The American Church – What Is Wrong? What Is Right?

An Excellent Spirit has been writing on the state of our nation the last few weeks. So have some of our favorite writers. Two such favorites, Mike Adams and Dr. Mike Brown, both writing in Townhall, recently penned interesting columns that impacted our thoughts on America as we enter the New Year.

First, Mike Adams, the sometimes hilarious criminology professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and author of Letters to a Young Progressive: How To Avoid Wasting Your Life Protesting Things You Don’t Understand, due out in April 2013. Adams writes of his experience at a mega-church over the Christmas season when he went home to Houston, Texas.  It is not so much what he said in his article, nor the fact that most Christians will find it offensive that Adams found any fault with a ministry, pastor or church. Read the whole article for yourself and decide for yourself. Here  What is important to An Excellent Spirit is what Adams said at several points of the piece. “That is symptomatic of what ails the church in 21st Century America. Production and marketing take center stage. Core beliefs are lost somewhere in the process.” An Excellent Spirit has fellowshipped at tiny churches that met in homes with 10 people including the pastor and his wife and two children. We have attended several of the most famous mega churches in America and we are members of a mega church today. We have seen what Adams said in both the large and small churches, so it is not the mega church that is the culprit. Rather it is the human beings that make up the church, large or small.

Adams, commenting on the production showing a video that took the Lord’s Name in vain three times before the entire congregation, “The service wasn’t meant to honor God. It was meant to entertain.” The pastors of the Houston mega-church are even named by Adams and come in for his criticism. “Kerry and Chris delivered a joint sermon, which had a broad general theme connected to the giant locomotive that stood behind them. The thesis was that we need to relinquish our need to control people and circumstances and instead let God direct our lives. But during the short sermon, Kerry’s wife said something rather unusual. It had to do with holy moments in our lives. It was as morally confused a statement as I have ever heard inside a place calling itself a church. Without batting an eye, Chris Shook stated that all of the moments in our lives are equally holy no matter what we are doing because they were all created by God. So she insisted that we must learn to live in the moment, rather than seek a holy moment – because, once again, all moments are holy, and equally so.” Sadly, Mike Adams is much better when he writes about the behaviors on campus and the mentality that grips academia.

Mike Adams

Adams then gives his readers a short exegesis on what he thinks is or is not “a holy moment”. Adams then goes on to his point, “Obviously, not every moment in our lives is equally holy or God honoring “no matter what we are doing.” It matters very much what we are doing. Everyone knows that, including Chris’ husband Kerry who contradicted his wife about five minutes later. Near the end of their joint sermon, Kerry thanked people for coming to The Woodlands Church on “Christmas Eve, one of the holiest nights of the year.” Put simply, there can be no holier or holiest night if every moment in our lives is equally holy. Either Kerry was right or his wife Chris was right. A cannot be not-A. The law of non-contradiction matters. Every right thinking person knows that Kerry was right. His wife needed to sit down and let her husband the senior pastor deliver the correct message unencumbered by contradictions steeped in moral relativism. The culture teaches moral relativism. The church needs to correct it. Of course, having Chris up there was the most important thing because it shows that The Woodlands Church really isn’t a Baptist Church after all. They let women preach and that shows they are culturally relevant. A little bad theology never hurt anyone. In our holiest moments, we recognize that sound theology must defer to the secular doctrine of feminism. Some doctrines are holier than others. And relativism is culturally relevant even when it isn’t logically consistent.” It is not that An Excellent Spirit agrees or disagrees with Mike Adams. He has his “right” to his opinion, as do the Shooks and those at Woodlands Church. We do however recall something about God saying “touch not My anointed ones, do My prophets no harm.” (1 Chronicles 16:22). Psalm 105 sets forth this Word in detail. (Pslam 105:15) Read the whole thing.

But, what of God? God is quite particular about His Name and His Word. God says that He has concern for His Great Name which has been profaned by those in the nations to which they have gone. Then, in Ezekiel 36:22-23, God declares, “Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of My Holy Name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. I will show the holiness of My Great Name, which has been profaned among the nations, the Name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Sovereign LORD, when I show Myself holy through you before their eyes.” Read the whole column and decide, not whether you agree or disagree with what Adams said about what occurred at Woodlands Church at a service. We can all be sure that God will do that for Himself. There can be no argument that Adams has a point today in urging the Body of Christ to stand for something more in America than multi-cultural good feeling stage productions. God’s Church must begin to live what God’s Word tells us to do each day, especially those days when we are not in a celebratory environment and vulnerable to feeling the “season to be jolly”!

Next we turn to our friend, Dr. Mike Brown. Dr. Brown is a seasoned observer of the Church the world over. He is currently in Hong Kong and recently returned from India. His latest Townhall column is on a similar theme as that of Mike Adams. Dr. Brown gives us a list of what he says is wrong with the Church in America and what is right. Ever the optimist, Dr. Brown starts with what is right. “To be clear, though, I’m speaking of the circles in which I travel, meaning evangelical Christian circles, so my observations might not apply to other Christian groups in America. What are some of the strengths of the American Evangelical Church?

We are at the forefront of feeding the poor and providing disaster relief worldwide.

We are a generous people when it comes to funding gospel work in America and abroad.

We have produced an abundance of Christian resources.

We have a positive, can-do mentality.

Our churches offer many practical programs to help everyone from recovering drug addicts to couples needing marital counseling.

We are strongly pro-life and pro-morality.

We are strongly pro-Israel.

We have sent many missionaries to the nations, also providing them with financial support.

To be sure, Dr. Brown is right about the things he names that our churches, large and small do well and stand for today. An Excellent Spirit would not have to labor to come up with a few more, but lets look at Dr. Brown’s list of faults.

Our Christian expression is often shallow and superficial.

We have been plagued with scandals among our leaders.

We preach a carnal prosperity message.

We export our false teaching around the world.

We have created a worldly, cultural Christianity.

We have perfected the gospel enterprise.

We run our churches like businesses.

We are self-dependent.

We are heavily politicized.

We have produced super-star preachers.

We are exceptionally gullible.

Our “pep talk gospel” is hardly the gospel at all.

Dr. Mike Brown

The two “Mike’s” have had their say. An Excellent Spirit does not publish either man to affirm all that he says; rather we pray that our readers will react to each column by responding, praying and asking God what He wants for His Church. Criticism is not bad, in and of itself. It is only bad when it violates the Word of God and His Holy Spirit will convict of that violation. An Excellent Spirit trusts both men as Christian observers, cultural resources and academicians that America needs more of. What do you say?

In the weeks ahead, we will be saying more about what these two good men wrote about. We will also publish what our readers send us as that is what is most important to God.

 

Their Blood Runs In The Streets – Israel and Gaza

Israeli’s mourning dead in Gaza War

An Excellent Spirit brings this update on the Gaza Strip/Israel violence now that a cease-fire has been shown to be mostly a ploy that those bent on killing more Jews can violate. Our old friend, Dr. Mike Brown has this Townhall column. “In the aftermath of Israel’s latest conflict with Hamas terrorists, it seems that the Jewish state’s greatest failing was that it did not suffer enough casualties to satisfy its critics. And so, once again, the world is railing against “Israeli aggression” and casting its sympathies with those who seek to slaughter its civilians, and this despite the outrageous statements of the Islamic radicals hell-bent on destroying Israel. On Thursday, November 23rd, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said, “Israel screamed with pain from what the resistance did to it. I thank everyone who provided us with arms and money, especially Iran.” Yes, to make Israel scream with pain is something virtuous.” Emphasis ours.

Dr. Michael L. Brown

This story in The Times of Israel confirms that Hamas greatest cause for celebration is not the end of hostilities that have killed innocents on both sides, but thanking Iran and Egypt for their help in killing Israeli’s. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh thanked Egypt and Iran on Thursday for their support in helping make “Israel scream with pain.” Haniyeh, who heads Hamas in Gaza, hailed the previous night’s ceasefire as a victory, despite what Israel called heavy losses for the terror group during Operation Pillar of Defense.” Haniyeh continued, “The strength of the Palestinians was the basis for the latest victory, and now “it’s a sign of pride to the whole world,” Hamas’s leader said. We “did not raise a white flag. Israel screamed with pain from what the resistance did to it. I thank everyone who provided us with arms and money, especially Iran.” Read the whole thing here.

Dr. Brown brings the American lamestream media’s anti-Jewish narrative into clear focus. He reports what they will not even mention in all their ink condemning Israel for firing back at Hamas’ constant reign of rockets on Israeli cities for the past years. “Shortly after the bomb blast in Tel Aviv that wounded 22 Israelis, Hamas-run Al-Aqsa TV aired a report showing footage of the bloody scene and commenting: “These are scenes of the casualties. God willing, we will soon see black body bags. I pray to God the exalted we will see body bags in a short while. . . . Right now in these moments, the mosques in the Gaza Strip, their minarets are loudly sounding cries of ‘Allahu Akbar’ and cries of joy, and the residents of the Gaza Strip are bowing down to Allah for this offering [or, gift]. The morale of the Gaza residents is in the sky right now, and is rising just as the rockets of the resistance.” This is in keeping with Articles 6 and 8 of the Hamas charter which read (in part): “Israel will rise and will remain erect until Islam eliminates it … The Islamic Resistance Movement…strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine … Allah is our goal, the Prophet our model, the Qur’an our Constitution, Jihad our path and death for the cause of Allah our most sublime belief.” (The last sentence is the motto of Hamas.) Danny Ayalon, Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister, noted “that Hamas’s charter includes the aspiration that ‘The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews)’.” In contrast, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pointed out that, “For us, every time there are civilian casualties, that’s an operational failure. For them, every time there are civilian casualties, that’s an operational success.”

Our lamestream media is much more interested in building public opinion against Israel than reporting news, facts, information or anything that is pro-Israel. Just look at the pictures available on the Gaza conflict. There are ten thousand pictures of Palestinian casualties to every one of Israeli wounded or dead. The corrupt, biased media are content to ignore or justify Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon and the means to strike Israel or another of its Arab neighbors with it, even though almost every other Middle Eastern country fears Iran’s nuclear capability more than Israel. The Saudi’s and other countries are, as we write this, exploring their acquisition of nuclear weapons as a last resort to counter the Iranian threat to the whole region, not just Israel.

We used to refer to the standoff between nuclear USSR and the USA as M A D, Mutually Assured Destruction, meaning that no sane country would be the first to use a nuclear weapon when the other would retaliate and wipe it off the map. Today, despite the rosy picture the US its lamestream media paints, we have entered an age of Madness : The Insanity Assured Destruction or M I A D.

That is the way it is when the global media, our lamestream media and our government foster the narrative that Israel is not defending itself with its Iron Dome Defense System that shoots down many of the rockets. That is only more Israeli murder of innocents whose only crime is that they are unfortunate to live among terrorists who launch thousands of rockets into Israel each year, killing civilians just like them! Mike Brown concludes, “How dare Israel defend itself so forcefully. And how dare its new Iron Dome defense system work so well in intercepting more than 400 Hamas rockets, including new long range missiles supplied by Iran. If only more Jews had been killed! Even before Israel began its attack on Hamas last week, the student senate at the University of California Irvine (UCI) passed a resolution by a vote of 16-0, accusing Israel of “human rights abuse and institutionalized structural violence against the Palestinian people.” But terrorist groups like Hamas are apparently guilty of no such thing. If only their rockets and missiles were more accurate. If only more Israelis died. Then Israel wouldn’t be quite so evil in the eyes of the world.” Emphasis ours.

Israel does not have the luxury of bowing to the insanity of the lamestream media. To do anything other that what it is now doing would assure its destruction and the murder of tens of thousands of its citizens a year until they would be wiped from the face of the earth!

Israeli child in bombed out window.

The only thing that will satisfy Hamas, Iran, Syria and Hezbollah is that the streets of Israel run red with the blood of dead Jews until the last Jew is murdered! But God!

Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University and has served as a professor at a number of seminaries. He hosts the nationally syndicated, daily talk radio show, the Line of Fire. Years ago, Dr. Brown prophetically wrote Our Hands are Stained With Blood, subtitled “The Tragic Story of the “Church” and the Jewish People”. Destiny Image Publishers, 1992.

An Election To End Elections?

An Excellent Spirit has been silent since the polls closed last night. We, like hundreds of millions of Americans watched and listened to the Election results and then we went to sleep. We decided that prayer and reflection was more necessary for all of “us” than our desire to rush in where fools fear to tread.

An Excellent Spirit will share more in future weeks about our take on the Election and what is coming to America in its wake. We have a book nearing publication that we will be telling you about and our favorite pundits, commentators and authors will assuredly have much to say and much for An Excellent Spirit to commend to our faithful readers.

As we went to sleep and awoke this morning, the one thing of which we were most aware is that God is still on His Throne! Our God still rules and reigns in and over the affairs of men. The Earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof! His Will shall be done “on Earth as it is (done) in Heaven”. If that sounds like excuses or revisionism, you are not one of our readers and probably not one of those who read His Word faithfully.

One such person who does follow God and read His Word (in English, Hebrew, Aramaic and several other languages) is our friend and mishpocheh Dr. Michael L. Brown. An Excellent Spirit brought our readers a post  on Dr. Mike’s Election Day Townhall column “A Warning To Moral Conservatives”. Our readers will tell anyone that An Excellent Spirit is an unabashed fan and follower of Dr. Brown. The reason for that is that we firmly believe that he brings a Godly perspective to worldly events and understands the times and knows what God’s children should do. Mike Brown is truly a man of Issachar.

When An Excellent Spirit read his latest column in One News Now today, we had to bring it to you. Go here. The column begins, “I believe Obama’s reelection could be exactly what is needed for the Church to be the Church, since we know we can’t look to the White House for change. I am not in the least bit discouraged with the outcome of the presidential elections, and I write these words with faith in the presence of God.” All Americans and all believers everywhere should take note! Dr. Brown continues, “Without a doubt, I have grave concerns about where our nation could be heading under four more years of President Obama and I grieve over the steady erosion of our liberties. I am burdened by the deepening division within our country and troubled over real questions about our relationship with Israel along with issues concerning our national security. And I am pained by the fact that, for the first time, Americans voted to redefine marriage and make it genderless (and we did in all four states where this was on the ballot).”

Many of “us” have similar grave concerns, burdens and pain. We all can do with more of what Dr. Brown says, “But I also believe that Obama’s reelection could be exactly what is needed for the Church to be the Church in our country, since we know we can’t look to the White House for change. And, as much as I hate to say it, it may take a serious national decline before the people of God awaken and arise. Unfortunately, as long as we pour so much of our time and energy and money and emotion into politics, we will fail to give ourselves fully to the Great Commission and to living as Jesus revolutionaries. (I certainly believe in the importance of politics; I’m talking here about a question of emphasis.)” Read the whole thing.

Then, as we read and pondered Mike Brown’s prescient words, it hit us. Faith, “we” need faith! America needs faith! On days like this it is difficult to find silver linings among the clouds that threaten Americans. Many Christians, even The Excellent Wife, the greatest woman of faith I have ever met, have had their faith challenged by these dark days. Many Christians are asking God what will the America of their children be like?

We have been praying and seeking and we have found “our” answer. Faith! Increased faith! Faith, in God! Faith first; faith last; faith always! Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not (yet) seen.” Emphasis ours. Many Americans hoped for a different result. Yet “we” got the result “we” deserved and voted for. Many of “us” are left wondering what to do now that what we had faith for has not come to pass. “We” have our answer. Have Faith!

Bill Johnson, prominent pastor and renowned biblical speaker (Bethel Church, Redding California; http://www.ibethel.org) says, faith believes! If we get what we have asked for, what we hope for, there is no need for faith, as Bill Johnson rightly tells us. Those who were praying for the Apostle Peter’s release from prison had so little faith in their prayers that they did not recognize that he had been released and was there at their door. Acts 12 reveals the story of a little girl who those praying for Peter “without ceasing” would not believe when she told them Peter had been freed. And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel. (Acts 12:15) Peter’s intercessors had no belief; they had no faith!

As Bill Johnson says, our faith is necessary for us to get what we hope for. Hope is the environment in which faith grows and prospers. But faith does not limit God! It pleases God! And if “we” want to please God, we must get faith! “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6) Emphasis ours.

What all this means is that God, the creator and judge of all nations (See: Rom. 1:21,25)  God has “appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world.” (Acts 17:31), Psalms 93, 96, 97 and 99 are among the clearest Words God has given “us” that He created, He (by the Blood of Jesus) has redeemed and He will judge the earth!

Returning to Mike Brown, he wrote, quoting his Election Day article, “But I closed the article with these words: “And what if Barack Obama is re-elected? Then we would do well to avoid the trap of putting most of our energies into rebuking the president’s latest transgressions. Instead, we will have to focus our efforts like never before on fomenting a moral, cultural, and spiritual revolution. Come to think of it, that would be a sound course of action if Mitt Romney is our next president too. Can I count you in? “The time for this kind of revolution – not a violent one but an ideological, cultural one – is long overdue, and I for one am not waiting for the White House to make it happen. How about you?” Those words were more than prophetic, they were true! In today’s piece, Mike Brown continues, “Now, with the most radical pro-abortion, pro-gay-activist president in our history elected to a second term, we will not deceive ourselves into looking to the White House for help (although we should pray fervently for God to get hold of him and turn his heart). Instead, we must give ourselves to personal and corporate repentance, to faith-filled, persistent prayer for revival and awakening, to a renewed commitment to preach the gospel without shame and compromise, and to an unshakable resolve to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world.” An Excellent Spirit highly recommends these two Mike Brown articles to our readers. We also highly recommend everything that Bill Johnson has written and his recordings.

Mike Brown continues, “And now we have reached the moment of truth: Either we wake up, stand up, speak up, and act up, or we run the risk of becoming a mere historic curiosity, an irrelevant religious sideshow, an entertaining, harmless spectacle. Something must change, and it must change now. There is no other choice.” He says, “this message is more urgent than ever, and that is the very thing that gives me hope. The charade is over. The curtain has been lifted. Lightweight “Christianity” has been exposed. Our watered-down, barely recognizable “gospel” has produced disastrous fruit and our pitiful attempt to become relevant to the world by becoming like the world (not in terms of cultural sensitivity but in terms of moral and spiritual compromise) has failed miserably. We must have a spiritual awakening coupled with the restoration of the real gospel message. It truly is a matter of revival or we die.”  Hard words, but true words; words “we” need to hear, NOW!

Brown references the great Evangelist, Charles Finney. Finney, he says, “ brought this strong charge back in 1873: “The error that lies at the foundation of this decay of individual and public conscience originates, no doubt, in the pulpit …. “Brethren, our preaching will bear its legitimate fruits. If immorality prevails in the land, the fault is ours in a great degree. “If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discrimination, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest in religion, the pulpit is responsible for it. “If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it. “Let us not ignore this fact, my dear brethren; but let us lay it to heart, and be thoroughly awake to our responsibility in respect to the morals of this nation.”

Mike Brown finishes, as he always does, strong: “Let the awakening begin with each one of us, especially those of us who serves as leaders in the Body, and let the Jesus revolution arise in our midst until the nation is shaken with the gospel. On with it!

Mike Brown’s message to “us” is clear: “we”, you and I, can never change what God has promised. What “we” can do is believe. “We” can and must have faith. Faith in God. Faith  in Jesus and Faith in His promises to everyone, everywhere. Even in the United States of America on this day after Election Day.

An Excellent Spirit is neither finished posting nor reflecting on what has happened and what God wants “us” to do. We will be back! Count on it! God bless you and God bless America.

Mike Brown Speaks To Christians On Election Day

An Excellent Spirit has written on Dr. Michael Brown many times. Today, Election Day, Dr. Brown penned a Townhall column that is one for the ages. In His “A Warning To Moral Conservatives”, Michael Brown has perhaps done his greatest service to the children of God to date. He reviews what will happen whether President Obama is re-elected or Mitt Romney defeats Obama. Then he warns all believers, “we moral conservatives cannot take our foot off the gas. We cannot let up in our advocacy for life and family. We cannot relax or shift into neutral as if some great victory has already been won. To do so would be to make a fatal mistake, and four years from now we will be kicking ourselves again, vowing once more not to sell our souls to the Republican Party, claiming that this time we have learned our lesson, only to repeat the cycle four years hence.”

Dr. Brown is right as rain! A good deal of the reason that  “we” have found ourselves, our families and our nation in these dire straights is “us”. “We” are the backbone of this nation and we have lost our iron. “We” have not registered; “we” have not voted; “we” have not informed ourselves and paid attention; “we” have failed and we find ourselves and our children in trouble God never intended for us. Mike Brown nails it when he says, “But being forewarned is being fore-equipped, and that negative scenario does not have to unfold. Instead, if we do our job and urge the president to do his, calling him to account at every point and offering positive support, whether he fails or succeeds, our mission will continue unabated. In fact, the more he fails, the more will we realize that the responsibility for moral and social change falls on us, not on him.”

Dr. Brown is, like most Americans, full of hope and light on expectation. He offers sound advice and a call to a new American Revolution, no matter who wins the Presidency today. “And what if Barack Obama is re-elected? Then we would do well to avoid the trap of putting most of our energies into rebuking the president’s latest transgressions. Instead, we will have to focus our efforts like never before on fomenting a moral, cultural, and spiritual revolution. Come to think of it, that would be a sound course of action if Mitt Romney is our next president too. Can I count you in? The time for this kind of revolution – not a violent one but an ideological, cultural one – is long overdue, and I for one am not waiting for the White House to make it happen. How about you?”

An Excellent Spirit is “in” Dr. Brown. We pray that “we, the People” all read this and are “in” with you as well! God will bless America! He will bless “us” more and greater if “we” follow His direction to be “light and salt” and never again fall asleep at the job! Thank you, Brother! Shalom!

Dr. Mike Brown: A Third Party May Win This Election

It should be no secret to An Excellent Spirit that we are big fans of Dr. Mike Brown. We have disclosed that he is a friend, a prolific author and a leader in the church of believers in Our Lord Jesus Christ. He is also a great thinker and clear-headed commentator. His latest Townhall column is another example of his prophetic accuracy. Entitled  “We Already Have A Viable Third Party”, Dr. Brown makes several good points. “According to the latest polls, only one percent of voters will cast their ballot for a third party candidate, which means that all the talk of a protest vote against the two main parties will amount to little or nothing. Yet there is already a viable third party in America. It simply needs to awaken to its calling. Dr. Martin Luther King spoke of this “third party” as well – although not in those terms – saying that it “must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state.” King was speaking of a group of multiplied millions of Americans whose ultimate “citizenship is in heaven” (to use the expression of Paul in the New Testament), a people who are called to go against the grain and challenge the status quo, to be champions of justice and compassion, to lead the way in societal change. He was (and I am) speaking about followers of Jesus who take their faith seriously and live it out holistically, those who make up the Church from a biblical standpoint (as opposed to Christians in name only). It is this entity that King believed “must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool.”

Dr. Mike goes on to state truths that we, at An Excellent Spirit, have agreed with for decades. “Of course, there are some Christians who, as the old saying goes, are “too heavenly minded to be of any earthly good,” but that is actually a violation of the teachings of Jesus. (Judaism is less prone to fall into that trap, and we do well to remember that Jesus was Jewish teacher not a member of the Christian clergy.) A more balanced perspective is this: Because we understand that what happens in this world has eternal implications for good or for bad, we recognize the importance of life in this world and are on the front lines of bringing about positive change while at the same time resisting societal decay. This is part of what Jesus meant when he told his followers that they (we!) are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Would anyone deny that Jesus, who talked much about heaven and hell and the world to come, constantly emphasized the importance of caring for the needy in this world along with reaching out to the marginalized? Practically speaking, because our first allegiance is to God we will serve our nation as the best possible citizens, and because our greatest affiliation is to proven, biblical values, we will identify with those values first and with a political party second. Yet all too often, white evangelicals have given themselves to the Republican Party and black evangelicals to the Democratic Party, even when those parties have failed us. It’s time we step higher. Yes, I will vote on November 6th, primarily backing Republican candidates, and I see voting as both a responsibility and a privilege. But, as I have written several times before, I am not putting my trust in the White House or Congress or the Supreme Court to change America. I am looking to the committed followers of Jesus to be the primary agents of change, the ultimate counter-culture, counter-establishment party.”

It is about time that Christians realized their calling as citizens of this great nation included thinking about the times we live in, praying for wisdom from God and acting by speaking out, participating in the civil and political processes and VOTING!  Dr. Brown, we are indebted to you for your exhortation. He concludes: “Simply stated, if tens of millions of American Christians truly followed the teachings and example of Jesus, there would be a groundswell of compassionate and constructive care for the poor, there would be wholesale educational reform, the multiplication of strong families, a new esteem for the importance of every life, beginning in the womb, the reduction of our prison population and even the revamping of our prison system, along with economic growth and a massive increase in philanthropy, among other things. So, yes, I’m voting on November 6th, but more than that, I’m looking for the third party to arise.” Amen and Amen. Shalom, Brother!

Dr. Mike Brown on Barack Obama – Is The President A Christian Apostate?

An Excellent Spirit has posted on President Obama’s religion, faith and the myths surrounding him as opposed to truth. Go here for just a few. We have also extolled the writing of Dr. Mike Brown many times.  Dr. Brown usually stays away from politics and concentrates on spiritual and social injustices. Today, however, he joins the increasing chorus questioning the faith and spiritual roots of President Barack Obama. In his article for Charisma News  entitled “Obama: More Religious Apostate Than Religious Pioneer”, Dr. Brown nails it. “According to CNN writer John Blake, President Obama is “a religious pioneer” who, in the opinion of some scholars and pastors, is “also expanding the definition of who can be a Christian by challenging the religious right’s domination of the national stage.” Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion, but this seems to be quite a stretch. “To be candid, and with due respect to the office of the president, Obama should be viewed as a religious apostate more than a religious pioneer. He has shown an extraordinary disregard for society’s most innocent and vulnerable members (babies in the womb), he has misused the Bible to defend the radical redefinition of marriage, and he has trashed religious freedoms with his health care mandates to the point that groups as disparate as Hobby Lobby and Catholic hospitals are suing the government. This is hardly the legacy of a religious pioneer.  Read the whole article here.

Blake claimed in his article “Is Obama the ‘wrong’ kind of Christian?” that, “When Obama invoked Jesus to support same-sex marriage, framed health care as a moral imperative to care for ‘the least of these,’ and once urged people to read their Bible but just not literally, he was invoking another Christian tradition that once dominated American public life so much that it gave the nation its first megachurches, historians say.” Blake is referring to the “social gospel” version of Christianity that was more prominent in the early to mid-20th century than it is today. As explained by Jim Wallis (head of the Sojourners, a leftwing, marginally evangelical organization), Obama’s faith “is not the faith of the religious right. It’s about things that they don’t talk about. It’s about how the Bible is full of God’s clear instruction to care for the poor.” Putting aside the fact that “the religious right” is used as a term of disparagement in contrast with what Blake calls “progressive Christianity,” the truth is that conservative Christians lead the way in worldwide humanitarian relief efforts, they continue to build hospitals and orphanages and schools in many nations, they are active in drug and alcohol rehab programs in the inner cities of America, and they are at the forefront of the pro-life, pro-adoption movement. As for their opposition to gay activism, it is the natural offshoot of their belief in marriage as defined by Jesus Himself (one man and one woman joined together for life), it is in keeping with their high esteem for sexual purity, and it is in harmony with their wholly justified concerns that homosexual activism is the principle threat to our freedoms of conscience, religion, and speech. From a biblical perspective, President Obama is on the wrong side of these critically important issues.For Blake, “Obama is a progressive Christian who blends the emotional fire of the African-American church, the ecumenical outlook of contemporary Protestantism, and the activism of the Social Gospel, a late 19th-century movement whose leaders faulted American churches for focusing too much on personal salvation while ignoring the conditions that led to pervasive poverty.” And Blake wants to place Obama in the line of Black Christians like Martin Luther King, Jr., who said that “any religion that professes to be concerned about the souls of men and is not concerned about the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that strangle them … is a spiritually moribund religion awaiting burial.”
Dr. Brown sharply contests this notion, “But Barack Obama is no Martin Luther King, as our president has proven himself to be a great divider whereas King was a great unifier. And King, for his part, would not have shouted “amen” to the sermons of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s mentor, whose often shrill version of black liberation theology formed the ideological basis of Obama’s Christianity. With spiritual foundations like that, it is no wonder that the president could make the obscene comparison between “Christ sacrificing Himself on our behalf” and gay marriage.Blake closes his article by pointing to research done by Marcia Pally, author of the book “The New Evangelicals: Expanding the Vision of the Common Good.” He writes that Pally’s “perspective suggests that Obama’s faith may be treated by history in two ways: He could be seen as the last embodiment of a progressive version of Christianity that went obsolete. Or he could be seen as a leader who helped resurrect a dying brand of Christianity for a new generation.”

Dr. Brown continues, “Pally and Blake fail to consider a third, more likely scenario: Obama could be seen as a religious apostate, a man who denied some of the most fundamental values of Christianity (what else can be said of a political leader who three times vetoed the Born Alive Infant Protection Act “that would require medical care for a baby who survives an abortion”?), a man who used the Bible to back a radical, often harmful social agenda.”

An Excellent Spirit has long believed that a person’s faith is really known only by God, Himself. It is not for “us” to judge. When, however, someone writes and opines as outrageously as CNN’s John Blake, it is reassuring when another takes those claims to task. “Blake claimed in his article “Is Obama the ‘wrong’ kind of Christian?” that, “When Obama invoked Jesus to support same-sex marriage, framed health care as a moral imperative to care for ‘the least of these,’ and once urged people to read their Bible but just not literally, he was invoking another Christian tradition that once dominated American public life so much that it gave the nation its first megachurches, historians say.” Balderdash!

Dr. Brown also takes issue with President Obama being compared favorably with Martin Luther King: “But Barack Obama is no Martin Luther King, as our president has proven himself to be a great divider whereas King was a great unifier. And King, for his part, would not have shouted “amen” to the sermons of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s mentor, whose often shrill version of black liberation theology formed the ideological basis of Obama’s Christianity. With spiritual foundations like that, it is no wonder that the president could make the obscene comparison between “Christ sacrificing Himself on our behalf” and gay marriage.” 

Finally, Dr. Mike punctures the pseudo images of Barack Obama with truths that An Excellent Spirit has been discussing in our current series vetting the President. “Obama could be seen as a religious apostate, a man who denied some of the most fundamental values of Christianity (what else can be said of a political leader who three times vetoed the Born Alive Infant Protection Act “that would require medical care for a baby who survives an abortion”?), a man who used the Bible to back a radical, often harmful social agenda. In that regard, Obama is more a disciple of Saul Alinsky than of Jesus.”

Religion has been variously defined as “a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs or a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects” We like this: “the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices”. In this, as An Excellent Spirit has revealed, Obama practices the religion of Saul Alinsky and is therefore vulnerable to Dr. Brown’s characterization. As usual, An Excellent Spirit takes our hat off to the Messianic scholar, Dr. Michael Brown! Shalom, Brother!

Sharia, Abortion and Marriage. Dr Brown Meets the Left

An Excellent Spirit always posts when our friend, Dr. Mike Brown writes another brilliant column for Townhall. This time, Dr. Brown takes on the lamestream media narrative that says evangelical’s position on abortion and marriage amounts to sharia. “In comments made before the presidential debate this past Tuesday, Chris Matthews claimed that Gov. Romney’s position on abortion was “almost like Sharia,” stating, “You’re saying to the country, we’re going to operate under a religious theory, under a religious belief.” In doing so, Matthews repeated the common leftwing libel that conservative moral principles with a basis in religious beliefs are equivalent to radical Islam. In May, Rev. Billy Graham took out full page ads in North Carolina newspapers stating in part, “The Bible is clear — God’s definition of marriage is between a man and a woman. I want to urge my fellow North Carolinians to vote FOR the marriage amendment.” 

The problem with the fear tactics of the “progressives” and their lamestream media is that “they” are increasingly worried that President Obama will be shown the American door, as these ridiculous tactics are tried and found wanting by Americans. Polls show that Americans, even women are balking at, no, overwhelmingly rejecting this narrative. Not only that, as Dr. Brown concludes, MSNBC’s Matthews and the rest of the lamestream media could never practice their sophistry anywhere but in a decidedly non-sharia America. “But that is the voice of clearheaded, rational thinking. In the world of Chris Matthews, if you argue that a baby in the womb, upon conception, is entitled to personhood status, you are espousing a position “almost like Sharia,” which Matthews sums up by exclaiming, “This is extremism!” Indeed, for Matthews, in the early stages of pregnancy, we are certainly not dealing with a baby in the womb, let alone “a fetus,” but “rather an egg that had just been fertilized, right after sex, if you will.” So, the high regard for life and the protection of the innocent that fuels the Republican platform on abortion is nothing more than Sharia-like extremism. (To repeat once more, this is meant to be taken seriously.) The good news is that the more these leftwing commentators play their “Jihadist, Sharia, Taliban” card, the more the absurdity of their positions will be revealed. The bad news is that a considerable number of listeners and readers will continue to believe them. Perhaps it would be worthwhile if some wealthy benefactor could pay for Matthews, Besen, Moulitsas, Rich and their ilk to spend six months, all expenses paid, living in a country like Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia, where the hanging of gays and the beheading of adulterers is commonly practiced (and fully sanctioned) under Sharia Law, and where conversion from Islam to another religion is punishable by death. Perhaps they could even write their columns or do their broadcasts from there (that is, if the prisons would allow them to after their arrests). Read the whole thing.

Thank you, Dr. Mike, An Excellent Spirit is, as usual, indebted to you for your truth and your unceasing efforts to bring it to “us”. Shalom, brother!

Morality In America

An Excellent Spirit has posted on our friend Dr. Michael L. Brown on several occasions. (Link, Link and Link) We have also posted on marriage and the attack that the institution is now under in America. (Link and Link)  In the last article, Dr. Brown warned America: “I wrote last year that same-sex “marriage” represented a further fall down the slippery slope than did polygamy, and so it’s only logical that the continued push for same-sex “marriage” will be followed inevitably by the push for polygamy (and more). The lesson from all this is simple: If we don’t draw an absolute line in the sand and declare on a national level that marriage is the union of one man and one woman only, this sacred and most foundational human institution will soon become so malleable as to be totally unrecognizable. And so, we either do the right thing today or we face the radical consequences tomorrow. Which will it be?”

Unfortunately, we have the answer. In his most recent Townhall column, “Here Comes Incest, Just as Predicted”, Mike Brown says, “If all human beings should have the right to marry (or simply be with) the one they love, as proponents of same-sex marriage constantly tell us, then why shouldn’t adult, incestuous couples enjoy that same “right”? Hollywood director Nick Cassavetes is the latest to say, “Why not?”, and I for one am not in the least bit surprised. Simply stated, with the public endorsement of same-sex relationships, the endorsement (or at least acceptance) of consensual, adult, incestuous relationships is the next step.” Reviewing Hollywood, the media and the left’s incessant march to uber-liberalism of everything sexual, leads us to a foregone conclusion. “One commenter wrote, “I have total moral and legal integrity here: no sexual act that results from the consent of both parties should be illegal or immoral.” Western Europe is going down the same, sorry path to perversion. “In several countries, incest laws are being challenged, most notably in a major case in Germany involving a brother and sister who did not meet until later in life, only to fall in love and have children. Their attorney used the precedent of same-sex marriage to argue on his clients’ behalf.”

Every culture that has vanished from the earth in the past has done so, in large part, due to the moral decay of its institutions and the sexual perversion of its citizens. America is no different. If “anything goes” then America will go- the way of all other corrupt and corrupted societies since the days of Sodom and Gomorrah.  Dr. Brown speaks the plain truth and America is without excuse. “So, what’s it going to be? Do we hold the line on marriage as the union of a man and woman only, or do we eventually open the door to incest too?” It is time for “us” to answer “them”!