The Apathetic Church

There is a strong spirit of apathy in the Body of Christ today. This week I witnessed the enemy in force, strongly organized, educated and literally on fire for their cause, while I could literally count the pastors from our area on my hand. The unity of the church today draws no comparison to the force and urgency of the enemy’s agenda.

The occasion was a School Board meeting to discuss changes to the discrimination policy for transgendered students. This would allow these students who are biologically male but identify as female to use the ladies’ restroom, locker rooms and participate in the sport of which they identify with.

I do not support any transgender bathroom policy for our public schools. Transgenderism and “biological subjectivism” is a politically correct demand that everyone agrees to participate in the mental distortions of a few individuals who suffer from a psychological disconnect from their biological realities.

As a former civil rights proponent in the south I am insulted by comparisons of the LGBT’s plight to that of the 1960’s Negro in America. We no longer have male or female genders but we now have the boldness to self-identify who we actually are based on what we wear or which gender we believe we are at the moment.  If you do your research years ago this would have been categorized as gender confusion or a mental illness.

This is a complete contradiction to the known science on biology and physical reality. This mental distortion is now being thrust onto children as part of a sick, demented political agenda to appease the most lunatic fringe elements of the political spectrum.

We now live in a nation where parents who need to be locked away in mental institutions are turning their children into gender confused basket cases who may also end up needing psychiatric intervention. The political powers in Washington are encouraging this cycle of mental illness, child mutilation and horrible suffering among children who are now being shoved toward transgenderism because it appeases the perverse political appetites of mentally ill adults. Moreover, there have been threats to remove government funding from schools who fail to comply with this politically correct agenda.

The government is now attempting to interfere with the mental health of our children, too! The transgender programming of children is nothing less than child abuse and mental illness run amok. We were created male and female by a holy God who we have chosen to disregard in our plight for intelligence and identify as to who we ready are.

My heart sank as only a handful of Christians attended or even dared to voice their option on this subject matter. In these times of declining church grow, disruption in the body of Christ, and the expansion of secular humanism when will we awaken to fulfill the call of God that is upon every believer.

Dear Church, there is no need to pray after we have lost the battle if you won’t come to the fight.

This is the Voice of the Overseer!

 

 

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Is it 2016 or 1966

I hope the title of this blog got your attention. As a child of the 60’s I would have thought we would have been past the days of police brutality, racial prejudicial and violence.  I am from the deep south where Jim Crow was the law of the land as a child.

I was chosen to be part of a group to integrate the schools in 1964 where we were exposed to levels of abuse that many could never image. Today when I turn on the computer or television the news of another black man killed at the hands of police or another black man has become normal in our culture.  This is unfortunate given as a society we have grown accustomed to violence and death; moreover, the first ten minutes of the local news broadcast is mostly devoted to who was killed on the streets of the DC, Maryland, or Virginia (DMV) area.

Too often we hear the cry for more gun control; however, criminals do not abide by the laws of the land. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. In the bible Cain slew his brother Abel and there were no guns around.

You cannot legislate morality; laws cannot change the hearts of the individual that is prejudice or an outright racist. Guns are not the only problem; people are. You may not particularity care for the angle in which I am addressing this issue. As a culture we no longer value life. We have embraced a culture of death and insensitivity to vehemence in our society. Now before you jump to conclusions be advised I am considered by many as a black conservative.

During the fourth of July weekend in the city of Chicago there were over sixty shootings with five deaths. Unfortunately, a majority of these were black men and none were not killed by police but by another black man. My heart was overwhelmed with the events of the past week; however, marches and protests with the mantra that Black Lives Matter can only take us so far regarding awareness to the plight of police violence.

This past year more than 5,000 young black men are killed by other black men. Concurrently, this number is only a fraction of the number of black babies killed through abortion yearly. However, no one is marching in the streets for these souls.

Our country needs a heart change that can only come about with a national awakening of the love of God through his son Jesus Christ. It’s time for the church to not merely have services but to be relevant in today’s society.

My favorite football team, the Atlanta Falcons have a chant that says. “Rise Up.” It’s time for the church to rise up now.

This is the Voice of the Overseer!

 

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United and Disunited

United and Disunited

Sunday morning, we woke up the learn of one of the greatest tragedies in our nation’s history. Although it is being touted as the worst terror attack in our history it is fair surpassed by the African and Native Americans slandered at Rosewood and Wounded Knee respectively. This was not just an attack on the LGBT Community but an attack on America and what we stand for.

Within a matter of hours, the LGBT community rallied to come together and address the needs for blood and finances for the victims and families. To witness what happens when a group is united and has a single focus is amazing. It reminds me of the story in the scriptures of the Tower of Babel and the Lord stated there is nothing they can’t accomplish.

Unfortunately, what’s happening in the homosexual community is not occurring in the church. The church today is divided, littered with scandal, suffers from a lack of focus (what are we called to do) and dying as people walk away every day. Over a thousand pastors and Christian leaders walk away from the ministry every month. In addition, churches are closing at a record pace given their failure to adjust and address how to reach Generation X and the Millennials.

Churches no longer experience growth through new conversions given most growth comes from people transferring from one church to another. While in the past there were generations in the same church; today the average church member has been a part of at least three churches in the last ten years.

Before all the church people join to condemn me let me say this, is homosexual behavior sinful, absolutely. Is embracing homosexual desires an act of defiance against a holy and just God? Most definitely. But are homosexual sinners worse than those that come to church every Sunday but never come to Christ or merely masquerade as Christians? Not by a long shot.

As long as the church stays in a disunited state with pastors failing to stand for righteousness and members hopping from church to church through offense or even out of the church we will slowly continue our lack of influence on today’s culture. While we started as the culture of our nation and later becoming the sub-culture we find ourselves in the position of being counter culture.

What’s the solution? Unity. The scriptures say it much better than I ever could.

Psalms 133 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!2 It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments. 3 As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.

Whenever there is unity there was the anointing, whenever there is agreement, and whenever the people of God were on one accord, God showed up!

This is the Voice of the OverseerPASTORREID

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This is Just the Begining

ALL GENDER

If you thought the Supreme Court decision regarding homosexual marriage was the end of the conversation you probably have realized by now that this was far from the truth.

I will not use the play on words that the media has skillfully used to brain wash most Americans even those in the church regarding gay marriage. The term for homosexual marriage was changed to “Marriage Equality,” as a means of appealing to the general public in a more positive manner. Ironically, the clergy protection laws passed by North Carolina and Mississippi are being called gay discriminatory laws. Note the emphasis on discrimination and equality once again.

Years ago a member of my church gave me a book entitled the “Gay Agenda.”  As I read this novel, I must admit the ideology and goals of the movement seem so farfetched that I didn’t take these goals as being serious. I basically stated in my spirit, “Not in my lifetime.”

Our country is quickly becoming the laughing stock of the world as we relentlessly focus and ponder on addressing entitlements, political party views and which bathroom to use.

We no longer have male or female genders but we now have the boldness to self-identify who we actually are based on what we wear or which gender we feel we are.  If you do your research years ago this would have been categorized as gender confusion or a mental illness.

Romans 1:21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. The result was that their minds became dark and confused. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became utter fools instead. 23 And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people, or birds and animals and snakes .

The President recently issued a memorandum informing the public school systems to allow students access bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identities. Failure to adhere to these instructions would result in loss of government funding under Title Nine. This administration has pushed more social change than any other and they have kept their promise of changing America.

Romans 1:26 That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. 27 And the men, instead of having normal sexual relationships with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men and, as a result, suffered within themselves the penalty they so richly deserved. 28 When they refused to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their evil minds and let them do things that should never be done.

The LGBT activists’ end goal is not ruling over the bathroom, it’s obliterating the family. If there are sexual distinctions between what used to be male and female people are left to identify, live and love as they please with no references of God or boundaries of a society. Many conservatives and even LGBT activists are missing the forest for the trees.

What we are really talking about is the abolition of sex. And it is sex that the trans project is serving to abolish legally, under the guise of something called ‘the gender binary.’  Its endgame is a society in which everyone is legally de-sexed, or no longer legally male or female.

And once you basically redefine humanity as sexless you end up with a de-humanized society in which there can be no legal ‘mother’ or ‘father’ or ‘son’ or ‘daughter’ or ‘husband’ or ‘wife’ without permission from the State.  Government documents are already erasing the terms.  In such a society, the most intimate human relationships take a hit. The family ends up abolished.” Are you awake yet!

This is the Voice of the Overseer!

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Are We in the Twilight Zone?

Just when you thought the world could get no crazier with the redefinition of marriage, now we are having a bathroom debate.

I firmly believe that common sense is enduring a slow and painful death. At first it sounded like a bad joke but the decision to protect clergy and businesses from the perversion of our culture laws are being debated.

My friend I have problems coming to grips with the idea of my granddaughter going to the restroom only to find a hairy man with a dress and a wig on in the next stall.  Hollywood, the NFL and other companies are all crying alarm to what they refer to as laws that discriminate against the homosexual community.  I believe it is time to draw the line in the sand, enough is enough!

Excuse me, but our identity is not in your feelings but your biology. I can’t believe there is actually a need to say this, but many on the Left are living in their own invented reality and they are demanding that we live in it too. The reason we’ve always had separate bathrooms is because of biological sexual differences, not because of feelings or “gender identity.”

How could this possibly be controversial? Are we to risk the safety of millions of women and children in public restrooms because an extremely small number of people are experiencing a mismatch between their psychology and their biology? Good public policy does not risk the physical safety of women and children so an extreme few have a preference for a different bathroom.

These new laws simply say that people will use public bathrooms that align with their biological sex as found on their birth certificate. During this upcoming election it’s time for Christians to truly vote their convictions and get us out of the Twilight Zone!

Is this what America is coming to – men fighting over their “right” to use the lady’s restroom, shower with girls, enter the female dressing room, and homosexuals insisting the government be used as a hammer to force a baker to bake a cake for a gay ceremony?  Preachers being jailed for preaching the gospel or refusing to perform marriage ceremonials that are contrary to Biblical principles or their belief’s?

As a former civil rights advocate in the 60’s I will not sit on the sidelines and allow liberal media and establishment politicians to distort matters of public policy. It’s time for the church to the stand for righteousness and the fight against progressive liberalism or be rolled over by LGBT agenda. Which will you choose?

This is the Voice of the Overseer!

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The Christian Code of Honor

One major thing that is missing from the church today is honor.  What happened to honor in our culture. We fail to realize today that the church has affected them church in the west in a negative manner. 

We are quick to follow orders and even obey but the term honor has been quickly forgot in today’s vernacular.  Just because one submits occasionally does not mean they possess a submissive spirit. 

 It is amazing that as we look at the Ten Commandments the first four deal with honoring God and the last six deal with honoring man. As a noun, honor in the Bible means “esteem, value, or great respect.” To honor someone is to value him highly or bestow value upon him. The Bible exhorts us to express honor and esteem toward certain people: our parents, the aged, and those in authority (Ephesians 6:2; Leviticus 19:32; Romans 13:1). But we must understand that all authority and honor belong to God alone (1 Chronicles 29:11; 1 Timothy 1:17; Revelation 5:13). Though He can delegate His authority to others, it still belongs to Him (Ephesians 4:11-12).

Peter tells us to “honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king” (1 Peter 2:17). The idea of honoring others, especially those in authority (the king), comes from the fact that they represent God’s ultimate authority. A classic example is the command to “submit to the governing authorities because they have been established by God” (Romans 13:1-6). Therefore, “he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves” (Romans 13:2). This means it is incumbent upon Christians to honor those whom God has placed over us through our obedience and demonstration of respect. To do otherwise is to dishonor God.

The Bible speaks of another noteworthy group of people who are deserving of “double honor,” the leadership of the church, called elders: “Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching” (1 Timothy 5:17). In the first-century church, some elders labored in word and doctrine by devoting their time to preaching and teaching, while others did so privately. However, all elders gave attention to the interests of the church and the welfare of its members. These men were entitled to double honor of both respect and deference for their position, as well as material or monetary support. This was especially significant because the New Testament was not yet available. We have a serious issue with regard to spiritual authority in western culture.

The Bible also gives us the command to honor one another in our employer/employee relationships (1 Timothy 3:17; 6:1; Ephesians 6:5-9), as well as in the marriage relationship with the husband and wife being in submission to and honoring one another (Hebrews 13:4; Ephesians 5:23-33). Interestingly enough, of all the commands to honor one another, the most oft-repeated pertains to that of honoring one’s father and mother (Exodus 20:12; Matthew 15:4). This command was so important to God that if anyone cursed or struck his parent, he was to be put to death (Exodus 21:7).

All true believers are to honor God and His Son, Jesus Christ, through our acknowledgement and confession that He is the one and only God (Exodus 20:3; John 14:6; Romans 10:9). We are to honor God in our recognition that the gift of life eternal and the very salvation of our souls come through Jesus Christ and Him alone (John 11:25; Acts 4:12; 1 Timothy 2:5). Knowing this, we give honor and obeisance to our Savior through our humble adoration and obedience to His will (John 14:23-24; 1 John 2:6). As such, He will honor us when He seats us on His throne in heaven (Revelation 3:21).

This is the Voice of the Overseer

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Forty Years and Counting

PASTORREID

In just a little over a week we will celebrate twelve years as a church at Victory Family Outreach Ministries, we will also commemorate 40 years of ministry service.

These are major milestones when you consider our plight and how God has proved himself faithful time after time. We will conduct this special celebration with an afternoon service Sunday October 11th at 3:00 p.m. with Bishop E.V. Reeves, Presiding Prelate of Eagle’s Rock Communion of Christian Leaders as our guest speaker and The Life, church family.

Our theme for this year’s event is “Enduring the race, with God’s grace.” Hebrews 13:7.

Ironically, the majority of our 40 years of ministry was spent in the service to others. I had very humble beginnings as a deacon, minister, evangelist, elder, pastor and now as a bishop.  I learned early that ministry and my calling was never about me but about serving.  It has been a long road where I have had the opportunity to view ministry from various aspects of church offices.

The church world has changed significantly during this time. I often say the church today bears little resemblance to the church I was raised up in.

During this period these are just a few things I have learned in this ministry journey.

  • If you love hard you will hurt hard.
  • Everyone that stands beside you are not standing with you.
  • Learn to trust God for truly he is your source and not the people.
  • You belong to the people but they belong to God.
  • You are married to your wife, not the church.
  • Just because someone is a member of your church don’t mean that you are their pastor.

We never could have made it this far without you, our faith, prayers and trust in God.  While some may mark this as a significant milestone I view as an honor and privilege to serve and just be a part of the Kingdom of God.

I will close this blog with what I quote at the end of every leadership training opportunity I provide to clergy.

“To serve is an honor, to teach is a privilege.”

This is the Voice of the Overseer

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Call of Duty

In a few months I will celebrate 40 years of ministry.  I accepted the call of God in my life in 1975 after serving as a deacon in the church.  It’s amazing that this has been a generation ago; moreover, how the world has changed.

Starting as a street preacher, working in tent meetings and conducting revivals seems so foreign now.  In such a short time span we have witnessed our culture move from a Biblical worldview to a totally secular paradigm.  The most difficult aspect of this has been the departure of the saints from their foundation.  This spirit has been very deliberate and if you have only been serving the Lord in the past twenty years you may not comprehend how it occurred.

We live in a very difficult time to serve in ministry let alone be a witness for Christ.  In all my years of ministry never have I witnessed such a spirit of weariness in the body of Christ.  The scripture says that in the last days the enemy would wear the saints out.

As an Overseer and now a Bishop I occasionally interact with many Pastors and Christian leaders.  On a regular basis I witnessed pastors and Christian leaders walking away from their calling, ministries and even their church. Their reasons for these actions are not found in the Word of God but are in many instances where they were seeking the approval of man or did not experience the results they expected.  In essence, this is offense, given this is defined by disappointment in an expectation from an individual or circumstance.

Don’t let discouragement over an apparent lack of results keep you from fulfilling the call of God in your life.  Don’t give up!

I Cor. 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Do the good that you have opportunity to do, knowing your work will have eternal results!  Remember the Word God, “Endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.”  This is your true “Call of Duty.”

This is the Voice of the Overseer!

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Seven Things Christians Should Do Now!

In the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision on marriage, which effectively codifies Bible believers as bigots, the attack on conservative Christian values has reached fever pitch.  By now many of you have lost friends on Facebook and followers on Twitter and Instagram.

If you do not affirm homosexual “marriage,” homosexual relationships, and even homosexuality itself, you are a hate-filled, despicable, uneducated bigot, with the emphasis on that last word, bigot.

So how then do we respond when cornered with the name callers?

First, the uglier and more vile the attacks, the more we know we’re doing the right thing. The opposition is a sign of encouragement to us, and the more people try to silence us, the louder we shout but remember in love.

Second, we must remember that this is a spiritual battle and that Satan hates homosexuals and heterosexuals alike. Fervent prayer is one of our greatest resources.

Third, we must bless those who curse us and overcome evil with good, to use the words of Jesus and Paul.  Responding to hatred with hatred will hurt everyone, ourselves included and thus closes doors.

Fourth, we must continue to propagate the truth until the lies are dispelled, cutting through the emotional arguments and rhetorical attacks and doing our best to get people to think, sometimes by asking questions.  Civility wins, learn to disagree and not be disagreeable.

Fifth, we must remember that Jesus already warned us that the world would hate us for doing what is right, and so we must renew our resolve to stand firm with backbones of steel and hearts of compassion. Endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

Sixth, we must determine afresh to bring the good news of the gospel to everyone, knowing that our ultimate counterculture weapon is the message of the death and resurrection of the Son of God.  This is the real love the world is looking for.

Seventh, we must pray for a spiritual awaking in our nation, a revival in the church and visitation of the Holy Spirit, knowing that only a massive move of God can turn the tide.

Ultimately, whether America goes up or down, we will continue to live for the Lord, continue to do what is right, continue to reach out, and continue to stand strong.

This is the Voice of the Overseer

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The Charleston Church Massacre

Although I have a social media account I prefer to blog regarding such issues as what occurred in Charleston, SC earlier this week.

In the past months a number of significant church leaders from various denominations have come together to discuss the matter of race in America. This stigma on our society is like a cancer that seemingly will not go away.  In the sixties and seventies various levels of legislation were passed to force desegregation; however, no laws on the books can change the hearts of men.

In the midst of the mourning and so-called unity in SC the Confederate Battle flag yet flies high and proud. This is the flag of the rebels, the traitors, the states that stood their ground to ensure slavery as an institution would thrive and survive.  Many whites will say this is their heritage; however, such a past is more than a nightmare for anyone that was non-white.

You can blame the Dixiecrats for the racist implications of the Confederate flag. The Dixiecrats were a party made up of anti-integration college students who co-opted the flag as their standard.  These were the democrats of the south, yes, the democratic party. The image of Dixiecrats fighting the National Guard while waving Confederate flags became branded into the national psyche in the 50’s and 60’s. And so, the flag became tied to racism.  I remember seeing the flag everyday as I participated in the integration of schools in Macon, GA in 1965.

Today, this flag is handed out at rock concerts and is just as likely to be found in rural New York as sweet home Alabama. It’s no longer just a symbol of the South; it’s become part of the good old boy culture of guns, trucks, and country music.  As a black man I see this as a symbol of hate and tyranny.  While the Confederate flag may not be intrinsically racist, it represents the entirety of southern history, much of which was racist. There is a connection to racism and the confederate flag.

As people of color we must also look at eliminating use of the ‘N” word.  I painfully recall hearing this term every day at Willingham High school.  Unfortunately, many of our youth have embraced this term as a rite of passage in the world of rap and hip hop music.  People are taught to hate. In the 60’s I would watch little black and white kids play together until an adult came on the scene and would quickly separate them. Changing America and our world is not the responsibility of governments and laws.

As the thoughts of this American tragedy remain in our psyche let us not be so insensitive to move on until the next act of violence causes us to only pause briefly from our daily routine.  It starts with addressing this at home first.  As President Reagan stood before the Berlin wall and cried out “tear this wall down,” we must in tell South Carolina and other states to take this flag down!

This is the Voice of the Overseer

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