A new week and a new Doyle’s Half Dozen. I’m back to offering thoughts on timely topics. Here’s six subjects submitted for your scrutiny.
- Samford and stunned
Baptist Press announced this week about Samford University, a Southern Baptist school in Alabama, considering the approval of a student organization that promotes homosexuality and other unbiblical lifestyles.
Samford faculty voted to recommend approval of “Samford Together,” the LGBT student group, BP reported, and President Andrew Westmoreland said he hopes the university and state convention leaders “find meaningful ways to affirm beliefs regarding the authority of Scripture held by so many of us, while enabling us to serve in ways that reflect God’s love for all people.”
Alabama Baptist State Convention (ABSC) leaders were “saddened” by the Samford faculty vote, which was unofficially reported to be a significant majority in favor. BP reported ABSC will contribute $3.6 million of Cooperative Program funds in 2017 to Samford.
Westmoreland attempted to be diplomatic in his comments when addressing the LBGT student group and contrasting viewpoints of Southern Baptists and those who support LGBT lifestyles. Personally, I found the following statement by Westmoreland disappointing:
“A clearer path for a different institution with a different president might be to take a less nuanced approach, lining up either fully in favor of more recent views of human sexuality or in favor of a campus that is closed to the exchange of viewpoints and ideas, but that approach does not reflect who I am, so I would be incapable of leading in either of those directions.”
The part I bolded is why I said Westmoreland “attempted” to be diplomatic, though failed. Apparently he thinks you are in favor of LGBT lifestyles or you are close-minded and unwilling to discuss such concerning issues. Westmoreland may not agree, but it is possible to have forums for discussion without fully embracing a student organization that promotes LGBT lifestyles. I see no difference in what Westmoreland and Samford faculty are doing and what single Christians attempt to do in “missionary dating.”
All state Southern Baptist conventions that support in-state colleges and universities should pay close attention to what is happening at Samford. This is not an isolated issue.
- Are Pro-Life Democrats becoming extinct?
Another concerning issue is how the Democratic National Convention is becoming less and less tolerant of party members who value the sanctity of life. BP reported of the aftermath when DNC Chairman Tom Perez said two weeks ago that every Democrat should support abortion.
I was encouraged to read U.S. Rep. Daniel Lipinski, D-Ill. speak in favor of life for the unborn. Russell Moore, president of Southern Baptist’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, said “the protection of the unborn is too important to be a one-party issue.”
“The marginalization of pro-life Democrats is bad news for the Democratic Party, but even more, is bad news for the country, for women and for the unborn,” Moore said. “I pray for the day when both parties are committed to protecting the most vulnerable, including the unborn and their mothers, and are arguing with each other over economics rather than over the life and death of the innocent.”
I know there are many pro-life Oklahoma Democrats, and I hope they too challenge Perez’s influence to cause Pro-Life Democrats to become extinct.
- Ryan Smith’s blog of messages
Check out Ryan Smith’s blog comparing the message of man to the message of God, when it comes to sharing the Gospel and how easy it can be misconstrued today. I especially liked Ryan’s comparison of how the message of man makes Jesus appear to be like Vincent Van Gogh.
- Great results from Religious Liberty executive order
Executive orders can be “limited to the scope of the executive action allowed by a president,” as the ERLC’s “The Weekly” email newsletter states, but “an executive order has the power of federal law.”
This is good news for those who appreciate and wish to observe religious liberty, as President Trump signed an executive order this week on “Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty.”
This executive order requires all federal departments and agencies to “respect and protect the freedom of persons and organizations to engage in religious and political speech.” It means the IRS will no longer be a threat to religious organizations. It means court cases like the one involving Hobby Lobby that would have enforced the well-known arts and crafts store to provide abortifacient drugs to its employees to be dismissed.
After many years of Christian organizations being threatened, harassed and punished by the federal government. This is an encouraging decision by President Trump.
- Waxing on 13 Reasons Why
Trevin Wax admitted he did not want to blog about the popular show 13 Reasons Why. You may have read numerous commentaries about this suicide-promoting production on Netflix and have come to your own conclusions.
Regardless, please consider another viewpoint from my favorite blogger.
“13 Reasons Why compounds a problem it is trying to fix, perhaps because it has no eternal solution to offer. For those who have entertained thoughts of suicide or who have friends who know the darkness of this despair, hope remains. But it will not be found on Netflix.”
- Wired about Rewired
I end on a positive note. Last weekend, I covered the Rewired Men’s Conference at Falls Creek for the Baptist Messenger. It will be the cover story in next week’s edition.
I’ve gone to Rewired for the past four years, and every year, I come back encouraged with the experience and the results different men had from spending two days in the Arbuckle Mountains.
One of my favorite parts every single year is hearing thousands of men singing together praises to God. I always love every experience of a worship service in a full tabernacle at Falls Creek, but there just seems something even more enjoyable when it’s multiple men gathering to sing and worship.
One special report I received this year involves a fireman who went for the first time. He was reluctant to go, but the experience caused him to make major changes in his life including confessing to his wife and family that he has an addiction to pornography. He made the same confession to his friends and fellow firemen a few days later, which resulted in one man making a profession of faith in Christ and multiple rededications by other men.
The fireman also is planning a men’s event at his property where he plans to invite more men and share his life-changing experience.
Praise God for Rewired and the impact it is making on men!