Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> EAGLES' REST: January 2012

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Time to Take Up Arms, Brethren

Walk through your church parking lot some Sunday morning. Look at the cars, front plates (where the State only issues rear tags), bumper stickers, stick-on medallions, etc. I don't know about your church, but at the one I attend, I see a lot of College plates, bumper stickers for some political candidate or other, and stickers announcing their pride in a child or grandchild for attending this school or that one, or taking part in whatever activity.

Stuff about Jesus, not so much.

I've got a Jesus license tag on my own car .. the one that has a front license plate mount .. and a Fish Symbol on the car that doesn't. That's part of my two-fold thoughts about letting the world know Whom I serve.

When I spent a little time in Advertising, I learned there are two general types: Institutional and Promotional. Institutional tells of the existence of our organization and is aimed at building name familiarity ... say, for instance, the brightly lit soft drink machines sitting outside supermarkets. Everybody knows the Pepsi wave and the Coke script, and that's what that's about.

Promotional says "Look at this now .. this is happening".

I think of those two approaches as passive and active.

They say that "Baptism" is our" Identifying with Christ", but I don't buy that. If it is, in fact, that ... well ...it was visible only to the folks that were there. And we sure need to be doing more identifying, with Jesus, than that!

For me, one way to passively identify with Him is to always wear a Jesus collar pin. Something that shows His name or the cross. When I'm out without a collar, I'm usually wearing Witness Wear. Same deal. Identify me, to anyone who sees me, as a follower of Jesus. Yes, our demeanor in public must agree with that, but living a good life of kindness, benevolence, and caring is just a witness to a good life of kindness, benevolence and caring. When those are reflections of what the Holy Spirit has wrought in our life, that's a Spiritual matter, and the lost world cannot receive those for what they are.

1 Corinthians 2:14 says that.

So if you're hiding behind the cross, as it were, and maintaining that your faith is just a "private matter", come out of the closet and start making it plain to all you are in contact with, that you're a follower of Jesus.

It's amazing to me, how fruitful and enjoyable wearing those little pins has been! Just yesterday, at the funeral, the Director came over and spoke to me for awhile ... we've known each other for years ... and he said something nice about my pin. I asked him if the Funeral Home would let him wear a pin like that. He said yes; all they didn't allow was for employees to "push" their religion on clients. So I took the pin off, gave it to him, and he put it on his lapel. The cool part is that I've done that for years, and have no way of assessing what God might have done with the.

And I don't really care to know, unless God really wants to lift the veil and show me something. I'm blessed in just the doing.

As to Promotional, or Active things, that's what the picture up there is about. That's Kiki, our server today at the Fish Market Restaurant in Hoover. Now I must say I had a headache today, fairly bad, and I didn't feel like conversing or praying with anybody, but Peg had told me her order and gone to the restroom to wash her hands, when Kiki came to take our order. So I gave it to her, and then asked if there was anything we could pray for, in her life, when we blessed the food. She immediately brightened up, thought a moment, and laid out an important prayer concern for her. So Peg and I prayed for her as we had our blessing.

And it was a real blessing to us, too. She turned out to be as attentive, pleasant, effective server as I can recall, and the meal was just that much better.

I even forgot about my headache for the rest of the meal.

So ... what's more important in our life; passively identifying with Him, or actively telling people about Him? Try thinking of it this way: How would you describe which wing on your airliner is more important to you?

To coin a corny old phrase: "It ain't either/or, it's both/and".

If we really believe it's the end times, it's never been more important to be about the Kingdom work, than it is right now. Today. And one thing's for sure: there's one less day to serve Him here ... the only place folks can get saved ... than there was yesterday.

Tennn - HUT!

Orderrrrrrrr ARMS!

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Maybe It Really Can't Be Done

There have been suggestions, and indeed motions made at the annual meeting, that the SBC should maintain a database of people convicted, or credibly accused, of sexual abuse or pedophilia .. or anything along those lines. There have been arguments on why they should, and reasons given why they shouldn't, do that.

Up until now, I've been a supporter of the SBC acting as a "clearing house" for such information. But as of this week, owing to a case right here, among people I have met and know, I'm not in favor of the SBC entertaining that idea. Here's why:

A case hit the news media this week, of a retired school teacher who had admitted molesting many children in the course of his teaching career. It's severe enough that I've seen articles in the national media, in newspapers in New York City and San Francisco, and even in a London-based news outlet. It's big news here, I guarantee you, moreso since the alleged (and apparently confessed) perpetrator's father is involved in local politics. And, further, faithful members of a local Southern Baptist Church.

I don't see any need to name names, here, to prove my point.

Here's the catch: back in 1992-1993, he was accused of this same thing. The school board held a "Termination Hearing" about it, looked into the matter, but decided there was not enough evidence to terminate his employment. Hence he was placed back in the classroom.

The local prosecutor presented the matter to a Grand Jury, who heard all the evidence from everywhere they could find it. I understand they were thorough in their job, but in the end, the Grand Jury refused to indict the teacher.

The local newspaper also reports that, in 1992, the accused was also a "30-year old youth minister" at their local Baptist church!

There are many, many details I won't go into, here, about how far-reaching the effects of this are .. and may well grow to be .. but you have the framework of the case: a teacher who was accused of molestation, whom the Grand Jury wouldn't indict and the School Board wouldn't terminate.

THE QUESTION IS: What if the SBC had already compiled a database of people convicted of, or credibly accused of, such predatory actions?

True, he was not primarily a church employee ... but I cannot imagine how a church could have used the information of the accusations to deny a position to him, without huge exposure to the SBC and to the church itself!

People have talked about this for 4 years that I know of, but now that I've bumped into a real life case, involving people I know, I've been forced to face the real issues with no hypothetical curtain behind which to hide.

Somehow, we keep thinking there ought to be a "nice" solution to all sins. Certainly forgiveness is the remedy for sin, and we know how that's attained, but as far as "good answers" for the results here, of our sin, sometimes there just aren't any.

Which further raises the specter that there may such far-reaching consequences of every sin. That every sin we commit is just as ugly, and just as damaging .. somewhere, sometime .. as the actions of the accused in this case. If that's true, then there are no "good answers" for us, either.

No wonder they call it "mercy". We surely don't deserve it.