Pastor Mike's thoughts

Thoughts on today's Christian world and how it fits into secular society.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Speaking the truth

Then the disciples came to him and asked, "Do you realize you offended the Pharisees by what you just said?" (Matthew 15:12, NLT).

You may have read or heard the now-famous prayer from a couple of years ago, spoken by a Wichita pastor before legislators in the Kansas House of Representatives. The prayer was spread all around the internet, but it would be good to remember it.

Pastor Joe Wright of the Central Christian Church, prayed: "We confess we have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and called it moral pluralism. We have worshiped other gods and called it multiculturalism. We have endorsed perversion and called it an alternative lifestyle. We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery. We have neglected the needy and called it self-preservation. We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare. We have killed our unborn and called it choice. We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable. We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem."

One legislator walked out. But Pastor Wright kept right on praying. "We have abused power and called it political savvy. We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition. We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of _expression. We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment."

Pastor Wright closed with asking for God's forgiveness, blessing and wisdom.

Knowing how a secular society would respond, one legislator called the prayer "divisive, sanctimonious, self-serving, and overbearing."

Even though what Pastor Wright prayed was not politically correct, he told the truth. The truth is not popular. It offends the guilty. Our Lord Jesus Christ was the Master of telling the truth, which cut to the quick of the religious hypocrites of the day and offended the guilty, just like it still does today. That's one of the reasons they hated Him them, and still hate Him to this day.

For example, there was a time when the Lord rebuked the Pharisees: "Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone. Woe to you Pharisees, because you love the most important seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces. Woe to you, because you are like unmarked graves, which men walk over without knowing it" (Luke 11:42-44, NIV).

But we also have to remember that the Lord was also the Master of speaking love and grace. When we speak in public, our words must also be "full of grace" (Colossians 4:6, NIV). But sometimes, as the Spirit leads, we must simply and courageously speak the plain-old, unadulterated truth, even if it does offend someone. It's all in the way you do it. Do it out of love for the person, not to be right. Do it for the Kingdom of God.

Praying that we all start speaking out for Jesus,
Pastor Mike


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