Thursday, April 23, 2015

In The Spirit Of God's Love

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Two more churches have been vandalized because someone disagrees with their message. This time in North Carolina.

Reports say the cost of repair and restoration will run into the tens of thousands of dollars.

The damage includes shattered windows in the nursery, spray painted messages of "one way ticket to hell" and "God loves fags, He hates you" on the entrance doors to the sanctuary.

Pastor Carl Pulliam of Bales Wesleyan says at his church the damage consisted of spray painting pro-homosexual slogans on the side walls of the church building, guest parking signs thrown through the children's nursery windows, the church bus keyed and a metal sign stabbed through the front grill of the bus.

The church marquis was damaged, all the flowers in the beds were pulled up and thrown around the property and the spray painted message on the front of the church was "one way to hell' with an arrow pointing toward the sanctuary.

So how are these churches responding?

They are responding in the spirit of God's love.

Both churches stand for marriage between one man and one woman.

On their Facebook Page Bales Wesleyan expressed gratitude to all who have come out to help with the repair and restoration, saying "God's promises are truly never broken."

I noted one woman, Elizabeth Manning, had posted on the church's page, "That is what the love of Jesus is all about. Family taking care of family."

Grace Baptist Pastor Paul Coward wrote the following on their church Facebook page.

His sentiments, I believe, represent those of millions of Christians every where:

Grace Baptist Church
April 13 at 7:23am · Edited ·
Here's Grace4U: 
Surprise. Sadness. Anger. Vengeance. Just a few words that came to mind when I saw the the destructive vandalism Sunday morning at Grace Baptist Church. At a business, a school, on a bridge or elsewhere is just wrong but ... to the house of God ... unthinkable! Why would someone(s) stoop so low to vandalize a church? In a word: Sin! The prophet Jeremiah says that "the heart is deceitful & desperately wicked above all things" (17:9). Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned ..." Yes, it's true that Satan opposes God & he is probably laughing about this vandalism. But God's shows us the destructive sin nature found in all mankind - including each one of us! 
Someone may ask, "Why would God allow this?" & other why questions come to mind. After all, if God is so all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-present, why didn't He stop it? Why is there so much evil? Where was God when the vandals were at work? My answer: the same place He was when His Son was hanging on THE CROSS. God is in control & He has a purpose for everything (Romans 8:28). He is a God of love - God loves EVERYONE ... including gays! But He is also a God of holiness & He has a righteous standard - perfection. No human being meets that standard - hence THE CROSS. 
"But I want justice!" Really? If we really got justice then A-L-L of us would deserve the fiery furnace of hell & spend the rest of our lives in a Christless eternity. But, oh, thank God for THE CROSS! "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). THE CROSS is where God's holiness meets God's love. 
So, what should be a right response to the vandalism committed to the house of God? First, let us all remember our own sinful nature (Jer. 17:9). Then we need to listen to the words of Jesus from the sermon on the mount, "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you" (Matthew 5:44). 
As one of your shepherds I believe God wanted me to share these words from my heart.
In Christ, 
Pastor Paul

Peter Marshall, pastor of New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington DC, and later US Senate Chaplain often said, "God will not permit any troubles to come upon us, unless He has a specific plan by which great blessing can come out of the difficulty."

Be Blessed.