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A needless fear

Pastor Rasheed Baaith

Pastor Rasheed Baaith

A needless fear

By Pastor Rasheed Z Baaith

      “For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”    (2 Timothy 1:7)

      While those enacting the Religious Freedom Laws may not have meant them to be, the laws are indicators of a quiet but growing fear within the Body of Christ.

That fear is that the growing acceptance of homosexual marriage and other sinful behaviors will force Christians to participate in events we believe are opposed to the basic tenants of our faith in both our religious, business and social lives. I think it a needless fear.

I think too many in the Church do not understand Biblical scriptures. The world’s acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle, the growing violence among us, the dissolution of traditional families, the wars and rumors of wars are phenomena we have been taught to expect will happen.  No legislation no matter how well intended can stop Biblical prophecy from being fulfilled. We should understand that clearly.

Our role as the Church is not to wring our hands in desperation or react with vitriol and hatred to those things we don’t approve of or know God does not sanction in His Word. Our job is to stand firm in our faith. That means refusing to obey laws that contradict the Laws of God. No matter what that stand may cost us on this side of Heaven.

And therein may lay the problem for many of us. It’s that old thing about wanting to go to Heaven but not wanting to die.

Many of us don’t want to pay the price for being faithful to being called a true Christian and by “true Christian” I mean those who are unconcerned with what is the popular thought of the day, or think that somehow what God said needs reinterpretation to make it line up with what people  say it means. God’s Word doesn’t need to be made contemporary; it just needs to be obeyed.

If there is one lesson the Cross teaches us, it’s that sacrifice is necessary to establish truth. Christians need to prepare themselves to sacrifice. In other words, we need to know standing up for the faith as revealed by Christ Jesus and the Apostles may mean losing businesses, ministries, jobs and reputations. How can it not in today’s atmosphere?

With all the talk about accepting other people and their beliefs, that consideration is not being extended to the Christian community. Surely if we disagree with something, we’re allowed to say we do without being labeled in-tolerant or extremist. No one’s opinion is of more value than someone else’s.  Truth matters and if I’m called to pay a cost for truth, I for one am prepared to do so.

The Christian Church of today has two choices. It can continue to react to the winds blowing against us and build walls of isolation or we can walk in what we know to be faith and pay the price for doing so. Either we believe all of what the Bible says or we do not.

On that note, if we have been studying our Bible as God has encouraged us to do, then we knew this day was coming. 2 Timothy 3:1 – 5 teaches “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.  And from such turn away.”

These are indeed perilous days because all of what we are reading here will be on this evening’s news.  Yet the greater peril for the Church is not living in these days of prophetic fulfillment but our refusal to follow Jesus all the way to the Cross.  Unlike Christ we don’t want the glory if it will cause us pain.  But we cannot have one without the other.  Is it a difficult thing to do?  Yes.

But we have this assurance from God, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to hem who are the called according to His purpose.”  Be unafraid.

Think about it.

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