Archive for June, 2011

No excuses

June 29, 2011

Those who know me well know I am a diehard University of South Carolina fan — all sports.

On Tuesday night, June 28, my South Carolina Gamecocks won the College Baseball World Series for the second year in a row. Last year’s win was the first for the Gamecocks in one of the three major sports — football, basketball and baseball.

This year’s win was just as sweet, and maybe even more so, than last year.

After winning the national title last year, not much was expected from South Carolina in 2011. They were picked to finish third in their division, behind Florida and Vanderbilt.

But no one told the players they were not supposed to win. They started out well, winning the vast majority of their games. But then the injury bug began to bite the team hard. In a matter of weeks, the team lost two of its starting outfielders, including one who was an All-American candidate. Then the team had to replace two of its veteran starting pitchers due to injuries.

But despite losing those talented players and having a lineup that was reshuffled from week to week, Coach Ray Tanner refused to allow himself or his team to make excuses. One player was suspended from the team for a brief time. Coach Tanner kept telling his team, “Win anyway.”

And they did. They tied for the SEC regular season championship (with Florida and Vanderbilt), then proceeded to march through the College World Series without a loss.

We, as Christians, could learn a valuable lesson from this scrappy baseball team. We tend to look for excuses as to why we don’t or can’t serve Jesus Christ. We give excuses of not enough time, too busy, not equipped for a certain task, someone’s more qualified, etc.

But the truth is this — Christians have no excuse for not serving God. He gave us His all in His Son, Jesus Christ.

If God chose to get on a loudspeaker and send a message from heaven down to earth, I imagine His words would be, “No excuses. Serve Me anyway.”

The church has work to do

June 2, 2011

I read a Baptist Press story on June 1 on the results of a new Gallup poll that reminded me of how far our nation (and to some extent, our churches) have digressed.

The survey contains both good and bad news, but the overall trends are disturbing.

It is good news that a majority of adults in our country believe that abortion, pornography and adultery are morally wrong.

It is disturbing, however, that a majority of those same adults believe that homosexuality, fornication and having a baby outside of marriage is morally acceptable.

As Christians, we cannot be pleased with those findings. Our churches have a lot of work to do in teaching our flocks that sin is sin. If abortion is wrong and is “morally unacceptable,” than so is homosexuality.

We have become a nation that “picks and chooses” what is “sinful” and what is not. And, sadly, the churches have stood by and allowed it to happen. May the Lord forgive us.

Here is the Baptist Press story, dated June 1:

Poll: Americans oppose abortion, affirm homosexuality & sex outside marriage
By Michael Foust

WASHINGTON (BP) — A majority of U.S. adults believe homosexuality, fornication and having a baby outside of marriage are morally acceptable but that abortion, pornography and adultery are morally wrong, according to Gallup’s annual values and beliefs poll.
There has been little public movement since 2010 on the 17 issues Gallup includes in the survey, which involved interviews with 1,018 adults.
According to the poll, Americans lean liberal on a host of issues, viewing “gay or lesbian relations” as morally acceptable by a margin of 56-39 percent. They also view sex between an unmarried man and woman (60-36 percent) and having a baby out of wedlock (54-41) as morally permissible.
But on other issues, Americans tilt conservative. Fifty-one percent of adults say abortion is morally wrong, compared to 39 percent who say it’s morally acceptable. A majority of adults also say pornography (66-30) and “married men and women having an affair” (91-7) is morally wrong.
Meanwhile, a plurality of adults say doctor-assisted suicide (48-45 percent) is morally wrong.
Among other moral issues that a majority of Americans say are morally wrong: cloning animals (62 percent morally wrong, 32 percent morally acceptable), suicide (80-15), cloning humans (84-12) and polygamy (86-11).
Among the issues that Americans say are morally permissible: buying and wearing clothing made of animal fur (56 percent morally acceptable, 39 percent morally wrong), medical testing on animals (55-38), “medical research using stem cells obtained from human embryos” (62-30), gambling (64-31), the death penalty (65-28) and divorce (69-23).