Christian Action League of NC
  
The only lasting cure for evil and injustice is Christian action
Menu
The Right Frame of Mind
Rev. Mark Creech
Rev. Mark Creech I Dare You to Take This Self-Examination
"The Back Pew"
The Back Pew
Click for full toon.
Latest Eden Toon
Latest Eden Toon
Click for full toon
CAL Video
CAL Video
2015 NC Leg Wrap-up
2015 Legislative Wrap-up
2015 NC Leg Wrap-up
2015 Legislative Wrap-up
2014 NC Leg Wrap-up
2014 Legislative Wrap-up
2013 NC Leg Wrap-up
2013 Legislative Wrap-up
2012 NC Leg Wrap-up
2012 Legislative Wrap-up
2011 NC Leg Wrap-up
2011 Legislative Wrap-up
2010 NC Leg Wrap-up
2010 Legislative Wrap-up
2009 NC Leg Wrap-up
2009 Legislative Wrap-up

One News Now

I Dare You to Take This Self-Examination

August 12th, 2017

By Dr. Mark Creech

Most of us don’t grapple with the reality of death. Even though family members and friends around us are passing, we don’t think too much about it. Yet the Scriptures admonish us, “Prepare to meet your God” (Amos 4:12). We ought to think about death and prepare for it, because after death, the Bible says, “comes judgment” (Heb. 9:27).

The reality of death demands self-examination. Here are some critical questions to help with that examination.

Are you sure that if you were to die today that you would go to heaven? Read the rest of this entry »

Rev. Barber, Prayer and ‘Social Justice’

July 21st, 2017

By Dr. Mark Creech

Recently, on MSNBC’s AM Joy, Rev. William Barber, head of the North Carolina Chapter of the NAACP, indicted a group of evangelical pastors who met in the Oval Office to pray with President Trump. Rev. Barber accused them of a “form of theological malpractice that borders on heresy.”

His argument essentially was that if you p-r-a-y for a president and others like him whose policies p-r-e-y on the most vulnerable in society, then you are violating the most sacred principles of religion.

At a press conference in Charlotte organized by the Christian Action League, I, along with four other high profile ministers in the state took umbrage with Barber’s conclusions concerning prayer for public officials, as well as some other statements he made about the poor and most vulnerable in society and our responsibility to them.

View the Press Conference on Facebook by clicking here

Below is my statement in full:

*****

The Scriptures are exceedingly clear that we are to pray specifically for our leaders. The apostle Paul spoke of this in his epistle to Timothy, noting that we should pray for them without qualification, saying, “for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” (I Tim. 2:2). I remind you that when Paul wrote this the kings that were ruling at that time were mostly tyrants.

To argue that we should only pray for leaders that represent the right policies is a gross misinterpretation of Amos chapter 2, which Rev. Barber quoted as his proof-text.

Jesus was abundantly clear that we are to pray for our enemies – we are to pray for those who hate us – we are to pray for those who curse us – we are to pray for those who despitefully use us – we are to pray for those who persecute us – that we may be sons of our Father in heaven. [Because] He [God] causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous (Mt. 5:43-45).

It doesn’t matter which side of the political aisle you may be on, whether Republican or Democrat, conservative or progressive, Jesus’s words don’t leave any room for the kind of qualification in our prayers set forth by Rev. Barber. 

And this is why his assertions are beyond the pale – far removed from the Christian tradition.

Second, there is a term that best explains, I think, the differences between Rev. Barber and believers to the political right of him – one that I think succinctly encapsulates his belief system – a term that he uses repeatedly – “social justice.”

Social Justice Christians, I suggest, are those who profess the faith, but are politically entrenched in wrong-headed notions about government policies supposedly fostering equality via redistribution of wealth. Many of these policies are influenced more by socialistic and Marxist principles, progressive politicians and pastors, than by what the Scriptures actually teach about charity, compassion, and helping the poor and the vulnerable.

Rev. Barber characterizes conservative evangelicals, those who do not embrace the doctrines of social justice as calloused, insensitive, unloving, hateful, hypocritical, greedy, and corrupt. When, in fact, they care very much for the impoverished and are involved in many missions efforts to help them. Where they part with him is on the methods used in giving assistance.

Conservative evangelicals such as me, and I suspect many like the ones that prayed with the President, as well as some of us here at this press conference, believe that the government policies supported by leftists clergy like Rev. Barber have really done enormous harm to the poor, and this is especially true for minorities.

Our nation has spent trillions of dollars on anti-poverty programs, wealth redistribution, and equality measures, and doubling down on the insistence, as Rev. Barber does, that many of these continue as they have despite the mounting evidence against their success does not make him or those like him the paragons of mercy, and conservative evangelicals guilty of a “theological malpractice that borders on heresy.”

Again, these accusations are beyond the pale.

But let me add this in my closing remarks, and I’ll be very frank. When clergy espouse the government’s role is more than protecting our God-given rights and taxing us accordingly, but it’s also government’s role to confiscate our wealth and use its coercive powers to give it to people it believes has need of it, that’s not working for equality but being a participant in the violation of the eighth commandment of God, ‘Thou shalt not steal.’ 

When clergy tout government programs that essentially make people dependent on the State, passing along to our posterity a crushing debt that robs them of a greater estate than our own, that’s not compassion or charity but that’s supporting a form of slavery.

And when ministers like Rev. Barber collude with those who promote and practice the shedding of innocent blood in abortion, as he has done, you can no more legitimately call that social justice than you could justifiably put a Cadillac hood ornament on a Ford Focus and call it a luxury car. That’s neither social nor just.

Perhaps Dr. Barber would do well to remove the plank from his own eye that he might see clearly how to remove the speck from the eyes of those who recently prayed with our President or Christians who stand to the right of him.

We’re not the ones guilty of theological malpractice, nor are we remotely near what it means to be heretical.

 

‘The Angelic Fallacy:’ Do You Suffer from It?

July 13th, 2017

By Dr. Mark Creech

It was back in the early seventies that I first fully surrendered to Christ. When I joined the fellowship of believers whose influence had made a profound impact on my spirituality, I remember it wasn’t uncommon to hear someone witnessing of their newfound faith, saying, “I got saved.” It’s an expression you don’t hear much anymore.

When was the last time you heard a Christian ask an unbeliever, “Have you been saved?” Read the rest of this entry »

The Lord’s Day and Liberty

July 1st, 2017

By Dr. Mark Creech

The following is from a sermon I wrote and delivered in 2015 titled, The Lord’s Day and Liberty. In light of some of the Sunday-related legislation taken up in the North Carolina General Assembly this year and the coming July 4th celebrations, I thought it might be appropriate to share a few quotes from that message.

*****   

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. (Exodus 20:8-11) Read the rest of this entry »

A Very Private Moment: Has it happened to you?

June 24th, 2017

By Dr. Mark Creech

I’ve been reading the book of Genesis lately and the story of Joseph is a fascinating one.

Unjustly despised by his brothers and secretly sold to a band of merchantmen, Joseph was taken into Egypt and made a slave. Later he would be wrongly accused by his master’s wife of sexual assault, and though he was innocent imprisoned. Eventually, he was vindicated and released and in the providence of God raised to the position of vice-regent in Egypt.

When a famine swept the land, his treacherous brothers were forced to go into Egypt to buy food and were confronted unawares by Joseph. They had not seen him for several years and didn’t recognize him. Moreover, Joseph purposely hid his identity from them until he would choose the right time to reveal himself. Read the rest of this entry »

Unconsciously Shaping Your Child’s Destiny

June 16th, 2017

By Dr. Mark Creech

There is a great story that I heard many years ago which I believe speaks quite profoundly to parents.

Brooks Adams from his earliest days as a child kept a diary.  On one very special day while still the tender age of eight, Adams recorded in his journal, “Went fishing with my father; the most glorious day of my life.” Adams never forgot that day. He referenced it repeatedly in his writings for the next forty years. He said it had a powerful influence on his entire life.

Interestingly, Brooks’ father was a very important man; Charles Francis Adams, United States Ambassador to Great Britain during the Lincoln administration. He too made reference to the fishing trip in his own diary. It reads, “Went fishing with my son; a day wasted.” Read the rest of this entry »

Something You Cannot Escape

June 9th, 2017

By Dr. Mark Creech

American conservative radio commentator, someone that ABC News once said was “the most listened-to newsman in the world,” Paul Harvey, told a remarkable story about a woman trying to escape the ravages of a hurricane.

Harvey said after Hurricane Andrew devastated South Florida, Patricia Christy was waiting in line for food. She vowed to herself that she was going to get out of that state. She was leaving on the first plane out and was determined to get as far away from the horror of hurricane damage as possible – then have a restful vacation.

In his newscast, Harvey reported he had just heard from Patricia Christy. She was standing in line for fresh water on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, having just gone through Hurricane Iniki. Read the rest of this entry »

What Can Transcend Our National Conflicts?

June 2nd, 2017

By Dr. Mark Creech

A.L. Long’s Memoirs of Robert E. Lee contains an incredible story concerning the last day of battle at Gettysburg. It’s the account of a Union Army veteran on that fateful day.

“I was at the battle of Gettysburg myself….I had been a most bitter anti-South man and fought and cursed the Confederates desperately. I could see nothing good in any of them. The last day of the fight I was badly wounded. A ball shattered my left leg. I lay on the ground not far from Cemetery Ridge, and as General Lee ordered his retreat he and his officers rode near me.

“As they came along I recognized him, and, though faint from exposure and loss of blood, I raised up my hands, looked Lee in the face, and shouted as loud as I could, “Hurrah for the Union!” Read the rest of this entry »

Memorial Day: What We Really Need to Remember

May 25th, 2017

By Dr. Mark Creech

War is a terrible thing. It’s the feast of death.

Many years ago, the Duke of Wellington said, “Take my word for it, if you had seen but one day of war, you would pray to Almighty God that you might never see such a thing again.”

War is horrific, yet sometimes necessary to defend something more precious than life itself.

Each Memorial Day we endeavor to remember that the great heritage of our nation has a price far greater than most can conceive. Since World War I, this day in the month of May calls upon us to honor our heroes – to laud the fallen dead of our wars. Read the rest of this entry »

Silent Preachers Deny Christ

May 19th, 2017

By Dr. Mark Creech

Last Sunday, I listened intently as my Sunday School teacher taught from St. John chapter 18 about Peter’s denial of our Lord. Peter never meant to do it. He was just swept up in a moment of weakness.

It is St. Luke, however, who tells us of that moment of reckoning when Christ looked directly at Peter in grave disappointment after his third denial. Suddenly, as our Lord had predicted, the cock crowed. Consequently, Peter wept bitterly in remorse for his cowardice.

Abraham Lincoln once said, “To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards out of men.” Indeed it does, and no one appreciates a coward. Read the rest of this entry »