Archive | May, 2016

THINGS I’M TIRED OF!

25 May

Writing helps me vent. It helps relieve tension. It helps me relax. It helps me when my frustration with society in general is at breaking point. Today is one of those days.

So, thank you, WordPress, for this venue.

Here goes… the top five things I’m tired of (I know, my dear high school English teacher, that I am not supposed to end sentences with a preposition and for that I deeply apologize. I just don’t feel like finding a creative alternative today).

5) People saying “I just have no interest in talking politics”… Yes, it’s obviously a passion of mine if you read my blogs or know me personally. But that’s not why it makes me upset. Let me break it down for you.

First, we live (for now) in an amazing country. A country that was founded on freedom and giving people a voice in what happens.  We have the freedom to be a part of the process. To affect change. To change the direction of their nation. This is a freedom afforded to us as Americans.

We have a voice. We have the opportunity to make a difference.

And when we dismiss the opportunity to have a voice with a flippant “I just don’t care” or “I’m not interested”, we are pretty sad.  Just saying.

Our country is slipping away from us. The Constitution is being used as toilet paper in the White House.  We don’t have a single candidate as a front runner.

But you’re just “not interested”.

Sorry but that’s pathetic.

Moving on…

4) People who say you can’t mix your faith and politics.

I Corinthians 10:31 tells us that in everything, we must bring glory to God. When I taught youth and now as a Pastor to an entire congregation, I have taught that our faith must permeate everything.

And for the most part, that’s what everyone believes.

We believe that your faith must enter into what type of movies you watch, what type of television, what type of activities we take part in, really, anything that we do. God must be in the equation. Everything we do must honor him.

And that includes when we enter the voting booth. For someone to say that they disagree with everything a candidate stands for but he will be good for the economy or I have just always voted with that party is perhaps one of the most hypocritical things we can do. We sing songs that say we surrender all to Jesus but apparently we mean except for how we vote.

How incredibly ridiculous!

3) being told that I am bigoted and full of hate because I stand against lifestyles that are not biblical.

My attitude about this has softened a small degree over the years. I do not, nor have I ever, walked up to an individual and begin to tell them about how wrong they are to be in the relationship in which they find themselves.

However, when asked, I do tell them what Scripture says. I make sure they know that it is not my opinion. But God. This is not just apply to what the Supreme Court has called legal recently, but it applies to any relationship that is not indicative of God’s plan. Including the idea of living together without the benefit of marriage.

Do I Think I am better than anyone else? Do I hate the people involved. No! As a matter of fact, I remain their friends. I go out to eat with them. I am by come to my house. I joke around with them. But I will not tell them that something that is clearly not God honoring is OK. I would hope that any of my believing friends would do the same for me.

But let me also make something else clear. The heart of my ministry has never been to make gay people straight or to make people living together sign a marriage license. No, not at all. I believe that God has called me, just as he has everybody in ministry, to introduce lost people to the gospel so they could be saved.

For this reason, I usually don’t spend a whole lot of time talking with someone about what they are doing wrong. I instead try to share Jesus and then once they embrace that, let the Holy Spirit take control.

However, I will not stay at idly by while my government continues to make things better scripturally wrong legally right. I will stay in the gift that with my vote and I will never allow these lifestyles to be approved inside of the congregation which I pastor.

Some liberal somewhere is going to interpret that to mean that individuals involved in these things would not be welcome in my church. That is not true. They are entirely welcome. They are not branded with some type of big S for “sinner”. They are not treated as outcasts.   They are embraced. They are loved. And I will continue to do so.

But I will never tell them but this lifestyle in which they are engaged is OK. To do so would be to go against scripture.

It does not mean that I am a bigot  It does not mean that I hate. Quite simply, I don’t hate anybody.

I just love God more than I do the approval of man.

2) Churches who water down the Gospel for the sake of numbers.

My church is small. Do I want it to grow? Sure I do. What Pastor doesn’t?

But I want it to grow because the people already there are spiritually growing. I want people to see the difference a Savior can make because current church members are growing more and more in their relationship with Jesus.  And then when they see that difference, they want to come to the church and find the Word of God being preached unapologetically.

That’s how you should grow a church.

Not by watering down the Word of God because we are afraid of running people off. The Gospel is offensive and as this culture continues to creep more and more into the slime, it is going to become more offensive.

And if I lose a member because I am preaching the Word of God correctly (and to be honest, I have), then so be it.

Churches have the responsibility of being a lighthouse in a very dark world. But when we pull down our shades and dim the Light to make the room a little more appealing, we are accomplishing nothing.

Nothing except to help send people to Hell.

Grow up, Pastors! You’re not here to be people pleasers!

This world needs the Word of God more than you need accolades from your denominational convention.

And finally…

(1  People who spend more time concerned about their image then they do about lost souls.

Why should a church spend more time on a pretty looking atrium then they give to spread the Gospel around the world?

Why should we sit around and discuss paint jobs and landscaping when at this very moment, someone is trapped in the bondage of sin.

The answer is simple: We shouldn’t!

And yet that goes on more than it should. Not in every church. Not with every Christian.

But way too many.

We are living in a very perilous time. We can’t afford to let denominational lines divide us. We can’t afford to let people see us as stuffed suits who look down our noses and those who are lesser.

We must be willing to get down on peoples level. To quit putting up the pretty signs thinking that will bring people in and instead go to them and show we care.

People need the Lord.

And Jesus we are supposed to be the ones who tell others about Him.

In closing, let me say that I do not speak as one who has arrived. I  have my faults and the truth is that maybe it makes me mad because at one time or another, I have exhibited these things that absolutely make me scream today.

We are supposed to point people to the answer, not away from it!

And as they say in social media:

Rant over!

 

 

 

 

 

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A CARING CHURCH SHARES CHRIST

25 May

Ancient cities were obviously quite different from our cities of today. Most were smaller and not as protected as today.

To protect those living in the city, walls were built (Trump would have loved that). Guards were then posted along the walls of the city to warn the people of any enemies approaching. There were watchmen who were responsible to make sure that the city would not be taken by surprise. Their job was to stand on the walls or towers of the city constantly watching their surroundings and scanning the horizon. They had an entire city that counted upon them to warn them of imminent danger. They were required to maintain a constant watch, always looking for any possible threat to the city’s safety.

It did not matter what the weather was good or bad, sunny or rainy, lightning or thunder, the watchmen could never desert their post. They had to be alert at all times. If watchmen spotted or observed signs of trouble, it was their duty to blow a trumpet alerting the people and giving the soldiers time to man the walls to defend the city. He was held accountable for giving the necessary warning of all impending danger. The very lives of the people in the city were in their hands. It is with this in mind that God declares that Ezekiel was a watchman to Israel and was therefore accountable to God for sounding the warning of God’s displeasure and judgment of sin.

With the issuing of the great commission and the empowering of the Holy Spirit, you and I have been assigned the task and responsibility of being watchmen for our generation. Everyone who has decided to know and serve Christ has been selected and called to be a watchman to this world. We cannot simply sit back, resting upon the knowledge of our established relationship with God guaranteeing our home in heaven, and be totally oblivious to and unconcerned about those who are without Christ or who have cooled off in their companionship with Christ.

A man once prayed like this: “Lord, bless me and my wife, my son John and his wife, us four and no more.” A childless couple prayed: “Lord, bless us two, and that will do.” An old bachelor prayed: “Lord, bless only me, that’s as far as I can see.” You and I cannot take such a care-less attitude. As a caring church, we must share Christ with a lost world. As watchmen, we are called upon to see the need and to sound the warning.
We are responsible and obligated to faithfully sound the alarm.

The necessity for sounding the alarm is established clearly in the pages of Holy Scripture.

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

Romans 5:12 “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”

Do you realize that there are between 95 and 100 million totally unchurched people in America? An estimated 180 to 190 million Americans are not born again. If this group were a nation to itself, it would be third largest people group behind China and India.

Without Christ, they will all die and will go into a Christless eternity filled with pain, suffering, and torment.

Ezekiel 18:20 “The soul that sins, it shall die.”

Regardless of how we are received, our responsibility is to sound the alarm.

Ezekiel 33:4 “Then whosoever hears the sound of the trumpet, and takes not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.”

Back in the 80’s, Mt. Saint Helens belched gray steam plumes hundreds of feet into the blue region sky. Geologists watched their seismographs in growing wonder as the earth danced beneath their feet. Rangers and state police, sirens blaring, herded tourists and residents from an ever-widening zone of danger. Every piece of scientific evidence being collected in the laboratories and on the field predicted the volcano would soon explode with a fury that would leave the forests flattened. “Warning!” blared the loudspeakers on the patrol cars and helicopters hovering overhead. “Warning!” blinked battery-powered signs at every major crossroad. “Warning!” pleaded radio and television announcers, short wave and citizen-band operators. “Warning!” echoed up and down the mountain, and lakeside villages, tourist camps and hiking trails emptied as people heard the warnings and fled for their lives. But Harry Truman refused to budge. Harry was the caretaker of a recreation lodge on Spirit Lake, five miles north of Mt. Saint Helens’ smoke-enshrouded peak. The rangers warned Harry of the coming blast. Even Harry’s sister called to talk sense into the old man’s head. But Harry ignored the warnings. From the picture-postcard beauty of his lakeside home reflecting the snow-capped peak overhead, Harry grinned on national television and said, “Nobody knows more about this mountain than Harry and it don’t dare blow up on him… On 18 May 1980, as the boiling gases beneath the mountain’s surface bulged and buckled the landscape to its final limits. Harry Truman cooked his eggs and bacon, fed his sixteen cats the scraps, and began to plant petunias around the border of his freshly mowed lawn. At 8:31 a.m. the mountain exploded. Did Harry regret his decision in that millisecond he had before the concussive waves, traveling faster than the speed of sound, flattened him and everything else for 150 square miles? Did he have time to mourn his stubbornness as millions of tons of rock disintegrated and disappeared into a cloud reaching ten miles into the sky? Did he struggle against the wall of mud and ash fifty feet high that buried his cabin, his cats and his freshly mowed lawn?
Hebrews 9:27 “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”

The Bible tells us, every individual is on a direct collision course with God’s judgment. God has provided a haven in Christ designed to keep people from suffering eternal death and separation from God. But each of us must decide whether to accept or neglect this offer.

Every individual is accountable to God for what they do with the Gospel. It does not matter how well our message is received; it is still our obligation to declare the good news of the Gospel. It is our responsibility to bring the message that God wants us to bring regardless how it is appreciated or acted upon.

2 Timothy 4:2 “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.” Earnestly proclaim the word of God whether or not the situation or time is favorable.

We are accountable for our faithfulness to our responsibility to sound the alarm.

The day is coming when we will be face to face with our Creator and have to account for what we have done or neglected to do as watchmen.

Ezekiel 3:18-19

18 When I say to the wicked, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn him or speak out to warn the wicked from his wicked way that he may live, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. 19 Yet if you have warned the wicked and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered yourself.

In 1928, a very interesting case came before the courts in Massachusetts. It concerned a man who had been walking on a boat dock when suddenly he tripped over a rope and fell into the cold, deep water of an ocean bay. He came up sputtering and yelling for help and then sank again, obviously in trouble. His friends were too far away to get to him, but only a few yards away, on another dock, was a young man sprawled on a deck chair, sunbathing. The desperate man shouted, “Help, I can’t swim!” The young man, an excellent swimmer, only turned his head to watch as the man floundered in the water, sank, came up sputtering in total panic, and then disappeared forever. The family of the drowned man was so upset by that display of callous indifference that they sued the sunbather. They lost. The court reluctantly ruled that the man on the dock had no legal responsibility whatever to try to save the other man’s life. We say how awful this young man was; but is it any less callous to allow those who cross our paths to speed their way to hell without any warning from us?
James 4:17 “Therefore to him that knows to do good, and does it not, to him it is sin.”

Romans 14:11-12 “For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. [12] So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”

We must faithfully sound the alarm clearly.

I Corinthians 14:8 “For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?”

WAKE UP CHURCH!

22 May

A few years ago, I was very active with the Lillian Fire Department.  During that time, we encountered many grass fires.  Have you ever been near a fire that was completely out of control?  It can be a scary thing to behold. I watched one fire devour a shed before we could even get to it because the flames were spreading so quickly. Fire is a very scary thing!

The Bible uses fire to describe wickedness.

Isaiah 9:18-20. “For wickedness burns as the fire; It shall devour the briers and thorns, And kindle in the thickets of the forest; They shall mount up like rising smoke. Through the wrath of the Lord of hosts The land is burned up, And the people shall be as fuel for the fire; No man shall spare his brother.”

I have made no secret of the fact that my heart keeps breaking about America.  Events of this past week have only caused it to break more. I see wickedness like a forest fair burning across our nation.

Isaiah had observed a completed degrading and corrupting of the people of Israel. He had seen the people become infected with pride. He saw this result in wickedness spreading like a wildfire across the nation.

I want to look at four situations that were present when God was judging the Israelite nation.   They were there the moment that judgement began.

First, the people were full of pride.  Look at Isaiah 9:9-10

The people “say in pride and arrogance of heart: The bricks have fallen down, But we will rebuild with hewn stones; The sycamores are cut down, But we will replace them with cedars.”

Judgment was coming on the Children of Israel.

Two mistakes had been made on their part.  First, they paid no attention to what caused their problems.  In the second place, they were arrogant in bragging about how they would rebuild. The general attitude would seem to be that they did not need God.

The Bible says

“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Prov. 16:18)

The Bible tells us

“God is opposed to the proud.” (I Pet. 5:5 ).

“A man’s pride shall bring him low.” (Prov. 29:23 )

In 1972, it was predicted that Mark Spitz, an American swimmer would win come away from the Olympics with five gold medals. Instead, he returned with none. Most commentators and sports analysts at the time said it was all about his pride.

This nation is full of pride.  We almost have an arrogance about ourselves in comparison to any other nation in the world.  We are so proud we are often blind about things that have happened to us.

Abraham Lincoln said this:

 “We’ve grown in numbers and wealth and power as no other nation has grown…We’ve vainly imagined in the deceitfulness of our own hearts that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient…, too proud to pray to the God that made us.” 

Secondly, the nation of Israel was filled internally with confusion.  Look again at verse 16.

 “For those who guide this people are leading them astray; And those who are guided by them are brought to confusion.”  

And then at verse 19.

“No man shall spare his brother.”

We are basically talking about total anarchy.

You don’t think that sounds like a little like where America is headed?

Dr. James Dobson once said “We are involved in nothing less than a civil war of values—a collision between two ways of seeing life. This is not an issue of two alternatives from which to choose, but a life and death struggle. One value system is going to predominate. One is going to rule the country.”

There were warning signs.  When conditions are just right for a forest fire to occur, warning will come from forestry officials. People will be warned against burning their trash, making campfires, etc.

But as you know, people often ignore those warnings and put themselves and everyone at risk.

Look at verse 13.

“For the people do not turn to Him who strikes them, Nor do they seek the Lord of hosts.”

I believe, by and large, we have gotten to the place where we do not heed the warnings of God’s judgment.

If God is consistent, in his dealings with America, the way he has always been consistent throughout history, he will warn us of approaching judgment. In speaking of the end of the age Jesus spoke of the warning signs we should notice. He said, before God judges He will warn of the approaching judgment. Jesus said the times before His second coming would include warnings. He reminds us to keep our eyes on the fig tree, which is Israel. When it begins to blossom you know the end is near. Israel is the historical miracle in world civilization. She had been extinct as a nation for over 1,900 years, ever since Titus and the Roman legions marched into Jerusalem in 70 AD and nearly obliterated the Jewish people, forcing them out of their own country. The people were slaughtered and Israel died as a nation that day. But she was born again in one day. Isaiah predicted it would happen. On May 14, 1948, Israel became a nation again. David Ben Gurion signed the Declaration of Independence. Jesus said when the fig tree buds the kingdom is at hand.

It happened in Nazi Germany. People tried to warn them what was happening. A man named Martin Niemoller tried to warn the people. He saw the warning signs on the horizon. Listen to what he said:

First they came for the Communists, and I didn’t
speak up because I wasn’t a communist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up
because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t
speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me, and by that time there was no
one left to speak up for me.

A fourth condition was a progressive wickedness. Notice verse 18. “For wickedness burns as the fire; It shall devour the briers and thorns, And kindle in the thickets of the forest; They shall mount up like rising smoke”.

When I was in high school, my friends and I would go backpacking every year. My made it my responsibility every morning to start the fire. I would take dried grass, twigs, and paper for our kindling. Once I got those items burning, I would move to sticks and progressively move to larger items until we were able to place logs on the fire.

In 1947, sociologist and historian Dr. Carle Zimmerman studied the deterioration and ultimate disintegration of various cultures. He found that in each society the disintegration of the culture was preceded by the disintegration of the family. He discovered 11 common elements that were always present. Let me mention five of those eleven common elements:
1) An increase in rapid, easy and “faultless” divorce.
2) Fewer children, and less respect for parents and parenthood.
3) A break down of most inhibitions against adultery.
4) The rapid rise and spread of juvenile delinquency.
5) Common acceptance of all forms of sexual perversion.

Sound familiar? Divorce happens at the same rate as marriage these days.  Sometimes even faster.  Adultery has become so commonplace.   And now, I can’t take my children into some stores for fear of who they might run into in the bathroom!

What can we do?
First, we can pray and ask God to send revival.

Illustration: In January 1996 Rev. Joe Wright prayed a prayer in the Kansas Senate that should stir us. It should stir us to pray. This prayer inflamed many liberals but it was the truth. Listen to his prayer.
“Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask Your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, ‘Woe to those who call evil good’, but that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values. We confess that,

We have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word
and called it Pluralism;
We have worshipped other gods and called it multiculturalism;
We have endorsed perversion and called it alternative lifestyle;
We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery;
We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare;
We have killed our unborn and called it choice;
We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable;
We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self esteem;
We have abused power and called it politics;
We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions and called it ambition;
We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression;
We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.
Search us, Oh, God and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Guide and bless these men and women who have been sent; to direct us to the center of Your will and to openly ask these things in the name of your Son, the living Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen

2. We can get involved in reshaping our nation.

A man by the name of Richard Hogue said something about our involvement that we need to pay attention to.
“If our country survives—and I realize that’s a big IF—it will be because there is an awakening in the lives of committed Christians across our nation who finally begin to realize that it is not only their opportunity but also their absolute responsibility to be intricately involved in the political process of our country and to use that involvement to turn this nation once again to the Lord.

For much too long we have allowed our government to grow father and farther away from the direction that God has always demanded our nation take. At the same time we have yielded the control of our country to a godless, secular, humanistic philosophy that has absolutely sapped the strength and spiritual vitality America has always had. Never before, in the history of Christendom, have so many believers been willing to forfeit their liberty and freedom without even putting up a struggle. (Richard Hogue as quoted in America, Return to God; edited by Thomas Wang; p. 127)

But here is what we cannot do: sit still.

Enough is enough, church!

Enough with the whining and lamenting. Enough with the pontificating and postulating.

It’s time to rise up!  We need to be praying . We need to be voting! We need to be writing legislators. We need to be speaking out!

We don’t need to do it in hate! We don’t need to do it with an attitude that does not reflect Jesus. But please remember that Jesus did not just sit there and passively watch things happen and shake His head. He was one who stood up to the leadership of the world. He was one who let His voice be heard.

And we must do the same.  We must quit worrying that people may be offend by hearing the truth of the Word of God!  The Gospel is offensive!   Nobody likes hearing that we are sinners according to Romans 3:23. Nobody likes hearing that there is nothing we can do about it (we are too self-sufficient for that, or so we think). But the truth of the matter is this, we need Jesus!

And right now, He needs us!  And the world needs to hear about Him.

And the time for namby pamby wimpy Christianity has to come to a stop!

I am resolved no longer to linger,
Charmed by the world’s delight,
Things that are higher, things that are nobler,
These have allured my sight

  • I am resolved to go to the Savior,
    Leaving my sin and strife;
    He is the true One, He is the just One,
    He hath the words of life.
  • I am resolved to follow the Savior,
    Faithful and true each day;
    Heed what He sayeth, do what He willeth,
    He is the living Way.
  • I am resolved to enter the kingdom,
    Leaving the paths of sin;
    Friends may oppose me, foes may beset me,
    Still will I enter in.
  • I am resolved, and who will go with me?
    Come, friends, without delay;
    Taught by the Bible, led by the Spirit,
    We’ll walk the heav’nly way.

 

 

 

Dear Mr. Trump…

8 May

I have been a lifelong Republican.  Originally, I identified with that party because my parents did. As I got older, I began to listen, pay attention, study the issues. I still came out Republican.…

Source: Dear Mr. Trump…

Dear Mr. Trump…

6 May

I have been a lifelong Republican.  Originally, I identified with that party because my parents did. As I got older, I began to listen, pay attention, study the issues. I still came out Republican. For several reasons:

First of all, I am pro-life. I believe that life begins at conception. I believe that God does not condone the taking of a life before it’s even had a chance. I am against the idea of murder in the name of convenience. I don’t understand the pro-choice movement and never will. Why would someone make it their choice to kill someone?

Now, that being said, Mr. Trump, that does not mean I condone some of the violent, ugly protests I have often seen in support of the pro-life movement. Not at all. As a Christian, I believe in grace and speaking the truth in love. I believe that more time ought to be spent attempting to minister to and counsel those who would consider abortion rather than shouting them down in an ugly fashion.

And I believe that our government should not condone such a horrible thing as abortion. For that reason, I vote candidates who are pro-life.  I vote for people that will hopefully eventually get us to a point of the repeal of Roe versus Wade.

I’m just not sure that’s you, Mr. Trump. You have changed your position several times on this issue. You have voiced support of Planned Parenthood because of the “other services” they provide to women (the truth being that there are many other organizations that provide similar services WITHOUT funding abortions and NO government agency should, in my humble yet correct opinion, be involved in such a heinous act). You say you’re pro-life now but as far as I’m concerned, your credibility is shot on that issue.

And then, Mr. Trump, I am opposed to gay marriage. I do believe that according to scripture, homosexuality is wrong. No, I am not a hateful person and no, I am not a bigot. I have friends who are gay who know perfectly well where I stand. I do not constantly preach to them about their lifestyle but rather try to take a more Jesus-centered approach in my day to day dealings with them.  Jesus ate with those whom led lifestyles that He opposed. But He did not condone their actions. I try to do the same.

My main reason for opposition for gay marriage on a legislative level has to do with Amendment 10 which states basically any issues not addressed in the Constitution would be left to the individual states. The Supreme Court, in illegally legislating from the branch, basically violated that amendment.

Of course, you agree with me on this issue from everything I have read. So then the question remains as to why you have given money to candidates that are clearly in favor of it (and by the way, also pro-choice)?  If you are pro-life and opposed to gay marriage, why would you support a candidate who isn’t? It makes no sense, Mr. Trump, and quite frankly, bothers me.

I have been a Republican because I believe in small government and more power given to the states. I believe that is constitutionally correct. This is the one time I will say something towards you that may not have any merit.  I feel like you don’t understand the Constitution. Your way of articulating issues has focused on bullying others and saying very little about what you would actually do.  Ted Cruz understands the Constitution. Marco Rubio understands the Constitution. Jeb Bush understands the Constitution. They challenged you on this. You responded by putting them down and really not answering questions.  Not very presidential, Mr. Trump.

As you can tell, I am very concerned about you. It frankly scares me that you are going to be the Republican nominee. I don’t see you as much different as your opponents. In fact, at least I’m sure where Hillary stands (and strongly disagree with her in every possible way). I am not sure what you will do with almost any given issue. That bothers me.

And it is for that reason that at this point, you do not have my vote. Neither does Hillary. Neither does Bernie. I will not sit home on election day. I will vote for someone. Just not the three of you.

These are my opinions and not the opinions of my congregation. I may talk about what the Bible has to say on some issues but I do not tell people from the pulpit how to vote.  In fact, I have one man that I hold in very high esteem and love dearly in my church that will be voting for you.  He is a man of character and honor. I have several friends, including my relatives, who will be voting for you.  I love them all. On this point, we just disagree.

Furthermore, please understand that I do not speak as a “perfect little Christian”. There’s plenty of dirt in my life. I have seen the wrong side of a jail cell and at one point, I was probably the worst husband in Texas. But I am redeemed and while I still have failings, I get back up each time and walk to Jesus.

And I want a candidate who will do the same thing. Not just tell me he ate the cracker, drank the juice, but has never done anything for which he has had to ask forgiveness.

So, Mr.Trump, how are you going to respond to this? Are you going to ignore it? I mean, after all, I’m just one citizen. Or are you going to have the character to say something in response? And if you choose to respond, is it going to be name-calling and insulting and therefore losing more credibility with me and others by refusing to address the issues mentioned? Or are you willing to face a voter and address these things.

That’s right, Mr. Trump, I’m inviting you to visit with me. In person. I am inviting you to First Baptist Church of Lillian (you may even come unannounced) or just into my home to sit down for a civil discussion. I am asking you this not just to win me over. But I hope you know that there are people all over the country who have the same concerns (and more that I haven’t mentioned). It’s time you addressed them before the party I love implodes.

Because I am a Christian first, and a Republican second.

The ball is in your court now, Mr. Trump. I hope to hear from you.IMG_1424-0