When I was growing up, my parents had rules of conduct for home and outside the home, and they expected them to be obeyed.

In fact, in those days, most parents had rules for children to follow. And if the rules were broken, of course there were natural consequences, but there were also parental consequences (and yes, those included spanking which is not abuse when applied appropriately to the place the Lord created for that purpose). Most homes were “nuclear homes” and child abuse was rare.

Today, far too many homes are splintered, far too much spousal abuse happens, far too many children are abused and far too many children are killed (including those in the womb). But I’m convinced that the great majority of moms and dads still love their children and make decisions and rules that they feel are best for the child and his/her life, even though the child may not understand or agree.

But parents are human and none are perfect. I wouldn’t trade my parents for any other anywhere, but I know they make mistakes. Yet, their rules, firm and fair, did not always make sense to me (and weren’t always followed).

Looking back, I see the wisdom of those rules and know that had I been more obedient, the consequences that occurred could have been prevented.

There is a perfect Father. He is the Creator of everything and everyone that exists and He sustains the universe. He set into motion every scientific law. He made the wonderful human body to function as superbly as it does. And He knows what makes everyone and everything “tick”.

He alone has the right and the wisdom to make up the rules for His creation. And He did so. He wrote these down in a single volume of 66 books and gave them to all of creation so everyone can know Him and how to live in this world. Every rule, every commandment, every prohibition has one purpose: the very best for His creation. His rules are not oppressive, random, arbitrary or capricious.

When we follow them, things go well. When we don’t, there are consequences…natural consequences on earth and eternal consequences in the future. And like my mom and dad did, the Perfect Father gives His creation the ability, the will to decide if it will obey or not.

The problem today is not that we don’t have those rules; the problem is not that the rules are difficult to understand; the problem is that we simply don’t like the rules, even though they are best for us, because they do not fit our sinful, lust-filled lifestyle and culture.

So because we do not like God’s laws and rules, we label them “hate speech” and those who abide by them “haters”. It happens at all levels of society. For example, in September, the Ways and Means Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives took up the subject of “how the tax code subsidizes hate”, looking especially at a Christian group, the American Family Association.

Rep. Lewis of Georgia accused conservative and faith-based groups of “promoting hate based on race, gender, religion, sexual orientation or ethnicity.”

I have read God’s Word and know that it does none of these things and although some people, under the guise of religion, may practice hate, most Christians I know understand their own sinful hearts and love people who are likewise sinners, no matter their sin.

Jesus Christ is the most loving, perfect, holy, just person to ever walk this earth. He is also the only one who ever lived without an ounce of prejudice or bigotry. As Creator God, He was within His right to destroy sinners and rid the world of sin. But instead, He went to the cross and died, paying the full price for sin, every type of sin. And today He loves every sinner, and hates every sin, but offers to forgive sinners and make them sons and daughters of God.

As His followers, we too must hate sin, every kind of sin, in ourselves and others, but we must love sinners and because of the Great Commission, seek to bring to them the good news of the Gospel that frees from sin’s power and penalty.

This is not hate; this is the greatest form of love because sin hurts the sinner, his/her family and friends, the community, the nation and the world. And no sin is acceptable. Lying is sin. Stealing is sin. Self-righteousness is sin. Gossip is sin. Disobedience to parents is sin. Covetousness is sin. Assault is sin. Murder (including abortion) is sin. Sexual activity outside of marriage is sin, whether it is pre-marital sex, extra-marital sex or homosexual sex. And while society may “rank” sin and crime as misdemeanor, felony, etc. and while we may rank sins by very bad, not so bad (usually we rank our own sin as minimal and others are worse), to God sin is sin and each brings a stench to His nostrils and a hurt to His heart, because He wants His creation to obey since it is best for us.

So no, Congressman Lewis, the Bible as written, and the Christian faith as practiced in the image of Christ do not promote hate. The Bible is God’s love letter given to provide instruction for salvation, for forgiveness, for “abundant” life here and eternal life in heaven in the future. You may not like what it says, but one day, you, as all of us, will stand before God to give an account. The book of Revelation says that at that time, books will be open. It doesn’t say which books, but most assuredly, one of those will be God’s eternal, authoritative, inspired, unchanging Word!

Decision America: Tar Heel State Tour

Let’s all be much in prayer for Franklin Graham as he continues the Decision America Crusades in October in North Carolina. The schedule is:

Hickory, Oct. 10; Charlotte, Oct. 12; and Asheville, Oct. 13. Go to DecisionAmerica.com.

Blood Drive: Well by the Sea

The Red Cross is in need of blood donations that dropped after Hurricane Dorian. If you will to be a blood donor, you will be able to do so on Oct. 21 from noon-5 p.m. at The Well by the Sea, 211 Forestbrook Road in Myrtle Beach (corner of Forestbrook Road and Fantasy Harbour Boulevard.). You may drop in or for more information contact Barbara Sterling at (843) 655-7105.

Sean McDowell at Ground Zero

Ground Zero will feature iWorship with Sean McDowell Sunday from 6:15 p.m.-8 p.m. (doors open at 5:30 p.m.). Sean is a gifted communicator with a passion for equipping the church and in particular young people. He connects with the audience in a tangible way through humor and stories while making the case for Christian faith, imparting hard evidence and logical support for living all areas of life through a Biblical worldview.

The event is free (an offering will be taken) and seating is limited. Reserve your seats at mygroundzero.com.

Future events include iWorship with illusionist Brock Gill on Nov. 10 and the Newsboys on Nov. 16.

CEF Softball Tournament Rescheduled

Child Evangelism Fellowship of the Greater Pee Dee will host its first Slow-Pitch Softball Tournament to benefit Good News Clubs.

The tournament has been rescheduled and now will be held on Oct. 19 at 8 Oaks Park in Georgetown. This is a co-ed tournament, teams of 10-15 players, age 15 and over. Cost is $15 per player.

Go online to www.cefgpd.org, phone (843) 365-4233 or e-mail susie@cefgpd.org.

Coastline Welcomes Abby Johnson

Coastline Women’s Center is hosting “An Evening With Abby Johnson”. Abby is the author of the book “Unplanned”, which brought about the movie of the same name. She is the brave young woman, former head of a Planned Parenthood “clinic”, who witnessed firsthand the horror of abortion and shone the light on the lies of the abortion industry.

This special time will be held Nov. 23 at 7 p.m. in Christ United Church, Myrtle Beach. You won’t want to miss it. Tickets are now available and I believe this event will sell out quickly (I already have mine). Call Coastline Women’s Center at (843) 877-9653, e-mail to jeannieandcartersmith@gmail.com, or go online to coastlinewomenscenter.org.

Conway, Loris, Aynor and Western Horry

■ Dr. Ernie Perkins will be the guest speaker for Fall Revival services at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church, 4301 Red Bluff Road in Loris. The services will be held today and again Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. There will be speaking singing each evening and you are invited. Phone (843) 756-6221 or (843) 365-6242.

■ Cherry Hill Missionary Baptist Church, 504 Church St., invites everyone to a Community Health Fair Saturday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

The theme of the event is Health is Wealth: Fitness for your Mind, Body and Spirit. Vendors are needed for the event. Phone (843) 248-4900.

■ The Martha Circle of Centenary United Methodist Church, 1527 S.C. 544, will have its annual Community Craft Fair Saturday at 8 a.m. Everyone is welcome. Vendors are still needed. Phone (843) 333-1906.

■ Waccamaw Baptist Church, 7160 S.C. 905, will have a Community Yard Sale Saturday beginning at 7 a.m. Phone (843) 450-8276.

■ New Home Baptist Church, 1865 S.C. 139, will have its 113th Homecoming and Harvest Day, with guest speaker Bill Thompson and music by Willing Hearts, Sunday at 10 a.m. Join them! Phone (843) 365-5634.

■ Prince Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, 3724 Maple St. in Loris, will have homecoming Sunday at 11:15 a.m. Guests include Minister Tony Campbell, Tony and the Goldenairs, Voices of Praise and more. Phone (843) 855-3983.

■ Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, 6907 S.C. 905, will have revival services Oct. 20-23 with guest speaker Curtis Parker. Sunday services are at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. and Monday-Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Along with this the church will host a Bible Conference, Oct. 21-23 at 10 a.m. with Ernie Perkins and Curtis Parker. Sonny Clardy will be providing special music for both. Phone (843) 957-5145.

■ Loris Baptist Church, 3117 Main St., invites you to Judgment House, a Christian alternative to Halloween and the “notorious haunted house”. Judgment House is a seven-scene walk-through drama, effectively presenting the gospel through a relevant and gripping story.

Bring your church youth and their unchurched friends to Loris on one of the following nights: Oct. 24 from 6 p.m.-10 p.m., Oct. 26 and 27 from 4 p.m.-10 p.m. The experience takes about an hour and groups of 25-30 enter every 20 minutes.

There is a suggested donation of $5 per person. Call (843) 877-2206 to make your reservations. Walk-ins are welcome through 10 p.m. each evening. Please, no children under the age of 8.

■ Advancing the Kingdom Church, 1672 S.C. 905, will have Trunk or Treat Oct. 26 from 1 p.m.-4 p.m. There will be free candy, games, face painting and food. Please RSVP. Their site is advancingthekingdomchurch.org.

■ Don’t miss Worship on the Waccamaw at Riverfront Park on Nov. 2 from 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Enjoy Leading the Way, Cecily Hennigan, the Chosen and Blake Herron.

■ Dogwood Hill Baptist Church, 1040 Mt. Zion Road in Loris will have Harvest Day on Nov. 3. Come out to Sunday School at 9:45 a.m. then Morning Worship with special guest the Unity quartet at 10 a.m. with a covered dish lunch at noon. Phone (843) 756-3450.

■ St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, 3449 S.C. 65, will be distributing food on the second and fourth Fridays of each month from 11 a.m. until all food has been distributed.

■ Loris First United Methodist Church, 3507 Broad St., has a Blessing Box in the church and it is available each Friday from 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. This box contains nonperishable food items and individuals in need are encouraged to come to the church at those times. Also, if you would like to donate items, please place them in the box.

■ Dogwood Hill Baptist Church, 1040 Mt. Zion Road in Loris, has a food pantry on the third Saturday of each month from 8 a.m.-10 a.m.

■ Salem Baptist Church, 4008 Salem Road in Aynor, opens its Food Bank on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month from 9 a.m.-noon. The mission: “We serve Christ when we serve people.”

Myrtle Beach/The Coast

■ You are invited to Timberfest, the Fall Festival of Timberlake Baptist Church, 9850 S.C. 707, Oct. 19 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is free. Enjoy arts and crafts, food, live music, bake sale, inflatables, kids’ activities and more. Event will be held rain or shine. Phone (843) 650-9509.

■ The Well by the Sea, 211 Forestbrook Road, invites you to its Fall Festival. There will be a big yard sale, bake sale, face painting, kid’s games, crafts and food (pulled pork, hot dogs, beans, soda). Interested crafters contact Charlotte at (215) 208-3508 soon; spaces are limited. There is no rain date; in event of rain, festival will move inside the building.

■ Temple Emanu-EL by the Sea, 65th Ave. North and N. Kings Highway invites you to Friday night service at 7:30 p.m. (Kosher Oneg), Shabbat Service at 10 a.m. (Kosher Kiddush).

Sunday and Hebrew School, 9:30 a.m.-noon.

Oct. 16, 23 and 30 Hebrew School, 4 p.m.-6 p.m.; Advanced Hebrew 12:45 p.m.-1:45 p.m., Adult Education, 2 p.m.-3 p.m.

High Holidays Schedule:

Sukkot Services: Oct. 14, 10 a.m.-noon.

Shemini Atzeteret & Yizkor: Oct. 21, 10 a.m.-noon; Simchat Torah Oct. 21, 7 p.m.

Camp Judaea: Israel, Judaism, Nature, Community, Individual growth. For boys and girls age 7-15. Register for next summer by calling1-404-634-7883.

Current Second Nature Project: we are collecting canned goods and snack items to help both the Community Kitchen and Helping Hand. Place in the basket by the front door of the Rosen Center. All Mitzvoth greatly appreciated. Questions? Contact Karen Osborne at (843) 446-1060.

Also collecting, during October, new socks and underwear for the children of Fostering Hope.

■ Faith Outreach Ministries of the Grand Strand will have the monthly New Beginnings Food Distribution Oct. 19 from 10 a.m.-noon at the Church of the Resurrection, 8901 U.S. 17 Bypass, Surfside Beach. This includes free groceries, free lunch, social services information and a children’s craft table.

■ Myrtle Beach Christian Church, 1226 Burcale Road, opens its Thrift Store each week, Thursday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. You are encouraged to come out and browse and buy and, in so doing, you’ll be supporting this community outreach. Phone (843) 236-1121.

■ Temple Shalom, 4023 Belle Terre Blvd., invites you to Shabbat services each Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Phone (843) 903-6634 or go online to templeshalommyrtlebeach.net.

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