Monday, May 29, 2017

T. B. Maston on the Curse of Ham

Then he said: “Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants he shall be to his brethren.”  -Genesis 9:25

Dr. Thomas Buford Maston (AD 1897-1988) was a longtime Ethics professor at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas.  While a student, I had the opportunity to briefly visit with T. B. Maston on a walk around the SWBTS campus.  In 1959 Dr. Maston wrote “The Bible & Race,” published by Broadman Press.  It was a book ahead of its times.  In 2008 SWBTS reprinted this book as a part of its Centennial Classics

In the last chapter, Maston deals with the Curse of Ham, or the Curse of Canaan in Genesis 9.  This biblical passage has been wrongly used by some to justify slavery and racism.  I will not reprint the entire chapter, but Maston’s conclusion.    
Conclusions Concerning the Curse

“What can we conclude concerning the curse of Canaan and its relevance to the contemporary racial situation?  Some personal conclusions are as follows: 

1.  The curse was a pronouncement of a particular sentence on a particular sin. 

2.  The curse was a prophecy.  Its main purpose was to predict the subjugation of the Canaanites by the children of Israel. 

3.  The fulfilment of the terms of the curse and the time of the fulfilment were dependent on the decisions and the conduct of the ones mentioned in the curse. 

4.  The curse of Canaan has no direct relevance to the contemporary racial situation.  The Negro was not included in the original curse, since he was not and is not a descendant of Canaan.  Even if he were a descendant of Canaan, the curse itself is no longer in force. 

5.  Most men seek divine sanction for what they do or want to do. 

6.  In seeking divine sanction for enforced racial segregation, some have used the curse of Canaan, which they usually label ‘the curse of Ham,’ and the Bible in general to support their position. 

7.  Even Christians may defend racial segregation as the best method of temporarily and immediately handling a perplexing problem without doing great damage to the cause of Christ, so long as they will not use the curse of Canaan and other biblical incidents and teachings to support their position, and so long as they do not defend segregation as being the full and final expression of the divine will in human relations.  When the latter is done, irreparable harm is done to the Christian movement and to the Christian witness at home and abroad. 

Surely the God who created man in his own image, who made of one all men, who is no respecter of persons, who loved all men enough to give his Son for their salvation, and who taught us to love our neighbor as ourselves did not and does not intend that any man or any segment of mankind should be kept in permanent subserviency or should be treated as innately inferior, as second-class citizens in a first-class society.”
-T. B. Maston, The Bible & Race; 1959. 

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, May 29, AD 2017. 

 Many other articles in lower right margin.  

Thursday, May 4, 2017

13 Reasons Why Not to Commit Suicide

1.  You are created in the image of God.  Yes, you!  You have great worth.  Life is precious. 

2.  Don’t let anyone or anything ruin your life.  Hang in there, keep going.  Sometimes the best revenge is simply to live a good, happy life.  There are victims, and there are volunteers.  Don’t be a volunteer.  Refuse to be a victim. 

3.  Though times are tough, they almost always get better. 

4.  Suicide is devastating to family and friends.  I remember a man telling of the suicide of a close relative.  Though the suicide had taken place years before, I could still see the pain in his eyes. 

5.  Suicide may encourage someone else to do the same. 

6.  Suicide destroys the handiwork of God.  It is the murder of yourself. 

7.  Others care more than you know.  Some people especially like you, and you don’t even know it. 

8.  Help is available from church, school, family, friends.  Pastors, Youth Ministers, Teachers, Counselors, Relatives are ready to help, if you just ask.  Some of those old people may have just the answer you’re looking for.  Spend a little time with them. 

9.  The Bible is God’s letter to you.  In its pages you will find strength, hope, truth, love, joy.  Start reading in the Gospel of John or Luke.  Check out Psalms and Proverbs.  There’s stuff in there you never imagined.  My favorite translation is the New King James Version (NKJV). 

10.  God has a plan, great plans, for your life.  You’re just getting started. 

11.  Have you made a mess of things?  You’re not the first.  God forgives and is in the restoration business. 

12.  Jesus Christ, God the Son, loves you so much He gave His life for you.  Trust Him.  Together you can handle anything. 

13.  Don’t throw away your future.  Be patient.  You will never know what you can accomplish in your 20s, 40s, 60s, until you get there. 

Life gets messy and complicated, but you are loved. 

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, May 4, AD 2017. 

Need help with the issue of suicide? 
Find help at a good church.  Attend every Sunday.
Check out Focus on the Family, a Christian, Family oriented organization. 

 More articles in lower right margin.