Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tomorrow Is Coming... Today

To add a bit more to the point that I was making in a post from last week, titled It Could Happen Tomorrow, I've posted the latest video that I've seen that depicts more of the same. In San Francisco, a small group of Believers that have gone to this "gay area" of town to walk the streets and worship for quite some time encounter some major retaliation. From what a guy that was there told me before I saw the video, the gays became irate and even went as far as pouring hot coffee onto the Christians, as they beraded them with obscentities and perverse gestures. What this video shows is the latter stages of it all, as the police arrive and basically escort the Christians out of the neighborhood, while the gay mob pursue and make their point well known. (Warning: video contains some graphic language.)



Again, I want to make sure all understand why I'm bringing this to light. I'm not anti-gay, I'm pro God. I'm not some advocate promoting anything or attempting to make some political stand. Nor am I attempting to shock and scare Believers. My purpose is simple - we must be awake and aware of what is coming, and in fact is already here. A time will come when our comfort zones will disappear. Your cozy church campuses will no longer be safe havens where only you and yours abide in your own little world. The wheat and the tares will soon be separated!

Are you ready to be persecuted for your faith? Are you ready to be the minority? Are you ready to be publicly mocked and put to shame in the eyes of men? Am I? It is time for all Believers to solidify who or what is really their source and strength. No thing and no one, apart from what it is rooted in the LORD, will be able to stand when all around begins to crumble. I urge you, today, take another step to pull up any and all roots that you have in this world. Be planted deep in the Kingdom of God that cannot be shaken.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why are christians going into the gay community? what do they expect is going to happen, that the gay folks are going to invite them in for coffee? I am not gay, and I don't care who is and who is not. I suppose God will judge me for that. WHat would christians do if gays, muslims or any other group came into their community? I don't think they would like it, actually I know they would not. I am not saying that christians would act the same way, but they would not like it. Christians need to wake up and realize that they are not going to "convert" every single person to believe what they believe, why? Because most of them are hypocrites, what business do they have telling someone how to live their life? The idea that christians think that they can do anything they want and say that it is God's will is exactly one reason some people, even other christians (like myself), is turned off to organized religion. To prove my point, I am willing to bet that a few readers of this response has already said to themselves that this response (me) is not christians. Clean out your own closet before trying to clean out somebody else's.

Joel Spencer said...

Anonymous: Thanks for commenting. For starters, we don’t know their purpose, intentions, motives, etc. With that said, I find it interesting that you’re basically saying they had it coming – the territorial nature within the US is becoming quite alarming to me. The hypocrisy that you mention, while valid in most pockets of mainstream Christianity, does not speak for all Believers. While much of “the church” has basically said, “don’t come here” to the gay community, that doesn’t mean that all Christians feel that way. In fact, I think much could be gained by both parties just calming down and sharing how they really feel (an unlikely proposal in most cases, I know).

Sadly, the hypocritical church that you reference represents all of Christianity to most of the world. The reality however is, it is not Biblical Christianity and many, like myself, don’t ascribe to it. Although I don’t personally know those in the video that were being run out of the “gay community”, I do believe that they have the right to be there, should they choose – just as any gay or lesbian should likewise be welcomed into a “Christian community” (and we know that there are plenty). I know that many groups such as those in the video often walk speaking the Word of God and declaring His lordship over this nation – including communities where they may or may not be welcome. I see no issue with that whatsoever, if all is approached with no ill intent or judgment – and only the individual knows this. God’s Word is the final say and I will stand on it alone, no matter what it looks like.

With all of this being said, my point is the fact that persecution is coming – whether justified in man’s eyes or not. It may now only be in “defense”, but this will not always be the case. Tribulations will likely be coming to true Believers from the most unlikely of places.

Jeffrey E.W. said...

Wow! I don't think anyone could direct a more accurate modern day episode of "The men of Sodom."

Notice in Genesis how Lot tried to play "peacemaker" and negotiate with the men, even offering a pretty large carrot(wrong kind though) which only further ticked-them-off. According to the men Lot was "judging" them and now they were going to treat him even worse.

I don't think we are quite there yet, but the scales are now almost equalized and getting set to tip in one direction.

NINA said...

ANOTHER GOOD BLOG.THOUGH I HAVE TO CORRECT ONLY ONE THING. PERSECUTION IS NOT COMING. PERSECUTION IS ALREADY TAKING PLACE! IT HAPPENED SO GRADUALLY WE DID NOT SEE IT COMING AND MANY STILL DON'T SEE WHAT IS RIGHT BEFORE THEM. IT IS KIND OF LIKE MY WEIGHT DURING THE WINTER MONTHS (LOL). I PUT A LITTLE ON HERE, A LITTLE THERE, BEFORE I KNOW IT SUMMER IS HERE AND I NEVER REALIZED THAT I WAS FAT UNTIL I TRIED TO WEAR LAST YEARS CLOTHING.ITS TIME FOR US TO DO A WEIGH IN SO WE CAN SEE THE BIG PICTURE. OUR SOCIETY HAS BECOME FAT WITH IMMORALITY. WE CALL IT FREEDOM, BUT THE BIBLE CALLS IT BONDAGE. ITS TIME TO MAKE SOME DECISIONS.CHOOSE YE THIS DAY WHO YOU WILL SERVE. WE CAN NO LONGER STRADDLE THE FENCE THAT STANDS BETWEEN TRUTH AND LIBERALISM IN ORDER TO BE POLITICALLY CORRECT."NO SERVANT CAN SERVE TWO MASTERS;FOR EITHER HE WILL HATE THE ONE AND LOVE THE OTHER,OR ELSE HE WILL BE LOYAL TO THE ONE AND DESPISE THE OTHER. YOU CANNOT SERVE GOD AND MAMMON." LUKE 16:13 TO THE AUTHOR, KEEP UP THE GOOD WORKS. PEOPLE DON'T WANT TO HEAR TRUTH BECAUSE THE TRUTH HURTS. BUT IT ALSO HEALS!

Like a Mustard Seed said...

I too am a little curious as to why people were walking around there, as if that would realistically accomplish anything. To me, stuff like that seems to be more of a publicity stunt than anything, sort of like the lady waving around her huge cross in the previous video you posted. I don't see the point of such actions. I've yet to meet anyone who met Jesus as the result of seeing a someone wave a protest sign, or having someone parade through their neighborhood.

I do believe that persecution is coming, (it exists today all over the world...) but I don't know if I'd consider this an example of "real" persecution. Kind of like if you tried to pet a wild racoon or something, you can't really complain if you get bit...

There are people right now being dragged out of their own homes, beaten, imprisoned, and killed simply because they believe in Jesus. They'd consider it a good day if all they had to endure was some shouting and a little hot coffee...

Joel Spencer said...

Jeffrey: "We're not quite there yet" - you're right. Things are changing.

Nina: As the title of the blog states, I too believe that it is today.

Mustard Seed: While I understand your point, my goal is to shed light on the fact that there is now a level of agression that has not previously existed here in the West regarding Christianity. I'm not insinuating or making light of those persecuted to such incredible lengths as to which you referred.

I don't know about you, but I've not been attacked or truly beraded for my beliefs - just cause or not. I'm not here to validate or endorse anyone's actions - I'm simply attempting to make people aware that I believe persecution is coming - I'm not here to define what we're seeing now is and what it is not. Does that make sense?

Thanks for your input.

Like a Mustard Seed said...

Completely understood. I think my remarks were more in response to the shocked reactions of some people to your posts, rather than your posts themselves. I agree that persecution is coming. However, I think that often what is labeled "persecution" in this country is often the result of people just being obnoxious. I know we're not here to split hairs over what "real" persecution is, but I do know that the bible talks about there being a difference between suffering for our faith in Christ, and suffering for our own sin. I think much of what transpires in this country by "evangelicals" who stage their protests and rallies, (and "prayer-walks"...) is more akin to the Pharisees surrounding the prostitute, with their stones in hand, than anything Jesus did.

I think much of the anger we see in groups like the homosexual community towards Christianity, is due to the fact that they, for the most part, are not engaged by Christians who portray themselves as being just as sinful. Christians tend to see their sin as somehow filthier, or more shameful, than the sins we've all been delivered from. In some ways, I can understand their anger, because they feel looked down upon by people who come across as thinking they are "pure", because they've never sinned in that way.

The fact is we are all equally wretched at the foot of the cross, and we have not communicated that to the society in which we live. In some ways, we are tasting the fruits of our own mistakes. It saddens me that people are reacting to something that often isn't even a true representation of the gospel....

Mike and Barb said...

God says Ro 12:14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. I agree that persecution is here already maybe not extreme persecution for most but that does exist in other areas of the world. I think the time is coming and although we do not know what the reasons for these christians being in this homosexual community were, the fact of the matter is they had as much right to be there as any homosexual. Unless of course it is private property. Thats just basic freedom there and needs to be treated as so. That aside: I think that if not handled properly and if it is not done in complete love that it can do more harm than good. I do believe that a homosexual needs to hear the truth about their sin but more so they need Jesus and need to hear about Jesus Christ and the true gospel. Christ does the changing not us. I know this blog is more about persecution and so back to that I do believe this was a form of such. It may not be extreme but lets not take away from what is going on because if you accept this and say they had it coming next they will be saying that you cannot even preach the gospel at all. Giving up basic freedoms comes subtly. I get persecuted in a slight manner often in my job. I say slight because I know it could be so much worse compared to what others have gone through and are going through. I deal with it and I pray about the person doing the persecuting and I leave it up to God beyond that. I think that we need to pray for those that Hate Us and Persecute us. Great Blog as always Joel. We need to call these things to the carpet for other Christians to be aware of. I still think that most likely these christian (I say this lightly since I do not know them personally) people shouldnt have gone about going into the community in the way that they did but I do feel that they had a right to be there whether some were offended by it or not. The people that assaulted the chrisitans were the ones in the wrong and were displaying hate and to me were committing a crime by pouring hot coffee on them as well as a hate crime. I love homosexuals (I know some personally) but I hate the sin that they live in (their lifestyle) therefore we have to stand up and let them know that its not ok and if they do not like it well thats their right too and we all go on about life peacefully not in hate.

NINA said...

I have to agree with mustard seed and the others. Believer's need to learn to choose our battles.If we are unwise where and how to take a stand we can win the small battles and loose the war.However Christians are still in fact being persecuted,in the middle east as well as the states.It's not as obvious but it's there.Our voices are slowly but surely being silenced. Our beliefs are mocked and when we take a stand for truth we are chastened. When it comes to society and living in the world we are forced to leave our beliefs at the door.At my job we have to buy Xmas decorations, we cannot display religious cards.They play all kinds of music in the waiting room, however "RELIGIOUS" music is not allowed.I work in the medical field and I had a patient come to me speaking about Jesus and prayer and faith and I had to distance myself from the conversation because I would have been reprimanded had I been caught participating in the conversation. My first day of work I was advised about certain patients who speak of faith and was told not to feed into them. Pretty much leave the truth at the door.There has been cases where people are legally declared a woman, but was born a man and we must call them Ms.I am obligated to speak to teenage girls about safe sex, or abortion issues however abstinence is not an option because it considered the parents place. Yet we can administer birth control or abortion referrals without consent. Untruths are being forced upon us daily and what we believe means nothing.While the gays run around imposing their beliefs on everybody calling them rights. What about Christian rights. When can we come out of the closet!

Anonymous said...

Joel,
I think that your blogs are a healthy way of opening up lines of communication and I appreciate that. I posted the first response above, I don't believe that the christians "had it coming" to them, but they should understand that when you walk into a community that is different than yours, you should expect to be treated different. Now, i don't think that it should be that way, i believe people are entitled to express their opinion openly, but fact of the matter is, we don't live in that type of society, we never have. as far as all christians not being alike, I know they are not and you know they are not. Take for example societies thoughts on muslims or any middle eastern especially after 9/11, the general public has some hidden fear, they think extremist, terrorist ect, ect . I don't share their ideas of faith, but i have met some very outstanding muslims. Non christians think that christians are off their rocker, they think extremist, brainwashed, hypocrite. It's never going to change. Why do christians think it will? That is what i don't understand. If you go into an area were you KNOW your views are not shared, expect everything and anything. It's not right, but it is what it is. Persecution has been here for centuries, if you don't believe me, take a look at what is going on in the middle east. Gay people believe that they should have the same rights as straight people, whether i agree with that or not isn't important. I do know that they are people as well. my question is, are they still God's children? i would think so. i have done things that my parents said i shouldn't, but in the end they are still my parents i am still their son. let God decide what happens. What is society afraid of? If your a christian and your a believer and you LIVE a christian life, let others live their life. in the end God decides all, not me, not you, not some stupid proposition. You can't just say something is wrong and expect the person to just say "ok'. that is a foolish way of thinking.

Joel Spencer said...

Mustard Seed: You stated, "I think that often what is labeled "persecution" in this country is often the result of people just being obnoxious." I agree wholeheartedly. I don't know if you were a reader back in August, but I posted a study series on attributes of Jesus that addressed true persecution (read it here). Much of what we've deemed as such is really, as you say, just a nuisance.

Your reference to the "levels" of sin is dead on. The church must lose its "your sin is worse than mine" attitude if it is ever to move forward with the true Gospel.

Mike & Barb: I find it interesting that all groups seem to shout from the rooftops "Equal rights for all!" yet, when the other party "invades" their space, they run them off. The truth is, the majorities on both sides want neither equality nor rights for the other.

Joel Spencer said...

Nina: Well said. I read article after article that describes exactly what you're saying. What does one do when our voices are silenced? Could we lay down our jobs if they deny us the right to be Christ upon this earth? Should we? There's alot of great discussions within this train of thought. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous: I believe that gays should have as many rights as I do, in the general sense of an American. I do not see marriage as a right. I see it is a biblical covenant - the entire traditions of marriage, even in the US, are still modeled after Scripture. If we were brutally honest, we should enforce ALL of the biblical guidelines for marriage (no pre-marital sex, Christ as the Head, etc.) but of course, as Mustard Seed pointed out, that is somehow deemed acceptable.

On a side note, I cannot act upon my convictons only based upon their potential result or outcome. I must do as the LORD desires me to, no questions asked - whether that is PC or not. If we all could really live each moment in this understanding, perhaps we'd see different results.

NINA said...

YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT WHEN YOU SAY MARRIAGE IS A BIBLICAL COVENANT. HOWEVER HOMOSEXUALITY IS NON-BIBLICAL. THIS IS WHY I BELIEVE THAT THE GAYS SHOULD TAKE THEIR RIGHT TO A CIVIL UNION AND BE HAPPY WITH IT. WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT TO LIVE TOGETHER IN A BIBLICAL COVENANT IF THEY ARE NOT LIVING THEIR LIVES IN A BIBLICAL MANNER. HOMOSEXUALITY IS NOT A BIBLICAL RIGHT, ITS A CIVIL RIGHT. I HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THE WAY PEOPLE IMPOSE ON OUR BELIEFS. THEY TAKE CHRIST OUT OF CHRISTMAS, WHEN IN FACT CHRISTMAS IS A CHRISTIAN HOLIDAY.WHY DO THEY HAVE TO COME AND TWIST AROUND OUR BELIEFS TO MAKE IT WORK FOR THEM WHEN IN FACT IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THEM.THE GAYS HAS TAKEN OUR RAINBOW AND MADE IT THEIR SYMBOL FOR GAY PRIDE WHEN IT WAS A PROMISE FROM GOD TO HIS PEOPLE THAT HE WOULD NEVER AGAIN DESTROY THE WHOLE WORLD. AND WHAT WE LEAVE OUT IS THE FACT THAT HE DESTROYED THE WORLD IN THE BEGINNING PARTLY BECAUSE OF THE SEXUAL IMMORALITIES THAT THEY CHOOSE TO ENGAGE IN. IT IS AN ABOMINATION.AND THAT IS NOT JUST AN OPINION,GOD SAID THAT IT WAS. NOW THEY WANT TO TAKE MARRIAGE, A COVENANT ORDAINED BY GOD BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN AND USE THAT TOO. THEY ARE MAKING A MOCKERY OF GOD AND HIS PEOPLE.I HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH GAYS, IT IS NOT FOR ME TO JUDGE.JESUS TOLD US IN PHILLIPIANS TO WORK OUT OUR OWN SALVATION WITH FEAR AND TREMBLING.NO ONE WOULD DARE TAMPER WITH MUSLIM BELIEFS, JEWISH BELIEFS, ETC. WE COULDN'T JUST SAY WE WANT A BARMITSVAH TO BE FOR BOYS AND GIRLS OF ALL AGES,OR RASH HASHANNA TO BE A NEW YEAR THAT STARTS ON THE WEEKEND OF AUGUST BEFORE MEMORIAL DAY.BECAUSE THESE ARE THEIR SET BELIEFS AND THEY ARE NON-NEGOTIABLE.WHY CAN'T THE WORLD JUST STAY OUT OF OUR BUSINESS.YET WHEN WE TAKE A STAND FOR WHAT WE BELIEVE WE ARE SILENCED AND TOLD TO MIND OUR BUSINESS AND STOP IMPOSING ON PEOPLES'S RIGHTS. THEY HAVE NO RIGHTS WHEN IT COMES TO MARRIAGE OR CHRISTMAS BECAUSE IT DOES NOT CONCERN THEM ANYWAY!WE AS BELIEVERS CANNOT CONTINUE TO ALLOW PEOPLE TO TO DEFAME THAT WHICH IS SACRED TO US.

NINA said...

OH AND BY THE WAY, DON'T TAKE THE FACT THAT MY COMMENT IS IN ALL CAPS AS AGGRESSION, THOUGH I AM ANIMATE ABOUT MY FEELINGS.MY SON SPILLED SOMETHING ON MY KEYS AND MY LETTERS WILL GET STUCK IF I DON'T PUT THEM ON CAPS LOCK .(LOL)

Mike and Barb said...

I agree with alot of what Nina has said however I do not share your belief in that Christmas is Christian. Yes it has been relabeled as so but in fact it is a pagan holiday that is used in worship to Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I know this will rub many Christians the wrong way trust me...it did me too when I first heard it and I rebelled against it for a time but God was so kind as to reveal these truths to me through his word. Here is an article online that points out these truths for those that care to read them. http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/Psychology/xmas/celeb.htm
I know that its not always easy leaving behind mans traditions but isn't the Glory and Honor of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ worth all sacrafice? There are also some great sermons on www.sermonaudio.com on Christmas and should Christians celebrate it.
Not celebrating Christmas does not mean you are suddenly a Jehovahs Witness either :)

Mike and Barb said...

OH AND BY THE WAY, DON'T TAKE THE FACT THAT MY COMMENT IS IN ALL CAPS AS AGGRESSION, THOUGH I AM ANIMATE ABOUT MY FEELINGS.MY SON SPILLED SOMETHING ON MY KEYS AND MY LETTERS WILL GET STUCK IF I DON'T PUT THEM ON CAPS LOCK .(LOL)

None taken Nina..lol I can so relate!

Joel Spencer said...

Nina: Thanks for explaining the ALL caps thing. I've been wondering - lol.

Mike & Barb: So much of what we, as Christians just accept as truth is in fact, not. I'd venture to say that we likely know more about traditions than the original accounts. The "manger scene" is a primary example. The idea that Jesus was brought into this world in filth, surrounded by camels and cows is just plain ridiculous.

We must be responsible to seek out Biblical history and origins and leave behind sunday school fables of yesteryear.

Anonymous said...

So my question to everyone here is this...What about the people that DO NOT believe in God? They are out there, they could be gay, straight or whatever. this is exactly why making laws according to religious believes is never going to work. I personally believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman, but not everyone shares that belief, do i still have a right to create laws based on what i believe. the answer to that question is YES, in this country we are given that opportunity.Just like Gay people have a right to petition to be legally married. I don't agree with it, but I respect it. Not all of America or the world for that matter has christian beliefs. that being said, should we still respect those that do not believe as we do? RESPECT, yes...AGREE, no. Once all of mankind can wrap their brain around the fact that we are all different, we come from different backgrounds, some of us (even christians) think different from one another, maybe we can coexist. I can take my bible and quote 1000 passages to a non-believer or even a confessed believer and guess what folks, it is going to be taken differently from each listener, some may even deny God all together. Does that mean that you failed as a christian? i guess it depends on what your motives for sharing were.

Joel Spencer said...

Anonymous: Thanks for dropping by.

Of course there are many out there that don’t believe in God. I think that “respect” is a word that seems to have as many definitions as people you ask to define it. I’m not personally saying that they don’t have a legal right to propose their ideals, I am saying that I must, above all else, cling to what is God’s Law. If one doesn’t believe in God’s Law, then there is of course not going to be any understanding of how anyone could soley stand upon it – because to them, it is not law. But even in this particular matter, man’s law was voted upon and the majority said, “No” – period. Yet still they shout unfairness and injustice, when in fact, the law they cling to voted against their agenda. I just don’t get it when, in fact, their freedom was expressed and the majority was not interested. So what do we do? Abolish any and all laws in order for everyone to be happy? Their "rights" were exercised and they "lost". It is called democracy.

The “you believe what you want and I’ll believe what I want – we can all just ‘coexist’ and be blissful” just won’t work. Look around us – borderline anarchy is what would ensue if humanity had any more “freedom” than we already have. Again, I go back to God’s Law. For me, a true biblical Believer, it has the first and the final word – I will abide by it above all else for it was designed for my good, whether my personal preference agrees with it or not.

For me, there is no other discussion – there is no compromise – His Word is truth that is set in place to govern the lives of all humanity, not just me. Anyone who states that the Word is not absolute truth for everyone doesn’t really believe that it is absolute truth to begin with.

Anonymous said...

I find the comments very interesting. Many years ago (think 70's) I took part in the training for evangelism for the "I Found It" campaign by Bill Bright (yeah I know way before most of you were born). I didn't want to do the phone calling thing (hubby participated in that) but I told God I'd try the Four Spiritual Laws deal once - on my campus in Raleigh. I targeted a girl I thought was pretty much safe and went through the presentation. She basically told me she was real happy with her life the way it was and without saying it, "Bug off". I told God - well there was my big try at evangelism and so much for that (actually somewhat relieved to be off the hook). I started to walk back to my car and passed by a girl sitting on a bench. The Spirit inside me began to rumble (if you know what I mean). The Lord told me to stop - go back - and approach that girl. Now if you all knew me you'd realize I don't do strangers well. It took a real act of obedience to follow the Spirit's leading. Long story short - she was severely depressed, lonely, and readily asked Jesus into her life. Lesson learned? I don't do anything the I don't see or hear the Father doing as revealed by His Spirit in me - otherwise I'm wasting my time and setting myself up for persecution (not for His name's sake but mine (as in me works not His). And trust me you'll get persecuted when you ARE led by His Spirit. But then again - if He was - then I guess if we are like Him we should expect it.

Lillium

Joel Spencer said...

Lillium: Well said. The day we realize we're not called to "evangelize" everybody is the day we free God to be the One to do it all. I am called to live a life that declares the reality of the Gospel. I can do nothing if He does not draw men unto Himself.

Thanks for sharing.