Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Obituary - Evangelist Freddie Gage


Evangelist Freddie Gage

"Baptist churches had altar calls, tent revivals, all-night prayer services, testimonial meetings and open-air crusades. … We were taught that real discipleship was teaching and training new converts to go reach another lost soul. ... Back then if you were not a soul-winner, you were out of place. Today, if you are a soul-winner, you are out of place. Souls being saved was not only on the agenda, it was the agenda." -Evangelist Freddie Gage, speaking of the glory days of evangelism; BP.


Freddie Gage, longtime Southern Baptist evangelist, died September 12, 2014 in a Houston hospital following an extended illness. He was 81.

Funeral services will be held on September 26, 2014 at 1:00pm at Sagemont Church in Houston, Texas. Gage’s longtime friends and fellow ministers John Morgan, Jimmy Draper, John Bisagno, James Merritt, Johnny Hunt, Darrell Robinson, and Jonathan Falwell will be conducting the service.

Gage’s four sons, Daniel, Paul, Rick and Rodney, all followed their father into evangelism and ministry careers.

Besides his wife Barbara and four sons, Gage is survived by four sisters, 10 grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.

The evangelist was born in a charity ward in a Houston hospital and reared by his grandparents in one of the city’s ghettos. By the age of 16, he was a gang leader.

When challenged to attend a revival service at Melrose Baptist Church, Gage was convicted of his sin by the Holy Spirit through the preaching of Evangelist Dan Vestal, Sr. Gage then decided to give his life to his Lord Jesus Christ. Gage’s wife also received Jesus as her Savior at the same service. Not only did Gage find faith that night, he also felt called to preach the Gospel. At age 19, he committed himself to a life of evangelism.

My dad, Joe Brumbelow, knew Freddie in the early years of his ministry in the Houston area. Brother Joe was one of the first pastors to have Freddie Gage preach for him in Revival at Doverside Baptist Church in Houston, TX. While not always agreeing at all points, they were lifelong friends. Freddie Gage, Joe Brumbelow, Larry Taylor, Dan Vestal, and so many others were a part of those glory days of evangelism mentioned above.

Last April, 2014 I visited Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX. I noticed a display in chapel dedicated to Evangelist Freddie Gage. Few seminaries have the commitment to revivals and evangelism as Paige Patterson and SWBTS.

You can honor Freddie Gage’s memory by having an evangelist in revival at your church, and by telling someone about Jesus.

For more information:

http://editor.des05.com/vo/?FileID=d74adefc-b1a1-44b3-b44a-ef3197a63f4f&m=f13d0884-376f-45fd-8aad-054bf98c24a5&MailID=28836353&listid=23216

gotellministries.com

http://www.bpnews.net/43362/freddie-gage-6-decades-an-evangelist-dies


-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, September 16, AD 2014.
 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

New Calvinist President At International Mission Board, SBC

The International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention has just elected a new Calvinist president, David Platt. Some may think it unusual to have a mission president who does not believe Jesus Christ died for the sins of all humanity. 

For those unaware, a 5-Point Calvinist does not believe Jesus died for the world, only for the elect. This view is often called Limited Atonement, or Particular Atonement. Therefore, if Jesus did not die for you, you have no chance to ever be saved and go to Heaven. You never had, and never will have a chance to be saved.

Southern Baptists have always had Calvinist and non-Calvinist (aka Moderate Calvinists, Traditionalists) as a part of their convention. The majority, however of Southern Baptists for over 100 years have believed Jesus died for all, and as the Holy Spirit convicts, all have the free choice of accepting or rejecting Jesus as Savior. In contrast, many Calvinists do not believe in that free choice, or free will, of man concerning salvation.

Dr. Rick Patrick, of Connect 316, has pointed out the following new SBC executive positions in the SBC all lean heavily in the Calvinist direction.

2011 - North American Mission Board - Kevin Ezell
2012 - Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary - Jason Allen
2013 - Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission - Russell Moore
2014 - International Mission Board - David Platt
And, of course, the strongest Calvinist SBC seminary is Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. 

Baptist Press has not said much about David Platt’s Calvinism. I’m awaiting a reply from questions I’ve sent directly to the IMB concerning this.

The following from the more moderate / liberal ABP has this to say about David Platt:

“He has been active in Together for the Gospel, a biennial preaching conference for followers of the so-called ‘New Calvinism’ — popularized by leaders including John Piper of Desiring God Ministries and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Albert Mohler — that emphasizes God’s sovereignty in deciding who is saved.”
http://abpnews.com/ministry/organizations/item/29141-david-platt-elected-imb-president

From all indications, David Platt is a very capable preacher, husband, father. He is a strong supporter of missions. He has many strengths. But some are wondering when the calvinization of the Southern Baptist Convention is going to end. Must all our agency leaders be Calvinists? Some non-Calvinists (Traditionalists, Moderate Calvinists) are feeling alienated in their convention. I’m convinced things will balance out, but I’m not sure when. Just thought you should know. 

*******

Note & Update:
I am now reading articles implying Dr. Platt does not believe in Limited Atonement.

My evidence for the above, however, includes

The ABP story referred to above.

Christianity Today has referred to him as a Reformed Baptist (aka Calvinist).

Several Calvinists themselves have said that Platt believes in Limited Atonement.

At a 2012 Together for the Gospel (a Calvinist organization) conference, Platt preached on Particular Atonement (another name for Limited Atonement). Among his points were, “The atonement of Christ is graciously, globally, and gloriously particular.” He used the same Scripture in the same way as other Calvinists who believe in Limited Atonement.

Saying I believe everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (said about Platt in one news article), does not exclude belief in Limited Atonement. Those who believe in Particular Atonement simply believe the non-elect (those for whom Christ did not die) will never call on the name of the Lord.

I have seen some, not all, Calvinists twist words, be deceptive, and say most anything, to get a job as pastor or other office. Both Paige Patterson and Al Mohler have pointed out this problem. We need to be open, clear, transparent about what we believe. If asked about Limited Atonement, I would have no problem clearly explaining what I believe. Our leaders should have no problem answering it either.

An answer like Dr. Jason Allen gave (I struggle with Limited Atonement) is not sufficient. Let’s be clear about it.

I well remember in the days of the SBC Conservative Resurgence being told by moderates that we all believe the same thing about the Bible. Well, that was obviously not true. Some today seem to want us to think we all believe the same thing concerning Calvinism. Or, that if we just ignore it, it will go away.

If Platt used to, but no longer believes in Limited Atonement, then let us know that.

I have not yet received a reply to questions related to this issue that I sent to the IMB.

As Southern Baptist Texan Editor Gary Ledbetter said, “There are some constituencies that have concerns about the comments and theological statements Dr. Platt has made as a popular speaker and writer - nothing unorthodox but pretty Calvinistic at times.”

There are 5-point Calvinists I greatly admire. But in this day when Calvinism is on the rise in the SBC, especially among our SBC agencies, we need to be open and specific about what we believe.

-DRB; 9-11-2014

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, September 3, AD 2014.


The Calvinists Are Here; Gerald Harris, Christian Index
Books on Calvinism, Predestination
Limited or Universal Atonement by Dr. David L. Allen

Connect316 - A SBC group that believes: God loves every person. Christ died for every person. God wants to save every person. 


 
 

Friday, June 20, 2014

W. A. Criswell on Calvinism, Predestination

Recently it has been claimed, numerous times, that W. A. Criswell was a five-point Calvinist. This is not true. 

W. A. Criswell (AD 1909-2002) was a leading preacher and pastor for many years. Though not perfect (he was slow to reject racial segregation) he was a great preacher of the Gospel, and conservative leader. A graduate of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, he was influential in the Conservative Resurgence of the Southern Baptist Convention. He pastored First Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas. He was published in the Baptist Standard, Southern Baptist Texan, and the Sword of the Lord. He authored numerous books and served as president of the SBC. His many sermons can be found at wacriswell.com

Was W. A. Criswell a Calvinist? Yes, and no. Criswell claimed to be a Calvinist. But he was not the strict, five-point Calvinist some claim him to have been. As one who knew him well said, “He said he was a Calvinist, but he sure didn’t act like one.” Another consideration is that the term Calvinist meant something a little different back in Criswell’s day, than it means to many today. Some old time Calvinists are seeking to separate themselves from some of the New Calvinists.

Dr. Criswell proudly proclaimed himself a Calvinist. But he did not buy into Limited Atonement. He also believed in what some would consider a non-Calvinist view of Free Will. He praised Charles G. Finney, a pariah to the New Calvinists.

Note some of Criswell’s comments below.

God is Sovereign, Man is Free
“Now that, I think, is an ultimate answer for our hearts and our lives about the sovereign, foreordaining, predestinating decrees of Almighty God. He does it, and He runs it, and He chooses, and He elects, and He guides, and He says certain things, and they inevitably come to pass just like it’s written here in the Book. And yet, and yet, with us down here in this world, there's no violation of our moral integrity, or our free choice, or the sovereignty of our own lives. The two go together. The great decree of Almighty God leaves me absolutely and perfectly free. I am not bound; I am at liberty. The decree of God has in it my own free choice, and the two are not antagonistic. They go together in the will of God.”
-W. A. Criswell, Predestination, Acts 27:22-31; 5-23-1954

“God made us morally free. I can curse God to His face. Now isn't that an unusual thing? And a lot of men do it! I can rebel against every edict, every decree, every commandment, every law of God. I can do it! And a lot of men do…
When a man turns down the proper grace of Jesus, I don't understand it. I don't see it. But he has the liberty to do it, the freedom to choose…”
-W. A. Criswell, The Knowledge of the Truth, 1 Timothy 2:1-7; 6-29-1958

God’s Will is that all Come to the Knowledge of the Truth
“As Ezekiel 33:11 describes, "As I live, saith the Lord, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked would turn from his evil way and live: oh, turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die?" That is God; the longsuffering, merciful kindness of our heavenly Father, rejoicing not in condemnation and damnation and the agony of those who are lost, but praying, pleading, waiting, hoping that the lost man will turn and be saved. Oh the longsuffering of God!”
-W. A. Criswell, Lest Any Perish, 2 Peter 3:9; 7-14-1974. 

Used “Into My Heart” and Revelation 3:20 in Evangelism
“I want the Lord Jesus to come into my heart. I want to take Him as my Savior.”
-W. A. Criswell in appealing to the lost during the invitation, John 1:29-37; 4-5-1970, wacriswell.com

“And it’s for you for the having and for the taking. All God asks is that we come and receive it. He can’t give it to us with our hands closed. And He can’t come into our hearts when they’re barred against Him. All that He asks is just the invitation. ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if anyone open the door, I will come in’ [Revelation 3:20]. And He will, and brings with Him all of the rich gifts that only heaven could afford, and they’re for you. They’re for you. They’re for you.”
-W. A. Criswell, If a Man Sin, 1 John 2; 11-13-1960. 

The Great Evangelist Charles G. Finney
“One of the tremendous affirmations of the great evangelist and preacher Charles G. Finney is this; that it is the truth of God that convicts and that saves.”
-W. A. Criswell, The Knowledge of the Truth, 1 Timothy 2:1-7; 6-29-1958

Rejected Limited Atonement
“I’ve never been able to understand how the Calvinists, some of them, believe in a "limited atonement." That is, the sacrifice of Christ applied only to those who are the elect, but there is no sacrifice of Christ for the whole world—when John expressly says He is the sacrifice, the atoning, dedicated gift of God in our lives for the whole world [1 John 2:2]. And it is just according to whether we accept it or not as to whether the life of our Lord is efficacious for us in His atoning death.”
-W. A. Criswell, If Anyone Sin, 1 John 2:1-2; 4-8-1973

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, June 20, AD 2014.

More Articles:

Brief History of SBC Conservative Resurgence
Unlimited Atonement, Jesus Died For All
Adrian Rogers on "Wit & Wisdom of Pastor Joe Brumbelow"
Adrian Rogers on Predestination, Calvinism
Paige Patterson on Calvinism
Books on Calvinism, Predestination
Judges 9:13 and Alcohol
More articles in lower right margin.
 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Adrian Rogers Elected 35 Years Ago

Adrian Rogers; 1988

I was present at the 1979 Southern Baptist Convention in Houston, Texas. Adrian Rogers was elected president, beginning the Conservative Resurgence and Southern Baptists taking an uncompromising stand for the inerrancy of the Bible. I consider it one of the greatest days in the history of the SBC and one of the greatest days of my life. Thank God for Paul Pressler, Paige Patterson, Adrian Rogers, and the other leaders in the Conservative Resurgence. This is important! -DRB
Read more about it:

Adrian Rogers Elected SBC President 35 Years Ago

NASHVILLE (BP) -- Thousands of messengers had arrived in Houston to vote for Adrian Rogers in the presidential election at the 1979 Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting. Some with limited resources had traveled hundreds of miles and were sleeping in tents in hopes of restoring their denomination to theological orthodoxy.

There was just one problem: It was the night before the election and Rogers wasn't sure that God wanted him to be nominated. When he encountered fellow conservative leaders Paige Patterson and Jerry Vines in a hotel lobby, the three of them, along with Rogers' wife Joyce, went to pray about the matter in Rogers' room.

After hours of seeking God's will, Joyce Rogers, feeling God's leading, signaled to her husband, and he said, "I will do it."

The following afternoon, Rogers, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tenn., was elected over five other candidates on the first ballot with 51 percent of the vote. The Conservative Resurgence had begun.

Thirty-five years later, observers say Rogers, who died in 2005, was the pivotal leader in the SBC's struggle to make belief in the Bible's inerrancy a bedrock commitment of all convention entities -- a commitment that undergirds Southern Baptists' evangelistic outreach at home and abroad.

Inerrancy is the doctrine that the Bible is completely free from error regarding theology, history, science and every other matter to which it speaks. The group who advocated inerrancy and elected Rogers labeled themselves "conservatives," a reference to theology more than political ideology. Opponents of the conservatives -- many of whom held orthodox beliefs but thought theological diversity should be tolerated in the SBC -- were called "moderates."

Frank S. Page, president of the SBC Executive Committee, said he is excited to see a young generation of pastors who believe the Word of God and hold to a high degree of understanding of its authenticity. "I believe that this new reality is directly attributable to great men who stood strong for the Gospel and especially Dr. Adrian Rogers," he said. "His election 35 years ago signaled a grassroots movement that has changed our entire denominational mindset. Thank God for Dr. Adrian Rogers."

'Manning the pumps'

Despite the last-minute decision to run, Rogers was motivated to serve the convention by events stretching back to his days as a student at Stetson University in Florida when he learned that some professors funded by the Cooperative Program questioned doctrines that most Southern Baptists regarded as foundational to the Christian faith.

In one class taught by an ordained Baptist minister, Rogers "heard the great historic truths of the faith demeaned over and over," Joyce Rogers wrote in "Love Worth Finding," a biography of her husband. After class one day, Rogers gathered the courage to confront his professor and asked, "Sir, are you really saved?"

In response the professor defined salvation as "that experience when a man escapes the consequences of a maladjustment to his fellow man" and said, "I don't know if there is a heaven or hell."

Soon Rogers learned that the problem in Baptist life was not isolated to his university.

By the mid-20th century, "the view that the Bible was not the Word of God had become common among professors at Southern Baptist seminaries," Baptist historian Gregory Wills wrote in "Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1859-2009."

Wills explained that for much of the 20th century, seminary administrators tried to persuade the denomination that their professors were orthodox while at the same time trying to persuade professors to conceal their more objectionable views, revealing them only at strategic moments to sympathetic audiences. Southern Seminary professor Bill Hull, for example, was known to hide progressive views in book reviews on modern French or Belgian New Testament scholarship. "I often like to 'bury' such comments in material that will be read only by those who need to see it," Hull wrote in a 1966 letter to Southern Seminary President Duke McCall.

Occasionally, however, Southern Baptists caught a glimpse of what seminaries were teaching.

In 1961, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary professor Ralph Elliott's "The Message of Genesis," published by the Baptist Sunday School Board, argued that some of the stories in Genesis were historically inaccurate, including the flood and the sacrifice of Isaac. Sixteen of the SBC's 28 state paper editors criticized the book, and the 1962 annual meeting in San Francisco adopted a motion expressing "abiding and unchanging objection to the dissemination of theological views in any of our seminaries which would undermine ... faith in the historical accuracy and doctrinal integrity of the Bible."

Eventually Elliott was fired. But C.R. Daley, editor of Kentucky Baptists' Western Recorder journal, said there were many other seminary professors like him.

If Elliot is "a heretic, then he is one of many," Daley said according to a 1983 Christianity Today article. "... Professors in all our seminaries know that Elliott is in the stream of thinking with most of them, and is more in the center than some."

Rogers believed that some seminary administrators were being dishonest about what faculty members believed and that some faculty held views that were unacceptable to the Southern Baptists who funded them.

The problem wasn't isolated to the seminaries. In 1969, the Sunday School Board published a commentary on Genesis by British scholar G. Henton Davies that claimed Genesis 1-11 was not historical and that Abraham was mistaken in his belief that God commanded him to sacrifice Isaac. The 1970 SBC passed a motion calling for the book to be withdrawn and rewritten.

Rogers believed that he faced a choice: leave the convention or lead a change.

"Adrian considered leaving the denomination," Joyce Rogers wrote. "This would be a major step should he do so. It would require his leading his church to come out of the denomination or else resigning. But in his heart he believed something could and should be done. He used this analogy. The Southern Baptist Convention is a good old ship that has taken on much water and is slowly sinking. The choices seemed to be to abandon the ship or to man the pumps. He chose the latter and was ultimately blessed in 'manning the pumps' along with others."

'Rising star' of Memphis

As Rogers was realizing the extent of the problem, other conservatives were realizing what to do about it.

Paul Pressler, a judge in Houston, and William Powell, editor of the Southern Baptist Journal, deduced that the key to changing the convention was winning the presidency. The president appointed the Committee on Committees, which in turn nominated the Committee on Boards (now the Committee on Nominations). The Committee on Boards then nominated trustees of the SBC entities. Conservative trustees could change the entities.

A president who appointed conservatives to the Committee on Committees would lead to conservative trustees in two years. A 10-year string of conservative presidents would lead to all the convention's trustee boards being controlled by proponents of inerrancy -- since only a percentage of trustee seats became vacant each year.

Pressler banded with Patterson and others to translate the plan into action. Traveling the nation, they organized conservatives to elect a conservative president in 1979. Rogers, who had been nominated in 1976 against his will, was an obvious candidate for the job. But part of Pressler and Patterson's strategy was to keep Rogers away from their informal organization so he wouldn't be labelled a denominational troublemaker, hurting his chances at election.

Potential presidential candidates like Rogers, Vines and Charles Stanley "were deliberately kept out of what was happening during the first five years of the controversy," Patterson said in a 1994 interview. "They were aware of it and knew of it but had nothing to do with it whatsoever. That was done on purpose because anybody who was a conceivable candidate for president we deliberately kept at arm's length."

With the 1979 convention approaching, conservatives focused on Rogers. Opponents focused on him too, knowing the coming battle in the SBC would be contentious.

Daley, a moderate, said in a lecture at Southern Seminary five years later, "Some of us saw the rising star out of Memphis named Adrian Rogers -- in my mind the most brilliant of his group, the one who poses the gravest threat to the Southern Baptist Convention. It was obvious that he was to be the king. It was obvious to some of us that he wasn't the kind of king we wanted."

The man to lead

Rogers arrived in Houston believing he shouldn't run. Before a Pastors' Conference session in which Rogers and W.A. Criswell, pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, were to preach, Criswell told him, "Lad, you need to let us nominate you." Rogers replied, "Dr. Criswell, I don't believe that's what God wants me to do." Nonetheless, Criswell announced in his sermon, "We will have a great time here if for no other reason than to elect Adrian Rogers as our president" -- a remark that drew loud cheers.

Despite Rogers' reluctance, messengers were already en route to Houston, planning to vote for him, some at great personal sacrifice. Among them was Sheldon Hale, then the 32-year-old pastor of Andrew Baptist Church in Bowling Green, Ky. With a small convention budget from his church, Hale along with his wife and three young children drove cross country to Houston and slept in a tent outside the city.

Hale told Baptist Press that he knew other Southern Baptists who, like him, were concerned about the direction of the convention but didn't have money to stay in expensive hotels near the convention center. They either camped or stayed in cheap hotels far from the annual meeting so that they could cast a vote for Rogers.

"I would do it again," Hale, now pastor of First Baptist Church in Silver Grove, Ky., near Cincinnati, said in an interview. "It was hard to travel with three little ones and be camped out. But not only did we enjoy the time with them and they got to experience the time at the convention, we felt like we were part of history."

With history in the making, God began to change Rogers' mind. First, Bertha Smith, a longtime Southern Baptist missionary to China called him to say, "Brother Adrian, God wants you to do this." Then another missionary to China, Charles Culpepper, sent a message: "Tell Adrian that I have been with God, and he should allow his nomination."

Adrian and Joyce Rogers had devised a system where she would say a number between one and 10 to indicate how confident she was that Adrian's nomination was God's will. The number never rose above five. Yet as Rogers, Vines and Patterson prayed on the eve of the election, Joyce Rogers held up 10 fingers -- and Adrian agreed.

When Rogers was elected the next day, surprise was audible in the hall. Some messengers gasped. Others whooped and embraced. But Rogers, himself a bit surprised, had a sense of God's guidance and purpose.

Following Rogers, an unbroken line of conservative presidencies -- including two more terms for Rogers between 1986 and 1988 -- helped the convention return to biblical orthodoxy in its entities. All agree that the turnaround was not the work of any one man. Still, even his opponents say there was something special about Rogers' election 35 years ago.

Moderate church historian Walter Shurden, who was dean of Southern Seminary's school of theology in the early 1980s, viewed Rogers as the crucial figure in the SBC's conservative movement, which he called "fundamentalism."

"I sincerely doubt ... that fundamentalism could have known its measure of success apart from Adrian Rogers," Shurden wrote. "... No other fundamentalist could rival him as preacher, debater, or intransigent believer. When the leadership of the fundamentalists met for their strategy sessions, the press releases often read, 'Adrian Rogers presided.' He was by far fundamentalists' most capable leader and moderates' most formidable opponent."

SBC President Fred Luter called Rogers a "giant of the faith" and said he helped save the convention.

"Thirty five years ago I was a brand-new Christian sharing the life-changing Gospel of Jesus Christ on the street corners of New Orleans, trying to transform the neighborhood I grew up in," Luter, pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, said. "At the same time Dr. Adrian Rogers was being elected as president of the Southern Baptist Convention, trying to transform an entire convention back to believing in the Bible as the true Word of God.

"I shudder to think what our beloved convention would be if not for the courageous stand of Dr. Rogers, Dr. Patterson, Judge Pressler and so many others who stood up for God's Word at a very critical time. May we never forget what this giant of the faith did for the future of the Southern Baptist Convention. Dr. Rogers was truly not only a gift to the SBC but also to the body of Christ."
-by David Roach. bpnews.net

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, June 6, AD 2014. 

Other Articles:
Connect 316 Breakfast at SBC, Baltimore
Brief History of SBC Conservative Resurgence
Q & A on SBC Conservative Resurgence, part 1
Differences Between the 1963 and 2000 Baptist Faith and Message
Adrian Rogers on "Wit & Wisdom of Pastor Joe Brumbelow"
Adrian Rogers on Predestination, Calvinism
Judges 9:13 and Alcohol

More articles in lower right margin. 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Better Off Without Alcohol

ALEXANDRIA, La. (BP) -- "More needs to be done to protect populations from the negative health consequences of alcohol consumption," a little known individual recently said according to news reports. Who is the person? A) a backwoods Baptist preacher; B) a recovering alcoholic; C) an expert on chronic disease and mental health?

If you chose A or B, you are wrong. The answer is C. The person who spoke out on the negative health consequences of alcohol is none other than Oleg Chestnov, who works with the World Health Organization.

Chestnov said a recent report "clearly shows there is no room for complacency when it comes to reducing the harmful use of alcohol." Chestnov warned that alcohol raises people's risk of developing more than 200 diseases and killed 3.3 million people in 2012.

The 3.3 million who died from alcohol-related causes "translates into one death every 10 seconds," Shekhar Saxena, head of WHO's mental health and substance abuse department, said according to reports.

Chestnov and Saxena were two WHO representatives that answered questions when the health agency issued its "Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health 2014" on May 12 in Geneva, Switzerland.

According to the WHO report, some countries have strengthened measures to protect people from alcohol, including increasing taxes on alcohol, raising the legal drinking age and regulating the marketing of alcoholic beverages.

Among other measures WHO encourages countries to adopt is discouraging the consumption of alcohol.

Couple the WHO report on alcohol consumption with the organization's "2014 World Cancer Report" and the truth about alcohol becomes even worse. The WHO cancer report concluded, "No amount of alcohol is safe when it comes to cancer risk."

The more alcohol one drinks, the more at risk the person is to develop cancer, according to the WHO cancer report. Alcohol's few positive effects are far outweighed by its negatives and there is no such thing as safe drinking.

A 2010 study by Britain's Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs reported alcohol was the most harmful drug on the planet, even worse than crack or heroin.

"Professor David Nutt, chairman of the ISCD, whose work was published in the Lancet medical journal, said the findings showed that 'aggressively targeting alcohol harms is a valid and necessary public health strategy,'" Reuters reported.

Given the WHO reports, as well as the ISCD study, you have to wonder about those who are proponents of alcohol consumption. How can they advocate a product, a drug really, that wreaks so much havoc?

If the cold hard truth about alcohol were widely reported, it would likely not enjoy its favored status in many countries. "If alcohol were introduced today as a new product, its legal sales would be fought vigorously," Jeff Herten wrote in the book "The Sobering Truth: What you don't know can kill you." A medical doctor, Herten detailed in his book the dangers of alcohol, even when consumed in so-called moderation.

What I find most interesting is that, in light of recent scientific declarations on the ills of alcohol, some Baptist preachers have in recent days softened their stance toward alcohol consumption.

While it seems the advocacy of imbibing alcohol is most prevalent among young theologians, there have been some more seasoned pastors who have declared alcohol in moderation, or social drinking, to be OK.

Their argument has been that the Bible does not condemn alcohol consumption, it only denounces drunkenness. Those who believe abstinence is the best policy have been dismissed at times as stogy legalists who are ill equipped to minister in an enlightened society.

No, the Bible does not condemn drinking alcohol. However, I believe the principle found in Scripture is that you are better off without alcohol.

Consider the following passage found in Proverbs 23:

"Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has conflicts? Who has complaints? Who has wounds for no reason? Who has red eyes? Those who linger over wine, those who go looking for mixed wine. Don't gaze at wine because it is red, when it gleams in the cup and goes down smoothly. In the end it bites like a snake and stings like a viper. Your eyes will see strange things, and you will say absurd things. You'll be like someone sleeping out at sea or lying down on the top of a ship's mast. 'They struck me, but I feel no pain! They beat me, but I didn't know it! When will I wake up? I'll look for another drink.'"

There are other biblical passages that echo the sentiment found in Proverbs 23 -- your life will be better if you avoid alcohol. Or as I have long proclaimed to my children, "Nothing good comes from alcohol."

Societies of the world and advocates of alcohol consumption should take note. It is not just Bible-thumpers that denounce the drinking of alcohol; now it is scientists and medical doctors too.

The recent WHO reports and the 2010 ISCD study only confirm what the Bible has long taught: "Wine is a mocker, beer is a brawler, and whoever staggers because of them is not wise" (Proverbs 20:1).

-by Kelly Boggs, a weekly columnist for Baptist Press, director of the Louisiana Baptist Convention's office of public affairs, and editor of the Baptist Message (www.baptistmessage.com), newsjournal of the Louisiana Baptist Convention.
http://www.bpnews.net/firstperson/42595/firstperson-better-off-without-alcohol

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, May 25, AD 2014. 


Dr. R. L. Sumner on "Ancient Wine and the Bible"
 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Connect 316 Breakfast at SBC, Baltimore

June 10, 2014 6:30am
at Hilton Baltimore Peale Room
Breakfast Buffet

Speakers/Discussion Panel:
Adam Harwood
Richard Land
Malcolm Yarnell
Brad Whitt

Cost: $25

First 100 will receive a gift bag with a number of books including: 
Anabaptists and Contemporary Baptists by Malcolm Yarnell

Autopsy of a Deceased Church by Thom Rainer

Born Guilty? by Adam Harwood

Explore the Bible Sunday School Sample by Lifeway

John 3:16 by Jerry Vines

Forty Days of Refreshment by Brad Whitt

Journey to Faithfulness by Tim and Heidi Guthrie

Salvation and Sovereignty by Kenneth Keathley

Scripture Isn't Silent, Why Are We? by Bob Eklund

Trouble with the Tulip by Frank Page

What is Calvinism? by Peter Lumpkins

Whosoever Will by David Allen and Steve Lemke

1-3 John Commentary by David Allen


For More Information:
http://connect316.net/Breakfast

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-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, May 14, AD 2014

Books on Calvinism, Predestination
Paige Patterson on Calvinism
Francis Wayland on Calvinism in 1856
Brief History of SBC Conservative Resurgence


 
 

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Christian Work Ethic

I went by the field of the lazy man, and by the vineyard of the man devoid of understanding; and there it was, all overgrown with thorns; its surface was covered with nettles; its stone wall was broken down. When I saw it, I considered it well; I looked on it and received instruction: A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest; so shall your poverty come like a prowler, and your need like an armed man. -Proverbs 24:30-34

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. -Exodus 20:8-9

A man had trouble sleeping. He told his doctor, “I sleep fine at night, and I sleep pretty well in the morning. But in the afternoon I just toss and turn.”

Perhaps we should all go back and read the Little Golden Book about The Little Red Hen.

Some responsibilities are yours alone. Some struggles you are going to have to deal with. Work hard; provide for your family; serve the Lord; give to church and to others. Also get some rest and fun along the way. Make this world a little better, because you were here.

For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. -2 Thessalonians 3:10-11

But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. -1 Timothy 5:8

See also: Leviticus 19:13; Deuteronomy 24:14-15; Proverbs 10:4; 12:24, 27; 13:4; 21:5; 23:21; 27:23; John 9:4; 1 Corinthians 9:7; 10:31; 1 Timothy 5:18.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, April 28, AD 2014.

Other articles in lower right margin.