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“I scared, Daddy.”

Those were the words that I faintly heard Tuesday night spoken to me from the hallway of my home from Andrew, my six-year-old son.

Isn’t he a cutie? Well, back to the story. He whispered from the hall, “I scared, Daddy.” We had just put him and Clara to bed and I said, “Son, it’s alright. Go on back to bed.” He said, “No Daddy, I afraid.” So, I reluctantly got up to check on him. Truth is, this was not like Andrew. When you put him to bed, that’s it. He’s “out like a light” and asleep in about 2 minutes, no joke.

When I reached him in the hallway he said, “Come here Daddy.” He motioned me to follow him and he went to his room and sat on his bed. I said, “What’s wrong son? What are you afraid of?” I must tell you that we were sitting in the dark except for a night light…so the light was dim. However, as I leaned toward Andrew to hug him, I could tell he was sweating.

“Daddy, I need to be good for my family and God.”

“What? I don’t understand son.”

“I need to be good for my family and God, Daddy.”

“What does that mean, honey?”

He said, “I want to be good for my family and God and go to heaven.”

“Oh, I see.”

“I scared, Daddy. I can’t sleep. Will you help me? I want to pray?”

“What do you want to pray about, son?”

“I want to be saved.”

“You want to ask Jesus to come into your life?”

“Yes.”

“Why don’t we wait a couple of days and let you think about it some more.”

“No, Daddy. It got to be now. I scared.”

By this time I had rested my head against Andrew’s head and I could feel his sweat on my head. I said:

“Ok, son. Do you want to pray and ask Jesus into your life?”

“Yes, Daddy. Will you help me?”

I shared with Andrew for several minutes. We’ve talked about salvation many, many times. He knows the facts. He answered all the questions right:

Who is Jesus?

Answer: God’s Son

What did Jesus do for us?

Answer: Died for our sins

Are you a sinner?

Answer: Yes

What is sin?

Answer: Doing bad things. Being mean to Kandace and Clara. (I smiled when he said this. He was so intent. It was amazing. The look on his face in that dimly lit room is something I’ll never forget.)

Where is Jesus now?

Answer: In heaven

I asked Andrew again, “Are you sure you don’t want to wait and talk about this tomorrow. It’s late.”

“No Daddy. I want to be saved.”

I said, “Let me go get Mommy and bring her back here too.”

“No Daddy. Just you. I’ll tell her in the morning.”

Andrew said, “Oh…Daddy…I can’t be baptized till I get out of my wheelchair.”

Andrew is going to have surgery on his feet (he was born club-footed) on March 8th. He will be in casts for at least 6-weeks and use a wheelchair to get around. I tell you this to say, “The boy has been thinking.”

I said, “Andrew, you wouldn’t have to wait to be baptized till then. We could baptize you before your surgery.” He said, “Really?!” I said, “Sure!” He was smiling ear to ear. He said, “Dad, I ready to pray.”

I said, “Ok. You call on the name of the Lord. You ask Jesus in your heart.”

So he began, “Dear God, I sorry for my being bad. I need to be good for my family. I want to do right and go to heaven. Help me. I will be good for you from now on. I sorry, God.”

He looked at me and smiled. I said, “That’s good son, but you have to call on the name of Jesus. You have to ask Him into your life.” He said, “Oh, ok. I sorry.” I said, “No problem.” He said, “I pray again.”

“Dear Jesus I want you. Come inside of me. I let you. I be good for you. I be baptized for you. Amen.”

I said, “Well, let’s go tell your mom.” He said, “Dad, I tired. I go to sleep now. I tell them in the morning.” I said, “Ok, son…that’s fine.” He reached up and kissed me on the cheek and curled up under his covers and said, “Thank you Daddy. I not scared anymore.”

Isn’t that the sweetest thing?

You might ask, “Kevin, are you sure he is old enough to do this? Are you sure he understands everything.” My answer is “we’ll see.” Andrew has simply made a profession of faith in Christ. He has shown a desire for Christ and he has called on Jesus’ name. He confessed his sin and he confessed with his mouth to us and folks at church on Wednesday night and his grandparents. So, Scripturally, he’s done what the Bible says a person has to do to be saved/become a Christian.

On Wednesday morning Andrew was absolutely giddy! He was up about an hour earlier than he normally gets up and he said, “Dad, I so happy! I saved!” I said, “Yes, son you did what the Bible says to be saved and we will keep on working to teach and train you.”

I’m humbled by all that transpired with my boy on Tuesday and it’s only because the Lord God allowed His Son to come and pay Andrew’s sin debt that my boy could be saved. It’s surreal. I will say this as well. I’ve been fasting once per week for the salvation of all my children. For almost 11 years I’ve fasted and prayed every week for the salvation of my children and their future spouses. Now this appears to be complete. Why do I say “appears?” Because I want you to take a look at this picture, again.

I posted this picture a couple of weeks ago when we baptized 14 people. Notice the older ones. There are eight of them. All baptized for the second time. We’ll see about Andrew. But, at this point, we’re going with where he’s at with this and I feel comfortable in that. I’m reminded of how little Kandace was when she was saved…

Here’s Clara’s baptism picture…

I’m very blessed and I praise the Lord Jesus for His favor and blessing on my family. I’m humbled, indeed.

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When I say, “Dunked.” Were you thinking of this?

Well, I like that picture…no question about that. But, it’s not what I had in mind. I like this one better!

This is Madilyn Dowell.

And the end result…

Guess what? I had the privilege of doing this 14 times this past Sunday! Yep…I said, 14 times! Isn’t that amazing? Take a look…

Over and over again, for one solid hour, we baptized! You say, “Are you only baptizing once per year or something?” Nope. We baptize when we need to. We baptized 29 last year over a period of six baptisms and this is our first this year.

Take a look at our “Prayer Chapel,” which was our sanctuary for about 131 of our 137 year existence. Can you say, “Packed out?”

The excitement beforehand was amazing! Here’s me with Carson Edmiston…

What a joy!

Check out the smiles on the faces of the folks watching…

We had ’em sitting in the old choir lofts. To put this in perspective. We had 421 folks in the service on Sunday and about 250 came over to the Prayer Chapel and didn’t get out until after 1 pm just to support and encourage these folks being baptized… Awesome!!

Here’s a great shot of me and Erick Langseth (the father), with his son, Elijah. You know there is no place in Scripture that says a “pastor” must baptize someone.

Did you notice in the picture of the entire group (above) that there were several teenagers and adults? Yep. 8 of the 14 were over the age of 15. Do you know why? Because a lot of folks simply have “Hell insurance.” Now there is nothing wrong with this…especially as children. This is all they know. They simply don’t want to go to Hell.

So, before the baptism, I pointed out to the children to look at the teenagers (who had all made professions of faith as children themselves, and had all been baptized before)… I said, “Children, as you grow…remember that you must determine and decide to follow Jesus every day. You must make up your mind that when middle school and high school comes, that you are still going to follow Jesus.”

I believe the “rubber really doesn’t hit the road” in the life of someone spiritually until they are tested to see if their conversion was true. I’ve written about it in my book, as well, that we don’t have a 90% failure rate with our children leaving the faith by their 20th birthday. The problem is that the majority of those that “leave the faith” were never truly saved, regenerated, born again in the first place. Is that you?

Do you truly know Jesus Christ, personally…or do you simply know a bunch of facts about him? It’s been said that many people will miss heaven by 18 inches. Why 18 inches? That’s the distance from a person’s head to their heart. You must know more than just facts about Jesus to go to heaven. You must know Him personally and that only happens in the heart.

You see, it’s the facts, the knowledge, the information, which the Holy Spirit of God uses to drive us to the understanding of our lost condition and the need of confession and repentance of our sin and our desperate need for someone to save us from ourselves. That someone is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who came to this earth to do what you and I can’t do…which is live a perfect life, die, rise again and conquer death, hell and the grave.

Do you know Him? I mean really know Him? I’m not asking if you are a fine of His or if you saw a picture of Him on Facebook, that you’d click, “like.” I’m asking does He have control of your life? Is He in the driver’s seat or are you? Who’s the boss of your life? If He’s not driving…then, chances are you might be living on a false promise. Make certain of your salvation. The Scriptures teach that we are to work out our salvation in fear and trembling. What does this mean? Be scared? Be frightened? Work your way into heaven? No. That’s what all the other “religions” teach. No. All we have to do is trust in Christ. And as we grow in Him, we will grow in the process of being made holy (that’s called sanctification).

I’m really convinced that’s what happened to most of those “adults and young adults” who were baptized Sunday. They may have genuinely been saved at a younger age, but the truth is…each and every one of them told me: “We weren’t living it!” That pretty much sums it up!

Jesus said, “Why do you say that you love me, if you don’t keep my commands?” These young adults are ready to be “salt and light” and live it! Now that’s what I call a “slam dunk!”

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EE TAOW-“It is true…”

I’ve been working on a teaching for tomorrow’s Iron Men meeting and 1 Peter 1:10-12. I was thinking about salvation. May I be honest with you? I’m afraid I don’t really appreciate my salvation like I should. To think that Jesus saved my soul from a Devil’s Hell and has given me life in Heaven is beyond my comprehension. Are you a follower of Christ?

If you are and you ponder it for a few a minutes, then you’ll be enthralled by the mercy and grace of God. In fact, it reminded me of something I saw years ago. It was a New Tribes Missions video about a missionary, Mark Zook and his wife. It’s entitled “EE TAOW,” which means, “It Is True.” The missionary couple went to Papua New Guinea to share the Gospel with a group of people called the Mauk tribe. Papua New Guinea is northeast of Australia and is beside of New Zealand.

File:Papua New Guinea (orthographic projection).svg

The video shows the process of leading a group of people to Christ. The man and his wife worked for months learning the language, people, food, customs, culture, etc. After doing so, they began to teach the Gospel beginning in Genesis with creation, Adam and Eve and sin. Eventually after many weeks of teaching, the missionary gets to Christ and salvation. He has several men act out the story of Christ up to the betrayal by Judas. The video below is about 18 minutes long, but if you will move it up to the 13-minute mark and watch the last 5 1/2 minutes it will show you better than I can explain the joy of salvation. Watch and be amazed and then thank the Lord for your salvation!

EE TAOW video…

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Getting Prepared…

Everyone on the east coast is getting ready. Getting ready for “Irene” of course.

It looks like she might make landfall near the Outer Banks. Scary to say the least. People on the coast are boarding up…

Preparations are being made from the Carolinas to Maine. Amazing! The nation is on high alert. Guess who’s the originator of the winds? Guess who is in control of all things and sovereign? Let me give you a reminder of the One who spoke and the winds were stilled…

He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him?” Luke 8:25

Take a look at this passage from Isaiah 40…

12 Who else has held the oceans in his hand?
Who has measured off the heavens with his fingers?
Who else knows the weight of the earth
or has weighed the mountains and hills on a scale?
15 No, for all the nations of the world
are but a drop in the bucket.
They are nothing more
than dust on the scales.
He picks up the whole earth
      as though it were a grain of sand.
21 Haven’t you heard? Don’t you understand?
Are you deaf to the words of God—
the words he gave before the world began?
Are you so ignorant?
22 God sits above the circle of the earth.
The people below seem like grasshoppers to him!
He spreads out the heavens like a curtain
and makes his tent from them.
23 He judges the great people of the world
and brings them all to nothing.
24 They hardly get started, barely taking root,
when he blows on them and they wither.
      The wind carries them off like chaff.

25 “To whom will you compare me?
Who is my equal?” asks the Holy One.

Dear friend, there is no equal to God. He is almighty and all-powerful. He is not an old grandpa sitting on a cloud with a white beard who just turns the other way while we walk in sin. Ultimately, He will bring judgment on this earth. Read the book of the Revelation if you don’t believe that.

When will we wake up and learn that God is God and we are not?

On another note that is similar, take a look at this chart…

The Federal Budget broken down…

Category Dollar
Amount
U.S.
Tax revenue:
$2,170,000,000,000
Fed
budget:
$3,820,000,000,000
New
debt:   
$1,650,000,000,000
National
debt:
$14,271,000,000,000
Recent
budget cut:
$
38,500,000,000

Now, remove 8 zeros and
pretend it’s a household budget.

Category Dollar
Amount
Annual family income: $ 21,700
Money the family spent: $ 38,200
New debt on the credit card: $ 16,500
Outstanding balance on credit
card:
$142,710
Total budget cuts: $
385

Can you say, “Wow?” I’m blown away! Pardon the hurricane pun. I think about where we are as a nation today and I see a country who has lost her way. We are bankrupt in dollars and spirit. I’m convinced we are seeing the power of God this week. Earthquakes, hurricanes…

I wonder if we are prepared for the return of Jesus Christ? You know, He’s going to come back as a thief in the night. There will be no time to prepare…much like the earthquake on Tuesday. So, are you ready? Are you saved? Is Jesus the Lord of your life? How about your family. Parents, are your children saved? Really? Are you certain. We had better be prepared and get ready…not for a hurricane…but, for the coming of the Lord.

When will we realize…

22 God sits above the circle of the earth…
23 He judges the great people of the world
and brings them all to nothing.
24 They hardly get started, barely taking root,
when he blows on them and they wither.
      The wind carries them off like chaff.

25 “To whom will you compare me?
Who is my equal?” asks the Holy One. Isaiah 40

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As I pastor I’m often asked by parents and even grandparents, “What if my children or grandchildren walk away from the faith? What do we do?” I wrote extensively about this in my book. Have you gotten your copy yet? Hint, hint… 🙂 If you are local you can do so at “For Heaven’s Sake” bookstore in Melody Square in North Wilkesboro, or pick up one at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church or if you are out of town, you can order online at Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. (And some of you have gotten it, but not cracked it open yet or you think, “I’ve heard all this before.” No you haven’t. Trust me! :))

Here’s my thoughts for those who interested and this comes from the last chapter in my book:

For those who have walked away, the most important thing you can do for them is pray. There are some things that only the Holy Spirit can accomplish. I encourage you to fast and pray for their salvation. Do not try to convince yourself that they know Christ if you aren’t 100% convinced. Perhaps they do, but if they have walked away and give no evidence of Christian fruit in their lives, then it is better to pray as if they do not. Satan has deceived many parents into thinking their children know the Lord because they prayed a prayer or were baptized as a child. That is a dangerous assumption.

Some of you, however, know your child has rejected taking the baton of faith and are sinning against God. You may even feel that your own reputation has been damaged. You might angrily say, “Can’t they see what this is doing to me?” In your mind you think, “I raised my child better than this! What happened?” But, as parents, we must see our investment into the lives of our children in the light of eternity. If we focus on the short term, we will likely have our own pity-party and make their lack of salvation all about us. However, those who make the greatest difference are those who continue to invest without the expectation of immediate return. Galatians 6:9 says, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” We all know stories of those who left the faith and went through a prolonged season of darkness, yet eventually emerged in the light. Maybe this is your personal story. Have faith that this will be your son’s or daughter’s story as well.

In his book Handoff, Jeff Myers shares (Jeff Myers, Handoff, pp. 143-44):

I’ve often wondered where Jesus got the patience and perspective to put up with all of the guff his followers gave him. The answer that appears in Scripture is so simple that I rejected it out of hand the first time I heard it. Jesus surrendered the outcome to God. To surrender the outcome to God means acting faithfully through the process, but relinquishing control of the results. My goal in passing the baton is to make sure the pass takes place…then I can release any worry about whether the person I hand off to wins the race. As long as I feel responsible for the outcome of the lives of others, I live in worry. I fret about whether my kids will turn out all right. But when I surrender the outcome to God, fear melts away. (Emphasis his)

I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Myers. There is a wonderful passage of Scripture found in 2 Peter 1:3-9 which provides immense comfort to me as a parent.

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain
to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own
glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great
promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature,
having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful
desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with
virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and
self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and
godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if
these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being
ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For
whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having
forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.

In his book Age of Opportunity, Paul David Tripp gives keen insight and encouragement to parents in this passage. Tripp writes (Paul David Tripp, Age of Opportunity, pp. 104-05):

Peter says, “Don’t forget who you are. You are the children of God who have inherited riches beyond your ability to conceive. You have been given everything you need to do what God has called you to do. Don’t give in to discouragement. Don’t quit. Don’t run away from your calling.” We need to walk into the rooms of our children saying to ourselves, “I have everything I need to do what God has called me to do.” This is our identity as the children of God. These are the truths that can lift us out of our weariness and discouragement to parent with faith, courage,
and hope. They call us to hold onto God’s high goals and to fight the hopelessness that the enemy wants to rule our hearts.

We are not alone! God has equipped us to do the job. The Bible says we can parent with hope! When those times come where we feel like throwing in the towel, when we are at the end of our rope, we must hold on to what the Bible teaches us. We have all we need in Christ and we are more than conquerors in him. We must keep on moving forward to the high calling of Christ and we will persevere!

What kind of stewards are we being of our children? We must be faithfully training and teaching them and not pursuing other things that won’t matter in eternity. Children are eternal. I know this is a simple statement, but we must grasp the enormity of it. Read it again in isolation.

Children are eternal.

Our children are going to live forever. They will live forever in either heaven or hell. Jesus said that we should store up our treasures in heaven. Other than Christ, what greater treasure could there be in heaven than our children? Yet, it is so easy to lose eternal focus for temporal things. We know we should set our minds on things above, but we get distracted by the stuff of this earth. True living is really kingdom living. Therefore, if the truth be known, we are not trying to pass our children into adulthood alone, but ultimately right into the kingdom of heaven.

If we choose to embrace the principles outlined in Scripture, we have a great opportunity for success. What is success? To raise genuine, Christ-centered, soldiers who are willing to contend for the faith. May that endeavor be our passion and our greatest joy. And may we one day say with immense satisfaction: “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (3 John 4).

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One of the things that I continue to learn and I see in my life is the need to take a spiritual inventory of my life and that of my family and ask some hard questions. Here are three important ones:

What do I desire?

What does my spouse desire?

What do my children desire?

What we desire and what we crave indicates what motivates us, our children, and our families in general. I worry desperately for so many of our young people and children and the excuses we make for their behaviors and actions. I ask myself, “Why do we make excuses for our children and their behavior when they are supposedly Christians?” Could it be that they are not Christians? Could it be that they are not truly a believer in Jesus Christ?

How can we tell? Well, we should examine the Fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 records for us the fruit we see in the life of a believer:

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

Think about your children. Do they exhibit this fruit? If they claim to be a Christian they should. You see, I believe we have a problem in many of our homes. I wrote about this in my book, “Rite of Passage for the Home and Church-Raising Christ-Centered Young Adults.” In the first chapter, titled, “Houston, We Have a Problem,” I describe this issue (p 6) in relation to the Apollo 13 mission that made that famous call back to Mission Control in Houston when there was an explosion onboard their spacecraft…Apollo 13 Damaged Service Module Photo

Consider what is happening in many “Christian” homes today. A child or young person is disrespectful and dishonoring in their actions and their speech. They have little or no desire for the things of God and they have to be coaxed, begged or bribed to attend church. They struggle mightily in how they speak to you as their parent and their siblings. Their speech is often rude, unkind or mean. Yet, they claim to be a Christian. If this is the case, can you see there has been an “explosion” onboard? Should we be entrusting their eternity in their profession of faith in Christ if this is the behavior we are witnessing? Could it be that what we are seeing evidenced in their lives is the absence of the Holy Spirit of God? Some would say, “No, it’s just immaturity.” I understand that conclusion. But the Bible says, “Even a child makes himself known by his acts, by whether his conduct is pure and upright” (Proverbs 20:11). Could it be that their behavior is revealing the truth of who they really are? Would we want to swallow hard and admit that their selfishness, irresponsibility and lack of godliness are quite simply indications that they are a sinner? After all, isn’t this how a “sinner” behaves?

I know these are tough questions and it’s why I wrote my book. If you are a parent or grandparent, you need to ask these tough questions if you really care about your child or grandchild. What do they desire? What is it that they crave? What is it that they can’t get enough of? Do they ever talk about God? Do they have a desire for the things of God? Do you have to beg them to go to church? Do they have a desire to be with other believers? How do they speak, act and treat others (and you as a parent).

One last excerpt from my book (pps 7-9):

We must return to the ancient paths as detailed in the Word of God. In so doing, we will find answers, instructions and many admonitions on how to successfully complete our mission. We will come to understand it is not the job of the Church to spiritually raise children for parents. It is not my job, as a church leader, nor the job of the Church to do for the family what God has designed as the work of the family.

After the crippled Odyssey sent the radio message back to earth, “Houston, we have a problem,” Mission Control worked tirelessly to get the little command module back home. The engineers and scientists studied and diligently dissected the manuals of each piece of equipment that was onboard that spaceship.

Apollo 13 Mission Control Photo

They found within the pages of those manuals a way to keep the three men alive until they could figure out how to get them back home. We too, have a manual, the Bible. We, as parents are the engineers at mission control in our homes. We have the responsibility of getting our children and young adults safely home. We must look to that great manual of life to find the answers. To the degree we read Scripture, study it, heed it, and follow it will determine the degree of success we will have in making prudent and wise decisions in any area of life.
ROP will help us to identify these Scriptural reference points, by which we must navigate our children, if we want to get them safely home. That’s our mission and in the words of Gene Kranz, the Flight Director for Mission Control in 1970, “Failure is not an option!”

What do you desire? What do your children desire? Are we going to get them safely home? We will if we prioritize our lives where the Bible is the most important thing/activity in our lives. It takes precedence over TV, Facebook, video games, ball games, you name it. If we really want to get our children home safely to heaven (the ultimate destination), then we must study the manual.

Apollo 13 made it home safely…

Apollo 13 Crew Recovery Photo

Apollo 13 U.S.S. Iwo Jima Photo

Will our children? Check their desires? Look for fruit. Have the tough conversations before time slips away. Make sure their eternal destiny is secure in Jesus Christ.

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You know I continue to be blown away by how many people there are that “say” they are Christians. I really am. As a pastor I do a lot of talking to people about their souls and where they’re headed when they die. The majority…and I mean the vast majority tell me they are saved and on their way to glory to walk those good ole streets of gold. Well, as the old black preacher says, “Ain’t everybody talkin’ about goin’ to heaven goin’ there.” Amen Brother!

I know this may not make everyone real happy…but, a case in point of what I’m talking about is what I read moments ago…

White House Slams Rev. Franklin Graham for Comment about Issues Surrounding President Obama’s Birth

by Kimberly Schwandt | April 25, 2011

Re. Franklin Graham/AP image

Re. Franklin Graham/AP image

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said comments by Rev. Franklin Graham that there were issues surrounding President Obama’s birth were “preposterous charges.” Graham, who has met with Obama before, appeared on ABC’s “This Week” and was asked about people like Donald Trump bringing up questions about the president’s birth. “Well, the — the president I know has some issues to deal with here. He can solve this whole birth certificate issue pretty quickly. I don’t — I was born in a hospital in Asheville, North Carolina, and I know that my records are there,” Graham said.

“You can probably even go and find out what room my mother was in when I was born. I don’t know why he can’t produce that. So I’m not — I don’t know. But it’s an issue that looks like he could — he could answer pretty quickly,” he added.

Carney, in an abrupt answer, reacted and said, “It’s interesting that a minister would use Easter Sunday to make preposterous charges.”

A reporter in the daily White House briefing had asked for reaction to Graham’s comments that aired Sunday and also for other charges that Graham has made about the Muslim Brotherhood infiltrating all parts of the Obama administration.

The interview with the influential evangelical pastor took place late last week, but aired on Easter Sunday.

The issue of the president’s faith also came up. As recently as last week, President Obama professed his Christianity, also going to church services with his family in D.C. on Sunday. However, the president still battles misperceptions that he is a Muslim.

“Now, he has told me that he is a Christian. But the debate comes, what is a Christian? For him, going to church means he’s a Christian. For me, the definition of a Christian is whether we have given our life to Christ and are following him in faith and we have trusted him as our lord and savior. That’s the definition of a Christian. It’s not as to what church you are a member of. A membership doesn’t make you a Christian,” Graham said.

The reverend said he does take the president at his word on that. “Well, when he says it, of course, I can’t — I’m not going to say, “Well, no, you’re not.” I mean, God — God is the only one who knows his heart.”

 Now, you can agree or disagree with Franklin Graham about whether he should have said what he said. But, I’m appreciate his candor and honesty about the President’s Christianity. Why? Because the truth is, if you and I are truly believers in Jesus Christ then there should be evidence to prove that we are. Does the President like basketball? Do you have to guess? No. Not unless you’ve had your head in the sand. He loves basketball. He’s played with the University of North Carolina a couple of years ago…

He loves playing on his “home court” at the White House…

Does anybody guess if he is an avid basketball fan?

Here is President Obama’s 2011 NCAA tournament bracket…

Pretty convincing, huh? But, is he a Christian? According to Pew poll, 89 percent of Americans are people of faith, and according to Gallup, only 43 percent of Americans are frequent churchgoers. As you may have noticed, 43 is not an “overwhelming majority” of 89. In fact, it is not a majority at all. Most Americans of faith do not attend church frequently. Why? I’m going to say the obvious. Could it be they are NOT believers? Please don’t write me hate mail. 🙂

If I really like or love something or someone, am I not going to want to spend time participating in that activity or doing something with that person? Sure. It makes perfect sense to me.

So, Franklin Graham is being hammered for being honest in my opinion. Now I want to ask you a question. How many people do you know that claim to be a Christian but give little evidence to prove it? Jesus said, “You will know them by the fruit they bear.” He even said that many will come to him on the Day of Judgment and plead with Him that they were good and did great things for Him and even performed miracles and mighty works. Yet, He will tell them, “Depart from me. I don’t know you.”

So, let’s be honest with ourselves and let’s be honest about our souls and the eternal destiny of those we love and care about (and even those we don’t…we are to love our enemies).

If you knew someone was getting ready to drive their car around a curve and the bridge ahead was washed out, wouldn’t you do everything you could to stop them before they went careening down a cliff?

If you really cared you would and so would I.

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