I was born right in the middle of a group known as BOOMERS (Born 1945-1965). This is the hinge generation between depression born babies and entitlement babies (the more recently born are the stronger section of entitlement babies). We have received much criticism for “worshiping our work, working at play, and playing at worship.” Amazingly, many of life’s gadgets and music (Rock & Roll/ Modern Country/ Modern Easy listening) enjoyed by our world came predominantly from this age group.
In America, our Boomer generation has fought and endured (for those who were not killed) several unpopular wars, an ungrateful nation, the proliferation of drugs, an escalation of divorce, and an exodus from church, just to name a few indigenous movements characteristic of our time. We have been called materialistic, selfish, anti-establishment (until we became the establishment) and secular in priorities. Still, our money has been invested to create wealth and toys once a sign of affluence but are now necessities (computers, cell phones, etc.).
In regards of government, we have given a great portion of our earnings to finance a rapidly expanding governmental enterprise currently funding nearly half of the population. With the prospect of potentially losing Social Security, our politicians have been able to sustain it for a while longer. This accomplishment has been funded in addition to financing the entitlement programs demanded by dependent citizens and politicians. In effect, this has kept the underprivileged at bay so the politicians may remain in office and retain power. There is a move now to bring in a section of population void of American citizenship to benefit from the entitlements and given rights to vote for those providing the entitlements. What group is predominantly writing the checks? Baby Boomers!
However, with the first Boomers entering retirement and without adjustments to “free programs,” the party is soon to come crashing down. In the next few years, the substantive financial base of the proverbial “handouts” soon coming to an end, the country has been forced into a $19,000,000,000,000 (Yep, $19 Trillion) debt. The interest every second is staggering. Guess what! Boomers are not going to be around to pay the tab.
How does this impact churches? Several thoughts must be considered or tough days lie ahead. To piously say that God does not need our money is a cop-out that only reveals a lack of understanding of how God has chosen to fund his work. In every church there is a wisdom component, a spiritual component, a strategic/logistic component, and a financial component. Those who are spiritually mature understand how these all are intertwined to establish a solid ministry.
The good news is that Baby Boomers are currently coming back to the God of their parents’ faith. In America, this is evangelical Christianity, the rock upon which our nation was built. The call to spend resources and finances on reaching other groups have become so loud, that reaching Baby Boomers is rarely the topic of discussion. It is difficult enough to follow the “Greatest Generation,” let alone be slighted when being targeted for inclusion in churches and ministries. Here are some thoughts to be considered:
- Baby Boomers are beginning to think of their mortality. Preparations for living in retirement, accentuating the last days, and laying out plans for their own death and burial have become popular to remove stresses from remaining family.
- Baby Boomers are beginning to rethink their understanding of God. They want a relationship. They are willing to return to church. They are willing to write checks to implement mission and ministry projects.
- Boomers also have a heart to see other age-segmented groups engaged in church. As they retire, they have time and resource to make this happen.
The bad news is that many churches have become so enamored with reaching other groups that the Baby Boomers, who have always been like a middle child, are seldom the target of church activity and outreach. Even worse is that the church, within the next 15 years, will begin losing this major resource as life takes its natural course. Secularism will be the mantra of secular and spiritual leadership and churches will “lose their saltiness.”
As a final word, this author began this article admitting to being a Boomer. There is also an admission that we unwisely raised our children (who are now young adults with families) where church was not necessarily a priority. We made a mistake. However, in God’s providence, He is giving us a second chance. We are retiring with hearts seeking spiritual fulfillment, resources to perform ministry, and a willingness to finance activities that may be used to impact other age groups. The problem is that few churches are acknowledging this and prioritizing reaching this retiring group.
Part of the solution to reaching the “none,” “millennial,” “booster,” “buster,”and those left in “the greatest generation” is to engage and empower the Boomers and allow their strengths and resources to impact the other groups. Boomers must be willing. The other societal components must also understand that the Boomers are necessary or all could be lost. Every generation has something to offer. In fact, this sounds a little like the New Testament Church, does it not? We are ALL important to God. We ought to be important to each other, regardless of which group you find yourself associated with. We did not chose when we were born. We do choose how we relate to God. A good relationship with God requires reaching out to all- EVEN BOOMERS, regardless of age and generation!
(Note: These thoughts are not necessarily the official position of Wallace Memorial Baptist Church, but rather simple observations and musings of the author.)
Copyright – 2016 – MikeBoydMinistries, Inc.
This is the attitude of establishments in both parties vying for leadership in the US. In all candor, the preferred candidate of this writer did not make the current field. In 2008, the United States elected a president that many did not like, but he was the selection of the majority and for that right we have men and women dying. Democracy is not characterized by a select few getting in a back room and determining who gets elected. That is the privilege of the people in the voting booth.
In one party we have Super delegates who are able to short cut the will of the people if perceived the people have made a mistake. The other party has people working diligently because they do not have such a mechanism. It more tedious if the people perceptively get it wrong. They must use political gymnastics to correct where the voters went awry.
Our founders determined that America would be “by the people and for the people.” Somewhere this concept has become lost in both parties. If a 3rd party would surface, it would simply be more elite orchestrating, thwarting the will of the populace.
This simple message is spiritual in nature. Ethics are a matter of the heart. The division of people by self -appointed pseudo-leaders is unnecessary. Allow the people to speak. I have lived with results I detested, however I would fight to the end to defend my opponent’s right to cast a vote. It is a sacred honor and privilege. True leaders should listen and realize that AMERICAN VOTERS ARE NOT AS STUPID AS THEY THINK! LET THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE PREVAIL!
As I sat in my study at home preparing for the next Sunday morning’s message, snow flowed down outside the window. It looks so pure and peaceful. For a temporary moment, my mind went to a snowy Christmas Eve over ½ century ago. The story reminds me of a love that only God is able to produce. While the details may be sketchy, I am telling the story as I remember it from over 50 years ago.
The setting was World War II in Germany. At twilight there was an Allied soldier on patrol with his squadron near enemy lines. Spotting an enemy counterpart, the quest was on to track and eliminate the German soldier. The blizzard became worse and soon the American found a spot to hide and catch some sleep for several hours.
Sleep overcame the exhausted soldier and soon he was awakened to the first light of Christmas day. The snow had ceased and the fog had mostly lifted. Simultaneously another solder, approximately 15 feet away, stood up startling both men. They stood facing one another with weapons drawn and aimed to fire. Once again the atmosphere was dense, not with fog but fear. Both men stood shaking. The American Soldier softly spoke, “Merry Christmas.” In broken English, the German soldier replied, “Merry Christmas.” Both men turned and walked away back to their respective camps.
The Bible says, “God is love!” (I John 4:8) When we think about societal disruptions and war, we must remember we are always dealing with humans that are loved by God so much that He sent His only Son. Every day we must celebrate that love, not just one day per year. As we celebrate a season of Valentine’s day and use the word “love,” let us all remember that God produces a love in us that is so strong even our enemies recognize something special.
“Love never ends!” Spread His love today!
In light of recent events, there are many opinions on how Christians are to respond to Islamic Radical acts of terror. There is no shortage of opinion, from disarming the populace (which makes the least sense of all) to become active in waging war against all Muslims. Neither of these accomplish adhering to and engaging in Biblical principles relative to the matter.
First, some would ask, “What would Jesus do?” The unfortunate thing is that we do not have the same resources Jesus had. We cannot walk on water, turn water into wine, raise the dead, or ascend into heaven. Therefore, God’s expectation for us as His followers is to ask, what are the Biblical Principles and models that give us insight on how to respond.
With a sincere effort to remove any editorializing on behalf of this author, here are some thoughts:
- PRAY – Matthew 6:33 “seek first the kingdom of God”
- Pray that people everywhere would seek a life where the Lord Jesus Christ and His forgiving love is King.
PROVIDE – I Timothy 5:8 “Now if anyone does not provide for his own relatives, an especially for his household, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever.
3. PREPARE – I Samuel 17
- Identify Obstacles: “the Philistines gathered forces”
- Today – Radical Islamic Terrorists want to do harm to your home, family, and way of life.
- Verse 20 “So David got up in the morning and loaded up…”
- “left the flock” – things would no longer be the same for David
- David had three things
- He had God
- He had belief that God would bring victory
- “The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine terrorist.” (I Sam. 17:37)
- He had a 357 magnum sling shot and 5 smooth hollow core stones.
- DON’T EVER SURRENDER THE SUPPLIES GOD MAKES AVAILABLE TO CONFRONT HIS ENEMIES.
2 Timothy 1:7 “God has not given us the Spirit of fearfulness, but one of power…”
Take Away From This:
- Pray Up
- Pray for courage
- Pray for salvation of your enemies
- Men, understand it is your responsibility to protect your families and loved ones. Those of you with children have even more of a responsibility, not less.
- Do not live in fear or the bad guys win.
- Pray you will never have to engage, but if you do, realize that you are doing God’s bidding.
IN THE END, GIVE GOD THE GLORY!
“On this rock I will build My church”
(These are simple notes drafted in response to one of our church members being challenged regarding the pontific visit. It is not meant to be derogatory or negative in any manner. The purpose is to understand a text regarding Jesus building His church on a Rock which I believe to be “a declaration of and submission to Jesus as the One and Only Messiah and the True Hope for all humans.”)
Due to the Pope’s visit to the United States, I was asked for information regarding Peter being the first Pope and the “foundation of the church.” My doctorate was based on the philosophical and theological declaration of Jesus at Ancient “Dan” or “Paneas” (Caesarea Philippi) found in Matthew 16. Although not an expert on the subject, no less than eight times I have been at the very geographical spot where He made this statement on building His church. I also spent five years developing the “IDENTITY” Jesus is establishing for the church and have spent thousands of hours examining what was going on as Jesus and Peter dialogued.
First, where this happened was a killing ground for ancient Canaanite religions. There is an altar there where children were killed in order to appease their gods. It is no accident that Jesus used this spot to begin a conversation about how the One True God would be appeased.
Secondly, the area where this was spoken is at the base of Mount Hermon where you find the beginning of the Jordan River. The melted snow and mountain springs begin their flow southwards forming the Jordan River, running into the Sea of Galilee (also called the Sea of Tiberias, Gennesaret, Sea of Chinnereth), then emptying back into the Jordan River running approximately 85 miles down the Jordanian Valley to the Dead Sea which is the lowest point on the planet. These flowing waters brought irrigation to the valley and abundant agriculture. Without it, that part of the world would die for lack of food and water. The river is the source of life. No doubt, Jesus is saying that the Church flowing throughout the planet would be the source of life.
Thirdly, to truly understand what is being said, one must know the context of Peter’s discussion with Jesus. It is not surprising with the visit of the Pope that people are talking about this conversation. Let me say on the front end, I have MANY Catholic friends and believe some of them to be born again Christians and on their way to heaven. The same is true for Baptists. This is NOT an attack mode. The axis of my presentation herein is to offer an educated, prayerful, and intellectually honest approach to the situation. Anyone challenging my motives and heart would be mistaken. Also, I have NO thought of being infallible and realize there are others who may differ and that is OK. This is simply an attempt to offer credible insight to what can be a divisive position. My heart is not to divide. It is to present truth.
Fourthly, The entire package of Matthew 16:13-20 has to do with Jesus and the church, not Simon Peter. Jesus leads the discussion with a question, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is? (Italics is mine.) In effect, Jesus answers the question by distinguishing Himself as the Son of Man which is a Messianic designation. In other words, Jesus is saying, “Peter, I am the long awaited Messiah. How are people responding to that and who do they see me as?” Peter responds with various designations he has heard throughout their travels. Then Jesus pointedly asks Peter, “How about you?” Within earshot of Matthew and others, Peter says, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God!” (MT 16:16) This would have been a startling statement in first century Israel.
Fifthly, Jesus establishes the foundation upon which the church all throughout history should be built. The interpretation of this is where divisions become white-hot. Jesus responds, “Simon, you are blessed but this did not come from you. It came from “My Father” in heaven.” Then Jesus changes the name He calls Peter and says, “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church …” (16:18) The name “Peter” was given to Simon by Jesus and the particular usage here is important. It means “Little Rock.” The word, “upon this rock” is a different word meaning a huge boulder. Simple logic leads one to believe that if Jesus was speaking of Peter, he would have used the same word. He did not. In fact, Peter could not be the first pontiff because he was married.
Sixthly, So what is this “Rock?” If it is not Peter, it is the statement made by Peter. No sense can be made of Peter being the foundation of the church. But a declaration regarding Jesus being the Messiah offers the actual natural meaning of the phrase. In other words, the church will be built (assembled) as individual people make the same declaration made by Peter: “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God!”
The word for church is made of the prefix, “ek,” followed by the root, “Kaleo.” The Ekklesia is made of those called out who have declared that Jesus is the Messiah. There are two nuances for the church. One is a local body of believers. Very simply, Jesus recognized local gatherings as “the church” in Revelation when he writes letters to the “seven churches.” But it is also universal. That church is made up of all believers past, present, and future. There is no universal church on earth. The universal church includes those in the past that are already in heaven, those on earth now, and future Christians. Ecclesiastical scholars, such as H.E. Dana, offer strong intellectual support for this concept.
Many will take issue with various positions presented in this paper. However, as prayerfully and with as much intellectual honesty/purity as possible, I have attempted to present the question of Peter’s position in the early church. I will not argue with those who desire to believe he was the initial Pontiff. However, it seems that if one feels it necessary to have a pope, a case could be made for James, the half-brother of the Lord. While Peter was doing missionary work, James was the lead pastor of the Jerusalem church. I will leave that discussion to my Catholic friends.
In conclusion, the one thing that matters and remains the same as the day Jesus asked Peter that life changing question: “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” Only those who answer, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God” will ever be a part of THE CHURCH . . . the BRIDE OF CHRIST!
We know others were listening because in verse 20, Jesus addresses the 12 and tells them to keep this among themselves for now. Why? When word got out, Jesus would be killed and His earthly ministry had not yet been completed.
Where are those who continuously rage with obnoxious repetition about church and state separation when they know little about church and misrepresent the Constitution of the United States of America when a woman from Appalachia is jailed for her religious convictions? Where are all of our “so called” religious leaders when zealots are demanding that a woman issue marriage license to a couple who could have gone to any other county around and received their illegal same gender marriage license?
Why does this blog reference this as illegal when the Supreme Court ruled in June that same gendered couples could be married? Simple! Because the Supreme Court has no authority over religious matters. Like it or not, marriage is a religious matter. Or have we forgotten it was once called HOLY MATRIMONY? Their ruling is an intrusion into what has been a religious matter for thousands of years. Then for anyone to have the audacity to place a woman in jail for not issuing the license. Really!
The next step will be that when a couple has a “legal license” to be married, and a pastor refrains from performing the marriage, will he be placed in jail as well. That is the sentiment. Some say, she does not have to keep her job. The pastor does not have to keep his job. They can do something where they are not asked to make such decisions.
Let me use an old Hebrew word from the Old Testament. Hogwash! The government needs to get back in the business of building the strongest military in the world to protect the freedoms our forefathers died for. They do not need to be in the business of taking those freedoms away. The government needs to hold in high esteem our police, fire, and law enforcement personnel of all sorts to ensure that we do not live in a land of anarchy.
If the Supreme Court can make up rules as we go along, why can’t the rest of us? It is time for the nonsense to stop, and for good people rise up to make a difference. I, for one, believe that a majority of Americans are still committed to the basics of civilization. I believe it is time to resurrect the Moral Majority once again to stand and say enough is enough.
I am standing. You say, “yes, but you are not a majority.” I respond, “Yes, I stand by God’s word and when we do that, God and I are a majority.”
WHO WILL STAND WITH ME?
And we were told this would not be the case!
It was only a matter of time. And it came much sooner than later.
When the United States Supreme Court ruled in June that same-sex marriage is protected under the Constitution and is legal in all 50 states, concerns were expressed that religious liberty would come under attack.
Questions arose as to whether ministers could speak freely against homosexuality and call it what it is — sin.
At least in Kentucky the answer is no. Fox News reported Aug. 11 that volunteer chaplains had to sign a document promising not to tell inmates that homosexuality is “sinful.”
When Chaplain David Wells said he could not sign such a document, the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice revoked his credentials.
Wells, who spent 13 years ministering to troubled juveniles, had to give up a labor of love.
If anyone is really surprised this has happened, then your head has been in the…
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