DHD: Encouraging future for Oklahoma Baptists and other topics
I guess some consider this the first full week of the new year. It did feel like the Christmas and New Year holiday season was over, at least in my world this week.
Thanks for reading my DHD. Here’s some brief thoughts on some timely topics.
- Bright Future for Oklahoma Baptists
As I’m in the beginning of my sixth year working for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO), I got to experience the annual event that happens at the Baptist Building at the beginning of each year known as “At Home Week.” All those who work for the BGCO gather for three days to go over what could be expected for the year and what our state leader, Hance Dilbeck, has planned and envisioned.
This is Dilbeck’s first full year to serve as BGCO executive director-treasurer, and it’s the first time for him to lead At Home Week. After this week’s meetings, I could not be more encouraged about the direction the BGCO is heading.
I’ve known Bro. Hance for more than 15 years. He has been a great spiritual influence in my life, as he was my pastor. And as my pastor, I witnessed great growth and spiritual nurturing at my church. It wasn’t just a major renovation of our church building, which the “before” and “after” settings comparing the church in 2003 and in 2018 reveal a whole different landscape, but there has been so much progress and great experiences at my church during this time frame. Dilbeck’s leadership was a major factor.
The reason I bring this up is I can see his leadership impacting churches across our state, and attending this week’s meeting is what gives me this confidence.
Stay tuned, Oklahoma Baptists! I believe good days are ahead.
- Mohler part 1
Al Mohler is back addressing the nation on his podcast The Briefing. The president of Southern Seminary hit a lot of hot topics this week, including Planned Parenthood’s new president being contradictory of the organizations abortion emphasis, threats of religious liberty in government appointments and Christian leaders facing criminal prosecution on the Netherlands.
In today’s session, Mohler discusses how the LGBTQ movement is influencing many Christian denominations, including the United Methodist Church and its affiliated colleges and universities. He begins by saying how many moral revolutions of the past took nearly centuries to implement moral change. However, the current LGBTQ revolution took no more than seven years.
As far as its effect on the church, this sexual revolution, Mohler said, is causing a drastic shift.
“The LGBTQ revolution,” he said, “if truly normalized within any church, is going to require a different understanding of sin, a different understanding of salvation, a different understanding of the atonement, a different understanding of the Christian life, a different understanding of the relationship between law and gospel, a different understanding of Christian holiness. All that is going to be required and that’s not even an absolutely comprehensive list.”
- Mohler part 2
Mohler also addressed the current government shutdown in his Monday edition of The Briefing. He basically concluded the shutdown is a big political game of chicken.
He didn’t side either way but just said the battle between President Trump and Congressional Democrats, which is behind the shutdown, are hoping for political leverage.
“Both sides in this political conflict, this manufactured crisis, believe that the American people will see them as the good guys rather than the bad guys,” Mohler said. “We’ll see the situation as being brought about more by the intransigence of the political opposition than themselves. President Trump is betting that the American people, or at least a sufficient number of the American people, will see the Democrats as the problem and will believe that he is right to demand $5 billion in funding in order to build the wall, which means to extend the border wall between the United States and Mexico. The Democrats are betting the exact opposite, that the American people will eventually blame the President, and that his support for the wall will decline, and they see themselves as having the upper hand because, in the view of the democratic leadership in the House, the President has already shot his bullets. His gun is now empty.”
- More on the government shutdown
Oklahoma U.S. Senator James Lankford gave an excellent address on the government shutdown, specifically on border security. Watch the 15 min speech here:
Some things that stood out from Lankford’s talk is there was a time when border security was a bi-partisan issue.
“It was just a decade ago,” Lankford said, “that this body voted to add 650 miles of additional fencing along the border between Mexico and the United States because at that time a decade ago, this body said it is a serious issue with border security. We should add fencing to the border. And outspoken liberals like Senator Clinton and Senator Obama voted to add fencing to the border in 2006 and said, ‘That is the right thing to do.’ But suddenly now, a decade and a couple of years later, it is a partisan issue, and we can’t allow President Trump to have additional fencing. It seems very odd to me.”
Lankford also proposes to keep Congress working in continuous session until resolved and cutting budgets in the Senate, House and the White House by five percent each week until resolved.
“This is a completely avoidable problem,” he said.
- Oklahoma pro-life ranking
Three years ago, Oklahoma was considered the most protected state on pro-life issues, according to Americans United for Life (AUL). Now, Oklahoma dropped to fourth on AUL’s rankings, with Arizona, Arkansas and Louisiana ranked higher.
Fourth appears to be a good ranking, and I am glad other states are doing the right things, passing laws that support Sanctity of Life. However, Oklahoma has increased its number on abortions recently. This needs to be made known to many Evangelical Christians in our state, and we need to be involved in making the shift change back to supporting and being involved in pro-life causes.
One great opportunity happens the first Wednesday in February. Rose Day at the Capitol is a very important and effective event that has been instrumental in putting Oklahoma on the right path on the issue of life. With new members in state congress, this year’s Rose Day could be one of the most important in recent history.
I hope you will be involved this year and come to the Capitol on Feb. 6. Deliver red roses to the Governor, Lt. Governor and your state senator and house representative.
Find out more here.
- Whitlock retiring
David Whitlock announced he is retiring as president of Oklahoma Baptist University at the end of the spring semester. This will conclude his 10th year as OBU president.
I have been very impressed with Whitlock’s leadership and consider him one of the most influential OBU presidents.