Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sucka-Punched By CNN

"For black women across the country, Michelle Obama is a new role model, a woman who defies stereotypes in a public way they say they haven't seen since the fictional Clair Huxtable of "The Cosby Show." ~ The Canadian Press 11-14-2008

Now, some things take a minute for me to digest. The excerpt above was a precursor to the current trend that we are witnessing as it comes closer to the Presidential Inauguration. A recent CNN story on our soon to be 1st Lady Of America, conferred a "Claire Huxtable" status upon Michelle Obama claiming that she will be one of the premiere educated, and family oriented Black Women in the country. After some research, I found out that both Newsweek, The Boston Herald and the Canadian Press had also conferred this illustrative but "fictitious" status on Mrs. Obama. Why? Look at one excerpt to see:

"Black women are among the least likely to marry, according to the U.S. Census Bureau 2007 American Community Survey. The same survey found that most blacks are born to unwed mothers. And black men suffer from high drop out, unemployment and incarceration rates"~The Canadian Press 11-14-2008

On Monday Nov. 24th CNN produced a story saying that Michelle Obama will be a positive "Role Model" for Black women of America and will "help" change the image that "many" people have regarding Black women in this country. In fact they said that the perception of Black Women in general is that they are Loud, Overweight, Uneducated, Slothful, Unmarried with Children as The Canadian Press suggests, and a hand full of other items that they claimed was stereotypical of Black women.
Pastor are you serious?
Answer: YEP!

Not only according to them are Black Women slightly off balanced or misplaced but others say, well...you just don't feel good about yourself either:
"Black women across the country say they expect Obama’s dark skin will inspire girls and women to feel better about themselves. Her workout habits may inspire others to get in shape. And the Obamas’ intelligence may stop the teasing that some black children endure for being smart," said Maya Rockeymoore, 37, a political scientist in Washington, D.C. ~ The Boston Herald.com 11/15/2008

I REALLY don't want or intend to steal any of the THUNDA from Michelle Obama, and I am glad that she remains a strong and committed, intelligent black woman. BUT, I began to think, that not only have Black Women been the strength of the Black Community, and The Black Church, but also the strength of the American Community in general for generations. Black women have fed and raised many individuals, executives and otherwise that will remain unmentioned until Jesus comes. Black women have managed and maintained homes, children and grandchildren sometimes all under one roof and haven't compromised themselves to do so. Black Women have played the role of the father when the father was absentee, the teacher when the teacher didn't like their child and failed to educate them, and the councilor when the family was on the brink of mental breakdown from social and financial pressures. Black Women have been the prayer warrior in their homes, neighborhoods and communities, and a voice of godly reason that many youth have learned to trust.
Why is it now that all of the godly, sanctified, and holy women have been overlooked as IF they hadn't really achieved or accomplished much until Michelle came along?

As I said...DON'T GET ME WRONG. I wouldn't, by virtue, tear down any Black woman to exalt another. I can only say that the community is full of wonderful, faithful, loud and soft toned, large and small, GREAT Black Women that have endured the total devastation that has hit our communities and churches. Need I mention, Coretta, Rosa, or Betty S. X?

They have done set examples, educated our children and built our communities for years with little or no recognition and I simply want to stop and say that You don't have to get on Michelle's bandwagon to be considered successful, you can scoot on over so that she can simply get on your bandwagon!
You see I just happen to know that there are godly women that don't believe in abortion and homosexual rights. I just happen to know that there are godly and smart women who never went to Princeton, Yale or Harvard, but can think circles around the best of them...I married a strong black woman and she's put up with me, my failures and successes for over 22 years now and before I take it back, I'll add more to it...God's REALLY been good to me!

Others have noticed this trend carried forward by CNN. Newsweek.com reported this after the "Black In America" show aired

"Usually, the lives of black women go largely unexamined. The prevailing theory seems to be that we're all hot-tempered single mothers who can't keep a man and, according to CNN's "Black in America," documentary, those of us who aren't street-walking crack addicts are on the verge of dying from AIDS. As writer Rebecca Walker put it on her Facebook page: "CNN should call me next time they really want to show diversity and meet real black women that nobody seems to talk about.''..."Like Walker, I too know more than my share of black women who have little in common with the black female images I see in the media. My "sistafriends" are mostly college educated, in healthy, productive relationships and have a major aversion to sassy one-liners. They are teachers, doctors and business owners. Of course, there are those of us who never get the chance to pull it together. And we accept and embrace them—but their stories can't and shouldn't be the only ones told."
As I said, I felt "sucka-punched". I was excited and drawn in by promise only to take one right on the chin. The story seemed to say that Black women were invisible until Michelle stepped on the scene. And that's simply NOT the case. In spite of all that we're dealing with God yet has a remnant that HAVEN'T bowed their knee to Baal neither have kissed his foot, and I believe that he is using those women now like never before.

To ALL the Godly women and Black Women in particular...no matter the skin tome, size or shape, I'd rather have a Ruth, Naomi, Esther or Abagail any day than a mere "Claire Huxtable."
Prov. 31:10-31 ~ "10-Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. 11-The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. 12-She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. 13-She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. 14-She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar. 15-She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. 16-She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. 17-She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. 18-She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. 19-She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. 20-She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. 21-She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. 22-She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. 23-Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. 24-She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. 25-Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. 26-She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. 27-She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. 28-Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. 29-Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. 30-Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. 31-Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates."

May God Bless You!

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Morality Campaign Against God Pt. 1

In the good ole USA religious freedom and tolerance is never more celebrated than when we are confronted with messages against religion and against Christianity in particular. Freedom of religious expression is a good thing even when that expression is against God. However, on the underside of this "freedom" it would seem that almost all messages of some sort of religion are tolerated except the message of Christianity. Christianity has been the target of hate and dissension in the religious and anti-religious world for decades and it would seem that such efforts are only increasing in scope and fervor. Enter atheism and it's bigger brother humanism. (almost a rose by any other name...) At either rate, both terms are descriptive of what I consider to be metaphysically natural religions and world views suited for those who do not wish to believe in a non-materialistic or supernatural God. I have discussed this antisupernaturalism stance on my article Antisupernaturalism, Miracles and Historical Critical Method. In the comments section of that article, you will find a mini-debate with a leading atheist regarding the assertion of the "atheist bus campaign". That assertion is that belief in God can be dismissed based on "probability". Thus the deception and flaw of historical critical method is revealed, as it is not given to true empirical science in the evaluation of religious and supernatural matters.
Both atheism and humanism come with it's complete set of codes, affirmations and a primary objectives...In short, those objectives are simply aimed at discarding all religions and Christianity in particular. The manipulation and reinvention of Christianity is the atheist/humanist greatest goal as exemplified through the efforts of Dan Brown in his NY Times Bestselling book and eventual movie "The Da Vinci Code" In that book, conspiracy and secrecy and not actual history became the birth and impetus of modern Christianity. Others such as the late comedian George Carlin, who was an avowed atheist, feel that they must fight the good fight of naturalism at every opportunity. Then there are academicians who undertake the cause, such as leading scientific microbiologist, and what has been described as a staunch evangelical atheist, and author of the book "The God Delusion", Richard Dawkins. Dr. Dawkins has been said to "preach atheism" with the same fervor that a revivalistic evangelist preaches Christianity. He is also know as the "Rottweiler of Darwinism" for his adherence to the Origin of the species with common descent. It should be noted that Darwinian Evolution is one of the most flawed and unscientific theories ever presented as such in human history. Then there are flat out idiots producing unresearched and fallacious movies hailed as "common sense" such as Bill Maher's "Religulous" where Christianity is especially marked as being out of touch with modern society and unnecessary for personal growth.

Just as the CROSS is a symbol of Christianity, atheism also bears it's own symbol. For the American Atheists, a group formed by American Atheism's missing Queen Madalyn Murray O'Hair in 1963, the symbol is said to be "a contemporary scientific symbol" which "acknowledges that only through the use of scientific analysis and free, open inquiry can humankind reach out for a better life."
In essence the atheist god is a god of science, intellect and what can be empirically experienced through the 5 senses. Therefore, there can be no consideration of additional information that is not quantifiable by material or naturalistic means.

You can even check the Celebrity Atheist List to see if your favorite actor or actress is an atheist, agnostic, or a so-called freethinker. Similar to religions there are degrees or denominations of atheism and Pantheistic Atheists who hold that the universe and all creation should be viewed with a "religious reverence" and should be viewed apart from any religious construct or experience, are every bit if not more dogmatic about their beliefs as the Christians and other religious folk they criticize. I have to admit, I kinda always knew what the creator of "Star Trek" really felt about the future...Too bad for all the "Trekies"

This holiday season the American Humanist Association has launched an aggressive campaign as a part of an ongoing strategy to address the Moral Argument for God's Existence. The Association, offering "Humanist Communities" that operate "much like a congregation" simply asks"Why Believe In God? Be good for goodness sake." One of the popular questions they pose to Christians and other religious folk is "Who said you and your religion had a corner on morality?" Also saying that humans can be "morally good" without religion and or God in particular.

Now, to those who have never thought critical toward their faith, these questions and assertions may pose some significant challenges to your understanding of God, morality and the bible. However, for those who have observed "good people" who never given their lives to Christ and subsequently lost their souls, we are reminded that the real object of Christianity was not to create a morally good person, but to redeem man from his defunct position of total depravity and the unrighteous condition of the heart, by providing salvation through means that man could not provide or attain on his own. The ability to be moral happens to be one of those communicable traits of God given to man at man's creation. It is one of those ways in which man has received the "image" or "likeness" of God.

  • Gen. 1:26- 27 ~ "26-And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27-So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."
  • Gen. 2:7 ~ "7- And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."

God is a moral being and communicates that morality to mankind. What is noteworthy here is that morality IS NOT salvation. Scripture acknowledges that a person can do good things but yet not have a heart right with God.

  • Luke 18:18-23 ~ "18-And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 19-And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. 20-Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. 21-And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up. 22-Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. 23-And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich."

In Luke's account of the "Rich Young Ruler" we find a person who is living a "morally good" life. This is a testimony which goes unchallenged by Jesus throughout the discourse. Although it is an argument from silence it is interesting to note that Jesus shifted his focus toward the spiritual deficiency of the young man instead of what he claimed was his moral good. His ineptitude was solidified in his confidence and adherence to materialism which was revealed in the form of money. The rich young ruler could not enter into fellowship and relationship with God because he was materialistically focused, self centered and unable to trust a non materially centered future. His problems were not a result of immorality but a result of his sin nature and miscondition of the heart.

In 1 Cor.13:3 ~ "3- And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing."

Apostle Paul acknowledges and reverberates the sentiments and teachings of Jesus when he points out that moral goodness without "love" as to indicate the love of God [which is an attribute of right relationship with God] does not provide that which is necessary to fulfill the non material aspects of one's existence In other words, one can give until they hurt themselves giving or doing good and it is a mere futile effort as it pertains to absolving or rectifying their sin problem. Paul later states that there is "no good thing" within the "flesh" (Rom. 7:18) indicating the human agency that is not in accordance to or subject to the Spirit of God and HIS standards is defunct. The Prophet Isaiah also states that human righteous (IE: common morality) is as a "filthy rags" (Is. 64:6).

So the Christian world view already acknowledges that one can be good for goodness sake, but that one cannot be saved or acceptable with God no matter how much good one does or performs.

Who Holds The Standard For Morality?

As Moses dedicated the altar to the Lord calling it Jehovah-Nissi in Exodus 17:15, as to indicate that the Lord was the rallying place or standard whereby the people of God have their victory, there can be no true morality without a moral standard bearer. In other words the morality of men, which is acknowledged by God, is only a weak representation of the morality and standards of God Himself. The morality of men offers no objective standard other than man's own subjective experience and cultural commemoratives.

With that said, it is interesting to note is that the atheist/humanist even acknowledges this standard, by declaring that there is a "good" to begin with. For one to simply be "good" indicates that one is aware of a certain thing called and acknowledged as "good". If all behaviors were equally as good then the atheist/humanist would be calling for hate as well as calling for love...for violence as well as calling for unrest, for war as well as calling for peace. Since we know that the atheist/humanist is only calling for higher standards of behaviours, we can simply deduce that the atheist/humanist within those statements also makes a sterling acknowledgement that there is an objective good, and that good is not merely a subjective construct. Therefore the humanist argument opens the door wide for a declaration of God as the Moral Law Giver and standard holder of all morality because we readily observe that man's standards of "good" are only based on his subjective understanding of what he calls "morally good" which is a derivative of the objective moral standards of God the Moral Law Giver.

This becomes a dilemma for the anti-God crew from the standpoint that we can all acknowledge that objective moral values exist, and murder, crime, infidelity etc. cannot be called "good". Therefore, morality is NOT based on subjective standards, but based on objective standards. A second dilemma is that neither Dr. Dawkins nor any of his anti-God, scientific friends have been able to locate a "moral gene" within a naturalistic scope of science. Dawkins comes close when he speaks of finding a "Meme", which he admits has NEVER been observed and cannot be located within the human body with current science. (My question is how did he find it to begin with?, ooh, maybe it was a revelation!)

Let's go back to the rich young ruler in Luke again. Notice v.18 when the young man acknowledges Jesus as "Good Master" therefore acknowledging a certain level "good" which according to the culture was a term reserved for God just as Jesus indicated in his response in v.19. But later he is disappointed because his standard, while being previously based on himself and self efforts, was short sided and unacceptable with God.

Summary Of The Moral Argument:

  1. If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.
  2. Objective moral values DO exist.
  3. Therefore God exists.

From Dr. William Lane Craig, "Why I Believe God Exists" as found in Geisler & Hoffman, "Why I Am A Christian: Leading Thinkers Explain Why They Believe" (Grand Rapids Baker Books, 1999)p.75.

In Part 2 we'll go deeper into this and demonstrate the results of atheism and humanism's flawed philosophies and its impact on education, criminal justice, homosexuality and societal ills in general.


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Friday, November 14, 2008

The Role Of The Church & Ministers In Crucial Times

Rom. 16:17-18 ~ "17-Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 18-For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple."

To the modern church, taking a stand for righteousness and calling the people of God to accountability has become "bashing" the church.

In response to the article I set forth on Magic Johnson's Denunciation of Prop. 8, and a similar article done by GCMWatch regarding related issues, the following comments were brought to our attention within the "so called" COGIC Forums on Yahoo. On a more personal note, I'm ashamed that these comments were in a "COGIC Forum" as to indicate (but not necessarily so) that these persons are members of the Church Of God In Christ. My saddnes comes partially because some of the comments wreak of biblical illiteracy. There are 2 comments that were of particular interest.
  • "...And I get you on the warning against false teachers, but I don't recall Paul addressing too many people directly, that he didn't have direct influence over.And many of the sites providing the information usually provide commenting sections that are out of control, just let people go crazy bashing others." ~ todd
It should be noted that neither The Dunamis Word nor GCM Watch have "gone crazy" or has "bashed others" The facts are that discernment and truth has been exercised in asking questions pertinent to current events and answers to questions posed have high implications for the church in general and individuals within the Body of Christ. It should also be noted that these topics and questions are widespread and the information has been made public in which people have exposed their own ideas and beliefs and as such have placed themselves upon the altar of public examination for Saint and sinner alike. In the first comment, noted above, the commenter says that he didn't see in the bible where "Paul addresses(ing) too many people directly"

Let's briefly look at who Apostle Paul addresses and why:

Acts 13:6-11 ~ Paul rebukes and blinds Bar Jesus (Elymas) for trying to stop, interfere and turn away Sergius Paulus from the gospel message and salvation.

Acts 16:18 ~ Paul rebukes and casts the devil out of an unammed woman publically for following his ministry in the wrong spirit and with the wrong intents.

Galations 2:11-14 ~ Paul tells the complete story (also found in Acts 15) of how he had to rebuke both Peter and Barnabas for straddling the fence on issues of salvation dealing with the gentiles and further points out that much of the trouble was because of Peter's indecision on the issue.

1 Cor. 3:1-4 ~ Paul rebukes the whole Corinthian church for being carnal and not living up to their spiritual inheritance.

1 Cor. 4:18-21 through 1 Cor. 5 (Chapter) ~ Paul speaks strong rebuke to the entire church for it's sins and ungodly associations.

1 Timothy 1:19 ~ Hymanaeus & Alexander are called out by name because they departed from the faith, made shipwreck, and were so ungodly that Paul excommunicated them from the church.

2 Timothy 1:15 ~ Phygellus & Hermogenes called out by name for turning away from the Apostle Paul and the gospel message of truth.

2 Timothy 4:10 ~ Demas is called out for "loving this present world" and departing from the faith.

2 Timothy 4:14 ~ Alexander The Coppersmith is called out because he had done "much evil" to Paul
Titus 1:10-16 ~ Paul rebukes the Judaizers who were trying to impose circumcision and the teachings of Moses on gentile believers. He refers to them as being unruly, and deceivers similar to how they criticized the Cretians to be.

Was the commenter right when he said, "I don't recall Paul addressing too many people directly" ? I would agree ONLY IF IT WEREN'T WRITTEN IN THE BIBLE.

The second comment of note comes from an "opinionator" that sees a political or social scheme and self-motivation behind everything that is said or done in the name of the Lord...WITH THE EXCEPTION OF HIS OWN WORDS:
  • "That's what I say too Princess. Take a gander at the "message" but also look at the one carrying the message to see what "glory" they are getting out of it. This website (Referring to GCMwatch) is no better than that mess G. Craige (Referring to EX Ministries) was doing!!! Don't get mad because other people are prospering in what you THINK you can do-find out where God wants you and keep your tail there!!! I don't have an issue with NOBODY nor do I have an issue with what people do in THEIR house, apartment, shack or shanty. I don't pay the bills there so what they do in it is their business. However, when you start pointing fingers and damning others THAT is when I have a issue. Other than that your business is yours. Just make sure your "closet" is clean before you try to clean somebody else's!!!" ~ Lester Demings
In one fell swoop Mr. Demings (WITHOUT POINTING FINGERS) accuses both GCM Watch and EX Ministries of irresponsible ministry, self glorification, and finger pointing and "damning" others. Then has the INSIGHT to suggest that neither of them know "what God wants of them" and that they are out of place. All this without wondering what's going on in their "shack or shanty" because that's certainly "nobody's business".

Titus 1:15 ~ "5-Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled."

What happens when the "shanty" doors come open and bones fall out of the closet and everything is made public knowledge for all to see. Should we point to or look at what we see or merely pretend that what we see is not there? Should the church remain silent while the world and community seeks and looks for direction? Or should we remain complacent and stone-faced in the middle of a serious whirlwind of confusion? The problem is that the man of god must know and be aware of his call. We weren't called to be businessmen, popular, socialites, actors and or movie stars. We were called by god to bring forth truth into a dying world and renew this lost generation through sound preaching, teaching and demonstration of the power of God.

Isaiah 58:1-2 ~ "1-Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. 2-Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God."

It would be much more simple and life would be easy if I or anyone speaking out on these issues and others simply would shut up and not say a word. obviously that would be the path of least resistance. It is also the path most often trod by individuals who don't hold the Kingdom of God in high esteem and the word of God as essential for life.

Can true leaders afford to hide when morality within the church and society is being challenged? I think not. This is the time to stand like never before.

Will there be a price to pay for being derelict in our duties and responsibilities in serving the community through the exposition of truth? YES...a price that many will not be able to afford. Only there will be no BAILOUTS and certainly no governmental assistance.

Are the comments real? Unfortunately they are. They certainly show no spiritual insight.

Are truly spiritual insights required? Only if a person was going to criticize another for their observations of calling another to spiritual accountability... ie: YES! If not, who then is irresponsible? Those calling the body of Christ to a higher level of accountability? Or those content in their sins and uncaring as to what the Bible actually teaches about holiness and personal responsibility?

My guess is that you already know the answer to that question?

Habakkuk 2:1-4 ~ "1-I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. 2-And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. 3-For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. 4-Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith."

Personally, I cannot be strengthened by an absentee leader. If you choose to be served by a Pastor or Bishop whom you must track down to receive insight and strength for the battle, you just may be in the wrong place. It was said that King David, if he were in the right place, at the right time, would have never had the "Bathsheba" experience that led to the death of Uriah and Bathsheba's first unnamed son. If all you can see is the beauty of Ps. 51 as a result then I guess you missed the whole point of the article and we need to pray.

(Once again, please excuse the spelling errors in an earlier version. God bless)

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Presidential Promises. Is The Church Ready?

Thank God that this site has comments and commentors that offer a somewhat profound points of view. When that's coupled with information highly valuable to the reading audience and the research that goes along with it, it becomes highly exciting to me.

For this post we offer "Kudos" and special regards to one of our commentors Corrie Richards who gave response to a particular comment on the post COGIC Member Fought Prop. 8 & Encouraged Gay Marriage. Corrie brings information to light which is to be highly considered as we move forward as a church and community of believers. She's also granted permission for this posting and I've added the pictures but the words are Corrie's in their entirity.

Anonymous, let there be no doubt about it - Barack Obama opposes Proposition 8 and encouraged people on more than one occassion to vote NO!

The following is a clear example of how he feels. This is a recorded message that came to MY personal phone from a Gay Marriage supporter on Nov. 3rd. Please note that the following is verbatim. I saved the message!(female voice)

"I'm, calling to set the record straight about what Barack Obama really thinks about Proposition 8; he opposes it. Don't just take my word, listen for yourself."

[in comes the voice of Obama himself]

"I've stated my opposition. I think it's unnecessary. When you start playing around with constitutions just to prohibit somebody who cares about another person, it just seems to me that that's just not what America is about."

[back to the female voice]

"So join Barack Obama, and vote NO on Proposition 8. Paid for by NO on 8."

I think that's pretty clear, don't you?

Additionally, we also know where Obama stands on abortion. The supportive Saints like to say, "He's not pro-abortion, he just believes in a woman's right to choose", But that's just mincing words! The question is, what do you say or do to communicate your real position? Here's a link that I believe shows just what actions Obama is willing to take in support of his true beliefs on abortion:

Click here: Barack Obama Presidential Promises to Sign FOCA

Here you will hear him say that the first thing he plans to do after his inauguration is to sign the Freedom of Choice Act. The Freedom of Choice Act (H.R. 3719/S. 2020) is a bill in the United States Congress which, if enacted, would abolish ALL RESTRICTIONS and LIMITATIONS on the right of women in the United States to have an abortion, whether at the State or Federal level. Well, now we also have his position clearly presented on abortions!

I understand that we Saints like to think positively about people, and we should always be ready to give others the benefit of the doubt. But with Obama, there's no reason for any of us to be in the dark about what he stands for - He's told us in words and deeds for several years now, and it's recorded all over the place for us to read and hear! We don't need to guess or "suspect" what he stands for. So let's stop being in the dark about our new President elect, and stop trying to put our thoughts in his head - as if he's really "just like us Saints in his views". This is not true, and believing what is not true will cause us to pray "amiss". We cannot dress him up in "Saints clothes" and pretend that he's really standing for the same thing we stand for. We must stop using our "holy imagination" about President-elect Obama's positions, and come face to face with who and what the Black Christian community really supported in this election, then seek God's help - for him and for us!

He is willing and able to help us if we come to Him humbly and honestly. (2 Chron. 7:14)
Corrie Richards ~ November 12, 2008 3:44 PM

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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

COGIC Member Fought Prop. 8 & Encouraged Gay Marriage

Thank God that in California the citizens, especially the African-American citizens stood up in favor of Proposition 8 and against gay marriage by over 70%.

Californians, thank you for your courage to stand against the flow and the threat of the gay community and for the benefit of both your children and mine. Future generations will laud your courage to stand against debauched and activist Judges who tried to superimpose their will and ignorance on the lives of the citizens of your state.

I also thank you all of you God fearing church goers and bible believers for not being as liberal as some would have us to believe and for being more biblically discerning sometimes than even many of your leaders. GOD BLESS YOU GREATLY AND WE STAND WITH YOU!

Now SAINTS, I have a hard time with this one for obvious reasons.What I couldn't believe is that one of the Proponents of gay marriage was a Church Of God In Christ member. In fact, I though he was a faithful steward and servant of his church, The West Angles Church Of God In Christ pastored by my Presiding Bishop Bishop Charles E. Blake. Not only that, but this gentleman was HIV Infected, obviously as a result of the disease that began within the homosexual community. Further because of his disease he quit his otherwise prolific basketball career. To my surprise I found that according to Marketwatch.com 11/1/2008 that COGIC member and basketball legend Magic Johnson lent his person and personality to the promotion of the defeat of Proposition 8 that has successfully banned gay marriage in the state.

According to the report, Magic's voice was heard in prerecorded phone calls saying :

"This is Magic Johnson calling to ask you to join me and Barack Obama in opposing Proposition 8. Prop 8 singles out one group of Californians to be treated differently - including members of our family, our friends, and our coworkers".... "That is not what California is about. So this Tuesday, vote no on Proposition 8. It is unfair and wrong. Thanks.

This whole thing is especially disheartening to me. I began to wonder, how do we as Pastors handle a member with a message carried outside of the church that is totally contrary to the message of the bible and to the message that we carry within the church? Then I began to wonder...What is the message carried by our Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake? In addition, how was Magic's promotion of gay marriage handled within the church? Remember this was a member who gave over $5 Million toward West Angeles's current building and edifice.

Now this is election year in the Church Of God In Christ and invariably someone will accuse me of trying to sidetrack the Presiding Bishop's chances at re-election. That's certainly NOT the case. He'll be re-elected no matter what I say, of this I am confident. There are at least two reasons that I am concerned.

1- Presiding Bishop Blake has long been committed to increasing the international ministries of COGIC, and has consequently founded "Save Africa's Children," an organization that has raised more than $6 million to assist more than 100,000 children affected by HIV/AIDS. These children by far and large a a result of the rampant disease that has demolished communities and devastated families. Common knowledge is that homosexual activity has contributed to this devastation. How could a leader this concerned about the welfare of these dear children sit silently while a member of his church destroys his work?

2- I do believe however, that it is up to the aged to teach the younger such as myself and I would like to learn so that if I'm ever presented with the same or similar circumstances I will handle the situation biblically.

To the Saints at West Angeles Church Of God In Christ, and various individuals that read this blog from time to time, please chime in on what Bishop said about the Proposition 8 issue and especially Magic's involvement in the promotion of the homosexual agenda if you know. From an objective standpoint of view I would like to know more.

All of this becomes very important in light of the fact that California's gay community has currently decided to take to the streets in protest of the MAJORITY decision to repeal gay marriage. Remember, gay marriage WAS NEVER A CONSTITUTION RIGHT, ONLY A COURT IMPOSITION FROM A COURT THAT OVERSTEPPED ITS AUTHORITY.

The Telegraph.co.uk.com 11-6-2008 reports that Lesbian advocate and Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), Kate Kendall (Pictured R with her spouse Tori and a man's baby -Zadie), has vowed "We pick ourselves up and trudge on," She also states, "There has been enormous movement in favour of full equality in eight short years. That is the direction this is heading, and if it's not today or it's not tomorrow, it will be soon."

In short, this struggle for the homosexual and lesbian is now about EQUALITY not sexual preference. EQUALITY not gender bending. What happens when the pedophile wants equality? Or the bigamist that wants equality? Or the necrophiliac that wants equality. What will we do? Pass a law or amend the constitutions of the states for them to feel EQUAL under the law?
Further revealing is the NCLR's mission statement which is as follows:
"The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education."

For the homosexual this is a human rights issue, to be recognized and condoned by the state, church and everywhere equally in society as if nothing is wrong with the sexual preference. This will take persistent advocacy as the homosexual agenda for societal inclusion and church inclusion is a persistent fight.
At either rate the church should continue to stand strong against the tide of gay marriage, homosexuality and gender bending. We can do that without discriminating in employment, housing and other liberties that are extended to American citizens. Only we do not wish our children to be indoctrinated into your world view as we believe that it is both, ungodly, unbiblical, and harmful to otherwise healthy families.


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Congratulations To Our First Black President...Let's Talk

CONGRATULATIONS are in order for the 44th President of The United States Of America, President Elect Barack Obama. Not only is President Elect Obama the soon to be 44th President but he is also the First Black person ever in United States history to hold the top political office.

I wish that I could stop there, and simply relish in an accomplishment for which there is no political parallel in the United States.

I wish that I could take the time and encourage all Americans that the United States is still the land of opportunity and that anyone can achieve and strive toward their goal and have success.

I wish that I could stop and simply say that the prayers of generations of individuals and people oppressed have been answered and fulfilled completely and that God in HIS good pleasure has exalted a person that shares the belief and dedication to the same God of the Bible that we know that sustained a race of people tossed to and fro for generations.
Unfortunately, I can take the time to do and say those things like I would like to, because if there is anything that this election has exposed, it is the weakness, misfocus and misdirection of the church at large and the African-American church in particular.
As a minister, this is my primary focus. As a Pastor, placing perspective on current events in light of the word of God is my charge. As a watchman on the wall, looking out beyond common foresight and beneath the surface of superficiality is my burden and gift.

In these days President Elect Obama will have the opportunity to speak to many of the mega-ministries that helped proliferate his success. Although I have no great congregation, or national presence or command of thousands, I am very involved in my family, church and everyday matters of my community. If I were able to speak to President Elect Obama, and if he were to take time with a small grass-roots minister such as me, I'm sure that we would discuss many things. There are a few things however, that have been disconcerting to both myself and many others over this election cycle and period. I probably would not enumerate all things, for fear of sounding like a pessimist, but I would begin with things that are of utter importance to the survival and welfare of America and in particular the Black Community of which the President Elect is a product.
I would do these things because God has called me to do so. In addition, I am at a loss because I have not heard the largest church organizations address you directly on any of the points that I would mention. Unfortunately I have not heard the mega-ministers such as Joel Osteen, T.D. Jakes, Eddie Long, Creflo Dollar, Joyce Meyer, Marilyn Hickey, Kenneth Copeland, Benny Hinn, Charles E. Blake, Rod Parsley and or others address these issues with you during this campaign or otherwise. I have not heard organizations such as The National Baptist Convention, The Church Of God In Christ, The Pentecostal Assemblies Of The World, The Methodist Church, The AME Church, The CME Church, The Higher Ground Assemblies, The Assemblies Of God or other organizations with their leaders address you, challenge you and require that you set forth a clear agenda in these areas. Such areas of initial interest include:
"But over the long haul, I think we make a mistake when we fail to acknowledge the power of faith in people's lives -- in the lives of the American people -- and I think it's time that we join a serious debate about how to reconcile faith with our modern, pluralistic democracy." ~ Senator Barack Obama "A CAll To Renewal" Washington DC 6/28/2006

Gay Marriage & Civil Unions:

I would begin by reminding the President Elect that although he has consistently stated that he does not feel that it is in the country's best interest to deny rights of civility upon same sex couples, I would remind you that in our system of representative government that you are constrained and must further listen to the consensus of the People Of The United States.

The people have spoken in during this election in over 7 states and have said that WE DO NOT WISH TO CONFER LEGAL AND MARITAL RIGHTS UPON SAME SEX COUPLES. Although this is challenging and contrary to your platform of gay inclusion, it cannot go without notice that much of your debate was fashioned around what the American people would decide that is right for themselves without CATERING TO SPECIAL INTEREST. We were already confident of the Bible's clear message in both the Old and New Testaments against the practice and sanctioning of homosexuality and same gender unions. Now, the American people have spoken through secular process that they do not wish to be brought under the domination and curse of practices that effect their children, schools and even existing marriages and family structures.

It is my reminder to President Elect Obama that we do not want you to change your fundamental approach by reversing tide and catering to the special interest of the homosexual lobby in the guise of civil rights. Not only would this be disingenuous to your understanding of societal laws and norms but, as persons of color, we should be highly offended at such an attempt to reconcile sexual preference with the color of skin or nationality. Further, the people have spoken that we reject the homosexual lobby's attempt to indoctrinate our children with gender bending psychology and realignment of traditional family values. those traditional values have proven to be the success of America and certainly pleasing to the God of the Bible.

To add further clarity to this argument it should be noted that according to WorldNetDailyNews.com on the same day in which you were exalted to the highest political office in the land, that American Citizens in Colorado, Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin have all adopted amendments to their States Constitution banning and prohibiting the recognition of gay marriages as an acceptable way of life or an American value. This is in addition to the pending ban by the state of Arizona, the additional 27 states that have already amended their States Constitutions to protect the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman, and the pending reversal of the activist actions of the California Supreme Court who violated the will of California's American Citizens and imposed their morality upon the entire state.

SignonSanDiego.com reports that "In the five months since the state Supreme Court tossed out an earlier ban on same-sex marriage ban approved by California voters eight years ago, about 18,000 couples have been married."..."Spending for and against the amendment has reached $74 million, making it the most expensive social-issues campaign in U.S. history and the most expensive campaign this year outside the race for the White House. A large share of the contributions for the measure came from members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."
In other words the Mormons were the greatest financial contributors to the fight AGAINST gay marriage in California. THANK YOU LATTER DAY SAINTS FOR STANDING WHEN OTHERS REFUSED TO STAND.

Abortion And A Right To Life:
"I may be opposed to abortion for religious reasons, but if I seek to pass a law banning the practice, I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church or evoke God's will. I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all."~ Senator Barack Obama "A Call To Renewal" Washington DC 6/28/2006

President Elect Obama, another circumstance that you have been consistent with, is your stance on abortion and abortion rights. While you were a Senator in Illinois you sided in every instance with abortion advocacy groups and even choose to to embrace the most vile form of abortion called Partial Birth Abortion. It is thoroughly documented that you were so firm in your belief that you refused to make an exclusion for the medical care of a child who survived abortion, leaving that living, and breathing child to die in the most inhumane manner ever imaginable.

At Saddleback Church, during this hard fought campaign Pastor Rick Warren asked you at what point does a baby receive human rights? You responded by saying this:

  • "Well, you know, I think that whether you're looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity, you know, is above my pay grade." Senator (Now President Elect) Barack Obama at Saddleback Church 8/17/2008.

I would simply point out that NOTHING IS ABOVE YOUR PAY GRADE FROM THIS POINT ON, and Pastor Warren's question deserves a clear, and straight forward answer from you. In fact I want you to look at this picture and tell me and our fellow American Citizens when and at what point did your beautiful daughters Malia and Sasha obtain their human rights? Did they have rights and were you protecting of them as humans as soon as you and the soon to be Fist Lady, Michelle Obama found out that she was pregnant with them, or did they ONLY have rights after they were born?
This is a question that I not only want to know but that your daughters and every American young person and adult must hear and know in order to rationalize your past, and know what to expect from you in the future.
I would like to stop there for a minute just to say that although all of America, has been devastated with the bad science and ultimate results of Roe v. Wade, that the community to which you are inextricably attached has suffered the most.
You see, I believe you already know that the Black community has suffered to the tune of 13 Million lost lives since that dreadful decision in 1973, and because of our lack of education, we currently kill our children at the altar of the Pro-Abortionist Lobby to the tune of 1,450 children per day. This has decreased not only the tax base of America in general, but it has reversed the Black population's ability to advance itself in numbers. In fact, it has been said, that the effect of this plague is so devastating that the death rate within the black population will exceed the birth rate for the first time in history in the near future. This translates to an enormous and insurmountable loss of human potential in solving societal problems, tax revenues to sustain our economy, and earnings potential to enrich families of a communities yet struggling from high unemployment and social injustices.
There is much more that I would like to discuss including the phenomenal incarceration rates of young black men that in states such as New Mexico exceed 33% of the black male populous. I would like to talk about the rise in HIV and other STD's among young Black Women in particular, I would talk about the failed education system that is unfortunately run from government central (which it should not be) and that has left our children behind educationally with an inability to compete for jobs in a global economy.
But most importantly President Elect Obama, I would like to remind you that the church belongs to God. It is neither your or mine but it is HIS and HE is the only one that directs it. The church is not meant to be ruled by current or popular opinion or entry or exit polls. It is solely governed by God and HIS WORD. That's why I would remind you of this statement, so we could discuss it and put proper perspective on it:
"Moreover, given the increasing diversity of America's population, the dangers of sectarianism have never been greater. Whatever we once were, we are no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers. And even if we did have only Christians in our midst, if we expelled every non-Christian from the United States of America, whose Christianity would we teach in the schools? Would we go with James Dobson's, or Al Sharpton's? Which passages of Scripture should guide our public policy? Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is ok and that eating shellfish is abomination? How about Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith? Or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount - a passage that is so radical that it's doubtful that our own Defense Department would survive its application? So before we get carried away, let's read our bibles. Folks haven't been reading their bibles." ~ Senator Barack Obama, "A Call To Renewal" Washington DC 6/8/2006
There is a long list of individuals who forgot exactly who was in charge down through history. From the Pharaohs, to Sennacherib, to Nebuchadnezzar, to Alexander to Antiochus Epiphanies, to Nero, to Napoleon, Karl Marx, to Joseph Stalin, to Hitler to even others that name themselves political and quasi-spiritual leaders, none of their efforts stood against God or HIS church. Please affirm that you will stand with the church and not against the hand and the power of the one who is mightier than all of the Presidents, Kings and Kingdoms of this world both past present and future...The Lord God Almighty himself:
Psalms 24 : "1-The earth is the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. 2-For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods. 3-Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? 4-He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. 5-He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. 6-This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah. 7-Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. 8-Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. 9-Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. 10-Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah."
Ephes. 5:27 ~ "27-That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."
Revelation 2:12-17 ~ "12-And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges; 13-I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. 14-But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. 15-So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. 16-Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. 17-He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it."

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Sunday, November 2, 2008

Are You Travailing In The Spirit?

I received this email in response to my Radio Invitation Post from what I consider to be a very astute responder.(by the way I will place the interview on the blog as soon as I am able) This was the comment:
"Pastor Burnett, is it just my imagination, or has something really serious happened to the church during this election? I have never seen so many mean spirited Saints as now. They use very awful names to refer to other Saints who are not voting for Obama. I actually heard one of our deacons say "in church" that he "can't stand that Palin" - even though she names the name of God just like he does. It is as if the Saints have been "gassed" or something. They refuse to hear ANYTHING negative about Mr Obama, but speak so awful about the others. I've even heard Pastors laughing about how Palin "claims to be some kind of Christian - Did y'all see that picture of her hanging in front of that house? ha ha ha! " Can you please give some perspective on this? I am so burdened by what I'm seeing. I can't help but believe that our leaders are going to pay a big price for some of the things they've done, condoned and said this year. Please address this if you can. Otherwise, I'll try to listen to your radio interview." ~ Corrie Richards Nov. 1st 5:26 PM
To Corrie and others that are feeling, witnessing and experiencing the same or similar things,
Your observations are exactly on point. The Spirit of the spiritual man/woman travails due to what is happening in the land. We are in the middle of a TOTAL paradigm shift of values and cultural change. This is similar to the D-Day invasion of WWII only in this case Christianity and it's principles are being overrun. Make no doubt that the CHURCH will prevail as Jesus promised but there is a sifting among leadership, followers and believers in the land.
John 16: 20-22 ~ 20-Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. 21-A woman when she is in travail (Tikto-metaph. to bear, bring forth) hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. 22-And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.

The leaders "so called" who have allowed and ushered in the deception of the ages and have also perpetrated lies in secret upon the people will cause our nation to pay the price for their sin, false leadership and indiscretion.

Isa. 9:16-17 ~ "16-For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed. 17-Therefore the Lord shall have no joy in their young men, neither shall have mercy on their fatherless and widows: for every one is an hypocrite and an evildoer, and every mouth speaketh folly. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still."

This has little to do with Barack Obama or John McCain for that matter. It has everything to do with leadership that has allowed the enemy to seduced the minds of the people with their assistance both actively by saying things such as you've witnessed and passively by creating an aura of silence. This has happened to many in the pulpit and to many in the the secular world by the masses. Additionally, so far as the church is concerned exclusively, this has everything to do with the apostasy and heretical teaching that has taken place within the realms and confines of what has traditionally been called "Holy". Our decisions are now being made based on personality, history, relationship, and association. Promises of grandeur, and being or becoming a part of history is often cited as the reasons to promote and stand by ideologies that we know, from minimal biblical reading, are absolutely contrary to the nature and will of God and totally destructive to the community at large and more specifically the black community in particular. The biblical basis for relationship is non-existent in most quarters and has been replaced by what one wishes or chooses to see and be engaged with, rather than by what is TRUTH without compromise.
In my upcoming book, Ministering Effectively, I actually deal with this very subject. As found and explained within scripture and referenced in the book of Revelation, it's called adherence to the "Doctrine Of Baalim" (Rev. 2:4). I wrote this:
"What has arisen is a doctrine of Baalim that is being taught by secular mega-stars and mega-church guru’s. This doctrine places saint and sinner on the same platform and receives from each fountain as it pertains to what "self" needs. This doctrine uses the bible as a means to an end with no consideration for adhering to the standards of it’s message. The doctrine of Baalim, blesses what God has cursed, reaps where it has not sown, and seizes control of spirits and minds by means of smooth talking, personalities that are larger than life promising great associations and fame. One thing is for sure, to follow the doctrine of Baalim ends in hopelessness, despair and utter destruction." ~ Pastor H. Burnett, "Ministering Effectively" 2008 Dunamis Publishing Pg. 22 [manuscript copy]
Similar to the tribe of Dan, (1 Kings 12: 25-33) today's church has erected it's own brand of Golden Calfs to replace the God of the Bible, and has offered sacrifice upon the alter of flesh, pride, arrogance and self-centeredness. The WORD of Truth within the church has become secondary to self-perceptions and social affirmations of the populace. Motivational speaking has replaced the gospel proclamation of truth and righteousness and declarations of "friendship" has become the gauge whereby ministry is judged among men.

So Corrie, you're not seeing things and you're not having some type of mental delusion. You are seeing plainly what many are refusing to see, because they are yet connected to this world, and similar to the "Matrix" would rather live apart from true spiritual reality.

What is interesting here is just like we travail over what is happening, the righteous are coming out with a new determination, a new dedication, and a new fruitfulness that will shape the future of their lives and the life of the community in which we exist. This is true decision time as the truth is being revealed. (read Psalms 91)

The questions are: will we continue to support and be a part of ministries that have allowed themselves to be overtaken and overrun by the enemy? Is it good enough for us to remain a part of apostate ideals and value systems as they have revealed themselves in many of our top leaders? These ideals and commentaries have arisen to reveal and illuminate the righteous as to who is actually a follower of Christ. Because there is a birth at the same time there is pain, those of us who see what is happening and understand what we are witnessing will run on to be the next generation of vessels fit for the master's use.

2 Tim. 2:19-21 ~ "19-Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. 20-But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. 21-If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work."

Yes this is a revealing time and Tuesday Nov. 4th will reveal even more than we see now. More so, the next few years will be further reaching and revealing as we experience an agenda that will be crafted by apostates and sealed with secularism.

Luke 22:31-32 ~ "31-And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: 32-But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren."

Sorry for an earlier version--I forgot to use spell-check-(LOL)

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