Fire at the Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal church in Greeleyville, South Carolina, Tuesday night June 30th is the latest in a string of blazes at places of worship in the South serving the African-American community, EMB learned through various news sources.
This is the sixth prominent African-American church to have burned since Dylann Roof killed nine people including pastor Clementa Pinckney at the historic Emmanuel AME church in Charleston two weeks ago.
According to sources, the church had previously been burned down by arsonists with ties to the KKK in 1995 (20 years ago) This latest church fire, like the others is under investigation by the FBI.
Hecklers Take Turn Interrupting Joel Osteen During Church Service
In other news related to church, six hecklers were reportedly escorted from Lakewood Church in southwest Houston Sunday morning June 28th for heckling senior Pastor Joel Osteen.
A video posted online shows one of the hecklers being removed from the service, to the applause of the congregation.
“The praise and worship was good,” Anwar Richardson, who recorded the video, told local news outlet ABC 13. “His wife had just delivered a quick message. And the moment he started to preach, somebody gets up and they yell, ‘Joel Osteen you’re a liar.'”
Five more hecklers would interrupt the message before they were finally removed by security and charged with criminal trespassing by Houston police.
The Folly of Man’s Wisdom
Meanwhile, the fallout and tail spin continues following SCOTUS’ decision Friday June 26th to legalize same sex marriage in all 50 states in the USA.
What Should The Church Do?
Why the Church? Why now? What is God saying in this hour?
As I prayed last night about all the major events that have taken place around the world within the past few weeks, I was reminded by the Holy Spirit not to become distracted by the things that are happening which was prophesied long ago that they would come upon us in the last days.
I was also instructed to go back into the book of Romans and read chapter one to get the full understanding of the root cause and to get the answer to my questions.
As I got deeper into the bible reading, it became crystal clear to me that the people who are committing the egregious and evil undertakings are people who once knew God.
Where is the evidence? Well this is what scripture have to say –
“For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools…” ~ Romans 1:19-22
The scripture went on to say, “Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their heart to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who blessed them…” (v24-25)
“For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.” (v26-27)
“And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil… They are full of envy, murder, strife…haters of God, insolent, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.” (v 28-31)
The Message for the Church
If you are reading this post today, it is not by chance or by accident. As we continue to try to wrap our mind around all of the events, to the body of Christ and believers of the faith, I say to you like what the Lord said to me, ‘do not become distracted by the things that are happening which was prophesied long ago that they would come upon us in the last days.’
Stay in your position. Continue to watch and pray. Pray for one another. Support and encourage your brothers and sisters in Christ. Love your neighbor as you love yourself. Do good to them that hate you, revile you, persecute you and utter all manner of evil about you falsely for the sake of Christ and the gospel that we have been commissioned to preach.
The battle belong to God. He will fight for you.
Now I am sure there will be more instances of God’s goodness and faithfulness toward His people in the coming weeks, months and years, but one such example of where God is fighting on behalf of the church and which I believe is worthy of mention is this –
The Christian Post reported that Tennessee lawmakers are drafting a new bill expected to protect pastors who refuse to perform same sex weddings for religious reasons.
The bill, named the “Tennessee Pastor Protection Act” by its creators Republican Reps. Bryan Terry of Murfressboro and Andy Holt of Dresden, say their goal is to provide legal protection for clergy who might be forced to perform same-sex marriages on church property after Friday’s Supreme Court ruling that made same sex marriage legal across the USA.
Finally, continue to do good deeds, rejoice and be glad for great is your reward in heaven.
Other resources and references for this post:
- The Huffington Post
- The Blaze
- Charisma News
- Scripture was quoted from the English Standard Version bible