Pastors Blog

From the desk of Pastor Steve:

How should we respond?

May 08, 2014
By Pastor Steve Bundy

 It is easy to ignore crime in our neighborhoods as long as it doesn't come to our own door step. Many times it takes our own homes being robbed before we decide to act. As Christians I feel we conduct ourselves in the same manner. Remaining silent on issues that should demand our attention and action, but instead we remain silent because it doesn't directly affect our daily lives. Our silence has landed us in the place that we are today. Abortion on demand and gay marriage right here in Iowa. In most cases we have said nothing, only to wake up one morning wondering how we got here? As many of you know Bob Eschliman was recently fired from his position as Editor from the Newton Daily News. No big deal...right? Happens every day. The reason he was fired should cause us as Christians to wake up and take action. Bob was fired for standing up for his own personal religious beliefs and the Word of God. Bob was let go because of what he wrote on his own personal blog in regards to the "Queen James Bible." Remember this was HIS PERSONAL BLOG, it was not affiliated with Newton Daily News in any way. For those of you who haven't heard the "Queen James Bible" has reworded the Bible to "make it more relevant." When in reality the LGBT community has tried to erase all references to homosexuality as a sin.

 

Is homosexuality a sin? Yes! Is it a special sin? No! 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 says, "Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God." In this letter Paul gives a laundry list of sinful activities, beginning with all of those who have sex outside of marriage. His focus wasn't on any one sin in particular. However, I have yet to see a group of drunks or thieves try to rewrite the Bible to remove any verses that refer to drunkenness or stealing as sin.

 

So, how do we respond? Do we respond at all? After all, Shaw media, the owners of the Newton Daily News has the right to fire anyone if his or her views don't represent the best interest of their company. I agree with that statement. However, we as Christians also have the right to choose who we support with our financial resources. One way we can speak the loudest is to quit giving Shaw Media or the Newton Daily News our money by canceling our subscriptions, and pulling our advertising from their newspaper. Unfortunately, money is the language that speaks the loudest to them. Perhaps you're thinking this is no big deal. It doesn't affect me. It may not today, but if you stand up publicly for the truth of the Word of God long enough, it will.

 

Bob Eschliman is a real person, with a wife and kids. If you are a Christ follower he is your brother in Christ. We should be both alarmed and awakened when one of our own family is treated this way. We should be moved to do something. I am not telling you that you must cancel your subscription to the Newton Daily News. You must pray and see what God would have you do. But please do something. Don't remain silent as you have in the past. Write a letter to Shaw Media, call them and tell them how you feel about this, or if you are so moved please quit supporting them financially. No matter what you decide to do, or not do, please pray for Bob and his family as they move through this difficult time. Here is a link to the story if you would like more information: Newton Daily News Fires Editor for Criticizing Queen James Bible | Caffeinated Thoughts

"Tolerance?"

December 19, 2013
By Pastor Steve Bundy

Well it would seem that the PC police and the vocal minority have once again won another battle. In the name of tolerance A&E Network has suspended one of its most popular stars from one of its most popular shows. And by the most popular I mean the one show that keeps all of A&E’s otherwise garbage line up a float. I guess they could always fall back on such quality entertainment as Rodeo Girls, Bonnie & Clyde, or Hoarders. Tolerance…what is tolerance? Tolerance is defined this way: “the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with.” Tolerance is what we hear screamed for from the left, especially from the homosexual community. The tolerance spoken of today does not pertain to unlawful discrimination based upon race, gender, national origin, creed or religion but rather it is a tolerance of lifestyle. It is not enough to say we tolerate the homosexual lifestyle…no, we must embrace it and celebrate it as the norm. Tolerance in America today has become a one way street. Tolerance is alive and well unless you profess the Christian faith.  If you are a Christian, you may not voice your opinions unless you are willing to accept the consequences, including arrest (in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) or loss of job (see Phil Robertson). I will give two examples of men who were not tolerated for their heart felt beliefs.

#1) Dan Cathy – President of Chik Fil-A was asked in an interview for the Baptist Press for his opinion on Gay marriage. Dan Cathy stated that he believed in the biblical definition of the family unit. He was asked for his beliefs and he gave them. For this he was called out for bashing gays and being a hate monger. Of course we all know how that ended for Chik-Fil-A, a record sales day for all of those who came out in support of him. Not for his exact view on marriage, but to support his right to say that he agrees with the Bible’s definition of marriage.

#2) Phil Robertson – Our most recent casualty of the politically correct war in our nation. Unfortunately, if you are famous, GLAAD and the LGBT groups pick and choose who they go after. Back in late June to mid-July Alec Baldwin went on a couple of rants that included every derogatory homosexual slur you can think of. Any back lash from GLAAD or anyone else for that matter? NO. NBC did eventually fire him from his radio show at the end of November, but that was only because the show was in the tank. It had nothing to do with his anti-gay remarks or they wouldn’t have waited 4 or 5 months to do it. But back to Phil. Phil was asked for his opinions by GQ magazine and he gave them.  No Phil didn’t call anybody “a little queen”, “a fag”, or “a little b****”  as Alec Baldwin did. No Phil had the audacity to do much worse. Wait for it…he quoted scripture (gasp). I know right? Who does he think he is? Phil had the nerve to paraphrase 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. Who is Phil to say who will or will not “inherit the kingdom of God?” He didn’t say, the Bible had already said it for him. Of course he was also hateful enough to point out that he preferred lady parts to guy parts. Although, not quite that G rated. How dare Phil say what he believes?

So back to tolerance, here is the part I really don’t understand at all. From a common sense stand point, if some who owns a particular chain of fast food chicken shacks offends you, then by all means feel free not to buy his chicken sandwiches. If Phil Robertson has offended you with his comments feel free not to watch Duck Dynasty, wear cammo, or grow a beard if it makes you feel better. Neither one of these men personally attacked anybody. Why are Christians not able to have an opinion without being called hate mongers, bigots, and homophobes? No, we have to attack and silence those who don’t hold the same view. If a Christian photographer doesn’t want to photograph a gay wedding, or a Christian baker doesn’t feel compelled to bake a cake for your gay wedding reception. The correct answer is to sue them? Because your right to love whoever you want somehow trumps someone else’s religious freedoms? If someone refused to take my money because I was a Christian, I would gladly take my business elsewhere. I wouldn’t sue them; I wouldn’t want to do business with them if that’s how they really felt.

But this really takes me to the heart of the matter about tolerance, don’t worry I’m almost done. Homosexuals do not want equal rights they want special rights. Every man and woman in this country is free to marry, there is no discrimination here. What they are not free to do is re-define what marriage is. Marriage has already been clearly defined in Scripture, it doesn’t belong to me, you, or the government. The Bible clearly defines marriage in Genesis 2:24 – “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” The Bible starts with a wedding in Genesis and ends with a wedding in Revelation. Marriage is not up for re-definition by anyone. So you are free to marry anyone you choose of the opposite sex. If you want to say that is not fair due to tax breaks and other financial advantages that are offered to legally married couples. That is fine with me. As far as I’m concerned the government can get out of the marriage business all-together (they never should have been there in the first place), while they are at it they can also get out of the gun business and the health care business.

To some of my Christian brothers and sisters out there who say that we should be silent on these types of issues, or we shouldn’t “get too political” let me remind you our “silence” on these issues has gotten us to where we are today. The silent majority ruled by the vocal minority. Christians who stand publicly for biblical truth being silenced, Christian business owners being shut down and ruined financially, and political leaders who are lock step with those with a pro homosexual agenda. That is what we have reaped for our sowing of silence. Oops, I’m sorry that probably didn’t sound very tolerant.

Mountain Top Experience

August 01, 2013
By Pastor Steve Bundy

Almost two weeks ago now a group of nineteen men went to the Promise Keepers Men's conference in Cedar Falls, Iowa. This is the third Promise Keepers conference I have been to, and I left on the same spiritual high each time. We saw God work in some awesome ways, but the challenge following a weekend like this is keeping the fire burning after returning home. I returned home challenged to be a “warrior” for Jesus Christ. I had made a commitment to be the man, the father, and the husband that God wanted me to be. My spiritual batteries were charged in a way that I desperately needed. So here I sit two weeks later asking myself has anything changed? No, nothing has changed but I’m not sure if I am as ‘on fire’ today as I was then. Why is it so hard to stay fired up for God?

Events like Promise Keepers are what I call “Mountain Top Events.” Don’t worry I’ll explain. If you read Matthew 17, we see that Jesus took Peter, James, and John up on a high mountain. How awesome to be in the Lord’s inner-circle of friends! But Jesus takes them on this high mountain and He is transfigured before them. Peter, James, and John get to see Jesus in all of His glory and majesty! His face shined like the sun, and His garments became as white as light! They got to see Jesus in a way that NO human had ever seen, and if that wasn’t enough Moses and Elijah even made and appearance! How could you ever be the same after such an event? These men would have had to been moved by what they saw. That is what I call a “Mountain Top Event.”

One gift that I have been given as a pastor is to place myself in the stories from Scripture that I read. As I read Matthew 17, the same question keeps going through my mind. Could you imagine how Peter, James, and John felt as they came down that mountain with Jesus? To make things worse Jesus tells them they can’t tell anyone about what they have seen until He has risen from the dead (17:9). What? Don’t tell anyone? What are you talking about Jesus? I don’t know how these three men could ever return to everyday life after what they experienced on the mountain top. They had just witnessed the greatest spiritual event of their lifetime. They had met with God in a very real way! Now the challenge is to return to their life at the bottom of the mountain and keep the same excitement and awe for God that they had at the top.

As great as our weekend in Cedar Falls was it is not quite as awesome as the Mount of Transfiguration, but it was still pretty cool. I wonder if we are all keeping the promises we made before God that weekend? I wonder if everyone that stood up on Friday night has been in The Word of God every day? We met with God on the top of our mountain in Cedar Falls, but we must continue to live our lives with the same desire to please God on the bottom of the mountain.

"Man of Steel"

June 16, 2013
By Pastor Steve Bundy

I went to see “Man of Steel” the latest and greatest remake of the original Superman movie over the weekend. It was my first time seeing a movie at the local Newton movie theater. To be honest it was the first movie I had seen at a movie theater in a year. The Capital Theater was a neat experience and it was almost like taking a trip back in history, but I am getting off track here. So, the little kid in me that still remains could not resist going to see the newly repackaged Superman movie. Of course all of the special effects were a major improvement and Superman himself was even a bigger & stronger version of what Christopher Reeve had been. The movie overall was good, not great. But I am not writing this blog to review movies, I am writing about this movie because of the underlying theme of this movie that was definitely not hidden in any way.

As a matter of fact it might as well had a flashing neon light pointing to it. The fact that our world is in need of a Savior jumped off the screen in this movie. The connections between our Savior Jesus Christ and the man in the spandex sporting the cape could not have been more obvious. Superman is sent to earth, the only begotten son of his parents to save the human race. Clark (Superman) lives on earth for 33 years before realizes his destiny and begins his battle against the forces of darkness to save our world. And if all of these examples that I have given are not quite blatant enough for you, try this one on for size. There is a scene when Clark is talking to his pastor in a church in the town he grew up in, and as they zoom in on him in the background over his shoulder we see Jesus Christ on the stain glass window. Yes, they tried as hard as they could to paint Superman as a type of Christ-like figure. The amazing thing was, the people of earth in their own way accepted Clark in much the same manner as they received Christ in His earthly ministry. Clark is despised and rejected by almost everyone he comes into contact with. The U.S. Military even tries their best to kill him as he tries to protect them from the real enemies. Even though he is here to save them, the world does not receive him as their own. Yet he is willing to lay down his life for them, even as they try to kill him. It is amazing to me that even Hollywood recognizes that this world will always reject the One sent to save us all.

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