[Vision2020] Freeze Church Pastor Stands By Controversial Statements
thansen at moscow.com
Tue Dec 28 05:56:45 PST 2010
Courtesy of today's (December 28, 2010) Moscow-Pullman Daily News.
SIDEWALK SERIES: Standing by his faith: Freeze Church pastor stands by
By Devin Rokyta, News Staff Writer
December 28, 2010
Freeze Church Pastor Lloyd Knerr says he considers Gresham Bouma to be one
of his "dearest friends," and "one of the most Godly men" he knows.
Thus it was heartbreaking to Knerr when his words were used by people he
calls "Moscow progressives" in an attempt to derail Bouma's bid for a seat
in the Idaho state Senate.
"Basically they tried to make me the Rev. (Jeremiah) Wright of Gresham,"
Knerr said. "It was upsetting to me because anything that I may have ever
said would be used against Gresham."
Knerr said progressives mined the Potlatch-area church's website and
sermons searching for anything harmful to Bouma - anything to make him
look "bigoted" or "Islamophobic."
Looking back, Knerr admits he could have worded some of his sermons
differently, however, he stands by his message.
"The attacks on me, on the church and on Gresham were things that I said
about other religions who deny the deity of Christ. I am certainly not
going to backtrack on that. What I spoke was absolutely the truth.
" There was quite a bit of ink spilled over me condemning other religions
and I will go on record in saying that my position is that a person is
saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone apart from any works.
If that sets me apart from another religion, so be it. To me that is the
gospel of Jesus Christ."
Knerr said it is what people believe about that gospel, which began at
Jesus' birth and ended at resurrection, which saves or condemns them.
"What sets our church apart from another religion is our understanding of
the gospel of Jesus Christ. There's all kinds of things that you can
debate about the timing of Christ's return, whether he returns at all,
whether there is a literal heaven, whether there's a literal hell, all
sorts of things," Knerr said. "But it's the gospel of Jesus Christ, what
you believe about his birth, his life, his death, his resurrection and
what that means is the central part of what we teach at Freeze Church.
"Would I disagree with other religions? Absolutely. Any religion that
denies the deity of Christ we would be set apart from. Scripture tells us
that Paul said that even if an angel from heaven should come and preach a
different gospel to you than the one we have preached, let him be cursed.
I didn't say that, Paul did. We have to make very sure the gospel we
accept is the gospel of the Bible."
Knerr said he loves all people, regardless of faith, but he disagrees with
America's "all-inclusive" nature when it comes to religions.
"The Muslims believe in the person of Jesus Christ, they believe he was a
prophet, a very wise man. The Mormons believe in salvation through Jesus
Christ, the Jehovah's Witnesses believe in salvation through Jesus Christ,
but none of those are the Jesus Christ of the Bible," he said. " I am not
going to change my stance on that, and I won't soften it.
" That stance is always going to get me in trouble. There is always going
to be people that rubs the wrong way but it is not me. Jesus Christ said
'I am the way, the truth and the life and no one comes to the father but
through me.' I just try to teach and preach and live the truth of the
While both Knerr and Wright, the longtime pastor of President Barack
Obama, were used to the political detriment of one of their parishioners,
Knerr said his sermons are quite different from Wright's. Knerr said
Wright "condemned America" in his speeches, and while Obama eventually
distanced himself from the pastor, he sat at his pew for many years,
giving credence to attacks on the then presidential hopeful.
"If I taught in here the overthrow of the American government, if I taught
in here white superiority, those are absolutely legitimate things to know
about a candidate because if he believes that, that brings his character
into question," Knerr said. " I think the difference is Rev. Wright was
preaching anti-American, or hatred of America, hatred of the white man,
racial division. I never taught anything like that."
Knerr said he wasn't upset that his church came up in the campaign, but he
was disappointed it was "viciously" used to cause harm to Bouma and church
Knerr said that viciousness, which is all too common in politics, along
with the country turning away from God will be its demise, and the United
States will become a footnote in history if it continues down such a path.
"I don't have a lot of hope for America. Thomas Jefferson said that the
Constitution is only effective for a religious and moral people. It is
wholly ineffective for any other. We can send all the good politicians we
want to Washington, or Boise, or wherever we send them, but America has
become immoral, America is no longer a religious nation. We are no longer
a nation founded under God. If Thomas Jefferson was right, our
Constitution won't work with the kind of people that populate America
today because they are not religious and they are not moral.
"... Unless America returns to its moral and religious roots, we're
doomed. That grieves me greatly to say that I don't have hope for America,
because I love America. Until or unless we return to a fear of God and a
worship of God this nation has no hope. Unless we get people like that -
God fearing men and women - into our government we have no hope."
Perhaps now Gresham Bouma can finally (and truthfully) respond to a
question posed to him by Dr. Nick Gier at the 2010 AARP Candidates' Forum
. . .
How about it, Mr. Bouma? Care to man up?
Seeya round town, Moscow.
"The Pessimist complains about the wind, the Optimist expects it to change
and the Realist adjusts his sails."
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