Monday, December 03, 2012

Are Guns Really the Problem?

It has been months since I wrote anything on this blog. I suppose that is due to bloggers' burnout. I can also blame it on my need to focus on our ministries among the 38th Family.

This weekend we who watch sports and news saw the reports of the murder-suicide by one of the Kansas City Chiefs football players. Predictably so, the leftists who seek to eliminate guns from your warm, live fingers began anew their rants and raves about the need to ban guns. Forget the Second Amendment. Forget your right to keep and bear arms. Let's do away with such barbarism and let's make it criminal to own a gun.

A friend wrote in protest of some of the editorializing by the sports commentators--especially Bob Costas. I replied to him (with his name deleted for privacy reasons) in the letter you find below. May you put on your "thinking cap" as you read what I have written:


Sadly, we in America have become so disoriented in our thinking that we mistake the instrument as the culprit in both crimes and endeavors in life. We see the economy move one way or another and we blame or give credit to the government, who is the instrument in the hands of both big and small business. We see a man take a life and we blame the weapon the man used. We have lost our moral compass. We do not understand that it is not the instrument, but the man behind the instrument that perpetrated the act, whether good or bad.

We must see our moral compass as a compass that must point to true north; but it is a compass with a gradually-increasing potential for being weighted on the end that points our intended moral direction. This means that if the compass varies too much to the left or the right it will eventually be so weighted that it points south, not north. And when the moral compass points south it is pointing to degradation and destruction.

We have seen nations that point to the extreme right and we see the degradation that occurs in those nations. Palestine is a case in point. There are too many living there that are content to sacrifice decency for the opportunity to kill Jews. Iran is another example that needs little explanation; but given one of the addressees of your note, I will explain anyway. The extreme Islamists of Iran, led by the Ayatollahs and others, despise any group that is not of their persuasion. This includes other groups of Muslims that some label as “moderate;” this also includes any western nation that does not accept and tolerate the extremists’ passion for world dominance.

We in America have long passed the compass that would be pointing to the left. We are progressively pointing farther and farther to the south—so much so that even moderates appear conservative, when in fact they are often pointing to the left of true north. Our “weighty intelligence and wisdom” pulls us down yet more and more each significant moral event that takes place in each generation.

In order, therefore, to protect your invaluable rights listed in the first ten amendments, there must be a move to clean the needle on the moral compass in America. Self-impressed “sages,” such as Bob Costas and others we could name, only indicate the need for the above-mentioned corrective cleaning.


Dr. Kevin Shearer, Pastor
38th Ave. Baptist Church

Monday, August 13, 2012

Has Judgment Begun on America?

I have been reading the latest news with interest. I have also been reading blogs, books, and by-lines of people far more capable than I to express an intelligent opinion. Some of those authors have been very positive about this nation's future. Some have been so pessimistic I want to find a cave to hide in--one far, far away from here, lest fire fall from Heaven, or lest I turn into a pillar of salt if I unwittingly look when the fire falls.

Regardless of those authors, there are authors that have gripped me; these men have me riveted on what they have to say. I am referring to the Prophets and historical writers found in the Word of God. They have much to teach us about God's mercy and God's righteous judgment. These men have shown us overarching principles--principles that some choose to ignore when it comes to their opinions about how God operates in the 21st century. After all, they reason, the prophecies and writings refer to Israel, right?

Let me point out first of all that God did not ignore the non-Jewish nations. He states more than once that his cup of wrath is full regarding this nation, or that nation. Sometimes he sent Israel against them so that they would be his arm of punishment. Other times God would allow them to attack Israel to perform a two-fold purpose: one, that attack would fill their cup of rebellion to the top and God would then punish them for that. Two, this would chastise his chosen nation for their ways. In short, no one escaped the righteousness of God. No one.

Fast foward three thousand years. God has not changed. America, though, has changed. America took a decided turn away from biblical principles sometime shortly after the 20th century. God continued to show mercy. God continued to warn America. I believe one reason for this mercy and warning was the fact that for the longest time America was the principal sending nation for foreign missions. And God was pleased with that work by the church.

Things have cooled off, though, in the past 20 years. We are slipping away when it comes to sending out men and women to share the gospel. Nations have begun to reject the Americans that try to enter. What happened?

One chief sin that America continues to ignore is that of abortion. Do not think a nation that condones and protects the right to murder babies will escape the judgment of God. The 54 million babies we have slaughtered since 1973 cry out in indictment against this nation. We have had more than one opportunity to stop this. Our courts have protected the murderers from those who would seek to challenge Roe v Wade. After all, that's big business we are speaking of. And what the courts have not been able to protect, Congress and the White House have. We have to protect our living friends, right?

The right to privacy that coaxed the courts to condone murder is the same right to privacy other groups used to protect their sin. So now the sinful deeds of men who love men,  of women who love women, of men who love boys and little girls--these deeds are largely protected under the privacy act. Our latest immoral stand came when the White House declared that these men and women must have the same right to marry as everyone else.

Can anyone else hear the wine of God's wrath reaching the top of the cup?

What has been the result? Take a look at who will run for office this year. Take a good look. The princpal party winners will both disapprove of my words at this point; you may, as well. But we have no choice. We have not even a professing Christian in the mix. To be sure, when it suits him, Mr. Obama professes Christianity. Put his version of Christianity to the light of God's word; you will see that the version he calls Christian is called a false religion when examined with the word of God. It is poisoned with liberation theology, a perfect fit for his healthy dose of anti-colonial socialism that originated in the African continent and was passed on by his supposed father and others that impressed him in earlier years.

Then there is Romney, the Mormon. He, too, would prefer to be called a Christian. But his Christ is another god--not THE God. The Mormon doctrine claims we can all be gods. There are a lot of would-be gods out there; we don't need anymore, thank you very much! Examine Mormonism with the word of God and you will certainly find that their brand of Christianity is false, as well.

Let me get to the point: we have no godly choice for president, not even in the smaller parties. I think the reason for this is that the judgment of God has left us with this choice. How do we want to be punished as a nation? Do we want a post-colonial socialism to take over this nation? Or do we want the plague of materialism--of an amoral capitalism--to further consume us? These seem to be our choices, neither of which are very good.

So let me give you another word for what we must do, America: repent! Repent now and perhaps God's wrath will be stayed for a few more years. Peter wrote, "Now is time for judgment to begin, and it must begin in the house of God." Repent, Christ-follower! Repent, repent, repent!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Not ANOTHER Racial Story!!

This past week we were all shocked with news from First Baptist Church Crystal Springs, Mississippi. So much horrible news about Mississippi has crossed the pages of history. Truly horrible things did take place in this great state. It has taken years and years to heal much of this.

In the blink of an eye, a small group of spiritually blind people cajoled and coerced a pastor to deny an apparently godly couple the right to have a Christian wedding in that church. I pity the pastor. He has been excoriated and denounced ever since the news broke. His feeble attempt to be a peacekeeper has now produced a backlash of tsunami proportions.

To be sure, I believe the pastor thought he was doing what was best for all involved. There comes a time, however, when a pastor must take a stand. When a church member or members make a choice that violates biblical principles, the pastor must always, always side with the Bible. It is unpopular to do so. It can be divisive. It can be painful. It can be costly. But Christ-followers must always be light and salt, especially when faced with such unsavory opinions by spiritually ignorant people.

I choose to pray for FBC, Crystal Springs, Mississippi. I choose also to pray for the pastor. And I choose to pray for the heartbroken couple. Let's not forget that poor community who now finds itself in the national spotlight.

And, as a native of that great state, please forgive us for such a tragic decision.

I Think I'lll Have Some Chicken

I just did a Google search for Chick-fil-A. I discovered news items from every major venue, all the way from the influential New York Times, to lesser-known tabloids and blogs. I have been amazed at the audacity of some as they responded--I'm sorry! Did I say "respond?" I meant REACTED to the chairman's values regarding marriage and family. I should be amazed at the audacity of city mayors who boast that they will do all they can to prevent free enterprise by doing what they can to keep Chick-Fil-A out of their cities.

I should be amazed; but I am not. After all, Christians do not belong to the world order that these guys do. They are born of the Holy Spirit, blessed with a new nature, and promised a new heavenly citizenship at a near-future date.

I do have a few questions for these mayors: What country do you guys come from? You think you have the right to speak freely and work diligently against Judeo-Christian values, and simultaneously hinder those with such values from exercising their own rights? Do you honestly fear the homosexual movement so much that you cowtow to their growlings and ungodly demands for fear of losing your polical clout?

The mutual benefit of the U.S. Constitution's first amendment notwithstanding, an amendment that allows both pro-traditional family people and those who oppose the traditional family to express themselves without governmental interference, this is a moral issue. This is blatantly anti-Christian and anti-traditional family. Christians and those who hold to the morality of the traditional family do not seem to enjoy the right to exist and openly express their values; only those opposed to such values are able to have public opinions and fear no recourse of action against them.

Isn't it interesting that the only time the tolerance card is played is when a Christian, or morally conservative person, tries to express himself? Think about that. If you hold true biblical values you are told to be tolerant. If those who disdain the idea of biblical values speak out against those values, why are they not told to be tolerant, as well? What hypocrisy!

So tomorrow I plan to go to Chick-Fil-A. I plan to enjoy a chicken sandwich offered by a company that holds the same overall values as I do. I plan to urge my fellow believers and others who hold to these same values to indulge in a chicken sandwich as many times as they can in the coming days. If you read this in the coming days and you are near one of these great fast-food restaurants, go have a meal from someone who actually cares about the traditional family in these United States.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Instead of Wringing Your Hands, Try This

In just a few days from now, all of us will stop at some point and remember that July 4, 1776 was our declaration of independence. The actual document was penned and signed at that point. The war for independence took several years longer.

                On that day, a dream began to enter into the labor pains that ultimately gave birth to one nation under God. We firmly and resolutely stood upon the concept that we were a nation by the blessings of Providence.  In fact, on April 30, 1789, in G. Washington’s first inaugural address, he said the following:

It would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official act my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes, and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success the functions allotted to his charge. In tendering this homage to the Great Author of every public and private good, I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own, nor those of my fellow-citizens at large less than either. No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency….

                In other words, with these and other words, Washington asserted that we must be indebted to God as a nation, as well as look to God for his guidance of this nation. Time and again our forefathers, including the non-Christians, affirmed that our foundations were based upon Christian doctrine and values.

                We have come a long ways since then; not just in time, but in philosophy. We only see a slight shadow cast by a very small and distant light of the values that once guided us.

                We raise our eyebrows at unjust rulings of this day. Rulings such as those that legitimize sin and desecrate marriage, those that reward the wicked and punish the righteous, those that oppress the underprivileged and empower the unrighteous. People ask, “What can we do?” The proper question would be, “What must we do?” 2 Chr. 7:14 tells us what each of us that claims to be a Christ-follower must do: if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

I dislike the deceitful injustice involved in the latest SCOTUS ruling, not to mention too many others that of late characterize our courts. But I will not stand around and wring my hands. I will put into practice what I intend to preach to my church on Sunday morning.

Here's hoping you join me.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

SCOTUS Crossed Their Eyes

Disappointing. Utterly disappointing. There is no other way to describe today's decision handed down by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). For whatever twisted reasoning, none less than the Chief Justice ignored the obvious and allowed this nation to take one giant step towards existence as a socialist republic. We look and sound a lot like the failing European nations who took these steps several years ago.

Do you realize that this ruling is based on a lie? Our own president said this bill is not a tax. And when they argued before the Supreme Court, what did they tell them? This is a tax! Had SCOTUS permitted cross-examination and called POTUS to the stand, he would have had to refute the arguments of his Solicitor General, or lie in the process.

It is not the first ruling based on a lie. Roe V Wade is another based on lies by the lawyers arguing for the right to privacy. Our great nation, the one founded on truth, now stands on the crumbling foundation of lies, ruled by liars, and systematically recreated for liars. Truth has been discarded as a useless, dirty, old shirt.

God have mercy.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

A Tribute to a Good Man

Today I received an e mail from someone working with the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. He wrote me to tell me of the death of a fellow servant. Former Missionary Wade Watts has passed through that portal called "death." He has moved on from his terrestial tent to a celestial dwelling place. This is significant to me for any number of reasons.

Wade, his wife Nancy, and their two boys were critically injured in a head-on collision in the mountains of Peru. They were returning from a ministry assignment and driving on roads that could only be described back then as treacherous. Before they knew it, they were in the direct path of another truck. All the family suffered very debilitating injuries. Wade was injured far worse than the others. The doctors honestly gave him up as beyond hope. Someone forgot to tell God that and Wade survived. After treating Wade as best they could, stabilizing his injuries and doing all they knew to do in the moment, Wade and the Watts family were airlifted to Memphis, TN for more surgeries and more rehab. He was comatose for months, but one Spring day Wade woke up in his room in the Memphis, TN area.

Wade never fully recovered; he was confined to a wheel chair for the remainder of his life. But he managed to find ways to communicate, especially through the modern technology of computers. It was humorous to us that Wade's Spanish seemed to remain in the most lucid part of his brain, allowing him to speak with near fluidity, while we suffered to understand his English at times.

To my great delight and surprise, Wade and his family were present as I was awarded my doctorate at the Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, near Memphis. There were two families present at that service who were in the doctoral program that were close to the Watts family. It was a joyful reunion for all 14 of us (including our children).

Wade continued to serve as he could. His dream was to one day return to Peru to the people and country he loved so much. Perhaps in the new earth God will let Wade serve with Peruvians in his kingdom. In the meantime, I envision Wade walking hand in hand with the Lord Jesus Christ. Walking. Running. Jumping. Things Wade could only dream of until today. I pray for Nancy and the boys. I pray for those who have been touched by Wade's prayers and ministries. Yes, Wade Watts was a good man.

Monday, June 04, 2012

I Won't Sign It

THERE IS a new twist to an old controversy out there for Southern Baptists. Some have become frightened by the Calvinists in our family and have produced a document refuting Calvinistic doctrine. Well, I won't be one of the signators of this paper. A few may assume I am now coming out of the Calvinist closet. Others may assume I am seeking to walk the chalk between the doctrines of Calvinism and Arminianism. Both assumptions would be wrong.

Having said that, I have friends that are loyal to the tenets of John Calvin and I love them deeply. I also have friends who make me boil with passion for Christ who are fully Arminian, and I love them. But I am not seeking to juggle their friendships, spin plates, walk the chalk, or any other cliche you may want to use. They know me and know where I stand. And they love me as I love them. Why?

It is because we focus on the Lordship of Christ. We seek to walk in the Spirit, not in the flesh. We seek to keep the unity of the Spirit, knowing we all have a lot to learn before we reach the fulness that Christ intends for us. So Christ's presence in our lives overcomes our approach to understanding how God saves and how God keeps us saved.

So I don't need to sign a paper refuting doctrines I may not fully accept. My Lord Jesus signed the only documents that are important to me. And he wrote on them, "PAID IN FULL." And that was enough.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

On The American President Coming Out of His Closet

The U.S. President, Barack Hussein Obama, has done what most felt he would do at least by the 2012 election. He has come out of his closet and thrown yet one more brick at the Christian foundation that made the U.S. what it was before it chose to move to a post-Christian philosophy of life. This president, a man I did not vote for, a man I openly opposed as a threat to the spiritual well-being of this nation, has finally demonstrated that no price is too great for him to buy votes to continue his anti-colonial socialist policies that he has worked so hard to put into place. His homosexual constituents threatened to withdraw their dollars and support if he did not throw marriage to the dogs; yes, dogs. The Bible likens sodomites to dogs in the Pentateuch, saying that they could not enter the tabernacle under any circumstances. Their wages as male prostitutes could not even be spent there. But here in America they can buy votes for the highest office in the land.

I do not fault President Obama alone. We had a strong moral shift in this nation during the twentieth century. We baby boomers were the most complicit when we proudly proclaimed that all organized religion was no longer a part of our value system. Perhaps rejection of organized religion looks good on the surface, until you discover that meant, in general, Christianity in its many denominations. New Age religions, Eastern Religions, Scientology, etc., were all very acceptable. But Christianity became anathema to America's baby boomers.

The ensuing result was a moral devolution. The decline of morality included a rise in open sexual freedom. Open sexual freedom included tolerance of many forms of sexual expression, including homosexuality. The decline of morality resulted in the decline of the value of the traditional family: mother, father, and children. Our desire to cast off restraint included a shift in the philosophy of marriage for life. The new watch word was (is), "Till divorce do we part." In short, we created a chaotic vacuum within the home. Marriage and family, thanks to cheap sex and quick divorce, was no longer valuable.

Fast-forward to now. For many years now you have witnessed on television and through other media the intentional attempts to indoctrinate you, the stupid American (according to the moguls of the media), to the homosexual and free sex lifestyle. You are too happy and too weak to worry about the destruction of this nation.

They sell you short. May President Obama discover that he has found his magic bullet. But may he discover that with that magic bullet he shot the balloon that holds the prize of being voted out of the White House.

Voting that man out is only one step. If you want to see America rise from the ashes, you will seek the Lord God with all your heart. You will turn to the Lord Jesus. You will repent. And you will urge others to do the same.

God have mercy on the United States of America.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Book Signing at William Carey U's Homecoming

The following was released by William Carey University:



            William Carey University will hold a Homecoming Book Sale and Signing at 5 p.m. on Friday, April 20, in front of Wilkes Dining Hall on the Hattiesburg campus. This event is just one of the many to take place during WCU’s Homecoming weekend April 20-21. Featured authors are Dr. Garry Breland, Sonya Bridges, Dr. Walter Butler, Dr. Lorie Fulton, Jack O. Giles, Robert Hensarling, Dr. Benny J. Hornsby, Whitney Miller, Jerry W. Mixon, Dr. Kevin Shearer, Dr. David W. Spencer, Rell Webber, and Sylvia Williams. All writers are alumni and faculty of the university with the exception of Whitney Miller, whose parents are Carey alumni.

            Dr. Garry Breland of Hattiesburg  is the author of Whole Cloth: Sacred Stories in Verse. Sonya Bridges of Laurel, is the author of A Snail’s Pace. Dr. Walter Butler of Seminary wrote A Mansion in Glory Land. Dr. Lorie Watkins Fulton of Hattiesburg is the author of William Faulkner, Gavin Stevens, and the Cavalier Tradition. Jack O. Giles of Meridian wrote Fascinating Miracles in the Life of a Country Preacher and Hope for You, and Robert Hensarling of McComb wrote Oh No! Not another when I was a little boy story. 

            Dr. Benny J. Hornsby of Hattiesburg is the author of A Navy Chaplain’s Devotions for Afloat and Ashore, and Whitney Miller of Poplarville is the author of Modern Hospitality. Jerry Mixon of Madison wrote The Road Back Home, and Dr. Kevin Shearer of Hattiesburg, Grace Works. Dr. David W. Spencer of Milton, Fla., wrote Strolling Through the Cemetery, Stuff They Forgot to Mention at the Seminary, and Rell Webber of Terry wrote The Legend of Luke Steel.  Sylvia Barkemeyer Williams of West Point wrote Paul Bear Bryant: Football Legend Stories and From Where We Live: the Gulf Coast.

            The public is invited to attend the book sale and signing, free of charge. For more information, call 601-318-6524.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What's in a Name?

Southern Baptists--some of them, that is--are tired of their name. Some church planters seem to have met resistance in planting new churches. Apparently, a minority of people are resistant to belonging to a church that has "Southern" affixed to it; it's too regional (can we read that as "provincial?"). So a group of concerned parties has gathered for a powwow. They have the brilliant idea that the solution is a name change.

Why do we believe that a name change will make the difference? Why do we believe that the material, surface things, matter so much? Have we become so endeared to marketing principles that we have overlooked the most important ingredient to planting churches?

Before someone who may read this asks the inevitable question about my authority in this matter, let me say that I have over 20 years of experience in planting churches. And I had the brilliant idea to drop one word from the titles of our churches in South America. It did not make one single bit of difference. We met the same resistance, even with the name change.

You see, people, the resistance is not to the name. The resistance is SPIRITUAL. The flesh and the Spirit are at war. The world and the Spirit are at war. The devil and the Spirit are at war. Church planters and lost people tussle, not over a name, but over their eternal salvation. The name does not matter.

I do not foresee much positive coming from this move to rename us Southern Baptists. I hope that those proponents of such a move can prove me wrong and plant and grow more churches. But I think the idea is a house of cards, built by boys who have nothing better to do than play mind games.

If you want to see positive growth, get off the computers and do two things: pray and preach. Pray more than you preach. Preach intentionally, both in public and privately. We reap in abundance when we sow in abundance. Our tears in the prayer closet must water the seed.

It's not the name. It's the intentionality of praying and preaching. Leave the name alone.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Grace Works

Coming Soon!

Grace Works is a devotional commentary on Paul's letter to the Galatians, published by Crossbooks. Crossbooks is a subsidiary of Lifeway Books. Check back soon for availability dates.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012


My, how language changes! Did you ever stop to consider the definition of this word that now, ahem, occupies our news each week? Consider Miriam-Webster's definition:
1: to engage the attention or energies of
2a: to take up (a place or extent in space) occupied> occupy this corner of the room> b: to take or fill (an extent in time) occupies all of my free time>
3a: to take or hold possession or control of occupied the ridge> b: to fill or perform the functions of (an office or position)
4: to reside in as an owner or tenant
The current proponents of this nefarious movement that has taken ownership of a once-lovely word only prefer two definitions of the four seen above. They want to take hold or possession or control of businesses that have been successful; or they want to take up space so that the businesses cannot function. They themselves do not invest their energies in the success they envy.
These who imagine themselves to be the 99% should read and heed the first definition more carefully.
While they--the 99%--"busy" themselves, plotting their next strategies before the 2012 elections, let me speak to Christ-followers. Jesus expects us to "occupy till he comes." That means he intends for us to engage and invest our energies in advancing the kingdom of God, which is the first definition before us. In case we have forgotten, may I remind you that Jesus said his kingdom is not of this world? While you are busy being salt and light in this world, do not forget that your purpose in being salt and light is not just to make the culture look like you would like to look; your purpose in being salt and light is to attract others to follow Christ, whose kingdom is a heavenly kingdom. I don't think the kingdom of God advances far if we invest our energies in shaping culture. Show culture-followers the light of Christ and some will leave that culture and follow him. Then and only then will your culture truly change.
Occupy. What definition will you choose with this word? Let's get busy for the King.



This devotional commentary on Galatians is my first work to be published in English. My prayer is that busy pastors and interested Bible students will find a resource to help them study this important letter that Paul penned under the Holy Spirit's inspiration.

The title reveals the heart of the letter: grace. In a time when Christ-followers are increasingly challenged about their walk with the Lord, Grace Works can serve as a guide for understanding the beauty of our salvation and sanctification in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Look for it soon in your local bookstores, on Amazon, and from this site.