READER RESPONSE: 7 Reasons Why New Birth & Bishop Long Should Keep Moving
by Alexander Haynes
This is the age-old battle of the church versus the world. Regardless of who you are and what you think â€“ Godâ€™s people simply arenâ€™t governed by the same ethical standards of the world. Am I making light of any situation? No. Am I making light of accusation? No. Do I think that itâ€™s perfectly natural for one to have an opinion? Yes. Do I think that Godâ€™s opinion is the only one that counts? I do.
This is a message for the church. Iâ€™m not excluding the world, people with public opinions, naysayers or ex-church membersâ€¦ but I am saying publicly, that your thoughts and opinions are not from a Biblical world view. Godâ€™s people should really only be considering His viewpoint. As citizens of the Kingdom of God, our responsibility is not to share opinions. Our responsibility is to share Jesus. Live Jesus. Breathe Jesus. Thatâ€™s it.
Whether youâ€™re mad, appalled or frustrated with the recent settlement outcome of Bishop Eddie Long and New Birth Missionary Baptist Church â€“ itâ€™s imperative that you put your emotions aside â€“ and consider God and God alone during this season. Christianity, fortunately, is not about feelings and emotions. We are to walk like Christ. Could you imagine Jesus tapping into His feelings? Imagine Him — getting off of the cross, and saying â€˜naw, I donâ€™t like how this is making me feel. Pay for your sins? I think not.â€™
The people of the world base their thoughts, opinions and daily living off of what they feel. The people of God are called to walk higher. We should be in communion with God, day in and day out. Our prayer life should be regular conversation with the Lord. When we talk to God, He should talk back. He should constantly direct our pathsâ€¦ right? I asked you the questionâ€¦ but the answer is yes.
There are many issues in the church today that need to be addressed. Church leaders, pastors and bishops alike need to begin addressing the church with a very clear message â€“ Church! Stop looking like the world!
7 Reasons New Birth Should Keep Movingâ€¦
7. God Didnâ€™t Leave
Godâ€™s anointed do not lose the anointing because of naysayers or public opinion. John 8:29 says â€œ..and He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Himâ€¦â€ The redemptive power of God, is just thatâ€¦ redemptive. The blessing of the Lord on your life isnâ€™t dictated by public opinion â€“ not now, or ever. New Birth is still praying. New Birth is still a house of worship. New Birth is still impacting the community. New Birth is doing all of these things, in Jesusâ€™ name, not the name of Bishop Long. God will be with them. (John 14:12-14)
6. God Grants Assignmentsâ€¦ Not People
This is yet another difficult concept for the world to grasp. To the believer, itâ€™s pretty simple. When youâ€™re connected to God, you understand that Heâ€™s not up there shouting orders at you. Heâ€™s not throwing down lightning rods when you disobey, and Heâ€™s LIVING â€“ not dead. He knew you before you were formed, and He set you apart (Jeremiah 1:5). God puts us on assignment and itâ€™s important to stay in line with the direction Heâ€™s set for your life. Circumstantial situations or sudden life changes shouldnâ€™t throw us off course from completing the assignment God has for us. Instead of consulting the world on the assignment that Godâ€™s given us, we should consult Him. God and God only.
New Birth has an assignment. The mission is to love, live and lead like Christ. This can be obtained, if members stay committed. Let the media spin it. Even in opposition, the message of Jesus transpires.
5. God is a God of Orderâ€¦ This will never change.
1 Corinthians 14 tells us to do ALL things decently and in order. The Bible gives us a blueprint for orderly living. We could accuse each other of trying to super-spiritualize things â€“ but I believe that in all things, we should consult the Lord. I think an incorrect assumption, that is constantly conveyed by the media is that God doesnâ€™t take our feelings into consideration. He does. You must continue to trust that His plan is the best one. If Heâ€™s assigned you to a place â€“ donâ€™t readjust His plans, in lieu of circumstances or what everyone else says. If God releases you, Heâ€™ll do it orderly. If He has a new direction for you, Heâ€™ll communicate it to you in an orderly fashion.
His order is not our natural instinct. How do I know?
Jeremiah 17:9 â€œThe heart is deceitful, above all thingsâ€
The Bible urges us NOT to lean on our own understanding.
Proverbs 3:5-6 â€œ Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straightâ€¦â€
To operate in Godâ€™s divine order, you have to first know what that order is. Once you discover it â€“ get in line with it. This is a message for church hoppers in general. Get planted. When you run, in the midst of calamity â€“ youâ€™re putting your lack of trust on display. Get it together.
4. Everybody is watching â€“ God will Perform
God is not mocked. People will talk, the media will report, and opinions will circulate. I donâ€™t think that God really cares about your opinion or mine. He isnâ€™t concerned with Roland Martinâ€™s opinion articles or Sherriâ€™s rants on The View. God is concerned with His people. His people must be concerned about those that donâ€™t know Him. Weâ€™ve been commissioned â€“ to bring the message of Jesus to the world. Weâ€™re commissioned to bring a message of love and acceptance. This is our greatest charge. Philippians 1:6 declares that the God, who began good work in us, will complete it!
God will always get the glory. He can change any situation, for His gain. Let Him connect the dots.
3. The Message of Jesus Hasnâ€™t Changed
It is the same. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father (God) but by Him. (John 14:6) New Birth is still preaching this message. Bishop Long is still declaring this through His sermons. Despite media reports, members of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church werenâ€™t saved by Bishop Eddie Long. Bishop Eddie Long wasnâ€™t saved because He is a â€œbishop.â€ Bishop, the church members and YOU are only saved when you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that Jesus Christ is Lord. Once you make this confession and commit to living for Him and not yourself, everything changes. This isnâ€™t a very popular message, but it is consistent. It has not changed. At all.
2. The world (media & news) has always criticized Godâ€™s work
They hated Jesus, until they killed Him. Whether they smile in your face or not, the same people that have your back when all is well, will kick you when youâ€™re down. Nothing about the world pointing fingers is new. In fact, nothing about the church pointing fingers is new either. Itâ€™s evident that we as a people enjoy others telling us what we should think, how we should think it and where we should go. The church needs to get a grip. Our actions shouldnâ€™t be parallel to the worlds. Our thoughts and opinions shouldnâ€™t be the same. New Birth members arenâ€™t naÃ¯ve. The media headlines will continue to look crazy. â€œLongâ€™s Mega churchâ€¦â€ blah blah blah. Get serious. How does a small church become a mega church? At a certain point, should the church decide that it is now too big and making too much of an impact? Should it close its doors to the newbies? The majority of people with circulating opinions about churches today are people that have never been in them or others that donâ€™t live the â€˜wordâ€™ as the Bible commands. Keep moving. Keep trucking.
Genesis 50:20 [The Message] You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.
1. You Donâ€™t Have a Heaven or Hell to Put Bishop Long in. Get over yourself.
God is a Restorer. God is a Provider. God is a healer. God Provides the Increase. God is the keyword here. These things are true for both Bishop Long and his accusers. The church needs to read James 3 and then examine itself. Everything that you think â€“ should not come out of your mouth. Get control of your tongue, so that you can cause a real impact for the Kingdom of God. The things that Christians are speaking against each other are preposterous. This is a call to order!
James 4:11 Donâ€™t speak evil against each other, dear brothers and sisters. If you criticize and judge each other, then you are criticizing and judging Godâ€™s law. But your job is to obey the law, not to judge whether it applies to you. 12 God alone, who gave the law, is the Judge. He alone has the power to save or to destroy. So what right do you have to judge your neighbor?
All in all â€“ I think this church should keep going. I stand with New Birth and Bishop Long â€“ and I say keep preaching, teaching, and eating Jesus! Do not let onlookers and the media destroy the work that God has begun. Your vision is still relevant. Your purpose is still big. Your anointing hasnâ€™t left you. This season should cause an awakening in the body. The church needs to stop taking sides, and learn to take authority.
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