“When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost.” –Billy Graham
(Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell)
Alt-Right (from Urban Dictionary): Alt-Right, short for Alternative Right, is a set of far-right ideologies, groups and individuals whose core belief is that “white identity” is under attack by multicultural forces using “political correctness” and “social justice” to undermine white people. Characterized by heavy use of social media and online memes, Alt-Righters eschew “establishment” conservatism, skew young, and embrace white ethno-nationalism as a fundamental value. The Alternative Right is a term coined in 2008 by Richard Bertrand Spencer, who heads the white nationalist think tank known as the National Policy Institute, to describe a loose set of far-right ideals centered on “white identity” and the preservation of “Western civilization.”“The alt-right is old racism for the tech-savvy generation.” -Giles Fraser
Led by an African American pastor from Texas, younger members of the denomination, and Dr. Russell Moore who was under fire after refusing to support Donald Trump for president, the Southern Baptist Convention voted overwhelmingly to condemn the alt-right white supremacy movement.
During their convention that took place in Phoenix earlier this month, the nation’s largest protestant organization squashed the hate group, a move that was hailed by the SBC’s fellowship of African American pastors as a welcomed statement strongly condemning racism.
It’s a good step for the old time religion.
The vote for approval was followed by a standing ovation from more than 5,000 convention attendees, but the Washington Post reported that it had been a drawn-out process:
Dwight McKissic, a black pastor from Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington, Tex., had introduced the resolution calling on the denomination to make it clear it had no sympathy for the alt-right.
“I saw people identifying themselves as Southern Baptist and members of the alt-right, so this is horrifying to me,” McKissic said. “I wanted the Southern Baptist Convention to make it very clear we have no relationship to them.”
… when the resolution on the alt-right failed to move forward [on Tuesday] because of objections to some of the wording, many younger members and evangelicals of color became upset. “I thought it would be a slam dunk, but I misread Southern Baptists apparently,” McKissic said.
The Post continued:
For those who have not been paying attention, there has been religious fallout following Donald Trump’s election as U.S. President.
Many have been following the saga of Dr. Russell Moore who is president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention who stood up against supporting Trump for president, but he is by no means the only person of faith who resisted Trump. Among them are pastor and author Max Lucado, Dr. Michael Brown, and NC pastor and blogger John Pavlovitz.
Moore’s resistance to Trump made him the subject of a Trump tweet during the campaign: “Russell Moore is truly a terrible representative of Evangelicals and all of the good they stand for. A nasty guy with no heart!”
I dare say Donald Trump never took the time to read the doctrine of the Baptist denomination but he cavalierly deemed Moore a nasty guy with no heart.
Dr. Russell Moore, 45, is a man of courage. It is difficult to stand up to the overwhelming majority, a head wind he has faced since splitting from the (as it turned out) overwhelming decision within the evangelical community to vote for Donald Trump (an estimated 81 percent of evangelicals backed Trump).
“Night to Shine” now has its own music video with highlights of the proms held worldwide, and lyrics sung by Gary LeVox from Rascal Flats in a celebration of this special night that honors those with special needs. They each become king or queen for the night — they are the stars.
Sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation, “Night to Shine” 2017 was held in more than 375 host churches in all 50 states, and in 22 countries, and by 22 religious denominations, an event that continues to grow.
Each guest is given a crown for their prom, entering on a red carpeted as they are cheered by friends and family for their night to shine. They are presented with corsages and boutonnieres and, once inside, each is helped with hair and makeup, with shoe shining stations and karaoke and the dance.
Tim Tebow began “Night to Shine” because he wanted to be sure those with special needs felt important and loved, and to let them know there is a God who loves them. That’s what “Night to Shine” is all about –to share God’s love around the world. This year’s February 10th night has passed but all those volunteers will be preparing for next year’s event.
Keep in mind that Tim Tebow is 29 years old. The son of missionaries who served in the Philippines, he won the Heisman Trophy while at the University of Florida, was an NFL quarterback with the Denver Broncos, New York Jets, and New England Patriots, and plays professional baseball with the New York Mets. He is an on-air TV sports commentator, author, and sports radio commentator.
“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’ ” -Mark 16:5-7
“Easter Song” by Keith Green (October 21, 1953 – July 28, 1982).
Who was Keith Green? He was a contemporary Christian musician who joyfully shared the message of Christ through his songs. In 1982, he was killed in a plane crash at the age of 28 along with his 4-year-old son and two-year-old daughter. His wife was at home at the time with their one-year-old daughter, and was six weeks pregnant with their fourth child. If alive today, Keith Green would be 62 years old. Read more about this remarkably talented man who left too soon.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
By Lynn R. Mitchell
A Charlie Brown Christmas first aired on December 9, 1965, and became a classic that still rings true almost 50 years later. One reason it remains among the most popular Christmas shows of the season may be because friend Linus reminds Charlie Brown of the true meaning of Christmas by reciting the King James Bible New Testament verses from Luke 2:8-14 describing the birth of Christ.
The fact that the message is delivered by an animated character doesn’t diminish the impact of the meaning.
Interestingly, the story goes that network executives did not want the scripture quoted in an animated show, assuming viewers would become bored. Charlie Brown creator Charles Schulz, however, was adamant that it remain. “If we don’t tell the true meaning of Christmas, who will?” he asked.
Today, even more than in 1965, we need to hear the true meaning of Christmas as told by a little animated boy in a scene that is beloved by millions.
“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and goodwill towards men.’
“That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”
How much richer we are for Charles Schulz standing by his principles. Merry Christmas to Charlie Brown, Linus, the rest of the Peanuts gang, and to you!
By Lynn R. Mitchell
A heart-warming story of a politically-correct public school system that was rebuked:
A Kentucky public school decided to censor their “Charlie Brown Christmas” play after one parent complained that Linus’ monologue reciting Luke 2 was too religious and would be offensive. The students were instructed to remain silent during this part of the play. But on the night of the performance, as the student playing Linus stood on the stage quietly during his would-be monologue, the audience slowly began reciting the scripture verse together until the whole room was filled with applause and cheering as they finished with the words, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men!”
It is the reason for the season.
Afton, Virginia’s, Bethlehem Village has been around for over a decade and returns this year, much to the delight of thousands who have made it an annual Christmas tradition. One of the nation’s longest-running and largest re-enactments of the true story of Christmas, it is free and open to the public, running nightly December 18-22, 2015, from 6-9:00 p.m. On Sunday, December 20, gates will open early from 5-9:00 p.m., with an Hispanic tour at 7:00 p.m. that day.
Imagine a little village that existed long before colorful Christmas lights, reindeer, or Santa Claus. Roman Soldiers walk the streets, Wise Men appear with their camels, shop keepers are going about their everyday lives yet this village is on the brink of something immense, the birth of one who would forever change the course of human history. Experience this village as it really was. Come to Bethlehem and see for yourself the magic and wonder of the first Christmas.
By Lynn R. Mitchell
In the past I have attended the West End Assembly of God’s Christmas productions in Richmond but today was the first time experiencing Thomas Road Baptist Church’s Christmas spectacular celebrating the birth of Jesus. With more than forty years of productions under its belt, TRBC pulled out all the stops once again for an entertaining, music-packed, two-hour production with an underlying message of faith while pastor Jonathan Falwell bumpered the event with inspirational remarks and prayer.
My husband and I were invited by long-time friend Kurt Michael, who is managing editor of this blog and an assistant dean at Liberty University, and his wife Pam, to attend the production. We were not disappointed. For some the show has become a holiday tradition; for others, it was a first-time experience.
The entertainment included plenty of toe-tapping, hum-along music, dancers, jokes, soloists, and talent galore. Props and costumes were outstanding, and the 37-foot living Christmas tree filled the air with the voices of a 100-member chorus that was accompanied by a 30-member orchestra and 60 members of the children’s choir.
By Lynn R. Mitchell
On May 9, Governor Jeb Bush addressed the graduates at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. On Facebook, he wrote, “What an amazing day at Liberty. Here are some highlights. Congrats to all the graduates and their families.”
He added, “To the graduates of 2015, in the words of Isaiah, may you “Go out with joy and be led forth with peace … whatever the need, the affliction, or the injustice, there is no more powerful or liberating influence on this earth than the Christian conscience in action.”
Here are his remarks in full:
“Thank you very much, President Falwell. Trustees, faculty and staff, distinguished guests, parents and friends: I appreciate your kind hospitality. And to all the graduates: Thank you for letting me share in this wonderful day, as you become proud alumni of Liberty University.
For those days when we need a lift….
1. Remember that your Character should always be stronger than your Circumstances.
We can’t always control what happens to us, but we can always control how we choose to respond. In those moments when I choose to stop complaining and instead give thanks to God for the good in my life, the parts that seem bad start to seem much less significant. Choose to keep a positive attitude and thankful heart regardless of what you’re going through.
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18