After an email from a dear friend, and the response that possibly some are reading this thinking that I actually was arrested, please note, this is a figurative story. I wasn't arrested, haven't been in any trouble, and the video is actually not me, but one I found on YouTube. I thought the figuritive nature of the story was clear enough, but the intent is to show that all people, including me, sin, we are all sinners. The primary intent in this is that we can all come to a realization that our responsibility is to love others because outside of Christ we are no better than they. Don't worry, now I will say, we as Christians need to take seriously Jesus own words. He took the aspect of adultry, and murder to the next level. Paul builds on that in the letter to the Romans here, he makes it clear that we are all in sin, whethere that sin be gossip, or anger which Jesus states is equivlient to murder. Read, think and if you want to see what a lot of other folks have said you can click here to read their comments and my response.
Press Release: From The Virtual Pew
Regarding: Online Pastor Mike Furches Busted
The Virtual Pew, an online ministry recently had its pastor Mike Furches Busted for various crimes. Please see attached photograph of the mug shot obtained shortly after the arrest of Pastor Furches.
The Virtual Pew is sad to announce that its pastor is not perfect, in fact it hopes to use the failings of Pastor Furches as a means to educate others as to every individuals short comings. Crimes associated with Pastor Furches vary but in the initial response regarding the arrest he replied: "I know I have no excuse, God even stated so himself in Romans 1:20-23 that none of us have an excuse for what we have done. (20) God's eternal power and character cannot be seen. But from the beginning of creation, God has shown what these are like by all he has made. That's why those people don't have any excuse. (21) They know about God, but they don't honor him or even thank him. Their thoughts are useless, and their stupid minds are in the dark. (22) They claim to be wise, but they are fools. (23) They don't worship the glorious and eternal God. Instead, they worship idols that are made to look like humans who cannot live forever, and like birds, animals, and reptiles."
Furches responded that he knew there had been times he had not sincerely looked for the truth behind the existence of God. He stated that he felt no different than many others who had simply taken the word for others. He knew this was wrong from the passage because it was clear to him that God had revealed himself in various ways. Instead of looking for the truth behind the existence of God though, he had spent more time around the television, the internet, and other various forms of entertainment including reading suspense novels and watching movies. He realized that as a professing Christian, he was as guilty of this as those who denied Christianity from both an Atheistic and Agnostic perspective. "To claim to know the truth, and then not live the truth is something I realize many have issue with." Furches stated. "I know many see this as hypocritical, and I guess it is. I realize that I have and can become so obsessed with other things that I forget about an all powerful, all knowing, and loving God."
Pastor Furches was also found guilty of sexual sin in the recent events. "I realize the seriousness of Jesus words when he said that if I have looked at a female and lusted or wanted her that it was as if I had actually committed adultery." Furches stated after being involved in this sin. "It is so hard though, I mean from sexy accounts and photos at MySpace to all of the pop up ads. It does not end there though, I get so many emails that seem innocent, but then when I open them up it is a porn site. It is so easy to get caught into that trap."
The Virtual Pew is reminded of the passage of Romans speaks about this. Romans 1: 24-31 is the passage that states: (24) So God let these people go their own way. They did what they wanted to do, and their filthy thoughts made them do shameful things with their bodies. (25) They gave up the truth about God for a lie, and they worshiped God's creation instead of God, who will be praised forever. Amen.
(26) God let them follow their own evil desires. Women no longer wanted to have sex in a natural way, and they did things with each other that were not natural. (27) Men behaved in the same way. They stopped wanting to have sex with women and had strong desires for sex with other men. They did shameful things with each other, and what has happened to them is punishment for their foolish deeds.
(28) Since these people refused even to think about God, he let their useless minds rule over them. That's why they do all sorts of indecent things. (29) They are evil, wicked, and greedy, as well as mean in every possible way. They want what others have, and they murder, argue, cheat, and are hard to get along with. They gossip, (30) say cruel things about others, and hate God. They are proud, conceited, and boastful, always thinking up new ways to do evil.
These people don't respect their parents. (31) They are stupid, unreliable, and don't have any love or pity for others. (32) They know God has said that anyone who acts this way deserves to die. But they keep on doing evil things, and they even encourage others to do them.
When confronted about the punishment at hand, Pastor Furches responded that he knew from what he had read in the Bible that Gods punishment would be fair. He cited Romans 2:1-16. (1) Some of you accuse others of doing wrong. But there is no excuse for what you do. When you judge others, you condemn yourselves, because you are guilty of doing the very same things. (2) We know that God is right to judge everyone who behaves in this way. (3) Do you really think God won't punish you, when you behave exactly like the people you accuse? (4) You surely don't think much of God's wonderful goodness or of his patience and willingness to put up with you. Don't you know that the reason God is good to you is because he wants you to turn to him?
(5) But you are stubborn and refuse to turn to God. So you are making things even worse for yourselves on that day when he will show how angry he is and will judge the world with fairness. (6) God will reward each of us for what we have done. (7) He will give eternal life to everyone who has patiently done what is good in the hope of receiving glory, honor, and life that lasts forever. (8) But he will show how angry and furious he can be with every selfish person who rejects the truth and wants to do evil. (9) All who are wicked will be punished with trouble and suffering. It doesn't matter if they are Jews or Gentiles. (10) But all who do right will be rewarded with glory, honor, and peace, whether they are Jews or Gentiles. (11) God doesn't have any favorites!
(12) Those people who don't know about God's Law will still be punished for what they do wrong. And the Law will be used to judge everyone who knows what it says. (13) God accepts those who obey his Law, but not those who simply hear it.
(14) Some people naturally obey the Law's commands, even though they don't have the Law. (15) This proves that the conscience is like a law written in the human heart. And it will show whether we are forgiven or condemned, 16when God appoints Jesus Christ to judge everyone's secret thoughts, just as my message says.
In looking at the seriousness of the crimes against Pastor Furches, including lying, stealing, pride, theft, hatred, anger, and more The Virtual Pew felt the need to make it clear of the need to illustrate grace for Pastor Furches, just as grace should be offered every individual who does wrong. Illustrating the need to do this The Virtual Pew references Romans 3:21-31. (21) Now we see how God does make us acceptable to him. The Law and the Prophets tell how we become acceptable, and it isn't by obeying the Law of Moses. (22) God treats everyone alike. He accepts people only because they have faith in Jesus Christ. (23) All of us have sinned and fallen short of God's glory. (24) But God treats us much better than we deserve, and because of Christ Jesus, he freely accepts us and sets us free from our sins. (25-26) God sent Christ to be our sacrifice. Christ offered his life's blood, so that by faith in him we could come to God. And God did this to show that in the past he was right to be patient and forgive sinners. This also shows that God is right when he accepts people who have faith in Jesus. (27) What is left for us to brag about? Not a thing! Is it because we obeyed some law? No! It is because of faith. (28) We see that people are acceptable to God because they have faith, and not because they obey the Law. (29) Does God belong only to the Jews? Isn't he also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, he is! (30) There is only one God, and he accepts Gentiles as well as Jews, simply because of their faith. (31) Do we destroy the Law by our faith? Not at all! We make it even more powerful.
When asked about this willingness to forgive, work with, and love, Pastor Furches responded. "I realize that I am guilty of a lot of sin in my life. My life has been far from perfect, but I know I have Jesus in my life to be my substitute when I go before God. Jesus will speak up for me, and even though I have failed in the past, and will fail again in the future, I am blessed and honored to know that Jesus calls me his friend as I try to do the things he has instructed me to. I know I will make mistakes but the love of Christ is perfect, it is perfect in every way, and thankfully that is what God will see when he sees me face to face."
When asked about what types of lessons he had learned from his mistakes, Pastor Furches responded; "I know how important it is to be careful about loving others instead of judging them. I realize that God will ultimately judge, but I am as guilty of sin as are the people who does not know God. The only difference is that Christ is there to provide a sense of salvation for me. It is like I was drowning and he jumped in and became the life guard. I had to accept the help he was offering, and I did. As I accept that, thankfully he isn't always confronting me with my individual sin, but with his ultimate love. I guess my responsibility to others, and the lesson I have learned is that I need to respond to others with that same measure of love. Enough to go in after the, offer a hand of help and love, and then let God be the one who judges. I think if we could all realize that we are no better than non Christians we would be better off. Of course our hope is better, our future is better, but not because of what we have done, but what Jesus has done for us. I only hope I can share that love with others in the way it has been shared with me."
Pastor Furches, and The Virtual Pew has indicated that anyone who wants to know how to be forgiven for their crimes and fine hope for the future may contact them via pm's, by posting here, or contacting them through the contact information provided.
Now for those that do not know, make sure you check out the numerous articles and blogs by checking out the archives. If visiting The Virtual Pew or MySpace they are archived on the left hand side of the page. Scroll down to where you see newer or older listed under archives and then click there. There are numerous postings, and you will have to go into the archives to see the 100 plus postings over the last months.
Now I also want to remind you that you can visit www.thevirtualpew.com and on the front page scroll down to the left hand side of the page where you sill see our store. Your purchases through our Amazon store provides needed funds to The Virtual Pew. If you do not see something on the page to buy, you can click on the search engine for the store, (do not put anything in the search box at this time) and you will then be taken to Amazon where you can search for anything you desire. Hopefully you will consider a gift to The Virtual Pew and/or at the very least shop our store. The items on the store page are highly recommended. Even if just giving a buck or two, it all ads up and is appreciated
Contact and Giving Information
Oh Yea, here is that contact information again.
The Virtual Pew
P.O. Box 17731
Wichita, KS 67217
Or you van give on line via Pay Pal at: http://www.furches.org/donations/index.html
To become a part of The Virtual Pew, visit, http://www.thevirtualpew.com/ To learn more about me visit http://www.furches.org/ I am also active on MySpace at: http://www.myspace.com/mikefurches I have another blog at http://blog.myspace.com/mikefurches To visit the Hollywood Jesus group at MySpace with membership by numerous Hollywood Jesus reviewers visit: http://groups.myspace.com/hollywoodjesus For a more in depth weekly study and conversation you an visit: http://virtualpewsermon.blogspot.com/ where you can access deeper teaching and ultimately videos for viewing and teaching. You can also subscribe to the newsletter at www.thevirtualpew.com or see the newsletter on line at http://thevirtualpewnews.blogspot.com/ You can also sign up for the free newsletter from The Virtual Pew by visiting the main page for The Virtual Pew, or you can see the newsletters online by visiting this web site: http://thevirtualpewnews.blogspot.com/ You can contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com For those interested in knowing more about my own story, contact me for a free e-copy of my book The Keystone Kid in pre-edit form.