Ex-Pastor Ham

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Resources for Today: June 23, 2014

It has been too long since I last published a post! I spent the past week checking out Central Seminary, and taking their free intro course called Knowing and Loving God which was taught by Dr. Kevin Bauder. I can assure you, his sense of humor and amiable nature contrast sharply with his quite serious photograph, though I give him full marks for an excellent start to what could end up as an epic mustache.  If you don’t know of Central or Dr. Bauder yet, I recommend you get to know them. Dr. Bauder writes a weekly Friday blog called In the Nick of Time which I recommend. And Central is a small seminary committed to the glory of God and the good of His church. I heartily support them.

All of this to say, it’s been a while since I’ve had the time to sit down and write. However, I came across some great articles today thanks to Pastor Michael Riley, of Calvary Baptist Church in Wakefield, Michigan (You’ll have to forgive him, he’s a Tigers fan and occasionally uses his blog platform to discuss trivial matters like Major League Baseball. A more spiritual man would write about the Stanley Cup Playoffs or beef brisket). He sends out a weekly e-mail to his congregation with resources like these linked, and he’s been kind enough to add me to that e-mail list so that I can lift his material with greater ease. The first three below are from him.

Loving God for His Own Sake

Does the Christian Life Ever Get Any Easier?

Is It Ever Appropriate to Leave A Church?

Poor Interpretation = Poor Doctrine

Resources for Today: June 9, 2014

Two very helpful articles passed along to me by another pastor:

The Greatest Threat to the Gospel

There Is No ‘Third Way’ — Southern Baptists Face a Moment of Decision (and so will you)

 

Announcing My 2020 Presidential Bid

Being one of the most popular blog sites in the world, I figured WordPress was the perfect place to announce my candidacy for 46th President of the United States. Since the 2016 Election will find me a mere 33 years of age, and since the U.S. requires a President to be no less than 35 years of age, I will have to push my campaign back to 2020 barring an act of Congress. Though Congress is unparalleled in its acting abilities, I’m not banking on a propitious law change.

As I begin to organize campaign thoughts, I want to get my platform out in the open so everyone has time to get to know me before I take office. What kind of President will I be? Here are the top 20 clues (seemed fitting for a 2020 election):

1. I worship the triune God of the Bible and have a hard time separating theology from politics. You might pick up on that as you read on.

2. If God tells me to do something (in His Word, of course), and the electorate cries foul…He wins.

3. I plan to worship corporately with other members of the Body at least on Sundays, if not more often, and won’t be checking my e-mail or text messages during that time (full disclosure: I also use ‘Airplane Mode’ every night while I sleep). I’ll be happy to begin returning messages on Monday barring anything more pressing.

4. Traditional marriage is pretty high on the Biblical priority list. It also happens to be a pressing issue these days. I’ll do my best not just to restore, but to increase protections and benefits to these folks. Seeing as how the family is the basic building block of society, it’s pretty important to support this group, don’t you think?

5. I will probably try to use taxpayer dollars to put Scripture in a whole bunch of public buildings. We’re talking schools, universities, courthouses, the works. Shame on me for blurring the church-state lines. Yes, I’ll get sued. But every President has to try something edgy!

6. I believe in legislating morality. Ha! You should have seen your face just then. To be fair, that’s really what laws are anyway, right? It’s someone’s morality being legislated. OK, that one wasn’t fair, I was playing word games.

7. I don’t believe in legislating immorality. Should be a no-brainer. But it’s not.

8. Confused on the last two? Let me clarify. All legislation is based on someone’s moral judgments of should or shouldn’t. Those moral judgments should be founded on a Divine standard rather than the shifting sand of culturally determined morality. So, do I believe in legislating morality? Yes, of course. Our laws already do that. I just don’t believe in leaving the morality judgment to the culture.

9. I will use every executive power at my disposal to destroy things like the murder of innocent babies. I have to be honest, I might even test the limits here. Just being transparent.

10. I will not promote discrimination….even against those who promote discrimination. And I will do my best to restore the freedom of speech that comes without fear of reprisal (translation: it’s already gone). This will likely precipitate some discomfort for those who promote discrimination.

11. I believe in freedom of religion. If you threaten freedom of religion, we won’t get along very well. This principle goes for individuals, organizations, and religions.

12. I will place higher stock in moral and upright character in my appointments than I will in the law school one attended. That doesn’t mean I won’t value educated thinkers. It’s just a weighting scale I’ll be dabbling with in a non-traditional fashion. Integrity+adequate qualifications > overqualified+moral sloth.

13. As you might have noticed, I tend to weight overtly moral issues higher than things like economics. If you want the stock market to have first priority, you’ll have to vote for the other guy (or gal). Just remember, it’s better to be poor and happy than rich and……something else.

14. I don’t plan to waste time or money on campaign ads for TV or radio. If you want on the ‘Hamilton 2020’ train, you’ll have to learn to like reading.

15. I don’t like to let work dominate every minute of every day. Work hard? Absolutely. Prioritize work over God or wife? Nope. And everyone needs a good night’s sleep. Besides, it’ll make me a better President in the morning (especially since coffee and I are still learning to be friends).

16. I reserve the right talk to my wife about everything, so any State secrets will be safe with us.

17. I really, really, really like our military. Really. They’re the finest in the history of the world and it will be an honor to lead them. There will be a whole bunch of other things I cut before them, including congressional salaries. Active duty friends and veterans: Don’t be surprised if I show up for an unannounced visit with you, sans media horde, wearing blue jeans and a plaid shirt with a cup of sweet tea in tow. I look forward to shaking your weathered hand and saying thank you.

18. I really don’t want us to get involved in foreign conflicts. But sometimes we must. There is an aspect of rejoicing in the fall of a despot that is consistent with mourning the loss of his eternal soul. Both are appropriate at times. P.S. I do not like the U.N. Any suggestions for how to go about dis-membership will be welcomed.

19. Small businesses and competition are two critical concepts in our economy. I might not wear the outfit, but I’ll be a cheerleader for these two.

20. The smaller the government, the happier the Land. Cutting dozens of agencies, hundreds of departments, and hundreds of thousands of government employees won’t hurt the economy. Heck, we’ll need even more people than these to fill all the jobs created by #19 and this gem: the demolition of universal health care.

Bonus point: I really like sweet tea, real BBQ (read: smoked, not baked or broiled), and Chick-fil-a. Most of my dozen or less campaign stops will center around these important features of Southern society.

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