Sunday, September 17, 2006

ONE GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY, DOWN THE DRAIN

The Board of Trustees of the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention missed a golden opportunity, in my opinion.

They were assigned the task of investigating the Motion brought by Wade Burleson at the Convention. That assignment fell to them by action of the Convention's committee on the Order of Business, in accordance with certain rules of the convention. I've heard nothing of a committee specially appointed by the BoT to handle that, so the logical assumption is that the BoT, or the Executive Committee of the BoT, is going to handle that themselves. If that's not the case, the only other logical conclusion is that they are not dealing with the assignment, yet.

The charges in Wade's motion, explicit and implicit, were most serious. If untrue, that's equally serious. And they have to be one or the other. It is further in everyone's best interests (in truth) that they be investigated and action be taken, and pronto.

If I'd been chairman of the BoT, and it's a really, really good thing I'm not, I'd personally ask the SBC to appoint a committee themselves to handle the matter, and to make sure at least half the members didn't like us one bit. Get some blood-spitting radicals in there to try to find something. If there's nothing to find, a clean bill from them will put it to rest once and for all. And if there is dirty laundry, they'll get it out in the open, so we can all do laundry.

Anything less than that may very well result in things being "smoothed over" ... which leaves wrongs unrighted and, very likely, wrongdoers unrepentant. There won't be anything happy, and certainly not "politically correct", about their standing before God and explaining why they did what they did. It would be grossly unfair of the BoT to have allowed that to happen. And they'd surely have to assume responsibility for that.

Wade Burleson has said to be patient. OK ... I shall ... perhaps all this is being attended to. I certainly hope so. I'm sure that many of the alleged wrongdoers are good folks who have just painted themselves into a corner, and now have no way out. It would be a crime for us to leave them there.

Friday, September 15, 2006

GOD'S GOOD AT CHOOSING TOPICS

I love reading the blogs. Even commenting, on occasion. I try to limit comments to those times when I actually have something to say.

In fact, there's been so much going on with the well-known blogs, that I see no need to comment here on any of that stuff. I'm not into re-inventing anything. So .... lately, I've been struggling to think of something to write about.

I started one on things I don't understand about what's going on in the SBC. Saved that one, then started one about having lunch this past Monday with Alan Cross. It was terrific, but I didn't get it "fleshed in" with anything other than I had a great time and a great hamburger. Then, last night in our Thursday night intercessory prayer time, a friend walked past where I was sitting (there were 4 of us there, so not a lot of distraction) and God slapped me with a thought.

He chose a good topic.

My friend's name is James. He's a relatively quiet guy who has really, really gotten bitten by the prayer, praise, and worship bugs. From one of the more reserved guys I know, he's turned into a flat-on-your-face prayer warrior, a stand-at-the-altar worshipper with hands in the air. We have a pretty special fellowship.

What smacked me last night was that I have no idea where he stands, on a lot of the peripheral stuff that's being slung about in blogdom. I know he believes the Bible and that it's inerrant. I know he's a believer. But I have no idea whether he's pre- or post-anything, moderate, conservative, how he feels about women in the ministry, missionary eligibility, or any of the rest of that. I do know we're brothers and I love him as though he were my own brother. Well ... keeping in mind that his middle daughter is 2 years older than my grandson.

Therein lies the real deal: he's a real live person, to me. He's not a faceless name on a screen. He's not limited by what I've read, that he's written. I know him. When we get to slinging stuff at folks, based on something they've said on a blog, we depersonalize them. More likely, they never seemed like people to us in the first place. At least, that's not been the thought, of them, in our minds.

See ... when we read a bit of what someone's said, we tend to invent the rest of them in our mind, based on what they said and how we reacted to it. And, I suspect, what we think of folks that we do know personally, who've made similar remarks. So, in a very real sense, the person we attack in blogdom is probably someone who doesn't exist anywhere but in our mind.

Shame on us.

Wade Burleson stands out in that respect, I think. I surmise that he sees people as people .. Christians as brothers and sisters. If my friend James said something I didn't agree with, even in writing, I know how I'd respond. I must keep that in mind when I'm reading what others, whom I do not know personally, write something with which I do not agree.

Paul said something that applies, also, to a lot of what I see.

2 Timothy 2:14: ...... Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. (NIV)

Try to tell me there's not a lot of that.

Anyway, thanks, God. And thanks, James.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

DORCAS AND KEN AND THE 24-HOUR DAY

The well-known blogger from Texas gave me some grief, this week, about not posting for a while. So I told her to name a topic and I'd dream up something to write. One of her choices was dinosaurs ... like, did they exist, etc. That suggestion actually interrupted my train of thought, so I thought I'd address it.

Sort of.

For some years now, I've simply accepted the Bible without question. On occasion, folks will come up with some "evidence" concerning the truth of scripture, and I always ignore it. I won't accept scientific observations to refute what God has said, so it's only fair that I won't accept scientific evidence that the Bible is true, either.

Having said that, I believe God can do anything. We study all He's told us to do, how to go about our part of building His church, how we should live our lives, etc. One danger inherent in the process of obeying and watching Him work is that we can think, subsequently, that His instructions tell us the only way He works. And that's just not true. God can do anything He wants to do. If He wanted to make the earth with dinosaur bones in it, He could do that. If He wanted to make dinosaurs and have the whole dying off/oil-making thing happen, He could. On any timetable He wants.

Ken: refers to Ken Ham, the gent from the Cincinnati area who is building the Creation Museum. He spoke at our church earlier this year, and said some interesting things. Two I recall most particularly.

One was that the church has largely folded to the "world" by saying that perhaps evolution or the big bang is correct, but it's still evidence of "intelligent design". He insists that the Biblical account is correct, even to the timetable which is revealed in various places.

The second is that the Bible says death came by one man ... Adam ... as a result of sin, but they've found fossilized bones with evidence of sickness and disease. That would mandate that the fossilization occurred within the Biblical timetable, or else the Biblical timetable is wrong. Or the statement about death coming via sin, is wrong.

There's only one Biblically logical conclusion.

So ... as to dinosaurs, I have no idea. It seems certain that the bones and stuff indicate that there were dinosaurs, and if that's how we got oil, I'm all happy about that. What Ken Ham said was, if that's how we got oil, then it happened within the parameters of the timeline in the Bible.

C.S. Lewis said a lot of neat stuff in "Mere Christianity". One thing was that there are no "natural laws". There's no law of gravity for example. There's only what we observe happens under certain circumstances. Nobody steps over the edge of a cliff then thinks "Phooey .. I guess I have to fall now .. the law says so". He just falls, and knows that what we call "gravity" is behind it. Well, that logic applies, IMO, to carbon dating and the like. All we know is what we observe under certain conditions, and that certainly cannot override what God says He did, or what we know God can do.

So, we have two possibilities. God made the earth when He made it, accurately portrayed in the Bible, to the extent we need to understand it. Either the oil-making deal happened in that timeline, or God made the earth complete with Barney's ancestors' bones and the oil all ready to go. I vote for the latter.

After all, I figure He made Adam and Eve full-grown, as they seem to have survived without anybody to fix their formula. I guess carbon-dating scientists, back then, would have insisted they must be newborn, and would have put them in diapers and child safety seats.

I don't know which way it was, and frankly don't care. Either way, we still have Barney.

This topic also reawakened all the junk about the days of creation. Were they 24-hour days? Well, I'd always refused to discuss it, as I want to simply accept what the Bible says. Folks would toss around scientific this or that, and I'd just ignore it, as I have always been unwilling to go outside the Bible for proof of anything.

Lo and behold, God smacked me with something one day while perusing Genesis. Follow this:

Day One: He creates this formless "thing-less" creation. He also made light (and it took me 3 weeks to get past that verse the last time I read through Genesis). Then it says "There was evening and there was morning, the first day".

Day Two: He separates the waters up & down and makes the celestial heaven above the earth. Then He said "There was evening and there was morning, the second day".

Day Three: He scrapes the land all together and creates all the plants on it. Then He says "There was evening and there was morning, the third day".

Day Four: He sets out the sun and moon and stars. At that point, the 24-hour cycle of day and night was established.. He then said "There was evening and there was morning, the fourth day".

Now: God is not the author of confusion. If He used the term "day" for the first three days, when there was no sun in the sky, and then the same word for day four, when He'd established the 24-hour day, that would be confusing to folks earnestly desiring to know the truth. And God said He's not the author of confusion.

For me, case closed. The proof for me is all there, and it's in the Bible.

We say scripture is infallible. That it's God's word. It's infinite in depth and meaning. So, to bow in any way to "science", which is necessarily what scientists think happened in the past, is as unthinkable as appealing a US Supreme Court decision to your local traffic court. They simply wouldn't have the authority or the stature.

Nor do we, over God's word.

I used to read Matt Helm books. He was a counterspy. When he was given an assignment with a fake ID, he was given a backstory to tell about himself. He was told he would look people in the eye and stick to his story, no matter how foolish it might look, or how obviously wrong it might be. He was simply not to deviate from it.

I've seen too many people cave in to worldly opinions about, and worldly scorn for, what the Bible says. I, for one, won't cave, no matter how foolish the world may think I am.

In fact, the more, the better.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

ON BEING RESPONSIVE TO ONE'S FRIENDS

Dorcas Hawker griped that I hadn't posted in a while. Something about a contest of inactivity between me & Marty Duren.

So I'm posting.

ps: I could beat Marty in that kind of contest, hands down. Well .. I guess that would be mandatory.

pps: I did put up a new post on the Eagles' Rest Poetry Depository. Just click here.