Greetings from the great folks at the Red Roof Church in Bulverde, Texas. I’m Lee Harder, the senior pastor, inviting you to join us for worship this Sunday at 8:30 or 10:45AM for a celebration of God’s Word. When one considers all the mixed messages out there today, St. Paul is a church Where God’s Word is Heard from Scripture every week and not a social agenda. That is a good thing to count on. Check us out on our web page at redroofchurch.org and then come by for worship, fellowship and the joy of life in Christ.
Paul wrote in his letter to the church in the city of Rome, Romans 12:2 to be exact, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Yet, I am constantly aware how we Christians like to make Christ over into our own image rather than trying to make the world conform to the will of God. In the past, we made Jesus a warrior when we sent the crusaders marching to the Holy Land to take back Jerusalem and crush the Muslims. 500 years later, we made Jesus someone to be scared of so we couldn’t come to Him in prayer but had to go through the saints with a small nominal fee, of course.
Today, many in the Christian church want Jesus to be this great guy who is only about love and niceness where everybody is saved. Mind you, that’s not the Jesus of Scripture and never was. Too many want to replace the unchanging Jesus of the Bible with a do-it-yourself-deity who is made and unmade according to our own specifications.
Here’s the latest attempt and this one is by a whole denomination. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America or ELCA has opted for another socially designed, politically correct, decision at their annual national gathering this year in Milwaukee. With the vote of about 700 people, representing about 3.4 million ELCA Lutherans, they decided that the ELCA would be a “sanctuary church” protecting the rights of migrant children and families. While they use the word “migrants” what they really mean is illegal immigrants coming into this country contrary to all our laws and national sovereignty. They perceive the arrest, detainment and deportation of such persons as unfair and unjust. In their eyes, the laws enforced by immigration agencies seeking to maintain our national sovereignty and security for the purpose of keeping us safe don’t matter. What that all means, I don’t know, and I suspect neither do they understand the ramifications of their vote based on the progressive agenda of a liberal leadership. Yet, these few voted for a whole church body that likely is not all in agreement with their stand.
Remember, this is the same Christian denomination that has considered the Old Testament to be a work of fiction, stories for Sunday school children; quietly but effectively stopped talking about sin or our need for repentance because it makes people feel sad and uncomfortable; and embraced with several other Christian bodies the universal salvation mentality that everybody is going to heaven because a loving God wouldn’t condemn anyone to hell. Besides, there really isn’t a devil anyway.
Look, I don’t want people to suffer who need food, medical attention, and the like. At the same time, I don’t believe we should allow people to flood into our nation illegally, especially when there are so many who seek to do it legally through proper channels.
A church that seeks to help those in need, I applaud. We should because it is what Jesus did and it’s the right thing to do. However, a church that stands in direct opposition to civil law because it doesn’t fit the politically correct image supported by some in a position of power and leadership is wrong. In the process, the condemnation of people who are doing their best in a difficult situation to help in a humane way people in need while maintaining order and safety for a nation is not commendable. It’s wrong and I suspect there will be many within its congregations across the nation that will agree.
In the days of Jesus, Israel’s religious leaders, the Pharisees, Scribes and Sadducees, did the same kind of things. They heaped upon the people rules and regulations, made decisions, that they decided were necessary which only satisfied their desires, while they put themselves above the need to be subject to them. Funny how the same problems of the past keep reappearing again and again. We sure are slow learners, failing to learn from our history. Maybe some day.
And those are my thoughts. God bless,
Pastor Lee R. Harder