the half truth

In the September issue of Texas Monthly there is an interesting article titled “Cowboys for Jesus Christian Fellowship” that got my attention because of some fallacious statements spoken by a pastor and his wife.  The pastor and his wife had just returned from a cowboy church conference and they were fired up!  During a service the wife said she…

“couldn’t believe what’s been going on in our country in the last few days.  The Enemy is trying to get God out of our country, and it’s time that we stand up.  I want you to think about what we’re facing as a nation, as Christians in a Christian nation.  They tell us that our forefathers were ‘Deists’ and not Christians, and that’s not true.”

The pastor later preached and stated,

“Friendship with the world is hostility toward God.  We need a fence between us and the world.  We usually want a short fence, so we can straddle it.” 

Sadly, these statements almost sound like the truth, or indisputable fact, but they are far from the truth.  Let me pose some questions here and I’d love to read your responses.

1.  Since when is America a Christian nation?

2.  Why do Christian leaders and scholars have a difficult time accepting that not all the forefathers were Christians?

3.  Can the Enemy really get God out of anything?

4.  Does God really consider it hostile that we would have friends in the world?

5.  Why would we want a fence between us and the world?  (It better have a gate so we can “go” into the world and make disciples!)

I have a hard time believing we need to build fences to separate ourselves from the world.  This idea is not covered with grace.  I know what it says in John about the world hating us because it hated Jesus first, but that does not justify building fences.  It reminds me of my 9 year old asking me why there was a fence around a cemetery next to a church building close to our house.  As a joke I told him it was to keep the dead people in the cemetery.  I wonder if our church walls are keeping dead people in…

If you have a chance to read the article in its full context you will understand the poor picture it paints of the Church.  This time I can’t say I blame the media or press.  The thinking revealed in the article is one of politicizing morality and hanging on to the ways of the ultra conservative west.  Mind you, I applaud the “Cowboy Church” because they are reaching a segment in society that most churches can’t or won’t attempt to connect with.  I just feel the pastor and his wife in the article did not represent the Cowboy Church with much grace or balance.

The irony in all this is 15 to 20 years ago I was the one making statements like theirs.  I actually believed Pat Robertson when he claimed God owed Sodom and Gomorrah an apology for the way America had turned out.  God owes no one an apology…we owe God an apology for being a lame duck Bride that commits adultery, or spiritual prostitution by not bathing ourselves in Scriptural Truth.

I can’t get away from the thought of Jesus walking among the poor, destitute, rejected, diseased and spiritually empty.  Who will go to the poor in spirit if we put up fences?  Why then did Jesus hang between two thieves?  There is no place on earth that can call itself a Christian nation.  But that should not stop us from living the life we as believers and followers of Jesus Christ should live.

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