“State social workers were interviewing children who live at the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries just south of Texarkana.” The newspaper article mentioned nothing about actual evidence of any kind of abuse. What caught my attention in this article was the name of the compound being raided; the “Tony Alamo Christian Ministries.”
If I knew nothing about Christianity, I would be tempted to conclude, from the name of the ministry, that Christianity is all about drawing attention to yourself. The “Tony Alamo Christian Ministries;” – note whose name comes first.
Now I know nothing about Mr. Alamo. There’s not much information in the article attesting to his Christian faith; that is, it’s hard to tell what kind of a Christian he is. Yet the one statement I’ve quoted appears to tell me a lot. If I were to make an observation based on first impressions, I would say that Mr. Alamo has a sizeable ego, and that “his” ministry is more about him than about Jesus Christ. Now I realize I could be totally wrong here, since I know almost nothing about the daily workings of this ministry. But it’s hard for me to ignore the impact of the name.
I wonder what Jesus’ first impression might be, when observing the “Tony Alamo Christian Ministry.” Might He remind us of what John the Baptist said (see this post about John’s humility)…
“He (Jesus) must become greater; I must become less.” (John 3:30)
As Jesus himself said, “For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 14:11)
I leave with this message to Mr. Alamo: Sir, I know nothing about who you are or where your heart is, other than by what you have named your ministry. Yet from that, I believe you have set yourself ahead of Jesus. Please prayerfully consider your heart and your motives, and your relationship with Jesus. And know this, those who humble themselves on earth, will be exalted in heaven. It’s the truth and a promise you can count on.