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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

ISRAEL HATH SINNED

My dear brethren,

This is a time when all of us need to fall on our faces before God and beg for forgiveness and wisdom.  I cannot but think of the nation Israel when the battle of Ai brought devastating defeat.  Achan stole gold and garments and ended up being punished by God.  What was God's response, "Israel hath sinned."  God did not say "Achan has sinned!" Rather He said "Israel hath sinned."  

When one of us falls we all fall. When one of us hurts we all hurt.  When one of us sins we all have a part.  Maybe, because we did not pray enough. Maybe, because we did not seek God's face enough.  Maybe, because we blindly ignored the warnings of Scripture. Maybe, because we let friendship blind us. I do not know and do not claim to know.  My mind is having great difficulty wrapping itself around this disaster that has befallen all of us.

Please understand I do not have all the answers.  I am not the guru of independent Baptist churches.  I am hurting today just like you who are apart of a movement we all love dearly and deeply.  My friends, God is still on His throne.  The gates of Hell will not prevail against his New Testament Church.  We will go on!

I have a deep love for the dear folks at FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH of Hammond, IN.  I have a deep love for the Hyles family and have never wished them harm or grief in any way.  I grieve like it was a death of one of my own. I have some of the sweetest memories and moments that were life changing to me and my family at the altars of the FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH under Dr. Jack Hyles.

Those enemies who attack all for the sins of a few may be right. Maybe we have grown so fast and so much that we have, like Achan, stolen glory that belongs to God.  Maybe "Israel hath sinned!" It is time for ALL of us to fall on our faces before an almighty God and seek His face and favor once again.  Maybe this is no time for finger pointing at others, but rather finger pointing at our selves.

My heart always goes out to the victims each and every time I hear of such despicable things.  The sinner and the one sinned against are all a result of a sinful nature that nags humanity.  When an accident occurs the EMT crew never asks who caused the accident and then treats them last.  Rather they treat all the victims.

Enemies of independent Baptist churches will attempt to condemn all for the sins of a few.  I find myself agreeing with them in one respect for we all have failed! However, I cannot broad brush and condemn all local churches for the sinful acts of a few.  This is childish.  It is one thing to be guilty, another thing to condone the guilty, but it is a far deeper problem when we distance ourselves from being guilty of not praying.  We all have failed, but we are not all guilty of the sins of a few.

May I present the practical side?  There exists more molestation cases proportionately reported in the 42,000 churches of the Southern Baptist Convention than in the 22,000 independent Baptist churches.  Consider the largest denomination in our nation, the Catholic Church, and then think on their sexual transgressions for a while.  This is not to take lightly one person who is violated by a leader in a church. 

Where a just law steps in the local church must step out.  Restoration sometimes includes the judicial and penal system of our nation.  If you do the crime you must do the time.  However, this does not take the pain away.  We are all hurt and hurting!


THOUGHTS

  • Pray for the leadership of the FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH of Hammond, IN
  • Pray for the membership of the FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH of Hammond, IN
  • Pray for the victims
  • Do not blame the victims
  • Do not guess at what you do not know
  • No one is immune from the flesh-you or yours
  • Do not judge all by one
  • God is still on the throne so trust Him
  • The gates of Hell shall not prevail against the New Testament Church

Saturday, July 21, 2012

FLYING TO CHARLOTTE, NC, TO PREACH

I am at the DFW airport in the Admiral's Club waiting for my next leg of the flight to Charlotte, NC.  I am scheduled to teach & preach Sunday for Pastor Charles Carver who pastors the WEST PART BAPTIST CHURCH.  This will be my first time with this church.  I have known the pastor for many years and I am looking forward to being with him and his people.  

NATIONAL SWORD OF THE LORD CONFERENCE
July 23-27, 2012

Dr. Shelton Smith
A person emailed me this week and was curious about my association with Dr. Smith, Editor of THE SWORD OF THE LORD publication, and the paper.  He stated he thought that we were on opposite sides in our associations.  Let me say that none of us will agree on every thing in life and especially when it comes to the work of God.  I don't even agree with me some of the time.  

It is essential though that we understand that "unity" inside of a local church is paramount, but "union" between churches is not.  God did a wonderful thing when he created the "independence" factor within the framework of the work of God through local churches.  One mind, one accord, and one place is for the local church not local churches. 


When we create denominations we are going against the very foundation God set up for church polity.  When there is differences the men of God must be able to disagree.   When there is difficulty and questions arising doctrinally then it is up to the men of God to meet and debate it as was the case with the council of Jerusalem.  When your man of God disagrees with another man of God that is not abnormal or unspiritual.  This Rodney King philosophy of, "Why can't we just all get along?" is preparation for a Tower of Babel theology and destructive denominationalism.

I heard a man say he worried when men of God squabbled and could not get along because he felt it hurt the laymen of God who were watching.  NO! The truth is there must be the liberty for men of God to disagree.  We are all human and our humanity can lead us into trouble and every once in a while we still need a Nathan to say, "Thou art the man."  We can be right so much of the time that we think we are right all of the time.  There will only be one true pure leader on this planet and that my friend will be the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. The only camp I am concerned about being in is the camp of Biblical truth while serving through a local church under a man of God.   


Who would have ever thought that the rolls would be reversed between Murfreesboro and Hammond. Hyles-Anderson College is determined to hold on to the position of only the original Scriptures as being inspired.  It is no surprise that Bob Jones University, Tennessee Temple, and others would propagate such non-sense, but not the College founded by Mr. Fundamentalist Dr. Jack Hyles. 

When the SWORD treated Dr. Hyles with what I felt was disrespect I began distancing myself.  I was on the Cooperating Board of the SWORD and as long as Dr. Hyles was on the board I determined to stay.  When he went to a board meeting I went, but when he did not I did not go.  When he decided to resign the board I resigned.  A few of those men spoke well of Dr. Hyles in his presence and did the opposite out of his presence and that never set well with me.


When Dr. Hyles went home to Heaven the SWORD buried the story on the fifth or sixth page of the SWORD, which upset many of us.  The SWORD OF THE LORD would not be in existence humanly speaking if it were not for Dr. Hyles.  I recall when the subscriptions hit bottom and Dr. Hyles took over the SWORD CONFERENCES and used his NATIONAL PASTORS' SCHOOL to promote the SWORD every year.  This was no small rift for many of us with the seeming mistreatment of the memory of Dr. Hyles.

Dr. Smith called one day many years ago and asked if we could get together and talk.  The next time I was in Murfreesboro to visit my mother I stopped by and we had a 4 to 5 hour conversation.  He has always been a Christian gentleman and this meeting was no exception.  We voiced our concerns to each other.  We agreed to disagree, but also agreed to agree! I felt the SWORD owed Dr. Jack Hyles respect that he was not receiving and Dr. Smith to his credit began putting Dr. Hyles' picture and some sermons in the SWORD once again. He asked me if I would preach with him in a SWORD CONFERENCE and I agreed to do so and have done so. 


When the issue of the preserved inspiration of the Scripture in independent Baptist circles arose Dr. Smith made it extremely clear that he was on the side of an inspired King James Bible for the English speaking people. Dr. Smith has proved to be solid on the vital issues of the Scriptures. He is for soul winning, separation, spirit fulness, independent Baptist churches,  holiness, and the "old paths." 


I have not changed I am exactly where I was on this inspiration issue and other issues of 40 years ago.  My friend it is others who have changed! I have no problem associating with Dr. Shelton Smith.  I appreciate Dr. Smith's willingness to stand on this and other vital issues.  It is "mutual faith" that has caused our association. If the day ever comes that I cannot I will say so.


I will be attending this years' NATIONAL SWORD OF THE LORD CONFERENCE in Winston-Salem, NC., not because I believe in the "union" of believers.   I love the old hymns, old time preaching, fellowshipping, meeting new servants of God, and the encouragement. I want to support those who support Biblical issues and still be allowed to disagree agreeably. 


I have no hatred for the brethren who have taken another position on the inspiration of the Scriptures or involving themselves in the Emergent church movement.  However, I will not dip my sails with the cultural revolution that is producing contextualization of Scriptures within our ranks. 


Too old to change now! Growing old is not so bad! With dementia at least I can hide my own Easter eggs and read the same newspaper every day.  Ha! GOTTA LOVE THE OLD TIME RELIGION!




Sunday, July 15, 2012

10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY SUNDAY FOR PASTOR BILL DAVIS

Pastor Bill Davis

Sunday Morning

Youth Ensemble


I had the honor of teaching & preaching for my good friend Pastor Bill Davis today on his 10th Anniversary Sunday.  He has pastored the CORNERSTONE BAPTIST CHURCH for these past ten years. This good man of God has been through so much physically and it is a miracle that he is still alive, let alone pastoring.  He has had several heart attacks and yet keeps on going for God. Thousands have been saved in these 10 years and I am glad to call him my friend.  Congratulations Pastor and Mrs. Bill Davis on your ten years of service to the Greensboro, NC, area for the cause of Christ.  Once again folks were saved and baptized on this Lord's Day.


Christina & Dekotsha




I flew into Greensboro, NC., airport and one of our TEXAS BAPTIST COLLEGE grads Josh Clapp picked me up and took me to the Hampton Inn. He and his dear wife Nicolle are both graduates of TBC and work with Pastor Davis.  I met two ladies behind the counter who were working Saturday night. I checked in and they were very kind. I joked with them a little bit and went to my room and unpacked.  

A little later on I left to go to the Wendy's restaurant next door.  As I was leaving the motel I asked the ladies if they wanted something from Wendy's.  They told me "No thanks."  I went to the restaurant and purchased my food and in addition bought two chocolate Frosties. I came back to the motel and I gave the two Frosties to the ladies.  They thanked me and I gave them both Gospel tracts.  We chatted for a little while about Heaven and Hell.  Then I went over some Scriptures and in a few moments they both bowed their heads and prayed to trust Christ to save their souls from going to Hell. GOTTA LOVE SOUL WINNING!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

31 SAVED WITH 26 BAPTIZED

Pastor Collingsworth
Heritage Adult Choir
Sunday Morning
I flew into the Cleveland, OH, airport Saturday and was met by my good friend Pastor Gerald Collingsworth.  He pastors the HERITAGE BAPTIST CHURCH of Mogadore, OH, and done so for the last 20 years.  This is an exciting church to say the least. The music was tremendous with no contemporary junk in sight.  I love the old paths of the old time religion especially her music.    

There were several services being conducted on the church property and they were still baptizing as  I left the church to go back to the motel.  The pastor did text me this afternoon informing me that there were 31 saved and 26 baptized in total.  WELL SOMEBODY SAY AMEN!





Recently I was sent a email with a sermon included from a Bible college chapel service in Arkansas of one of their college staff men.   I know this man and His sermon was no shock to me concerning his position on the old time religion and its cultural relevance.     This college is following some dangerous men who are involved in "Post Modernism" which mocks standards and anything associated with church as we know it.  They are logical, rational, but certainly not spiritual.

When ever you see the following names in connection with a church RUN!  The "Acts 29 Network" or "Emergent Church" or the "Emerging Church" movement is destructive.  One of their young pups is Rob Bell and in his book "Velvet Elvis" he states he does not care if Jesus was born of a man named Larry he would still be Jesus to him.  If you young bucks continue to engage these men you will soon have a "Coffee House" for God's house.

Their language is vulgar inundated with sexual discourse in order to supposedly reach this "X-generation."  It's spiritual non-sense! They are attempting to bring God down to man. They will dress down and not up for Church.  Their logic is flawed for church is not meant for lost people. When the orchard is healthy it will produce fruit. This new let your hair down method is leading young men down a primrose lane to unadulterated heresy.  These men are a mockery to the cause of Christ.  JUST GIVE ME AND MINE THE OLD TIME RELIGION! 

Give me Holy Ghost power for Holy Ghost conviction of sinners and you can keep your religious rock n roll mixed with a little Merle Haggard. GOTTA LOVE THE OLD TIME RELIGION!

HERE THEY ARE!

1) Mark Driscoll
2) Rob Bell
3) Brian McLaren
4) Tony Jones
5) Doug Pagitt
6) Ed Stetzer