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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Allen Jackson » Allen Jackson - Culture and Christianity

Allen Jackson - Culture and Christianity

Allen Jackson - Culture and Christianity

It's great to be with you today. We have kind of a special program. We just hosted a conference here at the church on "Culture and Christianity". We brought in some of the best speakers on some topics that are really driving our cultural narratives these days, and we wanted to share a couple of those presentations with you in this program. God is moving in the earth, but we can't just maintain the status quo, we've got to respond to what he's doing with the truth of his word. Our children and our grandchildren depend upon our courage to choose the truth. You're gonna get to meet Chad Robichaux and Eric Metaxas. If you don't know them, you should. They're both courageous men willing to tell God's truth in this generation. Enjoy the broadcast today.

Allen Jackson: I'm tired of a timid, frightened, cowardly church. I don't believe we should be angry, I don't believe we have to be belligerent, and I certainly don't think we have to be violent, but I am confident we have to be courageous in order to complete our course. So, the first guest I want to introduce to you is a Force Recon Marine. He did eight tours through Afghanistan, and after we withdrew from Afghanistan, he went back in with some of his buddies to help get people out. I'm gonna let him tell you a bit of that story, but he's working now to help our veterans and first responders that have been impacted by their service to our nation on our behalf and don't always find the best resources. And so, I am honored to welcome back, he's a friend of our church, he's been here before, help me welcome Chad Robichaux. He won't tell you, he's way too humble, but this is an honest to goodness, real-time, live, current American hero. We've talked a little bit before about what you've done in Afghanistan, but the thing that seems to be leading the news these days, after our shameful withdrawal from Afghanistan, I'm not gonna go there, I won't get out, but it's what's happening in Ukraine. And I know you've been there several times, can you talk to us about that a little bit?

Chad Robichaux: Yeah, Ukraine obviously is a, you know, pretty complex thing, especially amongst people like you and I who would not agree that we're sending U.S. taxpayer dollars and hundreds of millions of dollars to Ukraine. Some of the pushback I've got over the last two years has been, you know, why are you guys going helping Ukraine? Zelenski is corrupt, we're sending hundreds of million dollars, and I'm like, yes, Zelenski is corrupt, and so are people in Washington D.C. It should be no surprise that politicians are corrupt, but you know, in the midst of that are still innocent women, and children, and people who are being horrifically murdered, almost over half a million now. And so, I think we should never, as Christians, let our politics cloud our heart to have compassion for people. And so, we have went there, rescued people, we've trained chaplaincies, chaplains, pastors, who people from their community was conscripted or drafted into the fight, and the pastors wanna go into the front lines and be there for their troops. So, we've trained the chaplaincy there. And since February 22nd, when the invasion happened of 2022, I've been there ten times, our team has been there 30 times now, and we pretty much have a permanent presence there.

Allen Jackson: That's amazing, Chad. I've heard you relate an event where you went in, they asked you to go in and rescue somebody who'd been wounded. Chad, he's not on active duty, so he has some freedoms to do some things that our military isn't officially doing, and they asked you to go in and get somebody that had been wounded. That story is pretty remarkable.

Chad Robichaux: Yeah, some of you may remember FOX News reporter Benjamin Hall was catastrophically wounded in Kiev during the siege of Kiev, and at this time the Russians, this is I think middle of March 2022, Kiev was under attack from aerial assault from rockets, and when I say rockets, like, I don't mean, like, the size of telephone poles flying into Kiev. The ground troops are rushing in, and Benjamin Hall was there covering the story. Immediately, Sasha, his FOX correspondent was killed. Pierre, the 20-year cameraman of FOX News everyone loved was killed, and the two Ukrainian troops that were with him. And so, we had got a call from the Pentagon asking if we would go in and get Benjamin Hall. I remember getting the call at Sea Spray, one of our main guys there was on the phone. He kinda put his hand up in the room, like, for everyone to be quiet. He's writing things down, he gets off the phone, and tells us, you know, Benjamin Hall, FOX News reporter has been catastrophically wounded. The U.S. Military is not gonna be able to go get him, the Central Intelligence Agency is not gonna be able to go get him, and if we don't go get him, he's an American, he's got two little girls at home, two daughters, a wife at home, if we don't go get him, he's not gonna make it. And we had nine people in the room, and I remember Sea Spray just saying who's in? And everyone raised their hand, and we went across the border that night and got Benjamin home.

Allen Jackson: That is awesome. I tell you quite oftentimes that the news is built out of bad reports, typically. That the heroes and the good things happening, they don't tell you enough about. You can tell that story, you can repeat it. He's got a book over there called "Saving Aziz," and it's filled with stories, true-life accounts, not fiction, that you need to share with your children, and your grandchildren, and your neighbors. We need to be proud of the men and women who are serving on behalf of our nation. I'm tired of the criticism of our first responders and our military. You didn't stop there though. You had a buddy that you went back in to save.

Chad Robichaux: Yeah, we were asked the next day, Benjamin, you know, for those who don't know the whole story, Benjamin Hall, we got him across the border, the 82nd Airborne flew him to an aeromedical unit and he went to...Germany, eventually to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, and he lost a leg, a foot, a hand which they reattached, an eye. When we got him, his, you know, his throat and head was pretty damaged from shrapnel, but he's alive. Not only alive, but he's not only walking his two legs, but he actually has a video of him dancing on his prosthetics. So, he's alive and well, and it's an amazing recovery. But Pierre Zakrzewski, everybody just loved this guy, and they were like, we want Pierre's body. And at the time, we thought Kiev was gonna fall that day, and so we were asked to go get Pierre's body, and I remember making a decision. We're not gonna go get, I'm not gonna put our team in danger to recover a body. But then his wife, Michelle, came in and said I want my husband, and we said, yes, ma'am. And we went in to get Pierre, and when we got there, they had his body in a coffin, and we verified who he was, and next to him was an Irish flag, because he's from Irish descent, and I remember seeing it, like, crumpled up in the corner. I thought it was really neat that they did that, but then as I'm in the back of the car, like, verifying his body, I've seen that in my mind I went back to the 15 friends that I lost during my eight deployments in Afghanistan, and when we send a U.S. troop home, one of the things that we do is we do it in such a dignified way to put the stars above their head and the stripes run down to their feet, and that flag is absolutely perfect and pristine. And I remember seeing that in that moment, I just was like, I kind of, like, almost got a little panicked, and I wanted that flag that Pierre had to be perfect on him. So, I grabbed some, tape and I started setting it up, and my buddy, Sea Spray came, he saw me kind of, like, frantic, and he grabbed my arm and kinda, like, stilled me, and was like, let me help you, and we put that flag on Pierre's body and I drove the vehicle across the border and we delivered him with dignity to his wife Michelle and got him home.

Allen Jackson: Thank you, thank you. One of the things you have done is you founded an organization when you came back and had to reenter civilian life. It was a challenge, and the Lord brought you through that in a remarkable way, but you founded Mighty Oaks, which now helps the veterans and first responders? Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Chad Robichaux: When I came home from a deployment, I was dealing with anxiety and depression, diagnosed with PTSD, and almost lost my family, dealt with a battle with suicide. If you don't know, they say 22 a day is the common number. The VA report says 17, other reports say 45, I don't know what the number really is, one is too many, but I dealt with that battle.

Allen Jackson: Let me interrupt you. I wanna be sure you heard that, because a part of this assignment, I'm gonna give you some prayer assignments. If you came to church to be entertained, you came to the wrong church. We're here to mobilize for the kingdom of God, and whichever number you use, there are dozens of vets committing suicide on a daily basis. That is wrong. And the first thing I know we can do is pray. So, before Chad's done, we're gonna pray together, but I wanna be sure you caught that, and excuse me for interrupting, I don't interrupt Marines very often.

Chad Robichaux: That's important, it's an important point. You know, one of the things that's so atrocious right now is the VA report that came out said 17, but they removed car accidents, which veterans drive into poles and trees. They removed jumps and they removed medical overdoses, which are most of the private suicides, so it's very fudged numbers intentionally to make the administration look better on behalf of our veterans who are struggling and hopeless right now for help. And so, I came home and I almost became one of the suicide statistics, but amazing people came around me, led me to a relationship with Jesus, and my life was radically transformed, and God put a deep burden on my heart to pay it forward. And so, 12 years ago we started Mighty Oaks Foundation. Over the last 12 years, we've been able to serve almost a half a million active service members, veterans, and first responders.

Allen Jackson: That is awesome, Chad.

Chad Robichaux: And this church is, and you guys are a big part of it now. I mean, you guys, there's been since this came last year, there's been several first responders and veterans that came to Mighty Oaks, and you're starting, and if I'm allowed to say, you guys are starting what we call a outpost here, where this church would be partnered with Mighty Oaks to meet veterans and first responders in this community to serve them, and I'm thankful for that.

Allen Jackson: You made a comment on how long you thought it would take to end the war in Ukraine if we had the will to do it.

Chad Robichaux: I'd say it could happen in 24 hours. You know, we don't need hundreds of billions of dollars, we need a leader in the White House that's willing to do the right thing for the people. I mean, a humanitarian aid mission with U.S. troops, and not U.S. troops to go fight Russians, by the way. I'm not asking for that. Humanitarian aid mission for the war crimes and atrocities that have happened to innocent civilians in Ukraine could be conducted, and the price would be, the consequence for Russia to do anything with them there would be an article five violation, which is not something that Putin, I believe that Putin would do, and most people don't believe Putin would do.

Allen Jackson: The next person I can introduce is not a stranger to World Outreach. He's been here several times. Eric Metaxas is a "New York Times" bestselling author. He has a radio and television program that has significant influence in our nation, and since COVID, he has been busy doing everything it seems to me he's capable of doing to strengthen the church in our nation. He wrote a book called "A Letter to the American Church," which if you haven't read it, I would strongly encourage you to do so. He has a new book that I'm gonna let him tell you about, because it has a goofy title and I can't explain it, but help me welcome back to World Outreach, Eric Metaxas.

Eric Metaxas: What is this? Wow, God bless you. God bless you. Oh, my gosh. You're not in New York City anymore, Eric, holy guacamole.

Allen Jackson: Thank you for coming back to Tennessee.

Eric Metaxas: Well, it's a sacrifice, bro. I don't wanna be here, you know. I'd rather be down in the subway with the rat urine. No, listen, I get so blessed here. It's like a joke. I laugh, it's such a blessing. I was just standing over there on the side thinking, like, I didn't know that there were this many Christians in America, you know what I mean? I'm in that, like, liberal media bubble. I'm just stunned, I'm absolutely stunned, and I'm sure, I know there's a lot of FBI plants in the crowd, and we know who you are, and you're scum. Yeah, I meant to say gestapo, I'm sorry.

Allen Jackson: We're gonna pray for Eric, he has a hard time expressing his opinions. But in all seriousness, he lives in New York City, the media epicenter, and he takes a bold stand on behalf of the Christian faith and a biblical world view, and that is not an easy assignment. Some of you work in places that you think are difficult, they're not more difficult than New York City when you're standing up for Jesus in the way that Eric does. But you've written a new book, "Religionless Christianity".

Eric Metaxas: It's the worst title ever, "Religionless Christianity". I will explain it eventually, just so you understand.

Allen Jackson: It's a follow up to "A Letter to the American Church"?

Eric Metaxas: Yes, it's the sequel or the follow up to "Letter to the American Church," and should I explain the title real quick if I can? Well, it's a phrase that I ripped off from Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He put it in a letter to his best friend, and just so you understand, right, he was fighting, some of you know the Bonhoeffer story, he was fighting to wake up the church in Germany, to let the church know, hey, church, it is your job to stand against the satanic evil that is rising. And most people in the church at that time, they had these fussy, theological excuses of why they didn't wanna do that, and there's nothing more demonic than a religious excuse to avoid doing what God has called you to do. And so, Bonhoeffer tried to wake up the church, by 1935 it was over, 1933 Hitler takes control. If the church didn't wake up in time, it was like, you can wake up in 1937, it's not gonna matter, and that's exactly where we are in America today, exactly. We don't have five years, we don't have three years, we have, like, this year, you know, we can get into that, but the point is, Bonhoeffer tried to wake up the church, clearly, the church wasn't having it, so they had all these religious excuses. So, by 1944 he's in the Gestapo prison because he stuck his neck way out, and that's what God calls us all to do to his glory. And he stuck his neck out, so he ends up in the Gestapo, he writes a letter to a friend, and in the letter to his best friend, he says, why did this happen in Germany? And he says that what we really needed was a religionless Christianity. In other words, dead religion, religiosity, going through the motions, playing church, that's never gonna cut it, and that's when you realize when you do that, you're serving the devil in that church. That's a harsh message, but we've got to get that message, because the devil wants us to just play church. And Bonhoeffer saw that because the German church elected to play church and not to be the church, they said we don't want any trouble, we don't wanna get in trouble, we don't wanna go to the, you know, concentration camp, the Gestapo is gonna arrest us, whatever, very similar to where we are now. They kind of stepped back, and so everything went to hell. Europe went to hell because of the failure of the church of Jesus Christ in Germany to stand up. Many did, but most did not, most were gonna sit on the fence. So, it's now 1944, and he is now in a Gestapo prison. He writes a letter to his best friend, he says we needed a religionless Christianity, and he knew that if they had really lived out their faith, they actually could have defeated the evil of the Nazis. The German church had the power in that culture, just as the American church has the power in this culture, to defeat globalism, cultural Marxism, and all the lunacy that we're seeing, if the church will be the church. So, I said I gotta use that Bonhoeffer phrase, because that really, he made it famous and it actually became controversial. I spoke about it this morning, where liberal theologians thought it was exactly the opposite. They thought, oh, religionless Christianity, that just means some kind of ethical humanism. Like, at the end of his life, Bonhoeffer drifted into some kind of agnosticism, exactly the opposite. And because I straightened that misunderstanding out, like the liberal theologians who are the Bonhoeffer scholars, hate my guts, and I praise the Lord that they do. Because honestly, I didn't set out to correct the record, but when you look at the facts, you realize Bonhoeffer at the end of his life, he knew who he was in Jesus, there's no doubt about it, and that's why he used that phrase, religionless Christianity. So, the subtitle of the book, it says, "Religionless Christianity: God's Answer to Evil". We have to totally live out our faith. We have to be political. We have to be everything with our faith, otherwise it's just a game. It's just an intellectual thing. We say we have faith, but we're not living our faith. The Lord is calling us to live our faith in every sphere.

Allen Jackson: I think when you said that Bonhoeffer knew who he was in Jesus, he gave us the key, because we have mistakenly imagined that we were either in church or in a denomination or something, but the reality is, our identity is in Christ and anything we put before that is an idol, and if we don't get it arranged right, we have a real problem. There's a challenge in the church. A lot of voices tell us we shouldn't be talking about current events, we might actually drift into being political.

Eric Metaxas: Uh-oh, yeah, it's bad when Christians get involved in politics because they do stuff like abolish slavery, right? Yeah, Christians should just do church, just be religious, and don't care about other people suffering. Listen, that lie, let's be clear since time is short, that's a lie from the pit of hell. That's the devil's kind of Christian church, where you don't get involved. God calls us to everything, and particularly now, okay? You see things happening in this country more wicked than any of us ever dreamt of. None of us dreamt we would see this. If the church does not rise up and get radically involved yesterday, we deserve to lose the nation, we deserve to lose our freedoms. The Lord has given us everything we need. He's given us the Holy Spirit, he's given us a nation where religious liberty is enshrined in our founding documents. We have no excuse, except, you know, I was gonna say cowardice, it's not, it is a lack of faith. That's much more scary than just being a coward. It is a lack of faith. If we believe what we claim to believe, we will live out our faith, and the lie that we're not supposed to be political, whenever anybody uses the term Christian nationalism, let me be clear, that is the devil's term for actual Christians. If you're an actual, real Christianity lived out is very threatening to people who have political power and they don't like God, they wanna control you. It is threatening to the devil. It was threatening to Hitler. So, they're gonna make up a name to silence the voice of God and the voice of God's people, and now they've come up with this term Christian nationalism. It's a joke, okay? George Washington was a Christian nationalist if you wanna use that term. Every patriot who's ever given his life and everything for this nation, most of them were Christian nationalists according to this definition. So, if anybody ever uses that term, just laugh at them and walk away. Do not engage on that subject, because we are called by God to be involved in politics. And I mentioned Wilberforce, or I mentioned the slave trade, Wilberforce, William Wilberforce, I wrote a book about him called "Amazing Grace," he was a politician, He wasn't just involved politically, he was a politician. He knew the Lord had called him to be a politician, to use politics for God's purposes, and when Christians use politics for God's purposes, everybody gets blessed. Everybody gets blessed. This is not about our rights and our power, it's never about that. We're commanded to love our neighbors, and if you have a vote and you have a voice in America and you don't use it, your neighbors will suffer. The poor will suffer. Think about the the cities, the crime, poor people are suffering, right? We might be okay, but I'll tell you what, the Lord has called us to step up and to be involved, and anybody who says that that's not right, I just wanna tell you, they just don't like your politics, that's what it boils down to, and they want to silence the voice of God. This is absolutely central to where we are in America right now, and there are leading Christian figures, I won't mention their names, I'm saying this for a reason just so you understand. These people have huge platforms. They are preaching the lie that the church should not be involved in politics.

Allen Jackson: Amen, this is not pressure to be faithful, it's a privilege, amen? We don't wanna just talk about it, we wanna pray. Won't you stand with me? You know, there's a voice inside of all of us that says your voice isn't big enough, you don't make a difference, you don't count, you're so broken, God won't listen to you. It's a lie from the pit. I promise you, the prayers of God's people change the course of nations, let's pray.

Father, I thank you for Eric and his life, for his voice, his courage and his boldness. I thank you for the place you have given him to stand. And Lord, we come tonight in humility to ask for your mercy upon our nation. Awaken your people. Lord, you have blessed us with great freedoms and great liberties, with much abundance. Lord, our children have schools, and medicine, and privileges, we have homes, and transportation, and clothing, we have so much food, there's too much of us. You have blessed us, but Lord, we have turned our backs on you. We're not pointing a finger at anyone tonight, but we come to humble ourselves and ask for mercy. Give us eyes to see, and ears to hear, and hearts to understand. Show us when to use our voice. Give us the courage to stand. Forgive us for when we failed to be overcomers and we have simply been overlooks. Forgive us, Father, for showing kindness to things that don't deserve kindness, for hiding the truth when we should have displayed it with boldness. I thank you, Father, by your Spirit you will chart a new path for us and we'll have the courage to say yes and follow in obedience, in Jesus's name, amen.

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