Christianity's Crossroads Part 2


Copied from the sermon notes of Pastor Don Elmore

February 6, 2016

Scripture Reading: Obadiah 1:14

Today's scripture reading is the only reference to a crossroads that I could find that is located in the Bible.  It tells of the evil that the Edomites did when they cut off the Israelites that had escaped the destruction that they were facing in their captivity.  The Edomties stood in the crossroads and killed the escapees.   

The father of rock ‘n’ roll and king of the Delta Blues, Robert Johnson, met the devil and was able to play incredible new songs instantly without taking the time to write the lyrics or compose any music.The legendary "Crossroads" at Clarksdale, MississippiThe father of rock ‘n’ roll and king of the Delta Blues, Robert Johnson, met the devil who had taken the form of a huge black man at a crossroad. The devil took Johnson’s guitar, tuned it, and proceeded to play before handing the guitar back to Johnson. From that point on, Robert Johnson had mastery of the Blues and the guitar. He was able to play incredible new songs instantly without taking the time to write the lyrics or compose any music.

A memorial to Johnson reads: “Robert Johnson stands at the crossroads of American music, much as a popular folk legend has it, he once stood at a Mississippi crossroads and sold his soul to the devil in exchange for guitar-playing prowess.”

The young bluesman desperately longed for fame and fortune. Johnson was not satisfied with his own musical abilities and felt that he needed more talent to achieve success. He was already bitter toward his creator, blaming God for the death of his beloved wife and unborn child. Despondent and irrational, he made a momentous decision.

The legendary "Crossroads" monument at Clarksdale, MississippiAt the stroke of midnight, he walked down to the windswept crossroads at the junction of Highways 61 and 49 in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Reciting an ancient incantation, he called upon Satan himself to come and help him out. In exchange for Johnson’s immortal soul, the Devil tuned his guitar, thereby giving him the abilities which he so desired. From then on, the young bluesman played his instrument with an unearthly style, his fingers dancing over the strings. His voice moaned and wailed, expressing the deepest sorrows of a condemned sinner.          

This is “The Crossroads,” the location where the legend says blues musician Robert Johnson sold his soul to the Devil for the ability to play a mean guitar. The Crossroads has continued to gain popularity in music (“Highway 61,” “Crossroads,” “Cross Road Blues,” “Highway 49,” etc.) and in movies (“O Brother, Where Art Thou?,” “Crossroads,” etc.).

In the film O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), a character named Tommy Johnson, played by Chris Thomas King, describes selling his soul to the devil to play guitar. In the film, Tommy Johnson plays a number of songs originally recorded by blues musician Skip James and accompanies the Soggy Bottom Boys, a band consisting of the film’s three main characters plus Johnson, on “Man of Constant Sorrow.”

Has Anyone Else Sold Their Souls to the Devil?

Did you notice that Clarksdale, Mississippi is located north of New Orleans and south of Memphis, Tennessee?   Voodoo oozes from New Orleans for a reason. The Blues were here before Hernando DeSoto, “discovered” the Mississippi. And the blues were played from New Orleans to the entire area around it.  When the racial-reconciliation movement began, it started with sports, music and the schools. 

There are many in the music industry that have admitted that they made a pact with the Devil for fame and money.  Bob Dylan admitted with a straight face on 60 minutes of having “made a bargain with the “Commander-in-Chief” in order to achieve his success. 

So has Katy Perry.  Last year’s Super Bowl half-time entertainer admitted she sold her soul to the devil at least two times on televised interviews: 

Katy Perry, daughter of Evangelistic parents, was recording Christian music until she realized that she was unable to make a large amount of money and fame in that. Then, she records a lesbian song about making out with other girls. Her mom is now writing articles offering up advice on how to “Save your Prodigal”.

Katy married Russell Brand in a Hindu wedding in India but was divorced after only one year of marriage.  She carries a similar message as Madonna does.

There are many, many other in the entertainment field like Miley Cyrus (Destiny Hope), Ashton Kutcher, Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Mary-Kate Olsen, Ashley Olsen, Hilary Duff, Nicolas Cage, Tyler Perry, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Bette Midler, Lady Gaga, Brittany Spears, Rihanna, Madonna, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Eminem, Jimmy Buffett, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bon Jovi, Brad Pitt, Bruce Springsteen, Carrie Underwood, Christina Aguilera, David Bowie, Dolly Parton, Elton John, Johnny Cash, John Lennon, Jonas Brothers, Justin Timberlake, KISS, Metallica, Motley Crue, Red Hot Chili Peppers,  Roseanne Barr, Selena Gomez, Snoop Dogg, The Eagles, The Rolling Stones, Van Halen,  Elvis Presley, etc. that have said that they have made a deal with the devil and/or have shown demon possession:  they sold their souls for fame and money.

Elvis Presley, was one of the first who made the switch from the voodoo influence of the blacks to the acceptable “rock ‘n roll.”  But look at his life and see where it all got him:

Birthplace of Elvis, Tupelo MSThe most significant landmark of Tupelo, Mississippi’s modern history is a modest, two-room house where the King of Rock & Roll was born on January 8, 1935. From this humble beginning, Elvis Presley began his swift rise to become the world’s most popular entertainer. The house, built by his father for $180, draws over 50,000 visitors each year from across the world and is part of the 15-acre Elvis Presley Park.  The home is a Mississippi landmark and the centerpiece of the park which includes, among many other exhibits, the popular photo-op “Elvis at 13” statue and Elvis’ childhood church.

The Roman Catholic Church

The Roman Catholic Church used to be very strict and intolerant in what they believed, and if anyone differed with them they were in danger of being killed by them.  The Waldenses in the 1100’s and 1200’s is an example.  They openly stated that they hated the Roman mass and their pope.  As a result, they were mercilessly tortured and murdered by the Roman Catholic army.

But now, ever since the Protestant Revolution, the Roman Catholics have changed their strategy.  They are organizing a campaign to unify all the religions of the world into one world religion based on universalism. 

The Jesuit Pope said that now “we can bring about an unprecedented age of peace.  All we need to achieve such a state is respect each other’s beliefs, for we are all children of God regardless of the name we choose to address him by.  We can accomplish miraculous things in the world by merging our faiths, and the time for such a movement is NOW.  No longer shall we slaughter our neighbors over differences in reference to their God.”

In addition, the Roman Catholic Church is coordinating a plan to have the World Church agree with all churches and religions that teach universalism or racial-reconciliation.  The Pope has continued his campaign to unite the religions of the world.  He said in a video released in January 2016 for the Feast of Epiphany, “Most of the planet’s inhabitants declared themselves believers.  This should lead to dialogue among religions.  We should not stop praying for it and collaborating with those who think differently.” 

He then went on to say, “Many think differently, feel differently, seeking God or meeting God in different ways.  In this crowd, in this range of religions, there is only one certainty that we have for all:  we are all children of God.”

The video also features a female who expresses her confidence in Buddha, a Jewish rabbi who expresses his belief in god, a priest who says he believes in false Jesus Christ, and a Muslim who declares his faith in Allah.  The Pope believes that no matter what the person calls God, i.e. the Judeo-Christian Jesus, Buddha, Allah, Baal, Hindu, etc., they all describe the same person across the world.  In other words, equal gods.  Get ready to see more interfaith movements in the world.  The one entity that they cannot tolerate is Christian Identity.  Christian Identity is exclusive, the Roman Catholic world religions are inclusive. 

Cincinnati Crossroads Church

Cincinnati's Old St. George Church with its spires before a 2003 fireRenovations are underway at the Old St. George Church on McMillian Street in Corryville, where Crossroads will use for the UC campus location.In the January 16, 2016 Cincinnati Enquirer’s front page there was the story of the Historic Church’s revival.  “Late this summer, Old St. George church will once again hold worship services in the vaulted-ceiling sanctuary for the first time in over two decades.

The 143-year-old former Catholic Church, closed in 1993 due to declining attendance, is undergoing a $14 million renovation by rapidly expanding Crossroads Church, based in Oakley.  Crossroads plans to return the church to a community worship center that will serve area residents and students at the University of Cincinnati. 

When it reopens, Old St. George will be called Crossroads Uptown, one of five campuses for Crossroads, recently listed as one of the fastest growing churches in the country by Outreach magazine.  It will include updates that will bring it in line with modern worship buildings, says Lena Tome, pastor of Crossroads Uptown.      

Lena TomeLena Tome is the daughter of the head pastor of Crossroads Church.  She graduated from the University of Cincinnati and worked at Cincinnati’s Procter and Gamble, where most of the original members worked.  She, like almost all the ministers of this church, except for her father, have no studies in the Bible or church history.  They are lay people who accepted the role of pastor or teacher.  A female is disqualified from this position in the Bible, but it doesn’t matter to Crossroads Church.

“The classic Romanesque Revival architecture of the building, designed by famed Cincinnati architect Samuel Hannaford, who also designed Music Hall and Cincinnati City Hall, will be preserved,” Tome says.

“A parishioner who had not seen the inside of the church since it closed in 1993 could walk in and still recognize it as Old St. George,” she says.

“The renovations inside the sanctuary stop at 19 feet above the floor, protecting the hallmark arched ceiling and stained glass windows that are distinctly part of Old St. George. The walls and ceiling above this point will be stabilized, but will not be otherwise altered,” says Sue Landgrebe, director of building and facilities at Crossroads.

Once it reopens, the church will serve 2,000 members of the current Crossroads Uptown campus, now located at Bogart’s, an entertainment facility in Corryville.  Tome says she also expects the church to attract a lot of interest from students at UC, 98 percent of whom do not regularly attend a church on campus.

The re-use of the building has been a long-standing goal for the community, and a solution that came not a moment too soon.  Matt Bourgeois, director of Clifton Heights Community Urban Redevelopment Corp., which bought the church in 2005 in an attempt to save it, says each day that passed without a plan for the building was another day closer to the wrecking ball.

“There is only so long that you can keep an old building like that standing and keep it viable,” he says.

2008 fire engulfs Old St. George Church on Calhoun Street“The Crossroads project is an ideal outcome for a historic building that had been abandoned, neglected and nearly destroyed by fire in 2008 when the church’s steeples burned,” he says.

“When we originally bought the property we never thought it would be a church again,” Bourgeois says. “Urban congregations are declining.  That’s part of what makes the project so special,” he adds.

“Everything that makes it a cool building makes it difficult to use as anything except a church,” he says. “This is probably the biggest success story we’ve had (in the community’s revitalization).”

“Crossroads’ operational model for the church will keep it open seven days a week offering free WiFi, co-working space, lecture venues and free coffee, supporting area businesses,” Bourgeois says.

“This project didn’t step on anyone’s toes,” he says, “which might have happened had it been converted to new retail or office space. It draws people to the area and can be an additional reason for young people to settle in the community. I get calls all the time saying, ‘great work.’ That doesn’t happen very often.”

Bourgeois says the community has breathed a collective sigh of relief that the historic church has been saved.  Tome says, for its part, Crossroads is thankful to move into a venerated building that was designed specifically with spiritual purposes in mind.

“This is one of our only churches that is not just a big box,” she says. “We are benefiting from standing on the shoulders of thousands of worshipers here before us. That’s a good feeling.”

Brian Wells was working as a brand manager at Procter & Gamble in 1990, when he and a group of friends met for a bible study at the Hyde Park home of fellow P & G marketer Jim Bechtold.  After a year, the study group had grown to 100 people and had to move to the Hyde Park Center for Older Adults.  Bechtold, carpooling to work one morning with Wells along Columbia Parkway, suggested they start a church. 

So, the church that they helped found is called Crossroads.  Mark, last week, asked the question:  “Why did they name their church, Crossroads?”  The gospel is the straight and narrow path; it doesn’t even become a crossroads.  At a crossroad you have to determine which way to go; it’s pathway is not predetermined.

I don’t know why they did either; but it seems that it has to do with the music that they play at church.  They don’t use hymns or “church music.” They use music that was conceived at the crossroads in Mississippi—the music of “racial-reconciliation.”     

Vivienne Lee Bechtold; one of the P&G employees who co-founded Crossroads Church in 1995The Bible study that began Crossroads Church first met in the home of the Bechtolds, a miscegenation couple.  Jim’s wife, Vivenne, grew up near St. Louis, Missouri, and after graduating from high school, went to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  After graduating, she came to Proctor and Gamble.  She married Jim Bechtold as they both worked at P & G.

After transferring into brand management, Vivienne Bechtold helped turn Pantene Shampoo into a billion-dollar business. She led the development of P&G’s Marketing University which provided training for more than 5,000 marketing employees worldwide.

Bechtold was one of the P&G employees who in 1995 co-founded Crossroads Church, which is based in Oakley but has expanded to seven locations in Greater Cincinnati. It is one of the largest churches in the nation, with more than 25,000 followers, and has raised more than $100 million for ministry work.

She and her husband, Jim, mortgaged their house to help finance the loan to buy the church’s old headquarters building.  The founding group of friends originally met for Bible study at the Hyde Park home of Bechtold and her husband, a fellow P&G marketer. It was Jim Bechtold who first suggested to the group that they start a church.  Remember, it was a cloister of nuns who prayed world-wide for the success of this fledging church.  The couple and their three children now live in Symmes Township.            

She was a global brand manager for Proctor & Gamble Company. 

  • She also joined the Board of Directors of Deaconess (Hospital) Association Inc., and
  • She, and two others from her church, serve as a part of the Advisory Group of Cincinnati’s Underground Railroad
  • She and two other members of Crossroads Church serve as trustees at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy.

Cincinnati’s Underground Railroad Museum?    What a fiasco that is!  This is the place that those in favor of racial-reconciliation gather each Michael King Day and march to Fountain Square.  The co-founder of Crossroads Church serves as a part of the Advisory Group for this communist’s organization?

CHCA?  Do you think that this is a true Christian School?  Its main contributor is one of the Lindner sons--a freemason who as a youth was a worshiper of the Eastern religions.  He now is a member of one of the new big churches.  May God have mercy on my soul.

Pastor Jerry Wickey preached about this situation over 20 years ago.  He said that he had read that the new mega-churches were based on marketing skills of the secular world.  You know, he was absolutely correct. 

But before I get too carried away, let me go back and tell you more about his wife.  Jim is a Caucasian who is married to a Chinese-Filipino mongrel.    Her grandfather left China during the Communists revolution and went to Brazil.  From there he immigrated to the United States.  Her grandmother was a Filipino who came to the United States in the early 1900’s. 

Vivienne has lived around the world, including three years in Japan. Vivienne is a people person who can literally work with anyone.  She can also speak to just about anyone, having studied five languages.  Vivienne’s interest in the non-profit sector led her to use her business and brand building skills to start one of the world’s fastest-growing churches with nearly 25,000 attendees/week and over $100 million raised. 

Vivienne led the development of P&G’s Marketing University, providing all corporate training for 5,000+ marketing employees worldwide.  While living in Asia, she received the President’s award for “Best Turnaround of a Function.”  Vivienne led the United States diversity efforts for Asians in marketing and consumer research resulting in breakthrough retention and advancement numbers, and she was a key leader on P&G’s Global Women’s Leadership Team resulting in greater empowerment, satisfaction and business growth among women.

Do you think that a race-mixed couple would not be in favor of racial-reconciliation and miscegenation?  What do you think their church believes?  Was a Chinaman the seed of Jacob?  Was a Filipino the seed of Jacob?  When the church was asked about the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriages, the Crossroads Church failed to give any answer.

One of the main doctrines of the Freemasons is the equality of all races.  This is a main doctrine of almost every church in America now; but it used to not be.  Do you think that you are equal with a native in the jungles of New Guinea?

Crossroads' Head Pastor

Brian Tome, an ordained Presbyterian pastor from Pittsburgh, came to Cincinnati after answering a magazine ad placed by a group of friends who wanted to start a church for people who don’t like going to church. The church’s subsequent growth is no fluke.

“Brian is the single best leader I have ever worked with in terms of his ability to motivate and influence, and his courage,” said Tom Shepherd, a member of Crossroads’ spiritual board of advisors and CEO of The Shepherd Chemical Co.

As they built the church, Tome and his board applied modern business strategies to meet a fundamental need for many people. Despite – or perhaps because of – dropping attendance figures for many organized religions, Tome was convinced a huge market existed.

“There is a God-shaped vacuum inside of every human being. People do want fulfillment, and we try to find it every way we can: making gobs of money, having sexual conquests,” he said. “But really the need is people feel an internal longing, and that longing is filled by God.”

Tome won’t compromise on some things; Crossroads attendees must at least be open to exploring a relationship with God. The church is based on Christian principles and draws its message from the Bible, but people of all religions are welcome. For the most part, however, Tome and the board threw out the traditional church model and asked a lot of questions while developing the service.

  • Why, for example, should church music be any different from what people listen to in their cars? 
  • Shouldn’t Crossroads’ weekly message be more like the presentations people pay to hear at corporate events?
  • And have you ever noticed that, at parties, people like to have a drink in their hands, even if it’s just water? So why not let people drink coffee during services?

“You put a cup of coffee in somebody’s hand, and socially they feel a little more comfortable,” Tome said. “And what we like to say sometimes is we give people a comfortable environment to hear an uncomfortable message.”

So, they use the music that was started at the crossroads in Mississippi.  It was picked up by Elvis Presley and a whole host of others.  It had/has the voodoo beat that changed the United States and the world to embrace the New World Order.  So, that is the music that Crossroads Church plays:  What a perfect name.

And their weekly message is like the messages that are taught in corporate events. 

Carl Satterwhite is a member of the Board of Trustees for numerous professional organizations including being a part owner of the Cincinnati Reds.  Carl is black and goes to Crossroads Church.Crossroads’ greatest asset, perhaps, is its ability to attract creative people and leaders. It has a profound impact on Crossroads and is spilling out into the city and world.  For example:  Carl Satterwhite, the Chairman of United Appeal, who has had years of experience at Procter and Gamble as an owner of a commercial furniture installation company.  Carl is a member of the Board of Trustees for numerous professional organizations including being a part owner of the Cincinnati Reds.  Carl is black and goes to Crossroads Church.

 “People said, ‘Well, it doesn’t look like a church.’ Guess what: Things that look like a church, people don’t go to,” Tome said. “We all want to understand and give the consumer what they want, but if you really want to be a successful, you have to give them what they don’t know that they want.”


So now we have:

  • “legalized” rock ‘n roll music;
  • “legalized” gay marriage
  • “legalized” child sacrifice (abortion) 
  • “legalized” porn 
  • “legalized” adultery-based business models 
  • all the rest of our now, flagrantly obvious, and catastrophical anti-Christ approach to law and civil government. 

And in the middle of all of this, we dare wonder why our culture is imploding?


This is why we’ve come to a place in America where Bruce Jenner “transitioning” into a Republican Christian woman is a culture-moving event, worthy of praise and corporate coronation as a supreme example of courage for the world to follow.

This is why we’ve come to a place where those doing the hard, self-sacrificial work of proving Planned Parenthood to be a grotesquely satanic baby mass-murdering enterprise are themselves indicted…while Planned Parenthood itself goes right on “legally” operating as they have for decades, now openly murdering babies by the bajillions in unhidden facilities all across the fruited plain.

This is why we’ve come to a place where we cannot even define, much less defend, even the most elementary of concepts, such as gender.  And all of these surreal examples of our ongoing self-disintegration as a people flow from our exaltation of religious pluralism as a virtue rather than the abomination that God has plainly labeled it to be. We still actually believe that the freedom to openly worship false gods is a good – and even God-given – thing.

How satanically proud and stupid can a people become?

The former pope said in his book, that the Jews are NOT to blame for the crucifixion of JesusThe former pope said in his book, that the Jews are NOT to blame for the crucifixion of Jesus, underlining a key breakthrough in Catholic-Jewish relations.  Many Christians and non-Christians, including many Catholics, blamed the Jews for Jesus’ death for hundreds of years -- a doctrine which many Jews believe directly fueled anti-Semitism.

The Catholic Church formally repudiated the assertion that the Jewish people had committed “deicide,” or the murder of God, in the 1960s. Jewish organizations, including the World Jewish Congress and the Anti-Defamation League, praised Benedict’s new comments on the death of Jesus.

“Pope Benedict has rejected the previous teachings and perversions that have helped to foster and reinforce anti-Semitism through the centuries,” ADL national director Abraham Foxman said.  Rabbi Marvin Hier, the head of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, lauded the “critically important and timely statement by his Holiness, particularly at a time of increased mainstream anti-Semitism worldwide,” calling it “a very important tool in the fight against Jew-hatred.”

What we need is a Declaration of complete dependence and reliance upon Jesus Christ, the reigning King of all of creation…including the realms of law and civil government.  Churches and missionaries do not realize that the end-time evangelism is not to call unbelievers out from paganism, but to call sincere unregenerate believers out from denominational and independent assemblies into Christ the Word (Revelation 18:4). Misguided ministers are unknowingly grooming unbelievers to receive their mark of the beast now, before it is forced.  What good is a church that uses music that has a spell placed upon the original recording before it is sent to the buyers.  Beware and come out of her My people.

A Vow to the God of Israel

Here we stand before our Holy God, who loved our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and made an unconditional covenant with them and elected, married, and became the King of the holy seed of Jacob/Israel.

We, the children of Jacob/Israel, are making this vow to our Kinsman Redeemer that He will protect us and completely destroy our enemy, Mystery Babylon, just like He did when He answered the similar pleas of kings Asa, Jehosophat, Hezekiah, and Josiah in the Old Testament.

Help us O Lord our God, for we rest on Thee, and in Thy name we move against this vicious enemy that teaches the evil doctrines of multiculturalism and/or racial-reconciliation and universalism. We have no might against this great Beast that comes against us, neither know we what to do, but our eyes are upon Thee. Save us before we are completely destroyed.

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel.

Psalm 91

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

Surely, He shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust: His truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;

Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.”

Blessed be the LORD God of Israel.