Scatter shooting while wondering who will get Dave Miller’s lime green suit when he passes on to his reward.
At my age, happy hour is an afternoon nap.
When I was a boy, learning to play baseball, my coach said repeatedly, “Mark, keep your eye on the ball.” Of course, that’s the key to hitting a baseball, but it’s also key for Southern Baptists. For us, the ball is missions. Missions is what motivated Baptists in the USA to form their first convention, the Triennial Convention, in 1814. The first thing the SBC did when it organized in 1845 was to establish the Foreign Mission Board and the Domestic Mission Board. Now, I’m not saying that theological issues are not important. Most of the mainline Protestant denominations in the USA have abandoned missions altogether because they adopted universalism (all will be saved) and pluralism (all religions are equally true). Conversely, Southern Baptists are quite conservative, and we are not in danger of adopting those theological errors. We are in danger of permitting tertiary (third level) issues to distract us from fulfilling the Great Commission (Matt 28:18-20) that Jesus gave us. So, I say, “Southern Baptists keep your eye on the ball.”
My good wife and I attend a new church start on the far north side of Fort Worth. We use contemporary Christian music exclusively in our worship services. I don’t favor that myself, but our church is targeting young adults, and that is the music that speaks to them. So, that’s fine with me. I remember in 1965 when our youth group led the worship at my home church in Arkansas. We used a guitar, and some of the old folks grumbled about bringing “the devil’s music” into God’s house. Well, that music spoke to us, and the contemporary music of today speaks to these young adults. Our senior adult Bible Fellowship Group sings a hymn each Sunday morning to satisfy our hymn craving.
Next month we’ll celebrate Memorial Day to honor those who have died in the service of our country. I’m all for that, we owe them a great debt of gratitude. I wonder, though, why we do not have a memorial Sunday to honor our missionaries who have died overseas in service to the Lord. At the IMB’s International Learning Center, which is near Richmond, Virginia, there is a wall of honor. On that long wall are small brass plaques with the names of the missionaries who died while serving overseas. Lottie Moon’s name is there, and so are the names of my friends—Bill Hyde, Kathy Arnett, and Randy Arnett. Bill Hyde died in a terrorist bombing in Davao City, Philippines. Randy and Kathy Arnett died in a car crash in Central Africa. You can find Dr. Martha Myers’ name, too. She died in a terrorist attack on the Jibla Baptist Hospital in Yemen. When I taught missions at Southern Baptist Seminary, three times missionaries from the Louisville area were killed overseas. Each time, a local TV station came to the seminary to interview me. Each time, the reporter asked, “Why do these missionaries go to dangerous places?” Each time, I replied, “They go out in the name of Christ. They believe He is worth dying for.” I believe we should honor our missionary martyrs.
I feel great relief because the Task Force addressing sex abuse in the SBC has reversed their decision to employ Guideposts to set up and administer the sex abuse database. I feared a terrible fight on the floor of the SBC annual meeting would have happened if they had stuck with Guideposts.
Dave Miller has vociferously objected to my statement that my grandchildren are cuter and cleverer than all others. He contends that his are, without doubt, cuter and cleverer. To Dave, I simply cite Galatians 4:16—“Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth?” (ESV)