By J. Randal Matheny © 2015

The only time this child was held
With utmost care and full concern,
Newborn — the doctor slashed his face,
Removed for research his tiny brain.


The video has been out there for some days. This headline quote prompted the quatrain above. Careful meter, no rhyme for this this cruelest and most vile act. Sorry, no image either. Doesn’t seem fitting.

This is the administration which has taken to referring to “freedom of worship” instead of “freedom of religion” — suggesting that religious freedom consists in being free to engage in private rituals and prayers, but not in carrying your religious convictions into public life.

via Religious Freedom Is No Mere Hobby.

This is a most chilling position of the Obama administration. They are arguing this in court. You can’t be a Christian in the marketplace. Tell me again why a Christian will vote for such a position?

This is pure hubris from a west-coast collector who thinks California is the center of the world.

That dismissal has set collectors grumbling. Theo Holstein, a California collector and renovator of such machines, said he thinks the Gypsy is wasted in Virginia City and should be placed in a private collection for proper care. He said he is trying to gather investors to make a $3 million bid that would top Copperfield’s offer.

“They don’t have any idea what they have. It’s like they have the world’s best diamond and they just pulled it out of their mineshaft,” Holstein said. “It’s good that it’s there and it survived, but now it really needs to be part of the world.” via Rare find discovered amid town’s Old West kitsch – Yahoo! News.

Such language as this is not atypical of people on the east and west coast when they refer to “flyover” territory.

I’ve not kept a written journal of observations and notes, but here are a few items off the top of my head.

• We’re enjoying time with family here in the U.S., a short trip, but full of good moments. Getting with a few friends as well. My prayer today for lunch with my parents and a couple who’ve been friends and overseeing elder for many years: “Father, we thank you for good food, good friends, and the wonderful hope in Jesus Christ.”

• The Somers Avenue teacher participating in their summer series taught Wed., the 3rd, on the New Testament Greek text in a clear and understandable way. His last point well underscored the purpose of the NT: to know Christ and become like him. Continue reading

From afar, I’ve followed the homosexual controversy at Harding University in Searcy, Ark. Seems to be a non-story to me, or at least, an internal affair, if it weren’t for the reaction of outsiders. Harding appears to have done the right thing, since (1) homosexuality (the self-styled gays don’t call it “gayness”) is sin, like all immorality; and (2) as a private institution, Harding can make its own rules.

I’ve seen brethren fawn over news from outsiders when it was complimentary. Some of our folk puff out their chest when the world gets chummy and full of praise for our virtues. Now let’s man up and say, this is what God’s people usually get from the world. (But we think the USA ought to be Christian!)

Speaking of Harding, I hear tell the university is changing the name of the Memphis-based “Harding University Graduate School of Religion” for the third time, to Harding School of Theology. When I attended it was known as Harding Graduate School of Religion, but apparently the head chiefs in Searcy wanted it identified clearly that it belonged to them. (Calling it a school of religion always left me curious, yea, perplexed.) Now, back to mere Harding (are they spinning it off on its own?) and a shorter, more accurate moniker. Well, closer to accurate, since our schools, many of them, ought really to be called Schools of Clergy.

Way back when, the brotherhood had a hissy about theology, because it represented the barn door through which denominational doctrine and liberal theories were spread. Graduate courses, even at ACU in 1982-1983, called their NT and OT theology courses “The Message of …”( I know, I took them both, under Olbricht, and with the exception of a few squeamish moments, they were superb.) With so many of our finest finishing up at denominational institutions, however, breathing the air of seminaries and schools of theology and salivating at the feet of theologians, we’ve lost our mettle against the idea of theology.

Makes one wonder as well if we’ve lost our mettle against the doctrines that some theologies bring in.

Used to, we breathed fire about having doctors of theology, too.

Today, in a more mellow era, if someone as conservative as Rex A. Turner, Sr., can write a tome entitled Systematic Theology, I suppose it’s now OK for one of our universities to come out of the closet and tell us what they’re really doing: teaching theology.

Somehow, however, methinks something got lost in the shuffle. At least, we’re still strong against the gays. In some spots.

A homeowner in Sikeston [Mo.] has decorated his yard with a black man hanging from a noose and a Ku Klux Klan figure. The decorations can be seen from Interstate 55. via KAIT-8.

Racism isn’t dead yet. It never will be. As long as men resist the gospel, they will also harbor hate in their hearts toward their fellow humans, all created by the Almighty.

No law can eradicate racism. Only the gospel can open our eyes that God loves everyone equally. His mission includes every single human being on earth. His love knows no color, class, or kin.

Let the man keep his display. And let everyone who passes by say, “There lives a pagan.”