Charlottesville and Racism

As a Pastor of a small Southern Baptist Church in south Alabama, I feel the need to address what took place in Charlottesville and the issue of racism. Why do I feel the need to address this? Because what we horrendously witness in Charlottesville was not an isolated event in America and will surely, though regrettably, lead to more showings of hate. Why? Because racism is an issue that Americans have battled with for hundred of years and, sadly enough, will continue to battle. This issue of racism is not exclusively a “southern thang” and it’s not even just an American issue, but that does not for one second create an excuse for us to continue to allow it or endure it.

Now here are some thoughts I have about racism and white supremacists that I have recently addressed from the pulpit of my church.

  1. Racism is a sin. Plain and simple, it is a form of hatred and there is NO ROOM for it in the Church and there should be no place for it in society. The Bible is clear of this in James 2:8-10 “If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it.” It’s IMPOSSIBLE to be racist and follow Jesus!
  2. God loves all people, so therefore we (Christians) will love all people. Jesus’s death on the cross was out of His love for ALL people. “For God so loved the WORLD that He gave His only son.” John 3:16. Jesus came to love and rescue all people, so therefore, believers can’t possibly love one group over another. “Red, brown, yellow, black, and white, they are precious in His sight.”
  3. There is one race, the Human race. As a Christian, I believe in the authority of the Bible and look at the world with a biblical worldview. I believe God is the creator of all that exists, including humans. God made mankind in His image and at that moment, He created the Human race. We do, of course, have different ethnicities and culture backgrounds that affect our approach to life and the way we look, but, none the less, we are one race. In the eyes of God there is no distinction, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28
  4. If you’re not comfortable worshiping and being around people that look different than you on earth, then you really shouldn’t want to go to heaven. If there is hatred in your heart toward another person because of the way they look or the cultural background they come from, then Heaven isn’t the place for you. You wouldn’t like it very much. Just read John’s glimpse into what Heaven will be like. “9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”” Rev 7:9-10. Every nation, tribe, people, and language will be together, united in worship of the Savior. Heaven isn’t the place that any racist group would want to go.

Now quickly a few things for the White Supremacist, who, if for some reason, think that you have a place in the Church.

  1. None are Supreme, but Christ and He alone! No race, no person, no social economic class, or any other grouping that anyone could create is supreme. Any claim to supremacy, is an out right attack on who Christ is.
  2. Wake up call, Jesus wasn’t white. He was a Jew from the middle-east.
  3. Hate will NEVER win.

So, if by chance, I didn’t clearly state my viewpoint, then let me do that.

Racism is a sinful and destructive sickness that must be address and repented of by all people. There is no place for sinful hate in the church that I pastor. I won’t tolerate it and I will continue to speak out against it.

I’m praying for the people of Charlottesville, Americans as a whole as we deal with racism and the repercussions to come, and for the Church as we take a stand against Racism.

There is a cure for this sickness and that is found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. May we stand boldly. 

 

 

10 Ways I want My wife, who I haven’t met, to pray for me.

Over a year ago I wrote a blog called “10 ways I pray for my wife, who I haven’t met.” This blog is a follow up to that one. I truly hope and believe that my future wife is praying for me. If there was some way that I could write a letter to her to help her with praying for me, this is something similar to what that letter would request. In this blog, I’m sharing some of my personal struggles as I try to be open and transparent, praying that it will be a help and encouragement to others. I hope this blog will encourage you, no matter your marital status, to pray for your significant other, future or present, and to seek after the Lord, so that you may become the person God intended and that they deserve.


  1. Pray for me to walk deeper with Christ

I want nothing more in this life than Jesus. More than marriage, kids, or a ridiculously awesome truck, I want to know Jesus and be known by Him, but that doesn’t mean that there are times that I don’t struggle with following Him. I want my future wife to pray that, right now and forever more, I am passionately and wholeheartedly seeking after Christ, who will be the rock and foundation of our future marriage.

  1. Pray for me to fight for purity

To be absolutely honest, in order to help others, fighting for sexual purity is a daily battle for me. I believe that to be true for most men. That doesn’t mean that I am struggling to have sex with multiple women, but I do struggle with the way I look at them. I don’t want to get caught up in looking at a woman and seeing nothing more than her looks as I mentally compare her to the women I see modeling on t.v., movies, Instagram, and in the magazines. I hope my future wife is praying for this area of my life. Pray that I will, by the grace, mercy, and power found in Christ Jesus, fight the good fight for purity with my actions and my thoughts.

  1. Pray for me to mature as a man

I am not naive enough to think that I have everything right in my life. I know, without a doubt, that I need to grow as a man. Let’s not be confused with the worldly sense of manhood: manhood is much more than age, how much you can bench, how far you can throw a ball, or if you have facial hair. Biblical manhood is a picture of knowing what’s really important in life and fighting and working hard for those things. I hope she is praying for me to grow as a man. She deserves a husband that is a real man of God, and that’s what I want to be.

  1. Pray for me to work harder

My future wife deserves a man that works hard. Don’t get this twisted, I’m not talking about working hard to make more money, but working hard at being a disciple of Christ, husband, father, and provider. Men should not go to bed and NOT be tired. What I mean is this: my goal is to work as hard as I can, so that at night, I crash into my bed knowing I give my all to my responsibilities. There are moments that I struggle with this; there are days and times I want to do absolutely nothing. I want my future bride to pray that God gives me the mentality to work as hard as I can at the things that really matter in life, for God’s glory.

  1. Pray for me to serve greater

I hope she is praying that God grows my servant heart. I need this to happen not only as a future husband, but now, as a pastor and Christian. I want to be the servant leader that she deserves, and I want her to pray that is what I become: so that I may lead and serve is a selfless manner.

  1. Pray for me to Love correctly

1 Corinthians 13 is clear about the definition of love and, as I read it, I realize that there is a lot of growth to be made in my life. I am greatly tempted to love when it is only convenient and to love when I know I will get something in return. When Paul gives us insight into what marriage should look like in Eph 5, none of those commands to either of the spouses are conditional statements. In other words, he doesn’t tell the husband to love as Christ only when his wife is being a good wife. The husband is to love no matter what she does. I want her to pray that I grow in understanding true love, which is only found in God. 1 John 4:7-8

  1. Pray for me to have patience

I hate the word patience. I want God to hurry up and give me patience, because I’m tired of waiting on it…. So, I need my future wife to pray that I become a more patient person. Another way to put it: I need to trust God and His timing more. After all, patience is a fruit of the Spirit’s work in our lives. Gal 5:22-23.

  1. Pray for me to prioritize properly

I still need to grow more in learning what’s really important and what’s not. I would appreciate her prayers for this area of my life. In order to be the man she needs, I need to know what should be a top priority and what should not. I don’t want to be a husband and father that chases after all the wrong things. Prayers are needed that I will have discernment in life.

  1. Pray for me to not be dumb

I want her to be praying that I’m not an idiot when I meet her. Chances are that I am going to tell too many bad jokes, and don’t be surprised if some of them are not appropriate for a first date, or a second, or even a 10th date. I don’t believe that I can help it. It can only take divine intervention from God to keep me from saying too many dumb jokes and telling too many stories that only I could find funny.  Please, future wife, pray that I don’t do or say something to scare you away….

  1. Pray for me as I pray for you

I just want her to intercede for me as I do the same for her. Not just now, but long after we meet, marry, and until our time on earth is done.


Please, don’t take this blog and note as me being desperate or lonely: I am not. Instead, take it as me trying to be faithful to God in the season of life that I am in right now. I want to share my heart as a single man to encourage fellow believers. I am also trying to be faithful and love a wife that I have yet to meet and Lord willing, at His time, will meet.

Now, in another moment of transparency, I want to publicly share a note to my future wife:

Please pray for me daily, honey bear… Ok, I’ll come up with a better nickname for you than “honey bear,” but still, pray for me. I’m nowhere close to perfect and I’m a work in progress. A very, very, very slow work in progress. God is still changing and growing my heart. My mind is still being transformed by the work of the Holy Spirit. I want, desperately, to be the man you need and deserve, the man that God intended on me being, for His glory and your good. Pray for me as I pursue you and wait patiently to meet you. I want God to work in my life, so that I will love you well, treat you rightly, and honor God by the way I carry myself as your husband. I look forward to meeting you, building a friendship, dating you, getting married, having babies, running our youngins out of our home until they have kids, spoiling grandchildren, growing old with you, and faithfully serving the Lord with you until He calls us home. My future bride, please pray for me as I pray for you.

Love forever,

The Hunk of Man that you will marry, Joel Laseter


 


 

I’m an Odd Ball on Marriage, Gender, and Sex

I guess you could say that I am a bit of an odd ball when it comes to marriage, gender, and sex. Not everyone that reads this will think that, but the majority of Americans might. Instead of saying “odd ball,” a better way to put it would be that my way of thinking is counter-cultural. My convictions don’t fit the cultural norm. I know this because of polls that have recently come out and stories that are found in the mainstream media. So here are a few of my “odd ball” and counter-cultural beliefs….

  1. I believe that marriage is a covenant between God, a man, and a woman. This covenant should not be broken. Once you make this commitment, you are to love your spouse in blissful moments and in the times of struggle and hardship. There should be no end to this covenant, except that of death. I believe that marriage is between one man and one woman, and the definition is not open for discussion. God is the creator of marriage and the sustainer of the covenant, and therefore should receive the glory from unions.
  2. I believe that gender is a gift from God and not a choice of the person. These days, society calls people that choose to change their gender a “hero,” i.e. Bruce Jenner. I don’t believe that gender is a choice. Unlike the growing belief of liberal Americans, I believe we choose who we love and we don’t choose our gender.
  3. I believe in gender roles. I hold a Complementarianism view on gender. This means that I believe men and women are created equal, but distinctively different. We have roles, gifts, and responsibilities that complement each other. This doesn’t mean that I believe that a woman’s place is in the kitchen or the laundry room. I do think a man can cook and clean, but I do believe God created man to lead. Men should be leading in the marriage, family, and the church. This view doesn’t cause the woman to be a step stool. It actually promotes the woman to be the person that the man loves so much that he is willing to sacrifice his own desires to insure that his wife is taken care of, protected, and knows that she is loved. The woman is man’s help mate, not slave.
  4. I believe that sex should be preserved for marriage and marriage only. I think that sex is a gift from God to married people. I believe that all sex outside of marriage is harmful. This belief of mine might be the most “extreme” to our ever changing society. I know this for a few reasons. One, I have read the stories of people’s shock when Tim Tebow said that he was a virgin. The country couldn’t believe that he hadn’t had sex. Few thought of it as admirable, but most used it to make him the butt of their jokes. Two, most recently Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson said in an interview at a church that he is dating pop star Ciara and that they have decided to remain abstain from sex until marriage. I couldn’t believe the media whirlwind. You would have thought that he said the pass at the end of the Super Bowl was a great play call. I was shocked that so many people were shocked. Three, I know that my belief on sex and marriage is odd because of the response I get from people when I tell them I am a virgin. Yes, at 28 years old, I have not had sex. I am waiting for my wife. DON’T get me wrong, I am not perfect when it comes to the way I have viewed, approached, and treated women. There are many moments that I wish I could have back, but God is still growing me in that aspect. Nonetheless, my full intentions are to remain a virgin till I marry my wife. By doing so, I want to honor my Savior and my wife.

Simply put, I plan on marrying one woman. Loving her for the rest of my life. Leading her, my family, and my church. And I’ll keep waiting and praying for her till that day.

There is only one race  

In a recent sermon that I preached on a Sunday morning, I proclaimed from the pulpit that there is only one race. This isn’t the first time I’ve said such a thing. It’s my Biblical worldview that causes me to believe such a claim. I don’t believe in a black race, a white race, an Asian race, or any other types of races. The only race that exist is the human race.

I want to elaborate on what I mean. I think back to creation, again holding a Biblical worldview, I believe that God created all that is in existence. In the beginning of the Earth, God created one man and one woman, Adam and Eve, in His own image: imago Dei (Genesis 1:27). From the reproduction of Adam and Eve comes all the people of the nations. Therefore, we all share the same beginning. Since we all have the same beginning, then we must all be considered to be created equal. No matter the color of our skin, we all are created in the image of God. ALL of us are fearfully and wonderfully made by the creator (Psalm 139:14).

Now I do believe in different ethnicities. An ethnicity is a group of people that share similar social, cultural, and/or national backgrounds. This came about when God scattered the people into different nations (Genesis 11:1-9). We all have a different cultural background that does cause a difference in the way we approach certain situations or problems. We should all respect and celebrate each other’s ethnic background and culture, but there is still only one race, the human race.

Darwinism, evolution as the origin of species, believes that all aren’t created equal and that even some “races” are more evolved than others. If you hold to an evolutionary worldview, then you may be lead to believe that some people are not as important as others. If they are weaker and “less evolved,” then they should die out, a process called natural selection. A Darwinist would not be as concerned about others unless that person will have some type of effect on them. Evolution, as the origin of species, wouldn’t care about racism as it suppresses others and their advances in life.

As a believer in Christ, I hold to the truth that the only cure for racism is the Gospel. The Gospel cures all hate. Those that truly believe in Jesus Christ should never hold hatred toward another person, especially because of the color of someone’s skin. There is no room for racism in the Christian faith and in the Church; we are all created equal by God. The blood that was poured out on the cross to cover my sins is the same blood poured out to cover the sins of the man whose skin differs from mine. I believe, in the bottom of my heart, that one day I will hold hands with men and woman that look nothing like me and together we will stand around the throne of Jesus and worship Him for all eternity (Revelation 7:9-10).  We will stand there as one race, the human race, celebrating our Creator and Redeemer.

The video below does a wonderful job to explain this worldview of mine and the science behind why we have different skin colors. The video was done by the people at Answers in Genesis. Check them out!

10 ways I pray for my wife, who I haven’t met

I’m unmarried. I’ve been this way for going on 28 years, lots of practice. I’ve built up a little bit of wisdom during all these years of singleness and I want to share what little I have with you. I’m satisfied with my current marital status. Not because I don’t want to be held down by a wife and family, on the contrary, I deeply desire to get married and have kids, but I’m still satisfied. I know that in God’s sovereign plan over my life, I am where He wants me. I don’t know when or if I will ever get married. I try not to allow that to consume me, even though nearly everyone I know is in a committed relationship. I am learning to be joyful and content in whatever lot in life God gives me. (Philippians 4:11)  I look at each day of my singleness as another day to grow into the man God wants me to be and that my future wife and children will need me to be. With that being said, I do pray for my future wife and this is how……

 

  1. I pray her relationship with Christ deepens.

I want my future wife to know Christ on a deeper level each day. I hope that her heart is growing in love with Jesus more and more. I want her to know how wonderful and beautiful the Father’s love is for her.

  1. I pray her heart is guarded.

I’m praying that God is guarding her heart from all these boys that are running around pretending to be men. I hope she is taking the steps in her own life to protect her heart from their false hope and childish games.

  1. I pray God is growing her.

I want God to grow the faith she has for Him. I pray that He is teaching her and preparing her for the plans and future that awaits her. I trust and believe that He is.

  1. I pray that she is serving Christ right now.

I hope that she is finding ways to serve Christ. I pray that she is involved in a church and serving God through the local body of believers and other ministries.

  1. I pray that God is freeing her from past disappointments

There is a great possibility that my future wife has already been let down by a relationship of the past. I pray God will free her from that pain and heal her heart, so that she will be able to pursue the love God intends for her.

  1. I pray that she will be put into my path.

I’m praying God will open doors for her that will lead her right to me. I’m praying that those doors are the doors of Christian growth. On our journey to each other, I desire for both of us to be maturing in our faith in Christ.

  1. I pray God is helping her patience

Even though I haven’t been married, I know without a doubt that patience is a big deal when it comes to marriage. I know this because I deal with people daily. I also know that if she is going to marry me, Lord help, she will need a LOT of patience.

  1. I pray that she is dumb enough, I mean, open enough to me pursuing her.

I’m joking about this one… kind of…… I do pray she will be open to me pursuing her in a relationship.

  1. I pray that she is praying for me.

I don’t want it to seem that I am just concerned about what she is doing and how she will act towards me. I’m praying and working, number one, on myself. I hope that she is praying all these things for me. I know I need to do a lot of growing in order to be the type of man she deserves to marry.

  1. I pray that I will love her the way she deserves to be loved.

I know this one isn’t really about my future wife, but in a way it is. I’m praying that I will show her the kind of love that God intends for a man to have for his wife. I want her to know that love, not just in words, but in deeds and actions. I want to honor her not only when we get married, but right now in the choices that I make. She deserves it and I will lay down my life to make sure she knows it. (Ephesians 5:25) I pray God grows me more into that man everyday.

I hope this will be an encouragement and help to you. God Bless!

8 Misunderstandings of Manhood

There are a number of misunderstandings about Manhood. Different people have different preconceptions on what qualifies a guy as a man. I’m going to address a few of those briefly.

  1. A man is a certain age. This couldn’t be more false. The reality is a guy could die of old age and go to his grave as a boy. The way a guy handles different situations in his life defines his manhood. Does he take on his responsibilities or run from them? Is he willing to make the sacrifices necessary to defend and provide for his family? These characteristics point more to manhood than age does. Just because you’re 18 or 21 or older and can grow some facial hair doesn’t mean you’re a man. If you would rather run from your problems and live in a fantasy world, then you’re just a grown boy with a mustache.
  2. A man has to love the outdoors. I have heard and read before that a guy isn’t really a man unless he has shot a deer or caught a fish and on and on. This is nonsense. I have never killed a deer, but just because some other guy has, that doesn’t make him any manlier than me. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against hunting. I’ve killed birds, squirrels, snakes, and other animals and I love the outdoors, but not one time did that action turn me into a man. One doesn’t automatically become a man when he shoots a deer or any other kind of animal. Jesus, the measurement of manhood, never went deer hunting. So if killing a deer or other wild game qualifies manhood in your book, than Jesus isn’t a man. It’s time to rethink this one.
  3. A man knows how to work on a car. For some reason some people think that working on a car makes a guy a man. How does fixing an engine turn a boy into a man? I think it’s awesome if you can and I’m very jealous of you, because I sure don’t have a clue. I can change a tire, so I have that going for me, but replace a transmission? No chance. I’m sure with the right instructions and tools, I could learn to do it, but I work hard at my job and budget my money in such a way that if the transmission in my car goes out, I can take it to someone that knows how to fix it and I will pay them to do so. Even though I can’t fix it, I can still get the problem solved.
  4. A man is good with his hands. Another area that I’m not sure I live up to all the time. I’ve done some wood work in my time. I’ve help construct a building, a very small building, but a building none the less. I know my way around a hammer, a screwdriver, a drill, and better yet, a nail gun (cue Tim “The tool man” Taylor’s grunt.) But none of that experience made me a man. Have I learned from it? Sure, but it still doesn’t make me a man or anyone else in that case.
  5. A man is athletic. There are those that look at athletes and say they represent true manhood. That’s crazy talk. Being able to hit a baseball, as hard as it may be, doesn’t make you a man. Throwing a football and shooting a basketball does not have some special power that transforms a boy into a man. This should be very obvious to us, considering recent news. For example, look at Ray Rice. He was one of the better running backs in the NFL, but a real man NEVER hits a woman. Playing and/or watching sports does not make a guy a man. Just because you have some God-given talent for athletics, doesn’t automatically make you a man. It’s how you use them and how you allow yourself to be identified that makes you a man.
  6. A man has to dress a certain way. I hear things like “real men wear boots” or “a real man will never wear skinny jeans.” Now I don’t understand why anyone would want to wear skinny jeans. I don’t wear them or any other kind of designer jeans. I buy Wranglers from Wal-Mart. They are durable, comfortable, and I like them. That is about as much thought that goes into my shopping. But just because some other guy cares about his outfit, it doesn’t make him any less of a man than me. As long as he isn’t running around in women clothing, I don’t think there is a problem here.
  7. A man can’t cry. “There is no crying in baseball!” or manhood. Right? Wrong. Some believe that a man can’t be sensitive. It’s actually the opposite. A real man is in touch with his sensitive side. He is not controlled by it, but is aware of it and not afraid of it. He is able to sympathize with those that are hurting. A real man isn’t cold hearted. Think about Christ when he received the news that his friend Lazarus had died. He cried, even though He was going to raise Him from the dead soon after. One of the shortest Bible verses reads “Jesus wept.” John 11:35, coming from that story. I’m not saying that you have to cry to be considered a man, but because you show emotions and have a sensitive side doesn’t mean you’re not a man.
  8. A man has had sex. This is a popular one in movies. In the “coming of age” films, we hear lines like “tonight, I become a man.” as some boy tries to sleep with his girlfriend. Sex doesn’t make a boy a man. Now there is this sick mentality that having multiple partners makes you more of a man than others. A real man loves one woman and is faithful to her for his whole life. By the way, Jesus died a virgin and He is the creator of manhood. At 27, I’m still a virgin and as strange as that may sound to many around me today, it doesn’t make me any less of a man than any other. I’m saving myself for my wife, because even though I haven’t meet her yet, I love her and I know she is well worth the wait.

I share these with you, because there is a manhood crisis in our society. In trying to correct it, we have made the problem worse. People have created in their mind what a real man should look like and in doing so they have taken hobbies and sex and turned them into qualifications for manhood. How do we fix it? Only the Gospel can. Jesus is the measurement of manhood. He created and designed it. To be a man is to look and live like Christ. Our identity isn’t in the things of this world, but in Christ. A man understands how to love, how to handle their responsibilities, how to make sacrifices, how to live a life of meekness, how to humble himself, and how to take a stand and protect what is right and those that he loves.

Ladies, stop using these standards and others like them to figure out if you’re with a real man. Too many women do that and they just end up with a grown boy who can shot a gun or fix a car or wears a certain pair of jeans. Then they marry him and he bails out on his responsibilities as a husband and a father and they realize quickly that they were fooled. Here is a quick way to figure out if you’re with a real man; does his life look like Christ’s? Not saying that he is perfect, but the Word of God should be the guiding light of his life. That’s the kind of man worth having, ladies.

Guys, stop with the games. It’s time for us to grow up and Man up! When you make a decision, be prepared to live with the consequences. Stop running from your problems and man up and handle your business. Stop looking for the woman in your life to “take care” of you. Grow up! But here is the good news; Christ will change the boyish heart you have and turn you into the man he created you to be. I’m in that process now. Stop living for the things of this world, because they will never fill you or give you purpose, only Christ can. True manhood is found in the Gospel. It’s found only in Christ. MAN UP!

Response to so called “Christian” Arguments for Same-Sex Marriage

Here are a few arguments that I’ve come across in favor of same-sex marriage in the Church. Now, when I say “The Church” I mean the universal church, not necessarily the one that I serve. There are many who claim to be a christian that I have found supporting same-sex marriage, because of arguments as such below. I’ve listed a few of them and my response to such claims. I’m sharing this not to attack anyone or for this to be used in such a manner. I am sharing and clarifying what I believe and why I believe it. I hope this will be a help to those that read it.

1. Jesus doesn’t say anything against homosexuality.  This is a very weak argument that is used consistently by people and even churches to justify their stance on same-sex relations. Here’s the thing though, there are other sins in the Bible that Jesus doesn’t speak of. The Gospels don’t cover every single thing that Jesus did and said. Also, we don’t have Jesus speaking out against Bestiality, but does that make it ok? No. He doesn’t speak out against incest, but does that make it ok? No. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to compare and even say that homosexuality and bestiality are the same thing at all or even are on the same level, because they are not. My point is, if you only went off of what Jesus doesn’t mention, then you leave out a great deal of what the Scriptures say. When you have to go to an argument of silence to prove your point, then that tells me that you really don’t have much ground to stand.

2. Same-sex relations are found in nature, so it must be God intended. I hear this one often. I really find this point made in a roundabout way in movies and tv shows. Some bring up that dolphins, penguins and other animals enter into same-sex relationships and sometimes for the rest of their lives, so therefore it must be natural and ok for us to do it too. My response, not everything in nature should be considered natural for humans. Praying mantis females eat their mates after intercourse, this is found in nature, but should it be natural for us too? NO. Hippos will sometimes kill their male child, because of fear that it might one day rule the herd and have power of them. Should this be considered natural for us too? NO, of course not. Just because something is found in nature it does not mean that it should be natural for us too.

3. People are born gay and God wouldn’t allow that if it was really a sin.  First, there has never been any scientific proof that people are born gay. At least not to my knowledge and research. But what if there is a discovery that people are born with a homosexual desire? Would that make it ok then? The answer is no. Here is why, I am a male. I have a strong desire for women. Every heterosexual male, if he is honest, would admit that he would like to sleep with every beautiful woman that he sees. The desires are strong and one may say that we are born that way, so does that justify us going out and doing just that? NO. That is still sin even though we have that desire that we are born with. It’s part of our fallen nature. As men we need God’s grace and mercy daily to stay faithful to the spouse that we are married to or the woman that we have yet to marry. Just because you have an urge doesn’t mean you have to act on it. We don’t act on every urge we have, because deep down we know that there is a higher moral standard that we must keep. Then one last point on this topic, this confuses me from the LGBTQ community. They say that you are born gay, but you can choose your gender. So, for them, sexual desire is part of your DNA, but gender itself is a choice that one can make. Not trying to sound mean here, but I pure out don’t understand that. Seems the other way around to me. Gender is what you are born to and you can choose your sexual preference. That seems more logical to me.

4. The Bible isn’t clear about Homosexuality or marriage. This too is a flawed argument. The Bible is actually clear about homosexuality being a sin (1 Cor 6:9-11 ) And when scriptures talk about marriage, it’s  between a man and a woman (Eph 5.) I know there are some that try to say that Paul is being misinterpreted and that we have gotten the original language wrong. I find that foolish. The church has interpreted homosexuality as a sin for thousands of years. Those closest to the original writings do not differ with us today. Those who make these arrangements pull scripture out of context or try to revise it. Now there are parts in the Old Testament that speak about marriage in different terms than a union of man and woman. These are historical accounts and are not meant to be used in a prescriptive manner. Fallen man would try to come up with rule and regulations about these unions, but they are still flawed and in opposition to God’s establishment of marriage that is evident throughout the Bible.

I want to end with this, I do NOT hate gay people. If you are gay and you would like to attend my church, you are more than welcomed. You will be loved and treated no different than anyone else. Whatever church that I am Pastor of will be a church that will never back down on truth and the Word of God, but we will also never stop loving people either. Contrary to what many believe today, I know that I can disagree with someone and not hate them.  I also know that not all will agree with me and that’s ok. I have a Biblical worldview and certain convictions, because of my faith in Jesus Christ. I know that the rest of the world will not see things and understand them the same way I do. I’m secure and confident enough in my beliefs and convictions that when people tell me that they think that I’m wrong, it doesn’t crush my world. I hope and pray that this is God honoring and a help to others. God Bless.

Tips for Better Bible Reading

Here are a few things to remember that might help you when you read the Bible.

  1. Pray! I know this seems simple, but I’ve learned that the most simple steps are often the most overlooked. Pray before you read. Ask God to give you understanding and to soften your heart to what He wants you to learn from the text that you are reading. Pray when you finish reading. Ask the Holy Spirit to convict you and enable you to apply the truths of God’s Word in your life.
  2. Quality is better than quantity. Reading the whole Bible in a year is awesome, but if you haven’t understood anything that you read then what really have you accomplished? Our goal with reading is to learn and grow. When your goal is to just tell people that you’ve read your Bible, your reward is that brief moment of them being impressed with you and nothing more. BIG WHOOP! I’m a firm believer that it is better to read one chapter and digest all that you have read than to read a whole book and miss out on God speaking. Take your time. Study the word, don’t just read it.
  3. Talk about it with others. Bounce things off of other people. They might be able to help you in your reading. I always find myself more enlighten, challenged, and blessed after  talking about the Scriptures with friends.
  4. Use outside resources. I’m hesitant to share this as a tip, because so many people take commentaries and their study Bibles as inerrant truths and elevate them to the level of God’s Words. Please don’t do that! The comments at the bottom of your Bible are one man’s opinion. He may have spent years studying and researching (as he should), but at the end of the day it’s still his opinion. These resources are great helps when used rightly. Be careful of the ones you buy and read. Do some research yourself on the authors and ask your pastor and christian friends before running off and buying some book based on a man’s fallible opinion about God’s infallible Word.
  5. Jesus is the Hero of the story. The Central figure of the Bible is really Jesus. Think of like this, The Old Testament shows that over and over again humans fail at living up to our end of the relationship with God. We try and we fail time after time. This makes us realize, for this relationship to work, we need a Savior. The Gospel then reveals the arrival or the hero, Jesus. He has come to save us from sin, Satan, death, and…well, ourselves. As the Hip Hop artist Andy Mineo puts it, “When have you heard a story about the Hero dying for the villain?” But that is exactly what Jesus did. Following the Gospel is the historical account of Acts and a number of letters written all explaining what God has done and what is currently being accomplished. Revelation then tells us how the Hero, Jesus, will return to finish what He has begun. Read the Bible with this in mind and hopefully that will bring some enlightenment to your reading.

I hope and pray that this has been a help to you.

A Baptist Preacher in the Season of Lent

Some of you may beware that yesterday (3/5/14) was Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday is the start of the Season of Lent. It always follows a celebration of indulgence or what you may know as Mardi Gras. If you are like me, then you probably haven’t heard much about Lent. The first time I heard it referred to, I thought it was in reference to the fuzzy stuff found in my blue jean pockets. (<Lame but solid attempt at a joke.) But for those that don’t know, Lent is a 40 day period, not counting Sundays, that is observed by Christians of certain denominations as a time of preparation for the celebration of Easter. During the season of Lent, believers observe a period of fasting, repentance, moderation, and spiritual discipline. This is all in an effort to reflect on what Christ has done for us. (John 3:16)Through the season of Lent, we want our minds to be focused on the life that Christ lived, His suffering, His death, His resurrection, His love, grace, mercy, and His second coming, basically, The Gospel. The Gospel that has the power to save. (Romans 1:16)

Being a Baptist pastor, we don’t normally celebrate Lent. This season is not found in Scripture, our ultimate authority for life, so therefore we don’t see it as a need to observe. But I think the goal behind Lent is honorable, so I encourage believers to try it. Spend the next 40 days giving up something and trying new things that will help you grow as a believer and follower of Christ. Spend the season of Lent reflecting on what Christ has done for you and is continuing to do on your behalf. (1 John 2:1).

Here are 6 things that I will be doing for the Season of Lent

1. Giving up coffee

That’s right, I’m not going to drink coffee in the morning for 40days! In other words, don’t mess with me in the morning. Just kidding, but for real…. I will be giving up my morning cup of coffee, or should I say, cup of sugar, creamer, with a side of coffee. There is a reason behind this. Coffee is something that is difficult to do without, but I can. It has a grip on my mornings and I would rather Christ to have supreme control. (Don’t worry; I’m not saying that you should quit too.) The main reason is this, every morning, during the Season of Lent, I will get up and think about getting coffee, but I won’t. Which will lead me to think of why I’m doing it. So every morning, I will spend extra time reflecting on the Sacrifice of my savior and His love for me.

2. Giving up sweets at night

I will also be laying off the sweets at night. I have a major sweet tooth, so every evening I have to have a hershey  kiss or two or a dozen. At night when I refuse to eat those hersheys, I will think of the reason why. I will spend more time thinking about the One that redeemed me. Plus, when I have those cravings, and I will, I’m going to stop and talk with my Heavenly Father.

3. Reading through the Gospels in 40 days

This is in addition to my normal reading. I just want to take some time to read and reflect on the life that Jesus lived, the commands that He give us, the death He died on my behalf, and that FACT that He lives today.

4. Walking/Jogging in the Morning

I’m doing this to get up in the morning, get out, and be in the creation of God Almighty. When I force my self to get up and get going, I will remember why. Plus being outside and seeing God’s creation is always a reminder to me of how awesome He is.

5. Making a special effort to serve other people

Christ is the ultimate example of a servant and a leader. I want to make more of an effort to be like Him.

6. Making a special effort to give more

After what Christ has given me, forgiveness, salvation, and a new life that is eternal, I want to try harder to give to others. This might be more money in the offering plate at Church or more to my favorite charity. It might also be me giving more time to people in order to help them and encourage them.

This list of things I plan to do will not only help me in my reflection on Christ, but will also help me grow. Through these sacrifices, I will become more discipline in my life, which in return, will help me be a better follower of Christ. I encourage you to give this a try. I hope my list is a help for you. And remember, just because you didn’t stat on Ash Wednesday, doesn’t mean that you can’t observe Lent. Start today or tomorrow. It’s not when you begin, but why you started that really matters

10 Reasons Why Beards are Great

In honor of “No Shave November” I give you 10 reasons why I think growing a beard is a good idea.

  1. Beards make you look more manly.
  2. A beard keeps your face warmer during the winter.
  3. Beards seem to be in style….. Actually, I’m not really sure what’s stylish, it changes too much and it confuses me…
  4. Beards make a younger guy look older.
  5. If you have an ugly face, a beard covers up part of it.
  6. Ladies really want to date guys with beards….. I hope…. at least they should… hint hint..
  7. The Duck Dynasty guys have beards and they’re cool and rich.
  8. It’s saves money on razors, shaving cream, and water.
  9. Men in the Bible had beards.
  10. Jesus had a beard and He is the Son of God. Enough said.

Spurgeon Beards

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