By Jonathan David Faulkner
When I first met God’s Heart Content Editor Bradly Tucker he was an unbeliever. He was such when I invited him to become the content editor at God’s Heart. I had met him through the late Morris Tee and after 10:31 shut its doors last April and God’s Heart set out on its own he stepped up to hold me accountable. Almost a year later Bradley has accepted Christ and has submitted to being discipled and brought up in the faith. Running God’s Heart with a brand new Christian has been very interesting and very eye-opening. I have been a Christian for twelve years and so it can be easy for me to take for granted the basic doctrines of the faith that he is now learning. I have found though that he is already becoming very discerning
This has been a very valuable asset to me as we have attempted to address the Ministry of Facebook Evangelist Joshua Feuerstein, a man with whom we find many troubling doctrines and who’s radical form of Fundamentalism we find extremely dangerous and a huge hindrance to the spread of the Gospel in the present culture. The Americanized Christianity that he and his followers cling too has those living in Post-Christian parts of the country baffled as we watch. As has been said in many times in God’s Heart meetings: “This is why we cannot have nice things.”
Addressing this has been difficult for us, because as we have looked deeper into the issues and the fruit of these things that are being perpetuated we want to maintain a tone and rhetoric that edifies the Church and even Joshua. We do not want to demonize him, only point out and try to discern what is being taught so you can make a decision and so, perhaps, even see Joshua come to a fuller understanding of the Gospel that is beyond the limits imposed upon it by Modern Fundamentalism. We have maintained that Joshua is our brother in Christ and should not be met with hate and disparaging remarks. Joshua and his supporters have laughed at us, mocked us and told us we can move on from their posts.
Sadly, this is the fruit of Joshua’s ministry, hate and fearmongering, authoritarianism no different than Donald Trumps; the kind that says “Disagree with me, and you’re wrong,” A group that is not dividing in any way, shape or form, arguing over link bait. That is only designed to draw people to Feuerstein’s Radicals website so they can read his opinion that often come across as haughty.
This is the fruit of Joshua’s ministry, division, chaos and hurtful comments towards those who disagree. To such a degree that Bradly told me one evening; “Jon, if I were still an unbeliever I would not want to become a Christian based on this alone.” Praise God that Bradly came to our ministry. Was nurtured not only in Biblical Truth, but also the intense and beautiful love of Jesus Christ, something Joshua professes but does not practice when you actually evaluate the fruit of his ministry.
But Joshua does not care about this. Recently in the comments of an anti-abortion video depicting President Obama as Satan Joshua said: “Frankly I don’t care what anybody thinks .. I never did this to be famous … I do this to Speak Truth! I care much more about the millions of babies dying .. than I do your opinion!” This was followed by the hashtags #unfollowme #byefelicia. Yet millions of people eat this up, though many are beginning to realize there is a problem with this. There were two hundred and sixty-five comments below that one, most of which were admonishing Josh in the same way we have been and still many others expressing disillusionment with the Evangelist.
God’s Heart cares about the babies dying too, we also care about the ones who are already alive, the adults, all of God’s creation. We try to speak the Truth, but more so we try to practice the truth in all facets of life, whether it be our Facebook Posts or our daily interactions. We also make it a point to do so in such a way that those we encounter know of the Love and grace of God and free gift of salvation. Or their identity in Him and His image that is so engrained in all of mankind. That includes President Obama, regardless of our politics here at God’s Heart. We believe that trying to destroy a person does nothing to reach them for the Gospel. We took that stance with the Chicago protests back in November and we will take that stance regardless of the situation.
According to Joshua that makes us; “Sissy preachers who won’t speak the truth.” It is his God given right to think that about us. We will continue to minister to all people and endeavor to live life based concretely in scripture. We believe it shows greater courage to go forth in true and genuine love than to rant and rave about something. Following in the humble traditions of St. Francis, Aelred any many, many others, knowing that the work of an evangelist is not only to speak the word but to live the word out of deep love and regard for God the father, Christ the Son and the Holy Spirit. Trinity, Three-in-one.
The fruit of Joshua’s ministry is strife and division, fearmongering and hatred, is that the mark of a true Christian Ministry? Is that the mark of a mature Christian? We’re not perfect at God’s Heart, we fail daily, we have to repent, we miss opportunities, but we hope we can reach others for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Spur those who already believe on to love and good works and a much deeper walk with Christ. If this makes us “Sissy preachers” let it be, but if the Gospel is spread and those who see us see Christ and a spurred to love him, then let that be as well.
Jonathan David Faulkner is a student at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, a Pastor, Musician and Writer. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Christian Education & Administration with a concentration in Urban Ministry