Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Afterglow of Christmas

The Afterglow

After the carols have ended
And the gifts have been placed away,
The candles burned out their brightness
And the snow has melted to gray;
After the holly has withered
And the berries have all turned brown,
The carpets sparkled with tinsel
When the needles came tumbling down,
With all the merriment ending
And the embers are burning low,
May the Christ, the Heart of Christmas,
Fill and brighten the afterglow.
-unknown

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, December 21, AD 2011.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Was John Newton A Calvinist?

Who gave Himself a ransom for all. -1 Timothy 2:6

John Newton is the famous author of the hymn Amazing Grace. Newton lived a wicked life. He served as captain on a slave ship. But eventually he was gloriously saved, came to oppose slavery, and preach the Gospel. American Tract Society has a great tract on him, The Amazing Story of Amazing Grace.

Was John Newton a Calvinist? The answer is yes, and no.

Newton claimed to be a Calvinist. That is pretty good evidence. The point is this - there are a hundred different varieties of Calvinists. What kind of Calvinist was he?

Some Baptists claim to be non-Calvinists, meaning they are neither Arminian or 5-point Calvinist. Others, believing the same thing, call themselves Moderate Calvinists. This would stand in contrast to more Strict Calvinism or 5-point Calvinism.

Many have put it that all Southern Baptists are Calvinists because they at least agree with one of the five points of Calvinism; the one called Perseverance of the Saints. This is also referred to as Eternal Security, or Once Saved, Always Saved. In this sense, we are all at least Moderate Calvinists. Many Moderate Calvinists would also say they believe in other of the five points of Calvinism, depending on how they are defined.

On the other hand, most Southern Baptists reject one of the five points of Calvinism known as Limited Atonement. The big majority of Southern Baptists believe Jesus sacrificially died for all people on the face of the earth (John 1:29; 3:16-17; Romans 5:6.; 2 Corinthians 5:14-16, 19; 1 Timothy 2:4, 6; 4:10; Hebrews 2:9; 2 Peter 2:1; 3:9; 1 John 2:2). A Strict Calvinist, however, believes Jesus only died for the elect, those who will eventually get saved (Limited Atonement).

Some Strict Calvinists of today love to point out Christian leaders of the past as Calvinists, implying they believed in all five points of Calvinism. The reality is many of them were more of the Moderate rather than the Strict 5-point variety.

Now back to John Newton. It is interesting that he gently reproved some of the more militant Calvinists of his day.

Did John Newton believe in the modern day view of all five points of Calvinism? Apparently not. It appears that Newton was of the more Moderate Calvinist variety.

Evidently John Newton did not believe in Limited Atonement. Why? Consider a couple of his hymns, and you be the judge.

My Soul Once Had it’s Plenteous Years

O sinners, hear His gracious call!
His mercy’s door stands open wide,
He has enough to feed you all,
And none who come shall be denied.
-John Newton

Now Let Us Join With Hearts and Tongues

When angels by transgression fell,
Justice consigned them all to hell;
But mercy formed a wondrous plan,
To save and honor fallen man.

O glorious hour, it comes with speed
When we from sin and darkness freed,
Shall see the God Who died for man,
And praise Him more than angels can.
-John Newton

In his hymns, Newton often says Jesus died for sinners. All are sinners.

It appears John Newton was indeed a Calvinist, but one of the more Moderate variety. Evidently he did not believe the view of Limited Atonement.

Note: It also seems evident from their writings that John Calvin himself, and B. H. Carroll, founding president of SWBTS, also believed Jesus died for all mankind.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, December 19, AD 2011.

Related Articles (find many more in lower right margin).
Unlimited Atonement, Jesus Died For All
Books on Calvinism, Predestination

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

"Merry Christmas" is Preferred by Customers

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

The Christian Post (christianpost.com; 12-5-2011) reported,

“A recent Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 70 percent of American adults prefer retailers to use ‘Merry Christmas’ signs. Twenty-four percent of those polled would rather see ‘Happy Holidays.’ According to the survey, many adults across almost all demographic groups prefer ‘Merry Christmas,’ with young adults feeling as strong as older adults.”

I hope and pray more retail stores and even Christians themselves realize it can be more offensive to refuse to use the word Christmas at Christmas.

Stores, prominently display your “Merry Christmas” signs. Tell your employees they can actually wish their customers a “Merry Christmas.”

May we all remember and emphasize the true, biblical meaning of Christmas.

So this month I wish all a Merry, Christ-honoring Christmas!

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, December 7, AD 2011.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

L. R. Scarborough on Soul-Winning

Plan of Salvation
“The winner needs to be right on the plan of salvation. This is basic. Salvation is by grace through faith plus nothing. [He goes on to quote Ephesians 2:8-10; Romans 3:24; Titus 3:5.] The conditions of this grace are repentance (Acts 3:19; 17:30; 19:4; 20:21) and faith (John 1:12; 3:16-36; 5:24).”
-L. R. Scarborough, With Christ After the Lost, Southwestern Library of Centennial Classics, revised by E. D. Head; 1942, 2008.

Soul Winning and Worldly Pleasure
“Indulgence in worldly pleasures is death to our influence in winning men to Christ, and the harboring of secret sins is spiritual paralysis to our power with God. ‘Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost’ (1 Corinthians 6:19), and God’s temple should be untainted.”
-L. R. Scarborough, With Christ After the Lost.

Associate with Soul-Winners
Association with great soul-winners, in person and through books, will stimulate your own compassion of heart. Eternity alone will tell the full story of the influence of Paul, of Spurgeon, of Moody, in creating the soul-winning hunger in others.”
-L. R. Scarborough, With Christ After the Lost.

Zechariah 4:6
“Eloquence and charm of voice in song or speech may sweep men off their feet temporarily, but it takes the power of God to win them from their sins and regenerate them.”
-L. R. Scarborough, With Christ After the Lost.

L. R. Scarborough (AD 1870-1945) was a pastor, evangelist, author, founded and taught the first seminary “Chair of Evangelism,” and was the second president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Ft. Worth, Texas (swbts.edu). Scarborough also served as president of the Southern Baptist Convention. His book, With Christ After the Lost, was used for many years in seminaries as an evangelism textbook.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, December 1, AD 2011.

L. R. Scarborough on Tracts
Other articles listed in lower right margin.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

John R. Rice and the Sword of the Lord; Part 2

And they cried, “The sword of the LORD and of Gideon!” -Judges 7:20

Some of the strengths of John R. Rice’s paper, the Sword of the Lord:

1. It emphasized and taught the importance of the Fundamentals of the Faith. It emphasized biblical inspiration and inerrancy, the Trinity, Virgin Birth of Christ, His sinless life, His blood shed on the cross for our salvation, His literal resurrection, the Second Coming, Resurrection, Judgment, Heaven, Hell.

2. It emphasized personal soul-winning, evangelism, revivals, and missions. It taught personal work and how to present the plan of salvation.

3. It presented great Christian preachers, singers, missionaries. Gave their sermons and their life stories. Men like D. L. Moody, R. A. Torrey, H. A. Ironside, Charles Spurgeon, Sam Jones, Billy Sunday, and Southern Baptists mentioned below. I learned much about such men through the Sword.

4. Gave great sermons from great preachers, past and present.

5. Gave great illustrations to explain and illuminate biblical truth. One of the best things a preacher can do for his preaching is to use good, interesting illustrations, stories, and sometimes humor.

6. While independent Baptist, Rice did not shy from featuring great conservative Southern Baptist preachers like W. A. Criswell, George W. Truett, L. R. Scarborough, B. H. Carroll, E. J. Daniels, Adrian Rogers, Vance Havner, J. Harold Smith, R. G. Lee, Hyman Appelman.  He printed sermons of  both current and past Southern Baptist preachers.

7. While independent Baptist, the Sword had a wide appeal to Southern Baptists and those who were conservative of other denominations. In a sense it was ecumenical, as long as one believed in the Fundamentals of the Faith.

8. Rice knew how to publicize, advertise and get the word out about subscribing to the Sword. He emphasized it in his revivals and Bible Conferences. He emphasized churches subscribing their members. The Sword of the Lord subscription list was over 200,000.

9. It swayed the Southern Baptist Convention in the right direction. The Conservative Resurgence might never have happened without the influence of the Sword of the Lord. While Rice’s advice was to leave the SBC, many conservatives decided to stay and fight for the fundamental doctrines of the faith like biblical inerrancy. Thank God they were successful.

10. John R. Rice never gave in to the new doctrine of King James Only. While he preferred the King James Version, he recognized the historic Christian position was the divine inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible as originally written, not the inspiration or inerrancy of a particular translation. Rice and R. L. Sumner wrote articles in the Sword against King James Only.

11. The Sword of the Lord presented the importance of a preacher’s family life.

12. The Sword of the Lord presented the importance of having good Christian literature in the home of all believers.

13. The Sword of the Lord emphasized prayer, revival, and the filling of the Holy Spirit. Some of Rice’s best books are Prayer: Asking and Receiving, and The Power of Pentecost. While disagreeing with some charismatic doctrine, he strongly believed in the filling and power of the Holy Spirit.

Read John R. Rice’s books. You will not always agree, but you will be blessed. You will be grounded in the basic doctrines of the Christian faith. You will be moved to tell people about Jesus and His salvation. You may catch a bit of the fire of revival.

Note:
John R. Rice’s associate, Evangelist and Editor Dr. R. L. Sumner, is still going strong today. Support and subscribe to his paper, The Biblical Evangelist. Sumner has a number of outstanding books as well. 

John R. Rice’s personal correspondence was given to Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary several years ago. I believe this correspondence will eventually go to Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary where Rice once studied.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, November 22, AD 2011.

Other Articles:
John R. Rice and the Sword of the Lord; Part 1
Brief History of SBC Conservative Resurgence
Deacons - Basic Baptist Doctrines
Books on Calvinism, Predestination
Wit And Wisdom Of My Dad (Wit & Wisdom of Pastor Joe Brumbelow, the book)
Ancient Wine and the Bible - the book 

More articles found in lower right margin.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

John R. Rice and the Sword of the Lord; Part 1

And they cried, “The sword of the LORD and of Gideon!” -Judges 7:20

Some of my earliest memories are of the magazine, Sword of the Lord, arriving in the mail and of my preacher dad poring over it. He often used some of the material in his sermons. As I grew a little older we would practically fight over who got to look it over first.

Some of my early convictions and beliefs were formed from articles in the Sword. We, however, also felt free to disagree with it, and did that as well.

Dr. John R. Rice was the founder and editor of the Sword of the Lord, founding it in the 1930s. Rice was a Southern Baptist preacher who eventually left the SBC to become an independent Baptist or a Fundamentalist. Rice never hesitated to reveal cases of liberalism in the SBC.

John R. Rice (1895-1980) was educated at Decatur Baptist College (now Dallas Baptist University), Baylor University, University of Chicago, and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He authored over 200 books and pamphlets. He was an evangelist and a personal soul-winner.

Some would subscribe, get mad at an article, cancel their subscription, then later give in and subscribe again. I recall one preacher who must have done that a half dozen times!

Many credit John R. Rice with having significant influence, though indirect, in the Conservative Resurgence in the SBC. Most every conservative SBC leader had subscribed to the Sword of the Lord through the years. Such conservative leaders include Adrian Rogers, Jerry Vines, Paige Patterson.

Since 1980 the Sword of the Lord has changed in some directions and is not what it used to be. Some years ago one of John R. Rice’s daughters wrote an open letter expressing the dismay of many at the way the Sword had changed. For example, the Sword of the Lord is now King James Only, a position never taken by Rice or his close associate Robert L. Sumner. Today the Sword is more separated from Southern Baptists. Rice used to often feature Southern Baptists authors, past and present.

Next article:
John R. Rice and the Sword of the Lord; Part 2

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, November 8, AD 2011.

Other Articles:

Brief History of SBC Conservative Resurgence

Deacons - Basic Baptist Doctrines
Ancient Wine and the Bible


Find other articles in lower right hand margin.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Obituary - Harold Sellers

For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. -1 Thessalonians 5:9-10

Harold Lamar Sellers, born May 25, 1937, died September 23, 2011 at the age of 74. At the time of his death he was the Director of Missions (DOM) for Madison Baptist Association in Alabama. He had previously served pastorates in Alabama and Texas, and as DOM of the Coastal Plains Baptist Area (Colorado Baptist Association & San Felipe Baptist Association), Texas from1987-2004. He was a graduate of Houston Baptist University.

The Moultrie Observer, Huntsville, Alabama noted in Sellers’ obituary, “He had a ‘heart’ for others in ministry and first responders, dedicating much of his life to supporting police officers as chaplain with the Rosenberg Police Department in Texas and Huntsville Police Department in Alabama.”

Sellers was preceded in death by his parents, E.M. and Evie Lee Sellers, and by his brother, Larry Sellers. He is survived by his wife of more than 50 years, Margaret; his daughter, Londa Hladky and husband John of Huntsville, Alabama; a son, Daryl Scott Sellers and wife Stephanie of Huntsville; two brothers, Kenneth Sellers of Valdosta and Ferrell Sellers of Ray City; a sister, Ernestine Dismuke of Moultrie; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Interment was at Valhalla Cemetery in Huntsville, Alabama.

Harold Sellers gave me, as a teenage preacher, one of my first opportunities to preach. As I remember, he had me preach for a Youth Day on a Sunday morning at his church in Missouri City, TX. My older brother, Steve Brumbelow, preached for him in Revival. Brother Sellers was a great example of what a pastor and a Director of Missions should be.

Harold Sellers’ obituary can be found in The Alabama Baptist, The Moultrie Observer, Colorado Baptist Association, and the Southern Baptist Texan.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, October 30, AD 2011.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Ancient Wine and the Bible - the book

“Addresses the subject with keen logic, a grasp of history, and thorough exegesis of biblical literature.”
-Foreword by Dr. Paige Patterson, President, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

* Numerous quotes from ancient and modern authorities
* Examines ancient wine recipes, practices, and preservation.
* Study of controversial Bible passages.
* Chapter of quotes, stories, illustrations.

Need the answer to the tough questions about drinking, alcohol, and the Bible? Find those answers here.

What people are saying about Ancient Wine and the Bible:

“Hip Christianity may make the appeal for the use of alcohol as a witnessing tool, but David Brumbelow’s exhaustive research presents a powerful case for abstinence. I commend him for taking an unpopular stand against a popular practice.”
-Dr. Jim Richards, Executive Director, Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.

Destroys “myth that the ancients had no way of preserving grape juice…I happily, enthusiastically, earnestly, wholeheartedly recommend Ancient Wine and the Bible to every pastor, teacher, evangelist, deacon and humble Christian in America. It will be a good investment paying rich dividends in the days ahead.”
-Dr. R. L. Sumner, Editor, The Biblical Evangelist.

“David R. Brumbelow's passionate plea for abstinence from alcoholic drink needs to be heard attentively in our day.”
- Dr. Daniel R. Sanchez, Professor of Missions, SWBTS

“David Brumbelow has done the Church of Jesus Christ a great service by penning Ancient Wine and the Bible…This book couldn’t have come at a more opportune time…I urge all who take up this book to read it prayerfully and with a desire to understand what the Bible teaches on this serious matter.”
-Pastor Gary Small, Liberty Fundamental Baptist Church, Lynden, Washington 98264.

“A masterful job explaining the times and customs of Bible days and the scriptural use of the word ‘wine.’”
-Pastor Jeff Schreve, First Baptist Church, Texarkana, TX.

“Left no stone unturned…Comprehensive and thoroughly researched, Ancient Wine and the Bible deserves to be read, considered and heeded.”
-Mrs. John (Alice) Hatch, pastor’s wife and mother of three girls.

"With the clarity, logic, and thoroughness, an outstanding attorney uses to prepare a brief in a major lawsuit, David Brumbelow approaches the question of drinking alcoholic beverages from a Biblical point of view. This work is outstanding. I recommend it strongly. The upcoming generations need to know the havoc brought on our society and upon individuals by the use of alcohol. If we use it ourselves, we recommend its use to others. A Christian should not exercise his freedom to put himself and others at such a risk.” 
-Judge H. Paul Pressler, Justice for the 14th Court of Appeals, Houston, TX.


“I know of no definitive work offered today that does what Brumbelow does in his book. It is scholarly, sound and makes for an irrefutable argument in favor of abstaining from alcoholic beverages. I believe every pastor ought to have a copy.”
-Mark Creech, president, American Council on Alcohol Problems (ACAP).

*******

Author David R. Brumbelow is a pastor and graduate of ETBU and SWBTS. He has previously authored a book about his dad, The Wit and Wisdom of Pastor Joe Brumbelow.

How to Order
Ancient Wine and the Bible: The Case for Abstinence

Order from your local bookstore
Order from Free Church Press
Order from amazon.com
Order from Barnes & Noble
Order from Cokesbury
Order from LifeWay

Or order a signed copy of Ancient Wine and the Bible directly from:
David R. Brumbelow, P.O. Box 300, Lake Jackson, Texas 77566 USA. $21 postpaid.

Ancient Wine and the Bible is 304 pages, contains over 400 reference notes (endnotes), and is published by Free Church Press.

Makes a great gift for your pastor, youth minister, student, Sunday School teacher, professor, anyone interested in this subject.
Makes a great gift to a Church or School Library.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, October 10, AD 2011.

Other Articles:
Dr. R. L. Sumner on "Ancient Wine and the Bible"
Biblical Principles Condemn Alcohol
Preserving Unfermented Wine in Bible Times
2006 SBC Resolution on Alcohol Use in America
Deuteronomy 14:26 - Does it Commend Alcohol?

Common Wine in the Bible
Ancient Wine Production and the Bible
SCRIPTURE INDEX for Ancient Wine and the Bible 

 
Other articles in lower right hand margin under Gulf Coast Pastor Articles (Labels).

Adoniram Judson's Gospel Tract, Still Used Today

“There is one Being who exists eternally; who is exempt from sickness, old age, and death; who was, and is, and will be, without beginning and without end. Besides this, the true God, there is no other God…May the reader obtain light. Amen.” -Baptist Missionary Adoniram Judson

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) -- In 1816, Adoniram Judson, a legendary Baptist missionary to Burmese Buddhists, completed a tract that still brings Christ's light to a dark world and challenges 21st century missionaries to rethink their methods.

This summer, Judson's tract once again made it into the hands of Buddhists when professors and students from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary proclaimed the Gospel in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

"The tract was directly linked to Judson's first Burmese convert," Keith Eitel, dean of the seminary's Roy Fish School of Evangelism and Missions, said. Eitel came across the tract during research for an essay on Judson and had it translated into the Thai language. Eitel had been studying Judson's missions practices for a book to be published by B&H next year celebrating the bicentennial of Judson's departure from America.

Judson, who became a Baptist soon after entering the mission field, wrote the tract in order to share the Gospel with Theravada Buddhists in Burma (modern-day Myanmar). After reading the tract, Eitel thought it would have a great impact on the Theravada Buddhists in Chiang Mai as well. Responses from native Thai Christians have confirmed his theory.

"They are intrigued by how well it is written and especially its clear description of God in relation to the Trinity," Eitel said. "They found this theologically informed tract useful both for discipleship and evangelism, and they have requested more copies of the tract to help them explain the Gospel to Buddhist family members.

"It articulates the Gospel better than they can," Eitel said, adding that a new Buddhist believer who is growing in the Lord, when bombarded by family members with questions about what he now believes, may find it hard to explain because he is just learning the Christian vocabulary and concepts. But the tract can help him communicate.

"This is probably the most valuable way this tool can be used," Eitel said.

The tract also displays an evangelistic method that flies in the face of many 21st century theories about how to communicate the Gospel across cultures.

"In order to soften the apparent idea of Christ's exclusivity, some missiologists have borrowed cultural anthropology's techniques and employ a comparative model to communicate the biblical message cross-culturally," Eitel said. "The intent is to build from points of apparent similarity to apparent points of contrast in order to communicate the Gospel."

Such a method concerns Eitel, since it threatens the missionary's ability to share the Gospel with biblical integrity and clarity, he says. In contrast to this method, Eitel suggests that missionaries should begin where religions differ, although always in a spirit of kindness and respect. Judson's tract does exactly this. Even in the first sentence, he undercuts Buddhist teaching:

"There is one Being who exists eternally; who is exempt from sickness, old age, and death; who was, and is, and will be, without beginning and without end. Besides this, the true God, there is no other God."

On the other hand, Eitel said, Judson shows sensitivity to Buddhist culture and concerns. In the last paragraph of the tract, for example, Judson dates the tract, in Burmese style, as being written on day 967 "of the lord of the Saddan elephant and master of the Sakyah weapon, ... the 12th day of the wane of the moon Wahgoung, after the double beat."

Judson's prayer at the end of the tract also appeals to the Buddhist desire for enlightenment. With Judson's prayer on their lips, Eitel and the Southwestern Seminary missions team took this newly translated tract to the Buddhists of Thailand: "May the reader obtain light. Amen."

By Benjamin Hawkins. Hawkins writes for Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
bpnews.net

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, October 10, AD 2011.

Sources of Gospel Tracts; Tract Racks
L. R. Scarborough on Tracts
The Roman Road of Salvation
Other articles in lower right hand margin under Gulf Coast Pastor Articles (Labels).

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Revelation 3:20 - Can We Use It In Evangelism?

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him and he with Me. -Jesus Christ; Revelation 3:20

Some say this verse should never be used to lead someone to the Lord because it was written to a church, not to lost people. Some go so far as to ridicule the ignorance of anyone who would use it in evangelism.

In contrast, many, many Baptist and Christian preachers of the Gospel have preached this verse to not only the saved, but also to the lost. Many a lost soul has been won to the Lord through this passage of Scripture.

It is granted that the verse is primarily written to the church at Laodicea. It is also granted that this verse alone does not present the gospel or the plan of salvation in its totality. (You could even argue that about John 3:16; after all it says nothing about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.)

The plan of salvation includes our sin and separation from God, God’s holiness, His love, Jesus’ death on the cross for our sins, His blood being shed for us, and his literal resurrection from the dead. We are to ask forgiveness for our sins. We are to believe and accept Jesus as our Lord (Boss, Master) and Savior. (1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Romans 3:23; 6:23; 5:8; 10:9-10, 13; John 1:12; 3:16; 5:24)

But when the full plan of salvation is presented, Revelation 3:20 is valid to use in explaining the biblical concept of accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

I and many before me believe Revelation 3:20 is valid to use in evangelism because:

1. We can go too far in saying this verse is not for you. All of the Bible is written as God’s love letter to mankind.

I know you can also go too far the other way; but here I do not think that is the case. For example, Romans is addressed to the saints (Romans 1:7-8). Does anyone argue that because of this the Roman Road verses cannot be used for evangelism? If they so argue, they are wrong.

2. Jesus’ words in Revelation 3:20 are valid for a saved person. They are also valid for a lost person.

3. Jesus’ words in Revelation 3:20 illustrate Jesus’ attitude toward a lost person and what the person must do to be saved. This can be shown from many Bible passages.

Does a lost person have to do something to be saved? Yes. Jesus wholly accomplished the work of salvation. But a man must respond, must believe, must call on the name of the Lord, must reach out and receive the gift of God. (John 1:12; Romans 10:9-10, 13; John 3:16; Acts 16:30-31; etc.) In other words, a man must open the door of his heart and invite Jesus in.

A number of verses reveal that when we are saved Jesus comes to live in our hearts. Other verses refer to the Holy Spirit living within us.
Ephesians 3:17; Colossians 1:27; 2 Corinthians 1:22; Galatians 4:6; 2 Peter 1:19; John 7:38; etc. (also, our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit).

4. Revelation 3:20 is given to whoever will take it. Notice Jesus’ use of the word, “anyone.” That includes the saved and the lost, all the world.

5. Just as today, the church at Laodicea would have included unsaved visitors and unsaved members (Jesus even had an unsaved disciple!)*; especially a lukewarm church like Laodicea. Jesus would certainly have known this and included them in His invitation. Just as pastors today include the saved and the lost in the public invitation they give in their church.

If Revelation 3:20 cannot be used for the lost because it was given to a church, then it would be invalid for pastors today to give a salvation invitation in church. After all, if they are in church, they surely must all be saved!

6. It could even be argued that Jesus knocking at the door and us inviting Him in is more valid for a lost person that for a saved person.

A person is welcome to disagree and use their own verses in evangelism. But those who use this verse in evangelism are not doing so out of ignorance.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, October 4, AD 2011.

*  Of course, every member of a Baptist church should be a believer.  The requirements to be a member of a Baptist church are usually two:  You have personally received Christ as your Savior, and you have subsequently been Scripturally baptized (Beleiver's Baptism by Immersion).  But we all know there are those who have made an outward profession of faith without meaning it in their hearts.

Saved By The Sinner's Prayer
The Roman Road of Salvation
Unlimited Atonement, Jesus Died For All
Many more articles in lower right margin under Gulf Coast Pastor Articles (Labels).

Monday, September 26, 2011

Baptists on Tithing

Then they faithfully brought in the offerings, the tithes, and the dedicated things. -2 Chronicles 31:12
Honor the LORD with your possessions and with the first produce of your entire harvest. -Proverbs 3:9

Years ago Southern Baptists had a stewardship poster, “Every Baptist A Tither.” Long ago Baptists, and Christians in general, learned one of God’s basic ways of supporting the spread of the Gospel around the world was through the concept of giving tithes and offerings.

I believe in what is often called storehouse tithing. The tithe refers to 10% of your income that belongs to God. God gives us everything (Psalm 24:1; 1 Corinthians 4:7), He asks us to give back to Him 10%. He owns it all and has a right to ask for more. “Tithes and offerings” refers to a person giving 10% to the Lord; offerings refer to anything over and above the tithe, given to the Lord and His work. Storehouse tithing refers to giving your tithe to your local church. With perhaps a very few exceptions, I believe your tithe should be given to your church. You have a freedom to give over your tithe to any cause to which the Lord would lead you to give.

When Baptists get control of their debt and finances, they will have much greater freedom to give to the Lord. A beautiful thing about the tithe is that a poor man can give just as much to the Lord as a rich man.

Clear, concise examples of the tithe are found in the Law given by God to Moses:
And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’s. It is holy to the LORD. -Leviticus 27:30
You shall truly tithe all the increase of your grain that the field produces year by year. -Deuteronomy 14:22

We are commanded to,
Bring all the tithes into the storehouse. -Malachi 3:10
Today the storehouse is the local church where we meet each Lord’s Day.

Some object to the tithe saying it was a part of the Old Testament Law and we are now under Grace. (I always wonder how much these individuals are really giving.) That does not mean, though, we throw out all the Old Testament commandments.

Those who say tithing was only a part of the Old Testament Law should be aware that tithing was practiced, and apparently commanded by God, before the Law was given to Moses. Long before the Law:
Melchizedek was king of Salem and the priest of God Most High. Abraham “gave him a tithe of all.” -Genesis 14:19
Jacob made a vow to God, “All that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.” -Genesis 28:22

Furthermore, Grace does not mean Jesus gave all and sacrificially died on the Cross so we might give to the Lord 1%, instead of 10%.

Jesus not only referred to the tithe, He commended it.
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. -Matthew 23:23 (Also Luke 11:42).

Contrary to the opinion of some, I believe the tithe is mentioned often in the New Testament (NT). The NT never negates the tithe. Rather it reinforces it over and over. Today we sometimes speak of tithing, more often we simply speak of giving. But as we speak of giving, we are including, not excluding, tithing. When I tell my church a believer should give to the Lord, I am including tithing. The same is true in the NT. The many verses in the NT that speak of giving, embrace, include, and commend the concept of tithing.

Therefore the following Scripture speaks of storehouse tithing.
Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: on the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come. -1 Corinthians 16:1-2

Contrary to some Health and Wealth false preachers, God does not promise to make you wealthy, by human standards, if you tithe. There is no guarantee that nothing bad will ever happen to you. But God does promise to bless and care for you. These blessings of God are both material and spiritual; they cover this life, and the one to come. If you tithe, God will provide. Some of the sweetest testimonies I’ve ever heard have been from those who began to practice tithing.

“Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” -Luke 6:38

Don’t rob God (Malachi 3). Tithing is taught in God’s Word and is one way for us to show our love for God and others.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor; September 26, AD 2011.

Church Buildings - Dos and Don'ts #1
The Girl Who Saved His Ministry
Wit And Wisdom Of My Dad
What Legalism Really Means
SBC Resolution on Tithing

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

B. H. Carroll on Drought in Texas

Texas has been going through a serious drought, the worst in many years.

Back in the 1950s we had a bad drought. Stories have been told of how back then South Texas ranchers would use blow torches to burn the thorns off prickly pear cactus so the cows would have something to eat. The grass was long gone and when the cows would hear the sound of the torches they would come running, knowing the sound meant food.

Today many ranchers have had to sell all their cattle, they have nothing to feed them. The large round bales of hay are expensive and few and far between. God bless those Baptists from other states who have trucked some donated hay into Texas. Farmers have watched their crops dry and wither away. Many trees have died; it’s amazing that any un-watered trees have survived the drought. A meteorologist recently said this part of Texas would need 15 to 20 inches of rain just to catch up.

As the old saying goes, “It’s so dry the Baptists are sprinkling and the Methodists are using a damp rag.”

B. H. Carroll, founding president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, was known as an eloquent preacher. He knew well the Texas droughts of the late 1800s. He described it well:

“I have witnessed a drouth in Texas. The earth was iron and the heavens brass. Dust clouded the thoroughfares and choked the travelers. Water courses ran dry, grass scorched and crackled, corn leaves twisted and wilted, stock died around the last water holes, the ground cracked in fissures, and the song of birds died out in parched throats. Men despaired. The whole earth prayed: ‘Rain, rain, rain. O heaven, send rain.’ Suddenly a cloud rises above the horizon and floats into vision like an angel of hope. It spreads a cool shade over the burning and glowing earth. Expectation gives life to desire. The lowing herds look up. The shriveled flowers open their tiny cups. The corn leaves untwist and rustle with gladness. And just when all trusting, suffering life opens her confiding heart to the promise of relief, the cloud, the cheating cloud, like a heartless coquette,* gathers her drapery about her and floats scornfully away, leaving the angry sun free to dart his fires of death into the open heart of all suffering life.”  -B. H. Carroll, founding president of SWBTS. 

O Lord, please send us rain.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, September 14, AD 2011.

* Coquette - a woman who endeavors to gain the admiration and affections of men for mere self gratification; a flirt. -Living Webster Encyclopedic Dictionary of the English Language; 1980.

B. H. Carroll on Hyper-Calvinism
B. H. Carroll on Inspiration of Bible
B. H. Carroll on Pastors and Alcohol
Global Warming, Global Cooling, & Climate Change

Monday, September 5, 2011

Books on Calvinism, Predestination

Calvinism is sometimes referred to as Doctrines of Grace, Reformed Doctrines, Reformed Baptists, etc. Calvinism is becoming more prevalent in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). Most Southern Baptists are not 5-point Calvinists, but they need to brush up on this issue.

Many non-Calvinist (or Moderate Calvinist) Baptist churches are being asked to consider 5-point Calvinists as pastor. Pastor Search Committees (Pulpit Committees) need to know what they believe and why they believe it.

For the record, if a Baptist church wants to knowingly call a Calvinist as pastor, that is their business and they are perfectly free to do so. The problem is when a church calls a Calvinist as pastor and doesn’t have a clue as to what he believes and what he plans to do in their church. I hear about such cases on a regular basis. In contrast, you can be assured that a Calvinist or Reformed Baptist church will be doubly sure the new pastor they call will be a strict Calvinist.

Some, not all, Calvinists have strangely been very critical when non-Calvinists present their beliefs about these issues. For example, some strongly attacked Jerry Vines’ John 3:16 Conference. But just as Calvinists have a right to present their beliefs in books and conferences, so does the other side. Non-Calvinists need to know solid reasons why so many reject 5-point Calvinism.

The books below will give pastors and laymen a good understanding of Calvinism from the viewpoint of a non-Calvinist. It’s great to read completely through them, but you may also want to skip around in them and keep them for future reference. If you get bogged down, just move to the next section. Have a pencil or pen ready and mark pages that answer questions you may have.

Chosen But Free: A Balanced View of God’s Sovereignty and Free Will by Norman L. Geisler; 2010.
Very good, easy to understand book by a well-known and respected conservative Christian apologist.

Whosoever Will by David L. Allen and Steve W. Lemke, B&H (Broadman & Holman); 2010.
Compiled messages presented at a Jerry Vines’ John 3:16 Conference. Scholarly defense of the large majority of Baptists who are not 5-point Calvinists. Scholarly, yet for the most part easy for most to understand. Includes messages by Jerry Vines, Paige Patterson, Richard Land, David Allen, Steve Lemke, Kevin Kennedy, R. Alan Streett… Includes a chapter on The Public Invitation and Calvinism.

Salvation and Sovereignty by Kenneth Keathley, B&H.
Another good, scholarly book on Calvinism and free will. Foreword by Paige Patterson, president of SWBTS. Keathley is professor at SEBTS.

Trouble With the Tulip by Frank Page.
Good, brief, easy to understand book. Frank Page has been pastor, SBC president, and is now Executive Director of the SBC Executive Committee.

An Examination of Tulip: The Five Points of Calvinism by R. L. Sumner, Biblical Evangelism Press, 5718 Pine Drive, Raleigh, North Carolina 27606. $2.50 each, postpaid. Order multiple copies. 
Good booklet to give members of Pastor Search Committee. Good brief booklet to give anyone interested in the subject. Sumner is editor of The Biblical Evangelist (biblicalevangelist.org). 47,000 copies of this booklet in print.
Adrian Rogers ordered hundreds of copies of Sumner's book for his church. 

Predestined for Hell? Absolutely Not! by Adrian Rogers, Love Worth Finding, P.O. Box 38800, Memphis, TN 38183-0300, (lwf.org); 1999. $2 each.
Sermon booklet. Another good pamphlet to give a Pastor Search Committee (Pulpit Committee) or anyone else. Adrian Rogers was pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church, Cordova, Tennessee, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, and a leader of the SBC Conservative Resurgence that brought Southern Baptists back to their historic belief in the inerrancy of the Bible.

Calvinism: A Baptist and His Election by Jerry Vines, CD (under “Baptist Battles”) at jerryvines.com.
Vines is the retired pastor of First Baptist Church, Jacksonville, Florida and former SBC president. He is a prolific author and one of the leaders in the SBC Conservative Resurgence.

Update:  What is Calvinism? by Peter Lumpkins, Free Church Press.  Brief overview of the issue.  Another good book to give church leaders and those with questions on this subject.  . 

*******

The above books can be ordered at your local bookstore, or on the internet at places like amazon.com or lifeway.com. A couple of them may need to be ordered directly at the addresses given.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, September 5, AD 2011.

Related Articles:

Monday, August 29, 2011

Adrian Rogers on Predestination, Calvinism

Adrian Rogers was pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church, Cordova, Tennessee and elected three times as president of the Southern Baptist Convention. He was the first president elected, and a leader in, the SBC Conservative Resurgence. His messages are still widely distributed through TV, radio, and literature. He is the favorite preacher of multitudes of Southern Baptists.

Below are a few of Adrian Rogers thoughts on predestination and Calvinism:

“Did God predestine some people for Heaven and predestine some people for Hell? Are humans just pawns on the chessboard of fate? Absolutely not!”

“There are some who…say that God has chosen some before they are born to go the Hell and others He has chosen to go to Heaven - and there’s absolutely nothing they can do about it. I don’t accept this for a moment…”

“God hardened Pharaoh’s heart because Pharaoh first hardened his own heart.”

“All God did was to crystallize the sin that was already in him [Pharaoh]. God did not take a little tender child and say, “I’m going to harden your heart and then I’m going to cast you into Hell.” 

Pharaoh “had blasphemed the God of Heaven, and God had warned him. God has sent His messenger to him, but this man stubbornly and arrogantly said “no” to God. It was then that God further hardened the heart of this man whose heart was already hardened. But don’t get the idea that God just raised up Pharaoh to send him to Hell. God warned Pharaoh, but he wouldn’t heed the warning.”

On Romans 9 and Jacob and Esau; “God is not talking about two little babies, one born for Heaven and one born for Hell. That’s not what He is saying at all. This is national, not personal.” Later, “God was not talking about salvation. He was simply saying that Israel is going to be His choice, and the descendants of Jacob are going to be His spiritual leaders in the world…Nothing is said here about one twin going to Heaven and the other twin going to Hell.”

On the Scripture, “The vessels of wrath fitted to destruction.” “Well, how did they get ripe for destruction? In his word study, Vincent reminds us that this is the middle voice, which means simply that they fitted themselves for destruction. It is not the potter than fits them for destruction. It is the potter who is long-suffering. It is the vessels of wrath who fit themselves for destruction. God never made anybody to go to Hell. God wants people saved. He wants you saved. First Timothy 2:4 speaks of ‘God who will have all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of truth.’”

“The following Scriptures show God’s universal love for all and His promise to all who will trust in Christ.” Rogers then quotes John 3:16-17; Isaiah 53:6; Romans 8:32; 1 Timothy 2:4; 1 John 4:14; 1 John 2:2; Revelation 22:17; Romans 9:33.

After quoting 1 John 2:2 Adrian Rogers says, “In this classic passage Jesus is spoken of as the propitiation or the satisfaction, not only for the sins of those who are already saved, but for the sins of the whole world.”

“If you want to be saved, to be one of the elect, then just come to Jesus.”

“I invite you to pray like this,
‘Dear God, I know that You love me. I know that You want to save me. I am a sinner and my sin deserves judgment, but I need mercy and I want mercy. I am not going to harden my heart against You, God. I open my heart. Come into my heart and into my life right now. Forgive all my sin, save me, Lord Jesus.’
Friend, pray that from your heart, ask Jesus to save you, trust Him to do it, and He will!”

These quotes are from the sermon booklet, Predestined for Hell? Absolutely Not!, by Adrian Rogers, Love Worth Finding, P.O. Box 38800, Memphis, TN 38183-0300, (lwf.org); 1999; 2010. 901/382-7900.
Order the booklet today; it just costs $2. Order extra for those who have questions about this subject.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, August 29, AD 2011.

Related Articles:
Brief History of SBC Conservative Resurgence
Unlimited Atonement, Jesus Died For All
Adrian Rogers on "Wit & Wisdom of Pastor Joe Brumbelow"
Paige Patterson on Calvinism
B. H. Carroll on Hyper-Calvinism
Books on Calvinism, Predestination
Wit And Wisdom Of My Dad
Ancient Wine Production and the Bible
 
Roy Fish on Calvinism; part 1 of 2

Other articles found in lower right margin under Gulf Coast Pastor Articles (Labels).

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Book Review - Coach John Wooden, by R. L. Sumner

It’s hard to find good, extensive book reviews today. One of the few who still does it is Dr. R. L. Sumner, evangelist and editor of The Biblical Evangelist.

The website only lists some of the Reviews and features of each print issue of The Biblical Evangelist. Currently it is carrying Sumner’s review of:

COACH WOODEN by Pat Williams with Jim Denny; Revell, a Division of the Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids, MI; 8 Chapters, 186 Pages; $17.99

Sumner quotes Wooden as giving the following advice for his players:

* Talent is God-given: be humble.
* Fame is man-given: be thankful.
* Conceit is self-given: be careful.

Not bad advice for preachers as well.  Of course there is much more than this to the Book Review.

Other Reviews this issue:

CREATION OR EVOLUTION? By E. Norbert Smith; 15 Chapters, 309 Pages (large size, 8”x10”); CreateSpace, Scotts Valley, CA

IN THE SHADOW OF EVIL by Robin Caroll; B&H Books, Nashville, TN; 39 Chapters, 371 Pages; $14.99, Paper

EVIDENCE FOR GOD, Edited by William A. Dembski & Michael R. Licona; Baker Books, a Division of Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids, MI; Four Sections, 50 Chapters; $19.99, Paper

Check it out at biblicalevangelist.org and Click “Book Reviews.” Then subscribe to the print copy, and send a generous donation.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, August 24, AD 2011.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Deuteronomy 14:26 - Does it Commend Alcohol?

And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household. -Deuteronomy 14:26 (KJV).

You may spend the money on anything you want: cattle, sheep, wine, beer, or anything you desire. You are to feast there in the presence of the LORD your God and rejoice with your family. -Deuteronomy 14:26 (HCSB)

Christians who favor drinking seem to ignore plain Scriptures that speak directly against alcohol (Proverbs 20:1; 23:29-35; 1 Thessalonians 5:6-8; etc.), while glorying in Deuteronomy 14:26, an obscure verse that only mentions wine and strong drink in passing. This has become a favorite verse of those seeking to justify Christians’ drinking.

It may seem strange that God would forbid His Old Testament priests to drink while engaging in worship, yet tell the people they were welcome to drink during worship without regard to age or amount. It sounds strange because it is a contradiction, and because it never happened.

The word in Deuteronomy 14:26 translated "strong drink" or even "beer" (CSB) by some translations, is the Hebrew word "shekar."

Many authorities theorize that shekar always means an alcoholic drink. But significant authorities disagree. They believe shekar, like the biblical words for wine, could refer either to an alcoholic, or a nonalcoholic drink, but made from fruit other than grapes.

A few of those authorities:
The New King James Version (NKJV) translates shekar in Deuteronomy 14:26 as “similar drink.” Elsewhere, when it is obvious shekar is referring to an alcoholic drink, it uses the term, “strong drink.”

And you shall spend that money for whatever your heart desires: for oxen or sheep, for wine or similar drink, for whatever your heart desires; you shall eat there before the LORD your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your household. -Deuteronomy 14:26 (NKJV).

“It is tolerably clear that the general words ‘wine [yayin; oinos]’ and ‘strong drink [shekar]’ do not necessarily imply fermented liquors, the former signifying only a production of the vine, the latter the produce of other fruits than the grape.” -Dr. Lyman Abbott, A Dictionary of Religious Knowledge,

Shekar - “Sweet drink (what satiates or intoxicates).” -Dr. Robert Young, Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible, Eerdmans, 1970.

“Not only the word yayin, but also shekar can refer to grape juice as well as to wine (cf. Deuteronomy 29:6; Numbers 28:7; Exodus 29:40).” -Dr. Robert P. Teachout in his doctoral dissertation on The Use of Wine in the Old Testament, 1979, Dallas Theological Seminary.

It is also interesting that we get our English words sugar, saccharine, cider from the Hebrew word shekar. These words allude to a root meaning of sweet, rather than alcoholic. Also, cider can mean alcoholic, or nonalcoholic apple juice, just like the original word shekar.

Next time a drinker waves Deuteronomy 14:26 in your face, let everyone know that many authorities say shekar, the word for strong drink, can also refer to a nonalcoholic beverage.

Finally, in that day they could more easily make and preserve nonalcoholic wine and shekar, than the alcoholic kind. Nonalcoholic drinks were common in their day, just as they are in ours.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, August 22, AD 2011.

Note: Much more information on Shekar and Deuteronomy 14:26 is in the book Ancient Wine and the Bible by David R. Brumbelow.

Related articles:
Preserving Unfermented Wine in Bible Times
2006 SBC Resolution on Alcohol Use in America
Alabama Baptist Review of "Ancient Wine and the Bible"
Dr. Brad Reynolds' Book Recommendations on Alcohol
 Alcohol Condemned in the Bible
Biblical Principles Condemn Alcohol
Other related articles can be found in lower right margin under Gulf Coast Pastor Articles (Labels).

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Of Jesse Mercer, L. R. Scarborough, Georgia and Texas

“Dr. Jesse Mercer, of Georgia, in 1838 gave $2,500 to the Home Mission Society of Northern Baptists to send two Baptist preachers to evangelize Texas.” -L. R. Scarborough, With Christ After the Lost, Southwestern Library of Centennial Classics, revised by E. D. Head; 1942, 2008.

These were “foreign” missionaries. In 1838 Texas had won its independence only two years earlier and was its own country, the Republic of Texas. It would join the United States of America in 1845.

In 2010, 172 years later, there are (Southern Baptists of Texas Convention statistics):

*  2332 Baptist churches in the SBTC.
*  An average of 237,313 in worship each Sunday.
*  16,988 Baptisms each year.
*  $37,700,000 given to the Cooperative Program, International Mission Board, North American Mission Board and other missions through the SBTC.
*  Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, one of the largest seminaries in the world, is in Fort Worth, Texas.

And this does not even come close to counting all the other Baptists and Baptist institutions in the state of Texas.

Thank you Jesse Mercer, and Georgia Baptists. Thank you Northern Baptists. Thank you for giving to the Lord, and giving to Texas.

Note: L. R. Scarborough, then president of SWBTS, went on to give Texas Baptist statistics for about 1940. I updated them with recent SBTC statistics. Thanks to Lane Rice for help with the SBTC statistics. 

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, August 18, AD 2011.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Paige Patterson on Calvinism

Several years ago Dr. Paige Patterson spoke on Calvinism at the SBC Pastor’s Conference. An excerpt from Baptist Press follows:

PATTERSON: PEOPLE ARE ‘TOTALLY FREE’

Patterson began his segment by saying, to laughter, “The real question we are here to discuss today is whether or not you are here on your own free will."

He listed six areas in which he and Calvinists agree –- areas for which he said he has great appreciation. Calvinists, Patterson said: “usually lead very pious lives”; believe theology is important; generally are “very clear about the dangers involved in the charismatic movement; “understand the purpose of everything is to glorify God”; “never question the inerrancy of Scripture or the substitutionary atonement of Christ”; and “are crystal clear about the fact that salvation is by grace alone.”

But Patterson also said there are several areas of concern he has with “some Calvinists”:

-- the notion that if “you are not a Calvinist then you must be an Arminian.” He said he is neither.

-- the argument that “if you are not a Calvinist then you do not accept the doctrines of grace.” Patterson said, “I believe that salvation is by grace alone, and I'm not a Calvinist.”

-- the assertion that those who are not Calvinists don’t believe in the sovereignty of God. “I just happen to believe that God is sovereign enough that He can make a man totally free if He wishes to do so,” Patterson said.

-- “antinomian tendencies” present “in some Calvinists,” particularly on the subject of drinking alcohol. Antinomianism tends to overemphasize grace in relation to law.

-- a failure of Reformed pastors to be “completely forthright” with pulpit committees during interviews. “This is a concern not only about Calvinists,” Patterson said. “It is a concern about people who happen to be dispensationalists, like me. It's a concern about any position which you hold." There should be “full disclosure of what you believe and what you plan to do once you become the pastor of that church."

-- the “compassionlessness” for a lost world seen in “some Calvinists.” Patterson said what he “appreciate[s] so much about Dr. Mohler and many of my other Calvinist friends is that that emphatically is not true of them."

Patterson said he views the doctrine of election through the "foreknowledge of God." He also said he sees no biblical evidence for “irresistible grace” –- one of the tenets of Calvinism.

“If, in fact, men cannot resist the will of the Holy Spirit … then in fact salvation is coercive and a person does not have a choice about what he is going to do,” he said. "… I believe it is God's will that every human being be saved. I don't believe all of them will be saved -- narrow is the way, and straight is the gate.”

Patterson read two quotes he attributed to Presbyterian pastor R.C. Sproul: "God desired man to fall into sin. God created sin"; and "It is [God's] desire to make His wrath known. He needed, then, something on which to be wrathful. He needed to have sinful creatures."

“It is impossible to find justice in that by any biblical definition of justice," Patterson said. “… This makes God, in some sense, the author of sin.”

He listed several scriptural passages -- 1 Timothy 2:3-6, 2 Peter 3:9, Hebrews 2:9, 1 John 2:2 -- that he said support general atonement instead of the Calvinist tenant of limited (or particular) atonement. *

"To me, the references to the universality of the atonement are absolutely overwhelming in the New Testament," Patterson said. “… The Calvinist must fall back on the idea of two wills of God –- a revealed will and a secret will. The problem with the secret will, of course, is that it is secret and we cannot know about [it] at all. Not only that, [but] it pits the secret will in juxtaposition and over against His revealed will.”

Patterson challenged those in attendance, "My fervent prayer is that whatever your beliefs are about the sovereignty of God … you will join me in taking the Gospel to the ends of the earth.”
-from Baptist Press, June 13, 2006 by Michael Foust.

Dr. Paige Patterson is a graduate of Hardin-Simmons University and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (Th.M. and Ph.D.), he is the author of a number of books, and was twice elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention. He was one of the key leaders in the Conservative Resurgence that brought Southern Baptists back to their historic commitment to the inerrancy of the Bible. Patterson serves as president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas (swbts.edu).

One additional quote:
“The current trend in Southern Baptist life to imitate the Reformed movement is a major step backwards and must be resisted.” -Dr. Paige Patterson, at SWBTS Anabaptist Conference, 2012.
[The Reformers fought against Believer's Baptism by Immersion and actually persecuted, tortured, and executed Anabapists and Baptists in the 1500s and 1600s.]

* The Calvinist doctrine of Limited Atonement says Jesus died only for the elect.  Non-Calvinists (or at least non-5-point Calvinists) believe in General or Unlimited Atonement.  Unlimited Atonement means Jesus died for the sins of all humanity; of course, only those who believe are saved. 

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, August 8, AD 2011.

Books on Calvinism, Predestination

Adrian Rogers on Predestination, Calvinism   

See Related Articles by clicking any of the "Labels" in this post, or by going to the lower right margin under Gulf Coast Pastor Articles (Labels). 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

How to Get a Life When Ministry Drains it Out of You

HIGHLANDS, Texas (BP)--Years ago my dad and I, both pastors, attended an associational meeting. The speaker lamented a survey revealing that something like 75 percent of all pastors had considered leaving the ministry. Dad -- Joe Brumbelow, who in his lifetime was pastor of several churches in South Texas -- commented, “The results worry me, too. I’m concerned that 25 percent of the preachers lied.”

Most every pastor has considered quitting. Stress, burdens and heartache are common among professional clergy. As a young preacher I learned much from my dad about how to "get a life" while in the ministry:

-- Laughter is a good medicine (Proverbs 15:13; 17:22). It can cure what ails you or at least make life a little more bearable. Laughter takes the edge off difficulties. Laugh often. Joke, when appropriate, with your church members and your family. If you are a believer, you have ample good reasons to smile. Humor also enhances and illustrates your Bible teaching. Through humor a pastor can reveal the joy of the Lord.

-- Find humor in practically every situation. Joe Brumbelow certainly did. Even a serious circumstance sometimes brought a smile or humorous comment. "Sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying," he surmised. "Brother Joe", as most everyone called him, enjoyed biblical humor such as Job's telling his questionable friends, "No doubt but ye are the people, and wisdom shall die with you" (Job 12:2, KJV). Funny situations abound; recognize and enjoy them.

-- Be serious about your ministry but not too serious about yourself. You may be an outstanding minister, but God can get along fine without you. The world does not hang on your shoulders. Dad ended a lot of stress when he prayed one day, "Lord, this is Your church, not mine. I’ve done all I know to do. If You want it to die, then let it die." He recognized that God ultimately was in control. That day he took his burdens to the Lord and left them there.

When you make a mess of things, don’t try to hide it; just admit it and have a good laugh at yourself. As my old college friends once said, "Lighten up."

-- Use humor that is appropriate. Humor can cut as well as heal. Be careful of misunderstandings. Sometimes humor is better understood in person than in writing (or in e-mail.) Don’t use off-color humor at all. Limit some humor only to family or your closest friends. Keep some thoughts to yourself!

-- Everyone needs a diversion. Vance Havner quoted Jesus' telling His disciples, "Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while” (Mark 6:31). Havner said, "If you don’t come apart and rest, you will just come apart."

With Dad, relaxation meant fishing. He’d go wade-fishing and forget the world's cares. He complained that live shrimp (which he used for speckled-trout fishing) were way too expensive. He then concluded with a smile, "But it’s cheaper than paying $60 an hour for a psychologist." Fishing was his "stress therapy." Gardening also relaxed him. He could bring something good out of the worst of soils. A diversion is not a waste of time; it’s something you need. Being spiritual when you are physically tired is difficult. Get enough rest. Joe Brumbelow joked, "Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is to take a nap."

-- Fellowship with fellow ministers. The old spiritual says, "Nobody knows the trouble I’ve known, nobody knows but Jesus." But those in ministry often know, understand and care. Don’t just seek out persons of the same age. Make friends with ministers that are older and younger than you. Late in his ministry, Brother Joe considered being friends with the younger ministers on the staff at First Baptist Church in Lake Jackson, Texas (where he served at the time of his passing in August 2002) to be an honor. Dad instructed young preachers to attend associational, state and national conventions. Sometimes these get boring and tedious. But you need the instruction; you especially need the fellowship. Laugh, cry and pray with other preachers.

-- Lean on your family and closest friends for your deepest emotional needs. Brother Joe said, "I would rather be known as a great husband and dad than to be known as a great preacher." Make your home a fine place to retreat. My mother played a vital role in this area. A church can be a loving family. But don’t expect members to meet needs that only a close family or the closest of friends can meet.

-- Most of all, lean on Jesus. Nurture your personal relationship to the Lord. More than anyone else, Jesus understands the trouble you’ve known.
--30--

David R. Brumbelow is pastor of Northside Baptist Church in Highlands, TX and author of a book about his dad, "The Wit and Wisdom of Pastor Joe Brumbelow: Favorite illustrations, personal stories, humor, history, folklore, and lessons learned from over 50 years in the ministry." The book is available in bookstores and also through the publisher at http://www.hannibalbooks.com/.

Originally published at Baptist Press October 19, 2005. The article was later published in a couple of state Baptist papers. bpnews.net
Related Post:  The Girl Who Saved His Ministry

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, August 2, AD 2011.

Wit And Wisdom Of My Dad (Wit & Wisdom of Pastor Joe Brumbelow, the book)
Other articles in lower right hand margin under Gulf Coast Pastor Articles (Labels).

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

B. H. Carroll on Inspiration of Bible

Following are quotes from B. H. Carroll on biblical inspiration from his book, Inspiration of the Bible, Southwestern Library of Centennial Classics, 1930, 2008.

“It has always been a matter of profound surprise to me that anybody should ever question the verbal inspiration of the Bible."

"The whole thing had to be written in words. Words are signs of ideas, and if the words are not inspired, then there is no way of getting at anything in connection with inspiration. If I am free to pick up the Bible and read something and say, ‘That is not inspired,’ and someone else does not agree with me as to which is and which is not inspired, it leaves the whole thing unsettled as to whether any of it is inspired."

"What is the object of inspiration? It is to put accurately, in human words, ideas from God. If the words are not inspired, how am I to know how much to reject, and how to find out whether anything is from God? When you hear the silly talk that the Bible ‘contains’ the word of God and is not the word of God, you hear a fool’s talk. I don’t care if he is a Doctor of Divinity, a President of a University covered with medals from universities of Europe and the United States, it is fool-talk. There can be no inspiration of the book without the inspiration of the words of the book.”

“The inspired word is irrefragable, infallible; that all the powers of the world cannot break one ‘thus saith the Lord.’”

“Let me say further that only the original text of the books of the Bible is inspired, not the copy or the translation.”

“The inspiration means that the record of what is said and done is correct. It does not mean that everything that God did and said is recorded. It does not mean that everything recorded is of equal importance, but every part of it is necessary to the purpose of the record, and no part is unimportant. One part is no more inspired than any other part.”

“It is perfectly foolish to talk about degrees of inspiration. What Jesus said in the flesh, as we find it in the four Gospels, is no more His word than what the inspired prophet or apostle said.”

“What Jesus said after He ascended to heaven, through Paul or any other apostle, is just as much Jesus’ word as anything He said in the flesh.”

“Here are some objections: First, ‘only the originals are inspired, and we have only copies.’ The answer to that is that God would not inspire a book and take no care of the book. His providence has preserved the Bible in a way that no other book has been preserved.”

“We do not find that verbal inspiration stereotypes the style, even in the case of a single man. It is nothing mechanical like that, nor does it in the least destroy the individuality of the inspired man. When Paul writes, he writes in Paul’s style; when Peter writes, he writes in Peter’s style.”

“The Holy Spirit inspires the penman and not the pen, and we must not be disturbed when we find Paul’s style, when he is writing spiritual things in spiritual words, or Peter’s style in his writings. We should accept that fact as we go along.”  -B. H. Carroll, Inspiration of the Bible, Southwestern Library of Centennial Classics, 1930, 2008.


Benajah Harvey Carroll (1843-1914) was born in Mississippi, a veteran of the Civil War, and was pastor of First Baptist Church, Waco, Texas.

B. H. Carroll was founder and first president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas. His book, Inspiration of the Bible, has been influential among Baptists. It was reprinted and promoted during the SBC Conservative Resurgence and was reprinted again in 2008 in a set of books commemorating the Centennial of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Note: Plenary Verbal Inspiration means every word of all 66 books of the Bible is inspired by God and is therefore the inerrant, living, authoritative, sufficient Word of God.
Plenary - all
Verbal - every word
Inspiration - God breathed. Divinely inspired in such a way that no other book is inspired by God.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, July 12, AD 2011.

Related Articles:
Southwestern Centennial Classics; B. H. Carroll, L. R. Scarborough, T. B. Maston...
B. H. Carroll on Hyper-Calvinism
B. H. Carroll on Pastors and Alcohol
See other articles in lower right margin. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Top Three Seminaries

An extensive study of Baptist and Evangelical seminaries has been conducted over the last 54 years. This study has been conducted by none other than David R. Brumbelow of Gulf Coast Pastor. He speaks for himself and probably a half dozen other pastors out there. I would argue, however, that my results would be affirmed by a sizable number of believers, Southern Baptist and otherwise.

There are many good, solid seminaries out there. And many poor seminaries. This list is by no means exhaustive, but I would be happy to recommend to anyone the seminaries listed below.

1. Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, P.O. Box 22000, Fort Worth, Texas USA 76122. 800/SWBTS-01; 817/923-1921. swbts.edu
Extension campuses in Houston, TX; San Antonio, TX; Shawnee, Oklahoma; etc.

I’m a graduate of SWBTS, but please don’t hold that against them. Southwestern is one of the largest and most influential seminaries in the world. It’s graduates serve, and have served throughout America and the world. Founded by the famous B. H. Carroll in 1908, it was the first seminary to include a Chair of Evangelism, also called the Chair of Fire. This Evangelism Chair was begun by pastor and evangelist L. R. Scarborough, who became the second president of SWBTS.

Today it is led by president Paige Patterson, a scholar, writer, and evangelist. Dr. Patterson is one of the well-known leaders of the Conservative Resurgence in the Southern Baptist Convention, the movement that brought the SBC back to its commitment to the inerrancy of the Bible.

Each year SWBTS students go throughout the United States conducting Revivals and winning folks to the Lord. Recently they have led over 200 to the Lord in the area right around the Fort Worth campus. SWBTS is accredited, conservative, scholarly, and evangelistic. Whether you want to study evangelism, music, missions, Bible, theology, religious education, biblical languages, archaeology, history, pastoral ministry, this is a great place to enroll.

2. New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, 3939 Gentilly Blvd., New Orleans, Louisiana 70126. 800/662-8701; 504/282-4455. nobts.edu

Even back in the moderate days of the SBC (pre 1979), NOBTS, along with SWBTS and GGBTS, was known as one of the more conservative SBC seminaries. It’s graduates have included Jerry Vines, Adrian Rogers, and Paige Patterson. It is led by Dr. Chuck Kelley, who has served as a vocational evangelist. Kelley is a graduate of Baylor and NOBTS. Prior to being elected as president, Dr. Kelley served NOBTS for 13 years as evangelism professor.

NOBTS was founded in 1917 by the Southern Baptist Convention. It has extensions in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida. They subscribe to the Baptist Faith & Message 2000. Most all of what was said about SWBTS can also be said about NOBTS. It’s a great seminary.

3. Mid America Baptist Theological Seminary, 2095 Appling Road, Cordova, Tennessee 38016, United States. 901/751-8453; 800/968-4508. mabts.edu

Founded in 1971, MABTS states, “We believe that the Bible is the verbally inspired Word of God, wholly without error as originally given by God, and is sufficient as our only infallible rule of faith and practice. We deny that other books are inspired by God in the same way as the Bible.” 

MABTS also says,
“Every faculty member accepts the plenary verbal inspiration of the Bible.
Every faculty member is a faithful witness for Jesus Christ.
Every faculty member is an active member of a cooperating Southern Baptist church.
Every faculty member in the theological and educational field holds an earned doctorate.
Every faculty member is available for counseling with students.”

Dr. Michael R. Spradlin serves as president and teaches in Evangelism. The seminary’s founder and first president was Dr. Gray Allison. Mid America now meets on 35 acres of land given to them by Bellevue Baptist Church. Adrian Rogers was a strong supporter of MABTS. It is an “independent” Southern Baptist seminary and supportive of the SBC. It does not receive Cooperative Program funds, but supports the CP. Mid America was a conservative influential school during the SBC Conservative Resurgence. They have an extension in Schenectady, New York.

All three of these schools are accredited, conservative, scholarly, evangelistic, and believe in the inerrancy of Scripture. They uphold the fundamental, basic doctrines of our Christian faith. So if you've been called to the ministry and are looking for a seminary, these are three that I would strongly recommend.

Note: These three seminaries are listed / linked in the margin to the right under Sites I Mainly Agree With.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, July 5, AD 2011.

Edith Beaugh

For anyone needing information about my aunt, Mrs. Edith Beaugh (Edith Counts Beaugh; Edith Galyean Beagh) of Lake Jackson, TX, contact:
David R. Brumbelow, P.O. Box 300, Lake Jackson, Texas 77566.

(Edith Beaugh is deceased, the Post Office would not forward her address)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists: Calvinism, Revivals, Evangelism, Tracts

PHOENIX (BP)--The need for renewed evangelism, concerns about Calvinism and comments regarding North American Mission Board budget cuts were voiced during the annual evangelists-sponsored worship service prior to the SBC annual meeting.

The Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists' gathering June 12, with the theme "Ageless Urgency," featured three preachers: Eric Fuller, Harold Hunter and Brian Fossett.

"If there was ever a time that evangelism needed to be at the forefront, now is that time," COSBE president's, Braxton Hunter, told the assembly. "There is little concern for evangelism in our convention."…

Calvinism is "a big problem today in our country, and among Christians," [Eric] Fuller said.

"If you are a Calvinist in this place this morning, stop trying to convert Christians to Calvinism and begin sharing the Gospel with lost people so that the Lord can convert them to Christianity," Fuller said. "If you are a non-Calvinist this morning, stop talking about sharing the Gospel and get out there and actually do it.

Brian Fossett, a former COSBE president and member of Liberty Baptist Church in Dalton, Ga., preached from Ephesians 4:11, encouraging attendees to get back to "the three T's" of evangelism -- "tracts, training and testimonies" -- that he said would "revolutionize our churches."

Harold Hunter, president of Trinity College of the Bible and Theological Seminary in Newburgh, Ind., and the father of Braxton Hunter, said in his message he is "burdened about the direction of our Southern Baptist Convention," noting that Southern Baptists baptized 17,416 fewer people in 2010 than in 2009, representing the lowest number of annual baptisms in 60 years.

"Evidently this new wave of trying to be relevant to the people in the bars on Friday night is not really working," Harold Hunter said. "Either what you do at your church and what this convention does is supernatural or it's superficial."…

"I hear those of Reformed theology say, 'Well, the founders of our great convention -- all of them were basically Calvinists,'" Hunter said, adding that for every Calvinistic founder of the SBC he could name three who were not.

"Let me tell you something: It was not the giants, be they Calvinists or not, who made the Southern Baptist Convention great," Hunter said. "It was the great host of people whose names are never mentioned: the evangelists, the missionaries, the small church pastors, the laymen, and the women, bless God."

Noting he wanted to "clearly preach about the ethics of those who aspire to leadership in our convention," Hunter said: "There is scarcely a week goes by that in my office I hear of some church fallen into disrepair because some man who was a Calvinist -- limited atonement -- and didn't tell the pulpit committee or the deacons until he became pastor, and then it split the church. I believe you ought to be honest. If that's what you are, then tell them that's what you are."
-bpnews.net, June 21, 2011, by Norm Miller and Art Toalston.


Read the entire Baptist Press article: COSBE Lifts Evangelism, Laments Funding Cuts

Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists (COSBE) 
http://www.sbcevangelist.org/

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, June 27, AD 2011.

Other articles of interest:
Patriotism and Christian Worship
Unlimited Atonement, Jesus Died for All
Acts 29, Alcohol, and the Southern Baptist Convention
See more under Gulf Coat Pastor Articles (Labels) in lower right margin. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

B. H. Carroll on Pastors and Alcohol

A question has recently been asked about B. H. Carroll and what he believed about drinking. B. H. Carroll (AD 1843-1914) was the famous founder and first president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas (swbts.edu). He has been very influential in Southern Baptist history. George W. Truett, L. R. Scarborough and many other leaders looked to Carroll with great admiration.

The brief quote below pretty well sums up Carroll‘s view on drinking.

“No man should be made the pastor of a church who drinks intoxicating liquors as a beverage.” -B. H. Carroll, Interpretation of the English Bible.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, June 21, AD 2011.

Note: Just before the quote above, Carroll said he was not going to raise the issue of “total abstinence.” Some have been confused then by his following statement. The answer is simple. While most today would use “total abstinence” to refer to not using alcohol as a beverage, Carroll was using the term to refer to no use of alcohol period, even as a medicine. Alcohol was viewed back then as an important medicine; it is not viewed that way today. For those wanting more evidence, they should also be aware that Carroll was a strong advocate for Prohibition. But he, like most abstainers today, would recognize a possible legitimate use of alcohol for medicinal reasons.

Related Articles:
Ancient Wine and the Bible - the book (includes more quotes by B. H. Carroll)
2006 SBC Resolution on Alcohol Use in America
Preserving Unfermented Wine in Bible Times
Acts 29, Alcohol, and the Southern Baptist Convention
B. H. Carroll on Hyper-Calvinism
Other related articles in Gulf Coast Pastor Articles (Labels) in lower right hand column.