Hope you had a great week and can enjoy an extended weekend. And of course, I hope you enjoy the opening of one of the most exciting seasons of the year. College football kicks off.
I have six timely topics of which to share some thoughts in this week’s DHD. Let’s get to it!
- Does it start with Kim Davis?
It has only been a few hours before I began this week’s DHD when the story broke on the federal judge sending Ky. County Clerk Kim Davis to jail under contempt for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
It fascinates me how an elected official for a county in Eastern Kentucky with a population of 23,000 people is gaining national attention. This isn’t happening in San Francisco or Las Vegas. This is happening to a woman who worked in the Rowen County’s clerk’s office for 27 years and won her election as a Democrat in 2014.
People I respect have differed about how she has chosen her path of observing her conscientious objection. Some applaud her stance of civil disobedience. Others say she should have resigned, not letting this be “the hill to die on.” I see value in both positions, so I can’t give you a firm perspective.
I do appreciate what appears to be spiritual growth in Davis’ life. If you haven’t followed this story closely, much dirty laundry of her past has been tossed in the public streets. But she made a recent statement that encouraged me:
“I owe my life to Jesus Christ who loves me and gave His life for me. Following the death of my godly mother-in-law over four years ago, I went to church to fulfill her dying wish. There I heard a message of grace and forgiveness and surrendered my life to Jesus Christ. I am not perfect. No one is. But I am forgiven and I love my Lord and must be obedient to Him and to the Word of God.”
Whether you support her observance of civil disobedience or not, she is the first to go to jail due to the Supreme Court ruling in June on same-sex marriage.
Al Mohler’s perspective is excellent. I agree with his conclusions, especially this paragraph:
“What this story reveals beyond the headlines is that the moral revolution on marriage and human sexuality will leave nothing as it was before. No area of life will be untouched, and no address will be far removed from the front lines of the revolution. This story comes from Rowan County, Kentucky. A County Clerk is headed for jail. A legion of Christians struggles to be faithful in their own situations, responsibilities, and callings.”
- Presidential campaign perusal
It has been almost a month since the GOP presidential campaign in Ohio. I gave my rankings of the candidates after the debate and said Donald Trump bombed. I also said I can’t see how he can keep his lead in the polls. A month later, the Donald is still on top.
Two quick thoughts: 1) So much can happen in the coming months. The Iowa and New Hampshire Caucuses are five months away. The Oklahoma City Thunder will have played almost half of the NBA season by then, and we are currently two months away from the season opener. 2) Trevin Wax provides a great piece for those who are panicked or indifferent about this election cycle. Follow his dad’s advice.
- More Ashley Madison mess
I reference another one of my favorite Christian leaders. Russell Moore’s article “Ashley Madison is Just the Beginning” is prophetic and convicting.
As Moore wrote, “Digital technology spawned an entirely different reality. One could seek out pornography with no one knowing, and with the promise that no one would ever know.”
Yet, he wrote, “We must recognize that technology will continue to offer fallen humanity what it thinks it wants—the illusion that we can transgress God and not surely die. Our only hope starts with the kind of vision which sees that, no matter the technology, we are never anonymous to God.”
Let me tell you something else that has happened. Some of those who were caught are on the path of reconciliation. I just heard this week from a church leader who is counseling someone from the Ashley Madison fallout.
Though there is much pain, there can also be healing. Please pray for more outcomes of restoration.
- Changes happening at the IMB
It was reported last week that the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board was having to make some major financial decisions due to the organization’s budget shortfalls which includes six years of debt totaling $210 million.
This was a humbling report from one of the oldest missions organizations (170 years). President David Platt announced the IMB will be offering voluntary retirement for 600 to 800 missionaries and staff members. As painful as this announcement is for those, such as myself, who support SBC causes, with the IMB being an essential piece, this also can be a good “first step” toward “a healthy position for the future,” as Platt stated.
Anthony Jordan, executive director-treasurer of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, presents his perspective of the IMB in the Sept. 10 Baptist Messenger. I can tell you that Dr. Jordan commends Platt and his team for making these difficult decisions.
“Changes are required to weather the storm,” Jordan wrote. “Change is not a lack of faith but a commitment to good stewardship of the resources God gives.”
- Christian movies on the rise
Last week, I reiterated my positive review of the newly-released move War Room. I see many took my advice (Ha!) as the faith-based film grossed $11 million last weekend and finished first in box office sales opening night and second overall for the weekend. This is a huge statement, and I’m thrilled the movie is getting recognition.
I’m finding out about another Christian flick that premiers next month titled Woodlawn. The football movie is based on a true story from the ‘70s and has a well-known cast, including Sean Astin from one of my favorite sports movies, Rudy, and Oscar-winner Jon Voight who plays legendary Alabama football coach “Bear” Bryant. The movie debuts nationwide Oct. 16. Find out more about this movie at www.woodlawnmovie.com
And be on the lookout for more Christian-themed and family-friendly films. As disappointed as I have been in the last few years, I am looking forward to seeing better movies.
- A Huge Sports Weekend
As you are reading this, it’s possible I am on a trek with my brother and nephew to Kansas City to see the Royals play the White Sox. I grew up a Royals fan, back when George Brett was attempting to bat .400 during the 1980 season, but believe it or not, I have never been to a Royals home game. Friday night will be my first experience.
Then, we will head back early Saturday morning, pick up my wife and head to Norman for our second sporting event in consecutive days to watch the Sooners kick off their season opener. A fun time with family!
Happy Labor Day Weekend! Don’t labor too much!