Author Archives: Anthony Baker

About Anthony Baker

Husband, dad, pastor, artist, and musician. Time Magazine's Person of the Year in 2006 (no joke!). Loves coffee (big time), good movies, and sarcastic humor. Holds a Doctorate in Ministry. Most importantly, a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. All glory belongs to Him! Matthew 5:16

Let’s Discuss Why Biden and the Democrats are Wrong on Gun Control (Yeah, I’m going there)

This morning I am sitting down at a table with my laptop and Bible. I have a Bible study in James to conduct in a little over an hour from now.

But at this moment I feel the need and the desire to explain why the Biden administration, along with the Democrat Party, is wrong in their attempts to enact “common sense gun control.” In the recent weeks there have been over 30 people die in “mass” shootings and the tragedy of that is beyond description, yet the answer to the problem is NOT taking away the freedom to own firearms from law-abiding Americans.

In a recent statement, President Biden made an impassioned appeal to do something sweeping and unprecedented.

“As a nation, we have to ask, when in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby? When in God’s name, will we do what we know in our gut what needs to be done? … We have to act. Don’t tell me we can’t have an impact on this carnage…” 

Joe Biden

However, what is truly in our gut? How has the “gun lobby” affected the rise in cold-blooded murder? What should we REALLY be doing in “God’s name”? Let me tell you.

The thing that’s in the gut of Americans is the nauseating, stomach churning truth that what’s been going on in our country is not the fault of guns or lobbyists – it’s much deeper than that. The true problem, along with the solution, is one the Biden administration and the liberal left refuses to acknowledge for fear the implications will ultimately undermine their agenda.

I know it’s a long passage to post, but you really need to see it all. It’s just 10 verses, but it’s totally applicable to this discussion.

[1] What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? [2] You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. [3] And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong–you want only what will give you pleasure. [4] You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. [5] What do you think the Scriptures mean when they say that the spirit God has placed within us is filled with envy? [6] But he gives us even more grace to stand against such evil desires. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but favors the humble.” [7] So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. [8] Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. [9] Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. [10] Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.

James 4:1-10 NLT

It would seem to me that if we were serious about acting in God’s name, we should consult His revealed Word.

You see, God never said anything about guns, did He? He never said weapons of any kind were evil and killed people. No, what He actually said was that people and nations who forget Him will turn to violent means to get what they want.

That’s where we are, today.

What has changed in the religious fabric of our nation since we “boomers” were children? To what levels of depravity has our culture reached in its attempt to obliterate self-control and free itself from accountability? Is it not ironic to see the progression of gun violence mirror the departure from moral absolutes and our identity as a Christian nation?

Think about what has changed in less than 50 years…

  • Where have the gun racks in the back of pick-up trucks gone? Remember when your dad could leave a shotgun and a rifle in plain sight and not worry?
  • Remember when BB guns were common children’s toys?
  • Remember when kids brought their own .22 cal. rifles to school for marksmanship training?
  • Remember the days before toy pistols had to be colored bright orange?

What changed? Did guns become more deadly? Did ammunition develop a mean streak? No, we’ve simply emptied ourselves of moral responsibility and our guts growl with a spiritual hunger.

When you get hungry enough, you’ll eat anything, even if it will make your sick or kill you.

Gun control – the banning or taking away weapons – will not fix the problem. People with hearts that love their neighbor more than themselves can sit in a room full of AR-15s and never once feel inclined to shoot somebody.

We all know this in “our gut,” but some of us are too afraid to say it.

I’m not.

2 Comments

Filed under America, current events

Just Keep Painting, Painting, Painting

Ah, Dory. Totally clueless for the most part, but totally and perpetually the optimistic swimmer. She barely had an idea where she was going, but she just kept “swimming, swimming, swimming.”

Sometimes that all I can do when it comes to painting. When I barely know what I’m doing, I just keep painting, painting, painting.

Every painting I start, doesn’t matter what it is, I have this gut feeling that I won’t be able to finish it. It’s like every project I set out to paint seems more than I should be able to do. I mean, I haven’t been painting all that long (less than 2 years), and already the expectations people have of me are far greater than I consider myself able.

But what do I do? I just keep painting. For eventually, with enough trial and error, I end up with a piece of art.

The painting I’m showing you today is one that I did yesterday for my brother-in-law, Carlos. My sister asked me if I could do a portrait of his late dog Cosmo (originally a Romanian stray, I think). At first I was excited to do so, but then I remembered how that I’ve done very little painting of animals, and they weren’t that good.

However, upon accepting the request, I decided to give it my best, take my time, and see what I could do. And to be honest, the moment I sat down in front of a photo of Cosmo, I was intimidated. Unlike static structures, living things have a lot more shades of color. On top of that, when you change something very minor, a familiar face can become a stranger. Therefore, I was nervous.

But then, once I got started, all I had to do was take one step at a time. The first thing was to do a preliminary pencil sketch, which included determining where colors would be divided. After that, I started with light washes of neutral colors on which I would add darker and darker shades. Then, when all that was done, I would start “fine tuning” the details like blending and edging. All it really took was time and patience.

Herein lies a lesson for life. When there are times we feel incapable of the task that has been set before us, most of the time, if we will just keep swimming, not only will we finish, but we will often learn something new along the way, something we can use next time to make the harder challenge attainable.

So, if you feel like you can’t do whatever it is you need to do, don’t give up. If God has called you for something specific, He’s already placed inside of you the talent. Trust Him, and just keep painting. It will turn out beautiful in time.

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Filed under animals, art, hobbies, Life Lessons

Innocent Until Accused?

I know that what I am about to share with you could be taken the wrong way. Therefore, I am going to do everything I can to keep that from happening. Please read the following bullet points.

  • Sexual misconduct is a sin, but it’s also a disqualifier for ministry leadership.
  • Sexual misconduct, particularly assault, but not exclusively, is a crime which should not be tolerated.
  • Any sexual misconduct that is reported should immediately be turned over to the proper authorities. Nothing is to be handled internally.
  • All accusations of sexual misconduct should be taken seriously and investigated.
  • Alleged victims should be treated with compassion and respect.
  • Sexual assault, especially by a trusted leader or mentor, is monstrous and deserving of punishment to the fullest extent of the law.

Next, I would like to remind you that my family and I have had to endure the pain of sexual misconduct and abuse. We have personal experience with the legal and judicial process, also. Even more, I carry with me the guilt of having not seen the red flags early enough and the shame of having believed the denials and lies of a sexual predator.

So, my point is this: Don’t get on a podium and preach to me about this subject, especially when I say what I’m about to say; I know of which I speak.

Accusations are not proof of guilt. Denials are not proof of innocence. Therefore, when it comes to accusations of sexual misconduct, the accused deserves to be treated as innocent until proven guilty. That’s not only constitutional; it’s biblical.

Unfortunately, especially for those in ministry, accusations are about as damaging and destructive as a conviction. Because of how our legal system works, it is possible for a good defense attorney to get an actual offender cleared of all charges. Therefore, though technically innocent (or “not guilty”), it is feasible for the accused to still be guilty, though not punished. The result is perpetual suspicion that the accused is guilty, regardless the evidence.

Let me be honest, I believe once a sexual predator, always a sexual predator. I didn’t used to believe that, but my opinions changed several years ago. Therefore, if you’ve ever been convicted of a sex crime, don’t ever expect to come to a church I pastor and think you’re going to be treated the same as everyone else. It doesn’t matter if you’ve repented; I can’t take the risk with my sheep. But what do I do with those who’ve been accused, yet never convicted?

This all came to the forefront this week when news that the Guidestone report on the investigation of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Board was released. In it are damning allegations of sexual misconduct, even assault, by not only individuals on the board, but also evidence that misconduct in local churches by pastors was covered up.

So, what we now have are major influential ministries and ministers in the Southern Baptist Convention having to step down from their respective positions, see their incomes taken away, and be forced to live with the ever-present stain of disqualification, guilty or not. This is where I have a huge problem.

Tragically, this conundrum affects both parties involved. The victims often find it difficult to be believed and often have their character destroyed in trial by the defense. Those who are accused are often considered too risky to keep around and therefore lose everything in the process of proving their innocence. All the while, those of us on the outside rarely receive enough credible information to make an informed decision and we’re often the products of our own biases (i.e., “always believe the woman,” or “it’s always political”).

As hard as it may be, the fact is that we need to remember a fundamental doctrine in our system of law – everyone is innocent until proven guilty. It is NOT the other way around. Although the accusations may be disgusting and horrible, we are not guilty of them until proven. We cannot continue to allow the accusation of sin be the conviction of sin.

By the way, it’s pronounced “uh-salt,” NOT “uh-sult.”

4 Comments

Filed under abuse, current events, ministry, wisdom

Is it Breaking the Law in Canada if the Crime is Directed toward an American?

Who’s Stephen?

Some of you may know him as the kind, polite, father and husband who lives up north where the maple trees grow. Others of you may know him as the troll who loves to leave hateful comments on this blog.

If you are not familiar with Stephen, he calls himself a “red letter” Christian who is an “a** hole at times,” but particularly when dealing with other “a** holes” like pastors, ministers, Bible-teachers, etc. And it is here, on this blog, where Stephen loves to imitate the aforementioned body part.

Stephen and his comments go back a while. At one point they were much more cordial. He has even wished my wife and me well! However, although he claims to harbor no hatred toward organized religion, the bitter sarcasm and frequent pointed vulgarity say the opposite.

As of recently (mainly because I’ve started writing again), our Canadian friend has been back at it with renewed vitriol. What’s more, he’s even taken to replying to commenters with condescending, insulting comments.

So, the purpose of this post is to bring Stephen out into the open where everyone can see what he is saying, not just those who leave or read the comments. And what’s more, I’m going to share some points from the Canada Human Rights Act that may have a bearing on Stephen’s language.

CHRA Quotes

I am not sharing the following information as a means of support for the Canada Human Rights Act. Personally, I think making hate speech a major crime, especially when the laws can be interpreted to include just about anything that offends another, is government overreach.

However, since it IS the law in Canada, I thought it would be interesting to share what I found and then use it as a light to shine on recent comments from Stephen.


Fear of hate propaganda offence or hate crime
810.‍012 (1) A person may, with the Attorney General’s consent, lay an information before a provincial court judge if the person fears on reasonable grounds that another person will commit

  • (a) an offence under section 318 or subsection 319(1) or (2);
  • (b) an offence under subsection 430(4.‍1); or
  • (c) an offence motivated by bias, prejudice or hate based on race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other similar factor.

Communication of hate speech
13 (1) It is a discriminatory practice to communicate or cause to be communicated hate speech by means of the Internet or other means of telecommunication in a context in which the hate speech is likely to foment detestation or vilification of an individual or group of individuals on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination.

Continuous communication
(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), a person who communicates or causes to be communicated hate speech continues to do so for as long as the hate speech remains public and the person can remove or block access to it.

Definition of hate speech

(9) In this section, hate speech means the content of a communication that expresses detestation or vilification of an individual or group of individuals on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination.


Stephen’s Comments

Now, since you’ve hopefully read the above statutes, I would like to share with you a couple of recent comments which Stephen has left. I will embolden key words so that you can compare those with the CHRA.

have to excuse me if I don’t take advice from religious grifters who can’t keep their children safe Anthony.
You have no moral high ground and absolutely no authority over anybody. But your mental illness keeps you from seeing this truth.
Only an absolute legalistic, religious zealot would believe that Gods’ grace, joy, fulfillment and blessings are bases on showing up Sunday mornings to a religious business.
You don’t even know Jesus Christ yourself and yet you rob people of their hard earned money with your weapon of choice, the bible.
You’re truly a disgusting human being Anthony.

Stephen, 5/23/22 2:07 p.m.

And again you prove yourself an asshole. You’ve got a history of supporting sexual predators so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. No matter how many times God proves to you that some of your beliefs are way off, little Anthony Baker knows better.
Just another religious asshole who refuses to take responsibility for himself. Blaming fictional people “the woke” or “the left”. If you knew just how stupid you sound you might shut the heck up.
A pastor who supports murderers and sexual predators, seems par for the western christian church.

Stephen, 5/24/22 8:52 a.m.

As a pastor, my reputation in the public’s eye is critically important. It’s one thing to make statements like those above about engineers, taxi drivers, or dentists, but when it’s against a member of the clergy, even suggestions of misconduct or seeming alignment with criminal or perverse behavior can cost a man and his family a living. And, not just the pastor, but the whole congregation and the name of the church in their community can suffer.

Therefore, when we look at what I’ve emboldened in the above comments from Stephen, what we see are words that not only vilify an individual but give evidence of a class hatred. Then, since these comments are meant to be viewed by all, even though they could be redacted, one can only assume that the end result would be to manipulate the reader and malign my character.

What do YOU think? Does Stephen put himself at risk for a $20,000 payment to me and a $50,000 payment to the Canadian government? It’s either that or jail time, from what I read.

7 Comments

Filed under abuse, America

So, If Guns Are Banned in America …

First, my deepest condolences go out to the families of those children and teachers killed at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Our hearts break.

I have never lost a child, so I cannot say I know how they feel. However, having been there as a chaplain for the families who lost children in the Woodmore school bus crash, I was witness to the explosive grief that overwhelmed them upon notification that their child had died. All one could do at that moment was cry with them. I can only imagine it has been similar in Uvalde.

Yet, once again – and is truly sad that there even is a “once again” – those who are adamant that gun control in America is the answer to all gun crime are not only screaming for new laws, but they are also cursing those who pray for the families! “F*** your prayers!” were the words of at least one elected official.

Other people, like Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D), blamed Republicans for the children’s deaths. Why? Because Republicans, she said, though claiming to be “pro-life,” still refuse to agree to comprehensive gun legislation which could help stop the murdering of children. They never waste a catastrophe, do they?

But what if legislation was passed tomorrow that banned all handguns and rifles? What if, starting tomorrow, all high-capacity magazines, AR-15-like rifles, and handguns were ordered to be taken somewhere and destroyed? Who would be the ones bringing the weapons for destruction? The criminals? the murderers? NO! It would be the law-abiding citizens! That would only make the mass shooters happy!

I know it may sound cliche, but it’s the truth: when you take away the guns, only criminals will have them. No new law will stop a criminal from breaking it when they are already break the ones that exist.

My question is how did the shooter in Texas get into the classroom in the first place? He had already been on the run after shooting his grandmother and then firing at police. It was when he was fleeing police that he entered Robb Elementary. Were there no locked doors? Was there access into the school other than in the front? It is a lot more difficult for a gunman to enter a school that has taken measures to prevent such a thing. How did he get into this school?

Again, our hearts break for the families of Robb Elementary. And regardless of what AOC thinks, we will pray for them.

10 Comments

Filed under current events

SBC In Trouble, but Missions Will Suffer

Last night I received some heartbreaking news about the Southern Baptist Convention. Heartbreaking and sickening.

When my wife and I attended last year’s general session in Nashville and voted for a transparent investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct, I had no idea what would happen. However, my intention, along with all the other delegates (as best I can tell), was to take a proactive stance that would show we won’t (and won’t) tolerate that kind of stuff.

However, over the past year it became obvious to me and some others that more was at play than an investigation. Certain red flags were waving in the camp of the SBC leadership – the woke ones – not the SBC Executive Committee, and the shakeup that followed looked more like an ideological purge than an attempt to make something right.

But yesterday the report from Guidestone dropped. And what was in that report? Accusations that the leadership of the SBC has been covering up hundreds of sexual misconduct accusations, including the one from 2010 against former SBC president Johnny Hunt. It seems Hunt was accused of sexual assault against another pastor’s wife 24 years his junior. He vehemently denies it.

Are the accusations true? Well, according to the report from Guidestone, the accusation seems credible and conversations with Johnny Hunt did not leave the investigators with much confidence. As a result, Hunt has resigned all positions and, at the least, will suffer ministerial destruction.

If he did what he was accused of, then Hunt should get what’s coming to him. If, however, all we have are accusations and no evidence worthy of prosecution, we are left with nothing more than unanswered questions, ruined reputations, and one more staunch conservative kicked out of the way.

Now, again, I am totally in support of weeding out sexual misconduct, so don’t misunderstand me. But please forgive me if I’m suspicious of the motivations behind those doing the investigating.

Regardless, the ultimate result will be that SBC missionaries on the field will suffer. Because of this mess, true or not, already decreased giving will take a sharp turn south resulting in the recall of many sharing the Gospel in places all over the world.

This morning at 11 a.m. (eastern), the Executive Committee will be live streaming a special called meeting. They have invited all who are interested to watch it. Whatever the case, regardless of where the evidence leads, this whole thing is totally sickening.

If YOU want to join us as we watch the meeting, I am sharing a link. I hope it works.

https://acts2.vhx.tv/videos/sbc-executive-committee-meeting-live-stream

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Filed under abuse, current events

Nothing Yet (on the SCOTUS decision)

Today came and went. Most days do that. But at the end of this day, the Supreme Court did not publish an opinion on the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case (i.e., the case that will either uphold or overturn Roe v. Wade).

That being said, I was able to go with our Chairman of Deacons and his wife, along with my wife and another gentleman, to the ABC Women’s Clinic in Dublin, GA. Even with abortion legal, they are doing a great work in educating women in crisis (as opposed to the one-sided info offered by Planned Parenthood).

The primary purpose of our visit was to deliver a card and a check from our church. Because this particular check was more than usual, we thought it would be a good idea to hand-deliver it, thereby giving us a chance to check the place out.

Praise God for places like ABC! So far this year they have been able to save the lives of 14 babies and have seen 31 people come to Christ! Seven of them were the boyfriends of the girls who had come for help!

So, I guess it won’t be until June that we get a ruling on this case, but in the meantime, there is still work to be done, as there will always be. Because, as the director of ABC Women’s Clinic said, “Abortion isn’t going away.”

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Filed under Abortion

Social Commentary (pre-“Roe v. Wade” Ruling)

It’s a peaceful Sunday evening across most of the country, but what it will be like tomorrow afternoon is anybody’s guess.

It’s been reported that the Supreme Court of the United States may render a ruling on Monday regarding abortion. I don’t know all the details about the case being argued, but it seems that should the Court rule against it, abortion will be something turned back to the states. And if this happens, many states will ban abortion in all cases except for the LIFE of a mother.

What will happen if SCOTUS overturns Roe v. Wade? According to many abortion rights activists, we will see a “summer of rage.”

And what will happen if SCOTUS does NOT overturn Roe v. Wade? I don’t know. However, I bet every demonically influenced sky screamer will be reveling in their uterine autonomy.

I guess all we can do at this moment is wait. We’ll wait for the Supreme Court to announce its decision and wait for people to lose their flipping minds if they are forced to be baby factories and have their uterus’ held hostage by men who don’t know what it’s like to have something grow inside them.

You know, if only the biological males on the Supreme Court would identify as women.

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Filed under Abortion, America, current events

What Are You Expecting This Morning?

Sunday morning, that is.

By the time you read this, it could be any day of the week. But I am writing this on a Sunday morning. As a matter of fact, it’s not long before Sunday school will begin, followed by the morning worship service at our church.

So, my question to you is this: What are you expecting this morning?

Unfortunately, so many people, particularly Christians, are not expecting anything. Oh, they are expecting to do something, maybe go somewhere, or maybe they’re just expecting a late breakfast in bed. But when it comes to worshipping their God in a congregation of believers, most don’t expect anything – they just go.

Why is that? Why is going to church on the Lord’s Day something to be taken for granted? Even more, why is it something to be taken so lightly that washing one’s car or pancakes are more important?

One big reason, like I just mentioned, is that they/we, for the most part – if not always – never expect anything to happen that hasn’t already happened week after week, year after year. Nothing.

Yet, when we go to church – WHEN we go to church – there is the distinct possibility to witness a genuine miracle, one that can directly affect each of us on an individual level. I’m not referring to “miraculous” healings or “manifestations;” I’m talking about being spoken to by the holy God of the universe.

Oh, you can stay home and watch TV or play with your kids, and those things are OK in and of themselves, but what you are going to miss is nothing less miraculous than the breaking of the loaves and fishes to feed 5,000. And you think catching a wide mouth bass is better than that?

I would encourage you to rethink your priorities, dear Christian. The God who saved you from hell is offering to you a special opportunity which cannot be duplicated or recreated afterwards. He wants you and the rest of His children to experience this together as a family.

Please, accept the invitation your Father is sending out. Accept it and expect to hear from Him.

Otherwise, do not expect much from God by way of joy and fulfillment when what you choose to do replaces a personal offer from Heaven.

11 Comments

Filed under Bethlehem Baptist Church, Christianity, Church, worship

Cultural Commentary for Friday, 5/20/22

There comes a time when even the quietest person, even the blogger whose keyboard has acquired a layer of dust, must rise up and speak (or type). Now’s the time for me.

If you’ve heard these phrases/questions before, raise your hand and say “amen.”

  • What’s this world coming to?
  • This world is going crazy!
  • Our founding fathers would roll over in their graves if they could see this.
  • How do you get to the interstate from here?
  • Do you want frog legs with that?

You may have never heard the last two, I suppose, but the first three, especially the first two are on the lips of just about everyone we meet these days. And it’s no wonder, because the world IS going crazy.

Stop and think about it, who in their right and healthy minds would literally believe and say with a straight face that men can have babies, therefore men can have abortions? Nobody. That’s crazy. That’s insane. We’re talking put-a-helmet-on-and-take-your-meds crazy.

Actually, I bet if you went to facilities where the clinically diagnosed resided in padded rooms and asked them if men could have babies, they’d look at you, then themselves, and start crying from confusion.

Screenshot from C-SPAN

Yet, when Aimee Arrambide, Executive Director of Avow, a Texas-based organization devoted to “securing unrestricted abortion care and reproductive rights,” was asked before a House Judiciary Committee if men can get pregnant and have abortions, she said, “YES.”

These are smart people. These people are even allowed to drive cars, own guns, and have unrestricted access to the Home Shopping Network! But at the same time, let’s face it, they’re losing their minds.

But it’s not just abortion rights activists worried about losing millions of dollars from the loss of legalized contract murders, it’s even in the Supreme Court of the United States. After all the years of sitting in doctor’s offices and looking at anatomy posters on the walls, like Aimee Arrambide, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson (nominated on the basis of her sex) can’t even define what a man or woman is!

Yet, I’ve got to hand it to them. Seriously, if life was a game of chess, the Left have been playing 20 moves ahead. They’ve even planned for these days by making sure that when they started talking like people who should be kept away from sharp objects, the word crazy is now considered stigmatizing, alienating, and “problematic.”

In other words, calling crazy people crazy is tantamount to insanity, or at least insensitivity, which can result in crazy restrictions, loopy cries for sensitivity training, and downright nutty condemnation from people who can’t (or won’t) even say if the human that plopped them out of the womb was a woman or not!

If you don’t think we are living in a “Romans 1” world . . . well, I don’t want to stigmatize you.

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Filed under Abortion, Culture Wars, current events