Ask to Receive or Believe to Receive?

To see something fresh and new from the Word of God is always special and it happened again today. And I must share it with you. It seems to me that Paul provides the clearest commentary on Romans 10:9-13 that I have every read in 2 Corinthians 4:13.

 Here is Romans 10:9-13: 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

 From these verses some suggest and teach that words must be articulated (by all physically able) to get saved. This group requires and leads people to pray a prayer of salvation to seal the deal or finalize the transaction and Romans 10:9-13 is quoted as the proof text for the necessity of praying a prayer of salvation. Verse 13 is used over and over again to emphasize the importance of praying words. Verse 9 and 10 are used to show the importance of confessing words.

 But in 2 Corinthians 4:13 Paul provides great clarity in help all understand what precedes what. Does Jesus come into my heart because I ask him to? Or am I articulating words of faith because Jesus has come in my heart? There is a difference. One is more Biblical than the other, but which one?

Paul says, in 2 Corinthians 4:13: We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; Paul shows us the order: 1) We having the same spirit of faith > 2) believe > 3) therefore we speak. Notice Paul does not say: 1) We having spoken or asked or prayed > 2) therefore we believe and 3) subsequently receive the spirit of faith.

 In his previous letter to the church at Corinth Paul wrote: Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. (1 Cor 12:3).  Once again, Paul makes it clear that one does not declare (in prayer or any other form of communication) that Jesus is Lord outside a work of the Holy Spirit.

 We do not pray to receive Jesus. We believe to receive. John 1:12 (AV) “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name”[emphasis mine]. Let’s make it perfectly and abundantly clear. We do not accept Jesus. He accepts us. There is no doubt you have heard the question, “Have you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior?” Scott Brown writes: “Sadly, our churches are filled with young people who have "walked an aisle," but who have never really understood the full breadth of the gospel message. For them, the gospel has been trivialized and reduced to simply ‘accepting Christ.’” (

 That is NOT the right question. The correct question is: “Have you believed in your heart that Jesus is Lord for the forgiveness of your sins?” Consider this: There isn’t one example of language in the New Testament that suggests we accept Him. What then do we do? Believers are characterized as people who have turned to God and trusted in Christ’s finished penal substitutionary atoning work of Calvary for their personal salvation from the penalty and power of sin.

 They, we, believe the gospel.

Comparing the decline at Disney to the Church

A man by the name of Kevin Yee wrote the following paragraph about Disney World and the lack of focused upkeep of the park. (The paragraph is part of a larger article found at:

Thus, we need to remember that there ARE no "small" declines by degrees. A decline is a decline. The burned-out lightbulb is like a "gateway drug" that leads to other, more visible lapses in theme park upkeep. If the theme park executives recognize that people won't stand for burned out light bulbs, then they'll know that visitors definitely won't stomach bigger show problems.

After all, if we are silent, isn't that the same as granting tacit permission to the executives to turn a blind eye to upkeep, and allow declines to continue to pile up?

Kevin Yee could be a theologian calling out the church on its slow steady decline in adherence to fundamental evangelical doctrine. No one comes out and says, “I want my church to be a liberal church which completely neglects the sound preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ.” Instead, doctrinal decline is a “gateway drug” to the complete neglect of ultimately the gospel of Jesus Christ. Know your church history and you will completely agree with him. Denominational declines begin with not adhering to right doctrine one degree at a time over a large period of time.

Read this church history and see what I mean:

And then listen to this discussion between Bill and I:

Governor Romney at Liberty Univ Commencement

I respect the chancellor but I sure did laugh and laugh when I saw this for the first time and I sure hope you enjoy it as well. And I hope he has seen it as well. I believe he too would laugh and laugh. A merry heart does good like good medicine.

Mr. Obama Panders to AA Pastors & the LGBT Voting Block

From the NY Times:

By: Peter Baker and Rachel L. Swarns

About two hours after declaring his support for same-sex marriage last week, President Obama gathered eight or so African-American ministers on a conference call to explain himself. He had struggled with the decision, he said, but had come to believe it was the right one.
The ministers, though, were not all as enthusiastic. A vocal few made it clear that the president’s stand on gay marriage might make it difficult for them to support his re-election.
“They were wrestling with their ability to get over his theological position,” said the Rev. Delman Coates, the pastor of Mt. Ennon Baptist Church in Clinton, Md., who was on the call. ...

Complementarianism: A Biblical and Balanced Approach to Genders Distinctions and Roles

Most people have no idea what is meant by complementarianism in the home or church. This Mother's Day sermon seeks to provide a better understanding of complementarianism. Many liberal progressive church have adopted egalitarianism as opposed to complementarianism.


For more information about complementarianism and can Biblical Manhood and Womanhood check out the Danvers Statements at

The sermon below was preached one year ago but is just as relevant today as the world struggles with gender distinctions, conflicts and confusion. This church's statement taken directly from their website shows the extent of the struggle:

 "XXX Memorial Church serves as a sanctuary for progressive activism, artistic expression, and spiritual nurture. We welcome persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities (including cisgender, transgender, and genderqueer) to participate fully in the life and ministry of the church. We support each and every quest to construct one’s own identity, affirming any and all who identify as lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer, questioning, polysexual, asexual, pansexual, omnisexual, and straight."

Is that what God had in mind when he created them male and female?

Why Endorse SSM Now Mr. President?

Many are wondering why the President endorsed Gay Marriage now at this crucial time of his campaign. The answer is simple—the answer is funding. The President is raising less money now than he did this time in his first campaign for Presidency and the LGBT community is wealthy.  

How much money has the President raised in the last 24 hours and how much money will he raise in the next week?

Michael Foust writes:

WASHINGTON (BP) – President Obama’s re-election campaign has fully embraced his public support of gay “marriage” and seems poised to make it a general election issue – even to the point of ridiculing Mitt Romney’s backing of traditional marriage.

Hours after Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to declare public support for the issue, his campaign sent out an email to supporters with the subject line “Marriage.” 

“I believe that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry,” Obama said in the email. “... What I’ve come to realize is that for loving, same-sex couples, the denial of marriage equality means that, in their eyes and the eyes of their children, they are still considered less than full citizens.”

The email concluded, “If you agree, you can stand up with me here” – and a link to donate money was provided. 

The Democratic National Committee also sent out an email from chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, embracing the issue.

“Folks, this is what Democrats are all about – and I’m so proud we have a president who’s willing to stand up and say it,” she wrote. “Let’s join him. Show your support for marriage equality today.”

The issue of gay “marriage” was the dominant theme May 10 at – Obama’s campaign website – where visitors encountered a large picture of Obama with the words, “same-sex couples should be able to get married.” The campaign also sent out multiple Tweets and Facebook messages spreading the president’s position....

The irony is the issue will remain with the states and America is a long, long way away from giving up each State’s right to determine marriage in its own state. This is why there has been such a push to get marriage defined in state constitutions. We learned from the abortion failure. These amendments will make it much more difficult for the federal government to take away each state's right to determine how it sees marriage. 

The real question that remains to be seen is how will the minorities respond to this in November? The groups that are the most anti-gay marriage in the nation are the minorities. What will the African-American community do? Will they abandon their conviction that homosexuality is wrong and vote for the President anyway? Or will they sit out in November reducing the number of people who actually vote?

If the President is not re-elected--that will send a strong message to future Presidents that America is not ready for SSM.

Bloggers Make Money At My Expense

Do you know what is ironic? I will tell you. Many of my critics are ripping me about the money I make as a pastor. (BTW: I am not a mega-church pastor; I make a modest salary and collect a small pension without any disability.) They are suggesting that the church probably took in more money after the Sunday of my shocking sermon. They are suggesting that I profited from that intake. The truth is we didn’t and I did not either.

But what is ironic is that on many of these blogs where these harsh and hateful things are being said by many people about me and the money I took in are advertisements and I mean everywhere.

When you look at my blog you are not bombarded with advertisements. There aren’t any.  I don’t make any money from my blog. That is not the purpose of the blog.

But that obviously is the purpose of a blog that has advertisements on the left and right sides and on the top of the blog.

“Joe. My God.” is one of these bloggers that busted this story wide open by taking me out of context and then telling the world about this pastor who said “beat the gay out of children” (which I never said).

What he needs to make money on his blog is hits or views. And the way you get views is to have a sensational story. The more sensational the story is the more views one receives.  The more views a blogger has on his website the more money he can potentially make.

But there is no cry from anyone about the profiteering from the destruction of a man’s reputation and character. There is no outcry from the masses or media about the profiteering from the slander and malice intend by those in the LGBT community.  I can’t tell you the number of stories I have seen where words that I never said appeared in quotation marks.

I have been writing authors and asking them to make corrections to the online stories that contain “beat” a word I never said or “gay children” or “gay youth” words I never said.
Where is the journalistic integrity among Christians?

Here is an email I sent last night:

Rev. and Brother XXXX,

You wrote: “Pastor” Sean Harrispreached told to his congregation that they should beat the gay out of their children.   

That is a lie and slanderous statement. I did not use the word "gay" I did not use the word "beat."

Please issue a correction. You are free to disagree with me concerning effeminate behavior in children, but you do not have the editorial freedom to say what I did not say. 

You are free to say Pastor Sean should NOT have said" crack or punch" but you are not free to say what I did not say.

Moreover, I have already said, I did not use the right words--please forgive me.

I trust you, as a brother in Christ, saved the blood of the Lord Jesus, will help me salvage my reputation in the Spirit of the grace of God by those who have said what I did not say.

I did not say: "I was joking." The Fayetteville Observer, the local paper, said that I said that. I sent a letter to the paper immediately after that first headline but by then it was already picked up by men, like yourself, and went viral.

What is amazing about all this is that even if I would have corrected my mistake during the sermon, say 2 seconds after I spoke, that would not have been included in the clip on YouTube. So in this media crazy world one must be perfect in speaking.

Did you hear me instruct the church about being kind and not homophobic (48 minutes into the sermon)--did you include those words in your article? You are a brother in Christ. You are a co-laborer in the gospel of Jesus Christ. You are a "Paul" and perhaps I am a "Peter" that needs to be confronted to my face.

Did you call the church and ask for an interview to get the true story out for all to hear?

The difference between me and Dan Savage is I love God. I am a brother in Christ. I love Jesus. I love the gospel. Jesus forgave Peter for denying Him three times--will you forgive me?

Have you, like the world, determined that I must not be saved? Therefore you think I have no obligation to follow Paul's instructions: "So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith." (Gal 6.10). 

Are you now willing to be unpopular and do a follow up story about the way all this has been orchestrated to destroy me?

Will you write back? Will you call me and have a civil conversation? 

My dear brother all I am asking is that you will love me as you love yourself (Mt. 22:39). 

Pastor Sean End.

How many of you reading this blog think the man will issue a retraction or do a follow up story? 

The real question he should ask is: What if this happened to me by an activist blogger—would I want the same treatment I gave Pastor Sean? Is that not the true sense and application of what Jesus said in Matthew 22:39?

I should not be surprised when the Gay Voices of the Huffington Post seeks to destroy an evangelical conservative Baptist preacher—they want our voices silenced.

But what surprises me is when an American Baptist in NY seeks to do the same thing—where is the grace?

Berean's Pastor responds to critics

Two trains are racing toward each other, and no one knows how long it will be until they collide on the track of freedom to speak and believe differently. The first train is the gay rights train, and the other is the religious freedom train. Why was the world surprised that a conservative Baptist church would preach “Vote for Marriage” and be opposed to effeminacy and any kind of sexual immorality? True Christians are called to be “in the world but not of the world.”

My ill-chosen words of “crack” and “punch” were twisted into inciting violence against gay children by activists and some in the media. I did not say that “limp-wrist” or “butch” was an indication of homosexuality. Gay was inferred from my message of promoting gender distinctions. I was not teaching, nor have I ever taught, that a child should be punished for effeminate behavior. Children should be punished for disobedience. In Canada, I could be thrown in jail for what I said—Is that what we want in America? In the spirit of Roger Williams, I do not want the LGBT movement or agenda silenced any more than I want those who oppose the movement silenced. Freedom for all to speak is what America is best known for throughout the world. Is that going to change?

My message to the fathers (parents) in the congregation was to affirm the gender distinctions that God created in each human. The Bible doesn’t teach or suggest that children are born gay. God made them male and female. There is not an “other” or “in between” category. I do not apologize for stating that transgender is an affront to God. It is. Any Christian who suggests otherwise is ignorant of the Bible or is choosing to ignore the truth.

Some have suggested ignorance has fueled my “hateful words.” The truth is that love for my Lord, His Word, the Gospel, and my Berean family whom I am responsible to shepherd fuels my passion to preach the truth. Preaching the Word of God is the way preachers protect their flock from wolves. To suggest that I need to get out more and meet my fellow man will not change what the Bible teaches about gender distinctions and sexual immorality.

May I suggest that it is ignorance of the Word of God that has contributed to some of the negative Christian responses to my message? I do not expect those who do not follow the teachings of Christ to understand my “dangerous sermon,” but all who trust the Bible to be God’s Word should have at least listened to the entire sermon before they condemned me. The unedited sermon is still available in its entirety at

Moreover, my failure to wisely select better words like “straighten that wrist” and “affirm your son’s manhood by doing more gender specific activities with your son” (like roughhousing) does not give other Christians the liberty to non-objectively judge the entire sermon without its context and then the greater context of my sermon series. How many watched my sermon on tolerance titled, “Tolerant, Intolerant, and Both: A Balanced Biblical Approach” delivered just seven days earlier?

I should not have been surprised by this orchestrated assault and persecution of the church.  Those who railed against me and my church for more tolerance and less ignorance have been the most intolerant and ignorant of all people.  How long will it be until the trains collide and we are all silenced?

This response was published by the Fayetteville Observer May 9, 2012.

Pastor Sean's "Dangerous Anti-Gay Sermon" Interview with CNN's David Mattingly

CNN will air a program about Berean Baptist Church and my "dangerous anti-gay sermon" on Monday 5/7/2012 at 8p. Here is the complete interview I did with CNN's David Mattingly. No doubt much of the 24 minute interview will be edited. If you want to listen to the entire interview click the player below. If you want to see the sermon for yourself scroll down and you can watch the entire "Vote for Marriage" sermon and judge for yourself whether it is truly dangerous and anti-gay.

Here is the entire sermon so you can see it in its full context before making a judgment.

Follow-Up to Shocking Sermon Supposedly About Gay Youth

This is the sermon I preached after the shocking Vote for Marriage sermon that created the global controversy. How many will watch this sermon? Will you? Our entire ministry in many regards is being judged by the world by 2% of 1 sermon from the 100s that I have been delivered since I have been the pastor.

Sermon Dangerous to Gay Youth

This is a letter I sent to the Fayetteville Observer in response to Katharine Royal's article "Sermon dangerous to gay youth" 5/4/2012.

Why would the Fayetteville Observer give Katherine Royal co-pastor of Diversity in Faith a New Christian Church in Fayetteville top billing on page 11A to communicate her message of gender diversity and inclusion? Is this because the FO has an agenda? In her lengthy article she is not confined to 250 words. She doesn’t have to justify her positions. She doesn’t have to report that I said “we are NOT to be homophobic.” Instead, she distorts my message with her agenda. I didn’t say, “I was just joking.” Greg Phillips created that headline. Hyperbole would have been a much better word. Royal would have me to stop preaching the whole Bible. In the words of Martin Luther, unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason that transgender and homosexual behavior is not sinful I will continue to preach the Word of God. Will I be more careful in the words I choose? Yes. Will I continue to preach the whole counsel of the Bible? Yes. If just one person is saved from the destructive GLBT lifestyle, then my preaching is not in vain. If there isn’t sin in the Diversity of Faith congregation and there isn’t a hell—what does the gospel save someone from in her church? No one is forced to attend Berean. No one is forced to listen to sermons online. Where is the respect for a different interpretation of the Bible? Katherine Royal, I am not laughing either.

National Day of Prayer

Today, Pastor Dwayne orchestrated a special chapel service for the National Day of Prayer. Students were instructed from the Word of God on prayer and its power. Morgan and Leslie led the students in worship and both sang a special song. And, I preached from 2 Chronicles 7:1-14. After doing my best to communicate the power of prayer and the promise Chronicles of God hearing our prayers and healing our Nation and forgiving our sins if we turn from our wickedness and seek his face and pray. Then after my sermon the student government prayed for me. Student President Jin had carefully crafted an amazing prayer. I was so moved to tears as I heard him call out to God with respect, love, admiration and faith in God. His words were special and amazing. The notes of encouragement the students have sent and provided have been awesome. They have been an inspiration to me. Thank you. I will not forget this day. If there ever was a day that I needed prayer it was today.

Audio Statement of Retraction

This is a podcast of my retraction. I hope you will listen to it and my heart.

Official Statement of Retraction

The purpose of this document is to issue an official statement of retraction of any and all words that suggest that child abuse is appropriate for any and all types of behaviors including (but not limited to) effeminacy and sexual immorality of all types. I should not have said what I said about “cracking,” “punching,” and particular bias toward outward attraction of girls. Nor should I have used the words “special dispensation.” I did not say that children should be squashed. I have never suggested children or those in the LGBT lifestyle should be beaten, punched, abused (physically or psychologically) in any form or fashion. The gospel is the only source of power sufficient to deliver anyone from the power, penalty, and presence of all forms of sin including, but not limited to, all forms of sexual immorality including homosexuality.

I apologize to anyone I have unintentionally offended. I did not say anything to intentionally offend anyone in the LGBT community. My intent was to communicate the truth of the Word of God concerning marriage. My words were not scripted. It is unfortunate I was not more careful and deliberate. I can understand how these words could be misunderstood without the context of years of ministering to the people of God at Berean Baptist Church. I have received nothing but notes of appreciation and support from the people within the church. To those in the greater body of Christ in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and the world--I seek your forgiveness if I have offended or hurt the cause of Christ. I have learned from this and will seek to be more articulate and deliberate with my words in the future.

However, I do not apologize for the manner in which the Word of God articulates sexual immorality, including homosexuality and effeminacy, as a behavior that is an abomination to God. Nothing in this official statement of retraction should be perceived as an apology for the overarching intent and message of the sermon and the need to define marriage as one man and one woman and to maintain the gender distinctions that God created from the beginning when He made them male and female (Genesis 1). I recognize that there are those in the LGBT community who believe that their sexual behavior is not sin. I do not agree with them and this official retraction should not be misunderstood as an apology for the gospel of Jesus Christ or the Word of God.

I do not apologize for the manner in which I emphasized the importance of one man and one woman getting married and staying married for the benefit of their children and society.

I am confident that if the state of North Carolina was not in a state constitutional battle to define marriage as one man and one woman, this sermon would not have received the media attention it has through the intentional framing of my words without the context of the entire sermon on various blogs.

I have already sought to clarify my words in a previous statement that can be found at The church has an official statement on discipline of child that can be found at under the heading “Discipline of Children.”

Important Clarification to Sunday's Sermon 4/29/2012

Dear Berean Family,

By now you may know that my words, from Sunday morning's sermon, about effeminate behavior in children are being completely taken out of context by those in the LGBT community. (Nearly every article is misquoting me.)

Clearly, I would like to have been more careful with exactly what I said, but sometimes I say things without enough clarity. I trust you understood my intent in the context of my total preaching ministry. If you did not, I would be more than happy to meet with you privately to provide clarity. Just reply to this email. I provided clarity to the Fayetteville Observer today, but I cannot be sure they will accurately report my words.

For the record, I want to ensure everyone that I do NOT believe physical force is capable of fixing effeminate behavior or homosexual behavior. Parents should not punch babies or children. (Ultimately only the gospel of Jesus Christ has the power to deliver one from sexual immorality and behavior including effeminacy; )

I would never advocate for such discipline or actions on behalf of a father or mother. I misspoke. Hopefully, you understood that I was speaking in a forceful manner to emphasize the degree to which gender distinctions matter to God; and therefore, must matter to each of us and especially parents.

Either Paul's words in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 are true and we should communicate the truth in love for fear of not entering the Kingdom of God or the entire Bible cannot be trusted to be the Word of God.

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Those in the opposition are suggesting all sorts of hateful things and using ungodly and profane words. Those who speak of the love of God are using the most hateful terms I have ever read. We must never resort to such language.

I want to stress just how much I love your children and my desire is only to see them glorify God in the lives they live in obedience to God's will for each of them as revealed in the Word of God. I believe I communicated that in the sermon as well. I also hope my actions, for the past 5 years, speak even louder than my words.

We have an official statement on the disciple of children that can be read below my signature line.

As I emphasized in this sermon, as well as the week before, we must not be hateful toward those whose behavior is an abomination to God. But we also cannot compromise on what we believe the Bible teaches on all sexual perversions and immorality.

The opposition is revealing their complete lack of toleration toward those do not approve of the LGBT lifestyle or agenda. However, we must be tolerantly intolerant. Jesus our Savior provides the perfect example of grace and truth.


Pastor Sean

(The comment option was removed because of the extreme hateful things that were being posted.)

P.S. Our Student Pastor did a great job exposing this hypocrisy today on a short recording on Dan Savage's and His Bullying Hypocrisy. Listen Now | (17 min)

Discipline of Children: We believe that parents should train their children in light of the gospel. Remembering the love and forgiveness that God has shown them, parents in turn should train their children with the purpose of reflecting the Heavenly Father to their children. Parents should consider their responsibility to be the instrument of discipline in their child's life (Prov. 19:18). At times this may include appropriate and reasonable physical means (Prov. 10:13) employed upon the fleshy portion of the child's buttocks (Prov. 22:15; 23:13); that this method is to be viewed as correction rather than punishment (Prov. 23:13); and that this correction will result in the child's physical and spiritual betterment (Prov. 23:14). We believe a parent should correct his child with other means as well, but that they should-as led by the Holy Spirit-model the chastening of God the Father (Prov. 3:11-12) Who corrects all of His children out of love (2 Sam 7:14; Prov. 3:12; Heb 12:6; Rev 3:19) and forgives them by virtue of His Son's redemptive work on the cross (1 Pet. 3:18). The Father does this to develop His child's reverence for Himself (Heb. 12:9) and likeness to His Son Jesus Christ (Rom 8:29; Heb 12:11). Moreover, just as the Heavenly Father disciplines His children physically for their benefit, it is in the best interests of a child to receive loving and proportional correction while under parental care (Heb. 12:10). Furthermore, we strongly caution the parent in the correcting of infants and younger children in this manner, and we reject the idea that bruising is ever the objective when disciplining a child. We also reject disciplining while angry (James 1:19-20) or causing public embarrassment to a child (Eph. 6:4). Lastly, we believe civil laws should be honored (Rom 13:1-4; Titus 3:1), and that the chastening ideal set forth in the Old Testament must be interpreted in light of the New Testament.