A Blessing in Bass (a Review)

It isn’t often that I get the privilege of doing an early review of an audio recording. Even more rare that it is of a new solo project from a friend and dear brother in Christ (and fellow pastor). But in this case, I get the joy of doing both, and boy what a wonderful experience this one was!

Wade Lentz Send the Light CD Cover

Wade Lentz, who has some fun history singing with various quartets, is releasing his first solo project titled Send the Light. As a bass myself, I always enjoy hearing a solid, skilled bass taking the lead, so when Wade offered the opportunity to get an advance listen – I jumped on the opportunity.

While I have heard hints of Wade’s voice in a few informal settings, this was my first time hearing him really opening up his pipes – and man does he have some! Send The Light is a complilation of mostly hymns and Southern Gospel classics. The styles reflect a range from acapella on There Is a Fountain, to the blues-infused What A Wonderful World, sung as a duet with his also talented wife Amanda.

Though I very much enjoyed the above mentioned rendition of What a Wonderful World, my favorites on this CD include the Gold City classic Turn Your Back, and I’ve Been With Jesus (reminicent of The Cathedrals’ version of this classic and fun song). But in all honesty, I enjoyed this entire project, and found none of the choices to be out-of-place. Each seemes to feature a slightly different character of Wade’s many vocal skills, all while never covering the genuine, underlying joy in the subject matter.

All-in-all, if you enjoy classic quartet singing and Southern Gospel music, you will truly be blessed by this CD. But… and this is a big one – if you are like me and a fan of hearing a bassist take the lead – then you will get a little piece of heaven in Send The Light, the first solo project from Brother Wade Lentz!

*I have not been compensated in any way for this review, other than the privelige of hearing it before the general public!

The Pilgrim’s Progress – Solid Rendering of this Allegorical Classic


Just got home from taking a group to see The Pilgrim’s Progress, based on John Bunyan’s classic book that he penned while in prison for his faith.  I have been looking forward to seeing this film, but have been cautiously optimistic. Far too often when a film shows real promise, particularly when based on a classic work. The reserved ticketing chart at the theater we booked at is deceptive and we ended up with seats on the VERY front row.  I could get upset with the theater – except this is not the first time I’ve made this mistake at this very theater!  In-your-face view aside, I have to say – this was a very good rendition of Bunyan’s classic tale of redemption and the Christian journey.

The Interpreter image

The film opened with Kristyn Getty (of Getty Music) helping to set the stage for this near-epic story. But instead of acting as narrator, Getty introduces by explaining the history of the book and the purpose of allegory and our creative imaginations in the pursuit of God. In my opinion, the intro was a great way to help open up the film to those who are unfamiliar with the book or the concept of pure allegorical writing. Getty also happens to be the voice of “The Interpreter” in the film.

Christian Pilgrim.png

The main character, Christian Pilgrim is voiced by David Thorpe, who does an excellent job at portraying the voice of the on-screen image with a likable performance.

Of course, when making a film version of a fairly long book that takes well over 7 hours in audiobook format, you have to make some hard choices in what to cut or skim over. The producers of this film did an excellent job of splicing the storyline together, holding on to the biggest and most impactful scenes and characters, while keeping the movie to under two hours!

Some words of caution, though – There are some scenes in the movie that might be a bit on the intense side for very young children. All this being said, whether you are familiar with the story, have actually read the book, or are a fan of alegory – this is a film that paints a beautiful picture of the growth and blooming of faith as well as the failings of even those who belong to the King. Remember – stay on the narrow path! Go see this moive!

Pilgrim’s Progress Trailer

An Unplanned Review

With some anticipation, I went to see Unplanned, the real-life story of Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood clinic director. Going in, I entered a skeptic, as I generally do when a film is billed as a “Christian”, faith-based film, particularly from the Pure Flix label. As a staunchly pro-life Christian pastor, I enter such films with a thick biblical lens that tends to color my opinion.

        Unplanned has received both critical acclaim and vitriolic panning, often based more on subject matter (abortion) than quality. The MPAA assigned an “R” rating to this film despite it containing no nudity, sexual content, or profanity, raising questions of bias. Without giving away spoiler details, rating was based on more than just the subject matter, as the gruesome opening series and multiple brutally honest (and bloody) depictions do beg some caution. This brutal honesty still does not justify the R rating, as many films receive a lower rating with far more blood and objectionable content.

The story unfolds from this opening scene and first-person narration, to a flashback to Abby’s Junior year at Texas A&M as a Psychology major and her first contact with Planned Parenthood at an on-campus event. The story progresses in a well-timed progression of her rising in the ranks of that organization, eventually becoming the director of the Bryan, Texas location.

The drama unfolds with scenes of her own “bad decisions”, as the main character puts in in her narration, and even has a brief scene of church attendance with the familary text of Psalm 139 “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”

THE GOOD:

         Unplanned takes a serious, brutally honest look at the realities of abortion, particularly in the most infamous of provider – Planned Parenthood. The movie depicts the corruption and evil nature of this profit-driven “non-profit” machine. This film also depicts Coalition For Life (now known as 40 Days For Life) in a positive light, in stark contrast to “other” groups (see below).

A major plus, particularly in comparison to the typical releases from Pure Flix: production quality.  This is likely one of the best produced films to come out of that company, with solid believable cast performances, quality camera work, and generally believable effects for the abortion scenes.

THE BAD:

While Unplanned does provide an honest look at Planned Parenthood, it also depicts those outside the primarily Catholic 40 Days For Life organization as brutal bullies who try to shame abortion “clients”. While this may be true in some cases, this is not an accurate portrayal of the majority of those trying to save lives, though not affiliated with Catholic organizations.

Also, while heavily promoted to churches and Christians across denominational lines, this film is not a “Christian film”. It is not a gospel film.  It is not a film that attempts to approach the eternally important themes of redemption, regeneration, or even saving faith.  While the main character’s parents are strongly pro-life, even their faith is not specified in the film, nor is the background of Johnson being raised (according to her biography) Southern Baptist, but having fled from that denomination because of the church’s pro-life stan. She and her husband joined the Episcopal Church where she received support in her job at Planned Parenthood (again, not depicted in the film).
What the film also fails to show is that Abby Johnson has directly opposed legislation that would abolish abortion altogether, stating that it risks previous less-restrictive victories. She has also, since converting to Roman Catholicism, strongly denounced groups that proclaim the gospel at abortion mills. This is particularly troubling as it is the gospel itself that changes hearts, it is the gospel that can provide the restoration to God that all the soft-talk and prayers alone can never bring.

Abby’s own “conversion” (on the subject of abortion itself) is followed by tears and the question how she could ever be forgiven and her husband simply says that God loves her and that “He is God”. No mention of repentance or faith. nothing about the redeeming work of Jesus Christ. Indeed, while many articles (including one in Baptist Press) about Abby Johnson include the term “her Christian faith”, no mention in the film nor in any of those articles ever mention any form of spiritual conversion or even a description of what that means, and it certainly doesn’t fit the storyline of a believer who grew up “Southern Baptist” to become a Planned Parenthood clinic director. Neither the film, nor any other record of this story calls abortion “sin” or something that should be repented of. There is “sorrow” expressed, but no illustration of faith or repentance.

SHOULD YOU WATCH?

If one can go with the sole purpose of seeing a film that puts a serious face to the abortion industry, including the very real horrors and deception engaged in on a regular basis, then yes – go see the film.  But if you are looking for a film as gospel tool, or as a faith-building experience, this wouldn’t be the movie for you, as you will come away disappointed. I left the theater sensing the lack of the gospel mirrors the real story of Abby Johnson, and a desire to pray for her.

If this review hasn’t jaded you toward this film, and you simply want to see the change of heart of a woman from pro-choice to pro-life (mostly), and to gain a tiny peek into the real world of Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry – see it. This film does deal a blow to the pro-choice position and could help change minds. Just don’t go looking for Jesus, because He is left out of the picture.Unknown.jpeg

Painful Side of Discernment Ministry (#ClaytonJennings):UPDATE

UPDATE: Clayton Jennings (or more likely a follower/paid hacker) has hacked the web site hosting the evidence in the latest situation – taking down just the pages with Clayton Jennings information.  An additional link is provided below with an alternate page with the evidence – graphic warning still applies).

Biblically, Christ-followers are called to exercise discernment, to warn of sin, and call others to repentance. We should have a particular burden to protect one another, especially the less mature believers.

The hopeful outcome when calling sinners (including professed believers) to repentance is that they would humble themselves before our Holy God and turn from their sins and see restoration.

Sadly, many refuse to repent and continue in their pride-filled sin. This is most destructive when they are in positions of power, especially supposed spiritual leadership, and are using their celebrity status to deceive ever-more literal victims.

Such is the case with the celebrity Clayton Jennings, who has rebelled against the many calls to turn from his wickedness, even threatening the very women he victimized, rejecting the discipline of his church, and walking in extreme evil, while STILL claiming to be a Christian minister. And we now know that the number of victim’s to his perverted actions continue to mount, along with the denials.

So, the below linked page became necessary to counter Mr. Jennings’ verbal, video, and digital denials, threats, and literal attacks. Caution, the linked page is extremely ugly to view. Viewer discretion is advised.

http://www.theclaytonjenningsfiles.com/the-evidence (was recently down – hacked by Jennings’ people).

ALTERNATE JENNINGS EVIDENCE LINK

If you know someone who is a follower/fan of Clayton Jennings, please care enough about them to share the truth. This is not an attack, but a call to repentance and restoration via the Truth.

Racism, Hate, and Counterproductive Acts

Media is aflame – from network news to social media, everyone is losing their minds over Jussie Smollett’s accusations and now arrest. What we see is an example of hate, racism, and an unregenerate heart deliberately trying to further divide this nation, and it seriously pushes the envelope not just of the law, but truly even sedition.

For those who may somehow not know what is going on:

On January 29, 2019, Jussie (so-called Hip-Hop artist, and star of the TV drama Empire) Smollett’s manager called Chicago PD to report an attack that allegedly occurred at approximately 2AM. Over the course of the next two weeks, many stars and politicians began loudly beating their chests over this alleged hate crime. You see, the allegations were that two white males, wearing MAGA hats, physically and verbally assaulted Smollett, a gay black male, putting a rope noose around his neck, hurling racial and homophobic slurs at him, then pouring bleach on him while chanting “MAGA Country!”.

Certainly, if true, these allegations should be extremely troubling. Even President Donald Trump (@realDonaldTrump) tweeted how egregious and horrible the alleged attack appeared to be. At the same time, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) tweeted out her feelings on the matter:

U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-California) loudly proclaimed the attack as a “modern day lynching”.

As the story has unfolded over the last week, the Chicago PD has determined that Smollett hired these two men to help him stage the ‘attack”, including buying the rope and literally scripting the entire storyline. The brothers were released, and now, as of today, Jussie Smollett has been arrested and charged with filing a false report, though I suspect further charges are in order.

You see – Mr. Smollett was simply using “whatever means necessary” as so many who want to divide this nation have actually verbalized, to try to further drive a wedge in this already divided nation. What he did was a demonstration of his own hate – not just for this country (that actually provided a means for him to achieve fame and wealth), but against the elected President, and the nation as a whole. But even more concerning to the Christians reading this – is that he was remonstrating his corrupt and unregenerate heart that is in need of a Savior. Jussie Smollett is actually demonstrating the worst that he and the political Left accuse the President of being – a hate-filled biggot. He tried to inflame the nation over race and the new poster child for hate – homosexuality.

Wile I cannot presume to know the darkest corners of this man’s heart, what is glaringly obvious – we need to pray for him. While I pray that the legal justice system uses him as an example, I pray that God will open Jussie’s eyes to his corrupt and broken state, his destination if he remains unrepentant and unregenerate, that the LORD will give Jussie a heart transplant that he would believe and become a child of God, experiencing the genuine love that can only be found in Christ Jesus, that he would repent of his sinful lifestyle, that he would repent of his intentionally-divisive efforts, and that he would leave behind the agenda of division and hate that has become a sadly common commentary on our society.

But Smollett’s false accusations are nothing new. Over the course of the last decades, the number of false reports, hoaxes, and fabricated “racist” or “homophobic” attacks have increased.

Sadly, if we are going to truly become a great nation – it must be recognizing it is only by the Grace of God, that it must be in submission to God, and that we can NEVER achieve the unity that would be required if we continue to use deception, false accusations, and intentional divisiveness as tools.

I am reminded of the old story of the Little Boy Who Cried Wolf. I won’t retell the story here, but the gist of the story is that a little boy, out of the desire to get attention and to entertain himself, cried that a wolf was coming – over and over. Eventually, the townspeople tuned him out and low-and-behold, a real wolf showed up and ate him up. The moral of the story that I believe so clearly should be learned here – when one cries Racism/Homophobia as a weapon, over every single disagreement or issue raised, when you hurl the accusations not just blindly, but knowingly in a lie – you are actually hurting the very cause that you claim to be trying to help. You have demonstrated you are a liar, a divider, and a corrupt soul – all while numbing the general population to your cries of “wolf” – so when the real enemy – the real predator shows up – Why do You stand afar off, O LORD? Why do You hide Yourself in times of trouble?

PSALM 10:1-4

  1.  Why do You stand afar off, O LORD? Why do You hide Yourself in times of trouble?
  2.  In pride the wicked hotly pursue the afflicted; Let them be caught in the plots which they have devised.
  3.  For the wicked boasts of his heart’s desire, And the greedy man curses and spurns the LORD.
  4. The wicked, in the haughtiness of his countenance, does not seek Him.All his thoughts are, “There is no God.”
  5. In pride the wicked hotly pursue the afflicted; Let them be caught in the plots which they have devised.
  6. For the wicked boasts of his heart’s desire, And the greedy man curses ad spurns the LORD.The wicked, in the haughtiness of his countenance, does not seek Him.All his thoughts are, “There is no God.”

My Message to Russell Moore and the ERLC

For those that don’t know, the ERLC is the social justice wing of the Southern Baptist Convention. Formed under the auspices of helping to promoted the gospel and its power to address social problems, it has become a mouthpiece not for the rank-and-file, Bible-believing Southern Baptist church member, but for the politically-motivated, doctrinally-liberal, Social Justice Warriors. So – I have simply pasted my recent message submitted to the ERLC via their web portal. For my Christian brothers and sisters of the SBC – please take a real look at what Dr. Moore and his ERLC organization is doing with your cooperative funds – including the endorsing of abortion-supporting politicians, as well as cooperating with unabashed racists. Pray for the Southern Baptist Convention.

I am absolutely flabbergasted that the ERLC and your leadership in Russel Moore continue to willingly partner with, associate with, and endorse such radical racists, who are rabidly AGAINST Racial Reconciliation – like Kyle Howard – who’s own tweets exude racist bile and calls for reparations based on race.

As a Christian – I believe what the apostle Paul wrote regarding ethnicities – and none of that mattering under Christ. I abhor racial politics. I escue racial division.

As a Baptist – I do acknowledge past sins that ran very deep, but I also see great strides in addressing said sins – I see a growing passion for actually following Christ’s command to love our neighbors (being an all-inclusive umbrella).

As a Pastor – I proclaim the saving gospel of Jesus Christ, which was meant for all people – with efficacy for all who would believe, regardless of race, creed, national origin. I proclaim the power of Christ and His gospel to radically change the most corrupt and sinful heart – to bring love where only hate once existed, and to restore believers not only to God, but to one-another.

Much of what I have seen out of the ERLC and your voluntary association with groups that proclaim quite the opposite view – actually FEEDING the racial divide, re-igniting fires of hate – and the direct (some would call reverse-racism) of your leadership and their ministry associates are the antithesis of the biblical picture of reconciliation.

The reason for all of this – the ERLC is simply another fork of the growing Social Justice Warrior anti-gospel. the ERLC and its leadership need to repent and turn to the gospel of Christ Jesus, not the man-centered social gospel, for it is only the True Gospel that will destroy the strongholds of racism and bring true repentance and restoration to broken mankind.

These are the posts that Kyle Howard loves (Kyle bills himself as a Racial Trauma Counselor – whatever that is), and has himself quite publicly claimed that white people cannot be victims of racism, nor are they capable of even empathizing with blacks. his primary “solution” being the paying of reparations. But one of Mr. Howard’s favorite people on Twitter – and to who he often agrees 100% with:



Howard not only completely agrees and follows such an racist individual, but he also makes every single situation into a race-based catastrophe –

For additional information on the ERLC and its radical agenda (that is anti-Bible, anti-gospel):

A Nation that Hates God

I have waited to pen this post for my emotions and news to settle down.  Yet despite a couple of days passing and even allowing myself to vent a bit on social media via various memes and shot statements, my emotions and my burden have not diminished.

You see, just this week, on the 48th Anniversary of the most divisive and evil decisions the US Supreme Court has ever issued – the Roe v Wade decision that with the stroke of judge’s gavels, opened the door the toe slaughter of over 60 million babies in this nation. Sixty million children never given the opportunity to experience life (for better or worse). It was that date in 1973 that the official seal of the United States was affixed by the justices of that dark court on the condemnation papers of this nation – officially rejecting God and any possible claim to “Christian Nation”.

On January 21, 2019, the New York State Legislature celebrated that evil day by passing a bill that had failed many times going all the way back to 2006.  Touted as the “New York Reproductive Health Act” (Senate Bill 2796, now Act 1748, having been signed proudly into law by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on January 22), this piece of far-reaching legislation not only removes all criminal penalties and even the definition of a crime from the death of infants from conception to natural childbirth, it seals the “right” to abort a baby for any reason a woman deems justifies her act in the State Constitution. Some argue that this law requires the pregnancy to be danger to the mother’s health to terminate in the last weeks of gestation – yet this caveat has been proven ineffective in many previous cases and state laws. pregnancy, by its nature, is a “risk to a mother’s health”. Childbirth itself still holds some risk to a mother’s health, and women really have died in childbirth. Therefore, the state of New York took a 48 year-old decision that already proclaimed a nation’s hate for God, and built a cathedral to the pagan god Moloch and is now laying shredded unborn babies on the high altar.

In the early days of Israel, the people were often led astray – pursuing the pagan gods of their neighbors. Among those pagan false gods was Moloch, a demonic religion that is believed to originated with the Phoenicians who lived in the area now known as Israel between 1550 BC and 300BC. Moloch was symbolized by a giant medal statue of a man with a bull’s head. Each statue had a hole in the abdomen and had outstretched arms that made a ramp into that hole.  The leaders of this religion would light a fire in the statue and babies were placed in the statue’s arms and pushed into the hole. The greatest sacrifice was believed to be that of the firstborn, and by offering that firstborn, the couple beloved Moloch would promise them financial prosperity.

moloch3.jpg

Sadly, the Israelites failed to root out this pagan religion when they were led back to the Promised Land and they quickly began incorporating Moloch into their own traditions. God specifically forbade such practice (Leviticus 18:21), but remnants continued even through King Solomon, who set up high places for Moloch and other pagan idols (1 Kings 11:1-8). In fact, Moloch worship wasn’t truly eradicated from the Israelite practices until they were carried away in the Babylonian captivity. You see – it took repeated and incredible judgement befalling Israel before they finally turned from this evil practice.

While you won’t generally hear purveyors and supporters of abortion refer to Moloch – you do hear the mantra “my body” – self worship – lifting themselves up as their own god. You will hear “its just a mass of cells” – completely ignoring scientific fact, biology, and genetics proving that even the freshly-conceived is a unique human being. They definitely ignore Scripture that plainly says that God knows us in our mother’s womb, that He Himself knits us together with His Divine hand (Psalm 139:13-14).

Indeed, if you want to discover why racism and hatred doesn’t seem to ever really die out? It is the root disregard for human life that has been systematically sustained via the practice of abortion. A practice that has so radically affected the Black community as to be on -par with the most egregious genocides in history.  When in New York State, a Black baby more likely to be aborted than born! Between 2012 and 2016 black mothers in New York City terminated 136,426 pregnancies and gave birth to 118,127 babies (Wall Street Journal, July 10, 2018). Staggering – yet exactly the kind of outcome Margaret Sanger was looking for when she founded Planned Parenthood. She was a proud purveyor of eugenics, and an avowed racist.

But we cannot stop at pointing fingers at New York for this recent abominable legislation, for abortion is still legal in all 50 states. Yes, some states have passed, or are trying to pass legislation to restrict the practice by age of the unborn, and some have gone so far as to try to ban them from the moment a heartbeat can be discerned (a threshold just as nebulous and stretchable as “health of the mother”). At the same time, another state (Vermont) is actively trying to pass a bill that is very similar to New York’s law, also making abortion legal from conception through natural childbirth. But lets be honest – one major factor in the abomination we are seeing unfold is that many churches have failed to proclaim the value of human life, or have selectively chosen which lives have value. How many so-called Christians have decried the inhumanity of deporting immigrant children brought into this nation illegally, have fought to pass laws regarding the protection of children from a variety of ills – yet refuse to call abortion what it is: murder? Abortion has gone from dark secret and shameful sin, to today’s “SHOUT YOUR ABORTION!” gleeful and open rebellion against God. And many Christian leaders have sat idle by, many of which only feigning grief over the issue. Further, entire denominations within the (overly-broad) umbrella of “Christianity” have chosen to throw their proverbial hat to support so-called “choice”, among them are the American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A., Episcopal Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Presbyterian Church U.S.A., United Church of Christ, and the United Methodist Church (according to the Pew Research Center). Even the traditionally “staunchly Pro-Life” Catholic Church is seeing major rifts.

abortion-by-religion.jpg

And when you combine what can only be accurately labeled as the American Holocaust of Abortion with the other paths our nation has chosen to run in direct opposition to God’s revealed will and design (not the least of which is the LGBTQetc… capitulations), and American has truly given the worst of Old Testament Israel and its neighbors a real run for the title of most ungodly and begging for judgement. Indeed, while I pray God withholds judgment on this nation, I cannot help but identify with the psalmists who wrote imprecatory psalms, crying out for God to judge the wicked, to squash the unrighteous and oppressors, for His namesake. And the sad truth is – just as happened in the Old Testament judgements, it isn’t’ just those practicing the worst of the unrighteous behavior that suffered.  Famine, pestilence, sieges, and captivity affected all, even those who were passionately pursing God.  Men, women, and children all suffered when judgement came. 

How much longer might God stay His hand of judgment on this nation? And with abortion becoming the #1 cause of death worldwide in 2018, we shouldn’t be surprised if we see God’s wrath poured out in a global sense.

And to those who still insist on calling the United States of America a “Christian Nation” – Please spare me the rhetoric. No nation has the right to call itself “Christian” when it kills 60 million of the most innocent of all humanity.

So – what is a genuine believer to do?  Should we just chew our nails and cry ourselves to sleep?  Far from it.  God calls His people to be watchmen on the wall – to cry out when danger is approaching. We are called to reveal the evil, to shine the Light on darkness.  And yes, to even share the Hope of Christ Jesus, even to the woman has has exercise “choice”. For the Grace of God is sufficient to redeem all who would believe (John 3:16) giving eternal life to all who come to genuine faith, who repent and believe the good news – and who experience the heart transplant only God can perform. And indeed, while we should be yelling from the rooftops, and in the hallways of capital buildings for real justice – we must also genuinely humble ourselves on our knees, repenting of our own sins, and begging God to send a revival across our land, beginning with US – those who profess to be His.  Because we cannot forget  1 Peter 4:17

For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?