by Tom Ambrose, exclusive to JillStanek.com
Tom is the former commentary editor for WorldNetDaily.com (who gave Jill her start there!) and a former US correspondent for the Singapore-based Business Times. Additionally, he has written for NewsWithViews.com and other publications, and has been a guest on various radio programs.
After Jill wrote about Todd Bullis’ encounters at First Assembly of God Church in Ventura, CA, I made the effort to contact the church office to try to understand their perspective.
In particular, I wasn’t entirely sure I agreed with Todd’s actions, and I also wanted to believe the best about the people of the church, i.e., that they were telling the truth and really were helping the pro-life cause….
I also wanted to make sure that pro-lifers were not acting irresponsibly as the Dark Side already makes up enough garbage about us as it is without us handing them ammunition.
A series of telephone calls and emails ensued. I assured the church that if they were truly supporting pro-life causes in any meaningful way, I would strongly take issue with Todd’s activities publicly. I, in turn, was told that the church was being unfairly targeted and smeared, that it spends “thousands” on 38 outside ministries that included “the pro-life movement.”
So I asked for documentation – several times. In particular, I wanted to know what pro-life organizations and causes they had supported in recent years, what amounts they had spent, and contact information so I could verify what they were telling me.
At one point, it sounded like they were preparing to provide me with information to back up their claims, but then yesterday I was abruptly told that no information would be forthcoming.
I was also informed, in what appeared to me to be gossip to discredit and smear Todd, about a letter from Todd’s brother “Mikel” allegedly “condemning his [Todd’s] actions.” Since I never saw the letter, I have no idea what it actually said or if it is even real, not that it is relevant to the issue of documentation in the first place. [JLS note: This was shameful gossip, pure and simple, an effort to smear Todd while trying to make themselves look better.]
I would think it would be a simple matter to identify the pro-life organizations and causes the church claims to have sponsored. Indeed, if they really had been supporting pro-life causes, I believe they would have been waving the evidence around for all to see. Didn’t happen.
At this point, the written and video record also shows that an out-of-control member of their church – a police officer, no less – sprayed Todd in the face with vinegar (an acid) and hosed down Todd in violation of the law. Additionally, their assistant pastor’s reported action of rudely interrupting a conversation and trying to prevent one of their members from talking with Todd and his group, while not as severe as the preceding offense, certainly does not bring credit upon their congregation.
Based on all of that and their recent communications with me, it appears their claims of supporting pro-life causes are baseless, which is pretty much what I understand Todd to have been saying all along.
Moreover, at this point, my impression is that Todd is acting responsibly in calling the church to repentance and that if the people of this church don’t want their children to see the images of aborted – murdered – babies, they should put blindfolds on their children because that is effectively what the leadership of the church appears to have been doing with the entire church all along.
While there are many issues conservatives are tackling in our culture – gun control, homeschooling, Supreme Court activist judges, terrorism, etc. ad nauseum – there are really only 5 politically oriented issues that I can quickly think of that are addressed in Scripture, i.e., that pertain specifically to Christians: homosexuality, murder (which includes abortion, obviously), helping those in need who cannot help themselves (which again includes unborn babies), blessing Israel, and the freedom to express our faith (e.g., prayer and Scripture in public schools).
We do not, for example, find gun control identified in Scripture. And as important as those other issues are, as Christians we need to address those 5 specific issues as a matter of obedience to Scripture, and to care for our children and nation.
In my opinion, the burden is on the leaders of America’s churches to lead their people in a manner consistent with Scripture. Leaders who hide from this responsibility should be identified as walking in disobedience to God’s Word.
Scripture informs us that faith without works is dead. Sadly, it appears that many of America’s churches are, too. With the thousands of churches in our nation that ask for help in their offering plates every Sunday, imagine the impact they could have if they each would generously provide support for organizations like CareNet or Heartbeat International on a monthly basis, and care for an unwed mother every year.