October 2016

The big bad bathroom issue

October 18 2016 by Andy Royals, Lincolnton, N.C.

Let me see if I have the correct perspective in this matter of LGBT “civil rights,” specifically transgender people. Here you go; hang with me.
A man can believe or think that he is a woman in his head, and is supposed to be regarded as such even though his physical anatomy and birth certificate says otherwise? And the same scenario is supposed to be applied to a woman who believes or thinks that she is a man, contrary to her physical anatomy? Do I have this thing nailed down accurately?
We are constantly hearing that HB2 is sanctioning discrimination against such transgender people as well as lesbians, gays and bisexual people. We are told that it is “a matter of principle.”
Listen very carefully to my point! I have a wife, a daughter, a daughter-in-law, a granddaughter and a great granddaughter – each one is a legitimate female.
What about discrimination against them (females) and the vast majority of men like me who protest a man going into the women’s restroom or the locker room – for only one reason: to see what he can see? Answer that question!
People seem upset about losing the sports revenue in our state. We stand to potentially lose millions of dollars and additional money that investors will hold out.
But how much value will we put on a young girl or woman’s life if she is molested or murdered? It is only a matter of time before this will happen.
One statement I read recently said, “The corporate leaders know that discrimination is morally wrong and that it is bad for their workplace.”
Another one said, “Meanwhile his (Gov. McCrory) hateful law continues to damage North Carolina’s economy now—and his (Gov. McCrory) response to its critics threatens jobs and investments for the state in the future.”
Big deal! It’s high time that church leaders stand up and support Gov. McCrory and everyone who upholds HB2. It’s high time that we stand up and speak up for godly morality and protect the real victims from discrimination – those who want to keep this crowd out of their restrooms!
Let’s do the right thing in regards to the “big, bad bathroom” issue! Forget the economy…consider genuine morality! Forget discrimination… let’s stand with determination!

Andy Royals, Salem Baptist Church, Lincolnton, N.C.

10/18/2016 8:10:27 AM by Andy Royals, Lincolnton, N.C. | with 0 comments

Sing the ‘Word of God’

October 3 2016 by Ned L. Mathews, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

It must be said by someone and therefore I will say it. The essence of worship in Christian churches has never been music of any style, contemporary or otherwise. Rather, until very recently in the history of the church, the preaching of the Word of God and the people’s response to that Word have been central to the experience of worship. While music is very important in our worship experience, and a delight, it must not be the primary focus of Christian worship. Rather, when in use, it has always functioned as another means by which the Word of God is declared. It is no wonder then that some of the early authors of the great hymns of the church were pastors such as John Newton and John Wesley. 
An example of such hymnody is Wesley’s “And Can It Be?” Therefore, I will say it, though some may consider it heresy. It is the preaching of the Word that is CENTRAL to worship. It is the preacher who is the “Worship Leader,” not “the Music Pastor.” This is why the apostle Paul so carefully defined the place that music has in worship in Ephesians 5:18b-21 and Colossians 3:16. 
He wrote that those who lead the music are obligated to choose hymns and spiritual songs that present God’s Word to the people (“Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly”). Thus, “touchy-feely,” sentimental Christian radio “hit parade” compositions, not centered on the Word of God, should be avoided. When we sing in church, let us sing the Word of God!

Ned L. Mathews, professor emeritus of pastoral ministries, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

10/3/2016 2:38:11 PM by Ned L. Mathews, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary | with 1 comments