Tag Archives: Parson



William A. Dillard
Parson to Person

Some questions are so important that one must know the answers. One question to which I refer is resounded in Holy Writ, but it is also penned quite pointedly in the lyrics of a classic hymn. “What will you do with Jesus, neutral you cannot be. One day your heart will be asking, ‘what will He do with me.’” Could there be a more relevant and pressing question on a greater number of people than this? Jesus plainly declared that those who deny Him, He will deny before the Father. Matt. 10:33. 

Jesus needs to be in the forefront of life.  Think about this incident. “And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast: “The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus.” John 12:20-21. It occurs to this writer that the wholesale rejection of organized religion by the majority of our nation’s population is partly due to the obscurity of Jesus. Please consider: 

  * Great edifices with stained glass windows and air conditioned environment are pointed to with pride, but where is Jesus? 

* Social programs designed to busy one abound, but where is Jesus?  

* The determination to present a non-offensive religion a lost society may keep the pews warm and the coffers full, but where is Jesus? 

* Pulpits may be ablaze with educated homilies, but where is Jesus?

    Strong witnessing and preaching about Jesus is needed! Men must know they are lost without Him, and that His sweet grace is freely offered to them for the trusting. 

Consider the contrast of long ago with today’s society. Zacchaeus was so excited about the possibility of seeing Jesus that he climbed a tree to do it. Believers were so excited over the prospect of bringing a palsied man to Jesus that they cut a large hole in the roof of the house where He was. Multitudes followed Jesus to hear Him, and to witness His works without regard for food or lodging. 

Today, people are so complacent about Jesus they are more likely to go fishing or to visit relatives than to meet with Him for worship. They will avoid any discussion of the need of salvation among their fellows for fear of being considered a radical. Often church meetings are esteemed so unimportant that members will look for excuses to be absent. Is the power of God diminished, or have we faked people into the church who are incapable of spiritual appreciation and excitement? 

These things may be easily dismissed by nominal, worldly-minded “Christians,” but judgment flies toward earth on swift wings.  Dear friends, “What will you do with Jesus? Neutral you cannot be! One day your heart will be asking: ‘What will He do with me?’”  Will you be happy with reciprocation?

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William Andrew Dillard

Love is a highly prized dimension of life, but unfortunately, considered to be a non-essential to the majority of the world. Some would say, “Now hold on there, preacher! Psychologists insist that love is essential to wellbeing.” Well, injecting “well-being’ into the thought creates a different equation, but just think with me for a minute!
In the great love chapter of the Bible, I Cor. 13, Paul said he might speak with the tongues of men and of angel without it. He went on to say that he might possess the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and knowledge, even possess such faith as to move mountains without love. He could be kindly minded toward the poor, and become a sacrificial martyr without love. But all of that would be for nothing…FOR NOTHING! It is love that survives, that preservers, that counts for something both in time and eternity.
Love is not static! It goes to the depths of problems. It is active in longsuffering, promoting others, hoping, believing, enduring, bearing all things. It rejoices not in iniquity, but in truth! Let the meaning of these words be applied then to the average Christian in modern times. Do they fit well, or seem to be all out of kilter with the status quo?
Most any churchgoer will tell you he loves the Lord; loves His Word; loves His church, but these are words; too often hollow words. Hollow words find their satisfaction in detached, mostly ritualistic, habitual actions of religion which are void of personal communion and growth in the grace of God and His inexhaustible Word. It is sad! Certainly, one can live in the same house with a spouse; provide material things, and appear to be the envy of the world, but not have love for that spouse or the true meaning of a home. This is often true in describing professing Christians. One might do well to ask himself how much time he has spent in prayer or in reading the Holy Word lately. One would do well to ask of self just when was the last time personal faith was shared outside the walls of a church house? One would do well to ask himself, when was the last time he actually learned anything at all from the Bible that had not resided in his consciousness previously?
Consider that a small child was given a wing pin by a pilot in an airport. He proudly proclaimed to his mother that he was now a pilot. His mother replied to him that in his eyes he was a pilot, and in her eyes he was a pilot, but in the eyes of a pilot, he was no pilot at all. Could this also illustrate the status of many professing church members. It is easy to say, “I love the Lord,” but love is not static. Love is active. Where love is, there is growth, progress, learning!

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Parson to Person

Wow! Inflation is worse than figured! Not long ago it was a penny for your thoughts! So how could thoughts be worth a million dollars? First, thoughts have to be forwarded into action, so, think with me and I will show you how it can happen.
I have asked several groups of people if they knew the exacted price from those who run over a chicken in Germany. None knew. The guilty party not only pays for the chicken, but also for all the eggs it may have laid over its lifetime. That is considered the value of the chicken. This principle applies across the board of life.
When anyone places a dollar in the offering plates at church, he not only gives up the dollar, but also the interest it would have earned over his lifetime. That is the value of a dollar.
So suppose one tithes his income, or more, for a lifetime. Also consider that each dollar given might have earned an average of six percent annually over his years. If those tithes are $50, $100, $200 per week, and that was begun in early to midlife, just do the math. It becomes astronomical. Now consider that Jesus said that whatever one gives up (houses, lands, etc.) he will receive a hundredfold, Matt 19:29. Now multiply your astronomical number by 100. The world has never offered such an investment return, and material things even as fine as His, are the very least of the Lord’s offerings.
Two things must combine here: first, one’s heart, then his treasure. Jesus taught us that where one’s treasure is, there will his heart be also, Luke 12:34. Some complain that they cannot afford to give such amounts. That indicates a heart problem. Everyone must remember that the gold and silver; the cattle of a thousand hills; yes, the earth itself, and all therein; the money, too, belongs to the Lord, Psm. 50:10, 24:1, Hag. 2:8, I Cor. 10:26. He who demanded the tithe under the Mosaic Law provides opportunity for us all under grace to exceed that in church support, benevolence, mission work, and reaching out to others in need. Such are opportunities rather than obligations, and the cheerful giver who seizes upon them is indeed wise. He is accumulating great treasure in heaven which is both secure and eternal. Put into proper action a million dollars may be a pittance for your thoughts!

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Parson to person
Never before has the world been so filled with transient folks. Modern transportation and international trade seems to have shrunken the world significantly. Nowadays, one may eat breakfast in California, lunch in New York and dinner in Europe or vice-versa. It is reported that Wal-Mart’s 747 is furnished with beds. Executives may board in late evening in northwest Arkansas, retire, then deplane refreshed and ready for business in the morning in Europe. Just think about it!
Interstate movement multiplies that potential exponentially. The matching of skills and jobs often take one far and wide before retirement age. Then there are those who are given to repeatedly jumping on the moving trains of commerce and opportunity because they feel their life is cast in a day of small things, and they must move on to achieve their potential. Moreover, there are plenty of clichés that speak to that mindset. “A sitting hen lays no eggs,” “The moving wheel has the cargo;” The rolling stone admits no moss;” “The grass is greener on the other side of the fence;” on and on they go. But wait just a minute!
Whatever happened to the idea of “Bloom where you are planted?” Insatiable desires for fame and fortune most often have a disappointing end. Notice how the traveler always wants to be “home” for important occasions? But if everyone became nomadic in the present carousel world, where would home be and who would be there? Additionally, it is most often those who plant deep roots who are able to bloom the longest, and bear the most fruit. It is they who create stability. This principle is definitely applicable within the Lord’s churches. Travelers (missionaries) are scriptural and needed, but what are they, and how shall they proceed minus a base, Rom. 10? Folks should not be afraid of a little responsibility, but “brighten the corner where they are!” This means going beyond normal efforts to enhance the reputation of their God-given church as a spiritual institution in the community. Causes to run away at the slightest challenge to be responsible will always find them. But such challenges are actually marvelous opportunities to shine; to “bloom where they are planted,” and that really counts!


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224 – August 12 – This Day in Baptist History Past


Twelve Baptists in Prison at One Time

John Waller wrote the following letter from the Urbana Prison, Middlesex County, Virginia, on August 12, 1771, at the height of the persecution of Baptists in America. There were twelve Baptists in prison at one time, and it gives insight as to their treatment as well as the success of their ministries while incarcerated. “Dear Brother in the Lord, at a meeting…at Bro. McCain’s, last Sat. while Wm. Webber was preaching from James 2:18, Capt. James Montague, a magistrate came running toward him…followed by the parson of the parish and several others. The magistrate and another took hold of Bro. Webber, dragging him from the stage, delivered him with Brethren Wafford, Robert Ware, Richard Falkner, James Greenwood, and myself, into custody, and commanded that we should be brought before him for trial.

Bro. Wafford was severely scourged, and Bro. Henry Street received one lash from one of the persecutors…we were examined for firearms. We were charged with mutiny against the authority of the land. Finding none, we were asked if we had a license to preach in this county; and learning we had not, it was required of us to give bond and security not to preach anymore in the county, which we modestly refused to do, whereupon after dismissing Brother Wafford with the charge to make his escape out of the county by 12 o’clock the next day on pain of imprisonment, and dismissing Bro. Faulkner, the rest of us were delivered to the sheriff and sent to close jail, with a charge not to allow us to walk in the air until court day. Yesterday we had a large number of people hear us preach, some great ones heard us preach on the new birth.

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Author: William Andrew Dillard


Parson to Person

In the comics, Scrooge McDuck, Donald Duck’s uncle, was extremely wealthy. He had a swimming pool filled with money into which he would gleefully dive and throw bills and coins into the air. Certainly, this is the antithesis of the spiritual world, but there is a comparison. Think with me about it.

From the essential, initial acquisition of the new birth, there flows a virtually endless bounty of spiritual blessings and acquisitions for the child of God. The Bible is simply chocked full of them, and they are all so good. They are good because they come from the Father of lights with whom there is no shadow of turning, and Who is the giver of every perfect gift. James 1:17

Identifying and amplifying on a list of these many things would take books of articles longer than this one. Yet, of all the things God has for His people to enjoy, the greatest is love. Love is extoled above charismatic gifts in the great love chapter of the Bible, I Corinthians 13.

Love is the core of Christianity: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 Thus, love is the foundational platform of the very possibility of our existence. But there is more!

When compared to other, great abiding characteristics, it is learned that faith is destined to end. It will give way to sight. Moreover, hope is also destined for extinction. It will give way to reality. But love is destined to never end. Why? Because, God is love! I John 4:8 Therefore, to love with a high and holy love as only God’s people among men can do, is to know and to share the very characteristic of God Himself. That love is life at its best, the evidence of God living and working in and through us.

Uncle Scrooge can have his pool of money. It is a fleeting, perishing part of a sinful world, but he who has true love enjoys a bit of heaven on earth, and is destined to know it in its fullest, uninterrupted form in eternity. I am ecstatic about being a Bible-believing Christian, enjoying the supreme characteristic!


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Parson to Person


William Andrew Dillard


In the blessed state before time began as we know it, there was only the single dimension of life. I speak of the holy will of God permeating in totality all that then was. In the interesting study of Bible Numerics, it is learned that the number “2” is the number of division, of another viewpoint, of something in addition to the will of God; hence, of sin and evil. This began inexplicably in Lucifer. With the inception of sin, comes the dimension of opposites. Nothing can be thought of in the finite mind that does not have an opposite. Hence, the burden of this article. Think with me about this:


Christianity is essentially a positive way of life. But to say it is positive admits that there are negatives, by which positives are recognized. But it is most important that the viewpoint of one’s life in Christ be framed correctly.


That is: do not try to live the Christian life in the negative, but in the positive.


Let me explain. When one attends to the positive life in Christ, his attention and energies will be there. And what a joy it is to bask in the endless blessings they afford. The problem with some folks is that they approach life with attention on the negatives.


It is what they do not do that is important to them: they do not curse today, they do not lie, today; they do not steal or slander, today. With all their attention focused on the negatives, they can be sure that they will fall into one or more of them sooner or later, then what? These are the very things that many attend who believe in apostasy; hence, they must be saved all over again due to their failure. Such is not reality at all in the grace of God.


It is rather that life should be lived in the Positive/negative mode. There is so much to learn from the Holy Word that brings true joy to the soul. Moreover, I have observed and learned that the temptation to do evil has no place when one is immersed in thought or prayer about holy things. One will never be tempted to tell a friend a smutty joke if he is seeking the salvation of that friend.


Here, then is the essence of proper priority. In the words of Paul to the church at Colossi, “ 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. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” Colossians 3:16-17.


When this is done, the negatives will be there, but have no place in the Christian life. It should never be Negative/positive, but always Positive/negative. But what to do if the negatives surface as they surely will? John tell us in his first epistle at I John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”


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By – William Andrew Dillard

Parson to Person

The world prides itself in terms of excellence in science, arts, education, sports, etc. Perhaps the highest accolade bestowed on an individual, organization, or product is the label of “world-class.” That term strongly connotes, excellence, the top rung of the ladder, professionalism, expertise. The person or thing to which it is applied finds ready acceptance among men, and an abundance of favors from the same. Therefore, personal encouragement and educational processes are fashioned to aid and to promote individuals to that level, and most often at great cost. But one may ask, “Is that not what life is all about?” Please think with me about this!

Certainly, it is good to fulfill one’s talents since from the casting down of the order in Eden, it is established that men will eat their bread by the sweat of their brow. The critical error is focusing on that one thing exclusively. The story is told of a young boy impressed with the actions and appearance of an older man. He asked the man, “What do you do?” The man replied, “I am a Christian.” The boy replied, “No, I mean what do you do?” The man replied, “You mean what is my line of work?” “Yes,” the boy answered. “Well,” said the man. “I am a pharmacist part time so I can be a Christian full time.”

Here then is the proper perspective. The first great commandment is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, and strength. It is sad, but too many today want to be labeled a Christian in name only in hopes it will increase business at the store…. or… in commissions or whatever the business may be.

The scenario has not changed. Was not our Lord tested of the devil immediately following His baptism? If Jesus came to win the kingdoms of this world through righteousness, He would not have to suffer and die. The devil had those things and freely offered them all to the Son of God if He would but worship him. Have you ever wondered how many modern day “Christians” would make the same choice that Jesus did?

The last chapter of human history is revealed in prophecy. The world and all that is in it will pass away, but the Word of God abides forever, and so do those who love the Lord, and seek His holy will for their life. Here then is peace profound that the world does not, and cannot know because of the blindness of sin. Here is the great blessing of God that allows His people to outlive the world, and to survive the world in the heavenly environment of life where time is not known.

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295 – Oct. 22 – This Day in Baptist History Past

Parsons Rejects Infant “Baptism”


Oct. 22, 1795 – Was the day that Baptist historian and pastor, Isaac Backus heard Stephen Parsons preach, according to an entry in Backus’ diary. Parsons, a native of Middletown, Conn., and a member of the Separatist Congregational church in his home town became pastor of the branch that formed in Westfield, Conn. in 1788. However, in 1795, after much study on the subject, Parsons rejected infant baptism and was dismissed from his church. Parsons was baptized by Elder Abel Palmer, Pastor of the Second Baptist Church of Colchester, Conn. Seven of his former members went with him and they formed a Baptist church in Westfield. Later Parsons became pastor of the Baptist church in Whiteboro, N.Y. The split in the Congregational Church started with the Revivals of George Whitefield. The decadent Congregational churches were inundated with new converts from the Whitefield and other revivals of that era. In time the new, on fire converts left, and started new Congregational churches called “Separates” or “New Lights.” The new churches however were cut off from the tax revenues for the upkeep of their church buildings and pastors salaries. At this point, absent infant baptism they were only a step away from being Baptists. Coen says it well: ‘Gone to the Baptists’ is a frequent entry in the record books of the Separate churches beside the names of former members who had adopted the principle of believer’s, as opposed to infant’s baptism. [C.C. Coen, Revivalism and Separatism in New Englan, 1740-1800 (Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press, 1987), p.86. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. 577-79.]   Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon

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