MLK50: Matt Chandler Missed the Mark

The Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission (ERLC) and The Gospel Coalition (TGC) recently sponsored an event in Memphis known as the MLK50 conference. According to their website the purpose of the event was to “reflect on the state of racial unity within the church.” Although I was unable to attend, after listening to several of the videos there is a need to conduct a postmortem of what was said, especially since this topic is becoming highly emphasized and debated within the Southern Baptist Convention.

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The Good, the Bad and the Numbers

As the first day of the 2018 Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting came to a close in Dallas, Texas, the SBC had voted on a new president with J.D. Greear receiving 68.62% of the votes. The need for a new president of the SBC was the result of Frank Page stepping down several weeks ago after confessing to an inappropriate relationship with a woman. In the weeks leading up to the annual meeting two names emerged as potential candidates to fill this role, J.D. Greear and Ken Hemphill. The election of the individual to hold this position is not based on the vote of an executive committee or a board, but the decision of representatives from SBC churches around U.S.

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One Thing: Press Forward

One of the benefits of documenting and reading history is the ability to learn from the mistakes of the past with the goal of achieving a better future. Avoiding the failures of the past encourages us to create a world which is more enjoyable, less painful and more satisfying than the past. Not only is this true at the macro level, when we view the entire history of the world, but even at the micro level of our individual lives.

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The Reformation: 500 Years Later

The Protestant Reformation was sparked 500 years ago this year when Martin Luther nailed his 95 thesis to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany on October 31, 1517. This session was recorded on October 29, 2017 to discuss the importance of this movement over the past 500 years. There are 3 important impacts discussed.

  1. Restoration of Fundamental Doctrines
  2. Return of the Church to a Community of Believers
  3. The Bible Becoming Accessible to All People

The three videos played during this session can be found below in the order they were shown.

Why Can’t You Be My Neighbor

Why can’t you be my neighbor? If that brings back childhood memories of a man in a zipper sweater changing his shoes, then you are among friends. Mr. Rodgers famously used the persona of a local neighbor to invite himself into the homes of millions of children for nearly 33 years on public television. Over the course of these three decades, the show never changed, but our understanding of a local neighbor certainly has changed.

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Certainty in Uncertain Times

Read the newspaper, turn on the news, open the news app on your phone or scroll through your Twitter feed and you will find a world capable of filling us with anxiety, worry and uncertainty. From church shootings to tax code changes to military tensions with North Korea, we are reminded daily of what life is like in a post-Genesis 3 world where everything is tainted by sin. In that kind of a world, we can be absolutely certain there will be uncertainty. This is why we have news alerts on our phone and 24-hour news networks, to inform us of all the uncertainties that occurred in our country and around the world throughout the day. Likewise, our individual lives are filled with a list of uncertainties that we take with us to bed and are guaranteed to stare us in the face when we wake up in the morning.

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Growing Through the Motions

One of the most common phrases heard in our modern culture is “going through the motions.” We are either tired of, feeling like or warned against “going through the motions;” either at work, school, church, ministry, in our marriages, in our Christian walk or just life in general. There is hardly a need to explain the definition of this phrase, since we have all experienced the frustration of becoming stuck in a repetitive routine of lather, rinse, repeat. It happens anytime we allow certain parts of our life to function without much thought, in the same way pilots use autopilot. Almost always this phrase refers to a negative reality, but we can also grow through what can sometimes be perceived as merely “going through the motions” of the Christian life.

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Thanks to Feminist, Convictions are Dead

Vice President Mike Pence has recently received excessive criticism over what has crudely become known as the “rule.” Something which should be considered encouraging, refreshing and humbling has been completely twisted and relabeled as disheartening, sexists and prideful. Once again the feminist movement is proving to us why they can never be trusted to accurately convey facts and confirming their inability to support anything which goes against their insatiable hunger to destroy any remnant of moral fabric which still exists in American culture.

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Avoid Politics, Offer Hope

Every national election year we are faced with the reality that both Election Day and Thanksgiving Day are located within the same month. This inevitable results in politics being at least one of the primary discussions at some point during the Thanksgiving celebration. This year the Holdness Family attempted to overcome this challenge by encouraging people to reconcile with each other for just this one day out of the year so everyone could take a much need break from discussing politics and focus primarily on being thankful. While the video skit is cute, entertaining and contains an underlining positive message, it does not offer a reason why everyone should “just get along” with one another and not discuss politics. This may create a temporary sense of reconciliation for one day, but the very definition of reconciliation implies the long-term restoration of a relationship, not a temporary truce. Soldiers of war have been know over the centuries to establish formal or informal temporary cease fire agreements to allow for the celebration of major holidays, but they certainly did not believe these would resolve the dispute, it merely suspended it for a short period of time.
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