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

Differences Among Christians Matter Not to Pagans

Evan Jones
Most of my heroes are dead.

The Countess of Huntington (1707-1791). William Carey (1761-1834).  Jarena Lee (1783-1864). Adoniram Judson (1788-1850). Evan Jones (1788-1872). Epaphras Chapman (1792-1825). David Livingstone (1813-1873). Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892). Henry M. Stanley (1841-1904). 

They're all gone, only to be met in eternity. It's best for our Christian heroes to be six feet underground before stained glass windows in their likenesses appear six feet above ground.

One of my heroes, Indian missionary Evan Jones and his son John, are called "Champions of the Cherokees" by historian William G. McLoughlin in a book of the same title.

In reading this week about Evan's work among the Cherokees in the mountains of southwest North Carolina, I came across an interesting observation made by the missionaries. A great revival broke out among the Cherokees beginning in 1828 and lasting until 1832. Many Cherokees abandoned their native spiritism (adonisgi), and placed their faith in Christ.

White missionaries among the Cherokees included Moravians, Congregationalists, Methodists, Baptists, Anglicans, and Presbyterians. All of them, regardless of denomination, saw the Lord add to their churches.

Evan Jones made the observation that the differences among Christians mattered not among the Indians.

Everyone who named Christ as Lord was a Christian to them.

No savage shaman who sought to scalp a saint separated the selected sacrifice by sect.

Differences mattered not.

It brought to mind this axiom:
"The greater my concern over the errors of saints with us, the less my compassion over the eternity of sinners around us."
Or, to put it another way:
"Making a secondary thing primary in ministry will result in Jesus Christ being secondary in message."
May it never be.

Enjoy the 4th of July however you celebrate!

24 comments:

Bob Cleveland said...

I'm thinking it may be time for Cleveland's Corollary to Murphy's Law: "Anything we can find a way to get wrong, we will find a way to get wrong".

And O'Toole's Corollary still applies: "Murphy was an optimist".

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

Is it possible to remove from the stain glass in SWBTS chapel the pictures of Patterson and Pressler?

“Making secondary things primary in my ministry will result in Jesus Christ being secondary in my message.”


My father had a saying: “I hate a sermon that never mentions HIS name.”

Once, I heard a pastor preach his whole sermon on the importance of memorizing Scripture. When he finished, he had everyone to stand.

“If you’ll promise with me to memorized one verse every week, I want you to close your eyes with no one looking, I want you to raise your hand; then come sit on the front row and if there’s more room needed you can sit on the second row.”

Judy didn’t hear the sermon because she was in the nursey and stayed until the parents came. I don’t know what happened because I left as soon as all eyes were closed. I noticed our SS teacher was ahead of me.

That happened yesterday.

Wade Burleson said...

Rex,

"Is it possible to remove the stained-glass windows from the SWBTS?"

Yes. That will happen.

It's a matter of when.

Anonymous said...

Wade,

To whom may we attribute the quote: "The greater my concern over the errors of saints with you, the less my compassion over the eternity of sinners around me."?

Thanks!

-Hupomone

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

It might be easier, cheaper, and faster to paint horns and a tail on them. :)


Victorious,

You said, “Anyone who can say he could walk down the street and shoot someone and still get the votes cannot represent Christianity.”

You know in your heart Trump said that as a joke to illustrate the loyalty of his fans’.

It’s easy to see the columnist you quote has drank Kool-Aid.

Do you watch CNN, Fox News, or both? You know Obama hated Fox news. I believe one reason why Hillary lost was that he endorsed her.

My wife records “Outnumbered” as her favorite show. It consists of 4 women and 1 man. The women are two Republicans and two Democrats. There are a lot of different men as the guest. They may be R. or D. They discuss and argue current events that are about politics.

Chris Riley said...

It seems to me that the Bible has a number of groups who were worried about being correct above being relational to reconcile with God. Everyone one of them seems to be out of favor with God. Maybe instead of theological purists we need to err on the side of reconciliational activists.

Christiane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wade Burleson said...

Chris,

"Maybe instead of theological purists we need to err on the side of reconciliational activists."

Couldn't have said it any better.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

Maybe some preachers should spend less time on entertaining and more bragging on Jesus.

DLF said...

It seems that Christians are continually arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, and refusing to fellowship with those who come up with a different number than they do. What an incredible waste of time. We have so many more important things to be doing.

Rex Ray said...

DFL,

If you were asked by your pastor to memorize a verse of Scripture each week, how would you reply?

DLF said...

Rex,

I would have not raised my hand, and I would not have gone to the front row. Then, I would have began looking for a new church where the pastor did not use cheap tricks to guilt the congregation into doing something. Memorizing scripture is certainly a worthy activity, don't get me wrong, but manipulating the flock into making a commitment to do something is not. I wonder how many people who did raise their hands actually memorized a new verse more than a couple of weeks. I seem to remember that Jesus said that a person who performed their spiritual activities in public for everyone else to see was just fooling themselves. Those folks may have impressed those around them with their spirituality, but I doubt that the Lord was terribly impressed. He knows our hearts. He knows what we do and think when no one is watching, and He loves us anyway.

Rex Ray said...

DLF,

Good reply...well said.

Christiane said...

' . . . and He loves us anyway'

thank you, DLF

Anonymous said...

Wondering if you about to post on this....very concerned that this has moved to a war between the donors.

http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/cwn/2018/july/major-donors-threaten-baptist-seminary-leaders-over-indefensible-firing-of-paige-patterson

Wade Burleson said...

Post...coming...tomorrow.

Hold on. It will be a doozy.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

I’d like to post this Off Topic story here as not to distract from the “doozy post” tomorrow. :)

This story, got a Gold Star at Austin College in Sherman, TX.

Surprise – Surprise By Rex Ray

In December 1954, I was twenty-two and a senior at North Texas State University at Denton, Texas. I worked a 40 hour week on a graveyard shift for a dollar an hour.

I rented a house, and since our parents taught school in Alaska, my sisters (ages 14 and 16) lived with me. I paid $50 for my only motorcycle – a 1947 Indian Chief. Riding “Chief” exhilarated me.

I had Chief a month before riding it to Roswell, New Mexico to see Betty whom I’d dated the previous year. She had graduated and was teaching school. I had not seen, written, or called her in three months. My sisters told me I should write Betty and to drive my car, but they didn’t realize I wanted an excuse for riding Chief, and how much fun it would be to surprise Betty and give her a ride on Chief.

I got off work at mid-night and worked on Chief till daylight. Since it was cold, and no windshield, I wore long-johns, blue jeans, coveralls, and a leather jacket, but my teeth still chattered till I got numb all over.

The 422 miles took seventeen hours because some would call Chief a pile of “junk”. Many things kept coming loose and the chain had a habit of ‘coffee breaks’. Or maybe it was because of an amateur mechanic.

Knocking on her uncle’s door at ten o’clock that night, I think I was more surprised than Betty when she introduced me to her boyfriend. I told them Chief broke down ten miles out of town and I had hitchhiked. They got a flashlight for me to see how to fix it. Chief’s light wouldn’t work so I followed them. I didn’t dare ask Betty to ride with me because I got the feeling both wanted me to vanish. There was only one extra bed—I shared it with him. We didn’t talk much.

Since my arrival, I think I put a damper on their courtship. I spent the next day working on Chief. Even though I told Betty I’d been working and going to school and hadn’t dated anyone, she was angry. “You didn’t write a word and you show up expecting me to be waiting for you? You can keep your surprises to yourself!”

I left about sundown after receiving a short peck of a goodbye kiss.

It was one of those dark nights where you couldn’t see a thing. Once, I didn’t know when my headlight stopped working because the approaching car lights were blinding. When we passed, total darkness engulfed me with fear. Needless to say I stopped in a hurry.

I got the light working, but had to hold it in place. That caused me not to be able to hold the gas grip on the handlebar. I’d set top speed with the gas grip and then grab the light.

I came to a town but couldn’t slow down because the GAS GRIP HAD FALLEN OFF.

Rex Ray said...

I was dumb struck. I hit the brake but it did no good against the strong motor. I couldn’t cut the motor off because the switch cut the light off. When I could see by street lights, I cut the lights and motor and barely got slow enough for a left turn.

Thereafter, my left hand controlled the speed with a bailing wire attached to the carburetor, and my right hand directed the light. All went well until four in the morning and 125 miles from home. I’d missed sleep the day I started, and what I got with the boyfriend wasn’t much. Lack of sleep caught up with me and I dosed off. I woke up at full speed going into a ditch facing a railroad track. I had time to grab both handlebars and think: “This is going to be exciting!”

Wrong. There’s nothing exciting about being unconscious. Flying over the railroad track caved the front wheel into half a wheel. I wish I’d been thrown clear but Chief was on top of me. And worse, Chief didn’t die until it ran out of gas. Two hours later the motor was still hot. The muffler roasted my leg nearly to the bone. Tall grass had me hidden, but the LIGHT WAS STILL BURNING. The light may have saved my life because that’s what the wife of a motorist saw and got her husband to go back and investigate. They got a gas station attendant to help remove the heavy monster. They got me awake and asked a lot of questions, but all I knew was my name.

I don’t remember them taking me to a nearby hospital in Breckenridge. I woke up with a doctor telling me I had a close call from shock. I didn’t believe I was burned because the destroyed nerves caused no pain, but I was hurting in a lot of other places.

Since we didn’t have a phone, a sheriff informed my sisters. They drove my 1948 Hudson automobile – big enough I could lie in the back seat. The service station said they would keep Chief for me.

My sisters were the only ones to visit me for two months in the college hospital. Betty wrote one letter saying she was sorry I was hurt.

A doctor said he would charge only $100 to treat me as an experiment since he had never seen such a deep burn. He did a skin graft and changed the dressings every other day for over a month. Leaving the hospital, I was on crutches a month. Without his help I may have lost my leg.

The accident disqualified me to be a pilot in the Air Force. After graduating at NTSU, I received a teaching certificate at Austin College where I met my wife to be, but she wouldn’t ride with me on Chief after I’d fixed it up. Eventually my parents returned and pressured me to sell Chief. I failed to sell it for $100. My father asked to sell it. (He had paid the hospital bill, and had almost lost his fingers going through a barbwire fence on a motorcycle.) He sold Chief for $10. I never rode a motorcycle again and I never did any more surprises.

That’s the end of the story, but I’ll add that Judy and I met while I was on crutches at the Baptists Student Union at North Texas University. 57 years later I met Judy again and I had improved; one crutch and a cane. :)

Christiane said...

AWESOME STORY, Rex Ray . . . one of your best!

I can 'picture' the whole story as I read it and oh my goodness does the Good Lord take care of you!

What is it with guys and motorcycles? In my family, it was Cousin Sandy who rode a Harley with her "gang" (motorcycle club) on weekends. She LOVED it!

I hope you NOW have a nice luxury vehicle that is loaded with safety features all around. Dumb luck doesn't last, you know. What a story!

BTW, is the leg you 'cooked' the one that is now giving so much trouble? I wouldn't be surprised. Good grief! At least you had passed out and you were unconscious! All I can think is that God loves you dearly and He took care of you. His care DOES last. But you know this already. :)

Christiane said...

Hey REX RAY,
Be sure to share this story with Wade's father who has a picture of himself on a motorcycle on his blog!

When I'm out driving, and I see some young kid go roaring past on a motorcycle, I always make a quick sign of the cross and say a prayer for his/her protection. The 'vulnerability' factor on those things is way too high for anyone with sense, but the sheer joy of it all must outweigh the fear.

Rex Ray said...

CHRISTIANE,

Bless your heart. I knew if anyone replied it would be you. Yes, same leg but ankle. Started as a venous ulcer and went to cellulitis. Been in hospital 3 times and in 4 years I’ve seen 22 doctors. Had lazier vein surgery, artery surgery, skin graph, hypobaric chamber, and a ton of antibiotics.

We didn’t know if I could walk down the isle when we got married. Judy only weights 134 pounds, but if I couldn’t walk she was going to carry me ‘piggyback’ and we’d call it “Sadie Hawkins Day”.

Not long ago I was in a wheelchair and a doctor said my ankle looked so bad it looked like something from Star Wars. In three weeks I went back and they couldn’t believe their eyes at the improvement. I was walking without a cane. I said I had started using a salve made from roots in Romania.

Our song leader is from there and gave me some. In three days, I went from two canes, to one cane, to no cane.

My sister and her husband are in Romania now on a mission trip. I told her I’d pay for a barrel of salve. She text today the missionary had bought 4 large jars. :)

Christiane said...

Hello Rex Ray,

my father had issues with healing, so I am familiar with some of the treatments they tried including the hyperbaric chamber . . . he had circulation problems from many years with high blood pressure that apparently wasn't treated as they treat that problem now

that salve from Romania . . . I hope it has a list of ingredients when you get it, and maybe one of them is zinc oxide ointment, which is conducive to healing

Good on your sister with her missionary connection in Romania! I detect the Presence of Providence in the obtaining of that supply of salve for your ankle. It's a GOOD sign. :)

Rex Ray said...

CRYBABY DONORS demands are in newspapers.

You threaten to withhold your money unless you get your way in having Patterson reinstated from being fired for breaking the law.

You have drunk Patterson’s Kool Aid. You don’t care if SWBTS may be closed for lack of funds.

You don’t care if there’s less God called people to carry out the Great Commission.

You want to runover the SBC when they voted 90% NOT to do what you want done.

SHAME ON YOU.

You have resorted to BLACKMAIL.

To paraphrase your demands: We’re going to bomb SWBTS unless we get our way.

Go ahead and do what you want because the Lord will provide more than the amount of your money to carry out His work.

Christiane said...

Hello Rex Ray,

Imagine all of these 'supporters' who are 'wealthy' (in the material sense) using their money in 'support' of the person who had fired Dr. Sheri Klouda, who then sold her own blood to help pay the medical bills for her sick husband . . . .

I get a headache thinking about this.