How Sunday Morning Will Save or Destroy America: Part Two.

train wreck

In a blog earlier today, I told you about how in the last several days, two Sunday morning services have been the site of  massive train wrecks that have devastated the cause of Christ in America.  However, yesterday I witnessed the epic power of a Sunday Morning Service in Houston.  

Before I tell you about my experience yesterday let me make an urgent point:  One million Americans left their church this year but many did not leave because they backslid.   They left because of a ravenous desire for more.  They want more intense worship, more messages that will arm them to take a city.  They want more of the presence of God. They want public calls for sinners to repent and come to God and they want more of the moving of the Spirit in power!  The number one complaint that they have with their church is that they cannot feel the presence of God.

Nevertheless, there are many Churches that prove to us that Sunday Morning can be an awesome weapon for America’s restoration.  I call these Ground Zero Churches

They are zones of the presence of God.  Matthew Henry describes the zone, “He can, when he pleases, strike awe upon the worst of men, by the tokens of his presence in the assemblies of the faithful, and force them to acknowledge that God is with them of a truth.”

There are many examples of places that oozed God and dropped hardened sinners to their knees. The zone will replace our strenuous effort to entertain and convince people.  The presence of God will do to the sinner what we could never do.

They have a God given tractor beam.    God gave the lamp stands to the seven churches of Revelation to make them a magnet for hungry souls: A regional signal that was sent by the Holy Spirit that tells the harvest where to go.  This does not replace but enhances outreach.

They are a giant church full of giants.  You hear some pastors boast of the size of their church saying “we are a giant church and others claim “I do not want a giant church.  I want a church full of giants”. God wants both, a giant church full of giants!  The ground zero church produces leaders of true authority. Even the entry-level officers have the firepower to set Satan scurrying for cover!

They are an ongoing miracle rally.  The ground zero church does not sit and hope that their favorite miracle evangelist will come around soon.  They move in signs and wonders.  They see healing as a normal part of church life.  God crowns each service with gifts of power expressed freely and in order. They have embraced the simple promise that “these signs will follow them that believe”.

A Ground Zero Church is the epicenter of God’s dealing for a region. They are a body of believers that have made the supreme covenant with God.

Yesterday I witnessed the explosive potential of a Sunday morning service in Houston at New Life Church.  I have heard worship bands all over the world but I never felt anything anywhere that was more overpowering.  It was worship that can render the sinner helpless and launch the Christian into heights of power to serve God.

new life church houston

Pastor Dusty Kemp stood ostensibly to encourage the people to be in our Living Proof event for the next two nights.  Instead he delivered one of the most wonderful calls to action that I have ever heard.  It was convicting by not condemning.  It radiated with urgency but with great hope.  It laid out the national disaster but made a convincing case for victory.

Even the offering was compelling.  When Diane Devalle stood to receive the offering she painted a picture of the actual condition of our nation and the world. The effect on the audience was undeniable we wanted to give, serve and believe God for big things.

Most evangelists want the pulpit ASAP but on this Sunday Morning it was not an issue.  It is not even important for me to talk about my sermon.   On this day all of the elements of power came forth.  The power of the Church of Jesus was on display and their rising faith was not just a massive breathe of fresh air but a harbinger to Satan that there are still Sunday morning services across our nation that flare up and fan out to envelope our nation.

TONIGHT WE WILL HAVE A SUPERNATURAL SERVICE AT 7PM!

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How Sunday Morning Will Save or Destroy America.

train wreck

How Sunday Morning Will Save or Destroy America.

In the last several days, two Sunday morning services have been the site of  massive train wrecks that have devastated the cause of Christ in America.  However, yesterday I witnessed the epic power of a Sunday Morning Service in Houston.  Before I share my experience yesterday consider this:

“We must now have the courage to take the final step and call homophobia and heterosexism what they are. “They are sin. Homophobia is a sin. Heterosexism is a sin. Shaming people for who they love is a sin. Only when all our churches say that clearly and boldly and courageously will our LGBT youth be free to grow up in a culture that totally embraces them as they fully are.”  These words came from the lips of Rev. Gary Hall, the dean of Washington’s National Cathedral, in a recent Sunday sermon.

Consider that the Pastor of what we consider our national church not only codified homosexuality, he flipped the script and accused those who stand for Biblical righteousness of sinning.  Peter LaBarbera said it best: “Obviously, ‘hating’ homosexuals or being so fearful that you fail to offer the hope of the gospel to people caught up in homosexual sin is wrong, but that’s not what Hall is talking about here. He is ‘redefining Christianity’ and sin itself in a way that flips the truth of the Word of God on its head. … The danger is that this new heretical ‘sin-affirming Christianity’ is spreading in the evangelical Church.”

The harm done by this is laid out by Jennifer LeClaire from Charisma Magazine: “Consider the significance of his words in the context of the setting in which he preached them. The National Cathedral’s vision is to be a catalyst for spiritual harmony in our nation, renewal in churches, reconciliation among faiths and compassion in our world. The funerals of 21 presidents and the inaugurations of five presidents of the United States have been held there. The fact that Hall stood in such a place and uttered such words is more than telling about the spiritual state of our nation.”

Meanwhile on the opposite coast John MacArthur used his Sunday Morning pulpit to declare war on 550 million Pentecostals worldwide saying that they are all going to hell. John’s teachings are heard by millions and this influence makes this especially disturbing.

In just two Sunday services incalculable damage had been done by both extremes.  However, just as much damage, if not more, is inflicted every Sunday in Churches all over America.

One million Americans left their church this year but many did not leave because they backslid.   They left because of a ravenous desire for more.  They want more intense worship, more messages that will arm them to take a city.  They want more of the presence of God. They want public calls for sinners to repent and come to God and they want more of the moving of the Spirit in power!  The number one complaint that they have with their church is that they cannot feel the presence of God.

Nevertheless, there are many Churches that prove to us that Sunday Morning can be an awesome weapon for America’s restoration.  I call these Ground Zero Churches…to be continued.

Later today I am going to give you part two of this message.

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This Is What Heretical, Counterfeit Christianity in Action Looks Like.

This Is What Heretical, Counterfeit Christianity in Action Looks Like

The Very Rev. Gary Hall
The Very Rev. Gary Hall (Vimeo)

“We must now have the courage to take the final step and call homophobia and heterosexism what they are. They are sin. Homophobia is a sin. Heterosexism is a sin. Shaming people for who they love is a sin. Only when all our churches say that clearly and boldly and courageously will our LGBT youth be free to grow up in a culture that totally embraces them as they fully are.”

These aren’t the words of an outspoken gay activist at a rally. Or, well, maybe they sort of are. These words came from the lips of Rev. Gary Hall, the dean of Washington’s National Cathedral, in a recent Sunday sermon. Hall was speaking during a weekend that honored lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth and commemorated the 15th anniversary of Matthew Shepard’s death. Shepard was tragically murdered in an anti-gay hate crime in 1998.

But Hall’s sermon wasn’t an isolated instance or any sort of departure from his standard theology—and it wasn’t taken out of context. Earlier this year, Hall announced the Washington National Cathedral would start celebrating same-sex marriages.

“It’s more than tragic—in fact it’s shameful—that faith communities, especially Christian ones, continue to be complicit in putting our children at risk and abetting the attitudes that oppress them, thereby encouraging the aggressors who would subject our children to pain, humiliation and violence,” Hall said, claiming that churches opposing homosexuality produce a culture that harms children.

Consider the significance of his words in the context of the setting in which he preached them. The Washington National Cathedral considers itself a “spiritual resource for our nation.” But many may not know that it’s also “an indispensable ministry for all people of all faiths and perspectives.” The National Cathedral’s vision is to be a catalyst for spiritual harmony in our nation, renewal in churches, reconciliation among faiths and compassion in our world. The funerals of 21 presidents and the inaugurations of five presidents of the United States have been held there. The fact that Hall stood in such a place and uttered such words is more than telling about the spiritual state of our nation.

Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, a nonprofit group dedicated to exposing the homosexual-bisexual-transgender activist agendas, told the Christian News Network that Hall’s comments reflect a nation that is playing out Isaiah 5:20, which states, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”

“Gary Hall of the National Cathedral is sinning when he claims that opposition to homosexuality is a sin. This is counterfeit Christianity in action—transferring the guilt before God from those who are committing sins (of which homosexuality is one) to those who oppose those sins,” LaBarbera said.

“Obviously, ‘hating’ homosexuals or being so fearful that you fail to offer the hope of the gospel to people caught up in homosexual sin is wrong, but that’s not what Hall is talking about here. He is ‘redefining Christianity’ and sin itself in a way that flips the truth of the Word of God on its head. … The danger is that this new heretical ‘sin-affirming Christianity’ is spreading in the evangelical Church.”

This sort of deception still shocks me. How can the Very Rev. Gary Hall, who has served as an ordained minister for more than 35 years—which means he was following God long before our nation’s Christian culture deteriorated to this point—hold such beliefs? And what does it mean when the chief ecclesiastical leader and executive officer—a man who works closely with the bishop of Washington and governing bodies to shape and support ministries to the city of Washington, the nation and the world—perpetrates these beliefs? And, moreover, what does this say about the state of Christianity and the times we live in?

I believe LaBarbera is spot-on. Christianity is slowly (or maybe not so slowly) being redefined into a religion that affirms sin. We see this manifesting in several ways, from the hypergrace message that condones sin among Christians to uber-liberal denominations that ordain gays into ministry and beyond.

But there is yet good news: God is still on the throne. God is giving even the most heretical, deceived ones a space to repent. Our job is to discern heresy, refuse to align with it and pray for the captives to be set free. If one of your family members was caught in a snare, wouldn’t you try to rescue him? Many Christians are caught in the snare of deception, even heresy. If you can see clearly, then I urge you to intercede for those the enemy has blinded. Let’s not just sit by and watch the problem get worse. Let’s drop to our knees and petition the King.

Jennifer LeClaire is news editor at Charisma. She is also the author of several books, including The Spiritual Warrior’s Guide to Defeating Jezebel. You can email Jennifer at jennifer.leclaire@charismamedia.com or visit her website here. You can also join Jennifer on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.