Although no one has asked my opinion on these issues, here you go:
Lifeway's "Read with Discernment" program: Lifeway is in the undesirable position of being a business that needs to make a profit that people expect to act like a ministry that puts values and ideas first. While I think everything should be read with discernment by believers, I also recognize that there are some books available from Christian publishers that aren't exactly stable. What do you do if you're selling books? Well, if you have a church bookstore, I doubt your pastor lets you sell just anything. What about Lifeway, that is essentially the bookstore on behalf of Southern Baptist Churches? We don't all agree. Some like The Shack. Some hate The Shack. Some are looking into the ideas from the Emerg*** (with props to TeamPyro for the term), some don't want them at all. Same with Rick Warren, Beth Moore, Doug Hibbard books. (ok, nobody wants the last one.) So, they make a decision to label certain things as not quite solid Baptist theologically. Why is this a problem? Do you remember the outcry when they pulled some magazines that pushed a non-Baptist viewpoint? Would we rather not be able to buy at all? The "Read with Discernment" will hopefully get some people to think twice, and do some research. Is Blue Like Jazz the right book to give your questioning teenager? Well, it's got a great title, some great recommends, and a cool cover! But, as a general customer, do you really know what's in it? Or are you buying it because, hey, it's in Lifeway, it's got to be good? Read all things with discernment, whether it be books, blogs, or stickers in books. And cut Lifeway some slack. 15 years ago we agreed to let them try and market outside of Baptist worlds, now we want them to be perfectly Baptist. You can't do businesses that way.
The BCS: No, it's not perfect. But is this what the US Senate needs to spend time on? Get real, people. Fix real problems. Like disposing of the designated hitter rule. If he's pitching, he should hit. That's part of the strategy.
Guns in church: Nobody should need a gun in church. Unfortunately, apart from the work of Christ, people are totally depraved. I'm not for everyone in church with a CCL carrying, but I also don't think we should delude ourselves into believing it's a 'gun-free' zone. I remember kids in high school carrying. I'm almost persuaded we didn't have mass shootings in my school because there were extra guns. I might be wrong. I'm also glad to home-school, since I know where the guns are in school. And yes, they are there, and yes, I intend to teach my children how to use them. My father taught me, and I've never shot anyone. I've only carried a few times for personal defense, and was uncomfortable with the idea, but it's a sometimes necessity. Back to church: the church should have the freedom to make the security arrangements it sees fit. These arrangements should NOT include government involvement. Very little good will come from having armed police at church on a regular basis.
Tax cuts: really only exist if you cut taxes on people that pay them. You can't give me any more federal tax cuts, I already am able to credit my way out of paying anything. So, anything else is taking from people that pay to give to me. I'll take it, but is that really a good idea? Let people keep their money. Then, maybe they'll spend it, instead of washing it through the government, where half of it will disappear.
Reaching out to moderate Taliban: There aren't any, by definition. Mr. President, not everyone is a politician. Some people have tightly held values whether popular or not. Remember, those of us that cling to guns and prayer when things go bad and we get bitter? Now, change Jesus's command to 'do unto others as you would have done unto you' to 'do unto others before somebody does unto you' and you get the Taliban. Bitter, angry, clinging to guns, a violent religion, and a dislike for America and freedom. There's no moderation there. Unless you count moderate Taliban as the ones who prefer handguns to AK's.
Retroactive tax increases: This will kill economic growth, more than it's already dead. Why? Because a business needs to plan for the year. If you start now making tax rules that go back 3 months, then you'll have businesses holding on to more money through the year, for fear their taxes will go up.
On blogs you should read: There's lots, but here are my favorites: Ann's Blog, Ann's Other Blog (which is a great, short, daily post), Emil Turner's blog at ABSC.org (which needs a permalink and RSS feed. Thanks.), there's the Teampyro blog, Ruthanne's blog, Ken Coffee's blog, Aaron and Joanna's blog, and lots more. Add these to your read. Oh yeah, add the Family Blog. It's a great way to know what my crazy family does as a whole. And I write another one at Toward the Horizon. See, you didn't ask, but there they are.
Here are the sermons for this past month...I know, it's been a month. :)
Part I-Monday PM, sermon due for 3/8, PM Service First step should go without saying, but it will be mentioned, because it can't go with...
Genesis 17 was yesterday's focus of Through the Whole Bible . In an earlier post , I had addressed some of the other factors of that ch...
Through the Whole Bible hits another one of those unhappy chapters in Scripture today. Genesis 34 (link ) presents us with the ugly tale of...