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James Emery White (Growing in Faith as a New Believer)

Janet Mefferd Today / Janet Mefferd
The Truth Network Radio
March 16, 2021 4:30 am

James Emery White (Growing in Faith as a New Believer)

Janet Mefferd Today / Janet Mefferd

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March 16, 2021 4:30 am

After you become a Christian, what are the next practical steps of discipleship? I'll talk it over with Dr. James Emery White, senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church and author of the book, "After I Believe." Plus: And a United Methodist conference in Illinois has just approved an openly homosexual drag queen as a candidate for ministry. We'll talk about that and more on the next JANET MEFFERD TODAY.

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This Janet Mefford today podcast is brought to you in part by Bible league international.

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Five dollars sends one Bible and a matching grant will double your gift call now 800 yes word 800 yes word is our confidence is in Christ alone, the word of God says I sort of know again says that as Christians we are to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord in Savior, Jesus Christ. Why because we belong to him and growing in our faith is what we are supposed to do. It's why we can't just say I believe in you Lord and that's the end of it after all. James 219 tells us that even the demons believe that there is one God and shudder as my next guest says it's what comes after you say.

I believe that makes all the difference.

A working to talk about it today with Dr. James Emery White founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte and author of the book will be discussing after I believe everyday practices for a vibrant faith in Dr. White great to talk to again how are you doing good, sure thing. What you are addressing in this book really the importance of becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ and not just a mere believer why would you say that such an important distinction. I work with 70% of the growth from people who were previously unchurched, and so we were we working with new believers. It feels like one thing that I was finding, though, was that it wasn't just the need for new believers to know what happens now after I've emerged from the waters of baptism were planning that Christian coming to a 15, 20, 25 years as a Christian had huge aspects of their life that were untouched by Christ from even the most elemental of levels and they had no real knowledge of what to do about it. They want even aware of it and so there was a growing sense within me, particularly in our day of in a post-Christian world that we really needed and I was hoping to write a foundational book on spiritual growth that would really cover the essential thermodynamic and hopefully electric way to so many spiritual formation books to come out as you may know we are written for a fairly advanced person but were getting increasingly esoteric and I I just wanted to make sure piglets.

Let's really make sure were grounded in the essentials of what it means to grow well right because once you become a Christian, you have to start growing, that's absolutely essential if you can, to be able to continue to follow Jesus and to mature in the faith, what you say to a new Christian who says all right now. I've put my faith and trust in Jesus Christ and I've been baptized. Now what what I do pastor what's my first next step. Read my book wrote it first thing that we try to help people with is to understand what it means to do the three most basic things read the Bible, pray and have been dangerously close to a daily time with God. What I would call my quiet time and so those that that seems very elemental to a lot of Christians and more. My first report of the Arno I know that I know that I said okay are you doing are you actually spending like like are you a private worshiper as well as a public worship or are you are you having time like my have an accountability relationship with someone once said, tell me to fresh things you gain from Scripture in your private devotions this week that will hold you accountable. Yes, and to just get away from us all pray for you all pray for your perfect but actually praying for people you say you'll pray for and having a good the discipline over time with God that involves your involves prayer and note again in the book I try to make that much more than what I just said I said it very simply, a very dynamic thing, very vibrant, robust thing you really get into what is it mean to pray. What is it mean for the Holy Spirit to speak through you through the inspired Scriptures that he wrote what is it mean to have that time and I will I would start there. That's a good place to start. It's excellent.

You made a good point to when you say seasoned Christians know all of these things it signs It sounds kind of over familiar sometimes just I know I need to read my Bible and pray for other people and have a daily time with the Lord. But you're right.

New Christians don't know this and this is a new concept for people who have just come to know Christ. You know it's interesting though you make a really good point.

You say the great spiritual deception is thinking that the appearance of spirituality is spirituality itself. We have a lot of ways of kind of trying to look like were keeping it altogether and and doing a lot of activity may be insured sure that you know saying I have all this theological knowledge look I can define these big words.

These kinds of things.

Can you talk a little bit about the appearance of spirituality versus what it really makes us to be functional Saints as you describe it after it would be the myth of feeling like that when I am preparing a message. I'm actually doing personal time of the word or when I'm leading worship of him actually worshiper know it, and there is a sense where we have substituted involvement and acts and energies with actual devotion and time with God and so going back someone like me could look at me if it will. Here's a pastor and afford me a very high level spirituality when in truth, they have no idea without have a quiet time in six weeks.

We have no idea what I viewed online and we can begin the bottom. Press reports so you can be a 1520 your Christian walk around as if you were 15, 20, your mature Christians and because you got a lot of churchy entity or a lot of knowledge you would feel blind if family time trip into the Bible, he times the Bible's been through you. That's right, you know, and I think about that verse in Galatians 5.

Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the spirit.

What role do I play versus the rolled Holy Spirit plays in my own Christian growth and maturity because that's another pitfall that sometimes we fall into thinking I've got to do more.

I gotta try harder. I've got to run faster and yet the Bible has so much to say about the spirits role in sanctifying us. Can you talk a little bit about how that comes together as we are growing in Christ. How much of it is me and how much of it is the Lord working all right about be filled with the Holy Spirit.

The Greek literally read me being filled with ongoing active dynamic daily process of keeping us up with the spirit and cooperating the promptings of the Holy Spirit and and weddings of Scripture, the inspired word of God speak to you because of the Holy Spirit speaking to you because he wrote it and also impressing upon your spirit. And so it's that constant walking and following being led and guided. I will say I know you're not saying this, but I will say that I like a purely passive approach, though what what I think Scripture get the crosses with their Holy Spirit's work in our life. It's this tandem with our efforts with his wife that we can grieve him so we can thwart his work and so what I said in the book is you already have as much of the Holy Spirit is your ever going to have.

The question is how much of you does Holy Spirit have skin yeah that's right. And I do agree with you completely, because I think that if you take the approach that the Holy Spirit is just gonna do in me what he wants to do in me and I'm willing but I'm just gonna sit here.

It's akin to that old analogy about a farmer saying, well, God wants the crops to grow.

He's gonna make them grow while Ali sitting near a pile of seeds in a hose you had to be involved unto this is why God is given to you in order to you know facilitate the growth of private yeah let's talk about Scripture little bit because many times when new believers ask about the Bible.

How do I begin to study the Bible you lay a good foundation here for helping new believers understand the importance of the Bible, but where you begin in reading it in studying it. How do you get going on it without feeling overwhelmed. I really encourage is much as I am a lover of Bible study and would any type of mentoring relationship encourage ever increasing levels of Bible study. I think that early on a devotional relationship with Scripture where yes I mean if you're a good student of the Bible you were studying it for the purpose of application, but initially just read it just start getting it into you and I would suggest that you start off with one of the Gospels. Maybe John and then moved in into something like James and then maybe then into Genesis. Get a good contemporary translation that's faithful to the original manuscripts and and then you know begin learning how to interpret what you read and it so I try to cover all of that in the book and am chapters is called how to Bible because I do think that it's important to realize that you just don't hand a seasoned believer or nuclear Bible reading and have added you know there's there's there's some skill sets.

We are there some learnings or some coaching or some approaches are some ways of going out it that really need to be understood. That will just make the Bible come that much more alive and well, that's good advice because I think that just getting going is an accomplishment, open your Bible and start reading it. It's almost like if you overthink it you never quite get going, and that's the important part of it for you to take a short break will be back with Dr. James Emery White. His book is called after I believe stay with us. When Julia and in a bad relationship she found out she was pregnant after the father told her to get an abortion. This mom was confused and didn't know what to do or who to talk to question Julia was referred to a pre-born center where she was counseled and supported with the strength that she needed to choose life and he's here and reborn centers provide hope, love, free ultrasounds in the gospel of Jesus Christ to moms like Julia pre-born truly is the alternative to Planned Parenthood. Will you join pre-born in helping love and support young moms in crisis for $140 you can sponsor five ultrasounds and help rescue five babies lives to donate call now 855402 Beatty 855-402-2229 855-402-2229 or there's a pre-born banner to hi this is Janet map for did you miss the deadline to sign up for healthcare program at the end of 2020. If so, I have good news and special enrollment period is taking place now through May 15, meaning that if you're looking to enroll in the new healthcare program for 2021 you can do so without the need for a qualifying event more than 200,000 Americans trust liberty healthcare for their healthcare needs.

Liberty healthcare is a nonprofit healthcare sharing ministry that offers affordable healthcare sharing programs starting as low as $199 per month. Liberty healthcare gives you the ability to choose any doctor or hospital across the nation. Memberships are for individuals, couples and families offering a variety of options to best suit your medical needs. Discover more about the power of today for more information call 855-585-4237 855-585-4237 or liberty you're listening to Janet River today know you're welcome back Dr. James Emery White is with us founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church, a suburban mega church in Charlotte North Carolina and he is author of the book were discussing after I believe everyday practices for a vibrant faith kind helping new believers get going as far as their sanctification and growth and maturity in Jesus Christ and things in talking about Bible reading. Dr. White is interpretation is so important. There is this kind of vibe in Christianity. Sometimes where we look at the pages of the Bible and try to say how do I feel about this.

What is God saying to me you breaking some of those rules of exegesis, but how do you guide a new believer in interpreting Scripture correctly, you try to get him to be a good journalist at the good journalism question who what where when why how ask the Bible like who was speaking with it written to one of the main ideas and then once you got those you can dig in deeper and give the things like with the background of the writer what was going on at that time in history. Key verses in sections of the Bible also encourage them when I have questions to not prove text not take something out of context to always follow this think about such an important principle.

Let Scripture interpret Scripture's let the wider canon speak to it before you get too discombobulated about what it might be saying, also read the Old Testament in light of the New Testament is all inspired but I do think it is a progressive revelation meaning unfolding story, culminating in Jesus and so read it that way and also I have a little, paradigm, and there about what you do when you're trying to figure out if it's okay to do something you try to go to the Bible is okay to do this and not talk to me about how you know there's either permission you find to do it. It's clearly prohibited. Don't or there's just principles that apply to your situation.

So if you have a clear yes or clear know you got your answer but if you just principles, not a clear yes or no that you are supposed to follow when you look at the freedom you have been the wisdom you need to bring to bear and also what the effect would be of practicing that are pursuing up for watching world paradigms to go through that I think help people.

Yeah, I think that is really helpful when you're talking about reading the Bible devotional, he having a devotional relationship. The Scripture I know that many people sometimes fall into the trap of merely being intellectual about Scripture and kind of looking at it as a textbook or something like that. Can you explain a little bit. How do you have a devotional relationship with Scripture.

How deep. What is the difference for those who have a question about it. I think that the difference is that on reading Scripture. I am going at it with. This is God talking and so I finish reading whatever I might've read that particular morning, my prayerful responses got what you saying to me through this what you want me to do what you want me to stop doing what you want me to think what you want me to stop thinking. Where have I been graceless where vibrant and legalistic will I need to forgive who I need to ask to forgive me and so when you approach it devotional you're reproaching it very much like I'm with my father and and and I will want to know what you saying to me through this not enough relativistic kind of existential, overly personalized way, where know the Bible is what the Bible says to me kind of stuff like that can get out of hand. I mean, in an obedient loving relationship God what he what you saying to me. I want to submit to it and all three toasters shows up for those attitudes in those moments and will make it very clear in Scripture is not unambiguous. It's very clear on 99% of the things where it's often unclear simple because we don't want to hear what he says absolutely, absolutely.

What about prayer. As you mentioned before, it's so important that prayer is a regular part of our lives were to pray constantly but were also to pray for people and pray for the needs of the church pray for ourselves. These sorts of things. How do you cultivate a good prayer life that you know one that really becomes a habit will look at the time walking through the Lord's prayer, so that we first understand how to pray feel like what were the kinds of attitudes and and postures. We should be taking but I'm on really clear people out. I think when we pray out. If you do lose your track of mind and you can kind of get off base and you can get distracted and so I followed a simple acrostic myself for years. It acts a CTS and Spencer, adoration, confession, Thanksgiving and supply, and I think that the weight kind of rhythm, as you pray, you spent some time just don't you feel foreign welcome who use you and and and then confessing your sins on in the neurotic kind of way, but a very natural way. That's relational and and then thanking him every good and perfect gift is from him and then supply we all have things that we need in our life. And he says no. Ask me, so we ask the answers up to him, but he invited us to make her needs known and to make the needs of others so that we pray for so that's really helpful for me as a discipline to make sure that I'm I'm praying and staying on track with prayer and praying the kinds of things I need to pray have the right things brought to mind.

I love that same one acts I've been using that myself for years to I love that one then it's really easy to remember and I like the order of how your praying now adoration then confession then thanks giving, and then supply what about the issue of answered prayer.

Now this sometimes can trip up any Christian, but especially for a new believer for new believer is coming to the Lord and asking for a particular thing in prayer and looking at verses saying we know that we have what we've asked a man and yet with that he hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have what we asked, we asked of him. First John 515. Important is it to stress to new believer. Just because you pray for something in a particular way does not necessarily mean you will get everything you ask for.

I did that sometimes comes up.

I know with crystals when it comes up with people all number of levels of maturity. Yeah. And I think the biggest things that Christians wrestle with is on answered prayer is one of the biggest things or other mysteries of prayer, and I would begin with a simple theological statement that I believe there is no such thing for the Christian of them on answered prayer. No, here's where it gets tricky how God answers yes because it would never enter the mind of the answer may have been no or the answer may have been. I'm not prepared.

You're not ready for this. We are praying for your not ready for this is you know there's some issues with you that we need to walk through. But it made me positive issues but it's over, you're not ready. Another one could answer could be the timing is really off on this end and you don't even know what your praying for this and you realize the timing is wrong. Yes, the book icon didn't like the answer to be no slow grow go but I do believe that those of the four basic foundational answers. We only like really feel though that unless we hear yes or go.

It's as if God didn't answer that's true truth, that's true. And as you go along the Christian life. You can think of all, it's like the old Garth Brooks song unanswered prayers, Pete, you can look back at your unanswered prayer and say now I understand Lord why he didn't say yes because of what you wanted to work in my life that takes time, though, mean that comes with with years. Sometimes, of being a Christian seen that in retrospect you know there's an albino, theology students Providence doctrine best seen in retrospect beautiful, yet that's right, that's absolutely right. The other thing you stress and I want to make sure we get to this before we run out of time because it's so much fun talking to about this but spending time with God.

You advise Christians to find a time and a place why the place why the time we understand but why the place.

What is the importance of that will be good. You need time to be protected and you need the time to be in a place where not distracted where you feel like for me miss I be speaking more non-personality. Were you really feel that sense of alone and some solitude and silence, and I also feel that I don't have any scriptures for this particularly but you know, I do think that there's something about going to the same place that makes it hallowed ground for you, and special, like well Daniel would always go to the same place to pray the same time a day. But the main thing is protected protected time. Let's good and we all need that. I mean it's great and I and would you advise, you know, just having your Bible with you and just spending time at that time with the Lord. Yeah, I do II do think there's a place for journaling. I tend to do whatever journaling I do when I take more extended retreats, but some people like to Journal their prayers and I don't. I think that is we need to be careful not to put the practices in various ways too tight of a box because then we might project our personality on to someone.

So I try to keep it to the basics but I just bring a Bible, but some people like to Journal and along with all that in.

And there's nothing wrong with that as far as spiritual growth goes one of the things that we also struggle with this Christians is what kind of progress in my making and that can make you crazy, because in truth, there are many aspects of the Christian life where you don't know how you're doing. You might think I'm doing great God is so pleased with Mike advance in sanctification and in fact you're not advancing the way that you might have thought. How much would you advise a Christian to pay attention to his or her own progress in spiritual growth such that it doesn't become pharisaical or neurotic or neurotic. I think it will put it best when he said the nearest thing to normalcy for a human being is a series of up-and-down's log on elation he called and you want over time to see it on upward trajectory, but quite frankly it's it's a series of up-and-down the nearest thing we have to normal. So the way I tend to talk about it is, so are you more like Jesus now than you were. You are go in any place and and if the answer is no and then okay, we went winless to some digging into that if you don't think you're more like Jesus now than you were your go anywhere. Maybe, maybe we need to do some things to jumpstart some stuff and look at this, but I think that's the larger question not in a comprehensive every aspect of my life way because, again, that that would be rare for a normal human being, but it served parts of your life or your module.

Nothing where you are go. I think that's a fair question. While it is and there's so much in this book, you can really take to heart as you are trying to grow in Christ. After I believe by Dr. James Emery White city to talk to Ken Dr. white great book and it was great talking to you Janet, thank you for being here. You're listening to Janet map for today. This Janet map for today podcast is brought to you in part by Bible league international. We want to send 1500 Bibles to Africa through Bible leaves open the floodgates Bibles for Africa campaign. Five dollars sends one Bible and a matching grant will double your gift call now 800 yes word 800 yes word for today and here's your host Joe never plug back. This is kind of an interesting story. The New York Times reports that with the popes can sense the Vatican says that priests could not bless same-sex unions calling any such blessing, not list sets the ruling. They said that the church should be welcoming toward gay people is there and they say they should be treated with respect, compassion and sensitivity but not there unions Catholic teaching holds that marriage between a man and woman is part of God's plan and since gay unions are not intended to be part of that plan. They cannot be blessed by the church make sense to me, the congregation for the doctrine of the faith, the Vatican's doctrinal watchdog issued the judgment in response to questions raised by some pastors and parishes Catholic parishes that sought to be more welcoming and inclusive of gay couples. The prefect of the congregation, Cardinal Luis Le Darius said the decision did not imply a judgment on people involved, nor a form of unjust discrimination to me it just seems a little silly that you even have to add that caveats except for the fact that you have so many liberals in the Catholic Church who will be pushing for this insane we have to go in this direction. We don't want to be discriminatory is kind of a pattern now. Who knows where it's in and up the issue had emerge more forcefully in recent years after the Pope asked bishops to develop projects and pastoral proposals quote so that those who manifest a homosexual orientation can receive the assistance they need to understand and fully carry out God's will in their lives." Blessings of same-sex unions had been advanced as one sign of inclusiveness and the Vatican said in its note that such projects were often motivated by a sincere desire to welcome and accompany homosexual persons well you can imagine what some of the reaction to this news has been because there is no finding some kind of third way with gay activists seared just not going to be able to do it. It's their way or the highway, and you will be the subject of all kinds of hurled insults.

If you don't do it their way.

This is just where we are in our society. Now CNN's Don Lyman, who himself is a homosexual reacted to this Vatican declaration that God cannot bless same-sex unions and he had what I would say is completely predictable answer. Listen to the views Megan McCain pose the question. The question itself is just kind of interesting, and not in a good way to cut one to your fiancÚ. 1029 morning we learned that McCain has said that the Catholic Church won't bless same-sex unions.

Quote sent God cannot last thing you want to say that this does not imply a judgment on person but I want to know do you think this time is an damaging message and how do you feel about that, given that obviously you are now engaged in going to get married.

While I think there are. Listen, I respect people's right to believe in whatever they want to believe in their God. But if you believe in something that hurts another person that are that does not give someone the same rights or freedoms, not necessarily under the Constitution because this is under God.

I think that that's wrong and I think that the Catholic Church and many other churches really need to re-examine themselves and their teachings, because that is not what God is about God is not about hindering people or even judging people. Oh really which Bible you reading interesting everybody has the right to believe what they want to believe that if you believe opposite from what I believe then you're just wrong. You're just wrong. Imagine if the roles were reversed and you had a Christian pastor sitting there and saying the same thing in reverse, but taking the biblical position. Do you think Megan McCain might have some kind of push back what he thinks you'd be saying you're just so awesome your marriage or nuclear families fantastic. It would never happen. And then of course Don Lyman has to pivot to the subject of race because with gay activism. They always want to go back to the fact that they equate it with the civil rights movement, and I love II cannot remember who originated this comment but this wonderful black Christian said at one point, don't equate your sin with my skin. Well said that Don Lyman didn't get the memo. Listen to cut to and to put it in the context of race. I find that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said the most segregated per place on earth time on earth is 11 AM on a Sunday morning so I think that religion in the pew keeps us from actually there barriers from people actually getting to know each other so I would say to the Pope and the Vatican and all Christians are Catholics or whomever. Whatever religion you believe you, you happen to belong to out there go out and meet people and try to understand people and do what the Bible and would would Jesus actually said if you believe in Jesus and that is to love your fellow man, and judge not lest you be not judged.

So instead of having the pew hindering you having the church hinder you being segregated in the church are among yourselves go out and have a barbecue. Wait a minute Joe Biden said we can't we can have a barbecue it's against the lots against the coven rules. What are you suggesting Don Lyman we can get together and have about okay what he's trying to say they're not so clear terms is that if you don't approve of homosexuality, even if the Bible says homosexuality is sin. The problem is you because you just don't know people. Why does the church have to change its doctrine in order to get to know people that doesn't even make any sense you can get to know anybody and I don't understand why that would be a hindrance.

But what it really is is code for accept us except our sin, except identity except our orientation and I reject the issues of identity and orientation when it comes to homosexuality. I think that's just a way to remove any sort of moral responsibility in the whole equation and an amino facilitate this entire lie that's been put out there for years that you're born that way, when clearly you're not born that way. I have lots and lots of examples of this, but this is the whole thing. Don't judge. We know it's interesting, I would find that a little bit contradictory for you to say something about not judging if you don't think that there's room for judgment and what I mean by that is this if you don't have any moral compass at root in your conscience, then it wouldn't bother you if anybody touched it what it if I prefer daffodils to roses and somebody who loves roses comes along and looks at me disdainfully because I like daffodils why I care. It doesn't matter.

It's a neutral issue. If I like daffodils and you like roses. That's a matter of preference. That's not a matter of moral right or moral wrong and that's not the case here. So it's it's interesting how much is packed in. Another thing is this issue of Jesus and what he has to say about judging. He also said we should judge with righteous judgment and I go back to the got question site with the question, what does the Bible teach about Jesus is judge something they don't often talk about but Jesus states how he has been given the authority to judge by the father he says in John five. Moreover, the father judges no one, but his entrusted all judgment to the son, that all may honor the son just as they honor the father. Whoever does not honor the son does not honor the Father who sent him. Jesus came into the world to save those who put their trust in him, but he is coming also brought judgment through his death and resurrection, Jesus brought judgment to Satan and furthermore unbelievers will ultimately be judged by the Lord Jesus. He will act as judge over believers and unbelievers at the bema seat of Christ. He will judge believers works after salvation to determine reward or loss of reward. This judgment has nothing to do with salvation.

As believers, eternal destiny is secure in Jesus. Rather, believers will receive rewards according to how faithfully they served Christ. But, by contrast, unbelievers will be judged by Christ at the great white throne judgment. This is in Revelation chapter 20 verses 11 through 15.

Again, this judgment has nothing to do with their eternal destiny at that point. Unbelievers have already sealed their fate by rejecting Jesus the great white throne judgment determines the severity of unbelievers punishment based on what they did in life. Revelation 2012. Notably, all the people at this judgment are thrown into the lake of fire because the names were not found in the book of life, which means they rejected Christ's free gift of salvation. He also will preside over the sheep and goat judgment and other progressives love the sheep and the goats of Matthew 25 and some interpreters equate this judgment. With the great white throne judgment but there are many notable differences.

A major one being that the judgment is based on how people treated Jesus's brothers. That is, the people of Israel, and it goes on, but at the bottom line is Jesus is going to return as a challenge. He's can be judging unbelievers. And that's the one thing that people don't want to talk about everybody is so concerned about being as nice as possible and as loving as possible without any kind of moral outrage of any kind. The world can you go through life and have no moral outrage of any kind when you see sin all around you.

If you're Christian you hate your own sin and you hate other people's and you don't hate other people, but you hate sin because you see what sin does.

Sin destroys people and sin will send you to hell if you don't repent of it and put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior so this is the big discussion that is not being had out there in the society that so readily accepts everything LGBT, but is just horrified by true Christianity and there's more to, oh boy is there more to come. You're not you want to tune out on here is this is really quite a story and it's how you stay with us will be that this is Janet matter were partnering with Bible league international on open the floodgates Bibles for Africa in many parts of countries like Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique. Nine of 10 Christians are denied God's word by corrupt governments and majority religions.

They've never been able to read first Peter 57 cast your cares on him for he cares for you reading that promise of God means everything to you and me and now it will mean so much to these Bible is Christians in Africa. When you respond.

Here's Pastor able seeing people changed somebody's gift you can give some five dollars sends one Bible $100 since 20 in a limited time. Match will double your capital and help us meet our goal of sending 1500 Bibles to Africa. All 800 password 800 YDS WO RD there's an open the floodgates banner Janet call now.

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Of course, it's just another day but this story really blew my mind.

This is from juicy ecumenism and they do a lot of coverage of the mainline liberal denominations, and it's just getting wackier by the day out there.

Listen to this story. This is just amazing with the United Methodist Church is recently announcing its general conference would be rescheduled. Further examples of the denominations rift over human sexuality are rising to the surface. The implementation of the church's teachings an official doctrine or lack thereof continues to cause discomfort's camps with vastly different beliefs await an expected separation now. One such case comes from the Illinois great River's annual conference which covers the state except for its northernmost portion I GRC's Vermilion River District committee on ordained ministry recently unanimously approved Isaac Simmons and openly gay man and publicly practicing drag queen as a candidate for ministry.

Not only that Mr. Simmons works at Hope United Methodist Church in Bloomington Illinois as their project and remote learning coordinator and he also studies business management and religious studies and at Illinois Wesleyan University. When performing is a drag queen. Mr. Simmons goes by the name Ms. Penny cost and in this role, he performs both independently and at times as a part of Hope Church is Sunday services. This is where we are now is where we are now the Methodists who were once known for holiness now have drag queens performing in Sunday services performing in Sunday services and I was watching a number of different videos of this man dressed as a woman and in the most outlandish outfits and the most outlandish makeup and wigs you can possibly imagine. On his public Facebook page. Mr. Simmons shares about his spiritual life and his latest activities in drag as Penny on February 7. For example, Simmons dressed in drag had several minutes of screen time and hope churches live stream Sunday service. He begins by describing poet laureate Amanda Gorman's poetry performance at the inauguration and compares it to how Moses was called by God to speak for his people. It's completely absurd. I did watch part of the video I shy.

I didn't want to bother you with that. It was so out there, but I am to play something else because earlier in the year on January 19 Simmons appearing as drag queen Penny put out a short video titled on the move together a drag queen's prayer. Now you want to see where all this theology ends up folks you're getting here it for yourself. Let's listen to cut three in the name of God the mother the father and the trans identifying person of color. I am praying that all those who share my voice today may experience the liberating power of your love and grace of God that they may join with me in the marvelous movements of a justice filled moments of transition.

May we all received the ability to see ourselves as we truly and clearly our own.

That's a little ironic because he standing there an address in a way in this heavy makeup, and he's talking about being who we really are here not being your man being who you really are and what is with the theatrical blasphemy is just complete blasphemy how he addresses this prayer in the beginning, and Lawrence addresses God, but in the name of God the mother the father and the trans identifying person of color, where even getting all this. He's just making it up as he goes and the theatrics are just crazy. The over emoting then it's like he pulled out every bumper sticker he could remember and and tried to string it together in some kind of pep talk that is absolutely without any real contents. He goes on I want you to listen to the rest of this and and maybe you could, you know you can email us and tell me what he actually is saying is I can't figure it out. Other than this is just stringing together nice sounding bumper stickers that he got from the human rights campaign in the mail and trying to make it sound religious. This is nuts. Listen to cut four blessed you purposeful and filled with the potential energy. We are on the move to It is to gather that we will break free from the little fox now and into a state of active prayer of limitless imagination for his this moment in this movement in this town in this church in this world that we are to gather for we are never alone.

If all you have is a single shard of glass if all you have is the handle of your cup. Rejoice together. We have the common gift of glue the common gift of community, for we are the body of Christ's church, for we are resources for one another to gather week you'll ourselves and each other world around us, so we may bring down the kingdom of heaven into our go forth into this world. You are love. You are celebrated church that was one theatrical word salad didn't mean anything. There's all kinds of happy little phrases but none of it meant anything were on the move together, removing from idle thoughts of now into limitless imagination like something you'd put over a Disney ride was imagination board. Here you have to be this tall mean that's what it sounds like were never alone. If all you have is a shard of glass. Remember we have the common gift of glue whites that were working to usher in the King Dom of heaven. Now this is something that that breakaway Methodist denomination that I told you about a few weeks ago. This is the same language they use, they don't think kingdom they say kingdom that a Betty clever we can heal ourselves and each other in the world and we are the body of Christ church no no you not you, not your not what is any of this mean and here's the thing, who would get up on a Sunday morning or whenever they hold their services and listen to this.

It's empty. There's nothing there. It's social justice on steroids. It's pro-gay theology on steroids.

It's just how much man centered, can we be and still call it church.

How can we imbibe all of the values of this world which Jesus told us to leave behind and follow him before we get to the spot where we say this is out of control and this doesn't have any resemblance to Christianity and this is the direction they're going with this man's good to be in ministry. This man openly gay and a drag queen practicing drag queen is now on the road to ministry. He the approved him unanimously as a candidate for ministry in this United Methodist conference in Illinois and of course the United Methodist Church is can have to split. There's just no doubt about it, but it's incredible.

Listen to this in January.

This man also shared a nearly 30 minute video of himself speaking and praying the rosary at home while trusting drag. I have news for you Mr. Simmons United Methodists don't pray the rosary you know what though. Maybe they do, I shouldn't even say that I should even say that because what a wino anymore. Maybe the rosary is all the rage among liberal United Methodist now. I should really not say that out of turn. I should really investigated, but he said his goal and wearing drag was to bridge the gap between spirituality and clearness to show that they are not mutually exclusive with a point is not spirituality.

The point is forgiveness of sins. Forgiveness of sins, it's heaven and hell as sinners, we are content and under the wrath of God and the only way to escape the wrath of God for being the rebels and lawbreakers that we are is by throwing ourselves on his mercy and saying I believe in your sacrifice for sin on the cross and your resurrection from the dead on the third day in your ascension into heaven, and I believe Lord Jesus that you will return one day for me, not because there's anything good in me, but because you are my righteousness and your grace and mercy you've had that kind of love for me that you would go to the cross on my behalf when I certainly never deserved it.

That's what Christianity does it it it doesn't turn you into some super spiritual Gnostic sort where you can separate your identity from God's moral law. This this has no resemblance to Christianity and it just breaks my heart to see more and more and more of these denominations just going off the rails. Stay faithful Christians stay faithful, stay in your Bible obey the Lord as he's laid out for you in his word and his word alone. We have so many forces coming against us as Christians don't fall for it.

Thanks for joining us. We gotta leave it there.

See you next time right here on Jennifer to this hour.

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