I am an avid reader, but I use the term “reader” very casually. I should say that I am an avid listener. I am in the car a lot, and most would say it is unsafe to read and drive, so I have made it a habit to listen to audiobooks when I am in the car for at least 20 minutes.
I recently “read” a book by Pastor Robert Jeffress, the pastor at Dallas, First Baptist Church. The title was Twilight’s Last Gleaming.
I am not going to give a synopsis of the book, but I would highly recommend reading it. Dr. Jeffress presents a great legal analysis and how, through the court system, our nation is going through troubled times.
The part that I want to focus on is a voting rubric that Dr. Jeffress lays out in the book. There are four questions that every Christian should ask themselves before they walk into a voting booth.
Question 1: “Are they a Christian?”
The first question is obvious: do they believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior? This is the bedrock question that every evangelical voter should ask, but it is not enough for someone to say they are; do they live out the Gospel in their everyday lives?
This may seem like the most basic question, but it has reaching implications. In our political world, we see so many political campaign slogans about being a Christian or a life dedicated to sharing the Gospel, but if you peel back the layers, that is not always the case.
Question 2: “How does a candidate’s faith impact their policies?”
Another obvious question. A candidate must be true to their beliefs while serving in office, and that must mean that they practice what we preach. Pun intended.
If a candidates says that they are a Christian but they also say that their faith won’t impact their policy making, that is not a candidate that I want representing me. My faith, and hopefully your faith, guides every action and thought we have. I cannot separate my faith from my life, nor should we want to.
Question 3: “Does a candidate’s policies align with the Bible?”
If we elect Christ-centered leaders, are they going to govern with Biblical principles in mind? When we interact with candidates, we have to ask (and they need to answer!) about the type of leader they will be and what policies they will support.
When, maybe if would be better, we get policy positions from candidates, we must research if those policies fall in line with what the Bible lays out.
Question 4: “How does he (or she) view the Constitution?”
This might be the most undervalued question, but I think it might be the most important. This question, to me, serves a dual purpose. Candidates for any elected office must have a stance on the Constitution. How do they view the words of the founding fathers? Is the Constitution a living document that changes with the times or a document that stands the test of time. Written words were meant to be what they are, not what we would like them to be.
If a candidate thinks that the Constitution changes with the times, then they probably believe the same about the Bible as well.
I cannot vote for a person who doesn’t live by their faith and doesn’t appreciate the words written, both Biblically and Constitutionally, but would insert a modern approach instead.
We can change the Constitution, but we cannot change the Bible. Any elected official, or wannabe elected official, needs to stand up for both.
My wife and I decided to catch a movie when we had a break in our schedule. We looked up what was playing, and she mentioned a movie that I had not heard of before – Mr. Holmes.
I thought the title was unusual, but what is more unusual is that I had not heard about this new movie about Sherlock Holmes. I am an avid Holmes fan and watch almost anything that comes out about the famous British detective.
The movie stars Ian McKellan, most notable for his roles in The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and recent X-Men movies.
McKellan plays an elderly Holmes that is in the twilight of his life. Holmes has retreated to the country and no longer resides at 221B Baker St. but he can’t remember why.
The audience soon discovers that Holmes is on a journey to remember his last case, The Woman in Grey but because of his advanced age, he is finding it difficult. He wants to write the story down, so that he can understand why he left the detective profession. The former detective is now trying to solve his last case again.
In order to help give his ailing memory a jolt, Holmes has taken up to eating Royal Jelly and tending to bee hives on his country estate. When that isn’t enough, he takes a trip to Japan in search for an advanced method to help him remember.
This story is not complete without the mention of the housekeeper and her son, Roger. They take care of everything on the property for Mr. Holmes, except for tending to the bees. When Holmes returns from Japan, Roger takes an interest in the bees and begins to develop a close relationship with the aging Holmes. In fact, because of the boy’s inquisitive nature, it spurs Holmes to finish his account of the last case.
This is not a spiritual movie, although there is a terrific analogy for sacrificing one’s self for others towards the end, but to offer more detail would spoil the plot. Ultimately, the movie reflects on our past actions and the profound impact it can have on our future. I would highly recommend this film. I will probably purchase the movie when it is released. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.
I want to introduce myself to the Word Slingers family. My name is C.J. Cavin, and I am new to the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma/Baptist Messenger family.
Today is an interesting day for me. It has been exactly one month since I started a new career at the BGCO.
First, let me say that it has been an awesome experience so far. I have enjoyed working with talented and compassionate people who have been called to do God’s work for others.
Second, this day means more than a work anniversary, but today also is my spiritual birthday. Let me explain.
I prayed a prayer and Jesus came to live in my heart. That was 12 years ago today. I was attending my first Falls Creek at 13 years old and did not think about how it would change my life forever.
The number of people who I encountered at Falls Creek that year was tremendous, but there are three who will always stand out. The first was my youth pastor, Jimmy Carter, Jr. (I promise my youth pastor is not a former President), my pastor, Derrick Carney, and the Falls Creek program leader, James Lankford.
The message for the night was drawing a line in the sand. “What would happen to our lives if we did not draw a line in the sand? What would we stand for?” – These were the questions posed, and the answer that kept coming up was that a relationship with Jesus Christ, which is the only answer. I felt the call, and, as a nervous child, I took my pastor by the hand, and he prayed a prayer with me.
I went to Falls Creek every year until I graduated high school. For those who have not been to Falls Creek, when the invitation is opened up during the nightly service, they also invite those who have felt the call to ministry. The second year I went to camp, I felt the call. I felt the same call my third year, fourth year, and every year.
I knew that God wanted me to be in vocational ministry but that is not what I wanted. I wanted to attend law school, and I still might, but the more I resisted, the more He reigned me in.
I finally submitted to do what He called me to do, and shortly after that, I stumbled across a job opening that would allow me to support His ministry and work in an area of which I was familiar.
I find it ironic that the place I was called to work was the organization that runs Falls Creek, where I was saved 12 years ago today. I guess it isn’t really ironic, but it goes to show when we let go of our own selfish desires, God will be there with a plan.
What is standing in the way of God’s plan for you?