Category Archives: Rants

Rant-Off

I think I finally have enough things jotted down here and there to do a full-blown “Rant”.  To new readers of this blog, from time-to-time I just unload a rapid-fire list of thoughts, irritations, vents and musings that clears both my chest and my desk.  So here’s my latest…

  • I have a bad habit of counting people’s verbal ticks when they talk to me.  One of the most irritating ones is people who say “you know”. Caroline Kennedy’s worst interview when she was thinking about trying for Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat included so many “you know’s” in it that it pretty much ended her hopes of moving to Washington.
  • I have my own “ticks”.  Recently I found that when I speak in public, I put my left hand in my pocket all the time.  I need to stop that.  Years ago, I would touch my glasses too frequently, so I had someone count how many times I would do that in a sermon and then would try to reduce that number each week until I had it under control.
  • I really hate it when I’m talking to someone and they keep saying, “Know what I mean?” or “Do you hear what I’m saying?” over and over and over again.  I want to scream, “Dude, I’m not deaf!  Of course I hear you.  If I can’t hear you, I’ll let you know.”  It’s also a guise for getting someone to agree with you.  In my head, even when I politely say, “Yes, I hear you”, I’m also thinking, “But I don’t agree with you.”
  • I’m generally uncomfortable with the idea of people giving standing ovations to musical numbers performed by “artists” in church.  I don’t mind respectful applause.  I don’t even mind an appreciative “amen”.  But really, do we need to jump to our feet and cheer when someone holds a note for more than ten seconds at the end of a Southern Gospel song or does more runs than a jackrabbit at the end of a Gospel number?
  • I’m seriously considering scheduling a technology fast from time to time in my life.  So much of my work is done via computer and blackberry anymore, I’d like to experience the solitude of a day or two without running to the internet every few minutes.  I think I’ll call it going “techno-Amish”.
  • Mark my word, if Obamacare passes, we will be having the same conversations regarding euthanasia within a generation as we’ve been having regarding abortion.  That’s not a prophecy; that’s a promise.  When the government has to choose who gets the kidney transplant, a 60-year-old grandma or a 16-year-old kid, whom do you think “loses?”
  • I feed a little flock of ducks that gather on my porch and peck at my glass door until I give them bread.  They were so cute when they were little.  Last week, I opened the door to feed them and they all ran into my house and pooped on the floor and pecked my toes.  Kind of reminds me what the government does once you invite them into your back yard.  Next thing you know, they are sitting in your living room telling you to quit eating potato chips, vaccinate your daughters, buy a smaller car and that you make too much money.  Then they poop on your floor.
  • Every time that I drive by some little white-knuckled, bespectacled whimpy fellow driving a Prius Hybrid up I-75, I get a little thrill by blowing past him in my gigantic suburban.  Hybrid drivers always just act so smug and buttoned-down.  Kind of like the kid in junior high who wore bryll-cream and his top shirt button buttoned and who took names when the teacher left the room.  He just kind of makes you want to shove him in a locker or hang him by his belt loops on the back of a door.
  • I think Glenn Beck is one of the most mentally unstable conservatives on the air today.  And THAT’S saying something.  I’m shocked that he’s not a liberal as irrational and hysterical as he can be at times.
  • I think Professor Gates from Harvard set race relations back a decade last month.
  • At the same time, I’ve met some over-the-top obnoxious cops and government employees who think they possess all the authority in the world and aren’t afraid to flaunt it.  They do make you want to scream at them.  But if I did it, you bet I’d get arrested and the President wouldn’t invite me over for any (root) beer, you can be sure.
  • Why is it that when Christians vote in a block for someone or in supporting a party, they are labeled, “simple”, “unthinking”, “sheeple”, etc…  But when Hispanics support a Supreme Court nominee simply because she’s Hispanic or when Blacks support Obama simply because he’s black — even though in each case the candidate represents a different philosophy than they hold — it’s considered understandable and even “historic.”  (Note:  I voted against Jimmy Carter and didn’t vote for Mike Huckabee — both whom are evangelicals.)
  • The office of Pastor is undergoing such rapid changes due to the demands and expectations of the postmodern generation that I can’t keep up with it.  Frankly, I don’t see much Biblical basis in the changes.
  • I’m as uninspired by the Republicans today as I was the day I decided to switch to “unaffiliated” last Spring.
  • “Nothing could be finer than to live in Carolina….”
  • McDonald’s Sweet Tea is an overlooked treasure in the Fast-Food world.
  • I wish Florida Senator Mel Martinez was running for re-election so I could vote against him.
  • Same thing goes for Florida Governor Charlie Crist.
  • This year’s Big Brother 11 is DULL.
  • I cannot bring myself to watch a single minute of the Bachelor/Bachelorette no matter how little is on TV during the summer time.
  • I think I think too much.  I almost never listen to music because when I can understand the lyrics — I usually disagree with them, over-analyze them and find them philosophically or theologically unsound.
  • I am grateful for Facebook.  It has revealed to me that my quarter century of ministry has not been a total waste of time.
  • Facebook has also reminded me that often the kids you think are beyond hope are often the ones in which you should have the most hope.
  • Why do tomato growers not comprehend that we’d rather have tasty tomatoes than pretty tomatoes?  So quit gassing green tomatoes to make them sickly red and figure out a way to ship ripe tomatoes that are edible when they get to the market.
  • So the government is giving people $4,500 to trade in the “clunker” just like they permitted people who didn’t qualify for a mortgage to get houses they couldn’t afford.  And like the trained monkeys we’ve become, Americans are mobbing auto dealerships getting new tin-can cars and monthly payments they didn’t previously have.  Shall we now place bets on how many of those cars get re-possessed in the next six months?  No thanks, I’ll continue to drive one of my 100,000+ mileage cars with no payments.  I hope everyone’s grandchildren enjoy paying for the debt we’re wracking up with assinine gimmicks like this.
  • I do sort of wish there was a cash-for-big-ol’-honkin’-TV’s exchange so I could get a kewl LCD or Plasma flatscreen.
  • I don’t care how old I get, I’ll never really figure out most people.
  • I don’t care how great a speaker a guy is, I’m really not interested in going to church for a video sermon.  I think I’ll just wait until it comes out on You Tube or free TV or just not at all.
  • It seems like since the TV stations switched to digital that my television reception has gotten worse.  I’m always getting these little weird looking boxes that look like a pay-per-view scrambler in the middle of my regular shows.
  • I’ve had to delete several bullet points on this list because they just sound too snitty and I’ve been in kind of a foul mood.  So glad that I’m at least coherent enough to delete them.

That’s all folks!

What Are We Saying When We Use G-d’s Name?

curse1.jpgI just addressed an issue with the faculty and staff at our church and  school.  It was the result of hearing God’s name used with increasing casualness as a matter of routine.  Let me give you an example.  I just returned to my office after walking to the cafeteria for a cup of ice.  During that short trip, I heard the phrase, “Oh, my God!” three times and “God!” twice, by students ranging from elementary, to middle school, to high school.

Lest someone jump to an accusation about large Christian schools, South Florida “issues”, neo-evangelicalism, or some other rationalization…, I will state for the record that I can’t think of a pastor’s conference I’ve attended in recent years where I did not hear at least one example of God’s name being used disrespectfully in ways ranging from “Oh my God” to “My God” and more.  I went to one of the most conservative “fundamentalist” schools in the world for my undergraduate work and routinely heard the expression “Bless God” as a curse or at least a colloquialism during sermons my entire time there by the highest levels of leadership from the Senior Pastor on down.

Devout Jews refuse to even write the word, “God” thinking it too casual for Someone so sacred and significant.  Instead, they will cite him as “G-d”.  In Biblical days, Scribes, who made copies of scriptures prior to the printing press, were required to use a fresh quill each time that they began writing the name of God.  They also took a ceremonial bath prior to the first stroke.  At the conclusion of each stroke of the quill that was required to write the name of God, they would repeat the bathing and take a new quill.  It served as a constant reminder of the majesty and authority of the One Whose words they were copying.

Of course, we know that one of the Ten Commandments was a directive that we should not use the name of God “in vain” – meaning without thought, casually, commonly.  In the New Testament, when Peter was denying Christ and actively trying to identify with those who were murdering Jesus, he did so by cursing and using God’s name in vain.

curse2.jpgUsing God’s name disrespectfully is not limited to the “mother of all curses” – G**D***.  It is any use of his name (or in my opinion, a close derivative of it) without reverence, thought, respect or care.

You might ask why I would even raise such an issue when there are many other “problems” in our culture, schools, churches and communities.  The presence of other sins does not negate any sin.   To do so is a tired and cliche’ tactic that any high school debate student can identify in a nanosecond.

I would also suggest that when one gains an awareness of and respect for the Holiness and Place of God in our lives, other matters of questionable practice and conduct will more readily fall into place.  Will a person who loves and honors and respects God enough to treat His name carefully be more or less inclined to acknowledge His authority in matters of ethics, morality and integrity?  Indeed, acknowledging God’s Sovereign Authority in our lives will lead to a better life of straighter direction. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Can a man have a polluted heart even if he doesn’t use God’s name carelessly?  Absolutely.  Now let me ask the opposite.  Can a man have a pure heart if he uses God’s name carelessly?  In fact the Scripture tells us that out of the mouth flows the content of the heart.  (Matthew 12:33-37)

So in closing, may I ask that each of us who have influence over the training of our young people, speak before audiences privately and publicly, lead our families and converse one-on-one take some time and examine the importance of keeping the names of God and Jesus Christ sacred, carefully used and thoughtfully assigned?  It’s part of the development of a worldview that is first and foremost about loving God first, best and most.

Rant Attack!

I’m long overdue for a rant, so here I go!

  • What do you get when you cross Perez Hilton and Rosie O’Donnell? ……….SATAN?
  • Can we agree now that if Obama decides to prosecute the Bush officials who used creative though harsh tactics to get information from terrorists (like waterboarding) that we will prosecute HIM and his officials if we experience a terrorist attack during his time in office because he plays with dictators, coddles terrorists and cares more about being liked, than defending Americans?
  • I like the fact that Miss California stood up to Perez Hilton and spoke her convictions about her views of gay marriage based on her faith.  What I wonder is how does her “faith” influence her decision to sashay around a stage in front of millions of people (none of whom are breathlessly awaiting a stunning display of intellect when she is posed a question during the interview session) wearing an itsy, bitsy bikini?
  • If I had known that Obama was going to be this awful of a President, I might have switched parties and voted for Hillary.
  • Why is it that when little girls act like litte girls, we want them to act more like little boys and take math and become CEO’s and play golf?  What is that when little boys act like little boys we want to drug them into submission (spelled r-i-t-a-l-i-n) so that they’ll act more like little girls?
  • If there’s a recession going on unlike anything since the Great Depression, why is there a stinking line at every restaurant I try to go to?
  • The bad thing about when the Red Sox play the Yankees is that only one team can lose.
  •  I don’t which disturbs me most, that most people have no idea how postmodernism has changed how the West thinks or that most people who should care simply don’t.
  • I personally believe that the end of our individual rights and freedoms in this country will be able to be traced back to mandatory seat belt laws.
  • I really can’t stand Adam Lambert on American Idol.  At the same time, I sometime find myself thinking about his rendition of “Ring of Fire.”
  • I think that the NBC series “Kings” is one of the most thought-provoking series I’ve seen on TV in a long time.  However, they’ve started shuffling it to obscure nights and times, so that means it’s toast.
  • I just received a Kindle 2 for my birthday — one of the coolest gifts I’ve ever had.  If they were paying me to endorse them, I’d tell you that you need to put one at the top of your Christmas list.  But they aren’t, so you’ll just have to decide for yourself.
  • The meanness of the Hard Right is nothing….NOTHING…when compared to the meanness of the Radical Left.  I’m just saying.
  • I used to watch David Letterman regularly.  Now I never watch him.  Got sick of his Bush bashing and liberal junk.  I’d rather read my Kindle2 or watch a re-run of Home Improvement.
  • God gave South Florida an extra month of spring this year.  April has been gorgeous — cool, dry and low humidity.  Thank you, Lord.
  • All the female ducks are missing off of our lake.  That can only mean one thing.  In a few weeks — DUCKLINGS!  I’m saving my bread already.  (I don’t eat them; I feed them.  Wrong kind of duck to eat.  But if they were the right kind, I would eat them.)
  • My mango tree is loaded this year.  I didn’t like mangos until I got a house that had a mango tree in the yard.  Now I love them.  I still don’t like oranges though.
  • The nice thing about not being a Senior Pastor anymore is that the criticism and meanness level in my life has dropped about 99%.  That feels really good.  There are a lot of things I do miss — but not that part.  At all.
  • I have a sense that somewhere, someone is already trying to figure out how to get Obama’s face on Rushmore.  I need to go visit it before they do.
  • When you live near the beach in South Florida, the only time you actually go to the beach is when someone who doesn’t live near the beach comes to visit you and asks you to take them to the beach.
  • My son and I play a new game.  On Sunday’s, when we go out to eat — he picks out the old school pastors and I pick out the young hip pastors — in the restaurant by how they dress and wear their hair.  We’re both always right.
  • When I go to a Chinese Buffett, I can’t help but “hear” the names of the dishes I read on the little dish tags in my head like someone is saying them with a Chinese accent.  When I get to the the platter of “Vanilla Wafers”, I always giggle outloud just a little.  My family finds this very annoying.
  • Of all the people I follow on Twitter (about 20 or so), I find Al Mohler the most amusing, interesting and unique.  He twitters about everything and he really cracks me up sometimes. (Shameless plug: you can follow me @DanBurrell)
  • There are few things that I’ve done in my life that gives me more pleasure than to hear about, follow and check in on the dozens of guys who are now in the ministry who were once a member of a church I pastored or are former students.  I’m proud of ALL those guys.

OK…enough for today.  I’ve gotten most of it out of my system.  Until next time…..

What Do We Do About “The End of Christian America”?

If you haven’t read the Newsweek article by Jon Meacham that I cited in my previous post, much of what I’m about to write will not make sense.  You may read “The End of Christian America” by clicking HERE.

Jon Meacham asks outloud in last week’s issue of Newsweek, “Have we reached the end of Christian America?”  To some extent, he may be asking a question that has largely already been answered.  One only has to spend time among the population today or view the religious melting pot that has become our cities to realize that Christianity — as “the” monolithic faith system in America that it once was — is rapidly become one among many.  Without a doubt, it is still the dominant one, but even among those who would lay claim to the identifier “Christian” it means less and less.  I was told recently of a community interfaith service held in small town Binghamton, NY designed to remember 14 people killed by a madman during which the name of Jesus was not invoked even a single time.  In today’s pluralistic hyper-sensitivity to tolerance, the distinctive of Jesus as “THE (only) Way/Truth/Life” is simply too narrow and dogmatic to be acceptable by most, it would seem.

So without debating the thesis of Meacham’s article, what does the evangelical church do in response to the reality that is “religiousity” in American today.  Indeed, there is as much hostility against evangelical Christianity as there is fervency for it in many quarters.  What follows is a mix of ideas, observations and thoughts….

1. We need to look within our borders for missionary activity.

Simply put, we have a new mission field to consider and it is us.  And in particular, it is the part of “us” that lives in the Northeast — the land of the Pilgrims, Puritans, Moody, Wesley and Whitefield.  I was told recently that there are 60 Southern Baptist churches in New York alone looking for pastors.  Few young people “dream” of moving to Massachussetts to start a church.  Could there be many places harder to start an evangelical church with a Biblical worldview that leans toward a conservative philosophy than say, Vermont?  New York City?  Boston?  Connecticut?  Maine?

There are a handful of small Bible colleges in the Northeast dedicated to equipping church planters, pastors and missionaries — Davis College in Binghamton.  Boston Baptist in Boston.  Word of Life Bible Institute in Upstate New York.  But they struggle in recruiting young people from the hotbeds of evangelicalism in the South, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest who are willing to go to the cold (in every sense of that word) Northeast for a life of ministry.  But indeed, it is a mission field worthy of investment and attention and individuals and churches should consider a place to send money, prospective students and other support.

Like it or not, the Northeast may be the most influential area of our country in terms of education, politics, economics and literature.  It’s closest rival would be Southern California and its music and movie industries.  We need to recapture this area with the Gospel.

2. We must re-emphasize the Supremacy of the Word of God

Someone once asked me what I believed was the most important theological issue in the Universe.  In a phrase — it is the Word of God and in that I have a dicotomous emphasis -  The Infallability of Scripture and the Sufficiency of Christ.  Both the Written Word and the Living Word must be pre-eminent in our faith or we have nothing.

Al Mohler, one of my favorite authors and thinkers, said this in the Meacham article: “The post-Chrisitan narrative is radically different; it offers spirituality, however defined, without binding authority.”  The fundamental question for every Worldview comes down to this:  “Who’s the Boss?”  All of theology and philosophy are built on that question.  Not “Who am I?” or “Why am I here” — but “Who is in Charge”.  Whom or what we accept as Truth is that on which our entire nature of being is hinged.

Philosophy and Theology are not nearly as complicated as we make them.  It is fairly simply and the crux of Worldviews is found in the “Book of Beginnings” — Genesis.  The questions with which Adam and Eve grappled in the Garden of Eden are still the questions of today.  “Is there really a God and does He really matter?”  “Can we trust God to tell us the Truth or is there something that He is holding back from us that we really need to know Truth?”

Bottom line — Either God matters and is telling us the Truth or God is irrelevant and can’t be trusted.  You must decide.  AND you must give it more than lip-service.  Many people claim to believe in God and His Word, but in the end, their actions indicate something entirely different with every choice that they make.  Wiersbe said, “Our behavior is a reflection of our beliefs.”  Don’t tell me what you believe….show me.

Today’s evangelical — let alone the man who makes no pretense of being a “believer” — generally chooses a lifestyle, a values system, a course of direction that indicates that God isn’t really to be trusted and we are the ultimate authority for what is right or wrong.  The implications of that are huge.

3. Genuine Christians will have to decide Who or What will define their values.

American Christians are flabby and undisciplined.  For too long, we have enjoyed a government that largely reflected many — if not most — of our values.  Since Darwinism and the Public Education System emerged in the late 1800′s however, we have seen a steady and progressive movement away from the core Biblical worldview that was held and taught by the Puritans who founded this nation.  Even non-Christians like Jefferson and Franklin at least held an appreciation for the Absolutist Worldview of those who held Scripture as the Standard for Truth.

Not so today.  Christians are often difficult to differentiate from non-Christians in how we think, how we spend our money, what we find entertaining, how we amuse ourselves, our sexual values, our integrity and business ethics, the sanctity of our marriage vows and how we identify with the world around us.  In some cases, people who make no pretense of being an orthodox believer in the values of Scripture conduct themselves with more consistency and integrity than those who plaster their faith statements on their T-shirts and car bumpers.

Thus the church must adjust its mission to teach things like Biblical literacy, theological discipleship, a Biblical worldview (philosophy), practical Christian living and Biblical discernment as it is now a counter-culture mission — often even within our own churches.

4. Evangelical Christianity must resist theological Heglianism.

In brief, Georg Wilhelm Freidrich Hegel was a theological philosopher who postulated (among other things) that Truth could be found by the impact of two opposing ideas.  The “Thesis” would collide with the “Anti-Thesis” to produce a “Synthesis” which, having survived the violent clash of ideas would be embraced as “Truth”.

Today’s virtue of “Tolerance” utilizes that premise in many ways by asking us to “put aside” or compromise our distinctives for the sake of unity or harmony.  We are challenged to discard the inconvenient truths of our faith for the sake of unity, harmony and tolerance.  The Ecumenical result of this is a faith that is born of a sense of “spirituality” and not from a foundation of doctrine.  This transient form of faith takes the pleasant and leaves behind the difficult.  It “cherry-picks” values held in common among various faiths, but neglects the roots that produced the fruit.  It is Oprah’s spirituality and Madonna’s Kaballah and the Dali Lama’s Noble Path and the earthy karma of Hinduism all rolled up into one.  Dogmatism is not a virtue, but a vice.  Absolutes do not provide a foundation, but are an example of intolerance.  Not believing is as valued as believing.

Jesus did not come to bring peace to man.  He came to bring peace with God.  His way is narrow (narrow is the gate), His claim was exclusive (no man comes to the Father but by ME) and His authority was Supreme (I and My Father are One.)  No room for compromise in His message.  Indeed, while compromise is the lifeblood of politics; it is the deathknell of theology.

5. American’s Hope is NOT Political

I am a political junkie.  I enjoy the drama of politics the way some people follow sports.  Every other November is my “Olympics”.  However, we have to get away from the idea that there is a political solution to the moral crisis in this nation.  Our national values are generally reflected in Washington — not dependent upon Washington.  As our country moves deeper into the era of “post-Christianity” we have to come to grips with the idea that Washington has moved from being a shelter for us to possibly becoming an adversy against us.  But this does not negate the soul autonomy which is assigned to each believer and what he or she does with truth whether or not a government declares it legal.

No one can make my daughter get an abortion in this country — yet, I wonder how many Christian parents have looked the other way as their daughter (or wife) went to take an innocent life because to have allowed it to continue would have been embarrassing or inconvenient.  I don’t need the Supreme Court to tell me that abortion is murder.  No one needs to keep drugs illegal in order for me to avoid them any more than the legal sale and consumption of alcohol has compelled me to take even one single drink in my entire life.  I don’t HAVE to watch smutty TV shows, I am not required to visit pornographic websites, I am not compelled to use vile language in order to appreciate “free speech” and I don’t need to buy a gun if that would be dangerous for me to do so.  My values are linked to Scripture, not legislation.  But when the choice is left to me, it does require me to THINK and DISCERN and to exercise SELF CONTROL.

Will I continue to vote for people who reflect my values?  You betchya.  But you know, elected office has a way of changing people, so I’d better not depend on them to keep me free, safe or holy.  In Meacham’s article he quoted journalist and commentator, Cal Thomas, who said, “No country can be truly ‘Christian’.  Only people can.”  We elect what we value, what we deserve, what we trust.  Look at whom we have put in power and that will tell you much about how we think.

That’s enough of my rambling for today.  Feel free to disagree or extend your own thoughts.  I’m not discouraged about Christianity in America.  Where there is much darkness, the smallest light makes a bigger difference.

Time for a Rant

I haven’t had a good rant in months, so I thought I’d rip one off for you right quickly as we start the week.  If you are unfamiliar with my “rants” — it’s just a quick mental download of randomness from someone who is known for his quirky observations and ADD-styled musings…

  • Like a moth drawn to the light (or a fly drawn to….well, any way, you get the picture), I couldn’t help but watch some of the inaugural coverage as much as I vowed I wouldn’t.  I’m glad I did — it was a historic moment and the majesty of our governmental system was on full display.  However, I should have turned the volume down because honestly, the newscasters total abandonment of any pretense of objectivity (compared to how they have moderated previous inauguration) was nothing short of nauseating.
  • Whoever came up with the “Five Dollar, Five Dollar, Five Dollar Foot Long” jingle for Subway was a genius.  Every where I go, I hear people singing and humming it. That one will go in the American cultural repertoire like “Two all beef patties…” and “It’s the Real Thing”.
  • I remain frustrated with where I fit in the whole “fundagelical” world.  I don’t fit in the “fundamentalist” camp even though I’m with them on doctrine, because I just can’t tolerate their spirit and legalism.  I don’t fit in the “evangelical” camp even though I like their passion and spirit, because I can’t tolerate their pragmatism and squish philosophy.  So where’s a guy like me supposed to fit?  Just wondering out loud….
  • I’m on a diet again.  Pray for my family.
  • I’m rooting for the Cardinals Sunday out of principle.  I’m just generally for anyone playing the Steelers.  Plus I like Kurt Warner.
  • I also think Tim Tebow is the man.
  • One of the neat things about having your kids grow up to be fine young adults is that you not only love them, you like them.
  • I’d rather be the most conservative guy in a room full of liberals than the most liberal guy in a room full of conservatives.
  • I think it is interesting that when Democrats are in power, they govern from strength.  When Republicans are in power, they govern with apology.
  • I respect a liberal with principles more than I do a conservative without them.
  • I’m pretty much against everything that Obama stands for politically.  However, you gotta’ admit this, he is straight out of central casting when it comes to looking “Presidential”.  Plus, he doesn’t use words like “misunderestimated”, “strategery” and “nuke-u-lar.”
  • You gotta’ wonder about a guy (Obama) who has more compassion on Prisoners of War than he does for pre-born children.
  • Has anyone noticed that there is basically nothing worth watching on TV anymore?  (Except “24″ — Jack Bauer is the man.)
  • I don’t know who that little chick is that co-hosts the Today show on the week-ends, but I find her immensely annoying.
  • My favorite meal of the week is Saturday breakfast with Josh.  He’s about the only person on the planet for whom I’d get up early to eat breakfast on a Saturday.
  • I have this sinking feeling that as bad as the economy is right now (and it is BAD), we haven’t seen ANYTHING yet.
  • Speaking of the current economy, I’m so concerned that I have adopted my father’s philosophy of cash management. I wouldn’t “spend a nickel to see a turkey ride a bicyle” right now.
  • If you live in South Florida, you owe it to yourself to go to the South Florida Fair in Palm Beach County.  Eat a fried twinkie, try a smoked turkey leg and catch a pig race.  It really doesn’t get better than that.
  • I miss having chickens in my back yard.  (But not enough to move to Hialeah.)
  • One of the great things about living in South Florida — February = Spring.
  • That new Coke Zero is pretty tasty stuff.  Much better than Diet Coke.
  • I’m sad to see newspapers disappearing.  I think they’ll all be gone in 10 years except for maybe USA Today.  Of course, the only time I buy a newspaper anymore is when I’m flying somewhere.
  • I truly don’t understand why Hamas just didn’t stop launching their little pop bottle rocket missiles into Israel instead of letting hundreds of their civilians get killed in a senseless war.  I don’t blame Israel — I blame Hamas.
  • I wish Jimmy Carter would go back to Plains and retire.  How did he ever get the impression that he is an effective diplomat when he was one of the most ineffective Presidents in US history?
  • I think we should change the name of pyramid schemes to “Madoff Schemes” instead of “Ponzi Schemes”.  Words fail me to describe how despicable he is for what he has done to old people and charities.  I don’t care how rich, gullible, liberal or whatever those people where, he couldn’t have been more of a thief if he had been wearing a bandana and carrying a six-shooter.
  • I like the fact that Rick Warren ended his inaugural prayer with all those various names of Jesus.  And some wondered if he’d even mention His name once.  LOL.
  • Was it me or was Joseph Lowery’s prayer just a little bit racist?
  • I like Aretha Franklin’s hat.  I think all ladies should wear hats to church.  I’m just weird that way.
  • So I went into a restroom at a Golden Corral the other day and they had a “sanitary hook” on the back of the bathroom door which allowed you to open the door without touching the knob.  Someone else has a public restroom “issue” like me.  I hope they get a raise.

And with that….consider this rant COMPLETE.

The Latest in Pastoral Challenges — 7 Days of Sex

sex_challenge.pngI’ve wrestled all week-end as to whether or not I was going to weigh in on this, but I guess I’m going to go ahead and do it knowing full well that I’m probably going to get blasted for some who will think I’m an old fogy or out-of-touch or being unnecessarily critical.  I’m really kind of interested to get some sort of measurement as to what others think of this new “trend” as well, so feel free to weigh in on it.

Ed Young, Jr. is the latest, and perhaps highest profile, pastor who has decided to challenge his audience to commit to seven consecutive days of sex.  (Note: this challenge is for married, heterosexual couples we can all safely assume.)  Here’s the link to the story HERE.  Ed, of Fellowship Church in Grapevine, TX and who has satellite campuses across the country — including here in Miami — is just the latest to do this.  In fact, while I lived in Charlotte, one couple blogged and later wrote a book about their 365-Day Challenge (yes, you read that correctly), but it wasn’t part of a church context.

I personally find this kind of trendy, flavor-of-the-month, pop-psychology type of “religion” distasteful and immensely irritating.  To me, this fits in with other “trends” in emergent-driven churches like wearing too much gel in one’s hair, wearing shirt tails out, giving away shot glasses with the church name on them out in bars, shocking signs (Flamingo Road Church recently had a huge banner on their building asking people to “Flip Someone the Bird” this Thanksgiving.  It was part of a Thanksgiving food drive.  Please excuse me while I roll my eyes.), Starbucks franchises in the lobbies, one-word church names and worship franchising.  None of these, on their own are intrinsically evil or always unBiblical — it’s just that if I were an unsaved person watching all these gyrations to get me to give them some attention, I’d be laughing hysterically at the antics and the seeming desperation.  In fact, I do laugh hysterically at it sometimes.  Other times, I just throw up a little bit in my mouth.

Should Pastor’s address sex as part of their ministry of the Word to believers?   Yes.  Have we always done a good job of that?  No.  In the process, have we made sex a “dirty word” and somehow damaged the psyche of married people everywhere?  I don’t know….I think the birthrate of evangelicals would argue otherwise.  And yes, I know that sex is a gift from God for Procreation AND recreation, but I don’t think any one’s suffering from a lack of encouragement and education in the latter department either.  Otherwise, why would I hear my youngest son running around the house singing “Viva Viagra” at the top of his lungs from hearing that stupid commercial all the time. (And he’s clueless about Viagra, I might add.)

From my perspective (and note that I’m going into personal opinion mode here), this kind of trendyism just irritates me to no end.  Sex happens.  It’s not bad; it’s good.  Yes, the world pollutes the beauty and sanctity of it.  Do I think that being pressured to take some sort of week-long love fest is going to solve the problems in most marriages?  Not on your life.  In fact, in many cases, it will make it worse.  It just adds more pressure into an arena that is far too delicate for mass therapy.

To me, this trivializes something that is private and personal and more than a little sacred.  I question the value for putting such a specific emphasis on the “act” in a group setting.  I wonder how this fits into the admonition from Scripture that warns us that it is better not to talk openly about those things done in secret and a reminder that the marriage bed is to be considered holy.

Do I think there are occasions when frank discussions about sexual matters are appropriate in a church context?  Without a doubt.  Are marriages under stress because of sexual dysfunction and unfilled sexual relationships?  Absolutely.  Does a lack of sex in a marriage lead to temptation that may drive one or both spouses to infidelity, pornography, anger, depression, etc…?  No question about it.  Is the quick and appropriate fix for it to do some sort of gimmicky sex challenge.  I think not.

So I’m disturbed — not just about the whole sex challenge thing, but about the tendency we have in evangelicalism today to jump on the latest “hot idea” and now, we’re going to see a thousand other hip pastors with too much gel and untucked shirts, grab a cup of Starbucks and scoot back on their stool (which is painted flat black, of course) and tell audiences that making a commitment for sex for a week will do a body good.

Sorry….I’m just not buying it.

What do you think?


Don’t Worry; Be Happy!

OK, I absolutely, positively do NOT have time to write a blog article today which is why I wrote my earlier article well in advance.  But, I’m going to take 10 minutes and pound out a quick one in order to save me time giving pep talks to a bunch of discouraged conservatives during the next few days.  Now I can just say…. “Go read my blog.”

I am not looking for my Prozac this morning.  I am not booking flights to some other country.  I am not pouting like the pigs just ate my toy poodle.  I’m quite happy this morning.  And I’ve got plenty of reasons to be happy in spite of the way the election turned out yesterday.  Let me share a few…

1. I’m happy for my African-American friends.  Seriously.  Thrilled for them.  I don’t know of a single black friend of mine who didn’t vote for Obama (though there may be a few, but you don’t have to justify your vote to me or anyone else.)  I don’t understand how they could vote for someone who, in many cases, represents values that I know they don’t believe or practice.  But I do understand that I don’t understand and can’t understand what the election of an African-American means to them on a deeply personal level.  And because I understand that I don’t understand, I’m quite content to be happy that it means something very special to them.  I am excited that every person of color now has a legitimate reason to believe that when they grow up, they can aspire to any job in this country and know that it is within their grasp.  That is a colossal shift and one that’s long over-due.  That makes me happy.

2. I’m happy for the Obama girls.  How cool is it to be able to move into the White House when you are still in elementary school?  AND they get a new puppy!  Good for them.  I hope they also ask for a pony too.  And then I hope they both poop on the White House lawn (the puppy and the pony, I mean) and that they run ruts in the grass and that they all just have the best time kids and their pets can ever have.  It’s the people’s house and I’m delighted that two adorable little girls like the Obama sisters get to live in a house like the White House!  That makes me happy.

3. I’m happy that Amendment 2 passed on Florida.  I’m also kind of excited about being happy that Proposition 8 is winning in California — but don’t want to get too happy too soon as it’s still close.  It’s reassuring that a majority of Americans still believe that the institution of marriage as traditionally defined is sacred and important.  That tells me we haven’t completely lost our minds or our souls and that makes me happy.

4. I’m happy to live in a constitutional republic that practices the ideals of democracy.  I’ll be in a country later this week where they don’t get to do what we did yesterday and if they did, you can bet they would vote for change.  But instead, they are in bondage.  It’s an awesome thing to live in a time when people actually get to choose their leadership and that’s something that is relatively new in terms of world history.  Being able to vote and even lose that vote is a great thing.  That makes me happy.

5. I’m happy for checks and balances.  The system works.  Permanent political change in our country takes a long time because of the wisdom of our forefathers.  The Supreme Court is still in moderately conservative hands and that will serve as a buffer in folks decide to get too ambitious or forget that we live in a country with an amazing constitution.  So that balance of authority and power gives all of us time to make sure this is REALLY the course we want to chart as a nation.  That makes me happy.

6. I’m happy that we have personal freedoms that the government can’t touch.  When I close the door on my house in Pembroke Pines, it’s just me and my family and God and our values.  Politicians can implement a lot of laws that will impact me, but there are some areas where they can’t get to me — at least yet — and I’m thankful for that.  That makes me happy.

7.  I’m happy that we have a free media.  I love to shout at the pundits on TV like they can hear me.  I love reading columnists that make me crazy and at the same time, make me think.  I don’t want to read or listen to people that only say what I was thinking all of the time.   I like it when I can turn the channel and get another point of view.  I like to call them “liberal media elites” like that’s something really sinister…bwhahahahah.  I like it that I can post whatever I want on a blog and a few thousand people will read it in a matter of a week like I’m some sort of journalist or something and some of them will tell me how brilliant I am and then someone will tell me what an idiot I am and depending on the post, both of them are often correct.  This is one great system we have here.  That makes me happy.

8. I’m happy that we get to do this all over again in two and four years.  I know, I know….I need therapy.  I don’t think it’s cool to go around saying “I hate politics, I hate politics” like that makes you smart or intellectual or “above it all”.  I think it makes you sound smarmy.  I love politics.  I love to watch the ebbs and flows of public debate.  I think the strategy is fascinating (and the Obama campaign deserves a GOLD medal for putting on what may well have been the best-managed campaign in American history).  I love the drama, the tension, the anticipation and the Monday-morning quarterbacking that happens the day after the election.  What a country!  That makes me happy.

9. I’m happy that the Republicans got spanked last night.  They earned it.  They’ve been arrogant, inept and unprincipled.  They got EXACTLY what they deserved and probably not as much as they could have gotten.  Now the big question is “what next”?  I’m on the sidelines on this one.  They have to earn my support in any future elections.  I’m no longer involved on that level and don’t anticipate being the party activist I once was again.  But, if they are smart, they’ll do what the Democrats obviously did, and figure out where the wheels fell off and go back and fix it.  The two-party system is wonderful and we need two strong parties.  I’m fairly confident that eventually they’ll deal with the problems and if they do, that will make me happy.

10. I’m glad I’m a Christian.  I’m not trying to sound all “pastorish” or anything, but truly, I have peace and joy this morning.  Happiness is a choice and I chose to be happy today.  Joy is not dependent on circumstances.  I always have my joy, even when I’m not happy.  I’d rather have joy than happiness, but I’m happy to be happy as well.  I want to make a difference in this lifetime.  I love life.  I’m not delusional — but I am happy.  I’m so thankful to be created in the image of God and want to live up to that responsibility and that potential by leaving the world better than when I found entered it.  But the best is yet to come…this is just the introduction.  I’m as sure of that as I am of anything in my life.  And folks, that REALLY makes me happy.

So put a smile on your face, congratulate the winners, get back to work (you’ve got taxes you’re going to need to pay!), be nice to everyone and be HAPPY.

Seriously.

A Quick Election Eve Rant

‘Twas the night before election and all through the house, another attack ad was blaring and it’s made me a grouch…..

So, I’ll blow off a little steam by listing a few of my predictions, observations and rants about this latest election cycle.  Hold onto your wigs…..

I’ve predicted for 18 months that Obama would win his election this year.  Admittedly, I thought he’d be running as Vice-President with Hillary at the top of the ticket, but I’m still correct in predicting that he will win.

Tomorrow night, I believe that Obama will hit 300 Electoral Votes and will then claim a mandate — something that Bush 43  or Clinton could never really do.  If he hits 320 (and I think that is highly likely) then he will call it a landslide and you can expect an even more dramatic shift in his agenda which will, of course, take a hard left turn.

I predict that the Senate will end up with 58/59 Democratic votes — including the socialist, Bernie Sanders of VT who will fit in dandily with the new administration.  When you realize the number of RINO (Republicans in Name Only) like the gals from Maine and this year’s Republican Presidential nominee — it will in all effect be a fillibuster-proof Senate and Obama’s appointments and legislation will fly through like a hot knife through warm butter.

Within weeks of Bush 43 taking office, he was inviting Teddy Kennedy over for dinner and embracing his liberal educational policies like “No Child Left Behind” and the massive expansion of Medicare — all in the name of bipartisonship.  I wonder if anyone will hold their breath until Obama invites ANY real Republicans over to the White House for tea and announces his support for a bill that, would say for example….that you can’t go ahead and murder a baby that has accidentally survived an abortion.  Don’t hold your breath.  You see, Democrats understand that what it means to really “believe” what you say unlike most Republican office holders.  Plus, they don’t go all “wobbly” (to quote England’s greatest Grand Dame, Lady Margaret Thatcher) because they have such a high need to be “liked”.

If Obama plays his cards right, his Presidency will secure the White House for leftists and liberals for a generation.  All he will need to do is “redistribute enough wealth” to ensure that 51% of the American population is on the government teat and we all know that once you get that Big Gov check you are more addicted than a crack whore to those who promise you another “fix” every four years.

Evangelicalism in the United States is a mess.  (So is fundamentalism, but that’s another story.) The watered-down Truth and the embracement of relativist philosophy produces a “disciple” that will throw Biblical values under the bus anytime someone with a pretty face, plan to make them richer or personal eloquence comes along.  It doesn’t have to be a politician, it can be Joel Olsteen, Oprah or Saw IV.  Name your kool-aid….for most evangelicals, Absolute Truths are rhetorical flourishes that hold little meaning and less value to them.

When Republicans want to lose an election, they elect an old man with tired ideas to run for President.  When Democrats want to win an election, they select someone younger and good looking who has learned the idea of speaking in lofty terms about “hope” and “change” and who doesn’t reveal his real agenda until he’s in office.

I used to think Jeb Bush would make a good President.  However, considering the genetic pool from which he emerged, I’m really not interested.  Sadly, I don’t see anyone else in the entire Republican party that would do any better.

Let’s talk Sarah Palin for a minute.  First — what the media and liberal elites have done to her is the most savage thing I’ve seen in my lifetime.  It is simply reprehensible.  With that aside, what does it say about a party when there is more enthusiasm about the VP candidate than anyone who ran for President in that part in the first place. Plus, for all her homespun, girl-next-door appeal, seriously — does ANY one really think she is ready to sit in the Oval Office?  And, just for the record, the fact that she has as much or more experience than Obama does not make her more qualified anymore than Obama is qualified.  Maybe in eight years, but she’s going to need to prove herself and we’ll see if the residual damage done to her by the leftist attacks are surmountable.  They weren’t for Dan Quayle.

Joe Biden is undoubtably one of the most arrogant and obnoxious Vice-Presidents we will ever have.  I can’t imagine that he will make a viable candidate for the Presidency in 2012.

I’m going to refrain from posting a post-election “Sovereignty of God” article on Wednesday.  Enough people will be doing that.  Read theirs.

Plenty more to rant about…but I’m more than out of time.  Do go vote tomorrow.  I’ll be posting information for Florida voters later this afternoon if you want to check back.

Who Gives a Crap? (Read this before you judge me)

angel-garcia-001-2.JPGA few weeks ago, I had lunch with one of our Dade Christian School graduates.  His name is Angel Garcia.

Angel grew up in the home of a single parent.  He’s a pretty typical Latino kid from South Florida.  One day, when he was in his mid-teens, a pretty girl invited him to Wednesday night “youth group” at New Testament Baptist Church.  In his words, I came to… “You know, get close to her, get a little action, try to get her to make out with me…”.  Instead, he heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ preached and before he went home – he didn’t make a decision, he experienced a conversion.  The Lord changed him inside out and he was never the same again.

This is a kid whose only religious experience was of Catholicism and we all know what that largely means to a Latino kid.  But when Angel trusted Christ, he caught fire for Jesus Christ.  Before long, he figured out a way to attend Dade Christian School which he did his last few years of High School.  When he graduated, he headed to Moody Bible Institute to get prepared to become a youth pastor for a couple of years and he’s now back home in his 3rd year of study locally and he works with a church plant in Dade County.

As we conversed over black beans and rice and Cuban sandwiches in a new Latin American restaurant a few blocks from our school, we covered the usual topics a couple of guys are prone to cover…. Schooling, future plans, his dating life, sports.  In the middle of this superficial conversation, he leans forward and drops his voice a little and with an intense urgency he said this:

angel.JPG“Dr. B – See that lady sitting over near the door dressed in all white?  She’s a Santeria priestess.  Look over to your left behind you a bit.  See those two guys talking?  They are closing a business deal.  Right behind you is a guy that’s been hitting on the waitress since we walked in the door.  He’s trying to get her to go home with him.  Over at the lunch bar?  See that old guy?  He’s all alone in the world.  Dr. B — look all around us.  This community is FILLED with people who are dying and going straight to hell and no one gives a crap about it!”

I fully realize that someone is going to post a comment or send me an email chastising me for using a word that I got in trouble for using when I was growing up.  But, a) I wanted you to hear the raw heart of this inspiring young man who cares about souls and b) if you are worried more about the fact that I just quoted someone who said “crap” than you are about the fact that our communities are filled with people who are dying and going straight to hell – then go right ahead and write your note.

I’ve got to tell you – it was like the Holy Spirit jumped on those words and has branded them on my heart.  Because after 25 years of being in ministry – I will confess to you that if actions speak louder than words – I’m afraid I’ve lost the passion for the mission of the Gospel that called me into Christian education and church ministry in the first place.

That mission was not about teaching kids how to conjugate verbs and diagram sentences.  It was not about arranging class schedules and meeting with the parents of prospective students.  It wasn’t spending hours in calendaring meetings and managing yet another “outreach program”.  It wasn’t about preaching to another group of bored and listless preachers at some fellowship meeting.  It was not about sitting in budget meetings and board meetings until I was in danger of slipping into a coma.  It was about seeing the lives, the futures, the souls of young men and young women transformed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ as they repented of their sins and abandoned any notion that they could save themselves and trusted the Son of God with all their hearts for salvation.  That’s why I went into the ministry a quarter a century ago – Because I gave a “crap” about their souls.

So, I’m not quite sure why I’m sharing this today.  It’s not simply a public confessional.  I guess it’s my hope that maybe someone who reads this will get hit alongside the head like I did when I had lunch with Angel.  Maybe it’s because I hope that when push comes to shove and we shake the foggy clouds of our own busyness away for a few minutes — maybe we’ll remember that we really DO care about the souls of those around us.  And maybe, just maybe, that realization will make us reset our priorities in the week to come.

Stages of Political Realities — A Rant on the Coming Republican Bloodbath

barack-obama-comic-book.jpgAs a not-altogether-unbiased observer of politics, I’ve been watching the flailings of my Republican friends – professional and lay alike – as they deal with the impending Age of Obama.  I can only describe what my Republican friends are experiencing as the Stages of Grief when one’s political candidate/party is going down in flames.

Consider what we observe:

Stage One – Denial

At this stage you find people doubting the pollsters.  This ranges from examples of how polls have been wrong in the past to suggestions that there is some vast left-wing conspiracy among pollsters wherein polls are used to discourage conservative turnout.  Other strategies include discussions of the impact of cell phones on poll accuracies (folks, cell phones have been around for nearly twenty years – they’ve figured out how to compensate for them by now) and the so-called “Bradley Effect” which suggests that a huge number of the electorate are closet racists that cannot bear the thought of answering a pollster honestly and so they say that they plan on voting for 50% brother Barak, but when they enter the voting booth, they plan on reconnecting with their “inner klansman” and voting for the lily-white, not to mention pasty-skinned McCain.  To all my Republican friends, find a mirror and say it slowly…. “President Obama.”  See, it won’t kill you.  If that doesn’t work, go find a member of the liberal media elite or a Hollywood starlet and ask them to slap you sharply across the left cheek.  That may bring you back to reality.

Stage Two – Anger

I think we’ve seen this one spill over at a few recent McCain events.  Often, it includes references to “communist pinkos”.  Occasionally, the angry conservative will launch into an incoherent rant in which they spend themselves shouting about Hussein as a middle name, Barak not really being a US citizen, Muslims, San Francisco Nancy Pelosi and Dirty Harry Reid.  Once they are exhausted, they will usually finish off with a grandiose declaration about a certain western democracy heading to “hades” in a handbasket or that we are about to get what we deserve. 

Stage Three – Bargaining

This is a fun stage.  In it we make all kinds of political “deals” in our heads.  Some still honestly believe that we are basically a conservative culture and that the seeming Osama surge is a conspiracy thrust upon us by the liberal elites and that surely, this country can’t be so far gone that we’d elect a left-wing, terrorist pal, baby killing, activist judge loving, most-liberal-senator-in-the-Senate, black liberation theology believin’, socialist to be our next President.  Surely the economy will miraculously turn around over night and the Republicans will be hailed as heroes.  The Iraqi war will be over and they’ll be erecting statues to G. W. Bush in Baghdad squares.  Conservatives will awaken on November 5th to find that overnight not only has John McCain been elected, but he’s also become a born-again conservative who loves Ronald Reagan and Evangelical Christians.  They also believe that if they click the heels of their magic ruby shoes together they’ll wake up in Kansas and Toto will be licking their nose.

Stage Four – Depression

This stage gets really ugly.  We talk about preparing to move to France which will have a more conservative government than we have in about 2 weeks.  We consider moving to Montana and buying a ranch where we’ll raise goats and homeschool our children and await the coming plagues.  We decide to look into off-shore banking so there will be less for the Democrats to tax.  We look longingly toward the Eastern Sky speaking quietly of the Rapture.  We question the wisdom of bringing up children in a world controlled by liberals who want to normalize homosexuality, give felons subsidies from our tax dollars and tolerate Muslims while hating on Evangelicals.  Apparently, this depression erases the ability to remember the words to “Victory in Jesus” or “This World is Not my Home”.  Being “salt” and “light” were much more wonderful concepts when we lived in a salt shaker or a chandelier.

Stage Five – Acceptance

Finally – sooner or later, we’re going to have to get to the point where acceptance arrives.  Short of an incredible and unforeseen shift of public perception unlike anything we’ve seen in modern times, I believe that Barak Obama is our next President.  I’m not the least bit happy about this prospect.  Quite frankly, I wouldn’t be all that much happier with McCain and apart from my concerns over abortion and Supreme Court nominations, I probably wouldn’t vote for either of them.  We have two lousy choices (and please, all you third-party promoters, don’t spam me with your arguments – I have neither the time nor the patience to join you in chasing windmills) and either way, our country is going to change dramatically over the next 4 and probably 8 years.  So, let’s just sit back and accept the fact that God is in control and remember that we often see His hand in play while it is actually occurring.  Don’t interpret my pessimism as a challenge to avoid voting — absolutely, DO vote.  Just don’t make it “bigger” than it really is.  Keep things in perspective.  Give things the 100-years test.  In a hundred years, none of this nonsense is going to matter.

In closing, let me say this….most of the above was written with tongue thoroughly in cheek.  If you can’t laugh at yourself and poke at your own silliness, then you are taking yourself WAY too seriously.  I’m comfortably settled in Stage Five – but only after I’ve worked through the first four stages in a rather inglorious way.  I truly do believe that this election marks a point in which we can truly say, “We are now what we have been becoming.”  The election of what is going to be the most liberal administration in American history is not going to be due to the excellence of their ideas or the legitimacy of their philosophy.  It will largely due to the abject failure of the Republican party to do what it was elected to do with frustrating consistency from 1980 forward.  What limited successes Reagan may have had have been totally obliterated by the incompetency of two Bush Presidencies.  Republicans have an unsound philosophy that has caused them to court people that were NEVER really Republicans (Colin Powell, Arlen Spector, Olympia Snowe, “Arnald” and a host of others) and in doing so they have totally alienated their base.  How else can you explain that the ONLY electricity that the Republican nomination has garnered among even party loyalists was when they unleashed a grossly inexperienced, but full-throated social conservative on the scene?  And did anyone notice the response of the radical left?  Absolute, pure, vicious venom.  Make no mistakes.  You’ll see it in a few months.  THAT’S at the core of their agenda and you’d better rest assured that the new administration is going to put real conservatives in their crosshairs in short order. 

But in the end, we are free moral agents.  Abortion can be legal in every county in the country and it doesn’t mean that you’ve got to get one yourself.  They can make gay marriage the law of the land, but it doesn’t mean you’ve got to experiment with the option yourself.  They can throw me in jail and every other pastor committed to Biblical integrity and I’ll still preach Romans 1 the way it was written.  If all of us who claim to be believers stand united, what are they going to do?  Build a thousand new jails for all of us?  So what if they take our tax exempt status?  Do we obey God because it helps us every April 15th?  Are we theological hookers who will change our message for a buck?  Opposition has the potential to strengthen us and it also has the potential to purify us.  Either way, on the other side of the time of testing, we’re going to be stronger and better off.

So whatever the election and its consequences hold – As for me and my house….we’re going to serve the Lord!