The Left is Nuts

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nutsThe left is nuts! There I said it. Don’t believe me? Just a few examples:

1. It is nuts to believe that you can kill a fetus right up to the moment of birth and a few centimeters in the birth canal grants “personhood.”

2. It is nuts to believe that you can outlaw guns and all criminals who commit crimes will now lay down their arms because the law says to do so.

3. It is nuts to believe that a long documented mental disorder is some new found third gender like discovering a new species of life on the Galapagos Islands.

4. It is nuts to believe that Hillary was not in collusion with the Russians when one fifth of our uranium was turned over to them and her foundation receives $145 million in exchange and her husband is given a $500,000 speaking fee. After all, she was Secretary of State!

5. It is nuts to believe that you can re-define marriage and it have no affect on the institution itself. If you flood the banks with counterfeit money, sooner or later, it will begin to affect the value of the real currency. This re-definition of marriage cheapens the value of the actual. Young people are putting off marriage. Co-habitation among young adults is at an all time high. Children born outside the bonds of marriage is at an all time high. Re-define marriage all you want; but it will negatively impact society.

Liberalism is an existential emotional outburst by those who think they are smarter, better, more moral, and care more than the rest of us. Right thinking people know that is just nuts!

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Reconsidering Mass Murder

GunControl-800x445I have been looking at the mass shootings that have been going on and have come to the following conclusions:
 
1. All are committed by men with the lone exception of the San Bernardino shooters who were husband and wife.
 
2. All involved a gun. Sometimes the gun was purchased legally and sometimes it was stolen, borrowed, or obtained illegally. The Columbine and Sandyhook shootings were done with weapons stolen from parents.   The Garland, TX attempted mass murderers obtained their weapons through Erick Holder’s Justice Department during the Obama administration’s Operation Fast and Furious.  In the most recent incident the shooter lied on his application/background check (a Federal crime) and the incompetence of the government allowed him to obtain a weapon illegally!
 
3. In all cases, the shooter was willing to be killed rather than surrender. A few were taken alive, but most were killed or killed themselves while committing the crime.
4.  None of the killers were members of the NRA but the NRA was blamed each and every time for the crimes of people who were not a part of their organization.
 
5. If someone is hell bent on killing themselves, there is nothing that you can do to stop them. They will find a way. Short of locking them up prior to the act, there is no way to stop them.
 
6. A good guy with a gun is the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun unless he commits suicide first. The Garland, TX shooters (terrorists) were stopped by the cops. The BLM shooter in Dallas was blown up by cops. The latest incident was stopped by a good guy with a gun.
 
7. No law written will stop someone hell bent on breaking the law. In addition to committing murder, attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, and a host of other crimes, the latest shooter lied on his background check. What other law that could be enacted that would have stopped him?
 
8. The only possible law short of a total gun ban that is left is to outlaw private sales of firearms. In other words, make all firearm purchases (non retail or non whole sale) subject to going through the local FFL. However, while this may prevent a law abiding person from purchasing a firearm from a neighbor, it will do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to prevent a mass killing, particularly when the person is willing to die while doing it.  None of the mass killings were committed with a weapon that was the result of a private sale.  To make it illegal to do so is to address a problem that simply does not exist.
 
9. Before proposing new laws that restrict law abiding folk, how about you first enforce the laws that are currently on the books. Mandatory jail terms of 20 years for any crime committed with a firearm. That would practically cure Chicago’s problems in a few months. Prosecute those who commit a crime by falsely filling out an application for a background check.  This is an enforced law that needs to be enforced.
 
10. Several other things that these shooters had in common with each other is that they were either on antidepressants, were Muslim, or were liberal / socialist/ or anarchy types. There was often a lot of overlap. If liberals would just stop committing violence against the opposition, that would cure a lot of problems.
 
Evil is as evil does. These shooters were pure evil. Evil has existed since the dawn of time and will, sadly continue until the end of time. There is only one heart changing thing that can be done and that involves the grace of Jesus Christ.

Of Church and Other Things

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churchIt has been an interesting two months since I left pastoring.  During the last few weeks I have not preached, taught, spoken, or otherwise engaged in anything close to ministry with the exception of taking a shut-in to the grocery store and visiting a few sick people in the hospital and nursing homes.  I must say, it has been an interesting time.  I am working through various emotions such as hurt, anger, disappointment, and bewilderment.  I am not one to hold a grudge but I do get angry from time to time.  I find that prayer helps a lot when I am angry and I pray best when I am busy at mundane tasks such as mowing the grass.  I have the best lawn in Buffalo Creek!  I have also learned that the value of friendship is priceless.  Even the Bildad, Elephad, and Zophar type of friends have their value.

During this time my family has had the opportunity to visit several churches in our area. I have enjoyed this time of refreshing and it is always interesting to see how others engage in worship.  I have enjoyed some great preaching and some wonderful music.  I have also watched a lot of churches and great messages on YouTube.  Here are some things that I have observed:

  1. Music can be great no matter what style.  I have seen large church choirs and small worship teams over the last few weeks.  When it is done well, the style is of little consequence and more of a matter of personal taste.
  2. Music ministers and preachers should always try to “get over themselves.”  We did not come to see/hear you but the message from God that you have been working on all week.
  3. Humor is a great aid to worship.  Worship is by its very nature emotional and intellectual.  Laughter reflects emotions and when music and message engage at this level, not only is it fun, it can be very healthy.
  4. Music ministers should limit their speaking to relevant information about the song. Don’t try to preach and keep it on point.  Tell the background of Amazing Grace or It is Well if that helps, but remember that it needs to be brief.  Saying nothing at all is always safe.
  5. Endless guitar strumming at the beginning of a song is not good.  Unless you can finger-pick a guitar like Glen Campbell, limit yourself to no more than 3 chords to introduce your song.
  6. Sing Jesus music.  By that, I mean music that reflects the name, message, majesty, or personhood of Jesus.  Don’t be afraid to use the name “Jesus” either.  Avoid the “Jesus is my boyfriend” songs as they tend to be kind of creepy.
  7. Preachers – I have heard some great messages over the past few weeks.  Remember that your words minister to a broad spectrum of people and all of us have issues, problems, challenges, and hurts.  We are to be salt and light but don’t rub salt in the wounds!
  8. As we enter our worship experience, don’t worship “worship.”  This is sort of hard to explain other than reminding us that when we worship anyone other than God, we are worshiping an idol.
  9. Preachers – Don’t preach safe messages.  Galatians 1:10 reminds us that we are to seek the approval of God and not men.
  10. There are some churches out there who think they are way too cool.  Pastors who wear skinny jeans and muscle shirts and platform shoes look ridiculous.  Proverbs 16:18 reminds us that pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.
  11. There are some churches where “anything goes.”  They constantly remind us not to judge.  If you find yourself in a church that approves of that which the Bible clearly condemns, run away!  Be that sins of homosexuality, living together before marriage, or gossip!
  12. Beware of the personality cult.  When a church website has more information about the preacher and his latest book, DVD, conference, Holy Land trip, or vacation slides, it makes you wonder who they are trying make famous; Jesus or the preacher.
  13. Church leaders come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and giftedness.  An extrovert and an introvert can both point people to the cross.
  14. Beware of the salt losing its flavor.  When a church becomes more involved in Social Justice causes, Heath and Wealth, Left-wing and Right-wing politics in place of the true gospel, it has lost its purpose and has become another gospel.

Worship is more than music.  I often hear a preacher talk of a “worship leader.”  The preacher is a worship leader as well.  Every aspect of the time spent with God’s people should be a spiritual act of worship; from the singing, the praying, the reading of scripture, the preaching, the giving, churchthe commitment, and even the fellowship afterwards.  It is all part of the worship experience and it is bigger than one person, except for the Lord Jesus.

An Eclipse of the Heart

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eclipse 2017We have an eclipse coming on August 21, 2017.  It will cover much of the country for several minutes and it will be decades before the USA will experience such a cosmic event again.  I remember being in a near total eclipse back in the 70s when I was in high school.  It was said at the time that chickens in our community became disorientated and began laying eggs in the middle of the day.  Not having such a bird, I cannot confirm this.

An eclipse is an amazing sight.  For a few minutes, during which time it should be its brightest, the sky darkens and appears as night.  If you are driving, you might have to turn on your headlights if you do not have automatic headlights.  Looking into it directly is dangerous and I understand you can purchase eclipse glasses from Amazon for a price that will drop dramatically on August 22nd.

We live in a day that is already experiencing a near total eclipse.  Not an astronomical event but a moral and spiritual event.  We live in a time where there is a near total eclipse of the heart.  Think about this:

  • We can go anywhere in the world in only a few hours.  Travel that once took months and put your life in grave risk, now takes only a few hours, sitting in a chair 6 miles in the atmosphere.  You walk on the plane in Dallas, sit down, sleep and enjoy a meal and a drink.  Before you know it, you are in Hong Kong, or Russia, or thousands of other places throughout the world.
  • The sum total knowledge of the world is as far away as a Google search.  Want to know what a baseball player’s batting average was for any given year?  Just Google it.  Want to know how to replace a spark plug on your riding lawn mower? There is probably a YouTube video to show you how.  No knowledge is beyond your cell phone’s reach.  Coffee shop arguments are often settled with Siri.
  • We live in comfort.  We sleep on soft beds in air conditioned homes.  We eat food stored in a refrigerator.  We drive in luxury listening to any song we want, downloaded to our phones and piped through the Bose speakers in the car.
  • We do not fear getting eaten by wild animals.  None of us have ever had a relative die of scurvy or small pox.  If you fail to brush your teeth and the dentist has to pull it, they can implant another for about $1200.  Replaceable teeth!

Yet, in spite of our technological advancements, the heart of man is just as dark.  At a time when we should be at our best, humanity is engaged against modern day barbarians who delight in sawing off the heads of “infidels.”

The modern church is far from exempt from this eclipse of the heart.  Many churches are too engaged in a fight for Social Justice to share the Good News of Jesus.  Other churches have sought after a different gospel; the Health and Wealth variety.  This gospel is proclaimed in churches and on the airwaves 24/7.  They promise healing, prosperity, restoration, and happiness for an indulgence of a seed faith offering.

Still other evangelical churches find themselves burdened with debt for buildings that are filled only a few hours a week.  They have the best sound systems that money can buy and the most comfortable of pews.  The video systems rival that of an IMax theater.  The pastors have degrees from the best institutions of higher learning and the music would rival any Broadway musical in quality.  Yet, despite such wealth, free will offerings are often used to service debt than send missionaries on the field with the tools they need to do their jobs.  Not all churches are like this, but sadly too many are.

Then, sadly, there are the vast majority of churches that are just dead.  They believe right; but their faith is cold and uninviting.  It is a faith that clings to tradition at the expense of change.  It clings to its buildings, budgets, and bureaucratic procedures and complex man-made rules and has little time for telling people about Jesus.  I once had a man tell me that if our church grew, the parking lot might be full.  I replied that was a good thing. His reply?  “Well, what if there is an accident?”  Such unfounded fear would keep us from Walmart on Saturdays.

A solar eclipse is when the moon gets in the way of the sun.  An eclipse of the heart is when we get in the way of the Son of God.  The eclipse of the heart plunges us into darkness.  Look at a solar eclipse and you can go blind.  Look at an eclipse of the heart long enough and you will become spiritually blind.  In a solar eclipse, you can lose your way.  If an eclipse of the heart, the church has lost its way.

So what are we to do?  Tear down our buildings and give all that we have to the poor?  Abandon modern worship and dispense with corporate gatherings?  No, this is not the solution because it is not the cause of the problem.  The problem is us.  We must change.  The change must begin with us and it begins in our own hearts.  A renewal is only a change of heart away.  Fortunately, we serve a God who is in the very business of changing hearts.

 

Help Wanted

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Help-wanted-signWe have all seen the Help Wanted sign in the window.  Many of us have even taken the time to make application for the job inside.  I remember once, just out of high school, I applied for a factory job near my hometown.  I was in the main office filling out the form when a man walked in covered from head to toe in soot and looking like he was about to die.  He was coming in just to get a drink of water.  I saw him and politely placed the application folded in my pocket and walked out.  I could tell that job was not for me.

Ministry is a constant call for Help Wanted.  The church my family attended yesterday will filled with the most helpful volunteers.  They escorted us to first to my daughter’s Sunday School class and then showed us where to meet her after class before escorting us to our class.  It was neat, polished, and professional.  They did well.

Answering God’s call to full-time vocational ministry can be one of the most rewarding experiences in your life.  I “surrendered” (a word I feel is inappropriately used) to full-time service to our Lord when I was a teenager.  I have never regretted that decision or commitment.  That does not mean that it has always been great.  While I have few regrets in ministry, it has not always been easy and at times, it has never called me to question my calling and my commitment.

In life there are jobs (things we do for pay), careers (jobs we enjoy doing for pay) and callings (things we would do for free, but would love to be paid to do).  Ministry is more than a career or a job; it is a calling.  It often calls at 3 am to help a person in crisis.  It calls when you are on vacation with the family and interferes with your much needed time off.  It calls in the heat of day and the cold of winter.  It never leaves you alone and hounds you even in your sleep.  Now if this sounds harsh, remember that you would not have it any other way.

In ministry you are always expected to be perfect.  You are expected to smile and shake hands with people you know are saying false and harmful things behind your back.  You are expected to act sympathetic to people who placed their families in jeopardy due to foolish actions on their part.  You are expected to always know the right thing to say and do in most every situation.  You are expected to care, love, cry, pray, and always be prepared to preach or teach at a moments notice.  By the way, your family is also expected to “perform.”

A few weeks ago I stood in horror as I watch my wife backing up her car and scrapping mine in the process.  I shouted to her and waved my hands to warn her but to no avail.  Finally she stopped, rolled down the window, and asked what the problem was.  “Your scrapping the cars together” I replied.  At first she denied it but as she got out, she saw the damage.  Her next words?  “Stop yelling.  The neighbors will hear you.”  My next words?  “They are on my side!”

God’s call for “Help Wanted” is a call we gladly answer, but be mindful; it is not always an easy call to stay answered!  The Bible tells us that the gifts and callings of God are without repentance (Romans 11:29).  God called you for a reason not for a season!  Stay strong and remember that you are always strongest when you are on your knees.

You Are Terminated!

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Thirty years ago when I was in seminary, the first of terminatormany Terminator movies came out.  When it eventually made its way to the dollar theater, my friends and I made it almost a nightly ritual of going to see the movie.  It was cheap entertainment and far better than memorizing Hebrew vocabulary words.  You know the story.  Arnold plays a cyborg that is sent back in time in order to kill the mother of his future enemy; thus preventing his birth.  Later iterations of the movie have Arnold playing a Terminator, but a good one.  The first movie gave us the line “I’ll be back!” and one of the other movies gave us the line “You are terminated!”

While it may make with imaginary delight when we say in our mind’s eye “I’ll be back!” it really takes the wind out of our sails when we hear the other phrase “You are terminated.”  We envision ourselves saying one line, but dread hearing the other line.  Chances are, if you stay in ministry long enough, you will hear the latter line at least once in your career.

Forced terminations in ministry are very hard; both on the church as well as the minister.  Over recent years, there have been some fine materials written on this subject and a lot of it is helpful.  In this brief essay, I seek to offer some perspective on this matter.

To break it down to its lowest common denominator, forced terminations usually occur because of two things:  Something that you do; or something that you fail to do.  Either way, you are out!  In my 30+ years of ministry, I have known many pastors and staff members who have been fired.  Sometimes it was justified because of a moral failure.  Other times, the termination was less than justified because the church was resistant to change.   Either way, it hurts both the church and the minster.

Here are some general things to consider when looking at this issue:

  1. Some churches have a history of termination.  Anytime that a church has had to go through this process and they have done it before, it becomes easier and more destructive.  Churches often take the easy way out of termination rather than work towards reconciliation and or reformation.  What they fail to realize is that it sets them on a path for further hardship down the road.  Once a church has gained a reputation of firing more than 1 or 2 ministers in a row, a reputation is gained in the spiritual community that can be hard to live down.
  2. The minister can also develop a pattern or a habit of forced termination.  I once met a minister who had been fired from 10 different churches.  His tenure was usually about 2 years.  He told me that he had 20 years of experience in ministry but had been fired from every place he served.  What he actually had was 2 years of experience that he kept reliving ten times.
  3. There are different types of termination.  I once served at a Christian college and my contract was not renewed.  At first, I considered myself to have been terminated.  However, I then spent the next 7 years teaching on an adjunct basis and enjoyed it more than if I had been on the regular faculty.  I figured that even though they did not renew my contract, they did keep me around for 7 more years so it was not a termination.  This arrangement was beneficial to both me and the college.  I was free to pursue ministry opportunities and the college was able to hire a much more qualified professor.  Even though I am no longer officially connected to the college, we still give money to them and have a good relationship.
  4. Terminations often happen because of fault on both sides.  The minister wants to move the church in one direction and the church is reluctant to make the changes.  The minister fails to convey his vision and build a consensus and the church is against change to the point that they would rather die than change.
  5. Termination often result because there has been a struggle for control of the church.  Many a minister has been fired because he went up against the ruling body (deacons, elders, a ruling family, or even just one little old lady) and his head was handed to him on the way out the door.  When this happens, God has often ceased to work and the church is in danger of dying.
  6. Terminations often happen during the first few years of a ministry in a church.  However, they can happen even after a lengthy tenure.  I know a person who was terminated after well over a decade at a church.  He though that because he had endeared himself to the church they would have a much harder time firing him.  His mistake was that while he had counted his time as a term of endearment, people in the church likened it to a time of festering disease that finally needed to be lanced.
  7. A termination can be a time of renewed focus on the will of God in your life.  This is a hard “reset” button, but can have positive effects to the surrendered life.  Going through a termination is one of the most devastating career events that can happen.  Bathing everything in prayer and seeking God’s perfect will is the minimum standard for recovery.  This can be also true for the church.

A forced termination does not need to be then end of ministry.  I was voted out of a church with 68 negative votes recently.  A good friend reminded me that 68 negative votes was what Jesus received in the Sanhedrin.  While I do not find any kind of spiritual significance in these numbers, other than just coincidence, I do take comfort in the fact that Jesus and I have something more in common than before.

Are you a pastor or minister who has been bitten?

Wolf

As I was thinking of the number of pastors who have experienced difficulty in their calling, I began to think of the various ways that people are bitten at church.

First, there are dog bites. The “dogs” in question here are referenced in Philippians where Paul warns people to beware of dogs. The biblical context are the Judaizers. These were strict legalists who had a semblance of religion, but were far outside of the church and the Christian faith. People, and many pastors, are often the objects of these types of bites. The secular world ridicules men of faith for being, well, men of faith. If you don’t believe in evolution, there must be something wrong with you. If you live a life separated from the world, you are weird. While these dog bites are frequent and annoying, they are seldom fatal.

The second kind of bite is the one that Jesus spoke about in the Sermon on the Mount referring to “wolfs in sheep’s clothing.” These are people who are inside the church, maybe even in leadership positions, but they do not have a relationship with Christ, but dress and act like they do. These wolfs are rather carnivorous, and love to take a bite out of the unsuspecting layman. They have a particular appetite for pastors. Their ethical model is carnal and of the flesh. They do not walk in the Spirit because they do not have the Spirit. Their bites can often prove fatal to the young believer, and the inexperienced pastor.

The third bite is the one that hurts the most. It is the sheep bite. This bite is inflicted by the believer inside the church; often a member to whom you are trying to minister and disciple. Because of the natural way that a sheep eats, it does not tear or rend its victim; rather it gnaws it and grinds it in its flattened teeth. Sheep tend to regurgitate their meal and gnaw on it over and over. While James warned us about those who would devour one another, the sheep bite, while being annoying, can often prove fatal as it never gives up! Once the sheep has learned how to rend and destroy the fellow believer or pastor, it often gets into a habit of such and the result is a fatality. Many a pastor has been gnawed over time and had to leave not only his church, but often the ministry.

There is a fourth bite that the Scripture mentions. Once again we find this mentioned in the book of James wherein he warns believers about Satan himself; the devil, Old Scratch. James said that the devil walks about like a ravenous lion looking for someone to eat. Many a Christian and many a pastor have been devoured by this lion. They are often unaware of how the devil operates. The devil operates by getting Christians to divide from one another. The very word “devil” itself means to divide. The name “Satan” means to accuse. Living up to his name, he accuses and divides believers and by separating out the weak, he goes in for the kill.

Are you a pastor or minister who has been bitten? Tell me your story. If the story is too sensitive to share openly, feel free to private message me on FB.

The Most Frustrating Words Ever!

frustrationThe most frustrating words ever spoken by a wife are “I don’t care.” Usually, these words are spoken after an interrogatory such as “Where do you want to go for dinner tonight?” A simple question to be sure, but one that has multitude of pitfalls for the unsuspecting husband. Welcome to Crazytown!

Gentlemen, when she says “I don’t care.” it does not really mean that she does not care. It means that she does care, but she really does not know that she cares. In other words, it is up to you to become The Great Kreskin so as to provide the information necessary to solicit the appropriate response from the wife. It is so frustrating! It takes great skill and instinct.

When the little lady says “I don’t care.” as to where you are going to eat, you might follow up with more specificity by asking “Well, what would you like to eat?” because knowing what you would like to eat can narrow down the possibilities of where you would like to eat. I know, a First World problem, but still perplexing non-the-less. Usually, the answer given to this is “I don’t know.” which is closer to the truth than the previous responses to date. She really does not know. She does care (even though she says she doesn’t) but she actually does not know. It is at this point you might ask for pizza, Italian, Mexican, fast food….

When the wife answers “Whatever.” or “Whatever you want.” don’t fall for it. These are verbal clues to you that you should keep going down the list of types of foods and various venues to consume these edibles. When faced with a “Whatever.” answer this in no way allows you the freedom to choose what you want. It is a trap that is designed to start something that should be put off for another day (read forever!).

Now for any ladies who might read this, when a man utters these same words “I don’t care.” it means exactly that! He does not care. He really doesn’t! Anything is good for him as long as it does not cost a lot of money or effort. Don’t read more into this statement than there is. It really means that he does not care; one way, or the other.

So to sum up, when a lady says “I don’t care.” it means that you are expected to magically read her mind, know exactly not only what she is thinking now, but also what she is feeling and how she is feeling about what she is thinking on a sub-conscious level.

One final caveat: Don’t get it wrong! The sanctions in life and marriage that can be imposed upon you for getting it wrong are enormous and will make everyone in the house miserable for the foreseeable future.

So there we go. No pressure. Just read minds, discern what she wants but does not know what she wants; add to that feelings that she might have on a sub-conscious level and be accurate 100% of the time because you will never live it down if you are wrong! “Remember when we went here before and the food tasted like cat food? Why did you think I ever wanted to come here again? Oh, look, there are fried pickles!”

Substituting God’s Word for Man’s Opinion: The Misunderstood Theology of Wilshire Baptist Church

Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas, associated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT), has votedwilshire-baptist-church to remove any opposition to the homosexual lifestyle.  By a vote of 61% the church has removed any opposition to ordination of homosexuals for service and to allow the practice of same sex marriage.  While a pioneer in this area, Wilshire is not the first Baptist church to do this; nor will they be the last.

Along these same lines, the BGCT has vowed to remove them  from being a cooperating member, return any funds sent to them by this church, and will refuse to seat their messengers at the annual meetings.  Essentially, they are kicking them out of the convention.

Some have asked whether or not this closes the door of the BGCT from ministering to the homosexual community.  Others say that what Wilshire is doing will open up greater avenues of ministry to this disenfranchised community who need the Gospel of Christ.  Both of these statements need closer scrutiny.  It is true that often in our rhetoric as Baptists that we have been especially harsh in our dealings with the homosexual community. Many of us have made the “Adam and Steve, not Adam and Eve” references in our preaching and teaching.  We have also been quick to remind them of impending judgement for this behavior and lifestyle; although I have never heard of a SBC church going to the same lengths at the Westboro Baptist Church “God hates fags” circus sideshow.

It is long past time that we look upon the homosexual community with the same compassion as any other group who is caught in the trap of sin.  While we are quick to condemn drunkenness and drug abuse, we are also just as quick to help the alcoholic and the addict.  We take stands for marriage, but offer divorce recovery classes and reach out to single moms and fatherless children.  Baptist are a people of great mercy and have always been for many generations.  The very Scripture that we affirm command us no less.

There is a difference between ministering in mercy to those caught in a destructive lifestyle of any sin and degradation and elevating such to leadership positions and endorsement.  The Scriptures caution us as to who is worthy of ordination and leadership.  Minister to all we can, but be selective to those whom we elevate.

With this in mind, let me go through a few talking points on this matter:

  1.  Sin is sin and it separates us from our relationship and fellowship with God and one another.
  2. All sin has consequences.  Overeating and gluttony is a sin.  Murder and abuse are also sins.  The consequences are vastly different.
  3. While all sins are wrong, certain sins have much more dire consequences  than others.  Lying and murder are both sins.  However, I would rather you lie to me than murder me.  The consequences are very different.
  4. The church is called to minister to all, no matter the offense as we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God.
  5. By acknowledging homosexual marriage and allowing those trapped in an unrepentant lifestyle to assume leadership positions, Wilshire has departed from biblical teaching and endorsed behavior that not only is sinful, but destructive to the  home and society.
  6. By their departure from biblical truth, they have deemed that which God says is wrong to be right.  Man’s convenient practice now trumps God’s eternal truth.
  7. Suppose we substitute out a “politically correct” sin such as homosexuality and replace it with one that has more of a social stigma such as “adultery.”  I would think that we can all agree that cheating on your spouse if wrong and its destructive path leaves many victims in its wake.
  8. Would Wilshire now endorse those who practice adultery (openly) as being eligible for leadership positions?  What about a church treasurer (maybe even a qualified CPA) who has a criminal record for theft?  What about an alcoholic who shows up to teach his Sunday School class intoxicated?  What about a man who is an abusive husband and father showing up for worship with his family in tow covered in bruises and bandages?  Would the church still practice love as they define it and allow those who are guilty of unrepentant lifestyles to rise to leadership positions in the church?
  9. Some would argue that there is a difference between sins that are criminal acts perpetrated against the innocent and those who have little choice with whom they fall in love.  Again, it comes down to what the Scripture says; not what man has to say.  If you take the Bible as the word of God, then you must take what it says about homosexuality seriously.
  10. God’s call to salvation has always been “whosoever will.”  God’s call for service and leadership is different.  Specific requirements and disqualifications as reflected in Holy Scripture must be followed.  Failure to do so places any church outside of the clear teaching and authority of the Bible.

The first pastor of Wilshire Baptist Church was a man I once met.  His name was Dr. Hubor Drumwright.  I met him while a student in 1981 at Ouachita Baptist University.  He had just left his academic post at Southwestern Seminary where he served as Dean of Theology to become Executive Director of the Arkansas Baptist Convention.  I recall Dr. Drumwrite as an incredible scholar, a gifted orator, and a humble man with a gentle spirit.  These rare qualities left a great impression on this unlearned and under educated student.  Dr. Drumwright as since gone on to heaven.  Looking down, I just wonder what he might say of his former pastorate.  While that causes me caution, I also wonder that the Lord Himself might say of Wilshire Baptist Church.

What is Best for America is Best for the World

Here is a news flash:

What is best for America is best for the world! Just because we enjoy freedom from oppression does not mean that the world can’t have it too. Just because we enjoy economic prosperity does not mean that the world remains poor. Just because we live in a safe haven does make the world less safe.

42f5e57d847794a33fa71b005111b120You see, liberals don’t understand this. They think if America has something then we are depriving it from the rest of the world. They often say that we make up 4% of the world’s population but consume 50% of the world’s resources. Again, they don’t realize that many types of resources can be continually renewed. Cut a tree down, plant three in its place. Easy. Drill for oil and use the energy to build a factory and make solar panels. Easy!

Liberals think that because America is rich that we got rich off the backs of the poor. They talk about how the country was built off the backs of slaves. Well, we did have slaves: One hundred and fifty years ago! Slavery was wrong and evil. The cotton that was harvested with slave hands has long deteriorated into oblivion. No one alive has owned a slave and no one alive was ever a slave. Your color does not define you; you define you!

Our wealth creates more wealth around the world for everyone to begin to enjoy. Liberals think if we have a larger slice of the pie, that deprives others of a piece. It is the difference between slicing and dividing a pie and baking another pie! Socialist thugs want to divide the pie equally and the smart people want to bake more pies!

Liberals think if we are safe militarily, then that makes the rest of the world a much more dangerous place. Nothing could be further from the truth. When we are safe and secure, the world is much more safer. When we are weak and vulnerable, the rest of the world is even more so. No nation was ever conquered because they were too strong. If the values that we love about this country are worth protecting, then we must do so by making America great again. Our military should be feared throughout the world. Our wealth should be emulated by all freedom loving peoples. Our technological advantages can help bring relief to all the world.

When I lived overseas, I was shocked when I discovered that it took 10 years for you to get a land line phone installed in your house. Now, Asia leads the world in cell phones. How did this happen? One word: America! Millions of jobs, not just here in this country but around the world have been created just because of the iPhone!

I laughed at the snowflakes marching last night in protest of an election. They were bussed in from all locations. They coordinated their plans on their iPhones and on social media. Where did that come? America. The busses were built in America. The gas to run the busses was extracted from American soil, refined in American refineries, pumped at an American gas station. The very fact that they had the freedom to protest at night as the rest of us were getting ready for bed because we had to go to work to day is because of one great experiment: America!

The frightened little shaking-everyone-receives-a-trophy millennial living in mom’s basement who thinks they know it all because they have in Instagram account thinks he needs a safe space and a free speech zone. I got news for you little snowflake: THERE IS NO SAFER PLACE IN THE WORLD THAN AMERICA AND NO BETTER FREE SPEACH ZONE THAN AMERICA! (Maybe with the exception of Chicago, Washington DC and Baltimore – cities run by Democrats).

Shout it from the rooftops! We have the greatest country in the world. Export the type of representative democracy beyond our borders. Let’s show the world that we are to be envied by those who want to be free; emulated by those who want to be wealthy; and feared by the sight of our all volunteer military!