May 20, 2007

Targeted by a Christian Army

An article appeared on the front page of my local paper, The Hattiesburg American, back in April that really got my attention. Maybe it was because it was accompanied by a large picture of a man carrying a cross and being followed by a group of people through the streets of the town in which I live. The article was titled, "Journey leads to new beginning," and I've been meaning to post about it for some time.

The article described a pastor, Rev. Dean Register, at one of our few mega-churches who abruptly resigned after 14 years without explanation. The press doesn't seem to know (or care) why, and this was not the subject of the article. Rather, the article described this pastor and 25 other men carrying a cross through town to the site of his new church.
"This is all about Jesus and it's not about anything else but his love for us," Register said, after placing the cross at the corner of the convention center's entrance.

"This is a humble feeling and it's exciting to know what God's going to do with his new army."
Army? I suppose you can see why this got my attention. But this really wasn't the part that hit me between the eyes. That comes next.
"There are 70-75,000 people in the Pine Belt that do not attend church on Sunday," he said. "We want to target the wounded, weak, broken, and bruised."
What about those of us who are neither wounded, weak, broken, or bruised and are simply free from superstition? Finally, the article quotes one of the congregants who will leave Register's old church and follow him to the new church.
"I am not following a man but I'm following my heart because I feel the presence of Jesus Christ," she said.
Putting the pieces together, it appears that those of us in South Mississippi who do not attend church can expect to be "targeted" by members of a Christian "army," composed of folks who think that they "feel the presence" of an apparition.

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