The light that exposes a hypocrite
Pastor Truman Herring
Matthew 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
Last week our church received a call regarding a small fanatical group in Topeka, Kansas that is often reported for their hate protests at funerals. Because this small fanatical group call themselves a church and Baptist at that, it is very easy for the reader or listener to assume all Christians, churches and Baptists are similar. I assure you, there are over 40 million Baptists who are nothing like that and totally disassociate themselves from such aberrant behavior. While their portrayal of this group may be accurate, is it possible that your view of all Christians, churches, Baptists (police, lawyers, doctors, etc.) can be formed from a single atypical example?
Jesus taught that the kingdom of God would be like a farmer who planted good seed in his field, but at night an enemy came into his field and planted tares (a plant that looks like wheat, but does not bear good fruit) among the wheat. When the wheat began to grow, the farmer was shocked to find that tares were also growing among the wheat. What should the farmer do? Jesus gave the answer that they would both grow together until the end of time. When Jesus returns, God will separate the tares from the wheat. (Matthew 13:24-30)
How do you recognize the difference between a tare (hypocrite) and the wheat (one that bears good fruit)? A hypocrite only has “Words about God” but a true Christian has “Good works for God to men.” Jesus also taught that that there would be false prophets who would be wolves in sheep’s clothing. Again you would recognize them by their fruit or works. (Matthew 17:15-22) I wish the name “Christian” or “Baptist” was not associated with the cult in Westboro.
In contrast, a few weeks ago there was a devastating earthquake in Haiti. It did not take an earthquake for the Florida Baptist Convention, of which our church is a part of, to respond to the suffering and needs of Haiti. We have been there for the past 15 years helping and serving people. We already had a network of friends and churches that we have worked with to minister the love of God to the people of Haiti. When the earthquake hit our leadership was mobilizing relief within hours.
The following is a report of what Florida Baptists have done in Haiti in the past six weeks: Food shipped: Rice 80 tons, black beans 250,000 pounds, pasta 4,741 pounds, meals 680,933. We also had medical teams; 21 with 17,000 medications ministered and 19,576 patients seen. Our ministry efforts were: 2,745 volunteer days served and 21,643 ministry contacts made.
Our church had a musical benefit concert for Haiti and we sent the offering to the Florida Baptist relief effort knowing that every dollar would be maximized for the relief effort. All of our several thousand Florida Baptist churches were given a food packing list to collect food that would feed a family in need for a week.
Our history has been when disaster strikes, Florida Baptists are some of the first responders to help. I have seen firsthand the love of God present to give hope in despair from Hurricane Andrew to the present.
When Hurricane Wilma hit our community a few years ago, one day later a self-contained 18-wheeler Baptist Disaster unit, pulled into our church parking lot to begin ministering to our community that would be without electricity for days. Our church partnered with a Baptist Disaster Team, the Red Cross and about 100 volunteers from our church to feed around 6,000 meals a day for over a week.
Do not let the evil works of one hypocrite silence the good works of thousands of Christians not focused on by the media. Counterfeits exist because the genuine have real value. Keep your light bright because someone in darkness needs hope.
Expecting God’s Best,
Pastor Truman Herring
Boca Glades Baptist Church