What’s good for the Gander is good for the Gander

No you didn’t misread the duplicate in my title nor did I have a typo.  I have come to realize that many postmodern preachers are all talk and no ….. I’ll just leave it at that, all talk.  They give lip service to honoring women but follow it up with comments like this one recently from mega church pastor Mark Driscoll while giving a sermon on Ephesians 5:22-23.

“Women who publicly disrespect their husbands encourage others to disrespect their husbands.  This doesn’t mean you don’t disagree with your husbands but you do so respectively, privately”.

Now, I basically agree with that quote and before you women hang me out to dry, I also believe the same should be said the other way around – but it wasn’t.  And this was only the beginning of his sermon about women surrendering – strike that – submitting.  Why is it that my wife is supposed to honor and respect me in public and very little if anything is said about my showing honor & respect for my wife in public?

Many of these same types of pop culture pastors have gotten on the band wagon of referring to their “smoking hot wives”.  And although that draws a chuckle from me when one of the Duck Dynasty guys says it (because of the tongue and check of contrast with their redneck, bearded and hillbilly persona) it just doesn’t settle in my spirit very well much like when a pastor like Carl Lentz of Hillsong Church in NYC posts twitter comments about his wife like the one below.

carllentzProverbs 31:20..”she opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy..” @lauralentz is the love of my life..I pray in heaven, I can still hang out with her.. A more gracious woman I have never known..Proverbs 31:32 “her leather pants are like water to her husbands soul..”

Really???  I love my wife and feel like I won the lottery when she decided to join me in this great adventure.  But I respect her far too much (not to mention my fellow brothers in the Lord) to paint some image in other people’s minds eye as to even hint at anything sexual or lustful much less make light of adding an extra verse to Proverbs 31.  If my memory serves correctly, it doesn’t end well for those who add or take away from scripture – I’m just saying.

When did a covenant decision to follow Christ and promote His holiness make the leap into so easily launching out into sexual innuendo?  It’s as if I can hear Mister Rogers saying “can you say avoid even the appearance of evil?”

From where I’m sitting, and I’m just expressing my opinion, Christian men need to embrace a bit more redemption in the area of letting go of the “machismo” male dominant rhetoric that would more easily be found in savage or Muslim societies.  Yes I am my wife’s protector and guide (if she ever needs it), but to me that includes protecting her virtue and modesty by keeping my mouth shut in public when it comes to intimate issues.

By the way, my amazing wife is graduating this week from ORU with her Masters of Divinity – 3 cheers!!!

Note:  If I post a quote or comment I do so from public domain and not from “insider” secret gossip.

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Road Trip – Jesus, PLEASE take the wheel

This past weekend I happened to be on the road.  The bulk of my driving was done on Sunday morning so it was easy to find a plethora of religious programming to listen to while I drove.  The first program I listened to was a prominent pastor (who will remain un-named) who used the entire 45 minutes to rail against and “document” the heresy of “pre-millennialism”.  I thought to myself of the waste of valuable air time to throw rocks at fellow believers rather than preach the love of Jesus to the whosoevers that might be listening.  At the end of the program he announced that this was the last in a long series on that subject which had been aired and you could order the entire DVD set for free.  By now I am really getting disgusted as I come to realize this guy had wasted who knows how many opportunities to reach the lost.

But (sad) truth be told, he WAS reaching the un-churched, but I’m afraid he reached them with a message that only validates their choice to stay as far away as possible from Christians.  Many Christians seem all too often to act as if it was a “slow news day” and default to attacks on fellow Christians with whom they don’t agree.  And really, on a practical note, do the fine points of pre-mid-post tribulation or millennium affect your or my daily salvation or call to love Christ and serve His mission to the lost.  Not in the least.  I’m quite sure that there is not even one amongst us who would find the rapture happening earlier (or later) than he thought and would in response decline the adjustment in their all too precious schedule.  Then, as if this pastor hadn’t damaged the reputation of Christ enough, he doubled down with the free offer of a second series he had aired entitled “The errors of the Catholic church exposed”.

At this point I lost that radio signal and found another program to listen to.  From the frying pan into the fire would describe the feeling I got from the next preacher.  A large mega church pastor was challenging homosexuals and the whole same sex marriage debate.  Now correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the divorce rate in the church on par if not higher than amongst the un-churched.  Additionally the teen pregnancy rate is about equal among Christians as those outside its doors.  Who are we in the church (living as the minority in America) to point and judge those who don’t really care what we preach while they see our own house is in such hypocritical disarray?  Shame on us Christians!

There is a redeeming point here as next I found a country and western Christian radio station (I was driving in Texas).  Country and western music can be both funny, cheesy and thought provoking at the same time with lyrics such as “If you won’t leave me alone, I’ll find someone who will”.  Translate that into religions themes and you get “tired of riding in the saddle alone” or “I burned that bridge and swam ashore … and You were waiting on the other side”.  Although not my first choice, I was encouraged and ultimately undone as a most countrified version of “I surrender all” complete with steel guitar fill my truck along with my broken and weeping voice.

Lord, please take the wheel of our lives and help us to serve you and you alone and not try to take the focus off our own desperate need for you by putting the spotlight on someone else.

Snip Snip – A whole new perspective on Birth Control

A Pennsylvania physician, Dr. Kermit Gosnell, is on trial for his life after being charged with the death of 7 babies although it is suspected he may have killed well over 100. The babies he is accused of killing were “unfortunately” born alive during an attempted abortion. Once alive and breathing on the hospital table, he then proceeded to snip their little spines at the base of the skull to fulfill the mothers “choice”. Personally I think if he is found guilty he should get the death penalty. But actually there is a much bigger issue here that totally defies logic.

Partial birth abortions are performed every day in America and the only difference between what this doctor did and others performing a partial birth abortion is the simple fact that the delivery of the baby was able to be paused for a few short moments once the head is delivered to allow the spine to be snipped just prior to that last push.

Having been present at plenty of births, I have to tell you that it was sometime difficult for my wife to “pause” the push button at that critical point in the delivery. Only if the shoulders are larger than the head is there much pushing needed after the head has been delivered.

And although the partial birth approach accounts for a fairly small percentage of “abortions” in this country, does anybody else see the duplicitous contradiction to throw the book at this doctor while daily sanctioning almost identical action in various clinics across America.

Birth control by “choice” is nothing short of population control by legalized murder born out of convenience.

“Duck”, your morals are showing!

Although the liberal ground swell is only just starting to raise its ugly head, it is fairly straight forward to predict a big backlash against the hugely popular reality show Duck Dynasty.

The premise of the show, for those who have not watched or refuse to watch it, is actually somewhat challenging to describe.  The main characters (and I use that term with all the attached innuendos possible) are mostly related family members surrounding and running a duck call manufacturing business.  All of the men have significant facial hair (think Chewbacca or worse), trophy wives and hill country accents to match their camo or country attire.  They play their respective parts with huge amounts of tongue in cheek attitudes and cliché posturing that fits or exacerbates the hick/swamp thing manner of their assigned roles.  At least that is the casting call.

Truth be told, these are savvy and well-educated business men who have parlayed what would otherwise be the realm of weekend wood carvers into a multi-million dollar company that produces ostensibly the best duck calls in the world.  Combine that with a talented manner of not taking themselves all that seriously and you have the makings of a quirky, funny and thought-provoking show that has become the most watched “reality” program on TV.  These “hillbillies” are committed Christians (most with advanced college degrees) who have long-standing marriages with their wives and loving multi-generational relationships with their kids and grandkids.  They artfully deal with a variety of subjects from the absurdly humorous but also many of the significantly important moral issues facing both teens and adults today.  A recent episode addressed kids waiting for marriage to have sex or even “mess around”.  Most every episode ends with the family praying together at family dinner with background narration distilling down the moral of the day into an exhortation for clean if not Godly living.  I’m sure some on the left are already lining up to call the PC police and have them locked up?

I pray the fame will not affect these street wise Christians who have a wonderful opportunity to refresh our country’s moral landscape with serious down to earth debate and wisely articulated principles.

Which Came First – The Christian or the Keg?

For the purpose of this blog, a Christian is one who takes seriously his faith and the moral standards articulated in the new covenant. The keg represents both the excesses which account for much sin (as in drinking is ok but being drunk is not) as well as crossing the clearly articulated moral lines which are drawn in numerous places in the Gospel message.

At this point I want to make it clear that this blog is for Christians and not the general public. I totally agree with a good friend, Ashley, who on Facebook this week pointed out that Christians “need to get our act together”. This blog is pointing the finger at us not the un-churched.

I am regularly amazed at the gymnastics I can go through to try and justify my particular temptation to sin. But ultimately I can never escape the black and white in scripture which addresses anger or lust. But then that is what all we Christians do. Moral relativism is what all of us tend to practice as Christians. We do it by explaining away our particular vice/sin with various excuses. We justify Christian divorce and remarriage by saying compationate sounding things like “surly a loving God wouldn’t expect him/her to remain single” but of course we can’t cite chapter and verse to support that view. We might explain our heavily focused effort to earn lots of money as a means to support the work of the Gospel and whereas that sounds so sacrificially spiritual we can again cite no scripture to support that philosophy.

With the keg representing excess, we might, for example, talk too much “out of concern” for a brother or sister, but of course never calling it gossip. One the money issue, the excess focus on riches would rarely be called out as greed as it is in scripture. Nor would I easily admit to gluttony for my excessive love of food and the unhealthy weight it brings to my heart and waist line.

I’m sure it was easier for my wife and me to kick our son out of the house for lying and dealing illegal drugs than it would have been if he had come to us telling us he was gay. Aren’t we supposed to be understanding and compassionate in those circumstances? While visiting with some good friends, they asked Barbie and me our advice on being understanding towards their son who expressed that he was gay. We asked if they would want to be understanding if he had just informed them he had chosen to be a murderer or thief. I remember one of my kid’s best Christian friends as having a strong and absolute conviction against sex before marriage right up until they had sex before marriage. All of a sudden sex outside of marriage was OK.

In Roman’s 1:26-32 there is quite an extensive list of sins for which the consequence indicated for those who practice them is death – in context, I did not get the impression the author was talking about natural death. Here is the list: male & female homosexuality, greed, depravity, envy (can you say keeping up with the Jones’?), murder, strife, deceit, malice, gossips (seriously?), slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant, boastful and disobedient to their parents (no way!) The last thing on the list is really shocking as it includes those who sit on the “sidelines” in approval of those who practice the things in the list above.

My wife was visiting with a good friend this week who has basically redacted several specific scriptures in order to not have to deal with activities practiced by a couple of her children. This wonderful Christian woman would have been a huge proponent of holiness in all areas of one’s life right up to the point she had to start dealing with the lack thereof in a specific area with her own family. And thus starts the keg “party” of drowning our convictions in a foggy morass called “if it feels good – do it” because surly a loving God wouldn’t deny us …..(fill in the blank).

The new covenant in scripture is not a book of suggestions to be massaged and reformed to meet any decline in moral activity. Being a true Christian is not relative and neither does it immediately translate into perfection (as much as we might give that impression to the un-churched). The church needs to get its own house in order and keep our focus on Jesus and on His unchanging standards of holiness. In doing so, I believe the light of the full Gospel will attract those outside the church who are desperately looking for sincerity and consistency instead of milquetoast relativism and the constantly moving target of what it means to be a Christian.

Which Came First – The Christian or the Keg?

For the purpose of this blog, a Christian is one who takes seriously his faith and the moral standards articulated in the new covenant. The keg represents both the excesses which account for much sin (as in drinking is ok but being drunk is not) as well as crossing the clearly articulated moral lines which are drawn in numerous places in the Gospel message.

At this point I want to make it clear that this blog is for Christians and not the general public. I totally agree with a good friend, Ashley, who on Facebook this week pointed out that Christians “need to get our act together”. This blog is pointing the finger at us not the un-churched.

I am regularly amazed at the gymnastics I can go through to try and justify my particular temptation to sin. But ultimately I can never escape the black and white in scripture which addresses anger or lust. But then that is what all we Christians do. Moral relativism is what all of us tend to practice as Christians. We do it by explaining away our particular vice/sin with various excuses. We justify Christian divorce and remarriage by saying companionate sounding things like “surly a loving God wouldn’t expect him/her to remain single” but of course we can’t cite chapter and verse to support that view. We might explain our heavily focused effort to earn lots of money as a means to support the work of the Gospel and whereas that sounds so sacrificially spiritual we can again cite no scripture to support that philosophy.

With the keg representing excess, we might, for example, talk too much “out of concern” for a brother or sister, but of course never calling it gossip. One the money issue, the excess focus on riches would rarely be called out as greed as it is in scripture. Nor would I easily admit to gluttony for my excessive love of food and the unhealthy weight it brings to my heart and waist line.

I’m sure it was easier for my wife and me to kick our son out of the house for lying and dealing illegal drugs than it would have been if he had come to us telling us he was gay. Aren’t we supposed to be understanding and compassionate in those circumstances? While visiting with some good friends, they asked Barbie and me our advice on being understanding towards their son who expressed that he was gay. We asked if they would want to be understanding if he had just informed them he had chosen to be a murderer or thief. I remember one of my kid’s best Christian friends as having a strong and absolute conviction against sex before marriage right up until they had sex before marriage. All of a sudden sex outside of marriage was OK.

In Roman’s 1:26-32 there is quite an extensive list of sins for which the consequence indicated for those who practice them is death – in context, I did not get the impression the author was talking about natural death. Here is the list: male & female homosexuality, greed, depravity, envy (can you say keeping up with the Jones’?), murder, strife, deceit, malice, gossips (seriously?), slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant, boastful and disobedient to their parents (no way!) The last thing on the list is really shocking as it includes those who sit on the “sidelines” in approval of those who practice the things in the list above.

My wife was visiting with a good friend this week who has basically redacted several specific scriptures in order to not have to deal with activities practiced by a couple of her children. This wonderful Christian woman would have been a huge proponent of holiness in all areas of one’s life right up to the point she had to start dealing with the lack thereof in a specific area with her own family. And thus starts the keg “party” of drowning our convictions in a foggy morass called “if it feels good – do it” because surly a loving God wouldn’t deny us …..(fill in the blank).

The new covenant in scripture is not a book of suggestions to be massaged and reformed to meet any decline in moral activity. Being a true Christian is not relative and neither does is immediately translate into perfection (as much as we might give that impression to the un-churched). The church needs to get its own house in order and keep our focus on Jesus and on His unchanging standards of holiness. In doing so, I believe the light of the full Gospel will attract those outside the church who are desperately looking for sincerity and consistency instead of milquetoast relativism and the constantly moving target of what it means to be a Christian.