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A Preacher’s Position - 3. page

Reaction or Rhetoric – A Preacher’s Position on Mass Shootings

IMG_7154San Bernardino, Colorado Springs, Roseburg, Chattanooga, Charleston, Isla Vista, Ft. Hood, Washington D.C., Santa Monica, Sandy Hook, just hearing these names breaks my heart every time. These names stir deeply my emotional pool, and it is time to issue a call. The latest mass shooting in San Bernardino has me, along with the rest of the country and the world, saddened, but the national discussion that has followed this shooting has me angry, very, very angry.

Politicians, news media, social media, conversations with folks at the local coffee shop has me sick to my stomach. I now realize that most involved in the national discussion do not even really care about victims in these mass shootings, and very few, actually care about preventing mass shootings in the future. Politicians and pundits and media and average joes just use mass shootings to further their own agendas rather that addressing this problem that is costing lives and ripping families and communities a part.

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Money Goggles – A Preacher’s Position on Sunday Alcohol Sales in Toccoa

IMG_7154This month, the city of Toccoa voted to approve the sale of alcohol on Sundays by 18 votes. Toccoa was not the first city to lax the laws of the sale of alcohol on Sundays. It is following a trend. The laws are coming down all across the South as “antiquated,” and damaging to restaurants that give people jobs. I want to point out a few facts that will hopefully show you that our attitude toward alcohol needs a radical adjustment.

Before I give you my opinion of this law, I want to say up front. I do not think you are evil if you have a glass of wine with dinner or a cold one after work. I am not saying we need to go back to the days of prohibition, but as a society, our attitude toward alcohol needs to change.

Alcohol statistics are absolutely shocking, but no one, talks about it. You will see goofy drunk driving commercials where police are painted into the background or a vehicle is filled will alcohol sloshing all over the place, but these commercials, do not even come close to addressing the significant issue that alcohol is in our country. There not even serious commercials. They are jokes. I think these stats in the United States will blow your mind and you will never see these or beer commercials the same again.

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Money and Cost – A Preacher’s Position on a Judge’s Statement

IMG_7154Jared Fogle, the ex-spokesperson for Subway, was sentenced for his heinous crimes against children. I did not think that I could be shocked farther by this situation after I read about the crimes in which he was accused and later confessed to, but I was mistaken. This article is not going to be about Fogle and his crimes. You do not need me to tell you how horrific they are. I want to focus on one phrase the judge uttered to Fogle that should score on all of our immorality meters as well, but sadly, I doubted if it even raised eyebrows. This phrase speaks to our culture and leads to many of its ills.

Fogle gave a statement during his sentence hearing. He showed remorse, said he was sorry, and probably whatever else his lawyer(s) instructed him to say to gain sympathy from the judge. At one point, Fogle laments what his crimes has done to his family. He discussed how he hates what his two children will have to face because of him, and how he hates that his wife will now be a single mother. Then the judge steps in and says, “You gave your wife $7 million though, so she’ll be fine.”

“You gave your wife $7 million though, so she’ll be fine.” That statement defines one of the major issues and major flaws facing our culture. We focus so much on money, we often misunderstand the cost. Money is everything in society. This woman has money, so she will be ok. It doesn’t matter what has occurred or will occur in her life because of the acts of her husband. She has money.

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The Danger of Responsibility – A Preacher’s Position on Syrian Refugees


Like most in the world, I mourn over the terrorist attacks in Paris.  Also, I mourn over the war Syria.  I mourn over the unrest in the Middle East that has given rise to terrorists groups and individuals.  The hatred, the violence, the war, breaks my heart.  Out of this complicated and horrific war in Syria that has spilled across multiple nations in the Middle East and involved other countires around the world, we in the United States and around the world have another complex question…what should be our response to Syrian refugees?

I have been torn over this issue.  I have wrestled with thoughts of safety and thoughts of compassion.  I have prayed.  I have spent time in God’s word.  Here are the simple thoughts of a simple pastor on a very complex issue.

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From the Pew Up – A Preacher’s Position on Southern Baptist

I love being Southern Baptist. Now, I don’t always agree with every decision or action of the Southern Baptist Convention. The International Mission Board should be planting Messenger Sending Southern Baptist Churches!, but I am always amazed when I see a bunch of Southern Baptists get together.

Today, I attended the Georgia Baptist Convention’s Annual Meeting, which is a state convention of the Southern Baptist Convention. It can get confusing. But let’s just say, a bunch of Baptists got together for a big meeting to decide on the direction of the Georgia Southern Baptists.

My favorite moment of the Annual Meeting is not the great preaching, not the worship music, not the ministry reports. My favorite moment is when the President of the Georgia Baptists states, “If anyone has any business for the Convention, approach a microphone to be recognized.”

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Star Guessers – A Preacher’s Position on 4 Blood Moons

IMG_7154Recently, I had an entire Sunday School class ask me with such alarm about the 4 Blood Moons and what they mean. There was real worry in their questions. I was vaguely aware of this idea of the 4 Blood Moons, but I had very little idea what it really was about. Since, I have read the two major works on the Blood Moon theory, which are: Blood Moons Decoding the Imminent Heavenly Signs by Mark Biltz and Four Blood Moons Something is About to Change by John Hagee. Let me say from the outset, the blood moon theory is utter rubbish built from a NASA website and absolutely not from God’s Word.

The Blood Moon Theory

Mark Biltz, created this theory, working with a NASA website that posts the calendar dates of all solar and lunar eclipses.  Here is that website that I think is a cool site, when not applied to Biblical Prophecy.  

He took notice of what is called a “tetrad.” A “tetrad” is a series of 4 consecutive total lunar eclipses, which he believes to be very significant especially when the these lunar eclipses occur on the feast days of the Jewish Calendar like the feast of Passover, feast of Booths, etc. According to his book, there have been 62 tetrads over the last 2000 years. Of these 62 tetrads, 8 have occurred on consecutive Jewish holy days. (Chapter 6 Blood Moons) Biltz then took these 8 tetrads that occurred on the Jewish holy days as a prophetic sign and signal from God for a major world event, involving the Jewish people.

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Can We Chop Chopped Wood? – A Preacher’s Response to Timothy Keller’s Defense of Election

IMG_7154I have dealt with and discussed some socially controversial topics from the LGBT community to the police’s use of deadly force to the unlawful interrogation of a kid without representation, so I thought I would take some time and jump into an old fashion theological debate.  For me, these are just fun.  I am a nerd, and for those Bible nerds out there, I think you might find this fun too.  For those non-Bible nerds our there, you are missing out.  You should be a Bible nerd too.

Yesterday I read Timothy Keller’s blog posted to  In this post, he offers three defenses to three objections to the Doctrine of Election.  I wanted to object to his objections.  First, let me say, I have tremendous respect for Timothy Keller.  If you haven’t listened to Keller preach or read Keller’s works, your faith is poorer for it.  I strive to be a pastor more like Keller with one foot actively pastoring and my other foot in the realm of theology/apologetics.  I think far too often those two spheres are keep separate to the detriment of both.

But I want to respond to his response.  You can and should read Kellers blog post, and you can find it here.

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Time for Change – A Preacher’s Position on a Homemade Clock

IMG_7154A 14 year old kid was arrested in Texas named Ahmed Mohamed for building a homemade clock.  He showed this clock to his engineering teacher, who told him not to show to anyone else.   The clock was discovered by an English teacher.  The clock and Ahmed were reported.  He was arrested for building a bomb or a hoax bomb.  Ahmed was handcuffed and taken in for questioning.  During the interrogation, his parents, nor a lawyer, nor a social worker, was present to represent Ahmed.  After a while, the police did determine that the device was harmless.  They released Ahmed and no charges were filled.  Although the reports, do have Ahmed receiving a suspension from the school for this incident, which I have yet to discover if that punishment was lifted or not.

Social media has erupted in support of Ahmed Mohamed.  He has received an invitation to the White House from the President.  He has received numerous other invitation and gifts from internship, tours of businesses and schools, free circuit kits for more building, shirts worn in space from an astronaught, among others.  This has been called racial and/or religious profiling from average joes on Facebook, all the way to the White House, to CEOs of major corporations, to presidential candidates.  I do not think you need my two cents saying this was a case of racial and/or religious profiling.  Do you think if Daisy Sue Johnson built a clock she would be in handcuffs?  I hope you are not that naive.

I want my two cents to go toward the many, many other outrageous acts in this story that are seemingly being overlooked because of the egregious racial and/or religious profiling.

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You Left the Valuables Behind – To the Individual Who Broke Into Our Church

IMG_7154To the individual who broke into our church.

We have a message for you. First, we do not care about the two doors you broke. We do not care about the locked filing cabinet you jimmied open. We do not care about the mess, and we most assuredly do not care about the hundred bucks you took with you. What we do care about is you!

For the last several days I have pondered what would make me desperate enough to rob a church: lost my job and need to feed my kids, a struggle with addiction, an extortionist interest rate on a “helpful” pay day loan, a cruel person claiming to be a Christian who acted despicably toward me…I am truly sorry for whatever situation that led you to kicking in our door. I have prayed for you everyday since and will continue to pray that God will deliver you from your burdens and strife.

But most importantly, I want you to know that as you walked out of Sunnyside Baptist Church with that money, you left the valuables behind.

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Getting Schooled – A Preacher’s Position on America’s Education Crisis

I watched the CNN Republican Debate. Even though they discussed some important topics, such as the Middle East, taxes, immigration, defunding Planned Parenthood, among others, I kept waiting and waiting, they completely missed one of the biggest crisis facing this country. It is time we as the people begin screaming. I do mean scream, we must have education reform! We are focusing on so many issues while our children are not being educated to the level of the resources that we have in our country. Think about that. We are a G8 geopolitical power with resources far beyond most countries and what are we not doing with our resources? We are not giving our children the education on par with the resources we have, and our country and young people are suffering because of this.

The National Center for Education Statistics in 2012 did a comprehensive study of 65 countries. Here is where the United States stood. We are 36th in mathematic literacy. Our average score was 13 points below the average score of the 65 countries taken together. We are 28th in scientific literacy. Our average score was 4 points below the average score of the 65 countries. We are 24th in reading literacy. We did score above the average score of the 65 countries in reading, but by only 2 points.

In the three hour debate, there was not one question asked on education. In the three hour debate, I counted only five references in total to education. Of those five, four of the references were single sentence statements without any detail or explanation. The other reference was a 30 second response of Scott Walker.  When discussing the raising of minimum wage, Walker said that education is a way to raise a persons earning potential. A three hour debate, and by my estimation, education was discussed for less than 60 seconds. More time was spent for each candidate to give him or herself a code name. We are missing it.

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