Muslim Eye Opener

Here is a perspective adapted from Dr. Peter Hammond’s book: Slavery, Terrorism and Islam:

Dr. Hammond was born in Capetown in 1960, grew up in Rhodesia and converted to Christianity.



The Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat:

Islam is not a religion, nor is it a cult. In its fullest form, it is a complete, total, 100% system of life.

Islam has religious, legal, political, economic, social, and military components. The religious component is a beard for all of the other components.

Islamization begins when there are sufficient Muslims in a country to agitate for their religious privileges. When politically correct, tolerant, and culturally diverse societies agree to Muslim demands for their religious privileges, some of the other components tend to creep in as well..

Here’s how it works:

As long as the Muslim population remains around or under 2% in any given country, they will be for the most part be regarded as a peace-loving minority and not as a threat to other citizens. This is the case in:

United States — Muslim 0.6%
Australia — Muslim 1.5%
Canada — Muslim 1.9%
China — Muslim 1.8%
Italy — Muslim 1.5%
Norway — Muslim 1.8%

 
At 2% to 5%, they begin to proselytize from other ethnic minorities and disaffected groups, often with major recruiting from the jails and among street gangs.
This is happening in:…

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BUT AFTER FURTHER REVIEW…A PASTORAL RESPONSE

Bishop Nathaniel W. Wells,

General Board Member, COGIC

Referee 1

     In sports a questionable call by a referee must be viewed by camera replay and the ruling can only be challenged by the results…after further review. The letter generated and placed on our website by select people in this administration was designed to deprive an Ordained Elder of his constitutional rights to a fair hearing for what was alleged to be inappropriate behavior directed toward leadership. However, after further review, the letter seeks to circumvent Scripture and by tone and spirit is a gross violation of the Constitution of the Church of God in Christ. The letter appears vindictive in tone and places this Elder in the role of chief offender. It seeks to recruit supporters that resemble a lynch mob and not a body of believers. If the church is a regime, this approach is in place. But after further review… I am compelled by conscience to seek the biblical approach that squares with what we believe historically.

     From earliest times in the Church of God in Christ, Scripture has been our rule for faith and practice. Controversy is not new to our church. Bishop Mason was sued and called names. Controversy comes with the challenges of being a leader.  However, as a leader we must never flagrantly demonstrate our anger through public action. We must not allow those who love us to break the rules by emotional reactions in order to support our position. Justice, love and reason must be the guiding norm for whatever response we make as leaders in a crisis. After further review…we have not followed Scripture to resolve the present conflict. In Matthew 18: 15ff. (MLV) Jesus admonishes, “If your brother should do wrong against you, go and show him his fault privately; in case he does not listen, take one or two along, so that from the testimony of two or three witnesses the whole dispute may be settled.”

Flag referee

     The Pastors and Elders Council, has the responsibility to invoke the Constitution when the rights of a pastor or Elder are violated. Neither approach has been utilized in the case of this Ordained Elder. It is morally and ethically wrong to pressure anyone either directly or indirectly to sign a letter against their will. An injustice to anyone jeopardizes and threatens the freedom of all of us. We must not yield to tyranny. I took a vow as a General Board Member to uphold the doctrine and ordinances of the Church of God in Christ. Let us seek those things that make for peace and unity in the Body of Christ. Repentance, prayer and fasting must be the key to uniting a divided people. After further review… I am bound by those commitments to God, the church and the voting constituency. I can do no other. The prayer of St Francis of Assisi comes to mind.

“Lord make me an instrument of Your peace, Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon, Where there is doubt, faith, Where there is despair, hope, Where there is darkness, light, and where there is sadness, joy…To be loved, as to love; For it is in giving that we receive– It is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.”

if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.http://theagora.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/But-After-Further-Review___.pdf

(2 Chronicles 7:14, NKJV)

(But After Further Review…)

Why We Must Get Along: Biblical Reconciliation Part 2

Charles E. Morgan, MSW, M.Div.

 

Jesus Christ hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation”…2 Corinthians 5:19   Reconciled means to bring into agreement or harmony; to restore to communion; to restore to friendship, compatibility Paul informs us that God first reconciled His Saints to Himself! Then He entrusted us with the “ministry of reconciliation”, to “reconcile the world to himself!” In order to be reconciled with God, we must first “be reconciled” with one another. Only then can we be effective ambassadors to the world. I find the 2014 international theme of the Church of God in Christ somewhat provocative: “We are called to minister and witness to a deeply distressed and troubled world,” It points to the “ministry of reconciliation” that God “hath given to us.” God has reconciled us to Himself and charged us to do the work assigned us in both the Great Commission in Matt 28: 16-20 and in Acts 1:8, in both of which passages Christ’s Church is called to seriously be about the ministry of “reconciliation,” evangelizing, harmonizing, restoring the world to God.

 What better time than during the liturgical season of Advent (coming) to focus and reflect on reconciliation. Advent is the first of the seven seasons on the ecclesiastical calendar, which always begins four Sundays before Christmas Day. Advent is when we celebrate God’s visit to the earth as the Prince of Peace, Emmanuel, God with us. What a wonderful mandate we have, to witness to the deeply distressed and troubled world in which we live. God has given us a charge worthy of our LORD; a mandate to be ambassadors, reconciling humanity to its Creator. And O how desperately the world needs reconciliation to its Creator! The list of examples is inexhaustible. We find evidence of the need for true reconciliation all over the planet.

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Biblical Reconciliation Part 2

Can’t We All Get Along?…Biblical Reconciliation: Part 1

                                             Pastor Charles Morgan

 If I had the gift of being able to speak in other languages without learning them, and could speak in every language there is in all of heaven and earth but didn’t love others, I would only be making noise…Even if I had the gift of faith so that I could speak to a mountain and make it move, I would still be worth nothing at all without love I would only be making noise.” First Corinthians 13:2 (LAB)   Rodney King uttered the words in our title as a plea for sanity as Los Angeles experienced a racial holocaust over a Grand Jury verdict exonerating Simi Valley police officers in 1991. Over this last month, as a Pastor in the Church of God In Christ, I have done much reflection on the exchanges between Evangelist Dr. Earl Carter and Presiding Bishop regarding the message on Saturday night of our 2014 Convocation. Other voices have joined in the conversation. To our dismay the wrong message went viral across social media and many of us are bearing the brunt of embarrassment and mockery in the public square.

 First of all I unequivocally love the Church of God in Christ! There is no other Church in the world in which I would rather serve and I am Godly proud of its leadership. Whatever I state is in no way intended to be disrespectful to the leadership of the great legacy of Charles Harrison Mason. We are all capable of making errors of judgment. Paul lets us know in Gal. 2:11-21 that he openly confronted the leadership of the first century Church when they were clearly at fault. He writes in v. 11But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.” And further, Luke makes us aware of a conflict between Paul and Barnabas that he describes in Acts 15:39-41, saying “the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus…v.40 And Paul chose Silas, and departed, …v.41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches.”(KJV) They “literally” traveled in opposite directions.

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Can’t We All Get Along?

Funeral Arrangement for a Dying Church Part 1

 

                                     (A Prophetic Challenge to the Faith Community)

         Bishop Martin L. Johnson

 

Death is inevitable whether it be persons, movements or institutions, it is a part of life. A little over five decades ago a movement labeled death of God theology emerged. This theological movement contended that belief in the traditional theistic God was absent and new ways and language about God was needed. Main proponents of this radical theology were Gabriel Vahanian, Paul Van Buren, William Hamilton, John A.T. Robinson, Thomas J.J. Altizer, John D.Caputo and Rabbi Richard L. Rubenstein. For them God had been reduced to a historical process and a renewed experience of deity was needed for modern humankind. The God-is-dead movement died, and rarely is it mentioned except in an academic course. This is adequate testimony that in many instances, death has its say, even with theological movements.

     While death is a part of the human-biological process, it is not a reality to which persons eagerly look forward. We are informed by the experiences of those who lived before us that the impending biological process will ultimately take its course and that those of us who are alive will eventually encounter the final denominator of life, death. It is rather encouraging that in recent years we have witnessed phenomenal strides in death and dying issues. While I am not an authority on euthanasia, I am informed that a slow death is in fact more traumatic and anxiety-producing than a sudden death. For in a sudden death one has less time to suffer and agonize over what will happen. During the period of a prolonged death one has options. In a hospice where palliative care is provided, one has the choice of pain medication, therapeutic exercises, counseling, bargaining, grief or accepting the inevitability of their demise. Nations, communities and even institutions, including the church resort to denial. Denial says, “It is not happening to us.” During the denial stage we tend to exhibit behavior that suggests to our significant others that we are okay, only to experience the calamity, of certain death.

     The supporting text for this brief reflection is Jeremiah, 9:17-19, which suggests a specific admonition to the impending reality of national death. For years we have utilized this passage as a divine call to revival. Contextually, the mourning, cunning and wailing women were only called or summoned in the event of a death. For the women designated in the text were members of a professional guild of mourners tasked with the function of mourning where there was a shortage of bereaved relatives. Indeed these were professional mourners. Jeremiah views this apparent cultural reality as having prophetic significance and inserts it into the message of his time to dramatize the dire straits of Israel’s tragic situation. While Israel appeared to exist as a nation, the prophet speaks with a strong sense of urgency of its imminent demise and proceeds to call for funeral arrangements. The Nation is dead with no one left to mourn its demise. (I Timothy 5:6.[KJV] ”But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.”) I am inclined to state the obvious: funeral plans are not appropriated until death has occurred.

     While the notion of a “funeral arrangement” is used in a metaphorical sense I am compelled to speak prophetically. The Church has always had its Prophets and Priests, even though their roles and tenure varied. While the Priests spoke to God for humankind, the Prophet spoke to humankind for God. Additionally, the Priests lived long enough to retire but the Prophet died on the job. The role of the Prophet was a significant one in Ancient Israel in the sense that it called attention to the current and impending condition of the nation. The Prophet Jeremiah fulfills that role during the dark and final days of Judah’s daunting history. This pre-exilic Prophet lived during what was Judah’s final days as a Nation. It was his sad duty to announce to the Nation her impending death, by citing a funeral practice as an analogy and metaphor to describe Israel’s potential future. Because of the religious and political situations evident and the imminent political catastrophe, the Prophet Jeremiah utilizes a commonly practiced cultural and religious ceremony well understood in Judah.

Judah is now in the Land of Promise. She has long rejected theocratic rule. She has experienced many years of nationhood under Saul, David and Solomon. She has had a number of cross-cultural encounters, military engagements, and has been challenged religiously by alien gods and ritualistic practices that were totally different from the God of their fathers: Abraham, Isaac and Moses. Judah gradually forsook, the God of deliverance from Egypt, and from those nations in whose land she dwelt and gradually became servants of strange gods. It was the denial and rejection of Israel’s God that led to the demise of the Nation. Jeremiah chapter nine (9) capsules the alarming predicament in which the Nation found itself; imminent invasion, deportation and amalgamation into captivity. No one is exempt from the judgment of God, not even churches and denominations. We are all under judgment which begins at the House of God according to First Peter 4: 17.

     There are obvious signs of dying institutions and all livings things. When institutions are dying they resort to outside help; when institutions are dying they begin crash planning sessions; when churches are dying they interject programs but no progress, motion but no movement, numbers but no vision, things but no substance, bureaucracy but no bounty and, quantity but no quality. They suffer loss of identity. The loss of a social club within a particular community is not really serious. When a church dies it is major. One sign of the imminent death of a church is a gradual departure from the foundational tenets of one’s faith. Psalm 11:3 (KJV) “If the foundations be destroyed what can the righteous do?” Death is imminent:

   When Spiritually is Faked

When we place Programs above People

When we Worship the Creature above the Creator

                 When Ethics, Moral Principles and Standards become Secondary

                         When Ritual Replaces Righteousness

                               When Revivals become Fundraising

                                     When we Lose Our Voice as the People of God

 

SHOULD WE CALL THE MORTICIAN ?


Bishop Martin L. Johnson is guest columnist for The Agora Blog for September 8 the week of the celebration of the Founder of the Church of God in Christ, Founding Chief Apostle Bishop Charles Harrison Mason. His brief reflective tome challenges and stretches us toward the high road if we are to be relevant in our time. He is no stranger to the academy having graduated from the Interdenominational Theological Seminary as a Mason Seminary student. He ranks among the top tier of graduate students that I have taught, having completed extensive doctoral studies in Education/History at New York University. Retired as a Colonel having served as a Commissioner of Chaplains for the Armed Forces Institutional Chaplaincy. Bishop Johnson is the senior prelate of the First Jurisdiction of New Jersey and pastor the Mt. Olive Church of God in Christ in Neptune, NJ. He has authored several books including Stony the Road We Trod: David Walkers Concept of Freedom and Theological Approaches to Pastoral Care; Is Anybody Listening?First Publisher (Available in Bookstores nation wide)     Chief Editor; Dr. Leonard Lovett www.theagora.net