Scatter shooting while wondering if the Oak Ridge Boys are really from Oak Ridge.
Over the years I’ve been asked if I believe all of the Bible is true. I believe all of the Bible is true except one verse—1 Timothy 1:15. In this verse Paul writes, “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am foremost” (ESV). I believe all that verse except the last part. Paul should have written, “of whom Mark Terry is foremost.”
I believe those who preach regularly would do well to use the expository preaching approach. To do expository preaching, you do not need to be clever or creative; you just do the necessary study. That way you can serve your congregation a spiritually nourishing sermon every week.
I saw a bumper sticker the other day. It said, “I have Obsessive Chicken Disorder.” Lots of SBC preachers suffer from that.
We recently suffered through the time change to Daylight Savings Time. I was serving as a missionary in the Philippines in 1978, and the Philippine government tried to implement Daylight Savings Time. The effort lasted about three weeks and led to mass (!) confusion. During those three weeks, I attended an associational meeting. One elderly pastor arose and declared, “President Marco cannot change the time. Only God can change the time.” The association passed a resolution in opposition to the time change. Probably, their resolution swayed President Marcos to discontinue the time change.
My wife and I went to see the hit movie, “The Jesus Revolution.” It brought back lots of memories from my youth. The way Pastor Chuck Smith struggled to accept the hippies into his church struck me. Most of our churches want to receive new members—that is, people just like themselves. How many of our churches truly have an “open door”? By the way, we really enjoyed the movie; you should see it.
Another thing from “The Jesus Revolution” movie caught my attention. Calvary Chapel performed its baptisms at the beach, in Pirates’ Cove. The baptisms themselves became evangelistic events. That was true, also, in the Philippines. Our churches there did not have a baptistry, so we baptized in the ocean, a river, or a pond. At the public beach, we would sing, preach, and have the baptismal candidates give their testimonies. We say that baptism is a public testimony of one’s faith. We should hold more baptisms in public places, just like Calvary Chapel.
There has been a Twitter debate in recent days about whether preaching is the main thing in worship. Before the Protestant Reformation, the Eucharist (Lord’s Supper) was the main thing in worship. The homily (sermon), if there was one, was an afterthought. Martin Luther changed that. He promoted congregational singing and included the Lord’s Supper in worship, but he insisted that the preaching of God’s Word was the most important element of worship. We must not forget or neglect that truth.
There seems to be a trend in preaching toward longer sermons. I wonder if those who advocate longer sermons (60 minutes) have ever served in the nursery. I heard Ted Traylor, the pastor of Olive Baptist Church in Pensacola, preach several years ago. He said that he and his wife arrived back from vacation on Saturday, a day early. He didn’t want to cancel the supply preacher he had arranged, so he and his wife served in the nursery that Sunday morning. Pastor Traylor declared that experience motivated him to preach shorter sermons.
I trust our SBC Executive Committee and the Task Force that is addressing sex abuse in the SBC. I have every confidence that they did their due diligence before choosing Guideposts to create and maintain the sex abuse data base. If I remember correctly, they interviewed 18 different organizations. I believe they understood that choosing Guideposts to create/maintain the data base would be controversial in the SBC, but they believed the advantages of choosing Guideposts outweighed the outcry and pushback against that decision. I’m not sure about that. I had hoped that Southern Baptists would generally rally around and support the creation of the abuse data base. Sadly, I don’t believe that will happen now. In other words, I see the choice of Guideposts as divisive rather than unifying.
Just to report, my grandchildren are even cuter and cleverer than before.