Monday, October 29, 2012

What About Halloween?

Christian views about Halloween include:
1. Halloween is just innocent fun where you scare kids and trick-or-treat. Some churches even used to have a “Haunted House.”

2. Some add to #1 a few innocent, or not so innocent pranks. A common one years ago was turning over outhouses.

3. We should be cautious because Halloween has overtones of witchcraft.

4. We should not participate in Halloween at all because of its association with witchcraft, evil, etc.

5. Many Christians enjoy giving out candy to trick-or-treaters and including a Gospel tract geared to kids and / or Halloween. (See Halloween tracts at; 800/548-7228). Or you could make your own flyer presenting the Gospel and inviting them to church.

6. Many churches now have a Fall Festival at Halloween. They de-emphasize the witchcraft side but have a great party for kids. It is a safe place for kids to go on Halloween. It gives them a chance to present kids and parents with the Gospel (Good News of Jesus).

7. Some churches have a “Judgment House” that presents what the Bible teaches about sin, forgiveness, Heaven and Hell.

Whatever your view of Halloween, a believer should have nothing to do with witchcraft, the occult, or astrology (astronomy is OK!).

Deuteronomy 18:10-14, The Bible (NKJV)
“There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.
For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you. You shall be blameless before the Lord your God. For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the Lord your God has not appointed such for you.” (See also Leviticus 19:26, 31; Galatians 5:20; etc.)

Our final say should be the Word of God.
-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, October 29, AD 2012.

Other Articles:
Why Use Tracts?

Sources of Gospel Tracts; Tract Racks
More articles in lower right hand margin.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Why Should I Vote?

We have a responsibility to be good citizens. We should do what we can to make this country a better place in which to live. As Christians we are to “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s (the state), and to God the things that are God’s” -Mark 12:17.

Scripture tells us to be respectful to the governmental authorities: Romans 13:1-7; Titus 3:1; 1 Peter 2:13-17.

In a democracy informed voting can make a real difference for the better.

What if I don’t agree with either of the candidates?

Rarely will you agree on every detail. Ask who is the closest to what you believe on the major issues of the day. Frankly, sometimes we have to vote for the lesser of two evils.

Where can I get information on the issues & candidates?

Newspapers, local & world news broadcasts, magazines such as WORLD (, Southern Baptist Texan (

Ask those you respect about the issues.

Internet sources include:;

Is voting important?

Yes. In the early days of our country by one vote it was determined that we would speak English instead of German.  Two men became U.S. President by just one vote. Every vote matters. Even if you lose, you have done the right thing. Let’s do the right thing in the right way, and leave the results to God.

What exactly should I do?

1. Register to vote at least 30 days before the election.

2. Be informed about the candidates and the issues.

3. Pray.

4. Vote your convictions.

“Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote . . . that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.” -Samuel Adams, one of the founding fathers of our country.

“The only thing needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” -Edmund Burke, British Statesman

"I believe it is vitally important that we cast our ballots for candidates who base their decisions on biblical principles and support the nation of Israel. I urge you to vote for those who protect the sanctity of life and support the biblical definition of marriage between a man and a woman.” -Evangelist Billy Graham,; 2012.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, October 24, AD 2012

Other Articles: 
Thank You President George W. Bush

Jesus Christ on Same-Sex Marriage
More articles in lower right margin.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Francis Wayland on Calvinism in 1856

Francis Wayland (AD 1796-1865) was a leading Baptist pastor, writer, educator. Among other schools, he studied at Andover Theological Seminary where he was influenced by Moses Stuart. He pastored First Baptist Church, Boston, Massachusetts, First Baptist Church, Providence, Rhode Island, and was president of Brown University. Wayland fought slavery and alcohol. 

He was a leader in the Northern Baptist Convention, yet also influential in the Southern Baptist Convention. Wayland was a mentor to J. P. Boyce and Wayland’s book, Notes on the Principles and Practices of Baptist Churches was highly recommended by B. H. Carroll. 

Historian Leon McBeth said of Wayland, “He became almost an oracle, a leader whose judgment on every subject was sought and usually followed.”

Below are some of Dr. Wayland’s thoughts, published in book form in 1856, on Calvinism and the extent of the Atonement:

“The extent of the atonement has been and still is a matter of honest but not unkind difference. Within the last fifty years a change has gradually taken place in the views of a large portion of our brethren. At the commencement of that period Gill’s Divinity was a sort of standard, and Baptists imbibing his opinions were what may be called almost hyper-Calvinistic.

A change commenced upon the publication of the writings of Andrew Fuller, especially his ‘Gospel Worthy of all Acceptation,’ which, in the northern and eastern States, has become almost universal. The old view still prevails, if I mistake not, in our southern and western States. This, however, does not interrupt the harmony which should subsist among brethren. Dr. Baldwin and Dr. Stillman differed in opinion on this subject; the former following Fuller, the latter adhering to Gill. No two ministers, however, ever lived in more fraternal intercourse, exchanging with and siding with and aiding each other, and rejoicing in each other’s prosperity, as it became the servants of one common Lord. I have known men believing the atonement to be limited, preach with great acceptance in New England, where the contrary belief prevails almost universally, and the contrary has been even more frequently the case. Men, in this respect, differ amicably; and it is found that when their hearts are warmed with the love of God and desire for the salvation of souls, they all preach very much alike.

It is difficult at the present day to conceive to what extent the doctrine of the limited atonement, and the views of election which accompanied it, were carried. I once knew a popular minister, who used to quote the passage, ‘God so loved the world,’ etc., by inserting the word elect before world: ‘God so loved the elect world’ etc.

I was, in the early part of my ministry, settled in a respectable town in Massachusetts. One of my members, a very worthy man, and the son of a Baptist minister, and reputed to be ‘very clear in the doctrines’ - (this was the term applied to this form of belief) - had an interesting family wholly given up to worldliness. I wished to converse with them on the subject of personal religion, and mentioned to him my desire. He kindly but plainly told me that he did not wish any one to converse with his children on that subject. If they were elected, God would convert them in his own time; but if not, talking would do them no good, it would only make them hypocrites. He was, I believe, the last pillar of Gillism then remaining in the church.”

-Dr. Francis Wayland, Notes on the Principles and Practices of Baptist Churches, Sheldon & Co., New York; 1867. First published in book form in 1856; previous to that published in The Examiner. (The Preface in his book is dated October 28, 1856.)

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, October 22, AD 2012. 

Other Articles:
Books on Calvinism, Predestination

Unlimited Atonement, Jesus Died For All
Adrian Rogers on Predestination, Calvinism
Paige Patterson on Calvinism
Acts 29, Alcohol, and the Southern Baptist Convention
B. H. Carroll on Hyper-Calvinism
More articles can be found in lower right margin.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Our First Great Sorrow

" Our baby is dead. Just as the sunlight of his joyous life was shedding its brightest beams in our home, God took him. The merry prattle of his childish voice is gone. The house is hushed. A muffled, voiceless sadness broods all around a home that this young life had made bright and happy and radiant with childish innocence and love.

It would not seem so hard to give him up if he had died in his earlier infancy. But after the angel lips had learned to lisp his mother's name, and after his tender childish words were all in all to us, he went away. But we will all soon follow after.

He was born, he lived, he died. This is the sum of every human life. The pall of death lingers around our home, but the saved in Heaven have another voice in their angelic choir. When before he died he so often asked us all to sing, he was hearing the distant music of the land of God. He is with them now, and will wait to welcome us when we, too, are called to join the hosts who have gone on.

We have for many years chronicled the death of other people's children. In every sad notice of death's silent march we have extended words of sympathy as best we could to those bereaved. But in this hour, when our own dear child has left our home never to come again, how empty sounds the voice of human sympathy!

No words can heal the wound in our hearts; no voice can chase away the sadness that lingers about our home. To those who are thus bereaved, all save the voice of God is dumb. But the angels seem to whisper as we drop tears of pain upon these sad lines, ‘He will meet you at the river when the Father calls you home.'

And now let us draw the drapery of silence around our baby's grave. No one can heal our wounded hearts, but the hand of God will touch the scars, and when our last work is done, we will go to meet our darling in a home where there is no death, and where sorrow and sadness never come."
-J. B. Cranfill
Published upon the death of his child.  Cranfill (AD 1858-1942) was a Texas Southern Baptist pastor, journalist, denominational leader.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, October 15, AD 2012.

Related book:
The Spiritual Condition of Infants by Adam Harwood

Monday, October 8, 2012

The True Meaning Of Gluttony

In debates on alcohol, some pro social drinkers invariably bring up gluttony. “Why do you who are for abstaining from alcohol ignore gluttony?” “Ever seen the fat preachers at the Southern Baptist Convention?” “Have you ever heard a sermon on gluttony?” “If you’re overweight how can you preach against alcohol?”
The above comments show a profound misunderstanding of the biblical meaning of gluttony. Gluttony is not being overweight. A glutton is not someone who has eaten a bigger, or less politically correct meal than you have.

Well, am I just explaining away Scripture and making it mean nothing? Not at all. Rather, I am paying much more attention to Scripture than those who so often point fingers and cry, “Glutton!” I’m actually giving the term much more meaning than those who repeatedly use it.

What does the Scripture say?

And they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ -Deuteronomy 21:20

For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and drowsiness will clothe a man with rags. -Proverbs 23:21

Whoever keeps the law is a discerning son, but a companion of gluttons shames his father. -Proverbs 28:7

The Illustrated Dictionary of the Bible explains:
Glutton - a person who is debased and excessive in his eating habits. Gluttony is more than overeating. In its association with drunkenness (Proverbs 23:21; Deuteronomy 21:20), it describes a life given to excess. When Jesus was called a ‘gluttonous man” (Matthew 11:19), His critics were accusing Him of being loose and excessive by associating with tax collectors and sinners.” -Herbert Lockyer, Sr., with F. F. Bruce and R. K. Harrison, Illustrated Dictionary of the Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville; 1986.

The Holman Bible Dictionary says:
Glutton - One habitually given to greedy and voracious eating; associated with stubbornness, rebellion, disobedience, drunkenness, and wastefulness (Deuteronomy 21:20). A more general meaning for the Hebrew term as a ‘good-for-nothing’ (Proverbs 28:7, TEV) is reflected in some translations: ‘wastrel’ (Deuteronomy 21:20 REB); ‘profligate’ (Deuteronomy 21:20 NIV; Proverbs 28:7 REB); ‘riotous’ (Proverbs 28:7, KJV.”

Glutton- “Essentially a voluptuary or a debauchee.” -Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia.

Gluttony is much more than overeating. It describes a man who is greedy, stubborn, rebellious, disobedient, lazy, a drunk, and yes, a voracious eater. Gluttony describes a man who is good for nothing. Admittedly, we do have our share of gluttons today. But they are not simply those that weigh more than your requirements. Some of the most godly, useful folks may be overweight.

D. L. Moody and Charles H. Spurgeon were overweight, and also greatly used of God. According to biblical standards, they were certainly no gluttons.

So next time you see a fellow enjoying a cheeseburger or barbeque ribs, perhaps you should hold your tongue. Perchance you are the judgmental one.

Back to the issue of gluttony and alcohol. A person can abstain from alcohol and prosper. Abstain from food and you will die. Food is necessary, alcohol is not. 

One final consideration. Suppose your daughter was driving down a dark, narrow, two lane road late at night. She sees headlights up ahead. Would you rather the fellow driving toward her be driving fat, or driving drunk?

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, October 8, AD 2012.

Alabama Baptist Review of "Ancient Wine and the Bible"
Charles H. Spurgeon on Alcohol
Other articles in lower right margin.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Alabama Baptist Review of "Ancient Wine and the Bible"

Book Reviews
September 20, 2012
Ancient Wine and the Bible David R. Brumbelow. Carrollton, Ga.: Free Church Press, 2011. 305 pp. (Paperback).

The Middle East is a hot and dry climate. In ancient times, there wasn’t enough safe water to drink. They had no refrigeration. They had no choice but to drink wine.

Ever hear something like the above statement? Did you believe it? Many — maybe most — do, but according to David Brumbelow only parts of it are true: the Middle East is hot and dry, and there was no refrigeration. In this book Brumbelow challenges commonly accepted ideas about wine consumption in Bible times, stating flatly that much of it is untrue.

The author maintains the word “wine” in the Bible refers to both alcoholic and nonalcoholic drink, much like our use of “cider” today, consulting ancient primary documents by such writers as Pliny, Plutarch and Josephus to support his argument. He continues to cite ancient documents and modern-day scholars as he builds his case, offering convincing evidence for his position.

The book is well written and thorough. If you have questions (Didn’t Jesus turn water into wine? How could they keep grape juice from fermenting?), the author probably addresses them in the book.

-by Martine Bates Sharp Ed. D; Alabama Baptist, Book Reviews
Reprinted by permission.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, October 1, AD 2012. 

Other Articles:
Ancient Wine and the Bible - the book
Book Review of "Alcohol Today" by R. L. Sumner
Preserving Unfermented Wine in Bible Times
Deuteronomy 14:26 - Does it Commend Alcohol?
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).