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.

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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.

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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 ( 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, (; 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
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 or A couple of them may need to be ordered directly at the addresses given.

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

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