Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Tale of Two Pastors

I read today two news articles about two pastors. One has chosen to turn away from the truth, perverting it to fit his life. The other has chosen to teach the truth, letting the truth of God's word sway the men in his community.

Yes, Mr. Swilley, of Conyers, Georgia, has chosen to come out of that proverbial closet. He grew tired of hiding his sin. But instead of repenting and renouncing sin, he has reveled in it. Mr. Swilley's motivation, according to the article, was the death of a student from Rutgers U. He ignores Scriptures like 1 Cor. 6:9, 10. He attributes to God what God attributes to our fallen nature.

Are you not amazed that it is always God's fault when sin overtakes us? I am! David said in Psalm 50:21 that the evil man thinks God is completely like him, because God kept silence while the evil mann sinned. Know this: the day is coming when God will no longer be silent about any sin.

Equally amazing to me is the fact that this man was married for 20 years, or so, and that his former wife still attends and works in the church where this man is allowed to be pastor. Heaven weeps today.

A few hundred miles away, in Jackson, MS, Pastor Dwayne Pickett stands before 5,000 congregants each Sunday to preach the gospel. His church grew from less than 200 to this great number as Pastor Dwayne gave himself to teach the truth of God's word to the men of his community. He taught them that sin was sin, not to be tolerated in one's life. Today, 45% of his church members are men he has won to Christ. Heaven also rejoices today over men like Pastor Dwayne.

What a contrast. One man circumvents the Word to live in sin. The other man proclaims the Word to liberate from sin. It is the best of times, it is the worst of times...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Those Choices We Make

Saturday afternoon the University of Southern Mississippi football team stood tall in Central Florida University's stadium. The Golden Eagles soared away with a big win. The team was beside itself. The coaches were elated.

Sometime later, an undetermined number of those young men made a choice that will live with them for the rest of their lives. They visited a local "club." That is a cover name for a place of raucous behavior. Reports reveal that as many as 1,000 people will visit this "club" on Friday and Saturday nights. It's an accident waiting to happen.

And it did.

But it wasn't an accident.

Three of those young men found themselves at odds with an unidentified individual. For whatever reason (very few of them could be good reasons in a place like that), he wanted to put them in their place. Security personnel sent them out into the parking lot. The unidentified person pulled a gun, aimed it at the three young men and pulled the trigger. One is now paralyzed. One's vocal chords were severed. One was hit in the chest.

Thankfully, all will live. Sadly, all three lives have been changed. One, barring a miracle from the Lord Jesus, may never walk again. One, barring that same miraculous presence, may never speak again.

I pray for the miracles.

I grieve for the young men and their families.

I also grieve for the choice that motivated them to follow their passionate desires and to visit a place like that.

I grieve for the nation that has created the expectation that, if it is fun, it must be okay to do. So choose "fun," whatever form it takes.

I grieve for the expectation that we must sow those wild oats, as they were once called. So choose to sow those wild oats.

Those choices we make have consequences. Many of the consequences are good. Some are bad. Some lead to tragedy.

Pray for these three unnamed (by me) young men. Pray for the next choice to be one that brings them under the care of the Great Shepherd.