Introduction: Welcome to Expound our weekly worship and verse by verse study of the Bible. Our goal is to expand your knowledge of the truth of God as we explore the Word of God in a way that is interactive, enjoyable, and congregational.
Skip Heitzig: Well, I want to introduce you to somebody else now. He was in town, and I found out he was in town, and I'm getting ready this week to go to Beirut, Lebanon. And every time I say that to people they go, "Why would you want to be there?" and it's only because you've never been. It's really a great, great city, great believers, and great opportunity. But tonight we have somebody who has been here on a couple of different occasions, many years ago and then just a year ago for the men's conference.
He is probably the most—no, he is the most media-covered Christian comic in the world today. New Yorker magazine had several pages and called him "God's comic." He's often on Fox and Friends. He's in USA Today, ABC, NBC, anything that has, like, letters in it, he's in it. [laughter] He's had pieces in Reader's Digest, and Focus on the Family. And I asked him because he mixes comedy with a strong message for believers, so prepare to be challenged tonight. Please welcome Brad Stine. [applause]
Brad Stine: It's like you know what you're doing. Keep it going for that guy right there. Keep it going for Skip. He's a giant! He's gigantic! Well, I just got into town. I don't know if they mentioned this: I happen to be in this Persecuted. Thanks for the plug there, Skip. They're all, like, going, "We have all these amazing actors, and we got James Remar and Bruce Davidson, and, oh, yeah, Brad's in it. Okay, uh, God, I forgot to tell them that."
But I'm excited, I am happy to be in this special place. He just called me today—today to be on stage. Thanks, Skip! Perfect. That's the way your pastor is. You might be on stage tomorrow, sir. That's how it works. Look at him; he's scared to death. His friends are, like, "Look straight ahead, he won't talk to us. What's he doing to Rafael? Don't look at him! It's one of Skip's tricks again."
I'm excited to be in Albuquerque! Woo! Albuquerque, what a place. Albuquerque—ancient Native American word; it means "we need more Q's." But, um, one would have sufficed. But you're, like, "We need more Q's." I love it, it's special, it's unique. It reminds me of the type of people that I revere in this country, the people that started this nation, people that came here in a difficult time period and they made the greatest nation the world has ever known.
And you're like that; you live in the desert. What kind of people are you? It makes no sense. But you said, "We will come here and make a go of it, no complaints." Because I hear lots of complaints. Oh, I hear lots of people complain about stupid stuff. America is losing its grip because you're not strong enough to go forward and not complain about ourselves. That's all I hear, especially here. Come to southwest in July, what do they say? "Oh, it's so hot. It's so hot. It is so hot." No, no, no, no. Let me tell you about hot.
I did a show in Death Valley in July, then I got to go to Vegas. You all have been to Vegas, right? You all done a Vegas? Oh, look, it's a Christian group—"We've never actually heard of Las Vegas. Is that, like, in the Babylonian Empire? or I don't know. Is the pastor laughing? We don't know what to do now; we're panicked. Does he know we drink periodically? I'm scared. But it's only for our ritual that makes it good. It's good."
By the way, if you've never been to Vegas, and you want to take a little family getaway to Vegas in July, do this. [knocks himself out] It was 120! And you know what, it should be, it's the desert. That's where 120 hangs out. The problem is not is it hot in the desert; the problem is why would you start a town there? What are your options? "Well, we don't have enough fuel to make it to the surface of the sun. Let's all live here." "Okay, Brigham, let's go to Vegas, that's a good spot." "You know, the ocean's that way." "We're stopping here with the scorpions."
Resilient people! They don't walk their dogs during the day. I thought because they might caca. No, because they might burst into flame! All those hairy poodles—"Come on, Fifi." [blows to extinguish flames] Aaaaah!
Vegas—Indian word, it means "move." Even the cactus is saying stop! When you're being warned by shrubbery, that's a sign from the living God. Anything that has needles attached to it—"Keep it going, son." Hot or cold, hot or cold. It's about complaining. It's about being unhappy. It's about not being satisfied. It's about a great nation that was so amazing, has been given so much, so many blessings, so many accesses to so many types of people that we became bored.
We decided that this is how it's supposed to be, and we lost the nation's understanding that things like we've created here are hard to keep. And you have to be aware of that, because you can lose freedom, you can lose liberty, and you must be careful not to. No complaints. A bunch of big babies; I can't stand it. But not here, you live in the desert.
I was just in Florida—ha, ha, ha. There's nuts there. I don't even know what Florida is all about. They want to be California. They have surf shops, and the ocean, and they're long like California. But at least California is stuck to the side; they're just hanging out, they're just kind of hanging.
And they don't have even good animals. See, you guys have good animals here. You have cougars and bobcats and bears. You gotta love a place where you can go hiking and then die. You gotta love that, 'cause there's something at stake, you appreciate it. Florida, you know what their big animal is? You know what the animal that they care most about and protect more than any other animal—are you ready?—manatee. Have you ever seen a manatee? The ugliest animal there has ever existed.
It's this big, fat, blubbery— It's like it doesn't know—"Should I be a walrus, should I be a—am I a seal?" I don't know which side is the face. It's a big, fat thing. It's ugly and fat—manatee. It's kind of an Indian word; it means God gave up, is what happened. It was—it looks like he started making something, got distracted, and it wandered away. "Hey, I'm making something"—"God"—"Yes, what do you need? Wait, wait, wait, wait! Don't you want feet? Stay that way."
They're always getting hit by boats. They're always getting hit by boats and the people panic: "How can they be hit by boats?" Because they're in the ocean. But do they think in those terms? Do they think in rational terms like we used to think in America to make this country great and realize, okay, there's going to be some tragedies periodically when humans and manatees converge. It doesn't happen all the time; we try to help the animals, but they're going to get hit.
But what do they do? Oh, when they got hit—"It got hit in the head, and it's dead. and we have to ban boats. Ban Boats! Boats must be banned. Wait, people drive boats—ban people! Ban people! Wait, they're in the ocean—ban the ocean! Evil ocean!" Banning stuff, banning. They got big things in their head and it's like—"It got run over by a boat." No, it didn't. It saw its face and threw itself in the propeller. "Kill me, I'm hideous."
I know, it's good, it's funny. But why am I here tonight? First off, because I love this church. As Skip mentioned, I did a New Year's Eve here. [applause] Oh, good. Oh, look, oh!" That's all I need for applause? Boy, do I love Albuquerque churches, I'll tell you. Nothing beats Calvary Chapel, I'll tell you right now, I'm gonna say that. You thought—you've created these zombies, "Calvary Chapel, we're the only ones saved in New Mexico."
Let me tell you what I do like about Calvaries, they always do things first class, first class. They got great seats, and great stuff, and great pastors, and great things, and great musicians, right? Incredible musicians tonight. I just got one question: how bad does your drummer have to be that he has to be protected in bulletproof glass? Get a new guy. It's like the pope is drumming for you people. He should wait for visitors to come and act like he's trapped in an aquarium—"Help me!" But we're here.
I kept looking at these kids on the end—well, I say kids, you're not kids. How old are you, guys? How—what? Did you say fifty-three? You look good, brother. Dang! Who's this kid you got next to you? How would are you, son? You're his son. 'Twas a miracle, Lord. How old are you? Forty-two? What the heck. Got some younger ones. How old are you, young lady? Forty? There's a new generation you might want to look into, Skip, I'm just saying. Everybody's, like, "We come here to get young again."
Anyways, I'm here for a few minutes and I want to talk to you, and I appreciate you. I tell you what, when it comes to water though, they spare no expense when they give it to their guests, I'll tell you right now. [holds mini water bottle] Skip's on the phone: "Get him the biggest bottle we can find." "We got the thimble full." "Bring him that one." Meanwhile, he's upstairs with a keg of water. This is all you get as a visitor. And this apparently is for baptisms, I guess. [pours water from cup on head] "I'm in."
But we are in church. I just noticed you got some people in the leper colony over there behind the glass. They're all sitting there looking at us longingly. "Unclean! Unclean! Please, can we come in with the rest of the people?" Not yet, not yet. What the heck? I've never seen anybody put in solitary confinement in a church before today. You know, there's some seats available here, people, I'm just saying. "We like it here all by ourselves."
But we're in church and church matters. Why, because it's part of a club? Why, because we all agree on the same thing, so we feel good about ourselves, because you agree like me, and you think like me, and you pray like me? So, hey, aren't we all perfect? aren't we all good? aren't we all safe? No, no, church was never meant for a place to congregate and become comfortable in your place of worship; it was to teach you how to bring it out there. [applause] That's what it was for, is to take it out.
It's all right, you need a place to rest and get some strength about this culture that is turned on Christians, the most bigoted anti-Christian culture we've ever had in America. It's here! It's here! And as believers you have the right—it's called the First Amendment—to stand up for those things which are true to you, which are right.
You have that same obligation that Paul had when they went to beat him and he said, "Excuse me, but is it okay for you to beat a Roman citizen without a fair trial?" Notice he didn't say, "I'm a Christian, just stone me. I don't deserve anything, flog me, if you would." I just realized that probably wasn't the best angle, you guys . . .
People taking notes: "It's very changed. Calvary has gone another direction apparently. Very inclusive church now." No, he appealed to the authorities of the law of the land. You see, that's the key; that's always been the key. You never compromise your faith if the law is unjust or just anti-God, but if it's given to you as an access to everybody else, you should implement it, and you don't, you failed. You failed your obligation to stand up against those who would try to take away your freedoms. Liberty matters.
So, we're going to talk for a few minutes, if you don't mind, about what you should talk about in church, the most powerful three-letter word of all time—God! Why do I stay that? One fan—"I love God. I mean, I love God. He's a good one. He's great. God is great and good, and he opened the eyes of my heart." But, it's just that song, "Open the Eyes of My"—it sounds like a horror movie. His heart has an eye. Aaaaaaah! Okay.
I love you people because I know a lot of you have never seen me before. I can see the shocked look on their face when I was coming out. "Oh, he's a Christian comedian, great. Where's your puppet?" But, um—and listen if you're in the puppet ministry, you know, quit, because it's embarrassing is what I'm getting at. It's embarrassment is what I'm saying. Some guy in the back with a trunk—"Let's go, Pinky; he's not funny anymore. He's gone too far." "I don't like that guy at all."
You ever seen that? You ever seen that? The guy goes like this. He insults people. "I don't like that guy." And the people go, "That puppet's mean." It's the same guy. Is that all it takes to insult people nowadays, disguise your hand? "Go away, ha, ha, ha, ha!" "You talking to me?" "No, it's my hand. It's out of control. I don't know what's happening. He doesn't even have his mask on."
We're going to talk about God. I'm sure he's here somewhere. Hang on, Lord, I'm getting to you. But it's an important thing. Now, I would assume that many of you are believers in God and in Jesus Christ his representative on earth, his fleshness that allowed us to see God, and that's great. But some of you maybe are still searching. Some of you maybe don't know if you want to believe in God or not; that's up to you. I mean, you get a choice. God allows you to choose to say, "Yes, God," or "no."
But here's what's important: it is the only question that will ever matter in your life—the only one. Because how you chose, "yes, God"/"no, God," will affect everything you do for the rest of your life. If you say, "Yes, God," you'll vote differently than, "No, God." If you say, "Yes, God," you'll find somebody to marry differently than, "No, God." It affects everything, because you see things differently based on "yes, God"/"no, God."
So, we're going to have to go discover a little bit about God. We're going to have going study him, and he's not easy to find. He has to leave us clues to discover him, because he's God, he's big, he's awesome, he's hard to wrap your mind around. He should be, he should be. Sometimes it takes a thousand years for his revelation to make sense to us—long wisdom. And we've been doing some of the clues tonight, some of the clues that make human beings unique in the universe.
What do I mean by that? What are we even doing as a group?—laughing, laughter. What's that for? Is that an evolutionary concept to laugh? It doesn't help you get food, doesn't help you avoid your enemies. It's hard the run away from a guy that's chasing you while you're laughing. "I'll kill you." "Ah, hah, hah, hah!" "Ow, ow!" But we laugh. In the entire universe the only thing that laughs is people. Just us.
Stars don't laugh, plants don't laugh, animals don't laugh. Animals don't laugh, that's why we eat them. You frown—you're going down. We had to make a call, my friends. Can't chuckle—belt buckle. We needed to know the hierarchy. We needed to know what was the plan.
Because, see, if you believe in God, then you have two choices. So, you gotta say, "Okay, I believe in God so I gotta figure out, okay: who is he? and what does he want? Because he's the rule maker." That's what happens. I've given my life to you, so I have to obey your ideas, not the culture's, not my skin color's, not my heritage.
Matter of fact, Christianity is unique. It says you don't get any of those things anymore. You honor heritage. If you're a black American, you honor the slave issue that came through you, and what you were taught by your lineage of getting through a horrible time. If you're Hispanic, you honor those who came here or lived here and tried to engrace themselves with this European culture.
Of course, you never forget, and never don't honor that thing. But God said, "If you're mine, you're not a Jew or a Gentile, you're not a male or a female, you're not a slave or free; you don't get that anymore. You're mine." And very few of us live like that.
The discipline it takes to be a true Christian is beyond what we are used to in this culture that teaches us about tolerance. God never told you to tolerate anybody, he said love people, but you hate things that are against his ideas. That's the deal. That's how it works. You have to or you don't believe. So you have to understand that we are in a cultural crisis when it comes to having the access to godly, holy principles being stolen from us. I say we can rise up. I say we can rise up.
You got a wallet; don't pay for the junk that they shove down your throat. You got a hand; turn the channel. You have voice. Don't protest by—don't protest by getting out a sign and saying, "I hate this," because that's just makes people think that "Christians hate it, must be good." Let me tell you the most powerful protest that a Christian can make in this America: when Persecuted comes out as a movie, you get off your butts, you call all your friends, you get your wallets out, and you start paying for what you believe in.
God gave you money, you shove it back in there and say, "I'll pay for this." And guess what Hollywood does? "Oh, we don't care about your God, but there's money in this." Wise as a serpent, harmless as a dove. Don't compromise; strategize.
So, we gotta find out how to find this God. You have to discover him. And sometimes you don't like what you hear. That's what we found in America now, churches that had histories in this nation of standing up for the truths of Christ have completely left him and allowed the culture to define them, even though the purpose of the church was to redeem the culture. They've let the culture destroy them, and they think they're doing God's work. The Bible said this would happen. I don't know why I pointed there. Bible said this—and everybody's, like—"It's an invisible Bible, I'll betcha, and who are we to judge?"
I looked into God, found some things you may not like to hear, not politically correct. And, by the way, if you know anything about my work—I want to watch political correctness die in my lifetime. [applause] First, I want to watch it suffer. I want it to get gangrene and cancer, and I want it to die a horrible death, and then end up in hell where it's poked by demon continually—that's all I want.
I looked up God, guess what guys?—hang on—God is a guy. The girls are laughing; the men are like—"Dear, may I laugh too at that particular . . . I don't know if I'm allowed to." Guy's getting the—[jabs elbow] except for the men married over thirty years, they've got a callus here, they don't— God is a guy. How to I know that? 'Cause I read his book.
God is a guy; he always refers to himself as Father. And up until the year 2013, that was normally considered a dude. I know—how did that get complicated? Because that's what happens when you no longer believe that you redeem culture. How else do we know God's a guy? 'Cause everything he invented he said was good. Oh, yeah. And this is before duct tape, I might add. That was weird. It was bugging me, I finally said, "I must move the table." [drinks water] I am full. Whew! I feel like a camel suddenly, I—
How else do we know God's a guy? He works hard for six days, and then took a nap on Sunday so he could watch the game. And lastly, my friends, how do I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God Almighty is a guy? Because he invented women . . . and they were naked. Sorry, only a guy would have come up with that.
Well, we got a few Southern Baptists snuck in here: "I don't believe he said 'naked' in church. I am trying to have a pure thought life and I've got naked people stuck in my head. All I can see is naked people dancing through tulips and ivy. Everywhere I look are naked people, everywhere I go. Why would he say 'naked' in church?" And God said it was good. It was good, son. And it's still good; it's still good!
How old are you, brother? Yeah. Eleven—didn't know church could be this fun, did you, son? All the men are listening to me going, "Yes, very interesting theological concept." Eleven's got a smile going to the back of his head. He's, like, "Tell me more of this Genesis and the women therein." Son, it's okay. You were designed by God to desire a lady of your very own some day; that's okay.
The church should be teaching this from day one, because in the beginning there was an idea—God. G-O-D, G reminds you of Genesis. Always look before you vote, before you think, before you do: what did God want things to look like in the beginning, before we messed it up? He gave us the template for what it was supposed to be, and you can take from that and apply it to culture today.
What was the first thing God honored? Life. That was what he said first. "I've made life, and it is good." That's why Christians don't kill their babies. There's a reason why we don't do it. Not because things aren't hard, not because we don't have sympathy for poor girls that have—pregnant—some idiot walked out on her. Not because we don't care about or want to assist her in this difficult thing, but listen to me—everything that is created by God, every, every little baby is made in the image of God.
Now, that's how we see life. If you don't believe in God, then it's just whatever you want it to be. That's the difference. It matters what you believe about God. It affects your culture, your relationships. So, life was honored in the beginning. Man was made from dust he said, from dust. That's why when they check the DNA and say that some of the animals have similar DNA, of course they do, we were made from the same substance.
But something then unique happened, like laughter; something unique to us alone. He said he breathed life into his nostrils, and he became a living soul. Suddenly we were unique in the universe. We had the ideas like God. He said that. "You can think forward like I do, and you can think backward. You can take something that is nothing and build something from it. You can create ex nihilo—from nothing and create something. You can speak words that can hurt or it can lift up." God said, "I have made you to be in my image."
That's how we see life if you're a true follower. If you're not a true follower, then leave. Churches in America have way too many church attendees, not enough Christians. That's the truth. [applause] We're supposed to be filled with those who've given themselves away. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, "Jesus calls you to come and die." And he did. How many are ready to die? We're not used to that; it's never happened to us.
We've never had to think like the Chinese Christians, the North Korean Christians, the Middle Eastern Christians, the Indonesian Christians. We've never had to think like that, and they're still coming, they're still saying yes. You think they're wishy-washy there? There's a price and they say it's worth it. Guess what guys? Our turn's coming. That's why I'm moving to Antarctica. Then I'll Skype you people on a regular basis.
I didn't even see those—Skip, do you just scatter people periodically around here? Yeah, there's one guy under the table. I'll be happy with you later. Yeah, we'll be— People come down on bungee cords. "Hey, this is a really great service. I love this."
He said he breathed life into his nostrils, and he became a living soul. But God said, it is not good. Remember this is Genesis, in the beginning when everything was good and no sin had appeared yet. And God said, "It's not good that man should be alone," and he made you girls. Think of that—the last thing made was you. The universe wasn't complete without you. It was not very good without you.
We were there, we thought we had it all. He wasn't alone, we had God. He said, "You need somebody like you that's unique and different that forces you to have to live in an unselfish way." And he took from our rib and he took you and made you a woman. A woman, a wo-man, from man's womb she came. That's right, men were the first ones to give birth. Then we stepped back, observed our handiwork, and said, "Okay, ladies, you can take it from here; my work is done."
But from that moment on men desired women. But that was prior to sin, so we just wanted you. It was supposed to be just you. And when other women came along you could respect them and care about them, but I gave myself to you. We have a lot of marriage issues in this nation now. Why? Because heterosexuals decided that marriage was so unimportant that they could just divorce anytime they felt like it. It was no longer a sacred covenant spoken in front of a pastor who represented God, in front of witness who listen to your vows, promising you would never leave each other.
That used to be a sacred covenant. It matters what you believe about God. That's what I'm saying, Eleven. I talked about naked people because in the beginning there was naked, because it was good, because God said, "Go enjoy," he said, "make more people." That's why marriage is between a man and woman, we're the only ones who can make people. Without that we'd die away. Here's how it works. Big deal.
Discipline yourself, it's okay, it's okay, I have the same difficulties, same difficulties. I see women; I like women. I like them; I'm married so I'm not allowed that privilege. Why? Do I—but naturally I desire them, but I've chosen to discipline myself for God's purposes. That's the difference between me and those who feel like "God can just change whenever I feel like it crimps my style."
We do not have a disciplined nation anymore. We have a nation of people who believe that if they're not doing as well as you, they get to take from you. Now, in the Old Testament that's called stealing. "You're not supposed to have more than me, it's unfair." Funny, God talked about that in the Ten Commandments; it's called coveting. "I don't need my parents to tell me what to do, I can go get condoms and go get all kinds of stuff, don't even have to tell my parents." Funny, the tenth commandment said "honor your parents." [applause]
It was all written out a long time ago who we were supposed to be. But Eleven doesn't know what I'm talking about because he's just sitting here thinking, you know, he's probably punished and had to come to church this evening is probably what happened. And I talked about the naked lady, the thing in the beginning, and he was thinking, "This is amazing, I've never heard such a thing." And it's okay, because you're designed by God to feel those feelings. You just have to discipline yourself and use them properly, but don't feel weird about it or don't feel embarrassed about it.
And I got good news for you, son, God's still handing out naked ladies—but they're very expensive. What does God charge for one of his girls? Because you're going to want one someday, son. What does he charge? Here's what he charges: marry her, commit your life to her, never, ever divorce her. You don't get to fall out of love. You don't get to find somebody new. You don't get to become empowered. You don't get to get out and find yourself.
You made a commitment: honor, cherish, watch over her, take care of her until you die. That's what God charges for his ladies. And, girls, if you're not expecting that price from your man, get rid of him and find one that will pay that price. [applause]
I've had my naked lady for twenty years. It's very good. It's still funny how we laugh, because it still feels odd to say things like that in church. The fact that we haven't made that a very central tenet in church services as to the beautiful, sacred engagement of men and women so our children can learn it's a beautiful, holy, and acceptable thing, done in the right context, is why the school system now teaching our kids these things; who says, "It has no holy or sacred context. Just enjoy it. Because after all, you're just an animal." It matters what you believe about God.
But how do we tell our story? Why should anybody even listen to our story when the news is filled with every type of debauchery, and every musician goes around showing how much skin they can show. And they say, "Have sex all you want, it's fun. Of course, you should enjoy it. Here, let's—you do it safely." Why should kids know any different when what you try to teach them for an hour here is supplemented by a complete secular idea of life?
How do we tell—we're stuck here. I know you guys agree with what I'm saying. I don't need to tell you; you need to tell them. And if they ain't coming to church, I know another way we can tell them--let's make a movie. Let's make a movie. Because I got a flash for you—the media is who's raising American children now. [applause] People, they didn't know what to do. "Yes, that's—wait, does it sound like I agree with that? I don't know what to do—I—"
What else did God honor in the beginning? Life, number one; two, marriage. He said, "The two will become one and they will move forward." But, see, some people say, "Yeah, but what if you don't believe in God? You can't shove it down their throat." No, but God gives them an opportunity to always see him, even if they chose to reject him. What do I mean? People that don't believe in God still celebrate life; it's called a birthday.
Why should we celebrate somebody that's simple and natural as that? I just had this surprise seventy-fifth birthday for my mother and she was shocked, because she's sixty—but still. Well, she's already getting that short-term memory loss thing, so I'm just thinking, "If I'm spending big money on this seventy-fifth, I'll give it to her now so she can remember." And then if she makes it to seventy-five and says, "Can I have a party?" I can say, "Mom, it was this morning," you know, but, um.
Look at the people—"I can't believe he's making fun of his mother?" How do you know she didn't deserve it? My mother was evil. She used to feed me something called casserole. French word, it means mom didn't shop, apparently. Every night she was running through the leftovers trying to whip me up a casserole. Every night she was going through the leftovers trying to whip me up a casserole. Hey, moms, you know why we have leftovers? We didn't want it the first time, otherwise they'd be called "all-goners."
So, suddenly there's liver and chicken and Jell-O concoction. And they know we hate it, so they give it a fancy name to make it sound better than it actually is—"We're having goulash casserole." That's the original pronunciation from the Aramaic Greek translation: goulashish casseroleeus. Ugh! from the Latin: vomitus throw-upus alotus. 'Cause it was, like, smashed up food, weird smashed up meat and macaroni with some kind of rubber barf-looking cheese.
"I can't eat the smashed food, mother. I can't eat the smashed food, mother." She'd say the mom thing, "You eat like a bird. You eat like a bird." I'm thinking, "It's because you chew up my food before you give it to me." She got mad and washed my mouth out with soap. Trust me, in the year 2013 I believe in discipline, but it should be rational. She stuck soap in my mouth, which is poison. And then suddenly she's pragmatic: "Well, it works, it works."
Well, then why stop there, mom? Why not use all the cleaning products from under the sink to help the children. Different soaps—different sins: dirty words—soap in the mouth; dirty magazine—comet in the eyes. "There you go." Ouch! Ouch! I'm ready for my goulash now, mother.
God honored life. God honored marriage. What else did he honor? Holidays, holidays. Do you know holidays is a derivative of holy day; do you know that? What does that mean? It means this: God said set aside the Sabbath. Have a day of rest where you contemplate and do something that American Christians find so difficult to even conceive of, if they're even allowed to think this way—meditate. Just think about God and see what he tells you. He's transcendent. God is going to communicate differently
[dog barks] Maybe it's a Seeing Eye dog. I don't know, I don't want to . . . That or I'm being heckled by a guy with Tourette's syndrome. "Ha-ha-ba-dat-dit." Sorry, I won't bring up soap anymore, I'm sorry.
Holidays, what do they mean? It means set aside a day, set aside a moment to remember what happened. The Bible's filled with these ideas. Remember this battle that took place here. Remember who died here. So that when the future generations come up, they can say, "Justice was served, blood was spilled, and truth won."
Don't forget this Constitution; it's your Bill of Rights. If you forget it, if you neglect it, if you don't care about it, if you think it'll always be there, I promise you it will die. That's where we are, America. There will always be groups who wants to steal your liberty and make you a slave. Because if you can't have a conscience to believe what you want without imprisonment, without being mocked, without being thrown aside, without being called hateful, without being called a bigot, if you don't have a right to dissent, you're a slave, because they control your being. You should despise that idea.
We need warriors. We're not allowed to go blow people up, we're Christians. Why do you think we can be taken advantage of? If someone mocks the prophet in Islam, they kill you. If someone mocks my Jesus, he told me, "Go ahead, it's all right, love them. They don't know what they're doing." Why? Because Christianity knows the truth that nobody else gets: our enemy are not people, it's not Democrats, it's not Republicans, it's not Conservatives or Libertarians, not black or white—the enemy of all humans is lies.
Jesus said, "I am truth; Satan's the father of lies." If you believe a lie to be true, you'll live your life based on that idea, and you will go right to hell thinking you're righteous. Lies must be exposed. They may hate you for it. Jesus promised you that, by the way. He said, "Before you sign up, just to let you know, they're going to hate ya."
You want to know if you're a true Christian? I'm serious. Are you hated for some of the things you believe? Because if your Christianity—as some denominations have become—is so encompassing that everybody loves you, I promise you, it ain't Christian. Persecuted is a movie—they didn't go into it in depth; they didn't have time, and they're afraid that these people in there might suffocate. So we started pumping oxygen in about fifteen minutes ago. You should start getting your—yeah, the stars will leave your eyes, um.
Persecuted is a movie, it's a dramatic movie with some wonderful actors and a wonderful story written by one of your own. But thank God—[applause] look at that, Daniel, they love you. What he didn't do was make a safe movie. "Here's what we're going to do: we're going to have a Christian movie, and what we'll do is Jesus is in every six lines, everybody's got a Bible, and in the end the field goal always makes it."
"You see, Christianity means everything works out exactly how you want it to." Now, Christians in America are now buying those films, but it's not teaching truths. There's truth to it; I'm not knocking anybody else's art or work, but some of the Christian films are made for Christians. You're already in. Those who are trying to change culture and take back the narrative from those who despise us are making films that people might actually find compelling to watch.
"Yes, but, you know, we want to watch as a family." Some things aren't for kids. What is it with Christians? We got to bring our kids to everything. Get 'em out of here. Ain't for the six-year-olds, not for them. One day it will be, but not now. It's so immature. We need to tell stories like God did. It just fractures my mind when I see how Christians don't like a movie because it might have had a curse word in it or a beer.
Do you know that The Blind Side that Sandra Bullock won an Oscar for and one of the best Christian movies I've seen in the last twenty years was pulled out of LifeWay stores because a pastor complained that it had a curse word and a beer in it? No wonder nobody listens us. Everybody else is selling it; not the Christians, 'cause we care so much about our appearance that we don't affect the heart.
I got an idea for a Christian film: here's a guy, he's checking out a woman and she's naked and he's watching her. Then he decides: "I'm going to go have sex with that woman and I'm going to kill her husband." There's a great Christian movie. What does everybody say? "How shocking. How will you say such a thing like that in church with kids around?" Well, then do me a favor, don't read your Bible. That's David's story, and God thought it should be told. [applause]
Hey, here's a great Christian story: dad gets drunk and daughters have sex with him. "How ridiculous! Incest? What's wrong with you, you blasphemer?" Oh, yeah, that's a story God thought should be told. Do you understand based on this premise of what makes a Christian movie you can't even read the Bible?
Genocide's in the Bible. In Psalms: "I look forward to a day when I can take my enemies babies and crush their heads on a rock." Holy smoke! There's no more time to be a superficial, lukewarm, half-baked, "aren't we all great because we go to this great church" Christians. There's no more time. Get in or get out. [applause] There's too much at stake. There's too much at stake.
God Almighty said this: "I'd rather you hot or cold." God Almighty said, "I'd rather you go to hell than abuse the grace of my Son. If you do, I'll let you in; that's what grace is. But it makes me vomit." God said that, not me, not a pastor—God. I'm not here to condemn you, folks. You're here on a Wednesday night because you care about this place, you care about your faith, you care about your God. I'm assuming you care about your country.
But I'm telling you what, in this amazing area of the United States with such diversity, beautiful colors and hues, beautiful people who have many stories, difficult and good, you are the representatives of what Christianity is supposed to look like. Are you willing to honor your culture, but put Jesus ahead of it? Are you? Because that's what he asks you to do.
We've created a culture where we get so hung up on our race and our genders, we've missed the picture. God said, "It's not like that no more." "Jesus, your mother and your brothers are waiting for you." "Who are they? They're the ones that follow me." This truly is what the family is supposed to look like. I can't—it's difficult. I love my family; my kids, over your kids. But I'm supposed to love them equally. That little eleven-year-old boy, if he's a follower of Jesus is my responsibility, because he's in my tribe. You're in my tribe.
I need to be sensitive to minorities because I'm not one yet. Coming close—that's all right, I don't care, because I don't live by my skin. Never had to; I lived in a place where everybody looked like me. So I've learned to not need that to be fulfilled. But I don't know if anybody truly gets it in America, what is expected of a Christian, what a discipline it is from the Word that created the word disciple. It's hard.
In the end we're not going to win everybody—not supposed to. In the end we might end up in jail in America for preaching the gospel. Might be sooner than you think, and then you'll know if you're one of us. In the end we are asked by God to do one thing. Not make Christians, not make churches, he said, "Tell my story, and let's see who listens, let's see who comes."
Persecuted is a movie that tells God's story. There's a political element to it, yes; but it's a political element that matters what happens when a government, the state tells you that "I trump religion." Congress shall make no law establishing a religion, forbidding the free exercise thereof.
Tell me one time in the history of the United States of America that Congress made a law that you have to have a nativity scene in a public park—never did. What about the law that states you have to have a Christmas program in an elementary school where you sing about Christmas hymns. They've made that law. This country was formed on the fact that if a culture is Christian and wants to sing Christian songs in their public schools, you can; if you don't want to, you don't have to. But you can't forbid me, and I can't forbid you. Congress shall make no law forbidding the free exercise of religion.
I'm sorry, are there any laws that forbid your free exercise of religion? That's what happens when we're not paying attention to our rights being ripped away by this Establishment Clause that was based on the idea of law which is never, ever been the truth. We let it happen. I'm telling you, folks, hell is here. But we win. We win but we have to act like winners. We have to act like warriors. We have to believe that Jesus is exactly who he said he is. You actually have to live this faith as though it is true.
You want to know what you believe? Does it affect your behavior? If you can't speak about this God that you believe in in front of somebody because you're ashamed or embarrassed, something's wrong. Is it true or is it your religion? God doesn't want it for you if it's your religion. He doesn't want it for you if it's your tradition. He doesn't want it if it's your family heritage. He wants you to believe in Jesus if you believe it is true, because you'll die for that, you'll go to prison for that, because you believe that this is just a bridge to forever.
And while we're passing through this strange land that is not ours, we walk that way telling God's story. " Follow me, if you want." That's our obligation. Folks, I don't know when this movie will be finished, and I don't know when it's going to come out, but Skip will tell you, because we'll be in communication. I believe they're going to do, as Daniel said, a big Albuquerque red carpet. And all of you people could be in this movie. You know, whatever, okay. But who knows, maybe you'll be in a scene with me. I know, you can only pray and hope. "Choose me, Lord."
But I'm going to ask you to think just for this moment: Do you want to affect your culture? Do you want to affect it? All you can do is a piece at a time, a story at a time, a person at a time, a love at a time, a giving at a time. That's all you can do. But a story is being told about what happens when Christians lose their opportunities of freedom and what happens when a tyrannical government can destroy a human being's ability to be free if they decide to take over your conscience, that's what the story is about.
It was written by one of your own in New Mexico, with one of your pastors in your church. It's going to debut and be in a theater here with a red carpet and some of these actors I'm sure being here. Be a missionary. Go sign up and be in this thing. Act like you believe this is true. Go let it affect your behavior. Let's not quit until God says, "Well done." God bless you.