We have enough problems in my own denomination (SBC) but the United Methodists have gone the way of political correctness. I can't see John Wesley worrying about this. The UMC has decided that it can not have its General Conference in Richmond, VA in 2012 because the Richmond Braves (Atlanta Braves minor league team) has a Native American mascot! I am not making this one up. Read about it here.
I have lots of great UMC friends. But I can't for the life of me understand this one. If they have problem with the mascot, then go protest the Braves office in Richmond during the General Conference.
With this logic, they may as well move Emory University (UMC University) from Atlanta. This is about as dumb as when the SBC boycotted Disney a few years ago. What purpose is this going to serve for the Kingdom of God?
With this new logic, I propose a new guidelines for SBC convention sites based on a cities athletic teams mascot:
1. Greensboro (2006) is fine because the UNC Greensboro mascot is a Spartan--Rigorously self-disciplined or self-restrained. Courageous in the face of pain, danger, or adversity. Some may have a problem with this because it represents war.
2. San Antonio, TX - June 12-13, 2007 - Spurs -I don't know about this one because Spurs are used to hurt horses. We don't want to upset the Animal Rights people.
3. Indianapolis, IN - June 10-11, 2008 (proposed) --Colts and Pacers- Colts are OK because everyone loves horses. Pacers could be a problem because that represents race cars that burn up our natural resources.
4. Louisville, KY - June 16-17, 2009 (proposed) --Cardinals- this is a great location because everyone loves birds.
So from now on we need to examine the mascots of proposed cities to make sure we can have meetings in those locations.
Last night The University of South Carolina mens basketball team won the National Invitational Tournament (NIT) for the 2nd year in a row. The joke on talk radio and ESPN is that they are the 66th best team in America. I do believe they deserved to be in the NCAA Tourney more than others but that is another discussion. The point is how many people outside of Columbia and Ann Arbor watched the game last night. I don't even remember who the Gamecocks beat last year.
How many times in church life do we "win" and no one cares? Think about how we measure success. We publish how many members a church has or how many people have been baptised. The problem is half of the members don't attend and can we find 3/4's of the people who have been baptised? The average church member doesn't care about those stats. In fact, I don't think God is concerned about them. The mega church pastors are idolized because they have 1000's of people attending. Are they really developing disciples? Some do, some don't.
Jesus said in Matthew 28:18-20
Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
I think God is more concerned with the number of people we have discipled than the number of members, attendees or baptisms. Now some churches membership only includes those who have been baptised and discipled. That is a good win! My prayer for my ministry is that when we win it matters to God more than it matters to those who measure wins!
When the True Love Waits campaign came out I was a youth minister in Blue Mound, TX. I have taught it in all three churches I was a youth minister. In TLW the teens sign a pledge remain abstinenant until they get married. A recent study in Texas shows that when a young person makes a pledge to remain abstinenant they more likely to do so. Read the storyhere.
I am amazed at the excuses believers will come up with not to remain pure. It is sin--plain and simple. On the ooze, I am amazed at "Full-time vocational ministers" think it is ok to have sex outside of marriage. I know several of my students who made the pledge but I have heard that they did not keep their promise to God. How sad.
Sometimes I wonder if our faith really makes a difference. If we just do everything else that non-believers do-how will we win the world for Christ. The divorce rate among believers is as high as non-believers. Our faith should make us different. Our faith should make the world a better place. God's rules work--but only if we abide by them.
True Love Waits works if the person making the pledge is a believer and trusts God to help them. The Silver Ring Thing is another option for churches to use. Maybe alternate TLW and the Silver Ring Thing every couple of years. My prayer is that we don't give up and teach our young people that God has a better plan than the lies that Hollywood is teaching.
Linda Hirshman needs to keep her ideas to herself! Linda R. Hirshman retired as the Allen/Berenson Distinguished Visiting Professor at Brandeis University. She is at work on a book about marriage after feminism. With almost no effort, she landed spot No. 77 on Bernard Goldberg's "100 People Who Are Screwing Up America."
I guess if all of the educated women decide to stay at home and raise their children Linda Hirshman won't have a job! Read her crazy views here. Hirshman called the life of the stay-at-home mom "unfulfilling." Maybe for her, but who is she to decide for other women. I thought that was the beauty of feminism--that women could decide what was best for them. James Dobson and Al Mohler are speaking out against her stupidity. Good for them! Read about it here.
If a woman decides to work, that is her choice and I respect it. But the same should be for the woman who decides to stay at home and raise her children. Some women have no choice but to work.
My wife has decided to stay home. I didn't tell her to do it. She feels that is what God wants her to do. Cassandra is a beautiful woman inside and out. She has a college degree. She worked and put me through Seminary. She even worked for after our son was born. Thankfully we found a way to allow her to stay home. She homeschools our two children. She is active in our ministry. She gets weary. But she feels this is her calling. I support her.
I get angry when people like Linda Hirshman say what Cassandra and other stay-at-home moms do is unfulfilling. How does Linda Hirshman know? I stayed home half a day when our son was born because Cassandra was working so I could finish Seminary. I can tell you that was hard. I respect anyone, male or female who stays home to raise their children. I respect the working mothers too. No one especially Linda Hirshman should decide what is best for every family.
I am beginning a new segment in honor of our new home state. North Carolina takes their BBQ seriously and I am one who loves BBQ. So as a public service I will begin to do reviews of BBQ joints around the Charlotte Metrolina area.
I will give a rating of 1 pig (worst) to 5 pigs (best).
Bar-B-Q King Drive in
2900 Wilkinson Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28208
This was a recommendation by several members of our church. I pulled into Bar-B-Q King on Monday only to find that they are closed on Mondays and Sunday's. I assume they are believers. So, I came back today. It is an old-time drive-in like Sonic or A & W. I ordered the BBQ Sandwich and a small fry. I had a poor man's bottled water with me. (Dasani bottle with tap water-I'm cheap).
My order only took 4 min. The BBQ Sandwich was brought out to my car in a white bag. The receipt was stapled to the bag. I payed at my car and the gentleman who brought it out was very nice. My sandwich was hot. It had a pickle attached with a toothpick. There was slaw on top of the pork. It was delicious! My fries were very hot. They were some of the best fries I have had in some time. My total order was $4.83. I thought that was a good value. I highly recommend Bar-B-Q King to anyone visiting Charlotte.
I give Bar-B-Q King 4.5 pigs (out of 5)
I attended Samford University in Birminham, AL. I enjoyed my time there. Samford was small enough to get to know lots of people but large enough to have Division I Basketball and I-AA Football.
When I attended Samford, it was still an SBC school. Everyone who lived on campus had to eat in the Cafeteria. On Sundays we would see hypocrisy un-like anything I had ever seen. Because everyone ate in the Cafeteria people would come dressed for lunch in their "SUNDAY BEST." I knew people who would skip church but would put on a coat and tie (men) or a dress (females) before they came to eat.
What was your most humorous hypocritical moment?
11. How about a hug, sister?
10. You know Jesus, Me too!
9. Nice braclet. What would Jesus date? I mean "do"
8. You want to come over and watch the 10 commandments tonight?
7. You don't have an accountability partner? Me neither!
6. Excuse me, I believe one of your ribs belongs to me!
5. Is it a sin that you stole my heart?
4. Did it hurt when you fell from Heaven?
3. God told me to come talk to you....
2. Do you need help carrying your bible? It looks heavy...
1. Nice bible....
Here's the next Knock-off in the works. Joe Kennedy this is for you!
Think about this. What would be the rules?
Marty Duren (he is the cool one like Randy)
Kiki Cherry (she is the nice one like Paula)
Joe Kennedy (the Simon of the show)
The contestants will compete to be the American Idol/ Blogger and the winner will be announced in Greensboro.
Feel free to add your rules, format, etc....
In the spirit of everyone else having lists of what is going on in their lives and what they are learning (Bowden, Kiki, and Wade--I too, have a list of what I have learned since moving to Charlotte. But I decided to be a little different and I have 9 things that I have learned about my new town:
9. Charlotte does not have a downtown--it is "UPTOWN"
8. Traffic is no where near as bad as Atlanta!
7. People take BBQ seriously (every non-profit has a BBQ fundraiser)
6. Cheerwine is non-alcoholic
5. There is a civil war between South Charlotte and North Charlotte (over the interstate)
4. Charlotte is a great sports town (not just NASCAR)
3. The weather is great! (better than hot and hotter in Mobile)
2. Charlotte is a fun place to live
1. People need Jesus here just like everywhere else!
Everytime our youth group in Mobile, AL went to the bowling ally I would play one of these addicting machines. Guy Foster, one of our adult helpers had a skill at getting the toys out. I never did get the "ELVIS" playing cards that I wanted.
In Austin, TX the Fire Department responded to the non-emergency call at a local pizza establishment. A boy somehow got inside one of those pick a toy claw machines. The three-year-old apparently got inside by climbing up the toy discharge chute. You can read about it here.
Haven't we all wanted to do something like this ourselves. If I could have I would have climbed up the one in Mobile to get the Elvis cards out!
A man is suing eHarmony.com because they won't get him a date. Why? He's married. eHarmony says its policy is clear: No marrieds need apply. The man suing is also a lawyer. (Dorcas help us out here) The man is claiming he is being discriminated against. How dare Dr. Neil Clark Warren expect the man not to be married. I wonder if they worried that it will ruin their stats for finding the love of your life. Maybe he is suing because the personality profile should only have 28 dimensions.
With all of the important cases that need to be dealt with, what is the purpose in this suit. Maybe all of the publicity will get him a date. You can read about the story here. Maybe Dr. Phil's site will accept him.
After I wrote my post about Spiritual Gifts I came to the church office to begin my day. I wasn't here 2 min. and there was a 23 year old African American gentleman needing some help. He needed to be at the courthouse in "Uptown" Charlotte but had no way of getting there. I was planning to go to the hospitals but not until later in the day. But I recognized this as a "Holy Spirit" moment and told him I would take him.
Normally, I work my way into sharing the gospel, but he said his grandmother told him to go to the church for help so I felt God was moving in his life. I wasn't a mile down the road and I was sharing the Roman Road. (I know that's not very post-modern) He was crying by the time I drove on I-85. As I'm driving, this young man asked Jesus to become the "leader" of his life!!!!
Wow! God works in awesome ways. I had just prayed as I do everyday for God to send a "person of peace" my way and he did. Pray for James. He needs a fresh touch from God!
"Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be
C. Peter Wagner said he was at meeting of what some would call the "spiritual giants" in the world. He was not leading the meeting. He was amazed when the leader asked them to name spiritual gifts at their responses. These were Godly leaders that most of us would know and they could only name 8 spiritual gifts. What was really sad is they only answered 3 that were mentioned in the Bible.
Last night I started teaching Spiritual Gifts at my church. The good news is my people did better than those "spiritual giants." But they still fell short naming the Spritual Gifts mentioned in the Bible. I don't know if I could name all of them without studying the list. But I have been studying the gifts of the spirit since I was in high school. I am convinced that knowing them and using them are keys to healthy spiritual and church growth.
Wagner says: "Ignorance is not bliss." I agree. We need to use the gifts that God has given us. If we don't it is like a 8 cylinder engine only running on one or two cylinders. I can't wait to see how God uses our people when they realize the Holy Spirit power that God has given them!
Illinois Man Fined For Piggybacking On Wi-Fi Service. Check out the story here.
I confess I have done this before. I did not know it was illegal. O well, I will not anymore. I would not prosecute anyone who piggybacked off me. In my house I pick up mine and at least 3 others around me. How do you know when you are on your own?
After reading the continuing double speak from the IMB BOT's, I am further confused by the turn of events at this weeks meeting. Wade Burleson was called a gossip and a slanderer at the previous BOT meeting in January because he spoke out about proposed policy changes for those wanting to serve as IMB missionaries.
Then this week the BOT's voted not to remove Wade from the Board. However, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette "Burleson is in a "status pending" and cannot serve on any International Mission Board committees until issues between him and other board members are reconciled."
What does that mean? Basically he is on the board, but he can't do anything. It sounds like a scene from Animal House. Remember this guy. He said this about the Delta House: "Well, as of this moment, they're on DOUBLE SECRET PROBATION!" That sounds like what the BOT's are doing to Wade.
With all of the attention being placed on The International Mission Board this week, we forgot to notice the North American Mission Board Trustees met also. I must say I am impressed with how the NAMB trustees operate. The Christian Index, the Georgia Baptist paper, had some accusations recently about NAMB. Dr. Bob Reccord, the President of NAMB asked the NAMB trustees to investigate. You can read their report here. NAMB also reported about a meeting with all of the employees here.
The most intersting news is was given by Dr. Reccord who closed the meeting by communicating that three NAMB employees are no longer with the agency. Chuck Allen, chief operating officer, and Benj Smith, executive director of strategic planning, resigned Wednesday evening. Rick Forbus, director of leadership initiatives, is also no longer with the agency according to Reccord.
As I read the trustee report and the article about the meetings with employees and the trustees I was impressed. Obviously, they have held the employees at NAMB accountable for their actions. The news of the resignations make me assume that accounability is taken seriously at NAMB. I only wish the IMB BOT's could have acted in a similar manner. The NAMB trustees have held Dr. Reccord accountable to them. But they have supported him also. I did not read any disparaging remarks made by trustees about Dr. Reccord or any NAMB employees. Thanks to the NAMB trustees for displaying a Godly, repectful accountability for the SBC.
Actor Charleston Heston has weighed in on the recent controversy with the Board of Trustees for the International Mission Board. Heston is an advocate for free speech and when he heard that the "Blue Book" had been changed he was quoted as saying,
"Pry my dissent out of my cold dead hands."
This has become the motto of the Young Leaders Summit in Greensboro, NC slated during the SBC convention. Steve W from California was behind this new slogan!
I am glad that the IMB Board of Trustees voted not to remove Wade Burleson from the Board. According to news reports it was 100%. My question is WHERE IS THE APOLOGY? Wade was made out to be a trouble maker. He was accused of gossip and slander. His name has been drug through the mud and his family has endured a lot over the last few months. I believe those who made these accusations owe Wade and his family and apology!
My head is spinning. I have no idea what to believe about what happened in Tampa, FL this week during the IMB Board of Trustees meeting. I hear reports from people I know and respect that Dr. Rankin was treated with disrespect. Then we hear that the motion to remove Wade Burleson as a trustee was removed. Later a motion was made to not allow vocal dissent by trustees after a motion has been passed. Then we hear that Wade is not allowed to serve on any committee within the BOT's which makes him a lame duck.
Then on some sites we hear that it was a great meeting. (read here). I am glad that we have 40+ missionaries being commissioned.
But I can't help but think that there is some major "SPIN" going on! All of this love-fest doesn't hide the fact that there are two new policies for prospective missionaries that don't represent most of the Southern Baptist Convention. I want to be happy about this meeting but unless the new policies are rescinded I will remain concerned.
Gary Lamb is a church planter in Canton, GA. His church Ridgestone Church is meeting in the same movie theater that we planted the Bridge Church a few years back. Gary wrote an excellent post here. He said he is committed to being who God made him. He is right!
I know what that is like to have people try to make you into something you are not. When we moved to Cherokee County, GA, (Canton) I miss-read the community. I thought we could reach the unchurched just like Northpoint in Alpharetta, GA was doing. They were only 30 min. away so I assumed the people were similar. I was wrong. Canton was not like Alpharetta at all!
One thing I have learned in my life is I have to be who I am. It will not always please everyone else, but I believe it pleases God. Why? Because He created me to be who I am. There were some in Canton who tried to mold me into what they wanted. That was the undoing of our church.
I had a group of 6-7 men who called me out at 9:30 PM to come to the Bridgemill Playground to talk about their concerns. They wanted us to stop being so edgy with our videos and play the music they liked. Our leadership prayed about it, but decided that was not what God had called The Bridge to do. These were the same men who talked me out of taking a job @ Sequoia HS as a teacher/coach just two months earlier. After this meeting they left the church and we had almost no income because half of our church members were college students. If I had to do it over, I would have taken the coaching gig.
I don't look back regretfully. I thank God for that experience. I am who I am because of it! God has placed us in a great church that loves Him and is working to reach NW Charlotte for Christ. What I have learned is to meet people where they are and accept them for how God made them. I also know how God has wired me. For that I am grateful.
I am exicted to see what God is doing through Gary and Ridgestone Church. We need more Gary Lamb's in the world who will not compromise who they are and especially who God made them!
I am sick! After reading Wade Burleson's blog today, I am convinced that the Board of Trustees of the International Mission Board have gone too far! Marty Duren is in Tampa for the BOT's meeting and gives another perspective here and here. Is this the end of the Southern Baptist Convention as we know it? I pray not!
Some of the BOT's are trying to force Dr. Rankin out of the International Mission Board. I don't speak for anyone but me, but I am very concerned.
Our church gives 10% of our budget to the SBC Cooperative Program. We give to the Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong offerings. It may not be what the "Mega-Churches" give but if you took all mid to small churches out of the Cooperative Program there would be no CP!
Why in the world did the SBC radify the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 if our missions entities will not abide by it? We need to quit adding rules and hoops for people to serve as missionaries.
I would never want to be an SBC entity President, because you have 100 BOT's looking over your shoulder. Dr. Rankin and Dr. Reccord have been called by the SBC to run our missions organizations--LET THEM LEAD! Yes, we need accountability! But neither of them has done anything to warrant the "witch-hunt" that has been displayed over the last year.
Now the IMB BOT's are proposing a motion that Trustees can not dissent. That scares me. Baptists have always believed in the Priesthood of the Believer. We need dissenters. We may not always like what they have to say, but they keep us on our toes. I urge the IMB BOT's to support Dr. Rankin. Abide by your own Blue Book.
From what I read on Marty's and Wade's blog, some of the BOT's were rude and arrogant to Dr. Rankin. How does that glorify God? What do we do now?
Update: thanks to Jeff Richard Young for pointing out I don't know how to spell. At least there is something to laugh at --me!
I think the Founding Fathers of the United States were wise men. They set up a seperation of the Church and State. This was for the "Church's" protection. Politicians trying to score points with people of faith talk about bring God back into the schools. It is not the place of public education to teach our children about God. In fact, that scares me! It is the job of parents first and then the church to teach children about God!
In Georgia, my former state, legislators have voted to allow public schools to teach the Bible in school. Read the story here. I don't know if I like this! What if the teacher is an athiest? What if they are Mormans (LDS)? What if they are Jehovah's Witness'? What if they are very likable teachers and lead our students astray!
There are many fine, Godly teachers in our schools systems but not all of them love God! Personally, I think this is a bad idea. The place to teach the Bible is at home and church! Don't think that Cults will try to use this to lead Christians astray. Children and teens are not mature enough in their faith to know if someone is teaching false doctrines. For once, I might side with the ACLU. I don't think this is a good idea.
I believe one of the reasons "Tonguegate" has caused so much controversy is that there are some in SBC life that are afraid of "Spiritual Gifts." The joke among some it that many SBC churches have become "duelatrian" - we haven't seen the Holy Spirit in years. Now that is not true, but there has been a fear of the "Charismatic movement" in SBC life for as long as I can remember.
I don't know why this is. Even in CWT or EE that most SBC churches taught for years, we were taught the people did not come to Christ without the Holy Spirit drawing a person to Christ. I will admit that it scared me to see a person raise a hand in church when I was younger because I was taught that meant someone was "Charismatic." But this is generational and the younger generation finds this a way to worship God. It does not mean they "speak in tongues!"
Now, I am not "Charismatic" (I don't speak in tongues and never have). I don't see the need for it today. However, I would never tell someone that they could not do so. That is between them and God. If someone spoke in tongues in a service I was presiding over, I would ask for an interpreter and if there was no one to interpret they would need to remain silent.
I hang out with several "Charismatic" believers morning at a local coffee shop. They are fine people and love God. We don't talk about "tongues." We talk about reaching our community for Jesus! We dwell on what we agree on rather on what we disagree on.
I am teaching a discipleship class on "Spiritual Gifts" that Peter Wagner developed. Today I read a passage that made me think of the IMB Controversy (Tonguegate). Wagner said in Your Spiritual Gifts Can Help Your Church Grow : (emphasis mine)
Suppose you determine the position of your church on this (tongues and Private Prayer language) and others gifts, but you disagree? I suggest one of two courses of action. Either decide to be loyal to your church and its belief, and practice without grumbling, or respectfully leave and ask God to take you to another church where you feel more at home. Notice, I do not recommend that you decide to stay where you are and try to convince the church or certain people in it to change their position.
As I read this I thought of Dr. Rankin, the President of the International Mission Board. He has never hid that he has a Private Prayer Language. He has not caused a controversy by saying everyone needs a PPL. He has not taught it to anyone I know. He has abided by the BFM 2000. He has done everything asked of him. Why then are the Board of Trustees trying to force him and other missionaries out by the proposed change for IMB missionaries? I believe that is a mistake. Why cause trouble now when we have missionaries who also have a PPL? Why now? Why upset our missionaries with something that is a "non-essential?" My prayer is as the BOT's meet this week they will reconsider the new policy.
I was excited to hear that CBS was offering "on-demand" games for the NCAA if you log-on on Sportsline.com. Tonight I have been trying to watch the Bama-UCLA game. Our local CBS station is not showing it so I got on the internet and Sportsline.com says that it is blacked-out because our local station is showing it. CBS doesn't know what they are doing!
In honor of the NCAA Tourney, here are the Top Ten perfomances I personally watched over my lifetime. Feel free to give your own.
10. Emeka Okafor - Connecticut
9. Keith Smart- Indiana
8. Pervis Ellison- Louisville
7. Patrick Ewing-Georgetown
6. Glen Rice-Michigan
5. Christian Laettner- Duke
4. Michael Jordan- North Carolina
3. Danny Manning-Kansas
2. Larry Bird- Indiana State
1. Ervin "Magic" Johnson- Michigan State
John Q. Missionary seen outside the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention is having to beg for his job. "Q" as he is called by his friends said, "why should I lie anymore? I have a private prayer language." Because of the new policies by the IMB Board of Trustees, "Q" and others like him will no longer be allowed to serve as SBC missionaries.
"Q" said his next course of action is to try to get a job with GEICO insurance. He is trying to sell them on a commercial aimed at Southern Baptists that says, "I have a private prayer language and just lost my job as an IMB missionary, but I have good news: I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance by switching to GEICO." Calls to GEICO have not been returned.
Can you be right and wrong at the same time? I say yes! Specifically in SBC life we have seen this over that last 30 years.
The Conservative Resurgence was right in my opinion. If we are going to preach and teach the Bible then our professors at seminaries and SBC colleges need to believe all of the Bible. I had professors at Samford who did not. I saw several new believers "faith" destroyed by these men. They became confused and disillusioned about God and the Bible. In the late 1970's several conservative churches and leaders led a charge to take back the SBC. I would not be a Southern Baptist today if it were not brave leaders of the Conservative Resurgence.
However, I believe the crusade went too far. I believe some people are not happy and fulfilled if they don't have an enemy. It is always about winning and being right. Sometimes you can be right and wrong at the same time. How? By your attitude. I can fight about being right and actually win an argument with another person but if I destroy their character or their integrity, what have I gained. In SBC life careers have been destroyed in the name of being right. We have turned friends against one another. I believe the time has come for us to make sure we are correct and right at the same time rather than being right and treating another wrong at the same time.
Musician Eddie Van Halen arrives at the 14th Annual Elton John Academy Awards Viewing Dinner.
Top 6 Captions:
6. Eddie arrives at the Oscars and is mistaken for Keith Richards.
5. Eddie is heard saying, "Eat your heart out David Lee Roth."
4. Eddie is holding a ring and saying, "My precious"
3. Eddie is auditioning to replace Dick Vitale--"it's awesome baby with a captital A!"
2. Eddie is modeling his new line of women's clothing called "V".
1. Eddie asks, "Where are my teeth?"
Integrity is: Steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical
It is unfortunate that we see this less and less in the US and even in the church. The internet has changed the world we live in-for better or worse. It is great for research and quick communication. It is dangerous for pornography and mis-information.
When I was living in Mobile, AL, there were people who started trouble by using the internet. They got phoney e-mail addresses and sent out e-mails about various leaders. This all happened before I got there. It was unfair to the leaders because the e-mails were not signed by the people who wrote them. There was no way the leadership could respond. There may have been truth to the e-mails, but those who sent the e-mails showed no integrity because they hid behind anonymous e-mails or fake e-mail addresses.
Now in SBC life people are posting anonymous posts on various blogs. I can understand for security reasons why some missionaries need to remain anonymous. But recently on several sites some posts were made by anonymous people that made serious accusations about leaders in our denomination. I believe that is wrong. If a person has proof of impropriety by any leader it needs to be exposed to bring the person back into fellowship with God and the "church" or "denomination."
What appears to me is that some anonymous people have an axe to grind. I ask, no I plead for the sake of Christian Love that we show some integrity and speak the truth in love. Trashing a person's character does nothing but hurt the "church" (universal). There is a difference in having a disagreement with an individual and trashing their character. Art Rogers has a great post on this here. So does Joe Kennedy here. Ben Cole had the integrity to sign his name to a letter he sent to his church about the IMB policies. Then he was blasted. I agree with what he said but more importantly, he signed his name.
On Monday Morning Insight, they give Blog Maturity & Etiquette 101.
1. Each blog you visit is the internet "home" of someone.2. Any attack on a blog is a public attack.3. It takes time to type so people will judge you a little tougher.4. A sign of maturity is the ability to delay gratification.5. Look up the term Ad Hominem.I'll do the work for you: [link]The jest of an Ad hominem is that it's an attack on the person rather than the argument. 6. You can be both true and Wrong at the same time!
I think we as SBC bloggers can learn a lesson here!
I love music. I guess I'm an 80's rocker at heart. What were your favorite concerts?
Here are my top 10:
10. Chicago- Tuscaloosa, AL
9. Elton John - Tuscaloosa, AL
8. Molly Hatchet/38 Special- Birmingham, AL
7. Beach Boys- Beaumont, TX
6. David Crowder- Atlanta, GA
5. DeGarmo and Key- Huntsville, AL
4. Newsboys- Wilmington, NC
3. Petra- Huntsville, AL
2. Journey/Bryan Adams- Birmingham, AL
1. Journey/Loverboy- Birmingham, AL
I'm no psychologist, but I think I know why people can't get along with others. They don't like themselves.
'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself. Luke 10:27
Brennan Manning wrote about this problem here. How can you love other people if you don't love yourself? Look, it comes across as arrogant to many if you say you like yourself. But I think we have to be comfortable in who we are. We have to like ourselves to relate well to others. If we don't then we become fake.
I was watching American Idol tonight. They had to sing Stevie Wonder songs. I'm not a big fan of his, but Chris (the rocker) and Taylor (Steve Martin look a like) took Stevie Wonder songs and made it their own. They rocked out. They are comfortable with who they are.
So why do some people treat others so poorly? I believe it is because people don't love themselves. They cut down themselves and pass it off to friends, family and strangers. You show me someone who is well liked and I'll bet they love themselves in a healthy way.
I'm confortable with who I am. I have a lot of room to grow, but I can relate well with others because I like me. This allows me to see the best in others. When someone tears me down, I remember that God loves me and made me in His image. Sure it stings, but I'm confortable with me. Sure I can be goofy. I know how to laugh - mainly at myself. I learned a long time ago if I'm going to pick on someone- I pick on me. I enjoy life! Some days are more challenging than others, but I chose to enjoy my life.
I want to be a "Barnabas" to those who I come in contact with. My mission in life is to "lead people to their full potential in Christ." But I can't do it if I don't love God and love my neighbor as myself.
What is the next great controversy in the SBC?
Here is my top 10 list:
10. Coke vs. Pepsi
9. Dr. Pepper vs. Cheerwine
8. Paper vs. Plastic
7. Sweet Tea vs. Unsweet Tea
6. Caribou Coffee vs. Starbucks
5. Socks vs. No socks
4. Hawaiian shirts vs. Three piece suits
3. 3 point sermons vs. no points
2. Ford vs. Chevy
1. Pork BBQ vs. Beef BBQ
Today I went to the monthly event in Burlington, NC called the Innovative Church Community. This is my second time to go. It is well worth the drive. It is a mixture of new and transitioning church pastors. Thanks again to "Den Mother" for getting me hooked up. It is held at Integrity Community Church. Bud Wrenn is the pastor and today he led the discussion today.
Today we talked about Intentionality in Planning Your Church's Future.
We discussed how a Vision is a compelling picture that depicts what could be and what should be in the church's future. Visioning comes natural for me. I thought the second topic was ironic because our staff already discussed my new series would be on this topic- Missional Planning. The mission is what we are going to do as a church. Bud said we should renew the mission every 7-10 years. The next two topics are areas were Strategic Planning and Tactical Planning.
I'm grateful to have found people who do the last two well within our church. I work better from setting visions and the missions. We have some talented people who are strategic planners. It is cool to see how God sends people in path the are strong in areas that you are lacking.
P.S. For those who are coming to the SBC Convention in Greensboro, Den Mother just e-mailed me with a great BBQ--Stamey's BBQ. Since she says she likes Eastern Carolina BBQ, I know it must be good!
There has been a lot of discussion about barbecue on my site and others this week. I love all kinds of BBQ! So I am giving my TOP TEN BBQ. Feel free to give your own.
10. Thomas Pit BBQ - Madison, AL
9. Risky's BBQ- Stockyards, Ft. Worth, TX
8. Maurice's BBQ- Columbia, SC
7. Williamson Brothers BBQ- Canton, GA
6. Springcreek BBQ- Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex
5. Greenbriar BBQ- Madison, AL
4. Whitt's BBQ - Ardmore, AL
3. Smithfield BBQ- Jacksonville, NC
2. Matt's Rib Shack- Mobile, AL
1. Dreamland BBQ- Tuscaloosa, AL
In my lifetime there are several events that I remember vididly. I remember where I was when I heard President Regan was shot. I remember watching the Shuttle Challenger Crash as well as the Columbia. I'm not old enough to remember the Great Depression or Pearl Harbor, but I've studied them in school.
None of us will ever forget September 11, 2001. I was at Starbucks (go figure) hanging out with some guys in Towne Lake, GA. I remember rushing home and watching the events all day long. That day changed our country forever. All of those tragedies have a way of bringing people back to God.
There have been certain days in my Baptist Life I will remember also. I remember being Baptised @ Emmanuel Baptist Church, Tuscaloosa, AL. I remember being accepted to Samford and Southwestern Seminary and graduating from both. Those were all great events.
But I will also never forget the day the Southwestern Board of Trustees fired Dr. Rusell Dilday and locked him out of his office. I was stunned as the announcement was made following our Chapel service. That day changed my view of Baptist life forever.
What kind of tragedy is going to have to happen to us before we wake up and realize that we don't have all of the answers? What is going to take place to bring us back to our knees? Look at some of the other denominations that have crumbled or become irrelevant because they could not disagree - agreeably.
I realize I'm just one voice, but I'm tired of seeing us become arrogant and legalistic. I support the SBC because of our belief that the Bible is God's word and for our support of missionaries.
I can't imagine how dishearting all of the "bloggate", "tonguegate" and "baptismgate" controversies must be to our missionaries across the world. They left their homes behind to share the love of Jesus and yet have to always be looking over their shoulders. I am grateful to all of our "M's!" Thanks for your service.
Is Greensboro going to be the 911 for the SBC? Will we straighten the ship? Will we narrow our missionary personnel with legalistic policies or will we broaden our ministry by focusing on the essentials rather than the non-essentials. I believe our future starts this summer in Greensboro. The optimist in me sees revival. I don't have time for the pesimist thinking!
Dictionary.com says Dysfunction or Dysfunctional is
Abnormal or impaired functioning, especially of a bodily system or social group
I believe every family has some dysfunction. But some familes are more functional than others. Now, I'm no family counselor, Bowden McElroy can have that job. But I have observed what I see as the difference between Functional Families and Dysfunctional Families by watching my family growing up and watching my friends and how my extended family interacted.
My family had it's fair share of dysfunction. But we were able to fight like anybody and not hold grudges. My friends loved to hang out at our house because there was something different about it compared to theirs. We would fight like cats and dogs, yet we would love each other at the end of the day. When we saw each other again, you would never know there was a fight earlier.
In contrast I would go to friends homes or now in my extended family and there would be knock down, drag out fights that would do irreversible harm. Family members would go days, weeks and even months not talking to each other. They would try to get family members to turn on other family members. When they were together you could cut the tension with a knife.
I believe the Southern Baptist Convetion is Dysfuntional! This hurts me deeply. I accepted Christ as a member of the SBC, I was baptised in an SBC church, I went to a SBC University and Seminary and I serve in an SBC church. But what I have noticed over the last 25 years is we are Dysfunctional!
As I read briefs, news reports and blogs I am amazed at all of the venom between followers of Christ. It appears to other denominations that we are arrogant as SBC'ers. But we can't even disagree peacefully! Joe Kennedy has written several insightful posts about this recently. I encourage you to read them. We have resorted to name calling, character assination. Go read this post on Dorcas Hawker's site. Then go to Tom Ascol's site and read this post. Calvanists and non-Calvanists were blasting each other.
Why can't we have a "big tent" as Wade Burleson says? Why can't we disagree on the non-essentials? What about love? We need Bowden to give the entire denomination group therapy! God help us!
1 A Pharisee is member of an ancient Jewish sect that emphasized strict interpretation and observance of the Mosaic law in both its oral and written form. 2 A hypocritically self-righteous person.
As I studied the IMB BOT Briefs, I can't help but wonder are we becoming pharisaical? We call ourselves people of the Bible, but we keep adding rules and regulations for people to serve in our churches, seminaries and on the mission field. I thought the Bible was our guide. We had the Baptist Faith and Message 1925, then 1963 and now 2000. Now, I'm all about being relevant, but why do we think we need to keep changing our rules?
The Pharisees name means "to separate." It seems that the new rules for the IMB are meant to separate. Over the last 2 decades we have become separtists. We have fired fine people from our seminaries. We have made fools of ourselves by boycotting Disney. All that did is make those who don't understand Christianity think we hate "Mickey Mouse." Now we are making the qualifications for being a missionary even narrower. We are excluding people who are in our churches from serving God. We are alienating ourselves from other like-minded believers. We are not accepting baptisms from certain churches if we don't like their theology. God help us! We are becoming elitist and snobby. We are becoming Pharisees!
Acts 11:6-8I looked into it and saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, reptiles, and birds of the air. Then I heard a voice telling me, 'Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.' "I replied, 'Surely not, Lord! Nothing impure or unclean has ever entered my mouth.'
Yesterday our church had a barbecue. With all do respect to my friends in Texas, real barbecue is made from Pork. I like all kinds of barbecue. KC style is OK. Memphis style is good. North Alabama has an awesome white sauce. SC has a mustard base and Lexington, NC barbecue is great too. But my favorite is Eastern NC barbecue! It has a vinegar sauce that just tastes great.
We suffered in Texas for three years @ Southwestern without having REAL barbecue! I'm glad to be back where people know how to make barbecue! The barbecue was a great success and raised a lot of money.
There is something funny about poetic justice. Two animal rights protesters were protesting at the cruelty of sending pigs to a slaughterhouse in Bonn. Suddenly the pigs, all two thousand of them, escaped through a broken fence and stampeded, trampling the two hapless protesters to death. That's what they get for trying to ruin a good barbecue!
If it wasn't so sad it would be funny. The International Mission Board Board of Trustees have finally released the awaited "papers" or "briefs" It is about time. Many people have posted on this issue. Art Rogers, Tim Sweatman, Marty Duren, Wade Burleson, and others.
To me the "briefs" don't represent the Southern Baptists I know. Why are we narrowing the parameters for potential missionaries? I am amazed at the courage and sacrifice it takes to be a missionary. Now the IMB BOT is making it more difficult for those who are SB and have been called to be "M's" to be appointed.
There has been too much secrecy! Our "M's" deserve better! The whole "BLOGGATE" "TONGUEGATE" And "BAPTISMGATE" have gone too far! If we believe the BFM 2000 is our standard then that should be good enough!
I'm confused which may come as no shock to some. Can someone tell me the benefits of being in the SBC. I believe in the theology of the SBC. I support the BFM 2000. I'm grateful for the great education I got at Samford and Southwestern Seminary. I'm thankful to be serving at a church that supports the mission of the SBC. But what is our mission?
What makes a person a Southern Baptist? I always thought it was cooperation in missions. Unfortunately, I haven't witnessed much of that recently. As the pastor of hard working people who freely give 10% of their tithe to the SBC, I feel the SBC owes us an accounting of what is going on.
I admit that I and other younger pastors share in the blame because we have not been involved in the past. We saw enough back room politics growing up that we decided just to serve God in our local church and support our missionaries with our money and sending groups to experience missions for themselves.
I look back at what I exerienced growing up in the SBC-- this is what I have seen:
1. At least "six" (6) church splits.
2. Two of my Seminary presidents either fired or pushed out.
3. A Denominational employee going back on their word which affected our "church plant."
4. My University (Samford) leaving the SBC.
5. The SBC splitting at a national level and in various states.
6. A Godly friend "released" by the IMB for no good reason.
7. A reduction in pay of the entire staff of my former church. (I am at a great place now!)
8. Most recently: Guidestone rejected us for health insurance!
What is our future? Will the SBC be viable when my children are older? Will I be able to afford to send them to an SBC school? Are we going to scare off qualified missionary candidates? Are we going to frustrate our present SBC M's that they quit? Will Guidestone give us insurance?
I'm confused. What makes a Southern Baptist? My dream is that we are cooperative with each other and other like-minded individuals and denominations. I dream that we won't look at others as competition but as "co-laborers." I pray that we can clean up our act. Thanks to some Godly friends and new friends I am becoming involved. I pray that our church can know for certain that the money we give will be given to missions as we intended it.
You've got to love this! The Gwinnett Gladiators, a minor league Hockey team in Metro Atlanta had Runaway Bride Bobblehead Doll Night on March 5th. I'll bet Marty Duren was first in line since he lives down the road! The Gladiators play in Duluth, GA where Jennifer Wilbanks lives the so-called Runaway Bride.
In related news, the Richmond Riverdogs in partnership with the International Mission Board have announced their next promotion is to give away Wade Burleson bobblehead dolls to the first 10,000 fans who arrive.
I don't know her personally, but I had a lot of respect for Dana Reeve. She was the wife of the late Christopher Reeve (Superman). I don't know what her relationship with God was, but she displayed the Biblical principles of marriage. After her husband's tragic horse jumping accident, Dana Reeve stuck by her husband's side. She did not bail out on their marriage eventhough many would have. She stayed in it until his death.
Sadly Dana Reeve passed away from cancer yesterday at the age of 44. STORY HERE. Survivors include a teenage son, Will, and two stepchildren, Matthew and Alexandra.
I will pray for her family. I also pray the church wakes up and realizes that God called us to honor our marriages in sickness and health-until death we part!
Charlotte is the choice for the NASCAR Hall of Fame! Check out the story here. This is my home and I am pumped! This is just another crown for the Queen City! Thanks to Joe Kennedy for bringing it to my attention.
Vonette McKithern sent a Priority Mail package back in 1989 to her daughter who had just been married. Her daughter never received the package. Almost 17 years later Vonette received her package back. I guess it wasn't too much of a priority. Check out the story here. Her Daughter finally received the package a few days ago which was a gift from her grandfather who passed away three years ago.
Sometimes I feel like that is how my prayers are. I send them Express, Next Day or Priority yet they seem to get lost in God's mail serivce. Thankfully, God guarantees delivery. He hears my prayers but when I don't get the answer I'm looking for, I assume it got lost. But God does answer. Sometimes it is yes, others no and the most frustrating prayers are wait. They are like Vonette's lost package.
Remember Monte Python and The Holy Grail? Myron Manders of Cleveland, OH wants people to know he is still alive. Last November, Manders was preparing to leave a hospital where he was treated for pneumonia when a social worker said his insurance company would not pay the bill because it believed Manders died on Sept. 1.
Myron Manders wants people to know he is alive and well! Read about his story here! Manders went to the SS office but that didn't help. As I was reading about this story I thought of the Man in Monte Python and The Holy Grail saying, "I'm not dead" and the man pushing the cart hitting him on the head! Truth is stranger than fiction!
I don't have it but it seems like a cool gadget to have. OnStar is a service that will open your door or call for emergency if you need it. It comes equipped on every new GM vehicle. Ralph A. Gomez, 38 of ST. AUGUSTINE, FL was showing off his new Cadillac Escalade to his new girlfriend. He pushed the OnStar button but the volume was not up high enough so he didn't realize it was on. OnStar employees are trained to send the police if no one answers because someone could be in trouble. When the police arrived they found cocaine was clearly visible on the car's center console. He was then arrested. Check out the story here.
This got me to thinking about our relationship with God. Sometimes we ask for his help but we don't like it when he really shows up. Sometimes he shows up and we are doing things we shouldn't be doing. God is always there when we need Him, but are we ready for Him?
I'm honored! Kiki Cherry has given me the most entertaining blog of the week! I am so grateful to all of the little people! I'm thankful to the big people. I'm thankful to the medium sized people. I want to thank the Men's Warehouse for my Tux! I want to thank my family. I want to thank Harvard for not allowing me to go to college there. I want to thank Coach Paul Bear Bryant for not giving me a scholarship to play football @ Alabama. I want to thank Steve Perry for rejecting me for being the sixth member of Journey. I want to thank Bob Saget for not recommending me to be "Uncle Jessie" on Full House. I want to thank the IMB Board of Trustees for giving me so much material with which to work with. I want to thank God for making humor and allowing us to laugh at ourselves!
I think we need a better way to describe the IMB Controversy. I have titled it "BLOGGATE." Marty Duren amazes me at how he can dig up information to keep us informed. Wade Burleson has has been the insider who has spoken for those of us who did not speak out before. They have spoken up for President Jerry Rankin: Hence the new movie ALL THE PRESIDENTS MEN.
Here is the cast for this upcoming movie.
Marty Duren.... Carl Bernstein
Wade Burleson.... Bob Woodward
Art Rogers.... Harry M. Rosenfeld
Joe Kennedy.... Howard Simons
Kevin Bussey.... Deep Throat
Tim Sweatman.... Ben Bradlee
Kiki Cherry.... Judy Hoback
Dorcas Hawker.... Debbie Sloan
David Phillips.... Martin Dardis
Bowden McElroy.... Hugh W. Sloan, Jr.
Den Mother .... Sally Aiken
Jason Sampler.... Scott, Foreign Editor
Howie Luvzus.... Donald H. Segretti
Adam Feldman.... Himself - Watergate Security Guard
Paul Littleton.... Sgt. Paul Leeper, Arresting Officer #1
Neil Elmore....As himself (there Neil-that makes up for not winning a WADE!)
In honor of the The Academy Awards or Oscars, I have now started the 1st Annual Academy of Southern Baptist Blog Awards or the The WADE! This is in honor of Wade Burleson, Pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Enid, OK who has displayed courage, vision and integrity in regards to the controversy regarding private prayer language and baptism polices for the SBC International Mission Board. So lets have some fun!
1. Best design in a blog- Joe Kennedy- He has designed half of our blogs!
2. Best Writing- Tim Sweatman - He has a great way with words that is short, to the point and very insightful! There were many other excellent candidates and the committee had a difficult time deciding.
3. Best Visual Effects - Howie Luvzus- he always has great photos that make us laugh
4. Best Drama- Tom Ascol- Wow! His post on Johnny Hunt for SBC President brought out Steve Camp, Ergun Caner, and Emir Caner debating Calvanism. The Drama was better than Law and Order!
5. Best Supporting Female Blogger- Dorcas Hawker- she is an attorney who makes insightful comments on various blogs.
6. Best Female Blogger in a Lead Role- Kiki Cherry- She always has wise words that we bonehead men need to hear.
7. Best Supporting Male Blogger- Art Rogers- Art is reletively new to the blogsphere but he is one that I would want protecting my back! His tenacity is contagious!
8. Best Male Blogger in a Lead Role- Marty Duren- Who else? His insight and perspective have led this Young Leader Revolution.
9. Best Blog- Marty Duren- the 1st repeat winner. Who else could win. His is the most read blog in SBC life!
10. Life Time Achievement Award- Our Missionaries- You are the real hero's and we appreciate what you do!
I've got a novel idea for the SBC Convention in Greensboro. Why don't we all come without any hidden agendas! What would happen if everyone decided to stop looking at the receipts from church budgets. What if we didn't mention how many baptisms we had? What if we didn't check to see if a church gave 10% to the CP? What if we quit nit-pickin?
What if we came together and worshiped God? What if we decided not to spend so much money on promotion and gave it to our missionaries? What if we began to confess our sins to one-another? What if we really prayed? What would happen if we actually invited God to come? What would happen if we allowed the Holy Spirit to purge of us of our self-centeredness? What would happen if we fell on our faces and sought God? I may be naive, but this is my dream for Greensboro 06. I pray my dream doesn't become a nightmare.
I am so pumped. An architect came by the church today to share with us the plans for a new community being built next to our church. They are replacing a mobile home park with 400 homes/townhomes and an 18 hole par 3 golf course! They will have a commons area with shops (hopefully a Starbucks). I can't wait. (Our church property is in the top right hand corner)
This got my mind spinning which is dangerous. We have some land adjacent that has been used for softball that we could make into a Golf Driving Range! We could start an afterschool ministry for the residents. Man, this is cool!
The architect said Gene (our Music Minister) and I could get a free membership to the golf course. I have since decided to rename my golf clubs. My putter is now called visitation. My Pitching wedge is now called Pres. Hospital. My Sand Wedge is now CMC Hospital. So when Deborah and Debbie our secretaries get asked where we are we are out on visiation or at Pres. or CMC hospital. (just kidding, sort of)
Seriously, I am so excited about all of the possibilities for ministry!