Monthly Archives: September 2013

J.R. GRAVES LIFE, TIMES AND TEACHINGS 15


 

WHY THE DEBATE FAILED

 

 

It was so manifest that Mr. Fall and Mr. Fanning and others who were consulted did not desire the debate with Dr. Graves, though they tried to throw the blame on him for its failure, which Dr. Ford said was not true, Dr. Graves said: “I want the discussion to go down to the bedrock of the gospel plan of salvation or else I have no time to waste upon it. I want the issue of eternal importance to be clearly made – is salvation by works of righteousness which we have done, or is it by sovereign unmerited grace: if it is by or through baptism; through or by the church or kingdom; by any act of the creature done by him or for him – then it is by works, and grace is no more grace. This is the damning heresy of Rome and, to a great extent, of Protestantism. Campbellism is this same heresy which Paul denounced and Rome formulated, presented in a new and popular dress. I shall not give my time to the discussion of terms such as ‘for’ and ‘into,’ but discuss the vital, essential principles – is justification through faith or is it by works? This being decided, then the meaning of Peter’s words at Pentecost, and other expressions in the New Testament, are thoroughly in harmony with the great gospel fact announced by our Lord Jesus: ‘He that believeth in Him shall not come into condemnation, but is passed out of death into life.’” And thus ended the proposed discussion between these two representative men.

 

 

In personal appearance Dr. Graves was about five feet ten inches high, weighed about 160 pounds, and had a fine face with a well balanced head. His dark and almost black eyes showed the true temper of metal, his fine brow and broad forehead gave evidence of a more than ordinary brain, his finely chiseled nose marked him as a man possessed of penetrating thought, indomitable zeal and energy, his moth was expressive of sublime sentiments, and upon the whole his physiognomy indicated great reasoning ability.

 

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272 – Sept. 29, 1512 – This Day in Baptist History Past


The Donatists Repudiated this Falsity

Balthasar Hubmaier received the doctorate of theology from the University of Ingolstadt in Germany and entered the Roman Catholic ministry. Through his studies he became disillusioned with what he had been taught and by 1523 was in contact with the Protestant reformer, Zwingli and he was transformed by the grace of God. His outspoken ways brought great persecution down upon him. He like Peter, under pressure, denied the truth, but repented and was able to give a glorious testimony to God’s grace in the flames of martyrdom on March 10, 1528. Three days later his wife Elizabeth, undaunted in her faith, was thrown into the Danube River and drowned. The doctrine that caused our Anabaptist forebears to suffer at the hands of Catholic and Protestant Reformers alike was infant baptism. That wicked heresy was established in the third century as Cyprian consulted with sixty bishops upon the question of whether children were to be baptized on the third or eighth day from their birth? Our forefathers the Donatists, repudiated this falsity. The Reformers, Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin continued in this heresy, and also persecuted the Baptists, and other non-conformists over this issue, which they had received from Augustine. [Wm. R. Estep, The Anabaptist Story Nashville: Broadman Press, 1963), p. 49. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 533-34.]
Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon

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271 – Sept 28 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

The Ground is level at the Cross

 

1930 – Charles Evans Hughes, chief justice of the United States Supreme Court presented himself for membership in a Baptist church in Washington, D.C. It was the custom of the church to invite the new members to come forward and introduce them to the congregation. On this same morning a Chinese laundryman had come for membership, having moved to the Capitol from San Francisco. A dozen others came forward and stood on the opposite side of the pulpit from the Chinese man named Ah Sing who stood alone. Chief Justice Hughes was called who took his place beside Ah Sing. After welcoming the new members into the church the pastor said, “I do not want this congregation to miss the remarkable illustration of the fact that at the cross of Jesus Christ the ground is level!” Charles Evans Hughes had been born into the family of a Baptist pastor. Early in life he responded to the gospel and was saved. During his entire political career he was a faithful witness to the gospel of Christ. He served two terms as Gov. of New York.  He was defeated for President in 1921 by Woodrow Wilson. He served twice on the Supreme Court, the last time he was appointed by Pres. Herbert Hoover. He had a reputation of “fearless integrity”. [“Hughes, Charles Evans,” Microsoft Encarta 97 Encyclopedia. 1993-96 Midrosoft Corp. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 531-32.]
Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon

 

 

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270 – Sept. 27 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

He went out ten years before Carey

 

1847 – The constitution was adopted for the Republic of Liberia under the auspices of The American Colonization Society, who had sponsored a group of Americo-Liberians – men of color – that had come to this country in 1822. Prior to that, West Africa had become known as the “white missionaries graveyard”, as the graves of  those who had been swallowed up by malaria and other diseases that the “Dark Continent” had seemed waiting for them attested. But the Black preachers, freedmen from America, thrived and not only were received by the natives, but established thriving churches as well. They were men like Lott Carey, who is known as the “Father of Western African Missions”, and Collin Teague. Others such as David George went on to minister in Freetown in 1792, the Capitol of Sierra Leone, the British Crown Colony. These men were a part of the fifty Black missionaries sent out from the converts of George Leile, a freed slave, who left America in 1783 and established a Baptist church in Jamaica, ten years before William Carey went to India.  Paul said, Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather [1Co 7:21]. [“Sierra Leone,” Microsoft Encarta 97 Encyclopedia.  1993-96 Midrosoft Corp. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 529-31.]
Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon

 

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269 – Sept. 26 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

A ship wreck was used of God

 

1811 – Thomas Francis served on a committee to petition the General Court in the District of Maine to establish a school of higher learning among the Baptists. When Maine became a State, the Maine Literary and Theological Institute became Colby College. Francis served the Baptist church at Leeds as pastor and the following report was sent to the Association upon his death. “Our meetings are fully attended, we have many refreshing seasons; have a neat and comfortable house of worship; we stand fast in doctrine, neither Antinomian [Hyper-Calvinism] nor Arminian.”  Francis had apprenticed as a youth to a physician but ran off to sea and came to America. The ship wrecked off the coast of Maine and Thomas along with some of the sailors found shelter in the home of a Mr. and Mrs. Stinchfield. Later at Leeds Maine, Francis was saved while reading the scriptures, and began to teach others. Some Methodist preachers came to minister, but Thomas along with a few in the group, were not satisfied with their doctrine of “falling from grace” and left. James Potter, a Baptist preacher, hearing of the group came and baptized Francis in 1795, and it wasn’t long until he became pastor of a Baptist church in Leeds. The Lord had turned the seventeen year old runaway around and made him a useful servant of Christ. [Henry S. Burrage, History of the Baptists in Maine (Portland, Maine: Marks Printing House, 1904), p 137. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 527-29]
Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon

 

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268 – Sept. 25 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

They reached the Navajo

 

1852, Rev. and Mrs. Samuel Gorman were approved by the American Baptist Home Mission Society to serve among the Navajos in New Mexico. That field had recently been opened by H.W. Read of Connecticut. Two additional couples had also recently gone to that field of service, including James Milton Shaw and his wife from New York. A letter from Bro. Gorman dated in 1876 relates many of the trying experiences from the time that they arrived in Laguna in 1852. They had a nine month delayed entrance into “the Pueblo” as promised by Capt. Henry L. Dodge. The priests (Catholic) had done everything possible to “rout” them from the village including suing them at law in Taos, which they won at great cost of time and money. At times they had a hard time finding enough to eat and out of funds most of the time. Thankfully when Capt. Dodge did come he persuaded the Indians to allow them to teach their children and to preach Christ to them. He was able to preach every Sabbath except when on mission tours and finally in 1858 he was able to build a little chapel. The first Indian convert in N.M. was Jose Senon who carried on the work when the missionaries had to leave when the area was occupied by the Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. Gorman died at 92 after he pastored successful churches in Ohio and Wisconsin. [Lewis A. Myers, A History of N.M. Baptists (Baptist Convention of New Mexico, 1995), pp. 59-60. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 525-27.] Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon

 

 

 

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267 – Sept. 24 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

Few know the sacrifices of our missionaries

 

1942 – The S.S. West Lashaway, a ship on which the Shaw family, missionaries to French Equatorial Africa (now Central African Republic) was sunk by a German U Boat in the early days of WW II. The shipping lanes of the Atlantic were in constant danger of German subs, and later, for a while, the Japanese Navy ruled the Pacific in those awful days. Harvey and Carol Shaw had volunteered for missionary service in Africa in 1937 and now were forced to return with their three children. As the German torpedo ripped through the ship, Mr. Shaw, his daughter Carol (7) and son Richard (13) were thrown into the sea. Mrs. Shaw and daughter Georgia (11) were trapped in their cabin and went down with the ship. The survivors still had to survive fire from the German sub. When it left they found life jackets and rafts. Mr. Shaw didn’t make it, but the rest did after drifting for twenty-one days, and seeing the Lord wondrously provide food and fresh rain water. Finally they were rescued by a British destroyer after they nearly destroyed them with sixteen volleys of cannon, thinking that they were an enemy submarine. The sailors wept when they realized what they had nearly done. Other missionaries raised the Shaw children, and Richard later entered the ministry, and his sister Carol served the Lord as well. Few know of the sacrifices of our missionaries. [Polly Strong, Burning Wicks (Cleveland, Ohio: Baptist Mid-Missions, 1984), pp. 207-8. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 523-25]. Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon

 

 

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266 – Sept. 23 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

FEMA roots started sixty-years ago

 

1961 – David L. Cummins was pastoring in an industrial suburb of Detroit, MI when he was severely tested as to whether he would stand on his Baptist convictions, or compromise over what many would consider an insignificant issue. Those days were the height of the “cold” war between the U.S. and Russia when the media and movies were warning of the fall-out from a nuclear attack. Many citizens were building bomb shelters in their back yards and equipping them in case of an atomic attack. Against that background, Pastor Cummins was asked by the city officials to represent the community in a government sponsored training school, geared to train religious leaders in preparation for a possible nuclear attack by the Soviet Union. He consented and attended such a training session in classes daily, at Sheepshead Bay, NY, with about forty other clergymen for a week. On one occasion, after an attack, a young lady asked the pastors to give the “last rites” to her dying child. The instructor asked for a show of hands those who would be willing to do so. Cummins was the lone dissenter claiming the time honored Baptist doctrine of “soul liberty.” From then on he was ostracized by the others. This is the kind of treatment that preachers can expect, who refuse to go into the world religious system that will include all religions. [This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 521-23]

 

 

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265 – Sept. 22 – This Day in Baptist History Past


They planted small groups for Bible study

1850 – Elder Devin, the Pastor of the Grassy Creek Baptist Church of Granville County, N.C. baptized fifty ‘happy’ converts in that noble stream, by the same name, that flows by the church. The church historian claimed that the pastor had, perhaps, plunged a thousand in the creek in the same manner. Grassy Creek church had spawned many other churches and itself had existed in its purity for more than a century since its inception by Shubael Stearns and Daniel Marshall in 1757 shortly after they arrived from New England. Grassy Creek planted small groups for Bible study throughout a forty-mile area that ultimately grew into churches. They also believed in “protracted” or lengthy meetings. One
such meeting in 1775 garnered eighteen souls by membership through baptism. Large crowds would gather to see these baptismal services which were great testimonies to the grace of God in themselves. Grassy Creek church also maintained a great interest in missions at home and abroad. And the congregation was never lured away by entertainment more than involvement, having “itching ears.” [Robert I. Devin, A History of Grassy Creek Baptist Church (Raleigh, N. C.: Edwards, Broughton & Co., 1880), p, 70. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 519-21]

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264 – Sept. 21 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

A Deist leads Judson from infidelity

1808 – Adoniram Judson secured his horse from the home of his uncle where he had left it, and then started back to his home to regroup after having left to try his luck in the theater in N.Y. City. On the way back he stopped at a village Inn and took a room and all night long a sick man disturbed his sleep.  The next morning when he inquired he was quite disturbed to find out that the man had died and that he was Jacob Eames, an upper classman at Rhode Island College where Judson had gone, and who had been a fellow Deist and unbeliever.  In fact he had been the very one that had led Judson into infidelity and away from his Christian roots.  For hours the words “Dead! Lost! Lost!” kept ringing in his ears. There was only one place for him and that was home, home to his preacher father and godly mother. And so it was that on Dec. 2, 1808, the young man found peace through faith in the blood of Jesus Christ.  This was the man who became the first Baptist missionary to Burma. [Courtney Anderson, To the Golden Shore, (Boston: Little, brown and Company, 1956), p. 30. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 517—19.]  Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon

 

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