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Archive for April, 2008

Rapture?

Take a look at these videos posted HERE.

I have been wrestling with this view for some time now. At my church when I mention Rapture or Dispensationlism they laugh. I must admit I am beginning to see why. Don’t hold me to a position yet but check out this video. I am always amazed out how truth can seem to be blurred with our presuppositions or what we previously were taught. God bless

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I am currently working through the book of Numbers (I have to go back sometimes because I missed something the day before) for some time now. I am doing it in conjunction with our church going through the Book of Exodus which is a lovely book and is quickly becoming one of my favorites as it is one of the easiest to practice typology on. As I have studied one things becomes blatantly obvious. Israel complains a lot. Thus the focus of this short exhortation.

We see the people fed by God, guided by God and protected by God. Israel’s response to this special work of God? Complain! They complain because they have no meat, they complain when they  are thirsty, they complain when the opposition looks undefeatable (word?), Miriam complains about Moses authority, Israel complains about Moses authority, Korah complains about Moses authority and then the people complain about the Lord’s judgment of Korah and his family (don’t think sin doesn’t effect your entire family or church Numbers contradicts that at least 20 times).

What is funny about this is that Moses is only an outlet. Reading Exodus and Numbers together is quite a blessing as you see them say in Exodus 20 Israel says “all that you say we will do” and the outworking of this Covenant (which they agreed to) is complaining and rejecting the very things they agreed to do. I am blown away by the fact that their beef isn’t with Moses and Aaron, though they are the visible scapegoats, no they are complaining against YAHWEH Himself!

So what we see is God delivers them from bondage (which they cried to Him) saves them by venue of the Red Sea, becomes personal with them and gives His Law, promises to take them in the land flowing with Milk and Honey, gives them daily provision (they are fed by the hand of God), promises to conquer all of their enemies and they say “I would rather be in oppression to Egypt”. Thank God for Moses who consistently show us a picture of Christ by interceding and making atonement for the people instead of stepping aside and letting God pour out His wrath on a stiff-neck people.

Whats funny about this is Paul uses these events to warn the Corinthians about testing not YAHWEH but Christ (Trinity defense anyone?). Here is what he says:

10:1 For I want you to know, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.” We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, 10 nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer.

You see this was not a complaint against Moses and Aaron but this was a complaint against Jesus which in all fairness was a rejection of Jesus Christ who was the cloud, the pillar of fire, the bread, and the rock from which the water flowed from. So what does that say to our complaining? Before I answer that let me provide a short verse.

 Do all things without grumbling or questioning,

This verse is found in Philippians 2 and it really begins in verse 12 which contains the “therefore” the therefore is an explanation of the verses that proceed which starts verse 4-11 which is Christ’s humility in His incarnation (entering the physical world). So back to the question; what does our complaining exhibit?

1. It is a rejection of Christ. As He gives us what we don’t deserve (eternal life) and withholds what we do (eternal damnation) when we complain about any circumstance we find ourselves saying “Christ you haven’t done enough”

2. It is a distrust of the Sovereign Lord. God promises that “all things work to our good”. When we complain it tells God “you are a liar” and haven’t come through on your promises. Thus this sound similar to Exodus through Joshua and the people of Israel?

3. It tells God “hey you don’t know what you are doing”. This compromises God’s attributes on every level. If God saved us to walk in the good works that He created us in (Ephesians 2:1-10) then wherever we find ourselves God places us there. Sort of what Paul was conveying in Acts 17 when he says “He has set the boundaries”!

4. It tells the listener God isn’t faithful and He shouldn’t be trusted. As the sojourner walked with Israel and they complained what would they say about Israel’s God? Not only that Israel was saved out of Egypt to testify of His goodness and in response they complained. We too are saved to be Salt and Light to God’s ambassadors as we complain it taints the faithfulness of God and thus compromises His greatness. One thing that God is serious about is His “name”. He says “my name will be great amongst the nations” Israel and we (when we complain) are defaming His great name.

5. Finally it compromises Christ work on the Cross. As they complained they rejected their Messiah and as we complain we reject our only hope. If we find ourselves consistently complaining we must ask ourselves “am I trusting in the finish work of Christ” or in other words “am I really a Christian”? This is where self examination begins.

In closing if we too test the Lord as a consistent pattern of behavior and find ourselves murmurring and complaining as did the nonbelieveing Israelites we too must ask am I truely regenerate. We can’t shake our fist at our soverign King (regardless of the Hardships, remember Job’s statement) and truely say we trust Him. Entering the physical promise land is a picture of Salvation and those who complained about possessing didn’t enter in because of unbelief (Hebrews 4) we too must trust God to enter into His rest and if we see ourselves mirroring Israel in distrust and complaining we have to say “do I desire to enter His true rest which is found in Christ Jesus”.

 

 

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biggie

In a culture of all different types of Pseudo-Christian people who whole heartily deceive themselves into thinking they are the real thing we have to be extra cautious to separate ourselves from this infectious deception. Similar to the picture listed above many church go-ers have a wicked heart and mouth to match but consider themselves “BORN AGAIN” and Christian. I owe my all to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ because He and He alone rescued me from this subtle deception. As we delve into the reality of our condition from a Biblical perspective; please dig into the reality of the depths we have in Christ and search your heart to see if you belong to the Good Shepherd.

I deal with people daily on the job, within my family, and in my every day dealings. They say they are Christians but their lifestyle says something totally contrary to their profession. What is a Pseudo-Christian and do you know any of them or are you that one I am speaking about? A Pseudo-Christian is a individual who follows the beliefs of the Christian church but fails to apply them in his or her daily actions. Also can be defined as one who sincerely believes he or she is Christian and even has a level of “righteousness” in their actions but is really motivated by their own selfish interpretation of the Holy scriptures. The selfishness is deep rooted and they honestly don’t see it. Christianity is more than a profession and this is clearly seen in scripture. Many hold to Romans 10:9 as the true conversion but simply this is just one of the many first steps.

Matthew 12:30 Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

My heart sinks when I think of the reality of an eternal Hell in which the worm does not die and there is weeping and gnashing of teeth not for an age but forever. This should partly be our motivation and as we see in the scriptures Christ spoke more of Hell than He did Heaven. Heaven and Hell; we have never seen anything like it in this age. We are in this discombobulated world and we can maybe catch a glimpse of Heaven when we see a sunrise or sunset but regularly all we see are the effects of sin. I see Christians always talking about Heaven and no-one talks about judgment. Talking about getting crowns of glory but no-one mentioning condemnation for the wicked. Can you imagine Noah in his day warning the people about the coming judgment in which no-one had ever witnessed before. Do we not have the same task that he had but only with more tools and proof upon proof? Christ is coming back one day to separate His sheep from the goats and we have the foreknowledge of this truth that has been written for us in His Word.

Why then, do we call out names and give warnings about the false teachings? Well the answer is two-fold.

1) We are following our forefathers going back to Deuteronomy 13 and 18 in which Moses wrote and also the Apostles teaching that we have in the New Covenant.

2) We embody the love of Christ. In the Bible we always see love accompanied with truth (John 17), they go hand and hand like peanut butter and jelly, Joel Osteen and bad preaching, Creflo Dollar and prosperity, TD Jakes and emotion, or Rick Warren and ecumenicalism. Look at the intro in the book of Jude the brother of Jesus the Christ.

Jude 3 Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Jude wanted to just write about the joys we have in Christ but because of the culture they were in he had to warn them about this false teaching. Why? If he did not warn them about the heresy; could he have really said he loved them? Of course not just like if you had a friend who was driving to his demise off of a cliff you would in the same way tell him urgently about his forthcoming disaster. How much more should we feel about souls that will spend an eternity in Hell? I would like for you to analyze your faith as Paul emphasized more than once.

Philippians 2:12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test! 6 I hope you will find out that we have not failed the test. 7 But we pray to God that you may not do wrong—not that we may appear to have met the test, but that you may do what is right, though we may seem to have failed.

Let me ask all of the Christians a question. You give birth to a beautiful baby boy and he is the most joyful being in your life. Months and years go by and the baby still remains as adorable as he was when he was born but you see a major problem. The problem is he is not growing at all even though he eats like normal and has no apparent health problems. What do you do? I would hope that you would take him to get checked out to see if he is OK. So why will you not do the same thing for your professing only Christian(not really) brother or sister? Would you be worried about what they would think of you? Or maybe you might offend them. No of course not!! You see you are propelled by your love for them and should be even more when it comes to eternal affairs.

Philippians 1:3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

You see salvation is a progressive thing. Yes we are saved once and once only but Christ chastens those he loves as the writer of Hebrews says in chapter 12:5-6 until the perfect comes again. In our journey as a Christian we are to daily strive for the likeness of Christ.

Romans 8:29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

I ask you again, “Do you know Him and does He know you?” Do not take the grace of our God fro granted or use it as a license to sin. The Truth the Bible has conveyed leaves us without an excuse and we will stand one day before a Righteous, Holy, and Infinite God and be either commended for trusting Jesus for the only acceptable propitiation or be indicted for our wickedness. I leave you with this passage from 2 Peter 3, but answer he question “Do you know Him and does He know you?”

2 Peter 3:1 This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, 2 that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, 3 knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. 4 They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” 5 For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, 6 and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. 7 But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. 8 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. 11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! 13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

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Above is a picture of my youngest son Caleb Christian.  My greatest desire for his life is for him to treasure Christ above all but the outworking of such a desire I find very challenging. Why? Because there are other things that I want for him also but those things are neither bad nor good in and of themselves but can impede the Gospel very easily. Things such as; college education, a nice family, a good paying job are neither bad nor good but can become idols in a blink of an eye.

Then there is safety. But this to can become impeding. Just as I want to protect him from a hot stove, or sticking something in a socket, or falling off a table, or even getting hit by a car from dashing in the street after a ball.  I want to protect him socially and economincally. We are in the suburbs for safety (an illusion of safety anyway) I protect him from certain forms of entertainment or at least the vulgar ones. There are certain family members who he will not stay all night with because of their lifestyles. But in all of these he can mistake suburban life with Christianity like many of our evangelical brothers and sisters. He can mistake morality for Christianity and thus the Gospel will never have an opportunity to take root in his heart. He can mistake a good family for a Godly family and I don’t want that either.

Then there is the challenge of raising him within the context of what we call race. Nationality distinctions are huge in America so this poses another challenge. Back in my pro-black days I read a book called “The Conspiracy to Destroy Black Boys“. I still think it is as relevant today as it was then. I want to show him Roots, Rosewood, talk about the social injustices but within a Christian framework in which I mean in a redemptive framework. First understanding that slavery, Jim Crow, and the current social and economic injustices are an outworking of Adam’s sin as he is our Federal Representative. That because of sin and a fallen world people engage in all types of wickedness and that through Christ and the Gospel we can continue to shed light and spread salt in this broken world.

As it relates to morality I want to be able to love on sinners as Christ does. There is a great post by my good friend Charles P on dealing with Drug Addicts and loving them in spite of their addiction. I want him to see those who are broken by sin and offer them life changing power of the Good News of Christ. I don’t want him to turn his nose up at the wicked but understand apart from God’s grace he would easily be counted in the number. I want him to understand that Mom and Dad aren’t good enough and that our trust isn’t in our morality but in the work of Christ. But at the same time I don’t want to put him in harms way. There is a thin line and it causes much tension in my life. My eldest son Lionel Jr. Has given in to many of these pressures and some of that can be due to an over exposure by his mom but I don’t know.

Finally I want him to understand the scripture and the meta narrative of redemption through Christ. I don’t want him to be confused by Veggie Tales and nice Moral stories of Noah’s Ark or David and Goliath or Sampson and the Phillistines or the Red Sea, or Jonah. I want him to see God’s judgement on sin in each of these and the way these stories point to the Lord Jesus. I don’t want him to have a Christian baseball team, or a Christian Basketball team, or a special Christian table at school where there is this subculture in which instead of engaging the culture he retreats.

So how is this to be done? By much prayer because the role of a Christian father is difficult and impossible apart from the Holy Spirit giving me a supernatural work of Grace. I want to discipline with Godly motives, I want to love him without making him an idol, I want to expose him without feeding him to the sharks and I want him to love others without becoming humanistic in his theology. So I know I can’t do this and that only by the regenerating work of the Spirit will God do this. I want him to remain a virgin and good grades and not be involved in criminal activity, but only God can provide such guidance and wisdom. I realize that Proverbs are good wisdom and not promises. I also understand my responsibility in all of these things and that’s what is scary.

So I ask for prayers for both of my sons Lionel and Caleb. I pray that I will raise a man who is conscience of his ethnicity while simultaneously not allowing it to have any bearing on his Christianity, knowing that there is no Jew nor Greek but also realizing that John saw people of all nations worshipping the Lamb. I want to raise a moral man with integrity but not one who has mistaken it for genuine conversion. Finally I want to raise a man who believes in the power of the Gospel that causes him to love his wife, neighbor and his world while not allowing them to infringe upon the proclamation of the Gospel. So I covet your prayers as this is one of many things that keep me up late at night.

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This is a post for Kieth Talbot over at In Submission to Sovereignty. A good brother in the Lord out of Hotlanta. I thought about this and would love to dialogue more about it. The question is “do we really believe that God could save the false prophet? Our answer should be yes. I once said we shouldn’t pray for them and after applying my head knowledge (theology) to my heart (the Regenerated heart the seedbed of emotions where theology is applied to make actions) I had to say God saves bad people throughout history including myself. I am pretty sure those who saw me as a teenager prayed for God’s mercy on me while I destroyed their neighborhoods by ambitiously engaging in the entrepreneurship endeavor of the Dope Game. I appreciate their prayers and intercession for me so in light of God’s mercy I too shall pray for the “worst” (how highly we think of ourselves) of men. Who knows as Kieth says “it could happen”

 

Renouncing Their Pimp Card

Here’s one for the readers. I often wonder, of all the “Pulpit Pimps” out there, who is the most likely to see the light? Which of them is most likely to recant their false teachings, forsake their vast fortunes and start preaching the Gospel?

I realize this is the height of wishful thinking; but let us not forget that God called a former persecutor of the church and made him the Apostle to the gentiles and author of two-thirds of the New Testament. The bottom-line is . . . no one is beyond the power of God to redeem. NOBODY.

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I have been waiting for this day for awhile (mostly so I can visit his blog after a sermon and rake him over th coals LOL). Dhati Lewis my current pastor but near future pastor of Issachar Fellowship (I love the name) in Atlanta, GA. The Blog is Thoughts Along the Way and should make for a good read though Dhati claims he is not much of a writer. Pastor Lewis has been influential in my life these last 3 plus years I have known him though this has been done mostly through the pulpit. I want to welcome him (finally) to the blog world and hope to interact with him soon. Here are so things to be aware of.

1. He is a Lakers fan and because of this he shouldn’t be anywhere near this blog.

2. A famous quote that always sticks with me is this: “Love God, Love your neighbor as yourself and then do anything you want to do”

3. He is a beast athletically but can’t stop my low post game!

4. 24 is his favorite show so if you are a terrorist be very afraid

5. I think the Lord through him has created the most bangin’ college ministry the world has seen and it goes by the name of Plumbline

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Here was a response to my post on Comedy. Let me know what you think. Lawerence sent this to me through email and he hit some points I didn’t think of and some perspectives that I my narrow mind didn’t search for:

Bro. Lionel,
 
    The piece began very well because you intimated that the line was thin. The problem becomes when we mark out the crossing of those thin lines for others. What happens is that what God has told US not to participate in, we automatically think that it applies to everyone. You said that you have wrestled with this before so I don’t think that that necessarily applies to you. I could sense your heart towards the improper treatment of God in entertainment venues and the participation of Christians in Him being taking lightly.  However, I would advise caution in this matter. But that’s just general. Now to be more specific as to the article itself:
 
    I have never seen this movie “First Sunday”. I, like you, figured that it would be the typical “church satire” film with no substance. I also knew that somehow the unregenerate robbers were going to end up teaching the moral lesson to a group of people who are supposed to belong to God. That’s the typical Hollywood way. The unsaved demonstrating more righteousness than the saved. Now as to whether or not a Christian should find this funny. That’s a tough one. I’m not so pious as to be able to find the humor in just about everything. If I were to see this film and there was a scene that was funny, I would indeed laugh. I love to laugh. But the main question is, “Why am I laughing?” and “What is my laughter communicating to the unregenerate?”. I think most unsaved people who see this movie, already believe that this is exactly what the church is like. In many cases, especially in our community, this is true. So, for the most part, I may be laughing to keep from crying. Or I may be laughing because I don’t recognize how sad this situation is and that this is what we as Christians have communicated to the world. Also can I as an informed Christian set aside the satire, since I know the truth, and just laugh at the humor of it all? I know that it doesn’t represent biblical Christianity. I know that this is not a true picture of the Body of Christ. But I definitely don’t find the other imitations (cults, Word of Faither’s, Oneness Pentecostals, etc.) funny at all. So is there a contradiction there?
 
    I have also never seen this “Talladega Nights” film. I find Will Farrell annoying rather than funny. (Except in the Austin Power movies he was hilarious.) As to his “prayer”, I would say that it was indicative of someone who was more irreligious than irreverent. Granted, there is a disrespectful element to the “prayer” but it is at least given in the context of utter ignorance and not utter disregard for God’s Holiness. But again, this is from a character in the film who is not regenerate. He is in no way meant to instruct anyone in theology. If some adult were influenced by this film to view God that way, I would venture to say that that person is already lost completely. I would , however, be worried about children who watch this film who wouldn’t recognize comedic hyperbole and would take it as serious information. So now, could a Christian find this scene or others like it funny? Maybe. Again, if they recognize it as not being meant to put forth any lesson on theology, they may be able to just find the humor in it all. Perhaps your mind did went into those other considerations when you saw this. Maybe it was an over reaction. Maybe it was a justified reaction. But I don’t believe that it was meant to be legislated and others demeaned as Christians if they did find it funny. But there’s nothing wrong with you raising the question. Nothing at all.
 
    Now when it comes to Tyler Perry and “Madea”, I thought that you could have brought up a lot worse examples than you did. This particular example may be another case of a character being irreligious and not irreverent. Also, I think we again have to give some people credit that they can differentiate between what is meant to be taken seriously and what is not. For me “Madea” would be solely entertainment, not instruction in righteousness. I didn’t see in this particular example how she was blaspheming God’s name. Perhaps you had the other “worse” examples in mind and put it all together. If she was blaspheming by under valuing God’s word, then I agree. If it was in feeling that God takes too long, then I think we would all have to do some serious repenting.
 
    This line truly is thin. The fact is that I’m not so sure that we wouldn’t be getting into hair splitting over which sins to allow ourselves to be entertained by and which ones to refuse. You mentioned blaspheming God’s name. What about fornication, adultery, lying, cursing, or murder? Trust me bro, if laughing at or being entertain by the sins that others commit is itself sin, then I would venture to say that we can’t watch t.v. or movies at all. No film or television show that we watch could have a villain. And all the people in the film would have to be perfect saints. I remember Paul Washer going on and on about how sick a “John Wayne” film made him. What? I don’t even like westerns but even his explanation as to why, didn’t resonate with me at all. I felt he was overreacting in puritanism. We have to ask God for discernment in those things that He shows us as to whether or not they are just for us.
 
    You are right to say that we need to read our bibles more. That way whatever we watch or hear we will be able to do so with our eyes and ears open and saturated with the Word of God. We will be able to know more fully what we should and should not enjoy. I didn’t get excited at the worldly celebrities’ involvement in  “The Bible Experience” or BET’s “Celebration of Gospel”, or American Idol having “Gospel Music Night”, for the very same reasons you mentioned. I believe everyone should stay in their own arena and not be allowed to make money nor gain popularity by stamping “Christian” on their product. I do hope that God does send out His word through the “Bible Experience” though. I haven’t heard it but if they actually read the scriptures, then it’s still the Word of God and it’s still “quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword.”!
 
    As to the rest I just have a few nits to pick:
 
1) I don’t think that you see any comedy routines in the bible at all, so that point was lost as a “red herring”. Or is it a straw-man? I forget. LOL!!! (Of course there is that great scene with Elijah and the prophets of Baal, that was comedy!)
 
2) When you say that “Pastor” is the highest office in the church, how do you define highest? Structurally?
 
3) The Bible is actually God’s Word given to us. I wouldn’t call it “our word”, even though I know what you were trying to convey. This is actually why I had to back away from commenting. I began to defend God’s Word as if it was indeed mine which meant I began to defend it in a manner that diminished it.
 
    So Bro. Lionel, I appreciate you raising the issue and I hope that others pay closer attention now to their entertainment choices. I also appreciate you asking for my input.
 
Be blessed,
Bro. Lawrence D.

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I have wrestled with this in the past but decided that I need to go ahead and post it anyway. I will be upfront this may not sit well with many people but I ask that you at least consider what I write and if you feel it is erroneous you can post a comment because I would really love to dialogue about it. This post is about Christians and Comedy and the thin line that I think is crossed daily.

The picture above is a movie by the famous Oshea Jackson better known as Ice Cube (actually the movie is written and directed by David Talbert thanks LadyDi). The little funny looking guy is Katt Williams a very popular comedian for the Hip Hip (my) generation and he is the typical black church Choir Director if you know what I mean. The movie is about some petty criminals who must rob a neighborhood church to pay a $17K debt. The preacher of this church is the infamous Katt Williams or Pastor Rickey. We see the typical church satire. The crooked church pastor (actually it was the Deacon who is played by Micheal Beach thanks again Lady Di)I guess, the man who lust after the women, the money being used to finance lifestyles, we see the swaying choir, and the typical unregenerate church member. All of this is done in the name of a few laughs. But what isn’t funny is the fact that the name of the Lord Jesus and YAHWEH are misused the church is lowered to an incompetent organism that really has no Gospel and no power to do anything but meet the felt needs of the people that dawn the door Sunday after Sunday, then we have………

The above is a picture of Talladega Nights a comedy about racing. The lead character is the famous Will Ferrell. He got his big break on Saturday Night Live and has been “balling” every since. The scene above caused me to turn the movie off. What is sad is that a Christian recommended this movie to me and I have heard many Christians say it is one of the funniest movies they ever saw. I am saddened by such a statement. Here is the dialogue that surrounded my utter frustration:

Ricky Bobby: Dear Lord baby Jesus, or as our brothers in the south call you, “Jezus,” we thank you so much for this bountiful harvest of Dominos, KFC, and the always delicious Taco Bell. I just want to take time to say thank you for my family. My two beautiful, beautiful, handsome stricking sons, Walker, and Texas Ranger, or TR as we call him. And of course my red hot smokin’ wife Carley, who is a stone cold fox.
Cal Naughton, Jr.: mmm…
Ricky Bobby: Dear tiny infant Jesus…
Carley Bobby: Hey, um… you know sweetie, Jesus did grow up. You don’t always have to call him baby. It’s a bit odd and off puttin’ to pray to a baby.
Ricky Bobby: Well look, I like the Christmas Jesus best, and I’m sayin grace. When you say grace, you can say it to grown up Jesus, or teenage Jesus, or bearded Jesus, or whoever you want.

Now maybe that is funny to you and maybe I am just a pious self-righteous hyprocritical pharissee, but I wonder when the covenant was made in eternity past, the one when Jesus decided to humble Himself by becoming the incarnate Son of God, and He is surrendering to His own creation to become the sacrificial lamb I don’t think the Trinity was laughing about this. Mankind has offended a Holy God and the only way this could be made right is through the birth, death, burial and ressurection of the Lord Jesus. I wonder was Jesus laughing when He is beat, mocked, spit upon, carrying His cross and nailed to it on Golgatha was He laughing. I wonder did He think “this baby Jesus stuff is hilarious Father”. I don’t think so but I could be wrong. But I am not finish I have one more bone to pick and this man is more famous than them all right now and it is……..

Tyler Perry. This man has grossed more money from blaspheming the name of God than anyone I know. The problem is this is supposed to be wholesome Christian comedy. He profanes the name of God consistenly and habitually. Madea is a profane woman (Tyler Perry dressed up) who continually ridcules Christ and the Church here is a quote just in case you think I am going to far:

Every time I try to read the Bible… and Jesus… the one with all the words in red… I open my Bible to that New Testimony and see all that red and I just give up. Jesus was talkin’ way too much.” – Madea

Here is another

Myrtle: I found out a long time ago that God can take care of me far better than you can.
Madea: God takes too long sometimes for me, I got to get got then. “

These are just a couple I got pages of them. But if we think that “Jesus was talking way too much” is funny then we have some serious theological issues to work through and the first one that comes to mind is worship. I wonder how people can laugh at Will Ferrell, Katt Williams, and Tyler Perry and be taken serious as it relates to the Gospel. Our God came in the flesh to reconcile us to  Himself and in turn we laugh at Him. We make Him the butt of our jokes. We profane His Holy Name by giggling at blasphemers? Come on folks.

I think the problem is we don’t read our bibles. Church is something to do not somebody to be. That is why we have no problem with people singing popular Christian songs when they don’t even believe in Him. That is why we don’t have a problem with “The Bible Experience” a group of profane man and women “bringing the bible to life” as the executive producer of it says. Its funny we don’t see Muslims playing with the Koran like that do we. They would be outraged if a group of Christians took the Koran to make it more relevant but we have no problem letting these actors do it to our word.

I have no problem with comedy I love to laugh, but I will not engage in it at the expense of my Lord. If you spend anytime in the Old Testament there is one thing that God is serious about and it is “HIS NAME”. You don’t see Moses and Aaron giving stand up comedy skits and using the Lord’s name as a foundation of their jokes. When Isaiah sees the Lord High and Lifted Up you don’t see Him turn around and crack jokes with Hezikiah. Here are a couple of examples of just how Holy God is and why we should fear Him not crack jokes or support others who make sport of Him:

Leviticus: 24

10 Now an Israelite woman’s son, whose father was an Egyptian, went out among the people of Israel. And the Israelite woman’s son and a man of Israel fought in the camp, 11 and the Israelite woman’s son blasphemed the Name, and cursed. Then they brought him to Moses. His mother’s name was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan. 12 And they put him in custody, till the will of the Lord should be clear to them. 13 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 14 “Bring out of the camp the one who cursed, and let all who heard him lay their hands on his head, and let all the congregation stone him. 15 And speak to the people of Israel, saying, Whoever curses his God shall bear his sin. 16 Whoever blasphemes the name of the Lord shall surely be put to death. All the congregation shall stone him. The sojourner as well as the native, when he blasphemes the Name, shall be put to death.

I bet that dude wasn’t laughing when the third stone hit him upside his head and  what about this one in Chapter 10:

10:1 Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it and laid incense on it and offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, which he had not commanded them. And fire came out from before the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord. Then Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord has said, ‘Among those who are near me I will be sanctified, and before all the people I will be glorified.’” And Aaron held his peace. And Moses called Mishael and Elzaphan, the sons of Uzziel the uncle of Aaron, and said to them, “Come near; carry your brothers away from the front of the sanctuary and out of the camp.” So they came near and carried them in their coats out of the camp, as Moses had said. And Moses said to Aaron and to Eleazar and Ithamar his sons, “Do not let the hair of your heads hang loose, and do not tear your clothes, lest you die, and wrath come upon all the congregation; but let your brothers, the whole house of Israel, bewail the burning that the Lord has kindled. And do not go outside the entrance of the tent of meeting, lest you die, for the anointing oil of the Lord is upon you.” And they did according to the word of Moses.

I can continue on for pages again but hopefully you get what I am trying to convey. Just because our culture does things doesn’t give us to right to participate in it. We should be offended when Will Ferrell says “I like the baby Jesus” we should be offended when Tyler Perry profanes the name of God which He does in EVERY SINGLE PLAY OR MOVIE HE PRODUCES (it is funny that he gets a Gospel Celebration awardfor blaspheming the name of God, this is idiotic). We should be offened with a little profane man plays the role of the highest office in the Church of God which is a Pastor the equivalent of a prophet today. God takes His name very seriously and as His servants we should also.

You see as long as we allow this stuff to go unquestioned we will continue to be the laughing stock of the known world. When the Flood, the Plauges, the Red Sea, David and Goliath, The destruction of the Prophets of Baal, Jonah in the Fish, The birth, death and ressurection of our Lord, and Hell are jokes by us, then people will never see the grave consequences of offending a Holy God and our children will continue to become more pluralistic and our churches will become more susceptible to all types of error and man like Olsteen and Jakes (the next Billy Graham?) will continue to find the spotlight on Dr. Phil and Oprah. Man like Kirk Franklin and Tyler Perry will continue to get invitations to Oprah and we wil continue to be a viable option among many religions. Stephen the Levite says something in one of his songs “they take Him as a joke because we present Him that way, the masses are at stake” and I concur wholeheartedly!!!!!!!!!!!!

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The picture above is of Tyris and a man who we love greatly, Pastor John E. Coleman . He was on the show check out all four parts listed below. Click on the link above and you can see the site. Scroll down to April 11 and check it out. A few good questions:

1. Why and how to establish a blog.

2. What is expected by young black Christians in a Pastor?

3. Worship and Expression of Black and Reformed Christians and the clash with White Worship Music.

4. How is Worship a Secondary Issue?

You will love it. God bless.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

 

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