Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Called to Reconciliation

Christopher G. Green

The unimaginable has happened and Donald Trump has been elected as the next President of the United States of America.  While millions are rejoicing, rebellions and protests are breaking out all over the country.

As I have written and warned in previous blogs, many in the American Christian Church were choosing sides. Millions of Believers were voting based on issues of liberty (religious, civil, moral, etc.). On the other hand, millions were voting based on issues of justice (economical, social, political, etc.). 

Please don't be duped. Get out of your feelings and emotions and really listen to what I’m saying. We cannot win this battle by seeking one or the other (liberty or justice). In our pledge of allegiance, the quote is "liberty AND justice" for ALL. If you fight for liberty at the expense of justice, there will be an uprising from those who are not getting justice. If you fight for justice at the expense of liberty, the entire country will pay the price, falling under the tyranny of the majority.

So how do we get both liberty and justice for all?

I believe both are found only in one government and that is the Kingdom of God. I'm talking about the governance of God in every heart and home.

Now let me make it practical for what is happening in America today. The ugly giants of racism and class-ism are rising and Christian Believers will not be able to ignore them any longer. In today’s world, silence is approval of the suppression of liberty or justice. We must recognize it in our own hearts and expose it in our own Churches. We must deal with the -isms, but joining with or simply ignoring the protests, even in your own heart, is not the way.

The slumbering giant (the True Church) is waking up. It is waking to its mission to win and disciple the nations, to take care of the poor and widows, and to walk and live in unity and love. 

We are Ambassadors of Christ, called to the Ministry of Reconciliation. We are not called to merely fight for liberty, but we must join the fight for justice as well. We can no longer leave these battles to the government or radical activist groups.

A violent overthrow of President-elect Trump and the White Supremacy mindset that is often attached to many of his supporters, will not bring Peace, liberty or justice.  If that were to occur, people would not unite. Instead, such action would only release another set of protests; perhaps a major revolt. 

I'm not a Republican. I'm not a conservative (many people's code word for racist).  I'm not a Democrat. I'm not a progressive (many people's code word for atheist). I’m another one of those registered Independents who has, through the years, sometimes voted for write-ins at the Presidential level, while voting according to my understanding of Biblical priorities at the state and local levels of government. So I have no allegiance to any earthly parties. I ‘m not writing from those perspectives.

Let me start here. 

My government is within me: Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Ghost. On the earth, I can vote for a president, but in reality, I have a king. He is the God of the universe. He told Pontius Pilate, "My Kingdom is not of this world."  

So our role, in this emerging racial and class war, is to promote reconciliation. That's what the Word of God declares. It’s not an opinion. It's the command of God.

Reconciliation is about bringing opposing forces and enemies together. Every one of us, in the True Church, is called to THIS. God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself. His word declares that He now pleads to the world through us. 

Over the last week I’ve had to tell myself to get back in focus. Get back to the reason God saved me. Get back to the place where I kept my eyes on the Lord our God.  Let’s seek first the Kingdom of God and get His strategy to reconcile the fight for liberty with the fight for justice. He will do amazing things in the hearts of people.

God says in His word: “Why do the nations rage, imagining a vain thing?” God laughs from the heaven because He has already installed His king. His king is installed in the hearts of His people and they already have a government. They already have a purpose because GOD already has a plan.  His plan is Reconciliation. He desires to reconcile ALL people to Himself and to one another. 

So, before we try to fix America, let’s allow God to work IN us, so He can speak through us to bring reconciliation.

Christopher G. Green

Christopher Green is an international columnist/writer with the Global Journalism Award winning team of Dr. Clyde Rivers and iChange Nations Social Media News™.  As Community Ambassadors, Global Leadership Ambassadors, and Urban Leadership awardees by iChange Nations™, he and his wife, Carol Green, were also appointed Goodwill Ambassadors of World Peace by Golden Rule International. They founded Fruitful Life Network, Inc. which provides a unique blend of hope-based Life Coaching strategies that rebuild, restore and renew hearts and homes in the urban community. Global Peace Ambassador, Dr. Clyde Rivers, calls them leading experts in connecting people to their path of discovery and the fulfillment of their dreams of success in their lives and families.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

We Must Be Prepared for a Battle

Christopher G. Green

Like millions of people in America, I was engaged in a texting conversation about the upcoming election and what it will mean for American Churches and various Religions in our country. My conversation was with a gentlemen that I highly respect and whose views and opinions are very important to me. While many political conversations are leaving people conflicted, I tend to focus on what we’re going to do on the day after the election; the day after casting my vote and my candidate has either won or lost.

Since I’m a husband, father, life coach, ordained minister, and an overall nice guy (at least my wife of 35 years still thinks so), I must say that the various issues surrounding this election have left, in my humble opinion, millions of people of faith very anxious about this year’s outcome.  

There are various camps, denominations and groups who are vehemently opposed to one another’s political views, even to the point of questioning the legitimacy of the other’s Faith. This level of hostility is very dangerous and the day after the election will simply drive the various fragments of the various Faith camps even further apart.

If we allow this division to fester, it will prove to be a critical mistake. After the election, regardless of the outcome, people of faith will need to rally together like never before. That’s because, many American Christians, who are leaning towards a Conservative as the President, see a loss as the signal to Progressives that they can launch overt attacks against religious liberty in America. However, they see a Conservative victory as, at least, a postponement or pushing back against that tide. 

While all of that may be true, there is another thought that I’d like to throw into the mix of outcomes. The way I see it, no matter if whether Conservatives win or lose this election, there will still be overt assaults on religious freedom. 

If Conservatives win, I believe the American Church should anticipate retaliation from the public. By the public, I mean special interest groups, activist groups, vigilantes, and people who just simply don’t like Christianity or anything remotely religious.

In my view, the soil of this nation is so saturated with anti-Christian hatred that Church leaders need to be preparing their leadership teams and congregations for some major public push-back, regardless as to which side wins the election. This is not the time to just sit back and wait to see what happens on November 8th. I believe many Church Leaders will need to have a plan of action in place for November 9th and the days, weeks, and months that follow.

If the Progressives and Liberals win, I believe many of us will need to get our houses in order: the legal, financial, administrative, and operational policies of our churches. Many more Christians will be forced to join the fight for our very existence. While many Churches and Ministries already have home groups and small groups in place, many more will need to seriously consider making this the strongest aspect of their gatherings, moving forward.

However, if Conservatives win, I think we might want to consider making plans to deal with the activist groups that may stage protests outside or within our church services.  Some of us might need to check with our property insurers and prepare for acts of vandalism. Others, depending upon their situation, may have to connect with local law enforcement or hire additional security for our congregations going in and out of our facilities. 

I realize there are those, from certain camps, who feel I’m just inciting fear and speaking negativity that can be used to bring panic upon many in the Church. Actually I’m just asking Church Leaders to implement Proverbs 27:12 which reads, “A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.”

Yes, I say this with great caution. I know this can sound alarmist and overreaching, but we need to realize that this election is not about winners and losers. This is about the way that our society will view the Church on November 9th and beyond.

I want you to consider this; that no matter who wins the election, the Church will be in the middle of a battle. So we must do more than raise the level of our people’s excitement and interest to vote. Don’t give them the impression that everything will be okay if their candidate wins. Like Jeremiah of old, when he was warning Israel of what God said was coming upon them, I’m saying everything won’t be okay. 

Finally, I believe we need to be preparing our church to pray and I mean daily prayer; around the clock prayer; and ‘even if we don’t do anything else on our agenda’ prayer. If we move to this level of prayer, we can actually be setting the stage for the Spirit of God to move upon the Church and even those who may publicly come against it. This could be the beginning of true revival in our country.

When you go and cast your ballot, do not place your confidence in that person. Do not cast your hopes and dreams on that person. They can get my vote, but God alone gets my heart. We are bowing to the will of God. After you cast your votes, I ask that you pause for a moment and say, “Lord, thy Kingdom come and Your will be done on Earth, as it is in heaven.” 

In this act of submission, you will be surrendering your life as an ambassador of Christ that He can work through in the ministry of reconciliation. That’s because we will need the release of the ministry of reconciliation on the day after the election.

I believe November 9th will be Day-One of a new level of spiritual warfare for the Church in America as it returns to its primary role declaring and demonstrating the Kingdom of God in every day life; and we must be ready for that battle.

Christopher G. Green
Fruitful Life Network, Inc.

Christopher G. Green is a certified master life coach, urban family advocate, marriage and family adviser, community leadership consultant, licensed and ordained minister, the executive coach of Fruitful Living and Learning, the principal instructors of the Urban Potential Innovative Life Coaching Certification program, and the pioneer of the Urban Life Family Connections resource website. He and his wife, Carol Green are based in Harrisburg, PA, where they work primarily with the homeless and unemployed.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

It's Still a Matter of the Heart

Prior to the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, we offered no political opinions. We simply presented the spiritual and moral issues that are identified in the Bible. Unfortunately, the issues and interpretations of morality, justice and equality have fallen on two different sides of the dominant political parties in America.

This dilemma causes many Believers to vote for a president who is a Democrat while others vote for Senators and Congressmen who are Republicans. Or they vote for a Republican president while others vote for Senators and Congressmen who are Democrats. This is why it’s so difficult to navigate through the political process in our country. It’s also the reason it’s so difficult to explain one’s choices to family, friends and colleagues.

Here is what we wrote nearly eight years ago and it is incredibly amazing how it still applies to us today:

After we sent an email on the day of President Obama’s inauguration and quoted from the Bible that we are to pray for him, several pastors and leaders in this community, who opposed Obama, discontinued support and communication with this ministry and us. On the other side, friends and family who supported the new president took our email to mean that we were merely offering some form of insincere political patronizing.

We thought we were (and our intentions were) fulfilling our Pastoral leadership responsibility to bring our divided congregations together and to focus on the things that God desires to do in our nation. Our email had nothing to do with either endorsing or rejecting the President.

Here is what we sent out on January 21, 2009:

"I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers and intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone---for kings, and for all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good and pleases God our Savior."
---1 Timothy 2:1-3

Make no mistake about it; yesterday (the inauguration) was a profoundly significant day. We still don’t agree with some of President Obama’s policies and agendas. Many of them conflict with Biblical teachings. However, that still doesn’t change the fact that God will use anybody to accomplish what HE wants to do in a nation.

Where did we get the idea that a political leader MUST be someone who follows all of the principles of the Bible in order for God to use that person to accomplish His purpose and plan?

Again, we're not ignoring the agenda of any particular President. We’re actually acknowledging the sovereignty of God. As flawed as we are as human beings, it’s amazing that God chooses us to do anything in this life.

God called Nebuchadnezzar His servant even though he was the emperor that destroyed Jerusalem, killed thousands of people, and carried their best and brightest into exile. God chose him to execute judgment; therefore he was God’s servant even though he wasn’t a Godly man.

Presidential elections are about more than trying to get a scripture-quoting, Bible-toting candidate in the Oval Office. This is about getting synchronized with what God is doing in our lifetime in America. If America is under judgment, (and many Christian leaders believe it is) then God will set the person in place that needs to be there at the time of judgment, repentance, recovery or rebuilding.

So we’re going to stay focused on the bigger picture. It doesn’t matter so much who sits in the Oval Office of the White House. It still comes down to who is sitting in the Oval Office of MY house.

We'll close this week's newsletter with the lyrics of a song written by a dear mentor and friend more than 30 years ago.

If you want a brand new world, you gotta have brand new people.
If you want brand new people, we've gotta have a brand new life.
If you want a brand new life, you gotta have a brand new spirit.
If you want a brand new spirit, you gotta come to Jesus Christ!
- Dr. Myles Munroe

We encourage you to cast your vote, but do not cast your cares on a human being. A potential candidate will get our votes, but only GOD gets all our confidence.

For the least of these, 
Christopher and Carol Green (D.Hon.Causa)