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

Decline of LM and CP Offerings Due to Legalism

The 2008 Lottie Moon Offering goal was $170 million dollars. The final total of LM collections for 2008 equals $141,315,110.24. The decline of 6.05% in receipts compared to last year LM receipts translates into the largest dollar decrease in the history of the offering. The decision has already been made to suspend the ISC and Masters Program in the IMB and restrict the number of new long-term personnel and journeymen. Because the IMB will not be replacing short-term personnel completing their term of assignments, the International Mission Board's missionary count will be reduced by up to 400 by the end of 2009, and will eventually be reduced by approximately 700 missionaries.

However, rather than blame the economy for such a drastic downturn in Lottie Moon and Cooperative Program giving, one might wish to take a look at a Southern Baptist church in Louisville, Kentucky to identify problems we face in the Southern Baptist Convention. Macro problems always have micro sources. To know what is going on in the SBC at the national level, one must understand what is taking place in local
SBC churches.

Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, Kentucky is doing a great deal for the community of Louisville and gospel missions around the world. However, while the church's support of mission causes has exponentially increased the last decade, support for the Cooperative Program and Lottie Moon offerings has declined. When one inquires of leadership at Sojourn why they fund missionaries directly from their church, and why they have decreased on a percentage basis their giving to CP and LM, they have an answer. They do not point to the financial burden of constructing a new building the church needs to contain the crowds, nor do they point to any disagreement within their local Southern Baptist association or state (in fact, they have a great working relationship with the Kentucky Baptist Convention), nor do they point to any theological differences within the SBC. Rather, they will tell you about a missionary family that Sojourn is supporting overseas as an example of why they must fund missions directly. This family does not qualify for appointment to the IMB for two reasons.

(1) The couple uses real wine during communion, so they could not say they "abstain" from wine. Abstinence from wine, according to some Baptist Identity radicals, is "obedience to Christ and holiness before God." This missionary family is considered "unholy" and ungodly for drinking communion wine. Ironically, they do not drink wine on any other occasion.

(2)The wife has not been baptized in a Baptist church. Never mind she was baptized by immersion as a believer in a Christian church, her baptism simply wasn't in a Baptist church.

There comes a time when Southern Baptists need to realize that some growing, conservative, evangelical churches such as Sojourn are refusing to support the Southern Baptist Convention because of our silly extra-biblical traditions and our tendency toward codifying our legalism in institutional policies that become post de facto edicts to SBC churches.

If we wish to grow CP and Lottie Moon during difficult economic times we will denounce all attempts by Baptist Identity radicals to define "obedience to Christ" and "holiness to God" in a manner that goes way beyond the truth of Scripture.

Sojourn is hosting an interesting forum regarding the SBC on Tuesday of the Southern Baptist Convention. Let's hope that we all can get to the place in the SBC where we can tell the truth about what is really happening in our Convention because we place loyalty to Christ above any fear of offending strategic people in high places of authority in the SBC.

In His Grace,


Wade

157 comments:

Thy Peace said...

Pastor Wade, you are probably correct for the statement "Macro problems always have micro sources".

Given the state of economy in the months of December and January, when the LM was being received, I would say economy was a major factor in the downfall of their receipts.

Also a drop of 6% is not really bad, but is actually good, given that lot of churches (my guess and estimation) have observed a drop in receipts of 20% or more. I clearly remember at Fbc Jax, during their Chest of Joash commitments, they were way off. And they actually blamed Fbc Jax Watchdog for this problem.

It could be that IMB was not dynamic enough to revise their plans due to the state of economy.

But when you consider the whole, your points are valid. Why?

I feel if people quench the Spirit of God in people by legalism and undue burdens, then the Spirit is able to move people to contribute to other offerings. At least it makes some logical sense to me.

Sources:

BP News > $141M Lottie Moon offering short of goal.

Baptist Life Forums > SBC News and Trends > Lottie Moon marks a huge decline from 2007.

Baptist Life Forums > SBC News and Trends > Meanwhile, Cooperative Program in a deep slide...

Wade Burleson said...

Thy Peace,

Our church's fiscal year ended March 31, 2009, the same date as the close of the 2008 Lottie Moon Offering (most people think LM concludes it December, but actually it extends well into the following year). We lived through the same economic downturn, faced the same economic problems, and experienced the same economic difficulties. Our receipts were up 10% over the previous year.

For Christians to blame funding problems on economic conditions seems to me to exalt the economy to the thrown upon which only God sits. If and when we fall short of our budget - and that has not happened in the last 15 years - we will ask ourselves one question:

What is the Lord saying to us?

volfan007 said...

Hey Wade,

Rumor has it that the Skunk Ape of Florida, and the Bigfoot of Arkansas and Oregon are legalistic, landmarkist fundamentalists.

I really think that you should write a post on this exciting news as you sit in a tepee on top of a mesa during an inspiring sunset.

David

:)

Christiane said...

Hi WADE,

Concerning why Sojourn Church must fund it's missionary family directly, you wrote:

" This family does not qualify for appointment to the IMB for two reasons.

(1) The couple uses real wine during communion, so they could not say they "abstain" from wine. Abstinence from wine, according to some Baptist Identity radicals, is "obedience to Christ and holiness before God." This missionary family is considered "unholy" and ungodly for drinking communion wine. Ironically, they do not drink wine on any other occasion.

(2)The wife has not been baptized in a Baptist church. Never mind she was baptized by immersion as a believer in a Christian church, her baptism simply wasn't in a Baptist church."


It just occured to me that the IMB would not have allowed Christ's Disciples to go forth into the world to spread the Gospel, because:

(1) The Apostles used wine for communion.
(2) There were no denominationally divided Churches in the time of the Apostles, so the Apostles could not have been baptized in a 'Baptist' Church per se.

It is a strange 'Christian' entity whose man-made rules would have excluded Christ's own Apostles.

Debbie Kaufman said...

For Christians to blame funding problems on economic conditions seems to me to exalt the economy to the thrown upon which only God sits. If and when we fall short of our budget - and that has not happened in the last 15 years - we will ask ourselves one question:

What is the Lord saying to us?


Exactly.

2 Sense Worth said...

The largest dollar decrease in the history of the LM Offering, the suspension of the ISC and Masters programs, the restriction on the number of new long-term personnel and journeymen, and the resulting reduction in IMB missionary count is something that should catch the attention of all interested in the IMB.

The poor economy alone is not the reason. More and more churches are simply doing missions themselves and thus funds that once went to the IMB now go directly to their own missions programs. And there are many more options now than ever before to do missions without going through the IMB.

More churches no longer believe the IMB knows how to do missions better than they. And they are correct. No longer do they think the IMB has a corner on the market.

They feel the IMB has become more narrow, legalistic, and wasteful. And such waste is inexcusable in these days of recession.

People are tired of the continuing narrowing of parameters and legalism at the IMB. The baptism and private prayer language issues are only part of the problem.

It also extends to matters of leadership dictating what kind of ministry missionaries will be involved in, and we all know that for the past ten years everyone was pushed to Church Planting Movements (CPM).

Many churches today believe missions is more than CPM alone and so they are taking the initiative and doing missions themselves. They recognize that the IMB is no longer a missionary organization with a holistic strategy, so they opt out of supporting it.

It should be noted also that the IMB is in the midst of another internal restructuring which is costing millions. It will result in more and more control in the hands of the few in Richmond and a few select centers around the world.

More and more churches believe missionaries on the field should be driving strategy, but the IMB believes those in Richmond and four support centers should be in charge of all major decisions. So, some churches say we will do it ourselves and do what God leads us to do rather than what the IMB says.

And as the truth comes to light, more and more former contributors to Lottie Moon have had enough of the continuing waste at the IMB. IMB administration, trustees, and field leadership waste enormous amounts in unnecessary meetings. They budget money for themselves and their travel and perks and many Southern Baptists are tired of footing the bill.

Wade Burleson said...

It was late last night when I typed my first comment above. I used the phoenetically similar word "thrown" instead of the grammatically correct word "throne,"

My apologies.

David, nice suggestion. Bigfoot, however, does not exist. Legalists do. Just ask Jesus, Dave, and he will show you how He handled legalism in His day.

To all, I am out for the entire day.

Blessings.

Wade

missshunary said...

Thrown or throne. That's funny.

What's even funnier is that I didn't even catch it.

One could argue that whenever the word "economy" is used it is entirely appropriate to use the word "thrown" in the same sentence. :)

I am still waiting on Petey or any other legalist to tell me what they would do with all the missionaries in Europe who sip wine at every Lord's Supper.

If he or any other legalist were king, he would be forced to get rid of all the missionaries in Europe no matter how much money we had.

Of course, due to his ignorance of mission work outside the comforts of America, he would probably say, "Well you don't have to swallow it, do you!?"

God help us...even today.

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Wade,

You said the wife was "baptized by immersion as a believer in a Christian church" When most people refer to a "Christian" church in this way, they usually are speaking about a Disciples of Christ church. Is that the case here? If not, then what was the doctrinal affiliation of this woman during the time of her baptism?

Blessings,
Tim

missshunary said...

That's right Tim. Ask all those questions and make sure she did it "right"...just like YOU think it should be.

Wow! Talk about a prime example to the post topic.

Ken said...

Wade,

Thanks for your post and I agree with what you say, that is, legalism can restrict the growth of missions. There are people who are turned down with the IMB for less than biblical reasons, I am one. But when God is calling there are other avenues to go as my wife I discovered.

I guess from what I have seen as a missions pastor, there is a far greater problem than legalism that is much less obvious but a bigger threat. A major problem are church leaders (Pastors, staff and lay leaders) not desiring to engage the unreached peoples of the world and failing to lead their people to see the importance of doing this. IMHO there is this huge unbalanced focus on "reaching our local community" to the exclusion of reaching the ethne (nations). They simply do not understand, or care, that the great commission is to make disciples among the ethnic groups. Most do not realize there are 5000+ people groups who have NO gospel witness at all. Many of those UPG's live right here in America. Most leaders seem to be more concerned about making their church bigger, to the point where they seldom preach the nations to their people.

Can't we do both?

In working to mobilize churches I have actually had churches say that their focus is only local and that it is the IMB's job is to reach "those" people. No wonder the money dries up for international missions. There is no vision for doing that part of Acts 1:8. We have turned it over to others to do on our behalf.

When more pastors/staff and lay leaders head to the 10/40 window for a mission trip instead of touring trips to Israel, or "missions trips" that are more like vacations than actual trips, then we may see a resurgence in missions in our churches. I think that will translate to more money and missionaries.

There is a great quote from Dr. Ashford of SEBTS concerning this issue here.

http://m2414.wordpress.com/2009/04/15/the-unreached-dr-bruce-ashford/

Jonathan Hunt said...

Pastor Wade

I appreciate the public service you do in opening up Southern Baptist culture and practice so that foreign baptists (like me) can understand better!

Jon L. Estes said...

When more pastors/staff and lay leaders head to the 10/40 window for a mission trip instead of touring trips to Israel, or "missions trips" that are more like vacations than actual trips, then we may see a resurgence in missions in our churches. I think that will translate to more money and missionaries.

I agree, mostly. Not all mission trips are like vacations... yes I do believe some are.

I have been taking my people on mission since I was a young pastor. I had a deacon who balked at these events each year and said i only did it to have a vacation. When God moved me to Africa and the church decided to do their mission trip already planned, this deacon (chair) went to be a leader. He has since apologized for his wrong view.

Secondly, last year we took a group of 47 to Vermont (out of a church averaging 150 at the time). Our state convention wanted us to go through them. Fill out the 8+ page paper work application, pay (although small) a fee for insurance and work under their guidance. I opted not to and went anyway, working directly through the church in Vermont. Our state convention knew we went, a guy took pictures of us and the work we were doing. When the state paper ran an article on the mission work in Vermont, guess who was left out? Oh, I'm not complaining and am not doing this because of what might be written up but I do find it ironic that we give a decent amount to CP of which much state in our state but the expectation, IMPO, was if you want to go to Vermont, go through us.

We continue to give our CP, LM and AA offerings. Though our CP dollar giving has declined a bit due to the overall giving our percentage remains the same. Our LM and AA was up this year.

To me it feels like we give a lot of money to these groups but when we want a resource back, it cost us more.

2.cents

John Daly said...

Jon,

As a Native Vermonter, I do sincerely thank you and praise God for your efforts. Vermont is one of the hardest areas spiritually in the nation. And kudos for doing missions without the middle man. Pray, develop partnerships in the region you wish to reach, and go.

Jon L. Estes said...

John,

We saw 14 people saved the week we were in the small town of Pownal. My wife and I went back there last December and took Christmas for 35 kids in a low income trailer park (the one we held an outside VBS at). Our church stepped up to the plate in adopting kids and buying gifts.

Sadly, I left with a broken heart for the church as much as I did with the community.

Bob Cleveland said...

I hate to be a "one-trick pony" but here again, God pays for what He wants done, and if the IMB comes up short on money, the first thing they should do is to examine what they're doing. It seems they're doing some stuff God doesn't want to pay for.

Folks just don't seem to want to acknowledge that GOD is our source of supply, or at least they don't want to act like it and adjust their actions accordingly.

Stephen said...

This is true. Legalism has hurt other aspects of SBC life. In this context, the GCR is like a goat rodeo. The authors of the GCR are making much effort, but not accomplishing anything other than putting another face on legalism.

Ask a non-Baptist to explain SBC beliefs and they usually say "Religious Right people opposed to alcohol, abortion, divorce, Democrats, and liberals." Since that is the identity put forth by current SBC leaders, well, I guess they are correct.

Would that our identity was closely associated with the New Testament Jesus. There would be more giving to LM and CP is that were the case.

Les Puryear said...

If you will allow me, let me brag on God's people at Lewisville Baptist Church. December, 2008, while many of our folks were being laid off from jobs or had their hours reduced, they gave the highest total for Lottie Moon in the history of our 126 year-old church.

When God's people look to see where God is working and join Him in His work, they get excited about missions. Also, thirteen weeks of preaching about Acts 1:8 didn't hurt either.

Thank you, Lewisville Baptist Church, for your faithfulness to Christ and your transformation from being missions-minded to being missions-active.

Les

Joe Blackmon said...

What possible reason would someone have to use real wine? They want to be completely biblical. Ok, do they have a computer and email? Do they make their own clothing out of materials found in the Middle East? How did they get to their destination? Camel? Oh, ok, they want to be completely biblical about some things. I get it.

One of the places I disagree with BI folks is the baptism not only has to be by immersion but has to be in a church that affirms eternal security (basically a Southern Baptist church). However, if such a provision helps exclude folks who hold to unbiblical positions on sign gifts (private prayer language, etc) or clearly taught roles for men and women then I think I can be ok with it. If I wanted to fund ecumenical missionaries, I'd donate to the United Church of Christ or the National Council of Churches.

Christiane said...

Hi LES PURYEAR,

Thank you for sharing that.
I worked in a very large school district that encompassed a wide range of economic areas: from the inner-city to four affluent suburbs with homes in excess of half a million in worth on average.

My school was at the low end. We received seventeen busloads of project children each day. I cannot tell you of their need, I only know it broke our hearts.

Guess which school won a 'contest' for filling the most Christmas baskets and contributing to the cost of frozen turkeys to be delivered to the poor? :)

I know this now, that sometimes people must be drowning. themselves. before they can understand the needs of others. Gosh, even our children at that school learned it.

Thanks Les, I believe your story completely. I have seen evidence of that spirit in another place where extreme poverty could not crush the need to reach out and care for others. And, in that time, the children of our school became my teachers.
Love, L's

Greg Alford said...

Christiane,

Under the current IMB rules for personal holiness Christ’s Disciples are bared from serving as missionaries with the IMB, because unto IMB they are considered “unwise”, “disobedient unto Christ”, “and unholy before God”.

And if you can believe such a thing; under the current IMB rules for personal holiness Christ’s himself is bared from serving as missionaries with the IMB, because unto IMB the same Lord they claim to serve and is “unwise”, “disobedient unto Christ”, “and unholy before God”.

Do you see just how dangerous it is for any man/board to set himself/themselves up as the giver of God’s law? This is exactly what the Catholic Church did many years ago when they disallowed something that God himself has not disallowed (That is for Priest to do what is natural unto man, and good according to God, and take a wife). And how has that turned out for them? What is the fruit of that extra-biblical law? Priest turning to homosexual behavior with children and life long adulterous affairs.

Ah… but we Baptist are far wiser than the Catholics, surely our extra-biblical laws will never hurt our witness. (That last line should be read with dripping sarcasm) A Baptist missionary organization disallowing Christ… A Baptist missionary organization saying that Christ was unwise… A Baptist missionary organization saying Christ was disobedient unto Christ… A Baptist missionary organization saying that Christ was unholy before God.

We Baptist are far wiser than the Catholics… I think not.

What utter stupidity is this!

Christiane said...

Hi GREG ALFORD,

YES, please, please learn from our mistakes, so much suffering can avoided.

It is heartbreaking about the abuses that have occured. The healing from this is unending and painful beyond belief.

Christa Brown was attacked for writing a book about clergy abuses.
She needs to be honored for her work.

The Latin rite (Roman rite) of the Catholic Faith CAN change this rule about celibacy. I think celibacy should be optional in the Roman rite.

Not all Catholic priests are unmarried: we have OTHER liturgical rites within the Catholic Church that DO permit priests to marry. Those rites are equally honored by the Church and married priests for them has not been a problem.

Yet still do I honor the thousands of men and women of my faith who have given up everything to serve the Lord, including my own great-aunt,
Sr. Saint Gabrielle, of Blessed Memory, who was a cloistered nun in Canada. She was the beautiful sister of my 'pepere' (grandfather).

I so wished that the lessons learned the hard way, among the different denominations, could be used to prevent further suffering.
I pray for that. Love, L's

Christiane said...

Hi GREG ALFORD,

Yes, man-made rules CAN be changed, and HAVE been changed.
Here is evidence in my faith, so be hopeful. (Question is 'Why make them in the first place?'):

"You aren’t likely to hear a great deal about married Roman Catholic priests, but they do exist. First there are the priests who are part of the Eastern Catholic Churches, also known as the Eastern Rite, who can be found in places like the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, the Ukraine, and other nations along the border between Western and Eastern Christianity. These churches are under the jurisdiction of the Vatican and they recognize the authority of the pope; however, their practices and traditions are much closer to those of the Eastern Orthodox Churches, and one of those traditions is allowing priests to marry.

They are Roman Catholic priests and many are married - so many, in fact, that some estimates place their number at around 20% of all Roman Catholic priests in the world. This would mean that 20% of all Roman Catholic priests are officially and legally married, even though celibacy continues to be a requirement. But marriage is not limited to priests who are part of the Eastern Catholic Churches - we can also find about 100 Catholic priests in America who are married and who are part of the Western Catholicism that comes to mind when most think of Roman Catholicism.

Why are they married? They got married while serving as priests in other Christian denominations, usually the Anglican or Lutheran churches. If such a priest decides that he would be better off within Roman Catholicism, he can apply to a local bishop, who then submits a special application to the pope, with decisions being made on a case-by-case basis. If accepted, he is certainly not expected to get divorced or otherwise separate from his spouse, so his wife comes right along as well. This exception to the celibacy rule was created on July 22, 1980."

My god-mother was of the Byzantine Rite Catholic tradition: she remembers that her grandmother from the Ukraine said that their priests were married. Love, L's

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic:

Fbc Jax Watchdog > Update on Lawsuits - and Copy of JSO Internal Affairs Report.
Readers: Its been some time since the lawsuit was filed against the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and the State Attorney's Office over first amendment freedom of speech and establishment clause violations in the First Baptist Jacksonville blogger matter - so I thought I would give you an update on where things stand.

- the lawsuits have been moved from state court to federal court; discovery process will likely begin sometime in July or August;

- I am told the case number assigned to the case in state court was 2009-CA-6666. No kidding.

Greg Alford said...

Christiane,

Thank you for displaying such a gentle spirit… that is such a rare and beautiful thing in the Blog world… or for that matter anywhere else these days. It is also something as a slowly maturing Christian I fail to show quite often.

Concerning Baptist, and Catholic, errors --- I pray for the day when all believers will turn from the path of our errors. “…even so, come Lord Jesus”.

Grace Always,

Rhology said...

This post really speaks to me, since my wife and I were all set to go ISC this very year. Now we have to wait, and the mission we wanted to join in NAME could have used our language skills right away. Guess they'll have to wait too.
Also, I had to be "re-"baptised in my SBC church in OK to comply with this IMB policy. Lord have mercy on the SBC and IMB, and bring gentle but efficient correction to Your people!

Grace and peace,
Rhology

greg.w.h said...

Joe Blackmon wrote:

What possible reason would someone have to use real wine? They want to be completely biblical. Ok, do they have a computer and email? Do they make their own clothing out of materials found in the Middle East? How did they get to their destination? Camel? Oh, ok, they want to be completely biblical about some things. I get it.

Joe, Joe, Joe. If we have to elevate PAUL's comment that HE would not permit a woman to speak to commandment, then you would do less with Jesus's use of wine as a symbol? Come on, Joe, how about some consistency here?

The fact is that the Bible should be respected exactly as direction for our worship of God. And putting in extra-biblical rules in an effort to promote "righteousness" is like a beggar intentionally putting on filthy rags so that the rich guy will give him some coin.

Ooo...I LIKE that analogy!

Greg Harvey

RRR said...

I question Wade’s conclusions as to why there has been a decrease in the LMCO and Cooperative Program last year.

Interesting that the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering has been increasing each year for many years until this past year when the news was permeated with doomsday reports and there were constant media broadcasts of impending crisis. Then the Offering drops 6% and we rush to say that it's due to legalistic positions applied by the Board.

Am I the only one that doubts the substance of this argument? Maybe a bit more research instead of speculation would be more helpful.

Speaking of research, we cannot see the personal files of this couple who claim they were rejected because they drink wine at communion or were not baptized in the right church. It would be nice to know if this is the entire story.

IMB would surely be opened to being sued if they revealed the files and is under legal restraints about privacy. But I wonder what light the Personnel Department at IMB could share on this couple given the chance.

I have encountered numerous people that have not been accepted by IMB and then seek individual support or go with other agencies. Invariably they are quite hostile toward IMB and generally do not share the entire story about their situation. There are usually extenuating issues that are not told by those who were rejected.

There are often subtle issues that surface during the very extensive screening that raise concerns about the sincerity of the “call”, the humility of the candidate that could facilitate their being a “team” player, their having a dysfunctional family situation, issues related to older children, etc. Wade certainly has experience with these situations from having participated in the process.

But even if it was an issue of using wine in communion, fortunately, today IMB is still somewhat in tune with the situation on the international field. They know that such behavior in international Christian cultures would be offensive and rejected. IMB maintains much of its insistence on being sensitive to international cultures in spite of increasing pressure to compromise.

I believe that as Southern Baptist churches in the USA are more influenced by the American culture with its political correctness they will seek to apply these American church positions in the international arena.

Send missionaries to Africa or Asia that teach and practice using alcoholic wine in communion and you will find national Christians that believe the IMB and Southern Baptists have gone off their rockers. Just ask the nationals what they would think about it.

The same applies to the issue of appointing divorced couples and people that smoke. The USA churches often turn heads away from these behavioral preferences as though they are insignificant. But they would be seen by African and Asian Christians as major behavioral blemishes that indicate the lack of maturity and sincerity in the faith of the missionary.

I can only speak to Africa and Asia, but could only guess that wine at communion, etc., in many European countries would not be an issue.

Thank you Wade for bringing these discussions to bear and allowing opposing views.

Texan said...

While I tend to agree with Wade on the issues of legalism in the SBC, I doubt seriously that it was that legalism that caused a drop in the receipts.

As we would want to tell Hussein Obama--its the economy!

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic:

Tiffany Thigpen Croft said...
Once again, TRAIL OF TEARS....this is such a sad post (the quote regarding Christa Brown's book) but I must say that I have seen myself that this is how they feel about Christa and anyone else on the road to figure out how to stop this behavior. I was warned to "be careful" or "not align myself" with Christa and others on my blog - it was unbelievable to me that "Christians" would set out to do harm to another and still see themselves as "Godly leaders". These men (and the women that participate) in this "silence the messenger" mentality are not Godly, are not spiritual, are not looking out for the sheep and are more concerned with "the bigger picture" of the body of Christ. Huh??? We are the body of Christ! If the least of these are being hurt, it is your job to stand up like a ferocious lion and protect the flock! Not the one that comes in to destroy them, when you hide secrets (leaders) or belittle the victims, you hands are just as dirty as the one that hurt them in the first place - because you have now allowed them to move along to hurt again, and again, and again.
...

John Fariss said...

RRR,

Long comment (like too many of mine), short summary: we should just trust Big Brother. And we would see they are right, if their hands weren't tied by legal and ethical constraints.

Actually, I am sure there are instances where applicants are denied for the reasons you mention--heaven knows, there are plenty of pastors who demonstrate issues with "sincerity of the 'call', the humility of the candidate that could facilitate their being a 'team' player, their having a dysfunctional family situation, issues related to older children, etc." Every association has at least one or two, and some churches have a remarkable record in calling such ministers--I suppose because "birds of a feather flock together," i.e., they extend a call to those who most resemble their own dysfunction.

Still, before you suggest that there "might" be valid reasons, other than the given ones, you might seek to learn how certain Wade is in citing this couple. That would be no more contradictory that your ascertation, since you say, "Wade certainly has experience with these situations from having participated in the process."

As to the reason for the drop in LM offerings, I tend to see things less in terms of black-and-white, single cause-and-effect than in terms of sometimes complicated systems. As such, you have some validity to your point, but I too suspect that Wade's reasoning accounts for some significant part of the drop. Take the church I serve as an example: we give a percentage of our undesignated offerings to the missions (about 10% in total, which includes the local association and other missions causes as well as CP), and with the drop in the economy, our undesignated receipts have declined significantly. However, if the leadership of the church (including me, but not exclusively me) did not think these problems were real and existed just as Wade suggests, we would have at least considered raising our percentages to compensate for the drop. But because our leadership reads what is taking place and makes decisions based (I believe) on the guidance of the Holy Spirit, no one even suggested upping the percentage.

And BTW, thanks for the courteous way you ended your comment, thanking Wade for "bringing these discussions to bear and allowing opposing views." It is a welcome change from some whose perspective seems to be, "my way or the highway." Blessing to you!

John

Joe Blackmon said...

It isn't Paul's comment that HE wouldn't allow a woman to speak. Since GOD inspired that scripture to be written it was a COMMAND of GOD not Paul's opinion.

Way to miss the point. Note--I'm not saying that someone forfeits their salvation if they drink anything alcholic or anything. I am saying there is no good reason to have to use fermented grape juice when the non-fermented kind will more than do the job and serve as the symbol intended.

Jim Paslay said...

Wade,

Why would the couple use wine with alcohol if they could be accessing the "fruit of the vine" which is grape juice? That doesn't EVEN make sense to me. Sounds like maybe someone is trying to promote an agenda instead of complying with what the IMB requires.

If the couple doesn't use wine on any occasion, why the Lord's Supper? That's just stupid if you ask me. Someone on this blog please explain to me the benefits of using alcholic wine in a Lord's Supper obervance. Do the kids who are believers get to partake as well? Let's see offering alcohol to minors....Hmm

Finally, your comment about "silly extra-biblical traditions" is offensive. They maybe silly to you but to many Southern Baptists, beverage alcohol is not a silly matter.

Jeff said...

Joe, Do you raise your hands when you pray?

Jeff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve said...

Actually, 141 and 170 are more like 18% apart. Either way, of course, the drop has to be troubling, even for the B.I. haters.

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Joe,

Do not eat that red herring that has been thrown out here. Wine is a red herring and Brother Wade knows it. If a missionary couple is partaking of communion in a SBC church that serves "real" wine instead of non-fermented grape juice that would not disqualify them from service. Brother Wade said; "The couple uses real wine during communion". Does the couple brown bag their wine and replace the grape juice with it while the rest of the congregation is being served? No. The obvious answer to how does the couple use real wine during communion is that this couple observes communion as a private practice, thus leaving the Baptist Faith & Message doctrine that communion is a church ordinance. If they don't believe that it is a church ordinance, then their disagreement with the Baptist Faith & Message is what disqualifies them, not their use of wine.

So it appears we have a couple that was baptized believing that their baptism that washed away their sins, and they also observe private communion believing that the church has nothing to do with this ordinance. Clearly disagreeing with what Southern Baptist have said we believed for years. Wine has nothing to do with this.

Blessings,
Tim

Jim Paslay said...

Jeff said:

"Jim, Perhaps they believe that is what the Bible commands."

Really? I haven't come across that Scripture yet. I do fine the term "fruit of the vine" in reference to the Lord's Supper, not wine.

Lydia said...

"It isn't Paul's comment that HE wouldn't allow a woman to speak. Since GOD inspired that scripture to be written it was a COMMAND of GOD not Paul's opinion."

Joe, If this is a command then it is a NEW LAW for the New Covenant. We do not find this 'command' in the OT.

There is an 'oral law' that commands this. Is that what you are referring to?

Jeff said...

Jim, I guess we will disagree. Other people believe it does.

Jeff said...

Tim, I'll have to check but where did the story state they believe their baptism washed away their sins.

Jeff

Jeff said...

BTW, Tim isn't it nice to be able to comment your objections on this blog, unlike other blogs that prevent people from commenting. :)

Christiane said...

Hi JOE PASLAY,

It's me L's

I found this for you from a non-Catholic source. It might explain why some disagree with you:

"The significance of wine in the Supper
Wine, much more so than grape juice, symbolizes the blood of Christ, which was shed for our sins. It is the glorified body and blood of Christ that brings us the blessing of the eschaton. Wine’s resemblance to Christ’s blood is found not simply in its color, but most importantly in its power to gladden man’s heart.

That is why wine’s alcoholic content, the result of transformation by fermentation, is significant. The “alcoholic glorification” of the grape juice has theological and eschatological significance. In the same way that meager grape juice gives way to the wine of blessing, the old gives way to the new and better covenant. Grape juice is dead, but wine has passed from death to life through fermentation.

Pasteurization, the manmade process by which grape juice is manufactured, interrupts the God-ordained process of fermentation by killing the agent of that transformation. There is a connection between the modern unnatural manufacture of grape juice and the modern extra-biblical hermeneutic that requires it for communion, both of which are 19th century innovations. By stunting the development of grape juice into wine, we truncate the biblically ascribed meaning of this cup of blessing."

I hope this helps a little bit.
Love, L's

BTW: my OWN take on wine and the Communion of my faith goes much deeper and farther into the concept of 'transformation' and 'communion'. But still, in my faith, the idea that the grape juice undergoes a 'transformation' into wine: this is a preview of what we believe occurs in our Communion celebration. And having partaken, WE then are transformed, in the ways the Lord tell us in Scripture. Either 'symbolic' or 'actual', the concept of preservation is key. Love, L's

Lydia said...

"Does the couple brown bag their wine and replace the grape juice with it while the rest of the congregation is being served? No. The obvious answer to how does the couple use real wine during communion is that this couple observes communion as a private practice, thus leaving the Baptist Faith & Message doctrine that communion is a church ordinance. If they don't believe that it is a church ordinance, then their disagreement with the Baptist Faith & Message is what disqualifies them, not their use of wine."

Wow, lots of assumptions. What makes you think this couple is in an SBC church on the mission field?


"So it appears we have a couple that was baptized believing that their baptism that washed away their sins, and they also observe private communion believing that the church has nothing to do with this ordinance. Clearly disagreeing with what Southern Baptist have said we believed for years. Wine has nothing to do with this."

I do not understand this last part. Are you referring to HER not being baptized in an SBC church and the 'Christian' church belief of Baptismal regeneration?

Greg Alford said...

Joe Blackmon,

As I am sure you know; there are only two ordinances of the Church we Southern Baptist recognize as being Biblical. They are Baptism and the Lords Supper.

You comment: “I am saying there is no good reason to have to use fermented grape juice when the non-fermented kind will more than do the job and serve as the symbol intended.”

My question to you is; are you equally open to substitution being made in the ordinance of Baptism as you are in the ordinance of the Lords Supper? Following you example could not someone say “There is no good reason to have to plunge someone all the way under water, when sprinkling will more than do the job and serve as the symbol intended.”

If not? Please explain how you can be consistent in your Biblical Exegesis and practice of observation of these two ordinances when clearly you allow for substitution in one but not in the other.

In fact you are demanding substitution in the one but never the other... please explain.

Grace Always,

Greg Alford said...

Tim (I’ll ban you) Rogers, and Jim Paslay feel free to answer the question I ask Joe.

Grace Always

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Love ya Joe:

"I am saying there is no good reason to have to use fermented grape juice when the non-fermented kind will more than do the job and serve as the symbol intended."

So sayeth Joe Blackmon on behalf of the Lord. By golly, if Joe says there is "no good reason", then that settles the issue for me!!

greg.w.h said...

Joe:

I'm not missing your point at all. It's your personal, private theological opinion that symbols don't matter as long as you kinda of, sort of obey them. When you get to meet him face to face, you might want to have a long discussion with Moses about why he was denied entry into the Promised Land. Let me give you a hint: it's because he agreed with you and struck a rock instead of speaking to it because symbols don't really matter as long as you kinda, sorta obey them.

Greg Harvey

Tom Parker said...

Greg Alford:

Is it not amazing that Tim Rogers feels free to come here and comment but will ban you in a heart beat at his site if he does not like what you comment?

I wonder if he feels hypocritical at all about doing that?

WB is mighty gracious in allowing him to comment.

John Fariss said...

Tim,

You said, "The obvious answer to how does the couple use real wine during communion is that this couple observes communion as a private practice, thus leaving the Baptist Faith & Message doctrine that communion is a church ordinance. If they don't believe that it is a church ordinance, then their disagreement with the Baptist Faith & Message is what disqualifies them, not their use of wine."

Although I don't know if that is their rationale or not--and assumptions are dangerous things--I would like to comment on one aspect of your answer. Actually, I can sum it up in a question, "What is church?" I and some others would suggest that church is not defined by structure--either physically (a building) or organizationally (a hierachal flow of authority with defined roles, offices, and duties). At the risk of making my own assumptions, it would seem that your objection to a couple celebrating communion privately presupposes at least the second of those. If that is the case, then in baptizing the Ethiopian eunuch, either Philip acted without proper "authority" or you must make assumptions which are not not specified in the Bible.

John

Greg Alford said...

Tom Parker,

Is it not amazing that Tim Rogers feels free to come here and comment but will ban you in a heart beat at his site if he does not like what you comment?

Tom, I would not loose any sleep over what the Amazing Tim Rogers and his little band of B.I. bloggers say or do… By their own comments and conduct they have “out-ed” themselves to the Baptist World, and having done so they have lost any hope they might once have had of influencing the future direction of the SBC.

Just like B.O. makes most people I know Crinkle up their noise and walk away… B.I. makes most Baptist I know do the same thing.

But you may be on to something with the “Amazing Tim Rogers”… well, at least in his own eyes anyway.

I had better stop picking on my Brother Tim now or WB might not be so gracious and tell me to knock it off :-)

I do hope that one of those guys will at least try and give an answer to my question…

Grace Always

Greg Alford said...

Correction… that should read “Crinkle up their nose”… now how did that i get in there?

Paula said...

I know from experience that certain individuals here don't answer direct questions, so these are purely generic, thinking out loud. Just felt like sharing, ya know?

----------------

On "strong drink" (with a tasty side of "tithing"):
22Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year.

23And thou shalt eat... the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine...
24And if the way be too long for thee...
25Then shalt thou turn it into money...
26And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household,

Deut. 14

On class distinctions:
19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey...
Mt. 28

If only "pastors" can baptize, and only males can teach (there's no fine print here, it's all-encompassing), then is the Great Commission only for them?

William said...

I think the "micro" in your blog is too micro to have the impact you allot to it.

The economy is king in this decline, certainly in massive the one-year drop. The attitude of churches toward the SBC/CP is the longer term cause.

Don't be tempted to conclude that the IMB's woes are as a result of your contentions term and subsequent resignation. ;)

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic: Help for bloggers

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We're always looking for tools to make blogging easier, and a number of us on the Blogger team have become big fans of Zemanta. Zemanta is a browser plug-in for Firefox and IE, and is available as a bookmarklet for Chrome and Safari. (More details here, you can download your version of Zemanta here.)

Here's how it works: while you write your blog post in Blogger, Zemanta opens up a sidebar next to the Blogger post editor. After you've written a few sentences, Zemanta analyzes the words in your post and suggests images and video that are relevant to your post; with one click, it inserts them into your post.
..
.

Robert said...

I think the title of the post should be ...decline of LM and CP offerings Due to the socialistic Obama's administrations policies.

Here is a in-depth perspective

http://tinyurl.com/os2fjo

Rob

Joe Blackmon said...

Robert,

Did you just diss Obama-man? Dude, you better watch it. I got told by one of those Enid folks that I wasn't saved when I mentioned Obama being the most pro-abortion president ever. Of course, that blogger then took that post down along with the comments.

You and I both know there are A LOT of folks here that think voting for a person who believes murdering babies is a right is a good thing.

Jeff said...

Joe, Sounds like some deacons, I know. Pastor, there are A LOT of folks upset with you. Bro. Deacon can you name anyone? This is usually followed by silence, or one or two names.

Jeff

Jeff said...

Joe, A LOT of folks like you. :)

Christiane said...

ABOUT LOTTIE MOON:

In the end, she loved the Chinese people more than life itself, giving her own food to starving neighbors – eventually dying of starvation herself.

She wrote this:
“How many there are … who imagine that because Jesus paid it all, they need pay nothing, forgetting that the prime object of their salvation was that they should follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ in bringing back a lost world to God.”

– Lottie Moon, Tengchow, China, Sept. 15, 1887


The B.I. should tear up the requirement of all missionaries to sign ANY document,
unless it is a quote
from this tiny blessed woman, within whose heart dwelled
the Lord Christ, her Savior.

Jeff said...

Christiane, Excellent suggestion! I doubt they will do it.

Robert said...

If MY People, saved Southern Baptists and other Christians who are regenerated,shall humble themselves and pray and turn from there wicked ways, voting for Obama,then I will hear from Heaven and heal their land,the Christian nation America!

Rob

bapticus hereticus said...

hmmm ... couple denied SBC missionary appointment given neither are inerrantists.

Wade, would 'this' couple receive your support for appointment, given such?

Jeff said...

Robert, I sure hope you don't confuse the promises made to Israel as promises made to America. I might have to change my mind about who votes at conventions if you believe that stuff.

Alan Paul said...

"If MY People, saved Southern Baptists and other Christians who are regenerated,shall humble themselves and pray and turn from there wicked ways, voting for Obama,then I will hear from Heaven and heal their land,the Christian nation America!"

Which version is that one from - the "God [only] Blesses America" study bible version? Doesn't the Bible say something about changing it somewhere towards the end of Revelation? I believe it doesn't speak favorably about it if I am not mistaken.

Last time I checked, Moses didn't come down out of the Rockies to give us our "10 Spiritual Rights" as a "Christian" nation.

Robert said...

Jeff:
The Only theological position that believes that are Dispensationalist....I aint one!

Reformed Baptist Rob
or

RefBapRob

Historically Southern Baptist were Reformed Baptist....and were not dipensationalist because that system had not even been developed yet.

Scott said...

I would argue that the decline has more to do with people recognizing wasteful spending and a bloated bureaucracy than anything else. I would argue that we've watched the local and state conventions pare down the extravagant and set themselves to where the right people are doing the right job and doing it at a suitable price. Please forgive me, but please read this under the assumption that all of this is bathed in prayer and seeking of the Lord's favor.

Now, local churches are beginning to circumvent the pork barrel and taking their charge straight to where the message needs to go. A group of families in the my church, not the church itself, are specifically sponsoring two missionaries themselves, one to Indonesia and the other to Madagascar. Those two have made contact with the local SBC Missionaries and are assisting in whatever roles that they can do so but they are not SBC missionaries themselves.

100% of the money raised by these families and their friends are going to the missionary. Pretty efficient if you ask me.

I would argue that you'll see more and more churches and families do this until the bloated IMB is pared down to something more manageable and something running more efficiently with decisions made on the ground, not in the ivory tower.

I would also argue that there will be reckoning amongst those wishing to serve as missionaries when the churches deem them right and appropriate and the IMB says otherwise.

I would also argue, just for the sake of discussion, that a time is coming that the autonomous nature of our churches will begin to come to an end. I don't have anything concrete to back that up, but it is one of my "hunches."

Robert said...

Alan Paul:
You dont believe God Blesses those people whose Saviour is the Lord?

Wow I know that is true...maybe you would like to hear the story about how my father was killed by cannibals in 1968 and how he has blessed our family...beyond measure.

Rhology said...

bapticus hereticus,

No errantists, please, for IMB appointment. And hold the mayo as well, thanks.

Paula said...

"Historically Southern Baptist were Reformed Baptist....and were not dipensationalist because that system had not even been developed yet."

Got references? Or just claims?

Tom Kelley said...

Interesting article:

SBC Calvinism and Evangelical Cooperation: An Interview with Dr. Danny Akin (4)

Parts 1-3 of the interview also touch on topics frequently discussed on this blog.

Jeff said...

Paula, Robert is right on that one--Even a broken clock is right twice a day. :)

Robert said...

Paula:
I know that is not the topic of this post but here is an excerpt.

English Puritan Baptists were staunch 5-point Calvinists (e.g. John Gill, Benjamin Keach, Hanserd Knollys, Hercules Collins, John Bunyan, et al). While they were congregational in polity (like Owen) and credobaptistic, they were in full agreement with the Cannons of Dort as well as reformed in their understanding of the Lord's Supper (Calvin's view). The London Baptist Confession of Faith was framed in 1677 to affirm these truths. In fact the primary source for the Baptist Confession was the Westminster and the Savoy Declaration. Charles Spurgeon was thoroughly Calvinistic as evidenced by his article "A Defense of Calvinism" and his hearty agreement with the Baptist Confession of Faith. Of the Baptist Confession he wrote: "This ancient document is the most excellent epitome of the things most surely believed among us. It is not issued as an authoritative rule or code of faith, whereby you may be fettered, but as a means of edification in righteousness. It is an excellent, though not inspired, expression of the teaching of those Holy Scriptures by which all confessions are to be measured. We hold to the humbling truths of God's sovereign grace in the salvation of lost sinners. Salvation is through Christ alone and by faith alone."

Up until the later part of the 19th century, Arminianists were the exception among Baptists and not the rule. Further evidence for this lies in the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary's current statment of faith that was drafted at its founding (1858) by Basil Manley Jr. at the behest of James P. Boyce (founder) titled "the Abstract of Principles." Manley sought to make the Abstract of Principles as concise as possible while remaining faithful to the London Baptist Confession of 1689. On the doctrine of Election the Abstract states, "Election is God's eternal choice of some persons unto everlasting life -- not because of foreseen merit in them, but of his mere mercy in Christ -- in consequence of which choice they are called, justified and glorified." To this present day professors desiring to teach at SBTS must subscribe to this statement! While presently, the main power brokers in the SBC are fundamentalists, and arminianists; the Calvinists within the Convention are a minority that is strong and growing fast! As more and more Southern Baptist begin to study their Baptist heritage, they are inevitably confronted with its decidedly Calvinistic past, begging the question "Can we call the faith of our fathers heresy?" And if not, then aren't we obliged to give Calvinism another look? As the claims of Calvinism are measured against the Book (as Baptists like to call it) the conclusion will be reformation and revival in the SBC.

http://www.librarything.com/topic/22202
message 4 by cmsheffield

read the Founders Journal

Paula said...

Thanks Jeff. At least somebody actually answers me around here! :-)

Another interesting stat would be the percentage of years over the life of the SBC that "reformed" has been the dominant viewpoint.

Anyway, it's good practice to always ask for documentation when claims are made. Most online "conversations" are cases of empty boasts and baseless accusations.

And those are just the Christian ones! ;-)

Paula said...

Obviously my post went through before Robert's. Now if he'd just be so direct and thorough all the time, there'd be a lot less tension I think. :-)

Robert said...

Paula:
Another link short article

http://www.reformedreader.org/sbac.htm

Rob

Paula said...

The article states that the SBC was formed on May 8, 1845, and I'm pretty sure dispensationalism as a formal system was "invented" about that same time:

article

(I know, it's wikipedia, but they have no vested interest in falsifying this, as far as I know)

Robert said...

Paula:
I stand corrected on the beginning of dispensationalism as a systematic theology but Calvin and Augustine have you beat in terms of age.

Thanks
Rob

Jeff said...

Paula, I read the article and it began in England, and came over to America shortly after or right at the time the SBC was founded. I think it would highly unlikely that it had a major influence on the convention.

Lydia said...

"I would argue that you'll see more and more churches and families do this until the bloated IMB is pared down to something more manageable and something running more efficiently with decisions made on the ground, not in the ivory tower."

I agree. And I have to wonder how much of the money is going to places like Heart Cry who, incidently, have a much more biblical approach to missions. They do not ask for money.

Paula said...

I didn't know it was a contest, Robert.

When Paul was still writing, he had false teachers to deal with. He also wrote of more to come, who would arise from within the community of believers and "scatter the flock". So one's proximity in time to the first century is hardly an indicator of orthodoxy.

What matters is careful examination of the text, including consideration for context, grammar, modes of expression such as idioms, topic, and many others. This is how God's Word is studied; it is not a popularity contest.

But people, being flawed as they are, can disagree on interpretation. That's the key; neither side should accuse the other of having a low view of scripture, denying the sovereignty of God, or a gazillion other things.

Bryan Riley said...

I just wanted to share some good news from the mission front. Last week in Hong Kong thousands of missionaries from many different organizations, including the IMB, gathered at a Call2All event. They saw nearly 1000 mainland Chinese believers attend the event, at personal risk, excited to have the opportunity to worship together in a public place with so many believers.

I also want to share that where I am right now I meet hundreds of dynamic, sold-out for Jesus missionaries who are going, 100% on the basis of support they raise from others. Often they may be living on no more than 500 bucks a month. I say that to say that although the IMB may feel like they need to cut back because they only raised 140 million dollars, there are thousands of missionaries going out, following God's voice and call, and living for Jesus all over the world.

Tom Kelley said...

It is true that the founders of the SBC, particularly the theologians and professors, were primarily Reformed (Calvinistic) in their soteriology (though not Reformed in matters of church governance and baptism). But there is evidence that Reformed doctrine was by no means universal (and not even necessarily dominant) among the rank and file church membership. Baptists in the South were an amalgamation of Reformed, Separatist, and other Baptist groups, all of which came together in the formation of the SBC primarily around their missionary endeavors, not around theological uniformity. They agreed to cooperate for the spread of the gospel, and resisted attempts by other groups to enforce conformity to a single interpretation of Scripture on matters in which Christians disagreed on the basis of conscience. A return to that mindset is essential for Southern Baptists to experience a true Great Commission Resurgence.

Paula said...

Thanks for the info, Tom. :-)

John Fariss said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Fariss said...

Tom,

Your comments jive perfectly with what I learned in church history, and personal study as well.

The first church I served, in NC, dated to about 1772. The were founded by folks from the Grassy Creek Baptist Church, and once the church was constituted, it was left in pastoral charge of a deacon. As I recall, Grassy Creek was of out of the Sandy Creek Association; and while they are considered to have been mildly Calvinistic, I have concluded that theirs was actually more of an experiencial, frontier religion than one dominated by deep theology.

It was several years before the church I later served managed to get a pastor, whose name was John Tanner (one of the Baptist ministers imprisoned in Chesterfield, VA, for the crime of "preaching the gospel with a license"). Pretty early on, the church came under the influence of a church much closer to it than Grassy Creek--the Reedy Creek Baptist Church, which dated to about 1745, and had been founded as a General Baptist Church, and was instrumental in the foundation of the Kehukee Baptist Association (which eventually became the Kehukee Primitive Baptist Association). Even after their "conversion" to a more Calvinistic strain of Baptists under John Gano of the Philadelphia Association, the emphasis remained one of church membership after conversion rather than what today is identified as classic Reformed doctrine, or the TULIP. On a black-and-white chart of their "beliefs," they would no doubt be listed as "Reformed" churches. However, in years past, I did considerable research in primary source material for the churches in this area, and never came across any information that indicated that reformed theology was ever the driving force in them, or that it was even emphasized, with the exception of the necessity of conversion before membership.

John

John Fariss said...

Whoops--Tanner was jailed for "preaching the gospel withOUT a license," a serious crime in colonial Virginia.

John

Robert said...

http://drjamesgalyon.wordpress.com/2008/06/16/john-gano-evangelist-calvinist-baptist/


http://tinyurl.com/kndgh9


Rob

John Fariss said...

Rob,

Interesting summary of Gano's work. Good, just too short to do him justice. And it may well be that he was staunchly Calvinistic--in fact, I never doubted that. But I was speaking of the "average Joe" church members at Reedy Creek, Grassy Creek, Yellow Jacket Creek, Tanner's Meeting House, and so on when I referred to the lack of emphasis on Reformed theology in those churches. Gano was there only a short time. Tanner (who may not have been as Calvinistic as Gano) served as pastor for between 5 and 15 years--the record is unclear (one source says he left for Kentucky about 1785, but another suggests he was not there until around 1800). But at any rate, while still in NC, he served four or five churches simultaneously, plus had extended periods when he preached at other locations (or was in jail!). Consequently, the influence of (more-or-less) Calvinistic preachers was probably less than a raw look at the period of time they served those churches might suggest. It is even more so when you consider that one complaint often lodged against preachers serving four- and five-church fields: that as most churches observed the Lord's Supper monthly, and would only observe it when the Pastor was present, his sermon was shorter "than average" on that day (prpbably still long by our standards today). And remember: even though the General Baptists as a "denomination" or coherent group had wainedby the third quarter of the eighteenth century, their influence was still very much a living memory in those churches and in that area. My point is to reiterate for a relatively small area what Tom Kelly said, that "there is evidence that Reformed doctrine was by no means universal (and not even necessarily dominant) among the rank and file church membership. Baptists in the South were an amalgamation of Reformed, Separatist, and other Baptist groups, all of which came together in the formation of the SBC primarily around their missionary endeavors, not around theological uniformity."

Thanks for some interesting tidbits though.

John

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic:

let's stop pastor darrell gilyard together > Just a Man.
Darrell received his sentence today and was led away in handcuffs. I look at this picture and I see just a man. Not a Pastor or any other label - just a man that has been broken by sin. I wonder what happened in his life that led him down this path of destruction. Surely there is a reason beyond his obvious sin, a path was chosen and along the way a compromise was made. I am anxious to see what he may allow God to do from this point on with his life.

Jacksonville News > Jacksonville pastor begins prison sentence - Gilyard to serve 3 years for sex crimes against teenage church members.

News4Jax > Ex-Pastor Sentenced On Sex Charges - Darrell Gilyard Pleaded Guilty Last Month To Lewd Conduct, Molestation.

First Coast News > Former Pastor Gilyard Gets Three Years in Prison.

Jeff said...

Tom, Funny you bring that up, I am finally getting around to reading the Founders Journal Fall 06 issue (yes, I am that far behind in my reading---I have entire bookcase of books to read). The entire issue is about Sandy Creek. I am currently reading Gene Bridges article on it. I would encourage you get it, if you have not read it.

Alan Paul said...

As I have seen you do more than once on this blog (what with you sometimes taking up almost a 3rd of all posts on any given Burleson post, how can I not?) you didn't answer my question Robert. Until you do, there will be no dialogue.

Debbie Kaufman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Debbie Kaufman said...

Folks: Can we stay on the topic of the post? It's just plain rude to be going off in tangents here.

Tom Kelley said...

Debbie,
I don't think Paula changed the subject at all. She asked a question about an assertion made by someone else, and subsequent comments have brought forth additional details and solicited further responses. Most blog threads take various turns as people cmment on the post of others. Are you trying to pick a fight? :)
-----
Tom

Tom Kelley said...

Debbie,
I see you removed your original comment tp Paula and made a new one to all of us. I still say it is normal for comments to take the conversation in various directions. Or maybe Wade wants you to be his blog police, I dunno. :)
-----
Tom

G. Casey said...

Like I said before Baptists should be confronting the alcohol industry for decieving the masses in regards to high alcoholic content and not distorting the issue of wine. Most likely in Christ's time it was at .7% per serving and easy to metabolize. A moderate position would be to not drink at all or reducing the alcoholic content of beverages. In respect to the Lord Supper we need not to be judges to what men sip on in rememberance of Him, please, they are not guzzling it.

Jim Paslay said...

Greg said:

"Tim (I’ll ban you) Rogers, and Jim Paslay feel free to answer the question I ask Joe."

I'm sorry but I've been out most of the day after posting. To answer your question, I don't think I'm substituting anything. The references to the Lord's Supper in the NT is "fruit of the vine." The fruit of the vine in my thinking is the paste that is made after the crushing of the grapes. The best is when you add water to that paste to make a very good tasting grape juice.

By the way you cannot equate the alcohol content in the NT when the juice became fermented and the wine that is distilled today. I'm sorry but that argument won't wash!

I don't substitute sprinkling for immersion because the word baptize means to dunk. Jesus wasn't sprinkled in death, he was buried in death.

For someone to insist that they need to use alcoholic wine in a Lord's Supper observance makes me wonder about their need or dependence upon alcohol.

G. Casey said...

.5 to .7 percent alcohol wine is hardly anything compared to typically today.

child of grace said...

The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and people say, 'Look at him! He's a glutton and a drunk, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' "Yet, wisdom is proved right by its actions."

G. Casey said...

By the way AA anniversary was two days ago. It is interesting to observe how that movement did more in helping people become sober than the temperance movement five years earlier. We need to come along side people, observe patterns and indulgences, educate others on this issue, and quit developing suspicious minds.

G. Casey said...

But was Christ a glutton and a drunkard, by no means..that what was the Pharisees were perceiving

G. Casey said...

"We cant go on together
With suspicious minds
And be cant build our dreams
On suspicious minds"

Elvis Presley

Debbie Kaufman said...

Tom: How in the world can you or others get off of topic onto another wild tangent,as happened in the last post, and then accuse me of picking a fight. I am however very tired of the tangents when the subject matter is important. If you are not a Southern Baptist, then these posts would probably not have much interest to you, or you wouldn't know enough to comment. Don't go off on a tangent, which is rude, don't comment. I'm just not afraid to say hey there is disruption here. Stop it. Call it what you will. Just stop it.

Paula was just responding to those who were off topic. That is why I deleted my first comment. Now are you trying to start a fight? If I would have wanted it to be read or made public, I would have left it as is.

Strider said...

I doubt anyone will read this far down but I have to chime in in defense of my brothers and sisters at the IMB. Several times I have heard the the phrase 'top-down' and many times more the terms 'bloated' and 'wasteful'. Beloved, from my point of view here on the field for over 13 years this is not true. I know a lot of people were hurt in the 1997 reorg. But it was a vital course correction that has resulted in thousands - even hundreds of thousands of people in the Kingdom. Last year- before the financial crisis the Lord led our leadership to make serious changes is the way we do logistics. These changes streamline our organization and will save millions. Everyone in leadership that I know is a servant leader. I have made all the strategic decisions for our work here in Middle Earth and have been blessed by the support of my leadership who have only asked how they can assist me in accomplishing what God has called our team to do. I know this is not everyone's experience. But I will not have people calling Jerry Rankin and the excellent God led men and women in the Richmond office control freaks- as some have suggested here. It is slander and it is demonstrably false. I have met and worked with many fine men and women who are not IMB but over all the best trained, most focused, most cutting edge M's are our IMB M's.

I hate legalism with a great hate. I believe that we SB's have more than our fair share of pharisees among us but I postulate that the reason for the decline in support is not legalism but an attack philosophy on behalf of all sides in the SBC that has developed an ethos of criticizing everything while failing to report what God is doing among us. In the middle of a conversation on a blog with Jerry Corbally and Wade I ask both of them to publish as many positive stories of what God is doing as they publish negative ones about what needs changed. Neither man took me up on that suggestion and the result is a Convention of people who do not realize that God is using the IMB to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth in ways that were unimaginable just a few years ago. Wake up SB's! Be a part of what God is doing in the world or watch as He gives our place to someone else. The IMB is in step with what He is calling us to be and we have the fruit to prove it.

Paula said...

Thanks Tom! :-)

I agree, it's better to let people talk and not be legalistic about the flow of conversation. It's really up to the blog owner to decide how much censorship or freedom the posters have. Quite honestly, some comments I've seen here that veer far from orthodoxy have been allowed to stand, so I hardly think holding people to account for their claims is a greater violation.

Thanks again bro.

Christiane said...

Dear Paula,

I left you a message about four posts ago. In a way, it does apply to the current post. So I will copy it here:


"Dear Paula,

Maybe the important thing is to try to reach out and communicate.
We can't control how we are perceived by another, or how they react to us.

But, sometimes, it is possible, by the grace of God, to hear past what they are 'saying' in words to something deeper.

Paula, people lash out against ideas and each other sometimes without knowing or understanding the other person or that person's beliefs. If you are aware that the other person 'does not know what they do' in lashing out, then it is incumbent not to become upset with them. We have Christ's example.

I believe this:
that in trying to understand another person, we embrace them where they are at, as they are.
And, in doing that, we give them permission to be 'who they are' and to feel accepted 'as they are'.

There is something in that acceptance that transcends any doctrinal 'debate'. What you do is to first establish a 'relationship' that lets the other person know that you respect them, as a person, as a child of God, as a brother, or a sister.
Then 'debate' becomes 'sharing'.
And 'sharing' leads to understanding.
If the person is aggressive or abrasive, does it matter? Not if you understand that, just then, they may need to be that way, for a while. By not rejecting them, you tell them that THEY are more important to you, than whatever it is that divides you. And this lies at the heart of who we are as a Christian family.

I suppose I don't make much sense.
I'm not very organized and certainly not technical. But, having raised a Down Syndrome child, I have learned from him in the way that he showed love to others, who didn't care for him, and sometimes made fun of him and tried to hurt him. He always responded to others in this way: without anger, without fear, without rejecting them.

He did not seem to see their contempt for him.
He didn't understand anger or hate.

Was that a part of his 'handicap'? Or was it something else, maybe a gift God gave him? A gift that humans left somewhere back there in Eden?
I don't know the answer.

Patrick just loved people, as they were. No doctrine. Just love.

Maybe love IS THE DOCTRINE.

So that is where I come from, that is what I understand.
My son never was able to communicate using words, instead, he 'shared' from his heart.

Love, L's

Jeff said...

Off Topic: For those who enjoy discussing stuff. There are two email lists that you can enjoy.

SBC-D (do a search on yahoo)
SBC-T (same search on yahoo groups)

Both have basically the same people. The SBC-T is a list I own, but the better list is SBC-D.

greg.w.h said...

L's/Christiane wrote:

Maybe love IS THE DOCTRINE.

So that is where I come from, that is what I understand.
My son never was able to communicate using words, instead, he 'shared' from his heart.


L's, as I roll that sentence around in my mind, a couple of things roll out:

1. Southern Baptists have no sustained, historical concept of catechism, so we use the word doctrine to mean teaching in a MOSTLY reflexive way: doctrine means "teaching" and you teach doctrine.

2. Our morning Bible Study time has traditionally been called Sunday School. But as designed by Arthur Flake, it is really primarily an evangelistic opportunity rather than a doctrinal instruction opportunity. In my lifetime, the best discipleship occurred in the evening on Sunday which has been variously called Training Union, Church Training, and Discipleship. Over the past 30 years, the use of the evening training hour has petered out (no, it wasn't Mr. Lumpkins' fault) and the result is the typical Southern Baptist in the 80s and 90s received their ONLY doctrinal training from a presentation that was designed to be essentially evangelistic and therefore more "milk" than "meat".

3. There have been other training opportunities, especially for children, and those traditionally were presented in most churches that I attended as a child, young adult, and adult either on Wednesday night or Sunday night. The traditional Southern Baptist variant of these programs were originally developed by the Women's Missionary Union and originally were called Girl's Auxiliary (GAs) and Royal Ambassadors (RAs). RAs moved under the Brotherhood Commission and got manned up and immediately went the way of the dodo in most churches. GAs got split into age groups with the youngest group being called Mission Friends (and also was co-ed to catch the preschool boys), the next group called Girls In Action (GAs renamed), and Acteens. But ALL of these had the primary purpose of exposing children to missions and only a secondary purpose of doctrinal teaching. As time went on, decreasing attendance on both Sunday AND Wednesday night has reduced attendance of both parents AND children in churches that these SB, mission-oriented programs.

In addition, a new discipleship program for children called AWANA was being picked up in many churches and by the late 70s the Awana club program could be found in many Southern Baptist Churches and it has spread more since then. It is a solid, biblical discipleship program for children that focuses on memorizing Scripture and combines physical activities, stories, crafts and memorization into a holistic teaching program. My dad is a long-term SB pastor / missionary and generally was resistant to Awana in part because he believed SBs should be able to field a similar, attractive program for children. While he worked at SSB/Lifeway, he told me that they worked on licensing the Awana Club materials so they could create a SB-specific version (similar to Continuing Witness Training being developed from Evangelism Explosion materials), but they weren't able to reach an agreement. I've had my children in Awana Clubs at six different churches over the years and the amazing thing is how similarly these programs are run regardless of which denomination hosts the club in their church (we've only been in SB and Bible Church variants, btw, just so people with great imaginations don't have to think too hard. ;)

I'll respond to the second part of your comment in another comment since I'm sure I'm near the 4096 byte limit. But when you mention "Maybe love is the Doctrine", it causes me to think hard about how a church goes about adopting that and teaching it. Perhaps when all of the teaching of doctrine is programmatic, it is impossible to teach love since love is not a thought but an action. But I'll complete that thought in just a moment...

Greg Harvey

Greg Alford said...

Jim,

I am glad that someone finally attempted a response...

You said:

“For someone to insist that they need to use alcoholic wine in a Lord's Supper observance makes me wonder about their need or dependence upon alcohol.”

That’s the good old Fundamentalist Spirit Jim!!! When you can’t defend your doctrine from the Word of God alone, and the other guy is scoring some points, start slinging mud.... start assigning an impure motive to their argument.

That sort of smear tactic might have worked in the past Jim, but this new generation of young Baptist can actually read their Bibles... and many actually can read it in the Greek.... and many more who can’t read the Greek have access to a computer that can give an unbiased rendering of the Greek into English.

Have you ever stopped to think (something Fund’s rarely do) that perhaps what motivates these young Baptist is not their need or dependence upon alcohol, but their unflinching loyalty to the “Inerrancy of the Scriptures”

By the way, your lack of understanding of how wine is actually made is staggering for someone who is attempting to use his knowledge of wine making to support his argument. Wine is not turned into paste, you don’t add water, and it is not distilled today. I think you are confusing wine, which is the “fruit of the vine”, with that product of the Tennessee hills, which is the “fruit of the corn”. Google 'Simple Grape Wine Recipe' and you will find that there is no past, no adding of water, and no distillation involved.

Jim, that’s enough on the wine making lesson let’s get back to the Bible... see if this translation sounds right to you:

John Chapter 2: 1-11

(Christ turns water into Welches)

1 And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:
2 And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.
3 And when they wanted “Grape Juice”, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no “Grape Juice”.
4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.
5 His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.
6 And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.
7 Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.
8 And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.
9 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made “Grape Juice”, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,
10 And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good “Grape Juice”; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good “Grape Juice” until now.
11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.

Does that sound about right to you?

Jim, you are wrong about many of the younger Baptist today... this argument has nothing at all to do about wine itself and everything to do with their loyalty to the “Inerrancy of the Scriptures”

Grace Always,

Jeff said...

Greg, I am not against you, but wine at least according to OT research was made out of a paste like substance. I'll try and get the resource for you.

Jeff

Gary said...

Back on-topic:

Wade doesn't make the number up, it is given by the Executive Committee (EC). Lottie Moon giving was off 6.05% from last year's giving.

During a similar period (SBC runs an October-September Fiscal Year) through 2/3 of FY, CP giving is off 1.85%, per EC. And according to the organization which has tracked charitable giving for 53 years (Giving USA Foundation) charitable giving was off an inflation-adjusted 2% for 2008.

Wade didn't make the numbers up.

Was it timing that made LMCO down BIG compared to the other two indicators, or was it as Wade contends?

I'll side with Wade until anything more concrete presents itself to the contrary.

Gary
Norman, Oklahoma, USA

[word verification: agspite]

RKSOKC66 said...

Comment part 1 of 3

Strider:

I was going to remain silent on this comment stream but as a result of your comment I can't.

I agree that there is too much "criticism" going on from all sides. I don't like all the "wars and rumors of wars" which either has emanated from and/or is targeted against the senior IMB management and/or the BoT of the IMB.

I'd like to do whatever I can do as a layman to shed light on whatever is causing all of this angst. To the extent that the fighting is still going on I'll expose it. To the extent that the fight is over I'll announce it from the housetops.

I can't do much, but I've determined to travel to the next IMB BoT meeting, in Jacksonville FL, on my own dime, and attend the plenary session and blog about whatever happens.

I don't have a dog in this hunt regarding any past polarization that has happened. I'd like to be able to demonstrate, as an "impartial" man-on-the-street, that regardless of whatever water has flowed under the bridge that things are now running on all cylinders with the IMB.

The problem I'm having now is that I don't have complete information to be able to conclude that, in fact, everything is OK with the BoT.

To use a military analogy: my perception is that there may have been some sort of cease fire between various "factions" of the IMB BoT, but there never was any "peace treaty" formally ending hostilities. So we have sort of a South Korea/North Korea situation between various present/past factions on the BoT.

What I'm saying is that the fighting may have moved from the theatre of the BoT meetings to secondary venues. I don't know.

I find it strange that -- given all of the "bad blood" that is out there and is "public" [no matter what side you are on, there is no denying that this fight is "out there" and is now for all practical purposes PUBLIC] -- that there evidently has never been anyone on any side reaching out to forge any type of reconciliation. I pay pretty close attention to this and if there was a photo op with Dr. Floyd, Dr. Hatley, Dr. Corbaley, Dr. Chitwood, Wade Burleson, et. al. in which they all "buried the sword" I missed it.

When Christians are involved in fights with their brothers they should seek healing and reconciliation.

RKSOKC66 said...

Comment part 2 of 3

My former pastor Dr. Tom Eliff is going to be preaching a sermon at the Pastor's Conference in Louisville regarding how he and his own father had a family squabble and how, yielding to the Lord's will for each of them, they buried the hatchet and sought mutual reconciliation.

Dr. Stetzer told a story in a recent chapel address at SEBTS about how he and Dr. Ranier (now his boss at Lifeway) almost literally came to blows once. But they mended their relationship as Christian brothers and now they are working together at Lifeway.

Christ does have the power to transform Christians from being at war with the opposing camp to being at peace with them.

To be brutally honest with you, Strider, I don't see any evidence that this has happened at the IMB. But I'm hoping to discover for myself -- by firsthand observation -- that my perception that the polarization is still smoldering is, in fact, wrong.

One last thing readers should know about my venture. I could care less about the "subject matter" of the fight. I wouldn't know a PPL if it hit me in the face. There are four different alternatives that the BoT could -- in theory -- take regarding PPL.

(1) Leave everything as it is with the Anti-PPL rule in place

(2) Change the rule to specifically say the PPL is OK

(3) Drop the rule entirely

(4) This one is far out but I guess it must be considered as an option if the matrix contains all possible outcomes -- change the rule to require that all missionaries have PPL.

I'm not going to allow anyone to back me in a corner trying to argue any theological position which has, at most, third tier importance. I'm too dumb to go up against guys with PhD's in theology as they make their cases for their own viewpoint.

I'm probably one of few guys who frequent this blog who espouse to a Rodney King theology. Other than some stuff enumerated specifically in the 2K BFM which I stipulate that I hold to as a Southern Baptist, my view on everything else is "Can we get along?"

We can't run a dual blind study to prove that at least part of the drop in CP giving is due to fighting. I believe that the main reason is due to the worst economy in my entire lifetime -- and I'm 66.

RKSOKC66 said...

Comment part 3 of 3

If we could turn back the clock for the last couple of years and go forward from there with the same poor economy, but without all the IMB feuding, then the CP giving might still be down as much as it really is -- I don't know.

But I'd say even if there is no monetary gain from stopping this fight we as SBC guys-in-the-pew should still demand that a sense of comity and civility prevail. After all we are ultimately paying the bills for all of this.

I'd rather be supporting missions -- not platforms so guys can fight.

I've been waiting in vain for months for the IMB management and/or the BoT to make some kind of statement but evidently they just don't think there is any problem. Hopefully, the only problem is one of miss- information which if addressed proactively would put this whole thing to rest.

Strider, if you and I had a fight that's one thing. But if you and I had the same fight using the IMB BoT as an enabling venue, isn't that something else?

Roger K. Simpson
Oklahoma City OK

Christiane said...

Hi GREG ALFORD,

I wonder if people understand the significance of the wine at the wedding of Cana. It wasn't just for entertainment purposes.

In the Jewish wedding, the rabbi blesses a cup of wine, with seven blessings.
During the ceremony the groom and the bride then drink from 'the same cup of blessing'.

I do not know if Baptist husbands and wives share communion during their wedding ceremony.

We do in our religion: 'the cup of blessing' is given to both the groom and then to the bride, in the act of Communion.

So wine, itself, is used for 'the cup of blessing' at both Jewish and Catholic weddings, only in Catholicism, it is an act of Communion.
Wine is used in this tradition, both in Judaism and in Catholicism, to celebrate the union of the couple, with all sacred blessings, in the Presence of the Lord. L's

Strider said...

Hey Roger, Sorry I forced you into this comment stream! (just kidding- even though there has been more than the usual rankor today). Let me be clear about something that I think gets lost in the argument. The IMB BoT does not spend Lottie Moon money, I do. There has been- unfortunately- a gulf of difference between the BoT and the IMB even though most folks on the blogs refer to us as both the same. When I speak of cutting edge, God glorifying missions happening I am talking about your 5600 M's around the world, NOT 92 guys who meet six times a year in the US. I understand from some of my friends that the situation on the BoT has completely changed. In evidence of this is the fact that I heard that they cancelled their July meeting to save money. When you do go I will be interested to see your report of the matter. Oh, and thank you very much for caring enough to go!

Bob Cleveland said...

All the arguing about wine vs grape juice is fine, and if it was explicit in scripture, there wouldn't be any controversy. So my conclusion is two-fold:

1) James 4:17 says if we know what we should do and don't do it, it's sin.

2) Proverbs 16:2 says all of a man's ways are clean in his own sight, but the Lord weighs the heart.

What it doesn't say is that, if we know what other people should be doing, and they don't do it, for them it is sin. Nor does it say all of a man's ways will be clean in other people's sight.

But hashing this stuff over is at least as profitable as the rocking chairs a Cracker Barrel. They give us something to do, but never take us anywhere.

Texan said...

All one has to do is read some of the critical and fault-finding comments on this blog to understand why Southern Baptist churches are shrinking.

We are all on the same team aren't we???

John Fariss said...

Roger Simson made the comment that, "I agree that there is too much 'criticism' going on from all sides," and I believe that touches on the problems--that of "straying off topic" in this particular comment thread, of too much criticism and anger being displayed here, and in the SBC in general. I am guilty of it--whenever I see an entry say by Robert from "the Southern Baptist Geneva" or any of several others, my dander immediately gets up, regardless of his comment, and I am looking for ways to disagree. Likewise with people like Tom Parker, I see his name and think, "Oh, well, he's OK, I'm going to agree with him." That is fair to none of us, and for my part, I apologize to all concerned.

Most of us have become polarized--yes, including me--and being polarized, "we" see but two sides to any question, problem, or concern. And unfortunantly, those two sides are invariable polar opposites. When someone takes a position, most everyone either accepts it as in harmony with their own (whether it is or not), or sees it as ERROR, if not HERESY, in drastic need of correction. This is a well-known phenomenon in group dynamics in general and church studies in particular. Unfortunantly, the next step beyond polarization is fall-out, when individuals decide that either there is no room for them in the organization, or that they no longer want to put up with what they regard as dysfunction. And of course, in human systems, these "steps" are never clear and well-defined; you will find them building gradually from one to another. And, by the way, as church consultants (including conservative Southern Baptist ones), it is the spiritually and emotionally healthy people who typically withdraw first.

Folks, if this thing called the Southern Baptist Convention is going to get healthy and remain a viable tool for God's use, we ALL have to step back from the brink. We HAVE to find a way to rachet down the anxiety level.

Is there anyone out there. . . who isn't already off the edge?

John

Christiane said...

Dear GREG HARVEY,

It's me L's

You wrote this: "But when you mention "Maybe love is the Doctrine", it causes me to think hard about how a church goes about adopting that and teaching it. Perhaps when all of the teaching of doctrine is programmatic, it is impossible to teach love since love is not a thought but an action. But I'll complete that thought in just a moment..."


I think you are correct. The ability to love in the Way of the Lord may, in fact, be a gift from God.

The Dutch evangelist, Corrie Ten Boom, suffered in a Nazi prison with her sister Betsie. There was a Nazi guard who tormented them terribly but Corrie told him that God loved him and would forgive him if he repented.

One day, the guard came to thank Corrie for her prayers and he held out his hand to her: wanting her forgiveness.

Corrie asked Christ to give her the strength to shake the hand of this man who had done so much to hurt her. And the Lord provided this to Corrie. So she was able, with Christ's help, to shake his hand in forgiveness.

This experience taught Corrie something about this strange abililty to love. She wrote this:

"And so I have discovered
that it is not in our forgiveness, any more than our goodness,
that the world's healing hinges, BUT ON HIS. . .

When He tells us
to love our enemies,
He gives, along with the Command,
the love itself." Corrie Ten Boom


So Greg, you are a wise man.
If love is a 'doctrine', then it's also a grace, a blessing, a gift given to be shared.

Love, L's

Thy Peace said...

I have been making too may off topic posts. Hopefully this will be my last one for this post :)

I have been meaning to post this a while ago, but now is better than never.

For all the churches who wish to save on IT costs (hardware, software and support), I would encourage you to migrate to cloud computing. It is very easy. It will work for all your staff, work on any computer, and your emails/documents/websites/videos go with you as you travel, on your phones and on different computers.

Best of all it's free, if you are a registered non-profit.

Here it is. I have been using this for more than a year and I see so many benefits for our workplace.

Google Apps.

Here is a case study for a large IT company, that made the transition very smoothly.

Serena Software on switching from Microsoft Exchange to Google Apps.

The above will work even if you have one member staff to 100,000 member staff. I am assuming most churches have from 5 to 100 members on staff, both paid and non-paid.

The above solution will save you lot of headaches and help your church in the long run.

PS: If you use the above, and you wish to secure your communications, please choose the option to always use https or secure http as a default. This will be very good while traveling and in coffee shops with free wi-fi.

J.D. Rector said...

Bob:
Love your illustration of the rocking chairs at Cracker Barrel. Shazzam, the next time I sit in one, I will think about this post and all the "hankerin's" that went with it.

Wade and others-
My "hankerin" on the original topic is the decline in the offerings is due to the economy, and yes, God is sovereign over our present economic climate in this world. Just like I had a church member who owns his own business tell me a few months ago, he can't tithe on what he doesn't make. He is dependent on his real estate to sell. For those of you who have not been in the real world lately, real estate business is way off... just like the auto industry.

Yep, God is still sovereign.

Just my "hankerin" on the original topic.

RKSOKC66 said...

Strider:

Your report is very encouraging. Guys in IMB managment and/or the BoT should be more proactive in telling this positive story.

Maybe someone could take a page from Johnny Hunt's book. He is out there on podcasts, web interviews, Q&As etc all the time. Even a guy out here in flyover country knows what Johnny is trying to do. We see him reaching out. He is listening and fine tuning his pitch as a function of the feedback he is getting. He is engaged with everyone and including them. Every other day he is out there on an Internet screen near you.

This IMB Bot stuff has been going on for three years. Has anyone done anything to tell the average pastor or the guy in the pew that things are back on track?

Srider, the above was a rhetorical question. Of course, I'm not asking this to you personally.

I think the IMB communication department has an assignment. Working under the express direction of BoT leadership there is a message they need to produce and put on the Internet. It wouldn't hurt if they did this between now and the convention.

Roger Simpson
Oklahoma City OK

Jim Paslay said...

Greg said:

"That’s the good old Fundamentalist Spirit Jim!!! When you can’t defend your doctrine from the Word of God alone, and the other guy is scoring some points, start slinging mud.... start assigning an impure motive to their argument."

Greg,the fact that you don't know me or have never spoken to me in person but can perceive from a post that I am a "Funny-damn-mentalist" is amazing! Will you help me with my future investments since you know so much?

I do believe I know a little bit about how grapes were pressed into a thick paste in NT times. The fruit that comes from the vine is grapes and the result of pressing grapes is thick paste that was mixed with water to make juice. Depending on how much water you mixed with the paste determined the quality of the juice. Even if the water that was turned to "wine" in John 2:1-12 was alcoholic and there are good scholars that refute that, it did not have near the alcoholic content that modern wine has in our culture.

I have a solution to this argument. Grow your own grapes and press them. Let the grape juice ferment and then use it in the Lord's Supper. But I don't need to do that since we have refrigeration and we have good ole Welch's grape juice that you seem to despise. What is the need for the alcohol in the drink? I'm sorry but I don't see the need!

One more thing, Greg, I am definitely a supporter of the CR back in the 1970s and 80s but I don't use smear tactics to make an argument.

bapticus hereticus said...

Rhology: bapticus heretcus, No errantists, please, for IMB appointment. And hold the mayo as well, thanks.

bapticus hereticus: Best wishes for you, Rhology, and your wife's appointment; I hope it works out for the both of you.

RKSOKC66 said...

Strider:

I'm much into media production.

Here is my idea:

Location: Monument Avenue studio "A"

Set: Table / Desk with world map backgound

Cast: Reporter, Dr. Rankin, Dr. Chitwood

Script:

Reporter: Welcome to this IMB podcast . . . . . . . Today in the studio as our guests are Dr. Rankin President of the IMB and Dr. Chitwood Chairman of the IMB. ...... Starting with you Dr. Chitwood what is the message you want to tell right now to everyone in the SBC family .....

Dr. Chitwood: ...........

Reporter: Dr. Rankin is there anything you would add to that from your perspective

Dr. Rankin: ...........

then you go on and addess the new spirit of cooperation between management and the board, the fact that certain cost containment procedures are being implemented, the need for more CP giving, the fact the we have 5,600 M's on the front line, and we still have the most effective missions organization since Paul left Antioch.

In a 20 minute podcast all the angst would be put to bed.

I might save $1,000 since I won't have to go to Jax on my own dime to "prove" that things are running on all cylinders.

Actually, I want to go to Jax anyway just to say I've been in Gatorland. I've been to about 45 of the 50 states so I guess I better make my pilgrimage to FL before I leave this mortal coil.

Roger Simpson

Tom Kelley said...

Debbie Kaufman,
I apologize. My comments must not have come across with the light humor that I intended. I wasn't meaning to cause you grief or embarrassment by commenting on the comment you deleted; I wrote and posted mine before I saw that you had removed yours, so I then made a follow up comment to clarify what I was talking about for anyone who missed your initial comment. I can go back and delete them both if you desire.

I have enjoyed and been blessed and challenged by your comments on this blog and expect that to continue. But I simply do not agree with your assertions about what is "off-topic." If someone randomly posts a comment that’s totally unrelated in any way to the original post or not in response to matters brought forth in the subsequent discussion, that would be "off topic". However, in this case, the original topic is the impact of legalism on the amount of Southern Baptist offerings, which naturally raised the question of whether there could be other causes for the decline in offering dollars, which led one person to speculate that one reason could be that America as a nation is not following God (a la 2 Chronicles 7:14, "If my people..."), which led another to question whether America could be equated with Israel ("my people"), which led to some discussion of the place of Reformed theology in Baptist life -- all a reasonable and worthwhile progression of the topic, all tracing back to the original post. It's just the way that blogs tend to work, and you could save yourself a lot of frustration by accepting that, and by trusting that the blog host will police his own blog as he sees fit.

If Wade feels that a particular progression of thought is straying too far off topic, he can (and I trust he will) step in and say so, and as guests on his blog we will comply with his wishes. But I'm not going to "just stop it" simply because you say so. Shutting down a conversation like that is not your prerogative. I generally don’t like communicating this bluntly, but it seems to be your language of choice on this matter, so I hope this confrontational style helps make my thoughts plain to you.
-----
Tom

Tom Parker said...

Jim Paslay:

You said:"I have a solution to this argument. Grow your own grapes and press them. Let the grape juice ferment and then use it in the Lord's Supper. But I don't need to do that since we have refrigeration and we have good ole Welch's grape juice that you seem to despise. What is the need for the alcohol in the drink? I'm sorry but I don't see the need!


I have a better solution--some believe their was alcohol in the wine in the days of Jesus and some like yourself do not believe there was alcohol or just a little alcohol--

In the spirit of Baptist cooperation those like yourself use grape juice for the Lord's Supper and others use the lowest alcohol content available for the Lord's Supper.

Please tell me you could agree to this and let's get on with Kingdom work and quit arguing about alcohol.

Paula said...

Romans 14:17
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit

Paula said...

Another thought:

If per Rom. 14 there is need to accommodate individual conscience, then isn't the church violating that scripture when it mandates drink/no drink, meat/no meat, etc.?

Christiane said...

Hi PAULA,

On the need to accommodate individual conscience:

That's what 'orthodox' Christianity teaches, as represented in the tradition of my faith:

In its document "Dignitatis Humanae," the Second Vatican Council wrote,
"On his part, man perceives and acknowledges the imperatives of the divine law through the mediation of conscience.
In all his activity a man is bound to follow his conscience in order that he may come to God, the end and purpose of life.
It follows that he is not to be forced to act in manner contrary to his conscience.
Nor, on the other hand, is he to be restrained from acting in accordance with his conscience, especially in matters religious."

The Catechism of the Catholic church, quoting from Vatican II's "Gaudium et Spes," notes,

"Conscience is man's most secret core, and his sanctuary.
There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths"


I wonder what position conscience plays in the Baptist faith?
I wonder why people were asked to sign the man-made document BF&M2k,
if they conscentiously objected to parts of it? Love, L's

Paula said...

I view this issue as something like a fence that encloses a meadow. The sheep are free to graze withing the fenced area, but cannot pass beyond the fence no matter how green the grass looks on the other side.

The teachings of the Bible are the fence. Conscience is the meadow.

Paula said...

That should be "within", not "withing". Whathever.

Christiane said...

Hi PAULA,

I like your analogy.

I was taught this:
if I had to make an important decision, I was to consider the teachings of my faith;
look at the reality of my situation, pray to the Holy Spirit for guidance, and then follow my conscience as directly guided by the Spirit. Love, L's

Thy Peace said...

"If and when we fall short of our budget - and that has not happened in the last 15 years - we will ask ourselves one question:

What is the Lord saying to us?"
.

Pastor Wade, if someone from outside were to objectively view and watch Emmanuel Baptist Church, and if one treated your Church as a purely secular company or a business, they would be very impressed. Of course, if they consider God to be central in everything of Emmanuel, they will be more impressed.

Why is that?

Your Church is open and transparent. You share information with your members and are not hesitant to ask them to check everything you say, to ask questions, to be Bereans. Also you have feedback loops, where you seek feedback from members in a objective manner that is anonymous, focusing only on the questions that matter for the governance of the church and truly anonymous voting for the staff. You have consistently mentioned that the Church leaders are to serve the members and not the other way around.

A truly successful business, even secular ones, if they did what you practice, they will do very well, even in a bad economy.

Why is that?

Because they are truly serving the needs of the members or customers.

Tom Kelley said...

L's,
You said, "I wonder what position conscience plays in the Baptist faith?"

The doctrine of "liberty of conscience" has historically been near and dear to Baptists, and much more a part of the true "Baptist Identity" than some of the issues focused on by those who claim the BI title.

Roger Williams, who founded one of the first (if not the first) Baptist churches in America, strongly argued that individuals and churches should have freedom of opinion on religious matters, which he called "soul-liberty". This concept is well-known to be a basis for the freedom of religion clauses of the U.S. Constitution's 1st Admendment. As what was at that time a small, minority denomination, which had already been persecuted by the state established religions of England and the U.S colonies, it was important to Baptists that they and others be allowed the freedom to believe and worship according to the dictates of their own consciences.

Unfortunately, as Baptists have become a majority denomination in the U.S., some seem to have forgotten, or at least neglected, the importance of allowing for certain doctrinal differences and dissent that arise from each person following what their own conscience leads them to conclude is God's truth and God's will.

Yes, Baptists have always been a people of the book, and the historical evidence is that they have always trusted the Bible as true and reliable, not only in doctrine but in all matters contained in it. Call it the Bible's infallibility, or inerrancy, or reliability or whatever, the concept has historically been held by Baptists just as strongly as the idea of libery of conscience; therefore, the Bible is seen as the conscience's guide and the standard by which all beliefs must be measured. But they have also recognized that there are differences of interpretation of the Bible, and have zealously defended the rights of all individuals and faith groups to follow the dictates of their own consciences as they seek to understand and apply the Scriptures in their lives.

The fact that imposing a particular religious belief on others is so contrary to true Baptist identity and ideals is exactly why Wade and others (like myself) are so bothered by the tactics and practices of certain current SBC leaders. Forcing conformity on secondary or tertiary doctrines just "ain't Baptist". :)

I am glad to hear that, with Vactican 2, the RCC has affirmed the Baptist (and scriptural) ideal of "soul-liberty". :)
-----
Tom

Jim Paslay said...

Tom Parker said:

"Please tell me you could agree to this and let's get on with Kingdom work and quit arguing about alcohol."

Last time I checked, Tom, I don't operate this blog, Wade Burleson does. And he seems determined to bring the subject up himself. According to Wade, the stance on alcohol indirectly has to do with the declining gifts to Lottie Moon.

I will argue passionately for abstinence when it comes to beverage alcohol. And it is not because I'm a legalist, but a firm believer that for every good reason to drink beverage alcohol in America, I can find five against it.

As long as people get killed on the highways because of a drunk driver, I will advocate abstinence. As long as I have to deal with a battered woman whose alcoholic boyfriend beats her up on more than one occasion, I will advoccate abstinence. As long as there are girls being date raped at a party where alcohol is flowing, I will advocate abstinence. I will not apologize for advocating a position I believe the Bible teaches. And you and anyone else can call me whatever names you desire, but I don't believe Baptists who teach and practice abstinence are hurting the SBC.

Paul Burleson said...

I have tremendous respect for so many regular commenters on this blog such as Strider to mention only one. [Although in my opinion he doesn't comment enough for my taste,]

That said, I do wish to simply suggest that the purpose for which this blog exists is a bit different than many other blogs including my own. That creates something of a conundrum as to content.

By it's very nature, from it's birth, it raises issues that are controversial. It is almost something of a watchdog blog in SBC matters especially in regards to abuses done by the powerful to the less powerful and those that could be called foot soldiers regardless of gender. [For lack of a better term.] This is TOTALLY my own view and Wade may disagree with me on this since we'e not discussed it at all.

I must admit that most blogs I read of this nature whether they are religious, political or just personal don't leave a good taste in my mouth at times.

For me, this one is different. One reason is I never see a POST that I view as attacking a person's character, motive, or person. Although one's actions, beliefs, or words are fair game and are challenged often. But even then I believe Wade does it with grace and love even when he is stern. [I DO realize my view can be twisted because of relationship but if you knew me at all you would know I guard against that with a passion.]

But that does leave a comment section that requires a personal testing of one's OWN words because this blog ALLOWS much tha others would not at all.

I've had to disapprove some comments on my blog because they display a SPIRIT I wish to not have on it. But my purpose is a bit different as I said.

I'm saying all this to get here. I DO believe we are being given an opportunity on this blog to DEBATE issues that others will sometimes write about [Others wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole.] but there is often little ability to respond to what is written with words to the contrary. [And that's OK.]

I comment little here for obvious reasons. [Too much lately perhaps.] But I'm challenged in this very way when I do comment. The spirit of my words is just as important as the words themselves
and that isn't easy to watch out for oftentimes.

I would like to challenge us all to search our spirit in writing a comment and before we post it be able to say "Lord, I speak this in your name and by your grace to a person whom I love as you love me." If the Lord smiles...you all know what I mean here... post it. If not, correct it before posting.

I will do this and I thank Wade for having the patience and personal security [Maybe even guts] to let us talk about the things we do the way we do. He challenges little of WHAT we say and forbids even less. But the way we say things DOES need to be checked...by each of us.

Greg Alford said...

Jim Paslay,

I don’t have to know you to know that your assigning impure motives to all those who disagree with you on the issue of wine in communion is a clear example of the fundamentalist spirit that sadly many in the SBC just can’t overcome.

Jim you said “I do believe I know a little bit about how grapes were pressed into a thick paste in NT times.” Ok, Jim… would you mind sharing with me your sources for this historical claim? Seriously, I have never heard of such a thing as grape paste.

Jim you said “What is the need for the alcohol in the drink? I'm sorry but I don't see the need! Honestly Jim neither do I… but then I did not write the Bible and my only point in this discussion is that even though I do not see the need, I cannot disallow anything that God himself has allowed.

Grace Always,

Christiane said...

Hi TOM KELLEY,

Thank you so much for helping me to understand. I have believed for some time that the B.I. 'crowd' seemed intolerant of others and that this has hurt them, other Baptists, and the SBC.

For sure, the B.I. do NOT recognize the supremacy of an individual's conscience in all things religious.

That is one of the most cherished beliefs in all of orthodox and main-stream Christianity.

I already picked up from the tone of many of the bloggers here, that they are 'people of the Book', that they are moral, and ethical, and deeply faithful to the Way of the Lord. So, I am not surprised to have you confirm that following one's conscience is a cherished Baptist belief. Yet, still, am I gladdened to hear your witness to it. Love, L's

Debbie Kaufman said...

Tom Kelley: I don't embarrass easily. I do not see where what you were discussing fit into the subject matter of this post. I was becoming increasingly frustrated as the subject was the decline of the LM and CP offerings due to legalism, yet I couldn't discuss it nor could anyone else satisfactorily because of your conversation. I call it rude. You say you won't stop. We are at a impasse aren't we.

Strider said...

Roger-
That's a wrap! Maybe they will read this and do it. My concern is that unless Jerry and Paul start beating on each other it wont be controversial enough to merit anyone's attention.

missshunary said...

"As long as people get killed on the highways because of a drunk driver, I will advocate abstinence."

But Jim, why stop there? Why don't you advocate that the government install governors on car engines so people can't go too fast?

How about advocating for a minimum age driving of 28 years so that younger, less mature drivers won't be behind a wheel driving like they are drunk even without the alcohol?

How about advocating doing away with cars altogether and we all just walk everywhere?

I have read all your comments and still say your missing the point.

Also, you might be interested to know that if God called you to serve in missions in Europe, you could not be obedient. The first time they serve communion and you reject participation due to real wine being served, and then you tried to lecture them on their "unbiblical position" they hold to, they would ask you to leave.

Try to wrap your intelligence around the fact that you and I don't neccesarily like it or prefer it, but we can't condemn others for doing it while pointing to biblical evidence against it.

It's simply not possible.

On another note, why did Peter deny that everyone was drunk when they started speaking in toungues because it was only 9 in the morning if it were only crushed grape paste?

Debbie Kaufman said...

Strider: I love to read what God has been doing in your work, Bryan's and Guy's. As you know I have a special heart for missions and missionaries.

But, and here is the but, there have been too many problems that have festered in the SBC for far too long. Legalism has taken over, Christ had been replaced with the stars and stripes forever. Politics and power reigned in the SBC for far too long. Three years have changed things for the better, and I am glad and rejoicing to see it, but there is still a long way to go and there are things going on behind the scenes that are not solved. There is still a power struggle for legalism. As you know now missionaries are being cut back. We are taking two steps forward and one step back.

The negatives need to be talked about as hard and as tiring as it is to do so. The positives mean nothing to me as long as the negatives still rear there ugly heads.

There are lives that have been affected by all of this that have not been offered an apology for and are still being wrecked. Affairs are still occurring among ministers, and we have to talk about it, we have to solve it before we can fully go forward. To not, is to once again pretend all is well. God says to examine our hearts, while this is a beginning, until we collectively humble ourselves and repent, starting over again so to speak, this is not over.

Rev. said...

Is using wine in communion *really* an issue, or is it consuming alcohol as a beverage drink? The two are different. Has anyone from the IMB said churches/ individuals using wine in communion are exempt from missionary support/service?

Lydia said...

Tom Kelley: I don't embarrass easily. I do not see where what you were discussing fit into the subject matter of this post. I was becoming increasingly frustrated as the subject was the decline of the LM and CP offerings due to legalism, yet I couldn't discuss it nor could anyone else satisfactorily because of your conversation. I call it rude. You say you won't stop. We are at a impasse aren't we.

Sat Jun 13, 02:32:00 AM 2009

Wow, Debbie. This really surprised me coming from you. Your comments in the last few threads have surprised me. There are many here who routinely stray off topic (guilty myself) but you seem to have zeroed in a few folks who really do not comment here that often. Going off topic is the nature of blog threads. Do you really want to drive these brothers and sisters away? You made a comment on a thread that perhaps Tom was not SBC. I know he was for a long time. I am not sure about today.

I do not think folks like Paula and Tom were being intentionally rude. They are giving opinions on other comments like everyone else and even a bit nicer than some of the regulars...like me:o(

I hate to say it but I hope you do not come back with some blasting me off the planet comment. This seems out of character for you.

Paula said...

Tanx Lydia! :-)

For my part, I will try to start stating up front how my comment pertains to the topic. For example, what I've said about wine and tithing are matters of legalism, which was in fact the post topic. Legalism is wide-ranging and includes many things that are held as personal convictions which some try to impose upon others.

There are things the SBC as a denomination holds to be essential, but we need to get away from "identity" (as it pertains to any given denom) and go back to "Christian". We need to show which are the "fences" and which belong in the "meadow", per my recent illustration. We need to remember what the Gospel is and is not, what the NT letters teach based upon undisputed passages (undisputed within Christianity, not regarding the text or canon), and above all, that the mark of the Christian must be a balance of love and truth.

Strider said...

Debbie, I knew I might be misunderstood in that comment. Yes, please stand up for what is right and please stand against any and all Phariseeism that exist to exalt self and control others. But my point was that so much negative has been blasted about that many have apparently forgotten what it was that we were supposed to be doing. The IMB has not forgotten its mission. Its Trustees have been reluctant partners in the past- and I really hope that that is in the past- but SB's can be, should be proud and excited about what God is doing through those whom they support through the IMB.
By the way, I didn't comment but I love your last post.

Jim Paslay said...

Greg said:

"Jim you said “I do believe I know a little bit about how grapes were pressed into a thick paste in NT times.” Ok, Jim… would you mind sharing with me your sources for this historical claim? Seriously, I have never heard of such a thing as grape paste."

Greg, I checked my personal library to find the book where I got the "thick grape paste" quote. I have either loaned it out or have put it where it is not supposed to be. I will find it and get you the source. I did go online and look at a website that talks about the making of wine in the NT. The author refers to the pressed grape solution as a thick syrup that must be diluted with water. Otherwide you get a grape jam type consistency. That is what I am referring to.

Missshunary said:

"I have read all your comments and still say your missing the point."

Wade's point which I was responding to is the decline of LM and CP offerings are due to legalism. He then uses a particular couple and church to try and prove his point. The example used by Wade is about this couple using alcoholic wine for the Lord's Supper. I simply stated that the reference to the Lord's Supper is the "fruit of the vine" which is grape juice and not wine. Is my stance legalistic? According to the moderation crowd, it is. So be it!

Tom Parker said...

Jim P:

Maybe your stance is not just legalistic, it is fundamentalist, intolerant, uncooperative ,extra-biblical, etc. Wink-Wink

Tom Kelley said...

Debbie Kaufman,
I explained as best as I could how my comments and others' fit into the flow of the comment stream, so I don't know what else to do about you not being able to see it. You say it is rude for us to pursue a topic where it leads; I say it is rude for you to try to dictate on someone else's blog what is and isn't an acceptable direction for comments to follow. I also think I've been a lot nicer about our disagreement than you have.

It is ridiculous for you to claim that you and others could not discuss the topic of the post because of my comments and others. Even if we were totally off-topic (which I don't agree is the case), everyone was still free to make any comments they wished. Personally, I think you just got annoyed because you weren't interested in some of the flow of the conversation, and now you are trying to justify your own rude behavior that arose from your frustration.

Since this topic has mostly run its course and Wade has created a new post, it doesn't really matter that we are at an impasse. But I do hope you can learn to relax a little and go with the flow next time, or at least ignore those comments or commenters that don't interest you personally.
-----
Tom

Jim Paslay said...

Tom Parker said:

"Maybe your stance is not just legalistic, it is fundamentalist, intolerant, uncooperative ,extra-biblical, etc. Wink-Wink"

Possible, I will admit and if I am wrong and have led people astray I will apologize in heaven. If I am right, you and Wade just might have to apologize. Double wink-wink!

Christiane said...

Dear JIM PASLAY,

I have a request for you to try something. This will seem very strange to you, but it may help you.

Call a synogogue and ask to meet with the rabbi. You may want to call an 'orthodox' synogogue.

When you have your appointment, tell the rabbi about your ideas about the use of wine and grape juice. What the rabbi can do for you is to explain the history and the significance of what was used in the time of Christ.

I think that, in doing this, you will have done what you could, to try to find out what is correct in the sacred obligations of your Baptist 'ordinances'.

I think you do not need to 'apologize' or 'ask forgiveness', Jim, if you make an effort to seek the truth in ways that may reveal something to you that you may not have understood before.

It's a journey into the past that you take, when you talk to the rabbis, Jim. But I think you may find some peace there.
Much love, L's

RKSOKC66 said...

Strider:

Please e-mail me at

rksimpson1@cox.net

I have an idea I'd like to bounce of of you. It is crazy!

I promise I won't blow your cover.

In Gods Time,

Roger K. Simpson
Oklahoma City OK

Jim Paslay said...

Christiane,

Thanks for the kind words. I actually talked to a rabbi several years ago. I am just having a hard time with the "fruit of the vine" phrase in reference to the Lord's Supper. To me the "fruit of the vine" means grape juice pure and simple. Also, in our culture with all the bad things directly or indirectly attributed to beverage alcohol, I fail to see the need to encourage social drinking. The Bible has more to say about the dangers of drunkenness then it does about encouraging social drinking. I maybe wrong but social drinking is like playing with a snake. Sooner or later it will bite you.

I do have one question for you. If you advocate the using of wine in the Lord's Supper, how do you deal with kids under age who want to partake? Just curious.

Christiane said...

Hi JIM PASLAY,

It's me, L's

When I was a child, I received Communion under the one Host: the unleavened wafer only as it is called prior to the Consecration.

My students in Catholic school also only received under the one Host. As did my own children.

I have no objection to anyone of any age receiving under both Hosts, personally, but I must once again refer you to the counsel of a priest or a nun to discuss this matter. This is because it involves the teachings of my Church about the Last Supper which are different from those of your own faith. Our faith teaches that Communion is not simply a memorial, and the Words of Christ are taken literally.

I have two photographs of my son Patrick, with Down Syndrome, receiving Communion under the Hosts of the wine and of the unleavened bread.

I respect your concerns about the evils that abuse of alcohol cause among our society, but the use of a pure wine in Judaism or in mainline Christianity is part of a liturgical service, done in great reverence, according to the Scriptures and traditions of these faiths.

We may, in my faith, receive Communion under one OR BOTH Hosts, so it is not 'required' to drink of the Cup, but the Cup of Blessing is offered, if we wish to partake of it also. Love, L's

P.S. If you receive the Baptist ordinance using grape juice, I do believe that you also receive the Lord's Blessing upon you, Jim, although your understanding of this is that it is as a 'memorial' only.

Still, in honoring Him, are you fully blessed.

I do not 'discount' any of the Lord's Blessings on those who truly love Him. Love, L's