Ousted Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran, who was fired earlier this month by Mayor Kasim Reed for not following city protocol after the publication of his anti-gay book, gave a sermon at a Cartersville, Ga., church recently where he compared himself to Jesus Christ, Job and other biblical figures.
The sermon came just days before former Atlanta mayor and U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young said Cochran doesn’t understand the Bible amid signs that the Baptist leaders who initially sided with the former fire chief are beginning to distance themselves from him.
The Jan. 25 service at Tabernacle Baptist Church featured a sermon by Cochran that he called “the blessings of sufferings.”
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Cochran described the difference between what he called “self-inflicted sufferings” and “God-induced sufferings,” calling his firing a “God-induced suffering.”
“That’s what this experience is for me and my family. This is not as a result of something that I didn’t do that God is chastening me for, this is something that God has chosen to do because of his purpose and design for not just me and my family but for a greater cause for the kingdom of God.”
“God reminded me that I’m in pretty good company when it comes to God-induced sufferings. He reminded me, brothers and sisters, that Job was just minding his own business, being a faithful husband, taking good care of his children, minding his flocks in his fields and god volunteered him for an unimaginable God-induced suffering. But after he endured the suffering, God blessed him with twice as much as all that he had prior to the suffering.”
Cochran then compared himself to Daniel in the story of him and King Darius, and how others plotted against Daniel to bring him down, making a comparison between the 30 days that King Darius made Daniel pray to only him, and the 30-day suspension that Reed imposed on Cochran.
The plotters against Daniel were thrown to the lions, said Cochran.
In his final comparison, Cochran said God “reminded me of the ultimate suffering servant, Jesus Christ, who suffered, bled and died. Rose again on the third day and because of his suffering he has the name that is above every name. God blesses always during suffering.”
Cochran ended his sermon by predicting his full vindication:
“I found out there are worldly consequences for standing for righteousness, but what God is about to show everybody is that there are also kingdom consequences for standing for righteousness. And he’s going to vindicate me in such a way that everybody will see it and everybody will know that it’s nobody but the most high God who is vindicating me.”