Over the past week since Christmas Day, I’ve been thinking about the church's celebration of Epiphany on January 6th, the Wise Men, Herod, the Flight to Egypt, and how we can either worship Jesus as the Messiah ... or reject him and even put him away through defending a way of life that has no place for him because we find him to not be useful for our larger ends. I recognize that the celebration of Epiphany doesn't necessarily encompass the Slaughter of the Innocents or the Flight to Egypt, but the Biblical story in Matthew 2 flows quickly from the Wise Men presenting gifts to Jesus to the … [Read more...] about Jesus, Epiphany-January 6th, and a Ruler Bent on Protecting His Kingdom At All Costs
This is a post about why Ed Litton, pastor of Redemption Church just north of Mobile, Alabama, will be a good president for the SBC. I'm not writing about the other candidates up for election next month in Nashville, so this isn't meant to be a comparison. We have enough of that going on. But, I wanted to write about my knowledge of Ed and his wife Kathy and what I've seen of his life and ministry over the past 5 years. This is my first post here at Voices in a couple of years, but I was motivated to write about Ed Litton because I believe him to be a good man. I first met Ed and Kathy at … [Read more...] about Why Ed Litton Will Be A Good President for the SBC
... More rom the AP article: The searing photograph of the sad discovery of their bodies on Monday, captured by journalist Julia Le Duc and published by Mexican newspaper La Jornada, highlights the perils faced by mostly Central American migrants fleeing violence and poverty and hoping for asylum in the United States. According to Le Duc’s reporting for La Jornada, Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez, frustrated because the family from El Salvador was unable to present themselves to U.S. authorities and request asylum, swam across the river on Sunday with his daughter, Valeria. I'm not posting … [Read more...] about Do We See the Migrant Crowds, Harassed and Helpless?
There's a whole thing going on with stained glass windows and Liberty University and Jerry Falwell and SWBTS and Jerry Vines that isn't of too much interest to me, but in the midst of all of that, Jerry Falwell, Jr., President of Liberty University and spiritual advisor to the President revealed "shocking" news. Apparently, there is an "SBC deep state regime" involving Russell Moore of the ERLC. I'm not sure if Dr. Moore is leading this effort, but yes, it does exist. And, I'm happy to admit that I'm a part of it. You might be too! By God’s Grace, there’s a large group of pastors, leaders, … [Read more...] about SBC Deep State Has Been Discovered … Join Now!
Through October and November, we heard a great deal about the Migrant Caravan from Central America and its journey through Mexico. Approximately 7000 migrants came from Honduras all the way to Tijuana, Baja California, to present themselves for asylum at the U.S. Border. Like many, I watched this development with interest to see what would happen and also to see how this would be framed by our leaders and how the church would respond. Last week (December 15), I went to Tijuana to see for myself what was really going on. I joined 150 or so other pastors and church leaders from across America … [Read more...] about The Migrant Caravan, Christmas, and Ministry at the Border
The History of Thanksgiving Day in America is not just about Pilgrims and Native Americans and a harvest festival of thanks. It is so much more. It has a rich history as an official day of atonement and thanks to God for His blessings and forgiveness of sins. Three official U.S. Government Thanksgiving Day proclamations stand out to me today and tell a powerful story of the leaders of our nation calling us to return to God and thank Him for His blessings. They are quite a read (Via Wikipedia): ___________________________________ 1777. The First National Proclamation of Thanksgiving was … [Read more...] about A History of Thanksgiving Day Proclamations in America
Today, November 9-10, marks the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht (1938), or "the night of broken glass," which marked a turning point in the persecution of Jews in Germany by the Nazis from economic and cultural to outright violence. This Sunday, November 11th, marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One (1918), known as Armistice Day, where we get our Veteran's Day from. These events, as we know, are connected. After World War I, the harsh conditions imposed in the Treaty of Versailles created a loss of economic prosperity and political weakening for the German people which … [Read more...] about End of World War I, Kristallnacht, Baptists, and Lessons from History
Throughout the vast majority of my pastoral ministry, if I were to think about SBC life, I would first think about the local church and then the national entities. I'd think about the Annual Meeting, the notable pastors, the entity heads, denominational strategies, the Cooperative Program, Lottie, Annie, and all of this work that we do together. I'd consider the state conventions too, especially my own, and then I'd think about my local association, primarily quarterly when we'd have our executive meeting, which was always over lunch. I participated, but I didn't put a huge amount of effort … [Read more...] about The Missing Emphasis in SBC Life: Local Associations
"Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment." - Romans 13:1-2 How do we reconcile Romans 13 with speaking out on Immigration policy that differs from current law or what the government proposes? How can we be "subject to the governing authorities" while also calling for our government to behave differently than it has when we believe it to be wrong? And, how can we affirm … [Read more...] about SBC Speaks On Immigration In a Romans 13 Moment
How big is your church? Small? Medium-sized? Large? Mega? How many baptisms? How much money do you take in? How much money do you give? How much money do you give to the Cooperative Program? How many were in church last Sunday? What kind of impact are your making? How many have you led to Christ? How hard are you working? What are the results? The measurables? How effective is your leadership? We did everything "right." Why didn't we see the same success as the church down the street? Why are they "stealing" our people? Who do they think they are? They're just growing because the … [Read more...] about Breaking the SBC’s Addiction to the Wrong Kinds of Power