Tag Archives: Baptist church

252 – September 09 – This Day in Baptist History Past


Posted: 08 Sep 2015 05:39 PM PDT

first Baptist_Bostonmeetinghouse First Boston Meeting House

The Importance of Church Membership

          Church membership at one time was much more important among fundamental Baptists than it seems to be in our day. As a case in point, we shall look at the record of the First Baptist Church of Boston. The church had been born in conflict, and many of the early members had been imprisoned for daring to establish such a witness in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. But the years passed, and we read of the second law of thermodynamics as it entered the spiritual realm. “the 9th mo 1684 Mr.  Dingley & his daughter Recevd as members to comunion by letter of Recomendation. .. . . At A Church meeting September ye 13th 1685. It was agreed upon the Brother Drinker upon consideration of his neglecting to officiate in his place for A long time & still prsisting in soe doeing should be discharged from ye work & office of A Decon and be Admonished to his duty as a member. . . His admonition availed, for he was restored to his place as a member upon acknowledgment of his desertion and promise of Reforming. Hid did not long walk in fellowship with the church, but after two other admonitions, He was rejected for refusing to heare the Church according to the 18 Chap: Mathew: this was sollemly don 5th January 1695.” Church correction, for the most part, is tragically a thing of the past. Church membership in our day is but a badge of approval, and everyone is expected to join a church somewhere.  Now the church is filled with unregenerate membership, and the church is no longer pure.

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Music: What does God think

Music: What does God think

The charismatic infection of a Baptist church rarely occurs as a frontal assault. Usually charismatics are able to infiltrate a church one by one, and often hide their true beliefs, or at least some of them, until they are established within the congregation.
Sometimes, charismatics, and their principles, are hidden within a “Trojan Horse.” One of the most effective charismatic Trojan Horses is that of Christian contemporary music.
We should pause here to say that we are not against all Christian contemporary music. The term “contemporary music” refers to any music that is being written today. Some Christian contemporary music is well-composed, with words that are doctrinally correct and that lift the soul to a better understanding of God and Scriptural principles. Such music is quite suitable for worship.
However, much of what is called Christian contemporary music, while being quite contemporary, is not quite Christian, either in music or words, or if Christian in words, so trite as to be both useless in promoting Christian principles and annoying to the ear accustomed to good music. Much of Christian contemporary music is not suitable for worship in a Baptist church that honors the Lord and desires to do His will.
The problem many Baptist churches face is that some members, who either have no understanding of the place of music in our church services or who are simply carnal, want the wrong kind of contemporary music to be used in the church services. The music they favor lends itself to doctrinal laxness, an ecumenical spirit, and opens the door for charismatics, who thrive in such an atmosphere. Too many Baptists pastors, having little or no background in music, do not appreciate the dangers of the wrong kind of music in the church services.

While the author is primarily a theologian, he also has more training in music than the average pastor. In fact, for the first three years of his college experience he majored in music, currently plays four instruments, and has been involved in both symphony orchestras and bands. Further, he was music director of two churches of good size, so he feels qualified to write briefly on this subject.

The Definition and Composition of Music

The best definition this author has ever seen of music is this: Music is the tonal expression of emotion.
Through music, we express our many moods and feelings. Music can therefore be used to inspire patriotism, express love of God, build loyalty to the church, and express the true love between a man and a woman. It can also be used to inspire rebellion in youth, instill a desire for illicit drugs, incite to sexual promiscuity, and entice to a favorable view of false religions.
What a piece of music accomplishes depends on its composition. The composition of a piece of music shows the intent of the composer, for the elements of the composition are all designed to produce an emotional response in the listener. The elements of music composition are:
1. Melody – the personality of the piece by which it is identified.
2. Harmony – that which provides artistic interest by supporting the melody.
3. Rhythm – a servant to both melody and harmony, it enables the music to flow smoothly from one measure to another, and gives pulse to the music. Good rhythm is largely unnoticed and essentially regular.
4. Dynamics – the loudness and softness of the piece.
5. Resolution – this gives a sense of finality to the phrases and to the piece as a whole.
Some may ask, “What forms of music are legitimate forms of music?” We would have to answer: All forms, for all forms of music express emotion through the elements of their composition. Therefore, there is no form of music that is not legitimate music.
This does not mean, however, that all music is suitable for either Christian worship or even Christian consumption, for there is some music has a purpose that is contrary to Biblical truth.
“Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages, That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up.” – Daniel 3:4-5. Here we have music whose expressed purpose was to promote idolatry.
Take note of this: There is no such thing as “neutral” music. Music can express love, loyalty, compassion, mercy, faith, adoration, anger, jealousy, malice, lust, hatred, carelessness, and any other of the full range of human emotions. Further, music can be used to manipulate the emotions and express morality, or the lack thereof.
Let us spend a moment on what we said above about music being able to manipulate the emotions. Some people say, “Music doesn’t affect me.” However, such people are only self-deceived. Ever notice how that in finer restaurants the music is soft, slow, and relaxing? Such restaurants try to promote the relaxed enjoyment of the meal. On the other hand, in fast food restaurants the music is usually loud, fast, and jumpy. The whole idea of the music in those restaurants is for you to “gobble and go.” The Nazi soldiers of World War II Germany were single-minded in the dedication to their nation and formidable on the battlefield. Why was this? If you ever listened to a German march you would know.

Music in the Bible

In the Old Testament, God commanded His people to worship Him with both vocal and instrumental music, “Sing praises to the LORD.” – Psalm 9:11. “Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings.”- Psalm 33:2.
In the New Testament, the churches were instructed to use music as part of their teaching ministry. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”- Colossians 3:16.
The God who instructed us to use music in our churches also told us what kind of music is suitable. Both in the passage above and in Ephesians we have three types of music that are approved of God. “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.”- Ephesians 5:19. Let us examine briefly the types of music God approves:
1. Psalms – these are Scriptures set to music. An example of this is the song, “Seek Ye First,” which is in the hymnal In Spirit and In Truth, published by the American Baptist Association:
Seek ye first the kingdom of God,
And His righteousness,
And all these things shall be added unto you!
Alleluia, alleluia!
2. Hymns – these are songs of praise and adoration. Songs like, “Holy, Holy, Holy,” “The Spacious Firmament,” “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty,” and “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise.” By the way, hymns are excellent vehicles for teaching doctrine, especially those in the above-mentioned hymnal, and children who are raised on them love to sing them when they are teenagers.
3. Spiritual Songs – these are gospel songs and songs of testimony and exhortation. “There is Power in the Blood,” “My Faith Has Found a Resting Place,” “Since Jesus Came Into My Heart,” and “Stand Up, Stand Up For Jesus,” are examples of spiritual songs.

Forms of Music Not Suitable for Worship

Any of the forms of rock music are not suitable for worship in the churches of the Lord Jesus Christ. We say they are not suitable because of origin, composition, and effect on the listener.
Rock music has its origin in African tribal music designed to promote fertility rites and idol worship. When brought to America, it was mingled with jazz, blues, and swing music to produce what we now have as modern rock music. With such evil influences and evil associations, you would think that no Christian would want anything to do with it. Still, there are many who see nothing wrong with using rock music in church, especially to attract young people. What they don’t realize is that they are using the same music form that Satan uses to promote pre-marital sex, rebellion, and drug use among teens and pre-teens. And let us say something about using worldly music to attract young people to our churches. This author is old enough to remember when hippies were in style, and when their counter-culture was somewhat popular. Some Baptist churches, in order to reach the young people of their day, resorted to aping the hippie movement. It was thought that if we approached hippies using their language (“God can take care of your hang-ups”), music, and fashions, that we could reach them with the gospel and make good Baptist young people out of them. Christian coffee houses became numerous, and some churches even substituted “right on” for “amen” in their services. However, the results were, sadly, not what many wanted. Instead of winning the hippies to Christ, the hippies won many of the Baptist young people over to their philosophies and lifestyle. And why not? They were already half-way to the counter culture in their own churches. Have we learned anything from that experience of 40 years ago?
The composition of rock music is easy to spot. Rock music consists of a driving beat with the accent on the upbeat (backbeat) wedded with repetitive chord patterns in the harmony.
Remember that, earlier in this chapter, we said that the beat or rhythm is largely unnoticed in good music. Not so with rock music. The beat is upfront and in your face. It is designed to get people up and dancing, to move faster, drive faster, and eat faster. It produces a hyped-up, aggressive feeling in the listener. Good music has its accent on the downbeat. By accenting the upbeat, or backbeat, the effects of the driving beat are enhanced. Add to that the repetitive chord patterns, and you have a form of music that is both hypnotic and that jangles the nervous system. Rock music produces sensual feelings and an attitude of rebellion against authority.
When rock music is wedded to Christian words, the music contradicts the message. Having said that, much of the contemporary Christian rock music contains words that are contrary to sound doctrine and promote a self-centered, experience-oriented view. Because of its origin, composition, and effect, rock music is not suitable for Christian worship.
You will find that people who are regular listeners of contemporary Christian rock music are shallow in doctrine, rebellious to church authority, and interdenominational in view. These are not things we want to encourage in our churches. Yet these are exactly the characteristics of most charismatics. Contemporary Christian rock music prepares Baptist people to accept a charismatic mind-set, and sets the stage for charismatic infiltration into our churches.
Other forms of music that are not suitable for worship include jazz, blues, and swing, all of which promote a sensual mood. In our churches we want music that appeals, not to man’s base nature, but to the new nature that Christ provides.

Forms of Music Suitable for Worship

For the spiritual health of our churches we must have the following:
1. Music that is well-written, using all of its elements to create a suitable frame for the worship og God.
2. Music that matches, and bears out the mood of words that are theologically sound and spiritually uplifting.
3. Music that enhances the preaching ministry. Church music that does not prepare the people for the preaching of the Word of God is a waste of time. Music that prepares people for the ministry of the Word is most profitable, [NOTE: Too often I have heard this from Baptists: “The music service was so powerful, that we just kept on with the music and didn’t even get to the preaching.” What a tragedy! The Bible does not say “So then faith cometh by music,” but, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” – Romans 10:17. I would have a hard time believing that the Holy Ghost, who was the active agent in the inspiration of the Word of God, would lead us to leave off its preaching. God’s pastors need to strongly stand against anything that would downgrade the importance of the preaching of the Bible to God’s people and to those who are lost.]
Forms of music that accomplish the three items above are suitable for worship. Such music will promote doctrinal fidelity and spirituality in our churches.

The above: “The Trojan Horse at the door of your Baptist Church,” is chapter V of the book: “Wildfire, Tongues, Healings and the Charismatic Movement,” written by David E. Gonnella, (Pensacola: West Florida Baptist Institute Press, 2009).

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Teenager in Prison


Posted: 17 Apr 2015 05:23 PM PDT

Yudintsev, Andrei

Teenager in Prison

  “But he’s just a kid!”  Surely those words could have been said of Joseph in Egypt, or of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in Babylon. But that might also have been said of Andrei Yudintsev, who was eighteen when he and his friend, Vladimir Timchuk, were arrested during the Thanksgiving service at their Baptist church.  The lads thought they might spend a short time in the local jail or be fined, but soon they discovered they were going to be “tried” and the mandatory “guilty” finding would confine them for years in prison. They were given prison terms of three and a half years.  Following a brief incarceration in the local prison, the two were transported to different prison camps.  On April 18, 1982, Andrei arrived in his camp where he worked as a welder.  For two years, he had no Christian fellowship, but one day he was told that a fellow believer had been brought in.  He rejoiced to meet Pavel Zinchenko and to discover that they had many mutual friends.  The men continually encouraged each other which made the burdens of prison almost tolerable.  In the course of time, a third believer, Vladimir Blasenko from Nikolaev, was also transferred into their camp. Vladimir had suffered severely for his faith, but his captors could not break his spirit. Valdimir was thrilled to discover that Andrei and Pavel had a New Testament, and he read late into the nights.  Andrei reported:  “At first it might seem that this was a waste of my youth, but when it was over, nothing remained except gratitude to the Lord and gladness.  David says in Psalm 33, ‘For our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His holy Name.’”  “He’s just a kid?”  Of Andrei we can say, he became a man, and a special kind of man, a man of God!

Dr. Dale R. Hart adapted from: “This Day in Baptist History III” David L. Cummins. pp. 225 – 226

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Posted: 15 Feb 2015 04:03 PM PST


Dr. Richard Furman

When church membership meant something

On Feb 16, 1750, Oliver Hart began his ministry in Charleston, S.C. at the Baptist church that was established when William Screven led his congregation to flee when they were persecuted in Kittery, Maine.  Richard Furman who later became pastor, began his term of service in 1787.  Following are some of the terms of church membership for the Charleston church at that time.  Possibly the pendulum had swung too far to the right by then, but who can deny that in these days of “anything goes religion”, the pendulum has swung too far to the left, and in many instances, church membership has almost become meaningless.  They had three main rules for church membership.  First they were to notify the pastor of their desire for membership in time before the next communion seasons so that he could appoint the deacons or any other of the brethren that he may think proper, to visit the candidate to obtain needful information concerning their faith, character and life.  The second phase involved a period where appointed people would spend a time of fellowship with the prospective members to become better acquainted with them.  The third step would be a face to face meeting with the congregation where they would have the opportunity to ask the candidate any questions concerning their faith and repentance, etc.  If all was well, they would then be baptized and admitted to all of the privileges of the church.  Or they would accept them on receiving a letter of recommendation from the church from where they had come – The date was 1828.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon adapted from:  This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins), pp. 95-97.

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



Colby College Today

They were balanced in their doctrine

Thomas Francis served on a committee on Sept. 26, 1811,  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.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson,   pp.  527-29.

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242 – August 30 – This Day in Baptist History Past




Fox founded the Sunday school

William Fox called a meeting on August 30, 1785, for the purpose of organizing a “Sunday School Society.” He must be considered the architect behind the Bible-centeredSunday school of modern times. It was resolved unanimously “that it is the opinion of this meeting that great benefit would accrue to the community at large from the adoption of such a measure, and that a Society be formed for carrying the same into immediate effect.” Fox was a Baptist layman, “who was a godly member of the Baptist church in Prescott street, where he enjoyed the able and spiritual ministry of the eminent Abraham Booth,“ However, the concept of having Sunday school just for children has added to the lack of emphasis on adult training in the Sunday school hour in Great Britain and Canada. Historians commonly agree that prior to Fox and his Bible hour on Sunday, it was the Anglican, Robert Raikes of Glouchester, England, that actually started the “Sunday school” in 1780. However it had no special spiritual significance, it had social benefits for underprivileged boys who were working during the week in the sweat shops. Raikes hired teachers to instruct the lads in reading and writing. There were no child labor laws in England and these children were not privileged to receive an education. What Raikes did surely was of great benefit, but as Mary, what Fox chose was surely “that good part which shall not be taken away from him.” When we think of the impact of the Sunday school historically on America, we cannot help but pause and thank God for the vision of William Fox. Missionaries are serving around the world and pastors here in our own land.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 358-59.

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241 – August 29 – This Day in Baptist History Past


baldwin. Thomas jpg

The first Baptist missions society in America

Dr. Thomas Baldwin on August 29, 1802, co-authored the call for the establishment of the Massachusetts Baptist Missionary Society. In 1803 he became editor of the “Massachusetts Baptist Missionary Magazine” and served until his death. Dr. Baldwin received a letter from Adoniram Judson in February, 1813 in which he wrote, “Should there be formed a Baptist Society for the support of missions in these parts, I shall be ready to consider myself their missionary!” Baldwin immediately invited several leading pastors from Mass. to meet and confer on the matter. The result was the organization of a temporary society to assist the Judson’s until such time the Baptists nationally could rally forces for the undertaking. Ultimately, with the formation of “The General Missionary Convention of the Baptist Denomination in the U.S. for Foreign Missions,” Dr. Baldwin served as secretary. Thomas Baldwin was born on Dec. 23, 1753, in Bozrah, CT. When he was 17, he received the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Savior and soon declared in favor of Baptist doctrine. He severed ties with his denomination in which he had been raised and therefore many of his friends severed ties with him. Upon moving to Canaan, NH, Baldwin, though young was chosen to represent his village as a legislator in the General Court of the State. However in due time he surrendered for the ministry and on June 11, 1783, Baldwin was ordained and for seven years pastored the Baptist church in Canaan, CT. In 1790 he was installed as pastor of the 2nd Baptist Church of Boston, Mass. A great revival broke out under his leadership with 212 added in 1803.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 356-57.

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238 – August 26 – This Day in Baptist History Past

238 – August 26 – This Day in Baptist History Past

First BC, NYC-1800

First Baptist – NY City-1800

He had no fear of the yellow fever


Benjamin Foster who had been the pastor of the First Baptist Church of New York City since 1788, died of yellow fever on August 26, 1798. The disease had reached epidemic proportions in New York City that year, and when the dreadful disease began to prevail, Pastor Foster was frequent in his visits to pray and give comfort from God’s Word to those scenes of affliction from which many of the best men shrunk back with terror. Foster was born into a typical pious Congregationalist home in Danvers, Mass. At age 18 he was sent to Yale College where he distinguished himself by his out-standing moral life as well as his success in classical literature and languages – Greek, Hebrew and Chaldean. At this time there was much debate over the scriptural mode and candidates for baptism. At one point Foster was chosen to defend infant baptism in debate. He carefully studied the scriptures and the history of the church from the times of the apostles and to his surprise and chagrin of others, came to a different conclusion than what was expected. When the day came, he declared himself an avowed convert to believer’s baptism, and that only those who profess faith in Jesus Christ are to be the subject of baptism, and that immersion only is the mode of Christian baptism. He was soon baptized and joined the Baptist church in Boston, and under the pastoral care of Samuel Stillman he studied theology. He pastored the Baptist church in Leicester, Mass, where he was ordained and then the Baptist church in Newport, RI. On his tomb in a NY cemetery it says, “…the church was comforted by his life, and now laments his death.”

Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 352-53.

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225 – August, 13 – This Day in Baptist History Past



The First Swedish Baptist Church in America

Rev. Gustaf Palmquist became the first pastor at the founding of the first Swedish Baptist church in America at Rock Island, Illinois on August 13, 1852.  It consisted of only three members, two men and one woman. It had been commissioned by the Baptist church at Galesburg, IL where Palmquist, formerly a Lutheran, had been baptized in 1852 and ordained. The true honor however must go to Palmquist’s dear mother. Gustaf was born on May 26, 1812, into a family of seven children during a time of great spiritual dearth in Sweden. His mother came under deep conviction and turned to the parish priest who told her that her piety was sufficient. Having no peace she turned to an old widow who was considered spiritually odd who pointed her to Christ. Mrs. Palmquist began earnestly praying for the salvation of her children, though Gustaf and his brother Per did not come to full assurance until eight years after their mothers death. By now, at 32, Gustaf was a professor in a teachers’ college in Stockholm, and his vocal witness brought him into contact with F.G. Hedberg of Finland and Rev. F.O. Nilsson, the exiled Baptist preacher. In Helsingland in northern Sweden, there was a group of believers who, in an attempt to escape persecution, determined to imigrate to America. They asked Gustaf to go with them as their pastor which he did and they landed in N.Y. in August of 1851. He was soon disheartened to learn that his flock was scattered over three states so he went westward and settled in Rock Island, Illinois. He heard of a wonderful moving of the Spirit of God in the Baptist church in Galesburg and went to examine it for himself. This is where he was baptized and ordained into the ministry.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 332-34.

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223 – August 11 – This Day in Baptist History Past



“…And he That Loveth Son or Daughter More Than Me is Not Worthy of Me.”

Helen Maria Griggs was saved, baptized and joined a Baptist church in Brookline, Massachusetts on August 11, 1822. When a small girl Helen had been very sick, and her mother had prayed that if God spared her life that she would give her without reservation unto God’s will. When Helen told her mother that God had called her to go to Burma, her mother was fully willing for the Lord’s direction. However the Board had never sent a single lady out alone. But the Lord of the harvest was working behind the scenes, and Francis Mason, a student at Newton Theological Institution met Miss Griggs.

He too planned to go to Burma, and after a courtship of nearly five months, they were married on May 23, 1830 and their honeymoon was spent on board ship as they sailed the next day for Burma. Their trip took 122 days before they arrived at Calcutta. Mrs. Mason’s health provided problems for the missionary couple, but whenever possible, she labored beside her husband. She became proficient in the Burmese and Karen languages and was able to teach and write in both. But the matter of leaving her children came to pass after a furlough in the States. Many in the homeland criticized Mrs. Mason, and she was charged with having “no more affection than a Sandwich Island mother.” Editors of Christian periodicals had to go to her defense, and in a short time a drastic change for the better took place in public opinion.

Four years later when Mrs. Grover Comstock left for Burma and parted from her children, an announcement was made in the newspaper under the caption, “The Noble Mother.” The Lord took Helen to Himself at forty years of age on Oct. 8, 1846.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 330-31.

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