Gotta story for you. It’s disturbing, but must be told.
Yesterday I was walking to my car in a Starbucks parking lot when I was approached by a woman. She was handing out pamphlets and advocating for donations for her church.
Speaking quickly with fear I would shut her out, she explained her church needed donations because they were also an outreach center, and they couldn’t get funding from outside sources.
When asked why, she looked deeply in my eyes and said something troubling.
“The only way to get funding is if we refuse to say the name of Jesus.”
Wait. What? A Christian church can’t say the name of Jesus?
I didn’t get all the details from her (she was talking fast. And loud. And I was talking fast, too. This is what happens when you get two passionate women in a conversation about Jesus. You can’t get a thought together or a word in. We must have looked like two crazy, clucking hens to all the patrons.)
I came home and did some research. Apparently, this isn’t a new thing.
In 2013, a Longview, Washington, pastor was told he could no longer use Jesus’ name during the city council meeting’s opening prayer. Okay, got that. Separation of church and state. Sigh.
But that’s not all. In 2013, the Conservative Baptist Association of America sued then-secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) Eric Shinseki for anti-Christian bigotry. Apparently two VA chaplains (or military religious counselors) were told they could not pray in the name of Jesus. No word on the case outcome.
And in 2005, Navy chaplain Lt. Gordon Klingenschmitt alleged he was fired for praying in Jesus’ name.
Are we really going down this road?
Listen, I absolutely hate offending people. Matter of fact, it’s amongst the last things I want to do. I cry if I upset the cat next door. I’m up all night if I think I’ve ticked you off. I truly love all people and desperately want them to love me back. I am a people-pleaser to a fault. But there’s one thing I won’t compromise:
Saying the name of Jesus Christ.
Want to know why? He is my all-Healer. He carried me through the worst. He dug me out of the grave. He reached down to the bottom of the ocean and pulled me up.
There’s not enough room on the Internet to proclaim Him.
We all know as time draws to a close we will be hated for His name’s sake. I mean, let’s be honest, His precious, beautiful name is used as a cuss word today. Can we be surprised His name invokes such controversy?
However, if you are His beloved, don’t you shut your mouth. Open it wide.
Yell it from your roof.
If you’re scared of heights, go in your backyard and holler it there.
If you have no backyard, bellow it in the Wal-Mart parking lot. Get a loudspeaker.
If you’re in prison, shout it during your yard time.
But whatever you do, do not stop yelling it. Roar like the lion you are.
Say it loud, Friends.
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