Posts Tagged ‘Baptists’

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Giving Occasion to the Enemies of God – Pt. 3

Monday, September 7th, 2009

This is the third in a series addressing those who profess Christ and consider themselves Americans first and foremost. The point of this series is to educate everyone (not just born-again believers) on what the Scripture actually states concerning a proper attitude toward authority and toward those around us, both the froward and the good. As always, my prayer is that everyone learn what is the heart and mind of the LORD God. — In Christ, Paul W. Davis



As is now noted in Scripture, the born-again child of God is plainly considered a “stranger and pilgrim” on this earth. In fact, all believers, from the very beginning have been, and are, “strangers and pilgrims” on this earth and are “a peculiar people,” and “an holy nation.” It is clearly stated in Hebrews, Chapter 11, this began with Abel, and was plainly seen in the life of Abraham. Moreover, nothing has changed in the intervening millennia between Abel and now, and thus the fact that a born-again Believer is a stranger and pilgrim upon this earth continues to this day. This gives rise to the question about the allegiance of the believer, and where it primarily lies.

Now, I know that the vast majority of individuals out there, including a lot of “fundamental, independent Baptists” would say their allegiance lies with whatsoever country they happen to be a “citizen” of, meaning the country in which they physically reside. However, I must bring up the old cliche (which is a truism actually) of “Home is where the heart is.” What I mean by this is the question:

What makes an American, an American?

I ask that question because being an American is unique in the world, in that one is an American regardless of skin color, heritage, national origin, religion, or a host of other physical attributes that men look at. No, one is an American because one holds to a certain ideal — from the heart. Thus, being an American is a wonderful example and picture of a spiritual truth — that it is the total change in heart that makes one no longer a citizen of this world, as the Scripture plainly states:

Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:11-22)

Though the above passage speaks to Israel and the church as covenanted institutions of witness, it also speaks very plainly of the citizenship of the born-again Believer and states:

“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

By this, the Believer is NOT first and foremost a citizen of whatsoever country they happen to reside in. Rather, the Believer is first a citizen of the Kingdom of God, and second a citizen of whatsoever country they happen to reside in. It is this way because we are expressly told that we are, as born-again children of God, ambassadors to this world — and in the case of Steven Anderson (if so be he is born-again) and many others (myself included) — particularly to America:

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. (II Corinthians 5:17-20)

Since it is the case that Scripture demonstrates plainly that Believers are ambassadors to whatsoever country the LORD happens to place them in; as a born-again Believer, one should also understand what this demands of them:

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:1-2)

It always makes me smile to read the phrase “which is your reasonable service” . . .

To be continued . . .

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Giving Occasion to the Enemies of God – Pt. 2

Saturday, September 5th, 2009

This is the second in a series addressing those who profess Christ and consider themselves Americans first and foremost. The point of this series is to educate everyone (not just born-again believers) on what the Scripture actually states concerning a proper attitude toward authority and toward those around us, both the froward and the good. As always, my prayer is that everyone learn what is the heart and mind of the LORD God. — In Christ, Paul W. Davis



In looking at anything in Scripture, there must be a place to begin. With any subject in Scripture (or anything else for that matter) where you begin has a very great impact upon where you will end up, what conclusions you draw, and determinations you make concerning what is written. In short, where you begin is going to seriously affect your interpretation of Scripture. Thus, where we begin will also determine whether we are right or wrong before the LORD — and subsequently, whether we are in or out of the will of the LORD God. Additionally, the standard for saying what we say and doing what we do is not how men view us, our preaching, teaching, and our actions. Rather, it is whether the LORD God accepts what we say as being consistent with His word.1

Before we can make an accurate determination of whether it is right or not to call for the LORD God to slay someone and cast them into Hell for their behavior, we need to first establish what our own attitude and behavior ought to be. Now, I do not find Psalm 58 a proper place to begin to establish what our attitude and heart toward others ought to be. Why? Primarily because it is addressed to the wicked, and is a dissertation on judgement of the wicked. In short, it does not address the born-again child of God, and that child’s attitude and heart. To take it as an example of how one should set their heart and mind toward others is more than just a bit one-sided, and not balanced.

Thus, in beginning this examination of the Believer’s heart and mind and how it should be, we ought understand first that the LORD has already addressed in His word every situation we will ever encounter. Second, we should seek for a passage that does address a Believer’s heart, attitude, and behavior directly. Thus, we could understand from that point on, what the LORD God expects of us — His children. In addressing the Believer’s heart and mind (and thus attitude and behavior), I find in Scripture the following admonition with regard to the Believer’s interaction with this world:

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. (Matthew 10:16)

Now, this admonition came as part of the instruction the Lord Jesus Christ gave to the twelve when He sent them out to preach the Gospel. . . .

Hmmm . . .

And just what were we left here for after we were born-again . . .?

Aside from the fact that calling for the LORD God to slay someone and cast them into Hell goes far beyond the bounds of being “harmless as doves,” there is the larger, more fundamental issue of the Believer’s relationship with, and to, the world. Without establishing that relationship, the above admonition sits without a context to give it the full import and sense the LORD intended. Therefore, let us establish firmly what relationship the Believer has with this world and the people in it, beginning with te following definitive passage from I Peter:

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. (I Peter 2:9-12)

And again:

Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. (Hebrews 11:12-16)

I think the words “strangers,” and “pilgrims,” along with the phrases “a royal priesthood,” “an holy nation,” and “a peculiar people” ought to just stand out, especially since the idea of being a stranger and pilgrim is entirely foreign (no pun intended) to our basic nature, and also since the phrases speak of a people who are entirely different in the focus of their lives. Moreover, in the passage from Hebrews, Chapter 11, we are told that the heroes of the faith in the Old Testament sought an heavenly country, and had no desire to return to the country from whence they came. . .

To be continued . . .

  1. There is a word of warning here in case those who do not know, neither acknowledge the LORD God, think this is somehow a pass to preach and teach wrongly. The word of warning in Scripture is this:

    Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:19-20)

    Therefore, be forewarned — there is a very heavy price to pay for being wrong when you teach and preach the word of the LORD.

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Giving Occasion to the Enemies of God – Pt. 1

Saturday, September 5th, 2009

This is the first in a series addressing those who profess Christ and consider themselves Americans first and foremost. The point of this series is to educate everyone (not just born-again believers) on what the Scripture actually states concerning a proper attitude toward authority and toward those around us, both the froward and the good. As always, my prayer is that everyone learn what is the heart and mind of the LORD God. — In Christ, Paul W. Davis



On August 16th, Steve Anderson, pastor of Faithful Word Baptist Church of Tempe, Arizona delivered a message in which he plainly stated the following:

“Yeah, God appointed him to destroy this country for the wickedness of the United States of America. God appointed him because that’s what our country has turned into. That’s who we deserve as a president.

But let me tell you something: I don’t love Barack Obama. I don’t respect Barack Obama. I don’t obey Barack Obama. And I’d like Barack Obama to melt like a snail tonight. Because he needs to recompense, he needs to reap what he’s sown.

You see, any Christian will tell you that someone who commits murder should get the death penalty. Because that’s what it says in Genesis Chapter 9, that’s what it says in the Mosaic Law, that’s what it teaches us throughout the Bible. ‘Who so sheds man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed.’ ‘From the image of God created he Man.’

And when Barack Obama is gonna push his partial birth abortion, his salty saline solution abortion, hey, he deserves to be punished for what he’s done. I’m not going to pray for God to bless Barack Obama. This is my prayer tonight to Barack Obama.”1

And again:

“… And yet you’re going to tell me that I’m supposed to pray for the socialist devil, murderer, infanticide, who wants to see young children and he wants to see babies killed through abortion and partial-birth abortion and all these different things — you’re gonna tell me I’m supposed to pray for God to give him a good lunch tomorrow while he’s in Phoenix, Arizona.

Nope. I’m not gonna pray for his good. I’m going to pray that he dies and goes to hell. When I go to bed tonight, that’s what I’m going to pray. And you say, ‘Are you just saying that?’ No. When I go to bed tonight, Steven L. Anderson is going to pray for Barack Obama to die and go to hell.

You say, ‘Why would you do that?’ That our country could be saved.”2

The above raises the questions:

Is it really our right and prerogative as born-again children of God, to pray that someone die and go to hell?

Is it Scripturally correct for a “Baptist pastor” to call for the LORD to smite President Barack Obama, and then use Psalm 58 for his justification?

Should we also openly call for judgement against this nation – or individuals in it?

Should we claim that the political leaders of this country are part of the “rulers of darkness” in this world?

What should we, as born-again believers in Christ, do with respect to situations such as this?

What should be our attitude and behavior be?

Without a doubt, we live in a most difficult time; without the wisdom of the LORD, we will not provide a right and proper witness to this country and its people. Without the wisdom of the LORD, we will end up subverting the will of the LORD in the things we say and do.

This series of articles is going to look into the issue of this pastor’s words, which spring out of his heart and mind, and will weigh them against the Scripture — the same King James Bible he uses.

To be continued . . .

  1. http://crooksandliars.com/david-neiwert/gospel-hate-arizona-pastor-steve-and and on Youtube
  2. ibid
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A Heart Toward Our Enemies

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

This message is now located on Ebenezer Baptist Church’s Messages and Lessons page, or at the direct link: A Heart Toward Our Enemies

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The Functioning of the Body: The NT Church – Pt. 2

Monday, June 15th, 2009

This lesson is now located on the Ebenezer Baptist Church, Messages and Lessons page, or by following the link below:

The Functioning of the Body: The New Testament Church – Pt. 2

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The Functioning of the Body: The NT Church – Pt. 1

Monday, June 8th, 2009

The embedded MP3 file was presented in Ebenezer Baptist Mission’s Sunday morning services during Bible Study on June 7th. I pray you find it edifying and a cause for reflection on how we conduct ourselves as members of a New Testament church. If you are born-again in Christ, and not a member of a New Testament church, I pray it gives you a better understanding as to how a New Testament church works. After all, it is the will of the Lord Jesus Christ that you enter into covenant with Him for life-long service — which is found only within the local, visible, New Testament church.

The lesson addresses a very thorny issue in every New Testament church — that of opposition within the church. My prayer is that fundamental, unaffiliated Baptists begin to take a more balanced and Scriptural approach in dealing with this single issue. In so doing, our churches will be stronger in the LORD and more solidly grounded in understanding the “whys and wherefores” of such things. The end that is desired is a New Testament church that never fails to follow its Head — the Lord Jesus Christ.

This lesson is now located on the Ebenezer Baptist Church, Messages and Lessons page, or by following the link below:

The Functioning of the Body: The New Testament Church – Pt. 1

In Christ,

Paul W. Davis

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Why America is Condemned

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

It pains me to have to write this, nonetheless it is utterly necessary as Americans need to understand what is happening to America and why. America is condemned, and will be destroyed — end of story. There is at this point, literally nothing that can be done to stop it. Why? Because America has totally cast off the LORD God and blasphemes the LORD at every opportunity. It is not just the “Left” and their Hollywood friends and the major media. No, it includes those on the “Right” and goes beyond that into every political persuasion, every field of endeavor, and permeates the churches. I know of a number of supposed fundamental Baptists who no longer trust the LORD to bring about change in this nation. Instead, they have hitched their hopes to the Republican/Conservative/Libertarian movement and seek to elect people they believe can “save” America.

This condemns them, and their protestation that they “believe” God and trust Him. If they truly trusted the LORD, they would put far more effort into cleansing their own lives, cleansing their churches, and focusing on proper teaching of the Word of God. They would strive to think like Christ, instead of putting America on a pedestal, and thinking America is the light of the world. The sad part of this is that fundamental and conservative Christians in America often pay heed to totally ungodly radio and television persona, and elevate them to a higher status that the LORD God whom they say they serve.

One such individual that fundamental/conservative Christians elevate is Rush Limbaugh, a very popular radio commentator. Back before I was saved, I used to listen to him, and thought he was quite entertaining and informed about what mattered. That changed after I was saved. I noticed some glaring inconsistencies in his beliefs, and ultimately found out how anti-Christian Mr. Limbaugh really is. Recently, Mr. Limbaugh’s anti-God, anti-Christ views surfaced again at the CPAC conference in Washington, D.C. The following is a small portion of his remarks at the beginning of his speech. Be prepared, as what he states is rank blasphemy.

And that I am arrogant. Neither of these things are remotely true. I can tell you a joke to illustrate this. Larry King passed away, goes to heaven. He’s greeted by Saint Peter at the gates. Saint Peter says, “Welcome, Mr. King, it’s great to have you here. I want to show you around, give you an idea of what’s here, maybe you can pick a place that you’d like to reside.” King says, “I just have one question: Is Rush Limbaugh here?”

“No, he’s got a lot of time yet, Mr. King.” So Saint Peter begins the tour. Larry King sees the various places and it’s beyond anything we can imagine in terms of beauty. Finally, he gets to the biggest room of all, with this giant throne. And over the throne is a flashing beautiful angelic neon sign that says “Rush Limbaugh.” [Laughter]

And Larry King looks at Saint Peter and says: “I thought you said he wasn’t here.”

“He said, he’s not, he’s not. This is God’s room. He just thinks he’s Rush Limbaugh.”[Laughter] [Applause]

So you see I’m not pompous. [Laughter]1

This is nothing but outright blasphemy. Moreover, it betrays exactly where Rush Limbaugh stands — without fear of God, and in total opposition to the LORD. Worse yet, the response of the audience was not shock and condemnation for such wicked statements. No, there was no such condemnation here.2 Instead, they laughed and applauded, thus condoning the wicked blasphemy of Mr. Limbaugh.

Pray tell, what then is the difference between Mr. Limbaugh, his conservative friends at CPAC, and Barak Obama and his amoral friends on the Left?

Absolutely nothing.

The really troublesome thing about this incident is that no one mentioned Mr. Limbaugh’s totally wicked and evil comments. Not Fox News, WorldNetDaily (which claims to be so “Christian”), Pajamas TV or any of the numerous conservative bloggers that covered the event. Rather, it was unremarkable and even accepted by them as “normal.”

When someone publicly blasphemes the LORD God, and no one says anything about it, that is when we are on the brink of utter destruction. The LORD God will not long tolerate it. As for Mr. Limbaugh, the LORD has a way of making certain that we are judged by the words of our own mouth.

O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. (Matthew 12:34-37)


  1. http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_030209/content/01125106.guest.html
  2. Rush Limbaugh brought a cheering crowd to its feet several times Saturday at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington as he called on fellow conservatives to take back the country. (CNN)
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Dangerous Thinking

Monday, October 27th, 2008

I don’t usually make political comment. However, when certain events occur, which have bearing on, and reflect, certain modes of thinking, I do like to use them to point out flaws in the way we (by that I mean particularly fundamental Baptists) think. This is not to say that all the thought processes are wrong, but it is to say that we don’t often “think through” and take the long view when we advocate certain things, and take certain positions regarding political candidates and issues.

It is no secret that this country has fallen a long way from what it used to be. It is no secret that all levels of government in this country, from the Federal level on down to local offices routinely violate the trust reposited in them by virtue of constitutional authority and election to office. It is also no secret that many folks are frustrated by the fact that little seems to be done about it, and it only seems to get worse and not better.

Hence, many fundamental, unaffiliated Baptists have jumped on the bandwagon of openly supporting and campaigning for certain candidates and issues. This, in itself, is not necessarily wrong if — and this is a big if — the candidate actually and totally supports Scriptural doctrine. Otherwise, we end up tying the name of Christ to someone who ultimately reflects badly upon Christ, and tarnishes our witness and testimony. Additionally, it is difficult to witness to someone who supports the opposing candidate if they know that we are openly opposing the person they support. What will happen is that they will focus on our opposition to their candidate and not hear the gospel they so badly need. We must ask ourselves which is the more important — the soul of the person we are speaking to, or winning the vote of that person? I should think the answer is obvious.

However, the above cited issues are not the most egregious of errors in seeking a political solution to this country’s problems. Rather, it is the way of thinking that seeks a political solution, that is the problem. That way of thinking is actually well-encapsulated in the following quote by one of the current Presidential candidates. Mind you, it is an offensive quote to anyone who truly understands what the U.S. Constitution is all about.

“I think we can say that the Constitution reflected a enormous blindspot in this culture that carries on until this day, and the Framers had that same blindspot. I don’t think the two views are contradictory to say that it was a remarkable political document that paved the way for where we are now, and to say that it also it reflected the fundamental flaw of this country that continues to this day.”1

Now, this quote first appeared on the internet on YouTube, and is a snippet of some interview, or answer to some question Barack Obama was asked. However, unlike many quotes that are snippets, there is virtually no way to take this comment out of context. It uses terminology that is far too broad with reference to the subjects at hand to be taken out of context. The use of phrases such as “enormous blindspot” and “fundamental flaw that continues to this day” with reference to the U.S. Constitution and American society are far, far too encompassing.

The problem with this quote is not that it states there is an error in the Constitution. Indeed, many of the anti-federalists thought there were many flaws in the Constitution. It is not that Obama thinks that the flaw is still there. For there are some issues that could be dealt with more firmly by the Constitution. No, the problem with this quote is its inherent misapplication of the Constitution to American society and the problems in society.

While I do not know the context of the remark, I do know the U.S. Constitution and its purpose. The Constitution is the law for the government — a cage if you will. It was not, and is not designed for any other purpose. The Constitution was never designed to reform society, nor can it. The Founders knew that society is not reformed from the “top down,” but that society changes when the individuals in society change their views and consequent values.

Herein lies the problem: this statement by Obama reflects a view that is socialist/communist, in the which government can impose reforms on society, and change the fundamental thinking of individuals by external force, be it by law or otherwise. This kind of thinking was evident in the French Revolution and resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands. And, this mindset is endemic to every socialist/communist government and has resulted in the deaths of tens of millions over the last century.

Granted, there are ills and disparities in this society, as there are in every society, but the “top down” approach is not the way to fix them — no matter how appealing and expedient it appears to be. We are warned in Scripture about such appealing, expeditious methods and their result.

There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Proverb 14:12)

Funny how the LORD gave us that warning, not once, but twice, for it appears again two chapters later in Proverbs 16:25. Hence, it is significant that the easier road, the more expedient path, is not the right one.

This is where we must make application to ourselves. Just as Barack Obama thinks that the ills of society should be resolved using the U.S. Constitution, there are many fundamental Baptists who think that simply electing the “right people” will resolve the issues we have in this country and society, and put us back on the right track.

Like Obama, they could not be more wrong. As stated earlier, the Founders of this nation understood that societies are not changed from the top down, but from the bottom up. They understood that government is only a reflection of the society it governs, which is a very Scriptural concept and understanding of the way the LORD God deals with man. We should understand that nations are the embodiment of societies, and societies are composed of individuals, and individuals act outwardly based upon what is within their hearts. Thus, we should know that the operative principle here stems directly from Jeremiah, chapter 17:

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. (Jeremiah 17:9-10)

So it is that electing the right people to office is not really the answer. The real answer to restoring the rule of the Constitution over government, and restoring respect for the law in this country, begins in the heart of every individual. However, that is not going to happen until the LORD’s people decide to follow what the LORD commands them, and have a proper witness and testimony so people see a true difference and distinction between those who claim Christ, and the rest of society. Otherwise, what is claimed is just so much hot air and wishful thinking.

Nonetheless, that also is not going to happen unless and until the LORD’s people change their thinking. Sadly, it is far too evident that many who claim Christ, and name themselves fundamental, unaffiliated Baptists, don’t bother to even learn how the LORD looks at things, let alone how He knows them to be — and thus, how we should think about them.

On a final note: we should understand that, historically, the top down approach to changing society has never worked. Without going into detail, there is no instance in the history of man where any society has ever been permanently changed by imposition of massive, intrusive government control over individual behavior. Rather, every government that has attempted such action has found itself consigned to destruction — usually within a generation or so of attempting to impose such change. In contrast, the LORD’s approach of dealing with the individual, their heart and where they stand before God, changed an entire civilization. We would not know Western Civilization were it not for the influence of the gospel and the Scriptures.

The evidence is pretty plain; it is just sad that of all people, the LORD’s people cannot see it, and thus elect to take a different road — the end of which will be no different for them than it has been for all others who have thought to change society by force of law.

Oh, by the way, Obama is a communist. So I ask: Should fundamental Baptists think the same way communists think?


  1. Barack Obama, date not cited
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Home Missions

Monday, January 14th, 2008

We live in a funny country. I don’t mean that in the way of humor, but that Americans have a funny way of thinking. I say this because I see it every day in the job I have, in the community I live in, and particularly among the Baptist brethren who believe as I do.

What is it that is so strange about the way we think? Consider this: We think it is a commendable thing to feed people half a world away, yet will not attempt to insure that all Americans eat. Now, I know that this is a free country, and you are free to succeed, and to fail. If you succeed, well and good. If you fail, you must bear it. I don’t have a problem with that, and I believe that individuals will never work at anything if we bail them out every time they fail. Rather, what I am getting at here is a set of mind that never seems to want to attend to those immediately about us, yet sees no problem in generously, repeatedly bailing out people halfway around the world.

You know, it is the same with Missions. As a fundamental, unaffiliated, Baptist, I expect for local churches to support missionaries directly through the church that sent the missionary. That way, 100% of the support given is received by the missionary in the field. That is rightly and properly the way it should be. However, this is where the sensible thinking seems to end. You see, there is a heavy bias for supporting missionaries to foreign fields, and little to nothing given in the way of support for missions right here in America. In this regard, fundamental, unaffiliated Baptist churches parallel the rest of American society – we care for those on the other side of the globe, and ignore the folks just down the road.

As one who is directly involved in a home mission, this is disconcerting to me, though I have know it for years. Of course, it was disconcerting when I discovered it years ago. How I found out was through a newsletter put out by a Baptist ministry in the western states of Wyoming and Nebraska. This ministry is one of providing preachers to go through the small communities and towns in the rural West and preach the gospel where there were no established churches, and no Bible preachers. One of the greatest needs they have is the support of churches to accomplish the burden the LORD God laid upon them for the rural people of the West.

It is no different for any home mission. It is difficult to establish a church and conduct a ministry when one works full time, and then conducts the work of the ministry during the evenings and Saturdays, with Sunday dedicated to conducting services.

Why is it this way? Because this is America! Don’t you know, just start a church and they will come! No, I’m not being flippant, or a smart-aleck. What I have seen among brethren is an underlying attitude that somehow home missions will just take care of themselves, and they really don’t need the support a foreign missionary needs. After all, any home missionary can get a job, and provide for his needs that way and conduct the ministry on the side. Yes, that is actually the attitude of many pastors and brethren in this country. It is utterly shameful and really does help the Devil accomplish his purpose of taking this country straight to Hell. There is a decided lack of understanding that America is one of (if not the) most difficult mission fields in the world.

Now, if you read this, and your attitude toward home missions and missionaries is what is described above, I have some questions for you:

Which do you think is the greater sin:

Allowing someone halfway around the world to go to Hell because they didn’t have the gospel preached to them?

Or allowing someone in the town just down the road to go to Hell because you don’t think home missions require support?

If you don’t support home missionaries to plant proper churches in this country; how long do you think it will be before there are not enough proper churches to send missionaries overseas?

And finally, if we don’t work to save our own country, how can we save the rest of the world?

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Engaging in the Light and Trivial

Friday, August 3rd, 2007

FriendshipBC_1 (85K)

I think the most troubling thing about the above picture is the fact that “Baptist Church” is part of the name. Why? Because there was a time when Baptists were the standard for following the Scripture. Now, I am not blind, and neither are you, so it is easily noted the letters “SBC” in the lower left corner of the top part of the sign. Plainly, this is a Southern Baptist Church.

I am not a Southern Baptist, although I grew up attending a Southern Baptist church off and on until I left home to enter the Air Force. After that, I never really attended any church at all, until I came to Mission Boulevard Baptist Church, an Independent Baptist church.

Just to be certain, this is really not about any of that, other than to set a stage for examining the marquee of the sign in light of the Scripture. I learned at Mission Boulevard that the Scripture was, and is the rule for life, period. This is especially true for one who has been born again in Christ. I also learned that it is of utmost seriousness how we present Christ and His Gospel to the world around us.

In the Scripture, in addressing the believer’s walk with the Lord and the war against the flesh, the following is given that addresses witness and testimony:

For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. (Ephesians 5:8-10)

And again in Romans:

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:2)

Thus, the real crux of the issue is what we prove about the will of God. All that the born again believer says and does, proves something in the minds of men about the will of God and what God will (and thus will not) accept. Since this is the case, we ought to consider what the marquee above states about what is acceptable to God. After all, is not the church composed of born again believers? Certainly by the Scripture it is, or it is supposed to be. Moreover, everyone who drives by knows that this a church, and a Baptist church at that. And, that it is full of people who profess to believe and follow Christ.

So then, what does this really state about what is acceptable to God? Isn’t this marquee just a bit commercial? After all, it reads very much like a cell phone advertisement. I have to wonder: Do you think the Lord Jesus Christ approves of being placed on the same level as a common cell phone advertisement? That the fact that one can come to Christ at any time, is like having a cell phone contract? Is the ability to pray to God reduced to that level of understanding in this church? Moreover, what if we asked about other Southern Baptist churches? What would we find?

I think that the saddest part of this sign is what is not stated. You know, about the discernment of the individuals involved in dreaming up this oh-so original cliche. Apparently those involved have no understanding of what constitutes the trivial and meaningless. Moreover, they must believe that the LORD God approves of such trivialities.

Somehow I don’t think the Lord does approve, and I think the following statement from Scripture is express about this particular association:

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. (I John 2:15-16)

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