MISSION TRIP TO ALASKA
In my last newsletter I reported on the assaults and attacks that we suffered while preaching in downtown Anchorage. And while the mission field was rough in light of that, it wasn’t all rough. We had a lot of fun too! In the picture above you can see the barbecue that our host home had with us on the lake. The great thing about mission trips is not only the outreaches but the fellowship!
Our host home is a commercial pilot who flies tours for tourists who want to see the glaciers. It is through his accumulated air-miles that he was able to fly my whole family up to Alaska from Texas. One of the local tours he was going to do had some extra seats so he invited my wife and I to join him on this beautiful alaskan glacier tour! God’s creation certainly is magnificent! As we were flying around I thought about how wonderful it was that we could see God’s creation from these views. Aviation has only been around for about a hundred years! Prior to that you had to be Elijah taken up in the golden chariot to see views like this!
SHOULD WE EVER PREACH HATE?
While downtown Anchorage is a very rough place to open-air preach, since we have been assaulted and attacked two years in a row now every time we preach there, the University of Alaska is one of the tamest campuses I’ve experienced in the country. I think it is because they are not accustomed to seeing campus preachers. Usually that means that campuses will be extraordinarily outrageous but in this case I think it results in them being more respectful.
The students still heckle me of course. One lesbian drove by on her bike and said, “I hope you get hit by a car.” That’s not a very loving thing to say. And yet, as usual, I was accused of being hateful. One heckler said, “Why do you come here and preach hate?” Usually a preacher might defend himself and say, “I am not preaching hate. I am preaching love.” But I decided to go with it and think I caught her by surprise. I said, “I just genuinely believe that what this campus needs is more hatred! The problem with this campus is that it has too much love!” It is provocative statements like this one that keeps the crowd engaged and their attention secure.
I went on to say, “The problem with this campus is that you love your sin. We ought to hate sin. Look at what sin does. Sin destroys relationships. Sin is a violation of the loving relationships we were created for. I’ve seen in my own family how sins like drunkenness and adultery has ripped apart our relationships. Sin ought to be hated.”
I explained, “The problem is many of you think hate is always bad and love is always good. That’s just not true. It depends on the object that is being loved or hated. If you love sin, that is a bad love. If you hate sin, that is a good hatred.” I pointed out how Psalms 97:10 says if you love God you should hate evil. God and sin are opposites. To love the one is to hate the other. You cannot love God if you do not hate sin. And also the Bible says in Hebrews 1:9 that Jesus Christ loved righteousness and hated iniquity. I stressed the point, “What this campus needs is a baptism of holy hatred!”
In Proverbs 8:13 we read that the fear of the Lord is to hate evil. We also know in Proverbs 1:7 that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. I want to bring sinners to the beginning of knowledge, to the fear of the Lord, to the hatred of evil. If we want to see sinners forsake their sins and dedicate their lives to God, we have to get them to see sin for what it really is. We have to get them to hate their sin. And that requires exposing the nature and effects of sin.
Preaching hatred for sin may not be common or popular but it is what our society needs to hear more than ever. Our culture loves sin and hates righteousness and we ought to earnestly contend to change that, to be a “preacher of righteousness” like the men of old were.
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Jesse & Krista Morrell
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Lindale TX, 75771
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