“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5:43-45 (NKJV)
Greetings Christlike Ministries NWA Family, I’ve been waiting for the right moment and scriptures to come across before I said anything regarding the situation with Duck Dynasty Patriarch Phil Robertson, and of course the A&E Television Network that suspended Phil for his remarks in GQ Magazine.
I’ve seen lots of posts on Facebook and Twitter, and I’ve reposted and retweeted many of them. I’m firm in my support of Duck Dynasty Patriarch Phil Robertson, and so this is really the result of waiting for the right time and right message to write.
How many of you know it’s always a good idea to wait on God before speaking. I guess I should learn to do that more often, but that’s for another day and message. For now, however, let’s focus on this one, and see how we can write a message in the midst of all of this that will be written from God’s heart…and therefore will bring Him the glory.
For those of you wondering what Phil said here is a link to the article and what he said: Phil Robertson’s GQ Interview
Today’s Message: “Out Of The Box”
It amazes me how badly the world wants to put God in a box and make Him conform to their wants and desires. In addition, it amazes me how many want the Church to remain in a quiet box also. We’re not allowed to speak out on anything, and if we do then we’re being “intolerant”. If we speak about our beliefs that homosexual relationships are wrong…we’re bashing gay people. If we speak out about abortion being murder…we’re being uncompassionate.
Excuse me for a moment, but I wonder what the world thinks Jesus would say and do if His earthly ministry was taking place today. I am certain since I’ve read through a lot of the gospel encounters that Jesus would offend 95% of Bible believing Christians in addition to the rest of the world. Yes, friends, I said the church would be offended by what Jesus would have to say.
Think about it. I believe there are more Christians with a religious mindset today then there were when Jesus was walking the earth. We have all kinds of denominations…none of which mean a thing to God because to God there are basically two kinds of people: believers and non-believers. To God there’s no such thing as Protestants, Catholics, Mormons, Lutherans, Methodists, Baptists, charismatic, or any of the others that are going today.
You see, man is the one that created all of these boxes to put God and the church into. God never said that we are to gather in groups, and just hang out with those in our groups. He said we’re to go into all the world, but most of us just want to stay in our own backyards…and judge the world.
Jesus never told us to judge the world, either. He said to preach the Word to it. He never told us to judge anyone’s lifestyle. He certainly never gave us the right to condemn anyone, either. In fact, when asked what the greatest commandment was He said that we’re to love God and love one another.
I, however, am not surprised because of what I said in the beginning of this message. The world, particularly the United States, has this idea that any time the church says anything about sin that we’re being intolerant towards people.
I have preached from the beginning that loving the sin and loving the sinner are two different things. You can love the sinner without loving the sin, but you can’t love the sin and love the sinner. What I mean by that is this.
My dog will occasionally pee in the house. While I might be mad at him for peeing in the house…I certainly don’t love him less because of it. However, the world has this view-point that because I get mad at my dog for peeing in the house instead of outside…that I’m intolerant towards the fact that my dog some times is afraid of men and that fear will cause him to pee in the house.
Most people in homosexual relationships have lived under the lie that they were born gay. I certainly am not going to get into all of that. I have a friend who was delivered out of that lifestyle, and if you want to know more about that I will let him tell that story because it’s truly remarkable. Because now, he’s becoming a fantastic family man, man of God, and he’s married to a woman and no longer has the homosexual urges that he once did before Christ came into his life.
I know. There’s the argument of why would gay people choose to be openly persecuted? Well…friends…guess what happens when you choose to become a Christian? We get openly persecuted for our “narrow-minded” beliefs and lack of “tolerance” towards other people who practice lifestyles we Christians don’t agree with.
Listen. It’s not us who don’t agree with the lifestyle choices of people…it is the Word of God that doesn’t agree with it. That’s not being judgmental or narrow minded…it’s standing upon the Word of God that has stood the test of time for over 2,000 years.
I have to admit that it can make me pretty angry sometimes. Not in a hateful way, but because I love God so much that it hurts me to see and hear anyone insult Him or slander Him in any way at all.
Did you know, however, that it angers God when people slander His church? The Bible is full of warnings about making certain that we do good to those who are “of the household of faith”. But, that’s something that’s often missed and just kind of ignored.
Jesus spoke to His disciples before sending them out saying that who ever receives His disciples into their homes that peace would follow, but He also warned that those who reject the disciples weren’t only rejecting the disciples…they were rejecting the One that sent them…in other words…rejection of God’s disciples is the same as rejecting God, Himself.
My friends, I didn’t say or write that. God said it, and it was written in the Bible for all of us to see that God doesn’t appreciate His people being rejected or hurt or persecuted. He’s not going to stop it because that’s all part of becoming a Christian, but it’s funny how one of the main arguments about homosexuality being a choice is that the choice of being persecuted and ridiculed comes along with it.
Well, friends…it also comes along with choosing to follow and serve God. In fact, while it’s become politically incorrect to say anything against homosexuals or abortion or Islam or anything else that we’re considered to be “intolerant” or “close-minded” about…it has become mainstream and accepted that it’s alright for people to bash the church for standing up for it’s beliefs in what is written in the Bible.
Don’t believe me. Look around. Look at what happened to Duck Dynasty Patriarch Phil Robertson for speaking about his beliefs, and the funny thing of it all is that everyone is saying that just because he wasn’t arrested and thrown in jail that his right to freedom of speech and religion weren’t violated.
Furthermore, when we stand up and say something against homosexuality and people taking advantage of the welfare system we’re accused of being bigots and racist. We’re accused of hating the people instead of what the people are doing.
The inability of the world to separate those two things is why the church faces such scrutiny. They can’t separate the sin from the sinner…in other words…they are loving the sin and the sinner…and when you love sin…then there’s no reason within them to understand there’s a difference between hating people and hating what people do.
Friends. Let me help you out. It’s possible to love the person, and not love what a person is doing or how a person is living. Having spent time in the Kenosha County Judicial System I’ve had the opportunity to meet many people accused of and convicted of many things. There’s thieves, robbers, domestic battery, rapists, murderers, and child molesters. The same could be said of the people in Jesus’ time, and the people He encountered and routinely broke bread with.
Can I tell you something, and I know this is going to rub a lot of you the wrong way, but this is the best way I know how to illustrate what I’m talking about.
I have met people accused of all of the things I just talked about, and to be honest they’re not all what society would label as “bad people”. Many of them made horrible choices while under the influence of drugs, alcohol, and frankly the rule of the devil. And, can I tell you something else? Being in jail provided me with an opportunity for God to really teach me about the difference between judging people, and judging their sin. I got to know a lot of good people who were accused and convicted of doing a lot of bad things…what they did was bad…but at the core of them…not all of them were bad people. Yes, there were some that I was able to discern weren’t very good for me to hang out with, but that doesn’t change them from being people. It was here that I had first hand Holy Ghost training about learning to love the person in spite of what they did. You cannot be in ministry if you can’t look beyond what someone has done. You cannot minister to anyone if you can’t look beyond what you see in front of you.
This isn’t called “tolerance” it’s called understanding where people are at in their lives, and in their walk with God. That’s why I can say today that I genuinely love people. I don’t love their behavior, I don’t love their lifestyles, and I don’t always like what they do…but that doesn’t give me the right to not love them.
Jesus didn’t say “love one another unless they are child molesters or murderers or rapists or adulterers or beat up women.” He said “love one another as I have loved you.” Do you know that when Jesus was walking the earth He was more likely to be found with the least, last and lost than He was to be found teaching and preaching in the synagogues?
I have a theory that if Jesus were walking the earth today that He wouldn’t be in the churches…because He’s not invited into many of them as it is. He would be in the bars, drug houses, street corners, back alley’s, homeless shelters, jails, prisons, and the gutters of the world…because those are the people He came for.
God is not feeble or weak and He is always in control. He has not fallen off His throne and He is not shocked by anything He hears or sees. If anything, seeing and hearing what you and I hear on a daily basis should teach us how to love people who much more.
It’s easy to be angry and even to feel negatively toward others, but God has commanded us to do good those who hate us and to pray for those who spitefully use us.
Friends, what is amazing to me is that it’s become common place to ask the church to just sit quietly and allow the world to do whatever it wants…and if we speak out then we’re close-minded, intolerant, and bigots. I wonder what the world would say about Jesus today. I wonder if they would have the courage to treat God like they treat His disciples if they knew that He was serious about the fact that when they persecute us they’re persecuting Him. Where do I get that from?
Remember Saul’s conversion to Paul? What Jesus didn’t say is “Why are you persecuting My people?” What Jesus did say to him is “why are you persecuting ME?”
So, when the A&E Television Network silences Duck Dynasty Patriarch Phil Robertson the truth is they’re not just silencing and persecuting Phil Robertson…they’re silencing and persecuting God. No…that’s not saying that we Christians are God, but what it’s saying is that since we are Christ’s ambassadors…it’s not wrong for us to say that rejection and persecution of us is just the same as rejecting and persecuting God.
I had a few people blast me because I once said that people who reject me don’t just reject me, but the One that has anointed me to have this ministry. Of course, they said: “You’re not God.”
Listen to me carefully. No, I am not God, but I do represent Him. I am an ambassador for Christ. I am one of His disciples. It’s not blasphemous to say that if you reject me and my message that you’re rejecting the One that sent me. After all the message I have is HIS message, and I represent HIM. It would be just the same as if someone disrespected an ambassador of the United States to some other country. When an ambassador for the United States goes to another country they’re representing the President of the United States. So, if the country that ambassador goes to dishonors that person…they’re dishonoring the President and American people.
See, this is that box that I’m talking about. When it comes to the church representing God…it’s not popular to talk about the fact that there’s going to be repercussions for slandering and persecuting God’s people.
If you reject me or slander me or persecute me…you’re not just doing that to me…you’re doing that to God because I am one of His ambassadors. This isn’t something that I’ve just written today…it’s something that Jesus said when He sent His disciples out two by two. If it wasn’t true that those who rejected the disciples rejected the One Who sent them…then Jesus wouldn’t have said that. If it’s true then when God confronted Paul the question wouldn’t have been “Saul, why persecutest thou Me?”
This is why we as a church can take comfort in the Scriptures here in Matthew 5:43-45 (NKJV). We have a Heavenly Father who is watching over us, and might I add taking note of how we’re treated. I have learned to count it for joy when people say things about me or slander me or persecute me. I guess the truth is that if I’m not making anyone mad than I’m not speaking God’s Word…because the truth of the Word of God is always going to offend people.
Look at the encounters that Jesus had with people in the gospels. We see countless times where people were offended by what He spoke. It’s no different today. People are always going to be offended, and then resort to persecuting the church because the truth is they don’t want to be held accountable for their lifestyles or their actions.
That’s the real problem. When the mirror of the Word of God is held up it will either cause people to repent or revolt. The revolt comes from people who are too prideful to admit they’re in the wrong and need a Savior. Those who repent are humble enough to recognize that they’ve been living the wrong way…and can’t change it themselves…so they hit their knees and call upon the name of the Lord to be saved.
I stand behind Duck Dynasty Patriarch Phil Robertson. Not because of who he is, but because of Who he represents. I understand that some of the things he said may have been harsh, and I know what it’s like to have something you’ve said be spoken out of the wrong heart or tongue. However, what isn’t up for debate is the Word of God, and I am proud of him for standing up for his beliefs and speaking what God laid on his heart to say.
As a writer of blog posts like these…some of what I write comes from me, but the majority of it comes from being anointed by the Holy Ghost. That’s why I have cut back on writing until next year. I want to renew my ability to sense the anointing, and only write when God places something on my heart.
As I mentioned in the introduction. I knew this thing with Duck Dynasty Patriarch Phil Robertson would spark a desire to write, and once I found these scriptures in Matthew 5:43-45 (NKJV)…then the anointing to write came…and from that desire and anointing came this message.
The world would be a better place if the church would learn to love God and people. It would also be a better place if the church would learn how to separate the sin from the sinner. It would also be a better place if the church would get back to making what they teach and preach come from the Word of God and the anointing of the Holy Ghost instead of the latest Joel Osteen book.
The anointing is only found in the Word of God, and it’s the only book that can change and transform hearts, lifestyles, and destinies. I am bound by the Word to teach the truth, and some times that’s going to mean I’m going to say things that are unpopular. My job is to be obedient. What you do with what I write is between you and God. I’m only an ambassador for Him, and when He places a topic like this on my heart and gives me the anointing to write…my job is to write…and I’ve done that.
I refuse to put God is a box…and I refuse to allow the world to put me in one. There’s freedom in Christ…not bondage. The bondage is being bound to the world’s box…and that’s a box that neither my God nor I belong in.
I am out of the box!
My hope is in you, God
I am steadfast, I will not be moved
I’m anchored, never shaken
All my hope is in you
Hope’s Anthem Lyrics
It’s been said that the only hope for America is that we all learn to be tolerant of one another, and to allow everyone to live as they want. I don’t think that’s what God has in mind. I believe that the true only hope for America is for it to return to the Biblical roots in which it was founded upon. That’s not being close-minded or intolerant. It’s the truth.
True freedom doesn’t come from tolerance or being open-minded. It comes from being a child of God. Giving Him power and control over my life isn’t bondage…it’s the most freeing thing I’ve ever known. I was just listening to “Free” by Steven Curtis Chapman
I’m reminded that true freedom comes from knowing and having a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Freedom doesn’t come from having an open mind or being tolerant of sin. In fact, as we’ve seen in this country the more tolerant of sin we become the more we find ourselves enslaved to sin, and unable to see that the very thing we think is freeing us is placing us in a stronghold that only the Blood of Jesus can break.
I refuse to be placed in the box given to me by the world. I am a child and ambassador of the Most High God…and I would rather offend people than offend Him. It’s a lot less severe to face your judgment then His.
As for me and my house…will serve and honor the Lord.
Blessings & Grace;
Bryan Kizer – Pastor