Thursday, June 14, 2007

Jamestown Quadracentennial 1607-2007

This week our family was given a very special gift. A very sweet lady and her daughter from San Antonio, TX purchased tickets for our family to attend the Jamestown Quadracentennial in Virginia. We were greatly humbled and appreciative as our children had been studying some of the beginnings of our nation. We arrived here on Wednesday and these dear ladies had lunch ready for us at the hotel where we registered for the celebration. Then later when we checked into our hotel we entered and these ladies had found out where we were staying and filled our room with all sorts of fruits and organic goodies:) Denise and I were speechless and in all honesty were moved to tears. They then proceeded to purchase for us hot air balloon tickets and a historical boat tour for all the members of our family.

These dear ladies attend a church in San Antonio and after speaking with several of the men in that church, this is not unusual for them to do. God has given them tremendous means and a wonderful gift of His Spirit. This church is greatly blessed to have such women in its midst. God has indeed been gracious to these ladies, their church, and to us as well. We bless Him for His goodness through the means of women like these in His body.

Now, we are here to learn about the Providential hand of God in our nation's founding. As we are instructed in Psalm 78 as fathers :

Give ear, O my people, to my law; Incline your ears to the words of my mouth.2 I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old,3 Which we have heard and known, And our fathers have told us.4 We will not hide them from their children, Telling to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, And His strength and His wonderful works that He has done.5 For He established a testimony in Jacob, And appointed a law in Israel, Which He commanded our fathers, That they should make them known to their children;6 That the generation to come might know them, The children who would be born, That they may arise and declare them to their children,7 That they may set their hope in God, And not forget the works of God, But keep His commandments;8 And may not be like their fathers, A stubborn and rebellious generation, A generation that did not set its heart aright, And whose spirit was not faithful to God.

One of the desires I have is to better understand history and the Providence of God, so when I get an opportunity to hear men speak of historical events and put it in the perspective of seeing the hand of God at work and the purposes He was accomplishing, I jump at it. This week has been pretty impressive so far. We missed the first two days, so of course we are hearing all about the wonderful tours and speakers. I was really encouraged on Wednesday evening by the fact that the dramatic presentation of the first colony settlement basically came down to a memorable quote:

There are no extraordinary men. God simply puts ordinary men in extraordinary circumstances to achieve extraordinary things for His purposes and glory.

Monday, June 11, 2007


I just finished reading Nathan's blog, along with several other's including Tom Aschol and Timmy Brister concerning what the Florida Baptist Convention has done in distributing what they feel are "evils" coming into the church. First and foremost, it simply should have never been done. Whoever authorized it should not only apologize, but should have to foot the bill or lose his job. Many of you who know me, know I can be very gracious about a lot of things, but when it comes to someone outrightly attacking the doctrine of God's sovereign grace, well, I have no patience for that at all. If someone is not understanding the doctrines, fine, I have no problem with patience, but when men who should be able to read and articulate properly another's view and should have been trained to exposit Scripture and they openly misrepresent and mischaracterize and demonize those who hold to those doctrines that they are so foolishly balking at, then it is time to do what the apostle Paul says to do.

Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

This passage falls right in the midst of a section concerning elders. Many of those in the position of leadership in the SBC are in fact elders, though most want to use the title pastor. As such, we must remember that those in leadership in the SBC must be held accountable and that does not merely mean some "apology", but biblical repentance.

Just so that we understand, the SBC has been politicized for over a decade. While some of the men such as Dr. Jerry Vines, Dr. Adrian Rogers, and Dr. Paige Patterson were incredibly effective in bringing the SBC back from total liberalism, these men, along with others, are the ones keeping the convention from returning to truly conservative Christianity and a clear biblical gospel AND returning to the rich calvinistic heritage of their forefathers. As a matter of fact, many who founded the SBC would see these men as liberals. This must be kept in mind when confronting this situation.

Once the SBC had pushed the issue of inerrancy to the forefront, many thought that was all that needed to be done and as long as you hollered from the pulpit that you believed the Bible was inerrant made you one of the "good ole boys". Well, there are many great men of God who have been used of God in that. However, what eventually happened was that many of the liberals wanted to stay in the SBC and try to retake the convention. When this happened those who had battled their way to the top via standing upon the Word of God as the Word of God, sunk to political maneuvering and sought to rid the convention of the liberals through means of money. By using money as a ploy to maintain status in the SBC, those in power hoped to rid themselves of the liberals. Gentleman, you should have simply stood fast upon the Scriptures apart from the political tactics.

With that in mind, now calvinism (the true gospel), is under open and blatant attack. There is no reason for the ignorance of these men. They are PhD's for crying out loud, not some small town guy from South Carolina. There is simply no excuse for the blatant misrepresentations, dishonesty and yes outright lying concerning the doctrines of grace. These men evidently express such arrogance in their sermons that sometimes I simply think they are desirous of the applause of men when it comes to this issue and not good pleasure of God (that's my opinion). You can hear it in their tones.

As Dr. Nettles told me at the conference in October in Virginia, "the battle right now in the SBC is over recovering the true gospel." He is right. Basically we are seeing a similar battle raging in the SBC that took place 500 years ago. Many Southern Baptists don't know their own heritage and are WILLINGLY IGNORANT OF IT.

I recall receiving Bob Selph's little book titled, "What Southern Baptists believe about the doctrine of election" some years ago. He detailed a tremendous amount of history concerning our forefathers and the faith they held to. While I applaud the efforts of men like Dr. Aschol, Dr. Nettles, and others, I wonder if in the end many in the SBC should not simply pull out, let it implode and be separatists rather than puritans. Maybe I'm wrong, but I have experienced the same thing in the local church and it seems that when a little leaven enters in it leavens the whole lump. Getting rid of it is next to impossible. You don't have to remind me that all things are possible with God. This I know. I'm just saying that even history bears out that there will more than likely be a clear break that will have to be made in the SBC between the Arminians and the Calvinists. I am not a prophet, nor the son of a prophet, but I can't see it any other way.