What do you think of when you think of “remaining faithful”? The first thing that comes to my mind when I ponder that question is my own relationship with Jesus. Even as a pastor, I am concerned first and foremost about my own relationship with my Savior. There is no magic formula for pastors. We, or at least I, must still focus on that relationship in order to remain faithful to that to which I am called. Otherwise, I can get off track. Sometimes remaining faithful is awkward. As best my memory serves me, I remember Monty Brown in his book Free Us for Joyful Obedience wrote of a parishioner questioning why God allowed her mother to suffer at the end of her life. Brown said he would have to get back to her and when he did he told her that the Holy Spirit wanted him to tell her that she could have ended her mother’s suffering. She could have placed a pillow over her face at any moment they were alone. The woman was aghast. Then a day or so later the woman told him that he was right and that she let her mother’s last months run its course because she trusted God. Brown said if the Spirit tells you to say something like that, you had better be sure it is of the Spirit of God.
After many months of posting nothing but my blogs and sermons on Facebook, I hope you will read this to allow me to explain my recent posts. I know I am being called to speak out freely as a citizen of the United States. Much as Paul claimed his rights as a citizen late in Acts 16, I have rights as an American. As were his, mine are secondary to my rights and obligations as a follower of Jesus. However, being a citizen of the Kingdom of God does not mean that I do not exercise my rights as an American. One of the ways I feel led to do so is to speak about the importance of a strong America in the world. It is obvious to me that the devil is trying to take down America. While the United States has never been and is not today perfect, there is no better place to live. Freedom is why everyone in the world wants to come to America. And freedom is a gift of God. He gives each person on earth the freedom to choose Him or reject Him. He has given me the freedom to proclaim the Gospel, contrary to the situation of most Christians in the world. And if I want the next generation to be free to proclaim the Gospel, I must not stand by and watch the erosion of the freedom of speech. We must stand against those who would seek to silence us. I feel so strongly about my call, I would be disobedient as a follower of Jesus to not speak out. If you agree or disagree with me, or if I agree or disagree with you, I pray we can at least agree to speak freely as we feel led by God.