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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 gravely 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.”

In essence, the State’s highest court ruled 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

 

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The Backstory to the U. S. House Prayer:

Congressman Doug Collins of the 9th District was gracious to invite me to open Congress in prayer on March 22, 2017.  I shall always be indebted to Congressman Collins for his confidence and support in inviting me.  I can not express enough how professional and gracious Congressman Collins’ staff was in handling all the details. Each one of the Congressman’s staff is so talented and gifted; just meeting them was an added joy to the the whole experience.

Once I cleared the date and accepted the opportunity the House Chaplain’s office began corresponding with me about working out the details. Karen Bronson, Chaplain’s Liaison to Staff, was extremely professional.

A couple of interesting “rules” included no opening comments before my prayer and the request to keep the prayer to 150 words.   The first was no problem; however, the second was more difficult….I asked for and received permission to have a total of 167 words for my prayer.

I began reading and researching previous prayers used to open Congress and reviewed prayers from previous Congressional and Senate Chaplains.

Realizing that my prayer would become a matter of Congressional record, I determined that I would leave NO DOUBT as to Whom I was praying  and what I was requesting.

I divided my prayer into 2 segments–Part One: To Whom I was Praying and Part Two:  What I was asking.

Upon arrival to the Longworth House Office Building,  Terri and I and our dear friends Mike and Jane Weaver, who accompanied us to D. C. , met in Congressman Collin’s office and visited with his tremendous staff.  Final instructions were offered. The Four of us were escorted via underground to the Capital.

Prior to offering the prayer I was given a walk through in the House Chamber and was directed where to stand before and during the prayer and how to exit.

Terri , Jane and Mike were escorted to the gallery.

Right before I entered the House Chamber, Speaker Ryan came to the receiving room. He welcomed me and we visited for a few minutes.  I followed him to the House Chamber, he called the session to order, introduced me and I prayed.

Following the prayer Congressman Collins gave a warm and welcoming introduction of me to his colleagues from the Floor of The House.

Our day concluded with lunch in the Congressional dining room and a tour of the Capital. ( The  U.S. House white bean soup and cornbread are both as good as you have heard AND the fried chicken was exceptional.)

Here is the text of my Congressional Prayer, March 22, 2017:

In the Name that is Above Every Name,

In the Name of the One by whom all things were created and by whom all things created are sustained,

In the Name of the One who was crucified for the sins of all people, raised on the third day and who, upon HIS return, EVERY knee will bow and every tongue confess is LORD,

In the Name of JESUS, my Savior and my Lord, today, I ask….

 *Draw near unto Thyself the heart of any in this body who still remain far from You.

*Give confidence and courage to all who govern from this House, to be unashamed of the judo-Christian ethic, which has lead this nation to prominence and prosperity above all other nations.

*Remind all who by faith trust You that Your love wants what is best for us, Your wisdom knows what is best for us, and Your power will accomplish what Is best for us.

In Jesus’ Name, And God’s People Said, Amen.

 

Dr. Tom Smiley is a pastor, author, speaker, blogger, husband, grand dad, and Christ-follower.  He is a regional radio talk show host with WDUN Jacobs Media.  He is the founder of Life with Smiles Ministry.  His Sunday messages are broadcast on WDUN 550, and his “blog” entries and thoughts on God, Christian faith, current events, politics 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 (www.lifewithsmiles.com).  Dr. Smiley is available for speaking engagements and discussion forums and can be contacted at  tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org or by calling 770.532.6307.

Americans have just celebrated another “Presidents’ Day” honoring all who served in our highest office.

One of the most notable and relevant Presidential messages is from President Franklin Roosevelt’s first inaugural address during the depth of the great Depression in 1933.

He said, “…the only thing we have to fear is fear itself…”

Well, as Yogi Berra said, “Deja vu over again”.  Today, We find ourselves living in unsettling times.  Especially with regard to how our nation seems so divided and fearful.  While I’m sure there are many reasons we could cite for all the protests, unrest or disharmony, one reason remains clear: FEAR.

Fear is a dangerous and deadly undercurrent of life.  It will rob us of vitality, enthusiasm, anticipation and progress.

The Proverb writer is accurate when he writes, “I am worn out by my worries” — fear.

Think about the “fruit” of fear.

Fear ruins relationships because it prevents honesty.  When we deny our feelings and refuse to tell the truth we destroy those closest to us.

Fear hinders genuine happiness. Think about it; one cannot be happy and fearful at the same time.

Additionally, fear will sabotage success. The way we tend to think is the way we tend to react in life.  I am reminded that Job said to his friends, “Everything I fear and dread comes true.”

So what is the antidote to overcoming fearful living?

First for me, fear’s best antidote is filling my mind with God’s truth.  The Gospel writer John penned the words, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)

Living free from fear will come as you build your life on truth.

Secondly, I have discovered as I fill my heart with God’s love, I tend to be less fearful.  Anytime you replace bitterness, anger and resentment with God’s love and compassion, fear is expelled.

A contemporary translation of a biblical text reads, “Love fully developed, expels every particle of fear.”

Finally, an antidote to fear is to replace fear with faith — faith to acknowledge Jesus as your Savior and Lord.  Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus and said, “Above all, be sure to take faith as your shield, for it can quench every burning missile that the enemy hurls at you.”

Our adversary, Satan, seeks to put fear in our hearts and minds.  He suggests all kinds of things for which to be fearful.

The shield against such an attack is faith. Where do you need faith today?

Faith to accept Jesus as Savior?

Faith to join a community of believers?

Faith to change a career?

Faith to make a commitment in marriage?

Overcome your fear!  Fill your mind with God’s truth.  Fill your heart with God’s love. Fill your life with faith in Jesus.

Dr. Tom Smiley is a pastor, author, speaker, blogger, husband, grand dad, and Christ-follower.  He is a regional radio talk show host with WDUN Jacobs Media.  He is the founder of Life with Smiles Ministry.  His Sunday messages are broadcast on WDUN 550, and his “blog” entries and thoughts on God, Christian faith, current events, politics 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 (www.lifewithsmiles.com).  Dr. Smiley is available for speaking engagements and discussion forums and can be contacted at  tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org or by calling 770.532.6307.

We have a severe Ideological divide in the Country;  shouting, arguing, name calling won’t move us forward. Perhaps Persuasion with facts and details may move the minds and attitudes of people. Study, read, be prepared to give sound reasons to your positions. The World Needs a Strong America.

more to come……

 

It isn’t often that I find myself “looking for words” but I have to admit that on the Eve of the 2016 Presidential Election I am struggling to express how I am feeling.

There a few presuppositions that I hold which inform my heart and desires.

First, I hold an uncompromising Biblical World View.  This of course is opposed to a Humanist World View or even a “Christian World View”.  (The problem with a “Christian” World View is that the word Christian has been so misused and abused that in many cases I am not sure what some people even mean when they speak about a Christian World View.)

In addition I love this Country.  I see the good, the positive and the generosity of this Nation and its people.  Two grandfathers and my Dad were combat veterans and I have a strong respect for those who serve this nation.

Moreover, I believe that the Sanctity of Life, a Supreme Court whose Justices revere the Constitution, a fair and balanced tax code, smaller government, personal accountability and an immigration policy that seeks to assimilate new Citizens who will love America are ALL Critical to the survival of AMERICA.

I also believe that a strong America is important to the Global Mission of the Great Commission.  A strong America can be that “beacon on the hill” that spreads the life giving message of The Gospel.

Given all that I feel, my heart hurts.  My heart hurts that there are so many who don’t respect the rule of Law, who don’t have a love for all Life, every color, every age and every social standing.

My heart hurts because I see current policies that creates vast government bureaucracies , policies that don’t promote self reliance and personal accountability and policies that penalize the hard working class of our nation.

My heart hurts because there is a sense of “entitlement” expressed by many in this nation who have contributed so very little to the greatness of this nation.

I don’t know what Tuesday, November 8th will reveal but I know Who is my King.  I know that above EVERYTHING Else I will trust, proclaim and worship the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

I KNOW  God’s sovereignty is defined as His complete and total independent control over every creature, event, and circumstance at every moment in history.

I KNOW God is subject to none, influenced by none, absolutely independent, God does what He pleases, only as He pleases, always as He pleases.

I KNOW that God, the One True God, is Unlimited in HIS power, unrivaled in HIS majesty, and not thwarted by anything outside Himself, our God is in complete control of all circumstances, causing or allowing them for His own good purposes and plans to be fulfilled exactly as He has foreordained.

I hope you KNOW this God, the One True God, by acknowledging the Gift of Jesus. (I would be honored to share more about how You could be assured of  eternal life at death and purposeful life here while you wait).

I don’t know how I will feel on November 9th, but am confident in KNOWING God really does care about us and I can rejoice in our God’s sovereignty, because it is overshadowed by His goodness, His love, His mercy, His compassion, His faithfulness, and His holiness.

I believe God’s Love wants what is Best for me; I believe God’s Wisdom knows what is Best for me; I believe God’s Power will accomplish what is Best for me.

I hope God Blesses America!

 

Discouragement is a powerful tool of the “accuser,” our adversary; and this discouragement can lead us into a state of doubt and fear.

Remember how the Hebrews became so discouraged by their circumstances that THEY HAD LOST HOPE.

Numbers 14:2ff records a very dark and discouraging moment for Moses and his leadership:

Then the whole community broke into loud cries, and the  people wept that night. All the Israelites complained about  Moses and Aaron, and the whole community told them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt, or if only we had died   in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us into this land   to die by the sword? Our wives and little children will become plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to  Egypt?” So they said to one another, “Let’s appoint a leader   and go back to Egypt.”  Numbers 14:1-4

Notice the question, “Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?”.

You may recall that this passage speaks to the time right after 10 spies filed a very negative analysis of possessing Canaan, the Land of Promise.

The people worked themselves into such a state of despair and discouragement that they demanded “slavery as their NEW VISION.”

Today, discouragement is still a powerful tool of the “accuser,” our adversary; and he seeks to create in our hearts and attitudes a state of doubt and fear.

For many years and during the most recent months we have seen situations all across this country that point to how divided and fractured our nation is. Nightly news casts, internet blogs, opinions of “experts” all seem to point to a nation that is being ravaged by racial, economic, and social class unrest and mistrust.

The adversary is sowing the same mistrust, hatred and division today, which is creating a spirit of discouragement and fear in the lives of those who claim to KNOW and TRUST God.

WE MUST NOT FALL into a state of fear and distress.

The question is HOW do we LIVE ABOVE fear and distress.

Here is Truth from God’s Word:

Remember what God has promised.

Remember when we experience hardship, it’s part of the process, not a sign that God isn’t working on our behalf.

We are experiencing trouble on every side, but are not  crushed; we are perplexed, but not driven to despair; we  are persecuted, but not abandoned; we are knocked down,      but not destroyed, always carrying around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our body.   2 Corinthians 4:8-9

Remember God will finish what He started. He doesn’t leave us behind.

I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you[a]     will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.      Philippians 1:6 (HCSB)

Bottom Line:  Don’t Despair!  REMEMBER:

God’s Love WANTS what is Best for me;

God’s Wisdom KNOWS what is Best for me; and

God’s Power WILL ACCOMPLISH what is Best for me!

Dr. Tom Smiley is a pastor, author, speaker, blogger, husband, grand dad, and Christ-follower.  He is a regional radio talk show host with WDUN Jacobs Media.  He is the founder of Life with Smiles Ministry.  His Sunday messages are broadcast on WDUN 550, and his “blog” entries and thoughts on God, Christian faith, current events, politics 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 (www.lifewithsmiles.com).  Dr. Smiley is available for speaking engagements and discussion forums and can be contacted at  tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org or by calling 770.532.6307.

 

 

 

It is very sad that Some, Media, Politicians and Pastors CONTINUE TO make a critical mistake in assuming that God and Allah are the Same, Actually they are not!

To gain a proper understanding of this question, ask it like this, “Do Christians and Muslims both have a correct understanding of who God is?” The answer is definitely no.

Because of crucial differences between the Christian and Muslim concepts of God, the two faiths and view of God cannot both be true. The biblical God alone addresses and solves the problem of sin by giving His Son.

Please don’t be deceived. It does Matter what you believe and Teach about this issue.

While the Muslim and Christian views of God have some similarities.  They Most Certainly do not Worship the same God.  Because of crucial differences between the Christian and Muslim concepts of God, the two faiths cannot both be true.

In addition, to how Jesus, God in the Flesh, answers Man’s Sin Problem,  A vital difference between the Islamic and Christian views of God is the biblical concept of the Trinity. (This doctrine also is what distinguishes Christianity from all other World Religions and Cultic groups likes Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, New Ageism and etc).

In the Bible, God has revealed Himself as one God in three Persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

While each Person of the Trinity is fully God, God is not three gods but three in one. The Trinity is essential to the Christian faith. Without the Trinity, there would be no incarnation of God’s Son in the Person of Jesus Christ.

Without Jesus Christ, there would be no salvation from sin. Without salvation, sin would condemn all to an eternal hell.

Another very Critical component of this the Question, “Is God and allah the same” is seen when one considers the Mission of God. God’s Mission is stated as follows………. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son” (John 3:16-18)

The god of Islam did not have such a mission.

Dr. Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D.  Professor at Denver Theological Seminary, writes, “Islam claims to be a fulfillment of Christianity, yet it denies many essential Christian teachings.”

A Christian can never retreat from the clear doctrinal position that Jesus is GOD, yet Muhammad the prophet of allah, rejected the idea that Jesus, a human being, could in any sense be God.”

When one thinks critically and logically it becomes clear, the god of Islam and the God of Christianity cannot be same, because God can not possess contradictory attributes.

The New Testament writer, Jude says it plainly, “3 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. 4 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.

 

Dr. Tom Smiley is a pastor, author, speaker, blogger, husband, grand dad, and Christ-follower.  He is a regional radio talk show host with WDUN Jacobs Media.  He is the founder of Life with Smiles Ministry.  His Sunday messages are broadcast on WDUN 550, and his “blog” entries and thoughts on God, Christian faith, current events, politics 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 (www.lifewithsmiles.com).  Dr. Smiley is available for speaking engagements and discussion forums and can be contacted attsmiley@lakewoodlife.org or by calling 770.532.6307.

 

 

I will never forget the conversation.

I asked a very talented, gifted and bright young leader in Hall County why he was supporting a particular political candidate and not running himself.

I have never forgotten his response, “I’d rather be a King Maker than a King.”

Truer words have never been spoken with regards to our Governor’s veto of RFRA (HB 757)

I am writing with no “ill intent” to our present Governor.

While I did recommend him to my South Georgia family as a man of conservative values, I’ve really never had a more than casual conversation with him. I suppose I didn’t fully investigate his conservative roots and strength to stand against great pressure.

No doubt about it, I have several disappointments regarding the Governor’s recent veto of HB 757.

It concerns me that he doesn’t know the values and character of Georgians.  I am offended by his use of Scripture, out of context, to support positions that benefit his personal agenda. I am very frustrated that once again a politician says one thing to get elected and does not do the will of those who supported him after he no longer needs them.

A Peril of Beholding to King Makers 

However, my purpose in writing today is simply to present a Peril of Beholding to King Makers.

In other words, there is grave danger in beholding to those who one may think places and maintains them in power through money and influence.

In case you assume I can’t possibly relate, I can affirm that having been a pastor for over 30 years, I’ve had to navigate waters very similar to those that Governor Deal just experienced.

While it is hard to stand fast on principle and core values it can be done when it is understood who you are MOST responsible too.

I determined many years ago to live my life for an audience of ONE. I will not back up on who Jesus is nor will I ever cease to promote the Sufficiency of God’s Word.

Governor Deal didn’t understand, the biggest Peril of Beholding to King Makers is YOU miss your MOMENT.

Consider:

Esther had her MOMENT:  “…for such a time as this.”

Patrick Henry had his MOMENT:  “Give me Liberty or give me death.”

Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe had his MOMENT when he responded “NUTS” to the Nazis’ demand that he surrender Bastogne, during World War II’s Battle of the Bulge.

The Apostle Peter had his MOMENT: Upon seeing everyone else turn away from Jesus, Peter uttered the famous lines when asked by Jesus “Are you leaving too?”  Peter replied, “To whom would we go, you have the words of eternal life.”

Nathan Hale had his MOMENT when he proclaimed, “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.”

Governor Deal missed his MOMENT

I am saddened for Governor Deal; he missed his Moment:

  • The moment when he could have made an eloquent defense of protecting all Georgians.
  • The moment when he could have stood for the principle of No Discrimination against anyone, including Christians.
  • The moment that would have secured for himself a legacy of standing against the corporate giants, many of whom care less about Georgia values and more about personal wealth.

While I am very disappointed in Governor Deal’s veto of RFRA, I think I am sadder that he missed his MOMENT.

But Governor Deal needs to know that politics isn’t the only realm where “KING MAKERS” put pressure on people to compromise and take weaker positions.

I’ve experienced it in ministry.  It has often been suggested to me that maybe I should “tone it down,” or “be more careful about calling out false theology and pseudo intellects,” even some who stand in our own community’s pulpits.

I realize the pressure that influential politicians can feel when big time donors and Hollywood celebrities begin to exact pressure on them to conform to the whims and agendas of the elite.

To the younger and less experienced in Politics and Business, my warning is don’t allow King Makers to steal your MOMENT.

Recently Gainesville and Hall County has placed some young talented men and women in positions of responsibility and elected office.  I hope they will be strong in their resolve and never allow “the King Makers” to STEAL AWAY THEIR MOMENT.

I am sorry that the hard work of both the State House and Senate was vetoed by the Governor.

They were deliberative in their consideration of RFRA (HB 757).  They represented well the people of Georgia and the values of Georgia.

They can bring the bill up again….but the Governor will never get his MOMENT back.

For that I am really sad.

Dr. Tom Smiley is a pastor, author, speaker, blogger, husband, grand dad, and Christ-follower.  He is a regional radio talk show host with WDUN Jacobs Media.  He is the founder of Life with Smiles Ministry and Church Well Solutions, a ministry consulting work.  His Sunday messages are broadcast on WDUN 550, and his “blog” entries and thoughts on God, Christian faith, current events, politics 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 (www.lifewithsmiles.com).  Dr. Smiley is available for speaking engagements and discussion forums and can be contacted attsmiley@lakewoodlife.org or by calling 770.532.6307 or email attsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

I am grateful I was raised in a home that instilled in me the value of hard work, personal accountability and the principle of treating ALL people equally, even those who disagreed with me.

Discrimination just isn’t in my Personal DNA.

So, I find the present stance of those in political positions who are willing to allow discrimination against people like me, people who hold to a Biblical Worldview, to be very discouraging.

What is being ignored in the present Religious Liberty Bill (RFRA) discussion is that ALL people have a Right to Freedom from Discrimination. No person should face discrimination on the basis of Color, Gender or Religion.  This is AMERICA.

Many politicians don’t understand that Christ Followers like me, who hold to a Biblical Worldview, CAN NOT choose the government over the Sufficiency of Scripture.  Therefore, in order to have a fair and level playing field in the market place, in the political process and in the practice of faith, we MUST BE PROTECTED.

I’m not specifying a particular draft of the Religious Liberty Bill (RFRA) at this time.  But, I am stating that the government should not establish laws that force persons like me, who hold to a Biblical Worldview, to either choose man’s way or face discrimination hence removing us from participation in the Market Place or hindering our pursuit of careers in law, medicine or government service.

Many politicians don’t understand the point that those Christians, who hold to a high view of Scripture, can’t hold to this view and at the same time participate in activities that are contrary to what the Bible directs.

For instance, those who hold to the Sufficiency of Scripture understand God’s strict prohibition against MANY THINGS (which lead to less than HIS BEST) ONE being same sex relations and same sex marriage.

For me, the view of Scripture with regards to same sex marriage and same sex relations is very, very clear.  It contradicts God’s Created Order.

The Governor, Legislature and Citizens of this great state should be working hard for people like me who are most certainly facing discrimination for the view of Scripture held.

I realize there are many churches (several in my own town), whose pastors and leadership hold a low view of Scripture and are anxious to compromise Biblical Truth for personal promotion or perhaps worldly acclaim.

I cannot! I will not!

I hold very principled core values with regards to the SUFFICIENCY of Scripture.  I will not back down from what I know the Bible very clearly teaches in order to be accepted and “liked”.

While I don’t expect the Government to force people to like me; I do expect it  to protect me from discrimination so I can pursue the rights promised me.

I don’t expect elected officials to adopt my view of the Sufficiency of Scripture, but I do expect from them Fairness to all Citizens.

Dr. Tom Smiley is a pastor, author, speaker, blogger, husband, grand dad, and Christ-follower.  He is a regional radio talk show host with WDUN Jacobs Media.  He is the founder of Life with Smiles Ministry and Church Well Solutions, a ministry consulting work.  His Sunday messages are broadcast on WDUN 550, and his “blog” entries and thoughts on God, Christian faith, current events, politics 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 (www.lifewithsmiles.com).  Dr. Smiley is available for speaking engagements and discussion forums and can be contacted attsmiley@lakewoodlife.org or by calling 770.532.6307 or email attsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

 

I don’t apologize for my Principled stance that First World nations have a right to preserve our own unique identity, character and values.

President Obama said in refereeing to the recent Paris Attacks that the event “was an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share.”

Many people consider these words to be “safe phrases” or expected political speak.

However, the selection of his words reveals a deep misunderstanding. (One I am afraid many Christians mistakenly hold)

At issue is that these words reveal that our President doesn’t understand that Islam, Radical or Moderate, DOES NOT SHARE THE VALUES that the Western World, our world, holds dear.

Need convincing…….Consider a soccer game between Turkey and Greece in Istanbul.  During this game the Turks booed during the moment of silence for the Paris dead and chanted “Allahu Akbar.” Where in the Western World have people booed a moment of silence for those suffering or dead?

Need convincing…..Among 1.6 billion Muslims, hundreds of millions do not share the values regarding women’s rights, abortion, homosexuality, free speech, or the equality of all religious faiths.

The default position usually taken by those who disagree with me on this matter is, “Oh, those are just the Fanatics of ISIS”.

REALLY?

Ask yourself this question, does Saudi Arabia share Obama’s universal values regarding sexual freedom and the equality of Christianity, Judaism and Islam?

Can you point to ONE Muslim Country that allows for anything like the First Amendment? How does the Sunni or Shiite sect of Islam look upon the Freedom of Speech, Religion, and a Free Press?

The values of secular France and the values of Americans are not shared by the Islamic world, Moderate or Radical. Their False Prophet, False Book and False god won’t permit it.

I’m open to a rebuttal from a person of the Islamic Faith, who would tell me different and say it in any Middle Eastern Country except Israel.

Mr. President you are Right, Partly….. The Paris Attack was an attack on all of humanity….….BUT NO those values ARE NOT SHARED by the Muslim World.

I don’t see the “REFUGEE” debate as an argument about whether Americans will be open and welcoming Rather, I frame this discussion from the vantage point that the world is reawakening long suppressed truths.

Truths such as race and religion matter. To some they are life-and-death matters.

The point missed is that not all creeds, cultures and tribes are equally or easily assimilated into a Western nation.

I don’t apologize for my Principled stance that First World nations have a right to preserve our own unique identity, character and values.

I believe the time may be at hand for a moratorium on all immigration and a rewriting of the immigration laws that reflect the understanding that our own unique identity, character and values have a right to be preserved as we welcome new people groups into America. At one time the immigration laws of America did that exactly.

Dr. Tom Smiley is a pastor, author, speaker, blogger, husband, grand dad, and Christ-follower.  He is a regional radio talk show host with WDUN Jacobs Media.  He is the founder of Life with Smiles Ministry and Church Well Solutions, a ministry consulting work.  His Sunday messages are broadcast on WDUN 550, and his “blog” entries and thoughts on God, Christian faith, current events, politics 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 (www.lifewithsmiles.com).  Dr. Smiley is available for speaking engagements and discussion forums and can be contacted at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org or by calling 770.532.6307 or email at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org