Archive for January, 2006

Unaware Americans
January 26, 2006

Dr. Al Mohler has composed a timely post regarding the ongoing, what can only be labeled as, genocide in Darfur, Sudan. I urge you to read his lenthy article…it is well worth your time. Ironically, the very first post on SmittyCity in April of last year was about this very issue. If you have time, please read Hotel Sudan.


Up For Debate
January 25, 2006

Let us dicuss the following article found in the winter edition of Leadership Magazine written by Brian McLaren. He addresses the issue of a proper “pastor-response” to homosexuality. Objectively read…then respectfully respond. I look forward to your thoughts.

“The couple approached me immediately after the service. This was their first time visiting, and they really enjoyed the service, they said, but they had one question. You can guess what the question was about: not transubstantiation, not speaking in tongues, not inerrancy or eschatology, but where our church stood on homosexuality.
That “still, small voice” told me not to answer. Instead I asked, “Can you tell me why that question is important to you?” “It’s a long story,” he said with a laugh.
Usually when I’m asked about this subject, it’s by conservative Christians wanting to be sure that we conform to what I call “radio-orthodoxy,” i.e. the religio-political priorities mandated by many big-name religious broadcasters. Sometimes it’s asked by ex-gays who want to be sure they’ll be supported in their ongoing re-orientation process, or parents whose children have recently “come out.”
But the young woman explained, “This is the first time my fiancée and I have ever actually attended a Christian service, since we were both raised agnostic.” So I supposed they were like most unchurched young adults I meet, who wouldn’t want to be part of an anti-homosexual organization any more than they’d want to be part of a racist or terrorist organization.
I hesitate in answering “the homosexual question” not because I’m a cowardly flip-flopper who wants to tickle ears, but because I am a pastor, and pastors have learned from Jesus that there is more to answering a question than being right or even honest: we must also be . . . pastoral. That means understanding the question beneath the question, the need or fear or hope or assumption that motivates the question.
We pastors want to frame our answer around that need; we want to fit in with the Holy Spirit’s work in that person’s life at that particular moment. To put it biblically, we want to be sure our answers are “seasoned with salt” and appropriate to “the need of the moment” (Col. 4; Eph. 4).
Most of the emerging leaders I know share my agony over this question. We fear that the whole issue has been manipulated far more than we realize by political parties seeking to shave percentage points off their opponent’s constituency. We see whatever we say get sucked into a vortex of politicized culture-wars rhetoric–and we’re pastors, evangelists, church-planters, and disciple-makers, not political culture warriors. Those who bring us honest questions are people we are trying to care for in Christ’s name, not cultural enemies we’re trying to vanquish.
Frankly, many of us don’t know what we should think about homosexuality. We’ve heard all sides but no position has yet won our confidence so that we can say “it seems good to the Holy Spirit and us.” That alienates us from both the liberals and conservatives who seem to know exactly what we should think. Even if we are convinced that all homosexual behavior is always sinful, we still want to treat gay and lesbian people with more dignity, gentleness, and respect than our colleagues do. If we think that there may actually be a legitimate context for some homosexual relationships, we know that the biblical arguments are nuanced and multilayered, and the pastoral ramifications are staggeringly complex. We aren’t sure if or where lines are to be drawn, nor do we know how to enforce with fairness whatever lines are drawn.
Perhaps we need a five-year moratorium on making pronouncements. In the meantime, we’ll practice prayerful Christian dialogue, listening respectfully, disagreeing agreeably. When decisions need to be made, they’ll be admittedly provisional. We’ll keep our ears attuned to scholars in biblical studies, theology, ethics, psychology, genetics, sociology, and related fields. Then in five years, if we have clarity, we’ll speak; if not, we’ll set another five years for ongoing reflection. After all, many important issues in church history took centuries to figure out. Maybe this moratorium would help us resist the “winds of doctrine” blowing furiously from the left and right, so we can patiently wait for the wind of the Spirit to set our course.
Later that week I got together with the new couple to hear their story. “It’s kind of weird how we met,” they explained. “You see, we met last year through our fathers who became . . . partners. When we get married, we want to be sure they will be welcome at our wedding. That’s why we asked you that question on Sunday.”
Welcome to our world. Being “right” isn’t enough. We also need to be wise. And loving. And patient. Perhaps nothing short of that should “seem good to the Holy Spirit and us.” “

January 22, 2006

We love Bruce Pearl !
Tennessee 80 Florida 76

Super Bowl Bandwagon
January 21, 2006

Well…Peyton is at home doing his laundry right about now. Marvin is playing Madden ’06 with Reggie, and Edgerrin is walking his dog. Vanderjagt is, of course, Bill Cowering in a deep deep hole somewhere…and I am still mourning. The stars couldn’t have been more alligned for the Baby Horses.

If your like me and your team is not one of the remaining four. It is ok. We must pick a team to pull for on Sunday. Quickly, jump on a bandwagon so that you are not left teamless as the football season comes to an end. It is not near as fun to watch a game with out a team to live and die for. Me? I’m going with the Steelers. Many wonder why I have chosen them…after all, they destroyed the dreams of the Peytonites. One word, my friends: Bettis. Jerome is an incredibly classy guy who has been in the league for a long time. He is ready to retire, and will, if he can get the one thing he doesn’t have after all those years of driving his bus through defensive lines. A ring…THE RING. So, come with me and jump the bandwagon of a true Hall Of Famer…one who derserves it more than anybody. I don’t know what bandwagon you will choose. But as for me, I’m taking The Bus.

No SOUPer Bowl For You!
January 19, 2006

I was listening to my main man, Dan Patrick, the other day. He reported an interesting story that I thought was worth telling ya’ll.

Do you remember the streaker from the Pittsburg/Cleveland football game a couple of months ago. If not…it was your typical incident. Some fool wakes an incredibly bored crowd (Pitt. was leading 41-0) by prancing around the field and dodging the old, overweight security guards. The scene ended when a Pittsburg linebacker bodyslammed the nudist…allowing security to catch up, take a couple of deep breaths from their oxygen tanks, tighten thier Depends, and escort the man off the field. Well, this dude was given his sentence by an Ohio judge last week. He received three days in jail. Not just any three days…he is to be locked up Feb. 4, 5, & 6. Of course, the 5th being SuperBowl Sunday. The judge told the man that he can not watch the game, nor can he listen to it on the radio in his cell. Harsh. I don’t know what I would do with my life if my SuperBowl rights were taken away. I guess I need to cure my habitual streaking fetish. But that is a different post. I’m out.

19 Things to Ponder
January 17, 2006

1. Who was the first person to look at a cow and say: “I think I’ll sqeeze these dangly things here and drink whatever comes out of them!”
2.Who was the first person to say, “See that chicken there… I’m gonna eat the next thing that comes out of it’s butt.”
3. Why do toasters always have a setting that burns the toast to a horrible crisp which no decent human would eat?
4. Why is there a light in the fridge and not in the freezer ?
5. If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares…then why is there a stupid song about it ?
6. Can a hearse carrying a corpse drive in a carpool lane ?
7. If the professor on Gilligan’s Island can make a radio out of a coconut, why can’t he fix a hole in a boat ?
8. Why do people point to their wrist when asking for the time, but don’t point to their crotch when they ask for a bathroom?
9. Why does Goofy stand erect while Pluto remains on all fours? They’re both dogs!
10. If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, then what is baby oil made of?
11. If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?
12. Why do the “Alphabet” song and “Twinkle Twinkle little star” have the same tune?
13. Do illiterate people get the full effect of Alphabet Soup?
14. Why is that when someone tells you there are over a billion stars in the universe, you believe them. But if they tell you there is wet paint somewhere you have to touch to make sure?
15. Why does your OB-GYN leave the room when you get undressed if they are going to look up there anyway?
16. If Wile E. Coyote had enough money to buy all that Acme crap why didn’t he just buy dinner?
17. Is Disney World the only people trap operated by a mouse?
18. Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog’s face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him on a car ride, he sticks his head out the window?
19. Does pushing the elevator button more than once make it arrive faster?

The T.P.
January 15, 2006

This book, being the first I have read in 2006, trumps the many that I read in the previous year. In fact, I believe that The Treasure Principle might have jumped onto my all-time list. I challenge all of you to take about 2 hours out of your life and knock out this simple, yet powerful, mini-treatise on our responsibility as believers to give to the Kingdom of God. If it were my call…I would force every believer to read it. This book has opened a new world for me; a world where followers of Christ invest exclusively into the things that will reap a return in Glory…and not in our present habitat. The book cost ten bones at Family and Lifeway…well worth it’s message. Giving has been one of the many sour spots in my walk with the Creator. But using Alcorn, God has clearly exposed my inadiquate heart and fueled an incredible desire to properly manage what God has entrusted to me. Give it a chance…Randy Alcorn (ultimately Jehovah) will blast a hole in your perception of giving. A hole that most desperately need. I sure did.

…a brief look at the…
Treasure Principle
You can’t take it with you – but you can send it on ahead.
Treasure Principle Keys
We are the managers of the assets God has entrusted – not given – to us.
Watch what happens when you reallocate your money from temporal things to eternal things.
We are citizens of “a better country – a heavenly one.”
(Hebrews 11:16)
From the dot – our present life on earth – extends a line that goes on forever, which is eternity in heaven.
Giving is a joyful surrender to a greater person and a greater agenda. It dethrones me and exalts Him.
God gives us more money than we need so we can give – generously.

At age 20, Jim Elliot wrote:
January 8, 2006

” ‘Some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame’ (1 Corinthians 15.34). And they must hear. The Lord is bearing hard upon me the need of the unreached millions in Central Asia. What a high calling is offered any who will pray, ‘Send me.’

Our young men are going into the professional fields because they don’t ‘feel called’ to the mission field. We don’t need a call; we need a kick in the pants. We must begin thinking in terms of ‘going out,’ and stop our weeping because ‘they won’t come in.’ Who wants to step into an igloo? The tombs themselves are not colder than the churches. May God send us forth.”

In response to my previous post, Dave Blake has of…
January 3, 2006

In response to my previous post, Dave Blake has offered what I think is the definitive answer to the question that I proposed about morality and legalism. I would love to hear your opinions…but please make an effort to read Dave’s post on the issue before you formulate your comment. Thank you.