Boom goes bust: Local officials sidestep IMPACT’s Charlottesville Inquisition

| March 29, 2011 | 21 Comments

The Interfaith Movement Promoting Action by Congregations Together (IMPACT)—a political offshoot of the infamous “community organizing” group, ACORN—held their annual Nehemiah Action last evening at the University of Virginia’s University Hall. The gathering is an embarrassing interfaith convocation of local deists, “Christians,” Jews, and Muslims who together advocate for a melding of church (mosque, temple) and state, in order to promulgate a Marxist “social justice” agenda.

In their yearly “Charlottesville Inquisition,” IMPACT isolates and intimidates elected officials by marching them to a center-stage microphone one-by-one, before an amassed, seething crowd—demanding “yes” or “no” answers to a series of lopsided questions where there is only one “correct” resolve. In advance of response, supervisors and councilors are promised rousing applause for affirmative answers and stony, disapproving silence for negative replies. “Yes, buts” are considered a no, they are warned.

Public interest in IMPACT appears waning, as 2011 attendance estimates were substantially lower than in previous years. Event organizers attempted to conceal the decline by eliminating floor seating, but the visual manipulation was ineffective.

However, the bigger story was the absence of three councilors and five supervisors—Republicans and Democrats alike. Perhaps tired of harassment and bullying in the name of “god,” the vast majority of solicited local elected simply said, “no,” and abjured IMPACT’s “invitation” to participate.

With only three official’s chairs filled and no dissenters present, the “inquisition” concluded more quickly than usual.

Representing Albemarle County was Supervisor Lindsay Dorrier, Jr., who in spite of his announced abdication of office at year’s end, promised to support IMPACT’s monetary ultimatums—in next year’s budget! The fact that Mr. Dorrier will have no power to effect his pledge did dampen the mob’s lemming-like enthusiasm over his affirmation of IMPACT goals.

Charlottesville City fielded Councilor Kristen Szakos, a Progressive patsy, who never met a social justice program she didn’t like; and Councilor Satyendra Huja, currently on a publicly funded vote buying binge as he desperately seeks reelection this year. Both gleefully capitulated to IMPACT’s every demand.

Unwilling to accept an official’s choice not to participate, IMPACT committed a final act of coercion upon the event’s conclusion. As attendees left the building, they were handed a paper urging scripted phone calls to the absent elected, expressing extreme disappointment in their failure to attend the Nehemiah Action. Phone numbers for most of the missing were provided along with suggested language and call times.

IMPACT did not mention that calls could be placed to thank officials for not attending the Charlottesville Inquisition. But perhaps that would be a brilliant and befitting response from a silent majority of local Christians who abhor IMPACT’s political appropriation of their faith.

Click to see the IMPACT “call script” and for phone numbers of non-attending officials.

About the Author:

Rob Schilling is founder of The Schilling Show Blog and News; host of WINA's The Schilling Show, heard weekdays from noon to 2 PM; husband; father; and community watchdog.
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21 Comments on "Boom goes bust: Local officials sidestep IMPACT’s Charlottesville Inquisition"

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  1. Ken says:

    Rob, do you have any evidence that Szakos is a progressive “patsy” rather than someone who has thought thought her political philosophy and honestly arrived at progressivism? If you can’t present evidence, will you withdraw the accusation?

    As for your claim that Huja is “currently on a publicly funded vote buying binge,” that’s the same smear you made against Szakos last week. I rebutted it, you responded on the air, misunderstanding some of what I said, and I wrote another rebuttal I never bothered to send. Here it is:

    Thank you for the response. A few points:

    It’s too bad some people vote along party lines without knowing the candidates, but party affiliation says a lot, so voting along party lines isn’t voting blind, it’s voting with certain expectations of each party’s candidates. There is no reason to presume that any busy voter who hasn’t had the time to study the candidates but does take the time to vote would let a free meal determine his vote. Again, you made an ad hominem conjecture with no factual basis for it. And a Democrats-buy-votes-but-Republicans-don’t argument is a Democrats-are-sinners-and-Republicans-aren’t argument, which reading Scripture ought to tell you is hubristic fantasy. In every national, and probably state election too, there are charges of voter fraud on both sides.

    If it’s alright to spend a few pennies a voter on pizza, why is it not alright to give out $100 bills, you ask. First of all, see above. There is no reason to presume Szakos thought she was buying anyone’s votes. Secondly, $100 is a significant amount of money for most people, while 19 cents is not. Isn’t it worth 19 cents to draw more people into the democratic process?

    But no, you call that measly little expenditure “stealing.” But stealing is illegal, and using city funds to attract people to government meetings isn’t illegal in fact or in spirit. Why not? Because the money is spent by people whom the voters have vested with the authority to spend it. Liberals are the majority in C-ville, and they have outvoted you. What do you have against the democratic process?

    You did give me a good laugh when you told me to wake up and smell the pizza. Thanks for that,

    Ken

    Jesus:
    “Whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either.”

    The Religious Right: “Get your hand outa my pocket.

  2. A Patriot says:

    Jesus was offering a choice. No where does one find a directive given to government, either by God or by Christ, to take, by coercion, the property of one individual and give to another. If an individual decides to, or not to, give another the shirt off his back, that decision is unquestionably between the individual and God. Not the individual and the state. The idea of the state was created by God, to SERVE MAN, not vice versa. As long as government continues to attempt to usurp God, there will continue to be growing unrest. Since it is obvious that liberals will continue to attempt to pervert the true nature of both our history and our government and its calling, therefore the decision is by default, headed towards resolution by strife and by the sword. The 2012 fuse has been lighted,and we are all standing as witnesses to a long steady burn. This is how revolutions begin. The darkness has been allowed to expand basically unchecked, until now. The light has been silent for too long. The grand illumination is about to commence. Our future is God’s past, and we know how it will ultimately end.

  3. Ken says:

    First of all, Jesus wasn’t offering a choice, he was issuing a command. The sentence is an imperative: when this happens, do that. And yes, of course, there is no straight line between the command to be generous even to takers, and government programs for the poor. But in your constant griping and whining that you’re being stolen from, you completely ignore Jesus’ command to be willing giver even to those who don’t deserve, who actually take from you. And what’s more, what you love to call “coercion” is another word for democracy. Not in this society, or in any other society, are the laws between the individual conscience and God. We all make the laws together, and we make them by majority rule. It is not unjust that you happen to be in the minority on this issue. You are not being done an injustice. Didn’t your mothers ever teach you that you can’t have your way all the time? What you call the state has been built by the will of the people. It serves the people, and if the people decide that this land is our land, not the Koch Brothers’ land, you’ll just have to live by their decision.

    You folks are in love with the idea of yourselves as a righteous remnant, persecuted by all the godless liberals. I’ve got news for you. An awful lot of those liberals worship the same God you do. And you’re sinners too. You get blinded by your own sin just like anyone else.

    Since it is obvious that liberals will continue to attempt to pervert the true nature of both our history and our government and its calling, therefore the decision is by default, headed towards resolution by strife and by the sword.

    If I had your address I’d report you to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

  4. Cville Eye says:

    Rob you are exactly right. Of course ken will defend anything Szakos does. I have talked to her and it’s like talking to a wall. She has pre-conceived notions that are based upon good data. Just the crap that the VOP compiles Good example: everybody should make at least $11.43/hour to take care of his family. David Swanson said on your show that it should be just UVA employees. I wonder why Huja hasn’t figured out why people of his religion is not recruited to IMPACT. Maybe Ken can answer that. Have you noticed that most of the people from IMPACT who have spoken has failed to reveal that they are not residents of the city or county although their places of worship mainly are. Why aren’t they approaching Fluvanna, Louisa, Greene or Nelson with their demands? Because it would mean THEIR taxes would go up. Ken, in which jurisdiction do you live?

  5. Cville Eye says:

    Ken,
    When you tithe, to you caluclate the 10% on your gross eaarning plus benefits or just you take home check?

  6. Ken says:

    Cville, you’re a little nosy, don’t you think? I’ll say this much: I don’t live in Fluvanna, Louisa, Greene or Nelson, and I’m not a hypocrite. I’m also not an IMPACT member. All I know about them is what I heard on Rob’s show, and while their goals sound admirable, some of their tactics sound awful. As for Szakos, I never ever defend everything anyone does in kneejerk fashion. I’m not a partisan, and I’ve defended certain conservative positions in unmoderated liberal forums hundreds of time. And I’m pro-life, so I take issue with NOW, whose endorsement Szakos features on her website. But this part: “I propose to hold City Council meetings at elementary schools and other locations around the city, serving pizza and providing childcare so that residents know their voices are valued” while addressing issues like children’s safety, the school dropout rate, and affordable housing for hardworking people? Two thumbs up! God cares about more than whether we tithe 10%.

    I wonder why Huja hasn’t figured out why people of his religion is not recruited to IMPACT

    How do you know they aren’t?

  7. A Patriot says:

    You want to report me to the Southern Poverty Law Center? For what? Exercising my right to free speech is now a crime? Using my knowledge of history and the simple power of deductive reasoning regarding todays events is forbidden? Where was this righteous indignation when the video was posted here of the two men cursing and destroying the signs at Lee Park, harassment of decent citizens exercising their GOD GIVEN RIGHT of freedom of speech and assembly, last October? I suppose Patrick Henry would have bee reported for his observations in his “Give me liberty or give me death” speech. I guess MLK’s “Dream” speech would also qualify? Who gets to decide? Where is the compassionate and tolerant attitudes that have been so warmly espoused all these decades?

    “An awful lot of those liberals worship the same God you do” Really? The God I worship clearly states HIS stances on sexual perversion, adultery, and the sanctity of human life, to name a few. You may have deceived yourself into believing this, but the facts stand in utter opposition to the truth. I never claimed to be anymore than a sinner saved by grace given me through the shed blood of HIS SON. I also don’t attempt to use that grace as license for licentiousness. There is a difference, whether or not one chooses to observe it.

  8. Ken says:

    You want to report me to the Southern Poverty Law Center? For what?

    For threatening violence: “the decision is by default, headed towards resolution by strife and by the sword.”

    Where was this righteous indignation when the video was posted here of the two men cursing and destroying the signs at Lee Park, harassment of decent citizens exercising their GOD GIVEN RIGHT of freedom of speech and assembly, last October?

    It was in Rob’s post. I shared it and had nothing more to say about it. I don’t feel the need to condemn every outrageous thing some liberal does, as if he’s representing me or is typical of other liberals.

    “An awful lot of those liberals worship the same God you do” Really? The God I worship clearly states HIS stances on sexual perversion, adultery, and the sanctity of human life, to name a few. You may have deceived yourself into believing this, but the facts stand in utter opposition to the truth.

    The Bible also clearly condemns eating pork and shellfish, and wearing clothes with wool and linen woven together. And Paul condemns long hair on men – especially radio talk show hosts. Now you may have thought through why you think these prohibitions no longer apply, and be able to give reasons. But my point is that they’re just that – reasons. You’ve used reason to determine that a clear commandment no long applies or is misinterpreted. (And you can’t explain away Paul’s command by saying the new covenant supersedes OT law). Other people who worship the same God have applied their reason to homosexuality and fetal life. I have my own opinions but I can respect opinions on both sides. I can see the good goal people are aiming for, even when I think that goal is trumped by another. Why can’t you?

    There was no such thing in the ancient world as homosexuality between equals. It always an exploitative relationship, or perceived as such. That is not the case today, and a lot of people look at same sex couples who love each other and who are faithful to each other as much as any heterosexual couple, and simply cannot believe that God condemns rather than blesses their relationships.

    I’m not going to bother discussing abortion. I’m pro-life, but I’ll assume you’re not so remarkably ignorant as to not know the pro-choice arguments.

    Liberal Christians don’t excuse adultery, and if you haven’t read the stats on divorce among conservatives, here they are: “Pollster George Barna discovered that born-again Christians actually have a higher rate of divorce (27 percent) than nonbelievers (23 percent). Fundamentalists top them all (30 percent). And 87 percent divorced after accepting Christ, presumably aware of the biblical teaching on divorce.” [Chuck Colson, "Any Ol' World View Won't Do," Jubilee Extra, May 1996].

    More:

    “A study of pastors sponsored by Christianity Today found that 23% of 300 pastors admitted some form of sexually inappropriate behavior with someone other than their wives while in the ministry”
    Journal of Psychology & Christianity 8, no. 4 (Winter 1989) Torn Asunder, Dave Carder, pg. 26 http://hfbcshrinkwrap.wordpress.com/2007/12/23/adultery-statisitics

    27% of all Christians. 235 of pastors! Now what is the percentage of practicing homosexuals in this country? So when conservatives preach about sex, why is it mostly about homosexuality, and not about sin in their own ranks?

    I never claimed to be anymore than a sinner saved by grace given me through the shed blood of HIS SON. I also don’t attempt to use that grace as license for licentiousness. There is a difference, whether or not one chooses to observe it.

    You don’t use grace as license for licentiousness, but you acknowledge that you’re a sinner too, and sin blinds us, doesn’t it? Isn’t it possible – isn’t it actually likely? – that you’re sinning in ways you don’t recognize? And if that’s so, is it fair to say of you that you are using grace as license to sin? If that’s not fair, why is it fair of you to say the same about liberals? What your argument comes down to is that the other guy’s sin is worse than yours. I don’t think Jesus on the cross saw it that way.

  9. A Patriot says:

    Ken,
    I am not threatening violence. If I were threatening violence, I would be saying something to the effect of “At x date and x time, I am coming over to your home and doing y and z to you.” I am not saying that at all. What I am saying, is that one only needs to be the least bit familiar with both human nature and human history to know, that if the voices of the middle class continue to be ignored. If the will of the the majority of “We The People” continues to be rendered moot and circumnavigated through legalistic tricks, chicanery and double speak, then strife and sword are all that’s left. Why do you think the Scots rebelled against England? Why did we? Why did the Indians stuff arrows into the corpses at Little Big Horn? Because the Union never HEARD nor LISTENED!!! Why did the South fight for independence from the North? Have you missed the point entirely, of what I’ve ever been writing and expressing here? To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. It may have taken half a century, but we are here now. We are at both July 4 1776 and April 12, 1861. You liberals have had your way for the most part, and you’ve run our ship of state aground. Your emotional answers to our logical questions has been through a combination of belittlement, coercion and to silence us. Take from a man who has played by the rules, his ability to earn a living. Take from him, his home. Take from him, his personal dignity and respect. Drive him to his knees before the state. Transfer wealth from the industrious to the slothful, which you (as a political group) have done. History will show you, when a man has nothing left to loose, he will fight. Why do you think ammunition sales are skyrocketing? Why are guns sales on the rise? Etc, etc. Your side has for generations, stirred the pot of racial and economic unrest. It was in order to gain power for your side. It worked. However, your side can no more control the critical mass it created, than the workers at the nuclear power plants in Japan can. Your deeds have returned to haunt us all. I am not threatening violence, I merely am stating that I understand the well from whence it shall spring. One tainted by leftist liberals wanting to play God. The only problem with playing God, is that some may expect you to come through on your promises. Now that the kitty is out of cash, thats harder for you to do now.

    Now ya’ll can go on fiddlin while Rome burns, or rearranging the deck chairs of the Titanic, but the reality is, interesting times, OF YOUR CREATION, are coming. Like it or not. Oh, by the way, did you happen to catch Rob’s show with guest Merissa Davis. I suppose you’ll take her to task for her acknowledgement of some of the positions I have espoused as well.

  10. Ken says:

    So you’re not threatening violence exactly, you’re just predicting it and justifying it. The only real difference is that you don’t seem to expect it soon. The first flaw in your reasoning is what I’ve noted before, that you aren’t the victims you make yourselves out to be, just losers at the ballot box and in the court of public opinion. You call yourself “Patriot,” but you take umbrage when the political system put in place by the Founders – whom you claim to revere – works against your interests.

    Other flaws:

    The voices of the middle class are not being ignored – they vote after all, and they don’t mostly vote conservative. You say things like “Take from him, his personal dignity and respect,” but middle class liberal voters don’t feel that’s been done to them, so your perception is purely subjective. You’re mistaking feelings for reality.

    Emotional answers to logical questions, and belittlement can be found on both sides, of course. Right wing talk radio is a prime example. For belittlement, look at Rush and his ilk, including Rob, who boasts that he’s hate free but for all his cordiality to his listeners can’t mention area Democratic officials without sarcasm and disdain. Or look at blogs like Gateway Pundit.

    As for coercion and attempts to silence people, have you forgotten McCarthy, who Rob praised just the other day?

    And I’ll say it again; when you write thing like “Your side has for generations, stirred the pot of racial and economic unrest. It was in order to gain power for your side” you’re in the grip of a malicious fantasy. You’re failing to empathize with the many liberals who are well off but feel for people who aren’t. You’re failing to love. You’re not attempting to follow Christ, because to follow Christ is to try to love your enemies, and if you love your enemies even some of the time, you’ll see the best in them, and not imagine the worst. I respect your basic ideological stance, but your refusal to love your enemy is why I say that as a political movement you’re the Religious Right, _not_ the Christian Right. You’re not following Christ when you’re fantasizing that when people disagree with you ideologically it’s because they’re sinning- you’re refusing to follow Christ. You’re the Self-Righteous Right. And for all the good that you do as individuals in your families and communities – and here many of you are plainly the salt of the Earth – as a political movement you don’t have a witness for Christ. You have a witness against Him. You have a witness that Christ does not transform character, that Christians do not have high moral standards. You have a witness that Christians, just like most people, don’t love their enemies.

    And if you respond to this at all, and do so in the fashion you’ve previously responded, it won’t be point by point, as I respond to you and the others on your side. You won’t respond with facts. You won’t respond with reason. No, you’ll respond with “emotional answers.”

  11. A Patriot says:

    I guess Christ was devoid of emotion then, when he exercised PHYSICAL FORCE by wielding a whip and OVERTURNING the tables of the money changers as he cleansed the temple. In none of the many translations and editions of the Bibles in my possession, can I find a point by point repudiation of HIS argument. Seems to me he was pretty much answering the problem with both a physically and most assuredly, emotional solution, to the problem of corruption by religious officials perverting spiritual truths. Hmmmmmm!

  12. Ken says:

    First of all, you’re not Christ/God. Your judgments have to be argued for, not simply accepted unquestioningly.

    Secondly, Christ made his points with words and reason on many occasions.

    Third, Christ used force in this situation because the corruption was self-evident (and he named it too), not merely alleged but also disputed by a great many people, many of whom are Christians, who worship each Sunday, who read and study the Bible each day, who say the Nicene and Apostle’s Creeds. You’re mistaken, not to mention arrogant, to conflate your political ideology with your religion, and liberal Christian ideology with a perversion of spiritual truth.

    And you’re again dodging the issues. You make charges, I rebut them, you change the subject.

  13. eric says:

    I have several comments concerning this editorial.

    • Characterizing IMPACT as a “political offshoot of ACORN” is inaccurate and dishonest. First, dishonest, because it is a rather obvious and blatant attempt to discredit a credible community organization by freely associating it with an infamously bad actor. Yet there are no ties, or even commonality, between the two. Second, inaccurate, because IMPACT’s origins stem from an existing, less formal connection between several local churches and their pastoral leadership, and shared interests in community outreach and service. A small group attended a DART (Direct Action Research and Training network) workshop, and the seed of a grassroots network here in Charlottesville were sown. DART has been around since 1977, embraces congregation-based community action groups, and it, not ACORN, is a part of IMPACT’s DNA. Last, IMPACT is locally formed, locally funded, and locally focused. IMPACT is accountable to its community, not a national organization, and is represented by 31 independent congregations and religious organizations here in the Charlottesville area.

    • The description of the Nehemiah Action event as “an embarrassing interfaith convocation of local deists, “Christians,” Jews, and Muslims who together advocate for a melding of church (mosque, temple) and state, in order to promulgate a Marxist “social justice” agenda” is gratuitously absurd. First, none of the participants were embarrassed, nor had anything to be embarrassed about. None of the work presented and celebrated at the event was embarrassing. A gathering of people across several Christian denominations as well as non-Christian people of faith to work together to better their community is not embarrassing. People of faith participating in a political process is neither embarrassing, nor inappropriate. Second, describing IMPACT’s advocacy pejoratively as a melding of church and state, and social justice as Marxism, is completely off the mark. It is true that a number of Christian congregations and religious groups share a common understanding of justice ministry, as opposed to charity. There is nothing inherently Marxist about caring for one’s neighbor. Taking that the next step, to engage in research and discussion, working within the system, to correct systematic flaws in public policy and/or advocate for changes in funding priorities among competing public interests, is democratic.

    • The description of an inquisition is especially laughable. Were any sane individual observing a tape of the proceedings they’d wonder about the poetic license taken by the writer. Inquisition is yet another pejorative term more aptly used to describe a hostile investigation. Public officials who accept IMPACT’s invitations are treated as guests, with respect. They are asked whether they support IMPACT’s recommendations, yes or no. Direct questions deserve direct answers. They are given limited time to respond and expound, Respondents often do say “no”, and explain why. In most cases, a “no” response provides a very worthy explanation for legitimate differences in point of view. There is no “seething” crowd. They applaud for a “yes”, are silent for a “no”. The entire process is a brief portion of the entire event, and in my opinion, less intimidating than appearing on the Schilling Show, with none of the disrespect.

    • Public support of IMPACT is not, in my view, directly measured by or reflected in attendance at the Nehemiah event. The attendees are largely from the constituent organizations, though the event is open to the public. I don’t know the actual attendance figure for the event, in absolute or comparative terms, but yes, attendance appeared to have dropped from prior years. I can think of a number of reasons. Regardless, insinuating that a change in seating layout – something that has changed each year since inception – was some deliberate attempt to mask a decline, and not for other purposes, is speculative. The fact is, IMPACT has always struggled with the seating and stage configuration in U-Hall. This year, one change was to facilitate mixed seating across congregations.

    • The absence of several elected officials was disappointing. All but one of those not present managed to answer the questions, and their responses were read on their behalf. These folks were missed. If their absence was intended as a snub, I’d say that their behavior was less than gracious. Rarely are so many constituents assembled in one place to collectively present proposed solutions and to hear from their elected officials what they think. Keep in mind, Nehemiah is the culmination of a year-long selection and research process, engaging dozens of community leaders in formation of the recommendations. I am aware of a mindset among some that this process is best addressed by County or City staff. If that were so, IMPACT would have nothing to do. We’d all be happy.

    • The descriptions of Dorrier, Szakos, and Huja, in my view, lack respect. Each handled themselves with dignity. Dorrier and Szakos both have personal history with the subject at hand – mental health services. Personally, I have little in common with any of the three, nor any reason to support them or their political views. But I do think we can acknowledge their presence, and support of the recommendations as genuine. I’d further note that the non-attendees were mixed in their response – as expected.

    • Describing encouraging those assembled to write their representatives who were not in attendance as coercion is also nonsensical hyperbole. The use of scripted examples, providing phone numbers, and encouraging individual contact is an age old, widespread, and believed to be effective tactic – I believe it is called letting your voice be heard. That is not the private reserve of non-religious political groups – eg., the Democratic and Republican parties, the Tea Party, ATTA, or Americans for Prosperity.

    • Why would any constituent thank officials for not attending? Fear? Paranoia? Cynicism? A false sense of moral superiority?

    • All in all, this editorial is what one has come to expect from the SS: non-objective, disrespectful, inaccurate, belittling rhetoric. Whatever bone(s) Mr. Schilling and his followers may have with IMPACT, or the issue of social justice in general, it would be nice to have a respectful conversation. Lacking that, I at least hope to have contributed some balance for your readers.

    • The best way to draw your own conclusions, is not to accept third hand testimonials from biased sources, even my own. Next year, feel free to see for yourself.

    Eric H. Schmitz
    Albemarle County

  14. A Patriot says:

    When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend, is the beginning of the end of any nation. I need not waste any more time in arguments. I know the truth, and choose to follow it.You’ve been presented the truth, the choice is yours on how to act. Make specious arguments, or change course. Either way, each of us will stand on the threshold of eternity to answer. Won’t be any presentations of arguments then.

  15. Ken says:

    Patriot, you’re not saying that salvation depends on political ideology . . . are you? That liberals can’t be saved?

  16. A Patriot says:

    Of course not, and I would hope that your inquiry is meant to be a humorous one, and not one of sincerity, for I know that over the course of time and our discussions here in this forum, I’ve never set that forth as an axiom. That having been said, there is one thing to consider. As you are so apt to point out,Christians are now and have always been in the minority.

    Most of the people presently living have not trusted Jesus Christ as their Savior. This, however, is exactly as Jesus said it would be. “Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:14, KJV). This has been the case throughout all of history. There are several reasons why a large part of humanity has rejected Jesus as their Savior.

    One reason people do not become Christians is out of ignorance. This is not ignorance that there is a God or a person named Jesus Christ, but rather ignorance to the facts validating the Christian faith. Many times this ignorance is self-imposed. Some people are not even bothering to consider the claims of Christ, while others are actively refusing to believe.

    Many people claim they have intellectual problems with the Christian faith, when usually what they have are intellectual or emotional excuses. We are aware of many people who, after having been presented the facts of Christianity, have readily admitted that they know Christianity is true, yet they still refuse to become Christians.

    This, therefore, is not a problem of the mind, but of the will. It is not that they cannot become Christians; it is more of a matter that they will not become Christians. The Bible teaches that humanity is attempting to suppress the truth of God (Romans 1:18). People are ignorant of the credentials of Jesus, by and large, because they want to be.

    Another reason is the simplicity of the gospel. It is so simple to become a Christian that even a child can do it. In fact, to enter the kingdom of heaven, Jesus taught that we must become as children (Matthew 18:3). In simple faith, we must place our trust in Christ whether we be college professors or people who have never finished grammar school.

    The apostle Paul said concerning the simplicity of the gospel, “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty… That no flesh should glory in his presence” (I Corinthians 1:26, 27, 29, KJV).

    Paul taught, as did Jesus, that Christians would never be in the majority, and that not many prominent people would believe in Jesus. Although there have not been many great men and women in history who have trusted Jesus, there have been some.

    Further, people don’t become Christians because of the mistaken idea of what really is a Christian. Many think Christianity is a religion with a set of negative commandments saying, “Don’t do this or don’t do that.” They get the idea that, when you believe in Jesus, you resign yourself to a life of unhappiness, restrictions, and boredom. Since no one wants to live that way, they write off Christianity as something to which they don’t want to commit their lives. It is a sad fact that some Christians give the impression to the world that their faith consists only of a group of negative commandments. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    When a person trusts Jesus as Saviour, he becomes truly free. Jesus said, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36, KJV). Jesus Christ is in the business of setting men and women free from things that have them in bondage so that they can be the type of people they were meant to be.

    As believers, we are free to do what we want to do and not do what we don’t want to do. The Christian life is anything but boring, because there is the daily joy and excitement of knowing the living God and experiencing all the good things He has in store for us. “Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart” (Psalms 37:4, KJV).

    Some people don’t become Christians because of guilt feelings. They have lives in which they’ve committed many ugly acts and crimes, and they don’t believe they can be forgiven by God and that a decent life can be given to them. However, the Bible clearly teaches that anyone, without exception, who seeks God and desires to be forgiven of his sins will be forgiven.

    There is no sin that’s too great to stop someone from going to heaven except the sin of unbelief. If a person refuses to believe in God’s provision for his sin—the person of Jesus Christ—then there is no hope for him. Jesus said, “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37, KJV).

    The Bible says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16, KJV). You and I are included in that “whosoever.” If you will come to Jesus, He has promised to forgive you of your sins, and He will allow you to start over again with a clean slate, no matter how corrupt you have been.

    Another reason some refuse to accept Jesus is because of some specific sin in their life. They realize that, if they become a believer, they will have to stop committing that certain sin, and they do not want to stop. Jesus said, “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19, KJV).

    Many people love their sin to the point that they will miss getting to heaven.This is much as the church is today. It teaches of a loving God, who looks the other way, and does not truly enforce those things to which HE has forbidden. Thats why I can drive down the road seeing the FISH insignia on one side of the bumper, while at the same time see the Pro-Choice bumper sticker on the other. We have the 21st century church which promotes both salvation and immorality. That kind of spiritual doublespeak does not work today, anymore than it did in Christ’s time. Why do you think Christ constantly referred to religious leaders of HIS time, as “You den of vipers.”?

    To become a Christian, a person must repent (change his heart and mind) of his sins, and this many people are not willing to do even though Jesus said, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3, KJV). In addition, people refuse to believe in Jesus because of self-centeredness. Someone has said—correctly, we believe—that Christianity is the easiest religion in the world to believe, and it is also the most difficult religion in the world to believe.

    It is the easiest because God has done everything for us that needs to be done, and it is impossible to add to the work of Christ. It is the most difficult because we have to admit to ourselves and to God that we cannot do anything to save ourselves.

    Our pride does not like that, since we want to work out our own salvation our way. Human nature desires that we dictate our own terms, but God will accept us only on His terms, and this fact keeps many people out of the kingdom.
    There are many reasons why people reject Christ, but there are no good reasons.

  17. Ken says:

    Patriot, I thought you probably didn’t mean it that way, but when you switched from political positions to standing before the throne of judgment, I couldn’t be sure.

    I agree with most of what you wrote, and I don’t entirely disagree with this

    Many people love their sin to the point that they will miss getting to heaven.This is much as the church is today. It teaches of a loving God, who looks the other way, and does not truly enforce those things to which HE has forbidden. Thats why I can drive down the road seeing the FISH insignia on one side of the bumper, while at the same time see the Pro-Choice bumper sticker on the other. We have the 21st century church which promotes both salvation and immorality. That kind of spiritual doublespeak does not work today, anymore than it did in Christ’s time. Why do you think Christ constantly referred to religious leaders of HIS time, as “You den of vipers.”?

    but I think we’re foolish and presumptuous when we say that THAT sin that the other guy’s committing will keep his from heaven, but THIS one of mine won’t keep me. Apparently you did mean that political positions – the pro-life position, for example – can keep people from salvation.

    Psa 19:13 (KJV) Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me

    I think we all need God’s grace for sins we don’t even recognize.

  18. Schilling Show says:

    Eric,

    You say:

    Characterizing IMPACT as a “political offshoot of ACORN” is inaccurate and dishonest. First, dishonest, because it is a rather obvious and blatant attempt to discredit a credible community organization by freely associating it with an infamously bad actor. Yet there are no ties, or even commonality, between the two.

    Please read the book, Organizing Urban America, by Heidi J. Swarts. The commonalities and ties between DART (IMPACT’s parent organization) and ACORN (a proven fraud) are well documented there.

    Glad to have you back posting here.

  19. Ken says:

    ACORN was a fine organization, that followed Christ’s command to care for the needy. And they were smeared by other people who claim to follow Christ as well:

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122275494

    Why don’t you try loving your political enemies some time, and see how the world looks then?

  20. Rachael Leigh says:

    This is a really horrible description of IMPACT. You either did not attend, or you did attend and chose to lie. 32 congregations attend, many of them Christian. I don’t think it is YOUR place to question someone’s Christianity, as you did by putting it in quotes.

    Also, most officials that could not attend sent really nice letters along with their responses to each question. If you attended, you would know this. AND you would know that everyone is given lots of information, including the questions, well in advance.

    The description is just nasty and horribly biased, and you ought to be ashamed of yourself. This is people of faith coming together to do good in their community. If we had more people like this (whatever their political persuasions) we would be much better off as a society. If YOU don’t like what they are doing, instead of trashing it, do something YOURSELF.

  21. Rachael Leigh says:

    I think it is pretty obvious that whoever wrote this is just really jealous that they didn’t/can’t get their faith community together to organise something this effective and uplifting. IMPACT is an awesome event.

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