Selma

MLK

Michelle and I saw the movie “Selma” last night and I’d like to recommend it if you have the time and means to see it. Watching this movie, I could not help but be moved by the amount of effort put forth by these determined citizens in seeking the right to vote (something most take for granted today); having to overcome incredible injustice (take your pick of the news footage examples) and ignorance (the opening scene demonstrates this clearly) of the actual laws of 1965.

I have to admit, what moved me most about this movie was the honesty in which the characters were truthfully based on their own actions, words, and deeds of the day … despite a small chorus of voices declaring that this movie is a farce and does not accurately represent this person or that. The internet is forever, and with a simple search you too can validate if what was said in the movie is what a person actually said during this time. There is no excusing it, so just accept it, deal with it, and move forward. (//rant over)

If you are looking for a very honest portrayal of the struggle American citizens faced during the sixties, I would highly recommend this movie as a must see for 2015. Whether in the theater or in the comfort of your home, this is not a movie to be missed. Living just 51 miles from Selma today I can honestly say, I will never think of that town as just a pass through on my way to I-20 … but as a living reminder of our nation’s rich (and yes, even troubled) history.

“To Decorate or Not?” (Is it even a reasonable question?)

As most know, I am a staff writer for the website GotQuestions.org, and I received a question that I wanted to share as well as the answer that I provided. The question had to do with decorating for Christmas and while it has passed, I thought it important enough to at least get folks thinking about what constitutes a church.  Is it a building?  Or the people?  Thank you for reading and God bless you. 

Question:

Santa Clause and Christmas trees are displayed on the altar in our Baptist church during the Christmas season and pageant!!!  Are they desecrating the altar and sanctuary?

Response:

Thank you for writing to us.  Christmas decorations are just that, decorations.  If you are not bowing down to them, or worshiping them, or they aren’t being praised as God, then they are not desecrating anything.

It is important to remember that a church is nothing more than a building made up of bricks and mortar and concrete.  There is nothing special about the building and church can be had ANYWHERE there is worship of Christ and His word is studied and or preached.  For example, if the church burned down and your fellowship decided to meet in a different location, would it be LESS of a church then?  The answer is no.  The church is the Body of Believers who celebrate Christ, not the building itself.  Yes, the building should be respected and taken care of, but these are not false idols being treated as gods, merely items on display for your and others enjoyment.

What your church was doing was celebrating the holidays with familiar things that others recognize as having to do with Christmas, but no, there is no desecration going on in the church.  If it bothers you to see these items displayed then you should perhaps discuss it with your pastor in private, but my guess (as a fellow pastor) would be he would tell you the same thing.   God bless you.  – Rev TJ