About Jesus   Steve Sweetman

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Christians In Conflict 


I was a month away from my 20th birthday.  It was November, 1971, just 4 months after I graduated from high school.  Myself and three friends; one prophet and two apostles, were hanging out at Centennial Secondary School, in Belleville, Ontario, Canada.  Being a good Old Testament style prophet as he claimed to be, my friend opened his extra large Bible, and in a loud voice began to preach with all the conviction he possessed.  Within minutes there were at least 75 students listening to the gospel.


"You've got to stop this", the principal of the school shouted as he pushed his way through the crowd. 


Now nobody tells a prophet to stop preaching.  "You can't stop me from preaching in the name of Jesus".  My prophet friend couldn't be more adamant.


"I'll give you a classroom to preach in.  I'll announce  over the public address system that you'll be there after school.  We just can't have this chaos in the hallway".  The principal was just as adamant as the prophet.     


The prophet of God agreed.  As we would have said  back then, "man, this is far out".  Come 4 o'clock, we were there, eager, ready, and more than willing to preach our hearts out.  It was standing room only, with both teachers and students in attendance.      


Looking kind of prophetic, with his black hair and long black trench coat, the prophet proclaimed the Word of the Lord in good old John the Baptist style.  "1 John 1:8 says that if we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us " 


After ten minutes or so a teacher's voice was heard above the voice of the prophet.  "I'm not a sinner, and I'm sure not deceived".


"But you are a sinner, and you sure are deceived".  The prophet held nothing back as he quoted 1 John 2:4. "The man who says I know God, but does not do what He commands is a liar'".      


Gasps were heard from across the room.  Did the young prophet just call the teacher a liar?  The teacher sure thought so.  Visibly angered, he stormed out of the room in defiance and disgust.  The classroom was now in a chaotic uproar.  Our Billy Graham style evangelical campaign was over.  The prophet was just another wacko Jesus Freak in the eyes of those shaking their heads as they left the room.


Interestingly enough, there was one teacher who invited us back to speak to her world religions class.  We felt like the early apostles; persecuted in one town, or in this case one room, but welcomed in another.  News of this spread across town.  We were subsequently invited to another high school and a community college.  We didn't hold anything back.  We preached the repentance of sin as the Bible defines sin.  All people everywhere had to hand their lives over to the Lord Jesus to escape the Lake of Fire .  We were full of youthful boldness and enthusiasm, but not necessarily full of wisdom that comes with age.  Was he a real prophet?  Well, maybe a "want-to-be prophet".             


Our culture, and parts of what we call church, have  redefined the Biblical meaning of sin that my want-to-be prophet friend proclaimed so valiantly.  This has created a conflict between Christians and culture, whether secular culture or reliigous culter.  If we haven't already, it's time to blow the dust off the youthful boldness we once possessed.  We need it now more than ever, and here's one reason why.       


Christian Crossroads Communications is a Christian broadcasting organization in Canada.  They've raised more than 35 million dollars from private donations over the last 30 years for humanitarian aid around the world.  Recently they received $544,813.00 from the Canadian government to help provide fresh water to parts of Uganda.  Government helps fund humanitarian projects like this all the time.  It saves them from getting involved. 


Canada's Foreign Affairs minister, John Baird, has publicly "taken offense" to the "mean spirited" remarks on Crossroad's web site.  The remarks in question is a simple statement setting forth Biblical values concerning sexuality.  Foreign Affairs minister, John Baird, is outraged.  He says that Crossroads does not reflect the "Canadian values of tolerance, acceptance, and diversity".  Many Canadians are just as outraged, and wonder why the government would give funds to such an intolerant and bigoted group.  See more at. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2013/02/12/pol-cida-baird-


Thomas Mulchair, the leader of the New Democratic Party, the official opposition in the Canadian parliament, agrees.  He says that Evangelicals are out of step with Canadian values when it comes to matters of sexuality. I'm surprised that a prominent politician would take the risk of alienating an important segment of his constituency with that remark.  This tells me that the conflict is escalating.  Mulchair neither cares for Evangelicals or cares if he alienates them.  Sad to say, Mulchair is right.  There's an ever widening gap between Canadian culture and Christian Biblical culture.  The wider the gap, the more the conflict.  Evangelicals are outdated, intolerant, bigoted, and, just a bunch of wacko Jesus Freaks.  See more at;  http://www.niagarafallsreview.ca/2013/02/11/evangelicals-are-un-canadian-ndp-


Kathleen Wynne is the province of Ontario's new openly gay premier.  Premier is the equivalent to governor in the U.S..   She's made no secret about being gay, so neither should I.  Her plan is to reintroduce the "graphic sex education curriculum" for primary school students that was defeated in provincial parliament in 2010.  This curriculum would teach Canada's new sexual values, the values that Evangelicals call sin, to children as young as 6 years old.      


It's clear, Christians are in conflict with culture.  Our Biblical based values oppose all things cultural.  It's not that we want a fight.  We'd rather live in peace, but we will not exchange Biblical values for desired peace.  It's not that we have a persecution complex.  We just cannot forsake the Lord Jesus Christ, not now, not ever.  The Bible tells us that "it has been granted to us on behalf of Christ not only to believe on Him, but to suffer for Him". (Philippians 1:29)  So, with the wisdom we've gained with age; in the midst of suffering caused by conflict, we will search the cellar of our souls and rediscover the youthful boldness we once possessed. 



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