I believe that the attitude of intolerance is very dangerous for our nation.   We must get back to civility in our conversation with one another.

I’ve been consistent in my view that  what some call “conscience Cases” which come into our courtrooms must result in Fairness to all parties.

Regarding a well known “conscience Case” involving former Atlanta Fire Chief Cochran,  David French, suggest that government officials demonstrated (and Many continue to demonstrate)………

substantial intolerance in the name of ‘inclusion’ and rather than seeking solutions that allowed each member of the community to exercise their liberty (to enjoy rights to cakes and conscience, for example), they took sides against Christians, using their power to send a clear message: Traditional Christianity is incompatible with the progressive state.”

We should Thank God that we live in a Country under a Constitution that does not allow for the discrimination of ANY Group, including Traditional Christians.

David French continues, Chief Cochran’s case illustrates an emerging First Amendment truth.  “The personal cost of state bigotry is high, and justice demands that the government pay for its sins.”

I am hopeful that the “tide” will Turn and EVERYONE can be treated FAIRLY and with RESPECT while everyone’s Constitutional Rights are honored.

This is AMERICA. We are granted the Right to  HOLD Different Opinions and not be penalized for them.

I commend to the reader, David French’s Article  found at  https://www.nationalreview.com/…/kelvin-cochran-religious-…/

it was very helpful to me in organizing my thoughts on this topic.

Dr. Smiley is the Senior Pastor Lakewood Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia.  The 2600 member congregation is a vibrant Christian fellowship that is locally, regionally and globally engaged.  Dr. Smiley’s is the founder of “TomSmileyMinistries”. His messages are broadcast on WDUN 550 and his”Blog” entries and thoughts on God, Faith, Current Events, and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/  His Books, “Runaway Lives: overcoming emotional undercurrents”, “Angels all Around”, and “Uncommon Common Sense” can be ordered at his TomSmileyMinistries website. Contact Dr. Smiley at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

 

 

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People often ask, What is WRONG with America?  

Many pastors, bloggers, experts have all written on this Question.  Lots of commentary and many speakers offer Analysis.  Three Points seem to emerge. Pray Fervently.  Live Righteously.  Witness Urgently.

Why the hatred, discord, and division?

Our Worship Pastor Bill Risinger and I talking about that just this week.  I believe his observation is correct. Too many people, too many Citizens believe that Personal FREEDOM is the HIGHEST ETHIC.

Many people today believe MORE than Anything that they have the Freedom to do whatever they WANT and if you Don’t like it, then it is acceptable to insult,  harass ,  disparage, assault and/or shut a businesses down.

Therefore when there is disagreement over such issues as The Sanctity of Life, Marriage, Sexuality, Abortion, Immigration, Legalizing of  drugs, Gun Rights and such, the focus is on individual desires.

But Individual Freedom is NOT the HIGHEST Ethic…..Love is!

The bible says, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

I believe if we could Love like Jesus, if  we could interject a concern, interest and open dialogue with whom we disagree there would be less division, discord and hatred in our national discussions. (Such Civil discourse  would not, in my estimation, diminish what I Know as Truth)

If this is going to happen then Good Citizens Must…….

PRAY FERVENTLY

Do you pray for our country?  

Dick Halverson, the former chaplain of the United States senate wrote;

“Intercession Prayer is the truly universal work for the Christian. No place is closed to intercessory prayer, no continent, no nation, no organization, no city, no office. There is no power on earth that can keep intercession out. What an incredible opportunity intercessory prayer affords the one who takes prayer seriously”.

Pray for our President;  pray for our nation’s leaders,  pray for those in authority over us.

Perhaps you have heard, “The battle for godly government is best won on Humble Knees in Pray not with Raised fists against each other.”

LIVE SOBERLY

Even Though the tide of public opinion often turns against Christ-followers, we must strive to live worthy unto Christ, our Lord, Peaceful, holy, quite Lives.

Faithful Christians make good citizens.  The New Testament makes the case that the most diligent and most honest citizens should be dedicated Christians.  We ought to be the ones that our government can count on to be honest, law abiding and Peaceful citizens.

WITNESS URGENTLY

Our Country needs to hear and abide  the powerful, transforming message of the GOSPEL of Jesus Christ.  I believe that Jesus must be Proclaimed and the Scriptures of the Bible must be Affirmed if America is going to flourish for all.

In his Book, “Why the Cross Can Do What Politics Can’t”  Erwin Lutzer writes,

“It is tempting to wrap the cross of Christ in the flag, to equate the American dream with God’s dream for this nation. We have attached a myriad of agendas to the cross of Christ, often clouding the one message that the world needs to hear with clarity and power. Incredibly, the church has, for the most part, abandoned the very message that is most desperately needed at this critical hour of history.”

I add……The Message Needed is– Jesus is the only hope for our country.

I read once:  Nature forms us.  Sin deforms us, Education informs us; but only Christ transforms us.”

The great Empire of Rome fell NOT from the outside, she fell FROM the inside.  Rome fell because its Government and it People had become  rotten and corrupted.

We will fall just like Rome unless we allow Jesus to Transform our hearts and minds.

You want to do something great for your country? Be  faithful to the gospel message found in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  Realize the truth of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.

I would be honored to share more with you about HOW you could come to be Transformed by the Power of Jesus.

What do Good Citizens do?  Pray Fervently.  Live Righteously. Witness Urgently.

 

Dr. Smiley is the Senior Pastor Lakewood Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia.  The 2600 member congregation is a vibrant Christian fellowship that is locally, regionally and globally engaged.  Dr. Smiley’s is the founder of “TomSmileyMinistries”. His messages are broadcast on WDUN 550 and his”Blog” entries and thoughts on God, Faith, Current Events, and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/  His Books, “Runaway Lives: overcoming emotional undercurrents”, “Angels all Around”, and “Uncommon Common Sense” can be ordered at his TomSmileyMinistries website. Contact Dr. Smiley at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

All across our lovely land in many towns and Cities;  Dedicated folks will place American flags on Veteran’s graves and will honor fallen soldiers from conflicts and wars.

My father was a Korean Combat Veteran he received the Combat Infantry Badge, the Korean service Medal with 2 bronze service stars, the UN Service medal and an overseas service Bar.

Fortunately, my father wasn’t killed or wounded, but as a Combat veteran Awarded for Performing duties while under fire, either could have been his experience.

I am proud of my dad’s courage and dedication to do what he was called upon to do.

He, like many veterans, didn’t talk much about his experiences in Korea, but I could tell it certainly had an impact on his life.

I  don’t presume that I can add  anything of much consequence with my WORDS in  light of the silent Testimony of those we honor on Memorial Day—– those who gave the Ultimate sacrifice in honorable service.

But We Must ATTEMPT to honor them — not for their sake alone, but for the sake of our Representative Democracy.

Let’s HONOR THEM Not only with our Words and Flags and Flowers….BUT let’s honor them With our actions and dedication to Keep AMERICA Strong.  Let’s honor our Fallen Veterans by doing our best to preserve freedom and liberty for ALL!

Each fallen Veteran reminds us that Freedom Cost and each fallen Veteran stands as a memorial to our  commitment to keep America strong and prosperous.

Whenever I hear some  say, “There are no more Heroes” today, I recall what former President Ronald Reagan,—-  You Just don’t know where to look.  He Said,

I see Heroes in the shadow of the White Crosses of Arlington

I see Heroes at Heartbreak Ridge

I see Heroes at the Battle for White Horse Mountain

I see Heroes in rice patties of Vietnam

OUR Former President is Correct when he said, “The willingness of some to give their lives so others might live never fails to evoke in us a sense of wonder and mystery”.  

He went on to say about our nation’s fallen soldiers,

“As we honor their memory today, let us pledge that their lives, their sacrifices, their valor shall be justified and remembered for as long as God gives life to this nation. And let us also pledge to do our utmost to carry out what must have been their wish: that no other generation of young men will every have to share their experiences and repeat their sacrifice.”

Memorial Day is more the unofficial kickoff to summer It is a DAY TO remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice.

In the Words of Longfellow,

“They are dead; but they live in each Patriot’s breast, And their names are engraven on honor’s bright crest.”

God Bless the Families of our Fallen Patriots and God Bless AMERICA.

 

Dr. Smiley is the Senior Pastor Lakewood Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia.  The 2600 member congregation is a vibrant Christian fellowship that is locally, regionally and globally engaged.  Dr. Smiley’s is the founder of “TomSmileyMinistries”. His messages are broadcast on WDUN 550 and his”Blog” entries and thoughts on God, Faith, Current Events, and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/  His Books, “Runaway Lives: overcoming emotional undercurrents”, “Angels all Around”, and “Uncommon Common Sense” can be ordered at his TomSmileyMinistries website. Contact Dr. Smiley at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

 

As a Grandfather, my heart is so sad. I can’t believe the pain that this most recent school shooting has caused, pain which will last way pass the news cycle.  I must say that I am really upset because we all know what we can expect from those who “supposedly lead us–the “same ol, same ol”.  No real ideas, no real action, no inclusion of real life saving changes (which I will discuss in a moment).

Empty Commentary

Expect hollow and empty commentary from “ talking heads “ lecturing on the need for more restrictions on guns.

Few will mention the REAL causes of Gun Violence, i.e.,  a heart problem, a culture of death and violence and drug abuse.

The fiber of our nation’s soul and our homes are being destroyed by  TV & video games that glorify death,  the breakdown and breakup of the family,  a political environment that has our nation divided and, NOT TO MENTION, the cultural acceptance of a major news network (ABC), who allows an employee to refer to as “MENTAL” any Christian who claims to speak with Jesus.

How long must we endure these empty, hollow speaking heads lecturing us on matters they have neither the mental capacity or moral integrity to discuss?

Politicians

I have respect for many of the men and women who serve us in government.  However, I am sick and tired of those politicians who hate guns so much, who want to remove my guns, who insist on restricting law abiding citizens from owning Guns…….WAIT FOR IT….WHILE at the same time being  protected by their ARMED personal security details for every shopping trip, family vacation trip or travel to and from work.  

Here is an idea:  NO ARMED Security Detail for you Mr./Mrs. Congressperson; Governor, Senator,  UNTIL You fix the problem of School Shootings by using sensible, practical workable solutions, .  Enough of Political Hypocrisy.

Courtroom Shootings

When was the last Courtroom Shooting reported?  Haven’t seen many judges, jurors, or bailiffs shot in a courtroom?

We can protect judges in courtrooms ( and we should) but not providing the same level of protection for kids in school is wrong.

To speak about the need to restrict gun laws is just empty talk. Courtrooms operate in the world of our exact same gun laws yet NO SHOOTINGS THERE.  Why?  Obviously it is not a “gun law” issue.

Courtrooms have taken practical steps to addressing the danger and so should our  Schools.

Ideas

Metal Detectors In Every School.  It’s unbelievable that this is not already being done.  I believe this is big failure.   How do the largest schools in our nation (Stoneman Douglas is one of the largest at over 3,000 students) not have access points controlled through a metal detector? Our courts, government buildings, airports, sports stadiums, conventions, and plenty of other public gatherings demand them.

Enhanced school campus security at major entrance points.  We know how to do this.  Fort Stewart has a major public highway running through it; yet, the military has in place protections from intruders who drive through the installation.

Install Camera and Video resources in schools  and use trained volunteers to staff them.  A trained “eye” can detect an issue before it becomes one.  (Many local churches are using this technique now.)

Increase school security details both–paid and volunteer.  Consider:  There are many Veterans who have the desire AND ability to provide armed security at our schools.  These men and women have had extensive weapons training and if the call went out they would step up in volunteering to help protect our children and administrators in our schools.

Allow for the training and arming of teachers and administrators who want to participate.

Reinforce Doors, Windows, Buses, Locks:  At the Stoneman Douglas high school, the shooter attempted to shoot through the reinforced glass of the classrooms in an attempt to shoot victims outside the building, but was unable to because of the technology of the glass. That piece of hardened, thickened glass saved lives.

Yes, I’m ready to be called “mental” by the elites and Nay Sayers.

BUT Wait, most of THEM have implemented many of these security measures in their children’s private schools and certainly in their walled personal home compounds which are staffed by their security details paid for by my tax dollars.

These are but a few ideas.  There are many more.   GET TO WORK.  Our children deserve it!

*Dr. Smiley is the Senior Pastor Lakewood Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia.  The 2600 member congregation is a vibrant Christian fellowship that is locally, regionally and globally engaged.  Dr. Smiley’s is the founder of “TomSmileyMinistries”. His messages are broadcast on WDUN 550 and his”Blog” entries and thoughts on God, Faith, Current Events, and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/  His Books, “Runaway Lives: overcoming emotional undercurrents”, “Angels all Around”, and “Uncommon Common Sense” can be ordered at his TomSmileyMinistries website. Contact Dr. Smiley at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

 

Take a moment to watch this 3.5 minute video of my preaching on the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ and how that is critical to our understanding of the Gospel.

Special Note:  I was asked by our local newspaper “The Gainesville Times” to submit an article on truth. Here it is:

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The last several Times’ “minister columns” have been about truth. We’ve read comments from several writers, but I offer the one single statement which sums up the topic: ​“Truth can NEVER contradict itself.”

That means that anyone who says that there is No absolute truth is both incorrect and illogical.

I found Christian apologist Dr. Douglas Groothuis very helpful in understanding truth. He maintains that there can be “only one truth.” In other words, two things cannot contradict each other and both be true.

Unfortunately, the fad to embrace a cultural relativism that denies absolute truth has invaded many pulpits and congregations.

The problem of self-contradiction is only one of several problems that must be overcome to believe that there are no absolute or universal truths.

If there is no such thing as absolute truth, then there is nothing ultimately right or wrong about anything. What might be “right” for you does not mean it is “right” for me. On the surface this type of relativism seems to be appealing, but it really means that everyone sets his own rules to live by and does what he or she thinks is right.

What can we be certain of If there is no absolute truth and no standard of right and wrong to which we are all accountable.

People would be free to do whatever they want–murder, steal, lie, cheat, etc.–and no one could say those things would be wrong.

From a spiritual standpoint, this type of relativism results in religious confusion. If no one religion is true and so many religions contradict each other, how could anyone ever know how to be in a right relationship with God?

Spiritually speaking it has to be asserted that there is only one truth especially given the “truth claims” that various religions make about matters of faith.  For Instance:

Christians say God is triune and personal.  Muslims say that God (Allah) is unitary and the non-dualistic Hindus say God is impersonal.

Furthermore, Christianity teaches that humans are created in God’s image but are fallen and sinful.  Islam says that humankind is flawed but not fallen.  Some forms of Hinduism teach that mankind is divine but ignorant.

It is apparent given these clear contradictions between certain religions, they can’t all be true.

Knowing and pursuing truth is of paramount importance to our lives.

I have discovered that absolute truth does indeed exist.

The most reliable source of absolute truth is the Bible–God’s word. This book tells of the ways in which God revealed Himself. God does indeed speak truth to men; with divine authority through His word, the Bible.

The Bible points us to the truth that there is a sovereign God who created the heavens and the earth and who has revealed Himself to us so that we might know Him personally through His son Jesus Christ. That is the absolute truth.

Pilate asked Jesus to his face: “What is truth?”  Pilate should have asked, “Who is truth?” To which the Bible gives a resounding answer: Jesus IS the truth.

The reason you and I must know the truth is because Jesus said, “I am the truth and the truth shall set you free.”

The only constant thing about Self-constructed morality is that it will change with emotions, and cultural trends. it hold no promise for you.  It will  fail you.

It would be my honor to share with you more about how the truth of Jesus will set you free.

P. S.   When someone says, “There is NO Absolute Truth” isn’t that stating there is an absolute Truth?

Dr. Smiley is the Senior Pastor Lakewood Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia.  The 2600 member congregation is a vibrant Christian fellowship that is locally, regionally and globally engaged.  Dr. Smiley’s is the founder of “TomSmileyMinistries”. His messages are broadcast on WDUN 550 and his”Blog” entries and thoughts on God, Faith, Current Events, and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/  His Books, “Runaway Lives: overcoming emotional undercurrents”, “Angels all Around”, and “Uncommon Common Sense” can be ordered at his TomSmileyMinistries website. Contact Dr. Smiley at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

Just read where North Korea’s Kim Jong Un has banned Christmas; INSTEAD He Commands the People to Celebrate The birth of his Grandmother.

NEWSFLASH……for Kim Jong Un.

“for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” ….. {P.S. HE is KING of KINGS; Lord of Lords}.

Don’t fear, don’t be dismayed;  Remember…….

Unjust Rulers {Herod} may have their day.

Tyrants  {Idi Amin, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein} may run roughshod over people unable to do anything about it.

Evil  Dictators {Kim Il Sung, Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin} may think themselves invincible,

But Jesus’ birth announcement PROCLAIMS…JESUS IS KING OF KINGS.

It is by the Clear and True Word of God that I say to Kim Jong Un and all the Despots like Him;

“…AT the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,  and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”.

Pray for the Opposed and Persecuted church.

Given that so many of our Brothers and Sisters in Christ are living under the Threat of a “Raised FIST” at LEAST let us resolve to proclaim Jesus in the threat of a “Raised Eyebrow”!

Please don’t be ashamed of Jesus, Don’t ever back up on Who JESUS is.

Remember the words of Jude, “contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people.  For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about[b] long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord”. 

Peace and Merry Christmas!

Dr. Smiley is the Senior Pastor Lakewood Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia.  The 2600 member congregation is a vibrant Christian fellowship that is locally, regionally and globally engaged.  Dr. Smiley’s is the founder of “TomSmileyMinistries”. His messages are broadcast on WDUN 550 and his”Blog” entries and thoughts on God, Faith, Current Events, and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/  His Books, “Runaway Lives: overcoming emotional undercurrents”, “Angels all Around”, and “Uncommon Common Sense” can be ordered at his TomSmileyMinistries website. Contact Dr. Smiley at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

 

J.I. Packer, Scholar and Theologian, said, “Asking God to sanctify sin by blessing what he condemns is irresponsible, irreverent, and blasphemous. It is completely unacceptable as church policy. I will not do it.”

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How can some churches affirm Same-Sex Marriage and relationships and others NOT affirm Same-Sex Marriage and relationships?

Aren’t they both reading the same Book?

The short answer is THEY ARE. (But read on.)

The really more basic question that must be answered FIRST is,  will the Church lose her biblical conviction and courage and morph into an unrecognized entity of this current age?

Recently, Same-Sex Marriage is back in the news, with the decision of FBC, Macon to affirm same-sex marriage.

I find it unfortunate that the First Baptist Church in Macon Georgia now joins a list of other formerly strong evangelical churches  now affirming same-sex marriage and homosexual relationships.

The Question: Are they reading the same Book? (Read on.)

Some local clergy and lay volunteers who affirm same-sex marriage and homosexual lifestyle use such reason as, “isn’t God is Love, God is BIG, Love is Love, Love is Good; and the list goes on.  Those cliches may sound and “feel good” but none of them convey what is really happening.

Actually, such clergy and lay volunteers are professing that they have decided to forsake the Scripture ascertaining NOW that they have some “NEW KNOWLEDGE” that the Church did not have 2000 years ago.

They are reading the same Book BUT they believe they have been enlightened with NEW KNOWLEDGE that allows the belief –” the Bible NOW does not mean what it says”.

What really makes this frustrating for those who hold a Biblical Worldview, is that we who follow and affirm 2,000 years of consistent Biblical orthodoxy are called, by this “new crowd”  claiming SPECIAL REVELATION,  intolerant and divisive.

Allow me to say it like this:  I am holding to 2000 years of Biblical Orthodoxy on this Topic; and I am the one being labeled divisive and intolerant.

The clear “bottom line” (for anyone who has even a hint of intellectual integrity) is those who deny Biblical Authority on ANY subject claiming “Special Knowledge” are really 21st century Gnostics.

Yes, we are reading the same Book BUT Gnostic thinking claims that deeper truth can be found apart from God.

However, Proverbs 1:7 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

Instead of searching our corrupt, flawed “inner selves” for answers, believing we have received new and special knowledge, we should instead test everything against the revealed Word of God (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

In the end, it is God’s truth alone that can be trusted.

So, when the Bible affirms marriage being between a man and a woman or lists homosexuality (and other activity as well) as sin, it is the modern day Gnostic that says, “No, you are wrong. We have Special Knowledge.”

This is what happens when churches abandon Scripture so they can feel good.

It is sad that the 21st century Church is having to  fight Gnostic Hersey from the 1st Century all over again!

Yes, we are reading the same Book BUT some NOW think that deeper truth can be found apart from God. They choose to believe, at their own peril, that the Bible NOW does not mean what it says.

We were warned of this in Scripture in Jude.

Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about[b] long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.

N. T. Wright, Anglican Bishop of Durham, noted scholar and theologian, has indicated that it is NOT intellectually honest to remove the biblical admonition to refrain from same sex activity or promote marriage as something other than between a male and female.

Clergy and local lay ministry volunteers, I urge you to hear these words of the Anglican scholar and author, J. I. Packer when he was asked about the affirming or blessing of same-sex marriage.

He said, “Asking God to sanctify sin by blessing what he condemns is irresponsible, irreverent, and blasphemous. It is completely unacceptable as church policy. I will not do it.”

Given that many Christians around the globe are “standing against a RAISED FIST,” I am willing to stand against the “Raised Eyebrows” in my own community regarding the issue of same sex marriage.

 

Dr. Smiley is the Senior Pastor Lakewood Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia.  The 2600 member congregation is a vibrant Christian fellowship that is locally, regionally and globally engaged.  Dr. Smiley’s is the founder of “TomSmileyMinistries”. His messages are broadcast on WDUN 550 and his”Blog” entries and thoughts on God, Faith, Current Events, and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/  His Books, “Runaway Lives: overcoming emotional undercurrents”, “Angels all Around”, and “Uncommon Common Sense” can be ordered at his TomSmileyMinistries website. Contact Dr. Smiley at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

 

The Georgia Supreme Court affirmed what my dad told me years ago -defend yourself and those weaker around you.

My dad was a quiet man who, as much as possible, sought to avoid conflict or physical altercation.  I remember my dad taking very specific personal stances on matters with others who disagreed, but I never saw or heard him use physical force or verbal abuse to make his point.

While he did not promote fighting or verbal assault, my dad taught me and expected me to never sidestep defending myself or the weaker ones around me.  It is a character trait that is very much part of my being.

I remember my dad and mom supported me regarding an incident on a school bus on my first day at a new school.  I was on the bus for the first time as a new student and knew no one.  Sitting alone on the back seat, I noticed an older boy picking on, threatening and physically hitting a much younger student. My mom learned later that this was a common occurrence on that bus.  I went to the defense of the younger student and stopped the altercation.  The pledge of an after-school “settling up” with the bully never materialized as the bully failed to show.

Now, when all the “zero tolerance” propaganda started on school campuses, I strongly disagreed. Such ideas and rules such as: “Don’t eat a sandwich in such a way that it might look like a gun.”, “Don’t wear a shirt with Christian scripture on it.”, “Don’t bring a 2-inch pocket knife onto school grounds.”, and “Don’t defend yourself or the weaker ones around you”  NEVER MADE SENSE TO ME.

Hard to Believe:

Recently I read and saw a video of a bully hitting and abusing a special needs child.  A high school junior coming up on the scene immediately rush over, and with one blow, he ended the altercation, rescuing the special needs child.

The odd thing was the school suspended the rescuer along with the bully.  Notice that those enticing and encouraging the fight were not suspended, those who filmed it were not suspended, those who stood by and did nothing were not suspended, but the rescuer was suspended.

When I read and saw this incident, I remarked to myself, “My dad would not have stood for that!”  He would have approved of my rescue attempt and would have stood for me in my defense.

Recently, a parent did just that.

When his daughter was expelled for defending herself in a physical altercation, her parent went all the way to the Georgia Supreme Court to get the daughter cleared and reinstated.

In its first decision in a school discipline case, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled zero tolerance policies on school fighting cannot deny students the right to assert they were defending themselves. The court said Georgia law gives students the legal right to argue self-defense as a justification.

Georgia Code states, “A person is justified in threatening or using force against another when…he or she reasonably believes that such threat or force is necessary to defend himself or herself or a third person against such other’s imminent use of unlawful force.”

I believe  our State’s highest court affirmed that Georgia’s laws on self-defense and defending the weak prevails over school zero tolerance policies on fighting.

I am so weary of some school administrators and school board members who are so very blinded by their own pseudo-intellect that they have little or no common sense.

The Court got this one right!

Read more about it:

State Supreme Court: Georgia students can argue self-defense to justify school fights

Dr. Smiley is the Senior Pastor Lakewood Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia.  The 2400 member congregation is a vibrant Christian fellowship locally and globally.  Dr. Smiley’s is the founder of “Life with Smiles Ministry”. His messages are broadcast on WDUN 550 and his”Blog” entries and thoughts on God, Faith, Current Events, and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/   His Books, “Runaway Lives: overcoming emotional undercurrents”, “Angels all Around”, and “Uncommon Common Sense” can be ordered at his Life with Smiles website. Contact Dr. Smiley at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

 

As I watched and observed the behavior of those in Charlottesville and in Seattle, I can’t help but think of Captain Woodrow F. Call of “Lonesome Dove” fame.

Following an ugly incident when he had to take up for a young boy being abused by an angry adult, he said, “I hate rudeness in a man, won’t tolerate it.”

The violent events last week in Charlottesville and Seattle are at their core rude, ugly, hateful and mean-spirited.  There is NO PLACE for such behavior, especially in the name of God.

I unapologetically proclaim that those who demonstrated or fueled hatefulness, racism, discrimination and violence do NOT represent God in any form or fashion.  They are wrong and deceived.

It would appear, too many people have forgotten or choose to ignore…..that there is only one race—the human race.

Caucasians, Africans, Asians, Indians, Arabs, and Jews are really not different races. Rather, they are different ethnicities of the human race.

More importantly, all human beings are equally created in the image and likeness of God.

God loved the world so much that He sent Jesus to lay down His life for us.   The “world” obviously includes all ethnic groups and all human beings.

It is important to understand and to proclaim, “God does not show partiality or favoritism and neither should we.  We are to love our neighbors as ourselves.”

What makes all forms of racism, prejudice, and discrimination so ugly is that such opinions are an affront to the work of Christ on the cross; Christ Died for all.  Since God’s Love is impartial we need to set that as our standard.

Stop mistreating any person created in God’s image; we are hurting somebody whom God loves and for whom Jesus died.

Final Thoughts:

Those who practice racism, prejudice and discrimination need to repent.

Victims of racism, prejudice and discrimination need to forgive just as in Christ God forgave you. While racists may not deserve your forgiveness, we deserved God’s forgiveness far less.

I pray that Galatians 3:28 would be more fully realized in our association with one another: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Please let’s all try turning off the television and begin to love our neighbor.

 

Addendum August 16, 2017

Let me be very Clear….as I was about Jim Jones, a deceiver, and David Koresh a false teacher…..I renounce anyone who professes to be Christian, who professes to know God that seeks to use GOD’s Word to advocate that one part of the HUMAN RACE is Better than another Part of the Human Race, I renounce anyone who would insinuate that God’s Word or HIS Character shows partiality to any Race, group, or Nation of people. I Denounce any Group who misapplies, misinterprets or misrepresents what God says in His Word about the Value, Worth and Dignity of all people. I can’t speak for Others, But I Do Speak for Lakewood Baptist, we will Proclaim the TRUTH about Jesus and we will affirm the Truthful Teaching of God’s Perfect Word. See ME if you need additional enlightenment on this matter.

 

 

I remember my brother and I got into a scuffle with two neighborhood boys after two of them jump on me.  My Big brother immediately came to my aid and well as they say, “the rest is History”.

After the “incident” the father of the two called my mom to complain.  Naturally I was concerned as to the potential outcome of that phone call.

I was so relieved upon hearing my mom say, “Well sir, THERE are TWO sides to every story and I will ask Tom and Jim what happened and get back with you”.

Today our Society NEEDS TO HEAR the OTHER Side of the “Climate Change”, “Global Warming” discussion.

I believe that major news media outlets have chosen shaping societal thought over journalist integrity.

We see this FACT in the discussion of  “Climate Change”.

I have heard till “ad nauseam” the worn and inaccurate leading headline, “97% of Scientist agree with Global warming.

My first problem with this false statement is the “Smugness” it implies.

For instance when the worn out response:  “97% of climate  scientists agree with climate change” is used the implication is:  Who are you to challenge them?

These people are not gods.  They are NOT always Correct or even honest.

Second, when you hear the 97% rule, you should ask, “ What exactly do the climate scientists agree on’?

The Truth is that it is likely that 97% of people making the 97% claim have absolutely no idea where that number comes from or where areas of agreement exist.  Usually, the response, “well the climate is changing”. Really?  Now that is enlightened news!

I remember President Obama stating, “Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: #climate change is real, man-made and dangerous.”

As a writer penned, “TWO Problems Mr. Former President, Not only are  you sloppily equating ‘scientists’ with ‘climate scientists,’ but more importantly you ADDED  ‘dangerous’ to the 97% claim, which is not found in the literature you paid for or commissioned”.

Here is a Side to the Story you may not have heard.

According to a Forbes Magazine article from 2015, by James Taylor, Since the end of 2012, total polar ice extent has largely remained above the post-1979 average. This is important because current data is contradicting the asserted global warming claims that polar ice caps are receding due to global warming.Since the end of 2012, total polar ice extent has largely remained above the post-1979 average.

This is important because current data is contradicting the asserted global warming          claims that Polar ice caps are receding due to global warming.

Updated NASA satellite data show the polar ice caps remained at approximately their 1979 extent until the middle of the last decade. Beginning in 2005, however, polar ice modestly receded for several years.

By 2012, polar sea ice had receded by approximately 10 percent from 1979 measurements. (Total polar ice area – factoring in both sea and land ice – had receded by much less than 10 percent, but alarmists focused on the sea ice loss as “proof” of a global warming crisis.)

Regardless, global warming activists and a compliant news media frequently and vociferously claimed the modest polar ice cap retreat was a sign of impending catastrophe.

I remember reading something about Al Gore having predicted the Arctic ice cap could completely disappear by 2014.

The Earth has warmed modestly and the Earth will likely continue to warm modestly as a result of natural and human factors.

People I have interacted with say the modest retreat of the ice cap – like that which happened briefly from 2005 through 2012 – would not be proof or evidence of a global warming crisis. Rather, such a retreat would merely illustrate that global temperatures are continuing their gradual recovery from the Little Ice Age.

Many believe that the government has been manipulating climate computer models. This means that the American taxpayers are being charged $4.7 billion a year in taxes that are being used to fund organizations that carry out meaningless studies based on bad science.

The sad truth is that the American people are paying fake scientists to lie to them.

It is Factual, if you chart global temperatures back into the ’70s; there are absolutely no signs of global warming.

YES, as a Christian I should be concerned about the environment.

I believe that God appointed man to be the steward of this world certainly not a destroyer of it.

However, we should not allow environmentalism to become a form of idolatry, where the “rights” of an inanimate planet and its non-human creatures are held in higher esteem than God and man created in His image.

My Point, like that of many of others, printed and verbalized,  is we should NOT penalize America on the basis of fake science promoting a false narrative. With global warming, as with any other topic, it is crucial to understand what the facts are, whom those facts come from, how they are interpreted, and what the spiritual implications are.

Be informed!

  •  This Blog is a culmination of various sources, ie, Forbes and globalwarming.com and others not specifically noted,  on the topic of Global Warming,  all of whom I am greatly indebted.

Dr. Smiley is the Senior Pastor Lakewood Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia.  The 2400 member congregation is a vibrant Christian fellowship locally and globally.  Dr. Smiley’s is the founder of “Life with Smiles Ministry”. His messages are broadcast on WDUN 550 and his”Blog” entries and thoughts on God, Faith, Current Events, and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/   His Books, “Runaway Lives: overcoming emotional undercurrents”, “Angels all Around”, and “Uncommon Common Sense” can be ordered at his Life with Smiles website. Contact Dr. Smiley at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

 

 

 

 

 

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