I dunno. Maybe you’ve read about this already, but “rev” Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church & State has recently sent Texas Gov. Rick Perry a letter of reprimand for attending what Lynn characterizes as “what amounts to a Christian fundamentalist revival service” [Like he has any experience with that...] or a “sectarian gathering that excludes millions of Americans and promotes controversial theology and divisive politics.” I’m speaking of an event in Houston called The Response, scheduled for August 6, 2011.
As alleged proof of The Response’s “divisive politics” and the “bigoted and hateful rhetoric” Lynn prophesies one will hear at this rally, he rails against opposition to same-sex marriage and characterizes the American Family Association [with whom Gov. Perry and The Response are affiliated] as being “notorious for its attacks on gay Americans, political progressives, feminists and indeed anyone who disagrees with its extreme political agenda.” I don’t know a whole lot about the AFA, but a little research on their site reveals that their politics are simply informed by traditional Judeo-Christian values. Far from hating gays, the AFA specifically believes the following:
“The same Holy Bible that calls us to reject sin, calls us to love our neighbor. It is that love that motivates us to expose the misrepresentation of the radical homosexual agenda and stop its spread though our culture. AFA has sponsored several events reaching out to homosexuals and letting them know there is love and healing at the Cross of Christ.”
Lynn would have us tell homosexuals that their sin is OK after all and condemn them to a Devil’s hell. Lynn is not motivated by love so much as either apathy or incredulity toward their plight. Which brings me to my next point…
I haven’t even got to the good part, but I got to wondering, “What exactly does Lynn consider controversial theology?” I mean, it’s a valid question, right? Apparently, this “controversial theology” which Lynn is so afraid of is equivalent to some sort of fundamentalism; in fact, Lynn later warns that The Response website “goes on to list a seven-point faith statement that reflects fundamentalist views.” OK, so how extreme are we talking here?
Well, The Responses’ statement of faith reads:
“The Response is a non-denominal, apolitical Christian prayer meeting and has adopted the American Family Association statement of faith.
- We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.
- We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.
- We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful people, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.
- We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.
- We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.
- We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Yep, Lynn’s “controversial theology” is nothing more than basic Christian beliefs traditionally held since the times of the Apostles.
Which leads to the obvious question: What the devil does “rev” Barry Lynn believe if he considers these simple essentials of the faith to be “controversial theology”?
It’s an important question because Barry claims at one point to be chastising Gov. Perry as a valid clergyman:
“To be blunt, you have overstepped your constitutional bounds. I am a Christian minister and would like to remind you that it is not the job of government officials to call people to pray, recommend that they fast or prod them to take part in other religious activities. That job belongs to me and my fellow clergy. We are capable of doing it without government “help” or interference. We are offended when you attempt to usurp our role.”
Now, if you know anything at all about the so-called “rev” Barry Lynn, that paragraph was pure comedy gold! I really doubt Barry’s offended that Gov. Perry is “usurping” his role. I doubt Lynn has ever felt the urge to call a national or state-wide prayer meeting. I doubt he’s ever recommended that his “humanist friends” fast and seek God’s face. Rather than prodding [such weasel words, Lynn; you meant "inviting," right?] the masses to attend any sort of religious activities, Lynn has made a career out of stopping them from ever occuring!
But just for the sake of argument, is Lynn’s claim that Gov. Perry is overstepping his constitutional bounds even valid? Well, if you go to The Response’s website, you find the following little tidbits of information under the heading, Historical Precedents for National Prayer:
“On March 23, 1798, President John Adams declared a national day of humiliation, fasting and prayer:
That the citizens of these States, abstaining on that day from their customary worldly occupations, offer their devout addresses to the Father of Mercies… with the deepest humility, acknowledge before God the manifold sins and transgressions with which we are justly chargeable as individuals and as a nation, beseeching Him at the same time, of His infinite grace, through the Redeemer of the World, freely to remit all our offenses, and to incline us by His Holy Spirit to that sincere repentance and reformation which may afford us reason to hope for His inestimable favor and heavenly benediction.
On April 13, 1841, President John Tyler declared a national day of fasting upon the death of President William Harrison: When a Christian people feel themselves to be overtaken by a great public calamity, it becomes them to humble themselves under the dispensation of Divine Providence, to recognize His righteous government over the children of men, to acknowledge His goodness in time past, as well as their own unworthiness, and to supplicate His merciful protection for the future…to impress all minds with a sense of the uncertainty of human things and of the dependence of nations, as well as individuals, upon our Heavenly Parent… We may all with one accord join in humble and reverential approach to Him in whose hands we are, invoking Him to inspire us with a proper spirit and temper of heart and mind under these frowns of His providence and still to bestow His gracious benedictions upon our Government and our country.
On March 16, 1776, the Continental Congress passed without dissent a resolution presented by General William Livingston declaring: Congress….desirous…to have people of all ranks and degrees duly impressed with a solemn sense of God’s superintending providence, and of their duty, devoutly to rely…on his aid and direction…do earnestly recommend Friday, the 17th day of May be observed by the colonies as a Day of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer; that we may, with united hearts, confess and bewail our manifold sins and transgressions, and, by sincere repentance and amendment of life, appease God’s righteous displeasure, and, through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, obtain this pardon and forgiveness.
On June 14, 1783, George Washington wrote a prayer to governors of the newly freed states on disbanding army. On the plaque in St. Paul’s Chapel, NY, and Pohick Church, VA, where Washington was vestryman 1762-84: Almighty God; We make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy Holy protection; and Thou wilt incline the hearts of the Citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to Government; and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow Citizens of the United States at large, and particularly for their brethren who have served in the Field. And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that Charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were the Characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed Religion, and without a humble imitation of whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation. Grant our supplication, we beseech Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
On April 15, 1775, just four days before the Battle of Lexington, the Massachusetts Provincial Congress, led by John Hancock, declared: In circumstances dark as these, it becomes us, as men and Christians, to reflect that, whilst every prudent measure should be taken to ward off the impending judgments…the 11th of May next be set apart as a Day of Public Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer…to confess the sins…to implore the Forgiveness of all our Transgression.
On April 19, 1775, in a Proclamation of a Day of Fasting and Prayer, Connecticut Governor Jonathan Trumbull beseeched that: God would graciously pour out His Holy Spirit on us to bring us to a thorough repentance and effectual reformation that our iniquities may not be our ruin; that He would restore, preserve and secure the liberties of this and all the other British American colonies, and make the land a mountain of Holiness, and habitation of righteousness forever.
On June 12, 1775, less than two months after the Battles of Lexington and Concord, where was fired “the shot heard ‘round the world,” the Continental Congress, under President John Hancock, declared: Congress…considering the present critical, alarming and calamitous state…do earnestly recommend, that Thursday, the 12th of July next, be observed by the inhabitants of all the English Colonies on this Continent, as a Day of Public Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer, that we may with united hearts and voices, unfeignedly confess and deplore our many sins and offer up our joint supplications to the Allwise, Omnipotent and merciful Disposer of all Events, humbly beseeching Him to forgive our iniquities…It is recommended to Christians of all denominations to assemble for public worship and to abstain from servile labor and recreations of said day.”
Barry Lynn doesn’t want you to be aware of these little tidbits from history because he wants you to suppose that the Wall of Separation between Church and State is meant to protect the right of freedom FROM religion, rather than freedom OF religion. Jefferson and the Founding Fathers wanted to protect the church from the influence of the state; the current interpretation being weilded by Lynn is that the state needs protection from the church. Yet when Lynn and his followers fight to remove Christianity’s influence in America, they are not ensuring “neutrality;” rather they are supplanting Christianity’s influence with a secular humanist influence – and secular humanism is recognized by the Supreme Court as another religion!
Jesus warned that “he that is not with me is against me; and he that gathers not with me scatters” [Matthew 12:30; Luke 11:23]. Guess what, Lynn? You’re scattering. You’re fighting against the influence of Christianity in our culture, not for it! You are the enemy of the Cross, not a soldier of Christ. And little surprise; Christ also warned that no man can serve two masters – and you’ve clearly forsaken and despised Christ for your humanist, church-state separation agenda. You can’t build Christ’s kingdom while you’re busy building your own – and while you actually busy trying to down Christ’s to boot!
Paul likewise warned that we are not be unequally yoked with unbelievers, while James warned that friendship with the world is emnity against God: how are those humanist friends of yours, Barry?
And let’s not forget the most critical fact: As Barry Lynn cannot affirm the physical, bodily resurrection of Christ Jesus, a requirement of saving faith per Romans 10:9; therefore, he doesn’t even qualify as an authentic Christian believer, much less the Christian minister he erroneously claims to be! Don’t bother citing his credentials with the UCC; he may as well have gotten his ordination off a voodoo website or out of a Cracker Jack box since he fails the basic requirement of being an authentic believer in Christ in the first place. Those who erroneously ordained Lynn and allow him to retain said credentials will answer to the Righteous Judge for allowing such a wolf to don sheep’s clothing with their knowledge! Or perhaps we ought to say a humanist in Christian clerical robes…
“Barry Lynn, you have overstepped your bounds. I am a Christian minister and would like to remind you have no business telling people whether they should or shouln’t to call people to pray, recommend that they fast or prod them to take part in other religious activities. That job belongs to me and my fellow authentic Bible-believing clergy. We are not only capable of doing it without your “help” or interference; we actually do it! We are offended when you attempt to usurp our role by presenting yourself as a legitimate member of Christian clergy.”