A message to Dr. Wood and the Assemblies of God
The Assemblies of God is a denomination I have belonged to all of my life. I have attended and been a member of Assembly of God churches almost every year of the 30 I have spent on this earth. I went to an Assemblies of God college. I went on Assemblies of God sponsored mission trips. I went to Assemblies of God run camps and youth retreats. I know the ins and outs of the organization in way that most millennial evangelicals might not simply because of the length of time I've spent in such places. I love the Assemblies of God. I love what they do with their overseas missions. I love that their formation was based on the idea that Spirit of God speaks to EVERYONE regardless of race, gender, socioeconomic or education level . I love their focus on the gifts of the spirit. And then last week I read an article that sent me into a tailspin the likes of which I've never experienced before.
Whenever I see an article that talks about "The Evangelical" response to the current administration I read it. I like to keep up with what we're doing and how we're responding to things. When I clicked on this article about Evangelical support of Jared Kushner I expected to see the typical quotes from the typical people; Paula White, Franklin Graham, Jerry Falwell Jr etc. What I did not expect to see what a quote from Dr. George O. Wood. The general superintendent of the Assembles of God. A man who attended my alma mater, Evangel University, in Springfield Missouri. A man I heard speak in many chapel services who always came across as level headed and articulate. He was quoted as follows
I deplore that politics in this country has descended into blood sport wherein good people like the Kushner's in order to serve the country they love must endure unfounded attacks on their character, honesty, and trustworthiness
I cannot explain the level of disappointment I felt in seeing this quote. It almost took my breath away. What are we are doing? Seriously Assemblies of God. What in the name of Jesus are we doing? We have ranted and raved against sexual lust for decades but today we finally fell victim to a lust for power that is truly staggering. I feel heartsick, disappointed, and angry.
Where was Dr. Wood's statement on how deplorable he found the words of candidate Trump in the moments where he attacked women, people of color, immigrants, his fellow candidates and the previous president while running his campaign? There are too many "deplorable" comments to quote so I won't clutter up this post with them all.
Where was Dr. Wood's statement on how deplorable he found it when candidate Trump was discovered to have bragged on tape that he sexually assaults women?
Where was Dr. Wood's statement on how deplorable he found it when Philando Castile was shot and killed in cold blood? Or any of the other far too many times our brothers and sisters of color have been gunned down in the street in 2017 alone?
Where was Dr. Wood's statement on how deplorable he found it that people of faith will hide behind Scripture to refuse services to our LGBTQ brothers and sisters and call that religious liberty?
Where was Dr. Wood's statement on how deplorable he found it when people used Scripture to defend their decision to gut medical programs that for many of the poorest, youngest, and oldest in our society are they only way they have access to any type of medical care?
Where was Dr. Wood's statement on how deplorable he found it when people burned our last president in effigy? When they called him a secret Muslim bent on destroying the United States?
I guess none of those things were deplorable enough. But the president's son in law being questioned about the lies he told on his security clearance form, and his willingness to meet with people who wanted to compromise our election process? Well that's just a bridge too far and The Assemblies of God will not stand for it. Finally we will stand up and say "THIS IS NOT RIGHT"
How very brave
Get it together. We look ridiculous. I'm ashamed to say I'm Assemblies of God today. They will know us not by our love, by our charity, by our missions work. No...today they will know us by our full throat defense of the current political party that sits in power because they invited us to a couple of nice dinners and threw us a pro life supreme court justice as bone to keep us silent while they set about making the lives of the rest of the "least of these" immeasurably harder.
For shame. And shame on the rest of us who know this is total bull but who continue to sit silently while the name of Jesus gets thrown about in ways that would surely make him toss a few tables in the temple.
You want to know why my generation is leaving you all? Why so many of us can't even stand to sit in your pews anymore? This is why. It's not because we've compromised our beliefs....it's because you have.
It's not because we've become moral relativists...it's because you have
It's not because we have lost sight of who has our allegiance and why...it's because you have
Our Father's house is supposed to be a house of worship but you are turning it into a den of thieves.
And we're not going to participate in the charade anymore.