Philippians #3: Striving Together, On Our Own

Is our Christian life a team sport or an individual pursuit? Paul’s answer to the Philippians: yes.

March 17, 2019, Glynwood Baptist Church, Prattville, AL
James Jackson, Lead Pastor
Text: Philippians 1:27-2:13

Click Here for Manuscript: 3. Striving Together On Our Own Manuscript

The Throne Room: Revelation 4-5

One Throne. Two Chapters. God in Three Persons. One response: WORSHIP.

March 17, 2019, Glynwood Baptist Church, Prattville, AL

James Jackson, Lead Pastor

Text: Revelation 4-5

Click Here for Manuscript: Revelation 4-5 manuscript

We ended our time of study with a time of worship. While a video of Kari Jobe’s Revelation Song played, we read and prayed aloud the five songs of Revelation 4-5. Because of copyright restrictions, I didn’t put the song in the video. But you can watch the video here as you meditate on Revelation 4-5.  Blessings!

The Seven Churches in Revelation, Session 2: Ephesus

When a church falls, it usually drifts from sound doctrine. Ephesus fell in the opposite direction.

January 13, 2019, Glynwood Baptist Church, Prattville, AL

James Jackson, Lead Pastor

Text: Revelation 2: 1-7

To the Church in Ephesus

“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands.

“‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’

 

A Person’s a Person (The Sanctity of Human Life)

What does it mean to be pro-life? Expanding the conversation

January 20, 2019
Glynwood Baptist Church, Prattville, AL
James Jackson, Lead Pastor

Text: Psalm 139:13-16; Matthew 25:31-46

Click Here for Manuscript: a person’s a person manuscript

In this sermon, I tried to get people to think about more than just abortion when they think about being pro-life. And more than that, to think about what it means to be Christian and biblical before they are political. I would love to get your feedback. Thank you for checking it out.

Here’s a link to Daniel Darlings’s book, The Dignity Revolution, which was a major resource for this sermon.

Review of “Messy Grace” by Caleb Kaltenbach

Messy Grace: How a Pastor with Gay Parents Learned to Love Others Without Sacrificing ConvictionMessy Grace: How a Pastor with Gay Parents Learned to Love Others Without Sacrificing Conviction by Caleb Kaltenbach

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a challenging book for me as a conservative pastor. I appreciate Caleb’s story, and I am thankful for his testimony. And it isn’t that I have a problem with loving members of the LGBT community without sacrificing conviction. It’s that I haven’t figured out how to do it yet in a way that they will believe I am actually loving them.

I know all about “hate the sin, love the sinner.” Let’s not go there, because most of my gay friends have a hard time believing I love them if I call who they are a sin. Sexuality is so wrapped up in identity that they literally cannot hear me say, “I love you, but I don’t love what you are doing.” Caleb does a better job with this than anyone I’ve read who takes the Bible at face value (without trying to make the argument that the Bible doesn’t really mean what we’ve translated it to mean when it condemns same sex behavior). In fairness to the author, that is beyond the scope of his book. He is simply telling his story, and its a story conservatives need to hear. But we have to figure out how to engage in compassionate dialogue when we disagree on whether or not something is a sin. For me, it’s like trying to have a conversation with someone who is absolutely convinced their gossiping is really just sharing prayer requests, or that their bigotry is really just a desire to preserve their southern heritage. I can love them, I can accept them, I can plead with them to change their minds, but if they don’t see as sinful what I believe the Bible calls sinful, we get to the end of our conversation very quickly.

And when we are talking about someone’s sexuality, it becomes an attack on a whole different level. Calling out gossiping or bigotry is calling out behavior. Calling out homosexuality, from the perspective of the gay or lesbian, is calling out identity.

The most helpful line in Caleb’s book is that “God doesn’t call us to make gay people straight. He calls us to help lost people be found by Jesus.” Everything else is up to the sanctifying work of Christ. My prayer is that our churches will give all sinners a refuge and a haven for that sanctifying work to be done. And I fear the door won’t be open (or even if it is, that members of the LGBT community will never walk through it) if we don’t agree on what is sin and what isn’t.

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SBC Annual Meeting Recap

This past Wednesday, I shared with our church family my personal reflections on the Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting. Here is the video, as well as a few additional articles I referenced.

Chuck Lawless: Ten Reflections on the 2018 SBC Annual Meeting

My handout listing resolutions, motions, and Alabama stats: Southern Baptist Convention Report

Baptist Press Article: Messengers Make 20 Motions…

Click here to go to SBCNet’s On Demand Video channel for all Sessions of the SBC. One of the highlights for me was Frank Pomeroy’s (Pastor of FBC Sutherland Springs Texas) message at the Pastor’s Conference. He was Session Five, Monday afternoon.

Finally, if there was a single greatest moment of the Convention for me, it was when nine-year-old Zac Mcculler of Alabama made his motion for SBC churches to have a children’s ministry Sunday. Watch the video his dad Scott posted on Twitter.