Christians and President Trump

                I read an interesting “back and forth” argument concerning Christians who voted for President Trump. It wasn’t the first time I had heard the rhetoric: “How can someone who calls themselves Christian vote for an egomaniacal, racist, anti-immigration, lying, misogynistic, Islamophobic like Donald trump?”
 
                First, I’d argue about some of the descriptions thrown around about him that people continue to advance without any proof whatsoever. For instance, is the man a racist? I really don’t understand where that comes from.  His policies are helping minorities by decreasing unemployment and he has established a commission to look into the unfair incarceration rate/sentencing guidelines (even a black president failed to do that).
 
                He certainly isn’t anti-immigration.  He has even increased the number of green cards issued.  Now he is certainly anti-illegal immigration. But let’s not confuse the two. All previous presidents espouse the very same beliefs about illegal immigration that President Trump has.  Exactly.  The difference is he began putting feet on his promises.  If previous administrations were so much more favorable to immigration practices why did the throngs of people suddenly rushing our borders not make their desperate treks during those administrations? If I didn’t know better, I’d think a liberal plot was afoot. Now as far as caring for those being housed in detention for trying to get in legally and illegally, I think you’ll find the majority of organizations providing comfort and care for them, as much as is allowed, are Christian organizations. I certainly haven’t seen Anitfa or Socialist organizations mobilizing to help.
 
                Is he egotistical? A liar? Look up the definition of “politician”.  An honest definition would include those words.  If a Christian had to wait for an honest, selfless, saint to run for office before we vote we would never get to the polls.  Misogynistic? I’ll give you crude and vulgar (and we Christians do not like that) but as far as we know he hasn’t slept around with interns, movie stars, and subordinates while in office as have some in the past.  And…He has had as high as eight female senior advisors compared to five for both a President Obama and President Clinton. How is that misogynistic?
 
                Bottom line, though, is this:  Christians had two choices. Many voted for the one who promised to do what he could to limit the horrible practice of killing babies in the womb, to appoint conservative, constitutional judges, build a strong economy, and control illegal immigration. There is certainly nothing un-Christian about those goals.

 

Say good things about your Savior and His Church on the Bluff.

  Bro. Tony


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Sound Theology

        (Pastor Tony’s Blog for 6/27/19)
 
              If you look back at the years before the Civil War you will find a deep division in our nation; so deep that fellow citizens took up arms against each other.  Brothers fought against brothers and fathers against sons. The result was of course widespread death and destruction.  Regardless of the motivations for the Civil War, what strikes me is that both factions purportedly had God on “their side”.  Yes, both sides claimed to back up their position with sound theology.  Our own Southern Baptist Convention was formed as a result of our Christian leaders and churches supporting the institution of slavery.  How is it possible that the Bible can be so misconstrued?
 
                It is fairly easy if you want it bad enough.  We simply bow to the will of the people we want to impress and interpret the Bible according to whims of the culture in which we live. And apparently many people still want to do so badly.  In the deep divisions and turmoil that mark our nation now we have theologians on both sides of the issues claiming moral, Biblical superiority. The Southern Baptist Convention was on the wrong side of theology one time; let’s be sure not to succumb to popular cultural opinion on this occasion.
 
                Several major Christian denominations turn a blind eye to sound doctrine and Biblical truth, instead interpreting scripture in a way that they feel will endear them to the cultural desires of the world. As God’s Word is absolutely clear on His love for everyone He created, it is also very clear on His purpose and plan for His creation.  Scripture is clear on God’s hatred of sin and His desire that people repent of their sin and turn back to him. And it iss clear that the reason He hates sin is because He loves the sinner so deeply.
 
                So Christian, let’s not be swayed by public opinion and let’s come to the conclusion that it is OK to put down because we hold up the Bible.  Let’s stand united on the fact that the taking of a life in the womb is wrong. Let’s be strong on our stance that marriage and family are to reflect God’s creative purpose of male and female and that those are the only two sexes and are assigned prior to birth.  And remember this:  God’s purpose is to love and redeem sinners so our message to them should always be that God loves them and wants to save them from the results of their sin.
 
Say good things about your Savior and His Church on the Bluff
 

Bro. Tony


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Hollywood and The HeartBeat Bill

                There has been a lot of back and forth between “Hollywood” and folks in Georgia about the threat to take all movie work out of the state because of the bill that would recognize life at the heartbeat of an infant and protect that life.  Alabama and other states are also taking the heat from so-call “celebrity activists”. Let me give y’all my thoughts on that.
 
                I have never needed an actor (I will use this term to designate all 50 or so sexes they claim exist that are in the acting business).  Their skill is they can “pretend” very well…and many are excellent pretenders. Their job is to entertain people, and many have indeed entertained me.  But when they demean me by calling me things like hateful, homophobic, backwards and ignorant, misogynistic, xenophobic, and dumb (among other things) they have lost their ability to entertain me…no matter how good they pretend.
 
                I actually have changed the channel or even turned off the TV when one of those guys that have mouthed off and insulted me appear. Why waste my time watching someone who loathes me try to entertain me? That’s not going to happen. It boils down to this: who do they think they are?  Actors are just people who produce a product that I can live without. And I’m willing to live without if necessary.  Remember, you and I are consumers and if we don’t consume a product the company ceases to make money.  Hollywood and the entertainment business in New York and other such places are the septic tanks that accept the contents from the bowels of every dark, depraved, and disgusting thought the human mind can produce.  They think they can lecture me on morals?  I don’t think so.  Listen…if I want to be entertained, I can be entertained by a video of two monkeys fighting over a banana.  I don’t need an actor and I think it’s about time for them to find that out.
 
Say good things about your Savior and His Church on the Bluff
 

Bro. Tony


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Standing on Biblical Truth

 
                A Catholic Bishop recently got into hot water for urging Catholics not to get involved with the various “pride” events sponsored by LGBTQ groups.  You should read some of the texts/tweets/emails he received.  They were hateful, spiteful, and just plain mean.  Even prominent politicians called him out as hateful and transphobic. Why was anybody surprised? Hasn’t the belief that there are only two sexes and that marriage should be between a man and a woman been church doctrine since the early church was formed? Why do people expect religion to change according to the whims and desires of the culture?
 
              A television star, in criticizing the bishop’s remarks, said that Jesus would attend a pride parade…with pride.  She is right in the statement that Jesus would attend a pride parade.  She is dead wrong about his pride in doing so.  Jesus associated with sinners everywhere He went, but it was never to endorse their sin.  His message has always been a call to repentance; to turn away from sin. And He did it because of His unfathomable love for each one of them.  Of course, God loves the transgendered and the homosexual…Jesus died on the cross for them.  But He would call on them to turn away from their un-Godly lifestyles and come to Him where he could change them, not the other way around.
 
              It constantly amazes me how willing people are to accept the opinions of those un-trained in the scholarly study of the Bible over those who spend a lifetime in the pursuit of the Bible’s truths. The television lady is a trained lawyer and is evidently good at what she does for a living, but she has no business telling a Bishop what the Bible says. She speaks what she feels the Bible means.  Can you imagine if the roles were reversed and that Bishop told her how wrong she is about the law, based purely on how he feels the law should be interpreted?
 
             As religious leaders we are called to stand firm on the Word of God no matter the circumstances.  Ephesians 4:15 instructs us to “speak the truth in love”.  If you read verse 14, you’ll see that his exhortation to always speak the truth was because it would keep them from being swayed by the “cunning and craftiness of people on their deceitful scheming”.   That is so very true today. In her Biblical ignorance the TV star explained great theological knowledge by proclaiming that her reasoning for supporting the LBGTQ agenda is that “God is love, Jesus is love, love is love”.  Very deep theology isn’t it? I guess we don’t really need the rest of the Bible if we can just recall that God is love, Jesus is love, love is love.
 
             Despite the waves of deceit and evil attacking our Christian beliefs, stand on the solid foundation of God’s Word.
 
Say good things about your Savior and His Church on the Bluff
 

Bro. Tony

 

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SBC Convention 2019

 
 
              The Southern Baptist Convention will hold its annual meeting in Birmingham on June 11-12, 2019.  Because our Vacation Bible School is also scheduled that week, I will not attend all sessions.  But I hardly ever attend the yearly meeting.  Why?  The main reason is that the SBC, in general, remains theologically sound; holding onto longtime doctrines that have defined our faith over the years.  Yes, there was a troubled time several years ago when a conservative /liberal squabble made headlines and caused some division.  But even then, when the dust settled, we remained true to our core convictions.
 
                The conventional meeting is a good time of fellowship, catching up with friends, and the preaching is spectacular.  But we will not face popular cultural shifts in our theology.  No one will bring a motion to the floor to form a committee to study ordaining practicing homosexuals.  There will be no resolution offered in support of abortion. The convention will not issue a statement agreeing with the LGBTQx agenda.   Why?
 
                Because the Southern Baptist Convention does not have any authority over the churches.  Quite the opposite. The churches of the Convention determine the stance on issues.  That is why there is a yearly convention.  Not only that, but the smaller churches are not without a voice. Based on certain criteria such as membership and monetary giving each church can send “messengers” to vote on any and all issues that come up. But the maximum number of messengers is limited to no more than 12.  Using the formula, even a church our size is not left out: we can send 9 messengers.  That’s right. The largest churches in Birmingham can send only 12 people to vote while we can send 9.
 
                Therefore, should any of these types of “culturally driven” theological doctrines arise, over 47,000 SBC churches would direct the convention where to stand; not the other way around.  And even then, God forbid, if the convention began drifting toward “cultural Christianity” we, as a church, could simply withdraw by refusing to support the convention.  We are autonomous and receive no monies from the convention. We own our own property.
 
                But that is not going to happen because of the many…many… Biblically conservative churches such as ours who refuse to change the Bible to accommodate the whims and fancies of a world with no moral compass.  So, I’ll attend some sessions and hear some great preaching.  And I’ll give thanks to God that I’m part of a church that is part of an effort to cooperate with all churches of like theological heart to spread the Gospel of Christ across our nation and our world.
 
Say good things about your Savior and His Church on the Bluff
 

Bro. Tony


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Take ALL Life Seriously

                The Alabama legislature passed a bill that would make it illegal to perform an abortion for any reason other than the physical health of the mother. Naturally the pro-abortion folks almost blew a gasket. The liberal, abortion-loving media, of course give a much louder voice to pro-abortion fanatics than to those opposed to abortion. (Did you hear about the 20,000 people gathered for a pro-life rally in Times Square on May 6th? Of course not. Not one single mainstream news organization covered it.)  And they allow the people in favor of abortion free reign to frame their rhetoric as they please, with no questioning of motive or statistics; never following up with common sense questions that may contradict the belief that abortion should be free and easy for anyone and everyone.
 
                In the last couple of weeks I’ve seen and heard people offer up their various mantras:  “it takes away a woman’s bodily autonomy; my body, my choice”, “it discriminates against women of color”,  “men, if you can’t have a baby you shouldn’t make laws about pregnancy”, and those arguments are so hypocritical.  It is, indeed, taking place within a woman’s body, but its not to her body abortion destroys. She wants to make a decision about someone else’s body!  I saw a woman holding a sign that said, “stay away from my uterus” and I thought “well if she showed that sign to all the men in her life she would have nothing to worry about, now would she?”
 
                Is it really discriminatory against women of color?  If someone really wanted to reduce the black population, access to abortion would be on top of their list. I’ve heard that most Planned Parenthood abortion clinics are built close to the black population of major cities.  That’s kind of racist, don’t you think? Anti-abortion folks want babies of color born too.
 
                You see, the question that is of utmost importance for Christians, and I believe every moral human being, is “when does life begin?”  Many say that the “thing” being aborted is an embryo or fetus. Embryo is Greek for “young one” and Fetus is Latin for “little one”.  Both imply baby.  So, at any stage, a life is ended.  That is why, even compassion for those who have been molested or raped, should not cause the death of the young one inside them.  Will it change their life? Of course, it will and those who sexually prey on women should be severely punished, and more so if they cause a pregnancy.  But understand this, life is still life and I do believe we do not have the right to arbitrarily end it.   What you are truly saying when you want to add the exceptions, I mentioned is that no child of molestation or rape should have ever been born.  Would you really tell someone conceived that way that you wish they weren’t alive?
 
Christian, take life….all life…seriously.
 
Say good things about your Savior and His Church on the Bluff.
 

Bro. Tony


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Media Bias of Christians

                Have you ever wondered, like me, about the fascination in the media about all things Muslim? It’s almost as if those in the entertainment/news industry have decided to be Islam’s personal promoters and most certainly defenders.  I had noticed, as have you, that there is a clear difference in how TV programs (and of course news outlets) portray Muslims and Christians.
 
                I used to watch a certain long-running police mystery program.  Over the last couple of years, it was a running joke with me that if a Christian character was ever introduced there was no mystery: he or she “did it”; guilty as sin. I finally stopped watching it when on two occasions a Muslim was a suspect and the program went out of its way to clear their good name at the expense of the ignorant and conservative folks who looked at them with suspicion.
 
                But I think the most obvious and “over the top” example lies with Sports Illustrated.  That magazine puts out a yearly “Swimsuit Edition” that is easily their best seller. It has nothing to do with sports, of course, and everything to do with near-naked women in provocative poses, leaving little to the imagination (or so I am told…word on the street, you know). However, this year they will feature a Muslim model in a full-body “burkini”, a total body covering revealing nothing but her face.
 
                I applaud her modesty, I really do, and I wish that Christian women would take a more modest stance with their swimwear.  However, would they really have us think that over the years there has not been a single God-fearing, Christian model that would have posed in a modest swimsuit? I can hear the powers-that-be in cooperate saying “who wants to see that? We have a magazine to sell”.
 
                So why, all of a sudden, are they going to publish a fully-clothed model?  It’s certainly not to sell magazines.  Though they call it the swimsuit edition, I’ve always referred to it as the “lack of swimsuit” edition:  There is very little swimsuit involved. I got my answer as I watched an interview with her on a morning news show.  She said she was going to use this opportunity to “push my platform”. Hmmmmmm, I wonder what her platform is? I expect there to be some smokescreen social issue, but bottom line it is this: Muslim good. Christian bad.  Thank you, Sports Illustrated, for showing the true colors of a post-Christian culture.  There is no plausible way to spin your action into any thing less than blatant promotion of Islam.
 
Say good things about your Savior and His Church on the Bluff
 

Bro. Tony


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Make Jesus and His Church Your Center

                I’ve always said that to enjoy the fullness of our relationship with God we need to make Jesus the center of our life and His church the center of our lifestyle. Those two things go hand in hand.  However, I see that in the world in which we live it seems making His church the center of our lifestyle has become less and less important.
 
                At my advanced age of 67 I can still remember when stores were closed on Sundays and even in many smaller towns they closed early on Wednesdays, too.  There were no sporting activities, including practices. Gracious….if a coach scheduled a Sunday practice the parents would have his head!  Church “dinners on the grounds” were cause of excitement and folks stayed for a couple of hours, eating and fellowshipping.  Sunday School “socials” were special and well attended.  The church in many ways was the center of community and neighborhood activity.  What happened?
 
                Many would say that our culture changed.  While that is true let me remind you that we are the culture.  Culture doesn’t change us because we change the culture.  Our culture reflects who we are.  We, the church, are reaping what we sowed. The sad fact is that the overwhelming majority of Christians are quite satisfied with the status quo. Sunday is a day of recreational and normal activity because we want it that way.  Honestly, with the number of professed Christians in our nation we could have stopped the lava flow of change at several points.
 
                So, what is the answer? We are certainly not going back to the “days of yore”.  Be the Christian voice of change.  Christians need to stand up and be strong.  We may not win every cultural battle, but we will not win any if we do not fight.  Paul gives us guidance as he says “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.” (Colossians 2:1,5).  I especially like this last phrase::   “Make the most of every opportunity”.
 

Say good things about your Savior and His Church on the Bluff

Bro. Tony

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Our “Words” Matter

                There is an old saying “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”.  We, however, have come to understand that words can indeed hurt. They don’t break bones, nor do they leave bruises, but they can surely break a person’s spirit or destroy a healthy self image.  Words can discourage initiative and destroy reconciliation.
 
                But on the other hand, words can also do just the opposite.  Words are powerful and the Bible has things to say about that.  For instance, Proverbs 12:18 says “The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”  That is a deep truth, isn’t it?  But the Bible also carries that wisdom even further in regard to the Christian life when it says in James 3:9-10 “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.”
 
            In our every day demeanor, our personal interactions with others, we can be a blessing or a curse. We can be an encourager or a destroyer.  We can make someone’s day or break someone’s day.  Do we really have to think about which the Lord would have us be?  As I said from the pulpit a few weeks ago, perhaps that grouchy cashier or obstinate sales person, or rude receptionist isn’t placed there by Satan to test your patience and ruin your day.  Perhaps you were placed there by God to bless someone in need of encouragement or a show of human compassion.
 
           As you live daily strive to be a blessing. Work at being compassionate.  Be God’s encourager.
 
Say good things about your Savior and His Church on the Bluff.
 

Bro. Tony


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Freedom of Religion

                Several years ago, I read an editorial in a religious publication that lamented the change in the political language of President Obama when he referred to religious freedom.  Instead of espousing his belief in our nation’s “freedom of religion” he began saying we had a “freedom of worship”.  I thought the writer was being a little paranoid when he said that it was a meaningful distinction.  He said that it amounted to our freedom to have religion convictions and beliefs literally ended as we exited the doors of the church.  But what he feared is certainly becoming reality.
 
                In essence, we are being told that we can have our beliefs as we gather to worship but we can’t practice our religion in our public lives.  Spreading the love of Christ is now considered “hateful” behavior and even “harassment”. We don’t even have to say anything. Christians have to be careful about wearing pins and/or jewelry that shows the cross at work or in schools. People have gotten fired or have been refused jobs because of their public stance on Biblical issues. A Bible in view on a desk or work station is cause for discipline. Did you ever think it would come to this?
 
                When I was a cameraman at a TV station, we recorded a show that had religious leaders answering questions from people who wrote letters to the show.  One of the men was Bro. John.  He knew I was not walking with the Lord and he would “harass” me about it.  He encouraged me to get back in church.  It wasn’t an easy process for him as I was a long way away from Jesus.  However, when my dad was called to pastor a church just a few miles from my home Bro. John encouraged me to visit the church.  When Dad left that church a couple of years later, I was actually on the committee that asked Bro. John to be our interim pastor as we searched for a full-time leader.
 
                I’m glad Bro. John Chafin was so full of “hate” that he “harassed” me into a better life for myself and my family. I pray that in our wonderful nation we continue to have the freedom to do that.
 
Say good things about your Savior and His Church on the Bluff
 

Bro. Tony


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