These Aren’t the Calvinists You’re Looking For

In Star Wars Episode 4, A New Hope, Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi uses a Jedi mind trick on a group of stormtroopers to protect the safety of this ragtag group of heroes.  As he waves his hand upon the investigative soldiers seeking to identify if the robots in the back seat are the ones on the most-wanted list of the Empire, he changes their mind with the iconic phrase:

“These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.”

The stormtroopers are forced to believe him and they continue on to safety.

Sometimes, I wish I could wave my hand around and get people to think differently.  Especially, when it comes to ministry.  Let me explain.

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Who Are the Pharisees in the Southern Baptist Convention?

It is true that in any arena of life, people have the capacity to position themselves intentionally or inwardly hope that they will rise to a certain platform.  While we wish that was untrue in relation to ministry, it unfortunately exists there as well.

As a pastor, I see the attempts around me and notice the trends inside me to advance our personal agendas.  But as someone who teaches the truth for a vocation, obviously, I should beyond such trivial pursuits.  When I teach from the Bible, I should be able to come from a grounds of moral and leadership superiority and yet I often discover that quite the opposite is true.

Sometimes the religious leaders are the problem.

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The Black Eye of the Southern Baptist Convention

My denomination is caught in a divisive moment at a critical time.

In recent months scandals and controversies have swirled around certain pastors, presidents, and professors within the Southern Baptist Convention.  While some controversies have been front-page catastrophes and others have been suspiciously quiet departures, it appears as if someone is cleaning house.  Some claim that institutions are cowering before cultural pressure and others claim this to be a day of divine reckoning.

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