Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Alter call that stirred the world

After the game
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Thursday, January 20, 2011

The altar call that stirred the world

Robert Bentley is a 67 year old deacon and Sunday School teacher at First Baptist Church of Tuscaloosa. On Monday at a Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, Bentley told the congregation, "So anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I'm telling you, you're not my brother and you're not my sister, and I want to be your brother." These remarks set off a firestorm of criticism by the ACLU, by politicians, by Jewish leaders, by Islamic leaders and by non-Christians. People say they were insulted, offended and immediate calls were made for Bentley to step down. Bentley made his remarks to a church gathering after being sworn in as governor of Alabama. He later apologized.

Bentley was only saying that you are not his brother or sister in the Lord unless you are a Christian. The second part of what he said was that he wants you to be his brother. This remark is in line with Christian love and charity as Peter said in 2 Peter 3:9 that the Lord is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." 2 Thessalonians 2:10 says that those perish "because they receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved." At 67, Bentley doesn't have to be governor of Alabama. He has seen and accomplished much. But he is just telling the truth to a congregation, giving what amounts to an altar call to stir the heart of man. It was met with hatred and offense.

Today, our Founding Fathers would be run out of the country. Here is what just a handful of them said about Christianity and our country (and their remarks were not to church bodies): Patrick Henry: "It cannot be emphasized too clearly and too often that this nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religion, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason, peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here [May 1765 Speech to the House of Burgesses]." George Washington to his troops at Valley Forge in 1778: "To the distinguished character of patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian."

Noah Webster: "In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed...No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people [1828, in the preface to his American Dictionary of the English Language]."...Peter says in 2 Peter 2:12, "But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption." With all the talk of civility lately it sure didn't last long when the call to Christianity is sounded. Bentley is not the one who should apologize.

Have a Blessed and Powerful Day!
Bill Wilson
Word of Life Ministry

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