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It’s a Sad Day in the SBC

So Paige Patterson is now President Emeritus at @swbts.

It’s a sad day in @sbc land, as the trustees merely expedited his retirement and gave him all the benefits, including another title (Theologian in Residence) and a free place to live for the rest of his life.

Their decision is less than a slap on the wrist for his tasteless, irresponsible remarks, and possible criminal behavior (from his time at SEBTS). The trustees’ vote says a great deal about their devotion to Patterson as opposed to their devotion to Jesus and the SBC (and common decency!).

If only the @sbc would rescind their invitation for him to preach at next month’s annual meeting…. (But I’m not holding my breath).

God, forgive us as a denomination! Extend your grace and mercy as we are so undeserving!

(Note: I posted this on Facebook a few minutes ago 5/23/18)
 

The Real Problem of Mass Murders

Pray for Parkland
 

Dare I say it?
 

It isn’t a “Gun Problem”.

Really, it’s not.
Prove it? Sure! Genesis 4:8 – Cain didn’t kill Able with a gun. We don’t know how he did it; we just know he did it. He did it before guns were invented. And he did it long before the founding of the NRA.
 

It isn’t a “Mental Health Problem”.

Really, it’s not.
Yes, mental illness is a real thing. Mental illness can be mild, or it can be very ugly. And yes, we need to be concerned about those who are not mentally healthy. But not all mentally unhealthy people have psychotic tendencies. And not all killers are mentally ill.
 

It isn’t a “Public Schools Problem”.

Really, it’s not. Neither is it a “Video Games Problem” or a “TV Violence Problem”.
 
 

It’s a Spiritual Problem; it’s a Heart Problem.

At the very deep root level, it really is!

And we will continue to see violent outbursts and murder unless/until hearts — not laws — are changed.

2Chronicles 7:14
And lest someone say that this Bible passage was written only to Israel and Judah and America: yes, I agree. But there is a practical application to any and all whom God calls “My people”. He invites us to pray. And He promises to answer.
 

So let’s pray.

 
 

An Interesting, Practical Theological Question on TV

My family and I have watched ABC’s The Middle since it began its first season. Because we’re normally occupied with other things on Wednesday Nights, we set our DVR and watched it later. This Fall, for its ninth and final season, The Middle was moved to Tuesday Nights; we still DVR the show to watch later. And I may keep this week’s episode for posterity’s sake. Yes, it was that good!

TheMiddleFinalSeason400wIf you’ve never watched The Middle, you have missed out on some funny programming. ABC’s description of the show is, “Forget about athletes, movie stars and politicians. Parents are the real heroes—but we think Frankie Heck, must be some kind of superhero. A loving wife and mother of three, she’s middle class in the middle of the country and is rapidly approaching middle age.” Thus, it’s called “The Middle”.

In the December 12th episode (Episode 10, The Christmas Miracle), Axl, the recent college graduate and oldest child in the family tells his mother that we won’t be going to church with the family on Christmas Eve. He doesn’t see a valid reason for going. As Axl’s family members learn of his disinterest, they express their thoughts of why they go to church. Mike, Axl’s dad says that he’s not one to ask; he’s not very sure of his own faith commitment. His mother, Frankie, searches for her reasons, and settles on the subjective, pleasant feelings she gets when she goes to church. After Axl’s sister, Sue can’t fathom the idea that someone in her family could possibly struggle with their faith.

Many of us experienced a kind of “crisis of belief”, normally around the time Axl does. We wonder what’s the point of maintaining our family’s faith traditions. I see this as a very healthy thing because if we are going to grow in our faith (2Peter 3:18), we must “own” it for ourselves. The faith of our dad, mom, and grandparents is insufficient for eternity, as well as for right now. It’s in these “crisis of belief” times we think that church and the Bible are boring. We don’t see the point of continuing in the Christian faith because we don’t see how it has made a difference in anyone’s life. We don’t see church, faith, the Bible as being… relevant.

Over the past couple of weeks, many of our members have talked about how our adult children – whom we faithfully took to church every Sunday, and tried to instill the value of going – don’t attend church anymore. We invite them, but they seem to have other commitments with their kids’ soccer games, going out to the deer lease, or just sleeping in. Each Sunday, on our way to church, we drive past many homes with all the cars in the driveway. Axl Heck’s feelings are voiced by many former church-attenders and never-attenders alike.

A couple of weeks ago I said that people don’t go to church because they don’t see any reason to go. They see the whole “church thing” as boring. They don’t understand anything in the Bible (assuming they ever pick up… and assuming they have a translation they can understand). They think the church is full of hypocrites. They don’t like the music. They think that everybody’s beliefs are equally valid. They think that all religions basically teach the same thing. They feel they were dragged to church as children and have no interest now that they can make their own decisions, they decide to not go. They think all we ever talk about is money.

Yes, I think “relevance” is the right word for the times. “They” don’t see the relevance. And if we’re honest, we don’t see the relevance either!

Several of our members – who have been believers for decades – have recently told me that 2017 marks the first time they have ever read the entire New Testament. One told me that he’s never read the entire Old Testament, and for most of his Christian life, he has memorized very few verses of the Bible. From other conversations I have had, I can sadly say that his experience is typical of many of our members – and it’s typical of most people who call themselves, “Christians”!

Whether or not we want to admit it, based on our priorities as we live them out, we don’t see the Bible, prayer, Scripture memory, fellowshipping with other Believers, and evangelism/discipleship as being relevant! At all! Sure, we can say we do, but we really don’t. I say these things, not to judge, but to simply state the facts.

Whether or not we realize it, Axl Heck’s question is our question. Why go to church? Why read my Bible? What differences do any of these things make in the early Twenty-first Century?

These are good questions. Questions that I look forward to following up on in the coming days.

Pastor Craig

 

The Election is Over

WOW! Not many people saw it coming. We have a President-elect who is clearly an outsider with no political experience. He overcame vicious lies propagated by the liberal left and lapdog Mainstream Media. As I have said here on my blog, from my pulpit and on Facebook, Donald Trump has major character issues. He was not my candidate of choice.

 

However in light of Hillary Clinton’s very radical ideas, Trump became the only viable candidate to stop her agenda. (Yes… radical: outside the view of even mainstream pro-choicers). Her views on abortion would allow for late-term, partial-birth abortion up until just before delivery; she said in the last Presidential debate that she would litmus-test her SCOTUS nominees in order to politicize the Court in order to push her very radical views.

 

 

Our Nation’s Founders set up a Democratic Republic. We do not have a true democracy…. by design.

 

For better or for worse, this is America. If you don’t like the outcome, voice your objections at the voting booth in two years and four years; that is exactly what happened in 2014 and this past Tuesday. The People have said that enough is enough; we are tired of the political and media elites telling us how we should live our lives. Anyone who disagrees with the narrative has been dismissed and ridiculed. The former “watchdog” media has become the lapdog of the DNC and other leftists. The People have said “ENOUGH!”

 

It’s time for us to realize that the choices have been made. We must come together. As President Obama said several years ago, “Elections have consequences.” It’s time for the left to adjust to the populist views. It’s time for the Republican Party to deliver on what it says it will do and reduce government, reduce spending and protect our nation’s interests.

 

It’s time to come together. Our real enemy isn’t the people on the other side of the political aisle. Our real enemy is Radical, Jihadi, Shariah Islam which seeks to eliminate the US and the only Democratic nation in the Middle East, Israel.

 

It’s time to come together.

 

But mostly, it’s time for the Church to be the Church. It’s time to PRAY!

 

 

Character Still Doesn’t Matter

It’s been a while since I posted anything of political nature on my blog. However, I think I need to weigh in on the recent Presidential Campaigns.

We, as a country, decided in 1992 that “character doesn’t matter”. In 2016, both the Republican and Democrat Presidential Nominees reflect that we, as a country, still believe that “character doesn’t matter”.

Both Nominees are failures in terms of character. Both are despicable and both are possibly criminals.

Let’s move on from the “Your Candidate is flawed, unqualified and would be dangerous to this country” arguments and look at the differences of the policies and goals of the Candidates.

Regardless of who you want to be our next President, these are our options. This is a binary election. In January 2017, the US will have a President Clinton or a President Trump. A non-vote and a third-party vote are not options if you care about the future of the country. A lot is at stake. Possibly more so than any other election in our Nation’s history.

  • National Security
  • Foreign Policy
  • Immigration
  • Supreme Court vacancies
  • The Economy
  • Abortion on demand

We need to pray a LOT in the coming days. (Ephesians 6:12-18; 1Timothy 2:1-6).

Read up on the issues. And vote. (Romans 13:1-7)

 

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