About Me

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New Orleans, LA, United States
Family from South Africa, Born in New Orleans, Lived in South Carolina. Married to Annabeth since May 2004. We have three boys (Bolt, Mack, and Birk). Currently living in Uptown NOLA and serving as Lead Pastor of Vintage Church and Camp Pastor of Student MissionLab.

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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Relevant, Emergent, Emerging?

Since my brother and I have embarked on ministry in New Orleans, we have taken a lot of heat from Christians (in particular conservative southern baptists). Because I refuse to dress like a modern day Pharisee and connect with another dead ministry in this city, I am all of a sudden labeled postmodern, relevant, emergent....whatever. In one of my classes, I have never spoken out against anything that has been taught (Sunday School, Backyard Bible Clubs, WMU, boy scouts), but the professor spends almost every class trying to convince me not to run from the Lord by leading people to Christ outside of Sunday School. I think that Mark Driscoll from Seattle is one of the most powerfully anointed church leaders in the world today. His talk this past week at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in spot on. Take time to listen to his examination of these three new parties in the church world today. I love his analysis and overview. I love how he attacks his critics in love and also how he points his listeners to Jesus.

Mark Driscoll's Message

Mark talks about the fact that what he cares about the most is what Jesus cares about most. It is all about Jesus. Although I am still working out a lot of my convictions, I strongly agree with him in this aspect. Jesus cares about absolute truth and He cares about whether or not His followers are passing that truth on to a lost and dying world. How do you do this? There are endless possibilities without compromising absolute truth. In Acts 17, Paul goes into Athens and sees the idols. His heart breaks over the fact that the people are lost and bound for hell. He anguishes and examines how he can share the Jesus story in a way that would connect the truth with that culture. He goes, sees, loves, and speaks truth. This is called being MISSIONAL. Wake up people! See what is going on in our world. Not every culture looks like Bible Belt USA.

Last night I was hanging out at Nacho Mama's on Magazine with one of boys that I am discipling in Uptown. We sat at the bar (yes I sit at the bar) and I got to talk with Chase (the bartender). Chase is a beautiful person that is completely confused. She hates religion, respects Jesus, hates Christians, wants to be Buddhist, but loves to sing and dance. We actually have a lot in common. I know this might be a shock to you, but Chase might not come to Christ in a WMU meeting. I know that within my tribe (SBC) the majority of churches are dead or dying. I really could care less whether you sing hymns or praise music, have sunday school or home groups, where suits or t-shirts. If people come to know Christ at your Sunday School class, Praise God! But to say that your methods are the only effective methods is as arrogant as Terrell Owens in an interview after a football game. All of this is so pointless. What matters most is whether or not people are coming to know Christ as Savior and Lord.

When I moved back to New Orleans, I noticed that as a whole (there are a lot of great things going on)...people are not coming know Christ. Do your sunday schools, WMUs, and back yard bible clubs. If they reach people, Praise God! If they aren't reaching people, may God forgive you for being so stubborn, selfish, and sinful.

I am starting a new journey this week. I will share more about it in my next blog. God has shown us great favor in a place where there is very little evangelical presence. He has led me and a team to start a new church by revitalizing an old church. I call it replantilization. We have the keys and the old church constitution. The name of the current church is Valence St. Baptist Church. It is in the heart of Uptown on the corner of Magazine and Valence. Pray for us. Come and help us. Send us money. I am completely dependent upon Christ, because I don't have a clue. As this journey begins, I really don't care about the method. All I care about is seeing people in this area come to Christ. If Sunday School is the most effective way (which I doubt), then bring it on.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Check Out Dad's New Book!

I am proud to pimp out my dad's new book. He is the senior pastor at FBC Spartanburg, SC . Dad preaches to thousands of people in Spartanburg and millions of people on TV with The Encouraging Word. He is my dad, mentor, hero, and best friend. You can listen to his sermons and order this book and others that he has written at www.theencouragingword.org.

Below is a description of his latest book, "The Absolute Certainty of Life After Death".

Description of the Book:

Most people are intrigued by the subject of life after death. Whether in the classroom, at a local church revival or over a cup of coffee, people are wondering what happens when we die. Many of the same questions are asked over and over again:

  • “What happens the moment you die?”
  • “Will we see our loved ones in heaven!”
  • “Where, exactly, do we go?”
  • “Do dead people know what’s going on here on earth?”
  • “How can a loving and merciful God send people to hell?”

Don Wilton looks at these questions and more in this book, a modern retelling of the Biblical story of the rich man and Lazarus. Set in Texas and New Orleans, this fictional story traces the contrasting lives of Albright A. Rhodes, a multi-millionaire and Billy Bob Malkmus, a homeless beggar, from birth to death....and beyond.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Heart Attitudes! (Reply to the last blog)

I have encountered some interesting dialogue with people from my last blog, "Quit Being A Sissy". A lot of it has been good discussion. I had a little resistance, but it was mostly from dudes that wear short shorts and sissy colors. I still got love for them.

Some of you have asked me what I would consider to be a real man. First of all, I'll take you to Scripture and the Heart Attitudes. I was introduced to this by one of my mentors, Dr. Jack Allen. He is a missionary, professor, church planter in New Orleans that longs to see a million and a half Christ loving and serving church plants in the city. He lives and dies by this code for all people as followers of Christ. Read them, I'm sold.

1. Consider Others Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:4

2. Live an honest, open lifestyle Each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. Ephesians 4:25

3. Lovingly give & humbly receive correction If you ignore criticism, you will end in poverty & disgrace. Proverbs 13:18

4. Clean up relationships If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there…. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23-24

5. Participate in ministry Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10

6. Support the church financially Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 2 Corinthians 9:6

7. Follow leaders within biblical boundaries Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you. Hebrews 13:17

This is a pretty good code for any man. Here are a few extra Rob requirements:

  • Farting & Burping (well I can't really burp, I just fart a heck of a lot)
  • Love your wife, family, kids with everything. Single dudes I'm praying for ya because I can't imagine life without my soul mate. Still, love your girlfriends with honor and respect.
  • Stay off the porno. You know this is the biggest problem among guys. Especially ministers. Married guys, you are not exempt. Pursue Purity! Be on your guard! And get proactive about it.
  • Passionate about the inspired Word of God. This is your map for life. This is our foundation. Memorize it, marinate on it, soak it up, celebrate it.
  • Knows how to shake a hand and have a decent conversation. I can't stand talking to someone as if they have just crapped in their pants. Man up, stand up straight, look me in the eye, and give me a firm handshake!
  • Hard working! I will always help someone who is willing to help themselves. There is nothing worse than seeing a guy living lazy. Especially with so much Kingdom work to do. All I want to see is some fight.
  • Stays in Shape. You don't have to look like freakin Brad Pitt, just don't look like most Baptist preachers. Sorry, its true. I think God laughs at those Southern Baptists that love to condemn drinking when their rear end looks like the backside of a cow. God forgive us for being so sloppy.
  • Lastly, they have to be a New Orleans Saints fan. Seriously, all other teams and other fans of other teams are nothing but a bunch of women. Just kidding....well not really.
I guess I will stop there. I'm sure I could come up with more. I am getting tired and I have to study Philosophy, drink hot tea, pluck my eyebrows, and take a bubble bath. You know DUDE STUFF!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Quit Being A Sissy!

In my prayer time this morning I was overwhelmed with a great sense of God's Power. I didn't want to wake up this morning to pray at the chapel, but for whatever reason I did it. As I prayed God led me to 1 Chronicles 29:10-22. David is praying and dedicating everything to the Glory of God. Read and Soak this Up!

1Chr. 29:11-13
Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.

I want you to know that we can rest like Calvanists. I certainly do not fly any other flag but the flag of Christ, but I do believe in the complete sovereignty of God. He has given us a lot of responsibility. He has given us a great mission. But let's not forget that it is HIS ALONE. It should be our desire to absolutely bust it in order to accomplish His purpose, even if it takes our life. We aren't guaranteed anything. All we can do is work as hard as we can, to the best of our ability, and then LEAVE IT IN GOD'S HANDS.

(This next part is directed towards the DUDES. Ladies, I love ya. But this is not meant for you. I believe in the work and role of women in God’s work, but I am greatly concerned by the lack of real men in God’s work.)

With everything that has evolved over the last couple of weeks, I have started to get discouraged. All of us in some way or another have been punched in the gut at times in our lives. Recently, I have felt like I did the morning after a basketball game in college. When I started to pray and read this passage this morning God gave me a pep talk that was extremely straightforward. He told me to SUCK IT UP or QUIT BEING A SISSY. Where in God’s Word does he promise salary packages, homes with a white picket fence, health, prosperity, etc. NOWHERE! The disciples were persecuted, people around the world today are persecuted (www.persecution.com), and most importantly Christ was persecuted. What makes me so special?

I am so glad that I am yoked with REAL MEN. Seriously, I would love for another ministry team to come and challenge our team in a cage fight. I am blessed with a ministry team (Ignite Mission) in New Orleans that loves God, loves people, and does it like real men. There are too many queers out there trying to work for Christ. They aren’t going to make it. Real ministry is tough. You won't accomplish God's work painting and planting flowers (nothing against guys that do this "as you can see above I like to do this once every 10 years", I just prefer to battle with people that are equipped with muscles, not paintbrushes and watering cans if I am going to war). I am glad that the guys that I hang out with get pissed, fight, and battle.

I have been loving some of Mark Driscoll’s stuff. He has a talk on the Acts 29 Network website called Qualifications of an Acts 29 Church Planter Like Mark Driscoll says, “I don't follow the gay-dressed-hippie Jesus that is in most pictures around our country. I follow a hard-core man's man-fighting Jesus, that wants nothing but His Father's Glory to be proclaimed”.

Follow Christ. Follow your passion. Keep pushing forward. God wants to take all of us on an awesome ride. But you will never experience that ride within the gates of a seminary campus, sitting in Sunday school room, or writing a blog and sipping coffee all day long. It is going to suck a lot, but I praise God that he is raising up some men who are strong enough (because they recognize the source of their strength) to handle it.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Hanging with Sinners

Yesterday was Labor Day. My day off started with my nephews waking me up at 6:45am. Usually that would tick me off, but not when it is Cash asking me for goldfish, capri-sun, and cartoons. My brother and sister-in-law moved about an hour away a couple of months ago, and my wife and I love having the nephews over. The rest of the day consisted of going to the Audubon Zoo, lunch, putting up a new fan, hanging out with some friends in uptown, dinner and watching football.

When I was at the zoo I got a phone call from a friend that lives in Uptown. He invited me to come over for some barbecue and beer. When we brought the nephews back to our apartment after a hot afternoon at the zoo, I went with my friends Travis and Brandon to the cookout. When we arrived, we were surprised to find no one there but the cook. I asked the cook where my friend was and he told me that he was out delivering food. At first I felt bad, thinking that no one showed up to my friends cookout. But I was completely wrong. The cook told me that every now and then they do a thing called “Cook for Cops”. They deliver food to all the cops and fireman in the area, thanking them for all their sacrifice and service.

Now if you are from New Orleans, you are probably saying, “Why in the world would you want to thank the cops?” The cops in New Orleans aren’t necessarily the purest, greatest force in the world. You find most people complaining about them. But here were some citizens being proactive in making a difference in their community.

I was extremely humbled. Here were some people (most of whom didn’t know Christ as Lord and Savior) who were exemplifying exactly what the church should do and be. Isn’t it funny how you rarely here of Christians or the church involved in these types of acts. When we got in the car to return home, Brandon stated how interesting it is that most non-believers are more hospitable and kind than most Christians. I am not bringing this up to judge, but I think it is important to bring this to the table. This past year my wife went to a Beth Moore conference in South Carolina. She returned from the trip longing to hang out with her friends at work (most of whom don’t follow Christ), because the ladies at the conference were extremely snobby and harsh.

Maybe that is why Jesus hung out with the sinners. Sure he was on mission, but honestly I think he just enjoyed these people a whole lot more than he enjoyed the religious zealots. Most Christians have fallen into this category. Their life is consumed with self, religion, judgment, snobbery, holy huddles, and did I say self. There have been many times in my life where I have fallen under this category. By no means am I excluded from this category.

This was a great reminder for me. I pray for the day, especially in New Orleans, when “Cook for Cops” becomes an expression of the local church in New Orleans. God forgive us for becoming Pharisees! Call your people to repentance and call your people to a true representation of Christ.

Saturday, September 1, 2007


My bro, Greg (I call him "G"), has started a blog. Check it out at www.gregwilton.blogspot.com. His blog is called ENJOYING THE VIEUX! G is on staff with Vieux Carre Baptist in the French Quarter and he is the Director of HIMnI.

He has two posts that are a must read. First, he shares about one on his boys, CT Studd. Secondly, he shares about the vision for this upcoming year of HIMnI. For those of you who don't know, we launched HIMnI last year with the hope of connecting young adults with Christ and the local church. God granted us great favor and we are excited about our second year. We will be meeting once a month at Carrollton Presbyterian. Andrew Ogea Band leads us in music and different Ignite Mission speakers bring the Word. If your in town, come and party with us in Uptown.

You can find out more info @ www.himni.org.