Republicans Should Overwhelmingly and Quickly Reject Donald Trump

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Donald Trump

(Photo Credit: Vice)

If Republicans are serious about taking the White House back in 2016, they must make it clear quickly by demonstrating an overwhelming rejection of Donald Trump. Although Dr. Ben Carson is now the leading Republican presidential candidate, and Senator Marco Rubio is the leading Republican presidential establishment candidate, 42% of Republican voters believe that Donald Trump will inevitably be the Republican presidential nominee. The reality is Donald Trump will lose in a landslide to Hillary Clinton. Trump will perform horribly with Hispanics, women and independent voters. While “Make America Great Again” is a great campaign slogan, it’s not enough to win the presidency in 2016. Mr. Trump is a talented entertainer and businessman but we’ve suffered from enough cruel comedy during President Obama’s tenure in office. Republicans need to coalesce really soon around a candidate who can win. Trump is simply not the right answer.

For the most part, Mr. Trump offers only anger and name-calling. Anger and name-calling are not policies. Yes, Americans should be angry about the state our nation right now. It doesn’t take being loud and offensive to evince that anger. How about presenting a detailed comprehensive plan that reveals how you will bring substantive reform to America? The American people understand we’re facing serious challenges and problems, including increasing national security threats, a struggling economy, a broken immigration system, and ridiculous healthcare costs. The challenges and problems we’re experiencing demand competent and proven leadership. While competent and proven leadership does not have to come from someone with political experience, of course, Republicans need to support a candidate who is providing detailed solutions to the challenges and problems America confronts. In President Obama, we’ve had an opportunity to see the harsh consequences of electing someone not ready to lead. Republican presidential candidates who aren’t focused on detailed solutions to America’s challenges and problems aren’t ready to lead.

Being an effective President of the United States isn’t about who has the best personality or who has the best one-liners. If we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll admit that the person who is best for the job may just be boring and soft-spoken but has an undying commitment to policy matters. Do you really see Donald Trump as a person with a real commitment to policy matters? To this point, he’s not given us any reason to believe he’s devoted to policy. He’s too focused on polls, attacking other Republican presidential candidates, and making the most outrageous statements possible to garner media attention. With this being the case, how can Republicans persuade the American people they’re serious about the White House if they elect Mr. Trump as their presidential nominee?

It’s time for Republican voters and the Republican Party to eliminate the unnecessary division between establishment and anti-establishment; this is complete foolishness. While the division within the Party’s ranks constantly increases, a Democrat continues to occupy the White House. The time has come to narrow down the list of Republican presidential candidates to Dr. Ben Carson, Senator Marco Rubio, Governor Jeb Bush, Governor Chris Christie, Governor John Kasich, and Carly Fiorina. How serious are you really about electing a Republican for President in 2016? If you’re really serious, then you will admit that Trump cannot win the White House in 2016.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

10 Reasons Your Church Could Be in Decline

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Black Preacher Preaching

                                           (Photo Credit: America Preachers)

Mountains of debt, significantly plummeting church attendance and membership, and uninspired members: fundamental signs your church is in decline or failing. Do the members of your church have nostalgia for “the good old days” instead of enjoying the present and looking forward to the future? Unfortunately, too many church leaders are unwilling to engage honestly with serious issues and questions about their ministries. If in the past a church had great attendance, a constantly burgeoning membership, and limited to no indebtedness, and those phenomena are no longer in place, the leaders of the church must be candid in their approach to resolving these problems. Pretending like problems don’t exist in your church will further exacerbate them. The purpose of this piece is to offer 10 reasons your church could be in decline or failing.

  1. Envy present at all levels. When church leaders are envious and they refuse to address envy among their members, this leads to damaging disunity in their churches. Your church will never grow and experience success when its leaders and membership are dominated by a spirit of envy. Although you might claim that the power of the Holy Spirit is flowing powerfully in your church, you’re being dishonest when envy is highly prevalent in your church. The pastor of your church has to check his or her own envy and promote a spirit of unity among the membership. When people are more talented and anointed to do sundry tasks than you, provide loving support for them and don’t undermine them.
  1. The pastor is a manager instead of a leader. If your pastor has to have his or her fingerprints on everything, he or she is simply a tyrant. In various religious communities, we’re too quick to call someone a leader simply because he or she is occupying a position. A pastor who micromanages every aspect of the church’s affairs is a manager—not a leader. An effective pastor delegates authority and responsibility to other leaders and members of his or her church, and he or she trusts them to accomplish what needs executing; he or she does not supervise every detail of their work. People should feel comfortable operating in their gift without fear of receiving a negative critique or unnecessary requests from him or her to modify their work.
  1. Too many messy people. Messy pastors, church leaders, and members are the ultimate destruction of churches. Pastors and church leaders should be working to resolve messiness in the church and not participate in the messiness themselves. What are some of the ways in which a pastor can be messy, you ask? One way is for him or her to sit at home with members of his or her family and plot the undermining of certain individuals they don’t support. Another way a pastor can be messy is to pick and choose “favorites” in the church and believe anything those favorites run and tell him or her. Finally, one of the most damaging ways in which a pastor can be messy is to use his or her sermons as vehicles to attack those members he or she has problems with and to galvanize support from other leaders and members to join him or her in opposing those members. Too many churches have people who are committed to gossiping about members of their own churches, and this results in breakdowns in communication and relationships, envy, disengagement, and a dearth of productivity.
  1. The pastor selects “favorites.” Everyone in your church should be valued and feel valued. There shouldn’t be a class system within a church where “the favorites” rule as elites and everyone else is powerless and voiceless. What would Jesus do? Treat everyone the same.
  1. Too much emphasis on giving money. While it takes money to have a successful church and do effective ministry, members shouldn’t be bombarded with unremitting discourse about giving money. If your church really has something great to offer, then people will give liberally without relentless requests for and talks about money. Too many pastors are so focused on money that they have turned Jesus into a footnote and afterthought in their churches. Jesus should always be put in first place. When you put Jesus in first place, He will bless your church and abundantly supply you with money.
  1. A lack of focus on serious evangelism. Incessant focusing on money in many churches has led to soul-winning not being a top priority. Many church leaders will say that soul-winning is their top priority—only to turn immediately to soliciting money again. If you want your church to grow, you have to make a real commitment to winning souls for Christ. The money your church needs is found outside of the church: the lost souls who need to come to Christ are the additional sources of money. You cannot continue to ask for money from the same people already in your church; recruit new members through evangelism. Want a successful church? Have a church without borders—don’t remain stuck in the four walls of your building.
  1. The absence of the Gospel of Grace. One of the most frustrating phenomena about most churches is their pastors are still teaching, preaching, and witnessing as if the Mosaic and Levitical Laws are still in effect. Pastors, Jesus didn’t die on the Cross to grant you the right to lord your authority over people. Jesus died on the Cross to empower people with freedom and power through Him. Unfortunately, too many pastors are afraid to teach and preach about grace in a comprehensive way because they know this will mean that they will have to surrender their micro-managing control over their members. The New Covenant is not about subjecting one’s self to a bunch of rules and regulations; it’s about receiving God’s agape love and being empowered through the grace of Christ. When your pastor refuses to engage deeply with grace, he or she is simply a control-freak! The absence of the Gospel of Grace results in church members believing in their own performances instead of believing in what Jesus has already done at the Cross. Right believing produces right living—not vice versa.
  1. Not enough focus on teaching and studying the Bible. It seems that all many preachers want to do is scream, holler, and speak in tongues. What about imparting the Word of God, though? It’s a close and consistent study of the Word of God that brings deliverance, prosperity, healing, joy, peace, happiness, love, and etc. to people—not your screaming, hollering, speaking in tongues, requests for money, rules, regulations, and “good advice.” Unfortunately, too many pastors aren’t equipped to teach the bible properly. Many lack the necessary intellectual aptitude to teach the bible so they just attack those who are educated and say that “the Holy Ghost will reveal all things” as cheap cop out for their inability to rightly divide the Word of Truth. A pastor and his or her congregation can only progress successfully through the regenerating washing of the Word of God. Instead of having all of these revivals and “tarry services,” start having more Word of God revivals where a close study of the bible occurs. You can always identify a pastor does not really know much about the bible when he or she turns Bible Study into regular Sunday service—where testimony, singing, and non-scriptural focused discourse are placed at the forefront over teaching and studying the Word of God.
  1. A lack of meaningful innovation. Although all change is not good change, numerous churches across the nation are declining or failing because they refuse to discontinue their useless traditions. This does not mean that they need to fuse secular phenomena into their church services and practices, but your churches shouldn’t suffer from routinization. Church leaders should listen closely to members about new ideas, and they should observe successful practices and programs of other churches and implement them.
  1. Jesus isn’t being made the top priority. Too many churches aren’t being governed by the dominant principle of Jesus being in first place in all matters. When this governing principle is absent, churches continue to decline and inevitably fail. In every decision that one makes in your church, there should always be a focus on how the decision reflects Jesus being put in first place.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Black Mother of Three Kids Needs Your Help Immediately

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Charmine Mitchell

(Photo Courtesy of Charmine Mitchell)

Recently, Charmine Mitchell, a devoted black mother of three precious children, unexpectedly found out that her husband, Royce Mitchell, passed away. Unfortunately, her husband did not have any insurance to cover burial expenses and other essential living expenses for his wife and children. Although Mrs. Mitchell is seeking employment, she’s currently unemployed and is left struggling to pay the mortgage for her and her children and is left struggling financially to support her children’s needs. In America, when tragedy strikes some of us, we all share in the heartache of those victimized by tragedy. Americans always rise to the occasion and help fellow Americans in need. By making a financial contribution—no matter how small—you can make a significant difference in helping to ease the struggle this widower and her children are now facing. It’s already horrible that the family is facing the heartbreak of the loss of a husband and father, but to have the added burdens of not having any money for burial expenses, to pay the mortgage and support their living expenses is tragic as well. Go to Mrs. Charmine Mitchell’s GoFundMe Page and provide the best financial contribution you can make: Click Here to Donate! All contributions are greatly appreciated, and Mrs. Mitchell and her kids are grateful for your support in this difficult time for them.

Many thanks,

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Prayers for President Jimmy Carter

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English: US President Jimmy Carter

(Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

Dear President Jimmy Carter:

Although I don’t agree with you on most political issues, we share strong affinities on faith, family and altruism. Your greatest impact on humanity has come after serving as President of the United States of America. The invaluable work you’ve done to promote peace, human rights, democracy, fair elections, healthcare and much more for people across the globe will forever be appreciated.  President Carter, you’re truly a great man. The significant difference you’ve made in the lives of countless individuals across the world is honored by God. God is now using you as an example for the world to see how to fight cancer with faith, grace, and trust in Jesus Christ.  You’re showing the world that a cancer diagnosis is not a reason to lose all hope.

While most folks in your situation would become despondent, cry profusely, and talk persistently about dying, you’ve made a commitment to smiling, sharing your underrated humor and continuing to focus on the impressive philanthropic work you’ve been engaged in for a long time with the Carter Center.

Christians are to serve as examples for the world about how to respond to illness and disease.  The way in which you have responded to cancer is a shining example of how the bible teaches us to respond. When we place our life in the hands of God, He takes care of us, and we have to remind people that death does not have the final word. Because of what Jesus accomplished for us on Calvary’s Cross, death no longer has any power.

President Carter, I want you to stay encouraged and continue to live an inspiring life. People across the world are praying for you to be healed and delivered from this cancer that has come from the pit of Hell. You’re a man of God and Satan’s diseases have no right and authority to dwell in your body. As a person of great faith, I speak healing and deliverance to your body right now.  I apply and appropriate the Blood of Jesus Christ on you right now. By faith, according to Mark 11:23-24, you’re already healed and made whole!

Keep placing all of your trust in God.


Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Beware of the Arkansas Razorbacks in 2015

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Jonathan Williams Arkansas Razorbacks

(Photo Credit: Whole Hogs Sports)

Don’t be surprised if the Arkansas Razorbacks win the SEC Championship in 2015.  As Bret Bielema enters his third season as the Head Hog, he has restored toughness, discipline and power to the team.  We had an opportunity to witness the type of team to expect this season in the final four games of last season and against Alabama.  The Hogs won three of their last four games last season, including back-to-back shutouts of ranked SEC opponents LSU and Ole Miss, and the team concluded the season by crushing Texas in the Texas Bowl—not allowing the Longhorns to earn even 60 total yards.  Let’s not forget Arkansas nearly defeated mighty Alabama, losing by only one point.  In every loss last season, the Razorbacks were close to winning and probably should have won each one of those close games.  In the Auburn game, the Hogs were tied with the Tigers at halftime.  However, former Arkansas offensive coordinator Jim Chaney abandoned the running game—the strength of the Arkansas offense—and the Tigers were able to capitalize on his misguided offensive strategy (or lack thereof).

The Year of the Hogs?

The Hogs are ready to win the SEC Championship this year.  Although the Hogs surrendered a few valuable defensive players to the NFL, the team returns the core of its offense, defense and special teams.  Last season, Arkansas had one of the best defenses and offenses in the nation.  Based on Arkansas having fundamentally the same squad it had last year, including some talented new players, we can expect the team to continue to improve and surprise many teams in the SEC and stun many college football fans across the nation.  The recently released pre-season coaches’ poll has Arkansas ranked as the #20 team in the nation.  However, Las Vegas gamblers—people willing to put their money where their mouths are—have Arkansas ranked as the #6 team in the nation.

When Arkansas Goes on Offense

Again, Arkansas has the largest offensive line in football: both college and NFL.  The offensive line is not only massive but also highly talented and athletic.  Arkansas has two of the best running backs, Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams, in the nation—arguably the best running back duo in the country.  This season the Hogs will feature a third solid running back, Kody Walker, giving the Razorbacks a three-headed monster rushing attack.  Bielema is committed to a power running game—just as he was at Wisconsin—and it’s paying tremendous dividends for him at Arkansas and will continue to pay even greater dividends for him this season and beyond.  With new offensive coordinator Dan Enos at the helm, Brandon Allen, Arkansas’ senior quarterback, seems to have made significant improvements during the off-season, and Enos has been a proven-leader in ameliorating passing games and producing quality passing games.  The success the Hogs will have on offensive will aid them immensely on defense as they’re bound to dominate the time of possession in most games this season.

A Tough but Doable Schedule

Again, the Razorbacks will have one of the toughest schedules to combat, but a few huge wins can propel them to the SEC Championship game and give them a chance to play in this season’s National Championship.  It will be difficult to defeat Alabama on the road, but remember the Hogs only loss by one point to the Crimson Tide last year.  Also, it will be difficult to go on the road and defeat Ole Miss and LSU, but remember the Hogs shutout both teams in back-to-back weeks last season.

Teams situated in the SEC West have to win big games almost every week and Arkansas understands this by now.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Arkansas

Carole Arceneaux’s James: Faith Becomes Real: A Short Review

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The Book of James Commentary

(Courtesy of BookLook Bloggers)

In James: Faith Becomes Real, Carole Arceneaux offers readers a commentary on the Book of James.  The book provides readers with a verse-by-verse and chapter-by-chapter analysis of the entire Book of James.  While the dominant purpose of the work is to be a commentary, it strives to be a devotional as well.

If one has little background or understanding of the Book of James, then Arceneaux’s work will be helpful to him or her.  Most effective commentaries are academic in nature.  When a person reads this book, he or she will immediately notice that it lacks the authoritative voice typical of academic discourse.  In all other commentaries I have read, I learned something new or had my prior knowledge expanded.  Unfortunately, this book did not benefit me in any way.

Although the effort to add a devotional dimension to a commentary is an interesting and rewarding idea, the devotional aspect of this work seemed more about filling the pages to meet a page number quota.  The book simply lacks the depth necessary to be considered a serious commentary.  Arceneaux’s work certainly could have benefitted from better revision and editing.  Many of the sentences lack the clarity they needed to achieve.

In short, I would not recommend reading this book.  Some elements of James: Faith Becomes Real have potential.  The book, however, needed more work before it was published.

In exchange for my honest critique of James: Faith Becomes Real, BookLook Bloggers supplied me with a complimentary copy of it.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

J.D. Greear’s Jesus Continued…: Why the Spirit Inside You is Better Than Jesus Beside You: A Brief Summary and Thoughtful Reflection

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J.D. Greear

Pastor J.D. Greear and family
(Photo Credit: The Summit Church)

In Jesus Continued…: Why the Spirit Inside You Is Better Than Jesus Beside You, J.D. Greear explores how the permanent presence of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, living on the inside of Believers enables them to experience a relationship with God that is more empowering and fulfilling than the relationship Believers enjoyed when the Incarnate Christ dwelled on earth. Greear emphasized that one cannot fulfill the will of the Lord without the active presence of the Holy Spirit in his or her life. This work calls for individuals to submit to the leadership of the Holy Spirit, resulting in the individual experiencing a personal and spiritual renaissance.

Greear’s book evinces that one of the greatest benefits of receiving the grace of God is having the Holy Spirit live inside of the individual. In a time when too many people and churches are deemphasizing and neglecting the Holy Spirit, this work provides a valuable contribution to the Christian community by revealing it is the free operation of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Believer that enables him or her to experience a satisfying life in this present world. The practical biblical truths this book extends to readers allows them to gain a deeper appreciation for the Holy Spirit, and it challenges readers to become more connected to the power of the Holy Spirit.

I highly recommend that Believers read Greear’s work to learn how to unleash the full power of the Holy Spirit in their lives.

BookLook Bloggers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book to pen an authentic review.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison