We’re all familiar with this image, the cowardly lion from the Wizard of Oz. The lion who joined Dorothy and her friends in a trip to see the wizard in search of that which they lacked; a heart, a home, a brain – and courage. Yes, courage. I came across an article on Raiders News Up-date recently regarding a HUFFPOST article by Pastor Derek Penwell regarding a recent statement by Franklin Graham speaking at the Family Research Council Watchman on the Wall, where he ask this question of his audience. Who does God hate?
“Cowards” he said, “God hates cowards”.
A statement Pastor Penwell apparently takes great issue as demonstrated by his remarks on a recent blog.
But what does the Bible say about cowards?
But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murders, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, idolaters and all liars – they will be consigned to the lake of burning sulphur – this is the second death”. Revelation 21:18
According to Penwell statements like these make it hard to convince anyone that God is a loving God.
From his article, Penwell is quoted as saying:
peaking as a Christian pastor, I attest that following Jesus is difficult enough without having to live down the advanced billing from folks like Franklin Graham, who are convinced that God has nothing better to do than to figure out new categories of people to despise.
Really? New people to despise? This in my opinion this rates up there with one of the most ludicrous statements I have ever heard, and from a Christian Pastor no less.
What planet is Pastor Penwell living on anyway? Or rather, what Bible has he been reading? Because it sure doesn’t sound like mine.
What startles me more than anything is the small view that Pastor Penwell obviously has of God. Small view and lack of understanding of character.
Yes, Pastor Penwell, God hates cowards. And, so should we. And, if we find it in ourselves, we need to do some serious thinking about what it means to be a Christian.
God hates because he loves. Did you get that —– GOD HATES BECAUSE HE LOVES!!
And, it is because the things he hates, are the very things that destroy those that he loves.
Pastor Penwell believes that we will have a hard time selling the love of God by condemning what God despises. But, I have news for you Pastor, It’s not my job to sell the world on God’s love. Its only my job to tell the world of God’s love. And, to defend it ….. something a coward will not do.
I don’t know about you but I think I have spent a big part of my Christian life in cowardice. What will people think, what will they say, if they know I believe xyz.
I came face to face with this a couple of years ago, when I was confronted with a decision to make at my job. My new position required making referrals for women for abortions. All I had to do what make a phone call, fax some papers etc ….. that’s it. Not like I was actively involved in the procedure. But, because of my beliefs I could not do it. I went to my supervisor knowing full well I could be fired and told her I would not do it. I trusted the Lord knowing that her response could go either way. As it turned out, they found someone else to do that job and I was out of the loop on that. But, what I did do was amass information for the local pregnancy center, which, I gave out to the girls when they came in in the hope that one of them would call the center and save their babies. If anyone had turned me I for this, again, I could have been fired.
We’re living in a time folks, when, we are going to be called on to be brave. The days ahead are no days for cowards. In order to love what God loves, we must hate what he hates. And, be willing to take a stand for it.
I’m sorry Pastor Penwell, cowardice convinces no one of God’s love.
**Having trouble with the wordpress format. The font has become so small that I cannot read it as I write nor to edit. You will probably need a magnifying glass to read this. I have not been able to find a way to change the settings, if anyone call help with this please let me know. Will go ahead and publish … For some reason Revelation 21:18 is not showing up on final nor are Pastor Penwells comments. Please see link to article..
And, “pray for the peace of Jerusalem, they shall prosper who love thee” Psalm 122:6
Watching and waiting with you for the soon return of Jesus! Cindy