Trigger warning: sexual abuse A woman was journeying and fell among a youth pastor. He groomed her, making her feel special for one of the first times in her life. Eventually the special attention moved into sexual touch that culminated in intercourse. It was confusing to the young woman when he soon discarded her and then threatened her not to tell. Did he not love her? Was she not actually special? When all was said and done she felt stripped, beaten down, and left half dead. One day when she was a bit older, through a pastoral counseling session, she told some of her story. The pastor … [Read more...] about A Pastor, A Christian Counselor, and an LBGTQ+ Affirming Advocate Come Upon a Hurting Survivor…
Pastor, what if I told you there was a mostly unseen enemy that is harming your flock and potentially hijacking your ministry to them? — In the late 1800s it was a massive gamble to get surgery. Many would survive the initial procedure but would contract a deadly infection from the surgery that would lead to their demise. It was so bad that at one point they considered outlawing surgery altogether. What was happening? While not nearly as efficient as our laser procedures in the 21st century, 19th-century surgery was not as archaic as you might imagine. They knew how to effectively … [Read more...] about The Invisible Enemy Killing Your Congregation
Last week I did something I never thought I would do. I came to microphone 3 at the Missouri Baptist Convention and I spoke. Not once, but twice. And, yes, I remain shocked and deeply grieved that 507 Missouri Baptists voted against our motion. I’m deeply grieved for us, and I’m grieved for what this communicated to survivors. I really do not want to believe that 507 Missouri Baptists intended to communicate, “we don’t care about sexual abuse reform” but this is what was communicated. And I feel partially responsible. I feel as if I dropped the ball. Today I want to share why and help other … [Read more...] about Assessing Why Our SATF Motion Failed
I keep hearing folks asking to give benefits of CRT/I that you couldn't get from the Bible. I'm not sure if this will satisfy as an answer, but I want to share a couple of stories and explain why I think we are where we are in this whole conversation. First, the story.. I was in a room with about 8 other pastors sifting through hundreds of sermons, attempting to decide who would be good to speak at an upcoming conference. One of the men that I suggested as a potential speaker was a minority pastor from an inner city. This particular sermon that we were analyzing was a powerful exposition of … [Read more...] about Is This How We Might Make Use of an Analytical Tool?
“A scoffer does not like to be reproved; he will not go to the wise.” –Proverbs 15:12 This verse jumped out at me this morning. As I found myself interacting with the text I pictured the necessity of being an open book for people. Of willingly allowing myself and my ideas to be put under a microscope. I thought of C.S. Lewis’ scurrying rats: On the other hand, surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of a man he is? Surely what pops out before the man has time to put on a disguise is the truth? If there are rats in the cellar you are most … [Read more...] about Will We Turn off the Lights or Hire an Exterminator?
There is much more that could be said here. And I’ll preface this with saying I’m an idiot on much of this stuff. However, I do believe I’m making a correct observation here. In the book Coddling of the American Mind the authors note two types of identity politics. One, the way of MLK, seeks change by convincing people of a shared humanity. You make people more human, not less, then appeal to their humanity. The second type of identity politic is common-enemy identity. Here we are United against a common foe. We are identified by who we are not, and who we are trying to keep power from. … [Read more...] about One Reason the SBC Is Divided
Allow me a moment to defuse that flashy title. Nothing I'm about to write is meant as an attack on Ronnie Floyd. In fact, my hopes would be that if he read this article he'd give it a hearty amen. We also must acknowledge that we are at a watershed moment within the SBC. Who we are as a convention, I believe, will be determined by our response to this cultural moment. And Ronnie Floyd serves in a key position within our convention as CEO of the Executive Committee. Whether through action or inaction, he will play a part in the future of the SBC. And that future for the SBC is a question mark. … [Read more...] about We Don’t Need Ronnie Floyd for Revival
There is a phrase which I've seen tossed around lately in all our talks about critical-race theory and other issues of social justice. The phrase is even one which has become a hallmark of the relatively newly launched Conservative Baptist Network (CBN) You can see the phrase in their Twitter tag-line: “Sufficiency. The Bible, alone.” That precious doctrine which is being propelled to the front line of battle is the doctrine of the sufficiency of Scripture. But I do not believe that phrase or the doctrine is being properly represented. The Second London Baptist Confession of Faith explains … [Read more...] about The Sufficiency of Scripture and Resolution 9
In 1 Peter 5:2 we are encouraged to "shepherd the flock of God that is among you." That text has driven me through many hills and valleys within my years of pastoral ministry. I've found this observation from Jared Wilson particularly helpful: "We frequently find ourselves trying to shepherd the flock of God that we want, the one we imagine them to be, the one we want them to be. But God through Peter commands us to shepherd the church we've actually got." (Wilson, The Pastor's Justification, 30) I'd like to add a thought to Jared's. Not only are we prone to try to "shepherd the flock of God … [Read more...] about Why I Have Never Preached Against CRT
A couple of days ago Rodney Howard-Browne, a false teacher in Florida, was arrested for holding services against a state mandate. There are quite a few moving parts to this discussion—and as such I’m a bit hesitant to enter in here. So rather than speaking of Howard-Browne or other pastors being arrested, I want to speak of a general principle here. I do not believe it is religious persecution for law enforcement to enforce a ban which includes holding religious services. Nor do I believe it is bold and God-honoring to hold such services in the face of a government lockdown. Let me explain … [Read more...] about Holding a Church Service on Lockdown: Radical Obedience or Denial of God’s Authority?