Month: December 2005

SBTC staffer shifts gears to help hurricane-affected churches toward recovery

In his newest role on the SBTC’s ministry team, Gibbie McMillan is determined to help pastors and churches victimized by hurricanes Katrina and Rita transition from what he calls “survival mode” to “recovery mode.”

Now on special assignment with the Minister-Church Relations (MCR) department in a hurricane recovery role, McMillan and MCR director Deron Biles are busy assessing needs of hurricane-affected churches, aiding pastors and staff members and disbursing funds channeled through the SBTC by churches, the North American Mission Board (NAMB), LifeWay Christian Resources and even the Florida Baptist Convention, which sent a check after Rita hit Southeast Texas.

In all, the SBTC received nearly $1 million from varied sources to distribute to hurricane victims in Texas and Louisiana.

“Which is why this position came into being,” McMillan said. “Because we’re not going to be able to just give money away. You have to have some way of knowing and assessing the damage, knowing who is in need of the money, and then how we are going to disburse it.”

Some of it went to such things as immediate financial assistance for Texas churches hit with several weeks of canceled services and crunched finances after Rita. The SBTC has also helped its sister Baptists in Louisiana and is providing $50,000 towards the salary of Joe McKeever, director of missions in the Baptist Association of Greater New Orleans (BAGNO), an area where a majority of the 144 churches and missions there will not reopen, McMillan said.

The convention is also helping refurbish New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and gave $45,000 to help the Louisiana Baptist Convention serve its churches.

Such cooperation is noteworthy, Biles said.

“Because we have a vehicle, the Cooperative Program, which has been in place for more than 80 years, we were able to provide immediate assistance to churches and Baptist ministries as well as ongoing, long-term help,” Biles said. “Locally, statewide and nationally (Southern Baptists) partnered together. There’s no other missions-funding vehicle that can do that.”

Because requests have slowed considerably, McMillan said he is concerned some pastors and churches that still need help are not seeking it because they assume they can handle it themselves or think others are more worthy of help.

“Most of the churches we helped already missed anywhere from 2-4 weeks of regular services,” McMillan said.

Others exceeded their weekly budget demands several times over by housing several hundred evacuees and feeding them daily for more than a week. In Texas, the SBTC disbursed funds to help churches with such things as utility bills, salary supplements and building note payments.

One church had four full-time ministry and administrative staff members and an average weekly offering of $13,000. Amid housing evacuees while not holding church services, the church fell about $25,000 behind budget.

“We gave them $7,000,” McMillan explained. “So you can see from that that we are not trying to cover so that they have no loss at all. We’re just trying to aid in some of the loss because we can’t underwrite all of the losses for all of the churches. And what you can’t do for all of them you shouldn’t do for just one.”

SBTC devises survey card to help churches reach neighbors

Door-to-door evangelistic surveys should exhibit kindness and should include as much listening as talking, SBTC Evangelism Director Don Cass believes.

“That’s the thing you want today?you want to present the gospel with conviction but you want to do it in a non-threatening way so that the person doesn’t feel as though, ‘This person is fixing to jump all over me,’ rather than, ‘I just want to have a conversation with you.'”

An evangelistic survey card mailed to SBTC churches last month reflects that tone, Cass said.
He hopes churches will use it to reachtheir communities during a year when the Southern Baptist Convention president is challenging churches to win and baptize 1 million converts and coinciding with an SBTC challenge to double baptisms.

The card offers an introduction for church members knocking on their neighbors’ doors.

“Hello, I am (name) and I am a member of (church). We are trying to be more caring and compassionate about real needs and issues people have in our community. We would like your opinion about how we can be more effective in our ministry efforts. Would you mind sharing your opinion by answering a few questions?”

Cass said nearly everyone is willing to state his opinion about what the church should be or do.

“I really think one of the things the church has had a weakness in over the years is not hearing the real needs of the community,” Cass said. “And thus we sometimes scratch, so to speak, where people are not itching.

“While I don’t think the lost world should dictate to us what we do, I do think it is important for us to hear them and to know what they might be looking for if they decided to go to church.”
Seldom do the unchurched mention music or preaching styles as top concerns, Cass said. Rather, “What they’re interested in is somebody who cares about them.”

The survey questions are:
1. If you were looking for a church to attend, what would be the two or three most important characteristics you would look for in selecting a church?
2. In your opinion, what areas of ministry should churches today be the most concerned about?
3. Has there been a need or crisis in your life in the last 12 months for which the ministry of a local church could have benefited you and others close to you?
4. When you attend church, where do you generally attend? (Cass said this avoids the judgmental tone of “Where do you attend church?” or “Do you attend church?”)
5. Has there been a time when you personally received Jesus into your life, or would you say you are still thinking about it?
6. May I share with you how I received Jesus into my life and how he became my Savior and Lord?
7. Is there something I could pray for you about today?

Cass said the sixth question gives believers the opportunity to tell their story to a culture that values
personal experience and feelings.

“Most people today believe there is a heaven,” Cass said. “Not all people believe there is a hell, but most people believe there is a heaven. They want to believe there is a heaven. And they want to believe that they can go there.

“It’s my hope that all of this takes a polite, courteous, kind approach to people. It’s not brash. It’s not as if you are talking down to them. And I think that’s very important when approaching lost people.”

For more information on the survey cards, call the SBTC Evangelism Team toll free at 877-953-7282 or e-mail

Cass: Share Jesus with friendliness and authenticity ‘as you go’

Of all the modes evangelism can take, SBTC Evangelism Director Don Cass says none is more crucial than personal evangelism. To be effective witnesses, Christians must seek to share the gospel “in the normal traffic patterns of your life.”

Simple math shows that if every church member could lead one person a year to Christ, the church would double annually. But many believers are either fearful or not equipped to witness in everyday discourse, Cass said.

Believers should pray that God would give them a burden for specific people, then “let that person know you desire to be their friend,” Cass said. “You don’t need to say it, but the way you treat them should make it obvious that you desire to be their friend.”

“Witnessing has a two-fold aspect: One is relational and the other is intentional,” Cass noted. “I like to tell people up front who I am and what I’m about. If an opportunity does not arise from that, then I’ll work to establish a relationship, a friendship. With some people you can develop a relationship in a few minutes. With others it might take you a year.”

An important aspect of building trust with unbelievers is authenticity, Cass said.

“I really try to communicate with them that Jesus Christ is real?and I want to be. I think Christians need to work on being the real deal. That means that you’re transparent. You’re not perfect; none of us are. And I don’t want to come across as a person who makes no mistakes because that would be a lie. I don’t want to come across like I deserve to be on a pedestal in their eyes. That also is false. Nobody deserves to be on a pedestal except Jesus. It’s interesting that he who is perfect came to this earth to identify with those who were not.

“We must never forget what it’s like to be lost ? and what it’s like not to have one good Christian friend. And real friends, in my opinion, do everything they can to keep their friends from going to hell.”

Evangelism should be more a natural habit than an event, he said.

“That how we witness. Jesus said ‘as you go.’ In the normal traffic patterns of your life, share Jesus. Be a witness as you go, whenever you go, wherever you go, to whomever you go,” Cass stated.

“Dwight L. Moody said, ‘Every person I meet I picture them with a big L on their forehead that stands for “Lost.” And I leave it there until I know for sure whether they know Jesus.’ That’s not being cruel; that’s being kind, loving, caring.”

SBTC partnering in ‘School of Cowboy Church Planting’ planned Jan. 14 south of DFW

ARLINGTON?In the next three years Joe Woods hopes to see the SBTC partner with Texas churches to plant 100 of what Woods describes as “cowboy churches”?unconventional congregations where the music and venue attract cowboys and others who otherwise might not step foot on a church campus.

Toward that goal, Woods is hosting the “School of Cowboy Church Planting,” co-sponsored by the SBTC, on Jan. 14 in Venus, Texas, south of Dallas. The event will accommodate 40 people at the Shiloh Cowboy Church, 118 West 2nd Street in Venus, from 8:30 a.m.?5 p.m. The event is free of charge and includes a continental breakfast and lunch. Registration is required.

A Taylor, Texas native who grew up in the “Western lifestyle” roping calves and breaking horses, Woods has helped plant 12 cowboy churches, including one last summer in Arlington called Cross Canyon Cowboy Church with Woods, his wife, Leann, daughter Jamielee, son Joe Joe, and a friend named Daniel Bienevides.

Working with SBTC church planting associate Leroy Fountain, Cross Canyon has grown to 36 members, has baptized three people and has planted Shiloh Cowboy Church in Venus. Shiloh, led by Pastor Don Ricks, meets in a storefront and drew 136 people to its first service, Woods said.

“These churches are reaching a whole different demographic of people whom the traditional or contemporary church won’t reach,” Woods said. “We often begin our services with a country song they might be familiar with and tweak the words with a spiritual message. Before long they’re singing “Amazing Grace” because God’s doing something in their lives.”

After a hitch in the Navy, Woods sensed a preaching call and went to Dallas Baptist University, where he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biblical studies. In 2002 he encountered the cowboy church movement and caught a vision for reaching the cowboys and urban blue-collar culture drawn to such congregations.

In fact, Woods said not all of those who attend his Arlington congregation are cowboys. Some are cowboys who moved to the city for work; others are simply drawn by the earthy atmosphere or the music, which varies from choruses with acoustic guitars to twangy steel guitars adding a Western accent to well-known hymns, Woods said.

Woods said he met SBTC Minister-Church Relations associate Troy Brooks last spring and connected with him because “I have always been a Southern Baptist,” Woods said. Since then, Woods has become the SBTC’s Cowboy Church Network Coordinator?an expert of sorts for cowboy church work.
Cross Canyon has been meeting in Arlington and will soon move to a rented building south of Mansfield on Highway 287, Woods said.

Cowboy church planting is not complicated, Woods contends. “They just need to get up there and preach the Word of God. Be faithful to the Word and love the people and they will respond.”

The School of Cowboy Church Planting will address each stage of planning and implementation of church planting, from advice about worship style to such mundane details as getting electricity turned on in a leased building.

“We will actually conduct a cowboy church service. We’ll use our church band, have a pastor deliver a sermon, have some testimonies, give them a picture of the typical service.”

A regular outreach of many cowboy churches is arena ministry, which utilizes a rodeo arena with church members demonstrating team roping and other rodeo endeavors followed by music tailored to the audience and a gospel presentation.

“They’ll be people coming up to see the bull riding and they’ll get saved and baptized right there in the rodeo arena,” Woods said.

For more information on the School of Cowboy Church Planting, call Woods at 817-791-5055 or e-mail him at

Cowboy churches offer same gospel message in different wrapping

VENUS, Texas?Laid-back music in a dressed-down, country setting makes Shiloh Cowboy Church in Venus an anomaly in the landscape of traditional church settings.

Set in a rural area south of Dallas-Fort Worth, Shiloh draws a crowd that enjoys the atmosphere of the church, but they’re not necessarily cowboys. In fact, any given Sunday morning, a farmer might be seen sitting next to someone who’s an urban professional Monday through Friday.

At Shiloh, traditional music is mixed with culturally relevant praise and worship songs with a purposeful country music flavor thrown into the mix, Pastor Don Ricks said.

There is no one demographic target for Shiloh; the church thrives on opening its arms to folks who tend to be turned off by the typical church model. Ricks said Shiloh is a church that allows people to be themselves more than in a traditional setting.

Ricks, an admitted former “suit-and-tie” pastor, said of the new church: “In one word, the experience is ‘relaxed.’ We don’t focus on the clothes that a person wears, nor the way he or she looks. We work very hard to put people at ease, and to make them feel that we are all in this life together.

“As the pastor, I’m not any better than anyone else and we want people to know that we are all riding this trail together. The more casual?and I’m not referring to a compromise of the Word?atmosphere of the cowboy church setting allows all of us whether we are young or old, rich or poor to simply enjoy the fellowship. What do they like most? Being themselves.”

The church-building process began last August and on Oct. 2 the first service was held. For a church as young as Shiloh, in a town the size of Venus, population 1,800, its average attendance of 70 every Sunday has pleased Ricks.

The church has a casual exterior, but Shiloh doesn’t skimp on the gospel, Ricks emphasized.

“The wonderful thing about this (cowboy church) for me personally is that I have not been required to change either my style of preaching or the content of it. I try in each message to present it in such a way as to be relevant to today’s man or woman. While I won’t necessarily preach an evangelistic sermon every Sunday, I do give the gospel regardless in order to give our people an opportunity to make an informed decision. I also have found that a generous sprinkling of humor will help to get the message across. It is almost impossible for people to be closed to the message if they are involved, and that includes the well-placed humorous statement.”

Ricks contends it’s possible to change the wrapping while keeping the solid gospel message inside.

“For a long time I have felt that many of today’s people were being overlooked by the traditional church. And, as we know, there is the tendency today for people to shy away from the ‘churchy’ settings of steeples, pews and the suit and tie. Shiloh Cowboy Church is able to reach some of those people.”

Texas school board breaks from national organization

AUSTIN–The Texas Board of Education on Nov. 19 voted to sever ties with the nation’s primary trade association for state education boards, the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE).

The move made the Republican-dominated Texas education board the first state board to remove itself from the national group, whose policies, conservatives said, have a socially liberal agenda unrepresentative of most Texas school parents.

In a 10-5 vote along party lines, the Republican majority voted to pull its $40,000 in annual dues to NASBE. Now, the 15 members may attend educational meetings of their choosing, including NASBE, said board member Terri Leo, R-Spring, who attended the 2005 NASBE meeting and came away convinced the group doesn’t represent the Texas school board or Texas educators.

“We’re paying $40,000 a year to this organization and not getting anything back for it,” said Leo, who helped garner the votes to sever ties. “Some of the more moderate Republicans on the board took issue with the financial stewardship of paying for membership in an organization in which we do not have influence or representation.”

 Leo told the TEXAN she and other conservative board members repeatedly were passed over for spots on the national organization’s subcommittees because of what she suspects are ideological differences.

 “For me and other conservatives on the board, it was more of the same,” Leo said. “We continued to receive their publications advocating left-leaning positions,”

 The last straw for her, she said, was the manner in which this year’s NASBE meeting’s focal issue, anti-bullying, was handled.

 Funded by the United States Centers for Disease Control and led by a representative of the Seattle-based Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Questing (GLBTQ) Youth Program, Leo said the anti-bullying sessions sounded a very affirming tone toward the practice of homosexuality. She said when homosexuality was discussed in PowerPoint presentations, the overhead materials never matched what participants were given.

“They obviously did not want us to have a copy of what they were showing,” Leo said.

Often the content of such discussions is couched in the language of “tolerance” and “diversity” but involves a wider agenda of promoting the affirmation of homosexuality, she said.

The severance from NASBE will not affect the Texas school board or local school districts, Leo said, and individual state board members may attend any organization’s meetings if they choose.

“Texas doesn’t need NASBE. That’s really the bottom line here,” Leo said. “We really function independently anyway. We pay them to develop useful resources, and we are not getting what we pay for.”

 Leo is a member of an Assembly of God church in the Houston suburb of Spring.

 The GLBTQ’s website states its constituency as “gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans or questioning youth between the ages of 14-22 and those who work with this population (school personnel, counselors, foster parents, faith communities, etc).”

 The GLBTQ also sponsors a Safe Schools Coalition, the website states, which “supports the empowerment and leadership of GLBTQ youth and their allies in undoing oppression to create a more peaceful and just world.”

Texas team brings Bread of Life, Living Water to Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS?In early December the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention sent a crew of volunteers to move operations of a mobile kitchen from the First Baptist Church of New Orleans to the Salvation Army headquarters in the city?a move to provide new opportunities for feeding people in the heavily affected areas of the Lower Ninth Ward and elsewhere.

Led by John Hooser, pastor of Robertson Baptist Church in Copperas Cove, Texas, the team started its first morning looking for a ribbon-cutting ceremony that was to mark the reopening of the Lower Ninth Ward, one of the poorest and worst-flooded areas of New Orleans and the last area to remain off-limits to residents.

When the ceremony didn’t occur, Hooser immediately called for his team and said, “Let’s get to our site so we can start feeding people. That’s why we are here anyway.”

Disaster relief work is done in a very fluid environment, Hooser said. “The genius of what we do is the flexibility.”

The comment was timely; a few moments later upon arriving at First Baptist, the team learned they would need to go to the Salvation Army headquarters, another five miles away, to check-in and be orientated before starting. With no complaints, they loaded up and made their way to the third site of the morning.

After their orientation with Ed Langdon, the South Louisiana Recovery Commander for Salvation Army, the team went back to First Baptist to begin its workday after an approximately 40-mile morning adventure.

But the rewards of their hard work came quickly.

Paul Robertson’s assignment was to walk the streets and pray for people returning to their Ninth Ward homes.

“The devastation is just beyond description,” Robertson said. “You can’t take pictures, you can’t describe it. It’s just everywhere.” Recounting his day, he said, “I saw several men who felt they were prepared for what they were going to see, but once they saw it, they weren’t. There were a lot of tears. … Nobody we saw was bitter. Everyone we saw had such a good spirit. That’s a strong faith community over there.”

One person who affected Robertson during his walk was a young man who returned to find his home destroyed.

“He just wanted to salvage something from his house, so he salvaged a light bulb, just to have something, because nothing was there,” Robertson said.

Rick Wilson met Tina, who came to First Baptist to ask for help moving some antiques. She was crying because of reports of looting in her area. Taking a break from moving the furniture to eat lunch outside of the flooded home, Tina began to pour out her heart to Wilson.

At length, Tina told Wilson of her personal problems and the horrors of what she had gone through.

SBTC evangelism conference to include ‘Left Behind’ author, football’s Pat Summerall

EULESS, Texas?Tim LaHaye, co-author with Jerry Jenkins of the best-selling “Left Behind” book series, will be among the speakers at the SBTC’s annual Empower Evangelism Conference Feb. 6-8 at the First Baptist Church of Euless.

Also scheduled is Pat Summerall, Dallas-area resident, a former NFL tight end and kicker, and a signature voice in American sports broadcasting.

The conference theme, “The Harvest Is Plentiful,” is based on Matthew 9:37-38, which reads: “Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest'” (HCSB).

LaHaye, noted author, minister and educator, is president of Tim LaHaye Ministries and founder of the Pre Trib Research Center, an organization dedicated to the study of the end-times view that Christ will rapture Christians prior to a seven-year tribulation on earth.

Though most known for the “Left Behind” series, LaHaye has written more than 50 non-fiction books on marriage, personality and temperaments, and humanistic philosophy. LaHaye’s wife, Beverly, is the founder of Concerned Women for America, a Christian women’s organization dedicated to upholding Judeo-Christian values in the culture.

Summerall was a state tennis champion and All-State basketball player in his native Florida before starring in football at the University of Arkansas and later with pro football’s Chicago Cardinals and New York Giants. He also played baseball briefly in the St. Louis Cardinals organization.

Summerall’s broadcasting career has spanned 45 years, working with CBS and FOX Sports, covering 16 Super Bowls, five heavyweight boxing championship fights, the NBA, PGA golf and pro tennis.

LaHaye and Summerall will join 21 other platform guests during the two-day conference, including Southern Baptist Convention President Bobby Welch, Memphis pastor Steve Gaines, evangelist Bob Pitman, pastor Greg Matte of Houston, and musicians such as John McKay, Greater Vision, David Phelps, and One Hope.

For more information on the conference, call the SBTC evangelism office at 817-552-2500 or visit

Barbarians in training

Several years ago I had the opportunity to visit the archeological site at Petra in Jordan. Tombs are carved out of red sandstone in this valley and some of them have elaborate pillars and creatures carved in their faces. The largest tomb was featured in the climactic scene of the first Indiana Jones movie. In most every case the faces of people, angels and animals had been broken away. When asked about it, our guide told us that iconoclasts (“image destroyers”) had shot off the faces of the carvings because they were offended by artistic representations of living things.

I thought of those lonely Bedouins shooting off the faces of stone camels when a spate of items related to the mention of God in the public square came through the news. In one case, a federal judge has banned the mention of “Jesus” in invocations at the Indiana State Legislature. In another case, the ACLU is reported to oppose the mention of God in the Boy Scout’s oath on the grounds it violates separation of church and state. Still another case involves anti-God activist (would a true atheist fight so hard against someone he’s sure doesn’t exist?) Michael Newdow and his effort to get “In God we trust” taken off our currency.

What is the actual benefit of acknowledging God in our money, pledge, monuments, and legislatures? It is apparently a cultural holdover of earlier efforts to remind us that God is sovereign over rulers and human endeavors. In fact the phrase on our currency was added to show “a distinct and unequivocal national recognition of divine sovereignty.” That opinion and desire still reigns in America. Even if relatively few of us live as though our God rules, fewer still are offended at the notion. This smaller number seems to prevail at every turn.

Here’s my point. Although there may be little actually religious to most of us about having God’s name on our money, there is an evident hostility built into the action of scratching it out. Maybe you’re not particularly blessed by “In God we trust,” but does it incite you to violent legal action? Banishing the mention of America’s theistic, even Christian, heritage is a hugely religious statement. It blesses a very small and wool-headed collection of atheists and functional atheists in clerical collars. Why should they be put in charge? It’s easier to suggest why they shouldn’t.

These guys should not prevail because they’re wrong. They are wrong to suggest that schoolchildren (in Florida) reading “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” is comparable to establishing a state church. If they are concerned about a more dynamic interpretation of the First Amendment, it should be noted that Americans overwhelmingly disagree with them on this. They are wrong in thinking they speak for anyone else. In reality, I think they know this and want to straighten the rest of us out. How arrogant.
Today’s religious censors should not prevail because their work is only destructive. It’s cool, I guess, to talk about liberty and opportunity and toleration but in a no-faith zone those concepts are way too vague. Why is someone else’s liberty worth working or dying for? Why be tolerant of people we find odd or powerless? The answer to such questions will eventually rest on what we consider to be ultimately significant. Law is not ultimate, it’s derived. Tradition or custom will often uphold unconsidered prejudice. The work of moral philosophers is also derivative and arguable. Very few things can be considered ultimate or even bigger than ourselves. Thus the problem.

Professor Rodney Stark of Baylor University has written a book titled, “The Victory of Reason: How Christianity led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success.” It’s just out and I’ve not found it yet but a recent interview in World, as well as his earlier work, makes it sound promising. It might also be threatening. His point, as you might discern from the title, is that, “Only Christians believed that God’s gift of reason made progress inevitable.” This means that other religions with their cyclical or nostalgic view of history are not a firm foundation for theological, social, technical, or artistic progress.

The threat here is that our culture can reject that progressive attitude by simply banishing its Source from our cultural dialogue. If we stop attributing our laws or any noble act to the God who revealed them, they lose the power to teach us what is good. You can see a vision of this future when you look at the remnants of infrastructure in formerly colonial North Africa or at the dearth of artistic progress in Russia between 1918 and 1989. It coasts to a stop as the jungle is let back in.

So, if the God of Abraham no longer passes muster in the public square and if our culture is not poised to worship Allah or Zoroaster, we are left rootless and stupid?barbarians with nuclear weapons.

In our shallow understanding of the significance of today’s decisions, two choices seem to arise. We can either risk wounding the feelings of a small but loud collection of professional victims or we can erase every potentially offensive way our culture has of describing itself. The latter choice will leave us with nothing we mostly agree on?splintered and fractious. We could become the cultural equivalent of the fourth- century barbarian hordes. They left nothing, built nothing, and discovered nothing. They only broke and stole and ruined with occasional breaks to kill each other.

I’d hate to leave the choice above to some of my fellow Christians. During the writing of this column fully a half dozen new cases of legal action or public scolding related to the public mention of God came across my desk. One of the more laughable pieces equates saying “Merry Christmas” with harsh racial epithets during our segregationist period. These guys get a nose bleed every time Michael Newdow has a thought. Don’t laugh because they are also armed with judges of mass destruction.

The fourth chapter of James’ letter is focused on arrogance in our relationship with God. The passage in verses 13-17 is aimed at us when we make plans without considering God’s lordship over our lives. It’s an attitude thing more than it is attaching a “Lord willing” to every plan we express. But attitudes are reflected by hard currency, so to speak. If words in a pledge, on currency, or engraved on public buildings remind us that our nation and it’s prosperity have a source, that is not sectarian or hate speech so much as it is the prevailing belief of Americans of all the ages.

To deny it by deliberate action is sectarian and religious, though. It is also amazing arrogance. If America’s progress is derived from our understanding of God and his revelation of himself, that understanding can be lost. As a culture, we can begin to wander toward barbarism as the best viable option to theism. We own too many of the blessings wrought by Christian imagination to make such wandering safe or desirable to almost anyone.

Newdow, American’s United’s Barry Lynn, and a growing host of judges and celebrities are nothing but modern Vandals, capable only of detracting from American culture. They have nothing to offer in the place of our godly heritage.

“God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble,” James 4:6.