Monday, March 05, 2018

Pastor Ledbetter responds to devotional backlash

Pastor Bill Ledbetter of Durant's Fairview Baptist Church was recently the chaplain of the week in the Oklahoma State Senate, and attracted some controversy from complaints by Democrat senators and groups like the ACLU over his devotional delivered on March 1st. The following letter is his response to the dust-up:

    Does God judge nations? Recently, while serving as Chaplain of the Week in the Oklahoma Senate I posed this question. I was deeply grieved to learn that some people misunderstood my heart. Knowing if a man does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, I can plainly say I am not a perfect man. Perhaps I could have spoken with greater clarity.

    I spoke of the love of God who gave His Son, Jesus Christ, as a payment for our sins, so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. I taught the Bible truth that God is unchanging. And considering the quick succession of many cataclysmic, tragic events in recent months, I posed the question, could God be speaking to America in a judging manner?

    Any discussion of God’s judgment must begin with the Biblical truth that God loves us and derives no pleasure in judgment, but patiently waits for us to turn to Him.

    God blesses nations (Psalm 33:12). Uniquely, America traces her roots to Christianity; not that Christianity is our national religion, nor is anyone compelled to be a Christian, but that the principles of Christianity shaped our foundations. Second President of the United States, John Adams said, “The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were. . . . the general principles of Christianity.” And God has blessed America like no other nation in history.

    My pastoral role is not to offer my opinion, but to speak God’s Word, and the clear Bible answer is, “Yes,” God judges nations (Jeremiah 18:7-10], not for this or that sin or a hot button sin, but because they reject Him, worship other gods, embrace false forms of ideology, and wallow in immorality and sin. God is not speaking to this or that group, but to all of us.

    He may withdraw His restraining grace (Romans 1:18-32). He may allow adverse circumstances, or cataclysmic events (Numbers 16:1-33; Job 37:11-13], to turn us back to Him.

    Is God judging America? For years we have systematically dismantled our Judeo-Christian foundations in favor of secularism and moral relativism [beliefs that reflect the culture and personal preference as opposed to God’s truth, the Bible]. We no longer pray in Jesus’ name or study the Bible in our schools. We have removed the Ten Commandments from our schools and many other places throughout the country. We call right wrong and wrong right.

    My heart aches that some, not all, but some were offended. But, the consistent message is that God loves you and if God is judging or correcting America it is for the purpose, remember, of drawing us back to Him.

    Pastor Bill Ledbetter
    Fairview Baptist Church in Durant, OK

I know Pastor Ledbetter, and he is one of the kindest, most mild-mannered individuals you will ever meet. His prime sin in the eyes of secular society is that he truly believes the inspired Word of God, and preaches its unvarnished truth without apology or compromise.

Secular society doesn't mind if a person affiliates as a Christian, but if you actually believe the Bible, apply it to your life, and proclaim it unashamedly, then they want your head delivered on a platter.


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