Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Death Voice Of The Religious

There is no greater hatred or verbal violence to be encountered in life than through the death voice of the religious. I preface by saying, “Never confuse the praise and encouragement of Christianity with the hate filled rhetoric of the religious. They have similar language and phrases, but it’s a different ballgame altogether.
This is what the religious crowd said about Jesus. In Matthew Chapter 9 they said he was a “keeper of bad company.” In the book of Mark he was said to be of “poor common stock, a laborer and possessed of Beelzebub”…just to name a few. The gospel of John records the religious saying that Jesus was from the wrong neighborhood, a deceiver and a hypocrite, unlearned, had a persecution complex, was demon possessed – full of the devil and a divider of the people. John goes on to record their further accusation that Jesus was not recommended by rulers, unrecognized by religious leaders, and furthermore…he was said to be a "liar, false prophet, a bastard, ungodly, insane and a blasphemer.” The high and holy really do have a way with words.

By the way, if it was the religious who wanted Jesus falsely accused and eventually crucified, would you like to know who scripture says defended his innocence? You might be amazed. They were as follows: Pilate (Matthew 27:24), Pilate’s wife (Matthew 27:19), Judas Iscariot (Matthew 27:4), The thief on the cross (Luke 23:41), and the Roman soldiers (Mark 15:39). The religious leaders lied about Jesus and wanted him dead, gone and out of their sight forever. The ungodly ruler, his wife, the betrayer, a sentenced to die thief and the soldier who arrested him and nailed him to a tree…all declared he was innocent and most likely the Son of God.

The way of the religious man’s heart has always been to either wound or destroy those he disagrees with by means of slander, innuendo and sometimes even outright lies. Jesus felt the full force of their verbal arsenal. Nothing much has changed in the past two thousand years. We have only fine tuned the art with the added asset of today’s media and social messaging outlets at our disposal to assist in spreading hatred in the name of godliness.

I was fortunate enough to be living when the United States of America decided that unless the government forced the integration of public schools, we would likely remain a segregated and elitist society until the return of Jesus. The religious however, decided that such a move was only proof that the Lord was soon returning. The fact that the government forced us to treat other people fairly and equally was surely proof of His soon return! I mean…what else could it mean? (BTW…the religious of today love to pull that “Jesus has to return now” card out of their back pocket whenever things don’t go their way. If that doesn’t work…the communist card is soon to follow.)

Speaking of the communist card, I was also around during the days when every religious group in the nation was hauling people into skating rinks, gymnasiums, churches and any other place that would accommodate a screen and a projector for the showing of David Wilkerson’s prophet film…”If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horsemen Do?” During those little amateur film festivals the crowd was worked into fear and outrage over the communist mantra to one day see American streets filled with the blood of every Christian whose throat had been slit by the soon to arrive horsemen.

You of course know the outcome. The Soviet Union fell, the Berlin wall crumbled…and the religious have moved on to more lucrative exploits for their ongoing campaign involving the voice of death.

Today’s religious voice has its own agenda, coupled with a new platform of people they take issue with. But the rhetoric is just the same. Words of slander and death are still used as their weapon of choice against anyone who would dare to walk to the beat of any drum beating different to their own. If you remember nothing else, remember this. Whether printed or spoken, words of slander and death hurled about at will from the list of religious critics, reveal far more about the one speaking than the one to which the words are directed. Remember this…and you will avoid the evil, and never-ending trap surrounding the voice of death.

There is no need for fear. The loud and vindictive voice of the religious man is as worthless and powerless as it was in the day of Jesus. Sure, the indignation and the false accusations against Jesus resulted in his ultimate crucifixion, but let’s not forget…”that was the plan all along.” God used the Pharisees to accomplish His wondrous salvation plan that would reach out to include even the repentant Pharisee. The Pharisees did what they did best. They spoke in hate and anger, using words that brought spiritual and emotional death. Jesus did what He does best. He stood silent, speaking not a word in defense of their hatred. Then He topped it all with his personal best. He died and rose again to bring to us the greatest miracle gift of love the world has ever known.

When Jesus was resurrected, He was resurrected in LIFE! Jesus Christ, and all who follow him, (Christians) speak life. Christians simply have a different heart than the religious. Their eyes are set on a higher calling. Their lips are heard speaking praise and encouragement wherever they go, and in whatever situation they are found. When they can find no good…they stand silent. The popular phrase used by the religious is, “We have to stand up for what is right!”

The shout of Christians is simply, “Praises be to the name of Jesus!” Christians know something the religious will never quite grasp. It is simply that at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow and every tongue will one day confess that Jesus Christ is Lord! The name of pet programs, politicians, celebrities or religious leaders will not suffice. It is at spoken name of Jesus where everything changes.

Christians don’t have time to be drawn into the stupidity of “he said / she said.” Christians don’t have precious time to waste on debating the holiness of one American political party over another, or one man-made religious denomination over another. Christians have always known that their power is not found within the confines of the political process, nor is it found in the charisma of their latest celebrity or religious icon. Our power is found in Jesus Christ, and in Him alone.

In the end, Christians would never use the “Jesus is coming soon” card as a slap in someone’s face with whom we disagree. Christians have ALWAYS known that Jesus is coming again. We know this because, “Jesus Christ himself…said it.” So what’s all the fuss? If something within the realm of disagreement with the religious crowd has instigated the soon return of Jesus to redeem us all to our eternal reward, I say, “Come quickly Lord Jesus. We’ve all anticipated this day!”

Whether this earth stands for one day, one week or for one million years, the religious will continue with the only game they know. They will clothe themselves in the false piety of their religious robes and continue to slander and verbally abuse anyone in their path with whom they disagree. To the religious, it will always be “my way or the highway.”

But across that same stretch of time, Christians will be speaking life and invoking the blood of Jesus Christ into a lost and hurting world. But we might as well get used to it. Right up until the very end, with a vigilant attempt to drown out the praise and joy of the children of God, you will clearly hear the noise and frustrations within…The Death Voice Of The Religious.

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