Tag Archives: comfort

Who is comfortable in your church?

We go a long way to make people comfortable at church – heating, padded seats, ample room, proper sound equipment, kids and nursery programs so parents can be distraction free, seeker sensitive, guest friendly, Covid Proactive measures, and so on. But sometimes we make it too comfortable for things that may be culturally unhealthy. After all, the joke is my job is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comforted. There is a lot in that we ignore to our dismay.

This past week, I dug in to the life of James. Jesus’ bro, skeptic turned servant, author of the earliest NT epistle, leader of the church in Jerusalem for decades after the resurrection, real name – Jacob (a whole other discussion) and more. I examined his prayer life, his passion for people, his heart for the hurting and the vulnerable, and love for the lost. And I did a little extra time in Acts 15 for his role in one of the earliest conflicts in the church – where pharisees and others were putting obstacles to God’s grace, demanding circumcision as a requirement for salvation. Interestingly, this was also the passage referred to by JD Greear in his challenge to the Executive Committee (EC) of the SBC …

(we are) to “repudiate” a pharisaical spirit and unite for the sake of the Gospel.

JD Greear

And through his challenge to the EC, he hit current issues the SBC is facing, one of which is our struggle with racism and addressing it head on as a grace issue. The quote that still rings loudly in my head is …

… we should mourn when closet racists and neo-Confederates feel more at home in our churches than do many of our people of color

JD Greear

Ouch. Double ouch. Have I been any way making people feel comfortable when I shouldn’t have?

We do not water down doctrine, we do not compromise the gospel … but we do need to reform to a stronger Gospel culture. For … “Gospel doctrine and Gospel mission without Gospel culture is sterile, weak and even, according to Scripture, deadly…” Are we more concerned with preserving our ways or God’s ways? Are we putting obstacles in the path of people that need the gospel?

Greear’s commitment to our denomination!

May we use this moment in time to put the Gospel Above All. May it be a teachable moment for our convention, our churches, and our members –

We ought not make it hard for Democrats to come to Jesus. We shouldn’t make it hard for Republicans to come to Jesus. Or Blacks. Or Latinos. Or northerners. Or southerners.
At the end of the day … our Gospel is too precious and our mission is too urgent to let anything stand in our way.

JD Greear

That’s what I want. What about you?

For the Baptist Press release on this challenge, and a link to watch the full “presidential challenge” … click here

I Broke the Law … and Got Away with It

Crook. Lawbreaker. Criminal. Bring on Five-O. Take me to the pokey. Get Barney Fife to run me down.

I didn’t mean to. It just happened. I hadn’t had my morning caffeine. And to be totally upfront … I hated myself. I even gave a self-induced Dinozzo (slapped myself Gibb’s style). I wanted a do-over.

What was so abominable? I passed a school bus with its lights blinking. EGAD. A few details … It wasn’t from behind, I just passed through a divided highway into a non-divided highway with a turn lane in the middle (5 total lanes), I caught it just before the infraction and quickly pondered a slamming of the brakes – but didn’t. These aren’t good excuses but they are excuses.

Here’s a twist, I was being extra cautious. I had just passed a police car that had pulled over a truck just under a mile behind me, so I watched my speed, didn’t play with the phone, nor was I applying any makeup while driving (okay, I don’t do that anyway).

I got away with it. And I hate that I felt a bit relieved that I got away with it. But I hated it more that I did it in the first place.

And then … I heard a little voice in my head … that voice I so love and am so afraid of at the same time. Not the same voice when I talk to myself, that guy is mostly crazy. But I heard the voice of my God that loves me and cares for me and wants the best for me.

He reminded me what we talked about in worship yesterday, about how He blesses the one who mourns over sin. And He wasn’t saying how great it was that I realize how wrong it was passing that yellow carrier of young minds headed to be educated.

He reminded me of how often I do stuff, think stuff, say stuff, have attitudes that I know are wrong … and I just don’t give it a second thought. This isn’t just me, it may be you this very day. But God wants us to see sin the way He sees it. He wants us to realize that He, the One who created us, knows what is best for us. And when He shows us how we are to live, He knows what He is talking about. He wants us to be truly broken over anything we do that falls short of what He wants … and He wants the best. We mourn that we messed up, that we take away from God’s glory, and that we didn’t give Him our very best.

So, I am taking the infraction from this morning and applying it to the way I see every thing I do. I often need an object lesson for God to get across the lesson I read in (or even preached from) the Word. Today, that lesson came from a school bus.

What will it take for you to get it?

Enjoy your day … and pay attention to that voice in your head.


Drive careful, School is back in session!