I’ve got lots of thoughts to share this week. In fact, before I sat down to figure out my six topics, I didn’t realize I had so many current subjects to address. But I’m glad I got my half dozen. Here we go!
- Annual Meeting aftermath
I start off with what encompassed most of my time at the beginning of the week. The Annual Meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO) took place Nov. 13-14 at my home church – OKC, Quail Springs, which makes it nice for familiarity and the drive.
I love meeting with Oklahoma Baptists. These are my peeps. The charm of Annual Meeting is getting some of my favorite people at the same sight for a couple of days. Reports are given. Corporate worship is uplifting. Messages are challenging yet inspiring.
Two significant moments during the Annual Meeting, for me, were 1) hearing Anthony Jordan give his final address as “our leader” and 2) passing unanimously Resolution No. 4, which addresses condemning White Supremacy, Alt-Right and racism.
Dr. Jordan is retiring next year as BGCO executive director-treasurer, and his address during the opening session was powerful and magnificent. He praised Oklahoma Baptists for generous giving through the Cooperative Program and he challenged churches to overcome practices of prejudice and to be accepting of all people – no matter of race, culture or background – in their congregations. He said many churches located in areas of transition are dying, and he bluntly said if they are dying because they are not willing to transition too, “they ought to die.”
Though there wasn’t much fanfare during the presentation of resolutions, for messengers to be in full support of condemning racism and groups promoting racism is a powerful statement. Working for the Baptist Messenger, we get responses from readers, and when we publish articles or columns that relate to opposing the alt-right and other racist groups, the emails and comments spew such offensive language in disagreement. Thankfully, messengers at this year’s Annual Meeting who represent Oklahoma Baptist churches were not in line with those who think this way.
Check out Dr. Jordan’s address, as well as others who spoke at the Annual Meeting, and to see the whole list of resolutions at annualmeeting.okbaptist.com.
- Political morality
Many have expressed how they feel about Roy Moore, candidate for Alabama U.S. Senator, and the reports that have come out about his previous behavior with women. It is sad. Period.
The two best responses regarding Moore and his campaign came from James Lankford and Ed Stetzer.
Here’s a comment from Sen. Lankford, reported by the Tulsa World, about Moore and his previous relationships with girls under age:
“Obviously, I’m incredibly sad for those girls that were affected during that time period, their families, and I’m sad for the people of Alabama and for the nation,” Lankford said. “People of Alabama are having to make a decision on someone who had immoral behavior or someone that they don’t like their politics on, and it’s a really difficult spot for them to go back and forth.
“I am pleased to be able to see that the nation, though, is talking about moral issues and trying to hold leaders to a higher account. That’s a positive thing for our nation. I think that should continue, whether that’s in Hollywood with all the harassment that’s being exposed now, Capitol Hill, and the media, anywhere that it may be. If Americans hold each other to a higher standard that is helpful to us long term. Painful in the process of going through it, but helpful long term, because we want to set a higher standards for our kids.”
The other is from Ed Stetzer in his interview on NPR. Notice how quickly the interview stops when Stetzer talks about discipling people biblically.
The only other thing I will say about the Roy Moore fiasco is how fascinating we’ve come as a society since criticizing Vice President Mike Pence earlier this year and his standards of meeting with women. I hope the vice president appears more admirable now in comparison to other politicians.
- Close minded or “truth minded”
Check out Trevin Wax’s blog “The Right and Wrong Way to Close Your Mind.” Wax continues to be one of my favorite writers on cultural issues, and this piece is superb.
I have developed the perspective that it is best for Christians to be neither close-minded nor open-minded but rather be “truth-minded.” What I mean by that is hold to what is Truth, which, as Christians, we believe to be Scripture, but be willing to consider other points of view. I admit I have changed my view on some issues over time, but there are significant issues I hold fast and strong.
Be sure to read Wax’s conclusion. I plan to read his article again.
- Enforcing abortion promotion
Joe Friday helps us to be aware of the latest with California pregnancy centers. He reported this week that the Supreme Court will hear about the California law requiring pro-life pregnancy centers to promote pro-abortion material.
This is a significant case for those who value the Sanctity of Human Life.
- Foust on films
Michael gives high regards to both movies, and, if I’m allowed to review his reviews, I think Michael is an exceptional movie critic. He definitely presents a proper Christian perspective and makes the movie enticing, if he recommends it. I give him five stars.
- Thunder stuff
I close on my latest thoughts on the Oklahoma City Thunder. Fear not, I am not doing any game predictions.
Kevin Durant is in the news again, sharing his thoughts about his old team and how “mistreated” he has been. He also seems to like saying the f-word a lot when getting interviewed.
For a phenomenal basketball player who already claims an NBA title and will probably get more championships while playing with Golden State, he sure seems to be quite insecure and whiny. I wish, for his own sake, he could move on and quit doing these interviews where he talks about the Thunder.
Also, Darnell Mayberry is having a book signing for his book “100 Things Thunder Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die” in Edmond on Saturday, Nov. 18, from Noon-2 p.m. at Best of Books, 1313 E. Danforth Road.
Darnell is now an NBA beat writer in Chicago, but I thought he did a phenomenal job as the Thunder beat writer for the Oklahoman. I’ll be going to his signing tomorrow.