Don’t Believe Everything You See

I’m seeing quite a bit of Christian friendly video in the theaters and on the television set. I should probably put that term in quotes. I’ 

I’m somewhat skeptical to how “Christian friendly” the network TV shows are as well as the films being released. The History Channel series “The Bible” was deemed a success and it has spawned an NBC series, “A.D. … The Bible Continues”. Mainstream films are meeting with success. “The Passion of the Christ”, while meting with controversy was still a huge success. “Noah” was very controversial, but was well attended. Both of these films were based on The Bible and tradition. Protestants may have had issues with “The Passion”, Catholics did not. “Noah” was a different story. Christians were concerned that the film was not true to scripture and many boycotted the film. The producers stated a disclaimer to the effect that they took artistic license. Since most religions originating in the Middle East had a world wide flood and these writer borrowed from many of them, I realized it was simply another take on the story of the Flood and took it at face value. 

These films, along with classics like “The Ten Commandments” and “The Greatest Story Ever Told” are film recreations of wonderful narratives. But they are retellings, paraphrases, a writer’s interpretation. They are NOT Scripture and we must not allow them to be perceived as so. I know many films and TV shows are true to the chronology and events of scripture, but there is a certain amount of artistic license in the writing.  That, I believe, is the danger of Some of these films. While they are Biblically based, they are not Scripture. They are interpretations of scripture. When we get down to it, our translations we read are actually interpretations of the original texts. But then, that is another essay.

The danger is that ther are folks who will think it happened exactly like they saw it in the video. While “The Passion” was the most physically realistic portrayal of the trial and crucifixion of Jesus, I still believe it had a way to go to show us how horrible it actually was. I believe the gospel writers did the best they could to describe the indescribable. “Noah” had a disclaimer, but I have to agree with some of the architects of ObamaCare… Never overestimate the intelligence of the general public. In other words, many people paid no attention to that disclaimer and came away thinking that’s how it happened. That may be stretching things, but I am sure folks think that way about other films.

They are good for discussion starters and an overview, but they should be viewed in light of scripture, not instead of scripture. Remember… The book is better. 

Read your Bible, it makes Hoss Sense.


What? Me retire?i

When I retired in 2002, I thought I was finished with the classroom. To be honest, I felt The LORD was moving me into full time ministry. I told myself that I would never go back to the classroom. … Never say “never”.

Well, I got a call from a principal in August of 2002. I was offered a job in Muhlenberg County. John Prine wrote that paradise had been hauled away by Mr. Peabody’s coal train, but the school was a beautiful building. There I was, back in the classroom. Since the school and students were new to me, I had no reputation to precede me. I remembered how difficult it was to gain are putative in the classroom, but how I loved it!

It’s funny, that God would allow me to retire and then lead me back into the same profession He let me leave. While I did accept a part time pastorate in 2003, I have been in the classroom in some form each school year since I “retired.” God has also provided opportunities to proclaim His WORD and prophesy (tell forth, not foretell). But I’ve learned that the classroom is my passion and my gift. Even when, I’m preaching, I’m teaching. I’ve noticed that my sermons are more instructional than evangelical. There is a reason for that. Let’s face the truth… “Truth” … That’s a novel idea. People who attend regular services today believe they are Christians, whether they practice the faith all seven days of the week or not.
Now it seems that the Sunday morning (and evening) preacher is talking to “Christians”. These “Christians” are a diverse group. Some are completely sold out to the LORD. They are what one dear friend calls “True Christians”” Some don’t quite have a handle on what Christianity is all about, buy they try. Even when there are picking and choosing what parts of the Bible they want to believe, they try. Others will do what they need to do to look the part… They will even do that on Saturday night (depending on who is watching).  Then there are the folks who think church membership and making their semiannual pilgrimage (Easter & Christmas) is enough. What am isaying… Some don’t even make the pilgrimages. Pseudo membership is enough.  There is a problem here. When you speak to a “Christian”, no matter what type, that person believes himself to be “safe from the fires of hell”.
That is why I’m not an evangelical teacher/preacher. You cannot evangelize a person who believes he does not need evangelizing. But one can teach what a Christian should look like and how a Christian should behave. Besides, the closer we get to God, the closer we get to each other. In teaching personal growth and trying to Disciple “Christians” one is actually evangelizing those who THINK they are saved and at the same time teaching Those who KNOW they are saved how the should be focused on God. Plus, it helps those who are sold out to Jesus affirm their faith.

You see, when a “Christian” finally realizes the reason he is not getting closer to God is that he doesn’t KNOW God, he has come to the realization that he isn’t what he thought he was. Most of the time the Holy Spirit will take over. Others need a nudge from a friend. That’s why I like James so much. He makes no bones about it. “You say you believe in God? Great! So do the demons and then tremble in fear!” You know… Man is the only Beijing ignernt enough to actually defy God. Even the demons submit to his commands. Old Ugly can’t touch you unless God says its OK. He must submit.

There is so much to teach and so many to teach it to, I reckon I’ll keep teaching. I am Realizing that God has provided me with a gift as well as several venues and teaching tools. A person would be a fool not to utilize that which God has provided for him/her.

Besides who would you rather be closer to… Your Creator… Or Old Ugly?

What have I gotten myself into???

Most of you have heard of Camp Joy Baptist Assembly in Brownsville, Ky. For many seasons between 1990 & 2010, I spent time on that campground. I was Camp pastor, dorm dad, camp clown (makeup included) or whatever else Director Stan Tillman and his wife, Karen, needed from me. Stan and Karen retired in December 2014 and that left the camp without a director. Camp Joy is owned by 8 Baptist Associations in South Central Kentucky and is governed by a board of directors from these associations.  These directors have the task of finding a new Camo Manager/Director. In the meantime, they realized they needed an interim/camp season director. I was approached. To be honest, I was flattered, but I live in Hopkinsville, 100 miles away. No way was I making that drive each day. After prayer and a discussion with my wife, I accepted the position. I will spend the week in Brownsville and drive home on the weekend. Or so I thought…. I forgot about Kiddie Camp, the overnighter for primary aged little ones and their parents. I also forgot about other church groups utilizing the camp on weekends. Then I realized that when I did go home, I was leaving the camp in the hands of college students. Granted, these are Christian and mature students but in one sense, they are still kids. I thank the LORD that there is an assistant director. HE does provide a way. I will still spend the week in Brownsville, but I will go home sometime between Thursday night and Saturday afternoon, only to return each Sunday after church. What have I let my friends talk me in to? I do look forward to this ministry opportunity. I do covet your prayers. I feel God. Has made me responsible for my assistant, Ten young camp staffers and the campers we will Be serving. Pray for us. Pray for the campers and the men who will be serving as camp pastor. Pray for my wife. But all in all, I do believe God is going to work a mighty work in all our lives. I will be posting about camp on this blog.