Poorly read pastors: time for shame

Karen Lugo noticed A Megachurch History Lesson: Americans No Better Than ISIS

“Unbalanced accusations of American evil from the pulpit cause disproportionate harm to the unique sense of moral authority possessed by historically informed people of faith. American aspirations to charity, economic opportunity, and freedom of conscience stem directly from the founders’ understanding of Providential design. America’s founders realized that they were establishing a very special “city on a hill” inspired by Christian Scottish Enlightenment ideals.”

“Now Americans of moral confidence are needed to speak against a real genocide of Christians at the hands of ISIS. Would those living under the tyranny of terror really require that Americans have a perfect record before speaking out on the most urgent moral and religious freedom issues of our lifetimes?

Author’s Note: I contacted the church with my concerns on the Sunday afternoon of the sermon and the pastor who delivered the sermon responded to say that he may have been clumsy but that “our reading of history is far from one another.“ The senior pastor said he hoped I would understand “if we do not dialogue any further on this one issue.” The sermon, entitled “Becoming People of the Cross,” may be viewed on the church website, but the almost two minute section that I transcribed above was removed at some point during the week after the sermon was posted (approximately the 31:09 minute marker). Finally, I submitted the text of my piece at final editing phase to the pastors for review, comment, clarification, or rebuttal. The senior pastor replied: “No comment.”

Perhaps the Pastor needs to carefully consider Luke 6:42? It is time, past time, for people like Lugo to stand forth and shame such ignorance. This needs to come from the congregation as well as outsiders – much like the NYPD turning its back on the mayor recently. The Pastor needs to be reminded that “Obedience to the ninth commandment is a requirement for building character.” and that Jesus was about acknowledgment and forgiveness of sin, not “no comment”.

NOTE: it is interesting in that the Bethel Church of God author on the 9th Commandment also suffers from these problems even while describing the word of God: “Some business people lie all the time. Their desire for financial advantage overrides any honesty they may have, and they engage in scams and fraudulent schemes constantly.” A more truthful assertion would be that some people lie all the time. This choice of words is indicative of a bias, a lie in an of itself. The author notes that self deception is behind may lies and most of that will only be held to account by God at final judgment. Business, on the other hand, is accountable to its customers. Any business that lies will suffer as a result. The only social agency that can lie and get away with it is government and this is a lesson many seem to have difficulty understanding, especially, as it seems from these two pastoral examples, church leaders.

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