The Best of Who We Are

Dear friends,

As you gather today for the funeral service of Rev. Clyde Robert Thompson, I would like to say how honored I was to visit with him and his dear wife, Shirley, in Amarillo not too many months ago. I have been friends with his son, Paul, for several years, and have come to dearly love that family. Rev. Thompson having served with our Home Mission Board as a church planter since 1971 finally retired in 2006 and moved back to his home town of Amarillo, Texas. Over the 35 years of ministry, he served our Savior and Lord pastoring churches in Colorado and then as Director of Missions in Northwest Wyoming.

Rev. Thompson is a hero. He is a man about whom it will be said, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” He is the very best of who we are as Southern Baptists. There are people who will never serve on a major committee or be recognized at a national convention; however, people such as myself are aware of who actually gets the work done and serves selflessly and sacrificially for our Lord. Rev. Thompson is a man like that! 

May God bless all of you as you celebrate the life of this dear servant.

 Sincerely,

Frank S. Page, Ph.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer
SBC Executive Committee

Doss Thompson

Early this morning my dad finished the race.

Grandpa Doss ThompsonSome of the best things about gathering with extended family are the pictures. The stories begin to flow, tears swell, laughter is deep and a consideration of your heritage take residence in the mind.

This is my grandpa Doss Thompson. There is not a date on the photo but he was in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during WWI

Unless you are family, you’ve never heard of Doss Thompson. He was my grandfather, my dad’s dad. He died when I was two years old. But in the scope of eternity, Doss Thompson was the father of Clyde Robert Thompson. By the sovereignty of God, God used a man you’ve never heard of to father a man who would take the gospel into towns where few people live and even fewer preachers were humble enough to go.

It was at the age of 9 when that preacher, the son of the man you’ve never heard of, talked to me about my need for a Redeemer. This same preacher did this same duty time after time to countless people you’ve never heard of.

The kind of preacher this preacher wants to be is the kind of preacher who doesn’t think he’s bigger than life. I’m satisfied this week to preach the funeral of a preacher who knew he was not bigger than God.

 

Interviews

I was interviewed for input on the matter of marriage by the Twin Falls Times-News recently (the article was published yesterday.) I thought the article represented my response fairly and I was pleased with the outcome of the work of Tetona Dunlap.

Read the article here: (Gay Marriage: Taking the Pastors’ Pulse)

Here is the full content and context of the questions I was asked.

Question: What is your stance on gay marriage and why?

My Answer: If the trend across the United States is an accurate indicator then I am in the minority on this matter. I am in agreement with historical and orthodox teachings of the Bible on the definition of marriage being between one man and one woman until death.


Question: How will gay marriage becoming legal affect churches and religion in Idaho?

My Answer: The true church will continue to preach that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Even before same-sex marriage became legal, the church existed in communities where immorality and sinful establishments existed. Churches have historically called all sinners to repentance. I don’t see that this law will change the churches duty to God. Citizens in the community commit adultery; the church has never been stopped from preaching that adultery is a sin. Our community has alcoholics and drug addicts throughout her history; the church has never been hindered from preaching repentance from drunkenness. There are rebellious children in our homes and churches have always taught children to honor their parents. Even though same-sex marriage is legal, the church has a responsibility to love everyone enough to warn of the consequences of sin.


Question: If a gay couple wanted to get married at your church, would you have the right/power to turn them away?

My Answer: Where we are happy for our building to be used by others in the community and we do allow our community to use our building for civic events, we are grateful to God to live in a land with a constitution that protects the people from a government regulating religious practice. If a same sex couple wanted to use our building for a wedding we would not allow it to take place in our building. By doing so, we aren’t forbidding them from pursuing what they want. There are other places and people recognized by the state to do these ceremonies. We would decline such a request with respect.


Question: Have you ever had a congregation member, friend or family member open up to you about being      gay? What did you say? If not, what would you say to anyone who came to you?

My Answer: I speak to all in my congregation, family and friends the same. Homosexuality is a sin. I don’t shy away from saying that anymore than if a member in our church committed adultery, fornication, drunkenness, robbery, murder, etc, the bible calls these “sins”. I’m candid about these things and take advantage to even speak to all about the kind of grace it takes to save a sinner like me. It’s the kind of grace that called me unto repentance. It’s the kind of grace that tells me of a sufficient Redeemer, able to cover my sin by taking the wrath I deserve upon Himself. Jesus, the Christ, is that Redeemer. It’s the kind of grace that keeps me from being silent.


Question: Are you ever afraid of voicing your opinions? Why or why not?

My Answer: I would say I want to be careful because I want to be caring to all. I don’t want to offend by expressing my belief in arrogance. I attempt to speak boldly, with caring consideration.


Question: What are the benefits and downfalls of gay marriage becoming legal?

Answer: The way I see these things are based from my belief of marriage being between one man and one woman.


Question: Do you think churches today are successful in reaching out to the gay community? Is this something they should they doing?

My Answer: Churches are successful in reaching all when we stay true to our duty before God. When a church preaches truth, she is a blessing to her community. When a church stops calling all people to repent then the church ceases being a true church. When the church begins looking other places than the Bible to determine her success, she ceases being a blessing to the community. When this pursuit of success is to make any segment of the community comfortable in their sin for the sake of being popular then the church has lost her way and become irrelevant while trying to be relevant.


Question: Please add anything else you think is important.

My Answer: Thank you for asking for my input on this matter.

An Open Letter to the Church at Eastside Baptist

Dear Eastside Baptist,

You have displayed grace, kindness and generosity to me and my family many times this year. As many of you know, I left for what is sure to be the last days I will have the opportunity to see my dad before his passing.

When I arrived here last Monday morning my little brother Mark met me at the airport and took me to the Texas Homestead (as my mom likes to call it.)

My dad has been home since Friday, October 17. He is under compassionate hospice care at home and doing very good. He’s slowing moving through expected stages of the dying process.

I’ve learned so much this week and count every moment as a treasure. I’ve thought of you often and prayed for you. I’ve remembered times I’ve walked with some of you as your loved ones have journeyed  through these similar days, I’ve not known this level of emotional pain and realize I’ve not given as good of care to some of you as I wish I would have. Please forgive my lack of compassionate care.

I commend you for the care you are giving to Daryl and Natasha.  I hear of your care for them and I want to thank you. I thank our God for you every day. Please greet them for me.

If you have not heard yet, let me tell you that the news of David’s diagnosis of Leukemia has been removed and the doctors continue to investigate possible causes of his prolonged sickness. This is no small thing that we count as the kindness of God. Thank you for your continuing prayer.

When my dad passes, and it appears to be very soon, Renee and our boys and their wives will make the drive to Amarillo.

Thank you, once again. I encourage you to not miss a moment of gathering with this dear church body over the next several Sunday’s and Wednesday’s. I commit to you trustworthy men, who will do a diligent duty of the exhortation of Scripture. Listen to them closely, weigh what they have to say against Scripture and obey the Spirit immediately.  We are in among the most exciting days in the history of the church in America. Stand firm. Speak the Gospel. Call all men unto repentance. Worship with purpose. Greet each other with compassion. Above all, honor the Lord.

Pray for me as I minister to my family and while I’m being ministered to by some dear people at Second Baptist Church and my extended family. They greet you as well. Thank you, and may the favor of God fall upon your gathering this morning.

With joy in the Lord,

paul signature

 

 

 

 

Paul Thompson

Certain Persons Have Crept in Unnoticed

The Bible makes itself clear that homosexuality is not, nor ever has been a lifestyle that God blesses. Homosexuality does not, contrary to sentiment of the day, bring the favor of God upon the union or the land.

There is a great deal of civil complexity in this matter of same-sex marriage.

No one denies that the pursuit of happiness is a path for all citizens of this amazing land. The pursuit of happiness is not God given permission to do whatever one wants to do.

To oppose unions that are not biblical is not an attempt to stop someone from pursuing happiness. It is an attempt to warn someone that their behavior has a consequence different than what they may think it will bring about.

I have two greater concerns in this matter than one may accuse me of.

1) My first concern is that of the judicial atrocity of a court system.
2) My second concern, and the greater, is a wolf in sheep’s clothing performing a union in the name of God who is clearly not a spokesman for God. How long and how many weddings one performs does not make one a spokesman for God.

Reported in the Twin Falls Times News (www.magicvalley.com)

MARK THIS: If Bud Liptrap believes that God approves of the marriage union of anyone other than one man and one woman, he is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and has perverted the word of God. He is free to believe what he wants and at liberty to share that belief with all he wants. If all he is is one authorized by the state of Idaho law to perform weddings then let him be what he is. But if he, or any pastor (myself included), dare to speak God’s blessing upon the practice of homosexuality he is outside the authority of Scripture and is a curse on the land.

Let me tell of the kind of grace it takes to save a sinner like me. It is outside of my ability to achieve the favor of God on my own. It required, to my shame, a holy God to cover my wretched condition with righteousness. I long to submit myself to the Lordship of Christ, setting aside what I think brings about happiness and believing the pursuit of Him is the only way to be happy.

I don’t wish unhappiness to anyone. I want to simply point to the sovereign Creator, Almighty God.

“The Lord rebuke you!” But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed . Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah. These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever.

Jude 1:9-13 (NASB)

How Far Does This Take Us Down the Road?

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20 NASB)

This week, while the state of Idaho was forced  to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, a few pastors in the city of Houston are being issued subpoenas for their sermons dealing with homosexuality, gender identity or the mayor Annise Parker. (http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/10/14/city-houston-demands-pastors-turn-over-sermons/)

This is serious.

Very Serious.

 

On Notice

All believers have a unique relationship in a government that is made up of the people and established by voters. Believers are eligible voters and should take that responsibility seriously.

I am a values voter, meaning I vote my values above party or popularity. I vote for candidates and in relationship to laws according to my values. I respect that not everyone in the land will agree with me nor should be required to do so. I hope they like that the ‘system’ works this way.I do.

I don’t want a government that forces morality or religion on any citizen, yet I hope that same government would recognize her duty to wellness and safety of all citizens.

Contrary to what many think about me in the region, I do see and understand the relationship between a civic magistrate and the church. It is a separated relationship and there is no mandating between the two. There must be a respect between the two and the two should be allowed to exist independently of each other even in areas where the two disagree.

I will strive toward a new understanding of what this looks like in regard to marriage licenses. There will be many things to discover and I expect to find a way with in the law of the land. One that will not force me to do that which I conventionally will not do.

Today, every elected official within my voting privilege in Idaho and beyond should know that they are on notice from this voter. Take me off of your automated phone trees telling me about your family values if you are not willing to put your entire political career aside for conviction of what you say you believe.

While this gets figured out, I will continue to “speak to the Almighty and argue my case before God.” (Job 13:3)

 

What Will You Do Now?

“Warn the nations: Look!” (Jeremiah 4:16 NASB)

Twin Falls, ID: Times-News is reporting that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered the state of Idaho to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, October 15, 2014. If the orders by the 9th circuit court of appeals stands, county courthouses will be forced to issue marriage licenses to citizens who don’t meet the requirement of Idaho law.

I don’t doubt that those seeking a license are excited and in hopes of experiencing happiness. All Sinners pursue things that we think will make us happy. A court decision to act in favor of sexual deviance and debauchery is a dangerous day.

It is a good day to be the church! Speak the gospel into the darkness, church.

Here is the letter I wrote Governor Otter this afternoon: (You can contact his office here.)

Dear Governor Otter,

I respect that you are being pushed on every side to act on the new order from the 9th circuit court on the Idaho defense of marriage laws. I want you to know that I’m proud of your boldness in the past and I assure you that I will continue to pray for you on this matter.

If there is anything you can do to legally stay the court order as the governor of Idaho, please do so. If it is within your power to order county offices closed or if it is within your power to place the Idaho National Guard on orders to defend the people of Idaho from the United States of America, please do so with boldness.

Thank you for your defense of marriage.

Paul Thompson
Twin Falls, Idaho