Living Life

Jesus, Me, and the Kitchen Table

A Letter to James Patrick Riley

on October 15, 2016

James Patrick Riley recently wrote an article comparing pastor Max Lucado and Donald Trump and making various accusations to anyone who does not support Donald Trump. I do not know either of these men personally, so cannot attest to either of their lifestyles. I am vaguely familiar with Max Lucado’s ministry, having read some books and have watched several children’s videos.  When I say “lifestyles” I refer to how closely they live according to the Scriptures and their relationship with Jesus.

What I do know is that the letter contains wrong definition of what it is to be a Christian and gross misuse of Scripture. So I will not defend or seek to vilify either person. My aim in this letter is to defend my faith and to correct some false comparisons and accusations.

  1.  After sharing that Max Lucado chose to speak out about Trump calling a lady a “bimbo” but ignoring Barack Obama’s pro-abortion stance, he then shared an example of Trump supporting the pro-life movement and how he has “embraced the politics of life.” Then the question Mr. Riley asks, is, Who is the real Christian here? The one who acts like it, or the one who puts on a polite show of neutrality?”

Just having moral behavior doesn’t make someone a Christian. There are plenty of unsaved people who are “good” people. True, as followers of Jesus our actions should be Christian in nature. However, a Christian is one who has asked Jesus Christ into their heart and made Jesus the Lord of their life. When that happens, then the right actions will follow. But just making the right choices doesn’t make anyone a Christian.

  1. “ I’ve been around church people all of my life.  Even at Stanford, where humanism was the prevailing denomination, I can tell you the religious spirit — whether it is lamenting “gambling” or shaming someone who didn’t recycle his bottle of Pepsi — brings out the worst side of human nature, and it brings ignorance into high relief.”   

Mr. Riley there is difference between a religious spirit, holiness, and legalism. A religious spirit is in operation is when someone is just going through the motions of going to church but without a relationship with Jesus. And it is true that many “church people” do have a religious spirit. It has nothing to do with “lamenting gambling” or other sins.

Preaching against sin does not “bring out the worst side of human nature or bring ignorance into high relief.” I was part of the Brownsville Revival in the late 1990’s. Evangelist Steve Hill preached against sin, and pleaded with tears in his eyes for people to get right with God. Night after night I’d watch as thousands ran to the altars and found forgiveness and salvation. I saw drug addicts instantly delivered of their addictions, putting their drug paraphernalia in the trash at the altar, and years later are still following Jesus. When people get right with God and get the sin out, they are more free than ever before!

And living a life of holiness is not legalism. Legalism is man-made rules of religion. Whereas followers of Jesus live according to the Bible, which is God’s law, meant to protect us, because God knows what’s best for us.

  1. Foul mouthed?  I’m guessing you haven’t read scripture with any real scrutiny, because when God gets angry, He doesn’t hold back.  His prophets call harlots harlots.  His Son called religious hypocrites, “white washed tombs full of dead men’s bones.” “Vipers.”  ”Sons of the Devil.”

Hold up a sec! There is a BIG difference between vulgarity and how Jesus addressed the Pharisees. Nowhere in the Bible do you see the use of profanity. It is not a sin to get angry. And even in His holy anger, Jesus did not use profanity. And to accuse Jesus of being “foul-mouthed” would mean that He had sinned because the Bible says “allow no filthy communication to come out of your mouth”. So if He had been “foul-mouthed”, His sacrifice on the cross would have been meaningless! So no sir, Jesus was holy, as the Father was holy. And IS holy! Furthermore, in that day, if someone was a harlot, everyone knew it, It was their title. Even today saying that someone is a prostitute is not a curse word. It is not vulgar.

  1. “But even if you value a polite tongue, and that’s your virtue, don’t begin comparing that virtue to being courageous in the face of Islamic jihad.  I will take a foul mouth defender of life over a church-sitting coward any day.”

All I want to say here is while there may be many church goers who may not have the faith to stand up to Islamic terrorists should it come down to a decision of converting to Islam or confessing Jesus, there are hundreds of true Christians over seas who have paid the ultimate price, their lives, as they were given the choice to convert or die. This has been true whether it was Islamic terrorists or back during the times of persecution when Christians who wouldn’t deny Jesus were fed to the wild beasts in a coliseum.

  1. “And I would ask you to look to your Bibles again. God uses some pretty gritty characters to work His glorious and sovereign will. Jacob was a trickster who lied to his father. Abraham had wives and concubines.  Samson kept a harlot.  Solomon had hundreds of concubines.  Peter betrayed Christ.  Saul of Tarsus, was a murderous wretch. You actually know all about that, but when you see a flawed man, in the flesh, you act just like a stoning torch mob, and you won’t even admit it.”
  • Jacob was a trickster. The Bible doesn’t approve of what he did. Just because he did it doesn’t make it right. As a result he had to “wrestle with God” and he came out with a limp!
  • Abraham had wives and concubines, true. But as the popular objection goes, “that’s Old Testament.” It was lawful back then to live this way.
  • Solomon’s concubines led him away from God and that led ultimately to splitting the Kingdom!
  • Peter betrayed Christ, but then he repented, and he did not ever do it again!
  • Yes, before he was saved, Saul did persecute and kill Christians. But after his radical conversion to Jesus, he became one of the most powerful Apostles, and ultimately was beheaded under Nero, for the sake of the Gospel. We don’t hold people’s past sins over their heads after they have repented.
  • I will say here, that when I see a “flawed man” my instinct is not to stone him to death, but rather to pray for his salvation!
  1. “But you and Max Lucado don’t like his (Trump’s) style.

      Your priorities are all mixed up, just like the people who killed Christ.”

There is NO comparison between Jesus Christ, spotless Lamb of God, and Donald Trump. It matters not whether you like him or not. He is not God. And saying that if you don’t support Trump, you are as bad as the ones who killed Christ is putting them on the same level. We are in an age where politicians are literally worshipped.

If Donald Trump was the most righteous man who ever lived, he could not turn this nation around. The only hope for our nation is for America to once again turn to God and repent of our sins, especially for the millions of babies we have sacrificed on the altars of convenience. Say nothing of our pride, how we’ve snubbed God in the face by taking His definition of marriage and changing it to meet our preferences, then using the sign of His covenant to never destroy the earth by flood again (the rainbow), and using it as the banner for the LGBT movement. By the way, I’m not a “hater.” I’m a lover of God, and His ways are best.

I don’t know if Trump is a Christian or not. But if he is not, then I pray for his salvation. And if elected, he will need the favor of God on him to help turn this ship around.

I urge you, Mr. Riley, to get out your Bible and read it cover to cover so that you may rightly divide the Word of God should you refer to it. And, may you repent for your blasphemy of the Lord Jesus Christ. Come to the mercy of God though Jesus. It is not too late, but time is running out. May you find forgiveness and salvation.

Original article HERE

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One response to “A Letter to James Patrick Riley

  1. Ludy says:

    You are so right, Dawn. I should have read this more carefully.

    Liked by 1 person

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