"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

A Slap on the Hand that Has Stung for a Lifetime

Yesterday I walked across the street and had a Sunday afternoon visit with our next door neighbor Homer Paine and his wife Frona. Most fans of Oklahoma Sooner football know Homer Paine, now 86 years old. Homer is part of what Tom Brokaw called "The Greatest Generation," and what we are experiencing as a dying generation. Homer is a World War II veteran and Battle of the Bulge participant, a two-time all Big-Seven tackle (the Big Seven was the forerunner to the old Big Eight Conference) for the Oklahoma Sooners football team (1946, 1948), a football player that Barry Switzer and Jim Dent profiled in their book The Undefeated, and only one of 338 Oklahomans ever to be drafted to play professional football (Philadelphia Eagles).

Homer is a modest man and has been married to his wife Frona for fifty-eight years. He met Frona while at the University of Oklahoma and after marriage and a brief stint in the National Football League, Homer and Frona moved to Enid where Homer worked for Johnston Grain until his retirement twenty years ago. They have lived across the street from our home since 1968. Both Homer and Frona are a treasure trove of facts regarding Oklahoma Sooner football, Oklahoma politics and Oklahoma history. They know what church everyone attends on our street and they have informed me quite clearly that they like me personally, even though I'm a Baptist pastor. They will discuss anything and everything with me - until I ever try to "make them a Baptist." Then, Frona has informed me, our conversation will always end.

Frona told me yesterday that she shivers every time she hears the word "Baptist." When I asked her why she holds such disdain for Baptists, she told me this story. When she was dating Homer while attending the University of Oklahoma, she was part of a female quartet that sang in all the churches around the Norman area. One Sunday the quartet had been invited by the famous and beloved Southern Baptist pastor, Dr. E.F. Hallock (affectionately known as "Preacher Hallock), pastor of First Baptist Church, Norman Oklahoma, to sing at the services there.

Frona said that in the morning service, just before they were to sing, communion was served. As the plate was being passed to the four guests who were seated on the front row, Frona took the plate and reached for the communion bread. Frona said she was startled to experience a "slap on the hand" by the woman seated next to her. The woman, a member of First Baptist Church who knew Frona, said, "Frona, you can't take that here. It's only for us who are members."

Frona told me that from her Christian tradition (Methodist), communion was for all believers. Frona said what bothered her the most was not the fact she didn't know "Baptist" tradition, but that this Southern Baptist woman felt the freedom to slap her on the hand and tell her what she could not do in the middle of a worship service that Frona had been invited to attend.

From that Sunday morning sixty five years ago in Norman, Oklahoma until this day, Frona said she gets a sick feeling in her stomach when she hears the word "Baptist." Her story has made me pause to consider if we who are Southern Baptists have spent far too much time telling people what it is what we are against, emphasizing those things that differentiate us from them, and slapping the hands of every person who is not like us that we have lost sight of the greatest commandment to love one another.

If I could articulate a simple reason why I continue to blog it is to convince the Fronas of this world that though there may be a few Southern Baptists who wish to continually slap other Christians on the hand, there are far more of us Southern Baptists who wish to emphasize those things we have in common with other evangelicals and we accept the differences without any slapping. I wish to help the Fronas of this world to see that most Southern Baptists view our identity as Christian first, and if our Baptist identity ever causes us to slap people who disagree, then it's time for us to take a fresh look at whether or not we have lost sight of who we are in Christ.

That, in short, is why I blog.

In His Grace,


Wade

69 comments:

Kuya Kevin said...

Nice post, Wade.

Anonymous said...

I have pondered on some aspects of church history that does not indicate a true denominational line from any perspective. In reading the Trail of Blood some time ago I noted that it gives an interesting perspective on persecuted churches over the ages in contrast to the Roman Catholic church. The logical problem in that is that it would infer that Catholics can't have true Christians in their midst which is incorrect. It is interesting to note that it was not until 10th century that emersion was taken out of the Roman Catholic church.

Tim G said...

Wade,
The lady should not have slapped the other lady. Simple understanding. Yet, would you not agree that there are more ways to slap than just with a hand?

Will OU hang on to #1? :)

Anonymous said...

Frona told me yesterday that she shivers every time she hear the word "Baptist."

Understand your point and agree with you Wade. But back in those days just about everybody (Baptist) practced closed communion. Good Baptist Boys didn't date Methodist girls (though I married one) in those days either because we had been drilled in Training Union not to be "unequally yoked." In the 50's and 60's Baptist young people were taught not to dance, smoke, drink or chew or go with girls/guys who do.

No Baptist in Oklahoma voted for John Kennedy for president because we didn't want the Catholid Pope running the country. That's the way the religous climate was back then. That was even before Baptist talked about "being filled with the spirit".

Again, I agree with your point, but if this story is seen in the context of it's day, Frona has a spiritual problem bigger than a church practcing closed communion back in the 40's or 50's.

Your Friend,
David Spriggs

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking the hand slapper was Great Grandma Lumpkin or Great, Great Grandma Crowder?

Perhaps one of the Great Grandma Tim's?

Do they have roots in OK.?

:)

NativeVermonter said...

Okay, football has nothing to do with this post. I know, you guys are all geeked up so you have to find a way to work it in...I get it.

I think we've all had our hand slapped during the course of our lives, it's unfortunate Frona let this one experience shape her entire Baptist outlook. It's too bad Frona didn't participate anyway in a Rosa Parks sort of way. I hope Frona can forgive and let the bitterness fall as it seems so entrenched in her very being.

Joe White... said...

Wade,

This story reminds me of something that my Pastor used to say quite often. He would say, "The reason most people don't go to church is because they have been to church." Good reminder that we must not only do the right thing, but we must remember to do it the right way. What is truly sad, is that this slap has stung for a lifetime.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"I'm thinking the hand slapper was Great Grandma Lumpkin or Great, Great Grandma Crowder?"

I assure you in this family, it would have been great grandpa Crowder who would have done the slapping for women had not yet been given the authority to administer corporal punishment in the House of God. :)

Frona has a forgiveness problem. That is the crux of the matter. Methodists have had their own share of quirky issues and to this day that denomination is dying off faster than Baptists.



I am so glad that I do not see the world through Enid colored glasses.


While I practice and administer a modified open communion, I have a slight degree of respect for the old slapping lady and can in some ways liken her to John Calvin. Their high respect for the Holy Ordinance led them to do drastic things in order that they might protect the elements and table of our Most High and Holy King.


Seems as though there should be a lesson for us all in there somewhere...



Kevin

Anonymous said...

Also reminds me of the guy who said he doesn't go to church because it's full of hypocrites.

I always tell that guy to come join us anyway, we always have room for one more.

Anonymous said...

Sad how so many want to blame Frona.

The plain fact is that an ungodly, sinful, hateful, unloving, unchristian act taught a lesson to a woman who was visiting the church.

What is worse, the act of slapping and exclusion, or making excuses for the act? Or what is worse, the slapping and exclusion of a church visitor or the attacks on that same visitor for being hurt and offended?

The responses of the current attacks on this victim tell a huge story why membership in the SBC is down so far.

Frona, might forgive (which i suspect she has many years ago) she just has not forgot!

Kind of like eating something sour. If it is bad enough, you can brush your teeth and use mouthwash but the taste is still there.

Love one Another!
wtreat

Thy Peace said...

Pastor Wade, I am grateful for your blogs. I learn so much from it and the give and take of the discussions.

In your earlier thread "Growing Semi-Arianism ...", one commenter left a graphic comment. Can you please edit it out? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Dear Wade,

Your story about Homer and Frona resonate with my memories of my father who passed away at 88 this May. I have a suggestion for anyone who is interested: ask Homer to tape record his stories about WWII.

In the years before his death, my sister taped my father and what an interesting and first-hand account of history our family now has. All too soon, these heroes will be gone, and their voices stilled. Would be good to have their voices recorded.

As for Frona, Wade, if anyone can, I think you can help her get beyond her 'Baptist block'. :)
My father was Catholic and he
told of a time long ago when he drove my mother to the funeral of one of her Baptist relatives. My father said he stayed in the car. He didn't feel that it would be right for him to go into the church. In latter years, my father said he regretted not going in with Mother. So, if my Catholic-to-the backbone father could change his thinking; I think there's help for Frona. :)

Anonymous said...

I do agree that when any religion is known for what it is against more than what it is for, that religion loses its appeal for all but the most initiated.

Being ugly to people outside the church, and being ugly to people inside the fellowship, are not attractive behaviors.

On another note, maybe Wade and his family can help Frona overcome the irrational bitterness that has apparently plagued her for decades.

Louis

Tom Parker said...

Louis:

Wow, blame Frona! Their is an important point in this post and sadly you have missed it.

Anonymous said...

Are these the same people who tell victims of sexual abuse in the church they are unforgiving and bitter?

Kevin, John Calvin went along with burning a guy at the stake who disagreed with him even though Servetus came to hear him preach.

Lydia

Anonymous said...

Though I don't remember the church I grew up in being particularly Landmark I do remember my mother asking when she happened to be at my church for a Lord's Supper service if it was ok for her to participate. (It was, and is.) My pastor will say it's the Lord's table - I can't remember the exact words that follow, but the idea is that it's the Lord's table, and not our right to exclude those invited by the Lord.

Susie

Jon L. Estes said...

I think that hand slapping woman is now a member of my church.

We are auctioning a few members off or will be willing to trade for a nice Harley, if interested.

Anonymous said...

Susie, your mom had it right...She was wise to check it out before the fact. That was true then and now. Frona assumed and got her hand smacked. The fact that she is still deeply hurt and colors all "Baptists" with the same brush,tells me that she might have been just as "hurt" if she had asked and was told "no" beforehand. The church has the responsibility to explain to visitors aspects of the service and visiting singing groups/ministers have the responsibility to check out expectations beforehand.

Wade says that it "stung for a lifetime," not Frona. I doubt she thinks much about it unless the Baptist pastor is visiting and she feels some sort of pressure to "be a Baptist." If that's not true then it is a shame that little ole hand slappin' lady has had so much control over ole Frona all these years.

At least Wade knows his neighbor which is more than some of us can say. Interesting story and sort of makes me want to meet and get to know more of my neighbors and maybe even take the opportunity to be real enough for them to see me as a fellow struggler and a hand slapper saved by grace.

Anonymous said...

Tom Parker:

No, you have missed the first two paragraphs of my post. Please re-read.

Lydia:

Nice non sequitur! If you can somehow get Paige Patterson drug in this, you'll hit the trifecta.

Jon Estes:

No one will top your comment today. Makes me want to slap your back.

Louis

Wade Burleson said...

Jon Estes,

That's funny.

wade

Wade Burleson said...

Louis,

Your comments always intrigue me. We may not always agree, but I admire the way you stay the course, often holding to a minority view in the comment stream. Frankly, I appreciate your comments, realizing that if we all agreed, all the time, the comment section would not be particularly intersting. Thanks for keeping us on our toes, and keep on keeping on. You may be to this blog what I've become to the SBC.

And that is a good thing in my opinion.

:)

Joe White... said...

Wade,

Will you please read the comment posted at Sun Sep 28, 10:48:00 PM 2008 of your "Semi-Arian" post, and see if you deem the last paragraph appropriate.

Thank You.

Anonymous said...

To John Estes,

Hey, John, any truth to the rumor that you are trying to unload a small herd of goats for a Harley?

Heidi

Wade Burleson said...

Joe,

I didn't see it until you pointed it out. No, it is not appropriate and it has been deleted.

Wade

John Fariss said...

A Harley? We have some members that I'd be willing to trade for a future convert, to be named later. Would consider trading the lot of them for just one, maybe something to boot thrown in.

John

Robert Hutchinson said...

to bad the esteemed pastor did not make it clear before the supper began that it is only for members and visitors should abstain.

given the different views still today a wise pastor would inform the congregation of their custom.

Marie said...

Good blog, Wade.

Marie

Lee Herring said...

Thanks, Wade.

Could've done without the big OU insignia, though. But you (and Frona) would be welcome to share in communion with us anytime.

Go Pokes.
Lee

G said...

Warning: Thread drift follows.

Let this be notice to all readers that I can no longer be a Christian (but I guess I could be a Baptist) because Wiley Drake, former Vice President of the SBC, said so.

Mr. Drake yesterday: "There's no way a Christian can vote for Barack Obama."

Therefore, I shall go sit under a fig tree and wait for my demise.

Gary Skaggs
Norman

Anonymous said...

"Nice non sequitur! If you can somehow get Paige Patterson drug in this, you'll hit the trifecta."

Was that necessary? It demands a reply so here goes:

You don't see any similarities in what PP did to the victims of Gilyard and what this women did Frona? That does not surprise me considering your pragmatism. YOu think these things are funny or of no importance. You only see it through the eyes of secular pragmatism. I pray God does not have to teach you compassion.

This is exactly how Christa Brown has been treated by the SBC. But they are more insulting to her. Her perp ended up on Charles Stanley's staff! And no one cared.

You just choose to be blind and respond with your usual arrogant pragmatism that has nothing to do with the things of the spiritual realm.

You still have not answered the question I left for you two threads ago. You said, quite arrogantly, I might add, your church is not interested in SBC politics and pay no attention to what goes on as they only 'serve and give' to the Lord. Yet, you come here all the time with intimate details of the inner workings and past history of the SBC. What gives? Are you a secret SBC junkie?


Lydia

James said...

Frona should have offered the other hand as well. K Crowder is right. Frona has a forgiveness problem.

JSH

Wade Burleson said...

Gary,

Sometimes my cheeks turn read with a Baptist blush. You making me aware of Wiley's gave me such a blush this morning.

wade

debbiekaufman said...

"She has a forgiveness problem" "But back in those days just about everybody (Baptist) practiced" "People leave because they can't handle the truth...

"Love your neighbor..."

Wade Burleson said...

Lee,

You are right. Could have done without the OU isignia . . . but,

OU has now passed the Gipper's Notre Dame as the school who has sat at #1 the most weeks in the history of the Associated Press college football poll (96 weeks) - and I couldn't pass up the insignia on such a momentous occasion.

:)

Anonymous said...

To Gary Skaggs,

So now Wiley Drake is into issuing "fatwahs". What do we do if we live in a state that allows early voting, and we have already voted for Obama?

Anonymous said...

Wade:

Thanks for the very kind words.

I will try to keep up, but it's hard to do since there are some pretty sharp people on this blog of all different persuasions.

I think of you often, not mainly as a blogger, but as a pastor of a significant work there in OK.

I have many friends in the pastorate. I know what a rewarding, but tough (emotionally, psychologically and physically) calling that can be. You and the other guys on here who do that work deserve our thanks and prayers.

Thanks, again for the kind words and the reminder today about how wrong it is to be unkind to others.

Have a great day.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Lydia:

You are a very intelligent person. But what I said was necessary. Connecting things that should not be connected is not logical and should be pointed out, especially when someone as intelligent as you does it.

I did leave you a very nice comment that explained my history and my church's history. Maybe I put it on the wrong post. I don't think so.

Maybe you should go back and look for it again.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Lydia:

Yes. I am correct. You are mistaken. My comment posted on Sept 25 at 7:50 is right after yours and is addressed to you.

I often pass on questions between commentors, but I chose to respond to yours.

Please go back and read it. It will give you some background on me and my church, and will hopefully allow you to understand why my church is not into Baptist politics.

Louis

Jon L. Estes said...

Heidi,

These are not just any ordinary goats. They have special skills. These goats will

1 - keep any and all goats from not within the gene pool out of the pasture.

2 - Cuddle up to the shepherd when he is within eye sight but refuse to acknowledge his shepherding among the other goats.

3 - Will intentionally take the other goats milk (a wonderful gift for the owner of the heard) and bury it deep in some Creek or Ditch for a long term so it can't be a lessing to the owners of the heard.

Now I don't know if you can find goats like this just anywhere but I can get you a few. Also, they come cheaper by the dozen.

Now because these goats have such great talents I can't take just any Harley for them. I think the Harley will have to at least be a black and white copy printed on a poor quality computer. I want this to be a fair deal and do not want to take advantage of anyone. But honestly at the swap value listed, I'm still coming out a little ahead.

G said...

Anonymous said:

"So now Wiley Drake is into issuing "fatwahs". What do we do if we live in a state that allows early voting, and we have already voted for Obama?"

As I have said that I will do, go sit under a fig tree and wait for the "Smite" button to be pushed.

I have not already voted, but intend to do so as I've indicated, unless the "Smite" button is pushed on me beforehand.

Gary

Bob Cleveland said...

Perhaps the incident that turned off Frona, to Baptists, is a result of the thing that so turned Peggy off to Baptists, that it took me FOUR MONTHS to convince her to join FBC Pelham. We'd previously been in a Presbyterian church.

She was saved at the Baptist church in Lebanon, IN, as an early teenager. She told me it was as if their intent was to get people saved and then forget'em. Move on to getting someone else saved. It wasn't until we got into the Presbyterian Church that we got any real down-where-we-live discipling.

Reading InternetMonk's discourse (can you say "rant"?) about the SBC and evangelism makes me think Peg was really justified in her opinion.

Steve said...

Folks forget the dogs that wagged their tail and got petted, but remember the few that bit 'em all their lives. If your church is a biting or slapping church, the memory curve runs pretty much like the trek through Sinai: 40 years.

People that presume strangers are just itching to get into their wonderful little club went out of style with the horseless carriage.

I knew a lady who witnessed a very Unchristian sin happening in a Baptist church as a young adult. Not only did she never forgive that church, but everyone who ever brought up religion with her for the next sixty years got a reprise of the whole story.

Churchy people often remind me of the guy you never met before who presumes he can tell you an off-color joke or push something political upon you, thinking you're just dying to get to know him so you will realize that he wasn't that bad a fellow.

Cindy said...

Pastor Wade,

One of the many unexpected blessings that has grown out of my investigation of the complementarian debate has been a new view of Southern Baptists, one that has been very favorable and healing.

I grew up Pentecostal, and as a young teen was told by more than a few adult Baptists that I was filled with the devil. My father had a co-worker who came over to our house about once every year, wearing their Sunday best on a weeknight, to evangelize my family, all with a personal style that I would describe as "uptight." My mother and I were born again, so we didn't understand why they were there, and this couple did not come visit us until after my father got saved. (...on one of his twice a year visits on Easter and Christmas.) Where where they when my Dad was an unbeliever (something of great distress to my mother and I), and why did they come long after he made an open confession of faith? Did they intend to save us from the Pentecostal church so we could be better somehow when we got to heaven?

But in learning about all of this new controversy over gender and in getting clobbered by some SBC folks who sought to squelch me, I actually have connected with several wonderful and loving Christians who are nothing like the Southern Baptists that I knew as a youth. These new relationships have been tremendously healing for me, and it's given me new hope for unity (as opposed to uniformity) within the Body of Christ.

I'd just like to say that kindness and understanding from just one or two people who are identified with the negativity of a group can have a tremendous affect on others. I would like to thank and to encourage all who read this post and take it to heart, because it is just such understanding that has brought new joy and hope into my own life. The legalists are still out there, and I am not so naive as to think that such people will fade into oblivion. Like the poor, as long as we are are subject to the flesh, I think that we will have the legalists with us, just as we will always have the poor. But from the love, understanding, and respect shown by the Body, the legalists do seem to disappear into the woodwork for those like me who don't exactly fit into a neat little Baptist box.

I'm put in mind of the angels of which we are unaware. I think we actually have more to be concerned about in our dealings with people than we do in dealings with angels. Thanks to the graciousness and love of only just a few Southern Baptists, many people like me no longer cringe or respond with a disappointed "Oh" when we hear "Baptist." I now rejoice.

Thanks for posting this and addressing this with such candor and honesty, as I've never read anything quite like this before. I'm glad that upon reading it that I now have many good memories and witnesses to the blessings that only a very few loving Southern Baptists have brought into my life, countering the bad experiences. Thank you for having the humility to openly state what I'm afraid that many people feel. I'm also encouraged to be ever more humble with others who have been so treated by those from my own (original) denomination. The Pentecostals often look down their noses at those who they claim are "not spirit filled."

May God continue to make us one in His love and in our confession of Christ in areas where we agree on sound doctrine.

To God be the glory!

Anonymous said...

To Jon Estes,

I am laughing so hard, I can hardly type this.

Forget the deal. I'm keepin' my Harley.

We have enough goats like yours in our own church pasture already.

Your goats sound worse. Much worse. What kind of church are you guy's running anyway? I will pray for you big time. And I thought our goats were bad.

I don't think Grandfather and Peter the Goatherd would want your goats either!

So FORGET THE DEAL. And I hope you unload your goats before they do anymore damage.

I do however, give you big points for not engaging in false advertising. God bless you.

Jon Estes, you are an honest man.

Your former customer,

Heidi in Switzerland

Jon L. Estes said...

Heidi,

Actually I have some really nice sheep, some disguised as goats...

I hope my attempt at humor did not come across as speaking badly against my church members, that was not the intent.

But I do hope the laugh helped your day.

One last question... Are you really from Switzerland and if so, where?

Anonymous said...

I don't think people are necessarily leaving the churches because they cannot handle the truth. (I do grant that is probably the case at times.)

But many people are born again and actually read their Bibles. They see what Jesus said and did. They actually read the rest of the New Testament stem to stern, not just learn a few proof texts.

They go to church and find it all about building a human organization with these control games of who can do this or who should not do that.

Wisely they realize they have entered a church, not the Church, and they leave.

Perhaps when enough do that, the Church will successfully call the churches to repentance and revival.

Linda

Anonymous said...

Hi Gary,

I think I can vote for Obama and still get out of the curse of Wiley's 'fatwah'.

You see, my polling place is in the recreation hall of the Southern Baptist Church in our neighborhood: LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION :)

If you could give odds here, what do you think my chances are of survival? Do you think I have a chance?

P.S. I knew the leadership was very powerful, but I didn't know that they could do THAT !!!!

BRAVE SOUL

Anonymous said...

Dear Jon Estes,

This is Heidi, and of course I know that the both of us are trying to lighten up what really is a sad situation: how does a Christian community help it's goats. We have to help, you see. We are responsible for each other in a Christian community and, like it or not, dealing with goats in a caring way is part of it. Sometimes we can help them. Certainly prayer, or patience, or even by example, and most especially by asking God for intervention.

Once I worked in a school. When I came there, the faculty had little cliques, each gave their own little parties, there was much snubbing and bad feeling. I thought: what can I do to try to help? So one morning, I was inspired to pick up 4 dozen fresh donuts at Dunkin Donuts and place them on a table with the sign: "Everyone Welcome" Well, that was the beginning of change and of healing. Now, the whole group gathers together for a monthly birthday party with everyone invited. (hardly a goat in sight)

We do what we can to help the goats in our lives. Sometimes the Lord inspires us with an idea. The wonderful thing about Christianity is that we know that even goats need our loving care, and God will help us find a way to do this. :)

P.S. Those sheep sound really interesting. But no deal. And as far where I live: I wouldn't tell anyone who has goats like yours my location: I'm afraid you would dump them on me in the middle of the night. God Bless,

Your friend,
Heidi

Jeff said...

Wade,

Great post. I have not read all of the comments, but from what I can tell, one thing is clear - Some people really get it and some people really just want to argue or be "right."

The issue of this post is not whether or not Frona has a forgiveness problem, but whether we, as Southern Baptists, are being as faithful as possible in loving and living as Christ has called us to. Thank you for a post that has again reminded me to examine myself to love others as I should....

Jeff

Jon L. Estes said...

Heidi,

Can't blame me for trying. I guess I need to unload the truck since I have no where to make the dump.

Wait, I might need to detour through Enid.

;-)

G. Alford said...

Lydia,

Was Calvin the King of Geneva?
Was Calvin even in the Government of Geneva?

Were you there? Doubtful… But go ahead keep slandering this man of God, it’s no big deal to slander another Christian if he is already dead right?

The truth is out there, but it is always easier to believe a lie than it is to research the truth… (If you repeat a lie, you do know that is still called slander right?) History records that Calvin actually pleaded with the authorities for Servetus life to be spared… But you go ahead and believe those enemies of the Gospel who have been attacking Calvin for hundreds of years now.

Your attitude is exactly what this post is about… clearly you would not take communion with Calvin… SAD!

Grace Always,

Anonymous said...

To John Estes,

Oh, Jon, what a GOOD IDEA. Enid is where Wade has his church! If anyone can help your goats, it's Wade. Better let him know what's coming, as a courtesy.

On second thought, don't do any of this: Wade has got enough problems with the goats in the SBC leadership. We don't want to overload Wade, we need him too much.

Sorry Jon, you will just have to minister to these goats as best you can. Don't worry, the Good Lord will show you the way. I recommend two great goat-care manuals: I have found the Psalms and the Gospel of St. John to be very helpful. Hard to be mean to goats when you read these manuals. Take courage: don't let the goats get your goat. You have your work cut out for you. God Bless,

Your friend,
Heidi

Rex Ray said...

John Estes,
Enjoyed your comments. Don’t know if I should be serious or join the fun.

A LONG TIME AGO, (have to watch what I say as you will see in a minute.) I traded churches and found I’d gone from the skillet to the fire. While a deacon, this is what deacons have done to me.

1. Had my hand slapped when I flicked a spider off a guy’s collar at a funeral.
2. Had my ears pulled till they hurt as a joke for not hearing a guy who had a sore throat.
3. With my shirt twisted up and shoved backwards, I received a lecture for always telling people how to do construction.
4. At a church meeting on constructive criticism, I complained while I was sitting, I couldn’t see the ‘song screen’ for someone’s backside when everyone was required to stand for the entire song service. I was told to close my eyes and pray for a lost person.
5. I’m presently recovering from last week’s hernia operation cause by hanging sheetrock for a month by myself after the deacons voted to do a project but voting was all.

I’m afraid I’ll be sent to your church with a Harley thrown in if my letter gets read in this week’s Baptist Standard. The Baptist life is usually anything but dull.

Elisabeth said...

I don't think it was a non sequitor for Lydia to bring up the problems with sexual abuse in the SBC at all. See, what happened to Frona was a person committing an offense against her, and then people blaming Frona for being "unforgiving." What happens with victims of sexual abuse in the SBC is a person commits an offense against them, and then people in the SBC blame the victim for being "unforgiving."

Anonymous said...

Wade,

It is a shame that Frona only had that one bad experience with communion in a Baptist church.

If only she could replace her bad memory with something far better that could heal the pain she felt: another chance at communion, this time, with caring Christians who are Baptists.

Then, the power of that first experience to harm her will be broken. And she will have the wonderful new memory to replace it.

Rex Ray said...

Elizabeth,
You’re so right in your example of Frona being wronged, and the flip side made her the bad guy. As well as a sexual abused person.

Some time ago, Wade printed Jeff VanVonderen’s seven characteristics of ‘The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse.’

“One unspoken rule of controlling people is for them to never disagree with authorities. Silence is to be a wall of protection for the abusive authoritarian from scrutiny or challenge. The person who speaks about a problem must become the problem. The person becomes the problem by being accused of being arrogant, angry, unloving, etc. to keep the silence maintained and discredit the person who raises the issues that need addressing.”

Elizabeth, I related to the above when I was told to close my eyes and pray for a lost person.

Anonymous said...

"Yes. I am correct. You are mistaken. My comment posted on Sept 25 at 7:50 is right after yours and is addressed to you."

Sorry, Louis, I did miss it. I will go and read it.

Lydia

Anonymous said...

"Was Calvin the King of Geneva?
Was Calvin even in the Government of Geneva?"

The government of Geneva was separate from the church? What were those magistrates, then?

"Were you there? Doubtful… But go ahead keep slandering this man of God, it’s no big deal to slander another Christian if he is already dead right?"

I have read just about everything from both sides and even secular stuff about Calvin. The Reformed movement treats Calvin like they treat Knox. They leave out or rewrite some really bad stuff.

"The truth is out there, but it is always easier to believe a lie than it is to research the truth… (If you repeat a lie, you do know that is still called slander right?) History records that Calvin actually pleaded with the authorities for Servetus life to be spared… But you go ahead and believe those enemies of the Gospel who have been attacking Calvin for hundreds of years now."

You may want to check out Leonard Verduin's Step Children of the Reformation. He quotes Calvin from his own letters about Servetus.
But, the consensus from most historians that Calvin agreed with his being killed. YOu may be confusing the fact that he tried hard to get him to recant. Once he would not, Calvin was all for him being burned and even ordered 'green wood' so he would burn slower.

Only us 'reformers' don't want to believe Calvin's influence in Geneva. Why would Servetus go to hear Calvin preach? Because he wanted to die? I have heard the argument that Calvin was just a product of his time. I don't think we would condone that position with someone today.

"Your attitude is exactly what this post is about… clearly you would not take communion with Calvin… SAD!"

Well, I would not say that althought Calvin believed communion was a sacrament and I do not.

What you do not understand is that I believe in the DoG. I just think that all this Calvin worship keeps many from seeing election/predestination.

What do we have in common with Calvin as Baptists? Padeobaptism? Sacraments? Magistrates? Compulsory church membership? Arresting heretics?

If Calvin was so brilliant a theologian, then why did he not see that all the above was NOT biblical? Why wasn't he hiding in caves like the Ana Baptists? :o)

I think we make a HUGE mistake identifying what belongs to the Lord as from Calvin's. I am sick of him getting the credit that belongs to our Lord.

Lydia

Bryan Riley said...

One of your best posts.

G. Alford said...

Lydia,

I did not ask you what those magistrates were doing in the government, what I ask you was do you have any direct evidence that has alluded church history that Calvin was a member of the ruling council of Geneva in 1553 and that he was directly responsible for the burning of this heretic Servetus? A simple question you have yet to answer.

Since you are as bold as to make such a “slanderous” comment in public one would think that you would be able to provide us with a little more reliable proof than just saying “well Leonard Verduin said ______”.

Leonard Verduin's Anabaptist-Mennonite connections bring many to question the reliability of his work… one book reviewer wrote of Leonard Verduin’s work:

“If someone has ever thought that history should be re-written it was Leonard Verduin.”

Christianity & Society Journal write in it’s April, 2004 edition:

“The whole history of the Anabaptist movement in the sixteenth century, writes Leonard Verduin, has to be rewritten”

Another reviewer writes:

“In addition to his compelling account of this much neglected portion of church history, Verduin also adds a powerful voice to those contending that uniting civil and ecclesiastical power in a single entity always results in blood and horror. As an observant student of history will realize, this pattern is embarrassingly widespread: the Muslim conquests of North Africa and Indonesia, the Crusades, the forced conversions of various groups to Eastern Orthodoxy under the Russian Tsars, the Salem witch trials, recent violence between Hindu and Muslim factions vying for power in India, and many more. The Reformers and their Stepchildren adds the Protestant Reformation to the list. ”

That Leonard Verduin’s views and research were deeply influenced by his Anabaptist sympathys is undeniable… and for that reason alone I think I will look elsewhere for my source of information on Calvin.

Other than Verduin, I am not sure what you have been reading about Calvin but I would encourage you to check out what the faith is of those that you are reading behind… I suspect you will find that much of what you are reading is coming from Anabaptist or Catholic sources or those that are relaying on Anabaptist or Catholics as their primary source of information on Calvin. You might find that they are just a little biased against all the Reformers.

You might want to read the following short article that gives a clear summary of the extent of Calvin’s involvement in the event of Servetus being burned by the authorities of Geneva.

Calvin vs. Servetus,

Lydia, I find it very… very hard… to accept your claim, that you believe the Doctrines of Grace and yet you have such distain for Calvin and the theology of Calvin. You do know that the Doctrines of Grace are called “Calvinism” for a reason right?

One last thing… I am sure that Calvin is sick of getting the credit for Gospel as well.

Grace Always,

G. Alford said...

Sorry I left off the like to Calvin & Servetus... here it is:

http://reformed-theology.org/html/issue02/c_vs_s.htm

Anonymous said...

"I did not ask you what those magistrates were doing in the government, what I ask you was do you have any direct evidence that has alluded church history that Calvin was a member of the ruling council of Geneva in 1553 and that he was directly responsible for the burning of this heretic Servetus? A simple question you have yet to answer."

But your very first comment tried to allude that church and government were NOT aligned in Geneva. But they were. And of course Calvin had huge influence. Servetus came to hear Calvin preach and was arrested.

"Since you are as bold as to make such a “slanderous” comment in public one would think that you would be able to provide us with a little more reliable proof than just saying “well Leonard Verduin said ______”."

Sorry, but I am not going to go back and research the title of every book I have read in the last 10 years on this subject. I gave MY view from reading all those books. I am writing on a blog not in a literary or scholarly journal. Sheesh.

"Leonard Verduin's Anabaptist-Mennonite connections bring many to question the reliability of his work… one book reviewer wrote of Leonard Verduin’s work:

“If someone has ever thought that history should be re-written it was Leonard Verduin.” "

Yes, I know. Every single author I would quote will be questioned. Trust me. I have been down this road with rabid Calvin worshipers before. Nevermind that Verduin was working off a grant from the CALVIN INSTITUTE in Grand Rapids .

But you NEVER answered My questions. What do we have in common with Calvin besides DoG? Padeobaptism? Magistrates? Sacraments? Compulsory church membership?

Seriously. Think about it.

"That Leonard Verduin’s views and research were deeply influenced by his Anabaptist sympathys is undeniable… and for that reason alone I think I will look elsewhere for my source of information on Calvin."

So Anabaptist ALL Bad. Calvinist ALL Good?

"Other than Verduin, I am not sure what you have been reading about Calvin but I would encourage you to check out what the faith is of those that you are reading behind… I suspect you will find that much of what you are reading is coming from Anabaptist or Catholic sources or those that are relaying on Anabaptist or Catholics as their primary source of information on Calvin. You might find that they are just a little biased against all the Reformers."

And Reformers are biased against Anabaptists. I know the drill. As one who believes in the DoG, I am ashamed that my fellow believers quote Knox all the time! I would just rather quote scripture than humans so much.

"You might want to read the following short article that gives a clear summary of the extent of Calvin’s involvement in the event of Servetus being burned by the authorities of Geneva."

Are you sure they are not biased FOR Calvin? :o)

"Lydia, I find it very… very hard… to accept your claim, that you believe the Doctrines of Grace and yet you have such distain for Calvin and the theology of Calvin. You do know that the Doctrines of Grace are called “Calvinism” for a reason right?"

Yes and it is wrong. You can believe anything you want about me. It makes NO difference to me. I don't have to prove my DoG credentials to anyone but the Lord. Some reformers talk more about Calvin than they do Christ. It is shameful to elevate a mere man. It is a huge problem in Christendom...this worshiping of mere men.

"One last thing… I am sure that Calvin is sick of getting the credit for Gospel as well."

I doubt it. He coulda always hid in the caves and preached against church/state government, padeobaptism and sacraments which are NOT in scripture. Yet, you will tell me he was a brilliant theologian. So, what am I to think? Are you baptizing babies in your SBC churchs? If no, then why not?

G. Alford said...

Lydia,

I never alluded in any of my comments that the Church had no influence in Geneva during Calvin’s time… What I attempted to do was to get you to understand that Calvin did not run the government of Geneva… Calvin was simply one voice in Geneva… Influential yes, but he did not have the authority to order Servetus burned as you “allude” that he did. You might find it helpful in your study of Calvin to know that the authorities at one time removed Calvin from his pulpit in Geneva and sent him into exile… Did you know that? If you know this then you must also see that Calvin was not the all powerful monarch of Geneva as you make him out to be… And you must know that he was not directly responsible for the death of Servetus.

You and Verduin try to make Calvin out to be some blood thirsty tyrant when the true history of Geneva shows that Calvin went to extraordinary lengths trying to prevent Servetus death.

Lydia, why aren’t you willing to give the sources from which you draw your conclusions concerning Calvin… You speak with such confidence in your condemnation of Calvin I thought perhaps you had done extensive research on the life of Calvin? However, if you can’t even give me one single reference other than Verduin… I’m guessing not really. Have you even read Calvin’s institutes?

“rabid Calvin worshipers” -- Really, how childish is that comment? How old are you anyway?

“Some reformers talk more about Calvin than they do Christ. It is shameful to elevate a mere man. It is a huge problem in Christendom...this worshiping of mere men.” -- Can you please, please, give me the names of these misguided reformers so that I can rebuke them? Really, just list their names and where I can find their comments and I will publicly these men.

Why would Calvin hide in caves and preach against Church/State Governments when the Bible clearly commands all Christians to obey them which are in positions of authority over you? That is in the Bible you know?

“Are you baptizing babies in your SBC churchs?” --- I take if from this comment that you are NOT a Southern Baptist, now are you? Would you mind letting me know (so I can better understand your perspective) what denomination you identify with?

Yes, you did get it right; I think Calvin “was a brilliant theologian”. If you do not agree, you can always write your own systematic theology of the Bible… or attempt a point by point rebuke of Calvin’s Institutes. I would read your work… :-)

Grace Always,

debbiekaufman said...

I claim the name Calvinist for my beliefs. I have a high respect for John Calvin both as a defender of the faith as well as a brilliant theologian. I do not agree with everything Calvin wrote, but God used him mightily. The book of Romans changed John Calvin, Augustine, Martin Luther, and myself. I embrace and love the theology of the reformed doctrine. It has changed the way I interpret all of scripture, making it all understandable to me, yet I would not nor do not think less of those who do not embrace Calvinism. I certainly do not think of them less Christian or Baptist.

Unfortunately there are so many bad rumors about John Calvin that he is not here to defend, that a reading of his writings would cure.

Anonymous said...

do you blog out of obligation? or do you blog because you think you have the right to blog?

i check this blog about once per month just to see if there will ever be a time when you post positive things. rarely if ever do I see them. almost all negative, bad, attacking someone for what they said or did.

you'll only know later how much damage (in light of some of the good) you have done to the SBC and IMB.

you are like someone trying to kill a swarm of mosquitos with a shotgun. you are in the process of accomplishing your goal, but you have done some serious damage in the mean time.

Anonymous said...

"Lydia, why aren’t you willing to give the sources from which you draw your conclusions concerning Calvin… You speak with such confidence in your condemnation of Calvin I thought perhaps you had done extensive research on the life of Calvin? However, if you can’t even give me one single reference other than Verduin… I’m guessing not really. Have you even read Calvin’s institutes? "

I explained this and I told you I have read over the past 10 years many books both from reformed, anabaptist and secular sources. Verduin stuck out because he wrote from a grant given him by the Calvin Foundation and has extensive footnotes. I thought it very strange he wrote that book with a grant from the 'Calvin Foundation'

I simply gave a view from years of reading all those sources. If you want to claim my OPINION is stupid, uninformed and ignorant, that is ok by me.

“Some reformers talk more about Calvin than they do Christ. It is shameful to elevate a mere man. It is a huge problem in Christendom...this worshiping of mere men.” -- Can you please, please, give me the names of these misguided reformers so that I can rebuke them? Really, just list their names and where I can find their comments and I will publicly these men."

Right. So you can go and count all the times he is mentioned and prove me wrong? He is mentioned too much. He is taught TOO much. Not only Calvin but all men are taught too much. Not enough just pure scripture is taught these days.

"Why would Calvin hide in caves and preach against Church/State Governments when the Bible clearly commands all Christians to obey them which are in positions of authority over you? That is in the Bible you know? "

Really? There was a church/state in Rome in the NT? Paul was Bishop of Rome? So, it is ok to seek to have the church run the government?

If I use your example, then I should obey my government when they tell us to do something immoral? Like fight wars and take over other countries using the Name of Christ? Another Crusade? Force them to be Christians in name only?

"“Are you baptizing babies in your SBC churchs?” --- I take if from this comment that you are NOT a Southern Baptist, now are you? Would you mind letting me know (so I can better understand your perspective) what denomination you identify with? "

You have missed my point. Calvin baptized babies and believed ALOT of other things that are not biblical and that we SBC'ers have repudiated. That is why I asked you that and you probably know that but do not want to answer the questions I asked about what else we have in common with Calvin besides DoG? Not much.

"Yes, you did get it right; I think Calvin “was a brilliant theologian”. If you do not agree, you can always write your own systematic theology of the Bible… or attempt a point by point rebuke of Calvin’s Institutes. I would read your work… :-)"

I do not have to. NT Scripture is quite clear that there is no teaching on state/church, magistrates, compulsory membership, baptizing babies and sacraments. Wonder why Calvin did could not figure that out?

Lydia

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately there are so many bad rumors about John Calvin that he is not here to defend, that a reading of his writings would cure.

Thu Oct 02, 04:21:00 PM 2008

The same could be said of Anabaptists who could not publish or were censored and had many of their writings destroyed by the state church.

Even Luther wrote that he dreamed of a church of TRUE believers along side the state church of forced membership.

Lydia

Corrie said...

Wade,

Great post. I just can't understand slapping a person's hand during communion. It kind of defeats the whole message of Christ's work on the cross being mainly one of RECONCILIATION. :-)

And, then the "blame the victim" mentality.....sigh.

Where is the compassion and understanding that is supposed to permeate us as believers?

Who would Christ rebuke? The woman whose hand was slapped by the religious pharisee or the pharisee? I know one thing, Christ would have showed compassion to Frona and He would understand the pain of being treated like this in God's house and by God's own people.

It makes me want to turn over some tables just hearing about this! ;-)

I will pray for Frona today.

Steve,

Your comment was great!

Mr. Estes,

LOL!

DespizdNRejectd said...

James said...

Frona should have offered the other hand as well. K Crowder is right. Frona has a forgiveness problem.

No, it's all Frona's detractors who have a forgiveness problem.

I've personally been slapped more times than I can count online, and after a while the pain becomes unbearable. I stay away from many fellow believers, not because I can't or won't forgive them, but because I can no longer stand the pain and do not wish to cause them any. Unless anyone here advocates otherwise, I think it should go without saying that an abused woman should get away from her abuser; why can't this also be true on a spiritual level?

If someone is physically attacked at some public place, would you chastise them for being afraid of going there ever again? Would you try to help them get over their fear, or just sit on a high horse and condemn the victim?

If Frona had made a lifelong habit of being easily offended, as many believers are today, I could see the need to ask her to get a thicker skin-- as I always am told any time I dare to point out someone else's cold-heartedness. But she did not, as far as I know; she was hurt and nobody apologized. Do people here think that they can heal Frona's wound by pouring salt into it, or by making the wound larger? Are they really interested in healing Frona as well as her cold-hearted slapper, or are they only showing how little they care about people or justice?

Jesus said we should forgive as God forgives. And how does God forgive? Do you believe He never asks us to repent? Does He just sweep all our sins under a rug and let us go on in our smug ways? So by what right does anyone demand Frona forgive without also demanding the woman who slapped her repent?


Lydia,

I agree with you about Calvin. Even Fox's Book of Martyrs tries to excuse Calvin's hatred and murder of Servetus as "a product of his time". But no Christian, especially one who claimed expertise in the scriptures, can ever use that excuse. And Calvin lived at the same "time" as the evil Popes who burnt people at the stake. What's good for the goose is good for the gander...


As for the one shooting at Wade from behind the safety of anonymity for not being "positive", what is positive about YOUR comment? Show us by example how to be positive, how to never say contrary things to others.