"To testify the gospel of the grace of God." Acts 20:24
**PUBLISHED AS A MISSION PROJECT OF PILGRIMS HOPE BAPTIST CHURCH**
March 1, 2000
IN THIS ISSUE:
THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST ON TRIAL
SPURGEON ON PREACHING THE TRUE GOSPEL
Bouquets and Brickbats
BIBLE CONFERENCE ANNOUNCEMENTS
By Elder Wayne Cox
PREACHED AT CENTRAL BAPTIST CHURCH, GRENADA, MS, BIBLE CONFERENCE, 1966
I want us to turn to the eighth chapter of Paul's epistle to the Romans, verse 29. May I say this in the very outset, I do not know of a doctrine that is detested, abhorred and disliked more than the doctrine of unconditional election, unless it be the doctrine of the truth concerning the Lord's church. Those two doctrines, the truth of the Lord's church and the doctrine of unconditional election, always infuriate those who are unstable and unsound. May I also say, that if it were not for God's elective purpose, or elective grace, heaven would be for rent, if I should be so bold as to make such a statement. Regardless of whether or not you accept it, you still have to contend with it, because it's in the Word of God. Written upon every page from Genesis to Revelation is the doctrine of unconditional election.
In order for us to understand the Bible teaching of this unpopular and infuriating doctrine, a proper premise must be established. The premise that I wish to establish is that election is not only unconditional but it is also eternal. In the text Paul says, “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.”
The amazing thing about verse 29 of Romans chapter 8 that Arminians fail to see is that this is a qualifying statement; and not only is it qualifying, but, it is very restrictive. Notice the expression, “for whom he did foreknow.” The thing suggested is that He did not foreknow all: “for whom he did foreknow.” The word foreknow (or foreknowledge) means more than just prescience. Foreknowledge is definitely connected with an intimate relationship that exists between the one that is foreknown and the one that foreknew him.
We must never get the idea that all things aren't known of God, because all things are known to God. “Known of God are all his works from the beginning,” not just of the world, but of the ages (Acts 15:18). Every man that is in hell today, God, of course, knew of their existence, He knew all about them, but He certainly did not know them as the objects of His saving, loving, gracious compassion. Thus, we can boldly say that when Paul says, “For whom he did foreknow,” he means those whom God set His affection upon, those who were the objects of His love, those who became the recipients of His gracious compassion. What does he say? “For whom he did foreknow.” Some people try to limit the knowledge of God, but I would remind you, if there ever was a time that God did not know everything that there is to know, then there was a time when God wasn't God! The Bible teaches that nothing escapes God, that nothing happens by accident or coincidence, but that everything happens on purpose.
After pointing out some things about the people whom God foreknew, Paul says in the 11th chapter of Romans, verses 5 & 6, “Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace, and if by grace, then is it no more of works.” Many people apply this passage to salvation, but it really concerns election. They talk about how you can't mix works and grace for salvation, and that is true, but that is not what the passage is talking about. It is talking about the elective purpose of God: “and if by grace.” What is “by grace”? Election! “Then it is no more of works otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works then it is no more grace, otherwise work is no more work.” Then I contend that election is of grace.
Now may I raise this question, was there ever a time when there wasn’t grace with God? I want to say that again, was there ever a time when there was not grace with God? In 1 John 4 we are told that God is love. Was there ever a time when God wasn’t love? Now if you can find a time when God did not love, if you can find a time when God did not have mercy, then you can find a time when there was no such thing as divine grace. Grace is just as eternal as God himself. There is no beginning and there is no ending of grace. We will see the manifestation of God's grace throughout the endless ages of a never-ending eternity. But notice this, election is according to grace; and if election is according to grace, and if grace is as eternal as God Himself, then election must likewise be as old as God. I believe that the Bible teaches that election is not only unconditional, but that election is everlasting—eternal.
I would like to address two objections that the Arminians raise in their opposition to the doctrine of unconditional election. First, they contend that election takes place when one believes in Christ. Now that's ridiculous. I have read this, that election only takes place when one believes. I have a book on systematic theology that was written in 1865 by a man by the name of Lee, and I shall never forget his statement concerning the elective purpose of God. He said that when men believe, that's when they are elected, and he said that men believe on their own volition. If that is true, then, in the final analysis, men elect themselves and God has nothing to do with it. You say that's ridiculous. I say the same thing, but every Arminian in the world believes it. In the final analysis those who take the position that election takes place at the point of faith are actually contending for this doctrine, that man elects himself and God has nothing to do with it.
The other school of thought that is most popular is that election is based on foreseen faith.
Let me go back to the first school of thought first. They say that one is elected, not before, but when he believes. Let's look at John 10:16, “other sheep.” He is talking about the Gentiles, “other sheep,” not other goats, but “other sheep I have which are not of this fold.” This fold to which he refers were the Jewish sheep of the nation of Israel. Alright, “other sheep I have which are not of this fold, them also I must bring.” That word bring is used 71 times in the new testament in the sense that it is used here, and, believe it or not, it means to drag; if you want to get technical about it, that's exactly what it means, to drag. So Jesus said, I have some other sheep which are not of this Jewish fold, them I must also bring that there may be one fold and one shepherd. The other sheep—I want you to get this—the other sheep are the elect of God and they had not as yet been brought to the Shepherd. They are still sheep, however.
So we find an elect, or elect ones, who have not as yet come to experience the salvation of our God, and yet they are still elected ones. So down goes the theory that election takes place when one believes. In 2 Timothy chapter 2, verse 10, Paul says, “I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.” He says that they may obtain salvation. They had not been saved. He said he endured all things for whose sakes? “. . for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.”
Now Paul was enduring some things for some people and the people for whom he was enduring all things—unpleasant things—were the elect of God who had not as yet been saved. So election did not, and does not, take place when one believes.
Now, back to the Arminians’ other argument that election is based on foreseen faith. I've heard that one! That's the good one! It sounds good, it really sounds good, it tickles the ears of people. You know, God foresaw that a man would believe if given the opportunity, and He foresees that he has the opportunity and that the man believes.
Let me ask you the question: Is faith a good thing? Is faith a good thing or is it an evil thing? Now it's one or the other. Faith is a good thing, but Paul says in Romans 7:18 that in him there dwelleth no good thing: “I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing.” Faith doesn’t dwell in the natural man. In 1 Peter, chapter 1, verse 2 we read, “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God.” Thayer translates the word foreknowledge as in the pre-arrangement of God, and the word according comes from a little Greek word that's translated in most places, in. Thus, he says election is in the pre-arrangement of God. God pre-arranged it in the council halls of eternity. Election, my friend, is as old as God.
You know the Arminians, they look at Romans and they think they have you and I, who believe in the doctrines of grace, in a corner. They say that these two texts militate against each other, they are incompatible. On the one hand you have election taking place before the world began, which means in eternity, while on the other hand you have it from the beginning. So they think they have got something there - that's their candy stick. Let's look at Eph. 1:4 for the answer to the question, when did election take place? Paul says, “According as he has chosen us (or elected us) in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ.” Notice he said “before the foundation of the world.” In 2 Thes. 2:13, notice that Paul says this, “we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen (or elected) you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and the belief of the truth.” I want you to notice, one verse says from before the foundation of the world, and the other says from the beginning. Are these two texts incompatible? Do they militate one against the other, or do they harmonize?
What is said in Eph. 1:4 is a statement of fact, and Paul says election took place in eternity. In fact he could not say as to when, for election is as old as God. The expression in 2 Thes. 2:13 is also found in Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” In other words, God is telling the Thessalonians that from the beginning election, which is eternal, has been a fact, an accomplished fact. The verses do not militate one against the other.
Let us go just a step further. The elect are those given to Christ in the covenant of redemption. How old is the covenant of redemption? Is it something that God concocted as a by-product of his creative act or is the covenant of redemption as old as God? In the 13th chapter of Hebrews, the 20th verse, the apostle Paul says, “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant.” If a thing is everlasting, it had no beginning and has no end. So the covenant of redemption is everlasting or eternal.
Now the elect are those given to Christ in the covenant of redemption. You say I don't believe that God gave anybody to Christ. Let's see. In the 6th chapter of the gospel of John, verse 37, the Lord Jesus said, "All that the Father hath given to me shall come to me.” He didn't say that they might, they ought, they should: He said they would. No ifs, ands, buts, or maybes about it—they shall come to me! “And him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out.” All the demons in hell or out of hell cannot keep one of God's elect from coming to Christ! Once that elect has been awakened, aroused, and quickened by the Spirit of God, he is brought to Christ by the Spirit of God; he falls upon the mercy of God knowing that salvation is in the person of Christ and in Him alone. He comes, nothing can keep him from it. All whom God has given to Christ come. Seven times in the 17th chapter of John's gospel, Jesus, in His marvelous prayer, prayed for those whom God had given unto Him. He didn't pray for the world: “I pray not for the world.” (We're going to get to that word world in just a minute.) But the elect are the ones that God has given to Christ in the covenant of redemption. They are the ones whom God loves.
I raise another question. How long has God loved his people? In John 17, verses 23 and 24, we read these words of Jesus, "I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know” – watch it now – “that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” How much has God loved me? I'm talking about Wayne Cox. He loves me just as He loved His Son! How long has He loved His Son? “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me; for thou lovest me before the foundation of the world.” God has always loved Christ and He has always loved Wayne Cox, for He loved me just as He loved His Son! There never was a time when God did not love His own, for He has loved His own with the same kind of love with which He loved His own Son, the Lord Jesus Christ! To deny that is to deny God's word.
Arminians use John 3:16 in trying to prove God loves everybody. Now that isn't true. Do you mean to tell me – I want to use a little logic – do you mean to tell me that God loves men in hell? Do you mean to tell me that those who were in hell at the time of Christ’s death were loved by Him? Now if His love did not avail for them, it might not avail for you and me. “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Does He mean that He loves everybody in the world without exception? Is that what He's talking about? I want to show you the inconsistency of that. In John 3:16, He loves the world, but in John 17, Christ refuses to pray for the world. Now we have Christ and God at loggerheads. (I like that expression loggerheads.) We have Christ and the Father at swords’ points: God loving them and Christ refusing to pray for them, and at the same time admonishing His people, in 1 John 2:15, not to love the world either! So we have God loving the world, and Christ refusing to pray for the world while admonishing His people also not to love the world! But did you notice in John 17, He said these that God had given Him were not of the world?
Now the word world does not mean all mankind without exception. In the 12th chapter of the Revelation, the ninth verse, the Bible says that “Satan deceiveth the whole world.” If world means all mankind without exception, then God and Jesus are going to have to have a conference and settle their differences, for Jesus said in Matt. 24:24 that there would be many false Christs and they would deceive the very elect, if it were possible. He is saying that the elect of God cannot be deceived by Satan. Yet John says the whole world was deceived by Satan. Now what world was John talking about? Certainly he wasn't talking about the world of the elect; he was talking about the world of the non-elect.
Now let's go a step further. In John 3.16 (again), God loves the world and in John 17 Christ refuses to pray for the world. In 1 John 2:15 Christ admonishes His own people not to love the world, whom God does love (if God loves all of Adam’s race). If I can find one person whom God did not love then God did not love the whole world without exception. Romans 9:13 says, “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” This does not mean that He liked Esau a little bit; it means him He hated. So there is one man that God didn’t love. Psa. 5:5, “Thou hatest all workers of iniquity.” It doesn’t say He hates their iniquity (although He does); it says He hates those wicked ones themselves.
All right. To those whom He loves, He gives eternal life. You know, it took me about 20 years, brethren, to see this in Rev. 3:19 and Hebrews 12:6. Notice that – and I’m sure you have – in Heb 12:6 Paul says, “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth.” That’s qualified, it means He doesn’t love everybody: “For whom he loves.” And in Rev. 3:19 we read, “As many as I love.” He doesn't say He loves everybody.
Furthermore, God doesn't offer life to anybody; He doesn't offer life to be bandied about by sinful and corrupt men. When the word give is used, it pre-supposes a recipient. In John 6:33 Christ said that He was the Bread of God that came down from heaven and “giveth life unto the world.” I ask you, does all the world have eternal life? “Giveth life unto the world” – what world? The elect world of God! Jesus tells us what that world is in John 17:2, “As thou has given Him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.” He said I am the true Bread and I give life to the world. What world is that? The world of those whom Thou has given me.
Let’s go a step further. Men believe, not in order to be elected, but because they have been elected. I have a great preacher friend of many years who said he had had Greek scholar after Greek scholar from all over the world trying to do something with Acts 13:48. He said it was still troubling him. I say that not facetiously, but I say it tenderly, because I loved him in spite of what he believed. He said, and I quote, “It troubled me nonetheless and I wish I had left it severely alone.” Well I'll tell you beloved, nothing in the word of God is to be left severely alone!
Thus they talk about election being a dangerous doctrine, although Jesus taught it more than any other doctrine in the Bible. If the doctrine of election be a dangerous doctrine, then Jesus taught a dangerous doctrine. I'll tell you how it is dangerous, it is dangerous to the carnal mind. Turning from the Jews to the Gentiles, the Apostle Paul preached to them, and Acts 13:48 records, “as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.” Those who despise the doctrines of grace turn it around and reverse it and say, “as many as believed were ordained to eternal life.” That isn't what it says! It says, “as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.” A lot of people would like for John 10:26 & 27 to be torn out of the Bible – it infuriates them! In verse 26 Christ says, "But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep,” and in verse 27, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." He didn't say they ought to, they should, they might – He said they would. But He also said the non-elect would not believe in Him. "Ye believe not because ye are not of my sheep." Now, who are those that believe in Christ? All who were ordained to eternal life believe. No more and no less.
I believe in an unconditional election. A good friend of mine once wrote in an article, “I believe in a conditional election that took place in eternity past, unto a conditional salvation in time.” Beloved, I do not believe in a conditional election and I do not believe in a conditional salvation. Somebody said, what about repentance and faith? Well, I'm just getting to that.
Man must repent, yes, and man must believe, yes. But how is it that men repent, and how is it that men believe? Why, repentance is in the grace of God! And men believe because of the grace of God! Acts 18:27 says Apollos had been properly instructed and he went where some people were, and he “helped them which had believed through grace.” Let's notice: in Acts 5:31, repentance is given; in 2 Tim. 2:25, repentance is granted; in Acts 11:18, repentance is granted; in Phil, 1:29, faith is a gift, and in Eph. 2:8, faith is a gift. So repentance and faith are not conditions on man’s part, but they are gifts from God.
Election is not salvation, mind you, but election is unto salvation, according to 2 Thess. 2:13. You say, what are the means that God employs in bringing the elect to a saving knowledge of Christ? The gospel of the Son of God, and the quickening power of the Spirit of God. In John 6:44 Jesus says “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him.” That word draw carries with it the idea of being quickened. Now I maintain that's exactly what He's talking about – that no man cometh unto Christ until God quickens that man, and He uses the gospel and the work of the Holy Spirit to do such. The thing that this world needs today more than anything else is the truth of God's word, and we need to preach the gospel as never before.
I don't know who the elect are, but God has commanded me to preach the gospel to every creature. To those who are lost and hell-deserving sinners. I am to tell them how the Saviour came and how the Saviour died, how He suffered a cruel and inhumane death on Calvary’s cross, pouring out, or shedding, His blood for a lost and dying world. I am to tell them salvation is only in the person of Christ: that the atonement was only made by the blood of the Son of God; that men can never be saved apart from Jesus Christ. Election is the greatest inducement in the world to evangelism. Paul was seemingly frightened when he was going into Corinth and God said to him, “Be not afraid . . for I have much people in this city.”
Every time I preach the gospel of the Son of God, every time that I try to magnify the name of our Lord and hold up the banner of the cross of Jesus Christ and proclaim the gospel of the Son of God, I feel that there might be one of God’s elect in the audience, whom God might be pleased at that time to quicken and bring them out of darkness into light and from death into life. I'll tell you beloved, election is a precious doctrine. And once we get on the other side, we are going to sing the praises of God.
One of the things my finite mind cannot grasp is the infinite love of God for His elect – why God ever loved me. I'm unlovable, and so are you unlovable. There is nothing in you that would commend you to anyone, much less a thrice-holy God. There is nothing in me that would commend me to God. God loved me when nobody else loved me, and loved me before I was, and numbered every one of my members in His book until even the hairs of my head are recorded. God has watched every step that I have ever taken, and he will bring me home. And so everyone for whom Christ died, bless your hearts, will reach home safely at last because God, in eternity, loved the elect.
All the demons in hell and out of hell cannot defeat the purpose of God. Christ died to save sinners, not to try to save them. As the angel said in Matt, 1:21, "and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." He didn't say He'd try or He might, he said He shall save them. And that word shall, when used in that sense, means a determination nothing can stop. God said that nobody can defeat His purpose of grace. Not the devil and all his angels can defeat it! He will save His own, and one of these glorious days He'll bring them into the haven of rest without the loss of a single one. Everyone for whom Christ died, everyone for whom He gave His precious blood on Calvary’s cross shall reach home at last.
I know that I'm one of His, He set His seal upon me in eternity past, called me by the gospel and the work of the Holy Spirit. I'm a recipient of His divine grace, mercy, and love and have come to the realization of sins forgiven. Salvation is of God, in the person of Jesus Christ.
I tell you, beloved, when you see these great truths, how that Christ died for sinners, the only thing a poor old lost benighted sinner can do is to fall upon the mercy of God and hold out empty hands, nothing in them, and take advantage of the grace that is in Christ Jesus, through the gospel. He falls upon God's mercy – he can go nowhere else – he looks into the face of the Son of God, and sees Him as having died for him. I must accept this, that Jesus died for me, as Paul said in Gal 2:20, “He gave himself for me.” Do you believe that?
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THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST ON TRIAL
(Sent to the editor via E-mail)
Colossians 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
One night in a church service a young woman felt the tug of God at her heart. She responded to God's call and believed on Christ Jesus as her Lord and Savior. The young woman had a very rough past, involving alcohol, drugs, and prostitution. But, the change in her was evident.
As time went on she became a faithful member of the church. She eventually became involved in teaching young children. It was not very long until this faithful young woman had caught the eye and heart of the pastor's son. The relationship grew and they began to make wedding plans. This is when the problems began.
You see, about one half of the church did not think that a woman with a past such as hers was suitable for a pastor's son. The church began to argue and fight about the matter. So they decided to have a meeting. As the people made their arguments and tensions increased, the meeting was getting completely out of hand.
The young woman became very upset about all the things being brought up about her past. As she began to cry the pastor's son stood to speak. He could not bear the pain it was causing his wife-to-be. He began to speak and his statement was this: " My fiancé's past is not what is on trial here. What you are questioning is the ability of the blood of Jesus to wash away sin. Today you have put the blood of Jesus on trial. So, does it wash away sin or not?" The whole church began to weep as they realized that they had been slandering the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Too often, even as Christians, we bring up the past (that of others and that of our own) ... and use it as a weapon against our brothers and sisters (and ourselves). Forgiveness is a very foundational part of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. If the blood of Jesus does not cleanse the other person (or ourselves) completely then it cannot cleanse any one completely. If that is the case, then we are all in a lot of trouble!
What can wash away my sins, nothing but the blood of Jesus.... End of case!!! Amen, Amen & Amen!
“The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses from all sin!”Or, are there some sins we should still hold against the forgiven child of God? (Editor).
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ON PREACHING THE TRUE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST
Charles H. Spurgeon declared: "I have my own private opinion that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what is nowadays called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else. I do not believe we can preach the gospel ... unless we preach the sovereignty of God in His dispensation of grace; nor unless we exalt the electing, unchangeable, eternal, immutable, conquering love of Jehovah; nor do I think we can preach the gospel unless we base it upon the special and particular redemption of His elect and chosen people which Christ wrought out upon the Cross; nor can I comprehend a gospel which lets saints fall away after they are called."
(Spurgeon's Autobiography, Vol. 1, Ch. 16. p. 172)
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From Cathcart’s Baptist Encyclopedia (1881)
Old-Landmarkism.—The following sketch was written at the editor's request by one of the ablest Baptist ministers in this country. His account of the opinions of all landmarkers is entirely reliable:
The origin of the term old-landmarkism was as follows: about the year 1850, Rev. J. R. Graves, editor of The Tennessee Baptist, published at Nashville, Tenn., began to advocate the position that Baptists cannot consistently recognize Pedobaptist preachers as gospel ministers. For several years he found but few to sympathize with this view. Among the few was Rev. J. M. Pendleton, then of Bowling Green, Ky., who in 1854 was requested by Mr. Graves to write an essay on this question, "Ought Baptists to recognize Pedobaptist preachers as gospel ministers?" The essay was published in four consecutive numbers of the aforesaid paper, and afterwards in the form of a tract. The title given to it by Mr. Graves was "An Old Landmark Reset." The title was considered appropriate, because there had been a time when ministerial recognition and exchange of pulpits between Baptists and Pedobaptists were unknown. This was an old landmark, but in the course of years it had fallen. When it was raised again it was called “an old landmark reset.” Hence the term "old landmarkism,” and of late years, by way of abridgement, "landmarkism."
That the doctrine of landmarkism is not a novelty, as some suppose, is evident, because William Kiffin, of London, one of the noblest of English Baptists, advocated it in 1640, and with those who agreed with him formed a church, of which he was pastor till his death, in 1701,—a very long pastorate. These facts are taken from Cramp's "Baptist History," and he refers to lvimey’s "Life of Kiffin."
Benedict, in his "Fifty Years among the Baptists," in referring to the early part of this century, says, "At that time the exchange of pulpits between the advocates and the opponents of infant baptism was a thing of very rare occurrence, except in a few of the more distinguished churches in the Northern States. Indeed, the doctrine of non-intercourse, so far as ministerial services were concerned, almost universally prevailed between Baptists and Pedobaptists." pp. 94, 95.
Truly the old landmark once stood, and having fallen, it was deemed proper to reset it.
The doctrine of landmarkism is that baptism and church membership precede the preaching of the gospel, even as they precede communion at the Lord's table. The argument is that Scriptural authority to preach emanates, under God, from a gospel church that as "a visible church is a congregation of baptized believers," etc., it follows that no Pedobaptist organization is a church in the Scriptural sense of the term, and that therefore Scriptural authority to preach cannot proceed from such an organization. Hence the non-recognition of Pedobaptist ministers, who are not interfered with, but simply let alone.
At the time the "Old Landmark Reset" was written the topic of non-ministerial intercourse was the chief subject of discussion. Inseparable, however, from the landmark view of this matter, is a denial that Pedobaptist societies are Scriptural churches, that Pedobaptist ordinations are valid, and that immersions administered by Pedobaptist ministers can be consistently accepted by any Baptist church. All these things are denied, and the intelligent reader will see why.
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Bouquets and Brickbats
WWW:Promise Keepers is an organizatoin founded on Biblical Christianity. After reading your page on PK, I was saddened by the extreme view expressed therein. No one is righteous, not one. Certainly Dr. Dobson would admit that he has made mistakes, but the basis of his program, as in PK's, is one of Christian love and praise of Christ.
Your page reminded me of the Church of Christ that approached me several years ago in an attempt to cooerce me into membership. It is easy to take a verse here and there to change the meaning of the Bible. But that is not how we are to read His word.
I will pray that your heart softens and you find the truth: Jesus Christ.
[EDITOR’S RESPONSE: Dear __________,
Thanks for writing.
You wrote: "Promise Keepers is an organizatoin (sic.) founded on Biblical Christianity."
So that I may better understand you would you be so kind as to show me where Scripture authorizes a para-church organization such as Promise Keepers?
Would you also show me from Scripture where any such para-church organization was used of God during New Testament times?
If you can do this, I will review what I have written to see if I need to change something.
I await your biblical evidence.] [Editor’s Note: After about two months I am still waiting for this person to respond and give me Scripture].
WWW: Please do not send me things that are critiical of Promise keepers. You need a lot of Prayer for all the misquotes you are putting out.
I belong to the Church of the Nazarene and I know someone like you, would criticize us, too. We are an off shoot of the Methodist Church and John Wesley. So you see, I do not agree with you but please watch what you say. feel like you are a very misinformed person. I am a born again Christian and my desire is to see people saved, not being critical of other groups. I beg t disagree with you, calling Dr. Dobson some pop person [I called Dr. Dobson a pop-psychologist. He is a man of God that is going to the front in speaking against the evil that is around us. So you are stepping on dangerous ground, when you criticize him. It is so strange to me that people like you are on the side f the world. Because the world hates Promise Keepers and Dr. Dobson. I suppose that you do not like Adrian Rogers. He is a good friend of Dr. Dobson and has had him at his church. Also, he supports Promise Keepers. I feel sory for you because you are so lined up with your church being the only way, until you are to be pitied. I don't know why you are sending this to me but please if all you can send is hate stuff, keep it to your self. By the way, I am completely satisfied with the doctrine f my church. It is a Bible believing church. I have not sent you anything before and I do not intend to send it now. Now if someone else is sending things that I have sent, please just delete them. But please, no more emails from you. I think this makes twice that you have sent me critical things and I think all you want to do is argue. You talking about Promise Keepers being an agent of satan, makes me wonder with all the things you are putting out, that maybe you are an agent of satan. He, satan is interesting in tearing down, not building up, things that are making a difference. (Editor’s Note: I do not know how or from whom this person received some of our PKs material. He did not get it from me unless he requested it, and I do not recall his requesting it.—RWC)
WWW: read you article about pk. just to let you know that maybe that stuff was true in the early years; however, hicks is no longer mentioned or part of the movement. his books are not sold at the rallies. i attended 2 last year. there is a new direction with pk and it is jesus first.
for your information, bill mccartney does not show up at pk conferences anymore or at least didn't last year. at least, he wasn't part of the program (i mean).
anyway, your article was true at one time but things have changed. all things are not perfect at the beginning. one has to start somewhere and grow and change.
WWW: All I have to say is amen brother, Amen!!! Ye shall know the truth and the Truth will make you free.
OHIO: Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! A Very good friend and brother in the Lord just gave me your website address the other day and I have enjoyed it now 2-3 times in the last few days. The Lord willing I intend to look at all that I can when I can.
I read your article on wine and I agree totally with you. I know many brothers that do. Our Church does and we use wine for the Lord's Supper.
WWW: I don't belive in youre concept on not bealiving in Cristmas! Youv said your belif now let me say mine. My belife is that Baby Jesus was born on the 25 of December. I didnt have to say that in like 800 sentences. Are u a preacher???/ WHAT is the virgen birth !???
WWW: I really appreciate your information on the Promise Keepers and would like to pass your web site on to my friends and church family.
WWW: The Bible specifically tells each of us to be fishers of men -- we are in fact the mouth and the eyes and the ears of Christ while on this earth. What is your definition of Church? What is your definition of "para-Church"? Promise Keepers is a gathering of men to do God's work. I am sure you are familiar with the fact that Peter and Paul and the other disciples DID NOT spread the word alone--instead they gathered groups of believers to help them preach. PK could certainly be considered church from a biblical perspective "where 2 or more believers gather--there is church" and the gathering of people to preach the word (and worship) is certainly appropriate in groups.
As a pastor, I am sure that you are familiar with the various doctrines mentioned above -- however if you would like me to find the specific sites, I would be happy to do so.
THE PHILIPPINES: My Dear Brother in Christ, I thank you for your position about Christmas. Little by little I learn how to keep distance in celebrating Christmas. Hope you can continue to teach me about the things of God, specially the Sovereign Grace and His sovereignty. I am very young in this belief despite I am a preacher since 1980 in the Arminian Baptist group here in the Philippines. Hope I am accepted to your fellowship.
ARIZONA: Hi! I just wanted to tell you that I think that what you say here is wonderful. I am a Christian. I have been saved for approximately 5 years. I got saved in an independent fundamental Baptist Church in Beaufort, SC and am now a member of fundamental Baptist Church in Yuma, AZ. Both churches celebrate Christmas and I always have as well. My sister, who is also a saved, born-again, Christian doesn't celebrate the holiday and I always knew deep down that I shouldn't be celebrating it.
My mother-in-law is a Jehovah Witness and I am terrified to tell her that she is right in that aspect. I severely disagree with their doctrines and know that they are a cult religion, but they are correct about the Christmas thing.
I just wanted to write and say that I found your web site to be an inspiration to me and it has really made me realize that I shouldn't celebrate it....actually, God has made me realize a long time ago, my flesh just kept me from listening to him.
GREAT BRITAIN: I am an Italian baptist living in Great Britain, in Bedford (John Bunyan;s Town) and I hold Landmarkist views (actually I was accused of being one in 1995 hence very much isolated) . Through a serious study of CHurch history on solely academic sources I have come to the conclusion that there is a continuity of the Church and that Local, Visible NT Church is an Historic Baptist Church. I believe in Church Authority as a Derivative Authority from the Bible's authority and I do not believe in spontenous succession as if it is impossible in the realm of nature (apart from the initial creation ex nihilo) so it is also impossible in other things among them the Church.
I read the Berean Baptist Banner. I hear that there are various types of Landmarkists: the ABA and her splits, the Hyper Landmarkists, the NeoLandmarkists - could you kindly explain to me the differences? I heard that some Baptists had to be rebaptized, reordained because they could not provide a continuous chain link-is that true? Although I have found in my historical research some links, I am not able to provide a church-links succession, however desirable, but definitely there is a continuity of churches. I doubt that in times of great persecution, many would have left written records. During the Fascist Persecution prior WWII , many believers in Italy avoided even writing church minutes— Mussolini used to put "Non-Roman Catholics" on the train to Auschwitz with the Jews!! The Pope then knowing. I have known the widow of a believer who was tortured by the Black Shirts. I agree with some of your views, but I don't believe that any 3 believers could be a church on the ground that they disliked the previous one just because they sung 3 hymns rather than 4 or because the pastor wore a blue tie—(that is the case in UK). Our church is a 3 members church, but we are 3 because the others left or moved away, we are the continuation of a previous church. I believe in a Link Succession as Graves & others historian have, but I cannot force historical data to prove what is not available. Many so-called Strict Baptists have here in Uk their hidden skeletons (some, especially last century and in 1600's, held dubious views on the Deity of Christ and on the Eternal Sonship...would some Baptist of today like to be linked to such a church? however old?) In any case, in general I believe that Church authority, in submission to Biblical authority, is necessary for the Great Commission, freelancers are not really my cup of tea. If you have any printed (free) material I might examine, I would be grateful.
WWW: You are truly sick. You spread hate. There is no greater violation of Lord Jesus than to urge other to hate His people.
NEW HAMPSHIRE: Hello I read your article on the Internet by the above title. I was wondering where I could procure a copy of the tract that you mention in the article. The title of the tract was The Heavens Declare Gods Glory. I was further wondering if you could guide me to other places that would substantiate what you said. I have been looking but I can’t seem to find any. I am probably not running the right searches. Any help that you could send my way would be greatly appreciated. I am a youth pastor in New Hampshire who is in need of help in his research. Thanks.
WWW: You should heed your own words, "I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." I researched just one of your claims and found, just as I thought, that you have either stretched the truth or just plain lied. Here's the only example I wasted my time researching.
Here's what YOU say (on YOUR
When Bible-Science Newsletter sent a critical letter to Dobson because of his creation beliefs, he responded that he "takes the first eleven chapters of Genesis to be poetry, not factual history" (The BDM Letter, April, 1992). He also said that he agrees "in an unqualified way" that the earth is 3.5 to 4 billion years old.
Now go and read for yourself, not some
third-hand newsletter, what Dr. Dobson teaches:
Again, you should really head your own word regarding false teachers!
WWW: Your convictions on the Catholic church are very innaccurate, One should realize that the Catholic church is the one that gives the Bible, a tool for faith and instruction, its authority, not Jesus. It may serve you well to investigate accusations against fellow christian brothers and sisters before making such violent critisisms. "Do not judge, that you may not be judged" especially without knowledge. It is not wrong to use biblical verse as long as one realizes that it was written and comprized by the catholic people. Use of bible verse to criticize the Catholic church is just kind of ironic. I do not mind if one is not a Catholic, but Jesus would teach it is not write to insult others.
If you have any questions and wish to improve your knowledge of God through another man's faith feel free to contact me at . . .
TEXAS: I just received your latest paper. Keep up the good work. The paper is always informative and clearly communicative.
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