Letter to America

Dear America,

There comes a moment in life when we must all take a look at our lives and see if we are truly accomplishing what we set out to accomplish. I am concerned with the state of our Nation…a once great land in which we could all be proud; a Nation we were not afraid to call home. But here we are watching the decline of our society and instead of fighting for our freedom; we are truly fighting against it.

We are Americans, and we have a voice, at least that is what we have been told. We have been told that our rights as Americans are founded in a Constitution that is now being ripped apart at the seams. What happened to the day that our votes counted? We have been raised to believe that we need to be part of the process, casting a vote that will allow the people to speak out and voice their opinion and be unified and together on an issue, but that has been taken from us by someone who was appointed to their job, not elected; someone who is not a voice for the people.

This has become more than an issue based on same-sex marriage, more than a right to life or pro-choice stance, and so much more than policies and procedures. This has now become about our freedom to vote as we feel led, to vote for what matters to us, and to vote for things that we feel will make our country a stronger place to live. Regardless of which side of the issues you are on, today we are facing the destruction of our core values as a nation, and for what? For a few folks to see satisfaction?

I am not attacking anyone by saying this, nor do I want to, but I want to encourage each of us to stand up for what we believe in. I want to ask each of you to pray for our Nation and seek the council of God in these issues. I am not here to tell anyone how to vote or try to influence someone to change their mind, but I am asking America to stand up as the great nation that we once were and reclaim what is designed to be, “Of the people, for the people, and by the people.”

We have to wake up and see the error in our ways. Like I said, this is more than just an issue on marriage equality; it is an attack on the rights and beliefs of a group of people who now no longer feel that their voice matters or their vote counts. Never should a majority vote of a people be overturned by one individual who was never elected as a voice for the people. Never should a single voice be taken in a debate while the other voice is not given ear. What happened to the day where citizens were granted the opportunity to voice their concerns?

What has happened is a lack of respect based on what is a perceived view-point that has destroyed the country. As a Christian, I can no longer be silent on an issue that is gripping my heart at the core. I feel that my rights have been infringed upon…I feel as if my voice is no longer allowed in the court of public opinion because of what the media has decided my opinion is. I know there are others who feel the same as I do, and as I said, I can no longer keep quiet.

I feel the need to clear the air on a couple of issues, one being that there is a small number of folks who are ready to attack and condemn others to Hell based on a limited knowledge of the scripture. This is not the view that Christians need to adopt, nor is it the view that Christ came to portray. Jesus Christ, in his own words, “…did not come into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved (John 3:17).” Why do we feel the need to attack others and curse them to Hell before we take a good look at what Christ may have been trying to tell us?

Second, I see an issue with an attitude that no one is willing to discuss the issues any further. This is not the way we need to approach any situation in life. Gandhi may have said it best when he stated that he had no problem with Christ, but he had a problem with Christians because, “they are nothing like their Christ.” Unfortunately, as a minister, I have to agree with him. Christ did not come to condemn, but to save…so why do we as Christians feel the need to condemn before we show the love of Christ? Jesus died once, FOR ALL! Christ did not suffer on the cross and die to say that this group or that group was headed straight to Hell; no, Christ suffered and died to keep them from doing just that. Christ died to give hope, to show love, and to protect his people!

I propose that we fight as a people to keep our voice relevant in a country that is supposed to be founded on those beliefs. I feel that if this is an issue that needs to be revisited, take it to another vote! Allow the people to voice their opinion again, and allow it to be what it is…do not sit back and allow one person to use their education and personal opinion to determine what our forefathers meant when they established this nation. They are not here to defend their words, so let’s stop writing between the lines and take it at face value. Stop reading into things and start acting like the great nation we are.

As a pastor, I feel the need to encourage all of us to get into the Scripture. Stop assuming that what others are telling you is true and start studying and determining what it says to you. We must repent of our sins, ALL SINS, not just the ones that we THINK someone else is committing. There is a reason we are told to remove our planks before attacking someone else’s splinter. We must seek to glorify God in a nation that was formed on values that are spoken in our Declaration of Independence. We declared freedom and stated, “All men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; among those being life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

These rights are GOD GIVEN, they are not transferable (inalienable), and they are no one’s but your own! Stand up for yourself and stop embracing what is hip and cool. Stop following the crowd and figure out for yourself where you stand. America, I’m calling on you to step up and be men and women of courage and character. Stop blurring the lines between morals and seek God. No sin is greater than another, and truthfully we are sinners who are saved by grace and grace alone. None of us deserve the gifts that God has given, but yet He gave them freely. Do you believe Him? If so, please stop pointing fingers and let’s join together in unified dependence on a God who has given us life.

Pray for your leaders, pray for your pastors, pray for your neighbors, your friends, and your family. If you are a Christian now is the time to stand up for the Kingdom, not attack others. If you claim to be a Christian, then be Christ-like. We must be what He has called us to be…we must be the Church and seek to save souls, not condemn them. Please give it a thought…trust that God will lead us through. After all, hasn’t He always promised His people that He will be there?

Sincerely,

Phillip Greene

Stand for Christ

So here we are, 2014, and what do we have to show for it?

A fight for Gay Marriage, a young woman who is willing to take her own life (and being praised for it) so that she doesn’t have to suffer through an illness that others battle everyday, and a fight to keep our rights as Christians on a daily basis…

I’m not trying to cause a riot, nor am I saying we should physically fight and cause issues that are even more difficult to deal with…what I am saying is that we need to get back to God’s Word for our answers and not some text book or pamphlet that is obviously bias toward an issue.

That being said, here is where we stand…John 11:4 – Jesus said that an illness was not so death could take place, but so that God could be glorified. This to me means that we should not decided whether we should suffer, rather we should take each suffering as a joy and a tribute to the Savior who suffered for us, so we should give God the chance to be lifted up and glorified, not take our own life because the suffering may be too great. Let me remind you that our Savior suffered; He was beaten and bruised, flesh ripped from his body, nailed to a tree and raised up for all to see; bloody, almost unrecognizable, and suffering. Jesus suffered so that we would not have to deal with the death that was rightfully ours.

This suffering of Christ saved our life, and our life should be lived for Him. Embrace your sufferings; don’t seek the easy way out…

The other issue is not even about Gay Marriage to me, but rather about our voice as Christians in a Country that was FOUNDED ON CHRISTIAN VALUES! Let me say that this is in no way an attack on anyone, but a call for prayer from the Church. When our country strays away from it’s foundation in order to please a few people, the majority becomes the minority. When a majority votes to make a decision about where they as a people stand, a small group deciding that the vote of the people is wrong and should be taken away to me is unconstitutional. Twenty years ago in our country this would not stand, but today it is praised and even rewarded.

No time before have we seen the need for revival and prayer as we do today in this country. Today I am asking each of you to pray that we will not sit silently by as Christ is torn from the foundation of our churches and communities. Take a stand and let your voice be heard – First by the Father in Heaven who GAVE US LIFE!!! And second, by those who are “making decisions based on their constituents’ beliefs”. Let them know that their district or community does not agree with their decision.

Today we must take a stand for Christ!

Today

I came across a short writing from Wayne Eads that left me completely overwhelmed by the beauty of what God does for us.  It is a writing that helped me to understand even more so how he takes care of each of us.

“There are two days in every week about which we should not worry, two days which should be kept free from fear and apprehension.

One of these days is YESTERDAY with its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, its aches and pains. Yesterday has passed forever beyond our control. All the money in the world cannot bring back Yesterday. We cannot undo a single act we performed; we cannot erase a single word we said—Yesterday is gone……

“The other day we should not worry about is TOMORROW with its possible adversities, its burdens, its large promise and poor performance. Tomorrow is also beyond our immediate control. Tomorrow’s sun will rise, either in splendor or behind a mask of clouds, but it will rise. Until it does, we have no stake in Tomorrow, for it is yet unborn….

“This leaves only one day—TODAY! Anybody can fight the battles of just one day. It is only when you and I add the burdens of those two awful eternities—YESTERDAY and TOMORROW—that we break down.

“It is not the experience of today that drives people mad; it is remorse or bitterness for something which happened Yesterday and the dread of what Tomorrow may bring.”

This left me thinking about how we get so wrapped up in what has happened in our lives, or in many cases, what we think will happen.  Matthew 6:34 tells us this way “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (ESV)”

Let’s focus on today and leave those other two days where they lie. We cannot change what has happened to us in the days that are gone, and we have no control over what will happen to us tomorrow.  I encourage each of us today to take today as it comes, do not let the past determine how your day will go; in the same way, do not let your anxiety over tomorrow keep you from experiencing the blessings that God has for you today.  Let today be today! Let today be a day of blessing and happiness.  Let today come and go, and in the morning, experience another TODAY!

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)