First Thoughts

Author: Heath Lambert

Controversial Conversations

Pastor Heath recently answered controversial questions related to homosexuality, race, marriage, voting, women in the church, and the Catholic church. You can watch the full talk or see the specific question and time stamp below. It is our prayer that these questions and answers help you think more deeply about how the Bible relates to all of life and increases your faith. Why do we have no people of color on staff at our church (except the ministries for foreign groups)? How can we expect to have a diverse congregation when we don’t have a diverse staff? – 10:35 What implications does Deuteronomy 24:3-4 have currently on Christian marriages? – 15:50 Would you say that the Bible, as we have it, is inerrant, or that the “inerrancy of scripture” applies only to the original scripts and mistakes...

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In Praise of Nurses

For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” Isaiah 41:13 Hard Nights in the Hospital When it comes to hospital stays, I’m now something of an expert. Since the fall of 2020, I’ve spent roughly 15 nights in the hospital. That is not as much time as some have spent in the hospital, but it is more than most. For me, 15 nights means I’ve spent more time in the hospital than I have in hotels, visiting relatives, or having sleepovers with my kids. Those 15 nights were the hardest and most uncomfortable ones I’ve ever spent on planet earth. Most of them were in the Neuro-ICU. You don’t get in there unless you need a lot of help. Your brain is fragile, you need constant monitoring, you require powerful medication, you can’t get...

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A Health Update

Dear First Baptist Family, You have been so faithful to pray, and I wanted to write and let you know the latest update after the appointment with my neurosurgery team this morning. First of all, I want you to know that I feel good. In fact, as I write to you now, I feel as good as I have felt since August 4. I haven’t taken any pain medication, and my constant dizziness and disorientation has become a much more tolerable light-headed, sort of swimmy feeling. That improvement allows me to walk confidently and without help, even if a bit slower than usual. To add to that good news, I also got a good report at my visit. Everyone is happy with the way I am progressing and healing up. They did decide to leave the stitches in the back of my head for at least another week. They also are continuing...

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A Personal Update from Pastor Heath

Dear First Baptist Family, Today is the first day I’ve felt able to reach out to you (and been allowed to!), so I wanted to share with you some of what has happened. Most of you know that on August 4, I went to the hospital for surgery to relieve the pressure on the trigeminal nerve in my brain that now, for five years, has been causing pain, spasms, and difficulty chewing, speaking, and swallowing. After surgery, it was immediately clear that the operation came with some significant costs as I lost all the hearing in my right ear. This was very discouraging. As the days progressed and I began to be able to get out of bed, it was also clear that I was dealing with an unusual amount of dizziness and disorientation. Having been through these surgeries before, I expected some unsteadiness,...

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A Personal Health Update

Dear First Baptist Family, This morning I shared with our church the bad news that I now require another surgery in an attempt to correct the nerve problems in my brain. For anyone who was not there, I wanted to share this information with you. Many of you know that since my second surgery last year, I have endured ongoing symptoms of pain, discomfort, and spasms. I have been able to manage some of these symptoms with medication that have stifled the pain and minimized the involuntary movement, but it has become increasingly clear that my problem has remained. A few months ago, I was recommended to a different neurosurgery team at a different hospital to see if there was anything more that could be done to address this problem. Just over a week ago, I met with my new doctor to review the...

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Refusing to Celebrate in a Post-Roe World

A Moral Earthquake The Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v Jackson was a massive earthquake that rocked the entire world. Only time will tell how massive is the number it registered on the cultural Richter scale. What we know right now is that there was a massive fault line separating professing believers. You might not have seen it before, but the Dobbs earthquake has turned that fault line into a massive chasm. That chasm separates two kinds of people in the Christian community. A Chasm Between Two Kinds of Professing Believers On one side of the chasm are the Christians who are celebrating the end of the era of Roe. On the other side of the chasm are those who are not. I have taken one opportunity to celebrate this moment in a blog and another opportunity in front of the congregation at...

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The Bible, The Supreme Court, and Bodily Autonomy

Since Dobbs v Jackson overturned Roe v Wade the cry of opposition has been that the fundamental rights of women have been abridged. Sometimes that cry sounds like, “my body, my choice.” At other times it sounds like women refusing to let their “reproductive rights” be infringed. The driving logic behind all this is a belief in bodily autonomy. The idea is that since my body is—well—mine, I can do what I want with it. We must think through such a claim from the standpoint of biblical faithfulness. Here, I want to offer four thoughts in response to the claim of bodily autonomy. Bodily Autonomy and Legitimacy First, those who argue for bodily autonomy have some things right. Our bodies are sacred, valuable, and infinitely precious. The Bible is clear that we are made as human beings by God...

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Roe Is Over—Now What?

A Day I Never Thought Would Come I was born in 1979, just six years after the Supreme Court effectively made abortion the law of the land in Roe v. Wade. My entire life has been overshadowed by the legality of the vile practice of abortion. Since becoming a Christian in 1994 I have done whatever I could to help bring an end to this era of death. I have longed for it, prayed for it, voted for it, and raised money for it. But, in retrospect, I realize I never saw a true path to ending it. I believed my efforts were faithful, but I never really saw how they could be fruitful. The deck always seemed stacked against reversing the decision. And then came this glorious day, June 24, 2022. A day which will be remembered in eternity as one of justice, righteousness, and faithfulness. It is a day...

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The Southern Baptist Convention in 2022: A Sketch of Where We Are

A Glorious Mugging Participating in the Southern Baptist Convention can feel like a mugging. The days are long, disorienting, often brutal, and when it is all over you feel sore. Don’t get me wrong. I love the SBC, and always appreciate the unpretentious majesty of a room where celebrity pastors and rural preachers all get a ballot and an opportunity to speak. But we all know the days can be long and the issues painful. If the SBC in 2022 was a glorious mugging, then I want to provide a police sketch of the event. That is to say, I want to describe where we are as a convention now that the votes have all taken place in Anaheim. Here are five broad strokes describing the SBC as I see it today. 1. The SBC Wants to be Conservative There has been a lot of talk about liberal drift in the SBC....

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Five Sins Regarding Abuse

I should start by being clear that I am not saying there are precisely five—and only five—sins regarding the issue of abuse and that you will find those five sins catalogued here in an authoritative fashion. That is not my point. My point is that we are living in a time when many in the church are dealing constantly with issues related to abuse. As we go through this season, it is crucial to make clear that when we are talking about abuse, we are talking about sin. This issue is about something that is morally repugnant in the eyes of God. And we are not only talking about sin—singular but sin—plural. There is more than one moral monster in view here. Here I am going to talk about five sins that Christians must grapple with if we are ever to find our way out of this current darkness into...

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