

Wake up!  This was a test.  It was a weather balloon sent up that is being watched by secular progressives all over the nation.  I do not believe they ever hoped to win, they merely wanted to test the level of outrage before doing it on a national level.

That fact is that I know what I know and I will keep speaking out regardless of the personal cost.  The very first Americans wanted liberty or death.  This is the tyranny they fought against.  This is the despotism that the Constitution is designed to stop.  Who could have imagined a mayor, in Texas of all places, would issue a subpoena as if she were an banana republic dictator, to control what pastor can and cannot say in their pulpits.

If we, the Body of Christ do not produce a withering, scorched earth outrage to this criminal act of religious persecution then we are inviting tyranny.  It will be tyranny on a level that makes everything that the government has done so far, look like child’s play.   What do you think?

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P.S. You can email the Mayor to express your disagreement.  Here is her email:  mayor@houstontx.gov    Be frank in your communication but not abusive.   We disavow any violent, obscene, or hateful emails for both sides of the debate.  MM

 

 

Southern Baptists Strike back at City of Houston

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WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 14, 2014—Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, says he is “simply stunned by the sheer audacity” of reports that Houston city attorneys have issued subpoenas to pastors who have voiced opposition to the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), a measure which deals with gender identity and sexuality in public accommodations.

“The preaching of sermons in the pulpits of churches is of no concern to any government bureaucrat at all. This country settled, a long time ago, with a First Amendment that the government would not supervise, license or bully religious institutions. That right wasn’t handed out by the government, as a kind of temporary restraining order. It was recognition of a self-evident truth.

“The churches, and pastors, of Houston ought to respond to this sort of government order with the same kind of defiance the Apostle Paul showed the magistrates in Philippi. A government has no business using subpoena power to intimidate or bully the preaching and instruction of any church, any synagogue, any mosque or any other place of worship. The pastors of Houston should tell the government that they will not trample over consciences, over the First Amendment and over God-given natural rights.

“The separation of church and state means that we will render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, and we will. But the preaching of the church of God does not belong to Caesar, and we will not hand it over to him. Not now. Not ever.”

Moore’s full blog post on the issue can be found online.

The Southern Baptist Convention is America’s largest Protestant denomination with more than 15.8 million members in over 46,000 churches nationwide. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is the SBC’s ethics, religious liberty and public policy agency with offices in Nashville, Tenn. and Washington, D.C.

City of Houston demands pastors turn over sermons

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City of Houston demands pastors turn over sermons

The city of Houston has issued subpoenas demanding a group of pastors turn over any sermons dealing with homosexuality, gender identity or Annise Parker, the city’s first openly lesbian mayor. And those ministers who fail to comply could be held in contempt of court.

“The city’s subpoena of sermons and other pastoral communications is both needless and unprecedented,” Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Christina Holcomb said in a statement. “The city council and its attorneys are engaging in an inquisition designed to stifle any critique of its actions.”

ADF, a nationally-known law firm specializing in religious liberty cases, is representing five Houston pastors. They filed a motion in Harris County court to stop the subpoenas arguing they are “overbroad, unduly burdensome, harassing, and vexatious.”

 

“Political and social commentary is not a crime,” Holcomb said. “It is protected by the First Amendment.”

The subpoenas are just the latest twist in an ongoing saga over the Houston’s new non-discrimination ordinance. The law, among other things, would allow men to use the ladies room and vice versa.  The city council approved the law in June.

The Houston Chronicle reported opponents of the ordinance launched a petition drive that generated more than 50,000 signatures – far more than the 17,269 needed to put a referendum on the ballot.

However, the city threw out the petition in August over alleged irregularities.

After opponents of the bathroom bill filed a lawsuit the city’s attorneys responded by issuing the subpoenas against the pastors.

The pastors were not part of the lawsuit. However, they were part of a coalition of some 400 Houston-area churches that opposed the ordinance. The churches represent a number of faith groups – from Southern Baptist to non-denominational.

“City council members are supposed to be public servants, not ‘Big Brother’ overlords who will tolerate no dissent or challenge,” said ADF attorney Erik Stanley.  “This is designed to intimidate pastors.”

Mayor Parker will not explain why she wants to inspect the sermons. I contacted City Hall for a comment and received a terse reply from the mayor’s director of communications.

“We don’t comment on litigation,” said Janice Evans.

However, ADF attorney Stanley suspects the mayor wants to publicly shame the ministers. He said he anticipates they will hold up their sermons for public scrutiny. In other words – the city is rummaging for evidence to “out” the pastors as anti-gay bigots.

Among those slapped with a subpoena is Steve Riggle, the senior pastor of Grace Community Church. He was ordered to produce all speeches and sermons related to Mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality and gender identity.

The mega-church pastor was also ordered to hand over “all communications with members of your congregation” regarding the non-discrimination law.

“This is an attempt to chill pastors from speaking to the cultural issues of the day,” Riggle told me. “The mayor would like to silence our voice. She’s a bully.”

Rev. Dave Welch, executive director of the Texas Pastor Council, also received a subpoena. He said he will not be intimidated by the mayor.

“We’re not afraid of this bully,” he said. “We’re not intimidated at all.”

He accused the city of violating the law with the subpoenas and vowed to stand firm in the faith.

“We are not going to yield our First Amendment rights,” Welch told me. ‘This is absolutely a complete abuse of authority.”

Tony Perkins, the head of the Family Research Council, said pastors around the nation should rally around the Houston ministers.

“The state is breaching the wall of separation between church and state,” Perkins told me. ‘Pastors need to step forward and challenge this across the country. I’d like to see literally thousands of pastors after they read this story begin to challenge government authorities – to dare them to come into their churches and demand their sermons.”

Perkins called the actions by Houston’s mayor “obscene” and said they “should not be tolerated.”

“This is a shot across the bow of the church,” he said.

This is the moment I wrote about in my book, “God Less America.” I predicted that the government would one day try to silence American pastors. I warned that under the guise of “tolerance and diversity” elected officials would attempt to deconstruct religious liberty. 

Sadly, that day arrived sooner than even I expected.

Tony Perkins is absolutely right. Now is the time for pastors and people of faith to take a stand.  We must rise up and reject this despicable strong-arm attack on religious liberty. We cannot allow ministers to be intimidated by government thugs.

The pastors I spoke to tell me they will not comply with the subpoena – putting them at risk for a “fine or confinement, or both.”

Heaven forbid that should happen. But if it does, Christians across America should be willing to descend en masse upon Houston and join these brave men of God behind bars.

Pastor Welch compared the culture war skirmish to the 1836 Battle of San Jacinto, fought in present-day Harris County, Texas. It was a decisive battle of the Texas Revolution.

“This is the San Jacinto moment for traditional family,” Welch told me. “This is the place where we stop the LGBT assault on the freedom to practice our faith.”

We can no longer remain silent. We must stand together – because one day – the government might come for your pastor.

Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Comment

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