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PERSECUTION IS COMING

Sacramento Pastor's Mean-Spirited and Vindictive
Comments Ignite LGBTQ Outrage​

But there's more here than meets the eye

Here in Sacramento, the pastor of a local Baptist Church denounced gays and lesbians from his pulpit, claiming that the slaughter of forty-nine patrons of a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, along with fifty-three others wounded should not be mourned; that their deaths were wholly justified.

​​Sacramento Pastors Denounce
Anti-gay Sermom

The sacramento Pastors Association
... was quick to denounce the pastor and to insist that his views did not reflect the thinking of Christian pastors in Sacramento.
​​Better Take a Closer Look  ​at
What's Going on Here
     There's no doubt whatsoever that Pastor Jiminez's comments are mean-spirited, vindictive, and unbecoming of the Christian Faith. He has damaged himself, his congregation, and has shamed the entire Christian community here in Sacramento.
     The Christian church should never cast the unsaved in the guise of "enemy" - and urge believers to rejoice when the unsaved are killed or wounded. Our job is not to condemn sinners, but to lead them to salvation through faith in Christ. 
     Sacramento pastors are wholly justified in denouncing Pastor Jiminez's remarks and making it clear that they do not reflect what we believe or teach.
     
What Troubles me
     What troubles me, however, is that nowhere in the written statements censuring Pastor Jiminez can I find a warning that  homosexuality is indeed a sin - and, like all sin, needs to be repented of and thoroughly forsaken.
​     Our love for sinners - including homosexuals - is revealed not in simply saying "We love you," but in pointing out their sin and their need to be delivered from both its penalty and its power. And, yes, that's not an easy task. Inevitably, it stirs up animosity. Afterall, who likes to have his sins pointed out? No one that I know of - including me. But unless that's done, we become guilty of hiding Jesus' true identity from the unsaved.
     Jesus is not first and foremost our friend and our counselor, sent by God to make life free of hardships and more worthwhile. He's a Savior. To save us from what? Once again, the penalty and power of sin. Where in the statement issued by the Sacramento Pastors Association and the joint statement issued by Pastors Rodruquez and Jackson is that truth underscored? If it's there, I certainly couldn't find it; and if indeed I overlooked it, it's only because it's not emphasized at all.
     It almost seems as if many leading Sacramento pastors are bent on only one task:  to distance themselves from not just Pastor Jiminez' comments, but from the enflamed hostility of the homosexual community. The one is commendable; the other is pathetic.  The gospel cannot be effectively proclaimed without confronting men and women with their sins. And for the past thirty to forty year that's exactly what has not been happening. And I speak as a pastor myself - twenty-eight years a senior pastor here in Sacramento. We have all gone out of our way to make the gospel winsome and non-confrontational. But in the end, what we have produced is a gospel that has been wholly ineffectual. There has been no real increase in the Body of Christ for the last three decades. Yes, some churches have grown, but not by conversion, only by transfer growth - which is nothing more than a euphemism for "sheep stealing."
     The gospel is a declaration of war against this world - and against the sovereign of this world. Our task is not to make the world our friend, but to acknowledge that it's our enemy. The early church "turned the world upside down" (Acts 17:6). That's an accusation that certainly can't be levied against today's church - including the so-called evangelical church. It's been a long-time since the evangelical church here in this country can be charged with the crime of "turning the world upside down." Perhaps back in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s, but certainly not for the last forty years or so.
     Here's the simple, unwelcome truth: Sacramento pastors may believe they've put distance between themselves and the howling mob outside Pastor Jiminez's church; but I can assure them with absolute certainty that it won't be long before it's outside their churches as well - at least if they're willing to proclaim an authentic gospel. We're living in the Last Days, on the cusp of the Tribulation - and we can no longer run from the hostility building against the Christian Faith. We must, in love, but with a resolute determination climb out of our foxholes and confront it head-on, proclaiming the gospel until the very end.  May God grant us all the courage to do so.      

Francis Anfuso

Rick Cole

----- Representing the City Pastors  -----

     "This past Sunday morning, there was a heartless and heartbreaking statement made by a Sacramento pastor to his congregation related to the shootings in Orlando. It was then posted online and broadcast on the nightly news. These comments, applauding the death of innocent people, are completely contrary to the Bible’s teaching and God’s heart. His statements do not represent Jesus nor hundreds of Sacramento pastors whose hearts have been broken and are praying for the loved ones so tragically affected by this cowardly act. As Sacramento pastors, we are united in our prayers and sadness for those who have lost loved ones and for those even now fighting for their lives. May God’s love prevail in this tragedy."
The Rev. Samuel Rodruquez of New Season Church
President John Jackson, William Jessup University 
... released a joint statement condemning Pastor Jiminez of Verite Baptist Church in Sacramento, Ca., for his spiteful remarks.

Samuel Rodruquez

John Jackson

     "We stand resolved in our condemnation of the heinous attack that occurred in Orlando. We also condemn the detestable statements made by a pastor in Sacramento.
     "The pastor’s statements do not reflect genuine Christian faith, and as followers of Christ we disavow his bigotry.
     "Also as followers of Jesus Christ we stand in unity with our nation in offering love, prayer and a helping hand to the gay community. Everyone in America deserves to live their lives free from fear.
     "It is the heart of Jesus to save, heal, and deliver. Christian leaders lead people to the love, grace, truth and healing hope of Jesus, not to insensitive judgment.
     "We pray for the gay community to experience the love and grace of Jesus and His people, both in Orlando and across the United States. We pray for safety for their community and for all Americans during this violent and unsettled time.
     "As leaders in ministry, we are united in our grief and in prayer for those who have lost loved ones and those - even now - fighting for their lives.
     "May God’s truth, love and effective grace reach into our collective pain and suffering to bring beauty from the ashes of man’s depravity, for the glory of God’s name alone."