A Pastor's Pondering
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Bryan Hall

Husband, father of three, on pastoral staff of Fellowship Chapel Church in Bristol, Virginia and lover of sound Biblical doctrine.

Posted 2/10/16 at 11:29 AM | Bryan Hall

Peyton Manning: The Man, The Model and The Mistake

The Man: Peyton Manning, undoubtedly, is a member of the greatest football family in America today. Known as Football’s Royal Family, Manning is joined by his father, Archie, who played for the University of Mississippi and the New Orleans Saints, and his brother, Eli who followed in his father’s steps as quarterback of the Ole Miss Rebels and now plays for the New York Giants. The future Hall of Famer started his football career at Isidore Newman high school in New Orleans. As a three season starter, he led his team to a 34-5 record and earned many accolades. From there, Manning surprised fans by passing on his father’s alma mater and choosing the Tennessee Volunteers as his university home. As a freshmen, Peyton was forced to move from third string to starting quarterback due to injuries. He would never relinquish the starting role his entire college career, setting numerous records and gaining prestigious awards. In the 1998 NFL draft, Manning was the first overall pick by the Indianapolis Colts. From High School to an 18 season career in the NFL, Peyton has lived a story book life on the gridiron. Along with success in football, “the Sherriff”, as he’s known by football peers, married Ashley Thompson and together, they have been blessed with twins, Marshal Williams and Mosley Thompson. Beyond the football business, Manning owns 21 Papa John’s Pizza franchises in Colorado, among other investments. Clearly, Peyton Manning has enjoyed a life of success on many levels. FULL POST

Posted 6/16/15 at 3:58 PM | Bryan Hall

Hillary Clinton: Sunday School Expert

Who knew? Hillary Clinton, candidate for President of the United States is also a Sunday School expert. At her recent Des Moines, Iowa campaign stop, Hillary alluded that other politicians did not “hear the same lessons” she did in Sunday School, nor “sang the same hymns.” It seems that while everyone else was “missing the message,” she was getting it and that qualifies her to be the leader of the free world. As a life-long church attendee, might I give a review of my learning in Sunday School

“Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world, red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight…” Jesus love everyone equally, no matter the race or gender. He certainly loves kids. Jesus rebuked his own apostles for hindering children from coming to Him. Hillary must have missed that lesson. She campaigns on women’s reproductive rights, code words for abortion rights. While God is the God who gives life, Hillary promotes death to unborn children who are “knit together” by God in the womb.

“It took him just a week to make the moon and stars, The sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars…” I was taught in Sunday School that God made the heavens and the earth, and He controls them. Further, I was taught that one day, He is going to do away with this current earth for a New Heaven and New Earth. Hillary claims that Americans need to start listening to “scientists” on climate change. As a disclaimer, there are many scientists who do not adhere to human caused climate change. Completely discounting those professionals, Clinton urges us to listen to climate change scientists who are primarily evolutionists. They tend to adhere to the philosophy of Carl Sagan, “the cosmos is all that is, or ever was, or ever will be,” therefore we must subjugate man to the planet so that the process of evolution can continue. Evidently, Hillary missed the class on creation, too. FULL POST

Posted 6/11/15 at 10:34 AM | Bryan Hall

Tony Campolo: Going Over the Edge

I vividly remember my first exposure to Tony Campolo while a freshman in college. As a participant in Baptist Campus Ministries, known as Baptist Student Union in those days, our Thursday night bible class offered a video series by Campolo entitled It’s Friday, but Sundays Coming. The studies revealed a humorous, yet passionate minister of the gospel who seemed to contain an unquenchable desire to impact the lives of others, while leading fellow believers to do the same. Subtle inferences wrinkled my brow on occasion, but overall, I felt him to be sincere. With age, maturity and a deeper study of God’s Word, I am convinced that Tony Campolo is a sincere man…sincerely WRONG!

The Apostle Paul, in speaking of his Israelite brethren, said concerning them, “For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge” (Romans 10:2), a zeal for the God of Israel as they presumed Him to be, but not according to actual saving knowledge of Him. In others words, to be zealous for a god of your own conception without knowing the true God as given in His word is futile and missing the mark. Campolo is indeed zealous, but I fear that his zeal is not accompanied by knowledge of the God of scriptures. What would lead me to this conclusion, you might ask. Allow me to quote Campolo from his own writings and interviews. FULL POST

Posted 2/25/15 at 11:14 AM | Bryan Hall

Relevance and Rob Bell

A question that plagues a myriad of evangelical churches in our modern day asks - Is our church relevant to the current culture? This topic dominates church staff meetings. It is the subject of planning sessions and retreats. The creation or transformation of congregations into “relevant” churches is now the topic of major seminars, complete with expert “gurus” who promise the latest teachings, techniques and ministries that are sure to connect with the younger generation. Browse church websites and a significant number will use the word “relevant” in describing their ministries. In the unending quest to be relevant, one irrepressible issue has been overlooked or avoided. That issue also comes in the form of a question – Is the church to be relevant in the eyes of the current culture, or in the eyes of God?

In a recent Christian Post article, former Mars Hill Bible Church pastor Rob Bell, in an interview with Oprah, asserts that the American church is “moments away” from embracing gay marriage. Bell continues by claiming that the church will “continue to be even more irrelevant” if it “keeps resisting”. Now, the assertion is that the church is already irrelevant and will continue its downward spiral unless it “sees the light” and comes to agreement with the prevailing wind of the day on gay unions. According to Bell, the current culture has already embraced same-sex marriage. His defense for the church’s acceptance is that we have in front of us “flesh-and-blood people who are your brothers and sisters, and aunts and uncles, and co-workers and neighbors, and they love each other and just want to go through life.” In other words, truth and relevance are determined by what people want it to be. For some 2,000 years of church history, truth and relevance was one man and one woman in a monogamous relationship. According to Bell’s reasoning, this was only true and relevant because that’s the way people wanted it to be. Today, it is no longer true and relevant because, in Bell’s estimation, current occupants of planet earth don’t want it to be that way. So, it becomes abundantly clear that truth and its close cousin relevance, are determined by man’s desires and experiences. Because certain people are engaging in same-sex relationships and expressing that it should be free for anyone who desires it, it must be true and relevant. Only one hurdle remains in the acceptance of this reasoning and it comes in the form of that pesky book called the Bible. The Old Testament and New both speak to the issue of homosexuality and its practice. Verses such as Leviticus 18:22, 20:13 and Romans 1:26-28, to name a few, routinely condemn homosexuality as morally wrong and naturally deviant. Truth, relevance and the Bible are at an impasse. Something has to give. If the Word of God is regarded as truth, homosexuality and same-sex marriage are not relevant, but deviant. Ah, Rob Bell to the rescue! In the article previously noted, the former pastor states, “I think culture is already there and the church will continue to be even more irrelevant when it quotes letters from 2,000 years ago as their (Biblical Christians) best defense.” How do you leap over the hurdle of the Bible and its teaching? You simply devalue it as out of date and no longer truth. Bell, and others like him, have concluded that “the letters”, better known as God’s Word, are no longer relevant to the now generation, therefore they are no longer truth. The writings that orthodox Christians have considered inspired, God-breathed, without error and relevant for every person and generation have been summarily cast aside as outdated and obsolete. Human experience and fleshly desires determine what is relevant and thus, what is true…for now. FULL POST