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Vigil for Peace with Justice Outside Cornerstone Church

Nashville, Tennessee, Nov 13, 2011

Charles E. Carlson

Pastor Maury Davis's website reveals that "he was arrested at age eighteen for the crime of first-degree murder. Following his trial and conviction, he served eight and one-half years in the Texas Department of Corrections." What this mega-church pastor does not relate is that he got off with a light sentence for cutting the throat of a 54-year old woman, by claiming Satan inhabited him temporarily, and that he was changed by a miracle conversion to Christianity while awaiting trial. Cornerstone claims 3900 members, where Davis emphasizes that if Jesus can forgive him, anyone can be forgiven. We do not disagree, it is not our business to judge God's work. But if indeed Maury Davis repented for killing just one middleaged woman, why did he sponsor a "Preserving Freedom Conference" on the dangers of Shari'ah Law, held inside his church, where speakers openly promoted hatred and fear of Muslims and promoted war on Iran? This is not the first Muslim "bashing" Davis has sponsored, for Geert Wilders, who is under criminal indictment for hate speech in his native Holland, was a guest in Cornerstone earlier this year with the same violent message for which he is well known. Several past speakers inside Cornerstone, including Wilders, have been found to be the authorities cited in Anders Brievik's Manifesto, providing the logic for Brievik's one at a time murder of some 84 Norwegian students in May. Does Pastor Davis not know that killing is the purpose of war? Does God repeatedly forgive those who go on killing, or encouraging others to kill, time after time? We asked this question of Maury Davis in a letter delivered to him, and to most members of his staff, asking him to cancel the Conference. We doubt if Maury Davis has repented of his sin of murder because he continues to call for wars that can not help but kill tens of thousands, most of whom will be every bit as innocent as was the woman he murdered 35 years ago, killed for accidently spilling paint on his boots. Jesus' last words to a woman to whom He forgave of her sin of prostitution was, "sin no more." He did not say, sin some more, as Pastor Davis seems to be doing. We understand from Jesus' words that forgiveness from God is always conditional upon our repentance. I was one of the messengers at Cornerstone Church Sunday morning, meeting the congregation attendees with our simple message, "Who Would Jesus Bomb?" Every child knows it is rhetorical, having only one answer. We answered our own question with another one liner, "Choose Life, Not War" delivered on a big poster, perhaps read by half of the thousands who came by. Some of those who went in and out, waved or gave us a thumbs-up. But a few made less friendly gestures and shouted, showing that they understood the message but were on the war side of the issue behind their Pastor. Both those for war and against it understood Project Strait Gate's message quite well. Our message must have also resonated with Pastor Davis, for he came out to the street and spoke to me, a trim, medium-sized man in an expensive tailored suit. He ignored my letter sent to his office and staff and asked, "what are you doing here?" I countered by asking Davis "who would Jesus bomb?" insisting he look at the poster held right in front of him. After some prodding the Pastor

answered he "was not sure," but he was sure I was disobedient of Jesus by not being in "fellowship with others on Sunday morning" inside church. I declined because I told him he teaches war in his church, not peace as Jesus would. Pastor Davis then denied he was responsible for the Anti Shari'ah Conference two days earlier, claiming he only "rented out the facility to the Conference." But when I challenged him eye-to-eye, he did not deny that he was a co-sponsor of the event. Davis eventually called me an "Idiot" and left me with a angry voice and flashing eyes...eyes that the poor woman might have seen before he cut her throat. Whatever Pastor Davis' history, his present acts are no more or less violent, leading to death, than those of many pastors in angry Evangelical churches we have challenged. They are all guilty of blind callousness to thousands, even millions to be killed, maimed, and starved in the ongoing overturning of the Middle East, in which they are playing an unwitting part. Scores of pastors are being used by the professional warmakers as drum beaters, influencing tens of millions of mostly wellmeaning Americans to hate Muslims and accept war anywhere Muslims live. The Vigil at Cornerstone was a success and received strong and fair coverage in The Tennessean daily newspaper. Project Strait Gate is doing its part to point out a path, and if a few "Messengers" in every city would deliver this same message outside hundreds of churches each week, we might help prevent war upon Iran. My only regret about our small, but spirited, Vigil at Cornerstone is that no Muslims joined us, even though I and associate Keith visited two mosques in the Nashville area, inviting members, especially youth, to join us. We were treated with hospitality and respect, listened to, even fed, but we saw a timidness about facing such hostility, and none showed up to help. I can readily understand why Muslims do not want to give the mistaken impression that they are in conflict with "Christianity." But there is a difference between Christ followers and Christian Zionists, and this is a matter of life and death. Most members of Cornerstone and other churches where we visited, have never met or spoken to a devout Muslim. They should have the chance. They have heard professing former Muslims who have spoken at Cornerstone, and who are paid by Zionists, lying about Islam for money. We have the message and the method, but where are our volunteers?