Thursday, May 23, 2013

An exorcism.....(Or is it?)

I don't believe in exorcisms you see in movies but I do believe in a creative force I call God. I believe God is still creating, it is not limited to the book of Genesis. One way God still creates is through the gift of dance people in our world have.

Watch the video below then read my thoughts on what I glean this dance to be and then share your thoughts as well.

I give you the creation story in dance form. Go with me there for a moment.
The child is the Creator here and the parents represent all that God created:

The day and night 
The sun and moon 
The dry land and the ocean 
The land animals and sea animals 
And then humanity. 

And lastly but most important; the parents kissing their child. 
I see that as Adam and Eve's worship to God. 

What do you see? Please share!

Help Catch a Pedophile! UPDATE!

UPDATE! $70 of the needed $1050 has been raised to help catch a pedophile in SE Asia. Take a moment to watch the video below and consider why every donation counts when it comes to freedom for girls caught in the sex trafficking business.

We Are Watching from The Exodus Road on Vimeo.

I've been asked by the folks at The Exodus Road, a nonprofit empowering literal rescue, to help fuel investigations for active cases of pedophilia in Malaysia*. The undercover team there needs about $35/night to conduct local investigations, and the blogging team I serve with at The Exodus Road wants to send these men out for an entire month, 30 nights. The funds will go to the travel, lodging, and investigative expenses. We will literally be "hiring" an investigator, on our behalf, to go look for children and to gather the evidence needed to put pedophiles behind bars.

Would you join me? We have one week to raise the funds needed to send out to this trained team of operatives. I'm asking each of us to donate just $15 to this cause. And giving is as simple as pulling out your phone, literally.

With your smartphone, text the word "4thekids" to: 41444. You'll immediately receive a link. Follow the link and make a tax-free donation with your credit card.

If you'd rather give online, you can donate here to give at The Exodus Road site. Write "bust pedophiles" in the comment section.

Donations will be accepted beginning May 26 through June 2. If you want to make a donation just wait till Sunday but please make it by June 2. Thank you. Your donation will mean freedom for children.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

2nd Anniversary

Two years ago today I was ordained to the Gospel ministry by Heritage Baptist Church in Wake Forest, NC. In an effort to clean and organize my office I was going through a large box of papers and came across the Charge to the Candidate. As I read it I realized, "Oh, today is the 2 year anniversary of my ordination. I share with you the charge my former pastor wrote and my dad's charge which he included when Dr. Altom was unable to be present for the service.

Isaiah 40.31, 41.9b-10; Matthew 6.33

Adele, we know your name to be Cynthia Adele Henderson...we say it, read it, write it, email it and text it all the time. However, this afternoon on the occasion of your ordination to the Gospel ministry, this charge to ministry is a reminder that you have another name.

There is a call, a divine call, upon your life. Your name is "SERVANT." Living among the people of God...being in the world but not of the are called to serve the living God, doing so in the name of Jesus Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit. Your call is the firm foundation of ministry and your call influences all of your thoughts, words and actions. Some days, amid difficulties and disappointment and even joys and accomplishments, your call will be the only experience upon which you can rely. Acknowledging the human frailties and limitations that every person has, your dependence is on the presence of God in your life. Therefore,

  • You are called, first and foremost, to the Kingdom of God and a covenant relationship with the Almighty
  • You are called to face the future with faith, not fear
  • You are called to walk and run with God-given strength, not being overcome with weakness or weariness
  • You are called to live daily in the reality of God's unconditional and unchanging love. This love is not some innate ability within you: rather, this love is a gift to you. Because God first loved you and gave himself for you in the life, death and resurrection of his only son, your Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, you are able to love other people and thus, to serve.
Finally, please remember your call in light of these wonderful words, here quoted, that have been sung so often in the fellowship of the called at Campbell University Divinity School:

"Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart."

Adele, your real name in ministry is "SERVANT." You are called to serve by sharing God's love everyday! Your ministry is all in the call!"

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Dr. Ken Altom


"I will hold your people in my heart." Adele, always hold people in your heart. I say this not because you need to start holding people in your heart, but because you are holding people in your heart, and have always done so, and I want to encourage you to keep on in that way of living.

As you have heard God's call, and have answered yes, I would encourage you to daily listen for his call, and always say yes. To help you I suggest that you have a time when you and God are alone, and you listen to Him.

Always remember what Ken has said to both you and me, "When all have forsaken you, all you have is your call, and then you will realize, that is all you really need.

Adele, as a father and a minister, I charge you to put Christ first in your life, study the scriptures faithfully, and minister to all who meet you.

These two witness' are not just for Adele, but for all of us.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen!

The Reverend Randell Henderson

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Hey MEN ...... I am talkin to you!


More men are needed in the fight to end human trafficking and you can be the one's to turn the tide. Read here on how you can help fight human trafficking in America.

It is really quite simple. If we remove the demand for sex with children by stopping and arresting the John's then the Pimps have no means to make money.

The Defenders USA is a national men's organization working to end human trafficking in America. Go to their website and join their mission.

The economics is simple: Stop the Demand!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

1 Corinthians 5....An Exegesis

Exegesis (from the Greek ἐξήγησις from ἐξηγεῖσθαι 'to lead out') is a critical explanation or interpretation of a text, especially a religious text.
Today I want to look at a passage from 1 Corinthians and carefully examine what Paul is talking about when it comes to immorality and judgment, specifically what a Christians responsibility is when it comes to judgment. This will be somewhat lengthy compared to my other post's but I hope you will join me on this exegetical journey. We will begin by looking at two translations of the passage before us.
New American Standard
1 It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father's wife. 2 You have become arrogant and have not mourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be removed from your midst. 3 For I, on my part, though absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged him who has so committed this, as though I were present. 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5 I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 6 Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough? 7 Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed. 8 Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 9 I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people ; 10 I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. 11 But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler -not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders ? Do you not judge those who are within the church? 13 But those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES .   
Common English Bible
1 Everyone has heard that there is sexual immorality among you. This is a type of immorality that isn't even heard of among the Gentiles—a man is having sex with his father's wife! 2 And you're proud of yourselves instead of being so upset that the one who did this thing is expelled from your community. 3 Though I'm absent physically, I'm present in the spirit and I've already judged the man who did this as if I were present. 4 When you meet together in the name of our Lord Jesus, I'll be present in spirit with the power of our Lord Jesus. 5 At that time we need to hand this man over to Satan to destroy his human weakness so that his spirit might be saved on the day of the Lord. 6 Your bragging isn't good! Don't you know that a tiny grain of yeast makes a whole batch of dough rise? 7 Clean out the old yeast so you can be a new batch of dough, given that you're supposed to be unleavened bread. Christ our Passover lamb has been sacrificed, 8 so let's celebrate the feast with the unleavened bread of honesty and truth, not with old yeast or with the yeast of evil and wickedness. 9 I wrote to you in my earlier letter not to associate with sexually immoral people. 10 But I wasn't talking about the sexually immoral people in the outside world by any means—or the greedy, or the swindlers, or people who worship false gods—otherwise, you would have to leave the world entirely! 11 But now I'm writing to you not to associate with anyone who calls themselves "brother" or "sister" who is sexually immoral, greedy, someone who worships false gods, an abusive person, a drunk, or a swindler. Don't even eat with anyone like this. 12 What do I care about judging outsiders? Isn't it your job to judge insiders? 13 God will judge outsiders. Expel the evil one from among you!   
As has become the norm, I was engaged in an online conversation with a fellow Christian on the role of judgment in the Christian life. I will state, without waiver, that I do not believe we as Christians have any right to judge others. I believe that judgment belongs to God and God alone. I come to this belief based up what I have read and learned from the bible but if I have to give one verse that informs this belief I rest it on the following passage: John 8: 1 - 11 NIV. I did say that if they could show me where in the scripture we have authority to judge others then I would be willing to consider the passage and their stance. So I have and this post is my interpretation of 1 Corinthians 5 based upon my research, which included looking at the Greek New Testament, 3 translations of this passage and The Interpreter's Bible. If I learned nothing else from Campbell Divinity School it was the importance to read the scripture thoughtfully and use the best scholarly tools available to me when attempting to interpret scripture. And yes, it is an attempt for any of us to interpret scripture and no Christian should take it lightly. Whatever we glean from Scripture has the power to uplift others or destroy others.
The Essentials (In my opinion)
Chapter 5 is only a small section of a letter Paul wrote to the church in Corinth. Chapters and verses are a later addition to the bible. I mean really, how many of us write letters then divide them by chapter and verses. In the online discussion the person wrote 1 Corinthians 5: 11 as justification for judging others. I am looking at this chapter in its entirety because the context is important when trying to discern what any given verse is saying. And if I wanted to write a book then I would look at the entire book of 1 Corinthians, but then I would totally lose every reader of my blog. So, I chose the middle ground; more than one verse and less than the entire book.
What is Paul talking about?
At a minimum Immorality. To be a bit for definitive, Sexual Immorality. And to be exact, a man having sex with his step-mother. Which in some circles can still be considered incest even though the man is with his step-mother as opposed to his biological mother. Paul is also talking to a church and about The Church. (This will be important to remember as you continue to read)
What does Paul say and NOT say about judgment?
Without apology he says that he has already judge this man and his immorality, vs. 3. While his does direct the church to remove this man from their fellowship, vs. 5, 7, 11 and 13. This is more of a direct order that Paul is giving to them, in relation to what should be done with the man. Paul, judges this man and only goes so far as to ask the questions, "Do you not judge those who are within the church?", vs. 12b
Merriam - Webster defines a question as:  an interrogative expression often used to test knowledge;  a subject or aspect in dispute or open for discussion 
and a Directive as:  serving or intended to guide, govern, or influence
and Judging as: to form an opinion about through careful weighing of evidence and testing of premises.
Paul has formed an opinion on this man and a very strong one. He is adamant that the man must be removed from the fellowship of the church. Paul then give the directive to the church to remove this man from among them and closes with a  question. Paul gives no directive to the church to judge this man, he only questions them about judgment. Questions can be very ambiguous. They are not clear like directives are. So while we know without a doubt that Paul judged, at least in the case of this man he does not clearly say we are within our rights to judge. The question posits to some degree that we can but not without absoluter certainty.
What about this immorality issue?
I will speak briefly on this as this is the crux of chapter 5 but not the focus of these exegesis. Depending on the translation you read you will find either, immorality, sexual immorality or fornication. The last is primarily found in the King James Bible. Using the earliest and most reliable sources/papyri the correct translation is immorality and we can safely say Paul is speaking of sexual immorality as we find him using it in other parts of the letter to the Church in Corinth. Some people will use the passage as a basis to condemn homosexuality. Using the most earliest documents that we have for scripture the Greek does not expand upon the greek word translated as sexual immorality. When it comes to the act of interpreting scripture Christians must be careful of eisegesis.
Eisegesis (from Greek εἰς "into" as opposed to exegesis from ἐξηγεῖσθαι "to lead out") is the process of interpreting a text or portion of text in such a way that it introduces one's own presuppositions, agendas, and/or biases into and onto the text.
When we eisegete a scripture text rather than exegete we will ultimate either add something to the text that was not originally there or remove/ignore what is in the text. To do either is to go down a slippery slope in which the gospel becomes perverted and looks nothing like God intended it. My preference, when reading scripture, is when something is not clear or not expounded upon is to sit with the ambiguity and trust God.
So What?
After reading a text that's what I ask myself. Literally, so what? It's not to dismiss scripture but to begin the task of determining what relevance the passage has on my Christian walk and my relationship with God. So what does 1 Corinthians 5 say to me? Sexually Immorality was a serious offense in Paul's mind within the church. It is with me too. Here the immorality surrounds a man's relationship with his step-mother, ie. incest. I have a problem with this too. I think Jesus would as well. Beyond that I will not speculate what else could be considered sexual immorality.
Paul does judge this man and Paul calls the church out and demands they remove this man from their fellowship. Here is where things get sticking for me and personal experience is involved. See, at face value, we can deduce that Paul condones the church judging and removing someone from the fellowship of the church. I will concede this, even with my own feelings about judgment. I once was in a church where the church was called together to vote on whether a couple could remain in fellowship with the church or if they should leave. Long story short, I voted for them to be removed from the fellowship of the church. AND I regret it too this day. While this couple was not guilty of any immorality that Paul speaks of they were guilty of greed. (Which is included in this passage. Go back and read it. vs. 11)
I regret it because of the following:
Matthew 7:1 - in my vote to remove this couple from fellowship I had already judged them and when I stand before God I will have to answer for that. Even as a minister I can not avoid it.
Matthew 6:14 - If you by some remote chance read my blog, Joyce and Harold Keith, I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me and the decision I made over a decade ago.
At the end of the day I will always do these 2 things
1 - Follow Jesus rather than Paul
2 - Love and forgive others rather than judge them.
With a world that increasingly judges others and with holds forgiveness, Christians more than ever need to be that light on the hill. A light of love and forgiveness.


Thursday, May 2, 2013

What a Locked Brothel Looks Like

Ever wonder what the inside of a locked brothel looks like? In this short video, covert footage captures investigators with The Exodus Road and Indian Rescue Mission entering a brothel searching for victims of sexual slavery. These brave men consistently gather evidence in the darkest of places, for the sake of raids, rescues, and prosecutions of criminals. Visit The Exodus Road or like their page on facebook to find out more.

Exodus Road Covert Footage. MUST WATCH. from The Exodus Road on Vimeo.

Goodbye BSU :(

Almost a month ago I learned that the Baptist State Convention of NC (BSCNC) is going to cut their funding of Baptist Campus Ministry by laying off 10 Baptist Campus Ministers. This is a part of their reorganisation. You can read more about it here at Read it and Weep.

Reading the article brought just as much grief as when my grandmothers pasted away. Something wonderful is gone. The Baptist Student Union (BSU) was a place of spiritual formation for me when I attended the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). I had leadership opportunities through serving on the BSU council and I experienced my first overseas Mission Trip thanks to partial funding by BSU mission fund. My experience at UNCG was also unique in that we shared space will all the other campus ministries. The many days we spent in the lounge between classes and all the people I met because we gathered in an Interfaith building. I just can't wrap my head around our small corner being emptied. what or who will take it's place. Where will all of my BSU alums from Greensboro gather for our annual alumni day? Who will send out letters? (Normally the campus minister sends out the newsletter). It is surreal to say that an institution that played such a vital role in my calling is dying. I can't help but think of the loss the church will feel in the years to come due to the absence of a Baptist Minister not on a State Campus. How many young people will not be reached because their is not BSU. How can the BSCNC not see the devastating effects of this decision. How many young people will never discover hidden gifts because their is no BSU to foster and awaken them?

Growing up in a Southern Baptist church I learned through observation that Baptist's are doers. Scaling back on one of the major missional programs of the BSCNC is a retreat on the doing aspect. Am I watching the death of an institution that has done great things for young people? I think and feel that I am.

In my grief I share a treasured memory from my time in the BSU at UNCG.