Church Shouldn’t Mirror the Nightclub

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Secular Music in Church

(Photo Credit: GH Music Nation)

In many churches, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish them from nightclubs. The Apostle Paul delivered a New Covenant of Grace command to Believers: “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2). When preachers allow elements of the nightclub to become regular parts of their services, they engender a milieu within their Sanctuaries that becomes confused. At one moment, many preachers are passionately advocating holy living; however, at another moment, they’re permitting young and old congregants to participate in worldliness inside of the church. There should be a clear distinction between what’s sacred and what’s secular—those borders shouldn’t be blurred. To attract young people to church and engage them once they arrive, it’s unnecessary to dilute authentic spirituality and Christian worship to make this possible. Jesus should never be lost in anything we do in the church.

Secular music concatenated with some references to God or Jesus here and there is still secular music. Lipstick on a pig is still lipstick on pig—no matter how sophisticated you attempt to portray it.

You cannot put “Christian” in front of any music genre and try to present it as appropriate for church services. Although genuine Christian rap of the type Lecrae offers is appropriate for church services, everyone purporting to be “Christian rappers” aren’t. They’re secular rappers wanting to use churches as spaces to expand their recognition and spheres of influence. When you allow secular rappers masquerading as Christian rappers to perform constantly in your churches, you’re inviting those unclean spirits to reside in your churches as well. After they perform, don’t expect to come behind them and have powerful, life-changing sermons. Don’t expect people to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit after you’ve endorsed all of those evil spirits to come into the church. Many preachers simply aren’t consulting the Lord about the decisions they make and aren’t seeking divine wisdom.

When the House of God becomes the nightclub, God is not pleased and He will hold the pastor of each church that does this accountable.

Young people don’t have to be moved simply by secular beats to come to church and be involved in it. They’re more complex than that. If church leaders would simply offer these young people Jesus, they will drink from the cup of Grace Christ extends to them. You can attract young people to church by offering them opportunities to honor God in ways truly pleasing to Him. Give young people opportunities to sing traditional and contemporary gospel songs. Let them give inspirational messages about their love for Jesus and what He means in their life. Have them to create and recite Christ-centered poetry. Use the diverse talents and skills the young people in your church and community have to glorify Christ by encouraging them to make Jesus the true focus of everything they present during church services.

God’s Altar is sacred and should never be desecrated—neither should His Sanctuary.

When leading the unsaved to Salvation through the Prayer of Salvation, preachers commonly conclude the Prayer of Salvation by asking, “According to what you’ve just prayed, where is Jesus?” Unfortunately, too many of those same preachers aren’t asking the same query when it comes to allowing secular music to be performed in their churches.

Keep what’s holy, holy; keep what’s sacred, sacred. If the shoe fits, wear it. Period.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Border Security First, The Best Way Forward on Immigration Reform

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Illegal Immigration

(Photo Credit: The Blaze)

One of the best ways to reach bipartisan agreement on comprehensive immigration reform is to begin with a significant border security bill. Before we decide on what to do with the millions of illegal immigrants in America, a bill substantively addressing the problems and threats along our Southern border needs to be crafted and enacted by Congress and signed into law by President Obama. Comprehensive immigration reform does not have to take place in the form a single massive piece of legislation; a series of immigration reform bills can constitute comprehensive immigration reform. We must make it incredibly difficult for people to illegally enter into our nation. By starting comprehensive immigration reform with discourses about amnesty or a pathway to citizenship for extant illegal immigrants in America evinces a failure to commit to first principles: enforce the existing rule of law and keep the homeland safe from potential terrorists who could use our porous Southern border as a vehicle for entrance into our great country.

President Obama taking unilateral action on immigration is severely damaging to efforts to reach bipartisan reforms on immigration. If President Obama is truly interested in working with Republicans to achieve comprehensive immigration reform, then he must rescind his unilateral action on immigration and refrain from future unilateral action on immigration. President Obama cannot honestly expect to build relationship across political aisles while sending messages that he’ll do what he wants to do with or without the approval of Congress—that’s simply no way to engage in mature negotiations.

Although Republicans need to continue to insist on border security first as their approach to comprehensive immigration reform, they must also speak openly about their plans for comprehensive immigration beyond border security. Too often Republicans allow themselves to appear myopic on comprehensive immigration reform: they’ve permitted Democrats to paint an effective picture of them as having no real plans for comprehensive immigration reform. Republicans must publicly discuss their complete ideas for comprehensive immigration reform and not limited their public discussions of comprehensive immigration reform to border security.

After passing meaningful border security legislation and providing the necessary funding for this legislation, Democrats and Republicans can come together to reform the traditional immigration system. Both Democrats and Republicans agree that the traditional immigration system needs modernizing to make the process of becoming an American citizen more humane. The length of time it takes to become an America citizen should be greatly reduced. Many illegal immigrants chose to enter our country illegally because it takes too long to gain citizenship through our current immigration process. We can make illegal immigration less attractive by making legal immigration more appealing.

Our elected national officials in Washington, D.C. too often take a failed approach to solving complex problems: by beginning with where they disagree instead of where they agree. The American people—Democrats, Republicans and Independents alike—must demand their elected national officials to approach comprehensive immigration reform by beginning with what they agree on and move on to the more contentious issues of comprehensive immigration reform.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Arkansas’ Physicality Will Be the Difference against Missouri

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Darius Philon

Darius Philon (Photo Credit: SW Times)

In the inaugural 2014 Battle Line Rivalry, Arkansas’ physicality will prove to be too much for Missouri.  Missouri demonstrated that it cannot handle a highly physical team when Georgia demolished the Tigers 34-0 in Columbia, Missouri. Arkansas employs an even more physical style—on both sides of the ball—than Georgia does. On offense, Missouri will be punished by the biggest offensive line in football, including the NFL. Arkansas’ stable of running backs, led by Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins, are powerful running backs and difficult to bring down.  The Arkansas Razorbacks have the most underrated defense in the nation. This defense has played well all year. The Razorbacks’ defense gave up only 17 points to Mississippi State, 14 points to Alabama, and shutout LSU and Ole Miss. Arkansas is the hottest team in the country and is far better than its record suggests. The team has played the toughest schedule in the nation, according to the NCAA. If a play or two would have went differently for the team in each game it lost, the Hogs would be undefeated. You shouldn’t, therefore, doubt that the Hogs have a great chance to go on the road and defeat the Missouri Tigers.

Every coach who has played against Arkansas this season has stated that the team is either “great” or “very good”—Nick Saban said Arkansas is a “great team” and he congratulated Bielema on building a great team the right way. Today, the Razorbacks will need to get consistent pressure with its front four to stop Missouri’s potent passing game. The Hogs’ defense has played well against teams this season that have employed the type of offensive strategy the Tigers use. Missouri will not be able to handle Arkansas’ beast on defense, Trey Flowers. Flowers is one of the top three defensive ends in the nation. Also, look for Darius Philon to have a great game for Arkansas on defense.

Offensively, the Hogs should be able to do enough to defeat the Tigers.

Although the Tigers are playing to be SEC Eastern Division champions, the Hogs are hungry and ready to feed on the Tigers. The Razorbacks want to prove what they did against LSU and Ole Miss is going to continue on into next season, and a win will ameliorate the type of bowl game the team will get. Georgia fans, coaches, and players will need to send the Hogs a letter of gratitude after this one is over. The Hogs win in Columbia, Missouri 31-23.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Arkansas

A Prayer for Ferguson, Michael Brown’s Family, Unity and Justice

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Michael Brown's Murder

(Photo Credit: Slate)

Father God in the name of Jesus,

Right now, I ask that you would comfort and strengthen the family and friends of Michael Brown. You are the only one who can heal them in the places where they’re broken. They’ve been living with the reality Michael Brown died an unnecessary death. Darren Wilson allowed anger and disregard for Black life to result in the murder of Brown. Lord, only you can change the heart of Darren Wilson and all those like him who don’t value Black life. I ask you to change the hearts of people who don’t value Black life. Transform all hearts to love Black life. Have Wilson to turn himself in and confess his wrongdoings to the authorities. While many people will not believe that this will happen, everything we place in your powerful hands can be done.

Justice has not been served in the Michael Brown case. Lord, I ask you to bring swift justice in the Brown case. Let the people across the nation know that this “open season” on Black males is over. For those who are protesting in response to this injustice, give them hope that a brighter day is coming. Use the efforts of the protesters to engender and implement serious reforms regarding policing, beginning with a mandatory requirement that all police officers wear body cameras.

Jesus, you are the true answer to injustice. All of the best ideas in the world are inadequate without you. America needs an outpouring of love. Let what’s going on in Ferguson become the catalyst for life-changing love. People must understand that at the root of racism, discrimination, inequality and injustice is sin. Those without Salvation need to come to you Jesus and repent. Without you Lord, they are living in darkness and don’t have a true understanding of goodness.

We need unity in this country, but the senseless killings of Black boys and men across the nation will not promote unity. On this Thanksgiving, I ask that you unite the American people. We’re stronger as a nation when we’re united.

The voices of those who are protesting in Ferguson deserve to be heard and respected. Let their voices be heard and respected. Give the Brown family peace on this day. Let the family know that you’re still in control. Peace will come when justice prevails.

Again, Lord, bring your swift and righteous justice.

I ask all of these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

There’s Healing Power Already in You

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Prayer

(Photo Credit: Samaritan’s Purse)

When you ask the Lord to forgive you for all your sins, and to come into your life and be your Lord and Savior (Romans 10:9-10; John 3:16), Jesus gives you power to conquer anything Satan brings against you. Luke 10:19 states, “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”  When Satan sends all forms of sickness and diseases your way, use the power that Christ has given you to defeat sickness and diseases. To activate the healing power within you, you will need to pray and ask Jesus to remove sickness and disease from your body, and after you have prayed, believe that you’re already healed. Mark 11:24 says, “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”  Use your mouth to ask Jesus for what you desire and believe that you have already received what you’ve asked Him. Now, thank Him for answering your prayer.

As Believers, we never have to accept a negative report given by a doctor. When a doctor gives us a negative report, we have to understand that Jesus has given us the Grace, His power, love and peace working on the inside of us, to destroy all chaos. Sickness and disease are chaotic phenomena—they are forces that attempt to stop you from beholding and trusting the Promises of God. Whenever one totally turns his or her mind away from the Promises of God, chaos takes over his or her life. As a Believer, Jesus has declared you the Righteousness of God (II Corinthians 5:21; Romans 3:22), and, as the Righteousness of God, you need to declare that you’re already healed because God has already told you that you’re healed (Isaiah 53:5)—you must believe it to receive the physical manifestation of your healing (Mark 11:24).

At the core of why most people do not receive healing is a failure to sincerely ask Christ to heal them. When a request is made to Christ to grant healing, the person making the petition must already believe that he or she has been healed. Therefore, an earnest asking of Christ to do anything for you must be coupled with true belief that He has already performed what you’ve requested because of the genuine faith that accompanies your request. Also, if the person has any unrepented sin, then he or she must ask God to forgive this sin before the healing can take place.  The bible says, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16). As a Believer, you’re righteous because Jesus declared you to be righteous—not as a result of any righteousness or righteous works of your own. The aforementioned verse informs Believers that they have to ask for forgiveness from one another and pray for one another before God will heal them. You cannot, therefore, expect God to heal you when you’ve not forgiven someone for something he or she did to you.

The only work you need to do to receive your healing is trust that the Finished Work of Jesus Christ (accomplished at the Cross) has already healed you. Many teachers and preachers will have you to focus on doing works in your own strength, which evinces their ignorance of the Word of God (Galatians 5:16). We are, however, to cast all of our cares on Jesus Christ (I Peter 5:7), and this will allow Christ’s Grace to become activated in our lives to heal us. When we’re working, we cancel out the ability of Jesus to work for us because we’re communicating to Him that we can take care of the problems on our own; your handling of your problems without following the leadership of the Holy Spirit quenches Him (I Thessalonians 5:19).

Trust Jesus to heal your body right now.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Don’t Count Arkansas out against LSU

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Arkansas vs. LSU 2014

(Photo Credit: Bleacher Report)

Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville, Arkansas is a mighty tough place to play—even more so at night. Although the Hogs have yet to win an SEC game this season, they have been a tough out against every team they’ve faced, nearly defeating Texas A&M, Alabama, and Mississippi State. Arkansas Head Coach Bret Bielema has his team ahead of schedule and the team is so close to being something special. An SEC win can be the catalyst to propel the Hogs into being a truly elite football team. The Razorbacks are actually slightly favored in this game, and what an excellent way to end its losing streak against SEC opponents by defeating LSU, the Hogs’ greatest rival. This rivalry game is known as the Battle for the Golden Boot. When Arkansas and LSU play one another, throw out all of the records and statistics—only this game matters for the two teams. They simply don’t like one another.

Arkansas plays LSU at the right time: after LSU’s deflating overtime loss to Alabama. The Razorbacks have more hanging in the balance than LSU does: the team is trying to become bowl eligible. The Hogs must win two of the last three games to become bowl eligible. As long as the team performs well in the fourth quarter of each of the remaining games and demonstrates that it has learned how to close out games, the Hogs can legitimately win the final three games (all SEC games) on its schedule.

Both teams have similar styles. On offense, they both like to run the football—and run it often. Arkansas has the edge on offense. On defense, they’re both aggressive, although LSU has the edge on defense.

This game will ultimately come down to which team can perform the best in the passing game. Both teams can certainly benefit from improvement in the passing game. The LSU passing game will struggle against the Hogs because Arkansas defensive end Trey Flowers will give LSU’s offensive line nightmares. When this game is over, the person who will have impacted the game the most will be Trey Flowers. He is a beast and will be playing in the NFL next season.

Arkansas will win 24-20.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Arkansas

Congratulations to Dr. Santresa L. Glass: Social Media and Business Expert

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Santresa L. Glass

(Photo Credit: Santresa L. Glass)

Today, Dr. Santresa L. Glass passed her doctoral dissertation defense and has been conferred a doctor of education in Organizational Leadership degree at Argosy University. The title of her dissertation is “Investigating the Effectiveness of Social Media: The Impact on Brand Identification and Organizational Performance in Small to Medium Business.” Less than 10 other dissertations have been written about social media; therefore, her dissertation positions her as one of the early leading experts in this area of research. Businesses of all sizes will benefit from the research she has conducted, especially small and medium-sized businesses.

Dr. Glass highlights the importance of having a sound strategic strategy for using social media platforms as vehicles for marketing, and she emphasizes how essential it is for businesses to empirically evaluate their social media marketing. She plans to have her dissertation published in book form soon, and Revolutionary Paideia will be the first media source to announce its publication and how you can obtain a copy.

Glass obtained her undergraduate degree in English at Albany State University in Albany, Georgia and a master’s degree in Management at Troy University in Troy, Alabama. She has over 10 years of executive business experience and over 10 years of experience as an educator.

Although Dr. Glass had to endure many challenges in her pursuit of the doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership, she found the perseverance and courage necessary to make it to the end of this rewarding journey. What lies ahead for her is endless possibilities.

Santresa, this is a day you will never forget. Never allow any overt and subtle negative messages from anyone to distract you from the significance of your accomplishments and from the bright future ahead of you. This is your day—make the most of it! Take time to celebrate Jesus and your accomplishments He made possible.

I would like for everyone to join me in congratulating Dr. Glass on her truly great accomplishments.

Today, you join a small percentage of people across the United States and world who have earned a doctoral degree.

You did it, San! Congrats!

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison