Congregational singing began
1640 — In that we have no leap year in 2014 we are going to use the entry of Feb. 29 on this date because of its importance to our Baptist churches. This was the day that Benjamin Keach was born into the home of John Keach of Buckinghamsire, England. By the age of 15 Benjamin became convinced of believers baptism and submitted himself to the ordinance upon his profession of faith in Christ. By the age of 18, the society of believers that he fellowshipped with saw fit to set him apart for the gospel ministry. At age twenty-eight he became pastor of the Baptist church in Horsleydown, London. In the beginning they met in homes because of the persecution but finally built a meeting house which was enlarged several times up to nearly a thousand. He wrote many treatises and apologies on the issues of his day which found him in court on many occasions. He not only differed with the state church officials but with some of his Baptist brethren relating to doctrine and practice. Baptists have always differed on non- cardinal issues. One such controversy involved congregational singing. Because of persecution, it had been necessary to avoid singing in worship until around 1680. The whole issue turned on one point, whether there was precept or example of the converted and unconverted, to join in the singing as a part of divine worship. Also they believed that those whom God gifted could sing as the heart dictated the melody but not by rhyme or written note. First they only sang at the Lord’s Supper and then later after the sermon and prayer. Some of the dissenters would leave the building and stand in the yard. Later they withdrew and started their own non-singing church, but then started singing around 1793. Thanks to Benjamin Keach and others we have congregational singing in our churches today.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 83.
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Posted: 26 Feb 2014 07:20 PM PST
He wouldn’t bend or bow 1659 – Henry Dunster died on this date February 27, 1659. He was born in England around 1612 and came to know Christ as his savior. He graduated from Cambridge in 1630 and then received his master’s degree in 1634. He was ordained as a minister in the Church of England but was grieved with its corruption and sailed for America where he was soon installed as the President of Harvard College in 1640. In those days some in the Anglican Church practiced immersion, as did Dunster. In 1641 Dunster married a widow of a minister and took her five children as his own. Two years later she died, he remarried and she had five more. During this time he came to the conclusion that visible baptism of believers alone was correct Biblically. When he refused to have an infant son sprinkled he was indicted and put on trial and convicted for disturbing the ordinance of infant baptism. Because of these firm convictions Dunster left Cambridge. Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 80.
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1 Corinthians 15:12-20
“And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain,” 1 Corinthians 15:14.
All over Southeast Asia are thousands of huge, tall monuments called Chedi. Buried deep inside these gold covered mounds of concrete and plaster is a tiny fragment of Buddha. One may contain a couple of hairs, another, a tiny piece of bone, minuscule pieces of a dead man who did good and promoted simple living. But any one of these monuments can be destroyed in an instant by a flood or earthquake, and the relic inside would blow away with the wind or wash away in a flood.
Praise God that Christ is risen from the dead! There are no golden monuments that contain bones or hair or any other portion of Jesus, not even a blood stain, for He ascended to Heaven with all His earthly body parts. There He lives waiting for the day when His Father tells Him to gather His children. And there He loves and cares and intercedes for all believers. Here, He lives inside the heart of every believer as a testament of life.
Perhaps, if Christ had not risen, we, too, would build monuments to honor His death. We too would worship a relic of His body. Worry not my friend—He is not dead—He is risen!
Our faith is not in vain, we are absolutely sure that we, too, will be raised from this earth to our heavenly home!
“But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification,” Romans 4:24, 25.
Justification is the doctrine that God pardons, accepts and declares a sinner to be just (innocent) on the basis of Christ’s righteousness (Rom. 3:24-26; 4:25; 5:15-21).
Many years ago, a lawyer was contacted by a prisoner named Jim who maintained his innocence in the conviction of aggravated robbery. After careful examination of the evidence, the lawyer took the case back to the courts and the judgment was overturned. The court apologized to Jim for his false imprisonment, declared that all records be expunged of his conviction and a small monetary compensation was given to him. When the judge gave Jim time to speak to the court, he announced, “After all these years I am a free man. I have received justification.” Had the lawyer not acted on Jim’s behalf, he would have never been justified.
Jesus is the supreme lawyer. Every time one trusts Christ by faith as his Savior, Jesus goes before the great Judge (His Father) and declares that he is free from the penalty of sin. This is accomplished through the justification of Jesus’ death on the cross and completed by the resurrection.
Jesus died, as the sacrifice for sin for sinners, and He rose so that believers are justified or accepted by God (1 Peter 1:3, 21).
He preached with great power
1722 – WARRANTS WERE ISSUED AGAINST A BAPTIST PREACHER IN LOUDON COUNTY, VIRGINIA IN 1766 – Richard Major was born on February 6, 1722 near Pennsbury, Pennsylvania into a Presbyterian home. Early on under conviction of sin he would resort to bad company to ward it off but finally grace prevailed and he became an ardent believer. He became a Baptist in 1764 and moved to Loudon County, VA, in 1766. Though he had not much schooling he was self-taught in the school of Christ, and became ordained, and was called to pastor the Little River Church, of which came six or eight other churches. Major encountered much opposition from the authorities. Warrants were issued for his arrest, but the officers never took him. At Bull Run a mob armed with clubs rose to assist in the execution of a warrant, but the Davis brothers, giants of men, after hearing him preach became enamored with him and threatened to whip anyone who disturbed his preaching. A particular man, whose wife Major had baptized, went to a meeting to kill him but the Lord intervened, and the man became so convicted that he couldn’t stand and was afterwards baptized by Major. On another occasion, a man attacked him with a club, Major said, “Satan I command thee to come out of the man.” The club immediately fell to the ground, and the lion became like a lamb. He had many other similar incidents happen in his ministry. Major was highly esteemed in his latter years which caused him great alarm because of the scripture, “beware when all men speak well of you.” His mind was eased when he overheard someone charging him with an abominable crime. The house where he lived, a stately red brick home still stands near Chantilly, VA, and a few hundred feet behind the house is his grave marked by a weathered landmark of our early Baptist history in America.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 50.
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“Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know,” Acts 2:22.
Peter Learned To Stand
Have you ever had enough and finally had to stand up for the real truth? Peter found himself in this very situation.
The filling of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost came forty days after Christ’s ascension. The ability to speak a language other than one’s own happened as the result of the Holy Spirit blessing. In God’s plan, the gospel could be spread into multiple nations at one time during this gathering of nations. But someone always has to put a damper on the Lord’s work even when it is going great.
Soon the naysayers found fault with the preaching and began to accuse the speakers as being full of new wine or in other words intoxicated. Peter had had enough and he stood up and began to preach. The religious people of Jerusalem thought they had a monopoly on the gospel, but Peter quickly shattered that thought. He reminded them of a prophecy in Joel and preached to them concerning Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection.
Peter dared to preach the truth to a group of religiously nice but lost people and the Holy Spirit convicted their hearts. On that day about three thousand people believed the gospel and were baptized.
Our responsibility as believers is to speak the truth and let the Holy Spirit convict.
“For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ,” Galatians 1:10.
During the reign of Darius in ancient Persia, a godly man named Daniel was blessed by God and, because of his “excellent spirit” (Dan. 6:3), the king planned to promote him as governor over the entire kingdom. Because of their jealousy, the other satraps and high officials devised a plan to demote Daniel from his place of superiority: they tricked Darius into signing a decree that prohibited petitioning any other god or man in prayer except the king for thirty days. What do you think Daniel did? He continued to pray three times daily to Jehovah just as he had always done. Why did not Daniel concede to the law of the land? He was not interested in pleasing men, not even the most powerful ruler in the known world. He was interested in pleasing God. As a result, God preserved him while spending the night with hungry lions, and the men responsible for trying to deceive the king did not make it to the bottom of the pit before the lions consumed them.
Here is the question you need to answer today. Are you concerned about earning the approval of mere men or the approval of the God of the universe? Probably, on the surface, we would each immediately say that we want to make God happy. However, when it comes to our daily routines, activities, thoughts, finances, words and habits, we might be sending a different message. Much of what we spend, do, think and say is motivated by and tailored for the approval of other people, not God. In today’s text, Paul leaves no room for a Christian to seek anyone else’s approval except God’s.
JUST A THOUGHT
Will you live for God’s approval today?
Posted: 29 Dec 2013 05:30 PM PST
Chief Red Jacket comes to Christ
1813 – In retaliation for the burning of Newark, N.J., the British burned Buffalo, N.Y. Lieutenant Colonel Chapin was taken prisoner, and Rev. Elkanah Holmes was forced to flee. This is just a part of the exciting life of Rev. Holmes, frontier preacher and missionary to the six Indian nations in western N.Y. The event just mentioned happened when the N.Y. Missionary Society split in 1807 over Holmes insistence on believer’s baptism and had moved with his third wife – having lost the other two by death – to the Canadian side of the Niagara River in 1809. He had already established a small Indian church in Queenston in Niagara Township. However the ministry ended abruptly with the outbreak of war in 1812. Being an American, Holmes welcomed the advancing American troops and was not viewed well by his parishioners and was considered a traitor by the British and was captured, although seventy years of age at the time. Lt. Chapin, who had married one of Holme’s sons, affected his escape. Holmes was born on Dec. 22, 1743, joined the army at 16 and saw action in the French and Indian war. He actually served for a time in the British navy and saw the capture of Havana, and was ship wrecked. He was saved and baptized under the ministry of Rev. D. Sutton at Kingwood, N.J and ordained in 1773. During the American Revolution he served as a chaplain in a N.J. regiment, and often participated with the troops in battle. After the war he Pastored several churches in CT and NY. He also won Chief Red Jacket of the Seneca’s to Christ. He believed in the autonomy of the local church and closed communion. [This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: 2000 A.D. pp. 715-16. Stuart Ivison and Fred Rosser, The Baptists in Upper and Lower Canada Before 1820 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1956), p. 141.]
Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon
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Eleven Baptists martyred for Christ
1943 – Eleven Baptist missionaries suffered martyrdom at the hands of the Japanese on the Island of Panay in the Philippines during World War II. As the Japanese troops approached, all Americans fled to the mountains. Businessmen, miners, their families, and the missionaries fled as best they could. The eleven included – Dr. and Mrs. Frederick W. (Ruth) Meyer, Miss Jennie Adams, James Howard and Charma Covell, Erle F. and Louise Rounds and son Earl Douglas Rounds, Francis H. and Gertrude Rose, Miss Signe Erickson and Miss Dorothy Dowell. The group was initially successful in their effort, and a letter from Mr. Covell arrived at the mission board office in March 1944 having come through a circuitous route. The letter had been written on May 16, 1943, and was addressed from “Hopevale,” the name they had given their hideaway. The Provost Marshal General’s office in Washington gave a brief report on the Covell’s death on March 20, 1944, however final confirmation was received from Mr. Engracio C. Alora, the General Secretary of the Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches, in a letter dated April 11, 1945, in which it was officially stated that all eleven missionaries had been slaughtered on December 20, 1943, though captured on the 19th. The local Baptist pastor had gotten to the camp as soon as it was safe, and had interred the bodies. The missionaries were told that they were under the death warrant. They asked if they might first have time to pray, and an hour was spent before the throne of grace. They then stood and declared that they were ready, and the shade drops on this awful crime.
[This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 694-96. Jesse R. Wilson, Through Shining Archay(Valley Forge, Pa.: Board of International Ministers of the American Baptist Churches, 1949), p.5.]
Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon
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They called her “Mama”
1943 – The Baptist Mission Society of Great Britain passed a resolution in the memory of Lydia (Lily) Mary De Hailes, the first single lady missionary to be appointed by them. It read in part, “She loved the African with a deep and passionate devotion and she longed with her whole life that he might be brought to Christ…” Lily was born into a fine Christian family in North London, and in her youth she was introduced to the cause of missions, even hearing Dr. Robert Moffatt, the pioneer missionary to Africa. After her school years, a severe case of smallpox left her permanently scarred, and she also suffered a lifelong bout with headaches, but nothing kept her from her goal of missionary service. A study of medicine, and her families uniting with Pastor James Stewart’s Baptist Chapel in Highgate, which was a hotbed of missions, that during his tenure saw fifty-one of his members leave for missionary service, prepared her even more for her life’s work. Next she moved to Edinburgh Scotland to train at the Simpson Memorial Hospital in 1881-1882 where she met Rev. Alexander Cowe, who planned to serve in the Congo. In 1885 they were engaged with the understanding that she would follow him in about a year. Tragedy struck, however, as he fell sick and died after just five weeks in Africa. The Mission Society refused to send a young woman to the field, thus her hopes were doubly dashed. However, in 1889 Lily was allowed to go as a nurse with other missionaries, and this started her forty year ministry in Africa. They called her “Mama”, and she received the Chevalier of the Order of Leopold II from Belgium. [Edna M. Staple, Great Baptist Women (London: Carey Kingsgate Press Limited, 1955), p. 97. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 647-49] Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon
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