Messenger's Report at Vigil for Peace with Justice Outside Cornerstone Church, Nashville TN

Charles E. Carlson

Pastor Maury Davis's church website tells 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." He claims 3900 members at Cornerstone church, where he 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 middle-aged woman, why did he sponsor a "Preserving Freedom Conference," inside his church which openly promoted hatred and fear of Muslims. Most of the Conference participants openly called for preemptive war upon Iran. Nor is this the first Muslim bash 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, and beat the drum for war. Several of the speakers at Cornerstone, including Wilders, were cited as authorities in Anders Brievik's Manifesto, left behind as his logic to murdered upward to 90 Norwegian students in May.

Does Pastor Davis not know that killing is the purpose of war? I have reason to think he knows. Does Jesus 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 by e-mail a week before the conference. Has Maury Davis repented of his sin if he calls for war 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 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. We understand from this Jesus forgiveness was conditional upon her repentance.

I was one of the messengers at Cornerstone Church Sunday morning, meeting the entering congregation attendees and their departure with our simple message, "Who Would Jesus Bomb?" Every child know it is rhetorical, having only one answer. We answered our own question by delivering another one liner, "Choose Life, Not War." It was delivered by a big poster to many of the thousands who came, and we have no doubt most heard about it. Some who drove in waved, or gave us a thumbs-up. But a lesser number made less friendly gestures and shouts, showing that they understood the question and were on the war side of the issue, following their Pastor. Both those for life, and against it, understood Project Strait Gate's message quite well.

Our message must have also resonated with Pastor Davis, for he came out and spoke to me personally with the opening words, "what are you doing here?" Our conversation was witnessed by one of his staff members who looked on aghast at our conversation, but spoke not a word. I suspect Pastor Davis will have a different version of the conversation, so I will not quote any words, except to say, I repeatedly asked Davis "who would Jesus bomb?" He finally answered he "was not sure" (who Jesus would bomb), but he was sure I was disobedient by not being in fellowship with others on Sunday morning. I took this to mean inside his church, and declined because I told him he teaches war in his church, not peace as Jesus did. Pastor Davis first attempted to tell me he was not responsible for the Shari'ah Conference held inside his Church, claiming he only "rented out the facility" to the Conference. But when challenged, 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.

Whatever Pastor Davis' history, his present acts are is no more violent than those of pastor of many angry Evangelical churches we have challenged all over the USA. They are callously blind to thousands, even millions to be killed, maimed and starved in planned 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 well-meaning Americans to hate Muslims and accept war anywhere they are Muslims.

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. In my view, the only opposition preventing an immediate Israeli attack on Iran is a handful of Israeli intellectuals who are warnings daily against it, and who are receiving press in the likes of Haaretz. If Israel starts, the US will follow in a heartbeat. We have the message and the method to alter warmaking history, where will we get the organization and the volunteers?

Report on Vigil in The Tennessean

Dear Pastor Maury Davis

Charles E. Calson Nov 7, 2011
November 5, 2011

Pastor Maury Davis and Staff
Cornerstone Church
726 West Old Hickory Blvd
Madison, TN 37115

Dear Pastor Maury Davis:

Project Strait Gate has organized peace vigils on public right-of-ways outside many churches around the country. They have been supported and cosponsored by Christ Followers, Muslims and Jews who long for peace. We will begin our visits to your church at the Friday conference, and on Sunday, November 13, in time for your morning service. (see notes below)

Our friends in Nashville have pointed out to us that you have agreed to host a conference called The Preserving Freedom Conference on the evening of Nov. 11, featuring Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller. These speakers are inflammatory, anti-Islamits who engender, if not openly advocate, war in Iran. This program is not about "Shariah" law or "Jihad," as it pretends. It is about war.

You should know the U.S. is on the brink of attacking Iran. It does not need "Christians" to throw gasoline on the flame. One or more hotels canceled the event with good reason, and you picked it up out of the gutter.

Jesus' church is not a warmaker. As best I can tell, not a grain of Christianity is presented to the audience at these programs. Jesus is left out entirely, for the simple reason that He does not fit into a hate agenda. One of the large signs that will be displayed in front of Cornerstone Church next Sunday will as the question, WHO WOULD JESUS BOMB? Every child knows the answer.

Have you not had enough of war in your lifetime? Did you not once claim that war made a killer of yourself? Jesus' forgiveness is always conditional on repentance, or do you think otherwise? He told the Prostitute at the Temple she was forgiven because she believed in him, but He sent her home with a stern warning, she must "sin no more."

It is clear from your own public statements that you claim forgiveness for sins at least as grievous as those of the prostitute. I found your history with a Google search. How can you tell your congregation you are forgiven by the mercy of God, when you continue to aid and abet those who support murder and war? How can you use the church you claim is God's property for such a purpose?

Our prayer is that you will examine your position and make a Christ-like commitment to oppose the continued American slaughter in the Middle East and the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Evangelical churches and their members should be, but are not, the most peace-seeking persons on the globe. Your members are not peacemakers because of your support for Israel, a nation at war with its neighbors for all of its existence, and the only country in the world that openly imprisons an entire population at gun point.

Jesus is believed by all Christ Followers to have said, For as much as you have done it (he gave examples of both kindness and evil) to the least of my brothers, you have done it unto me. Please do not draw on cultic lies to claim this does not apply to Palestinian and Iranian children. If you enable those who promote the killing of even one innocent person, you do that evil unto Jesus.

We invite you to show us where Jesus ever made even one statement that allowed a Christian to approve or participate in taking the life (or the home) of an Iraqi, Afghani, Palestinian, or Persian, most especially the lives of women and children, who are always the victims of war. Please cancel the meeting and turn to peace.

Feel welcome to come outside and meet us in front of your church on November 13.
Toward the Strait Gate,
Charles E. Carlson

The Unacceptable Cost of Judeo-Christianity; Its Legacy of Pain

The amazing story of this pastor Davis' murder conviction:
A grieving son finds no justice on Rev. Maury Davis' path to redemption
by Brantley Hargrove, Jume 18, 2009


Published here: We Hold These Truths


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