<![CDATA[Sounds of Mercy - Merciful Thoughts]]>Sun, 08 Mar 2020 08:16:29 -0500Weebly<![CDATA[Re-energized]]>Wed, 04 Sep 2019 14:46:40 GMThttp://soundsofmercy.com/merciful-thoughts/re-energizedWe began Sounds of Mercy a number of years ago as a cover for the various aspects of my ministry. Through the last few years there have been ups and downs as I have been engaged in some significant ministry work through City Union Mission's outlying men's life recovery program, the Opportunity Farm.  Also during this time I have done some pastoring and traveled about the Midwest with a Southern Gospel quartet out of Branson, MO. 

None of this has dissuaded me from recognizing where my greatest passion is, which put simply is sharing the gospel of Christ through the ministry of the Word and music. Certain events of late have convinced me and my wife that that is the direction we should concentrate on. 

And so I shall.......more to come.....
<![CDATA[´╗┐Boycotts]]>Sat, 11 Mar 2017 22:05:26 GMThttp://soundsofmercy.com/merciful-thoughts/boycotts     I am well aware that many may find fault with my post here, but I can rest in the assurance that it will not be first time, and certainly not the last.
   We are urged to boycott a department store because it doesn’t use the term “Christmas” in its marketing or merchandising. (That is an annual event.) We are, in fact, urged by different organizations to boycott certain things on a fairly regular basis. The intent being to either force these organizations to cease whatever it is that we in the Christian world resent by damaging their “bottom line”, or simply to make a point. (Which in terms of the gospel makes almost no sense.)
     Now Franklin Graham is encouraging all Christians to boycott Disney because it has produced a film that includes an “explicit gay scene”. I suppose there are, even at this moment, a few Christians in the more radical fringe that are building bonfires in their backyards in order to destroy every Disney related VHS tape and DVD in their collection. (Remember those who were encouraged to burn all of their Beatle albums because of John Lennon’s unfortunate remark about Jesus?)
     Now read this clearly. I am not stating that a boycott is necessarily unbiblical. It is a personal choice, and one any individual should feel compelled to do or not do depending on their beliefs. My issue here is not with the validity of boycotting. It is with patent hypocrisy.
     Disney has, over many years, produced hundreds of delightful, family friendly films. I am just as sorrowful as the next fellow that they have demonstrated an apparent lack of regard for what those of us with a Christian worldview find appropriate. So now we are being encouraged to cease doing business with Disney because of their corporate decisions.
     Absolutely! Great! Go for it! Take your stand! Cry out from the housetops just how offended you are that a purely secular, non-Christian organization has chosen to be influenced by the sinful and broken nature of this world and, just as most liberally rooted organizations, panders to the minimal population percentages.
     However, in order to be consistent in your publicly expressed passions, you need to do a LOT more. ABC, NBC, CBS, and a great percentage of public programming is airing increasing amounts of behavior that most conservative, genuine believers find offensive. At least half of the programs my wife and I have enjoyed for years are now incorporating actively homosexual characters as a matter of course. Almost ALL of regular television is rife with adultery, pre-marital sex, drunkenness, and on and on and on. I won’t even mention how many of the parent corporations of our favorite fast food restaurants are fully supportive of gay rights and same-sex marriages. So if you want to be consistent here, you should probably only visit Chick-Fil-A at lunch time.
     So if you are so offended by Disney’s production choices that you feel the need for a public boycott, then you should also cease watching all of the major public networks because they are actively promoting these behaviors that God finds repulsive. Almost every major film production studio I can think of produces and promotes films that contain behaviors and activities most professing followers of Christ would find egregiously offensive. So that means, to be fair, we should not watch or purchase any film produced by Paramount, Universal, 20th Century Fox, MGM, Sony, and…and…need I go on? In fact, most of those studios produce and promote FAR MORE crud and filth than Disney has, to be sure.
     Publicly boycott if you must. Be faithful. But in your faithfulness you must be consistent. The hypocrisy of jumping on one bandwagon while ignoring twenty others does not send a message to the world that is God-honoring. In boycotting Disney as a Christian, you are railing against sin. We all get that. Railing against sin to those who are naturally inclined to sin and have no option apart from Christ rarely accomplishes anything. Expressing the whole gospel of Christ necessarily includes a clear expression of sin, but not so much a breakdown of particular actions as much a clear expression of sins destructive presence and its horrid consequences of judgment apart from Christ’s saving work.
     The POWER of the gospel is not in trying to convince people how really bad they are. The power of the gospel is in telling people how how bad WE ALL are and then telling them (and living out for them) how good Jesus truly is.
God hates hypocrisy. We must all be careful that in being salt and light we haven’t trampled the salt into the mud before it ever has an opportunity to serve its righteous purpose.]]>