Saturday, September 27, 2008

155th Armored Brigade of The National Guard

I was invited by Geoff Wagner, a co-worker at AFA, to share a devotional this past Sunday morning with the brave men and women of 155th Armored Brigade of the National Guard. What a privilege this was to sing a few songs and offer them sincere thanks for putting their lives on the line in defense of our American freedoms.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin bears witness to Jesus Christ at her home church - Parts 1 & 2

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin bears witness to Jesus Christ at her home church - Wasilla Assembly of God - where she was led to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Gov. Palin attended Wasilla Assembly of God from the time she was a teen ager up until 2002. Since that time she has maintained a friendship with Wasilla Assembly of God and has attended various conferences and special meetings there. This video was taken in recent months since she makes reference to her newborn son. Watch this compelling video to hear Gov. Palin witness about her belief in prayer and God's Word. The Gov. begins speaking at 2:20 into the video. (Part 1)

Gov. Sarah Palin bears witness to Jesus Christ at her home church - Part 2. Pay close attention to the prophetic prayer that her former pastor, Reverend Paul Riley, prays over her at the end of the video.

Gov. Sarah Palin strikes back

Newt Gingrich asked about Gov. Palin's experience

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Does it really matter what people think of us?

BY BUDDY SMITH, AFA special assistant - AFA Journal, September 2008

How do people outside the church view those inside it? If you’re talking about Americans between the ages of 16 and 29, the answer is, “Not favorably.”

David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons in their book unChristian conclude that Christianity has an image problem. The research found Mosaics (born 1984-2002) and Busters (born 1965-1983) most often expressed disenchantment (or outright hostility) toward Christians because they perceive them as hypocritical, only interested in people as potential converts, uncharitably anti-homosexual, sheltered from cultural and societal realities, too political and judgmental.

Before you get defensive, the authors are quick to remind Christians that this is how they are perceived. Your perception may differ, but that doesn’t change the fact that outsiders often reject Christianity because of the image it projects or because it is framed in distortions by mainstream media.

On the one hand, the book is helpful. If Christians want to fulfill the Great Commission then we must first understand what we’re up against. Kinnaman is president of the Barna Group, a research firm that studies trends in American religion. Lyons is founder of the Fermi Project, a network of emerging evangelical leaders who are trying to positively impact American culture. unChristian, summarizes the conclusions of that study and suggests how Christians can overcome their image problem.

On the other hand, the book falls short in exhorting the faithful to remain steadfast in a life of holiness. Christianity is only lived out through our faith in Christ by adherence to Biblical standards. All the polling in the world does not change the need for our faithfulness to that call.

Lest we forget, Jesus Christ had an image problem that ultimately resulted in His death. We also have powerful testimonies of the early martyrs of the Christian faith who remained steadfast rather than clear up their image problems.

Sometimes, while attempting to stand for righteousness, we may come across as judgmental. While trying to apply Christian ethics to the social scene, we may come across as trying to grab political power.

One case in point is Christians’ attitudes toward homosexuality – and homosexuals. The “hate the sin, love the sinner” attitude so often expressed by Christians just doesn’t wash with Mosaics and Busters. They see little love and compassion toward gays. From what they’ve observed, Christians hate the sin and the sinner. Again, this is the short version and hardly does justice to the detailed, compelling and convincing research results in the book.

What is a Biblical response to our image problem?

We should repent in those areas where we are unChristian and pray for God’s help to fulfill the Great Commission to our generation and become a bridge to the next. We should remain vigilant in upholding Biblical family values in our society including marriage amendments in California, Florida and Arizona, and the Marriage Protection Amendment in Congress. At the same time, we should give more support to ministries such as Exodus International, Love Won Out and Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays which are helping men and women find freedom from homosexuality.

When the message is rejected, we should remember that the Gospel, in Paul’s words, is a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to the Greeks – and even to the postmoderns – as Kinnaman and Lyons acknowledge. As Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, “We are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life” (2 Corinthians 2:15-16).

Does it really matter what people think of us? Ultimately, no. What really matters is that we offer them Jesus Christ.