OKpreacher and Professor X are Kingdom focused Ministers blogging for the glory of God.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Well, I finally pulled my head out of my butt and decided what I was going to do. OKpreacher has already displayed his plans and has developed a new site. Professor X has done the same. If you meander by this site and want to check out the new one here is a link:
In October of 2004, I created “OKpreacher’s Christian Resource Center”. I had several friends that were getting into blogging and thought it would be fun. My goal was to share about my faith in Christ, my journey through seminary, and my experiences as a pastor of a Baptist Church. I wanted to create a site that had links to anything a Southern Baptist would need to serve the Lord with all their heart.
Last summer I had the honor of doing the series called, “Seven Questions.” I got to interview several leaders, pastors, and missionaries. I believe this was my best work. I want to say a big thank you to every person that responded to my, “Seven Questions.”
Over the last several months I have had to re-think my call, my relationship to the Southern Baptist Convention, and my purpose for this blog. I am to the point that I believe it is time for OKpreacher to move on. I trust God in handling everything “Southern Baptist” and I realize that it’s time for me to refocus on what is most important. The focus of my life is exalting Jesus Christ as Lord and spreading His Kingdom. It’s time for me to focus on God and bringing in His harvest.
There will always be debates but I want to focus on something bigger than Southern Baptists. While I am thankful for my Christian training that I received at a SBC church, for meeting my wife at a SBC school, and for all the wonderful people I have meet through pastoring a SBC church, I realize that God’s Kingdom is bigger than the Southern Baptist Convention. I believe the greatest problem facing the church is Christians who don’t understand the power of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Therefore, they don’t understand who God is or what He has done for them.
This is where OKpreacher ends and a new blog begins. I have created a new blog called, “Life Matters.” At “Life Matters” I will share my journey with Christ and my experiences in ministry with the hope that my life challenges and encourages you in your journey with God. Thanks for being apart of OKpreacher and I hope you will join me at “Life Matters.”
I have always been concerned when I heard statements like, "God votes Republican" or "It is a sin to vote Democrat". I have never voted for a democrat for president, senator, or governor, but I must admit I am weighting my options this year. George Bush, outside of nominating conservative Supreme Court justices, has done a horrible job as president. He has lied repeatedly and never apologized for any of it. I'm tired of him and I can't wait till we have a new president.
After looking at the list of republican candidates, only one gets me excited. Mike Huckabee is the best candidate, but the poles show he is way behind the republican leaders. My problem is the republican leaders don't represent core Christian beliefs and therefore, I'm open to voting democrat. If neither party wants to represent core Christian beliefs, I'll vote democrat. If I vote democrat, I will vote for Obama.
Clearly, Christians have to decide who to vote for because “Republican” and “Christian” aren’t the same thing.
As a pastor, I have struggled with the question of what to do with a member who stands against the vision God has given you for the church. Normally, I start by listening to the criticism and see if I missed something or if there is a way to do something better. I pray for the person who does the criticizing and try to protect my fellowship with them. I realize that if agreement can't be made between the preacher and the critic then the church will be hurt.
According to the information given, I believe the pastor went too far in having the member arrested for showing up to the church. There are cases where calling for the police is the right thing to do as in the situation that you feel the member is a physical danger to themselves or someone else. Otherwise, leave the police out of your squabble with church members.
Here is an update on the struggles and victories in my life. The victory has been a new ministry. On Sunday Mornings, I have been helping a friend do a truck stop service. I never realized how spiritually hungry truckers are for God. Last week was interesting in seeing a transsexual trucker. My prayer as I witnessed was, “God, let me see this person through Your eyes.” This coming week is my week to preach so please pray that I can share the gospel in a way that the amazing truth of Christ becomes a reality in the heart of every trucker there.
As far as my struggles with my Baptist Identity, I have found peace. I’m thankful for my Baptist training. God used Southern Baptists to shape the minister that I am and I learned from them the most important principle is the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Living out the Lordship of Christ is a scary but adventurous life. The call of Christ is to abandon everything and follow Him. I’m not concerned about what label I wear anymore, I’m concerned about being faithful to the call of Christ. My prayer is that I can be apart of a movement of God that transforms the lost into followers of Jesus that change the world.
I have shared a victory and a struggle, now in closing I want to share something I have learned. There really are only three areas of concern for every believer trusting in Christ. These three are faith, hope, and love. These aren’t theological ideas that have no practical application, but these are the roots that Christ waters to grow us into His likeness. So ask yourself three questions, where is your faith, where is your hope, and where is your love? This is where the rubber meets the road. Join me in making Christ the focus and making our faith, hope, and love the measure of our success.
There is an old saying, "If you can't beat them, join them." Clearly Harry Potter is a world wide success. Is there anyone who doesn't know who Harry Potter is and wants to know how the final book ends? The church of England, who was against Harry Potter in the beginning, is ready to use Harry Potter as a means of communicating the gospel. Do you think this is right? Read the story and post a comment. Is this what evangelism has come to?
I wonder how long it will be until we read similar headlines here in the United States. Clearly this wasn't about discrimination because homosexuality is a choice, but about a political agenda against a Biblical belief. Once again there is hope and help for anyone dealing with the sin of homosexuality and it is found in surrendering to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
I heard a sermon today that got me to thinking about the nature of what it means to be a Christian and how to live out this new life in Christ. The statement was, “If America is going to experience God’s blessing then people need to start living a Christian life-style.” I wondered what he meant by “Christian Life-style?” I was told growing up, “don’t swear, don’t chew, and don’t go with girls that do.” Surely the preacher meant more than that in his concept of a Christian life-style. So what is it? Is it being meek and mild and never doing anything wild? Is it attending church on Sunday mornings, Sunday nights, and Wednesday nights? Is a Christian Life-style one that has an early quiet time and prays five times a day in the direction of Nashville? All of these things fall short of what it means to be a Christian and live for Him. Matter of fact, I don’t think anyone can define concretely what actions make up a Christian’s life-style. What can be defined is the motivation or foundation of that life. The foundation for a Christian is a complete trust in Christ as the Lord of every area of your life. Without this foundation all good actions that could be defined as a Christian life-style are done in vain.
The problem with talking of a Christian Life-style is we focus people on rules that can be accomplished if they only try hard enough. Our life in Christ isn’t focused on keeping rules; it’s focused on deepening a Lordship relationship with Jesus Christ. So the question is, “How do we develop a life that is just like Jesus?” The answer is awesome and we see it in Gal. 2:20. The answer to how to live like Christ is to have Christ living in you. Paul writes that he has been crucified with Christ and he no longer lives, but Christ now lives in him.
God doesn’t want you trying to do good things for Him. God wants to do His work through you. The goodnews is when we came to Christ and surrendered to His Lordship, He came into our lives. Now through the Holy Spirit we have Christ present in our lives. The purpose of the Holy Spirit in your life is to make real the power, presence, and purpose of Christ. Therefore a believer who is surrendered to the Lordship of the Holy Spirit will experience Christ living through them.
So how do we know that are lives are becoming more like Christ? When Christ is living through you, your values change like your values on worship, time, ministry, family, and love. When Christ is living through you, your views change like your views on God, yourself, other people, family, church, job, and the world. When Christ is living through you, you will experience some amazing things like God’s love, His grace, people coming to Christ, a bond with other believers, and a desire for people to experience God’s mercy. Therefore I challenge you to surrender to the control of God so that Christ can live through you. This Christian life isn’t about a life-style, but about Christ living through you