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Friday, May 31, 2013

JUST A THOUGHT Volumes I-IV On Sale For Fathers' Day

$10 for Vol. I-IV


Father's Day will be here before you know it.  May I make a recommendation of a four book volume of daily devotionals for Dad?   There are 10 volumes in all and for FATHER'S DAY ONLY you can order the first 4 volumes for just $10.

Call 903-576-1307 or email dayres5@juno.com and order TODAY! Don't wait until the last minute.  This sale is only good by calling or emailing.  The books average 200 pages per books and loaded with great seed thoughts that a preacher would love to have.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

"I CAN MAKES A GREAT MAN!"

Dr. Russell Anderson and myself at Dr. Hyles' burial spot
It is as if it were yesterday that I and my family sat under Dr. Hyles' preaching.  The spirit of that auditorium was unlike any we had ever known.  The Holy Spirit certainly had liberty. 

Great truths were preached and taught week after week without failure. Church aisles and church altar were packed every service.  Only God could have accomplished such a great thing!

One of those sermons is the one he entitled "The I Canner's"  It is not a word, but it is a great truth.  His mother would say to him as a lad, "I can makes a great man!" Little Jackie boy Hyles would repeat it over and over again back to his mother.  
It became second nature to him.  

Oh, the power of the tongue and life of a mother cannot be and must not be underrated.  It affected his life and in turn affected my life, my family, and my ministry.

I was apart of the first four year class of Hyles-Anderson College and graduated in 1976 Summa Cum Laude, which means "some come loud." At the altar of FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH on our last Sunday I asked God to help me, not only win souls, but specifically walk the aisle with a convert for baptism myself each Sunday. I begged God to help me do so!  

This was a decision I made.  It is a personal decision every man of God has to make for himself.  You hold in your hand the steering wheel of that local church for whom you will answer to God.  In stead of becoming upset with someone like me who would DARE challenge you to do more, why not accept the challenge?


PLAN

I was an accountant before going to Bible College and worked at the Fisher Body Division of General Motors.  I have always been a statistical kind of a guy.  

I took stock of my personal soul winning and soon discovered that if I gave 15 soul winning presentations in a 7 day period, and had 5 lined up to come with me on Sunday I discovered that I would on an average be picking up 2 for church.   Then, I discovered on an average that 1 of the 2 would follow the LORD in baptism. That is 52 additions in one year.  If half of them stuck that is 26 additions with just God using me!

Also, I would list their names, addresses, & phone numbers in the back of my New Testament.  This is what I called "Loading the wagon."  If they did not come the first week I could keep going back as long as they allowed me.  Doing this gave me dozens of prospects for each week.

That way I would not be frustrated with the dear people whom I pastored.  If I were to become upset with any one I decided it would be me!  I would look in the mirror and chew myself out for a low Sunday.  The buck truly stopped here with me!

I also recognized that doors do not get saved (That's deep) and that hours do not get saved (Another deep thought).  However, I realized that in order to talk to 15 folks about salvation from "A" to "Z" it would take about one hour per soul winning presentation.  So I backed into the 15 hours of scheduled time to go soul winning through out the week and NOT JUST on Saturday!

I know it was a lofty height and goal to shoot for.  I can't explain why and what brought me to that goal for I can only tell you it was my goal.  I ate, slept, and drank this goal!  It was on  my mind every moment of the day.  I am here to tell you IT CAN BE DONE!  Hold it, that was my decision and not yours, but I know it can be done!

When a pastor says "I can't" then that becomes the norm or the rule and "I can" becomes the exception.  It is time to take the challenge if we are to turn this thing around.  Make "I can" the rule and not the exception.  Make "I can't" the exception.

Since when does a football team in the NFL go to summer camp and say among themselves "What's the use?"   We can't win the Super Bowl!  NO!  All of them go to summer camp and say, "This is the year."  Why can't we as Baptist pastors say to ourselves, "By cracky I'm going to do it!"

We meet with the same 100 people week in and week out wondering what can we do to cause them to become motivated?  I can help you.  How about leading by EXAMPLE and not as much EXHORTATION.  If you will set a goal of stirring the baptismal pool every week they will join up and help you.  They love you!  They want to please God!  You, my dear pastor, are the one to lead them in soul winning not PUSH them into soul winning.  TRY IT YOU'LL LIKE IT!

Look, I understand...one out of a hundred will take this challenge, but if the rest of you hit pay dirt once a month, my goodness can you see the potential of souls saved and baptisms up.  Don't throw water on this? Give it a try? I understand if you want to say this is ridiculous and impossible, but at least try it!

If I have ruffled your feathers I didn't mean too.  I take that back! Some of you need to have your feathers ruffled.  You pastors need someone to preach to you too!  You need preaching just like your people do!  

I cannot set your goals, but I can challenge you!

  • "Failure means I dared try" Jack Hyles
  • "To reach a port, we must sail - Sail, not tie an anchor - Sail, not drift."  Franklin Roosevelt
  • "If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up somewhere else."  Yogi Berra
  • "Aim at the sun and you will not reach it; but your arrow will fly far higher than if aimed at an object on a level with yourself."  Author Unknown
  • "In absence of clearly defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily acts of trivia."  Author Unknown
  • "Don't bunt. Aim out of the ballpark."  David Ogilvy
  • "What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals."  Henry David Thoreau
  • "Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible."  Author Unknown
  • "People are not lazy.  They simply have impotent goals." Author unknown
  • "I can do all things through Christ which strengthenth me."  God
  • "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." God
  • "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before."  God

GOTTA LOVE SOUL WINNING!



Wednesday, May 29, 2013

WHY YOU SHOULD BE A PERSONAL SOUL WINNER

WHY YOU SHOULD BE A PERSONAL SOUL WINNER

  • Because Jesus actually saves the unsaved (John 12:32)
  • Because Jesus uses saved sinners to reach the unsaved (Mark 16:14-15)
  • Because Jesus keeps saved sinners saved (I Pt 1:5)
  • Because Jesus has someone waiting for you to witness too (Eph 2:10)
  • So our local churches will have perpetuity (Mt 16:18)
  • Jesus protects the personal soul winner (Mk 16:14-18)
  • So Jesus can answer your prayers (John 15:16)
  • It will cause the Rapture (Rms 11:25)

GOTTA LOVE SOUL WINNING!

Monday, May 27, 2013

ITS A BIG MISTAKE TO GO LOOKING FOR A FIGHT! YOU ATTACK I DEFEND!







I was driving to Dallas recently and listening to a radio broadcast on my car radio and it was a Rush Limbaugh program.   He told the radio audience that he wakes up every morning and for radio prep looks for those institutions and people he cares about that are under attack and defends them that day.



In this social media feeding frenzy I find myself facing some non-negotiable items almost everyday in my world. I average 3,500 readers to this BLOG every week of the world. I find myself defending my friends against attacks on a regular basis from a minority of readers.



One young man kept attacking my friend Dr. Jack Hyles and I defended my friend who could not obviously defend himself.   Here is a man who has been dead for 11 years and some are still kicking a dead man.  This young man asked me when was I going to quit defending Jack Hyles.  I told him as long as he attacks I will defend. 



I find myself under assault when it comes to friends of a life time whom I admire for their life of labor and investment in my life, my ministry, and my family. Some have evolved into a mind set of "What have you done for me lately."  I prefer "What have you done for me formerly" motto to give honor.  We can disagree agreeably and still love each other. 

A lady like an 84 year old Mrs. Beverly Hyles can make a choice you disagree with, according to you, and it is as if she never did anything right in her previous 83 years. Is it possible to love someone with whom we may disagree? Any one without sin let him cast the first stone.  The ones who cry the loudest about how bad the teenagers are acting are the ones who do not have teenagers.  You do not know what you will do until you are faced with it. You have not walked in the shoes of Mrs. Hyles thus you have no right to judge her choices.

None of us know what we would do in a certain situation.  We may think we know, but until we are faced with it we cannot be sure. I cannot guarantee what my wife or children will do after I die or even before I die, but they still belong to me and I belong to them.  This is what you call a family. They may lose the tenth round in the spiritual fight, but they still were victorious for nine rounds.

What I see on the BLOGS is not the kind of fundamentalism I signed up for in 1972. I fell in love with the love of Dr. Hyles and Dr. Rice.  It was not the bombastic sermons rather it was the tear in the corner of the eye that caught my attention.  Don't misunderstand me, no one on the scene today preaches any harder against sin than I do, but I doubt there are too many who love as hard either.


AN ATTACK ON ME BECAUSE MY SON AND HIS HAC BIBLE COLLEGE SINGING GROUP STOPPED BY OUR HOME AND I TWEETED THE PIC


John Barnes, Scottie Gray Jr., Marcus Perry
Phillip Turner, Matt Bosje, Steven Howard
Scott Gray Sr.


Recently my son, Scott, and a tour group from Hyles-Anderson College stopped by our home for a visit with me and Mrs. Gray.  Our grandson, Scottie Jr. happens to be in that tour group. They asked if they could have their picture taken with me after lunch and I agreed.  Later on that day I tweeted the picture with the tour group.

When my plane landed in CT and I registered at the motel I opened up my phone and there was a text message from a preacher friend.  The following is the text message.


"Bob, how in the name of common sense and an understanding of the attack on Jesus Christ can you tweet out a picture of the HAC tour group at your house? Are you going to tweet us pictures of any Mormon Groups or JW's that stop by. Park the run keeper and consider your influence."

I immediately called this brother and he did not answer his phone.  I left a message for him to call me back!  He has not as of today and I doubt if he will.  This really brings to surface some thoughts I believe that must be addressed. I love this brother and his family.  When they were under attack I defended them.   This is not about me or my sons.  There is something deeper an bigger at play.

I do believe this is a teachable moment for the family of God
  • This is my son and grandson's home and they are always welcome
  • Their friends are also welcome
  • I know every one of these young men and their families - they are not cultish in their theology at ALL concerning Jesus Christ
  • I have preached for some of their churches and they are not traitors to the Gospel
  • The new pastor of FBC, who sponsors HAC, John Wilkerson must NOT be held responsible for the previous pastor Jack Schaap's beliefs or practices
  • Pastor Wilkerson does not believe like Jack Schaap concerning Jesus Christ and the King James Bible
  • Pastor Wilkerson deserves to have time to cleanse the staff and faculty of HAC of those who agreed with the heresy of Jack Schaap
  • I am afraid my friend has a deeper and greater dislike for FBC and HAC rather than concern of reconciliation in honor of supposedly his friend Jack Hyles
  • When I pointed out things of concern under Jack Schaap's watch it was with a hope of reconciliation not destruction and I am encouraged we will see it
  • Do not attack my family or friends with false accusations and expect me to sit by indolently
  • Are we now calling HAC Mormons and JW's?
  • Lumping my son and grandson in with Mormons and JW's? WHAT?
When the battle over the King James Bible occured in Hammond I never separated myself from my son and his family.  I love my son and his family and they love me. I love FBC and HAC. My son along with a lot of others confronted Jack Schaap, but in all honesty they did not know what to do.  I think I know what I would do, but in reality no one knows until they are in the actual situation.

I separated myself from Jack Schaap, but unfortunately that meant that I was forced to separate from the church and college.

If my son were a homosexual would I have my picture taken with him and his homosexual friends?  I don't know! I don't think I would, but I nor any one else really knows until they are faced with that dilemma what exactly they would do.

I gave Jack Schaap the benefit of the doubt in the beginning. There is no doubt to any one that I did separate myself from Jack Schaap over the King James Bible preserved inspiration issue.  The minute Jack Schaap resigned I wanted and hoped for reconciliation.   Now, reconciliation must be earned and it appears John Wilkerson is not Jack Schaap and is legitimately an independent Baptist and wants reconciliation.   

Does that mean I would preach for everyone he preaches for? No, but that is what makes him an independent Baptist.  He appears to be right on the King James issue, soul winning, separation, and the Lord's Supper, etc.

I did not separate myself from FBC, but I did separate myself from Jack Schaap.  Sometimes I separate because of principles hoping to end up with reconciliation. My attacker appears to do the opposite. I have thrown the quilt of forgiveness over all of the ministries in Hammond in hopes to restore, not to where it was, but what it was.  How can a man call himself a friend of Jack Hyles and hope for the destruction of Jack Hyles' ministries. 

I do not want to be the legacy spokesman for Jack Hyles, but I do want to perpetuate the legacy.  My goal was not to steal Jack Hyles from Hammond, but to keep Jack Schaap from stealing who Jack Hyles really was by redefining him.  

I admit Jack Schaap was in my mind while writing WHEN PRINCIPLE WAS KING.  However, my goal was not to destroy Jack Schaap; my goal was to not allow Jack Schaap to destroy Jack Hyles.  My next book does not even mention Jack Schaap, but it does present vintage Jack Hyles in thought and practice.

I am not looking to pick a fight, because it was simply a text.  However, I will not allow this to go any further. He asks if I would have my picture taken with my son and a Mormon group or JW group? I don't know! He is my Son! I don't think so, but I really don't know.  

Since, I don't think I wouldn't, how can I judge anyone else in their choices especially when it comes to their children. I am not sure my friend wants to go there anyway?


GOTTA LOVE FAMILY!





Saturday, May 25, 2013

TEACHING AND PREACHING IN EAST HARTFORD, CT

I will be flying to East Hartford, CT., to teach and preach for my good friend Dr. Michael Stoddard.  This man of God started the NEW TESTAMENT BAPTIST CHURCH two decades ago and has built one of the great soul winning churches in the NE.  



SOUL WINNING HAS BEEN GOOD

So far in the month of May God has allowed me to win 21 to Christ with 7 of those following the LORD in baptism.  I believe the command to go soul winning is without excuse.  It is not a gift but a command for all of God's children.  I do believe it is also a commission for the local church to deputize and organize their members to go soul winning.



WHY PRAY?
  • Prayer is a way of starting a conversation with God
  • Prayer opens the child of God's mind for the mind of Christ
  • Prayer makes the journey more enjoyable 
  • Prayer brings with it surprises
  • Prayer lists keeps from taking God for granted
  • Prayer is asking and receiving which builds faith
  • Prayer is taking time for our God
  • Prayer is confession time
  • Prayer is worship time
  • Prayer is asking time
  • Prayer is praise time
JUST A THOUGHT!


Friday, May 24, 2013

"PARENTING SKILLS" book a good choice for Father's Day

This is a 202 page book and is the most popular of my books.  I have written 31 books with two new ones coming out this year.  I am going to give you the introduction to the book.

PARENTING SKILLS
1st page of the Introduction

Mrs. Gray and I have had the wonderful privilege of having a family.  We have been married for 48 years.  God blessed us with four wonderful children - Kim, Bob, Karen, and Scott - who have been a challenge, a comfort, and an inspiration to Mrs. Gray and myself.

I fear too much credit has been given to us as parents for the fact that our children, as adults, so far love God.  They made the right choices; we just attempted to make living for God look good.  As parents, we worked hard at being real, not plastic.  We were the same at church as we were at home.  Sometimes, we were a little irreverent, but we always were real.

Parenting is not a one-sided affair.  In order for a parent to instill character traits effectively and to instill an inward desire to serve God, the child must also have a willing spirit.  The premise of this book is that no parent should set a goal of having his or her child turn out right; rather the parent should set a goal of having the child do right.

The average family unit in our nation is self-destructing at an alarming pace.  Living together has become quite an acceptable mode of life in America, while the monogamous attitude about marriage has become almost a thing of the past.  The television industry, in conjunction with Hollywood moguls, has publicly presented an obvious agenda to liberalize and soften moral pressures within our society.  The unit of our society which receives the majority of the damage is the American home.

Moral bankrupt people from Hollywood have used entertainment, especially humor, as a vehicle to capture the sensual imaginations of America's youth in order to propagate a lower level of morality so there can be a higher level of monetary return.  They constantly work on the amoral side of mankind.  The sitcoms and reality shows have captured the airwaves by laughing their way into the very fabric of the average family in every little hamlet of this nation.  These sitcoms have, through the tool of humor, descended to new depths of sexual entertainment and have successfully indoctrinated the next generation of the art of sexual seduction...

This is one of 11 pages of introduction to PARENTING SKILLS!

There are 32 chapters...

CHAIN OF COMMAND
THE BIBLE ROLE OF THE WIFE
THE BIBLE ROLE OF THE HUSBAND
EVERYTHING RISES OR FALLS ON FOLLOWSHIP
PEER PRESSURE
KNOWING YOUR CHILD
ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE
DEVELOPING AN HONEST AND GOOD HEART
DEVELOPING A GOOD SPIRIT
PROPER CHILD DISCIPLINE
REALITY REARING
TURNING THE HEARTS
BUILDING BOLDNESS
PROTECTING YOUR CHILDREN FROM PREDATORS
THE IMPORTANCE OF A CHRISTIAN EDUCATION
CURING SIBLING RIVALRY
FAMILY ALTAR
DEVELOPING OBEDIENCE
HYPERACTIVE CHILDREN
THE STRUCTURE: BIRTH TO NINE YEARS OF AGE
HOW TO DEVELOP GREATNESS IN YOUR CHILD(0-9)
HOW TO DEVELOP GREATNESS IN YOUR CHILD(10-12)
HOW TO DEVELOP GREATNESS IN GIRLS(10-12)
HOW TO DEVELOP GREATNESS IN BOYS(10-12)
HOW TO DEVELOP GREATNESS IN YOUR TEENAGER
THE FIRST COMMANDMENT WITH PROMISE
BEWITCHED
CLEANING UP THE HOME
DATING
PREPARING DAUGHTERS FOR MARRIAGE
PREPARING SONS FOR MARRIAGE
PREPARING YOUNG PEOPLE FOR THE FUTURE

You may email Mrs. Ayres at dayres5@juno.com or call 903-576-1307 to order for Father's Day.  You may also go to SOLVECHURCHPROBLEMS.COM and order.

GOTTA LOVE FAMILY!



Friday, May 17, 2013

AVERAGING LIFE

Please allow me to put into perspective the delicate relationship between pastor and people.  In fact, let me give you a Bible principle that will help any one of God's people to get along with their worst enemy.

Human relationships always reflect our relationship with our God.  If you cannot forgive and move on with your life, then the real problem is with the relationship you have with God, not your enemy.  (I John chapter 1) It merely rises to the surface for all to see because of a failure to grasp this truth.

MOSES

In Joshua chapter one and verse two the Scripture says, "Moses my servant is dead..." God said that!  In the closing chapter of Deuteronomy in verse 10 it says, "And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face."  Verse five of Deuteronomy chapter 34 says, "So Moses the servant of the LORD died there..." 

Hold it, why did God look at Moses' death, which God Himself had caused because of Moses' rebellion, and call Moses a "servant"?  God Himself had taken the life of Moses before Moses wanted his life to be taken.  Moses was never able to enter into the Promised Land.  He saw it from Mount Nebo, but he, who had led the Israelites for 40 years, never was able to set foot in that very Promised Land.

Why, because of an awful sin he committed, a sin so awful that God took his life.  Wait a minute!  This is astounding, for as soon as God takes his life God Himself says, "Moses my servant is dead..." God killed Moses and then says in essence, "What a great guy!"

I have a question, why didn't God say, "Moses the hot head is dead."  Why didn't God say, "Moses the rebel is dead." Why didn't God say, "Moses the disobedient one is dead."  The truth is, Moses was a hot head, a rebel, and disobedient, for which God took his life.  Yet God said, "Moses my servant is dead..."

ABRAHAM

Why did God call Abraham his friend?  When God speaks of Abraham he says, "...Abraham my friend." How can God make such a statement about Abraham?  Wasn't Abraham the one who left the land of Canaan because of the famine and sojourned down into Egypt, where he should not have gone?  Did he not leave the will of God?  Did he not hire the little Egyptian gal Hagar to be his servant while in Egypt?  Did he not bring her back to Canaan?  Did he not impregnate her and they had an illegitimate child?

Is this the same Abraham of whom God said, "Abraham my friend." Yes it is! This is amazing to me.  Listen to this, after Abraham's life is over God says, "Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the friend of God." How do you figure this?

DAVID

Why did God say concerning David, "...I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart."  Someone forgot to tell God that David was the one who stole Bathsheba, Uriah's wife.  Someone forgot to tell God how David has Uriah killed to cover up his adultery.  Yet God looks back at the life of David and says, "...a man after mine own heart."

NOAH

Why did God say of Noah, "...a preacher of righteousness..."? Someone forgot to tell God that Noah got drunk after the flood. Didn't God know that Noah took off all his clothes and was lying there naked after the flood?

LOT

Why did God say about Lot, the one who fathered illegitimate children from his own daughters, "...just Lot...vexed his righteous soul..."?  I believe you would have to agree with me that this does not make any sense whatsoever.  After fathering two illegitimate children by incest, God looks back and says Lot was just and his righteous soul was vexed.

RAHAB

Why did God put an ex-harlot, Rahab, into the hall of fame of faith in the book of Hebrews chapter 11.  This is confusing to all of us.  Certainly there is no doubt that God Himself placed her name in the hall of fame on purpose.  This is no mistake with God.  This is not an uh oh with God.

JACOB

Why did God call a deceiver, a liar, a crook, and a thief like Jacob. He stole from his own brother and lied to his own father, a "prince of God."?  This is confusing.  This just does not make sense to me or you.  If God keeps this up His reputation and credibility will be hurt and if the internet ever gets a hold of this God's name will be hurt.

PETER

Here is another one.  Why did God allow Peter to preach on the day of Pentecost?  It seems to me that the Bible college he graduated from should have demanded his degree be returned along with his ordination certificate.  Maybe the First Baptist Church of Jerusalem should demand he return both?  

Fifty days after he had denied the Lord denied the faith, and denied his church, he preached on a big day.  Why did God allow this one who had cursed and swore just 50 days earlier to organize and preach on the day of Pentecost?  Certainly this does not line with the modern day excommunication policies for local churches.  The church disciple by-laws are being violated.  This doesn't seem to be in tune with keeping the church pure and holy.

JOHN MARK

Why did God allow John Mark, the quitter, the man who turned back on the first missionary journey with the Apostle Paul, to pen the second book of the New Testament. A quitter was allowed to be the human author of the second book of the New Testament?  Something must be wrong with this?  Is this a scandal on God?"

SOLOMON

Here is one that tops them all in my book. Why did God call Solomon the wisest man in the whole world?  Dear readers he had 700 wives and that is not wise.  He had 300 substitutes in case one of his wives called in sick and that certainly was not wise.  Yet, God looked back at Solomon's life and said he was the wisest man in the world.

THIS IS CONFUSING?????

How can all of these cases be true?  What was God thinking?  Maybe this is what God did.  Could it be that He looked at each individual's life and average out that life? Did God take one day and grade it?  Did he then take the next day and grade it?  

Did God, at the end of their lives, average out their days and then come to the conclusion that on an average Moses was a "servant," David was a "...a man after mine own heart," Noah was a "preacher of righteousness,"Lot had a "just" and "righteous soul," and Solomon was a "wise" man?

God is not saying that Moses never did anything wrong.  God is saying the average came out to be such that God called him "my servant." God is saying the same thing about Abraham. God is saying that He averaged out Abraham's life and his average was defined in the word "friend."

God summarizes Moses' life taking into account the bad days, good days, and high days giving him the average grade of "my servant."  God did the same with all of the above people mentioned.

WE USE AVERAGES TO DEFINE SUCCESS IN LIFE

Sammy Sosa led the major leagues in strikeouts the same year he broke all of his home run records. Babe Ruth did the same thing in his baseball days. Michael Jordan in his prime missed half of his shots.  So, if Babe Ruth can fail 60% of the time he went to the plate, doesn't it seem feasible to average out life when it comes to others before summing up our opinions about them?

The professional baseball player who will lead his league in hitting will be the one with the highest average.  The Valedictorian for the class of 2013 will be the one with the highest average.  Isn't this a wonderful thought?  Think about it! God will not judge any of His people by bad days, or by high days;  He will judge all of the days and give an average.



SUMMATION

Let us consider all of the good things people have done and average it ALL out.  A pastor is never happy when someone leaves their church.  However, I refuse to be a part of this crowd that says, "What have you done for me lately?"  How about changing the motto to "What have you done for me formerly?"   Averaging it out will cause you to keep a right spirit about those who forsake you and to keep a right spirit about those who are currently involved in your life.

JUST A THOUGHT!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

FLYING TO PITTSBURG, PA, TO PREACH

Pastor Gary Crawford
This morning I will be driving to Tyler, TX, and then fly onto DFW.  From there I will be flying to Pittsburg, PA.  Evangelist Allen Domelle will be picking me up at the airport.  

We will be preaching together tonight and then in a round robin event on Sunday. Then on Monday night we will come together to hold a meeting at the Bristoria Baptist Church pastored by our good friend Gary Crawford.  Looking forward to the meetings.  This dear pastor and family have sacrificed to build this work in Bristoria.  He and his family lived in the basement of this church in order to start the work.   This is an amazing story.

If you are in the area please come by and join us in our Monday night meeting. 

TWO NEW BOOKS COMING SOON




These are being in the final stages of proofing and I hope you will take advantage of these books.   If you loved WHEN PRINCIPLE WAS KING you will certainly love these two new books.   


GOTTA LOVE THE OLD TIME RELIGION!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

UNITY, A WORD THAT CONCERNS ME!

I must make a confession.  There are certain words that when I hear them they send up red flags in my mind.  They are words that usually are misused and used in a self serving manner.  One such word is the word "legalism."  When I hear it I usually can predict what is coming next. The person is making their case against "standards" or more often defending their lesser ones.  They have them, but they are usually not as strong as they use the word legalist to JUDGE another's motive or heart. The word "preferences"is another.  I always find it interesting that people can decide what are my preferences over my convictions.  However, neither of those words are the ones I want to address.

"Unity" is the word I would like to discuss.  It is a word that absolutely sets off sirens in my mind, but it is especially disconcerting when I read an article by a stalwart in the independent Baptist world lauding it.  I recently read such an article and when I was finished I was very concerned.   I read the article very slowly, carefully, and prayerfully to make certain I was NOT reacting.  I waited a few days before responding wondering...hoping that I had read it wrong.  Then another man I respect sheepishly asked me if I had read the article.  I confirmed I had. All he said was, "It concerns me."

The author is a good man.  He is in no danger of being a heretic or falling off the fundamental ledge.  He is sincere and a man I greatly love and admire.  I would not separate with him over this article for he has stood faithful for too long for me to doubt him.  I do not write this even as a rebuke towards him.  This is more of a mild warning...a nudge so to speak.  I will not call him out and I will not attack him.  Allow me to speak in principled terms.

1. UNITY IS ALMOST ALWAYS A MISUNDERSTOOD CONCEPT.  Satan loves the world "unity," but that does not make it a bad word.  Unity appeals to the flesh of people basically.  If you want a loud chorus of "AMENS" just speak of unity.  The weak will love you for it.  The women will praise you when you speak of it.  Unfortunately the word is far too often a cry for compromise rather than a plea for oneness.

Unity comes from the word union.  It is a sister word to unify.  Therefore, I must be careful with whom I want to have unity with.  Satan loves unions. He promotes them.  If he can get us to form unions he has a better chance to pervade us.  He takes independent men and brings them into unify and destroys the very thing that made them strong.  We don't need his kind of unity, but he is very graft in making it look and sound so appealing.
2. UNITY IS MOST OFTEN A WORD TO DESCRIBE AN ORDAINED RELATIONSHIP.  We should be in unity with God.  We should have unity in the home as well as in the local church.  However, that is where most unity should end.  To have unity anywhere else means I must be in a union with you.  Forgive me, but outside my relationship with God, my family, and my church I am not much interested in forming unions or having unity.

3. UNITY NECESSITATES SAMENESS.  If I unite I am typically agreeing to accept you and your beliefs or you mine.  Unions are typically political and require some control.  That is not what God wants for me.  My independence requires that I avoid unity.  My beliefs and principles do as well.

4. SATAN LOVES TO MAKE US THINK WE HAVE LOST SOMETHING WE ONCE HAD.  One statement that greatly concerned me in the article I read was that we were once unified more than we are today.  Now, I don't know what history book that man has been reading, but in my study I have seldom seen much unity between independents.  Don't buy into that!  Study the unity between the great Christian leaders of the past and you will find that they fought over many issues and some of them were even minor.  They were not unified.  Paul and Barnabas weren't.  Paul and Peter weren't.  I could follow that all the way throughout church history.




5. I THINK THIS MAN MISTOOK UNITY FOR HARMONY.  I love to be in harmony because then I can be what I am and you can be what you are and we can be harmonious about it.  I do not want unity in the Republican Party because that will mean compromise and I do not want it in fundamentalism.  We can have harmony however.  We can be in harmony over doctrines of the faith.  Harmony allows me to write this article.  Unity would not.  I seek to be in harmony with fellow fundamentalists, but that does not mean we will not separate over certain things.  I can separate with you and still be in harmony with you.  Dr. Jack Hyles used to call it "agreeing to disagree."  Dr. Hyles stopped preaching with a certain man who he still supported financially for he could not be in unity, but he could be in harmony.







6. WHO ARE YOU TO SAY WHAT MY PREFERENCES ARE?  Dr. Hyles strongly believed in women not wearing pants.  That was a belief or a conviction.  You can call it a preference, if it is not your belief, but it was his belief.  He did not separate over it, but he did try to be consistent about it.  He invited a couple to Pastors' School to teach.  Later he discovered that she openly wore pants.  He wrote them a sweet and loving letter and explained his position.  He did not condemn her and in face spoke highly of their ministry.  He included a more than generous love offering check that was far more than he would have given normally.  Now you can say it was a preference, but who are you to tell him what his "preference" was?  That is prideful and arrogant.  These dear folks were gracious and understanding because of the kind way Brother Hyles handled the situation.



Some men call things preferences because they changed.  Some of the things you call preferences I call a conviction.  You are certainly not practicing what you preach when you attempt to define MY BELIEFS.  That said, not all of my convictions are based upon what I expect you to believe.  Therefore, I want harmony, but not unity.  I would not have some people speak for me who I would support.  A conviction is something I have been convinced or convicted of for my life and my ministry.  It is high time we threw out the word preference in assuming on another what we think. That is wrong!




7. UNITY REQUIRES ME TO ACCEPT FRIENDS THAT I REFUSE TO ACCEPT BECAUSE OF WHERE I THINK THEY MAY LEAD.  Let me give you an example.  I have strong feelings against calling the Sunday morning preaching service a "worship service."  I think it is unscriptural and I believe it is going the wrong direction.  I am not a proponent of one who uses a "worship team" to replace the old fashioned adult church choir.  I will not condemn you for it.  I will not call you out personally, but you can be guaranteed I will not form a union with you.  Some make fun of positions like this because they do not see the bigness I see and the dangerous destination I see.  We are following a hazardous trend.  Unity says, some of it really doesn't matter. I beg to differ.  It does matter because of WHERE the trend started and WHERE it will lead too.

Do not miss this statement.  I do not want to have unity with someone who has unity with someone I deem to be spiritually menacing.  If you are getting your ideas from someone I think is unpredictable spiritually then I do not want to even get close to you.  If you are willing to be influenced by someone I do not want to be influenced by then it may be best for me to stay away.  I do not hate you.  I do not want to fight you, but I do not want to catch what you are exposing yourself too.

8. DO NOT TALK TO ME ABOUT FELLOWSHIP.  Some will tell you that we need unity so we can fellowship. Why?  I don't get it!  There are certain good men I don't plan on having fellowship with.  Quite frankly, I am scared of them.  They are hanging out with and reading from the wrong people and I do not want to like them too much or I may be attracted to them and follow them off the cliff.  Let me explain something Dr. Hyles often spoke of, he said I do not fellowship with a man based upon where he is, but on which direction he is going.

Let me illustrate.  I do not plan on having fellowship with a man who attends Rick Warren's conferences or has his staff meet with the staff of the Crystal Cathedral in order to glean something to use.  I refuse to allow Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, or Robert Schuler influence me either directly or indirectly.   Therefore, I plan to have no unity with those who allow these men to influence them even in the slightest manner.  Admiration leads to influence and influence leads to compromise and direction.  I will be in harmony, but not unity. I will be kind to them, but I am not going to fellowship with them.  As Dr. Hyles used to say, "I may like them too much and I don't want to like them too much because they may affect me."




9. WE ARE IN CAMPS.  We have always been in camps.  We always will be in camps.  My friend's article criticized camps. However, camps are good not bad.  Maybe you want us all to come together and attend YOUR conference of choice and sing "Kumbaya," but that isn't going to happen.  Fundamentalism has many camps which all have their own unique personalities and flavor.  It has always been that way.  These camps are all doing good and trying to reach souls and take a stand as they see it.  Stop attempting to unify them because once you do we will sink to the lowest common denominator.

Splitting is what preserves us.  We are all part of a split not a union.  We divide and then multiply.  We divide and conquer NOT unite and conquer!

10. REAL MOVEMENTS HAVE NO HEADQUARTERS.  They may have many outposts, but no Vatican.  Some may have their outpost in Hammond, IN, or perhaps in Longview, TX, or Long Beach, CA, or Lancaster, CA, or Lexington, KY, or even Murfreesboro, TN, or any number of places. 

Are we supposed to all unit and HOPE we do not all lose the distinctiveness God has given each of us.  Certainly this is an antithesis of all God had in mind.

Now lest I be accused of missing the point of the article may I humbly submit that I DID NOT!  I get it loud and clear and it was not accurate.  In fact, it was important enough that I knew I had to address it.  I love my dear brother very much, yet in truth he has split from me and he knows it.  It is obviously not over doctrine.  He would not preach with me, endorse me, write a review of my book on Dr. Hyles, in fact he has refused to cooperate with me, yet he writes on unity. Amazing! I cannot help but wonder if what he is asking for is for all of us to unify with him and his group.  I must say I sense some serious hypocrisy here.

Unity, in the right context is wonderful, but apart from it is dangerous and potentially lethal to what we are and what we believe.

11. DIRECTION DETERMINES DESTINATION.  Unity means we are walking together and I may not want to go where you are going.  How can two walk together lest they be agreed.  Sometimes secondary separation is necessary to protect me from the influence of the one who is influencing you.

I must protect the integrity of my influence therefore I cannot unite with those whose influences may hurt the ones I influence.  I cannot go to Rick Warren's conference because while I may be able to discern between the good and the bad those I influence may not.

Some methods come from flawed ideology.  Accept the method and eventually you will accept the ideology. A good example is "worship" talk.  The words, "worship service" may not be bad, but they are attached to flawed ideology as well as flawed theology.  Just because there is a good food in the dumpster does not mean I am going to feed my family food out of the dumpster.  Good ideas may come out of the dumpster of the liberals, but do I really want to build my church on dumpster ideas? NO!

The hottest guy out there may not be the guy I want to be joined at the hip.  I may sense troubling trends that make me keep my distance.  I am not going to fight him, but I am not going to be told I should unite with him.

JUST A THOUGHT!


Saturday, May 4, 2013

FLYING TO ATLANTA TO PREACH

I will be driving to Shreveport once again this morning to catch a flight to DFW and then on to Atlanta, GA.   I will be teaching and preaching at the MOUNT ZION BAPTIST CHURCH of Whiteburg, GA, just outside of Atlanta.   One of our TEXAS BAPTISTS COLLEGE graduates Pastor Dexter Landers Jr. is the pastor.  He was one of our bus division captains at LONGVIEW BAPTIST TEMPLE years ago.  In fact he built the division up to 10 Sunday school bus routes.   He is a great soul winner and is doing a wonderful job outside of Atlanta.

TWO NEW BOOKS COMING SOON




The proofers are going over these two new books as of today.  It is a long process and a lot of work, but necessary.  If you loved WHEN PRINCIPLE WAS KING I believe you will love these two books.  I have several other ideas also for future books in my mental hopper.   

If you have not purchased WHEN PRINCIPLE WAS KING you may still do so by calling 903-576-1307 or email dayres5@juno.com or email myself at bgraysr@me.com.  It is a 408 page hardback book with a beautiful dust jacket.  There are 33 chapters with three divisions.   

One man recently emailed me to say he has read the book 10 times and gains something new every time.   A preacher from Ireland has contacted me about purchasing cases of the two new books TRIAL BY FIRE-Satan's Attack on Independent Baptists and JACK HYLES-The Communicator

GOTTA LOVE THE OLD TIME RELIGION!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

HETEROSEXUAL OR HOMOSEXUAL?

I AM NOT A HETEROSEXUAL!





Now the statement may start some immediate confusion as to what I am going to say next.  A declaration like this only seems to demand a follow up statement as to what I am.  You are absolutely correct, so here it is.

I AM a Christian! Ok.  There you have it. Huh? What's that you say?  You think I have left something wide open?  You think that I need to declare what I am?  I did.  I AM a Christian, but not a heterosexual.  Still confused?  You  are wondering what kind of                        sexual I am?  I see you are confused.  You think that I have to declare myself to be some kind of sexuality?  I get it.

Well, I am going to have to disagree with you.  For me to declare that I am heterosexual would mean that I believe there is an alternative, which I don't.  You see society builds relationships off of our sexuality, but God does not.  Society says pick your sexuality and then your mate.  Sorry, but that is putting the cart way before the horse.  Our job is not to pick our sexuality and then find our purpose.  Our job is to find our purpose and let God worry about the rest.



Homosexuality is the result of misplaced sexuality.  It is the result of man seeking to find himself rather than seeking to find God.  If we found God before we found ourselves we would never have to find ourselves because God never misplaced us. 

Man wants to define God by us.  However, God expects us to be defined by Him.  Sexuality is not the means to find ourselves.  Nor is the end that we are to be seeking.  Sexuality is the byproduct of finding God's will and purpose, which was made very clear early in the Bible in the story of creation.  God makes man for HIS purpose.  God gives man a woman as an helpmeet.  Man knows his wife in a sexual union.  End of story.

Now here is the problem.  Man wants to believe that desire dictates direction.  We want to say, "Oh, I believe this so I will go in this direction."   That is so backwards that it isn't funny, it is foolish.  Yet, it is exactly what we have done with sexuality. We allow a desire to be created and then we expect God to follow along and bless.  God becomes sub servant to man in that scenario.  We were made for His pleasure, not the other way around.



Here is the seriousness of this.  Once we have decided to allow sexuality to be the horse that pulls the cart of our direction all bets are off.  Who is then to say which sexual desires are admissible and which ones are not.  Now we will be allowed an abundance of terms to pick from. Once we pick our flavor then we decide how we are going to live our lives and dare the Bible or Bible believers get in our way.  

What ever you do, don't say you were born this way because there are at least two serious problems with that statement.  First, that means God is confused because man was made in the image of God and God is not confused about how He made us or about His image. Secondly, that can become the argument for every desire that man has.

If I was born with the desire to steal is that acceptable?  If I was born with the desire to have sex with animals does that make it not wrong?  That is silly!  You were born with a sin nature.  You are to be born again and then to present your body as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God.  What does that mean?  It means we are to be "chaste."  How can one be chaste while still submitting to sexual desire or "preferences" to lead them?  You will not find much chastity in a society that defines direction by sexual preference.




Now why do I refuse to define myself as a heterosexual?  if I define myself as one then I am acknowledging that there is an alternative label.  God did not give such labels.  In fact in the Bible homosexuality was not given the respect to be even called a name.  Instead God simply describe it as an unnatural act.  God does not allow Satan to force him to give a name to a perversion of His Divine purpose.

"And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another, men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet."  Romans 1:27

Isn't that interesting?  God does not even lower Himself to give it a name.  He merely describes it for what it is unnatural.  He refuses to give it legitimacy.  God calls it what it is, but what do we do?  We fall into the trap of accepting these labels as legit.  

One man says, "I am a red blooded, God fearing heterosexual male."   Hey bro, I have news for you.  The God fearing part negated the need for the heterosexual part.  If you are God fearing then sex is a part of the purpose God has within your marriage.

Once something is labeled, then society says I must decide what I am to do about it.  So, next society asks us not to be prejudiced against those who were "born that way."  If we don't, then they label us as "homophobes."  They say we are afraid of someone who has denied the authority of God. NOPE, not at all!  I merely refuse to add those involved to a certain sin as a legitimate demographic that I am forced to make any decision regarding.  

When I was a young boy I did not have to decide what I was sexually, but rather Whose I was spiritually.  Once that was determined chastity was assumed.  I presented my body to God and He took me from there to being married to a woman.  

The only things that came out of the closets in my youth were my clothes or baseball bats and gloves.  Today we make heroes out of men who declare their sexuality and goats out of men who declare their Saviour. Sin has been given precedence over righteousness.

Here is our decision regarding those who commit those acts described in Romans 1:27.  They are sinners who must be saved just like all other sinners who must be saved in order to go to Heaven.  Once they are saved they are to become morally chaste just like a man living in adultery or a couple living together outside of marriage.  

They have allowed a desire to define their lifestyle so they will have to go through the process that all sinners experience who have to give up a sin while God transforms them.  When a Christian comes toward Christ after salvation God purges them in order for them to be conformed to the image of Christ.  I cannot change them, but God can just like he does all who come to Christ.



I will not put a sign outside the church advertising that we are "gay friendly."  I hope everyone in town knows we are "sinner friendly."  I will not recognize them as a demographic any more than I will make the adulterers a demographic. 

An evangelical recently wrote an article on what churches need to do about the homosexual community.  It was and is lunacy!  First, stop thinking that it is our problem.  Our problem is getting sinners to trust Christ and then pointing them to a chaste lifestyle, NOT advertising that a certain segment can come and feel accepted in their sin.  We accept them as sinners in our services, but we cannot acknowledge their lifestyle as acceptable or viable.




So, the world wants to know if we are going to stop our gay bashing.  I am not a "gay basher."  I AM however a sin-hating preacher.  I will call sin by name, at least the ones that have a name, which actually this one does not, other than the Bible word "sodomy."  God simply calls it unnatural.  Perhaps we should just do what Paul did in the book of Romans and tell what the sin is without the name.  

I do not plan to damn souls to Hell by refusing to preach against sin.  If they do not understand the awfulness of sin how can they know their need for a Saviour?  I have no choice, but to call sin out.  I must!  My question is when are they going to stop their chastity bashing?



What about the man who is not born with a sexual desire for women?  Again, we have a problem because we are starting the conversation with the word "desire."  We are saying that sexual "desire" is to dictate the "direction" of our lives.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Here is the answer to that which applies to all of us.  Find God! 

He will direct your desires, but He will never violate His law.  God will never give a man sexual desires to another man.  He will either lead you to a woman for whom you will have "desire" or He will allow you to serve Him in a life of "chastity." The Apostle Pau may or may not have had a desire for a woman, but what he did have was a "desire" to honor His God.

So, what is the point?  It is this.  I refuse to play Satan's game!  I refuse to legitimize a sin as an alternative lifestyle and then respond by acknowledging their labels.  We are losing our language and the definition of words to liberals.