What is "Bad Company?"

Thursday, January 28, 2021 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Reflection from my devotional reading this morning:

1 Corinthians 15:33, Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” 34 Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.

(NIV - Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”)

This is a very interesting text addressed to Christians. There is no underestimating the influence of what and who we allow. In context, the Apostle Paul was aware of, and spoke into, specific conditions within the church at Corinth during the First Century, including those who denied the resurrection of Christ.

Here in the 21st Century, we face our own challenges that may adversely affect one's character. “Good character” can be corrupted by “bad company.” The question is: What is “bad company?” The word “company” suggests current relationships, associations, and interactions.

As Paul wrote to church folk, “Do not be deceived...” and “Some do not have the knowledge of God.”

Paul also provided a solution, “Awake to righteousness.” Righteousness is God's standard or God's justice framework. In the Bible, righteousness and justice are related. We don't establish God's righteousness, we can only receive it.

It is the nature of “bad company” to corrupt justice/righteousness by creating religious standards, not rooted in an accurate Bible interpretation. Worse, is the creation of “biblical” false narratives to explain things that never existed, such as the USA being founded on “Christian principles” which is the heart of Christian Nationalism. (FYI: 26 of the 55 Framers of the Constitution owned other people--the real meaning of slavery)

So, I suggest that Christian Nationalists are “bad company” among other untoward influences.


Jesus in the Middle of Agreement

Wednesday, January 27, 2021 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments


Matthew 18:19, “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

We usually read this text and highlight the importance of having agreement among ourselves. Jesus makes a powerful promise in stating that anything we ask will be done by our Father in heaven. Of course, the proper context of “anything” involves the will of God.

The most significant part of this text is this: When we “gather” in His name, we invoke the Presence of Jesus Christ: “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.It is not that we are ever without Christ, it is that we become intentional about doing His will and operating in the Spirit of God.

I spoke to a friend yesterday about a historical topic. It was something I had learned and was in my head, but I could not recall the details. When I researched the topic, my awareness heightened and I felt confident to fully discuss that topic.

We know the Lord, but sometimes our active awareness of His presence is low and our capacity to act is diminished. This is the value of gathering in His Name by physical meeting, by phone call, by Zoom meeting, or other means. We certainly can get things done by ourselves, but God's purpose requires agreement and Presence.


A Beautiful Tribute. A Statement of Priority. A Recognition of Competence.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Photo Credit: Evan Vucci/AP

January 19, 2021 – This was a beautiful tribute to those lost to COVID and a statement of priority on people more than self by incoming President Biden and Vice-President Harris.

As a photographer, I appreciate the composition and power of this image. As an American citizen, I appreciate the hope this photo represents. As a Christ follower, I appreciate the opportunity to pray for a new president to help lead our country through a difficult season.

Going forward, it is my hope that we have understood the importance of competence at every level of our society. It is the work of God's church in Christ to preach the gospel, conduct our lives according to God's word, edify one another, and serve our community.

Great divisions remain among us, and those troubles, like the COVID pandemic, will not simply disappear. We will have to be diligent, systematic, and prayerful in developing solutions, while trusting willing persons to help and avoiding the unwilling.

On January 19, I received my first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Being among the health professionals who administered the vaccine, I thought about all of the work of dedicated and competent people, who understood medicine and the scientific method, who brought the vaccine online within a few months. The best thing that we did as Christ followers was to pray for those who possessed the competence to bring the vaccine to market. This is a model for progress in our nation and world, everyone doing what he or she is designed by God to do.

Competence is remarkable! Hope is a force for good!


Closure, Clarity, Covenant: Recover all! Part Three: Covenant Makes Everything Better! Firm Foundation Podcast

Sunday, January 17, 2021 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Throughout the Bible, we see that covenant was the basis of something good happening to God's people. From the first mention of covenant in Exodus related to Israel's deliverance from Egypt, to the rebuilding of the walls under Nehemiah, to the covenant Jesus made that produced salvation for us, covenant makes everything better.

In this lesson you will learn some of the great examples of covenant in the Bible as well as instruction offered by the Hebrews' writer that pronounced as a better covenant based on  better promises through Christ.

Key Thought: "Covenant makes everything better"

Key Scripture
Hebrews 13:20-21, Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Reflection Questions
1. What is covenant?
2. Why was the old covenant under Moses weak? Was the weakness because of the covenant or the people?
3. How do the "covenants of promise" for Israel relate to believers in Christ today today?
4. How does covenant make everything better?
5. What does it mean to covenant within covenant? What is an example?

Listen to teaching on the Firm Foundation Podcast 


Closure, Clarity, Covenant: Recover All! | Part Two (Podcast, Video, & Notes, Reflection Questions)

Monday, January 11, 2021 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

In this series we are looking at principles of recovery following 2020, which was one of the most challenging years of our lives. The insurrection against our government capital on January 6 by supporters of the President, and incited by the President, highlights the necessity of Closure, Clarity, and Covenant as Christ followers and part of the citizenry. Justice = Righteousness!

Read these posts:

As a prophetic voice and people, we recognize the necessity of being firmly grounded in God's kingdom, exposing and rejecting falsehoods, and being socially relevant within our community and nation. During a time of prayer and meditation while preparing for the message, these scriptures came to heart and mind (exposition during the message),

Isaiah 28:17, I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the level; Then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies and the waters will overflow the secret place.

Remember that justice equals righteousness. Insurrection and sedition are neither just nor righteous, no matter how much people talk about God and wave a flag. 

Philippians 3:18, For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things.

Our God is a refining and a consuming fire.

Hebrews 12:28, Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. 29 For our God is a consuming fire.


Key Thought: "Clarity begins with self-examination"

Key Scripture
Matthew 7:1, Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. 

Reflection Questions
1. Why is self-examination necessary to gain clarity?
2. What is the definition of clarity?
3. How did David's actions at Ziklag lead to his gaining clarity?
4. How have Jesus' words about "Judge not" been misapplied or lacking in understanding?
5. How are the Scriptures a great source of clarity? Provide an example.

Listen to teaching on the Firm Foundation Podcast 


Historical Context for Insurrection of January 6, 2021 by Trump Supporters

Friday, January 08, 2021 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

As a perspective on historical factors contributing to the insurrection by Trump supporters on January 6, 2021, below is an excerpt from Chapter Six of my book, "Biblical & Social Justice: What Is It?" 

The Shifting Values of Conservative Christians

Only weeks after “Bloody Sunday” in Selma, Alabama on March 7, 1965 during which peaceful protesters who crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge were beaten by State Troopers, Rev. Jerry Falwell gave his response during a sermon;

“Believing the Bible as I do, I would find it impossible to stop preaching the pure saving gospel of Jesus Christ and begin doing anything else— including the fighting of Communism, or participating in the civil rights reform... Preachers are not called to be politicians, but to be soul winners.”1

This was the position of many conservative Christians of the era, including those who opposed the efforts of Dr. King, the Civil Rights movement, and the pursuit of Black Americans seeking equal rights. By the 1970’s, Jerry Falwell reversed course and stated;

"The idea that religion and politics don't mix was invented by the Devil to keep Christians from running their own country.”2

Jerry Falwell started the Moral Majority in 1979 which began a trend of Evangelical Christians using political action and government authority to achieve the aim of “running the country.” The organization disbanded in 1989.3  The movement’s greatest achievement culminated in helping elect Donald J. Trump to the presidency in 2016, a man without governing experience, lacking moral character, but compliant to the wishes of religious leaders. 81% of Evangelical Christians supported his candidacy. A similar percentage supported his presidency, and by association, endorsed his poor character. The Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s did not make the mistake of becoming politically partisan. They exercised their Christian influence in society and upon government using appropriate Biblical justice and social justice methodology.

This era of American history will be remembered as unBiblical compromise in the service of political power to bring America “Back from the Brink” in the words of one of the politically motivated Christian groups during the 2020 election cycle.4 These actions are an illustration of the phrase, “The Ends Justify the Means,” and represents a departure of the Biblically focused Evangelical movement of the early 20th century. Spiritual renewal and revival was the focus of the past. Today the focus is more on forming political alliances and working to Christianize government.


1 Jones, Robert P. White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity(p.103). Simon&Schuster. KindleEdition.
2 Ibid.
3 Moral Majority | Definition, History, Mission, & Facts. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Moral-Majority
4 America On the Brink. (2020, October 1). Truth & Liberty Coalition. https://truthandliberty.net/voteyourvalues

©2021 Bryan Hudson


Taking the White Christian Nationalist Symbols at the Capitol Riot Seriously | by Dr. Robert P. Jones

Friday, January 08, 2021 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

On the tragedy of the insurrection on January 6, 2021, I am posting on my blog the entirety of an article written by Dr. Robert P. Jones. I'll share my thoughts in a later post, but Dr. Jones' perspective is accurate and insightful. ~ Bryan Hudson, D. Min.

From: https://religionnews.com/2021/01/07/taking-the-white-christian-nationalist-symbols-at-the-capitol-riot-seriously/

A Trump supporter carries a Bible outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

January 7, 2021

If there was one thing of value to come out of the shameful chaos of Wednesday’s attack on the U.S. Capitol, it’s that the horrific events made plain the powerful ideological and theological currents of American politics that often stay just under the surface. The emblems carried by the rioters — particularly the comfortable juxtaposition of Christian and white supremacist symbols — bear witness to these forces.

There were crosses, “Jesus Saves” signs and “Jesus 2020” flags that mimicked the design of the Trump flags.

Some of the participants, organized as part of a “Jericho March,” blew shofars — Jewish ritual horns — as they circled the Capitol, reenacting the siege of the city of Jericho by the Israelites described in the Book of Joshua in the Hebrew Bible. And one video showed the Christian flag — white, with a blue canton containing a red cross, used by many white evangelical churches — being paraded into an empty congressional chamber after the doors had been breached and members of Congress evacuated.

RELATED: Evangelicals must denounce the Christian nationalism in Capitol riots

I recall that same flag standing behind the pulpit of my Mississippi Southern Baptist church, where as a child I was led in a pledge of allegiance to both the American and Christian flags.

The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg wrote that “the conflation of Trump and Jesus was a common theme at the rally” among people he interviewed. “It’s all in the Bible. Everything is predicted. Donald Trump is in the Bible. Get yourself ready,” one told him. “Give it up if you believe in Jesus!” said another, then “Give it up if you believe in Donald Trump!” — which elicited loud cheers from nearby rioters.

Comfortably intermingled with Christian rhetoric and these Christian icons were explicit symbols of white supremacy. Outside the Capitol, Trump supporters erected a large wooden gallows with a bright orange noose ominously dangling from the center. These Trump supporters managed to do something the Confederate army was never able to accomplish — fly the Confederate battle flag inside the U.S. Capitol. One widely shared image showed a rioter with the Confederate flag strolling past a portrait of William H. Seward, an anti-slavery advocate and Abraham Lincoln’s secretary of state, who was seriously wounded as part of the broad assassination plot in 1865 that killed Lincoln.

People listen as President Donald Trump speaks during a rally Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

At least one protester sported a “Camp Auschwitz” hoodie, a reference to a concentration camp where over 1 million Jews were killed by the Nazis, even as others made outlandish comparisons between Christians as victims of American society and European Jews in the Third Reich.

Crowds also formed at state capitols in Ohio, Kansas and Michigan.

If we are to understand the events of yesterday, and the challenges ahead for us as a nation, we must take these symbols and this rhetoric seriously, not in isolation, but in combination and conversation with each other.

This seditious mob was motivated not just by loyalty to Trump, but by an unholy amalgamation of white supremacy and Christianity that has plagued our nation since its inception and is still with us today. As I show in my book “White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity,” there remains a disturbingly strong link between holding racist attitudes and identifying as a white Christian.

RELATED: How the shofar emerged as a weapon of spiritual warfare for some evangelicals

We should remember that this moment, and the divisions of the last four years, are set against the upheaval of religious and demographic change.

Since 2008, the country has moved from being a majority Christian nation to one that is no longer a majority Christian nation (from 54% white and Christian to 44% white and Christian). This change took place during the tenure of our first African American president. The dysfunction and violence we are seeing is in large part an attempt to preserve a vision of white Christian America that is passing from the scene.

The willingness among those in the crowd Wednesday to believe outlandish conspiracy theories and the unwillingness to accept the election results are born from the same source: a desperate desire by some white Christians to hang onto ownership of a diversifying country.

As many have rightly declared, the violent disregard for the rule of law we witnessed is not the best of who we are. But if we’re going to heal our nation, we need to confess that it remains, still today, a troubling part of America’s political and religious heritage.


(Robert P. Jones is the CEO and founder of PRRI and the author of “White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity” and “The End of White Christian America.” The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect those of Religion News Service.)


Closure, Clarity, Covenant: Recover All! | Part One (Podcast, Video, & Notes, Reflection Questions)

Monday, January 04, 2021 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments


At the beginning of 2021 it is important to find closure and clarity. An important part of your success in 2021 is settling the issues from 2020. This an important truth for every year, but the unusual nature of 2020 makes it all the more important to have closure in preparation for advance. Two of the key words for this first lesson in the series include CLOSURE & RECOVERY.

Closure is coming to terms with what something is, or what was, for the purpose of being able to move forward.

Recovery is Returning to a normal state of health, mind, or strength. The action or process of regaining possession or control of something stolen or lost.

Key Scriptures:
John 15:7, If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

1 Samuel 30:8, So David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them? And He answered him, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all.”

Reflection Questions
1. Based on the lesson, what is your understanding of CLOSURE?
2. How can issues become SETTLED without understanding every detail?
3. What are 2-3 promises from the Word of God are your basis for trust?
4. What 1-4 matters from 2020 require CLOSURE?

Recommended resource by Pastor Hart Ramsey: https://www.facebook.com/1354418096/posts/10225473404486065/?extid=0&d=n

Listen to teaching on the Firm Foundation Podcast