Tag Archives: church

Why We Don’t Have Contemporary Music In our Church


Why We Don’t Have Contemporary Music In our Church

By IndependentBaptist.com –

May 15, 2014

by Paul Alexander

The above question is often voiced in various ways: “Why do we still sing the old songs? Why not exchange the hymnals for Power Point choruses, or sing more and shorten the sermons? The “Contemporary Church Movement” blossomed in the 1980’s in an attempt to make the church more appealing to unchurched people. Crosses came down, hymns were replaced with catchy choruses, organs and pianos moved over (or out) for the band, song leaders were replaced with worship teams, jeans replaced suits, pulpits were out and lecterns in, and the mention of “hell” and “sin” became taboo. There is nothing intrinsically Biblical about displaying crosses or singing from hymnals, and we are certainly in favor of reaching people with the gospel. We must always ask, however, “What are the Bible principles involved?”, and “Where does this path ultimately lead?”

Christ’s church (His bride) must never seek to become like the world. When the Bible speaks of “the world” it is referring to the lifestyles, priorities, attitudes and appetites that are characteristic of unsaved people, and uncharacteristic of God. The Bible has nothing positive to say about this world to which many churches and Christians are trying to appeal, appease and conform.

1 John 2:15-17 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him….

James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

1 Corinthians 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. (See also John 15:19; Galatians 6:14; Titus 2:12)

According to Rick Warren, the first step to starting a church is to survey the community to find out what people want in a church, then give it to them [The Purpose Driven Church, ch. 8]. It is insulting, however, for Christ’s bride to strive to become like and to be loved by the very world system that crucified Him. (James calls it “adultery”.) The core premise of the contemporary church and music movement is unBiblical because it promotes conformity of the church and Christians to the world rather than to the holy image of Christ.

The contemporary church movement is producing shallow, worldly Christians and churches. Bill Hybels, the father of the seeker sensitive movement, prominently confessed, “We made a mistake…. Our churches are a mile wide and an inch deep.” [2007 Leadership Summit, Willow Creek Community Church] If the movement’s own leaders do not like where their path has led, why should we travel it?

Attracting the lost to our church is not our Biblical purpose. The church is primarily for the building up of believers to go out into the world and reach lost people who are then brought in to be discipled and in turn sent out to win others. (Ephesians 4) Certainly there is no objection to inviting the unchurched, but we must not change the message or the music in order to be liked by lost people.

The kinds of music widely enjoyed by the world will not move our church (or children) toward godliness. Rick Warren wrote, “Once you have decided the style of music for your worship you have set the direction of your church in far more ways than you realize.” [The Purpose Driven Church, p. 280-281] This striking statement by the world’s foremost contemporary leader is absolutely true and should make us consider very carefully before changing our music. Do I want to direct our church toward the world, or away from it? According to Warren, the style of music we choose helps set the course. Romans 12:2 commands, “Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

Much of the world’s modern music is a counterfeit of the beautiful music God created and cannot be used to worship and honor Him (i.e. “Christian rock”). “Our music cannot be like the music of the world, because our God is not like their gods. Most of the world’s music reflects the world’s ways, the world’s standards, the world’s attitudes, the world’s gods…. The popular music of the Western world is the music of seduction and suggestiveness, a musical counterpart of the immoral, lustful society that produces, sings, and enjoys it.” [- J. MacArthur, Commentary on Ephesians; For more on Biblical music and worship, request our sermon CD dated September 25 AM, 2011]

We must not dilute our message, ignore Bible principles, employ worship music that is dissonant, harsh, sensual and suggestive, or seek to make the church appealing to the appetites of ungodly people, even to reach them. The true gospel will never be attractive to the unsaved in general, nor will it ever make them feel comfortable. Paul declared, “The preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness….” (1 Corinthians 1:18)

by Paul Alexander

Leave a comment

Filed under Commentary

Justice Joseph Story on Original Intent and Religious Freedom


Justice Joseph Story on Original Intent and Religious Freedom

LIBERTY LETTERS WITH STEVE FARRELL

joseph-story2Justice Joseph Story served as a Supreme Court Justice from 1811 through 1845. His Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States (first published in 1833) was required reading in U.S. law schools for over a century, being a cornerstone of early American jurisprudence. As such, it was and still is a critical source as to the original intent of the American Founders in penning and passing the First Amendment, and more particularly, regarding the Religious Establishment and Freedom of Religion clauses.

Justice Story writes:

§ 984. Let us now enter upon the consideration of the amendments, which, (it will be found,) principally regard subjects properly belonging to a bill of rights.

§ 985. The first is “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition government for a redress of grievances.”

§ 986. And first, the prohibition of any establishment of religion, and the freedom of religious opinion and worship.

How far any government has a right to interfere in matters touching religion, has been a subject much discussed by writers upon public and political law. The right and the duty of the interference of government, in matters of religion, have been maintained by many distinguished authors, as well those, who were the warmest advocates of free governments, as those, who were attached to governments of a more arbitrary character. Indeed, the right of a society or government to interfere in matters of religion will hardly be contested by any persons, who believe that piety, religion, and morality are intimately connected with the well being of the state, and indispensable to the administration of civil justice. The promulgation of the great doctrines of religion; the being, and attributes, and providence of one Almighty God; the responsibility to him for all our actions, founded upon moral freedom and accountability; a future state of rewards and punishments; the cultivation of all the personal, social, and benevolent virtues; — these never can be a matter of indifference in any well ordered community. It is, indeed, difficult to conceive, how any civilized society can well exist without them. And at all events, it is impossible for those, who believe in the truth of Christianity, as a divine revelation, to doubt, that it is the especial duty of government to foster, and encourage it among all the citizens and subjects. This is a point wholly distinct from that of the right of private judgment in matters of religion, and of the freedom of public worship according to the dictates of one’s own conscience.

§ 987. The real difficulty lies in ascertaining the limits, to which government may rightfully go in fostering and encouraging religion. Three cases may easily be supposed. One, where a government affords aid to a particular religion, leaving all persons free to adopt any other; another, where it creates an ecclesiastical establishment for the propagation of the doctrines of a particular sect of that religion, leaving a like freedom to all others; and a third, where it creates such an establishment, and excludes all persons, not belonging to it, either wholly, or in part, from any participation in the public honours, trusts, emoluments, privileges, and immunities of the state. For instance, a government may simply declare, that the Christian religion shall be the religion of the state, and shall be aided, and encouraged in all the varieties of sects belonging to it; or it may declare, that the Catholic or Protestant religion shall be the religion of the state, leaving every man to the free enjoyment of his own religious opinions; or it may establish the doctrines of a particular sect, as of Episcopalians, as the religion of the state, with a like freedom; or it may establish the doctrines of a particular sect, as exclusively the religion of the state, tolerating others to a limited extent, or excluding all, not belonging to it, from all public honours, trusts, emoluments, privileges, and immunities.

§ 988. Probably at the time of the adoption of the constitution, and of the amendment to it, now under consideration, the general, if not the universal, sentiment in America was, that Christianity ought to receive encouragement from the state, so far as it is not incompatible with the private rights of conscience, and the freedom of religious worship. An attempt to level all religions, and to make it a matter of state policy to hold all in utter indifference, would have created universal disapprobation, if not universal indignation.

§ 989. It yet remains a problem to be solved in human affairs, whether say free government can be permanent, where the public worship of God, and the support of religion, constitute no part of the policy or duty of the state in any assignable shape. The future experience of Christendom, and chiefly of the American states, must settle this problem, as yet new in the history of the world, abundant, as it has been, in experiments in the theory of government.

§ 990. But the duty of supporting religion, and especially the Christian religion, is very different from the right to force the consciences of other men, or to punish them for worshipping God in the manner, which, they believe, their accountability to him requires. It has been truly said, that “religion, or the duty we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be dictated only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence.” Mr. Locke himself, who did not doubt the right of government to interfere in matters of religion, and especially to encourage Christianity, has at the same time expressed his opinion of the right of private judgment, and liberty of conscience, in a manner becoming his character, as a sincere friend of civil and religious liberty. “No man, or society of men,” says he, “have any authority to impose their opinions or interpretations on any other, the meanest Christian; since, in matters of religion, every man must know, and believe, and give an account for himself.” The rights of conscience are, indeed, beyond the just reach of any human power. They are given by God, and cannot be encroached upon by human authority, without a criminal disobedience of the precepts of natural, as well as of revealed religion.

§ 991. The real object of the amendment was, not to countenance, much less to advance Mahometanism, or Judaism, or infidelity, by prostrating Christianity; but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects, and to prevent any national ecclesiastical establishment, which should give to an hierarchy the exclusive patronage of the national government. It thus sought to cut off the means of religious persecution, (the vice and pest of former ages,) and the power of subverting the rights of conscience in matters of religion, which had been trampled upon almost from the days of the Apostles to the present age. The history of the parent country had afforded the most solemn warnings and melancholy instructions on this head; and even New-England, the land of the persecuted puritans, as well as other colonies, where the Church of England had maintained its superiority, had furnished a chapter, as full of dark bigotry and intolerance, as any, which could be found to disgrace the pages of foreign annals. Apostacy, heresy, and nonconformity have been standard crimes for public appeals, to kindle the flames of persecution, and apologize for the most atrocious triumphs over innocence and virtue.

§ 992. It was under a solemn consciousness of the dangers from ecclesiastical ambition, the bigotry of spiritual pride, and the intolerance of sects, thus exemplified in our domestic, as well as in foreign annals, that it was deemed advisable to exclude from the national government all power to act upon the subject. The situation, too, of the different states equally proclaimed the policy, as well as the necessity, of such an exclusion. In some of the states, episcopalians constituted the predominant sect; in others, presbyterians; in others, congregationalists; in others, quakers; and in others again, there was a close numerical rivalry among contending sects. It was impossible, that there should not arise perpetual strife and perpetual jealousy on the subject of ecclesiastical ascendancy, if the national government were left free to create a religious establishment. The only security was in extirpating the power. But this alone would have been an imperfect security, if it had not been followed up by a declaration of the right of the free exercise of religion, and a prohibition (as we have seen) of all religious tests. Thus, the whole power over the subject of religion is left exclusively to the state governments, to be acted upon according to their own sense of justice, and the state constitutions; and the Catholic and the Protestant, the Calvinist and the Arminian, the Jew and the Infidel, may sit down at the common table of the national councils, without any inquisition into their faith, or mode of worship. (1)

This is a far cry from what is taught in our schools today and insisted upon by many a so-called modern expert who collectively labor – it seems – for a cause the very opposite of the Founder’s original intent – and while so doing, taking aim at, indeed making into PUBLIC ENEMY NUMBER ONE, free religious expression in public life. Such speech – consistent with the very Nature of man as a spiritual being – was supposed to be protected as a God-given, Inalienable Right, not crushed with the iron fist of socialism, humanism, and atheism! – And as to religion, in general, as Story notes, it was to be encouraged. The First Amendment then being a legal written check upon Congress, a legal prohibition if you will, on passing ANY bill—ANY bill into law that would interfere with this free expression in ANY forum (public or private) period. —And again, a prohibition against any law that might tend to hinder the prosperity of religion in general. Finally, as to the Establishment Clause, it had one clear purpose, and ONE ONLY, being a prohibition against a national church—avoiding that great evil and enemy to true religion and civic virtue.


Footnote: Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States; with a Preliminary Review of the Constitutional History of the Colonies and States, before the Adoption of the Constitution. Abridged by the Author, for the Use of Colleges and High Schools (Boston: Hilliard, Gray, and Company/Cambridge: Brown, Shattuck, and Co., 1833), pp. iii-viii, 693-703.

Leave a comment

Filed under Commentary

THE SUBMARINE Church


THE SUBMARINE Church
Parson to Person
A minister once described his church as a submarine church. Perplexed, his listener asked what he meant. He replied with the following description. “We have submerged ourselves in our own little sea. We don’t like the trouble and misery that is so abundant all around our community and nation. So we decided to submerge ourselves to be safe from it all. So far, we are holding a record for staying submerged the longest. Once, A former pastor peered through the periscope and suggested the church should surface and engage the enemy. He was immediately tried for mutiny and dismissed. In time the air got really stale, but a committee was appointed to study it, and they concluded that that stale air was really good for you. So, the crew went through a well rehearsed routine regularly. They overhauled the kitchen, took stock of all the ammo on board although none of it was ever used. When another pastor tried to bring the vessel to surface, the entire crew got the bends, so continued submersion was necessary. The captain’s last log read, ‘submerged and continuing to practice drills. An enemy was sighted, but the entire crew demanded that there be no engagement, rather they should dive a little deeper to be in a safe zone.’ ” Today’s churches would much rather sing “Hold the Fort” than to “Storm the fort.” Sadly, the description of a submarine church is altogether to close to home for several. The Lord wants His lights to shine: to bear influence on the lives of others rather than melt into society unnoticed and be content with marginalization. So, in the words of the psalmist, “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!” Think about it! When is the last time you took the initiative in a one on one conversation to let that person know that you love the Lord, and that the Lord desires that everyone should believe in Him? If you have not done this in a long time, try it really soon. Even if you fumble, you will be so glad you tried, and you will do better, and be more comfortable with it, next time. Each of us who knows the Lord is a lighted candle. The question is: will we let it shine in the candlestick or put in under a bushel (submarine)? The answer is obvious! If we really do have a one on one relationship with the Savior, we will burn inside to have others know the love, peace, joy, life and hope that we have.

Leave a comment

Filed under Commentary

Unity or Purity?


June 6, 2015    Dose of Reality    by Joseph Harris       Number 318       

                                                            

Comments on Current Events in Government, Religion, Culture, and the Family, from a Conservative Biblical Perspective


  


Unity or Purity?

The leavening of America, God’s churches, the family and society has been underway for decades. In a sense, the leavening process has always been around as Satan has constantly tried to dilute and weaken the people of God and their influence in the world. Paul said in I Corinthians “Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?” The nature of leaven (yeast) is to permeate and spread throughout the entire lump of dough, causing it to rise. It only takes a small amount to change the entire lump.

What disturbs me does not always disturb others. In this fast paced age of change, I am disturbed by the shift in attitude and philosophy of the average person. I am increasingly finding myself in the minority on issues of Bible doctrine, politics, and ethics. Yet, I haven’t changed. I stand today where I stood 33 years ago when surrendering to God’s call to preach and teach his Word. I see the danger in a little leaven. The depraved nature of humanity leans toward sin and the path of least resistance and will exploit every inch given, hence the saying, “Give him an inch and he’ll take a mile” is an absolute. Maintaining purity requires effort.

In the religious, political and cultural battles of today, purity has taken a beating. However, purity is essential. Consider the following: when given a choice, would you rather drink pure water or filthy water? Would you prefer a virgin for a spouse or a promiscuous person? Would you choose dirty clothes over clean clothes for your body? Would you rather have a clean politician (an oxymoron, but bear with me) or a person of character as your representative? Any sane person would choose purity in these situations. But when the choice of purity may result in conflict, stress, and division, people will choose unity over purity 95% of the time.

Look first at purity in the local church. Concerning immorality in a church, it will usually be tolerated, especially when the other option is conflict through confrontation. It is not easy to confront sin and require purity from ungodly church members who may also be family members, or influential in the community or big givers in the offering plate. Yet, the small amount of leaven will spread throughout the lump, affecting the whole. When we are more concerned with the smile of man, then we will have the frown of God, and when purity goes out the window for the sake of unity, then God’s churches lose the power and blessing of God.

Consider purity in church doctrine. Baptism and the Lord’s table have taken a beating with pastors and churches caving in to the plea for unity rather than purity in the practicing of these ordinances. Only a scriptural New Testament church of the Lord Jesus has the authority to baptize new believers and administer the Lord’s Table to those who have prepared themselves through scriptural baptism and church membership. Paul said to refrain from eating with those who had not examined themselves, especially concerning immorality, I Cor. 5:11. These ordinances belong to the Lord, not the church, but He has given their care and stewardship to each local church for proper administration for His glorification. Rather than stand for purity and cause contention, many are satisfied to sacrifice purity for unity, forgetting that unity with God through purity is primary. When a church adopts a human driven philosophy, their main priority will be to please men and not God. Here is a novel idea: How about a God driven, Spirit sensitive church. It just might work.

Look also at purity in ecclesiastical associations. Ecumenism has taken hold and many are willing to turn loose of Bible doctrines that “divide” in order to fellowship with those who disagree in doctrine. After all, we are all children of God, and why can’t we just get along and love one another? True love often requires hard choices. Amos the prophet asked “Can two walk together except they be agreed?” They can walk, just not together, because those not of like faith will have different beliefs, different standards, different philosophies of ministry, different goals and different ways to achieve those goals. When pastors and churches refuse to cooperate with others who are not of like faith, they are accused of being hateful and having no love for the brethren. Loving the brethren is not the issue; purity is the issue. Besides, we are commanded to love God before we are commanded to love others and maintaining purity is loving God. We are never commanded to fellowship with those who show a contempt for God by disobeying his Word. As Dr. Curtis Hutson used to say, “There are some things that cannot be sacrificed on the altar of love.”

Purity of the Word of God is important. Concerning the Word of God, I believe in the purity of His Word. I believe the scriptures were divinely inspired and providentially preserved. God divinely inspired the writers in the original manuscripts and then over time, providentially preserved these writings in the original language texts of the Hebrew Masoretic text and the Greek Textus Receptus. I use the 1769 edition of the 1611 King James version, not because of “Thee’s” and “Thou’s”, but because I believe it to be a faithful translation from these texts. The issue is about using the right the right English translation based upon the right original language texts. The purity of His Word is essential since doctrine and practice are based upon the authority of scripture. “The words of the Lord are pure words”. Psalm 12:6

Purity in the home. Purity must first be established in the heart, otherwise, the outward appearance is a sham. However, after inward purity is a reality, further instruction is still needed concerning outward conduct and appearance. Concerning standards of dress, entertainment choices and others issues in contemporary culture, most churches and parents opt for unity and peace in the congregation and the home rather than the unsettling, stressful conflict which comes from requiring standards of purity. Modern apparel is more important than modest apparel. A sloppy, unkempt appearance has replaced a dignified, neat and tidy appearance, yet what is on the outside, usually reflects the attitude of the inside. Degrading movies and videos de-sensitize values concerning right and wrong over issues of sexuality, ethics and the role of men and women in the home. Ultimately, standards or lack of standards, go back to the home and the example set by the parents. Godly parents face intense pressure in the world and often from their church, over disagreement of standards, and parents too often give in to the pressure of their children, their church and other family members, who accuse them of being too hard.

Consider purity in society. Homosexuality and immorality have become more and more accepted through gradual exposure. To address someone’s immoral sexual lifestyle is considered an attack on the individual. Homosexuality and immorality are both destructive to all who participate, ruining self esteem and respect, destroying families, and can end in death from disease. To warn of self destruction and promote sexual purity honors God and helps people experience full and more satisfying lives. Sexual immorality affects everyone in society as a whole through broken homes, wounded children and adults and increased financial costs, resulting from choices that damage health.

May God give us the resolve to stand and be more concerned about maintaining unity with God, as we preach and practice purity in a culture that has an ever growing contempt for truth.


To receive Dose of Reality, send an email to houdini59@att.net with ADD in the subject line. To discontinue receiving Dose of Reality, please respond with REMOVE in the subject line.

 www.josephharrismagic.com/rnd

Leave a comment

Filed under Commentary

87 – March 28 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


87 – March 28 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST

Posted: 27 Mar 2015 04:42 PM PDT

Trail of Blood

He bore the Saviors Marks in his body

Wouters van Kuijck was finally burned at the stake on this day in 1572 after he was tortured and scourged in the prison at Dordrecht, Holland.  He had been moving his family from place to place in his effort to avoid arrest, for he was considered a heretic by the State Church for his belief that salvation was a personal matter of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone.  The bailiff learned where Jan was residing and he and his men came to arrest him.  Knowing that his arrest would end in the capture of his entire family, Jan said in a booming voice, “it is I” when the bailiff knocked and asked, “Does Jan van Kuijck live here?”  Of course it was designed to allow his family to escape, which they did.  During his imprisonment he wrote a dozen letters that have been preserved, eleven to family including his daughter and one to his captors presenting clearly his faith and a warning to them of judgment.  He concluded that letter with these words, “I confess one Lord, one faith, one God, one Father of all, who is above all, and in all believers.  I believe only what the Holy Scriptures say, and not what men say.”  Fearing his testimony Jan’s mouth was gagged before he was taken to the place of execution.  Somehow he managed to relieve himself of the gag.  A fellow believer was able to draw close to him and he opened his shirt and showed him his bloody body from the scourgings, and said, “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.”  As the fire was kindled he looked over those assembled and cried, “…farewell my dear brethren and sisters, I herewith commend you to the Lord, to the Lord Who shed his blood for us.”

Dr. Greg J. Dixon condensed from: This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins), pp.180-181.

The post 87 – March 28 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST appeared first on The Trumpet Online.

Leave a comment

Filed under History

CHURCH OF ENGLAND TO BLEND CHRISTIANITY WITH PAGANISM


The result of the New Methods movement. 
CHURCH OF ENGLAND TO BLEND CHRISTIANITY WITH PAGANISM TO ATTRACT SPIRITUALISTS
Christianity and Pagan
Stonehenge Summer Solstice 2013

Here’s a new twist on church growth: creating a pagan atmosphere and branding campaign for New Age spiritualists in order to increase the number of bodies in the pews. The Church of England is actually training its ministers to create “a pagan church where Christianity [is] very much in the center” to attract spiritual believers.

That means changing the Anglican church doctrine to make it more inclusive for people of alternative beliefs. The Church of England admits that its motive is to retain congregation numbers who have embraced paganism. The Church Mission Society, which is training ministers to “break new ground” in order to get spiritual people into churches.  If you’ve come from a Seeker-Driven model, that might actually sound like a good thing. Get them in the doors and tell them about Jesus, right? But make no mistake; that is not what is happening here. The Jesus the Church of England is re-creating is not the Jesus of the Bible.

A little update on the Church of England: It recently gave up its fight against gay marriage, and also went as far as to bless civil partnerships.

The Church Mission Society’s Andrea Campenale, said: “Nowadays people, they want to feel something; they want to have some sense of experience. We live in reflective England where there’s much more of a focus on ourselves. I think that is something we can bring in dialogue with the Christian society.”

The Church Mission Society’s webpage advertising their pioneer training scheme states: “Wherever in the world the mission of Jesus goes on, the church needs pioneer mission leaders to break new ground.”

This news release was actually coordinated a couple of days ago to align with the Summer Solstice, with events lining up around the celebrations at Stonehenge which recently underwent a multimillion dollar transformation. A couple of days ago 20,000 spiritual seekers celebrated the summer solstice there. Pagans and druids gathered to celebrate at the historic monument.

Leave a comment

Filed under Church, Uncategorized

UNITED IN THE FAITH: EVIDENCE OF HOLY SPIRIT PRESENCE


William Andrew Dillard

HEBREW HONEYCOMB
UNITED IN THE FAITH: EVIDENCE OF HOLY SPIRIT PRESENCE
An exceedingly marvelous thing occurred on the Day called Pentecost long, long ago. It is recorded in Acts Chapter Two.
The baptism of the Lord’s church in Holy Spirit presence and empowerment fulfilled Jesus’ promise to His little flock to impart to it the Comforter Who would lead it in power and illumination throughout the age.
Some folks question whether that same Holy Spirit continues with the Lord’s churches today or should the church be praying for a Pentecost repeat.
God’s promises never fail. There will not be a repeat of Pentecost anymore than there will be a repeat of Calvary’s cross. But the evidence of Holy Spirit’s presence is not as religious men of carnal minds think or in the antics of religious charlatans who appeal to the flesh nature. The most solid and obvious evidence of continued Holy Spirit presence, to the mind of this writer, lies in church members’ spiritual understanding, acceptance, and agreement with the faith once delivered to the saints, Jude 3. This distinguishes the Lord’s true churches from all other religious bodies on earth. And while the Lord’s churches are not cookie cutter entities, in many respects they are highly unified in core doctrines which the entire religious world rejects out of hand. Consider these specifics: 1) The hereditary depravity of the total man, 2) Salvation by grace through faith plus nothing else; 3) Eternal security of the believer in the Lord Jesus Christ; 4) Baptism as a burial in deep water of a professed believer by the authority of a New Testament church; 4) The perpetuation of the local, visible nature of the church, and its origin by Jesus during His personal ministry on earth. Other points of unity might well be mentioned, but these are all held as basic Bible truths by the Lord’s true churches. While being emphatically denied by the religious world at large, they are the basis of the churches assembling to worship and to advance the work of the Great Commission. How may this amazing thing be true? Could it be that the people in the Lord’s churches are smarter than everyone else on earth, especially those in other religious communities? Surely, that is not so. Thus, herein lies the marvel of the age, the greatest and most obvious evidence of the abiding work of the Holy Spirit in modern day churches of the Lord. These spiritual things are not carnally discerned. Their knowledgeable acceptance in the hearts of God’s people together with the marvelous unity and harmony they provide fulfill the quest of the spiritual student searching for such evidence. Though he certainly could, he actually needs look no further than this for irrefutable evidence that the Holy Spirit abides with His churches, and has done so since Pentecost.

Leave a comment

Filed under Commentary

299 – Oct 26 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

October 26, 1793 – Lewis Lunsford, at the approximate age of 40 fell asleep in the arms of Jesus. Lunsford’s life was terminated in the prime of his life, leaving a family and a fruitful ministry.

Lewis was born in Stafford County, Virginia around 1753. Early in his life, while attending William Fristoe’s meetings, he was deeply convicted and gloriously saved through the gospel of God’s grace. After being baptized by Fristoe, he began to stand up as an advocate for the gospel. Lunsford’s talents commanded the attention of many and procured for him the appellation of “The Wonderful Boy.”

Wherever he went, there was blessing, but his message also attracted opposition. Once there assembled a congregation at a stage built on the property of a Mr. Stephen Hall near Mundy’s Point. After he had read his text, some who were well armed with staves and pistols drew near to attack him. Some of his followers, not listening to Lunsford’s pleas to the contrary began pulling up fence stakes to defend him. Several with pistols mounted the stage when it collapsed. Lunsford made it to Hall’s house and took refuge in an upper room. One of the armed ruffians asked for the privilege of debating with Lewis which the request was granted. When the man returned his countenance was totally changed, and his response to his friends was, “You had better converse with him yourselves, “Never a man spake like this.”  They answered him, “Are ye also deceived?” This transformed ruffian never saw Lunsford again because of his ill timed death. Apparently pneumonia had set in. He preached his last sermon from Rom. 5:1: “Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Dr. Greg J. Dixon: adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp.  444-45.

The post 299 – Oct 26 – This Day in Baptist History Past appeared first on The Trumpet Online.

1 Comment

Filed under Church History

WORDS WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE!


William Andrew Dillard

HEBREW HONEYCOMB
WORDS WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE!
The ancient patriarch, Job, was both a wise and righteous man. The book that bears his name is astounding from a variety of viewpoints. In the height of his misery, and with the added torment of his not so wise friends, he lamented a longing to have an audience with his Creator that he might lay out his case before Him. To his astonishment, he was accorded such a unique hearing. The initial question put to him by the Creator was: “Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?” Job 38:2. Words without knowledge. Words without knowledge! Think what this means!


The importance of specific understanding of words is essential in the correct conveyance of ideas. However, the weakness of words in their specific language, and the propensity of many people to use them as labels to which a variety of ideas may be attached may defeat their purpose in the minds of some even though it does not diminish the power of their original purpose. For all of his understanding, Job had this problem. A host of folks who have a lesser measure of wisdom than Job still have that problem. 


With split infinitives, dangling modifiers, misplaced adjectives intermingled with colloquialisms and idioms, making English a barrister’s paradise, how much more perilous could it be for precise ideas to be exchanged? Please patiently consider this with me.


A typical example is the term, “Christian.” Who or what is a Christian? To a religious world largely influenced by Protestantism and it’s universal, invisible church doctrine, it is anyone who confesses Jesus as the Son of God. Protestantism’s mother, the Roman church allows that anyone who does not have Catholic baptism is a heretic, hence, not Christian. In both of these bodies of religion they understand that the basic idea of “Christian” is tied to the church: But Catholicism believes itself to be the universal, visible church, and Protestantism believes in a universal invisible church. True Baptists are not, nor have they ever been a part of either.


Still, through the power of Protestant influence, hyper-evangelism, and their propensity to use words as labels, darkening counsel without the knowledge of them, many Baptist churches have unwittingly fallen into great weakness, attributing to all who profess initial faith in God as a “Christian,” when they have done nothing more, and often not as much, than Old Testament folks did. 


Please consider that the term “Christian” designates one who is anointed with the Spirit that anointed Jesus at His baptism and the first church on the day of Pentecost. These have been buried with Christ, and raised again to walk in “newness of life” in the New Covenant body of Jesus, the house of God, the Pillar and ground of the truth: His church. To ascribe that term to those not so doing is to pervert New Testament teachings and inject a weakness into the body of Christ that, in time, will be its undoing. If we will use words, let us by all means know what they mean etymologically, and contextually. Ministers have a heavy responsibility to enlighten counsel, not darken it.

1 Comment

Filed under Commentary

294 – Oct 21 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

Joy lighted up in the countenance of the saints

 October 21, 1795 – David Irish established the first Baptist church in Scipio, New York. He had settled there a year earlier having been sent by the Massachusetts Baptist Missionary Society which made a great spiritual impact as the population moved westward.

Irish was one of those early rugged Baptist pioneers. He was doubtless the first to preach the gospel in Cayuga County. In 1799, with some of the brethren from Scipio he organized a church at Phelpstown.  The roads being totally impassable for traveling on horseback by reason of the great depth of snow and mud, they walked the thirty miles; all but one made it.

In 1797 Irish planted the Baptist church in Manchester (then Farmington, N.Y.), a journey of 50 miles through unbroken forest. He also evangelized the “Holland Purchase” and in 1810 organized the Baptist church in Willink (Aurora, Erie County).

David Irish passed away on Sept. 10, 1815 after a fruitful, pioneering missionary life. He baptized 1,280 persons during his ministry.

The following quote is from his diary: “The opportunity appeared exceedingly solemn and important. After sermon, we repaired to the water, singing one of Zion’s songs. Here ten precious souls followed the blessed Redeemer into his watery tomb…Joy lighted up in the countenance of the saints; while sinners trembled, as if the judgement day were approaching.”  It was said that, “Elder Irish was indefatigable in labor, patient in fatigue, and easily surmounted many obstacles which would deter one possessed of a mindless resolute. The thinly inhabited counties that he ministered required qualities that he held to be successful.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 436-38.

The post 294 – Oct 21 – This Day in Baptist History Past

appeared first on The Trumpet Online

.

1 Comment

Filed under Church History