Tag Archive | terrorist

I Need A Preacher

French flag

“French Flag” Photo courtesy of François Schnell, Flickr

The news from Paris that spread throughout Europe and across the Atlantic on Friday, November 13th, is still inconceivable, and yet the most horrific truth is that we are only temporarily stunned. We are growing accustomed to a cycle of terrorism while expecting the next attack and watching as our children’s dystopian future materializes. Just two weeks prior to the attacks in Paris, Metrojet Flight 9268 operated by Russian airline Kogalymavia, crashed in the northern Sinai on its way to St. Petersburg, killing 224 people. It is accepted world-wide that the plane crash, like the murderous terrorist attacks in Paris, was a cowardice act of terrorism. Making matters worse, these are two attacks in a month during a fifteen-year timespan that has seen some of the world’s bloodiest terrorism.

We are appalled by the pointless loss of human life, and we find terrorism grotesque while watching people of France suffer needlessly at the hands of brainwashed demonized murderers. We search deep inside our minds for a solution that will put an end to the collective fear and restore order. Possible solutions or quick fixes are easy to find on any news channel or blog post, and opinions vary depending on one’s cultural or political background. But we live in the most divisive time in recent memory. One person’s solution is offensive to another. This disunity exposes our weakness and again the headlines read, “Terrorist attack!” Which city is next?

But when the rhetoric ends and the voices of both corporate and social media — along with political leaders and political hopefuls — fade, we are left to our own thoughts. Many times, we accept begrudgingly the horrifying complexity of a broken humanity and the contradictory, dysfunctional systems it continues to create. Instead of solutions, we are faced with more questions.  As one continues to reflect upon the tragic events in Paris, and the unthinkable terrorist attacks over the past fifteen years, all solutions from a human perspective are short-lived in our minds. It is as if gravity itself pulls any lasting and authentic solutions into a black hole, ripping from us our hope of a peaceful prosperity. How do we make sense of a world that seems to be slipping into a reality in which terrorism is normal?

As Christians, we know right from wrong. As Christians, we know the end of the story. As Christians, we are to rise above these worldly sorrows because we realize that these events are the result of a cursed world, and that we are only saved because of the work of Jesus Christ. But the juxtaposition of our faith in Christ with the reality of what we are experiencing in the world is gut-wrenching, and often so very confusing.

Eighty-nine of the people who were killed during the terrorist attacks were watching a rock concert at the Bataclan Theatre in Paris. Someone in the crowd captured the rock band’s response to the gunfire, and we notice the drummer dive to the ground in fear for his life, and the guitarist standing for a moment in shock before taking shelter. Another camera, in an alley beside the theatre, reveals dozens of people leaving from what seemed to be an emergency exit while gunshots and explosions are heard coming from the inside. Seconds later, people are seen dragging out lifeless victims covered in blood. One can see a man hopping on one leg, as he flees for his life — obviously in agonizing pain — while looking over his shoulder in fear that he is being pursued by these monsters. A few more seconds pass and, on the small road in the narrow alley behind the famous Bataclan Theatre, the camera captures dark blood stains continuing to expand in every direction covering the alley. I say to myself, “this is real,” and my mind processes this new reality one frame at a time.

“This is the new normal,” I whisper to myself.

I think of my wife, my kids, and my church. My mind begins to race with anxiety and fear, realizing all the while that I am not supposed to respond like this. “I’m a child of God, what’s wrong with me?”

Friends, I need a preacher.

Here in the Southern parts of the United States, pastors are often referred to as “Preacher man,” or sometimes simplified to just “Preacher.”  I believe that the office of pastor is a high calling. The pastor is not only responsible for sheep, but must also confront evil head on. The commitment and price one pays to live the life of a pastor is high, but a pastor must be willing to stand up for what is right, and declare the name of Jesus Christ even when our faith is shaken to its foundations. We live in a day when men and woman are ashamed of the Gospel, living as spiritual cowards. A pastor must see through the political correctness of society and be able to identify the real enemy, and remind us of our only champion — Jesus Christ. The pastor does this in such a way that the forefront of his message is always the Gospel of Christ, and yet the pastor must be willing to face the public and private consequences for not mincing words, and for taking a stand against evil. We need fewer politicians, but more preachers.

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. ~ Romans 10:14-17

I need a preacher. You need a preacher. Preachers aren’t perfect, but they are called to declare a bold message. This nation needs a preacher, and every place where there are human beings on this planet needs a preacher. We need a preacher to declare the mighty and powerful truth that is the Word of God. We need the preacher who stands up when the darkness of evil, pain, and hopelessness begins encamping about the church to remind us of our place in Christ, our hope in Christ, and our future in Christ. Even preachers need a preacher. I need a preacher.

In the 10th chapter of Acts, Peter enters the house of Cornelius who greets Peter with honor by bowing to him. But Peter explains to Cornelius that he’s just a man. Cornelius honors this man of God the only way he knows how. He needed a preacher. Cornelius was given a Word of the Lord, and God knew Cornelius, but Cornelius needed a preacher to lead him and his house through the process of being connected to the church through the baptism of the Holy Ghost. As Peter began to preach, the Holy Ghost filled the place. Cornelius needed a preacher.

There are more people who need to hear about Jesus Christ, and know His blessings and eternal life. Here in America, the entire political structure is a mess. We no longer know who to believe. Politicians lie, and the media lies more. Some of the first posts on YouTube after the Paris attacks were posted by people who believed that the entire Paris event was staged, also known as a “black flag operation.” We call them conspiracy theorists, or tinfoil hat-wearing fools. Yet, some of the most popular YouTube channels with millions of subscribers state that nothing we see in the news is actually real, and we’re all being manipulated by the media. People have invented conspiracy theories for a long time. Twenty years ago the world would have considered these ideas silly, but now millions of people no longer believe their government’s official statements, even concerning these gruesome terrorist attacks. Over the past three years, millions and millions of people are no longer watching news from network news channels or websites. They watch self-proclaiming “truth-experts” claiming to know what’s really going on in the world. While there are some valuable independent news sources online, including insightful YouTube channels, isn’t it strange to anyone that anti-Semitism has come to dominate independent YouTube news from all over the world?  We need a preacher.

The church isn’t much better. While churches are caving to social pressure to accept that which is ungodly, other churches who are preaching against sin are considered fanatics. We need a preacher to remind us that there is a standard. We need a preacher to remind us that we can “do all things through Christ who strengthens us.” (Philippians 4:13)

When the tidal wave of despair raced across the Atlantic carrying the news of hostages, explosions, and the cries of children, I needed a preacher. We all needed a preacher, and for many in this moment of sadness we share with our brothers and sisters in France, one such preacher is Dr. Robert Jeffress, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church, Dallas, TX.

Dr. Jeffress first acknowledged from his pulpit in Dallas that our hearts and prayers should focus on the victims of the tragic event in Paris, but he didn’t stop there. Dr. Jeffress said…

“I believe it is time to put aside political correctness.”

As a Holy Ghost filled man of God, Dr. Jeffress stated that political correctness is hindering truth, and that it is the leading contributor to normalizing bloodshed and violence. Then, pointing his finger and looking straight into the camera, with no regard for his or his family’s safety, Dr. Jeffress — the preacher — identified the problem with no apology: “The evil religion of radical Islam.”

How could he declare this? How could he be so bold?

Because he knew someone needed to tell the truth. He knew we needed a preacher. I needed a preacher.

If Dr. Jeffress stopped after blaming a particular religion, then he is nothing more than a religious figure, and in today’s paradigm, one could also assume that he is a pseudo-political figure, simply stating ideas from his perspective. In other words, there are Buddhists who dislike radical Islam, and there are Muslims that hate radical Islam. But Dr. Jeffress does not stop by blaming a religion. Dr. Jeffress declares that the Islamic religion is not an alternate way to God, but rather it is a Satanic campaign. Dr. Jeffress does this by comparing Jesus’ statements concerning Satan to the terrorists that attacked Paris and their agenda, demonstrating the similarities between the Islamic agenda and Satan’s agenda….

The thief (Satan) comes only to steal and kill and destroy. ~ John 10:10

Dr. Jeffress identifies the Islamic belief structure as the culprit of terrorism, and speaking through the webs of lies and deceit spun by a politically correct media, he addressed the truth about what is actually in the Quran, rather than the lies that are made up about the Quran. Dr. Jeffress does so by comparing the New Testament to the Quran, reminding us that nowhere in the New Testament are Christians told to kill other people, while Muslims are instructed to kill infidels in at least thirty-five places in the Quran. Then Dr. Jeffress compares Mohammed to Christ, and in doing so, the Gospel of Jesus Christ begins to unfold in his message. The preacher always points us to Christ, not his own agenda or personal crusade. The preacher always reminds us of God’s truth when we are surrounded by humanity’s lies. Dr. Jeffress is a preacher for when I need a preacher, when the world needs a preacher, and when our country needs a preacher.

Yes, nations need a preacher too. Dr. Jeffress makes it clear that nations have a different set of responsibilities than the individual. “Government is never called upon to turn the other cheek,” Dr. Jeffress preached. “The government, according to the Word of God, is to protect its citizens.” France needs a preacher. We need a preacher.

When a man or woman is on death’s bed, they often cry out for the preacher. Drug addicts, thieves, and murderers need preachers. But your neighbor needs a preacher as well. The clerk in the store you visit almost daily needs a preacher. Your barber needs a preacher, and your doctor and lawyer need a preacher. Is God speaking to your heart? Not only do you need a preacher, but there are times you need to be the preacher. You need to be able to carry on the good fight when those around you are in despair. There are times you need to be the first hand someone shakes when they enter church for the first time, Better yet, maybe they are shaking your hand as your enter their home to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the first time.

While we do not know what tomorrow will bring, we know that we need Christ for every breath of hope we aspire to obtain, and we need a preacher pointing us to Christ, reminding us of our blessed hope. I know that right now in this very second, there is a preacher somewhere in France who may feel forgotten, and that the whole ministry has been a joke. If that is you, you need to know that you were born for such a time as this! You need to stand up and declare…

Il ya de l’espoir dans le Christ Jésus.

I declare revival to come forth in every corner of France from the ashes of this horrendous tragedy.

I believe and declare that it will begin with a preacher.

Vive La France!

This blog post is from the blog of my son, Dr. Ronnie Phillips, Jr. You can check out and follow his blog by clicking HERE.

Hope For America

On Sunday, I addressed the people of Abba’s House, the city of Chattanooga, and the nation regarding the terror attack in the City of Chattanooga on July 16, 2015. I invite you to join us in the worship center of Abba’s House as I share the Good News…

There is still Hope for America.

#ChattanoogaStrong

Yesterday’s terrorist attack on the people of Chattanooga was an attack on our military, our community, and our nation. Four unarmed, brave Marines were gunned down by a twisted individual, and has left our city in a state of shock. It has driven us to our churches and to our knees in prayer for the families of those killed and injured, for our city, our state, and our country.

     It is past time for America to return to God, and for that to happen, it must begin with the people of God, turning to Him in repentance and humility. We invite all people of faith in God Almighty, – the Great I AM – to cry out to Him in worship and reverence, and to fill our Houses of Worship in Chattanooga and around the nation this Sunday as we seek His face, turn from our wicked ways, and ask Him to forgive and heal our land. 

~ Pastor Ron Phillips 

 

September 11 and Facing the Spirit of Fear

It was the evening of November 30, 1977…

For those of us old enough to remember (and before the days of VCR’s, DVR’s, and YouTube), it was the night that Americans gathered around our television sets and watched with mixed emotions the final Christmas special featuring the great Bing Crosby. Bing Crosby’s Merrie Olde Christmas, originally taped toward the end of summer that year in London, England, featured Bing along with his family and a few guests. Just over a month after the taping, on October 14, Bing died suddenly from a massive heart attack following a round of golf with friends.

One of the highlights of the program was a duet by Bing and a young David Bowie. It was a beautiful rendition of the song Little Drummer Boy, arranged together as a medley with a song called Peace on Earth. As Bing’s low baritone voice sang out the familiar “ba-rum-bum-bum-bum”, David Bowie sang out the higher counter-melody…

Peace on Earth,
Can it be?
Years from now
Perhaps we’ll see;
See the day of glory,
See the day
When men of good will live in peace,
Live in peace again.*

* Tune and lyrics, written by Ian Fraser, Larry Grossman, and Alan Kohan

Peace on Earth. Since that night on a Judean hillside when the hosts of Heaven filled the sky with the refrain of “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men“, men of good will throughout the centuries have long worked for peace. As Bing Crosby and David Bowie sang once again a plea for peace on Earth, no one knew the irony of what they were singing… and when. You see, the day that they taped that segment of the show was September 11, 1977.

September 11, 2001

9-11Fast forward exactly 34 years as Americans watched in horror the tragedy of that day unfold before our very eyes. A handful of Islamic terrorists brought the reality of their radical ideology to the shores of our country in an attack unlike anything since December 7, 1941 at Pearl Harbor. When all was said and done, four planes had crashed, the World Trade Center was reduced to rubble, the Pentagon was in flames, a field in Pennsylvania was strewn with fiery wreckage, and nearly 3,000 American citizens had lost their lives. They were husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, and grandparents. They were business people, students, athletes, blue-collar workers, housewives, politicians, and children. And in the days that followed, as we learned of the facts surrounding the events of that day, Americans spoke out with a cry of defiant resolve…

We will NEVER forget.

But as we spend this day in reflection on the events of September 11, 2001, I have to ask…

Have we?

Have we forgotten what it felt like that day? Have we forgotten the feelings of fear and uncertainty that gave way to anger for this violation against our nation? Have we forgotten the sorrow at the loss of our friends and loved ones, and the determination to never let it happen again on our watch?

Most importantly, have we forgotten our reliance upon God during those dark nights?

In 1 Peter 5:8, the apostle writes…

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

When quoting that verse, we have a tendency to focus on the second part; the descriptive about our enemy. But many times, we neglect our responsibility in the verse, that being the first four words…

Be sober, be vigilant…

I find it interesting that, as a nation founded upon our reliance on God, and having spent the better part of the past 4 decades trying to distance ourselves from God, we now find ourselves fighting an enemy that is waging a war based on a religious ideology, claiming to be fighting in the name of God. The fact is, we are fighting a demonically influenced political ideology that masks itself in the shroud of religion. As we see events unfolding in the Middle East, the persecution and murder of Christians by Muslims, the infiltration of Islam in our own culture, and unresolved events such as the Benghazi attack on our diplomatic team, it is all meant to incite one thing…

Fear.

But the real fear we face is more sinister than just the fear of a group or ideology. The absence of truth and absolutes in our culture has created a vacuum, and fear has been more than willing to fill the void. We have become afraid to speak the truth for fear of being called intolerant. We are afraid of standing up for Godliness and holiness for fear of being labeled a bigot. We are afraid to speak out against social injustice for fear of being called a racist. We are afraid to stand for traditional marriage and family values for fear of being called a homophobe. We are afraid to stand against the evils of Muslim ideology for fear of being called an Islamophobe. The list goes on…

However, cowering in fear from the onslaught of the enemy — whatever socio-political-religious mask he chooses to wear — should not be the response of any follower of Jesus Christ. After all, we have this declaration…

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. ~ 2 Timothy 1:7

Being the habitation of God Almighty, we have unlimited power. As recipients of the finished work of Jesus, we have received unrelenting love. As believers in His holiness and righteousness, we have taken on the mind of Christ. In light of these things, as the Psalmist said…

The LORD is my light and my salvation– whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life– of whom shall I be afraid? ~ Psalm 27:1

So while we are called to be sober and vigilant, and to walk in faith and truth instead of fear, we can walk in the belief that our Prince of Peace has come, and gives us peace — peace that no man can take away. We can move forward from this day — September 11, 2014 — as the day that we resolve to no longer allow the enemy to keep us in bondage to fear, but will live according to the promise of Romans 8:15…

For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”

Peace be with you and yours,
Pastor Ron