Bullying From The Pulpit

 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

2 Chronicles 7:14

 

A few years ago, on a Sunday, I sat in church and the pastor began to threaten the congregation with the scripture found in Psalm 105:15, “…touch not my anointed and do my prophets no harm.”

The congregation sat frozen as if being thrown in front of a firing squad. No, this wasn’t an easy scripture to swallow. The pastor was threatening us with Biblical execution and our demise could come at any moment from God. And what brought on this tirade? It was alleged that some members wanted accountability for the pastor’s recent changes in the operation of the church. But he was not having anyone question his authority. No one! Needless to say, I no longer attend that church but the pastor who made that threat still wheels his power over a spiritually depleted flock.

Bullying from the pulpit is real. For some pastors, they use scripture or a sermon to keep Christians in a state of fear as oppose to encouraging them to seek out the Word of God for themselves. What I have notice over the past few years is that younger members are not intimidated by Biblical bullying. Perhaps, that is why churches are finding a decline in its membership. Young people will not just toe the line just because you hold a Bible over their heads and demand that they obey without questioning. That’s not going to happen.

Speaking about bullying from the pulpit brings me to the subject about the Israeli and Palestine conflict and the high death toll in Gaza among the civilian population, especially, among the elderly and children. The silence in the church is eerily silent. But I am not surprised that there is no outcry for cease-fire. You see, as long as I can remember, the scripture found in Genesis 12:1-3 has always been the justification for Christians to keep quiet and not raise objections towards Israel. You pretty much are told that if you are against Israel you are also against God and will be curse. So, what is the safer option? You support Israel so that you will be blessed. It is indeed a selfish, self-serving act for Christians to think merely about our own self-preservation then to take in consideration that we all will have to pay someday for our inaction.

Imagine living under a cloud of condemnation that no matter what Israel does, you dare not speak out about it nor acknowledge your opinion in public. Israel indeed has to protect its right to exist but they should not be put on a pedestal. In the past few days, I decided to do research on the relationship between Israel and Palestine. In my research I discovered a few gems that doesn’t seem to be spoken about in the church. And that is about the population of Palestinian Christians who are also being discriminated against and bombed.

Israel as well as Palestine has their sordid history as with all nations. One of the things that I discovered about Israel truly made me disgusted. It was their business arrangement with South Africa apartheid.  This bit of history is not something we Christians get to hear about, especially in the black church. But this did occur but of course, Israel will  get a free pass because of Genesis 12:3.

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian

 

BBC Documentary-Birth of Israel-Birth of a Nation