Sunday, May 13, 2018

Open Letter to SWBTS Trustees Concerning Paige Patterson

Open Letter
Dear Trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary,

I write in defense of your president and my friend, Dr. Paige Patterson.  I have known him for about 40 years.  I knew him when, at great sacrifice, he and many others stood for the inerrancy of God’s Word, in the SBC Conservative Resurgence.  Of course, he is not perfect, just like us all.  But he has stood for the faith, evangelism, revivals, missions.  He is a first class scholar, and has lived an exemplary moral life. 

Now, because Dr. Patterson has not said some things exactly right in our extra sensitive climate, he is being condemned by his enemies.  They attack him for things they overlook in others.  They negatively magnify anything he says that could be taken the wrong way.  This is now in spite of the fact Brother Paige has apologized for, and clarified, his statements that have been hurtful.  Who of us could withstand withering criticism and publicity of any misstatements we have made over the last several decades?  Who of us could withstand having our statements taken in the absolutely worst light? 

Please be aware of the multiplied thousands who support, and have been blessed by, Dr. Patterson’s ministry.  I and my family are some of them.  I am currently using Dr. Patterson’s NAC commentary on Revelation and finding it of great value.  On this Mother’s Day I’m reminded of how my mother admired him, and how Paige & Dorothy sent flowers and condolences at her funeral. 

When someone, whether Paige Patterson or not, makes an edgy statement - You can interpret it in the worst possible light.  You can interpret it in the best possible light.  Or somewhere in between. 

You can also take an 18 year old statement and interpret it in light of the current climate of political correctness, or not.  You can show kindness, understanding - or strict condemnation. 

One day soon, we will each give account to Almighty God.  My prayer is that God will continue to bless, guide, protect Paige Patterson and SWBTS, and give you, the trustees, wisdom, love, mercy. 

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, May 13, AD 2018. 

For more information on this issue:

Additional Note – Paige Patterson has been condemned by some for his explanation of Genesis 2:22 and, using a teenage boy’s quote, how Eve was “built.”  Of course, many want to put Patterson’s words in the worst possible light.  And, in all fairness, Paige might have said it better.    However, in Genesis 2:22 the English Standard Version (ESV) has a footnote explaining the word “made,” in Hebrew is literally the word “built.”  I think many men, even the godly ones, would agree that women are, well, better looking than men. 

“And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made[a] into a woman and brought her to the man.
Footnotes:  Genesis 2:22 Hebrew built”  -ESV

Perhaps some will now want to banish the ESV!  -DRB

Other Articles in lower right margin. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Ken Hemphill, Nominee for SBC President

Many are excited about Dr. Kenneth Hemphill being nominated this year for president of the Southern Baptist Convention. 

Ken Hemphill previously served as President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas.  He pastored churches in Kentucky and Virginia, led the Home Mission Board’s (now NAMB) Center for Church Growth, and now serves as an administrator at North Greenville University. 

 In a written statement to Baptist Press, Hemphill said he would "continue the emphasis on prayer and revival which has been a major emphasis of [current SBC President] Steve Gaines." He also cited the need to "aggressively plant new churches while we give equal effort to revitalizing our many existing churches which need our assistance."

Ken Hemphill is the author of a number of books including The Antioch Effect, The Names of God, You Are Gifted, The Prayer of Jesus, and Empowering Kingdom Growth.  His most recent book is Unlimited: God’s Love, Atonement, and Mission. 

The book, Unlimited, is recommended by: Paige Patterson, Jimmy Draper, Matt Queen, Jim Richards, Larry Steven McDonald, Mac Brunson, David Hankins, Gene Fant, John Yeats. 

Ken is supportive of the SBC Cooperative Program and his membership is in a church that gives 10% through the Cooperative Program.  He believes in evangelism, revivals, and the Baptist Faith and Message, 2000.  He has an understanding, appreciation, and lifelong commitment to the SBC, from the local church, local Baptist association, state conventions, to our national Southern Baptist Convention. 

Hemphill endorses the Traditional Statement that outlines traditional, non-Calvinist, or Traditionalist beliefs.  He believes Jesus died for all and anyone can be saved.  He is open and transparent about his beliefs. 

Make plans now to attend the annual Southern Baptist Convention in Dallas, TX.  It will be at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center June 12-13, 2018. 

Make sure you are registered to vote as a SBC Messenger and have your ballots.  Arrive early Tuesday afternoon to vote for president, and stay until the election results are announced.  Also, come for a great time of information, inspiration, fellowship.  Please pray for the Southern Baptist Convention. 

“We desire to elect a man who is a Southern Baptist through and through, values our understanding of the Gospel, and, has an established record of affirming the cooperative work of our local churches through the associations, state conventions and national entities.”
“We sought Ken [Hemphill] out because of his record in these areas as well as his impeccable character, remarkable breadth of experience in Southern Baptist life, passion for missions and evangelism, and an active ministry of revitalization to pastors and churches.” 
-David Hankins, Executive Director, Louisiana Baptist Convention, quoted in Baptist Message. 

For more information on Dr. Ken Hemphill: 
-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, May 1, AD 2018. 

More articles in lower right margin. 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Defense of the Resurrection

“I know of no one fact in the history of mankind which is proved by better and fuller evidence of every sort, to the understanding of a fair inquirer, than the great sign which God hath given us that Christ died and rose again from the dead.” -Thomas Arnold, Oxford University; 1859. 

Harvard Law School professor, Dr. Simon Greenleaf, mocked Christians in his classroom until some challenged him to put the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus through the filter of the law.  He took up the challenge and found the evidence so convincing he concluded the resurrection of Jesus is one of the most well-established facts of history.  -Bible Studies for Life, LifeWay; 2018. 

“In Acts 1, Luke tells us that Jesus showed Himself alive by many infallible proofs (en pollois tekmeriois), an expression indicating the strongest type of legal evidence.”  -Dr. Bernard Ramm

Brief Summary of Evidence for the Resurrection:
Jesus really died.
Roman guard at tomb. 
Many witnesses to His resurrection. 
Credibility of the witnesses. 
Change in the life of the disciples after they saw the risen Lord. 
Historical documents written soon after resurrection. 
Credibility of the historical documents. 
500 witnesses seeing resurrected Jesus at once. 
Multiple witnesses to resurrection willing to die for their belief.  Men will not die for something they know is a lie. 

More on the Resurrection and defense of the Bible and Christianity: 
The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict, by Josh McDowell
Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, by Norman L. Geisler
The Case for Christ, by Lee Strobel (Many other such books available.)

He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.  -Matthew 28:6  NKJV

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, April 12, AD 2018. 

Other articles in lower right margin. 

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Comments on Evangelist Billy Graham

Evangelist Billy Graham (AD 1918 - 2018) led a remarkable life.  Even the dates of his birth and death are remarkable.  He trusted Jesus Christ as his Savior in 1934 in a revival led by Evangelist Mordecai Ham (AD 1877-1961).  Graham has been known for his evangelistic work, preaching to millions, his books, personal morality, humility, fidelity in finances, opposing racial segregation, and always pointing people to Jesus. 

His son, Franklin Graham is faithfully and ably carrying on the ministry of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse. 

Below are a few of many comments about Evangelist Billy Graham. 

Ken Hemphill
“Dr Graham’s promotion to heaven has allowed those commenting on his death to point people to JESUS. Clearly he had the gift and calling of the evangelist. Why not schedule an evangelistic meeting and use a gifted vocational evangelist to honor Dr. Graham and share JESUS.”

-Ken Hemphill; February 22, 2018; on  Dr. Hemphill is past president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and now serves as an administrator at North Greenville University. 

George W. Bush
“God's work within me began in earnest with Billy's outreach,” Bush wrote in the [Wall Street] Journal February 23. “His care and his teachings were the real beginning of my faith walk - and the start of the end of my drinking. I couldn't have given up alcohol on my own. But in 1986, at 40, I finally found the strength to quit. That strength came from love I had felt from my earliest days and from faith I didn't fully discover until my later years.”

Bush, America's 43rd president, wrote of the 1985 instance when Graham invited him on a walk around the Bush family estate in Maine and their conversation turned to spiritual matters.
"I mentioned something I'd been thinking about for a while - that reading the Bible might help make me a better person," Bush wrote. "He told me about one of the Bible's most fundamental lessons: One should strive to be better, but we're all sinners who earn God's love not through our good deeds, but through His grace. It was a profound concept, one I did not fully grasp that day. But Billy had planted a seed. His thoughtful explanation made the soil less hard, the brambles less thick.

-President George W. Bush, in Wall Street Journal; BP

Richard Land
"I grew up in a home with a Christian father because of Billy Graham. Dr. Graham came to Houston’s Rice Stadium for a crusade in the early 1950s. Some of the men from the local Baptist church in our neighborhood invited my father to go with them to hear Billy Graham.

It was there that my father accepted Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior and became a faithful deacon and Christian father for the rest of his life. Similar stories have been repeated literally hundreds of thousands of times across the globe. I am eternally grateful that God sent Billy Graham to us and that he answered God’s call and became the greatest messenger for the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ since the Apostles."

- Richard Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary and former president of the SBC Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.  BP

Paige Patterson
"The eyes of a North Carolina farm boy sparkled as never before this morning when Billy Graham entered heaven. After nearly 100 years spent largely in an effort to 'rescue the perishing and care for the dying,' the world's evangelist was called home to a prophet's reward.

"Never accused of the hoarding of wealth or of sexual misconduct, his careful practices of conduct place him in a category of a man whose life was a proclamation of Christ as well as His message. His faithfulness to the proclamation of God's plan of redemption - undergirded by his initiatives on racial justice and his concern for the lost -- set the standard for all who would attempt to preach the riches of the Gospel. His allegiance to sacred Scripture was legendary. Never did he allow doubt to shake his confidence in God's Word."

-Paige Patterson, president, SWBTS

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, 2-27-AD 2018.  

More articles in lower right margin.  

Monday, January 15, 2018

I Have a Dream; Fulfilled

August 28, AD 1963, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. preached his famous message, “I Have a Dream.”

He spoke of a check that needed to be cashed. 

“In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”  

In his message, he specifically asked for three simple things (numbers have been added): 

“There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights,
‘When will you be satisfied?’ 
1.  We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities.
2.  We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one.
3.  We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote.
No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.”  
-Martin Luther King

To a large extent, these very legitimate requests have been satisfied.  America is vastly different in this respect than it was 54 years ago.  On a regular basis, I see Black folks treated the same as others – in motels, restaurants, banks, all types of businesses.  Not just as customers, but also employees. 

Speaking of ghettos, one of the best ways out is a job.  Black unemployment is now the lowest in 45 years. 
“In the 45 years since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking black unemployment, this is the first time that the black unemployment rate has dropped below 7 percent to just 6.8 percent.”  
-Armstrong Williams

Mississippi was specifically mentioned by King.  Today Mississippi has more Black elected officials than any other state in the nation.  No, that’s not to say Mississippi is perfect, but it has radically changed from the days Martin Luther King spoke these words.  

King continued,
“I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”  
-Martin Luther King

While we have made great strides, this should always be our goal.  

To this I would add a more recent quote:
“The oppression of black people is over with. This is politically incorrect news, but it is true nonetheless. We blacks are, today, a free people. It is as if freedom sneaked up and caught us by surprise.

Of course, this does not mean there is no racism left in American life. Racism is endemic to the human condition, just as stupidity is. We will always have to be on guard against it. But now it is recognized as a scourge, as the crowning immorality of our age and our history.”
-Shelby Steele

Today, African-Americans, and all USA citizens are free.  Thank God for that.  Pray often for America.  Use your freedom wisely. 

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, January 15, AD 2018. 

More articles about racism and other subjects in the lower right margin.  

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

10 Reasons to Avoid Pornography

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.  -Philippians 4:8 (NKJV)

1.  Pornography corrupts your mind, and makes everything dirty. 

2.  Pornography is addictive.

3.  It impairs your ability to have a right relationship with a real person. 

4.  It promotes immorality and perversion. 

5.  It normalizes the abnormal and sinful. 

6.  It destroys marriages and families. 

7.  It makes you more likely to cheat on your spouse. 

8.  You rate others as sexual objects, rather than as people of worth created in the image of God. 

9.  It makes you unable to enjoy the good and decent. 

10.  Pornography offers everything; yet instead of giving, it takes away. 

On a related note, whatever your age, never, never take naked pictures of yourself or others.  Never send naked pictures.  Never ask for, or seek out nude photos.  If someone asks you for them, just say “No.”  Period.  Remember, private photos have a way of becoming public photos, especially with the internet. 

Pornography has always been around, but you used to have to go to a little trouble to get it.  Now, it is thrown right in your lap by smartphones, internet, TV, etc.  While they can, parents need to protect, inform, warn their kids.  Be accountable.  Do whatever is necessary to stay away from pornography.  Whatever your age, you should have nothing to do with it. 

Years ago there was a Christian book against porn that some pastors said bordered on pornography itself.  I’ve seen some Christian discussions of pornography that got downright creepy.  I certainly do not want to be guilty of such.  So I’ll just leave you with this simple article, without going into seedy details. 

Stay away from pornography.  It has no place in the Christian life.   

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, January 3, AD 2017. 


More articles in lower right margin.  

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

How Well Do You Know the Biblical Christmas Story?

1.  How did Joseph and Mary get to the place where Jesus was born? 
2.  In what town was Jesus born? 
3.  Who sang at Jesus’ birth? 
4.  What animals does the Bible say were at the manger scene? 
5.  Were the Wise Men at the manger?  

6.  What three gifts did the Wise Men bring? 
7.  How many Wise Men were there? 
8.  How did the Wise Men travel to see the newborn Jesus? 
9.  Where is the Christmas Story found in the Bible (book & chapter)? 
10.  What year was Jesus born? 
a. AD 1  b.  AD 0  c.  1 BC  d.  5 BC

11.  What is a manger? 
12.  What does the name “Jesus” mean?
13.  Did Jesus exist before He was born in Bethlehem? 
14.  What was miraculous about the birth of Jesus? 

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  -Isaiah 9:6

Come back next week for answers…

Merry Christmas!
-David R. Brumbelow, author of Wit and Wisdom of Pastor Joe Brumbelow, and Ancient Wine and the Bible
(Permission granted to reprint.)


Answers to Christmas Test

1.  How did Joseph and Mary get to the place where Jesus was born? 

Answer:  The Bible does not say.  Mary may, or may not, have rode a donkey. 

2.  In what town was Jesus born? 

Answer:  Bethlehem in Judea.  There was also another Bethlehem in northern Israel.  (Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:5-6)

3.  Who sang at Jesus’ birth? 

Answer:  No one.  Of the angels, Scripture uses the word “saying,” not singing.  (Luke 2:13-14)
On another note, did you know that every time an angel appears in the Bible, the Bible describes him as a male? 

4.  What animals does the Bible say were at the manger scene? 

Answer:  None.  While it was a barn or stable, and likely there were animals, the Bible does not say. 

5.  Were the Wise Men at the manger? 

Answer:  No.  The Wise Men came later to the house where they were staying.  Just as you would do, after the birth of Jesus, Joseph and Mary sought, and found better accommodations.  (Matthew 2:1, 11)

6.  What three gifts did the Wise Men bring? 

Answer:  Gold, frankincense, myrrh. 

7.  How many Wise Men were there? 

Answer:  The Bible does not say, it only speaks of them in the plural.  We probably think there were three because of the three gifts.  And, that may be correct. 

8.  How did the Wise Men travel to see the newborn Jesus? 

Answer:  Scripture never says.  But camels were often used for travel back then.  And, Wise Men riding camels looks cool! 

9.  Where is the Christmas Story found in the Bible (book & chapter)? 

Answer:  Matthew 1-2; Luke 1-2.  Of course, there are other Bible verses related to the birth of Christ. 

10.  What year was Jesus born? 
a. AD 1  b.  AD 0  c.  1 BC  d.  5 BC

Answer:  We don’t know for sure.  According to our calendar, Jesus was supposed to have been born in AD 1; but our calendar is off a little.  Jesus was probably born about 5 BC. 
On another note:  AD does not stand for after dead!  It is a Latin abbreviation that means, “In the Year of our Lord.”  AD should come before the year; BC should come after the year.  Christians should use AD more often.  

11.  What is a manger? 

Answer:  A feed trough for cattle and / or other animals.  2,000 years ago they were sometimes carved out of stone, as well as made of wood. 

12.  What does the name “Jesus” mean?

Answer:  Savior; Deliverer.  (Matthew 1:21; John 1:29) 

13.  Did Jesus exist before He was born in Bethlehem? 

Answer:  Yes, He is God the Son and has always existed.  (Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1; Romans 9:5; Titus 2:13; Revelation 1:8).  That is why we say Jesus came from Heaven to Earth to be born of the Virgin Mary.  Jesus is the only One who could say, I’m infinitely older than My mother, and as old as My Father.  

14.  What was miraculous about the birth of Jesus? 

Answer:  At least two things.  1.  Jesus’ birth was a miraculous Virgin Birth.  This is one of the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith.  (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23, 25; Luke 1:34-37)   2.  Jesus’ birth was prophesied hundreds of years before He was born.  (Isaiah 9:6; Micah 5:2)

I have no problem having a Manger Scene with angels singing, Wise Men, camels, a donkey, cow, lambs, etc.  After all, it’s fine to have a composite of all the characters involved (or “maybe” involved) in the birth of Christ.  Kind of like a curtain call at the end of a play. 
But this test is simply meant to remind us we often assume things are in the Bible when they are not.  Always remember, the Bible is our final rule of faith and practice. 

Happy New Year! 

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, January 1, AD 2018.

Other Articles in lower right margin.