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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.

 

 

Let the debate begin……President Trump has announced his Tax Reform.

I’m sure he will be Criticized by the opposition.  I’m just getting familiar with the Tax Reform recommendations but so far I say “GO”! (I do reserve the Right to amend my thinking as I Learn more and talk to professional tax folks whose opinion I respect).

Here are the POINTS I LIKE:

  • Reduce the Current 7 Tax Brackets to 3:  10%, 25% and 35% respectfully.
  • Double the Standard Family Deduction
  • Repeal the Death Tax
  • Keep TWO Deductions; Charity and Home Mortgage Interest (good comment from a friend regarding those with paid off mortgages. I could support a couple more deductions but I hope the reduction in taxes paid will offset the deductions we presently receive.)
  • Reduce Business tax from 35% to 15

Beware of the Smoke Screens

You will hear “How can we pay for it”?  That isn’t even a legit Question.  We Don’t have to “Pay for it”.  IT IS OUR MONEY.  We should be able to KEEP MORE of our income especially if our Representatives will Cut Waste, Fraud and Out of Control Spending.

Second, What about the Deficit?  First is my belief that this kind of Tax Reform will create more Taxable Revenue.  Second, Interesting how those asking about the Deficit didn’t “BLINK” when Obama Ran the Deficit up from 10 Trillion Dollars to TWENTY Trillion DOLLARS in 8 years.

The plan would eliminate the federal tax deduction for state and local income tax. If you are in a State where taxes are high, like New York or California, you would lose a valuable deduction. The simple answer to this Smoke Screen…Reduce Your State and Local Tax Burden.  Why should every tax payer fund deductions for another State’s out of control Spending?

Will President Trump reveal his Tax Returns?  WHO CARES.  We have more than enough information regarding the President’s Tax Return.  I am not interest in HIS Tax Return; I am interest in REDUCING MY TAXES.

Finally, we will hear……”This only helps the Rich”.  Not TRUE.  Tax Reform and Tax Relief will help us All.

I am hopeful we can see Good Tax Reform and Tax Relief PASSED.  GET TO WORK.

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

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.

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.

 

 

 

 

I have to admit, I did not watch the entire debate on Monday, September 26. However, I watched JUST ENOUGH to be able to say…

Donald Trump is NOT “by rules and presentation” the best debater.  I would doubt, outside the RNC primary debates, that he has ever been in a debate setting. Donald didn’t “hit” the easy softballs Hillary threw.  I don’t believe he is accustomed to having to think in 20 second bites and “got you” phrases.  He makes deals and builds businesses and hires people.  To me, Donald Trump acted and sounded like a businessperson who is fed up with and shocked at the false and ridiculous assumptions that career politicians continue to make that are hindering the recovery of our great nation.

Secondly, I watched Just Enough to be offended at Hillary assuming I am “implicitly bias and racist”.  Her “I think everyone” comment with regards to being implicitly racist is extremely offensive and is the height of pandering to a block vote.  Besides, how could a nation filled with racist whites elect an African American president twice?  I believe Hillary believes we are still living in the 60’s with regard to race relations.  Has America not made ANY progress?  I don’t know what her folks taught her, but my mom and dad taught me that we don’t judge by the color of skin but by the character and actions of the individual.

I watched Just Enough to be reminded that Hillary’s philosophy on governing will surely be affirmed by those she will appoint to the Supreme Court.  Our grandchildren will not recover from the liberal, socialist appointees she will promote to the Supreme Court.

I watched Just Enough to understand with clarity her tax and spend and give away fiscal policy.  She will raise taxes and it won’t be just on the wealthy.  The middle class and working poor will be adversely affected by her tax and spend and give away fiscal policy. Hillary has not created jobs or been forced to make a “payroll”.  Maybe her dad did in his drapery business, but it appears she was not a very good observer of sound business practices.

I watched Just Enough to feel saddened for the poor and inner city parents and children–folks of many colors who are trapped in poor schools and in dangerous communities.  School choice, better jobs and the security of Law and Order would greatly enhance the standard of living of those who need it most.

Finally, I watched Just Enough to see that there are two very distinct visions for America. I am hopeful Americans will choose wisely.

I’m not looking for a “pastor in chief” or a “sound bite expositor in chief”.

I’m looking for a leader who will grow our economy, restore Law and Order, appoint justices who cherish the Constitution, and a leader who will place  people in positions authority who are competent and accountable.

This may be the last opportunity to Make America Great Again!

 

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.

 

 

 

 

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

Here is a 2 minute video I shared with Lakewood this past Sunday in light of the June 26, Supreme Court Ruling regarding Same Sex Marriage.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/tfov3mkxubmzgwc/Dr.%20Tom%20Smiley%20-%20Supreme%20Court%20ruling.flv?dl=0

Here is the FULL Written Content of the video Message:

The events of this past week have saddened me as they have many of you.  However, since I’ve had a few days to pray and reflect on the many contemporary issues Biblical Christians face, I have found great peace in the following.

First, we are called by God to speak the Truth in love. I’m saddened when pastors and teachers lack courage, seek political correctness over God correctness or just adore the applause of men more than God.

Bottom line for those of us who hold to a Biblical world view is that we can only be responsible for proclaiming the truth.

Jesus said, “I am the truth”….and HE IS…. Jesus said, “The truth shall set you free”….And only HE CAN.

My passion for telling people the Truth comes from my love for people.  I love people.  My heart is burdened because living outside of God’s Will will NOT bring wholeness in this world or eternal life in the next world.

Let’s love people enough to tell them the Truth.

Second, I have been impressed to remember that we must not be surprised or intimated when a culture turns away from God. Peter told his congregation, when persecution or criticism comes don’t think it strange.  Just keep doing what God has called us to do.

I am sure the Church in America will begin to experience the persecution, bias and prejudice that most Christians around the world live with EVERY DAY.  Let’s be faithful as they have been faithful.

Finally, we must affirm God’s Word. I realize there are many standing in pulpits who fail to teach God’s Word as sufficient.

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.

In his remarks on the subject of marriage he said, “It’s like a government voting that black should be white. Sorry, you can vote that if you like, you can pass it by a total majority, but it isn’t actually going to change the reality”.

The pseudo-scholars and false teachers in pulpits today will stand before God to give an account of how they taught and lead God’s people.

My father reminded me of this awesome responsibility when, upon hearing of God’s call upon my life to pastor a church, he said, “Son, that is serious business.”

I will never back up on Jesus and I will never place “feelings,” pop-psychology or political correction over the Truth of God’s word.

I believe that Dr. William Lane Craig hit the mark with his comments, “This (same sex marriage ruling) is not slippery slope reasoning. It’s more like falling off a cliff. By deconstructing marriage so that it is purely conventional, dependent upon the opinion of five justices, the Court makes marriage become whatever they want.”

I am going to pray and ask God to keep me from becoming “weary in well doing as I live as a Christ Follower.”

I will proclaim the Truth that Doctrine Matters, and to any enslaved or shamed by any sin, I will continue to proclaim, “You are Wrong BUT you are loved.”

I want to be a vehicle God uses to proclaim that Jesus loves you and invites YOU to join HIM in HIS redemptive, redeeming work.  Jesus wants all to Trust Him in matters of Living and Dying.

I shall not back up on Jesus or fall to political correction in order to please the government, Supreme Court Justices, pseudo-intellects or pastors who love the applause of men more than God.

I shall hold to and teach God’s Sufficient Word Provided and Protected by God through the ages. Ours is a serious business!

Join 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 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

 

Jonathan Parnell (@jonathanparnell) is the lead pastor of Cities Church in Minneapolis/St. Paul,    He has Written an excellent Blog regarding “A Christian Response to Homosexuality.  “Why Homosexuality Is Not Like Other Sins”.  You can find it at  http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/why-homosexuality-is-not-like-other-sins

I hope it is OK that i post HIS BLOG.

Jonathan Parnell writes;

Homosexuality is not the only sin mentioned in 1 Corinthians 6:9–10.

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

It’s not the only sin mentioned, but it is different from all the rest, at least right now. At this moment in history, contrary to the other sins listed here, homosexuality is celebrated by our larger society with pioneering excitement. It’s seen as a good thing, as the new hallmark of progress.

To be sure, the masses increasingly make no bones about sin in general. Innumerable people are idolaters, not to mention those who are sexually immoral, or who commit adultery, or who steal and are greedy and get wasted and revile neighbors and swindle others. It happens all the time. And each of these unrepentant sins are the same in the sense of God’s judgment. They all deserve his wrath. And we’re constantly reminded that “such were some of you” (1 Corinthians 6:11). You in the church.

Concerning Popular Opinion

But as far as I know, none of those sins is applauded so aggressively by whole groups of people who advocate for their normalcy. Sexual immorality is no longer the tip of the spear for the progressive push. Adultery is still frowned upon by many. Accusations of greed will still smear a candidate’s political campaign. Thievery is still not openly embraced, and there are no official initiatives saying it’s okay to go take things that don’t belong to you. There’s no such thing as a drunk agenda yet. Most aren’t proud to choose a beverage over stability, and there aren’t any petitions that the government should abolish the driving restrictions of inebriated individuals. Reviling others still isn’t seen as the best way to win friends and influence people. Swindling, especially on a corporate level, usually gets someone thrown into jail. In fact, the infrastructure of the American economy depends upon, in some measure, our shared disdain for conniving scammers.

Perhaps excepting fornication, these sins are still seen in a pretty negative light. But not homosexual practice, not by those who are now speaking loudest and holding positions of prominence. According to the emerging consensus, homosexuality is different.

What to Be Against

As Christians, we believe with deepest sincerity that the embrace of homosexual practice, along with other sins, keeps people out of the kingdom of God. And if our society celebrates it, we can’t both be caring and not say anything. Too much is at stake. This means it is an oversimplification to say that Christians — or conservative evangelicals — are simply against homosexuality. We are against any sin that restrains people from everlasting joy in God, and homosexual practice just gets all the press because, at this cultural moment, it’s the main sin that is so freshly endorsed in our context by the powers that be. Let’s hope that if there’s some new cultural agenda promoting thievery — one that says it’s now our right to take whatever we want from others by whatever means — that Christians will speak out against it. The issue is sin. That’s what we’re against. And that’s what should make our voice so unique when we speak into this debate.

Some would like to see this whole issue of homosexuality divided into two camps: those who celebrate it and those who hate it. Both of these groups exist in our society. There are the growing numbers, under great societal pressure, who praise homosexuality. We might call them the left. And there are people who hate homosexuality, with the most bigoted rationale and apart from any Christian concern. We might call them the right.

Those Glorious Words

The current debate is plagued by this binary lens. Those on the left try to lump everyone who disagrees with them into that right side. If you don’t support, you hate. Meanwhile, those on the right see compromise and spinelessness in anyone who doesn’t get red-faced and militant. If you don’t hate, you support.

But true followers of Christ will walk neither path. We have something to say that no one else is saying, or can say.

Distancing ourselves from both the left and the right, we don’t celebrate homosexual practice, we acknowledge God’s clear revealed word that it is sin; and we don’t hate those who embrace homosexuality, we love them enough to not just collapse under the societal pressure. We speak the truth in love into this confusion, saying, simultaneously, “That’s wrong” and “I love you.” We’re not the left; we say, this is wrong. And we’re not the right; we say, you’re loved. We speak good news, with those sweetest, deepest, most glorious words of the cross — the same words that God spoke us — “You’re wrong, and you’re loved.”

God tells us we’re wrong, that the wages of sin is death, that unrepentant rebellion means judgment, that our rescue required the cursed death of his Son (Romans 3:23; John 3:36; Galatians 3:13). And God tells us we’re loved, that even while we were sinners, Jesus died for us, that while we were unrighteous, Jesus suffered in our place, that though we were destined for wrath, Jesus welcomes us into glory (Romans 5:8; 1 Peter 3:18; Ephesians 2:1–7).

Where the Gospel Shines

You’re wrong and you’re loved — that’s the unique voice of the Christian. That’s what we say, speaking from our own experience, as Tim Keller so well puts it, “we’re far worse than we ever imagined, and far more loved than we could ever dream.”

That’s our message in this debate, when society’s elites despise us, when pop songs vilify us, when no one else has the resources to say anything outside of two extremes, we have this incomparable opportunity to let the gospel shine, to reach out in grace: you’re wrong and you’re loved. We get to say this.

That’s why homosexuality is not like other sins.

 

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