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Sitting in the Gates of Sodom

March 10th, 2017

By Dr. Mark Creech 

Not long ago I had a speaking engagement at a relatively small church in North Carolina when five families moved their membership that Sunday morning from another church nearby.

I spoke to them after the service and they explained to me that the church where they had their membership for years was now endorsing same-sex marriage. It was a bridge too far for them, they said. Therefore, they felt it was incumbent to walk away and join another body of believers – one abiding by the great doctrines they knew to be consistent with the Bible’s teachings.

I was so very saddened for them – having to leave the fellowship they had loved and served for such a long time. But I commended them for their faithfulness. They were doing exactly what the Scriptures instruct: “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” (2 Cor. 6:17). Read the rest of this entry »

Turning America Around Depends on Christian Leadership

March 3rd, 2017

By Dr. Mark Creech

There is a finding from a new national survey by the American Culture and Faith Institute (ACFI) that’s very encouraging. The survey shows that SAGE Cons, which stands for Spiritually Active, Governance Engaged Christian conservatives, are more than dismayed about the demise of American culture and the vast majority of them want to do something about it.

According to ACFI, SAGE Cons account for around 10% of the nation’s electorate and a whopping 95% of them say “they are not satisfied with the current state of American culture.” This “dissatisfaction fits with their concern about the direction of the country; the ineffective performance of government; their disappointment and lack of trust related to major institutions; and their worries about the state of the family.”

ACFI went on to report that the “unflattering national portrait” found that “two out of three SAGE Cons (67%) said they were ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ interested in being personally involved ‘in activities designed to produce positive cultural transformation in the US in the near future.’” Read the rest of this entry »

Latest Compromise Proposal for HB 2 Reveals Misguided Priorities

February 24th, 2017

By Dr. Mark Creech

Rev. Mark Creech

Dr. Mark Creech

Certain lawmakers in the North Carolina General Assembly are in a tizzy to reach a compromise on HB 2 to satisfy the NCAA, and other sports entities. They’re concerned North Carolina will lose tens of millions of dollars for several years because these organizations threaten to withdraw their tournaments and games from the state if the measure is not repealed and a sufficient compromise enacted.

Now a number of them are ready to support HB 186 – Repeal HB 2/State Nondiscrimination Policies. Former House Speaker Pro-Tem, Rep. Paul “Skip” Stam says that if the bill passes, “North Carolina will no longer be a place where everyone facing the same circumstance will be treated equally. Instead, special rights will accrue to those claiming ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity’…These rights will be used to browbeat their neighbors into submission.”

How true!

The result will not create the desired reset for the state to return to where it was before the passage of Charlotte’s egregious ordinance – the ordinance that necessitated the state General Assembly’s passage of HB 2. Instead, it will mostly provide new ground for LGBT groups and erect serious hurdles for citizens that will be negatively impacted by this politically correct form of government intrusion.

These lawmakers bent on compromising on HB 2 remind me of the man who was driving his brand-new BMW at a high rate of speed. He drove onto an overpass with a sharper curve than he expected. His car spun out of control, and he realized that there was no hope of keeping the car from going over a steep embankment. At the very last moment, he opened his car door and bailed out. Unfortunately, he caught his arm on the door. His arm was torn from its socket as the car and his detached arm flew over the embankment and burst into flames below. The man ran to the side of the embankment and mourned his loss.

A trucker approached who had seen the tragic accident. He stopped his rig and ran up to the man. The trucker could hear the man lamenting the loss of his expensive car: “Oh, my car, my car, my car, my brand-new BMW!!!!”

The trucker grabbed hold of the man and said, “Hey, mister, I’ve got to get you to the hospital right away. You’ve got more than the loss of a car to be concerned about; man, you’ve lost your arm!!!”

The man then looked down at where his arm had been. He looked back at the trucker in absolute horror and screamed, “Oh no, Oh no, Oh no, I’ve lost my Rolex.”

Only those whose priorities are seriously misguided would believe collegiate sports and any fortune that might come from them are as important as our citizens’ fundamental rights to privacy, dignity, safety, and full religious liberty. There is no amount of money or wealth that can equal or trump these rights. Any compromise of these is essentially the loss of them. It’s like saying the loss of an arm or leg is comparable to the loss of an expensive new car and a Rolex watch.

THESE LAWMAKERS ARE BEING FOOLISH!!! And this most recent proposal, HB 186, is foolish too!!!

Here’s some of what’s wrong with the proposed measure:

  1. Although bathrooms in the private sector would be preempted under the new legislation, cities would still be allowed to regulate the bathrooms and showers owned or under their control. Even though the measure raises the penalty for crimes committed in bathrooms, it does nothing to protect a citizen’s fundamental right to privacy. Penalties are involved only if a crime is committed.
  1. The bill expands the categories of nondiscrimination protections to include, citizenship, veteran status, genetic information, pregnancy, and disability. Such categories are not currently listed in the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, which only includes race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. HB 2 had listed “biological sex” to clarify that “sex” as a protected category did not mean “gender identity.” But HB 186 removes the word “biological,” making that interpretation possible by a rogue court.It should also be noted that including “citizenship” among the enumerated protected classes would open the door for illegal aliens to sue their employers who fire them because they are not citizens.
  1. The bill would allow cities via their town boards and councils to add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as protected classes to their nondiscrimination laws, thus exposing business owners who morally object, to oppressive lawsuits, fines, and even possible jail time.“Sexual orientation” and “gender identity” are purely subjective and not immutable characteristics, and, therefore, should not be elevated to the same level as “race,” or “national origin,” especially since such classifications always infringe upon religious liberties.Although the proposal would allow citizens who object to such enumerations to call for a referendum (if they can get 10% of registered voters to sign a petition), it would likely endanger them to the common and extreme forms of bullying and intimidation often used by Leftists, various activists, and politically progressive groups.
  1. Although the proposed law purports to exclude “Charitable Organizations” and “Religious Institutions” from its effects, the proposal does nothing to protect the religious liberties of individuals who wish to live and work according to their faith at their businesses or on the job.The proposal leaves church members, individual Christians, exposed as targets of discrimination. This approach is inconsistent with “freedom of religion,” which means one is free to practice their faith anywhere and at all times. But it is more consistent with the erroneous modern day belief in “freedom of worship,” which means you are free to believe, but you are restricted to the practice of your religious convictions within the confines of your church or “religious institution.”And again, though the proposal would allow for a referendum, the religious liberties of people should never be subjected to a vote of the people. The freedom to practice one’s religion anywhere and at any time is already guaranteed by the North Carolina and U.S. Constitutions.
  1. The measure undermines the authority of the state under Dillon’s rule, allowing for what will inevitably create a patchwork of nondiscrimination policy where some people are vulnerable in bathrooms and showers in one place, while others in another will be protected. In some cases, people of faith who live in one community will be protected, while others in another part of the state will not.
  1. The bill would allow Community Colleges and state Universities to set their own nondiscrimination policies, destroying uniformity of law on the matter, and essentially making higher education a separate branch of government.

I suggest HB 2 is the best compromise already – a common sense approach to balancing indispensable rights that must be scrupulously protected by the state with the rights of the private sector.

In Exodus chapter 18, Moses was encouraged to select leaders from among the children of Israel, “who fear God, are trustworthy, and hate covetousness…” Covetousness is an inordinate affection for money, wealth, or gain.

What is it but a covetous spirit that would place materialism over virtue? What is it but an inordinate love for money that would make a lawmaker prioritize revenue above rights?

God help us. Some Republicans and Democrats in North Carolina are showing that they are unworthy of the high calling God has given them to lead.

 

My Mother, Once a Country Music Singer

February 4th, 2017

By Dr. Mark Creech

During the late 1960s and early 70s my mother was a country music singer. She had one top ten hit on the Billboard charts – a country version of “The Night They Drove Ole Dixie Down” that went to number 9.

Not that you can’t be a celebrity and be a faithful Christian too, but my mother says she wasn’t fully surrendered to the Lord during that period. Her complete surrender would ultimately lead her to leave the music business and devote herself to motherhood. I can never be grateful enough for that commitment and sacrifice. She would have been a big star, no doubt. She is incredibly talented.

Mom was also a high school dropout. Yet in her 50s, after my sister and I were grown and moved out of the house and were making lives of our own, Mom went back to school, got her GED, then pursued nursing and received her degree and certification at the age of 58. Today she is still a practicing nurse at the age of 77.

You’ll forgive me for my bias and boasting, but that’s pretty impressive, if you ask me!

To the right is a picture of my mother, backstage after an appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. She was an exceptionally beautiful women in those days, and no less beautiful to me today.

I once wrote a piece for the Christian Post that contained more information about my mother’s music career. You can read the article below:

He Bought Up the Records

By Dr. Mark Creech

Not many people are aware of it, and others may have forgotten about it, but my mother had a distinguished country music singing career back in the late 1960s and the early 1970s. Two of her records did very well; her country rendition of “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” went to #9 on the Billboard charts; and “We’ll Sing in the Sunshine,” which was originally a folk tune, reached #24.

Alice Creech was the opening act for some of the most revered country artists today: Ernest Tubb, Dolly Parton, Hank Williams, Jr., Charlie Pride, Merle Haggard, String Bean, Grandpa Jones, Bill Anderson, Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn and many more. In addition to being rated #21 of the top female vocalists of 1972 with a single by Billboard magazine, she was also the recipient of two ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) awards that same year. She even made a guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry, when it was previously located in the famous Ryman Auditorium.

About the time my mother was just becoming a major country and western celebrity, she decided to surrender her life to Christ and leave the business so she could be a better mom to my younger sister and me. I earnestly pray I would always live worthy of the godly influence and instructions she gave during the years that followed.

Recently, while attending an Ethics Leaders Conference at the offices of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention in Nashville, Tennessee, I retraced some of my mother’s steps during her days as an aspiring artist in Music City. I visited the historic Ernest Tubb Record Shop and saw the stage where my mother often performed on WSM’s “Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree.”

But the greatest thrill came when visiting the Lawrence Record Store downtown, where they have a tremendous selection of vintage vinyl records. You can imagine my delightful surprise to discover they had all of my mother’s recordings – original labels, jackets and everything. There they were – all of them – ready to play on the nearest phonograph. Naturally, I bought them up to safely put them away.

That experience made me think of a profound truth often forgotten in our day: God has every recording of our lives and He’s planning to play them at the Judgment. He has them all – the originals – everything we ever did; the things others either never knew or had forgotten about. It’s all there and none of it is omitted. Moreover, there’s no spin to it. It’s all just the bare and unadulterated truth about who we really are and what we’ve done.

LIFE magazine once interviewed dozens of people to learn how Americans feel about prayer. One person interviewed was a young prostitute from White Pine County, Nevada.

“I don’t think about my feelings a lot,” she said. “Instead I lie in my bed and think onto Him. I meditate because sometimes my words don’t come out right. But He can find me. He can find what’s inside of me just by listening to my thoughts. I ask Him to help me and keep me going. A lot of people think that working girls don’t have any morals, any religion. But I do. I don’t steal. I don’t lie. The way I look at it, I’m not sinning. He’s not going to judge me. I don’t think God judges anybody.”

Very few modern notions are more popular than the one that God judges no one. The problem is, however, that comforting perception is patently false!

Judgment is as certain as God is holy. The Psalmist says in Psalm 7:11, “God is angry with the wicked every day.” In other words, as Dr. George Sweeting of Moody Bible Institute puts it: “God never makes détente with sin.” The apostle Paul explicitly warned: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to the flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” (Galatians 6:7-8).

Upon proper reflection of our faults and failures, such should cause every person to tremble, because it doesn’t require a host of sins to condemn and bar us from paradise. As it was for Adam and Eve, it only requires one – just one – one single act of disobedience to God’s law. Yet the records will reveal that all have failed miserably.

That is – unless the records are bought up and put away to never be played. Essentially, this is what Christ did when He gave his life as atonement for sin on the Cross. He bought up all the records and forever put them away for everyone who trusts Him for forgiveness and receives Him as Lord.

My mother will tell you that nothing she sought after before – riches, fame, success, etc. – could ever compare to the new life she found in Christ. Furthermore, let me say if she hadn’t made that decision, I would have never known the grace and goodness of Christ … and certainly wouldn’t be writing about Him for this editorial.

The article by Dr. Creech was written and published by The Christian Post in 2006.

 

Why We Can’t Hear the Truth?

January 28th, 2017

By Dr. Mark Creech

The office of the Christian Action League, the organization I represent, is located in a building that houses several Christian counseling ministries.

Recently I noticed something outside the door of these counseling groups I had never seen before – little disc-shaped machines plugged into the wall that give out a constant white noise. It’s my understanding these devices are ambient noise generators. The purpose of such machinery is to protect the privacy of the clients being counseled. If it gets too quiet in the building, it’s possible at times to distinguish the voices in the counseling offices. The noise generators, however, will cover those voices.

That makes perfect sense. But here’s a fact that adds another dynamic, those little machines don’t necessarily need to be louder than the conversations inside, the constancy of the sound is such it fools the ear so that what’s being said can’t be distinguished. Read the rest of this entry »

Life: We Should Choose It

January 21st, 2017

By Dr. Mark Creech

Tom Carr, an educator from Hillsborough, North Carolina, who now serves on the Orange County Board of Education, wrote a little book published in 1998, titled, Morning Messages: 36 Stories to Motivate and Inspire Young People.

One story Carr records is about Shawn Hessee, a high school senior at the time of the book’s writing. Carr says that he called upon Shawn to speak to a group of graduating fifth graders.

“Shawn Hessee is a remarkable young man who has won numerous awards and honors,” wrote Carr. He always did well academically. He was very active, swimming, skiing, and playing various sports. Read the rest of this entry »

Racial Reconciliation: It’s a Beautiful Thing

January 14th, 2017

In celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
By Dr. Mark Creech

It was April 1969. One hundred black students had taken over the student union on the campus of Cornell University in a protest for civil rights. The Associated Press reported that the students were angry at “the lack of Black studies programs and what they saw as the university’s treatment of them as second-class citizens.” They had even smuggled guns into the building and threatened violence.

Leading the protest was Thomas W. Jones. Jones declared in some of the most inflammatory rhetoric that Cornell University had only “hours to live.” He said that he was willing to give his life for the cause and racist faculty and staff would be “dealt with.”

Fortunately, the takeover, which lasted more than 30 hours ended peacefully. The one hundred black militants exited the building with Jones being the last to leave. He left the building carrying a rifle and raising a symbolic clenched fist. Read the rest of this entry »

The President is No Friend

December 30th, 2016

By Dr. Mark Creech 

Last year, Judson Phillips wrote in the Washington Times something apparent to anyone politically astute. He said, “It is beyond debate that America has a president who is cheering for and working for our enemies. We have a president who wants to see nations that hate America and an ideology of evil triumph over America as well as the Western values of freedom and liberty.”

Now the President has instructed his U.N. Ambassador not to veto a resolution condemning our best friend of democracy in the middle-east for building “settlements” on disputed lands. Yet the compromises Israel has made in the past over such territories have not produced peace, but only emboldened her enemies with more acts of terror. Read the rest of this entry »

What’s really behind FFRF’s Christmas Opposition?

December 17th, 2016

By Dr. Mark Creech

It was both disappointing and frustrating recently to learn what the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) had done. Their bullying tactics, threatening possible legal action if a school choir from the Wake County school system (North Carolina) sang in a local nativity event, had frightened school authorities into canceling their participation.

School choirs had been performing at the festivities for years, but because an official from the church that hosted the celebration said it was “an opportunity to share the wonder and love of the Savior,” FFRF argued it created the perception of an endorsement of religion by the school. “Schools must not participate in overtly religious events,” insisted the non-theist group. Read the rest of this entry »

This is the Plan of History

December 3rd, 2016

MarkBy Dr. Mark Creech

Although I cannot remember where I first read the story, several years ago when the Soviet Union was still alive, a group of Seminary students took a tour of the Soviet Embassy in our nation’s capital. They were being led by a very articulate Soviet diplomat, when one member of the group asked the diplomat a serious question.

“Sir,” the student began his inquiry, “What happens if the Soviet Union and the United States ever go to war?” The Soviet reportedly sat back in his chair for a moment, obviously thinking carefully about his response.

“You know, I don’t really believe the two great super powers ever will go to war,” he replied. “The results of such a conflict would be unthinkable. The world would never recover from it.” Read the rest of this entry »