Yesterday I received the following message from pastor Valerie Hartwell. She and her husband Roy Hartwell are pastors of a church in the Olympia area.
It is not uncommon for me to hear from pastors and leaders on a wide range of issues. I always appreciate their in put and suggestions.
"I don't normally make requests on what one writes on their blog... yours are always exceptionally good, btw. But on this emergency issue of a fellow pastor - an Iranian pastor currently imprisoned for his faith about to be hanged for not denying our Lord and Obama joining the international community condemning this (holding our breath!) execution - I can't help but ask you to blog on the hypocrisy of Obama and his administration for putting forth policy in America currently being done to persecute pastors and Christians for their Christian beliefs here in America, e.g. not defending DOMA - a fundamental Christian belief - while at the same time condemning Iran for not allowing this pastor to have freedom of his religion is the height of hypocrisy and shame to Obama."
I said, why don't you share some thoughts on the subject and I'll make it a guest column for Thursday.
This is her response:
We pray to God for this pastor and his family that he is not executed for not denying his faith in the Lord. Yet, I hope this is a resounding wake-up call and an embarrassment to Christians in America who have been cowardly squandering their faith and unwilling to take a stand personally and in the pulpit for our Lord e.g. - afraid to sign a petition opposing homosexual marriage for fear "names, reputations (political and personal) or businesses will be exposed, afraid to speak boldly in the public about turning ones life back to the Lord, or being afraid to exercise our constitutional right to freedom of speech in public conversation on the issue of homosexual marriage for fear they will be rejected or scoffed. I have already done this (not in an adversarial way - just talking) while doing a simple thing like getting my nails done and have witnessed so-called Christians embarrassed about bringing this issue up and trying to shush me instead! Of course, I didn't stand for it, but is this what our American Christian brethren have come to?
I would like you to read an article by Jennifer LeClair, linked here.
What I see has been happening in our country is that the homosexual has "come out of the closet" brazenly expressing their homosexuality while the Christian (who should be shouting their faith from the housetop) have withdrawn into their closet afraid to come out. This is a travesty. I preached this once at our church. In the last chapter of Revelations the Lord talks about cowards. We as professing Christians should not leave it up to public pundits, brave Christian politicians, or the nightly newscast to dissect this, but should take great courage and stand together unapologetically for our faith now in THIS country. The curtain has been drawn back and the line has been drawn in the sand as to which side we are going to stand. As this bold faithful pastor unashamedly proclaimed his faith let his witness be a stinging testimony to our Christian conscience and dis-ease our comfort so that we may boldly proclaim our faith.
Just read today that the US House to vote on demanding pastor Nadarkhani's release...
God STIR us to STAND!
Thank you, Gary... Valerie Hartwell
And, as you say in your blogs, Gary, May God help us....
May God help us indeed.
If you have not yet signed up to help circulate petitions in defense of marriage please do so here.
Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful. Be Active. Be Blessed.