American Baptist Association Resolution, “Resolution.”

At the 92nd annual Messenger Meeting of the American Baptist Association in Daytona Beach, Florida, pastor Jason Carlton, and his church, along with 33 other signed-on churches brought a resolution to the body that should never have had to be offered in the first place.  It should never have had to be offered, because the reason for it should never have had to exist.  Bro. Carlton’s resolution for the American Baptist Association to disavow previous resolutions from 5 different meetings that occurred in the 50’s, 60’s, and even one in the early 70’s pertaining to racial segregation, was both a joy and embarrassment.  It was a joy to be part of the disavowing, and embarrassment that it had to be done.   To further the embarrassment was the fact that there was actual debate concerning the disavowing.

If I understood the arguments from those opposing the resolution, with no intention of disparaging anyone, they were unthinking at best and unspiritual at worst.

The most repeated argument that some men made honestly and genuinely was the premise that one generation cannot apologize for another generation, or that one messenger assembly cannot apologize for another messenger assembly.  On the technical merits of that argument, these men had a purely “associational” point.  For those who know and understand the nature of messenger body, and the nature of the messenger meeting, each meeting and each body are stand alone bodies unconnected to previous bodies, and non-binding to future bodies when it comes to resolutions.  In other words, each resolution, is only a resolution for the body of that specific year and no others.  Their point being that those were resolutions of previous messenger assemblies that had nothing to do with this one.  Now that would be a good point, if we lived in an “associational minded world.” It might be on point technically, yes, but we do not live in technically minded, associationally educated society.

The fact is that every messenger body, and every generation of messenger bodies serve as caretakers of the testimony of the American Baptist Association to the outside world.  Regardless of what is technically true, the American Baptist Association has a corporate identity that transcends all messenger meetings, that transcends all generations, that transcends all things we know and understand pertaining to the nature of associational meetings.

That being said, the very last printed words, the very last printed resolutions concerning racial segregation were egregious, wicked, and sinful.  Whatever anyone may say about previous bodies, previous generations, previous attitudes, is categorically irrelevant as long as those words were our last words on the subject. I praise God they are no longer the last printed words on the subject.

It has been a long overlooked duty of annual messenger bodies to address those sins upon the testimony of the identity known as the American Baptist Association.  I am thankful that, 1) these sins were brought to light, and 2) something was overwhelmingly done about them.

Some arguments though, were just flat disingenuous. Not well thought at best, stubborn at worst.  For anyone to be willing to denounce segregation but refuse to admit we ever wronged anyone is nothing short of prideful charlatanism. One cannot denounce it in the present, but refuse to disavow it in the past, and maintain any form of credible genuineness.  If it is wrong now, (and it is) then when it was practiced and encouraged, by nature it was wronging people then.  Regardless of what anyone thinks, it is categorically impossible to actually decry racial discrimination, but flatly refuse to apologize for it, and maintain any spiritual credibility.

The public identity, known as the American Baptist Association could never credibly decry and denounce racism in the present, while at the same time refusing to disavow the racist resolutions that existed in the past.  Spiritual integrity and credibility should be the left and right footprint underneath every sign in the world that bears the insignia of the ABA.

Now some have an aversion to proverbially throwing previous generations under the bus; and I do appreciate that sentiment and agree with it, when it is unnecessary. I have great, great respect for the forefathers of these meetings.  They have laid a worthy foundation, and paved a precious path for us to follow.  None-the-less, these forefathers were sinners, and it should be no surprise that they sinned.  However, it should also be no surprise that their theological descendants picked up on those sins, and have brought them to light. The same men that committed these sinful and egregious errors, are the same men that have passed down the great doctrines of the Bible, lived out missionary work, and structured a fellowship for us to enjoy.  It is no sin, to call their sin, sin.  In fact it is a glory and a joy, to confess and repent, as well as a necessity for the well-being of the testimony of the ABA.

With all of that said, I for one am resolved to be thankful for the resolution that was passed in Daytona.  I fundamentally believe that it was a change worth making.

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The Reason Donald Trump Won, and Who to Be Angry At

(It’s been a year since I have written an article, but some things can only rest in the chest for so long.)

There are real reasons that Donald Trump won the presidency, and none of them are the reasons that are being proclaimed by the media.

Contrary to Van Jones, it was not “Whitelash.”  (And I can tell him what to tell his children if he would listen.)

Contrary to the DNC, it was not “underestimating Trump.”

Contrary to CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS and NBC, and even FOX, it was not poor planning, poor scheming, or poor management from the Hillary Campaign, and the DNC.

Regardless of all of the machinations, and brain twisting, mental gymnastics, and social contorting, Donald Trumps victory had nothing whatsoever do with “race”, “hate,” “sexism,” “ignorance,” global warming, or the price of tea in China.  Perhaps one of the most exasperating things to see about this election is the blender of post election intellectual hemorrhaging of people trying to explain how in a rational world this could possibly happen . . . . . . . as though no right minded person in the country wanted it to.

The fact that so many of the media is trying to explain how something so “wrong” could happen in a right minded world betrays the delusional ignorance of the liberal mind.

Furthermore, the tantrums that are being thrown around the country are aimed in the wrong direction.  The people who are tearing down their own house in Portland, which has to be the single most act of insanity that I have ever seen. It has all the rationale of saying, “since 60 million people on the other side of the country voted for Trump, I’m gonna tear down my street lamps and tear up my parked cars” . . . as the great theologian Tim Conway once said . . . . Okie Dokie.

Fits are being thrown around the nation, left-wing media is having emotional meltdowns, and all of the infuriated politicians are aiming their anger at Donald J. Trump – which again makes no real sense.  It shouldn’t take too much thinking to realize it’s not Donald’s fault . . . he only had one vote.

Donald Trump was elected, not because of whitelash, not because of poor DNC planning and scheming, not because of poor management, not because of “flyover ignorance.” – It is not an explanation from failure.  Donald Trump was elected because people like me . . . wanted him to be.

I have said since August, I was voting for Mike Pence, and whoever was on his ticket.

But make no mistake, I want to be very clear about why me, and people like me wanted, desired, thoughtfully, willfully, intentionally, intellectually, and prayerfully voted for Donald Trump on Purpose.  I don’t presume to speak for everyone, but I can speak for me, and people in my circle.

#1 – We voted against Liberal Policies:

We do not want mandated global universal healthcare. Or global, universal anything.  We do not want big government.  We desire not to have it.  We want a small minimally intrusive government, fully understanding what comes with that.  We realize that a small government may mean “problem people” will be problems for law abiding citizens on occasions . . . we’ll handle it. We would rather live free, understanding that there are consequences to living free, and sufferings and problems that go with it, but we want it anyway. We do not want a government that fixes every everything and tries to supply every single safety net that can be imagined.

We do not want the  LGBTQ  agenda to have it’s way in our schools, counties, cultures, etc.  It is not hate to say so.  We hate no one, and regardless of how many times it is said, or how loud it gets said, it is not true.  It is not hate in any way shape form or fashion to say, Men are Men, Women are Women, Marriage is one man plus one woman for life, and no man has editorial license to re-write the biological, and moral dictionary as he sees fit. Man has to adjust to the truth, not the other way around.

We do not want a Supreme Court that takes their opinions to the constitution . . . We do want a Supreme Court that goes to the Constitution in order to find out what opinion they are supposed to have.  No justices, no judge, no official in any way shape form or fashion is to have an agenda of their own . . . it is their responsibility to let the law and the founding documents dictate all judicial rulings.  The constitution is to tell them what to think, not for them to tell the constitution what to say.

We do not want open borders . . . end of subject

We do not believe the wealthy should be punished by taxation, just because they are successful.  Personally, I have had enough of hearing about the rich paying their “Fair Share.”  There is nothing more fair than people paying the same share across the board.  In the Old Testament, the Lord’s tithe was the same for those who made little, or who made a lot.  It is not wrong, in any way shape form or fashion, to be more successful than your neighbor, nor is there some kind of moral imperative for those who have earned more to pay a higher percentage than those who have earned less. Whatever the pay, 10% or any % is the same fair percentage across the board.  If I’ve made a dollar, and you’ve made a hundred, my dime is the same share as your dollar.  I do understand the rationale behind “tax brackets” and realize there is a high-road reason for having them for the good of the country.  However they are not to be unreasonably, or disproportionately structured for the purpose of “punishing” the successful, or redistributing the wealth. It is not right, that one man has to work for something he doesn’t get, in order for another man to have something he didn’t work for.

We do not want babies to be murdered under the hands of faux physicians.  Period.

We do not want to keep borrowing money from China, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, or George Soros.

#2. We voted for Sensible Policies:

We are against illegal immigration, not immigration.  We are for the rule of law as passed by Congress, not imposed by judges. It is not our desire to “separate families” as we have been labeled. It is our desire to make sure people come to be part of us the right way, and then adjust to us, rather than insisting we adjust to them.

We are for vetting radical Muslim immigrants before we let them in this country, even if they say they are coming to see grandma.

We are for having the Strongest Military in the world.  Peace through Strength is not wrong. Our veterans are heroes, and should be treated as such.  They, along with the police, firemen, and medics, should be among the highest paid, well cared for people on our society’s public roll.

#3.  We are not angry, but we do have anger.

The media, popular culture, from entertainers, to west coast and the left coast need to understand, we do not believe them.  We can see through their biases.  We are not uneducated, we are not unintelligent, we will not be “re-trained”, “brain-washed” or manipulated.

Flyover country is some of the most educated, “non-colleged” people in the world.  Furthermore, the rioting in Oregon, and other places, along with the meltdowns of the Van Jones’ of the world are high definition pictures of some of the most uneducated college graduates in the world.  The universities and colleges of our nation are great, wonderful, and worthy of praise, but they are not standards of knowledge, truth, and/or the great “conveyors” of the title “educated.”  Some of the most uneducated people I know have more degrees than a thermometer.

Hillary Clinton and husband Bill have used and abused their positions in government since the day Bill was first voted as Most-Likely to Cheat on his Wife.  They have thumbed their nose at the law for 30 plus years.  Their ability to avoid prosecution for murder, corruption, bribery, rape, sexual assault, and treason has filled the balloon of frustration beyond the point of rupture . . . and that was just when Bill was president.

I learned a long time ago that arrogance of the elite breeds anger among the intelligent.

The fact is that the reason Donald Trump was elected was because 60 million people in the country wanted him to be. On Purpose. They knew what they were doing.  It had nothing to do with the failures of the DNC to campaign smarter, or better, or to have a cleaner message.  C.S. Lewis said once, “You cannot make a good omelet out of rotten eggs.” Hillary and Company want everything for this country, we don’t want.  They don’t want anything for this country we do want.  The DNC could have sent us all Christmas Cards, Candy Canes, and provided a chicken in every pot, and we would not have voted for them.

Many people, myself included, did not vote for Donald J. Trump the person; his historical behaviors are indefensible. (I have been told recently that Mr. Trump has in fact been genuinely confronted with the gospel in a closed door meeting, and he listened, and responded in faith and repentance – fruit will tell.) While we did not vote for him the person, we did vote for the policies and people surrounding Donald J.Trump that are most likely to govern, or influence his governing . . . Mike Pence, Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, Rudy Giuliani, and other conservative policy makers who have the sense that God did give to billy goats.  “In the multitude of counsellors there is safety . . .”

If the Democrats would be for what they should be for, then they would get elected.

Proverbs 11:10 “When it goeth well with the righteous, the city rejoiceth . . .”

Proverbs 29:27 “. . . he that is upright in the way is an abomination to the wicked.”

There are cities rejoicing and there are cities rioting.  Each one is a picture of the heart.

I believe all that has happened is that through prayer, and voting, we have bought some time, and kicked the can of demise down the road.  Changing the government won’t really change anything.  It may slow the demise of our nation, but it will not stop it all together. Government is intended to be a mode of restraint, not revival.  There is only one change that is worth anything, and that really does something, and that is Jesus.  Until the hearts of the people in our nation have Jesus living through them, it will continue it’s moral free fall.  Most people do not understand that . . . but maybe at least they will come to understand why many voters did what they did at this point in time.

The University of Missouri and the Problems Promised in Prophecy

” . . . For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom . . .” – Matthew 24:7

The world has not changed for the better over the last 20 centuries.  If the Lord’s timing is different than what many people think, it will not change for the better over the next 20 centuries.  Society is, and will be, all that the Bible tells us that it is, and will be, and one of the things that the Lord Jesus told us in “bright red ink on bright white paper” is that prior to His return, that rising racial turmoil will be a hallmark of a hell bound society.  He did not give it to us as a spiritual virtue either, He gave it to us as a sign and symptom of the season before He comes again.

I remember as a younger man reading the great Olivet Discourse with eagerness to see if I could see what no one  could see, or had seen in over 2000 years.  It never happened.  What did happen was that when I came to verse 7 I would wonder if the Lord was just repeating Himself for effect when He spoke of “nation – nation – kingdom – kingdom.”  Most people think of a “nation” and a “kingdom” as the same thing; but in fact they are not.

When we look behind the king’s English we find that the word for nation is the word “ethnos” in which we get our word, “ethnic” from.  According to Dr. Strong the root and concept of this word is “race”.  Now that being said, Jesus told us that “race would rise up against race” and that kingdom or country would rise up against country.  This is not a flowering promise for people to embrace, it is a thorn for us to be aware of, and understand what it means.  It means that things are happening (as always) just as Jesus said they would.

This prophecy is a pre-revelation of the sin in society as the world keeps on turning.  And the bad news is it is going to get worse . . . before it gets better.

After reading through the happenings of the Missouri campus and listening to the talking heads the only thing I see and hear is a plethora of people who are totally confused about what to do, and have no idea about how to get a handle on it.

The fact is that every white man, and black man, and green, red, and blue man for that matter is depraved from the substance of their soul.  The Biblical terminology is our “sin nature” – every man, woman, boy and girl has it.  In the context of the Missouri problem, (whether we are talking about Ferguson, or the U of M) the depravity of man, and the spiritual ignorance of the lost has mixed together for a confusing chaos the Lord is not the author of.

There is no doubt that black people have suffered, and do suffer from the abuse of some white people. Only a fool denies that fact.

Neither is there any doubt that some black people are so saturated with an “entitlement” spirit and “victimhood” attitude that they think it’s morally wrong to be white.

Don’t misunderstand – there are “entitlement minded white people” as well as “abusive black people”but those are the predominant generalizations that exist in society right now.

One protester that I read of made the statement, “this is 2015, we should be past this.”  I hope I don’t sound condescending when I say this, but what makes us think “2015” has anything to do with it.  The Bible says there is nothing new under the sun.  They could very well have said “It’s 1860 we should be past this.”  They could have said, “It’s 1950 we should be past this.”  Societies and civilizations do not “advance” with the passage of time, they digress.  Admittedly, in many places the fellowship and friendship between the white man and the black man is much better in our generation than it was in the previous, at least on a social level.   On many levels however what we are seeing in Missouri is not just about “black and white” it is about “conservative and liberal.”

The events that led to the conflict were purely a racial in nature.  Some of the things that have come about since the President and other officials have stepped down, have divided people not necessarily along the racial divide, but along the conservative/liberal divide.

At the end of the day, things are happening as Jesus said they would.  It is a tragedy, but it is the truth.  There is only one thing that will change it, and the world does not want to hear it, or accept it.  It is Jesus.  When Jesus enters the heart of  a man, the man changes.  If the man doesn’t change, then Jesus didn’t come in.  Jesus does not just come in to the heart of white men.  Nor does He just change the hearts of black men.  Jesus changes the hearts of lost men.  Until the hearts are changed, the minds will never be convinced.

The problems in Missouri are unredeemed hearts, unBiblical thinking, and uninterested people.  A good solid dose of repentance of sin, and faith in Jesus Christ is the only thing that will change anything, and therefore the only change worth making.

Kim Davis: Calling America’s Bluff

  “There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, as an error which proceedeth from the ruler:  Folly is set in great dignity and the rich sit in a low place.”   Ecclesiastes 10:5-6

There is far more that can be said about Kim Davis, the Rowan County Kentucky Clerk, that can be written in a single article or treatise.  The confrontation between popular culture and the people of scripture could not be more stark or foreboding. What we have seen in Kentucky, began in Eden, and will culminate at the throne.  In the mean time however, this conflict is just one play in the first quarter of the final game the American culture as we know it will ever play.  It is a first down in the Red Zone for the wrong team and the officials are dressed in their uniforms.  The sad thing is that this is one game they don’t know they can’t afford to win.  The wrong team winning will mean the wrong team ultimately losing, and it appears the odds are stacked in their favor.

When she refused to provide marriage licenses to same-sex couples she did far more than just stand with the scripture, intentionally, or unintentionally, she called the bluff on the American culture.  A nation which has long trumpeted “religious freedom,” even sometimes getting a favorable nod from the Anti-Christ Labor Union (ACLU), is being forced to admit what we’ve known for a long time.  She has brought to a fine point a conflict in which there is no real compromise.  Someone will win this down.

Can a Bible believing Christian hold public office, and administer that office like a Bible believing Christian?  According to Noah Feldman of the Chicago Tribune, the answer is no.

“It’s just fine — in fact, I think it’s admirable — for a public official to say that he or she won’t enforce any law that’s fundamentally immoral and in contradiction to God’s laws. But the only way to keep that promise consistent with the oath of office is for the official to resign when she thinks enforcing the law would be wrong. Given Davis’ statement of faith that it would violate her interpretation of God’s will to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple, she should quit her position as county clerk. Indeed, she must — or she’d be living in a position of hypocritical sin.” – Noah Feldman – The Chicago Tribune

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-kim-davis-kentucky-clerk-gay-marriages-20150903-story.html

In fairness there have been various calls and outbursts on newscasts and in the background of stories with the same sentiment. “If you can’t do your job, resign.”  Which essentially states, “You should not hold office if you obey the Bible.”   Whether anyone wants to put it in these terms or not the end result is that Bible obeying people would, should, and have no other choice, but to abstain from running for or holding public office.  For this conflict to be framed with the “violation of conscience” discussion is one thing, but the broader thing is the ultimate effect of carving out conservative scripture believing people, and cornering them into avoiding public office influence.  For the Christian, every time the law forces them to disobey God, or forbids them from obeying God, that law becomes null and void to them.

The fact is that all things being rightly understood, we don’t obey the laws of the land anyway.  We obey God; and He has told us to obey the laws of the land.  In other words, I don’t pay taxes because I get a letter in the mail; I pay taxes because I have a Bible on my desk and in my heart.  I don’t sell drugs because there is a police force to deal with; I don’t sell drugs because the Word of God is the governor of my heart and mind as best as I can yield to it.  The reality is that any right thinking Christian is only “under the government” as the Government is Under God.  My seven-year old has no authority over my fifteen year old – until I tell my fifteen year old to do what the seven-year old says.  When the fifteen year old does what the seven-year old says, the fifteen year old is not obeying the seven-year old, she is obeying me.  This is a fact of the true Christian life that the world at best knows nothing about, at worst makes up its own version.

We should pray for Kim Davis.  One –  that she has the strength to stand; and that the people surrounding her will be a comfort and care to her and her family. Two –  that we can somehow cause a turnover.  This down will not be decided until she is either out of office, sentenced to prison and replaced, or the law is re-written to protect Bible believing people from having to choose between divine marching orders, and county ordinances.  Without question such laws would benefit the country more than the Christian and would unequivocally be a change worth making.

What Josh Duggar Proves for Biblical Christianity

”  For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.” – Romans 7:18

  “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.  For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” – Galatians 5:16-17

I do not know Josh Duggar, or the Duggar Family for that matter. I, like most people, only know them through the media.  They have my prayers, and for all intents and practical purposes, I’m still on their side.

The things that they publicly stand for, are the things every right minded individual ought to stand for; Biblical truth, personal purity, loyalty to Christ, and strong conservative Christian family values.  The presentation of their principles are spot on, and no serious minded Christian should be in disagreement with their spiritual stands.

Now that being said, the critics are having a holiday, and those who have stood by them and for them feel as though there is egg on their face, and I say this not to insult anyone, but both reactions are emotional, not Biblical, and are born out of unthinking ignorance.  Quite frankly plain and simple what has happened with Josh Duggar is the fact that he is prima facia evidence of the proof of the message of Biblical Christianity.  Religion has no power whatsoever; and man has absolutely no ability to live the Christian life in the flesh.  Period.

For those on the outside there are two possible scenarios pertaining to the assessment of Josh.  One – he is a man who is serious about religion, but has tried to live it in his own strength, and the result is that he proves the truth and message of the scripture . . . it cannot, it cannot, it cannot be done.  Man in his is greatest moral strength, and highest moral character cannot live in any form of reality the Christian life, regardless of his “religious rules.” Regardless of “presented character,” a man’s nature is a man’s nature, and all of man’s nature is wicked and powerless no matter how well it is dressed.

Or two – he is, and always has been a certified actor pretending to be what he never intended to be.  It is entirely possible that Josh has always manipulated his persona and reputation, while his real character coincided with his real nature . . . sinful and malicious.

The only people who can have a justifiable comment about which one it is, are those people who are actually the closest to Josh and have real life experience with knowing him.  To declare which one of those he is without actually knowing him is as foolish as signing up on an adultery site, and is a daylight demonstration of the fact that it “takes one to know one.”  The truth is that most certified hypocrites presume and proclaim all others to be certified hypocrites without having any first hand knowledge.

Now which one is Josh?  I don’t know, and if you’re not in the circle, you don’t either, so don’t act like you do.

The fact remains that everything surrounding this “great fall” proves the message of the Bible.

The first possible scenario is the primary case for the truth of the gospel.  Man has no power to be what he should be.  Religion may mask a man’s nature, but it cannot change it.  Furthermore true believers in Christ who attempt to live the Christian life under their own power and strength are destined to 1) fail to live up to the standard, 2.) fall into temptation, 3.) futility in their spiritual lives, and 4) be fodder for the enemies of the Bible.  The truth of the Bible is that you can’t do it.  You do not have the nature, the power, or the wisdom, to live a genuine Christian life.  Adrian Rogers said one time, “There is only one person who can live the Christian life . . . Jesus Christ.”  The truth of the Christian life is that Jesus in the form of the Holy Spirit, actually, not rhetorically, but actually has to be the power, nature, and character that takes us over and lives His character through us. (See Galatians 2:20; 5:16-25)

The second possible scenario no more undermines the truth of the Bible than a counterfeit twenty devalues a hundred dollar bill.  If the second scenario pertaining to Josh is true, that has absolutely nothing to do with the Christian principles and standards that Jim Bob and Michelle have been unashamed about so publicly for so long.  If Josh is an outright actor, it proves nothing but the fact that within Christianity there are outright actors; which all Bible believing people have always said, always proclaimed, and always explained.  Every legitimate Bible preacher, teacher, and believer I know, or ever will know, knows and says that the Christian world is saturated with counterfeit Christians.  That is no scandal that is the reality.  Just as certain as there are card carrying hypocrites with a capital H, the truth and message of the Bible is genuinely, truthfully experienced and enjoyed by scripture living Christians with a capital C.  No right minded, right messaged preacher or teacher has ever taught anything different.

It is not cliche to say that all of the Duggars as well as Dugger in-laws, friends, families, and church need to be prayed for.

As Christians, we never “think” without letting the Bible tell us “how” to think and we never respond without letting the Spirit of God have His way in our response. Reacting to Josh Spiritually and Biblically rather than emotionally or culturally is a much needed change worth making.