A little after 4:00 AM Thursday morning Benjamin Curell hacked his way into the local Planned Parenthood in Bloomington, Indiana. He caused thousands of dollars in damage by smashing windows and chopping up computers and other items with an ax and throwing red paint on walls and doors. When arrested in the lobby of the building he said he did it because they kill and murder babies and also because of his religious convictions. He is a deacon at Clearnote Church in Bloomington. His church responded today with this…
STATEMENT REGARDING THE ARREST OF BENJAMIN CURELL
Yesterday morning the pastors and elders of Clearnote Church learned that Ben Curell, a deacon of the church, had been arrested for vandalizing Planned Parenthood. No one in the church knew about his plans. We are convinced Ben’s actions were not justifiable civil disobedience. The elders and pastors have met with Ben and admonished him.
Throughout history faithful Christians have confessed that from conception children bear the image of God. Therefore, we at Clearnote Church have encouraged and will continue to encourage Christians to peacefully and lawfully witness against the great evil of abortion.
We have counseled Ben to repent and submit to the civil authority that God has placed over us for our good. This authority reflects and points to the judgment of God before Whom we all one day must give an account.
Released Friday, April 12, 2013
In other words, “it’s not our fault Deacon Ben went off the deep end.”
So here are my thoughts and my questions.
It is no surprise that most Christians either oppose abortion outright, or take a dim view of the procedure. And even with those Christians that would claim to be pro-choice most would like to see the number of abortions reduced through more comprehensive sex education, and better access to contraception. And the majority in all camps would be opposed to blowing up or chopping up clinics. But how we address this issue is critical. And it boils down to words.
Here is a link to the Clearnote pastor’s (and his brother’s) blog http://baylyblog.com/blog/2013/03/baby-slaughter-and-speaking-truth-love . What I want to you notice are the words the pastor uses in referring to abortion and the people who provide/or support the service. And this is just one issue. If you look through the rest of the blog there are many words used to vilify others. But there is a problem with that approach. (And let me just state that Clearnote Church is only one of many churches, radio, and television programs that use the following technique)
If a church leader(s) consistently demonize organizations or a particular people groups, and on top of that link them to destruction of “Christian America” , I have a hard time understanding why those leaders are surprised when one of their own decides to be the hand of God in bringing judgement and destruction to a building or to a person’s life.
Let me ask you Pastor, when you decide to call someone a baby killer, murderer, evil, vile, godless, enemy of God, or a sodomite, an abomination, or faggot, and on top of that tell your people those sinners are anti-American, anti Christian, bent on destroying the family, corrupting your children, and the causing of God’s judgement through terrorist attack or natural disaster, how would you logically expect individuals in your congregation to react?
In Love and Grace?
I would surmise that the reaction of your people would be closer to revulsion, (unrighteous) anger, hatred and fear of others. And in some cases striking out with violence. So in reality, the destruction wrought by Benjamin Curell toward Planned Parenthood was the harvest of bitter fruit planted in his heart and fertilized by words of anger, and hatred.
6 thoughts on “It’s Not Our Fault!”
I like Benjamin Curell. He at least tried to save those babies from being murdered by those babykilling abortionists. His church pretends to care about the children, but when someone tried to stop the murder, they threw him under the bus
I do not know Benjamin Curell so I am not able to state whether or not I like him as a person. I did not like what he did in the “name of God”. No Christian is called to bring violence, so I cannot endorse his actions. But this post was not about whether or not I dislike Mr. Curell, it is about the church he attends and serves in taking responsibility for his actions by the words they use. I agree with you in that sense that, “they threw him under the bus.”
Indeed, the church leaders failed to be consistent here.
I don’t think the pastor of Clear Note is wrong in using terms like that. This is the way Paul spoke and church fathers all through history. It’s the Bible you have a problem with, not this pastor.
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Cor. 6:9-10
There are many places in the Psalms where David prayed that God would bring judgment to the wicked. Jesus himself was enraged at the money changers in the temple and spoke very harshly to the Jewish leaders. Love and mercy? Yes, to the *repentant*. “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble”. James 4:6 Paul also makes a distinction between the world and people who call themselves Christians but live in rebellion in 1 Corinthians 5. We’re not even to “eat with such people” who name Christ but refuse to make Him their Lord by humbly submitting their lives to Him.
Softening the words of the Bible for the sake of someone’s feelings isn’t loving them. This is a deception of Satan. Stand firm in the words that have been inspired by God. And truly begin to love people.
Before we were “repentant” God loved us, became human for us, and died to redeem us and all of creation. He loved without condition, and we are called to do the same. Love and grace should be our trademarks, not violence, and anger, and judgement.
Agreed! it should be our trademark. That doesn’t mean there is never a time for these things. You’d have to throw out most of the Bible if you claimed that! 🙂
“I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler–not even to eat with such a one.” -1 Cor. 5:9-11
Not only is this a place for making a division between yourselves and those who claim the name of Christ but live immorally, the apostle Paul also never hesitates to call sin what it is. So I don’t see why it’s wrong for this pastor to use words that have been used in the Bible and all through church history. I also don’t blame him if he emphasizes these things, given the state of our culture in the United States where the majority claim to be Christian yet live unrepentant and immoral lives. This should not be! But I will say once again that if you hold to the Bible as the Word of God, it’s impossible to argue that there is never a time for violence, anger and judgement–that would be saying that somehow you have a higher standard than the infinite God who made all.
And, of course, we need to love the lost before their repentant. Just like the apostle Paul did–by calling sin sin and telling people of their falleness and calling people to repentance at the cross. I think our cultures definition of love is making sure no one ever feels guilty about anything! Feeling our guilt before a holy God is the first step to salvation! (And no, I don’t think we should be yelling at everybody from a street corner.) But when a pastor doesn’t pander to the feelings of people and give them what they want to hear, I say that’s a breath of fresh air! 🙂 This is why we pay pastors. Would you pay a doctor to tell you nice things just to make you feel better, even though you had cancer growing inside you about to destroy you? No! You would find another doctor. Thank God for faithful pastors who actually warn the church to not be lukewarm or God “will spit you out of His mouth”. -Revelation 3:16
And even if some people might twist what you say, or take things too far, that doesn’t mean you stop imitating Paul. “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.”-1 Cor. 11:1 Christians don’t throw out the Psalms that talk about God’s judgment on the wicked just because someone decides to go shoot someone based on what he read. These are the exceptions! We must be careful not to try to make what God said somehow fit with our “more loving and enlightened” culture that we think we have by cutting out words of the Bible.
1There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—
2 A time to give birth and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
3 A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
4 A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
5 A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
6 A time to search and a time to give up as lost;
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
7 A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
A time to be silent and a time to speak.
8 A time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace. -Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
Balance is the key! Let’s not fall into one ditch or the other. 🙂