Two weeks ago, hubby and I were attending church services at Grace Church in Tulsa. Mario Murillo was a guest speaker (Mario Murillo Ministries). Right from the pulpit (which is really the whole stage-kind-of-thing) he used the words “our Constitution.” He did! Like a tornado bearing down I heard the roar. My mind echoed “Patriot Pastor,” but Murillo did not use those words. It wasn’t an echo, but a hope. Will Grace become a “Patriot Pastor” church – maybe in the style of the Black Robe Regiment? I don’t know. I have no doubt that Grace is a patriotic church, conservative believing, and Bible teaching. We’ve only been attending for a few months. We like it. Pastor Robb Yandian is one of the best I’ve ever heard, maybe the best. And I really liked hearing “our Constitution” spoken of, and approved by, the leadership.
PULLOUT QUOTE: Having said that, I do believe you need to know I never pick a political fight with Barack Obama. He came after me. Now he started it, but God’s going to finish it.~ Mario Murillo
Why does it matter? It matters because without Constitutional politics, the many may stay ignorant. The ‘many’ need teaching on our founding, quoting our Founders, explaining why we have the religious freedom we have, the importance of our Rule of Law, and what happens when an administration is lawless
Without knowing, how do we defend our faith? From behind a closed door? Whispering our prayers under our covers at night? Shining the light of tolerance in public, zipping our lips, rather than witnessing the truth of liberty that allows each of us to choose our own consequences?
Without hearing about government from the pulpit, how will non-denominational churches fight against the Goliath represented by the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the National Council of Churches (NCC)?
So right now, I’m hearing you say, oh no, she’s talking about the NCC again. How divisive. If that is what you’re thinking, you should learn more about the NCC. Do you know they boycotted Hobby Lobby for its stance on abortifacients? Do you know the NCC opposes so-called “Christian Zionists?” Do you know the NCC thinks the United Nations is just swell? Do you know the NCC advocates for gun control? Do you know in 2009 the NCC wanted diplomatic relations with Iran? Do you know the NCC believes in sanctuary cities and its ministries are “seeking” to “enhance” neighbors who are sometimes “aliens?” Do you know that when you give to, or tithe to, your NCC-member church, a part of you money funds the National Council of Churches? (from my May 2014 post – much more here. I’ll hope you’ll read it.)
How often do you go to their websites? Here’s a sampling from NCC InterFaith Policy Statement:
6. The USA’s history has not always been marked by tolerance or inclusivity. Religious liberty and freedom developed here only slowly, despite the protections of the First Amendment to the Constitution. Early visions of that freedom were (and unfortunately still are) often infected with triumphalism and racism. We must confess that Christians participated in attempts to eradicate indigenous peoples and their traditional religions. We must acknowledge the complicity of many of our churches in slavery, a system in which most African Americans were prohibited from practicing Islam or African traditional religions.
Isn’t that an echo of Obama’s Cairo speech? It’s close.
Now think about that? Where is Islam dominate, anywhere in the world, with the people practicing Islam because they choose to do so? The answer is: no where on earth.
In African countries, where we send our money and our devoted mission talent to help dig wells, distribute our mosquito netting, school books, love and tenderness for the children and their mothers, why is it never enough? Government aid sends BILLIONS, every year, year-after-years. It’s never enough because the leaders, the warlords, take these things from the people. The people can’t keep enough of anything to make much of a difference. Most of the warlords are Islamic, but not all. The people cannot escape, but we are to “respect” the doctrine of their oppressors. It boggles the mind.
In No. 7., the Policy champions “the increasing willingness of Americans to make religious commitments outside their tradition of birth.”
Isn’t that something? A believer in Christ and our salvation, the National Council of Churches, thinks it’s so nice that Americans are deciding for faiths other than the one Christians believe is the ONLY faith that forgives sins and provides an eternity, all your sins are forgotten. –– the opportunity to be one with the Almighty is there for us, but for no other religion.
Which countries come to mind when one considers the world’s worst human-rights violators? China, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Iran and North Korea are some of the usual suspects when listing places where religious persecution and denial of basic liberty are rampant. Why, then, have four of the most prominent mainline Protestant denominations (and two ecumenical bodies) repeatedly cited both the United States and Israel as the worst perpetrators of human rights? A new report, released in September by the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD), probes into the discrepancy.
The United Methodist Church, the Episcopal Church U.S.A., the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A), the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the National Council of Churches, and the World Council of Churches were all extensively surveyed in the IRD report, Human Rights Advocacy in the Mainline Protestant Churches (2000-2003). Researchers at IRD tracked the criticisms made by each body, and compared them to Freedom House’s 2004 human-rights assessments, made on a three-tier system “free,” “partly free” and “not free.”
Of the 197 criticisms made during the four-year survey, the bodies directed 37 percent at Israel and 32 percent at the United States, over two-thirds of all criticisms. The remaining 31 percent were distributed among 20 other nations. In addition, they made three out of four criticisms against nations described as “free” by Freedom House, and condemned only five of the 15 world’s worst human-rights offenders.
“Mainline churches” are the members of the National Council of Churches. I believe when you are a member of one of the mainline denominations, at least two percent of what you put in the collection plate goes to the National Council of Churches. They are lobbyists too, with headquarters in Washington, D.C.
The United Nations has designated Israel the worst human rights offender on the planet. The only democracy in the Middle East, with a small sliver of land that has blossomed under it’s democracy, and the National Council of Churches stands behind Palestine, and calls us Zionists.
We need Pastors unafraid to talk about the problems of Israel and Palestine. Israel has agreed to a two-state solution over and over. The issue that means the most to them, is being acknowledged as having the right to exist where they are planted right now. Muslims will NEVER agree to that. We need to hear this from our churches. Yes, it’s complicated, but it is understandable, simple really, with just some study and ignoring the politically correct portion of your brain, in search of the truth.
We need more than Pulpit Freedom Sunday, one Sunday a year. Are pastors afraid their congregations will walk out when government is discussed? If so, then let them go, because we need freedom from the pulpit every Sunday. The IRS has never (yet) removed tax-exempt status from churches. They’d like to, and every year we find the news “breaking” again, but are we willing to be bought and paid to keep quiet? Besides, what a hornet’s nest. Every black church in the nation would be in trouble because politics in the pulpit is a religion for them, whether conservative or liberal.
These are things perpetually-church-going, pot-lucking, small-community Christians know little about unless they are news junkies. For many, it’s a matter of turning the other cheek, tolerance, total acceptance and willingness to embrace that you are an infidel. You don’t practice Islam, and at this moment no one will tax you or kill you. Besides, that’s only their doctrine and they don’t really mean it. Or maybe you believe it isn’t in their holy book, but you are wrong. It is, and that’s why you see it played out on this ugly stage called terrorism. You accept it, walk out the door and head for breakfast at iHop. And, really, they don’t mean it.
We need to hear what “separation of church and state” really means. It doesn’t mean that “In God We Trust” should be removed from our currency to be fair to unbelievers.
From the pulpit, I’d like to hear the numbers of Christians persecuted and murdered for their faith, every month. The stats are easy to find. Visit Gatestone Institute (December 2014) and prepare to be shocked. Scroll down past the beginning points to get to the meat of the matter. Look at the monthly archives at the bottom.
To get back to Pastor Mario Murillo’s sermon, I judged his theme to be “our words are our weapons.” “Our words are an “aiming device,” and they “have special powers.” While we are speaking, we should be “seeking a target.”
“Somewhere along the time that we invented Christian television and theraputic Christian preaching, we began to disassociate ourself from the directness of the church and the pain of the world. We lost our nation in the process. You see, it is fashionable today for us to believe that we should never speak out against the government. That is faulty theology…
To take the verse, ‘Judge not, that ye be not judged’ and abuse it into silence, in the face of immorality, is absolutely wrong. What Jesus taught was, ‘don’t judge someone else for a sin that you, yourself, are guilty of’…Once you remove the sin from your eye, then you see clearly. I see clearly. Our Constitution is being trampled. Our freedoms are being robbed and the future of our children is being stolen from us. It is the job of every child of God to speak from a clear conscience, in love, about what’s going on. Having said that, I do believe you need to know I never pick a political fight with Barack Obama. He came after me. Now he started it, but God’s going to finish it. ~ Mario Murillo, portions from audio of his 9/2/11 sermon at Grace Church
Murillo pointed to the importance of the story of the Biblical Esther. She was Jewish, raised by a cousin, Mordechai. Esther was summoned to the palace of the King of Persia, King Ahasuerus, also known as Xerxes. He was looking for young virgins to take as a wife after his divorce. He chose Esther, without knowing that she was a Jew. Her cousin Mordechai held a position we don’t quite understand, but he sat outside the palace gates. When Xerxes appointed Haman as his “vizier,” the job of informing the King of the things a King needs to know about the condition of his kingdom, Haman demanded that Mordechai kneel to him. Mordechai refused, and eventually said he was a Jew. Haman informed Xerxes of this heinous behavior of disrespect, and said there were other in the land like him (meaning Jews) that needed to be purged from society. Xerxes apparently didn’t quite understand the full mission of Haman to kill all the Jews in Persia. Mordechai learned of the plot and warned Esther.
Mordechai had a message for his niece: don’t think because you are the Queen, you will escape Haman’s persecution.
For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but and your father’s family will perish. And who know but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14
The time had come for Esther to use her words as a weapon, but it was against the law for her to approach the King without being summoned. She asked Mordechai to gather the people, to pray and fast for her, and she would go to the King. She said, “...and if I perish, I perish.”
She didn’t perish. She told King Xerxes she was a Jew, and of Haman’s evil plan. The Jewish population was saved. Haman was hanged from gallows he constructed for Mordechai. Mordechai took over Haman’s job –– because neither Esther nor Mordechai stayed silent in the face of evil.
As Mario Murillo said, “our words are our weapons…we are weapons in the hands of God.” “It is time that Christians come out of the Christian Witness Protection Program” that we have practiced through a type of Christianity that I [Maggie] have called Health, Wealth and Prosperity preaching, but now seems to be known as Seekers, or Seeker churches. “Seeking” to find those who understand us, the abuses we inflict on ourselves. I had to laugh when Murillo said, so many say “my wife doesn’t understand me.” His retort was, “Nobody understands you. If you’re part of the human race, you’re messed up, but somebody died for you.”
I believe the intimation is that these churches seek to be your psychologist –– make you feel better about the world and speak quietly with big smiles about tolerance, and following our country’s leaders without giving any thought to the path we’re taking. Just be happy. Just be tolerant. Don’t worry about anything. No bother with conflict, please.
Another thing, Murillo said: He is using the word “converting” in his ministries::
“We are converting from Islam to Christ…from drugs to Christ…from darkness to light.” “We use the word conversion, and when we started using it, an element returned to our meetings that is rare today: conviction….We formally today, end the Christian apology tour in the United States of America.
Consider this from Pastor Murillo’s sermon at Grace:
We are the one religion where all the rules were flipped upside-down. From Hinduism and Buddhism and Islam, and every other ‘ism,’ including Scientology, which was made up in a bet in a bar in London.
Whatever religion you can talk about, there is a key element to it. I’m going to embrace this ethos, this creed, this belief system in order to get over personality traits and anxieties that I have. In other words, it’s innately about escape. That’s why so many religions built monasteries. That’s why so many of them detached from the world, sit in the Lotus position and wake up their third eye. The very nature of religion, from the very beginning was, I need an opiate that will help me deal with life.
Until Jesus, and he stood between us and the Father and said these words: ‘I pray not that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.’ We are the one religion.
We [Christians] are the one religion that does not teach escape, but confrontation. Our faith grows stronger in the face of atheism. Our faith gets clearer in the face of intellectualism…we are the one that when we are confronted…,[at this point, he wandered off in another direction].
We are also a religion that has no promise of seventy-two virgins awaiting our men.
So, I’ve traveled from Grace Church in Tulsa to Patriot Pastors, The Black Robe Regiment, health and prosperity, seeker churches, to the downright evil (my opinion only) of the World and National Councils of Churches, to a great sermon delivered in Tulsa by Mario Murillo Ministries located in California (and maybe other locations.) I hope you will think about some of this, and I’d love to hear your opinions, because I know many of my readers are of the same mind.
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