As Olive is getting groomed and my car is getting an oil change, I sit here ready to share my weekly thoughts on timely topics. Let’s get to it.
- SBC status
Lots of news happening this week that reflect badly upon the Southern Baptist Convention. The biggest news involves Paige Patterson at Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.
Southwestern Board members had quite a lengthy special session this week, beginning Tuesday afternoon, May 22, and ending at 3 a.m., Wednesday morning, May 23. The meeting concluded with the board removing Patterson as seminary president. The problem many have with this decision involves naming Patterson president emeritus, giving him a nice monetary compensation and an on-campus residence.
If you’re not up on the Patterson issues, check out Baptist Press’ story.
The Patterson story is the weightiest burden of the week, but it magnifies what has become a poor reputation of the country’s largest Christian denomination. Also, this is not a positive prelude for the SBC Annual Meeting, which begins in Dallas in a couple weeks.
To understand how great of a concern this is for the SBC, read Albert Mohler’s prophetic declaration, “The Wrath of God Poured Out – The Humiliation of the Southern Baptist Convention.”
“Judgment has now come to the house of the Southern Baptist Convention,” Mohler wrote. “The terrible swift sword of public humiliation has come with a vengeance. There can be no doubt that this story is not over.”
Mohler may be the most respected SBC leader right now, and for him to express such a grim evaluation should shake all SBC church members.
But I also want to share Trevin Wax’s blog, “On Peace and Progress in the Southern Baptist Convention.”
Wax’s analogy of a true peacemaker (Matt. 5:9) is worth pondering: “… there’s a wide gulf between ‘keeping the peace’ and ‘making peace.’ They’re not the same.”
I appreciate Wax’s prescription of putting the SBC “on the road to recovery.”
“There is no peacemaking without pain-taking,” he wrote. “We will not see peace in our convention apart from true repentance, a deep desire for revival, and clear-eyed honesty regarding our sins and failures. We’re in a season in which God is bringing to light sin and selfishness, scandal and sorrow. Our scandals are public. We are being humbled. But humbleness is the right place for the disciple of Jesus. Our heads must be bowed low before Jesus will lift them.”
I have many friends who have expressed their thoughts on social media about what’s happening in the SBC. All comments are valid. I even respect a piece written by Jonathan Merritt, whom I strongly oppose on multiple issues, but his point on this subject is hard to argue and shouldn’t be disregarded.
Fellow SBCers, pray for our convention, seek God’s guidance and grace and don’t abandon the important work of furthering God’s Kingdom. If you share grievance in a public manner, even when merited, remember this too shall pass, but what we say and do involves eternal results.
- Waxing again
Trevin Wax had another fascinating blog this week. Check out “How Joy Davidman Altered My View of C.S. Lewis.”
If you’re familiar with the movie “Shadowlands” starring Anthony Hopkins as Lewis, you’d know about Lewis’ relationship with Davidman. I saw the movie after my college years and found it rather boring, but I might consider giving it another shot.
What appealed to me about Wax’s piece is how he spotlights the marital relationships of well-known Christian leaders and how Lewis had an unconventional approach to dealing with the people in his life.
- Thunder stuff
I’m leery to write about the Oklahoma City Thunder. Disappointment seems to follow after my pennings.
But I’ll take the chance to point out the Thunder were one of three teams (Golden State & Minnesota) to have more than one player make All-NBA honors, which were released this week. Russell Westbrook made second team, and Paul George was a third-team member. That’s about where both should be.
As far as other stuff stirring on social media, Russ being traded and Sam Presti getting fired are both laughable. As much as my Thunder thoughts may hex the squad, I’m willing to go on record to say neither will happen.
- Bartering Babylon Bee
Are you a fan of Babylon Bee, the satirical conservative Christian website? I read the founder of the Bee sold the website.
Adam Ford gave a detailed explanation why he sold Babylon Bee, and I admire his reasoning. His description of Facebook and Google is profound and should not be surprising.
The Baptist Messenger has had similar difficulties, and though we have met with Facebook and seemingly resolved why many of the Messenger articles have been deleted from the site for no justifiable reason, it is apparent Facebook’s control of information is troublesome – and the same with Google.
- Shooting too close to home
You probably heard about or maybe experienced for yourself the shooting that happened Thursday night, May 24, at Louie’s at the Lake restaurant. KOCO Channel 5 provides a detailed video and information on the station’s website.
This is still fresh, especially with investigations continuing, but at this time, the suspect who was killed at the scene appears to be suffering from mental illness, claiming on personally submitted YouTube videos that he was experiencing demonic attacks.
This is a notice to be vigilant. I have been to Louie’s multiple times, as well as the other nearby restaurants there on the East Wharf of Lake Hefner. In fact, Karen and I were planning to go eat there this evening. This is a popular area, especially this time of year with nicer weather and longer days, with families, runners, dog walkers and general nature lovers. People go there often because it’s a beautiful setting at dusk with the sun setting on the lake.
Basically, this area has a long running reputation of being a safe place in the city, especially for families. Though vigilance is always important, I hope the reputation of Lake Hefner is not majorly hindered.
More will unfold in the days ahead about the suspect. I’m predicting more people speaking out on the concerns of mental illness.
I appreciate the two civilians who prevented further tragedy. I did learn that neither men who shot the suspect were carrying their weapons but had them stored in their respected vehicles before using them. Thankfully, they were able to act quickly and effectively.
Lastly, thank the Lord none of the victims lost their lives. All three are expected to recover.
- Happy Memorial Day!
I hope you enjoy this holiday weekend. I am planning to go visit the grave sites of my family members, including my father and my sister. Take time to remember those who went before and impacted our lives.