Reformed Baptist Fellowship

Inviting the Curse of God

In Reformed Baptist Fellowship on April 28, 2009 at 12:42 am

Have you heard about St. Thomas United Presbyterian in Detroit?  They made headlines recently due to their political and religious activities.  You see the church had the temerity to take out an ad critical of homosexual marriage.  The ad was printed in the Detroit Register at a great cost to the church.   The Rev. Thomas Blinders said that though it cost the church their mission’s budget, that such a message was necessary to, “protect the American dream for our children”.  The church is now in danger of losing its tax exempt status.  The church was also criticized by the local interfaith community due to their teaching that Jesus is only way of salvation.  The accusation of bigotry and intolerance has caused St. Thomas United Presbyterian in Detroit to face this opposition head on.  “We will not be bullied,” Dr. Blinders stated to reporters.  “We have recently enacted a political action committee to meet these threats in kind.”   The church’s normally sparsely attended prayer service was given over to a standing room only political strategy session to regain its good name in the community.   The church has hired a Washington based PR firm to aid them in this quest.  The morning service was given over to a sermon in which the Rev. Blinders laid out the course of action.  Billboard space has been purchased along I-75 and commercials are slated to begin running on local radio and television.  “Our free speech is being threatened and we will not stand idly by and let this happen,” one parishioner told reporters.  “These issues have become the focal point of our attention.  If we do not fight, who will?  It’s ultimately about our children and what it means to be an American!”   The church has vowed to use every source available to them to wage this fight.

Now before you start googling this particular church and wonder why you have never heard of St. Thomas United Presbyterian in Detroit (or STUPID), I will confess that I have made it up.  The scenario which I have laid out may one day happen in our country.  Preaching against homosexuality or continuing to proclaim Jesus as the one way God has appointed for sinners to be saved will become increasingly troublesome.  But the question before us is this:  what will we do when the tide turns?  Who will we turn to for help and protection?  Will we remember that then, as now, that our fight is not against flesh and blood?  We will remember then, as we must remember now that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal?   One of my purposes in the parable above is to demonstrate that the S.T.U.P.I.D. church was prayerless.  They cancelled their prayer meeting.  They called upon men to aid them.  Jeremiah spoke to this issue over 2,500 years ago in words that are very relevant to the prayerless churches of modern America.  

Jeremiah 17:5-8 5 Thus says the LORD:  “Cursed is the man who trusts in man And makes flesh his strength, Whose heart departs from the LORD.  6 For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, And shall not see when good comes, But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, In a salt land which is not inhabited.  7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, And whose hope is the LORD.  8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit.”

When our churches cancel their prayer meetings due to lack of attendance and lack of interest, what are we saying?   When the prayer meeting is the least attended of all the meetings of the church what are we saying?  Are we not telling God, thanks, we got this one!    We can do this on our own?   I realize that payer meetings often come in the middle of the week (they don’t need to), and that there are many demands upon our time and our families   But I am also aware that  calling down the blessing of God upon our churches and our nations will not take place in beds of ease and without sacrifice.  Will we be prove to be cursed and withered shrubs or flourishing trees rooted by the river?

James Savastio
Reformed Baptist Church of Louisville
  1. I am always reminded by such articles of the disciples in Acts 4. They had been forbidden to preach in the name of Jesus – if there’s a single-issue conflict, not a bad one – and were determined to hold the line. Once they were released, they went back to their brothers. They did not print T-shirts, develop slogans, lobby governments, go on marches, purchase airtime, and form pressure groups.

    They went to prayer, the result of which was that they place in which they were assembled together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the Word of God with boldness. It you look at the long-term effects of such a strategy, I think you are forced to recognise that they were on to something.

  2. That illustration was actually the introduction to his sermon on Acts 4:23-31! Ok, now I am convinced you are a prophet just like your father 😉 (He preached on the Shunammite woman and the goodness of God without even knowing that our church particularly needed it that very evening).

  3. How timely of such a reminder Jim! Just last week almost all of New England (can’t recall if RI has yet embraced it) has now embraced same sex marriages. My prayer is that the churches here will not have a knee-jerk reaction but in patience and diligence, approach the Father on these issues that stand against His laws. It is my belief that men’s hearts must change through the Gospel before kingdoms change, rather than the worldly approach of politics. I’m not encouraging that we all stop voting and not write to our representatives, but rather more time needs to be spent at the throne of Grace, which the Lord has granted us entrance to as believers.

  4. The 501c3 church in America has partnereed voluntarily with the state, to recieve from the state what it did not need, tax exemption. This unnessesary partnership with the state, obligated the church, now in partnership with the state, to recieve it’s exemption. The church is already exempt, and in no means needed the state for tax exemption. The noose was appplied from the state to the recieving 501c3 incorporateed state church. The incorporated church was more than willing to be ‘legit’, and find favor in the eyes of the State by incorporating, accepting the gag, remaining silent, in exchange for the money. Prior to incorporation, the church is an entity recognized by law. The church, now a partner with the state, is under certain requirements, by law, ie gag order to remain neutral on political campaigning. The 501c3 was meant to gag the church, and diminish the role and influence the Preacher has over his flock. I think it has worked. It is no suprise that now the state wants more silence from it’s benefit recipient partner, the church. Again, the church already has tax exemption, but erred in partnering with the state (another Romans 13 root of error). Once the camel gets its nose under the tent, not long before more of it get’s in. This is one of the problems with incorporated churches in America. Unincorporation does not make a church perfect, but the ‘free’ church is under no law to be silent, with regards to any matter.

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