Follow by Email

Saturday, August 24, 2013

FLYING TO MAINE TO TEACH AND PREACH

I usually fly American Airlines because the hub is in DFW.  Today I will be flying United Airlines and it will be a long day. I will go from Shreveport, LA, to Houston, TX, to Washington D. C., and then on to Portland, ME.  I will teaching and preaching at the VICTORY BAPTIST CHURCH of Winthrop, ME.  My friend Pastor Rick Walter is the pastor of this good church.

I am meticulously going through JACK HYLES-The Communicator in order to finalize it for printing.  TRIAL BY FIRE is ready for the presses.  I hope to have the other completely ready for the presses by next week.  These two books will be offered at a discount to churches and bookstores if ordered by the case.  This is a little unique in that both books will be in one case of 16.  So there will be 8 of each in a case of 16.   

These are 384 page hardback books with beautiful dust jackets. Most books today are merely sermons put into print, but these are not.  I believe these books will cause the reader to think.

I would love for every young Christian to read these two books. I believe the 384 pages of material of each will be of tremendous help in understanding our heritage.  There is nothing wrong with Fundamentalism. There may be some things wrong with some fundamentalists, but certainly nothing wrong with fundamentalism.   





You can pre-order by calling 903-576-1307 or emailing dayres5@yahoo.com.  The last book WHEN PRINCIPLE WAS KING sold quickly and I would not wait to take advantage of this pre-order.  CALL TODAY!

GOTTA LOVE SERVING OUR LORD!


Friday, August 23, 2013

RELATIONSHIPS?




When I first began to write this article I had another title. I was going to call it "Christianity Is Not a Relationship." I decided to minimize the hate mail a bit and changed the title. There seems to be a catch phrase that has caught on and gained momentum like an avalanche . I hear it and read it everywhere both among liberals and among independent Baptists. It is a cutesy little statement, "Christianity is a relationship." Another version is, "Christianity is not a religion. It is a relationship."

Now, how could anyone, other than a Westboro Baptist Church type of Christian argue with this? I mean it sounds good and on the surface there is some truth to it, but it falls short of being totally true. Unfortunately this did not start with those of us who are fundamental Christians. It started with the New Age Christians. It was meant as a "put down" of anyone who preached against sin and for standards and convictions. It minimized the authority of the Scriptures and maximized a contemplative type of "Christianity."

Allow me to amend the statement a bit. Here is my version. Relationship is the by-product of obedience. In fact all relationships are actually by-products. We know that David was called "the man after God's own heart," but this was the by-product of the life David lived in obedience to God. Abraham was called the "friend of God," but again this was after the fact of his faith and obedience.

We are told that we are God's friend IF we do whatsoever He commands us to do. We are servants until that time. If we were accurate we would have to say that "Christianity is service to God." You are not God's friend unless you obey Him. Relationship is never sought after but gained as a by-product of doing what we ought to do. 

When I met my wife I made a decision to love her. I set out not to have a great relationship with my wife but to do what the Bible commanded me to do as a husband. Today after almost 50 years of marriage I can say that we have a great relationship. I don't think we ever sat around and discussed having a great relationship. 
We were too busy serving one another and raising a family together to worry about a relationship, but our commitment to the institution of marriage, to God and to being what we were supposed to be gave us a great relationship. Sometimes we spent more "quiet time" together than others. When the kids were small we fought for quiet time but our relationship was growing because we were still honoring our vows and serving one another.

When my four children were born I did not raise them to have a good relationship with me. I raised them to be obedient, to have character, to have morals and to become what God wanted them to be. The relationship was a bit one sided. They did what I said and I didn't do what they said. I gave the orders and they obeyed. When I told one of my sons to mow the grass, he did not say, "But dad, I just want to have a good relationship with you, after all dad, 'family life is a relationship.'" Had he said that he would have broken the relationship by not obeying me.

Samuel even told Saul "Obedience is better than sacrifice." What was Samuel saying. He was saying the relationship of sacrifice takes a back seat to obeying the commands of God. So perhaps we should say that Christianity is not a relationship. It is obedience.

My sons are now my friends because they learned to do what I said. When I gave the command they obeyed me and the relationship was good. If not, well the relationship was not so good. This "Christianity is a relationship" portrays God as not caring what we do as long as we are close to Him. That is nonsense.

We get close to God by obeying Him. Period. End of sentence. Faith is not a feeling. It is trusting God enough to do what He says to do. The Bible is replete with the stories of those who became friends of God after they had learned to trust Him.

Certainly Jesus had a relationship with his disciples but it was student/teacher relationship. Truthfully it was a rather one sided "relationship" up to and even after His death and resurrection. They messed up over and over again and didn't even recognize Him on the road to Emmaus. He told them specifically how to be His friend and it wasn't more "quiet time." It was more obedience.

We must never forget that there are conditions on relationships. Jesus said IF you obey my commandments, THEN you are my friends. I have never had a relationship that was based upon the relationship itself but on the conditions of that particular situation. As a student at Hyles Anderson College I did what my professors told me and eventually built a relationship with them. 

Relationships are built from the position of authority to the position of submission. Let me explain. I developed a close relationship with Dr. Hyles over the years. We did not ever just hang out together. Many tried harder to be close to him than I did. Let me tell you what I did do. I filled his coffee cup when it was empty. I honored him every chance I got. I served him in any way he needed.

I was his servant and he once said, "Dr. Gray, you are closer to me than most people who want and seek to be close to me." Honestly I was not seeking to be close to him. I wanted to learn from him and in so doing we became close.

Jesus said, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." Interesting. The way to rest in Christ is servanthood. It is taking on the yoke. It was easy to serve Brother Hyles. It was never burdensome. It was never a "task." It was my delight and the by-product was a close relationship with Him. The way we get comfortable with God is by taking on His yoke. 

This contemplative style of Christianity is nothing more than what the charismatics do. It is based upon feelings and emotions. We have contemplative Bible reading where we feel God speaking to us. Well, faith does not come by feeling. It comes by hearing. We have contemplative prayer where we listen for God to speak to us. Friend, that is not what prayer is. That is nothing more than seeking for a "word of knowledge" without calling it that.

The Bible is where God speaks to us and through His Spirit we are led to understand His Word. Prayer is where we speak to God. Quiet time is important but you will not build a close relationship with the Lord during quiet time. You will build it throughout the day by obeying what you learned in that quiet time.

This touchy-feely Christianity today has led to error and compromise and a false notion of what it means to be close to God. We "praise and worship" Him on Sundays and it feels good, then we go out and comfortably live in direct contradiction to the Scriptures. We make this generation feel good by telling them that relationship is all that matters and anyone who says otherwise is just a legalist. "Ignore those fundamentalists because they are just about rules and not relationship."

Well, my friend, I am 68 years old and I have to tell you that I am more at rest with God today than I have ever been. I cannot tell you that He calls me a friend but I can tell you that He has given the peace that comes from living a life in obedience to Him. Some day when I stand before Him I hope he says, "Well done Bob, my good and faithful SERVANT. You were faithful in a few things and you proved to be a good friend."


GOTTA LOVE THE OLD TIME RELIGION! 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

TEACHING AND PREACHING IN GAINESVILLE, TX

I will be driving to Gainesville, TX, to teach and preach at the CROSSROADS BAPTIST CHURCH.   Pastor Steve Adams is the pastor and I am looking forward to a great weekend with him and his people.  This church has a great heritage of being a solid fundamental Baptist Church with a soul winning legacy.

I will be teaching Sunday school, preaching Sunday morning, Sunday night, and a special service on Monday night at 7 pm.  If you are in the area please take the time to attend on Monday night. I am looking forward to seeing you.  There will be a book table set up so you will have an opportunity to purchase one of my 31 books.  

UPDATE ON MY TWO NEW BOOKS






Last week on my flight back from New York, for the 20th time, I read from cover to cover the manuscript for my book TRIAL BY FIRE-Satan's Attacks On Independent Baptist. I believe this will be a worth while read for those who love the Independent Baptist movement.  It will be an easy read and in some cases hard to digest.  The proofers have given the final ok on TRIAL BY FIRE.  The printer will be receiving it this week.

Likewise, the book JACK HYLES-The Communicator, will give more light on the principles that allowed Dr. Jack Hyles to be the self assured servant of God that he exhibited in his life and ministry.  God's hand was on this man of God.  

The very fact that he still is the center of conversation and in the limelight after being dead for 12 years is amazing to me.  His imprint certainly has been left on the religious scene. He is one of the fathers' of the big church movement in America and the first to run 20,000 in attendance in Sunday school.

The proofers are finalizing their work on this book and hopefully within the next week it will be finished and sent to the printers. I am thrilled with the content and I believe you will be also. 

If you loved WHEN PRINCIPLE WAS KING then you will love these two books.  If you love aggressive soul winning, old-fashioned churches, old-fashioned preaching, etc., you will love and learn from these two new books. Be careful if you are an Emerging church enthusiast you will not like these books.  However if you love the old time religion you will be encouraged by their content.



PRE-ORDER BOTH NOW

If you will call 903-546-1307 or email dayres@juno.com you may pre-order at a discount if you order by the case of 16.  They will be delivered directly to you from the printer in MN.  Both will be a 384 page hardback book with a beautiful dust jacket.  I believe these books will be referenced too for years to come.  PRE-ORDER BOTH NOW!

GOTTA LOVE THE OLD TIME RELIGION!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

MY INDEPENDENT PASTOR SONS



My INDEPENDENT, Fundamental, Soul Winning, Separated, Baptist Pastor Sons



How much more could a man who has been in the ministry for four decades ask? Mrs. Gray and I are certainly blessed to have these qualities represent our sons. We are equally blessed to have two wonderful Christian daughters and two hard-working sons-in-law and two fine daughter-in-laws as well. 
However, I often find myself having mixed emotions because of one of those qualities that describe my sons, and that is the word INDEPENDENT. I find that sometimes my own independence is challenged by their independence. I pride myself on being independent, but then I have to fight to accept theirs. 

independent |ˌindəˈpendənt|adjective
free from outside control; not depending on another'sauthority: the study is totally independent of central government |Canada's largest independent investment firm.
• (of a countryself-governing: India became independent in 1947.• not influenced or affected by others; impartial: a thorough and independent investigation of the case.• ( Independent ) historical Congregational.

1. They are independent sons. Imperfect, but principled. They are full blooded Gray's, good, bad and ugly. I'm not sure which attribute applies to whom? They were typical boys with typical boy attitudes and actions.  Overall they honestly were a joy. To this day all three of us are still very competitive by nature.  Bob and Scott were close to their mother.  They not only bonded with each other, but they were, and still are, loved deeply by their sisters. 
Scott was more of a scrappier type youngster than Bob: yet, both were very similar in their strength concerning their beliefs. Scott was practically born preaching.  Even as a grade schooler he would preach to his sisters. They never did get right with God, according to him. Ha! He loved going with me to hear Dr. Jack Hyles, Dr. Lee Roberson, Dr. John R. Rice, Dr. John Rawlings, etc.   
Bob was a teenager before he surrendered his life to full time service.  He was my youth director for 21 years and was one of the best in the nation.  Both boys were raised in a fundamental home with a strong mother who enforced what dad wanted. Spankings and discipline were a part of their upbringing.   
Through the consistency of discipline and the teaching of Bible truths, they developed Bible principles that to this day run deep in their souls. They embraced being independent without making it a cross.  They explored independence within Biblical boundaries. 
In their four decades of life, they have explored independence within Biblical perimeters and landed on their feet as men. 
Every parent faces the empty nest phase at some point and with that comes the differentiation and display of independence in their adult children.  Our children are not any different then anyone else's children.  They do not do it like I would do it and neither do I expect them too.   
After my retirement as the pastor of the Longview Baptist Temple of Longview, TX, in 2009, the church voted 96% for Bob II to be their pastor.   Frankly, I am a little jealous because LBT called me by a 76% vote with a base line of 75%.  Bob went from being a youth director to pastor, in the same church, and is doing an admirable work.   
Scott worked for Texas Baptist College and then went to work for Pastor Tony Hutson in Murfreesboro, TN.  Scott was placed in charge of the different ministries under Pastor Hutson.  As a result Scott developed a myriad of skills.   
Upon leaving there he went to Hammond, IN, to work for Hyles-Anderson College and a ministry to the children in the public school system. God allowed him to reach literally thousands of public school children. Scott's work with thousands of young people in that public school environment help hone those skills he possessed even more. He had a deep love for those public school children.
Just recently Scott was called to pastor the Liberty Baptist Church of Durham, NC, by a 99% vote.  Both sons are tremendous pulpiteers and cherish their independence.  Yet, the preaching element only exists because of their love for those to whom they minister. 
As adult men of God they have cemented their Bible principles in concrete.  Yes, they are both imperfect, but for sure they are principled in their ministries.  Their passion is easily spotted.  They have developed an insulation rather than an isolation attitude about their ministries. 
Their independence has not been imposed on them because of their last name of Gray.
2. They are independent pastors. They both have a pastor's heart. Bob loved his teenagers dearly and during those days, as their youth director, he developed not only leadership skills by serving, but a godly love for each of his teens.  His counseling skills were developed in his involvement with their parents.  His ability to deal with delicate relationships filled his tool box for his calling as pastor of LBT.   
Scott's work with Pastor Hutson in the organizational area helped him develop his skills.  Scott's work with the public school young people unveiled and revealed his heart for people.  His work at Hyles-Anderson College further developed his insight.  
They both have traveled almost every state in the union preaching in local churches and as a result found the necessity to deal with pastoral challenges.  The key to their future is found in the obvious heart they have for people.  Bob loves his people and Scott loves his people.  They both understand the responsibilities of being a man of God for the people of God. 
They are living for a purpose and not a position. 
As they grew in separate ministries they were able to supplement without substituting.  All of this was bathed in independence.  While being independent is not new it is new.  
They conduct their pastorates differently.  They do things I would not do and they do things the other would not do.  To do things differently is not bad. The bad comes when we do wrong.  When we do right differently that is called independence. 
As they grew spiritually in separate ministries they were able to supplement without substituting.  Every wind of doctrine that came their way did not intrigue them.
Dr. Jack Hyles was pleased with Longview Baptist Temple's National Soul Winning Clinic.  Its foundation was a by-product of the Pastors' School of First Baptist Church of Hammond.  Our Clinic was different and yet the same. He liked our independence.   
Likewise I love my sons' independence. Thus, we should never object to independence as long as it is supported by Biblical truths.
3. They are independently Baptists. They are not afraid of being old-fashioned in their beliefs. They are local New Testament church proponents. They are extremely proud of their Baptist heritage. Their churches are not following the fads of the culturally based post-modernism of the emerging church crowd.   
Both of them have Baptist on their signs. In the Old Testament a person could not be a priest if they were "flat nosed."   If a man of God cannot spot and smell liberalism lurking in the shadows he will succumb to the wiles of liberal Evangelical tendencies.
These sons of ours are Baptist with a big "B" and they know why they believe what they believe.  I cannot begin to tell you how thrilled we are as parents when we hear them preach the Holy Scriptures.  I see in them exactly what Jack Hyles, Lee Roberson, Lester Roloff, and John R. Rice had in mind for a second generation fundamentalist.   
They love the old-hymns.  They love old-time preaching.  They love old-time standards.  They love their heritage.  They are bold.  They are spirit-filled. They are family oriented.
Now they may do certain things differently, but the attribute of independence is not wrong.  It is that independent spirit that will give their ministries life. It is that independent spirit that brings courage in the fight to stay independent. Perhaps they may not go soul winning at the same time, but they will go soul winning.   
They may not have the same level of separation from the world, but they will separate from the world.  They may not have the same requirements for Sunday school teachers and workers, but they will have requirements for their workers.

4. They are independently separated. I have discovered something here.  I thought Mrs. Gray and I were right wingers, but the truth is these sons of ours have made us look like moderates.  They are stricter in some areas than we were. 
They do not hold to the same list of issues as brothers, but they are faithful to their convictions.  I have never known either of them to back down from their separation standards because of peer pressure.  They were never exposed to cursing, dirty jokes, etc., in their time at home.  Hollywood was not an influence in our home.
They never fought our standards or level of separation.  They have embraced the Biblical principles of separation by choice.  They will teach their level of separation to their people faithfully.  Hold it!  Although they teach and preach separation it does not mean they have the same depth of separation.   
The independence of each is a strength not a weakness.  God is not in favor of homogenized men or ministries.  We learn from each other and then apply applicable things to our own ministries without demanding each other to do the same.

5. They are independently soul winners.  I took each of them soul winning with me in their youth and they quickly fell in love with personal soul winning.  As teens they were some of the best personal soul winners in our church.  I have observed them as they have taught their children, our grandchildren, to be personal soul winners. 
It was an annual thing for us at our house to tally up our baptismal numbers as a family.  Our highest year was 475 as a family.  This was before our children married.  Their life has always been immersed in one on one soul winning and public professions of those converts.  They continue to go soul winning as pastors.
They may use a different approach in their personal soul winning, but they are both still going and winning souls to the Saviour.   
Scott has a unique way of dealing with Jehovah Witnesses and Mormons.  It works for him and God has blessed his approach in soul winning.   
Bob may go in a different direction in his soul winning presentation, but it works for him.  They are independent in their soul winning, but still dependent on the same Gospel.

6.They are independently fundamental. Their stand on the King James Bible for English speaking people is solid. They stand against the theological position of the Charismatics, emerging church philosophy, progressive church teachings, Southern Baptists, and Evangelicals. 
Their opposition to ecclesiastical oneness has been a hallmark for them.  Their anti-universal church theory and pro-local church has been a doctrinal plank in their platform for their ministries. They are Baptist preachers and unashamed about it. 
They oppose baptismal regeneration and a works salvation. They are not Protestants. They are Baptists. Whatever you associate with being a fundamentalist you will find these sons of ours right on target.  

However, that does dictate being in lockstep with each other or with me.   The Scripture tells us, "greater works than these shall ye do."   
I received what Dr. Hyles taught and added to it and perfected some things (according to him) that helped build our ministry.  This was ok with him.  My sons will also take what I have taught and perfect it. Greater works cannot be accomplished without independence.

7.They are independently independent. Now here is the one I have a love/hate relationship with. They do not carry out all of the above exactly the same as their old dad or each other for that matter. Sometimes I love that. Sometimes I hate it. 
I was a big proponent of the Thursday Night Soul Winning program while Bob moved it to Wednesday night. Someone said, "Dr. Hyles would never do that!"  My answer was simple, "Dr. Hyles never had a Thursday night soul winning program." That did not make Dr. Hyles wrong, me wrong, or Bob wrong, but we all had organized soul winning programs.
I held a Sunday night preaching service at 7 pm while Bob moved it to 6 pm.  There will be many things that we do differently, but that does not matter in the whole scheme of things.   
He is a soul winner and leads his church to have a soul winning time.  He still has Sunday night preaching while some are going to Sunday night "home cell groups." 
We will all do things differently, but let us make sure they are the same Biblical things that are just done differently. Scott will even do things differently than his brother Bob.  
This is not unsatisfactory as long as it does not violate Biblical principle.  Their churches should follow their pastor's lead and never compare how I did it to how they are doing it in their ministries.  Neither should I compare how I did it to how they are doing it in their ministries. It is none of my business. JUST DO IT!
I am open to them at any time they wish to ask a question.  Until then it is none of my business and neither is it either of their business about each others' business.  
Recently Scott hired a young man to be his School Administrator. The buzz all over the Internet was that I had told Scott to hire this young man.  I have never discussed it with him nor he with me.  He never asked permission from me or his brother to hire this young man nor does he have too.  
It is hard for gossipers who have never run a hot dog stand to understand independence.  Scott has built and organized a successful ministry to thousands of public school kids.  The majority of these Internet critics have never succeeded at anything.   Dr. Evan's would say to us "Critique by building something bigger and better." Independence is healthy as long it is a spiritually healthy individual who possesses it.
Here is an idea...

1. We all differ in how we teach the   fundamentals.
2. We all have different soul winning programs
3. Our standards are strong but different
4. The way we pastor is different
5. We all preach differently

So, why should we treat the independence of other brethren less tolerably than I would my son's independence?

You gotta love being an INDEPENDENT Fundamental, Soul Winning, Separated, Baptist Pastor