#BlackLivesMatter, Christianity, and Police Brutality

*This blog is specifically written towards my brothers/sisters in Christ who support this movement.

Yesterday on twitter, a few of my followers were upset with me because I expressed my concern with Christians who support the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Instead of actually hearing me out(like most people do anyway), they allowed their emotions to get involved and misinterpret the point I was trying to get across. Instead of hearing out opposing views, we automatically jump to conclusions and attack when someone is in opposition to the beliefs of the majority. They assumed that because I disagree with the homosexual lifestyle the lives of gays do not matter. They assumed  I did not believe that the lives of blacks matter. Why? Because I do not support the BLM organization at all. Here’s why:

Many may not know that the #BlackLivesMatter movement goes beyond fighting for the rights of blacks-and this is where my core issue lies with this movement. A quick read at their guiding principles might leave you in shock. Again, if you’re reading this as a non-believer, you may not see the issue. Here are a few that struck me:

  • Queer affirming-“We are committed to fostering a queer‐affirming network. When we gather, we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking or, rather, the belief that all in the world are heterosexual unless s/he or they disclose otherwise.”
  • Transgender affirming-“We are committed to embracing and making space for trans brothers and sisters to participate and lead. We are committed to being self-reflexive and doing the work required to dismantle cis-gender privilege and uplift Black trans folk, especially Black trans women who continue to be disproportionately impacted by trans-antagonistic violence.”

Aside from the self-centeredness of the organization itself, it promotes sin. BLATANTLY. They intend to free themselves of “heteronormative thinking” when God says clearly, in his word, that those who live a homosexual lifestyle will not inherit the kingdom of God? (1 Corinthians 6:9). Similarly, they desire to place these same people, that don’t obey God’s word, on a pedestal to lead? How can we as Christians not see an issue with this? We all know that homosexuality is an abomination in the sight of God. We should encourage our loved ones to walk away from this lifestyle-not encourage it! Unfortunately, this is exactly what the BLM movement is doing. I’ve had people attack me and say “Don’t their lives matter too though? Just because they’re gay doesn’t mean their lives don’t matter.” Not once have I said that the lives of gays did not matter. My point focuses solely on the fact that they PROMOTE sin. The way to show love is to rebuke, not encourage our loved ones to remain in sin(Proverbs 27:6). I refuse to stand for an organization that stands for sin.

1 Corinthians 6:9 “Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality”

Let’s say, for example, that the NAACP(National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) fought for the rights of blacks, but were also in favor of the killings of innocent Christians in ISIS. Would you still support the NAACP even though they are for and also against what you believe in? Sure, they want you to have equality in relation to the color of your skin, but what about them violating your Christian values? Does the bible not speak of murder? How is this scenario any different from Christians supporting #BlackLivesMatter? Honestly, I was never in favor of the BLM even before I was saved because I felt it was just unnecessary and placed too much emphasis on the rights of blacks as a whole. Do I believe there has ever been injustice with blacks? Yes. Do I believe police brutality can happen/has happened before? yes. Do I believe every killing over the past few years was an act of police brutality? No. Only those cases were there was, in my opinion, enough evidence to deem it so.

One of my twitter followers tweeted something very frank but truthful: “Yall have to stop reacting to every news headline that involves a person who was killed for seemingly no reason”. I can’t say she has the same reason I have for believing that, but I know why I do: 1. Most of the time, these killings don’t give us enough evidence to *fully* say whether or not these are full-blown acts of racism(note I did say fully, so I can’t say whether or not they are). 2. It takes us away from spreading the good news of JESUS CHRIST-the gospel! This is what we should be ranting about. Not #BlackLivesMatters, #ChristianLivesMatter, or anything else. Yes, black lives do matter. Also, white lives, asian lives, hispanic lives, and whoever else. In the end, in the eyes of Christ, we’re all one.(Galatians 3:28).

Galatians 3:28 “There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

 

 

Going back to my example of the Christians being killed in ISIS- Of COURSE I feel sympathy for their lives being taken, but this is no surprise. The bible mentions his sheep being persecuted and hated for Jesus’ sake. And although I disagreed with their lifestyle, I was sickened by the shooting of the gays in Orlando. However, this shouldn’t distract us from continuing teaching the gospel.

Do you HAVE to support #BlackLivesMatter in order to believe Black Lives Matter? Should you ignore the obvious sin this organization promotes just because you agree with a certain part of it? Here’s my advice: If you want to speak up for the rights of blacks-do that ON YOUR OWN-NOT WITH BLM. You don’t have to be a part of a sinful movement to do that. This reminds me of Christians wanting to join fraternities/sororities in order to do community service when a lot of the things you do within these frats/sorors can be done by not being unequally yoked in a brotherhood/sisterhood with other unbelievers. We’ll save that conversation for a better day.

In the end, our focal point should be on Jesus. #BlackLivesMatter will not end racism. #BlackLivesMatter will not stop cops from killing blacks or even blacks from killing blacks. It won’t stop bad things from happening. But if we could exhort the same energy we put into the things of this world and focus on spreading the good news and building more disciples, THEN the world just might be a better place for all. How great would it be if we, as Christians, instead of screaming “Black Lives Matter” screamed “Don’t worry about what’s going on in this world. This world will pass away. Jesus has given us hope. If you let Jesus in, all your worries and anxieties can be placed on him because he loves you” instead? Our lives should revolve around the gospel of Jesus Christ. When it gets to a point where you’re screaming “Black Lives Matter! No Justice, No Peace!” more than “Repent and believe the gospel. Jesus is coming soon!” you must remind yourself the reason you’ve truly become a disciple in the first place. We’re suppose to be set apart from others. Let’s not get so caught up with the trials, injustice, and other things of this world that we forget to remind people that there is a painless life, love, and hope in the next life to come.

 

 

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Charismatic Nonsense Part 1: “Catching” the Holy Ghost and Unorderly Worship

 

*Note: This is part 1 of a series of blogs I plan to write concerning the dangerous practices/teachings within the charismatic masses. Stay tuned.

 

…..Soooo I know what you’re thinking-“Some nerve she has! She posted 2 blogs and left for a year!” (haha. I apologize. It won’t happen again Lord willing.) Any who, let’s get to the real issue here: Professing Christians claiming to “catch” the Holy Ghost. I’ve seen a lot growing up in a C.O.G.I.C church that relied heavily on an experience based worship. Church members would run and shout down the aisle until they fell out. People all over the church were “speaking in tongues”. It was unorderly worship in its purest form. I was an unrepentant, silly child, so I found it all overwhelmingly entertaining. “They caught the Holy Ghost!” other members would say. I was nonchalant about it at the time. However, by God’s grace, I now know that it is most likely what I saw it to be-something done for entertainment. After all, what believer can possess the Holy Spirit momentarily and lose it once “worship time” is over?

John 14:16  “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever”

I am certainly not denying the fact that the Holy Spirit can move within us and cause us to think and feel certain ways about certain things, but I also believe the holy spirit has given me wisdom to distinguish between counterfeit praise and authentic worship. Even as a lost soul, I knew something was off about that church. Why was the bible rarely used in the sermons? Why was it that every Sunday people “caught” the Holy Ghost? Why does there seem to be more shouting than learning? Now, I reflect back with some of the same questions and more: Why is everyone content attending a church with so much chaos?  Where is the gospel-centered message? Some people are ignorant of the  purpose of the Holy Spirit. Some intentionally and unintentionally allow their feelings and experience to carry out damnable actions  intended to worship God whilst actually offending him. I didn’t know then and I still don’t know the fruit of every individual in the church, but as a whole, the fruit manifested in the church did not seem to align with Christ. All in all, I believe Matthew 7:16-20 gives me the freedom to safely judge that the church was overall unsound and dangerous. The point of attending church seemed to revolve around 3 actions: wait for the pastor to say something “powerful” to hype the crowd, get the drummer/guitarist to play a nice beat while the pastor continues preaching about all but the gospel, and watch the people run wild like animals in a circus.

 1 Corinthians 14:40 “But all things should be done decently and in order.”

It is complete foolishness to be frank. Orderly worship is important. Otherwise, it’ll be easy to stray from the purpose of fellowship and worship in the first place-Jesus Christ. Also, we must recognize that the Holy Spirit is our comforter. He’s here to guide and lead us to righteousness. He’s not some entity that comes Sunday morning and leaves right after while we carry on our sinful lives. Long story short: we’re sealed forever once we receive the Holy Spirit(2 Corinthians 1:21-22). We can grieve the Holy Spirit(Ephesians 4:30), but we can’t lose it. We can’t catch it. God displayed one of his greatest acts of love by leaving his elect with the Holy Spirit.

The great John Calvin said it best concerning what makes a true church of God:

“Wherever we find the Word of God surely preached and heard, and the sacraments administered according to the institution of Christ, there, it is not to be doubted, is a church of God.

My fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, be wise in which church you call home.

 

 

 

Dead Spirit: Why EVERYONE needs Jesus

Isaiah 64: 6

“We are all infected and impure with sin.

    When we display our righteous deeds,

    they are nothing but filthy rags.

Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall,

    and our sins sweep us away like the wind”

I was watching one of my favorite movies called God’s not Dead last weekend. The first time I watched it, I did not notice the quote between Mark(a successful, wealthy, mean guy who cared nothing about Jesus) and Mina’s mother (an  old, sweet woman with dementia). It triggered my thought channel in a way I never would have thought of. Here it is:

 Mark: You prayed and believed your whole life. Never done anything wrong. And here you are. You’re the nicest person I know. I am the meanest. You have dementia. My life is perfect. Explain that to me!

Mina’s Mother: Sometimes the devil allows people to live a life free of trouble because he doesn’t want them turning to God. Their sin is like a jail cell, except it is all nice and comfy and there doesn’t seem to be any reason to leave. The door’s wide open. Till one day, time runs out, and the cell door slams shut, and suddenly it’s too late .

Now, I do not wholeheartedly agree with this quote because God is ultimately the one in control. Anyone who has ever read the book of Job, for example, understands that Satan still had to get things done by going through God first. However, I completely agree with the comparison of sin to a comfortable jail cell that makes it hard for anyone to ever want to leave. Looking back on the days when I cared nothing about living for God, a sinful lifestyle DID seem comfortable and it was easy. It was effortless to just continue walking down a path that I knew was not God based, but I only cared about “me” and  what I wanted to do at the time. There were no rules and no boundaries other than the ones I set in place myself (and my mom of course).

I’m sure some of you have been at a point in your life where you know you have been going against God and you didn’t feel any conviction about it, but somehow, you still think you will “compromise” with God once you depart from this earth because you thought of yourself as a good person. I have. A few years ago, I was at a point where I prayed every night, posted facebook statuses about God, went to church a few times, stayed out of trouble, did well in school, helped people out, remained respectful to everyone, and kept a positive attitude in general. There is nothing wrong with these things at all. In fact, those are all GOOD things to do! However, in reality, my lifestyle did not fully and sincerely reflect the lifestyle God wanted for me. More importantly, my heart or mind was not truly set on his son Jesus Christ. So, all of my good deeds were self righteousness. Fortunately, by the grace of God, I was pulled off that road of destruction and onto the path of life.

So, why should you TRULY trust Jesus? If you are or have ever been in my shoes, here is one reason why:

Matthew 7:21-23

 “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.  On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.”

This passage is probably one of the scariest scriptures in the bible because there ARE people out there who call on the Lord’s name out of insincerity . Some people DO use the Lord’s name when their heart is not truly on him and their lifestyle is actually the opposite of one who is a follower of Christ. Similarly, this applies to those who actually ARE sincere in calling on the Lord, but deliberately continue to live a lifestyle that opposes the ways of the Lord. Being sincere in calling on the Lord should not be a substitute for obeying the word of God. These are examples of something I like to call a “dead spirit” for God. The desire to truly follow Jesus is drowned out by selfish desires and worldly wants that only give us temporary pleasure. (Luke 8:14) Therefore, producing a “lukewarm” effect. In other words, it is being halfway with the Lord and halfway with the world.

What good is it to go to church if you’re not listening to the pastor and you’re consistently checking the time before you leave? What good is posting about God on social media if your heart is not truly set on him? Most importantly, why let “you” and your desires on this temporary earth get in the way of eternal joy, peace, and love with God in heaven?

 1 Corithians 2:9 “No eye has  seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”

An eternal life with God is unimaginable. God has a beautiful life in store for those who choose to follow him. All we have to do is believe in our hearts that Jesus died for our sins and live to serve him. There is nothing on this earth worth losing your soul over! (Mark 8:36) Anything put before God is an idol. Don’t let “you” stop you from accepting God’s free gift of grace because of the things you want this present time. If Jesus sacrificed his life so that YOU can have eternal life, why can’t you sacrifice those fleshly desires for Jesus in return and follow him? After all, your SOUL is on the line when you choose to follow your sinful nature instead of Jesus.

Galatians 5: 19-21

When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

The main reason you should follow is this: Jesus will be back one day and his desire is for us all to repent and be saved! The bible makes it very clear that Jesus will be back to judge the world according to everything they have done.

2Peter 3:9 The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.

Matthew 16:27 “For the Son of Man will come with his angels in the glory of his Father and will judge all people according to their deeds.”

Revelations 22:7 “Look, I am coming soon! Blessed are those who obey the words of prophecy written in this book.”

God wants us to be all for him. This means surrendering your life to his son Jesus. This may seem scary or even “boring” to some, but this is not so. Of course there are certain standards in place and things you have to give up, but there are many other ways to have fun that is acceptable in the sight of God. Even after accepting Christ, you will not be perfect. However, after understanding the significance of obedience, it is easier to strive for perfection each day. Living for Jesus is totally  worth it and it will provide you with the best life possible. Romans 8:28 “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”

In saying all of this, you may not be mean or conceited like Mark in “God’s Not Dead”, but if your heart is not truly on Jesus, what makes his position with God any different from yours? This is why no matter who we are or what type of person we are, we all need Jesus to be saved! It is literally impossible to save ourselves.

Ephesians 2:8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.

At the end of service on Sundays, my pastor asks this question in the mist of his call to discipleship: “On the outside, you may be outwardly religious and you may seem like a good person, but if you were to face God and he asks why he should let you into his kingdom, what would you say? You would not have anything to say because you don’t know Christ or the cross.”  Jesus is the only way to salvation. No matter how good, bad, or righteous we may think of ourselves, we must have Jesus in order to be declared righteous in the sight of God. So, why not escape the comfortable jail cell of sin while the door is still open? There is no amount of good deeds you can do that will make you right with God. Our righteousness is like filthy rags(Isaiah 64:6) and can only be deemed clean by wearing Jesus’ cloth of righteousness. Your dead spirit can ONLY be brought to life by faith in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have confessed so well before many witnesses.

Believer-A Beautiful Perspective on the Bible’s Actual Meaning

What does the bible truly mean when it says to “believe”?

“Only when we have faith do we truly fulfill the law”(Romans 3:31)

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son so that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” This is one of the most popular and often-quoted bible verses of all time. Not to jump on the bandwagon, but I too find it one of the most inspiring and heartwarming scriptures in the bible. However, often-times, the meaning of the word “believe” in this passage and others is often watered-down and underplayed. Does it mean if you simply believe that Jesus existed, you will inherit the kingdom of God? Certainly not! This passage clearly refers to those who accept/trust Christ as Lord and Savior. To back this up, we can refer to John 3:3-“I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you will not see the kingdom of God”. To be born again in Christ means to have faith in Jesus and accept him into your heart and follow his ways. One who is born again will no longer live for themselves, but they will live to serve our Savior, Jesus Christ. Let’s jump down to John 3: 21: “But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants”. That passage goes on to say that faith without good works is useless. Good works are not what actually makes one saved, but they are a result of one who truly believes in Jesus Christ. A believer is one who lives to serve and please God and abides by his word. If one simply believes that Jesus exists and has not accepted him as Lord and Savior, where does their moral barometer lie? Most likely within that individual himself.

John 3:3-“I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you will not see the kingdom of God”.

There are other instances where the bible makes the distinction between those who simply believe in the existence of God and those who truly trust Christ. James 2:19-“For you say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror.” Clearly, simply believing in the existence of God is not good enough to inherit the kingdom. Satan even believes in the existence of God. God and Satan are complete opposites–Satan will never again see the Kingdom of God(He was a fallen Angel)! So, if one simply believes in the EXISTENCE of God, that does not make them born again.

2 Corinthians 6:14-16:”Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever? And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols?” Ah, this one is often controversial. However, I stand firm on the fact that this passage clearly speaks about a union between those who believe in Jesus(accepted him as lord and savior) and those who are not believers(those who may or may not believe that Jesus exists and have not accepted him as lord and savior). I think it’s actually straightforward, though. If the word “believe” was just the basic dictionary meaning, I do not believe God would have provided us with several examples in this passage of those who are opposites. “How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness?” If one has not accepted Christ, how does that individual know the ways of the lord? How can an individual who does not accept Christ be led by the holy spirit and be bound to one who is? This is not to say that the believer in this relationship will not be able to continue to live as a christian, but I do believe it is against God’s will and it is asking for trouble.

I firmly believe it all boils down to this: Jesus died for ALL of our sins. He came into this world to save it, not condemn it. (John 3:17) So, in saying that we only believe that Jesus exists and not follow him throughout our life, how are we showing him that genuine love that he showed us when he was nailed to the cross? It is as if we’re saying we do not need a Savior to know how to live right or to make it to heaven. That would completely defeat the purpose of Jesus dying on the cross in exchange for our sins.

Does this mean that once one becomes a believer in Christ, they will never sin again and be perfect? Of course not! “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God freely and graciously declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.” So, we are only declared righteous through faith in Jesus Christ. However, we must not use grace as an excuse to sin freely and act on our sinful nature. “For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love”. As a result of salvation, I do believe one will have a genuine desire to please God and continue to show effort even when they slip up.

“But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.”

Being a believer in Christ is not easy. Temptation is everywhere and it is hard to not fall into the ways of the world. However, as a believer, one must accept Jesus as Lord AND Savior. Believers give their life to Jesus because he died in exchange for our sins. To underplay the word “believe” in the bible takes away the sacrificial and unending grace and mercy God showed us when sending his son to suffer for us all.