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50 – February-19 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


 

The Missions enterprise begins

1814 – BECAUSE OF ADONIRAM AND ANN JUDSON, BAPTISTS IN AMERICA FORM THEIR FIRST MISSIONS ORGANIZATION – On February 19, 1814 Baptists in America organized for the first time to support the cause of world-wide missions.  It all started in 1808 when Adoniram Judson, though unsaved entered Andover Theological Seminary.  He was saved in Sept. and immediately surrendered to the ministry.  During his first year he read a sermon entitled “Star in the East,” and Feb. 1809 he determined to be a missionary.  In June he met Ann Hasseltine who would become his wife.  In Sept. he was commissioned as a missionary; and on Feb. 5, 1812, he and Ann were married. On Feb. 6 he was ordained a Congregational minister; and on the 19th, they sailed on the brig Caravan for Calcutta, India.  Their honeymoon was spent on the long voyage that ended on June 17 with their arrival after a very pleasant journey.  Great changes took place for the Judson’s aboard ship.  Judson, knowing that he would be located in the vicinity of William Carey and other English Baptist missionaries thought that he should be able to defend his position on the subject of baptism and began a complete investigation in the N.T. in the original languages.  He was amazed to find, after a long struggle, that pedobaptism could not be found anywhere in the N.T. and came to adopt the Baptist position.  It was on Sept. 6, 1812 that Adoniram and Ann Judson were immersed in the Baptist chapel in Calcutta.  Later Ann wrote a friend saying, “thus, my dear Nancy, we are confirmed Baptists, not because we wished to be, but because truth compelled us to be…We feel that we are alone in the world, with no real friend but each other, no one on whom we can depend but God.”  Judson wrote to the Third Congregational Church in Plymouth: “I knew that I had been sprinkled in infancy, and that this had been deemed baptism.  But throughout the whole N.T. I could find nothing that looked like sprinkling, in connection with the ordinance of Baptism…” Out of this came the great missions’ effort of Baptists mentioned above that continues to this day.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 69.

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J.R. GRAVES, LIFE, TIMES AND TEACHINGS 17


 

Chapter III

 

TROUBLES AND TRIUMPHS

 

 

A CLASSIC ENGLISH WRITER has forcefully and beautifully said:

 

 

There’s untold power in him who knows a thing’s

 

of God’s own willing; though doubts may shroud

 

in cloud the transient hour.”

 

 

It is the unmeasured power of belief that a soul lives by. Give a man faith – unclouded, heartfelt belief – and though his brain be narrow, and his knowledge small, he will impress and have successes, while the man of great intellect and broad culture, who does not know anything of God’s own willing or purpose, will fail. But if such faith dwell in any earnest soul, a clear strong mind, a trusting, fearless heart, mountain difficulties melt before him, he can tunnel or explode or scale them. He can stand in the very storm center, beneath the black clouds and the thunder strokes with uplifted face and fearless heart, and where that faith is in the reasonable, vital, soul-lifting, sanctifying, God-revealed, eternal truth, he is always irresistible. Fixedness, firmness and fearlessness will mark his course. His spirit will be caught by those with whom he comes in touch and conviction and acceptance will follow, or else opposition and even sometimes hate.

 

 

This kind of faith distinguished J.R. Graves, a modest, quiet, unassuming person, reticent in company and not specially gifted in social conversation. But he flashed forth whenever God’s truth was attacked, or when it was his opportunity to preach the word, or when intelligent converse lay along such lines.

 

 

Here are some of his words, which carry conviction with them to every candid mind, that the loftiest impulses controlled him. When charged with perverse notions he replied: “I can only deny this, because I cannot show my heart to my readers. But to my God I can, without fear of condemnation, lay my hand upon it and appeal to him to believe the rectitude of my intentions. When I obeyed the voice that spoke to my conscience, I gave up all the cherished plans of my life to preach the gospel of the Son of God. Nor did I find the limit to stop at this point, i. e., simply teaching the positive commands of Christ. These words burnt themselves upon my eye, rang with weighty import upon my ear, fixed themselves ineradically in my heart: “Every plant which my Father hath not planted shall be rooted up.” I am conscious of no other motive. I appeal from my accusers to my master and Judge.”

 

 

When he penned these fervid words, he stood before the world as the disturber of religious peace, the foe of Campbellites as well as of Methodists – and other communions whose erroneous teachings he attacked. He stood almost alone, and like Luther before the Diet of Worms, said: “I can do no other, God help me.”

 

 

“Th age,” as wrote Carlyle at that time, with lightening force and glare, too, was called “the age of shams.” The age of heroes, according to him, of real genuine men, had gone, and in their room had come forth shadows, masks, make-believes, unrealities. All this was to a great extent itself a sham – a caricature. Yet there is some truth in it. It cannot be denied that then and now much of so-called Christianity is a form – an image – a masquerade – a sham. Alas, there are sham ministers and sham church members, whose prayers (repetitions of dead men’s) are a sham, whose contributions to the name of Christ are a sham – a show, a pretense, a lie; in short, a wicked mockery. What a sham to call the Roman pope and his priestly hierarchy a church, that is, an assembly of believers in Christ Jesus! What a sham to call the General Conference “the Methodist Church of Christ.” What a sham to call the sprinkling of a few drops of water on the face of an unconscious babe, baptism into Christ’s death, a burial with him by baptism, and then call that babe a member of the church! What a sham to say that the eternal destiny of a soul is conditioned upon the action of a mortal man, who gives absolution at the confessional of the remission of sins in immersion!”

 

 

These shams stared J.R. Graves in the face. He felt called of God to meet them, expose them, and as far as he could do it, banish them from the earth. He had a mission and a message, and steadfast was his aim to fulfill the one and to deliver the other; making no pause, no compromise, whether in the vigor of young manhood or beneath the burden and infirmities of old age. His was a conflict unto death.

 

 

At that time, be it remembered, the Methodists had a chosen champion who lectured from place to place, attacking with denunciations, and misrepresenting with unscrupulous attacks, the principles and ordinances which distinguished the Baptists. These lectures, often mere tirades, were given mainly by an Irishman, of force and sharpness, whose name was Chapman (with several others in different southwestern states). To leave the truth thus perverted and slandered and travestied and shamed was to forsake the truth when humiliated, was to play the smirking coward when God and his cause demand men, real, red-blooded men, stalwart, heroic men who, like Tennyson’s Light Brigade at Balakalava: “Their’s not to reason why, their’s but to do and die.”

 

 

Dr. Graves was everywhere appealed to by his brethren to come to their help in conflict in which they felt themselves no match for those who attacked them, and he went, for “one blast of Rhoderick were worth a thousand.” He did not quit the field until the truth was vindicated. There were so many of these calls that people got the notion that such conflicts were his delight, but he sought not his own pleasure, he was God’s chosen defender and he halted not when God’s cause called for a champion. As we have said, Dr. Graves was frequently called to meet these men, and meet them he did, with sweeping overwhelming force. Indeed the swelling tide of Methodism was checked, and the Baptist cause was strengthened and greatly extended by his discussions. He was “A Sampson amongst the Philistines.” He felt called to this particular work, and he delighted greatly in his calling. Of one of his contest debates we let a competent witness speak: Major Penn, the great lay-evangelist, has left his “footprints on the sands of time.” He was once a successful lawyer of Humboldt, Tennessee, and later an active member of the Jefferson Church, Texas; respected and influential. He abandoned all to become an evangelist. God blessed his work and thousands were led to the Lord Jesus through his instrumentality. In his meetings he preached Christ only – justification by faith, and the Holy Spirit’s work in man’s renovation and salvation. None was any more free from everything like ritualism of church salvation than he. But he was the inestimable friend, and to some extent, imitator (I may say disciple) of J.R. Graves. He preached, as Dr. Graves did, the immediate duty of baptism by every convert; never hesitated to proclaim that “the immersion of a believer in Christ, saved persons, was the only baptism known to, or commanded in God’s Word.” In his early life he attended a debate in which Dr. Graves was the Baptist champion. Describing that debate, some fifty years after, he wrote: “Soon after my conversion I attended for one term the Male Academy in Trenton, Tennessee, and then for a single term the Union University of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, of which the distinguished J.H. Eaton, father of T.T. Eaton of Tennessee, was president.

 

 

About this time, while living in Humboldt, we heard of a great debate that was to be in Lexington, a town fifty miles east of us, between J.R. Graves, Baptist, and I.L. Chapman, Methodist. My mother and myself were anxious to attend and at once decided to go, although it was quite a journey and a one-horse buggy was our best means of conveyance. We arrived the morning the debate opened, and heard the first speech.

 

 

“I wish I could describe the grand old hero of Baptist faith. These were his palmiest days. In robust health, eloquent in speech, graceful and attractive in manner, he swayed the multitudes that were in constant attendance during the three days’ debate. Dr. Graves, as I thought, completely demolished the Methodist champion” (Life of Penn, p. 40).

 

 

The debate was adjourned to Canton, Mississippi, and was followed up several times in different places with unvarying results.

 

 

In these debates Dr. Graves was always at ease, and always self-possessed. He could not be thrown off his guard and never lost his temper. His intensity at times was overwhelming. Carlyle says some of Luther’s sentences had Austerlitz battle in them.” The same might be said of the red-hot logic of J.R. Graves. His words were like chain-shot from a rifle cannon, and nowhere, so far as we could learn, but the Baptist cause was aided where these discussions took place. Great revivals often followed.

 

 

But, be it remembered, that in the logical and scriptural arraignment and denunciation, too, of the errors he combated, especially of the unscriptural forms of church government and of the ordinances, he would always announce and repeat that he did not question the true standing of his antagonist as a believer in Christ. In his last great debate with Dr. Ditzler he said (as was usual with him):

 

 

I may unchurch an organization, i.e., deny that they possess the scriptural characteristics of a gospel church and not thereby unchristianize its members. If my opponent should attempt to make the impression upon you that I deny that you are Christians because I deny your society is a church, he will pursue a course both unwarranted and unprincipled” (Debate, p. 927).

 

 

But even if he had not uttered this denial of any such charge, the whole scope of his writings, his known views, and teachings were sufficient.

 

 

That master of pure English, Dr. Channing, has well said: “Human language does not admit of entire precision. It has often been observed by philosophers that the most familiar sentences owe their perspicuity not so much to the definition or the definiteness of the language as to an almost incredible activity (in the heart of the reader) which selects from a variety of meanings that which each word demands, and assigns such counts to every phase as the intention of the speaker, his character and situation require.” If readers would only remember this.

 

 

What meaning does the term kingdom in Dr. Graves’ vocabulary demand? An organization of churches. What does his language demand when he emphatically says: “I may unchurch an organization (that is deny that it possesses the scriptural characteristics of a gospel church and hence kingdom) and not unchristianize its members?”

 

 

His whole life, his character, the drift of all his writings, and his denunciation of any charges, demand in all manly fairness that no such meaning be put on his language or his mistaken view of the kingdom.

 

 

If it had been done during his lifetime he would have denounced it, in his own fiery language, as a malicious falsehood. But he has gone. That eloquent tongue is silent. That wonderful instrument, from which every tone of varied music went forth, is broken.

 

 

He hears not, he heeds not, he’s freed from all pain,

 

He has preached his last word, he has fought his last battle,

 

No sound should awaken him to conflict again.”

 

 

 

 

 

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BOY SCOUT POLICY CHANGE


I have removed any identifying words from this letter and changed one word that might be offensive.

A LETTER TO THE BSA FROM A PREACHER FRIEND –

To my friends in Scouting and all concerned with the future of freedom of association in the United States;
 
 As the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America “deliberates” a “policy change” let me make my position clear.
 
This is much more than a policy change.  This would be a change in the nature of the organization.  The courts have upheld the right of private organizations to determine the qualifications of their members.  The Boy Scouts have a long standing as an organization with a “morally straight” membership.  The courts have specifically upheld the right of the Boy Scouts to maintain their standards in answer to lawsuits by gays and atheists to assert a “right” to be a part of the group.
 
Those who hold to the standards historically held by the Boy Scouts are the true Boy Scouts.  Those who want to be something else should call themselves something else and go somewhere else.
The right to the name, the history, and the physical and intellectual properties of the Boy Scouts of America should remain with those who wish to remain what the Boy Scouts are.  Those who wish to fundamentally change the nature of the organization are essentially attempting to steal these things from those who currently hold them.
 
In other non-profit organizations, such as churches, the courts have upheld the right of even a minority of church members to maintain historic positions, such as doctrinal positions, over those who wanted to change things and realign with other religious ideas or groups, even though they held a majority.  I don’t believe the membership of the Boy Scouts who wish to remain morally straight is in the minority, but even if they were the moral and legal ownership of all that Boy Scouts is would remain with them.
 
If certain people within the Boy Scouts can be swayed by the political and social pressures exerted by gay rights activists and protesters it is still the right of those who are not swayed to remain what we are and to insist that those who are swayed do not have the right to decide for the rest of us that we will become something else.
 
The idea that sponsoring organizations could decide to maintain the current standards while the national organization abandons them is silly. Scout troops do not function in isolation.  There are summer camps, jamborees, derbies, council and district functions where boys are (and should be) encouraged to interact beyond the troop level.  Merit badges such as “Family Life” (an Eagle Scout requirement) would most likely be changed to reflect the “new normal” of the new “policy.”
 
I have been a Boy Scout. I am currently a troop Committee Chairman and Troop Chaplain. I am a Family Life merit badge counselor.  I have two sons and three daughters who have been or are members of Boy Scout Troops or Venture Crews. I am a Vigil Member in the Order of the Arrow and have served as a leader in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts for over 25 years.
 
Yours in Scouting and Freedom,

A REPLY TO THIS LETTER –

you rock on my brother………TESTIFY!
 
I learned a long time ago, anyone who doesn’t stand for something will eventually fall for anything.
 
The people who wish to exact influence on this organization should struggle to understand, before they insist on being understood!
 
It sounds like political speech, but in truth I have many friends who are gay. We have common ground in other areas of our lives, and that should be/is enough.
 
I’m always amazed that the people who scream the loudest that “everyone should be more tolerant” are almost without fail and without exception, the least tolerant.
 
I said three years ago at my Wood Badge Course, “They’re (fringe secularists) coming for us” and many did not even remotely understand. Still today it’s going right over the heads of so many.
 
Wait until the media starts to spin this and crank out their brand of pressure through the court of public opinion.
 
My father called it the liberal progressive wuss-ification of America.
 
What happened to “Timeless Values” and “Character Counts”  Those are the things I got my three boys dreaming about when I would tuck them in at night and eventually shake their hands along the Scouting Path, on their Journey to Excellence, from Tiger to Eagle.     
 
I say bring it! We’re a hundred years old, and have nothing to apologize for or be ashamed of.
 

 
P.S. ” I am a Vigil Member in the Order of the Arrow” Get ready cause this might be our greatest vigil and or ordeal EVER!
 

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WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES ABOUT CHURCH INDEPENDENCY


EPHESIANS 3:21; 5:23,24

By independency is meant that the New Testament church is independent of all other churches , and would exist as an entity if all other churches should go out of existence. Only God is sovereign and the church is independent under God, subject only to Him, free from all earthly headquarters, answerable to God only. It is true that churches fellowship one another but only in that sense are they interdependent.

I. THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH HAS CHRIST ONLY AS HER HEAD.
   “And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence” (Col. 1:18; Eph. 1:22).

II. THE CHURCH IS TO BE SUBJECT TO NONE BUT HER HEAD.
   No one has the right to exercise authority over others in the church, and surely no outside body of men has the right (Matt. 20:24-28).

III. BIBLE EXAMPLES OF CHURCHES ACTING INDEPENDENTLY — OUR PATTERN.
   1. The church acted independently in electing one to take Judas Iscariot’s place (Acts 1:15-24).
   2. The church acted independently in selecting seven men for the office of deacon (Acts 6:1-6).
   3. The church acted independently in sending Barnabas on a special mission to Antioch (Acts 11:22).
   4. The church acted independently in sending missionaries (Acts 13:1-4
      a. Holy Spirit called them;
      b. The church sent them out; and
      c. The Holy Spirit sent them forth.
   5. The Antioch church acted independently in sending out missionaries, and other churches acted independently in helping to support them (II Cor. 8:1-4; 11:8,9; Phil. 4:15,16).
   6. The church acted independently in determining to send relief to the poor saints at Jerusalem (Acts 11:27-30).
   7. The church in Antioch acted independently in choosing whom they wanted to carry their gift to Jerusalem (Acts 11:30).
   8. The church is instructed to act independently in using the keys of the kingdom (Matt. 16:19; 18:18).

IV. THE CHURCH’S INDEPENDENCY IS LIMITED UNDER GOD.
   1. A church is limited to the laws of Christ (Matt. 28:20).
      An inherent right means a natural right in one’s self to do a thing. A commissioned right is a right received from another who has the power to bestow that right. The one commissioned has only the right to do that for which he is commissioned. Therefore the church cannot legislate nor turn her work over to others.
   2. A church’s independency is limited to that which is scriptural” Scriptural baptism, Lord’s Supper, no other instructions than the Word of God (II Tim. 3:15-17).
   3. A church is limited to preaching the gospel to lost souls, but God must do the saving. A church is not at liberty to change the gospel message.
   4. Jesus said that His church was not of the world (John 17:16). The church is independent from world organizations and should remain so that her testimony may not be hindered.

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