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Rev. Mark Creech
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Lessons about Abortion from Abraham’s Test of Faith

October 13th, 2017

Dr. Mark CreechBy Dr. Mark Creech

Genesis chapter 22 is one of the greatest chapters in the entire Bible. It records the supreme test of Abraham’s faith. God called upon his servant to sacrifice what was dearest to his heart – his own beloved son Isaac. The circumstances seemed to shatter all of Abraham’s hopes for the future.

Atheists and skeptics have commonly referred to this biblical account as proof that the God of Scripture is monstrous, cruel, and immoral. “What kind of God would require a father to slaughter his own son?” they accusingly ask.

It must be remembered that Abraham would have been familiar with human sacrifice. In his day, it was practiced by the godless people that lived around him, and so the command in itself wouldn’t have been a real shock to him. Read the rest of this entry »

How I Went From Pastor to Political Activist

September 22nd, 2017

Dr. Mark CreechBy Dr. Mark Creech

I was called to preach at the tender age of 15, spoke at youth events throughout my teens, provided supply for pastors up until I was ordained, and served my first church as pastor at the age of 22. I was privileged to lead six churches over a twenty-year tenure. Eighteen years ago in 1999, I left the pastorate to serve as executive director of the Christian Action League, a state-wide Christian public policy organization based in Raleigh.

I never aspired to be in the post I am today. In fact, during most of my pastoral ministry, I spurned political involvement. But at my last church, I became increasingly burdened about the moral melt-down occurring in America. I could see its negative impact on every valued institution of our culture. Moreover, it became clear to me that my own parishioners were in desperate need of direction on the great social issues of our day, lest they be like sheep without a shepherd, and prey for ravenous wolves.

I also realized taking-up matters of political import from the pulpit was risky business for any minister who valued his job. Nevertheless, I felt constrained to do it, much like Jeremiah, the prophet who said, God’s word was in his heart like a fire, a fire shut up in his bones, and he could not hold it in. Read the rest of this entry »

Evil, the Rapture, Responsibility, and Radiation

September 15th, 2017

Dr. Mark CreechBy Dr. Mark Creech

Just a few days ago, our country commemorated the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, and the Pentagon. That morning, September 11, 2001, death, carnage, and mayhem ravaged our country.

“Evildoers – that was the very old-fashioned, almost biblical sounding word evoked by President Bush to describe the September 11 mass murders. ‘The evil ones’ was another phrase he used,” writes William J. Bennet in his book, Why We Fight.  “Not since Ronald Reagan termed the Soviet Union an ‘evil empire,’ and thereby called down upon his own head the indignation of supposedly sophisticated people everywhere…[I]t took George W. Bush, a ‘cowboy’ president like Ronald Reagan, to revive the language of good and evil.”

Whatever happened to good and evil?  Evil is often nowadays called good. And good is called evil. Read the rest of this entry »

Making Sense of Disaster

September 7th, 2017

Dr. Mark CreechBy Dr. Mark Creech

Following close on the heels of the devastation brought about by Hurricane Harvey on the Gulf Coast is Hurricane Irma. Currently trekking its way as a category 5 storm across the Caribbean (the strongest ever recorded in the Atlantic), Irma is now seemingly headed for Florida with the prospect of moving North.

My wife, Kim, and I have been earnestly praying and asking God to send this terrible tempest out to sea, sparing life, injury, and property.

God is sovereign over the weather and natural causes. The Bible tells us in Luke chapter 8 that the disciples were in a boat with Jesus on the sea when a serious storm threatened them. Jesus then “rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm” (Lk. 8:24).  Read the rest of this entry »

Work: It Deserves All the Celebration It Can Get

September 2nd, 2017

By Dr. Mark Creech

It was Peter J. McGuire, a leader in the Knights of Labor back in 1882, who proposed Labor Day as an occasion for a parade to be followed by a picnic, a holiday he described as being “representative of the industrial spirit, the great vital force of our nation.”

McGuire’s proposal would become a national holiday in 1894. Today Labor Day is something much more than parades, picnics, and political speeches. It is the celebration of something all-American.

Fiorello LaGuardia, the indomitable and charismatic Republican Mayor of New York City from 1934 to 1945, called Labor Day “America’s Day” and said, “It is typically American because American labor, whenever it gathers, does so with love for its flag and country and loyalty to its government.” Read the rest of this entry »

Confederate Memorials and Racism

August 25th, 2017

By Dr. Mark Creech

Following close on the heels of the mayhem in Charlottesville, Virginia, upheavals over statues associated with the Confederacy in North Carolina have taken center-stage.  

Earlier this month, a group of protesters gathered outside of the Old Durham Courthouse and toppled a 15-foot monument dedicated to “the boys who wore the gray.”

Shortly thereafter, vandals struck the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee near the entrance of Duke Chapel, which prompted the administration at Duke University to remove it.

“Silent Sam,” a statue located on the North Campus at the University of North Carolina has been a place of intense protests by those demanding that the statue be removed. Read the rest of this entry »

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:

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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.

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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 »