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John 15:18 - John 16:1-3

“Rise Up – Get Guns – Kill Christians”

What are you believing for?
        “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life” the tract said decades ago. I know this wasn’t the authors intent but there was something wonderfully seductive in that line - following the Lord will bring the American dream - financial success, physical health, obedient kids, house in the suburbs with a white picket fence, and straighter teeth. Sadly, this seemed to be a matter of a few degrees difference with the “name it and claim it heresy,” which has now morphed into the “prosperity gospel” and New Apostolic Reformation. But what if the tract’s message was a mistake? What if following Jesus has exactly the opposite effect?
  In John 15:18 - John 16:1-3, Jesus tells of a very different outcome for those who follow Him. He states that the world will hate His disciples. Why? Because the world hates Jesus and ultimately the world hates the Father. Why would they hate God? A so called “progressive Christian” recently gave a hint. She argued against the atonement of Jesus for our sins by first attacking the story of Abraham and Isaac. She reasoned that since God is love then it would be terribly cruel for someone to have to die as a sacrifice. This “Christian” also blessed homosexuality, transgender-ism, and so on. God is love so He would have no problem with any of these practices. She had no problem blasting those who called themselves Christians who disagreed with her new and improved understanding of God’s commands. The new understanding starts with a whole new view of “love.” Love now means tolerance, niceness and especially inclusion. No sin separates anyone from God and if we really get the new view, nothing should separate us from each other as well.
  This nicer, kinder, alleged Christianity has been around for quite a while but has exploded into the so-called evangelical world in the last few years. The Marxist inspired “Social Justice” movement has come screaming into the church and it seems to be looking for payback! To be a traditional orthodox believer (you know the kind which stills holds onto the “mean” view that one must believe in Jesus and him alone to be right with God) makes you an exclusivist and the kind of Christian that need, to quote that wise Christian Oprah, just get old and die. (I don’t know about y’all - but I sure felt the love when that came out!) I have run into this thinking for years at the psychic fairs and at classes I had to take at DU/Iliff. Sometimes the anger is incredibly tangible. I have had people yelling at me just because I exist. I hadn’t even introduced myself yet. They didn’t even know how obnoxious I really am!!! I had a fellow grad student yelling at me about the “demon words of the Bible”. I had never heard that complaint before. She meant that all the things in the Bible she didn’t like - especially the repeated prohibitions against homosexuality, were in fact from the “demons.
 In 1990 I was a guest on the Ron Reagan Jr. show, which also had Reverend Ike the prosperity pimp, Elizabeth Claire Prophet, Brother Charles, and so on. After the show the limo I was riding in drove up to a huge protest on a Los Angeles street. Hundreds of signs were visible. When we got close enough to read them it was stunning. “Rise Up - Get Guns - Kill Christians.” I was shocked. My driver explained that it was West Hollywood, which was the homosexual center of Los Angeles. I started searching the computer bulletin boards for the next few years and the anger towards Christians was hard core. But hey, no violence, right? Unless you count the hatred that Klebold and Harris had for the Christians at Columbine or perhaps the outspoken hatred of the shooters at our latest nightmare at the STEM school in Highlands Ranch. But these are a fraction of the casualties of this hatred. Thousands of Christians have been killed in Nigeria by Muslims in just the last couple of years. Christians have been killed in North Korea, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Philippines, Malaysia and many other places all over the world. But our mainstream media merely yawns. Some organizations are asserting that the world may be experiencing the largest rate of Christian persecution since the great Roman slaughters. But it’s not in front of us as Americans, because after all, God promised us a wonderful life, right?
      Jesus said in our passage (John 15:18 - John 16:1-3) that we as Christians will be hated and persecuted, because Jesus was hated first. To whatever small degree we barely reflect Jesus, we will be hated. The voices of hatred against the church are louder and more venomous. Check out sites on the net of popular Islamic preachers and voices both from atheists and Marxists, they all agree on this one thing, Christianity is the problem and it needs to be dealt with harshly. Strange bedfellows indeed. One of the other points that Jesus makes is that when they are killing His followers, it will be done in the name of God. It will be a godly thing to kill the disciples of Jesus. The hatred will come to its ultimate conclusion.

     In the middle of this whole terrifying scenario, Jesus makes the most amazing statement; “I have said all these things to keep you from falling away.”  I would bet that most of you reading this newsletter would think the exact opposite of that, He is trying to scare us to death! Yet He says this to bring us closer to Him and therefore will, by definition, bring us closer to each other. How are we supposed to be comforted by the thought of how we will first be hated and then killed?! Here’s a hint: the first sections of John 15 are filled with imagery such as Jesus being the vine, while we are the branches, etc. We are called to “
abide” (live) in Him and He will live in us. This will bring glory to the Father. Great, but I am not sure that brings much comfort to our scared souls. He also says several times that the reason this will happen to us is not only showing the hatred of Jesus in the first place, but also because we have been chosen by Him. The killers are not chosen because they have no relationship with the Lord. Ponder all that for a minute. It says elsewhere that the believers will be known by their love for one another. But here it says that the time is coming when the followers of Jesus will be killed by the very religious who just happen to hate God. Why us? Because the God they hate chose us. He put us in His family. He adopted us. For whatever reason (still unclear to me!) He picked us for His eternal family. In adoption circles the phrase “forever family” is very common. Regardless of what happens in this world, we are part of His forever family. All the doubts Christians have about whether they really are “in” are now gone. The very people preaching inclusion and tolerance, will be the ones leading the way to kill the disciples of Jesus.
  We draw comfort, not from the evil done to us, but rather from the “proof” that in whatever small way we know our Father and this hatred cannot possibly separate us from the love that our Father Has given to His children. So, we should not despair, nor dwell in fear, nor stress out over where the country and world are going. The real “wonderful life” is not found in this world. We in America got sideswiped and lost sight of the historical truth that started with Stephen in Acts and has gone on all over the world to this very day. To believe in Jesus is to gain Him, to be with Him, to be loved by Him. If you believe in Jesus for what this world offers, you will never be content. But if you believe in Jesus because of the love He has for you, you will have all you ever need.
  So why do you believe?


        For further study of these issues – for a small sample look 5/3/19 BBC “Christian persecution at near genocide issues”.  Also check out VP Pence’s graduation speech 5/11/19 “Be prepared to be ridiculed for being Christian” on USA Todays website.  There are hundreds of articles reporting on the attacks around the world.  For a comprehensive view – check out Voice of the Martyrs website!

Coming Events

May 22-27 – mission trip to Independence, MO – lots of different types of Mormons and perhaps a trip to the Hare Krishna center there.

May 28 – I am preaching at Word of Life Community Church in Grandview, MO

June 15 – Haven Board Meeting

June 17-23 – Manti Mormon Miracle Pageant in Utah. Tens of thousands of Mormons in one place!!! 

June 23 – I am preaching at Green River Bible Church in Green River, UT
June 27 – July 27 – Terri and I head off to the Philippines to teach at the Calvary Chapel Bible College.  I am also preaching at several churches in Manila and Dumaguete and surrounding areas.  We also will be trying to help a little with the Agape girls from Rainbow Village orphanage and Precious Jewels Ministries (orphanage) as

Prayer Requests

1) We continue to thank the Lord for His goodness. Terri is still in lots of pain in her knees and the rest of her body. I think a knee replacement is coming this fall. She is not happy about this. But she soldiers on and serves everybody in sight!  Scott, Savanna, Conrad and Carmena are doing awesome.  Carmena is growing and growing and Conrad is potty trained! They are on the verge of some big news concerning his job! Shawn, Kelly, Tegan, and Apple are doing well. They moved in with us recently and are settling into the Colorado life.  Andy is following Husker sports of all kinds with a passion. He is struggling with some things we haven’t seen for many years so please pray lots! Gabe, Shaina and Kaylee are doing well, and Gabe is currently on Guard duty training! So, pray he doesn’t have to deploy! Joey is doing better and working on getting some writing published. Johanna and Kenny are happily married, coming to Bible study and they are now expecting!!!  The kids love Kenny, and he is a good man.  Johanna just got promoted to assistant leasing manager! We are very happy for them! Rose, Austin, CeCe and Bella are doing well and have chosen to build a house.! Baby Luna Penelope Gaines was just born. Everybody is healthy and it is exciting. They are building a house and will move this fall.  Jon received probation for his felony.  That is a major break.  Please pray that he will not reoffend and pray that the Lord will grab him. My Dad and my two brothers and I all spoke together on the phone last week.  This was the first time we had all spoken together in probably over a decade.  It was fun – but it didn’t last long. There was a major fight so there is very little talking going on with him right now. My mom is wrestling with a new type of cancer so please pray for her. 

2) Please pray for some friends and co-workers who have serious health issues. Pray for many who have pressing chronic issues such as Sherri C, Rose R, Liz H, Sheila H, Joanna V, Charlene E, Jason G, Zach M, Duane E, Noah G, Tracie P, Pepper W, Susan L, and others. Pray for dear friends and mentors Jim and Ossie who have had a terrible struggle with their adult daughter and her extreme health problems. Pray our Father shows mercy! Pray for the daughter of a pastor/friend of ours. Her name is Amber, and she is still struggling with a terrible stroke! There are many others of you who are in this audience who have major health issues. We pray our Father shows mercy in all these things. Pray for our dearest friend Susan who has some frustrating health conditions and lost her husband this past year!

3)  Pray for the miracle of repentance and reconciliation in the marriages or now ex-marriages of Debra, Mike, Cheryl, Leon, Susan, Janelle, and way too many others.

4)  Pray for the salvation of the Scientologists, Muslims, Gnostics, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Hindus, Buddhists, and many others that we have talked to. Please pray for all the people that we have witnessed to over the years, whom can be referenced in the past Haven Newsletters. Continue to pray for my atheist student Ben who is meeting again with me soon! Some really good things going on there, I think. We hope to meet with Elder Brendon’s family this coming June.  He was the missionary we met with last year and then we met with the family after the suicide of his older brother. Pray for a good meeting. Pray for Michael and Miguel – two Urantia readers I have ongoing meetings with. I met with the Jewish new ager Ron and hope to meet with him again.

5)  Pray for the Haven staff. Pray for their support raising efforts. Pray for their ministry and for all of us as we go to different events. Pray for the Lord’s grace and mercy to mark everything we do. The staff continues to grow with new associates and interns. Pray especially for one of our staff - Rose – who has some difficult health concerns. Pray for her husband Mark and all the family please. The staff is up to 21 with new staff and another new intern! So we thank the Lord for the fellow workers and we all thank you for your prayers! Again, pray for Terri and Bills personal support which is way down right now.
6)  Please pray for our many friends and their children who are serving with our military. The reality of militant Islam is that we are now in what many think is another chapter of a very old war. This sadly is getting much worse lately. Hardly a day goes by without Muslims killing innocents somewhere in the world. Pray for soldiers like Miguel, Matt, Josh, Nick. Heath and Will. Pray for the Marines like our nephew Eddie and Matt and Tashay. We thank the Lord for all of them and so many others who serve us. Pray for soldiers like Chung as well as military folks serving as 1st responders such as Donavan and Gabe!
We thank the Lord for the gracious giving that He has given us through so many of you. We thank y’all for your continued prayers and support. Please continue to pray and seek the Lord’s will concerning giving to the ministry of Haven. Please pray and consider helping us at this time. Please remember to pray and consider giving especially towards our trip to the Philippines. We try and bless people everywhere we go – especially the orphans and young adults we have been working with for many years now.  We also try to bless the pastors and staffs at the school and orphanage.  Whatever you give for the trip is going for the costs and the blessing of these dear people
Please pray for all the people that Terri and I talked to at the Parliament! (Keep Praying for them All!)
        Linda– Lesbian Soka Gakkai Buddhist, Arianna – Pagan lady , Bala and Roy – Hindu’s from South Africa, Buck and Arlene – Urantia readers (New agers), Ed – Bahai author/” scholar”, Eurah – Korean LDS lady, Jue and Miao – Humanistic Buddhists from Hong Kong, Michael and Nancy – Interfaith chaplains, Mit and Gay – Bahai, Mohammed and Nana – Sunni Muslims from India and Indonesia respectively, Natalie - lapsed Roman Catholic Canadian, Nathan – Gay Buddhist, Randall – world religions writer from Canada, Ron and Maureen and Elisa – Share International (new age group)
Non – Prophet Update – So many heretics so little time…

I have addressed him before, but alleged Roman Catholic Franciscan Monk Richard Rohr just screams out for attention.  Aside from the fact that he thinks he’s God (oh not to worry – we are all God – he is a panentheist which means the divine is in all of creation) he denies the atonement and argues that the “Christ” is in all of nature and Jesus is just some man that figured this out. This is the old heresy of adoptionism. Besides pushing the Enneagram and other new age stuff – the saddest thing of all is that so many Catholics and protestants flock to his retreat center for more of his wisdom. The emergent heretics love him as well. Even one of my old  professors seems to be caught in the web.  This is not a good thing. Pray for his repentance and for discernment for those who take him seriously.
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