Prayers for those Impacted by Weather

Well, this is an unusual week for those impacted by the weather. It is a reminder we are mortal, and our plans have to yield to nature. My heart goes out to all the Texans and others around the country who have struggled this week. Tennessee has experienced challenges, but most of us have energy for our homes.

Each power outage, busted pipe, and stranded car is an emotional gut-punch for the affected person. I am so sorry for those of you going through disruptions. May God strengthen those who suffer, and may better days come.

Spring is before us.

USA needs CIL Church

This article was sent as an email to the CIL Church family, but I think the content will benefit many who read it.

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You have no idea how important you are!   You are building the Kingdom of God through your participation at CIL.  The United States of America is under a shaking right now.  Most people see this in politics and social issues.  I think that focus is a distraction from a more dangerous shaking in the spiritual realm.

The American church is in accelerated decline right now, and that dip includes the digital church. While the digital church is necessary and part of how we worship moving forward, fewer people are watching services than Spring 2020. The novelty of watching church online is out; sleeping late on Sundays is in. This reality is occurring all across the country. Children are not learning Scripture. Teenagers are not in a Christian community.  On a national level, how will this impact a generation if this continues?

While this is occurring, are we replacing spiritual fervor with political and social passion?   Where is our true passion?  Has affection for Jesus drifted to another source?

I do not mean to discourage you, but rather honor you.  Your church participation at any level is a tremendous help right now in preserving the Kingdom of God in America.  All activities – prayer, in-person attendance, online worship, financial contributions, teaching children, leading a teenage small group, taking a meal to someone, posting Scripture – keeps the flame of the gospel burning, even when people are looking away.

When the next national revival occurs, CIL Church will be ready to be part of history.  Until then, we do not back down from the challenge.  With God’s help, we will continue to thrive.  Don’t fall away from the church, now!

call God’s people to build His Kingdom through the local church.  Whatever you can contribute makes a difference.   Believe in the local church because Jesus chose the local church to represent Himself to the world.

What a privilege it is to live in these days!

Pro-life means anti-abortion

Each year on this Sanctity of Life Day in the United States, I take a public stand against abortion. Why? Forty-eight years after Roe vs. Wade made abortion legal in every state, I feel the passion for preserving the unborn waning in many Christians.

The term “pro-life” has rightfully expanded to include important issues after birth. This broader thinking has been useful in getting people help, but it should not distract from the on-going tragedy of legalized abortion. In conversation with people on this topic, I now clarify that I am “anti-abortion,” so there is no confusion on terminology.

As I wrote last year, Roe vs. Wade’s potential overturn does not solve abortion. We will only save the unborn lives through advocates who are convinced one mind and heart at a time. May more of us recognize the unborn as individuals who deserve “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Response to Capitol Attack

As someone who profoundly loves The United States and is a student of our history, watching the capitol overrun on January 6 by unruly citizens was extraordinarily upsetting. I was very emotional, so I waited to post until I was more composed.

This occurrence demonstrated that personal character and choice of words in leadership does matter. We watched a slow-motion moral decay throughout that day, and it is symbolic of our collective poverty of character.

Despite this day of infamy, I still believe there is more good than bad in our country. If we seek the way of love and cooperation, we can have a society that reflects goodness like a “city on a hill.”

December 7 Reminds Us of Adversity to Overcome

December 7 is the anniversary of Pearl Harbor, an attack upon our sailors that stirred the soul of America. As many observed, it woke a sleeping giant.

On December 7, 2020, we face a different enemy, as the coronavirus is stretching our healthcare system and economic vitality. I pray tonight, the best of America will come forward through our love and service to humanity. With God’s help, our nation can overcome this virus, save lives, innovate, cooperate, and become a greater society through this adversity. May God continue to raise leaders and heroes.

Thanksgiving Article in Hendersonville Standard

In this digital revolution, it is still exciting to see an article you wrote in the paper. I am honored the Hendersonville Standard included my Thanksgiving message in Wednesday’s edition. The irony for this post, the article is not posted on line, yet. :-). But, I put it in this blog for those who want to read on a holiday. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

This year may be the most significant Thanksgiving you have ever experienced. Like many observers of culture, I have been alarmed how the original intent of the Thanksgiving holiday has digressed in recent decades. The consumerism of Black Friday has demanded fathers, grandmothers, teenagers, and all types of people work retail on Thanksgiving night.   Movie theatres debuted holiday blockbusters that packed theatres. Sports continue to fill up television each hour of the holiday. While I admit that I have participated in these activities and enjoyed the freedom to do so, too much of these indulgences felt untrue to the holiday’s purpose.  

Thanksgiving holiday originated out of terrible pain. The Pilgrims left England on August 5, 1620. After one ship malfunctioned and others changed their mind, 102 Pilgrims crowded on one ship, the Mayflower. After several delays in England, they had seven weeks of difficult sailing.  November 9, 1620, they first spotted land, which is now Cape Cod. The exploration crew found abandoned corn (even though they had never eaten corn before). This corn would sustain them that first winter. God had providentially provided this corn to help the Pilgrims survive.  Still, it was a brutal winter. When the worst was over, 47 had died, almost half the original number. Our American Thanksgiving is a story of survival, provision, destiny, loss, grace and miracles.   

From that group of pilgrims, the American Experiment’s genesis began, and we are still benefiting from this ideal today. Over the decades, the prosperity of our nation gave options for travel, entertainment, and leisure. This pursuit of happiness is a way of life we enjoy and indulge in on Thanksgiving. Then, 2020 occurred.

Thanksgiving is different this year than any in recent memory. Theatres are closed, retail stores are pick-up only, and sports stadiums have vastly empty spaces – if any fans are allowed at all.  Who would have imagined we would consider mitigation protocols when planning a family dinner?  

Amidst our current national challenge, this is an appropriate time to give thanks to God.   Being thankful does not mean your life is ideal. You may have experienced an unexpected loss this year. You may have altered holiday plans that have left you feeling discouraged and disappointed. Still, we do not give thanks to circumstances; we give thanks to someone. We give thanks to our God, who gives us the strength to endure any grief or trial. We thank our friends and family who stand with us on tough days to get us to better days.  Remember the Pilgrims and reflect on God’s plan for your life. This may be a hard Thanksgiving in 2020, but a heart of gratitude will point us to better days.

Dr. Aaron Allison
CIL Church (Hendersonville)

Perspective on the 2020 election from Todd Hunter

Todd Hunter is a respected and proven voice in the American church. I have met Todd, and we have some mutual friends. Be blessed by his carefully written call to a Christian perspective during our current political crisis.
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Dear Friends,

We voted separately—in little, individual booths. This is one of the great political gifts of a democratic republic. Without fear of reprisal, with no one looking over our shoulder, we get to speak our mind regarding who we wish to lead us.

This was a stress-filled election cycle, and we’re experiencing additional anxiety as we wait for the election results. In the days to come, we must learn to live together. This is true if your candidate appears to be winning or losing. It is true if the election results bring you relief and joy, or anxiety and depression. 
 
This morning, the path to unity is not obvious. Many Americans, fearing our fractures are too deep, no longer believe it is possible for us to jell or mesh together. That same scenario is now, sorrowfully, playing out in the Church. If the terms for unity are set by the leaders and maneuverings of political parties, there is little hope. 
 
But we have another place to look for optimism, for a rationale and practices for the human flourishing implicit in social unity. That place is in the person of Jesus and the kingdom movement he fomented. 

Jesus said of himself: I am gentle and humble in heart (Mt. 11:29).

Paul picks up on Christlikeness as the way of being for his followers: In humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others (Phil. 2:3,4).  

Jesus further said: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you (Luke 6:27,28). 

Paul says of himself: I am not seeking my own good but the good of many…(1 Cor. 10:33).

James encourages us to humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord (James 4:10).

Peter urges us to be clothed with humility (1 Peter 5:5).

These bits of scripture represent the relational vision and social ethic of the New Testament. It is rarely attempted. But we, participants in the Jesus-movement, are called to live into it. There are opportunities to do so every day in our families, churches and communities. 
 
Let’s start today, regardless of continued election uncertainty. Maybe our modest obedience can create a snowball effect that catches up into it all the people and events of our lives. May we live our lives for the sake of others, and especially for the most vulnerable—those whose agency wanes or is challenged, and who therefore need someone to labor, humbly and selflessly, for their good. 

Grace and peace,



Bishop Todd Hunter

Thankful for America

In my lifetime, there have been different waves of patriotism and waves of de-emphasizing nationalism. Our nation’s foundation of individual freedom allows for both perspectives.

Those who deconstruct America speak with no fear, for their criticism is protected by the Constitution and the sacrifice of multitudes.

I love the United States of America, and I appreciate what a gift it is to me, my family, and my faith. It is a good thing to love our country.