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One News Now

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 »

Thanksgiving: Dirty Dishes, Unfilled Glasses, and Old Faithful

November 23rd, 2016

MarkBy Dr. Mark Creech

In the mid-1990s, Christian writer, Philip Yancey wrote in Christianity Today:

“I remember my first visit to Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park. Rings of Japanese and German tourists surrounded the geyser, their video cameras trained like weapons on the famous hole in the ground. A large, digital clock stood beside the spot, predicting 24 minutes until the next eruption.

“My wife and I passed the countdown in the dining room of Old Faithful Inn overlooking the geyser. When the digital clock reached one minute, we, along with every other diner, left our seats and rushed to the windows to see the big, wet event.

“I noticed that immediately, as if on signal, a crew of busboys and waiters descended on the tables to refill water glasses and clear away dirty dishes. When the geyser went off, we tourists oohed and aahed and clicked our cameras; a few spontaneously applauded. But, glancing back over my shoulder, I saw that not a single waiter or busboy – not even those who had finished their chores – looked out the huge windows. Old Faithful, grown entirely too familiar, had lost its power to impress them.” Read the rest of this entry »

Nonresistance to Alcohol Compromises Marijuana Resistance

November 19th, 2016

MarkBy Dr. Mark Creech

The votes for advancing alcohol sales across the Tar Heel state were alarming this year. A total of 27 alcohol referendums were held in Alexander, Bertie, Burke, Camden, Cleveland, Davidson, Davie, Gaston, Haywood, Johnston, and Stanly counties. Every referendum succeeded with votes in favor of greater access to alcohol besting limited sales by an average of 62.3% to a 37.1% margin.

It used to be 30 to 40 years ago, if there was an alcohol referendum on the ballot in some city or town in North Carolina, nearly every mainline church would join forces to defeat it. There was a general consensus among churches that easier access to alcohol was inherently problematic, bringing with it hosts of social problems. Today, however, it’s difficult to find a handful of churches willing to oppose an alcohol referendum.

Thus, the primary reason pro-alcohol forces bent on making new markets for wine, beer, and spirits had a banner year in North Carolina. Read the rest of this entry »

For Freedom’s Sake, Bring Back Civility

November 12th, 2016

MarkBy Dr. Mark Creech

“Thousands across the USA Protest Trump Victory,” said the headline of USA Today on Thursday. The news source said the protestors had taken to the streets in at least 10 cities.

In cities like Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington, D.C., Portland, and St. Paul, protestors angrily chanted, “Not My President” and laced their shouts with expletives.  In Los Angeles they torched a giant Trump effigy. In other places, protestors burned the American flag, started fires in the city, damaged private property, harassed and assaulted commuters, and delayed trains.

Only a couple of weeks before the election, in my home state of North Carolina, the GOP headquarters in Orange County was firebombed. The day after the election, signs at the Republican headquarters in Raleigh were vandalized.

It appears that we are at a juncture in American history where we’ve lost sight of civility in politics. Read the rest of this entry »

Invocation Offered at the Trump Rally

November 4th, 2016

MarkBy Dr. Mark Creech

This week, The Trump Campaign invited me to give the Invocation at the Trump Rally in Selma, North Carolina. The Johnston County Sheriff’s Department estimated the crowd at 17,500.

Below is the prayer I offered:

Our gracious God, just as our state’s Constitution says in its preamble, we are grateful to you, the Sovereign Ruler of Nations, for the preservation of the American Union and the existence of our civil, political and religious liberties. We acknowledge our dependence upon you for the continuance of these blessings to us and our posterity. Read the rest of this entry »

Our National Idolatry: A Contest of Competing Faiths

October 29th, 2016

MarkBy Dr. Mark Creech

Tim Walter, in a sermon titled, Filled with God’s Grace and Power, said, “Golden calves are built in every generation…”

We don’t seem to see it that way. We mostly think of idolatry as something long abandoned to the past. But just as sure as the gods of the Egyptians, the Canaanites, the Babylonians, the Assyrians, and the Romans of yesteryear clashed with the bearers of true religion, it is no less true today.

Recently, we’ve witnessed an unprecedented assault on religious liberty. Not an assault on religion in general, but an attack on particular religious beliefs. Those who hold to traditional religious convictions are now to be punished. Read the rest of this entry »

HB 2: Viva La Rednecks

October 20th, 2016

MarkBy Dr. Mark Creech

According to emails recently obtained from the Governor’s office by the Raleigh News and Observer, Bob Turner, a lawyer in Charlotte, had an exchange with his former colleague, Bob Stephens, the governor’s legal counsel at the time, expressing his displeasure with McCrory’s signing of HB 2.

The N&O reports Turner emailed the Governor, saying, “I’m a Republican but you have completely lost my confidence. Ask Bob Stephens my (former) law partner. You have caved to right wing, actually, redneck types…” Read the rest of this entry »

Will Social Conservatives Betray Governor McCrory and State Lawmakers During Their Time of Testing?

October 8th, 2016

MarkBy Dr. Mark Creech

Barbara Bartocci, a Kansas City inspirational and motivational speaker, once wrote that betrayal can be like an earthquake. “The very ground beneath you is suddenly unstable,” she said.

Certainly one of the most challenging times in my ministry occurred when I was still in my twenties. Relatively new at this one particular pastorate, I was approached privately by some of the church’s members. They explained that there was a long-standing problem in the fellowship that they wanted me to correct. So I set out to correct matters as they requested. When an unexpected controversy arose because of the actions I had taken in their stead, they scattered like roaches. None of them stood with me. None of them defended me. They were cravenly silent and essentially abandoned me.

Their betrayal was like an earthquake. The very ground beneath me was suddenly unstable. Although I was never terminated, not long thereafter I left that church, largely broken and defeated. Read the rest of this entry »

Honesty and a Politician’s Choice

September 23rd, 2016

MarkBy Dr. Mark Creech

There has always been a deficit in the trust factor between the American people and politicians. According to recent Gallup polling, however, trust in political leaders is at its lowest point since 2004 – down 20 percentage points.

In polling provided by Gallup as late as Friday, September 23rd, “Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump continue to struggle to overcome Americans’ perceptions of their lack of honesty.” Only “[a]bout a third of U.S. voters are willing to say that the terms ‘honest and trustworthy’ apply to either Clinton or to Trump.” Read the rest of this entry »

Probing Questions on Preaching and Politics

September 10th, 2016

MarkBy Dr. Mark Creech

We had been to see the new Dinesh Desouza documentary, Hillary’s America, when afterward a woman and her husband recognized me with my wife, Kim, on the sidewalk outside of the theatre. She bounced over my way and said, “You’re just the man I wanted to see and quickly launched into a half dozen questions about the documentary and other matters of both a religious and political nature.

While engaged in answering her inquiries, she concluded with a question I’ve heard over and over again through the years. It was really rhetorical. She already knew the answer. She was just expressing her profound disappointment as a parishioner in her own church. “Tell me,” she said, “Why don’t pastors take up the social issues from the Bible? Why don’t they give us some direction on politics from the pulpit?” Read the rest of this entry »