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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The New god

The new god

You will notice I will use and spell the word god with small letters in this blog.

The scripture clears states in the Ten Commandments, Exodus 20:1 And God spake all these words, saying, 2 I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

As I have read this verse literally hundreds of times I finally get the full revelation of what the Lord is saying. Why was this commandment so important to be the first thing God tells the children of Israel?  Unfortunately, this commandment has been violated and destroyed in our culture.

The new god on the scene is no mystery.  The new god is us. Yes, we have declared and decreed that we are our own gods. There is no standard for our righteousness for it is based on what we think, feel and is culturally acceptable.

As parents we are told in the Word of God to train up our children in the way they should go and when they get old they would not depart from it.  However, we let our children be raised by the television as we went off to work and make a living.  Now those parents of that generation watch as their children are being trained and influenced by social media and the internet.  As a result we have seen social and culture change take place at a pace never witnessed in society or world history.  Moreover, it is frightening to realize where this will end.

In our latest move we seem to want to erase the idea of gender identity and reinforce it all at once. We don’t want to have to

The Voice of the Overseer

The Voice of the Overseer

absurdity and inconsistency of it all.

This is not the first time in history this has occurred. As Paul wrote to the church in Rome he cited this passage in his first chapter, Romans 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

If you read your history books you know how that story ended.

This is the Voice of the Overseer!

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The Church is the Problem and the Solution!

The Church is the Problem and the Solution!

If you have read a number of my blogs or listened intently to some of my messages you will know that I often cite the significant changes in our nation.  The shift in our culture has been breathtaking in its speed, spread, and virulence—impossible to miss, and increasingly dangerous to ignore.  We are truly living in a post-modern age.

I’m talking of course about the hostility in our culture and country to Christianity, the church, Christians, and Biblical morality. I heard it said over the weekend that right is now wrong and wrong is right.  If you are far to the right you’re basically a bigot in society’s eyes.

Christians in America are on a fast track to being a persecuted, despised minority in the very country established as a haven for those persecuted by an intolerant, secular majority. Amazingly, this is very similar to what has been happening to Israel in the decades.

But do you know why?

The answer is simple. Today, only 12% of the population is involved in church. 12%. I know this is shocking to learn. You don’t hear that number much—do you? What you hear is that over 60% of the country states that they have received Christ and are Christians.  Churches are closing and missions work is suffering do to a lack of financial support from one of the most affluent countries and societies in our history. Whatever else these statistics indicate, it is clear that the church is both the problem—and the solution.

The church is the problem because we’ve been inauthentic in our lifestyle, inattentive in our evangelism, fruitless in our prayer lives,  ineffective in our discipleship, inert in our leadership development, and we’ve burnt out far-too-many pastors and leaders by insisting on models and methods guaranteed to fail.

Yet the church is also the solution, not only because God ordained it and promised that the gates of hell won’t prevail against it, but also because Christians who are vitally involved in strong churches are the only ones God can truly use to re-Christianize America.  And to do that, the church and the Kingdom of God needs to develop leaders who will plant churches.

I have spent at least ten years understanding the causes behind the shift in our culture, and how to pivot people in our culture to Christ.  Given over 90% of Pastors and leaders work for a living we have to develop strategies to equip and empower bi-vocational church leaders. Research shows that bi-vocational leaders will dominate the future American church—yet these leaders never get the specialized training they need.

As we see our country literally ‘Hurtling’ toward Gomorrah, it’s time to draw the line in the sand.  Now is not to time to retreat.  We must train and develop the next level of church leadership to engage the culture in what truly is a culture war.

This is the Voice of the Overseer

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Peace and Islam?

If you didn’t check out my blog last week, I am reposting it today. Feel free to comment.

The Voice of the Overseer

It seems as if the public is no longer shocked by the barbaric acts of Islamic terrorists and extremists with the beheadings, kidnappings and people being burned alive. While the world is alarmed regarding what is happening in the Muslim world today but what are we doing; moreover, what are the so called moderate Muslims doing. Did you notice the words I’m using you such as terrorist, radical Muslims are no longer heard through the liberal media.
It appears that the world was caught totally caught off guard by what happened in Syria and Iraq, but we failed to heed the warnings of what would happen if we left Iraq with no bases or capable military strike force in place to support the so-called Iraqi Army. This is the same army that fled and ran as the forces of ISIS gained possession of the many Humvees, armored personnel carriers and…

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Peace and Islam?

It seems as if the public is no longer shocked by the barbaric acts of Islamic terrorists and extremists with the beheadings, kidnappings and people being burned alive. While the world is alarmed regarding what is happening in the Muslim world today but what are we doing; moreover, what are the so called moderate Muslims doing. Did you notice the words I’m using you such as terrorist, radical Muslims are no longer heard through the liberal media.
It appears that the world was caught totally caught off guard by what happened in Syria and Iraq, but we failed to heed the warnings of what would happen if we left Iraq with no bases or capable military strike force in place to support the so-called Iraqi Army. This is the same army that fled and ran as the forces of ISIS gained possession of the many Humvees, armored personnel carriers and tanks they left behind.
We are at war whether you chose to acknowledge it or not.
These are just some of the factions we are facing:
• Al-Qaeda
• Hamas
• Hezbollah
• Taliban
• The Muslim Brotherhood (already in our government)
• ISIS
• Boko Haram

What are their true plans? They want to conquer the entire world and set up an Islamic state here.
Our government and the media tells us that Islam is peace. Muslims are not at peace even with one another. They even blow up each others mosques during evening prayers. Sunni Muslims believe and confirm that Abu Bakr was chosen by the community and that this was the proper procedure. Sunnis further argue that a caliph should ideally be chosen by election or community consensus.
Shi’a Muslims believe that Ali, the son-in-law and cousin of Muhammad, was chosen by Muhammad as his spiritual and temporal successor as the Mawla (the Imam and the Caliph) of all Muslims at a place called al-Gadhir Khumm. Here Mohammad called upon the around 100,000 gathered returning pilgrims to give their bayah (oath of allegiance) to Ali in his very presence and thenceforth to proclaim the good news of Ali’s succession to his (Muhammad’s) leadership to all Muslims they should come across.
Jihad is the struggle to conquer the world with the United States and Israel as the ultimate targets. In Islam there is no difference in the political and the religious or religion. As the news media continue to tell the lies that Islam is peace I ponder to ask the following question. If Islam is peace why aren’t there any churches in most Muslim countries, why is it against the law to have a bible in many of these places, and why are non-believers beheaded merely because they refuse to convert.
Their beliefs are contrary to that of what the United States and western culture stands for. They intend to conquer the United States through Jihad. There goal is the establishment of an Islamic form of government or an Islamic state. The Caliph is the head of state in a Caliphate, and the title for the ruler of the Islamic, an Islamic community ruled by the Shari’ah law.
We are focusing on a completely liberal agenda which is a deception from the real threat. While western Christians are so inwardly focused and hopping from church to church they are winning the battle of education with our politicians and even members of the Christian clergy understanding very little about true Islam.
The Muslim jihadists do not believe what they are doing are terrorist acts. In Islam their peace is the absence of opposition. You see, the definition of a Muslim is one who submits. There will be no peace until you submit!!
This is the Voice of the Overseer

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The Sleeping Church

While the threat of Islam is growing with the resurgence of Radical Islam in the Middle East with the so-called Arab Spring (i.e., the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and ISIS in Syria) the Evangelical Church in the USA is being put to sleep with Sunday messages catering more to the self-centered consumeristic desires of the flesh than to challenge their congregations to be committed to evangelizing the nations and manifesting the Kingdom of God!

The desire for larger churches is driving many pastors to a corporate methodology  for success rather than the New Testament emphasis on fasting, prayer and preaching with the power of God (Acts 6:1-4; 1 Corinthians 2:1-4) and standing for righteousness politically and socially in our pulpits.

While we as a nation continue to abort almost 3,000 children per day, legalize same-sex marriage, embrace secularism and continue to go downhill because of low moral standards and budget deficits fueled by almost half the country not paying taxes with concomitant high demands for more entitlements. When it comes to fasting, praying and seeking the face of the Lord we would rather do what’s convenient and on our schedule.

Liberal left-leaning leaders are gaining more influence in the Church while the voices of our major leaders are silent in the issues. They have a proclivity towards cultural accommodation regarding abortion and same-sex marriage, and view big government as the solution to our problems rather than focusing on God’s top ten moral list of priorities regarding the righteous standard for a nation as stated in Exodus 20. The result: the church is becoming less distinct from the world and depending more on the central power of men than God.

In order to bring revival to our nation there must first be an awakening. This awakening will only come when every person that declares themselves as a Christ follower begin to walk the talk that we decree each Sunday morning. We have to the true church, the one without walls, and the one that walks in true love as not just church members but Disciples of Christ.

Remember what Jesus said, “John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love another. By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” This a love that is better demonstrated than spoken.

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The New Genocide

 

It’s a “tragedy” that more than half of all African-American pregnancies end in abortion. Just as tragic is that many black pastors are fully aware of it – but as “shepherds” they are choosing to ignore it, effectively “leading their sheep to the slaughter.” Why are most of the voices that speak out about abortion are “White?”

According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and the Guttmacher Institute, a disproportionate amount of abortions take the lives of African-American babies. Blacks make up 12.4 percent of the U.S. population – but account for 37 percent of the abortions. This major fact, is being ignored especially among those who consider themselves leaders of the black community.

It’s gross negligence when it comes to any African-American group who ignores this topic.” Our perceived leadership [in the black community] has literally deceived the masses – the NAACP, the Congressional Black Caucus, the Rainbow Coalition will not have this discussion.

Pastors such as myself are often snubbed by fellow black pastors when we present the facts about the suffering of the black community in areas where abortion is heavily available. The sad thing about this subject is that it has become so politicized that when spoken of you are referred to as a Republican Right Wing advocate.

More troubling is that this leadership does not want to look at the physiological [or] psychological data. They totally first receive it from a political perspective instead of a spiritual problem. The end result, is that “when it comes to protecting the sheep, it is literally the shepherds leading the sheep to the slaughter.”

The Jacksons, Sharptons, and other elected officials – are literally in bed with the eugenic-minded groups such as Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry.

Such so called black leaders” are conspiring and benefitting from groups such as Planned Parenthood, NOW, and NARAL.  The Congressional Black Caucus caucused with Planned Parenthood to make sure that the African-American community has more access to Planned Parenthood’s product, which is abortion.  When you follow the money trail regarding donations the trail is filled with the blood of black babies.

When are Black leaders and Pastors going to wake up and understand that the “racist component” of Planned Parenthood and its founder, Margaret Sanger;” is to destroy the black race. Since 1973 over 20 million African-American children had been killed by abortion.  “We are living in a time when the most dangerous place for an African-American to be is in the womb of their African-American mother.”  This is truly the ultimate black on black crime.

How long will we let white pastors or so-called Republicans fight for our unborn? It’s time for the church to raise up now, this is not merely a political issue but a spiritual war!

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After Ferguson, What’s Next?

I realize that many of us were disheartened with the decision of the grand jury regarding their failure to indict the officer that killed Michael Brown.  Police brutality and racism seem to always remain a part of our mortal fabric regardless of the changing times.

Many thought that by merely having a black president in office the United States had finally arrived to point where Dr. King’s vision would come to fruition.  As a pioneer from the civil rights era I have learned that laws on the books cannot change the heart.

While we waited for the notable voices from the media and church to address this subject on a spiritual level a little known NFL football player who was not afraid of the possible backlash made it clear, we have a sin problem.  As Christ followers we have to bring the kingdom to the earth, the church has a charge and a mandate from heaven.  Jesus gave the orders to pray thy kingdom come thy will be done.  We need to focus not just on getting church members but making true disciples.

As a pastor, I have a responsibility to my flock.  Oftentimes and reluctantly, I attempt to walk them through issues like these to the best of my ability, and with sensitivity to their particular needs.  For years the number one killer of black men between the ages of 18 – 29 has been another black man.  Unfortunately, I have had to bear witness of this with the loss of my oldest son to an 18 year old.

What worries me most is that Christians in the age of social media care more about what “popular” preachers have to say on issues like this than they are about taking advantage of an opportunity to work through challenges in the context of the Christian community.  It is very disconcerting that so many Christians view themselves primarily as members of this or that ethnic community more than they see themselves as members of the body of Christ.  We are not citizens of this world.

Mike Brown was no angel; moreover, minutes before his death he participated in the strong armed robbery of a local store.  Notwithstanding, he didn’t deserve to be killed in the street over a mere failure to follow instructions.  There used to be a time when we respected the law and people in authority. Those who wear the badge have a unique duty to serve and protect.

Rebellion and questioning of authority has been indoctrinated into the culture of Generation X and Y.  They have been breed in a culture that has seeded a strong spirit of rebellion against authority.  We even hear children mouthing to their parents, “you’re not the boss of me.”  The lack of a Biblical world view and the influence of the media in our culture has reaped a bitter harvest.  Postmodern thought and relativism has resulted in everyone having an option and the absence of truth.  The truth still exists and it is in Christ and the Word of God.

This situation should make all of us reflect and look at ourselves as a nation.  America has more people incarcerated than any other civilized nation in the world.  We have more people dependent on the government for sustenance than ever before.  Families are under attack and disintegrating before our eyes. Love and respect for humanity has truly waxed cold.

I marched and stood for civil rights in the 60s and early 70s.  While many continue to march and protest to bring awareness to this tragic situation we need a real spiritual awakening.  In the words of that aforementioned NFL football player, we have to recognize there is sin problem.

This is the time for the church to mobilize and encourage families to stand strong.  Changes in legislation and laws are merely a ban aide, the real answer here, is Christ!

This is the Voice of the Overseer

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