RSS

Category Archives: Life

Mission Trip Recap – Ruined In A Good Way

About a month ago I took a trip.  It was a trip out of the country.  I cannot say much about the actual trip for security reasons.  I will simply say I went to a place to meet with some men and women from other places to learn what they go through on a daily basis because they love Jesus.  I spent a week in that place.  It was my first trip like this.  I have been back home for over three weeks and I cannot get the people I met with out of my mind.  I cannot get the place I went to out of my mind.  I cannot get this burden for those people off of my heart.  I cannot stop being consumed with a desire to share the cause of the persecuted Church!  There is no ceasing in sight of my obsessive passion to see the Gospel of Christ taken to the ends of the world, and I pray that never ends!

The passion for Jesus I saw in these people was amazing.  He is all they have to cling to and that is a beautiful thing.  They have given up everything to follow Him.  It has cost them dearly.  And they would say it is the greatest thing in their life.  They cannot stop talking about it.

This is where this trip really wrecked me.  I talk a lot in a given day.  I talk to my wife.  I talk to my kids.  I talk to friends.  I talk to family.  I talk to coworkers.  I talk to random people.  I talk to myself.  I am normally constantly communicating in some form or fashion.  Yet what is it that I am communicating?  Work, random events, tv, sports, food, traffic, weather, etc.  You see I talk all the time.  Yet I seem to rarely use this amazing privilege to talk about the thing that matters the most.  I neglect to talk about the Gospel.

You see I have this ever growing yearning to be a part of taking the Gospel to the thousands of unreached people groups in hard to reach and dangerous places, yet I cower from taking the Gospel to my neighbor or friend or coworker.

The people I met with and learned from in that place face real legit danger for talking about Jesus and the Gospel in the places where they live.  In some of those places sharing the Gospel or giving someone a Bible is worse than terrorist activity.  They talk about Jesus and they lose their house or job or extended family, many times they are beaten or imprisoned.  Still they don’t stop talking about Jesus!  I am not going to lose my job or be cut off from my family or lose my house or be beaten or jailed.  If I talk about Jesus I might have people have a different opinion of me.  It might not fit the bill for the people pleasing person I normally am because it is off the normal script.  I don’t face real persecution for talking about Jesus yet I let fear prevent me from doing so far too often.

Maybe you are stronger and less of a coward at heart then I am but I highly suspect you are in the same boat as me.  So where do we go from here?  Where do I go from here?  How do I change?  How do I stop being a coward and use the amazing freedom I have to talk about the Gospel?  To begin with I need to pray.  To pray for courage and boldness.  To pray for wisdom.  To pray for discernment.  To pray to be led by the Spirit.  Then I need to act.  To tell.  To let the remembrance of the depth of the grace shown to me in the Gospel cause me to be consumed with sharing that same Gospel with the world.

I do feel as a result of my recent trip that missions will be a much larger part of my life than ever before.  I also think how I live and act and see things in my everyday life here and now has changed because of this trip.  I have nothing more important than to share the Gospel with those around me.  I pray you do the same.

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on July 8, 2015 in Life, Ministry, Missions

 

The Great Adventure: 20 Years In Ministry

Earlier this week my wife and I had a uncommon occasion where we were alone in the car while we drove to my parents to spend the evening with them at a couple of different events.  Since my mom keeps Bo and Lorelai during the day they were already there.  Stephanie and I took advantage of the rare drive with no DVD blaring from the backseat (I can probably quote all three Madagascar movies in their entirety even though I have never actually watched one of them) and at one point listened to a really old Steven Curtis Chapman cd.  This particular cd came up because Stephanie had tried to accuse me of singing the wrong lyrics to The Great Adventure right before we left our house.  Now I may have no clue who Justin Bieber or Drake or Ariana Grande (sounds like a Starbucks drink, I mean should I be ordering that right now instead of a venti pumpkin spice latte with two pumps hazelnut and two pumps cinnamon dolce?)  are and wouldn’t recognize a single song from any of them, but I do know old school contemporary Christian Music.  As we sang and laughed and told stories of growing up in our different youth groups I began to reminisce.  The next day I listened to the song some more, as well as a bunch of other music from that time in my life and from the last almost twenty years since high school.  As I did so I began to reflect on the past twenty years since September 04, 1994.

September 04, 1994 was a Sunday.  I remember it well.  It was Labor Day weekend.  My sister was home from college for the first time.  I had just started my junior in high school.  We (the MHS Buffs) had lost to Enid on Friday night.  On Saturday I had gone to a third birthday party for my pastor’s son at the caboose in the McDonalds parking lot in McAlester.  It was one of my Dad’s weekends to stay with Grandpa and take care of him.  We sat in a different place at church that Sunday.  It was just Mom, Julie, and me (dad was bringing Grandpa from Haileyville to our house in McAlester for lunch).  We were a typical Baptist family and had our normal spot; it was on the section to the right a few rows from the front.  But that Sunday we sat in the middle even closer to the front, right in the middle of the youth section.  I couldn’t tell you what we sang or what Dr. Adams’ sermon was about but that day I quit fighting with God about the course and direction of my life.  For over a year I had been wrestling with God over ministry.  The previous summer I had gone to Centrifuge youth camp at Glorieta New Mexico with a small group of youth from the church.  In the prayer garden one night I began to feel God tell me that I would be used by Him and be in ministry.  I fought that hard for the next 14 months.  On that Sunday I said yes to God and publically surrendered my life to ministry and it has been an adventure ever since.

I began meeting with my pastor (Randy Adams) once or twice a week and learning from him.  We would talk about ministry and life.  He would take me on hospital visits and he helped me increase my prayer life with how he drove his 1964 Mustang.  I learned so much from him.  I have continued to learn from him over the years and am thankful for God using him in my life.  One thing he told me back then that I have never forgotten is that ministry is not about the glamour or prestige.  I have not always lived that truth but it has been in those times where I have learned the depth of this truth in at times painful ways, but more on that later.

Besides meeting with Dr. Adams I was also one of the youth leaders of a local youth breakfast we had at our church every Thursday morning called Good Morning World.  An older Italian gentleman (Art Quadracci) in our church led Good Morning World and he would always pick one or two youth to help find devotional speakers and to invite groups like the football or basketball teams.  I also was a leader for our local FCA and help organize events and huddle group activities, although looking back we did not meet nearly as often as we should have.  During my senior year I started teaching in the RA’s and helping with the kid’s ministry.  I also had the opportunity to preach my first two sermons that year.  My first sermon was at First Southern Baptist Church Crowder, Oklahoma, which is where I was baptized in 1986.  My second sermon was at First Baptist Church Haileyville, Oklahoma.  It was the church where my dad grew up, where my parents were married, and where my mom’s dad that I never got to know, my grandpa Jim Boyd, preached.  Having that opportunity to preach in both of those places was a tremendous blessing.

When I graduated high school I went to Oklahoma Baptist University and continued my adventure in ministry.  I had my first few ministry positions while at OBU which included serving as a youth minister at a rural church about an hour away from school, working at the largest youth camp in the USA, and working at my parents’ church in Ardmore, OK with the youth and college students.  Since college I have served in full time roles, bi-vocational/part time roles, and unpaid/volunteer roles.  Some of the time I have found my income from sales and retail management jobs during the latter two seasons.  I have learned from and been blessed in every season of ministry I have experienced.  I have worked with kids, youth, college students, young professional singles, married parents, and senior adults.  I have been a youth minister, college director, intern, interim, missional pastor, and senior pastor.  I have preached to a congregation of 4 and been on stage to lead a prayer in front of 7,000+.  I have shared the Gospel with groups while sweaty and dirty on a high element ropes course, preached in a suit and tie, and everything in between.  I have had the privilege to marry people and the responsibility of bringing comfort at a funeral.  I have held young babies and sat with those taking their last breath.  I have baptized young and old including in a pond that might have had snakes in it.  My first sermon was a ten page typed manuscript that took just over 5 minutes, and I have shared with no notes at all for over an hour.  I have worked in really small churches, really big churches, really old churches, and with one church from the birth of it up till it was ready to launch.

Some of the greatest high points of my life have come from ministry as well as some of the lowest of low.  Apart from my wedding day and the birth of my kids the greatest memories I have are from ministry, but also a few years ago as I had an almost complete nervous breakdown on the side of the road while driving to children’s camp I thought ministry was going to kill me.  As I reflect back to those highs and lows I really see something profound.  The lows came when I started to think too much of myself and forget what ministry is about it.  They came in part because of my own pride and my own issues with control and power.  The highlights of 20 years of ministry are definitely people I have gotten to know and spend time with.  That Thursday morning breakfast I helped lead, Good Morning World, well one of my tasks was to find speakers.  A lot of times I didn’t find anyone and I would wind up speaking.  I cannot tell you a single thing I talked about or a single verse I used.  I know I used scripture each time.  I can, however, tell you the names of three younger guys I gave rides to each week – Adam, Ben, and Stephen.  Adam kept doing that after I graduated.  He would go and pick up other kids and give them rides.  He is married and is a dad, he has been teaching in Korea and is in the process of moving back to the US.  Ben is a great dad and just moved from Michigan to Austin.  Stephen, he was the annoying kid I was never excited about having to take, he was Ben’s little brother.  He is now a tremendous worship leader and an author too.  God has used him amazingly since Jr. High.  There is also the group of guys I used to hang out with at Ardmore FBC and spend time talking and sharing about life.  One, Matt, is a worship leader at a church campus here in OKC and is just a great young guy.  Another, Brett, is a pastor and church planter in Muskogee, OK and if it was not over an hour away I would go to his church to hear him preach and have him as my pastor.  God has used these two and others from that small group of guys immensely and it has been my joy to watch.  A few of them are struggling in life and not living for God and I pray for them daily.

Now I am not taking any credit at all for Stephen or Matt or Brett.  I doubt I had anything to do with their spiritual development.  I just hung out with them.  On the flip side the times I have been power happy and concerned with my image too much and wanting to be seen as a leader because of my title or position have brought about those low and gut wrenching times.

So to bring this all together I would unquestionably say that if I have learned anything over the past twenty years it is what Dr. Adams taught me all those years ago.  It is that ministry is not about the glamour or the prestige.  It is about loving God and loving people and seeking to love people by serving them.  Jesus told us this when James and John’s mother wanted them to be the greatest.  He replied:

You know those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.  But it shall not be so among you.  But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all.  For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  Mark 10:42b-45.

The last twenty years have without a doubt been a great adventure and I hope the next twenty years and the next twenty years beyond that are even greater still.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 4, 2014 in Bible, Family, Friends, Life, Ministry

 

Crying Abba

My daughter,IMG_2136 Lorelai, is 18 months old and is the cutest most adorable and lovable little girl ever. When her older brother, Bowman, was born I was not sure how I would be as a dad, but both of my children have captured my heart and I love them dearly. Being a dad has taught me so much.

 

Recently Lorelai has started screaming my name whenever I get home from work and running to me saying “DADDY”. This got me to thinking about how we relate to God a lot of the time. When Lorelai runs to me she just knows I am her daddy. She doesn’t know how I am her dad and what went on biologically for me to be her dad. She just knows I am her daddy. She does not know how I work to make money to pay bills and buy groceries and diapers and clothes and toys for her and her brother. She just knows I am her daddy. She doesn’t know how I watch my diet and stay active and healthy to be around a long time for her. She just knows I am her daddy. You see to her the whys and the whats and the hows don’t matter. All that matters is I am her daddy.   It is that simple for her.

 

Shouldn’t it be that simple for us and our relationship to God? I mean why do we try to make it so complicated when He is our dad. Perhaps today we just need to remember that He is our dad and run to Him screaming out his name!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 13, 2014 in Family, Gospel, Life

 

Update on Life, Ministry, & Church Planting

Well it has been almost a year since I have sent out an update to everyone so I thought it time to finally send out an update on life, ministry and church planting.  This past fall after a time of prayer and seeking God, Stephanie and I decided to fully hit the brakes on planting Mission Stone Church in Owasso.  With that being said I now want to slightly back up and share what lead to that decision and then share what is going on in our lives and what the future may hold.

Toward the end of last summer I felt I finally had freedom to start working on the steps to planting a church in Owasso.  I started posting on social media about the church more, I met with a couple of pastors in Owasso and Stephanie and I spent some time driving through town and praying for it.  My time with the pastors I met with went well, but as I processed through them something felt off.  I could not put my finger on it at the time, but I knew God was working on me with something.  Then this past fall I had the privilege to interview for a staff position at The Journey Church in St. Louis.  God ultimately did not lead us to serve there, but through the process I was able to examine some areas of my life and see some areas of weakness and some of strength.  Through doing that I was able to see that God was leading me in a different direction than planting at this time.

I surrendered to the ministry twenty years ago this year and have been in some form of ministry the majority of time since; more unpaid roles than paid, and several part time/bivocational positions.  My time as a paid staff member I have either been part time or the only full time staff person.  It was upon prayerful reflection on this that I came to see that God was showing me that I need more seasoning at an established church.  So that is where we are as a family.

I am currently seeking a position at a church, either as an Associate Pastor with roles in educational ministry or discipleship, or as the pastor of a smaller church in a more rural setting.  I am being patient with waiting and trusting all to God.  Until he leads our family to the right position I will still be managing the Chick-fil-A in Northwest OKC and we will still be a part of Redemption Church in Edmond.

Our family is great.  I have completely rebounded from my health scare last Spring and am healthier than I have been in probably a decade.  Stephanie is well and is having an impact on her student’s lives.  Bo is a 2 and half year old bundle of energy and love.  He is growing up so fast and has such a sweet heart.  Lorelai is now walking and becoming more verbal.  She is convinced that she can do anything her brother can do and her smile can light up any room at any time.

Thank you for all of your prayers and support.  Please pray for us as we continue to trust God to lead us to the place where He has for us to serve.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 29, 2014 in Life

 

Why I Am Walking At Graduation At 35

To begin this post I am going to restate a post from August of this year, then make some concluding remarks.

I began college in August of 1996.  That seems like a lifetime ago to be honest.  In many ways it has been.  So much has changed since then.  We have had 5 presidential elections, most of them containing controversy.  America has been attacked by terrorists.  An African American now resides in the White House, yet our country remains as racially divided as ever.  I have gone from a somewhat shy, unsure, recently turned 18 year old to a mid 30’s husband and dad that loves to play with my kids.  I have lived in at least 14 different places, including apartments, dorm rooms, and for a month a friends couch and now I own my own home.  I am on my 6th vehicle since that 1983 Nissan King Cab pickup I hauled my stuff to OBU in. I have gone from short hair to kinda long and shaggy hair to spikey hair, to even black hair at one point to now back to really short almost no hair.  I have worked many places, had many friends, and been through a lot.  However one thing that has remained the same as it was back then is that I have no college degree.

You see I had many up and downs during college, some hardships, some curveballs.  But really it was no different than what perhaps many of you faced and overcame.  I admittedly did not handle them well at the time.  I participated in commencement in the Winter of 2001 knowing I still lacked several courses. I remembered being shocked that my name was on the list of December graduates, but since my sister was graduating the same day I decided to go ahead and be a part of the ceremonies.  I went back two years later in 2003 to finish those courses and to complete a second major.  Those plans however were derailed after just one semester and well life happened and I never went back to finish my last 6 hours.

To be honest I think I had accepted the fact that I would never finish my college degree.  It just seemed like a crazy dream that I would ever be in a position to do so.  Now sure there were times I dreamed about it and about even going for my masters and eventually my doctorate.  However those always seemed like a nice thought, you know the kind that makes you smile and then you get pulled back into the real world.

Well as I type these words right now I can see my 4 text books for this semester (and WOW have prices gone up in over a decade), I can reach to the side of my desk and pull out my class list and look at it.  That is right; through an amazing series of events and blessings I am enrolled in those final 6 hours to finally complete my degree.  It does not seem real at times, it may not until my first test (AAAACK that has been awhile!) or till Fall Break or my term papers, or the end of the semester.  I am grateful to be going back to finish.  It has been a long time and something I need to do.

Well the tests are all taken, the papers all written, I passed all six hours and only one thing remains.  Tomorrow morning I will get up, put on a a finely pressed dress shirt, my black suit, recently polished boots, a new green tie, and go to OBU to participate in Winter Commencement.  I wrestled with whether or not to walk in graduation again quite a bit.  I mean I have no connections to the current students I will be graduating with and I have already done this song and dance once 12 years ago.  So why do it again?

I think the biggest thing is that it really means something to me now.  As stated above I knew I was not really finished when I “graduated” in 2001.  In the decade plus since then I have always felt like something was missing or not complete.  I think actually taking part in graduation will give me a sense of finalty and bring a sense of resolve to my college experience.

I have admittedly had a long winding journey to complete my college degree.  Would I recommend this track or journey to anyone?  No, not really.  Do I regret it though?  No, and I say that because of the experiences I have had along the way.

So to everyone that has played a part in my College journey, no matter how small or great, I say thank you and ZIP BANG OBU!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 12, 2013 in Life

 

Going Back To School

I began college in August of 1996.  That seems like a lifetime ago to be honest.  In many ways it has been.  So much has changed since then.  We have had 5 presidential elections, most of them containing controversy.  America has been attacked by terrorists.  An African American now resides in the White House, yet our country remains as racially divided as ever.  I have gone from a somewhat shy, unsure, recently turned 18 year old to a mid 30’s husband and dad that loves to play with my kids.  I have lived in at least 14 different places, including apartments, dorm rooms, and for a month a friends couch and now I own my own home.  I am on my 6th vehicle since that 1983 Nissan King Cab pickup I hauled my stuff to OBU in. I have gone from short hair to kinda long and shaggy hair to spikey hair, to even black hair at one point to now back to really short almost no hair.  I have worked many places, had many friends, and been through a lot.  However one thing that has remained the same as it was back then is that I have no college degree.

You see I had many up and downs during college, some hardships, some curveballs.  But really it was no different than what perhaps many of you faced and overcame.  I admittedly did not handle them well at the time.  I participated in commencement in the Winter of 2001 knowing I still lacked several courses. I remembered being shocked that my name was on the list of December graduates, but since my sister was graduating the same day I decided to go ahead and be a part of the ceremonies.  I went back two years later in 2003 to finish those courses and to complete a second major.  Those plans however were derailed after just one semester and well life happened and I never went back to finish my last 6 hours.

To be honest I think I had accepted the fact that I would never finish my college degree.  It just seemed like a crazy dream that I would ever be in a position to do so.  Now sure there were times I dreamed about it and about even going for my masters and eventually my doctorate.  However those always seemed like a nice thought, you know the kind that makes you smile and then you get pulled back into the real world.

Well as I type these words right now I can see my 4 text books for this semester (and WOW have prices gone up in over a decade), I can reach to the side of my desk and pull out my class list and look at it.  That is right; through an amazing series of events and blessings I am enrolled in those final 6 hours to finally complete my degree.  It does not seem real at times, it may not until my first test (AAAACK that has been awhile!) or till Fall Break or my term papers, or the end of the semester.  I am grateful to be going back to finish.  It has been a long time and something I need to do.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 13, 2013 in Life

 

Moral Managers Or Moral Monsters

I am hesitant to write this post.  I fear it could damage me and my level of influence.  However I fear not doing something I sense I am called to even more.  So I have to write this.  I will try to be as soft as possible and pull punches where I can yet I feel many things here must be said and inserted into a current national cultural conversation.

From the start of Hobby Lobby’s lawsuit against the federal government over some provisions in the health care bill or Obamacare if you will, I have had quite a few uneasy feelings and a sense that something is not just right.  In the past few days I have seen an onslaught of tweets, status updates, and blog posts concerning the Hobby Lobby issue.  This social media barrage coupled with the regular news coverage of the story has escalated those uneasy feelings.  Those uneasy feelings as unpacked and explored have revealed three areas where I have concerns with what has been said and argued.

The initial area of concern is that of the Green family’s general attitude about the whole thing.  Every time I have read about their desire to willingly subject themselves to the over $1.3 million daily fine I have been stunned by their level of defiance.  A Shakespearean phrase rolls through mind every time I read about or think about this.  “Me thinks ‘they” doth protest too much.”  As believers we are to obey the civil governments set before us.  Paul writes to the believers in Rome who were under a government far more hostile to Christianity than our own:

1Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. 6For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. 7Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.  Romans 13:1-7

Again I want to point out that this was written to those living under a government that openly sought to eradicate Christianity.  They saw the followers of Christ as enemies to the good of the state and wanted them gone.  Now there are those who make their money yelling at cameras on certain right leaning TV stations and into microphones filling conservative radio air waves that would try to convince you that our government is even worse.  I am going to leave the absurdity of those claims alone and assume that you can decipher that for yourself.  We are explicitly called to follow our government as we follow God.

Now I know the natural response and push back to the preceding paragraph is what about civil disobedience?  That is a valid claim.  There are instances in the Bible where people openly defy the government as they follow God.  Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego, John & Peter are just a few examples of this.  The concept though is never explicitly laid out as a direct command in scripture; rather we are given the principles of it in these and other examples.  What constitutes a valid case for civil disobedience?  An instance where we are told to do something that would directly lead to us not following God in that instance.  The Green’s claim that is what Hobby Lobby is being asked to do.  They say that providing health insurance that covers all classes of birth control violates their conscience as followers of God.

I want to strongly push back at this point.  But before I do I want to unequivocally state that I am anti-abortion.  As I write this I am sitting on the couch with my almost 4 week old daughter in my lap.  Babies are such a precious gift and the thought of killing one while in the womb is a horrific thought.  However I do not think that providing the type of insurance that is in question should violate the moral conscience of the Green’s.  Here is why.  They are a for-profit business.  What ultimately drives their decisions is their bottom line.  (If this were not the case they wouldn’t carry so many crack pot end times and prosperity gospel books in the Mardel division of the company, they carry them because they sell and make them money.)   This leads to a culture where decisions are based fiscally and not always by faith.  This is why they have truck drivers working on Sunday and a non-air conditioned warehouse that routinely exceeds 125 degrees or more during the work day in the summers.  This also means they hire the best person for the job, not the best Christian for each job.  There are potentially scores of non-Christians currently employed in the Green family line of businesses: Hobby Lobby, Mardel, & Hemispheres.  It is safe to say that many of these employees are also women and that many do not share the same convictions that the Green’s or you or I do when it comes to abortion.  Now here is the ultimate question to decide whether or not the Green’s are facing a valid case for civil disobedience.  Is it their place to make the moral decision for each and every one of their employees?  If they followed the law and allowed for the type of insurance coverage called for by Obamacare to be in place would they be forcing their female employees to take abortifacient contraceptives?  No they would not be.  That decision would still be left to each individual employed by Hobby Lobby.  Who has the right to make that decision, the individual or their company owners?  As you consider that question I want to illustrate my answer in two ways.  I have two children, an 18 month old son and a newborn daughter.  Right now I have covers on all of our exposed outlets and we are in the process of putting locks on our cabinets.  We do this to protect them at this stage of their lives.  As they get older we will remove the outlet covers and the cabinets will no longer have the child locks on them.  We will teach them and expect them to make good and right decisions.  God did a similar thing in the Garden of Eden.  He put the tree of life there and told Adam & Eve not to eat of it.  Have you ever wondered why He put it there in the first place?  Why not just remove the temptation?  I won’t go into a full-blown extended theological treatise here (my daughter will be hungry shortly), however I will simply say that without the ability to choose wrong, we would be following God robotically and not out of love and true commitment.  So is it the Green’s place to make moral decisions for unbelievers?  I would say no.  Rather as business owners their duty is to provide a safe and friendly work environment that allows their employees to be productive yet also be strongly connected to their families while providing a fair and sufficient salary.

The final and sometimes loudest objection is that the government is infringing on the rights of the Green family to practice their religious beliefs.  Is the government coming to the Green family and saying they can no longer attend their church, or even that they themselves have to be a family that routinely gets abortions?  No, that would be absurd and would be a direct full-on assault of their right to practice religion.  Nonetheless, is instituting laws and mandates for their businesses to follow an attack on their religious freedom?  I think there are several ways to look at this question.  The first revolves around the question of whether or not a for-profit business is afforded the same level of religious liberty as an individual or religious institution.  I would say no.  This is the first line of the government’s attack of the lawsuit and one with which I personally agree.  Hobby Lobby and the other Green family businesses are for-profit companies.  They are established to make money.  Fiduciary concerns drive their business decisions.  If this were not the case their products would be free or close to it, or they would give away 100% of their profits to various charitable causes (I know, I know, the Green’s give away a lot, but not 100% of their company’s profits).  I would say as long as they are a fiscally led company (as are all businesses) they are a secular business and not privy to the rights of religious freedom that we as individuals are.

I think there is a deeper way to look at this question of whether or not their religious liberty is being attacked though.  It revolves around the concern of who holds and guarantee’s our religious freedom?  Are we free to worship and follow God because of the United States Constitution or because of the Cross?  I would argue it is always the latter.  It is the truth of the Gospel that has set us free and nothing can ever trump that.  No law or decree of man can ever jeopardize or infringe upon the freedom we have in the Gospel.  When we look to anything other than Christ to protect our freedom’s in Him we are looking at the wrong place.

I know many people disagree with the things I have said here and that is ok.  I hope I have caused you to think deeper and to look at this issue from a much broader and a much deeper level.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 14, 2013 in Culture, Current Events, Life